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3 years ago

Three UK pushing out Jelly Bean update for Sony Xperia T

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The Jelly Bean update for the Sony Xperia T first started pushing out at the very beginning of February to unlocked devices. Since then, in the UK, O2 started pushing it out around a week later, and next up is the turn of fellow uk carrier Three. Announced this morning via their official Twitter account, Three has begun pushing out the Android 4.1.2 update to owners of the Xperia T on the network. Interestingly, Three's official support pages state that the update requires the latest version of the Sony PC Companion software, with no official mention of an OTA update. Sony themselves initially said that in some instances the update may only be available in this way, so it's definitely worth making sure you have the software installed on your computer. 

Beyond the standard Jelly Bean features such as Project Butter and Google Now, Sony's update brings about changes to some of their own pre-installed apps. Walkman, Album and Movies all see redesigns, the homescreen has new personalization options and improvements are also made within the camera application.  

Source: Three UK (Twitter, Support)

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3 years ago

Hotel Tonight adds proper tablet UI support

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Hotel Tonight has just updated its Android app with proper tablet support, offering a better UI experience to users with larger screen devices. The service, if you're not familiar, offers steep discounts on hotels because they are only able to be booked at noon (local time) to be used that day. Users can now view and book hotels on their tablets with this properly formed tablet UI, and Hotel Tonight says that you can go from launching the app to booking a room with "just three taps and a swipe".

The designers of the new tablet UI on the app say that they specifically targeted Google's own Nexus tablets as references for the 7-inch and 10-inch design, and are extremely happy with the result. The interface takes advantage of the larger screens with bigger pictures while navigating and a better display when viewing hotel listings. You can grab a download of the new version of Hotel Tonight at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Unity Launcher: a little bit of Ubuntu flair on your device

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Canonical has laid out its plans to release Ubuntu phones at some point in 2014 -- but you don't have to wait that long to get a little bit of Ubuntu flair on your current Android device. Unity Launcher brings Ubuntu's interesting swipe-in sliding app selector to your device without changing your current launcher setup. 

Stick around with us after the break to learn a little more about what Unity Launcher has to offer.

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3 years ago

The Weather Channel app gets a sizeable update with a new look

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The Weather Channel's official Android app has been given a complete makeover in today's big update. In addition to an all new user interface and tablet optimization, they have beefed up the content quite a bit with more detailed forecasts, better and faster maps, and a better selection of videos from around the world. The full change log reads like this:

  • “Expect rain to start at 3:15p”—No more guessing! If your weather is changing within 6 hrs, we let you the exact time it will happen.
  • Faster maps with past & future radar, severe weather bulletins
  • More detailed forecasts
  • A better selection of videos
  • Optimized for Android tablets
  • Set up your favorites places to take full advantage of our weather widgets and notifications.
  • What everyone has been asking for, a Refresh button!
  • It is now easy to share your weather with your friends & family

Of course, the biggest thing users are going to see is the all new UI. My first impressions are that it's quite nice. There's plenty of information, it's well laid out, and most importantly, pleasing to the eye. But according to the Play store entry's comments, many long time users aren't very happy with the changes. They note the new ad placement as a sticking point and feel it's less intuitive. Having not used the app before today's update means I have no reference, but I like it enough to keep it around for a while. This sort of thing is subjective, so the best advice I can give is to install it and try for yourself. It's free -- grab it at the Google Play link above. I've tossed a few screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Utter! Voice Command Beta: control your phone by voice

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The recent update to Google Now has just made one of the nicer Jelly Bean features -- offline voice recognition -- available for third party developers to use, and voice command app utter! is the first to take advantage of this feature. Utter! is positioning itself to help accomplish most anything that could normally be done by a default Google Voice Search and go beyond that to then let you control other device functions outside of the scope of Google's own offering.

Hang with us after the break to see what utter! brings to the table in its current beta state.

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3 years ago

Plume adds its own open-sourced DashClock Widget extension

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Another day, another DashClock Widget extension, it seems. The latest is from Twitter app Plume. It's doing things a little bit different. Whereas Falcon Pro baked its DashClock extension directly into the app, Plume's is a separate download. That's an extra step, but Plume developer LevelUp Studio also released its extension code as open-source which in addition to being awesome is also in the spirit of DashClock Widget, which itself is open-sourced.

A reminder that you'll need Android 4.2.x to use DashClock Widget.

Hit the link above to download the extension. And hit the link below for the raw code.

More: Plume for DashClock on Github

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3 years ago

DashClock Widget v1.2 adds shortcuts, visual tweaks, new languages

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If you've got an Android phone or tablet that's got Android 4.2.x and you're not using DashClock Widget, you are, quite frankly, doing it wrong. And the app that turns the Jelly Bean lock screen widgets into more than just wishful thinking -- by the way, it's already in the 50,000 to 100,000 download range, and we'd be willing to bet it's on the high end of that -- got an update to version 1.2 today, bringing with it a number of improvements.

First up are some new visual tweaks, allowing for custom opacity, as well as the ability to center the clock. You also can assign application shortcuts to the weather and clock widgets. Nice. Then there's the addition of extensions for missed calls and new text messages. Or perhaps you'd be interested in support for French, German, Spanish and Russian. Use Microsoft Exchange for your calendar? It's now supported. Some of this is tucked into a new "advanced" menu, so dive into the settings to see the new features.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Vector, Buzzfeed, ElectroDroid and more!

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It's that time of the week again where we bring you our weekly app picks, direct from the Android Central writers. This time each week we do our best to give you a look at an app that we're using and enjoying on our devices from day to day.

Stick around after the break and see how we did with our picks this week.

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3 years ago

Skype now beta testing video messaging service with some mobile users

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Skype is actively testing a new video messaging service with a "group of mobile and mac users" according to its official Twitter account today. The new feature, which doesn't require a new update to the mobile app, enables users to send video messages back and forth up to 3 minutes in length. If you've been selected to be part of this initial test, the option will be found under a contact's name in the "More" category, which now holds options to do video messages and send files. You get a basic video interface where you can press the record button to start, and when you're done hit the record button again to save and send the message.

The menu item clearly says "20 free video messages remaining", so we're going to assume that sending video messages is going to be a premium feature costing Skype credits going forward. Are you seeing the feature show up in the Skype app on your devices? Let us know in the comments.

 Source: Skype (Twitter); Via: iMore

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3 years ago

Minus updated with new interface and featureset

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Minus is putting out an update to its Android (and iOS) app today that not only changes and improves the interface, but also changes the way the service works as a whole. The app used to be focused on picture storage to share with friends, and has now pivoted a bit to be focused on meeting and sharing with people that are nearby. The basic idea is to see other Minus users around you and then chat, share photos and browse other people's photos. Photos can still be kept private and accessed from the Minus website, but the main intention is to share them publicly now.

The interface has been redesigned and cleaned up notably, which is hard to complain about on its own, but it seems like some users aren't taking too kindly to the quick change in features from one version to another. If you're interested in trying out the new Minus, hit the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Press update adds DashClock Widget support

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Google Reader client Press has just added support for the popular new widget DashClock just a few days after its release.  DashClock Widget provides a platform to make "extensions" that plug into the widget from other apps to put pertinent notifications and information on your screen. Users on Android 4.2 with DashClock installed now have the ability to see their Press unread count and last sync time on the widget. This should play nicely with the recent update to Press that added background syncing support.

So far we've got Falcon Pro and Press that have updated to support the widget's extensions, along with the built-in items like weather and Gmail, and we're sure to see more as DashClock Widget becomes even more popular.

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3 years ago

Google Search update allows third-party developers to use offline speech recognition

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The recent Google Search update brought more than just a Google Now widget. As discovered by the development team of utter!, a slick voice command application, the update allows the use of the offline speech recognition that came about with Android 4.1 for third-party applications.

Previously, only Google's applications could take advantage of the downloaded speech dictionaries, which allowed for offline voice typing. With the recent changes, applications like utter! can now access your downloaded dictionaries to do their thing faster, and without a data connection. Everyone loves faster, and I can think of plenty of instances that I've had my Nexus 7 somewhere without a connection. The developers at utter! are the first to make use of this, be we expect any application that uses voice recognition to quickly follow suit.

To enable all of this, you'll need to set up your languages. Not all phones support offline speech recognition, but for those that do setting it up is simple. Open Google Now settings, and under "Voice" download your offline speech recognition files. You'll need to be running some flavor of Jelly Bean and have access to Google Now, of course.

We're going to take a good look at utter! (it looks like an awesome app and it's clear the developers are savvy) in the coming days, and be on the look out for more applications that take advantage of this new feature.

More: XDA. Thanks, IAmAN00bie!

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note 2 receiving small security fix OTA update

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The AT&T Galaxy Note 2 is receiving a small update today that has updated the baseband on the device and made what AT&T is calling a "chipset security enhancement". The update is small -- just about 8.5MB -- so as you'd expect we're sticking with Android 4.1.2 for the time being. The only front-facing change will be the software build number and basedband version. We're looking at a movement to build and baseband MA4, from LK7 previously. The security enhancement is likely a fix related to the Exynos security vulnerability that was recently discovered.

Some members in our forums are having the update hit their devices, and say that it is only available to download over Wifi. Have you received the update and are seeing something new on your device? Head to the forums and let us know.

Source: AT&T Support; More: AT&T Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Thanks, Garrett!

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3 years ago

Tweet Lanes goes open-source, looking for a few good devs

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It's been a few months since we got the bad news that active development was to cease on Twitter app Tweet Lanes, but developer Chris Lacy today did announce that the app still has a future. Lacy is open-sourcing the code not only for the Tweet Lanes client, but also its SocialNetLib library (which works with App.net as well), as well as his AppEngine of things.

"My sincerest hope is that by releasing this code, the community can give Tweet Lanes the time and attention that it deserves," Lacy wrote today on Google+.

While he won't be actively developing Tweet Lanes, he is committing to syncing with the master branch of the project and releasing signed versions of the app to Google Play "a few times a week," meaning you'd still be able to get updates in the usual manner.

Lacy's looking for some dev leads for the project as well as a community manager. Hit the links below if you can help out.

In the meantime, the app was updated today to comply with the Twitter API v1.1, and a couple other behind-the-scenes things. (See the changelog here.)

Source: +Chris Lacy; More: Tweet Lanes github

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3 years ago

Browser eats browser: Opera acquires Skyfire

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Opera and Skyfire at one time were popular browser alternatives in a time in which stock browsers were sorely lacking. Improvements to Sarafi on iOS, Chrome on Android and, yes, even IE on Windows Phone have meant third-party options have to rely more on additional features rather than straight function. Today, two of those upstarts -- Opera and Skyfire -- announced they're getting in bed together.

Specifically, Opera is purchasing Skyfire for $50 million up front, with future considerations that could total the deal at $155 million.

“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators.”

The companies in their press release announced their intention to release a new "set of joint products to be released over the coming year by combining their talents and know-how." Opera's "Web Pass" day pass service was mentioned in particular.

Source: Opera

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