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3 years ago

CNN adds live streaming TV to its Android app, still requires a cable subscription

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CNN has finally decided to add a live TV stream to its Android app, but there are still a few caveats associated with the new functionality. Alongside the normal set of clips and content available previously in its app, you can now watch a live stream of CNN or HLN directly from a menu marked as "watch live TV". The caveat, as we mentioned, is that you're still going to be required to authorize with CNN that you subscribe to a cable TV package with one of its partners. It's an unfortunate (but still quite standard) situation for those of us who have chosen to "cut the cord" and don't subscribe to a cable service.

The functionality, once you get it working, does seem to live up to its promise of providing a live CNN stream. Even on a solid Wifi connection it still didn't seem to be very high quality in our time with it, though. Understanding that there are issues, this is still a good start for CNN and hopefully more channels can follow suit.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey turns 4, brings 'flow' gesture typing to prime time

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The folks at SwiftKey have made a hell of a good keyboard for Android phones and tablets. They've garnered numerous awards for it, from names like the GSMA, Fast Company, and our very own Editor's Choice awards for two years running. We're on record saying it's simply the best all around predictive text keyboard money can buy. There's a reason SwiftKey has sold over 2,000,000 copies and has over 70,000 5-star ratings in Google Play.

When they debuted their beta versions of SwiftKey Flow, which incorporates swiping gestures into the keyboard, folks fell in love with it all over again. It was a swiping keyboard, with great autocorrect and personalized predictions that seemed to read our minds.

SwiftKey has finalized things and they have released SwiftKey 4. It's on sale for $1.99 (it's normally a $3.99 app) if you don't already have SwiftKey, and it's a free upgrade for everybody who has already purchased. SwiftKey 4 incorporates "the flow" on top of the great features we're already using, and it just works. Ask anyone who has been using the beta builds -- you want this keyboard. Grab it from the Google Play link above, or install the tablet version from Google Play here

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod adds HDR camera functionality for (almost) every device

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The CyanogenMod team has just added HDR (High Dynamic Range) camera functionality for almost all devices running CM10.1 builds. The HDR mode has been enabled on most devices, and captures and processes images similarly to the way the Nexus 4 does with its stock software. The camera takes three images -- one under exposed, neutral exposed and over exposed -- and processes them together to make an image that usually "pops" a bit more. The functionality will be baked in and ready to use for anyone that has the stock CM camera app installed.

There are a few caveats, however. Because CyanogenMod supports so many devices with varying levels of cameras (sizes, qualities, processors), the process may not work as well on certain devices. The team recommends that users use a tripod or some sort of stabilization -- good rules for any photographer -- for the best results. If you have a newer device with a "zero shutter lag" camera, you should see pretty good results. 

Source: CyanogenMod (Google+)

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3 years ago

The best DashClock Widget extensions we're using

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DashClock Widget is the newest fascination among users that have devices running Android 4.2, and one of the biggest reasons is the potential for customizations via extensions. The widget itself has a solid core set of functional extensions such as weather, calendar and Gmail, but the real fun begins when you start grabbing new extensions for other apps to plug into the widget.

Hang with us after the break and see a few of the best DashClock Widget extensions that we're using.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 WiFi getting Android 4.1.2 update in Australia

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This one perhaps has a slight taste of the better late than never, but the WiFi Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Australia is now getting its Jelly Bean update. The Note 10.1 WiFi started receiving Android 4.1 in Europe -- Germany more specifically -- back in December, so eager Australian Note 10.1 owners have had a bit of a wait. However, the wait seems to be worth it, as the update now pushing out via Kies takes the tablet straight to Android 4.1.2 and the Premium Suite features that comes with it such as multi-window and air-view for the S-Pen. 

As you might imagine, it's a hefty sized update, and weighs in at 505MB. Note 10.1 3G owners in Australia still seem to be waiting on, but Samsung's recent efforts with pushing software updates suggests they may not be waiting too much longer. If you've snagged a copy of the update already, be sure to hit us up in the comments or the Galaxy Note 10.1 forums and share your experiences with us.

Source: Ausdroid

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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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