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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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3 years ago

New Nexus 4? Be sure to try out Box with 50GB of free storage

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No, you're not dreaming, the Nexus 4 really has been on sale in the Play Store for over 2 weeks straight with no supply issues. We know that in the last couple of weeks, more people have probably picked it up than in the last couple of months, and that means there are a whole lot of new Nexus users out there. One of the big promotions that Box.net started running back in November still applies though, and everyone with a new LG device -- including the Nexus 4 -- can take advantage of 50GB of free storage just for downloading the app and logging in.

Stick around after the break and check out a few of the high points of the Box app, and see if it's worth a shot to get some free storage.

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer and Media Player apps updated with 'favorites' feature, bug fixes

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The BBC continues to roll out improvements to its suite of Android apps, and today the broadcaster has published updates for its (UK-only) iPlayer and BBC Media Player apps. The latest iPlayer update adds in a "favorites" -- which was actually removed a few versions back -- along with improvements to image quality and loading times in the TV streaming app. On the BBC Media Player side, bug fixes are the order of the day, and on-screen buttons should now disappear correctly on Jelly Bean devices.

If you're in the UK, there's no reason not to have these apps on your device -- hit the Google Play link above to grab the BBC iPlayer app, or click here to pick up the Media Player companion app.

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3 years ago

ROM Manager adds delta updates, TWRP recovery support

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ROM Manager, a staple app used by practically anyone who roots and switches ROMs often, has just added support for both delta (incremental) updates and TWRP recovery. Delta updates (downloads, really) will let users who are downloading and flashing new ROMs -- like those of you on nightlies -- just download and apply the new portions of the ROM, rather than the entire thing. If you have a previous zip file of your ROM on the device, ROM Manager will send you an incremental zip (of about 20MB) to apply and get the changes. This will save a lot of time, battery and data when flashing updates to the same ROM over and over again.

The latest ROM Manager also supports TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project), so if users prefer that over ClockworkMod Recovery, they can flash it directly through the app rather than separately. If you're not using ROM Manager yet, give it a look at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Falcon Pro adds support for DashClock Widget

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The Falcon Pro Twitter app got an update today, adding the ability to copy tweets and fixing a few bugs. More interesting, perhaps, is the addition of support for DashClock Widget, which we're very quickly falling in love with.

The Falcon Pro extension for DashClock Widgets lets you see how many unread tweets you have from your lock screen. The usefulness of such a feature is debatable, but Falcon Pro is one of the first major applications we've seen add an extension for the open-source DashClock. And chances are we'll see more soon enough.

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3 years ago

MOO rolls its own tagging app, but NFC business cards still MIA

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MOO's NFC-enabled business cards still aren't available to the public just yet (we've got a tester version we like to flash around at parties and such), but the company today gave word that it's rolled its own NFC-tagging app.

The interface is simple enough. You can link to a web site, map, social networks, phone numbers and vCards, as well as read and reset what's on your MOO NFC card. 

Now we just need some cards to tech up our wallets, and we're good to go.

More: MOO

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3 years ago

IRS2Go: gets the job done, but doesn't look very good doing it

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We hate to remind you of this, but it may be time to start thinking about filing your taxes. April may seem so far away, but there's no downside to thinking about these things early. If you're thinking about starting to prepare for filing your taxes, a good place to start is probably the IRS2Go app, which is published by the IRS to help Americans get through the much-bemoaned task.

Read on past the break for a quick look at what the IRS2Go app has to offer this year.

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3 years ago

Semi-pro tip: With Android 4.2.2 here, your Android SDK might need updating

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Chances are if you're a serious Android developer you keep your Android SDK updated on a regular basis. But there are many of us who need it just for basic command-line work and don't bother with regular updates. Nothing really wrong with that. 

But Android 4.2.2 brings about a new security feature in regards to USB debugging. Whereas before all you had to do was plug in your phone and go (and maybe deal with drivers if you're a Windows user), now there's a gatekeeper on the phone side that you have to acknowledge before any connection can be made. That's what you see above. You have to accept the RSA key on your phone or tablet before anything can flow between the device via the ADB (the Android Debug Bridge). That's an added layer of security, and it's a good thing.

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3 years ago

Google Now now incorporates Google Doodles

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A nice little treat this morning -- Google Now is now pulling in Google Doodles following yesterday's update. Whereas those of us outside of major metro areas would see a stock image, we're now seeing the same as you would on Google.com. (That any different for those of you in a big city? Let us know.) Today's Doodle is a cool Ferris Wheel deal that when viewed on the desktop turns into an animated Valentine's Day thing complete with odd couple and cartoon -- just check it out for yourself.

It's about time Android got a taste of one of the more quirky -- and excellent -- Google does on a daily basis. Huzzah!

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3 years ago

Android malware scanners -- should you use one?

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Recently we've seen AVG, an Android "security" app marking other applications as malware when they aren't. That's called a false positive, and it's a fairly common occurrence. When it happens to a popular app, it always causes confusion and gets everybody unnecessarily stressed out. This time it also got us thinking -- do people really need to run any type of Android malware scanner, and are they doing more harm than good?

Android malware certainly exists. We take issue with the way it gets reported sometimes, as sensationalism draws focus away from real issues, but we're not foolish enough to pretend that people aren't writing apps designed to cause trouble. But who needs to worry about this sort of thing, and how to stay safe is something that needs discussed. That's what we're going to try and do today, in real-talk that everyone can understand. Hit the break and let's get started.

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 receiving large OTA update

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It looks like many users with the Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) on Sprint are receiving a relatively large -- about 157MB -- OTA update on their devices. Grant, who sent us the above screenshot, notes that this is a Samsung software update and not a regular firmware update. Sprint's support pages indicate that the update to software version L710VPMA6 brings updates to the voicemail app, adds SMS features and fixes calendar sync issues. Users in the forums have also reported that it fixes a security exploit.

Sprint users have yet to see the update that would bring Samsung's premium suite to the device, and will have to wait a bit longer as this update doesn't have it included. Has your device pulled down the update yet? Let us know here and in the forums what changes you're seeing after the install.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Galaxy S3 Forums; Thanks, Grant!

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3 years ago

WeFi Pro: get the most out of public Wifi access

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Many of us are coming to the realization that mobile data limits are, well, limiting. At the same time, public Wifi access has been a major initiative in many large cities and private businesses alike. WeFi Pro, which was previously only available to Cricket customers, is hoping to help users take advantage of the vast amounts of public Wifi available today.

Stick around after the break to see how WeFi Pro could help you cut down on the monthly data charges.

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3 years ago

Archos releases free, ad-supported version of video player app

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One thing that Archos has traditionally done pretty well is video, and back in December they launched a standalone version of the video player app that ships on their Android tablets. With a lengthy feature list, and a well designed UI, the only thing preventing some from giving it a spin was the price. At $4.99 (£3.99) it carried a premium price along with the excellent feature set. 

Now though, Archos has released a free, ad supported version of the app into the Google Play Store. Above all, it gives you a perfect chance to test out the full version of the app without dropping down any green first. It promises to work on both smartphones and tablets, but will require Android 4.x to run. Grab yourselves a copy at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Slacker Radio hits v4.0 with a new UI

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Very popular streaming radio app Slacker Radio has just received a notable update to a completely new user interface. The new UI follows a stark blue and white contrasting design, with some holo-esque features to it such as use of the overflow menu button and clean transitions. Other than that, the new app is generally pretty simple and unique in its design. You still follow a simple design of a homescreen with search and four options -- genres, my music, specialty stations and news/talk/sports -- with the rest of the UI being just lists of stations when you dive deeper.

This is a big step forward in design for Slacker, and it seems to perform as well as it looks. Not to mention that v4.0 slots it right in with the styling of its web interface, which is important. You can grab a free download of the app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Google Now officially gets widgets in latest Google Search update

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Seems like it was only a couple days ago that we were tipped to home screen and Android 4.2 lock screen widgets for Google Now, and today that update has come, along with a few other trinkets.

First off is that widget. It works on a home screen or lock screen (the latter only if you've got Android 4.2). We not noticing any real customizable settings just yet -- sing out if you see any. But you can at least resize it on the home screen, and you might well need to if it tries to take up a full 4x4 spot by default.

Then there's support for movie passes from Fandango, as well as ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. If you're searching for a home, you'll get real-estate listings from Zillo. In the United States, you'll now see a music button when a song is playing in voice mode. And, as some of you have already noticed this week, there's now support for college sports. (Just in time for March Madness!)

Update: Google's got a blog post detailing the update here.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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