3 years ago

Facebook for Android updated with new icons for Camera and Messenger


The official Facebook app for Android has been updated with a couple of small changes to the "Camera" and "Messenger" applications that come bundled with it. The new app icons, which first appeared in Facebook's 1.9 update late last week, were criticized by some due to there being little to tell them apart from the camera and SMS apps pre-loaded on most Android phones. The fear was that users would be confused or worse, misled by the apps' presence.

It seems Facebook's taken this criticism to heart, and today it's acted to make things a little more clear for users. In the new version, both app icons now display the Facebook logo in the bottom left corner, further differentiating them from pre-loaded camera and messaging apps.

Hit that update button to grab the new version. Alternatively, we've got the usual Google Play Store linkage after the break.

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: Did you set up your Google Drive?


All the rumors and murmuring came to an end today, as Google unleashed Google Drive on the world. Some of the rumors were right, some not, but in the end anytime someone wants to give us more, we'll take it. I hope in the end Google gets things a bit more unified, but that's another story. I'll use it, so I set mine up.

Did you? Let us know in the poll!


Did you set up your Google Drive today?

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3 years ago

Ask AC: The T-Mobile HTC One S uses Carrier IQ?


Thermalx, in our T-Mobile HTC One S Q&A, writes,

I thought carriers had about stopped with the whole Carrier IQ thing. But according to this T-Mo doc, the One S has Carrier IQ, any thoughts on that? Personally I'm not swayed much by it as I'll get CM9 as soon as it's available.

Ah ha! A good question, and one I'd meant to cover sooner. As part of our Ultimate Sense 4 Guide, we'd done a separate post on Privacy and the Tell HTC Experience Log. That covers analytics and other data that that Sense itself can collect. But it's not necessarily on your phone, and it's not necessarily the only analytics tool a carrier is using. 

When you first go through setup on the T-Mobile (US) HTC One S, you'll be asked whether you want T-Mobile to be able to collect diagnostics information. The section reads as follows:

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3 years ago

New Android 4.0.4 factory images available online


Factory images for Android 4.0.4 (IMM76I) have been made available for yakju variants of the GSM Galaxy Nexus, as well as a newcomer -- the takju build. First things first, these images are a way to return your yakju Galaxy Nexus to its factory state should you get in there and muck things all up with custom software, or for advanced users to switch from a non-yakju build to yakju. They are handy as all get-out, and have saved much bacon -- including all of us here at one time or another. You'll need fastboot up and running, and have a limited knowledge of how to flash images or read scripts. It's not hard, and if you hit a snag there's a forum full of Android lovers to help you out.

Now, about this takju thing. You might have noticed that Google decided to start selling unlocked Galaxy Nexus phones in the U.S. online today. These phones are a different model -- takju. The takju image is Android 4.0.4 (IMM76I) with some minor differences to include Google Wallet. And what's more -- flashing it to any unlocked GSM build works just fine.

Source: Google Developers. More: Google Groups

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3 years ago

Google Docs is now Google Drive - we take it for a spin


Welcome to the Google Drive era. Google Docs has been folded into GDrive, but it's still the same productivity suite you've come to know and love. And now it's got some pretty serious cloud sync (even more so than previous) behind it in the form of Google Drive.

The idea is that you can collaborate on anything. Everything. Someone share a PDF? You can comment on it, and the OP will get a notification that you did so. 

There's a desktop client for all this, too, and, yes, it's basically Google's version of Dropbox. All your former GDocs files show there, and opening them opens them either in Google Docs, or in a respective native app (for instance, I use Foxit for PDFs.) 

We've got a slew of screenies after the break. 

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3 years ago

Gmail free storage upped to 10GB, 25GB for paying Google Drive customers


Google has marked the launch of Google Drive by giving Gmail users an extra 2.3GB or so of storage. The company announced that it'll bump the free allowance up to 10GB (and counting) for free users, and 25GB for paying Google Drive customers, a substantial increase from the previous 7.7GB or so previously offered.

We're not seeing the changes reflected in our own accounts just yet. But considering the fact that Gmail updates are usually rolled out over the course of a few days, it shouldn't be too long before we start to see our extra storage space.

Google says it'll continue to slowly add to the new 10GB free allowance every day, just as it's been doing since Gmail launched with 1GB of space back in 2004.

Source: Gmail blog

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3 years ago

Google Drive cloud storage service launches, 5GB free space for all


Google's worst kept secret in recent years is finally official -- Google Drive, the company's cloud storage service, has been announced. The service offers 5GB of storage for free, with paid storage also available offering up to 16TB of space. Being a Google service, much of the focus of Google Drive is on its web interface, available now at drive.google.com. Like cloud storage incumbents Dropbox, this provides users with a way to manage existing synced content (including Google Docs), as well as uploading new files and sharing between other Drive users.

There's also a fully-featured Android app, which replaces the old Google Docs app and offers the ability to upload content from Android phones directly to the cloud. And there's even a Google+ style camera upload feature to facilitate easy sharing of photos and videos. The app's available right now on the Google Play Store (and as an update if you've already got Docs installed), and we've got it linked after the break.

On the desktop side, Google Drive takes the form of a synchronization app, similar to Dropbox. Your Google Drive appears as a special folder on your computer, from which you can manage through your favorite file manager. Like Dropbox, the Drive desktop app integrates pretty seamlessly into Windows.

In the announcement on its official blog, Google focused on Drive's collaborative capabilities -- something Docs users will be familiar with -- as well as the ability to search more than just text in a document or spreadsheet. Drive apparently incorporates OCR (optical character recognition) in addition to image recognition, similar to Google Goggles and Google Image Search, meaning a photo of a particular landmark would be recognized as such.

Here's how the pricing works out for Google Drive --

  • Everyone gets 5GB for free
  • 25GB for $2.49 per month
  • 100GB for $4.99 per month
  • 1TB for $49.99 per month
  • Enterprise-focused data allowances are also available, offering up to 16TB of space.
  • Upgrading to a paid plan will automatically boost you up to 25GB of Gmail storage, too.

Check the source link to get started with Google Drive. We'll have a full hands-on feature up later today, so keep watching! Head past the break for Google's official introductory video.

Source: Google Drive; More: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Google preparing to launch Google Drive this week with up to 100GB of paid storage?


By now, Google Drive is no longer a secret. It has appeared enough times now to not only say it exists and is in development but to say that it's coming soon. The exact details behind its offerings haven't fully made their way to the internet but some information coming from Reuters may give further insight into what is already known:

Consumers will get 5 Gigabytes of storage for free with Google Drive, while various versions with incrementally more storage capacity, topping out at about 100 Gibabytes, will be available for monthly fees

Google will be looking to target both consumers and businesses with Google Drive so keeping up with competitors such as Dropbox, Box and Evernote will be vital for them. If the information we've heard thus far is accurate, they'll be well positioned to do so by taking advantage of some of their already existing products such as Google Images, Google Docs, Gmail and even Google+. When will it arrive to masses? No one is certain as of yet but it could be as early as this week, with some saying Tuesday will be the day.

Source: Reuters, Image Credit: Life at Google

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3 years ago

Paid apps back from brief hiatus from Google Play


Update 2: And they're back. Crisis is averted!

Update: Google's now telling developers that it's aware of the issue. Help is on the way!

Everybody panic! Paid applications have disappeared from Google Play! Well, that's half true. They're still visible in the Android app, but trying to purchase just leads to an error. But the web portal (at least anything that's not on the front page) has been wiped of anything that costs anything.

It should go without saying (but we're about to say it anyway) that this certainly is a temporary thing. But we imagine there are a few developers of paid applications who are none too happy about this.

In the meantime, free apps are available for download, and books and music appear to be unaffected.

We've got an e-mail into Google to see what's going on.

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3 years ago

Samsung Unpacked 2012 app now available from Google Play, offers usual slim pickings ahead of event


It's definitely getting close to that time again. Another Samsung event is almost upon us, and as always theres a Samsung Unpacked Android application to participate in the buzz. Simply titled Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, the app is free to download right now from the Google Play Store. An initial word of warning though -- it's buggy. It won't open on my HTC One X, so at least for now some of you won't be getting any joy from trying to open it. It could be an ICS thing, as theres already a comment that it also doesn't work on a Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully come the big day though, it'll be fixed. 

Anyone who has used these apps before will be right at home, it's pretty much business as usual. Naturally at the moment it's pretty useless, unless you're actually going to the event. The address for the venue and travel details from the major hubs in and around London are about all that's present right now. The teaser is also there, just in case you haven't seen it yet.

The important feature -- mobile streaming of the event. If you can't be there, or more to the point, if you're at work, this could prove key to keeping up with events. That and following Android Central of course, as we'll be there come May 3 to keep you guys fully up to speed. You'll find the download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Dropbox for Android updates, folder linking now available


The Dropbox app for Android (and the related web service and desktop apps) has been updated today with "performance improvements and bug fixes", along with the option to share links to specific files or folders. The idea is to make it easier to make stuff you've uploaded directly accessible by providing a button next to them on the web site and mobile app. If you recognize these new features, it's because they've been in beta testing for a while, but from today they're accessible to all Dropbox users.

The timing of the update is interesting, with Google rumored to be unveiling its competing "Google Drive" service sometime this week. If it's to succeed in taking users away from Dropbox, Google will have to offer a compelling sharing solution of its own, particularly in light of today's new additions.

We've got the usual Google Play Store linkage waiting for you after the break, along with today's press release.

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge winners!


The Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge of which our very own Phil Nickinson was a judge, has now concluded, and the winners have been announced. The grand prize winner has scored $100,000 with second place pulling in $50,00 and third taking home $20,000. The goal was to create apps that make use of the Samsung Galaxy Note's S Pen in unique ways and according to Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile the results exceeded expectations both in terms of quantity and quality. So who won? Check out the list below:

  • Best Overall App – Grand Prize - $100,000 “Monkey Write * Learn Chinese” by Chiu-ki Chan (Square Island LLC): Learn to write Chinese with Monkey Write – a game that makes it fun to learn. Chinese characters are written in a specific order to give them structure. Follow the stroke numbers to learn to write each character.
  • Best Overall App – Second Prize - $50,000 “Maze Racer” by Roger Peters (SmartyPantsGaming) and David McCanless: Maze Racer is a simple maze inspired game where you draw a line from start to finish. In Maze Racer, you get rewarded stars based on how quickly you reach the finish. Maze Racer is optimized for precision from the S-Pen over traditional finger input.
  • Best Overall App – Third Prize - $25,000 “Drawing Pad” by Christopher Lott and Daren Murtha (Murtha Design): Drawing Pad is a mobile art studio with a beautiful user interface that puts the fun into creating art. Drawing Pad provides amazing realistic textured brushes with the pressure sensitivity data of the S Pen.
  • Popular Choice - $2,000 and a Galaxy Note - “SignDoc Mobile” by Softpro North America: Professionally capture user handwritten signature using pressure sensitivity of the S Pen

In addition to the top three winners and the popular choice award, Samsung also opened up a segment for honorable mentions where the winners took home $2,000 and a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note. Congrats to winners! You can check out the full press release beyond the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for April 21, 2012


Each week we like to bring you some of the favorite applications we use regularly, and here we are again. Let's hit the break and check out what your favorite Android writers are using regularly, and be sure to let us know in the comments some of your favorites!

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3 years ago

Hands on with the Spotify for Android update preview


For me, Spotify is how I listen to probably 75% of any music at the moment. While the service -- and for that matter price -- is superb, the Android application has definitely been lacking. There have been rumblings for a while about an update, and then just like that it dropped. The preview of the newest version is only available as a direct download from Spotify at present, and isn't the finished article. What is there though is pretty special, and a significant upgrade from the previous offering. We've had a couple of days to play around with it now, so if you haven't tried it out yet, stick around. A full hands on plus some tasty screenshots await you after the break. 

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3 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to v1.9 with improved performance, new messaging features, and shortcuts


A freshly updated version of Facebook for Android has now landed in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. Getting bumped to v1.9, this release fixes some old bugs and introduces some new features to the app as a whole:

  • Messenger and Camera - Shortcuts will now appear in your app tray after you update.
  • Messaging Features - Taking from the standalone app, v1.9 now offers Mobile/online status, contact sorting by frequency, adding to group chat on the fly.

Keep in mind the new features are not standalone apps, they're now integrated right into Facebook. Not sure what exactly that means for the Facebook Messenger app itself, but integration with the main app is nice and makes sense. You can hit the break for the download link.

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