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4 years ago

Press update adds DashClock Widget support


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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

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


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 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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4 years ago

Browser eats browser: Opera acquires Skyfire


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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4 years ago

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


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 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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

ROM Manager adds delta updates, TWRP recovery support


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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4 years ago

Falcon Pro adds support for DashClock Widget


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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

Google Now now incorporates Google Doodles


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 (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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4 years ago

Android malware scanners -- should you use one?


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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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S3 receiving large OTA update


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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