Headlines

2 days ago

Metal-clad Galaxy Alpha allegedly set for an official launch next week

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Samsung's mysterious Galaxy Alpha may be set for an official unveil as early as next week. The South Korean manufacturer has been rumored to be working on a device with a metallic chassis for a long time now. While earlier rumors referenced a high-end flagship dubbed the Galaxy S5 Prime, lately we've been hearing of a device with a much more modest spec sheet, which will allegedly be called Galaxy Alpha.

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2 days ago

Samsung's smartphone market share takes a nosedive in Q2 2014

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Samsung's dismal second quarter continues as the smartphone manufacturer lost market share for the first time in recent memory. While Samsung is still the leading smartphone vendor, it shipped 74.3 million units in Q2 2014, down from 77.3 units from the same period last year.

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2 days ago

Samsung's latest smartwatch design patents reveal rounded displays

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If Samsung's latest patent filings are anything to go by, it looks like the manufacturer is mulling smartwatches with rounded displays, much like Motorola's upcoming Moto 360.

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3 days ago

Z Launcher gets updated as more folks are invited to the pre-beta program

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If you signed up for the Z Launcher pre-beta and have been making use of it, you'll want to make sure you get the latest release available. As noted on the Z Launcher blog, a new update is available right now and it aims to fix a lot of issues folks were running into while putting it through its paces and is mostly based off of user feedback and suggestions? So, what exactly is new? Glad you asked. We have the full list.

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3 days ago

TuneIn Radio Pro price jumps from $3.99 to $9.99

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TuneIn Radio Pro, the paid version of the popular music service that removes adds and introduces even more features, has raised its price today from $3.99 up to $9.99 without explanation. It's of course completely acceptable for developers to raise prices of their app if they feel as though it's worth that much, but from a company as big as TuneIn Radio you almost expect some sort of announcement to come with such a price jump.

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3 days ago

'Fake ID' and Android security [Updated]

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Android security

'Fake ID' is an important find, but Google Play and Play Services updates mean many users are already protected

Today security research firm BlueBox — the same company that uncovered the so-called Android "Master Key" vulnerability — has announced the discovery of a bug in the way Android handles the identity certificates used to sign applications. The vulnerability, which BlueBox has dubbed "Fake ID," allows malicious apps to associate themselves with certificates from legitimate apps, thus gaining access to stuff they shouldn't have access to.

Security vulnerabilities like this sound scary, and we've already seen one or two hyperbolic headlines today as this story has broken. Nevertheless, any bug that lets apps do things they're not supposed to is a serious problem. So let's sum up what's going on in a nutshell, what it means for Android security, and whether it's worth worrying about ...

Update: We've updated this article to reflect confirmation from Google that both the Play Store and "verify apps" feature have indeed been updated to address the Fake ID bug. This means the vast majority of active Google Android devices already have some protection from this issue, as discussed later in the article. Google's statement in full can be found at the end of this post.

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3 days ago

The best Android apps for Chromecast

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Chromecast

The Chromecast is a fantastic little device that has quickly made our TVs leagues smarter than they were before. Every day new Chromecast-friendly Android apps are beaming all sorts of new content to the big screen, and it's getting to the point where finding the really great ones can be a challenge. Luckily, we're here to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Obviously all of the major subscription music and video services have some amount of Chromecast support, but between the requirement for monthly fees and regular geographical limitations, we're skipping the vast majority of these in favor of more broadly available apps. Dive in and take a look at our top ten favorite Chromecast apps for Android.

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3 days ago

Google Now helps out with search results relevant to your hotel stay

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Google Now travel results

Google Now is constantly picking up new features that don't even require an app update, and the latest is localized results based on your upcoming hotel reservations. If you've booked a hotel and have a confirmation email sent to your Gmail account, you can now ask Google Now to show you relevant information based on the location of the hotel.

You can ask make requests like "Show me restaurants near my hotel" and "Give me directions to my hotel" and Google Now will simply find out where your hotel is and give you information based on that, accompanied by a card with the hotel name, location and dates of your stay.

This new feature will be helpful both before and during your trips, surely, though it looks like the number of phrases that are applicable to a hotel search are limited. But it sure beats having to remember the address of a hotel you're only staying at temporarily, or feeding in an oddly-named place and hoping Google Now figures it out.

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3 days ago

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides pick up new home pages with Material Design look

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Google Sheets home page

Google Docs and several other Google Android apps are receiving hints of Material Design in their latest updates, and now the web components of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are coming along for the ride. Google is promoting its simple shortcut URLs to go straight into your Google Docs, Sheets and Slides now that they have a fresh look, which keeps with the idea of bold colors, drop shadows and clean lines.

To access the new pages you'll simply go to google.com/docs, google.com/sheets or google.com/slides, and you'll be greeted with a fresh new page to get at all of your content.

Of course if you want to see it all together you'll have to go to the Google Drive website, which has recently received an update as well but doesn't have the exact same design elements as shown off here. The above URLs will be great for folks who don't live in Drive all the time, and instead focus on creating and working with just one document type.

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3 days ago

LG G Vista looks set to arrive on Verizon on July 31st

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The LG G Vista has been making its rounds for a while now through several leaks but the device more commonly likened to the 'G3 lite' looks as though it might finally be released. As expected from the previous leaks, it's headed to Verizon with a reported street date of July 31st. As far as specs go, the leaks weren't too far off the mark really.

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