Headlines

3 years ago

Instagram for Android now lets users automatically share photos they like directly to Facebook

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When Facebook acquired Instagram nearly three months ago now, we knew there would be some enhanced Facebook integration coming eventually. As it so happens, eventually is right now as the latest Instagram for Android update allows users to automatically share photos they like directly to Facebook.

But as iMore's Leanna Lofte points out, there are more than a few privacy concerns associated with this. Once you've opted into Facebook sharing, there's no way to control how far they can be shared --

What I find even more bothersome than the existence of this new sharing likes to Facebook feature is the fact that I don't have an option for my photos to not be shared to Facebook when someone likes it. They are my photos, after all, and perhaps there are some of them that I wish to exist only in the ​Instagram world. I actually do this at times -- post a photo to Instagram that I intentionally choose not to share to Facebook or Twitter. That's why the ability to share a photo to Twitter requires a deliberate action. Now if I specifically choose not to share a photo outside of Instagram, and a few people like it, Facebook can potentially broadcast it to thousands of people i don't know. Awesome.

So there's that. Other bug fixes are included too. The app now allows for searching of users and tags in the Explore tab but Facebook wants to be front and center with this release. The update is available for download right now so load up the Google Play Store or grab it from the link you'll find below.

Download: Instagram for Android

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3 years ago

Jabra BT2080 Bluetooth headset review

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Using a Bluetooth headset – especially when you drive – should be standard practice. If you want the safety of hands free without breaking the bank, look at the Jabra BT2080.

More and more states are adopting laws that impose heavy fines for those who operate their phones while driving. While not getting caught and not having to pay a fine are certainly good motivators, the biggest one should be safety.  A distracted driver is a dangerous driver and a dangerous driver is someone we want to avoid – not someone we strive to become.

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3 years ago

Google I/O 2012 conference app updated as opening day nears

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Right now at this very second there is ton of Android fans from everywhere (Hey! That's us!) are headed to San Francisco's Moscone West to partake in Google I/O 2012 and to help make some of the magic happen, Google has now updated the official I/O 2012 conference app with a slew of new features for attendees and wannabe attendees alike. So what's been updated since it was originally released? Here's the official changelog

  • Receive push updates to announcements and the conference schedule from the Google I/O team
  • View full conference agenda
  • Watch I/O Live streams on Google TV
  • Fixes a crash on small screen devices
  • Fixes several synchronization and Google Calendar integration issues
  • Fixes missing logo images for developer sandbox companies
  • Improves spacetime decompression algorithms; 29 total hours per day are now available to Google I/O attendees within Moscone West

Word has it the last addition is Phil's favorite. If you haven't already grabbed the update, go ahead and do so right now. We'll be there bringing you all the best content from Moscone West in San Francisco Be sure to call in sick from work and follow along with us, we've got plenty of expectations that will hopefully be fulfilled.

Download: Google I/O 2012 Conference App

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3 years ago

HTC Connect: seamless audio and visual streaming coming to the 'One Series'

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As more and more people switch to using smartphones the need for improved streaming increases. HTC have today announced '"HTC Connect," a new program designed to offer people a seamless visual and audio experience when using a HTC device, whether at home or in their car.

Pioneer Electronics are the first company to partner with HTC on the new project and will provide HTC Connect certified devices. The HTC One series of phones will be among the first devices to support the new feature but I sense (no pun intended) that this new program could be around for years to come.

You can see the full press release below:

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3 years ago

Mozilla takes the covers off a faster, more powerful Firefox for Android

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Just last week Mozilla took to Twitter to announce something big for Android was coming our way. Of course, the Firefox logo being used in the promotional material was a dead give way but that didn't stop the speculation from happening. With it now being "next week", Mozilla has taken the covers off what they had to announce and sure enough (as some guessed and was earlier confirmed) it's a revamping of Firefox for Android.

Moving out of beta status, the latest Firefox for Android boasts plenty of improvements over previously available versions. In fact, the Firefox development team has gone ahead and redesigned the whole thing. Faster browsing, better security, better memory management plus, much more. To put it simply -- a completely re-engineered Firefox for Android.

Having put previous versions to the test and living the re-engineered version for the past few days, it's easy for me to say this latest release is more in line with what one would have expected from the Firefox team with their Android offerings. Pages render much better now thanks to the code being native and Firefox making use of the GPU directly, while text looks as it should even on smaller screened devices and crazy zoomed in rendering no longer happens even on larger devices, like the Samsung Galaxy Note.

If you've given Firefox a go before and ended up ditching it for lack of flash (which by the way, is now included), poor memory management or bad rendering, go ahead and give the latest release a try. The update is available for download right now in the Google Play Store and let us know your thoughts on how the Firefox for Android team did with this version. If you need some video it in action, jump below where you'll a overview video along with the full press release from Mozilla.

Download: Firefox For Android

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3 years ago

Verizon discontinues its Android data widget (update: New one coming for shared data plans)

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Just a quick heads up to you Verizon peeps -- who by now should have seen this -- that Big Red apparently is discontinuing its "My Verizon Data Widget." That's the handy little tool that would show your data usage right on your homescreen, without having to navigate VZW's website to find the same info. It was a handy little bugger, especially in a day and age when unlimited data's going the way of the dinosaurs.

We also can't  help but wonder if Thursday's launch of Verizon's "Share Everything" shared data plans has anything to do with this? Hopefully we'll see an update widget soon. Verizon (and all the carriers) needs to make seeing where you're money's going as transparent as possible.

Update: And just as we suspected, this widget's being deprecated so that Verizon can roll out a new one for its new shared data plans. Thanks, Brandan!

Thanks, Adam and Broken007!

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3 years ago

Non-Sprint HTC EVO 3Ds getting their Ice Cream Sandwich update

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If you're rocking an EVO 3D outside the United States, know this: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is heading your way right ... about ... now!

But what about Sprint? While the phones are mostly the same on the outside, you have to remember that the internals are different -- and the EVO 3D in the United States is controlled by Sprint, and not the magical GSM fairies from abroad. And that means it's not surprising that they're on different update guidelines. Same as if Sprint got the update before all the GSM rest-of-world models. One doesn't affect the other.

But any update is a good one. Hit the link below to see what all the fuss is about.

More: EVO 3D forums

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3 years ago

Vizio announces its $99 Co-Star Google TV set-top box, with OnLive gaming included

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Vizio this morning announced its Google TV set-top box. Dubbed Co-Star Stream Player (Vizio really could have stopped at "Co-Star"), the $99 box has all the features we've come to know and love from Google TV. And as an added bonus, Vizio has thrown in OnLive gaming. A universal remote and Bluetooth keyboard around things out nicely.

Aside from all the usual services, we're still waiting to hear exactly what's powering this thing.

The Co-Star Stream Player will be available for preorder in July at Vizio's website, with free shipping for a limited time.

More: Co-Star specs

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3 years ago

Qualcomm announces its own SDK to give devs a leg up on Snapdragon

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Qualcomm this morning announced the Snapdragon SDK at its Uplinq conference, "giving developers and device makers the ability to differentiate their applications on devices by exposing a new set of value-added features." Kinda makes you wonder what they were doing with them before, but SDKs, in are opinion, are good things any day of the week.

So what kind of things can hardware manufacturers (who really should have access to all this stuff anyway -- Qualcomm's just making it easier) have at their disposal? Here's another handy bullet list.

  • facial processing, such as blink and smile detection, which makes it easier to take better pictures of people in groups;
  • burst capture, which leverages zero shutter lag to photograph a stream of images at once to select the best shot;
  • surround sound recording for better audio capture;
  • hardware echo cancellation for better real-time audio experiences;
  • sensor gestures (tap-left/tap-right, push/pull, face-up/face-down, tilt) that enable developers and device makers to push the envelope on new, differentiated user interfaces;
  • low power always on geofencing capabilities; and
  • indoor location that enables apps to continue providing accurate location information even when the user is indoors.

Some of these features should be plenty familiar, of course. Face-detection is nothing new, but Qualcomm's been giving it a big push in recent months. Same for burst photos, which you can find on just about any new phone. 

The SDK's in preview right now, with the full release coming later this year. We've got the full presser after the break.

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3 years ago

The best way to get your Google I/O news!

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It's just about time, folks. One more day and Google's annual developer conference kicks off Wednesday morning at Moscone West in San Francisco. But how to follow all the Google I/O news? (And there's going to be a lot. Let's break it down in handy bullet points.

And for those of you at Moscone West, be sure to say hi! It's gonna be a great week.

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3 years ago

Everything Everywhere trialing more 4G sites in the UK

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The future of 4G in the UK gets slightly closer with Everything Everywhere detailing a further trial of the new technology in Cumbria has now gone live.

I realize that in many parts of the world having LTE is not a new thing but in good old Blighty we are somewhat lagging behind.

Everything Everywhere have already conducted one successful trial of 4G in Cornwall where they not only achieved some impressive speeds but also provided a rural community with mobile broadband in an area which barely had any kind of broadband at all.

A faster network can only help improve the Android market share. Now we just have to wait for the government to give Everything Everywhere the go-ahead to roll out the service nationwide and have the LTE chips built into future handsets.

I had a meeting with the company last month where they explained that they are already installing the necessary hardware into current cell sites throughout the UK, ready for the 'big switch on' whenever that may be. Fingers crossed for the end of the year.

You can see today's press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Scope for Android enters beta, gets a major overhaul in the process

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Socialscope is something of an enigma in the mobile, social networking world. First arriving on BlackBerry, before progressing over to Android, the application has always required an invitation to use. As such, it has gained an air of notoriety. You can't get in, so you want in. Development work on the Android iteration has been ongoing since the initial release of Alphascope back in November. The last update brought a significant visual upgrade, but nothing like the latest efforts. Now rebranded simply as Scope, as the application progresses to beta things are a whole lot different. We've been on the inside for sometime now as various versions have been tested, so we're pleased to be able to finally give you our first impressions. 

First up is additional service support. Besides the already supported Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare, Tumblr is now supported as well. Instagram is still viewing only, although that is to be expected. Scope fits the bill for all though, be they social juggernauts or more casual users.

The main homescreen lists all your different services, providing each with a colorful icon with which to identify them. Scope is a joy to navigate, with a swipe-oriented approach to navigation and a gorgeous UI. The way the content is displayed is really well done. Photos are displayed big, and bold, and can almost take over your timeline at times. Think about the new Google+ app, turn the dial a little more, and we're somewhere close. 

And, that is a big positive for Scope. It breaks down all your social content into various sub-categories, allowing you to simply swipe between them. Besides breaking it down by service, content can be viewed by type. Scope will highlight any posts that are posting photos, or videos, or check-ins, breaking each off into their own category. 

Additionally to swiping between adjoining pages, tapping the blue button in the bottom right brings up a scrollable dock at the bottom of the screen. This allows quick switching between the various categories, just without the page swiping. There's definitely more than one way of achieving the same objective, but it's all so nicely done. It's pretty fast too, and very smooth. 

Eventually, Scope will become open to all, and it should take a place on everyones "to try" list. For an all in one social app, Scope is going to be hard to top. And, this is from an application still in beta. If you can snag an invitation, then do. Not just because everyone likes to be in on something closed off from the masses, but because it's a really impressive application. 

In the meantime, we've got a selection of screenshots for you after the break. And, if you've got an account, or, an invite, head on over to the Play Store now to download a copy. 

Download: Scope for Android

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean expectations, Hulu+ on the One X [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Mobi Products Desktop Cradle for HTC One X [Accessory Review]

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Every good smartphone nowadays deserves to have a good docking solution available. It shouldn't be too hard to create either. As a functional item, they're pretty basic, but also incredibly useful at work, and at home.

 

The Mobi Products Desktop Cradle, is a third party charging dock for the HTC One X. As such, the charging contacts on the back aren't utilised, instead opting for a microUSB based charging solution. If you're the type of person that is forever docking and un-docking your One X throughout the day, this may not be for you. If, however, you go to work, and sit your phone besides your PC all day, then this could be for you.

As far as docks go, this one is pretty minimal in styling. The USB charging cable is fixed to the rear of the dock, and aside from the microUSB charger there is a simple blue LED on the top that indicates the dock is powered. This sits behind the phone too, so it isn't constantly catching your eye.

The One X sits really nicely in it too. It has the slightest of angles to it, so the phone isn't quite bolt upright, but isn't at an un-natural viewing angle either. All that is visible of the dock is the black front portion, everything else is hidden behind the phone. It works really nicely combined with a full screen clock application on the nightstand at home too. It sits at just the right angle for those blurry-eyed mornings when you roll over and just need to see the time.

Construction is solid, although bear in mind that as the phone is sat on a microUSB charger, if you knock the phone it is going to move about. The microUSB itself though is solidly fixed to the base of the charger.

So what about the not so good points? Well, if your One X is in a case, theres a higher than likely chance you're going to need to take that case off before docking your phone. 

And thats about that. If you're in the market for a reasonably priced, basic charging dock for your HTC One X, then definitely take a look at the Mobi Products Desktop Cradle.

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3 years ago

Box app updated with OneCloud features and 50 launch partners

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Box has updated their Android app, and while that's always worth knowing, this time the reason why they did it is the news. Box has announced that their OneCloud service is now ready for public consumption, and available to Android users. The premise is simple -- OneCloud is an easy way to use integrated applications to download, edit, and upload documents and files to your Box storage. There's fifty of those integrated applications, including popular apps like Dolphin and FetchNotes. As with any new service, we'll have to try it before we give out final impressions, but on the surface this looks to be great.

To help keep it great and make it even better, Box has introduced a OneCloud SDK for Android app developers, and will be on-hand at Google I/O to answer questions and get everyone on the same page, This looks to be an interesting take on cloud storage, and we're going to have a close look at it. 

Source: Box 

Download Box from Google Play. Thanks Eli, for the tip!

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