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2 years ago

Fresh Sony Xperia i1 'Honami' leak shows more hardware details

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A couple of days back we got our first look at what could be Sony's upcoming 20-megapixel "cameraphone," the Xperia i1, or "Honami." In addition to a beastly rear camera, alleged specs for the future Sony flagship include a Snapdragon 800 CPU and a 5-plus-inch display.

Today we're seeing fresh images of the device cropping up on Just Another Mobile Blog. The site shows a device matching the earlier "Honami" leaks, while revealing new hardware details, such as a microSD slot, an Xperia Z Ultra-like magnetic charging port and a dedicated camera key (natch). The report also claims the final version device will ship with a Xenon flash rather than the LED flash pictured.

Aside from the specs, Sony's clearly still utilizing its "Omnibalance" design language in its latest product, and the device pictured would look right at home alongside the manufacturer's current line-up. We've heard through our own sources that a Q3 launch is likely for the product, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long to find out more.

Source: Just Another Mobile Blog; via: GSMArena

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2 years ago

BlueStacks announces GamePop Mini, the 'forever free' version of its Android-powered console

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Access to hundreds of apps from well-known developers with no up-front hardware cost

In an effort to expand the audience of its upcoming GamePop gaming subscription service, BlueStacks is announcing today that it will offer a smaller "forever free" version of its GamePop console. Dubbed the "GamePop Mini", this smaller console will offer much the same experience as its larger counterpart, but will be free with a subscription to its gaming service whereas the original GamePop will jump up to $129 up-front once its pre-order period ends.

This "Mini" version of the GamePop console will work in the same way as the larger version, connecting to your TV via HDMI and pairing up with your smart phone as a controller. The GamePop subscription service will remain the same for either console, giving customers access to games from over 500 partners -- including some of the best-known developers such as HalfBrick and Glu -- for just $6.99 per month. BlueStacks says at this point the subscription will offer customers access to the equivalent of $200 in paid apps with the single subscription.

Pre-orders for the original GamePop will end on June 30th, along with its promotional pricing, which will then open up the market for GamePop Mini pre-orders on July 1st at that magical $0 up-front price. The GamePop Mini is expected to ship to consumers this Winter.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with leaked Android 4.3 ROM for the Google edition Galaxy S4 [Updated]

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First glimpse of the next version of Android looks a lot like what's come before

There's a leaked Android 4.3 Jelly Bean ROM out in the wild this morning, in the form of a pre-release build for the 'Google Play edition' Galaxy S4. It's also been ported to the European LTE Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) in the form of a custom ROM, courtesy of the original source of the leak, Samsung fansite SamMobile.

We've fired up that ROM on our European GS4 and shot a quick hands-on video, giving an early glimpse of the next version of Android. And, well, it looks an awful lot like the current version of Android, supporting earlier reports that 4.3's changes are mostly under-the-hood, rather than user-facing. That means for the most part, we're dealing with the same user experience found on the current Google Play edition GS4.

Check out our video after the break, along with a list of behind-the-scenes changes we've noticed.

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2 years ago

BBM still coming to Android before the end of the summer

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BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins this morning on the company's quarterly earnings call reminded us that BBM — that's BlackBerry Messenger — will be available for Android and iOS "before the end of the summer."

He didn't give any further details, and it's worth noting that summer officially is all of a week old.

More: CrackBerry earnings call liveblog

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2 years ago

Android 4.3 leaks for 'Google Play edition' Galaxy S4

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The next version of Jelly Bean has leaked for the 'Google Play edition' GS4 — and there's a port for the European GS4 model already

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean isn't even official yet, but already a leaked build has appeared for the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Google Play edition." The pre-release build was uploaded by Samsung fansite SamMobile in its original form, and in the form of a custom ROM for the European Galaxy S4 — GT-i9505.

The initial batch of screnshots from the ROM (build number JWR66N) doesn't show any major differences from version 4.2.2, however we'll have to reserve judgment until we've played with the software for ourselves. For the moment, however, 4.3 looks to be a relatiely minor bump up from 4.2.

We'll bring you more coverage of this story as it unfolds.

Source: SamMobile (1, 2)

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2 years ago

Huawei 'analyzing the possibility' of 'Google edition' Ascend P6

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Despite earlier denials, Huawei reportedly now says it's looking into the possibility of a 'Google Play edition' P6

At his company's flashy London launch event for its new Ascend P6 handset last week, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu told journalists in no uncertain terms that the manufacturer wasn't interested in putting out a "Google edition" version of the product it'd just announced. But today we're seeing signs of a turnaround, as UK tech blog Pocket-Lint reports that another Huawei exec has said such a device is very much within the realms of possibility.

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2 years ago

Gmail update brings the delete option back by default

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A quick update to the Gmail app tonight brings about a couple changes. First off is that Google has brought back the delete option by default, alongside the archive button. (Previously you had to turn that back on in the settings.) Also listed is "tap sender images to select multiple e-mails in the conversation list," but we've been doing that for a little while now, right? Plus, the requisite bugfixes. 

Not a huge update, but any update to the Gmail app is an important one. Head on over and set things right.

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2 years ago

Vine update enables 6-second selfies

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Just use that front-facing camera power wisely

Vine has just been updated in the Play Store to enable what every self-loving kid on the internet needed -- front facing camera support. Nothing else in the interface for recording has changed, except now you have a simple button in the bottom left corner of the app to toggle between cameras. You can toggle in the middle of a video between cuts if you just have to give that reaction shot, or you can go the full 6-seconds with one camera or the other.

Is this enough to bring people back over from Instagram with video? Hard to say that it is. Regardless, you're likely about to see your Vine feed filled up with a lot more faces for the next few days. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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2 years ago

Google reportedly working on Android-powered watch, game console and next-gen Nexus Q

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Self-branded hardware could showcase features of the latest version of Android made for more than just phones

Google is concurrently working on three new self-branded Android devices to expand its reach into new market segments, if current rumors are to be believed. According to sources of The Wall Street Journal, Google is currently developing an Android-powered watch, home gaming console and also a successor to the failed Nexus Q media streamer. At least one of the products, WSJ sources report, will be launched to consumers by the end of this year.

The purported Google smart watch will (as expected) pair to a user's phone over Bluetooth, much like Google Glass currently does, but details beyond this are murky. They certainly aren't the only ones looking at watches though -- Samsung has expressed interest in making a smart watch-style device previously, and Sony has even released products to consumers in the category.

As for the expected refresh to the Nexus Q, reports are that the new version will be much less expensive (remember the original Nexus Q had a sticker price of $299), and as was the case with the first iteration be a portal for Google to sell more content such as music and movies through Google Play. No surprises there, but it helps calm some worries that nearly all functionality in the current Nexus Q has been lost through app updates.

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2 years ago

Google expanding 'Street View Trekker' program to third-party organizations

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Interested groups can now offer their services as Google Street View mappers

For some time now Google has been using a 360-degree view backpack-mounted camera system to map popular locations on foot, and it is now ready to open up the program to third-parties. Google wants to map the whole world, and it means the whole world. From the tops of mountains to the bottom of the ocean, there are so many places that just can't be mapped by traditional Google Street View cars, nor can satellite imagery do them justice.

Google's new "Street View Trekker" program is hoping to increase the number of interesting places it has high-resolution mapping data on by letting interested groups get suited up and explore the world. Groups such as tourism boards, non-profits, governments, universities and research organizations can apply with Google to take the Street View Trekker backpacks out on their own, growing Google's database of street view imagery.

If you have a group that is interested in mapping places on foot for Google, you can apply with a simple form from the Google Maps Blog at the source link below.

Source: Google Maps Blog

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2 years ago

Android 101: Keep your apps up to date

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Those apps aren't going to update themselves ... by default, that is

One of the best parts about owning a smart phone is the limitless possibilities of installing apps that can do so much more than the phone can out of the box. The unfortunate downside is trying to keep up with the seemingly constant flow of app updates coming to your device every day. But you're in luck, as Android has had automatic updating of apps through the Play Store since back in the day when it was still the Android Market, and it's a simple process to get set up.

Head to the Google Play Store on your device, hit the menu button and go to "settings". If it isn't already set by default, go ahead and tap the "Auto-update apps" setting and choose the most appropriate setting for your needs -- no updates, updates only on Wifi, or all updates. Most people with limited data buckets will be best-off with the "Auto-update apps over Wifi only" option. Once you have turned on automatic updates of either kind, you can always turn off automatic updates for a particular app by navigating to its Play Store listing (from the "My apps" area) and tapping the menu button, then un-checking the "Auto-update" box.

Visit our Google Play mini-site for everything there is to know about Google Play

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2 years ago

Google Play Movies gets a new look, drives another nail in Nexus Q's coffin

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Google Movies & TV today got visual refresh that also takes away another third of the functionality of the already defunct Nexus Q.

First, the important stuff: The app got a new layout and design that brings it more in line with Google's other apps, borrowing from the likes of Gmail and Google Play. The new navigation drawer is your portal to "Watch Now," which tries to predict what you'll want to see next, along with "My Movies," "My TV Shows" and "Shop," which takes you to Google Play. There's a shortcut in the overflow menu that'll take you to videos that you've shot with your phone or tablet, which is nice.

And now, the slightly disappointing part.

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2 years ago

Facebook introduces Android app beta testing via Google Groups

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Proper beta testing with a feedback network to help squash bugs and improve performance

Facebook has had a rocky past of questionable app quality and a couple instances of side-stepping Play Store guidelines for updates, but the social network is hoping to correct some of those issues today by introducing a proper beta testing program for its app. In an effort to try and solve some of the issues associated with having an app that needs to be able to run on probably the widest range of hardware of any other app -- from the cheapest unlocked device in the developing world up to the Galaxy S4 -- Facebook will now enlist the help of beta testers to flush out bugs.

Somewhat surprisingly, Facebook will use Google's newly created beta testing feature tied to Google Groups, which it introduced at Google I/O this year. The process will be pretty simple -- just join the Google Group that Facebook has set up for its app beta testing, opt-in to the test and go download the latest version of the app from the Play Store. Further discussion about new versions and associated bugs will continue in a specialized Facebook group, where beta testers will have the ability to discuss issues directly with the developers.

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2 years ago

Google expands enterprise BYOD management options for Google Apps

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New Google Apps administration tools make group Android device policy management easier

Google is improving the number of tools available to Google Apps administrators today with new features to help control devices brought in by employees. Companies using Google Apps with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs in place can now give administrators better control over corporate data with less effect on user's personal data. Admins can now do selective wipes of devices, cleaning Google Apps data without wiping the entire device. Additionally, when a full wipe is needed, the policy can now force an SDcard wipe along with the internal storage of the device if necessary.

Two new improvements will help the deployment of Google Apps policies as well, one of which requires the latest version of the Device Policy app to be installed to keep security policies up to date on every device. Admins can also now set Wifi configurations for every device with a Google Apps policy by letting them set it once and push to all managed devices at once.

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2 years ago

Delta updates its Android app with better international, seating features

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Delta Air Lines today announced version 2.1 of its official Fly Delta Android application, adding new features directly related to getting your butt in the seat and the plane on its way.

Most important is that you'll now be able to purchase Preferred Seats (ie aisle and window seats, as well as exit rows) within 24 hours of departure. You'll also be able to book international flights directly from the app.

For the iOS folks, Delta has added Facebook integration that will let you document your travel and create a "virtual passport" through the Facebook Collections feature. You'll also be able to share when you've planned a trip, when you check in, and when you arrive. That's not listed in the Android changelog, though, and we're not seeing any options for it.

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