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3 years ago

Google Reader shuts down July 1, be sure to export your feeds

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Whether you've found a replacement service or not, be sure to get your feeds from Google before the shutdown

Monday will be a sad day indeed, as Google Reader will finally shut its doors and stop operating as an RSS feed aggregator. We've covered some alternative (and free!) choices over the past week, but whether you've made up your mind on where your RSS feeds will live post-Google Reader or not, you need to remember to export your feeds before the service shuts down. We can assume Google might hold onto that data for a little while after the shutdown, but there aren't any promises being made.

As we cover in our tutorial on moving over to Feedly, Google Takeout makes it dead simple to get a single file containing all of your Google Reader data. Takeout will provide several different files as part of your Reader export, but the important one will be an XML file called "Subscriptions". You will be able to use this file to import your entire list of feeds to another service later on down the road, and also keep it as a "last good copy" of everything you had. You can even edit it before importing to another service.

You can find that tutorial, along with a few other important posts about choosing a compatible and useful RSS client for both the web and on your Android device, below.

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3 years ago

Google brings Microsoft Office document editing to Chrome OS developer track

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If you look back about a year ago, you'll be reminded that Google purchased the mobile office suite Quickoffice. We finally see the fruits of the purchase, but not exactly how everyone expected to see it. Using the Microsoft Office compatibility built into Quickoffice's document editing, users on the Chrome OS developer build track can now edit both Word and Excel files without any hassles, right from their Chromebook.

Of course, being in the developer track means there is bound to be bugs. But Google has been fairly swift with pushing features through the dev and beta tracks, and we're seeing new features and additions roll into the stable branch with every release. Still, things may not be ready for prime time just yet.

To give this a try for yourself, you need to switch to the developer track of Chrome OS, and set an experimental flag. Point your browser at chrome://flags, and find the "Enable document editing" entry. Enable it and restart your Chromebook. There's a place to report any and all Quickoffice bugs right here, so be sure to report any difficulties you run into. Here's to a happy test phase, and we're looking forward to seeing Microsoft Office file editing in the stable branch soon.

Source: +François Beaufort

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3 years ago

Win an Android tablet ... from CrackBerry.com?

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Our pals at CrackBerry.com have had a tough day. Their beloved PlayBook tablet — you know, the only BlackBerry Tablet in existence — won't be upgraded to BB10. Not exactly a shock, especially to those of us who are used to seeing 2-year-old devices be put out to pasture with even less fanfare. At least these guys got a warning.

Anyhoo. CB's giving away a tablet — anything other than a PlayBook, we s'pose — with a contest running through the end of July 1. Seeing as how so many of you fine Android Central readers jumped ship way back when (and we know who you are), might as well lend a hand here.

Good luck!

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3 years ago

Chrome beta updated, fixes keyboard at Gmail website and favicon sync

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Chrome beta for Android has received another sizable update, and a few long-standing nags have been addressed. A quick look at the change log says the white flash that appears when you load a new tab (that's murder on the eyes at night in bed) should be gone, favicons should sync across other devices using Clank (Chrome beta for Android's code name), and issues with the keyboard at the Gmail website where it won't dismiss have been corrected. 

Add in a security fix to make sure a dialog is displayed as soon as any downloads are called instead of actually accepted and a slew of the normal bug fixes, and this is one you'll want to install. Grab the update through Google Play or at the link above.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Max Sound's Spins HD makes Android mp3 playback not suck

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Coming update makes it easier to organize and play your library while keeping all the sound improvements you expect from Spins HD

While the debate over keeping your music collection stored locally or in the cloud will never end, the one thing most people agree on is that a good music player app makes a world of difference in the way those files sound. Everyone has a favorite, but Max Sound is pushing out an update to Spins HD that you're going to want to look at.

Spins HD takes your existing on-device music collection and runs it through more than equalizer presets, the app delivers HD sound by converting the file into an actual analog sound wave. While it's still a compressed digital file, this allows the "full breadth" of the original recording to come through, delivering better sounding music. These claims may come from the developers, but I will say the files do sound better when playing in Spins HD, and often times much better. And it's easy -- there is a page of presets that work well, and for the more adventurous, you can also set the tone for high, low, and midpoint sounds from your music. Great sound from an app that's easy to use is always a plus.

Smart phones have taken the place of the mp3 player for most of us, so getting great sounding audio is important for the connoisseurs out there. The coming update for Spins HD keeps the great sound you expect from the player, and adds a much improved UI that makes it easier to manage and sort your playlists and songs. If you're a current user, look for the update shortly, and if you haven't tried Spins HD yet, click the link above to give it a whirl. A press release and series of screenshots is after the break.

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 32GB available for $299 starting tomorrow

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Online orders of the new higher storage capacity version will ship by July 3

Verizon has made an update to its Galaxy S4 availability post indicating that the larger capacity 32GB version of the device will become available starting tomorrow, June 29th. As you would expect, the price takes the usual $100 jump up to $299 with a 2-year contract for the increased storage. The post doesn't indicate which colors will be available, but we have to assume it'll be the same white and black varieties as currently offered for the 16GB model.

The post specifies that the device will go on sale at Verizon's online store tomorrow, with devices shipping no later than July 3rd for those who order on day one. No details on in-store availability at the moment, but we would expect them to become available there soon also. Keep an eye out on the Verizon site late tonight if you want to be the first to get your order in.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Sceptre releases an Android TV sound bar

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Sceptre's new SB301524W sound bar brings Android and a pre-packaged sound system to your existing HDTV

There's plenty of ways to bring Android to your big screen television, but until now they have all been stand alone appliances designed to work with your existing equipment. But maybe you want an inexpensive way to marry Android to that spare TV in your house, and don't want to fool with A/V receivers or other "premium" methods to provide something that sounds a little better than the tinny speakers built into the TV itself. That's where something like Spectre's new Android-powered smart TV sound bar comes in.

At $299 it offers a plug and play solution to get Android and Google Play on your TV, with zero set-up or hassle. Complete with touch-sensitive controls and a LED screen to display all your settings, you'll be able to access content like games, music and movies from Google Play without any wires or assembly.

The Spectre sound bar features Android 4.0 running on a 1GHz ARM processor, with 1GB of RAM, with two USB ports and an SD card slot for expansion and accessories. The unit itself features SRS WOW HD audio technology, delivered through two front-facing speakers and a 35 watt subwoofer. Designed for 42-inch or larger televisions, it looks like an easy way to turn that old TV into something smarter and more fun. Look for it at retailers like Newegg, Amazon, Walmart, Tiger Direct, Sears and K-Mart. Hit the break for the press release.

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3 years ago

Android Central 140: Inside the Google Play edition phones

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Audio-only stream below

We're back, and we've got the Google Play edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 in our hot little hands! Plus, Android 4.3 leaks, NVIDIA Shield is delayed -- and we're doing it all over Google Hangouts! 

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3 years ago

Big Android BBQ 2013 tickets now on sale!

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Get together with thousands of like-minded Android nerds October 10-12

It's that time of year where tickets become available for the Big Android BBQ, the top yearly gathering of Android hackers, enthusiasts, friends and families. The BBQ returns to the same Hurst Convention Center, outside of Dallas, as last year but runs a little earlier in the month from October 10th to the 12th.

Tickets start at just $55 for general admission, and there are $100, $175 and $250 ticket levels as well if you want some extra perks with your BBQ experience. You can check out all of the details and buy your tickets at the link below.

More: Big Android BBQ

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3 years ago

ZEN & TECH 54: Change aversion

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ZEN & TECH is our Mobile Nations lifestyle podcast, focused not just on the gadgets and apps that we use, but how we can use them to make our lives happier and better. It's centering for our inner geeks!

Windows 8 made us want our Start button back. iOS 7 caused icon strife. BlackBerry 10 was a huge departure. Going from TouchWiz to Sense can be stressful. And that's just technology! Imagine changing jobs, partners, and places in life! Georgia and Rene discuss the challenges of change!

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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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