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3 years ago

Google Voice, Authenticator, and Translate also updated today

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Google Search (AKA Google Now for folks with Jelly Bean) isn't the only app from Google to see an update today. While not as forwards facing and glamorous, Voice, Translate, and Authenticator were also bumped up a version.

Google Voice promises a couple much needed bug fixes, notably to fix the delay in SMS notifications and make inbox syncing actually work across devices. We sure would love a fancy new UI to match the rest of Google's apps, but we'll certainly take the bug fixes. Grab it from Google Play.

Google Translate also received two very welcome changes: the addition of Chinese, Japanese and Korean text recognition from the camera, and recognition of a few new languages for handwriting -- Afrikaans, Croatian, Czech, Icelandic, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Slovak, Slovenian, Ukrainian, Welsh. The Asian language text recognition is a big deal folks. If Translate can successfully recognize the intricacy of something like Kanji or traditional Chinese, there's no telling what comes next. Install Google Translate from Google Play by clicking this handy link.

Finally, the Google Authenticator app has been updated with "bug fixes in the account setup flow" and small UI improvements. It's nice to see work going into an app as utilitarian as Authenticator, which really doesn't have to look good to work well. Grab the update or install it from Google Play.

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3 years ago

Google Search update brings new features to Google Now, including post to Google+

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Android's Google Search app just got a pretty good update, and that means we've got new features for Google Now as well.

Of note are improvements for travelers. If Google Now knows you're going somewhere (and there's a pretty good chance it will), it'll show you weather information for your destination. And if you're flying on United Airlines, you'll even be able to get to your boarding pass right from Google Now. (Of course, that might be the least of your worries on UA.)

Voice search is beefed up, too -- it can listen for a song playing in the background, find product info and post to Google+, all without typing a thing.

Hit the link above to get your update on.

Source: Google Android blog

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3 years ago

Dramatic point-and-click adventure Yesterday comes to Android

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Yesterday, a dark point-and-click adventure game, was launched on Google Play today. Players follow three different characters that are trying to piece together a series of grisly murders while staying alive themselves. Puzzles litter the path to solving the mystery, but there's a hint system if things get tricky. Though Yesterday looks like it's mostly very grim and gritty, apparently there's some solid humor in there too. 

Yesterday enjoyed solid reviews during its stay on iOS and PC, and though I haven't given it a shot yet, it looks like a refreshing, adult experience with a strong narrative. There's a free lite version linked above, or you can get the ad-free version in Google Play for $4.99. Anyone interested? What's your favorite point-and-click adventure game to date? 

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3 years ago

Hot in the forums: The impending EVO 4G LTE update

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If you've never spent time in a forum for a Sprint device, well, things can get a little a little rowdy. Such is the case for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, which never really got the respect it deserved. (Much of that probably should be placed on Sprint's shoulders, but we digress.)

Currently the hot topic is a rumored update. Is it Jelly Bean? Is it just some other maintenance release? And just when will said update ever see the light of day? These questions -- and more -- in our EVO 4G LTE forum.

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3 years ago

Heroes of Order and Chaos brings lane defense to Android

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Gameloft's much-anticipated lane defense game, Heroes of Order and Chaos, launched this morning on Google Play. The Dota clone is free to play with plenty of in-app purchases, and a very familiar gameplay style.

Two teams of five players each have to join waves of AI troops to take out enemy towers and ultimately a base at the end while the opposition tries to do the same. Maps are broken up into multiple lanes, and players pick signature heroes with highly-specialized abilities to do their part. Matches can be played against others online or with simple bots locally. Over the course of every game, heroes level up, unlock new abilities and weapons by slaying opponents. Between matches, you can develop specialized talents for particular roles of characters, such as fighter, mage, support, or guardian, as per your play style and unlocked heroes. 

I've been playing Dota 2 on PC off and on, and the formula is proven and polished. It will be interesting to see if Heroes of Order and Chaos can reach the same level of high-end competitiveness. I've only played a little bit of the iOS version, but so far it has yet to disappoint - so long as you can deal with the usual prodding to upgrade through IAPs. So, who's in?

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of December 2012 (International edition)

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A lot has changed since we published our last round-up of the best Android phones available, and awarded the top prize to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. At the time, the Gnex outshone the competition thanks to the blistering performance and innovative features delivered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

But that was five long months ago. Since then, screen sizes, resolutions and core counts have continued to rise. There’s a new Nexus, and Android OEMs have had the chance to get their own Jelly Bean-based devices out into the wild. And this time around, it makes more sense to split things up and cover the U.S market separately (look for our U.S. round-up in the days ahead). In this article we’re going to focus on the best international Android phones, and recommend one unlocked world phone for Europe, Asia and beyond.

Join us after the break to find out more about our top four devices, and learn which gets our recommendation for international buyers.

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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 Yellow Box of Death

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That's what the kids are calling it, anyway. Looks like a new set of shipping notices has been sent out. But the wait continues. We're hashing it all out in our Nexus 4 forums

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3 years ago

Samsung opens their first 'Mobile Store' in Paris, France

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Samsung has continued their seemingly endless quest for Global domination with this, the opening of their first "Samsung Mobile Store" in Paris, France. The concept of a brand store isn't totally new to Samsung, London has one for example, but unlike the British store this one is concentrated solely on Samsung's mobile products. That doesn't just mean Android either, lest we forget the ATIV range of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. 

The store itself looks like a pretty nice place to shop. It doesn't look much like an Apple Store -- thankfully -- but similar service can be expected. Samsung will have a number of 'consultants' on hand to guide consumers through everything Samsung Mobile. 

It's not all just about the adults though. The store has a dedicated childrens area where the young ones get to experience their own hands on with Samsung's mobile devices, but in a less boring, more kid friendly kind of way with drawing and writing games to keep them amused. 

The store has already opened to the public, and can be found at 5 Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris. If you happen to stop by whilst in the neighborhood be sure to hit us up in the comments and tell us how you found it. Visit the source link below for more images of the store. 

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Droid DNA down to $149.99 on Amazon Wireless

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A quick heads-up -- Amazon Wireless is now offering HTC's Droid DNA for $149.99 with a two-year service plan. That's a $50 saving compared to Verizon's own list price of $199.99 -- not a heap of cash, but every little helps with a major purchase like a new smartphone.

The Droid DNA is the first "full HD" smartphone to hit the U.S. market, with a whopping 5-inch screen packing in 1920x1080 pixels. It's powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with 2GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC's Sense 4+ UI.

For more on the DNA, be sure to check out our full review.

More: Droid DNA on Amazon Wireless

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3 years ago

Eric Schmidt talks Apple, Android, patents and Google Play

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Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss all manner of things relating to to Google, its competition, its products and its future.

Topics of discussion included Apple, Android, the ongoing patent wars and other legal troubles, Google Play and Google Fiber.

Rather than paraphrase the entire interview, we've got a few half-dozen quick hits on some key areas after the break.

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3 years ago

XKCD is Enlightened [#Ingress]

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Always figured them for more of the Resistance crowd. Go figure. (And be sure to check out our Ingress forums!)

Source: XKCD

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3 years ago

TomTom navigation updated, now supports 200+ devices

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When TomTom for Android first appeared a couple of months back, support was limited to a few devices with WVGA displays, a move which excluded many of the most popular handsets. Today the app has been updated to version 1.1, bringing with it support for more devices, including those with higher-resolution screens.

The new version also includes the ability to save map data to the SD card rather than the app storage partition, and a redesigned driving view, which TomTom says is designed to make key information clearer and easier to read.

As devices go, we can confirm the latest version supports the Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X+, RAZR i, Xperia T, RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X and One S, among others. TomTom says that more than 200 devices are now compatible with the app. Tablet support still seems to be a non-starter in this version, however, as the app refused to install on our Nexus 7 or various flavors of Galaxy Tab.

The update is live now on Google Play. Prices vary depending on where you live and which region you're buying, but typically each pack will set you back around £30 or $50.

Source: Google Play, Engadget

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3 years ago

8GB Nexus 4 once again sold out on Google Play in UK + Germany

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Less than a day after the second wave of Nexus 4 stock landed on Google Play in the UK and Germany, the 8GB model is once again officially sold out in both countries. Yesterday evening the delivery window for the 8GB model slowly increased, from 4-5 weeks to 5-6 weeks, before being marked as "sold out" (or "ausverkauft," if you prefer) this morning.

The 16GB model is still available to order, though with a waiting period of 5-6 weeks in both countries, it'll likely be early January before orders placed today arrive.

If you tried to place a Nexus 4 order yesterday, let us know how you got on in the comments.

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia E - budget phone for Europe with dual-SIM option

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Sony Mobile's not depleted the alphabet just yet, so here's another mid-to-low-end Xperia phone, the Xperia E. A 3.5-incher aimed at the budget-conscious, the Xperia E packs a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU and a 3.2MP rear camera, so it's a no frills Android experience on offer.

The regular version of the Xperia E will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean -- perhaps the first Sony phone to do so -- while a dual-SIM variant will be offered running ICS out of the box, but with an upgrade promised. Other notables include a 1500mAh battery, fairly sizeable for a device of this kind, and HD Voice support for improved call quality on supporting networks.

The Xperia E will launch in single and dual-SIM flavors Europe in Q1 2013. The single-SIM version will be available in black, white and pink, while the dual-SIM model will come in black and gold.

More info in the presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update hitting global Galaxy S3, multi-view and other features included

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International S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking and a slew of other features in latest firmware; Poland first in line for update

It's early December, and as rumored, the Android 4.1.2 update has started rolling out on international Galaxy S3 phones (HSPA+ version, GT-i9300), starting with devices in Poland. But there's more to this update than the minor change in OS version would indicate. As was also rumored, the new update adds the "multi-view" multitasking feature previously seen on the Galaxy Note 2 and Note 10.1. Multi-view allows you to hold down the back key to bring up a multi-tasking menu, then partition your screen in two in order to run two apps on-screen at the same time.

Also new is "page buddy," which adds additional context-sensitive home screen pages that activate when you've got headphones connected, or if you're roaming overseas. There's also a redesigned gallery app -- again, from the Note 2 -- and a customizable notification panel. The Paper Artist app from the Galaxy Note 2 is included too, in addition to Group Cast for media sharing.

Smart rotation from the Galaxy Note 2 has also made it across, and the Samsung keyboard has been upgraded too. We can't yet confirm whether it's the same SwiftKey-based keyboard that's found on the Note 2, but given that just about every other Note 2 feature is present and accounted for, it's pretty likely that's exactly what it is.

So there's a lot of new stuff for Galaxy S3 owners to get stuck into. Kudos to Samsung for porting these new features back to the S3. SamMobile has a direct download for the Polish version of this update already; other territories should start to get this update over-the-air and through Kies in the coming days and weeks.

If you're curious about multi-view, we've embedded our quick video walkthrough on the Note 2 after the break.

Source: SamMobile

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