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3 years ago

The new Google Play: We've come a long way, baby

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The Android Market website, circa Feb. 2011

For better or for worse, Google does what Google does — we're going to have to adapt

I'm seeing a lot of hate about the new Google Play web redesign. It seems like no matter what Google does with it, haters gonna hate, and Google can't please everyone. We get it — change is not always a good thing, and it makes people uncomfortable. But love it or hate it, it's here and you're stuck with it.

The biggest complaints I'm hearing are about permissions, the "My apps" list, and filtering reviews by device. Now I don't claim to know why Google does the things it does, but to me there's an easy explanation about each of these changes. I like the easy explanation, because usually, it's also the right explanation. Occam's Razor and all that.

Hit the break, let's talk.

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3 years ago

Chrome beta for Android now has WebRTC for video chatting

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Support for live video and audio without installing any software comes with today's update.

Chrome beta for Android has been updated today, and while there are the standard performance improvements on-board, there's also a slick new feature or two -- support for WebRTC.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via some simple Javascript APIs. It's been supported on the desktop in Chrome for a few versions, and is a joint project between Google, Mozilla and Opera.

What it can do for you is easy -- it let's you use the camera and microphone on your phone or tablet to video chat without installing any software. You're warned when you visit a site that requests the permission, and while using it a persistent notification is present. This way, there won;t be any funny business or snooping involved. Is it useful? Not yet, but when developers implement WebRTC on their site, it very well could be. In the meantime, it's very, very cool.

You can play around with this one yourself. Fire up Google Play and update Chrome beta, or hit the Google Play link above, then visit this link

Via: Google

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3 years ago

Verizon holding event in NYC on July 23

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Verizon set to show off 'the next generation' of Droid devices next week

An interesting (and short notice) invite has just landed in our inbox from Verizon for an event on July 23rd in New York City. There's not a whole lot to go on here, but what is there gives you a pretty darn good indication of what to expect.

Verizon. July 23rd. Droids. We'll be there, covering whatever Verizon has to show off.

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3 years ago

Google rumored to be considering online TV service

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Rumors say system is developed and has been demonstrated to potential partners

Google TV needs an innovation injection. What was promising two years ago has been left to slowly waste away because no content deals were sourced and nobody was interested in having what Google TV could do in their living room. If rumors reported by the Wall Street Journal are true, that innovation is in the works.

According to their inside sources, Google is actively pitching the idea of an online TV service to media providers and distributors. Yes, just like everybody else is doing if you believe all the rumors out there. Google already tried this and was sorely disappointed with the result a few years back, but the difference this time, says the Journal, is that the content providers are looking for nationwide distribution.

In easy-to-understand talk -- let's say HBO, for instance, already had failed negotiations with Google about offering their content on Google TV. In today's landscape, where the competition is fierce and the dollar doesn't stretch as far, they would find more value with a service from Google that would sell their subscription to anyone with the box to stream it, sans cable company.

We have no idea how much of this is true or not, but the WSJ says Google already has the system developed and is shopping it around. It's something we'd love to see, so we're hoping for the best.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

TED 2.0 launches today, brings 20 new languages

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Users in over 100 countries can now have the full TED experience in their native tongue.

TED, the lauded nonprofit that brings together Technology, Entertainment and Design through a series of talks and presentation by some of the world's most fascinating people, has updated their Android app to version 2.0. All the same great talks and video content is still there, but now it's available in 20 new languages thanks to some wonderful volunteers in TED's Open Translation Project.

This change gives people from over 100 countries the ability to use the app and browse for talks, use the help files and FAQ sections, and get the full experience in their native language. In addition, subtitles are now offered in 102 languages for the talks themselves, with Somali being the newest translation

TED is one of those apps everyone should look at. Maybe it's not for you, but you owe it to yourself to see the passion and ideas the speakers bring to their talks. Chances are you'll find something you love, and maybe even something that changes your view of the world. And now, chances are it will be in your native tongue. Grab the app at the Google Play link above.

More: TED

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3 years ago

Introducing Version 1.3 of the Android Central App!

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New navigation drawer, YouTube API and forum search highlight this major update!

OK, folks. It's time to take the wraps off the latest and greatest version of the Android Central App! We've been testing this internally for a little while now, and for a little bit with a few close friends. Now it's time to unleash it on the public.

So what's new in v1.3? Quite a lot, actually, which is what took us a little longer to get the update pushed out. But we think it's worth it.

Keep on readin' on, and we'll walk you through the changes.

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3 years ago

Join the daily Talk Mobile Hangout at 1 p.m. EDT!

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Our OS is better than the others. We already know that. And in today's installment of Talk Mobile, we're reminding everyone else of that.

Join us at 1 p.m. EDT as the editors (and special guests) of Mobile Nations hash it out!

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3 years ago

My OS is better than your OS - Talk Mobile

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Hardware is important, there's no denying that. But without software, it doesn't matter how awesome the hardware is. It'll be a fancy paperweight. No matter how good the physical device is, if it has crappy software on it, nobody's going to care about it. Conversely, we've seen many times that excellent software can make up for crappy hardware.

3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z available for purchase from T-Mobile: $99 down or $579 outright

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Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker included with purchase while supplies last

Whether it's much of a feat or not, T-Mobile has locked up the exclusive launch of the Sony Xperia Z on its network and now is the time you can finally get your pre-order in. While the device has been available from Sony Store locations since its announcement last week, chances are many people's first opportunity to buy the device will be online from T-Mobile. Pre-orders are slated to only last for today, as the device goes on sale officially starting July 17 — tomorrow — but the added bonus of pre-odering will be a free Sony Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (valued at $69.99) and overnight shipping.

The Xperia Z will set you back $99 down and $20 per month on an Equipment Installment Plan, or an outright price of $579 for the waterproof handset. Those interested in buying the device outright can always order directly from Sony's online store as well (bypassing T-Mobile) and still take advantage of the free Bluetooth speaker bundle.

Ready to pull the trigger? Hit the source links below and get your order in.

Source: T-Mobile; Sony

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3 years ago

Zen & Tech 56: Why we hate people who love different phones

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ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! Since it's platform week on Talk Mobile 2013, Georgia and Rene are back to discuss the elephant in every comment system — fanboyz, haters, trolls, and griefers. Namely, if we love a phone — or anything else - why do we feel the need to hate on people who love different phones?

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3 years ago

Review: Motorizer over-the-ear headphones from Motorheadphones

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'We told them what to do very specifically. And we threatened them with terrible violence if they didn't get it right, so I'm sure they got it right.'  Lemmy Kilmister

Looking for a set of high-quality headphones that were designed for screaming rock music instead of music with over-processed and overdriven bass tracks? Enter the Motörizer Over-the-Ear Headphones from Motörheadphönes. Designed by rock 'n' roll legend Lemmy himself, these can will make your ears bleed with delight.

 

They're your typical set of studio-style headphones on the outside (with a little bit of Motörhead branding, of course), but they're built from quality materials. They sport velvet ear cups instead of that horrible fake leather that gets your ears all sweaty, flat woven-cover cords, and a solid closed-back design. They're auto-adjustable, with a thick two-piece rubber headband to fit anyone's noggin. They're fairly heavy at 8.4 ounces, but they're comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Most of us use earbuds with our phones, but if you're like me and appreciate a good set of DJ-style over-the-ear headphones, you'll love the way these fit. If you like your music hard and heavy, you'll love the way they sound.

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3 years ago

In pictures: The 'glamor red' HTC One

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HTC's recently taken the wraps off a new color variant for the HTC One — anodized "glamor red" — and we've had the chance to get our hands on the new, eye-catching version of HTC's latest. The red version, which is exclusive to Phones4u in the UK, is most reminiscent of the black variant, being twinned with a dark grey accents around its sides and back. The Beats Audio branding, red and white on other HTC Ones, is a lighter shade of gray on the "glamor red." The anodized finish also gives the device a smoother feel than the more common silver version.

Besides these superficial changes, we're dealing with the same phone we're already more than familiar with — quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 1080p SuperLCD display, "Ultrapixel" camera — you get the idea.

Check out our gallery after the break for a closer look at this new flavor of HTC One.

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3 years ago

New render appears purporting to be Sony 'Honami'

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New render emerges claiming to be the rumored 'Honami' with specs in line with earlier reports

As is so often the way with new Sony phones, we're treated to plenty of leaks well ahead of any actual launch, and the rumored 'Honami' is no exception. The latest leak comes by way of ePrice and claims to be a press render of the forthcoming high-end Xperia smartphone. In terms of appearance, it looks pretty much in line with the earlier leaked images we've seen. 

Accompanying the image, ePrice also has a bunch of purported specs, the majority of which also fit well in line with previous leaks. A 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16GB on-board storage with microSD card expansion, a 5-inch 1080p display with Sony's Triluminos technology and a 3000mAh battery. We're also hearing about a Sony G-Lens for the 20.7MP rear camera, and a BIONZ image processing engine. 

At this point in time, it looks like the 'Honami' will come to town with a heavy focus on photography. It would be in good company too with recent devices from Nokia and Samsung both having serious photography aimed credentials. At this point in time, we're anticipating that Sony's September 4 press conference at IFA 2013 in Berlin may well be the first time we get official word, and of course, we'll be on the ground in Germany if and when we get to see it. 

Source: ePrice

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3 years ago

LG to expand Optimus G Pro availability worldwide

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40 new countries around the world slated to to get LG's latest large handset

While the Optimus G Pro has been available since February in LG's home country of Korea, it has made a slow but steady march out to other countries around the world and is ready to reach a whole lot more in Q3. LG is announcing today that it plans to make the Optimus G Pro available in 40 countries throughout the quarter across Europe, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), Latin America and the Middle East. The expanded launch builds on the apparent success of the handset in its initial launch regions of Asia and North America, where the 5.5-inch 1080p handset has sold well.

While it may seem like old news to many of us who have seen it on store shelves for some time, the device's specs are right on par with all of the highest-end handsets out there today. With a Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, high-quality 1080p display and 13MP camera it will still be entirely relevant when it hits these new countries.

Source: LG

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3 years ago

AT&T announces 'AT&T Next' to offer customers yearly upgrades on payment plans

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Upgrades every 12 months require return of your current device; no decrease in service charges for buying off-contract

Following in the footsteps of the competition AT&T has just unveiled what it calls "AT&T Next", a new way of financing and upgrading handsets. With Next, AT&T customers will have the ability to upgrade their handset with no money down every 12 months, assuming that they sign up from the beginning with a payment plan on their current device. The system is loosely similar to T-Mobile's current JUMP! and Equipment Installment Plans, but breaks down differently, and in some ways more simply.

When purchasing a device and signing up for service, you will now have the option to buy a phone via Next on an installment plan. The device will have no down payment, but you will pay the full, unsubsidized price over equal monthly payments for 20 months. After 12 completed payments you will have the option to trade in your (working, undamaged) device and receive a new one — again, with no money down — and have the remaining eight monthly payments on the original phone wiped out.

The monthly installments will run between $15 and $50, depending on the phone, and are a function of evenly dividing the full retail price of the phone by 20 months.

By way of example, AT&T says, a Samsung Galaxy S4 in Next will cost $32 a month on top of your monthly service plan. You'll be able to trade it in and upgrade after 12 payments, or pay it off in full after 20 months. That's based on the full $639 purchase price of a 16GB model.

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