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3 years ago

Google 'App Data' sync setting appearing on devices

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We'll probably learn more about the mystery checkbox at today's Google I/O keynote

Well here's an interesting development. Head to the Android sync options for your Google account right now and you'll probably see a new checkbox sitting up top for 'App Data' sync. The new setting seems to have appeared overnight for most people, and we're currently seeing it on all our devices.

What exactly this new sync setting does remains a bit of a mystery, but with the Google I/O keynote due to take place today, chances are we'll find out sooner rather than later. One possibility might be saved-game synchronization through the rumored Google Play Games service, however 'App Data' sounds a bit broader in scope. With just five hours to go until the keynote, at least we shouldn't have long to wait before we find out more.

What's more, the Google Play Store app itself is also being updated on some handsets, with some folks reporting minor visual changes in the UI.

Chances are these won't be the only updates we see from Google today, so stay tuned for our live coverage of the Google I/O keynote, which kicks off at noon EDT.

Update: Reports from the Android Central forums reveal another new checkbox to sync "People Details" which is apparently separate from "Contacts."

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3 years ago

LG 'Optimus it' headed for NTT Docomo in Japan with Android 4.2

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720p display, 13MP rear camera, LTE and Android 4.2, though we may never see 'it' outside of Japan

Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has unleashed their annual summer lineup, and dropping nicely into it is this offering from LG, the unusually named Optimus it. But, while the name may amuse, the rest of the device is serious business, headlined by carrying Android 4.2

While Android 4.2 may well be underneath, it looks very much like LG has gone right over the top of that with their own custom UI. Hardware wise we're looking at a 4.5-inch 1280x720 IPS display, a quad-core 1.7GHz processor, a 13MP rear camera and a 2100mAh battery. Pretty tasty, then. NTT Docomo customers can look forward to picking up the Optimus it at the end of June. 

Sadly, if this one is anything like the Japanese version of the Optimus G Pro, there's a strong chance we'll never see this outside of Japan. Ever. Shame. 

Source: NTT Docomo (1), (2)

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 headed to NTT Docomo May 23, blue color confirmed

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New color option for Japanese Galaxy S4

Japan's NTT Docomo will start selling the Samsung Galaxy S4 from next Thursday, May 23 -- and as per the pre-announcement rumors, it'll be getting a "blue arctic" color option in addition to "white frost" and "black mist." The Docomo version will also support digital terrestrial TV broadcasts through a pull-out antenna, and FeliCa NFC payment capabilities.

Besides that (and some branding changes) it's pretty much the same old Galaxy S4 we've come to know over the past few weeks. In case you were wondering, Japan's getting the quad-core Snapdragon 600 version most other countries are selling, as opposed to the rarer "octa-core" Exynos version.

YouTuber mappan777 has posted a quick side-by-side comparison between the new blue version and the better-known black model, which we've embedded past the break. (Quick spoiler: you're going to have a hard time telling these two colors apart.)

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 review

Source: NTT Docomo, Video via SamMobile

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3 years ago

NTT Docomo announces the Sony Xperia A

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Mid to high-end handset looks like an Xperia ZR for Japan

As rumored, Japanese carrier NTT Docomo has announced a new handset from Sony today. The Xperia A looks set to fit in Docomo's range somewhere below the Xperia Z -- despite sharing many design features with Sony's 5-incher, the Xperia A is a smaller handset with a little less going on under the hood. In fact, the specs and design are all but identical to the Xperia ZR, a device announced globally just a couple of days ago.

That means you're dealing with a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, a 4.6-inch 720p display on the front and a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS shooter around the back. Like the ZR it's also waterproof, and rated IP55/58. You'll also get some Japan-specific features like digital terrestrial TV capabilities and FeliCa mobile payment support. On the software side, it's still Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the Sony Xperia UI running the show.

The Sony Xperia A on NTT Docomo will go on sale this Friday, May 17 in white, black, pink and "mint" colors.

Source: NTT Docomo; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

HTC Backup now available for the AT&T HTC One

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A bit of good news tonight for those who have the AT&T HTC One. AT&T decided not to use HTC Backup -- which deftly does exactly what it says, backing up your phone via Dropbox -- in its version of the HTC One, which is a shame, because it works quite well. AT&T instead went a different route.

But tonight HTC has released the backup tool as a standalone app. You'll need to sign in with your HTC account, and it'll then back up and restore your phone through Dropbox instead of through Google, which previously was the only option. 

Repeat: If you don't have the AT&T HTC One, you don't need this.

And a quick note for those with the developer version (and quite possibly the developer version) of the HTC One: Having an AT&T SIM might let you install the app, but not let you run it, says ol' Jerry.

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3 years ago

HP announces SlateBook x2 Android tablet with detachable keyboard

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HP's second entry into the Android market is decidedly different from the Slate 7

Following in the footsteps of both ASUS with its Transformer series as well as other Windows OEMs with their convertible laptop/tablet hybrids, HP is announcing SlateBook x2 today. We're basically looking at a standard 10-inch Android tablet, but in the configuration of what HP is calling a "two-in-one device" that has a keyboard dock. As is usually the case, the tablet is completely contained as a stand-alone device, with a 1920x1200 IPS display, Tegra 4 processor and 64GB of storage. The SlateBook x2 is also shipping with Android 4.2.2, and what looks like very limited customizations from HP -- it even goes so far as to say this is "HP’s push to offer access to the Google experience". The docking station has a full keyboard and trackpad, along with a USB port, SDcard slot and an additional battery to charge the tablet.

Based on the information given to us right now the HP SlateBook x2 is expected to ship in August in both grey and white lid colors, and the pricing seems quite nice at $479.99. However this is a "starting price", and it isn't clear whether or not that includes the keyboard dock. The tablet market may be a bit different by the time this device hits store shelves, but it certainly seems like it will have a better shot at grabbing sales than the Slate 7 does. Stick around after the break for a promo video of the device by HP.

Source: HP

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3 years ago

Facebook open-sources its 'Buck' Android build tool

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Developers can now benefit from Facebook's trial and error building Android apps

Following lots of development time creating a new Android build tool to aid in development of its own Android apps, Facebook has decided to open-source it for other developers to use. Developed at a hack-a-thon last summer, the new build tool, named "Buck", was created to better address the needs of Facebook as it moved to making more native apps -- rather than just using WebViews -- for Android. The move to Buck from Ant in August of last year cut down build times for its apps dramatically, leaving no reason to continue using the old tools.

Because it improved the build times and overall development cycle for Facebook's project so notably, the engineers decided to also open-source it, making the entire code base available to check out from GitHub. According to Facebook, Buck will help most when developers are building apps with many small modules rather than just a few large ones. Development-minded folks among us can of course take a look at the tools themselves and see if it could work for their own project at the source link below.

Source: Facebook; GitHub

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3 years ago

Google I/O 2013 app updated with DashClock support, session feedback form

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Making it even easier for attendees to find and interact with sessions

On the eve of Google I/O 2013 kicking off in San Francisco, Google has just updated the official I/O 2013 app with a few tweaks to make following the conference a little easier. There's now a session feedback form for attendees to let Google know how a session went after the fact, as well as improved Maps functionality to let you navigate the expanses of the Moscone Center and find those sessions. The update also upped the resolution of speaker photos, and added DashClock widget support -- presumably to let you keep tabs on upcoming events.

We'll be awake bright and early tomorrow morning to cover the three hour long marathon of a keynote starting at 9am PT, so be sure to set a reminder from that Google I/O app so you don't miss a minute. We'll see you there.

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3 years ago

Verizon offering free Droid DNA promotion for limited time

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A quick way to save on a great device if you're going to order online

Verizon has just started running a promotion on its website offering a coupon code that knocks down the price of a Droid DNA to $0 on-contract, which is a substantial savings. Holding its spot as the flagship for the "Droid" brand on Verizon since November last year, the DNA has stayed at $199 on-contract since its release. All you have to do to get a coupon code for the device is provide your email address to Verizon at the source link below, where you'll then receive a code to apply at the online checkout for the savings. The promotion is only valid until May 21st, so you've got a week to make up your mind on this one. Even at 6 months old the DNA is still a great option on Verizon.

The fact that Verizon is running a promotion to sell a device that is over 6 months old now should come as no surprise to anyone at this point. Carriers (often inexplicably) go through phases of discounting and promoting devices that they want to push, especially when they get to be this far into their lifecycle. However it will be interesting to see whether or not the standard price of the DNA will drop following this promotion.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

The most important story you'll probably miss this week

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It's not a sexy issue, but kudos to the U.S. mobile operators for coming together against texting and driving

We'll get to those smiling faces up there in a minute. But, first, perhaps the timing could have been a little better. Tucked between a little overexposure of the NVIDIA Shield and the BlackBerry Live keynote -- and just a day before Google I/O kicks off -- the four major U.S. cell phone operators joined together to announce their support for the "It Can Wait" campaign, an initiative started by AT&T to keep drivers from texting while they're behind the wheel.

Sprint has had its own campaign, and it should be commended for that. But it's a combined effort that's needed, and, starting May 20, a combined effort is what we'll see. Millions of dollars in what essentially is advertising money is going into this. Sure, you'll see the brand names. Sprint. AT&T. Verizon. T-Mobile. And many others. But it's the message that's truly important.

No matter the phone, no matter the operating system -- and, really, no matter what sort of hands-free whiz-bang system you might have rigged up in your car, any time you take your eyes off the road, you're putting us all at risk. Everyone. You, driving the car. Your friends and family inside the car. Those of us in the cars around you. The kids playing on the street.

I'm as hypocritical as anyone. It's hard, I know. (And I work for a company that sells these whiz-bang hands-free devices. What the hell is my excuse, then?) And chances are you can glance down for a second, and nothing will happen.

Until it does.

The "It Can Wait" campaign focuses on texting, but the message, as is the name, is universal. Just a quick glimpse to see who that e-mail was from, even if you're not going to answer it. A peek at your favorite RSS feed, to make sure you didn't miss anything "important." A quick phone call -- hey, you're a good driver. No big deal.

That is my wife and our kids up there. Shannon, Mia and Isabella. I'm her husband. Their father. I owe it to them to avoid doing stupid things whenever possible. (Anyone who's been in a room with me for more than 5 minutes knows that's often easier said than done.) I owe it to them -- hell, I owe it to everyone around me -- to keep that damn phone in my pocket when I'm driving. And so do you. Looking at that picture above helps me remember that.

Let's not be naive, though. We're still going to see folks on their phones in the car. I'm still going to struggle with not stealing a quick glance. But not playing with your phone while you're behind the wheel is that important an issue. There's really no excuse for this sort of tragedy, given how easy it is to not pick up the phone in the car.

But I'm still working on it. I'll get better at it. And, most of all, I need to set that example for my kids. 

Thanks in advance, from myself, my wife and my children.

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3 years ago

BlackBerry 10 Android Runtime on track to support Android 4.2.2

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Update to Jelly Bean for the Android Runtime is still on track and scheduled to land in June

Back in February at BlackBerry Jam Europe we first heard talk of BlackBerry updating their Android Runtime environment from 2.3.3 Gingerbread, to 4.1 Jelly Bean. All has been quiet on that front since then, but today during the BlackBerry Jam keynote at BlackBerry Live, developers were presented with an updated roadmap that confirms the update is still planned, and is running on schedule. Only, it won't be Android 4.1 anymore that the Runtime will be based around, BlackBerry is going straight to 4.2.2. 

Until Google introduces a new version of Android -- quite possibly tomorrow during the Google I/O Keynote -- 4.2.2 is the latest build, and BlackBerry should be commended for that. With the update due to hit in June, there's a strong possibility that BlackBerry 10 devices will have access to 4.2.2 before a number of Android devices. OK, so it's not exactly the same, but impressive nevertheless. 

Android developers looking to move their apps to BlackBerry by way of re-packaging will benefit hugely from this. Apps designed around Gingerbread feel horribly outdated by current standards, and updating the Runtime to 4.2.2 will open the door to many more developers, with many more apps, and ultimately the BlackBerry 10 users should see a much improved experience. For more from BlackBerry Live, be sure to head over to CrackBerry for all the coverage you can handle. 

Source: BlackBerry via CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Keep up with Google I/O 2013 from home

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Won't be in sunny California for Google I/O? Don't worry, you can still keep up with all of the action

We're just a few short days away from Google's yearly developer conference, and while only a few thousand lucky individuals will be in attendance, everyone will have a chance to watch from afar. As you would expect, Google is dedicated to making video of every single session from the conference available online, and even live streams as much coverage as possible.

Watching the keynote

Of everything at Google I/O, what many are looking forward to most is the keynote. Although it's going to be hard to top skydiving with Google Glass onto the convention center, we'll all want to be watching it live to see what they can do this time. Luckily Google will be streaming the keynote live at 9am PT on May 15th. This is the only keynote of the conference and It's going to be a whopping 3 hours long, so be sure to plan your restroom breaks accordingly.

Following sessions

Google has posted a complete list of sessions that will be available, each falling into one of the broader "tracks" such as Android, Chrome, Google+ and Glass. Using the session browser, you can choose to follow specific tracks, or you can look more broadly at the entire show. If a session you're interested in isn't broadcasted live, Google plans to make recorded versions available on its official Google Developers Youtube channel as soon as possible.

Install the app

The official Google I/O app has just been updated for this year's conference, and it has a whole lot of useful information. Not only can you follow all of the session times and keep tabs on what's coming next with scheduled alerts, but you can also watch any of the live streamed sessions. The I/O 2013 app will be your guide to everything Google for all three days next week.

We'll be there too!

Don't forget that Phil and Jerry will be covering everything they can get their hands and eyes on at this year's I/O, with all of the top-notch analysis you've come to expect from Android Central.

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3 years ago

Adobe Connect Mobile adds support for Presenter, interactive tools

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View, present and interact with meetings all from your mobile device

Adobe is making a few useful updates to its Adobe Connect apps today that will improve the experience for those joining meetings from mobile devices. First up, users on phones and tablets can now both deploy and join webinars and meetings being conducted in the Adobe Presenter format, with additional features therein. Presentations can now be interactive for people viewing on a mobile device, letting them tap on questions and answers to give their input. Video conferencing has also been improved to let the users view both their own video feed as well as the person talking, on top of viewing paused feeds of everyone else in the meeting.

Small improvements to the experience such as presentation backgrounds and new graphics are also small but useful changes that make Adobe Connect users on mobile feel like they're getting a complete experience. While you may not be using Adobe Connect Mobile on a daily basis, those in the education and enterprise markets will want to give this a look.

More: Adobe

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3 years ago

Pinterest for Android updated with notifications, mentions and more

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Receive notifications, mention friends and search more easily in latest Pinterest update

Social sharing service Pinterest has updated its mobile app with a few new features this afternoon. The new Pinterest version 1.5 lets you send a pin to a friend, mention friends in comments (like many social networks) and receive push notifications when someone likes, comments on repins your items -- a feature added to the web-based Pinterest a few weeks back. In-app searching has also been improved with search term suggestion.

You can grab the latest version of Pinterest from the Google Play link above. Alternatively, hit the Play Store app to get updated if you've already installed an earlier version.

Pinterest has also been updated to version 2.4 on iOS devices.

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3 years ago

Another glimpse at the Nexus 4 in white, this time on video

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An extensive new white Nexus 4 sighting leaves us with just as many questions as it answers

We know based on previous pictures that at least in some capacity LG has made the Nexus 4 with a white casing, and this is probably the most extensive look at the device we have to date. At a conference in Dubai, the folks at TechView found a white model of the Nexus 4 sitting on display at a Qualcomm booth of all places. The device looks basically identical to previous leaks to our eyes, with a "crystal reflective process" back plate, the same silver plastic band around the screen and black bezels on the front of the device. The device is running just Android 4.2 (rather than 4.2.2 like other Nexus 4s), but other than that nothing on the video stands out to us as setting this device apart.

Interestingly, more still photos of the white Nexus 4 surfaced from the same show in a forums post on The Verge, which also give us a good look at the device. One thing that these show us is the FCC ID printed on the back, which is identical to that of the current Nexus 4. Could this be little more than just a white color option to refresh the Nexus 4 several months after its launch? Google I/O may be a good time for Google to let us know for certain.

Stick around after the break to see the video in full, and follow the source link if you're interested in seeing a few more random stills of the device.

Source: TechView.me; The Verge Forums

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