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3 years ago

White Ascend P2 up for pre-order at Phones4u

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UK retailer Phones4u sends word that it's offering Huawei's latest mid-range device, the Ascend P2, for pre-order in white. The white P2 will be exclusive to P4U, and is available for free on contracts starting at £25 per month on EE, Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. A release in brick-and mortar Phones4u stores is slated for "mid-June," so buyers shouldn't have too long to wait.

The Huawei Ascend P2 in black is already available from other outlets, including Three UK.

More: Phones4u

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3 years ago

New APIs to allow Chrome to interact with your iTunes library

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The users iTunes library is one of the default destinations for the new mediaGalleries API in Chrome

The mediaGalleries API is what Chrome and Chrome OS use to access images, videos and audio that is stored locally on the device. This means your media can be treated the same way online media is by Chrome apps, making them available for your viewing and listening pleasure right inside the Chrome browser.

A quick posting on Google+ from François Beaufort, everyone's favorite Chromium Evangelist, let everyone know that recent code changes mean that your iTunes library is one of the APIs default locations (your iTunes folder has a system-wide variable so it can be found by any program), meaning that music and other media you've stored there will show up automatically after a local media scan from Chrome -- with your permission, of course.

Why is this important? Imagine the Google Music website web app, redesigned so that you can play local music files as well. Or the Google Movies and TV Chrome app, or the upcoming image viewer. All your current media could be easily made available right inside these web apps from Google, or other third party extensions and Chrome apps. We're confident that Google knows that Chromebooks need at least a little bit of ability to play offline content, and building it into an API means that desktop Chrome users can benefit as well, with access to a possibly hefty iTunes library full of DRM-free "stuff".

You can check out an example of what they're doing currently if you're running Canary by loading up this Chrome app from Google's github.

Source: Chromium.org; Via +François Beaufort

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3 years ago

Paranoid Android team open-sources its 'Halo' multitasking feature

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Teams and solo enthusiasts alike can now integrate the notification system into their ROMs

A few weeks ago the folks over at Paranoid Android took the idea of Facebook's new Chat Heads software and took it a step further to create what it calls "Halo", a new way to manage multitasking on Android. While the software is still in beta officially, the team took to its official Google+ page today to announce that it is completely open-sourcing the software for other ROM makers to implement on their own. The source code, which is admittedly not cleaned up and still doesn't support proper Tablet UI's, comes by way of two links to GitHub with everything ROM makers of any size need to get started with it.

With the information and links to the source code, it also took a moment to throw out some thanks to Facebook, a few notes on compatibility and scaling of apps from Google Play, and some notes on the new version of Halo currently being used on Paranoid Android's ROM. The Google+ post also links to a great walkthrough of the feature as it stands now, which you can find above.

Source: +Paranoid Android

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3 years ago

Apple's iOS 7 'copied' everyone - and that's a good thing

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Some ideas are so good that they should be shared

If you had Internet service today, you've no doubt heard about Apple's iOS 7 unveiling at WWDC. If for some reason you haven't, be sure to head over to iMore and find out about all the new features and the new look. We'll wait.

OK, now that everyone is on the same page, we're all probably thinking about how a lot of that seems familiar. Apple certainly did a little shopping around when they decided what new features to include, and even how they will all look. Android's represented well, as is Windows Phone, BlackBerry, webOS and even Meego. Fans of all these operating systems are taking to Twitter or Facebook or Google+ to express their feelings over "the borrowing", and there is quite a little uproar being made. But not from me.

I think what they did is a good thing.

Cherry picking features from the competition means the users of that same competition might get a few laughs at your expense, but it means much more than that. It's validation for the designers and engineers who came up with it first, and it delivers great stuff that looks good to the end users.

While iOS 7 may look like a blend of Holo Light with MIUI icons, that flat card inspired interface is a great way to traverse your way through what your phone has to offer. We love it in Google Now and the other updated Google applications, and iOS users will love it when they get the update this fall. And the folks who originally designed it, wherever they may be, can know that they bring joy to millions with their design. The same goes for the Pandora inspired iTunes Radio, or the wireless sharing originally thought up by Bump, or HTC Sense 4's lock screen notifications. Those are features everyone wants, and now iPhone users can have them.

While you're reading through the lists of what Apple "stole" and who they stole it from, try to remember that in this business everybody steals from everybody else. And in the end, that means we all get to benefit from a universal set of great features. 

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Shield still on track for June shipping

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A few folks (including us) who have preordered the NVIDIA Shield controller have found themselves in possession of a snazzy new Shield T-shirt over the past couple days to go along with their $350 preorder. Accompanying the shirt was a note, which reads thusly:

Thank you for pre-ordering SHIELD. SHIELD is NVIDIA's first gaming portable, and has been a labor of love for us over the last year and a half since we started the project. Our vision was to build a dedicated, open platform gaming device that would allow you to enjoy a wide catalog of native Android and streamed PC games with full freedom and mobility.

To celebrate the arrival of SHIELD, we've designed a limited-edition SHIELD T-shirt and have included one in this package to thank you for your pre-order. 

On behalf of the SHIELD team, we hope you enjoy the experience!

Now us being the skeptical type, we checked in with NVIDIA to make sure Shield was still headed for customers' hands this month, as promised. And we're assured that while no shipping date has been announced, "late June" is still on track.

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3 years ago

How to change sync and notification settings in the new Gmail

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Don't forget to turn on sync when you add new folders or Mail Categories

While the settings to enable and change sync settings for Gmail haven't changed in the latest update, many people are just being introduced to them for the first time with the addition of "Mail Categories" this last week. Simply enabling the new Mail Categories feature on the web view of Gmail will get the tabs to show up in your app, but unfortunately won't start syncing or notifying you of your mail to those categories by default. It'll take just a few taps through the settings of the Gmail app to have everything syncing and ringing once again though, so let's take a look at the process.

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3 years ago

HTC names new communications head

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Lorain Wong will take up role as Vice President of Global PR, Corporate and Internal Communications from Taiwan HQ

HTC has named Lorain Wong as its new Vice President of Global PR, Corporate and Internal Communications. Lorain joins HTC from Chinese network services provider Pacnet. Prior to this, Wong had senior roles at Qwest Asia, Global One Asia Pacific and AT&T. She will assume her new role at HTC from the company's Taiwan HQ. HTC says her duties will include "public relations, media and analyst relations, corporate communications and issues management."

Wong replaces former VP of Global Communications Jason Gordon, who was one of several high-profile execs to depart HTC last month.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Archos Titanium 97b comes to UK courtesy of Dixons for £199

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A solid set of specs and features for an extremely low price now available in the U.K.

Archos' top of the line 10-inch tablet, the Titanium 97b, will be available in the U.K. starting today exclusively at Dixons for the great price of just £199.99. Announced back in January and launched in the U.S. in March, the Titanium 97b is your standard large form factor tablet with a 9.7-inch 2048x1536 IPS display, 1.6GHz dual-core (an unnamed A9) processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with an SDXC expansion slot and USB OTG capabilities. The Titanium 97b has a sleek aluminum build, is just 10mm thick and weighs 650g.

On the software side Archos ships a pretty much unchanged build -- save for a few Archos media apps -- of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with access to the Play Store and Google apps. They aren't the highest specs in the world, but at £199.99 for a 10-inch tablet it's hard to find a better deal out there. The Titanium 97b will be available exclusively at Dixons stores in the U.K. or online (from Currys) at the source link below.

More: Currys

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3 years ago

The 'Anything but WWDC/E3 liveblog' giveaway!

Win a white Nexus 4 and bumper from us — just because 

It's WWDC day -- the day in which Apple will revolutionize the magical industry with features we've probably had on Android for some time now. There are approximately 14,629 liveblogs all blogging the same thing, which you can also stream live in an Apple-approved browser/device/cranial implant.

Oh, but there's more. E3 is getting underway in Los Angeles, with Microsoft showing off more Xbox One features. And, you guessed it, that means more liveblogs.

For what it's worth, we're glued to iMore's WWDC liveblog and WPCentral's E3 liveblog. And to keep things interesting, we're going to give away a brand-new, in-box, white Nexus 4 and bumper -- just because we can. Just leave a comment on this post and tell us what you're hoping (or not hoping) to see from WWDC or E3, or whether what you saw was interesting, or just meh. Contest is open to everyone, and we'll close things up at 5 p.m. EDT and pick a winner.

Good luck!

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3 years ago

GoStick II portable battery

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We hooked up with the folks from BTI recently in Las Vegas to take a quick look at their GoStick II portable battery. This is one of those "need-it-right-this-second" solutions that'll give you an extra charge in a pinch via microUSB. The GoStick II has a 2,600 mAh capacity, so you'll only get about one extra go with this thing. 

The GoStick II is nicely designed. It's about as big as a roll of quarters and finished with a soft-touch coating. The rounded triangle design fits nicely in your hand, which is a plus when you're using the included LED flashlight (long a favorite feature for me when it comes to portable batteries.) The five-stage charge indicator is easily visible but not harsh, and it lights up after you hit the button for 1 second. A 3-second hold lights up the LED flashlight.

The 5V/1.0A input and 5V/1.2A output are on the butt of the GoStick II.

The GoStick II is available now for $29 if you want to give it a go. We've got more pics after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint ZTE Vital brings mid-range stock Android June 14 for $99

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Sprint today announced the mid-range, 5-inch ZTE Vital, available June 14 for $99 on contract. The Vital includes a not-quite next-gen Qualcomm MSM8960 processor running at 1.5 GHz, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and a 5-inch IPS display at 1280x720 resolution. It's got a 2,500 mAh removable battery, 1GB of RAM and a microSD card to expand on the 8GB internal storage.

The Vital is LTE-capable, of course, and sports a 13-megapixel camera on the back and a 1MP shooter up front. It's also got the Sprint ID theme-switcher on board.

More: Sprint

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3 years ago

The competition: Follow Apple's WWDC keynote with iMore

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iOS 7, OS X 10.9 expected - follow the announcements live on iMore

Whatever your mobile OS of choice, new stuff from Apple is big news. And at today's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) in San Francisco, Apple fans are expecting major new versions of the company's mobile and desktop operating systems -- iOS and OS X. On the mobile side, iOS is expected to undergo its biggest visual overhaul yet, with new, flatter, more minimalist UI from designer Jonathan Ive.

You'll want to head over to our sister site iMore for live keynote coverage, including analysis and commentary on the announcements as they happen. The action kicks off at 10 a.m. PDT -- that's 1 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. GMT, 6 p.m. BST or 7 p.m. CEST. Apple will also be streaming video of the event to Mac computers, iOS devices and Apple TVs (sorry, Windows/Linux/Chrome OS users.)

In the meantime, hit the comments and share any predictions about which Android features might finally be gracing the iPhone and iPad today.

More: iMore WWDC liveblog

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3 years ago

BBC Weather app now available for Android

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Simple UI, Holo design language and ease of use make the BBC Weather app worth checking out

The BBC has released its BBC Weather application on Google Play -- and it's actually one of the better weather apps available for Android. The BBC Weather app keeps things simple, while paying attention to Google's application design guidelines. By default, the app shows you weather conditions wherever you are, based on telemetry from the UK's Met Office, and you can view more places by searching for them. A new-style slide-out menu bar allows you to view conditions everywhere you've searched, and individual entries are easy to re-order and delete.

The main view consists of several scrollable areas that let you change location and view forecasts for hours or even days ahead. UV and pollen levels, if relevant, are shown too, as are sunrise and sunset times, and wind speeds and directions. On the whole, the app is able to shown a great deal of information without becoming cluttered. There's also an attractive 4x2 widget that shows you current conditions and a four-day forecast, along with lock screen widget support. NFC forecast transfers are supported too, and there's even a DashClock plug-in that'll bring the BBC's forecasts to the popular third-party clock widget.

You can find the BBC Weather app for Android at the Google Play link above; it's available for devices running Android 2.2 and above. (Update: Unfortunately for those outside the UK, it looks like this app is limited to British users only.)

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3 years ago

Galaxy Ace 3 is Samsung's latest entry-level device

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New low-ender with a dual-core CPU and optional LTE connectivity.

Another week, another Samsung phone announcement. This time it’s the turn of the Galaxy Ace 3, the manufacturer’s new entry-level offering. The most recent device in Samsung’s popular Galaxy Ace line, the Ace 3 move things forwards with optional LTE connectivity, a dual-core CPU and the latest software from Google and Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 features a dual-core 1GHz processor (1.2GHz in the LTE version), 1GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 4-inch WVGA (800x480) display. On the 3G version there’s also 4GB of internal memory, of which just 1.77GB is available to use, so you’ll want to use that microSD slot to expand the available storage. The 4G version has 8GB, with 5GB usable. The Ace 3 also includes many of the headline software features of the Galaxy S4, such as S Travel, S Translation and S Voice, in addition to Easy Mode. That's due to its running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and the latest TouchWiz UI.

As we mentioned, the Galaxy Ace 3 will be available in 3G and 4G LTE flavors, and there’ll also be a dual-SIM option. While a European release is highly likely, there’s no word on any regional availability or release dates just yet -- we’ll likely learn more as Samsung’s offices around the world wake up later in the day.

We also imagine we’ll see the Ace 3 in London on June 20, at the company’s “Premiere 2013” event.

Update: Samsung tells us that the LTE version will be sold in the UK.

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

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3 years ago

Sony adds voice search and a new model number to their Google TV set top box

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Sony adds voice input to their internet player line of Google TV devices, new model available in July for $199

Sony announced a new Google TV set top box today, the NSZ-GS8. (Samsung Galaxy S 2, Sprint Epic 4G Touch doesn't sound so bad now, does it?) The GS8 is identical to the GS7, which is reviewed here and one I've been using for a while, with the exception of one thing -- voice capabilities via the remote. 

Sony simply calls it voice search, but with the right software -- like the Google TV app PrimeTime, for instance -- voice input is pretty damn handy to have on your remote. It's a great addition to one of the few Google TV units of 2012 that had its act together. In fact, voice input is the reason I recently "upgraded" from my NSZ-GS7 to the new ASUS Cube.

The new GS8 will be available starting in July online and at the usual big box retailers for $199. If you're a Google TV fan, and just aren't feeling the custom UI on the Cube, this would be an excellent buy.  If you already have the GS7, and want to save a few dollars you can pick up the equivalent voice capable remote for the original from Sony for $50 here, and make sure you have the latest version of the software that enables it.

Source: Sony

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