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3 years ago

Beautiful Widgets 5 released with a new look and full Jelly Bean support


Android app developer LevelUp Studio has announced the launch of Beautiful Widgets 5, a brand new version of its popular widget and application suite.

New features in the latest version of Beautiful Widgets include a visual refresh to many widgets and apps, and full Jelly Bean support, including rich notifications, as well as Android 4.2 features like lock screen widgets and new "Daydreams." 

Also included is a new forecast app and theme store, where as you might expect, there are endless widget customizations to be had. If you're a widget fan, there's certainly plenty in this latest version to keep you occupied.

Hit the Google Play link above to get downloading -- the app sells for $2.39 in the U.S. £1.90 in the U.K. We've got an official promo video after the break.

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3 years ago

The Times offers subsidized Nexus 7 with subscription


British newspaper The Times is looking to expand its digital subscriber-base with subsidized tablet hardware. The paper, which has its online content guarded by paywalls, is offering subscribers a 32GB Nexus 7 for £50, down from the standard retail price of £199, as part of its "Digital Pack" offer. The pack includes a 18-month subscription to The Times, which can be purchased for £299 up-front, or charged as monthly fee of £17.33, following an initial payment of £67.33, which includes the £50 price of the tablet.

As well as a 32GB Nexus 7, subscribers get access to The Times' paywalled content, including mobile and tablet app versions across multiple platforms. It's a unique spin on the digital subscription model for news content, and it'll be interesting to see whether other paywalled newspapers follow suit in the future.

Today's offer comes just 24 hours after Times owner News Corporation announced the closure of its iPad-only outlet, The Daily.

Source: The Times; via: The Verge, The Wall

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3 years ago

First CM10.1 nightlies available for Nexus 10


If you possess both a Nexus 10 and a predisposition for hacking your gadgets, you'll be pleased to hear that the first few nightly builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 for the Samsung-made Nexus tablet have started to appear.

Two early builds of the popular custom ROM are available on the official CyanogenMod download site at at the time of writing, weighing in at around 163MB.

It's still early days for CM10.1, which is based on the recently open-sourced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. As such, you can probably expect a few bugs and incomplete or missing features in these initial nightly builds until things become a bit more stable.

Regardless, those with an OEM unlocked Nexus 10 and a healthy contempt for playing it safe can find download details at the source link below.


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3 years ago

'Verizon Selects' targeted advertising starting this week


Starting this week, Verizon will be rolling out a targeted advertising system it is calling "Verizon Selects." The basic idea is that customers can opt-in (thankfully) to a system that lets Verizon collect and use "location, web browsing and mobile application usage data, as well as other information including customer demographic and interest data" to help target advertisements to you from their partners. The offers can come by way of text message, email or other mobile advertising.

This is the holy grail of advertising for carriers. Being able to offer companies such granular location and usage information means it can charge extra for those advertising placements. It's best handled in this way -- with an opt-in system -- but is a hard pill to swallow when you're already paying so much for your service every month. Those deals better be pretty darn good to be worth giving up so much personal information.

Source: Verizon News Center

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3 years ago

Google Play Services brings two great new APIs to the table: Photo Sphere viewing and vector-based maps


Google Play services is now at version 2.0, and a couple of great new features are on board.

First is an update to the Maps API for Android apps. Version 2 of the API now includes vector-based maps, with both 2D and 3D views, as well as tilt-rotate visuals. Google’s also added UI design elements that can be scaled up for tablets.

Apps will also get to use Maps layers like satellite, hybrid, terrain and traffic information. The latest indoor maps layer covering airports and shopping center layouts is in there, too. Google’s been calling for building participation in the project, and stores like Ikea are early participants.

Additionally,  full details about the Photo Sphere tool are available, and these new APIs will help interested third parties create standalone viewers using the new metadata from Adobe. With the open XMP format, Photosphere is now open to all. We like open around here, especially because it means we should finally (eventually) be able to view Photo Sphere pictures in the Google+ application.

Hit the break for a developer video from Google about the new API.

via: Android Developers

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3 years ago

Starbucks updates app with Android 4.2 compatibility


Starbucks lovers with a device running Android 4.2 -- quite a few of us now -- have been out in the cold waiting for an update to fix compatibility with the latest OS update. Some problem with the app in Android 4.2 caused a nasty bug that made the app crash almost every time it was opened. Thankfully, the wait is over and today's update fixes the issues.

Go grab that download at the Play Store link above and get back to paying for your latte (or quadruple extra hot venti caramel macchiato, if you're me) without a wallet.

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update hitting Kies


Coming up on 3 weeks after the T-Mobile Galaxy SIII (S3) started receiving an OTA update to Jelly Bean, users in our forums are reporting seeing the update become available via Samsung Kies for their AT&T Galaxy S3s. There's no indication of when (or if) this will go out via an OTA package, but willing users that are impatient can always go with the Kies desktop software route.

Take a look at the source link below to our forums where the discussion about the update has already begun.

Source: AT&T Galaxy S3 Forums

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3 years ago

First look at the Verizon Galaxy Note 2


What more is there to say about one of the hottest phones on the market today? Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 is poised to be one of the biggest (literally) smartphones this holiday season, and the country's largest carrier just launched its iteration. You won't find any differences under the hood-- same Exynos quad-core processor, same 2 gigs of RAM, and same super-slick Jelly Bean OS. What you WILL find, however, is a heck of a lot of branding. Some would say too much, and others would say way too much-- don't panic though, there are ways around it. So sit back, hit the break and enjoy the unboxing, and be sure to stay tuned for how the Note 2 competes with the rest of Verizon's holiday portfolio, including HTC's Goliath DNA. 

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: The search for Google Play gift cards


The Google Play gift card is an elusive beast. Supposedly available at big box stores like Walmart and Target, specialty stores like GameStop, even grocery stores and electronics stores like Kroger or Frys, but they sure are hard to find. At my local Target they had some in stock at the beginning of November, but right now they are all sold out. Of course sold out matters more when you know how many you started with, for my purposes it's a bummer because I can't find any gift cards to toss in the stockings. Phil had to drive to a few stores to find some as well. 

Now we understand how (and why) Google struggles selling stuff. They aren't a retailer, and certainly have a lot to learn about becoming one. But Walmart knows a thing or two about selling  -- especially low-priced impulse stuff like gift cards. If they aren't on the shelf at Walmart, it means there are none to put on the shelf. Items sitting in the back don't make any money for the storefront. 

Hopefully, this means demand is high and they are selling a good many of them. Alternatively, it may mean that they are selling all they can get, which is very few. Or maybe I just live in some little bubble where Google Play gift cards are all the rage and they are available everywhere else. I don't know, so I'm asking. Hit the poll (in the sidebar to the right or after the break) and let me know.

Before we go, last week's poll needs a look.

Are 1080p screens the next big thing?

Looks like folks want some of the sweet 1080p. I have a feeling it will soon become the norm.

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3 years ago

How to enable Gmail 4.2 swipe and zoom features


Starting today, that fancy new Gmail update -- version 4.2 -- is bringing the much-requested features of pinch-to-zoom and swipe-to-delete to any device running Ice Cream Sandwich or later. But curiously, the best settings and features aren't even enabled by default.

So how do you turn those settings on? It just takes a few extra taps into the settings menu, so read on and see how.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean now on 6.7% of Android devices


Jelly Bean's install base got a huge boost in the past 30 days, but it still only powers less than 7-percent of all Android devices. Today's version number release from Google sees Jelly Bean with a 4-percent jump from November, while Ice Cream Sandwich sees a smaller increase of 1.8-percent with a total of 27.5-percent of all devices sampled.  We see Gingerbread still holds the lion's share (and likely will for a while), and Jelly Bean growing faster then ICS. This is because many of the phones running Gingerbread aren't going to be supported with an update, and phones that shipped with ICS are getting updated to Jelly Bean.

The sampling process is pretty simple, just keep track of the version on every phone that visits Goggle Play in a 30-day period. This means devices that don't have Google Play services aren't counted, and devices that do have Google Play but weren't designed to are being counted. It's a bit of a mess, but one that we should be used to by now. Next year, ICS will be dominant while we look at the small number of devices running Android 5.0. We don't have to like it (especially when it's one of our phones a version or two behind) but there's not much that can be done about it. We expect a similar picture next month.

Source: Android Developers Dashboard

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3 years ago

Earpiece buzz not unique to the Nexus 4, but it's there [buzz]


First thing this afternoon when I got to my battle station, Phil gave me a call. This isn't unusual, we talk a lot, but today he wanted to ask me what I thought of the Nexus 4 and the crazy hissing/buzzing/evil sound you can almost hear coming from the earpiece. The one I can't hear and had never heard of. We threw some ideas back and forth, even got nerdy and spoke of vibrating crystals on the PCB that may be firing the eardrum and tiny bones inside the skull to create a sound, and I told him I would dig around the Internet and see what I could find. That's how this job works a lot of the time. Anyhoo, my non-buzzing Nexus 4 and I went in search of what could be happening.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE Android 4.1.2 update package emerges


Samsung has been hard at work preparing Android 4.1.2 updates for a number of its Galaxy smartphones, and it seems the first device to get the upgrade will be the international 4G LTE version of the Galaxy Note 2 (GT-N7105). That's the version that supports LTE on Euro-friendly 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz bands, not to be confused with the 3G/HSPA-only version we reviewed back in October.

Today's firmware package comes via unofficial Samsung update archive, which shows it has the build number N7105XXDLK7. The version available right now has Vodafone South Africa branding, but that shouldn't stop it working on other carriers' Note 2 LTE devices, assuming they carry the model number GT-N7105. We imagine we'll begin to see Android 4.1.2 rolling out over-the-air for various Samsung devices soon. Earlier rumors had suggested the first Samsung 4.1.2 updates were due to begin in December.

Android 4.1.2 is a minor update to the OS, introduced in October, shortly before Android 4.2 hit. Aside from the usual bug fixes and tweaks, the most visible changes include subtle alterations to the way the notification shade works -- in 4.1.2, notifications can be expanded with a single finger swipe down.

Fingers crossed for more Samsung updates later in the month. The Galaxy S3's 4.1.2 update is rumored to include a particularly tasty festive treat, in the form of the multi-window feature from the Galaxy Note 2.

Source: Samsung-Updates

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3 years ago

Android Central 2012 Gift Guide: Phil's holiday wish-list


Insert your favorite holiday cliche here. Go ahead. Do it. I won't judge. 'Tis the season. Deck the halls with something something. It's that time of year again.

We're starting our annual holiday gift guides. And this year, we're personalizing them. Perhaps you've already seen Jerry's glazed ham? (OK, who hasn't seen Jerry's glazed ham.) Now it's my turn. 

Read on for my must-have Android-related gifts for 2012.

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