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3 years ago

Google+ opening its API to Flipboard, integration coming soon

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Bradley Horowitz, the man pulling the strings behind Google+, has been speaking today at the LeWeb 12 conference in London. Several partners were announced for the social platform, including Buddy Media, Hootsuite, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Involver and Vitrue, who are all now "trusted partners." Perhaps more interesting though, is the addition of Flipboard to that list. 

Opening up the Google+ API to Flipboard will mean a proper integration of the two platforms. Users of Flipboard will soon be able to comment on, and +1 Flipboard articles, as well as sending Flipboard content to their Google+ circles. 

It's pretty big news, especially considering that it somewhat steps on the toes of Google's own news application, Google Currents -- in which Android Central has over 380,000 subscribers, so thank you! Obviously, being a Google application, Currents already has a leg up in this area, todays news just means that Flipboard will be on a more level playing field when it comes to Google+. It's a smart move though, Flipboard is going to be huge, and why would we want to share on Facebook and not Google+?

The other question this raises, is whether or not Google are getting closer to releasing the Google+ API publicly. This has to be a step in the right direction, and who knows, maybe something will be announced at Google IO next week? 

via Techcrunch

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3 years ago

'You are on day 629 of your 30-day trial' - Winzip makes its debut on Android

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No free trial period will be 'required' on this one folks. That old, old PC application, Winzip, has finally made its debut on Android. It's been around on iOS for a while now, but in its absence on Android there have been other, and some would say better, file zip solutions released on Android. In any case, Winzip is one of those long standing names, and for many people it is​ zip files, so it's nice that it finally showed up. 

That is, if it was a particularly polished application. Which, sorry to say, it isn't. The back key for example, instead of going up a layer, seems to solely want to exit the application. Frustrating to say the least. 

The top features of Winzip for Android reads as: 

  • View supported file formats directly within the WinZip app. Easily open other popular formats with 3rd-party app integration.
  • Open encrypted Zip files (including AES128 and AES256) to review sensitive material safely while on the go.
  • Copy unzipped content to the clipboard to paste into an email or another application. Save the last extracted zip file to access at later time.

In theory it sounds great, but the niggles such as the back button are sure to infuriate potential heavy users. But, it is only the first version, so hopefully it will get fixed. In any case, it's out now, it's free -- no trial period required -- and is available for Android 2.1 and above. If you're into zipping and unzipping, head on over to the Google Play Store and try it out for yourselves. 

Download: Winzip for Android

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3 years ago

Google Wallet not playing nice with the HTC EVO 4G LTE

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Google Wallet is acting up again, and this time it seems like everyone with an EVO 4G LTE is either locked out of the app or unable to install it because they have an unsupported device in an equally unsupported country. Never mind the fact that the device was support previously, and the EVO 4G LTE is sold only in the lone supported country. Unfortunately, those are the only two things anyone outside of Google and Sprint are sure of.

Could the app be blocked purposely for an imminent roll-out of Sprint's own Touch Wallet service? While that's possible, it's just as likely that there's an error and this is a bug -- Google Wallet has been pretty temperamental. If you ask Wallet support, they will respond thusly:

Hello xxx,

Thank you for calling Google Wallet. You called us regarding being unable

to access the Google Wallet app on your HTC Evo.

Google Wallet is temporarily unavailable on your device and our
engineering team is working hard to make sure Google Wallet is working as
intended. We will be sure to let you know when full functionality has
resumed.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.

It was a pleasure assisting you today. Feel free to contact us again if
you have any additional questions regarding Google Wallet or visit our
Help Center at Wallet Help

Sincerely,

Michelle
The Google Wallet Team

Since that's all we really have to go with, we're gonna call it growing pains. Sure wish Wallet would finish growing ...

Discuss in the EVO 4G LTE forums

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3 years ago

Google 'accelerating' development of its own voice assistant, WSJ reports

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There's no denying that iOS's Siri has been a huge success for Apple, usability issues aside.  And it's no real secret that Google's been working on its own voice assistant tech at its top-secret Google X Lab for some time. So today's report that Google is reportedly speeding up work on its own interactive assistant will make for interesting, if unsurprising reading.

Near the end of a The Wall Street Journal article examining the state of the smartphone ecosystem is the news that Google is "accelerating plans to launch its own Siri competitor" for Android devices. The WSJ reports that, naturally, Google's assistant would work on Android devices, citing "people familiar with the matter."

While major mobile platforms borrowing each others' features is to be expected (hey there, S Voice), rumors surrounding Google's "Assistant" project have hinted at more than a mere aping of Siri's functionality. Google's ultimate goal, it's been reported, is more akin to the Star Trek computer than an app for looking up weather forecasts and setting reminders.

As with all developing Google technologies, there's a chance we may see something of Google's Assistant tech at Google IO next week, however we think this one's probably going to be a slower burn, even if the pace of development has quickened. Perhaps something for Android 5.0 or beyond?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: Did the Microsoft Surface get you interested?

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Microsoft came back to life this evening, at least for a little bit. They showed off their latest idea, namely the Microsoft Surface, and have made a pretty big splash on the Interwebz. It's not quite what we expected from a Windows 8 tablet, but for the most part Microsoft delivered (or will be delivering) what a lot of people were asking for -- some parity between the desktop and mobile. Be sure to read the front page of WPCentral to see all there is to see about the Microsoft Surface.

But is it too little, too late? Let's be honest, Windows Phone 7 looks pretty damn nice. It's still behind the curve in some features, but there's nothing there that we can look at and say, "I understand why it's not selling -- XXX is horrible." People just don't seem to be interested on the same level they are with Android and iOS. Believe it or not, that makes us sad -- a strong third player means the top two have to try harder, and we benefit when they try harder. But today's news was different it seems. People were excited about a Microsoft product again.

So what say you, loyal readers and late-night poll respondents? Did you see anything to get excited about? Tell us in tonight's poll.

Are you interested in Microsoft's new Surface tablet?

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3 years ago

ZTE announce the Grand X LTE (T82) bound for Asia Pacific and Europe

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Since making the decision to sell its own brand smartphone as opposed to unbranded ones for carriers, ZTE has been making huge headway. This latest offering, the Grand X LTE (T82) is the companies first single chip LTE smartphone and could well go down a storm in certain markets.

Specs wise the Grand X LTE is pretty impressive, sporting a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, an 8 megapixel rear camera, capable of shooting and playing back video in full 1080p HD and a front camera with 720p powers. It's 1900 mAp battery is said to be 'large capacity' by ZTE, however I come from the UK and unfortunately we are still lacking LTE technology here so whether this will get you through the day I have no idea.

ZTE smartphones tend to be very reasonably priced here in the UK. I wonder if things will be so keen in Asia and the rest of Europe?

You can see the full press release below:

Source: ZTE

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3 years ago

Microsoft announces the Surface tablet [the competition]

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Steve Ballmer and company announced the Microsoft Surface, a 10.6-inch 1.5 pound Windows 8 tablet, this evening in Los Angeles. Complete with a kickstand, and a Transformer-esque "cover" with a magnetic docking system and a tactile keyboard. We'll have to admit -- it's intriguing. It's also coming at a time when Microsoft is floundering in the mobile space with their smartphone offerings, and needs to hit one out of the park. 

The hardware comes from Microsoft themselves, who made a big to-do about controlling both the hardware and the software of the Surface, and that's going to compete with their long-time partners like Samsung and HP, and more directly ASUS -- who has a knack for building great convergent tablet/laptop devices.. We're pretty certain we'll see similar models from other OEM's in the near future, but tonight was all about Microsoft. 

What's probably most interesting is the fact that you'll be able to use the same full-featured programs you use today on a Windows computer on the Surface. That's a big deal, and gives this one some potential that more mobile-oriented tablets from Apple and Android OEM's simply lack. The Surface is more of a laptop competitor than a tablet competitor, and may force others to up the specs to keep in the running. Give me a tablet I can use to draw diagrams and schematics (or other "heavy" work) and I'm going to look twice. How about you? See anything here that grabs your eye? Hit the source links for more information, and there's a video after the break. Of course you'll find out everything you need to know about Microsoft's new gear at WPCentral

Source: Microsoft

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3 years ago

Bluetooth quality, SGS III shipping [From the Forums]

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Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

Contest: Win 1 of 10 iBolt Car Docks for the EVO 4G LTE and HTC One X this week!

Got a shiny new HTC EVO 4G LTE or HTC One X and looking for a car dock to make travel more fun and efficient this summer? Look no further than the iBOLT Car Dock. (Like the one above with the HTC One X.) When driving, the Car Dock keeps your phone charged and in a secure and easy to view position. Signal for both cell phone reception and GPS are optimized when phone is placed inside the windshield area. Use with your preferred Bluetooth hands-free solution for a complete hands-free driving experience. The phone will will automatically switch to the Car Panel view when inserted, allowing quick access to Contacts, GPS Navigation, stored Music or any App. The Dock is designed to be compatible with most cases, simply remove the top insert. With an open back video can be recorded while driving.

Features include:

  • Charges HTC EVO 4G LTE or One X while docked
  • Adapter plates to fit a case or extended battery
  • Camera view open while mounted
  • Sturdy vehicle mount
  • Specifically for HTC EVO 4G LTE or One X
  • Vibration free
  • Micro-USB charging port
  • Charging cable NOT included

The iBOLT Car Dock is available from ShopAndroid for $39.95, but this week we have a special treat. Ten lucky Android Central readers will get to speed away with a free car dock from iBOLT and ShopAndroid! All you have to do to enter is head over to the contest thread at the link below and leave a comment. We're going to pick 2 winners from each day's entries so you can enter up to 5 times (once per week day this week). Please don't enter more than once per day. We'll announce the winners next Monday with the rest of the week's contest winners. Good luck!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD hands-on and initial review

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When I first opened the box for the LG Optimus 4X HD, the words "wow" came out of my mouth. It's 4.7-inches of sexy, iconic LG style, in white, and that's a good way to get me hooked. We had an earlier look at the 4X HD at CES in 'Nawlins, and walked away impressed with what LG was showing us with both the new hardware and software. The 4X HD is a beauty, and built like a tank. 

The specs are at the top of the heap, with it's 4.7-inch IPS HD display at 720p (and it's stunning), a Tegra 3 and 1GB of RAM under the hood, NFC, Gorilla Glass, removable 2150 mAh battery, and micro SD card slot. It rivals the HTC One X in the screen quality department, and at this early stage I'm not sure which is better -- they are both that good. The software's no slouch either, with Android 4.0.3 and LG's newest iteration of the Optimus UI, which is a vast improvement from what we've seen with older models.

What really got me excited was in the settings. We see many really cool phones from players like LG, that are destined never to come to the United States. While we can't say for sure that we'll see this one on our side of the pond, we can say LG has built US English into the firmware. That means it is ready to go with a dictionary, display language, date, time, currency, everything is set up for use inside the US. That's something we don't usually see in phones solely for Europe or Asia, and I think it's a good sign.

I'm going to give the 4X HD a run for a bit and let you know what I think after it's all said and done. In the meantime, hit the break for some video and pictures.

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3 years ago

Spotify receives mystery update, landscape view still not on the horizon

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The newly revamped Spotify app got itself a mystery update today, but one thing that isn't included, is the missing landscape view. When changelogs don't get updated, we can usually take it as being a bug and or security fix update, both of which are welcomed. 

One thing we know that a lot of you don't like about the vastly improved application though, is the strange lack of a landscape view. The old version had it, and while alarm bells rang when the preview version dropped, as that was only a preview we had to give Spotify the benefit of the doubt. 

Knowing that it's a big deal for a lot of folks -- tablet users especially -- we approached Spotify to see if we could get anything from them on the matter. And, we did. It probably isn't going to please those of you who are already frustrated with it though; 

"We have had a lot of interest in landscape mode for the new Android version however, I am not able to say if or when landscape mode might be available on Android again."

So, that doesn't absolutely rule it out, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be much of an issue to them. Why it is missing in the first place, remains a mystery. 

To grab the latest version of the app, head on over to the Google Play Store now. 

Download: Spotify for Android

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3 years ago

Official version of VLC for Android almost ready for launch?

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We've known that a version of VLC has been in active development for some time -- read a long time -- now. There are plenty of unofficial alpha builds out and about, but until now word on the official version is that it is "in development." A post today on the developers Twitter account however, might suggest that said development time is almost over. 

Posting in the small hours on the official VideoLAN twitter account, it simply reads "Android, here we come!" Nothing more, but it would suggest that an official build of the hugely popular, play anything, media player might finally be not be too far away. 

via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Vais Technology bringing major Android integration to car Toyota, Lexus stereos

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Vais Technology is a name synonymous with OEM car stereo integration. And coming this fall, it'll be bringing some major Android integration to the factory nav screen for Toyota and Lexus vehicles. As you see in the video above, you get a relatively traditional Android experience on what looks to be a pretty crisp display. 

Vais' unit is about 5 by 4 by 1 inches and connects to the back of the radio of Lexus models from 2006-12, and 2006-09 Toyotas. (Those year models are the ones with the compatible with the high-res screens, Vias tells us.) The whole deal will run about $600.

Any takers out there for what looks to be a pretty sweet Android ride?

More: Vais Technology; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Griffin stylus review

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The Grifin stylus  is a no-nonsense approach to a capacitive stylus.

The Griffin stylus is a no-nonsense, sort of bare bones stylus.  It does nothing in a spectacular fashion, yet is does everything “good enough” for most users. It feels like a short ballpoint pen, it has a nice pen clip and a spongy silicon tip.

Apps like Sketchbook Mobile, Note Everything and Handwrite will be used to judge the overall qualities of the stylus.

Read on for our full Griffin stylus review!

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3 years ago

CrackBerry Kevin World Tour: What's the best Twitter app?

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The Mobile Nations World Tour is in full force and my crash course month on Android continues. One thing I've quickly come to realize is that Android = Options. In some cases, too many options. There's just not enough time in the day to try *everything* out.

I have put a lot of time in to using every Android keyboard I can get a hold of to figure out which one is best for a traditional two-thumb BlackBerry typist like myself (more on that later), but when it comes to Twitter apps, I'm going to take the shortcut and ask for Android Central's advice. The other week I posed the question what accessories I should buy for my Android phone? and I got an awesome response from the community. I'm sure the same will be true in regards to apps for the twitter.

I've installed a couple of Android twitter clients so far -- I've noticed each has some pros and cons -- but there are a ton of options in the Google Play Store. So I want to know... what's your favorite twitter app? Post your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to say why it's your favorite. You'll be helping not only me here, but other Android users too. Sound off!

Oh, and if you want to see which twitter app I end up going with, be sure to follow me on twitter at @crackberrykevin. Hmm.. maybe for this month I should change my handle to @candroidkevin. That sort of has a nice ring to it.

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