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4 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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It's no joke -- the Android Central Podcast did, in fact, invade many a listener's ears over the weekend. If you haven't caught it yet (we'll excuse you this time, holiday weekend and all), you missed some not-so-serious talk about the Nexus 4's updated design, T-Mobile's new "UnCarrier" plans, and even more Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

The Android Central Podcast is your weekly peek into the world of Android, where we break down the news that really matters, and explain what's just a bunch of hype. Plus, we answer your e-mails and voicemails. You don't want to miss it. Check out the Android Central Podcast.

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4 years ago

More April Fools' with Google+ photos and +Emotion

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Google pranks with a feature many users would love to have -- automatically adding emoticons to Google+ photos

Google just won't stop with the April Fools' stunts, and this one got more than a few people to fall for it -- an algorithm that automatically adds the right emoticon to a Google+ photo based on the facial expressions of the people in it. Dubbed +Emotion, it's said to "plumb the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then summarize their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon" with the click of a button.

Of course, there is no such button, but folks commenting on the Google+ posting sure seem to want it, and were sufficiently fooled. We cant blame them, it certainly sounds like something Google could -- and would -- implement. 

We're used to Google pulling a bit of April Fools' silliness, but this year they seem to have kicked things into high gear. With 24 more hours to go, we expect to see more before it's all over.

See also: 

Source: +Erik Murphy-Chutorian

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4 years ago

Introducing The YouTube Collection - the entire YouTube catalog, offline

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Google rolls out a 2012 gag for another April Fools' Day go

Tired of missing out on that latest viral video because you're stuck offline, shackled deep in a dungeon, with nary a bit to bite? Jonesing for that latest Taylor Swift video but you've got not signal to sync up the singer? Well worry no more. Because with The YouTube Collection, you can take the entire freaking YouTube catalog with you in your choice of resolutions -- offline!

That's right. Get your Gangnam Style at 240p. Catch cats at 480p. For the more discerning crowd, hit up high-definition videos at 720p and full 1080p.

So, yeah. YouTube might be shutting down until 2023 (not really), but now you can take it with you, for the low, low price of putting up with yet another April Fools' Day post! (And what's more -- this one is from 2012, but Google's got it on the YouTube homepage again this year.)

Want every cooking lesson ever uploaded? They can be yours for just 34,410 discs and $131,656, plus $59,302 in shipping and handling. Shit people say? That'll be a mere 90,000 discs! Need gift-wrapping? No problem! That'll cost just 5 percent extra.

(Also available in video cassette, Laser Disc or Betamax. Additional delivery service charges apply. Shipping by freigh vessel also available.)

Here's how to order! (Thanks, Marcch!)

See also:

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4 years ago

Google still isn't done with the April Fools' shenanigans - introducing Gmail Blue

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It's Gmail, only bluer!

Determined to make bloggers miss the season three premiere of Game of Thrones, Google has released yet another April Fools' spoof -- Gmail Blue. It's everything you expect from Gmail -- rich text, attachments, threaded conversations, with a bunch more blue!

Hit the break for the video, and the source link for all there is to know. Can it be Tuesday already?

Source: Gmail blog

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4 years ago

Google Nose is Mountain View's third April Fools' joke

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Google says 'smelling is believing' but this one certainly smells a bit fishy

Google still isn't finished with the April Fools' shenanigans, and the announcement of Google Nose may be the silliest one yet. Billing it as "the new scentsation in search", the website lists a full set of features:

  • Your internet sommelier: expertly curated Knowledge Panels pair images, descriptions, and aromas.
  • Take a wiff: the Google Aromabase - 15M+ scentibytes.
  • Don't ask, don't smell: For when you're wary of your query - SafeSearch included.
  • Street Sense vehicles have inhaled and indexed millions of atmospheric miles.
  • Android Ambient Odor Detection collects smells via the world's most sensible mobile operating system.
  • SMELLCD™ 1.8+ high-resolution compatible for precise and controlled odors.

We've seen the "end" of Youtube, a pirate's map, and now smell-o-vision for your smartphone. Something tells me that Google isn't done yet. Hit the break to see the product video with the technical description of how it all works (yes, Google goes all-in for April Fools' pranks!) and visit the source link to try it out for yourself. Hopefully, you'll have better luck than I did -- everything smells like that turkey sandwich I was holding.

Source: Google. Via: ‏@Dr_Mcq

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: We're going to Facebook - but first, a few questions

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So we'll be at Facebook HQ on Thursday morning to find out about its "New home in Mobile." I've seen countless headlines (mostly rewrites of what probably are controlled leaks) full of possible answers about what we'll see on Thursday morning.

We'll be there, of course, to check it out. Liveblogs are inevitable, but Facebook should be streaming it live, if history repeats.

I don't have answers. But I do have a few questions. Will they be answered on Thursday? Or will we leave California once again asking "Why, Facebook? Why?"

A few thoughts worth exploring ...

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4 years ago

Arrrrrgh - there be booty buried somewhere in this Google Treasure Map

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The end of YouTube is just the start of Google's April Fool's Day 2013 fun. Up next we've got Google Treasure Maps. It's, ummm, Google Maps done up treasure-map style, having been scanned from William "Captain" Kidd's lost maps. 

There're are more than a few easter eggs in this one, and the whole thing is one big puzzle. The San Francisco Bay Area is a good place to start, but they're spread out globally as well. 

Explains Google:

When Dr. Marco Meniketti, an independent archaeologist, confirmed that this was Captain Kidd’s 315 year-old map, we were very excited. However, as seen in the video, the map contains a variety of encrypted symbols and is not readily decipherable. We need your help to decipher these symbols and find Captain Kidd’s treasures; therefore we’ve decided to digitize the map and make it accessible to everyone.

Just head to Google Maps on the desktop (doesn't look like there's a mobile end; Google shows something in the video, but, well, watch the rest of the video) and start scouting around.

We've got the Google Treasure Map video after the break. Have fun!

Source: Google Lat Long blog

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4 years ago

Google's 2013 April Fools' gags start with the shutdown of YouTube

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Gotta hand it to Google -- the boys and girls in Mountain View can have some serious fun for April Fools' Day. Each year we get a handful of awesomely funny announcements and videos, including such gems as Google Translate for animals or Google Racing.

Google's getting started a day early this year. This morning it posted a video to YouTube announcing that it's received enough entries to finally pick the best video, and that YouTube will shut down at midnight tonight until 2023, at which time the winner will be announced.

Thanks for all your great entries.
YouTube finally has enough videos to begin selecting a winner.
What do you think is the #bestvideo on YouTube?

We've been thrilled with all of the diverse, creative entries we've seen so far, and we can't wait to begin the process of selecting the best video. We'll be announcing the winner in 10 years. 

The cameos are worth watching as well. Antoine Dodson as a judge? Of course. Taking a shot at unboxings? Love it. iJustine, Rafi Fine. David from "David after Dentist" fame. Awesomesauce.

Check out the video after the break, and get ready for more from Google on Monday.

More Google April Fools 2013 gags:

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4 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G getting an Easter update

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A quick heads up for you owners of the AT&T LG Optimus G -- there's a software update rolling out today. As reported in our Optimus G Fourms, you'll still be on Android 4.0.4 (build IMM76L), and you'll now have software version E97011c. Other than that, we can't quite tell you what's changed. 

So the wait continues for some Jelly Bean love for the AT&T Optimus G, but some update is better than no update. 

We've got the updated about screen after the break should you deem it worth a gander.

Thanks, Tim!

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's new plans: Ten frequently asked questions

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T-Mobile just dropped one helluva big change on us, completely redesigning its plans and how it sells devices.

No matter how simple they are or how you explain them, there are bound to be questions left unanswered. We've been keeping an eye on the burning questions people are having regarding the changes, and done our best to answer them below. We implore you to first take a look at our full set of announcement posts from Tuesday, where we break down the gritty details of the different plans, as well as some device announcements and other details:

Still curious to know a little more about T-Mobile's new rate plans? Hang around after the break and see if we can clarify a few things.

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4 years ago

Checking out Havok's Project Anarchy at GDC 2013

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Though Project Anarchy may be free, it looks like all a mobile game dev could need

One of the more interesting bits of mobile news at GDC 2013 was Havok's announcement of a free version of their well-established 3D engine. For those unfamiliar, Havok is the backbone of such AAA titles as Skyrim, Black Ops 2, L.A. Noire, and many more. We had to swing by their booth to see just how well it performed. Project Anarchy handles a wide range of graphical tasks extremely well, but it also has an AI, physics, and animation engine, allowing developers to make a fully-realized game with just a few tweaks to the demo apps included. 

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4 years ago

Rymdkapsel bringing minimalist strategy to PlayStation-certified devices

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Build a base with Tetris blocks, but don't get too far - those pesky red lines are out to get you

A hidden gem at GDC 2013 was tucked away at the PlayStation booth called Rymdkapsel. This is a minimalistic strategy game with some Tetris-style base expansion mechanics. Players have to collect resources, research new technologies, and defend themselves against the occasional wave of attackers. 

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4 years ago

HTC Droid DNA retired?

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Has the HTC Droid DNA been given its gold watch and sent packing? Verizon CS says yes, and it's no longer listed for sale

Update: And ... it's back on Verizon's site. Take that to mean whatever you want.

Original: A reader sent in a pretty interesting screenshot, accompanied by some equally interesting information about the HTC Droid DNA. According to Verizon customer service, the DNA is now officially retired. The screenshot of chat with a CS (you can find it after the break) actually uses the word retired, and subsequent inquiries led to a statement from Verizon saying "HTC halted production in efforts to push out an upcoming project on the horizon".

Now normally, we would place little to no faith in the words of an online chat with customer care from any provider. We're not judging, they have a difficult job and get way more harassment than anyone deserves. But after hearing about this, we went looking on Verizon's website, and found that the DNA is nowhere to be seen. You can't buy one from Big Red. Verizon loves to take our money, so there must be a reason they don't want to sell us a Droid DNA.

Now consider the on and off rumors about the HTC One coming to Verizon. We're pretty sure that you'll never be able to buy an "HTC One" for use on Verizon. But ask us if you'll be able to buy a premium HTC device with Sense 5, the new camera, Boomsound, a kick-ass display, and all the other goodies that come with the HTC One and our answer would be different. Don't let semantics like official names fool you. We're pretty confident that something very close to the HTC One is "on the horizon" for Verizon Wireless.

We never pretend that we know what goes on inside the minds of carrier corporate executives. We certainly question many of their decisions, but we're not at the meetings and don't have access to the data they use when they decide things like which phones to sell, and when to stop selling them. And of course, all this could be wrong and the DNA is simply out of stock for a while. We're just going to keep watching this, and when it all works out, we'll let you know.

Thanks, Robert!

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Collapse! Blast, Touch Control, Game of Thrones Companion and more!

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It's the last "Apps of the Week" post for the month of March, and we're going to make it a worthwhile one.

As usual, we're bringing you a collection of apps directly from the Android Central writers -- ones that stay on our devices as the go-to apps. This week we have a couple of games, a few utilities (as usual) and a couple of odds and ends to keep things fresh.

Hang around with us after the break and see how this week's picks stack up with he rest.

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