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4 years ago

Google Play Music introduces labs features: Desktop notifications, HTML5 audio and 5-Star ratings

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Google has long since been known as a company that enjoys placing some not quite complete features on a few of their products out there to mix things up. Those items usually fall under a beta or "labs" moniker and that's exactly what they've done with Google Play Music now. While most of use are making use of Google Play Music through the Android app Google offers, there are a number of folks who also like to use it on the desktop as well and for those folks Google has introduced:

  • Desktop Notifications - Find out what's playing without having to switch back to your Google Music tab. A notification will appear at the start of each song with the song title, artist name, album title, and album cover. This lab only works in the Chrome browser.
  • HTML5 Audio - Listen to your music without the need for Flash. Works in all browsers that support MP3 playback with HTML5 audio: Chrome, Safari 3.1+, and IE 9+.
  • 5-Star Ratings - Rate songs on a 5-star scale rather than thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

With Google making changes to Google Play Music for desktop users, we kind of have to wonder if they're also going to working on labs for their mobile version as well. Can you all think of any features you'd like to see added that would be of use? Sound off in the comments.

Source: Engadget

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4 years ago

DroidDoodle: Project Glass tests are going just fine, thank you

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4 years ago

Grab an unlocked Tegra 3 model HTC One X from Daily Steals

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We usually don't worry too awful much about the various people importing and hawking unlocked phones on the Internet, but sometimes things just need passed along. The deals site Daily Steals has the unlocked, Tegra 3 version of the HTC One X up for sale, and if you want to part with $630, you can get your hands on the world version. We're not going to get in the middle of the debate over which version is best, and chances are the average user would see zero difference between the two, just know that it's very possible the only way to get the quad-core version is to import one.

Note that this won't have 3G/4G (or 11G) of any sort on T-Mobile (it lacks the 1700MHz band) unless you live in one of those freakish areas where T-Mo also transmits on AT&T's frequencies. And it also lacks network optimizations for AT&T, but for the most part it will work just fine. If seeing how smitten Phil and Alex are with theirs makes you want one of your own, here's your chance.

Source: Daily Steals

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Disabling HTC apps on Sense 4.0 probably isn't a very good idea

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One of the things folks really (really) like about Android 4.0 is the way you can disable system applications from the settings menu. It doesn't delete them, but it does keep them quiet and out of the way while perusing the app drawer. Anything that gives more control to the user is a good thing, and we're just as glad to see it as you guys are. Adios, City ID!

But for some apps, it makes very little Sense (pun intended, tip your waitress, try the veal) to try to zap them away -- especially core components of the operating system. HTC Sense 4.0, at least the software versions floating around of the One X and One S review units, has a couple listings that make you just want to try it. There's an entry called "phone" and an entry called "dialer". There's also two separate contacts apps listed, one is a measly 8k and the other is a measly 28k. Don't disable any of these unless you're sure about what you're doing. If you disable one of the contacts apps, your dialer and phone app stop working. If you disable the other, the whole phone UI resets. If you disable either the phone or dialer apk, let's just say that the debugger goes hawg wild (as opposed to normal hog wild) and things get a little wonky.

We're sure there's a rhyme and reason to what's going on with duplicate apps, and we have our guesses. But until devices ship with final software to folks who can take the time to look at them and play a bit, we're going to go on record and say don't disable the core Sense apps. Android hackers will soon build a list of what's safe to disable or delete, and what isn't. For now, if you've lain your hands on one of these beauties, enjoy it as-is. We are!

Discuss in the Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich factory images now available for the Sprint Nexus S 4G

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A few days back, Sprint announced the update to Ice Cream Sandwich was ready to go, and today Jean-Baptiste Queru (the AOSP guru at Google) has announced that the sojus factory images are available as well, bringing the Nexus S 4G up-to-date with the GSM versions.

These aren't files to update your phone. On the contrary, they are there to restore your phone back to stock if you've knocked it out of whack whilst fooling with it. As JBQ recommends, if you're running a stock version of Gingerbread on your NS4G, just wait for the OTA -- it's coming. But if you're the adventurous type, you could use these images to get your NS4G to the exact state it would be if all OTA updates were applied -- ICS IMM76D. It takes a bit of keyboard wizardry while in Fastboot, and it will wipe everything. Know this going in.

No matter which way you're going to roll with it, you'll find all the help a person could ever want in the Nexus S 4G forums. High-tail it in there and join in the frenzy.

Source: +Jean-Baptiste Queru; Google

Nexus S 4G forums

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4 years ago

Internal calendar, big green arrow point to T-Mobile's HTC One S launching April 25

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It looks like T-Mobile's gonna roll out its HTC One S on April 25 -- at least according to this leaked internal screen shot and big green arrow. The timing's as good as anything, we suppose, and trust us when we say you TMo fans are going to want this in your hands sooner rather than later. It's a little slice of sexy.

But T-Mobile employees aren't the only ones getting their learn on. We're running our own HTC One S clinic in our aptly named HTC One S forums. Come on in, sit down, and ask away.

Source: TMo News

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4 years ago

Tumblr for Android gets overhauled with a new UI, better photo browsing and more

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Use Tumblr for your blogging services? If so, you'll want to fire up the Google Play Store and grab the latest update available. This release brings a whole new UI to the app as well many other improvements that have sorely been needed:

  • More responsive, faster-loading dashboard and blogs
  • Better photo browsing
  • Notifications for multiple blogs live in one place
  • Tumblr Radar

Sadly, Tumblr left tablet optimization out of the mix so you'll still have to find other ways to make use of it on any of those devices -- we're sure you all will figure it out though. Either way, it's a worthy update. You can jump past the break for some more screenshots and the download link.

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4 years ago

Battery life on 4.0.4, Removable Batteries [From the Forums]

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For some it's still a holiday today but that hasn't stopped the new from flowing. If you missed out on anything, get yourself caught up here on the blogs and in the Android Central forums.

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

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4 years ago

Wind Mobile Nexus S getting its ICS update OTA (Edit: Videotron, too!)

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Wind customers with a Samsung Nexus S should get ready for the big OTA to Ice Cream Sandwich, as it appears to be rolling out now. AC reader Vic Singh tweeted in to let us know that his Nexus S was updating, and we knew that you guys would want to know. You'll need to be stock, with the stock recovery to accept the update (unlocked boot loaders are OK), and make sure your battery is charged up -- it takes a lot of the precious juice.

We still aren't seeing OTA updates en masse for the AT&T or Sprint versions, but they are in the wild, so keep a look out. When you get it, be sure to holler out so we can pass the good news along!

Edit: jcaplette points out in the comments that Videotron has its OTA rolling out as well.  Appears that all AWS Nexus S phones in North America are getting the update. Sweet!

Source: @vicjsingh

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4 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Vices

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We all have bad habits. I drink entirely too much coffee, and every time I try to cut back (because I know how bad it is for me), I end up back at it again within a week. It's one of my personal vices, and I hate it. But it's also delicious and I love it. As my wife, and my doctor, say -- I'll quit one way or the other.

Enough about my bad habits, this week we want to see yours. No need to be shy, let's see a visual representation of the things you do, that you wish you didn't. It's a great way to have fun, and there's a cool prize in it for a lucky winner -- a Motorola P970 portable charger. It's perfect for those phones with non-removable batteries, and so easy you may just end up using it instead of swapping batteries around. The rules have changed a little bit, so pay attention to this part.

  • Use an Android device to take a picture. Any Android device
  • Submit the picture in the forum thread we have set up for this week, so everyone can see your handiwork. E-mail was swamping us, and not everyone got to see all the entries. This way, we get to see them all. We like seeing it all.
  • Only submit one. We're going to check, and we'll know if you try to game the system.
  • Be sure to tell what device you used, and any effects or filters used on the photo. We can learn from these as well as have fun.
  • Get your picture in by Friday midnight (your local time). We'll pick the winner and the runners-up and throw them on the blog Sunday afternoon.
  • Pictures of vice-grips or bench vices aren't going to win. I'm an Interweb troller from way back. 

Protip: The Android Central forums app is a super-easy way to upload pictures right from your device. Grab it and see for yourself.

Good luck, and get to snapping!

Enter the weekly photo contest

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4 years ago

From the mail bag: Did HTC just out an edge-to-edge device?

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Thunder350 writes,

A beautiful unannounced almost bezel free HTC device has been spotted on HTC's new HTC Sense web page! Is it a future device? Or just HTC teasing us with a beautiful phone we wish we had?

Boy, oh boy, that picture there on HTC's website is gorgeous. It's reminiscent of the old Windows Mobile HD2 (which as you should know was also hacked to run Android pretty well), or maybe even that way early Google phone concept

But, alas, it's not real. HTC (probably chuckling, we imagine), tells us:

While the idea is intriguing, I can assure you that image is intended just to show off the Sense software UI without any device hardware. Sorry, it's not an indication of any future device. :)

Not yet it's not, anyway. :p

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4 years ago

Naked Trailers offers thousands of movie trailers all in one app

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Have you ever sat down and put on an older movie and wondered what the trailer for that movie looked like back in the day? I've done that quite often though, I typically never follow up on the question by looking it up as it means interrupting my movie watching.

Naked Trailers has just been updated in the Google Play Store and it offers a collection of thousands of trailers to view. You get all the latest in theater, coming soon and on DVD options but more importantly it also includes trailers for movies which are currently playing on TV through the Reelz Channel

If you're a movie buff looking for quick access to a broad collection of movie trailers, give it a look, it has movie trailers going back as far as the 1940's and the more popular titles have additional content added such as short clips from the cast, producers and more. It's available for free, download link is past the break.

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4 years ago

Leaving Instagram? Here's how to do it and save all your pictures

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Apparently, Instagram finally making its way to Android was a good business move. At least Facebook thinks so, and they bought out the photo-sharing company for a cool billion dollars. Congrats to all the folks working at Instagram, and I hope you enjoy your stocks and Zuckerbucks! 

But anytime big changes come along, some of us aren't going to be OK with them. Now that Instagram is soon to be under Facebook's control, many are expecting privacy woes and leaving the service for greener pastures. I'm not here to judge -- each of us should do what we feel is right -- I'm only here to help. If you're going to leave Instagram, might as well do it right, and take all your stuff with you.

This is easy. Fire up your computer, and head to Instaport. It's a website whose sole purpose is to suck your pictures out of Instagram, and drop them into another account or save them to your computer hard drive. Follow the instructions, and you'll end up with all your Instagram pics bundled neatly wherever you want to keep them. Fair warning -- they are under some "heavy traffic" right now, so you may have to wait a bit. I got it to work on the third try, but your mileage may vary.

When you're done there, just head over to this link and delete your Instagram account. This way your account is deactivated, but your username still exists so nobody can snatch it up. 

See you guys on Lightbox!

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4 years ago

Android emulator jump-started with GPU support

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Firing up the Android emulator historically has been a lot like going to the DMV, or maybe the pediatrician's office. You can do it, and you'll have something to show for it at the end of the day, but you'd better take the day off work. Point is, that sucker was slow. Notice we're writing in the past tense here, though. Google's just unwrapped an update to the emulator that does a couple things. First and foremost is that GPU support has been added, which gives a much better experience as far as graphic and rendering are concerned. It's night and day. Second is that there's better hardware emulation, and you can now use a tethered device to provide input. Very cool. And finally there's better CPU performance, and operations are performed twice as fast.

What's that mean to most of us? Not a whole hell of a lot. But it will mean happier developers. And that's certainly good for everyone.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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4 years ago

Canabalt HD [Android Game Review]

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There's just something about those simple, one-touch games that I find utterly addictive. Maybe it's the no-nonsense gameplay. Maybe it's the quick pace. Maybe it's the single objective you've got to focus your mind on, like a high intensity laser, but games like this just draw me in.

Canabalt HD is no exception, and for good reason. With a kickin' soundtrack, easy-to-learn (but hard to master) gameplay, and visual effects that are simple yet endearing, this game is the whole package.

The premise is pretty plain: the city is in ruins, everything is falling down, bombs are periodically raining from the sky, and you've got to high tail it out of there as quickly as you can if you want to survive. What's stopping you? Ill-timed jumps (to break through windows) and boxes that are haphazardly strewn about. (Seriously, who left all these boxes here?)

So you tap the screen to jump, and that's about it. Unlike other games of this sort, running into something (like those darn boxes) doesn't automatically mean game over. It does​ mean you're slowed down a bit, and in a situation where every second counts, you'll want to avoid those boxes just like you would in any other game.

The folks who brought this iOS hit over to Android (Kittehface Software), added some neat visual tweaks, like being able to change the background from the original 2D to their updated 3D, and while that doesn't really make or break the gameplay experience, it's still cool to have the option.

If you find yourself becoming a Canabalt HD master, there's also online leaderboards that track who has run the farthest in a single session, so there's totally the chance to gain notoriety and fame by becoming the best Canabalt HD player in the world. (No, really.)

Overall, Canabalt HD is awesome. It gets the adrenaline pumping, the finger twitching, and burns all sorts of free time (and probably time you're supposed to spend on other stuff), so check it out.

Canabalt HD is $2.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

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