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3 years ago

Nexus 7 Swiftkey Voice Typing, Who said the Nexus can't take good photos? [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.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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3 years ago

Google Maps update brings improvements to Transit information

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Google Maps for Android has received a boost to version 6.10 today, bringing some pretty interesting improvments to the transit information in particular. In addition, Google is now boasting schedules for more than 1 million transit stops across the globe in nearly 500 cities. Impressive. 

The update brings some changes to the transit layer within the application. Now, a specific mode of public transport can be selected, and the others will be hidden. So, if you catch a lot of trains bus rarely use a bus, you can isolate the train routes and get rid of the buses. 

Station pages have also been tweaked to be more useful. They're accessed in the same way -- a simple tap -- but will show departure times, destination distances and lines serving that station. 

In addition to the transit improvements, the following features have also been squeezed in for good measure:

  • Now, whenever you search for a city or postal code, the borders of that region are highlighted.
  • Under My Places you’ll notice we’ve added new tabs, which will help you access all your information from a single place; from your saved maps for use offline to your starred places and Custom Maps created on your desktop.
  • If you enable Location History, you’ll be able to browse the places you’ve been on a daily basis with an updated Location History dashboard.

It's been said so many times before, but if you're an Android user, Google Maps is an essential application. 

More: Google Lat Long Blog

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3 years ago

The Verizon Galaxy S3 secure bootloader is no longer an issue

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It appears that a leaked unsecure bootloader for the Verizon Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) has lead to a hack that allows the bootloader on the retail version to be replaced. In a nutshell, this means that developers can now build custom kernels and flash them via Odin, and nobody will need (or want) to buy the developer model when it comes out.

Right now, I would recommend that the average user just sit back and watch. Let some developers worry about versions and wait for the first person to put it to good use -- which will probably be soon. I just wanted to pass the news along, as I know there's a few of you out there that have been waiting. For more details, hit the source link below. Happy hacking!

Source: XDA-Developers

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3 years ago

What the 'death' of Flash means for Android and the web

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Now that Adobe has dropped Flash for Android, it's worth a look to see how this will change things and what direction we may be headed. Of course, you can still sideload an older version, but that's far from an end-game solution. We're all thinking that Adobe has something in mind, but let's focus on the current state of Flash -- both on the web and in applications.

Contrary to what you might have read today, Flash is far from dead. Only the ability to see it in our stock browser on Android. Adobe still supports Flash on Windows and Mac OS X, and Google's Chrome is pushing it forward for Linux. Flash is alive and well on the desktop, and will probably remain that way for a long while. You might be asking why -- that's a reasonable question. Adobe made it really easy to create Flash content, that's why. The tools to build Flash files were fairly expensive, but as easy to use as a standard video editor. Professionals could tweak it and do wonderful things, but more importantly anyone could dump a few things together and create Flash content. When something is that easy, people will use it. And the cost was easily mitigated by about a million torrents of the software.

We don't know how long Adobe plans to support Flash on the desktop, but the content won't be going away any time soon. HTML 5 does a great job at some things, but it needs a company like Adobe to step in and build tools to allow the average Joe (or Jane) to do anything with it. You can bet Adobe has some ideas here -- making the tools used to create content is what they do best. As more developers use HTML 5, and companies start making it easier for non-techies to use, it will grow in popularity. That's a good thing. A thing we want to happen, and it will. 

Right now, there are plenty of games and other interactive media on the web that uses Flash. Slowly, that will transmute into HTML 5 content, but what about the immediate future? Eventually sideloading an old version of Flash will stop working, and we will still want to see and play with the content that's already published. That's where Adobe Air comes in. There's a good chance you're already using Adobe Air on both the desktop and on your Android device, and don't realize it. Air is a way to build Flash-style content into an application and run it independently of the browser or any install of the Flash player app. Programs on your computer like TweetDeck use Adobe Air (or the Flash enabled Chrome version). On Android, apps like Photoshop Touch integrate Adobe Air. It's fairly simple for developers to use Air to build an Android app around Flash content, and as we've seen, easy is what drives development. Developers can take their Flash content, and using Air and the right tools, create a stand alone app for Android. We expect them to do just that.

Sideload Flash, and install Adobe Air from Google Play. Enjoy the current content as long as you can, and trust that things will work themselves out. They usually do.

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3 years ago

Samsung: 10 million Galaxy Notes sold worldwide

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We were on the ground at Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 launch event earlier today, where the company briefly announced that it's sold more than 10 million Galaxy Note smartphones worldwide. The original Note, which made its debut in late October 2011 in Europe before coming to the U.S. in February, was the first 5-plus-inch phone to be met with mainstream success, taking many in the mobile world by surprise.

Samsung surpasses 10 million units sold a little over four months after it hit the 5 million milestone. We imagine the U.S. launches of the Note, combined with continued promotion throughout the recent Olympic Games, were instrumental in pushing the Note over the 10 million mark.

The company is expected to launch a successor to the original Galaxy Note at its pre-IFA press conference on Aug. 29 in Berlin, Germany, with rumors pointing to a larger screen still, and a bump up to a quad-core CPU. We'll be live from Berlin on the 29th, so keep it locked to AC for future Galaxy Note announcements.

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3 years ago

Humble Bundle for Android 3 now up for purchase

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The Humble Bundle for Android 3 has just gone live, bringing five great games to the platform. A donation of your choice gets you Fieldrunners, BIT.TRIP Beat, SpaceChem and Uplink. Donate above the average, which is at $6.06 at the time of writing, and you also unlock a fifth game called Spirits. This really is a tremendous value, especially when taking into account that you receive Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the games for no additional cost.

If you're not familiar with how the Humble Bundle system works, it's a basic "pay what you want" structure. This means that you offer to pay what you feel the games are worth, and on top of that you get to choose what percentage of your donation goes to each of the sources. The great part about the Humble Bundle is the charity aspect, which this time around offers you a choice of donating to Child's Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Interested in getting some great games and donating to charity? Of course you are. Check the video after the break, and head to the source link below to make your donation.

Source: Humble Bundle

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3 years ago

Google+ updated with hangout improvements

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The newly redesigned Google+ app for Android just keeps getting better. This most recent update brings improvements to hangouts, allowing younger users to initiate them and all users to watch hangouts on air. Most notable when you first open the newly update app, you will see a grey bar at the top of the window with sharing options. This is a welcome addition that saves you that one extra tap when you want to share a post.

In addition, the new version has floating timestamps in photo view. For those of you getting frustrated with spam in the new "events" feature, the ability to report abuse straight from the app has been added as well. We've got a couple screenshots of the new UI after the break, and you can follow the Play Store link above to grab the update for yourself.

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3 years ago

Verizon enabling 34 new markets with 4G LTE tomorrow, expanding 38 others

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In what has become typical fashion, Verizon announced today that they will be flipping the 4G LTE switch tomorrow, August 16th, in 34 new markets while expanding coverage across 38 others. To give Verizon their due credit, their 4G LTE rollout now covers more than 75 percent of the U.S. population making their grand total of areas covered beyond 370 markets.  Looking for the full list to see if you'll be getting covered with that glorious 4G LTE goodness? Full list is below.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 spotted running official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Rumors have been circulating over the past couple of weeks suggesting Samsung’s hard at work on a Jelly Bean update for the (international) Galaxy S3, and that release is slated for late August or early September. Today we have the first indication of what this new software version might actually look like, as video footage of Android 4.1 on the S3 has leaked out from Mexican site AndroidMX.

The video shows exactly what we’d expect Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S3 to look like -- you’ve still got all your TouchWiz customizations there, and that’s still 90 percent of what you’ll see in normal operation. However, fancy new Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification area are present and accounted for.

As for speed, the S3 looks fast on Android 4.1, but then it’s pretty speedy on ICS, too, so that’s nothing new.

Regardless of how much new stuff there ends up being in this update, international Galaxy S3 owners will be hoping that the rumors of a release in the next month or so turn out to be true. We’ll certainly be crossing our fingers.

Source: YouTube, via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

London 2012 Paralympics official UK app available now

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The British public is still on a high following the resounding success of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The action isn't over though, as after a 2 week break we have the 2012 London Paralympic Games to look forward too. Tickets have been going like hotcakes, and many will be left disappointed at being unable to attend the events. Fear not though, as with the main games, an official app is here to keep you in the know. 

The Paralympics are not being broadcast in the UK by BBC as the main games were, so their Olympic app won't be of much use. Instead, Channel 4 is the official Paralympic Broadcaster, and as such has released their own official Paralympics application. All the expected is contained within, a live text stream, medals table, results, news etc. Apart from the news and photos, the app is pretty redundant at the moment. But, come Aug 29 when the games begin, the various sections will start lighting up. 

Oh, and unlike the BBC Olympics app, this has no troubles with tablets. We've tried it out with a Nexus 7 and it works just fine. 

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3 years ago

How to manually install Adobe Flash Player on your Android device

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​New devices will soon be unable to get Adobe Flash from Google Play. Here's how to install it manually.

From today, for some new devices, Adobe Flash Player will no longer be available from Google Play, marking the end of Flash’s brief flirtation with Android. That means if you want to get hold of Flash on an Android device that doesn't ship with it, you’ll need to resort to a little bit of trickery. Fortunately, though, it’s pretty easy to get Flash up and running manually, assuming you understand the risks.

Join us after the break to find out how to manually install a legacy version of Adobe Flash Player on your Android phone or tablet.

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3 years ago

HTC CEO tells staff 'kill bureaucracy,' improve communication, be more decisive

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It’s no secret that 2012 hasn’t been kind to HTC. Despite releasing strong products as part of its HTC One line earlier in the year, the improvement in the HTC’s smartphones hasn’t been reflected in the company’s financial results. The Taiwanese manufacturer recently reported 45 percent year-on-year fall in revenues for July, and the second quarter picture was similarly grim.

As such, CEO Peter Chou recently emailed employees, HTC Chairwoman Cher Wang and the company’s board of directors calling for a change in HTC’s inner workings. The internal email, leaked to Bloomberg and confirmed as authentic by an HTC spokesperson, calls for staffers to kill the “bureaucracy” that “crept in without clear ownership.” Chou said, “We agreed to do something but we either didn’t do it or executed it loosely.”

In the Aug. 9 email, the HTC boss also bemoaned the fact that HTC’s sales were sliding, while the overall smartphone market was going. And in possible reference to Samsung and Apple, he added “our competitors can leverage their scale, brand awareness and big marketing budget to do things which HTC could not do. The fast growth from the last two years has slowed us down.”

Chou noted that HTC needed to “build on its culture, ‘committed’ employees and customer relationships,” according to Bloomberg. On products, he praised the HTC One X, saying it had “the industry’s best rating,” and revealing, without going into specifics, that more strong products were in the pipeline for late 2012 and early 2013.

The company will be likely hoping that its rumored refresh of the One X, in addition to its Windows Phone efforts and possibly an upcoming 5-inch phone will help to reverse its fortunes later this year.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Kyocera Rise will be available in Sprint stores starting August 19 for only $19

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The Kyocera Rise will be available on Sprint starting August 19 for only $19, and on August 31 on Virgin Mobile for $99, it has been announced.

The Rise was first announced at CTIA -- a 3.5-inch Android phone that was clearly designed as an entry-level device. Featuring a 3.5-inch HVGA display, a 3.2 MP camera, 1GHz processor and powered by a 1500mAh battery, the specs are reasonable though nothing outstanding. One key feature on the Kyocera Rise is the inclusion of Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, making for an improved user experience over the Gingerbread-based ROMs on man entry-level phones.

For more on the phone, be sure to check out our full hands-on preview.

Source:  Sprint

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3 years ago

Photoshop Touch to come preloaded on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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If you hadn't already noticed, we're live at the launch event for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. With the new tablet being very much an ideal candidate for photo editing, it makes sense that Samsung have teamed up with Adobe Systems and have included Photoshop Touch preloaded on the device.

For those of us that either cannot afford the PC/Mac version, or those just looking for an app to play around with the Note 10.1's bundled S Pen, this is the perfect opportunity to do so without having to spend hard earned cash on the app.

The full feature list boasts some impressive capabilities -- 

  • Use Photoshop features designed for the tablet such as layers, selection tools, adjustments, and filters to create mind-blowing images.
  • Use your tablet camera to fill an area on a layer with the unique camera fill feature.
  • Select part of an image to extract by scribbling with the Scribble Selection tool. With Refine Edge, use your fingertip to capture even hard-to-select image elements, like hair, with ease.
  • Search and acquire images with the integrated Google Image Search.
  • Share images on Facebook and view comments right within the app.
  • Browse an inspirational gallery for the styles and results you'd like to achieve. Then follow step-by-step tutorials to easily learn techniques the pros use for great-looking results.
  • Sync projects with Adobe Creative Cloud* and open layered files from Adobe Photoshop Touch in Photoshop CS5 or higher.
  • Free membership to Creative Cloud gives you 2GB of cloud storage plus the ability to sync between tablet and desktop, access files from the web, and easily share with others. Learn more at http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud

We're sure this is one of the first apps new Note 10.1 owners will look to try out, so kudos to Samsung and Adobe for making it happen.

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3 years ago

Swiftkey update brings new summer themes, voice typing and bug fixes

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Swiftkey, one of the most popular Android keyboard replacements available, has released yet another great update for us to all enjoy. One of the most notable changes is the inclusion of two new visual styles, Sky (blue) and Fuchsia (pink), which the SwiftKey team is calling summer themes.

In addition to these visual changes, they have also added the ability to long press the comma key in order to launch dictation, for those who like to tap and talk. This update will also include support for Malay and Urdu, bringing the language count up to 44, which is pretty huge. Beyond these changes they have fixed a slew of bugs, made the experience better while using SwiftKey in Chrome, Google Talk, and many other applications.

If you're a current SwiftKey user be sure to grab the update today, and if you are not currently using it hop into Google Play and download it today!

Source: Swiftkey

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