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4 years ago

Your guide to Facebook Home

34

So what exactly is Facebook Home? We're going to break it down for you

This may not be the extreme Android forking that some would have expected, but Facebook Home is still a pretty dramatic change to the way you will use your phone. With the installation of just one app, you're faced with what looks on the surface like a completely new operating system. From the main home screens to the app drawer and navigation, Facebook has certainly gone its own way with the design.

And for most users out there, Facebook Home will be their first foray into "custom" launchers -- whether they know what that is or not -- and it's not the easiest concept to understand. Get past understanding technically what it is, and you've still got to explain what it does. So what is Facebook Home? Stick around with us after the break and see if we can help clear things up a little bit.

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4 years ago

What mutant surgery is this Nexus 4 about to undergo?

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Well, would you look at that. Someone went and dissected their Nexus 4

But that's not just any someone. That's Rod Whitby of webOS Internals fame who's taken apart his Nexus 4, with the intent of swapping out the Qi wireless charging for the tried and true, old-school (and now defunct) Palm Touchstone. (As we showed last year, the Nexus 4 and Touchstone are not compatible.)  "Qi charging (or at least the physical implementation of it on current devices) is inferior to Palm Touchstone charging," Whitby wrote recently on Google+.

Nexus 4 wireless charging became a bit of a thing this week when webOS Nation editor -- and like many of us here a multi-platform tinkerer -- expressed his loathing for the Nexus 4's official wireless charging orb. So Whitby, as any good Android hacker should appreciate, is doing something about it. And he's no stranger to this sort of mod, having performed it on the Galaxy Nexus as well as on the Nexus 7.

Will this one be successful? It's going to be a tight fit, Whitby writes. But if anyone can do it, it's him. 

Source: +Rod Whitby

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4 years ago

Ouya details their shipping schedule for early backers of the console project

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All backers still on-track to receive their unit by May 25, one quarter of which will come before the end of April

Ouya founder and CEO Julie Uhrman has sent out a message to the Kickstarter backers of the Ouya console that gives a peek at their projected shipping schedule. We see a sharp uptick today, and another near the end of the month when "larger-scale" weekly shipments are expected.

She also mentions that they have made a tweaks to the process that could shave days off the shipping time. We imagine building, sorting, and shipping out consoles to all the backers is not an easy job. Things can (and often do) go wrong, throwing off projections. Here's hoping everything goes smoothly and backers have their unit in hand soon.

Source: Kickstarter

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4 years ago

How to uninstall Facebook Home from your current phone

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Facebook wants you to use its new Android launcher - but it's also made it easy to get rid of

Want to remove Facebook Home from your phone? Maybe you tried it and it's just not for you? It's OK. It's pretty easy to get Facebook Home off your phone, and it only takes a few seconds.

(In fact, kudos to Facebook for making the process so simple.)

You can safely and easily remove Facebook Home from your current phone without losing anything. The normal Facebook app will still be there. You won't lose any chats, or any of your e-mail or contacts. Removing Facebook Home simply means you're going back to whatever "launcher" (that's the name for the home screens and app drawer on your phone) you were using before.

It's quick and easy, and we'll walk you through it.

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4 years ago

At least one AT&T store is selling the HTC One a bit early

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Officially not for sale until April 19, but some folks are hearing differently -- and one fellow scored his today!

Update: We reached out to AT&T, and can confirm that the official release date is still April 19. 

If you're ready to buy the HTC One from AT&T, you might want to go visit your local store this evening. That's what go3go from the forums did, and he walked out with a shiny new HTC One in silver for his troubles.

Just went in to my local AT&T store to check up on the pre-order deal with the media link since it said it was out of stock online. Was told the pre-order period was last week and the phone was out today. Walked out with a silver 32 gig. Still kind of in shock, since I was convinced it wouldn't be out till next week O_o

It's a kick-ass phone, and we're glad that go3go was able to get his, but we have to wonder -- was the AT&T salesperson a bit confused about which HTC phone was released today, or is this just a quiet early launch? "Officially" the HTC One goes on sale April 19. 

If you dropped in on AT&T and checked, what did you find out? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to congratulate go3go on his score.

Source: HTC One forums

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4 years ago

Upcoming title Arma Tactics makes us want Project Shield even more

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Polish up your battlefield command with Arma Tactics, coming soon to Google Play

We're all patiently waiting for the release of NVIDIA's Project Shield, but seeing things like today's mention of the new game Arma Tactics makes it seem like a long wait. It looks very much like a typical combat squad game on a console or the PC, including the incredible graphics and fine-tuned controls.

You lead your squad through close combat, with random missions and an endless variety of tactics can be used to finish them. Some of us would go the stealthy route and snipe the enemy, while others can rush in with barrels blazing. Either way sounds pretty damn awesome right now.

NVIDIA promises Arma Tactics to be "one of the best looking mobile games to date." The video certainly appears that way. Tegra 4 enhancements like complex textures and physics, or environmental effects (check out the smoke in the video) have really got me itching to play this one on the new hardware. 

NVIDIA says Arma Tactics is coming soon to Google Play, in the meantime hit the break and watch the video.

Source: Tegra Zone

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4 years ago

Dungeon Hunter 4 trailer now live, Android version coming soon

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The proven gameplay of Dungeon Hunter 3 has a worthy successor in the works for Android

Gameloft has just released the latest version of its extremely popular Dungeon Hunter game on iOS, and it's now making the announcement that the game will be hitting Android soon as well. To get everyone excited about the expanded release, it is releasing an official trailer of the new gameplay. Dungeon Hunter is a fun hack-and-slash fantasy game with new graphics and gameplay on top of the proven aspects of the previous games like multiplayer and an intense storyline single player mode.

Gameloft isn't quite ready to spill the beans on an expected date for the Android launch, but it reiterates that the game is nearly ready to hit Google Play. Take a look at the trailer above, and if you're interested in the franchise you can get a primer on it by trying out Dungeon Hunter 3 first.

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4 years ago

How to install Facebook Home on your current Android smartphone

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There's a little more to it than simply downloading a new application - we'll walk you through it

Facebook has released its "Facebook Home" application for current Android devices, helping to bring your friends and family even closer to you. It's a separate app, so you'll have it alongside the traditional Facebook and or Facebook Messenger applications.

Installing it couldn't be simpler, but you'll need to see if Facebook Home supports your phone.

Then, hit the link at the top of this post, if you haven't downloaded Facebook Home yet. Once it installs, you're just a couple clicks away from using Facebook Home.

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4 years ago

Which Android smartphones can get Facebook Home?

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Facebook Home is now available in Google Play, but not for every Android device. Facebook says it'll be adding more in the near future. (And if you don't mind a little hackery, you should be able to get it onto your phone easily enough.)

Here is the list of phones that are officially able to run Facebook Home. We'll update it for the first several months as Facebook adds more devices. (Facebook Home currently is only officially available in the United States.)

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic update to Jelly Bean coming Monday

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Android 4.1.2 will be pushed to devices in phases

Droid Bionic users can expect an OTA starting Monday, changing software build numbers to 98.72.22.XT875. This is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and comes with some nice goodies. Google Now with its predictive search and voice commands will be included. Expandable notifications will now be accessible, letting users control music, return calls and texts, and even manage email from the notification panel. The Jelly Bean keyboard brings better dictionaries, as well as voice typing that works without a data connection.

Some Motorola-specific enhancements include better Mobile Hotspot connectivity, an updated 'Back Up Assistant Plus' and new Visual Voicemail, along with improved voice and data reception quality. The OS also gets a little lighter, with Sling and MOG apps being removed by default.

As the OTA update starts hitting devices next week, things will be quite busy in the forums. Be sure to post your findings after you give Jelly Bean a spin.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Verizon moves to longer and stricter upgrade times

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Customers will now be waiting an extra 4 months for new phones

A few changes to how Verizon is doing upgrades were announced today, none of which are particularly beneficial to subscribers. The current 20-month waiting period for device upgrades has been extended to 24-months; Verizon says this "aligns the upgrade date with the contract end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today." Current contracts that are up in January of 2014 or later will be affected by this change.

Verizon has also given a 3 day notice that all New Every Two program credits will expire. Anyone wishing to make use of their credits before they're gone forever must do so before April 15. Upgrade sharing is here to stay, but upgrades can no longer be mixed and matched between device types. That is, an upgrade for a phone can only be used for a phone, not for a tablet or hotspot.

This is an interesting move by Verizon, coming only a few weeks after T-Mobile's no-contract plans. It looks like Big Red isn't worried about longer and more restricted upgrades pushing folks over to other carriers, especially now that no contract plans with separate phone payments are being offered. Will these changes affect your carrier of choice? Sing out in the comments.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Facebook Home now available for download

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Launcher brings your friends' posts to you quicker (and prettier) than ever

OK, boys and girls. Now's the time to see what all the fuss is about over this Facebook Home thing. As promised, it's now available in the United States, for free, from the Google Play Store. (It's actually still propagating in Google Play as we write this. If you don't see it immediately, hang tight. It's coming.)

If you've somehow missed all the hullabaloo over the past week, Facebook Home is part custom launcher, part messaging client -- and all Facebook. You install it and get your friends Facebook posts front and center, in a nicely designed sort of lock screen called "cover feed." Then there's the "chat heads" messaging system -- it went live this morning in the Facebook Messenger app which pops up your friends profile pictures in little persistent bubbles. The traditional Facebook application is still there, of course.

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4 years ago

Actual pilot downplays theoretical takeover of an airline by way of Android app

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Could an exploit via an Android app really hijack a plane? Not so, says a prominent pilot/author

Finally, some sanity. After many a blog post this week re-reported Help Net Security's "Hijacking airplanes with an Android phone" piece -- in which security consultant and pilot Hugo Teso apparently demonstrated how he could theoretically interfere with an aircraft's flight management system -- and headlines grew more and more alarmist, Patrick Smith, editor of the popular "Ask the Pilot" blog has a few things to say about the matter.

Starting with, "This is my pre-emptive plea, an open letter to the media to rein in this silly airplane story before it gets too much traction."

We're listening.

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4 years ago

Chat heads go live on Facebook Messenger as we await Facebook Home

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Facebook app also updated to prep for Facebook Home's launch today

Facebook this morning has rolled out an update to its Facebook Messenger app -- and "chat heads" are now live! These are the little persistent notifications that you get when someone messages you. Tap it to open and reply. You can move it around on the screen, but it'll remain docked to an edge. To get rid of it, just press, hold and toss to the bottom of the screen.

If you use Facebook Messenger but hate chat heads, there's an option in the settings to turn them off when you're using other apps, so they won't just float on your screen.

The Facebook application itself also has gotten an update this morning, in preparation for Facebook Home. (Some bugs were also squashed, according to the new changelog.)

We're expecting Facebook Home (the launcher) to go live anytime now.

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4 years ago

Sprint peddles purple Galaxy S3 for $99 on contract

10

Sprint this morning announced that it's now carrying the Samsung Galaxy S3 in purple -- OK, amethyst purple, they call it -- for $99 on contract (and after a $50 mail-in rebate). That'll get you the 16GB version of the GS3, which is about to be replaced by the Galaxy S4 sometime this quarter. But, hey! Purple!

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