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4 years ago

Google+ app gets redesigned feed, new sharing options


Snapseed photo filters, other editing tools included in the iOS update

Google today announced an update to its Android and iOS Google+ applications, with a number of new features.

First off, you'll notice that your feed looks a bit different. You get more text before you have to tap through -- definitely a good change. And tapping a photo or video or link now takes you straight to the page to watch the video, view the pic in a lightbox, or to the linked site. Google also says that image previews are now shown full frame. Also, the +1 and share buttons have been moved. Comments scroll through the bottom as well. Good changes, all.

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4 years ago

The Conduit HD hauls first-person shooting from the Wii to Project SHIELD


NVIDIA had a huge presence at PAX East 2013, and one of the big titles they were showing off on Project SHIELD was Conduit. This was a game that was originally launched on Wii a few years ago, and they've since managed to port the sci-fi first-person shooter over to Android.

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4 years ago

We're live from GDC in San Francisco!


The show season's just heating up, and we're live this week from sunny (or is it soggy? Or foggy? Whatever -- just wait 10 minutes) San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference, otherwise known as GDC. Full Mobile Nations coverage is in effect here, with Simon Sage rocking things for Android Central, Rene Ritchie hitting things up for iMore, and Paul Acevedo for WPCentral

The coverage starts now, Now, NOW! Get ready for more gaming gamage than should legally be allowed by law!

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4 years ago

Breach and Clear to bring tactical SWAT-style action to Android


Breach and Clear was a hidden gem at PAX East 2013. This upcoming indie tactical combat game for Android and iOS promises deep strategic gameplay and high customizability in a free to play format. Players guide an elite police force through tense scenarios where even the slightest wrong move can have deadly consequences. The early build we played at PAX ran really well, considering how early in development it is. Some of the guys working at Gun Media on this title have done some fine AAA games, including Call of Duty, which bodes well for the final product. 

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4 years ago

Debug 11: Don Melton and WebKit


Don Melton, former Engineering Director of Internet Technologies at Apple, talks to Guy and Rene about open-sourcing Mozilla, building Nautilus, creating WebKit -- the rendering engine now used by the Android browser, Chrome browser, and ChromeOS -- teaching bears to dance, and cleaning cusses from code bases.


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4 years ago

Lightning Launcher: More customizations than you can shake a stick at


One of the great features of Android is the ability to change launchers, and within that category the ability to go completely off the rails with customization -- Lightning Launcher is one of those options. It's going to take some work, but the incredible set of controls and changes you can make with this launcher may be worth it if you're motivated. Best of all, it's free as well.

Stick around with us after the break and see how far the customization can go with Lightning Launcher -- users looking for a basic launcher with a few extra perks need not apply.

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4 years ago

HTC to retire 'quietly brilliant' tagline as marketing strategy becomes bolder


With HTC's recent trolling of the Galaxy S4 launch event -- not to mention new features with brash names like "BoomSound" and "UltraPixel" -- it's seemed that the company's been moving away from the "quietly brilliant" tagline it adopted back in 2009.

Now newly-appointed HTC CMO Benjamin Ho has confirmed that the manufacturer will be dropping the "quietly brilliant" slogan as it looks to adopt a bolder marketing strategy. Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Ho said “we have a lot of innovations but we haven’t been loud enough.” He added that HTC would increase its digital marketing budget by 250 percent this year, and boost its "traditional media" marketing spending by 100 percent.

Ho also confirmed that camera component shortages had been behind the delayed HTC One launch, though this, he claimed, was due to its custom design rather than HTC no longer being seen as a tier-one OEM.

2013 will be a make or break year for HTC, as it attempts to reverse a downward trend in its financial performance brought on by increased competition from Samsung and Apple. The company's hopes rest on the new HTC One handset, and CEO Peter Chou is even reported to have said he'll step down if the phone isn't a success. Early indications, including our own first-hand experience with the device, suggest the new One is indeed an impressive smartphone, but HTC will have to back this up with smart marketing if it's to stage a turnaround.

The HTC One will become available this week in the UK, Germany and Taiwan ahead of a broader international launch in April. For more on the phone, check out our full review.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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4 years ago

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


Now we're not usually ones to toot our own horns -- oh, but what the hell, Thursday night's episode of the Android Central Podcast was pretty damn good. Fireworks, explosions, heated discussions about, well, everything. More HTC One. More Galaxy S4. Google kills some beloved products while announcing others. Plus, we (finally) got caught up on your e-mails and voicemails.

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

Sony Xperia ZL officially priced in the U.S.


The Sony Xperia ZL has been listed for pre-order at Sony's U.S. store for some time, but today brings the first official word on pricing for the North American Sony flagship. According to Sony's store listing page, two models will be offered. The first, C6502, will come with pentaband HSPA+ connectivity, whereas the more expensive C6506 will pack those same radios in addition to LTE on Bands 2, 4, 5 and 17. That should get you up and running on AT&T's LTE, as well as T-Mobile's when it launches -- along with a bunch of Canadian carriers.

Unfortunately neither model will be cheap -- the HSPA+ version will sell for $720, while its LTE-capable sibling will cost a whopping $760. Nevertheless, with no carrier deals in sight, it appears this is the only way you'll be able to get your hands on an Xperia ZL in the U.S.

On the hardware side, the Xperia ZL mirrors its international cousin the Xperia Z. Inside there's a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 1080p display, as well as Sony's new 13-megapixel Exmor RS camera. However the ZL trades water resistance and an all-glass design for a smaller footprint, a more ergonomic fit and a physical camera button. For more on the Euro-centric Xperia Z, be sure to check out our full review.

Source: Sony Store

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4 years ago

Steve 'Cyanogen' Kondik leaves Samsung


Image: SF Android User Group

CM​ founder 'decided to do something new,' offers thoughts on Galaxy S4

In a Google+ post this morning, CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik offered some of his thoughts on Samsung's new Galaxy S4, before revealing that he's recently left the software engineering job he took at the company just over 18 months ago. In a further G+ comment, Kondik said his exit wasn't "because of anything in particular," adding "Samsung was great. Just decided to do something new."

On the S4 itself, he had praise for the new phone's hardware, saying " the device actually feels quite a bit more solid than the S3" and claiming "specwise, this device blows the competition out of the water." But on the software side, Kondik was critical of Samsung's latest TouchWiz UI. While "more consistent" than earlier iterations, he says, the new TouchWiz's fully tabbed UI "feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days."

The CM founder also had mixed opinions on some of the S4's new features. He praised the touchless "hover" preview capabilities and multi-window support, but said that the eye-tracking "smart scroll" feature "mostly serves to anger me into disabling it." In summary, Kondik called the Galaxy S4 a "solid device" and a "clear choice" for those upgrading from a Galaxy S2. S3 owners, he said, should feel "right at home."

There weren't any real clues as to where Steve Kondik might end up next, but we're sure we're not alone in hoping there's more Android in his future. Best of luck to Steve in his future endeavors!

You can read Steve Kondik's post in full over at the source link.

Source: +Steve Kondik

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4 years ago

Thumbs-on with Moga Pro Android gaming controller


PowerA was showing off their new Moga Pro controller at PAX East 2013 and we played a few rounds of Dead Trigger with it. The controller was first announced at CES as a bigger, console-grade accessory for Android gamers. Like usual, the device pairs up over Bluetooth and uses the Pivot application to showcase Moba-optimized apps.

There's also the extendable bracing arm for your device, but tucked underneath is a new switch for enabling HID mode. That makes the Moga Pro a fine choice for games that make use of the standard format. The internal battery should offer upwards of 15 hours of gameplay. 

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4 years ago

Magic 2014 coming soon to Android


Look, we all know that you have a really bitchin' black/blue Magic: The Gathering deck tucked somewhere in the closet from high school, so it's okay if you're a little excited that the famous trading card game is finding its way to Android devices later this year. We got some time to play it at PAX East 2013, and it proved to be as reliable a game as its predecessor.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile's new no-contract rate plans now available


T-Mobile has been planning on moving solely to no-contract plans for several months now, and today is the day they go into effect. Clicking on over to T-Mobile's website reveals no-contract plans as your only option to receive service, with some seriously competitive pricing. The default plan setup is one that offers 1 line of service, with unlimited talk, text, and data -- which is throttled (to 2G speeds) after 500MB -- for $50 per month. You can then slide up the scale of data in 2GB increments from 500MB to 12GB. Each bump in data adds $10 to the monthly plan, so the range is $50 for 500MB up to $110 for 12GB of data, with hotspot/tethering included in the price at each level. Hit the break for more details

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4 years ago

Android Advanced: USB OTG on the Nexus 4


Owners of previous Nexus devices have enjoyed the ability to directly connect to USB flash drives and other peripherals using USB OTG (On The Go). The online help manual for the Nexus 4 originally said it would also have this feature, until Google removed it, instead suggesting the use of Bluetooth accessories. Many speculated about why this happened, and wondered if this was a hardware limitation or simply something missing from the software.

Thanks to the proof of concept by CaptainMuon and the subsequent work of ziddey at XDA Developers, we now have a clearer picture of exactly what went wrong with the Nexus 4's OTG capabilities, as well a working solution for those still wanting connectivity to things like thumb drives, mice, and keyboards.

This is no simple app install - root is required, as well as modifying your phone's software. No hardware modifications to the phone itself are needed, but you will need a special cable, which can be purchased or built at home. Ready to jump in? Hit the break for the complete guide.

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