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4 years ago

Instagram 3.0 adds photo maps, new profile pages and speed


If you've been itching for a new Instagram update, your wish has been granted. Instagram 3.0 has now landed in the Google Play Store and it brings along plenty of changes. A new feature called photo maps allows you to showcase where you’ve taken your photos and check out where others have taken photos. In addition to that, new profile page changes are in effect and various other bits within the app have changed as well. Nothing drastic but it cleans the app up nicely.

Finally, the most welcome change for me and likely others -- speed. Instagram has been updated to allow for faster, endless scrolling and overall browsing of the app has picked up the pace. Users should notice less jerkiness in the app and images loading relatively faster. Instagram has dropped a new video highlighting the changes; you'll find it down below if you're looking for a walkthrough. Otherwise, go ahead and fire up the Google Play Store and get to downloading Instagram 3.0.

Source: Instagram

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4 years ago

Google Wallet users can now save their Discover card


If you've got a Discover card and want to get in on the Google Wallet action, you'll be happy to hear that you can now save your card for easy access on your Android device. Just head on over to the Discover page to link your card, and before you know it, you'll be tapping, paying, and earning rewards from your phone. This is the first public partnership to use the Save to Wallet API, which helps keep rewards consistent, plus the Discover card shows up nice and identifiably within the app. 

I'm in Canada, so Discover cards and Google Wallet are both entirely foreign things to me, but gawrsh, do they sound exciting. How many of you guys have been using Google Wallet since the update earlier this month that allowed users to add whatever credit card they wanted? Are there a lot of stores in your area that support it?

Source: Google Commerce

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4 years ago

AT&T 4G LTE expanded to two new markets - Waco, TX and Fayetteville, AR


While Verizon is proclaiming to have their 4G LTE rollout now covering more than 75 percent of the U.S. population, AT&T has announced two new markets to their rollout. Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers, Ark., and Waco, Texas have been lit up for 4G LTE and customers in those areas can start enjoying faster access on their compatible devices. Are you in one of those areas? If so, drop by the Android Central forums and let everyone know what kinds of speeds you're seeing.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Ubi plug-mounted Android device gives your phone eyes and ears in the home


A Kickstarter project out of Toronto called Ubi recently reached its funding goal for a tiny Android-powered computer that plugs directly into a power socket. It's riddled with sensors and hooks up to the local Wi-Fi network so it can push out notifications to your phone about the room's conditions - lights, temperature, sound, movement... Even humidity. It's got a full-sized USB and headphone jack and RF and Bluetooth capabilities for added connectivity. There's an LED light on the back plus speakers so the Ubi can do some communicating of its own, plus a decent amount of horsepower under the hood to keep things running (800 MHz processor, 1 GB of RAM). The unit itself will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is going to have its own app ecosystem with a handful launching with the device.

  • Voice-enabled Internet search
  • Speakerphone
  • Indicator light (light changing based on events, e.g. weather, stock, email)
  • Home speaker system with sound piping
  • Virtual assistant (audio calendar, feed reader, podcast etc)
  • Voice memos
  • Alarm clock
  • Intercom system
  • Baby monitor
  • Noise pollution monitor
  • Controlling the climate of your home perfectly (through web enabled thermostats like Nest) 

It's a pretty sweet little device by the looks of things. In some ways, I prefer Belkin's Wemo, since it has the ability to power on or off home appliances within a wide range of criteria, but maybe these two home accessories could work in tandem (especially if Ubi has support for IFTT). The main use case here is going to be making voice-activated web searches without even having to pick up your phone, but no doubt developers are going to find all sorts of other fun things to do with the Ubi. 

The funding campaign is ongoing, so if you want your own unit, you'll need to pitch in $189. They should be hitting retail in early 2013 for $199. Who's biting?

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4 years ago

ESPN Goals updated with soccer video streams


ESPN UK announced an update to their Goals app for Android with a bunch of new features for soccer football fans. Here's a run-down of the major changes. 

  • Fans can watch video from selected ESPN studio-based programming, such as its pre- and post-match studio analysis around its live televised football coverage, and video previews of upcoming matches featuring ESPN’s line-up of football experts.
  • Introducing in-app social media functionality: video highlights can be shared with other ESPN Goals users and friends who do not have the app
  • Enhanced video quality and design across all platforms: a new club personalisation tab allowing fans to track all videos, fixtures, news and scores around their clubs
  • Goal and video alerts including half time, full time and weekend round-up clips
  • Key season stats – top scorers, assists and discipline
  • New Android version plus widget on home screen displaying live information when games are on

They also announced another Android app to go along with their new ESPNFC brand, though details on that are a bit skimpier.  Anyone in the UK will be able to download the latest version of ESPN at the Google Play link above. Any football fans in the house? Which apps do you use to keep tabs on the latest matches? 

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4 years ago

Dunkin' Donuts goes mobile with the release of payment and gifting app


The daily grind can be tough on some folks. For that there is coffee. Mass amounts of coffee. Looking to keep up with competitors such as the infamous Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts has now gone ahead and launched a new app that will help caffeine deprived individuals get their fix a little bit faster. It's a combination app that allows you to process payments, send virtual gift cards, look up store locations and finally, check out the menu and nutritional facts.

  • Purchase, manage, and reload a Dunkin’ Donuts Card: Guests can purchase a new mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card (selecting from multiple designs for many occasions), add money to an existing card, and view all previous card transactions. The Dunkin’ Mobile App supports American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and PayPal.
  • Pay right from the app using a virtual Dunkin’ Donuts Card: Guests can purchase Dunkin’ Donuts products with the Dunkin’ App by simply tapping the mobile Dunkin’ Donuts Card and presenting the screen to the crew member to be scanned. Balances are updated immediately after purchase.
  • Send an mGift: Dunkin’ Donuts Cards can be sent to friends, family, or colleagues via email, text, or Facebook. Dunkin’ Donuts is now the only national coffee retailer to offer people all of these options for sending an mGift. Dunkin’ Donuts Cards can be sent in denominations between $2 and $100.
  • Locate the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts: A detailed restaurant locator makes it easy to find directions to and information about local Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants, including store hours, in-store Wi-Fi, drive-thru availability, and more.
  • Find nutritional information: The Dunkin’ App makes nutritional facts available for guests’ favorite Dunkin’ Donuts menu items.
  • Link to Dunkin’ Donuts’ social media communities: Dunkin' Donuts is actively engaged within leading social media channels, with more than 6.8 million Facebook fans and 160,000 Twitter followers. Easy links to “Like” Dunkin’ Donuts on Facebook or follow @DunkinDonuts on Twitter can be found in the “Social” section of the Dunkin’ App.

The app is available in the Google Play Store right now, though it does seem as though it's only available for folks in the U.S. and it doesn't appear to be compatible with any Android tablets. If you prefer Dunkin' over Starbucks, it might be worth checking out.

Source: Dunkin' Donuts via: CIO

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4 years ago

Google Play gift cards are real - and here's what they look like


We've already seen the Google Play Store app getting prepped for gift cards -- and now we've scored the cards themselves. (Or, at least, a look at the outer wrapping.) We've been slipped a few pics of $10 and $25 gift cards, clearly branded for Google Play, with "Music Movies Books Apps & More" listed at the bottom.

It'll be interesting to see how they get positioned at retail alongside the likes of iTunes and Barnes & Noble and lord knows how many other gift cards, but this much is certain -- that triangular logo we were never too sure about should stand out pretty well.

Also unknown is where, exactly, the cards will be available. On a micro level, that means individual stores. Best Buy? Target? Wallmart? We'll see. But nearly as important is the global level. Developers hate seeing U.S.-only launches and, frankly, we're not fond of them either. (Not like we'll turn it down, but we'd prefer everyone has a chance to play. Google likely would agree.)

So, yeah. Gift cards are coming, and it looks like they're coming sooner rather than later.

We've got a couple more pics after the break for good measure.

Thanks, anon!

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4 years ago

Draw Lloyd fan art and win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1!


As you probably know, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was just released and is now available to buy all over. If you're itching to get your hands on a Note 10.1, but were wishing that maybe someone would just give you one, then you might be in luck! Lloyd (that's our little green guy up top) decided that he is going to give one of you your very own Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1!

All you have to do to enter to win is show Lloyd how much you love him by creating a bit of fan art. Make it funny, make it serious, but definitely make it awesome. (Bonus points if you create it on your Android phone or tablet.) Once you've got your creation, post it in this Android Central forums thread and tell us a bit about it (inspiration, what you drew it on, etc) as well as why you want to win the new Galaxy Note 10.1. Be sure your entry is in before Sunday at midnight PST. We'll announce the winner at the beginning of next week.

The competition is open to all readers worldwide. Good luck!

More: Lloyd fan art contest on the Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean leaks for the Samsung Galaxy S3, we go hands-on


An early Samsung-made Jelly Bean firmware for the international Galaxy S3 has leaked, and we've taken it for a spin

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first Android 4.1 leak for an existing phone. Following the appearance of a blurry-cam video of the ROM yesterday, a pre-release Jelly Bean firmware for the international Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3, GT-i9300) has leaked out online over at SamFirmware​. The ROM is based upon Android 4.1.1, carries the build name I9300XXDLG4, and was built a couple of weeks ago on July 31. It's a test ROM that's not of release quality, so expect crashes and bugs if you decide to install this one.

On the surface, the Galaxy S3 running this leaked firmware is still a Galaxy S3, and the TouchWiz Nature UX is still the UI you'll see most of the time. However, new Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification area are present in this build. The latter is a little janky in the leaked ROM -- location services don't seem to be working, but the voice-activated Google Search was fully functional, and fast as ever.

Performance-wise, the leaked Jelly Bean ROM doesn't offer huge performance boosts over ICS, but the S3 was a beast even on Android 4.0, so we'd argue there isn't much room for improvement in this area anyway. The Jelly Bean-specific launcher enhancements weren't shown in the this ROM -- for example, you're not able to make widgets resize to fit into a certain space, or nudge icons out of the way. We're not sure whether Samsung will include this in its final Jelly Bean firmware, as it likes to do its own thing in the TouchWiz launcher anyway.

Finally, NFC support was enabled in this build, though the phone became a bit confused when trying to transfer files to and from other Jelly Bean devices -- essentially, it would try to use S Beam even when the other device didn't support it. Again, not surprising for a leaked pre-release ROM, and something we full expect to be sorted before the final Jelly Bean update hits.

Check out our hands-on video above, or, if you're feeling brave, you can find instructions for flashing the ROM itself on your international (not U.S.) Galaxy S3 at the source link below. We've also got a couple more screenshots after the break.

Source: SamFirmware

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4 years ago

Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note reportedly due for Jelly Bean updates this fall


It's been rumored before, but now the signs for Samsung Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note owners are looking a bit more hopeful. This morning unofficial Samsung blog SamMobile​ is reporting that sources have told it that both the (international) Galaxy S2 and original Galaxy Note are be due to receive updates to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean later this year.

The site reports that internal feasibility tests by Samsung have proved successful, and that a September to October timeframe is estimated for the S2, presumably with the Note following shortly thereafter.

While SamMobile​ has proved accurate with this kind of information in the past, bear in mind that this is not an official confirmation from Samsung, which has said nothing publicly on Jelly Bean for either device. We'd also expect a longer wait for the U.S. versions of the both phones to get Jelly Bean, even if the reported timeframe for international updates holds true. As ever, U.S. carriers will want to test and verify the new firmware before pushing out to customers.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Gift cards likely headed to Google Play, APK teardown reveals


Gift cards for the Google Play Store have been a much-requested feature for the service, and now it seems Google may be preparing to launch them. The Play Store APK (application file) was recently updated to version 3.8.15.

After finding that the new version was a few kilobytes heavier, the guys at Android Police decided to decode the APK and start digging around, and they uncovered a wealth of evidence in support of the existence of Play gift cards.

The new APK apparently intercepts links to the URL (currently inactive). There are also code references to activities in the app associated with redeeming gift codes, as well as new art assets for the pages where they’re to be used. And a couple of enterprising hackers even managed to tinker around and open up the hidden gift code redemption pages, as evidenced by the shots above.

So we think it’s pretty much guaranteed that Google will be introducing this feature at some point in the future, and given that most of the code to enable this is now on consumers’ devices, we hope it’ll be rolled out sooner rather than later.

Source: Android Police

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4 years ago

HTC releases Droid Incredible 4G LTE kernel source


HTC has pushed out the kernel (and other open-source bits) source code for the Verizon Droid Incredible 4G LTE (version 1.43.605.3). It's up for download right at HTC's developer site, and we expect the small, but very enthusiastic, development community to dive in and try something wonderful. If you picked up one of the most under-rated phone's in Verizon stable (you can tell I'm a fan), and like to mess with things (again -- I'm a fan) be ready to flash, test, and report.

If you're a developer, hit the link below and have at it.

Source: HTCdev

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4 years ago

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


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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4 years ago

Google Maps update brings improvements to Transit information


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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4 years ago

The Verizon Galaxy S3 secure bootloader is no longer an issue


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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