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4 years ago

Google Offers v1.3 update brings smoother app navigation

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Although it's a small update, it's an update nonetheless. Google Offers v1.3 has now been pushed to the Google Play Store and is ready for download. The change log for this release is rather small and only notes two overall changes:

  • Discover thousands of new, high quality deals from local businesses. Check the “Browse” section of the app to see offers near you.
  • Smoother app navigation

The first change, I assume means they added some new offer partners to the mix because the browse tab was there already. The smoother app navigation however, is nice to see because offers did tend to run a little laggy on all the devices I use it on.

If you're a Google Offers user, you can jump into the Google Play Store to grab the update or if you're looking to give it a go for the first time, the link below will take you to the install file.

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4 years ago

Late-night poll: If Google releases a Nexus line, will you jump carriers for it?

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We can't be sure that Google is really going to be selling what amounts to a Nexus line of devices, no matter how reputable the source. It's just too big of an idea to pretend to know all the particulars, and would be too big of a heartbreak should it not pan out, so being a bit skeptical is a wise choice. I'm sure something is going to happen, maybe even something wonderful, but nobody is sure exactly what that is just yet. There's a lot of speculation about this project being GSM only, at least at first. There's a pretty good reason for that, considering the last Nexus debacle.

So let's pretend that this will be the case. That means Verizon and Sprint are going to be on the outside looking in when it comes to using these mythical GSM-only Nexus phones. There's a whole lot of Android users on Verizon and Sprint, and plenty of them will be lusting after any type of pure Google offering.

If this sounds like you, will you switch? Sound off in the poll.

Will you switch carriers for the new Google Nexus line?

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4 years ago

Put a little sexy on your TouchPad moboot screen - webOS Nation style

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So you bought an HP TouchPad, threw Android on it (to make it worth a damn), and now you think you're done? You're not. It ain't done until you theme the moboot screen! And if you're gonna theme it, you have o check out the webOS Nation theme and show support for the other side of the TouchPad scene, where things are still webOS and they are gearing up for the open-source spectacular. 

The directions look simple enough, just flash a zip from recovery. Head over to the source link and give it a shot!

Source: webOS Nation

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4 years ago

Google addressing Music device de-authorization issues, back to 'normal' for now

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New: It might be your music, but it's still not your cloud

Google has made known that it is in the process of figuring out exactly how to handle the device authorization and de-authorization for Google Music, and for the time being they have reverted to the old method allowing unlimited device de-authorization. From Google Play's help pages:

Yesterday we made a change to our device policy for music on Google Play.  Any user can associate up to 10 devices to his or her account.  Once you have connected 10 devices, you may add a new device only by deauthorizing an existing one from your account, and you may do this up to four times per year.

We limit the number of times you can swap out new devices at the request of some of our music partners in an effort to limit abuse. We understand this has caused some issues for users who often deauthorize and reauthorize the same device, and we are currently re-implementing the solution in a way that works for our users and music partners.

We apologize for any inconvenience and will update this page as new changes are made.

We're not sure how they plan to address the issue, but we're sure glad they have given us all a chance to clear out all our old devices. Hopefully they can implement a fix that doesn't add the same device multiple times, but that still won't be a solution for folks who need to switch devices often. It's an interesting dilemma, and one that hits close to home. We'll keep our eyes on this one.

Source: Google; via The Verge

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4 years ago

Google IO sessions schedule listed - Android abounds

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We've got just a month and a half before Google IO hits San Francisco once more, and Google's just posted the list of sessions for this year's three-day event. As you can imagine there's more than a bit of Android on the agenda, with 20 sessions currently listed. (And it wouldn't surprise us in the least to see one or two more added before June 27 arrives.)

We've yet to find any hidden gems in the session listings -- no "Hey, come check out Jelly Bean" or anything like that -- but there's a whole lot that you coders (and us kibitzers) can look forward to. Hit the link below for the whole thing.

Source: Google IO sessions schedule

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4 years ago

Sprint customers in the US can now pay for all Google Play Store purchases using carrier billing

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For pretty much a year now, Sprint customers have been able to make use of carrier billing for app purchases on the Google Play Store but now, Sprint in cooperation with Google have gone ahead and taken it one step further. We knew it was coming but starting today, Sprint customers in the US can now use carrier billing for all their Google Play Store purchases including apps, music, books and movies. Anyone on Sprint going to be making use of this now that it is finally live? I've always been curious how many people make use of carrier billing.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Android 5.0, Sensation ICS update [From the Forums]

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Although Verizon and Google managed to capture most of the news today, there was plenty more happening than just what came from them. If you happened to miss out on anything, get yourself caught up here on the blogs and check out some threads below from 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

Multiple Nexus devices could be a game-changer for Google and Android

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Google's reported introduction of more manufacturers into the Nexus fold could be a stroke of genius, but it’s not without its risks.​

We don’t often present entire articles of opinion on unconfirmed rumors here at Android Central, but the report this week concerning Google’s Nexus plans is a doozie. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is dramatically altering the nature of its Nexus program, bringing up to five manufacturers on board this year, with the aim of launching multiple Nexus devices with the next version of Android in late 2012. Oh, and this lineup will apparently include tablets as well as phones.

Google isn’t commenting officially, and the reports will likely remain the focus of fervent speculation as we approach Nexus season later in the year. But for the purposes of this article, let’s assume they’re true, and that Google will indeed work with different hardware partners in order to launch up to five Nexuses around Thanksgiving. 

To Android fans, it sounds like a dream offering -- more variety and choice in hardware when it comes time for a new version of their favorite OS. And more opportunities to get the very latest version of Android -- pure, vanilla Android, unmolested by custom user interfaces or carrier-mandated crapware. And as Android users ourselves, we’re sure that if this does come to pass, it’ll be an overwhelmingly positive development for everyone who buys an Android smartphone. It’s an opportunity for Google to get new versions of its OS out to consumers faster than ever, on varied hardware, in more markets than would be possible with just one hardware partner. And having multiple phones in different markets with the same excellent vanilla Android experience will help Google to better establish stock Android among the other major flavors of the OS.

But a multitude of challenges will face Google and its new Nexus partners as they prepare the next generation of Android phones and tablets. First of all, let’s look at why Google’s (probably) doing this. The original WSJ article points to concerns from manufacturers that Google may look to prop up the loss-making Motorola, which it's nearly done acquiring, by giving it privileged access to Android code at the expense of other phone-makers. (For its part, Google's Andy Rubin has said said this wouldn't happen.) Google’s desire to placate its hardware partners is undoubtedly a factor. As are the company’s ambitions to establish itself as a hardware vendor through its “Play” Store. But it’s also a way for Google to remedy some of the ailments currently afflicting its mobile platform.

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4 years ago

HTC: Sense 4 multitasking and memory management working as designed

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The confusion over the Sense 4 multitasking methods is about to come to an end, albeit in a way that many of you aren't going to like. While we were pretty confident that our investigation into the matter gave us the answers, we reached out to HTC about the issue, and it has responded with the following.

"HTC is aware of some questions in the enthusiast community about how the HTC One X handles multitasking and memory management for background apps. We value the community's input and are always looking for ways to enhance customers' experience with our devices. That said, right now multitasking is operating normally according to our custom memory management specifications which balance core ICS features with a consistent HTC Sense experience."

So there you have it. HTC has taken open-source Android, and customized it to its liking. We're not surprised, nor should you be. HTC places more emphasis on the front-end user experience, at the expense of background tasks, and has modified the source code to better suit its software. This is how open-source operates, and HTC should deliver what it  feels is best for their customers.

I think the real issue here is users' expectations. Sense 4 is as far from stock Android as iOS is from BSD. The core code was made available, and HTC has spent three years refining it, adding to it, and making it its own. From the user standpoint, only the very nerdly few are going to be up-in-arms about HTC's changes, and all of us knew ahead of time that HTC's phones would be running HTC's software. Our option is to purchase what suits us the best.

I've been using Sense 4 on the HTC One S for a bit now, and I think HTC has done a bang-up job with it. It's certainly not stock Android, and there are a few things I miss from vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, but as mentioned, I knew that going in.

We often say Android gives everyone a choice -- let's not get out our pitchforks and write those petitions to try to take one away.

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4 years ago

Verizon to kill grandfathered unlimited data plan

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Verizon has plans to kill the current unlimited data add-on and force users to a shared pool of tiered data. Speaking at today's 40th annual J.P. Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo stated that all customers will be migrated off of current unlimited data plans and on to a new data-share plan to launch this summer. "Everyone will be on data share", according to Shammo. As people renew contracts and move to new 4G LTE smartphones and other devices, their current data plan will no longer be available. There was no mention what would happen to current LTE subscribers, but we imagine they too will be pushed towards the new sharing plans.

There is no word on exactly how these plans will work, only that  all 4G connected devices on Verizon will share the same data pool. We don't yet know how big that data pool will be, nor how much it will cost. Hopefully, Verizon realizes that they are pushing customers to use more and more data and makes them generous.

Of course, Shammo says this will be a better option for everyone involved, but I've a feeling that more than a few of you will disagree. To see the webcast in it's entirety, see the link below. 

Source: Fierce Wireless; view the webcast
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Score Mobile now available for the Amazon Kindle Fire

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Sports fans that own a Amazon Kindle Fire, if you're suffering from a lack of sports apps available for your device you'll want to listen up. Score Mobile has finally been released for your device and is now available for download. Bringing the same experience felt across other Android devices, Score Mobile for the Kindle Fire will help keep you up-to-date with all the sporting news right from your device:

  • Personalized navigation with "My Score"
  • Game view offering scores, stats and Twitter streams
  • Interactive live blogs during key games
  • TV segments and video highlights for selected leagues
  • Integrated social sharing tools

The app is available now in the Amazon App Store for free so if sports is your thing, it's something you'll certainly want to give a go. You can hit the Amazon App Store link below to grab the download or check out the source link for the full details.

Source: PR Newswire, Amazon App Store

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4 years ago

Asus Eee Pad Transformer 9.2.1.24 update now available, includes face unlock and various other bug fixes

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According to the folks in the Android Central Forums, a new update labeled as IML74K.US_epad-9.2.1.24-20120503 is currently rolling out to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. A few things noted about the release after some testing indicates face unlock is now included, wallpapers no longer appear to be flickering and some other bug fixes seem to of have been addressed. Have you got the update on your device yet? If so, jump into the Android Central Forums and let us know.

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4 years ago

Sony details Xperia S ICS update further, arriving 'late may or early June'

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Pretty much the only thing missing from Sony's flagship Xperia S, is Ice Cream Sandwich. For many, a 2012 Android device without Android 4.0 on board out of the box, makes it a non-starter. But, for those that did take a punt and buy an Xperia S, the ICS flavored reward is almost here. 

The update is due to hit around "late May/early June," according to a post in the Sony Xperia S support forums. While nothing specific to go on, that does suggest within a calendar month we'll be seeing it. As ever, those devices bought unbranded and carrier unlocked will likely see it first, with the usual delays presented by carriers to follow for branded devices. 

Source: Sony Support Forum via Unwired View

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4 years ago

Sprint finally acknowledges EVO 4G LTE delay on its community forums

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Sprint's community forums this morning have acknowledged that the EVO 4G LTE has been delayed, stuck in customs. It hasn't gone out and said that it won't be available for Friday morning's launch, but pre-ordered phones are "on hold," writes dshoem01. Pre-ordered phones should still arrive first. Here's the full statement:

  • HTC EVO 4G LTE availability
    The U.S. availability of the HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed.  HTC is working to resolve this issue and appreciates your patience as they work to get products into Sprint channels. We can’t provide specific timing for product availability at this time and we appreciate your patience as HTC works to get products on store shelves as soon as possible.
  • Pre-order status/availability
    Delivery of products for pre-order are on hold and Sprint will provide a ship date as soon as possible. Sprint will maintain the promise for the preorder customers that they will be among the first to receive their HTC EVO 4G LTE units.

Update: The author of the post has since removed pre-order cancellation info, saying it was inaccurate. To cancel a preorder, you'll need to either refuse delivery or call for a return authorization kit.

Sprint PR continues to refer questions to HTC. Check back for any updates.

Source: Sprint community forums; via EVO 4G LTE forums

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4 years ago

Evernote updated to v4.0 - Brings redesigned Home Screen, with improved note and notebook lists

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Now that Android 4.0 Ice Cream sandwich is spreading we've seen a lot of apps get UI updates to conform a little better to Google's design philosophy and now, we can add Evernote into that group. The latest update available in the Google Play Store brings a whole new design to Evernote along with plenty of changes for the better:

  • A redesigned Home Screen, with improved note and notebook lists across the app
  • Responsive Action and Navigation Bars, which relate to the screen you're viewing and disappear for easy reading or note viewing
  • Swipe navigation horizontally to scan through Notebooks, Tags and Places easily
  • Location tagging for all your notes, if your phone is "Location Services" enabled

Aside from the visual changes, Evernote has worked plenty on the engine below the surface that powers the app. You'll find plenty of bug fixes and improvements overall. If you're looking to see it in action before giving it a go, you'll find a video below along with the download link.

Source: Evernote

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