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3 years ago

Google Play changes coming Nov 21, will focus on tablet apps

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Apps designed for tablets will be more visible from your tablet come November 21

Google has announced that some changes are coming to Google Play on November 21, and that the tablet app section will take front and center.

With all new tablet sales being 50 percent Android, Google wants to expand and showcase the "Designed for Tablets" section of Google Play, where applications that have been written to take better advantage of the extra real estate that a 7-inch or 10-inch tablet can offer are highlighted.

Come late November, users browsing the Google Play app on their tablet will now have the "Designed for Tablets" view as the default when looking through the top lists (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free, and Trending). We'll still be able to switch to see all apps if we like, but this should make sure we notice the apps that will look and run best on out tablets.

If you're an app developer, you'll want to get in on this action. The Android Developers Blog is a great place to start, and getting your app primed for the big tablet push is their goal. Hit the source link and get started. And don't forget to holler at us when you're done — we're always looking for the best apps to feature on the blog.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Customization, colors, and accessories: making the smartphone fashionable - Talk Mobile

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For all the time we've spent in Talk Mobile talking about specs, services, carriers, and usage, we haven't spent much time on what these devices look like. Sure, they're mostly glass slabs with white or black framing (with a few exceptions), but beyond that glass, what else is there?

3 years ago

Alleged Nexus 5 images show Android 4.4 KitKat interface changes

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New hardware and software shown in the latest round of Nexus leaks

There's a new batch of Nexus pictures floating around today, showing what's purported to be the Nexus 5 from LG complete with plenty of looks at Android 4.4 KitKat

The images, taken in Italy and displayed on the Tutto Android website, show us a look at the lock screen, the home screen, and a look at the apps of the Nexus 5. Of course, this leads to speculation of exactly what we're seeing, and things like a Tap to Pay mode in the settings and transparent status and navigation bars have a lot of folks excited.

Just as interesting is some testimony from the leaker themselves. The Nexus 5 is said to be fast and smooth, with KitKat being a "lighter" version of the OS that helps in the performance department. Dual stereo speakers are acknowledged in the bottom portion of the device, and the camera is said to provide excellent image stabilization.

Combined with the rumors of a reveal next week, things should start getting exciting right about now. The changes and new hardware look pretty interesting, and we're hoping for an official announcement soon. As things stand now, the only people that really know anything are the people not saying anything.

Hit the break to see the rest of the images, and check out the source link for their take on what they are seeing.

Source: Tutto Android

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3 years ago

Android Central at Big Android BBQ 2013!

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Let's get together and talk some Android

It's that time of year where the Android nerds (geeks, enthusiasts, etc.) head down the Dallas, Texas to talk about our favorite mobile operating system and all things associated. Yes, the Big Android BBQ 2013 is under way today, and Android Central is here! Well, I'm here, not all of AC, but if you're attending the BBQ this year be sure to come say "hi" if you see me walking around.

I'll be attending as many different talks as I can, and hopefully running into a few AC readers while I'm at it. I'll be joining friend of the site Russell Holly on stage to give a talk about reviewing devices as well (11:30 - 12:30 CT, Room 4) if you want to stop by and join in the conversation.

It's going to be a fun couple of days, so let's get to it!

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3 years ago

Sprint LG G2 goes up for pre-order, shipping by November 8

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$99 on contract in black or white for LG's latest and greatest

A little behind rival carriers AT&T and Verizon, Sprint has today finally made the LG G2 available for pre-order ahead of a November 8 release date. You'll pay $99 today to reserve one on a new 2-year deal, though you'll be waiting almost a month before it hits your doorstep. You'll have the choice of colors too, Sprint will be selling both the black and white versions of the G2. 

There's a lot to love about the LG G2, and we've been playing around with International as well as AT&T and Verizon versions already. If you're interested, be sure to check out the other reviews at the links below. Otherwise, hit up the source link to get your pre-order on.

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3 years ago

Sony CEO talks breaking into the U.S, doesn't look so promising

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Leaves questions over whether the Xperia Z1 may make it to the U.S.

Sony's CEO, Kaz Hirai, has been speaking to Japanese media, with market share and breaking into the U.S. in particular on the table. With Japan and Europe accounting for around 60% of Sony's smartphone sales, and it seems priority one for Hirai is to maintain and build on that: 

"Our biggest priority is maintaining our share in Japan or increasing it ... But getting into the U.S. market requires a lot of resources and marketing, so we have to go one step at a time"

So, if you read between the lines, you could argue it may be some time before we see the Xperia Z1 in the States. If at all. That would be a shame, since the Z1 has a lot going for it, and it's a match for any of the high-end Android devices out there right now. But Sony wants to keep making money, so perhaps it makes sense for them to hold off on trying to crack America for now. 

Source: Reuters via The Verge

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse launches 'vivid blue' HTC One

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Blue HTC One Mini also up for pre-order

Independent retailer Carphone Warehouse has today launched the "vivid blue" version of the HTC One in the UK. Carphone, which has exclusivity over the blue HTC One in the UK, is selling the device for £489.95 SIM-free, as well as offering it for free on contracts starting at £32 per month from all the major UK networks.

In addition, the blue HTC One Mini — also exclusive to Carphone Warehouse — goes up for pre-order today, with the first thousand pre-orders being eligible for a free blue flip cover. The blue HTC One Mini is due to arrive by early November, Carphone Warehouse says.

More: The 'vivid blue' HTC One and HTC One Mini in pictures

Source: Carphone Warehouse (HTC One), (HTC One Mini)

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini leaks for Sprint and AT&T

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It's been several months since we witnessed the international launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, but until now we've seen no sign of a stateside launch for the pint-sized handset.  Now it appears the device may be headed to both Sprint and AT&T, as prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks has unearthed images of the S4 Mini running on both networks.

It also seems AT&T will be getting a unique — to put it mildly — pink version of the Mini, while Sprint's is pictured in the more traditional black mist and white frost colors. Besides exterior differences, you're likely looking at the same specs as the international model — a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 400 CPU, 1.5GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED display and 8-megapixel rear camera.

There's no indication as to when the S4 Mini might hit AT&T or Sprint, but you'll want to head over to our Galaxy S4 Mini review to learn more about the device.

Source: @evleaks (AT&T) (Sprint)

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3 years ago

Google TV branding to disappear; Android will stay on in your living room says report

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A rose by any other name will still prick your fingers

Sources at Gigaom say Google is getting ready to abandon the Google TV branding, but Android will remain embedded in televisions and set-top boxes.  According to "an executive from a consumer electronics manufacturer that has been producing Google TV devices," Google is not yet ready to announce anything, but the "new" product will be called Android TV.

Google has to do something. Google TV, which had a promising start, has languished along, running an old version of Android and seeing very little in the way of support and consumer adoption. We're all about Android here, but even we admit that Google TV only makes sense for those deeply embroiled into the ecosystem, or when one of the units themselves are on a fire sale.

Google has previously announced that they will be updating the platform from Honeycomb (yes, Honeycomb!). Maybe this is part of the plan they have to stay in the living room. Let's hope they can become relevant this time around.

Source: Gigaom

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3 years ago

Announcing the HP Slatebook X2 contest winners

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A little while back we had a little contest in the forums giving two HP Slatebook X2 tablets away, courtesy of Nvidia.  It was of course a photo contest, with the subject of the photo being something you love.

We had a lot of great entries from all of you, but in the end only two could win.  After going through all of the pictures, of which there were over 500, here are the winners:

Congratulations to the winners!   Your tablets should be there soon.

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3 years ago

Instagram update coming to Android, brings photo straightening and new video controls

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Straighten things out with the latest Instagram update for Android

If you've been wanting to straighten all those slightly crooked pictures your posting to Instagram from your Android, you'll be able to soon. An update is rolling out for Android that brings the straighten control and new sound and data usage controls to videos to the popular photo-sharing app. Users on iOS have had access to this for a while, and now the apps are on equal footing from a feature standpoint. 

You can check the Google Play link above to see if the update is available for you. If not, it should be soon as the folks at Instagram say it's coming today.

Source: @Instrgram

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3 years ago

Hero Academy brings smart, asynchronous strategy to Android

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Turn-based strategy with a ton of character

After a lengthy stay on iOS, Hero Academy is now available for Android. The turn-based strategy game uses a kind of card mechanic mixed with classic board game play. There's full cross-platform support here, so you can hack and slash at your buddies on PC or iPhone too. 

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3 years ago

Pinterest locks up exclusive deal to load widget on Telefonica devices

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Widespread deal shows off international ambitions for Pinterest

International carrier behemoth Telefonica announced today that it has partnered with Pinterest to include its widget exclusively on devices for its networks. Starting today, users on O2 UK (part of the Telefonica family of companies) will have exclusive access to the Pinterest Widget through Google Play. In the coming weeks, users on several carriers including Vivo and Movistar will have the widget pre-loaded on their devices.

For those devices which don't have the widget pre-loaded, the carriers will be promoting the use of Pinterest through multiple channels in participating territories. While this may start to get annoying for users that just plain don't want it, it's a huge deal for Pinterest to work on expanding its international user base. The quickly growing social site says that its active usage in the U.K. and Latin America is up 130 percent since January.

Source: Telefonica (PR Newswire)

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3 years ago

Bell launches Samsung Knox service in Canada

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After what looks like a rocky start, Samsung's Knox enterprise security service is going live in Canada by way of Bell Mobility. Right now Knox is limited to the Galaxy Note 3, but will be coming to the Galaxy S4 after a software update next month.

For those unfamiliar, Knox lets users bring in their own personal device to work, but also give IT administrators control and security over business data going through the device. Knox includes full support for file sharing e-mail, contacts, collaboration tools, and other CPN and mobile device management solutions.

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3 years ago

Pantech Vega Secret Note packs fingerprint scanner

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It's looking a lot like a Samsung device, except for one thing...

Pantech announced a new 5.85-inch Android 4.2.2 device recently called the Vega Secret Note. Looking at the included stylus, windowed cover accessory and the name, it's easy to see a ton of Samsung influence here, but setting it apart is a fingerprint scanner on the back. 

The Vega Secret Note is powered by a quad-core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon processor with 3 GB of RAM. The display is full HD at a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and a solid 3200 mAh battery keeps everything chugging along.  You'll also find a 13 megapixel camera on the back, and 32 GB of internal storage with support for USB host if you need more.

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