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3 years ago

Google Play Music update adds offline radio caching, in-app device management and several fixes


A few buttons change places and functionality improves across the entire app

It's been a little while since our last Google Play Music update, but we can say with today's new features the wait was worth it. First on the list is the ability to cache radio stations for offline listening — just like you were always able to do with specific albums and tracks, you can now create radio stations and save them for offline listening. It isn't totally clear how much of the station is cached (they're usually "infinitely" long), but we're sure a good bit of listening will be required before you hit the end of the cache.

Next up is in-app management of your Google Play Music authorized devices. Anyone with a number of devices or just switches phones often will know that you quickly hit the cap of 10 authorized devices, and now you can manage which ones have access to your music account directly from the app settings. Speaking of settings, they're nested in the slide-in panel from the left side now rather than an overflow button in the top action bar.

There are a few more fixes and tweaks throughout the interface in the latest update as well. You now have better options for managing your music queue with "Play Next" buttons on songs, albums and artist listings, the Cast button for sending music to your Chromecast moves down to the bottom center of album art when viewing your current song and you now have the ability to manually refresh your music collection from the settings.

It's a whole lot to digest for just one update, but we think more than a few Google Play Music users will be enjoying these improvements — we already are.

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3 years ago

Latest Aviate update brings music-focused 'Listening Space' that auto-opens when you plug in headphones


Every song you listen to will be accompanied by artist info, nearby shows and Spotify suggestions

In its first move since being acquired by Yahoo, Aviate is making an update to its intelligent launcher called the "Listening Space." Similar to the other "spaces" on the launcher, the Listening Space brings together all of your music listening services and apps to one area. Further, Aviate will suggest new music apps that are related to what you currently have so you can download them simply from Google Play.

The Listening Space will automatically launch when you plug a pair of headphones into your phone, making the experience even more seamless. Once you begin playing music, Aviate will detect the song and offer up bios and information on the artist, such as upcoming shows near you.

Though Aviate is still technically in a closed beta, it's not too hard to get in anymore — the blog post announcing this new Listening Space gives folks an easy code to use, "MUSIC," that will get you in if you're so inclined.

Source: Aviate Blog

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3 years ago

APOD Muzei is the first plugin for Muzei Live Wallpaper, and it's awesome


APOD Muzei brings Nasa's Astronomy Picture of the Day to Muzei Live Wallpaper

Last night, we shared Roman Nurik's new app Muzei Live Wallpaper, because Nurik writes great code and we thought it was a great app. Part of why we thought it was great was because, like Nurik's Dashclock widget application, it's fully extensible with an open API. Today we've found a developer already taking advantage of that API with APOD Muzei.

Using APOD Muzei is simple. Make sure you have Muzei Live Wallpaper installed, then install APOD from Google Play using the handy-dandy link above. Open the Muzei app, and you'll see Astronomy Picture of the Day listed as a new source in the customize menu.

Hopefully, we see a lot more plugins made for Muzei. But we're loving this one, and I have a feeling that a lot of you will too. Give it a try, it's free!

Source: +Eric Richardson

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3 years ago

Rovio teases all-new Angry Birds release


Big Adventure and new birds promised, but not a lot else

Bird games are big news again, but the original it seems is coming back for more. In a message posted on its Twitter account, Angry Birds developer, Rovio, is teasing a brand new game. And that's about it, really. 

A "big adventure" complete with new birds is what we're told, and nothing else. Rovio's last release on Android was the racing focused Angry Birds Go, so perhaps this next one will see a return to the bird-flinging nature of old. Or maybe something completely different. We'll have to wait and see.  

Source: Rovio

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Wood' winners!


Another solid set of pictures showing off a variety of styles and subjects

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time to show off the winning photo contest entries from the previous week. In another extremely successful contest, we received hundreds of entries with more great photos than we could shake a stick at. With a broad prompt such as "wood" there was no shortage of great subject matter out there to take pictures of, and you clearly took advantage.

We had the opportunity to pick five winners this week, each of whom will receive a Chromecast for their winning photo entry. Hit the break and check out the winning submissions for this week's contest.

Winner of a Chromecast, luke31!

Like a scene from a movie, this picture is just framed perfectly. We love both the big, dead tree that's propping up the bike and the deep dispersed woods behind it. This picture was taken with a Droid DNA and fixed up a bit with PicSay Pro. Awesome picture.

Winner of a Chromecast, GadgetGator!

Black and white photography doesn't work for every picture, but it definitely worked to great effect here. It sets off the wood grain and all of the intricate carving marks in the sculptures, giving the whole picture a cool look. Great shot!

Winner of a Chromecast, swallowingled!

This picture shows off big wood beams in the roof of an old church. We love the off-centered nature of what would otherwise be a very symmetrical photo. It shows off the wood grain without being super busy. Awesome perspective.

Winner of a Chromecast, CaseyCR!

On the other end of the black-and-white spectrum, we have this awesome close-up shot of a set of colored pencils. Everything in the background simplyl just fades away when you look at the intricate detail on the foreground pencils. Great shot.

Winner of a Chromecast, mookiekillsit!

This is an extremely interesting picture because it is dominated by the close-up wood, with just two small peeks through the holes to other subject matter in the back. The littlle bits of snow filling the holes just adds another bit of depth to it. Awesome picture.

Keep an eye on your doorsteps and mailboxes for a package, the Chromecasts are on their way!

Thanks again to everyone else who entered, and keep your eyes peeled for the next photo contest. We want the chance to give away more great prizes to everyone, so keep taking pictures and entering them!

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3 years ago

Verizon to boost data allotments, cut prices on Edge plans tomorrow


Early upgrades will be available for anyone switching to Verizon Edge until the end of March

It seems as though a Verizon-compatbile Nexus 7 isn't the only big news coming out of the carrier tomorrow, as leaked documents show a generous overhaul of its plan offerings. As part of a horribly-named "MORE Everything" initiative, Verizon is set to boost data allowances, reduce prices and restructure its Edge financing discounts.

First up are quick changes to the current Share Everything offerings — 500MB, 1GB and 2GB data tiers are being upped to 1GB, 2GB and 3GB at no additional cost. Better yet, existing Share Everything users will be automatically migrated to the higher data tiers.

For those who are taking advantage of Verizon's Edge financing plans, the smartphone access fee for data tiers less than 8GB per month is being dropped by $10, and the fee if you have over 10GB is being dropped by $20 per month. To incentivize more people over to device financing plans, Verizon will also be offering early upgrades to anyone switching to Edge until the end of March.

These aren't revolutionary changes, but we love to see a little reaction from Verizon to drop the cost of data as both T-Mobile and AT&T have made moves in this direction as of late. We'll have a better feel for all of the promotions when they go live tomorrow.

Source: AndroidPolice; Verizon

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3 years ago

Microsoft could bring Android app support to Windows, Windows Phone


Software giant 'seriously considering' Android app support, reports The Verge

Future Windows Phone handsets and Windows computers could run Android apps, according to a report from The Verge's Tom Warren. Citing unnamed sources, the outlet says Microsoft is "seriously considering" bringing support for Android applications to its Windows and Windows Phone operating systems. While discussions are said to be ongoing within Microsoft, and opinions within the company apparently sharply divided, the move is seen as a possible way for Windows Phone to bridge the so-called "app gap" between with Android and iOS.

Warren points out that the ubiquity of Android and its relatively strong library of apps could allow Microsoft to position Android support as a "Band-Aid" for its Windows Phone app woes. The move has echoes of BlackBerry's Android runtime, a feature which in its latest release allows BlackBerry 10 devices to run Android apps alongside native BB10 apps. Any Microsoft runtime, like BlackBerry's, would likely lack Google Play Services, and thus wouldn't offer the same APIs as an "official" Google Android device. (It's also worth considering how vastly different the design languages of Windows and Android are right now.)

Nevertheless, many companies are already working on getting Android and Windows to play nicely together, including Bluestacks and manufacturers like ASUS, with dual-OS devices. For its part, Microsoft is reported to have reached out to HTC late last year over installing Windows Phone as a dual-boot option on some of its Android phones.

Any move towards official Android app support on Windows could have far-reaching consequences for Microsoft and Google. Though the decision-making process is apparently at an early stage, it'll be interesting to see whether Microsoft decides to take a chance on Android, and if so whether it's able to turn this feature into a boost in sales and app numbers.

Source: The Verge

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3 years ago

Grab a UK Nexus 5 for £285 for the next 3 days


Time to get your Groupon for a £15 saving over Google pricing

If you're a Brit looking to pick up a Nexus 5, acting in the next 3 days could net you one for £15 less than Google's pricing. The deal has appeared on well known deals site, Groupon, and includes free shipping on your new phone. It'll be a 16GB black model you'll be getting, but considering you also get free shipping you're actually saving around £25 over picking one up from the Google Play Store. 

If this sounds like the deal for you, hit the source link below and get it while you can!

Source: Groupon

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3 years ago

LG teases G2 Mini ahead of Mobile World Congress


Miniature G2 tipped for Feb. 24 launch

Rumors of a miniaturized LG G2 making its debut at Mobile World Congress have been circulating for the past few weeks, and now it looks like the device is a lock for the Barcelona-based tradeshow. LG Mobile has just posted the image above on its Facebook page, inviting fans to "experience the mini" at MWC on Feb. 24. And sure enough, alongside the miniature cupcake, starfish and sneaker there's a shrunken-down G2, which when viewed from the back is the spitting image of the full-sized version.

It's unclear whether the G2 Mini might match its big brother's high-end hardware, as Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact does, or whether the Korean company will opt for the same approach as local rival Samsung, with a cheaper, lower-specced handset like the Galaxy S4 Mini. Whatever happens, we'll be in Barcelona on Feb. 24 to bring you full coverage of LG's new mini.

Source: LG (Facebook)

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3 years ago

Google's $3.2 billion Nest acquisition is a done deal


Regulatory filing shows deal closed on Feb. 7

Nest is now officially a Google property after the deal has been finalized. A regulatory filing submitted by Google shows that things were signed and sealed on Feb. 7. The $3.2 billion deal brings Tony Fadell and his team officially under the Google banner, where earlier reports put them at the center of Google's future hardware projects. 

It's been a busy year so far for Google what with bringing Nest on board and letting Motorola go to Lenovo. Now the paperwork is done though, we can only wonder what Google has in store. 

via re/code

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3 years ago

Canon launches new EOS 1200D and an app to help you use it


New entry-level DSLR has its own mobile app to help you get started with your new camera

Canon has today pulled the wraps off its latest DSLR, the EOS 1200D, and announced the release of a companion app for Android and iOS to help folks get started with using it. The 1200D is the latest entry-level DSLR from Canon, which will come in at an attractive price point of £349.99 (body only) when it goes on sale in March. 

With the companion app, Canon is offering quick start guides, tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help you get the best from your camera. Having stuff built in to the camera is OK, but it makes complete sense to start moving such information onto the thing in your pocket. 

The companion app is available to download now from the Play Store at the link above. So if you're lining up a new 1200D next month you've got a little time to take a look around first. 

Source: Canon

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3 years ago

HTC 'Desire 8' image leaks out along with purported specs


Dual-SIM 5.5-incher could be headed to China next month

HTC says mid-level handsets are to be an important part of its action plan for 2014, and one of the first devices to lead this mid-range push might be the "Desire 8," images of which leaked out online this morning. Shots obtained by Engadget and Chinese blog MyDrivers show a large, thin, plastic device with an HTC One-like design, dual front speakers and Sense 5 on-screen. Both outlets report that it'll pack a 5.5-inch display (resolution unknown), along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 13-megapixel rear shooter. It'll reportedly come in white, red, yellow, orange and cyan color options, and offer dual-SIM capabilities.

Curiously, the device doesn't seem to have any frontal buttons at all, raising a couple of possibilities — either it's an incomplete render, or the screenshot is a placeholder and the device is using on-screen buttons. (HTC is widely expected to be switching to on-screen keys for its upcoming "M8" handset, the successor to the HTC One).

The on-screen date suggests a possible Chinese launch on Mar. 18, but with Mobile World Congress coming up in a couple of weeks, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of seeing something in Barcelona too.

Source: Engadget, MyDrivers

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3 years ago

Oppo Find 7 to launch March 19 in Beijing


In the next month or so we're due new flagship smartphones from some of the major global players, so it makes sense that one of China's major Android OEMs is also preparing to launch new hardware. Per an invite on its Google+ page, Oppo will hold a launch event for its new Find 7 phone on Mar. 19 in Beijing, China. The Find 7 announcement follows the Find 5, which launched in late 2012, and the CyanogenMod-capable Oppo N1, the first handset officially certified with custom firmware.

According to TheNextWeb, purported specs for the Oppo Find 7 include a 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440-resolution) display, a 13-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon 800 or 805 processor — putting the Find 7 in the same ballpark as upcoming flagships from rivals Samsung and HTC.

Source: Oppo (Google+); via: TNW

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition sighted with Verizon branding


The Wifi-only Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition has been around since late last year in a number of countries, but so far sightings of the LTE-capable, Snapdragon 800-powered version have been comparatively rare. However there's good news for those on Verizon in the U.S. today, as a new render uncovered by serial leaker @evleaks seems to show the Note 10.1 with a (rather sizeable) Verizon logo on the back.

There's no indication of any release date for the 10-inch, stylus-equipped slate, but it should sport all the features of its Wifi-only counterpart — specifically a 2560x1600-resolution display, 3GB of RAM and all the S Pen features of the Galaxy Note 3, only on a much larger screen.

You'll find more on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition in our full review of the tablet.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Muzei Live Wallpaper brings classic art to your homescreen


Curated classics or your own pictures make for an excellent wallpaper when treated through Muzei

Roman Nurik, Android Developer Advocate at Google — and developer of Dashclock, the widget everyone loves — has just released one of the snazziest live wallpaper apps we've ever seen.

Muzei (from the Russian for "museum") grabs a new piece of artwork daily, curated by Nurik and his art teacher fiancée +Liza Gordon and gently blurs the piece to display on your home screen. A quick double tap deblurs the art for a few moments so you can appreciate it. The transition is really slick, and some of the best app animation in Android we've ever seen. If you prefer, you can use your own local photos in lieu of the curated collection. Because it uses the standard file chooser, you can also set up a Dropbox folder or use Google Drive.

Just like Dashclock, Muzei is completely open source and extensible via an open set of APIs. For more information about the API, click here, and for the source click here.

Grab Muzei Live Wallpaper from the Google Play link above and give it a spin.

Source: +Roman Nurik

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