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4 years ago

How to share Photo Sphere pics on Google Maps


Deep links and even embedding panoramas can be done, but it takes a few steps

I might have mentioned once or twice how Photo Sphere is one of my favorite features of Android 4.2 on the Nexus 4. And I might have slightly bemoaned how the only real ways to view someone's Photo Sphere pictures are on Google+, either in a desktop browser or Android's Google+ app. (And I might have mentioned all that in a single post, yesterday.)

Google Maps also got a nod, and I think it's going to be my go-to method for sharing Photo Sphere pics for a couple reasons.

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 launches on Virgin Mobile UK


First it was O2 UK, then Three, and now two months after the original Nexus 4 launch date, the phone's headed to Virgin Mobile UK. The provider, which offers service through EE's 3G/HSPA network, is giving away the Nexus 4 for free on 24-month contracts starting at £31 p.m. -- that'll get you 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB. For data-heavy users, there are other options available, such as a £34 p.m. deal that provides 2500 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data -- although you'll pay £99 up-front for the handset if you choose this package.

Virgin Broadband + TV customers get handset insurance included for free, as well as free calls and texts to Virgin Mobile numbers.

With the Nexus 4 still sold out in the UK Google Play devices store, mobile operators' stores are the only sure-fire way to get hold of the coveted handset. Nevertheless, at this stage we'd advise you to think long and hard about whether a 24-month contract with no prospect of 4G LTE service is really worth your cash.

Source: Virgin Mobile UK

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4 years ago

Samsung Canada announces Galaxy Note 2 multi-window support


That Android 4.1.2 update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that has been making the rounds across T-Mobile U.S. and elsewhere over the last couple of weeks is finally finding its way to Canadians. The big feature here is split-screen multi-window support, which helps GNote 2 owners to be extra productive. Positions can be switched around, and videos can be popped out from the multi-window view so you can make use of the gigantic screen when you need it. Many of those on the west coast will also be happy to hear about the inclusion of simplified Chinese language support. 

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4 years ago

Carbon backup app hits beta for the week


From the developer behind the needs-no-introduction Rom Manager comes a new backup solution that not only syncs apps between devices -- it brings the app data long for the ride as well. Carbon (yes, it's called Carbon) uses Android's built-in backup feature and has several syncing options (or will at some point), but right now Google Drive's the way to go for cloud syncing. The gist is you can back up apps and app data from one device, and restore it on other. No muss, no fuss, mostly. But do remember that this is beta, so things are missing/wonky.

Carbon needs root access in this beta form (which will only work for a week, Koush says), but the finalized version should work on non-rooted devices, so long as they're running Android 4.0 and up. Hit the link below for more and to download the beta.

Source: +Koush

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4 years ago

From the mail bag: Is Android affected by the recent Java security issues?


Russ8611 writes, 

Hello Androidcentral! I was just curious if any of you guys feel like reporting on the Java vulnerability and let us know how it affects Android as a platform. I know most people say they don't need Java on their computers, but isn't Java needed by Android, especially by developers? Thanks!!!

That's a nasty mess, isn't it?

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4 years ago

Samsung ships 100 million Galaxy S devices worldwide


Galaxy S2, S3 shipments stand at 40 million each

Samsung has announced that its Galaxy S line of Android phones has shifted a total of 100 million units “on the supply side” to date. Meanwhile, the manufacturer’s leading Galaxy S3 smartphone has reportedly moved some 40 million units, as has its predecessor, the Galaxy S2.

Samsung broke the news through a Flickr post, in which it also revealed that the Galaxy S3 is currently selling at a rate of around 190,000 per day. (Our last update on Galaxy S3 numbers came in early November, when Samsung had moved 30 million units.)

The history of the series stretches back just over two and a half years, to the launch of the original Galaxy S in May 2010. Since then, Samsung has gone on to dominate the Android market, and in many countries its devices account for the majority of smartphone sales.

Desirable specs, broad international availability and aggressive marketing have seen the Galaxy S3 emerge as one of the biggest-selling handsets of the year, going toe-to-toe with Apple’s iPhone 5 in recent months.

As we move further into 2013, all eyes will be on the eventual successor to the Galaxy S3, though at present Samsung remains tight-lipped about any possible Galaxy S4 device.

Source: Flickr

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4 years ago

ASUS announces $149 MeMO Pad


Price, not performance, ​is the key spec for this Nexus 7 lookalike

ASUS has announced a 7-inch budget Android tablet, dubbed the MeMO Pad. At first glance it looks, physically, a bit like the Nexus 7, but this guy's definitely lacking the hardware department by comparison. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, as it's targeted at emerging markets, where price is more important than power. The MeMO Pad seems to fit that bill with a $149 listing for the lowest storage option.

The MeMO Pad is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with a paltry 1024x600 resolution. (Hey, gotta save somewhere, right?) It's powered by a VIA WM8950 processor running at 1 GHz, paired with a Mali-400 GPU. (Ah. Saved some there as well.) It's got 1GB of RAM, and either 8GB or 16GB or on-board storage, with a microSD slot for good measure. Plus you get 5GB of free online storage from ASUS.

Again, this is no Nexus 7 killer, but it's not supposed to be, either, and you can pick one up in white or pink, in addition to the usual black. (OK, the official colors are "Sugar White," "Titanium Gray" and "Cherry Pink.") ASUS didn't announce any specific regions or retailers, so be on the lookout for that, but it did say to expect the tablet this month.

Full presser and a shot of the sweet white and pink versions are after the break.

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4 years ago

Use the Nexus 10 to simulate almost any Android device while testing your app


We've all heard the stories that say it's impossible to develop for Android because of all the different possible screen sizes and resolutions. The flip side is that the way Android development is done, most of the time that doesn't really matter. I'm able to string together an Android application, but I'm no serious app developer, so I'm guessing the reality lies somewhere in the middle -- having a selection of screen sizes and resolutions to test on can;t be a bad thing.

If you have a Nexus 10, none of this matters. Using a tool first developed in 2011, you can use your Nexus 10 to simulate almost any Android environment. Because the N10 screen is so high resolution and has such a high pixel density you can emulate the different sizes and ppi right on the tablet with a few handy commands -- "adb shell am display-size" and "adb shell am display-density". 

Using those two commands while the screen is off will let the attached device emulate the chosen parameters when the screen is turned back on. You'll want to read all the documentation before you get started, but this looks like a great (and inexpensive) way to test your app layout across many different environments. 

Source: +Adam Powell

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4 years ago

Photo Sphere: Coming to a non-Nexus near you in 2013?


So much is a given in the smartphone business. Another product cycle begins, and we'll see new hardware. Refined software. Improved user interfaces. It'll happen, just like clockwork. Those are the broad strokes, though. It's tough to nail down individual features.

One of the items we're very much hoping to see adopted this year is Photo Sphere, the 360-degree (more or less) panorama feature that Google added to Android 4.2 on the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. It's not just a matter of Samsung or HTC or Motorola or LG slapping Android 4.2 onto its devices and calling it a day -- software and licensing usually don't work quite that easily. But if there's one feature from the latest version of Android on the latest "Pure Google" phone we want to see spread to the other hundreds of millions of Android smartphones that'll be sold this year, it's Photo Sphere. Not that we won't see it ported to other devices, though, but we're talking about official support here.

There's another side to this, of course. Viewing of Photo Sphere images is still fairly limited, with Google+ (both on the web and mobile) and Google Maps serving as the primary ways of viewing Photo Spheres. Google released an API in December 2012, but it's still in its infancy and will take a little time for anyone else to implement on the mobile side. At some point we'd expect the ability to embed a Photo Sphere onto a web page like any YouTube video. But for now, that's all Google's baby.

Work on this year's crop of Android smartphones is well under way, and we should start seeing the fruits of manufacturers' labor in the next month or so. Here's to hoping Photo Sphere manages to be a part of it.

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Wallbase HD Wallpapers, News 360, Deer Reader Lite and more!


We just had a crazy, awesome and news-filled week at CES in Las Vegas, but that doesn't mean we're stopping our weekly app picks. Another week, another great (albeit slightly abbreviated) set of apps for you to go check out on your own phones and tablets this weekend.

Stick around after the break and see how we did this week.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Leaving Las Vegas


That's it. Same old picture from Building 44 in Mountain View. No cool picture of yours truly on the Las Vegas strip. No shot from the CES floor, or with a stack full of chips. Just the same ol' picture we're all tired of seeing. Being sick at CES sucks, more so than the inevitable plague that follows you home.

I don't have much more to say about CES that we haven't already said. I'm real curious to see how NVIDIA's Project Shield handheld gaming console thingy turns out. I'm not what I'd consider a gamer -- I generally pick up a new CoD every couple years, but my kids are now grown enough (yet still so very young) so that I feel I need to not play in front of them -- but there's a familiar feeling when you hold those controls. For good reason -- it's basically an slightly oversized Xbox controller. I got to spend a half-hour or so with it in Las Vegas -- read my initial thoughts here -- but can't help but wonder if it'll be priced to sell in any real numbers while lacking the pocketability of other handheld gaming systems.

Otherwise? It was kind of refreshing to not be buried under waves of phones that won't see release for months. (Though we did have about the same number of phones that likely will never see the light of day in the U.S.) Enough has been said about the relevance (or lack thereof) of CES, but I'll point you to John Biggs' TechCrunch piece about how maybe, just maybe, it's for all those start-ups who bought booth space in hopes of showing off their product or service. I agree completely. CES should be about the companies presenting at the show -- not placating the press, who's there on the company dime.

I've said it before, and I'm saying it here again now: Our team in Vegas did a bad-ass job. From Alex and Andrew and Anndrew, to Simon and all the other Mobile Nations folks on the ground, there's not much I would have done different this week. And that's about all this (usually not-so-humble) editor can ask for. Let's do it all again next year. Or next month, in Barcelona.

A few other thoughts to close out the week ...

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4 years ago

Flipboard updated to support Android 4.2 Daydream feature


Flipboard for Android was updated today, and along with a fix for "accidental" flipping and some minor bug fixes, there is a major feature added in -- support for Android 4.2's Daydream feature. Flipboard says this "allows you to create a screen saver made out of Flipboard covers," and that's a pretty good description.

You won't find any new settings inside the Flipboard app itself, but if you open the display settings on your Jelly Bean 4.2 device you'll see Flipboard listed under the different Daydream modes. The screen saver itself is well done, with the zooming and gently panning of images you'll find in the Photo Table Daydream provided by Google. It uses the entries in your Cover stories category, so you'll probably want to adjust those a bit.

It's more media centric than the Currents Daydream, and lacks a lot of textual information, but we're really excited to see a major player take advantage of the tools Google provides to make unique and awesome apps. Grab the update or install the app for the first time from the link above.

Thanks, Carlos!

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4 years ago

Smart Camera 2.0 brings together remote shooting and sharing


A few days before CES 2013 started in earnest, Samsung launched a new app called Smart Camera 2.0. It brings together features from companion apps for their various Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, including remote viewfinder and photo transfer to a mobile device (either automatically or manually).

Only smart cameras made from 2013 onwards will be able to take advantage of the new app, which can be found now in Google Play. Any Samsung smart camera owners out there? How have you found the current handset and tablet companion apps? Are they reliable and useful? If you end up using apps like this a lot, is there any reason to not just get the Samsung Galaxy Camera?

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4 years ago

Dropbox app updated with new photo sharing tools


The Dropbox for Android app just got a nice little update, and now it's even easier to share a photo or a collection of photos with friends and family. The new tools allow you to create albums from any images inside your Dropbox, and share the created albums through the Android intents system. This means any app that could forward a link somewhere -- Twitter, Google+, Facebook, GMail, etc, -- can now be used to share a folder with your albums or individual pictures inside. 

When the addressee gets your link, they are directed to the Dropbox website to view your photos, or download them to their own Dropbox. While this method is good advertising for Dropbox, it's also a bandwidth-friendly way to share a ton of photos. You can get these features (and the obligatory tweaks and fixes that come with any update) at the link above, or simply check for updates in the Google Play app if you're already using Dropbox.

Source: Dropbox blog

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