4 years ago

Google to continue letting Argentine developers sell apps in Google Play ... for now


Developers can still sell and receive payment through Google Play, but a permanent solution isn't yet available

Backtracking on its previous statement that it would stop allowing developers in Argentina sell paid apps in Google Play, Google is extending the deadline to an undetermined date in the future. Google initially gave developers based in the country one month's notice that after June 27th, 2013 it would stop allowing them to accept payments for apps in the Play Store, regardless of the country which the purchaser was located. At the time nothing more than speculations of government regulation were to blame for the sudden change, and it doesn't look to be getting any clearer now.

In an update to its support article regarding the shutdown today, Google briefly explained that it will continue offering developers registered in Argentina the ability to make paid apps and receive payment through Google Play while they "explore more permanent solutions." While Google indicates that it will offer updates on the status of the potential shutdown going forward, there's no doubt that this will have some cooling effect on development coming out of the country.

Source: Google Support

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4 years ago

Find out who won a Moga Pro controller from Android Central!


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted below, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up to get your info. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the winners!

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4 years ago

Amazon and PBS expand partnership to offer more shows on Prime Instant Video


Expanded deal brings Downton Abbey and loads of PBS KIDS programming to Prime members

Amazon has extended a deal with PBS to offer hundreds more episodes from past seasons of several TV series on the network. The deal will make more episodes from popular programs such as NOVA, Masterpiece and Ken Burns documentaries available for free to Amazon Prime members. The deal also adds more PBS KIDS programming with Caillou, Arthur, Daniels Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train and Wild Kratts -- all available for unlimited watching with FreeTime Unlimited on Kindle devices.

The new extended deal also makes Amazon the exclusive video subscription distributor of the third season of Downton Abbey, building on its previous announcement that it will be the exclusive subscription home to all seasons of the program later this year. Amazon says that Prime Instant Video now offers over 41,000 movies and TV episodes for Amazon Prime members to enjoy.

Source: Amazon

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Are you ordering a Google Play Edition phone?


Is a Google Play Edition device the right choice for you? Let us know in this week's poll

Today is the big day when Samsung, HTC and Google finally make the Google Play Edition HTC One and Galaxy S4 available for ordering. Plenty of folks have been excited and waiting for this day, and we're happy that they can finally get what they have been asking about for years  -- Stock Android on the hardware they want without rooting and digging around on them. It's pretty cool that the companies involved got together and did it. Hooray choice!

But these devices aren't for everybody. Features are missing, and while others are added in their place the jury is still out on whether or not they are going to compare well to their original versions. Hackers will delight in unlocked and easy to flash devices, and we expect plenty of action to center around the HTC One and Galaxy S4 because of these releases. The thing is, not everybody is a phone hacker.

For the normal consumer, these might not be the best choice. They are pretty bare-boned when compared to the phones running Sense and Touchwiz, and for every person who hates either there are people who love them. It's a decision that everyone will have to make for themselves. And we're curious what yours will be.

There's a poll in the sidebar to the right. You can also find it after the break. Take a moment and let us all know what your decision will be, and we can hash out all the good and bad points in the comments below.

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4 years ago

Google Play edition device kernel sources now available for download


Sources required to be available under the GPL are now ready for devs to take a look at

Right on time, the full kernel sources for both the HTC One and Galaxy S4 Google Play edition devices are ready for download courtesy of links from JBQ on the Android Building Group. For the enterprising developers that want (or need) it to work with for a deeper understanding of these two devices, the kernel source is a big resource to have available. This isn't at all unexpected, however, as the terms of the GPL require that it be made freely available.

It should also be noted that the availability of the kernel source for these devices doesn't mean that we have a full ROM or any proprietary binaries available. Things in this area are understandably still a little murky, and while we surely hope that those additional files that would give users a complete working ROM will be offered, nothing is guaranteed.

If you are someone who has a need for the kernel source and want to get right into it, you can grab a direct download for both devices from the "download" links below. HTCdev is also hosting an independent download from its own site for the HTC One.

Source: Android Building Group

Downloads: HTC One / (HTCdev); Galaxy S4

HTC One Google Edition Forums | Galaxy S4 Google Edition Forums

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4 years ago

What is Stock Android?


There's Nexus and Google Play editions and experiences ... Just what exactly is 'Stock Android' anymore? (And does it even matter?)

The term "Stock Android" gets thrown around quite a bit — particularly with the introduction of these Google Play edition devices — and has earned a level of reverence that's pretty unparalleled in the Android world. Even the words get a capital letter, so you know it's something that people care about. The (very vocal) minority of us have even forced HTC and Samsung's hand to release their latest and greatest with all their hard work removed and the mighty Stock Android in place. But Stock Android itself is a misnomer, and it's almost impossible to define.

Webster's tells us that "stock" is the original from which others derive. In that sense, it does describe Android as Google intended it. But we don't apply a direct definition to most things when they work their way into daily use, so Stock Android (with the capital S) needs some further explanation.

I'm not preaching from my virtual soapbox here; I'm every bit as guilty of muddling things as anyone else is. But that doesn't mean we can't discuss it, right? 

Let's do that, then.

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4 years ago

Google Play Books, separate 'Games' section now available in Ireland


Two new categories arrive in the Play Store for Irish users

Google Play users in Ireland should now have access to both the Play Books store as well as a separate "Games" section on their devices starting today. As pointed out to us by one of our eagle-eyed readers, the Play Store in Ireland now offers four different sub-categories for users to choose from, adding to the previous availability of both paid apps and Google Play Music in the country. Unfortunately the Play Store for Ireland is still lacking both Magazines and Movies & TV, but it's a step in the right direction at least.

The Google Play Help pages, which have been updated today, also indicate that Play Books are now available in Ireland. We haven't tracked down an official post from Google indicating whether or not the full book catalogue will be available to Irish users just yet, but we would guess that the service would not launch without all of the proper deals in place.

More: Google Play Help; Thanks, John!

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4 years ago

US Cellular launches ZTE Imperial for $0.01 on-contract


Another standard low-end device to round out the carrier's LTE lineup

U.S. Cellular is adding the 14th LTE-capable device to its lineup starting today with the ZTE Imperial, a low-end device selling for just $0.01 on-contract. The Imperial is an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device with a 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, sizeable 2500mAh battery, 5MP camera and 4GB of on-board storage (with SDcard support). The software appears to be a relatively basic interpretation of Jelly Bean, along with three capacitive navigation keys to control it.

The ZTE Imperial rounds out the low-end of U.S. Cellular's lineup, with an off-contract price of just $299 although most will end up grabbing it with a 2-year agreement for just a penny. The carrier says it is targeting the device at the first-time smart phone user, and it has a price and feature set that reflects that.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

US Cellular and NQ Mobile strike deal to provide security apps to customers


Two branded security apps to help keep customer's smart phone data safe

In an effort to offer better comprehensive security to its customers, U.S. Cellular announced today that it will partner with NQ Mobile to provide security apps to its 5.2 million customers. The partnership expands on a previous program that offered an app called "NQ Family Guardian" to customers, with two new apps called "U.S. Cellular Mobile Data Security powered by NQ Mobile™" and "U.S. Cellular Privacy Protector powered by NQ Mobile™". The apps will be free in the Play Store as branded options limited to the carrier's customers.

Together the apps aim to give customers protection from viruses, malicious URLs and other outside threats along with a security suite that offers secure encryption for photos, videos and other data users want to keep safe. On their own, NQ Mobile's self-branded versions of the apps have done well in the Play Store with high ratings and reviews, so U.S. Cellular certainly seems to have made a good choice here.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

Google Now update brings new cards for TV shows and Google Offers



Google improves location-aware and voice-controlled features for Now

An update to Google Now is bringing two new types of cards, TV shows and Google Offers, to users starting today. For those who have an internet-connected TV on the same network as their mobile device, Google Now can now listen to the show you're watching and offer more information -- such as actor or show details -- right on your device. For Google Offers users, Google Now will show reminders for upcoming saved offers when you're near a store that you can use the offer at, which expands on Google's current location-aware shopping and research cards.

Additionally, the latest update also includes a new voice action to play music from Google Now. You can now say "Play [artist name]", and a prompt will pop up letting you select your preferred music app from the ones you have installed. The app will then open and begin playing from the artist you asked for.

The new TV show card is U.S.-only for the moment, but the other new features should be available for everyone. You can grab the latest updated Google Search (which is Google Now) app from the Play Store link above.

Source: +Android

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4 years ago

Recon Instruments announces Recon Jet HUD glasses for $499


Serious athletes now have their own version of Google Glass

Building on its previous efforts in the HUD (Heads up Display) market, Recon Instruments announced today that its latest Recon Jet HUD will be available for $499. These Android-powered glasses are targeted directly at cyclists and triathletes, providing extremely useful information just a glance away. You can think of the Recon Jet as a distant cousin of Google Glass, targeted at a sports-minded wearer to show information such as heart rate, cadence and power output through a suite of on-board sensors. Athletes will be able to track their speed, pace, distance, time and ascent/descent throughout a race or training session.

Just as is the case with Google Glass, the Recon Jet pairs with a phone over Bluetooth for connectivity and can display caller ID and text messages as well as upload details of their current activities to social networks. The Jet has a 1GHz dual-core processor, dedicated graphics chip, Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS and a camera on the front along with the aforementioned sensors. Recon notes that the components of the glasses are evenly distributed to both sides, adding just 14 grams in weight to each side of the sunglasses.

While the Recon Jet is focused on a core set of features for serious athletes, the company is making an SDK available for developers to write apps for the platform. Recon says it is already in talks with major health and fitness companies to make new native apps for the device.

In its current form, the Recon Jet is offered in an early "Pilot Edition" for $499 from now until July 21st. This Pilot Edition is for willing early adopters to give a try several months before full production begins. After the July 21st cutoff the pre-sale price will jump to $599. Hang around after the break to see a few more pictures showing off the Recon Jet and HUD interface.

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4 years ago

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix come to Android


Available in the Play Store for $5.99 (Batman) and $0.99 (Scribblenauts)

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is bringing two of its biggest mobile games, previously only available on iOS, to Android. Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and Scribblenauts Remix are now available on the Google Play Store, for $5.99 and $0.99, respectively.

In the action-adventure game Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, players set out to defeat some of the Dark Knight's most infamous enemies, along with their armies of henchmen. Jumping rooftop to rooftop and exploring Gotham City, Batman fights one-on-one with villains like The Joker, Two-Face, and Deathstroke.

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4 years ago

Google rebranding of Motorola continues with a new logo


Motorola has a new logo and it looks much better than its predecessor; it even includes the words: "a Google company." Since Google acquired Motorola Mobility, there haven't been too many visible changes in branding or products. This is likely due to existing product deals that had to be met and contracts that likely needed to be fulfilled.

However, it appears Google is ready to move forward with Motorola's handset business and rebrand it in a big way. Logos are a big deal and the most visible aspect of the brand, for better or worse. If a company has suffered, its logo is going to carry the weight of that and vice versa. It is a good move by Google to redesign it and it looks great, in my view.

After the logo comes the products, so might we see the rumored Motorola X sometime soon? What do you think of Motorola's new logo? Will it help a diminished brand or not make much of a difference?

Source: The Verge

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Shield delayed as 'mechanical issue' pushes launch to July


No new shipping date given for portable Android gaming console/controller

NVIDIA Shield — the graphics company's ambitious move into the consumer hardware space — will miss its June 27 shipping date because of a "mechanical issue" that popped up during final testing, the company announced today.

It did not say when the handheld gaming device would finally hit customers' hands.

An NVIDIA spokesperson told Android Central:

“During our final QA process, we discovered a mechanical issue that relates to a third-party component. We want every SHIELD to be perfect, so we have elected to shift the launch date to July. We’ll update you as soon as we have an exact date.”

NVIDIA would not disclose the nature of the issue, or which third-party component was the culprit. "Mechanical" sounds like moving parts, however, and there aren't many of them on Shield. (Buttons, the joysticks and d-pad, exhaust fan and the clamshell hinge come to mind.)

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4 years ago

Google Play edition HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 now on sale!


HTC One runs $599, Samsung Galaxy S4 is $649

Today's the day, and now's the time. The Google Play edition — that's the official name, by the way — Samsung Galaxy Galaxy S4 and HTC One are now on sale directly from Google Play.

These are full-price devices, each upwards of $600, running "stock"-ish Android 4.2.2, which is the latest version of Android released. We say "stock"-ish because, well, "stock" Android means all sorts of things. Anyhoo. You get the Android experience in the purest sense of the word with these devices, and with a couple extra thrown in. (Namely, Beats Audio on the HTC One, and the Samsung flip cover clock on the Galaxy S4.)

The 32-gigabyte HTC One costs $599, and the 16-gigabyte Samsung Galaxy S4 runs $649. You can order both from the devices section at Google Play. And it's worth mentioning that Google Play has a pretty horrible track record when it comes to up-time during major device launches. So if your order starts to hiccup, hang tight, and be patient. It's also worth a reminder that these are U.S.-only for now.

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