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4 years ago

Rdio rolls out 2.0 update with a new look and new features


After having done its rounds in some beta testing, Rdio v2.0 has been deemed ready for the masses and is now available for download in the Google Play Store. We're used to seeing frequent updates to Rdio but this release is a whole lot more than simple bug fixes. Aside from a whole new user interface, Rdio has added a few other welcomed additions:

  • New side-bar navigation — A new navigation panel pops open on the left side of the app to bring you to Your Music, Settings, Playlists, and other features.
  • Remote control — The app will notify you if “Rdio is playing elsewhere.” Pause, skip, or play a station from wherever you are, or click “Play Here Instead” and your mobile device will pick up right where your laptop left off.
  • Infinite scroll — You’ll never run out of new music to explore. Rdio loads more content as you scroll through Heavy Rotation, Top Charts, and New Releases.

Overall, the additions and improvements are nice though in my time with it, I did find it a little bit laggy -- maybe it just needs some to settle in. If you're an Rdio user, go ahead and grab the update and let us know in the comments how it's working for you.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Axiom hitting U.S. Cellular for free on contract


We caught a look at leaked press images 2 weeks ago of a device -- the Galaxy Axiom -- that looked to be a rebranded Galaxy S3 Mini destined for U.S. Cellular, and now it looks like the rumors were correct. The device has a 4-inch WVGA (that's 480x800) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5MP camera and is running Android 4.0 with TouchWiz. Like a few recent phones from U.S. Cellular, it also has 4G LTE connectivity, which won't do you much good unless you're in a few choice markets where it has been deployed. It's also one of the rare devices to ship with Google Wallet support baked in.

Apparently the price varies by location, but we're seeing it for just $0.01 with a contract, or $399 without. Take a look at the source link below if you're interested in picking one up.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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4 years ago

Personal Capital Investing helps you keep your finances in order


Coming into the holiday season, its important to keep your personal finances in order while the spending starts ramping up. The Personal Capital Investing app is hoping to stand out from the set of financial apps that have been available for some time on Android. You create an account and link to it your other accounts from banks, credit cards and financial institutions so that everything is available in one place (similar to Mint if you're familiar). You can keep track of spending, help budget monthly allowances and track your investments all with one interface.

Its pretty handy if you're feeling overwhelmed with the number of different accounts you have. You can give it a try for free at the Google Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Street scenes


This week's photo contest gets us back to basics. No real theme or technique this go 'round, just something interesting you see during your daily business. In the example above, I thought the saw looked lonely inside it's little cage so I grabbed a picture of it. You might think it's interesting, you might not, but I did and I had the camera (Nexus 4) in my pocket to grab a snap. 

That's where cameras on our phones are great -- they are in our pockets. So wander around, doing things you normally do, and see what catches your eye. When you find something you'd like to share, head into the forums and drop it in the contest thread. This week the prize is a Lloyd gear t-shirt and washed polo cap from ShopAndroid so you can show your Android pride wherever you go. Hit the big link below for the rules and to enter.

Before we go, let's all say congrats to last weeks winner starkillers#AC for the great pic of his or her 10-year old rock star. Nice job starkillers, check you inbox for info about getting your Sonos system.

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

F-Droid is the FOSS application store for your Android phone


One of the cool things about Android is the open market model. The folks at Google don't mind at all if you sideload apps, or use your phone to build apps of your own, or even if you install a whole separate application market. That's the real meaning of open when you hear the word being tossed around so freely. Because the platform is open, we get to see things like F-Droid.

F-Droid is a third party application "store" that hosts FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) in a repository for easy installation and updating. The repo is full of open-source software written under a variety of licenses, but all nice and FOSSy enough to please most any die-hard fan.

Having it laid out all nicely this way offers a few benefits as well. You can choose which version of an app to install, track which FOSS apps you have installed, and turn on update notifications right in the app settings. It's an excellent way to manage things, and closely mimics software repos from popular desktop Linux distributions. Even the F-Droid app itself is FOSS and licensed under the GPLv2+.

Of course we can't mention any third party application centers without thinking of security. F-Droid tackles this in a pretty novel way. Developers can upload a pre-built apk file, but the preferred way is to upload the source. F-Droid then builds an signs the code, creating an apk file they guarantee is 100% derived from the source code anyone can look through. Community oversight has long been a staple of the FOSS world, and when source is readily available you'll find that very few shenanigans are tried. The guys and gal who can read the code will let everyone know if they find something shady. Everyone.

There's quite a few interesting apps in F-Droid, and I'm going to give it a spin. If you're a fan of FOSS, I recommend you do the same.

Source: F-Droid, via +Josh Armour

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4 years ago

Google reportedly looking to launch own-brand Chromebook in early 2013


Reports from the Far East starting to emerge are suggesting that Google is looking to further expand its Chrome OS device portfolio with an own-brand offering in Q1 2013. A report in the China Times claims that Google has approached Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to handle the hardware. The kicker -- this Google branded Chromebook is said to be a 12.85-inch device with a touch based input. 

Google is of course in the midst of another round of Chromebook pushing at the moment, with low-cost offerings currently on the market from both Acer and Samsung. The reports of touch input are interesting, especially considering Google's recent push into the tablet space with both the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. A touch based Chromebook would offer a different experience to an Android tablet. It could be seen more as a move to compete not against Google's own products, but more so against the likes of the Microsoft Surface and the other Windows 8 based touch-input laptops and tablets. 

Touch input alone may not be enough to increase adoption of Google's cloud based OS, but price could have a much bigger effect. We've seen with the recent launches of the Nexus 4, 7 and 10 that Google is capable of offering a premium experience at an attractive price point. If Google were to offer an own-brand Chromebook, sold exclusively through the Play Store, margins could be stretched as thin as they wanted with a potential for an attractive price for consumers. 

Source: China Times via The Next Web

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4 years ago

Meizu launches MX2 with quad-core processor and Jelly Bean for $399


Meizu is a name you probably haven't heard of before if you live outside of China, but they're an up-and-coming OEM that's trying their best to offer some compelling smartphones as of late. This device, the MX2, is a follow-up to their previous flagship model, the MX. The specs get bumped up heartily this time around, with a 1.6GHz quad-core processor (a Samsung unit), 2GB of RAM, 4.4-inch 800x1280 (347ppi) display and 8MP BSI camera.

At first glance, the software doesn't look much like any Jelly Bean you've ever seen before, even though this is indeed based on Android 4.1. Meizu makes its own heavy customizations to Android and ships something that's got a lot of unique flare. It will be somewhat familiar to anyone who has used an MIUI custom build on a device, and has offered many features on previous versions of Android that just hadn't existed before on a stock device. If the manufacturer is going to customize Android, they might as well go all the way, and make no apologies about what it is.

The Meizu MX2 is hitting China for $399, $479 and $639 for 16, 32 and 64GB of internal storage starting in December. We don't think this will hit many other markets any time soon, but willing users will surely be able to get their hands on one from importers.

Source: Meizu; Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Take full advantage of your new 4.2 ROM [From the Forums]


Now that Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is the new cool thing, lots of different developers (and weekend warriors) out there have started tinkering around with the code to make something great of it. One of our forum members, Waza_Be, has put up a couple small apps in the forums that he made to add things to the lockscreen and daydream functions of your new Android 4.2 ROMs. They're simple but useful, and should be a good jumping-off point for other developers that are excited to start creating apps with the new functionality.

When you go to the Play Store to check them out, you may recognize the developer's name. Christophe talked to us just a couple days ago as part of our feature on developing for multiple screen sizes. Head to the forums and check out his work at the source link below.

Source: Android Applications Forum

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4 years ago

Dear Google ...


We would please like to buy a Nexus 4. 

Sincerely, Android Central.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 gets its turn at 4.2.1 -- it's pushing now or can be manually flashed


Just as we saw this morning with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, the Nexus 7 is getting updated to Android 4.2.1 via an OTA update. There's nothing groundbreaking here, its simply a bug fix for the omission of December from the people application and an update to add joysticks and gamepads as HID devices. 

But updates are updates, and we know that plenty need to get them ASAP. Thanks to XDA, the manual download link is available and advanced users can flash at will. You'll end up with build number JOP40D, and everyone you know that was born in December is now allowed to get a year older again. Grab the OTA package below, and head into the forums for questions about flashing.

OTA  package download; via XDA

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4 years ago

Android 4.2.1 hits AOSP, for you build-from-source types


If you like to roll your own built-from-source Android ROM -- or if you rely on a developer to roll one for you -- rest easy knowing that Android 4.2.1 (Build JOP40D) has dropped into the Android Open Source Project. That means the code is there, and proper building can commence. No huge changes here (the missing December thing is the most notable at this point), but having the code is better than not, and Google's pushed it out just hours after devices started getting the update.

Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru also mentions that factory images should be pushed "in the next few days," so you can get your reset on without worry.

Source: Android Building group

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4 years ago

Microsoft launches new Outlook.com email app with old design


Microsoft has just released a new version of its email app to coincide with its overall email rebranding to Outlook.com from Hotmail.com today. While the app brings a lot of features that Outlook users will like -- ActiveSync, Contacts and Calendar sync, multiple account support -- it is wrapped up in a very bland and outdated design that reminds us all of Android 2.3. We had high hopes that Microsoft would bring something more striking. Maybe wrapped up in a "holo" UI, or at very least something of the metro "modern UI" style that has won many people over on Windows Phone.

Nevertheless, if you're an Outlook user, you'll probably be getting one of the better experiences out there using this official app right from Microsoft. You can take a look via the Google Play Store link above.

Source: Outlook Blog

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4 years ago

Hamilton's Great Adventure now in Google Play [Tegra games]


The PC and console game Hamilton's Great Adventure makes it's way to Android today, and is available from Google Play for Tegra devices. It's a two-part affair, and both the base game and the expansion will cost you $4.00, but I'm really feeling this one and won't mind buying my own copy. 

You play as an adventurer, and you need to work your way though mazes and levels, collecting coins and trinkets as you go along. You're followed by your parrot companion Sasha. Using virtual joysticks or a controller you walk along the level, until you reach something you can't walk past. If you reach that point because you weren't paying attention and the floor has dropped out behind you, you're done and need to restart the level. If you're stuck behind an obstacle, that's when Sasha comes into play. 

Tap a button and switch to your parrot, who can fly around and trip levers, grab keys and do all sorts of things to unblock your path. When you've accomplished that, a quick tap takes you back to playing as Hamilton and you can continue. It's easy and fun gameplay, but as the levels progress things get much more complicated and really present a challenge. 

The gameplay is plenty fun, and the visuals are a real treat thanks to Tegra 3 optimizations. Nvidia works with OEMs and developers to bring console quality gaming to Android, and Hamilton's Great Adventure is yet another winner from the TegraZone. Hit the links below to give it a try, and jump past the break for a few more screenshots and the game trailer.

More: TegraZone

Download from Google Play (1), (2)

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 app controls pool of 'liquid pixels' in promo video


Samsung has shown a history of creativity in its Galaxy Note marketing -- recall the video of a real live Elephant playing with the original Note that cropped up earlier in the year. The company's latest ad for the Galaxy Note 2 takes is a little different, but no less impressive. Samsung has teamed up with creative consultancy Steak Studio to creative a piece of "interactive water art" based around the 5.5-inch, stylus-toting smartphone.

A specially designed app for the Note 2 wirelessly connects to an electronic assembly under a pool of water, which consists of a grid of 408 connected fish tank pumps. With everything wired up, this brought to life a screen of "liquid pixels," which allowed users to draw patterns, shapes or messages using the Note 2's S Pen and have them appear in the pool.

Samsung says the entire project took 10 days to create from start to finish, using over 3,000 manually-fitted connections.

Check out the video after the break. Samsung recently announced the sale of its five millionth Galaxy Note 2, putting it well on its way toward its sales target of 20 million units.

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4 years ago

HTC One X Jelly Bean update arrives in more countries


This will be old news for those of you in Asia, but the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the international HTC One X -- that's the one sporting HSPA+ data speeds and a Tegra 3 CPU -- has today begun pushing out to more countries.

According to reports from Twitter, XDA and elsewhere, One X devices with the CID (customer ID) of HTC_044 have started receiving the Jelly Bean update as of this morning. Territories included in this latest wave of updates seem to include South America and Eastern Europe, amongst other locales.

The update also includes the latest version of the manufacturer's UI software, dubbed HTC Sense 4+. A minor update over the previous version 4, Sense 4+ adds in new camera capabilities and re-vamped Gallery and HTC Watch applications.

One X owners will first receive a small over-the-air update to prepare the device for the Jelly Bean update, followed by a larger 365MB OTA that includes the new Jelly Bean ROM.

If you're getting Jelly Bean on your One X for the first time today, let us know how you're getting on (and where you are) down in the comments.

Source: XDA, Twitter; via: HTCSource

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