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3 years ago

[Updated] Feedly backs off transition to Google+

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Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options also in testing

Updated 9:49 a.m.: Whoa. Feedly has announced that it's in fact not going to force users to Google+ and will keep traditional Google login. Here's its official update:

The fact that this changing is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices. So we are going to rollback this change later this afternoon - Friday 1:00pm PST. We will try to make it optional in the future for some users who like Google+. Thanks for the feedback.

Original post follows:

With the death of Google Reader earlier this year, Feedly emerged as one of the major players in RSS, and since its inception it's been using Google's OAuth authentication service to sign in users. With the gradual shift towards Google+ sign-in across Google properties however, Feedly is following suit and introducing G+ sign-in. The transition will take place "this week" on the web and "later this month" through the Feedly Android and iOS apps.

The move to Google+ sign in, Feedly says, allows for easier sign-in on mobile devices and opens up more sharing possibilities, on which it promises to divulge more over the next couple of weeks.

But if Google+ isn't for you, Feedly is also testing Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress login options, with the aim of rolling them out over the next seven weeks.

Source: Feedly Blog

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Note 3 Experience app shows you what using a Note is all about

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Get a deeper look into the many features of Samsung's latest Note

Ever been curious about using a Note device, but never given one a try? Well Samsung is hoping that an app in the Play Store called the Galaxy Note 3 Experience will help you discover all of its great features. You get a chance to watch some promo videos, and live interactive full-screen tutorials showing how features work on the Note 3 on whatever device you currently use.

Things like Air Command, Multi Window, Scrapbook and more are all on display, and they actually look pretty good considering that everything is just running in an app. You can also see how interactions work between the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Gear, although that implementation is a little clunky to our eyes.

The app also does you some good even if you already have made the choice to go with a Note 3. If you install it on your device, you'll get tutorials on all of the great features at your disposal that you may not have discovered on your own. If you're at all curious about the Note 3, you may want to take a look.

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3 years ago

Hangouts 2.0 now rolling out with SMS support

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New version lets you use Google's IM app to send and receive texts

As promised at last week's Google+ event, the new version of Hangouts capable of sending and receiving text messages is now rolling out through Google Play. The update to brings things up to speed with the version of Hangouts on the Nexus 5, which is the default SMS app on that device. When you first load up the updated Hangouts you'll be presented with a fullscreen message asking if you want to enable SMS support — tap yes and your messages are imported into the app, and you'll receive future SMS notifications through Hangouts instead of your preloaded SMS app. Tap "Maybe later" and things will stay as they are.

For the most part, the texting experience through Hangouts 2.0 on any other device is the same as it is on the Nexus 5 — SMS conversations are shown in a list alongside your other, and you can choose whether you want to communicate over Hangouts or SMS when starting a new conversation. Want out? At any point you can go to Settings > SMS > Turn on SMS to enable or disable SMS in Hangouts.

The update also adds animated GIF support and a new location-sharing button, which you can tap to tell contacts where you are.

As usual the update is being rolled out gradually across the Android user base, so don't be surprised if you don't see it immediately. If you're updating today, be sure to hit the comments and let us know whether you're opting into SMS in Hangouts or not.

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3 years ago

Google Keyboard update brings KitKat features, drops the holo blue

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A little KitKat style on any device running ICS or above

The Google Keyboard is getting a nice update that brings it right up to speed with the latest KitKat features and styling, offering what was only available on the Nexus 5 for a few days. Now any device running Android 4.0 or above will see the newer black and grey look (no more holo blue here), along with a few new features. First up, the long-press menus have been revised and you now access emoji rather than just basic smilies if your phone supports it.

The update also adds "space-aware gesture typing," which is just a fancy way of saying you can swipe over the space bar rather than lifting your finger between words. You'll also see a better punctuation layout across phones and tablets of different sizes, making the best use of the real estate at hand.

You can grab an update to the latest Google Keyboard and get a taste of KitKat on your own device at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Rayman Fiesta Run now available on Android

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New platformer arrives today on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Platform veteran Rayman returns to mobile today with the launch of Rayman Fiesta Run, a new running game that follows on from last year's Rayman Junge Run. Like that title, Fiesta Run features fast-paced platforming across a range of colorful worlds, with a total 76 individual levels. The concept isn't new — run around cartoon worlds tapping the screen to jump, collecting glowing critters as you go. But Rayman Fiesta Run seems nicely polished, with slick visuals and new ways to play including "invasion mode," which can be unlocked by beating stages, and three boss battles to contend with.

Rayman Jungle Run is available now on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, priced at $2.99 in the U.S. and £1.99 in the UK. For the price, it's definitely worth a look if you're a platformer fan. The game is also available on iOS from today.

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3 years ago

Google Text-to-Speech now on Google Play, update rolling out

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New version adds Korean support

As part of Google's ongoing effort to spin off certain software features into Google Play for easier updating, the company has today launched the Google Text-to-Speech engine as a standalone app on the Play Store. The will push out automatically to those using an older version (not you, Nexus 5 owners, you're already up-to-date out of the box). If you install it on a device that doesn't have it already, it'll appear as an option alongside whichever manufacturer-loaded text-to-speech service is currently in use.

The only major change we're seeing compared to the older pre-loaded version is the addition of Korean as a supported language. However the ability to update text-to-speech without requiring an OS upgrade presents the possibility of Google introducing more advanced TTS features through future app updates.

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3 years ago

Gallery and Photos: Why does the Nexus 5 have two ways to handle images?

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You'll likely be using two apps to manage your pictures on Android 4.4

If you're lucky enough to have picked up a Nexus 5 this week, you may be puzzled by two of the apps on your new phone. Not necessarily by the apps themselves, but rather the existence of both at once on one phone — Photos and Gallery. Two pre-installed apps that have many overlapping functions between them. You can tap either one to get to your photos, and in either case you'll have access to your automatically backed-up Google+ photos as well.

So why does the Nexus 5 have both a "traditional" Gallery app and this new Photos app at the same time? There are a few reasons. Let's dig into this somewhat bothersome phenomenon after the break.

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3 years ago

Get your fingers sticky with a little physics puzzle game called Green Jelly

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There's no shortage of Cut the Rope games out there, I know. But maybe you've been thinking that's not enough. You need more physics puzzlers to play on the go. I've been there, man.

One of my favorite games in that style has long been Spider Jack, which comes from a Russian developed called MaxNick. Their latest physics puzzler Green Jelly (not to be confused with Jelly Bean or that rock band) plays a lot like Cut the Rope, but it also has some clever gameplay mechanics of its own that make it worth a look.

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3 years ago

Photo editing improvements in the Android 4.4 KitKat Gallery

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A few simple changes to make your pictures look a little better

There's a great grouping of user-facing features in the latest update to Android 4.4 KitKat, but one has been generally overlooked. Although it hasn't received much of a visual refresh from what was available in 4.3, the built-in photo editor in the Gallery app has received a bit of a facelift, with a few new features to boot.

This is one of those "tightening the screws" kind of updates that brings the experience up a notch or two, making it just a little easier to edit and tweak your photos to your liking. This isn't going to rival anything you can do with a true photo editor on your desktop, but then again that process isn't as easy as using the Gallery.

Hit the break for a closer look at the new features and capabilities of Gallery in Android 4.4.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 exits beta, launches on Google Play as free update

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50 percent off today in some countries

Following the completion of the beta program, SwiftKey 4.3 has reached stable status and has launched as a free update on the Google Play Store. The latest version of the popular keyboard app introduces three new layouts to make typing easier on phones of all sizes — particularly larger models like the Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max. Dubbed "Layouts for Living," the new full, compact and thumb keyboard layouts can be undocked and moved around the screen — particularly useful for larger phones and tablets.

The new version of SwiftKey also introduces a Canadian English option, bringing the number of supported languages up to 61. And to celebrate today's launch, SwiftKey is half-price in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Russia and New Zealand.

Check out our hands-on video after the break, or hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version.

More: Hands-on with SwiftKey 4.3

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid update pushing to more than just soak testers

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Update fixes a few bugs and enhances the stability — and improves the lackluster camera

We told you late last night that a soak test for the new Droids (that'd be the Droid Ultra, and the Droid Maxx) was going to push early this morning, and right on time it made its way to the testers. Apparently the test was short, or there was a change of heart, because we're getting reports of the updated software going out to users who are not members of the soak testing program.

It's the update everyone with a Moto X8 phone wants to have. It includes your 50GB Google Drive promotion, makes Moto Assist even better, and has a few more stability and bug fixes. But the big news is the camera update. The software has been improved with better sky detection, more accurate white balancing, improvements to HDR and the exposure has been corrected to be more consistent. Everyone who has the update will tell you it's quite a dramatic change — and one that addresses the biggest complaint about these phones.

If you're using a new Verizon Droid, have a look and see if an update is ready for you. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Printing in Android 4.4 KitKat (with some help from HP)

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Printers, as we all know all too well, are fickle beasts on a good day. So you'll forgive us for not expecting too much when it comes to printing wirelessly from our phones. But there's a new printing framework built into Android 4.4 KitKat. On the back end, you'll be able to print over Wifi, or Google Cloud Print. Here's how Google puts it:

Android 4.4 introduces native platform support for printing, along with APIs for managing printing and adding new types of printer support. The platform provides a print manager that mediates between apps requesting printing and installed print services that handle print requests. The print manager provides shared services and a system UI for printing, giving users consistent control over printing from any app. The print manager also ensures the security of content as it's passed across processes, from an app to a print service.

Your mileage may vary, of course. But, we're happy to report, our first experience with the new printing framework — at least from an end-user standpoint and with some help from an HP plugin — worked flawlessly.

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3 years ago

Soak test updates hitting new Droids starting tomorrow

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What specifically the update contains is still unknown at this point

We had more than a hunch it was coming, and now we have confirmation that those participating in the soak test for Verizon's latest Droids (Mini, Ultra and Maxx) are receiving an update starting tomorrow. Now what exactly you'll get if you're part of the program is unknown — our best guess is probably the same camera update that Moto X users received recently, but you never know with these sorts of black box updates.

Any update is probably welcomed though, and chances are it'll be something you'll actually want. If you didn't get in on the soak test this time around, rest assured that the updates usually push out to everyone quickly after the soak test, provided no extreme bugs are found.

More: Droid Maxx Forums | Droid Ultra Forums

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3 years ago

Escape from office drudgery with Android board game Mr. Ludo

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Nobody looks forward to the end of the work day more than Mr. Ludo

If you played board games as a kid, chances are you played Ludo, which also goes by Sorry!, Parcheesi, and other names. Now UK developer called Yo Ambulante has created a new Android version called Mr. Ludo. This particular take still offers the time-honored and simple gameplay that many of us know and love, but dresses it up with a charming office-based theme and both local and online multiplayer for up to four players. Oh, and it's free to play.

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3 years ago

Tumblr app now shows GIFs in the dashboard, properly rotates to landscape

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What good is Tumblr without proper GIF support? Now it's here

An update is hitting today for the Tumblr app that brings a couple of much-welcomed features, GIFs in the dashboard and full landscape support. What's Tumblr without GIFs? Now you can view posts with GIFs, and the images will automatically start playing and looping as you scroll to them in your dashboard.

You can also now experience those GIFs and all other kinds of content in landscape, which works on phones but Tumblr says looks especially good on tablets. Additionally, you can also create and share photosets in the apps, as well as double tap images to zoom in and out.

You can grab the latest version of the Tumblr app from the Play Store link above.

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