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3 years ago

Chromecast gets another OTA update and a new version of the SDK to go with it

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Your Chromecast is getting bumped to version 12940, and the SDK gets a new point release bringing it to 1.0.1

Google is pushing out another silent OTA for the Chromecast, bringing the streamer-on-a-stick to version 12940. You wont have to do anything to get it, and probably would never know it came. But for those who are worried about things like hacking the Chromecast, we want to get the word out. 

The change log is short but sweet. "Better discovery of Chromecast devices" and "Improved Google Play Movies stability." Both sound like something we all want. 

In other Chromecast news, the Google Cast SDK developer preview also got a little bump to version 1.0.1, fixing a bug some iOS developers were seeing where a naming convention interfered with Objective-C++ development. 

The quick pace of changes and updates doesn't surprise us at all, as we think Google has big plans not just for the Chromecast but the the Google Cast protocol as a whole.

Source: Chrome Releases Blog

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3 years ago

Hangouts app gets updated in Google Play

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The Hangouts app gets a speed boost on some phones

The Hangouts app has been updated, and though we don't have a change log as of yet, long-time reader Ben has the update and can tell us a little about what to expect.

On his Galaxy Nexus, he notices a big improvement in speed, and there are more emojis for the folks who like to add a little flair to their messages. Other than that, there seems to be no user-facing changes, but we'll wager a guess that there are bug fixes and stability improvements in there, too.

The new version is 1.1.2.778356, and is doing the usual gradual rollout thing. Keep an eye on your Google Play notifications to know when it's your turn. In the meantime, you can constantly spam-click the Google play link above like we are and see when Google gets around to updating the change log.

Thanks, Ben!

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3 years ago

Motorola puts Touchless Control app in Google Play, availability not expanding

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No new features being added in this initial Play Store release

One of the new headline features of Motorola's latest Droid line and the Moto X, Touchless Control, is hitting the Play Store today. Before you get too excited tough, the app is still restricted to just those four handsets — Droid Mini, Droid Ultra, Droid MAXX and Moto X — at least at this point.

The app is showing up as an update for users of these devices, but there doesn't seem to be any change in functionality or features at this point. Moving this Touchless Control over to the Play Store does enable swift updating when new features are available though, much like we've seen with Google moving apps like its keyboard into the Play Store.

If you have your hands on one of the new Droids, be sure to grab the update on your device.

Via: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

T-Mobile restructures business plans, offers contract-free options

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Business accounts with 6 or more lines receive special pricing

Building on its crusade as the "UNcarrier", T-Mobile is expanding its plan restructuring to its small and medium business offerings as well. There are now just two basic tiers for business — Simple Choice Classic and Simple Choice for Business. The former is a more typical plan, where each employee will receive a subsidized device and the business will be under a service contract, with prices ranging from $40 per line for unlimited talk, text and 500MB of data up to $70 for unlimited data (with 2.5GB of tethering).

The Simple Choice for Business plans are of the newer no-contract style, and range from just $20 per line for 500MB of data up to $50 for unlimited data. Each line will then have access to T-Mobile's financing deals for purchasing devices, with a down payment for each device and monthly installments to pay it off. For small businesses (less than 6 people), T-Mobile is simply offering plans of the same structure as its family plans, with charges starting at $50 for the first line, down to $10 for the 3rd, 4th and 5th lines on the account.

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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Are you buying a smart watch?

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The rush of smart watches has just begun — are you going to buy into the wearable computing age?

The age of wearables is coming. Google Glass is making headlines in the mainstream media, and we're hearing all sorts of news and rumors about companies and their plans for wearable computing devices — most of which can connect to your Android. While smart glasses are still a ways off, one type of wearable computer is already available and catching a lot of eyes — the smart watch.

We've seen watches from Motorola and Sony in the past, and they met limited success. But there seems to be a surge of interest in smart watches as of late, and products like the Pebble are selling in decent numbers, and stories about Samsung or Google developing their own wrist computer always attract plenty of eyeballs. It may not be a new idea, but it looks like one whose time has come. Phil is giving the Pebble a long look, I'm trying to decide between the Sony SmartWatch and a Pebble, and Alex is pretty keen at having a look at Samsung's upcoming offering

Many of us (guilty) haven't worn a watch daily for a while now. I have a feeling that will change in the next year or so, as new models continue to appear and offer cool features that we think we can't live without. What say you? Are you jumping on the smart watch train? Or maybe you have already. There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, or embedded after the break where you can let the world know where you stand. Vote in it, and comment away.

Before we go, let's see the results of last week's poll.

The Cloud - who does it right?

The other services have their fair share of fans, but the general consensus seems to be that Google is doing it right. We have to agree, especially if you're using an Android (like you should be). Let's hope they don't get too comfortable and stop the break-neck innovation that got them here.

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3 years ago

LG exec confirms new tablet, smartwatch on the way

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New 6-inch phone also in the device pipeline

LG plans to roll out multiple new interesting products if statements given by the company's Bulgarian communications executive Dimitar Valev are to be believed. Valev, in an interview with Dnevnik.bg, confirmed that LG will be resurrecting its tablet lineup soon, along with a new 6-inch smart phone device, a smartwatch device and a new Firefox OS phone.

Just saying that new products are coming with no real details isn't of much help, but it's interesting to see an executive laying out a roadmap like this. Our best guess at the upcoming tablet is an 9.8-inch model named the V500, which has just passed through FCC certification. As for the specifics on LG's plans for a new phone even larger than the Optimus G Pro and a jump back into wearable tech, we'll have to keep waiting for more information to surface.

Source: Engadget; (2)

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3 years ago

Reminders come to Google Keep, Android app update rolling out

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Reminders and a new UI coming to the Google Keep app, your update is rolling out slowly

Google has updated the Keep service with some new functionality, allowing us to now set reminders based on time or location right from the Android app, website, or Chrome extension. Once a reminder is set and saved in your Google account, you'll receive a notification when it is triggered on your Android.

Like Google Now reminders (we're pretty sure it's the same service, and first sign of the death of Google Tasks) you can tell the Keep app what time to remind you of something, or tell it to remind you when you get somewhere, like the grocery store or work. You can set things to happen at a specific time, like 3:30PM for instance, or something more general like Thursday morning. 

In addition to the new reminders feature, the Keep app is getting the same Google overhaul we've seen the other high-profile apps get. Hamburger menu, account switching and an updated new note interface round things out nicely.

If you're a Google Keep user, keep an eye out for the update that's slowly rolling out to all users. You can check using the Google Play link above. The Chrome extension update can be found here, and you can access Google Keep on the web via your Google Drive account here. Follow through the break for some screenshots.

Source: Google Drive Blog. Thanks, Jonathan!

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3 years ago

TripIt brings Seat Tracker service to Android app

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Don't get stuck in the middle seat for a long flight again

Popular travel service TripIt is adding one of its best "Pro" features, Seat Tracker, to its Android app today. The new feature leverages the fact that TripIt manages your flights for you and therefore can autonomously scan for open or better seats and offer them to you when they become available. Seat Tracker can help you get out of the middle seat, get into an exit row for more leg room or bring you closer to friends or family that you're flying with.

To take advantage of Seat Tracker you'll need the latest version of the Android app and be signed up for the TripIt Pro service, which costs $49 per year but includes several great features for the frequent flyer out there.

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3 years ago

International HTC One updated with Google Keyboard fix, Mini+ support

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Minor update starting to roll out in parts of Europe

The international HTC One has today received a minor firmware update addressing one of the bugs with the previous Android 4.2-based ROM, and adding support for an upcoming accessory.

The update to version 2.24.401.8 (from 2.24.401.2) fixes support for the Google Keyboard — previously impossible to use due to a software bug — and enables support for HTC's upcoming Mini+ accessory. The Mini+ is the successor to last year's HTC Mini — effectively a smaller companion handset that pairs with your smartphone over Bluetooth and allows you to make calls.

The update weighs just over 31 megabytes and doesn't appear to change anything else. (It's still based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.) The new firmware is live now for HTC One users in Scandinavia, and should be rolled out to other countries in the near future. Check under Settings > About > Software updates to see if your update is ready.

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3 years ago

'Dungeon Keeper' coming to Android this winter

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Classic PC franchise rebooted for 'strategy building and tower defense' title

EA and Mythic Studio have announced that they're bringing the classic strategy/god-game franchise Dungeon Keeper to Android and iOS devices later in the year, in the form of a mobile reboot. The PC original, which debuted back in 1997, saw players building an underground lair, attracting evil minions into their service and doing battle against the forces of good.

The mobile version is a "strategy building and tower defense" title, which may disappoint those hoping for a true portable re-make. Nevertheless, all the various components of Dungeon Keeper seem to be in place, including favorite minions like the bile demon, horned reaper and dark mistress, and various traps, rooms and spells.

From EA's press release —

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Golden flip phone is official

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Dual 3.7-inch displays, Android 4.2 and TouchWiz, heading to Korea

A week after Samsung announced the W789 Android-powered flip phone for China, we're seeing a higher-end version making its debut in the company's native South Korea. The Samsung Galaxy Golden has two 3.7-inch SuperAMOLED screens — one outside, one inside — alongside a traditional dial pad and call buttons. Powering the device is a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, and there's also 8-megapixel camera. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is onboard too, as is Samsung's own TouchWiz software.

Interestingly, the Galaxy Golden comes with many of the features of the Galaxy S4, including S Health, Easy Mode and the Optical Reader app, which can automatically parse business cards using the camera. (If the image above didn't give the game away, Samsung's going for a business-centric theme here.)

The Galaxy Golden will be made available through the SKT and KT carriers, priced at a rather eye-watering 790,000 won ($700.)

Source: Samsung Tomorrow (Korean); via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Verizon-bound LG QWERTY slider pictured

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It's been almost a year since we've seen a high-profile Android-powered QWERTY slider launch on a U.S. carrier, but it seems LG and Verizon might attempt to revive the form factor. According to Twitter leaker @evleaks, the "LG Enact," pictured on the right, is just "days away" from launch, and it'll pack a 4-inch WVGA display and a 5-megapixel camera.

As such, we're not looking at a high-end slider to succeed the Droid 4, more a budget slider for those on Verizon's 4G network that'll probably go for under $100 on-contract.

Any takers?

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 now available on Three UK

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After an announcement just a week ago, Three UK has today launched the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The stylus-toting tablet is available on a wide range of (data-only) contracts, starting as low as £5 per month for 250MB, with a £369 up-front charge for the device. If you're after a subsidized Note 8, Three's 24-month contracts start at £19 per month for 5GB and £69 up-front. Data-hungry buyers can go as high as 15GB for £29 per month, or £25 per month and £99 up-front.

The Note 8 packs a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8-inch 1280x800 display and DC-HSDPA/4G LTE connectivity, meaning it'll support Three's 4G network when it launches during the fourth quarter.

Source: Three

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3 years ago

LG G2 to arrive in the U.S. by mid-September

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G2 scheduled for Verizon launch on Sept. 12, AT&T on Sept. 13

Apparently keen to get its new flagship phone on American store shelves before the next iPhone hits, LG plans to launch the G2 on the two largest U.S. carriers by the middle of next month, Android Central can reveal. Sources familiar with LG's plans tell us that Verizon is currently scheduled to launch the G2 on Sept. 12, while AT&T will ship the next day, Sept. 13. For the latter, pre-sales will open on Sept. 3, and pre-order customers will get a free folio case.

The G2 will also be headed to Sprint and T-Mobile, however we weren't able to track down any firm release dates for these carriers.

In addition to most likely launching ahead of Apple's new iPhone (or iPhones, as the case may be), a mid-September launch could see the G2 available in the U.S. before rival devices from HTC and Samsung, including the One Max and Galaxy Note 3. It's also a relatively quick turnaround for LG, which has previously taken its time when it comes to bringing phones to the U.S. market.

Elsewhere, the G2 is pegged to arrive in the UK around the end of September, having already gone on sale in South Korea.

So will you be picking up an LG G2 in the U.S. next month? Shout out in the comments!

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 JWR66Y security update landing on some Nexus phones

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It looks like that T-Mobile U.S. update advisory was right on the money. A few hours after T-Mo updated its support site with word of a security update for the Nexus 4, we're seeing signs that an update to build JWR66Y (from the earlier JWR66V) is pushing out to the Nexus 4 and (GSM) Galaxy Nexus. Posters on the XDA forums have said that they've received a small OTA update to the new version, which still identifies itself as Android 4.3.

It's been speculated that the new version addresses Android security vulnerabilities which were recently involved in a high-profile Bitcoin heist.

So far we're not seeing any signs that the Nexus 10 or either Nexus 7s have been updated, but we'd expect the update to be extended to all Nexus devices sooner rather than later. Let us know in the comments if you've already updated your phone this morning.

Source: XDA (1, 2)

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