3 years ago

Packaged Chrome apps come to Android and iOS with dev preview toolset


Existing and new Chrome apps can run on Android using today's new tools

The picture you see above is Google's future. No, not a poorly designed calculator application that doesn't even fill the window it is drawn in, but the code behind it. You see, the same code that runs this Chrome packaged application was used, line for line, to build this Android application.

This is a very big deal.

It's part of a new set of developer tools that Google has put out today, designed to do one thing — run "native" Chrome packaged applications on Android and iOS. Using a new set of scripts and tools built around Apache's Cordova, the toolchain can take your HTML, JavaScript and CSS files currently used to make Chrome apps and wrap them neatly into a package that compiles and runs natively on Android or iOS.

While I'll leave the iOS development to someone more familiar with the platform, I spent the afternoon checking out just what it takes to turn a Chrome app into an Android app. I was surprised to learn that it's not all that much.

Using a few simple commands your existing (or new) Chrome apps can be wrapped into a project that will open in an IDE like Eclipse, or one that will easily build its own apk file with just a few commands at a terminal. These apps can be installed just like any other app, and are even able to be uploaded to Google Play or Apple's App Store.

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3 years ago

AT&T Q4 2013 earnings are in: $18.4 billion wireless revenue, 566,000 customer adds


Postpaid churn of just 1.11%; data revenues up by 16% over Q4 2012

AT&T has just reported its Q4 2013 financial results where the company as a whole posted $33.2 billion in revenues in Q4, which is up 1.8 percent over last year, and $6.91 billion in net income. We like to focus on the wireless side of things, however, which are more relevant to the Android world.

For its wireless business, AT&T saw operating revenues increase by 4.5 percent year-over-year to $18.44 billion, with a 16 percent bump in data revenues making up a large portion of that growth. Net income still dipped in the quarter, however, due to high expenses — the end result was $3.92 billion in income, down 14.7 percent over Q3 2013 but up 54 percent over Q4 2012.

AT&T still managed to add a total of 556,000 net postpaid customers in the quarter, as well as 440,000 branded net tablet additions. That leaves the carrier with a total of 110.37 million customers, 72.6 million of which are postpaid. The carrier had record-low Q4 churn of 1.11 percent, although it was still several basis points above previous quarters in 2013. Phone-only ARPU was up 3.9 percent year-over-year as well, marking the 20th consecutive quarter that ARPU has increased.

Of the 7.9 million phones sold in the quarter, 93 percent were smartphones. AT&T also says its Next financing program was used for over one million device sales, equivalent to 15 percent of all postpaid smartphone additions and upgrades. A full 77 percent of AT&T's postpaid customers are using smartphones, up from 70 percent in Q4 2012.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Rdio and Shazam expand partnership to 29 new countries


Search for music and listen with your Rdio subscription instantly in more places

Building on a partnership that started in late 2012 to let users find and instantly stream music they hear, Rdio and Shazam have expanded their music partnership to 29 new countries around the world. This means that Shazam users in a total of 35 countries can now identify music — in either the free or paid version of the app — and instantly listen to the tracks streaming via their Rdio music subscription.

And now with the latest version of Rdio, you can sync up and keep a history of all your Shazam-found tracks in your Rdio library. It's a big deal for music junkies out there who are always looking to discover new music, and this is a partnership that really pays off for all parties. You can grab the latest version of the Shazam app at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Canadian Moto Xs getting Android 4.4.2 update


Moto X on Rogers and Fido in Canada getting KitKat, along with the Moto G on Boost Mobile

Motorola has announced that Canadian Moto X owners are next in line for a taste of KitKat, with Android 4.4.2 now rolling out to handsets on Rogers and Fido in the country. In a blog post today, Motorola VP Punit Soni says the Canadian phones are the first Moto Xs to get the bump up to 4.4.2 — existing Moto X KitKat builds are based on Android 4.4, remember. Though we've also heard isolated reports of some Sprint Moto X devices getting that same update in recent days.

In related news the Moto G on Boost Mobile is also being updated to Android 4.4.2, according to Motorola. And later this week the Moto X is due to launch in the UK, also running Android 4.4.2 out of the box.

Source: Motorola; via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sony really, really wants you to take great pictures using a tablet


Tablet mount inbound for the QX10 and QX100 cameras, to make one giant camera

Part of the beauty of the Sony QX10 and QX100 cameras is the versatility. The ability to use it which whichever Android smartphone you have in your pocket at the time, or even an iPhone should you so desire. The included adaptor to strap it to your phone accomodates most current devices, but not tablets. But Sony looks set to change all that; it really, really wants you to use it with a tablet. 

This image courtesy of the folks at Xperia Blog shows a new mount to strap either of the cameras to a tablet. It isn't going to be available until April, and initially in Japan only, but it shows us what is essentially a 10-inch camera. Yowzas. 

Sure, you can already kind of use the QX cameras with a tablet, and there's no doubt that picture viewing and editing would be better on a big screen. But this goes one step beyond even those folks who wander around taking photos with an iPad. 

One other thing of note; the selection of images shows the camera mounted to a Sony Vaio tablet. Is there a Windows 8 client of the Playmemories Mobile app on the cards? We like the QX cameras, but for us this might be a step too far. How about you? 

Source: Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

THX tune-up app now available for Android devices


Get the most out of your home theater with the help of THX

So you have a home theater in your house that you want to use to watch the Super Bowl or Olympics, but it just isn't running quite the way you had wanted. Whether you need to optimize the video quality or change the audio levels to improve your sound system, you will want to download the THX tune-up application.

The app works by launching a series of step-by-step instructions to walk you through a series of tests. These tests include Video Features, Audio Features and Bonus Features. Inside the Video Features you will be able to adjust aspect ratio, brightness, color and more, while the Audio Features will make sure the correct speakers are being used at the right time through phase adjustment and some other tweaks as well.

If you are looking to take better control over your home theater system you'll definitely want to check out THX tune-up for your Android device now. The application is currently free until February 3rd, when it will jump up to a $1.99 purchase.

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3 years ago

Glass Explorers can now buy Titanium Collection frames for $225 each


Frame accents come in various colors to match your existing Glass hardware

Google swiftly unveiled its new line of custom frames and shades for Google Glass last night, and now existing Explorers have the chance get their hands on them. By heading to the Glass store, where you could previously pick up things like earbuds and replacement shades, Explorers can pick up one of the four new frames for a cool $225 each, or new shades for $150 each.

The frames themselves all come in black, but you select an accompanying accent color to match your glass hardware. Although we suppose you can technically choose any color if you're considering mixing-and-matching. The two new styles of shades are currently out of stock, but all four frames are ready to order. Shipping is free (oh what a deal!) and the orders ship within 5-7 days according to the order page.

Are any Explorers out there considering Titanium Collection frames? At this steep price they aren't the simplest way to customize your Glass hardware, especially if you don't need prescription lenses.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

BlackBerry to bake version of BBM for Gingerbread phones


Update will bring support for older devices

While the folks behind the BBM Twitter account may be making some questionable posts, the team behind the scenes has been hard at work adding support for Gingerbread users. Jeff Gadway of BlackBerry has posted that over the past few months the team has been adding support so more users can enjoy what BBM brings, and the update is due to come in February. 

With 21 percent of Android devices still running Gingerbread there is definitely a bunch of users that BlackBerry hopes to capture with the added support. Will you be downloading BBM on your Gingerbread device?

Source: BlackBerry

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3 years ago

Smartwatch Fans reviews Pebble Steel!


We're halfway into a new era for the Pebble smartwatch. Pebble Steel starts shipping today, bringing an updated (and more sophisticated) version of the smartwatch to our wrists. It's available in either matte black or stainless steel, with links or a leather strap — and it's damned nice.

While we're still waiting on the updated Android app and the Pebble App Store, our pals at Smartwatch Fans have the lowdown with their own Pebble Steel review. Give it a look-see.

More: Read the Pebble Steel review at Smartwatch Fans

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3 years ago

How to turn on and off autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy S4


Need help toggling auto-correct on the Samsung Galaxy S4 keyboard? We've got you covered.

The auto-correct options on the stock keyboard for the Samsung Galaxy S4 might not be your cup of tea; maybe you'd rather have the extra screen real estate, or maybe you can't trust the corrections. Or maybe you've somehow lost auto-correct on your keyboard and desperately need it back to keep spelling with any amount of lucidity. Whatever the reason, we won't judge you. Here's how to get rid of auto-correct on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

  1. Tap on any text field, such as a search box, e-mail body, or a browser address bar to summon the keyboard.
  2. Tap the gear in the bottom left of the keyboard, beside the Sym button.
  3. Tap Predictive text to turn it off and on. You can also toggle automatic capitalization, spacing, and punctuation as desired.

Voilà. You are now typing freely without any interruption from those damned dirty robots or have enabled your spelling savior, whatever the case may be. Remember, there are fantastic third-party keyboards out there to check out too, like SwiftKey and Swype

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3 years ago

How to record your screen in Android 4.4 KitKat


We've previously walked through the basics of screen recording in Android 4.4 KitKat. For those of us familiar with command-line tools, it's just a matter of plugging in and issuing a single command, really. You don't need root access.

But if you need a little extra help, the Google's Joe Fernandez and the Android Developers account have put together a great walkthrough video, showing each step and offering up some great tips.

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3 years ago

Two weeks with a Nest Thermostat


I replaced a perfectly good programmable thermostat with one ridiculously more expensive. But was it worth it?

"It cost how much?"


Nest Amazon Apple Best Buy Home Depot Lowes

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

That's not exactly an uncommon phrase in my house. Only this time, my wife wasn't asking about some phone or tablet I brought home — and promptly placed next to all the other phones and tablets I'd previously brought home. This time it was a futuristic-looking thermostat.

On Jan. 13, 2014, Google announced that it bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. What's good for Google is good for Android Central, I imagine. But not having quite that much cash on hand, we settled for buying one single, solitary Nest thermostat for the not-so-low price of $249.

Part of the selling point of Nest is that it learns your heating and cooling habits and adjusts itself accordingly to save you money. That’s a long-term play, and the idea is that Nest's high price is recouped in a year or two.

So we can't speak to any long-term savings just yet. But for those who are thinking about getting into the connected-home game with a Nest, we can offer up a couple weeks's worth of experience and advice.

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3 years ago

LG launches QSlide SDK to bring floating windows to third-party apps


LG has announced the release of its QSlide SDK in an effort to bring more windowed applications to its Android phones. QSlide is LG's framework for miniature windowed apps, found on the G2 and other current LG phones. Similar to Samsung's Pen Window, QSlide apps can be used in the foreground while other fullscreen apps are running in the background.

Today's SDK launch makes it possible for third-party developers to bring this functionality to their own apps. SDK features include switching between floating and fullscreen mode, adjusting window transparency levels, customizing the appearance of the window and adding a quick launch icon to the QSlide tray in the notification shade. Interested developers can pick the QSlide SDK from LG's developer site, or through the Android SDK Manager. LG's also got documentation available as a guide for developers.

You'll find more info and download links at developer.lge.com, or alternatively hit the link below for a general walkthrough of QSlide on the LG G2.

More: QSlide apps on the LG G2

Source: LG Developer

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo arrives in the Netherlands


Entry-level 5-inch handset for €260

Last year's Samsung Galaxy Grand sought to bring users a big-screen Android experience without a similarly large price tag. Now it seems we have a successor for 2014 — the Galaxy Grand Neo, a 5.01-incher with a WVGA display, quad-core CPU and HSPA+ (21Mbps) data speeds. The Grand Neo sports a traditional plastic-backed Samsung design with silver trim, along with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Samsung's TouchWix UI. There's also 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (expandable via microSD), an 5-megapixel camera and 2100mAh battery. Not the specciest of specs for sure, but we're looking at an entry-level product here.

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3 years ago

Android 4.4.2 rollout for HTC One begins in parts of Europe


308MB update brings HTC's 2013 flagship up to the latest version of Android

HTC said it'd deliver Android 4.4 KitKat to European HTC Ones by the end of January, and it seems the manufacturer's about to make good on its promise. An update to software version 4.19.401.8, weighing in at 308.24 megabytes, has started hitting HTC One handsets in parts of Europe — including unlocked devices from the Nordic region, typically among the first with new software updates. If past rollouts are any indication, more regions should follow in the days and weeks ahead, so hold tight if you're not seeing the OTA on your phone just yet,

In addition to Android 4.4.2, (and unspecified security enhancements) the update adds cloud printing service and Bluetooth profiles — both parts of KitKat we've seen on other handsets — while killing support for Adobe Flash in the stock HTC web browser. The latter has been a long time coming — Flash on Android hasn't been officially supported since mid-2012.

Besides that it's business as usual on HTC Sense 5.5, with one minor cosmetic change. The battery icon is now white-on-white, like stock KitKat, rather than colored as it was on Jelly Bean. (We've got pics after the break.)

Meanwhile the KitKat update for U.S. carrier-branded HTC Ones recently entered certification, a sure sign that it's on its way too. 

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