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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 updated with Optical Reader, bug fixes

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150MB update for Verizon's GS4 now rolling out

Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S4 has a new update pushing out for it right now, bringing a couple of new features, tweaks and bug fixes. The 150MB update to software version VRUDMI1 is rolling out over the air and through Samsung's Kies software, though as always it may take a little time before it filters through to everyone.

The main new addition for Verizon GS4 owners is Samsung's Optical Reader app, which can create contacts from business cards using the rear camera and optical character recognition, in addition to translating printed text between languages. Other major changes and tweaks include improved Wifi connectivity, S Memo bug fixes, support for three-way calling when roaming on the Bluegrass network, and roaming support for TELUS in Canada.

If you're upgrading your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the new firmware today, hit the comments and tell us how you're getting on.

Source: Verizon (PDF), via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

No plans to bring HTC One Max to Canada

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'The current HTC line up of devices is sufficient for the Canadian marketplace'

U.S. carriers Sprint and Verizon might be getting their hands on the HTC One Max later in the year, but there's no such luck for anyone looking to pick up the gianormous HTC handset north of the border. A statement from the company's Canadian arm confirmed to MobileSyrup that there are no plans to launch the 5.9-incher in Canada —

“HTC devices differ from country to country, we work closely with carrier partners in each region to determine what is best for their consumers. Every market is different and has specific needs and demands. We consider a number of factors such as, the HTC devices currently available, the competition etc. At this time the current HTC line up of devices is sufficient for the Canadian marketplace.”

On the other hand we weren't exactly blown away by the One Max during our time with the device, so with the more compelling HTC One already widely available in Canada, perhaps Canadians aren't at such a disadvantage.

More: HTC One Max review

Source: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Netflix for Android updated, brings smoother performance all around

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Update brings performance boost, but profiles are still nowhere to be found

The latest Netflix update is rolling out hard and steady this evening, and we've had a chance to give it a spin. The app has a newly tweaked UI with the hamburger menu we all know and love (that's a nerdy term for the slide-out menu apps are adopting) and better lock screen controls when using the Chromecast feature. But that's not even the good part.

What this app brings that everyone will appreciate is a much smoother overall UI. No more janky, stuttery transitions between views, and everything seems nice and fluid while navigating through both your queue and the categories. Huzzah!

What we aren't seeing is the new profiles feature, that seems to have made its way to every platform except Android. Multi-user support for an app like Netflix, which is heavily influenced by user preference, is a big plus. Hopefully we see it soon for the world's most popular mobile platform.

You can try your luck getting the update via the Google Play link above, but as is usual for big updates to popular apps, Netflix is pushing on a controlled rollout. You'll get the new version eventually — just keep checking.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom leaked for AT&T

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Samsung's hybrid camera and phone device shown with carrier branding and 2013 release date

Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom looks to be making it's way to AT&T sometime this year, if @evleaks is correct. The device is best described as a hybrid of a "decent" phone and a "decent" camera, and is certainly a niche device. That's not a bad thing by any means, as other niche devices have seen great sales and plenty of success.

Alex had a look at the Galaxy S4 Zoom last month, and while he wasn't left blown away, the phone was fluid across the board, and he found the auto mode on the camera did a good job capturing photos in most conditions. While you'll surely find better phones and better cameras, this could make for a really interesting device for some folks.

We'll keep out eyes peeled, and as more develops we'll fill you in. Seeing this come to AT&T makes a lot of sense, and we expect this rumor will pan out.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Talk Mobile 2013 wrap-up

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This marks the conclusion of Talk Mobile 2013. After fifty episodes, more than a hundred breakout videos, and two hundred essays, it's time to wind down the insanity and take a step back an look back at what all transpired. While Talk Mobile brought new tools to the mix, both technical and editorial, the crowning accomplishment was the conversation - not between the writers, but the community.

And that's a conversation that has only just begun.

4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Animals

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Keeping things lively this week with your best pictures of animals

We're ready to jump into another weekly photo contest, and give away some great prizes to the best photographers that enter. This week we're going away from abstract topic prompts to go a little narrower – this week our prompt is "animals." Whether it's your faithful companion dog, a lion at a zoo or a painting of a dragon, we want to see what you can do with this week's topic.

We'll be picking out three winners this week, and each will receive a Pebble smartwatch to connect to their phone.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (October 22) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Google Offers receives a facelift in latest update

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Cleaner, faster interface that's easier to navigate

Google's coupon and deals app, Google Offers, is getting a nice update today to modernize and improve the interface throughout the app. The new main screen of the app is separated into three tabs — Browse, Featured and My Offers — that can be navigated between simply with a slide. Each tab is scrollable, and the Featured tab will of course have the most content. Scroll down to the bottom and you can switch between offers displayed in your own location or a different city.

The new interface continues into the individual offers, which follow more of the modern "cards" UI that Google has been putting into many of its apps today. The offers are still information-rich, with details on the store, the coupon, and where the nearest store that accepts the coupon is. The latest update also lets you redeem offers without a network connection — something we're suprirsed wasn't included before.

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4 years ago

Riptide GP2 update splashes its way into Google Play

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New vehicles, female riders and a new game mode round out a very nice update

Vector Unit has sent the big update for Riptide GP2 that players have been waiting for, bringing a new multi-player game mode, a new high-end hydro-jet, female riders and some touch interface changes. They've been teasing the new features on their Google+ page, and the sizable fan base (including yours truly) has been looking forward to the changes.

The new Scorpion looks pretty awesome, the long-time-coming female character avatar looks like you would expect any female player in an action game to look (for better or worse) and the interface changes — including a new method for manual acceleration — are welcome. But the big news is the new VR Challenge game mode, where you can challenge your friends on 14 different tracks to see who gets the best time.

I've long been a fan of the Riptide GP series, and this update looks like a real winner so far. Grab it from the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Aviate isn't 'spying' on anyone, it's just being sloppy with your data

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Storing your location and installed apps in plain text is at issue here, not collecting that data in the first place

A lot of fuss is being made about the Aviate launcher the past couple days, with things hitting a fever pitch today. Besides the endless requests for invite codes on every social media site known to modern man, it's come to light that the launcher is sharing the data it collects on you with the world. Sort of.

Let's back up a tad. Aviate is a launcher that reconfigures itself — the apps it thinks you need to see right this second — depending on where you are. It's been in private beta for a while, and opened up to more users this week.

The to-do is that your location and list of installed apps are available via a publicly accessible API — but only if you know your unique device identifier. That's not good, but it's not necessarily the end of the world, either.

The good news is that Aviate has said this is something they are fixing, and have made it a top priority. (Update: Looks like the web access has been killed, as promised.) In the meantime, here's what you need to know if you're going to use the app.

Source: +Arvid Gerstmann (1), (2)

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4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Panorama' winner!

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A whole lot of beautiful scenery was on display this week

Another weekly photo contest has come to a close, and after seven days of entries we saw an awesome amount of turnout for this one. The prompt this week was "panorama," which opens up the topic structure again and gave everyone a chance to explore a way of taking pictures that is outside of the norm.

After going through nearly 300 entries across 25 pages in our forums, we had to bring it down to just one winner this week. We saw a lot of great entries this week, but we think we found one that hit the spot just right. Hang around after the break and see who was picked as the winner this week.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile announces the Samsung Galaxy Light

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Alcatel OneTouch Evolve also launches today

T-Mobile US has announced plans to launch the Samsung Galaxy Light, a new entry-level 4G LTE handset. Looking like a cross between a Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini, the Galaxy Light packs a 4-inch WVGA display, a quad-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. There's 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card, and the phone ships with a 1800mAh battery and a 5-megapixel camera.

So nothing much to write home about, but T-Mo should be targeting a low price point for the device when it launches at some undisclosed point in the future.

Meanwhile today sees the launch of Alcatel's affordable OneTouch Evolve on T-Mobile — yours for $28 down, with 24 monthly payments of $3.

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4 years ago

How to turn off BlinkFeed in Sense 5.5

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The option to turn off BlinkFeed is good to have — but you'll be missing out on a great feature

One of the more radical changes HTC brought in its Sense 5 user interface was the addition of BlinkFeed, a somewhat customizable news reader built into your home screens. In fact, it was meant to serve as your home screen, showing you the latest from your favorite news sources, Facebook and Twitter. 

And as you'd expect, BlinkFeed was polarizing. New features can be hard to sell, especially when it comes to forcing them onto a home screen — and doubly so when there's no way to turn them off. Sure, you could just install a new launcher — or just ignore BlinkFeed in the first place — but that wasn't really the point for many.

But starting in Sense 5.5, which debuts on the new HTC One Max, you'll be able to easily turn off the BlinkFeed pane.

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4 years ago

EE announces Pay As You Go LTE plans, tiered data speeds

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'4GEE Extra' plans and larger mobile broadband allowances coming too

British mobile operator EE has announced some sweeping changes to its range of 4G LTE services today, including new Pay As You Go 4G plans, a new two-tiered approach to LTE speeds and larger allowances for mobile broadband customers.

EE's new prepaid 4G plans for smartphones start from £5 per 30-day period for 100MB of data, increasing through to £30 for 10GB. Anyone with a data bundle greater than 2GB will get EE's fastest "double speed" data rates. Other PAYG customers will get standard speeds of up to 30Mbps. PAYG calls and texts are being charged separately, starting at £3 for 100 minutes and £2 for 400 texts.

The PAYG plans will debut alongside new, cheaper LTE-capable phones, including the £129.99 Alcatel One Touch Idol S, though EE says all its 4G devices will be available to prepaid customers too. To sweeten the deal, anyone signing up from the Oct. 30 launch date through until Jan. 31, 2014 will receive a one-off 10GB data allowance. A Christmas promotion will also give PAYG customers 2014 minutes to use in the new year.

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4 years ago

Feedly updated with speed improvements, new widget

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Feedly 17 also includes new 'discover' section, Galaxy Gear support

RSS reader Feedly emerged as one of the major players in the news-reading world following the demise of Google Reader earlier in the year. And now the Feedly app for Android has undergone a major overhaul, bringing improved performance across the board, as well as new features and an updated home screen widget.

Feedly says the new version of the app boasts 300% faster start times, as well as a new, more fluid scrolling experience. There've also been some visual changes, with fonts being re-tooled for easier readability. And a long-standing gripe — the auto-refresh feature when switching back to the app — has been addressed too. What's more, there's a new "discover" section within the app, populated with some of the day's most popular stories.

Other changes include new Facebook SDK integration and support for Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch. (A reference to Android 4.4 KitKat support being added was quickly scrubbed from the changelog — make of that what you will.)

In any case, Feedly users can grab the latest version of the app from Google Play right now. Hit the link up above to get downloading.

Source: Feedly Blog

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4 years ago

Android 4.3 update for T-Mobile HTC One rolling out in 'next few days'

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HTC continues Android 4.3 rollout right on schedule

Joining in on a long line of Android 4.3 updates for different variants of the HTC One, T-Mobile's version is ready to receive its own update. President of HTC America Jason Mackenzie gave us the tip that the update would be hitting T-Mobile HTC Ones this week, and now we have confirmation again from him.

Taking to Twitter once again, Mackenzie says that the update has passed through T-Mobile's certification process, and will hit devices in the "next few days." If the previous rollouts are any indication it should start notifying users very soon. Seeing it on your own device yet? Let folks know in the comments.

Source: @JasonMacHTC

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