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4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.2 launches with cloud sync, 50 percent discount

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SwiftKey Cloud goes official, now available on Google Play

A month after the first public beta launched, popular keyboard replacement SwiftKey has pushed its new cloud-based features out through Google Play with the public launch of version 4.2 of its app.

 SwiftKey 4.2 introduces cloud synchronization for personalized predictions, allowing users to easily keep their dictionaries and typing styles in sync across multiple devices. The latest version of SwiftKey also allows "trending phrases" — for example, words associated with current events — to be updated remotely without requiring further app updates.

Logging into SwiftKey been simplified too, with the addition of Google+ sign-in.

To sweeten the deal, SwiftKey 4.2 is launching at a 50 percent discount, so if you buy it today you'll pay just half the standard price. (If you've already purchased SwiftKey, you'll get an app update with all the new features.)

If you're picking up SwiftKey 4.2 for the first time today, or you've been testing it over the past month, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments. To grab the new version of the app for yourself, hit the Google Play link up top.

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4 years ago

Google Helpouts plans to connect experts with novices for live video learning

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Experts in a variety of topics can offer free or paid help from anywhere

Google has introduced a new service it is calling "Google Helpouts" today, and as the name would imply it is based on connecting people to help each other with a Google Hangout video call. A new page and support documentation for Google Helpouts has been released quietly tonight (we'd expect Google to make a formal announcement soon) with a lot of information about what exactly it is and how it works.

The basic idea is to build up a network of experts on different topics — cooking, exercise and mechanical help are used as examples — that are willing to help others who have a need for that specific knowledge, and link them together for either free or paid help. That's right, experts can offer their services for a self-defined fee, of which Google takes a 20 percent cut to cover Google Wallet transaction and hosting fees. Google is however offering a 100 percent money-back guarantee to the person receiving the help if they aren't satisfied.

Google is taking information from people who are interested in giving or receiving help, but that's the extent of this system at the moment. Presumably Google is interested in building up a group of experts who are willing to offer their services before making the entire system live.

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4 years ago

AT&T announces new LTE locations, expansions and plans for 50 new markets in 2013

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AT&T has been on a tear lately with their LTE network expansion and overhaul, and tonight they have made yet another big announcement. The company will be lighting up LTE in five new markets, expanding existing coverage in eight others, and has announced a big list of locations scheduled to get LTE data coverage by the end of 2013.

AT&T 4G LTE currently covers over 225 million people in 370 markets, and with tonights news, they should be covering nearly 270 million people in 400 markets by the end of 2013. Verizon may have had quite the head start, but nobody can say AT&T is resting on their laurels.

Your lists are after the break.

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4 years ago

LG announces the world's first 2560 x 1440 smartphone display

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LG has sent out a press release this evening that is going to get more than a few people excited — especially fans of big, beautiful screens on their smartphones. They unwrapped the first QHD (Quad High Definition, not the qHD of old) 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display.

LG says the panel, which is only 1.21mm thick, will have a minimum bezel of 1.2mm. This makes the new display 12 percent thinner compared to the 5.2-inch display they showed off on the LG G2 last month. The panel will also be significantly brighter, checking in at 430 nits. And for all you resolution-junkies, this works out to a whopping 538ppi.

Is the world ready for a phone with a display sporting four times the resolution of the current Full-HD screens we see now? You bet it is. 1280 x 720 is so 2013. The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Google reminds us to use Google Wallet with special promos in apps and on the web

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Several apps or mobile shopping sites offering deals for paying with Google

If you've signed up for Google Wallet, chances are you received an email tonight reminding you of several different promotions Google is currently running in conjunction with its payment partners. Hoping to get people past that crucial first purchase with the service online, Google is offering promotions for making purchases with Google Wallet on six different Android apps:

All you have to do is visit the app or mobile site and make a purchase with your Google Wallet account, and they'll handle the discount for you. Pretty slick, isn't it? Additionally, Google is highlighting six more apps or sites that accept Google Wallet as payment, but don't have special promotions at this time:

There are no special URLs to follow for the deals (although we've linked them all above), but if you're curious what the email looks like and didn't receive it, you can find it after the break.

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4 years ago

Vector 6: Ben Bajarin on Amazon vs. Apple vs. Google vs. Samsung

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Vector is Mobile Nation's newest show. It takes the most important topics in technology today, focuses on them from interesting angles, and then discusses the hell out of them. On this episode, Ben Bajarin of Tech.pinions talks to Rene about Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung, their differences and similarities not only in business models but in philosophies, and their relative positions both in North America and internationally. type="audio/mpeg">

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android update brings WebRTC to stable channel

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Real time communication without plugins now available on Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android has been updated today, and along with improved scrolling and startup performance, there's also a pretty cool new feature — support for WebRTC.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via some simple Javascript APIs. It's been supported on the desktop in Chrome for a few versions, and is a joint project between Google, Mozilla and Opera.

That's what it is, but what it does is the cool part. It allows you to use the camera and microphone on your Android to video chat without installing any pesky plugins. A website using WebRTC will request permission, and if you grant it you'll have a persistent notification reminding you that video and voice is being transmitted. Things can get interesting if web developers integrate it into their site design.

The update is "rolling out" starting today. You can check for updates from the Google Play app on your Android, or by clicking the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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4 years ago

There are now more than 40 million Vine users

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Vine is a six-second success story with over 40 million users

Twitter's Vine app — available for Android, the Kindle, and iOS now has over 40 million users says the company's official Twitter account.

We've said this before and we'll say it again: this community - now more than 40 million of you - is amazing. Thank you for inspiring us.

That's a lot of six-second videographers, and we're pretty sure nobody is happier about it than Twitter. Part of the reason for Vine's success is that they keep improving their app. Since it's arrival for Android in June, we've seen additions like front-facing camera support, push notifications and better Facebook integration. Users love it when the things they like get even better.

If you haven't tried Vine yet, click the Google Play link above and join the over 40 million folks using it.

Source: @vineapp

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4 years ago

Google+ Photo app now available for all Chromebooks

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The Google+ Photos app we saw Google release last June for the Pixel is now available for all Chromebooks

The Google+ Photos app was always able to be installed and "hacked" to work for Chromebooks and computers that weren't the Pixel, but now you can officially load it up and run it on all Chromebooks. The application allows for easy sharing photos from your Chromebook, and is a great front-end for viewing and sorting out your Google+ photo collection. It even starts up when you insert an SD card with pictures into your Chromebook.

Installation is easy, you just click and install from the Chrome Web Store. If you have a large collection of photos on Google+. or plan to build one, and use a Chromebook you will want to give this one a look.

Source: The official Google+ account

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4 years ago

Facebook improves sharing, Open Graph options in latest SDK for Android

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Improved developer tools creating a better user experience across apps

Since revealing its new strategy for Facebook as a platform on mobile, it has been making steady improvements to its SDK for Android which lets developers integrate Facebook features into their apps. First up is an improvement to the Facebook sharing experience, which now won't require a Facebook login at the time of sharing assuming you have the Facebook app installed. Users will be quickly redirected to the share menu in the Facebook app, and sent right back to the original app once the item is shared.

Additionally, the latest SDK is making it easier for developers to access and use Facebook's "Open Graph". Developers no longer need to host webpages and can simply use an Object API to insert Open Graph objects into their app. The biggest user-facing change in this SDK update is an improved login UI, which looks more modern and has a simple "Log in with Facebook" button. This change will come without any code changes on behalf of the developer.

Today's updates are pretty important to developers, and most importantly will end up making an improved experience for end users. Be on the lookout for these changes as developers integrate the new SDK into their apps.

Source: Facebook Developers

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Back to school

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Some serious prizes await two lucky picture takers this week

We've been getting back into our weekly photo contests, and we're hoping to get even more people involved with a special edition three week long contest this time.

The topic this week is a very fitting one — "back to school". The middle of August is the time when kids are getting ready to head back to grade school, teenagers are heading to high school or college and even adults are getting ready for education be it for themselves or for their children. It's a fun time for some and a not-so-fun time for others, but one thing is certain there are many pictures to be had that can express what "back to school" means to you.

As we teased before, this week's contest has some seriously big prizes to it.

We have two Chromebook Pixel laptops and one of each Google Play edition device, a Galaxy S4 and an HTC One to give away. Two lucky winners from this contest will walk away with both a Pixel and a Google Play edition phone.

We're also giving you more time to enter, given the huge prizes.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a post 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 in three weeks, Tuesday (September 10) 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

T-Mobile outs Nexus 4 OTA, says security fixes coming today

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JWR66Y update said to contain security fixes, checks in at 1.8MB

While it isn't the bug-fix 4.3.1 update many are wanting (welcome to the world of owning a Nexus!), T-Mobile has put up an information sheet about the JWR66Y update that they say was released today (August 20th).

We've heard rumor of a small OTA for the Nexus 4 that would be coming very soon, so we're not completely surprised, but seeing confirmation from T-Mobile -- who carries the Nexus 4 in stores and online -- is always a good thing.

The update itself is said to be about 1.8MB in size, and should deliver some unknown security fixes. There is no word on the update for other devices (though I've heard all current Nexus devices should get it) or Google Play editions, but we imagine that when security is involved Google will push things as best they can.

Anyone out there seeing the update today? If so, holler out in the comments and let us know.

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Google Play Services 3.2 rollout complete

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All users running Android 2.2 or higher should now have access to the latest version of Google Play services for their device

The latest Google Play Services (version 3.2; exact build varies by device) has completed its rollout and should be available for all Android users running Froyo or higher. This is good news for end-users, as we've talked before about how this wrests control of Android features away from manufacturers and carriers, and gives it back to Google. With more resources to devote to Android, we're glad to see Google have a bit more say in the features everyone gets to have and enjoy.

Speaking of features, Google Play Services 3.2 brings a few new ones. We've seen and talked about the improvements to location services, which allows things like Android Device Manager to work without destroying your battery. Like wise for the new Photo Sphere viewer and its compass viewing mode. Both are subtle, but nice little additions.

The really cool stuff in the latest Google Play Services is for developers. The Fused Location Provider (a "smart" way to get location that uses the most power-efficient method) supports a low-power mode option for those times you need to get a users location, as well as supporting mock locations for easier and better testing. The geofencing APIs have been updated, so devices with supporting hardware (the Nexus 4 was used as an example) can use hardware-based geofencing to consume "significantly less" battery, and a snapshot feature has come for the maps API that lets developers grab an image of the current map for those times when an interactive map isn't needed. Also, new options and support for Google+ sign-in, analytics, and InstantBuy are included.

Most of us will just enjoy less power-hungry location services and the compass mode in the Photo Sphere viewer, but developers and those who are curious should visit the source links for all the details.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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4 years ago

New Motorola Droids available from Verizon today

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Today's the official street date for two of Motorola and Verizon's new Droid phones, the Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX — and posters on the Android Central forums are already picking up their handsets. The devices are going on sale in brick-and-mortar VZW stores today, and you can also buy them online with an Aug. 27 shipping date.

The Droid Ultra and Droid MAXX are Moto's flagship devices for Verizon, with 5-inch displays and similar internals to the Moto X. They also boast all the software features from Motorola's customizable handset, including active notifications, voice controls and Motorola Assist.

The smaller Droid Mini is listed as shipping by Aug. 29, though some readers are reporting it's already available to buy in certain stores.

We're currently putting the new Droids through their paces, but you can find more on the Droid Ultra in our hands-on feature and initial review.

Source: Verizon, Android Central forums

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4 years ago

1 Minute Survey: How many times per day do you use your phone for the "basics"?

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We're in the process of cooking up another sweet Talk Mobile infographic (this one based on our social and communications week) and in doing so we need to reach out to the community with one more big question.

Specifically, we're looking at how many times per day you use your phone to do the basics... send a message or email, check what time it is, add an appointment to your calendar, etc. Easy stuff.

The survey will take you only a minute, so hit the link below and getter done and we'll love you long time.

Take the Survey!

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