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4 years ago

'HTC First' Facebook phone UI pictured in leaked shots

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A minimalist mix of vanilla Android and Facebook influences

A day after we got our first look at the external hardware of the 'HTC First,' more leaked images claim to show the device's UI. Expectedly, today's images, released by 9to5Google in collaboration with @evleaks, put the new 'Facebook Home' home screen launcher front and center. That means your Facebook news feed becomes an integral part of the phone's main app. But what's a little surprising is that the rest of the phone's UI seems pretty close to vanilla Android -- the three leaked images show the stock Gallery, Camera, Phone and Settings apps, along with Google apps like Search, Chrome and the Play Store. Even on a Facebook phone, the Google influence is plain to see.

The big question remains, though -- besides a custom launcher, what is Facebook bringing to the table that requires its own hardware? We suppose we'll find out tomorrow at the company's launch event in California.

Source: 9to5Google

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4 years ago

Tasks update brings multi-app integration, better usability

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Now integrated with Google Now, DashClock Widget, Gmail, and calendar apps

Tasks -- the app that looks so good you'd think it was made by Google -- is getting a big update today. No longer limited to typing out tasks, users can now use the voice command "note to self..." in Google Now to add task entries to the app. The ever-popular DashClock Widget gets Tasks support as well, with the ability to display pending tasks. But the app integration doesn't stop there -- support for related Gmail messages has been added, along with support for third party calendar widgets.

There are a handful of other notable changes, too. Reminders now have a snooze function, and an indicator has been added for overdue tasks. Lists get the option to sort items alphabetically, and the date picker is now easier to use with new shortcuts for today, tomorrow, and next week.

Upon installation of the new update, a permission change is requested. This adds the option to donate to the developer from within the app. If you're using the free version, we'd suggest getting the full version before donating. Hit the Play Store link at the top to get started.

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4 years ago

ASUS teases Transformer Pad Infinity Android 4.2 update today

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TF700 to join its little brother on the latest version of Android

The ASUS Transformer Pad 300 was the first non-Nexus device to get Android 4.2 just a month ago, and now its larger cousin the Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) is set to join on the latest version of Jelly Bean. An image posted to the official ASUS Facebook page reveals that the update should be landing today -- though there's no mention of which territories will be included in this initial roll-out.

If the Infinity's 4.2 update is anything like that of the TF300, owners can expect updates for ASUS's App Locker, Virtual Keyboard, Lock Screen and Setup Wizard applications alongside the new OS.

Transformer Pad Infinity owners, hit the comments and let us know if you're seeing the update on your device yet.

Source: ASUS on Facebook

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4 years ago

Mozilla, Samsung team up on 'Servo' next-gen browser engine

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Android code for 'Servo' and 'Rust' language available to download and build

Browser-maker Mozilla has announced that it's teamed up with Samsung in the creation of a new web browser engine, 'Servo,' built upon a new, modern programming language, 'Rust.'

Both projects are focused on fully exploiting modern, multi-core hardware in a way that maximizes performance, while avoiding  the kinds of bugs and glitches that can lead to crashes and security vulnerabilities. The source code for the latest version of Rust, v. 0.6, and the Servo browser engine, is available to download for Android today. The first major  release of Rust -- let alone the Servo browser based upon it -- isn't expected anytime soon. Today's Mozilla post outlines development work continuing "in the coming year" as it approaches its first major revision.

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4 years ago

Rovio to launch mobile app for Angry Birds Friends

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Facebook-based bird-flinger reportedly heading to Android and iOS

Social avian catapulter Angry Birds Friends is set to launch on Android and iOS, according to reports from TechCrunch. The title's move to mobile was apparently revealed at a Facebook event in Helsinki, Finland, following the Facebook version's push past the 60 million install mark.

In contrast to the single-player focus of vanilla Angry Birds, Angry Birds Friends lets players hold weekly tournaments and compete for medals. Naturally, moving this new social pig-slaughtering experience back to mobile makes sense for Rovio given its web-based success and its familiarity with both platforms.

No word on release dates just yet. In the meantime, you'll just have to make do with of the gazillion other Angry Birds titles currently on Google Play.

Source: TechCrunch

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4 years ago

AT&T updates Galaxy S4 pricing, will offer 16GB model for $200

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16GB AT&T Galaxy S4 for $199.99, 32GB model priced at $249.99

AT&T has updated its pricing details for the Galaxy S4, indicating that it'll offer Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone in both 16 and 32-gigabyte flavors. If it's the base 16GB model you're after, that'll set you back $199.99 up-front on a two-year plan. 32GB will run you $249.99. Previously the carrier had stated it'd sell the S4 for $249.99, without specifying an internal storage amount.

By contrast, AT&T's HTC One comes with 32GB for $199.99 or 64GB for $299.99.

Of course, additional built-in storage isn't as much of a concern on the Galaxy S4, on account of its microSD slot. But extra base storage isn't to be sniffed at, if you've got the cash.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Imaging head explains HTC's 4-megapixel decision

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It's all about balancing sensor size, pixel size and file size, says HTC's Symon Whitehorn

One of the more controversial engineering decisions made in the new HTC One was the choice to go with a 4-megapixel rear camera, but with advanced optics and larger individual pixels. After all, we've been conditioned to see the overall megapixel count as a rough way of judging camera quality. But as HTC's been keen to hammer home since the phone's announcement, pixel count isn't the be-all and end-all of digital imaging.

In an interview with ComputerWorld, HTC's director of special projects Symon Whitehorn -- a former Kodak executive in charge of the manufacturer's imaging efforts -- goes into more detail about the benefits of HTC's new "UltraPixel" sensor, consisting of four million, 2-micron wide pixels.

It's really [a matter of] becoming very rational about the megapixel count rather than using it as a marketing metric, which people have been doing before. Lots of megapixels have their place -- usually in a bigger device. The price the industry is starting to pay by cramming more and more megapixels into a smaller and smaller sensor is loads of added noise and all-over performance.

For 99 percent of what people do with their images, they actually don't need the high megapixel count. We'd rather give them the sort of performance that is real-world usable.

Whitehorn says one of those benefits is improved low light performance, something we highlighted in our review of the HTC One. But it turns out one of the HTC One's other main camera features is reliant on the smaller image size -- namely HTC Zoe.

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4 years ago

Agenda Calendar for Android gets long-awaited widget

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Resizable, and as stylish as it is simple, the Agenda Calendar widget makes this app an easy recommendation

It's a good day for those of you who have waited on a widget for the excellent Agenda Calendar. (Be sure to check out our full look at Agenda Calendar.) We now, in fact, have a widget. Actually, it's a resizable widget, which any self-respecting widget connoisseur knows is the best kind of widget to have. 

And this is what it looks like. Not a whole lot more to say about it -- it's a big black-and-white widget with some colors thrown in depending on the calendar sync. Tap a listing to see it in Agenda, and hit the big + button in the top right to add a new event. Tapping a day (or date) opens that day in the Agenda app.

You could argue that there's a little wasted space here. But, truth be told, the Agenda widget looks a little different on different launchers. In the example above, we've got it set as a 4-by-3 widget on top of Action Launcher. By default, you get a 2-by-3 widget. And the spacing is different on, say, the Nexus 4. So you might have to futz with it a little.

We've been using the Agenda Calendar widget for a couple days now in place of our old standby, Pure Calendar (Agenda). This one's much simpler to set up, but that also means it's not quite as full-featured. That's not really a strike against it, though. There's much to be said about that simplicity, and the overall design is more sophisticated.

All in all, this is a $1.99 that's definitely worth trying out now.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Star and Galaxy Pocket Neo

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Tiny new entry-level handsets with dual-SIM functionality

As Samsung prepares to launch the all-singing, all-dancing Galaxy S4, it's worth remembering that entry level smartphones are also an important part of the company's game plan. So today we see the announcement of two such devices -- the Galaxy Star and Galaxy Pocket Neo.

Both handsets are almost identical in specs and appearance. Both pack dual-SIM capabilities, a 3-inch QVGA screen, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 512MB of RAM and a 2-megapixel rear camera, along with 4GB of internal memory, expandable via microSD slot. But the Galaxy Star clocks its CPU all the way up to the dizzy heights of 1GHz, while the Pocket Neo is content at just 850MHz. The Pocket Neo also includes a digtal compass, whereas the Star does not.

There's no word on availability for either device just yet, but we imagine these will both be targeted at parts of Europe and emerging markets.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Chinese HTC One variant spotted with microSD slot, dual SIM capabilities

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'HTC 802w' hides external storage and two SIM slots behind removable back cover

As much as the 32 to 64 gigabytes of internal storage in the standard HTC One might be enough for most users in the West, different markets sometimes call for different features. And a feature difference is exactly what we're seeing in the first leaked shots of what seems to be a Chinese HTC One variant going by the model name 802w. That's right -- there's dual SIM support, in addition to a microSD slot.

Spotted by Engadget Chinese over on Sina Weibo, the 802w hides all extra stuff behind a removable back cover. That's something not found on the European and American HTC One models, which pack everything into a sealed unibody enclosure with only a pop-out microSIM tray along the left edge. The Chinese handset, said to be headed to China Unicom, has one SIM slot for WCDMA/GSM (data and voice) and another for GSM (voice only), a trait common to many dual-SIM devices.

Even if it's a legit HTC-made product and not a knock-off, we wouldn't hold our breath for HTC One variants like this outside of the Far East. What's more, the prospect of using such a device without Google services might not make the 802w a particularly attractive prospect for import. But at least we'll always be able to fawn over the picture above.

Source: Sina Weibo; via: Engadget Chinese, Engadget

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4 years ago

3DMark graphics benchmark app arrives on Android

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One of the most popular PC benchmarks now available for thousands of different Android devices

3DMark, which has been one of the go-to programs to determine your computer's graphical performance is now available on the Play Store to evaluate phones and tablets as well. The app is nicely designed and gives you more than just the ability to run benchmarks. You can get a nice breakdown of how your device has performed, with metrics on the score, FPS for different areas of the test and details on how the device performed compared to other people with the same device. You also get a full set of leaderboards for the best scores recorded on different devices.

The app is quite a large download at over 280MB, but if you're serious about your benchmarks you'll want to have it at the ready. Grab a download of the first version at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Updated Nexus 7 with new screen and Qualcomm CPU coming in July, says Reuters

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"Power reasons" force the switch from NVIDIA's Tegra platform to Qualcomm according to the source

A report from Reuters earlier says that come July, we'll have a new version of Google's popular Nexus 7 tablet. ASUS will still be the manufacturer, but a few key things will have changed. Expect a higher resolution screen with smaller bezels, and concerns over "power" (we take that to mean battery power) have forced a switch to Qualcomm for the CPU.

Pricing is said to still be in limbo, but the $199 figure has been mentioned. This is the same base price as last year's Nexus 7, and a key to its success. 

If this rumor turns out to be true, a July release would work well with an unveiling at Google I/O this May. ASUS sold an estimated 4.6 million Nexus 7s in the second half of last year, and updated specs at the same price will draw plenty more interest. We're keeping an eye on this one.

Source: Reuters

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4 years ago

AT&T rolls out LTE to 14 more locations

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AT&T drops more LTE across the country, now you can hit your data cap 10 times faster

AT&T has announced that LTE service is now rolling out to 14 new locations in a series of press releases this evening. The announced locations are:

If you're living in one of these areas and have a 4G LTE device on AT&T, give it a look and see -- you might be pleasantly surprised. 

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4 years ago

Android platform numbers for March are in, come from a new collection method

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The collection method has changed, but the results surprise nobody -- new versions climb while legacy versions fall

Every month Google releases a handy chart telling us what version of the operating system folks are using out there. This month, they did things a little differently and now collect data only from devices that have visited the Google Play store in the past month, versus all phones that checked into Google's servers as done in he past.

It didn't make much of a difference. Jelly Bean continues to climb and is now at 25-percent, Gingerbread is down 5-percent, and lower version are clinging to life support. The one change we didn't expect is Ice Cream Sandwich to actually climb while devices were getting update to Jelly Bean. We'll write that off to the new collection method.

If you're a developer, this will help you decide which devices to target. If you're just an interested fan, the data sure is fun to talk about. 

Source: Android developer site. More: +Android Developers

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4 years ago

Use Google Apps for Business? Grab a free copy of Quickoffice from Google Play

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Google is now providing a way to edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents for Google Apps for Business users

Google Drive is pretty slick. It allows you to collaborate, edit on the fly, and create documents and easily share them. The problem is, most of the time somebody in your organization will end up using a Microsoft Office product and throw a wrench in it all. You see, Google Drive's editing abilities don't mix well with Microsoft Office files. 

Since Microsoft Office is the de facto standard for business documents, Google is trying to alleviate any problems a bit by offering up a free copy of Quickoffice -- which is very compatible with the various MS Office format. If you're a Google Apps user, grab it free from the Google Play link above.

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