Headlines

3 years ago

Hangouts 2.1 merging conversations, brings a widget to the party

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Google Hangouts for Android

There's a new version of Google Hangouts on the way, and it's going to bring some substantial improvements. Version 2.1 of Hangouts for Android's biggest change is going to be in the way that it handles conversations with the same person over multiple channels. Currently if, say, I'm conversing with Phil over SMS through Hangouts, it'll be a separate conversation than our instant message-style Hangouts chat. With Hangouts 2.1, those two conversations will be merged into one continuous discussion.

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3 years ago

Adobe to update AIR runtime and SDK components for Android x86

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Adobe has announced that the AIR runtime for Android, as well as the SDK tools and components will soon be updated to work on Android x86. This means that all the Intel Atom tablets we'll be hearing about in 2014 can run applications built using Adobe Air, and they can be installed and updated like any other app right from Google Play. The new runtime will soon be available for download from Google Play, and the SDK components are headed to Adobe Labs soon. Expect the final version in the next major release of the SDK from Adobe.

Source: Adobe

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3 years ago

HTC posts Sense 6.0 update progress page to keep you updated on update progress

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HTC has come forward to let everyone know the status of the HTC Sense 6.0 update for original HTC One (M7) phones in the U.S. and Canada. A look at the pretty graphic tells us that everyone, everywhere — except T-Mobile USA — has a status of "integration." This means that folks are working to get the new software working as intended on the actual hardware itself. T-Mobile's status of "development" is likely a by-product of Wifi calling integration into the new OS.

These charts and graphics are a way for HTC to be transparent with the upgrade process for the users who care. There are plenty of good reasons for this, including being able to pass the buck along to carriers who drag their feet during their portion of it all. We'll keep you updated on the progress as HTC updates their progress page with updates on the progress. We heard you like updates ...

Source: HTC USA; Canada

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3 years ago

HTC rumored to be the partner for the rumored Nexus 8 tablet

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Back in January, DigiTimes reported that Google was working with ASUS on the next small Nexus tablet, but a report today from DigiTimes runs counter to that with the notion that HTC might be the one that Google goes with for the rumored Nexus 8 . Of course, any report out of DigiTimes we have to take with a grain of salt (go ahead and re-read that first sentence if you don't believe us), but they claim that Google is considering a new design and plans to launch the new HTC tablet as in the third quarter of the year.

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3 years ago

Google reportedly looking into stronger encryption for Gmail

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The most sensitive part of your online Google existence is almost without question Gmail, and Google's working to make that more secure than ever. In response to revelations about the mass surveillance performed by the NSA, Google is reportedly looking at implementing more complex encryption tools, possibly including the very secure Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) encryption, in Gmail.

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3 years ago

Google Glass update coming later this week with agenda view

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Google pushed out a substantial update for Google Glass just last week, along with making the headset available to all to buy for one day — and they're following up with another update this week that will enable new functionality. iPhone users will see their text messages show up in their notifications, and all Glass users will get to see their calendar in front of their right eyeball.

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3 years ago

Motorola Solutions (the other Motorola) signs licensing agreement with Microsoft

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Microsoft can add another feather to its IP licensing hat, having now signed Motorola Solutions up for a licensing agreement. That's not Motorola Mobility, the portion of Motorola bought by Google and now being sold to Lenovo that makes handsets such as Moto X and Moto G, as well as Verizon's Droid line. No, Motorola Solutions is the other Motorola, the part left behind after Google snapped up the smartphone half of the company. And they apparently have eyes on the mobile devices market, with this agreement covering devices running both Android and Chrome OS.

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3 years ago

What's that symbol? (NFC edition)

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The group behind NFC wants to make sure you know what it is, and that you know you're using it

As more and more of us start taking advantage of NFC — that's Near-Field Communication, or the standard that lets you tap your phone to some other device to establish a connection, exchange data, etc. — we're increasingly getting the following question: "What is that weird symbol taking up space at the top of my phone?

That, folks, is the almighty NFC logo.

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3 years ago

Nokia X vs Moto G

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Nokia X vs Moto G

Nokia has stiff competition in the budget Android space for its first entrant, so how does the Nokia X stack up against the current king, the Moto G?

In late 2013 Motorola knocked our socks off with the Moto G. What it delivered was a top of the line Android experience for not a lot of money. It changed the budget space for the better and set a new benchmark for how a cheap Android phone should be made. Solid hardware, excellent software, even better price.

Nokia is also well known for its more price-oriented devices. Indeed, we pitched the Moto G against the similarly priced Lumia 625 already, but now it's a straight up Android on Android fight. The Nokia X costs roughly the same as the Moto G (at current pricing), runs Android and is targeted towards the budget conscious smartphone buyer.

So which is best? There's only one way to find out.

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3 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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Android Central Podcast

What'd you miss on the most recent Android Central Podcast? No spoilers, but something about a petulant young king, a mother of dragons and a young girl seeking to avenge her family. Plus, a leading astrophysicist walks us through the ends and outs of the cosmos, explaining how the smallest bits of our universe can be of the utmost importance.

Wait. We were thinking of something else. So what really went down on Episode 181 of the Android Central Podcast? Only one way to find out. OK, there are actually 13 different ways to find out. But start here.

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3 years ago

How to turn on and off autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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While autocorrect always has the best intentions, it doesn't always play nice with everyone. The Galaxy S5 is no exception. Whether you want to simply disable it permanently or just while typing something that may contain a lot of words it doesn't recognize, you can do so on any keyboard you have pulled up in just a few taps. Here's how, when using Samsung's keyboard:

  1. With the keyboard visible, tap and hold the Dictation key that sits to the left of the space bar.
  2. In the floating menu, tap on the Settings gear.
  3. Under the Smart Typing section, tap on Predictive Text and disable it at the top.
  4. If you'd like, you can also disable settings such as auto-capitalization and punctuation under the Smart Typing section as well.

That's all there is to it. Anytime you'd like to change autocorrect settings again, just follow the same steps. Keep in mind that if you have alternative keyboards installed through Google Play, the directions may vary slightly due to how different keyboards are laid out.

Have you ever found a reason to disable predictive text or any other keyboard autocorrect feature? Or have you just swapped the default Samsung keyboard out completely for something else? Let me know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S5

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Newer model: Samsung Galaxy S6

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3 years ago

Domino's Pizza will now let you pay with Google Wallet, give you free chicken

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Domino's pizza has been a vanguard of mobile pizza ordering, what with their Android app that lets you order on the go — and now they're going even more mobile with Google Wallet support. Announced this morning, the app has been updated to support payment via Google Wallet.

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3 years ago

A word of caution on using the Google Now Launcher on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Largely all is well, until you enter ultra power saving mode

Here's a quick word of caution to anyone sideloading the Google Now Launcher onto their new Samsung Galaxy S5. Largely Google's own KitKat launcher works faultlessly on Samsung's latest Android handset. It's smooth, it's snappy, and it's a great option even if the Galaxy S5 isn't officially supported. But you do run into some issues when you switch in and out of ultra power saving mode.

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3 years ago

GPe HTC One M8 for India mistakenly mentioned in local press release

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Update: Looks like the Google Play edition HTC One M8 won't be making its way outside of the U.S. just yet. In a statement issued to BGR India, HTC India says the Google Play edition M8 was "incorrectly" mentioned in its press release for today's Indian M8 launch. Instead it seems the Sense version of the phone will be the only one available in that country.

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3 years ago

WSJ: Exclusive games latest battleground for Google, Amazon, Apple

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Are the best games on Android or are the best games on iPhone? That's a question that's becoming increasingly important to both Apple and Google, and they're reportedly willing to help developers get massive marketing pushes in exchange for periods of exclusivity for hot new games. This will come as a surprise to precisely no one familiar with the console market, or the basics of running any store, real-world or virtual. Mario, Sonic, Halo, and other exclusive franchises made the console wars of the past, and on mobile, and for iOS and Android, that's now translating into Plants vs. Zombies 2, Cut the Rope 2, and others. Ian Sherr and Daisuke Wakabayashi, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

As Android's influence has grown, Apple's editorial team has been factoring in exclusivity to a greater degree after it deems an app to be attractive, according to people familiar with the process. The editorial team also will give greater consideration to titles recommended by its developer-relations staff, they said.

Android, both in the form of Google's Play Store and Amazon's appstore, are working promotional angles in their own way as well:

Google has struck deals to help promote apps that integrate Android branding. [...] Amazon.com Inc, too, has gotten into the act. The online retailer has sought exclusivity deals with game developers as a way to boost the appeal of its Kindle family of Android devices. Amazon is offering premium placement on its app store's home screen in exchanges for exclusivity, according to people familiar with the matter.

There's apparently no money changing hands, but the massive marketing boost preferred placement in Google, Apple, or Amazon can provide in terms of downloads and purchases is just as good. Apple once-upon-a-time made a game of their own, Texas Hold 'Em, but has long since removed it from sale. Google acquired and maintains Ingress, their own Android-exclusive game. None of them have gone to Mario, Sonic, or Halo levels yet when it comes to exclusive gaming, however. But is that just a matter of time?

How do you feel about platform exclusives? Do they influence your buying decision or just frustrate you if and when you have to wait?

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