3 years ago

Motorola puts its Gallery app in the Play Store, updates with a new look


A new light theme and slight design tweak from the original app

Motorola's take on the Gallery app is now joining a long list of apps moving out to the Play Store for easy updating. At the same time, Moto is giving the Gallery app a facelift with a new light color palette and slide-in drawer on the left edge. Motorola says that the image thumbnails are larger and navigation is simpler. At the heart of it this still looks like the same 'ol Gallery app and editing features, just with a little bit of tweaking to make it look and feel different.

The biggest story here is Motorola's ability now to update the Gallery app in the Play Store without updating all of its phones independently. The Moto X, Moto G and latest Droid devices on Verizon — provided they're running KitKat — are all compatible with this new Motorola Gallery and will receive updates through the Play Store from here on out.

If you have one of Moto's new devices, hit the Play Store link above to grab your new Gallery.

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3 years ago

Photoshop Express hits version 2.0 with redesign, KitKat compatibility


Simple interface gives you filters and level control in just a couple taps

Adobe has released a new version — now up to 2.0 — of its free Photoshop Express app with a new design and compatibility with Android 4.4. This latest version is "rebuilt completely from the ground up," according to Adobe, and the interface certainly shows it. The layout is not at all unlike KitKat's stock Gallery app, with easy tabs at the bottom to switch between editing modes and tools.

You can apply different Looks (filters), crop and rotate, go into more advanced level edits and correct red eye right from the main view. You of course have access to create automatic options on all levels or the entire photo, something Photoshop is known for offering.

Although it would seem like a perfect fit, Adobe has chosen not to make use of KitKat's new Immersive Mode for editing photos — maybe this is on the drawing board for a future release. You can grab a download or update to the latest version of Photoshop Express at the Play Store link above and take your photography to the next level.

More: Adobe Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung recycles the Galaxy S3 for China. No, really


Sammy still sees some life in its now almost 2-year old handset

Samsung is well known for having a device at just about every price point, and quarter-inch size point you can possibly imagine, but this one is still surprising. This is the latest device in the Galaxy range launching for China, and if you think it looks familiar, you'd be right. This is the Galaxy S3 Neo+. 

So, what's different about it to warrant even a name change. Not a lot, truth be told. The internals are the same, the cameras are the same, the design is the same, there's a whole lot of the same going on. What is different is dual-SIM support, and of course, it now comes pre-loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

The return of an old favorite? Possibly. But even for China where there's a big demand on cheaper devices, is a recycled 2-year old phone the answer? 

Source: Samsung China via SamMobile

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact gets a UK pre-launch price cut


One UK retailer drops the price to £399.00 as we get closer to being able to buy one

Sony dropped the Z1 Compact on us recently at CES in Las Vegas, and while we can't actually buy it yet here in the UK at least we're already seeing the first price cut. Online retailer Clove Technology has dropped £30 off its earlier pricing for Sony's latest Android handset, bringing it down to £399 including VAT. 

Comparing the Clove pricing to rival UK retailers shows it as being £50 cheaper than the likes of Carphone Warehouse and Expansys. You'll have to wait until mid-February – Carphone Warehouse will begin shipping on January 31 – but it's a decent chunk of change to save just for waiting a couple of weeks. To pre-order, hit up the source link below, where all four colors will be eventually be available, though black only initially. Personally, I'd be all over the lime one. How about you? 

More: Sony Xperia Z1 Compact hands-on

Source: Clove

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3 years ago

Join us Friday for the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!


Friday is near. That means the end of the work week for many of us, the beginning of the weekend, almost Saturday, nearly Sunday — and more important, it's time for the Android Central Podcast!

This week we'll talk about the FUD of Chrome and microphones, the Sony Xperia Z1s is now available, T-Mobile wants to be a bank or something, the Moto X gets wood, and Beats Music is now available.

Plus, we'll be answering your questions live in the Hangout Q&A. So hit up this link Friday at 4 p.m. EST (that's 1 p.m. on the west coast and 9 p.m. in London) and we'll see you there!

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3 years ago

O2 UK requiring new customers to agree to mid-contract price rises


Despite Ofcom's rulings, O2 requires an agreement in line with inflation

Just yesterday we heard about a new Ofcom ruling that says mobile customers hit with mid-term price hikes should be allowed to leave their contracts. Today, we're hearing that O2 UK will be requiring new customers to agree to such a thing as part of their contract. 

OK, so it's not totally underhanded and greedy, since any increases are to be in line with inflation. But instead of leaving us with the possibility of price increases we could ignore, it now leaves us accepting price increases as part of our contracts. Be it O2 or any of the others, the best thing you can do? Read your contract in full before you sign it. And if you don't like it, walk away. 

Source: O2 via Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung confirms mid-range Galaxy Note 3 Neo not coming to UK


Other launch details remain unclear

Rumors of an upcoming mid-range version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have been circulating in recent weeks, with photos and and spec details for the Galaxy Note 3 Neo — aka Note 3 Lite — appearing on Samsung fansite SamMobile. Leaked details point to a 5.5-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM and a processor with six Cortex A7 cores at 1.3GHz, paired with a Mali-T624 GPU. The device is due to go up for pre-order shortly at one Belgian retailer, according to the reports.

Today Samsung has confirmed the existence of the Note 3 Neo in a short statement, while also revealing that the device won't be heading to British shores. The statement given to Android Central reads simply: “Samsung UK can confirm that the Note 3 Neo will not be coming to the UK market.”

In the absence of any detailed announcement we're left guessing as to when and where the Galaxy Note 3 Neo will actually go on sale. It's possible, however, the device might be targeted at emerging markets in order to deliver a Note-class device at a lower price point.

More coverage: SamMobile (2)

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3 years ago

LG G Pro 2 tipped for MWC debut


Korean press reports 6-inch display, 3GB of RAM and KitKat for next 'Pro' handset

It's coming up on twelve months since we first saw the LG (Optimus) G Pro at Mobile World Congress 2013, so it's not too surprising to see reports out of Korea suggesting that a successor is on the cards for this year's MWC. Electronic Times reports that the LG G Pro 2 will feature a Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 6-inch Full HD display, along with support for LTE and LTE-Advanced networks, citing "telecommunications industry" sources. The report also claims the G Pro 2 will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat, possibly making it the first LG phone to come with the new version of Android.

The purported spec sheet would have the new G Pro closely matching Samsung's Galaxy Note 3, which features a 5.7-inch 1080p display, the same Snapdragon 800  and 3GB of RAM. There's no indication as to what software tricks LG might layer atop Android 4.4, but ET's article suggests a renewed focus on multitasking given the device's vast reserves of memory. However things pan out, we'll be on the ground in Barcelona next month to bring you all the latest from LG and its rivals.

Source: ETNews (Korean)

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3 years ago

Samsung: no link between Note 3 KitKat update and nonfunctional third-party accessories


Following the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy Note 3 in some countries, there've been reports from some Note 3 owners that certain third-party accessories no longer work with the new firmware. The info first came to light on the XDA forums, where owners of some third-party S View cases say the accessories doesn't work as they did on Jelly Bean.

At first it seemed to be a simple case of a manufacturer locking down software to gain more control over the accessory ecosystem. However Samsung has today released a statement denying any link between nonfunctional third-party accessories and the recent update. The translated statement, given to German blog AllAboutSamsung, reads — 

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3 years ago

Facebook to expand targeted ad network to third-party apps


Leveraging social signals to serve more interesting ads in your free apps

Facebook is testing a new ad network model that could leverage its vast customer data to serve ads in third-party mobile apps in the future. In what is simply being called a "test" at this point, Facebook says it is working with a small number of advertisers and app developers to show Facebook-generated advertisements in free apps on mobile.

The social network has dabbled in this sort of thing before, but has always used an outside ad network to make the process run smoothly. Cutting out one of the middlemen means more control (and profit margin) for Facebook, provided it can manage the entire process. Google famously makes amazing profits on its AdSense ad network because of the number of signals it can collect from customers using its products — the same could be true for Facebook on some level.

Given how successful Facebook's advertisement targeting has been in recent months in its own app — ad revenue isn't the highest, but it's doing relatively well — it makes sense that it would want to leverage that experience with third-party apps also. There's no indication at this point which apps are using Facebook's new ad network, but it does say that it is open to new partnerships at this time.

Source: Facebook Developers Blog; Via: Wired

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3 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Metal


A simple prompt that gives you some creative freedom

It's Wednesday, and that means we're gearing up for another week-long photo contest focused on a prompt of our choosing. We like to keep things broad, usually, and we're going to stick with that theme by using the prompt "metal" this week. That could certainly be represented in a variety of ways, so we're ready to see your creativity come out with this one. As always, there will be a prize involved.

This week we're picking a single winner, and their photo entry will win them an HP Chromebook 11 (customized with an Android Central sticker on the lid, of course)!

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 (January 28) 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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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Lights' winners!


See who made the best use of 'lights' this week

We've come to the conclusion of yet another successful photo contest, with plenty of entries to take a look at. We fortunately had the opportunity to give away prizes — in this case SOL Republic Jax headphones — three different winners this week, but there were plenty of great entries that followed the prompt "light" that weren't picked to be highlighted here.

Hit the break and see the three winning photos for last week's contest, and get ready to enter a new image for the upcoming week as well.

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3 years ago

Beats Music kills new sign-ups while they sort some bugs


Current users can carry on as normal, also get an extended trial period

You probably know Beats Music launched yesterday. With an Android app, 7-day trial and special deals for AT&T customers and all. It was a pretty big deal for Dre and his posse. Looking at user feedback around the Internet, it looks like it was a pretty big deal for customers, too.

Maybe that is part of the reason why Beats had to stop taking new customers so they could fix a few things. In a post on their blog, and in a message they sent to subscribers, they say "Due to the extremely high volume of interest in our service some users are experiencing issues." They go on to say that most people aren't affected, but they still want to slow things down a bit while they get out the wrenches and make some adjustments. Hopefully, these fixes will help the Android app, as we're seeing some wonk with fetching lists and streams, as well as some general UI bugs. 

Users who claimed their name already still will have it, and Beats will let you know how to proceed. For the rest of us, they say to install the app and register, and they'll get things sorted ASAP. They are even throwing in another 7-days of free trial for folks who registered this week to make up for the hassle.

Making the next Spotify or Pandora is hard — even if you're Dr. Dre or Trent Reznor. We'll wait and see how things progress.

Source: Beats Music

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3 years ago

Waiting for new Plants vs. Zombies 2 levels? Here's how to make the most of that time!


You're going to need some help in the new world in PvZ2 — we've got a few tips to get it for you​.

We're not going to name names, but a few of us here are more than a little addicted to Plants vs. Zombies 2. And for good reason — it's one of those mindless time sucks that you can put down as easily as you pick it up. That's a good thing. And PvZ2 took us out of Dave's backyard and into three new worlds — Ancient Egypt, Pirate Seas and Wild West — in which to kill zombies. With plants. All in search of a precious taco, or something.

Anyoo. If you're like me — erm, us — you've by now completed those three worlds and are awaiting a fourth. (Is that some sort of Futurama-like city?)

And before you go moving on to some other game of the month, we've got one tip that's going to make that fourth world a whole lot easier once it's available.

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3 years ago

Yes, Chrome may be listening — because you told it to


Windows with permission to listen to your microphone keep listening until they are closed

There's news today about a new exploit in Chrome, that centers around the recently-introduced listening features. The new feature is not just limited to Google search, and any webmaster can implement it on his or her site with minimal coding. That is exactly the sort of thing that leads to scary-sounding issues, like the one today. 

In a nutshell, a website can ask for permission to use your microphone. Once granted, it can open another window from the same domain, and listen to the sounds coming in from your mic. Even if you surf away from the original window that asked permission. This becomes a problem when users lose track of what windows they may have open, and leave a sneakily placed pop up window running all day long to listen to everything it can hear.

But is this the expected behavior? Read on.

More: Talater.com

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