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4 years ago

Gallery and Photos: Why does the Nexus 5 have two ways to handle images?


You'll likely be using two apps to manage your pictures on Android 4.4

If you're lucky enough to have picked up a Nexus 5 this week, you may be puzzled by two of the apps on your new phone. Not necessarily by the apps themselves, but rather the existence of both at once on one phone — Photos and Gallery. Two pre-installed apps that have many overlapping functions between them. You can tap either one to get to your photos, and in either case you'll have access to your automatically backed-up Google+ photos as well.

So why does the Nexus 5 have both a "traditional" Gallery app and this new Photos app at the same time? There are a few reasons. Let's dig into this somewhat bothersome phenomenon after the break.

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4 years ago

Pebble smartwatch gets a firmware update, but it only benefits iOS for now


Just a quick heads up to all you Pebble smartwatch owners out there. Your watch should be receiving a firmware update today, but don't go looking for any new features just yet. The update brings new functionality to iOS users (and iOS 7 in particular), with a slew of new notification possibilities in version 2.0 of the Pebble SDK.

So, again, expect a firmware update, but your Pebble app will remain as is for now. Our pals at iMore.com have more on the update.

More: Get Pebble

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4 years ago

Get your fingers sticky with a little physics puzzle game called Green Jelly


There's no shortage of Cut the Rope games out there, I know. But maybe you've been thinking that's not enough. You need more physics puzzlers to play on the go. I've been there, man.

One of my favorite games in that style has long been Spider Jack, which comes from a Russian developed called MaxNick. Their latest physics puzzler Green Jelly (not to be confused with Jelly Bean or that rock band) plays a lot like Cut the Rope, but it also has some clever gameplay mechanics of its own that make it worth a look.

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4 years ago

Photo editing improvements in the Android 4.4 KitKat Gallery


A few simple changes to make your pictures look a little better

There's a great grouping of user-facing features in the latest update to Android 4.4 KitKat, but one has been generally overlooked. Although it hasn't received much of a visual refresh from what was available in 4.3, the built-in photo editor in the Gallery app has received a bit of a facelift, with a few new features to boot.

This is one of those "tightening the screws" kind of updates that brings the experience up a notch or two, making it just a little easier to edit and tweak your photos to your liking. This isn't going to rival anything you can do with a true photo editor on your desktop, but then again that process isn't as easy as using the Gallery.

Hit the break for a closer look at the new features and capabilities of Gallery in Android 4.4.

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4 years ago

AT&T lights up LTE in 14 new markets


AT&T sends word that it's brought 4G LTE coverage to another 14 markets, bringing its total LTE markets up to 461. We've got the full list of new switch-ons after the break; if you're seeing AT&T LTE lighting up for the first time today be sure to let us know in the comments.

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4 years ago

Gogo and Glympse team up to let you share your location from 30,000 feet


Give those awaiting your arrival a better look at your flight progress

Location sharing service Glympse is partnering with in-flight Wifi provider Gogo to let you share your location even while in the air. With this new development, you'll be able to share your flight status and location with friends and family seamlessly, giving them up-to-date flight information. The updated Android app with the in-flight location functionality will hit Google Play this Friday, and once you've installed or updated the app you'll be ready to go on your next flight.

Simply pull out your phone and connect to the in-flight Gogo Wifi, open the Glympse app and send out your location to anyone via their phone number (U.S. or Canada only) or email address. As has always been the case, the person who receives your Glympse won't need to have the app installed, but can still follow your journey.

Once they start tracking your movement, they'll see flight status, speed and continually updated arrival times as they are available. Your phone doesn't have to stay on in order to keep the track going either, everything is handled by the plane's systems.

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4 years ago

Samsung plans own CPU core tech, 560ppi displays for future phones


Details revealed at analyst event point to 2014 phones with 64-bit CPUs and 5.25-inch 1440p displays

In its first analyst event of the smartphone era, Samsung revealed a few juicy details about the technology behind its future smartphone plans. In slides released in conjunction with the event, the electronics giant confirmed plans to develop its own CPU core technology, as opposed to licensing designs from ARM as it does now. The slide on Samsung's 64-bit CPU plans shows a two-step approach, first developing 64-bit cores based on ARM designs, then moving to its own bespoke designs, similar to the way Qualcomm operates. The plans could be seen as a way for Samsung's phones to become even more vertically-integrated. Some current Samsung phones use Exynos SoCs manufactured in-house, but these use Cortex A15 and A7 designs licensed from ARM.

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4 years ago

Dixons Group announces Advent Vega Tegra Note tablet, available November 15


Awkward name hides the NVIDIA Tegra Note, available for £179.99 with pre-orders available November 7

A couple of months back NVIDIA announced the Tegra Note tablet platform, a reference for Tegra 4 tablets to be sold through global partners and with updates handled by NVIDIA themselves. The UK has now seen the device for the first time, and will be sold from November 15 by the Dixons Group of stores, primarily Currys and PCWorld, and will cost a respectible £179.99. 

For that, you're getting a Tegra 4 SoC under the hood, with a 1280x800 display, 5MP rear camera, 16GB of on-board storage and plain old vanilla Android, which Dixons is currently listing as Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. And, as the Note name implies, this thing comes with a stylus with bundled applications. 

This could be a great gift with the holiday season coming up, or, you know, a gift to yourself, and at a price which puts it right in there with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. This look like a tablet you could get behind? 

Source: Dixons Group

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4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 exits beta, launches on Google Play as free update


50 percent off today in some countries

Following the completion of the beta program, SwiftKey 4.3 has reached stable status and has launched as a free update on the Google Play Store. The latest version of the popular keyboard app introduces three new layouts to make typing easier on phones of all sizes — particularly larger models like the Galaxy Note 3 and HTC One Max. Dubbed "Layouts for Living," the new full, compact and thumb keyboard layouts can be undocked and moved around the screen — particularly useful for larger phones and tablets.

The new version of SwiftKey also introduces a Canadian English option, bringing the number of supported languages up to 61. And to celebrate today's launch, SwiftKey is half-price in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Australia, Russia and New Zealand.

Check out our hands-on video after the break, or hit the Google Play link above to grab the new version.

More: Hands-on with SwiftKey 4.3

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse no longer selling Nexus 5 SIM-free


'Limited number' of SIM-free handsets now sold out

If you wanted to get hold of a Nexus 5 from Carphone Warehouse at the staggeringly good SIM-free price of £295 then hopefully you were quick off the mark last Friday. The UK retailer is no longer offering the device without a contract, and as such its online store no longer lists a SIM-free price. A spokesperson told Android Central that only a "limited number" of SIM-free Nexus 5s were available and that these have now sold out. From this point forward all of Carphone Warehouse's Nexus 5 stock will be contract-only, with prices starting at £21 per month.

While that's bad news for anyone wanting to get hold of a Nexus 5 immediately, some variants of the device are still available from the UK Google Play Store, albeit with a short delay. The white models are marked as ready to leave Google's warehouse by this Friday, Nov. 8. Meanwhile the black 32GB model is sold out, and orders for the the 16GB version in black won't be despatched for another 2-3 weeks.

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4 years ago

Your Google+ profile picture will soon be paired with your phone number


System to go into effect early 2014, and you're already opted in by default

The dialer in Android 4.4 KitKat has a new look and new search features, but come 2014 it will also have a better database of photos from individuals that you call. Although a specific date has yet to be given, Google plans at some point in "early 2014" to flip the switch on pairing up people's verified phone numbers with their Google+ profile photos.

This means that any time you call someone after verifying your phone number with Google, the person on the other end will see your Google+ profile picture on their incoming call screen. Google says this will be useful for when you meet someone but have yet to add them to your contacts and associate an image with them, which we can see the benefit of.

Currently the portion of your Google account settings that handles phone numbers simply has a list of "verified" numbers associated with your account, and it seems as though they're opted into this new system by default. The tooltip reads "help people who have your phone number find you on Google services and connect with you," and this function is currently used for things like Hangouts.

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4 years ago

New BlackBerry CEO John Chen: Jumping on Android right now is inappropriate


BB CEO Chen isn't going to make the leap to Android without a lot of thought, if ever

Mobile Nation's own CrackBerry Kevin Michaluk got some sit-down time with new BlackBerry CEO John Chen, and during the question and answer session Android came up — specifically the question about BlackBerry adopting Android as a platform.

Kevin: [...] Is BlackBerry 10 still the play, or could we see BlackBerry adopting something like Android going forward?

John: It’s way too early for me to make an informed statement on that. It would be very, very premature. Whatever is the right thing for the business, you need to preserve the reason why BlackBerry is around. I think just jumping to an Android without a thought through of why BlackBerry needs to be around and what makes us relevant and all that, before I answer that question, jumping to anything is inappropriate. You’ll find that I’m a little bit more thoughtful from a marketing perspective then to just go somewhere. I’m not that kind of person. I’ve only been on the clock now for almost 24 hours -- I think that if I made those statements right now conclusively, somebody should pull me out and shoot me.

We couldn't agree more. BlackBerry is the Ying to Android's Yang — having one around will make the other better. I think this new CEO could be the first step to some healing up in Waterloo.

If you've interest in the broader mobile picture, or still keep track of the goings-on in BlackBerry land (nostalgia, it'll get ya every time) you owe it to yourself to give the whole thing a read. Just follow the link below.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

LG G Pad 8.3 review


At $349, LG's first major foray into the Android tablet market (we'll forgive them for that 3D thing in 2011) is truly something to behold

In the years since its relatively quiet into the world of Android, LG has stuck to a strategy that’s relatively familiar in the mobile market: throw products against the wall and see which ones stick. Sound familiar? It’s an approach popularized by LG’s main competitor, Samsung, which has been churning out Galaxies of countless sizes over the past few years in the hope that it finally hits consumers’ sweet spots.

But where LG differs from Samsung is in its execution. Rather than flood the market with Optimii of various sizes and shapes, LG appears to have studied which products work, and which ones don't.

The most recent result of all this is the LG G Pad 8.3, a thrilling, near-perfect device that stands out even in an Android tablet market that has finally grown into its own skin. It’s a product of time, effort, and attention to detail that proves just how well LG’s strategy is paying off. This is the Galaxy Tab Samsung hasn't quite noticed consumers want.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid update pushing to more than just soak testers


Update fixes a few bugs and enhances the stability — and improves the lackluster camera

We told you late last night that a soak test for the new Droids (that'd be the Droid Ultra, and the Droid Maxx) was going to push early this morning, and right on time it made its way to the testers. Apparently the test was short, or there was a change of heart, because we're getting reports of the updated software going out to users who are not members of the soak testing program.

It's the update everyone with a Moto X8 phone wants to have. It includes your 50GB Google Drive promotion, makes Moto Assist even better, and has a few more stability and bug fixes. But the big news is the camera update. The software has been improved with better sky detection, more accurate white balancing, improvements to HDR and the exposure has been corrected to be more consistent. Everyone who has the update will tell you it's quite a dramatic change — and one that addresses the biggest complaint about these phones.

If you're using a new Verizon Droid, have a look and see if an update is ready for you. 

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Printing in Android 4.4 KitKat (with some help from HP)


Printers, as we all know all too well, are fickle beasts on a good day. So you'll forgive us for not expecting too much when it comes to printing wirelessly from our phones. But there's a new printing framework built into Android 4.4 KitKat. On the back end, you'll be able to print over Wifi, or Google Cloud Print. Here's how Google puts it:

Android 4.4 introduces native platform support for printing, along with APIs for managing printing and adding new types of printer support. The platform provides a print manager that mediates between apps requesting printing and installed print services that handle print requests. The print manager provides shared services and a system UI for printing, giving users consistent control over printing from any app. The print manager also ensures the security of content as it's passed across processes, from an app to a print service.

Your mileage may vary, of course. But, we're happy to report, our first experience with the new printing framework — at least from an end-user standpoint and with some help from an HP plugin — worked flawlessly.

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