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4 years ago

Google introduces Auto Awesome Movies and other new photo features

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Automatic video highlights through Google+ and new photo enhancements 

At the "Morning with Google+" event today, Google VP Vic Gundotra announced a range of new photo and video features for Google's social network. Google's "computer vision" now recognizes more objects, auto photo enhancements can be dialed up or down, while Snapseed gains a new HDR scape filter. Google+'s "Auto Awesome" photo features have been upgraded with some smartphone-like capabilities, including motion shots — showing the subject several times in the same image —and eraser shots — automatically cutting out moving objects.

Google's also added Analog Efex Pro to its Nik collection of professional filters, which sells for $149.

But the most interesting new feature for mobile watchers is Auto Awesome Movies, which is essentially identical to HTC's video highlights feature from its latest Android phones. Auto Awesome Movies cuts video clips and photos together, adds filters and puts it to music, giving users the kind of reel you see in the video above. All in all, very similar to what we've been enjoying on the HTC One for the past several months.

We'll let you know when the new photo features start to hit Google's apps on the Play Store. In the meantime, share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Google Blog

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4 years ago

SMS messages, animated gifs and location sharing to come to Hangouts app for Android

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Big changes are coming to the Android Hangouts client

As expected. Google has announced a few new features to the Android Hangouts app during their Google+ event today. There are three new features coming:

  • Locations sharing
  • Animated gif support in chats
  • SMS messaging support

We reckon the first two have their fans, and we can see that they would be useful, but let's be honest — SMS support is what everyone wanted. With Google's planned changes to the messaging API we predicted this would happen, and we're glad to see it wasn't announced as a Kit Kat-only feature.

No exact word on when we should see any updates, and Vic Gundotra simply said they were happy to announce this today. We'll be on the lookout for it, and we imagine many of you will be, too.

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4 years ago

'A Morning with Google+' event video

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Google's having some last-minute power issues this morning, leading to the scheduled "Morning with Google+" event starting around 30 minutes late. Nevertheles, you'll find Google's livestream embedded above for your viewing pleasure. The video features Google VP Vic Gundotra walking through some new features Google+, including photo enhancements and changes to Hangouts.

Update: The stream has now finished, but you can replay the event in full above. The presentation begins around 12 minutes and 30 seconds in.

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4 years ago

Testing the voice-activated 'find my phone' feature on the Moto X

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'You can't find your phone? Where's the last place you had it?'

More often than not, that's the answer I get when I can't find something and ask a human being where it might be. Helpful, right? Yeah, not so much.

Motorola this week added in a voice-activated (ahem, "Touchless Control") feature that helps you find your phone if you've left it laying around somewhere. Speak the words "OK, Google Now." (And then wait a few seconds, because there's still a wee bit of latency there.) Then follow up with "Find my phone." Providing that your phone can hear you, you'll be rewarded with an active sonar-sounding ping

That's all fine and dandy if your phone's out in the open somewhere — it's just that you don't know where it is. 

But what if your phone's fallen into the couch cushions? Or slipped between the sheets? Only one way to find out.

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4 years ago

Samsung Developers Conference day one demos + sessions highlights

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As we prepare to kick off day two of the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco, there's just enough time for a quick recap of what we saw at yesterday's keynote presentation and dev sessions, as Samsung Tomorrow has put together a playlist of some of the highlights from Monday's events on YouTube.

The videos include keynote demos of the multiscreen and mobile SDKs, backstage interviews with some top-level attendees and a full VOD of yesterday's mobile SDK session, covering a lot of the new Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 features. Check 'em out after the break.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

The best basketball apps for Android

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Alright basketball fans, it's time to crack open Google Play

Basketball season is starting off today, and fans will want to stay up-to-date with the latest scores and otherwise get into the spirit of things. We've dug through Google Play to see what's big, and though hardcore fans may already be familiar with what's available, there may be a few hidden gems here.

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4 years ago

SIM-free HTC One Max arriving at UK retailers

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Prices for the 5.9-incher start at £585

The HTC One Max has been available from Vodafone UK since shortly after its announcement, and now we're starting to see stock trickle through to SIM-free outlets. Unlocked Mobiles has the device in stock today, priced £584.98 inc. VAT; Clove, MobileFun and HandTec are expecting stock in the next day or so, and offer similar price points.

The One Max is a competent enough big-screened phone, but it's a tough sell at its current SIM-free price, which is perilously close to the higher-spec'd Samsung Galaxy Note 3. For a complete walkthrough of the Max, hit up our full review.

More: HTC One Max review

Source: Unlocked Mobiles

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4 years ago

Sprint fires up another 45 LTE markets

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Sprint this morning announced the official roll-out of 4G LTE data to 45 new locations. That brings Sprint up to a total of 230 4G LTE markets. In addition to the new markets, Sprint also added coverage in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, N.Y.

The new 4G LTE markets are: 

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4 years ago

HTC EVO 3D stops bullet, saves man's life in attempted robbery

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A gas station clerk from Orange County, Fla. has survived an attempted robbery after his HTC EVO 3D stopped an assailant's bullet. CNN reports that after being unable to access the store's safe, the suspect fired a single shot as he was leaving the scene. It was only after emergency services arrived that the victim's lucky escape became apparent — the bullet had hit the man in the chest, but impacted the phone in his shirt pocket. Photos of the device show that the bullet shattered the screen before becoming lodged in the battery. CNN reported that the gunman remained at large on Monday evening.

Bizarrely it's not the first report of an HTC phone taking a bullet for its owner. Back in 2011 an HTC Droid Incredible was involved in a similar incident, saving an Atlanta valet driver's life by stopping a bullet aimed at his chest.

Source: CNN; Pictures: WFTV

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4 years ago

BBM claims 20 million active users on Android and iOS

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Multiplatform BBM launch brings total active users to 80 million

BlackBerry has announced that the recent launch of its BBM messaging app on Android and iOS has added 20 million active users to the platform in its first week of availability. The news comes days after the company revealed the app had passed 10 million downloads in its first day. The new additions bring BBM's total active accounts to 80 million across BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, according to today's press release.

That's a significant increase for BlackBerry's messaging network, but it's worth remembering that it's still early days for BBM on Android and iOS, and a short-term spike in users is to be expected. Nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how successful BBM is at holding onto these active accounts in the months ahead.

You'll find more coverage of today's numbers and other BlackBerry happenings over on CrackBerry.com.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Get caught up on Android Central Live ahead of Samsung devcon day two!

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Later today we'll be kicking off our live coverage of the second day of the Samsung Developers Conference, but until then there's still time to get caught up on all the news, interview segments and discussion from day one. The place to find all our coverage of the conference, including keynote news, the day one podcast and interviews with developers, journalists and Samsung people, is our fancy SDC portal page. So hit up the link below and scroll down to see all the content.

More: Android Central Live at Samsung Developers Conference

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4 years ago

WSJ: Google watch with Google Now in late stages of development

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Google's Android-powered smartwatch 'could be ready for mass production within months'

Rumors of Google working on its own Android-powered smartwatch are nothing new — we've been hearing whispers to that effect from several sources over the past six months. But a report in The Wall Street Journal today gives us our clearest indication yet as to when the elusive wearable might make itself known. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the paper reports that the Android-powered watch is in the late stages of development, with Google currently working to fine-tune the device to improve power efficiency and battery life. The company is reportedly now in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, according to today's story.

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4 years ago

International Galaxy Note 3 getting another OTA, reactivation lock now defaults off

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Another 'stability' update for the unlocked LTE-capable Note 3 with a couple of important fixes

The international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE (SM-N9005) is getting yet another over-the-air update this morning, bringing it up to firmware version UDMJ6. The 116MB update includes stability fixes according to the official changelog, in addition to a change that may be of interest to anyone selling or giving away their device in the future. Until now the "reactivation lock" feature, which requires your Samsung account details to use the phone after a factory reset, defaulted to "on." It's a useful anti-theft feature, but if it could cause you some headaches if you weren't aware of it. As such, the new update sets it to "off" by default, requiring Note owners to manually enable it under Settings > General > Security.

Other changes in the OTA include a fresh coat of paint for the Samsung keyboard, as well as fixes for bugs preventing certain features, such as direct pen input and the one-handed windowed mode, from being reactivated after enabling Pebble's accessibility service.

If you're updating this morning, hit the comments and let us know if you're seeing any other changes or fixes.

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4 years ago

EE rolls out 4G LTE in 14 new markets

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EE, the UK's most widespread 4G LTE network operator, has announced that it's switched on LTE in 14 new towns this morning — Benfleet, Caerphilly, Caldicot, Canvey Island, Carlisle, Chepstow, Cwmbran, Grays, Harlow, Hatfield, Kenilworth, Rayleigh, Southport and Worksop.

The network expansion comes one day before EE's new 4G price plans come into effect, with a new tiered approach to data speeds, higher mobile broadband allowances and EE's first PAYG LTE deals.

The carrier recently claimed to have 60 percent UK population coverage with its 4G network.

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4 years ago

Flyne, a news reader from the developer behind Falcon Pro, goes live

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Developer Joaquim Verges — you might remember him as the man behind the popular Twitter app Falcon Pro — has just released a new Android applications — Flyne. It's an offline reader that allows you to take your favorite articles with you, on the go, without worrying about a data connection.

The app itself is free, and you can pull in sources a curated list, but you'll need to pony up 99 cents for Feedly or Twitter access. The app itself is stylish in the manner you'd expect from the force behind Falcon, so this one's well worth a look. There's a dark theme available as well. (We're fans of that, for sure.) 

The article content takes center stage here, with other elements floating on top and not much chrome to distract from what's important. Give 'er a go, we say.

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