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4 years ago

Google expands Play Books store to several new countries


Total number of countries with access to Play Books reaches 36 worldwide

Google is expanding the availability of Google Play Books today to New Zealand and several new countries across Asia. Taking the total number of countries up to 36, these nine new countries now have access to one of the largest online book stores in the world:

  • Indonesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • New Zealand

Folks in the above countries can download the recently redesigned Google Play Books app and begin to browse through free and paid titles in the Books section of the Google Play Store. Together with a large expansion in availability to 13 new countries back in July, Google has tripled the number of countries that have access to books in 2013.

Source: Google Play Support; Via: Android Police

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4 years ago

AT&T launches LTE in 9 new markets across the country


Another group of markets that can now take advantage of increased speeds and coverage

Earlier this month AT&T pushed over 400 LTE markets nationwide. Since then it has continued to launch new markets at a steady and often surprising pace, in an attempt to cover practically every part of the US with its LTE service. Today AT&T has announced that it is making its higher-speed data network available in nine new markets. Those of you in the following areas with LTE devices should see the network lighting up now:

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4 years ago

Motorola expanding into Waterloo, Ontario - BlackBerry's back yard


Motorola moving into Canada's technology triangle

Motorola has announced that they will be opening a new office in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario — the home of BlackBerry. The site is a known hotbed of engineering, and other companies like Square, Intel and Electronic Arts also have a presence in Canada's Technology Triangle.

Motorola looks to open a new engineering office and tap into the area's pool of talent, which has been bolstered by the massive layoffs going on at BlackBerry. Motorola says they have been planning this move for a while, but for the folks with skills and no office to use them in, the timing couldn't be better.

Google already has a small office in Waterloo, and the current Motorola Kitchener-Waterloo office only employs a "handful" of people. They expect to soon begin hiring, and hopefully some great things can be done at the new facility.

Source: Financial Post; Via: +Punit Soni

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4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Indoors


Staying in doesn't mean you can't take great photos

Fall is officially upon us, and while that doesn't necessarily mean bad weather for everyone, for some of us it means we'll be inside a little more often. This week we're going to build on that idea by asking you to submit pictures taken indoors for this week's photo contest. While it constrains what you can do in terms of wide landscapes or large areas, it opens you up to take pictures of whatever subject you want — as long as its inside, it qualifies.

This week we'll be picking just one winner, and this week's prize will be an HTC First (for AT&T) — the fancy red color with its original box and cables. (While the contest is open to international entrants, be aware that you are responsible for unlocking this AT&T-locked device yourself.)

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 (October 1) 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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4 years ago

Sony announces Walkman ZX1 and F Series Android-powered music players


Two new media play offerings with high-end audio capabilities and Google Play access

While most of us have moved on to using our phones for media playback, Sony is still pushing along with its Walkman-branded Android media players. The Walkman ZX1 and Walkman F880 Series are powered by 1GHZ dual-core processors, have 4-inch 480x854 displays, NFC, Bluetooth and run Android 4.1 that is not unlike Sony's flagship phones.

In terms of audio quality, Sony is touting 192kHz/24bit high-res audio playback with a special "S-Master HX" digital amp — supporting AIFF, ALAC, FLAC and WAV formats. But of course when you're not listening to high-quality music you can do anything else a modern Android device can do with full Google Play access.

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4 years ago

Google+ dramatically improving RAW photo uploads, supporting over 70 camera models


Cloud storage and editing capabilities with no downsizing or size requirements

Google+ is increasingly becoming a place for photographers, and today's announcement of wider support for RAW image uploading helps solidify that point. Folks with higher-end cameras have had the option to upload full-sized RAW images to Google+ in the past, but now the ability is being significantly improved thanks to technology from Nik, which Google recently acquired.

Photographers can now upload RAW photos from over 70 different camera models (we'll put a full list after the break), and then edit them as much as they want in the new Google+ JPEG editor. Just as anyone would expect in a RAW editor, the original file is preserved and can be downloaded at any time, as can the edited JPEGs.

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4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Sports' winners!


Sports of all kinds were on display this week in a very fun photo contest

Another week, another photo contest and two more contest winners that have prizes on the way to their doorsteps. This last week we put you to task taking your best pictures of "Sports," and after hundreds of entries we've narrowed it down to the winners.

We saw baseball, football, soccer, golf, hockey and more from the professionals down to the little leagues, and have picked two winners. Hang around after the break and see who won this week.

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Are you picking up a Galaxy Note 3?


It's about that time. They are available right now if you're in Europe and can find one, and wider availability starts tomorrow. The US will be seeing them in just a few weeks, at the beginning of October. They're coming. We're talking about the Galaxy Note 3, of course.

They're big, and that means they aren't for everyone. But they do fill a spot that nobody cared about before, and Samsung owns it now. There is no better big-phone-that's-not-a-tablet than the Galaxy Note series for a lot of people. 38 million people, to be exact.

We know a lot of readers love their Note. I'll be honest — it's not for me, because it's just a little too big. But, the S Pen, especially the enhanced S Pen on the new Notes, is tech that I can get behind. Samsung nailed it, and if you've not tried it you're missing out. I'm voting undecided, because after I try the new Note 3 I may be able to deal with the size — you know how that goes, minds are easier to change than jockey shorts. 

So holler and let everyone know. There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, and we've embedded it after the break to make things easy to find. Vote. Discuss. 

Before we go, a look at last week's poll:

Do you edit photos or video on your Android?

About a 50 / 50 split. I wonder how many people saying yes are using a Note to edit their imagery with?

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4 years ago

Google Shopping Express app now in Play store, you still need to be in San Fran to use it



From store to your door in just a few hours

If you're one of the millions who lives in the San Francisco general area, you might have heard about Google Shopping Express. Order anything (well, almost anything) from places like Target, Toys R Us or Walgreens, and Google will deliver it to you in just a couple hours. It's something Google has been testing, but today things just got a little cooler if you're an Android user.

Of course you still have to have residence in the areas Google Shopping Express covers (more info about all the rules here), but installing the new app will give you free deliveries for six months. Sounds like a great way to try the service to me. 

Anyone trying this? Shout out in the comments. Bonus points for the first person who has a Nexus 7 delivered from Toys R Us!


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4 years ago

The Griffin Motorola X car dock


Now that we've taken a look at the official Griffin Desktop Dock for the Moto X, it's time to turn our attention to the Griffin Moto X Car Dock. This one's also a pretty simple affair. You get the dock that affixes to either your dash (via the included plastic disc) or windshield — and that's it. No charger, no cables — just a dock to hold your phone and keep it (and you, hopefully) safe and usable in your car.

Inserting your phone into the dock is easy enough, though you'll want to take your time to make sure things fit properly. Start on the end with the microUSB plug, and make sure things are situated. Then ease in the top of the phone. There's enough pressure from that end of the dock to make things stay fast, and there are little rubber tabs on the inside of the dock (you can see them in this picture) that give it some grip over the phone.

And that, basically, is that.

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4 years ago

Hangouts adds proper status indicators, improved contacts management


Making it easier to find the people you want to converse with most

Along with notable updates to Gmail and Google Voice, Hangouts is receiving a bump to version 1.2 to add new features. The latest update makes it drastically easier to see who is online and available for chat and who is not, with green chat bubbles indicating online and grey ones indicating offline. When you're browsing through your contacts list you'll also now see new organization to put "People you Hangout with" at the top, "Suggested People" underneath and "Other Contacts" at the bottom.

You can also long press on contacts in Hangouts to hide them from ever appearing if you'd prefer to clean up the list. Now when you receive an invite to a Hangout, you'll see that invite above all of your conversations, which keeps it from getting buried underneath other active conversations. And last but not least, you can pinch and zoom pictures that you receive.

The update is rolling out over the next couple of days, so go take a look in the Play Store and see if you're one of the initial batch.

Via: +Randall Sarafa

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4 years ago

Special edition LG G2 podcast tomorrow at 9PM ET


An hour of talk about the G2, and nothing but the G2

By now you've read our massive reviews of the LG G2, both the AT&T version as well as Verizon's model. We've done our best to cover it all, but there will always be more questions, right? We're going to cover that this week with a special edition podcast all about the G2.

Join Andrew and Jerry — and their G2s — tomorrow (September 26) at 9PM Eastern. That's 6PM for you left-coasters, and 3PM for folks in Hawaii. Aloha. We'll be talking about the differences between the models, giving up our super-secret likes and dislikes, and fielding your questions — both live and the ones you mail in. It should be a lot of fun. 

To ask a question live, you'll need to be signed into Google+, where you'll find the event as it happens. To mail in a question, shoot us a message at actips@androidcentral.com with the subject G2 and we'll do our best to get to it.

We're pretty stoked about the G2, and we know a lot of you are as well. See you tomorrow!

More: +Android Central

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4 years ago

Humble Mobile Bundle 2 now available - donate to charity for 6 great games


Six great DRM-free Android games and soundtracks up for grabs

Following up on the success of the first Android-only version of the Humble Bundle, it's time for a follow up — Humble Mobile Bundle 2. If you're not familiar with the Humble Bundle model, the idea is that you pay whatever you want to receive a selection of Android games, and choose how you want to allocate the money you do spend. You can split up your payment between the app developers and charity, and even specifically to each app.

If you donate over the average of what has been donated up to that point, you receive additional games as incentive. The games are DRM-free, often include soundtracks in the price and are usually a great group of hidden gems. Here are the games this time around in the Humble Mobile Bundle 2:

  • Star Command (new to Android)
  • Time Surfer (new to Android)
  • Punch Quest
  • Bloons TD 5
  • Ravensword: Shadowlands
  • Carmageddon

So what are you waiting for? The average donation for Humble Mobile Bundle 2 stands at just $4.30 to pick up 6 DRM-free Androd games. Head to the source link below to check out the games and donate now.

More: Humble Bundle

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4 years ago

Gmail app getting updated with new, cleaner design



Gmail for Android gets the cards treatment

The Gmail Google+ account says that they will be rolling out a new update for the Gmail app today that brings a better conversation view, better multi-select, and an overall cleaner design for Android users. In addition, you'll be able to tell is sync is enabled or disabled right from your inbox with a new notification card.

The new cards-inspired design is the latest we've seen that has Matias Duarte's influence, and paves the way for what we think is Google's goal — a unified design among all the Google applications for Android.

The update should start rolling out today, and if it follows Google's usual schedule all users should have it in about a week.

Source: +Gmail

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4 years ago

Google Voice adds support for SMS short codes


A welcomed feature that has been a long time coming

Thousands of hearts rose and sank today when a Google Voice update landed in the play store, and it turned out to just be an update to add texting short codes to the service. While we've been holding out for a somewhat bigger update to Google Voice for some time now, we're not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.

The addition of texting short codes means that folks who rely on Google Voice as their primary number can use these codes for things like online banking, SMS alerts from services and many other uses. Previously if you attempted to enter a short code, the app would offer to attempt and send it via the default messaging app and carrier number — while this was useful because you'd get the short code sent, it wasn't from the number you wanted.

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