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4 years ago

Expand your Google Keep use with this Chrome extension

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Quickly add, delete and modify your Google Keep items in a new window

We haven't heard a whole lot of news about Google Keep since it was launched just a few weeks ago, but if you are a Keep user then we've got a handy little Chrome extension that may appeal to you. The aptly named "Google Keep Extension" in the Chrome Web Store isn't fancy, but it does provide a pretty neat way to get at your Keep items. Rather than keeping it open in a new tab at all times, this extension gives you the option to open Keep in its own small window either by hitting a quick launch button to the right of the address bar or from a right click anywhere in the browser.

Developer Paul Eiche is quick to point out that without a proper Keep API there's not much else that can be done with it, but this is certainly still functionality that Google isn't adding into Chrome itself just yet. Head to the source link below to download the free extension to your browser.

Download: Google Keep Extension

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4 years ago

US Cellular Galaxy S4 pricing and free accessory announced

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Devices will be available for purchase 'late April' for $199.99 with instant rebate

If you're preordering the Samsung Galaxy S4 through US Cellular, you'll be happy to know they just sweetened the pot. Today the carrier announced the giveaway of free S View flip covers to everyone that places a preorder using their official page. Not bad, considering the accessory retails for $59.99.

The 16GB phone will be available in White Frost and Black Mist at launch, priced at $199.99 with an instant rebate. We are still waiting for a date to be announced, but we do know that it will be sometime in late April. Hit the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Pocket updated with new send to friend feature

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Sharing from the web to your friends just got a little easier with today's Pocket update

Pocket, the app that makes it easy to read it later, just got a really nice update in Google Play. If you're not sure what the app is, think of it as a locker where you can store things you find on the web that you want to have a look at later. I use it a lot while surfing on my phone, sending links to Pocket so I can look at them a little closer on my computer. It works well, looks beautiful, and has some pretty savvy developers behind it

With today's update, a way to specifically share links and snippets with a friend has been added, Open anything in your list from the pocket app, and you're able to send it directly to anyone with an email address, along with a comment. What makes it interesting is that if your friend has Pocket installed, they get a push notification via the app letting them know you've sent them something. The sharing menu also remembers who you've recently shared with, which makes it even more handy.

Phil and Alex, get ready for hundreds of ICanHasCheezburger links, because I'm going to love this feature. You can grab Pocket (it's free) or update via the Google Play link above.

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4 years ago

Google Fiber coming to Provo, Utah

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Google has announced that the third city to gain access to its Google Fiber service will be Provo, Utah. The announcement comes just a week after the second city, Austin, was announced. In case you're wondering, Provo is the third largest city in Utah and about 43 miles south of Salt Lake City.

In the blog post, Google says that they've agreed to purchase iProvo, a fiber-optic network that has been building since 2004. The City Council of Provo will vote on Tuesday, April 23, to approve the deal.Once it is finalized, Google says they intend to start upgrades. No date is set as to when you can officially get the service, however.

Once it has been approved, Provo citizens can enjoy all of the benefits of Google Fiber that people in Kansas City and Austin can:

  • For a $30 activation fee, you can get 5 Mbps service for 7 years
  • Gigabit Internet service with an optional TV package
  • Free Gigabit Internet service for local public institutions such as schools and libraries

Google Fiber continues to expand. Let's hope for more expansion to drive competition in the Internet service space.

Source: Official Google Blog

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4 years ago

ACLU wants the FTC to give carriers a kick in the pants over security updates

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Complaint calls 'orphaned' phones 'defective', says carriers should disclose dangers of unclosed security holes

The American Civil Liberties Union today published a complaint (pdf) it filed with the Federal Trade Commission, seeking an investigation into the major U.S. carriers' practice of updating -- or, more to the point, not regularly updating -- the smartphones that they sell for security reasons. "Android smartphones," the 16-page complaint reads, " that do not receive regular, prompt security updates are defective and unreasonably dangerous."

Chris Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst for the ACLU on speech, privacy and technology, followed up in a blog post, explaining:

Google’s Android operating system now has more than 75% of the smartphone market, yet the majority of these devices are running software that is out of date, often with known, exploitable security vulnerabilities that have not been patched. For consumers running these devices, there is no legitimate software upgrade path. 

At issue is the process in which the process works. Google provides the Android code -- including updates for bugs and security fixes -- but it's up to the hardware manufacturers to implement any changes, and the carriers to approve and ultimately get those changes pushed out. It's a lengthy, messy process that nobody has seemed able to improve with any real effect -- at least not to the satisfaction of the ACLU, or a minority but vocal faction of the buying public.  

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet S Jelly Bean update going live tomorrow

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Android 4.1.1 OTA update starts April 18th 9-10am PST

Sony has just announced through their community forums that Jelly Bean is coming soon to the Xperia Tablet S. Starting tomorrow morning pacific standard time, users will start seeing a System Update notification appear in their Tablet S toolbars. The change log will not be posted until tomorrow, but seeing how this is an upgrade from Ice Cream Sandwich to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, users can expect the usual goodies: Google Now, Project Butter, expandable notifications, and more.

Sony is reminding users to make sure they are plugged in to AC power and have a good WiFi connection before starting this update. Check the links below for the official announcement and Sony's update instructions.

If your device is among the first to get this update, or if you have any tips on forcing the System Update notification to show, hit the comments.

Source: Sony; More: How to update

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4 years ago

AOKP hits 1 million downloads as first Milestone is released

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New nightly system will deliver fresh builds every 4 days

The Android Open Kang Project has reached two very important milestones. After less than two years, user downloads have now exceeded 1,000,000 -- this makes AOKP second in popularity only to Cyanogen. This is an incredible feat, especially for users that can remember flashing AOKP during its humble beginnings of early Ice Cream Sandwich builds.

The second milestone is actually a Milestone -- Milestone 1 to be precise. AOKP JB-MR1 Milestone 1, which represents the first stable build based on Jelly Bean, is now available to download. This is great news for those that do not like flashing experimental nightly builds or that have an aversion to bugs. In the past, sticking to Milestones usually meant waiting many weeks or months between flashes. Thanks to Team Kang's new one-milestone-per-month policy, milestone users can now have almost as much fun as the nightly flashaholics.

Speaking of flashaholics -- those that love staying on the cutting edge of AOKP features should know that Team Kang is doing away with their traditional builds. Instead, nightly builds will be created automatically by the AOKP BuildBot every 4 days. This means more builds to flash, but it also means these builds will be posted in untested form. Going forward, users must make sure to follow the first three rules of flashing (backup, backup, backup) because there is now a higher chance that the a posted build will be broken.

If you'd like to get push notifications of new builds and/or support Team Kang member Sethyx, AOKPush is now available in the Play Store. Join us for discussion the latest builds in the AC forums, or hit the comments with your feedback of the first Jelly Bean Milestone.

Source: AOKP, RootzWiki

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4 years ago

iStabilizer Mount XL - for the less svelte smartphone

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The best tools often are the simplest. And that adage rings true for the iStabilizer Mount XL. There's not a whole lot to say about it -- the Mount XL mounts your larger smartphone to anything that connects to a standard 1/4-20" universal thread. Monopods. Tripods. Those little handheld things the kids use to record themselves on skateboards. (That's still a thing, right?)

The iStabilizer Mount XL works by clamping onto your phone. Pull up on the little puller-upper handle thingy there at the top -- it's rubber and it's removable, so be careful not to lose it -- and position the phone inside. Slowly lower the puller-upper handle thingy, make sure the phone's pressed against the back supposed, and you're done. 

You do have to be a little gentle here -- it's not like you're strapping in your phone with a five-point harness -- but you also don't have to baby it too much. The spring-action has enough weight to it that the phone should stay in place, and you get a good feel for how much you'll be able to throw it around.

All in all, a fun little $20 purchase. The iStabilizer Mount XL handles a phone with as much girth as the Galaxy Note 2, and there's a smaller version (sans XL status) for more normal-sized phones.

We've got a few more pics after the break.

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4 years ago

I Am Vegend: A game that doesn't take itself too seriously

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A mash-up of games that never steps beyond casual gameplay makes its way into Google Play

It's clear right from the start when you look at the Play Store listing for I Am Vegend: Zombiegeddon that the game isn't going to win any awards for a great storyline or plot, but that doesn't mean it can't be an enjoyable game to play. Mashing together aspects from a few different games, I Am Vegend aims squarely at the casual audience with simple but fun gameplay that is easy to stroll through but harder to master.

The light-hearted nature of the game continues with the characters and design, which are playful but well illustrated. I Am Vegend delivers something fun and worth a look, so stick around after the break and see what it's all about.

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4 years ago

Google apps having issues today

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If your Gmail account is acting up today, you're not alone. Scores or readers are experiencing issues. And Gmail's not the only product hit with a little wonk today. Google Drive is experiencing errors, as is the admin control panel. Google Docs, Spreadsheets and Presentations have also been added to today's list.

The good news is that it doesn't (yet) look like a blanket outage. Some folk shave problems, some don't. Google says the Gmail issues were affecting 0.007% percent of users.

Gmail and Google Drive are still in the "investigation" process. Google promises an update on the Google Apps Admin Control panel status later this morning.

Source: Google Apps Status Dashboard

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4 years ago

T-Mobile launching the Samsung Galaxy S4 from April 24

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Highly anticipated Galaxy S4 to be available for $149.99 up front plus monthly payments

Improving on their initial May 1 release date for the Samsung Galaxy S4, T-Mobile has announced that Samsung's latest and greatest will be available online beginning April 24. The upfront price -- $149.99 with 24 monthly payments of $20 for the phone with their Simple Choice plan. If you're still not so sure on how the 'un-carrier' goes about selling things these days, be sure to check out Andrew's run through.

The T-Mobile Galaxy S4 will be packing the 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 processor as with all other U.S. variants, backed up of course by Android 4.2.2.  The full press release can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S4 available April 27 for $249 on contract

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Sprint has just announced that its Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available April 27 for $249 with a two-year contract. If you port your number to Sprint, however, you'll get another $100.

Preorders start April 18.

Sprint's Galaxy S4 will be available in white frost or black mist, also known as the colors black and white.

As is the case with the U.S. variants, it'll be running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor at 1.9 GHz. 

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 hits U.S. carriers and retailers in the next two weeks

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Individual release date details and pricing to come from carriers and retail outlets themselves

Samsung this morning has announced that the Galaxy S4 will be available in the United States by the end of the month. Individual carrier announcements are still to come, but here's what we know so far:

  • T-Mobile: Already announced its GS4 will be available May 1 for a $99 down payment. (Might we see that date shift to meet this April window? Wouldn't surprise us.) Update: T-Mobile will have it available online April 24, in stores May 1.
  • AT&T: We've got a pretty good indication that AT&T will begin to ship out Galaxy S4 orders (and presumably have them on store shelves) on April 30, but Samsung wants to remind everybody that it's going to be awfully easy to get your hands on the new Galaxy S4 in the very near future.
  • Verizon: Still no official date, but the phone did just show up on Samsung's site in black and white. (Not like we didn't know they exist, of course.) 
  • Sprint: Previously said to look for it in the second quarter, so, yeah. Update: April 27 it is, folks. Preorders start April 18.
  • Other carriers: US Cellular, Cricket and C Spire are all on the same April time frame.
  • Retailers: The Galaxy S4 also will be sold at seven retail outlets (Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile, Costco, Radio Shack, Sam’s Club, Staples, Target and Wal-Mart). You'll not be able to shake a stick without hitting a Galaxy S4 it seems -- and that's a good thing.
  • The U.S. versions of the S4 will offer the proven powerhouse of the Snapdragon 600, with a new high -res 1080p 5-inch display. That, and 2GB of RAM have been crammed into a package that's actually smaller than the Galaxy S3 by reducing the bezels on either side of the device. The folks who have had the chance to use one are saying some good things, and we're looking forward to getting one of our own to play with and put through the paces. 

We'll continue to tell you the official word from carriers and stores as they trickle out, in the meantime hit the break for the full press release from Samsung.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 accessories: Flip Covers, protective case and spare battery 'system' announced

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Samsung knows you like Galaxy S4 accessories, announces a few more

If there is one thing smart phone enthusiasts like more than a new phone, it's accessories to go along with it. Samsung knows this, too, and has announced a few of the official Galaxy S4 accessories this morning. While it's not the complete list of things we saw leaked last month, a couple of the favorites should be available soon -- hopefully along side the device itself.

First up is the Flip Cover we all know and love, but redesigned to fit the S4 perfectly. Available in seven colors (Black Mist, White Frost, Light Blue, Pink, Green, Orange and Yellow), the Flip Cover will retail for $39.99. A new take on the Flip Cover is the new S View design (pictured above) which has a clear cover so users can see information like SMS messages or the current time. It's available in Black Mist or White Frost for $59.99, and it looks like a new software mode will work in conjunction with the cover to put the information you need front and center of the window itself. Samsung will also offer what they're calling the Protective Cover+. It looks like a high quality protective case, and comes in White, Navy, Green, Blue and Pink. It will retail for $29.99.

Beside the cases and covers, Samsung announced a Spare Battery Charging System. Checking in at $49.99, it consists of charging stand, a wall charger, and a spare 2,600 mAh battery. This sounds like a very good price for the dock and the extra battery, and is sure to be a popular seller.

Of course, plenty of the existing Galaxy S accessories will work just fine with the S4. Besides the obvious like headphones and wireless media devices, the Smart Dock and Universal Multimedia Desktop Dock will work for various Galaxy S devices, including the S4. See the full fact sheet after the break.

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4 years ago

We take a closer look at the Sony Xperia Tablet Z ahead of its UK launch

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We take a closer look at Sony's latest 10.1-inch tablet ahead of it's UK launch in May

We first went hands on with Sony's latest tablet offering, the Xperia Tablet Z, back in February at Mobile World Congress. With the device set to launch in May, Sony reached out to us again to go and have a closer look at the new device and see what we think.

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