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4 years ago

Google Play highlights great apps with the 'Beautiful Design Collection'

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A set of apps that show off the highest quality of design and function on Android today

Every so often Google Play will put up "collections" of apps that fall into a certain genre or fit with a current season or holiday. This time the Android Design Team is taking time to highlight 11 apps that have taken design to the next level with the "Beautiful Design Summer 2013 Collection". In a blog post detailing the criteria for the collection, the team explains what makes an app "beautiful":

"Transitions are fast and clear, layout and typography are crisp and meaningful, and design touches that delight you in surprising ways are sprinkled throughout."

They have made up a list of 11 apps that exemplify these ideals -- Pattrn, Pocket, Timer, Eye in Sky Weather, NY Times, Grand St., Pinterest, Press, Expedia, Flipboard and TED -- of what great Android design looks like. And that doesn't mean that every one of these apps follows Android's Design Guidelines pixel-for-pixel, either. They're called guidelines and not requirements for a reason, because Google thinks that it is possible to make an app feel coherent to the Android aesthetic while still keeping its own personality.

The team encourages all Android developers to take a look at these apps to get a feel for the design details necessary to "separate good apps from great ones." For users, you may want to grab a download of some of these as great examples of what is possible with Android apps today.

Beautiful Design Collection on Google Play

Source: Android Developers Blog

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4 years ago

Moto X customization details leaked: custom colors, engraving, your photo as wallpaper

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In addition, sensors and new software services are outlined by alleged insiders

Sources at ABC News say they have confirmed details of the upcoming Moto X, and have outlined the supposed customization options. While many were hoping for things like choosing the internals, things are sounding more realistic -- at least according to ABC's sources.

Through a website, buyers will be able to select from a palette of different colors. One color can be used for the back case and another can be selected for the trim of the phone. Users will also be able to engrave a name or message on the back cover as well as upload a personal photo through the site to be used as the wallpaper on the phone's screen, according to people familiar with the rollout.

In addition, they say the phone will be running Android 4.2.2, which is currently being tested by U.S. carriers. The device is said to be available for purchase online as well as from carrier stores, though no pricing details were mentioned.

More interesting is the alleged confirmation of the new sensors and "smart" technology Motorola will be building into the device. Examples given were flicking the phone to open the camera app, extended voice recognition services, and the ability to sense when you're driving and activating the speaker phone. 

This may not be as "fully customizable" as people wanted or as we were led to believe by Motorola's recent ad, but be honest -- an Android Green version with a Lloyd engraving would be sweet. Where do I sign up?

Source: ABC News

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4 years ago

HTC One Mini pictured in black ahead of release

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The best shots of the HTC One Mini yet, with a few more details on build materials and software

Following up quickly on leaked documents that show an impending release of larger and smaller versions of the HTC One on O2 in Germany, we now have solid images of the HTC One Mini. As you can see from the picture, the device really is just a smaller HTC One, although not drastically so because we're talking about less than a half inch difference in diagonal screen size. Based on the images we have here, the rim around the outside of the One Mini appears to be the same (or similar) plastic as is injected into the antenna slots on the back rather than metal, but we'll have to wait for an official release to see for ourselves.

The leak also pins down the specs that were rumored before: a 4.3-inch 720x1280 display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Those in contact with the device also say it is running Android 4.2.2, building on the fact that it is rolling out OTA for the original HTC One currently. Stick around after the break for two more images of the One Mini.

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4 years ago

ZEN & TECH 55: Parenting; Keeping kids safe on social

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ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! On today's show, Georgia and Rene tie into Talk Mobile 2013 and, as part of our ongoing parenting series, look at how we can handle kids going online and onto social networks, from when they're very young, to when they're legally adults.

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble drops Nook prices to £99/£149 in the UK, US price drops extended

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The latest Nook tablets, now with Google Play access, receive price drops

We've known about the impending demise of the Nook hardware division of Barnes & Noble for some time now, but that's not stopping them from putting out some killer deals on their not-long-for-this-world tablet hardware. Starting today, B&N is dropping the price of the Nook HD and HD+ in the U.K. to just £99 and £149, respectively. The current sale in the U.S. is being extended as well to $129 and $149 for the two versions, which start at 8GB of storage on the Nook HD and 16GB on the HD+.

If you're interested in picking up a cheap tablet that now has access to all of the apps on Google Play with some solid hardware, now may be the time to jump on a Nook. Hit the appropriate source links below to check them out.

More: Nook HD / Nook HD+ (U.S.)

Nook HD / Nook HD+ (U.K.)

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z video walkthrough

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A 10-inch 1080p display. Water resistance. Eight-megapixel Exmor RS camera. 4G LTE support. Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z certainly seems to check all the relevant boxes for a high-end, big-screen Android tablet, while packing its impressive internals into a thin and light chassis. But Sony isn't the first Android OEM to attempt to break into the large form factor tablet space, a section of the market dominated by Apple's full-size iPad. Meanwhile smaller, cheaper Android tablets have achieved greater success than their full-sized, full-priced brethren.

So how does Sony's super-thin 10-incher measure up? Check out our video walkthrough after the break. We'll have a full review headed your way in the days ahead.

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4 years ago

Glympse teams with Evernote to keep track of your location 'trails'

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Glympse trails will now be available from your Evernote account

Glympse, the pioneers of user-to-user real time location sharing, has announced that they're teaming up with Evernote to allow users to archive a list of their Glympse trails. Using the built in sharing features in Android, Glympse location data can now be automatically shared to a special "My Glympse Trails" folder in their Evernote portfolio.

Many of our users have requested a way to save a snapshot of their Glympse map trails so they can view road trips, keep runs and bike rides, archive a special trip abroad, or just remember an interesting location. We wanted to make this feature simple and easy. Evernote is the perfect solution: users retain complete control over how they share their location and can choose to save their trips to their personal Evernote account for review at a later date.

Each saved Glympse entry will contain details about the recipients, date, time, and duration of the Glympse as well as the destination if included. Of course, all this is stored in the user's Evernote account for easy access from just about anywhere.

The changes are available in today's update, which you can download from the Google Play link above. Jump past the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

The Talk Mobile daily hangout you might not want your mom to see

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No, really. Today we're discussing the world of social and the parts you might not want your mom or your boss or your boss' mom to see.

Come join the chat!

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4 years ago

Samsung names Gregory Lee as new US Mobile Division president

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Former STA president Sohn headed to Korea as executive advisor to J.K. Shin

Samsung has made some executive changes at the highest levels today, naming Gregory Lee as president of Samsung Telecommunications America (STA). Formerly president and chief executive officer of Samsung Asia Pte Ltd, Lee will be responsible for "leading the company's mobile business operations and strengthening the company's leading position in the smartphone market in the U.S."

Don't shed any tears for outgoing STA president Dale Sohn though, as he has scored a gig as the executive advisor to Samsung's mobile division CEO JK Shin. Samsung owes much of their success in mobile to the U.S. market, and having the man who took them to the top of the U.S. mobile market and achieved "record results" with the Galaxy line makes great business sense.

We wish both the gentleman much success, but more importantly we hope that this means Samsung will keep pushing the edge of technology forwards. 

Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Would you want your mom to see this? - Talk Mobile

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Even after nearly a decade of modern social networking, we're still having trouble grappling with privacy. We're not talking about when some server is compromised and your password ends up for sale in the seedier parts of the internet — no, this is about our own management of our own privacy.

4 years ago

Ubuntu Touch is no longer just another Android shell

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A message on the Ubuntu developers list has some really good news for fans of Canonical's fledgling Ubuntu Touch mobile OS -- it's no longer running inside or on top of Android. Previously, Ubuntu Touch booted into Android and used a chroot to virtualize the Ubuntu OS on top of the Android core, much like hackers have been doing since the days of the Nexus One. 

But Oliver Grawert tells us today that this is no longer the case, and the OS now boots into Ubuntu and virtualizes Android services inside an LXC (LinuX Container) during boot. This is a complete 180 flip, and is great news for all fans of Ubuntu on their mobile.

The changes are available in the daily builds, have a look here if you're interested in running one. No word on when things will be merged into the official installer, but we imagine it won't be too far in the future.

Source: Ubuntu-Devel; Via: +Oliver Grawert

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4 years ago

Make the most of your Fourth of July festivities with these apps

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Don't let the frustration of planning a party get in the way of enjoying July 4th

We know that not all of our readers are located in the U.S., but for those who are the Fourth of July marks not only an extremely important historical event, but also a day to spend with friends and family. We've surely all had our fair share of great and horrible holiday party experiences, so this year we hope to ease some of the frustration with some great apps (and a few other picks) to help things move along more smoothly.

Hang around with us after the break for a few suggestions on how you can make the most out of that last-minute run to the store, cook up some top-notch food and make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.

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4 years ago

A revived Falcon Pro brings a hidden feature to keep on Tweetin'

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The Falcon Pro Twitter app is probably the biggest third-party Android client to have run up against Twitter's Draconian new API rules that significantly limit the number of users an app can have. But Falcon's doing its best impression of a phoenix, once again rising up (ugh, we know, but that's what it's doing) for another go.

Developer Joaquim Verges today announced that while Falcon absolutely has run out of user tokens, the app itself absolutely is not dead. And if you still have a token through Falcon Pro, you'll be able to use version 2.0.4 of Falcon Pro.

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4 years ago

HTC One Mini, One Max outed in O2 Germany docs

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Black and silver color options listed for the Mini in latest leak

It's becoming more and more likely that the HTC One line will soon be expanded with the addition of big and small-screened versions of the current HTC flagship. New info has come to light this morning from O2 Germany documents leaked by Mobiflip, which appear to corroborate the names "HTC One Mini" and "HTC One Max" for the new devices. The Mini — formerly known by its codename "M4" — is expected to use a smaller 4.3-inch display, while the Max — or "T6" — is said to be a 6-incher. The Max is listed in silver, while the Mini is shown as available in black and silver.

Rumored specs for the HTC One Mini include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU, a 720p display resolution and "Ultrapixel" rear camera. Sources have recently told Android Central that the One Mini will be making an appearance in early August, and that the 6-inch One Max should pack a 1080p display and use Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 800 CPU.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia SP review

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With impressive internals and a unique design, is Sony's new mid-ranger as good as it appears on paper?

Once an underdog in the Android world, Sony Mobile put out a strong showing earlier in the year with smartphones like the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. With these devices the Japanese manufacturer seeks to differentiate itself with high-quality materials and outstanding designs. So it’s interesting to see that in its new mid-ranger, the Xperia SP, Sony is looking back to its smartphone design heritage, resurrecting ideas like the transparent element from last year’s NXT series.

On paper it’s packing reasonable specs, too — a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1GB of RAM, a 4.6-inch 720p display and an 8-megapixel camera, not to mention LTE support. Not too long ago that would've been considered flagship territory. So, with a good-looking chassis and powerful internals, does Sony have a mid-range hit on its hands? Check past the break to find out.

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