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4 years ago

Facebook sharing your phone number sucks, but you gave it to them willingly

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When you willingly give your data away, you lose control of where it goes once it's no longer in your hands

Last week we told you about a bug on Facebook, where the popular social network ended up sharing some personal information with your friends. There's some more talk about it again today, as Symantec has stated that "the first time you launch the Facebook application, even before logging in, your phone number will be sent over the Internet to Facebook servers. You do not need to provide your phone number, log in, initiate a specific action, or even need a Facebook account for this to happen."

The thing is, if you installed the Facebook app, you agreed to give them this information. It spells it out in simple terms, and forced you to agree to it before you could download the app.

This doesn't excuse Facebook for the latest privacy gaffe, but it does highlight the need to look at those permissions -- and understand them -- for each and every app you install. They are all there, and if you come across something you don't understand there are plenty of people to help you figure it out in the forums.

We're not saying the Android permissions system is perfect. But it is there, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves when we agree to something we end up not liking.

Update: People are asking about the pre-installed version of Facebook on their carrier and OEM branded phones. When you set up your phone, or first use the app, you're given a link to the full set of Facebook policies, including their data use policy. If what data is being collected is important to you, that's readily available right from your phone settings. On your first trip to the Google Play store, you'll be asked to update to the Google Play version, which again reviews all of the app permissions. This information is there, you only need to read it.

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4 years ago

Firefox OS launches in Spain while Android reaches 70% market share

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Is Firefox OS and their shockingly inexpensive entry point the key to a strong number three mobile OS? 

The ZTE Open officially launches in Spain July 2. It's the first available consumer version of a Firefox OS device, and the Internet is buzzing about its debut. With good reason -- the phone will sell for $90, and include $39 of prepaid airtime. That makes it a $51 dollar smartphone, and will be an easy sell for all those feature phone users out there. We're looking to get one, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

Meanwhile, Android has reached a 70-percent share of the global smart phone market. Android is especially strong in Europe, right where the ZTE Open is launching. That's a big Goliath to Mozilla's David, and in a world of cheap prepaid Android phones can the fledgling Firefox OS compete? It's all going to come down to one thing -- the apps.

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4 years ago

Play CSR Racing and win a Nexus 7 tablet!

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Try out a different kind of racing game and win a new tablet to play it on in the process

CSR Racing isn't your standard racing game requiring lots of fine motor skills to steer and navigate a track. It instead focuses on building up your car collection by street drag racing, focusing on proper use of car upgrades, accelerating and shifting to win races. With a deep story line taking you through an RPG-like experience and high-quality graphics, there's a whole lot of content here to enjoy playing through.

Hang around after the break to take a better look at CSR Racing and learn how you could win a Nexus 7 in the process.

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4 years ago

Add special effects to your videos easily with FxGuru

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Spice up your videos with space debris, dinosaurs, falling pianos and more with this easy to use app

The video camera on your Android phone just became a lot more fun to use thanks to FxGuru. If you ever wanted to have a T-Rex crash your brother's Little League game, or drop a piano on your mother-in-law, or just weasel out of cutting the grass because a part of Skylab fell in the yard, now you can! OK, not really but it can look like it happened, and that's more fun than cleaning up after a T-Rex.

The app is easy to use. You pick the effect you want, hit the OK button, and start recording. There's an overlay on your screen of where the magic will happen so you know just how to keep things lined up. When you're done, you can select a filter and boost the audio, and it saved to an mp4 video right on your phone.

There are seven free effects included -- Breaking News, Birthday Bot, Dancing Droid, Piano Drop,Satellite Crash, UFO Shuttle and TNT Barrel -- and you can download plenty of others for 99-cents each or $4.69 for six in a pack. The free effects are limited to 480p recording, but the paid ones will allow HD recording.

I'm having entirely too much fun with this one. Hit the Google Play link above and check it out -- you will, too. Hit the break for an example (you knew we had to) and an assortment of screen shots.

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4 years ago

Google Glass update improves voice controls, adds full website viewing

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Glass sheds a few of its initial limitations with the latest update rolling out to Explorers now

We know not many people have Google Glass at this point so this may feel like rubbing salt in the wound, but Google Glass is receiving an update today to improve the experience in a few important areas. First up are voice controls, which are expanding to handle incoming and outgoing text messages, answering incoming calls and sharing directly with individuals by name all with voice-only commands. Adding to this expansion of communication, Google Glass can now interact with your entire Google Contacts list, rather than the previous ten favorite friends list before.

Additionally, and possibly most surprisingly, Google has included full web page viewing from Google Search results in Glass. Now after making a search, users can tap on a "View website" screen to be taken to a full view of the page where they can scroll up and down with two fingers on the touch pad or hold two fingers and move their head to pan around the page.

The update will be rolling out over the air for the lucky Google Glass users among us in the next couple of days.

Source: +Project Glass

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4 years ago

How to sign out of the new Skype 4.0 for Android

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Skype has done fine work with its new Version 4.0 on Android, bringing about some badly needed performance improvements as well as a redesign. But in doing so, it's buried the sign-out button, as well as the settings — two things that absolutely need to be in the top level of the user interface.

Here's how to get to them:

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4 years ago

Why should anybody care about your social status? - Talk Mobile

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Update. Check-in. Post. Poke. Tweet. Like. Pin. Upload. Filter. Share. Plus. The world of social networking is ever-evolving and ever-expanding. An outgrowth of our own in-person social interactions, online social networking has become a new facet of our human communication, often supplanting a good portion of that originating in-person interaction.

4 years ago

Skype 4.0 for Android launches - 'rebuilt from the ground up'

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Messaging platform celebrates 100 million Android installs with all-new app

Skype for Android is getting a major update today, bringing the app up to version 4.0 with a major redesign. The app, which Skype says recently passed 100 million installs, has been completely redesigned to be more consistent with other platforms' versions. (That is to say it's looking a lot more Windows 8-like as of this latest update.)

The new app features a cleaner "conversation-first" UI, putting greater emphasis on instant messaging. In addition, you can now tab through different areas of the app, and change tabs using swipe gestures. But the changes are apparently more than skin deep, as Skype says it's been "rebuilt from the ground up" to be faster and more reliable.

The Microsoft-owned messaging platform promises further improvements to the Skype app for Android in the future. In the meantime, you can grab today's update from the Google Play Store.

Update: Skype buried the options to sign out, as well as the settings menu. By popular request, here's where to find them.

Source: Skype

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4 years ago

Using the Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android

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After two months with TouchWiz, what's it like to go 'stock' on Samsung's latest smartphone?

The running joke whenever we discuss the Google Play edition Galaxy S4 is that you can sum things up in just one sentence — it’s the Galaxy S4, with stock Android. Really, if you understand the vanilla “Nexus” UI, as it exists on the Nexus 4, and you understand the Galaxy S4’s hardware, as it exists on the Samsung version, then you already know everything you need to about this product. There are no real surprises lurking. What you see is what you get. It’s the Galaxy S4, with stock Android.

I’ve been using the GS4 in some form or another since I reviewed the Sprint version in New York City in April. Back then the device had some serious software issues, not least of which was the persistent, maddening lag that plagued the Samsung UI. Since picking up the European version I’ve watched things improve with successive software updates, and Samsung’s flavor of Android is now as speedy as I’d expect it to be — almost as fast as stock, in fact. So how does that compare to the vanilla, unblemished Google experience? Read on to find out.

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4 years ago

Take control of your Google Play application settings

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The Google Play application on your phone or tablet is your gateway to all the content Google has to offer. You'll use it often, whether you're looking at apps, books, magazines or any other digital content you can buy or rent from Google for your Android device. Needless to say, it's important to take a quick check of the general settings to make sure you have things just the way you like them.

We've already looked at password protecting your account to protect against unauthorized purchases, and how to manage your automatic update settings to control the way you use your data. Those an important subjects, so they each get their own section in our primer on Google Play. But there are other settings as well, and you should take a minute and set things up. Jump past the break, and we'll have a look.

Visit our Google Play page for everything Google Play

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4 years ago

Start your week with the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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Catch this week's Android Central Podcast? If you're looking for the lowdown on the Google Play edition devices, you don't want to miss this episode. We've got the GPe Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Plus, we tear into an Android 4.3 leak, and answer more of your questions. 

The Android Central Podcast is your weekly peek into the world of Android, where we break down the news that really matters, and explain what's just a bunch of hype. Plus, we answer your e-mails and voicemails. You don't want to miss it. Check out the Android Central Podcast.

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4 years ago

Verizon HTC One pictured

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4G​ LTE branding gives away Big Red's HTC One

Prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks has just posted an image of Verizon Wireless' HTC One — and unsurprisingly it looks like an HTC One, on Verizon. In fact, the only thing to give away this HTC One as belonging to Big Red is its 4G LTE logo in the status bar. Besides that, there's no front-facing indicator that this is a Verizon phone — the space between the phone's two buttons is still occupied by HTC's own branding. We're willing to bet there'll be some Verizon signage around the back, though.

Unfortunately here's still no indication as to when we can expect the Verizon HTC One's arrival.  The carrier has announced that it'll offer the One for sale starting "later this summer," but that's as specific as anyone's getting. Fingers crossed that Verizon customers will be able to pick up the phone before the early September date in today's leaked render.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Three UK launches new, lower PAYG rates

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3 pence per minute, 2 pence per SMS, 1 pence per MB of data

UK mobile network Three has overhauled its Pay As You Go pricing, introducing new, lower rates for prepaid customers who don't sign up to one of its monthly "add-on" packages. From today, customers with PAYG credit who aren't using an add-on will pay 3 pence per minute for calls, 2 pence per SMS message and 1 pence per megabyte of data.

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4 years ago

New EU roaming caps coming into place

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New caps take effect today — 45 cents per MB, 24 cents per minute, 8 cents per SMS

European mobile subscribers will enjoy lower roaming rates for calls, texts and data within the EU from today, as new price caps come into effect. The new roaming price limits kick in a year from the start of the original EU roaming caps, a move which saw an end to excessive intra-European roaming prices.

Here's a breakdown of how things will change for Europeans roaming within Europe —

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Bringing the kids into the Android fold

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I think I've switched my nearly 7-year-old daughter from iOS to Android.

She came willingly, which was a bit of a surprise, and truth be told I don't think she's knows the difference between one platform and another. She just knows that she's got a cooler-looking phone, and that I've told her it'll be much easier for me to get new music on there for her. (And cheaper for me, thanks to Google Play All Access.)

Still, for as cool as I think it is to see her using this new phone like she did her old inactive iPhone 3G, I can't help but wonder if I've turned into that parent, who doesn't give a damn that their kid suddenly has leaped forward a couple generations in personal tech hardware, all before her 7th birthday. That this new phone is all of a year old, and any one of our Android Central readers would be happy to have it. That I've just spoiled the hell out of my kid — and that she doesn't even really know it — is not lost me. (To say nothing of giving her one of 10 coveted device slots for my Google Play Music account.)

But the really scary thing is that unlike her old iPhone, I'm leaving this phone connected to the Internet. Again, that's mainly to make getting to Google Play Music All Access, and because occasionally there are some apps that love to crash on startup when they don't have an Internet connection. That's bad code, but whatever.

This is not unfettered access, though. I didn't just set my child loose on the Internet. This is a bit of an experiment as well.

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