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4 years ago

Action Launcher 1.8 lets you choose widgets, improves support for Ice Cream Sandwich


Action Launcher today has dropped Version 1.8 on us in Google Play, bringing with it a few welcomed improvements. You're now able to choose which widget you want associated with a Shutter action (that's the one where you swipe an app icon to open its widget), which gives you far better control over what's being shown. It also lets you associate any widget with any icon, whether or not it actually is supposed to have a widget. Neat trick.

And because of the way that works, you're now able to use Shutters with Ice Cream Sandwich devices. More backward compatibility is always a good thing.

Look for the Action Launcher update in Google Play any time now (hit the link above, or just go to Google Play, where it should be listed as a Featured App soon), and be sure to check to the changelog and demo video after the break.

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4 years ago

Google on the NSA 'PRISM' to-do: 'What the ...?'


Larry Page, chief legal officer Drummond pen post in response to recent reports of government snooping

Google's chief executive this afternoon weighed in on the reports from The Guardian and The Washington Post that have created a bit of a firestorm over personal liberty versus anti-terrorism efforts. Parsing Larry Page's post, which is co-authored with Google Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, you get the following:

  • First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government—or any other government—direct access to our servers
  • Second, we provide user data to governments only in accordance with the law. Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process.
  • Finally, this episode confirms what we have long believed—there needs to be a more transparent approach.

Read Page and Drummond's full explanation on Google's official blog.

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4 years ago

MOGA announces new 'Power Series' mobile gaming controllers


No more battery life worries, next generation of controllers will charge your device as you play

MOGA has just announced that it will be unveiling the second generation of its popular mobile gaming controllers, dubbed the "Power Series", at the E3 gaming show next week. Building on the success of the original MOGA Pro controller, these second generation controllers have improved ergonomics and Bluetooth radios, but are still compatible with a wide range of devices from Android 2.3 and up as well as Windows Phone 8. MOGA's "S.M.R.T. Lock" arm ensures that your device will connect safely and securely to the controller as well, even during intense gameplay.

The smaller, more portable of the two second-gen controllers features a completely redone design with clickable joysticks, new D-pad and shoulder buttons. On top of the enhancements in the physical controls, what sets these apart from their predecessor (and competitors) is the new "MOGA Boost" feature, which will charge your device as you play with the controller. This is a big deal to take away some of the battery worry associated with high-end mobile gaming, and we'll be interested to see how much battery life users can expect.

On top of our continuing Talk Mobile coverage of mobile gaming this week, we'll surely be seeing more about MOGA and other new mobile gaming-related products from E3 next week.

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4 years ago

Google Experience phones: What's the big deal and are they worth it?


The Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition and HTC One Google Edition are on their way.   We now have more than one device coming that will run Android in its native form, with no OEM changes in sight.  No Sense, no Touchwiz, for better or worse.  What does this mean?  Should one of them be your next device?  These are questions that have been asked by many, but don't have a definitive answer. The discussion has been happening in the forums, though, with many members weighing in on the issues.

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4 years ago

What's the future of mobile gaming? - Talk Mobile


As much as mobile technology has advanced in the last five years, the evolution and revolution of the next five years is going to be even more drastic. Who would have thought that today we’d have cellular data connections that outstrip most hardwired home connections, or screens with pixels so small we can’t discern them with the naked eye? Or that we’d be cramming all of this into phones a quarter of an inch thick?

4 years ago

Sony 'Xperia ZU' allegedly pictured in kitten-balancing blurry-cam shot


First paws-on image

We've been hearing rumors of a 6-plus-inch Sony handset for a few months now, with the codename 'Togari' being closely linked with the alleged phone. Today brings some more nuggets of pre-release info surrounding this elusive device. Sources for VR-Zone suggest that the device will come to market as the Xperia ZU -- a good enough name, considering Sony's quickly depleting the rest of the alphabet. Purported specs include a 6.44-inch Triluminous 1080p display and a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU, which could make the ZU one of the first Snapdragon 800 devices to come to market.

Meanwhile an early alleged photo of the device has emerged, showing a small kitten balancing on its 6.44-inch screen. (For scale, we imagine, though we sincerely hope that stacking animals on unannounced smartphones will become the next Internet trend.) The shot seems to originate from the SEBBS forum on Chinese site it168.com, along with claims that the device will measure in at just 6.5mm thin. That certainly fits with earlier rumors surrounding the Togari.

Finally, Sony Mobile Germany has scheduled an event for June 25, leading to speculation that the 'Togari' -- or Xperia ZU -- will become official before the end of the month. That said, Sony's got lots of stuff in the pipe, including the 'Honami,' which is rumored to pack a 20-megapixel Cyber-shot camera.

Source: VR-Zone, Esato; via: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

Is Android about to lose the exclusive on a top-ranked keyboard to iOS?


If Apple opens up to third-party keyboards, it could allow the iPhone to borrow one of Android's top features

With Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicking off next week in San Francisco, speculation is rampant that popular third-party keyboard makers on Android may be courted over to that other ecosystem if Cupertino opens up a proper keyboard API. Following Apple CEO Tim Cook's statements at the recent D11 conference, and a follow-up this week from All Things D, the time might be right for Apple to open up just a tiny bit, and finally allow developers write keyboard apps for the iPhone and iPad.

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4 years ago

How to turn on and off contact images in the new Gmail


The new Gmail turned on contact images, but that doesn't mean you have to stick with them

We took a look at the latest update to Gmail the other day in a broad sense, but there are so many small changes in this update that we think a few warrant extra attention. The most noticeable change comes by way of new contact images next to emails, which are turned on by default. The issue is that not everyone has a contact image associated to each person that will send them mail, meaning there are often big, randomly-colored letters next to the emails instead. We wouldn't disagree if you thought this was a waste of space and looked a bit cartoonish, so here's how to turn them off.

From the main Gmail inbox view, head to your settings (via your phone's hardware menu button or the action bar menu), then select "General settings" from the first view and uncheck the box labeled "Sender image". Back out to your inbox view and you'll now get a wider view of your emails without distraction. Unfortunately this means you can no longer hit the images as a way to select multiple messages; you'll now have to initiate that multi-selection with a long-press on any email in the list instead.

Stick around after the break for a video walkthrough of how to turn on and off the new contact images, and a clear explanation of how navigating the interface changes slightly when you do so.

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4 years ago

'Google Edition' Sony Xperia Z coming soon


Sony Mobile will partner with Google to release a ‘Nexus user experience’ version of its flagship Xperia Z phone, Android Central can confirm

First came the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Google Edition." Then last week brought news of the HTC One "with Nexus user experience." In the past couple of days, rumors have been circulating that Sony will join the "Google Edition" club and release a vanilla Android phone of its own, with Romanian site AndroidGeeks breaking the story. Today we can confirm through our own sources that the Japanese manufacturer is indeed preparing a "Google Edition" of its flagship Xperia Z handset.

The "Google Edition" Sony Xperia Z should be sold in the U.S. through the Google Play Store later in the year, just like the two other Google Edition handsets. Being a "Nexus user experience" phone it’s very likely this new Xperia Z will benefit from speedier system updates, though we weren’t able to specifically confirm this point. (Nor could we nail down any details on possible international availability -- though we’re not holding our breath.)

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4 years ago

AT&T ready to restructure GoPhone prepaid plans in the coming weeks


Highest plan remains; lower tier of plans to be replaced with new options

AT&T is planning to completely eliminate one of its prepaid GoPhone smart phone plans and severely hurt a second by changing data pricing on June 20th. According to a statement given to CNET, AT&T plans to remove the ability to add data (and therefore smart phones) to its $50 plan, as well as the ability to add anything more than 50MB buckets of data (for $5) to its $25 plan starting later this month. If you're not familiar with AT&T's GoPhone options, they previously allowed users to add buckets of 200MB or 1GB for $15 or $25, respectively, as they saw fit. All that will remain at that point will be the relatively new $65 plan, which gives users unlimited talk and text with 1GB of data, but no option to buy additional buckets when that data cap is reached -- just pay per kilobyte.

Fortunately, in statements given to both CNET and Engadget AT&T confirmed that it plans to replace these $25 and $50 plans with other options for smart phone users that want to stick to the prepaid route. While it wouldn't give any indication of what pricing levels or features would be available, the carrier said there would be "new, additional plan options soon." Being that AT&T recently added the ability for users to access LTE data on prepaid, we hope they continue to improve on their GoPhone offerings.

Source: CNET; Via: Engadget

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4 years ago

HTCDev posts latest RUU for HTC One Developer Edition


Eager flashers now have a quick way back to the latest firmware version

Following its promise to make it easy for enthusiast users to hack its phones, HTC has just posted the latest full RUU for the Developer Edition of the One. Now having access to an RUU doesn't necessarily make it easier to hack the Developer Edition -- it's already pretty easy by design -- as much as it makes it easy to get back to a stock firmware state after you've gone somewhere you didn't intend. The latest RUU is for firmware version 1.29.1540.16, which of course is still getting you Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but is still a huge help for the select users that need to take advantage of it.

Eager users with Developer Edition HTC Ones can grab a download of the latest RUU from the HTCDev site directly at the source link below. Those interested in getting into all of the rooting, flashing and fun that may require an RUU later can get some more information in our HTC One forums as well.

Source: HTCDev; More: HTC One Forums

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 wireless charging kit now available from ShopAndroid.com!



The official GS4 wireless charging pad and cover are now on sale

If you've been wanting to get hold of the Samsung Galaxy S4 wireless charging kit we reviewed earlier today, now's your chance. The official Samsung kit in white is now available to buy from ShopAndroid.com, priced at $89.95 -- that's 10 percent off the list price.

The pack includes everything you need to charge your Galaxy S4 without getting tangled up in wires -- a white wireless charging-enabled back cover and an inductive charging pad. The kit is based around the Qi wireless charging standard, meaning the pad can be used to charge other Qi-capable devices like the Nexus 4, too.

More: Buy the Samsung Galaxy S4 wireless charging kit ($89.95)​

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4 years ago

Sprint announces budget-minded LG Optimus F3 for just $29 on-contract


The first phone to have Google TalkBack speech-to-text enabled out of the box

Sprint announced today that a new budget offering, the LG Optimus F3, will be coming to the network starting next week for $29.99 on-contract. Just as we expected based on previous leaks, this low-end device is hitting the Now Network as an option for those looking to start up a new line on the cheap. The Optimus F3 has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4-inch 480x800 IPS display, LTE networking, a large 2460mAh battery and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Just as we've seen with a few of LG's recent low-end devices, it will come loaded with a few of LG's premium software features such as VuTalk, QSlide and QMemo.

The Optimus F3 is also the first phone to come pre-loaded and pre-enabled with Google TalkBack, a service that provides speech-to-text functionality for visually impaired users. The device will be configured and ready to offer the service from the first time it is powered on, removing an important barrier that would otherwise keep those with visual impairments from starting to use the device. The Optimus F3 hits Sprint on June 14th for $29.99 on-contract after a $50 mail-in rebate offer.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

ZTE expands availability of recent flagships to Russian market


Russia the first market outside of China to see the Grand S, Grand Memo and Grand X Quad

ZTE announced today that it will expand the availability of its 2013 smart phone lineup outside of China, starting first with the quick jump up to Russia. First up are the Grand S and Grand Memo, which are the very top-end of ZTE's line with large screens, all of the software bells and whistles and the best internals the manufacturer offers. Both devices are available now for 21990 and 17990 rubles ($682 and $558), respectively. Rounding out the lower end are the Grand X Quad and V880H, which have mid-range specs, Android 4.2 on-board and come with dual SIM slots. These will be available for 9990 and 7990 rubles ($310 and $248 ), respectively.

Along with the expected launch of a new ZTE device -- which looks like the Grand S LTE -- on Sprint here in the states, it's good to see ZTE expanding into new markets with its best devices.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 now in stock at some online retailers


Samsung's 6.3-inch beast goes on sale in the U.S. and UK.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, one of the brand new phones announced by Samsung in April, is now available and in stock at some online retailers. If you have been waiting for the 6.3-inch device, you're in luck, but it's going to cost you.

Two examples of places where you can buy the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3:

Other websites have the Mega 6.3 listed, but it's not in stock just yet. If you need a refresher, on specs, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes with a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, an "HD" screen, 1.5GB RAM, 8-megapixel rear-camera and a 1.9MP front-facing camera. 

Who's getting one?

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