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4 years ago

Google Keyboard now available directly from Google Play

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The stock 'Nexus' keyboard app, complete with gesture typing, is now available to all Android users through the Google Play Store

Google continues the movement of its core Android apps onto the Google Play app marketplace with today's standalone launch of Google Keyboard. That's the new name for the vanilla Android keyboard app included on Google experience (stock Android) devices such as Nexus phones and tablets. The Google Keyboard app includes the full range of typing features found on current Android 4.2 Nexus phones, only now you can install it on any Android device through Google Play -- assuming you're running OS version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher.

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4 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Which screen do you play your Android games on?

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Android's flexibility gives us plenty of device form factor choice, which do you choose for gaming?

We're talking mobile gaming this week around these parts, and if Talk Mobile is telling us anything, it's that we all love to play games on our mobile devices. Android is in a special place here, because of the sheer number of different sizes and shapes it comes in. They all mean you have a pretty big choice of just how you want to play any of the great games from Google Play, and we want to find out just how you do it.

I have to tell you, playing a game on the big screen in my living room with an HDMI cable or the HTC Media Link HD is pretty fun, but it's something I rarely do. When I want to get my game on, I reach for my Nexus 7. Other tablets may have a little more power, but the 7-inch form factor and Tegra 3 chip in my Nexus 7 make it my "go to" device. Tell us yours in the poll, which you'll find in the sidebar to the right or after the break.

As always, a look at last week's poll:

Are you waiting for Motorola before you buy a new phone this year?

Looks like I'm not the only one waiting, wallet in hand, to see what Motorola has to show us in 2013. Hurry, Moto!

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4 years ago

AMD to support Android and Chrome OS says senior VP

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Another traditional PC hardware icon finds the lure of mobile and market share irresistible, as AMD says they want to support Android and Chrome OS

Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of global business units at AMD, in an interview at the Computex trade show in Taiwan has said that AMD will be looking support Android tablets and Chrome OS devices. This comes as a bit of a surprise, as just last January she told the world that AMD was committed to Windows 8, and had no interest in Android devices. 900,000,000 devices can change minds, we guess.

The Intel / AMD rivalry on the desktop pushed innovation, pricing, and adoption in very good ways for consumers. We can only hope the same spirit of competition will exist with X86 for Android, and can't wait to see AMD and Intel try to one-up each other with short release cycles and efficient, inexpensive hardware. AMD won't be marketing any devices directly, but will look to hardware partners to build Android and Chrome OS devices around their chips.

There's no time frame mentioned, but I wouldn't expect to see any devices using AMD until this holiday season at the earliest. We'll be waiting right along with you.

Source: PC World

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4 years ago

Foursquare updates mapping interface, adds filters to 'Explore' search

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Improved landscape map browsing on large devices and pre-filtered searches highlighted in this release

Foursquare has just pushed out an update to its app in the Play Store with a set of improvements primarily focused on mapping and searching. First up is an improved map experience, which builds on previous updates to the mapping UI, that offers a neat two-paned view while viewing in landscape on large phones and tablets. You can now properly browse and select places on a map on one side of the screen while browsing your friends' recent check-ins on the other. On the search side, Foursquare has added filters that you can apply before entering any search terms in the "Explore" box. Tapping the "Filter" button to the right of the search box gives options to sort by best match or distance, choose whether to show places you've checked into before, sort by price and many more. You can then continue on with a keyword or category search within those filters.

They're subtle tweaks, but we're never going to turn down improvements to a popular app. You can grab a download or update to the latest Foursquare app at the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Google opens access to CalDAV API once again, adds CardDAV to the list

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Developers of all sizes now have open access to both calendar and contact data syncing across the web

Google announced today that it will be reopening access to its CalDAV API, and going one step further by adding open access to CardDAV as well. This is a bit of a technical subject, but CalDAV and CardDAV are open standards managed by Google that let developers keep both calendar (CalDAV) and contacts (CardDAV) synced across the web. For example, CalDAV and CardDAV are used by Apple for syncing data on iOS; Microsoft has also pledged to support the APIs since Google's announcement that it is shutting down EAS.

Back in March, Google decided to make CalDAV a partner-only API because it felt that there were only a few select large companies taking advantage of it. Following lots of feedback and information about how smaller developers were looking to make user of the APIs, Google decided that it was better left as an open option for anyone to use. It was only fitting then that CardDAV was opened up as well, and here we are.

This doesn't immediately mean a whole lot for end users, although it does prevent future headaches for developers and companies having to switch and use a different system at some point. Google generally understands the usefulness (and even necessity) of keeping open standards... well, open. Developers will now have unfettered access to both APIs for syncing data between products, and we hope it will stay this way going forward.

Source: Google Developers Blog

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4 years ago

GM now offering OnStar remote start and door unlock free for 5 years

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36 different 2014 GM models compatible with the new RemoteLink services

GM announced today that it will offer two of its previously paid OnStar RemoteLink services -- door unlock and remote start -- free for 5 years on three dozen of its 2014 car models. GM says that remote start and unlock are by far the most popular services currently available as part of the paid OnStar service, so it's great to see it offering these free for so long. The 5 year free period begins when you first link up the OnStar RemoteLink app to your 2014 vehicle, and if you continue to use it past that period you can simply pay and retain the functionality.

Beyond the new free level of services, the RemoteLink app also offers a whole host of services and functions if you choose to pay for the entire suite. With the paid OnStar service users can view engine system statuses such as oil and fuel level, check recent miles per gallon, check tire pressure and have one-touch access to OnStar operators for emergency assistance. If you have a current GM vehicle with remote services available, you can give the app a try from the link above.

Source: GM

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4 years ago

How can mobile get its multiplayer game on?

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The first mobile games in their time were great. Just like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong at the arcades, or Pitfall or Super Mario on the early consoles, BrickBreaker on BlackBerry, Bejeweled on Palm OS, or Tap Tap Revenge on iOS. But, like any early game, we played the first mobile games alone, or perhaps with a few friends.

4 years ago

HTC One heading to T-Mobile stores nationwide today

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It should be a little easier to pick up the T-Mobile HTC One from today

A quick heads-up for T-Mobile U.S. customers -- the HTC One is due to launch in T-Mo stores nationwide today, following a limited roll-out in some 300 stores last month. The wider roll-out coincides with reports that HTC has overcome the early component supply issues that dogged the HTC One launch.

T-Mobile's HTC One can be yours with a $99.99 down payment on a 24-month installment plan, or alternatively it'll cost you $579.99 if you're buying outright. For more on the HTC One, check out our comprehensive review.

More: HTC One review

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4 years ago

Slide, tap, and tab: A look at Gmail's new interface

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New mail categories make their way over from the web; updated design sheds an action bar for a cleaner look

Google is currently in the process of rolling out a newly redesigned Gmail app -- version 4.5 if you're counting -- that is the first major redesign in some time, bringing with it a few new features to improve your mobile email experience. It's a necessary update in many ways, bringing the design up to speed with the latest UI elements introduced at Google I/O as well as falling in-line with the latest features being added to the Gmail web interface. And let's face it, the previous Gmail app has had the same basic design for far too long.

While it was extremely functional, there wasn't a whole lot to be excited about with Gmail until this week. Things are changing though, so let's take a look at some of these new features and try to make sense of it all. Stick around with us after the break and see what's new.

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4 years ago

Relive the ASUS Computex 'We Transform' presentation in full

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Under an hour long, see the unveiling of a bunch of new Android devices over in Taiwan with Johnny Shih

ASUS has been plenty busy of late, announcing a whole raft of new devices at the Computex 2013 show in their native Taiwan. Of particular interest to us are the 6-inch Fonepad Note, the new Transformer Pad Infinity and the Transformer Book Trio, a hybrid device also containing Windows 8, and of course the new MeMo Pad's. ASUS press conferences are often as interesting to view as the actual devices themselves, and now those of us not in Taiwan can enjoy the entire thing in full. 

ASUS continues to make Android devices that interest us, but any event presented by Johnny Shih always interests us. The event itself starts at 5:22 in, so you'll need to spin on to there. Enjoy. 

Source: ASUS (Youtube)

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4 years ago

HTC 'M4' allegedly captured, looks to be an HTC One mini

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Smaller chassis and screen shown on a phone with a familiar design

It's been a while since we've heard anything about the M4, the rumored mid-range variant of the the flagship HTC One handset. Today the device seems to have cropped up on Estonian site Delfi.ee, in a number of images of varying quality.  The shots seem to confirm what's been rumored about the M4, specifically that it's a smaller version of the HTC One without the aluminum unibody. (Close-ups of the phone seem to show a much more plasticky-looking exterior.)

The site also claims to have a partial spec list for the M4, and lists a dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 720p display, 16GB of storage and a 4MP HTC Ultrapixel camera. Software-wise, Android 4.2.2 is reported, and shots of the screen unsurprisingly show HTC's Sense 5 software in action. What's more, images of the phone's front face seem to confirm the presence of a pair of "BoomSound" front-facing speakers. An August launch at a €400 price point is also speculated.

If this is all legit, it looks like HTC will be pitting the M4 against the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in the mid-to-high-end space. And assuming the specs are accurate, a 720p display would give the HTC device a clear edge over the qHD SuperAMOLED used in Samsung's Mini.

Source: Delfi.ee; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

Huawei and Carphone Warehouse announce Ascend Y300

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Entry-lev​el handset can be had for as little as £59.95

Phone-maker Huawei and British retailer Carphone Warehouse have announced the UK launch of an entry-level Android handset, the Ascend Y300. Powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor with a 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Ascend Y300 doesn't offer outstanding specs -- although you are getting a relatively up-to-date version of Android.

But it's the price that's intended to turn heads, as Carphone Warehouse will sell the Y300 for as little as £59.95 on pre-pay. To qualify for this price, you'll need to be upgrading on a pre-paid plan; alternatively it's £69.95 for new PAYG customers, or free on contracts starting at £7.50 per month.

The Huawei Ascend Y300 will launch at Carphone Warehouse from tomorrow, Thursday June 6. Any takers?

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4 years ago

Samsung announces water-resistant Galaxy S4 Active

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Ruggedized GS4 launching this summer, coming to the U.S. and Sweden first

After weeks of leaks, Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 Active -- a ruggedized, water and dust-resistant version of its flagship smartphone. The Galaxy S4 Active shares much of its internal hardware with the vanilla Galaxy S4, including a quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU at 1.9GHz, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p (TFT, not AMOLED) display, 2600mAh battery and 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD. The camera's taken a minor hit, going from 13MP on the regular GS4 to 8MP on the Active.

The main difference is the "fully sealed design" that the manufacturer's boasting is certified IP67 water and dust resistant . That means the external chassis looks a lot more durable, and the capacitive keys have been replaced with three physical, clicky buttons.

On the software side, we're still looking at Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the latest Samsung TouchWiz UI, including headline Galaxy S4 features like WatchON, the Peel-based TV controller app, which uses a front-mounted IR blaster. S Health is on-board too, along with the full suite of Samsung apps and camera capabilities like 'drama shot' and 'sound and shot.' There's also a new 'aqua shot' mode for taking underwater pics.

You get the idea -- it's essentially a Galaxy S4 in a re-worked, sturdier chassis. Samsung says the Galaxy S4 Active will have a global release this summer, with the U.S. and Sweden seeing release first. In the UK, retailer Phones4U has confirmed that it'll offer the Active "when it becomes available." There's no word of which U.S. carriers will launch the device just yet, we've seen leaked images of the Active with AT&T branding in recent days. Samsung adds that the device will be at its "Premiere 2013" show in London on June 20, and we'll be live from that event to bring you hands-on coverage.

We've got more photos after the break.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

AT&T announces 15 new LTE markets, expands 4 others

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AT&T expands their LTE network in markets from New Jersey to Washington, with plenty in between

AT&T has filled our inbox tonight with news about new and expanded LTE markets across the US, so we're going to pass along the good news. AT&T bills their network as the country's fastest 4G, and while we agree for the most part there's still quite a few places where Verizon has the coverage that AT&T just doesn't. Nights like tonight, when they light up multiple cities, will go a long way to change that. Now hang on tight, the long list is after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon and NFL extend deal to offer streaming games to customers

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Live Sunday regional games, playoff games and Super Bowl added to the deal starting in 2014

Verizon and the NFL announced today that the companies are making a multi-year extension to their current agreement, which will continue to make Verizon the official mobile network streaming partner for NFL in the U.S. Starting this season, the NFL Mobile app from Verizon will receive a facelift, with new ways for fans to interact with stats, news, game previews, on-demand video, fantasy teams and alerts. As is the case currently, Verizon customers will have access to all Thursday, Sunday and Monday games streaming on their devices for $5 per month. Beginning with the 2014 season that coverage will expand to include local Sunday afternoon games from CBS and Fox, along with all playoff games and the Super Bowl.

This is great for Verizon customers that want to keep up with the NFL while out of the house, but unfortunate for the other couple hundred million subscribers on other carriers. The specific length and terms of the deal between the NFL and Verizon aren't known, but we have to assume that it will continue for some time, leaving everyone else that wants access to live video of NFL games on mobile in the cold. Verizon customers can be on the lookout for the updated NFL Mobile app in the near future.

Source: NFL

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