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4 years ago

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

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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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4 years ago

Falcon for Android updated with multiple account support, new flat design

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Update to Falcon version 2.0 now live on Google Play

Popular Twitter app Falcon has seen a major update today, bringing a host of new features. Falcon 2.0 adds support for multiple for the first time, along with a new, flatter UI and an optional black skin to complement the light and dark grey offerings. In addition, Falcon 2.0 adds in optional swiping between columns and transition animations for devices running Android 3.0 or higher.

It's a solid update to what's become one of the top third-party Twitter clients for Android -- and multi-account support in particular addresses a major omission in previous versions of the app.. So if you've yet to check it our, then now's a great time. Hit the Google Play link above to download the new version of the app. Existing users can grab the new version from the 'My apps' area of the Google Play Store app.

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4 years ago

Update: Nope, no BBM for Android on June 27

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Despite no official word from BlackBerry as yet, T-Mo UK pegs June 27 for BBM hitting Android and iOS

Odd to be heard via a carrier and not from BlackBerry, but according to T-Mobile UK BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android on June 27. There's been some rumors floating around in recent days as to when BlackBerry's prized messaging platform will finally launch cross-platform, but perhaps we now know. 

The news appeared on the T-Mobile UK Twitter page, which is the official, verified account for the carrier. Accompanying the message was an image of what appears to be BBM running on a Samsung Galaxy S3. Well, a kind of Instagram image, at least -- click on past the break to take a look. Is this for real, is it a monumental slip up by T-Mobile, or just why would we first hear such a big piece of news from a carrier? Our buddies over at CrackBerry are on the case, so we'll let you know when we have more. 

Update: And BlackBerry has gotten back to CrackBerry, whom we met up with at Pinkberry, and sure enough, T-Mobile UK apparently pulled that one out of thin air.

Here's the full statement:

On May 14th, BlackBerry announced plans to make its ground-breaking mobile social network, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), available to iOS and Android users this summer, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play. While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on June 27th, this is not accurate. We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share.

So, move along, folks.

Source: T-Mobile UK via CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Why isn't mobile gaming better? - Talk Mobile

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The quantity and quality of mobile games have exploded over the past few years. Game developers have been blessed with rapidly improving hardware and an ever-growing customer base that's becoming more comfortable with the idea of spending money for mobile entertainment. Mobile development studios like Rovio and Glu along with independent, one-man developers like Loren Brichter of Letterpress and Andreas Illiger of Tiny Wings are playing on the same field for the same dollars as long-time game studios like Electronic Arts and Rockstar.

4 years ago

International Samsung Galaxy S4 updated with apps-to-SD support, visual changes

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International LTE Galaxy S4s get first major software update, starting with unlocked German devices

The international LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505) has started receiving its first substantial software upgrade today, with unlocked devices in Germany being among the first to get it. The update to version I9505XXUBMEA incorporates a number of visual changes, including a new, partially-transparent notification bar, new settings icons, and fix for ghosting issues in certain areas of the UI.

But the biggest addition for S4 owners might be reintroduction of apps-to-SD card support. First added in Android 2.2 Froyo and removed in the most recent 4.2 Jelly Bean, the ability to move apps to the SD card was originally a way to work around the anemic internal storage of older Android phones. The S4, of course, has been criticized for the fact that its 16GB version ships with only 9GB or so of available space. So the reintroduction of apps-to-SD might alleviate some of these storage issues, but you'll still be relying on app developers to enable apps-to-SD before you're able to use it.

(Update: We're also noticing significantly improved responsiveness and less animation lag in this new S4 firmware.)

German users with unlocked S4s should be able to pick up the update over-the-air or through Kies, and other regions should follow in the weeks ahead. (Of course, if you're feeling adventurous, you could always flash the German firmware directly.)

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

The official Samsung Galaxy S4 wireless charging kit

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Official accessory brings Qi wireless charging to the Galaxy S4, at the cost of a little extra girth

Wireless charging is one of those features that seems like an unimportant luxury until you've used it for yourself. The ability to place your phone down on a magical pad and have it charge through the ether can change the way you use your device. Suddenly, you're free from wires and don't having to worry about constant plugging and unplugging. It's an added convenience if you're sat working at a desk all day, or even if you want to charge your phone on a nightstand without getting tangled in wires.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 doesn't include wireless charging capabilities out of the box, but the official S Charger kit brings Qi-standard inductive charging to the device, in the form of a replacement back cover and charging plate. In exchange for a little extra thickness on the phone, this lets you take advantage of wireless charging on your S4. And it's available now from ShopAndroid.com priced $89.95, 10 percent off the list price.

So let's take a closer look -- we've got video, photos and more words after the break!

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4 years ago

Modern Combat 5 teased ahead of E3, looks spectacular

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Latest installment teased ahead of annual games show, more FPS action with incredible looking graphics

Gameloft is heading to E3 next week with their big guns in tow, and the release of this trailer tells us one game we will be seeing. What we see here is the first teaser for new title Modern Combat 5, and it looks pretty incredible. The trailer shows the action tearing up Venice, Italy, with some pretty awesome looking visuals. There's very little else to go on, though we do know it will be coming to Android. As for when, and how much, maybe we'll find out more next week from E3. Mobile Nations will have a team on the ground in Los Angeles, so stay tuned!

Source: Gameloft (YouTube)

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