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4 years ago

Trapster 4.0: navigating through the latest update

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Trapster has been around for many years now, and although it has gone through a lot of changes since 2010 none may be as important as the move today to version 4.0. The newest version of Trapster leaves no portion of the interface or functionality untouched -- improvements can be found across the entire app. There's a new and user-friendly main interface, but the revamp goes all the way through to the settings.

Best of all, the mapping data has been improved substantially with the switch to the latest HERE Maps as the base, with a new 3D view and vector-based images. So what makes the new version of Trapster so great? Read on past the break and see what version 4.0 has to offer.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 8GB on sale for $139.99 at 1saleaday

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Google's Nexus 7, one of the most popular tablets around, is available on 1saleaday for today only. These units are factory-refurbished versions of the 8GB model, which is no longer available directly from Google. They come with a 90-day warranty, as well as the AC adapter and micro-USB cable. At this price, you can grab yourself a Nexus 7 and the dock for less than the price of the cheapest model in the Play Store.

If Google sticks to a yearly refresh cycle for their tablets, we can expect a new version of the Nexus 7 tablet to be announced in less than two months. But if a deal is more important than having the latest and greatest, and you don't mind having 8GB of storage, then jump on this deal before it's gone.

1saleaday Wireless

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4 years ago

Turn the web into a phone-controlled 3D puzzle with Chrome's World Wide Maze

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Google's Chrome Experiments are wacky technological showcases designed to demonstrate what's possible with a modern web browser. And the latest of these experiments is a doozy -- World Wide Maze lets you turn your favorite website into a 3D marble-based puzzle.

To get started with World Wide Maze you'll need the latest desktop version of Chrome, and a phone running iOS 5 or Android 4.0 or greater. Next you synchronize your desktop and mobile browsers by entering a code, or using the Chrome Tab Sync feature. Then use a keyword search to find a site to turn into a maze -- an image heavy site like Android Central works pretty well.

Once Google's finished crunching the site in question, it'll be presented to you on your PC as a multi-level 3D maze -- think Marble Blast or Super Monkey Ball -- controlled by your smartphone's accelerometer and on-screen touch controls. Pretty cool!

Check out the Google Chrome World Wide Maze at the link below. Alternatively we've got an official video after the break.

Source: World Wide Maze; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

MetroPCS picks up Huawei Premia 4G

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MetroPC this morning announced the availability of the Huawei Premia 4G, a 4-inch Android smartphone. It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 5-megapixel camera with Flash and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The display is covered with Gorilla Glass.

On the software side, expect MetroPCS to push the "joyn" feature, which adds video and Wifi-calling, instant messaging, and file sharing. You'll have to have a 4G LTE data plan to use it.

The Huawei Premia 4G is available today for $149.

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4 years ago

Nexus 4 back in stock at German Google Play Store

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The UK isn't the only country that's just seen a fresh influx of Nexus 4 stock at its Google Play Store. Today the official +Nexus Google+ page sends word that the coveted handset is now back in stock in Germany. The phone is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors for €299 and €349 respectively, and set to ship in 3 to 5 days.

(Incidentally, the phone's still in stock in the UK and shipping within the same timeframe)

Grab 'em at the links below --

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4 years ago

Eric Schmidt: Chrome and Android to remain separate

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With the recent news that Chrome boss Sundar Pichai will be taking over from Andy Rubin as head of Android, together with Android features like Google Now starting to show up in Chrome OS, there'd been speculation that the two platforms would eventually merge into one.

Not so, says Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who spoke to reporters at the Big Tent conference in India today. According to Reuters, Schmidt said that the two would remain separate, but that there'd be more "commonality" between them. So while we may see more overlapping features, the two operating systems will remain technically independent. And it would seem there are no plans to roll Chrome OS and Android into one super-OS spanning both mobile and desktop.

Schmidt also dismissed speculation that he himself may be leaving the company, saying "Google is my home."

Source: Reuters; via: The Verge

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4 years ago

Popular mobile security app Avast! marking Gmail, Whatsapp, others as malware

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Whoopsies. It appears that the popular "Avast! Mobile Security" -- it's got somewhere between 10 million and 50 million downloads from Google Play -- is marking Android's Gmail as malware. You might get a lot of spam and other unwanted e-mail, but that doesn't quite make gmail itself a malware app. This, folks, is what you call a false positive.

More: Android Malware scanners - should you use one?

Users of Avast are reporting other false positives as well, including WhatsApp, Amazon, ScoreCetner, Redbox, PayPal, Google Currents, YPMobile, HP ePrint, Rdio, Linked In, Foscam Remote and others. 

The good news is you can white list it with the app. Also, Avast apparently is aware of the mix-up and has a new set of virus definitions on the way. Support forum moderator Filip Havlicek writes:

it seems that this false positive detection somehow got through our systems to everyone. I'm sorry for that. Don't worry though, there should be a virus definitions update soon that will remove this detection. I'm going to reroute all topics to this one and lock them so everyone knows what's happening. I'll post here when the update is out so everyone can do a manual update of their definitions to fix this (or you can, of course, wait for the automatic update to happen, but manual will most probably be faster in this case).

So, yeah. False positive. Let's hope Avast didn't miss anything that actually is malware.

Source: Avast support forums
Thanks, @xalasten and @walnuts315!

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4 years ago

Samsung aware of lock screen security issues, working on a fix

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The past few weeks have seen some prominent lock screen security issues come to light on certain Android 4.1-based Samsung phones, including the Galaxy Note 2. Most recently, blogger Terence Eden was able to completely bypass the Note 2's lock screen security by cleverly utilizing a vulnerability in the way Samsung's TouchWiz software exits out of certain emergency dialer menus.

This morning Samsung has confirmed to Android Central that it's aware of the issue and working on a fix. Here's the manufacturer's statement in full --

"Samsung considers user privacy and the security of user data its top priority.

We are aware of this issue and will release a fix at the earliest possibility."

As we mentioned in yesterday's post, using this technique to bypass a phone's security in the real world would be tricky and time-consuming process, so we're not losing any sleep just yet. Nevertheless, it's good to see that a fix is indeed on the way.

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4 years ago

Samsung confirms UK Galaxy S4 will use quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU

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It's quad-core, not octa-core, but that's not something worth worrying about

Following recent speculation across the blogosphere, Samsung has this morning confirmed to us that UK consumers will get the quad-core Snapdragon 600-powered Galaxy S4, rather than the octa-core Exynos 5 variant. That's contrary to the original press release sent out to UK media last week, which suggested the opposite.

Here's the updated statement from Samsung --

“Samsung Galaxy S 4 is equipped with a 1.9GHz Quad-core AP or a 1.6GHz Octa-core AP. The selection of AP varies by markets.

In the UK the Galaxy S 4 will be available as a 4G device with a 1.9GHz Quad Core Processor".

And as we know from speaking with Qualcomm last week, that quad-core CPU is the company's latest Snapdragon 600.

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4 years ago

EE to extend LTE services to rural Cumbria

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The EE LTE train continues to roll along, with the latest expansion to the UK's fledgling 4G network heading to a more rural setting. While many of the major cities across the UK are covered by EE's LTE service, the next expansion sees rural Cumbria receiving the high speed mobile data service. 

The Northern Fells is one of the UK's most rural areas, and EE's LTE will now provide high-speed data to around 2000 people across a 100 square mile area. Speed wise EE is committing to a consistent download speed of 8-12Mbps, rising as high as 20Mbps. The launch of the service in this area follows a 4G mobile broadband trial started by EE back in May 2012. The full press release can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

Chameleon Launcher for phones now available in Google Play

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We first had a look at Chameleon Launcher for the phone-sized screen about a week ago, and plenty of folks were excited and waiting for it to launch publicly. That just happened, and now you don't have to be a Kickstarter backer or Android blogger to get your hands on a copy.

Chameleon Launcher has been available for your Android tablet for a while now, and we've noticed there are two kinds of people: those who love it, and those who hate it. It's a very different experience than the one Google or the folks who made your Android phone give us, and it may take some getting used to. The good news is that it's very feature-rich, and the developers are constantly tweaking things and adding even more new features.

Downloading Chameleon Launcher from Google Play requires a decision -- do you go for the $3.99 version that runs on both the tablet and the phone, or get the $2.91 version that is phone only. You'll need a version of Android that's 3.2 or higher to use either, and they aren't interchangeable -- choose wisely.

You can have a look at our hands-on after the break, and decide for yourself if you think it's for you. 

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4 years ago

Xperia Z devices are randomly dying, but Sony is working on a fix

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Some Sony Xperia Z users are reporting that their device is randomly shutting down, never to turn back on again. XperiaBlog points to several different user groups that are finding their devices shut down without their knowledge, and can't do anything to have them come back to life. Although some report success doing a hard reset (holding power + vol up), this doesn't seem to be universal fix. There also doesn't seem to be a known cause either, which makes the bug even more troublesome to diagnose.

Sony's response to the issue is that it has come up with a fix for the random shutdowns, which will be implemented with the device's next software update. Our own Xperia Z seems to be going along strong and hasn't had such an issue, but then again we may just be lucky.

Source: XperiaBlog; More: Sony Xperia Z Forums

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4 years ago

Visa CEO: 'totally appropriate' to charge PayPal, Google Wallet for mobile payments

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Following previous statements from MasterCard, Visa is potentially planning to charge mobile payment operators extra fees for their transactions. Speaking at the Barclays Emerging Payments Forum, CEO of Visa Charlie Scharf stated that it would be "totally appropriate" to charge mobile payment processor additional fees for using its cards for payments. Payment systems like PayPal and Google Wallet are what's called a "staged wallet", which acts as an intermediary between credit cards and retailers that are accepting the payments. Because of this, when Visa and MasterCard cards are attached to the services they don't receive back as much information about the purchases being made.

Once relegated to just online purchases, the likes of PayPal and Google Wallet have started to put this payment system to work at physical retail locations as well. This not only directly cuts into the fee income of Visa and MasterCard, but cuts them twice when they also don't receive the valuable customer purchasing data. These additional fees, which MasterCard already plans to implement, will hopefully help in both arenas.

"Help" may not be the best descriptor though, because a new set of fees for staged wallet providers will only reduce the number of choices you have to pay with. Visa and MasterCard have a huge interest in cutting down any competing payment systems that sidestep their current ways of doing things. As many know, they have even gone so far as to launch their own mobile payment systems -- to little adoption.

We know that consumers want these types of single-wallet systems to simplify the way they pay for things every day, let's just hope that Visa and MasterCard don't have their way with this one.

Source: Reuters; The Verge

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4 years ago

New version of the Google Play app leaks, with an all new interface style

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A new version of the Google Play app has leaked, and it shows a new Holo-esque (and colorful) user interface. Droid-Life got their hands on an apk file labeled 4.0.16, and while it's clearly not ready for prime-time, it does show off a look we haven't seen before from Google.

Everything is clean, the font is all new, the icons are bigger, and the colors match the categories as displayed on the Google Play website. There are also a few changes in the settings, namely in the auto-update section which separates out Wifi from your data connection to auto-update apps.

The app is pretty broken, and they aren't making it available for folks to try themselves. That will probably change shortly, nothing stays secret on the Internet for long. And while everyone is speculating that this is the change for the next version of Android, we all need to remember that apps like Google Play can be easily updated without a system-wide change.

For now, you can head over to Droid-Life and have a look at what may be coming to everyone soon.

Source: Droid-Life

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4 years ago

Perfectly Clear app updated and now better, stronger, faster

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Perfectly Clear for Android just got a hefty update, making one of my favorite apps even better. Perfectly Clear is an intelligent photo editor, that can take a good picture and make it great. It adjusts all the color and exposure settings based on some sort of magic algorithm, and truly does make a big difference in the clarity, color, and quality of the pictures you take with your phone. With today's update, it now does it all better.

One of the major changes is a healthy speed increase, as the app has been re-written and now is twice as fast at displaying changes to your photo. Move a slider and you see the results almost instantly, especially with quad-core processors. Another is saving Exif and GPS data, especially if you use software on the computer or your Android that sorts using Exif and GPS.

But those aren't the only changes, have a look.

  • Faster! It’s now twice as fast opening and correcting images. Fine-tuning with the slider bars is near-real-time when using the latest quad core devices, such as those powered by NVIDIA Tegra 4 and 4imobile processors.
  • New, powerful memory mapped buffer. You can now save huge images (up to 40 MP).
  • A new look! We have re-designed the entire GUI.
  • Zoom. Now you can zoom into your photo to view the details as you correct.
  • One simple price. The beautify preset, is included in the app price so you only have to purchase once.
  • Bug Fix: licensing. Now you can use Perfectly Clear “offline”.
  • Now you can copy the app to your SD card.
  • Exif support. The app now retains your Exif and GPS data.
  • Quick Correct. Tap your hardware menu button and selected images will be automatically corrected and saved without going to our edit screen.

Some really nice changes to a great app. Grab it from Google Play for $2.99 if you haven't yet, or hit the Google Play app on your device to update if you have.

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