5 years ago

Google signs with European music publishers to bring 5.5 million new tracks to Play


There's been a whole lot of talk about Google Music in the recent weeks, as Google has been furiously rolling out features to new countries and signing big content deals to back them up. Play Music went live in several European countries, it's music "matching" service just came to Europe, gapless playback support hit the app and this latest deal is going to bring another 5.5 million tracks from European music publishers to everyone's Google Play Store.

Google struck a deal with music publishers to bring these tracks to 35 countries in total, with royalty rates in-line with what Amazon and Apple are paying labels, although no exact amount was specified. This is a really big deal when it comes to improving the general public's view of the Google Play Store ecosystem, which is all too important when selling devices these days.

Source: Businessweek

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5 years ago

Qeexo FingerSense screen able to distinguish knuckle, stylus, nail, and finger taps


Qeexo, a small company borne out of Carnegie Mellon, has been introducing FingerSense, a technology that allows smartphones and tablets to tell the difference between touches with a fingertip, finger pad, nail, knuckle, stylus, or stylus eraser.

They've modified a Samsung Galaxy S3 with a special acoustic sensor, while their  custom software demonstrates wide variety of applications, including contextual menus accessed through knuckle-taps, artistic input, and gaming. Qeexo is quietly getting developers hooked up with their Android SDK, and as a part of their pitch to OEMs, Qeexo boasts FingerSense is low-latency, real-time, and has a small demand on power. 

Personally, I could see this kind of touch behavior becoming very natural, and adding a whole level of navigational depth to Android beyond the standard set of gestures we've become used to. The only problem is that it hinges on smartphone manufacturers being on board, and even then, it can take awhile for them to work it into a final, shipped product. At the same time, Qeexo has to win over developers to support the input with compelling experiences that push manufacturers to adopt FingerSense - a hard sell for busy developers. 

More information on FingerSense, including a finished paper on the project is available here, while developers can learn more about getting involved at Qeexo's site. Developers, any interest? What are the odds that an OEM will pick this up? Could you guys see yourselves using knuckle-taps on a regular basis?

Via: TechNewsDaily

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5 years ago

Should I upgrade to the Nexus 4 now that the Galaxy Nexus has 4.2?


Now that there are no questions about the Galaxy Nexus and it getting Android 4.2 (there never should have been any), it's time to take a look at the big question again -- should I spend money and upgrade? We've taken a look at how the Nexus 4 stacks up against the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X, and how the 4.1.2 version of the Galaxy Nexus fares against the Nexus 4. Now that both phones are on the same version of the OS, and I've been able to use them for a few days, hopefully I can help you decide if you should push the button and order when the Nexus 4 becomes available again.

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5 years ago

Amazon kicks off Black Friday week with smartphone accessory deals


Black Friday's tendrils have crawled upwards to Monday, which means Amazon already has some excellent deals posted. For those of us into all things smartphoney, there are quite a few great accessories and devices that have been significantly marked down. There are also a lot of crazy flash sales going every couple of hours and offer lots of opportunity for those of us that want to get our holiday shopping done early. I just missed out on a 64 GB microSD memory card for $38; they were all sold out in a matter of minutes, so you're going to have to be fast. Let's see what else Amazon is offering...

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5 years ago

From the forums: Cyber Warrior's Nexus 10 hacking video tutorials


We know plenty of people who grabbed a Nexus 10 last week are aware of how to unlock and root it. But there's also a whole bunch of people, some even new to Android, who might need a starting point. For those folks, there's a real treat in the Nexus 10 forums.

You might know Cyber Warrior from the Galaxy S3 forums, or from his amazing Android wallpapers. Turns out, he's a man of many other hacking related talents as well, and has put together and awesome pair of video tutorials to show you how to unlock the bootloader, and then root the Samsung Nexus 10 tablet. A world of potential is inside there, and this is your first step if you want to try and unlock some more of it.

The videos are clear and well done, but that's not even the best part. Cyber's also always quick to assist from the coaches box anytime you hit a snag. He'll be there to help if you have any questions, and between he and the rest of the hard-working crew in the forums you'll soon be unlocked, rooted, and back running again if there's a problem. Sharing is caring, and the mods and advisers in the forums are the sharing, caring type of Android nerds.

And we love 'em all for it! 

[How-to] Unlock/Re-lock the Google Nexus 10 bootloader

[How To] Root the Google Nexus 10 & Install ClockworkMod Touch Recovery

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5 years ago

'La Fleur' Galaxy S3 tipped for January arrival


It seems the Galaxy Note 2 might not be the only Samsung handset getting a fresh coat of paint early next year. Leaked press shots from SamMobile show what the site says is a "La Fleur"-branded Galaxy S3 sporting a floral design, along with similarly-decorated Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Ace DUOS and Galaxy S Duos handsets.

The site says the floral-printed phones will feature unchanged internal specs, and will go on sale in January, just in time for Valentine's day. Of course, Samsung's no stranger to more... exotic stylings for its smartphones, especially around Valentine's. Last year it released its Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note in questionable "berry pink" shades.

Source: SamMobile

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5 years ago

Ordered a Nexus 4 bumper? You may have to wait a while...


So, some of us have our shiny new Nexus 4's in hand now. And, we're enjoying them very much. But, what about the accessories? Well -- in the UK Play Store at least -- the Nexus 4 Bumper is the only new Nexus product currently showing as in stock. You can still order one, and we're promised delivery in 3-5 business days. Great stuff. Or, so you might think. 

See, I ordered a Nexus 4 Bumper on launch day last Tuesday. In one of my better judgment calls, I ordered the Bumper separately to the phone. After all, it's no secret that Nexus accessories have lagged way behind device launch dates before, is it? The phones sold out pretty quickly, but the order was processed and delivered within 3 business days as promised. So, where's the Bumper ordered on the same day? Still a pending transaction according to Google Wallet.

A quick call to Google Play customer support came up with nothing, but to their credit, they have been looking into the issue. This morning an email dropped suggesting I may be in for a wait. 

We are working to ship all items in your order as quickly as possible within the 3 week timeframe. You will receive an email confirmation as soon as your order is processed and on it's way.

Looks like the same 3 week timeframe in which Nexus 4 orders will be processed. The difference being that you can still order these right this very second from the Play Store. Not the best turnaround time for an official accessory. (That's to say nothing of the official Nexus 4 charging pod that's still MIA.)

So, the question to ask is -- has anyone actually had a Nexus 4 Bumper delivered? If so, jump into the comments below, or into the Nexus 4 forums and let us know what it's like. 

More: Nexus 4 Forums

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5 years ago

No, your Nexus 4 won't magically grow LTE support (updated Nov. 23)

Ed. Note: This story was updated several times on Nov. 23, 2012, in the wake of the news that the Nexus 4 indeed can receive LTE data on Band 4, otherwise known as AWS. The original updates to this story (and a temporary change to the headline) altered the text more than they should have. While it's still arguable as to the ramifications of this LTE discovery, we should not have re-edited the text. We have since restored this post in its entirety, which you can read below. - Phil


It takes more than a chip to enable 4G connectivity

Ever since a recent iFixit teardown revealed the presence of a Qualcomm WTR1605L 4G LTE-capable radio chip in the Nexus 4, there's been a lot of speculation as to what it might mean. Conventional wisdom suggests that LG wouldn't just include extraneous silicon in the device unless it was planning to use it for something.

That's led some to believe that the current Nexus 4, a device advertised with HSPA+ connectivity, might actually be hiding LTE support to be unlocked in a future software update. Or maybe it could be possible to root the Nexus 4 and, you know, use mad hacking skills or something to unlock LTE on the device.

All of those things are wrong.

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5 years ago

Xperia Tablet S gets firmware update with VPN fix


If you picked up a Sony Xperia Tablet S before it was recalled over water resistance concerns, you'll be pleased to learn that the tablet has just received an over-the-air update. The patch to 'release6a' is still based upon Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich -- no Jelly Bean yet, unfortunately -- but it does fix a few problematic bugs with VPN connectivity on the Sony tablet, which could be useful if you're connecting the tab to a corporate network.

Xperia Tablet S owners can pick up today's update by heading to Settings > About tablet > Software updates. The Sony-made tablet is expected to go back on sale soon, presumably with fixed water-resistant capabilities.

Source: XperiaBlog

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5 years ago

Fresh coat of paint for Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3 Mini in 2013?


With the Galaxy S3, Samsung's proven it's not afraid of adding a bit of color to its smartphone line-up. A few months back, the manufacturer debuted new colors for its Galaxy S3, including garnet red, amber brown and sapphire black. And next year it seems two more Samsung devices might be due a fresh coat of paint, specifically the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 Mini.

According to reports from SamMobile, which has proved pretty accurate with Samsung leaks in the past, the Korean manufacturer will introduce three new colors for the Note 2 early next year, and the S3 Mini in December or early 2013.

The site's sources say the S3 Mini will appear in "Titan Gray, Garnet Red and Onyx Black," while the Note 2 will get "Amber Brown, Topaz Blue and Ruby Wine." The change in nomenclature for the blue and red versions of the Note 2 suggests these might look a bit different to "Pebble Blue" and "Garnet Red"-finished Galaxy S3s.

SamMobile says Samsung will showcase the new colors at Mobile World Congress 2013, although given the alleged release timing, we think there's a chance they might also make a surprise appearance at CES in January. Either way, we'll live from both both shows over the next few months.

Source: SamMobile

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5 years ago

LG Nexus 4 qualifies for 50GB free Box.net cloud storage


As it's being sold primarily by Google through the Play devices store, it's easy (and accurate) to think of the Nexus 4 as a Google device. But it's still an LG-made phone, and as such qualifies for 50GB of free space on Box.net, thanks to a partnership between manufacturer and cloud storage provider.

To claim your free space, simply log into the Box.net app from your Nexus 4, and upon loading the app for the first time, you should see the message above, informing you that your cloud storage allowance has been upped. And as part of a time-limited deal, Box is also allowing you to share your good fortune with friends or co-workers, giving them access to 50GB too.

The promotion runs until Dec. 31, so you've got plenty of time to bag some extra bits, and free up some of the Nexus 4's precious (and limited) internal storage space. Check the Google Play link above to grab the official Box.net app for Android.

Source: Ausdroid

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5 years ago

Last Chance to Win a Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 in our Mobile Nations Passport Contest!


Click the image below to jump over to the official contest thread and leave a comment on that post for your chance to win!

Remember, leaving a comment to this post won't get you entered... click the image above to head to the contest post and leave a comment there. Good luck!

The Contest ends at 12 Noon PT on Monday, November 19th, 2012, so HURRY UP AND ENTER!

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5 years ago

MObile Nations Movember Week 3 Update: I got 99 problems but my Mo ain't one!


Mobile Nations Network Movember Funds Raised so far: $9358 (USD)

Is this a new boyband, or the MO-bile Nations crew in Winnipeg?

Welcome to our third Mobile Nations Movember update. We're be bringing you these updates every Sunday throughout the month of Movember (formerly known as November) as we grow out our moustaches and raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and men's mental health issues.

When we embarked upon our Mobile Nations Movember mission I thought it would be great if we could raise $10,000, and we're almost there! There's still a lot of Movember left, and we've already raised over $9,300. Maybe it's time to up our goals to $15k? The facial lip growth is really starting to blossom now, so hopefully we'll see the 'staches and the fundraising continue to accelerate right through to the end of the month.

If you haven't donated yet, we'll love you forever if you do. Donations can be made easily over the web. Simply jump over to our Mobile Nations Network page, click on the name of any of the inidividuals listed as part of the network, and hit the donate button. All funds donated to an individual will pass through to the network total.

Keep reading for more on Movember and to see some great moustache photos from the team!

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5 years ago

Weekend news roundup: November 18, 2012




The weekends are usually a pretty quiet time for Android news. It's no wonder, with all the stuff flying around between Monday and Friday, the folks making the news and those of us reporting it need time to breathe. That being said, there's always something going on, and here's what happened this weekend in case you missed any of it.

Device stuff

Software stuff

Editorial stuff

See everyone in the morning!

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