Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness bracelet is now compatible with Google Fit

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If you own a Mi Band fitness bracelet, Xiaomi has just pushed out an update to its Android app, bringing new functionality to the $15 device. Now you can link the Mi Band to your Google account, allowing it to share your fitness stats with Google Fit.

You can get hold of a Mi Band fitness bracelet via Xiaomi’s Mi Store, which has recently expanded to include the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. The tracker is IP67 certified, and Xiaomi boasts a 30-day battery life for the device. The battery life is no doubt helped by the fact that the Mi Band communicates via three LED lights rather than having a display like the Android Wear watches.

Besides the added Google Fit compatibility, the update also fixes some bugs and brings an improved UI. You can download the Mi Fit app from the Google Play Store below. If you were holding off from purchasing a Mi Band fitness bracelet because it wasn’t compatible with Google Fit, there’s nothing stopping you now.

 

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Google Play Store Get it Here

 

Source: AndroidCentral

 

 

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Google’s Roboto font is now totally open source

Google Roboto font Open-Source

The Roboto font first appeared with the release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich way back when in October 2011, becoming the stock font for Google’s apps. Since then, we’ve seen the Roboto font become the stock typeface for Chrome OS, and now Google’s signature font has become open source.

What do we mean by open source? Well, it means that the Roboto font and everything related to it is now available to tinker with on GitHub. Google has also included a revamped font production toolchain that is completely based on open source software. The Roboto font includes all Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek characters, bringing the number of glyphs provided to more than 40,000. If you’d like to create your own interpretation of the Roboto font, here is its GitHub listing.

Don’t forget that Google I/O 2015 starts tomorrow (May 28th) and that your can keep up with all the Google I/O 2015 news right here.

 

Source: Google

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Google Play Store updated to version 5.6.6, brings minor changes [APK Download]

Play Store dialog boxes

It’s the day before Google I/O 2015 begins, and the Play Store app is the recipient of a minor update, bumping it to version 5.6.6. There are some layout changes as well as some groundwork laid for the rumoured Kids Accounts that is rumoured to be announced in the next day or two.

The changes in layout involve standardising the alert dialog boxes. According to Googler Kirill Grouchnikov, ” it was also time to switch to consistent layout alignment and order of buttons everywhere in the app“. If you take a look at the main image, the older layout is on the left, with the latest layout on the right. It’s a subtle change but noticeable.

As for the rumoured Kids Accounts, Android Police’s teardown of the Play Store app revealed strings of code that show how download limits will be enforced for kids, with searches limited to age-appropriate material. It would also appear that authorisation will be needed every time a purchase is made, this includes IAP’s (In-App-Purchases).

You can download Pay Store version 5.6.6 here if the update hasn’t reached you yet. You can check out the rest of our Google I/O 2015 coverage here.

 

Source: AndroidPolice

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The Sony Xperia Z3+ can be pre-ordered for £549 in the UK

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Sony launched the Xperia Z4 in Japan just over a month ago and it was a low-key affair and we wondered if this ‘successor’ to the Xperia Z3 would be released globally. Yesterday Sony announced that this ‘Xperia Z4‘ would, in fact, be marketed as the Xperia Z3+ outside of Japan, with the handset becoming available from June 15th. Now we have news that Sony’s latest flagship is already available for pre-order in the UK.

26_Xperia_Z3_+_GroupYou can pre-order the SIM-free Xperia Z3+ in white, black or copper from the UK online retailer, Clove, for £549 ($845), with stock slated to arrive towards the end of June. We have a recap of the handset’s specifications just below. Are you interested in upgrading to Sony’s Xperia Z3+?

Specifications:

  • 5.2-Inch TRILUMINOS™ Display with 1920 x 1080 resolution (Full HD)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Octa-Core processor 4 x cores @2.0GHz + 4 x cores @ 1.5GHz (64-bit)
  • Adreno 430 GPU
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB Internal storage
  • 20.7MP Rear-camera, Exmor RS for mobile, Flash
  • 5.1MP Front-facing camera with wide angle lens
  • MicroSD card support (up to 128GB)
  • Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, WiFi
  • Dimensions: 146 x 72 x 6.9mm
  • Weight: 144 grams
  • Battery: 2,900mAh
  • Waterproof/Dustproof: XPX5/8, IP6X
  • Cap-less MicroUSB port

Source: Clove 

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Infographic: How much of your smartphone is screen

We love infographics. It seems that as the years progress, people have become better and better at doing this – that is, communicate a complicated issue with visuals so much better than just mere words would. Today we have a particularly telling one from the guys over at Mobilsiden.dk, one that shows you just how much of your phone is screen real estate in relation to bezels and other non-screen elements.

Of course, we don’t have to tell you that the bigger the percentage, this is normally better for users. This would mean that users will have more real estate for their touchscreens, and more space for icons on the screen, and better size for HD screens as well. At this point, would you hazard a guess at which phones will be on top and which ones at the bottom? See the infographic below.

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It’s no surprise that Sharp’s Aquos Crystal (2014) and Aquos Crystal 2 (2015) sit at the top of the list, they pioneered this “no bezel” trend last year – with 78.5% and 77.2% respectively. Right there at the top also is OPPO’s R7 Plus, another bezel-less device, at 76.6% screen. I smile particularly as I see the LG G2 up there (my current phone), still a winner in screen ratio at 76.1%.

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At the far end of the line, we will see something that is not really a surprise – Apple’s iPhones are really not designed well when screen ration is considered. The lowly Moto G (69% screen), Motorola’s budget phone, beats the iPhone 5S (60.9%), the iPhone 6 (65.3%), and the iPhone 6 Plus (67.9%). Apple seems to be improving these days, but their phones still have too much bezel. Mind you, bezels are not necessarily bad things – for instance, they keep your display from shattering when you drop it. But given the premium price you pay for iPhones, consumers should start demanding for better screen ratios from Apple.

VIA: Mobilsiden.dk

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Hyundai’s 2015 Sonata is first car to have Android Auto

The first one out the road when it comes to the brand new Android Auto platform is Hyundai as they announced that their 2015 Sonata model will now come installed with the connectivity system. Fret not already existing Sonata owners that did not make it to this new feature. They will also be offering upgrades for your car to have this installed when you bring it to an authorized dealer. This will make your smartphone activities while driving less distracting and more focused on the actual driving.

Once you’ve had Android Auto installed in your car and your smartphone tethered to it, you can now enjoy being connected to the whole Google eco-system as well as other apps on your smartphone. But lest you think that this is just an accident waiting to happen, your screen is connected to Sonata’s in-dash display. And you will be needing voice controls in order to access your apps and perform functions. You can dictate your reply to the message, have your email read aloud, telling Google Maps where you want to go, asking Spotify to play a specific track, etc.

As we said earlier, those who already own a 2015 Sonata can have their cars upgraded and fitted with Android Auto if they go to their nearest dealership. But Hyundai is also working on an easier way to do this later this summer, wherein you can just download the update, stick it into your car through a USB flash drive, and then install it automatically.

Here’s hoping that other carmakers will also follow Hyundai in using this platform and technology, as a lot of people will get things done in their cars, especially if they’re stuck in traffic jams and wasting valuable hours or minutes. Volvo is reportedly working on it as well, with the large touchscreen of their new XC90 split into two which means your smartphone’s UI can be shown on one of those screens.

VIA: SlashGear

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Nexus Player and Moto 360 get price discount from Google Store, Amazon

Google has just listed the Nexus Player on sale with a $20 discount only months after its official launch last year. From the original retail price of $99.99, the Nexus Player is now $79.99. The Android-powered set-top box’s price drop is an indication that perhaps the Nexus Player isn’t really selling and flying off the shelves or Google could be planning for a new version already.

We’ll never know the reason why the sudden price drop although we heard that a second generation might be launched at the Google I/O later this week. This is good news to those who’ve been wanting to buy a Nexus Player yet don’t what to spend that much. The price already includes free shipping so no need to worry about additional fees on top of the new price. With the Nexus Player, you can stream music, videos, movies, and TV shows from YouTube, Google Play, or other compatible apps. You can also experience Android gaming with multiplayer functionality, 3D graphics, and more with the Nexus player.

The Nexus Player allows Voice search and offers recommendations according to your preferences. You can freely cast content from your Android devices or Chromebook to the TV to enjoy media files on a bigger screen.

It’s not the first time Motorola is slashing off the price of Moto 360. The smartwatch is now down to $149.99 on Amazon. The wearable device is still $179.99 on the Google Store so this is one is a better deal. However, the price is only for the Moto 360 with black or cognac leather band. Other colors and other straps will be sold at a much higher price.

Moto 360 Amazon sale leather band

It’s the same Moto 360 we’ve known for months: with scratch-resistant glass, genuine Horween leather, Voice recognition, health and fitness tracking abilities, notifications, and all the other new features of the latest Android Wear like WiFi calling, gesture control, and emojis.

SOURCE: Google Store, Amazon

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Google to finally get serious with Virtual Reality during I/O 2015

When the Google Cardboard was given away to developers at last year’s I/O conference, it was done so with very litte fanfare, and in fact, close to no instructions as to what the virtual reality device was capable of doing. This year’s I/O 2015 developer’s conference seems a little more keen on exploring and sharing what VR can do for apps, devices, consumers as they are offering more sessions that has to do with this new frontier, which some may consider as a “sleeping tiger”.

Currently, the Google Cardboard app doesn’t show much except a promise of a capability of working with a wide variety of VR apps. However, the UI and even the whole look of it doesn’t seem like it’s very excited to do so. Maybe the look of the app is something they should look at formatting from the ground up to make it look more like a dynamic and fully functional tool for developers.

When it comes to the conference itself, there seems to be a much bigger role for virtual reality this time around, with several sessions dedicated to it. One session will even happen twice and this is the talk with Google Games Developer Advocate Katie Goode, on how virtual reality can actually change our lives and how developers can learn to develop VR experiences. The Designing for Virtual Reality session will also be livestreamed on the Google I/O streaming site (Channel 2). There will also be a Project Tango – Mobile 3D tracking and perception session.

Meanwhile, speculation is also rife that YouTube is just about ready to explore VR as well. Right now, you already have the 360-vision or spherical vision videos, but pretty soon, it should actually go into VR territory, which is quite right given its video sharing and watching format. Let’s see what comes out of the I/O conference happening next week, and see if Google will make VR the buzzword of the year, at least when it comes to developers.

VIA: SlashGear

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Google might be giving away a new Nexus Player in I/O conference

With the 2015 I/O conference just a few days away, people are speculating what new device they will be handing over to developers so they can tinker and experiment with. Well, of course, it probably won’t be an Android TV machine like the Razer Forge TV (unless..naaahh) but speculation is rife that it might be the second generation Nexus Player. The current one is almost nearing the end of its “shelf life” and so now is the right time for Google to introduce a newer, faster device.

The Nexus Player is already $20 cheaper than when it was first introduced in the market, and that’s always a sign that an OEM is preparing a new generation version of that current gadget. And with the influx of new Android TV sets, like the aforementioned Razer, plus the NVIDIA Shield, there really isn’t a better time to introduce a console that will hopefully have a faster operating system, and even better features than the already good current Nexus Player. And the best way to introduce this would be at the I/O conference right?

Going through the import and export data site Zauba, you won’t see any results for imports of Nexus Players for the past few months. In contrast, there has been a huge number of imports for the Google Chromecast in the thousands, which can mean either there’s a huge demand for the video casting device or that Google will be handing them out to developers at the upcoming conference.

There is also a huge number of importation for Google Cardboard headsets, followed by another round of imports for “VR Google Cardboard headset for 5.7 inch mobile phone without NFC and headstrap” and “VR Google Cardboard headset for 4.7 inch mobile phone without NFC and headstrap.” Will this mean that Google is is getting serious with its VR technology and that the I/O will be all about this? Let’s wait for the next few days and see what is up with Google.

VIA: SlashGear

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Why I’d buy the LG G4 over the Galaxy S6

As I’ve written before, this was supposed to be the year the Samsung Galaxy S6 — and specifically the edge model — spends a good deal of time in my pocket and in my hand. And for a few weeks that was the case. The outstanding screen and camera pretty much made it a no-brainer.

Then came the LG G4. I’d used 2014′s LG G3 for a bit, but it never really stuck with me. The new QHD display has finicky with oversharpening, and LG’s software was a non-starter for me. This year, that’s changed a bit.

To be clear, you can’t really go wrong with either one of these phones. But I’ve made a choice, and it’s been a pretty easy one to come to. So here’s why I’d pick the LG G4 over the Samsung Galaxy S6.



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Xiaomi’s $15 Mi Band now syncs with Google Fit

Xiaomi pushed out an update to the Mi Fit companion app for the Mi Band fitness tracker that allows the sharing of data to Google Fit.

The compatibility with Google Fit makes the Mi Band — which went on sale in India earlier this year for just $15 — a much more attractive proposition for customers looking to track their daily activity. The Mi Band offers call and text notification alerts delivered through the trio of LED lights on its surface, and is IP67 certified.



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LG G4 now available at Carphone Warehouse, black leather option exclusive to retailer

Carphone Warehouse has commenced sales of the LG G4, with the retailer offering the device on monthly plans starting at £35 a month.

The Black Leather variant of the LG G4 will be exclusive to Carphone Warehouse in the U.K. The leather option makes the device feel much more premium, and is definitely worth the upgrade. In addition to the Black Leather version, Carphone Warehouse is stocking the brown leather option as well as the plastic-clad grey model.



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Google’s New Photos App Will Get More Transparent Settings For Photo Backup

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We’ve already taken an extensive look at all the options and interface changes in the new and unreleased Google Photos app that should be decoupling from Google+ and hitting our devices sometime down the line, and now it’s time to peek behind the scenes at the app’s settings, specifically its backup options.

With the current Photos app, the first run asks you to enable or disable photo backup and asks whether you want to use cellular networks or not.

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Google’s New Photos App Will Get More Transparent Settings For Photo Backup was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: Nexus 6 LMY47Z] [Flash All The Things] Android 5.1 OTA Roundup For Nexus And GPE Devices

lollipop

Of our many jobs here at Android Police, one is to make our readers’ lives easier when we can. With that in mind, here’s a roundup of every known Android 5.1 OTA for every Nexus device that will be receiving it. As new ones become available, this post will be updated accordingly. Android 5.1 will be released to Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7 (2012 and 2013), 9, and 10. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, there will be plenty of files to be had.

Read More

[Update: Nexus 6 LMY47Z] [Flash All The Things] Android 5.1 OTA Roundup For Nexus And GPE Devices was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: SmartWatch 3] Android Wear 5.1 OTA Roundup

lollipop

If you own an Android Wear device right now, chances are you’re probably waiting patiently furiously checking for that elusive Android Wear 5.1 update. Well, we’ve got you covered. As the links to the OTA ZIP files become available, we will post them here. To flash these, you’ll need to have ADB installed and have the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK. You’ll reboot your watch into recovery mode, then select “Install Update From ADB.” You can then run “adb sideload filename.zip” from a command prompt.

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[Update: SmartWatch 3] Android Wear 5.1 OTA Roundup was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Verizon offers no activation, upgrade fees with Edge

Starting May 31, loyal customers of Verizon Edge can upgrade their plans anytime as long as their device is already paid. This makes it simpler and easier for them to upgrade to a new phone under a good deal. Availing of the Verizon Edge will bring more savings and benefits to subscribers. No need to pay anything toward a new Edge device but you need to pay the amount over 24 months, without any interest.

Verizon Edge customers are given a monthly line access discount on the ‘More Everything‘ plans. Plans with 6GB and higher are given a $25 discount while those under the 4GB plans and lower get $15 off the price.

Verizon’s Marketing and Sales Operations Senior Vice President Nancy Clark exclaimed, “The value of Verizon Edge, including lower monthly line access, is quickly making it the option of choice”. “More than 50 percent of Verizon Wireless customers now choose the simple and flexible Verizon Edge payment program when activating or upgrading smartphones,” she added.

Monthly payments include access to Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Deals include HD Voice and video calling. For example, for only $24.99 per month, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S6 while the LG Lancet is only $5/month. If you’ve already paid for your current device in full, you can upgrade anytime to a new phone.Verizon Edge promo is readily available for postpaid basic phones, smartphones, and tablets. Feel free to donate the phone to Hopeline to help stop domestic violence or trade in device for account credit.

SOURCE: Verizon

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Xiaomi to reveal Snapdragon 820 based flagship this year: Report

Xiaomi Mi 5

Xiaomi is rated highly in global markets and is one of the top manufacturers of the world. This means that every handset that the company launches manages to build plenty of hype, sometimes even before it is announced. Something similar is happening with the Mi 5 handset which is reportedly going to be unveiled in November this year. This comes as disappointing news after reports had pegged the smartphone to be launching by July.

According to this new report coming out of China, the handset will feature the Snapdragon 820 SoC, which is yet to be announced by Qualcomm. Apart from this, the handset is also expected to be packing a 5.5 inch Quad HD display, 4GB of RAM, 16 or 20-megapixel camera on the back and possibly even Android 5.1 Lollipop.

Although the Snapdragon 820 is unlikely to be used on this handset, it cannot be ruled out at this juncture considering how manufacturers are always pushing to get the latest hardware running on their devices. We’re eagerly waiting to see Xiaomi make an entry in the European and North American markets as its popularity transcends beyond Asia. Perhaps the Mi 5 could be the handset to change that.

Source: Mobile Dad – Translated

Via: Phone Arena

The post Xiaomi to reveal Snapdragon 820 based flagship this year: Report appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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‘Movie of the Day’ app hopes you’ll impulse buy ‘X-Men’ via iPhone

Fox and Apple are trying a new twist on digital movie sales starting today, pushing a Movie of the Day app on iOS. For now, it’s only for Apple devices and Fox movies (a Google Play version should arrive eventually), but as you can guess from the name it just does the one thing. “Daily Flash Sales” offer a single movie, heavily discounted (up to 70 percent off, somewhere between $5 and $10), for purchase for 24 hours, with the app highlighting which one and pointing users to it. It’s launching in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany and France today and the first flick for sale is a $7 copy (in HD or SD, and you could just grab it via iTunes) of X-Men: First Class. Movies like Alien, Die Hard, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes, Rio, and The Sound of Music will float through its library, so if you’re interested in filling up your Apple-connected digital shelf it could be worthwhile.

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Source: Movie of the Day (iTunes)

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LG G4 Now Available Online From T-Mobile

T-Mobile told us to expect the LG G4 today and they delivered. You can now purchase the LG G4 from the Uncarrier for $0 with equal monthly payments of $24.99 per month. In case you don’t have a calculator handy, that means you will pay $599.76 over that 24-month period.

Don’t forget that T-Mobile is tossing in a free 128GB microSD card, though supplies are limited. Also, T-Mobile has an exclusive on the brown leather version and they haven’t even upped the price on it over the standard grey plastic model. That seems like a deal in and of itself, especially since you could swap it out if you decide you don’t like it or it doesn’t hold up to the elements.

Be sure to read our LG G4 review if you haven’t already.

T-Mobile Link

LG G4 Now Available Online From T-Mobile is a post from: Droid Life

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Motorola might be using Snapdragon 808 and 810 in latest flagships

Motorola Logo

Say what you want about the Snapdragon 810’s supposed overheating issues, but it seems more companies are going to use it in their 2015 flagships. One such company seems to be Motorola, with a trusted tipster leaking word that at least one of their latest devices will use the oft-maligned chipset.

That particular phone would be the XT1585, which is said to be a Verizon device with QHD resolution and 640 DPI (codenamed Kinzie). Meanwhile, the XT1578 or XT1097 — both codenamed “Clark,” with the former being Verizon-specific — will look to run a Snapdragon 808. Those will also enjoy QHD resolution (albeit it at a slightly lower DPI of 560).

There isn’t much other new information about these devices so we’re still not exactly sure what Motorola’s plans for 2015 look like. For what it’s worth Motorola has seemingly started to mask the codenames of their devices using model numbers of phones that already exist. Evidence that the leakster is hot on the trail? Perhaps, but we suppose that means little in the end — we know Motorola is going to be bringing some heat later this summer, and we hope official word about their plans isn’t far off.

[via Reddit]

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Skrillex Live Cases now available from the Google Store

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Three limited edition cases, all designed by Skrillex, are now available in the Google Store for five handsets.

Owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 4 can purchase a Skrillex Live Case for $40. The cases have either metallic or matte finishes with special designs on the rear. Pair any one of the cases with the official app and it launches a live wallpaper that provides a 360° experience on the front, back, and sides.

[Skrillex Live Case]

Click here to view the embedded video.

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Amazon Fire Phone price drops… again

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The Amazon Fire Phone has transitioned from an underwhelming, costly on-contract handset to an alright off-contract choice. The price of the Fire Phone has dropped yet again.

When launched last summer, the Fire Phone lacked an identity. Amazon gave practically no reason to purchase the handset. It was a glorified digital storefront in a phone that had one selling point: four front-facing cameras paired with a gyroscope that to give a 3D-like feel. The other specifications were not too bad, but owners of the Fire Phone would be locked into Amazon’s tight ecosystem. There were no Google services to turn to.

To make it even more difficult to sell, the Fire Phone was way too expensive (and offered only through AT&T).

Starting today, the Fire Phone can be purchased for $179 without a contract or any carrier restriction. This price, which is pretty good for an unlocked handset, also includes a free subscription to Amazon Prime for one year.

[Fire Phone – Amazon]

Via: Android Police

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I/O 2015: What’s next for Google?

Google IO

On Thursday, thousands of people will take to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Google I/O 2015. The event, which runs for two days, shows us what Google has been working on to be released this year and beyond. The schedule actually gives us an idea of what to expect. Between the keynote and abundance of workshops, there is plenty to see from Google this week.

Android M

With so much going on with the next version of Android, it would be better to provide some key links:

The team behind Android is continuously working to extend battery life and reduce memory use. Hardware manufacturers can keep stuffing batteries of larger sizes into devices, but, ultimately, Google has to do its part. The company plans to optimize the operating system so that it does less work on the battery and memory. Google will also bring fingerprint authentication to Android, a feature that has only been included by hardware manufacturers themselves. Furthermore, Android Pay will be heading into the mobile payments arena with Apple Pay. Prepare for the Google-Apple battle to intensify once again this fall.

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Android M should be available in preview relatively soon as a full release, paired with two Nexus phones, is expected in October.

Wearables

Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin, Basis, HTC, Razer, and Pebble are all among the companies fighting with each other and Google for placement on wrists around the world. Since Android Wear launched last year, the wearables industry has only become more complex. This year, Android Wear could lean more towards health and fitness as Google Fit and biometrics are being spotlighted with sessions of their own.

Google’s wearable platform will also get a new always-on feature that allows apps to be opened for as long as the user needs them to be.

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Perhaps new hardware will be announced during the Android Wear segment of the keynote considering the platform’s hardware is due for a refresh. Who knows, maybe we will see something less like a smartwatch and more like a fitness band. Remember, Android Wear is for wearables as a whole and not just smarwatches.

Home Automation / Internet of Things

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Nest didn’t come cheap and is finally being put to work:

For years, we’ve been talking about home automation. There are universal remotes, wall panels and apps to control devices in your home. But Works with Nest is more than just an on/off switch. It’s about making your house a more thoughtful home, working securely behind the scenes to interact with things you already use every day. And, as a result, making your home safer, more energy efficient, and more aware. Learn more about the Works with Nest developer program and join us in making this vision become reality.

An entirely new platform, possibly the rumored Brillo operating system, will bring together things that don’t even have a screen. Screen or not, from your thermostat to your refrigerator, Google wants to be involved.

Virtual Reality

Those in attendance at Google I/O 2014 thought they were on the verge of seeing the company’s first shot at virtual reality enter the world. Instead, they were given materials to get started with Cardboard. People didn’t think Google was serious. Well, they were, and now it’s an open source platform.

Google enjoys showing what people can do with its software, so having Cardboard present at the event would be a great celebration. It would be nice way for Google to show Oculus, Samsung, and HTC that virtual reality doesn’t have to be so expensive.

The next iteration of Google Glass will likely miss this year’s event to take a breather.

Android TV

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Did you notice that NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV set-top box has yet to be released? The powerful set-top box was announced months ago and, still, no one can buy it. Google may be the reason behind that. The company will be focusing on gaming with dedicated sessions for both Android TV and Google Cast. Having the SHIELD TV present would certainly help because of the strength of the new Tegra X1 processor. Then, following the event, the SHIELD TV could become available to everyone.

android_tv_screen

More interestingly, we could see Android TV receive a feature that resembles its predecessor. One session is described as a way to “install channels on TVs that blend in seamlessly with traditional linear channels.” Users are seemingly going to be able to give Android TV access to information from their television provider. Apps and services from the Play Store, such as Netflix or Hulu, would then be embedded into a program guide to exist alongside traditional channels. The phrase “media playback” is included but I doubt that means DVR-like features.

There is absolutely no way that the company will allow Android TV to go in the way of Google TV.

Chromecast

It has been two years since Google introduced Chromecast to the world. This little dongle darling exceeded everyone’s expectations and millions of people are enjoying its versatility. In fact, the Cast button has been hit more than 1 billion times. People love Chromecast due to its price and affordability. The once meager section of the Play Store for compatible apps is now overflowing with content.

Chromecast_product-image

Now, though, could be time to repackage the device. Amazon, Roku, and even Intel all have competing products on the market. The Nexus Player seems to have been a miss and Google should be looking to knock them down. The next Chromecast could support 4K content and gaming capabilities with improved power inside. A Marvell processor with 512MB of RAM may not cut it anymore. Also, increased WiFi support would be nice to increase range and reduce lag. Consumers wouldn’t mind paying around $50 for those benefits.

That’s it?

Of course not! Google will have much more to say. The keynote will run for about 2-3 hours, leaving room for in-depth demonstrations and surprises. Almost anything is possible.

[Full Schedule]

Be sure to stick with us for our live coverage of Google I/O 2015. And let us know in the comments what you think Google will introduce.

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Minecraft Pocket Edition getting update full of cool things this week

minecraft_pocket_edition_boat

Developer Mojang has announced an update to Minecraft: Pocket Edition on all mobile platforms, Android included, will be submitted to the app stores for Google, Apple and Microsoft this week. Mojang is highlighting a new “skins” feature, probably because it includes an in-app purchase option, but there are a bunch of other wacky updates and new features included.

Skins for Minecraft: Pocket Edition will be the way players can change the appearance of their character. The skins do not provide any special abilities or affect game play in any. They are just for looks.

For those ready to get a new look right away, Minecraft will offer bundles of paid skins for about $1 per pack of around 20 skins. The first two that will be available include City Folk and Town Folk. Those interested in spending a little time instead of money on new skins can look for them on the Internet and upload them to Minecraft: Pocket Edition or create their own using the Minecraft: Skin Studio.

For users interested in other aspects of the game, Mojang has a slew of new stuff being added. Boats will now support two passengers so players can take their pets along, stuff like snowballs and eggs can be thrown from boats, and players will now be able to fish, even for edible clownfish.

Lots of new creatures are being added to the game, including chicken jockeys, baby zombies, bats, cave spiders, spider jockeys, and squids. Mojang also fixed some issues like chickens walking on water and animals breeding without touching along with general bug fixes.

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source: Mojang

Come comment on this article: Minecraft Pocket Edition getting update full of cool things this week

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T-Mobile to start selling LG G4 by May 27

Starting May 27, those looking for a brand new smartphone (that isn’t a fruit or a Samsung) may very well consider LG’s new flagship, the G4, as it will now be available on T-Mobile. The “un-carrier” will start selling the new smartphone on their network and start shipping it by June 3, making you (if you do decide to get one) one of the first to own the device, at least in North America.

Another great offer that T-Mobile is giving their subscribers is that if you buy the LG G4 from them starting May 27, you will also get a free and huge memory upgrade. In partnership with LG, they will be giving you a free 128GB SD memory card so that you’ll be able to use your new smartphone the way you want it to, without thinking of you’re running out of storage space or something. It’s only through T-Mobile where you’ll be able to get the special LG G4 with the leather brown rear-cover.

T-Mobile also offers subscribers their usual benefits, like unlimited talk, text, and data through its Simple Choice plans. You can also now make calls over Wi-Fi, enjoy Music Freedom or free live music streaming (through Rhapsody unRadio), save up your unused data with Data Stash, and other T-Mobile exclusive offers. If you’re still not sure about whether or not you’ll get the LG G4, you can try it out in the last legs of the preview tour which will take the smartphone into major US cities (Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle) in the next few weeks.

You’ll be able to get the LG G4 from T-Mobile at $0 down, paying just $24.99 in the next 24 months. Check out our closer look at the LG G4 here so you can also see if this is a deal you’re interested in or if the smartphone is worth your money.

SOURCE: T-Mobile

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Microsoft gets more OEMs, device partners to install apps on Android devices

If you can’t beat them, join them. This is exactly what Microsoft is doing in the mobile industry. Because it may be long before Windows Phone will totally be out there and join Android and iOS on top, the software giant is working hard to bring the best Microsoft experience by teaming up with more partners and businesses to bring services that will allow more productivity and efficiency in one’s digital life.

No doubt Microsoft programs are widely used and have since been regarded as a standard in personal computers but since the digital world is mobile and now it’s getting into the “cloud”, Microsoft needs to adapt some more to bring more businesses, consumers, and developers the best Microsoft experiences all the time from any device running whatever platform. To do this, the company already re-engineered some of their flagship products to work on mobile. They’re more modern now and are integrated into many other products as well. Majority of Windows programs already have Android and iOS versions.

As another strategy to win over the industry, Microsoft also acquired company that are also “rethinking traditional categories of productivity”. The likes of Office and OneNote are available on more devices and platforms now. The Phone Companion app for Windows 10 PC which we featured earlier is another way to connect Windows, Android, and iOS.

Back in March, Microsoft partnered with Dell, Samsung, Pegatron, and eight other regional OEMs to pre-install Skype and Microsoft Office on their Android tablets. This will bring easier access to Microsoft apps and services from the mobile devices developed by the said brands. Microsoft has just announced that 20 more global and local OEM partners have agreed to add Microsoft apps readily available on Android tablets. Included in the list are LG, Haier, Sony, Positiv, and Wortman.

These partners agreed to pre-install their Android tablets with Microsoft productivity apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype. First ones to include them are the Sony Xperia Z4 tablet and a new LG tablet.

Microsoft’s cross-platform services strategy aims to bring Microsoft services to every one using every device. These partners will help increase the value of those phones and tablet by bringing rich productivity experiences most people want using the popular Microsoft programs we all have grown to love.

Here is a complete list of Microsoft’s partners:

• Axdia International GMBH – Germany
• Cube – China
• DL – Brazil
• General Procurement – United States
• Grupo Nucleo – Argentina
• Haier – China
• Inco – Mexico
• Ionik GBMH – Germany
• Iview – United States and Latam
• LG – Global
• Multilaser – Brazil
• Noblex – Argentina
• Pacific (Vulcan) – Mexico
• Philco – Argentina
• Positivo – Brazil
• Prestigio – EMEA
• Sony – Global
• Teclast – China
• TMAX Digital – North America
• Wortmannn – Germany

SOURCE: Microsoft

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Microsoft intros Windows 10 Phone Companion app, Cortana for Android

Microsoft knows that it can’t compete outrightly with Android or iOS yet. Windows Phone may already be out there but it still hasn’t captured a relevant percentage of the market. Instead of just trying to beat the two, Microsoft thought of working on a companion app for Windows 10 on PC that works to connect the computer to any phone whether it’s an iPhone, Android phone, and of course, a Windows Phone.

The Windows 10 Phone Companion app will be built-in to Windows 10 so you can easily connect your PC to whatever phone. It allows a seamless access and connection to content and files from your phone to PC or vice versa. The software giant saw the need to connect devices that aren’t even using the same platform so it came up with the Phone Companion app. The idea is to make Windows 10 able to connect with most devices since we know live in a multi-device world and people move between computers, tablets, and smartphones every single day. Most people want to bring their files with them stored on a device and the said app can provide a way for easy transition between devices.

The Phone Companion is only one of the several Windows Universal Apps Microsoft is developing for Windows 10. The goal is to bring smartphones and PCs optimal experience regardless of the operating system in use. This means your most important files and content can be accessed anytime, any day, and from any platform running on whatever device you have.

Phone Companion app will be built-in to Windows 10. It will connect your Windows 10-powered computer to any phone you have running Windows Phone, Android, or iOS.

How does this work? Simply set up the OneDrive app on your phone and your files can show up on your Windows 10 PC in the Photos app. It’s the same with the Music app, music from OneDrive can also be accessed. Any music playlist you have on your PC can be accessed on your mobile device. When you use OneNote or Office on your computer, any note and document will also show up on your smartphone.

Windows 10 will also include Cortana. The OS set to launch this summer will also bring the first personal digital-assistant who can work across your phone or tablet and your computer. Cortana is not new to Windows Phone but this is the first time it’s integrated on a Windows 10 PC and a Cortana app will also be available for iOS and Android phones. This means you can get more things done because Cortana is integrated into most of your devices now. The mobile app version of Cortana will work as a companion to the Windows 10 PC version.

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SOURCE: Microsoft

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Dreamcast favorite SEGA’s ChuChu Rocket removed from the Play Store

SEGA has quickly and completely pulled out games and apps from the Play Store last week. That was only a week after we heard the company decided to remove the titles because most of them no longer meet the standards. Sega still assured gamers that their games can still be played as long as device is compatible but no further updates can be expected.

Sega is going to pull out more games. You can no longer download the likes of Streets of Rage and Afterburner Climax from the Google Play Store or even from the App Store. This time and after being readily available on Android for almost four years, the Dreamcast favorite ChuChu Rocket is already out. Other games like the Shining Force, Sonic Spinball, Shinobi III, Streets of Rage 2, and Mega Drive Gems Gunstar Heroes have also been removed from the list.

There are still Sega games listed: Crazy Taxi, Sonic 1, and Sonic 2 are still available but they are expected to be deleted very soon. If you want to play your Sega games, don’t delete them from your mobile device. Or if you really want, just play these SEGA games on whatever gaming device you have.

To review, here are some classic SEGA games we’ve featured the past years:

RPG Chain Chronicle
City Rush
Super Monkey Ball
Dragon Coins
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sonic Dash
All-Stars Racing Transformed
Sonic Jump
Jet Set Radio
Phantasy Star Online 2
Fallen Realms RPG

VIA: POCKET GAMER

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Live broadcast app Periscope now available on Android

Months after it initially launched, on the iOS app obviously, the live broadcast app Periscope has now finally arrived on Android. Unlike their comeptitor Meerkat, which came to this platform stage by stage from testing to beta to full, they have released the fully functional (hopefully) version their first time around. Through the app, you can watch and record live broadcasts that you can share with the world or you can share only to those that you want to see your recorded event.

While Meerkat was first out the door, both in the market and on Android, some people still preferred Periscope when it finally came out. One of the reasons may be that Twitter acquired the company and now runs it and therefore they have a large marketing machinery behind it. Another factor probably is the fact that it has more features like you can watch a replay of the broadcast, unlike in Meerkat where once the show is over, you can’t go back and relive it.

The Android app also has a “return to broadcast” feature which allows users to catch up with the stream when they had to leave the broadcast for a while because of interruptions. It also has more control over the notifications both in what you’re watching, and in the way you want people to see your broadcast. It will suggest people to follow based on your Twitter profile and network. You can choose to follow or unfollow these people if you don’t want a notification every time they start a live broadcast.

You can download Periscope for free from the Google Play Store. But you can also try out Meerkat to be able to compare the two and then choose which one you’d rather use to live broadcast your concert experiences, your video tutorials, or whatever you would like the world (or just your friends) to see.

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VIA: SlashGear

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Pretty Smart Lamp shows notifications in colors, light sequence you want

I can’t wait for the day when homes, gadgets, and cars are all connected. Smart home technology is still in its “infancy” but there is no doubt everything will be connected since Google could be launching Brillo as another Android OS for the Internet of Things. While we might not be able to reach that super connected future, we can still enjoy the many benefits by starting with smart devices. For the home, smart bulbs are slowly becoming popular. They’re easily accessible now and more support are coming their way.

A group known as Pretty Smart Homes recently launched a project on Kickstarter with the aim of raising funds for the Pretty Smart Lamp. The concept is of special lamp that helps you find your missing phone while at home. You know how much like the remote control, phones go missing inside the house all the time. Don’t waste time searching for it if you can just double tap it to find what you’re looking for and more.

The Pretty Smart Lamp can also “display” notifications by notifying you off calls, Facebook alerts, emails, or texts using whatever light sequence or color you want. To dismiss notification, just tap on the lamp once. You can also charge your smartphone using the Pretty Smart Lamp via a USB cable. And since this is a smart device, the lamp can “sense” the temperature inside the room and then communicate with your smart thermostat if you have one. Feel free to personalize it by adjusting the settings including the colors, brightness, and sequences depending on your preference. Lamp connects vie Bluetooth.

There are a few designs available: orchids, the hand, hills, polar bear, friendly cloud, city streets, and wormhole. The Pretty Smart Homes team is also working on more designs for purchase. Lamp works with a compatible app developed by Yonomi for a better home automation experience.

Goal fund is $10,000 but amount raised is more than double already. As of this writing and with eight days to go before the set deadline, 263 backers have sent in more than $24,000. You can still help by backing this project by visit the designer’s Kickstarter page.

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Pretty Smart Lamp

SOURCE: Kickstarter

This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk. Android Community’s reporting on crowdfunded projects should in no way be seen as an endorsement, unless specifically stated, and we recommend closely examining the terms and conditions to understand your individual rights as a backer before making a pledge.

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