Posts Tagged Android

Netflix App Updated To v3.6 With A New Logo And Tweaked UI

nThe Netflix app has come a long, long way in terms of design during its run on Android. It wasn’t even a year ago that Netflix changed the interface dramatically in v3.0 and killed most of the lag. Now it’s up to v3.6 with a new logo/icon and a black action bar in the app.

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You wouldn’t think that changing the action bar from red to black would make the app feel much different, but it really does.

Netflix App Updated To v3.6 With A New Logo And Tweaked UI was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The LTE 2013 Nexus 7 Finally Gets Android 4.4.3, Over Three Weeks Late

unnamedThe 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, now known as the bastard child of the living Nexus family, has not received any updates in the recent round of Android 4.4.3, and subsequently 4.4.4, releases. All of a sudden just now, the 4.4.3 factory image finally showed up, and we can only speculate how long it’ll be before we see 4.4.4. For those who are counting, that’s 22 days since the Nexus 4, 5, Wi-Fi 7, and 10 have all had their respective factory images available.

The LTE 2013 Nexus 7 Finally Gets Android 4.4.3, Over Three Weeks Late was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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What will Android 5.0 “L” be called? [POLL]

Android L

The hype beast is alive and well. We are less than 24 hours away from Google I/O 2014, and the rumors are swirling like a tornado. Less than 12 hours ago the idea of Android “L” being announced at I/O was considered highly unlikely. Now, thanks to some quotes from Android chief Sundar Pichai, we will be expecting it.

There is still one big question to be answered when it comes to Android 5.0: what the heck will the “L” stand for? As I’m sure you are well aware, Google uses a dessert theme for naming Android versions. Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, and KitKat have been used up to now. The two popular choices for “L” are lollipop and Lemonheads.

Lollipop would be a more traditional Android name, but with last year’s KitKat theme we can’t rule out name brands. So, wise Phandroids, which one will it be? Does Google go back to the traditional generic dessert names, or do they continue to pair up with candy companies? Let us know in the poll below and state your case in the comments!

Take Our Poll

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Google could show off Android L tomorrow with launch slated for late 2014

Sundar Pichai

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, the head of Google’s Android and Chrome division, Sundar Pichai has suggested that the company is looking to show off the next major version of Android at tomorrow’s I/O event in San Francisco. Pichai said – “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner,” suggesting an approach similar to Apple which shows off its next major mobile release in June followed by an official launch in Fall with dedicated hardware in tow. This seems like a good ploy from Google as it would put an end to the endless cycle of rumors for months together.

This will also give developers more time to play around with the new OS to get their apps in order before the commercial release. However, knowing the ever active Android development community, we won’t be surprised if ROMs are leaked long before the official release. Regardless of those challenges, Google will greatly benefit from this new system.

Earlier today we saw a screenshot from what seemed like Android L, which looks more likely now with this revelation coming from the man himself. Google might also be looking to discuss a new Android TV and obviously the future of Android Wear during tomorrow’s keynote address.

Source: Businessweek

The post Google could show off Android L tomorrow with launch slated for late 2014 appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Rumor: Google Exploring Richer Quick Settings, Stacking Card Notifications For Android’s L Release

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A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android’s home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.

Since then, we’ve seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android’s L release. The images we’ll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change – particularly design.

Rumor: Google Exploring Richer Quick Settings, Stacking Card Notifications For Android’s L Release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Nokia X2 from Microsoft with Android announced today

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Nokia, recently purchased by Microsoft, has announced the Nokia X2 smartphone, a successor to their Android powered Nokia X. Like the older version, the Nokia X2 is aimed at the lower end of the market as a budget smartphone, so the differences in this newer version are not major. In terms of hardware, the screen has grown slightly to 4.3-inches, RAM has been pushed up to 1GB, and the processor is just a little bit faster at 1.2GHz. The Nokia X2 comes with 4GB of memory on board with up to 32GB additional space available via microSD. Nothing earth-shattering there, but this should help improve the overall experience a little bit.

Nokia also added a Home button to the device to go with the back button to help improve navigation between apps on the device. Like most other Android devices, Nokia added an “apps list” function called “Fastlane” to help with navigation as well. The device still runs a modified interface that resembles the Windows Phone interface on the surface. While Nokia still hooks into several Microsoft services out of the box, like providing 15GB of OneDrive storage, users can load Android apps on the device.

The Nokia X2 is priced at €99 ($168 USD) and is available in immediately in select countries. Initially it is available in green, orange and black. Yellow, white and a matte dark grey will be available at a later date.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Nokia

Come comment on this article: Nokia X2 from Microsoft with Android announced today

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FireChat update adds off-grid chatting between Android and iOS

FireChat first arrived back in April. The app came courtesy of Open Garden and served as a method of chatting off-the-grid. FireChat uses Open Garden’s mesh networking technology which means users can chat from device to device without any Internet connection. But while that all sounded good — there was an initial limitation that may have kept some from joining the off-grid message party.

The initial FireChat release came for Android and iOS, however users were only able to chat with people using the same mobile operating system. Simply put, Android users were able to chat with other Android users, and iOS users were able to chat with other iOS users. Well, in a new update hitting the respective app stores — FireChat is going cross platform.

Open Garden hasn’t offered much in terms of specifics here, but the end result is that Android and iOS users can now chat back and forth — without the need for an active Internet connection. What Open Garden has said is the app makes use of peer-to-peer WiFi and the Bluetooth personal area network. But again, the end result is that users can now chat across platforms — which seems to make this quite a bit more appealing.

Otherwise, the FireChat app touts itself as allowing users to “instantly chat with anyone around you.” The app features a Nearby mode which will search up to 200 feet of your location, and allows for ‘firechats’ which are live and anonymous chat sessions. That said, the FireChat app can be found in the Google Play Store.

VIA: TechCrunch

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Sundar Pichai: We are Previewing the Next Version of Android at Google I/O

Bloomberg published a massive story on Android/Chrome boss Sundar Pichai this morning that we haven’t had a chance to dig through yet, since we are traveling to Google I/O. But as you can imagine, I/O was one of the topics highlighted, and boy did Sundar have something exciting to say in terms of Android. According to Bloomberg, Pichai and crew will show off the next version of Android at the show tomorrow to be more transparent.

Pichai wouldn’t elaborate as to the name of the version, which most assume will start with an “L” and carry some sort of candy reference in the name. We also don’t know if this will be Android 4.5 or 5.0 or something else altogether.

Here is the excerpt from the story:

This year, Pichai will preview the next release (Lollipop? Lemonhead?) for the first time at I/O rather than waiting until the fall. It’s a significant shift toward greater transparency. “I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner,” he says.

We may have already had a brief preview of the “L” version last night, thanks to the Chromium bug tracker. Let the hypebeasting begin.

Via:  Bloomberg | Image

Sundar Pichai: We are Previewing the Next Version of Android at Google I/O is a post from: Droid Life

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Google To Do Next Android Version (The "L" Release) Apple-Style: Preview At I/O, Release In The Fall

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In an interview with Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Android at Google, Businessweek managed to extract a truly exciting tidbit: the next major version of Android will be demoed at Google I/O ahead of its fall release.

“I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner”

This is a marked change from business as usual at I/O. Google hasn’t demoed a version of Android far ahead of its release since Andy Rubin showed off an early incarnation of Honeycomb three-and-a-half years ago at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.

Google To Do Next Android Version (The "L" Release) Apple-Style: Preview At I/O, Release In The Fall was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Vector 46: Amazon Fire Phone vs. Android and iPhone

Vector is a news and analysis show focusing on the biggest stories, hottest trends, and most important issues in technology, past, present, and future. On this week’s show, Ben Bajarin of Techpinions joins Rene to talk about the Amazon Fire Phone, why it was made and who it was made for, and what it means for Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone.



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Android at Google I/O 2014: What to expect

This year’s Google I/O developer conference is likely to bring Android to your TV, car and wrist

And just like that, it’s time for another Google I/O developer conference! This year’s I/O starts with a two-hour keynote presentation this Wednesday, June 25, at Moscone West in San Francisco — that’s where we’re expecting all the big headline-grabbing announcements to emerge. (Be sure to join our liveblog!) But perhaps even more important are the sessions and workshops that let developers — folks way smarter than us — get to grips with all the new stuff from Android and other Google properties.

This year’s Google I/O is going to be a big one. We’re expecting big news for smartwatches and Android Wear, a refreshed living room strategy with the new Android TV, and the first fruits of the Open Automotive Alliance, bringing Android to the car in a big way. That’s along with any new devices and hints about what’s next for Android at the platform level.

So read on to learn about all the Android-related goodness we’re expecting from Google I/O 2014.



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Nokia Is Ready For Another Round Of Android Hardware With The X2, A Dual-SIM 4.3" Phone For €99

Nokia-X2_multitaskingThe big question on everyone’s mind when Nokia revealed the Android-powered X line was whether their new masters at Microsoft would continue the line after the acquisition. It looks like Redmond is ready for another lap around the Android pool, at least in conjunction with its extensively-customized software load, because Nokia just announced the X2 for immediate release. The 99 Euro ($135) phone is “available immediately in select countries globally.” Both global and select, huh?

Nokia Is Ready For Another Round Of Android Hardware With The X2, A Dual-SIM 4.3" Phone For €99 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Screenshot of the next major Android version known as “Android L” leak out

Android L

A new screenshot coming courtesy of the Chrome issue tracker has given us our first glimpse of what seems to be Android L which is widely believed to be the next major release of Android. Although we’re quite certain there’s a suitable dessert named after it, at the moment we only have the L moniker to go with.

As you can see from the screenshot above, we’re not exactly getting a full look at the homescreen of the new OS but merely the top half. In the top left corner, we can see the ‘L’ logo which probably shows up when USB debugging is enabled. In case of Android 4.4 devices, we see a KitKat logo appear when connecting the device to a computer, so it’s consistent with what we have seen in the past.

Moving to the right, we can see a bell logo which appears to be something along the lines of the Do-Not-Disturb feature which has been spotted on Android source code previously. Another interesting bit of info that we could gather from the screenshot is the placement of the Chrome browser window which is right in the middle of the homescreen rather than occupying the complete screen real estate. Could there be a floating apps option by default? Only time will tell.

Needless to say, these screenshots have since been taken down by Google which makes us feel even more positively about its legitimacy. We can expect to hear a word or two about these new features at the Google I/O event which begins tomorrow, but fans will have to wait until later in the year to get hold of Android L.

Android L Portrait

Source: Reddit

Via: Android and Me

The post Screenshot of the next major Android version known as “Android L” leak out appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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TalkAndroid Daily Dose for June 23, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Guides

How to set up a wireless hotspot for tethering on Android to avoid paying carrier subscription fees

Apps

Yahoo Aviate exits beta, open for everyone in the Play Store

Microsoft’s OneDrive now offers 15 GB of storage for free

Carriers

Sprint adds the very durable Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport to its rotation

Sprint opens up 30 day risk-free trial of its improved network

Gaming

Google Play Games service getting improvements, including quest notifications and snapshots

Google

Google entering the domain registration game, invite-only beta for now

Google Glass

Google Glass Frames by Diane Von Furstenberg available in the U.S.

Google extending Glass Explorer program to the United Kingdom

Hardware

Qualcomm celebrates latest Adreno GPU to make it to market

Phones

HTC’s Butterfly 2 4G gets certified for Taiwan

Alleged encased Motorola Moto X+1 press render leaks

Google could have one last Nexus phone release before waving goodbye

According to benchmarks, Exynos 5433 Galaxy Note 4 smokes Snapdragon 805

Sprint adds the very durable Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport to its rotation

Special edition Galaxy S 5 LTE-A has less dimples and more diamonds

ROMs

‘Heads Up’ notification mode from Android added to CyanogenMod

Smartwatches

Wireless charger for Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch stops by the FCC

Tablets

Samsung launches Galaxy Tab 4 7.0 in India

Miscellaneous

Should LG and Samsung fear the Amazon Fire Phone?

Samsung may post a weak Q2 due to slower device sales

HTC takes a shot at Galaxy S 5′s Band-Aid design

 

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Daily Dose for June 23, 2014

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Supposed Screenshot from ‘Android L’ Lands on the Internet

The name of the next version of Android is still very much up in the air, but I think we have narrowed it down to a few names. Lollipop, Lemonhead, and Licorice, seem to be the top of the list of names floating around out there. Well it seems that a screenshot got posted on […]

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‘Heads Up’ notification mode from Android added to CyanogenMod

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The CyanogenMod team has added a new feature to its latest nightly build, and it’s a feature that’s been hidden inside the code of stock Android for some time now. It’s called “Heads Up,” and its a notification mode that allows users to interact with floating alerts that are overlaid over what users are doing.

Google hasn’t yet activated the system in stock Android, but many users think it’s much more useful than Android’s default alert system. Basically, there’s a little box that’s displayed at the top of the screen above whatever you’re doing.

We don’t know why Google has not activated Heads Up, or even if it ever will be activated. To download and install the latest CyanogenMod nightly, hit the source link below.

Source: CyanogenMod

Come comment on this article: ‘Heads Up’ notification mode from Android added to CyanogenMod

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28 Best New Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (6/11/14 – 6/23/14)

gameroundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

Wonder Wood

Today’s roundup is sponsored by Wonder Wood from Herocraft.

28 Best New Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (6/11/14 – 6/23/14) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Quick Tip: Press And Hold Selected Text In Android Edit Boxes To Move It Around

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For the relentless proof-readers among us, we’ve got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.

This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s a feature most users have only used accidentally.

Quick Tip: Press And Hold Selected Text In Android Edit Boxes To Move It Around was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android ‘L’ release may have been tipped in new screenshots

Android L release screenshot landscape

With Google I/O fast approaching, just about every Android fan is on the look out for some new clue as to what will be introduced during the event. While we (for the most part) believe an announcement for the next major Android version wont occur until later this year, that’s not stopping strange leaks hinting to that next release from popping up around the net.

Take some screenshots posted onto the Chromium Issue Tracker and discovered by a user on Reddit, which appear to be taken from a device running the upcoming “L” release of Android. How do we know? Well, take a look at the debug icon in the upper left-hand corner. The icon — which coincides with the Android version it’s running on — appears to be that of an “L.” What’s more, is it appears Google has promptly taken down the thread highlighting the issue, another good sign we may have stumbled onto something we shouldn’t have seen.

What do you guys think? Are you anticipating Google to announce something, anything of this next version of Android — or will they save everything for their big debut of the rumored Android Silver devices?

Android L release portrait

 

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Google could have one last Nexus phone release before waving goodbye

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Android Silver is purportedly launching in February 2015. So Google has to have something of its own before then, right? Maybe. Despite previous claims that the Nexus 6 does not exist and LG saying it has no plans for such, the device may possibly arrive to officially put an end to the Nexus program (at least for phones).

A source tells Ausdroid that Google does intend to release a Nexus phone later in 2014. The same source claims that it would have a 5.5-inch display, meaning that it could take notes from the G3 as a mentor. The same source did not mention anything about the display’s resolution, though. But since this is a Nexus device and certain cuts are made, a QHD resolution might be iffy at best. A release around October and November is the target.

Source: Ausdroid

Come comment on this article: Google could have one last Nexus phone release before waving goodbye

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[Quick Review] Samsung 1.5TB Wireless Hard Drive For Android: Good For One Extremely Narrow Use Case

ttOh, you have a 64GB microSD card in your phone? That’s cute, but Samsung has this 1.5TB wireless hard drive that can provide untold hours of digital entertainment streamed directly to your Android device via the hard drive’s built-in WiFi access point. That’s a lot of space you can fill up with content, but how well does it work?

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How It Works

The Samsung Wireless drive is essentially a USB 3.0 hard drive in a small plastic external enclosure with a battery and wireless access point.

[Quick Review] Samsung 1.5TB Wireless Hard Drive For Android: Good For One Extremely Narrow Use Case was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung May Reveal Android Wear Smartwatch at Google I/O

We previously knew that Samsung was working on an Android Wear alternative to the company’s insipid Gear smartwatches, but we never imagined the device was this far along in the development pipeline. According to a CNET source familiar with Samsung’s plans, the company will introduce its first Android Wear-powered watch at Google I/O this week in San Francisco. 

Samsung has reportedly been prototyping two smartwatch models; one packing a Qualcomm chip and the other powered by a processor of Samsung’s own design. CNET was unable to glean any other technical details, or even verify which variant the company intends to unveil this week.

Beyond Samsung’s plans, CNET confirmed reports that LG will launch its Android Wear device, the G Watch, at I/O.

Google I/O attendees will allegedly receive a free Android Wear device following the keynote. The last rumor pegged the G Watch as the gift of choice, but Samsung’s smartwatch isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

All should become clear in only a couple of days.

Via: CNET

Samsung May Reveal Android Wear Smartwatch at Google I/O is a post from: Droid Life

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Civilization Revolution 2 making its way to Android in the coming weeks

Civilization Revolution 2

2K Games has announced the arrival of the popular 4X game, Civilization Revolution 2 on iOS and Android respectively. Unlike the predecessor (which remained an iOS exclusive), this game has been built specifically for mobile platforms and includes a few new character additions as well.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

The game will combine the core tactical elements of the series with intuitive controls and a friendly user interface – designed specifically for mobile gamers on touch-pad devices. Civilization fans will also recognize the 16 historical leaders found in the first game, including Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi and Napoleon, alongside leaders such as Churchill and Kennedy, who are making their appearance in the series for the first time.

The game will hit iOS devices first on the 2nd of July with the Play Store following shortly after, although no specific date was mentioned. Playing Civilization Revolution 2 on your smartphone might prove to be cumbersome, as a strategy game like this usually consumes a lot of the screen space. But we’re sure the developers have kept that in mind while developing the game from the ground up for two mobile platforms.

The game has a wide following among 4X lovers, but will that convert into app sales? Only time will tell.

Via: 9to5Google

The post Civilization Revolution 2 making its way to Android in the coming weeks appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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So the Nexus 9 isn’t debuting at Google I/O. Then what is? (preview and rumor roundup)

Just two days to go, and our best lead for a possible Google I/O 2014 headliner is crushed. Sure, the HTC Nexus 9 rumor that cropped up over the weekend could still be phony. At least in part. Namely, the part about the hottest Nexus tablet to date rolling out “sometime in Q4” rather than hot on I/O’s heels.

Google IO

But given the magnitude of the information spill, how all previous hints seemed to be leading up to this, and especially Android Police’s spotless reputation, it’s really implausible they goofed the ETA so horribly. Bottom line, I’d rather believe Big G is prepping the announcement of an Android-based spaceship than that of the 8.9-inch “Volantis” at this point.

Yet something big has to go down in San Francisco. Otherwise, why would the conference be on? For Google to gloat about the Play Store’s riches and diversity? Maybe to update the struggling Google TV platform? Redesign GMaps… once again? Give Hangouts a facelift? Yawn, am I right?

Nexus 9

And yes, I realize I/O 2013 wasn’t awfully spectacular in terms of product introductions, bringing to light merely the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition. But that was then and this is now, and here are our prime suspects for the show-stealing spot freed up by the N9:

Third-generation Nexus 7

They say the end is near for Nexus devices. I don’t buy it. And even if it is, the vanilla Android-running family deserves to go out in a blaze of glory. Now, sure, the rumored N9 is the perfect swan song, with mind-blowing specifications and a titillating design.

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But Google found love, respect and admiration in the compact, low-cost tab market, and there’s no way they’ll throw it all away for the risky perspective of making it in the world of large, pricey slates. So based on nothing but my gut instinct, I say a Nexus 7 2014 is in the works and headed for an I/O unveil. Who’s going to manufacture it? Probably Asus. Or maybe LG. Lenovo is always a possibility, and so is HTC.

Nexus 6

Look, just because some tipsters claimed Nexus 5’s sequel would be based on LG’s G3, and LG execs formally denied they were working on an N6, it doesn’t mean the N6 isn’t on. It just means LG isn’t making it. And I’m not even sure about that.

nexus6-concept

Android Silver or no Android Silver on the horizon, Nexus handhelds, more so than Nexus tablets, deserve a grandiose exit. I’m thinking drums, trumpets, 3-volley salutes, the whole nine yards. Translation: one last spectacular smartphone, with 5.0 (Lollipop?) pre-loaded, a slim-bezeled 5.5-inch or so display, 64-bit Tegra K1 chip, OIS camera and gigantic battery.

Android 5.0

Did someone mention a fresh flavor of Android? Why, yes, I did. It’s high time for one too, as 4.4 KitKat is nearly eight months old, and 4.1 Jelly Bean just happened to bow at Google I/O 2012, alongside the first Nexus 7. What should Lollipop bring to the table? I’m sure you all have different things in mind, but 64-bit support undoubtedly tops every wishlist around.

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Various Android Wear gear

I guess I don’t need to point out I’m an optimist, dreaming with my eyes open at the most crowded I/O event in history, so let’s pause that enthusiasm a second and talk backup plans. In case the Nexus project will indeed shut down before long, and Android 5.0 remains up in the air for the fall, Google can rely on smartwatches to save face.

Moto 360 LG G Watch

Watches that LG and Motorola already introduced, but failed to properly detail, and maybe new gear from Samsung. Independent, standalone Android Wear gear? It’s possible, why not? Also possible, though quite a stretch – an intelligent wristwatch cooked up by Google’s engineers directly. Perhaps branded as a Nexus. And compatible with any Android phone or tablet running, say, Jelly Bean and up. There I go daydreaming again.

Chromebook Pixel sequel

Not exactly Android-related, but close enough to warrant a quick mention, the second-gen Pixel is long overdue, nearly 18 months having passed since the original top-shelf laptop launched. Just please Google, whatever you do, keep retail costs in check. Anything north of 1,000 bucks with Chrome OS’ limitations is unacceptable.

google_pixel_chromebook

Android (not Chrome OS) laptops

The post-PC era saw the remarkable rise of the mobile space and abrupt fall of desktops, however notebooks are coming back in style, and hybrid devices continue to slowly but steadily progress. Google can’t stay indifferent to this shifting trend, and so a gradual Android optimization for larger machines is ongoing.

HP SlateBook 14

Do we believe Android PCs will break into the mainstream, say, six, twelve months from now? Definitely not. But steps are being made in that direction, and especially if version 5.0 of the operating system is to debut, new, large hardware might break cover.

Right, so there you have it, our laundry list of everything Google could announce starting in 24 hours. Now feel free to join the fun with extra suggestions. The more, the crazier, the merrier.

The post So the Nexus 9 isn’t debuting at Google I/O. Then what is? (preview and rumor roundup) appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Nokia Z Launcher Brings Simplicity and Organization – APP OF THE WEEK

The company that had no interest in Android, not only announced their first Android phone, but they decided to drop their very own launcher for Androidians to try. That launcher is Z Launcher. And it brings simplicity to the max, and organization by learning. One of the very first pieces of information you will find […]

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CyanogenMod adds Protected apps, teases CMHome

Users of one of if not the most popular Android custom ROM might have something to look forward to, either in their nightly builds or M releases. CyanogenMod‘s weekly report has revealed a couple of very interesting features, including a super hidden app utility, a dedicated search panel for the home screen, new floating notifications, and a reorganized settings app.

The biggest new feature that CyanogenMod has cooked up is Protected apps, which take the Hidden apps feature introduced last April to a whole new level. Instead of simply hiding apps, the new protection feature will require users to swipe a pattern to gain access to the app. But this feature doesn’t just work on the default Trebuchet homescreen launcher, it will actually be enabled anywhere you try to access the app. For example, protected apps cannot be uninstalled or cleared even from the Applications section of the Settings app. However, they will still appear in the list of recently used apps. As an added bonus, there is also a new protected folders feature that lets you group apps on the homescreen and protect them all with a separate pattern unlock code for the folder.

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CyanogenMod has also laid the groundwork for new kind of homescreen replacement that will theoretically mimic the Google Experience Launcher or GEL. For those unfamiliar with it, GEL, also called Google Now Launcher, gives you access to Google Now when you swipe to the leftmost panel of the homescreen. CyanogenMod has added a similar “search panel” to Trebuchet. For now, that panel only launches Google Now but the dev team seems to have something in store, teasing the name “CMHome” along the way.

There is also a new type of notification called “Heads Up”. This notification is actually buried deep within Android itself but left unused. It basically shows your usual Android notification in a popup window in the middle of the screen, just like those types of dialog boxes on desktops computers. Heads Up notifications support the whole gamut of actions available to regular notifications, like reply, share, or expand. This might be useful for instances when fullscreen apps don’t immediately give you access to critical notifications but it is easy to imagine this being abused and quickly getting annoying. Fortunately, CM is throwing in a Do Not Disturb list of apps that lets you pick which apps will not allow heads up notifications.

cm-heads-up

For those wondering when CyanogenMod 11 will start incorporating the newly released Android 4.4.4, the good news is that it’s all practically there. The OpenSSL-related fixes that prompted the surprise Android update have already been in CM11 since early this month, and “switching” to Android 4.4.4 will merely be a matter of changing the version number. In any case, many of these features will be available in the next M8 release or already there in nightly builds.

SOURCE: CyanogenMod

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Get The NVIDIA Shield Bundled With $25 Google Play Credit For Only $199

Do you want to own one of the most powerful Android gaming machines out in the market today? Your best option is to get the NVIDIA Shield. This portable gaming console which originally cost $249 is now priced at $199 and if that’s not enough to entice you to buy it there’s even a cool $25 Google Play credit added to the deal. This can be used to purchase Half-Life 2 and Portal which are exclusive titles for the device.

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Technical Specifications

  • Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Display: 5-inch 1280×720 (294 PPI)
  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 4
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Internal Memory: 16GB
  • Wireless: 802.11n 2×2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
  • Connectivity: Mini-HDMI output, Micro-USB 2.0, MicroSD storage slot, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with microphone support
  • Sensors: 3-axis gyro, 3-axis accelerometer
  • Audio: Integrated stereo speakers with built-in microphone

If you love playing Android games then the NVIDIA Shield is probably the device for you. Its main strength is its hardware controller which makes playing first person shooter games quite easy. This isn’t the recommended device for playing games that mainly require touchscreen controls though. It’s controller basically looks like an Xbox controller which is one of the best controllers for gaming purposes.

One other great feature of this device is its 5-inch display with its 720p resolution. While we are already seeing a lot of devices with 1080p resolution out in the market, even in mid-range devices, a 720p resolution is still not bad.

Since this is a mobile device and you will want to play games on the go you’re probably wondering what its battery life is like. When playing a graphics intensive game you can get around 5-6 hours of battery life before needing a recharge. When just listening to music, watching videos, and occasional light gaming you can stretch this to 10-12 hours.

In terms of performance this device can handle any current Android game in the market today flawlessly. It has an AnTuTu benchmark score of almost 18000 which makes it at par with some of the high-end Android devices out in the market.

One great thing about this device is that its bootloader is unlocked. This means that gamers who also love to modify their devices will be able to easily do so with the Shield.

This device was originally priced at $299 then it dropped at $249. Now it’s already in the $199 price point which is already irresistible for any Android gamer.

via nvidia

The post Get The NVIDIA Shield Bundled With $25 Google Play Credit For Only $199 appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Android 4.4.4 Already Here! T-Mobile Announces Uncarrier 5 and 6! – The ManDroid Show


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I hope your Saturday is going well my Android friends. ManDroid Show is a little late this week but it is here. Android 4.4.4 is already out in the ild, sadly it is not a remedy for those bugs in Android 4.4.3. T-Mobile shocked the carrier world once again, by announcing Uncarrier 5 and 6, Don;t know what else they can do to change the game. Enjoy the show!

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Is Volantis (also called Flounder), HTC’s new 8.9-inch Nexus Tablet?


8.9-inch Nexus TabletAndroid Silver appears to be the flavour of the year regarding stock Android devices as the light at the end of the Nexus tunnel starts to dim. The Silver line is expected to supersede the Nexus line, but still keep with the same sort of Google-mandated devices made by device manufacturers; it’s expected the changes will come mostly in the software that will be on the devices. Still, hope is not all lost for Nexus devices this year as rumours of the HTC Nexus 8 continue to circulate, further added to by this gem from Android Police today which says it will actually be a 8.9-inch Nexus tablet coming in Q4 2014, which supports yesterday’s anonymous tip.

8.9-inch Nexus TabletWe’ve seen the names “Volantis” and “Flounder” floating around in the Chromium issue tracker before, though while we assumed this might have been the codename of the Nexus 8, this is only the second time it has been referred to by this name. According to Android Police, who provided the above source image, the Volantis is going to be manufactured by HTC with a screen size of 8.9-inch and intriguingly have an aspect ratio of 4:3. While the screen resolution of 2048×1440 isn’t strictly a 4:3 ratio, this might just be the usable screen space once the on-screen buttons are factored in. Rumoured specifications of this 8.9-inch Nexus tablet include Nvidia’s new Tegra K1, 2GB memory and 16/32GB storage variants which will allegedly cost $399 for the 16GB and $499 for the 32GB; a LTE version may also be available in the $600+ region.


This Nexus tablet is looking really impressive, and while it might cost a pretty penny more than the other Nexus tablets, it appears to be worth it. While it’s been alleged that the Nexus 8 (if it’s even going to be called that) is going to replace the Nexus 7, the fact that it may cost upwards of $350 and be armed to the teeth with impressive hardware suggests to me that it might not actually be replacing anything in the current Nexus line; if anything, it would be replacing the Nexus 10. But that’s just my opinion: what do you think about this 8.9-inch Nexus tablet? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

Source: Android Police



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LG G3 review: the phone every Android OEM should make

Latest in their lineup of flagship Android handsets, the LG G3 is one beast of a handset. Packing a big screen into a surprisingly small frame, there are two attractions that everyone keeps chatting about: that screen and the battery life. After toying with the G3 for a few weeks, we’ve drawn our conclusions. Is this the Android phone to beat?

Hardware

We will note, straight away, that we are not testing the US build of the G3. That final US model will be largely (if at all) unchanged, save for the extendable antennae present on our South Korean model.

The G3 makes some interesting compromises. To get thin bezels, they placed the power key and volume rocker on the back. The plastic build of the phone feels anything but cheap, and it’s lightness is a stark contrast to the profile and appearance. We often equate heft to quality, and the LG G3 is both light and premium.

Having the power and volume on the back leaves the sides, top, and bottom relatively blank. There is a Micro USB port on the bottom, along with a headphone jack. A small microphone on the top and bottom of the phone are also there, but other than that — you get a thin, metallic strip breaking up the mostly white body.

The screen is — and there’s no other way to put it — striking. It’s surprisingly big for the device, taking up a bulk of the front. Small bezels sit on the top and bottom, and the bottom screen portion has a white area that compliments the color scheme on our phone. I thought I’d hate that. As it turns out, I love it.

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Software

I’m that annoying Android purist who would rather have a Nexus than even blink at another device’s Android skin. “Motorola is the only one who got it right”, in my mind. I came very close to loathing the G Flex OS that LG slammed in there. I should, in theory, have a similar distaste here.

The problem is, I don’t. While I don’t like heavy Android skins — and LG still has a fairly hefty one — it works really well. It’s heavily customizable (you can even adjust the keyboard height), and navigation is easier this time around. LG has simplified the UI a bit, leaving less of a learning curve.

Multi windows is a neat feature, but I’m not sold. Seeing an app in half the screen it’s meant for is often less than pleasant. I wish LG had (or would, maybe) coerce Developers into designing apps made for the feature. In theory it’s awesome, in practice it’s just ugly.

The UI tweak went all the way to the base level, where round icons and a new color scheme brighten things up. The refreshed settings tray is endlessly simple to use, and makes sense for something that isn’t pure Android — finally. LG has lost the clutter, and for that I’m grateful. The revamped keyboard is also nice, letting you adjust the height as mentioned, and also use swipe-to-type.

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Battery life

We’ve been over battery life pretty in-depth before, so we won’t keep harping on you about it. The bottom line is that it’s phenomenal. LG both throttles and over-clocks various features like the screen and CPU as needed. The G3 sips power when needed, but still keeps up. I routinely went days without charging, with normal use (messaging a lot, emails, a bit of web surfing, etc.). With such a massive, pixel-dense screen, LG could have been excused for having terrible battery life here — they don’t, though. The opposite is true, really.

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Screen

The screen typically doesn’t warrant it’s own section, but wow — the LG G3 screen is phenomenal. LG packed in a 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display, which has a mind-numbing 534 ppi. The human eye can’t even see pixels past 250-300 ppi, so if anything, this screen is pure overkill.

LG went for the jugular with the G3 screen, and other OEMs should take notice. Not only does the screen blow you completely away, LG’s battery prowess reduces strain on the driver so it’s not draining your battery all the time. A giant, vibrant, gorgeous screen that doesn’t affect battery life abnormally. Pure “wow”.

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Camera

So much fervor over cameras in smartphones these days; would the G3 continue to blow us away? In normal, day-to-day photography, the G3 is just fine. The pics snapped were color accurate and clear. There have been some who lament the low-light performance, but we had no issue there. Aside form being a touch noisier, the G3 performed adequately in low light. The G3 has a nice front-facing cam, too, and uses whitespace on the screen to provide lighting — a very useful trick if you’re into selfies.

We can’t say the G3 is better than some others, though — notably the Galaxy S5. That phone has a fantastic camera, and the G3 comes close to besting it, but just doesn’t quite get the job done. It seems to have more to do with light sensitivity than anything else. The quick shutter also has some issues, currently. The two shots of the Androids below were both taken in the same lighting and environment. The first was when the G3 was given time to focus, and the second one of a series of pics snapped off quickly. We’ll look forward to testing the US model when it becomes available, hoping that some small tweaks are made to the G3 camera.

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Conclusion

I told you we were ready to draw conclusions about the G3, so here it goes: The LG G3 is what an Android phone should be. Period.

Of all the flagship devices we’ve checked out over the years, this one is the first to actually leave us wanting for nothing. Smartly designed with an elegant software layer, the G3 is as close to perfect as any Android handset is. While we’d naturally make changes — as we would with any phone — the G3 wins on many more levels than those which we’re left considering changes we’d like to make.

The sound produced was nice, but a 1-watt speaker is a head scratcher. The build is nice, but it’s still plastic. The screen takes up almost all of the face, but it’s likely a touch too large for smaller hands to handle with ease.

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Where LG really got me — and this is a significant point for any Android phone — was stripping down their Android skin. The LG G3 lets Android shine where it does, and improves in spaces LG deems necessary. Whether or not I agree with their changes is a different matter altogether. What I appreciate is that they had the respect for Android to realize they were suffocating it.

The real takeaway for me is that unlike some other top-tier OEMs (yes, I mean Samsung, get over it), LG had the bravery to scale their Android overlay back a touch. Simplifying their UI and navigation are significant moves that immediately yield big results. The LG G3 and the HTC One (M8) are the first devices a new Android user and seasoned fanboy would find favor with.

Is this one you should be waiting for, though? Absolutely. If you can afford a full-priced phone (disclaimer: we don’t know what the G3 will cost when it hits the US, but there’s no reason to think it will fall under the $650 average for smartphones), wait and give the G3 a strong look. If you can get past the

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