Posts Tagged google

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for April 14 – April 20, 2014

TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

Now that the Galaxy S 5 and HTC One (M8) have officially launched globally, all eyes are focused on the upcoming OnePlus One, which will debut this week. Not to mention, things are starting to heat up regarding the LG G3. Will Google offer an extremely low-priced Nexus? Speaking of low-priced, we found out that Motorola has something else in the cooker. The Project Developer’s Conference was this week, and we got our best look at how these modular phones will work. It’s time to get caught up and get ready for what is sure to be another exciting week in the world of Android.

Guides

Best Android keyboard replacement apps [April 2014]

How to setup and use Sense TV on the HTC One (M8)

Reviews

HTC One (M8) Review: The Rolex of smartphones

Featured Android Game Review: Neon Commander [Arcade]

Apple vs Samsung

Google exec claims they didn’t copy iPhone software features

Apps – New

Google releases stock Camera app in the Play Store

Google’s new Camera app introduces Lens Blur via software optimization

Chrome Remote Desktop exits beta and can now be used by anyone

Apps – Updates

Samsung Group Play updated to version 3.0

Dailymotion’s Chromecast support exits beta and is open for all

Casting live streams to Chromecast added to YouTube app

Location suggestions and autocomplete now a thing in latest Google Calendar update

Flickr update introduces complete redesign

MLB.TV knocks it out of the park with Chromecast support

Facebook introduces new Nearby Friends feature for location sharing

Updated WatchOn app for Galaxy S 5 now available in Play Store

Sony adds Xperia keyboard to the Play Store for Xperia devices

Samsung’s Milk Music will soon implement ads, $3.99 monthly to remove them

Carriers

Aio Wireless to offer group discounts similar to Sprint’s Framily plans

Download Booster on Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S5 hidden but can be activated

AT&T starts rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat update for LG G Flex

Android 4.4 now available for AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active

AT&T alters GoPhone plans by providing more data and free tethering

MetroPCS has the Samsung Galaxy S 5 online and in-store starting today

Galaxy S 5 available for pre-order on Ting for less than $600

T-Mobile says no to overage charges, and John Legere starts petition for all U.S. carriers to do the same

Verizon extends latest More Everything discounts to those that bring their own 

LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon Wireless

Verizon Droid MAXX now available in high gloss red and black with chrome accents

Verizon rolls out an update for the HTC One M8

Verizon LG G2 can now be upgraded manually to KitKat

Chrome

Office Online makes its way to the Chrome Web Store

Chromebooks

‘Easy Unlock’ feature for Chrome OS leaks, could unlock a Chromebook with a nearby smartphone

Chromecast

Dailymotion’s Chromecast support exits beta and is open for all

Casting live streams to Chromecast added to YouTube app

MLB.TV knocks it out of the park with Chromecast support

Gaming

Humble Mobile Bundle 5 launched with 6 games

Gameloft’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings onto the Play Store

Google

Google to update Android icons to more resemble web icons

Document reveals Android’s pre-touchscreen development

Google purchases drone company Titan Aerospace

Google wants more eye real estate with camera-embedded contact lenses

Google exec claims they didn’t copy iPhone software features

Google’s Gmail makes access to your smartphone’s photos much easier

Hoverboards, Teleportation and Space Elevators? Just some of the projects the Google X team discussed

Matias Duarte thinks ‘mobile as a concept is actually dead’

Google hosts early Mother’s Day sale

Google Camera APK teardown reveals hidden modes and features

Google talks design in “Google Design Minutes” video series

Google holding internet scavenger hunt for a chance to attend I/O in June

Google+

Images of rumored redesigned Google+ app leak

Google Glass

Glass user has Glass pulled off his face and smashed

Plastic surgeon aided by Google Glass while operating on patients

Google Glass update to come this week with Android 4.4 KitKat

Google Glass target of DeGeneres bit on sale day

Hardware

MediaTek shows off MT6595 chipset with LTE integration

LG finally ends rumors and confirms its own mobile processor is in the works

Phones – Amazon

The Amazon smartphone finally shows itself and more details emerge

Phones – HTC

HTC One M8 Mini May release rumored again

Verizon rolls out an update for the HTC One M8

HTC One (M7) will receive Sense 6.0 next month

Phones – Huawei

Pictures of Huawei Ascend P7 leaked

Phones – LG

Two LG Isai FL photos leak, could be indicative of the G3 or even the Nexus 5 successor

LG Isai FL in pink leaks alongside some specifications

LG G3 could be released in July

New LG devices, including possible LG G3, surface on AnTuTu

Mystery LG device hits AnTuTu Benchmark site

LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon Wireless

New LG L65 appears to be joining the L Series III family

LG L65 joins the L Series III as another mid-range smartphone

Verizon LG G2 can now be upgraded manually to KitKat

AT&T starts rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat update for LG G Flex

Phones – Motorola

Motorola to introduce new ultra-thin smartphone very soon

Moto E is Motorola’s ultra-thin smartphone for Mexico

Motorola’s 2012 DROID devices still slated to get KitKat in a few more weeks

Verizon Droid MAXX now available in high gloss red and black with chrome accents

Phones – Nexus

Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

A very low-priced Nexus phone might be in the works

Phones – OnePlus

OnePlus One gets a price tag for different markets

OnePlus introduces invite system for the OnePlus One

Image of OnePlus One internal components leak

Photo samples taken from OnePlus One’s camera surface online

OnePlus One team reveals a little of the CyanogenMod 11S interface

Images of the upcoming OnePlus One leak along with the StyleSwap covers

Phones – Oppo

Oppo Find 7 and Find 7a cameras get taken out for an Ultra HD showcase

Phones – Phillips

The Philips W6618 has a 5,300 mAh battery – the largest in a smartphone

Phones – Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 rumored to feature a three sided Youm flexible display

Samsung to announce the Galaxy S 5 Zoom on April 29 with a new name

The Galaxy S 5 costs a little more to produce than the Galaxy S 4 and lot more than the iPhone 5S

Security team finds Samsung Galaxy S 5 fingerprint scanner susceptible to molds

Download Booster on Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S5 hidden but can be activated

Galaxy S 5 available for pre-order on Ting for less than $600

Samsung targeting 35 million Galaxy S 5 units sold for this quarter

Samsung releases new colorful ads for latest devices

Updated WatchOn app for Galaxy S 5 now available in Play Store

MetroPCS has the Samsung Galaxy S 5 online and in-store starting today

Android 4.4 now available for AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active

Phones – Sony

Sony Xperia Z2 deliveries to be impacted by parts shortages causing delays

Sony adds Xperia keyboard to the Play Store for Xperia devices

Sony Xperia Z2 gets minor OTA update

Phones – Vivo

Vivo Xshot will have a 24 megapixel camera with OIS and f/1.8 aperture

Phones – ZTE

ZTE teases upcoming ZTE Star 1 smartphone

Project Ara

Project Ara gets an inside look before prototype is finished

Google’s Project Ara phones will be available to purchase in January 2015

Toshiba plans on bringing Project Ara to wearables

Google to launch $100K developers’ challenge for Project Ara

Project Ara showcases its current look

Project Tango

Project Tango gets the teardown treatment

Google, NASA test Project Tango equipped SPHERES in Zero G

ROMs

CyanogenMod support released for Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ and 8.9″

Security

Security team finds Samsung Galaxy S 5 fingerprint scanner susceptible to molds

Set-top boxes

Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime to be added to Amazon Fire TV voice search this summer

AllCast receiver released to Amazon Appstore for Fire TV

Smartwatches

An Android Wear smartwatch might be in Samsung’s future

Samsung releases new colorful ads for latest devices

Samsung clarifies 20 devices that are compatible with new Gear devices

Tablets

Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolling out for Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

Xiaomi teases their first tablet

Updates

Android 4.4.3 could be dropping today

Motorola’s 2012 DROID devices still slated to get KitKat in a few more weeks

HTC One (M7) will receive Sense 6.0 next month

Android 4.4 now available for AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active

AT&T starts rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat update for LG G Flex

Android 4.4.2 KitKat rolling out for Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014)

Verizon rolls out an update for the HTC One M8

Verizon LG G2 can now be upgraded manually to KitKat

Sony Xperia Z2 gets minor OTA update

Wearables

Samsung Gear Fit goes through a bunch of scenarios in latest commercial

Uncovered patent shows Samsung working on a Google Glass competitor

Miscellaneous

Samsung files trademarks on Galaxy V:, Galaxy Adore, and Galaxy S Fitness

Major smartphone OEMs and wireless carriers agree to support anti-theft measures

New website is ‘dedicated to the creative processes that go into design at Samsung’

HTC releases duo-camera SDK for developers

Samsung devices receiving custom Amazon Kindle store

Motorola celebrating fifty application updates with a Hangout full of questions

Over one-third of Galaxy S 5 upgrades were by iPhone users

HTC hires former marketing head at Samsung to be an adviser

Smartphone cameras to rival DSLRs in 12 to 18 months according to HTC

New wireless charging technology can charge up to 40 devices at once

 

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for April 14 – April 20, 2014

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Series of Beautifully Crafted Google Now Inspired Wallpapers by Alex Pasquarella

Wallpapers are always a fast and simple way to update the look on your device. Most themes and icon packs come with a set of their very own walls that help you achieve an overall look and feel. While we all appreciate the efforts that the creators put into them, there are plenty of other wallpapers out there to help quench your thirst of awesomeness. Earlier this evening Alex Pasquarella shared a series of walls inspired by Google Now. We know how much you all love Google Now walls and icons and things. We really could help but bring the 16 wallpapers to the attention of our readers.

Rochester NY Google Now Inspired WallsAlex has based the scenes off four different locales. You have the basic Rocky Mountains and Tahoe variety plus a set for Rochester, NY and a Canyon setup. Along with the four locales, he has 4 different times of the day, dawn/morning, dusk/evening, day, night. Each is crafted in a 1920 x 1080 resolution, so they are perfect for your laptop, Chromebook, or Desktop. They look great on tablets and phones too, you just might not get the whole image effect on the smaller screens. The walls look great with the Google Now Icons.

GOogle Now Tahoe WallpaperAs I stated before, there are 16 in all with 4 different times of day to each. You can look at them all at Alex Pasquarella’s blog where he has them up for individual download along with a ZIP containing them all. He plans to bring some 4K version to light and some panorama versions for those with multiple monitors. Enjoy, have a great weekend and be sure to circle him.

Via Alex Pasquarella’s G+


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Google Issues Refunds And An Extra $5 Play Store Credit To Android Users Who Bought The Phony ‘Virus Shield’ App

unnamed (1)One of the more far-reaching Android Police stories this year was our exclusive write-up of Virus Shield, an impressively popular anti-virus app that managed to make it to the top of the Play Store’s sales charts in less than a week, despite the fact that it did absolutely nothing. After digging into the app’s code, Artem Russakovskii and various Android Police readers found that it was nothing more than a few images and a toggle.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Google Issues Refunds And An Extra $5 Play Store Credit To Android Users Who Bought The Phony ‘Virus Shield’ App was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android 4.4.3 tipped for Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition by Bluetooth SIG

There are so many groups and organizations that certify devices for compatibility and safety, so it’s not terribly surprising when one of those groups publishes data on something that’s yet to be announced — like Android 4.4.3. Earlier this week saw Sprint announcing an update to Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5, and today it’s the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s turn. In this case it’s another “Google” device, the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition.



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[Weekend Poll] Did You Register To Attend Google I/O?

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It’s the Googliest time of the year again – I/O is on the horizon. Registration closed as of yesterday (Friday), and I/O 2014 brought a whole new system in to deal with the demand for tickets: a lottery.

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While it may seem a bit odd to some to have to be randomly selected for the right to spend $900 (or $300 for students / faculty) to go to a developer (and designer!) conference, Google I/O registration has sold out in minutes in previous years – even after Google has raised the cost of attendance substantially.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[Weekend Poll] Did You Register To Attend Google I/O? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rufus Cuff wants to dominate the wearable market and your forearm

We told you to put on your disappointment pants for the Galaxy Gear 2, but for the Rufus Cuff we suggest rolling up your absurdity sleeves. Seriously, given its three-inch screen you might just have to. This wearable boasts a built-in mic, a camera, a speaker, web browser, voice control, GPS and full access to the Google Play store — if the Cuff sounds like a smartphone that straps to your wrist, well, that’s basically what it is. It connects to your Android or iPhone via Bluetooth for mobile data, making calls and sending texts, but it’s running a full version of Google’s mobile OS and can hook on to WiFi if you’re in a cellular dead-zone or if your phone’s battery runs out.

While the gizmo doesn’t exactly look practical (we’re pretty sure that it won’t play nice with the cuffs of a slim-cut oxford), as of this writing it’s has raised over $150,000 of its $200,000 IndieGoGo goal, with a handful of days to go. If you dig the idea of strapping one of these monstrosities on your wrist, all it takes is a $249 pledge.

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Source: IndieGoGo

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[Download] YouTube version 5.6.32 makes quite a few changes in a small Increment

YouTube version 5.6.32It must be Christmas because the Google apps updates just keep coming. Or maybe it’s just Easter. Either way, Google has pushed yet another update for the YouTube app just days after updating it to version 5.6.31. This new iteration, YouTube version 5.6.32, looks like it adds quite a few tweaks despite only being a 0.0.01 increment. The new additions include quite a few changes to interactions with playlists as well as tweaks to comments like replying to and deleting them. The full list of changes from the Play Store page include:

  • YouTube Mix automatic playlists for music videos
  • Reply to comments
  • Improved video quality for Android 4.2 and above
  • Delete your own comment
  • See if a comment was shared privately or publicly
  • Share and like playlists
  • Your liked and personal playlists appear in the left-hand guide drawer

The update is showing on the Google Play Store now, but if the update hasn’t hit your device yet and you want to get your hands on the latest and greatest, we have the APK file available for download below:

YouTube version 5.6.32 APK download

Don’t forget to let us know how you find the latest update in the comments!


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Moonshine UI themed icons now available on Google Play

Moonshine_Icons

Earlier this week, we got a supposed sneak peak at Google’s upcoming icon changes for a future version of Android, dubbed internally as Moonshine. If you’re anything like me, after seeing Android’s upcoming Moonshine UI icons, you’ve been drooling to get that sexy, flat design on your Android devices. Thanks to talented Android designers, you can now rock those new icons inspired by Google’s upcoming designs.

The Moonshine icon pack on Google Play aims to get the job done by currently 60 icons in XXX-HDPI as well as 6 gorgeous wallpapers that complement Moonshine’s theme. Nexbit Designs, the brains behind the icons, plan on adding new icons as they go and they’re even accepting suggestions if you want something included that currently isn’t themed.

To get started, all you’ll need is a supported launcher such as Nova, Apex, ADW, Smart, Unicon, or Action Launcher. Then, head on over to the Google Play Store and download ‘Moonshine‘ for FREE.

Get your flat on.

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AllCast is now live on the Amazon App Store

It’s official: you can cast anything to your Amazon Fire TV. Thanks to Koushik Dutta and his tireless work on AllCast, the app is now available for the latest streaming TV box. With it, you can stream movies from just about anywhere to your Fire TV.


AllCast has its roots in Chromecast lore, with early incarnations being blocked in one ofrm or another by Google. Though likely not meant as a nefarious act, it left the future of AllCast hanging, as Koush became disillusioned with moving forward.

Now, we have AllCast just about everywhere, making it one of (perhaps THE) only cross platform streaming app. The ability to take media stored in your Dropbox or “Google+” account (likely Drive) — as well as files stored locally — and broadcast it to a Fire TV is a feature we’re glad to not have to wait for.

AllCast is available on the Amazon App Store now, so grab it if you have a Fire TV. It’s one of our favorite apps for Android, and Amazon notes it works with the Fire TV remote, so that’s handy. Keep in mind you will also need the app for Android, and it works with Android 4.1 or above.

Source: Amazon

Via: Google+

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Google I/O Registrations Are Now Closed, Lottery Winners Notified On Monday April 21st

nexusae0_io_thumb_thumbThe procrastinators out there have missed their chance to (maybe) give Google $900 for a ticket to Google I/O this year. The registration window is closed, but we don’t yet know who’s going. That news will hit this coming Monday.

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The morning of April 21st, Google expects to alert the winners of I/O slots via email. At that time, they will pay up the registration fee and all will be well.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

Google I/O Registrations Are Now Closed, Lottery Winners Notified On Monday April 21st was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Battle of the Blur: Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Google Camera

The trend in smartphone camera tech this year seems to be the addition of hardware and software that help users blur backgrounds, creating stunning effects previously reserved for high-end cameras and DSLRs. You saw it on our reviews of the HTC One M8 and Galaxy S5, only to have Google bring their own solution with the announcement of Google Camera app on the Play Store.

panoramic-featured-blur

We marched our way to Building 44 – home of the Android Dessert Statues – and tested out all three to determine the differences. This will make the debate of the Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 a whole lot more complicated.

HTC One M8 Camera

The “blurrred background” effect sits squarely on the One M8′s turf. This is one of the primary reasons HTC added a second lens: the first takes the actual picture and the second collects depth information, allowing the user to not only blur backgrounds after the picture is taken, but to change which item in the picture is the focal point, subsequently blurring the rest.

Here’s a picture taken with the HTC One M8 Camera in automatic mode.

M8-Normal-KitKat

Then I used HTC’s UFOCUS to tap on the KitKat and blur the background with ease. Quite beautiful, although you can see it had a little trouble around the edges of the KitKat due to it’s shiny, reflective surface.

M8-Blurred-KitKat

Supposing we wanted a different dessert as our optical delicacy? No problem. Same picture, different tap, different result, equally awesome. One of the great and unique things about the HTC One M8 camera is that you can select a different item to serve as the focal point- you won’t find that on the Galaxy S5 or with the Google Camera App (on any phone).

M8-Blurred-Gingerbread

Now let’s stick with the HTC One M8 but give Google Camera a try for the preferred software.

HTC One M8 with Google Camera

The Google Camera is available for download and can be used on any Android phone with Android 4.4 KitKat or above. For this comparison, we fired up the app on both the HTC One M8 and the Galaxy S5 and took photos with each, comparing the results with the native camera of each.

We took the pictures from a number of distances. From further away the Google Camera had some difficulty- here it not only focuses on the KitKat, but also keeps the lawn and jellybean in focus. This is mostly due to the feature being designed for closer up pics, but despite the quality, it’s cool that you can use it wherever you want.

M8-Google-Camera-Far-Some-Difficulty

As we could predict, when we got closer the quality was much better and the blur was much more accurate.

M8-Google-Camera-Blurred-Good

At times, with the right distances and lighting, we’d even say the quality of the effect was excellent.

M8-Google-Camera-Blurred-Better

But at other times it faltered, possibly due to human error in the process of taking the picture and guiding your hand upward.

M8-Google-Camera-Blurred-Bad

The Google Camera works differently than either the HTC One M8 or the Galaxy S5. Whereas the HTC One M8 effect is made possible from its hardware, Google Camera achieves blurred backgrounds with its software.

To achieve the effect you move your camera vertically, similar to the motion of taking a panoramic picture. To put it in video game terms: you strife with the camera upwards.

Now let’s jump over to the Galaxy S5

Galaxy S5 Camera

What a disaster. The Samsung Galaxy S5 was able to take some great photos of the statues, but no matter how close or far we stood to various statues, the selective focus would not kick in. We got a pretty great picture of the scene itself, but as you can see, blurred backgrounds are nowhere to be found, no matter the distance.

g5-selective-focus-fail3 g5-selective-focus-fail-far g5-selective-focus-fail-close

The Galaxy S5 Selective Focus feature seldom works unless you’ve got just the perfectly right conditions, subject, background, and distance. Here is an example of it working properly with a nearby Google sign.

g5-selective-focus-sign-before-blurs5-selective-focus-sign

Now let’s stick with the Galaxy S5, but open up the Google Camera app and give that a whirl.

Galaxy S5 with Google Camera

This is pretty shocking: whereas I couldn’t get a blurred background picture of the statues to save my life on the S5, I was able to do it with ease on the Google Camera using the Galaxy S5. The resulting photos were pretty amazing, from a number of different distances.

s5-selective-focus-google-camera3 s5-selective-focus-google-camera2 s5-selective-focus-google-cam1

Downsized Photos

There is one really important caveat with the Google Camera: it downsizes photos. The Galaxy S5 maintained huge image sizes with the blurred effect and HTC One M8 photos were as expected. Both were larger than the somewhat tiny resulting photos of the Google Camera.

  • Galaxy S5: 5312 x 2988
  • HTC One M8: 2688 x 1520
  • Google Camera: 1024 x 576 (on both phones)

Although the Google Camera produced much better quality than perhaps even the HTC One M8, photo size is something you’ve got to consider depending on where these photos will end up.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Here four images stacked for easier comparison:

HTC One M8:

M8-Blurred-KitKat

Google Camera (on the HTC One M8):

M8-Google-Camera-Blurred-Better

Google Camera (on the Galaxy S5):

s5-selective-focus-google-camera2

Galaxy S5 Fail:

g5-selective-focus-fail3

This will definitely heat things up in the already viscious battle of the Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8. If you haven’t already, check out our full Samsung Galaxy S5 Review and HTC One M8 Review!

What combination do YOU think performs best?

Take Our Poll

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Droid Life Q&A Sessions: Volume 20 Answers

Droid Life Q&A Sessions: Volume 20 Answers

This past Monday, we called upon our fantastic community for Volume 20 of the DL Q&A Sessions. We received a ton of questions, so we are back today with our answers. The questions we received had a lot to do with people’s upgrades, but you will have to understand that we can’t necessarily answer each person’s situation. We all view phones in different ways, and what works for us, may not work for you.

Other questions touch on what we would like to see from Android in an upcoming major update, if Apple’s release of a larger iPhone will affect the Android marketshare as it stands today, and we were also asked about the best burger and beer combo in the world.

As always, thank you to everyone who submitted a question this week! 

Reminder: K is Kellen, T is Tim, R is Ron, and E is Eric.


When do you think the days of poor Android cameras and camera software will come to an end for most or all flagships phones?

K:  HTC says in 12-18 months they may have something truly spectacular. Otherwise, I think we’re waiting for some other new breakthrough. The last couple of years have been mostly the same thing, with slightly tweaked software processing to try and improve upon imaging. As far as software goes, HTC is doing some really good things with their camera UI, as is Google with their new Camera app.

T:  As long as Google keeps pumping out hardware that is lackluster, while marketing “Capture the moments that matter,” who knows. Samsung and LG seem to be leading the charge as of right now in terms of slapping good sensors in their devices, but HTC is stuck on this UltraPixel nonsense. Motorola also seems to be stuck back in 2009 in terms of image quality, so anyone’s guess is as good as mine. I have high hopes, though.

R:  I think we’re there for most people, because most people don’t ever look at their pictures on a screen larger than their phone. If you’re using your phone to take pictures that you want to print or that you want to use on a larger display, then you still need to be careful with which phone you select, but for most people it really doesn’t matter. If you think back even a few years, most smartphone cameras were all like the Moto X. In a few more years I think everyone will be happy with their camera (unless you have a Moto X +3).

E:  I hope soon. I hope that the OEMs see that we aren’t really happy with one bad feature on an otherwise great phone. Unfortunately, phones like the S5 and M8 will have sales numbers to refute that claim, but I think the era of flagships without faults is coming.

Do you think the OnePlus One will be the S5 and M8 killer?

K:  Definitely not. With an invite-only purchase system, this thing is just another cheap unlocked phone with decent specs. I’m not saying it’ll be a bad phone, but this company isn’t on anyone’s radar outside of tech fanatics.

T:  To think it’s a possibility for an overseas company to simply swoop in on Samsung and HTC, then release a “killer” device, without any of the general American public knowing of their existence, they might have another thing coming. While I believe the One from OnePlus might be a cool phone for Android enthusiasts, we will have to wait and see if any American carriers even intend to pick it up down the road. And as Kellen mentioned, an invite-only process is not the way I want to buy my phones.

R:  When they actually release a product we’ll have a better idea of how it stacks up, but they have a lot working against them.

E:  No. That’s what we all asked about the OUYA when it first came out and look how that ended up. Brand recognition is still a huge part in the game and something that Samsung and HTC have an edge in.

What do you hope will be Android’s next big feature?

K:  Somehow bridging all of Google’s platforms in a way that doesn’t require any effort on the user’s part to interact with. There are rumors of such a move happening. As someone who uses Google services all day on a computer and then moves to my phone powered by Google in the evening, I can’t wait for everything to just happen magically together. I kind of want my computer and phone and tablet to all just be one big experience.

T:  Again, I will side with Kellen’s response. End the fragmentation! /sarcasm – What I enjoy is thinking that Android is as good as it will get, then each year at Google I/O, Mountain View comes in and tells me how my experience is going to get even better. It’s true, I’m a blind Google fanboy, but I can remain objective when thinking about Android. I think it’s a strong, vast platform for users and developers, but there are always way to improve it. Luckily, it’s not my job to come up with those ideas.

R:  I don’t think Android needs another big feature. Android needs increased app parity with iOS, better design requirements (not guidelines) for icons, and continued streamlining of the overall design to make it more unified with the rest of Google’s product design.

E:  Being everywhere you need it, and being similar to what you know from Android. Watches, TV, cars and other places are soon to have Android in a much better working capacity then they did before. If Google can streamline the process and make it incredibly easy for features to work across platforms, Android will benefit greatly.

If Apple does release an iPhone with a bigger screen, and possibly even a phablet variant, do you think it will have a big affect on Android’s marketshare?

K:  No. At this point, Apple is going to continue to sell lots of phones and so are Android manufacturers (well, Samsung). I don’t necessarily see a form factor completely turning things around.

T:  Affect marketshare? Meh, that’s hard to say. You will have current Android fans saying, “OMG, Apple copied Android again!” and you will also have a few iOS fans claiming it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. My take is that I do like the look of the hardware Apple uses, but it’s just too small and closed off for me. I know a few people who would love a larger iPhone, but in terms of people switching from Android for a bigger iPhone, that’s a tough question. If Apple does release an iPhone, say around 5″ or so, I would be tempted just to try it out. Plus, I would have access to Tiny Wings!

R:  No, I don’t. There are certainly some people who switch from iOS to Android for a larger display, but it’s unlikely that there will be a mass migration. Even if there was a big change, it wouldn’t affect the market share in the whole world because iOS devices are still far more expensive than Android devices.

E:  I think at this point, Apple has lost their “we can’t do anything wrong” pass from the public. If they were to keep doing this, I’m sure people would be quick to realize that Android has been doing it for longer and will be more willing to either call Apple out on their hypocrisy or pick up an Android device instead.

If you could be any tool from Home Depot, which would you be? Why?

K:  Ummm, what?

T:  Do they sell sand blasters at Home Depot? I’ve always loved those words together. Sand Blaster!

R:  I would be a hammer because it’s a versatile tool.

E:  I’d be a jack, because I lift bro!

What is your perfect burger/beer combo?

K:  The Franklin burger from Distilled in NYC is out of bounds, as are the burgers from Tasty n Sons and Gruner in Portland. Give me any of those, along with a lighter pale ale or even a pilsner and I’m in heaven. Burgers, at least really good ones, have enough flavor that I’m not about to drown it out with a porter or some hoppy-ass, bitter IPA. Let the burger talk, the beer just wash it down refreshingly.

T:  Wow, what an impossible question. The beer part is easy for me, since I would automatically choose Lost Coast Brewery’s Great White. It’s light, extremely refreshing, and has a nice touch of citrus in there. As for the burger, there are just too many to choose from. Portland’s Tasty n Sons has an amazing selection of beef, but there is also a spot here called Yakuza, which features one of the best burgers in the state. If I could combine those two, I’d be a happy boy.

R:  My favorite burger is from Slater’s 50/50. One of those with a glass of Hangar 24 is pretty great.

E:  For the burger, I would have to choose a triple cheeseburger from good old 96th Street Steakburger in Carmel, IN. My beer of choice would also be from Indy, Sun King’s Sunlight pale cream ale. Just thinking about it has made me hungry.

Will Ben Affleck nail it, fail miserably, or perform somewhere in the middle as Batman?

K:  Zack Snyder is directing the film, so I’m not sure it’s up to Ben. The movie will be a 3-hour long, lens-flare, digitally overblown wannabe-epic-macho-fest. There won’t be much acting. Maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t know.

T:  After the last Batman series, I don’t really care for another. I thought Christian Bale was an amazing Bruce Wayne, and compared to Christian, Ben Affleck blows as an actor. Depending on how the trailers look, I may skip this one in theaters. On another note, why can’t Hollywood come up with something more original then rehashing the same things over and over? And on another note, I am so freakin’ excited for the next Godzilla movie. Seriously, that may sound hypocritical of me, but I don’t care. I love Godzilla!

R:  I think he’ll be somewhere in the middle. He wouldn’t be my first choice to play Bruce/Batman, but I think he’ll do fine. My favorite actor so far has still been Michael Keaton. It’ll be interesting to see if he does anything with his voice.

E:  He will absolutely fail. The next Batman movies will have a very hard time living up to the Dark Knight Trilogy.

If you were forced to use only one phone for 2014, which would it be? This can include unreleased phone.

K:  Right now, I’m still absolutely loving the Nexus 5. I’ve gone through the One (M8) already and am ready to ditch this thing from Samsung, also known as the Galaxy S5, because I can’t wait to get back to the N5.

T:  Well, it wouldn’t be the Galaxy S5 or HTC One (M8). The GS5 is a total lag fest, and the One (M8) is just too heavy and tall for my tastes. I’m really hoping the G3 and the next flagship from Motorola are awesome. If I had to choose just one, I would just go with the LG G3, as my expectations are ultra high for that device.

R:  I would love to use the iPhone 5s or 6 for 2014 (shocking). If I had to pick an Android phone it would probably be the HTC One M8 mini (if there will be such a thing). If I had to use a Windows Phone then I would probably use the Lumia 1520.

E:  Probably the M8. I’m just such a big fan of what HTC has been able to do hardware wise that I would forgive their camera selection. I love my Moto X but sometimes it leaves me wanting more processing power.

Will any of you purchase Google Glass when it is made available as a true consumer product?

K:  I have to answer this in two ways. First, if I didn’t review tech for a living, there is no way in hell I’d ever buy it. Never, ever. But, since I do review tech, I’m sure we’ll have one. Or maybe Google would do us all a favor and never make it available as a consumer product.

T:  After using Google Glass for about a month, mind you it was the Explorer Edition, there is no way I would pay money for an experience like that. It is bland and utterly boring. Unless the consumer model doesn’t make you look like a fool, and somehow they make the interaction with it more meaningful, I will stay away from it.

R:  Absolutely not, but that has more to do with my disposable income than with the viability of the product. I don’t think I would want to use Glass. I think it’s a neat idea and that it will absolutely bring benefits to niche markets and industries, but I don’t think it makes sense as a consumer device.

E:  If I graduate college and find a nice, well paying job that gives me lots of disposable income, I would seriously think about maybe getting it. Possibly.

Droid Life Q&A Sessions: Volume 20 Answers is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [Part 9]

Galaxy-S3-Storage-Problems-9

This is apparently the ninth part of our Galaxy S3 Problems and Solutions series and there are still a lot of emails that needed to be answered. There are almost a hundred of different S3 problems that we’ve addressed so if you have one, please try to browse this post as well as the first 8 parts to see if we’ve already answered your questions. Links of the previous editions are provided below.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [Part 8]

Our mailbox is still open for your problems and questions so if you have some, don’t hesitate to email us at mailbag@thedroidguy.com and we promise to read those emails and help you find solutions.

We also have our Facebook page where you can post your concerns on our wall or sent us PMs. For those who prefer Google+, you can follow us through our Google+ Page. Those who simply want to get updated with the latest posts on The Droid Guy, you may subscribe to our newsletter.

#1. Web page becomes unresponsive

Problem

I have an AT&T S3. Lately when I’m looking at webpages I routinely get a message saying the page has become unresponsive, and do I want to wait or close it. If I select wait, I get the same message very quickly. This happens every time I look at Web pages. Not sure if it’s related to the jellybean update or not since I updated some time ago & this started happening recently.

Thank you. — Katrina

Solution

I’m not sure what browser you’re using but the simple clearing of the cache and data can resolve this problem, unless there’s a third-party app that’s causing this issue. That said, I assume you’re using the stock browser that came pre-installed with the phone. The same procedure may also work for other browsers. Please follow the steps below:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap on the More tab.
  5. Find and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen going to the left until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  7. Scroll to and tap the browser you’re using, or the one that has an issue.
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.

#2. Galaxy s3 randomly shuts off

Problem

I have the Samsung Galaxy S3 with AT&T and my phone will randomly shut off! Also, when I hit the power button to lock the screen sometimes the screen lights up like I hit the power button again! I have never had these problems before a few days ago! Any insight you have would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Solution

You may have installed an app (third-party) that’s causing all these problems and I think these two actually came from the same root. But since we don’t know which app causes these problems or if the culprit is really a third-party app, we need to boot the phone to Safe Mode.

Once in safe mode, lock the screen of your phone and see if it automatically wakes up. If it doesn’t, then our suspicion that a third-party is behind it has been confirmed. Now, you need to observe the phone closely to see if it reboots, it may take a little while to confirm this. But if it doesn’t, then it’s a third-party still.

Now, you need to download the Wakelock Detector, which is offered free on the Play Store. It will detect apps and services that wakes up your screen even when it’s locked up. Once you find information as to what apps causes the problem, uninstall it. If that fails, then perform factory reset after you backed up all your data.

#3. Old emails get pushed back

Problem

Hi, I wonder if you could help me please. Yesterday, I updated my galaxy s3 to the latest 4.3, and ever since then my phone keeps showing received e mail, and they are all duplicates of previous e mails. For instance someone sent me an e mail today, which I opened and read but it has alerted me about another 10 times to say new e mail received. I would be extremely grateful for any help you can give, as this is extremely frustrating. Kind regards, Phil.

Solution

It means one thing, the emails you already read before were not deleted from the server. So, after the update, the email client on your phone has been reset and when it synced, it pulled down new emails together with old emails and marked them as ‘unread.’

To prevent this, you can login to your email account through webmail and delete those old emails or sort them into a folder. This way, your phone will only download new emails from the inbox.

Or, you may also want to re-setup your email account on your phone and choose the option to delete emails from server after your specified number of days.

#4. Cannot send out emails, battery drains fast

Problem

Hello, I’m so happy that there is someone like you out there to help me! I don’t do very well with change and I don’t know anything really about technology. My husband and daughter help me with my phone. I’ve had my new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S3 for a month now and I keep having some problems.

  1. I keep getting old emails resent to me after I’ve deleted them. They’ll come 1-30 at a time. I go ahead and re-delete them, but I still keep getting more.
  2. I can’t send email responses back to people. When I try, I get the message “Sending failed”.
  3. My power drains really fast. Both my husband and daughter looked at it and don’t see any problem.

Do you have any ideas? Thanks! — Joan

Solutions

Hello ma’am, as to your first problem on old emails getting pushed back to your phone, please read the suggestions on the previous problem (#3). The issue cited there is the same as yours.

As to the second problem, I assume you can receive emails just fine, it’s the sending out that doesn’t go through. It could have been better if you included the kind of email you’re using on your phone so I could provide better information.

But I can see you used the “rr.com” email when you sent that message but for sure you’re not using your phone. If you have that same email address setup on your computer, please try to check the Outgoing Mail Server settings and use exact settings on your phone. But in case you don’t know how to do that, please call Time Warner Cable, that problem will be resolved immediately.

As to the third problem, battery draining fast, please try to check your phone’s battery usage. You can actually see which app or service is eating up your battery so fast. If it’s a third-party app that’s causing, you should uninstall it. However, if it says that it’s the screen or Android system that’s consuming your phone’s battery, then the best you could do is perform factory reset, but you need to backup all your data first.

#5. Image redownloaded, auto-punctuate not functioning

Problem

So my Galaxy S3 just updated to Android 4.3 a couple days ago and since then every time i get a notification it shows every image that I’ve downloaded prior to the update, as notifications. So when i get emails I get about 35 image download notifications as well. I’ve tried opening each notification to see if it would clear, restarting my phone, I don’t know what else to do. Also my phone has stopped automatically adding apostrophes to words such as: “Don’t, won’t, couldn’t”. Before the update the apostrophe added automatically and though the auto-punctuate function is selected, it’s stopped doing it. I’ve tried unselecting all those auto correcting features, reselecting them and resetting the settings, hoping it would make it realize what’s going on but…I just don’t know what else to try. Can you help me? Thank you, M.A.

Solutions

For your first problem, please follow these steps:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Tap on the More tab.
  5. Find and tap Application Manager.
  6. Swipe the screen going to the left until contents of the All tab are displayed.
  7. Scroll to and tap Download Manager (if you can’t find it, look for Downloads instead).
  8. Tap the Clear Cache button.
  9. Tap the Clear Data button, and then OK.
  10. You may reboot your phone to refresh its memory.

As to the second problem, I think the update brought along update for the Samsung Keyboard that may have messed up with its settings. Please try to clear its cache and data and then enable auto-punctuate again:

  1. Go back to the Home screen.
  2. Tap the Menu key. (The key on the left side of the Home button.)
  3. Choose Settings.
  4. Then, tap Language and Input.
  5. Make sure Samsung Keyboard is enabled, then tap the cogwheel icon next to it to enter the Settings screen.
  6. Tap the Advanced option.
  7. Make sure Auto-punctuate is enabled.

#6. Phone keeps freezing after the update

Problem

Hi, I just upgraded the firmware to 4.3 yesterday and my phone keeps freezing every 5-10 mins. I have to take the battery out to restart. I need an urgent answer ASAP. Can you please advise ASAP. Thanks. — Chauey

Solution

I will assume you have successfully updated your phone, which means you didn’t encounter any errors while downloading or installing the update. If this is a simple software glitch, wiping the cache partition via the Recovery mode will solve this problem, otherwise, factory reset is necessary.

#7. Camera failed, callers can’t hear the owner

Problems

Dear Sir, I am using S3 from the last 6 months and I do not face any problem till last update. After last update I have facing 2 problems which are:

  1. Camera failed: when I am trying to click pics (even without clicking a single pic) sometimes it shows “warning: camera failed” and after restart the phone it works well.
  2. Can’t hear the ring tone and caller can’t hear my voice: When I receive any call sometimes I am not able to hear the ringtone and the caller cannot hear voice either but I can hear his voice very clearly and when I restart my phone, no problem will occur.

Please help me in solving these issues. Thanks. — Isha

Solutions

The thing is your camera still works, although you just have to reboot your phone, but it can be solved by simple clearing both the cache and data of the Camera app.

I’m not sure how frequent your callers can’t hear you but then again, a reboot solves the problem. These two issues may be connected and while we don’t know what messed both the camera and the phone but for these problems, factory reset will most likely resolve them.

#8. Google calendar wiped clean

Problem

Hi, hope you can help. I have a Galaxy S3 & I guess my phone was auto updated? I went into my Google Calendar and everything is gone. Is there a way to recover this? Please help I’m totally dependent on this calendar. Thanks. — Lynne

Solution

Well, it depends if you previously synced your phone with your Google account. The thing is Google Calendar (the app you install on your phone) will automatically sync with Google Calendar on the web provided you turned on the sync for the calendar. So, there is still a chance to recover your events by simply turning on the sync on the your phone. Or, you can visit Google Calendar through your browse and see if your events were synced before. If the web Google Calendar shows no sign of events, there’s no way you can recover them.

#9. Emails redownloaded, -1 message notification

Problem

Just wondering why after I updated my S3 to the 4.3 update I keep getting emails in my inbox, I delete them and in 5 min or so they got sent to my inbox again, I even empty the Recycle Bin but I still keep getting past emails from like 2 weeks ago and onwards.. Another issue with the email is my email icon on homepage says iv got -1 email?

Solution

Please read problem #3 because it is the same as your first problem. As to your second problem, clearing of the cache and data (which will result to your messages getting deleted and you need to setup your account) will solve the problem. If that doesn’t work, then you need to find the service called BadgeProvider and clear its cache and data as well. Please refer to the posts below for some explanation:

#10. Computer can’t detect Galaxy S3

Problem

Hi I’m try to transfer my all the files to Samsung Galaxy S3 to Samsung computer, but it’s not connecting. Can you please let me know how should I do? My phone need to be restart by all the document. Thank you. — Anika

Solution

Anika, you need to download the drivers needed by the computer to be able to detect and recognize your phone. But to make it easier for you, simply download and install Samsung Kies to your computer and that should take care of the rest. [Samsung Kies download link]

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your emails. Email us via mailbag@thedroidguy.com any time. We read every email but can’t guarantee a response. Lastly, if we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends or visit our Troubleshooting Page. Thanks.

The post Samsung Galaxy S3 Problems After Android 4.3 Update [Part 9] appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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This Week in the Life of DROID: 4/18/2014

This Week in the Life of DROID: 4/18/2014

It’s Friday, meaning it is time for the DL crew to close the laptops and head back into our trollish caves we call home. This week was packed with exciting headlines, including plenty of news on the LG G3 front, as well as further confirmations from OnePlus that the One should be quite a formidable device.

Google also made big moves, pushing an official Google Camera app to Google Play, allowing for quick updates to the software as they see fit. As for breaking down the OS, allowing for an overall better updating process, Google is doing an awesome job. To top it all off, we published our review of the Gear Fit smartband from Samsung. If you want a TLDR version of the review, don’t buy it.

If you missed any of the Android goodness, we have the highlights for you below. 

Have a great weekend, folks! And for those who applied for a Google I/O ticket, best of luck to all of you!

This Week in the Life of DROID: 4/18/2014 is a post from: Droid Life

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Google to launch $100K developers’ challenge for Project Ara

Project_Ara_Back_01

As Google continues their march toward release of the modular Project Ara smartphone, one of the things they will need to make the device successful are apps, especially those that are unique to the modular platform. At the second day of their Project Ara developers’ conference, they have announced a developers’ challenge that will launch in May and run through September with a $100,000 prize.

In addition to the first prize cash payout, Google says the top two runners-up will receive all expense paid trips for a small team of two or three people to a future Ara devcon along with hardware supplied by Google to be used to continue development of their concept. Google says the official rules will include both subjective and objective criteria, including the likelihood that the module can be employed in daily use and whether it is unique to the platform. Other criteria will include factors like novelty of the proposal, the quality and elegance of the tech implementation, the scale of the module’s impact, and potential for commercialization.

To participate, developers will have to submit an abstract describing their proposed project and a hardware loan agreement. Google, in partnership with Toshiba, will provide a free package that includes a Unipro bridge and field-programmable gate arrays. Developers will be responsible for creating their own drivers and any apps needed for testing.

The official rules will be posted to the Project Ara web site in mid-May.

source: TechNewsWorld

Come comment on this article: Google to launch $100K developers’ challenge for Project Ara

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Chromecast Offers hit UK, could be elsewhere soon

New Chromecast owners in the UK have something extra to be excited about, as Google is seeding special offers to them. For a limited (but undetermined) time, Chromecast owners who reside int he UK can visit Google’s Chromecast offers site and get £4.99 in Play Store credit.

Of course, Google is hoping you spend that on movies or TV to stream content, but you can use it however you like. As for the promo itself, it looks as though it is te first in a long line of special offers Google will be sending out to all of us. The UK Chromecast offer looks to simply be the first one to gently roll out, considering the site is location and language agnostic.

These offers likely won’t be UK only, either. Anyone can check the offers site (link in our ‘Source’ tag below), which checks the existing Chromecast devices on your WiFi network for offers. Once you agree to share your location, and which Chromecast device you’re inquiring about, offers are searched for. We’ve not found anything for the US yet, but we should all expect this to be the page where we’d find them in the future.

Of course, you’ll need to use a Chrome browser to search for the offers. The offers page casts to your desired Chromecast (it needs you to share the serial number), and that can only be done via Chrome. UK Chromecast owners should go get their fiver — the rest of us can just wait patiently.

Source: Google Chromecast Offers

Via: Liliputing

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Google Trends now delivering to your inbox

Google Trends already provided a useful way of keeping up with what is hot at any given time. Trends offers details on current topics, as well as what had been hot at any given time dating back to 2004. And as of today you can now have those reports delivered directly to your inbox.

Users will be able to subscribe to Hot Searches for any country as well as any search topic, or any US monthly Top Chart. Once you find the topic you want to have delivered — you’ll simply need to look for the “Subscribe” button. Assuming you are already logged in while browsing, the results will automatically go to that Gmail account.

ukhotsearches

You can also do a bit of further customizing once you click on the subscribe button. Options here include getting worldwide results, or having those broken down to a specific country.

Perhaps key for those looking to keep the email to a minimum — there is also an option to have them delivered “about” once a week or once a month. Google clarifies the “about” aspect by saying this is only a “rough estimate and will vary between topics and over time.”

Those new to Google Trends may also like the results provided directly on the web. Those include a chart showing interest over time, regional interest, related searches and more. Of course, as it had been, Trends can simply be a good place to learn a bit more about any given topic.

SOURCE: Google Inside Search

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[RUMOUR] Is a budget, Mediatek-powered Nexus device coming some time in 2014?

Mediatek-powered Nexus deviceFor some people, the only news worth holding out for in 2014 will be the expected announcement and release of yet another Nexus device, generally referred to as the Nexus 6. This so-called Nexus 6, if real, will likely marry high performance hardware with great value as the previous two iterations have done. If a report coming out of China is to be believed, however, we might be getting a second, slightly different Nexus device prior to the Nexus 6′s release. According to MTKSJ who specializes in Mediatek-related news, Google is looking at making a budget, Mediatek-powered Nexus device sometime in 2014.

For a bit of background, Mediatek is one of the biggest mobile processor players in the world, however, their influence is mainly concentrated in the Asia region. The primary reason why they are so successful in this region is the low cost of their processors, a game that Qualcomm, the major player in Western markets, is unwilling to play. Logically then, if a budget, Nexus device were to be made, a Mediatek processor could be a possibility, which could imply that a manufacturer in the Asia region would likely work with Google on making the device. However, as with all rumours surrounding Nexus devices, this rumour should be taken with a grain of salt as many stories relating to Google’s plans have generally been pure conjecture.

What do you think about the suggestion that there could be a budget, Mediatek-powered Nexus device? Would you buy such a device? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments.

Source: MTKSJ via Phones Review


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Coming up at 4 p.m. EDT — it’s the Android Central Podcast!

OK, folks. Our Galaxy S5 review is out the door, and it’s time to end the week with a little fun. Google’s released a compelling new camera application. Chrome Remote Desktop means more working from home. And, of course, we’ll answer your questions, live, on the air, in living color.

So join us this afternoon at 4 p.m. EDT — that’s 9 p.m. in London — for the Greatest Android Podcast in the World! You can find us at this Hangout on Air.



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Phandroid Recap: Cortana vs Google Now, Galaxy S5 Review, and more! [April 13-19]

Recap

Is it Friday already? Yes, it is, which means it’s time for another Phandroid Recap! Once again we had a lot of great stuff go up on the site this week. Reviews, hands-on videos, comparisons, lists, and much more. With all of this content going up you probably missed a few things. Below you will find a “cheat sheet” for all the big stories and features. Read up so you can be informed about all the things your geeky friends will want to talk about this weekend. We won’t tell them you cheated.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 wood DSC05784

We reviewed Samsung’s latest flagship device this week. Most places rushed up reviews after just a few days of use, but we wanted to use the phone for a week before sharing our thoughts. Overall we liked the phone a lot, but it definitely has its flaws. Rob gave the Galaxys S5 a very good 4.5 out of 5 score. Here is an excerpt from the full review:

We’ve grown to expect an awful lot from Samsung, perhaps even holding them to a higher standard, which is why not being absolutely blown away by the S5′s awesomeness seems like a disappointment. The fact remains: the Samsung Galaxy S5 instantly becomes one of the best phones on the market, perhaps is the best all-around phone, and the vast majority of users will be pleased and impressed by its performance.

Google Now vs Cortana

There is a new kid on the block, and her name is Cortana. Earlier this week Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 for developers around the world. Included in the update is their new virtual assistant that they hope will compete with the likes of Google Now and Siri. We went hands-on with Cortana to see how she stacks up against Google Now. We asked them both a wide range of questions to see how they each handle things. The results may surprise you.

Galaxy S5 vs iPhone 5S

gs5-iphone5s-hero

The vast majority of smartphone owners in the world have either an iPhone or “Galaxy.” These two devices are dominating the market right now. Naturally, we had to put the two up against each other and compare them. The Galaxy S5 easily wins the spec battle, but the iPhone wins in things like build quality and design. Things like the camera and software are much more even. If you’re interested to see how these two device stack up check out the full comparison.

We can spend all day giving you our opinions on the matter, and we hope they help making an informed decision easier, but ultimately the device you buy comes down to personal preference. Do you favor a big, beautiful display above all things? Go with the Galaxy S5. Is an intuitive interface and access to apps a priority? Then the iPhone 5s is a no brainer.

Official Google Camera app released to Play Store

The biggest  news story this week was Google releasing their camera app to the Play Store. This is the app that can be found on Nexus devices, but now it has been stripped out of the OS like so many other Google apps. Along with the release came a brand new user interface and some cool new features like Lens Blur. Google has made some big improvements in this version. If you have a KitKat device you can download Google Camera for free.

12 weirdest Android device names ever

android names

There was a time when Android phones were coming out so often that companies were using anything and everything for names. Rocks, stones, metals, liquids, animals, weather conditions, an even emoticons were used as inspiration. Since those days the names of devices has gotten a lot better, but we can’t forget those horrible names of the past. We compiled a list of 12 devices that we consider to have the weirdest names. What other devices do you think should be on this list?

Honorable Mention

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Party like it’s 1998, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition makes its long awaited debut on Android

Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition

T’was the year of 1998. Chumbawamba was getting knocked down (only to get up again), the Denver Broncos beat Green Bay Packers at the Super Bowl, the WB kicked off its new network, A Bug’s Life had barely hit theaters, and President Clinton officially found himself out of a job. While all that was happening, there were those too busy playing the newly released Baldur’s Gate in their parent’s basement to even notice.

After numerous delays and launching in late 2012 for the iPad, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is now finally ready to make its Android debut. Priced at a whopping $10 on Google Play, the game doesn’t come cheap. But those of you who have been playing the game since it released almost 16 years ago can maybe educate some of the younger whipper snappers on what they’ve been missing.

Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition Android

Based on the Dungeons & Dragons and universe, Baldur’s Gate is a point and click RPG through and through. The game runs on an improved version of the original Infinity Engine, a time when sprites still reigned as king (no fancy 3D polygon characters here). Keep in mind that even though it is a $10 game, it does offer in-app purchases as well. Here’s what you can buy in addition to the actual game:

  • Brothers Lost: Lend your aid to Rasaad yn Bashir, the Sun Soul monk, as he scours the Cloud Peaks in search of his lost brother.
  • Neera and the Red Wizards: Save the wild mage Neera from the cruel machinations of Thay’s dreaded Red Wizards.
  • Path of the Bloodied: Join the blackguard Dorn Il-Khan in taking revenge against those who betrayed him in Luskan.
  • Gallery of Heroes: Reimagine your character with eleven never-before-seen character portraits from acclaimed Icewind Dale artist Jason Manley!
  • New professionally recorded voice sets to choose from to further customize your character.

Given Baldur’s Gate II: The Enhanced Edition sequel was also promised to be making its way to Android nearly 6 months ago, we imagine it wont be much longer before its sequel also arrives on the Play Store. For those wondering what all the hoopla is about, you can check out Machinima’s quick explanation of the game below.

Download on Google Play: Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition

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[APK Teardown] Glass XE16 Settings App Exposes New Languages, Sync Settings, And Detects When You’re Looking At The Screen

2014-04-18 06.37.37

It seems like forever since we did our last teardown for Google Glass, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of things happening for the former Google[x] project. XE16 brought the first ever change in OS version, taking Glass from 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) all of the way to 4.4.2 (KitKat). A minor hotfix from build followed with an undisclosed set of changes and a minor bump in build number.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

[APK Teardown] Glass XE16 Settings App Exposes New Languages, Sync Settings, And Detects When You’re Looking At The Screen was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Mobile Roar Podcast 41: Chris’ Galaxy S Fail

Despite all of our warnings, Chris still went out and bought a Samsung Galaxy S5. How does he like it? Let’s just say if you’ve got a HTC One M8 to trade he is interested. Listen to him rant about how much he hates it, and listen to us say “we told you so!” We also talk about some of the weirdest phone names to ever exist, Google’s awesome new camera app, Wins and Fails of the Week, and our App Picks.

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Wins and Fails of the Week

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Rumor suggests Google will launch a $100 Nexus handset soon

Nexus

With devices like the Moto G and several other Chinese smartphones doing wonders in the markets with their sub $200 pricing, a new rumor indicates that Google could soon join the bandwagon. This report coming out of Asia suggests that Google could launch an ultra affordable $100 Nexus smartphone in the coming months. Perhaps the success of the Moto G has prompted Google to launch something similar of its own.

It is said that Google will use a MediaTek made SoC and make several other cuts as well to keep hardware costs down. There’s not much info available apart from this at the moment, but the prospects look very bright at the moment.

So where will Google target a device like this? We’re guessing Asia and Europe as these are the two markets where midrange and lowcost handsets sell in abundance, in addition to the high end flagships of course. There’s not much information on a release timeframe either, so take this report with a pinch of salt until we have more information coming through.

Source: MTK – Translated

Via: Pocketnow

The post Rumor suggests Google will launch a $100 Nexus handset soon appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Will Google bring a MediaTek-powered Nexus for under $100?

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The Nexus line has always brought us affordable devices without any carrier or OEM influence (well, except for that one Verizon Nexus phone which shall not be named). New rumors suggest Google feels like they haven’t gotten the cost of admission low enough, though, with murmurings of a budget option coming by way of MediaTek.

According to a report by MTKSJ, Google will look to target that nice $100 price point that the Moto G was introduced at. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like this device will be quite as stout as the Moto G is for the cost. MediaTek silicon isn’t often impressive in the few devices that use them, with quad-core and octa-core chipsets in various phones often feeling more sluggish than some dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon devices.

We can’t pass judgment on anything that isn’t officially known to exist, though, so we’ll just leave it at that. It’s not surprising to see Google attempting to emulate the same success the Moto G had for Motorola, which became the company’s best selling smartphone of all time. Let’s just hope they don’t have to cut too many corners to achieve that.

[MTKSJ via Electronista]

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Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Hits Google Play for $9.99

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Hits Google Play for $9.99

The 1998 standard for Dungeons & Dragons RPG titles has now made its way to Google Play, Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition. In Baldur’s Gate, you play as a hero who is forced from his home under mysterious circumstances, who inevitably must fight sinister forces that look to destroy the world. 

In true D&D fashion, you play to rank up your player, allowing his traits and abilities to grow. You must also gather a group of warriors to explore the world, searching for “adventure, profit…and the truth.” In total, the gameplay adds up to about 60 hours, plus there are a few expansions included in the Enhanced Edition, as well. If you don’t have anywhere to go, and you enjoy a classic RPG, then this is the game for you.

The game is available on Google Play for $9.99, and interestingly enough (or maybe not), there are additional IAPs available.

Play Link ($9.99)

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition Hits Google Play for $9.99 is a post from: Droid Life

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Watch Google test its 3D-sensing phones on robots in zero gravity

Project Tango on a NASA SPHERE in zero gravity

Wonder what Google’s Project Tango-equipped SPHERES robots will look like when they’re in action aboard the International Space Station? The company is more than happy to show you. It has posted video of a recent test that took the machines on a zero gravity simulation flight to see how the 3D environment sensors and other systems will work in practice. As you’ll see in the clip, it wasn’t quite as easy as testing on the ground — Google’s ATAP team had to work during brief bursts of weightlessness that could challenge both the employees and the devices.

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Source: Google ATAP (Google+)

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Google offering credit towards movie rentals with British Chromecast

A quick heads up to any Brits looking at getting a Chromecast soon that Google is throwing in a little Play Store credit for good measure. Currently advertised in the UK Play Store, if you buy and set up a Chromecast by July 15 Google will give you £4.99 towards a movie rental from the store.

Given some of the current rental prices in the British store, £4.99 could get you one movie with enough change left over to give you something towards a second. Once you’re set up head over to chromecast.com/offers to redeem.



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Contra: Evolution Goes Free In The Play Store, Still Packed With In-App Purchases

nexusae0_icon57_thumb1_thumbThe Konami classic Contra came to Android last year, but despite the healthy dose of nostalgia, Contra: Evolution wasn’t an awesome experience. The introductory price was $0.99, but the gameplay was bogged down by in-app purchases. Now the game has gone free, and the IAPs have been tweaked a bit.

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As we all know by this point, Google doesn’t have a mechanism for a paid app to go free then return to paid.

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Contra: Evolution Goes Free In The Play Store, Still Packed With In-App Purchases was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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NASA Puts Project Tango To Work, Is Currently Testing It With SPHERES To Do Tedious Stuff Astronauts Don’t Want To

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So we all know that Project Tango is cool – programing a mobile device to be aware of its own surroundings just as people are can be potentially beneficial in many ways. NASA has clearly seen something in the in Tango as well, as the company has been working with Google since last year to utilize the project with its own robotic platform called SPHERES. In a nutshell, it wants to incorporate Tango into autonomous, space-aware robots that will take some of the load off of astronauts on the International Space Station by doing some of the work for them.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

NASA Puts Project Tango To Work, Is Currently Testing It With SPHERES To Do Tedious Stuff Astronauts Don’t Want To was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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