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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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Samsung poised to release 'Gear Glass' wearable late in 2014

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:27 PM PDT

Samsung is now believed to be debuting a Google Glass competitor this fall, possibly alongside the Galaxy Note 4. Dubbed the Gear Glass, the wearable smart glasses is expected to run the Tizen operating system similar to Samsung's recently updated smartwatches, like the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit.

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Updating your Android apps: Choosing automatic or manual, and how to get it done

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:08 PM PDT

Keep your apps up to date at the pace you want

As the number of apps on our (sometimes multiple) devices continues to grow, it becomes quite a chore to keep them up to date on a weekly basis. App developers are pushing out updates just to change app icons or small strings of text, and for this reason (among others) Google has set the Play Store to update apps automatically by default. Still, some of us would prefer or be better off not updating apps without our explicit permission and action.

So which path is right for you? Do you let the Play Store do its thing and simply find out an app was updated when you check your notifications, or do you hop into the Play Store and manually hit the box to let the bits flow for just that single version number jump? Let's dive into the details.

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Plex App Updated To v3.3 With Automatic Camera Uploads

Posted: 13 May 2014 01:02 PM PDT

p Plex is one of the best ways to stream local media to your mobile devices and the Chromecast, and today the Android app is getting a cool improvement. Version 3.3 adds support for Plex's background photo upload feature so your pics will always be backed up. However, it's a premium user feature for now.

2014-05-13 19.30.35

The photos are sent straight to your local media library where the Plex server is installed. So it's not putting things in a cloud storage directory, just sending them to your local machine where you have control over them.

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Plex App Updated To v3.3 With Automatic Camera Uploads was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Media center app Mizuu falls victim to Google Play’s stringent ‘sexually explicit material’ policy

Posted: 13 May 2014 12:49 PM PDT

Mizuu header

Developer of the popular video media center app Mizuu had a rough morning after waking up to find his app abruptly removed from the Play Store. News of the removal was posted on Mizuu's Google+ page after finding an email from Google explaining that the reason behind the take down had to do with the app's violation of Google's recently updated sexually explicit policies. But how is that even possible given the app is little more than a media center app, only filling in movie covers and info taken from a users' own media library? One word: porn.

Apparently, Mizuu pulls images and descriptions from themoviedb.org, an online repository of movie information which just so happens to include — you guessed it — porn. That means someone with a vast wealth of adult movies would cause Mizuu to essentially download sexually explicit images, a possible violation of Google Play's terms of service. Mizuu already knew this, which is why they included the option to disable adult content which is already blocked by default.

Mizuu screenshot

Mizuu made a point about their app being like a web browser which can be used to view sexually explicit material. Sounds to us like a Google algorithm basically scanned apps in the Play Store for anything describing "adult content" in their code, then removing the app and firing off one of their rejection emails. We're not saying Google was in the right, but it doesn't help that the developer can't actually get in touch with an actual human to get additional feedback/clarity and find out exactly what they could do to save the app.

Without any sort of appeals process, Mizuu says they'll simply attempt to re-upload another version with a different package name to the Play Store, but we expect it wont be long before Google once again comes in with the ban hammer. Of course, everyone who already purchase the app gets left high and dry (probably the real losers in this story).

If nothing else, this highlights an ever growing problem in Google's developer relations. It's silly that we can all suggest a route Mizuu can take without ever knowing if it will fly with Google. We wish Mizuu best of luck, and hope everything works out.


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Nokia uses shady tactics to get Android apps on Nokia X

Posted: 13 May 2014 12:33 PM PDT

Nokia wanted to take the hard road with the Nokia X and forgo Google certification of its new handset. In other words, the Nokia X runs Android, but it doesn't have access to any Google apps like Google Play and all the apps found inside the music, video and app hub. Nokia has made porting Android apps over to the Nokia X incredibly easy, but now it may have taken it too far.

wtfff-590x971 If you're an Android developer and you haven't already ported your app over to the Nokia Android app store, don't worry; it may just do it for you. AnderWeb, creator of ADW Launcher, made public an email that makes it appear as though Nokia uploaded ADW Launcher to its own app store and created a Nokia account so that the app could be sold — all without AnderWeb's permission. According to the email, all that AnderWeb has to do is get in touch with Nokia and ADW will be ready to go.

There's still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the situation, but if it's as simple as it sounds and Nokia is essentially acting on your behalf without your permission, the company should be ashamed of itself. Rest assured this is not the last we'll hear of this. Be on the lookout for more.

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Plex updated for Android with camera upload and more!

Posted: 13 May 2014 12:30 PM PDT

Popular media sharing app Plex has added camera uploading for its Android and Windows Phone apps, as well as sync for Windows 8. This means pictures you shoot on your phone will be automatically uploaded to your Plex library. The Windows desktop app now lets you keep media access identical with other devices.

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Verizon may unveil their XLTE network on May 19

Posted: 13 May 2014 12:30 PM PDT

According to sources at Droid Life, Verizon is planning to brand their new LTE network — which incorporates band 4 LTE on AWS — as XLTE and will tell us everything there is to tell on May 19. Verizon has been actively expanding their AWS footprint for a while, and will use the new spectrum to provide better service in 50 new markets in 2014. If anyone understands spectrum crunch, it's Verizon (and their customers) who has seen speeds and quality of service degrade in many metro areas as of late.

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Google Adds New Educational 'Spell Up' Game To Chrome, Works On Desktop And Mobile

Posted: 13 May 2014 12:02 PM PDT


I have a confession to make: I'm a terrible speller. I know what you're thinking, "how can someone who writes for a living be bad at spelling?" Honestly, if it wasn't for spellcheck, I probably wouldn't have this job right now. So, thanks for spellcheck, um, spellcheck inventor!

Considering how many times a day Chrome has to correct stupid spelling mistakes (like mine), I think Google realized an intervention was due.

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Google Adds New Educational 'Spell Up' Game To Chrome, Works On Desktop And Mobile was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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OnePlus One Smash the Past winners receving phones without SIM tools, chargers

Posted: 13 May 2014 11:58 AM PDT

OnePlus One hands-on wm_34

It looks like OnePlus was so fast to ship Smash the Past winners their phones that they didn't have time to get the rest of the package together. An anonymous tipster shared with us an email explaining that his OnePlus One won't come with the SIM ejection tool, as well as a USB cable or charging adapter.

They're not being stingy for the sake of it, thankfully. Here's their official explanation to one of the winners:

Those boxes were not ready when we had to ship the devices and as we didn't want to make you wait, we apologize for any inconvenience caused.

The caveat here is that the device uses standard microUSB, so you should be able to charge it with any available USB cable and/or power adapter that you have. And the SIM ejection tool is typically just a very thin people of metal that is used to pop the SIM tray out, so you can find a bobby pin to take care of that if you need to.

It's annoying that these folks have to deal with this, but it shouldn't be long until it's all cleared up. OnePlus says the materials should be ready for shipping by the end of the month, so you can either put together your own home remedy for getting up and running with your device or wait to receive said package from OnePlus themselves. We imagine this won't be an issue whenever the full launch begins later this month / early next month.

[Thanks anon!]

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Nexus 6 and Nexus 8 mentioned in latest Chromium code

Posted: 13 May 2014 11:34 AM PDT


Only a week after the Nexus 8 codename "Flounder" was found in the Chromium source code, we now also have reference to the Nexus 6. The code can still be seen on the Code Review page under the new code section.

The Nexus 8 has been the subject of rumors before, and is expected to be made by HTC and have an 8″ screen, hence the "8″. Apart from this, not too much is known about the device. Almost nothing is known about the Nexus 6.

If the pattern of the Nexus 4 and 5 remains, then the Nexus 6 will likely be based on the next LG flagship device. The LG G3 is expected to be announced later this year and have a 5.5″ display, so it may be based on that. Despite this, since Google is changing manufacturers for their tablets, they may do the same with their smartphones.

The code also shows that Google is not in fact planning on terminating the Nexus program. The most recent rumors suggest that a new program called "Android Silver" will replace the Nexus program, but this code suggests that's not true.

Source: 9to5Google

Come comment on this article: Nexus 6 and Nexus 8 mentioned in latest Chromium code

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KitKat update pushing for Verizon Galaxy Note 3

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:10 AM PDT

It was just yesterday that the update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat arrived via wired means for the Verizon Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and now it looks like that update is finally rolling out for those that prefer to update over-the-air. Which would be most of us, seeing as it's 2014. So if you have a Galaxy Note 3 on Big Red, we suggest firing up the Settings app and tapping on About Phone to see if there's a glorious update waiting for you too.

Via: Android Central Forums

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Samsung external battery pack raises the design bar for accessories

Posted: 13 May 2014 10:04 AM PDT


When Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 last year, one of the new design cues was the faux leather and stitching treatment for the back cover. We have since seen that same design extended to other devices. Samsung has now released an accessory, at least in India, that uses this same faux leather look. A new external battery pack available from Samsung's online store for India uses the faux leather to go with a couple other nice enhancements.

The battery itself is a whopping 6000mAh which should provide plenty of juice to help get a user through a day or two of use with their device. Samsung has also figured out how to include a built-in charging cable so users will not have to worry about carrying around the cable for their devices.

The external battery pack is currently selling for Rs. 3,599 ($60 USD) in India.

source: Samsung

via: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Samsung external battery pack raises the design bar for accessories

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How important is mobile data?

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:56 AM PDT

The Internet is the lifeblood of today's world, coursing its way through a growing number of possessions. Without a doubt, the Internet has a number of uses, including the one that you're using right now as you read this article. But the Internet is like a lockbox, and that lockbox requires a special type of key to open it. One that generally has a recurring cost to keep it open, and perhaps the key will only work for so long before it stops working. This key is called data access.

While data access can come in a few different ways, the method that deserves special attention is mobile data access. Mobile data is a topic that can garner plenty of attention within the technology blogosphere. Why? Because it affects all mobile technology with an Internet connection on the go. Usually it's brought up with the intent of informing customers about new changes within data plans or perhaps what the next move from a carrier will be. But less frequently is it discussed in a broader sense–the aspect of its general importance.

Here's the question: how important is mobile data to you?

My main impetus in bringing this question up is my recent switch to T-Mobile. While I've talked about switching to T-Mobile for months, possibly even years, it didn't actually occur until just over a month ago. Why the delay? T-Mobile doesn't have data coverage in my area. Yet, as time went on and I noticed my data usage becoming less and less, the issue became less of an issue. It carried on until the point that I decided there was no further point in waiting and I switched.

And you know what? I haven't missed mobile data.

Okay, that's not completely true. The first three or four days had a couple of moments when I went to check something while in the car or while shopping, and found myself unable to. After that, it was all smooth sailing. You see, I found that mobile data wasn't nearly as important as I'd tricked myself into believing. With the prevalence of WiFi, Internet access can be found almost anywhere. Combine that with a little patience and you're set.

I used to be a firm believer in mobile data. Unlimited data was one of my big must-haves when I first got into smartphones. It took me over two years to finally kick the can on unlimited data. It was after I realized that I'd only used my unlimited data on one occasion, every other time was simply average data usage. With that in mind, I switched to a shared data plan for the benefit of the family plan that I was on.

Really, shared data worked surprisingly well. The only problem was when we had a couple of overages, it caused a big ruckus of pointing fingers before we actually checked everyone's usage. Continuing on the shared plan simply caused me to naturally tone down my data consumption. As time went on, I ended up at a data usage of about 150Mbs each month. Yes, that little. The craziest part? I didn't even mind.

Over the years, I've had my frustrations with Verizon and I've long wanted to switch off to my own independent plan on either AT&T or T-Mobile. But with all of T-Mobile's changes in the past year, the choice became clear that T-Mobile was the carrier for me. There was just one little snag in the plan. T-Mobile didn't have data coverage in my area.

For a while, this kept me from switching. I didn't think that I could live without mobile data. But in the end, I gave in and decided to give a shot with the result that I made a most miraculous discovery.

I didn't miss mobile data.

Sure, there were a couple occasions where I could have used it, but those haven't been replicated because they were easily solved with some simple planning ahead. Mobile data, I found, wasn't really all too important to me.

The lack of mobile data has actually benefited me in a couple of different ways. Not only has it saved money on my bill, but it's also helped me to plan ahead and to spend more time focusing on the world around me, rather than my phone. Without mobile data, I'm (for the most part) freed from the barrage of incoming notifications that I usually receive. Since dropping mobile data, I've found myself engaging in more and more conversation, rather than getting absorbed into the digital world contained within my phone. It's been a refreshing change that I haven't regretted.

Now I'd like to turn the question to you. How important is mobile data to you? Is it something that you can't live without? Have you ever tried to live without it for any length of time? If you haven't, I urge you to try it. By the end, you might even find that you like it!

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Gmail app first to make the 1 billion installs plateau on Google Play

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:35 AM PDT


Last fall Google announced their Android platform had broken through the one billion activations mark. With some applications that tend to be on every Android smartphone shipped around the world, it was only a matter of time before an app achieved the same feat and hit the 1 billion installs level. It appears this month that Google's own Gmail app has reached that lofty goal as the entry in Google Play now lists the number of installs as somewhere between 1 billion and 5 billion. According to AppBrain, this occurred on May 6th.

Although Gmail has reached the 1 billion mark in terms of installs, it should be noted that Gmail is usually installed by default on most Android devices, so it is not like all of these installs occurred after someone specifically downloaded the app to install it. Some other apps that may be on their way to the same level include Google Search, Google Maps, and YouTube, all of which enjoy being installed by default on most Android devices. Others that come installed on some devices, but still have a good number of users specifically downloading them to install, include WhatsApp and Facebook.

source: phoneArena

Come comment on this article: Gmail app first to make the 1 billion installs plateau on Google Play

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UK users will now get £50 in Google Play credit when buying a Nexus 7 until June 1st

Posted: 13 May 2014 09:05 AM PDT

New Nexus 7 hand wm

Quick heads-up on a deal for folks in the UK who might be interested in getting a Nexus 7 soon. Google and ASUS are now offering £50 in Google Play credits for folks who buy a Nexus 7. The deal runs through June 1st, and luckily enough for those who've bought their device on or after May 5th, it's retroactive even if you got it from an official UK retailer.

Claiming it is as simple as heading to the ASUS Promotions site and following the directions. You'll need to have your receipt in digital form — whether it was emailed to you or you scan it into your computer — in order to get the credit, but as long as you've taken care of that you should be good to go.

Google says the process shouldn't take more than 30 days, but you might as well get it over with now so you can get your Google Play credit as soon as possible. Just remember these credits only apply to digital content in Google Play, such as buying games, apps, movies, books, music and more.

[via Google+]

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Vector 40: The future of screen size and display density

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:57 AM PDT

Amazon Appstore Coins Expand To France, Italy, And Spain

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:55 AM PDT

418TAh9NMuL In-app purchases are all the rage these days, and Amazon's take on the whole deal includes Coins – Amazon Coins. They're like a universal currency that can be used in many apps and games available in the Amazon ecosystem. Today more people get to know the joy of Amazon Coins – they're now available in France, Italy, and Spain.


Developers don't have to do anything to take advantage. Apps that are distributed by Amazon and available for sale in these countries have Coins enabled.

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Amazon Appstore Coins Expand To France, Italy, And Spain was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Galaxy S 5 Prime may retail for $880 at launch

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:49 AM PDT


The Galaxy S 5 Prime is one of the most anticipated devices this year, and although we've heard a ton of rumors about specs, build materials, and even the launch date, we haven't really heard much about pricing. Well, according to the latest leak, Samsung is planning on launching the S 5 Prime exclusively in Korea (at first) for KRW 900,000, which converts to about $880 in American money. Unlocked smartphones are typically expensive, but even compared to other devices, that's pricey.

Obviously, the device will drop in cost as it becomes more widely available, but if you want to get one of these right at launch, you're going to pay quite a bit of money for the device itself, as well as the cost of shipping and importing it from Korea.

source: The Droid Guy

Come comment on this article: Galaxy S 5 Prime may retail for $880 at launch

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Samsung’s ‘Glass Gear’ could be unveiled in September, run Tizen

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:49 AM PDT


Samsung has always been known to have its presence felt in many categories. One that it has yet to enter is smart glasses. Right now, there are really no standouts until Google finally releases the consumer version of Glass. Everyone isn't just going to sit and wait. It looks like Samsung's could be announced later this year.

Like we previously heard, it sounds like the wearable will be announced at IFA 2014 in September. This is the same event that Samsung used to announce the Galaxy Note 3. The device would be known as Samsung Glass Gear and it would not run Android Wear. Instead, Samsung would be putting Tizen to work. This should be of no surprise as Samsung's Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit also run Tizen.

Source: Business Korea

Via: G 4 Games

Come comment on this article: Samsung's 'Glass Gear' could be unveiled in September, run Tizen

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LG will launch Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate earphones on May 18th

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:49 AM PDT

LG Lifeband touch

LG's answer to the growing popularity of fitness trackers like the Gear Fit and the Fitbit is their Lifeband Touch, which they announced back at CES. It still has the OLED touch screen for checking notifications and answering calls, and it'll use vibrations to alert you to text messages, emails, etc. It can track your fitness records with MyFitnessPal or Runkeeper, but LG is launching their own fitness app, too.

Alongside the Lifeband Touch, LG will also be launching Heart Rate headphones. These wireless Bluetooth headphones will function like normal headphones, but they'll also be able to check your heart rate based on blood flow in your ear, and, if combined with LG's fitness app, they'll give you real-time fitness updates, too. Pretty fancy stuff.

Looks like 2014 is going to be the year of LG accessories, assuming the G Watch makes it to market by the end of the year.

source: Engadget

Come comment on this article: LG will launch Lifeband Touch and Heart Rate earphones on May 18th

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Quick look: The Moto G 4G with microSD slot

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:40 AM PDT

Alongside the new super-cheap Moto E, Motorola today announced a new version of the Moto G, the low-cost handset it says is its best-selling smartphone ever. The first change is obvious — the Moto G has grown 4G LTE support, a big, important change that makes the handset more competitive in the face of lower-cost 4G competition.

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Lifelogger's face camera will keep your hands free so you can always be recording

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:40 AM PDT

If Google Glass is out of your budget range, but you still want to record your life story, Lifelogger may be your answer. The concept behind Lifelogger is a familiar one: wear a camera that can easily record from your point-of-view all of those important memories, such as birthdays, playing with your children or high-fiving your cat. The little piece of technology is currently in the development stage, and it's looking to ship in late 2014. What's more, if you're on Android or iOS, you'll get a nifty app that will allow you to manage all of your videos, including the ability to upload them to the cloud.

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Motorola Alert debuts on the Moto E

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:09 AM PDT

As we mentioned in our Moto E hands-on, Motorola has brought forth a new app — Motorola Alert. It's a slick little guy that does a couple things: The first is to act as breadcrumbs after you trigger an alert, periodically sending your location to friends and family you designate.

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[New App] Motorola Alert Lets Your Friends And Loved Ones Track You Down In An Emergency

Posted: 13 May 2014 08:05 AM PDT

unnamed My grandmother is 76 years old, and I've finally convinced her that taking her ancient RAZR V3 cell phone on the tractor when she mows the pasture is a good idea. Not because she actually uses it, but because the thought of her having to walk across 80 acres of snake-infested coastal when something goes wrong is a sobering one. Motorola knows the practical use of a cell phone in an emergency, and is augmenting it with a new app.

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[New App] Motorola Alert Lets Your Friends And Loved Ones Track You Down In An Emergency was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG posts official G3 teaser on YouTube [VIDEO]

Posted: 13 May 2014 07:59 AM PDT

Nothing like a good tease to stimulate our senses in the morning. LG is getting folks excited about their upcoming LG G3 announcement with a teaser video that has just hit YouTube.

The video doesn't show us much as you'd expect — a couple of silhouettes of the phone here, a camera shot there, maybe a smidgen of the brushed metal (or brushed metal-esque) backplate. Add in a few provocative and eye-catching images and effects to fill it all in. You know the drill.

lg g3 teaser snapshot

LG won't be delivering the real goods until May 27th later this month, though we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect. For starters, LG has gotten the ball rolling on mass production of those 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 displays, so expect it to be stuffed into the G3 with haste. We're also expecting something around a 13 megapixel camera, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB or 3GB of RAM and more. Onward to May 27th (but in the meantime, catch up on all the latest rumors and leaks starting right here).

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