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Monday, June 30, 2014

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Samsung announces four new low-level smartphones all running KitKat 4.4

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 02:34 PM PDT


Samsung has announced a quartet of smartphones aimed at lower tier market segments although all of them come loaded with Android 4.4. The Samsung Galaxy Core II, Samsung Galaxy Star 2, Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 and Samsung Galaxy Young 2 will help Samsung expand their Galaxy line across a wide swath of market segments and price points.

The Galaxy Core II is the "beast" of the four devices if one considers a smartphone with a 1.2GHz processor to qualify for that label. The Galaxy Core II also comes with a 4.5-inch display, a 2,000mAh battery, 768MB of RAM and a 5MP camera. Samsung did try to dress it up a bit by giving it a faux-leather back similar to their high-end devices. The Galaxy Core II does have a microSD slot and is dual SIM capable.

The Galaxy Ace 4 is a step down with a 1.0GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a 1,500mAh battery in the 3G model. There is a 4G LTE version available that bumps up the specs to a 1.2GHz processor, a full 1GB of RAM and an 1,800 mAh battery. Both versions of the Galaxy Ace 4 come with a 5MP camera and a 4-inch screen.

Continuing on down the spectrum, the Galaxy Young 2 comes with 512MB of RAm and a single-core 1.0GHz processor powering a 3.5-inch screen. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Star 2 is similar in size with a 3.5-inch screen and 1.0GHz processor to go with 512MB of RAM.

All four of the devices will be available in shades of either black or white. No pricing or details on availability have been announced for any of the devices, but we expect they will be dirt cheap.

samsung_galaxy_star_2_specifications samsung_galaxy_young_2_specifications samsung_galaxy_ace_4_specifications samsung_galaxy_core_ii_specifications

source: Samsung (official blog)

Come comment on this article: Samsung announces four new low-level smartphones all running KitKat 4.4

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T-Mobile hits mid-year LTE expansion goal

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 02:23 PM PDT

T-Mobile announced that it has achieved its mid-year coverage goal of expending its LTE footprint. Now the Un-carrier network announced that as of the end of June, it now has 230 million points-of-presence for its 4G LTE footprint, meaning its network is expanding and LTE is available in more areas. And though T-Mobile has hit its milestone for June, the carrier says that it will continue to expand its LTE footprint.

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Android L vs Ice Cream Sandwich: Google Design shows off their redesigned Roboto font [DOWNLOAD]

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 02:11 PM PDT

roboto comparison KitKat vs Android L

While not the kinda "graphy" that gets most people's engines purring, there are few things in life we enjoy more than some good 'ol typography. For Android L, Google decided to clean up the Roboto font we all love so much and saw introduced back in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

A few moments ago, Matias Duarte and friends took to the new Google Design Google+ page to show us the subtle difference coming to the typeface in Android L. While the differences aren't anything too major (although Google says it's been "extensively refined"), Google promises the font will look even better on the big screen (Android TV), the small screen (smartphones and tablets), and the really small screen (Android Wear smartwatches). You'll notice a Roboto that's a bit more round and wide, with the K R caps seeing the biggest changes.

Not shown in the comparison are the italics and numbers which also received some love, but if you'd like to check it out for yourself, you can download the all new Roboto font here . Enjoy.

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Google to improve Voice voicemail transcription, wants users help

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:58 PM PDT


Users of Google Voice will know that their voicemail transcription can sometimes be a little hit and miss. Lucky for us though, Google is well aware of the fact that it can be improved, and are launching a new initiative to make it better. But, they need your help.

When users log in to their Google Voice account, they will now be asked if they want to anonymously share their voicemail messages to help improve the service. According to Google, voicemail messages will be analyzed by an automated system, and NOT heard by real people. Users will also have the option to change whether or not they share their messages at any time.

Source: +Alex Wiesen

Come comment on this article: Google to improve Voice voicemail transcription, wants users help

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Google's Q2 2014 earnings call set for July 17

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:43 PM PDT

Mark your calendars, folks. Google's earnings call for Q2 2014 has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PDT July 17. The usual materials will be on hand, of course, and its' the follow-up Q&A that we'll be sure to be around for.

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Leaked photo shows off Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact's front

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:27 PM PDT

If the recently leaked front panels for the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact are accurate, then Sony may be continuing the design trend that is found on its recent line of smartphones and tablets. The leak shows what is allegedly being reported as the front panels for the Xperia Z3 and the miniaturized Z3 Compact in both black and white, revealing slim side bezels and more chunky top and bottom sides.

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Blek is a puzzler unlike anything you’ve ever played, now available for Android

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 01:19 PM PDT


For every GPU straining, graphically intensive action game out there, it seems smaller game studios have really been thinking outside the box when it comes to games on our mobile devices. One such game is Blek, all new to the Google Play Store. After causing a bit of a sensation on iOS, it's finally arriving for our Androids.

Blek reviews

Simple yet complex, Blek is more of a puzzler, but one unlike anything you've ever played. Players will have to draw lines through colored dots, while avoiding black dots. Lines drawn will be replayed — and repeated — to solve puzzles and although seemingly easy at first, things really start heating up just as you're getting into the swing of things.

The game has been lauded by countless online game critics and can be downloaded for only $3 on Google Play where it's already received a 100% 5-star rating (just wait until entitled ART fanboys get wind of it).

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T-Mobile puts LG G3 up for pre-order, will cost you $599

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:51 PM PDT

The LG G3 is a great device with some serious specs, including a brilliant 5.5-inch 2560×1440 display. A lot of people are anxiously waiting for it to come out in the US, and it's not far out. T-Mobile is now offering a pre-order on the smartphone in preparation for the July 16 launch date.

The device will set you back about $599 on T-Mobile, but that can be split up to $25 a month for 24 months if paying it all at once is a little too daunting. The other specs of the device are a Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera with optical image stabilization and laser focus and a hefty 3,000 mAh battery.

If you're interested in the device, read our LG G3 review for more info before making the decision. Then hit the source link to get pre-ordering! Is this your next Android device?

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Google Play movies, TV shows now streaming in YouTube app

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT

Google has updated its back end so that movies and TV shows purchased through the Google Play store will now stream through the Android YouTube app under the Purchases section. As the change happens on the Google side, no app update is required on the user's part to enable this feature on Android smartphone and tablets.

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Blek game creeps onto Android

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:41 PM PDT

A minimalist game has made the leap from iOS to Android called Blek, which definitely qualifies as one of our top Android game releases for the month. This puzzle title has been earning accolades from all over for its wonderfully fresh mechanics. Players are presented with a series of circles that have to be popped before moving onto the next stage. Black spots are peppered in between; touch those and you have to start over. The way you hit those targets is by tracing a single gesture on the screen which is then repeated on its own over and over after you lift your finger. The line can be as simple as a short swipe that continues moving forward, but more often then not you'll have to get pretty creative to continue on.

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LG joins the Open Automotive Alliance to help car OEMs create better connected experiences

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:35 PM PDT

Android Auto Open Automotive Alliance

LG has just officially announced their involvement in the Open Automotive Alliance. The new group — which focuses on bringing smart connected experiences to the road — mostly consists of auto manufacturers, but it's not weird to see a company like LG in the mix. Not only will LG's own collection of smartphones, tablets and smartwatches help enable Google's Android Auto future, but they also have a pretty nice audio business that features a car audio fork.

LG's AVN (audio, visual and navigation) platform will look to add to the smart services already available in many cars, as well as interface seamlessly with Android Auto cars like the ones revealed at this past Google I/O. LG didn't go into tremendous detail about what they'll be doing and who they'll be doing it with, but we imagine they're already deep in the brewing process with at least a few different car OEMs. Let's hope we hear more before the year turns.

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How to set up your Android Wear smartwatch

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:34 PM PDT


Setting up a new device can be a daunting task, but thankfully Google has made it really easy to get your Android Wear smartwatch up and running in no time. It's just a matter of downloading the Android Wear app and turning on your watch. The Android Wear app will walk you through the process and you will be receiving notifications within minutes. Hit the break for a quick video showing you how it works. Also be sure to check out our complete Android Wear walkthough that will get you acclimated with your new watch.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: How to set up your Android Wear smartwatch

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Monday App And Game Sales: True Skate, GoneMAD Music Player, IM+ Pro, And More

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 12:08 PM PDT

thumbnail Suffering from a nasty Google I/O hangover? Yeah, seems to be pretty much universal today, but we've got just the thing to fix you up – cheap apps and games. It's almost as good as a healthy diet and exercise.



Wrkout Pro – $1.49 from $2.99

Walk Band Premium – $0.99 from $1.99

GoneMAD Music Player Unlocker – $1.99 from $3.99

IM+ Pro – $1.99 from $4.99

GO Launcher Prime – $3.99 from $5.99

Easy Voice Recorder Pro – $0.99 from $3.99


True Skate – $0.99 from $1.99

Reiner Knizia Tigris&Euphrates – $0.99 from $2.73

Magnetized – $0.99 from $2.99

Monday App And Game Sales: True Skate, GoneMAD Music Player, IM+ Pro, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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FlickKey keyboard targets round smartwatch screens

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 11:58 AM PDT

With Google's Android Wear platform supporting traditional square and novel round watch faces, FlickKey is now coming out of the gate with a third-party keyboard that is designed to work fluidly for circular displays. "FlickKey keyboard is the only keyboard that let's users type just what they tell it to type on all touch screen devices, including round screened smartwatches," the company said.

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Monday Need-To-Know: Android has a built-in data limit service

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 11:11 AM PDT

Android Data Manager For this week's Monday Need-To-Know, we're showing you how to implement your very own mobile data limit on your smartphone. This is a feature that goes unrecognised by many, but really is one of the best raw services the Android operating system has to offer. Whats more it's super easy to set up. All you

The post Monday Need-To-Know: Android has a built-in data limit service appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 gets Galaxy S5 features via update in UK

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Samsung has a new flagship out, but older devices haven't been left behind. In fact, Samsung is now adding some Galaxy S5 features to the older Galaxy Note 3. In the UK, the Galaxy Note 3 is beginning to get an update featuring both Download Booster and KNOX 2.0, both first seen on the Galaxy S5.

Download Booster is a very useful feature that utilizes both your WiFi and cellular connection to download files much faster than usual. KNOX 2.0, on the other hand, isn't such good news. It's great for business security, but if you plan to modify your phone, it may be a pain in the butt to circumvent (though rooting with TowelRoot should leave it alone).

If you're a UK resident with a Galaxy Note 3 device, you may see the update soon (though rollouts like these tend to be slow). Head to settings and check for updates! If you're from the US, you'll probably have to wait. Plus, many carriers have taken Download Booster out of the Galaxy S5, so we may not see it on the Note 3 at all.

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Best Android games of June 2014

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 10:42 AM PDT

Another 30 days, another batch of excellent new Android game releases

We've gathered up yet another collection of the very Android games to come out over the last four weeks. Whether you're looking for a twitchy action title, or a slow, methodical strategy game, or a light, bite-sized puzzler, we've got a bit of everything. We've only got five to look through, plus we'll have another round-up for non-game apps. As always, our community tends to dig up some great finds too, so be sure to swing by the comments to find more.

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8 best new Android apps released in June 2014

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 10:16 AM PDT

It's the end of June and that means it's time to round up the best Android apps from June 2014. It was a busy month with Google I/O 2014, the World Cup, the Stanley Cup Finals, and a bunch of other events. However, some developers still managed to get some big releases out there into the wild so here they are!

Angry Birds Epic Android appsAngry Birds Epic

[Price: Free with in app purchases]

First up this month is Angry Birds epic. Yes I know it's an Angry Birds game and many of you are tired of Rovio's cash cow. However, the game has actually garnered very favorable reviews so far even from people I know who generally dislike Rovio, in app purchases, and Angry Birds. It's an RPG that's free to play with in app purchases that do fall into the realm of reasonable. If you're an RPG fan, why not check it out?

Get it on Google Play

Boom Beach Android appsBoom Beach

[Price: Free with in app purchases]

Boom Beach is a strategy game from Supercell who you may know as the developers of Clash of Clans. Boom Beach utilizes a lot of the same elements of Clash of Clans but features a longer campaign, different battle tactics, and a more modern approach in terms of armaments and troops. It's also free and it was a hit game on iOS.

Get it on Google Play

CM Theme Showcase Android appsCyanogenMod Theme Showcase

[Price: Free]

Unfortunately our next item is only for phones that run CyanogenMod 11 which are pretty much you root users out there and those rocking the OnePlus One. It's CyanogenMod's Theme Showcase app and what it does is allow you to mix and match various theme elements to create a more personalized experience. It's really fun to use and once there are more themes made for it, those rocking CM will have some truly awesome choices in terms of UI theming.

Get it on Google Play

CyanogenMod Theme Showcase Android apps

Email Android appsEmail

[Price: Free]

Next up is the official Google Email app. This was released so that Google can update the app without administering system updates and it's always a good decision to do that. Unfortunately you have to have a phone running stock Android such as a Nexus device or a Google Play Experience device but other than that it's free to download whenever you want it.

Get it on Google Play

Email Android apps

Google Slides Android appsGoogle Slides

[Price: Free]

Google Slides was released right after Google I/O and with that completes the trio that makes up the Google office suite. If you're an avid user of Google Drive you'll need to get this to view and edit presentations along with Google Docs and Google Sheets for documents and spreadsheets respectively. It's free, it looks really good, and if you use Drive you'll probably need it eventually anyway.

Get it on Google Play

Google Slides android apps

Life Time Alarm Clock Android appsLife Time Alarm Clock

[Price: Free]

Life Time Alarm Clock is another application that was released and much like Timely, it's a unique look at the alarm clock. It has a pretty fun design and it looks nice and it also has features like battery life saving, wake challenges to make sure you're up, and more features you'd expect out of an alarm clock. It's pretty nice and if you're tired of your current alarm, give this one a shot. It's free.

Get it on Google Play

Terrain Home Android appsTerrain Home: Sidebar & Search

[Price: Free]

Next up is Terrain Home and Samsung actually had a small hand in the making of this launcher. It's in beta right now for those in the United States only but it has the potential to be a pretty fun launcher. It focuses on contextual content and simplification. It may take a few updates to work out some of the bugs but most people believe it has a lot of potential. It's also free!

Get it on Google Play

Yahoo Aviate Launcher iconYahoo Aviate Launcher

[Price: Free]

Last up this month is Yahoo's Aviate Launcher. It's been around for a while but it's officially left beta and you don't need an invite code anymore to use it. A lot of people like this launcher for its simplicity and the official release also included a few new features for things like contacts, calendar, and alarm. It's free and it's pretty nice. Check it out!

Get it on Google Play

Wrap up

If we missed a glorious application released in June of 2014 and you want to tell us about it, leave us a comment and tell us more!

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Google Voice shows a slight sign of life

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 10:10 AM PDT

But using your voicemails to improve transcription isn't new

Google Voice is still alive. While many have been waiting on word of its demise (and there was nary a mention of it at Google I/O last week), Google Voice as a service continues to function, allowing you to have one phone number ring multiple lines, and providing a functional (if sometimes hilariously transcribed) voicemail box.

And today Google Voice has shown a very slight sign of life, with a new pop-up window in the web dashboard asking you to "Help us improve voicemail transcription!"

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Arcus Motion Analyzer 'smart ring' announced with Kickstarter campaign

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 10:10 AM PDT

Arcus Motion, a Hungary-based company, has launched a Kickstarter fund raising campaign for the Arcus Motion Analyzer, a "smart ring" that it claims can be used as both an activity tracker as well as a motion gesture controller for several platforms.

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Open thread: which Android Wear smartwatch would you buy?

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:43 AM PDT

The Gear Live and G Watch will offer the same UI

Now that the dust is settling around last week's big announcements, it's time to make some serious decisions. Some buying decisions that is, preferably some that we won't regret in a few weeks.

When it comes to Android Wear, there are two options currently on the table, the Gear Live and the G Watch, with the Moto 360 just around the corner. All three devices will feature essentially the same user experience when it comes to software, so hardware features and price remain the differentiating factors.

It's not just the Moto 360 that's coming this summer – rumors claim HTC has its own circular design ready for an August launch, and Asus may attempt to undercut rivals with a device that could cost as little as $100.

Let's take a brief look at current and upcoming Android Wear devices.

LG G Watch

Price and availability

The G Watch is now available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 7 for $230. LG says it will sell the G Watch in dozens of countries in the following weeks.


LG-G-Watch-unboxing-initial-setup-10-of-13-710x399 LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (13 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (12 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (11 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (10 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (9 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (8 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (7 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (6 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (5 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (4 of 13) LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (3 of 13)

Key specs

  • 37.9 x 46.5 x 9.95mm, 63g

  • 1.65-inch IPS LCD display, 280 x 280 pixels

  • Snapdragon 400, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage

  • 400 mAh battery

Key details

The G Watch is a bit thicker than the Gear Live, and slightly heavier, though the difference is a matter of just a few grams. What you may notice is that its LCD display is lower-res than the Gear Live's. The G Watch comes with a slightly bigger battery though, and battery life should be good for a day of medium usage. The device comes in Black Titan and White Gold and features a standard sized silicon strap with a buckle style clasp. There are no buttons on the smartwatch – to wake it up, simply double tap on the screen.

Samsung Gear Live

Price and availability

The Gear Live is currently available for pre-order in the Play Store. The device will start shipping on July 8 for $200. The device will become available in Samsung stores later this summer.


samsung gear live first look (18 of 19) samsung gear live first look (17 of 19) samsung gear live first look (16 of 19) samsung gear live first look (14 of 19) samsung gear live first look (13 of 19) samsung gear live first look (12 of 19) samsung gear live first look (11 of 19) samsung gear live first look (10 of 19) samsung gear live first look (9 of 19) samsung gear live first look (8 of 19) samsung gear live first look (7 of 19) samsung gear live first look (6 of 19) samsung gear live first look (5 of 19) samsung gear live first look (4 of 19) samsung gear live first look (3 of 19) samsung gear live first look (2 of 19)

Key specs

  • 37.9 x 56.4 x 8.9mm, 59g

  • 1.63-inch IPS AMOLED display, 320 x 320 pixels

  • 1.2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB storage

  • 300 mAh battery

Key details

The Gear Live looks very similar to the Gear Neo, Samsung's Tizen-powered smartwatch, featuring the same general shape, dimensions, and even specs. Just like the G Watch, the Gear Live is made of stainless steel and plastic, and you can change the strap with any standard 22mm strap. The Gear Live features a rather small home button on its right side, that could be a little hard to use. The battery is smaller than on the Gear Live, but the AMOLED screen could help offset this issue. The Gear Live comes with a simple pin clasp, potentially making it easy to quickly remove and put on. The device also features a heart rate sensor on the back, but unless you're a fitness buff, you might not care.

The others

Motorola is rumored to finally unveil the Moto 360 later this summer, but you might have a while to wait. The device will feature a beautiful circular design, resembling a traditional wristwatch, and that may be its biggest draw when compared to the Gear Live and the G Watch. There's also talk about Qi wireless charging, which is something we wished we saw on LG's and Samsung's products as well. The Moto 360 could cost about $250 when it launches, and Motorola may offer some customization options, via Moto Maker.

moto 360 first look (2 of 12)

HTC and Asus will probably introduce their own AW smartwatches by fall, but we know little else. Asus is rumored to go for the budget-conscious with a device in the $100-$150 price range, while HTC will probably introduce something more akin to the Moto 360.

Sound off

If you had to recommend an Android Wear device, which one would it be? What about if you had to use your own money? Which watch delivers the best bang for your 200 bucks?

Would you buy one of the currently available models or would you wait for the Moto 360 or Asus or HTC's products?

Is it even a good idea to jump on the Android Wear bandwagon now? Better, cheaper, sexier devices could be just months away…

Sound off in the comments!

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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LG ready for Android Auto, joins Open Automotive Alliance

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:42 AM PDT

LG has announced more formally their membership in the Open Automotive Alliance, which will be setting the groundwork for Android Auto. LG intends to build a range of audio, visual, and navigation products to plug into the car, which will be available by 2015. The system can plug your phone into the car with a single cable to enable access to navigation apps, contacts, voice calls, and text messages through the car display.

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HTC’s update schedule leaks, One (M8) to receive Android 4.4.4 by July-August

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:37 AM PDT


When Android L was announced, HTC stepped forward and proclaimed it would have the update ready within 90 days of availability. But the company's flagship phone is currently two updates behind the latest version of Android that is available. Next month, though, HTC plans on updating the One (M8) directly to Android 4.4.4 with August being the latest time scheduled. The One (M7) is also targeted for the same release window. The leaked schedule, which you can enlarge by clicking above, shows that HTC is considering skipping Android 4.4.3 all together for the One (M8).

Other devices slated to receive Android 4.4.4 include One Dual SIM, One Mini 2, and One E8. They are currently being tested with the update and could receive it in August-September.

Source: LlabTooFer

Come comment on this article: HTC's update schedule leaks, One (M8) to receive Android 4.4.4 by July-August

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Android L based theme available for Cyanogenmod 11

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:36 AM PDT


If you have a device running Cyanogenmod 11 and want to at least get the look of the new Android L Material Design on your device, a new theme has been put together that will let you install it using the CM11 Theme engine. The theme comes with Google's new boot animation for Android L, the new font, wallpapers, system bars, ringtones, icons, the transparent SystemUI, a new themed calculator, and new colors in a variety of apps. The theme was put together by XDA member OP.

Below are a few screenshots from the theme running on CM11. If you are interested in installing this theme, hit the source for the download links and install instructions.

cm11_android_l_theme_screen_05 cm11_android_l_theme_screen_04 cm11_android_l_theme_screen_03 cm11_android_l_theme_screen_02

source: XDA Developers

Come comment on this article: Android L based theme available for Cyanogenmod 11

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Galaxy Note 3 (international variant) receives Download Booster, Kids Mode via update

Posted: 30 Jun 2014 09:20 AM PDT


Samsung likes to push features from its flagship devices to other phones in its lineup to keep customers happy — and more importantly, coming back.

To continue the trend, the international Galaxy Note 3 (SM-9005) is about to receive an update (OTA) which brings version 2.0 of KNOX, Samsung's mobile security platform, Kids Mode and Download Booster.

The update is live right now in the UK and should hit other countries in the coming week. It's 185MB and the build number is N9005XXUFNF4.

If you're impatiently waiting for an update notification and believe you may be able to pull it now, go to "Settings >> General >> About phone >> Software updates menu" on your phone.

Source: SamMobile

Come comment on this article: Galaxy Note 3 (international variant) receives Download Booster, Kids Mode via update

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