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Thursday, June 19, 2014

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Next version of Android officially to run ART by default

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:27 AM PDT

ART was introduced in Android 4.4 as an alternative runtime, available to those who wanted to try something other than Dalvik. Instead of doing some compiling when launching apps, all apps are pre-compiled to increase speed and efficiency. Many noticed this difference in speed, many did not. However, it should still be a more efficient method.

Of course, app incompatibility was a serious problem. But because ART was available to use on KitKat devices, developers started updating their apps to support it. And now we have confirmation that ART will replace Dalvik entirely in the next version of Android. Considering the amount of developer support ART has garnered, compatibility issues should be few and far between.

New commits to Android, namely 98553 and 98618, show that ART will now be the default runtime in whatever the next version of Android will be. That's pretty exciting, as there hasn't been such a huge change to the core of Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Do you guys currently use ART? How do you like it? Leave a comment!

Via: XDA-Developers

Source: Google Source (2)

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Sega classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse comes to Android

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Disney has revived Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, a "reimagining" of the original Sega classic. The interactive puzzler has you controlling Mickey as he travels through the Castle of Illusion, trying to track down Minnie's kidnapper Mizrabel. You'll battle evil hordes of toys and navigate mazes of books in your pursuit of victory.

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Huawei Ascend P7 review

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:25 AM PDT

Huawei is back with a solid, if frustrating, new Android smartphone

Huawei may still be making inroads in western markets, but success elsewhere has seen the Chinese company rise to be the world's No. 3 smartphone maker. That's behind Samsung and Apple, no less. In Europe we've seen a number of cheap, low-to-mid range smartphones from Huawei but a truly high-end, desirable smartphone is much rarer.

With 2013's Ascend P6, Huawei took a positive, yet flawed, step towards offering that. The hardware wasn't so bad but it was let down by a sub-par software experience. But now, Huawei is back for another go at cracking it with the Ascend P7. Launched to the world in Paris, France, Huawei made plenty of bold claims about its latest flagship release. Bold claims that took direct aim at some of the smartphone elite.

So, does the Ascend P7 live up to said claims? Is it enough to take on the latest and greatest from the likes of Samsung, Apple and the rest? Head on past the break for our full review.

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WiFi versions of Samsung Galaxy Tab S to hit stores in U.S. next week

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:23 AM PDT


Samsung has announced the Samsung Galaxy Tab S will be available for purchase at major retailers starting June 27th. Some of the retailers include Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, and Sears. However, Best Buy is the only location that has units available on the sales floor at Samsung Experience Shops for consumers to spend some hands on time with the devices before placing a pre-order or next week's general availability.

The WiFi version of the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 will sell for $399.99 while the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 will go for $499.99. Both versions will be available in either dazzling white or titanium bronze.

Samsung indicates LTE versions of the tablets will be available later this year on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Come comment on this article: WiFi versions of Samsung Galaxy Tab S to hit stores in U.S. next week

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KitKat updates hit for Sprint S4 Mini and Mega, Verizon S4 Mini and S3

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:13 AM PDT

Kitkat updates galore are rolling out today. New software is hitting the Verizon Galaxy S III and Galaxy S4 Mini, as well as the Sprint Galaxy S4 Mini and Galaxy Mega 6.3. These are OTA updates and bring along all the new goodies within Kitkat including "Ok Google", unlimited home screens, immersive mode, UI changes and much more.

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The best phone cases for exercising

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:13 AM PDT

No matter how you exercise, you'll want to protect your phone from the inevitable strain of bring your workout companion

Whether you're going for a run or just heading to the gym for some weight lifting, most of us nowadays are bringing along a phone for music, video entertainment or workout guidance to help us get through the fitness routine. The last thing you want to worry about when you're out exercising is how your phone is going to stay safe and be easy to manage, though — a couple of problems that can be fixed by the proper use of a case. Whether you want an armband-style case for keeping the phone up and out of the way, or just a hefty option for saving your phone from inevitable drops and bumps, we have you covered here.

We've picked out a handful of great cases for some of the most popular Android phones out there today, and hopefully they can keep your phone safe the next time you head out to the gym. Read along with us and see our picks for the best phone cases to exercise with.

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New image of LG G Watch surfaces

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 11:06 AM PDT


As the clock continues to tick down to Google I/O and the anticipated launch of the Android Wear powered LG G Watch, we have a new image that has surfaced. This new image shows a shot of the screen prompting the user to "Install Android Wear on your phone" which seems to imply an app will be available to help make the connection between the LG G Watch and your smartphone.

Below the app install prompt, you may notice "G Watch B165″ appears. This seems to be similar to the method used to get a Chromecast up and running and "connected" to your network. In that case, the configuration process for Chromecast displays a code that you verify on your device in order to proceed with entering security credentials.

The other item you might notice in this latest shot is the cable plugged into the charging port on the side of the watch.

source: Reddit

via: phoneArena

Come comment on this article: New image of LG G Watch surfaces

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Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 Mini get KitKat update on Verizon

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT


Just yesterday the Samsung Galaxy S3 saw an update to Android 4.4.3 KitKat on AT&T's network. Now Verizon has apparently followed suit with its own update, while also throwing a KitKat upgrade for Galaxy S4 Mini owners as well.

As you'd expect, the meat of both updates is the introduction of KitKat and all the goodies that come with it including SMS integration into Hangouts, Google printing, immersive mode and the list goes on. Additionally, you'll also find a number of bug fixes highlighted in the S3 and S4 Mini's perspective change-logs, and even some Verizon and Samsung-specific changes for each device such as Samsung Knox 2.0 support and the inclusion of ISIS Wallet on the GS3.

To get an even better look at what's new, you can get the Galaxy S3's change-log by clicking here, or the GS4 Mini here. As for when you can expect the update to roll out? In typical fashion, it could take a few days to reach your device, though you can always try upgrading manually by checking under device settings to see if an update is waiting.

For those that have already received the upgrade for either device, any other major changes worth noting? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets hit the streets June 27

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets have been up for preorder for a week now, and they'll officially be available on June 27 at Samsung.com, Amazon, Best Buy, Sears and other locations.

The Wifi version of the 8.4-inch tablet is $399, and the 10.5-incher is $499. LTE models will come later this year on the major U.S. carriers.

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Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Blue' winners!

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 10:58 AM PDT

We're a day late announcing our Weekly Photo Contest: Blue winners due to a flurry of news coming out of Amazon and T-Mobile yesterday, but we're happy to recognize this week's winners, even if we're a tad late. We had a full seven pages of photo contest entries this week in the forums, but we had to narrow it down to just two that will take home the prizes. Read along and see the winners this week.

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Z Launcher is the latest contextual launcher, and it’s made by Nokia (sort of)

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 10:18 AM PDT

Contextual homescreens — that is, home screens which aim to bring you the apps and info you need without you having to think about it — seem to be all the rage these days. Apparently there's a huge need for these things and thankfully there's no shortage of options. Introduce another one: Z Launcher. And the most interesting thing about it isn't how it works, but rather who it's made by.

This is Nokia's creation, though it's not quite the Nokia you're thinking of (the one Microsoft paid X amount of dollars for). This is a different team that worked independently of Nokia's core business over-the-years, and can be seen as forgotten, yet valuable remnants of the ordeal.

z launcher screens

So what does this launcher provide? An easy way to get to your apps. That's it. Z Launcher learns your habits over time (like all other apps promise to do) and will attempt to serve up the app you need at the moment you need it. If it's wrong, simply correct it by drawing the first letter of the app you want to use, and you should see the app you need appear in a list of possible candidates. You can also access your contacts and other items this way.

z launcher

The video above does a far better job of explaining it, as does giving it a spin for yourself. Simple. Effective. Interesting. And Nokia. We're not sure this is going to become the next big thing, but it could be a very nice app for folks who don't need widget and folder-infested home-screens. You can sign up for the beta right here if you want to give it a spin.

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Archos introduces Smart Home with weather tags, motion sensors and cameras galore!

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 10:00 AM PDT

Archos today has announced the availability of their Smart Home system — a selection of devices for monitoring and controlling your connected home. We had a chance to check out the Smart Home system back at CES in January and it looks like an awesome connected home system.

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Sonic Dash adds exclusive unlockable 'Andronic' character

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:38 AM PDT

Sonic Dash, the endless runner featuring everyone's favorite hedgehog, has received a small update today with a nifty new character. Andronic — a Sonic / Android mashup — is an unlockable character that can be yours for keeps should you desire. All you need to do is play 50 times with the standard Android character, and Andronic will then be yours forever.

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The Amazon Fire Phone hands-on video!

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 09:13 AM PDT

You watched our liveblog. You've read our hands-on. You've pored over the specs. You've entered our giveaway. And now it's time for the full-on Amazon Fire Phone video.

Have at it. Enjoy. And there's lots more to come in the weeks ahead.

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Twitter acquires live video platform SnappyTV

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:09 AM PDT

After adding native support for animated GIFs earlier this week, Twitter is focusing on live videos by acquiring SnappyTV, a service that allows content creators to edit and share live videos from TV broadcasts quickly.

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Yo: The million-dollar app that does a single stupid thing

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:09 AM PDT

There's a new app, maybe you've heard of it, yo. No, seriously, that's the name of the app, Yo. As in, "Yo dawg." Yo does one thing, and one thing only: it sends a contact a notification of "Yo." No message attached to that, no images, no context, just "Yo from RENERITCHIE". It took eight hours to code, and yet somehow it's sweeping the globe in monosyllabic fashion, and even more inexplicably has raised a million dollars in funding to do… what? Hell if we know.

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Minus Shifts From Instagram Clone To Randomized Chat App In Its Latest Reincarnation As 'Meow'

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 08:06 AM PDT

unnamed Hey, Minus, are you guys alright? Because you're demonstrating the developer equivalent of multiple personality disorder. Sixteen months after Dropbox-style cloud storage app Minus shifted 180 degrees to take aim at Instagram, it has once again become a completely different service, this time with a new name. Minus is now "Meow," a randomized chat client, sort of like Omegle or Chatroulette without the video. All that's left of the latest Minus re-brand, or indeed the original storage app, is the "com.minus.android" APK name.

Minus Shifts From Instagram Clone To Randomized Chat App In Its Latest Reincarnation As 'Meow' was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Here are the 10 finalist designs for Motorola’s Moto 360 watch face contest

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 07:55 AM PDT

moto 360 design finalist 1

The Moto 360 is shaping up to be one beautiful smart watch and Motorola is sure to want beautiful watch faces to go along with them. In case you weren't aware Motorola recently started a contest for people to submit custom watch face designs for a chance to win prize money and / or a Moto 360 smart watch.

Well, they've revealed the 10 finalist designs that will square off for first place. Many of these designs might be featured in the final roster for the smart watch's launch, though only the winning design is guaranteed a spot.

moto 360 design finalist 2

I personally fell in love with the design just above this paragraph, though the one leading this article had the winning "votes" as of the time of this writing. Want to vote on any of them yourself? Head to Google+ here and simply +1 the one you like the most. Don't forget to circle back here and let us know which one caught your fancy by leaving a comment below.

[via Motorola]

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Amazon Fire Phone manages to be exciting and disappointing

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 07:54 AM PDT

Amazon has a new phone and it's most exciting feature is called Dynamic Perspective!

Dynamic Perspective changes the UI of the phone as you change the angle at which you are looking at the screen. This makes the UI look three dimensional and is indeed a unique feature. It's been 5 years since a company known as The Astonishing Tribe first gave us a glimpse into what they called a 3D eyetracking UI.

The Astonishing Tribe was acquired by Blackberry and it's safe to say that their talents were wasted at Blackberry. However it's been 5 years since the 3D eyetracking ui concept was uploaded on YouTube and it's exciting to finally see this UI in a commercial device.

Another ...

The post Amazon Fire Phone manages to be exciting and disappointing appeared first on Android Australia.

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Google brings the stock email app to the Play Store [APK Download]

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 07:06 AM PDT

GoogleEmailStock To round out "Update Wednesday," Google went a step further by releasing the stock Email app into the Play Store — a continued effort by Google to circumvent slow carrier updates for Android. This is not to be confused with Gmail as this app supports IMAP and POP3 on top of Google's own email service. Currently the app is only available for most Nexus and some Google Play devices (Sorry owners of the Play Edition M7 and S4 devices it's not available to you just yet.) Luckily there's an APK (we have it below) floating around and I was able to install it on my GS5. Even so, as it's not officially supported short of these select devices, your mileage may vary.

For those that are able to download, install and use the app, you'll be treated to increased security for Gmail accounts, easier account set-up, the ability to print, and bug fixes. For those that want the app, hit the break for download links and QR codes. Enjoy!



APK Download

Come comment on this article: Google brings the stock email app to the Play Store [APK Download]

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Grab a Tesco Hudl 7-inch tablet right now for just £59

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:43 AM PDT

A quick heads up for Brits looking for a cheap tablet that Tesco is currently selling manufacturer refurbished units of its own branded Hudl tablet for just £59. The sale comes via the Tesco Outlet store on eBay and includes a full 12-month warranty should anything go wrong.

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BillGuard expands internationally, now available in Australia, New Zealand and the UK

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:26 AM PDT

Popular finance tracker, BillGuard, has today announced its first international expansion bringing it's service to folks in Australia, New Zealand and the UK for the very first time. Most major local banks and credit card providers are now supported to use alongside it's simple, yet powerful features to help you keep track of your spending. And all that in a really nice Android – or iOS – application.

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Bugdroid (Android mascot) and Sonic come together in Sonic Dash update

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:19 AM PDT

sonic dash

Well, would you look at that — our beloved Android mascot is finding himself all over the place these days. His latest adventures take him into the world of Sonic Dash, where he is now a playable character that can square off against the fastest hedgehog in the game. Oddly enough you won't be able to use the Bugdroid forever as Sega has pegged this as a limited time promotion.

But if you did want a lasting memory of the little green guy then you'll want to get some practice in and make sure you do well: you'll be able to unlock "Andronic," which — as you might have guessed — is Sonic made to look like a robot. It's a bit of an odd look for Sega's long-time mascot, but we aren't complaining. Give it a shot for free in the Google Play Store.

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Yo is a real app that lets you send “yo” to your friends and nothing else

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 06:19 AM PDT


Remember the Hodor keyboard from a couple of weeks ago? If you thought that was stupid, you're about to lose the final ounces of faith you had in humanity.

Yo is a new app, a real app that does one thing, and one thing only. It lets you send a "yo" text and sound notification to a friend. That "yo" can mean whatever you want it to mean. It's simplicity taken to extreme, perhaps beyond it.



Here's the kicker. Yo has already received $1 million (one million dollars) in venture funding. And no, this is not a joke.

Not to be confused with Yo!, another messaging app, Yo is the brainchild of Or Arbel, a former employee of photo sharing startup Mobli. Arbel's boss asked him to code an app that would let him call his assistant as easy as possible (because, you know, typing is hard.) Arbel took the idea and ran with it. Eight hours of coding later, Yo was born.

The app was recently profiled in an extensive Financial Times article, which reveals that "50,000 users have now signed up to Yo and sent a total of 4m messages – 2m of which were in the last month." Apparently, the app is winning "fans in design-savvy tech companies such as Foursquare, Path and Kickstarter, as well as plaudits on and from Robert Scoble."

The father of Yo recently moved to San Francisco to take his idea of "zero character communication" to the next level. With the million in funding under his belt, Arbel plans to turn Yo in a platform, that, for instance, football teams could use to alert their users when a goal (of touchdown, whatever) is scored.

Reassuringly, even when it takes over the world, Yo will always remain faithful to yo: "You need to have just one thing. It has to be only yo."

The day when someone gave a guy one million dollar for an app that lets you yo your way through social interactions may go down in history as the day messaging apps jumped the shark. Unless Yo gets acquired for $5 billion. In that case, this post will look really silly.

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How to customize the LG G3's on-screen buttons

Posted: 19 Jun 2014 05:26 AM PDT

Add, re-style, rearrange or hide your buttons on the LG G3!

Like the G2 before it, the LG G3 sports on-screen buttons so changing your key setup is just a matter of software. And the Korean manufacturer has a whole menu area dedicated to customizing the phone's on-screen keys. Head past the break to find out how you can add up to five keys to your button panel, and change the way they look.

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