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Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Some LG G3 pre-orders on T-Mobile already arriving on doorsteps

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 03:19 PM PDT


The LG G3 isn't technically supposed to launch until July 16th for T-Mobile, but for those wise enough to pre-order the hunky device early, some are already finding the phone arriving on their doorsteps almost a full week early. Apparently some orders began shipping as early as yesterday, with a few lucky folks receiving the phone today. Now that's service.

One of the few smartphones this year pulling out all the stops when it comes to high-end specs, make sure you check out our review to see how the phone fared in day-to-day usage. Prices around $598 without a contract, here's exactly how far your hard-earned money will take you:


  • 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor

  • 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage

  • 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, laser-assisted autofocus, 2.1-megapixel front camera

  • 16GB storage and microSD card slot with up to 128GB

  • 3000mAh battery

  • Android 4.4.2

  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G LTE, FM Radio

  • DLNA and Miracast

  • Metallic Black, Silk White, Gold Shine colors

  • 146.3 x 74.6 x 9.1mm

Now, pre-orderers receiving a device a few days in advance of a retail launch isn't exactly uncommon, but when it's a full 6 days of it's official release date — that's pretty damn cool. Anyone receive their LG G3 today? If so, how are you liking it?

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Underworld Empire RPG launches free-to-play on Android

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 03:08 PM PDT

Kabam has just announced that its huge crime-based MMORPG, Underworld Empire, is now available and free-to-play on Android. The game that already has millions of players on its iOS version is now open up to folks on Android, letting you experience the seedy crime underworld for yourself in this action-packed role-playing game. In typical RPG fashion you'll be able to level up your character, build up your skills and inventory with thousands of unique weapons and upgrades.

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9 of 10 emergency wireless calls lack accurate location data in D.C. area

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 03:08 PM PDT

Don't cut the cord just yet on your home phones! FCC data reveals that 9 out of 10 emergency calls made with a cell phone in Washington, D.C. lack accurate location information, making it harder for emergency workers to respond in a crisis. The data was collected in the first half of 2013 and only covers the D.C. area in the U.S.

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Wearable Widgets lets you push your widgets to Android Wear

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 03:07 PM PDT


One of the most exciting parts about Android is you are never stuck with the out-of-the-box experience. Don't like something? There's apps, launchers, mods and so many other methods that can enhance or completely change your experience for the better. While Android Wear might be in its early days, it seems that this same spirit lives on in Google's wearable-oriented OS as well.

We've already seen a developer deliver a custom ROM for the LG G Watch and now, thanks to an updated version of Wearable Widgets, you to push any Android widget over to your Android Wear watch. For those that haven't heard of Wearable Widgets, the app previously supported only Google Glass and the Sony SmartWatch series.

How does it work? Simply put, the Wearable Widgets card on your watch will let you choose from a list of widgets, and the watch will then communicate with your connected smartphone to fetch the widget of your choice. The only catch here is that you can only add one widget with the free version and so you'll have to purchase the full experience in-app for $1.99 if you want to add more than one widget to your watch.

Currently Android Wear and the devices that run on it are very much 1st-gen products, but it's becoming pretty obvious that the platform has a lot of potential and will only grow better in time thanks to Google, its partnering OEMs, developers and the Android modding community.

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Samsung faces child labor accusations, they are “urgently looking into it”

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 02:30 PM PDT

Foxconn factory assembly line, China.

Outsourcing labor brings many benefits to manufacturers, but it can also create some altercations. China has become a popular place for manufacturing gadgets, but the rest of the world doesn't agree with the suppliers' usual working conditions. We see these issues rising often, but the latest dispute involves the most powerful Android manufacturer.

New York-based China Labor Watch is making accusations that Shinyang Electronics is hiring children to produce Samsung products in Dongguan. These laborers are said to work for over 11 hours a day with no overtime pay or social insurance. Furthermore, they allege the workers would get no severance pay after leaving the job, usually 3-6 months after, when Samsung demand declined.

Battling child labor has become an important world-wide effort; one manufacturers can no longer escape. As expected, Samsung claims they will take no part in child labor or unfair working conditions, which doesn't exclude their suppliers' employer practices.


Routinal audits have become a standard for Samsung. The manufacturer claims no child labor was discovered in their March 2013, August 2013 and June 2014 audits, but that they will further investigate China Labor Watch's accusations.

Samsung promises they will take the necessary steps, shall they find out these accusations are correct. Some of the precautionary steps they have adopted include face-to-face interviews, the use of a scanner to detect fake IDs, distribution of supplier guidelines and even facial recognition technology.

Could Samsung's supplier still be sneaking in some minors? We suppose there is a chance, and China Labor Watch did accuse Samsung of "turning a blind eye" about these issues, in 2012. Whether that is the case or not, Samsung says they are all over this case at the moment.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1-2

The manufacturer has also provided us with the Child Labor Prohibition Policy adopted and announced by Samsung. This can be downloaded straight from their website, and it's available in English as well.

This problem expands way past Samsung – it's a global struggle we have been battling for long. Companies like Samsung and Apple are caught in the fire because they have enough pull to make a difference, but ultimately it's the suppliers who get the direct blame for unjust working conditions and child labor.

Samsung does claim they produce about 90% of their own products, and these factories follow all expectations of fair labor. This may not be enough, but it's a good start. At least it seems like the popular Android manufacturer is trying hard.

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Thursday’s Top Accessory: Snap Case for the Nexus 5

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 02:24 PM PDT

nexus-5-snap-case-14 Every Thursday we bring you a report on a particular accessory we've been using over the course the past week and today we're focusing our attention on Google's minimalistic and relatively functional 'Snap Case', which made its debut appearance back in May 2013 alongside the search engine giant's flagship smartphone — the Nexus 5. Google's

The post Thursday's Top Accessory: Snap Case for the Nexus 5 appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Acer refreshes C720 Chromebook with Intel Core i3, 32GB storage

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 02:10 PM PDT

Acer has announced an updated version to its popular C720 Chromebook, this time around with Intel's fourth generation Haswell Core i3 processor. Starting at $349, the updated model provides faster performance, more base storage and delivers more battery life than last year's C720 that were powered by Intel's Celeron processors.

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Federal Trade Commission suing Amazon for wrongfully billing consumers with in-app purchases

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 01:34 PM PDT

The Amazon logo is seen on a podium duri

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is claiming that Amazon wrongfully billed consumers with in-app purchases committed by children. The company was apparently allowing children to make in-app purchases without parental approval. As soon as an in-app purchase request is brought up, there is no way of stopping the user from going through with it. Amazon has had policies to require a password when the amount exceeds $20, but in-app purchases typically total much less (until they build up). While a specific amount is not detailed, the FTC does say the total is in the millions. Last week, Amazon declined a settlement to avoid any future troubles.

Source: FTC

Come comment on this article: Federal Trade Commission suing Amazon for wrongfully billing consumers with in-app purchases

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Plague Inc. update ties in to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 01:11 PM PDT

Plague Inc. has been updated with a new disease that players can use to wipe out humanity, that also ties in to the upcoming release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in theaters. The new pack, the Simian Flu, costs $1.99 as an in-app purchase

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Samsung Apps finally rebranded to 'Galaxy Apps' to help with platform confusion

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 01:11 PM PDT

Though Samsung claimed the change would come several days ago, the Samsung Apps store has just rebranded itself to Galaxy Apps with an update to the application. Coming with the rebrand to the "Galaxy" name is a slight change in visual styling of the app to darker shades of blue and a few new animations, though the app overall performs much the same as it did before.

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Exynos ModAP is Samsung’s first chip with on-die LTE integration

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 01:00 PM PDT


Just yesterday Samsung's Exynos division teased that it had something "exciting" in store for us. While we hoped this meant we'd see the official unveiling of the Note 4's rumored Exynos 5433 CPU, it turns out that the company has instead outed a new quad-core SoC with integrated LTE.

Dubbed ModAP, the SoC is the first from the company to offer on-die LTE integration, and is built on a 28nm HKMG process. The ModAP offers Cat-4 LTE and a built-in image signal provider capable of supporting an 8MP sensor with 1080p video recording at 30fps.

While it's obvious based on the specs that the ModAP is might more for budget and mid-range devices than flagships like the upcoming Note 4, on-die LTE integration is still a noteworthy accomplishment for Samsung and could help put it on a more even playing field with Qualcomm in the future.

What do you think of Samsung's direction with the Exynos line? With continued improvements like on-die LTE integration, will Qualcomm eventually some real competition, or will Exynos continue to play second fiddle into the foreseeable future?

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Top app, device and accessory sales for July 10, 2014

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 12:22 PM PDT

"What do you want to save on today?" My momma would ask me that every morning. At least that's what she'd ask if she were the one compiling this list of the day's top deals on apps, accessories and devices.

Click. Save. Namaste.

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Samsung's newest Exynos chips roll together application processors, LTE modems, and image signal processing

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 11:13 AM PDT

Samsung has announced their newest processors, the Exynos ModAP. The Exynos ModAP chipset brings together a quad-core application processor (the AP part) with a LTE-A-capable modem (that'd be the Mod). Built on a 28nm process, the chip's designed to offer speed and power efficiency, all while keeping things cool (hence the ice motif of yesterday's teaser).

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Google Play Games v2.0 pushing out with new game profile, updated appearance and more

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:57 AM PDT

New tools for game developers also announced by Google

Google Play Games got some attention at the recent Google I/O developer conference and today we're seeing some new some goodies begin to roll out. Google Play Games version 2.0 is beginning to roll out through the Google Play Store bringing with it an updated appearance, an all new game profile and more besides. If that wasn't enough, Google has also announced some new, cross-platform developer tools as well.

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[APK Download] Google Keyboard 3.1.19633 Update Lays Groundwork For Spoken Emoji, Moves Voice Input Button, Adds 5 Languages

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:51 AM PDT

unnamed (1)

A new version of the official Google Keyboard is rolling out at the moment, but you can pick up the APK right here if you can't wait. Today's Google Keyboard update adds a few things, but it's not a huge update.

What's New

First and foremost are new input languages. Indian English, Basque, Galician, Swiss Italian, and Latin American Spanish are all now supported. Next, the voice input shortcut has been moved for apps that don't use the inline search box voice input button (it shows up for some that do, too, oddly).

[APK Download] Google Keyboard 3.1.19633 Update Lays Groundwork For Spoken Emoji, Moves Voice Input Button, Adds 5 Languages was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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OnePlus teases wood backs for July 22nd

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:30 AM PDT


Despite being a relatively new company with only one phone to its name, OnePlus' history has already been a very interesting one, filled with ups and downs. Questionable marketing strategies and a frustrating invite system has quickly taken away some of the OnePlus One's limelight, but there's still no denying that the One is an extremely impressive looking handset at a killer price — if you're lucky enough to be able to buy one.

While we don't know when this situation will change, that's not stopping OnePlus from teasing us about something. The teaser (seen above) lists the date 7.22 (July 22nd) and says "Knock on wood" on a background made to look like wood. The obvious hint here is that wood backs, and hopefully the other promised StyleSwap covers, are on their way. But could there be more to it than that?

It would be amazing if OnePlus tied its full global launch to the same date as its SwapStyle cover debut, but considering the early troubles that the company has had with fulfilling invites in a timely manner, we're not sure if they are ready just yet. It's probably more likely that they will simply expand the amount of invites they are giving out to coincide with the launch of wood backs, which is something they've already started doing.

What do you think, still excited to get your hands on a OnePlus? Willing to go through the hoops to get it, or are you waiting for the full launch before you decide whether or not to pick one up?

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New Cross-Platform Tools for Game Developers

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:25 AM PDT

By Ben Frenkel, Google Play Games team

There was a lot of excitement at Google I/O around Google Play Games, and today we're delighted to share that the following tools are now available:

  • Updated Play Games cross-platform C++ SDK

  • Updated Play Games SDK for iOS

  • New game services alerts in the Developer Console

Here's a quick look at the cool new stuff for developers.

Updated Play Games C++ SDK

We've updated the Google Play Games C++ SDK with more cross-platform support for the new services and experiences we announced at I/O. Learn more»

The new C++ SDK now supports all of the following:

Cocos2D-x, a popular game engine, is an early adopter of the Play Games C++ SDK and is bringing the power of Play Games to their developers. Additionally, the Cocos2D-x team created Wagon War, a prototype game showcasing the capabilities of the Cocos2D-x engine with Play Games C++ SDK integration.

Wagon War is also a powerful reference for developers — it gives you immediately usable code samples to accelerate your C++ implementations. You can browse or download the game sources on the Wagon War page on GitHub.

Updated Play Games iOS SDK

The Play Games iOS SDK is now updated with support for Quests and Saved Games, enabling iOS developers to integrate the latest services and experiences with the Objective-C based tool-chains they are already familiar with. Learn more»

The new Play Games SDK for iOS now supports all of the following:

  • Quests and Events. Learn more»

  • Saved Games. Learn more»

  • Game Profile and related Player XP APIs — the SDK now also provides the UI for Game Profile and access to Player XP data for players.

New types of games services alerts

Last, you can now see new types of games services alerts in the Developer Console to learn about issues that might be affecting your users' gameplay experiences. For example, if your app implements Game Gifts, you'll now see an alert when players are unable to send a gift; if your app implements Multiplayer, you'll now see an alert when players are unable to join a match. Learn more»

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FTC going after Amazon for in-app purchases made by kids

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:24 AM PDT

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing Amazon over unauthorized in-app purchases. The lawsuit seeks a court order that would require Amazon to refund the parents whose children purchased in-app items without permission from the account holder. This situation is similar to the one that Apple found itself if last year, which they eventually settled earlier this year.

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FreedomPop’s free phone service coming to Europe and parts of Asia

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 10:14 AM PDT


FreedomPop has been in the free mobile data business for years now, and more recently in 2013 the provider started offering free phone service utilizing Sprint's network. As you might have guessed, the business model here is that you get so much service free (200 minutes, 500 texts, 500MB data) but you can also unlock unlimited everything for an extra charge of $20.

Right now FreedomPop's services are limited to select Sprint markets, though the company's ambitions don't end there. In the past there have been whispers about the company's plans to expand their partnership to other carriers such as AT&T in the United States. And now it turns out they also have their eyes on Europe.

Today the company has confirmed its services will be rolling out to Europe, starting immediately with a limited test in Belgium. The service should also launch in the not-too-distant future in the UK, Germany, France and Spain, with eventual plans to come to parts of Asia as well. There's no word just on which carriers the MVNO service will utilize, nor how their free and premium plans might differ from what they offer stateside. Considering Europe tends to have lower costs for phone plans, we imagine the premium rates will likely cost lower than in the U.S., but that's really just speculation on our part.

Either way, this is exciting news for those looking for cheap or free basic smartphone access. Of course, the service isn't without its negatives, such as the fact that it uses mobile data for everything — including VOIP calls. This means the service might perform less admirably in markets where 3G is the only option.

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OnePlus teases wood announcement, StyleSwap cover news may be coming

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 09:50 AM PDT

Remember those StyleSwap covers for the OnePlus One that leaked out earlier this year? Well it looks like we finally be getting close to seeing them actually launch.

The official @OnePlus Twitter account today posted an image of a wood background with the words "Knock on Wood 7.22" emblazoned upon it. The caption attached to the photos says "Wood you like to know more? 7.22."

OnePlus originally teased its StyleSwap rear covers way back in March, so it's exciting to see that they may finally be available soon. Some of the StyleSwap panels that are said to be in the works include Silk, Sandstone, Kevlar, Denim and Bamboo. There's no word on how much these covers might cost, but hey, July 22 is only 12 days away.

If you already have a OnePlus One or plan to get one, will you be getting a StyleSwap cover to add a touch of personality to your device?

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LG G3 going on sale on Verizon starting July 17 for $99 on contract

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 09:33 AM PDT

lg g3 aa (5 of 22)

LG's masterpiece, the G3, will start shipping to customers of Verizon on July 17, with pre-orders starting today.

Verizon is the last of the big four carriers to announce the availability of the G3, though Big Red customers won't have long to wait compared to users of other networks – AT&T will have a slight edge, offering the G3 starting tomorrow, but T-Mobile and Sprint will only begin selling the 5.5-incher on July 16 and July 18 respectively.

Verizon offers the G3 for $99 on contract, half of what the device costs on rival AT&T, or for $599 unlocked. You can also get it on the Verizon Edge installment plan, for $29.99 per month.

It's worth noting that the North American versions of the G3 come with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (international version feature 16GB of storage and just 2GB of RAM).

We loved the LG G3 in our extensive review – the device was the first ever to receive our Editors' Choice award, a distinction it earned thanks to that beautiful Quad HD display, powerful internal specs, solid camera, and fresh design. Check out our video review of the G3.

Do you plan to buy an LG G3 from Verizon or from other carriers? What convinced you to pick the G3?

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Using IFTTT with Google Glass

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 09:08 AM PDT

We've talked about using IFTTT with WeMo for home automation, and with Fitbit as a way to get more out of the available data. We also offered an introduction to IFTTT for those not as familiar with the service — and today we are taking a look at how we can use IFTTT to get a bit more functionality from Google Glass.

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Verizon LG G Vista specs revealed

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 09:08 AM PDT


The LG G Vista has been leaking slowly, and now we have a few specs to share with you. The Verizon-bound device (VS880) is expected to sport a 5.7-inch 720p (1280 x 720) display, a quad-core Snapdragon 400, 1.5 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, 8 MP rear camera, 1.3 MP front-facing camera, 3,200 mAh battery, and Android 4.4.2. It's also expected to be 9.9mm thick and weigh in at 162 grams.

This is an obvious mid-range device, with hopefully pretty competitive pricing. Unfortunately we don't know what Verizon plans on charging for this device nor do we know when it will be released. We will keep you posted.

source: @evleaks

Come comment on this article: Verizon LG G Vista specs revealed

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OnePlus hints at SwapStyle cover launch this month

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 08:56 AM PDT

OnePlus-SwapStyle-teaser OnePlus has had no problem selling its new smartphone — after all, who doesn't want a flagship phone for $299? — but there have been tremendous problems with availability. The same can be said for the company's official accessory lineup, but a teaser posted on Twitter today suggests its first SwapStyle cover will be available

The post OnePlus hints at SwapStyle cover launch this month appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Cricket Wireless has special deals on Samsung, ZTE and Motorola phones

Posted: 10 Jul 2014 08:56 AM PDT

Cricket Wireless has announced special sales deals for many of their Android smartphones from Samsung, ZTE and Motorola as part of their new "back to school" promotion.

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