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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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Amazon’s all-you-can-read Kindle subscription service enters test phase

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 03:08 PM PDT

kindleunlimited Unlimited music streaming services are still struggling to make a profit, but Amazon is turning to its bread and butter for its next subscription service: Books. Amazon is testing a new ebook and audiobook service that will give subscribers unlimited access to over 600,000 titles, according to spotting by Kindle Book forum users, but it

The post Amazon's all-you-can-read Kindle subscription service enters test phase appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Chrome For Android Bumped To v36 With Improved Text Rendering On Non-Mobile Sites, Desktop Chrome Updated As Well

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 02:37 PM PDT

Chrome-Thumb The Chrome developers have released a new version of their browser that may not have a particularly exciting changelog, but it does lead to a better browsing experience. Version 36 should make text on those websites that don't have a mobile alternative render somewhat better. This, combined with non-specified performance improvements and bug fixes, should result in more enjoyable browser use.


Text rendering on a non-mobile website using a previous version of Chrome.

Chrome For Android Bumped To v36 With Improved Text Rendering On Non-Mobile Sites, Desktop Chrome Updated As Well was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Chrome for Android update rolling out, brings back Doodles on new tabs and more

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 02:18 PM PDT

Google-IO-2013 Chrome logo 6 1600 aa

It's Wednesday and that means we can expect at least a few minor updates for some of Google's apps today. First up to bat is the Chrome browser, which is seeing an update to version 36.0.1985.122.

So what's new here? While not a major update, there are tons of bug fixes and performance improvements, improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized sites and the return of Doodles to the new tab page. Additionally, the latest update is said to include security fixes for the following issues:

  • [$3000][352083] High CVE-2014-3159: Omnibox URL Spoofing (Android). Credit to Keita Haga.

  • [334204] Medium CVE-2014-3161: Same origin policy bypass (Android). Credit to HÃ¥vard Molland from Opera

As is typical, the update is rolling out in stages so don't be surprised if it takes a few days to reach you. As soon as we're able to get our hands on an APK, we'll be sure to update this page with a link. If any of our readers have already received the file and are able to share it with us, please contact us with a link or, at the very least, post it for our readers in the comments below.

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Samsung Gear Live now available at Best Buy for pre-order

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 02:05 PM PDT

The Samsung Gear Live is one of two Android Wear smart watches currently on sale, and we were expecting it to launch at Best Buy soon after it went up on the Play Store. It's been available on Google Play for a while now, many people have already gotten theirs, so it's about time that Best Buy put the device up on its site.

The Gear Live is now available for pre-order on the Best Buy website, with general availability online and in store expected shortly. With Best Buy hosting the Samsung booths in many of its locations, the company is definitely a fan of Samsung so it shouldn't be too long before these smart watches are available.

You can get the watch for $199.99 right now and get it delivered whenever Best Buy feels like it's time. While we don't see much reason to buy it online from Best Buy instead of the Play Store, buying it in store could be a major convenience. Will you be picking one up from a retail store?

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LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live now available on Google Shopping Express

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 02:04 PM PDT

Google Shopping Express header

Google Shopping Express may not be available everywhere quite yet (okay, that's a huge understatement), but in the areas where it is live, it's easy to see how same-day delivery on items you might otherwise be too busy to pick up (or too lazy) could be incredibly beneficial to some. Where you'll find the usual assortment of goods on Shopping Express — paper towels, food, cleaning supplies — there are also a fairly good range of electronic devices that can be purchased from retailers like Best Buy or Google Play.

LG G Watch Samsung Gear Live Google Shopping Express

Guess it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to find Google has just made available their new line of Android Wear smartwatches available for same day delivery via Shopping Express. As discovered by one Reddit member, both the LG G Watch (black and white) and the Samsung Gear Live are now available from Google Shopping Express with same day delivery, although seemingly limited to only the Peninsula area of San Francisco.

As Google Shopping Express expands, the prospect of near instant gratification of the latest Google Play devices is definitely an appealing one. For those interested, you can find links to the aforementioned Android Wear products below.

LG G Watch (black | white) | Samsung Gear Live

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Dead Trigger 2 gets major update with new weapons, story content and more

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Developer Madfinger Games has released a major new update to their free-to-play zombie first person shooter Dead Trigger 2, adding in a ton of content such as new weapons, more of the game's story campaign and additional features.

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Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Green' winners!

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:55 PM PDT

Another fantastic Weekly Photo Contest is over and done with, yielding several pages of great photo entries in the forums. We saw plenty of lush greenery from around the world, as well as some more abstract entries that took the "green" prompt to interesting places. Three winners were picked this week, so be sure to read along and see the winning images for yourself.

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Samsung introduces four new Level premium audio products to the US

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:48 PM PDT

In a move to take on companies like Beats and Bose, Samsung is using their name to push a new brand of premium audio products called Samsung Level. Originally announced several months ago, starting tomorrow Samsung's Level premium audio products will finally be available in the US.

The starting lineup for Level includes four accessories:

  • Level Over, $349.99

    The Samsung Level Over is an over-ear headphone designed for an immersive sound experience. Level Over delivers powerful, clear, sharp sound, ergonomically designed comfort and wireless Bluetooth technology.

    Level Over includes Active Noise Cancellation, employing four mics on the inside and outside of the headphones to cancel outside sounds. In addition, Level Over includes technology that prevents resonance between the vibration plate and the frame, avoiding unnecessary booming and helping to provide the original sound. Users can control volume, navigate tracks, pause or stop music, answer or end a call all using the Smart Control Technology on the side of the headphones.

  • Level On, $179.99

    The Level On is an on-ear, wired headphone that packs a powerful, clear and pure sound in a compact design. Soft polyurethane cushioning provides comfort with a foldable ergonomic design makes this the perfect headphone for the on-the-go mobile user.

  • Level In, $149.99

    The Level In is an in-ear, wired headphone that packs a powerful three-way speaker system that controls treble, mid-range and deep bass, providing clear sound separation and rich, natural sound quality.

  • Level Box, $169.99

    Level Box is a premium, compact Bluetooth speaker that streams high quality audio from any Samsung Galaxy phone – or any other Bluetooth compatible device – directly to the speaker for crystal-clear sound. The sleek, distinctive design is optimized to provide noise reduction and echo cancellation, and a built in rechargeable battery offers up to 15 hours of continuous playback on a single charge. One touch Near-Field Communications (NFC) or the dedicated Bluetooth pairing button provides effortless synching. Control buttons make it easy to adjust volume or play/pause music, and a high-quality HD built in microphone makes it a great device for phone or conference calls.

All four products will see a staggered rollout across different retailers. Starting tomorrow at 12 Eastern, Gilt will offer all four products with a special Level On and Box bundle going for $299. Starting the 20 Amazon will carry Samsung Level products, followed by Samsung online the 21 and "select Samsung Experience Shops at Best Buy stores" July 27.

Level Box Black (1) Level In White (2) Level On Black (1) Level Over White (1)

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Updated Google Wallet knows your gift card balances, lets you ask for money

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:39 PM PDT

Your Google Wallet app is about to get even better. Today, Google has just announced that several new features are coming to the Google Wallet app on Android and iOS. These new features will make it easier to shop in retail stores and get cash from family or friends. Full details on the upcoming changes down below.

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Dropbox and Deutsche Telekom to pre-load app on lots of smartphones

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:39 PM PDT

Dropbox has announced a new partnership with the wireless carrier Deutsche Telekom that will see the Android app for the cloud storage service pre-loaded on millions of smartphones in some central and eastern European countries.

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Samsung Chromebook 2 review

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:24 PM PDT

A laptop with a premium price that doesn't offer a premium experience

When it comes to making Chromebooks, Samsung was there from the very beginning. Following in the Google CR-48's footsteps, Samsung entered the market in mid-2011 with the first Chromebook from a third-party manufacturer, the Series 5. This 12-inch laptop weighed over three pounds, had a woefully under-powered Atom processor and cost far too much for anyone's consideration at the time. Samsung kept at it, following up with a revamped Series 5 and all-new ARM-powered Series 3 a few months apart in 2012, making clearer value propositions as Google's Chrome OS came into its own. And that was it, Samsung didn't make another Chromebook again for well over a year.

Coming out of nowhere, really, Samsung announced two brand new Chromebook models — simply dubbed "Samsung Chromebook 2" — in February of this year. The laptops are nearly identical to one another but come in 11-inch and 13-inch (which we have here) varieties, showing no physical similarities to past Samsung Chromebooks, instead borrowing design elements from its recent Windows laptops and the faux leather from the Galaxy Note 3. They sport higher-resolution screens, large trackpads and all-new Exynos octa-core ARM processors under the hood.

Those changes also bring bumped up prices, too, with the 13-inch model coming in at $399 — a price that tops all available Chromebooks aside from the Pixel. Samsung's definitely going at the "premium" Chromebook market in a real way this time around, but can it succeed with its first device in well over a year? We dive into that question with our full review of the Samsung Chromebook 2 (13-inch).

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DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket on phones, tablets, PCs requires no satellite dish

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 01:24 PM PDT

In a bold move supporting cord cutters, satellite provider DirecTV is allowing users to stream NFL Sunday Ticket games to their personal devices without requiring a satellite dish in the process. Streaming will work on compatible Android phones and tablets, iPhone and iPad, Macs and PCs, as well as Microsoft's Xbox gaming console depending on the package you sign up for.

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[New Game] In The Free-To-Play Game Of Thrones Ascent RPG, The Lannisters Aren't The Only Ones Who Pay

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 07:51 AM PDT

unnamed (23) You almost have to respect the developers of Game of Thrones Ascent, a free-to-play role playing game based on HBO's uber-popular dark fantasy series. It takes real guts to make a text-based game these days, especially one that's clearly aiming for a wide audience. And despite the pretty backgrounds and sweeping music, that's what Ascent is: a text-based adventure game, set in the unforgiving and ruthless lands of Westeros. It's a free download in the Play Store.

[New Game] In The Free-To-Play Game Of Thrones Ascent RPG, The Lannisters Aren't The Only Ones Who Pay was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Wear app brings music recognition to your wrist

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 07:00 AM PDT

EchoWear Android Wear's feature set is quickly expanding now that third-party developers are rolling out their own smartwatch apps, and there are some real treats to be found in Google Play. The latest is called EchoWear, and it brings Shazam-like music recognition to your wrist to help you identify the tracks you hear around you. How

The post Android Wear app brings music recognition to your wrist appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Amazon UK takes £80 off the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX for limited time

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 06:46 AM PDT

If you've been thinking about snagging a Kindle Fire HDX and you're British, now might be the best opportunity you'll get. Until the very end of today, Wednesday July 16, Amazon UK has the 32GB and 64GB 7-inch HDX available with a whopping £80 price cut. That means the 32GB drops to just £149 – and is cheaper by £50 than the 16GB version – and the 64GB comes down to £179 – £20 less than the 16GB model.

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Deal of the Day: LLOYD Anti-Glare Screen Protectors for Samsung Galaxy S3

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 06:46 AM PDT

These protectors are custom designed to shield your Samsung Galaxy S3's display while reducing annoying glare at the same time. Durable and scratch resistant, the TruTouch sensitivity gives these custom protectors a more natural feel on your touchscreen.

The LLOYD Anti-Glare Screen Protectors are available for just $2.95, 85% off today only. Includes 3 per package!

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Daily Deal alerts

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RBC Express Mobile app offers fresh business banking functions

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 06:30 AM PDT

The Royal Bank of Canada released a new dedicated app for business customers today. RBC Express Mobile has all of the bells and whistles of RBC's everyday banking counterpart, plus optional two-factor authentication for added security. Beyond that, it's clearly enjoyed a fresh, polished user interface.

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Sony Xperia Z3 gets FCC approval on its way to the U.S.

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 06:29 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 12.57.03 Earlier today, an unannounced Sony smartphone passed through the United States of America's official certification authority — the FCC. Information included in the filing documentation reveals that we could possibly be looking at Sony's upcoming Xperia Z3 (D6603) — a revamped model of the company's flagship smartphone of 2014. Unfortunately, the paperwork doesn't disclose anything

The post Sony Xperia Z3 gets FCC approval on its way to the U.S. appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google Play Music All Access comes to 6 new countries today

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 06:07 AM PDT

Google Play Music 5.6 DSC06067

Friends in six new countries can wake up happy today knowing that'll be able to access a healthy library of millions of tunes for a low monthly fee. Google Play Music All Access is now available in the following areas:

  • Bolivia

  • Chile

  • Colombia

  • Costa Rica

  • Peru

  • Ukraine

This adds to a list that still isn't nearly as sizable as other Google Play services such as Books and Movies, but Google clearly isn't twiddling their thumbs in trying to get it rolled out to more people. As you'd expect, music libraries will differ from region to region as Google has to adhere to licensing agreements on a regional basis.

You should still be able to find a good majority of the music you enjoy, but don't be surprised if you can't find the exact same tunes as your friends in another country. New users are entitled to free 30-day trials of the music service so there's no good reason not to give it a go and see if it's something you wouldn't mind paying for. Grab the app from Google Play at the link below.

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Sony handset with model number D6603 passes through FCC, may turn out to be the Xperia Z3

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 04:53 AM PDT

We've already seen leaks detailing hardware and design of Sony's alleged upcoming flagship device, the Xperia Z3. A recent FCC certification of a Sony handset by model number D6603 lends further evidence that an Xperia Z3 launch is imminent.

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Samsung could be about to splash $200m on home automation startup SmartThings

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 04:23 AM PDT

SmartThings While Google has Nest Labs and Apple has HomeKit, Samsung is reportedly looking to enter the home automation space by acquiring Internet of Things company SmartThings for $200 million, according to TechCrunch. SmartThings is a home automation platform that allows users to connect devices such as lights or doorlocks to a system controlled by their

The post Samsung could be about to splash $200m on home automation startup SmartThings appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Samsung rolling out Android 4.4.2 KitKat to Galaxy S4 Zoom

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 04:09 AM PDT

Samsung's first shot at a camera-centric smartphone, the Galaxy S4 Zoom, is receiving a much-awaited update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

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Google lets you easily track the value of your Bitcoin horde

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 03:25 AM PDT

Google has updated its search engine to list real-time Bitcoin price conversions. The search giant has partnered with Bitcoin wallet service Coinbase to provide the feature.

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Logitech releases new protection+ case to keep your Galaxy S5 safe from harm

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 03:25 AM PDT

There's certainly no shortage of cases when it comes to the iPhone, but that hasn't prevented Logitech from tapping into the market yet again with a new line of extra-rugged smartphone cases that are said to protect said devices from knocks and drops. Setting the mobile device owner back $34.99, the protection+ case is compatible with both the iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S5, utilizing its hardened polycarbonate shell and impact-resistant polymers on the corners.

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Logitech announces a Galaxy S5 case and magnetic car mount

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 02:55 AM PDT

If you're looking for a new Galaxy S5 case and a way to mount your phone in your car, Logitech might just have you covered. The company today announced its protection+ case and +trip (italics ours, annoying lowercase and plus-sign styling theirs) car air-conditioner mount for the GS5.

The protection+ case is a polycarbonate shell with a good chunk of metal embedded in the back to make it compatible with Logitech's car mounts as well as bring the whole thing up to a military-standard 810 G for protection against drops from 5.9 feet.

The +trip mount clips on to your car air-conditioning mount, and the phone (with the protection+ case) is affixed via a fairly powerful magnet. It's a pretty good bond, as well, though you'll need to work to get the right angle. (And as always, maybe try to not fiddle too much with your phone in the car if you can help it.)

The case runs $34.99, and the magnetic mount is $24.99. Both are expected to be available in August.

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