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Saturday, July 19, 2014

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Apps of the Week: Leo's Fortune, PassAndroid, Topia and more!

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 01:57 PM PDT

There's no better time than a Saturday afternoon to sit down and check out some new apps for your Android, and we hope to kick off that weekend content discovery with our Apps of the Week column. Once a week we round up an app from each of the writers here at Android Central, and get a quick explanation of why they chose that particular app.

This week we're looking at a couple of great game choices, an Android Wear watchface, a Passbook alternative for Android and a few other picks to round out the list. Read along with us this week and see the apps that Android Central is using.

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There is no magic in root

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 01:08 PM PDT

Remvoing some of the mystery of the superuser

While reading around the Internet last week, I noticed several otherwise fine publications making a mistake that far too many people make — claiming that rooting your Android phone or tablet or watch (we can't forget the watches) will make things run better.

That's a trap that far too many people fall into, because having superuser access (root) on any Linux-based machine can allow you to do things that make your device better. It can also allow you to do things that make a device run worse, or even break everything and leave you with a pile of copper and silicon that won't ever do anything ever again. The old adage of "with great power comes great responsibility" really is true.

But by itself, having superuser access does nothing.

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Turn your Android into a monitor for your DSLR with a cheap accessory and an app

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 11:36 AM PDT

Instead of an expensive monitor use your Android phone or tablet

A little while ago we looked at using an Android phone with a DSLR and how the experience was actually pretty good. Using the Chainfire app with a Canon DSLR opens up a world of possibilities. Before we looked at importing your DSLR photos, but there's more to it than that. With a cheap accessory on top of this you can actually create a low-cost, yet still effective external monitor for your camera.

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Moto X gets price cut to $299.99 with the use of promo code

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT

Motorola Mobility's Moto X smartphone can be yours for just $299.99, without a contract, if you use a specific promo code while ordering it online for a limited time.

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Sony lists Xperia Z2 on the US Sony Store website for $699.99

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 09:25 AM PDT

Sony is now showing the Xperia Z2 smartphone as listed on the US Sony Store website, for the no-contract price of $699.99, which is apparently a reduction from its normal $749.99 price tag.

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[New App] Parrot Releases FreeFlight 3 Control App For Its Jumping Sumo And Rolling Spider MiniDrones

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 09:21 AM PDT

unnamed (7) Remember those awesome mini-drones that Parrot showed off at CES way back in January? It looks like the Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo are on sale now, at Brookstone and the Apple Store at least, for $100 and $160 respectively. And if you bought the drone, you'll want something to control it with. Enter the FreeFlight 3 app, made specifically for controlling Parrot's new toys. It's a free download, though you'll need an Android 4.0 device to install it.

[New App] Parrot Releases FreeFlight 3 Control App For Its Jumping Sumo And Rolling Spider MiniDrones was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google will ditch the 'free' label on games with in-app purchases

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 08:53 AM PDT

The European Commission has announced that Google will stop labeling Android games in the Google Play Store as being "free" if they have in-app purchases, as part of an agreement between the company and the commission to offer better consumer guidance when downloading apps.

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Monument Valley to get more levels, could double playtime

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 08:39 AM PDT

Monument Valley, the popular and critically acclaimed optical illusion based puzzle game, will be getting some new content in the near future that could double the amount of its current game time.

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Reviewed: Rachio Iro lets you water your yard from anywhere

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 07:24 AM PDT

The Rachio Iro is no watered-down connected irrigation controller

Do I really need my sprinkler system hooked up to the Internet?

That point was about to become moot as I picked up the screwdriver and removed the basic timer that had served both myself and my lawn well for the past 10 years. Nothing frilly — just your basic monochrome LCD display that controlled the half-dozen zones and their numerous sprinkler heads.

Water turns on, water turns off. If it rains, and I remember to do so, I could manually turn everything off. Every spring I'd try to remember how to manually cycle the system to make sure everything still worked. Simple enough.

But we have to connect all the things these days. And when Rachio announced the Iro Smart Sprinkler Controller, well, why the hell not. We asked them to send us one to test out, and they obliged.

And in the heat of the July summer in Florida, down came the trusty old timer, and up went white Rachio Iro. We're using the $249 eight-zone model. A 16-zone Iro is available for $299.

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Doctor Who Legacy game to get new content thanks to comic books

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 06:10 AM PDT

Doctor Who Legacy, the popular free mobile game based on the even more popular BBC sci-fi TV series, will be getting some new content very soon, thanks to the launch of the two new Doctor Who comic books from Titan Books.

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Deal of the Day: LLOYD HD Screen Protectors for Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 05:54 AM PDT

These screen protectors are custom designed to shield your Galaxy Note 2's display while giving you an ultra-clear, high definition look to your device. Durable and scratch resistant, the TruTouch sensitivity provides a more natural feel on your touchscreen. Includes 3 per package, too!

The LLOYD Screen Protectors are available for just $2.95, that's 85% off the list price! Supplies are limited so act fast.

Never miss a deal. Sign up for Daily Deal alerts

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Twitter is about to make direct messages a little less maddening

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 05:09 AM PDT

Managing your direct messages on Twitter is about to get a lot more convenient, as the microblogging service announced today that it is rolling out an update over the coming weeks that makes "deleting DMs more consistent" across the web and mobile.

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Shazam 4.8.0 APK

Posted: 19 Jul 2014 03:42 AM PDT

Shazam android app updated with minor bug fixes and adds Shazam charts to see which artists are popular. With all the recent bug fixes, Shazam is back to being you go to music tagging app. Shazam is one of the best ways to find out what the songs name is and see the lyrics. It could find your song like magic. It's so nice to use Shazam, if a song you don't know the name of but love and with a click of a button all of the info is there.

Shazam can identify every song you throw at it and the correct album and cover art. If you like music and like knowing new artists and their works, get this. Shazam is so convenient when you got the question of what's the name of that song. If you hear a song on the radio or tv that you like but you don't know who the band was that sung it, all you have to do is press the Shazam button and it will tell you who sung the song and the title of it. This app will identify music and TV and in seconds you'll know the name of any song, or more about what you're watching.

Once you Shazam music, you can easily Sing along to the beat with real-time lyrics, watch music videos on YouTube and share your discoveries on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. You can also listen to full tracks with Rdio, Spotify or Deezer.

Download Shazam APK

- Requires: Android 2.2.3+

- File Name: 47MB (Shazam 4.8.0.apk)

via Android Match

Netflix testing privacy mode, for your incognito viewing needs

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 10:58 PM PDT

Netflix Incognito Privacy Mode

Content curation and media recommendations, two factors that are crucial to the success of many online streaming services. Netflix relies heavily on a recommendations model to serve you new movies and TV shows based on your viewing history. What about those few shows you watched that were not of your normal tastes, why would you want recommendations based on those?

Netflix is testing a new feature that lets you go 'off the record,' a private viewing mode that does not register your viewing decisions into your history, doesn't display on your connected Facebook profile and, most importantly, does not count toward your future recommendations.

The feature has been pushed out to a small group of users for testing, a process that could take months before they can even determine if this should be a permanent feature of the service. That's right, the company's new director of corporate communications and technology, Cliff Edwards says that "Privacy Mode" is just a test, that it may not ever go live for all users.

chromecast aa netflix control

Netflix rather recently introduced profiles within accounts. Profiles have been a great way to keep the children's shows separate from 'mom & dad's' shows, at least as far as viewing history and recommendations go. With up to five profiles per account, users can even create a specific profile for their home viewing and another profile for their Android device, if those happen to be different watching habits.

Private viewing mode would allow users to further control recommendations, but only if they remember to go incognito before pressing play. No word yet if shows watched in privacy mode can then easily be marked as viewed, should they prove worthy of going into your viewing history.

Surely, with your entirely predictable and wholesome viewing habits, you have no need for a privacy mode, right?!?

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Is This The HTC Android Wear Smartwatch?

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 10:21 PM PDT

HTC Smart Watch

Ever since the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live were released, many were wondering what HTC's take on the smartwatch competition would end up looking like. And today's the day.

Thanks as always to @evleaks, we finally get to see the HTC smartwatch as a press render. However, due to note that the software you see is just something @evleaks decided to put on, and it's not HTC Sense on Android Wear.

As for the actual design, it does still remind me of the G Watch and Gear Live but the straps seem to be made of metal, which is nice.

In my opinion, I still think the Moto 360 is the only Android Wear smartwatch yet with a unique design and I hope it comes with a really good price point and decent battery life (something Motorola is quite famous for). However, HTC isn't too far behind on battery life with what they've proven with the One (M8).


Is This The HTC Android Wear Smartwatch? is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Is This The HTC Android Wear Smartwatch? appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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How long can the Galaxy S5 Ultra Power Saving Mode extend battery life?

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 05:42 PM PDT

Samsung's enthusiasm over their Galaxy S5′s Ultra Power Saving Mode has been apparent since the device's announcement. This mode is said to do wonders with battery life, often extending it by multiple days, something that is simply unheard of in today's smartphones. Samsung has decided to offer us their own test, proving Ultra Power Saving Mode can really keep a Galaxy S5 alive.

The Korean manufacturer's test consisted on trying to keep a smartphone alive for the duration of a road trip going from coast to coast. All without recharging the smartphone a single time. This may prove to be the ultimate test, and Samsung's device passed it. The device survived 7 days, in which 86 text messages were sent, 119 pictures were taken, over 4 minutes of video were recorded and over 16 minutes of talk time were used.

sony xperia z ultra aa battery power saving

In Ultra Power Saving Mode, the screen goes into a greyscale mode, turns off WiFi and bluetooth, as well as killing data while the display is off. It also restricts the user from using a plethora of apps, leaving only a few messaging essentials and the browser active. (By the way, there is a way for root users to activate more apps in Ultra Power Saving Mode, which you can read more about in our UPSM Manager article.)

This is quite the feat, and you can see a summarized video of this test in the video above. Of course, we are not sure if Samsung cheated (even if a little) or not, but it seems like a reasonable deed considering what Ultra Power Saving Mode does. The user would sacrifice pretty much all non-essential features!

We wonder how accurate these results really are. Those of you who have tested this Galaxy S5 feature could probably give us an idea of how well it works!

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NVIDIA will announce the Shield Tablet on July 22nd alongside a wireless controller

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 05:33 PM PDT

NVIDIA Shield tablet wireless controller

We know an NVIDIA Shield tablet is on the way, and it looks like it'll be announced sooner rather than later. A set of leaked images and information points towards the gaming tablet being announced on July 22nd in time for a late summer/early fall rollout to consumers.

According to the images, the Shield Tablet will indeed be a powerful tablet paired with a wireless controller instead of the all-in-one package we got with the original Shield device. The tablet sports an NVIDIA K1 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 1920 x 1200 8-inch screen, and a 5 megapixel front-facing cam. The 16 GB model with WiFi only will run $299, and the 32 GB, LTE-enabled version will cost $399. Either option should be more than capable of handling even the most demanding games available on Android.

Aside from the tablet, NVIDIA is going to push the wireless controller accessory to complement playing games on the device. The controller will cost $59 and is supposedly significantly more responsive than typical Bluetooth controllers, so it may not be a universal Bluetooth accessory. That's a bummer if you were planning on getting just the controller for another device.

With an announcement on the 22nd and a rollout slated to begin on July 29th in the US and Canada, you can expect more official news on the Shield tablet soon.

source: Videocardz

Come comment on this article: NVIDIA will announce the Shield Tablet on July 22nd alongside a wireless controller

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[APK Teardown] Google Maps v8.2 Contains First Signs Of Possible 3rd-Party Plugin Support And “I Am Here” Location Picker

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 05:12 PM PDT


Yesterday's update to Google Maps was certainly no slouch for new features; it came packing some great improvements for cyclists, new voice commands during navigation, and a few other interface tweaks. In addition to these public changes, there are also two brand new features buried within the code which are not active yet, but they may point to some exciting stuff on the horizon.


"I Am Here"

Google Maps is pretty good at figuring out where we've gone; between GPS, Wi-Fi, and even things like BLE-based iBeacons, it's possible to pinpoint our locations just about everywhere, even inside of buildings.

[APK Teardown] Google Maps v8.2 Contains First Signs Of Possible 3rd-Party Plugin Support And "I Am Here" Location Picker was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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NVIDIA SHIELD gaming tablet allegedly coming July 29, starting at $299

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 04:39 PM PDT

NVIDIA has a Shield gaming tablet based on Android coming out very soon. We just saw an image of the device leak yesterday, but today we're getting all the details on the tablet. Ready for an 8-inch 1200p tablet with a Tegra K1 SoC? Yes you are. Read on for full details and specs on the SHIELD tablet.

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Netflix tests new ‘incognito mode’ that could keep your embarrassing viewing habits private

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 04:20 PM PDT

Netflix DSC06185

If you've been dying to experiment with My Little Pony, but were simply too embarrassed everyone on your Netflix account would think less of you, hope may loom on the horizon.

In an interview with GigaOM , a Netflix spokesperson revealed the streaming video service is currently testing a new feature tailored to those who wish to keep their viewing habits private. It's called "Privacy Mode" and the option will prevent recently watched movies or shows out of their recently viewed list. It's hard to imagine how Netflix didn't think of this sooner. Just keep in mind selecting the option also means Netflix will no longer be able to recommend videos based on what you watch, a perk we're sure many of you wouldn't mind forfeiting.

Of course, this new feature is only in its testing phase and could be scrapped altogether depending on feedback. In an age where everything we do online is being watched and tracked, having the option for added privacy is always a good thing.

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