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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

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LG G Watch gets first Android Wear custom ROM

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 02:59 PM PDT






We all knew it wouldn't be long, and now the first custom Android Wear ROM is available for the LG G Watch. Because the bootloader is unlockable and the G Watch uses fastboot, developer jakeday was able to whip up the Gohma ROM instead of spending time worrying about how to unlock the device and get access to the system.





















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Google Play edition phone selection dwindles to three

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 02:59 PM PDT






The Google Play store is now only listing three varieties of Google Play edition phones left for sale. It's unclear if the latest clearing of inventory is to make room for the arrival of new devices, but at this time those interested in a Google Play edition can select from the HTC One M8, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and the Motorola's Moto G.





















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Google removes Sony Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, and HTC One (2013) Google Play editions from the Play Store

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 02:35 PM PDT

Google Play edition page


Call it a little summer cleaning or whatever you like, but it seems Google is finally ready to call it quits on a few of the Google Play edition devices listed in the Play Store. Let's all bid a fond farewell to the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play edition, Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition, and HTC One (2013) Google Play edition — all of which have been officially removed, not only from the Google Play edition landing page, but Google's support page as well.


Guess that's a pretty good indication these devices wont be coming back anytime soon and while we don't have any official numbers, something tells us these items were never selling very well to begin with. With rumors of Android Silver looming on the horizon, it's possible the few devices that remain — HTC One M8, Motorola Moto G, and Samsung Galaxy S4 — we'll see them joined by a few new comers (or the Google Play edition scrapped entirely).


Which reminds us, just where the heck is the Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition?




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Android Wear bug prevents paid apps from being installed

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 02:20 PM PDT

android_wear_promo_shot


While Android Wear and its complementary devices have only been in the hands of the public for a short time, there are unfortunately still some issues that need to be worked out. As of right now, a bug is preventing users from installing paid applications onto their Android Wear devices.



Android Wear apps are actually installed via your Android smartphone. When you download an app on the phone, it checks to see if there is an Android Wear interface as well, automatically installing it on your watch if there is. It seems that paid applications that are purchased on Android phones won't install the Android Wear counterpart.


While there certainly isn't a ton of apps currently available for Android Wear, most of the ones that do exist are free, meaning this bug isn't likely to affect a lot of users. The bug likely stems from the app encryption feature that was released last year in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.


As of right now, the only workaround is for developers to temporarily release a free version of their applications if they are really determined to get them on Android Wear devices. Google has yet to publicly acknowledge this huge oversight, but seeing as this is a major issue, we should be expecting a fix sooner rather than later.


source: Android Police




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Google’s Project Tango headed to NASA space station

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 01:36 PM PDT

project_tango_vid_cap


While Project Tango isn't yet ready for public release, we are still getting a pretty constant stream of information about the initiative from Google. In the latest update, NASA has confirmed that it will be using the devices in an upcoming launch.



Last month, we got word that Google is reportedly partnering with LG (big surprise) for a Project Tango device that will be released to the public in 2015. This device will not be the phone that we originally heard about, but instead will be the NVIDIA tablet that was announced for developers, and later demoed at Google I/O last month.


Back in April, we got word that Google was in fact testing Tango devices for NASA's Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES. Unsurprisingly, it is that exact project that will be using the device on the upcoming launch.


SPHERES are essentially autonomous machines designed to perform various tasks insides and outside space crafts. Project Tango will serve as the eyes of the machine, providing a clearer picture of what going on compared to traditional smartphones that NASA was initially using.


The Project Tango phone is set to be aboard a cargo spacecraft that is launching on July 11.


source: Reuters




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Samsung working with Oculus VR for its Gear VR headset coming in September

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 01:36 PM PDT

samsung_gear_vr_headset_leak


Rather than going into a new space alone, Samsung is going to be working with someone that is very familiar with virtual reality. The device will be called Gear VR and Samsung is solely in charge of developing its hardware. On the software site, though, Oculus VR is pitching in. This allows Samsung to not go in blindly to a field without any experience. As it does with all of its devices, Samsung will launch apps itself and provide an SDK for developers after Gear VR's announcement. And when will that announcement come? Alongside the Galaxy Note 4 at IFA 2014 in September.


So how exactly will Gear VR work? The user must connect a Galaxy device to the headset with its USB 3.0 port. Gear VR would then use the Galaxy device's components (accelerometer, gyroscope, processor) to track any sort of motion rather than relying upon its own sensors. The display within the headset will presumably be AMOLED, one of Samsung's strong tools.


The reasoning for relying upon the Galaxy device's components is quite simple: cost. Samsung is notorious for introducing new products with high price tags, just look other Gear devices. They all launched at a premium despite not having much competition. But this could be different. With a completely new, uncrowded field, Samsung may to capture the market before anyone else can to solidify itself.


Source: SamMobile




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Tuesday’s Tweak: You can answer calls on the Xperia Z2 without having to touch its display

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 01:14 PM PDT

Sony 1_tcm87-18202 Do you own a Sony Xperia Z2 or are you thinking of getting your hands on one in the near future? If so, you may like to know that you can actually manage incoming calls without even having to touch its screen. 'Smart Call Handling' is on-board all Z2 devices and allows you to answer



The post Tuesday's Tweak: You can answer calls on the Xperia Z2 without having to touch its display appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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LG G Watch gets its first custom ROM, reportedly improves overall performance

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 01:03 PM PDT

LG G Watch unboxing initial setup (4 of 13)


Although the first Android Wear watches are now available from Samsung and LG, the platform is still very much in its infancy and that means only a limited number of apps and other 'extras' exist. Still, there's a lot of potential for Android Wear thanks to its open nature, and that includes the potential for custom ROMs.


Thanks to the efforts of RootzWiki developer jakeday, we now have the very first Android Wear ROM, built for the LG G Watch. Jakeday is known for creating ROMs that are very lightly modified from stock Android, with most of the improvements focused on making the experience smoother. The new G Watch ROM, dubbed Gohma, is no exception, bringing optimizations that reportedly deliver better battery life and reduced lag when switching between screens. There's likely at least a few other tweaks hiding under the hood as well.


The install process is different from the typical Android ROM installation, and appears to be a good deal easier. Essentially you need to have USB debugging enabled on your watch, and then it's a matter of hooking up to your PC and running a simple executable file found within a ZIP.


While Gohma might not be a dramatic departure from the stock Android Wear experience, if it's improvements work as claimed, it could still help enhance the G Watch's performance. Equally important, the existence of Gohma serves as a proof of concept of sorts and could be the first of many Android Wear ROMs.


What do you think, like the idea of Android Wear modding, or do you feel that the Google Now-centric experience is best left alone? For more details on how to install the ROM, or to download it, you'll want to head over to the RootzWiki forums.




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The Samsung Gear Live review

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 12:59 PM PDT






Samsung's third smartwatch — its first for Android Wear — looks a lot like its others


Behold, The Samsung Gear Live! It's been about a year since we first heard rumors of Google jumping into the smartwatch race, and two of the devices are already trickling into the hands of consumers — the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch. We've had plenty to say about both, as well as the platform as a whole, and there will be even more to come. Android Wear will bring Google and Android to an entirely new class of devices, and it will be a big deal — with plenty to talk about.


Right now, we want to talk about the Samsung Gear Live and give a comprehensive look at the hardware, and what you can expect from it should you be purchasing one. While Samsung is no stranger to smart watches, this is a new breed and an introduction to a new platform.





















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The LG G Watch review

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 12:59 PM PDT






It's not at all flashy, but LG's first entry for Android Wear ends up being a solid buy


There's an argument to be made — and this isn't a hard one to make — that the watch isn't the most important part of Android Wear, Google's Android offshoot meant for the wearables space. Instead, it's the software – the simplified user interface running atop a full build of Android — that makes Android Wear so important. Anything else is just a delivery system.


All that is true and epitomized by the LG G Watch, one of first hardware offerings in the Android Wear space. It's a simple device, but a good platform on which to become acquainted with Android Wear.


We've given the LG G Watch a thorough break-in. Is it the right Android Wear watch for you? Let's discuss.





















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Motorola Connect becomes a full-fledged app, will let you ping your phone

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 12:41 PM PDT






Motorola Connect is great service, and now it's no longer buried deep in the recesses of your Moto phone's settings. The update brings an updated look and feel for the app, as well as actually making the app a, well, an app. Motorola Connect has been promoted to the apps tray, which will expose the Motorola Connect services to the kind of users that don't poke around in Settings.





















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Motorola site’s source code reveals the Moto 360 could be available in silver

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:58 AM PDT

moto_360_silver_source_code


Although the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are the starters for Android Wear, it seems that just about everyone is waiting for the Moto 360. The Motorola smartwatch, which is slated for a release this summer, is expected to carry a hefty price tag. But the reason for that is the build quality. The aforementioned smartwatches from LG and Samsung feature plastic, which no doubt keeps costs down. So it is no surprise that the source code on Motorola's site for the Moto 360 reveals that the smartwatch would be available in silver (and we do not mean the color).


Considering it will likely be available through Moto Maker, Motorola has the opportunity to offer different materials to vary the cost of entry. Some people may be fine with plastic and choose to do so at a low price. And others may want something premium, that is where the metal and silver designs come in. Motorola could be aiming to serve a broad audience.


Source: SmarterWatching




Come comment on this article: Motorola site's source code reveals the Moto 360 could be available in silver





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How to enable Easy Mode on the Galaxy S5

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:56 AM PDT






Whether it's for a new user or just to have something simpler, Easy Mode is quick to enable and configure


We all carry around a literal pocket computer with us every day, and the Galaxy S5 takes that notion to the extreme with its laundry list of great features and capabilities. We know not everyone needs access to all of that at once, though, and luckily there's a simple way to scale down the experience with Samsung's "Easy Mode" on the GS5.


Whether its because the phone will be used by a less-experienced user or you just want to simplify things for a short period of time, Easy Mode will give your phone an easier-to-handle homescreen experience, basic settings and easy access to just the things you need with fewer frills. Best of all it's easy to switch between Easy Mode and your standard homescreen experience without losing any data or settings. If you (or someone you know) may have a use for Easy Mode, be sure to read along and get all the details on how to use this feature on your Galaxy S5.





















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[New Game] Fightback Fights Its Way Into The Play Store After Beating Up On iOS

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:53 AM PDT

a Button-mashing beat 'em up games aren't super-common on mobile devices because there aren't really buttons to mash. Fightback makes it work by translating a flurry of taps and swipes into punches and kicks. Are there bad guys on the screen? Yes? Just tap all the things. It seemed to work pretty well on iOS, where Fightback was rather popular.




I'm being a little hyperbolic – Fightback lets you chain together punches and kicks for combos, but only if you get the timing right.





[New Game] Fightback Fights Its Way Into The Play Store After Beating Up On iOS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




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Voice controls for media playback coming soon to Google Now

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:49 AM PDT

playnext


With the introduction of wearables and cars into the Android ecosystem the need for voice control is greater than ever. Android Wear and Android Auto are heavily dependent on voice for getting things done. Anything that requires a physical touch is a simple tap or swipe. You don't want to be fiddling with your watch or car dash for extended periods of time.


Right now there is already a lot you can do with your voice on Android Wear and Auto. This is thanks to the powerful Google Now integration. Google is constantly working on bringing more functionality to Now, and it looks like media playback is coming next. Screenshots from a new version of Google Now show "play next song" and "stop music" commands.


In the video below you can see the "next song" command in action. The music stops while the user says "Ok Google, next song." It also brings up a "Go" button that allows you to physically skip to the next song. These commands will come in handy especially for Android Auto. Now there will be no need to take your eyes off the road to hit "Next." The update is arriving on devices as we speak.



Thanks everyone!




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More details of Samsung Gear VR headset surface

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:41 AM PDT






Virtual reality headsets are all the rage these days, and Samsung's long-rumored take on the Oculus Rift is now being projected for later this year at IFA. As far as virtual reality headsets are concerned, the Samsung Gear VR will bridge the gap between the complicated and highly immersive Oculus Rift and the fold-your-own Google Cardboard — this one apparently will dock the phone to your face.





















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Robbers steal more than $6 million in goods from a Samsung warehouse in Brazil

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 11:35 AM PDT

Warehouse 3


It sounds like a plot taken straight from a movie script: a well executed heist at a big-name electronics company sees more than $6 million products stolen in the dead of night. And that's exactly what happened Monday night at a Samsung factory in Brazil according to The Associated Press .


Thought to be an inside job, a group of 20 robbers orchestrated a raid of a Samsung factory, tying up 8 guards and using their IDs to gain access to specific areas in the warehouse. For good measure, they took 2 guards as hostage before loading up 7 trucks with over 40,000 stolen Samsung goods ranging from smartphones, to notebooks and tablets. Once everything was packed, the heavily armed men made out like bandits under the cover of night. Pretty nuts, right?


The police mentioned that, thankfully, nobody was hurt during the whole ordeal. Currently, Samsung is working with local authorities to try and piece everything together, reviewing surveillance video and investigating employees.




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Win one of five new LG G3s with RadioShack!

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 10:29 AM PDT






Tweet to win one of five phones on Verizon, Sprint or AT&T


We all love a good contest, right? Sure we do and the fine folks at RadioShack have a killer midweek giveaway to win one of five brand shiny new LG G3s on either Verizon, Sprint or AT&T – sorry folks, no T-Mobile. Sounds good, right? Entering to win is really easy so listen up for the full details.





















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Flopsy Droid bounces onto Android Wear devices

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 10:05 AM PDT

flopsy_droid_app_icon


You probably thought Android Wear devices would not be a good form factor for playing games. If the game is simple enough that may not be true. For example, developer Sebastian Mauer has released an "inspired" game called Flopsy Droid for Android Wear devices. Hit the break to check out some screen shots showing how a flying Droid can be piloted through a series of obstacles. If you are lucky enough to already have an Android Wear device, you can use the download links to grab this free game.


flopsy_droid_app_screen_01 flopsy_droid_app_screen_02 flopsy_droid_app_screen_03

qr code


Google Play Download Link




Come comment on this article: Flopsy Droid bounces onto Android Wear devices





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LokLok – Indie app of the day

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:42 AM PDT



What is LokLok?


LokLok is an interesting messaging premise that brings messages to your lock screen. The idea is simple. You create messages using hand-drawn text or images and those messages appear directly on the lock screen of the person you're sending them to. They can then use the exact same image or message in their reply or reply with a fresh new message of their very own.


The premise is pretty cool and the execution is equally interesting. All messages appear directly on the lock screen and replying to messages also takes place directly on the lock screen. That means you do not have to unlock your phone, open the app, read the message, and respond in kind. You simply turn your screen on, read it, and respond. By removing steps, LokLok effectively makes the messaging process much more simple. Since you see messages as soon as you turn on the phone, you also lower the risk of someone not getting or not noticing an important communication. We liked that a lot.


In terms of operation, LokLok is pretty much like Snapchat. You can send text-only messages but more often than not you'll probably be sending camera shots with words or drawings over top. The YouTube video above shows some interesting use cases for such a messaging system such as a man asking a woman which bottle of wine she would prefer. She then uses the same picture but adds an arrow to the bottle of wine that she wants. It's also fairly nifty for things like sending a quick memo to pick up something from the store.


Some other fun features include a little bar that shows when someone is drawing, the ability to share images to social media, and the app developers make it very clear that there is no history stored and groups are completely private. The privacy may be good server-side but there is always the issue of having someone pick up your phone, turning on the screen, and seeing messages displayed. Thus, we recommend you take your more intimate conversations to a more private medium. Other than that, though, the app seems to be fairly solid in terms of privacy.


LokLok review



A faster way to message.




PROS


  • Reduces time it takes to see and reply to messages by putting everything on the lock screen.

  • Simple and fun to use.

  • Great for quick messages, reminders, and asking quick questions.

  • Free to use which is nice.

  • The UI is ergonomic. It only takes a click or two to get anywhere in the app.

  • The app devs have a pretty good privacy agenda.




CONS


  • Beta means bugs!

  • The lock screen placement means you won't be having private conversations.

  • No regular text. You're gonna have to doodle your messages.

  • Social media agnostic which means you're back to inviting people via email only.






7.5

There are a thousand messaging services out there and this may seem like just another brick in the wall so to speak. However, it can be a really nifty idea depending on your use case and it really is an effective and fun way to send quick messages to your friends. It's free so it's worth a shot but beware because it is beta which means there will be bugs!





Check out the last indie app of the day: Commandr




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Fenix returns to Google Play after tweeting is restored

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:26 AM PDT

Fenix-Google-Play Fenix, the best third-party Twitter client for Android, has returned to Google Play after regaining its ability to upload tweets. The app had to be pulled on Monday after Twitter randomly began blocking its ability to post new tweets, but the issue has finally been restored and Fenix has been republished. I've written about Fenix



The post Fenix returns to Google Play after tweeting is restored appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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iFixit tears down Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, both fairly easy to repair

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:20 AM PDT

The first two Android Wear devices, the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, have just received a customary teardown by iFixit. Shockingly, iFixit found that while both devices are indeed small, they're fairly easy to repair. The G Watch, in particular, was a breeze to take apart, earning a 9/10 in terms of being easiest to repair. The only tricky part was the display, which is fused into the assembly of the device. It can be replaced, but requires a bit more effort and cost.


The Gear Live was also fairly easy to repair. It earned an 8/10, held back by the fact that it had some PCBs adhered to the assembly that are a bit of an annoyance. The display is also a fused assembly and is stiffly glued into the chassis, making it unlikely to be able to repair.


Still, we can consider ourselves surprised that both devices are so easy to repair. We're guessing that the Moto 360 will be much trickier, however. For more info on either of the teardowns, hit the source or via links below.





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Windows/Android dual-boot Console OS aims to support Surface Pro 3

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:15 AM PDT






Console OS, an Android-based operating system designed to run on Intel PCs has announced that it will try to support all three members of Microsoft's Surface Pro family of tablets, including the Surface Pro 3.





















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How to use quiet mode on the LG G3

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:15 AM PDT






The LG G3 has its own do not disturb feature, here's what you need to know


Android L might be bringing – finally – a fully fledged do not disturb mode baked in to the operating system, but with the LG G3 you're already getting something along those lines with quiet mode. Activated either manually or at set times of the day, quiet mode has various configurable features to help give you the best experience.


Read on to see what it can do for you.





















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LG talks G3 design in latest video

Posted: 08 Jul 2014 09:08 AM PDT

LG-G3_Screenshot_Design_Video


It's become a trend for manufacturers to release a video discussing what their thought process was in the design for each of their flagships. The LG G3 might not be as high quality as the HTC One (M8), but its design is simple yet attractive.


LG's goal with the G3 was to increase the display size but try to keep the overall device size around the same as the G2. Not to mention, pack more features like a bigger battery, OIS+, dual flash, and laser focus. The G3 is made of plastic, but the metalic finish gives is a premium feel that you don't get with other plasticy phones, ahem…Samsung.


Hit the break to see the video.



Click here to view the embedded video.




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