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Friday, March 13, 2015

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Sprint will reimburse all cancellation fees when you switch from your current carrier

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:51 AM PDT

All about photos on Google+

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:51 AM PDT

Photos can make or break your experience on social media.

While text may be the way we primarily communicate online, when we add visuals to our words, social media becomes a lot more fun, a lot more addictive, and to an extent a lot easier. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Communities like the Art of Bread probably could still capture interest and share recipes with text alone, but its the pictures that make not-so-diehard bakers come to drool and to learn. Pictures are also important to more technical pursuits on Google+ like beta testing. You could just describe the issue you're having with the new material beta in Nova Launcher, but when you have pictures to show your particular bugs, not only is it easier for users to report but it's easier for the developers to see.

Google+ has been a platform loved by photographers and artists because of the freedom offered by Google+ Photos. Photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Patrick Smith have racked up tens of billions of views. Yes, billion with a b. And their massive public collections of full-scale, quality photography has been put on display through Chromecasts all over the world.

So, what makes photos so special on Google+?

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Tech origin Story: what first got you into tech, how have your interests evolved?

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:27 AM PDT

LG G Flex 2 now available on Sprint in Volcano Red and Platinum Silver

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:27 AM PDT

Microsoft preparing to launch Cortana on Android and iOS

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:26 AM PDT


For companies involved with mobile devices, having a digital assistant is a must. They let users have personalized content centralized in one place without being redirected to other services. Some of the more widely known digital assistants are Google Now, Apple's Siri, Amazon Echo, and Samsung's S Voice. Typically, these digital assistants stay restricted to their creator's devices or platforms. Microsoft, however, believes that multiple platforms should have access to its digital assistant.

The company's digital assistant, called Cortana, will launch on Android and iOS in the form of a standalone application. The launch on those platforms, in both phone and tablet varieties, will follow the revamped version of Cortana on Windows 10 devices that is scheduled to arrive later this year. The codename for this advanced version of its digital assistant is known internally as "Einstein."

Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research's Managing Director, said the following about the next phase for Cortana:

"This kind of technology, which can read and understand email, will play a central role in the next roll out of Cortana, which we are working on now for the fall time frame."

In recent months, we have seen Microsoft commit to platforms other than its own. Apps and services have been brought over to Android and some of Microsoft's apps are even pre-installed on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella views the company's strategy as mobile-first and cloud-first. To be successful with that strategy, playing on rivaling platforms is required.

Source: Reuters

Come comment on this article: Microsoft preparing to launch Cortana on Android and iOS

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Honda put Android in its new Civic, but it could have done so much better

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:06 AM PDT

As we all await Android Auto, let's take a look at what Honda has whipped up in the meantime.

After the fun and games of Mobile World Congress, Europe played host to another huge event, this time for the auto industry. The Geneva Motor Show is where the world's biggest car makers go every March to show off the latest and greatest that four wheels has to offer. Like Honda, with the new Civic. And it's got Android inside, don't you know.

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Google VPN service spotted in Android 5.1 system settings

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 10:01 AM PDT

With privacy an ever-mounting concern for users on mobile, it stands to reason that people are going to be turning to VPNs in larger numbers. While we saw a simplification of the VPN process in Android 5.0, it looks like Google will be taking things a step further in the future by offering a VPN service of their own for open WiFi networks.

Pocketables noticed this in the new system application "Google Connectivity Services" and, after some exploration, they were able to launch the underling app and received the following message.


At the moment, clicking through doesn't take you anywhere, as Google hasn't flipped the switch on the back end for the service.

We can't be sure when this feature may actually see the light of day or if it will be available to all, but I'm a VPN advocate, so anything that makes the process easier for the average user is a positive thing to me.

Do you use a VPN on your Android device now? And if Google was offering one built-in would you switch over to it?

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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 09:42 AM PDT

Android 5.1's 'Google VPN' could protect your data on open Wifi networks

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 09:36 AM PDT

Hiding behind the scenes in Android 5.1 but nonfunctional at present, a Google-run VPN might keep your data secure on public Wifi networks.

With Android 5.1 Lollipop now out in the wild, Android enthusiasts are starting to dig into the latest firmware for Nexus devices and see what's new. One interesting addition, first spotted by Pocketables, presents the possibility of Google operating its own VPN service to keep Android users' data secure over public Wifi networks.

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Apple Watch’s Mickey Mouse face turns up on Android Wear

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 09:31 AM PDT

Mickey Mouse is already on Android Wear. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android The Mickey Mouse face that ships with Apple Watch, and has twice been demonstrated by Apple at its Watch events, is now unofficially available on Android Wear — complete with moving hands and feet. Apple first demonstrated the Mickey Mouse face at its initial Watch unveiling back in September, and then again during its Spring

The post Apple Watch's Mickey Mouse face turns up on Android Wear appeared first on Cult of Android.

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LG G Flex 2 now available at Sprint for $21 per month, $200 on-contract or $504 outright

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 09:21 AM PDT

LG G Flex 2 DSC07595

LG's latest smartphone is now available to those on the Now Network. You can grab the LG G Flex 2 from Sprint for $21.00 per month for 24 months through Sprint's Easy Pay smartphone financing, or sign a contract to get it for $200 on a two-year commitment. Those not interested in that commitment can instead opt to pay $504 for the phone outright.

The LG G Flex 2 isn't expected to be considered LG's flagship for 2015, but it sure does read like one on paper. It'll come with Android 5.0 out of the box and its gears tick by way of a Snapdragon 810 processor from Qualcomm.

You're also getting a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 32GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, a 3,000mAh battery and a microSD card slot that can support up to 2TB. Rawr. Of course, LG's most proud of the natural curve they were able to get, as well as the vastly-improved self-healing back that makes a return from the original. Get your order in right here if this sounds like something worthy of your dollars with even more competitive options looming.

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WhatsApp voice calling comes to Android

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:58 AM PDT

WhatsApp voice calling finally arrives. WhatsApp's long-awaited voice calling feature is finally rolling out on Android, but getting your hands on it could be tricky. Not only will you need the latest version of the WhatsApp app, but you'll also need a friend who already has access to the feature. Originally scheduled for the second quarter of 2014, WhatsApp voice

The post WhatsApp voice calling comes to Android appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google VPN service spotted hidden within Android 5.1

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:55 AM PDT

Nexus owners: How's the Android 5.1 update treating you?

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:51 AM PDT

Android 5.1 Lollipop arrived on Nexus phones and tablets this week, with factory images available for some devices and over-the-air now rolling out too.

While Android 5.1 doesn't make any sweeping changes to the way Android looks and behaves, it's still an important update, especially for Nexus owners. That's because it's a maintenance release — the first major one for Lollipop — in which Google fixes bugs, makes things run a bit more smoothly, and adds a smattering of new features that perhaps didn't make it into the 5.0 release. Now we want to know how you're getting on with it.

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HTC One M9’s first official release date is March 16th

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:20 AM PDT

HTC One M9 DSC08393

HTC's mid-March release window for the HTC One M9 is about as accurate as you can get. The company has just announced the first official availability date for the device. It'll go on sale beginning March 16th in their home turf of Taiwan in conjunction with 5 of the nation's largest carriers.

According to local press, HTC held the initial launch in Taiwan so as to instill some Taiwanese pride among the hometown people excited to buy their phone. They drove that point home with traditional festivities such as drum performances and a performance by a local orchestra. This is in contrast to last year's strategy of making United States' Verizon Wireless the very first carrier to call dibs on the HTC One M8.

HTC mentioned that while the M9's officially recognized launch date is March 16th, it wouldn't start showing up on store shelves of local carriers until March 23rd. Whether an international or global launch will happen at that point remains to be seen (B&H once let loose a March 25th date for those of us in the States), but if the phone is primed for one market then it should be good to go in many more.

We'll try to get a more pointed release date as it pertains to everyone not in Taiwan, so sit tight (unless, of course, you'll be fortunate enough to be in the nation next week and buy one for yourself). In the meantime get a good look at what to expect from our hands-on time with the device from Mobile World Congress last week.

[via Digitimes]

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Microsoft Reportedly Plans To Bring Cortana To Android And iOS

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:16 AM PDT

Cortana-Thumb Android has Google Now. iOS has Siri (and Google Now). Windows Phone has Cortana. That's the way the story goes, or at least, that's how it has progressed thus far. According to Reuters, this may soon change. Microsoft apparently plans to bring its Halo-inspired digital assistant to both Android and iOS.

Like Google Now, Cortana tries to learn your behavior and interests in order to simplify your life and be relevant.

Read More

Microsoft Reportedly Plans To Bring Cortana To Android And iOS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Chrome Beta for Desktop update brings support for push notifications

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:01 AM PDT

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 2.35.05 PM copy

Google is currently rolling out a Chrome Beta application over-the-air update for Mac, Linux, Windows and Chrome OS. In terms of added functionality, this upgrade brings support for desktop push notifications, as well as compatibility for ES6 Classes.

Starting today, web developers will be able to access and install a "Push" API on websites, which will enable them to send native notifications to their users even after they have closed the webpage — providing the user has granted explicit permission, of course.

If you're visiting a new website that has the Push API installed, a banner will appear on your screen requesting if you'd like to "Allow" or "Deny" the receipt of notifications. If you choose to accept, you will have to specify when you would like to receive an alert.

The browser also has a nifty new setting which allows users to pause plug-in content, such as Java or Flash Player, when they're running low on battery, in order to save precious juice.

If you'd like to view the full changelog for the Chrome 42 Beta update — hit the source link below.

Source: Google

Come comment on this article: Chrome Beta for Desktop update brings support for push notifications

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Samsung patent describes flexible phone design

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 08:01 AM PDT


With Project Ara, Google eyed modules as a way for users to build a custom phone that meets their unique needs and in the long term, may make it easier to keep up with the latest and greatest developments in smartphone tech as only particular modules need to be replaced. A new patent application from Samsung reveals that company has identified another use for modules in the smartphone market – making devices flexible.

The new patent application describes a device that goes beyond just having a fixed, curved screen. The device that Samsung submitted is capable of curving the frame itself by using a series of modules and can curve either inward or outward.

To achieve the feat described in the patent application, Samsung described how the same concept could be applied to a battery with the modules connected by cables. Making a component like the battery flexible is a requirement for a device like what Samsung has described since the smallest module is limited to the biggest component inside a smartphone.

Samsung points out that the design may lend itself especially well to devices marketed to active users. With the design of the modules and hinges, it may be possible for such a phone to be clipped onto clothing without the need for a case or band.

source: Patently Mobile

via: GSM Arena

Come comment on this article: Samsung patent describes flexible phone design

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Google Code is officially dead; here’s how to transfer your projects to GitHub

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:47 AM PDT

coder coding developer development

The day has finally come — Google Code is dead. The service, a code repository for developers to host their open-source projects, simply wasn't able to adapt to the growing needs of developers like GitHub has been able to. Google apparently wasn't interested in trying to contend, either (in fact, they admitted they'd already moved a significant amount of their own projects to GitHub as they "wanted to be where the developers are").

Here's a quick timeline on what's going down:

  • March 12, 2015 – New project creation disabled.

  • August 24, 2015 – The site goes read-only. You can still checkout/view project source, issues, and wikis.

  • January 25, 2016 – The project hosting service is closed. You will be able to download a tarball of project source, issues, and wikis. These tarballs will be available throughout the rest of 2016.

We suggest that you don't wait until the final gong tolls — might as well start moving all your digital goods over to GitHub as soon as possible. Thankfully Google has a handy tool to make that as easy as a few clicks.

[via Google]

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Deal: Pre-owned 32GB Nexus 9 for only $250.99

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:42 AM PDT

Report: Microsoft Cortana digital assistant heading to Android

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:42 AM PDT

Sprint is offering to reimburse all fees for customers to ditch current carriers

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:37 AM PDT

Sprint is now offering anyone who switches from their current wireless carrier to its service full reimbursement of both their termination fees and any remaining phone payments.

This is just the latest effort from Sprint to get new customers. The company says that it will pay off any remaining fees and costs from former carriers "no matter what is owed."

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LG G Flex 2 now available at Sprint

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:02 AM PDT


As promised, Sprint has officially launched the LG G Flex 2. The G Flex 2 should be more popular based on size alone as the original G Flex was just too big. However, early reports of overheating issues could hamper it.

If you want to take a chance at this cutting edge phone, you can grab it at Sprint starting today for $504 outright or 24 easy monthly payments of $21. You can also buy it on contract for $199 after a $50 mail-in-rebate. You have your choice of Volcano Red (exclusive to Sprint) or Platinum Silver.

source: Sprint

Come comment on this article: LG G Flex 2 now available at Sprint

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Micromax is selling a 42-inch 4K Android-powered TV for $640

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 07:01 AM PDT

Micromax has launched two new 4K Android-powered TVs in India, both at very competitive prices. The first of the bunch is a 42-inch model with a 3840×2160 ELED display, 60Hz refresh rate, dual-core CPU, dual-core GPU, 2GB RAM, 2.5GB storage plus microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, three USB ports, three HDMI ports, AV input, Ethernet port, Miracast support, DLNA sharing and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean powering the show.

The second model is larger, but slightly less powerful, 49-inch model. This option packs a 49-inch 3840×2160 ELED display, 60Hz refresh rate, dual-core CPU, dual-core GPU, 1GB RAM, 2.2GB storage plus microSD card slot, three USB ports, two HDMI ports, AV input, Ethernet port and surprisingly, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, giving it a newer version of software than the more powerful 42-inch model.

While neither TV runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with Android TV support, they both include the Play Store with all of the apps and games out there. That may seem disappointing, but the price really makes up for it. The 42-inch TV is being sold for Rs. 39,990 ($640 USD) and the 49-inch model is Rs. 49,999 ($800 USD). For a 4K TV powered by Android, those are incredibly low prices. The downside is that Micromax is keeping the TVs in India, meaning that others won't be able to score a great deal on these TVs.

If you want to look or even buy, follow the source link below.

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Google could be working on a built-in VPN service for use on open WiFi networks

Posted: 13 Mar 2015 06:46 AM PDT

google vpn

Android 5.1 might not have a horde of obvious changes above the surface, but there's no doubt Google put in a lot of work under the hood. Another interesting new change has come to light — the company might be working on bringing a built-in VPN service for use on public WiFi networks.

The change was noticed when a new app — called Google Connectivity Services — was found among the list of other apps installed on the latest stock build of Android 5.1. Using an app like QuickShortCutMaker will allow you to launch the following activity within the app:


Launching said activity brings up a dialog box letting you know that you will be connected to a Google VPN to transmit your data in a secure fashion. Clicking "Got It" takes you to the standard VPN menu, though the phone fails to connect to any VPN at that point.

So is Google working on a free VPN that anyone can access? It's possible, though there are a couple of other things to consider:

  • This could be a feature of the carrier's upcoming MVNO service that was confirmed at Mobile World Congress. Google's MVNO will leverage the use of both public WiFi and cellular networks for calling, messaging and data activity. Such a solution certainly could benefit from encrypted data. We expect to hear more about these efforts at Google I/O.

  • It's possible this could eventually be offered for Android for Work users who transmit sensitive data to and from the workplace.

  • It could be a free-for-all where anyone and everyone who needs VPN access can easily get it with just a few clicks.

But without any official word from Google, it's all just a series of guesses. The "learn more" button on the dialog box links to a generic support page so there are no answers to be had there.

We'll be looking for answers from sources of our own, though, and will update you accordingly if we hear anything. Built-in VPN that anyone can use at any time? That would be a game changer, but let's try not to get too excited before we know what, exactly, El Googs is planning.

[via Pocketables]

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