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Friday, March 20, 2015

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Android Match


Amazon reportedly launching ‘Unlocked’ service to offer games and apps for free

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 01:18 PM PDT

One of Amazon's strongest perks is Prime, a subscription service for the company that offers plenty of perks. According to a new report, Amazon could be looking to expand its Prime mentality into the world of apps with a feature called "Unlocked."


According to the report published by TechCrunch, citing internal presentation slides obtained by the publication, Amazon's Unlocked feature would not only offer free apps, but also free games to users. More than that, though, this rumored service would actually also offer in-app purchases for free. Essentially, that means that even if an app is paid or free, any in-app purchase options within it would be free as well.


The report highlights some major developers that will apparently be part of the feature, whenever it launches in the future. That includes SEGA America, makers of the game Sonic Dash, which is apparently featured quite a bit in the promotional slides. Also featured is developer UsTwo, the makers of Monument Valley, one of the most popular mobile games in recent memory.


Amazon aims to make finding Unlocked apps easy with obvious branding, so users should be able to find what they're looking for easily enough.


Amazon Unlocked doesn't have a launch date as of yet, and the price for this new feature wasn't available in the report. On top of that, when developers were reached out to about Unlocked, many replied that they are currently under NDA, and that they cannot provide any information about anything related to it. Or even that it exists at all.


The Appstore doesn't have as wide a selection as the Google Play Store, but something like this could certainly do well for Amazon's own efforts.


What do you think of this rumor?





Android Match

My nightmare customer service experience, and how you can avoid a similar fate

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 01:10 PM PDT

Is resale value a concern with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge?

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:53 PM PDT




A sealed battery and no expandable storage is often considered by some to be a huge deal, and that applies to initial purchase and secondhand sales.



The secondhand smartphone market is perfect for Android junkies who need to get their hands on everything, but that's pretty far from its primary purpose. Secondhand smartphone sales sites let people sell their existing device to pay for the next one, for sure, but these services let people pick up decent phones, often significantly cheaper than the suggested retail price. A recent post in our forums raised an interesting question about the ability to sell Samsung's latest flagships, specifically whether or not the lack of a microSD card slot or removable battery will negatively impact the ability to sell the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge. While it's true that secondhand consumers are often not looking for the same things as the people who pick up a phone on the day it is released in stores, a quick look at how secondhand markets treat existing phones offers the answer we're looking for.





















Android Match

Google develops specialized tablet for health workers treating Ebola in Sierra Leone

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:53 PM PDT




Google has developed a specialized tablet in order to assist aid workers in Sierra Leone with easily tracking the vitals of patients afflicted with Ebola.



The device, which is essentially a Sony Xperia tablet wrapped in a protective casing, is designed to be used with gloves and can endure the harsh weather conditions in the area. Additionally, the case's round corners eliminate any risk of piercing the protective clothing used by aid workers.





















Android Match

Purported Huawei Ascend P8 images leak out ahead of April press event

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:23 PM PDT

Tesla App designers prefer Android Wear over Apple Watch

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:19 PM PDT

Apple_Watch_Android_Wear_Tesla_ELEKSlabs_9


Apple may be trying to attack a niche portion of the wearable market by creating a more "premium" option, but premium hardware doesn't always equate to blissful software. The developers of the Tesla app for the Apple Watch found that out in their latest project.


According to them, Google approached Tesla to create an app for Android Wear after seeing they'd done one for the Apple Watch. They accepted Google's challenge, and more than just create a beautiful app for which to control your Tesla smart car, they laid out a wealth of impressions about the development experience and differences between the two platforms.



Here's a spoiler for you: they like Android Wear. A lot. Their love for it comes from the fact that it's a much more open platform to work with compared to Apple Watch. Where Apple limits developers on API access and low-level device integration, Tesla found it refreshing that Android Wear gave them nearly everything they needed.


Apple_Watch_Android_Wear_Tesla_ELEKSlabs_1


Perhaps their most favorite thing was being able to experiment with unique user interface tricks — apparently things are quite restricted in that regard on iOS. They also wondered how the Apple Watch could only manage 18 hours of battery life on such a limited platform compared to 2 hours on many of the smart watches that run Android Wear.


Things weren't all peachy for the Tesla team on Android Wear. Here are a few complaints they had:



  • Voice activation is too slow of a process. Their suggestion to Google is to allow developers control over the command after the initial "OK Google" to cut down on the 2-3 second pauses needed between each part of the command.

  • While better than the Apple Watch, battery life could still be improved. They love Pebble in that regard.

  • Thin documentation — not a knock on the platform itself, but certainly something that can mar the development experience.


But even with all that, they believe Google has done a fine job with Android Wear and can't wait to see where it goes from here on out. Be sure to read their full thoughts on Android Wear development and what went into the new Tesla app over at Eleks Lab.




Android Match

HTC could be reconsidering Android 5.1 for the One M7

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:08 PM PDT

The HTC One (M7). Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android. After telling One M7 owners that their devices would not be getting an Android 5.1 update earlier this week, HTC Product Manager Mo Versi has published another tweet that suggests the Taiwanese company could be reconsidering its decision. The One M7 has already received its Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade (well, most have), but Versi's tweet



The post HTC could be reconsidering Android 5.1 for the One M7 appeared first on Cult of Android.


















Android Match

The next device to get its Android 5.1 update is the Nexus Player

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:03 PM PDT

If you've got a Nexus Player, then Google's got a nice surprise to help you kickstart your weekend.


The Nexus Player's update to Android 5.1 is now rolling out. The update bumps the Android TV device up to build LMY47D and weighs in at 180.2MB. According to Google, it includes "new apps and features, as well as improved performance and stability."


In addition to pushing the Nexus Player's Android 5.1 update out over the air, Google has made the factory image available. So if for some reason you just can't wait for the OTA to hit your device, you can manually flash it yourself.


It's not terribly surprising to see the Nexus Player getting its Android 5.1 update so quickly since it is a Nexus device. That said, it doesn't get as much time in the spotlight as more portable, personal devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. That's why it's nice to see Google pushing Android 5.1 to the Nexus Player less than two weeks after the update was announced.


Let us know when Android 5.1 hits your Nexus Player!


Via: TalkAndroid

Sources: +ChrisHollis, Google Developers





Android Match

[Deal] HTC RE Camera discounted 50% through Best Buy

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 12:02 PM PDT

htc_re_camera_best_buy_sale_032015


The RE Camera was launched last fall for consumers that wanted a personal camera with style and simplicity. Clearly, the device was targeted by HTC at the action-oriented. While the RE Camera impressed many with its simply controls and decent quality, the price moved consumers in another direction. Today, the RE Camera can be purchased through Best Buy for 50% less than its normal retail price. The device, which has a 16MP lens and is waterproof, is available for $99 with free shipping.


Both white and blue models are still available as the orange color option has become sold out online. There are even cheaper options, too, if $99 is still to much. Best Buy has open-box units starting at $74.


[HTC RE Camera – Best Buy]




Come comment on this article: [Deal] HTC RE Camera discounted 50% through Best Buy





Android Match

Wireless charging, in plain English

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:51 AM PDT




Wireless charging isn't magic, just convenient.



Wireless charging, like the Qi charging many Android phones use, isn't new technology. My Panasonic electric razor used it many years ago, and most of us have seen toothbrushes that charge wirelessly in a cradle. And of course, we can't forget Palm and the way they brought wireless charging (though a different standard) to the masses with the Touchstone. Now that size, cost and efficiency constraints have all eased up a little, putting wireless charging in something like your Android phone or watch makes perfect sense.


We get more than a few questions about wireless charging and how it works, so let's take a few minutes and talk about the basics — what it is, how it works and why you would want it in your next Android purchase.





















Android Match

Best Buy allegedly taking Samsung Galaxy S6 pre-orders next weekend

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:51 AM PDT

samsung_galaxy_s6_front_flat_white


Next weekend, it could be your chance to walk into a Best Buy store and experience the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge for the very first time.



The company will setup display units of the handset on March 27 in stores across the country. On the Android subreddit, /u/pearbobber claimed to have spoken with a Samsung representative at a Best Buy store who said the retailer would also accept pre-orders on that date. The official launch for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint would come on April 10.


The Samsung representative also mentioned to the curious consumer that a free device would be included with pre-orders. It is likely that a free wireless charging pad was being hinted at.


Source: /r/Android (Reddit)




Come comment on this article: Best Buy allegedly taking Samsung Galaxy S6 pre-orders next weekend





Android Match

Download: Android 5.1 factory image for the Nexus Player

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:48 AM PDT

nexus-player-artsy-2


We talk a lot about Android 5.1 for phones and tablets, but what about Google's first Android TV product? Looks like the Nexus Player is finally set to get it as the company has posted the factory image over at their website.


We aren't sure if there are any big changes specific to TV, but we'll certainly be looking to load this up onto our unit and check. In the meantime you can grab the factory image and flash the file through fastboot if you aren't interested in waiting for a network OTA process.


You'll be on version LMY47D and it figures to cost you little more than 442MB of bandwidth. Grab it from Google's site right here to load it up and give it a go.




Android Match

27 best Android tablet games

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:28 AM PDT

Google releases Android 5.1 factory image for Nexus Player

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:20 AM PDT




Google has just released another Android 5.1 factory image, and this time it is for the Nexus Player.



Over the past week Google has released Android 5.1 Lollipop factory images for a variety of devices, and it is now available for the Nexus Player.





















Android Match

GetHuawei contest offers the opportunity to test a new smartphone before launch

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:18 AM PDT

Huawei is coming on strong to start 2015 with the announcement of the impressive looking and high-end Huawei Watch along with the buzz around the April 15th event that should see the unveiling of the Ascend P8.


With all that attention on the latest devices coming out of Huawei, it's probably safe to assume that some of you would like to get your hands on one of those products, right? Well Huawei is offering 100 opportunities for you to do just that with the GetHuawei contest on their community site. Did I mention that you will be getting the device before it's even launched to the public? (I completely understand if you already left to go click on the necessary link to get in on this.) They don't specify the device you will be testing beyond saying that it's "an upcoming smartphone."


This is an extension of Huawei's existing "Friendly User Testing" program that puts devices in the hands of friends and family of Huawei staffers and select members of the Huawei community before they become publicly available. To be clear, you do have to return the device at the end of your testing period; you are essentially stepping into our role as reviewers, only you are going to be providing feedback directly to Huawei that could influence the final product.


If you are interested, then head over to the GetHuawei Community site to get started. Long-time AAM fans will probably recognize the gentleman named Taylor that posted the contest over there. There are 50 chances to win there if you join the site and start a discussion thread, and then another 50 available from various sites that you can find linked from the contest page.


Good luck!





Android Match

Android 5.1 pushing to Nexus Player, adds reboot option [update: factory image released]

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:17 AM PDT

Nexus_Player_Android_5.1_Update_Screenshot_01


If you have a Nexus Player, then be on the lookout for Android 5.1 because it's being pushed over-the-air right now. We aren't sure of what changes have taken place, but we do know that there is now a reboot option, which is nice.


Nexus_Player_Android_5.1_Update_Screenshot_02


[Update] The factory image has been posted so if you want to update it manually, you can give it a shot.


source: Google+ / Click here for the factory image




Come comment on this article: Android 5.1 pushing to Nexus Player, adds reboot option [update: factory image released]





Android Match

Google may employ LG to build another Nexus smartphone

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:06 AM PDT

Another Nexus built by LG? Yes please. Photo: LG LG's Nexus smartphones — the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 5 — were arguably two of the best Google devices to date. In fact, they were so good that Google has asked LG to build another one, according to a report from South Korea. eToday reports Google engineers have been spotted at LG's headquarter, where



The post Google may employ LG to build another Nexus smartphone appeared first on Cult of Android.


















Android Match

Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2: Atlas Mugged now available on Android for $4.99

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 11:04 AM PDT

Deal: Get the HTC RE camera for $99 (that’s 50% off) at Best Buy

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 10:34 AM PDT

htc-re-standing-colors


Quick deal alert for folks wanting to add some funky stuff to their digital photography kit. The HTC RE Camera is on sale for $99 at Best Buy, which is a full $100 off its normal retail price. HTC RE is meant to be a sporty camera that challenges products like the GoPro. Strap it to a helmet, a bike or something else and take unique photos and videos of the world — what's not to like?


You can even live stream your musings in real-time and automatically sync clips to use for highlights with HTC's Zoe app in Google Play (available to anyone with an Android phone, not just HTC users). Unfortunately it looks like Best Buy no longer has any orange units in stock, but the Blue and White are just as readily available as anything else.


Wondering how well this thing works? Here are just a few quick samples to give you a good idea before you run over to your local Best Buy:


RE Camera RE Camera RE Camera RE Camera

Head here if you're looking to scoop one up.




Android Match

SiBeam working on 4K wireless video streaming for mobile

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 10:11 AM PDT

HTC hints they may consider Android 5.1 for One M7 after all

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 10:11 AM PDT

Buy a Chromecast before April 19 and get $80 worth of free gifts

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 10:01 AM PDT

chromecast The Chromecast is already a steal at just $35, but it's even better when it comes with $80 worth of free gifts — including three months of Google Play Music, and 30 days of Qello concerts. That's what you'll get if you buy the device before April 19. Google regularly offers consumers some incentives to



The post Buy a Chromecast before April 19 and get $80 worth of free gifts appeared first on Cult of Android.


















Android Match

Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge UK pre-orders now live

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 09:59 AM PDT

Deal: Build robots, light sensors and more with the Complete Arduino Starter Kit for 83% off

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 09:58 AM PDT

Deal: Pick up the HTC RE camera from Best Buy for only $100

Posted: 20 Mar 2015 09:58 AM PDT

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