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Showing posts from August, 2013

Top 10 Android Apps Updates this Week

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Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most upgraded apps for the week. I’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to look at what people are actually updating, not focus on which apps have the most installs. As in the past, we’re going to filter out minor updates for the super popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but I’m going to make an exception for apps that had significant updates. I hope you enjoy this weekly feature and discover some apps that you might find useful. DirecTV – Version 3.0 What’s new in this version: Completely redesigned look and navigation.New Menu to make browsing your content easier.New TV Shows section.New filter capabilities based on where you want to view your programming- on your phone or on your TV.Set your favorite channels in the guide.Redesigned Info Page for a more visual experience.DIRECTVFreeDIRECTV, LLCPLAYQRPOWERED BY APPAWARE Action Launcher Pro – Version 1.9.0 What’s…

Huawei Honor 3: Rugged, Mid Range and Water Proof Device Unveiled

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Huawei continues releasing devices we, regrettably, may never see in the United States. The newest device is the Huawei Honor 3. The previous Honor devices have been basic mid-range smartphones, but the Honor 3 changes it up a little. The specs on the device are mid-range but still quite nice. It has a 4.7-inch display with a 720p resolution, 1.5GHz K3V2 quad core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage with a microSD slot, 13 megapixel camera and Android 4.2. While that might not satiate the thirst of a power user, it’s definitely a respectable phone.
The Honor 3 also has a bit of ruggedness going for it. This device is IP57 rated, meaning it is dust and water resistant. It also includes an extra sensitive touchscreen to recognize wet hands. And lastly, it offers an infrared blaster for controlling TVs and such. The device is now on sale for about $309 in China. Huawei also unveiled a set top box meant for the Chinese market. It’s an interesting device with a quad core Cortex-A9 processor…

Hugo Barra, Xiaomi and the Plan for Global Dominance

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Whenever there’s a change at Google regarding the Android team, we’re always intrigued as to how it will affect the ecosystem we all love. Fortunately, Hugo Barra’s departure from Google shouldn’t have much of an effect on the ecosystem as a whole, but the story doesn’t end there. Barra has left his post at Google for a new job at Xiaomi, a move which has the potential of turning the entire smartphone industry on its heels. Xiaomi and its history
To give you a little background, Xiaomi is a Chinese company that was founded in the summer of 2010. Lei Jun, the company’s CEO, actually worked at Google before starting Xiaomi. While most media outlets are referring to Xiaomi as a smartphone manufacturer, Android users who are into the modding scene probably know Xiaomi as the developers of MIUI, a custom build of Android that can be installed on dozens of different Android phones. In 2012, Xiaomi sold 7 million phones and is on track to sell 15 million this year. But the company has no plans…

Pressy 'Android Button' Compaign Reached its Kickstarter Goal in a Single Day

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Most Kickstarter campaigns we share have lofty goals of raising outlandish sums of money to create a smartwatch or even a dual-booting phone. This time around, we’d like to introduce you to Pressy, a cheap Android accessory that turns your headphone jack into a programmable button. While most of the fun with Kickstarter campaigns lies in the fact that you don’t know if the product will achieve full funding, Pressy has decided to steal all the fun away from us by shattering its $40,000 goal. The project raised $60,000 in the first day alone. So, why all the excitement? As we mentioned above, Pressy plugs into your headphone jack on your phone, allowing you to “perform your favorite and most common actions with a simple, intuitive physical button.” The free Pressy application allows you to configure custom actions based on a variety of button press sequences. With Pressy, you could launch your camera and take a picture with two short presses of the button, or call your wife with one sort…

Parallels 9 allows users to add-on a start menu to Windows 8

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Lenovo isn't the only company kicking Microsoft in the shins with start menu add-ons. The world famous virtual machine software, Parallels Desktop, allows users to add a start menu back to Windows 8 with the single click of a button in its latest iteration. Users who install Windows 8 onto a virtual machine can also install add-ons which emulate an "old Windows" style start menu by navigating to settings. The Windows 8 start menu, known as Start8, works in both Coherence and "Like A PC" modes. As companies try to bypass Microsoft Windows 8's start screen with a more familiar interface they might just be tearing down Microsoft's bridge to the future. If experiences between various machines are different from company to company, we might begin to see an unorganized crumbling of different navigation - as seen with Google Android's various launcher skins (HTC Sense, Samsung TouchWiz, etc.). Do you think companies are going too far by implementing start men…

Hugo Barra leaving Google to join Xiaomi Global. Why?

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If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, you’ve no doubt heard by now that Google’s VP, Android Project Management, Hugo Barra, has set sail for China to work for the company behind MIUI. We won’t delve into exactly how or why it happened in this piece, but instead examine the two most popular opinions on what Barra’s departure means for Google. What exactly did Barra do Before we can understand what Barra leaving may mean for Google, we have to understand what he did at Android. Barra was the VP of Android Product Management. His role at the company would be seen as largely organizational. Generally, Product Managers are fill-in-the-blank positions; they take ownership of the product they’re managing. The degree to which varies based on how the company is structured (more on that in a bit). They concern themselves with consumer-facing problems, spend a lot of time in meetings getting people like engineers and marketers on the same page, and in the case of Barra, r…

A whole New King of Fragmentation: Google's Love Triangle

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A mysterious woman, referred to only as a “Googler” by AllThingsD, may have been the impetus for Hugo Barra’s decision to leave Google for Chinese company Xiaomi. Looks like HTC’s Cher Wang will be getting some company. Barra rose quickly through the ranks at Google after joining the company in 2008 and most recently served as vice president of Android, product manager. This evening, attention has been drawn to the fact that his departure from Google coincides with a co-worker’s departure from him. Barra had been romantically involved with an unnamed fellow Googler (we’re calling her Helen), who has apparently spurned Barra for Sergey Brin, the company’s co-founder. Brin has been married to Anne Wojcicki for six years; their publicist confirmed this morning that the couple has been living apart for months. What would, ordinarily, be juvenile tabloid news is heightened by the timing of it all. In the wake of Andy Rubin’s absence from the Android team, the loss of another executive could …

Nokia Music updated with notifications, smarter song recommendation engine

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Nokia Music for Lumia smartphones have been updated to bring many handy features to the mix. First of all, there’s the ability to “like” favorite artists to further personalize your music experience. The application will then also like artists based on your playing history and the contents of your music library. Then there are notifications, making sure you know when one of your favorite artists releases any new music. Moreover, this capability can also work with live gigs, alerting you as soon as any event of interest to you is announced, so you can pick up your ticket on time. Additionally, you can pin Nokia Music to your Home Screen to get those notifications without ever firing-up the application. Then, as well as showing you the beautiful artwork for your recently played tracks, you’ll also receive an alert whenever there’s news. Pretty cool I would say… Nokia Music (FREE) [Windows Phone Marketplace]