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Facebook finally moves all messaging over to Facebook Messenger app

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

facebook_messenger_update

Facebook previously announced that they were planning on splitting messaging off from their main application solely into the Facebook Messenger app, and it looks like that day has finally come. Up until now, users had a choice between sending messages through either the Facebook app or the Messenger app, but now users trying to communicate through Facebook will be prompted to download Messenger to continue sending and receiving Facebook messages. Love it or hate it, that’s how it’s going to be moving forward.

On the bright side, the Messenger app works better than the main Facebook application, and it has several extra features that make the experience much better for users. Unfortunately for those of you that liked managing all of your Facebook in one application, you’re now going to have to get used to jumping in between apps to keep up with everything. That might be annoying for some people, but it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of Messenger’s awesome Chat Heads, at least. And if you use the mobile version of the site (or only browse Facebook from a desktop or laptop) you won’t be forced into downloading a second app or program. Not yet, anyway.

What are your thoughts on Facebook forcing this change?

source: TechCrunch

Come comment on this article: Facebook finally moves all messaging over to Facebook Messenger app

LG G Watch charging contacts wearing away for some users

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Across the internet, there are reports that the LG G Watch is experiencing some wear and tear breakdown at an accelerated rate. The charging contacts on the underside of the co-inaugural Android Wear device are apparently corroding and thus the charging cradle is rendered useless. Users have scraped away some corrosion in order to get the charging cradle to work once again. Some users have even experienced skin irritation, but LG is claiming that no allergy-causing materials are used with the G Watch.

Are you experiencing this issue with your G Watch?

Source: Reddit
Via: 9to5Google

Come comment on this article: LG G Watch charging contacts wearing away for some users

Motorola Nexus likely as Android Silver plans come into question

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Over the weekend, news broke that a Nexus device codenamed Shamu would be coming from Motorola. In addition to the rumor of a massive 5.9-inch display, this opened the eyes of many as the Nexus program has been in limbo and Android Silver is approaching as soon as next year. A new report from The Information confirms that Motorola is indeed working on a Nexus device and that Android Silver is really the one in limbo here.

Three separate sources confirmed that a Motorola Nexus with a massive display will be available. Google and Motorola reportedly had great interest in doing so for quite some time; however, the pending sale with Lenovo halted any sort of deal. With that seemingly being closed soon, a Nexus from Motorola has gotten the green light to move forward. A Nexus device would likely be the last Google-Motorola move before Lenovo takes over.

The departure of a Google executive is what has Android Silver’s launch under question. Nikesh Arora, the company’s former chief business officer, and his team were the backers of Android Silver taking over for the Nexus program. With Arora gone and the Nexus program sticking around a bit longer, Android Silver may be on hold indefinitely. The program was originally slated for a February 2015 launch.

What do you think? Are you happy another Nexus device is on the way?

Source: The Information

Come comment on this article: Motorola Nexus likely as Android Silver plans come into question

Alleged Nexus 9 image turns out to be just a stock image

Posted by wicked July - 29 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

think_with_google_alleged_nexus_9_post_shutterstock

Earlier today, Google sent some people into a frenzy thinking that the Nexus 9 (codenamed Volantis) was teased. On the Google+ account for Think With Google, the image above was posted. It looks very much like the 4:3 aspect ratio that the upcoming 8.9-inch tablet is expected to have. It turns out, though, that image is merely a stock one obtained through Shutterstock. So there is actually nothing to see here except an image featuring a dummy tablet with some summer items.

Source: RootzWiki

Come comment on this article: Alleged Nexus 9 image turns out to be just a stock image

Hilton Hotels soon to turn your smartphone into room keys

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

hilton

Hilton Hotels are looking to pioneer the use of smartphones as a replacement to plastic (or metal) keys. Hilton Worldwide Holdings is, reportedly, to announce the transition this week. This would put the hotel chain above the competition when it comes to smart technology and the conveniences it can introduce.

$550 million and 2 years later, all 4,100 Hilton-owned hotels should be smartphone-ready. It’s said users will not only be able to unlock their doors with their smartphones, but choosing rooms and checking in will also be a possibility.

The new system’s specifics are still a mystery. We don’t know if NFC will be part of the deal, or if it will simply be an app’s connection to the hotel’s network that will do all the work. The latter seems more likely, as NFC support is still uncommon and will probably never be adopted by Apple (it’s a big factor, as much as we dislike it).

Orbitz.com release new app for international hotel bookings Image Credit – Travelblat

The new features are said to finish rolling out by the end of 2016, so it won’t be long before hotels around you start allowing the use smartphones instead of physical keys. It will probably only be for the tech-savvy at first, but a launch at such a grand scale could really make some changes in the way the hospitality business works.

Convenience is key (no pun intended), and the less time spent doing paperwork and arrangements will definitely make for a better stay. Other advantages could also include a much lighter load on front offices and staff, meaning those who do need a live representative will also have to wait around less.


Via: The Verge; Source: The Wall Street Journal;

Change Your Toast Notification Style with XToast

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

toast notification

Android uses multiple types of notifications. One of these is known as a “toast notification.” You’ve no doubt seen toast notifications in the past, where small prompts with a short text line are shown with information such as successfully signing in, and so on. The default toast notifications in Android are far from being pretty. But luckily, there are tools like the great Xposed Framework that can change almost anything in the Android OS. The best thing about Xposed is that all of these changes can be done without re-compiling the whole OS.

An interesting module to change the look of toast notifications was been made by XDA Recognized Themer vikasb32. With XToast, you can do several things like add an app icon to the toast notifications. The size of the icon can be easily modified, so it’s very easy to match the style to your ROM. If you would like to see a toast notification in a different style than your current ROM, you can also manually select Jelly Bean, Kitkat, Gingerbread, or Holo Light style.

This module is very easy to use. You can modify the style of notifications with sliders and lists. To test it on your device, you need to have Xposed Framework installed and working on your device. If you find your current toast notifications style boring or lackluster, you can now change it right away. To do so, visit the XToast module thread and grab the latest version.

The post Change Your Toast Notification Style with XToast appeared first on xda-developers.

Addicted to Public Access Radio? You Need to Download the NPR One App

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Attention, lovers of public access radio, there is a new application that you need to download. NPR One, which hit Google Play today, allows radio listeners to take their favorite shows on the go with their phones, while also delivering a highly curated playlist of broadcasts and stories which you will love. 

Upon opening the app for the first time, you need to login using Google+, Facebook, or an NPR login, but once setup, the app takes your location and begins feeding your curated news for the area. You can also search by stories through the search bar, just in case there is a particular subject you are looking to listen about.

The app is barebones to say the least. While it is very minimal, it is quite handsome, as well as easily navigable. There are three main sections – one for playing and controlling audio, for browsing topics, and for saved feeds.

The app is completely free, so if NPR is your thing, check it out.

Play Link

Addicted to Public Access Radio? You Need to Download the NPR One App is a post from: Droid Life

Journey app makes keeping a diary cool again

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

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Keeping a journal seems to have become much less common since some years ago. This could partly be due to the digital diary social networks keep for us, but technology could also give journaling the push it needs to stay hip. Enter Journey, an app that is to turn diaries into more than a habit for the melancholic.

Developer 2 App Studio introduces Journey as a beautiful and fun way to keep your memories organized and looking gorgeous. The app maker has a good following in this market, as their JotterPad applications gained traction thanks to their simple aesthetics and mechanics.

journey-1

The developer claims this is a “Journal App with a Human Touch”, a statement we have found to be quite accurate. The fact that it follows Material Design standards drastically improves the application’s stunning looks (and our perception of it). The light blue color brings the menus and buttons to life as smooth animations turn your experience into a natural flow we don’t often witness.

Don’t be fooled by the app’s simple looks, though. Journey is as full-featured as one would expect from a good journaling app. Keyboard shortcuts, word/character count, photo entry, geo tagging, tag support, searching and browsing are only a few of the features you can enjoy.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 3.06.00 PM

As for my very favorite, yet obvious addition? Your whole diary is completely backed up to your Google account via Google Drive. It’s unbelievable how many apps and services still don’t have cloud support, something that should be a standard by now. With Journey, you can switch devices or platforms all you want – your data will be safe and sound.

Go ahead and test Journey in any Android 4.1+ device. It does come with both smartphone and tablet optimizations and you can download it straight from the Google Play Store.

In-app purchases

Though this application is free, it’s important to note some of the features do cost some money. These features are available as in-app purchases and include the following.

  • Markdown shortcuts
  • Night Mode
  • Backup entire journal
  • Cloud print and print to PDF (requires Android 4.4)


Source: Journey (Google Play Store);

11.6-inch LG Tab Book 11TA740-GA50K tablet – Intel-powered with 4GB of RAM

Posted by Tom July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The name of the newly announced LG laptop/tablet hybrid doesn’t roll off the tongue – LG Tab Book 11TA740-GA50K – but it’s got some interesting things going for it.

The 11.6-inch Full HD slate aims again to bridge the gap between tablets and laptops by incorporating a built-in keyboard.

The new Tab Book has an 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display and runs on a dual-core i5 4200U processor clocked at 1.6GHz (2.6GHz in turbo mode).

It has a sizable 4GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 440, 128GB SSD storage, microSD expansion and Android 4.4.2 JellyBean.

It weighs just over 1kg, has USB and HDMI ports and will be available in Korea sometime soon (price tba).

Via tablet-news

 

Xperia Z3 and Z3 compact rumor roundup – what we think we know

Posted by wicked July - 28 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

sony xperia z2 unboxing (15 of 24)

While the Sony Xperia Z2 was only announced back at MWC, Sony is already working hard on a successor, continuing the company’s tradition of releasing a new flagship model every six months.

So far the Xperia Z’s evolution has been pretty gradual, with each revision slightly improving a few key areas in terms of design, screen, software and overall specs. With the Xperia Z3 (and possibly the Z3 Compact) expected to arrive sometime in August or September, we already have a pretty good picture of what to expect from the next-gen iteration of Sony’s flagship Z series.

With this in mind, let’s jump in and take a look at some of the most prominent rumors related to Sony’s upcoming flagship device.

Design

evleaks-z3

When we first heard about the Xperia Z3, it was rumored that the device would see a new design with thinner bezels and a thickness of just 7mm. Now that we’ve seen the device appear in numerous leaked images, it seems that the design changes aren’t nearly as massive as we originally hoped for. The good news is that the phone is still believed to be just 7mm thick, versus 8.2mm on the Z2. The bezels have been shrunk down a tiny bit as well, though the top and bottom bezels seem to be as big as ever on the front.

The Z3′s design changes aren’t nearly as massive as some had hoped for

As for the design change? Although the Z3 looks a bit more polished than the Z2, it continues to pack same overall design language that we’ve seen since the original Xperia Z debuted. For what it’s worth, at least one rumor out of China suggests the Z3′s metal frame will feature a special PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating that will reportedly make it more resistant to corrosion while providing better impact resistance and more protection against scratches. Of course until we hear it from a more reputable source, we’d take this claim with a hefty grain of salt.

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Turning to the Xperia Z3 Compact, we don’t know much in terms of how thick it will be, but we do know that the bezels have again shrunk slightly on the sides. Judging by the one picture we’ve seen of the Z3 Compact, we expect the handset to basically look identical to the Xperia Z3 in terms of design language, albeit in a smaller package.

Display

xperia-z3

When the Xperia Z2 debuted, it kept the same 1080p resolution as the Z1, while jumping the screen size up to 5.2-inches and bringing much improved viewing angles. The Z2 has been applauded for its quality display, and so we imagine the same high-quality viewing experience should be provided by the Z2.

As for the size and resolution? The Z3’s display will reportedly be of the 1080p variety once again, though interestingly enough Sony is shrinking the display down slightly to 5.15-inches. We imagine this change is so that Sony can, combined with smaller bezels, noticeably reduce the overall size of the Z3 when compared to its predecessor.

Meanwhile, the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact will move up to 4.5-inches, a .2-inch increase in size when compared to the Z1 Compact. So far we haven’t heard any details regarding the resolution, though we wouldn’t be surprised if the display sticks to 720p.

Specs and features

xperia-z3-pics

When the Xperia Z2 arrived we received an upgrade to a better and bigger display, a slight processor bump, more RAM and a few other design tweaks that made the experience noticeably better. At least on paper, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Xperia Z3.

Here’s the full spec list, at least based on the most recent rumors from Evan Blass (aka Evleaks):

  • 2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM 8974-AC
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 5.15-inch 1080p display
  • 3GB RAM
  • 20.7MP Exmor RS rear cam
  • 2.1MP front cam
  • 16GB storage
  • Water and dust resistance
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat

Aside from a very minor jump from 2.3GHz to 2.4GHz and a slight decrease in screen size, the Z3 spec sheet reads almost identical to the Xperia Z2. Of course, there could be a few wild cards thrown in here that go beyond ‘core’ specs like new sensors and the rumored integration of wireless charging.

Bottom-line, unless these specs aren’t 100% accurate, the Z3 will offer a very similar hardware experience to its predecessor. As for the Xperia Z3 Compact? Rumors suggest the same spec sheet will apply with the exception of a 4.5-inch 1080p display and just 2GB of RAM.

What makes the Xperia Z3 stand out from its predecessor?

xperia-z3-vs-z2

Looking at the spec sheet, it’s hard not to be a little puzzled as to how the Xperia Z3 will stand out when compared to the Z2. While the Z3 Compact does offer a few noticeable improvements over the Z1 Compact, the Z2 and Z3 look to be near-equals in terms of hardware. So what makes the Xperia Z3 better than its predecessor? That’s a good question.

There’s more to a good phone experience than just specs, and Sony could have a secret weapon or two

We’ve already mentioned that the design is being (slightly) refreshed and that there could be a few wild card features like integrated wireless charging and PVD coating on its metal frame. But is this enough to convince folks to upgrade from the Z2, or even from the older Z and Z1? Yes and no. If the device is perceived as lighter and easier in the hands than its predecessors, that could go a long way in helping the device sell. We also haven’t heard much about battery life and software improvements, two areas that Sony could capitalize on to drive further interest in the device.

In other words, we wouldn’t count the Xperia Z3 out completely just yet. As devices like the Moto X have proven, there’s more to a good phone experience than just specs, and Sony could have a secret weapon or two planned for the Z3.

When will Sony release the Z3 and Z3 Compact?

ifa berlin logo James Cridland

Judging by the past Xperia Z releases, we’d say that it’s likely the Xperia Z3 will officially be announced in late August or early September. Considering IFA takes place in early September, we wouldn’t be too surprised if Sony uses the event as a launching pad for its next flagship. As for the Z3 Compact? While it’s possible that they will debut the handset alongside its bigger brother, there are no guarantees just yet.

As we march closer to the inevitable release of the Z3 (and perhaps the Z3 Compact), we imagine we’ll see plenty of other rumors that will hopefully shed the light on what Sony will do differently with its latest flagship. As we learn new details, we’ll update this post with all the latest news and rumors.

Based on what we know about the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact, what do you think? Are design changes and other minor improvements enough, or are you disappointed that the spec sheet for the Z3 is so close to its predecessor?