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New Set of Android Samples Released to Aid Development

Posted by wicked April - 23 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

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A new set of Android samples has been pushed to the Google Samples repository on GitHub, including NFCBeam, Device Owner, Screen Capture and a real world Mobile and Wear Sample app. The samples can be downloaded and imported into Android Studio, or automatically set up using its Sample Browser.

The post New Set of Android Samples Released to Aid Development appeared first on xda-developers.

Hello Replaces Your Dialer With Facebook

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

Facebook Hello

Facebook’s dialer replacement adds contact details, people & place search, call blocking, & easier access to free VoIP calls while placing the social network front & center. Callers in the US can try the app now, but expect the occasional force-close with this new release.

The post Hello Replaces Your Dialer With Facebook appeared first on xda-developers.

Project Fi Goes Live: What To Know About Google’s MVNO

Posted by wicked April - 22 - 2015 - Wednesday Comments Off

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Google’s new wireless service, Project Fi, is now accepting applications from Nexus 6 owners with a hankering for high speeds and low rates. The virtual carrier will work on the backs of T-Mobile, Sprint, and the WiFi from every router to which you connect, making for a truly impressive coverage area at launch. As rumored last week, Fi offers $20 all you can eat domestic calls and texts, with data costing $10/GB on a month-by-month basis. However, you can’t hop on this nascent service just yet; a limited number of invites will go out each week to qualified applicants. Read on for the full scoop on what to expect, then hurry over to the Project Fi sign-up page for your spot in line.

Coverage

Project Fi Coverage

Google’s official coverage map can be found here, and checking how it stacks up against your local zip code is unsurprisingly the first step in Fi’s application. The backing carriers are known for targeting dense population centers rather than springing for broad coverage across the countryside, so the new network does have a few blind spots. Even still, there’s no denying that the map is much greener than either Sprint or T-Mobile can match individually, and WiFi at home and away is like carrying a personal small cell with you wherever you stop. Google’s gamble is that combing the two networks and adding WiFi to the mix will be enough to eat away at Verizon’s coverage-area dominance. Given that Verizon just announced its indifference towards cost-cutting customers due to its impressive coverage map, Project Fi will be a fun one to watch when Big Red’s second quarter filings go live.

Getting down to the details, there’s not much here that we didn’t already know. Phones on Fi will seamlessly switch between Sprint, T-Mobile, and wifi networks without dropping calls thanks to a fancy dual-carrier SIM, and customers will see better coverage in more places as a result. Here’s the Google wording:

Whenever 4G LTE is available, Project Fi will move you to whichever cellular network has the fastest 4G LTE at your location. When 4G LTE isn’t available, we’ll put you on the fastest network type in your area (3G or 2G).

Also,

Project Fi connects you to free, open Wi-Fi networks that do not require any action to get connected (such as, enter a password, watch an ad, or check-in). We use a network quality database to help determine which networks are high quality and reliable.

Further, traffic on these unsecured networks will travel through a Google-hosted VPN for privacy. In theory, this should work like a combination of Google Voice, an auto-login WiFi app such as Instabridge, and a VPN tunnel, but in a unified and polished experience. However, the realities on the ground could be a different story, particularly with regards to battery life. From Google’s FAQ:

We like full batteries too. Our software is optimized to not put extra strain on your battery by only moving you between networks when absolutely necessary.

It’s hard to see how only switching “when absolutely necessary” and always choosing the highest quality network in the moment can coexist, but this is a question that will have its place in the spotlight after the invites begin to fly. For right now, it’s at least comforting to know that Google aware of the (potential) concern.

Nexus 6 Exclusive

nexus2cee_n6_thumb4Yes, the rumors of a device exclusive held true. This will put off many who would otherwise join the bandwagon, but the official statement is that the Nexus 6 has the antenna to support Fi’s carrier-hopping SIM. However, it’s worth noting that Google says the Nexus 6 will be the “first,” not the “only” supported device. As we theorized before, it’s a good bet that the doors will open to other handsets like the Nexus 5 in due time, so stay tuned.

Current Nexus 6 owners have all the hardware they need to join, and a free SIM will shipped out with each device activation. New phones can be purchased through Google Play with pre-installed SIMs (if you don’t mind the blue version), though presumably the SIM-less white is still an option.

Plans & Prices

No contracts, no termination fees, no tethering surcharges, and only the standard state tax of 10-20% – this is the familiar motto of virtual networks, and holds true with Project Fi as well.

Fi Basics – $20/month for unlimited domestic talk & text, unlimited international texts, and cell coverage in 120+ countries. SMS, MMS, short codes and group texting are all included, despite early rumors to the contrary. International rates vary by country, and are found here.

Data – $10/GB, paid up front for the month. Whatever percentage of data goes unused is applied as credit towards the next month’s bill. In other words, you pay up front, but are only charged per megabyte. There are no overage fees, so using extra is simply added per megabyte to the following month.

This is a rather complicated way to phrase a simple idea, and follows in the footsteps of carriers like Ting. However, Ting figured out early on that its customers are smart enough to not pay in advance. Here’s how the pricing really works:

$20/month for all the basics, plus a bit extra for however many megabytes you used the last cycle (charged at $10 per gig).

More Info

Google’s FAQ page covers many of the service basics, including a few details about international calling not addressed here. For more information and a sign-up link, here are the web addresses you’ll need:

Once you qualify and register, Google should make contact within 30 days with the next steps. The roll out will occur in weekly batches, so don’t fret if your name isn’t called in the first pass. Also, remember that a Nexus 6 is required (for the time being), so start looking around for the best deal if you’re interested.

We will have more on Google’s Project Fi roll out as it progresses, so look for updates in the weeks to come.

Are you excited for Project Fi? Do you have a Nexus 6 and the ambition to be a guinea pig on the newest virtual network? Let us know in the comments below!

 

The post Project Fi Goes Live: What To Know About Google’s MVNO appeared first on xda-developers.

Game With Your BBM Friends In These 3 Android Apps

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Three Android games now come with deep BBM integration, allowing users to connect with friends, share achievements, & send game currency while taking on the zombie hoard (et al). Continue on for all three games including the bead-matching Daruma Fever, phone-tilting Wayang Jump, & zombie sniping DeceaZed.

The post Game With Your BBM Friends In These 3 Android Apps appeared first on xda-developers.

AOSP 5.1 ROM Compiled for the Moto E

Posted by wicked April - 21 - 2015 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android-Lollipop

It’s been a few weeks since the release of Android 5.1 and XDA Senior Member percy_g2 has brought the latest Android Lollipop experience to the first generation Moto E. Based on the Android Open Source Project, the ROM is in the testing phase but has almost everything working except the RIL for dual-sim devices.

The post AOSP 5.1 ROM Compiled for the Moto E appeared first on xda-developers.

Pro Photographer Teases LG G4 Camera In New Video

Posted by wicked April - 20 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

LG G4 Camera Tease

Our first look at the LG G4 Camera’s low-light performance, claimed color accuracy, and manual mode is here, and the included (professional) shots are predictably stunning. Follow the link to watch full-time photographer Colby Brown show off each feature ahead of the G4’s April 28th launch.

The post Pro Photographer Teases LG G4 Camera In New Video appeared first on xda-developers.

Wear Update Brings WiFi, Wrist Gestures, & More

Posted by wicked April - 20 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

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All seven Wear watches will see stand-alone Wi-Fi connectivity, wrist flick gestures to scroll through cards, always-on apps that fade to black when not in use, emoji drawing, and a new launcher interface in the coming weeks, starting with the Urbane. Read on to see the features in action!

The post Wear Update Brings WiFi, Wrist Gestures, & More appeared first on xda-developers.

Fossdroid, a Marketplace for Open Source Apps

Posted by wicked April - 20 - 2015 - Monday Comments Off

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Featuring source links, bug trackers and compiled APK downloads, Fossdroid is a well executed manifestation of a directory of open source Android apps, in a clean and Google Play-esque interface inspired by Material Design, aimed at satisfying your source code requests across a wide category of apps.

The post Fossdroid, a Marketplace for Open Source Apps appeared first on xda-developers.

Google Wallet To Become FDIC Insured

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2015 - Saturday Comments Off

Google Wallet

According to a Google spokesperson, balances held in Google Wallet will gain FDIC insurance against bankruptcy in strict contrast to PayPal, Venmo, and other non-banking institutions like payday lenders and prepaid debit cards. Read on for more on the financial implications and PayPal’s response.

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Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 For $199 During Pre-Order

Posted by wicked April - 17 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3

From now until 11:59 PDT Monday (April 20), you can pre-order Alcatel’s unlocked 5.5″ Lollipop phone at an $80 discount. Shipments will go out mid-May, so head to Alcatel’s site for the full specs that include 2GB RAM, 16GB ROM, 13/8 MP cameras, and dual speakers if you’re interested in purchase.

The post Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 For $199 During Pre-Order appeared first on xda-developers.