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Android Wear update comes to LG G Watch

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Android Wear platform update has been highly anticipated but we knew it might take a while before Google releases it. It was first rumored for an October 15 launch but we saw nothing. We heard it all clear that Google is releasing a new version of the Android Wear but now we’re not sure what Google is calling it or when it will be announced. However, some people have sighted that the LG G Watch has started to receive update for their Android Wear with a couple of new features.

The Android 4.4W.2 (Build KNX01Q) update is now available for the LG G Watch. Features include a new control interface, as well as, a set of Music cards. The smartwatch can now also play music from the menu. Other LG G Watch owners who have updated the firmware reported that Bluetooth pairing of smartwactch and headset is now possible. The new pairing option now appears under Settings>Bluetooth menu.

The LG G Watch doesn’t have any GPS so we can’t say if the Android Wear update comes with GPS compatibility. We’re still not sure if this is indead the next version of Android Wear aka Android Wear 2.0 or if this is just a simple update. Sony has listed a KNX01K (4.4W.2) already. Looks a bit different from the LG version but it could also be the same thing, just under different build name. Samsung and Motorola smartwatch owners should expect update for their Android Wear devices soon too.

LG should be rolling out the software update in the next few days so check your G Watch from time to time to see if the next build is ready for download.

VIA: Ausdroid

Amazon accepting pre-orders for HTC accessories for Nexus 9

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

If you’re already dreaming of awesome accessories for your future Nexus 9 tablet, you’ll have to wait a little while longer. The Keyboard Folio and Magic Cover from HTC created for the new tablet has been shown on the Google Play website but is not available for pre-order yet. But now thanks to Amazon, you’ll be able to closely anticipate having these accessories as they are accepting pre-orders already, with shipping expected early next month.

The Keyboard Folio serves as a case, a two-angle stand and an external keyboard as well for the Nexus 9. It attaches to the back of the tablet through a magnet and can be used as a keyboard through Bluetooth connectivity, with reportedly up to 5 months of battery life. But if you don’t feel like you don’t need a physical keyboard to use with the tablet but you still want to protect a device as precious as your upcoming Nexus 9, then you can settle with the Magic Cover, also from HTC.

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It is also a magnetic cover that can protect either the front or the back of the tablet, depending on how you’re using it or storing it at the moment. It has a hinge cover so it can remain attached even without any fixed attachment or mechanical part. It is origami-inspired in terms of design and can be used as a stand as well with two different angles to use. Aside from the fact that it wakes the tablet up when flipped open, it can also open your camera when you open the flap covering it. It is available in four colors – Black, Lime stone, Coral Amethyst and Mint Indigo.

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The Magic Cover is priced at $39.99 while the Keyboard Folio is of course, a lot more expensive at $129.99. It is the same price both in the Google Play Store and in Amazon, but there is no news yet as to when it will be available for pre-order. Ordered accessories are expected to ship out by November 3, just in time for when you can purchase your new Nexus 9.

HERE beta version now available for other Android devices

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

A few months after making the beta version available for Samsung Galaxy devices, offline mapping app HERE is now, well, here for other Android devices. The app can now be manually downloaded by all compatible devices and its developer Nokia (yes, that Nokia!) says that it is much improved as they based changes on feedback from those who have previously accessed the beta version through their Galaxy smartphones.

HERE maps was one of the businesses that Nokia chose to retain even after they sold off most of their mobile business to Microsoft. They retooled it into a mapping app to challenge market leaders Google Maps (widely used but still lacking in some parts) and Apple’s built-in maps (which has received its fair share of criticism and ridicule. Nokia didn’t want to be beholden to just one platform, so they partnered first with Samsung for its Tizen smartwatches and Galaxy devices and now they have finally released the beta version for the rest of the Android smartphones.

All Android devices running on 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher are compatible for the HERE app, but they do recommend that the smartphone have 1GB of RAM or more to be able to maximize the offline features of the app. Unlike other mapping apps, it doesn’t require you to have an Internet connection to be able to look at your maps but instead uses your phone’s GPS. The maps of areas you always go to or need to go to are stored on the device. Developers are working on several issues pointed out, including the fact that cache cleaner apps tend to erase navigation voices.

The app is not yet available on the Google Play Store but instead can be manually downloaded from http://here.com/beta/android. They’re still trying to work on several bug fixes and aforementioned issues and so the beta version will still not work perfectly as of this time. And since it’s still side-loaded, it doesn’t automatically update if there’s a newer version available and you need to manually update it as well. But if you wanna explore the HERE mapping app already, go ahead and download it from the site and follow the instructions.

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SOURCE: HERE

HTC EYE update rolls out for T-Mobile One M8, Verizon tomorrow

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

As promised, HTC has started the push to get its new EYE features to its flagship smartphone, at least for those who purchased one under T-Mobile‘s patronage. This practically puts the One M8 on the same level as the surprisingly premium, except in looks, Desire EYE, with the added bonus of a premium design and duo camera setup. Meanwhile, Verizon customers need not gnash their teeth as the OEM promises the same treatment for the Verizon One M8 tomorrow, at least if all goes well.

HTC semi-surprised the mobile world when it revealed its new digital imaging thrust from multiple fronts, from an odd-looking but decent RE camera, to the high-end but plastic Desire EYE, to its new suite of camera apps and software as part of its new EYE Experience package. The latter, which came with the HTC Desire EYE by default, was promised to trickle down to many of the company’s smartphones. Of course, it isn’t surprising that the 2014 flagship would be the first to get it.

Mo Versi, HTC’s VP for product management, yesterday tweeted about the upcoming EYE software update for the One M8 under T-Mobile’s care. That update has arrived today but also brought a small little surprise with it. The firmware update bumps the Android version to 4.4.4, marking the last KitKat version before the smartphone switches over to Android 5.0 Lollipop. The 4.4.4 update itself was quite small and rushed, practically just an urgent security update. So the real focus here is, of course, on the new EYE camera features. If you need to get up to date on those, HTC has provided some tutorials on how to use them.

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Mo Versi and HTC aren’t done yet. Taking to Twitter again, the exec noted that they have received technical approval for the same update, this time from Verizon. So Verizon customers need just wait for the update to roll out tomorrow, barring any last minute issues, to get the very same features on their HTC One M8.

SOURCE: @moversi
VIA: XDA

Arq Dock 2.0: a gadget stand and charger in one

Posted by wicked October - 22 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

If you were one of those who backed the charging dock Arq Dock 1.0 and were pretty happy with it but wanted to see some improvements, well, then get ready to open your wallets again. Arq Dock 2.0 is now looking for more “investors” to bring you a much improved version of the original, and this time around, it has more options for your smartphones or slim tablets. It can support both Apple and Android devices and can be used as just a dock for cased and caseless devices or can be used as a charging stand as well.

The Arq Dock 2.0 is made from aluminum and comes with a micro USB cable among other components but is now built to support other cables as well, including USB 3.0, 30 pin, mini USB and of course, both kinds of lightning cables for Apple devices. You can adjust the connector height and the back support pins so you can use it with different devices like iPhones 4S, 5S, 6 and 6 Plus, iPad mini, iPad Air and iPad 4, plus other Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, Notes 2,3, and 4, plus the different Tabs (the slimmer ones though) as well.

Compared to the Arq Dock 1.0, this new product also has a similar shape and curvature, and also has the same pin support holes. Some differences between the two is that 2.0 is slightly taller and it has four cable grooves of different sizes and more cable tightening holes, since it can support more kinds of gadgets now. For those who have version 1, don’t worry, they won’t be useless as you can nest it with the newer Arq Dock now. It’s available in three colors: Aurora Black, Apolo Silver and Titan Red

The makers are still trying to raise funding for the Arq Dock 2.0 over on Kickstarter. It’s still around $3,500 short of its target of $12,000, but there are still 28 days to go for backers to sign up. If the first run is any indication, they will not have any problem reaching that goal. But the bigger question is, do you really need this stand/charger to add to your gadget accessories? (it does look pretty neat based on the the pictures on its page). If the answer is yes, you can pledge for as low as $22 (for 1 dock, US delivery, early bird backer) and for as high as $265 (10 docks, international delivery, main pledge backer).

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SOURCE: Kickstarter

Checky app tracks how often you check your phone

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Have you ever wondered how many times per day you check your smartphone? Many of us probably check our phones lots more than we realize. A new app is available for Android devices called Checky that will track exactly how much of a phone checking habit you have.

The app is simple and gives you a big number on a white background surrounded by green that shows how many times in a day you have checked your smartphone. The app also shows how many times you checked your device the previous day.

The developers think that you might want to share the stats with your friends, and a sharing button is prominent below the tracker. If you are wondering, the app does nothing other than track how many times you check your phone during the day.

Checky has been around for roughly a month now and it has racked up as many as 100,000 installs. Apparently many people want to know how often they check their smartphone. The app is 2.3MB in size and requires Android 4.0.3 or higher.

SOURCE: Google Play

Flock messaging: communicate and colllaborate for work purposes

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

We know what you’ll say after reading the headline: do we really need another messaging app, with all the FB Messengers, Vibers, LINES, WeChats, Hangouts out there? But Flock claims to be different from all these as it has one purpose only, and that’s not to talk about the boss behind his back while at work. It’s a messaging app created for you and your team to be able to collaborate and communicate while working on projects, both at the office and if needed, when you’re outside.

You do not need your office’s IT group or admin (if you have one) to set the app up on your desktop or mobile devices. You just simply sign up and ask everyone else to do the same. It has both 1-to-1 chats and group chats that have read and delivery receipts so that you know everyone is on the same page, so to speak. You can even invite your boss or your clients to chat rooms (separate ones of course) so you’ll get easy approvals or feedback, as you can attach files to your chats. It can be used across multiple platforms: web, desktop and mobile. It also has a simple and clean UI so you will not be distracted from the job.

Now you say you can do practically all those things on the other messaging apps we mentioned above. But you also use those for your personal messaging needs, so there is sometimes a blurring of lines between work and family/social communications. If you’re alright with that, then of course, those others are more convenient and you don’t need to add another one to the message and app clutter. But if you want to keep the professional and personal separate, then this app is a good alternative. The updates also now include the ability to mute a chat if you’re starting to get annoyed or something, optimized message syncing across the platforms and adding participants through their email addresses.

The best thing about this is that, unlike other enterprise messaging services that will cost your company a fortune sometimes, this one is free. You can download Flock for free from the Google Play Store.

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Notif Widget lets you access notifications from any screen or app

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Notifications should be plain and simple but there’s no stopping developers from improving on them. Why should notifications be boring when you can have fun with them? This NotifWidget is a new app that let’s you interact with notifications right on the lock screen, DayDream screen saver, or home screen. This is pretty much like the Notify! app we featured a few months ago.

The NotifWidget app allows you to customize the colors, clock sizes, background colors, and filter notifications. The app also provides full control of all media players and actions to you can use them directly within the app. The main feature of the NotfiWidget is to allow the user to create many widgets as needed. You can make one for your lock screen, for DayDream, or on your home screen–so you can access your notifications from any app.

To create a lock screen widget, go to System Settings>Security>Check Enable Widgets. Turn screen off then turn on. Swipe the left of your lock screen and touch the + icon you see. Choose the app as your primary one to replace the default clock setting.

The app was earlier released but the developer recently posted an update to include new settings button on the widget, fix some bugs, and the clear all button added without the clock.

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Download NotifWidget from the Google Play Store

Onyx E Ink smartwatch aims for battery life

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Onyx is a company that has been making digital readers with E ink screens for a while now. The benefit of using an E Ink screen on a device is that battery power is only needed when the watch refreshes the display. That means it can run longer on a single charge.

Onyx has unveiled a new prototype smartwatch that uses an E Ink display. That screen is a 1.56-inch unit and the smartwatch itself is waterproof. The device syncs with a smartphone using Bluetooth and has built in apps like a pedometer.

Controls consist of three buttons on the side for changing watchfaces, menus, and other settings. This smartwatch is a prototype only right now and the company says that future versions could have a touchscreen, GPS, and other features.

It will be a while before the prototype smartwatch actually goes into production; Onyx is looking at 2015 to bring it to market. The watch sounds a lot like the Pebble available right now.

SOURCE: Liliputing

Paranoid Android 4.6 beta 5 “Playful Pitaya” goes live

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Paranoid Android has made another beta release of the 4.6 branch of their custom ROM, and this time they’re back on track at hammering out the feature set for Dynamic Status Bars, or DSB in the ROM’s parlance. But although the dev team just ironed out some pretty major showstopper bugs, they seem to be inviting even more headache by letting users fine tune the DSB animation just the way they want it right down to the last millisecond.

Dynamic Status Bars try to mimic the new Material Design convention in Android L which matches the notification and navigation panels’ colors with that of the underlying app’s color scheme. This gives an Android Lollipop feel to PA version 4.6, which remains squarely on Android KitKat’s turf. DSB, however, doesn’t just simply swap out colors but instead animates the transition from one color to the next, which might be too slow or too fast for some.

PA devs will let users decide for themselves how fast or slow they want it, at least for now. The setting is labeled as a power feature and in fact, you’ll have to know a bit of ADB command line to do it:

adb shell su -c ‘settings put system experimentaldsbfrequency 2′

2 is the default and 20 is the absolute fastest, but PA doesn’t recommend going below 0. The devs also warn users not to get too attached to this feature, as they might remove it later on before the final release.

As to when that final release comes, PA isn’t saying yet. Paranoid Android 4.5 didn’t get as many beta rounds before 4.6 took over, so we’re hoping PA could close this door really soon before they starting making preparations for an eventual Android 5.0 shift. That said, the biggest question in mind right now is why is Paranoid Android starting to name its releases ala Ubuntu now?

SOURCE: Paranoid Android