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Smart Lock allows Android to unlock your Chromebook

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

We’ve featured something similar but the Smart Lock for Chrome is an official one from Google. This special unlocking feature works on a Chromebook with just an Android phone or tablet nearby. Simply sign in to unlock Chromebook without having to click anything on the keyboard or entering a passcode. All you need to do is access your Android phone.

This seems to be a nice and useful feature but not all Android phones can unlock your Chromebook. Smartphone must run at least Android 5.0 Lollipop and must have Bluetooth connectivity. Meanwhile, Chromebook must be installed with Chrome OS 40+ or above and of course, Bluetooth for the remote unlocking to work. Tablets are not yet supported but Google could be working on it.

Since this feature works over Bluetooth, the Android phone’s Bluetooth must always be turned on and phone must be within a 100-foot Bluetooth range and near the Chromebook. Smart Lock for Chrome must first be set up on both the Android phone and the Chromebook. You can allow multiple phones to unlock Chromebook but you should turn off the connections not in use.

If you have more than one compatible phone nearby, turn off the ones you won’t be using. To sign in to Chromebook, make sure phone and computer are both connected to the Internet, click account picture found in the bottom right corner. Click Settings > Show advanced settings. Click “set up” on the Smart Lock section. Follow instructions to pair phone and Chromebook. Make sure phone and Chromebook can detect each other’s Bluetooth connection.

SOURCE: Google Chrome

Nokia Z Launcher beta update adds icon pack support

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

If you are a user of the Nokia Z Launcher app, you may be waiting for the app to leave beta and go to official full release. The app has been updated recently, but it is still listed as a beta. If you are unfamiliar with Z Launcher, the app is designed to learn how you use your phone and give you faster access to your favorite apps.

The app has several functions with Scribble letting you write a letter on the screen to find apps that start with that letter. You can use Z Launcher to launch apps, contacts, or websites. The Adapt feature learns and promotes the right apps at the right time.

The latest update to the app brings it to 1.1.2-beta and adds in some new features. There is preliminary support for icon packs and you can now uninstall or hide apps from the ranked list with a long press on the text.


The app received UI improvements for a wide range of Android devices. The app also has an improved design and better performance for carousel widgets. Scribble handwriting recognition was improved. One big change that many users wanted has been implemented with the Play store loading without pre-searched text. A number of bug fixes were also made in this go around.

SOURCE: Nokia Z Launcher

One Billion Android smartphones shipped globally in 2014

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

2014 was a big year for Android devices according to research firm Strategy Analytics. The company tracks smartphone shipments around the world and its data shows that a billion Android smartphones shipped globally in 2014. According to the metrics, global smartphone shipments grew 30% during the year reaching a total of 1.3 billion units.

Android smartphones made up 81% of all smartphones shipped during the year and 2014 marked the first time in history that Android units shipped over a billion devices. In 2013 global smartphone shipments reached 1 billion total. For 2014 Android shipped as many units as the entire smartphone market did the previous year.

The closest operating system to Android for 2014 was iOS with Apple shipping 192.7 million iOS smartphones globally making it a distant second place. iOS had a 15% share of the smartphone market for 2014.

Microsoft shipped 38.8 million smartphones to grab 3% of the global smartphone market. All other smartphone OS’ accounted for 9.3 million devices shipped, giving all other operating systems a scant 0.7% of the market.

SOURCE: StrategyAnalytics

Get the ball in the hole in Ultraflow

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

“Minimalist yet complex” is something that we often find in the description of a lot of games now (thanks a lot Flappy Bird and its ilk). One of the latest games to sport this tagline is Ultraflow, and if you’re up to the challenge of trying to put a small ball in a hole (we’re looking at you, golfers, or virtual golfers at the least), then you might want to check out Ultraflow, a new game now available on Android devices.

There is no other motivation for the small ball except to get into the hole. But it becomes more difficult because you only get a certain number of bounces to complete each level. And each level is “oddly shaped” so it presents a challenge in itself. And as you progress through the 99 levels, of course everything becomes crazier with rotating platforms, angles that will make you doubt your ability to simply get a ball in that whole, different terrains, etc.

The non-linear, abstract, 2D game relies heavily on physics as you try to get to your goal, while racking up the points. If you’re feeling a bit competitive, there is a Google Play Games Achievements board which you can also see how you stack up against the others also playing the game.

Ultraflow is available to download for free from the Google Play Store. The best part? There are no in-app purchases needed and there are no ads throughout the gameplay to distract you from your game.


Hand-drawn Steampunker game now available on Android tablet

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

The steampunk “movement” is a reimagining of 19th century Western civilization, specifically the Industrial Revolution or the Victorian Era in Britain, in science fiction and fantasy literature, which has crossed over to movies, TV shows, and even cosplay. The theme and look has also sometimes been adapted by game developers, but none more so than Steampunker (the name is a dead giveaway), an award-winning game that has now launched its Android tablet edition.

Named as app of the year by some game award-giving bodies, Steampunker is a 2D point-and-click adventure game that has a very distinct look. It boasts of “unique hand-drawn graphics” that makes it even more enjoyable to play, along with the actual gameplay that you get to experience. The main protagonist is Vincent, and through him, you get to solve puzzles, fly to the moon in a rocket, defeat robot enemies, all while getting points and exploring a fantastical world.

The game has five chapters in its story, with more than 30 puzzles and brain teasers, which includes a bit of math, and a knowledge of mechanical things like fighting a steam leakage and such. It also involves a bit of hidden object search, which is challenging and sometimes difficult, given the nature of the game’s graphics. But if you like looking deep into hand-drawn artwork, then it would be rewarding for you to explore these puzzles.

Steampunker Tablet Edition is available at the Google Play Store for $2.81. That’s already a pretty good deal, given the painstakingly created graphics and artwork that the game has. And there are no in-app purchases available, so everything is all in with that price.


Naughty Kitties are no nonsense cuties, will save Cat’s Planet

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Cats are cute but kittens are (errr…) the cutest. Sometimes I believe the cats own the Internet what with the thousands of cat memes and videos going viral these past few years. They are adorable so anything they do will sell. I’m not sure if these Naughty Kittens will make you feel all warm and fuzzy though but they have one good aim and that is to save Cat’s Planet from the attack of the aliens.

Kittens are the main characters. No adult cats in the game because they’ve been annihilated by the aliens. Kittens are trying to run away but the group of naughty kittens want them to fight the enemies. This isn’t an ordinary tower defense game but expect to see some fire-breathing cats on spaceship and more.

The Naughty Kittens will have to do endless running. Playing the game is also easy with a simple “Drag & Drop”. Drag a young kitty warrior to join your troops and let them fight for the planet. Always check the kittens’ energy bars and see if they can still fight for you. Replenish their energies to finally finish the mission.

Naughty Kittens game boasts of a cute art style. You can play and use different breeds of cats with different weapons and ships to unlock.

Naughty Kitties 5
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Download Naughty Kittens from the Google Play Store

Be an expert web dev with an OSTraining lifetime subscription

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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With this package, you’ll have access to more than 1800 video tutorials made by industry experts on in-demand web design topics. At OSTraining, you can learn how to develop a killer website using popular open-source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal. Not only that, but you’ll also find video tutorials that’ll teach you web development scripting languages such as HTML, PHP, CSS, and more to round out your skillset.

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Purchasing a lifetime subscription to OSTraining represents an investment in lifelong learning that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

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Android Community Deals is brought to you in cooperation with StackSocial. Generated revenue helps fund this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial and are not representative of the opinions of the Android Community staff.

Take the temperature (baby or otherwise) effortlessly with Wishbone

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

When your baby seems to be sick and colicky, taking their temperature can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately for parents and health professionals, technology has made it possible for this part of childcare a bit easier. You’ve seen a lot of “smart thermometers” out there, but this new Kickstarter project claims that it is the smallest in the market. Will Wishbone make your wishes come true (well, at least when it comes to attending to a sick baby)?

The wishbone shaped (hence the name) device is a non-contact thermometer that you can directly connect to your smartphone when taking the baby’s temperature. The developers say that it can detect body temperature in just under 2 seconds and can give you an accurate reading. When you use their app on your smartphone, you’ll be able to store the historical data so you can use it to analyze what’s wrong with the baby. Couples who are trying to conceive can also use data culled from using the thermometer, since it can be used not just for babies. It can also be used to get your environment’s temperature, just by pointing it towards the sky or ceiling.

The device is shaped like a wishbone because its Y-shape with its 45 degree angle tilt is the natural viewing angle for most people. It makes it easier for users to operate the device and view the app in the attached smartphone at the same time. You can also point the Wishbone in any direction or rotate it any which way you want, because of the way it was designed. It is powered by small lithium batteries and is compatible with various smartphones.

Wishbone has reached its goal of $20,000 and in fact has more than doubled it. If you still want to support it, you have 27 days to go and you just need $26 or more to be able to fund it and get your own Wishbone. Estimated delivery date is April 2015.


SOURCE: Kickstarter

Low supply and delay of Nexus 6 caused Google’s Q4 slow growth

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

It’s that time of the year when big companies are releasing their earnings reports for the previous quarter. Yesterday, we learned about Qualcomm‘s positive numbers for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year. And a few hours ago, it was Google’s turn to make an earnings call and show off how the search giant is doing the past quarter. Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette shared the highs and lows and noted that Google didn’t hit the goals because of the low Nexus 6 supply and the exchange rate between international consumers and the United States.

Google’s Pichette said that the company faced a number of challenges the past three months. The US dollars have strengthened but this resulted to a “gross negative currency impact of $616 million dollars” during the last quarter. However, impact was lessened to net revenue of $468 million only because of a hedging program effort.

The CFO also shared that Play growth wasn’t as impressive in Japan and that the absence and delay of Nexus 6 became a problem. The latest Nexus was well-received but there was not enough supply to meet the high demand. Phone is always out of stock. (We’re just not sure if Motorola isn’t making enough units or if there are too many orders.)

Google was humble enough to admit mistakes. It’s reseting its strategy when it comes to Google Glass–now under a new management. The Glass is a very promising project but Google wasn’t able to hit goals yet so the era of the current version and the Google Glass Explorer program will be discontinued. The project isn’t totally scrapped but Google could just be working on something new.

VIA: SlashGear

OnePlus names own Android ROM as Oxygen, Hydrogen in China

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

It’s no secret that OnePlus is cutting its ties with Cyanogen over the fiasco with Micromax in India. It has been developing its own custom ROM to replace CyanogenMod in its future devices. And while it isn’t yet revealing what that ROM will look like or will offer, it is now announcing its chosen name. Its ROM will be called “Oxygen OS”, at least in the rest of the world. But in China, it will be called Hydrogen instead.

OnePlus is not the first to name their product after the life-sustaining element, and its reasons for doing so will probably echo all those other users. It calls Oxygen the “epitome of simplicity” and speaks to the goals of the ROM: lightweight, pure, and a fundamental building block of everything else. Whether it will be able to measure up to that lofty goal remains to be seen when the Oxygen OS finally does come out.

Quite amusingly, OnePlus will be using a different name in China: Hydrogen OS. The principles, however, remain the same. Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements in the world and also serves as a building block for greater things. It is also light and ubiquitous. OnePlus says that there will be differences between local and overseas versions of the OS, hence the need to use a different name to differentiate the names.


Interestingly, OnePlus is using the chemical formula “H2” for Hydrogen. Together with Oxygen, the two would make up H2O, life giving water.

SOURCE: OnePlus, Weibo