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Google has a Guide to Help You Move From Your iPhone to Android

Posted by Kellex October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Shortly after Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the company opened an official set of instructions through their support site that was focused on helping Android users migrate over to iOS. Apple news outlets (and heavily Apple-influenced general tech sites) thought this was huge news, for whatever reason. It was embarrassing. Forget the fact that Apple probably should have created this years ago as Android began stomping all over its market share, the Apple media shills (some random Android sites as well) decided that Apple had finally created this how-to guide because they were now expecting Android users to flock to the new bigger iPhones. Silly, I know. Anything for a good headline!  

Well, Apple fan sites and soon-to-be-leavers of that painfully closed ecosystem, Google created a guide as well! Yessir, shortly after announcing Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google put up an entire guide on how you can easily switch over from iOS to Android. You won’t see this make headlines for two days like Apple’s guide did, but that’s fine by us. And so you know, we purposefully skipped the dirty clickbait headline that was tempting us as this post was being put together.

So what does Google suggest you do as you make your way over to the promised land of smartphone operating systems? It’s all pretty simple, actually.

Google targeted four categories to help make the transition easy enough:  Photos and music, contacts, setting up email and messaging, and finding your favorite apps. There are instructions for uploading photos through the Google+ Photos app and transferring over your iTunes library through Google Play Music. They provide step-by-step instructions for dealing with your contacts in iCloud as well. Google even mentions that you should have no problem finding all of your favorite apps on Google Play, as well as some new ones. Oh, and don’t forget to turn off iMessage!

The full guide can be found at the source link below, sans clickbait.

Via:  Android

Google has a Guide to Help You Move From Your iPhone to Android is a post from: Droid Life

Google Fit app gets exposed prior to official launch

Posted by wicked October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

google_fit_icon

The next version of Android will include the brand new Google Fit application. Not much of the app has been seen; however, Android Police was able to take it for a spin through a leaked Nexus 6 dump. Even though nothing is at this point, the current state of the Google Fit app shows things are pretty smooth with Material Design being present. The design makes Google Fit unique because otherwise it just acts as any other fitness tracking app would.

google_fit_102014_ap

The GIF above shows the app’s refresh animation on the main screen. Pull down and your statistics will update accordingly. Below that, users can view charts breaking down activities based on time and other measurements.

There is a manual input option for when the device running Google Fit is unable to communicate. The user just has to put the time, activity, and duration. Google Fit asks users to compose their profile. This includes gender, height, weight, and goals.

Source: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Google Fit app gets exposed prior to official launch

“Ambient display” appears to be Nexus 6 spin on Moto Display

Posted by wicked October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

nexus_6_display_settings_ambient_display

When Motorola introduced the Moto X, one of the angles Motorola took in making their sales pitch for the device was how software features could be more useful and valuable than top of the line specs in a smartphone. To drive home this point, they included a variety of features including one originally called Active Display, now Moto Display, that would cause the display to turn on when a notification was received or when it detected the phone had been picked up. It looks like that same feature has found its way into the Nexus 6.

A screenshot of some display setting for the Nexus 6 shows an entry for a feature called “Ambient display” with a description that reads “Wake screen when device picked up or notifications arrive.” This seems to clearly suggest Google benefited from having Motorola produce the Nexus 6.

On the Play Store page for the Nexus 6, there are a couple entries that include a reference to “Ambient Display.” The entries outline the potential impact on standby time for the device if Ambient Display is turned on, which appears to be about a 25% reduction. Despite the hit to battery life, the feature is considered a great convenience and difficult to give up once one gets used to it.

nexus_6_display_ambient_display_nexus_4_hardware
nexus_6_display_ambient_display_google_play_entry

source: +Prashant Gahlot
via: Android Police

Come comment on this article: “Ambient display” appears to be Nexus 6 spin on Moto Display

Nexus Player now available on the Play Store for $99

Posted by wicked October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Google_Nexus_Player_02

Following a false start, Google’s Nexus Player finally passed through the FCC yesterday and is now available to order on the Play Store for $99.

Google states that the device will start shipping within the next three-to-four weeks, which, according to our calendar, should be sometime around the second week in November.

If you like the sound of the Nexus Player and want to grab one — hit the source link below.

Source: Google Play Store

Come comment on this article: Nexus Player now available on the Play Store for $99

Google’s My Tracks: Android Wear support, Drive sharing

Posted by wicked October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The latest update for Google‘s tracking app My Tracks has brought with it a few major changes and improvements, particularly in the support for Android Wear smartwatches as well as the way you share your tracks with relevant people. Now your wearables running on Android’s platform for smartwatches can use the app to track how many steps you’ve made during the day or the distance you’ve run during your early morning workout.

If you have any of the devices that are using Android Wear, namely, the Motorola 360, LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, ASUS Zenwatch, the recently released Sony Smartwatch 3 and the upcoming LG G Watch R, then you’ll be able to use Google’s own tracking app to monitor your physical activity. However, it doesn’t mean that the app can be used on your smartwatch on its own, since none of the devices mentioned above have built-in GPS in their systems. Instead, you use it together with the phone that is connected to your smartwatch to start, pause, restart and stop the tracking activity. So it means when you’re walking or running, you don’t need to take out your smartphone just to control the app.

Another major change to the update is that you can now only share your tracks and progress through Google Drive, and not anymore to other apps. You can either make it public so everyone knows what a conscientious runner you are, or you can just choose to share your activities with the people you want to share it with. A work-around to sharing it through other apps is just copying the URL (make sure it’s not in private mode) and then pasting it on your Facebook or Twitter or wherever you want to announce it.

You can manually get the update through APK download if your device hasn’t yet updated it automatically. Or if you don’t have My Tracks yet but would like to use it now with your Android Wear smartwatch, you can get it from the Google Play Store for free.

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VIA: Android Police

The Missing App Gap Between Android and iOS

Posted by wicked October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

After reading Kellen’s iPhone 6 review and discussing the lack of an app gap on the Droid Life Show, I thought I should revisit my conviction that there were still some apps that could not be found or matched on Android.

It had been about a year since I last checked for certain kinds of apps and my tastes have changed some, so I figured I should take a look.

To my delight, I discovered that eight of the apps that I love to use that I thought were iOS only are now either available on Android or have comparable counterparts from another developer. 


FenixTalon

1. Tweetbot – Talon and Fenix
Tweetbot is my favorite Twitter app that I’ve ever used (and I’ve used a lot of Twitter apps). Tweetbot has timeline sync, user and keyword muting (way before the official app even conceived of the idea), drafts, translation, streaming, etc. It’s a fantastic app that values the little touches. For example, Tweetbot has featured a “Use last photo taken” option for years and inlcudes swipe gestures to quickly favorite or retweet a tweet.

There have been Twitter apps on Android that have had some of these features in the past, but it wasn’t until recently that developers stepped up their game with features and design. Falcon Pro was the first app to really feel native to Android and include a plethora of features, but it wasn’t long for this world.

Talon and Fenix have been my favorite Twitter apps to use on Android. Both have extremely similar UIs and feature sets. I prefer reading Twitter in Talon because it has the option to jump to the top of your timeline towards the bottom of the screen whereas Fenix jumps to the top by tapping the top of a column, which is far less usable on 4.x” devices. Talon also features pull to refresh while Fenix uses the older refresh interval model. While both have streaming, I find pull to refresh to feel like a more responsive UI response to reaching the top of a list. For composition, however, Fenix has the edge between a swipe gesture to compose and faster access to quoting tweets with a comment. Talon also supports themes, which means you can customize the look of the app (although I ended up sticking with a stock view).

Ronald - 5

2. Fantastical – Today Calendar
There have always been plenty of third party calendar options on iOS, but Fantastical has always been my default. While it isn’t quite as flashy as Calendars 5 or Sunrise or x, it has the full month view with events underneath view that I loved about iOS 6’s calendar app. In my opinion, any calendar app that doesn’t have that view as a default option just doesn’t work for me. Fantastical not only has that view as its default (it also has a week view for you monsters out there that prefer that view), but it has Reminders integration (which would be more helpful if Reminders actually, you know, reminded you about things consistently) and, most importantly, it parses text as you type (so ‘Lunch from 1pm to 2pm at Corky’s” creates an event titled ‘Lunch’ with those start and ending times as well as Corky’s as the location).

Today Calendar doesn’t have integration with a reminder app or text parsing, but it does have a month view with details below and a gorgeous Material design. The app has beautiful animations, a translucent widget, and color options. With a text parser it would be perfect, but for my usage it’s functional and beautiful.

Ronald - 1

3. Mailbox (iOS)
I still use the stock Mail app for my work email, but when I want to feel like I’m getting things done (Copyright DavidCo, 2001) I use Mailbox. There are plenty of other competitors out there now with their swiping gestures and their cutesie Inbox Zero euphemisms, but Mailbox has always felt right to me. It’s the first email app on iOS that made archiving fast and easy (although the lack of archive actions from the lockscreen and notifications is taxing) and that made me ask a really important question: when should I deal with this email? By treating my email as a to do list I’ve been able to reach Inbox Zero (the original version that Merlin aspired to) every day and shoot emails into the future. Do I sometimes just delay the inevitable when I do that? Of course, but I also often shoot an email into a time and date when I want to deal with something, and when that happens I feel like I was able to get something… accomplished.

Mailbox works great on Android. I especially love when something comes in that I can archive straight from the notification shade. If you’re still using the Gmail app and haven’t given Mailbox a try, I’d encourage you to take a look. Gmail has swipe to archive, but you haven’t really lived until you schedule to see your Verizon bill the day after pay day.

Ronald - 4

4. Safari – Firefox
I love Safari on iOS. There, I said it. Sure, I could use Chrome and sync my tabs and favorites, but I really don’t use those on my phone. Most importantly, Chrome has never performed well for me (on iOS or Android). Firefox, on the other hand, works well. I’m not a huge fan on Firefox’s open tab view, but I do love that it renders pages quickly, scrolls responsively, and most importantly, knows how to double tap to zoom over text properly. If you haven’t tried Firefox in a while, give it a shot (I wrote up a lengthier review of its last major overhall here).

Ronald - 2

5. Vesper – Evernote
There are a million text editing apps for iOS (No, I’m not exaggerating. Just do a search on the App Store so you can see all the apps that are tangentially related to text input.), but my favorite is Vesper. It doesn’t have a Mac, iPad, or web app (yet, at least in the case of the Mac), but it does let me type out my notes, write article, scribble down band names, append images to my notes, and organize notes by tags with Emoji. There are text editing apps out there that do more, but Vesper works for me and my taste.

Android has seen an increase in text editing apps as well. This was one category that seemed to be ignored by developers even a year ago. That being said, the only app I would consider recommending is Evernote. Not only does Evernote have pretty much every feature that someone could want in a notetaking app, but it has a beautiful design. There are cleaner, simpler note taking apps out there, but Evernote takes the cake for features and design in my opinion.

Ronald - 6

6. Over (iOS)
There are plenty of image editing apps that are still iOS-only, but my favorite app, Over, is cross-platform. Over lets you add text in a multiplicity of fonts over an image (get it?). I love the font choices and the app is as easy to use as it is beautiful. If you ever have a need to add text over an image, take a serious look at Over.

Ronald - 3

7. Day One – Flava (iOS)
Day One is one of my absolute favorite apps for iOS and OS X. It’s a journaling app from Bloom. The app features Dropbox and iCloud sync, photo integration, reminders, calendar views, weather detils, Markdown support, passcode lock, location details, inspirational quotes, and the option to publish journal entires (which require a link for privacy).

Journey, an app made by 2appstudio, is a complete rip off of Day One. Don’t believe me? View both websites. Day One was originally released in 2011 on iOS and OS X, while Journey was only released in July of this year. Journey not only ripped off the features of Day One, it copied the design of the app and even the website. DayJournal, an app by The Apps Pod is an equally shameful ripoff, although the developer was lazy enough to not copy Day One’s website.

If you’re looking for a full featured journaling app on Android (and iOS and Chrome) that isn’t from a developer with blatantly compromised morals, consider Flava by Greenmonster. Flava identifies itself as a journaling/note taking app, but it feels more like a social network for yourself (Path specifically). Entries can be something as simple as text, a picture, a location, what you’re listening to, how you’re feeling, or all of the above. It has a modern, clean design and it’s free to try. If you hit the 250 MB cap, want to add multiple photos, or x then you’ll need to pay through an in app purchase.

Pocket

8. Overcast – Pocket Casts (iOS)
I listen to a lot of podcasts, so it’s important to me that my podcast player looks nice and works well. I used Downcast for a couple years because it was a flawed best, but Marco Arment’s Overcast blew Downcast out of the water for me. The app has a creamsicle color palette, smart playlists, podcast recommendations (powered by Twitter), sync, a web app, background downloads, and most importantly, Smart Speed and Voice Boost. Voice Boost equalizes the EQ and maximizes the volume, which is especially helpful on low-quality shows. Smart speed reduces the length of silences, making shows run faster without sacrificing voice quality.

While there isn’t an app with all of those features on Android, Pocket Casts comes close with a beautiful design and plenty of controls to ensure you’re able to listen to podcasts the way you want to. Pocket Casts also has an iOS app, so if you’re one of the many Android phone/iPad people out there, you can keep up with your shows on both devices. Pocket Casts supports Chromecast on the Android app and AirPlay on the iOS app so you can shoot your shows to a TV if you’re so inclined. My favorite thing about Pocket Casts, though, is definitely the clean, album-art-centered design. It reminds me of a wall of LPs that I always wanted.

Are there still apps that release first on iOS or stay exclusive to iOS? Yes, but that is becoming more and more rare every year. While I don’t expect Android first development to become a thing any time soon for mainstream apps, I also don’t expect iOS-only to continue outside of niche apps and developers.

The Missing App Gap Between Android and iOS is a post from: Droid Life

Video: Android 5.0 Feature – Power of Android Beam in the Share Menu

Posted by Kellex October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Back when the Android L preview was first released, we told you how excited we were that Android Beam was now included in the share menu. With Android 5.0 “Lollipop” official and up and running on our Nexus 5, we wanted to show you exactly why it is that we are so excited. In short, it makes sharing almost anything (more than just photos and links) in between devices so much easier. 

As noted in the post from a couple of months back, adding Beam to the share menu removes one of the awkward steps when trying to share something between two devices. Instead of initiating a share through Beam by first tapping devices together, then following up a finger tap on the screen, you can now initiate the share through the share menu, and then follow through by simply tapping the devices together – there is no additional finger press.

Beyond ease of use, adding Beam to the share menu eliminates the need for the item you want shared to be on your screen. For example, you could be looking at a list of files in a file manager, tap the menu of the file you want to share, choose “share” in the share menu, and then Beam that specific file with a tap of two phones. In the past, I’m not sure there was even a way to initiate a share like that. Also, yes, you can share files like APKs.

To see the new Beam in action, check out our video below.

Here are the rest of our Android 5.0 feature highlights.

Video: Android 5.0 Feature – Power of Android Beam in the Share Menu is a post from: Droid Life

Nexus 6 Pre-Orders Go Live on October 29

Posted by Kellex October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Nexus 6 pre-orders open up on October 29! That’s the latest in the Google Play listing for this year’s Nexus phone.

Last week, Google would only tell us to expect pre-orders towards the end of October, with shipment happening at some point later in November. Now you have a specific date to mark on your calendars. 

Play Link

Nexus 6 Pre-Orders Go Live on October 29 is a post from: Droid Life

Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note 4 Size Detailed in Hands-on Video

Posted by Tim-o-tato October - 20 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

The Nexus 6 from Google and Galaxy Note 4 from Samsung are large devices. There is no getting around that. But just how large are these two handsets when sitting next to one another? Thankfully, the folks over at Carphone Warehouse have answered that question for us, posting a video of the two devices working alongside one another. 

As we can see, both phones are large, with the Nexus 6 sporting a nearly 6″ QHD display and the Note 4 sporting a 5.7″ QHD display. The man in the video also talks about Lollipop, performance, and the camera on the Nexus 6, basically stating that while other Nexus camera experiences have completely sucked, the camera on the Nexus 6 might not be too terrible.

Of course, they speak briefly about the Note 4 and all of its proprietary software as well, reminding you to plan on spending a few hours on getting used to everything your new phone can do in terms of features.

Check out the full video below, and let us know if one of these behemoths will be your next smartphone.

Cheers Eric!

Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note 4 Size Detailed in Hands-on Video is a post from: Droid Life

lollipop 3 Luci Correia

Nothing stays private on the internet, and the least so firmware and APKs that are eagerly anticipated by hordes of frenzied Nexus warriors.

It looks that we won’t have to wait for the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 to land in November in order to check out Google’s revamped applications coming with Lollipop. Someone obtained a system dump from a Nexus 6 and made it available on XDA.

This is great for two reasons – it allows devs to tinker with it and even port it to other devices – they are already doing it with the Nexus 4. Second, it gives us access to apk files of all the apps installed on the Nexus 6, including some intriguing ones, like the Material-design updated Gmail 5 (which will support non-Gmail email providers), the mystery new Messenger app, the revamped Play Music app, and more.

To be clear, this isn’t final software – the APKs are signed as test versions, and some of them (like the Play Music app) seem unfinished. These are likely apps from an early build that somehow made it online. With that said, here’s a gallery of screenshots from the apps, put together by redditor jokkir: 

lollipop google apps (5)
lollipop google apps (5)
lollipop google apps (6)
lollipop google apps (6)
lollipop google apps (7)
lollipop google apps (7)
lollipop google apps (2)
lollipop google apps (3)
lollipop google apps (4)
lollipop google apps (4)

And here are some from Carsten Knobloch of Caschys Blog, including Docs, Gmail, Music and Calendar: 

lollipop google apps (3)
lollipop google apps (1)
lollipop google apps (2)

If you have a device running Android 5.0 Lollipop preview (Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2013) you can try these APKs out, but you do it at your own risk, as they may or may not work as intended on your device.

Head over here to get the Nexus 4 port or download just the APKs from here, link courtesy of Caschys Blog. Meanwhile, we’re digging around the build to see what other goodies we find.


Via: Reddit;

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