Sprint doubles data on their low-end shared data plans

sprint-logoWe’ve seen major carriers compete on double data for large family plans, but today Sprint announced a new competitive offer for customers who don’t need quite so much data. The new plan offers 1 GB of data for $20 a month, which is almost double from the old 600 MB plan and considerably more than what you’ll get from AT&T or Verizon for the same price.

The rest of the plan stays the same, so each non-subsidized smartphone would cost $25 for data access, while tablets run $10 per month and mobile broadband devices run $20. A 1 GB plan probably won’t work for larger families, but if just one or two users just need cheap smartphone plans and don’t use much data, it could save quite a bit of cash each month.
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Firebase, a cloud database company, joins Google’s Cloud Platform team

firebase_logoGoogle has announced that they’ve acquired a new cloud database company, Firebase. The Firebase team will join Google’s Cloud Platform developers in an effort to make development for mobile devices even easier.

Firebase exists to allow developers easy ways to keep data synced between mobile applications and web sites and apps, which can be a pretty tricky and difficult task otherwise. By bringing this technology under Google’s cloud platform fold, it should help speed up development for mobile apps as it gives developers one less thing to worry about.
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Solar eclipse and police activity cards now showing up in Google Now

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Good news for heavy Google Now users; you’re getting two new types of cards in your automatic information feed. Google has added in support for police activity as well as solar eclipses. The police activity is pretty useful, as it shows nearby criminal activity which can give you a heads up on areas or roads to avoid.

The solar eclipse card is pretty weird, but it gives you information on ways you can safely view the eclipse, so that’s pretty cool. Not life changing, but a cool feature regardless.

Fortunately, these cards won’t require an update to the Google Now app (as long as you’re already on the latest version) since the info comes from Google. Keep an eye out and let us know if you see either of them on your device.

source: Reddit

via: 9 to 5 Google

Google may sell Project Ara modules in a Play Store type marketplace

project_ara_the_verge_1Google’s Project Ara is one of the most highly anticipated developments in the modern smartphone world, assuming it gains traction with developers, manufacturers, and consumers. We know the basic idea behind it, but one thing that Google has never truly clarified was how potential customers could purchase smartphone “modules” for their devices. Thanks to a new interview at a Purdue Presidential Lecture, the head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko, talked a bit about how the modules would be sold, and it’s shaping up to be pretty interesting.
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TWRP custom recovery gets support for unlocked 2014 Moto X

Moto_X_2014_2nd_Gen_Slanted_Back_Motorola_Logo_Camera_Lens_01_TAIf you own a 2014 Moto X and wanted to get into flashing custom ROMs, we have good news and bad news.

The good news is that TWRP now officially supports Motorola’s latest flagship. The recovery will allow you to flash custom ROMs like Cyanogenmod, install custom kernels, and make full system backups and restores. TWRP is one of the best custom recoveries available for users that like to flash their device with new software.
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Google publishes guide for switching from iOS to Android

Logo of Google outside their headquarters building in Mountainview, California.With a handful of new devices right around the corner and a major Android update coming up, there are going to be many people that decide to test out Android for the first time and leave iOS. Switching over from a different ecosystem can be a pain when you don’t know how to move contacts, photos, and other information, so Google has posted a very useful guide to help users get started on transferring their stuff over to a brand new Android device.

Most of the guide is common sense for more experienced and tech savvy users, but it still has some helpful info, including showing you how to turn on Google+ auto-backup, how to set up email accounts on an Android device, and there’s even a reminder to turn off iMessage so you don’t get hit with Apple’s infamous iMessage bug.
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HTC’s Android 5.0 update roadmap leaks

HTC_ONE-updateHTC has already confirmed that they’re planning on getting the Android 5.0 update out to the HTC One M7 and M8 within 90 days of receiving the code from Google. However, they haven’t clarified anything about other devices, but fortunately a leaked roadmap has shed some light on what devices will receive the update, and when that will happen.

The M7 and M8 are still slated for what will probably be a January/February release. The Google Play Editions of those devices are probably going to see an update much earlier, though, with a release date pegged for late November or early December. 
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OnePlus pre-order system will go live for 24 hours on October 27th

oneplus_pre-order_systemEarlier this month, OnePlus tested out a pre-order system instead of the extremely difficult invite system that they’ve used to sell the OnePlus One so far. The pre-orders were also sent out as “invitations,” however, so not everyone had a chance to put an order in. Fortunately, the company is opening up their pre-0rder system again next week, but this time it will be open to anyone that wants to put an order in.

Starting today, you can add a OnePlus One and accessories to your shopping cart and get everything ready to be ordered. Then, for 24 hours on October 27th, those orders will process and you’ll immediately get a date for when your device will ship. It’s not clear on just how far back those shipping dates will be, but I guess we’ll know next week. 
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You can now filter apps in the Play Store by ratings

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Google has finally added a much needed option to finding apps in the Play Store: filtering apps by ratings.

Normally if you’re looking for a new app, you’d have to scroll through every app on the Play Store. If any of you have done that for more than five minutes, you probably know there’s just as much junk and spam as actual apps. Fortunately, most of those apps get poor ratings and it’s easy to see bad apps from a distance, but with this new filter, you won’t even have to see those apps. 
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