Google encourages developers to use the newer Saved Games feature (Snapshots) instead of AppState

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Back in 2013, Google Play Games launched giving developers the ability to implement game saves using the AppState API. The API made it easier for developers in that they didn’t need their own server for the saves. However, it was limited to only 4 slots of 256k of data, which wasn’t enough for some games.

Google followed up with a new Saved Games feature that used Google Drive and gave developers 3 MB per game and unlimited slots. This was introduced a few months ago at Google I/O, but the older AppState continued to exist.


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Lollipop ‘Smart Lock’ now works with locations after Google Play Services 6.5

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Yesterday, Google announced Google Play Services 6.5 with a slew of new features, but it looks like there is at least one more hidden gem. Smart Lock is a new feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop that already allows you to set certain Bluetooth devices (Trusted Devices), NFC stickers, or even your face as a way to bypass the security lock screen. So for example, if you set your Bluetooth headset as a trusted device, you won’t need to enter your security PIN if your phone is connected to it. That’s all good stuff, but Google didn’t include locations or WiFi networks with the initial launch of Lollipop. That’s changing with Play Services 6.5.


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Your dreams of a Nokia Android tablet have come true

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History in the making today folks. The first ever Nokia-branded Android tablet has been announced. The N1 features a one piece all aluminum body, a 7.9-inch 4:3 laminated display (2048×1536), a 2.4 GHz quad-core Atom 64-bit processor (Z3580), 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage, 8 MP rear camera, 5 MP front-facing camera, 5,300 mAh battery, and it’s only 6.9 mm thick.

It even runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, but it won’t be stock. Nokia has installed its own Z launcher, but promises other changes will be kept to a minimum.


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HTC Desire Eye review: The selfie lover’s dream phone

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There is no question that we live in a self-indulged generation that is in love with capturing pictures of themselves and sharing them online. We have seen a number of manufacturers try to capitalize on that trend this year, but HTC’s Desire Eye might be the best attempt. By offering a 13 megapixel front-facing camera with dual LED flash, it has to be a selfie lover’s dream. It’s not all about selfies however. Even the most narcissistic person has to do something else with their phone at some point right? In other words, is the Desire Eye good for only one thing or is it that perfect all around phone that selfie lovers have been craving?


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Watch faces auto shift in ‘Always On’ mode on the LG G Watch R, here’s how to compensate for it

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If you own the LG G Watch R, you might have noticed that your watch faces seem to shift ever so slightly when in the dimmed “Always On” mode. Then when the face fully lights up, it goes back to center, especially with apps like Facer. You’re not alone in that a lot of people have noticed it. It appears to be by design as a way to prevent screen burn in. The only problem is that some faces look horrible as you can see in the image above. You want to utilize the “Always On” display so you can enjoy your watch face, but seeing white around the sides just ruins the experience. There is no way to turn this feature off (you wouldn’t want to), but there is something that you can do to compensate for it.


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Sony unveils the Exmor RS IMX230 with high-speed autofocus for smartphone cameras

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Sony just took the wraps off of the Exmor RS IMX230 for smartphone cameras and other mobile devices. It is the first CMOS image sensor for smartphones that sport an “onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function to achieve excellent focus tracking of fast-moving subjects.”

What the hell does that mean? It means the new camera will do a much better job at capturing fast moving objects with high-speed autofocus. Anyone with kids knows what I am talking about, but don’t forget animals and sporting events. The IMX230 features 21.7 megapixels, and a 192-point autofocus, which is better than the previous generation’s 172.


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Google is about to take over Times Square

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Well “take over” might be a little strong, but Google will definitely be making a presence in Times Square. Tomorrow night will mark the birth of the biggest and most expensive digital sign in Times Square. It is almost as big as a football field, and has better resolution than the best TVs with close to 24 million LED pixels.

It appears a number of advertisers will be able to utilize the sign at the same time as long as they cough up $2.5 million for four weeks, but Google will be the exclusive advertiser from November 24 through the New Year.


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Not all devices will take advantage of Lollipop’s new camera API

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Android 5.0 Lollipop has a new camera API that allows the capture of RAW photos. Many people have noticed the change with the Nexus 5, but those with a Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 haven’t. The reason is that it’s hardware based. Devices that use a processor for image processing that is not part of the SoC (external ISP) will not be able to take advantage of it. The Nexus 4 and Nexus 7′s fall into that category.


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