Samsung TecTiles 2 Now available to purchase

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Do you remember last month when we told you of the sad news that Samsung’s old TecTiles didn’t work with the new Galaxy S 4. Well cheer up my friends because Samsung TecTiles 2 are now available for you to purchase. For those of you that don’t know what a Samsung TecTile is, let me give you a quick refresher. They are smart NFC tags that can be programmed by the Samsung TecTile app to do many things. You can set TecTiles to change settings in the phone, call a specific number, or send a predefined text. As an example, you can place a tag at the office, and when you scan the it, it can set your smartphone to silent or it could bring up your work calendar. You choose what you want the tag to do when it is scanned, making the little tasks that much easier.

For those that have a Galaxy S 4 and want more info, check out the source.

Source: Samsung

Gmail and Google Wallet can now help you get money to the people in your life

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This day full of Google goodness, keeps on rolling, and Google just made it easier to send money to our friends and family with the help of  Gmail and Google Wallet. The two have been integrated to allow you to send money. In Gmail there will be an option next to the attachments, in the form of a dollar sign $. By clicking on this button you can now send money to the people you care most about. There are limitations to the service however, which are covered after the break:

New Google Maps makes the Map the UI just a little better and easier for all

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Google’s new Maps feature that we told about earlier today is officially a reality. So many things to list and such little brain power to remember them all. Let’s try and cover the stuff that got the most reaction from the crowd. There have been some major improvements to the 3D rendering. Getting to see St. Peter’s Basilica in 3D at I/O on Google Maps is excellent, but what really took the cake was the integration of user photos of the Basilica. By clicking on a user submitted Geo-tagged photo, Google Maps now helps to bring the interior of the Basilica on other wonders of the world right into your house through the browser.

And of course like all of the other neat services, Google Maps can now become more personalized as you use it more and more. Picture this: you see a restaurant that may be of interest to you in a particular area, so Google Maps will showcase only the important items like specific roads or landmarks it is for you to get to the restaurant, so Maps will only show the information to you that matters most. Oh and you have friends that may +1 a restaurant or locale, so Google Maps will begin offering you recommendations based off of your friends’ interests. Pretty cool indeed. So the more you interact with the map, the better it gets. When you set your Home and Work locations, star favorite places, write reviews and share with friends, Google Maps will build even more useful maps with recommendations for places you might enjoy.

Google announces Google Play for Education at Google I/O 2013

If schools decide to give out tablets to each student, Google has now built a service with them in mind. Each student would be given a Google account which the teacher would have access to. Probably the coolest feature of the new service is taht the teacher can load an education related app onto the students tablet for the student to use. Schools will still be responsible for the cost of integrating tablets into their school, but Google is providing a framework for them to work with. Google has also add the option for schools to pay with a pay order instead of a credit card. Here is a pic of schools that already use Google apps in some way or another:

Google Play Developer Console gets a major injection of new features

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Google I/O 2013 keeps churning out awesome new additions to services they offer, and the Google Play Developer Console is no exception either. As you can see in the picture above, the service includes Optimization Tips, App Translation Service, Usage Metrics & Referral Tracking, Revenue Graphics and the most applauded, Beta Testing & Staged Rollouts. All of these services are intended to help developers make better apps. App Translation helps users see were there app is used the most. If the developer see that his app is being used in Russia, however the app isn’t translated into Russian, the new service can help in that area.

As I stated earlier, Beta Testing & Staged Rollout got the most reception from the group at I/O. The service is just what the name suggests. Developers will now be able to rollout better apps in the form of betas as well as getting updates to them faster. Revenue Graphs allow developers track where they are making most of their money from, whether it be in-app purchases or the app itself.

Stay with us as we try to bring you all the info for these new features, as Google I/O progresses over the next few days.

 

New Google Maps sign-up page goes live for a brief moment and gives us a glimpse of new features in the process

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Google has been rumored to be working on a new version to Google Maps and last night the world stumbled across a sign-up page for it, giving the rumor more credence. With this discovery, we now have an idea of what Google has in store for us with the new version. Even though the sign-up page was removed just as quickly as it went up, some pictures and information was still gathered from it. In the pictures, we can see that Google’s new version of Maps is taking on the Google Now card look, as well as improving areas of functionality. 

Samsung Galaxy S 4 breaks the S 3 record by selling 4 million units in 5 days

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It doesn’t appear that any of the recent court problems that plague Samsung across the globe, have slowed it down any. Chosun Ilbo is announcing that Samsung has eclipsed their own record held by the Galaxy S III of 3 million units shipped worldwide in 21 days. The new record holder is their Galaxy S 4 which shipped 4 million units in 26 days. When asked for comment by Chosun Ilbo, Samsung had this to say:

“As of Friday, we have sold more than 6 million units, and we predict that we could break the 10-million mark by as early as the end of this month.”

Those are some pretty impressive numbers, and it doesn’t seem Samsung is phased by Apple’s recent addition of the S 4 to the pending 2014 trial of infringing devices. Like always we will keep an eye on this and let you know as soon as Samsung crosses the 10 million mark, which as it sounds shouldn’t be too far away. 

Source: Chosun Ilbo

CyanogenMod eclipses 5 million downloads and counting

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Oh CyanogenMod, let us count the ways we love thee. If we were to actually count, 5 million and change would probably be your stopping point— but thankfully we don’t have to count because CyanogenMod has done it for us. Using the latest report from the CyanogenMod statistics feature, the total number of installs has climbed to 5,071,645. What is especially interesting is the number of official installs of 1,881,796 v.s. 3,189,849 unofficial installs. There is a slight skew there, but it makes sense if you think about it. For example, I remember my Epic 4G Touch or Sprint S II doesn’t have an officially supported CyanogenMod ROM, but there are a few unofficial ones floating around out there.

CyanogenMod has gone through many changes during its time and this number represents their dedication to their fans and the Android community. My hat is off to the CyanogenMod team, congratulations and excellent job. Not to leave out the fans, because they deserve congratulations too. This accomplishment wouldn’t be achieved if it wasn’t for their love of CyanogenMod and their dedication to the ROM. Do you use CyanogenMod as your daily driver? If so tell us what you love most about CyanogenMod in the Comments section below.

Source: CyanogenMod Stats

Archos ChefPad appeals to the cook in us all

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How many times have we all been cooking something in the kitchen, using either your tablet or phone for the directions? Do you remember that on-edge feeling that something could spill on it? Well we can rest easier now, because Archos has got the answer for us in the way of their new tablet, the Archos ChefPad.

It doesn’t look like they are playing around either, as this thing comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and has an A9 dual-core processor clocked at 1.6 GHz, as well as a Quad-core GPU Mali 400 MP4 to go with it. It also has 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB internal memory, but that can be expanded up to 64 GB via a micro SD slot.

Even though they are selling this thing as a kitchen tablet, the hardware can still get down on some of the more processor heavy games as well. The tablet also comes pre-loaded with Chef Apps, OfficeSuite Viewer 6, and the Archos Media Center, and more. A protective case and stand also come with the tablet out-of-the-box.

No word on price for the device yet but that could change. We will keep an eye on this one and let you know as soon as we hear something worth sharing.

Source: Archos

Sony tries to lure developers by waiving the $99 PlayStation Mobile licensing fee

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If you have a game and would like to port over to PlayStation Mobile devices, but can’t afford the $99 license fee Sony usually charges developers, then I have some good news for you. For a limited time this summer, Sony has decided to open its Mobile Development program up to all new developers, and waive the license fee.

This could turn out to be a fantastic opportunity for both Sony and developers. If this plan works Sony could see an upswing in development while developers add another platform to launch their games on. This isn’t only limited to Android certified devices either, it also includes development for the PS Vita as well. Let’s hope this plan works out better than expected and Sony makes it a permanent deal.

Check out the video for the PlayStation Mobile Development Program after the break. I feel like the guy in it myself, how many of you can relate?

Google cancels plans to unveil Google Wallet credit card at next week’s I/O

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All Things D is reporting that Google has decided not to move forward with their own physical credit card. According to their sources, Google had planned to update Google Wallet with a physical card next week at Google I/O, but now sources are saying that those plans have changed a little and even though they do plan to update Google Wallet with new features, there are no plans for the debut of a Google credit card along with it.

Sources close to the matter said Google’s CEO Larry Page put an end to the project last week after a lackluster demo performance didn’t show any innovation.Those who had seen the card described it as a usual credit card, with the Google Wallet “W” in rainbow colors on top of a black background.  Google had hoped to use the credit card to gain more information about its customers spending habits, which would improve their ability to push ads to their customers.

This isn’t the first time Google has lost faith in a card. Back in October of last year they put the kibosh on the prepaid Google Wallet program.  So this is just one more thing to delete from Google I/O expectations.

Source: All Things D

WeatherBug gets a new update that brings redesigned user interface, hourly forecasts, and more

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WeatherBug is, without question, one of the Play Store’s best weather apps and the recent update makes it even better with new features like these:

  • NEW! Slide-side navigation – Get all your forecasts, conditions, and alerts with our new one-touch navigation right from the home screen!
  • NEW! Spark Alerts – Spark, an exclusive WeatherBug feature, turns your smartphone into a personal lightning detector. Only WeatherBug can bring minute-by-minute, mile-by-mile lightning strike alerts to you, in real-time, based on data from the WeatherBug total lightning detection network!
  • NEW! Photos Section – We’ve collected magnificent photography from our users for your viewing pleasure. Come see what others are sharing and enjoy the scenery!
  • NEW! Enhanced Pinpoint Hourly Forecasts for Domestic and International Locations – 25% more accurate forecasts for the next 24 hours when compared to other forecasts! Know Before™ you head out!
  • NEW! Home Screen Customization – Customize your home screen with new background themes and rearrange your live tiles to get the info that matter the most to you at-a-glance.

Release candidates for CyanogenMod 10.1.0 start making their way to select devices

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CyanogenMod has announced they have release candidates ready for a few select devices. OK so the word few isn’t really accurate,  40 is the actual number and the list is impressive. For those of you who don’t know what CyanogenMod or CM 10.1 is, it is a custom ROM for select Android devices, CM 10.1 is the latest from the CyanogenMod crew and it is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean source code.

The devices listed for rc1 consideration is a who’s-who of current and former top end devices. The current lineup of Nexus phones and tablets are there, as well as the Nexus Q for those who happen to own one. The international HTC One X is there as well, and a few U.S. variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The list is too big for me to run through all of them, so click on the source and see if your device is listed. If not, be patient it may make the list sooner or later.

Source: CyanogenMod

Apple wants source code records in Samsung trial and looks in Google’s direction in the process

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Apple is trying to bring Google into their lawsuit with Samsung in a roundabout way. Apple wants a judge to ask Google to turn over documents related to the Android OS. Apple argues that by having a judge force Google to turn over the documents, it will help prove their case of Samsung’s alleged infringement. Android runs in all of Samsung’s devices that Apple has a problem with and Apple argues that Android “provides much of the accused functionality“.

A lawyer for Apple claims that Google is not doing a full search for said documents, but the lawyer representing Samsung in this case and who also represents Google as well, said that this was part of Apple’s “strategic decision… to keep Google off the complaint” in this case. By not listing Google as part of the complaint, Google is not entitled to the same reciprocal discovery process as Apple and Samsung. If a judge orders this evidence to be turned over Apple, they could possibly be handed something they could use to try and come after Google, that they would not have got without a judges order.

This is the second trial for Samsung and Apple. The first one didn’t go as well as Samsung had hopped, having received a judgment of $1.05 billion which was later reduced to $639.4 million by the same judge, who also order a new trial. As always we will keep an eye on any developments in this case and bring them to you as soon as we hear them.

Source: Bloomberg

Old Samsung NFC TecTile tags don’t work with the Samsung Galaxy S 4

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Samsung has upgraded the Galaxy S 4’s NFC chipset in a way that it no longer communicates with older Samsung NFC tags called TecTiles. When asked about this problem Samsung had this to say:

Samsung is introducing TecTile 2, an update to the original TecTile NFC programmable tags, which will be available in the coming weeks. TecTile 2 will use the current NFC technology on the market, allowing Samsung customers to further incorporate NFC into their daily lives and to use with the latest Samsung Mobile products and services, including the Galaxy S 4. As industry standards continue to evolve, Samsung remains committed to meeting those standards and adapting its technologies if necessary. Samsung customers can also fully utilize TecTiles 2 with existing Samsung Mobile NFC-enabled Android smartphones currently in market.