Android’s future is with us, not Google, according to Cyanogen CEO

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Many things in our world splinter into a variety of subsects. Some of which are political parties, Protestant denominations, and Linux distributions, which includes Android. They all have something in common with that from which they derive, but all claim superiority in some fashion.

Kirt McMaster (CEO of Cyanogen Inc.) recently spoke to a crowd gathered at The Information’s Next Phase of Android event, to say that a new dawn is coming to the Android distribution and the daybreak will show Cid standing triumphant over Andy.
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Ara Configurator: the app for building your Project Ara modular smartphone

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Google created quite the news day today with regard to Project Ara.  Talk Android had previously discussed some of the information released today when Google released the Project Ara MDK 0.2 a few days ago. We knew the new prototype would be called the Spiral 2, that there would be an Ara Manager app, the Greybus protocol was mentioned briefly, and we talked about the Ara module marketplace.

Today, Google branded the module marketplace as Ara Configurator, which will be your one-stop shop for customizing and purchasing your Spiral device’s modules. Additionally, this will be the location for customizing the modules’ shells, which are the plastic covering the back of said modules. The shells feature all those pretty designs on the modules’ backside that you see in the Project Ara photos.
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Samsung introduces Penvatars, brings ability to customize the S Pen’s pointer

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If you’re an owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4, or its Edge variant, you may have noticed that when you hover your S Pen stylus slightly above the screen, a pointer appears (similar to a PC’s mouse cursor). Cursors aren’t generally known to illicit much excitement from people, but Samsung is hoping to bring a smile to your face by announcing Penvatars.

Penvatars is the name Samsung is giving to its upcoming app for S Pen wielders and it will allow you to customize those pointers. Most likely the only devices that will support this app will be users of the Note 4 (or the Note Edge), with added support for older devices possibly later on.
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Smart Unlock App Brings Trusted Devices Feature To Non Lollipop Devices

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Are you envious of the Trusted Devices feature introduced in Lollipop? Not content to wait until your OEM updates your phone to Android 5.0? Good news, everybody, XDA recognized developer, hazex, has recently released an app to the Play Store that can bring this functionality to any Android device running 4.1 and above. Furthermore, if you’re shy of rooting your device, this app will not require you to be rooted!

Hazex and his company, Loading Home, not to be one-upped by Google, are also adding in the ability to add WiFi routers to your list of trusted devices. So even if you’re running Android 5.0, you may want to check out this app simply for that feature. Check out the rest of this article after the break for the app’s link to the Play Store, plus some added information if you’re not quite sure what the Trusted Devices feature is.
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Nanoport: A Magnetic Technology That Can Change Smartphones Into A Tablet

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In the tech world, like physics, there seems to be a quest for unification. One, ultimate, idea that encompasses all other ideas. This hunt manifests itself in the constant debate about the size of smart devices. Whether consumers would be happy with something the size of a phablet and only own one device or would people rather have something that fits better in the hand and also own a tablet?  (This generalization assumes that many would not see the utility in owning both a phablet and a tablet.)

Nano Magnetics Ltd has now begun working on the development of a device that straddles the middle-ground of this discussion.  It’s introducing the concept of possessing multiple small devices that can turn into a larger, connected device.


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Nest thermostats add compatability with third-party home automation products

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It was only a matter of time before the now Google-owned Nest Learning Thermostat (and smoke detector) became even more integrated in the “Internet of things.”

Now, the device can be paired and controlled with other home automation products, including Pebble smartwatches (to check and control the temperature in your home), ivee (voice-controlled home manager) and Life360 (an app used to check the location of family and friends and can adjust the temperature when people enter and leave your home).

WallyHome, a device that checks for water leaks, is also on the list of compatible products, as is Rachio, which controls sprinklers in the house for fires. Expect more and more products to become compatible with Nest, as Google is looking for more partners to expand the capabilities of its device.

Source: Engadget

Get in the fall spirit with Google Calendar’s new seasonal wallpapers

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The Google Calendar app is probably one of the last places you’d expect to get some extremely attractive wallpapers, but Google’s most recent update for the application changes that. The update includes twelve very elegant backgrounds, each representing a different month, and therefore each only visible for a month at a time. Luckily these wallpapers have been extracted from the app and can be downloaded and enjoyed at anytime. Hit the break for the full gallery.
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