Google has updated Glass to a newer version of software with a handful of new features, including some additional voice commands and a brand new browser. The voice commands are extremely helpful, as Glass users will now be able to use verbal commands to make Glass narrate content such as text messages. Telling Glass to “read aloud” will cue it to read the contents of a text out to you, and you’ll now be able to tell Glass to create a reply text for you, completely hands free. You can also scroll through your Gmail contacts and compose texts by scrolling through and tapping a contact’s picture from Glass’s main menu. It isn’t as fancy as the totally voice controlled texting, but a nice feature nonetheless.
Once the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S 4 hit stores last week, owners of the carrier based S4 were immediately jealous. Now Verizon S4 users don’t have to be, as developers have made the stock Android Galaxy S4 ROM available for their devices. The developer says it is a port from the GT-I9505, but it isn’t specified if it’s from the Android 4.3 or 4.2.2 build.
There are many versions of the ROM available, including one with blacked out Google Apps. You can go make your Verizon S4 stock through download via the source link below. While the Verizon S4 is the first lucky device to get a port, it surely won’t be the last.
Source: XDA Developers Forum
Remember the failure that was HP’s webOS? Now HP wants to have a second go at the smartphone market. In the Indian Express, HP Senior Director of Consumer PCs and Tablets for Asia-Pacific Yam Su Yin revealed that the company is working on a new smartphone that will offer a “differentiated experience.” We don’t know anything besides this initial remark – not even if they are working on an entire mobile operating system, or simply just a device that could run on Android or Windows Phone.
The company’s focus will still be concentrated on tablet, notebook, and PC lines, however it could be very difficult to emerge in a market that currently seems to have its bases covered. Of course, Yin, who says “HP has to be in the game,” says a timetable is not yet available. Stay tuned to Talk Android as we keep you updated on HP’s latest foray into the smartphone market.
Are you a jealous GSM HTC One owner that wants a stock Google experience after seeing the new Google Play edition devices that were released earlier this week? Well, you’re in luck. Rooted HTC One users can now flash a rom that runs the same Android 4.2.2 that the new devices run, thanks to XDA Developers user bigxie. To flash the rom, you will need an unlocked and rooted HTC One running a custom recovery. Once flashed, your HTC One experience will be almost exactly like the Google Play edition experience, complete with the new camera app and everything.
Source: XDA Developers
Development for Facebook’s Android app, which used to seem like an after thought, is taking a step forward as Facebook has announced that they will take part in Android’s new beta program. We’ve already seen this new program being used by apps such as Falcon Pro and Nova Launcher to test new releases with a small number of users to correct issues. Facebook hopes that this will help improve performance and reliability across all phones, all the way from a years old Gingerbread device to a few days old Google Edition Galaxy S4.
To join the program, you’ll need to head to the Google Groups link below and join the group to become a beta tester. After that, you can download the beta version of the app from the Play Store like normal. To report bugs in the beta version, just head to the settings menu and tap the “Report Bug” icon.
Source: Facebook Engineering, Google Groups
While it is rare for Android users to envy anything related to iOS, CyanogenMod developer Koush openly expressed his love for iMessage in a Google+ post, also revealing that he plans to build a plugin somewhat similar into future builds of CyanogenMod. The plugin will be built into the framework, working with any SMS app to send encrypted messages to compatible devices running CyanogenMod (7 million users and counting) and falling back to standard SMS when necessary.
Not much else is known about this feature but its another step in the right direction for the CM team, who’ve been hard at working making their ROM more and more secure. For now we can only ponder possible features of this plugin, but Koush is looking for feedback so hit the source to let him know what you want to see.
Source: CyanogenMod Google+
The increasingly popular video-oriented companion to Twitter, Vine, has updated their new Android app to version 1.1 bringing some very important improvements to the app, which currently has an average rating of 3 stars. Today’s update brings huge improvements to performance including quicker capture speed, higher quality and improved audio/video synchronization. Users now have the ability to clear their local cache in the app’s settings, search for users and hashtags and share videos to Facebook. Finally, the developers have included some bug fixes and tweaks to the UI.
Much like the highly anticipated Ouya, another crowd-sourced Android-powered gaming console has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. The GameStick, originally announced around the beginning of the year, has delayed the first non-developer run of systems to its Kickstarter backers by about a month, citing an unfinished UI as the cause of the delay.
On the bright side, the manufacturing tooling is finished and the first run of GameStick’s have rolled off the line, including a last-minute change which entailed redesigning the analog sticks for easy removal, allowing users to apply custom decals. Early backers should expect theirs to ship sometime this August with a retail release sometime this fall. Hit the source for the full update from the GameStick team.
Smartphone theft is on the rise, and as these devices get more and more expensive it gets less and less easy to replace them. On top of that there is the risk of sensitive personal information going into the wrong hands (i.e. a thief). Samsung and other manufacturers recently met with New York Attorney General Erich Schneiderman to discuss the future of smartphone security and how to prevent device theft, reportedly working on a kill switch of sorts. Now, it looks like Samsung will be releasing this new feature as soon as July.
Pay-what-you-want services are taking over every form of media and why not? It allows consumers to decide what various goods and services are worth to them personally. Of course as with any payment model it has its shortcomings, and developers have come up with some crafty services, one such service being the excellent Humble Bundle. For the uninitiated, the Humble Bundle is a pay-what-you-want service that bundles top-notch eBooks, music apps and games and the more you pay the more awesome stuff you get.
This week the service is hosting a bundle of excellent indie-Android games and with an average donation of $5.86, its a great opportunity to save a bunch of money and support developers and charity at the same exact time. The games in this bundle include:
Anomaly Warzone Earth Mobile Campaign ( normally $3.99)
Sleepwalker’s Journey (normally $0.99)
Funky Smugglers (normally $0.99)
And if you donate a more generous amount you get:
Anomaly Warzone Korea ( normally $3.99)
On top of all that the bundle includes wallpapers for every game in the bundle and a 3D Print figure of the Mech from Anomaly 2. Bust out the wallet, do yourself and the Android community a favor and grab some really cool games. When your done with that feel free to thank us in the comments.
Source: Humble Bundle