‘Agent’ app promises to offer a more effective, useful personal assistant

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Agent

There’s a new app on the Play Store that offers yet another personal assistant, adding to the list of many programs promising to be the killers of both Google Now and Siri. Although no 3rd party app has done it yet (and probably won’t anytime soon), the developer behind ‘Agent’ says that there are certainly some practical, redeeming features in his new app that most personal assistants do not yet offer.

For instance, Agent will put your phone into a power saving mode when you have low battery, it will silence your phone during meetings, remember where you’ve parked, auto-respond when you’re driving, and allow only urgent calls when you’re sleeping.

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Canadian carriers updating HTC One to Android 4.3

by Justin Herrick on
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Owners of the HTC One in Canada should begin to receive the Android 4.3 update starting today. Early last week the company’s flagship device started to receive the update in Taiwan and today it turns out that Rogers, TELUS, Bell, and Virgin Mobile are all pushing the update to the handset. Below is the changelog.

Software update: 3.22.631.1 (573.96 MB)
This update constains important enhancements and bug fixes, including:
- Android 4.3 update

- Sense 5 enhancements

United States HTC One owners unfortunately have to wait as the September deadline was missed; however, HTC USA’s Jason Mackenzie assured owners that all of the carriers are being “very supportive.” While that means a lot for most of the carriers in the U.S., Verizon will likely require an even longer wait.

Source: Mobile Syrup

CM Installer Beta Testers sign-up list open

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Cyanogen Installer

When CyanogenMod reorganized itself as a new company (Cyanogen Inc.), one of their main goals was to make sure their product was extremely easy to install so that it doesn’t have to be limited only to those that have experience with  flashing. That’s why Cyanogen is trying to release a Cyanogen Installer which will let you quickly get the software on your device in no time at all.

To get this project off the ground, Cyanogen has started a beta-testing program for testers willing to try it out. However, this isn’t your basic sign-up list— you have to meet the following criteria to be selected.

  • A camera to record yourself doing the installation
  • Have a supported device (maguro, crespo, toro, toroplus, grouper, flo, mako, manta, skyrocket, hercules, i9100, i9300, d2att, d2spr, d2tmo, jfltexx, quincyatt, quincytmo, t0ltetmo, m7ul)
  • Submit bug reports and feedback

If you meet all of this criteria, go to Koushik Dutta’s Google+ post (source link) to let him know you’re interested.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

 

Amazon upgrades Prime Instant Video with downloading option for offline viewing

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Amazon is looking to make their upcoming Kindle Fire HDX their best e-reader yet, and recently added some more features that are sure to make for some great selling points.

Along with Fire OS 3.0 (based on Android 4.2.2), the device will have more options on its Prime Instant Video subscription plan which will allow users to download video content. This contains tens of thousands of videos from NBC, Viacom, Sony, Warner Bros. and CBS. Downloads will be ready to view for up to 30 days, and will be viewable for up to 48 hours after the user begins watching. This will be great for those on long plane rides looking to stay up to date with their favorite shows— it is only a matter of time before other developers start offering offline viewing on their respective apps. (We’re looking at you, Netflix and Hulu.)

Details on how the platform works have not been released yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see for now. Hit the break for the official presser.

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HTC One receiving Android 4.3 update in Taiwan

by Justin Herrick on
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htc-one-android-4.3-llabtoofer

While an updated HTC One is likely in the works, the Taiwanese company isn’t letting their current flagship grow old. Consistent HTC leaker and ROM developer LlabTooFeR shared a screenshot on Twitter that clearly shows the device receiving the latest version of Android. Attached to the tweet is a message the reads “HTC One in Taiwan just started getting Android 4.3.“ Aside from being bumped up to Android 4.3, the device will also receive camera enhancements for low light situations and the option to add your own music to Video Highlights.

All of the software update’s features are more than welcome. The HTC One’s camera has long been applauded due to its performance in low light, despite having a 4MP lens. Also, being brought up to speed with the latest version of Android is a great thing because of fragmentation concerns for many handset owners. While the update is only appearing in Taiwan at the moment, it will likely be rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks.

Source: LlabTooFeR (Twitter)

Leaked version of Android 4.3 for AT&T’s HTC One appears

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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HTC One 4.3

Well would you look at that! It seems as though HTC has made good on their promise of getting the latest versions of Android to their top-line devices as fast as they can. A leaked version of Android 4.3 for AT&T’s HTC One has appeared, and has been tested by Android Central’s Kevin O’Quinn— so far so good, they let us know. He hasn’t found any bugs, and fluidity is great.

If you want to test it out for yourself, an unlocked bootloader and custom recovery is required to flash it, of course, head on over to the source link.

Hopefully it won’t be long after that other carriers will start to have their own versions nearing release. Of course we’re all thinking Verizon here, but I guess I wouldn’t expect them to have it for a while considering it wasn’t too long ago that they actually started offering the HTC One to customers.

Source: Android Central

Privacy Guard to update to version 2.0 in CM 10.2, will give you true control over your apps

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Privacy GuardCyanogenMod’s update to version 10.2 will bring plenty of welcome improvements, and one of them is an updated Privacy Guard app to version 2.0. This app currently allows users to manage app permissions, not only displaying what apps have access to what information, but letting the users control which information they will voluntarily share with their apps.

Privacy Guard 2.0 will integrate “AppOps,” which lets the system remove permissions and return empty data sets when permissions are denied for an app. You will be able to easily switch on/off individual permissions for things such as location, reading contacts, SMS/MMS, etc. A notifications feature has also been added which will let you know when you are using an app that has permissions blocked that it requires to run. It’s definitely a good troubleshooting tool for when your app suddenly doesn’t work anymore after it doesn’t have the ability to use your device’s GPS, for example. The UI has also been changed a bit to make it simpler to navigate the app. It’s definitely a nice addition to CM 10.2 and we’re looking forward to seeing what other goodies are in store from the CM team.

Source: +CyanogenMod

White House pushes FCC to mandate that carriers must unlock future devices

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Unlocked_Device

In a move that would certainly boost competition, consumer choice, and overall happiness in the mobile device community, the Obama administration is pushing the FCC to mandate that US carriers must unlock some of their future devices. According to the Washington Post, activists devised a petition to garner support, and they were able to collect 114,000 signatures.

Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of the NTIA made a comment regarding the petition:

“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle.”

However, the move would likely only affect GSM devices, leaving CDMA phones alone in the dark. However, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: Washington Post

‘Wickr Self-Destruct Messaging’ released to Play Store, features ‘Snapchat-esque’ encrypted SMS/MMS

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Wickr

On the heels of the public’s worries about the NSA and “big brother” checking in on us, Wickr has released its app to Android devices, as it was already available through the iOS App Store.

The application allows users to send encrypted messages anonymously and privately, and users can also select an option which will cause your message to be permanently deleted after a certain time period ends, much like Snapchat’s well-known feature.

Here are some words from Wickr’s co-founder, Robert Statica:

“Wickr not only offers the most secure form of correspondence but also helps protect our users’ contacts as we anonymize this information before it leaves the senders phone. Wickr does not collect any personally identifable information on users nor can we read any messages or contents sent through Wickr, therefore, no criminal or rogue government can take them from us.”

So if you’re truly worried about the government and those “big bad corporations” spying on you, it looks like Wickr is the perfect app for you. Hit the break for a video and the link to the app in the Play Store. » Read the rest

Galaxy Gear 2 Set to Work with More Phones, Could Debut at CES 2014

by Jack Holt on
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Even before the official launch of Galaxy Gear the rumor mill has Samsung already looking to the near future. Rumor has it that Samsung will be possibly debuting the second generation of the Galaxy Gear early next year. While companies usually debut such gadgets at the Mobile World Congress but Samsung may show their hand a little earlier. In fact, if rumors are true, they could be debuting at CES 2014.

If other aspects of this rumor are true, then version two will work with more than just Samsung devices. For those that don’t know, Galaxy Gear will only work with the Note 3 with a promised update in the future for current Galaxy devices. This is seen as Galaxy Gear’s Achilles’ Heel (used loosely). Given that the wearable tech relies heavily on your smartphone to function well, it’d be prudent for Samsung to make it accessible to a large number of Android devices.

Even if the rumors aren’t true, Samsung needs to open Galaxy Gear up to more devices. With the device launching September 25th, initial sales will dictate the Korean company’s next move. We’ll just have to wait and see for how that goes.

 

source: c|net UK