I’m very particular when it comes to the launchers that I use. I’ve been perfectly content in my Nova Launcher set up for over a year now. It looks like this is going to change however, as Chris Lacy released an update for Action Launcher today with a killer new feature. In this update, the Covers feature is taken a step further. Covers brought you your most accessed destinations quickly with the swipe of a finger and Action Launcher’s new Shutter feature looks to do the same with widgets. For example you can slide your finger up on the Gmail icon and it displays the Gmail widget, giving you quick access to your email. Chrome gives you quick access to your bookmarks (see below). Most apps with widgets have this ability and I particularly liked being able to skip tracks in the Play Music App right from the icon.
Samsung’s S Voice feature received an upgrade for the Galaxy S 4 and thanks to a special someone, the new S Voice APK is now available for Android users to download. According to SamMobile, the APK works perfectly on devices running Samsung firmware as one would expect. However, if you’re running an AOSP-based ROM, you may run into some issues. Similar to Google Now, with S Voice you can update social networks, set alarms, create events, open apps, search the web, make a phone call or send a text message, and much more. Galaxy S 4 wallpapers were also released today in crystal clear 1920 x 1080 resolution.
François Beaufort has been doing a great job giving us a sneak peek at upcoming features to Google Chrome. They’ve ranged from Google Now notifications on the desktop to the high class Chrome Pixel. Of course these peeks were never official in capacity. Well that’s going to change as Mr. Beaufort took to his Google+ account to announce that Google has snatched him up.
With being hired, it appears that he will be giving us in-depth looks at behind the scenes action and making announcements officially. It’s a brilliant move by Google as it curbs leaks being made and it brings one of the biggest Chrome supporters to the team. It’s bad news for us though as we may see leaks on upcoming features drop to a trickle.
Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone is starting to see its first major firmware update hitting devices out in Europe. The update seems to bring the firmware to version 10.1.A.1.434 and is only available for a minority of the devices so far. While there’s no change log of what the update brings, it’s widely speculated that this update addresses that nagging issue which causes devices to go through an unintended slumber, but we won’t know for sure until Sony gives up the information we’re all looking for.
If you’re an owner of the Xperia Z and living in Europe, be sure to connect your phone to your computer using Sony’s PC companion app and check for the download today.
One of the more innovative features of Sense 5 is BlinkFeed, which aggregates all of your social media and general news content into one gorgeous tiled interface. In their latest promo video, HTC highlights BlinkFeed in a pretty unique way. The video begins showing a young woman on a train alone with her HTC One. Upon using BlinkFeed, the images on her BlinkFeed come to life, reading aloud her status updates from her social networks as well as various news stories she has added to it. Check out the video after the break.
Just like other Google apps (and Android has a whole) the Play Store has been going through a constant metamorphosis. The last major makeover for the Play Store was back in July of 2011 with subsequent tweaks since. It appears that it will be seeing another major facelift here soon. The folks over at Droid-Life gave everyone a taste of what’s to come with Google Play 4.0. As you’ll see from the images the UI has been redesigned with a more holo-esque theme in mind. The shift gives the Play Store a cleaner and more appealing look. Images are more prominent and eye-catching while text is used sparingly.
The latest update to the popular 9 Innings: Pro Baseball 2013 Android game scores a homerun in the Google Play Store! It’s still the only baseball game on Android that’s Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) Licensed, Those of you familiar with this “real-life” baseball experience will be happy to know that the 2013 update just made this awesome game even more incredible than ever.
Some of the great additions you will find in the latest download are:
- 140 batters and 110 pitchers have been added or moved to new teams
- Real photos and stats are well over 1,400 players
- Game schedule now shows the real 2013 MLB game schedule
- Acknowledgement of Houston Team League change to the American League West Division
- Addition of Daily Rewards! Log in each day to earn bonus rewards. » Read the rest
Google has been working hard to unify their products. Their latest project, combines its currently fragmented messaging platforms under one powerful and effective service. The new initiative, affectionately called “Babble”, will do just that. Currently, Google is maintaining Google Talk, Hangout, Voice, Messenger, Chat for Drive collaboration, and the pseudo Google Talk for G+. The only two that work even fairly well together are Google Talk for Gmail and G+ and even they can evoke frustration with users from time-to-time.
The Babble cross-platform solution could enable Google to dominate chat services such as iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. Google is building Babble from the ground up, which may or may not be a blessing depending on how you look at it. On one hand, they will be working from a clean slate and there will be no boundaries as to what they can make the app do. On the other hand, Google will be pushing out another Beta product based on past experiences that may have more bugs than a Louisiana bayou on a hot summer afternoon. We will just have to hope the geeks at Google push out a well polished, well oiled, version of the app on Beta release. » Read the rest
We already know that Samsung is committed to bringing the best support possible for its legacy devices, but it appears that Samsung is certainly on its way to becoming the next Google when it comes to software updates of its devices. Let me explain— a “pre-list” has recently surfaced indicating which Samsung devices will be qualified for some major updates on the way in the near-future. According to the list, many 2012 or pre-2012 devices such as the Galaxy S Advance, Galaxy S II and original Galaxy Note smartphones are slated to receive the Android 4.2.2 update. Additionally, a handful of devices such as the Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 8.0, Galaxy 10.1, Galaxy S III and Galaxy S 4 are eligible for the not-yet-announced Key Lime Pie update. Moreover— while many of the mid-range devices may not qualify for the Android 5.0 update, Samsung is working on some sort of “value pack” update, which gives the older legacy devices some addtional functionality that other devices won’t have.
If you’re an owner of a Sammy device, it’s pretty exciting to know that Samsung is likely continuing to show some much-needed love to your old toy, isn’t it?
Once again Google Drive’s website source code is giving away secrets to new and upcoming apps. 1E100 discovered references to an app codenamed “Memento”, and the icon above in the image.
This icon looks like it falls right in-line with Google’s other Drive app icons. Some of you may remember Google’s first less-than-successful attempt at a note-taking app called “Google Notebook”, and it looks like they are going to give it another shot. Let’s hope that this time around they do it right. Competing with the likes of Evernote, Colornote, MobileNotes, Catch Notes, and GNotes, will be no easy task, and Google will really have to “bring it” to compete in this area. » Read the rest