How to: cache maps for offline use in the new Google Maps update

cached_google_mapsSince the new Google Maps began to roll out last night, the first major complaint has been the loss of support for cached maps. Have no fear, Google has you covered. Apparently, there’s an easter egg that the developers built in to the new version of the app that allows you to cache portions of maps for later use. All you need to do is follow the steps below:

  1. Zoom in on the map to view to the region you want to cache
  2. Tap the search bar
  3. Type “Okay maps” or “OK maps”
  4. Tap the search button

And there you go, that portion of the map is cached for offline use! It’s surprising that this wasn’t built in to the app via a “Make available offline” button like the previous version, but it’s a relief the feature hasn’t disappeared completely.

Source: TechCrunch

DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD updates roll out

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Verizon has announced updates for both the Motorola DROID RAZR HD and DROID RAZR MAXX, bringing enhancements and bug fixes to both.The updates include new versions of Backup Assistant and Motorola’s Smartactions, as well as improved GPS reliability, increased stability, improved Bluetooth connectivity, SMS fixes, and support for VMware Horizon Mobile. Security fixes are also included.

You can see a full overview of the updates via the source links below. The updates should begin rolling out in the next few weeks.

Source: Verizon Support RAZR M | RAZR HD

AT&T and Sprint HTC One on sale for $49.99 on Amazon

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Right now, the HTC One is arguably the best Android phone on the market. With a lot of phones scheduled to be released soon, that may soon change. Amazon knows, and they have dropped the price of HTC’s flagship phone to just $49.99 for AT&T and Sprint, each with a two year contract. You have your choice of black or white on either carrier.

Head to the source link if you want to take advantage of this pretty great deal.

Source: Amazon AT&T | Amazon Sprint

 

Google Maps updates with new UI

google_maps_updateThe Google Maps design refresh, which was first unveiled at Google I/O, is finally making its way to Android tablets and smartphones. The update features a clean, card-based UI that is very similar to both the web version and the iOS version. From the screenshots, it looks very polished and streamlined. New features include enhanced traffic navigation, reviews from Zagat, and “Explore,” which allows you to discover new places by tapping the search button.

The update is using the staged-rollout option, so it might be a while until you receive it. You can try your luck through the download link after the break.

Play Store Download Link
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Samsung sees bright future for ‘wearables’ and phone displays in new concept video

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Samsung has always been know for setting its sights pretty high, and it’s certainly paying off right now as they’re pretty much dominating the top of the mobile industry. But what about the future? Well yesterday at the MobileBeat conference in San Francisco, Samsung strategy chief Young Sohn displayed a video showing what kind of potential the future holds in their industry, and more specifically, their own products. The video features flexible displays, unique wearable technology, and even a health-sensor that pairs with your smartphone which immediately sends if off to the doc. Check out the full concept video after the break.
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Dropbox announces Sync API as part of Dropbox Platform for third-party apps

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Dropbox has maintained its position as one of the major players in cloud storage space by offering tons of features like automatic photo sharing and storage and some excellent cross-platform apps. Today, they announced a new API for third-party developers called Sync that lets apps take advantage of Dropbox’s reliable storage features, mainly for syncing application data for users. Dropbox Sync is a first step in creating a Dropbox Platform for developers to use to add in cloud storage and file syncing to their applications, which is especially handy for cross-device and cross-platform apps.

Dropbox already offers constantly updated folders and files, so adding in the ability for developers to sync an app’s data across many devices is invaluable. Want to see all of your sketches in your favorite drawing app on both your phone and your tablet? Dropbox Sync can handle that. It’s mainly a developer’s tool, but it’s going to allow developers to make some pretty big improvements to their applications and pad out Dropbox’s impressive 175 million active users.

source: Dropbox

Teaser video for Rovio Stars’ Tiny Thief released

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Rovio Stars, a new third-party shop under the wings of Rovio, announced yesterday that they would be releasing their first game, Tiny Thief, on July 11th. Following up on that announcement, a teaser video was released today that gives us a look at some of the gameplay we can expect. The game’s developer, 5Ants, has brought a Rovio look and feel to the title, though it does not appear to involve any flicking or flinging of objects on screen. Instead, users will have to use their brains to solve puzzles and find hidden objects as they work their way through thirty different stages. Hit the break to view the video.
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TalkAndroid Daily Dose for July 9, 2013

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With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Apps

Teaser video for Rovio Stars’ Tiny Thief released

Carriers

T-Mobile could announce ‘Anytime Upgrades’ plan tomorrow

Google

Google brings back phone calls to Hangouts

Phones

Images of Huawei Honor 3 hint at mid-range device with a little extra

Leaked video, images of LG Optimus G2 hit the Internet

Rumor: Motorola set to launch European variant of the X Smartphone in Q4, will give it Nexus-esque pricing in the process

Latest Motorola X leak shows a dual-SIM variant is likely on the way
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Google brings back phone calls to Hangouts

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When Google made the move earlier this year to start consolidating all of their communication platforms to the Hangouts app, one feature that went missing was the ability to include phone calls as part of a Hangout. In response to user demand, Google announced today that they have brought that feature back to the desktop versions of Gmail, Google+ and the Chrome extension. Possibly due to the negative vibes created by removing the feature, Google not only brought the feature back, they have improved the calling features by making calls to U.S. or Canadian numbers free.
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Images of Huawei Honor 3 hint at mid-range device with a little extra

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Some new images of Huawei’s forthcoming mid-range device, the Huawei Honor 3, reveal a couple features that may help the device set itself apart from other competitors. First, as one of the leaked photos indicates, the device will be waterproof, although we do not know to what extent. This implies the device will be dustproof as well. Another image shows what appears to be an infrared blaster similar to those found in high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 or the HTC One
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