Samsung Wallet launches in the Play Store

samsung_wallet_app_video_captureWhile Google Wallet just decided to drop gift card and loyalty points support, a Samsung app that still supports it is now available in the Play Store. Samsung Wallet, which launched in February via Samsung Apps, is now available through the Play Store. The free app is only compatible for U.S. customers using the Galaxy S3, S4, Note and Note II.

Wallet is essentially a digital wallet that stores your coupons, tickets, gift cards, and more, that syncs with all of your Samsung devices.  You get time and location-based reminders for tickets, grocery coupons, and all of that fun stuff, but NFC payment is not integrated as of yet.

You can download the app through the Play Store via the link after the break. Read more

IDC reports show strong Q2 growth for Android smartphones at Apple’s expense

IDC smartphone q2

We’ve already seen Strategy Analytics’ report on Android smartphone growth in Q2 2013, and now that the IDC’s report is in, it’s pretty conclusive. The IDC shows that total smartphone growth grew about 51.3% year-over-year, with all smartphone vendors shipping 236.4 million units in Q2. Android devices are on top, with nearly 80% of the market share, an increase of about 10% from Q2 last year. Apple’s market share took the biggest hit, dropping from 16% down to 13%, partly because they haven’t released a new device in about a year. Windows Phone actually made some slight improvements, but BlackBerry is still in a steady decline.

Linux, Symbian, and “other” devices are also slowly decreasing, but we may see that change with Firefox OS and Tizen entering the market in the next few months.

source: Business Wire

Loyalty points and gift cards will no longer be supported by Google Wallet beginning August 21

google-wallet-05-26-2011Google Wallet is undergoing a surprising fundamental change. Loyalty program linking, one of the features Google has hyped ever since the launch of Wallet, is going to be phased out. Basically, any Wallet-stored gift card or loyalty card will not work past August 21. If you still have the physical card, you’re fine, but if not, Google recommends spending your balance before that deadline.

Google says they are still working with retailers on other options for gift and loyalty card redemption. In the meantime, you can still handle credit and debit card transactions through the service.

Source: Engadget

 

Digital textbooks now available in Google Play Store

google_textbooksGoogle announced today that textbooks are now available via the books section of the Google Play Store. A long list of publishing partners, including Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, Random House, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning are on board. You can rent a book for up to 80% off of it’s regular purchase price.

The process of downloading a textbook is the same as downloading an ordinary book from the Play Store – you need to just head to the books section, download, and your textbook will be accessible on your Android tablet, phone, iOS device and on the web. Once downloaded, you can search, bookmark, highlight, and annotate within the textbook.

Source: Official Android Blog

Amazon could launch an Android-based gaming console by the end of the year

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I was just thinking the other day that Amazon should probably come out with their own console since they refuse to offer their Prime Instant Video streaming app to all of Android. Now today, news is coming out of Game Informer that Amazon is readying a gaming console for later this year. This is according to sources so nothing is official, but if you think about this, it makes a lot of sense for Amazon. Amazon is all about their ecosystem and if they pair it with multimedia capabilities such as the Prime Instant Video, it could be pretty successful. Sources say that it will include a gaming controller as well.

With companies like Ouya, BlueStacks, GameStick, and Mad Catz, this should be an interesting battle. Lets also not forget that Google will likely release their own gaming console as well.

Thanks Michael!!

source: Game Informer

 

Nexus 10 refresh to be made by ASUS not Samsung

ASUS_Logo_From_MeMO_Pad_10

Well here’s some surprising news for a Friday morning. I would have bet a lot of money that Samsung would be making the Nexus 10 refresh, but apparently it’s going to be ASUS. ASUS did a fantastic job with the Nexus 7 refresh so I’m sure they will do a great job with the N10. Still, one has to wonder why Google would switch from Samsung. The Nexus 10 wasn’t the most popular tablet, but it was a darn good one with the amazing display and performance. Maybe ASUS outbid Samsung or maybe this is Google distancing themselves a little from the beast that Samsung is.

Whatever it is, we may never know, but one thing we can be sure on is that it will be available by the end of this year and priced the similarly. We can probably expect the same resolution of 2560×1600, but the processor is likely to be switched to Qualcomm. I would like to see the Snapdragon 800, but based on what is in the new Nexus 7, that might be wishful thinking.

source: Geek

New Nexus 7 gets an official release date in the UK

new-Nexus-7-release-date-UK

We don’t need to speculate anymore as to when the new Nexus 7 will be released in the UK. It’s officially going to be August 28. The makers of the tablet, ASUS, had a press event in London and showed the above slide. It will be priced at £199 for the 16GB version and £239 for the 32GB version. If you’re really anxious, some stores will be open at midnight for the launch.

As you can also see, the slide shows us September 1st and September 6th release dates for the MeMo Pad HD 7 and the MeMO Pad FHD 10 respectively. The HD 7 will run £129 and the FHD 10 will set you back £299.

source: UnwiredView

Are you having GPS issues with the new Nexus 7? You’re not alone

GPS_Satellite_GPS_IIF_lg

If you just picked up the new Nexus 7 and having problems with the GPS, you’re not alone. Many users are saying that it will get a satellite lock and work great, but at some point it will go back into a “searching” mode with the GPS icon blinking. The length of time that it’s locked in seems to be different for everyone. We have seen as low as 2 minutes and as high as 30 minutes. Rebooting can help, but not guaranteed.

The good news is that Google is aware of the issue and a fix is coming soon. Don’t ask me when because we don’t have a timetable just yet, but it shouldn’t be too long since Google is the one working on the fix.

Are any of you noticing the problem? I haven’t even attempted navigation with mine.

source: Google
via: PhoneArena

Images of the 7-inch NVIDIA Tegra Tab leak

NVIDIA_Tegra_Tab_Leak_01Yesterday we reported on the rumor that NVIDIA is working on a pair of tablets sporting the upcoming Tegra 5 CPU. Today we have images of the 7-inch version dubbed the Tegra Tab. However, this one sports the current Tegra 4 CPU clocked at 1.8GHz, and looks ready for a release sometime this year.We also see that there is a rear camera onboard that is likely to be 5MP. As far as the display, we are expecting 1280 x 800. You will also notice an HDMI port.

I’m not sure if this is a smart move by NVIDIA. Qualcomm is totally kicking their butts lately so I guess this is one way to take back some control, but CPU companies traditionally don’t get into the hardware business. One more pic after the break.

Read more

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for August 8, 2013

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

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!!

Guides

Best Android apps to help you plan the perfect party or get together [August 2013]

How to setup and use Motorola Assist on the Moto X

Apps

PlayStation All-Stars Island game headed to Google Play Store

Google’s My Tracks application updated with improved accuracy, better details, and other features

Carriers

Straight Talk now offering AT&T compatible SIM cards again

Google Glass

Latest word on the street is that Google will set $300 as the price point for Google Glass

Read more