Facebook announces revamped newsfeed with apparent nod to Google+


Earlier today Facebook announced changes to the newsfeed for the popular social media site that appear to mimic some features from Google+. The overall look is laid out in a manner similar to Google+ with items in the feed becoming more prominent while a ribbon down the left side of the site is full of icons for different functions. To the right side of the layout are blocks for access to specific lists of friends or other pages you may be following. Though Facebook claims the new redesign is based on mobile devices, opening a Google+ homepage and comparing it with the new Facebook newsfeed may leave you wondering whether they were copying the principles of Google+.
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Samsung Pays $111 Million For 3% Stake In Sharp To Secure LCD Supply


Samsung is a fan of Sharp’s displays and has acquired three percent of the Japanese company for $111 million. The move now makes Samsung the largest shareholder outside of a financial institution, and the fifth largest shareholder overall. This three percent stake helps solidify both companies’ relationship and ensures a steady supply of LCD panels for Samsung’s products.

Sharp isn’t doing so well financially and has created similar deals with such companies as Qualcomm who owns 2.56 percent of the business. Foxconn could soon be another shareholder in Sharp with a 10% stake. However, that deal was announced in March 2012 and closes at the end of this month.

Source: Unwired View

How to backup apps and app data on your rooted or non-rooted Android phone or tablet


We’ve all been in a situation before where we needed to either factory reset our phone, send it in for a warranty replacement, etc. Not a big deal by itself, but you’ve got 3 stars on 80% of Angry Birds levels, and who would want to lose that accomplishment? You want to be able to keep that data forever. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to do, and this guide will help you get started. You’ll even be able to start transferring some app data to new phones when you upgrade.

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FBI continues to seek data about users from Google without a warrant

Logo of Google outside their headquarters building in Mountainview, California.

During 2012, Google says they received “national security letter” requests for up to 2,000 accounts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. National security letters are a tool used by the FBI and other government agencies to gather financial, phone and Internet data without a warrant. National security letters are normally subject to gag orders and even acknowledging their existence can land the recipient in hot water. Nevertheless, Google provides period reports concerning the number of inquiries it receives pursuant to the letters.
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Featured Android App Review: Clean Master [Tools]


Spring is in the air folks and you know what that means, spring cleaning. When people say, “spring cleaning” people always think about cleaning their house or office, but it doesn’t stop there. Your phone might need a little as well, especially if it’s not running like it was when you first took it out of the box. We actually did a post about that last year, but there is a newer app on the scene that will assist you in cleaning your cache, uninstalling apps, and deleting  files, bookmarks, and text messages. It’s called Clean Master from Ksmobile, and it reminds me of CCleaner for Windows. It’s so simple to use, that I guarantee that after using the app for a few minutes, your phone will be as good as new again.

The interface is simple, clean, and features the Holo UI. Those are three things I love in apps. The main screen will give you a quick glance at how much storage you have left on both your device and on your SD card (if  installed). You have four options: History, Privacy, Tasks, and App Manager.

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AT&T Hints At HTC One X Finally Receiving Jelly Bean [Update Is Now Live]


Update: AT&T’s blog post about the Jelly Bean update is live again and HTC One X owners should get the update starting today, March 7th.

AT&T’s HTC One X was released in May 2012 and users have been waiting for an update to Jelly Bean ever since. Now, thanks to a post on the AT&T Consumer Blog, an update is coming very soon. However, it appears that someone may have jumped the gun as the blog post no longer exists. Thanks to Google, a cached version exists which says the HTC One X will start receiving 4.1 Jelly Bean on March 7th. Users will also get access to the following features:

  • AT&T Locker – Allows you to automatically store photos, videos and documents securely in the cloud, so you can access and share from your smartphone or computer.
  • AT&T DriveMode®  - Helps curb texting and driving.  The app can be set-up to automatically send a customizable reply to incoming messages once a vehicle starts moving 25 mph. The auto-reply message is similar to an “out-of-office alert” and can reply to texts, emails and wireless callers letting your friends know that you are driving and unable to respond.*
  • AT&T Messages – Displays all your texts, calls, and voicemail messages together in a single inbox, easily accessible from your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
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Samsung loses patent case in UK, Apple clear of 3G network patent violations


Another day, another decision in the ongoing patent war between Apple and Samsung. This time around, Samsung took Apple to court on the grounds that Apple’s way of processing and transmitting data on 3G networks violated three of Samsung’s patents in the UK. The English court ruled in favor of Apple, ruling that Samsung’s three claims against apple were all invalid resulting in the charges against Apple to be dropped. These patent wars have been going on since 2011 and show no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Source: Reuters

Rovio launching The Croods in the Play Store on March 14th



Team Rovio is at it again bringing the world yet another cool and catchy title called The Croods for the masses to become immersed in. The game is based off of Dreamworks’ animated film and has players playing as Grug who will try to hunt and gather resources for his family. Set in a fantasy world, Grug will need to find and make the various wild animals his own in order to grow the world. The premise of the game is fairly straightforward, but it quickly becomes complicated when Grug has to encounter a variety of creatures and deal with in-laws that are just as much of a threat as the wild animals.

The game is due out next week, but while you wait to get in on the gameplay, feel free to check out the trailer below to get a better feel of the game.


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Sony Xperia Tablet Z With LTE Hits Japan March 22nd



Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z tablet is making its way to Japan and will be available Friday, March 22nd. Pre-orders start March 9th and consumers can expect a cost around 85,470 Yen or $906 US for the LTE version. The WiFi-only version won’t go on sale in Japan until April 13th with pricing expected to be around 60,000 Yen or $652 US. Here are the specs in case you’ve forgotten:

  • 10.1 inch 1920×1200 shatter proof and scratch-resistant display (224 ppi)
  • 6.9 mm thin and water resistant up to one meter for 30 minutes
  • 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad-core processor
  • 2GB RAM and Adreno 320 GPU
  • 32GB internal storage with microSD card support
  • 8 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 2.2 megapixel front-facing camera with 1080p video support
  • Available with LTE or WiFi-only
  • Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, GPS
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 6,000 mAh battery

Source: Xperia Blog

Motorola DROID RAZR/DROID RAZR MAXX Jelly Bean 4.1.2 update gets closer to stock Android


Last fall Motorola hinted that they were planning to start moving the interfaces for their devices to being closer to a stock Android experience. Owners of Motorola DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX devices will see the fruits of that change in strategy as Motorola starts to officially roll out their Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update. According to Motorola’s software upgrade page, several Motorola specific applications have been removed and replaced with stock Android apps.
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