TalkAndroid Daily Dose for July 31, 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!!

Guides

Best Android grocery list apps to help you organize shopping trips

Apps

Asphalt 8: Airborne trailer surfaces, show some extremely impressive new gameplay

Microsoft releases Office Mobile for Android smartphones

Google aware of current Netflix bug on Android 4.3 devices; Fix is on the way

Google Calendar update includes synchronized notification dismissal across devices

Carriers

AT&T 4G LTE arrives in 10 new cities

Chromecast

New Chromecast app developed allowing for streaming of local media

Google’s Chromecast receiving its first OTA update

Hulu joining the Google Chromecast bandwagon

Hulu joining the Google Chromecast bandwagon

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Subscribers to the Hulu Plus service, Hulu’s paid subscription service, who also own a Chromecast or have one on order, will be pleased to learn that Hulu is working to bring support for Chromecast to their Android and iOS apps. Presumably Hulu will also be building in native “casting” support to their normal player similar to Netflix or YouTube on the computer. Hulu joins several other content providers lining up to support Google’s Chromecast device.

Hulu also indicated that they do not have a problem with a workaround users are currently taking advantage of, casting Hulu content via their browser tabs using the tab casting beta feature available in Chrome. Hulu representatives said they consider this to be the equivalent of plugging a PC into an HDTV via an HDMI capable.

Although initially released with native support for only a few services, Chromecast is very quickly gaining solid support from content providers. Google’s release of the Cast SDK will help developers bring new apps to consumers in quick fashion, with some private efforts already surfacing to address other shortcomings of the device, like the inability to play local content as easily as content-provider titles.

source: Variety
via: The Verge

Google working on a location based news feed for Google Now

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Google has revealed they are working on a new Google Now card that will deliver local news stories based on a user’s location. Google Now cards work off of algorithms to present the user with “contextually relevant” items. Among the inputs used to determine what is relevant are interests, time of day, and location. The new card is being tested in a closed beta right now, apparently only within Google itself, as revealed by Johanna Wright, Google’s vice president of search and assist.

Google’s Chromecast receiving its first OTA update

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In the next few days Google plans on giving its Chromecast its very first update and will be provided via OTA. You won’t even know it’s being updated as it’ll automatically download and apply the update without you needing to do anything. According to Google, the update will provide improved reliability, security and performance. Always nice to have, right?

For you early adopters out there, how are you liking the Chromecast thus far?

source: Google Chrome Releases

More X8 Chip Details Revealed by Motorola

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With the newest DROID line came news of a new processing system running under the hood. The X8 system isn’t a processor in itself. It’s a combination Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC with two digital signal processors. One of these can be used as a low-power CPU. At the very heart it’s a Snapdragon S4 Pro but with a custom firmware. Iqbal Arshad, Motorola’s senior vice president of engineering, had this to say:

“We’ve done additional optimizations on top of that such as optimizing the entire Linux user space to move it to an ARM instruction set, cache optimization, Dalvik just-in-time optimization, and we’ve changed the file system. It’s full hardware-software integration to deliver best-in-class performance.”

Motorola is playing it close to the chest though as they aren’t saying where the “contextual computing processor” and “natural language processor” are from or who actually manufacturers them. Arshad did mention that they had a hand in its design:

“It’s done by Motorola, a lot of design in the entire system. The actual silicon is specified by us but we don’t go ahead and design and fab it. It’s not an ARM processor, it’s a very low-power separate processor.”

In standby mode, the contextual computing processor looks to control showing the status and notification information on the display; on top of being in control of display and touch interaction. Audio, noise cancellation and estimation are handled by the language processor. Here’s the kicker though: Motorola isn’t using outside noise-cancellation technology.

Google aware of current Netflix bug on Android 4.3 devices; Fix is on the way

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Currently, running Netflix on your Android 4.3 device causes the device’s power lock button to become unresponsive once it’s put to sleep. Definitely an annoying bug and you can be sure Google and Netflix are currently working on a fix ASAP. According to Google’s own Dan Morrill, “top men” are currently working on a fix that will be pushed as soon as it’s finished.

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Until then, the only way to revive the device is to hold the power button until it restarts. We’ll let you all know once the update is pushed!

source: Android Police

Verizon HTC One launch bumped to August 15th?

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It’s no secret that Verizon customers have been waiting quite sometime for HTC’s flagship One device to finally hit the Big Red. Sadly, it’s launch seems to be continuously delayed. It was supposed to be August 1st, but it looks like is has been pushed back to August 15th.

How many of you Verizon customers have been patiently, or impatiently, waiting for this device to finally drop?

source: Droid Life

Clamshell lovers rejoice, image of the Samsung Hennessy (aka Galaxy Folder) leaks

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We told you about the Samsung Galaxy Folder a couple of weeks ago. This clamshell Android phone bares the model number SCH-W789, and is also known as the Hennessy. This isn’t the first Samsung clamshell Android phone. They actually offered the SCH-W999 in China a year and half ago. This one is very similar, but with slightly better specs. There will be two screens just like the SCH-W999 and both will be 3.3-inches with a resolution of 480 x 320. It will also have a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a 5MP rear camera. Android 4.1.2 is onboard, which isn’t the latest, but not bad for a phone of this caliber. These specs differ from what we first heard a couple of weeks ago.

It will be available in both China and Korea, most likely in August. China’s Telecom will get the “Luxury Gold” variant. We have no idea how much this one will cost, but the SCH-W999 went for ¥8990 ($1,410) back in December 2011. Not cheap.

source: Blog Of Mobile

Having trouble taking good Photo sphere pictures? Check out Google’s “how to” video

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Photo sphere first debuted on Google’s Nexus 4 device and has taken pictures to a whole new level. Problem is, it can be quite tricky to get a clear and good Photo sphere picture. They’re not exactly as quick as taking selfie’s. Thanks to Google, they’ve given us a video giving a clear description on how to take good Photo sphere pictures. Check out the video below after the break!

Best Android grocery list apps to help you organize shopping trips

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One of the easiest things to do is go to the grocery store to pick up one thing and end up buying several other things without getting what you originally went to the store for. People use their smartphones for just about everything; watching movies, listening to music, reading books, playing games, you name it. There’s a service or app for just about everything you could want your Android device to do, so why not use it to help you keep track of your grocery shopping? This is a list of top shopping list apps that’ll help you stay organized on your next grocery run. Hit the break to get started.

HP Slatebook x2 launched on HP web site with availability in August

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HP has officially launched the HP Slatebook x2 on their web site for U.S. customers. The convertible tablet device is listed as being available in August 2013 with a starting price of $480. The Slatebook x2 is an Android tablet that comes with a detachable keyboard similar to the ASUS Transformer line of devices. The Slatebook x2 is also one of the first devices to hit the market with NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 processor.

Microsoft releases Office Mobile for Android smartphones

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Microsoft has released an Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers app to the Google Play store which may benefit some users of the ubiquitous office suite. “May” is the key word as the app can only be used by those with an Office 365 subscription. In case you are not familiar with Microsoft’s Office 365 model, it offers users the ability to use the office suite for a monthly fee of $10, or $100 per year if paid in advance, versus laying out the cash to buy the full office suite. If you have an Office 365 subscription, the app will let you view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files.

Asphalt 8: Airborne trailer surfaces, show some extremely impressive new gameplay

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Asphalt is an extremely popular racing franchise for mobile devices that’s really come close to blurring the lines between console gaming and mobile gaming in its last few iterations. Now that we’ve gotten a look at the trailer for Asphalt 8: Airborne, it’s safe to say that trend is going to continue.

The trailer shows off the stunning graphics that the series is known for, as well as a few new gameplay tricks, including launching your car off of objects on a track and pulling off stunts in the air. Realistic? Probably not. Awesome? Definitely. It’s also coming with a brand new physics engine, 180 events, and 47 cars to test drive. Pretty impressive for a mobile game, right? Also, if you’ve managed to pick up a new Nexus 7, Asphalt 8 is optimized to run on its uber-high-resolution screen. Excited yet? Check out the video below to really get a feel for what they’re adding.

MoDaCo.Switch for Galaxy S 4 passes original funding goal

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The MoDaCo.Switch for the HTC One is awesome, there’s no denying that. Seamlessly switching between a carrier skinned ROM and vanilla Android on the fly is a feature that most people would love to have on their phones. Considering it was done on the HTC One, though, it would only be fair to extend that to the Google Play Edition of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4, right? If you’re an S 4 owner, your wait is (almost) over. The MoDaCo.Switch developers started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funding to bring the switch to the S 4, and in less than five days, they hit their £1,000 goal.

There’s still a few days left to go in the campaign, so if you want to chip in a bit extra to get early access to betas as they come available (or a cool T-shirt) you can hit the link below to throw some money at your computer monitor. Who’s excited to get this running on their S 4?

source: Indiegogo

Moto X to include pixel binning for video recording, will combine 4 pixels into 1 perfect pixel

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Last week we got a chance to see Motorola’s Clear Pixel technology on the new DROIDs. You can read more about Clear Pixel here, but it’s more a less a way to capture more light, which also improves the speed of the sensor. In contrast HTC’s UltraPixel also captures more light, but it’s achieved at only 4MP, whereas Clear Pixel can achieve similar results with 10MP. We all know that megapixels don’t make the picture better, but when it comes to cropping, it’s much better to have 10MP as opposed to 4MP. The difference seems to lie in the microns. The Galaxy S 4 has 1.1 micrometers pixels, and the HTC One has 2.0 micrometers pixels, which is astounding. The Moto X falls somewhat in the middle at 1.4 micrometers pixels. This allows for more megapixels, but with the same low light performance as the HTC One.

However, pictures is only part of the story as we can expect a very high quality video camera as well. Word is that the Moto X has a special camera module that has x4HD video capture, which bins 4 pixels together to create one perfect pixel. This is basically similar to Nokia’s oversampling technology in which they bin 7 pixels into 1. It can also shoot 1080p video at 60 FPS and be played back in slow motion at 30 FPS. On top of all this, you get 3D audio recording with three different microphones.