Amazon finally announces Fire TV set-top box and gaming controller

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After months and months of rumors, Amazon finally took the wraps off of their Fire TV set-top box. As one would expect, it’s a Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV competitor, but priced at $99, will it be compelling enough?

Fire TV is based on Android and will include a number of apps. The top of the list is Amazon Instant Video, which will probably never ever be officially available to the Chromecast. It will also offer a slew of other apps, most of them coming soon. These include Pandora, MLB.tv, NBA, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Crackle. The interface seems basic enough. The home screen shows your watchlist, movies, and TV shows along with search. It can also predict what you want to watch and an ASAP feature will start playing your selection instantly once you click on the Play button.

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Here are the new features Google is working on for Gmail

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Gmail just turned 10, and it has evolved a lot over the years. That evolution isn’t going to stop, so what new things can we expect? A few screenshots leaked that show more tabs, a new pin system, and a new snooze feature.

Last year, Google introduced tabs, which include Social, Promotions, Forums, and Updates. A future update is likely to include additional tabs such as Travel, Purchases, and Finance. I’m not a big fan of the tabs, so we will have to see how this works out.

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Here’s why Samsung thinks the Galaxy S 5 is more superior than the HTC One (M8)

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It’s not surprising that Samsung thinks their flagship, the Galaxy S 5, is more superior than the HTC One (M8). We haven’t completed our review of either phone, but there is a pretty good chance that the media is going to side with HTC on this. The Galaxy S 5 will launch globally next week and training materials have leaked showing why the Galaxy S 5 is a better phone, at least according to Samsung.

HTC’s claim to fame has been the metal design, but as I always say, beauty is only skin deep. Whether you are a Samsung fan or an HTC fan, Samsung does make a decent case as to why consumers should choose the GS5.

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Privacy concerns regarding Google’s Street View headed to Supreme Court

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Last September, an appeals court ruled that Google’s Street View Wi-Fi sniffing tactics violated the Wiretap Act, and now Google is asking the Supreme Court to overrule that decision.

In order to get accurate Street View data, Google sniffs unencrypted Wi-Fi networks such as nearby homes and businesses. Some people see it as wiretapping, but Google thinks capturing unencrypted Wi-Fi is not wiretapping. After further investigations, it was found that an engineer was electronically eavesdropping as part of a 20-percent project, but he also urged the company’s legal team to “weigh in” before deploying the code to the Street View fleet.  That request “slipped through the cracks,” and Google apologized with the understanding they would destroy the never used data.

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Samsung Galaxy S 5 Mini specs leak

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As expected, Samsung is preparing to release its “mini” version of the Galaxy S 5. According to a new leak, the device seems to sport quite promising hardware.

The smartphone is said to rock a 4.5 inch 720p (1280 x 720) Super AMOLED display compared to the Galaxy S4 mini which has a 4.3-inch display with 540 x 960 resolution. It will be powered by a Snapdragon processor though the source couldn’t confirm which chipset it would be. However, it’s likely to be a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor. In addition, it will come with 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB storage, 8 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera, an IR blaster, a 2,100 mAh battery, and will run on Android 4.4 KitKat.

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Microsoft releases Xbox One Smartglass app into Google Play Store

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Xbox Smartglass hit mobile phones just a few years ago to provide a second-screen experience while users played their Xboxes, and Microsoft recognized it was time to move along in its natural progression.

The Xbox One Smartglass Beta app has hit the Play Store, and it allows users to send feedback to the developers and preview new features.

Hit the break for screenshots of the app as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.

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Samsung announces the global launch of its Samsung Smart Home service

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Samsung Electronics announced its Samsung Smart Home service today, which is set to be launched in Korea and United States first, followed by more countries throughout the year.

The service allows consumers with the Smart Home app to connect and control smart home devices such as TVs, lights, mobile phones and more.

“We are excited that the launch of Samsung Smart Home makes the connected home a reality today and allows our customers to live a smarter life,” said Dr. WonPyo Hong, President and head of the Media Solution Center at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung Smart Home lets people live better, worry less and be smarter with their devices and appliances. We also have grand plans to enhance more and more parts of the home experience, especially with a view of expanding it to areas with high growth potential such as home safety and energy management.” Read more

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 1, 2014

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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!!

April Fools’ Day jokes

Google April Fools’ Day jokes for 2014

Breaking: Google buys Samsung Electronics for $200 billion in cash and stock

SwiftKey brings their Flow gesture-input to the desktop with ‘Flow Hard’

Accessories

Google giving away cases for Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and HP Chromebook 11 at 25% off

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Android distribution numbers for April proudly display KitKat breaking 5%

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The latest version of Android is on the rise. Last month, Android 4.4 KitKat sat around 2.5% and that number has doubled since to 5.3%! As more flagship devices running KitKat have yet to be released, May and June will likely see rather large increases. Also, some older devices are going to be getting KitKat as well. Its predecessor, Jelly Bean, saw just a minor drop in percentage points.

Thankfully, older versions of Android are seeing declines. Gingerbread dropped 1.2% and somehow Honeycomb is clinging on for dear life. At some point this year, I do expect Honeycomb to let go. A version like Ice Cream Sandwich can stick around a little bit longer since its core does resemble more recent versions; however, updates to Jelly Bean are still expected.

Source: Android Developers

Play Store shares ‘My Play activity’ as an activity feed for everyone

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Ever wonder exactly what you have rated or +1’d in the Play Store? Now you can check what you and everyone else has had to say about applications in the Play Store with ‘My Play activity.’ In the image above, you can see how it resembles an activity feed. The page will also be accessible through Google+. My Play activity and additional features will be rolled out to more users over time.

Hit the source link to get an idea of what to expect.

Source: My Play Activity (example)