Google IO 2017 Coverage

FBI and NSA have access to private user data with PRISM data collection

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Remember when we told you that Verizon was handing out call logs of customers to the US Government? Well, surely you didn’t think Verizon was the only one who was handing over data, right? According to the latest report from the Washington Post, Verizon isn’t the only company that’s been leaking information to the FBI and NSA, thanks to a data collection initiative called PRISM, made by the US government.

PRISM supposedly allows access to servers from popular sites, namely Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, PalTalk, and AOL, with Dropbox access in the pipeline. That pretty much covers most of the top companies that have access to mountains of user data, so that’s a pretty scary thought. This is a great time to remind everyone that no matter how much security you think you have online, any information you put on the internet can always potentially be seen by a third party. If you don’t want that information to ever be seen by anyone else under any circumstances, don’t put it on the internet.

source: Washington Post

Washington Post poll results: Google favored over Apple and Facebook

 

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In a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News by telephone, it was found that as a company, Google is favored by consumers over Apple and Facebook. Overall, 83% found Google favorable, while 10% found it unfavorable, and 7% had no opinion. 72% found Apple favorable, while 16% found it unfavorable, and 12% had no opinion. Surprisingly, only 60% found Facebook favorable, while 30% found it unfavorable, and 10% had no opinion.

The poll used a sample of 1,007 adults, using both conventional and cellular phones, and was conducted from May 29 to June 2, 2013.

Are any of you surprised by these results? Not surprised? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Source: Washington Post

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for June 6, 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!!

Reviews

Zombie Derby [Racing]

Apps

‘Android Bot Maker’ released to Play Store, allows rooted users to make repetitive tasks easy

Gameloft releases its first Modern Combat 5 teaser video ahead of E3

Blackberry Messenger arriving on Android on June 27 [update – probably not]

GetGlue app for Android gets UI overhall, but loses important features

Facebook Home app update brings “Favorites Tray”

Twitter client Falcon Pro now updated to version 2.0

Evernote updated, custom reminders added in wake of iOS, Mac, web updates

‘Android Bot Maker’ released to Play Store, allows rooted users to make repetitive tasks easy

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XDA Senior Member frapeti has developed an application called ‘Android Bot Maker’ which is an automation tool for your Android device which essentially turns it into a bot, making repetitive tasks easy. The program features a numerically ordered “Actions” list of all the automated actions that the user has programmed the device to carry out. Sequences can be rearranged, saved, imported, cleared, and shared onto various cloud social networks connected to the service. There is also a toggle feature to prevent the device from sleeping while the application is in use.

The program is still in its beta phase so there may be some bugs, but developer frapeti has encouraged users to offer suggestions and reports in the application thread via the source. Of course your device will have to be rooted and running at least Android 4.1 to run the application— check out the source for the application thread on the XDA Developers site. Hit the break for the app’s Play Store link.

AMD breaks from Windows exclusivity, will develop chips for Android and Chrome OS

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Just as the title says, AMD has finally separated themselves from Windows exclusivity and plans on manufacturing chips for Android and Chrome based OS devices. AMD will make chips based on x86 and ARM architecture for both Android and Chrome. While AMD is still “committed” to Windows and will continue to provide chips for the company, I think it’s just near impossible for them to continue to ignore the possibilities and market for Android devices, especially considering the growth the OS has been achieving these past couple of years.

With that said, you should expect Android devices to carry AMD chips in the near future! Stay tuned.

source: pcworld

Smartphones expected to grow by 32.7% in 2013

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In 2013, smartphones are poised to make  a big leap in growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphones are expected to rise about 32.7% during this year which should reach in a total number of 958.8 million units, up from 722.5 million from the previous year. Now days smartphones aren’t considered a luxury item as it once was just a couple years back. With feature phones slowly going out of style and smartphones becoming more and more affordable (thanks to Android), many customers are making the switch. Starting this year, smartphones are expected to account for 52.2% of the total mobile phones in the world, an astonishing number if you ask me.

Cost effective and affordable smartphones is a huge reason for such a big leap in smartphone popularity. According to the IDC, smartphone vendors being able to provide cheaper and cost-effective 3G handsets alongside the more expensive 4G ones has really helped get these smartphones into peoples hands.

With smartphones becoming such a huge market in not only this year, but for the foreseeable future, I don’t see this trend ending any time soon. The smartphone market will only grow and continue to dominate the tech world.

source: IDC

Sony schedules event for mobile phones in Germany

Sony invite

Sony has sent out a press invitation for June 25th specifically for its mobile division. The invitation doesn’t explicitly say what will be covered at the event, but the slogan reads “So you want more?” This could be anything from a new lineup of Xperia devices, a new T-Mobile device, or possibly an announcement for that rumored Google edition Xperia Z. 

The event will take place in Germany, so it could also be specific to that part of the world. Hopefully we’ll see something exciting that will affect the entire globe, but anything’s a possibility. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as the 25th rolls around.

source: Pocketnow

GetGlue app for Android gets UI overhall, but loses important features

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The guys at GetGlue have redone their social networking app for Android from scratch, giving it a completely new interface and a set of different features. The user interface has been refreshed and cleaned up, giving a Google Now card-style look to the app. Aside from the nice new aesthetics, there are added tabs to monitor TV shows, movies, and sports, as well as a search tab. Curiously, and disappointingly, books, movies, topics and games have been removed in this update.

In addition, a personalized “smart guide” feature that syncs with your cable provider’s guide which suggests the best movies, TV shows, and sports to watch has been added to the app. Also, you can now check in and chat with friends while you watch, as well as watch clips of your favorite programs through the app. However, Foursquare integration has been removed.

The new UI is nice, but the axed features make it a bittersweet update. You can check out the full change log and download the free update after the break.

Source: GetGlue Blog

U.S. Cellular announces the latest edition to its mid-range family, the LG Optimus F7 smartphone

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U.S. Cellular customers looking for a sweet mid-range device are in luck as the wireless carrier has officially announced its latest offering— the LG Optimus F7 smartphone. In case you’ve forgotten about the basics of the phone since its original launch a while back, let’s give you a little refresher: the Optimus F7 comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on-board storage, microSD slot and a spiffy 4.7-inch 1,280 x 720 display. And yes— the device’s software is up-to-date for the most part as it not only features Jelly Bean loaded up, but some of LG’s awesome software too such as the implementation of the QSlide multi-window feature. The device will also come jam-packed with with the usual 3G and LTE radios built-in, giving users of the device quality network speeds when available.

The device is available now on the U.S. Cellular website and at U.S. Cellular retailers for a smooth $99 on-contract or customers who don’t want to feel tied down will have the option of purchasing the device for $399 outright. You’ll find more deets once you hit the source link below.

source: US Cellular

Blackberry Messenger arriving on Android on June 27 [update – probably not]

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According to T-Mobile UK, Blackberry Messenger is slated to arrive on Android and iOS on June 27. When Blackberry first announced that they would be making their popular messaging client available on other devices, the only time frame they gave for a release was “this summer.” Once released, the app will be free, and contain features like group messaging, voice chat, and screen share. The only problem for Blackberry is that there are dozens of other very popular, feature-filled messaging apps out there right now that they will have to compete with.

Through the tweet we also got our first look at the UI of the app, and I’m quite disappointed. Compare the screenshot above to Google Hangouts, which is supposed to be a competitor to BBM.  This doesn’t even look like Android. The font is archaic, the text is sized oddly, and all in all it is extremely bland, though we’ll have to see what the official release looks like before completely making a decision. Let us know, do you have plans to use BBM once it’s launched for Android?

Update:

The Tweet has been pulled. Apparently the rep was tweeting about a rumored date, not an official date.

Source: @TMobileUK

Featured Android Game Review: Zombie Derby [Racing]

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Our friends at HeroCraft launched another game, and if you are a zombie fan, you’re going to want to check this one out. It’s called Zombie Derby and it’s all about driving a truck or car as far as you can go while killing zombies along the way. You don’t want to run over the zombies, you want to shoot them with the gun on top of your truck. Running them over will kill them, but unfortunately you won’t get any points. You will have to conserve your gas and your firepower to make it to the end of each stage.

If you like games in which there are constant upgrades, you will like Zombie Derby. I am generally not too big of a fan of constant upgrades, and I have to say that this one really emphasizes it. This game only has four stages, which doesn’t sound like much, but you won’t be able to complete them that quickly either. You will need to constantly re-race each stage in order to gain coins to buy enough upgrades to get you through. For example, there is a tutorial stage, but it’s impossible to get through it without upgrades. You will need to upgrade your fuel at least two times. On top of all this, you will need to remember certain obstacles along the track like mini-cliffs that you need to make sure you are going fast enough to jump over.

Samsung lowers estimates for Q2 and Q3 Galaxy S 4 sales

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Despite being the hottest selling smartphone on the planet right now, Samsung is apparently talking with investors to reduce expectations for the amount of Galaxy S 4s that will be sold this quarter and next quarter. This all stems from a neutral rating for stocks from companies like Broadcom, with analysts saying some component makes may not meet estimates this quarter because of slowed down sales of Samsung’s latest flagship.

Now, this doesn’t mean to say that Samsung expects their latest Life Companion to drop off the sales entirely, they’re just being more realistic about what we should expect the S 4 to do in the coming months. Samsung expects 20 million devices this quarter, and 20 million next quarter, as opposed to early estimates of 25 million and 30 million in those respective quarters. While reducing expectations by 15 million phones sounds like a lot, selling 40 million phones over two quarters will still be an impressive feat that most companies only dream of doing. Besides that, Samsung likely has some other devices in the pipeline, such as budget models and more niche devices that may steal a little thunder from the S 4.

Either way, Samsung is poised for an extremely successful 2013.

source: Tech Trader Daily

Galaxy S 4 gets update bringing enhancements and stabililty fixes, addresses usable storage

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If you own an international version of the Galaxy S 4 (GT-I9505 or GT-I9500), you will be happy to know that an update is rolling out now. There are a number of enhancements, but one of the biggest additions is the ability to move apps to the SD card since the usable storage is quite low. If you remember, the usable storage is only 9.15GB on a device that is supposed to feature 16GB. This update also increases it, but not that much. You will now have 9.23GB.

Another cool addition is a Smart Pause Toggle and they fixed the purple effect while scrolling in certain situations. You can get the update (365.67MB) via KIES or OTA, but so far it’s only available in Germany. Hit the break for the full changelog and firmware details.