EU committee investigates Google’s alleged anticompetitive tactics to boost Android’s market share

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Just as the European Commission’s investigation into Google’s search engine wraps up, the European Union’s antitrust watchdog is reportedly investigating claims that Google used anticompetitive tactics improve Android’s market share.

According to allegations from Microsoft and Nokia, Google has been licensing their Android operating system to manufacturers below cost, making them the obvious choice for device manufacturers over competing operating systems. Google is also being accused of requesting manufacturers to cancel and/or delay the launch of devices running competing operating systems.

Sony now allowing 3rd party firmware for their SmartWatch platform

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Lately Sony has been very “developer friendly” with their Android devices such as the Xperia Z, and that trend won’t stop as Sony recently fully opened up their SmartWatch platform to all developers. Per Sony:

We are now taking the next step to open up SmartWatch. Previously, you’ve been able to create apps for SmartWatch with the Sony Add-on SDK, but now we hope to see even more innovation as we’re making it possible for advanced developers to create and flash alternative firmware, by sharing technical details and instructions.

Doing so does come with some limitations as you will no longer be able to use SmartConnect or any compatible SmartWatch app that’s available in the Google Play Store. So keep that in mind. For more info, hit the source link!

source: Sony

Be part of Chrome’s latest experiment with Cube Slam

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Google sure loves to give their users that good old nostalgic feeling pretty often don’t they? This time it’s classic Pong in the form of Cube Slam. The Chrome team always finds nice and fun ways to have their users test out Chrome with these fun old-style games. The game can use your webcam to take a picture and can be used as your avatar/backdrop and vise-versa if you’re playing against a friend. Controls are simple as it’s just classic Pong. Hit the break for a video and let us know your experience with it.

Google Music app updated and brings forth some nice improvements

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Google has updated their Google Music app and brings forth some great improvements for their All Access users. One of my main gripes about All Access was how ridiculously long it took for songs to be downloaded onto your device no matter what the connection speed was. Thankfully Google has fixed that and songs, even albums, are downloading at a much faster and more dependable rate.

Another problem a lot of people were having is that music streaming using All Access was taking up a lot of their bandwidth, and it looks like Google is trying to fix that problem as this update ensures less data usage. Along with this update are improvements to the search function and overall speed of the app.

How are you enjoying All Access? With the 30 day trial soon ending for the early adopters (such as myself), will you be continuing your subscription or will you be cancelling it and use something else like Spotify? Let me know in the comment section! Links to the app after the break!

Google+ app for Android receives a fairly huge update

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Today Google updated their Google+ app for Android and gave it some pretty cool new features. First off, notifications are now systemwide, thus when you swipe away a notification or access it, it won’t be repeated on another device that you may own. I know how annoying that can get for some. They’ve also changed the look of notifications by giving you a bell icon if there’s a new notification that needs to be attended to. Along with the update is also a revamped notification tray to match Google’s other apps. For a complete changelog, hit the break!

Leaked images of Samsung’s Galaxy NX Android Camera surface

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Yesterday we posted that Samsung’s own CEO confirmed the existence of a mirrorless Galaxy Camera 2 that will be unveiled on June 20th. Much to my surprise, it looks like Samsung isn’t done  as several leaked photos of another camera has surfaced. This one is called the Samsung Galaxy NX and is rumored to have a APS-C 20.3 Megapixel sensor, 1080p HD recording, a 4.8” HD display with Samsung’s Exynos 4 Quad-Core processor, 2GB of RAM and options of 8 or 16 GB’s of internal storage. Definitely high end specs for a camera.

More screenshots of HTC’s Butterfly S; Will feature front speakers with “BoomSound”

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More screenshots of HTC’s upcoming Butterfly S device have surfaced and confirms that the all popular “BoomSound” feature will be on the device. While nothing else is rumored about the phone, we should expect it to have at least a 5-inch screen considering the first Butterfly was just that. We can also expect the Butterfly S to have the same features as it’s HTC One brother with the likes of BlinkFeed, an Ultra pixel camera, and Sense 5.0. As for hardware, this device will most likely don the Snapdragon 600 processor along with 2GB’s of RAM.

Featured Android Game Review: Dawn of the Dragons [Arcade & Action]

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5th Planet Games recently released Dawn of the Dragons on Android, which is the hit RPG from Kongregate, Facebook, and Armor Games. The game was originally released in 2010, and is one of the most popular social RPG of all time when you consider 3 million people have played the game in over 100 million sessions. The mobile version launched on iOS earlier in the year and it finally made its way to the Play Store.

Dawn of the Dragons is set in the ancient Kingdom of West Kruna. There are a lot of honest and hardworking people there, but unfortunately it has been invaded by bestial dragons looking to steal their land. This is where you come in. You will need to complete a series of quests, raids, and other challenges to fight off the dragons, monsters, werewolves and giants. You will be able to band together with others, but you can also compete in player-versus-player battles. This social aspect is what makes Dawn of the Dragons very appealing.

Best Android apps for monitoring data usage [June 2013]

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Data caps are a hard reality for many customers on a majority of carriers, and managing that data usage can be tricky. Even on prepaid plans, hard and soft data caps are put in place for carriers to make a bit of extra money ensure their network is optimized for all of their customers. Unless you don’t mind facing ridiculous overage charges or buying top up cards six times a month, keeping up with how your data is used is important for any smartphone user. In this guide we’re going to go over a handful of apps that do a great job of giving you an easy way to track your data usage and keep you from going over your limit. Head on past the break to get started.

Sony sends out July 4th Save The Date invites, all but confirms the arrival of Sony Xperia Z Ultra phablet

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Yup, it finally looks like Sony is finally about to reveal its next great device for the masses, the Xperia Z Ultra— which is a larger-scale smartphone set to compete with the likes of the Optimus G Pro and Galaxy Note smartphones. How certain are we, you ask? Well— a nice press invite has gone out from the fine folks from Sony Mobile France highlighting “Sony Mobile reserves a big surprise for you” on July 4th. Moreover, the same invite encourages folks to “not forget to mark your calendars! “, all the while using a nice stylus-type pen to handwrite the note. So yes friends, all that’s left to do is wait for Sony to finally confirm the arrival of the device featuring a 6.44-inch 1080p display, quad-core processor, potential waterproof capabilities and Android 4.2.

source: Xperia Blog

Amazon to have one-day sale on the HTC One

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Have you been eyeing the HTC One but haven’t wanted to drop a full $200 on it? Keep on eye on Amazon tomorrow, June 14th, as they’re having a one-day sale on the device for both AT&T and Sprint. New customers can pick up the One for $79.99, and upgrading customers will pay $99.99. Either way you look at it, you’re getting at least a 50% discount. They’re offering both color variations of the device, (silver and black) and you will, of course, have to sign a two-year agreement for the discount pricing. If you’re still on the fence, check out our HTC One review and see if it sways you one way or the other.

Hit the break below for the Amazon links.

Sony’s Xperia ZU slated for June 25th announcement, specs revealed early

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Remember that monster phablet from Sony, the Xperia ZU? If you’re in the market for devices that big, we’ve got some more details on a release date and the hardware behind the ZU. According to Taiwanese site ePrice, Sony will make the Xperia ZU official on June 25th, which fortunately isn’t too far off. ePrice also listed some specs for the device, including that massive 6.4-inch, 1080p screen. The ZU will be one of the first devices to run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 CPU, clocked at 2.2 GHz, and will also feature 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot, an 8 MP rear camera, and a 3,000 mAh battery. Compared to phones of similar size, that battery isn’t particularly large, (the Galaxy Note II has a 3,100 mAh battery, for reference) but hopefully some extreme software optimization from Sony and Qualcomm’s latest monster processor will keep battery life as a positive for the device.

As soon as June 25th rolls around, we’ll keep you up to date on Sony’s official announcement.

source: ePrice

Samsung releases short video showing off Galaxy S 4 Zoom features

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Samsung has released a three minute clip demoing their newly announced Galaxy S 4 Zoom, and in traditional Samsung marketing fashion, the video highlights how an average person would use all the gimmicky features on a day to day basis. The video follows a smiling woman around who makes a phone call on her digital camera, uses the optical zoom on the camera, shares photos, etc. It’s nothing really new compared to what we already know, but this is Samsung’s way of wrapping up all of the Zoom’s features in a small package.

Hit the break below to check out the video, and let us know in the comments what you think. Niche product or next big thing?

Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone “selling well”, despite lowered expectations by analysts

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Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 is no doubt a smash hit despite those lowered expectations, but its leader took some time recently to tout just how much of a hit the new smartphone has been since its release last month. While not giving raw numbers, Sammy head J.K. Shin told Korean reporters that the smartphone has been “selling well”, pretty much refuting J.P. Morgan’s analysis. With Shin’s comments, the hope is that the Galaxy S 4 will hopefully sustain, if not gain positive momentum so that Sammy can continue to pull in the cheddar and all that good stuff.

source: Korea Times