Facebook recently tried to allay some privacy concerns over their Facebook Home app and what it could and couldn’t access on your phone. Well, fast forward to the latest Facebook app update, and it looks like some of that data collection has potentially bled over into the standalone app from Facebook Home.
Some new permissions in the update are essentially to let you know that Facebook does have permission to view all of your running apps on your device. At first glance, that seems pretty invasive, but the Facebook app is the backbone to Facebook Home; Facebook Home itself requires no special permissions because it pulls everything through the Facebook app. So, it is a possibility that those permissions are only used when Facebook Home is installed on your phone as well. It’s also a possibility that Facebook has accidentally crossed a privacy line. Until we get some clarification from Facebook or another source, there’s really not much else we can dissect from those permissions, but it’s a great reminder that you should always be wary of what you’re installing on your phone, even if it’s from a big company like Facebook.
If you’ve been itching to preorder the Galaxy S 4, you might get that chance starting this week. According to some internal material for Walmart, preorders for the device start this Tuesday, the 16th. There’s no word on pricing, but it will launch on multiple carriers. Nothing really groundbreaking there, but it’s good to see some dates.
AT&T has already announced the 16 GB version of the device will run $199, while the 32 GB will be $249. I can imagine that pricing will be similar on the other carriers, and in Walmart. I guess we’ll know in the next few weeks, either way.
When Samsung announced their latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S 4, one of the criticisms leveled was that it continued the design philosophy of using plastic for the body of the smartphone. The cacophony surrounding this choice grew so loud that Samsung’s executive vice president for the mobile division even took to offering a defense for Samsung’s choice to use plastic while other manufacturers were opting for materials like aluminum and glass. Sources are now indicating Samsung may respond to that criticism when the next Galaxy Note device, the Samsung Galaxy Note III, is released.
These sources claim an internally produced metal version of the Galaxy S 4 was very popular and well received by those who managed to spend some time with it. However, manufacturing dictates and deadlines precluded the use of metal for the Galaxy S 4. There is some time for Samsung to get everything tooled up for the Galaxy Note III and to produce it using something other than plastic. There are some hints that the shape may change as well to something more in line with the HTC One or other devices that are not so rounded as Samsung’s Galaxy line.
Do you think Samsung will make a move to change from plastic to metal for their top tier lines? Do you think they should?
It’s no surprise that tablet growth is apparent worldwide, but a new studies have surfaced giving us an even better indication of tablet popularity. According to Pew Research, one in four Americans own some sort of tablet— while the IDC highlights the worldwide tablet market grew more than 78% year-on-year in 2012. Not surprisingly, Samsung and Amazon tablets lead the way with their own tablets being in the top-five among all tablet manufacturers, followed by other manufacturers such as ASUS and Motorola. Even more astounding is among the top tablets worldwide, 4 of the top 5 tablets and 6 out of the top 10 are smaller tablets, further reaffirming the notion that people certainly love their smaller tablets.
Considering the IDC predicts that 190 million tablets will be shipped in 2013, we probably won’t see a slowdown in tablet growth anytime soon.
We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. The big news of the week had to be the launch of Facebook Home. Initially it’s only available on select devices, but unofficially it’s available to everyone thanks to patched APKs. Samsung officially announced the mid-level Galaxy Mega that puts big displays into budget-conscious pockets. We reviewed some cool apps too, and is that the DROID Bionic getting Jelly Bean? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.
It’s been a while since we’d heard about any games based off NVIDIA’s upcoming Project Shield portable gaming console. NVIDIA certainly realized that and took some time to present a teaser video of a special port of Arma Tactics. The teaser video pretty much showcases everything we’ve come to expect from a Project Shield-based game: awesome graphics, fluid visuals, smooth effects, dynamic shadows and intuitive controls. Yeah… it’s mouthwatering— we know.
It’s looking like the port of Arma Tactics will not only hit Project Shield devices, but Tegra 4 and Tegra 3-based devices as well— so make sure to keep your eyes out in the Play Store for the imminent release in the near-future. In the meantime, check out the trailer video at the source link for yourself.
OUYA ‘s founder and CEO Julie Uhrman has posted a blog on Kickstarter detailing the road map for consoles heading to early backers. I don’t know about anyone else but I am really excited to see that OUYA has their ducks in a row like this. In this roadmap she explains that they have changed one of their partners to speed up production by a few days, as well as put more OUYA reps on the ground to speed things up.
Deutshe Telekom, who is already in the process of overseeing the T-Mobile/MetroPCS merger, was recently approached by Dish Network’s chairman to discuss a possible merge between Dish and T-Mobile. This proposition was before April 10th, when Deutshe Telekom announced their revised T-Mobile deal. Currently, there’s nothing concrete about these “talks.” Deutshe Telekom is fully invested in taking care of their current merger, and will only consider the deal after the current MetroPCS transaction is over and after they’ve verified a deal with Sprint Nextel isn’t possible.
Facebook Home launched in Google Play earlier today, but it’s only available on the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy S 4, HTC One, and HTC One X+. Later, an APK of Facebook home was made available for people outside the U.S., and most people assumed you could use it on any device. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case since the APK checks the device you’re installing it on. If you don’t own one of the above phones, it won’t work unless you are rooted, which gives you the ability to edit the build.prop file and add your current phone. Since most people aren’t rooted, it left a lot of folks out in the cold. Well it’s time to get back inside where it’s warm because Paul O’Brien at MoDaCo posted the patched version of Facebook Home, which removes the device check.
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!!
Today Gameloft released a new trailer for their Dungeon Hunter 4 game that continues the franchise. The title has been released for iOS devices, but Gameloft is still working out some bugs with the Android version. No additional information is available with regard to how much longer it may be until the Android version is available. If you are a fan of dungeon-crawling RPG action, hit the break to check out the video.
We know that folks in the top tier of Verizon offices are paying close attention to revamping the whole idea of wireless contracts, but it appears that the first preliminary steps in changing the notion is beginning sooner than we could have ever imagined. A leaked document has surfaced highlighting some Verizon training materials overtly offering a “payment plan for full retail cost” specifically for “want the latest cutting edge device or are just not satisfied with a working device”. There is speculation as to what this means exactly… especially for the minority of you out there with those coveted Unlimited data packages still, but you can bet this is a potentially exciting scenario for most, if not all Verizon customers out there.
We’ll be sure to keep our eyes and ears open for any further developments regarding this developing story.
It’s certainly long overdue, but Motorola has finally started the initial rollout of the coveted Jelly Bean update to the DROID Bionic smartphone. The update will bring the software build to 98.72.22.XT875 and the Android software to version 4.1.2. Owners of the device will be treated to the usual JB goodies like Project Butter, Google Now and a smoother UI. Additionally, Motorola/Verizon have tossed in Visual Voicemail and an enhanced mobile hotspot capability.
While the initial rollout is official, Verizon will start pushing out the update in phases from Monday, so owners will need to be patient for just a wee bit.
Facebook Home is live in the Play Store. If you need a refresh on what Facebook Home is: check it out here and here, and come on back. The app only works for a handful of devices at the moment, but I would expect the numbers to grow soon. The only device I have that can even download it on is the Asus Transformer TF300T. However when I click on the app, I get: “Thanks for installing Facebook Home. Your device is not supported yet. You’ll get a notification when Facebook Home is ready for your device.” There are probably going to be a few more devices that get the same treatment, but at least it shows that work is being done to get the app on more devices.
Enough of the yapping head on past the break for my denial screenshot and the link.
Jumping into the online music market, Twitter appears to be in the process of releasing a new Twitter Music app today. Reports indicate the app has been released, but only certain people can get it, mostly celebrities, and only those with iOS devices. Apparently the rollout will continue during this weekend’s Coachella music festival and then culminate with widespread availability next week.