Google April Fools’ Day jokes for 2014

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[We will update this post as more jokes come in]

To check out last year’s antics, click here.

Google seeking the best Pokémon Master to bring Google Maps to the next dimension

Using Maps on their Android or iOS device, applicants need to find each and every one of the wild Pokémon. All applicants that are able to collect every Pokémon will be invited to the Googleplex for the final round of hiring. The winner will be deemed, Pokémon Master, and will start employment at Google on September 1, 2014. Now, yes, this is a joke, but the best part of it is that if you go into Google Maps now on your Android phone or iPhone, tap the search bar and press on the “Press Start” link, you will start seeing Pokémon now. I kid you not. You have until April 2 at 2:00pm PST to capture all of them. Good luck and check out the video below…..

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Verizon’s HTC One M8 and last year’s HTC One rooted with WeakSauce

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The All New HTC One (M8) was announced just last week and now, XDA Senior Recognized Developer jcase and Recognized Developer beaups have already rooted Verizon’s variant.

The root uses a new exploit which they call HTC WeakSauce which is a pre-packaged vulnerability version developed by jcase. Since both the developers don’t own a Verizon HTC One M8 yet, the exploit just allows you to gain root access to the device though we can expect jcase and beaups to release a complete hack once they get to own the device. Read more

Themer will now let you switch icon packs

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Themer, the app that adds a theme to your device, is taking things a step further by adding support for icon packs. This means that users are no longer bound to a themes icons. By downloading an icon pack, users can swap out the old ones with whatever they would like to represent an app. This starts with the latest update, version 1.38. And do be aware that Themer is still in the public beta phase.

Hit the break for directions and download links! Read more

Rdio app updated with support for Chromecast

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Crackle and Vudu recently updated their app to support Chromecast, but these aren’t the only apps as Rdio’s latest update also brings Chromecast support to its users as well.

Rdio, a subscription-based music streaming service with over 20 million tracks to play, now allows users to stream tracks, albums, stations and playlists from their smartphone or tablet to any TV via Google’s Chromecast. This means that users can also control the playback of contents streamed to the TV via Chromecast using their device. In addition, users can also stream content to their TV via Chromecast with Google’s Chrome web browser. Read more

Crackle app now supports Google’s Chromecast

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Google has now added the Crackle app to its list of Chromecast supported app which means you no longer have to watch Crackle movies and shows on just your smartphone or tablet if you own a Chromecast device. Now, you can stream all Crackle movies and TV shows right to your TV via Chromecast.

The Crackle app, a Sony-owned free video on demand service, just received an update today with support for Google’s Chromecast. The app allows you to view a number of TV shows and movies for free and includes “new movies and series created by Crackle such as Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Chosen, Extraction, Cleaners and more.” The app currently works in US, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil and Latin America. Read more

Motorola’s Moto G, LG’s G2 keep manufacturers in play

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Ever since HTC started to slide from the top of the Android mountain, the company has been trying to pin its future success on different versions of the HTC One with little to show for the effort. However, two companies are showing how a solid product that appeals to customers can have an impact on the market for smartphones according to Kanta Worldpanel ComTech’s latest sales figures for the three months ending February 2014. According to their analysis, the Motorola Moto G has boosted the manufacturer from owning virtually none of the market to topping 6% of sales in the U.K. in just six months. Dominic Sunnebo notes that the success of the Moto G “highlights the speed at which a quality budget phone can disrupt a market.” Read more

OnePlus One screens reveal a little bit of the interface

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OnePlus has been moving along in a methodical way toward the release of the CyanogenMod powered OnePlus One smartphone on April 23, 2014. The marketing team has been slowly releasing bits of information, but thus far the focus has been on hardware. That changed today when a tipster shared a couple images from the operating system. The first issue noted is that the screens are for “CyanogenMod 11S” as opposed to a plain “11” that is used in reference to the original CyanogenMod system. It appears this is an indication that some special customizations have been made to CyanogenMod 11 for use on the new OnePlus One. Read more

Development of the LG G Flex 2 and the Samsung Galaxy Round 2 diverging

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While currently filling a niche market, smartphones with flexible displays haven’t really taken off. Even so, companies like LG and Samsung are still working on devices with this tech. However, the companies seem to be taking different directions in what they want to accomplish with their devices.

LG appears to be working on improving the performance of its AMOLED screens. It will do so by increasing the resolution while also shrinking the panel to 5.5 inches. Other areas up for improvement include solving an issue with “ghosting” images as the display heats up.

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HTC Sense 6 apps now unofficially available for non-HTC devices

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Last week, HTC uploaded a few Sense 6 apps into the Play Store. But unlike Motorola, they might have plans to offer some of them to other Android users in the future. That probably won’t be for several months, but thanks to XDA Senior Member Ashutos1997, you can try a few of them now.

The Play Store apps are only visible to the HTC One (M8) and a few other HTC devices, but he downloaded them and made them available for you to install as third-party APKs. This includes the HTC Service Pack, BlinkFeed, SenseTV, Zoe, the Gallery, and the Music app. For now, only the Service Pack, Zoe and SenseTV works. You will need to also install the libs and framework files for Zoe. He does have the libs and framework files for the Gallery, but the app isn’t functional at the moment. Also, BlinkFeed can be opened, but the feeds won’t load.

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