Google’s Eric Schmidt hints at “phenomenal” Android-based devices

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At the D: Dive Into Mobile conference in New York, Eric Schmidt did not spend all of his time talking about the accomplishments of Android. He also spent some time talking about the future of the operating system as far as the hardware it will run on. He hinted that new products he saw during a recent visit to Google’s Motorola unit are “very, very impressive.” In his conversation at the conference, he indicated the stuff that Motorola is working on may be considered “phones-plus.” What that means exactly, he left hanging out there for people to ponder.

Any conversation about Android on something other than a smartphone or tablet device invariably leads to Google’s newest product, Google Glass. Love them or hate them, they are poised to land with a big splash on the tech landscape. Whether Glass can change the market and become mainstream is a big question, one that Schmidt thinks has been answered already based on how they have become ubiquitous on the Google campus.

Anyone want to take a guess as to what Google may have planned for future Android devices? Where do you think it could be deployed that may be considered non-traditional?

source: AllThingsD

Sony planning to expand retail footprint amongst successful Sony Xperia Z sales

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Although it sometimes seems like Samsung and HTC are the only manufacturers fighting for Android device supremacy, there are others out there producing some top of the line smartphones that should satisfy even the most cutting edge buyer. A good candidate for this is the Sony Xperia Z which just succeeded at selling 4.6 million units during its first 40 days on the market. Sony appears to be ready to try to capitalize on this success and keep the momentum going, at least in the U.S., with plans to expand their retail footprint through the use of stand-alone stores and freestanding Galleries.

Featured Android App Review: MyPermissions [Tools]

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When it comes to installing an app on your phone or tablet, one of the most important things you need to look at is permissions. We have covered a few apps that help you with that, but online permissions is one that people often overlook. Online permissions pertains to various online social sites and what apps you have granted access to them. For example, if you use a third party Twitter app, you have to allow that app access to your Twitter account. This goes for any app that needs to communicate with Twitter or other similar sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Dropbox, Linkedin, Yahoo, Instagram, Foursquare, and Flickr.

All of these sites will tell you what other applications were previously granted access, but they aren’t always easy to find, so most people never bother with them. An app called MyPermissions will make things very easy for you in that you can find all the permissions for all of these sites in one place. Now you might be thinking to yourself that if you granted access to a particular application, then it’s okay and there’s no reason to worry about it. You are partly right, but you will be surprised at how many older applications you will find that were granted permission, but you no longer use. You are also likely to find permissions for things you didn’t even realize that you granted. Now I’m not going to tell you that if you leave these old permissions in place, something awful is going to happen to you, but at the same time, why leave permissions in place that are no longer necessary? These services will have access to all your private information, but you don’t use them anymore. It doesn’t make sense does it?

Android Activations To Hit One Billion By End Of Year, Says Eric Schmidt

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Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt, spoke at D: Dive Into Mobile today in New York City, and shared some impressive stats. Android is available on 320 different carriers across 160 different countries. There are 700,000 apps in the Google Play Store, and 1.5 million Android activations every single day. Eric claims that activations will hit the magical one billion mark by the end of this year. However, there is still a long way to go. Google’s goal is to reach everybody, and Eric believes that smartphone manufacturers will quickly get to the $100 price point which is important for “those next five billion people looking to get connected”.

Source: Phone Arena

Xiaomi Plans To Ship 15 Million Phones In 2013, Expand Beyond Asia

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Xiaomi has big ambitions this year after unveiling the Mi2S and Mi2A, and plans to ship 15 million smartphones, as well as expand sales beyond Asia. Co-founder and president Lin Bin, spoke at D: Dive Into Mobile in New York City. Despite only selling Android phones for three years, Xiaomi has generated $2 billion in revenue on 1.7 million phones. While this doesn’t sound like a lot compared to other manufacturers, the Chinese company has adopted an online-only model from the beginning. The phones are unsubsidized, priced at the bill-of-materials, and manage to sell out in minutes. Lin on the success of the Mi2:

“Last year, when we announced the Mi2, for 3-4 months we’d have hundreds of thousands of units available, and they’d be gone within two or three minutes after we posted availability online.”

Companion app for Google Glass, “MyGlass” arrives in Google Play Store

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With the release of Google Glass on the near horizon, we have more news about the forthcoming wearable computing device. Earlier we reported on Google releasing the Mirror API that will enable developers to create apps for use on the the Glass devices. Following up on that, Google has released their own app, MyGlass. The app will be used to configure and manage a Google Glass device. It should be pretty obvious that the app is of no use to anyone unless they have a Google Glass device, but Google makes that abundantly clear with their description:

Android Originally Built For Cameras, Says Co-Founder Andy Rubin

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Android is used by over 50 percent of U.S. smartphone subscribers, and according to co-founder Andy Rubin, it may not have been that way. Andy spoke at an economic summit in Tokyo, and revealed that Android was originally intended for cameras. The idea was to create smart cameras that easily connected to PCs. However, once the smartphone market started to grow exponentially, the OS was rebuilt to work on mobile phones. In April 2004, Andy pitched the idea of  “a camera connected “wired or wireless” to a home computer, which then linked to an “Android Datacenter”, to investors. Just five months later due to declining growth in digital cameras, Android was reborn as an “open-source handset solution”.

How to set up and use BlinkFeed on Sense 5 with the HTC One

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HTC added a built-in Flipboard-style news reader to Sense 5, which debuted on the HTC One. It might not be my first choice to use for news, but it’s worth a try since you can’t remove it. BlinkFeed will show you all the news that interests you the most as well as your Facebook and Twitter timelines. It will even show you your calendar events if you so wish. It’s just a matter of going into the settings and choosing the exact sites and/or the type of feeds you want. Whenever you turn on your phone, you will get the latest stories from around the world. You can choose to ignore it, but they will always be there when you have time to check them out. If your interests change, you can always tweak your content at anytime. Hit the break for a hands on video explaining it all.

Logitech Harmony Hub will turn your Android smartphone into a WiFi universal remote control

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Logitech just announced two new universal remote controls: the Harmony Ultimate (pictured above) and the Harmony Smart Control (pictured below). Logitech has been a leader of universal remote controls for years and Android fans are going to want to pay attention to these because they both come with the Harmony Hub. The Harmony Hub allows either remote control to send signals to it via RF so you don’t have to worry about line of sight for components that are hidden in a cabinet or in another room. This is nothing new, but Logitech will have apps available for both iOS and Android devices so that you can turn your Android phone into a full blown remote control. Right now you can already do this with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, but they have built-in IR ports. With the Harmony Hub, your phone will send signals via WiFi so you can still operate devices that are hidden, not to mention it will work on just about any device.

Samsung Galaxy S 4 shows up on AT&T website with April 30 ship date

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The Samsung Galaxy S 4 can now be pre-ordered from AT&T with a ship date set for April 30. That’s the good news. The bad news is that’s only available in certain areas. I tried a couple of major cities, but all I get is “The device you’ve selected is not available in your area.” Pricing for the 16GB is $199 for a two-year contract or $449 with a one-year contract. If you are brave and want to go no-contract, you can get it for $639. If you do pre-order, you can expect to see your shiny new white or black Galaxy S 4 by May 3rd. Let us know if it’s available in your area and where you live.

source: AT&T
via: Engadget

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for April 15, 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!!

Guides

How to securely lock your phone while using Facebook Home as your launcher

How to get your status bar back full time with Facebook Home

How to turn off Facebook Home and go back to your stock launcher

Reviews

Featured Android Game Review: Mr. Eyes [Sports & Puzzles]

Google releases Mirror API to developers, complete with documentation and code examples

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If you’re waiting on your Google Glass unit to ship, you can get prepared for it by taking a look at a new API that Google has released for Glass developers. The Mirror API has been released with complete documentation and some code examples for developers to get their feet wet so they’ll already have something ready for when Google Glass does arrive. Getting a head start never hurts, and I’m sure Google knows that. Google has highlighted some major features in the API as well as given some examples and guidelines for ensuring the best user experience.

With all the rumors of smartwatches lately, it’s pretty obvious wearable technology is going to start making waves in consumer markets fairly soon. But, like we’ve seen with some mobile OSes, if there are no developers or applications, it’s tough to get the platform off the ground. Google made sure that wasn’t a problem for Android, and it looks like they’re taking steps to make sure Glass is a repeat experience.

source: Google Developers

Google Glass Explorer units now ready to begin shipping

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Google has recently sent out an email that the Explorer Google Glass units are ready to begin shipping. So if you signed up as a developer for the project last year, it shouldn’t be too much longer before you can start making fashion statements in your town.

This news matches up with what we’d heard previously about Glass shipping dates, so we can expect the early supporters to have their units by the time Google I/O rolls around. It should be pretty exciting to see what everyone does with these.

source: Android Central

New tools available in latest OfficeSuite 7 update

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MobiSystems full office suite for Android devices, OfficeSuite 7, received an update today that adds some new tools to make document creation and editing easier for users. In Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, users can now insert an image directly from their camera. Other improvements are specific to different types of files. For Word documents, you can now launch a Google search from within the document, resize tables, and replace images. PowerPoint users now have support for links and shadows in their documents. Users working on Excel files will enjoy better font formatting and the ability to autofill with cell dragging, an improved user interface, and the ability to reorder sheets.

At the universal level, the app now supports dual screens and issues with QuickSpell have been sorted out. Integration with the Oxford Dictionary of English is now possible, although that integration is sold as a separate add-on product. If you are interested in grabbing this latest update, just use one of the Google Play Store links below. The full app is available for $14.99 from the Play Store and works on Android 2.2 or higher.

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Google Play Download Link