AT&T blocking Google Hangout video chats on mobile networks

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Simply put, Google Hangouts is awesome. It’s seamless, it’s cross-platform, and it works really well. At least, it works well so long as you’re not on AT&T’s mobile network. Unfortunately, if you try to video chat when you’re using AT&T’s network, it won’t work. According to AT&T officially, video chatting will work on their network with any app that isn’t preloaded, but it’s up to manufacturers to make sure their apps work on AT&T’s network. That’s kind of a loophole exception, because Google Talk is a preloaded app but Hangouts has to be downloaded from the Play Store… Overall, not exactly a consumer-friendly move. Regardless, don’t try video chatting over AT&T’s network in the near future. We’ll be sure to keep you updated if they change their stance on the matter.

Nexus 7 refresh expected in July, same price with updated specs

Nexus_Logo_Nexus_7

We’ve been trying to pin down Google’s new Nexus 7 specs that’s bound to come out sometime in the next few years, and according to the reliable DigiTimes, we’ve got some confirmation on release date, as well as screen and processor. The release date is expected sometime in July, and the tablet will use a Snapdragon processor with a 1920 x 1200 resolution screen.  Best of all, the price isn’t going up.

DigiTimes says Google is planning on selling 6 to 8 million Nexus 7s in the second part of the year. It’s a very realistic goal based on the success of the original Nexus 7 tablet.

source: DigiTimes

Google to debut Android 4.3 on white Nexus 4 June 10th

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We’ve been hearing plenty of rumors of the elusive white Nexus 4 for the past few months, and now we’ve got some more fuel for the fire. According to the latest round of rumors, Google is going to launch the white Nexus 4 on the Play Store on June 10th. An even cooler detail about this variant of the Nexus 4? It’s going to be running Android 4.3.

Google spent the first day of I/O focusing on Play services instead of an Android update, and they definitely succeeded. Unfortunately, this lends some credibility to the rumors that 4.3 is likely just going to be minor under-the-hood tweaks, like new APIs. Either way, we’ll be sure to let you know next month.

source: Android and Me

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for May 16, 2013

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

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!!

Apps

SMS integration within Google Hangouts on its way

PBA Bowling Challenge adds multiplayer support thanks to Google Play’s game service

Google

Next version of Android to feature Bluetooth Smart support, expected in the coming months

Game over June 30th for Google+ Games

China’s MeituKiss phone catered to females equipped with 8-megapixel front camera

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China’s Meitu Corporation has announced a phone designed specifically for women, called the MeituKiss HD. The phone will challenge the Oppo Ulike 2’s front-facing 5-megapixel camera with 8-megapixel cameras on both on the front and back of the device. Also equipped with a “face beautifying” feature, the phone is clearly marketed to women who love to take photos of themselves. Despite the impressive camera specs, for some reason the MeituKiss can only shoot video at up to 720p.

The MeituKiss also includes a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, MediaTek’s 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual-SIM support, Android 4.2, 8GB of internal storage, and a microSD memory card slot for extra space. The phone runs at CN¥ 2,199, equivalent to around $360 USD, and comes in either pink or white. Preorder sales begin today for the first 18,888 devices, and a full launch will follow on June 6.

Source: Engadget

Sprint HTC One receiving OTA update to fix key sensitivity

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Sprint and HTC are releasing their first update over-the-air for the HTC One. This update, labeled version 1.29.651.10, includes BlinkFeed improvements, a new Sprint Zone client, and improved back and home key sensitivity.

The most notable of these is the improved key sensitivity. Users have complained that the capacitative back and home buttons were not properly reacting due to the touch targets being placed too close to the screen. This update is supposed to increase the size of the touch targets, hopefully fixing the problem for HTC One users. The update is expected to be rolled out to customers in stages, beginning today. To check for it, you can go to Settings -> System Updates -> HTC software update -> Check Now.

Source: Sprint Community

PBA Bowling Challenge adds multiplayer support thanks to Google Play’s game service

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Concrete Software wasted no time incorporating Google’s new gaming service into their title PBA Bowling Challenge. Multiplayer support was a function users had been requesting for the highly rated game and the new game service enabled Concreate to quickly incorporate that feature into their title. Concrete’s decision to take advantage of the new game service may be a harbinger of how Google’s game service will serve both players and developers. According to Keith Pichelman, CEO of Concrete Software:

SMS integration within Google Hangouts on its way

Google_Hangouts_Google_IO_Announcement

When Google announced the new Hangouts application yesterday, many people were excited to finally have an integrated, synced messaging service. That excitement was tempered by the realization that SMS was not supported – at least, not yet. The lack of SMS integration was curious since the application’s permissions include the ability to send, receive, and read SMS messages. Some users were also getting messages during the installation or upgrade process that seemed to indicate the app was using SMS for phone number verifications.

A message from Dori Storbeck, community manager with Google indicates “SMS integration is coming soon – it is one of our most requested features!”  Storbeck did post an update later indicating “We actually have nothing to announce at this time.” The pieces seem to be in place for SMS integration and it is clearly a function that users are interested in having. The question remains as to when it will be made available.

source: +Dori Storbeck

Game over June 30th for Google+ Games

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With yesterday’s announcement about the new Google Play games service, Google also started the process of shutting down Google+ Games. Visiting the Google+ Games page yields visitors a new banner announcing Google+ Games will not be available after June 30th. Some developers are already working on replacements or alternatives for players who want to continue to play a particular title. 

Google Wallet arrives for additional Sprint and U.S. Cellular smartphones

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Google officially announced via Twitter that its Wallet service is now available for the Sprint variations of the Galaxy S 4 and HTC One smartphones, as well as the Sprint and U.S. Cellular variations of the Galaxy Note II smartphone as well. This means that all owners of those phones will need to do is simply visit the Play Store and grab the latest update in order to get in on the awesome payment action. Naturally, it would be nice for more devices to take advantage of the great service, but at least Sprint as usual, is ensuring its customers can take advantage of the awesome service.

Hit the link below to grab the latest update.

 

 

Google_wallet_qr_code

Play Store download link

Next version of Android to feature Bluetooth Smart support, expected in the coming months

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While many were disappointed to hear nothing of a new release of Android yesterday at the Google I/O keynote, there is some good news on the horizon. An update is coming, and it will feature Bluetooth Smart support. It would be a bit odd to have an Android OS update for something as trivial as this, so we’re obviously expecting some more new features to come with the update as well.

The Android team could be slowing the pace at which they release updates so that they can give manufactures a chance to can catch up, and so that they can also improve their overall reputation for slowly released updates. Either way, we’ll know what comes of all this in a few months. More to come…

Sources: Android And MeVince Mi

Samsung Galaxy S 4 is the world’s first smartphone to recieve coveted TCO certification

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Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 smartphone is certainly comes with all of the bells and whistles out there for power users, but it is now environmentally-friendly thanks to its recent TCO certification— a first for any smartphone. In case you’re not familiar, TCO Development is an group that prides itself on identifying products that are environmentally-friendly, economically viable and socially responsible manufacturing. The construction of the Galaxy S 4 is confirmed to not only be a reliable device, but it is also free of harmful metals like nickel, which can allow the phone to be recycled safely at a future date:

“In the social category, Samsung demonstrated that it is committed to socially responsible manufacturing and is compliant with International Labour Organization and United Nation conventions. In the environmental category, it was found that the GALAXY S4 was free from many hazardous materials such as nickel, beryllium, and mercury which, if present, would have severely restricted its potential to be recycled at the end its lifecycle. In terms of economic viability, the power efficiency of the charger was praised, as was the smartphone’s industrial design which boosts reliability”. 

Congrats to Sammy on this major milestone!

source: Android Central

Upgraded ASUS Fonepad announced, will feature better processor and extra storage

asus-fonepad

ASUS has already announced the successor to their Fonepad model, which was confirmed to feature a better processor and extra storage. The new phone will ship with an Intel Atom Z2460 chip running at 1.6GHz and a whopping 32GB of build-in storage. It seems as though nothing else has been changed, which means the device will come with a 7-inch 1280 by 800 pixel IPS display, 1GB of RAM, a 3MP main camera, and a microSD slot for additional storage space.

Obviously the key feature of the Fonepad is the 3G radio built-in, allowing this tablet to make phone calls and browse the web without relying on WiFi. The phone has been confirmed to launch in Taiwan for the equivalent of $300 USD, which isn’t too bad when comparing it to the original ASUS Fonepad. There is no news about other markets the phone will be launched in, if any. We’ll update you when any news breaks.

Source: Engadget

Galaxy Note 3 not expected to offer flexible display or metal design

Galaxy_Note_3_Flexible

More unconfirmed reports recently revealed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will not feature any kind of flexible display or metal design. Instead, the phone will maintain a prototype similar to the Galaxy S 4, featuring a plastic body. It seems as though the main reason behind this is because the company cannot mass-produce flexible screens and metal materials in sufficient quantities for such a device.

It’s a little disappointing that we won’t get to see some new innovative features in Samsung’s next big phone, but we’re sure they’ll be coming down the pipeline very soon. This is still just a rumor, so we’ll keep on the lookout for more information on the topic and give you updates as they come out.

Source: SamMobile

Samsung planning to free up storage space on Galaxy S 4 for users

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It looks like Samsung is about to respond to the recent criticism of the Galaxy S 4 that the guaranteed 16GB of internal storage turned out to be about only half of that, due to bloatware and the heavy Touch-Wiz UI. Samsung’s initial response was that users should get expansion microSD cards to get some more storage— obviously this wasn’t an acceptable answer to end-users. If a company promises a certain amount of storage, then the phone should actually have that amount of storage, or at least something close to it.

After an outrage from the Android community, Samsung seems to have taken a complete 180 turn on the issue. Today the company announced that it would be looking to update the phone to optimize software in order to free up space for customers. Whether this means they’ll be removing some bloatware or some of the Samsung “smart” features, we know either way that the company is looking to right their wrong. Check out the press release after the break.