B&N Nook HD devices getting big shot of Google starting today

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Barnes & Noble announced today they have entered into a new partnership with Google to bring several new apps to their Nook HD and Nook HD+ products. Foremost among the additions is the Google Play Store, which will increase the number of available apps for Nook HD owners from about 10,000 to well over 700,000. B&N CEO William Lynch indicated the new partnership is a result of research and sales data from the recently completed holiday shopping season that indicated users are shifting to more general purpose tablets instead of e-readers. To be successful in the tablet market, “the breadth of applications available is really critical.”

Google Fiber continues expansion, coming to Shawnee, Kansas

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Google announced an additional location to its growing Fiber network, and this time it is Shawnee, Kansas.  This makes sense because of it’s proximity to Kansas City, which has already been selected to receive Google Fiber service.

Google says that they selected Shawnee as a Fiber candidate due to the city’s vision of keeping their citizens informed and involved using the internet.  This is awesome news for the people of Shawnee, whose city council announced the news after voting on bringing Fiber to town.  There is no expected date for Fiber’s arrival in Shawnee, but engineers will be working hard to get the service up and running as soon as possible.

Source: Google Fiber Blog

Acer announces updated Iconia B1 with 3G and quad-core options

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The Acer Iconia B1 just became available only a couple of months ago, but Acer just announced new versions slated for June. They will now offer a 3G version that will feature a MediaTek quad-core processor. The WiFi version will still have the 1.2GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, but both versions will get bumped up to 1GB of RAM as opposed to 512MB of RAM. You will also have your choice of 8GB or 16GB for storage, but they offer a microSD slot for expandability. The display on both devices remains the same, 7-inches with a resolution of 1024 x 600. Last but not least, the materials are more of a premium feel similar to the Iconia A1, and the back will be white.

Pricing starts at €129 for the WiFi version and €179 for the 3G version. Expect to see these mid-June in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Hit the break for the full presser.

Verizon Galaxy Note II receiving incremental 4.1.2 update

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Verizon has started rolling out a small Android 4.1.2 OTA update for Galaxy Note II users. While there’s nothing major in the update, you do get more applications added to multiwindow, as well as the ability to change your quick toggles in display settings. Verizon is also removing the Zappos app and throwing in a handful of bug fixes across several apps. Nothing major, but definitely an update worth getting. Hit the source below to get the full changelog from Verizon.

source: Verizon Wireless

Acer unveils the Iconia A1 tablet with 7.9-inch 4:3 IPS display

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Acer just announced the Iconia A1 tablet that will feature a 7.9-inch (1024 x 768) IPS display with an aspect ratio of 4:3. It will include a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 8 or 16GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expanded storage, 5MP rear camera, front camera (not specified), microSD, microHDMI, Bluetooth 4.0, and WiFi 802.11b/g/n.

It also features Acer’s new “Touch” theme. While the tablet is off, you can press five fingers on the display to wake it up to any app of your choosing. You can also opt for tapping just your thumbs for a different app.

The Acer Iconia A1 will be available starting in June with a suggested retail price of $169 for the 8GB version and $199 for the 16GB version. Full presser after the break.

Samsung responds to criticism of lack of usable storage on 16GB Samsung Galaxy S 4

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As Samsung’s newest flagship device starts to land in the hands of retail buyers, some of them are discovering a nasty surprise lying in wait. New owners of the 16GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 have discovered the device only has about 8GB of useable memory available. The other half is eaten up by the operating system and built-in apps. In a statement released in response to the criticism, Samsung says:

“For the Galaxy S4 16GB model, approximately 6.85GB occupies [the] system part of internal memory, which is 1GB bigger than that of the Galaxy S3, in order to provide [a] high resolution display and more powerful features to our consumers… To offer the ultimate mobile experience to our users, Samsung provides [a] microSD slot on Galaxy S4 for extension of memory.”

Featured Android App Review: Dinamotxt [Communication]

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Have you ever wanted to send and receive SMS text messages from your tablet? There are a number of apps available in the Google Play store that will allow you to do this, but I wanted to tell you about a newer one called Dinamotxt. It was developed by Openmind, and it syncs your tablet with your phone so that your tablet will receive SMS text messages at the same time as your phone.

Dinamotxt is a full texting interface so you will have all the same capabilities as if you were using your phone. You can not only reply to current texts, but you can also create new conversations from your contacts or any phone number. You can also change the look with the included themes. They have eight colors to choose from along with a nice looking paper and vanilla theme.  You can delete any threads you no longer need, and they will be deleted from your phone at the same time.

Paranoid Android’s new Halo notification system gets demoed in video

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As we recently reported, the awesome developers over at Paranoid Android have come up with an incredible new feature for their ROM inspired by Facebook’s Chat Heads. They are calling it “Halo” notifications and they’ve described it as the first step to solving Android’s lack of true multitasking. It works by forwarding all notifications system-wide to the Halo bubble. Clicking the Halo bubble opens a tiny applet where you can respond to any notification.

Halo will be included in upcoming builds of the popular Paranoid Android rom which is available for a plethora of devices. One lucky user got his hands on an early build and was nice enough to film a demonstration. Hit the break for the video and check back for more news on this feature as we get it.

Motorola XFON leaks, shows AT&T apps installed

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Motorola’s fabled X Phone is easily one of the most speculated about devices today. It seems like every week, a new rumor pops up, and it usually conflicts with the rumor we heard the week before. Google and Motorola have effectively kept this phone a secret by leaking out tons of mismatched information.

Today, though, we have more concrete X Phone information. As in, evleaks has kindly released some pictures of a phone, running Android on AT&T’s network with the model XFON on the back. Normally, these rumors are pretty hazy, but that’s pretty clear. The phone itself doesn’t really get too friendly with the camera, as it’s boxed in some kind of case, but the picture below shows a carbon fiber backplate with a model of XFON ATT, which suggests that it definitely won’t be a Verizon exclusive. The phone shows the AT&T SIM name in the status bar, as well as AT&T’s LTE icon, and a My AT&T app in the app drawer. Aside from that, the software seems pretty bone stock, which we would naturally expect from a phone co-developed by Google.

It’s also worth mentioning that this does appear to be three different devices, as noted by the differing Motorola logos on the top of the phone. If the phone is showing up in leaks like this, hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer for an official announcement from Motorola or Google.

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for May 2, 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!!

Apps

Free version of Beautiful Widgets with in-app purchases now available

Rovio unleashes Angry Birds Friends to Android

Google

Google+ Hangouts for desktop now allows remote control of other computers

Google Glass

Patent filed for Google smartwatch with touchpad functions similar to Glass

Three variants of the LG Optimus G2 show up in benchmark results

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Only six months after LG released the Optimus G to the masses, a successor has been spotted in benchmarks and at the Bluetooth SIG getting its Bluetooth certification.

As you can see in the picture above, it looks like there will be three variations of the LG-F320, or what we will call the Optimus G2. The F320L and F340L variations both run the latest Android 4.2.2 and are backed by a 2.0GHz processor (presumably the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800). The F320K variation has a 1.5GHz processor and runs on Android 4.1.2. All three variations are rumored to have a 13 megapixel rear camera, 2.1 megapixel front camera and a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution display.

Oddly enough, the F320K outperformed both of the other variations in AnTuTu benchmark scores, even though it’s clocked at 1.5GHz (as opposed to the other’s 2.0GHz). Nothing else is known at this time about the G2, but hopefully LG will change that soon.

Source: GSMArena

 

 

Google+ Hangouts for desktop now allows remote control of other computers

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If you’re constantly heading over to the homes of friends and family to supply some tech support, Google+ now provides a much more simple solution, via Hangouts Remote Desktop.  Powered by the same technology behind Chrome Remote Desktop, this new feature will provide a much more efficient way of getting things done.

Of course this application requires permission, so you don’t have to worry about hackers being able to swiftly commandeer your desktop without your approval.

Instructions to use the application are after the break.

Rovio unleashes Angry Birds Friends to Android

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Last month we reported that Rovio was planning a big release on the Google Play Store.  That time has come now, with a new version of Angry Birds that is sure to go viral in the coming weeks.

Ported from the online version, Android users everywhere are now able to experience the social features of Angry Birds Friends for free.  This new version allows gamers to connect with Facebook friends, challenging them to matches of the classic game.  You can gather daily rewards, send and receive gifts, post about the game via Facebook connectivity, and collect trophies.

For those worried about losing your progress after playing on Facebook, have no fear— the app picks up right where you left off on the computer with seamless integration.  Nice!  There’s also a pretty cool tournament feature included that users will definitely have to check out.

Check out the link to the app in the Play Store after the break.

Free version of Beautiful Widgets with in-app purchases now available

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The folks over at LevelUp Studios have developed a free version of its hugely popular app, Beautiful Widgets.  Although augmented by in-app purchases for additional functionality and customization, it’s still worth a download due to the great looking widgets it provides for your home screen. Through in-app purchases it’s possible to unlock every feature that is included in the full paid version of the app.  This is nice because it allows users to pick and choose what kind of features they want, without having to pay for the full app.

Due to this welcome addition to the Google Play Store, the full app has been renamed Beautiful Widgets Pro. According to LevelUp Studios, both versions will maintain feature parity in future app updates.

Check out the link to the app in the Play Store after the break.