Featured Android App Review: Moment – Live Wallpaper [Personalization & Customization]

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Live wallpapers can be really cool, but wouldn’t it be even cooler if you could just make your own? With Moment – Live Wallpaper you can because it will allow you to turn any video clip into your own interactive live wallpaper. These clips can be from those special “moments” in your life such as your kids, pets, panoramic views, or just about anything you can think of. It was created by SockMonkeySolutions, which we’re already familiar with from their previous apps, Gift Wizard and Task Radar. We have already covered a video live wallpaper app previously, but this one is a little different. Because it interacts with your swipes, you can create some interesting 3D effects. For example, you could film a flower from left to right in a circular rotation so it will appear as if it’s rotating on your home screen. You could also take a panoramic shot of an awesome view, and as you swipe different home screens, you will get different vantage points. If your child just scored a goal in today’s soccer game, you can relive that “moment” every time you use your phone or tablet.

Netgear updates Push2TV PTV3000 device to support Android devices, squelch bugs

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Last month at CES 2013 we got to spend some time with Netgear’s Push2TV display adapter, the Netgear PTV3000, checking out the Miracasting capabilities using a Samsung Galaxy S III. As impressed as we were with the possibilities of pushing the display from an Android device to a big screen TV, Netgear still had some work to do to address some issues and expand the list of compatible devices. Those efforts took a major step today with a new update released by Netgear. Support for several devices has been incorporated into the PTV3000, including the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the LG Optimus G, the LG Nexus 4, and some Sony Xperia devices running Android 4.0.4 and above.

If you have one of the devices, hit the break for the full list of improvements and instructions for updating the firmware.

International Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone gets some Jelly Bean love thanks to new update being pushed out

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Just because the OG Samsung Galaxy Note is considered a little old in the tech world, it doesn’t mean that it still can’t get timely updates in order to keep things fresh and modern on the device, right? That’s why Samsung has gone ahead begun the initial push of its Android 4.1.2 update for the international variant of the Galaxy Note smartphone. The update brings the Android build to version JZO54K and brings with it the following:

(Un)officially confirmed: Samsung Galaxy S IV to be unveiled on March 14th in New York City

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Sure MWC 2013 is set to begin in just a week from now, but Samsung is out to ensure that delivers what should be the biggest news of the year. We had reported to you before that the world should expect a March 15th announcement date of the Next Big Thing— but we couldn’t provide any legitimacy to those dates because well you know— the supposed date is based off a rumor and all. Well it appears that those rumors weren’t so far-fetched as yet the gang at SamMobile and notorious info leaker Eldar Murtazin have confirmed that Sammy will not only showcase the Galaxy S IV on March 14th, but will also showcase the revolutionary device at what will be a TBD location out in America’s largest city.

Unfortunately, there are no further details of the March 14th announcement date for now, but we’ll be sure to keep our eyes and ears open for you all. Hopefully all you kids will be able to contain yourselves and be patient in the meantime.

source: SamMobile | Eldar Murtazin Twitter
via: Droid Life

AT&T Delivers Security Patch For Exynos Kernel Exploit On Galaxy Note II

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An over the air software update is available for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note II. The update, which became available February 15, serves as a security patch for the Exynos kernel exploit discovered in December.  As with most OTA updates, the carrier recommends downloading via WiFi. Make sure you have plenty of battery power as well. There’s no easier way to brick a phone than by losing power mid software install. It will push the firmware version to I317UCAMA4 but leave Android on 4.1.2.

Source: AT&T

The Weather Channel app gets updated to bring new look to UI and more functionality

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The Weather Channel official app has just gotten an extensive update to give even more functionality and accuracy for those of us needing those precious weather forecasts. Users of the app will be treated to a sleeker and more modern UI, faster and better optimized maps and even the use of custom weather widgets for smartphones and tablets as well. Oh and even more awesome is the fact the app can now give users the exact time of any given weather pattern (i.e. rain starting around 3:15pm). So in other words— the Weather Channel app has moved from being a bland and clunky app to a modern and buttery smooth app that gives users something to look forward to using on a daily basis.

The latest update is available now in the Play Store for all Froyo+ devices, so that means that most of you have no reason to not grab the improved app today.

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Play Store Download Link

Vic Gundotra: Nexus phones will have ‘insanely great’ cameras

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Senior Vice President of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, is making news after a comment he made regarding the camera quality of Nexus devices. There’s no doubt that with each generation of Nexus device, special attention is paid to the camera and the quality of images and video it is capable of taking. An example of this is the implementation of Photo Sphere, which allows for a 360 degree panoramic image that was introduced with the latest Nexus smartphone, the Nexus 4.

LG Optimus G Pro specs available, headed to North American markets

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In advance of MWC 2013, LG has officially released the specifications for their new LG Optimus G Pro smartphone on their Korean site’s newsroom. LG had previously announced the availability of the device for the South Korean market and the specs are consistent with that model. LG is stepping up to a 5.5-inch display with the device, incorporating a curved glass design capable of displaying 400 ppi full 1080p HD. Running the device will be 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor mated with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. Besides a 3,140 mAh removable battery, the device will also accept up to a 64GB microSD card. For cameras LG has included a 13MP rear-facing camera and a 2.1MP front-facing camera that can record full HD video.

Featured Android App Review: SayIt Voice Launcher [Productivity & Tools]

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If you’re looking for something new and cool to launch apps, I have one for you. It’s called SayIt Voice Launcher, and it was developed by Rn Software. From the name of the app, you can probably tell that this involves your voice. SayIt Voice Launcher allows you to launch any app by just saying the app name, and it works flawlessly. Not only that, you don’t even have to say the exact name of the app. For example, you can say “file” for Astro File Manager. Of course you can say the full name if you want to.

There are four ways you can launch the app: the icon on your home screen, one of the widgets, the notification panel, or via a lockscreen widget that’s only compatible with Android 4.2. One of the widgets resembles the Google Now widget. You can open the voice launcher or their own custom scrollable app drawer. It organizes the apps by how often you use them so if you don’t want to use voice because you’re in a public place, you can quickly find those apps that you regularly use. The second widget is vertical. The top of it gives you access to the voice launcher and it also displays your six most used apps. Need to open a different app? No problem because it’s scrollable so you can quickly find what you’re looking for in the event that you don’t want to use your voice for whatever reason. Of the two widgets, this one is my favorite.

Plume for DashClock officially available in the Play Store now

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Plume is no doubt one hell of a Twitter client for our Android devices, but the developers have just released one hell of a widget for its users as well. Based of the DashClock Widget extension, the new widget allows for users to have yet another means to check out the date, time and of course, what is happening in that oh-so important Twitter feed and all that good stuff. The great thing about this DashClock Widget extension is that it’s completely open-sourced—- meaning there is all sorts of goodies that’s just waiting to be toyed with.

For now, the new widget extension is available for Android 4.2+ devices only, so if you’re on that version of Jelly Bean— head on down to the Play Store and grab it today— you’ll be glad you did.

 

Play Store Download Link

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Google to open official retail stores in the U.S. by the end of 2013

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Recently we reported that Google was planning to open its retail headquarters in Dublin, and it seems Google is pulling all the stops to get its products into the hands of consumers. So much so that a report has surfaced claiming Google will have its own retail stores up and running by the end of 2013 just in time for the holiday season. Our sources says that the main products that will be featured in the retail stores are Google Nexus devices, Google Chromebooks and future devices that have yet to be released. As of today, Google has several in-store kiosks, called Chrome-Stores, featured in some Best Buy locations in the U.S. and several PC World stores in the UK.

Sony Xperia Z gets put through the underwater test and passes with flying colors

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You already know that the Sony Xperia Z is going to be pretty durable thanks to its dust and waterproof casing, but some casual nonbelievers wanted to take some time and see how the device would hold up in some extreme conditions like a public pool. As you can see in the video below, the Xperia Z’s camera not only holds up well when recording video, but the quality of the video and audio is as astounding as the quality of the device itself. Of course it should be pointed out that while recording the video while being underwater was a cinch, the on-screen buttons are not functional underwater, so users will need to actually hit the record button before actually putting the smartphone through its courses underwater. Still you gotta admit that it’s pretty cool seeing Sony’s claims of the Xperia Z’s durability holding up pretty well.

Still a nonbeliever of the Xperia Z’s potential? Hit the break to check out the video for yourself.

Offline speech recognition for third-party apps discovered in Google Search update

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Developers of voice command app utter! have discovered a nice surprise included in the latest Google Search update that increases the usability of speech-recognition on Jelly Bean powered Android devices. Much of the focus since Google released the latest update has been on the new widget for Google Now. There has also been some interest in new partners and access to college basketball teams for sports cards. The change discovered by utter! may have a more far-reaching impact than those features.

With the latest update, apps from third-party developers can now access the speech-recognition dictionaries on your device. Previously, only Google’s own apps could access the dictionaries. For end users, this means the speech-recognition function can run faster and is accessible even when no data connection is available. To add the dictionaries to your device so they will be available for other apps, go to your Google Now settings, look under “Voice” and find the dictionary you want to download.

source: AndroidCentral

Is Sony testing a new device running Android 4.2 with a 1080p display?

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Sony may be testing a new device and if the latest findings are correct, it’s going to be an impressive device. With the model number C680x, Sony’s device will be running Android 4.2 and sporting a full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Due to the model number being higher than the anticipated Xperia Z, this might be an indication of yes another Sony flagship phone. Very little details are known at this point but check back with TalkAndroid for the latest reports.

source: Xperia Blog