New redesigned Google Play Store (version 4.0.25) now available to download

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Well that didn’t take long did it? Google officially announced the redesigned Google Play Store earlier, and the APK is already available to download for manual updating. All phones and tablets with Android 2.2 or higher will get the new update over-the-air, but unfortunately it will take roughly 3 weeks to hit every device. If you’re like me, you’re impatient and don’t feel like waiting around, so all you have to do is grab the APK from the download link below and install it just like any other APK. In case you’re not familiar, just make sure you have “unknown sources” checked under settings/security. Then from your phone/tablet, tap on the download link below, then tap Download (5.9MB) and it will save it to your phone/tablet. Tap on “com.android-vending-4.0.25.apk” in your notification panel, answer OK to replace system application, and tap Install. After it’s installed, just tap open to start enjoying the new card-themed Play Store. Enjoy!!

Download Link

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Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 coming to U.S. on April 11

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Last week the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 went on sale in the U.K. Fans of the Galaxy Note devices in the U.S. will be glad to know the WiFi only version of Samsung’s latest tablet will be available on Thursday, April 11th at major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, h.h. gregg, Newegg, P.C. Richard & Son, Staples and TigerDirect.com. The Galaxy Note 8.0 will be Samsung’s first device with their Samsung WatchON software that is supposed to make it easier to channel surf both live TV and streaming video sources. The Galaxy Note 8.0 also comes with a built-in IR blaster, meaning the tablet can be used as a remote control.

Similar to the U.K. deals, Samsung is throwing in some extras for initial buyers of the device. Pick one up for $399.99 and you can get access to 50GB of DropBox storage for 2 years, a free month of unlimited music streaming in Samsung’s Music Hub, and for a limited time buyers will receive a $25 Google Play credit when they register their device.

Check out our hands on video of the Galaxy Note 8.0 from this year’s Mobile World Congress and the full press release after the break. Read more

Featured Android App Review: MMGuardian Parental Control [Tools]

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We’ve covered a few apps that help with security for children’s phones, but I wanted to tell you about another one I came across called MMGuardian Parental Control from MMGuardian.com. It seems like the age that kids are given phones is getting younger and younger as time goes on. Of course you can give them a dumbphone, but with newer shared plans, it’s not out of reach to go for a smartphone. For some kids it might be an overkill, but a smartphone can give you a lot of features like knowing your child’s whereabouts, and with apps like MMGuardian Parental Control, it gives you the peace of mind you need when you give that shiny new or used smartphone to your child.

I think when it comes to apps such as these, a lot of parents don’t want to bother with them because they think it will be overwhelming and difficult to set up. I think that’s true for a lot of these apps, but nothing could be further from the truth regarding MMGuardian. All you really need to do is install the app on your child’s phone and activate it with your password of choice. Then it’s a matter of going through each area of the app that you want to control. Your child won’t be able to uninstall or deactivate the app without the password.

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WhatsApp says no deal with Google is in the works

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Yesterday we reported on rumors that Google may be looking to purchase the popular messaging app WhatsApp. According to WhatsApp business guy Neeraj Arora, sales talks with Google are not being held. Arora says there are no plans, or even discussions, at this time around Google buying WhatsApp for approximately $1 billion. Other than denying the rumors, Arora provided no other information. Next week WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum is schedule to speak at a conference in New York City. Hopefully he will be able to share some new information about the future direction and plans of the company in light of these recent rumors as well as last December’s rumored buyout by Facebook.

source: AllThingsD

Xiaomi Unveils The Mi2S And Mi2A Smartphone

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Xiaomi is a Chinese manufacturer of MIUI-powered smartphones, and has announced two new smartphones. Predecessor to the Mi2, the Mi2S has been upgraded with a better processor and camera. The Mi2A is more affordable and also features a slightly larger display. Here are the specs of both phones:

Xiaomi Mi2S

  • 4.3-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16 or 32GB internal storage
  • 13 megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • MIUI running on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 2,000 mAh battery
  • Available in five different colors Read more

Google in the hot seat again as Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle file new antitrust complaint with the EU

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Looks like Google might be in the hot seat again because competitors filed a new antitrust complaint against them in the EU alleging that the Android OS gives an unfair advantage for Google apps. The complaint was filed by Fairsearch Europe, which consists Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle. Lead lawyer for Fairsearch said that Google is using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today,”  He is referring to the fact that Android OEM’s have a contractual obligation to place Google-branded apps such as Maps, YouTube, and Drive in “prominent default placement on the phone.”

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Specs for Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 now confirmed

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Yesterday we got a better understanding of the specs for the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, but only a general idea for the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The Mega 6.3 will have a 6.3-inch PLS HD display, a 1.7GHz a dual-core CPU, an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, and a 3,200mAh battery. The RAM is listed at 1.5GB, which is very odd since most phones have either 1GB or 2GB, and nothing in the middle. It will me much thinner than the Mega 5.8 as it comes in a 7.9mm as opposed to 9.7. We can expect to see it in two versions, with (GT-9205) and without (GT-i9200) LTE and will be available in your choice of black or white.

The Galaxy Mega line appears to be aimed at the budget conscious consumer that wants a phone with a larger display, which is a good market to be in right and now and a very smart move by Samsung.

source: SamMobile

Record high 60,000 apps deleted from the Google Play Store in February

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Android competitors like to point to Google’s Play Store as a source of spam. There’s no question that Google’s approach of vetting apps later does provide an environment in which spam can enter into the equation, but Google isn’t a company that tolerates such apps. Turns out there was some serious purging in February as nearly 60.000 apps were removed from the Play Store. This is the highest such number for a month ever, and we have no idea how many of these apps were actually deleted by Google themselves. The total represents apps that were deleted from publishers as well, but since the number is so high, you have to assume Google played a big role in them.

Why the deletions? Google isn’t going to tell us anything about it, but it could be from spam as well as other violations from their Terms of Service. It probably isn’t all about spam, but Google does have a section in their TOS regarding spam:

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Overlays Android Application Floats Widgets Over Currently Running Apps

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App developers are finding more and more ways to take advantage of Widgets in Android. As any Android fan knows, Widgets are one of the major benefits of using Android over iOS.  Widgets give us the ability to preview apps without having to open them time-and-time again (wipe the drool from your chins Apple fanboys [and girls]).

As awesome as Widgets are, developers continue to strive to make them that much better. Applay, headed up by XDA Senior Member liorry, has done just that with its “Overlays” app.  Overlays enables users to “take any existing widget and effectively pin it on top of any currently running application.” Hit the break for a gallery of images and download links for both the paid for and free versions of the app. Read more