Google Play Store starts banning ad-blocking apps

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Developers of ad-blocking apps have reported that Google has started the process of yanking their apps from the Play Store. Apps like AdBlock, AdAway, AdFree and more are popular with users who want to eliminate ads from appearing in apps. The inclusion of ads is a way for developers to offer “free” versions of apps and still generate some revenue. Of course, Google itself uses a business model based on ad revenue from sources like AdSense. The notification being sent to developers of these apps reads:

LG pokes fun at upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone by strategically placing Optimus G “4” ads in Times Square

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Samsung may be grabbing all the thunder in today’s headlines, but LG is certainly not going to sit pretty and stay quiet. As seen in the above pic, while Samsung is encouraging folks to “be ready 4 the next Galaxy” in a billboard ad right in the heart of Times Square, LG cleverly bought some ad space directly above Samsung’s ad highlighting “the Optimus G is here 4 you now”— specifically poking fun at Sammy’s “4” messaging. Talk about a cheap shot at Samsung for the entire world to see… sheesh.

It’s probably a safe bet to say that Sammy probably isn’t extending an invitation to LG to watch the Galaxy S IV announcement along with the general public tonight at 7:00pm EST.

source: Engadget

Source: Samsung Galaxy S IV expected to feature SwiftKey software preloaded

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It’s looking like the newest addition to the Galaxy S family is going to feature some software that aims to make our typing experience just a little easier. According to an unnamed source of the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is expected to have SwiftKey keyboard software preloaded onto the smartphone— giving users even more functionality when typing on the device’s screen. Don’t think that Samsung is just tossing the typing prediction software on for nothing either— according to Rob Enderle who is a principal analyst at Enderle Group, Samsung believes “in the Android space where you have a lot of competition, a little thing like [predictive typing] can make a huge difference”. Can’t say we disagree too much with Enderle, though it probably doesn’t hurt that the Galaxy S IV is expected to have some insane features compared to the competition for the time being as well.

Thank goodness we’re literally hours away from the Unpacked event so we can finally see what we’ve all been waiting for. Don’t forget that we’ll be there giving you all the coverage you can handle.

source: Wall Street Journal

Samsung Galaxy S IV (GT-i9502) gets more hands on videos including Floating Touch and SmartPause

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We are only about 10 hours from the official unveiling of the Galaxy S IV, so it’s “Last Call” for the leakers. The latest is the GT-9502 dual SIM variant, which has been making a lot of headlines this week. Four hands on videos surfaced showing off Floating Touch, the Browser experience, SmartPause, and the new lock screen. Floating Touch is similar to the Galaxy Note II’s AirView, but instead of an S Pen, it works with your finger. SmartPause will pause a video if the phone senses you aren’t looking at the screen. Hit the break for all four videos

Samsung Galaxy S IV (GT-i9502) appears again, but this time in higher resolution

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The dual-SIM Galaxy S IV (i9502) has been posing a lot lately, so why not some more? This time it’s in higher resolution along with confirmed specs. As you can see in the picture above, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S III, but with a bigger 4.99-inch 1080p display. Of course the Samsung home button is there again for another year. The pic does list some specs and they include an Exynos 5410 1.8GHz 8-core processor, a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot, and 2600mAh battery. It will be 7.7mm thick and weigh in a 138 grams.

This might not be the final design as Samsung is known to have a lot of test units in the wild. I for one am hoping that it’s not. Hit the break to see some more pics including the new Floating Touch feature that’s similar to the Galaxy Note II’s AirView, but this time it’s with your finger, not the S Pen.

Latest ‘Value Pack’ for Optimus G Pro Adds Eye-tracking Software and More

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LG is allegedly planning to release a new “Value Pack” (VP) for their Optimus G Pro handset. The new VP brings with it a slew of updates, to include Smart Video and a Dual Camera feature. Smart Video, is eye-tracking software that will:

  • Pause video playback when the phone recognizes that the user is no longer focused on the screen.
  • Resumes video playback the moment it recognizes the user is paying attention again.

Dual camera is an extension of the Dual Recording feature LG recently debuted, and will:

  • Allow the user to take simultaneous pictures from the front and rear cameras.

Andy Rubin says it’s the right time to start a new chapter within Google

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Though he is stepping down from his position as head of Google’s Android Mobile Operating System, Andy Rubin, has something to say about his future with the company.  Andy stated in a letter to Android Partners that he is “an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google.”

Earlier today Larry Page used the term “moonshots” in his post announcing Andy’s departure from the Android team, which could only mean he is heading to Google X Lab (GXL). Lets hope Andy is hinting that “new chapter” is indeed GXL.

Hit the break for the entire letter.

Oh what a surprise: Apple’s Phil Shiller thinks Android phones are inferior to the iPhone

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So what do you do when your the Apple marketing chief and it’s the eve of the Samsung Galaxy S IV announcement? You do a little trash talking, but in this case Phil Shiller didn’t really go after Samsung, but instead went after Android as a whole. Where do we begin? He started off by saying that products that run the Android software are inferior to Apple’s iPhone. He went down the fragmentation path as he said that a lot of Android users are running old operating systems. In his defense, that is absolutely correct. Only about 15% of Android users are actually running Jelly Bean. In Android’s defense, I will say that most consumers aren’t all that concerned with that.

Huawei Ascend Mate set to hit Chinese market on March 21st

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It seems like we have been waiting for the release of the Huawei Ascend Mate for a really long time, but in reality Huawei is not too late in releasing the device relative to some of our earlier projections of a February release date. Huawei has confirmed today the giant phone will be available in the Chinese market on March 21 for 3,120 yuan ($500 USD). You may recall the Ascend Mate comes with a huge 6.1-inch IPS display, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a gargantuan 4050mAh battery, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

What is still unclear is whether the Ascend Mate will ever find its way outside of China. There is some hope that it will at least make it to some European markets like Germany, where Amazon has listed the device for €499 ($646 USD).

source: Softpedia
via: Android Authority

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9-inch model price cut

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Amazon announced today that it was cutting the price on both versions of its largest Kindle device, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. The WiFi only version of the tablet was priced at $299 in the U.S. and will see its price drop to $269. The price cut for the 4G enabled version is more dramatic, going from $499 down to $399. According to Amazon, they sell their Kindle devices at cost. With the impending release of the device to several new markets including the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan, Amazon claims they have achieved some new economies of scale as they ramp up production to meet the expected demand from the new markets.

More Galaxy S IV case designs leak

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We’re just one day away from being shown the most anticipated device of the year, but that’s definitely not going to slow the rumors down. Today, we’re getting an early look at some cases that may fit the S IV’s design shape. These cases look like they’d fit the latest leak we saw just yesterday, so this very well could be the final shape of Samsung’s newest superphone. The biggest difference from the S III is the LED flash placement and speaker placement; the LED flash has moved below the camera, and the speaker has moved to the bottom of the phone, similar to the Note II. Aside from that, USB and headphone jack placement are identical. (That’s great news if you’ve invested in a dock of any kind. The S IV should be compatible with at least some of them.)

With the popularity that is almost guaranteed to follow this phone, we should expect to see some great accessory support. These cases come in nearly every color you could want, and should hopefully be available around the phone’s actual release date. Are you excited yet?

source: MobileFun

via: Unwired View

Featured Android App Review: Sharpee – Powered by Behance [Social]

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Whether you’re a creative genius or someone trying to be more creative, you might want to check out Sharpee  – Powered by Behance. If you’re not familiar with the Behance Network, it’s a an online site that allows creative professionals to share their portfolios. At the same time anyone can view these portfolios and utilize them for inspiration.

Anyone can create an account and set up a profile on Behance. Then it’s time to upload projects. For now it can only be done on the desktop, but that feature is coming soon to the Sharpee app. Projects can consist of just about any type of creative field imaginable including advertising, architecture, animation, drawings, graffiti, graphic design, illustrations, photography, visual effects, web design, and 57 others. Portfolios can be complete collections or simply a work in progress.

Samsung Ramped Up Advertising In 2012, Outspent Apple By $68 Million

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Samsung is the top manufacturer of Android devices and to maintain its dominance in the marketplace, outspent Apple by $68 million in 2012. According to ad research and consulting firm Kantar Media, Samsung spent $401 million advertising its devices in the U.S. last year while Apple spent $333 million. Prior to that, Apple spent three times more on advertising in 2011 than Samsung. The increase in advertising is definitely noticed with the South Korean company investing millions in Super Bowl Ads, having a big presence at Mobile World Congress, and even consuming commercial time during the Oscars.

HTC One Making Its Way To Verizon

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The HTC One will be available for Verizon customers after all. All Things D, citing an unnamed source, is reporting Verizon will carry the One about a month or so after it launches on the other three major US carriers. We had originally reported a March launch for AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint but had not heard a word about Verizon.

Fans of Beats Audio and Sense (there are some Sense fans, right?) on Verizon are not the only winners here. Finally getting the same flagship phone on all the big carriers is a huge win for struggling HTC. This will allow HTC to focus its ad campaign on a single device and maybe start taking some mind share back from Samsung.

Source: All Things D