Pebble Appstore for Android is “coming very soon”

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The Pebble Appstore has launched right on time. But only for iOS as Android users have a little bit of a wait. The company says it is “still fine tuning the Pebble app for Android, so stay tuned — it’s coming very, very soon.” As we noted over the weekend, Pebble will be limiting the amount of installed apps to eight since anything more is considered to cluttered for navigation. So when the Pebble Appstore does land on Android, pick your apps wisely. Read more

Google Now introduced into Chrome Beta

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If you have Android 4.1 or later, you’re probably already familiar with Google Now, Google’s own personal assistant, and answer to Apple’s Siri. Well Google Now is now making it’s way into Google Chrome, having reached Chrome Beta today.

Previously Google Now was only available in Chrome through the Canary developer build, but now users of Chrome Beta will be able to enjoy it as well.

Google Now can give information about anything from traffic updates to sports results, and it does this without you even needing to search for it. Soon enough Google Now should be available in the standard version of Chrome.

Source: Chrome Blogspot

Could HTC offer a more stock Android experience in the near future?

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Well here’s something interesting. Turns out the upcoming HTC Desire 310, that was accidently unveiled on HTC’s website, might sport a stock Android experience along with BlinkFeed. The above screenshots were posted by miyachiki on Weibo, and HTC Source is saying this will be the norm for all HTC devices with MediaTek processors moving forward.

Nothing was mentioned about HTC’s upcoming flagship, the M8 or HTC One 2. Obviously that device won’t sport a MediaTek, but one has to wonder why HTC would go with two different UI’s moving forward? It could be because of hardware limitations, but I have to also point out that the upcoming Desire 310 will sport on screen buttons, which is what the HTC One successor will also sport. Could HTC go in this same direction with the HTC One successor?

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Another Korean securities firm offers up Galaxy S 5 specs

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Last week, KGI Research predicted specs of the Galaxy S 5, and today KDB Daewoo Securities Research offered what they believe are the specs of the upcoming Samsung flagship (as well as the iPhone 6). The main difference is that KDB Daewoo only mentions one model, whereas KGI said there will be a Prime and Standard model.

KDB says the Galaxy S 5 will have a 5.2 or 5.25-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 (561 ppi). Just like past Samsung phones, we can expect different processors for different regions. Most of the world will get a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 805, while other parts will get a 2GHz octa-core 64-bit Exynos 6. RAM will be 3GB, and we can expect internal storage options of 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB. The rear camera will come in at 16MP, while the front will sport a 3.2MP lens. The battery will be 3.200mAh, and last but not least, the phone will have Android KitKat.

These specs are on par with KGI’s predictions of the Prime model, but there are a few difference such as KGI thinks the Exynos processor will be 32-bit, the front-facing camera will only be 2MP, and the battery will only be 2,850mAh.

You will also notice in the image above that KDB Daewoo also offered what they believe are the specs of the iPhone 6.

source: KDB Daewoo
via: PhoneArena

[App Review] Quixey, the search engine for finding the best Android apps

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Google’s Play Store may have faults, but the number of apps available is not one of them. At last count, the Play Store has over 1 million apps, so if you need an app to do something, chances are, you can find it in Google’s selection.

With that many apps, you run into a different problem when searching for apps. Looking up “music” in the Play Store lists tons and tons of different apps that all play your music. It’s nice to have choice, but if you want to be a little more selective, it can be tough to wade through the apps to separate the good from the bad and find the features that you really want in a music player. That’s where Quixey comes in. Read more

Google opens the Google Cast SDK, Chromecast now open to all developers

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If there is one chief complaint about the Chromecast, it has been the lack of content. There is no question that things have been slow, but it’s not because developers aren’t supporting it. It’s been because the Google Cast SDK was only in preview mode so developers couldn’t just release an app for it in the Play Store unless Google approved it. Well all that is going to change, because Google just opened the SDK to all developers.

This means that developers can easily add Chromecast support to their apps, without any prior approval from Google. I would assume the floodgates are going to open pretty quickly here. Don’t disappoint me!!

Hit the break for a video for developers explaining how it all works.

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Updated S Health app shows Samsung is choosing a flatter interface

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It is becoming increasingly likely that Samsung will be utilizing a flatter interface on its upcoming devices. Courtesy of SamMobile, we now know what the updated version of S Health will look like. Samsung has definitely dialed back their Android overlay, which could have to do with their recent agreement. From a features standpoint, there does not seem to be any major editions; however, that should come when there is an official announcement. There is one intriguing addition, however. While running or jogging, users can view a map while also controlling their music.

To view a few screenshots, hit the break. Read more

Samsung might launch an LTE version of the Galaxy Grand 2

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According to new reports, Samsung will soon launch an LTE version of the Galaxy Grand 2 which was announced last year and it will carry the model number SM-G7105, but the launch date hasn’t been specified yet. All Samsung devices that have a model number ending in 5 are usually the LTE version.

The User Manual and its Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Information have been uploaded on Samsung’s site.  The SAR Information displays two models of the Galaxy Grand 2, SM-G7105 and SM-G7105L. SM-G7105 is probably the LTE version of the device while the L model might be the carrier version.

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UK carriers Three and EE to join forces to build out LTE network

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A new report out today indicates UK mobile carriers Three and EE have reached a deal to work together, including the sharing of costs, for the next phase of their 4G LTE network buildout. According to reports, the two carriers will share masts and backhaul transmission costs to the tune of $1.63 Billion USD. The report says that while the infrastructure and costs are being shared between the two carriers, other components are not being shared. Notably, “the antennas, spectrum and the core network” will remain separate. This means each carrier will still have control over speed and coverage for their networks.

The initial impression in the industry is that the deal will be more beneficial for Three which has been trailing other carriers in building out a 4G LTE presence. Meanwhile, EE has already deployed a significant 4G LTE footprint. With some additional capital flowing into the deal from a partner, EE hopes to maintain its early lead in the market. The other major players, Vodafone and O2, have their own agreement in place to partner in building out a 4G network.

source: Android Central

SoftBank/Sprint to meet with FCC today, T-Mobile may be on slate

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A report from the Wall Street Journal today indicates Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse are scheduled to meet with the FCC. Sources indicate that one of the topics of discussion is a possible merger with T-Mobile. During January, it was revealed that Sprint obtained some proposals from different banks that demonstrated how a merger of the two carriers could be made to work financially. That would only be one hurdle to be jumped if the merger is ever going to happen. It is looking more and more like regulatory approvals will be the bigger problem, which would be a good reason for the two CEOs to spend some time during a face to face meeting with FCC officials to discuss the merger.

According to different sources, the Department of Justice appears reluctant, if not being outright against the idea, to see the number of “major” carriers being reduced from four down to three. SoftBank and Sprint are likely to counter that argument by pointing out that Verizon and AT&T  are the heavyweights in the market and the weakness of the third and fourth largest carriers is actually hurting competition, a situation that could be corrected by allowing the merger to occur. By meeting with the FCC, SoftBank/Sprint may also be able to get a government agency on board with the concept to help in the battle with the Department of Justice.

source: TmoNews