TalkAndroid Daily Dose for February 5, 2014

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

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

Firefox teases its upcoming Android launcher

Talon for Twitter updated to version 1.3, includes a huge list of new features

Sony releases updated Xperia Gallery app with KitKat support

Google Search app updated, Google Experience Launcher rebranded to Google Now Launcher

Google Drive update brings along a tiny widget for document scanning, animated GIF support

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Google Play Newsstand makes the update cut

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Joining several Google apps getting updates today, like Hangouts, Drive, and Search, the Google Play Newsstand app has an updated poised to start rolling out to users. The update bumps the version up to 3.1 and adds some new features. Probably the most significant addition is translation. Using their own Google Translate engine, the Newsstand app is now able to translate any news feed into one of 47 different languages. Unfortunately, translation is not available for magazines yet. Read more

Sony releases updated Xperia Gallery app with KitKat support

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A recent update to Sony‘s Gallery app began rolling out to Xperia phones today, bringing the app to version 5.4.A.0.12. While the app does include a couple performance improvements and improvements for PlayMemories, there is something a little more interesting about the update. Interestingly enough, the new update adds “updates for Android 4.4/KitKat” to the changelog.

What’s interesting about that is the fact that Sony currently doesn’t have any Xperia phones running Android 4.4, meaning that an update for Xperia phones to the new operating system could be coming soon. The new app also supports KitKat’s immersive mode for fullscreen.

Source: Android Central

Samsung teams up with Swarovski to give the Galaxy Note 3 some bling

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If you want something a little more noticeable than the faux leather effect on your Galaxy Note 3, you might want to consider this new case which Samsung and Swarovski teamed up to make. This is certainly the most bling on a smartphone case we’ve seen in a while!

The case comes in 3 different variations; Jet, Crystal Silver, and a blend of Crystal Bermuda Blue and Crystal Metallic Light Gold.

It’s important to note that while the case might look pretty classy, it certainly won’t come cheap, setting you back $299, with a matching bracelet. Not only that but you’ll also have to head to New York City to buy one as it’s only going to be sold at the Swarovski store on 5th Avenue. Hit the break for the full press release!

Read more

Hangouts receives update that fixes SMS and MMS bugs

The latest entrant into Google’s Wednesday wave of app updates is Hangouts. The messaging app has been updated to fix issues when sending and receiving MMS messages. SMS messages, on the other hand, have been fixed as well to prevent issues with messages that exceed 160 characters. Earlier, Google Search and Google Drive were updated.

Hit the break for download links; however, remember that Google employs slow, drawn-out updates for its apps. Read more

Google Drive update brings along a tiny widget for document scanning, animated GIF support

Google Drive is receiving an update today that brings small, useful additions alongside some bug fixes. First up is a new 1×1 widget that links directly to the document scanning feature within Google Drive. Also added in the update is the support for animated GIFs. And, as most updates do, unidentified bug fixes are included.

Hit the break for download links and let us know if the update has been pushed to your device. Read more

Google Search app updated, Google Experience Launcher rebranded to Google Now Launcher

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The Google Search app has been updated bringing the usual bug fixed and improvements, but it also adds hotword support for British and Canadian English. The Google Experience Launcher also gets updated with a new name. It’s now called the Google Now Launcher, which could mean that a Play Store launch is imminent. Some of the updates for the launcher include new Google Now Launcher name on the splash screen start up, 6 columns on tablet home screens, AirBNB reservations in Google Now, and icon imports from old home screens.

If you have the Nexus 5, the launcher will get updated automatically and you won’t see the new branding, but if you are using the old Google Experience Launcher on another device, we have the update below. Of course you can install it even if you haven’t tried it before. Either way, you will need the Android 4.1+ and the original Google Home Launcher app installed in order to see the Google Now Launcher. We have download links after the break.

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Toshiba Chromebook now available for $299, some retailers for $279

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The latest Chrome OS laptop to go on sale is the Toshiba Chromebook. Announced back in September, it is available through Toshiba’s online store or through some retailers including Amazon. If you choose to go with Toshiba’s online store, this Chromebook will set you back $299.99; however, Amazon is carrying it for $279.99. Inside is Intel’s Celeron Processor 2955U (Haswell). There are two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port. On the device’s page, Toshiba claims you can get up to nine hours of battery life. Not too bad, right?

Hit the source link if you are interested in picking one up. Remember, Amazon is selling it for $20 less!

Source: Toshiba, Amazon

HTC M8 may feature an upgraded 5MP camera

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After leaking this morning, we have some new information regarding the camera on the HTC M8. According to developer @LlabTooFeR on Twitter, the successor to the HTC One will feature a 5MP camera rather than the previously rumored 2.1MP one. With the twin cameras and dual LED flash on board, HTC seems to be heavily focusing on the camera with its upcoming flagship device. Currently, HTC is rumored to be holding an event in New York City next month. Read more