Google updating Gmail for Android with new look, small tweaks

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Google announced today that Gmail for Android will be getting updated over the course of the next few days to introduce a new design for the conversation view. Some additional “design tweaks” will make it easier to multi-select messages for action. Google has also added an indicator to let users know whether account sync is on or off. Overall, the design appears to draw on the Google Now and Google+ “card” appearance.

Check out some screen shots in the gallery below.

source: +Gmail

Hangouts update adds status indicators, improved contact management

google-hangouts-updateEver since Google Hangouts came out a few months ago for Android, one of the primary complaints was the lack of proper status indicators, like Google Talk had. Today’s update to 1.2 adds that, with green chat bubbles indicating online and grey ones indicating offline. In addition, the update adds new categories to sort your contacts in – “People you Hangout with,” “Suggested People,”  and “Other Contacts.”

Also, you can now long press on your contacts to hide them from appearing, pinch and zoom on pictures you receive. The update is rolling out as we post, so go to the download link past the break and see if its your turn.
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AT&T will be the exclusive carrier of the Pebble smartwatch

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The success of the Pebble smartwatch continues as they just landed AT&T as an exclusive carrier partner. You will find the Pebble online and at select AT&T retail stores starting September 27 for $150. More stores will be added in October.

One of the best things about the Pebble is that it works with not only Android phones, but iOS as well. AT&T will also carry the Samsung Galaxy Gear, but it’s limited to working only with the Galaxy Note 3. Full presser after the break.


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Graphics benchmark scores reveal Nexus 5 graphics might

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New benchmark scores have surfaced on the GFXBench site showing the Nexus 5 is ready to jump into the fray against the top performing smartphones in terms of graphics capability. Currently only two scores have been posted, one for the T-Rex HD offscreen test and one for the Egypt HD offscreen test. These tests are designed to to determine how the device will perform under a heavy load, with the T-Rex test being the more intensive of the two. The score for the Nexus 5 on the T-Rex test was 23.1 frames per second. On the less intensive Egypt HD  test, the unit scored 59.2 frames per second.

The scores put the Nexus 5 on par with the PowerVR chipped iPhone 5S and either on par with or slightly edging out leading Android units. The Nexus 5 is shown as being equipped with the Adreno 330 gpu for the tests. Hopefully it will not be long before we can get some results for the onscreen tests.

source: GFXBench
via: phoneArena

NBC launches official app, features full-length episodes for free and TV schedule

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NBC finally launched an official Android app for their network, and it’s just as polished and well-done as their competitors’ applications. The app features full episodes that you can watch whenever you want for free, closed captioning support, an NBC schedule, and a “favorites” section to easily access the shows you want to watch.

Check out some screenshots below. You can download the app via the link after the break.


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Humble Mobile Bundle 2 goes live with six games

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If you love mobile gaming and giving back, then we have good news for you. Humble Mobile Bundle is back with a fresh set of games, all for the price of your choosing. Four of the games are available at the bare minimum of one penny; however, if you pay more than the average donation ($4.52 at the time of this writing), you’ll be able to pick up an additional two games.

While you can pay as little as a penny for the games, you should know that the money can be split between developers, charity, or Humble Bundle themselves. Also, you can use a slider to disperse the money in the direction you choose. If you want to give it all to charity, you can do so. If you want to support indie developers, there’s an option for that too. The charities partnering for Humble Mobile Bundle 2 include Child’s Play Charity and Electronic Frontier Foundation.


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A T-Mobile and Sprint merger is ‘the logical ultimate combination’

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T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter thinks there will be more consolidation in the U.S wireless market, but he also thinks a merger with Sprint would be “the logical ultimate combination.” If you’re thinking a deal is in the works, that may or may not be the case because he declined to say whether they are talking or not. If you remember, AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile, but it was blocked by the Federal government so other deals could be blocked as well.

Carter went on to say that a merger of smaller operators makes the most sense because AT&T and Verizon are much bigger than T-Mobile and Sprint. Could we be talking about a merger between Sprint and T-Mobile by the end of the year?

source: Reuters

Don’t expect fingerprint scanners on Samsung devices until the 2nd half of next year

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Now that Apple has implemented a fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S, and presumably in the next editions of the iPad, one would assume Samsung is going to offer something similar. They probably will, but it might not come as fast as some would want. According to the Korean Herald, Samsung thinks the technology is still in its infancy and won’t adopt it until the second half of the year. One Samsung official who went unnamed said, “We never officially admitted that Samsung was weighing the fingerprint system and Knox for Galaxy Note 3 for security functions. We are not yet developing the technology.”

Right now the only company in Korea developing fingerprint technology is Crucialtec, which is being used on the Pantech Vega LTE-A. Seoul-based Woori Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hye-yong added, “Samsung has to rely on the company for fingerprint functions, but its technology level is still behind Authentec in terms of patents and solutions. It will take a year more for the company to supply stable technology.” Apple bought Authentec back in 2012, which gave them the technology that is being used on the iPhone 5S.


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Dead on Arrival 2 now available in Google Play

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It has been in development for a while now, but the Tegra 4 optimized Dead on Arrival 2 is finally available in the Google Play store for Android devices. Although the new title is optimized for the Tegra 4 and using a device powered by NVIDIA’s chip will net you some nifty graphics enhancements, Dead on Arrival 2 will work on other devices. Developer N3V Games does indicate a high end device should be used, like an NVIDIA SHIELD or a Samsung Galaxy S 4, something produced at least within the past couple years and no lower than a Tegra 2.
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Update for Sprint’s Moto X rolling out, AT&T very close

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On Monday, an update for the Motorola Moto X on the T-Mobile network began to roll out on that network. The update included some significant improvements to the camera and some smaller fixes for issues like choppy audio in voice calls, an inability to report location in the Lost Device Finder app, the device reading out text messages when not in Drive mode, and assorted stability improvements. Motorola indicated the update should roll out to other carriers “soon” and for customers on the Sprint network, “soon” is today.

According to source, the build number on Sprint devices is 139.14.1 and the changelog mirrors the improvements that rolled out to T-Mobile devices. If you have a Moto X on Sprint, you can check for the update by going to Settings -> About phone -> System updates.

Meanwhile, Moto X owners on the AT&T network that are part of Motorola’s Feedback Network have been receiving a notification that a “new software release” was available for installation as part of a soak test. No details are available and a schedule was not provided, but it appears AT&T is moving to get their customers the latest update.

source: Droid Life (Sprint), Droid Life (AT&T)