Author Archives: Prasad
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Google Search app updated to support ‘Ok Google’ hotword from any screen

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Google has released an update for the Search app on Android (v3.5.14), which brings with it a very useful addition.

Earlier, you had to be in the Google Search app to be able to use the “Ok Google” hotword to invoke voice search. With the latest update, you can now use it on any screen on the phone as long as the screen is on. It also works from the lockscreen even if you have a password set on the device. And if you have the device connected to a charger, the screen doesn’t even have to be on to use voice search. Read more »

Aviate launcher now available on the Play Store

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Yahoo! owned Aviate launcher for Android has been around for some time now but so far it was in the beta stage and more importantly, was only available through invites. The launcher is now available on the Play Store for free for anyone with a supported device to download.

The Aviate launcher has a different appearance than most other Android launchers that mimic the look of the stock launcher. There are no multiple blank homescreens for you to fill with icons or widgets. There are three screens, the leftmost showing your Today view (by default), the middle one showing five of your most used apps (that you chose) and the right one showing other apps that are grouped in different categories. Read more »

Watch the iOS 8 Flyover City Tour feature in action

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When Apple announced iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite at the WWDC ’14 keynote, one of the features listed on one of the slides was Flyover City Tours in Maps.

Flyover City Tours uses the Flyover data for select locations around the world and gives you a bird’s eye view of the major landmarks in the area by zooming in and spinning around. Apple has some highly detailed 3D models of major cities around the world and the City Tour feature makes good use of them. Read more »

‘Broken Age’ for iOS game review

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Broken Age is a point-and-click puzzle/adventure game that tells the story of two characters from different worlds. The game started off as a Kickstarter campaign and is now a multi-platform game, available on PC, Mac, Linux and the iPad.

Broken Age features beautiful hand-drawn animation and an all-star cast, including Elijah Wood, Jack Black and Wil Wheaton. It’s a two part game, with the second one arriving later. Today we are taking a look at Act 1 of the game. Read more »

‘Talk’ is Path’s new standalone messaging app

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Some of you may be aware of the social network called Path. The service was meant to connect you to your closest people and only allowed up to 150 contacts per person but the service never really saw much use in the light of much bigger and popular services.

Now, the company has released a new messaging app called Talk for the iPhone and Android. The Talk app has some interesting features, that set it apart from its peers. For one, the messages you send are only stored on the server for 24 hours, after which they are automatically erased. Read more »

Motorola is letting you choose one winner for Moto 360 watch face contest

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Motorola was accepting submissions for watch faces for its upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch. After going through 1300 submissions, the company has whittled down to just 10 and is now letting the people choose the one they would want to see on the Moto 360.

The top 10 watch faces have significantly different designs, with some being overly simplistic and others cramming quite a lot of information on the screen at once. I personally didn’t find any one design particularly great (which makes me wonder about the other 1290 that were discarded) but there are a few that do look quite decent while conveying the necessary information. Read more »

Nike releases FuelBand app for some Android devices

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Ever since Nike released the FuelBand accessory, it has been limited to only the iPhone, with a vast majority of Android device owners being left in the lurch. Now, after nearly two years since it released and among rumors of the company stopping its line of FuelBand devices altogether, the company has released the FuelBand app on Android.

But before you get excited about it (not that many would) the app is only supported on a handful of devices, including the Galaxy S5, S4, S III, Nexus 5, HTC One and Moto X. This is possibly because the app requires Bluetooth LE to function and not all devices have this feature. Read more »

Parallels Access now available on iPhone and Android

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Parallels Access was a service that would let you access your PC or Mac remotely from a mobile device. So far, the service was only available on the iPad but from now you will also be able to use it on an iPhone and any Android device.

Parallels Access provides remote access to your computer on the go. Your computer applications show up on your phone and you can work on them as you would on the computer. For functions such as cut, copy, paste the application uses the native mobile OS controls so it feels seamless. You can also pin your desktop applications on your mobile’s home screen for quick access. Read more »

Unicode 7.0 to bring 250 new Emoji

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The Unicode standard will be upgraded to version 7.0 this year. Along with the additional of several new scripts, it will also be adding 250 new Emoji to the already long list.

Almost all of these are objects, with things such as ‘Thermometer’, ‘File Cabinet’, ‘Right Speech Bubble’, ‘Hammer And Wrench’, etc. but there are also some gems, such as ‘Man In Business Suit Levitating’ and ‘Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended’. Read more »

Towelroot gives one-click root access to AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S5

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Notable software developer George Hotz or ‘geohot’, known for jailbreaking the iPhone and the PS3 console (for which he even got sued by Sony) has developed a new one-click root app for the AT&T and Verizon Galaxy S5.

Called Towelroot, the app will let you root your Galaxy S5 simply by clicking on one button. Although the app is designed specifically for the Galaxy S5, geohot says it will also work with almost any phone with a kernel built before June 3 (prior to Android 4.4.3). Read more »

OnePlus confirms the One is not waterproof

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A few days ago a guy made a video showing him dipping his OnePlus One in shallow water for a few seconds, after which he immediately concluded that the phone is waterproof and the internet simply chose to believe him, as it is ought to.

To set the record straight, Android Police contacted OnePlus regarding the phone, and the company confirmed that the phone indeed is not waterproof and any damage caused due to water won’t be covered by the warranty. Read more »

‘Angry Birds Epic’ for iOS, Android and Windows Phone game review

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There is no doubt that Angry Birds is to Rovio what Mario is to Nintendo and Sonic is to SEGA. The company has tried to dabble with other IPs in the past but hasn’t had the same level of success so it keeps going back to the Angry Birds well.

After countless Angry Birds games based on the same original formula, Rovio has tried to diversify it a bit recently, starting with Angry Birds Go, which was a kart racing game (*cough* Mario Kart *cough* Sonic & SEGA All-Star Racing *cough*). The latest game in the Angry Birds series is Angry Birds Epic, which like Angry Birds Go has very little to do with the original games and is actually an RPG. Read more »

Fitbit is working on a Windows Phone 8.1 app

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Fitbit has revealed in a post on their forum that the company is working on an app for the Windows Phone 8.1 platform. The app was so far only available on iOS and Android, which meant those on Windows Phone devices couldn’t use the accessory.

Accessory makers have general avoided the Windows Phone platform like the plague, mostly due to the lack of popularity of the platform, which doesn’t make the cost of developing and maintaining the app worthwhile. There have also been technical limitations on the previous versions of Windows Phone that prevented developers from making such apps, which have seemingly been taken care of in the latest 8.1 update, so one could expect more apps in future. Read more »

Samsung showcases the Smart Bike concept

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Samsung’s Maestro Academy has come up with a new Smart Bike concept. This bicycle connects to your phone and attempts to create a safer riding experience for bikers.

The Smart Bike comes with features such as built-in camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You connect your smartphone wirelessly to the bike and it shows you what is going on bend you on the screen using the camera mounted on the back. Read more »

Panasonic announces LUMIX DMC-FZ1000, world’s first compact camera with 4K video

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Panasonic has announced a new compact or point and shoot camera, called the LUMIX DMC-FZ1000. The company claims it is the first camera in its class to feature 4K video recording.

The FZ1000 has a 1-inch 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, same as the one on the Sony RX10. It also has a massive 25-400mm (F2.8 – F4.0) zoom lens. The camera can shoot up to ISO12,800 with relatively low noise. The FZ1000 has an ultra fast auto focus with Panasonic’s Depth from Defocus technology that allows it to focus in 0.09 seconds at the wide end and 0.17 seconds at the tele end. Read more »