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Google Maps for Android now has over 1 billion downloads

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Google Maps now joins the Android apps list with over 1 billion downloads, following Gmail which founded the club a month ago.

Maps has always been one of the most successful Android apps and the 1 billion downloads mark represents unique accounts that have downloaded the app (multiple downloads from one account are counted as 1). In fact, Google Maps was the first ever Android app to reach 50 million downloads in 2011. Read more »

Nova Launcher 3.0 is out, supports “Ok, Google” commands

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Nova Launcher is one of the most popular homescreen replacement apps for Android and today it got an update to version 3.0. We featured the app back in our Android for beginners guide and dubbed it as one of the best in its category.

With the latest Nova Launcher version, there are a number of cool new features, chief among which is the ability to make Google searches by saying “Ok, Google”. This command is taken from the Google Experience Launcher and is now available in a number of other launchers as well. Read more »

Weekend poll: LG G3 faces the Galaxy S5, Xperia Z2, One (M8) and Oppo Find 7 in the ultimate flagship battle

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New week, new weekend poll and this one is sort of epic. The LG G3 is upon us, flaunting its QHD 5.5″ display in the faces of the competition. What competition you ask? Naturally, the Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, HTC One (M8) and, for good measure, the Oppo Find 7.

You don’t need us to convince you that this one is hard to miss on. Your anticipation in the polls is going to give us an idea how you feel towards the LG G3. So, without further ado, let’s kick things off. Read more »

Weekend Poll results: HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the other compact droids

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The results of last week’s HTC One Mini 2 against the compact smartphone legion poll is now ready and it’s time to see how you voted. Just as a reminder, we saw HTC’s latest mini smartphone face the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, LG G2 Mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini and the new 4G version of the selling-like-hot-cakes Motorola Moto G.

Overall, the results aren’t all that shocking, for the most part. However, there’s a twist at the end, which we didn’t really expect. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablet firmware leaks ahead of announcement

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A firmware for one of the upcoming duo of Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablets leaked today. It appears that someone with access to the tablets has extracted the image from one of them and was kind enough to share it with the rest of us.

While the firmware is currently not very useful to end-users as the 10.5″ and 8.4″ Galaxy Tab S slates aren’t out yet, it could be used by developers to extract software bits such as various Samsung apps, wallpapers and ringtones. Read more »

LG G Watch will be able to make calls

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Despite having its announcement a while ago, LG is still keeping the G Watch shrouded in mystery. Its key specifications aren’t disclosed just yet, as the company awaits the first Android Wear devices to debut at this year’s Google I/O.

This leaves the G Watch’s features open to speculation and according to industry sources cited by a Korean media outlet, the watch is going to feature a USIM module allowing it to place calls. Not surprisingly, the report suggests LG U+ carrier will be the first to release the G Watch in South Korea. Read more »

AnTuTu Benchmark listing confirms Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 specs

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There’s still some time before Samsung officially announces its new duo of Galaxy Tab S tablets on June 12. We already have a general idea of what they’re all about, especially the Galaxy Tab S 10.5″ one, but thanks to a listing from the AnTuTu Benchmark database, we can now see the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 key specs.

Carrying the model number SM-T700, the 8.4″ Tab S rocks an Exynos 5 Octa 5420 chipset with 1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPUs. They’re bundled with an 533MHz ARM Mali-T628 and 3GB of RAM. Internal memory is 32GB, which should be expandable via a microSD card slot, but that’s not yet specified. Read more »

Samsung updates S Health with Stress level measuring skills

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Samsung has issued an update for its S Health app allowing it to measure your stress levels. It still needs you to place a finger on the heart rate sensor to do so, but it’s yet another trick in its bag.

On top of single-time measurements, S Health builds a statistic of how stressed you were provided you use the tool regularly. Read more »

Microsoft outs April 2014 app store statistics for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

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Microsoft has published its Windows and Windows Phone Store statistics for the month of April 2014 on the Most downloaded apps by category, country and markets. The stats aim to give developers a better idea what the “app ecosystem” needs developed and what consumers are more likely to purchase.

The statistics show that the US is still Microsoft’s largest market for Windows 8 and Windows Phone apps with the former boasting more downloads. Read more »

Gionee Elife S5.5 hands-on

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We met the Gionee Elife S5.5 back at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we were absolutely impressed by its build quality. While the brand may not be terribly familiar with most people out there, it’s going to quickly gather traction if it continues to make such extraordinary smartphones.

Why this fuss? For starters, the Elife S5.5, along with the Allview X2 Soul, is the slimmest smartphone in the world right now and measures just 5.55mm thick. It features a metal frame which gives it a premium feel, while the glass back panel improves the feel in the hand even more. Read more »

Weekend Poll: HTC One Mini 2 vs Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and the other compact droids

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The HTC One Mini 2 is up there with the best looking compact smartphones currently on the market. The competition in this particular market segment has heated up considerably as manufacturers give their best to remain an important part of the 4-4.5″ market even after the flagships shot way past this mark.

So, it’s time for one of our classic poll battles to reach out for your opinion on how much of a chance does the One Mini 2 stand against its competitors. We’re pitting it against the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact, LG G2 mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and the Motorola Moto G LTE. Read more »

A trio LG G3 promo videos show its camera, design and display

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LG has just released a trio of G3 promo videos and they are available for everyone to see. The clips cover key features of the phone focusing on the camera, design and display of the upcoming flagship.

LG has even put up a special website for its May 27 event. It’s all but confirmed that the company is going to host a live stream there, too. Read more »

IDC survey shows battery life is most important when buying smartphone

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Analytics and research company IDC has conducted a survey asking some 50,000 people across 25 countries what are their main drivers when it comes to getting a new smartphone.

The results are quite interesting as they show what customers are looking for in a smartphone and 40% of buyers who went the Windows Phone route looked specifically for a device running Microsoft’s operating system. Read more »

HP 7 Plus tablet goes official in the US with a $99.99 price tag

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Just as earlier rumors hinted, HP is starting to announce its 2014 line-up of Android tablets. The first of the batch to go official in the US is the HP 7 Plus tablet, which HP has priced at just $99.99.

The tablet is available in the US and it seems to offer some good hardware for the price. The most notable is a Cortex A7 1GHz quad-core CPU on an Allwinner Technology SoC. Read more »

CM Apps brings CyanogenMod applications to your Android phone

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CyanogenMod is the most popular custom Android ROM out there and it packs some sweet out-of-the-box apps. Previously, they were unavailable outside the CyanogenMod environment, but thanks to the CM Apps utility, you can now install them on just about any ROM.

Available to download on the Google Play Store, CM Apps gives you access to cool CyanogenMod apps such as the Apollo music player, the famous Clock+Weather widget, DSP Manager, Torch and File Manager apps. Read more »