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Android Auto launches for select vehicles later in 2014

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Android Auto made its debut at Google I/O and is Google’s attempt to make the car’s infotainment systems suck less.

Android Auto puts a large focus on navigation, audio and messaging, while Google Now takes a center stage into the Auto user experience. The user interface looks the part, too, with large interface elements that are easily glance-able. Read more »

Google announces Android TV, global launch in 2015

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Following the Android L and Wear, Google announced Android TV. The company says that this isn’t a new platform, but just another form factor, which Android supports.

You can control your Android TV-powered TV set or set-top box from your phone, tablet or even watch. All you need is a touchscreen to work as a d-pad and a microphone for voice commands. Read more »

Samsung Gear Live is the company’s Android Wear smartwatch

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Just as expected, Samsung is the third company to join the Android Wear fun, announcing its Gear Live smartwatch. The watch is water resistant and will be available for purchase later today from the Google Play Store.

The Gear Live looks a lot like the Gear 2. While virtually no specifications were provided, it seems that the Gear Live will carry the same 1.63″ Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320 pixels. Read more »

LG G Watch listed at $255, goes on sale July 7

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One of the main focuses on this year’s Google I/O is going to be Android Wear and products such as the LG G Watch and Motorola Moto 360 will take center stage. LG’s first Android Wear smartwatch has popped up today in a retail listing, which suggests a price tag of $255.

The price isn’t yet confirmed and there’s every possibility we could see the G Watch retail on the Google Play Store, too. In terms of availability, we should expect the watch to go on sale on July 7. Read more »

Nokia X2 official hands-on video gives you a tour of the new features

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With the Nokia X2 now official, the company has published an official hands-on video of the phone to give potential customers a better idea of what it’s like.

The X2 packs a 4.3″ ClearBlack LCD display, a Snapdragon 200 chipset with a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 5MP camera on the back. The video doesn’t focus on the hardware specs, but rather on the new software additions. Read more »

CyanogenMod 11 nightly builds bring Heads Up notifications

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The CyanogenMod team (one of the most popular custom Android ROM) has shared its most interesting new additions to the nightly builds this week. Flashing enthusiasts will be happy to know that Trebuchet GEL and CMHome have been updated to allow more protection to hidden apps.

Those apps can now be further protected from prying eyes with the addition of a pattern lock. Furthermore, users can group hidden apps into a folder, which would mean less work if you access hidden apps often. Read more »

Mozilla is working on a Chromecast-like streaming stick

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A Firefox-OS-powered streaming stick is in the works and Mozilla aims to provide an alternative to the Google’s Chromecast.

Our colleagues over at Gigaom have their hands on a prototype version and have shared their insights on what we can expect from the stick. Read more »

Weekend poll results: Sony Xperia Z2 owns the HTC One (M8)

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The results of our last week’s poll are in. Back then, we asked you to cast your votes and choose the winner between the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One (M8) in a number of different areas.

And so you did! The Sony Xperia Z2 is enjoying quite the fan base and it effortlessly tackled the HTC One (M8) in a few of the polls. In fact, all of the polls were won by Sony’s flagship, but some of the wins didn’t come as easily. Let’s see what happened in detail. Read more »

Google’s Introduction to Android Wear video hypes everyone up ahead of I/O 2014

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Google has launched an Introduction to Android Wear video, further hyping everyone a week before Google I/O 2014 kicks off. The video shows the Android Wear look and feel and goes on to shed some light on the developer side of things.

In the video, Google Developers evangelist Timothy Jordan also talks about the problem with most smartwatch user interfaces. According to Google, the UI of Android Wear is better, as it is centered around context and this helps users have all relevant information at a glance. Read more »

Stock Android Email app goes to the Play Store

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The stock Email app that has been part of Android for a long time is now available to download in the Play Store. The app is also updated with a few new visual additions that reflect the latest look and feel of Google’s apps.

As part of the changelog, the Email client now sports increased security for Gmail accounts as well as easier account setup flow (not that it was difficult to start with). Read more »

Weekend poll: Sony Xperia Z2 vs HTC One (M8)

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With the weekend now in full swing, we’re reaching out for your opinion in our traditional poll format. We’re pitting another pair of 2014 Android flagships against one another – the Sony Xperia Z2 and the HTC One (M8).

We’ve already compared the two at length in our in-depth shootout, and now it’s time to cast your vote in which one of these is the better one in five distinct categories: design, screen, user interface, still photo and video image quality. Read more »

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 »