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LG G Watch receives Android Wear update which enables offline music playback

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Back in September, Google told us to expect an update to Android Wear that would bring support for offline music playback and GPS sensors. And now it looks like the first Android Wear device to get the new software is LG’s G Watch.

Some owners of this particular smartwatch have started receiving update notifications. After applying the new bits, they’re on software version 4.4W.2 and build KNX01Q. And sure enough, a new ‘Play Music’ option shows up in the watch’s menu. Furthermore, the G Watch is now capable of pairing itself with Bluetooth audio accessories. Read more »

Google Play Music gets contextual music stations, Material Design

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Google has announced a big update for its Play Music service. First off, the Android and iOS apps have received a new, Material Design-infused coat of paint. Second, the service now brings you contextual music stations.

These have apparently been “hand crafted” by a team of music experts, including DJs, musicians, music critics, and ethnomusicologists, to give you exactly the songs you need for a particular moment. Read more »

HERE maps beta officially released for all Android devices

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Nokia’s HERE Maps launched on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones recently to offer “true” offline navigation and an alternative to Google’s preloaded Maps.

But the app was in testing only on Samsung’s smartphones even despite the leaked apk file that allowed us all to sideload the HERE navigation on non-Galaxy smartphones. Now that’s about to change – Nokia is releasing the apk for all Android smartphones so you can try HERE maps for yourself. Read more »

Google publishes a guide for users transferring from iOS to Android

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Apple published a switch from Android to iOS guide? Two can play that game – Google has a dedicated page that helps new users switch to Android.

It’s not Google’s first guide though, last year Eric Schmidt himself posted an iOS to Android guide. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 disassembled, Sony camera found inside

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 adopted the metal frame of the Galaxy Alpha but disassembling it doesn’t seem too hard if you know what you’re doing. The metal frame comes off with the back side of the device and brings the antennas with it. The middle part is the motherboard, which houses a collection of sensors and chips.

One of the more interesting discoveries from the internals of the Galaxy Note 4 is the confirmation that the 16MP optically stabilized camera uses a Sony IMX240 sensor, rather than the 16MP ISOCELL sensor made by Samsung. Read more »

Ambient display mode spotted in Android Lollipop [Update: Only for Nexus 6]

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One of the cool features of iOS is that the screen lights up whenever you get a notification. This does consume a bit more battery than just having a notification light but it’s far more informative, and you know not just what the notification is about but can also get a brief look at the contents of the notification, making it easier to decide if you should act upon it or ignore it.

With the updated lockscreen notifications in Android Lollipop, Google has now also added a feature called Ambient display mode. This will allow the phone to light up the display when notifications arrive. Even better, it will wake the screen when you pick up the device, similar to the Moto X. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact goes up for pre-order in the United States

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Sony opened the pre-order books for the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact in the United States. The IP68 certified compact slate is available to order directly from Sony’s official online store.

Only the 32GB version of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is available for pre-order for the time being. Read more »

Next Gmail app for Android will handle all your email accounts

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The next version of Google’s beloved Gmail app for Android will feature a a lot more than new material design. Gmail 5.0 for Android is bound to make most email clients for the OS redundant by offering support for accounts beyond those hosted by Google.

Gmail’s hot new feature appeared in a short walkthrough video. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact hands-on

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Thinner and lighter than an iPad mini, more resilient to water too. It’s the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, the third member of the Z3 family. Like the other two it’s waterproof and has front-facing stereo speakers, a Triluminos display and Snapdragon 801 chipset plus a camera with Exmor RS sensor.

There’s not much to the box – a charger and a microUSB cable. It may be worthwhile to invest in a magnetic charging dock or at least a cable so you don’t have to open the flap that protects the microUSB each time you want to charge the tablet. Read more »

Nexus 4 receives a functional Android 5.0 Lollipop port

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Thanks to the hard work of very talented developers over at the XDA-Developers community, the LG Nexus 4 has received Android 5.0 Lollipop earlier than Google is rolling it out officially. In addition, you can now get all of the Google apps with the updated looks on your own phone.

However, only rooted users may apply and the apps won’t work on all smartphones. Currently, the latest Material Design Google apps that are available as downloadable .apk files include Play Music, Play Books, Keep, Calendar, Gmail, Drive, Maps, Messenger and Fit. Read more »

‘Angry Birds Transformers’ for iOS and Android game review

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Angry Birds Transformers is the latest and tenth installment in the Angry Bird series of games. Made in collaboration with Hasbro, Angry Birds Transformers is based on the Transformers series, the original animated one, not the terrible movies made by Michael Bay.

After a soft launch the game is now available worldwide on iOS right now and will be available on Android at the end of the month. Anyway, let’s get on with the review. Read more »

Meizu MX4 hands-on

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Meizu’s fourth generation flagship is chilling in our office right now and we’re thrilled to take you through our hands-on experience. Right off the bat, the Meizu MX4 strikes us as a premium built smartphone with terrific handling.

Glossy plastic from former Miezu MX smartphones is a thing of the past now and the MX4 features a very high quality feeling matte plastic. The whole phone is very well put together and the metal frame really helps to achieve a premium in-hand feeling. Read more »

Sony UK offers Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact with 30 pounds off and a free case

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Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has not even hit the shelves, yet you can already snag one with a sweet discount. Sony UK is already offering the IP68 certified compact slate on pre-order with £30 off and a case for 1p in the United Kingdom.

The promo brings the price of the entry-level Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact with 16GB of built-in memory below £300. Read more »

Nexus 9 goes up for pre-order in India on the Play Store

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The Nexus 9 has been put up for pre-order on the Play Store in India. India is one of the 22 markets worldwide that will be getting the Nexus 9 on day one.

The Nexus 9 is available in two configurations in India. There is the base 16GB version with Wi-Fi, that is priced at Rs. 28,900, and there is the 32GB LTE model that is priced at Rs. 44,900. The Nexus 9 is only available in the Indigo Black color in India for now. Read more »

Sony Xperia E3 hands-on

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The Sony Xperia E3 is Sony’s cheapest LTE smartphone on the market. It packs the usual set of characteristics for a lower-midrange smartphone, including a Snapdragon 400 chipset, 1GB of RAM, 5MP snapper and a 4.5″ 480x854px display.

The design isn’t as bland as the market position might lead you to believe – Sony has gone with a blend of the Xperia M2 Aqua and Z3 Compact and added four color options, including Yellow and Copper. Read more »