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Google Maps gets lane guidance in some European countries

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On both iOS and Android, the Google Maps app has today received support for lane guidance for highways in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Ireland.

Lane guidance does what you’d expect it to, given the name. It ensures you’re always on the right lane, when you’re in turn-by-turn navigation mode. Read more »

Nexus 9 Magic Cover can now be ordered from HTC

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Since the Nexus 9 tablet was announced, we’ve been expecting its two cover accessories to become available. They have both been up for pre-order for quite a while, but only the keyboard folio has so far actually started shipping. Until today, that is, when the Magic Cover for the Nexus 9 is finally in stock at HTC’s US-based online store.

The cover costs $39.99, like previously unveiled, but there is a huge caveat you need to take into account: only the ‘Coral Amethyst’ color is available right now (the one pictured above). Read more »

BBM gets stickers in group chats, new design on iOS, support for Android 5.0 Lollipop

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BlackBerry’s well known messaging app, BBM, has today been updated to version 2.6 on iOS, Android, and the company’s own smartphones.

The update adds one of the most requested features, which apparently was the support for sending stickers in group chats. Read more »

Amazon Android app disappeared from Google Play store

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Amazon’s primary Android app is rather mysteriously missing from the Google Play store. The application is not completely gone of course, but has been pulled from the official store and no longer pops-up in searches, although it is accessible through a direct store link.

This comes as a direct consequence of Amazon’s fairly recent addition of an “Apps and Games” section into its main application. The functionality was mostly their own app store baked right into the primary shopping software. This was a huge leap forward for the Seattle-based online giant as it allowed for applications to be delivered seamlessly to devices, instead of having to be download from the website and side-loaded like before. Read more »

Update to Google Fit for Android adds support for new activities

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Hot on the heels of Android Wear’s firmware bump, Google Fit for Android received a major update as well. The latest version of the search giant’s health and fitness suite brings new features to the platform.

Google Fit now supports manual entry for over 100 new activities. Read more »

Chromecast guest mode lets your friends connect without using your Wi-Fi

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Today Google has announced “guest mode” for its Chromecast HDMI streaming dongle. This new functionality lets people connect to your Chromecast without having to also be on the same Wi-Fi network as the dongle.

Previously, anyone who wanted to send stuff to a Chromecast had to have their mobile device connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the streaming device. Not anymore, though. Read more »

Speed test pits the iPhone 6 against the Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note 4

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The age-old question – which device is faster? – has received an answer in a video, at least when it comes to the two current ‘kings’ of Android and Apple’s finest. Someone decided to pit the iPhone 6, Motorola Nexus 6, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 against one another in a speed test of sorts.

The test itself is pretty simple. At the beginning, a timer is set on each device. Then, various apps and games are started, and the full desktop Amazon home page is loaded in the browser. Once one of the apps (or the website) has fully loaded, a tap on the Home button comes and it’s on to the next one. Read more »

Polaroid’s Android-powered Socialmatic camera with built-in printer coming next month

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Polaroid’s Socialmatic camera, which was announced at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, is now available for pre-order from Amazon for $299.99, with availability set for January 1. The device will come in white and black color options.

The USP of the camera is that it lets you print out photos in less than a minute as well as share them on social networks like Facebook and Instagram. The device runs a customized version of Android and features a 4.5-inch display, 14-megapixel camera on the front, 2-megapixel camera on the back, and 4GB of internal storage (which can be expanded by up to 32GB via a micro SD card). It also has stereo speakers and a microphone. Read more »

Check out Oppo’s official R5 torture test

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Oppo has released a rather quirky promotional video for the new Oppo R5. It is all centered around one of the handset’s most prominent features – its 4.85mm body. This is truly an admirable accomplishment in smartphone terms, but maybe not quite as razor-sharp, as the following video seems to imply. The concept is quite original and very much in tune with today’s gorilla-marketing strategies, but perhaps borders a bit on the comic side as almost any device can be smashed into fruit with mostly the same amount of visual carnage.

The Snapdragon 615- powered flagship is in fact quite durable with its 155g 3D-welded aluminum body. Using it as a hammer, however might have also been a step too far. The frame seemed to fair quite well under the ridiculous abuse Read more »

YouTube for Android with offline playback, but only in certain Asian markets

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After the recent mass roll-out of the new material design look, the YouTube app is once again receiving special treatment from Google. The latest addition to the video streaming service is the long-requested feature of offline video playback.

This sounds incredibly exciting, but before you head on to the Play Store eager for an update, there are a few catches. The new feature is initially available only in India, Indonesia and the Philippines and only for select video content, or as Google put it: “much of [the] popular YouTube content”. So if you happen to reside in the aforementioned areas, look out for an offline icon on certain clips to see the feature in action. Read more »

Microsoft gifts 100 albums on Xbox Music

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If you are using Microsoft’s Xbox Music streaming service, you can now download 100 popular albums for free. Microsoft is giving those away those albums to citizens in the USA only (damn licensing rights!), who are subscribers to its music app with Xbox Music Pass activated.

Some of the free albums include TRON: Legacy OST, Swedish House Mafia – Until Now, U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind, Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP2, Zedd – Clarity, Avicii – True, Lana Del Ray – Born to Die, Jessie J – Sweet Talker, Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III and Imagine Dragons – Night Visions. Read more »

Hangouts for Android gets Material Design update, stickers, video filters, and more

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If you have been using Hangouts for some time now, you’d know the app was in some serious need for overhaul. Not only was it not updated to Google’s new Material Design but also had several other issues.

That all seems to have been taken care of in the latest update, however, which not only brings an updated design but also several other features and improvements. For starters, the app now conforms to Material Design guidelines and looks a lot better, if not significantly better. Read more »

Google outs Live Channels streaming app for Android TV

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Google quietly released an Android TV app, which allows streaming of live channels to the platform. Dubbed Live Channels for Android TV, the application works only on the Asus Nexus Player for the time being.

Live Channels needs a built-in tuner to work (IP-based tuners are also supported) — you cannot simply stream a channel by installing it at the moment. Read more »

Facebook’s Trending section makes it to Android

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Back in January, Facebook introduced a new Trending section on its website. And starting today, Trending is going to be available inside Facebook’s Android app. It will only be seen by people in the US for now, however. Support for Trending on iOS and for other countries is reportedly “coming soon”, though with no time frame attached.

Trending helps you discover stuff that is interesting, relevant conversations about hot topics, and stories from different sources. Read more »

Android Wear 5.0 Lollipop update announced with downloadable watch faces

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It looks like yesterday’s rumor was right. Google has now announced the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for its Wear smartwatch platform, which will be rolling out to all Android Wear devices in the next week. Aside from bumping up the Android version number it’s based on, the new Wear software will come with several enhancements.

And what is already the most advertised of those is the addition of Android Wear watch faces to the Google Play Store. There are many new watch faces in there just waiting to be downloaded. And the new watch face API is now out for all developers, so they can create even more of them. Read more »