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Samsung Galaxy Gear can be tweaked to run proper Android apps

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The Samsung Galaxy Gear has turned out to be quite the entertaining hacking device. Using Android’s SDK and Android Debug Bridge (ADB) ArsTechnica was able to sideload some proper Android apps on the little smartwatch and it had no trouble running them.

You only need to enable USB debugging on the Galaxy Gear settings in order for this to work – no root required. The Samsung smartwatch runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 with an 800 MHz single-core chip and 512 MB of RAM so it’s able to run apps like most droids would – the only limitation is the small on-board storage and tiny screen. Read more »

Mozilla releases Firefox OS 1.1, adds a slew of new features

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Mozilla has just announced the release of the Firefox OS 1.1. The latest version of the open source OS brings a lot of new features and improvements that were missing on the initial release.

The most notable new feature is the new adaptive app search. It’s placed prominently at the front and center of the Firefox OS 1.1 and returns a list of web apps and sites based on the search query. Read more »

Twitter updates Windows Phone app, Vine app spotted in screenshot

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Twitter updated its Windows Phone app and along with some useful new features is a hidden surprise – a Vine app. The new Twitter app makes reading tweets easier – you can set it to show tweets on the lockscreen and also pin keyword searches to the homescreen.

The app can also notify you when your favorite accounts tweet. Read more »

Apple allegedly accquires Cue to compete against Google Now

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Apple has reported acquired Cue, a personal assistant app that was formerly known as Greplin. According to a report from AppleInsider, the Cupertino giant has bought the startup for a price tag of $35-$45 million.

In the meantime, Cue has announced that its service will be shutting down and will no longer be available to consumers. All the Cue Premium users will receive a refund, which can be claimed through the iTunes or the company’s website. Read more »

Hangouts rumored to integrate SMS and MMS in future

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One of the major complaints with the Hangouts app on Android is that it doesn’t integrate with the other built-in messaging apps on Android. This leaves you with not one but three messaging apps when you first start the device, Hangouts, Google+ Messenger and the standard Messages app for SMS and MMS.

While the jury is still out on why Google needs both Hangouts and Google+ Messenger app since they both essentially do the same, a lot of people have suggested Google integrate Messages with Hangouts (the way SMS, MMS and iMessages are integrated in a single app on iOS or Facebook chat and SMS are integrated on Windows Phone). Read more »

A stripped-down, official YouTube app for Windows Phone is back in the Marketplace

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After getting blocked a couple of months back, the official YouTube app for Windows Phone is now back in the Marketplace as version 3.2. The popular app however, has lost some functionality compared to last time it was available.

YouTube for Windows Phone has returned to simply being a shortcut for a web-player. Read more »

Skype for iPhone and iPad gets the iOS 7 look with the latest update

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Skype for iPhone and iPad got treated to a major update which brought its look in line with the iOS 7 appearance. The update sports version number 4.13.

Along with the refreshed look, the app update brings a few other improvements. Read more »

Samsung’s new regional lock can be disabled on Note 3 with an app

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Recently, Samsung introduced a new regional lock on Galaxy Note 3 units shipped in Europe and the Americas, mandating users activate it with a SIM in the region it is sold in before it can be used anywhere else.

Now it appears that the folks over at xda-developers have figured out a way to bypass said region lock automatically via a dedicated app – as long as the device is rooted. Read more »

Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game brings Darth Vader to Tiny Tower

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Tiny Tower – a popular block stacking game with a city building theme – is following in the footsteps of Angry Birds and getting a Star Wars edition of its own. Where the birds joined to good guys, the Tower is on the side of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine.

As you probably know, those two made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to construct the Death Star so now they need your help to do it right. Read more »

Chrome for Android beta brings homescreen bookmarks and new tab page

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Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome for Android browser and added two new features to the mix. The first one is the ability to save any web page as a shortcut on the homescreen.

What this feature does is lets you have a shortcut to any webpage on your homescreen so you can quickly launch it in Chrome without having to open the browser first. This feature has been available on the stock Android browser but is now available to those devices that don’t have the stock Android browser, such as the Nexus and Google Play edition devices. Read more »

Google Now can be used in all languages that Android support

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A developer at XDA Forum has found a way to access Google Now in all almost every language supported by the Jelly Bean OS. Sletmo, the coder behind the tweak, has created a modified version of the Google Now application, which is compatible with any system language.

To start using Google Now in your language, all you need to do is to replace the original system app with the modified version. Of course, you will have to root your smartphone in order to complete the process successfully. Read more »

Siri’s original voice belongs to voice actress Susan Bennet

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Ever since Apple launched its virtual personal assistant, many have wondered who the person behind the Siri US voice is. Not anymore, as voice actress Susan Bennett has confirmed in a CNN feature that it was her voice that every iPhone user since iOS 5 has heard at some point in time.

It all began quite unassuming, according to Bennet. In July 2005 she was called for a job to record her voice for an undisclosed project. For four hours a day, every day for a month, the actress has been recording all Siri lines and responses. Read more »

LTE Nexus 7 receives Android 4.3.1 update

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Google has started seeding a new update for Nexus devices, which updates the version number to 4.3.1. The first device to receive this update is the LTE version of the new Nexus 7.

It’s unclear what’s new in the update but considering the size and the point point version number it will likely be minor bug fixes. Read more »

Google Search for Android updated with a new voice search command

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For its 15 birthday Google updated its popular search engine for the web and now, the upgrades are rolling out to the Android platform.

The latest version of the Google Search for Android comes with a new command called “Ok Google”. The voice search shortcut is currently in operational only in the US, but will gradually roll out to other regions. Read more »

Almost all Android makers cheat on benchmarks

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Cheating on benchmarks – everyone is doing it as it turns out, not just Samsung. AnandTech has done some extensive digging and it turns out that virtually all Android vendors cheat on at least a couple of tests, save for Motorola.

Samsung’s list of benchmarks seems longer than the rest and the company does it across three chipsets – Snapdragon, Exynos and Atom. Read more »