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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 »

Samsung Galaxy S4 I9505 and Note II Jelly Bean 4.3 test firmware leaks

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Thanks to an insider ninja, Sammobile.com was able to obtain an Android 4.3 Jelly Bean firmware destined for the Snapdragon 600-clad I9505 Galaxy S4. On a related note a very early Android 4.3 Jelly Bean build has been leaked for the Galaxy Note II as well.

The firmware for the Galaxy S4 and Note II are completely flashable through popular desktop app Odin with the one for the S4 built on September 20 with a European stamp on it. It brings a new Reading Mode, which eliminates unnecessary clutter from pages, a working Samsung Knox security app and more. Read more »

MIUI launcher now available for all Android 2.3+ phones

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MIUI and Xiaomi prefer to offer something unique than to offer the regular Android experience, but until now you needed a Xiaomi phone to experience it. Well, no more – you can install the MiHome launcher on any Android phone running 2.3 Gingerbread and above.

I know MIUI isn’t to everyone’s tastes (least of all Holo purists), but the launcher comes with a ton of fun, quality themes, which is great for people who don’t have the talent to make their own (like yours truly). Read more »

Google Chrome 30 brings image search for desktop and new gestures for Android

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Google released an update for its Chrome web browser. The latest iteration of the popular application, dubbed Chrome 30 brings a few neat changes to the desktop and the version for Android devices.

Chrome users for Android will have three new gestures at their disposal. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 artificially boosts chipsets for select benchmarks by 20-50%

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 was caught ramping up its GPU clock speed when running a benchmark, so naturally the Galaxy Note 3 was under suspicion too. Thanks to some excellent detective work by Ars Technica, now we have a confirmation.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 N9005 (the Snapdragon 800) version was tested against the LG G2 (same chipset) and it came out well ahead, even though the internals are identical. Read more »