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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, 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 »

Windows 8 adoption continues to rise as XP falls

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Adoption of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system has not been without its share of speedbumps, but it continues to rise according to the latest web traffic figures from Net Applications.

The latest Windows version comes in at just over 8%, mainly eating into Windows XP’s share, which currently stands at 31.41%. Read more »

Windows Phone 8 devices now able to update offline maps to latest version

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Windows Phone 8 devices have the ability to save maps for offline viewing, but until now when a map has been updated you’d need to delete the stored one and re-download.

Now WP8 smartphones have the functionality to update the maps saved for offline viewing on your device without wasting as much data. The new functionality is available for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones, not just Lumias. Read more »

Google to bring ads to Gmail for Android

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Last week, Google started pushing out a new update for the Gmail app on Android. One of the changes was a new conversation view with card-based design and some other visual changes, along with improved sync and outbox behavior. But what you don’t see yet is that the app is now ready to support ads, which should be coming in the future.

As Android Police found out in their APK teardown of the latest version, there are multiple references to ads in the code of the app. It’s unclear what the ads will look like in the app; on the website, the ads appear above your mail or if you use the new inbox view with tabs they appear in the Promotions tab like an email. Read more »

Beats Electronics buys back HTC’s shares for $265 million

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HTC bought 50.1% of Beats Electronics back in 2011 for $300 million. Almost a year later HTC sold half of its stake back to Beats Electronics giving up the control of the company.

Since 2012 HTC has been struggling with the competition and has been trying really hard to bring back the profitable days, but it hasn’t been particularly successful. It seems the lengthy crisis has put HTC in a dire need of cash because it has just struck a deal with Beats to sell it back all the remaining shares (about 25%) for $265 million. Read more »

iOS 7 now running on 60% of iGadgets

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It’s been a bit over a week since iOS 7 became officially available to download and install on older iPhones and it has already hit around 60% adoption rate. Only a small part of that is due to newly purchased iPhone 5s and 5c units, as both combined account for around 2% of all iPhones according to Mixpanel.

Mixpanel has iOS 7 adoption at a hair over 62%, having surpassed the dwindling iOS 6 share sometime on September 20 (just a couple of days after release). Read more » for Android receives a major update, new features and UI

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The Android version of the popular network speed measuring app got treated to a major update. The new version of the application, dubbed 3.0.0 brings new features on board, as well as revamped UI.

The new user interface of the app now sports the increasingly trendier “flat” look. Read more »

Instagram for iPhone updated for iOS 7

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Instagram has released a new update for the iPhone version of their app, which has been redesigned to go with the new iOS 7 update that started rolling out last week.

The first thing you’ll notice in this update is that the design is now flatter with the gradients being replaced by solid uniform colors. Oddly, though, the camera interface still is the same, with the curved glossy shutter button, not to mention the icon, which is also the same and inconsistent with other iOS 7 icons. Read more »

Hangouts for Android update finally shows online status

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When Google replaced the Talk application on Android devices with Hangouts, they also took away the ability to check if a particular contact was available online, indicated by a small colored dot. Hangouts would occasionally show a green line below a contact name if they are online but that only worked for a handful of frequently contacted users.

The latest update thankfully takes care of this annoyance. Now, you will see a small green icon next to your contact names that indicates if they are online or not. It doesn’t have the same ability to select multiple availability status or a custom status message as Talk but this is better than nothing. Read more »

Oppo announces its new Color OS running on the new Oppo N1

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Oppo, at its Beijing event for the camera-centric N1, showed the latest update to its latest Android OS overlay which it calls Color OS. As before, the proprietary UI follows the basics of Android but has a deeply overhauled look – from icons to its heavily gesture-based functionality.

According to Oppo the OS was developed with lots of research from users and is accompanied by some 43 patents. Read more »