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Swype comes out of beta, available on the Play Store for a dollar

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After what seems like an eternity, Swype keyboard for Android is now finally out of its beta stage and available for download on the Google Play Store. The app is currently priced at an introductory price of $0.99.

For those who don’t know, Swype pioneered the sliding gesture-based typing method on phone keypads back in 2010. Since then this method of typing has been incorporated by several other keyboards, including the popular SwiftKey, and even built-in to several phones as standard. Read more »

Sony Xperia ZL arrives at HQ, we take it for a spin

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Sony Xperia ZL has landed at our office. It’s the not-so-tough Xperia Z sibling, powered by the same hardware platform and running on identical Android version with the same custom UI (launcher).

The Xperia ZL may not be water or dust-proof, but offers a few extra goodies over the Z model – a hardware camera key, an infrared port, а smaller footprint and a much better grip, thanks to the textured rear panel. Read more »

Navifirm+ workaround lets users download using caches despite closure

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Yesterday, Nokia finally went through with its long-coming plan to disallow unauthorized users to download from their online repository for firmware updates, Navifirm+.

It has since been revealed that users who retained their Navifirm+ caches are still able to download updates from the repository. Read more »

Google Street View now covers more than 8 million kilometers in 50 countries as Hungary and Lesotho join the fun

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Today is a special day for the Google Maps team as Street View has become available in 50 countries with the launch of the service in Hungary and Lesotho.

As it also happens, Google is also releasing its biggest Street View update ever, expanding the coverage in France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore and Thailand and updating over 563,270 kilometers with new imagery. Read more »

Google 4 times safer than Bing, a new study shows

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According to a study by German Security firm AV-TEST Institute Google is a safer search engine than Bing. The study spanned across 18 months and included more than 40 million search results (read sites) and pit together Google, Bing and others like the popular Russian search engine Yandex.

Microsoft’s Bing delivered more than four times as many infected with malware websites than Google. The chart above shows the results – from almost 11 million results on Google around 272 were infected, while the same number of search results on Bing contained 1285 potentially dangerous pages. Read more »

The Sony Xperia E battery life test is complete, check out the scores

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Having finalized our review of the Sony Xperia E, we’re ready to show you are battery test results from the single-SIM member of the Sony Xperia E family.

The Xperia E features virtually the same hardware as its dual-SIM counterpart – a 3.5-inch HVGA display, a 1 GHz single-core CPU, and a 1530 mAh battery. It does, however, run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and doesn’t have the extra SIM card to drain it. Read more »

Google Glass to hit retail in 2014, let you take photos with a wink

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Google has given Glass sets to a select few and hasn’t really revealed much about its market availability thus far.

Speaking to Radio 4 Eric Schmidt has finally confirmed that Google Glass will hit the retail shelves next year (that narrows it down) but hasn’t said anything about pricing. A number of developers have been given the option to pre-order Glass at the staggering $1500, but that doesn’t look likely as final pricing. Read more »

32GB version of Xiaomi Mi-2S sells out in just 45 seconds, 16GB version still available in China and new Hong Kong store

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We have some good news and some bad news for Xiaomi fans. The good news is that the company has finally started expanding market availability and now sells its phones in Hong Kong, too. Now for the bad news – it’s still hard to get one as 200,000 Xiaomi Mi-2S units sold out in just 45 seconds.

Xiaomi is also planning to bring its smartphones to Taiwan, but it will have to start making bigger batches to meet the demand. Read more »

Android Key Lime Pie repotedly delayed, won’t make it in time for Google I/O 2013

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According to a trusty source inside Google, Android Key Lime Pie is going to be delayed by 2 to 4 months, and won’t make it in time for the Google I/O 2013 conference.

The report comes from GadgetTronica, who mention that the reason for the delay isn’t so much in the development of the OS update, but rather Google trying to give OEMs a chance to get as many of their phones to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean as possible. Read more »

8-inch Windows-based Acer tablet surfaces through leaked image

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We have been hearing rumors about upcoming 7/8-inch Windows 8 tablets, with Microsoft itself said to be working on one. This leaked Acer tablet, however, is the first to confirm that rumor.

What you see above is the Acer Iconia W3-810, a 7-inch tablet running Windows 8. As you can see the device has been optimized for use in portrait mode, with the Windows button placed near the narrow edge. However, the logo is strangely aligned sideways and favors the landscape orientation. Read more »

Apple said to have returned up to 8 million sub-standard iPhone units

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A Foxconn employee has sent a tip to news outlet China Business reporting that Apple has rejected between 5 and 8 million iPhone handsets “due to appearance of substandard or dysfunctional problems.”

The source of the information doesn’t specify what’s the iPhone model and what exactly was wrong with the units, so its hard to say whether there’s a problem with the aluminum casing or the hardware innards of the devices. Read more »

Google celebrates Earth Day 2013 with a cool animated doodle

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Google has always celebrated important dates in its own cool way – with an animated doodle related to the event. This year, Google has a brilliant environment-themed doodle for Earth Day.

Earth Day was celebrated for the first time in the United States in the year 1970 and a whopping 20 million Americans took part and demonstrated in a movement for a healthy, sustainable environment for all the people across their country. Read more »

Sony offers 10% discount on its European online store, valid until tomorrow only

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Sony took down its online store in Europe for maintenance for a little while and put it back online this Sunday. To apologize for any inconvenience, Sony is giving you a 10% discount code.

The code should work on all European versions of the Sony Store, but if you want to use it you’d better be quick, it’s valid only until tomorrow. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4′s Group Play feature demonstrated on video, check it out

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Samsung Galaxy S4, the recently launched flagship smartphone of the South Korean manufacturer comes with few unique and new features. One of the latest additions is the all new Group Play, which allows one master device to control a number of other NFC enabled smartphones.

Group Play allows you to do group music playback with several other smartphones and make a virtual sound system. The application also lets you share pictures and videos with other smartphones connected to the master device. Read more »

References of Google Now found in JavaScript code that loads in Google homepage

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Google Now is headed for the desktop version of Chrome as an extension (in Russian only, not fully functional yet), but it seems that the mind-reading information service will make its way to the Google homepage as well. References to Now and cards have been discovered in a JavaScript file loaded by Google.com, but the functionality isn’t there yet.

The customizable iGoogle homepage was retired a while back, but Now might prove to be a worthy successor. Read more »