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Opera and Nokia Populating the Nokia Android App Store without Developer Permission

The Nokia X is quite a unique “Android” device. And when we refer to the X as such, it’s only in the loosest definition of the term. This is because the X packs such a heavily skinned UI that you’d never be able to detect its distantly removed AOSP underpinnings at first glance.

Naturally since Nokia is now officially owned by Microsoft, the Nokia X lacks access to Google Play and related Google services. Instead, the device relies on various Microsoft and Nokia services such as Nokia’s Android App Store. This app store is run by Opera, which in turn has its own Android app store.

So . . . READ ON »

Researchers at Columbia University Bring iOS Apps to Android

Up until a couple of device generations ago, Apple’s iOS held a distinct advantage over Android with regards to both application quality and quantity. But recently, Android apps have caught up, and in many ways surpassed what’s available or even possible on iOS. Much of this is due to Android now commanding the vast majority of smartphone market share, which in turn piques third party developer interest. However, a good deal is due to Android giving third party developers significantly more freedom than what is allowed by iOS.

Despite the increase in application quality and quantity, it’s not uncommon for a some relatively significant programs to be platform-specific. . . . READ ON »

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[Updated APKs] Google Play Services 4.4 Brings Street View API, Activity Recognition, Game Services Update, Wallet Fragments, and More

Update: Many thanks once again to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai, who has sent in the APKs for all the screen size variants of Google Play Services 4.4. They can be found at the bottom of this post.

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Today, we’ve seen a spattering of first-party Android application updates. We first were given a nice update to the Google Camera application, which restored the ability to take still snapshots while recording video. We then saw several minor application updates to Wallet, Search, YouTube, Docs, Sheets, and Cloud Print. Now capping off today’s Google Update Wednesday, we have an update to Google Play Services 4.4

For those who . . . READ ON »

[APK] Google Wallet, Search, YouTube, Docs, Sheets, and Cloud Print Receive Minor Updates [Update: Drive Too!]

Update: It looks like Google Drive also received a minor update to version 1.3.144.25 (up from last week’s 1.3.144.17). We’ve gone ahead and mirrored it at the bottom of this post. Many thanks to XDA Portal Supporter MihirGosai for the heads up and APK!

Well folks, we’ve got ourselves yet another Google Update Wednesday! Earlier today, Google issued a fairly substantial update to its recently released Google Camera app, which brought back the ability to take image snapshots while recording video. And yesterday, we received a fantastic update to Google Maps 8. Now, we’ve got our hands on five more application updates . . . READ ON »

[Updated APKs] Google Maps 8 Brings Lane Guidance, Offline Maps Management, Location Filters, Uber Support, and Improved Public Transit

Update: We’ve added a mirror for the API17 (Android 4.2+) version in addition to the API18 (4.3+) version initially posted.

Update 2: Thanks again to Senior Member MihirGosai for providing us with the last APK for Android 4.0+ (API14).

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What in the world!? Two first party Google application updates on a day other than Wednesday within the span of one week? Last Friday, we saw a major update to Google Drive that removed its built-in editing capabilities in favor of integration with the newly released Docs and Sheets apps. Now, the Google Maps team has just released a . . . READ ON »

Latest Android Platform Stats Show KitKat Up to 8.5%, 2.x Down to 17.2%

mayplatformstatsJust as hump day has come to be known as Google Update Wednesday, the beginning of every month is when Google updates its Android Platform Stats. This information is of course invaluable to developers looking to better target their applications. And with this knowledge, app devs can then choose where to devote their limited resources.

One month ago, we saw that Android 4.4.x KitKat had finally started to gain some traction. Back then, 4.4.x accounted for a grand total of 5.3% of devices with access to Google Play Services. At the same time, we saw Android 2.x finally fall below 20%, in favor . . . READ ON »

Google ATAP Details Project Ara in Developers’ Conference

ara1Earlier today, the Google ATAP team kicked off its first ever Project Ara Developers’ Conference. Although the conference and its first day of talks are still ongoing, we now have a clearer idea of what exactly will go into Project Ara thanks to several presentations by members of the Ara team.

After giving a brief overview of the Ara platform itself, head of the Project Ara team Paul Eremenko delved into the Ara program and a few of the innovations that have been created to allow for a more personalized experience keeping in line with the the Ara philosophy as a whole. . . . READ ON »

Here’s What You Can Do with Your New Samsung Galaxy S5!

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Here’s What You Can Do with Your New Samsung Galaxy S5!

Well folks, today is  day and Samsung’s “Next Big Thing” is officially here. And although certain South Korean carriers decided to jump the gun and sell the device a bit early, today marks the device’s official worldwide launch date.

So now that you’ve either gotten your grubby little paws on an S5 or you’re eagerly awaiting delivery from your friendly postal courier, you may be wondering what to do with the device. Well, since you’re reading this, there is absolutely no doubt that you’re going to want to root it and get started with a few (or several) . . . READ ON »

Qualcomm Announces 64-Bit Snapdragon 810 and 808 SoCs

Do you think that Snapdragon 801-based flagship device you’re eying is high-end? Well, what Qualcomm has in store for early 2015 may make you want to wait for the next generation of mobile chipsets. Today, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 810 and 808 processors. So what do these high-end, 64-bit SoCs bring to the table? Let’s take a look.

You may recall that late last year, Qualcomm announced the 64-bit Snapdragon 410. This quad-core chip, which is set to appear in low-end to mid-range devices sometime this year, features four 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 cores mated to an Adreno 306 GPU. . . . READ ON »

Accessory Review: Lepow Moonstone 6000 mAh Power Bank

IMG_6160You may recall that a couple months ago, we reviewed the Lepow U-Stone power bank. The 12000 mAh U-Stone set itself apart from the sea of competing power banks thanks to its slim profile and stylish design, but not everyone wants such a large power bank. Instead, many would prefer something a bit smaller that still packs enough juice for a few full charges.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the U-Stone’s little brother, the Moonstone 6000. Is it worth its place in your pocket, backpack, or purse? Read on to find out.

IMG_6144Design and Unboxing

The first . . . READ ON »

Microsoft Build 2014: Windows Phone 8.1 with Cortana and Action Center, Windows to Bring Back Start Menu

build2014Today in San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Microsoft kicked off its annual Build developers conference. Up until now, many had been questioning Microsoft’s continued relevance in this new mobile-friendly age. However, today’s keynote clearly shows that Microsoft doesn’t intend on letting Google and Apple have all the fun.

Does Windows have what it takes to be your platform of choice in 2014? Read on to find out more about what Microsoft has in store for Windows and Windows Phone.

Windows Phone 8.1

cortana 1Microsoft began today’s keynote by talking about the future of Windows Phone. As we’ve known ever since the middle . . . READ ON »

Device Review: Mad Catz M.O.J.O.

Device Review: Mad Catz M.O.J.O.

MoJoRecently, Google has been acquiring various companies to possibly expand the reach of the Android platform beyond just mobile devices and tablets. With the announcement of Android Wear, Google is creating a standard for wearables like smartwatches. And perhaps with less fanfare, Google is expanding into set-top gaming Android with their purchase of Green Throttle Games. However, don’t think that Google is blazing the trail in these areas! They are just widening the road. Smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Omate Truesmart were among the pioneers in that arena. Similarly, the OUYA and Nvidia Shield. . . READ ON »

Latest Android Platform Stats Show KitKat Up to 5.3%, 2.x Down to 18.9%

AprilPlatformStatsNow we’re talking! And no, this isn’t an April Fool’s Prank. For the first time since Android 4.4 KitKat was launched back in late October of last year, we’re finally seeing some significant adoption for Google’s latest and greatest. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers, shall we?

When we talked about Android’s platform distribution numbers early last month, KitKat was running on 2.5% of devices with access to Google Play Services. While this was a significant proportional rise from February’s 1.8%, the total number still remained quite low. Blame OEM’s, carriers, or even Tom Cruise, but the . . . READ ON »

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