Tag Archive | "finally"

Android Messages might finally let you send messages from your computer

  • The latest version of Android Messages hints that you might be able to send messages from your computer.
  • It also hints at RCS capabilities and Google’s RCS infrastructure.
  • These features could be enabled in future updates.

Compared to Hangouts and Allo, Android Messages does not have much to offer apart from using SMS for texting. Thanks to Android Police‘s APK teardown, however, the latest version of Google‘s texting app lays the groundwork for a web interface and much more.

It seems you will be able to go to a webpage, scan a QR code, and have the web client connected up to your phone to let you send text messages from your computer. This is similar to how Allo and WhatsApp connect your phone with your computer. Multiple browsers and computers may also be supported.

Android Police also found code for a pop-up that reads, “New! Text over Wi-Fi and data.” This is as close of a mention to Rich Communication Services (RCS) as we have seen with Messages.

RCS lets users share their location with each other, as well as attach high-resolution images, videos, and audio. Users can also archive group chats, remove members from group chats, and enable things like read receipts and typing indicators.

More significantly, RCS supports Skype-like video calls and audio messages, as well as private chats between two parties. This is because the protocol uses a data connection instead of carriers’ signaling systems, which allows RCS to hardware-agnostic and be used to send or receive messages over Wi-Fi.

RCS typically requires carrier implementation. However, there is another line that reads, “Chat features are powered by Google. By continuing, you accept to the %1$ s.”

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This could mean that Google will handle at least some RCS functions, such as high-quality photo sharing and texting over Wi-Fi and data. If true, Messages could finally be the iMessage competitor Google wants it to be.

Alternatively, this could be code to enable RCS for Google’s own carrier, Project Fi. This could also be Google beefing up Messages’ existing RCS capabilities and allowing carriers to use RCS without needing the proper infrastructure.

We will find out for sure once Messages is updated with the new features. For now, you can download the latest version of Messages as an APK.

Android Authority

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Google Assistant can finally recognize songs

One of Google Assistant‘s more glaring omissions since its debut in 2016 was the inability to identify songs. Some semblance of that functionality arrived with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, but it looks like the feature is finally rolling out to Android smartphones.

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If you want Google Assistant to identify a song, you can ask “What song is this?” or something along those lines to have Google‘s virtual assistant start listening. Once the song is identified, Google Assistant presents you with a small info card that contains some lyrics, the artist, the album, when it was released, and what genre the song belongs to.

The info card also contains embedded links to listen to the song through YouTube and Google Play Music, as well as an embedded link to search the song on Google.

Alternatively, Google Assistant has “What’s this song?” as a suggestion in the carousel of choices. You will need to have voice set as the preferred input in settings for that option to pop up. Interestingly, when I tried this on my Pixel XL, it did not pop up at first and took an extra second or two for the option to pop up.

I am not sure how widely available the new feature is, but as with all things Google when it comes to software, it might take a few days until the rollout finishes. It should also be noted that I am using the English version of Google Assistant and am located in the US, so that could affect whether the ability to identify songs works for you or not.

Android Authority

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Netflix finally releases an app that lets you manage your DVD queue

With Netflix gaining tremendous amounts of steam over the years in regards to its digital efforts, it’s easy to forget that 4 million people still use the company’s DVD rental service that got it off the ground back in 1998. That is why those folks will be happy to learn that Netflix launched an Android app that lets you manage your DVD queue.

In terms of functionality, the DVD Netflix app looks and behaves like the regular Netflix app. In other words, you are presented with a home screen that displays recommendations based on genres and categories. Once you tap a movie, you can give it a rating, skim through the synopsis, check out the featured actors, and see a list of similar movies.

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The main difference is, of course, how the movies are viewed. Whereas you can watch a movie from the regular Netflix app, you will see a plus button in the DVD Netflix app. Pressing the plus button adds the movie to your queue.

If you have other movies in your queue, you can change their positions, disc formats, and remove them from the list. The app also notifies you when Netflix ships and receives your DVD.

Seeing how this functionality was removed from the regular Netflix app back in 2011, it’s good to see it back as a standalone app, even if it took six years to get here. You can download the DVD Netflix app from the Google Play Store at the link below.

Android Authority

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You can finally pre-order the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 in the UK

Nokia will soon release two of its Android smartphones in the UK.  The Nokia 3 will officially go on sale on July 12 and will set you back £129.99, whereas the Nokia 5 will hit the market on July 19 priced at £179.99.

You can already pre-order both devices on Amazon. The Nokia 3 is available in blue or white, while its bigger brother can be yours in black, blue, or silver. It’s worth mentioning that the smartphones are also up for pre-order on Clove, but they do cost a little bit more — £149.99 and £189.99.

Unfortunately, there’s no word on when the Nokia 6 will be available in the country. The device hasn’t been listed on Amazon or Clove yet, although we do expect it to pop up online soon.

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Nokia releases two new fitness devices, as Withings absorption is finalized

3 days ago

As a refresher, the Nokia 3 is the least powerful model in the lineup and sports a 5-inch HD display. You’ll find the MediaTek 6737 chipset under the hood along with 2 GB of RAM. There’s 16 GB of storage available, which you can expand with a microSD card. The device is equipped with two 8 MP cameras (front and back), packs a 2,650 mAh battery, and runs Android Nougat.

If you’re looking for something slightly more powerful as well as bigger, the Nokia 5 might be more up your alley. The device features a 5.2-inch HD display and is powered by the Snapdragon 430 processor. It has 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of expandable storage, and a 3,000 mAh battery. Other things worth mentioning are a 13 MP primary camera, an 8 MP selfie snapper, and Android Nougat.

Those of you interested can pre-order the Nokia 3 or 5 on Amazon via a button below.

Android Authority

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Metroid-inspired shooter Morphite finally coming to Android this spring

Developer Crescent Moon Games first announced Morphite, its upcoming mobile sci-fi shooter, in May 2016. Today, the developer revealed that the game will finally become available for Android devices sometime in the late spring of 2017.

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4 weeks ago

The developers took a lot of their inspiration from Nintendo’s Metroid series, particularly the more modern Metroid Prime shooters. It also has some elements from games like Ratchet and Clank, and Turok. in Morphite, your player character has been assigned to a mission that will take her to a total of seven different planets, The game’s environments will be randomly generated, which hopefully means no two players’ experiences will beexactly alike. Your player character will also gain new abilities and skills as she goes through the game. There’s even supposed to be space combat and trading features.

Your goal is to explore all of these planets, scan and collect resources, discover and sometimes fight a number of alien creatures and much more. Morphite’s art style has a low polygon count, but based on the screenshots provided by the developer, it looks like it will still be a beautiful game to check out.

Hopefully Morphite will be worth the wait. The game looks like it will also be a bit like No Man’s Sky, in terms of its procedurally generated worlds. Let’s just hope that Morphite has none of the issues that surrounded the launch of No Man’s Sky. What do you think of this game at this early stage? Let us know in the comments!

Android Authority

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Android O will finally bring native notification badges [Diving into Android O]

One of the rumors about Android O was that this update would finally bring iOS-like notification badges to stock Android, and it looks like that will indeed be the case.

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Google officially announces Android O, Developer Preview images live now

13 hours ago

iOS has had notification badges for a very long time now: it’s those small numbers above your app icons – whether it’s on your home screen on in your app drawer – that indicate how many unread emails or text messages you have among others. Some Android manufacturers brought that feature to Google’s OS with their own skins and launchers (most notably Samsung), but until now, stock Android didn’t have this feature.

Looking at the Developer Preview released earlier today, it’s clear that the upcoming OS will have native support built in for notification badges.

Of course, with the recently-announced Android O, that’s about to change. Looking at the Developer Preview released earlier today, it’s clear that the upcoming OS will have native support built in for notification badges. Once you go into the info panel of an application, there is a toggle that says, “Show badge.” Currently, no apps have this feature enabled, so we have no idea what Google’s take on it will look like compared to Apple’s or other Android manufacturers’, but we will be sure to keep you updated once we learn more.

Android Authority

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Super Mario Run will finally begin running on Android starting March 23

Over three months after it was first released for iOS, Nintendo will finally bring its hit mobile game Super Mario Run to Android devices worldwide on Thursday, March 23. The launch comes several weeks after another Nintendo mobile game, the fantasy tactical-RPG Fire Emblem: Heroes, launched for both Android and iOS in early February.

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February 5, 2017

Nintendo of America’s Twitter account confirmed the Android launch date, which also stated that Super Mario Run will be getting a version 2.0.0 update as well.  The update will add new playable characters to the game.

Nintendo’s game will give Android players a way to control one of the company’s most well known characters, Mario, in an endless running style of game. You will have to keep him moving through a number of 2D worlds that are similar in style to levels that can be found in the classic Super Mario Bros. console game series.

While Super Mario Run has received mixed reviews from iOS players since it was first released in December, that didn’t stop them from downloading it 78 million times between its launch and the end of January 2017. About 5 percent of those free demo downloads were turned into the full version of the game for a one-time in-app fee of $ 9.99. It’s likely that the Android version will stick with that business model. You can go ahead and pre-register for the game at the Google Play Store, so you will get an alert when Super Mario Run is available to download.

Nintendo has already announced plans to launch a mobile version of one of its most popular console game titles, Animal Crossing, sometime in its next fiscal year, which officially begins in April 2017. While the company initially resisted releasing games for smartphones, it now says it will launch between two to three new mobile games per year.

Pre-register at Google Play

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Samsung will finally offer monthly security updates for its US unlocked phones

Samsung is going to finally offer people who own its unlocked smartphones in the US something it promised it would do nearly 18 months ago. It will begin to roll out monthly security updates for those devices “soon”, like the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

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1 week ago

You may remember that back in the summer of 2015, Google and its third-party smartphone partners were releasing patches to shut down the Stagefright exploit in Android. At the time, Samsung said it would launch a new program to push out Android security updates once a month so that it would be able to combat these issues faster.

However, while Samsung has released new general and security updates for its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices on carriers like Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, including the big Android 7.0 Nougat upgrade, the unlocked versions of those phones have yet to get those updates. Furthermore, the unlocked phones are currently using the December 2016 security patches for Android.

However, there is some good news on this front. ZDNet reports that, after being contacted by a reader, they have confirmed with Samsung that the company has finally “committed to releasing security updates for those devices on a monthly basis” with the March updates coming “soon”. Samsung said that its unlocked smartphones were previously only getting security updates on a quarterly basis in the US, due to unnamed “various circumstances” but it now said it has “resolved the challenges” that was keeping it from offering monthly updates to those phones.

Hopefully, that means owners of the unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will not only be getting Nougat soon, they will also be able to keep their phones updated with regular monthly security patches afterwards. However, Samsung’s response also raised a couple of other questions, chief among them being what “various circumstances” were keeping the company from offering monthly updates to those phones in the first place. It would seem logical to assume the unlocked devices would have been the first to get those updates, rather than the last.

Android Authority

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(Update: available now for some users) Video calling app Duo is finally arriving on Android and iOS

Update, 08:50 AM ET: Duo is now available for some users in the Play Store. Click on the download button bellow to check the availability on your device.

Original post, 2:53 AM ET: One half of the dynamic, um, duo of chat apps that Google introduced at I/O is finally here. Almost.

In a blog post, Google announced that one-to-one video calling app Duo would become available on Android and iOS starting today. The post was published late in the evening (Pacific time), so the app should be rolling out right now.

Currently the Play Store Google Duo listing only gives us the option to pre-register for the app. It’s very likely that Google is rolling Duo out gradually, to avoid virtual traffic jams and iron out any unexpected issues that can arise with a brand new service.

Google highlighted the simplicity of Duo, an app that lacks the bells and whistles of Skype or even Google’s own Hangouts. “Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are,” said the company.

It sounds like Google wants to remove any friction that could potentially prevent users from using video calling – the Mountain View company cited research stating that half of all users never make a video call.

To be as accessible as possible, Duo doesn’t need a separate account. You can start using it with just your phone number, just like WhatsApp.

Simple as it may be, Duo is not completely barebones. One of its coolest features is Knock Knock, which basically lets you see the person who’s calling before picking up. You also get end-to-end encryption, which aligns Google with Facebook and Apple when it comes to protecting user privacy.

Very importantly, Duo works on Android and iOS, which will put it on collision course with Apple’s very popular FaceTime.

We’ll keep an eye on the Google Duo Play Store page and update you as soon as the app becomes available.

Download Duo from the Play Store
Download Duo from the Apple App Store

No word yet on Allo, the text chat app that Google introduced alongside Duo. It can’t be too far behind though.

Anyone here who’s got Duo yet? Let us know!

Android Authority

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Google is finally shutting down Picasa

Google Photos AA

I think we all knew this would happen eventually, and the day is finally here – Google has just announced that it will soon retire Picasa. For those unfamiliar, Picasa is a photo-sharing and storing website that’s been in Google’s lineup since 2004. Ultimately, Google stopped rolling out any notable updates to the service, so it was only a matter of time until the photo website was shut down.

So what are Picasa users to do now that their photo service is getting shut down? Google is unsurprisingly telling folks to move over to Google Photos, the company’s new-and-improved photo service. The idea here is for Google to focus on one service that works across both mobile and desktop, rather than split its efforts across two different products. If you happen to have photos or videos stored away in a Picasa Web Album, Google says all of your media will already be available in Google Photos. Once you access Google Photos, you’ll be able to share, download and organize all of your media in one location. For those who aren’t keen on using Photos but would still like to view tags, captions and comments, Google will be creating a new place for you to access your Picasa Web Albums data. You’ll still be able to view, download and delete your albums, you just won’t be able to create, organize or edit your albums. Google Photos can do all of these things, so you might want to think about giving it a try if you’re on the fence.

This is all happening very soon, but not today. Google will start rolling out the changes on May 1st, 2016.

The company also says it will stop supporting the Picasa desktop application on March 15th, 2016. It will still work beyond March 15th, but Google will stop developing it and there will be no future updates. Also, Google is retiring some functions of the Picasa API. Developers can learn more about those changes here.

Download Google Photos from the Play Store
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