Tag Archive | "gets"

Ported Google Camera with HDR+ gets RAW support and squashes major bugs

The modified version of the Google Camera app caused a few ripples in the Android community because it allowed those who don’t own Pixel or Nexus devices to try out Google‘s excellent HDR+ chops, among other features. Thankfully for fans, independent developer B-S-G did not stop his work on the modified app and released a new version that adds RAW support, squashes some major bugs, and throws in a few features along the way.

With the update, the ported Google Camera HDR+ app can enable RAW capture while saving the JPEG file. RAW support might not be significant for most folks, but it allows others to use their computers for additional processing and fine-tuning as they see fit. It also allows you to use HDR+ and bypass the processing that happens after snapping a picture.

See also:

The updated port also allows you to configure the processing modes for HDR+. Keep in mind that you will need to completely close the application and open it for the changes to go into effect. There are also certain combinations that will not work well with each other, so just play around with the settings and see what works.

Finally, overall speed and stability have supposedly been significantly improved with Google Camera HDR+.

Alas, the list of devices confirmed to work with the app is not very extensive, but includes the following:

Other devices, such as the Nokia 6 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, should work with the app, since they support the Camera2 API. The list should increase over time, but as of now, it’s a wait-and-see approach.

If you want to give the updated Google Camera HDR+ a spin, head to Android FileHost to download it.

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Google Home gets multi-user support in the UK (Update: Canada too?)

Update, June 29: Users in Canada – including our own Brian Reigh – reported getting the multi-user feature on their Google Home units. There’s no official announcement yet, but it doesn’t hurt to check if you have it.

Original post, June 27: Google Home now supports multiple users in the UK. It allows up to six people to connect their accounts, giving them access to their own personal playlists, commute time, schedule and more.

To add multiple users to the device, you first have to have the latest version of the Google Home app installed on your device. Then just open it, find and select the “multi-user is available” card, and tap on “Link your account”.

Once that’s done, you’ll go through a process that will allow the Assistant to understand your voice by saying “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” two times each. These two phrases are then analyzed by a neural network that’s capable of detecting certain characteristics of a person’s voice. What this means is that from then on, every time you talk to Assistant on Google Home it will know that it’s you and not one of the other people who are also using the same device.

See also:

Google Home vs Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod: features comparison

3 weeks ago

Support for multiple users is available for UK users starting from today. The feature has been available to those in the US for almost three months now, as Google has released it back in April.

The online search giant has to figure out a way to make the Google Home more appealing to users, based on the fact that it hasn’t been selling quite as well as Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers. According to the research firm eMarketer, Echo and Echo Dot devices are expected to claim a 70.6 percent share of the US market in 2017, while Google Home will only grab 23.8 percent of the market.

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Ransomware-infected app gets removed from the Google Play Store


While the Google Play Store is supposed to be the most secure place for Android device owners to download apps, there have been a number of examples of malware finding its way into the storefront. This week, a security firm claims that an app in the store, EnergyRescue, became infected with a ransomware program called Charger.

See also:

Best antivirus Android apps and anti-malware Android apps

3 weeks ago

According to the blog post by Check Point Software, the ransomware was first discovered several weeks ago. Once the app is installed, the ransomware program takes the device’s contacts and SMS messages, then asks the user for permission to access its admin privileges. If that happens, a message then pops up on the screen while also locking out the device. What’s more, the “Charger” program will then display this disturbing message on the device’s screen:

You need to pay for us, otherwise we will sell portion of your personal information on black market every 30 minutes. WE GIVE 100% GUARANTEE THAT ALL FILES WILL RESTORE AFTER WE RECEIVE PAYMENT. WE WILL UNLOCK THE MOBILE DEVICE AND DELETE ALL YOUR DATA FROM OUR SERVER! TURNING OFF YOUR PHONE IS MEANINGLESS, ALL YOUR DATA IS ALREADY STORED ON OUR SERVERS! WE STILL CAN SELLING IT FOR SPAM, FAKE, BANK CRIME etc… We collect and download all of your personal data. All information about your social networks, Bank accounts, Credit Cards. We collect all data about your friends and family.

The security firm also noted that its creators used a number of advanced coding techniques so that the app’s true nature could stay hidden in the store.

The good news is that Check Point Software informed Google of the infected EnergyRescue app, and the company has since deleted it from the Google Play Store. There’s no word on how many Android devices got hit with this Charger ransomware, though the blog post notes that at least one real-world handset was infected.

Google recently offered more information on how it finds and gets rid of any malware that could have been published in the Google Play Store. It also launched a new security-themed page on its Android Developers site, offering tips to app creators to make sure their creations are secure.

This latest example shows that even using the official Google Play Store is no guarantee that the app you may be downloading is secure and safe. While the company is taking a proactive approach to eliminating malware, everyone who owns an Android smartphone or tablet should not just download every app they may see listed in the store.

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Deal: Xperia Z5 Compact gets $100 price cut to $399 on Amazon

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Amazon discount

If you’re not a fan of all these giant-screened, utterly unpocketable smartphones, you’re in luck. Sony has just discounted the Xperia Z5 Compact — with the best camera of any small-screened smartphone around right now — by 20%. You can now grab the Xperia Z5 Compact on sale for just $ 399 on Amazon, that’s a solid $ 100 discount.

Z5C-vs-X-vs-G-photos-02See also: Battle of the minis: OnePlus X vs Xperia Z5 Compact vs Moto G68

The Xperia Z5 Compact on sale is the unlocked version with U.S. warranty, so you can use it on whichever U.S. carrier you’re currently with or get yourself a new SIM and start fresh. You’ve also got double the color options that Henry Ford would have given you: black or white.

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The Xperia Z5 Compact features a 4.6-inch HD IPS LCD display, IP68 water-resistance rating, octa-core Snapdragon 810 chipset, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage with microSD expansion, 2,700 mAh non-removable battery, 23 MP Sony sensor with f/2.0 aperture and PDAF, 5.1 MP front-facing camera and Android Marshmallow on board.


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Tap 10 offer gets you rewards for simply using Android Pay


Android Pay continues to be an exciting feature for those who can take advantage of it, but it seems people aren’t exactly going nuts over using NFC payments just yet. Part of this might be due to the slight hassles one must go through in order to set up Android Pay. If you have been looking for a good excuse to go through the process, though, now is your time.

Google is currently running a “Tap 10” promotion in which users can get incentives (rewards) for simply using Android Pay. The terms are quick to mention that not all users may get the same rewards… if any. Some users might walk out empty-handed, and it all depends on the decision the “sponsor” (Google) makes.

android pay

Regardless, we believe these possible rewards are definitely worth giving Android Pay a try. These include freebies like song downloads and a free Chromecast. All for simply tapping to make purchases with Android Pay. It’s not like you would be spending any extra money here, really.

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You can get started tapping now, and the promotion will continue until February 29 at 11:59:59 Pacific. There are some limitations, which you can read all about here. The main one is that you have to be within the 50 main US states and the District of Columbia. Also, there is a reason why they call it the “Tap 10” offer. Rewards are given only for the first 10 taps you use Android Pay for. Oh, and you must redeem your rewards by March 31st.

So, there you have it, guys. It’s time to start using Android Pay. I would definitely do it for the chance to get a free Chromecast!

Android Authority

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Vimeo’s app gets a long-awaited update


Vimeo App Update

Vimeo has long enjoyed the position of one of the world’s leading video streaming services. However, it’s been no secret that their mobile app has frankly sucked quite a bit. Now Vimeo is trying to turn that mobile reputation around by unleashing a totally revamped update of their Android app.

In an aggressively upbeat “not being defensive, but just saying” blog post this morning, staff member Jon Sheldrick unveiled Vimeo Android version 2.0: the update that fixed everything that wasn’t necessarily broken but could have used more awesomeness.

Positivity spin aside, let’s face it. Vimeo’s Android app was pretty bad. Clunky interface, long delays, counterintuitive navigation. It could have been a case study in how to not build a video streaming app. However, this new version that they’ve cranked out actually looks pretty good; primarily because it seems to borrow a lot from YouTube’s app.

Sony Bravia hands-onSee also: HBO Go, Vimeo, Twitch and many more apps will soon make their way to Android TV5

The key points Vimeo is advertising about their update are its upload capabilities, its full HD playback, and a library of human curated categories. The enhanced upload features are designed to make uploading as smooth and intuitive as possible, while still giving users absolute controle over their video. Privacy options that were previously only available on the desktop are now present in the mobile app.

I honestly can’t tell a difference between the new HD playback and the old, but they have definitely redesigned information display (like number of plays, likes, and comments) to make them easier to navigate. The curated categories look like a cross between YouTube’s recommended playlists and something you’d see on Google Play Music. Kind of hit and miss at times, but all around a good addition.

If you got turned off by Vimeo’s original mobile app, now’s a good time to give them a second chance. They seem to have listened to feedback and responded proactively. If you want to get your hands on the update, click the button below to download from the Google Play Store. Once you’ve given it a spin, come back and tell us what your experience was like in the comments!

Next: 10 best video streaming apps for Android

Get it in the Play Store

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Slack gets Material Design overhaul, better notifications and much more in version 2.0 update

Slack AA update

Slack, the popular communications app, is getting a huge update to version 2.0 that brings a much more polished, refined navigation experience, a ton of visual changes, and improved notifications.

Upon opening the app for the first time, you’ll notice the Slack team has taken some inspiration from Google’s Material Design guidelines, giving the app a nice aesthetic refresh. Both the left and right navigation drawers have been removed this time around. Instead, the app relies heavily on a much simpler tabbed navigation layout, which should be a welcome change for most users. This way you’ll be able to easily navigate to your channels, direct messages, starred items and mentions. You can now quickly jump to any channel, group or direct message by using the new “Jump to…” search bar at the top.

slack aa update 2

The notification experience has been improved this time around, with notifications now being separated by team. Version 2.0 also brings a floating action button for quick access to DMs. If you’re interested, here’s the full changelog for the version 2.0 update:

  • The left and right drawers have been dropped in favor a simpler tabbed navigation. Tabs provide quick access to all your channels, direct messages, starred items, and mentions.
  • Know exactly where you want to go? Quickly “Jump to…” any channel, group, or direct message.
  • Constantly switching between teams? Simply select your team from the top dropdown and off you go.
  • A much refined notification experience, with notifications grouped by team.
  • A shiny new button floats attractively in the bottom right corner of the channels list for quickly locating or creating channels, DMs or groups.
  • Search functionality has been greatly improved with the ability to open search results in a new “archive viewer” so you can see the full context of a message result.

The new version of Slack is rolling out in the Google Play Store as we speak, though the Slack team notes that the update will be rolling out through tomorrow. Head to the Play Store link below to check for the newest version!

Get it on Google Play

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Developer MohammadAG gets Android Wear to work with iPhones, sort of

android wear ios muhammadag

Google has hinted that it could eventually make Android Wear work with iPhones, but as the wearables platform is getting close to its first birthday, we’re yet to see an official integration. The good news is, if you really want to use your Android Wear smartwatch with an iOS device, an unofficial solution may be coming.

Android developer Mohammad Abu-Garbeyyeh, widely known on XDA as MohammadAG, found a way to push notifications from iOS to AW. MohammadAG, who is known for his work developing Xposed Framework modules, used a feature called Apple Notification Center Service (ANSC) that was first introduced on iOS7. This is the same feature that allows Pebble to receive notifications from iPhones via Bluetooth. Because it’s built into the operating system, making use of ANSC doesn’t require a special app – notifications from any app can be pushed automatically to a connected smartwatch.

To enable the feature, MohammadAG created an .apk that needs to run on the smartwatch, and the developer said he’s considering open-sourcing it. You will still need an Android device to set up the smartwatch and get apps on it, but the good news is you can use any iOS7 or higher Apple device, no jailbreak required.

Now, the Android Wear experience is more than just notifications and MohammadAG admits that this ANSC-based implementation is limited. But if you just want simple notifications, this could do. We’ll keep an eye on this little project and let you know when, if ever, becomes available.

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Nexus 9 gets official CyanogenMod 12 nightlies

Nexus 9-19

Google’s latest tablet, the HTC built Nexus 9, is proving to be a great device for many users. It comes with Google’s vanilla flavor of Android, now up to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, but there is now another option out there for you. Cyanogen Inc. has released CyanogenMod 12 nightlies for the Nexus 9.

The official support for the Nexus 9 is a welcome addition to the available custom ROMs out there. Of course, as we’ve discussed a few times in the last couple weeks, CyanogenMod 12 nightlies are the alternative ROM maker’s beta stream, a stable release of CM 12 is still not available. You should expect to see a few hiccups here and there, but we understand things are running fairly well at this point.

CM 12 is based on Android Lollipop as well, meaning that flashing to this new OS should not be a drastic change from your current stock Android 5.0.2 Lollipop experience. Do remember that you’ll need an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery to continue. Luckily, Nexus devices are well supported for this sort of stuff, if something goes wrong, flashing back to stock is rarely a difficult task.

CyanogenMod Void Warranty

Cyanogen has been shaking things up lately, they have all but split ways with OnePlus, the manufacturer of the self proclaimed flagship killer OnePlus One handset. Then they go ahead and throw their gloves to the ice to take on Google themselves, seeking to launch a Google apps free Android experience. Microsoft is said to be getting into this mess as well, throwing a bit of cash at Cyanogen.

With all of these changes, we almost wondered if pushing CM 12 to the Nexus 9 is a move to attack Google. But then we remember, Cyanogen has been rocking their OS on most high end devices around the globe already, no need for theatrics, CM 12 on the Nexus 9 is just business as usual.

Head on over to the CyanogenMod 12 nightlies page to grab your copy of the new system image, and get ready for your new daily updates.

Nexus 9 owners, will you be flashing CM 12 nighlties on your tablet?

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus gets an early taste of Android 5.0 Lollipop


Last year Google essentially abandoned the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, citing RAM and TI driver limitations as just a few of the reasons why the device would never officially see Android 4.4 KitKat. Since then however, the Android community has stepped up to the plate to deliver quite stable builds of Android 4.4 KitKat.

More recently, XDA Senior Member Ziyan even created updated GPU drivers that allowed the device to work better with newer versions of Android. And now we have the very first Android 5.0 Lollipop ROM as well. As you’d imagine, the ROM is very much in the early stages and not recommended for use if you still use the phone as a daily driver.

Some of the known issues in this build include issues with the stock camera app, mobile data/MMS issues, and several other bugs and minor glitches as well. That said, the dev says the ROM is actually very snappy and runs great, bugs and other issues aside.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus owners can learn more about the ROM, or even download it, by clicking on one of the links below:

Anyone try out the Galaxy Nexus ROM yet? If so, how well is it working for you?

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