Articles about Android

Gmail for Android may support more email providers

cloud email

On Android, setting up email services other than Gmail involves using the built-in Email app or heading over to Google Play to install dedicated clients. But it looks like users may soon get another option, as Google will likely offer support for more email providers, like Outlook.com and Yahoo Mail, in its upcoming Gmail 5.0 app.

This appears to be Google's way of ensuring that Android users will finally be able to enjoy a consistent email experience no matter what device they may use or what customizations and apps the operating system features. It is a welcome change, and one that is long overdue.

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How to get Android 5.0 Lollipop on your mobile device

fearlolli

Google has officially announced Android 5.0 Lollipop alongside a brand spanking new range of Nexus devices including a phablet, tablet and set top box geared towards gaming.

Over the coming weeks the new OS will roll out to the Nexus 6 and 9 before landing on a raft of Android devices across various manufacturers including HTC, Sony, Samsung and many more. In order to be prepared for its arrival, here is a step-by-step guide to make sure it hits your device without a hitch.

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TVMC simplifies XBMC for Android users, brings media to your mobile

TVMC

XBMC, which is now transferring to a new name of Kodi, to leave its old life being Xbox Media Center, has morphed into a top-notch option for HTPC and media buffs. But setting the service up has never been the simplest process, and it's been relegated to the more advanced users out there.

Now TV Addons has released TVMC for Android to simplify the setup process. Yes, XBMC runs on mobile devices as well as every computer platform.

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Investigation finds 'anonymous' Whisper app secretly tracks user location

Investigation finds Whisper app secretly tracks the location of users

Following all of the NSA revelations, mass surveillance has increased the general level of paranoia to be found online -- although it could be argued that not all surveillance is bad. With everyone on such high alert it's little wonder that an app that described itself as "an anonymous social network that allows people to express themselves" should be so popular. Whisper encourages users to embrace the supposed anonymity it offers and reveal secrets they would not otherwise feel comfortable sharing.

An investigation by the Guardian found that the app is tracking the location of its users -- even those who have opted out of such tracking. As a result of the Guardian's report, Whisper amended its terms of service and introduced a new privacy policy. But the revelations will cause concern to users of the service, who sent more than 2.5 million messages per day.

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Why tablet sales are slowing

businessman on tablet

Remember those predictions about tablets taking over the world and putting good-old PCs out to pasture? Well, scratch that, as it is not happening, at least not in the foreseeable future. Sales are slowing this year, dramatically. The slate market is estimated to only grow by 11 percent, year-over-year, in 2014, falling short of the 55 percent increase that was registered in 2013. So why is this happening?

Well, if you ask Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, it is because "tablets are not smartphones". Giving the US market as example, Kantar Worldpanel ComTech highlights the fundamental differences between the two categories, pointing to long replacement cycles, impersonal nature, resilience and low perceived value of tablets as the main reasons for the sales slowdown.

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Thieves beware: Android 5.0 Lollipop packs kill switch

lock key smartphone iPhone

We have known for quite some time that the next incarnation of Android will pack a kill switch. This feature has long been requested, as it would prevent unauthorized reuse and, therefore, make a serious dent in smartphone and tablet theft. It is even imposed under Californian law, going into effect next year. But even though Google has not mentioned it yet, the kill switch is indeed baked into Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The kill switch in Android 5.0 Lollipop is officially known as "Factory reset protection", and is offered as an opt-in feature which only works in conjunction with a passcode. After it is enabled, the user's credentials (Google account and password) are required in order to reset the device, to allow a person other than the original user to use the device as intended.

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Will.i.am launches Puls -- the smartwatch that's not a watch

Will.i.am launches Puls -- the smartwatch that's not a watch

It's not a watch. It's not a watch. It's not a watch. Despite appearances to contrary (it tells the time and is worn on the wrist for starters...), Black Eyed Peas' singer and tech fiend will.i.am is keen to assure us that his new wristband is most definitely not a watch. Unveiling the wearable, the smart cuff, the wristband -- call it what you will, as long as it's not a watch -- at Dreamforce in San Francisco, he showed off the fact that the Puls (pronounced Pulse, not Pulls) can be used to make calls without the need to be paired with a mobile phone.

It's a device that has been teased for quite some time now. Will.i.am has been seen on many occasions with the band on his wrist, but had resisted giving away too many details. Now we know it is a curved screen device complete with its own SIM card, 16GB of memory and 1GB of RAM, and a Siri/Cortana-bating voice recognition system called Aneeda (I need a...).

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Phablet showdown: Google Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4

nexus_6_vs_galaxy_note_4_contentfullwidth

Google has just launched a shiny new addition to its signature Nexus range, the Nexus 6. At a whopping 5.96-inch, this is a beast of a phone that is bang on the phablet trend sweeping the global smartphone market. But how does it square up to the other large-screened powerhouses scrapping for your attention?

We pit its specs against those of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to see who (on paper) comes out on top.

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X-Doria KidFit is a watch-like wearable for children -- tracks sleep and activity

watch1

Many kids nowadays are lazy and sedentary. They come from school, sit on the couch, eat Go-Gurt and watch nonsense like Adventure Time. Actually, swap the Go-Gurt for Teddy Grahams and Adventure Time for Heathcliff and it sounds like my youth, but I digress. Kids don't play outside enough and thanks to smartphones and tablets, they don't get as much sleep as they should. Hell, can you blame them? If I had an iPad in the 80s, I never would have slept.

Today, a new product called KidFit from a company called X-Doria becomes available. In a nutshell, it is a watch-like wearable that you strap onto your kids, so you can track both their activity and sleep patterns. While some may claim the use of such a product is lazy parenting, I disagree; utilizing this technology is a proactive approach to combatting obesity and fatigue.

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Google takes the wraps off Nexus 6, Nexus 9 [Update]

Google Nexus 6

It is estimated that one in three smartphones shipped in 2018 will be a phablet, which is more than double their projected share for 2014. For Google -- with Android still likely to run on the majority of phablets -- helping developers to properly optimize their apps for larger screens has become a top priority. Ensuring that Android phablets provide a great user experience is paramount; otherwise, users may jump ship to Apple's iPhones or Microsoft's Windows Phones.

So, today, Google takes the wraps off its first phablet, Nexus 6. It is the embodiment of all the great features we have come to expect out of a phablet from late-2014: super high-resolution screen, super fast processor, solid cameras, very thin bezels and a huge battery. As expected, Google also announced a new tablet, the first one to come since July 2013, called Nexus 9. It does not disappoint either. Of course, both run the new Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is shipping in the next few weeks.

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Google releases hilarious Android 5.0 teaser video -- there can only be one L

lolli

A company's "cool-factor" can vary wildly, but one has not yet lost its magic -- Google. Sure, privacy advocates decry the search-giant's long reach into the lives of many, but that is what makes the company's products so endearing -- Google needs that data to know you. It is the customized and tailored experiences that create a bond between the user and Google.

The biggest bond, however, is Android; the mobile operating system has been wildly popular, bringing Linux to a user base that no one thought possible. People are fans of Android, unlike any other operating system before it. Hell, people collect plastic figures of the mascot; that is dedication. We should soon be experiencing the final version of Android 5.0, which will have an "L" code name. Will it be lollipop? Lemon meringue? Well, today Google releases a cool video, which has fun with the Android 5.0 name.

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Vertu unveils new smartphone for Bentley owners and enthusiasts

Vertu for Bentley lifestyle

Most people who own expensive smartphones have the latest Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S or Galaxy Note device, which, at launch, costs at least $650 off-contract. Even though they are unattainable to the average buyer, tens of millions of consumers can still afford to get them. And that creates a problem for the elitist one percenters of the world, who are faced with an unusual dilemma: own a smartphone that even their chauffeurs may afford or turn to a proper luxury device.

For those who can pay €12,500 for a smartphone and just so happen to be Bentley owners or enthusiasts, renowned luxury smartphone manufacturer Vertu has unveiled Vertu for Bentley. It is the first device to come out of the new five-year partnership with the high-end British car maker. Luckily, for that much money, it certainly is special.

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Do you do a dirty job? Take Samsung's Galaxy Tab Active into the trenches

Front-C-Pen-with-case_3

While many people into technology spend their days languishing on the couch or vegetating in an office chair, others live active lifestyles. In fact, many people would identify themselves as being "extreme" by doing activities such as skydiving, rock climbing and parkour. However, people also work extreme jobs, like working in the sewers, construction or law enforcement.

If you are somebody doing an extreme or hardcore job, the average tablet won't cut it for you. Extreme people need extreme technology and today, Samsung announces the availability of its hardcore Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 8 inch tablet. It is a slate designed for people that work dirty jobs and need it to take a beating. However, it may meet the needs of people that have extreme hobbies too.

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If Samsung stumbles, will Android fall down?

tipping fall down

The world's largest smartphone manufacturer is troubled. Overnight, Samsung warned that its third-quarter operating profit could fall as much as 61.8 percent because of weakness in its largest division, mobile, from which phones account for about 60 percent of company profits. Smartphone shipments are up slightly, but the money they generate is down substantially.

For Google, the news is a mixed blessing. In April 2012, I warned that "Google has lost control of Android" -- Samsung's dominance with customized versions of the mobile operating system being major reason. Big G effectively responded by separating core apps and services from Android, spreading them out across versions, and better unifying the user experience. Still, Samsung's TouchWiz UI is the main way tens of millions of people experience Android every day. The South Korean company's problems could eventually be good for Google, but will they benefit Android or pull it down?

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Root already available for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

Galaxy Note 4 is not yet available in most markets across the globe, as Samsung has opted for a staggered launch. However, despite the limited market availability, a well-known Android modding enthusiast has already achieved root access for the phablet.

Chainfire, the developer behind dedicated modding tools like SuperSU, has announced on his Google+ page that a number of Galaxy Note 4 models, based on Samsung's own Exynos chip as well as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 805 processor, are now supported by CF-Auto-Root. The software has been designed to automatically enable root access on Android devices.

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