Articles about Android

At last! Google Play Family Library lets you share purchased apps, games and movies with others

google-play-family-library

It's something that Android users have been begging for -- the ability to buy an app once, and share it with members of the family. Until now, one way around the problem was to create a shared family account that could be used to download everything, but now Google has a better solution: Google Play Family Library.

This new feature not only lets you share purchased apps with up to six family members, but also games, movies, TV shows and books. It's something that could save Android-using families a good deal of money, and it's rolling out right now.

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BlackBerry claims its second Android smartphone is 'world's most secure'

BlackBerry DTEK50

BlackBerry's Priv, hasn't quite been a huge hit with consumers, but the company is not ready to give up just yet as it has introduced its second Android handset, called DTEK50. The selling point? BlackBerry claims that it is the "world's most secure Android smartphone".

The market for privacy and security-focused smartphones seems to be quite small -- insignificant, really -- if we are to look at how poorly Priv and Silent Circle's Blackphone have been selling so far. And it is hard to see how the new DTEK50 will change that.

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Microsoft boosts the intelligence of Office with Zoom for PowerPoint, Focused Inbox for Outlook, and more

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Microsoft today announced a series of updates for its Office apps which help to make the suite more intelligent than ever. There's a strong focus on workflow and efficiency, and things kick off with the Researcher tool. This provides context-sensitive research materials that can be accessed from within Word and quickly added to a document complete with properly formatted citations.

Microsoft says that Researcher will continue to expand to include "sources like national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, history databases and more". But this is far from being the only new tool to be added in the latest monthly update.

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Chuwi Vi10 Plus tablet includes Windows 10 and Android for an incredibly low price

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A few months back, we took a look at the Chuwi Hi12, a low-cost tablet that we compared to the Surface Pro 4 and iPad Pro. Now the company has released a slightly smaller -- and even cheaper -- model, the Chuwi Vi10 Plus.

With a 10.8-inch screen, the Chuwi Vi10 Plus is available in two variations. The first model comes with Android-based Remix OS 2.0 installed, while the second is a dual boot unit that has both Windows 10 and Remix OS 2.0 installed.

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CyanogenMod: reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

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Rumors started to circulate in recent days that all was not well at Cyanogen Inc. Reports suggested that the company was not only shedding a fifth of its staff, but was also moving away from its Android-based CyanogenMod to focus instead on apps.

After a few days of silence, the company has now come forward to set the record straight. Cyanogen Inc wants to make it clear that its operating system is here to stay, and there are no plans to become an app company.

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Spam call protection arrives in the Google Phone app for Android

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We're used to the idea of filtering spam emails from our inbox these days, but there is also the problem of spam phone calls. These are not just a nuisance, but may also be the start of scams. Google is pushing out an update to its Phone app that helps to keep you protected.

It's a simple idea. Whenever a suspicious call comes through, a warning is displayed on screen to let you know that you might want to either ignore the call, or take care if you answer.

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Google Maps gets a facelift that makes it easier to read and areas of interest easier to find

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You've probably noticed that it can be hard to make out details on Google Maps. You're not alone; Google has noticed too, and the company has just launched a redesigned version of the essential travel tool.

The changes apply to the desktop, iOS and Android versions of Google Maps and the most immediately apparent difference is the new color palette -- much subtler and easier on the eyes. But Google has also cleaned things up to improve visibility, and added new 'areas of interest'.

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Ford adds SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its entire 2017 range

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All of Ford's 2017 SUVs, light trucks, cars and electric vehicles will be kitted out with SYNC 3. The addition of Ford's voice-activated communications and entertainment system means that every single vehicle from its 2017 lineup will feature support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto -- in the US, at least.

SYNC 3 allows for the use of iPhones and Android smartphones to get directions, make calls, listen to music and make use of third party apps while driving. Ford promises that a "platform-focused approach to SYNC 3 means a fast rollout across all vehicles".

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Forget the beta... Prisma arrives on Android

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Like Pokémon Go, Prisma has taken the app world by storm in recent weeks. Previously only available for iOS users, the photo app that creates works of art from your snaps has finally made its way to Android.

Just a few days ago there was talk of a beta program that keen users could take part in, but now we've jumped straight to the full release. If you're (somehow) unfamiliar with the app, it uses machine learning to transform your photos into the style of any one of a number of famous artists and styles.

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Cyanogen ditches a fifth of its staff and switches focus from OS to apps

cyanogenmod

Cyanogen Inc -- the cheeky little upstart behind Android-based CyanogenMod -- is reportedly laying off 20 percent of its workforce. The company is a fairly small operation with just 136 employees, but the lay-offs are significant as they are mostly from the OS side of things.

It seems that the open source Android-inspired operating system has failed to generate quite as much interest as hoped, although it does have a very dedicated cult following. It is not clear quite what the future holds for CyanogenMod, but things are not looking good at the moment.

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Google wants devs to reduce the size of app updates

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For many mobile users, it's important to keep an eye on data usage to ensure tariff limits are not exceeded. A major contributor to gobbling up monthly bandwidth allowances is the updating of apps, and Google is taking steps to reduce the size of APK updates.

In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google speaks directly to developers, pointing out the various steps they can take to optimize the size of updates. The company also calls for greater transparency so users know the size of updates before committing to a download.

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Niantic Labs faces lawsuit in Germany over Pokémon Go privacy concerns

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Pokémon Go has proved almost unbelievably popular, and like any app that gains a huge following, malicious versions of the app soon appeared. The game has been in the headlines after hackers knocked gaming servers offline, but there have also been major privacy concerns.

Now there could be a nightmare brewing for developer Niantic Labs in Germany, where consumer advocates say the game violates the country's consumer and privacy laws. Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) says the company needs to make sweeping changes to a raft of clauses in the app's terms of use in order to avoid further action.

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KAPOW! Bubble Zoom in Google Play Books means better support for comics

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If you use your Android smartphone or tablet to read comics, your reading experience is about to get a whole lot more enjoyable. An update to Google Play Books sees the introduction of Bubble Zoom, a feature announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

It uses image recognition technology to identify speech bubbles and automatically enlarge the text of each, one at time as you tap. To celebrate, Google is offering 50 percent off certain DC Comics and Marvel comics.

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BBC iPlayer Radio app launches in the US for iOS and Android

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The BBC pumps out a great deal of fabulous content, but there's one problem -- an awful lot of it can only be accessed in the UK. With the launch of the iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android, this changes.

As well as giving listeners the chance to tune in to live radio broadcasts, the app also provides access to podcasts, and boasts a catch-up feature for shows you may have missed. The iPlayer Radio app is available free of charge, and has already received rave reviews in the Google and Apple stores.

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Now it's easier than ever to submit changes and additions to Google Maps

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Google has done a great job of mapping the globe down to street level, but it's not perfect. You've almost certainly encountered errors and omissions on Google Maps, and starting today the company is making it easy to point out missing and incorrect data from the comfort of your mobile.

Crowdsourcing the collecting of map data is a great way to ensure that Google Maps is kept constantly up to date. It means that as businesses close down, change names, or open up, users can submit feedback to Google straight away so the information is available to everyone as quickly as possible.

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