When few (if any) web browsers do everything well, many of us have more than one client just to cover all the bases. The GO Launcher Dev Team's just-launched Next Browser for Android tries to solve this in the simplest way possible: it cherry picks features from established rivals. Sharing extensions from Dolphin? Check. Chrome's frequently visited pages? Check. Speed Dial from Opera? Check. There's even a Flipboard-style RSS reader. As there's also bookmark syncing and voice search, Next Browser is theoretically the only client that Android users could want. How well that pastiche works is another matter, but those who've been pining for an all-encompassing browser can give the new app a try at the source link.
Via: Android Police
We've already seen evidence confirming the existence of Android 4.3, and we now have our first shots that appear to show the OS running on an actual device. According to a member of the xda-developers forum, the phone above was spotted at the Thailand Mobile Expo currently taking place, with the about section of the OS and its familiar easter egg clearly indicating that it's Android 4.3 -- and still going by the Jelly Bean moniker. Of the three shots provided, the only one revealing any significant changes is the camera app, which sports some retooled controls that have been shifted to the side.
Via: Droid Life
During an I/O session called "Structure in Android App Design," Google leaked a new design for Gmail ahead of any official announcement. The slide shows a revamped navigation drawer and a conspicuous lack of the action bar on the bottom. Functions currently located at the bottom of the screen (like compose and search) have moved up, streamlining the inbox's vertical structure. Meanwhile, the new navigation drawer makes it easier to access features like the priority inbox and individual labels without having to open separate screens, as is the case on the current Gmail app. There are a few cosmetic changes as well, like the larger stars in the inbox. It's hard to tell from the image, but one might assume that the navigation bar scrolls down to reveal important functions like trash, spam, and drafts. It doesn't appear that the inclusion of the screenshot was given much thought -- indeed, presenter Jens Nagel left in his personal Gmail address, now blurred out. Stay tuned -- we'll update you as official word on a redesign comes in.
Source: Android Police
It's simple: the numbers don't lie. Clearly aware of the many, many hours viewers are squeezing out of their tablets, the BBC has, for the better, made its iPlayer for Android more friendly with 10-inch models. Folks using the app will no longer have to rely on a shortcut to the website, with the BBC iPlayer now offering native support for those larger Android slates. The changelog also notes some tweaks to the UI on smartphones and 7-inch tablets, but mum's the word on what the changes were exactly. Either way, we're sure owners of, say, a Nexus 10 will be happy to hear there are fewer steps required to catch up with their favorite shows.
Via: Android Police
Source: Google Play
Internationally savvy Chrome desktop users are well acquainted with the translation bar's ability to quickly make sense of sites using foreign languages. Courtesy of the new Chrome 28 beta for Android, they can take that linguistic power on the road: the translation bar now shows up on mobile when visiting pages in non-native text. The test release also gives tablets the same fullscreen mode that phones have in the stable build, and everyone can see graphs illustrating the data usage savings they get from compression. Those who want to better understand their mobile world just have to swing by the source links to get the latest beta.
Via: Android Police
Is Russell Holly a seer of the future, or did he just manage to get lucky? That's the question we're currently kicking around at Engadget. You see, when he first revealed that a Galaxy S 4 would be introduced at Google I/O with stock Android, we quickly dismissed it as something that'd never happen in a million years. Then it came true the very next day. Now, Holly is back with another mighty tall claim: "HTC is considering a stock Android variant of the One for release in the US." In fairness, rumors of such a phone began to circulate last week, but were quenched just as quickly by HTC. Contrary to the denial, however, Holly claims that multiple sources have informed him of an HTC One that's in the works with stock Android 4.2.2. It's tough to make heads or tails of Holly's report, especially since he follows the assertion that HTC is "considering" such a phone with a claim that it'll be announced within the next two weeks. Naturally, we're taking this with more than the usual dose of skepticism, but like Fox Mulder, we want to believe.
Huawei's upcoming Ascend P6 must be as slim as we've heard, because it just keeps slipping out -- this time, in an official rendering obtained by @evleaks. The imagery appears to validate what we've previously seen in photos, including the wafer-like 6.2mm thick body, a metal chassis and an iteration of the Emotion UI layer that we just saw on the Ascend Mate. And in case there's any lingering doubts, we've even received a possible launch window from the company itself. In a quickly deleted Sina Weibo post, Huawei Device Chairman Richard Yu told his followers that the leaked device is indeed part of the P series, and should be revealed at the company's June 18th event in London. At this rate, all that's left for the company is to walk on stage and make its skinniest Ascend official.
Source: @Evleaks (Twitter)
When Huawei revealed the Ascend Mate at CES this year, it felt like smartphones had reached an end point -- they surely couldn't get any larger. We've since been proven wrong by Samsung's Galaxy Mega 6.3, but the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate has gone on sale first, and it's every bit as intimidating as it was in January. The question is whether or not Huawei has more than just size on its side. Is this nearly tablet-sized device worth putting in our pockets, and can it fend off the suddenly tiny-looking Galaxy Note II and Optimus G Pro? Read on past the break, and you'll find out.
Gallery: Huawei Ascend Mate review
Looks like there are more smartphone-loving vampires than we first thought. Following Samsung's plans to offer the Galaxy S 4 in multiple new colors, AT&T has scored a US exclusive for the smartphone in a very distinctive Aurora Red. The crimson-hued Life Companion will be available for pre-order on May 24th, with retail stores getting their supply on June 14th. The lone disappointment is the capacity: AT&T is only offering red for the 16GB, $200 model. Still, we're happy that we won't have to wait for the Galaxy S 4 Active just to get a Samsung flagship in a livelier color.
MediaFire says its cloud storage service now has 30 million users, but it seems that only a minority of those have installed the Android or iOS interfaces -- the former has seen less than 500,000 downloads, for example. One extra feature that might boost the utility of these mobile interfaces is the forthcoming addition of media streaming, to help MediaFire compete with likes of Amazon Cloud Player -- and with the added draw of 50GB free lifetime storage (or a time-limited off of $24.99 annually for 100GB). There's no sign of the app update on either platform just yet, but it'll get there when it gets there.
While taking a look around HTC China's online store after the Desire 600 (aka Desire 606w in China) announcement, we also stumbled upon this Desire 608t that was first outed by TENAA in late April. With the exception of the One SV-like design and the TD-SCDMA radio for China Mobile, this model is otherwise identical to its 606w sibling, especially with the Sense 5-enhanced Android 4.1, BoomSound front stereo speakers, dual SIM and even the CN¥2,499 ($410) unsubsidized price tag. Other specs include: 4.5-inch 960 x 540 Super LCD 2, 1.2GHz quad-core chip by Qualcomm, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage (with up to 64GB expansion via microSD), 8-megapixel imager (with f/2.0 aperture and 720p video capture), 1.6-megapixel front camera, 1,860mAh battery and NFC. Interestingly, the 608t is also listed with Zoe camera feature, yet the 606w isn't, so hopefully it's just a mistake for the latter instead of the former.
Gallery: HTC Desire 608t press shots
Source: HTC eShop (Chinese)
Come next month, NTT DoCoMo users won't be the only ones to benefit from a water-resistant version of the Optimus G. Similar to the L-01E for Japan, LG has introduced the Optimus GJ for Taiwan, which carries IPX7 certification that allows for worry-free immersion in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. The Optimus GJ also carries IPX5 certification for protection against dust particles. Dubbed the E975W, the smartphone is by and large a thicker version of the Optimus G (E975). This means you'll find a 4.7-inch, 1,280 x 720 True HD IPS display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, a 13MP primary / 1.3MP front-facing camera setup, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage and Android 4.1.2. Unlike the original Optimus G, the Optimus GJ wields a larger 2,280mAh battery and a red backing, but also lacks NFC functionality. You can expect it to hit the market next month in Taiwan, where it'll sell for NT$17,990 ($600). Hit up the source link to find additional views of the of the Optimus G -- it seems that LG has thrown a bit of a pool party to celebrate its announcement.
Source: ePrice (translated)
Foursquare knows that there's a lot more to a night on the town than a good search keyword. Accordingly, it just updated its Android and iOS apps with location search filters that narrow the results based on familiarity and price. At times, the terms can get very specific: if you want to try an expensive Korean barbecue that only your friends have visited so far, you can. While there isn't much more to the update than that, those prone to cravings (or just curiosity) should get their fill at the source links.
Cards, cards, cards... that's the refrain around the Google campus these days. Everything is getting turned into cards. That now includes your documents stored on Drive, too. The Google Drive app for Android was updated today with a whole new UI that moves towards the refined Holo design of the Play Music app and displays your uploaded files as "cards," though, you can always revert to a tweaked list view. The cards offer a thumbnail preview along with the file name and an icon indicating the type of document. The ability to snap photos and have the results turned into a OCR-processed PDF has also been updated slightly. The feature is now called "scan" and it automatically crops photos to contain only the document you need to upload. Lastly, you can finally tweak text settings in sheets, delivering a much more robust mobile formatting experience. Just hit up the Play Store to get your update now.
Source: Google Drive Blog
The Galaxy S 4 is now readily available in the US, but it hasn't had much sway with the prepaid crowd so far. Cricket should be addressing that deficit soon, as it just narrowed down its launch of the Samsung flagship to June 7th. The contract-free carrier is making up for being late to the party with a low up front price: customers can plunk down $55 to start an installment plan rather than pay the GS4's full $600 cost in one shot. Would-be adopters will need to live in one of Cricket's LTE coverage areas to pick up a GS4, but those who do may get a rare discount on a (mostly) fresh device.
Between WhatsApp, Viber, Google+ Hangouts and a raft of others, the mobile messaging app space is crowded, but recent entrant MessageMe has still managed to make notable headway. After a mere 75 days since its launch, the application has amassed 5 million registered users, up from 1 million in its first ten days. Now, the software is churning out an average of 1,500 notifications per second and handling approximately eight image uploads each second.
For the uninitiated, the app is attempting to woo chatty folks on Android and iOS away from its rivals with the ability to send pictures, doodles, videos, audio, music and location information between two people or a group of friends. Sticker- and money-sending features are poised to bring home the bacon for the firm, but CEO and co-founder Arjun Sethi recently told The Next Web that it doesn't plan to activate them just yet, as it's focusing on attracting more users first. If you're itching for another outlet to dispatch notes to pals, hit the bordering more coverage links to grab MessageMe.
Via: The Next Web
Source: MessageMe Blog
As was the case with another LG device recently, the Optimus F3 is making an appearance before going official. Today we're getting an early look at what appears to be an entry-level member of the Optimus family, courtesy of @eveleaks, and one which will reportedly join Sprint's smartphone lineup pretty soon. Among the alleged specs said are a 4-inch WVGA display, 2,460mAh battery, LTE capabilities and one of the latest versions of Android -- Jelly Bean (4.1.2). Meanwhile, precise availability and pricing deets are still unknown, but, if all goes according to Phone Arena, we'll find all that out here "in the next few weeks."
Source: Phone Arena
Indie developers have been able to take advantage of a free version of the Unity engine for desktop game development some time now, and starting today they can extend that development to mobile games at no added cost. The company's confirmed that it's dropping the $800 licensing fee for its Android and iOS build options, with Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 development also promised to be moving to a free option in the "coming months."
As Unity CEO David Helgason explained at the Unite Nordic conference earlier today, the company has been hoping to make the move "for what seems like forever," with his ultimate goal being to push the "democratisation of game development further than ever before." He further explains in a blog post that the new option comes with "no strings attached, no royalties and no license fees," apart from the prior rules that require large companies to use the paid version of Unity. As for those who've recently paid up for the mobile engine only to find it now free, Helgason says they can expect to hear from him in the next two weeks with an offer of discounts on future purchases.
Finding a spot to stash your whip, especially in unfamiliar territory, can be a chore, so you might want to employ ParkMe to do the finding for you. The service -- which has been available on iOS and via the web for a while -- has now officially debuted its Android app after a few months of soft-launch tweaking. (What ever happened to Google's own parking app?). It's basically a database that uses the Google Maps API to help you locate a spot in almost any city you can think of. It also shows you prices, how you can pay and when garages are open, but best of all, it'll tell you how busy specific locations are using real-time figures, thanks to partnerships with some of the companies that deal in floor space. You can get it for free in the Play store, but one thing it won't do is actually park for you -- luckily, there's an app for that, too.
Source: Google Play
Sometimes in the mobile world, selecting a carrier isn't determined so much by devices or plans, but rather which provider best suits your coverage needs. Sadly, the map tools on carrier websites are needlessly painful, and most coverage apps that you'll find rely on crowd-sourced data -- great if others contribute, but that's not always the case. Now, you'll find a better solution from Mosaik Solutions, which has released an Android app that provides data from the carriers themselves. Known as CellMaps Mobile Coverage, it brings a quick and easy visual overview into the likes of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, which can be parsed by 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE signal.
The basic version of the app is free, but the real power comes with a premium subscription that runs $1.99 annually. Here, you'll find the ability to view map overlays from multiple carriers, along with the ability to zoom into a street-level view. Additionally with the premium version, you can drop a pin onto any given spot and get a complete breakdown of carrier service in the area. We've already taken the app for a spin, and were quite pleased with the utility. Now, you can hit up the Play Store link and discover the joys (and pains) of being a coverage nerd.
Gallery: CellMaps Mobile Coverage
If your ears perked up when you heard about Opera for Android going WebKit, but were holding out for the final, non-beta version, then that wait is over. More recent features of the browser include the option to toggle the nav-bar location, text-wrapping when zooming and a full screen view of active tabs, but beyond that, the "what's new" section on the download page isn't saying much. So, while it's mostly the Opera we saw back at MWC, tools such as off-road mode (for data compressing) and a discovery mode are finally set for primetime. Ready to let Opera take the stage on your Android? Get your tickets at the source.
Via: Phone Arena
Source: Google Play
A fresh release of Dish Anywhere for Android just hit Google Play, bringing it up to speed with its iOS counterpart. Now, the application allows users to stream On Demand content from wherever they have an internet connection, and adds Facebook and Twitter sharing. The experience has also received a dedicated app for tablets running Google's mobile OS, sporting a look that makes better use of the extra screen real estate, and a skinned remote to boot. In addition to a few miscellaneous bug fixes, the update includes support for handsets with large screens, such as the Droid DNA. Jab the links below to grab ahold of the latest version.
21/05/2013 - Flickr updates its website and Android app with a more eye-pleasing interface, we go hands-on
Flickr's one of the elder statesmen of the online photo sharing world, but in recent years its UI has grown a bit long in the tooth when compared to the eye candy provided by other kids on the social sharing block. That's all changed as of today, as Marissa Mayer's team has overhauled Flickr's look on the web and in its Android app. Out goes the old layout, where text and white space commanded almost as much real estate as your photos, and in comes a tiled layout that's nothing but images.
Gallery: Flickr web redesign screenshots
A stock GS4 may look virtually indistinguishable from its predecessor, but it looks like Samsung's got a new variant of its flagship phone that'll bring it some much-needed visual flair. The folks at GSM Arena unearthed photos of a GT-I9295 model (allegedly called the GS4 Active) sporting a bright red shell with black inserts at the top and bottom and a trio of physical buttons on its chin. If the results returned by the AnTuTu benchmark are to be believed, the phone's equipped with standard GS4 fixins: a quad-core CPU clocked at 1.9Ghz and an Adreno 320 GPU (aka, a Snapdragon 600 SoC) and a 1920 x 1080 display. Naturally, there's no word on pricing, carrier support or an arrival date, but there are a couple more photos of the handset at the source.
Source: GSM Arena
Samsung didn't stray far from its comfort zone when designing the Galaxy S 4, and now a leaked build of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean for the S III makes it even harder to distinguish the older flagship from the newer one. The folks at SamMobile got their mitts on a test firmware build and, better yet, have combed through it to see what's new. As you may know, the S 4 ships with 4.2.2 under a TouchWiz layer, so it's not surprising to hear most of the features new to this S III build are on the S 4 already: an updated version of S Voice, more lock screen options / unlock effects, new display modes, a redesigned settings interface, voice control, and more. SamMobile has put together a video walkthrough of the build (embedded below), and you'll find an expanded changelog and software screenshots at the source link. Apparently, the firmware "works perfectly," so if you'd rather not wait through the (often lengthy) carrier approval process, you can download it for your S III right now (flashing required, of course).
Via: Sammy Hub