Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

17
Jul
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For the past few hours, I've been observing a curious case of Jeff Williams on Google+. Jeff posted a screenshot of what he claimed was a Nexus 4 he bought from a Googler... with a build of Android 4.3 on it. The same build, JWR66N, that we saw leaked earlier on a Galaxy S4 GPE by SamMobile.

wm_Screenshot_2013-07-18-01-39-41

In disbelief, some have called him a hoaxer, but a number of resourceful folks decided to get Jeff on IRC (channel #Android43 on freenode) and worked with him for hours, trying over and over to get the magical system dump that would prove Jeff's story to be real.

17
Jul
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Remember the latest Facebook beta update v3.5? The one that brought photo saving and got rid of the legacy menu button, among other things. Looks like there's another change we didn't spot - one that's roughly 3 years overdue.

Starting with v3.5, the Facebook app finally registers itself as one of the apps capable of opening facebook.com links, so that when you click on, say, a new comment email notification, Facebook is right there instead of all your installed browsers.

15
Jul
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Google just updated the web Play Store with a completely new UI that was teased back at I/O 2013, and it immediately caused a whirlwind of mixed reactions. We have a separate post coming up on all the differences as well as the features that didn't make it into the redesign (there are, unfortunately, a lot - even more than went missing in Maps v7), but right now I want to commend Google and address one aspect that immediately stood out to me within the first few seconds - speed.

26
Jun
books

Google quietly brought Play Books today to four new countries: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and Portugal. The aforementioned countries only had access to Google Play Apps and Music before, so I'm sure the book lovers among those of you who reside in the four territories are ecstatic.

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The new Books section as seen in Ireland

Google has been very slow to roll out various content stores worldwide. The last time Play Books expanded was all the way back in March and only included one country - Mexico.

23
Jun
bbmfake

This morning we were alerted to a possible Blackberry Messenger sighting in the Play Store, but upon closer inspection, it was immediately obvious that this app is beyond fake. The problem is it already has 100,000+ installs, it's been sitting in the Play Store since Friday, and Google hasn't done anything to remove the listing yet.

Update 6/23/13 4:25pm PT: The fake app has been taken down.

Distractions

I can see three big problems that are currently distracting unsuspecting users and making them ignore any other possible warning signs:

  1. The developer's name is RIM, which looks pretty damn official.
07
Jun
Google Wallet

Google's Wallet-powered peer-to-peer payment service launched to rival Paypal was announced on May 15th and came with an interesting promotion: waived fees for transfers funded by credit cards. This promotion was recently (possibly today) adjusted quite drastically, and now only payments less than $250 aren't charged fees. Additionally, we now know that the promotional period ends on June 29th.

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Left: terms before; Right: current terms

Typically, credit card-funded transfers are charged a fee of 2.9% with a minimum of $0.30, but for a previously undefined "limited time," Google decided to foot the bill in hopes of attracting initial users.

04
Jun
Google-Glass-update-640x345

Google is pushing a new monthly update to Glass owners with some pretty incredible improvements to photo captures along with a few other not as exciting things. The update follows version XE5 from May 8th and, as you might have guessed, is numbered XE6.

Here is the full changelog provided to us by the Glass team:

Google Glass update version XE6:

  • Better photos through Glass
  • Voice annotate your photos and videos when sharing
  • Improvements to On-Head Detection.

03
Jun
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Last Updated: June 5th, 2013

Gmail 4.5 started rolling out today to Android devices (have you installed your update yet?), and immediately some of you noticed that it has definitely shuffled some things around. The bottom bar moved up top, the navigation is now on the left, and the multi-select checkboxes are gone. Don't worry, though - multi-select functionality hasn't disappeared. In fact, it's still very easy to use.

03
Jun
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The new Gmail is here, very slowly rolling out thanks to staged rollouts that may take a few weeks to complete. Thankfully, we already have the APK, and it's only a quick download away. The version number is 4.5-694836, and it's beautiful. Gogogo grab it!

Update: If you don't see the categories, go to the desktop version of Gmail, click the gear icon on the top right, and select Configure Inbox.

03
Jun
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Last Updated: June 4th, 2013

Today at Computex 2013, ASUS' Chairman Jonney Shih gave birth to no less than 11 products in a span of less than an hour, a surprising rate of fire we're not used to even at flagship events like MWC or CES, let alone Computex. Not bad at all, ASUS.

Undoubtedly, the most interesting and important announcement was the Transformer Book Trio, "the world’s first three-in-one mobile device." The Trio actually consists of two pieces:

  1. An 11.6" tablet with a 1920x1080 IPS display and 64GB of internal storage onboard, powered by a mobile-friendly 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 chip (32nm Clover Trail+).
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