Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

23
Jan
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To celebrate the beginning of the pro cycling season (starting with the Tour Down Under in Australia) Recon, maker of HUD devices for athletes, is offering $100 off any of its HUD offerings.

Readers may remember Recon for Jet, the heads-up glasses that run Jelly Bean and compete against the still nascent Google Glass for the hearts and minds of athletes. The glasses debuted last Spring, with "Pilot Edition" units going up for pre-order last June.

19
Jan
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The incomparable @evleaks has offered up another look at Samsung's alleged UI experimentation, this time showing what would appear to be predictive search or information cards, similar to those offered by Google Now. Split into two parts, the collection shows everything from home temperature automation to exercise tracking to flight info, package tracking, appointments, and plenty more.

What differentiates the cards from Google's own service (design aside) is apparent social integration beyond birthdays and commutes.

18
Jan
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There comes a time in every Nexus device's life when it must leave the Play Store. For the Nexus 10, that time began earlier this week, when reports began surfacing that the tablet may be permanently out of stock (from the US Play Store, anyway). Since then the device's availability has flipped from available to "out of inventory" again and again, but at the time of writing, the original 10" Nexus' 32GB variant has been out of inventory in the US for two days (since January 16th), meaning we likely won't be seeing it again.

18
Jan
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Earlier this week, Samsung officially started the rollout of the Galaxy Note 3's update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Appearing first for those in Poland through KIES, the update matched what had been leaked shortly before the rollout began.

Just a few days later, Samsung has uploaded the official kernel source files to its Open Source Release Center.

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Interestingly, the manufacturer told developer Chainfire just yesterday "we only publish open source code of official version," responding to a request for access to the files.

11
Jan
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Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.

KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.

09
Jan
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Last Updated: January 12th, 2014

Update: You will find several mirrors of the APK below for manual flashing.

Google Play Services 4.0 was released in late October just after the Nexus 5 and Kit Kat became official, bringing with it plenty of improvements to things like Google+ sign-in, Wallet, Location services, and more.

Today, via the Android Developers Blog, Google announced the rollout of Google Play Services 4.1, which offers developers more and better tools to make compelling apps.

09
Jan
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Described by the Wall Street Journal as "a vulnerability that could allow malicious software to track emails and record data communications," a potential vulnerability in Samsung's Knox platform was discovered in late December by researchers at Israel's Ben-Gurion University. The researchers said the vulnerability would allow those with malicious intent to "easily intercept" secure data from Knox users. Samsung's initial response was that the problem may be less serious than researchers implied, and that it would investigate the situation thoroughly.

04
Jan
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Getting in some early news, Samsung has - as part of CES 2014 - announced its new Samsung Smart Home service, a means by which users will be able to control all their connected home appliances (from refrigerators to air conditioners to smart light bulbs) through a single app on their compatible smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or wearable device.

To start, the service will cover three main areas, which Samsung identifies as Device Control, Home View, and Smart Customer Service.

01
Jan
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If you want a smart watch but aren't compelled by the Galaxy Gear or enamored with the Pebble, there are other options out there to sate your desire. One of those options is Sony's Smart Watch 2. Best Buy is offering the second iteration of Sony's smart watch effort for $159.99, forty dollars off its normal price from the retailer, and thirty dollars off its price at Amazon.

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With a 1.6" transflective LCD display (which, unlike regular LCD displays, actually reflects and transmits light), IP57-certified water resistance, and a design language reminiscent of Sony's Xperia devices, the Smart Watch 2 isn't a bad choice for those looking to try a wrist-mounted wearable.

25
Dec
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Amid the flurry of new devices quietly launched recently, Google released a new Nexus accessory - a folio case for the Nexus 7 (2013). Despite my varied experiences with Nexus accessories, I'm always eager to see what Google thinks will work best with their devices. I'm particularly interested in tablet accessories. Tablets are meant to be super portable and usable anywhere, so making an accessory that retains the appeal of the device's form factor while also adding some utility is an interesting challenge.

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