19
Mar
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It's been just over three months since we gave you an exclusive look at EnergySense, Google's attempt to jump start their home management offerings. Now it looks like they're ending support for the project, closing down the web and Android apps that are currently in the test phase. This is the email sent to the EnergySense testers from Google.

Subject: EnergySense program winddown
Greetings Trusted Testers,

Our Trusted Tester trial has come to an official close, and in the next two weeks Google will stop actively supporting EnergySense.

19
Mar
Oppo-Find-7_05

You knew it was coming – Quad HD phones are a thing now. Oppo has announced the Find 7 in two versions. There's the Find 7a, which sports a 5.5-inch 1080p screen, and the premium Find 7 with a 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560x1440) LCD. That works out to 538 pixels per inch, because of course you need that many.

Oppo-Find-71

19
Mar
XFINITY-Thumb

For people who have a Comcast cable subscription, the Xfinity TV Go app is quite the nice piece of software. Rather than just providing shows for immediate streaming, which is less groundbreaking these days than it used to be, Comcast provides quite a few channels for live streaming. Now many more networks are available, including A&E, Cooking Channel, DIY, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel, MUN2 (companion to Telemundo), Sprout, Starz, TBS, TRUtv, TNT, and the Travel Channel.

19
Mar
z1

Sony has been doing an admirable job keeping its Android hardware on the latest releases, and today they're bringing KitKat to three of the newest phones in their lineup. The flagship Xperia Z1, the slightly smaller Xperia Z1 Compact, and the super-sized Xperia Z Ultra all get an Android 4.4 upgrade starting now, according to this Sony Mobile blog post.

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We haven't actually seen any updated devices from tipsters, and Sony makes the usual disclaimer that the rollout may vary by location and carrier.

19
Mar
iPlayer-Thumb

For our readers across the pond, BBC iPlayer takes some of the network's shows and provides them for easy viewing on Android devices. What about the TV? The latest version of the app has that covered too. This would be a surprise, but we already spilled the beans on this release a few days ago. We knew this update was to coincide with the launch of Chromecasts in the UK on March 19th, and now it's here.

19
Mar
eplus

Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.

For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card.

18
Mar
skype

Today, Skype is delivering on a promise that it made back in July of last year. That's a long while to wait for an update, but this one is pretty major. In short, the team has carefully crafted an update for Skype for Android that allows it to run in the background with virtually no impact on battery life. That's what they're claiming, anyway.

Essentially, the application (and the service as a whole) had to undergo some major re-thinking, which led to a "transformation" of the way Skype actually works.

18
Mar
bonza

Sometimes Android fans outside of the US feel a bit left out by Google. Not without good reason (and not without telling us and everyone else about it) - Google tends to focus on America for major products and features and expand them to the rest of the world at their leisure. Well Android users down under can now use the voice activation in Google Search and Google Now, or at least use it with a little more ease.

18
Mar
n5

When Google picks a random day to announce a bunch of stuff, it really announces a bunch of stuff. Availability of Play Store devices is expanding yet again to include the Nexus 7 in eight more European countries and the Nexus 5 in four more. [Update: Both devices are now listed for sale in all eight of the new European markets] Want to know which ones? Read on.

f1 f2 f3

18
Mar
chr

The news has been pointing to an international launch for the Chromecast this week, and it looks like Google is making it official in the Play Store. Google's streaming dongle just popped up in the Play Store for several countries for 30-39 of the local currency. Yeah, that might be a bit more expensive than the US price, but at least it's for sale. See update below for the full list.

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