28
May
spotifyicon

One of the biggest peeves that, well, everyone had when the redesigned Spotify app hit the scene back in June of last year (yes, it's already been a year) was the lack of landscape support. Updates came and went, but we were all left wanting.

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Here we are, one year later, and landscape support is here. It's finally real. For me, personally, there's just one problem: I canceled my Spotify premium membership yesterday and switched to Play Music All Access as my full-time streaming service.

28
May
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Last Updated: June 10th, 2013

Nothing can break a good app quicker than an ugly interface. Conversely, a subpar app can be thrown into the limelight thanks to a beautiful UI. The point is: we're all slightly vain and love to look at pretty things. If you're a developer, making your app visually appealing is absolutely clutch for success; if you're just not sure where to start, however, we've got a book that should be just what the doctor ordered: Android User Interface: Turning Ideas and Sketches into Beautifully Designed Apps ($25, Amazon).

28
May
nexusae0_samsung-logo_thumb1

It's that time again: the software engineers at Samsung are on an open-source bender, and they won't stop until every last Galaxy phone has been served. Today Samsung posted kernel files for some big (as in widely-used) devices, and some not-so-big (but still actually pretty big) devices. Verizon's version of the Galaxy S4, the vanilla Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos, and the GSM version of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 all have kernel source code posted at Samsung's open source repository.

28
May
1[5]

We've been seeing images of a white version of the Nexus 4 for several months now (including some recently-leaked press shots), but LG just officially took the wraps off of it. This new N4 is virtually identical to the current edition in hardware specifications, as it features a 4.7-inch 1280x768 display, 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB RAM, and of course Android 4.2; so no surprises there.

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Oddly enough, the handset will start its journey in Hong Kong on May 29th, and will "roll out globally in select markets in Asia, North America, Europe, and the Middle East over the next several weeks." That's a step away from the norm, where Google usually releases new Nexus devices in the US Play Store first.

27
May
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Last Updated: May 29th, 2013

It looks like the folks at doubleTwist are hard at work on a new version of their music playback/syncing app for Android, but we're not supposed to know that yet. Someone seems to have jumped the gun a little bit and posted the news on the doubleTwist blog. The post was locked down almost immediately, but not before we spotted it. The news? As the post says, the future is Holo(graphic).

27
May
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Over the weekend, Android Police received a tip about a serious privacy hole in Facebook Pages Manager for Android that made some privately uploaded photos public. Shortly after I made the details of the issue public, Facebook Security got in touch and let us know that its engineers were looking into the report and trying to get a fix up soon.

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At 4:19pm PT today, I received a follow-up email from Facebook Security that confirmed a fix had been rolled out server-side, and no app update was necessary.

27
May
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Bicycling enthusiasts in Europe (of which there are many) are getting a present from Google today with the addition of biking directions in Google Maps for six new countries. Cyclists in Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein can now pull down routes that take into account the available biking trails, paths, and lanes. This applies to mobile and desktop apps.

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When biking directions are selected in Google Maps, it chooses routes that avoid busy streets, and sends riders down dedicated bike paths where available.

27
May
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Lambda Labs, a small start-up out of San Francisco, is set to drag us kicking and screaming into the dystopian sci-fi future we all knew was coming. Okay, that might be overstating the point, but the company has announced its intention to release a facial recognition API for Google Glass this week. Should this pan out, you'll always have to wonder if that fellow wearing Google Glass remembered your name, kid's age, and occupation because he has a good memory, or because the cloud told him.

27
May
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There are many, many camera apps out there with filters and effects to make your snapshots look like they were taken with a 30 year-old Polaroid. Fewer are the camera apps with cool, well-thought-out filters that make for fun images. Paper Camera definitely fell into the latter category, and the follow-up Camera 2 looks even cooler.

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27
May
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Tapatalk: love it or hate it, it isn't going away any time soon. For those who fall into the former category, version 4 of the ubiquitous forum browsing platform is now live in the Play Store, in a public beta version chock-full of new features. The app has been circulating among the Tapatalk faithful in private beta for just short of two months now. Tapatalk 4 is a free download, but requires Android 4.0 or higher.

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