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Android M To Introduce Granular Permission Control

Remember App Ops? Back in Jelly Bean 4.3, the feature could be accessed by resourceful users to switch on or off permissions for individual apps. By KitKat 4.4.2, the feature was completely hidden from users. Google's explanation was that App Ops was never meant for public consumption - it was devised for internal debugging only. But users had gotten a taste of granular app permission controls and wanted more.

After some rumblings earlier this month, we've seen information suggesting that - with Android M - that wish may be fulfilled after all.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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Google App Hits Version 4.1 With 'Now Cards' Settings And More [APK Download]

There may be a major trade show happening this week, but it's still Update Wednesday. Google has updated its 'Google' app (formerly known as Search) to version 4.1. We are still digging around for new features, but we've already found a few goodies and put the APK up for your enjoyment.

First up, there's a new space in settings called "Now Cards," which - as the name suggests - gives you control over the cards Google presents to you. Users can toggle cards on or off entirely, see their card history on the web, delete all custom preferences, and control notifications and how urgent updates are handled.

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Rumor: Google Exploring 'KITT' For Eyes-Free Functionality In The Car, Always-On Listening

A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.

It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally. This functionality would allow users to interact with Search without touching or even looking at their device, getting just what they want without any distraction.

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My N3RD Surpasses $50k Kickstarter Funding Goal With Promise Of Controlling Any Device From A Smartphone

My N3RD wants to empower you to take control of every gadget in your house, every appliance waiting idly, and every vehicle in your garage using just your smartphone. How, you ask? First, the project needs $50,000. Check. They team has successfully managed to raise over $51,000 with 18 days left to go. Next, watch this video.

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[CES 2014] Samsung Announces 'New Era Of Smart Home' With Single App, Protocol For Controlling Home Devices

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.

Device Control, as you might guess, allows users to control home devices using a mobile device remotely. The feature also allows for voice commands so if, for example, you're going to bed, you could tell your smart TV "good night," and it would know to turn off and tell the lights to dim gradually.

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Exclusive: Yahoo! Is Working On A Google Now / Siri-Like Voice-Controlled Personal Assistant App [Updated]

Update 2: According to TechCrunch, and Co-Founder/CEO of natural language processing startup Robin Labs, the app is a real, functional product built on the startup's "white-label" voice assistant platform. While it was not commissioned by Yahoo!, it was created during ongoing discussions with the company. Read the full story here.

Update: According to TechCrunch, who has a source "familiar with Yahoo's internal projects," the video doesn't depict a real Yahoo! product, in progress or otherwise. At this point we can't verify absolutely whether the product is real, fake, imagined, or in progress, but even the Android Police can be tricked now and then.

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Chainfire Introduces 'Wi-Fi Stick' Solution For Would-Be DSLR Controller Users Without Wi-Fi Capable Cameras

Always wanted to use Chainfire's DSLR Controller app, but don't have a Wi-Fi enabled Canon EOS camera? Chainfire's got a solution for you called the "Wi-Fi Stick."

Along with a new Wi-Fi Stick centered app, Chainfire today posted a walkthrough on how to craft the device, which will enable your Canon EOS camera to work with your Android phone or tablet, all by yourself.

For those who are wondering what we're talking about, DSLR Controller is an app that debuted in 2011 as the very first of its kind, allowing users to control their EOS cameras remotely from an Android device.

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Deal Alert: Unified Remote Just $0.99 In Celebration Of Second Anniversary (That's 70% Off)

Unified Remote, in short, is a great app. Its claim to being "easily the most feature-filled PC remote" may have merit, as Artem will attest. The app, in conjunction with a PC-compatible server, will allow your device to control your mouse, keyboard, and favorite software (think Spotify, Winamp, VLC, Hulu, iTunes, etc.) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Besides having impressive (and incredibly handy) functionality, Unified Remote impresses with a clean, easy-to-use interface. It's got big buttons, simple layouts, and oh yeah, it's holo-inspired.

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If you're not yet a Unified Remote user, you'd be well-advised to check it out some time in the next two days – the full version is on sale for 70% off its normal price, bringing the cost down to just $0.99.

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Xbox SmartGlass App Updated With Support For Tablets Larger Than 7", Always-On State

A few months ago, Microsoft announced the SmartGlass app for Xbox, a companion application that allows you to navigate and control your console from your phone or, up until recently, 7" tablets. Now, version 1.5 has rolled out that adds support for larger slates. Including 10" devices like the Nexus 10, which is kind of great.

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On a larger tablet, the UI actually doesn't look much different from the interface on the TV itself, so it's extremely intuitive. Also, this update brings an always-on state, so your device won't shut off while you're using the companion app. SmartGlass is free on the Play Store and the update is available immediately.

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JayBird BlueBuds X Deep Dive Review: Ultraportable Perfection Comes At A Price

I have a confession to make: I'm obsessed with wireless portable audio gear. Bluetooth earbuds, headphones, and portable speakers excite me more than they probably should. And I'm OK with that. My wife, however, gives me "the look" every time a new gadget arrives, rolling her eyes so far up her skull she could have easily become a soap opera star or an extra on The Walking Dead. She doesn't get it - she's not a geek who loves to get to the bottom of every feature, spot every miniscule detail, and figure out if we have something special on our hands.

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