Win a ticket to Lookout’s Google I/O kickoff party

If you’re going to be in the Bay Area come May 14 (there’s a little thing called Google I/O going on) listen up!  Lookout is having a big party for a few close friends, and you could win a chance to be one of them.

There’s no transportation or Google I/O passes; you’ll have to provide those yourself.

When: Tuesday, May 14. 7:30 PM.
Where: Terra Gallery, 511 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA
What: Lookout’s annual Google I/O kickoff party. Drinks will start flowing at 7:30 pm at Terra Gallery in San Francisco and we’ll have tasty food and awesome entertainment.

Free giveaways for the first 200 who show up at the door (arrive early: we had a line around the block last year.).

To win a ticket just leave a comment on this  post and we will pick one winner.

Google Now updated, gets real time package tracking

Google has released a small update for the Google Search app for Android 4.1+ devices to add few nifty features to Google Now. The update, which is now available via Google Play, brings real time package tracking from select carriers among other features.

More on Google Now Package tracking:  Google Now tracking card is displayed when you receive a shipping notification for online purchases. For some shippers, cards update when the package ships, is out for delivery, or has been delivered. Links on each card bring you to more detailed tracking information.

The new update also enables faster search results on the app now. Here is the full change-log:

For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean):

–          Real time package tracking from select carriers

–          Quick feedback and settings on cards

–          Faster Google search results

 

   Download Google Search

New Feedly Mobile app promises better sharing, new search and discovery engine

Like it or not, we are quickly inching closer to the imminent closure of our beloved Google Reader. Ever since Google made its decision public, users started scrambling over the place in search of an able replacement for the Reader – one among those names has been that of Feedly.

Feedly claims that ever since Google took the decision to retire Reader, over 3 million Google Reader users switched to its platform. Now, in a step in the direction of making that transition a seamless one, Feedly has announced the new version of its Feedly Mobile app. The new Feedly Mobile focuses on search and discovery, productive reading and better sharing.

With the new Feedly Mobile, Feedly claims to have introduced a new way to search and discover feeds. It adds that users can now search for feeds faster, courtesy a fast feed search engine – with over 50 million feeds to read. The new Feedly Mobile comes with the smart topic completion feature that allows users to have “a truly intuitive” time with looking for and discovering feeds.

Feedly adds that the more a user is on the platform looking for feeds, categorising them or following their favourite feeds, the better the platform’s search and discovery capabilities will become.

An important feature on the new Feedly Mobile is this newbie called “Must Reads”. With this feature, the platform ensures that users do not miss out on the updates from their most important feeds. New posts from the feeds that a user promotes as “must read” will appear at the top of the feed selection panel and in the “Today” section. Then there’s the pull the refresh gesture that has been added to the feed selection panel so that users get the latest content that is available.

The new “Title Only” view is yet another addition to the new Feedly Mobile, which is useful for those who prefer a quick running through the headlines and read in-detail only the ones that they want to.

It is almost criminal to not include top-notch sharing capabilities on a Reader. So with the new Feedly Mobile, Feedly claims to have enabled fast and easy sharing capabilities. The sharing panel has been redesigned to allow for easy sharing of articles and also saving them for later. It comes with support for Google+ too. It also includes settings that allow users to pick the sharing and saving option that should have a shortcut on their main toolbar.

The new Feedly Mobile is now available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android phone, Android tablet, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. The updated Feedly Android and iOS apps are up for grabs on their respective app stores.

 

Facebook to hold Android event on April 4, phone launch?

Facebook has started sending out invites to the tech press for an event on April 4, where the company promises to show something related to Android.

The invite states ‘come see out new home on Android,’ which could many things including new app, or a home-screen replacement that integrates Facebook or even an Android powered phone with Facebook specific customizations.

TechCrunch is betting its money on the phone launch, the tech blog wrote that the phone is going to be the much rumoured HTC device with modified Android operating system.  TechCrunch added that that customisations won’t be something like what Amazon does with Android, but will just have an extra flavour over Android that will bring all sorts of extra Facebook functionality.

“We’ve also heard it referred to as an “application layer”. Imagine Facebook’s integration with iOS 6, but on steroids, and built by Facebook itself. It could have a heavy reliance on Facebook’s native apps like Messenger, easy social sharing from anywhere on the phone, and more,” noted TechCrunch in a post.

In a separate report, 9To5Google adds that Facebook and HTC are currently working on join ad campaign, which gives credence to the reports of HTC made Facebook phone, else why would HTC be advertising with Facebook.

9To5Google writes:

“According to people familiar with the development of the marketing campaign for the Facebook/HTC phone, the advertisements are designed to focus on the potential user of the device, not on the hardware or software. As a nod to this phone being a much expanded version of the Facebook application found on iOS and standard Android devices, one of the tag-lines for the device is “more than just an app.”

The report also notes quoting a source, who has seen this alleged Facebook phone hardware, that this phone remind of an iPhone and packs a display bigger than 4-inch. Some previous reports had pegged the Facebook phone to feature a 4.3-inch display, which sounds similar to more than 4-inch display that 9to5Google source is talking about.

There is no way to authenticate these reports, but at least we will be seeing something related to Android on April 4, so take all this with a pinch of salt and wait for the actual announcement.

Samsung_GALAXY_Fame_front_youngSamsung has announced two new Android smartphones this morning. Part of company’s Galaxy line-up, the smartphones are targeted to the budget smartphone buyers. Dubbed as Samsung Galaxy Fame and Samsung Galaxy Young, these phones will be available in the coming months. Company has not revealed the exact pricing or availability details at the moment.

Samsung has also revealed that Samsung Galaxy Fame and Young will be sold in both single SIM as well as dual-SIM versions. The smartphone supports dual-Standby SIM support not dual-active, however thanks Samsung’s Always On technology, if you are on call on one SIM and there is  another call on other SIM, the other SIM will forward that call to your first SIM card, so that you don’t miss it. The phones also come with something called Hybrid Dual-SIM support, which lets you use 3G data on one SIM while receiving a call on the other SIM.

According to a press release issued by the company, both the smartphones come pre-loaded with company’s Motion UI, which allows you to refresh and update widgets and other content by simply shaking your Galaxy Fame or Young. The phones also come pre-loaded with Samsung Game Hub Lite, which packs the best compatible games for these under-powered phones.

Samsung Galaxy Fame

The smartphone will be sold in Pearl White and Metallic Blue colours. It features Android 4.1, 1GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage and 1300 mAh battery. Samsung has also packed a 5MP rear camera, NFC and 3.5-inch HVGA TFT display.

Samsung Galaxy Fame specs

  • Processor: 1 GHz
  • Cameras: 5-megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash, VGA front Camera
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Content Features & Services: Samsung Apps , Samsung Kies , Samsung TouchWiz , Motion UI: Shake to update, Turn over to mute, Samsung Hub, Game Hub Lite, Samsung ChatON, Samsung S Cloud
  • GPS, A-GPS, Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v 4.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC(optional),
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity
  • Memory: 4GB Storage ? 512MB (RAM)
  • microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 113.2 x 61.6 x 11.6 mm, 120.6 g
  • Battery: Li-ion 1,300mAh

Samsung Galaxy Young

Similar to Galaxy Fame, Galaxy Young also comes with a 1GHz processor, 4GB internal storage and Android 4.1. The smartphone also packs a 3.27-inch HVGA TFT display, 3MP camera and 1300 mAh battery. The phone will be sold in White, Deep Blue, Wine Red and Metallic Silver colours.

Samsung Galaxy Young specs

  • Processor: 1 GHz processor
  • Camera: 3-megapixel camera
  • Music Player with SoundAlive
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Content Features & Services: Samsung Apps, Samsung Kies, Samsung TouchWiz, Motion UI: Smart Alert, Shake to update, Turn over to mute, Samsung Hub, Game Hub Lite, Samsung ChatON, Samsung S Cloud / Dropbox
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth v 3.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity
  • Memory: 4GB Storage ? 768MB (RAM)
  • microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Dimensions: 58.6 x 109.4 x 12.5 mm, 112 g
  • Battery: Li-ion 1,300mAh

Download paid apps without jailbreaking your iPhone

That piece of software that allows you to download paid apps  is called Zeusmos and believe it or not it has been developed by a 15 year old.

Zeusmos can be downloaded on the Cydia store for free which obviously requires you to have a jailbroken device but the thing that will scare developers the most is that Zeusmos can be  downloaded even without a jailbreak making this service available to anyone with an iOS device.

Zeusmos can currently be downloaded for free on a jailbroken device and for a fee of $5/year it can be downloaded on a non-jailbroken device as well. It’s very strange considering you have to pay to pirate apps. Why not buy them in the first place?

Zeusmos can be downloaded by heading over to Zeusmos.com.

GMD Smart Rotate Adds Screen Rotation Customization for Android Phones

GMD Smart Rotate is an app that makes use of the front facing camerato determine your facial orientation, and as such may turn the device’s screen from one mode to another by analyzing the image.The app is loaded with extra features such as the ability to rotate either clockwise or counter clockwise, lock a certain position, force apps to rotate (even if they don’t want to), and more.

This is a feature that can be found on some of the later Samsung devices such as the SGS3 and JB TouchWiz ROMs on SGS2variants as well. However, GMD can be used on any device, as long as it has a front facing camera.

Functionality will obviously be hindered in low light situations, where the camera may not be able to properly identify your face, so be aware of this if you use it.

Download Gmd smart rotation

Android 4.2

In addition to the new Nexus devices, Google has also announced an update to Jelly Bean in the form of Android 4.2. This is not a major Android release, thus it is carrying the Jelly Bean moniker, but it does pack several new features.

We have already seen some of these features in the past leaks like multiple user support, but there are many more about which we are hearing for the first time.

1: Photo Sphere camera:

Your panoramic photos are no longer just vertical or horizontal, by adding street view like technology to camera app on Android, Google now allows you to snap images in any direction and create Photo Spheres.

In Google’s words:

Up, down and all around you, it’s like no camera you’ve ever seen. With Android 4.2, snap pictures in every direction that come together into incredible, immersive photo spheres that put you right inside the scene. View your photo spheres right on your phone, share them on Google+ with your friends and family, or even add them to Google Maps for the world to see.

The Verge adds:

The camera prompts you to line up and take overlapping shots of a scene, which it then stitches together to make an immersive panorama — just like Street View. You can view the resulting image as a flat file, but Android 4.2 and Google+ have built-in Photo Sphere viewers that let you move things around. (The file format is just regular .jpg with some embedded XML, so anyone can build a viewer, not just Google.) It’s impressive stuff.

2: Gesture typing:

By adding Swype like functionality in stock Android keyboard, Google now allows to type by just gliding your fingers over letters. The stock Android keyboard will even predict the next word, similar to SwiftKey.

There are also improvements in text-to-speech and even the stock dictionary is more accurate.

In Google’s words:

Writing messages on the go is easier than ever with Gesture Typing – just glide your finger over the letters you want to type, and lift after each word. You don’t have to worry about spaces because they’re added automatically for you. The keyboard can anticipate and predict the next word, so you can finish entire sentences just by selecting suggested words. Power through your messages like never before. Android’s dictionaries are now more accurate and relevant. With improved text-to-speech capabilities, voice typing on Android is even better. It works even when you don’t have a data connection, so you can type with your voice everywhere you go.

3: Multiple users:

Android 4.2 is also introducing multiple users support. Now, every user of a shared tablet in a household can have their own space – own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games. It also includes support for app data too, so the same game can support individual high scores and levels for different users.

You don’t even have to log-in or out and can just switch between users. This feature is only available on tablets.

In Google’s words:

It’s your fully customized tablet. And theirs, too. With support for multiple users, you can give each person their own space. Everyone can have their own homescreen, background, widgets, apps and games – even individual high scores and levels! And since Android is built with multitasking at its core, it’s a snap to switch between users – no need to log in and out. Available only on tablets.

The Verge adds:

Android 4.2 also add multiple user support on tablets for easier sharing — each user gets their own apps and data. It’s cleverly done: if one user has already downloaded an app, the other users don’t have to redownload anything to install it. Google showed us Bad Piggies running on one user account with saved levels and scores; when the other user installed the app, it appeared instantly in a completely fresh state. Apps are backgrounded when you switch away from an account — they can complete certain tasks like downloads but are otherwise mostly shut down.

4: Support for Miracast/ Enable wireless display

This new version of Android comes with default integration of Miracast wireless display standard. You can share video, YouTube content or for that matter anything from your phone/tablet to an HDTV. As most of the televisions don’t have Miracast support right now, you will have to purchase an adapter, which will allow you to share content.

In Google’s words:

Android 4.2 allows devices to enable wireless display. You can share movies, YouTube videos, and anything that’s on your screen on an HDTV. Just connect a wireless display adapter to any HDMI-enabled TV to mirror what’s on your screen quickly and easily.

The Verge adds:

The highlight is support for Miracast, an industry-standard Wi-Fi display sharing protocol that allows new devices like the Nexus 4 to stream audio and video to TVs. (Think AirPlay with broad industry support.) Miracast boxes for existing TVs are expected to go on sale from a variety of companies soon, and Google expects them to cost well under $99. And Miracast will soon be built directly into TVs, which is pretty exciting — LG’s already committed to building it into all of its 2013 smart TVs.

5: Enhanced Google Now

In addition to already mentioned features Google is also improving Google Now with Android 4.2. Google Now will show even more cards in Android 4.2, like for flight information, restaurant reservation or shipping details. Google Now will also alert you about nearby attractions or movies timing among other things.

In Google’s words:

We designed Google Now to make life simpler by giving you the right information at just the right time in easy to read cards, before you even ask. And the feedback has been awesome. So today we’re adding more cards that we hope you’ll find useful. Flight information, restaurant reservations, hotel confirmations and shipping details—how often have you found yourself wading through your email to get this information at the last moment? So next time you book a table for dinner, you’ll get a reminder with all the details without ever having to lift a finger. You’ll also get cards for nearby attractions, interesting photo spots, movies times at nearby theaters or concerts by your favorite artists.

Other features:

Daydream: Daydream lets your Android device display useful and delightful information when idle or docked. Improved notifications: Now take actions directly from notification shade. Snooze an alarm or reply to email and more. Lock-screen improvements: Widget support and the ability to swipe directly to camera Pinch to Zoom in Gmail

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