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All posts tagged "Android"

  • Facebook’s Hello app is caller ID on steroids

    Facebook has released a new app that shows users more information about the person calling them. The Hello app -- built by the same team that built Messenger -- connects with Facebook so you can see who is calling, block unwanted calls and search for people and places. The app rolls out today on Android and it is up for public testing in the US, Brazil, and Nigeria. This type of app is nothing new. We've seen this technology from TrueCaller in the past, and Hello resembles TrueCaller in some aspects, but this is Facebook and it has the potential...

  • Google launches Handwriting Input Tool for both text and emoji on Android

    Google Research today launched a new project, Google Handwriting Input. The new app allows users, instead of using a standard keyboard, to take a leap back to the ancient days of handwriting to write text on any Android app with or without a stylus. For now, the app recognises 82 languages and 20 distinct scripts, supports emojis, which can be entered by drawing them. Google Handwriting Input works with or without an Internet connection. The new tool comes with voice as well, accessible through the mic sign. After typing, as the same with most keyboards, one can choose the word...

  • EU officially charges Google with antitrust violations, opens formal investigation on Android (update)

    The European Union has formally charged Google with cheating competitors by distorting internet search results to advantage its Google Shopping service. The EU has also launched an investigation into Android. The EU accuses Google of “systematic favourable treatment to its comparison shopping product (currently called 'Google Shopping') in its general search results pages, e.g. by showing Google Shopping more prominently on the screen.” Though EU formally launched the charges today, it has been under pressure to investigate Google for some time. In a statement released today, the EU said that it has sent Google a statement of objections, a charge sheet,...

  • Google Play increases free music storage limit by 30k songs

    Google's done its music-loving users a big favour. This week, the company increased its storage limit locker for Google Play Music from 20 000 to 50 000 songs at no charge. Google points out that users can stream or download the songs on Android devices, iOS devices, Chromebooks or from a computer via the browser. Music tracks can also be streamed through Google’s Chromecast device. This is not the first time that Google has shown its hand when it comes to music on the go. Early in 2014, Google acquired Songza, a music streaming company that is known for curating playlists...

  • Rise of the Android: 1 billion devices shipped in 2014

    Globally, the shipping of mobile phones has passed the one billion mark for annual shipments with 1. 28 billion devices in total passion from OEMs to retailers and carries for sale, in which, Android smartphones have continued to dominate, accounting for more than one billion handsets. That's according to the latest figures from research firm Strategy Analytics. This is for the first time that any platform has surpassed the one billion mark for shipments, claiming in the process 81 percent of the whole market. Things were not so rosy for Apple, which accounted for 15% of the market in 2014,...

  • LG’s annual financial report reveals $475 million profit

    LG Electronics has posted its of 2014 financial results and they look a lot better than they have for a while. The South Korean giant posted a US$475-million profit after shipping a total of 59.1-million smartphones, a 24% increase on its previous year. Its best quarter in 2014 was the third quarter in which LG shipped a record 16.8-million smartphones. In the final quarter however, LG had a drop and only shipped 15.5-million. LG’s net profit of US$474.81 million is a 125% improvement on last year's results. A huge contributor to LG’s good performance is its mobile business which helped...

  • Memeburn’s 3-minute look at the updated Google Translate app [video]

    A few days ago Google gave Google Translate an impressive update. Before the update, the online service was great for translating text which is handy from time-to-time. Now, after the update, all that impressiveness looks very basic. The new Google Translate is able to translate between 90 languages, take a picture from your phone camera and translate it directly into any language, translate offline while traveling, save your translations and access from any device. Some of the notable languages include Sesotho, Igbo, Yoruba, Swahili, Chinese, Tamil, Hindi, Gujarati amongst many, many others. To test some of these languages out, we...

  • Smartphones now make up 75% of mobiles sold in Gulf States

    International Data Corporation (IDC), the premier global provider of market intelligence, has released new research that reveals that shipments of 4G LTE handsets to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have increased by a staggering 400%. Increasing by more than four times over the last year. The research was conducted by IDC’s Europe, Middle East and Africa Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which provides a unique insight into the forces shaping the handset and smartphone markets in Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and Africa. IDC’s market intelligence firms Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker shows that smartphones...

  • Overall app usage grew by 76% in 2014

    In 2014, according to Flurry Analytics, overall app usage grew by 76%. Flurry defines app usage as a user opening an app and recording what the company call a session. The company obtained the data by tracking four millions sessions every minute, 2.079-trillion sessions in 2014. On 31 December, with users being busy, sharing, looking for rides, messaging, chatting, the company tracked 8.5-million sessions. Shopping, Utilities & Productivity, and Messaging experienced triple-digit growth. That's not surprising, given that mobile devices have become increasingly important for shopping, working, and communication. Working has also begun to see smartphones move in that direction,...

  • These are 2014’s most popular apps, games and movies on Google Play

    If you have Candy Crush along with Duolingo, Facebook and MyFitnessPal on your phone, you're probably one of the most average Android users of 2014. That's according to the new stats on what was trending on Google Play this year. Housing an estimated 1.3 million apps, Google Play tops the Apple App Store which is home to 1.2 million and therefor is the biggest mobile operating system's store. The most popular Android applications per category are Duolingo under Education, Facebook in the Social category, MyFitnessPal in Health & Fitness, Netflix in Entertainment, Pandora under Music, NFL Mobile under Sports and...

  • YouTube introduces video offline playback for Android

    Google has introduced offline video playback for YouTube mobile users. This feature is only available on Android devices in India, Indonesia and the Philippines for now and Google is not giving a time for when it will roll out to other places. Videos that support playback will include an offline icon which offers a choice of playback. Once cached, the videos selected for offline playback will be available to watch without internet access for up to 48 hours. Google explained on its blog why the service is being released in Asia Asia has proven itself to be a mobile-first world...

  • Google mobile results are now 100-150 milliseconds faster on Chrome for Android

    Google search results are getting faster than you can say ‘Google it’. According to IIya Grigorik, a developer advocate at Google, when you tap on a Google Search result after performing a mobile search, the page will now load 100-150 milliseconds faster in Chrome for Android. This is due to a “reactive prefetch”, that allows browsers begin to fetching not only the destination pages that are being accessed, but they also are informed of other critical resources that need to be fetched in parallel “to speed up rendering”. Grigorik explains: “As the search results page is unloaded, the browser...

  • Twitter can now identify apps users have downloaded for targeted advertising

    In an effort to gather as much information about its users' habits for more relevant advertising, Twitter will soon identify the other apps on your phone. The company released an announcement on its website and this is said to begin with the new version of its iPhone app which rolled out yesterday. A new Android version will roll out sometime next week. Twitter says it will alert users of its new data policy via an in -pp notification before it starts collecting any personal information. It also stresses that it is only collecting the list of applications users have installed...

  • WhatsApp bulks up its Android encryption efforts

    WhatsApp has made end-to-end encryption the default for all Android users, following a partnership with nonprofit software group Open Whisper Systems. Privacy is a big deal with users and it should be. Private messages and information should remain exactly that, private. With this encryption, WhatsApp messages are more private than they have ever been. Open Whisper System’s encryption protocol is also used to secure TextSecure. The encryption does not need users to turn it on. Read more: Yahoo’s end-to-end encryption tool will combat email snooping According to Open Whisper Systems founder Moxie Marlinspike, Android users are the first users to get...

  • Google, Pep Stores retailer partnering to develop ‘Africa-friendly’ Android

    According to recent reports, Google and South African low-cost retailer, Pep Stores, are in talks to build an Android version that would better fit the needs of the local smartphone users. While this at first seems an unlikely match, the tech giant first got in touch with Pep during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 2013. Pep is Africa's largest mobile phone retailer relying on low-cost smartphones running the Android mobile operating system such as the Huawei Ascend Y220 that goes for about R450 (US$45), and the MTN Steppa for R500 (US$50). Within the last 12 months, Pep's smartphone...