Gmail 5.0 for Android

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Gmail’s app for Android has a new interface based on Material Design. The application is now an email client, as it supports adding email accounts from Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail and other email services that use POP3 or IMAP, but it adds them separately from your Gmail accounts.

Gmail 5.0 for Android makes it easy to switch between accounts, find the number of unread messages and reply to an email.

The compose button is now at the bottom and it’s a lot bigger.

It’s a cleaner, more modern interface that uses some ideas from Google Inbox.

Google says that the new version of the Gmail app will support all Android 4.0+ devices and it will be available on Google Play over the next few days. If you don’t want to wait, you can manually install the APK file from Android Police.

November 5th 2014 Android

Gillmor Gang: Eating the World

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Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, John Taschek, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Thursday, October 30, 2014. A good news week, disguised as mobile, Facebook, and notifications eating the world. Just beneath the surface, the power of micro-communities lurking. Read More

November 2nd 2014 Android, apple, Facebook, microsoft, Twitter, video

Google’s PDF Reader for Android

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The latest version of Google Drive for Android added a lot of new features: a new interface based on Material Design, a better search feature that shows results as you type, custom message for sharing files. “You can also turn on link sharing to make the file public and set access to view, comment, or edit. This automatically copies the link to the clipboard and allows you to paste it wherever you want.”

Google Drive for Android now also includes a PDF reader. The application still uses the default PDF reader installed on your device, but you can now select Drive PDF Viewer. It works offline and it can be used from any other Android application, not just from Google Drive.

Google’s PDF viewer is pretty basic: it has a search feature, it lets you select and copy text, upload files to Google Drive, print files and share them.

Updates are gradually rolled out, so you may not be able to install the latest version of the Google Drive app from Google Play. Android Police has a link to the APK file.

October 30th 2014 Android

Hands-On With The Nexus 9 Tablet

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IMG_20141021_121350 The Nexus 9 in a nutshell: it’s big, and it’s beautiful. I got to spend a few fleeting minutes with the device this afternoon, and though we plan to have a full review in the coming days, I thought I’d share my initial thoughts. Like the jump from Nexus 5 to Nexus 6, there’s a pretty huge spike in quality and build feel from the Nexus 7 to the Nexus 9. The predecessor… Read More

October 22nd 2014 Android, Google

Move Content From an iOS Device to Android

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It’s easy to switch between iOS and Android, especially if you use Google’s services. Google published a guide that helps you switch from iOS to Android, while also highlighting the advantages of Google’s services.

You can upload the photos from an iPhone or iPad to Google+ Photos by downloading the Google+ app and enabling the Auto Backup feature. You can also upload the songs from the iTunes library to Google Play Music for free, but you’ll have to use a computer.

Transferring contacts is more complicated if you don’t use Gmail. You’ll have to export contacts from iTunes or from the service you’re using and upload them to Gmail.

Transferring apps is the most time consuming step. “Google Play has over 1.3 million apps to choose from so you can find all your favorites and discover new ones. For apps where you’re a subscriber, like Netflix, you can simply transfer your service over to Android for free. Just download the same app from Google Play and sign in to your app.”

Google’s guide doesn’t help you migrate SMS messages, call history, calendars and notes. If you use iCloud for calendars, you can export them using this trick and then import them to Google Calendar. Exporting iCloud notes is a manual process: “Open the Notes app at iCloud.com. Copy the text of each note and paste it into a document on your computer, such as a Pages or TextEdit document. Save the document to your computer.”

Apple has recently published a similar guide for switching from an Android device to an iOS device. Apple links to various apps that automate the process.

Unlike Apple, Google makes it easy to export your data. You can export your mail, calendars, documents, notes, photos, videos, messages with only a few clicks. If you use Google apps like Chrome, Google Maps, Google+, Google Play Music, Hangouts, Google Drive, Google Search, Gmail, Google Keep for both Android and iOS, you can quickly switch between Android and iOS devices.

{ via Droid Life }

October 22nd 2014 Android, Mobile

Android: Be together. Not the same.

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Good things happen when everybody’s invited. A few years ago, we had the thought that phones (and stuff that hadn’t even been invented yet like tablets and smart watches) would be way more interesting if everyone could build new things together. So we created Android as an open platform, and put it out there for everyone to imagine, invent, make, or buy whatever they wanted.

Since then, all kinds of people—from companies big and small to folks on Kickstarter, kids in schools, and crazy smart developers—have been innovating faster, together, more than we ever could alone. And the best part is that every time someone new joins in, things get more interesting, unexpected, and wonderful for all of us.

Getting everyone in on the party is the same spirit behind Android One—an effort recently launched in India (coming to other countries soon) to make great smartphones available to the billions of people around the world who aren’t yet online. It’s also why we’re excited about Lollipop, our newest software release, which is designed to meet the diverse needs of the billion-plus people who already use Android today.

Joining the party: Android 5.0 Lollipop
As previewed at Google I/O, Lollipop is our largest, most ambitious release on Android with over 5,000 new APIs for developers. Lollipop is designed to be flexible, to work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit. And just like Android has always been, it’s designed to be shared.

Lollipop is made for a world where moving throughout the day means interacting with a bunch of different screens—from phones and tablets to TVs. With more devices connecting together, your expectation is that things just work. With Lollipop, it’s easier than ever to pick up where you left off, so the songs, photos, apps, and even recent searches from one of your Android devices can be immediately enjoyed across all the other ones.

As you switch from one screen to another, the experience should feel the same. So Lollipop has a consistent design across devices—an approach we call Material Design. Now content responds to your touch, or even your voice, in more intuitive ways, and transitions between tasks are more fluid.

Lollipop also gives you more control over your device. You can now adjust your settings so that only certain people and notifications can get through, for example, when you’re out to dinner or in the middle of an important meeting. And when an important notification does come through, you can see it directly from the lockscreen.

And because we’re using our devices a lot more, there’s a new battery saver feature that extends the life of your device by up to 90 minutes—helpful if you’re far from a power outlet. We’ve enabled multiple user accounts and guest user mode for keeping your personal stuff private. And you can now secure your device with a PIN, password, pattern, or even by pairing your phone to a trusted device like your watch or car with Smart Lock. But this is just a small taste of Lollipop. Learn more on android.com.

Meet the Nexus family, now running Lollipop
Advances in computing are driven at the intersection of hardware and software. That’s why we’ve always introduced Nexus devices alongside our platform releases. Rather than creating software in the abstract, we work with hardware partners to build Nexus devices to help push the boundaries of what’s possible. Nexus devices also serve as a reference for the ecosystem as they develop on our newest release. And for Lollipop, we have a few new Nexus treats to share with you.

First, with Motorola, we developed the Nexus 6. This new phone has a contoured aluminum frame, a 6-inch Quad HD display and a 13 megapixel camera. The large screen is complemented by dual front-facing stereo speakers that deliver high-fidelity sound, making it as great for movies and gaming as it is for doing work. It also comes with a Turbo Charger, so you can get up to six hours of use with only 15 minutes of charge.

Next, a new tablet built in partnership with HTC. Nexus 9, with brushed metal sides and 8.9-inch screen, is small enough to easily carry around in one hand, yet big enough to work on. And since more and more people want to have the same simple experience they have on their tablets when they have to do real work, we designed a keyboard folio that magnetically attaches to the Nexus 9, folds into two different angles and rests securely on your lap like a laptop.

Finally, we’re releasing the first device running Android TV: Nexus Player, a collaboration with Asus, is a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. It’s also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you’re on the road. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV.

Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17. Nexus 9 will be in stores starting November 3. Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order in late October and in stores in November—with options for an unlocked version through Play store, or a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Specific carrier rollout timing will vary. Check out google.com/nexus for more details on availability.

Android 5.0 Lollipop, which comes on Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player, will also be available on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

The party’s just getting started
With this latest release of Android Lollipop, we’re excited to continue working with our developer community, hardware partners, and all of you. More ideas and more creators is what gets us all to better ideas faster. And since everyone’s invited to the party, we hope you’ll join in the fun by creating and sharing an Android character that captures a little bit of who you are—one of a kind. Enjoy!

October 16th 2014 Android

Android Verification Code for Google Accounts

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When you’re signing in to a Google account from a different country, Google asks you to confirm your identity. You can enter your recovery email address or phone number, enter a verification code received in an SMS messages or voice call and now you can enter a code generated by your Android device.

“If you’re signing in from a different location than you usually do, we may ask you to enter a code from the Google Settings app on your Android phone or tablet to make sure you own the account. You don’t need an internet connection or phone/SMS connectivity to get codes using this app.”

The Google Settings app is the UI for Google Play Services, Google’s framework that delivers new features and APIs without installing a new Android version. It has nothing to do with the built-in Settings app, which is part of the operating system and can’t be updated by Google.

The verification code has 8 digits and it can be obtained by opening the Google Settings app, tapping the menu button and selecting “Get verification code”.

{ Thanks, Herin. }

September 28th 2014 Android, security

The Nexus 6 Could Be A Giant-Sized Monster, But I Hope It Isn’t

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Moto 360 Watchface and Phone 5 Google has a new Nexus 6 in the works, also potentially dubbed the “Nexus X,” and rumors abound about its potential specs. But 9to5Google has what might be the clearest look yet at this next iteration of Google’s Android reference smartphone, and the good news is that it’s basically a new Moto X. There’s bad news, too, however, depending on your opinion… Read More

September 25th 2014 Android, Google, Mobile

PayPal Here Hits Android Tablets

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PayPal Here is the card reader offering and Square competitor PayPal launched over two years ago. They’ve just now made the app available for Android tablets.

“We want you, the businesses we work with, to be able to accept payments wherever you are and on whatever device works best for your business,” the company says in a blog post. “Earlier this year, Gartner reported that 62 percent of tablets purchased in 2013 were Android. A lot of you are probably in that percentage.”

“Just like the PayPal Here app for Android phones, the tablet version has all your favorite features so you won’t miss a sales opportunity, whether you’re using your phone or tablet to take payments,” PayPal says.

These include: acceptance of credit/debit cards and mobile payments; inventory/product management; sales activity monitoring; discount/tax/tip customization; and card swiping via PayPal’s dongle.

The app is available from Google Play in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, PayPal launched a new PayPal Here SDK for both iOS and Android. More on that here.

Image via PayPal

September 19th 2014 Android

For the next five billion: Android One

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Knowledge is a game changer. I’ve long been inspired by the Internet and how it opens the doors to opportunity. It provides access to knowledge, no matter who you are or where you are. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Nobel Laureate at a world-class research center or a young student at a rural school in Indonesia, with Google Search, you have the same information at your fingertips as anyone else.

If we look at how people are getting online and accessing information today, increasingly it’s through a smartphone. While 1.75 billion people around the world already have a smartphone, the vast majority of the world’s population—over five billion more—do not. That means most people are only able to make simple voice calls, rather than connect with family through a live video chat, use mapping apps to find the closest hospital, or simply search the web. We want to bring these experiences to more people.

That’s where Android One comes in. At I/O, we first talked about this initiative to make high-quality smartphones accessible to as many people as possible. And today we’re introducing the first family of Android One phones in India.

Addressing key barriers—hardware, software and connectivity
There are three big reasons why it’s hard for people in countries such as India, Indonesia or the Philippines to get their hands on a high-quality smartphone. First, is the hardware itself. Even entry-level smartphones still remain out of reach for many (bear in mind that in some of these countries the average monthly income is around $250). Second, many people in these markets do not have access to the latest Android software and popular applications. Finally, even where 3G and 4G networks are available, not enough people have phones that can support data and the plans can be expensive.

Android One aims to help tackle these challenges. By working closely with phone and silicon chip makers to share reference designs and select components, we’re making it easier for our partners to build phones that are not just great to use, but also affordable. They have lots of processing power, so you can get information quickly. They have high-quality front- and rear-facing cameras. And for all those pictures, along with your apps and videos, Android One phones will have expandable storage. We also added features that people in India will find particularly useful, like dual SIM cards, a replaceable battery and built-in FM radio.

To help ensure a consistent experience, Android One devices will receive the latest versions of Android directly from Google. So you’ll get all the latest features, up-to-date security patches, and peace of mind knowing your stuff is always backed up. It also means Android One devices will be some of the first to be updated to the Android L release later this year. For our hardware partners, they’ll be able to create customized experiences and differentiate their devices without having to change the core software.

In an effort to reduce data costs, if you have an Airtel SIM card, you’ll get these software updates for free for the first six months. As part of this same Airtel offer, you’ll also be able to download up to 200MB per month worth of your favorite apps (that’s about 50 apps overall) from Google Play—all without counting toward your mobile data usage.

More to come
This is just the beginning of the Android One journey. The first phones, from our hardware partners Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek, are available starting today in India from leading retailers starting at Rs 6,399. We’re also excited to welcome more partners to the program, including phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. We expect to see even more high-quality, affordable devices with different screen sizes, colors, hardware configurations and customized software experiences. Finally, we plan to expand the Android One program to Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) by the end of the year, with more countries to follow in 2015.

Access for access’s sake is not enough. With Android One, we not only want to help people get online, we want to make sure that when they get there, they can tap into the wealth of information and knowledge the web holds for everyone.

September 15th 2014 Android