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Google+ is rolling out support for polls

By Andrew Grush

google-plus-polls-1

Back in September Google acquired Polar, a startup dedicated to polling. At the time it was revealed that the team would be joining Google+ in order to help “make G+ even more awesome” (Google’s words). It wasn’t exactly clear how the team might contribute, though it seemed obvious it would have something to do with polls. With this in mind, Google’s Dennis Troper has announced that a new polling feature is rolling out to Google+.

In usual Google fashion, it may take a few days before the option is fully rolled out to the web and Android versions of G+, but once it is available, you’ll see an option for creating a poll anytime you make a new post. The polls will allow up to five questions and can be complimented with photos to “make them beautiful and engaging.” There also appears to be a few different layout options as well.

While this isn’t exactly a massive feature, it could be useful for those wanting to see what other G+-ers think about various topics and could be particularly useful for businesses looking to engage their audience in a new way. What do you think, like the idea of Google+ polls or not?


Via: Google+;
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Source:: android authority

    

12 best Android sports games

By Joe Hindy

Get it on Google Play

For a very long time, there were no really good sports games on Android. Thanks to better hardware, better graphics, and some creativity in touch screen controls, we are just now seeing some really good sports games come out that are actually worth playing. Here are the best Android sports games out right now.


android sports games 9 innings9 Innings: 2014 Pro Baseball

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
9 Innings isn’t so much a pure sports game as it is a card-based simulation games. You do play games and control characters but there is a lot more behind-the-scenes stuff than there is actual baseball stuff. It’s a good mixture of game play mechanics that’ll keep you entertained before, during, and after games. There are also in-game challenges to complete that will keep things interesting. It has a pretty decent 4.5 out of 5 rating in the Play Store and it’s free to play with in app purchases.


ace fishing android sports gamesAce Fishing: Wild Catch

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Ace Fishing: Wildest Catch is about as good of a fishing game as you’re going to find. It features many locations around the world, plenty of different fish to catch, and the one-touch controls are easy to learn and use. The graphics are pretty decent and the developer is even working on online multiplayer mode. It’s free to play so there’s no harm in trying it out.
Get it on Google Play


big win hockey android sports gamesBig Win Hockey

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Much like 9 Innings above, Big Win Hockey is a card-based simulation game. You get to build your team, create players (which you can name after real ones if you want), earn power ups, and then sim against other teams. It’s definitely more of a managerial role but for now this is about as good as hockey fans can get. The graphics are retro and games are played relatively quickly which helps keep the pace up. If you try this game and like it, Hothead Games has Big Win variants for other sports as well.
Get it on Google Play


FIFA 15 Ultimate Team android sports gamesFIFA 15 Ultimate Team (and FIFA 14)

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
FIFA 15 Ultimate Team actually lets you play the sport of football(soccer) which makes it the best option for a pure sports game so far. It features over 10,000 players from 500 licensed teams that you can use to build your own team and face other teams. There is also a quick sim mode if you want to use that. The graphics are top notch for a mobile sports title and the controls and mechanics are far above average. There are some that prefer last year’s FIFA 14. Thankfully, they’re both free so you can try them both if you want.
Get it on Google Play


golf star android sports gamesGolf Star

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Golf Star is among the best golf games you can find out there right now. It features a complicated graphics engine to add some realism, above average graphics, and it’s also free to play. It features many nuances of real golfing like various shot types (fade shot, chip shot, etc) and has three different game modes for you to enjoy. The mechanics are easy to use once you get used to them and the game has garnered high marks in the Google Play Store.
Get it on Google Play


Madden NFL Mobile android sports gamesMadden NFL Mobile

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
A sports games list without a Madden title would be blasphemy so it’s a good thing that there is one on Android. This game uses the card-based player system that many of these other titles use (thanks to their ability to drive in app purchases). You can actually play football and the mechanics and controls are about as simple as you can expect. The graphics are also pretty good. It’s a free to play game so it won’t cost you anything to check it out.
Get it on Google Play


NBA 2K14 Android sports gamesNBA 2K14

[Price: $2.99 with in app purchases]
If you’re looking to get your basketball fix then you’ll likely be interested in NBA 2K14. It’s a 2K sports game and you may know them from their work on consoles. The graphics are pretty good for a mobile game and the controls are pretty easy to understand once you get used to them. It’s $2.99 with in app purchases which may be an issue for some people but it’s still one of the best basketball games available.
Get it on Google Play
Android sports games


nba jam android sports gamesNBA JAM

[Price: $4.99 with in app purchases]
NBA Jam is a classic arcade game where you play 2 vs 2 hoops with your favorite players. It plays fast and loose with the rules, has some fun in-game power ups (he’s on fire!), and it’s genuinely fun to play. There are four game modes, unlockable players from the good old days, and you can even play online using Google Play Games services. $4.99 may seem like it’s steep for some but those who played the game in the 1990’s won’t mind shelling out $5 for some old …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Sprint makes WiMax shutdown date official

By Nick Sarafolean

After the date leaked a few days ago, Sprint has confirmed that it will be shutting down its WiMax network on November 6, 2015. Internal documents revealing the date came out over the weekend and due to legal requirements, Sprint needed to inform customers of the shutdown at least one year in advance. Customers can either upgrade to a new device or continue to use their device on Sprint’s 3G network, which will remain functional.

With the rollout of its 4G LTE and Spark networks, Sprint is in a good position to shut off the now-dated WiMax network. The shutdown shouldn’t cause much of a disruption, as very few people still use the WiMax network. All in all, it’s a step towards a brighter, faster future.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

HTC One (M8 Eye) shows up on HTC China’s online shop, teases 13MP Duo Camera setup

By Evan Selleck

image HTC One M8 Eye2 official

On Wednesday, October 8, HTC officially took the wrappings off their newest Desire-branded device, the Desire Eye. However, it looks like HTC’s not quite done announcing new Eye devices, as the company’s Chinese official online shop has let slip another upcoming handset.

The HTC One (M8 Eye) has been found on HTC China’s official online shop, and as one can imagine it looks quite similar to the original One (M8), but there is one key difference: the rear camera. The One (M8 Eye) does feature a Duo Camera setup, but instead of a 4-megapixel UltraPixel shooter like on the original One (M8), the One (M8 Eye) boasts a 13-megapixel main camera.

The One (M8 Eye) also features a 5-inch 1920×1080 display, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor under the hood, and 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB of built-in storage, 4G LTE connectivity, dual-SIM support and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

The official online shop says that the One (M8 Eye) will go on sale beginning Wednesday, October 15, in China, and it would seem that that’s the only region it will be going up for sale in, at least for now. The site has it listed for 3,999 Chinese Yuan, or about $652 USD.

On October 8, HTC also announced the “Eye Experience,” which is a software suite that offers plenty of new features specifically aimed at the camera for existing HTC-branded hardware, including the original One (M8) and even the One (M7).

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Apple first, Google second, Samsung seventh in brand value in 2014

By Bogdan Petrovan

interbrands top 100

Interbrand published its annual brand value report, and technology companies are once again dominating the top 10.

Interbrand is a brand consultancy firm known for its annual listings of the most valuable brands in the world. To determine brand value, the firm looks at three main aspects: the financial performance of the company, the influence the brand has on buyer’s choices, and its strength to command a premium for the company.

Two companies in Interbrand’s top 100 have reached the $100 billion threshold for the first time. Apple, with a $118 billion valuation and a year over year growth of 21 percent, continues its run at the top, but Google isn’t far behind, with $107 billion and an annual growth of 15 percent. The two Silicon Valley-based behemoths are leading the mobile industry, and their position at the top is a testimony to the massive importance of mobile technology in our lives.

Venerable IBM comes in fourth, on a slight decline, while Microsoft holds on to the fifth position, with a brand valuation that is roughly half of Apple’s.

Samsung, the biggest smartphone maker and one of the world’s top marketing spenders, continues to improve its perceived brand value, going up a position from last year to the seventh place. Interbrand estimated Samsung’s brand value at $45 billion.

Other mobile players in the top 100 are Amazon (#15), Sony (#52), Huawei (#94), and, barely clinging to the top, Nokia (#98). Huawei is the first Chinese company to ever enter Interbrand’s top 100, a position that reflects is growing global presence and prowess in the mobile market.

What is your preferred tech brand and why?

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Peter Chou explains the Re Camera – “we can’t be just working on one thing forever”

By Rob Triggs

htc desire eye and re first look aa (26 of 34)

HTC‘s newly unveiled camera-centric devices mark a departure from the company’s usual product cycle. Whether you view them as quirky or innovative, HTC’s co-founder Peter Chou sees product diversification as the key to the company’s survival. Speaking in New York ahead of the launch of the RE camera and Desire Eye smartphone, Peter Chou shared his views on the current smartphone market, HTC’s previous weaknesses, and where the company can go from here.

“This market is very very competitive, that’s true. What we have to do is to make sure we have the best design, the best experience” – HTC’s Peter Chou

HTC has seen its share of the Android and general smartphone markets plummet over the past few years. The company has suffered a two pronged attack from premium manufacturers like Samsung, whilst simultaneously losing ground in the value end of the market to newer manufacturers. Chou puts HTC’s decline down to an overly narrow product focus, and uncompetitive prices.

To combat these issues, HTC is focusing more heavily on its mid-range Desire line-up. The product category where the company is seeing the highest levels of growth. We’ve started to see the odd product first come to the Desire range ahead of the company’s flagship One series, such as 64-bit processors and these high megapixel dual-cameras, suggesting that HTC wants to become a leader in the mid-tier.

“This year we’re actually strengthening our mid-range Desire product line. Our Desire line is doing well in emerging markets. It’s even starting to get very positive momentum in Western Europe, the Middle East and here in the US,”

The other half of HTC’s new campaign is to improve brand penetration and market appeal through new innovative products. The Re Camera is apparently just the first in a new line-up of standalone devices aimed at non-HTC customers.

HTC Re -32

The Re Camera might be good fun, but is it really a long term product solution for HTC?

By opening up its Zoe software, new products, and social media features to a wider range of customers, including Apple users, HTC can access revenue from market segments that it is currently struggling to compete in, whilst hopefully weaning consumers onto its broader product range. It’s a long term marketing plan, but one which gives HTC an edge over most of its competitors.

“We have to keep working on new value, new innovations. We can’t be just working on one thing forever,”

A smartwatch range would be an obvious next step to bolster HTC’s portfolio, but Chou remained tight-lipped about any future plans. However, announcements will be made “next year”.

Do you think that this change in strategy will work out for HTC? Or is it too late?


Source: Telegraph; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

The Amazing Choose Your Own Android Giveaway

By AA Deals

The Amazing Choose Your Own Android Giveaway

2014 has seen the launches of some amazing new Android devices, and now’s your chance to get your very own top-end Android phone for free — and you get to choose your prize! Simply visit the giveaway page and enter your email address for a chance to win any of these powerful new phones:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
  • Motorola Moto X
  • HTC One M8
  • LG G3
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

You can also improve your chances of winning by sharing the giveaway page via Facebook and Twitter. Enter now and win big!

Enter now


Source: AA Deals; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Todoist Karma comes to mobile in the latest Todoist update

By Joe Hindy

todoist karma


Todoist is one of the best to-do list apps on Android. In fact, we’ve had it featured on our best productivity apps list and our best free Android apps list. Today they have announced an update that will bring Todoist Karma to mobile.

For those who may not know, Todoist Karma is an algorithm built into the service that grades you based on your productivity. As you add more tasks and complete more tasks, the score goes up. You also accumulate more points by doing things like setting recurring tasks and using labels. The idea behind it is to create a visual and numerical representation of how productive you actually are. Along with the numbers comes graphs that pretty much shows the same info presented in a different fashion.

Alongside the update to mobile comes a Todoist Karma update across the whole platform. New levels are being introduced which increases the upper level from 10,000 to 50,000 and adds such levels as Grandmaster and Professional. Is it totally functional? No, but it’s nice to make a game out of getting things done because it helps one stay motivated.

The update will be rolling out starting today so keep an eye out if you’re a Todoist user. If you want more details on the update and the new Todoist Karma features, check out the press release below! If you’ve never used it and you want to give it a shot, you can pick up Todoist in the Google Play Store by clicking here.

Show Press Release

Achieve your goals anywhere, on any device with the brand new Todoist Karma

Todoist’s popular Karma feature, which gamifies users’ productivity, lands on mobile devices with new levels and social integrations. The company is also releasing a Daily and Weekly goal setting component.

October 9, 2014– Today Todoist, the top-ranked to-do list app used by three million people, announces the release of Todoist Karma for iOS, Android, and Amazon devices. Todoist Karma, one of Todoist’s most differentiating and popular features, assigns a numerical score to users’ task management abilities and provides colorful graphs that visually display personal productivity trends.

With this new update, users will be able to view their Todoist Karma productivity graphs and Karma score no matter where they are. The productivity graphs show visualizations of tasks completed in the last two weeks, the last month or six months and can be segmented by project or label. Users can also see a weeklong graph showing the days of the week on which they are most productive.

New Todoist Karma levels are also being released in this update and the point-generating algorithm has thus been modified for these new levels. Users accumulate “positive Karma” when they regularly add and complete tasks on time and when they use advanced features such as labels, recurring deadlines, and reminders. Todoist Karma will decrease when the user has tasks that are two or more days overdue. The updated Todoist Karma levels include:

•Beginner: 0–499; Novice: 500–2499; Intermediate: 2,500–4,999; Professional: 5,000–7,499; Expert: 7,500–9,999; Master: 10,000–19,999; Grandmaster: 20,000–49,999; and Enlightened: 50,000 and above.

Each time a Todoist user unlocks a new Karma level, they will receive a notification that will allow them to share their achievement across Twitter, Facebook and/or Google+. This new social networking integration will be available on all of Todoist’s 13 platforms. Incidentally, Todoist Karma is already something that users have been very keen to share socially (see our Productivity Power Twitter collection).

As part of this new Todoist Karma update, users will now be able to set goals regarding the number of tasks they want to complete either daily or weekly– users who reach these self-set goals will get bonus Karma. Todoist will also track how many days/weeks users have attained their goals, and achieving ongoing “streaks” will similarly result in positive Karma.

“Achieving your aspirations has never been easier. We’re thrilled to bring Todoist Karma– a feature that has set us apart from our competitors– to all of our 13 platforms so that users can set goals and track their productivity no matter their location or device,” says Amir Salihefendic, the founder and CEO of Todoist.

About Todoist

One of the first available task-management softwares on the market, Todoist– launched in 2007– is a powerful task manager for personal and group productivity that lets users manage tasks from their email inbox, web browser, desktop, or mobile device. Todoist is available on 13 different platforms and is used by 3 million people (many from Fortune 100 Companies like IBM, Oracle, and HP) who have completed more than 85 million tasks in over 12 million projects. Todoist, a champion of lean startup principles, is built by an chiefly virtual team that spans 18 countries and five continents.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

The One (M8) variant with 13MP camera is real, but you may  not be able to buy it

By Bogdan Petrovan

htc one m8 outdoors aa (4 of 14)

Remember the One M8 Eye? The 13MP M8 variant that was rumored to launch alongside the Desire Eye?

It turns out that rumors were onto something after all, even if HTC’s event from yesterday only saw the launch of the Desire Eye and the RE Camera.

The One (M8 Eye) – yes, that’s the official name – is now listed on HTC’s Chinese online store, with a 3,999 yuan ($650) price tag and an October 15 release date. The device is identical to the “regular” M8 in all respects other than the rear camera, which features a conventional 13MP sensor instead of the 4 Ultrapixels sensor on the M8.

one m8 eye

Why is this a big deal? The M8’s large pixel size means that each pixel is able to capture more light, which makes it possible to take bright images even in very low light conditions. But this comes at a price – because pixels are larger (hence the name Ultrapixels), there are fewer of them on the sensor, so images taken with the M8 are smaller and less detailed than images shot with competing devices.

Many users were disappointed by HTC’s use of a low-res sensor on its flagship product, and wished for a variant that would feature a conventional high-res sensor.

It looks like the company caved in to the pressure, though the One (M8 Eye) will only be available in China, and, per some rumors, in India. So unless you live in these two countries, you’ll have to do with the regular M8 or a different 13MP model, like the One (E8), the Butterfly 2, or the brand new Desire Eye.


Via: Phone Arena;
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Source:: android authority

    

Samsung’s US extended warranty plan gives you peace of mind, at a cost

By Bogdan Petrovan

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 drop test cracked screen aa 6

No matter how careful you are with your smartphone, there’s always a chance that the unthinkable happens. Whether it’s a broken screen or a bent frame, an accident can cause untold amounts of frustration, and depending on the phone, a hefty repair bill.

There are already plenty of phone insurance services out there, from carriers and from specialized companies, but if you own a new Samsung device, there’s a new option on the table.

Samsung’s Protection Plus Mobile Elite extended warranty program covers accidental damage, including drops, spills, and cracked screens, as well as electrical and mechanical failures, and other issues. Samsung guarantees replacements within two business days or less, and the program lets you file up to three claims over a two-year period.

The program is limited to a handful of devices for now: Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy S4. You must sign up for the service within 30 days of purchase, and the first claim cannot be filed earlier than 15 days from signup. The plan is only available in the US.

The peace of mind that this plan gives you is priceless, but the plan itself has a real price, and it’s nothing to sneeze at. The service costs $99 for Galaxy S users and $129 Galaxy Note users, while for each claim you will need to pay a service fee of $75 or $95 respectively. Still, if you have a tendency to drop devices, the investment may be worth it, given that a screen replacement alone can easily cost a few hundred bucks.

More details about Samsung’s extended warranty program here.

Have you signed up for any phone insurance plan? What’s your experience?


Via: Sam Mobile;
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Source:: android authority