Google launches Divide Productivity Preview for corporate users
By Andrew Grush
In May Google acquired Divide, a company that creates containers for enterprise and personal content on Android phones. Now the first fruits of this acquisition can be seen in the new Divide Productivity Preview.
This new experience has landed in the Play Store, though it can only be used as part of the Android IT Preview Program. Basically the invite-only suite consists of a set of business apps for email, calendar, contacts, tasks and downloads. Of course, all the app suite is designed to work with a company’s existing Exchange/ActiveSync infrastructure.
One thing you’ll notice right away about the business app suite is that they are packing Material Design elements throughout, which should make them pair very well with devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop. For more details in the program, you can potentially sign up here, and can grab the app from Google Play.
Source:: android authority
Winter tech wear: Touchscreen gloves for $19, Bluetooth Beanie for $25
By AA Deals
Winter is nearly upon us with temperatures dropping quickly, this makes a coat, hats and glove a necessity for many of us. What’s better than simply staying warm on a chilly day? How about adding a dose of technology to the mix? This way you can be warm, in style and make the most of your mobile lifestyle! With that in mind we have two great deals for you today, a Bluetooth Beanie that keeps your head warm and the tunes flowing, and a pair of touchscreen friendly gloves — both products from TRNDlabs.
First up, let’s talk about the Beanie. The Beanie is one-size-fits-all, is comfortable, and comes with a 33’L Bluetooth range, simple controls and 6 hours of play time on a single charge. While the Bluetooth Audio Beanie is valued at $59, the Android Authority deals store has it on sale for just $24.99, 57% off the suggested retail price.
- Built in speakers and microphone for easy one touch music listening and call answering
- Seamless smartphone bluetooth connectivity
- Easy to use controls for skipping songs, answering calls and adjusting volume
- 60 hour standby time with 6 hours of continuous music/call playback
- Removable speaker for when washing, etc.
- One size fits all washable beanie
- 33 foot bluetooth range
Knitted Touchscreen Gloves
Next up we have the Knitted Touchscreen Gloves. Simply put, these gloves are very warm but, unlike conventional gloves that often block you from properly using a mobile device, they also let you interact with your touchscreen. Normally the gloves are valued at $49, but the AA deal store is offering them for $19, 61% off!
- Double layered for extra warmth
- Useful grippy material on the palms of the gloves
- Thin enough to easily slip into your pockets to grab your phone
Source:: android authority
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 for AT&T now receiving its Android 4.4.4 update
By Evan Selleck
The Samsung Galaxy S5 for Sprint has just received the green light to get its Android 4.4.4 KitKat update, but it looks like that’s not the only Samsung-branded smartphone getting new software.
As it turns out, the AT&T-branded Galaxy Note 3 is now also receiving its official update to Android 4.4.4. This means that you’ll be upgraded from Android 4.4.2 (if you’re still on official releases) and, as usual, the update will be sent out over the air (OTA). So, while some folks are already picking up the new software on their handsets out there in the wild, these things happen in waves, so stay tuned over the next few days to make sure the new version lands on your own handset.
The update itself measures in at 459MB, and there are a few new features and tweaks to use with the new version, as noted by Android Police. With the update, owners will find Kid Mode, Knox 2.0, SideSync 3.0 and a virtual tour mode within the camera app. What’s more, AT&T has made some changes to the pre-installed software on the handset, reportedly making Uber one of the apps that can’t be uninstalled from here on out.
Stay tuned for the new software, and if you do get to upgrade, let us know in the comments what you think!
Top 10 new Android games this week: Darkness Reborn, Turbo Dismount
Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we’re playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week’s post.
Description: A world swallowed by chaos and pandemonium. A knight cursed by a dragon’s evil. Become a warrior and face the wrath of the Cursed Knight. Journey into the darkness, band together with friends and conquer the Rift Bosses.
RPG Seven Sacred Beasts
Description: Summon and battle with your monsters! Dominate Arenas to earn your spot as the greatest Summoner in the world!
Description: Turbo Dismount™ is a kinetic tragedy about Mr. Dismount and the cars who love him. It is the official sequel to the wildly popular and immensely successful personal impact simulator Stair Dismount™.
Description: When hunger strikes, grab a shotgun and put some dinner on the table. Lock and load and put those sharpshooting skills to the test as you blast flocks of ducks out of the sky.
Far Cry® 4 Arcade Poker
Description: Ubisoft OFFICIAL Far Cry 4 Arcade Poker game! Match the best poker hands as the cards come down. Hire your friends as Jokers and reward them!
The Last Door: Collector’s Ed
Description: The Last Door: Collector’s Edition contains four terrifying episodes of occult and otherworldly horror inviting you to investigate Victorian England’s deepest, darkest secret. Featuring new scenes and puzzles, enhanced graphics, unlockable bonuses and remastered sound
Jet Car Stunts 2
Description: Crazy stunt driving on outlandish courses. Insane jumps. Ludicrous speeds. Manic car handling. Outrageous jet physics.
Kingdom Rush Origins
Description: In this exciting prequel, command your elven army and defend mystical lands from sea serpents, evil sorcerers and wave after wave of gnoll tribesman, all with the help of brand-spankin’ new towers, heroes and spells to fend off every last baddie.
Tilt 2 Live Gauntlet’s Revenge
Description: It’s a Tilt to Live like no other: a collection of brutal tilt obstacle courses! Take control of an unlimited supply of expendable arrow-people, destroying a ton of them on your quest to reach the finish line. Tackle three super-challenging gauntlets in any order you want, using our famously responsive Tilt to Live controls.
The Banner Saga
Description: Embark on your own epic journey in this critically acclaimed tactical RPG where your strategic choices directly affect your personal story, as well as the outcome of conflicts encountered during your struggle for survival in this Viking inspired tale.
The U.S. government continues to claim that encryption will lead to deaths
Several weeks ago, I wrote about how some people in the United Kingdom believe that the only way to stop terrorism is to limit people’s “free speech” rights and allow government agencies to have unlimited access to everyone’s tech devices. The U.S. Justice Department even got into the argument by having a high ranking official claim that new encryption technology on smartphones would “lead to tragedy” as a “child would die….because police wouldn’t be able to scour a suspect’s phone.”
As the Wall Street Journal wrote about yesterday, law enforcement agencies are continuing to push their theory of how evil new technology will be for the country’s safety. The main issue is that companies such as Apple and Google are putting in place improved technology on smartphones and tablets which make their devices more secure.
“But law-enforcement officials see it as a move in the wrong direction. The new encryption will make it much harder for the police, even with a court order, to look into a phone for messages, photos, appointments or contact lists, they say.” – Wall Street Journal
When the U.S. government met with Apple last month to discuss their issues with the new encryption, they actually tried to use the “dead-child” scenario which Apple found “inflammatory.” As Apple pointed out in the meeting with the U.S. government, there are a number of other outlets for the government to find the information that they want.
But whether the U.S. government likes it or not, more companies are now switching to encrypting technology. Just this week, WhatsApp revealed that they will now be encrypting text messages sent from one Android phone to another.
As I wrote about yesterday, in one of the biggest shocks, AT&T is now even standing up to the U.S. government by supporting new rules on what data the government can take without a probable cause warrant.
“Look, if law enforcement wants something, they should go to the user and get it. It’s not for me to do that.” – Tim Cook, Apple
Both Google and Apple are now installing encryption schemes with their latest software which prevent others from accessing user data stored on the phone when locked. They are not alone either in fighting back against the government as both Microsoft and Twitter have filed relatively recent and separate lawsuits against the U.S. government in which both companies ask the courts to decide what information must be handed over to the government.
Source:: android authority
Asus ZenWatch Review
By Lanh Nguyen
The Bottom Line
- Premium design and build quality
- Classy appearance
- Great battery life
- Beautiful display
- Competitive price
- Useful software additions
- Clunky charger
- Inconveniently placed power button
The Asus Zenwatch brings elegance and class to the Android Wear space at a surprisingly competitive price, which is why we’ve decided to give it our Editor’s Choice Award.
While the initial batch of smartwatches may have been found wanting in terms of design, opting for functionality over style, things have taken a turn for the better with the current crop of Android Wear devices at our disposal. The number of options have slowly been increasing over the latter half of this year, with some great devices on offer from various OEMs, including Asus. First introduced at IFA 2014, the first Android Wear smartwatch from Asus certainly has a lot to offer. We take a closer look at this device in this comprehensive review of the Asus ZenWatch!
While I didn’t find the Asus ZenWatch to be particularly impressive when it was first unveiled, I have certainly come to appreciate the design of this device after having the opportunity to use it for a while. Even though it has a square face, the use of premium build materials does make it stand out. With its stainless steel construction for the body and the clasp, along with a genuine leather strap, the ZenWatch is also not very big or heavy, which means that not only does it really nice, but is also very comfortable on the wrist.
The bronze/orange color scheme of the strap could make it somewhat hard to match with your wardrobe though, which is one of my issues with the default design. That said, there is a lot more to like about this watch than not.
First is the fact that it is very easy to remove the straps from the ZenWatch, not requiring a special tool like some other smartwatches out there. All you have to do is pull a tiny lever on the strap and it comes right off, making it very simple to replace the straps. The second is the metal clasp that snaps together on your wrist with a press, which not only makes it easy and quick to put on the watch, but will also not cause any damage to the strap over a long period of time, which you may find happening with the tug and fasten variety you get with the LG G Watch R or the Moto 360.
Another gripe in terms of the design of the ZenWatch is with regards to the placement of the power button on the back, making it very hard to get to while wearing the watch. Luckily, there aren’t a lot of instances where you need to get to this button, other than to power on the device when it is off. In other hardware, you get a pedometer and a heart rate monitor built in, and the device is protected from the elements courtesy of its IP55 certification of resistance against dust and water. Overall, the Asus ZenWatch certainly ranks among the top Android Wear smartwatches available today in terms of design and build quality.
The Asus ZenWatch features a 1.63-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 320 x 320. Colors are nice and vibrant, viewing angles are good, and it does get very bright, making it easy to see while outdoors. The screen has a slight curve to it, and your finger just glides across it while swiping or scrolling, making it feel a lot nicer and more natural to interact with. The bezels around the display, however, are extremely thick because of the biometric sensor that is built in, but the deep blacks that AMOLED displays allow for means that dark watch faces do blend in a lot better with the bezels.
Under the hood, the ZenWatch packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, clocked at 1.2 GHz, along with 512 MB of RAM. This processing package is standard fare when it comes to the current crop of Android Wear smartwatches, and as such, the performance is along the same lines as what we’ve seen from these other devices. Everything is fast and responsive, with no instances of lag or dropped frames. There isn’t a lot you can do on Android Wear that is processor-intensive, and navigating around the OS, swiping through cards, and interacting with notifications have all been very smooth.
With Google not allowing OEMs to skin Android Wear, the overall software experience on the watch remains identical to the other AW smartwatches out there. Where they can differentiate themselves is when it comes to custom watch faces, and Asus has some good options on offer. Some of these watchfaces include useful information like the date, remaining battery life, missed calls, weather information, and your daily steps.
There are also a few smartphone applications that Asus has built for the ZenWatch. The ZenWatch Manager allows you to customize the watch faces by changing colors, and choosing what information you’d like to be displayed. You can also use the smartwatch to unlock your mobile device by bypassing the pin or pattern when the watch is close to your phone. You can also cover the watch with your hand to mute alarms or incoming calls, …read more
Source:: android authority
Android and Me holiday gift guide: tablets
It’s that time of the year again. Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, the smell of cinnamon and spice fill the air, football is on the TV and you’re trying to figure out what to get your brother for the holidays. Fear not, Android and Me reader, you’ve come to the right place.
Whether you’re trying to appease your audiophile cousin, help your clumsy mom, surprise your friend or give yourself something extra special this year, we’ve got your back. We’ve sifted through the junk to give you some recommendations for what we think are the best Android and mobile tech-related products you can buy this holiday season.
Each day this week we’ll be publishing a post covering a different category. Today, we’re taking a look at tablets.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. Want to be the best uncle/brother/aunt/sister/mom/dad/grandparent ever? There are a ton of great options in Android tablets, but there are a few similar tablets we like the best.
At the little bit bigger and little more expensive end of the spectrum, we like the Nexus 9. It’s the best Android has to offer right now. It’s got an incredibly dense display, front-facing speakers, premium design and the latest version of Android. What’s not to love? As far as we’re concerned, the Nexus 9 has little to no competition at this end of the market right now. We might catch some flak for saying that, but that’s how we see it. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a nice device for $100 more, but we’d still pick the Nexus 9.
For a little less money and a little less screen than the Nexus 9, check out the Nvidia Shield tablet. It’s a killer device with a high-end feel. It’s made for gaming, so you knows it’s fast. It uses an Nvidia Tegra K1, the earlier 32-bit version of the 64-bit chip that’s in the Nexus 9, but it’s still plenty fast. The Shield tablet really shines when paired with an Nvidia GPU on your home computer, which lets you can stream PC games right to your tablet. Unfortunately, the controller that works best with the Shield tablet costs extra. Even without the streaming feature, though, it’s a solid buy. Oh, and it was just updated to Android 5.0, Lollipop.
If it’s a totally inexpensive tablet you’re after, we’re really bummed Google got rid of the Nexus 7. The ASUS Memo Pad 7 is OK, the Kindle Fire HDX is decent for those embedded in Amazon’s ecosystem and the Galaxy Tab 4 and Note 8 are alright, but there doesn’t seem to be an immediate replacement for the Nexus 7. There have been a ton of deals lately on the Nexus 7 for around $130. That’s a very good price on a year-old tablet that is still one of our top picks. If the age scares you, even though it is still plenty fast and will be supported with updates, check out the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4.
Two new Final Fantasy games coming to Android this year
By Eric McBride
While I was personally very pleased to hear about Square Enix bringing the long awaited Final Fantasy 7 and 8 Android versions to life this year (still waiting on that FF 7 HD remake fellas) in Japan, I certainly have no issue whatsoever with new Final Fantasy games arriving on Android. If you’re a fan of the series that feels the same way, then you are in luck, as Square Enix has announced that 2 brand new Final Fantasy games are set to be released for Android (and IOS) this year.
Famitsu App is reporting that the titles of the games are Final Fantasy Legends – Crystal of Time, and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius, which will also be accompanied by a “Final Fantasy Portal” app for managing all of your Final Fantasy mobile games. As of right now, it’s being reported that they will release these titles exclusively in Japan, but given the amount of Final Fantasy games and Square Enix games that have reached Android devices in the western world, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a worldwide release.
FF Legends: Crystal of Time will feature a young boy named Toumoro and a time traveling girl from the future named Emo, who together will journey through time to save the world from chaos. The “time traveling” RPG will feature the turn based combat system that fans of the franchise are used to, and will be free to play with in app purchases available. Crystal of Time is set to be released this winter. Here are a few screens:
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a joint effort between FF series developer Square Enix and Alim (developer of Brave Frontier), and is a new crystal story that will feature 3 main characters: the main hero Rein, his rival Raswell, and Fiina, the heroine. The lid has been kept sealed a bit tighter on the story for this one, but as it’s also set to be released in the winter, we hopefully won’t have to wait too long to find out. Here are a few screens:
Last but not least is the Final Fantasy Portal app, which will also be free with in app purchases. It will allow Final Fantasy mobile gamers to check out news, books, and lots of other FF related media, and will also feature the Triple Triad card game from FF8:
Again, we don’t have word on which countries will/won’t receive these titles outside of Japan, but we’ll update this article for FF fans as we receive more details.
Source:: android authority
SwiftKey gets updated with better performance, more languages
SwiftKey, the popular predictive keyboard, has just received a significant update that includes performance boosts as well as additional languages. Performance has always been a pain point of SwiftKey, with many reporting lag when typing and particularly when opening and closing the keyboard. This latest update includes faster response time when typing as well as reduced time for the opening and closing of the keyboard.
In addition to these performance enhancements, SwiftKey now supports 12 more languages including Bengali, Nepali, Punjabi and more. All in all, this is a great update for SwiftKey that not only opens it up to more folks, but also improves it for those already using it. Check out the Play Store to see if you’ve received the update yet. If you don’t have SwiftKey, follow the link below and try it out for yourself!
FES Watch has an e-ink display *and* band, with 24 different design combinations
Smartwatches: Samsung loves the idea so much it’s already released 6 devices (with a 7th possibly pending). Apple is gearing up for one. LG can make a pretty good one. Motorola has matriculated, and even Asus has now jumped on-board. Yes, it’s safe to say that even if the market itself doesn’t really want a smartwatch yet, they’re being inundated with them.
The real problem though? These products cost well over $200 a piece, and they’re made of electronic parts that may or may not hold up over time. They’re also very pedestrian, what with their limited watch faces and expensive bands. Now that everyone seems to be focused on features and functionality, what’s left for the standard digital dial? Plenty.
What if, and this is a big if, you could buy a watch that could change designs at the press of your finger? And not just the watch face mind you, but the entire watch itself. What if the only thing between this watch – made with an e-ink display – and your wrist, was a crowdfunded campaign with 3 months remaining? Well, assuming you’re in Japan, the dream may be more of a reality than you think. Enter Fashion Entertainments’ FES Watch.
It’s important to note that this actually isn’t a smartwatch (at least in the traditional sense), but rather just an e-ink watch that looks smart on you. Featuring an e-ink watch face and band, it allows you to choose from 24 different designs to customize said parts. Granted we’re dealing with black and white here and it has no special ‘smart’ features, but with a projected 2 month battery lifespan on a single charge and a stunning transforming design, it’s still a pretty slick idea.
The intriguing device is currently on its second round of crowdfunding here in Japan, on Makuake (think of it as the Japanese Kickstarter). This comes after raising around 2.7 million Yen ($23,000) this past September. The current crowdfunding goal is an additional 1 million Yen, which is about $8,400. I will attempt to obtain one of these watches (they are selling for a very reasonable 19,800 Yen – $168 or so), though unfortunately it’s not going to arrive soon, as the estimated departure date is May 2015. Still, if/when I get one, you can expect an update!
Also be sure to check the source links for more pictures of this alarmingly brilliant timepiece, and even an e-ink bow-tie! What do you think, like the idea? Would you like to see a true smartwatch with similar functionality baked in? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Source:: android authority