Android Wear puts Inbox by Gmail updates on your wrist

Google Inbox on a Nexus 5

You may have to give up a few things from Gmail to use Google's task-oriented Inbox email app, but smartwatch support isn't one them. The company has updated the app (on Android) to bring Android Wear support, letting you check mail, send replies and mark completed items from the comfort of your wrist. There are some meaningful upgrades whether or not you have advanced wristwear, including suggestions for reminders and a better tablet interface. Swing by Google Play if any of these refinements are the excuse you needed to give Inbox a spin.

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Via: Droid-Life

Source: Google Play

Blizzard’s bringing its ‘Warcraft’ card game to Android tablets

Recently picked up a Nexus 9 but you're still jealous of your iPad-toting pals because they can play Blizzard's Warcraft-themed card game? Well, relax because Hearthstone is coming to Android. It's launching in waves, according to the publisher, starting with a roll out in Australia, Canada and New Zealand ahead of a worldwide release in a few days. And as a way to reward your patience -- the game initially launched back in April -- Blizzard is giving away a free pack of Classic Cards. Just finish a game in any mode and, well, you'll have some new cards to use. You don't even have to win! Perhaps even better? If you're coming in from another platform, your card collection and progress will transfer over to Google's mobile OS. Oh, and in case you want a peek inside the brains of a few of the folks who work on the game, check out this Reddit AMA from earlier today.

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Via: Battle.net

Source: Google Play, Reddit

Android App Review – Lazy Swipe

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Large screen devices have a lot to answer for these days, they force me to wear trousers with large pockets, they force me to carry a man bag whilst I’m out and about and most of all they force my thumbs to stretch way beyond what they were designed for. Despite all of that I’m converted, my two main phones at the moment are the rather large Nexus 6 and the HTC Desire 816, neither have software that is really optimised for the large screen, leaving me to either find my own apps to ease the thumb stretching pain or to just use both hands.

One app I’ve come across recently is called Lazy Swipe and the whole idea behind it is to make launching apps a whole lot easier.
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The theory behind the app is simple, once installed you get a quarter circle segment displaying the most recent apps you’ve used, your favourite apps and also some key settings, all of this is accessible via a quick swipe up from the area just above the Nav buttons. Lazy Swipe may look familiar, it looks like something which is often called Pie Controls, which have been included in some Custom ROMs for a while now, which normally give access to apps and settings. Lazy Swipe gives non rooted Android users something similar.

In Use

Once I had installed the app I opened it up to see what I could make it do. The app can handle Recent apps, Favourite apps, Settings, Notifications and clearing out RAM.

A quick swipe upwards from either corner of the screen and the segment appears, you tap on the category you want, I.E Recent or favourites and the relevant apps are displayed. Getting the swipe right on the first few attempts was fiddly, you soon pick it up though.

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The toolbox tab displays basic toggles offering a quick way to access things like Bluetooth and WiFi. The settings icon in the corner takes you to the app settings, allowing you to change how the app functions. The toolbox randomly has a boost option which clears apps from the memory. It’s a random but handy inclusion.

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The settings button allows you to set when the apps is in operation, where the app is triggered from and also you can manage notification settings too. The trigger point is above the onscreen navigation buttons. So if you’ve got a Nexus, HTC, Motorola or Sony device it will feel peculiar at first as you’ll need to swipe above the soft keys to trigger the app.
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The favourites tab is configurable, a long press on an icon allows you to edit them, picking the ones you want from a list of installed apps.
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Notifications appear on the app icon if it appears on either the Recent or Favourites tabs, a quick tap will load the app and clear the notification. You can pick which apps display notifications, so you can just have emails and tweets if you want. The notification is indicated by a small orange marker in the trigger area. I find it doesn’t really add much to the built in notification system, it’s just a bit quicker to access the relevant app.
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After a couple of days I got used to using Lazy Swipe and it really helps you to jump between apps. The developers keep adding features to the app, some of which like notifications and the memory booster seem included just because, as opposed to really adding something useful, no doubt someone will find both useful, however don’t be put off this is just my opinion. A few other things annoy me, such as the trigger area covering up certain elements within apps, sometimes making tapping a button or section fiddly, which you can easily fix by changing the trigger area. I’ve gone for the left hand corner, as I’m left handed and often hold the phone with my left hand. Also if the keyboard is displayed the triggers area are turned off, which I guess is a feature more than a bug, made to make Lazy Swipe not interfere with typing.

Conclusion

Overall I felt the app was really quite useful, it helped me out with my large screened phones and tablets allowing me to access my favourite apps and settings quickly and easily. If you spend a little time tinkering with the settings you can make it work the way you want.

A few improvements could be made regarding the trigger area perhaps being on the middle of the edge of the screen and also maybe an app drawer button. But hey it’s a free app and who am I to demand features?

The app is available for free on the link below. Enjoy.

Google Play Store Link – Lazy Swipe

Android App Review – Lazy Swipe is original content from coolsmartphone.com

T-Mobile’s Nexus 9 comes with LTE support and a $600 price tag

The Nexus 9 didn't completely knock our socks off, but HTC's inaugural Lollipop tablet just got a little better... if you're willing to pay a premium, anyway. T-Mobile's now selling an LTE-friendly version of the tablet on its enthusiast-only Underground store for $600, or $25 a month for the next two years if smaller, drawn out payments are more your speed. Other than its compatibility with T-Mobile's LTE network, this version of the tablet is identical to the $479, 32GB WiFi model we reviewed last month, but we're still curious what those faster data speeds mean for this little guy's battery life. Nothing good, we'd wager. And if you're not the biggest fan of T-Mobile's posturing? Fair enough: It shouldn't take too long for an unlocked model to pop up in the Google Play Store, though the tab'll make an appearance there before the holidays is anyone's guess.

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Source: T-Mobile

Google gives its iOS search app a Material Design makeover

Google search for iOS

When Google vowed that its Material Design style would reach every corner of its business, it wasn't kidding. The company has just overhauled its iOS search app, and that layered look is everywhere -- in fact, the app resembles a simplified version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. There's a new recents section that uses Lollipop-style cards to show your past queries, and the new navigation bar makes it look like you picked up an Android phone instead. It's much easier to find your way around than before, however, and there's deeper Google Maps integration that lets you browse Street View panoramas without switching apps. Image searches now produce elegant mosaics, too. If you're a loyal iOS fan but spend a lot of time in Google's ecosystem, you can grab the new search tool today.

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Via: 9to5Google

Source: App Store

Medion Lifetab S10346 going cheap in Aldi

If you’re an Aldi shopper then, from Thursday next week, you might well spot a rather cheap Medion 10.1″ tablet. It’s powered by a quad-core Atom CPU and has 32GB of on-board storage. Other specs include a 5 megapixel (rear) and 2 megapixel (front) camera, GPS, WiFi and it’s powered by Android 4.4.

Instead of just getting your Titan (Mars) bars and Fruit Shots, splash out £149.99 and you can have a tablet too.

Full details below. It’s good to see that the 10.1″ screen is a full HD unit at 1920×1200 pixels.

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Medion Lifetab S10346 going cheap in Aldi is original content from Coolsmartphone.com

Google News and Weather gets searchable stories and pretty forecasts

Google News and Weather's new look on Android

It may have taken Google ages to bring Android's News and Weather app into the modern era, but it's seemingly bent on making up for lost time. The company has posted a new version of News and Weather with some fresh features that you're genuinely likely to use. To start, you can now search the news, including newly curated stories. You'll also get easy-to-understand (not to mention prettier) weather forecast charts, and there's an optional dark theme that should be easier on your eyes at night. The refresh is hitting devices now, so check for an update if Android's official news app is part of your daily routine.

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Via: Android (Google+)

Source: Google Play

Android’s new assistant app helps you use (and fix) your Nexus

Google Device Assist on a Nexus 5

So you just snagged a Nexus 6, and you need help navigating Android 5.0 Lollipop or figuring out why your battery life is lousy. Who do you turn to? As of today, you can turn to an app: Google has released Device Assist, a helper tool for Android One, Google Play Edition and Nexus devices. You'll get tips and tricks, like most digital guidebooks, but it'll also offer "proactive" fixes for detected issues; it'll turn down the screen brightness if it's cranked too high, for instance. If you're using a Google Play Edition or Nexus, you also have a fast track to Google's live support. No, this won't magically repair cracked screens and other broken hardware, but it could spare you from scouring the web (or making a tech support call) to get a solution.

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Source: Google Play

Lollipop isn’t making a dent in Android usage numbers (yet)

Google Nexus 6

Now that Android 5.0 Lollipop is finally rolling out to devices around the globe, you might be wondering just how much of an impact it's making on the Android ecosystem. The short answer: not much. Google has released its latest Android usage stats, and Lollipop doesn't even register yet -- in other words, less than 0.1 percent of Google Play users have moved to the new software. That's not surprising given that both the upgrade and Lollipop-native devices like the Nexus 6 are weeks old at best, but it suggests that the new OS will take a while before it makes its presence known.

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Via: Droid-Life

Source: Android Developers

A look at the Aspire Switch 10

Acer have sent us to Edinburgh and have loaned us a number of devices – the Acer Liquid Leap (a fitness band), the Acer Liquid Jade (a shockingly slender smartphone), the Iconia Tab 8 and the device I’m using to type this out – the Aspire Switch 10.
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I’ll be taking you around each of these devices over the next few hours, so I’m going to start with the Aspire Switch 10 here.
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For me, I’m a massive Chromebook user. The Switch 10 seems to have a lot of the same qualities. It’s light and it’s quick – ideal for blogging. It also has a party trick, in that the screen actually detaches and becomes a tablet (Windows 8). So, when you’ve done with your productivity you can sit back and browse the web quite happily on your sofa.
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You can use it in a number of different ways – as a Notebook like I am now, as a tablet or, if you fold it back, as a display for meetings and such. There’s even a “tent” mode too. As you connect the screen / tablet part to the main keyboard a magnet acts like a tractor-beam, pulling the device towards the base and safely onto two locator pegs. It’s £279.99 and has a 32GB SSD on-board with 2GB RAM and a 10.1″ (1280×800) screen. Overall, I’m getting to like it, but I’ll admit that Windows 8 has kinda fallen out of favour with me and I’ve become a Chrome OS fan.
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The Switch 10 is powered by an Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core CPU and the keyboard is both sleek and easy to use, even if it isn’t quite full size.
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It also has 1 USB port, Bluetooth, WiFi, a HD webcam, microphone and 8 hours of battery life.
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As a tablet alone it works rather well, although there’ll always be those who prefer their Android or iPad experiences.
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Here’s a few more shots of the device..
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A look at the Aspire Switch 10 is original content from Coolsmartphone.com