- 50% off RAW Beats bluetooth speaker
- Recent Android L build shows off tweaked navigation and status icons
- Google Play now shows in-app purchase pricing in listings, developer addresses too
- Last chance to enter the Google Play Giveaway
- Moto 360 available again directly from Motorola, while stock lasts
- Meet the Devs – Stix Games Ltd
- AT&T, Verizon comically claim that data caps are helpful to consumers
- Pebble now permanently priced at $99.99, introduces activity and sleep tracking
- Fleksy gets a huge update and launches on Amazon App Store and Samsung App Store
- Your Note 4 may have a gap, but Samsung says that’s not a defect
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Releasing Android L as a developer preview was a big change for Google this year, and while the build is actually reasonably stable (I’ve been using it every day on my Nexus 5 since it came available), the reality is that it is an unfinished product and likely is missing many features and final touches that will hopefully be revealed to us soon enough. With that in mind, a new video was recently posted up on the Chromium Issue Tracker in which a Chromium crash takes place. While that’s not particularly exciting, it is worth noting that this apparently 5-day-old build (LRW87D) of Android L has some noticeable cosmetic changes when compared to the current developer preview.
L Dev Preview left, more recent build to the right.First, there’s the navigation icons, although they still look like they were borrowed from a Playstation controller, they are now smaller in size and more spaced out when compared to the preview build. At the top status bar there’s also changes such solid icons (no breaks for wi-fi signal, etc) and a clock with a bold, smaller Roboto font. None of these changes are too huge but bottom-line is, even if you having been using L since the beginning, there are likely plenty of changes in store for you when the final release arrives (hopefully) in October. Via: Android Police;
As expected, Google is rolling out some new changes today to Google Play, adding in-app purchase details into Play store listings and requiring paid app developers to start publicly showing their address. Let's start with the addition of in-app purchase details in listings. Unfortunately, this change isn’t quite as exciting as you might have hoped for. While the in-app purchase details are in fact showing up in apps now, all they actually give you is the range. That means that you don’t get a detailed list of in-app purchases like Apple’s iTunes nor any word on how many in-app purchase “items” there are in any given app. While we’d like to see even more fleshed out in-app purchase listings in the future, we still have to admit that this is a step in the right direction.
Apple's iTune in-app purchase listing.As for the developer address change? It seems likely that this has to due with recent changes in EU consumer protection laws, but there are many that suggest Google could do several things to get around this change and that forcing all developers with paid apps (or apps with in-app purchases) to display their address isn’t the best move. Sure, paying customers have always had access to a developer’s address within Google Wallet, but that’s not nearly the same thing as posting it publicly where anyone can get a hold of it. While some apps are already showing addresses as of today, developers actually have 30 days from now to make the change. So are there any ways around showing your address for indie developers that work from home? It’s possible that you can use a PO Box, though Google hasn’t been too clear on the details just yet. If you’re a developer, we certainly recommend contacting Google and sorting it all out to ensure you aren’t penalized for not putting up your home address.
Back in August we first posted about AA Deals’ Google Play Giveaway, where a total of $1000 worth of Google Play credit would be given away to seventeen lucky winners. Now the offer is almost up, ending tonight at midnight (PDT) and making this your last chance to get in on the action! The grand prize winner will receive $150 Google Play Credit, the runner-up will get $100, and 15 other winners will score $50. To enter the giveaway you’ll want to sign-up and learn all the pertinent details over at AA Deals.
If you’re looking to pick up a Moto 360 but are finding that it’s sold out just about everywhere you look, you’re in luck: Motorola’s website has both the Stone Leather and Black Leather models in stock. As you might expect, stock is limited however, so if you’re at all interested, you better make your move quickly. While the Moto 360 isn’t perfect thanks to its flat-tire display and less-than-stellar-battery life, many say that both of these issues are greatly exaggerated, and either way, the watch seems to be selling very well. That or stock levels have been ridiculously low. For those that want a closer look at the device, be sure to check out our full review: http://www.androidauthority.com/moto-360-review-526584/ To grab the watch, you’ll want to navigate over to Motorola, where the watch is listed for $249.99 (plus tax) with free shipping.
Source url Several weeks ago, we discussed the absurdity of Internet Service Providers (ISP's) fighting the FCC to keep the definition of broadband at the slowest speeds possible. To summarize, the FCC wants to force THOSE ISP'S THAT ACCEPT GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES to offer at the very least 10Mbps down. AT&T and Verizon have been begging the FCC to abandon this proposal as it would show their lack of deployment and competition across the country. The FCC's proposal to raise the minimum broadband definition also asked the public to comment on whether the FCC should "consider latency and data usage allowances as additional core characteristics of advanced telecommunications capability." As Karl Bode notes at DSLReports, usage caps on fixed-line networks are signs of an uncompetitive market. In fact, ISP's spent years telling us that usage caps were mandatory for network congestion. Now, the same ISP's are quietly admitting that usage caps are, and always have been, about milking consumers out of as much money as possible. StopTheCap AT&T and Verizon are responding to this proposal by asking the FCC to ignore data caps when defining whether internet service should be qualified as a broadband service. Ars Technica reveals filings sent to the FCC by AT&T and Verizon in which they give a rather laughable defense of usage caps. In Verizon's comments to the FCC, they claim that usage caps are about "getting users to make efficient use of available resources":
_"…Usage caps "encourage all users to make efficient use of finite network resources,. Usage caps encourage all users to make efficient use of finite network resources. Usage based pricing provides a way for consumers who are not heavy users to keep their costs down and increases incentives to invest in broadband networks. Because such pricing helps ensure a superior broadband experience for most consumers, it better enables providers to win and retain subscribers, thereby generating the revenue necessary to make broadband investments in the first place." - Verizon, FCC.gov_Setting aside the fact that Verizon has spent tens of billions of dollars in starting and expanding FiOS service to a number of cities without the need to bill for usage, Verizon pushes the same myth that has been at the front of ISP's argument for usage based pricing: The pricing helps users that don't use much data save money! Except, there is absolutely no proof that this is the case. In fact, I can't find any sort of pricing plan from any ISP that truly saves a light user a significant amount of money. Usage-based pricing simply drives up costs for all broadband consumers. StopTheCap AT&T can't seem to get their story straight when commenting to the FCC. In 2011, AT&T began to put usage caps on DSL and U-Verse subscribers. But AT&T never really enforced these data caps for all subscribers. So now, AT&T is telling the FCC that data caps don't really exist…..but price differentiation does exist. I am still not sure what AT&T really thinks is the difference between the two.
_"As an initial matter, AT&T is not aware of tiered data plans that actually limit the amount of data a customer can use. Rather, to the extent providers use tiered data plans, those plans attach different prices to different buckets of data and require that customers who exceed the allowance associated with their chosen plan to pay for their additional usage. In this respect, tiered data plans are no different from any other pricing model that relates charges to usage." - AT&T, FCC.gov_Comcast enforces data caps on some parts of the country but did not submit comments to the FCC on this subject. However the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), of which Comcast is a member, has argued that the FCC should keep its broadband definition at 4Mbps and that there should not be any set latency or usage thresholds. StopTheCap Then again, as we have written about previously, the NCTA is the same group that has pushed the FCC broadband definition to be defined by the speed advertised and not the speed actually delivered. Yes, not what consumers are being provided but what is promised to them.
_…the Commission should continue to look at maximum advertised speed rather than some measure of “actual” speed. In the Notice, the Commission observes that advertised speeds “generally differ from actual rates, are not uniformly measured, and have different constraints over different technologies.” - National Cable & Telecommunications Association_Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, reddit, Netflix, Twitter, Yahoo and others, also wrote to the FCC asking them to monitor data caps because they "effectively ration consumer use of broadband." I think this YouTube video does a solid job showing the absurdity and stupidity of usage meters in today's world. Source: Fierce Wireless, Ars Technica, DSLReports;
Just yesterday we learned that Best Buy was offering up the Pebble for just $99.99. Today Pebble has revealed this will be the new permanent pricing and that they will be teaming up with more retail partners across the globe, making the Pebble a much more affordable (and highly available) option over Android Wear and many of its competitors. In addition to slashing the price, Pebble has also announced that a new software update to firmware 2.6 that will bring full activity tracking and sleep monitoring to both the original Pebble and the Pebble Steel. According to the Pebble team, you’ll be able to display your favorite watchface while activity will be tracked in the background. In order to optimize this effort, Pebble will be introducing new health and fitness apps from Misfit, Jawbone and Swim.com that will take advantage of the tracking functionality. This includes a new activity tracking app from Jawbone called Up, as well as a Swim.com app that measures distance, pace, times, strokes and efficiency while swimming. As for the Misfit app? It has been updated to allow continuous 24/7 activity tracking and sleep monitoring. Aside from the new tracking features, the update includes a few other goodies as well. Here's a change-log to give you a rundown of what to expect: * NEW: Activity. Activity tracking apps (e.g. Jawbone, Misfit, Swim.com) for Pebble now work seamlessly in the background. View installed Activity apps and toggle preferences in the Pebble Settings menu. An Activity icon is visible within Pebble menus when a compatible app is installed and running. * NEW: Quick Launch. Set shortcuts from a watchface to your favorite Pebble apps with a long press of the Up or Down buttons. Enable Quick Launch and set app shortcuts in the Pebble Settings menu. * Battery icon is now persistent within Pebble menus. * Select button once again dismisses notifications when paired with an Android device or iOS device on iOS 7 or lower. iOS 8 users get notificaion dismissal for both * Pebble and the paired device when pressing Select. * Bug fixes and improvements. While this software update and new pricing scheme could bring new Pebble fans, we have to wonder when exactly we’ll be treated to a true next-gen Pebble watch. Still, this latest move is a step in the right direction and both the new pricing and the latest firmware improvements are welcome changes. Anyone interested in picking up the Pebble at its new and reduced pricing? How do you feel the watch compares to its more recent competitors? Source: Pebble Blog;
Fleksy has been making waves the last year as one of the best up and coming third party keyboards on Android. It was most recently featured as the main keyboard on the latest Samsung Gear smartwatch that was announced at IFA earlier this month. Today it gets a pretty substantial update and also gets released to the Amazon App Store and Samsung App Store. For the full Android update, the new features of Fleksy version 3.2.5 include: * New swipe animations for all premium themes. * Improved emojis. * The addition of the True Dark premium theme. * Improved language support which includes Polish and Ukrainian support. This also includes more reliable language switching via space bar swiping and extended dictionaries for all languages. * Overall performance improvements including better accuracy, reduced memory and battery consumption, better tablet optimization, and the boilerplate bug fixes. Fleksy Messenger (the wearables variant) is also getting an update to version 2.0 and the new features include: * A complete keyboard redesign to behave and work better as a wearable keyboard. * Full featured keyboard support which lets you type as you do on your phone. This includes letters, symbols, and numbers. * Multiple layouts including the Spacebar layout and the Minimal layout. They also include swipe gestures now. * New themes have been added. * This update now supports the Spanish language as well as English and you can turn auto correct off if you don't want to use it. According to Fleksy, more languages are coming soon. Along with this huge update, Fleksy will also be available in the Amazon App Store and Samsung App Store starting today. There has been no word on price although we assume that it'll cost the same on those app stores as it does on the Google Play Store. This is also great news for people who use the Samsung App Store and especially for Kindle users who will have access to Fleksy for the first time. If you want to check it out, follow this link or click the source link below to check it out in the Google Play Store. Amazon and Samsung App Store users need only to search for it. Do take note that it may take a bit for it to show up! Via: Fleksy (official website); Source: Fleksy (Google Play Store);
Some users reported a gap between the Note 4's body and its metal frameSamsung confirmed that some Note 4 units might feature a gap around their metal frame, though, supposedly, that's not a defect manufacturing, as we first believed. News about the issue emerged yesterday via Korean website _ITToday_. The Note 4 went on sale last week in South Korea, and some of the first buyers reported that their devices have a narrow gap between the plastic body and the metallic frame going around the edges. The gap is said to be big enough to stick a business card in it, and can appear on all sides of the phone, as these two pictures show. It’s possible that this small gap won’t bother some users. But we can see how some customers could consider it a defect, especially because the gap could fill up with unsightly debris over time. Here’s the twist: according to the Note 4 user manual, the gap isn’t a defect, it’s a feature. (ironically, the manual lists the gap in the Troubleshooting section): _A SMALL GAP APPEARS AROUND THE OUTSIDE OF THE DEVICE CASE_ _This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur. _ And, more worrying: _Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly._ It looks like Samsung has a potential problem on its hands. It’s too soon to start throwing #gapgate hashtags around, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some kind of backlash, especially after the Note 4 goes on sale worldwide, later in October. The fact that the gap could cause “rocking or vibration” is especially disturbing. If it’s worth anything, during my brief time with the Note 4 at IFA I didn’t see any issues with the phone’s construction. Obviously, production units could be different, and the fact that Samsung felt the need to mention the gap in the user guide suggests the issue could be widespread. On a slightly related note, at least one user complained about the design of the Note 4’s metallic frame:
@bogdan247 I can be, but its a really sharp metal in the top, really can hurt or cut your skin. I call this bad design. Also hard to hold. -- Alexandre Focante (@afocante) September 30, 2014