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Rovio’s Retry is a frustrating new game with 8-bit graphics, out in the Play Store

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Rovio has gone the 8-bit route, emulating the incredible success that was Flappy Bird. The company’s first game to use pretty much the same formula is now available to download from the Play Store. It’s called Retry, and you’ll be doing a lot of that while you play it.

It’s no Angry Birds, that’s for sure. Like Flappy Bird before it, Retry is easy to learn but frustrating to play and master. It’s hard but addictive. It’s not a full-on Flappy Bird clone, however, coming with some interesting twists of its own. Read more »

Google Earth 8.0 for Android adds new 3D tech, quicker map updates

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Google has just announced a pretty big update for the Google Earth app for Android. The new version will be rolling out over the next week, bringing with it faster and smoother transitions as you’re zooming in.

Mountains and cities get sharper 3D views too, thanks to an overhauled 3D rendering technology that was built from scratch. This is, in fact, the first big upgrade for the 3D tech since Google Earth launched 10 years ago. And more 3D updates are promised for the coming months. Read more »

Google launches Inbox by Gmail, a brand new take on email

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Google has just unveiled a new service. It’s called Inbox, and it uses the data in your Gmail account. But it presents this to you in some pretty interesting new ways.

It’s designed to “focus on what really matters”, the company says. It does this by surfacing important information from emails, and by letting you add reminders to your new inbox. Read more »

Latest Note 4 promotional videos use real artists

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Samsung has released two new promotional videos for the new Galaxy Note 4 on YouTube, that feature real artists. The first video shows British artist Jon Burgerman, known for his ‘doodle style’ of paintings, while the second video features Helsinki-based illustrator and graphic designer Janine Rewell.

Neither videos show the artists actually drawing on the phone itself but they are used to suggest that the phone can be used to quickly draw something whenever an idea or inspiration comes to you. Read more »

Nexus 6 compared to iPhone 6 Plus, found to be bigger than bigger than bigger

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The Nexus 6 is a big phone. You can tell that from the display size or from reading the dimensions. But nothing drives the point home than watching it being compared with phones that we are already familiar with.

TechCrunch did a hands-on with the Nexus 6 and there are two images from the article that are worth focusing on. The first is the image above, where the Nexus 6 sits next to the iPhone 6 Plus. Read more »

Firmware update for Moto 360 brings new features, squashes bugs

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Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch received a major firmware update. The new Android Wear build brings a host of new features and improvements to the wearable timepiece.

The two most notable new features that the update brings are Smart Battery Saving and more frequent time checks. Read more »

Nexus 9 accessories can now be pre-ordered from Amazon

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The HTC Nexus 9 tablet itself went up for pre-order last week. And now you can pre-order both the Keyboard Folio for Nexus 9, as well as the Magic Cover for the tablet from Amazon.

The former of those will cost you $129.99, while the latter is priced at $39.99. The Magic Cover comes in four different hues. You can choose from black, ‘coral amethyst’, ‘lime stone’, and ‘mint indigo’. Read more »

LG G Watch receives Android Wear update which enables offline music playback

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Back in September, Google told us to expect an update to Android Wear that would bring support for offline music playback and GPS sensors. And now it looks like the first Android Wear device to get the new software is LG’s G Watch.

Some owners of this particular smartwatch have started receiving update notifications. After applying the new bits, they’re on software version 4.4W.2 and build KNX01Q. And sure enough, a new ‘Play Music’ option shows up in the watch’s menu. Furthermore, the G Watch is now capable of pairing itself with Bluetooth audio accessories. Read more »

Google Play Music gets contextual music stations, Material Design

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Google has announced a big update for its Play Music service. First off, the Android and iOS apps have received a new, Material Design-infused coat of paint. Second, the service now brings you contextual music stations.

These have apparently been “hand crafted” by a team of music experts, including DJs, musicians, music critics, and ethnomusicologists, to give you exactly the songs you need for a particular moment. Read more »

HERE maps beta officially released for all Android devices

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Nokia’s HERE Maps launched on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones recently to offer “true” offline navigation and an alternative to Google’s preloaded Maps.

But the app was in testing only on Samsung’s smartphones even despite the leaked apk file that allowed us all to sideload the HERE navigation on non-Galaxy smartphones. Now that’s about to change – Nokia is releasing the apk for all Android smartphones so you can try HERE maps for yourself. Read more »

Google publishes a guide for users transferring from iOS to Android

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Apple published a switch from Android to iOS guide? Two can play that game – Google has a dedicated page that helps new users switch to Android.

It’s not Google’s first guide though, last year Eric Schmidt himself posted an iOS to Android guide. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 disassembled, Sony camera found inside

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 adopted the metal frame of the Galaxy Alpha but disassembling it doesn’t seem too hard if you know what you’re doing. The metal frame comes off with the back side of the device and brings the antennas with it. The middle part is the motherboard, which houses a collection of sensors and chips.

One of the more interesting discoveries from the internals of the Galaxy Note 4 is the confirmation that the 16MP optically stabilized camera uses a Sony IMX240 sensor, rather than the 16MP ISOCELL sensor made by Samsung. Read more »

Ambient display mode spotted in Android Lollipop [Update: Only for Nexus 6]

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One of the cool features of iOS is that the screen lights up whenever you get a notification. This does consume a bit more battery than just having a notification light but it’s far more informative, and you know not just what the notification is about but can also get a brief look at the contents of the notification, making it easier to decide if you should act upon it or ignore it.

With the updated lockscreen notifications in Android Lollipop, Google has now also added a feature called Ambient display mode. This will allow the phone to light up the display when notifications arrive. Even better, it will wake the screen when you pick up the device, similar to the Moto X. Read more »

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact goes up for pre-order in the United States

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Sony opened the pre-order books for the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact in the United States. The IP68 certified compact slate is available to order directly from Sony’s official online store.

Only the 32GB version of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is available for pre-order for the time being. Read more »

Next Gmail app for Android will handle all your email accounts

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The next version of Google’s beloved Gmail app for Android will feature a a lot more than new material design. Gmail 5.0 for Android is bound to make most email clients for the OS redundant by offering support for accounts beyond those hosted by Google.

Gmail’s hot new feature appeared in a short walkthrough video. Read more »