Facebook adds internal browser to app on Android

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Users are reporting that their Facebook app on Android is now loading links to web sites in an internal browser rather than launching one of the external browsers a user may have installed on their device. There is no indication in the Play store entry for the Facebook app that an internal browser has been added as an update which suggests this may be a beta feature that only a subset of users are receiving. Rolling out changes to only some users for beta testing is a standard practice for Facebook on the normal web interface and seems to be used more frequently with their Android app.

The new internal browser does provide users with a few options via a menu button. Users can share the link, which will open a new post in the Facebook app. They can also copy the link to the article which could be handy for sharing via other platforms. An “Open with…” option brings up Android’s intents dialog so a user can pick a different browser or app. Finally, a “Save Link” option is available that will log the site into a user’s activity log and mark it as private.

Have you received the update and find it useful or would you rather just jump over to your normal browser?

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source: Android Police

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PayPal bringing One Touch payments to mobile devices in the near future

 

paypal one touchPayPal has announced that they’re opening One Touch mobile payments to developers today, and the payment system will come to every PayPal user in the next few weeks. Even though PayPal only wanted to show off the payments on an iPhone, they’re still coming to Android, rest assured. These mobile payments will work inside of applications to allow users to quickly make purchases by linking their PayPal accounts. Since it’s PayPal, it can remember your bank accounts and credit cards and save you the headache of punching in numbers and information.

Since in-app purchases have been pretty controversial lately, PayPal will allow users to opt in or out of the experience at any time. Heavy Android users will probably want to stick to just using Google’s in-app purchase system that’s pretty universal across Android apps, but if you’ve got multiple devices split across mobile platforms, using PayPal can definitely be pretty handy to just maintain one balance for your apps instead of two or three.

It’s going to take a few weeks for developers and merchants to update their apps to support PayPal’s One Touch payments, but I’d bet it’ll be pretty common by the end of this year.

source: PayPal

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Dropbox updates Carousel with new features and support for Android L

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Dropbox has updated their photo viewing application, Carousel, with a few new features, plus support for Android L. This update brings the app up to version 1.1.4 which is the first actual update to the app that wasn’t just for bug fixes. The (relatively short) change log is below.

Play Store Download Link

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PushBullet hopes to copy messaging success to copy/paste function

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PushBullet is no stranger to the concept of synchronizing information across different platforms as they produce an app that does this for calls and messaging between a phone and a computer. Other companies provide similar synchronization for various functions, like Google’s Chrome browser that will save and share your browsing history between devices and keep it all synced up. PushBullet goes a little bit further with their app as they have features that make it easier to share information between devices going a step beyond synchronization. For instance, you can send an address from your computer to your smartphone so it can be opened in the Google Maps app without having to type it in again. Now PushBullet is looking to expand synchronization and information sharing between devices to copy and paste functions.

In a sample video for the new Universal Copy Paste function, PushBullet shows an example where a user copies a web site URL address from their browser on their computer. Next, on their smartphone they open an app and long press to bring up the Paste option. Choosing that inserts the item that was copied from the computer. The feature will work between mobile device and computer, mobile device to mobile device, or computer to computer.

At present, to get this working a user has to install the PushBullet app on their Android device and a Windows desktop app on their computer if they want to include a computer. They indicate versions are on the way for Mac computers and iPhones so that they can live up to the “Universal” part of their claim.

If you want to give this new solution a try, use the links below to get the Pushbullet app from Google Play. Hit the source link for information on how to get the Windows app and how to get everything installed.

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Google Play Download Link

source: Pushbullet

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Verizon considers opening another Android app store, this time with help

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Despite shuttering its previous attempt at providing an app store for Android and Blackberry users, Verizon appears to be eyeing the possibility of opening a new one to challenge Google’s dominance for Android users. This time though, sources indicate Verizon is talking with other players and carriers in an effort to put together an “industry coalition.” With Android installed on over a billion devices around the world and the operating system continuing to grow in dominating the market, it should be no surprise that a company wants to get in on the action of selling apps to users.

It is difficult to assess how Verizon thinks they would be able to entice buyers away from the Google Play store. The report indicates they plan to include “specific features of wireless-carrier networks” that would aid developers trying to get apps out to market. They also indicate their platform would offer “consumers new ways of discovering the mobile software they might want.”

Although the Google Play store is probably the biggest source of apps for Android users, other options do exist. Notably, Amazon operates their own app store for their devices although it can be accessed by any Android user. Likewise, major smartphone manufacturers like to create their own app stores for owners of their devices.

Do you think Verizon could lead a successful effort to create an alternative to Google Play for Android app buyers?

source: The Information

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Sony Xperia C3 to go on sale in Russia in early September

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Last month Sony introduced their “selfie-centric” Sony Xperia C3 smartphone. The Xperia C3 is a mid-range device with an upgraded front-facing camera and some other features for making it more suitable for grabbing selfies. The front-facing camera is a 5MP shooter, but it does come with an 80-degree field of view. Sony also built-in an LED flash for it for low-light situations. On the software side, the Xperia C3 can detect a double tap on the rear panel or a smile to trigger the camera.

Although it appeared at the time of the announcement that China would be the first market to see the device, it looks like Russia managed to slide in there to grab the honor. The device is slated to sell for 13,990 Ruble ($386 USD) starting in early September.

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source: GSMArena

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Google selects Joyride as an Android Auto launch partner

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When the Android Auto platform launches later this year with thirty vehicle brands under its belt, Joyride will be one of the applications leading the way. Joyride is an app that brings personalized audio content to devices while commuting. Rather than limiting itself to radio stations or podcasts, Joyride expands the amount of content by offering shows and news from across the internet.

Joyride focuses on three ways for users to find content — Search, Recommendation, and Social Discovery. The Search function acts as you expect it would. It is a window to something specific that a user wants. Recommendation spotlights content that Joyride expects a user would find enjoyable. Also, Recommendation contains a tool to select a mood and the app will serve appropriate content. And Social Discovery shares what family and friends are suggesting from their own Joyride experience.

The app’s listening hours has grown ten times in the past four months and being a launch partner for Android Auto is expected to double that number. While Joyride currently offers voice and simplified controls for use in a vehicle, it will work with Android Wear for in-dashboard controls that are fully accessible with voice interaction and control.

Rather than having a flood of half-baked apps and services to launch Android Auto with, Google is reaching out and selecting appropriate partners. This is to ensure a quality for the platform rather than quantity. Joyride, as you can tell, is one of those partners that Google feels is ready to launch Android Auto.

Jeff Chen, Joyride’s co-founder and chief executive officer, had this to say about the service’s Android Auto launch:

“Mobile devices will be the key driver for the ‘Connected Car’ to go mainstream so the everyday person has access. We Are proud to have been selected by Google as one of the first companies to leverage the innovative Android Auto platform. This is a movement that is going to completely shift how we think of in-car entertainment.”

You can download Joyride today in the Play Store for your Android device.

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Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook

 

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Samsung and Barnes Noble launched the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook earlier today at a New York City event. As expected, it is a Galaxy Tab 4 repackaged with Nook-only software in addition to what Samsung traditionally offers. There are no hardware differences between this device and the original.

The software is the difference maker here as Barnes Noble has included what it calls the Nook Advantage to create a better value. The specific Galaxy Tab 4 Nook features that are exclusive include Nook Today, Nook Shop, and a quick access button on the bottom left of the home screen to jump right into whatever reading content — books, magazines, newspapers — you left off with. There are also traditional hubs for newspaper/magazine and video content. If you are not satisfied, breathe easy as the Play Store is pre-loaded on the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook (unlike Amazon’s devices).

Hit the break for images of the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook’s flip cover and our hands on video with the tablet.

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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

The Exxon Valdez spill killed (from my quick search) an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 birds, about what this would kill in 10 years or so at mid-20k birds killed per year. So, build 10 of these plants (or larger with even more roasting capacity) and you have the equivalent (in bird deaths) of an Exxon Valdez oil spill each year. A wise sage once said “It’s not easy being green.”

The Exxon Valdez is something which should not have happened at all. Whereas this is a consequence of “normal operation”.

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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

However, the primary target of the mission was not the floor of Gale Crater, it was to study the stratigraphy of Mount Sharpe, the mountain in the middle of the crater.

I don’t believe that was the primary purpose of the mission. Curiosity had clear scientific objectives and MEP has clear goals, none of which include reaching a specific location. It may well be the case that the team intended to go to Mount Sharpe in order to complete its scientific missions, but it has been able to achieve it without goi

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