[Small Deal Alert] Spec-Compliant USB 2. Type-C iOrange-E Cable $10.99 With Coupon On Amazon
About last month, Google engineer Benson Leung continued an Amazon . com campaign against companies claiming to market USB Type-A to Type-C charging and knowledge cables. As Benson discovered from his extensive reviews, many of them were selling non-compliant cables using the wrong type of resistor that may potentially damage your Type-C devices (such as the new Nexus 5X, 6P, Chromebook Pixel). Their email list of correct cables was small , the braided USB 3.1 USB 2. iOrange-E was included in this. Additionally, it been the least expensive in those days at $14.99.
Per month later, the problem has altered a bit. Benson has reviewed about 60 different cables, and you will find a couple of more options that got his press. Incidents where cost under $10, but they are usually short, they will use USB 2., and/or they are not braided. (Personally, i posess zero preference among braided or otherwise cables, however i be aware of former usually are more expensive.) The 2M (6.6Ft) iOrange-E continues to be one of the better options also it costs slightly under it did before at $12.99 (black or silver versions) or $11.99 (gold). But if you wish to have a couple more dollars from the cost, you should use promotion code V67XXMRU to have it lower on these to $10.99.
You should use the coupon on a single or multiple units of the identical or differing colors. Which should add up to a pleasant discount if you are considering upgrading several cables around your home and work or perhaps in your vehicle and backpack to Type-C. Shipping is free of charge for Prime people or on purchases over $35.
If you would like shorter 1M cables, Orzly is selling a multi-color 4-pack for $15.99 on Amazon . com. They are USB 3., not braided, and Benson Leung-approved.
Android Studio v1.4 Preview 1 Enters Canary Funnel With Completely New Theme Editor, Vector Asset Wizard, Performance Monitors, And Much More
Android Studio v1.4 Preview 1 Enters Canary Funnel With Completely New Theme Editor, Vector Asset Wizard, Performance Monitors, And Much More
Using the official stable discharge of Android Studio v1.3 a few days ago, you’re ready to begin testing the following string of recent features. The very first preview discharge of version 1.4 has become within the Canary funnel, and it is sporting some big additional features. The Android Tools team has worked around the new theme editor first shown within the I/O session entitled What’s New in Android Development Tools. There’s also new performance monitors for GPU and network activity, a vector asset wizard for turning SVG files into XML vector drawables, along with a couple of new lint checks.
This is actually the Google I/O session video cued to the start of the theme editor demo at 36 minutes:
The brand new theme editor examines the styles inside a project and displays visual examples of what controls need to look like on the live interface. Developers could make changes to numerous attributes directly with the theme editor and find out them updated within the live preview. For that initial release, only colors and color condition-lists are supported, however, many other attributes is going to be arriving future releases.
Vector Asset Wizard
Ongoing around the visual track, there’s a brand new vector asset wizard having a couple of handy methods for designers and developers. The very first function provided by the wizard is really a ripper tools that may turn SVG (Scalable Vector Graphic) files into Android’s XML drawable format. It has become an more and more popular method of delivering certain UI sources to apps after Lollipop considerably improved support for rendering vector drawables. You will find web services that provide to transform SVG to drawables at this time, but it is certainly easier to allow the IDE get it done quickly.
Another new tool provided by the vector asset wizard is really a handy icon importer that picks in the Material Design vector icon library. For the time being, the icon import functionality continues to be a little limited, however a future discharge of the Gradle wordpress plugin is anticipated to enhance its abilities by generating custom-colored icons included in the build process.
Performance Monitors (GPU as well as networking)
The ultimate big addition is a set of performance monitors for GPU rending and Network performance. The GPU profiler graphs usage for just about any connected process, which may be helpful for tracking drops in framerates and identifying trouble spots. Likewise, the network profiler measures usage by ways to determine how and when much information is traveling within the air (or even the wire) from your application.
Android Studio v1.4 Preview 1 can be obtained now within the Canary funnel. As always, the Android Tools team advises developers to help keep two copies of Studio on the machine, one which remains around the Stable or Beta channels, and the other that may update using the Canary builds.
Report: Facebook Is Working On A Personal Assistant Called 'Moneypenny' To Compete With Google Now, Possibly Use Humans To Perform For-Fee Tasks
Report: Facebook Is Working On A Personal Assistant Called ‘Moneypenny’ To Compete With Google Now, Possibly Use Humans To Perform For-Fee Tasks
According to an anonymously-sourced report from The Information, Facebook is working on their own entry into the virtual assistant market. Unlike Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, however, early indications are that Moneypenny—the current name used internally to refer to Facebook’s offering—could be more service-oriented than the machine-driven, contextually-aware competition.
It is expected to be integrated with Messenger, but it would likely be a waste if it were not a part of Facebook’s web and mobile interface as well.
At this point, details are very sparse. The Information speculates that Moneypenny may resemble startups like Magic and GoButler, which use humans to fulfill user requests for a fee. For instance, you could pay a few dollars to have someone else go through the undesirable process of cancelling your Comcast service on your behalf.
With that said, Facebook is privy to a gold mine of information on its users that is only rivaled by Google. Their massive team of data scientists can surely use those resources to create an automated service more in the vein of Google Now. And while Zuckerberg and co. have emphasized Messenger as a key platform, this sort of feature doesn’t seem like a natural fit for it.
This is all very preliminary and no release date has been set, if there is one at all. But don’t think Facebook will sit idly by as this market segment becomes more important.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Phones Are Being Updated To Android 5.1 – Here's The OTA ZIP File
Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition Phones Are Being Updated To Android 5.1 – Here’s The OTA ZIP File
- Device Updates
- Galaxy S4
- Lollipop 5.0/5.1
That took quite a while. According to a tip sent from an Android Police reader, that very small sliver of Galaxy S4 owners which opted for the Google Play Edition of the phone (running stock AOSP software) is now receiving the Android 5.1 update. That’s the one that first started coming out way back in February, at least to Nexus devices. Yeah, the Google Play Edition program isn’t looking quite so hot these days, more’s the pity.
According to our tipster, the OTA is coming in to update the S4 GPE from LRX21P (Android 5.0, circa November 2014) to LMY47O (released around April). Note that it’s Android 5.1, not Android 5.1.1, the latest public release of the platform. Yeah. If I paid $600+ to get an off-contract version of a phone with “Nexus-style updates,” I’d be pretty pissed too. We’ve got a link to the OTA ZIP file if you’d like to flash it manually: download it here.
Remember that these software updates need at least some input from the manufacturers themselves, and since neither Google nor Samsung seems all that interested in Google Play Edition hardware at this point, I’d say that we’re unlikely to see too many more OTAs for these phones and tablets. We might be able to hope for a Marshmallow upgrade (eventually), but after that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see OTAs stop. It’s a good thing Google Play Edition devices have unlocked bootloaders…
Facebook Messenger’s Video Calling Feature Is Now Available Worldwide
When Facebook finally added video calling to their Messenger app last month, the capability was limited to select countries. Considering one of the main reasons that people would want to chat this way is because they are far from one another, ideally there would be as much international support as possible. Starting today, the feature will be available nearly everywhere in the world.
While they have not released a full list of included (or excluded) countries, video chat is said to be available in all countries that had internet infrastructure for enough quality. From reading responses to the Facebook announcement, users from Bahrain, Egypt, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates have said they don’t have it yet. In response to the concern about UAE availability, a Facebook employee responded that local operators were blocking the service. This could be the case in other areas as well.
You shouldn’t need to update, but if you are not on the latest version of Messenger, make sure to download it before trying out the feature.
Spotify Announces Runkeeper Integration, Coming Soon To Android
Today Spotify announced the ability to track runs using Runkeeper while listening to Spotify. Integration should provide a smoother experience than swapping back and forth between the two apps.
Runners will continue to have access to their existing music libraries. Spotify’s fitness-oriented experience also offers tailored playlists, Running Originals, and music that adjusts to your adrenaline level as you run.
All you will need to do is select Spotify as your source in the Runkeeper app. Once you’ve done so, you will be able to stream music knowing that Runkeeper is tracking your progress at the same time. It doesn’t matter if you’re a free or premium user.
The integration is live for iOS users today. Android support is coming soon. Hopefully, this time, runners won’t have to wait so long.
Spotify (Playboard) | Spotify (Play Store)
Runkeeper (Playboard) | Runkeeper (Play Store)
Globo’s MDM report shows Samsung and KitKat dominate Android enterprise market
The latest Globo MDM report has revealed how Samsung continues to dominate the Android enterprise hardware market, with KitKat becoming the most popular operating system.
Samsung commands 73% of all activated Android Globo devices, followed by Motorola (12%) and LG (7%), while KitKat runs on half (49.59%) of devices, ahead of Jelly Bean (30.41%) and Gingerbread (9.31%). The latter represents a marked change from July 2014, with Jelly Bean running on two in five Droids.
Android Lollipop, which was announced in October 2014 and praised as a more enterprise-friendly operating system, only commands 2.28% of the market share, partly because it hasn’t been made widely available for download. But that doesn’t tell the full story, with Google recently announcing cessation of patches for WebView vulnerabilities in versions of Android older than KitKat and Lollipop.
“That provokes a new question to follow in future,” the report notes. “Will this policy motivate folks to update their own phones? Or will affected devices simply suffer the consequences, degrading the user experience and potentially driving buyers to select Apple replacements?”
On the other side of the equation, the penultimate Apple OS release still commands the highest share, although it’s a lot closer. iOS 7 is equipped on 49.27% of devices, iOS 8 on 31.74%, and iOS 6 on 15.68%. In July 2014, iOS 7 was pushing 70% share.
Globo argues iOS 6 is “far from dead”, noting that iOS 5 still represents almost 3% of the user base. “Perhaps many of these are mule devices, where IT needs to retain past versions for active compatibility tests – or maybe they are just stubborn users who prefer the old visual experience,” Globo notes, yet adding: “We anticipate that iOS 8 will constitute the majority of deployed Apple devices by mid-summer.”
The last report issued by the enterprise mobility provider, which this publication covered last November, argued that because of Android’s fragmentation issues and lack of motivation for users to update, it would continue to lag behind iOS as the enterprise OS of choice.
The latest numbers fail to change that perception, yet one element which has changed is BYOD adoption rates, which stood at 40% in July 2014, with Globo arguing the number is in reality nearer 50%. January 2015 saw that number rise to 44% officially.
“Whether you think the chicken or the egg came first, all signs point to more user-owned devices,” the report states.
You can find an infographic detailing the paper’s main points here.
Chrome 50’s Built-In Downloader Lets You Pause And Cancel Downloads
Did you know that Chrome on Android can handle downloads in two different methods? Before we got this tip, I sure didn’t and it took a little investigative work to get to the bottom of this difference. See, there are two ways you can trigger a download in Chrome. One is by clicking on a link that opens the bottom pop-up asking you if you want to save a file (think APK Mirror) and the other is by long tapping on any embedded content (usually media) and selecting save. The first triggers the Downloads app (or Download Manager) from Android, the second triggers Chrome’s built-in download manager functionality. Changes are coming to both of these — we’ve already discussed how Android N’s Downloads notification has gotten a new Cancel button and now we’re going to talk about how Chrome’s built-in manager is changing in version 50.
Let’s start with Chrome 49, which is the current stable version of Chrome on Marshmallow. If you go to a webpage with an embedded file, say this .mp4 video for example or this .mp3 podcast, and you start playback then long-tap to get the option to save the video or audio, you’ll trigger Chrome’s built-in download functionality (again, this isn’t the Downloads app). The notification doesn’t allow you to do anything, not pausing, not canceling, and it’s not even dismissible. The only way to cancel the download is to remove Chrome from the Recents apps, which causes the notification to switch to Download Paused, and then it’s dismissible. And technically, the download isn’t even paused then because there’s no way to resume it. Even opening Chrome again causes the notification to disappear thus canceling the download.
Chrome 49’s built-in manager has a pretty useless notification
Now switch over to Chrome 50, which is either the Chrome 50 Dev version that you can run on Marshmallow or the Chrome 50 stable version that’s preloaded on Android N. Open the same .mp4 video file or .mp3 podcast, start playback, and long-tap to save the file. You’ll trigger Chrome’s built-in download manager (once more, not the Downloads app) and the notification will show you… surprise… both a Pause and a Cancel button. These work as expected: you can either cancel the download completely or pause and resume it. Beware though, the latter functionality is a little buggy now and you might get a few force closes or failed downloads there. I hope this becomes more stable with future releases of Chrome 50.
Chrome 50’s (Dev on M or stable on N) built-in manager shows Cancel/Pause in the notification
If you’re running Android N, you might be confused like us by why certain downloads offer a Pause button and others don’t. It’s exactly because one type (embedded media) is being handled by Chrome 50’s built-in downloader as explained here while the other (links like APK files from APK Mirror and factory images) and is being handled by the Downloads app which got updated in N (explained in this other post). Here are both types of notifications next to each other, notice the name of the app responsible for each.
Chrome 50’s built-in downloader (top) vs the Downloads app (bottom)
I hope I made this clear for anyone running into these two different notifications. Yes, you bet it took us a bit of trial and error to understand why things weren’t the same. And since this here is a Chrome feature, it is already available on Chrome 50 Dev on Marshmallow and will most likely be coming to the stable version of Chrome 50 on M. The Downloads update, on the other hand, is an N-only feature.
Jack Underwood’s Monospace Writer Comes Out Of Beta
Jack Underwood, the developer of arguably the best calendar app on the Play Store, Today Calendar, has been working on his second app for a good while now – since the middle of last year, in fact. It’s been available in beta since then, but Jack’s just moved it to a general release, making it available for public download on the Play Store.
As Michael said in his initial look at the app last July, it’s a writing app, but you won’t find any of the extraneous options you might find in apps like Microsoft Word. Instead, it’s purposely barebones, just letting you get on with the task in hand – writing. Text can be formatted when highlighted – a formatting bar appears with bold, italic, bullet points, options for larger or smaller text, and a quote function. Files can be exported to Markdown or plain text, and you can sync to Dropbox to backup files and access them elsewhere.
But what makes this app stand out from the rest is the use of #nesting to categorize #files. Put simply, the app will allow you to set up a makeshift file directory using #hashtags, organizing everything into a structured hierarchy of folders. You can also use the #encrypted hashtag to protect important or secret work from prying eyes; Jack’s also added an option for fingerprint authentication to unlock encrypted files on supported devices.
The app’s also got a Pro tier, which costs $5 and adds three features: customizable typefaces (Roboto Regular, Roboto Condensed, or Roboto Mono), Google Drive sync, and a customizable formatting bar. Jack’s working on a Chrome app, using ARC Welder, and exploring syntax support to enable highlighting of nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
The app’s available on the Play Store now. The Pro tier is an in-app purchase.
Micro transactions “best thing to happen to mobile gaming”, says Chillingo
Chillingo believes that microtransactions and the free to play model is the “best thing” to happen to the mobile gaming industry.
The free to play model, complete with its in-app purchasers has been under a lot of scrutiny in the news thanks to the large accidental purchases made by children.
However, despite those issues, Ed Rumley, General Manager of Chillingo believes the model is the fairest for consumers.
“I believe microtransactions are the best thing to happen to this industry. I’m a big believer that micro transactions are the fairest business model in the world”, said Rumley speaking to TrustedReviews. The reason I say that is that I can go buy a cinema ticket, I can pay a huge amount of money to watch a football match, or whatever the entertainment, but there’s never any guarantee of enjoyment.”
It’s all about looking at the changing market and the type of people that consume mobile games or apps. The majority of them, with a vastly varying age range, would never consider themselves gamers, but are regularly playing titles like Candy Crush.
“It’s micro transactions that have helped that. If games were still But when games are free, what’s more acceptable for the mass market?”
But, of course, there’s a big difference between using the free to play model and using it correctly, we applauded games like Plants vs Zombies 2 for their ability to be played from start to end without paying, but it’s games like Angry Birds Go, which forced you to fork out for new cars in order to progress that give micro transactions a bad name,
“It’s all about fun. When people load that game for the first time, we want that door to open up and for people to play that game. We don’t want people to feel that after 20 seconds they’ve got to start spending on a game. That’s why we’re so focused on fun. Providing we can do that, we’re delivering a good game to the market.”
“This is the way you’ve got to look at monetisation. You’ve got to look at each game in turn and decide what’s right. It’s all about the game and it’s all about the player.”
“The bottom line is that you’ve got to accept the fact that the majority of people are never going to spend. But those people are still very valuable to our organisation because they’re telling us how to improve our games, they’re telling their friends about the game. They’re as important to us as the people who do spend.”
Read more: Best tablets 2014
An enterprise app store…for desktops?
When people hear the term “app store”, most think of mobile apps and devices.
However, increasingly enterprise app stores are becoming the preferred method to find and access all enterprise applications (mobile, cloud, desktop) as well as IT services.
In the enterprise’s drive for a seamless transition amongst devices the ‘app store for desktop’ concept is becoming as important as the one for mobile.
What started with the Consumerization movement, the app store paradigm is fast becoming the new generation of portals through which end-users can serve themselves when it comes to IT services and corporate applications. Based on the consumer model, the enterprise app store is designed around ease-of-use, productivity and choice, but also gives IT a level of control over policies and procedures.
Traditional enterprise portals took a top-down generic desktop approach that was often cumbersome for users to find applications and services. At best, it worked for desktop and laptop form factors, but was prohibitive on mobile devices.
Enterprise App Stores, on the other hand, have the ability to adapt to both mobile and desktop form factors, while supporting a user-driven model for self-service and productivity. In a report by IT analyst Gartner titled “Enterprise App Stores Reduce Risk and Improve Business Results”, they recommend the following:
- Apply store concepts to current portal strategies used to deliver cloud services and PC applications to users.
- Move to an app store model for all applications (PC and mobile) and cloud services to help automate software asset management and reduce administration costs.
So if you still think app stores are just for mobile apps and devices, think again! It’s time to take another look at Enterprise App Stores as your all-in-one app store for desktop, mobile and cloud.