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Download all the Android 5.0 Lollipop Google Apps in one handy ZIP file


Everyone likes convenience, right? And everyone likes Android 5.0 Lollipop?

That’s why this handy little ZIP file contains all the Android 5.0 Lollipop Google Apps that you’ll need.

Download link


Just simply download the ZIP file and sideload onto your device to get all the material design, performance enhancements, and Lollipop goodness in one hit.

The post Download all the Android 5.0 Lollipop Google Apps in one handy ZIP file appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google Keep adds list and note sharing for increased productivity

Google Keep has become a modest alternative to Evernote for those looking to keep their entire workflow within the confines of Mountain View’s app arsenal. With today’s update, the productivity software will allow you to share those idea boards and to-do lists amongst your cohorts so that everyone who’s privy to the info knows exactly what needs to be done. The new version also offers improved search that filters notes by color, sharing, images and more. Now that you can find and distribute items easily, there’s really no excuse for someone forgetting the milk. In addition to outfitting Android devices, the sharing feature is available for use on the web and via the Chrome Web Store.

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Source: Official Android Blog


HTC Desire Eye review: The selfie lover dream phone


There is no question that we live in a self-indulged generation that is in love with capturing pictures of themselves and sharing them online. We have seen a number of manufacturers try to capitalize on that trend this year, but HTC’s Desire Eye might be the best attempt. By offering a 13 megapixel front-facing camera with dual LED flash, it has to be a selfie lover’s dream. It’s not all about selfies however. Even the most narcissistic person has to do something else with their phone at some point right? In other words, is the Desire Eye good for only one thing or is it that perfect all around phone that selfie lovers have been craving?


The Desire series is generally earmarked for low to mid-range devices, so you can’t expect flagship materials such as metal. However, even before HTC was using metal, they always had great quality with their plastics. The One X from 2012 was one of the finest devices at its time, and there was no metal on it. The Desire Eye reminds me a lot of that phone. It’s all plastic, but it fees very solid and far from cheap. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s true.


By adding a two tone look with the sides being red or blue, it adds a fashionable look to it. Ever since the One X, HTC has been making phones that cause people to say, “What phone is that?” The Desire Eye doesn’t scream Rolex like the One (M7) and One (M8) do, but it’s bold and has a classy look.


BoomSound also gets a change in that the speakers are finally lower profile and don’t take up as much space. The speakers are barely noticeable, sitting at the top and bottom of the display. Because of this, the lower bezel is much smaller than the One (M8), but unfortunately that didn’t translate into the top bezel, which is actually larger than the One (M8). I presume it has to do with the higher quality camera and LED dual flash.


Another nice touch is the dedicated shutter button for the camera. You can still use the on screen display, but the shutter button does give you the feeling you are using a real point and shoot.

My only complaint is the phone is a little slippery, which is a big pet peeve of mine. It’s not so overly slippery that I couldn’t live with it, but it’s noticeable. Also slightly different is the placement of the power button. They chose to place it on the side, as opposed to the top on their One (M7) and One (M8) flagships. Not a big deal, but it’s below the volume rocker, which generally isn’t the norm. I find myself tapping on the volume button a lot when trying to turn it on. However, you can always double knock the display to wake the phone, but I just can’t get into the habit of doing that.


The Desire Eye features a 5.2-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD display at 424 ppi, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD slot for an extra 128 GB of additional storage, 13 MP BSI rear camera with aperture of f/2.0, 28 mm lens, and dual LED flash, 13 MP front-facing camera with aperture of f/2.2, 22 mm lens and dual LED flash, BoomSound stereo speakers, IPX7 certified (dust proof and water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes), nano SIM, and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n dual band.


2G Network: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – all versions

3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – Asia, HSDPA 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – AT&T, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 – EMEA, TD-SCDMA 1900 / 2100 – Asia

4G Network LTE 700 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 (Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 28), TD-LTE 1900 / 2300 / 2500 / 2600 (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41), LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100, (Bands 2, 4, 5, 17, 29) – AT&T, LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2600, (Bands 3, 7, 8, 20) – EMEA


It’s hard to believe that packing a Snapdragon 801 and 2 GB of RAM is considered mid-range these days, but the Desire Eye doesn’t feel mid-range. It’s pretty smooth out of the box and if the upcoming Lollipop update is everything it’s cracked up to be, this is more than enough phone for most people.

The display sports the same 1080p resolution as the One (M8), but it’s also a little bigger, 5.2-inches vs 5-inches. However, it doesn’t appear that it’s using the same Super LCD 3 display found on the One (M8). An obvious move to keep costs down. I found it to be adequate with decent colors and viewing angles.

As I mentioned earlier, the BoomSound speakers are barely noticeable. So much that I remember people at the launch event saying, “No BoomSound?” You may not realize they are there by looking at the device, but trust me, you will when you your start playing music or a video. In case you’re aren’t familiar with BoomSound, it’s HTC’s marketing term for their front-facing stereo speakers. HTC was ahead of the curve when they added them a couple of years ago, and we love this newer lower profile implementation. The sound is simply stunning.


Although a bigger phone, the Desire Eye’s battery is a little smaller than the One (M8)’s, 2400 mAh vs 2600 mAh. Powering a larger display could make a dramatic difference, but my results didn’t show that. In my video rundown test in which I loop continuous video while the display is set to 2/3′s brightness and the phone is connected to 4G LTE, I was able to get 10 hours and 54 minutes. The One (M8) yielded 11 hours and 40 minutes in the same exact test. So as you can see, it’s not that far off. Now you won’t be running video all the time, so how about a typical day? With moderate use, you should have no problem getting through the entire day without having to charge it. If you’re a heavy user, you might find it a little more difficult.


The majority of the software is the same as what is on the One (M8) so I won’t go into too much detail. What you essentially have is Sense 6 on top of Android 4.4. Sense is probably my favorite version of the Android skins, but it’s still far from stock Android.

What is different is the Eye Experience software, which is now available on all One (M8) devices and coming to the One (M7). That means the Desire Eye doesn’t offer anything unique in terms of software when compared to the One (M8). If anything, it’s lacking in that it doesn’t offer Zoe, well at least the original version of Zoe that debuted on the One (M7). Zoe always referred to the ability to capture up to 20 burst images and video at the same time, but now Zoe just refers to Video Highlights, which takes all your pictures and videos and puts them together into a short movie. It’s just another example of HTC confusing consumers here. I’m not sure if the original Zoe will still exist in the future, but the Desire Eye cannot capture 20 images and a few seconds of video at the same time like the One (M7) and One (M8) can. Since the Eye has the same processor as the One (M8), it’s obviously more than capable of handling it, so I am thinking they might be dropping the feature since they didn’t include it here.

The Eye Experience does offer a few cool things like the ability to make a Photo Booth collage with your selfies, but unfortunately it’s not available to the rear camera. There’s also the ability to share your screen during Skype or Hangouts video calls. It even tracks your face. The rest of the Eye Experience seems more gimmicky than anything else. For example, you can now capture audio and video utilizing both the front and rear camera, but Samsung has been offering that for a couple of years now. The fact that the Desire Eye front-facer is 13 MP makes it a little better since both lenses can grab 1080p video, but still. Crop Me in is interesting in that you can grab a live image of yourself from the front camera and place it anywhere on the background that the rear camera is shooting. Basically, adding a nice background scene. For whatever reason, HTC hasn’t rolled this feature out yet so I couldn’t test it. If you can add it to existing photos, it makes sense. If not, why not just turn around and take a selfie? Face Fusion is the ability to “fuse” two faces together. I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that. Supposedly it will help couples figure out what their child will look like. Seriously? Leave that stuff to third party apps if people want them.


HTC_Desire_Eye_Back_Rear_Camera_Dual_LED_Flash_TAHTC_Desire_Eye_Front_Facing_Camera_Dual_LED_Flash_Closer_TANow we get to heart of the Desire Eye. The camera, or shall I say cameras? It seems as through HTC has abandoned UltraPixel since it never proved to offer all that much of an improvement while sacrificing megapixels. The rear camera sports a 13 megapixel BSI sensor with a 28 mm lens and an aperture of f/2.0. The front facer also sports a 13 megapixel BSI sensor, but it gets a 22 mm lens along with an aperture of f/2.2. Both lenses are wide angle and can record at 1080p. Unfortunately HTC chose not to include optical image stabilization (OIS), which is a big red flag.

The actual camera software is just like the One (M8) in that it’s straightforward for the average user that just wants to point and shoot, but it also offers a tremendous amount of customization with the settings. You can also save these settings, making it easier to revert back to them at anytime. The only feature that the Desire Eye is lacking is the Zoe Camera feature, which I already mentioned in the software section.

As far as the quality of photos goes, the Desire Eye performs well in bright light and in action shots, but the lack of optical image stabilization shows in lower light situations. The results are actually quite similar to the DROID Turbo in that color representation on the photos is pretty good, but there is too much noise. The front facer suffers the same issues, but those who take selfies often will love the fact that they can be captured with higher resolution. It’s pretty remarkable when you think that the Desire Eye front-facing camera can capture more megapixels than the One (M8) rear camera. All in all, I think moving away from UltraPixel was the right decision, but not including optical image stabilization alienates those that regard camera quality high on their list. On one hand, HTC offers two very nice cameras with dual LED flash, but then strips it with an important feature in OIS. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I am not the manufacturer.

Here are some examples from both the front facer and rear facer in a variety of situations.

Selfie – Outdoors


Selfie – Low Light






Low Light



The Desire Eye offers a really nice design and something you won’t find on other smartphones, a 13 MP front-facing camera with dual LED flash. The rest of the device offers nothing more than most other smartphones. If selfies are your thing, you probably won’t find a better phone, but I guess you have to ask yourself if you really need the pixels? I happened to take a family selfie on my vacation with the One  (M8) that came out beautiful. I never wished it had more megapixels. Since selfies are more than likely going to be closeup shots, you generally don’t need the extra megapixels to crop. However, I will say that the Desire Eye has inspired my selfie creativity, which I am not sure is a good thing. Plus, it does offer dual LED flash for those that like to use it.

The bottom line is that the Desire Eye is a solid phone for $149. It’s obviously not the best phone on the market, but it’s not trying to be. Yes it caters to the selfie-centric crowd, but you don’t need to be in that crowd to enjoy the benefits.

Come comment on this article: HTC Desire Eye review: The selfie lover dream phone


OWC Introduces New ThunderBay 4 Mini Portable Storage With RAID 5 Option [Mac Blog]

OWC today expanded its ThunderBay lineup of storage devices with the new ThunderBay 4 mini and ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition. These new portable RAID devices are designed for 2K and 4K video editing with fast Thunderbolt 2 performance and SSD support.

“Our new ThunderBay 4 mini is perfect for mobile workflows involving demanding applications and large mission-critical files,” said Jen Soulé, OWC President. “The combination of RAID-ready capabilities and Thunderbolt 2 technology makes working with large 2K and 4K files easier, faster, and more flexible and affordable than ever before. Now users can get big performance in a small footprint – all in a portable, production-grade 4-Bay enclosure.”

The ThunderBay 4 mini and mini RAID 5 Edition both include four 2.5-inch drive bays that are compatible with either HDDs or SSDs, allowing owners to build a storage solution suitable for their needs. The new ThunderBay minis also include Thunderbolt 2 transfer speeds of 1,284MB/s, the ability to connect multiple ThunderBays into a RAID array and OWC’s signature drive “burn-in” reliability.

Similar to earlier ThunderBay models, the ThunderBay 4 mini is available in a base bring-your-own-drives model for $379 with configurations from 2 TB to 8 TB available at additional cost.

While the ThunderBay 4 mini and the mini 4 RAID 5 Edition share the same internals, the RAID version ships preconfigured for RAID 5 with support for RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, and 1+0. Pricing on the RAID model starts at $479 when you supply the necessary drives and climbs to $2,499 for the 4 TB SSD model.

Both the ThunderBay 4 mini and ThunderBay 4 mini RAID 5 Edition are available now at OWC’s website. The larger desktop ThunderBay 4, introduced last year with support for 3.5-inch drives, is still available starting at $449 for the bring-your-own-drives configuration.


AMC’s unlimited ticket lets you watch ‘Interstellar’ as much as you want


Are you so enthralled with Interstellar that you’re determined to see it a second, third or ninth time? AMC Theatres might have you covered. The chain has just unveiled its first-ever Unlimited Ticket for the sci-fi epic; if you’re an AMC Stubs member, you can shell out between $20 and $35 (depending on the location) to come back to the theater as much as you want. If you’ve already seen the flick, you can plunk down $15 to upgrade. You’ll have to watch at least twice for this offering to make sense, but that’s not hard if you have friends who want to see the movie after you’ve already been.

The Unlimited Ticket will only be available “while supplies last,” so you’ll want to act quickly if you like the concept. AMC hasn’t said whether or not it plans to repeat this strategy in the future, although it’s easy to see this happening for other big-name titles. The unlimited offering could help it get more cash from theatergoers who’d otherwise wait for home releases to see a movie again. It may also be alluring for studios, which could make up for smaller overall audiences by encouraging ardent fans to come back. Either way, it’s clear that AMC remains eager to experiment with any business model that gives you a reason to leave home (and importantly, your digital movie services) more often.

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Via: Variety

Source: AMC Theatres


New York City adds Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks as “official” tools


In a new post on the Google for Work blog, Hal Friedlander is given a guest spot to discuss the New York City Department of Education’s decision to add some Google tools to their official list of solutions available for teachers and students. Friedlander is the Chief Information Officer for the school system. The NYC Department of Education recently gave official approval to the use of Google Apps for Education and for the deployment of Chromebooks for use in the system.

With regard to Google Apps for Education, Friedlander says they were seeing more and more schools using it unofficially so their central office took a look at it. They determined that it did not require and special technical skills and schools could modify it to meet their specific needs. That was an important factor for Friedlander who brings a customer-centric model from his private sector days to management of the Division of Instructional and Information Technology. This focus on the customer led his team to conclude that Google Apps for Education could help schools with “fostering parent engagement, to managing classrooms, to creating and sharing online curricula.” Friedlander also indicated the Google Apps platform integrates with their existing systems and his support team found it easy to manage. To the extent that end users need training, which Friedlander said was typically a minimal amount, they created a NYC DoE Google Apps for Education Resource Center to aid those users.

Along with giving the okay to Google Apps for Education, Friedlander’s Division has also given their blessing to the use of Chromebooks as approved school devices. Friedlander indicated that many schools in the system wanted to invest in Chromebooks. After review, they determined the Chromebooks were “an affordable, manageable option for learning.”

source: Google for Work

Come comment on this article: New York City adds Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks as “official” tools


Apple Releases iOS 8.1.1 With Bug Fixes, Performance Improvements for iPad 2 and iPhone 4s

ios_8_iconAfter two weeks of testing, Apple has released iOS 8.1.1, a minor update that includes several bug fixes. Apple first seeded the iOS 8.1.1 beta to developers on November 3.

iOS 8.1.1 is available immediately as an over-the-air download. Apple has also released new Apple TV software.

According to Apple’s release notes, iOS 8.1.1 includes bug fixes and increased stability and performance improvements for both the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4s, two of the older devices that support the operating system.

iOS 8.1.1 may offer several bug fixes, but as a minor update, it does not bundle in any of the major new features that are rumored for iOS 8, like improvements to Maps and split-screen multitasking for the iPad. These updates may come in iOS 8.2 or iOS 8.3, both of which Apple is rumored to be working on.


US government wants $1.5 billion more per year to get schools online

iPad textbook

The FCC isn’t depending solely on help from tech companies to get more libraries and schools connected to the internet. According to the New York Times, agency chairman Tom Wheeler will propose that the FCC should have up to $1.5 billion more to spend per year on internet access for education, giving it an annual budget of $3.9 billion. That’s a hefty 62 percent increase, but officials reportedly believe that the upgrade is necessary given that many schools don’t have data fast enough for modern learning. Over 40 million students don’t have quick broadband, and existing offerings sometimes can’t cope with the sheer demand from kids.

The measure may face some stiff opposition. While the increased subsidy wouldn’t do much do your phone bill — you’d only pay $2 more per year — it’s doubtful that everyone wants to pad the FCC’s budget without asking some serious questions. Also, the increase may only have its intended effect if the FCC succeeds with efforts to lower the cost of school internet access. Institutions in different regions pay wildly differing rates to get online, so all that extra cash could vanish quickly unless the price of service drops in some regions.

[Image credit: Johan Larsson, Flickr]

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Source: New York Times


Google will be screening all Android TV apps in the Play Store

google-play-logoOne of the best (or worst) features of Google’s Play Store is that Google doesn’t screen any apps before they’re released to the masses. There are a few requirements that the apps have to pass so they aren’t malware, but otherwise, Google doesn’t monitor quality control for third-party apps.

Within the Play Store, it’s a mostly effective strategy. Low quality apps get low reviews and are generally filtered to the bottom, while better designed apps get more and higher review scores, so they become more visible to users. It looks like Google is taking a different approach when it comes to Android TV apps, however.

According to developer guidelines for publishing Android TV apps onto the Play Store, Google will review any pending apps for “usability with DPAD and gamepad and other quality guidelines.” This sounds like it means Google will make sure that all Android TV apps will work well with the supplied Android TV peripherals, and hopefully means they’ll make sure that tons of broken apps don’t make their way onto the Play Store.

Android TV has a ton of potential for Google, and they’re taking extra steps to make sure it’s not crippled by third-party developers right out of the gate. It doesn’t look like this policy will affect anything for other devices.

source: Google

via: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Google will be screening all Android TV apps in the Play Store


Apple Retail Making Gift Card and Uniform Changes for Holiday Shopping Season

As is typical for this time of year, Apple is planning to spruce up its retail operations ahead of the end-of-the-year holiday shopping season. This year’s changes in the company’s retail offering include new colors for store gift cards and holiday-colored shirts for Apple employees, with retail head Angela Ahrendts reportedly introducing these holiday updates in an internal company video.

Anonymous sources claim Apple’s new gift cards will move to solid silver, gold and space gray designs to match the current styling of the iPad and iPhone. Similar to previous gift cards, these new gift cards can be used in store or online with a value up to $2000. They will debut starting today, November 17.

Other retail changes include the rollout of red holiday t-shirts to replace the traditional blue shirts for employees and the removal of the neck lanyard from the employees’ standard retail uniform. The lanyard badge holders are distinctive to Apple and issued to current employees, but without the lanyard there will be more emphasis on employees introducing themselves to customers.

Apple retail stores will also begin servicing Beats Electronics products starting tomorrow, as shown in an internal memo leaked by TechnoBuffalo late last week. Retail sources have confirmed to MacRumors that the leak is genuine and that most service will not take place at stores themselves, but instead be handled through mail-in depot channels. Issues with minor items such as cables, chargers, and cables will be handled in-store.

These small modifications are part of a larger plan by Angela Ahrendts to revamp Apple’s retail operations. Apple’s recently appointed retail chief reportedly is focusing her efforts on mobile payments, expansion into China, and the customer’s Apple Store sales experience.

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