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Twitter for Android gives profiles a new look


In the coming days, users of Twitter for Android will notice something different about the look of profiles. The app has gotten rid of the various menus and swipes required to view all there is to see on a profile. Everything — tweets, photos, favorites biographies, recommended follows, and profile editing — is on the same screen. When scrolling down on a profile, the user’s header minimizes into a banner with the name and amount of tweets displayed.

The feature was announced just yesterday and all users should notice the changes quite soon.

Users of Twitter for Android on Lollipop devices will notice that the status bar on a profile reverts to black when viewing a profile. Normally, the status bar is blue to match the theme of Twitter.

Source: @Twitter

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Google goes all-in with USB Type-C

Earlier today, Google made some changes to the Play Store, moving its “Devices” category to a whole new website. Along with this change came an all-new Chromebook Pixel, which features either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, 8 or 16GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of on-board storage, and a price tag starting at only $999. Another addition to the new Chromebook Pixel is the inclusion of two USB Type-C connectors.

USB Type-C

The addition of the Type-C connectors is all thanks to Google joining the USB Implementers Forum, helping to create these new connectors over the past few years. Google is pushing to add them to the new Chromebook mainly because laptops have no common charging standard, unlike smartphones that mostly use Micro-USB. Type-C combines fast charging capabilities with quick data transfer speeds, all while being large enough for laptops and small enough for smartphones. Also, USB Type-C is completely reversible, so you won’t need to struggle with plugging in your device. Google explains:

USB Type-C can deliver up to 100W of power, which is more than even the largest laptops typically need. When a USB Type-C enabled device is plugged in, the charger negotiates the right power for that device.  That way, phones, laptops and tablets can all be powered from the same charger.

But Google seems to have bigger plans with USB Type-C. The company has open sourced its work on Type-C adapters so there will be an abundance of compatible accessories in the future. That’s great news. But what’s even more exciting is this quote from Adam Rodriguez, a Product Manager at Google:

We at Google are very committed to the USB Type-C spec. Expect to see this in a lot of Chromebooks and Android phones in the near future.

This is basically Google saying that Android phones, at least the ones made by Google at the start, will have USB Type-C connectors in the future. Just think: one universal USB cord to use with your laptop, tablet and smartphone.

Are you excited to get rid of that annoying Micro-USB cable, or are you indifferent?


Nominations for the 11th Annual Engadget Awards close tonight

It’s time have your voices heard. In the dog-eat-dog world of technological innovation … Ok, ok, enough with the K9 metaphors. Let’s just get to the point: Nominations for the 11th Annual Engadget Awards end at midnight PT tonight. We’ve given you a head start with a few suggestions, but feel free to write in your own in the ballots below — if you haven’t placed your votes already. You don’t have to make nominations in every category, but selections should be for products available in 2014.

We’ll announce the winners during a very special awards ceremony on March 25th. Let’s just say the competition is rrrrruff …


Filed under: Announcements, Cellphones, Gaming, Home Entertainment, Laptops, Tablets, Transportation, Wearables, HD, Mobile, Alt



Chrome v41 adds pull-to-refresh functionality, Beta v42 brings ‘site notifications’


Google is rolling out the latest versions of both Chrome stable and Chrome Beta to the Play Store as we speak. Google Chrome is getting a nice update to version 41 that lets users pull down on a webpage to refresh, instead of clicking the overflow menu to complete the action.  That feature rolled out in Chrome Beta a few weeks ago, so now we’re finally seeing the polished version hit the stable channel. The version 41 update also brings a number of bug fixes and performance improvements.

Chrome stable

As for Chrome Beta, its newest update brings the app to version 42. New in this update is the ability to “get the latest updates from sites with notifications”. For right now, we’re not quite sure what that means at this point. Presumably sites will be able to send you notifications while you’re visiting the webpage, but we’re not sure if the notifications will come from Chrome itself of from the notification drop down menu.

Chrome Beta

As you can see from the screenshots above, there’s now an option to choose whether or not to allow sites to send you notifications without asking you first. We’ll have to listen for more clarification from the company in the future regarding this feature. Additionally, the new Chrome Beta release will make “adding your favorite sites to your homescreen even easier”. Again, we’re not sure how this has changed from the last version of Chrome, but perhaps there are a few under the hood fixes we’re not noticing quite yet.

Both of these updates are now rolling out to the Play Store, so head to the links below to check for your update.

Download Chrome from Google Play

Download Chrome Beta from Google Play


Apple Watch May Gain Additional Casing Material Options Later This Year

Gold Apple WatchKGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has a good track record in providing information on yet-to-be released Apple products, today released a report predicting that up to three new casing options for the Apple Watch will launch sometime this fall.

Kuo points out that the Apple Watch’s sale momentum could stall entering the fourth quarter of the year, and thinks the release of new casing options for the device could reinvigorate it heading into the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Rumors stating that Apple was looking into a platinum casing for the Watch right before the “Spring Forward” event could point toward the option becoming available down the road.

Aside from current casing materials of aluminum, stainless steel and 18k gold, we believe 1-3 new versions of Apple Watch featuring new casing materials are likely to go into mass production in 4Q15. If this is the case, we think it could boost Apple Watch shipments momentum in 4Q15-1Q16.

Though impressed by the “outstanding designs” of the Apple Watch and new MacBook, Kuo sees the Watch underselling the market expectation of 20-30 million units in 2015 to about 15-20 million devices sold throughout the year. The analyst sees the Watch selling between 5-6 million units in the first half of the year, and the new MacBook about 450,000 units in that same time frame.

Kuo notes that as with many first-generation products, the Apple Watch will “focus on verifying whether the user behavior and business model are right”, with subsequent generations honing in and expanding on the device’s features and adding new ones, as well. As a result, he expects shipments to “grow significantly” in these second or third-generation Apple Watches in comparison to his predicted numbers for the first-generation model.


Google Announces New Chromebook Pixel With USB-C, $999 Price Tag

Google today launched an updated version of its Pixel Chromebook, which is equipped with USB-C, much like Apple’s new Retina MacBook. With USB-C, the Chromebook’s 12-hour battery can be fully recharged in approximately 90 minutes, and a 15 minute charge supplies two hours of power, according to Google.

The new Chromebook Pixel features an aluminum body, a 13-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 2560 x 1700 and an aspect ratio of 3:2, an Intel Core i5 Broadwell processor, 8GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage space.

Unlike the Retina MacBook, the Chromebook Pixel has multiple ports, including two USB-C ports, but it can’t compare to the Retina MacBook in size — the Pixel is more than a pound heavier at 3.3 pounds. It also outweighs the standard 13-inch MacBook Air.

Early reviews from sites like Re/code and Ars Technica have lauded the Chromebook Pixel for its design and its fast charging abilities, but the $999 price point is a major downside. The Pixel line is Google’s most expensive Chromebook, and at such a high price, the web-focused ChromeOS operating system seems overly limited. Other Chromebooks sell for as little as $250.

Along with the $999 Chromebook Pixel, Google also has a higher-end version, which it’s calling the Ludicrous Speed (LS) model. It has an Intel Core i7 Broadwell processor, 16GB of RAM, a 64GB solid state drive, and a $1,299 price tag.

The two new Chromebooks can be purchased from Google’s new online Google Store, which it just debuted today. The Google Store sells a range of Google-branded products, from smartphones and tablets to Chromebooks and Android Wear accessories.


Google renames the devices section of the Play Store to “Google Store”


Google has just rebranded the devices section of the Play Store and entitled it “Google Store”. Hand-in-hand with the name change is a brand new modern design, which features large, bold fonts, oodles of white space and fresh, clean imagery.

When you load the new website, you’ll be greeted with a message that say’s: “The new home for the latest products made with Google. Have a look around.” If you choose to sift through the site, you’ll notice the Nexus 5 and the 2013 model of the Chromebook Pixel have now been consigned to the scrapheap of technological history. All other devices are still there, including: the new Chromebook Pixel, the Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Android Wear watches, the Nexus Player and the Chromecast.

There’s also a new “Closer look at Android page”, which houses a short presentation targeted at those who are considering switching to Android.

To celebrate the launch of the new Store, Google is currently offering free shipping on all devices. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, simply hit the source link below.

Source: Google Store

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Zen and the art of Google+ circles

Circles — like Google+ itself — are often misunderstood.

See, on most social media platforms, lists are something of an afterthought. You follow someone and then you add them to a list through the profile options or some similar method. On Google+, your lists — called Circles — are front and center. Anyone you follow must belong to one of your circles, and you can add them to more than one if you so choose. And while you may have everyone you follow in a ‘Following’ circle and have that be the end of it, managing your circles is about more than just getting their posts. In fact, circles have as much to do with your outgoing posts as incoming ones.

Let us begin on the path to enlightenment, or at least better circle management.


Techland reveals Dying Light’s hard mode with drivable vehicles as part of future plans

Techland’s open world survival horror game Dying Light continues to be a success. The game holds firm at the No. 1 spot in the UK charts, and today received Patch 1.5 – which includes a ton of fresh content.

Dying Light players can test their skill (and patience) in the game’s new hard mode. Rather than just increasing zombie strength, hard mode brings various other tweaks to create a more immersive experience. For example, no longer will the inventory menu pause the game, night-time periods last twice as long, and volatile monster types no longer appear in the mini-map.


uCiC review: Ask, and you shall receive

uCiC (you see I see) is a new app available on the Google Play Store and App Store that gives users the power to request any kind of information in their current location. Whether the user is a traveler in a new area, or permanently resides there, uCiC allows you send a public request to all other uCiC users in the area. This request can simply be a question, or you can post a photo in hopes of feedback from locals.



Users can gain karma points for helping solve requests or giving feedback, depending on how much the requester has offered. Consider it similar to a bounty of sorts. Privacy is important to the team behind uCiC, as you can remain anonymous as long as you’d like when you’re giving feedback or sending requests.

My experience with uCiC has been a pleasant one, as the app is very easy to use and utilizes a modern, simple look almost to the standards of Material Design. The slideout menu to the left gives you the options to create a new request, see requests near you, view all of your requests, see your gallery of images associated with the app, as well as your friends list and settings. The main screen is the map of your current area and shows other users around you with requests. However, as this is a fairly new app, I have only seen a couple other users in my four days of checking in.

Tapping the blue request button at the bottom directs you to choose how far you want your request to go in terms of kilometers, or choosing an entirely new area.

My experience with uCiC would be a lot more engaging if there were more users to interact with, but until the service matures and gathers more users, you might have a tough time getting what you’re looking for. However, the potential is extremely high with this service, and it definitely deserves a download at least to try out.

You can check out uCiC here at the Play Store



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