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Google publishes the Android Auto app to the Play Store

We first heard about Android Auto, Google’s foray into the automobile world, back at Google I/O 2014. While we’ve heard a ton of companies announce their plans to eventually make aftermarket head units, it’s taken quite awhile for Google to get the OS out to consumers. With that said, now consumers can finally get their chance to experience Auto for themselves, because Google has just published the Android Auto app to the Play Store.

The Android Auto app will allow you to listen to music, navigate using Google Maps, and a few other functions we’ve known about for awhile now. If you’re interested, here’s the full app description from the Play Store:

  • Navigation with Google Maps – Free turn-by-turn navigation with lane guidance, live traffic conditions, points of interest, and more
  • Hands-free phone and messaging – Make calls and send messages without taking your hands off the wheel
  • Info and assistance – Get weather, traffic, commute information and more organized into simple cards
  • Bring your music – Listen to your music and playlists in the car with your built-in stereo system

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To make the app work, you’ll need to have a device running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher, and you’ll need an Android Auto-compatible aftermarket head unit. Pioneer is the first manufacturer to bring its Android Auto head units to market, and so far the company has a number of units for sale in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. If you live in one of those areas and would like some more information, visit Pioneer’s website here.

Developers can now begin to push their Android Auto apps to Google Play for review. Google has made a handy Android Auto section in the Play Store for apps that can run on aftermarket head units. Applications in the list so far include Spotify, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music and many more.

We’ve scored some hands-on time with a number of different Android Auto head units in the past. Google first showed it off at I/O last year, and we even got some insight on Hyundai’s plans for the OS at CES 2015. We’ll certainly have more coverage for you as more head units become available. But for now, check out the videos below for some more info.

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It might be awhile before most consumers can get their hands on a head unit. Even so, Google publishing the official app is a nice move forward. If you’d like to check out the Android Auto app for yourself, head to the Play Store link below.

Get it on Google Play


Hugo Barra clarifies Xiaomi’s new relationship with Microsoft

xiaomi mi 4 windows 10 microsoft (1)

Yesterday news broke that Windows 10 would be coming to the Xiaomi Mi4 in the form of a flashable ROM. As you might expect, this immediately led to all sorts of wild conclusions about how Xiaomi is getting into bed with Microsoft, or how future Xiaomi phones might offer dual-booting, ditch MIUI entirely in favor of Windows, and the list goes on.

In order to clarify the situation a bit further, Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra took to Google Plus with a statement. In the statement, Barra reiterates that this is just an experimental program led by Microsoft that Xiaomi is allowing, not necessarily directly participating in. The arrangement lets Microsoft work “directly with the Mi fan community in China”, but in no ways signals that Xiaomi has interest in moving away from the Android ecosystem and their MIUI software platform.

Quite the contrary. Xiaomi says they are “moving ahead full steam” to build “many exciting new Android-based features and services”. Hugo Barra also shoots down the idea of a dual-booting arrangement, or the idea that Windows 10 might run on top of Android in any way. Bottom-line, Xiaomi says they are supportive of users trying new things and “encourages them to do so all the time!”

Here’s statement in full:

We received many questions from Mi fans about an announcement made by Microsoft yesterday regarding Windows 10 Technical Preview for Mi 4 users in China. We’d like to clarify a few points.

– This is an experimental program led by Microsoft, working directly with the Mi fan community in China.

– Microsoft is working on a build of Windows 10 specifically for Mi 4 devices. This Windows 10 build will not be running on top of Android nor be available as a dual-boot option. A small number of Mi 4 power users from the Xiaomi Forum in China who choose to take part in this experimental program will have to manually re-flash their Mi 4 devices with this Windows 10 ROM, in the same way they would re-flash other Android ROMs.

– At Xiaomi, we are very supportive of users trying new things and we encourage them to do so all the time! That’s why all of our devices ship with unlocked bootloader, for example. That’s also why Xiaomi welcomes Microsoft team members to interact directly with members of the Xiaomi Forum in China. More details will be announced by Microsoft in the coming months. This program will only be available in China.

– Xiaomi continues to fully embrace the Android ecosystem through our MIUI software platform and we’re moving ahead full steam building many exciting new Android-based features and services.

What do you think of the idea of Windows 10 coming to Xiaomi, and likely other Android devices, in the future? The more ROMing options the better? Will this move actually have any positive impact for Microsoft?


Samsung announces high performance 128GB 3-bit NAND flash storage module for mobile devices


Samsung offers eMMC based storage modules to a multitude of manufacturers in the mobile industry. The company has now announced a new high performance 128GB eMMC 5.0 standard flash storage unit, which can be used on mobile devices.

The Korean manufacturer is targeting the mass market who might decide to use 128GB of internal storage with future flagships. Samsung’s own Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge come in 128GB storage configurations, which is a rarity in the Android world.

But with this news and Samsung’s eagerness to bring this to the mass market, we can see more manufacturers driven to use 128GB internal storage modules with smartphones and tablets in the coming days. The company points out that this flash storage module will be usable on midrange phones as well, so high end hardware is not a necessity. This 3-bit 128GB storage module has data transfer speeds of 260 MB/s, which is pretty quick.

“With the introduction of our value-focused, 3-bit NAND-based eMMC 5.0 line-up, we expect to take the lead in the expansion of high-density mobile storage,” said Dr. Jung-Bae Lee, Senior Vice President of Memory Product Planning and Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics. “We are continuing to enhance our next-generation embedded mobile memory offerings with improved performance and higher densities to meet increasing customer demand across the mobile industry.”

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

Come comment on this article: Samsung announces high performance 128GB 3-bit NAND flash storage module for mobile devices


Apple Updates iPhoto for Mac to Prepare for Upcoming Transition to New Photos App [Mac Blog]

iphotoApple today released a minor update for the iPhoto app for Mac to prepare for the upcoming transition to the OS X Photos app. According to the release notes, today’s update improves compatibility when migrating iPhoto libraries to the new Photos app available in OS X 10.10.3.

What’s new

-Improves compatibility when migrating iPhoto libraries to the new Photos app in the OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 (available this spring)
-Fixes an issue that caused iPhoto to display only the first 25 images in a Facebook album
-Fixes an issue that could cause iPhoto to become unresponsive when printing an image

As we have known for months, the upcoming Photos for OS X app for the Mac is designed to be a replacement for iPhoto and Aperture, both of which Apple ceased developing last year.

Photos for OS X is an all new photo management app that’s been designed to integrate deeply with Photos for iOS. It introduces a Yosemite-style design that emphasizes flatness and translucency, and it works alongside iCloud Photo Library, streamlining photo availability across all of a user’s devices.

Reviews of the Photos for OS X app have suggested that it’s a vast improvement over iPhoto, with better photo editing tools and faster speeds, but it has been criticized for lacking many of the professional editing tools that were found within Aperture.

It is not clear when OS X 10.10.3 with the Photos app might see a public release, but thus far, the software is available to both developers and public beta testers. Developers have received four OS X 10.10.3 betas, and public beta testers have had access to two updates.


MADFINGER Games adds new MIR Space Station model to MONZO along with Google Cardboard compatibility

You might know MADFINGER Games better for Dead Trigger, Shadowgun or Samurai II. Back in November the game studio branched out a bit and created a virtual model building app called Monzo. It gives you the ability to purchase, build, paint, customize and showcase models right on your phone or tablet all without having to […]

The post MADFINGER Games adds new MIR Space Station model to MONZO along with Google Cardboard compatibility appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Hero Sky: Epic Guild Wars lands on Android with 100+ real mighty heroes

One month ago I announced that a new real-time strategy role-playing game called Hero Sky: Epic Guild Wars would be headed to Android and iOS in March. Developer Innospark has delivered on that announcement and has launched the title for all as a free-to-play title. In Hero Sky you have the ability to summon more […]

The post Hero Sky: Epic Guild Wars lands on Android with 100+ real mighty heroes appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Apple Releases New Security Update for OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Users [Mac Blog]

Apple today released Security Update 2015–003 1.0 for users who are running the current publicly available version of Yosemite, OS X 10.10.2.

Apple recommends that all users download the update, which can be acquired through the Software Update tool in the Mac App Store, or through the links below. According to Apple, the update “improves the security of OS X.” There are two different versions available, one for early 2015 Macs and one for earlier Macs.

Security Update 2015-003 Yosemite
Security Update 2015-003 Yosemite (Early 2015 Mac)

Today’s security update comes 10 days after Apple issued Security Update 2015–002 designed to fix the “FREAK” security flaw that left many devices vulnerable to hacking attempts.


Amazon Prime Now expands to Baltimore and Miami in latest update

Amazon Prime Now, the service that delivers daily essentials and some gadgetry to you in two hours for free or 1 hour for $7.99, has expanded its service area. Previously you could only take advantage of it in Manhattan. With the most recent update to the app they also expand the service to Miami and […]

The post Amazon Prime Now expands to Baltimore and Miami in latest update appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Icon Q introduces the Q5.5, its first smartphone, for $199

Looking for an unlocked, budget, but decently spec’d phone?  Check out Icon Q’s first smartphone, the Q5.5(model number QSP5510), priced at a meager $199.  For $199, you would guess it would come with low-end specs, but following the likes of OnePlus One, Icon Q loaded up their first smartphone with a 5.5 inch display(720p), 1.4GHz octa-core processor, a healthy 2Gb of RAM, 16GB of storage with support for microsd cards up to 32GB.  The rear camera is a 13-megapixel shooter, while the front camera is capable of shooting 5-megapixels selfies.

Out of the box, the Q5.5 will run Android 4.4 Kit Kat, which is very stable, and it will support two sim cards which is great for international travel. If you are interested in purchasing the phone click this link.

Once ordered, the phone can be on your doorstep in 4-7 days, unless you pay for two-day shipping to speed up the processing.


The post Icon Q introduces the Q5.5, its first smartphone, for $199 appeared first on AndroidGuys.


LG could be making the next Nexus phone

The next Nexus phone faces a bit of a naming dilemma – where do they go after the Nexus 6? Can’t go Nexus 7 because that already exists, and any reduction in number would seem like a step back in generation. Whatever Google decide to call the next Nexus, a new report suggests that the manufacturer behind the device is LG.

Codenamed ‘N000′, sources report that Google engineers recently visited LG headquarters in South Korea to discuss the device, which also reportedly carries the name ‘Nexus 7′, but take that with a pinch of salt.

If true, this would be the third Nexus device made by LG in the lineup. Would you like to see a third LG Nexus device?


The post LG could be making the next Nexus phone appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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