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Motorola’s ‘Duet’ tells a story as only a smartphone can
November 20, 2014 | 7:41 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-20-18-35-16I was just answering a message on Google Hangouts in my Moto X when I saw a blue stylized figure of a ballet dancer dance across the bottom of the screen. It left a glowing blue circle that I tapped on, and I was presented with a screen that said “Duet”. This puzzled me, as I certainly hadn’t installed anything by that name lately. A quick Google revealed that this was a new animated short from Motorola’s Moto X Spotlight Player. Directed by veteran ex-Disney animator Glen Keane, “Duet” tells the story of a boy and a girl who...

Latest comScore rankings show Android has U.S. smartphone market in its pocket
November 7, 2014 | 2:30 pm

comScore_IncThe latest U.S. smartphone market rankings report from mobile comms metrics outfit comScore, Inc., covering September 2014, shows Android in the lead as the dominant smartphone platform "with 52.1 percent platform market share." Apple, meanwhile, remained "the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share." This is off a base of 174 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones, or 72 percent total mobile market penetration, over the July-September 2014 period. Android's market share has if anything very slightly increased since comScore's last set of numbers, from June 2014, rising 0.2 percent from 51.9 percent. it. Apple's OEM market share meanwhile, is...

Latest Android version numbers show 4+ iterations nudging 90 percent
November 6, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The most recent OS version usage totals from the Android Developers Dashboards, up to November 3rd, show adoption of KitKat, the latest fully available version of the OS, pushing fast into the overall Android ecosystem, up to just over 30 percent of total Android devices, versus the August figure of just under 21 percent. Add the total of 50.9 percent for the previous versions of Android Jelly Bean, and the 8.5 percent still using Ice Cream Sandwich, and we are looking at 89.6 percent, or almost 90 percent of Android devices still able to access the Google Play Store. Not only does...

Cast Receiver turns Android devices into Chromecast clients
October 27, 2014 | 10:25 am

An Android app created by Swedish developer HomerSp, Cast Receiver, can turn any Android device into a receiver for Chromecast feeds, so long as the receiving device can connect to an HDTV. Although not at present available on the Google Play Store, Cast Receiver can be downloaded from the XDA Developers forum in a variety of flavors of apk for rooted and unrooted devices. With Cast Receiver, your older Android devices can get a new lease of life as clients for feeds from most Chromecast-enabled programs. Not every Chromecast-capable app can cast via Cast Receiver, but the range that currently can is...

Android One strengthens Google’s emerging markets armlock
September 22, 2014 | 12:25 pm

androidone5-600x400Announced at the the Google I/O 2014 development conference in June 2014, Android One is Google's new reference platform for emerging markets, with a sub-$100 price tag and solid hardware specs, including a 4.5″ screen, dual SIM slots, SD card port, FM radio, etc. Wasting no time, Google has already brought the new platform to market, via initial product releases in India from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice Smart Phones. The new handsets are already attracting some good reviews, with strong marks for the critical areas of screens, performance, and above all, the solid qualities of the stock Android OS iteration basic to Android One. "Always the latest...

Android accelerates away from Apple
September 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

switch from ios to androidA recent article on Android Central entitled "The Insane Pace of Android" encapsulates a lot of what's going on in the Android ecosystem - and why that should be a first concern among anyone looking to buy or upgrade a mobile device. Apple is basically eating Android's dust. Especially in dusty Third World countries outside the U.S., which may not be the first concern among Wall Street money guys - either in their stock picks or their buying choices - but which add up to a user base that is dwarfing iOS, and outdistancing it more every day. "There's an entirely...

Amazon releases Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices
September 9, 2014 | 8:54 pm

prime instantWe and Nate at The Digital Reader have previously written about a workaround for watching Android Prime Instant Video on non-Fire Android devices. Until now, it required installing the Dolphin web browser and a deprecated Flash app, then setting Amazon Streaming Video to use Flash instead of Silverlight so that it would think you were watching video from a desktop. However, now Android Authority reports that, at least for people in the US, Amazon has finally released an Amazon Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices. Of course, Amazon being Amazon, the process is still more complicated than...

Staples offers 2013 Nexus 7 for $99 with clearance coupon
August 25, 2014 | 5:22 pm

If you’re in the USA, you have a Staples in your area, and they still have 2013 Nexuses in stock, you might be able to get a really good deal. Android Authority has the details on a coupon good for $100 off the 16 GB and 32 GB Nexus 7 tablets. This would cut their price down to $99 and $159, respectively. For a tablet as good as the N7 ‘13, that’s a steal. They’re already out of stock online, so you’d have to go into a store to get the deal. On a related note, Nate at The...

New Android Developers numbers show recent OS rollout accelerating
August 13, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The most recent snapshot of Android OS usage from the Android Developers Dashboards, up to August 12th, shows adoption of KitKat, the latest fully available version of the OS, jumping some 3 percent in just a month, from 18 percent in July to a hair under 21 percent. If this kind of momentum continues, the proverbial fragmentation of the Android platform may soon be a thing of the past. The total numbers for Android Jelly Bean and KitKat takeup on the Dashboards now stand at 75.1 percent. With Android Ice Cream Sandwich (itself slightly down on the previous total) included as...

GenCon is this weekend; are you coming?
August 11, 2014 | 5:56 pm

20140508_171116_HDRGenCon is coming up this weekend, at the Indianapolis Convention Center (that kind of flat building at right, visible between those two red towers) here in scenic Indianapolis. Are any of our readers planning on attending? It would be cool to have the chance to meet some of you! I’m highly excited about it; this is the first time I’ll be attending as a resident rather than an out-of-towner. I can bicycle home at the end of the day rather than having to drive a rental car down to my brother’s house. I’m probably going to be around Thursday and...

Best Buy CEO says tablet sales are ‘crashing’
August 4, 2014 | 12:38 pm

Re/code has an interview with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly in which he talks about a few things like fighting showrooming with pricematching, why people might want to buy gadgets in Best Buy rather than Amazon, and perhaps most interestingly, the sales rates for tablets. We’ve mentioned before how the tablet seems to be replacing the laptop in terms of most ordinary consumers’ needs, but according to Joly sales have been starting to fall off. He believes this might suggest the market has just about reached saturation—all the people who wanted a tablet have gotten one, and they don’t...

Amazon Prime streaming video app coming soon to Android, Amazon says
July 23, 2014 | 12:36 am

It might be a bit surprising, but one of our most popular articles here at TeleRead deals not with books but rather with video—in particular, how to use a Flash-enabled web browser to watch Amazon Prime streaming videos on Android devices. Since there’s no native Android player application for the service, the way there are for Kindle Fire and iOS devices, this workaround has been the best that Android owners can do. (And even that didn’t work outside of the US.) Until now. PC Advisor reports that Amazon Instant Video marketing director Russell Morris said at an event in...