Archive for September 30, 2015

Reports say Twitter may be reconsidering 140-character limit

The 140-character rule that Twitter initiated almost a decade ago somehow revolutionized the way we interact online, and gave a shorter alternative for the TL;DR generation who wanted to get their information by the piecemeal. But reports are saying that the higher ups are looking into either expanding the limit or coming up with a new product/platform that will allow users to go beyond that. Interim CEO Jack Dorsey is believed to be keen on the idea and has even talked about it indirectly.

While there are some ways to go around the 140-character rule through 3rd party apps, it’s still different if it’s from the platform or app itself. While their trademark was revolutionary when it first came out, some have criticized the company’s unwillingness to expand beyond this and now that growing their user base is a huge priority, sources are saying that discussion internally on what to do have been heating up. This has included removing some items from the 140 count, like punctuation, links, usernames, etc.

The past few months have seen changes on the platform that lead people to believe that going beyond 140 characters is definitely in the cards. You have Twitter Cards, retweet with comments, and even removing character limits in Direct Messages. But the standard remains the same in the normal messages, and most in the industry believe it’s about time to shake up things once again.

Co-founder Dorsey took over from embattled Dick Costelo after investors were not that happy with the company’s revenue projections and quarterly reports. Since Dorsey temporarily took over, and while they’re still looking for a CEO, he has expressed the opinion that they need to reach a more “mainstream audience”. Will having a more long-form alternative platform be one of the answers to their woes?

VIA: ReCode

Get a Project Fi-ready Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P under a 2-year contract

We haven’t discussed the Project Fi lately but the service is still available. With the launch of the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X, questions were asked if the two will be ready for Project Fi. The answer is ‘YES’. The Nexus 6 will now be joined by the two new Nexus devices being ready-to-use on Google’s very own cellular service.

The Nexus 6P and 5X cost anything between $379 to $649 but since it’s available on Project Fi, this means you can get any phone you want for lower prices or with monthly fees. Under contract for 24 months, you can get the entry-level Nexus 5X for only $15.79. The high-end Nexus 6P can be had for only $27.04/month.

If this is your first time to buy a device on Project Fi, note that you will only need to pay for the sales tax. It’s usually free shipping but you can spend a few dollars if you want the phone shipped to you right away.

Google Project Fi Nexus 5X

Once you get your Nexus phone on Project Fi, you also have the option to pay the remaining balance. But as usual, this deal is by invitation only. Feel free to request an invite from the Project Fi site and wait for an official email from the team.

Check out the prices we know so far below:

• Nexus 5X, 16GB at $379 full price or or $0 downpayment, $15.79 monthly fee for two years, no financing fees, credit check required
• Nexus 6P -32GB at $499 or $0 downpayment, $20.79 monthly fee for two years, no financing fees, credit check required

VIA: Android Central

HTC unveils Taiwan-limited One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition

HTC will be unveiling a new smartphone on October 20. Invites are already out but that’s still three weeks away from today. Before a new phone arrives, HTC has revealed the ‘HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition’. Obviously, it’s a special edition ‘HTC One M9+‘. The latter is one improved ‘HTC One M9‘ so you can say this already the third iteration of the One M9 which we all know didn’t really sell.

The term “Supreme Camera” obviously means this one has a better camera than the ordinary One M9+–can even be considered as “super”. This one now comes with three kinds of autofocus. The phone’s “3-in-1 fusion focus” feature replaces the secondary camera with laser autofocus found on the previous HTC One M9 and One M9+.

The HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera boasts of specs similar to the One M9+: 5.2-inch QHD display, 32GB built-in storage, 3GB RAM, MediaTek MT6795T Helio X10 chipset, front-facing BoomSound speakers, and 2840 mAh battery.

This Supreme Camera edition from HTC features the usual things like phase detection, autofocus, optical image stabilization (OIS), 21 megapixel camera, and dual-LED flash. The two cameras are already impressive but the new system is said to combine the three autofocus technologies—delivering 0.1 second focus speed.

No word if this special camera edition will be available in the US and other parts of the world but for now, it’s exclusive to its native Taiwan.

HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition E
HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition H
HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition b
HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition c
HTC One M9+ Supreme Camera Edition d

VIA: SlashGear

SOURCE: HTC

Google increasing the APK file size limit to 100MB

If you didn’t know, Google has had a limit on the file size of any APK – that is, the standard Android installer file type – you would like to put out on the Google Play Store. That limit has stood at 50MB for a while now, which explains why you have to download additional files if it goes beyond the limit – like for that Hearthstone game you’re addicted to, which has almost 1GB of additional files. Google has made the announcement that it is increasing the limit, not by much, but it should help.

The limit for APK’s now stands at 100MB, double the size of the past limit. Google says that the reason for this is “to support the growing number of developers who are building richer apps and games on Google Play”. This means that developers can now publish installers up to 100MB in size. Anything above 100MB and the developer will have to use the “expansion files” we mentioned earlier.

Google-Play-Store

Google warns, though, that just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should. They warn that a 100MB download will still be a big struggle for people who only have mobile data connections in their parts of the world, and not yet on LTE. Mobile data connections also have data caps, and a 100MB hit on a user’s cap is still big. Also, Google warns that a 100MB installer will take more time to install – also depending on the processing power of the user’s phone.

So while we can expect better-looking and better-performing apps from this, there are some caveats, and developers will need to balance their payloads to get the best out of their apps.

SOURCE: Google

Google Android app brings limited offline voice commands 

Not all connections are created equal. Sometimes, you get dead spots or sometimes you are in an area where there are too many connections. But that shouldn’t mean that you should lose the ability to have certain kinds of mobile services that you’re used to or are extremely helpful in certain situations. Google is now allowing your Android device to have offline support for a limited number of voice commands. Of course you can’t “Ok Google” yourself out of situations where you need the Internet, but you can make your phone obey your commands.

If you were offline last week and you tried to use Google’s voice commands to do something that needs to be online, you probably got a message saying “Something went wrong.” Underneath that, you’ll see an “Offline voice tips” card which will tell you the Google voice commands that you can still use even when you’re not connected. Now, what you’ll get is just that “Offline voice tips” where it gives you the same list that you can use when you tap your mic/

Some of those commands include Open Gmail, Turn on WiFi, Turn on Bluetooth, etc. Getting to turn on something also means you can command it to turn off. You can also command it to Play Music and it will even play a random track from your music player of choice. Some of the commands though will open to a settings screen and then you still need to manually adjust it. It’s understandable coz it’s the adjust volume, adjust brightness commands, but sometimes it defeats the purpose if you still need to use your hands right?

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No word yet if they will be adding more to these commands, but there are probably limited actions you can do without online support. The offline voice support seems to be limited to the US or devices with English support. You also need to be on version 5.3 of the Google app and have the offline language pack.

VIA: Android Police

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