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Action Launcher Pro v1.5 released

The latest version of the alternative Android launcher Action Launcher Pro has just been updated to version 1.5. The update sees the introduction of a brand new feature called ‘shutters’. Shutters allow you to swipe an app’s icon in order to see the widget for that icon. Here is a video from the developer Chis Lacy introducing the feature:

Shutters have proven very popular so far with amazing feedback being generated on a wide variety of review sites. The launcher costs £2.79 on the Play Store, and may well prove a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for an alternative launcher for your Android device.

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Google Keep launched

Google Keep, the search giant’s rival to Evernote, has finally launched. An announcement about the service was announced on Google’s blog yesterday. The service will allow users to make notes, start checklists, and transcribe voice memos.

There is an Android app for Keep, and users will also be able to view/update notes at https://drive.google.com/keep/. A facility to view/update notes directly in Google Drive will also be launched shortly.

This service has been coming for a while, you wonder what took Google so long. But I’m a bit wary of using it – after all, what happens if Google pull the plug on it a la Reader?

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Samsung Galaxy S4 officially unveiled

At last week’s event in New York, Samsung officially announced the much anticipated follow-up to the Galaxy S3, unsurprisingly called the Galaxy S4! Here is the official video about the new device.

Most of the rumours beforehand turned out to be correct – here is the specification for the device:

  • A 4.99″ Full HD Super AMOLED screen (1,920 x 1080 pixels).
  • The screen can be operated by hovering fingers over it as well as touching it.
  • An octa-core processor (that’s 8 cores!) – 4 high-power cores and 4 power-efficient cores.
  • A 2,600mAh battery.
  • A 13 megapixel camera.
  • 2GB of RAM.
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
  • An IR transmitter so the phone can be used as a remote control.

These specifications are really only minor improvements over the S3, however there are other software innovations such as the ability to take photos with both front and back cameras at once so that you can superimpose yourself into group photos. There is also the option to scroll on the phone just by using your eyes.

The phone should be available globally from the end of April. No pricing information is available but presumably it will be at a similar price to the S3’s launch price (around £500 sim free).

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Google Play Store celebrates first anniversary of name change

It’s now just over a year since Google changed the name of the Android store to the Play Store, and to celebrate they are offering some discounts on music, apps, movies etc.

Google Play Store bannerThere is a main page offering a selection of discounted apps, movies and albums, but each section has it’s own birthday page offering a wider range of discounted items – check out the apps, albums, books, magazines and movies.

Check these out quickly before the promotion ends!

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Samsung Galaxy S IV to be unveiled on 14th March

The latest in Samsung’s flagship series of mobile phones, the Samsung Galaxy S IV, will be unveiled in Times Square, New York on 14th March. A teaser trailer was released on YouTube which doesn’t give much information away:

However, there are many rumours about the new device. It will seemingly come with Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean, have a 5″ Super AmoLED screen, an 8 core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13 megapixel camera. Whilst these specs would make it very desirable, these rumours should be taken with a pinch of salt until the device is unveiled. No doubt it will be a very desirable device!