Engadget: Outlook.com app update for Android brings that fresh, clean Windows Phone 8 look

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Tired of that not-so-fresh-looking Outlook.com app on your Android device from all the way back in December 2012? Despair no longer, as Microsoft updated its Outlook Android app today, pushing new features and that distinctive, minimalist Windows Phone 8 aesthetic to its flagship mail program. And not just any new features, but hallmarks like “conversation threading, filters for unread and flagged mail, as well as the ability to mark messages as junk.” The update is already available in the Google Play store, and works with Android OS versions 2.1 to 2.3.3 and 4.0 to 4.1.

Source: Engadget

SlashGear: Dropbox revamps its Chooser feature to include multi-select and built-in uploads

Dropbox has just overhauled its Dropbox Chooser feature to allow developers to implement even more features into their web apps. The new Dropbox Chooser now allows developers to implement the multi-select and built-in uploads features into their APIs. The multi-select feature allows users who use the developer’s app to accept multiple files from Dropbox all at once. The built-in uploads option allows users to upload files, either through drag-n-drop or by browsing their folders, directly from their computer to their Dropbox account. Their files will be available immediately through the developer’s web apps.

Another new change to Chooser is the change to its user interface. It now features an improved design that shows off stylish new threads, making the user interface much more friendly. The best part is that developers aren’t required to adjust their codes to implement the new design, or any future designs, because new designs will be updated automatically in their web apps.

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Dropbox Chooser allows developers to integrate Dropbox directly into their web apps, and with ease. All the developer needs to do is add a few lines of HTML. Previously, Chooser didn’t have many options to choose. It was limited to basic Dropbox features including searching through files, browsing through photo galleries, and sharing files. These new features are a welcomed addition, and Dropbox says that there will be “a lot more coming soon!”

Source: SlashGear

Engadget: Xiaomi CEO Bin Lin aims to ship 15 million superphones in 2013, expand sales beyond Asia

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Lin Bin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi Corporation, has only been in the business of selling high-spec Android phones for three years. But yet, here he is, talking on stage at D:Dive Into Mobile about just how successful his outfit has become. “No sales, no marketing, no retail — we price our phones at the bill-of-materials,” said Lin. That probably sounds like a recipe for disaster in the United States, but it’s working exceptionally well in Asia. Lin stated that Xiaomi has reached a clip of around $2 billion in revenue on 1.7 million phones, and in 2013 it’s hoping to ship 15 million handsets.

For those who’ve been paying attention, you’d know that Xiaomi is hawking unsubsidized superphones — packing the latest and greatest components — for well under $400. And they’re selling out within minutes. “Last year, when we announced the Mi2, for 3-4 months we’d have hundreds of thousands of units available, and they’d be gone within two or three minutes after we posted availability online. We’re working hard on distribution — China is big, and we’re aiming to get phones into hands in just three days after purchase.”

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Speaking about some of the side effects of rapid success, Lin offered this: “We’re already seeing counterfeit Xiaomi handsets being made, and they’re selling them at the same price as we are. And the sad part is that few people know that these are fake — these builders are using far lower cost components.” Fried asked if Chinese companies have it any easier in combatting Chinese piracy, and Lin suggested that it’s not. “We are, however, talking to Chinese officials and hope to make some headway in stopping this practice.”

Stepping over to hardware speak, Lin noted that a good portion of its profits come from accessory sales. In fact, many first-run handsets lose money at first without these. When pointing to a colorful battery, he noted that some users are buying various color cells for different days of the week. “So, Android battery life is that bad?” inquired Fried. Lin laughed heartily, noting: “Battery innovation is actually the slowest innovation that we deal with. We’re working really hard to improve that, but it’s certainly an issue.”

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Read more @ Engadget

Facebook Home Now Available At Play Store For Select Devices : The Droid Guy

If you are a big fan of Facebook then you’ll be pleased to know that the social networking giant has finally released the Facebook Home app over at Google Play. Don’t be surprised if your device isn’t seeing it yet as it’s being released gradually so some devices will have access to the app while some won’t.

So far the app is only available for use in the U.S. and only on selected devices. The device list is as follows

HTC First
HTC One (officially supported, but not yet available)
HTC One X
HTC One X+
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung Galaxy S4 (officially supported, but not yet available)
Installing the app can easily be done by downloading it on your device and opening it.

For those whose devices aren’t on the compatibility list then you’ll have to wait a little bit longer for the app to become available.

A way to use Facebook Home on the Nexus 4 and possibly any other non-compatible device was discovered by Krzysztof Bryk. This method requires that you manually install the three .apk files required to run Facebook home and do a little editing on the build.prop file. If you are up to the challenge then you might want out check out the procedure.

Facebook Home is the new interface from the social network that allows you to easily access your Facebook account on your Android device. You’ll just need to glance on your phone to view updates from your friends, there’s the new chat heads feature and it comes with bigger and bolder notifications.

Some of the features of this new app include

Cover Feed: As soon as you turn on your phone, you see posts from your News Feed, so you always know what your friends are up to
Chat Heads and Messenger: Install Messenger to send and receive texts and Facebook messages from the same spot.
Notifications: Notifications from Facebook appear right on your home screen and stick around until you need them. Open a notification with a tap or clear them away to see your cover feed.
App Launcher: Launch your favorite apps and post to Facebook from the same spot

Read more @ The Droid Guy.

Timeline designer Nicholas Felton leaves Facebook as Home for Android launches | The Verge

Two years after joining Facebook, designer Nicholas Felton is leaving the company. In aFacebook post yesterday, Felton said he was “extremely proud of the projects I worked on” and called his time at Facebook a high point in his career, but that he would be “moving on” and returning to New York. Felton is best known for working on the Facebook Timeline, a major overhaul that gave profile pages a new look and a new way of organizing information. He leaves just as Facebook introduces another new tool: Home, an Android launcher that makes Facebook posts and messaging central to a phone’s user interface.

Felton’s plans for the moment are unknown, but he has a long pre-Facebook history. His widely read Personal Annual Reports, a chart from which is shown above, collect details captured by relentless lifelogging, creating a revealing portrait of himself. Those reports would later be credited as an influence on Timeline. He’s also seen his brand of life-tracking and analytics become more popular; last year, he described his desire to put his data in context now that “half my friends are wearing FitBits.”

Source: The Verge.

Microsoft developing seven-inch Surface tablet: WSJ

Reuters) – Microsoft Corp is developing a new lineup of Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the company’s plans.

Microsoft executives felt they needed to keep pace with the growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google Inc’s 7-inch Nexus and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini introduced by Apple Inc last October, one person told the paper.

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE93A03W20130411?irpc=932