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Google I/O week is a time in which we’re always promised a bunch of news from everyone’s favourite Mountain View-based company. While some rumoured announcements, especially in regards to hardware, failed to show, the week was still filled with a whole host of interesting Android news. Let’s jump in and take a look! (more…)

If you were reading this yesterday, this introduction could be filled with May the 4th Be With You jokes. However, it’s a day late so we’re not going to bother with that. Instead, we’re going to shift our focus back to Android and the conclusion of a week filled with industry fan-bashing, new hardware announcements and Twitter for your Glass.

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If you happened to be a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the year was 1977, you’d no doubt be celebrating the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure. Of course, this is 2013 and you’re reading Android.AppStorm where the date signifies the end to another week of Android news. Let’s take a look!

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April 14th. The middle of the month and a date remembered by some as the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 or perhaps the unprecedented tie result for the Academy Award for Best Actress in the ’60s. Here in 2013, we use this date to mark the culmination of another week of Android news.

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It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.

Being Android users, we have a bigger opportunity to customise our devices. Opposed to the likes of iOS, the Open Source software allows anyone to fiddle around with a huge range of things. One such aspect many of us have been keen to change is the font. Normally, you’ll only have the choice of three different font sizes on your phone, however, with extra apps and websites its possible to give yourself a much bigger choice.

As part of of the Customisation month on Android.Appstorm today I’m going to address the different ways you can do this. I’ll also provide links to apps and web pages which make the process much easier.

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 was officially unveiled this week, and Connor covered most of the nitty gritty details in today’s This Week In Android. As a Galaxy S3 owner, I was looking forward to the event, and rather intrigued to see what my reaction would be.

Prior to the announcement, I told myself that the only “valid” reason for me to sell my still mint S3 — that I bought for almost $600 last September — and buy an S4 is the presence of a dual-SIM slot. Any other reason, I argued with myself, would be weak succumbing to new gadget lust rather than genuine improvement to my usage.

While I was rather disappointed to see that the dual-SIM S4 version seems to be a China-only variant, I was almost as equally relieved to find that my S3 is still quite relevant. It will get some of the software updates that the S4 has, it’s still one of the most popular smartphones on the planet and will be even more now that its price will drop, and it looks almost the same as the S4, meaning that I won’t feel silly being a phone geek yet carrying outdated hardware.

However, that’s not to say that the S4 is any disappointment in its own. The amount of better hardware that Samsung has managed to cram into the same footprint is impressive, the camera is better, the battery is bigger, and the processor and RAM have been bumped. Samsung also managed to add an InfraRed blaster and temperature and humidity sensors.

On the software side, Samsung distanced themselves from Android once again, adding more proprietary features. And while we could argue about the downsides all day, it all comes crashing when you’re a geek and know how to install Custom ROMs. I currently run my S3 with AOKP — a stock Android ROM — but I can also switch to the default Samsung ROM, or to a Samsung ROM that’s debloated and made to look like stock — Foxhound for instance. I would venture out that you’d be able to do the same with the S4, which means that you could either dip yourself into the Samsung services, or ignore them and stick to what you already use.

And eventually, the fact of the matter remains that Samsung will sell millions of Galaxy S4s. Will you be one of the buyers? Vote in the poll, and let us know your thoughts about the new Galaxy S device in the comments.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! It’s a day we often celebrate in green and therefore appropriate that it’s time for another This Week In Android. The week has arguably been one of the biggest of the year, with the announcment of Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the resignation of Andy Rubin and the sellout of Google I/O. Let’s dive in!

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Seven years ago on this March 10th, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars. Or, if you prefer thinking back all the way to the turn of the millenium, it’s the day we remember as the peak of the dotcom bubble.

But here, in 2013, March 10th signals the end of another week of Android news. Samsung’s spent the week preparing to launch the Galaxy S IV on Thursday while Google has reveled in the news that versions of the fourth major generation of Android now surpass the popularity of Gingerbread. Let’s jump in and see what’s been happening!

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For the past three months, I have been using an LG Optimus 4X along with my Samsung Galaxy S3. To be honest, I came to LG with a lot of reticence and excitement. After all, when you consider the spec sheet, they always seem to have winner devices on their hands but somehow this fails to translate into real blockbusters. Part of it is probably due to their Android skin: while you might find a few people who love HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz / Nature UI, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’ll blatantly tell you that they favor LG’s Optimus UI.

I’m here to debunk that myth. Three months in, I’ll easily proclaim that if I were to run a non-stock Android device as is, without any mods, I’d pick LG over any other OEM. Actually, if it weren’t for custom ROMs like FoxHound, the S3 would be unusable for me. By comparison, I use the Optimus 4X as it came out of the box and I love it. Below are five reasons why.

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It’s another week, and another series of updates in our beloved ecosystem. This week saw fourth quarter earnings from Google, the release of the sequel to fan-favourite Temple Run and the news that Siri was very nearly an exclusive features of Android phones running on Verizon. Let’s take a look. (more…)

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