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It’s been a very Samsung-oriented week these last seven days, with the company holding their ATIV/Galaxy event to show off the latest developments in their Windows and Android businesses. And if you were hoping this week was going to bring even more variants of the Galaxy S4, you won’t be disappointed.

Let’s jump in and take a look at This Week In Android! (more…)

I have used Android since late 2010, when it started becoming a more mature operating system and a respected player on the market. Although I switched to Google’s platform about 2 years after its initial release, the system has kept on evolving, and came to be my favorite mobile operating system. Android has been a trendsetter over the years and has introduced several handy innovations, such as a central notification hub, remote installation of applications and more. Even today, Android has features neither iOS nor Windows Phone or Blackberry have and remains a source of inspiration thanks to its unified sharing system and widgets.

Nonetheless, not all Android devices are consistent and easy to use at first, and many find iOS to be simpler to get accustomed to. While I don’t fully agree with this, I have compared the ease of use of my iPad with my Galaxy Note II, and it is clear that there are instances where Android could learn a bit from the simplicity of iOS.

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Every year there’s one Monday morning in June where the company Google loves to hate takes the very same stage that previously hosted Android announcements to present updates to iOS, amongst other things. This year was no difference but with a rumoured significant design change, the 2013 instalment is perhaps one of the most anticipated.

iOS 7 has delivered a new design with a skeuomorphic-less, flatter design somewhat resemblant of the design principles of Google’s Holo and Microsoft’s Metro. In this article, we’re going to take a look at iOS 7 and see how it stacks up to the incumbent versions of Android.

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It’s been a relatively slow week for Android news, with the industry instead being dominated by news out of Apple’s WWDC and the various shows at E3 in LA. However, the Android camp did make announcements, albeit ones that stayed away from phones and tablets, instead coming in the form of Samsung’s camera-centric Galaxy device.

Let’s jump in and take a look at what’s been going on in the world of Android this mid-June week!

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In the second of a new series on Android.Appstorm, I look in turn at each of the Android manufacturers and the changes they make to Android’s start up, interface and basic functionality. In each case, does the end result justify the huge investment in programming time and the resulting delays for end users in seeing each new version and update for the Android OS?

HTC’s Sense interface has received much criticism over the years, principally because it presented a face to Android that was just a little too different to stock. This was rarely an issue for new users, many of whom grew up with Sense, but switching from a Samsung or Motorola (or Nexus) device would typically involve a lot of head scratching and set-up time. Sense 5.0, here on the HTC One, is actually something of a rewrite — so forget everything you ever knew about Sense, this is more streamlined and refined. And, indeed, arguably close enough to stock Android that few may want to spend time hacking it around.

Up front and central is the new BlinkFeed homescreen, of which more later. Integrating social feeds into Sense has always been something HTC has been keen on, and the company has knocked it out of the park here.

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Google may well be best known for its search engine, but the company has plenty of strings to its bow including Gmail – the free email service that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. As with many other online services, there is a mobile version of the Gmail website that you can use to access your inbox from your phone or tablet, so why would you want to use an app?

The recent update to Gmail — both its Android app and the website  — means that this seems like a good time to take a closer look at Google’s email service. This is something I use daily, and have done for years. There are aspects I love, aspects I hate, but I think it’s continuing to make moves in the right direction.

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Been living every day in a mixture of misery and jealousy of iOS-exclusive Vine? How about having trouble resisting the urge to dunk your Samsung Galaxy S4 in up to a metre of water? Well it’s your lucky day as This Week in Android forms an end to your woes.

This week has been dominated by a wealth of hardware announcements, plus a few notable software releases including the aforementioned Vine from Twitter. Lets jump in and take a look!

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Are you one to sit and look at the HTC One and think, “boy, i’d much prefer this handset to be running stock Android and available for all to buy on Google Play for $599”? Ever get upset your Nexus 4 did not have the option to feature a decidedly glamorous white back? Sit and ponder no more! You’re in luck.

This week we’ve seen a range of announcements from new phones hitting the Google Play store in the coming weeks to new phones hitting different stores. It’s been a very hardware-oriented week to throw us into June, so let’s take a look!

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It’s the week after Google I/O but even as the excitement over all the internal Google announcements draws to a close, we’re launched into another week full of exciting news. Let’s take a look!

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In the first of a new series on Android.Appstorm, I look in turn at each of the Android manufacturers and the changes they make to Android’s start up, interface and basic functionality. In each case, does the end result justify the huge investment in programming time and the resulting delays for end users in seeing each new version and update for the Android OS?

Here, for the purposes of the review, Samsung’s TouchWiz is implemented on Android 4.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Galaxy S III mini, and on Android 4.2.2 on the Galaxy S4 — I’ve sprinkled screenshots from each throughout, as needed. Summary? There are significant benefits here for new users, and for advanced users too, provided they’re happy to delve deeply into Settings to turn a few things off. The level of Samsung’s ‘additions’ to the platform is slightly worrying in places but is, overall, manageable.

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