Headlines

1 hour ago

Plex update brings refreshed UI, new purchase model, casting from camera roll

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Media streaming service Plex dropped an update for its Android app today that brings a revamped UI along with the ability to cast from your camera roll to Plex clients and cast-enabled devices. Additionally, Plex has switched to offering in-app purchases to unlock features for new users in its app.

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2 hours ago

Head to head: Nexus 6 vs. Galaxy Note 4

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Head to head Nexus 6 vs. Note 4

Battle of the big screens

A few years ago, you had little choice if you were looking for a phone with a bigger than big screen. Phones were gradually getting larger, but until Samsung pulled the original Galaxy Note out of their hat there just wasn't a phone that bucked any and every trend and had an extra-large screen, and didn't try to hide the fact that it was a big phone for all the people who wanted and needed a big phone. There was ridicule, there was disbelief, and there were predictions that Samsung would fail. Every one of them were wrong.

In 2014 we saw extra-large phones from all the major players. This includes Google and Apple, and is a testament to Samsung's vision and early market research. It also means more competition for Samsung, and that's always better for us consumers. We want Google to borrow from Samsung, and we want Samsung to take what Google has created and make it better. This endless circle means we all have better devices from both companies to choose from.

The Nexus 6 is Google's first trip into the land of giant phones, and they have a difficult road to travel to try and make their big phone as desirable as Samsung's, who currently owns this space. Let's see how their first effort matches up with he current big phone king, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

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3 hours ago

Old square Dropcams will stop working soon, but they'll replace it with a new one for free

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We've got some good news and some bad news for you Dropcam owners out there. If you own one of the older Original or Echo models, the bad news is you won't be able to use it for much longer. The good news is that the company is going to make it up by sending you a new one for free.

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4 hours ago

What is a Nest Thermostat, and why would you want it?

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Nest Thermostat

Welcome to the first mainstream connected home appliance everyone should want to own

Much in the same way that smartphones have come to enhance the way we communicate, the world of connected home tech is all about enhancing the way your living space communicates. There are a couple of really great examples of this technology (and heaps of truly terrible examples to match) but one of the best right now is the Nest Thermostat. Nest Labs was created to build products that change how we use regular household tech, with an immediate focus on efficiency, safety, and ease of use. The biggest reason to consider one for yourself, aside from how nice it looks on the wall, is all of the tech baked into this tiny casing that dramatically changes how you use your thermostat.

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5 hours ago

Big Android Meat and Greet is coming to Alexandria, Va.

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The folks behind the Big Android BBQ have spent the last year working on ways to bring a taste of their annual Texas-based event to different parts of the U.S., and in April the East Coast will get what's coming to them. The Big Android Meat and Greet is a one-day event that combines a developer event with a great party for Android folks to get together and enjoy. Since it's in Virginia, right on the water, the party is going to be held on a Riverboat during the infamous Cherry Blossom Festival.

Tickets have been made available over on the BAMG site, broken out into the two major parts of the event. If you only want to come for the Code Kitchen and check out the developer sessions contained within, that event is free. The Riverboat tour, on the other hand, is $75 and will include some of the same amazing food and celebration that makes the Big Android BBQ so cool to go to. We'll have at least one or two of the AC team enjoying both parts of the event, so if you're going be sure to say hello!

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6 hours ago

Nest Week: A deeper look at the Nest Thermostat

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Just as our fearless leader promised in his weekly missive, we're going to start taking a more focused approach for certain topics, and I have the honor of being the first to bring this to you. We're going to start off with the now Google-owned Nest Labs and their Nest Thermostat. Rather than post a single long post on the Nest Thermostat like we would a smartphone or tablet review, we're going to break down the basics of why you would want one, installation, ownership, and getting the most out of the $250 tiny wall computer.

Each day this week we will have something new in the series to share with you, and with each post we'll be doing our best to answer questions in the comments sections. By the end of the week we'll have covered the basics as well as we know how to cover them, and next week we'll fire up a whole new series. Coming up this afternoon we'll start with the simple question: What is a Nest, and why would you want one?

So get ready for more on the Nest Thermostat, what it means for us as consumer, and what it means for the connected and mobile industries at large. To make sure you don't miss a thing, lock in on our Nest Thermostat page.

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7 hours ago

Here's where to buy the Nexus Player

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Nexus Player

Google's first Android TV box now available from even more retailers

A couple months after its initial release, you're finally able to purchase the $99 Nexus Player from retailers other than Google. That's important for a number of reasons — perhaps the best of which is that you might well have a gift card or to for other retailers just burning a hole in your pocket.

But why buy a Nexus Player when it's nearly three times the price of a Chromecast? We can sum that up in two words: Android TV. Think a full-fledged Android system connected to your large-screen television, complete with dozens and dozens of games. And that means if you've purchased a game once on a phone or tablet, you might not have to buy it again for Android TV. (Some games may have completely new versions, though.) You'll also get great experiences for YouTube and Google Play Music, as well as a number of other multimedia apps, including Bloomberg, Pandora, Songza and more.

If you're still not sure, be sure to check out our complete Nexus Player review. (And to join in the discussion, swing by our Nexus Player forums!)

And just as the list of games and apps available for the Nexus Player continues to grow, so grows the list of retailers from which you can buy one. Here's where all you can pick up a Nexus Player:

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7 hours ago

How to factory reset your Nexus 6

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There are a few reasons why you might want to factory reset your Nexus 6, reverting it back to its out-of-box condition. Maybe you've decided to sell your device. Perhaps you want to eliminate any problematic apps and start again from scratch. Whatever the reason, it's easy to clear out your apps, photos and other content and start again from scratch.

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8 hours ago

AT&T makes another attempt to roll out its HTC M8 One update with Android 4.4.4

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AT&T has once again posted word that a new firmware update for its HTC One M8 is rolling out to its customers. AT&T attempted to issue the same update earlier this month but quickly pulled it from circulation.

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9 hours ago

Nakamichi Bluetooth Speaker with NFC review

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Music makes me better

All about controls

My most-used app is Google Play Music. I never leave the house without my Bluetooth headphones if I can help it. Safe to say that I'm a heavy Bluetooth user and a somewhat picky Bluetooth user. I've used the Nakamichi Bluetooth Speaker with NFC heavily over the last month and a half with my Moto X and while I love most aspects of this speaker, and while I have loved that time, there are also some times when I have found myself at odds with some of the design choices made here. You may think these choices are fine, and this speaker may fit nicely into your life.

Just don't expect it to play nicely in your bag.

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10 hours ago

Facebook's testing a 'Lite' app for emerging markets

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Facebook has quietly launched a new and small version of its app called, appropriately enough, Facebook Lite. However, the app has been made and is currently only available, for a few emerging markets and is targeting low-end Android devices that are stuck on slower 2G networks where bandwidth conservation is a priority.

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11 hours ago

How to add your Cree Connected bulb to a Hue hub

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Cree Connected

The folks at Cree dropped the first bulb in their new Connected line this week at Home Depot, and as we said in our hands on if you're looking for cheap bulbs to add to your connected home these are the way to go. Rather than bind themselves to a single kind of connecte hub, Cree Connected bulbs work with any ZigBee hub. You wouldn't know that by looking at the box, however, since the only instructions included are to connect to the Wink hub. While Wink is a decent way to go if you've already decided to go that route, those of us with the Philips Hue hub running multiple rooms of bulbs are probably going to want to keep using the Hue apps to control those bulbs. The Cree Connected bulbs won't automatically connect to the Hue hub out of the box, but through the manual add feature in the Hue app you can add the Cree bulbs with no problem.

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11 hours ago

Official NFL video and more coming to Google and YouTube

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The NFL has entered a content agreement with Google that will see official highlight clips and more appear both on Google as well as YouTube. Highlight clips will be available on YouTube and in Google's search results. Meanwhile, searching for a team will get you detailed information about upcoming games and more.

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11 hours ago

YotaPhone 2 review

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YotaPhone 2 Review

Meet YotaPhone's second attempt to make a dual-screen smartphone. YotaPhone 2 is AMOLED in the front, ePaper in the back, and has just enough software to make both sides completely unique without crossing the line into what we all too commonly refer to as bloatware. It's a worthy successor to the original YotaPhone in every way, but more than that it makes a compelling case for having and using two screens on one phone. YotaPhone made the overall experience with this phone special with their ePaper software and some clear efforts to make their apps play nicely with Google's existing services on the phone, and more than anything it makes us all want to see more Android ePaper hardware.

Read more in our YotaPhone 2 review!

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