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1 week ago

Android Central 218: Andrew Central

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Audio-only stream below

We're rested and recovered after a successful CES 2015 in Las Vegas. On tap for this week's podcast: HTC is first out the gate for Mobile World Congress teasing, we get to the bottom of this WebView security non-scandal, and we answer your questions live on air. Join us!

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1 week ago

Google reportedly in talks to acquire mobile payments company Softcard

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A new report today claims that Google may be in talks to acquire Softcard, a mobile payments solution that has garnered significant carrier backing from the likes of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

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1 week ago

How to turn off Facebook's in-app browser for external links

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In August of last year, Facebook started rolling out an in-app browser that let you view links completely in the app without being thrown out to your own installed browser of choice. That's all fine and good, but if you want the additional features, bookmarking, familiarity or added security of choosing your own browser to open links, you'll need to dive into the Facebook settings and change this setting. It's a quick process with just a few steps, and this is how you do it.

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1 week ago

Motorola teams with DODO for line of colorful Moto 360 bands

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It looks like the band options for your Moto 360 just got a little bit bigger. Motorola today has started selling four new "premium" leather bands on its website. The bands, made by DODO, will set you back $60, and come in your choice of blue, green, red, or tan.

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1 week ago

We're podcasting live at 4 p.m. EST!

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Y'all thought we forgot, didn't ya. But never fear, we're back and recovered from CES for another live recording of the Android Central Podcast. We'll hit up the biggest things to hit up since we last met, and we'll answer your questions live on air.

It's all going down at this link at 4 p.m. EST — that's 9 p.m. in London.

Join us!

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1 week ago

Sprint will now lease you an LG G3 for $15 a month, Galaxy Note 4 for $25

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Sprint is adding the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and LG G3 to its Sprint Lease program. Sprint Lease allows customers to get a phone with no money down. The LG G3 will be available for a monthly price of $15, while the Galaxy Note 4 will cost $25 per month.

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1 week ago

E-ink paradise: The flip side of the YotaPhone 2

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YotaPhone 2

What does a second e-ink screen actually get you?

All e-ink displays have a few things in common — they work great in sunlight, the refresh rate isn't the best thing ever, and sometimes it's fun to put silly things on them just to see what happens. When the YotaPhone 2 slid across the desk, the first thing that surprised everyone was just how functional the e-ink panel is. The software driving this second display is the only thing that could even jokingly be considered bloat on the squeaky clean version of Android 4.4.3 being used here, and that software lets you use the e-ink display in some interesting ways.

The handful of apps that drive YotaPhone's e-ink panel are designed to make widgets a priority for users who need them, with tools to make switching back and forth between the two screens as effortless as possible. More importantly, the setup lends itself well to users who value personalization above all else.

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1 week ago

Virgin Mobile teams up with Walmart to offer contract-less prepaid LTE data sharing plans

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Virgin Mobile USA has partnered with Walmart to offer new prepaid multi-line data-sharing plans. The new Data Done Right plans will be exclusively available from Walmart, and will be available beginning tomorrow, January 17. The multiple line plan will include a free Mobile Hotspot feature. The new plans will be immediately available on a number of Android devices. These include the HTC Desire 510 and LG Volt.

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1 week ago

HTC's next flagship smartphone is coming March 1 in Barcelona

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HTC invite

HTC has sent out invites for a major launch on March 1 in Barcelona, just as Mobile World Congress gets underway. Naturally, this is where we're expecting to see the company's next big Android smartphone — the phone that may go by the name HTC One M9.

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1 week ago

You can now buy concert tickets from Google Search

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Need to quickly purchase tickets for a major concert soon approaching? No problem, should you be searching through Google. The company has partnered with AXS, Ticketfly and Ticketmaster to link directly to checkout if you search for specific venues. What's more is the search results page will show tour schedules for artists and performers.

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1 week ago

Samsung's new design chief comes from Jony Ive's old London-based firm

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Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae as the company's new design chief, according to a report on The Korea Herald. The former CEO of Tangerine, a London-based design firm founded by Apple's Jony Ive, will aid Samsung to further advance its hardware designs and drive sales.

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1 week ago

T-Mobile clarifies position on Simply Prepaid, confirms current plans are staying put

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T-Mobile launched a new set of Simply Prepaid plans today, leaving many of us worried that the Un-carrier was messing with a good thing. Fortunately for the value-conscious customers out there, T-Mobile confirmed to us that the new Simply Prepaid plans are not replacing the current set of Simple Choice Prepaid plans — they will simply show up alongside them on January 25th.

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1 week ago

Zano is a swarm-capable autonomous mini drone controlled by your phone

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We're no strangers to smartphone-controlled flying machines around these parts, especially those of us who have wandered the halls of CES, but the folks at Zano are promising something wildly different form the current experience with their mini quadcopter. While most flying experiences with smartphones happen at a 1:1 ration, Zano wants to give smartphone owners the ability to control a swarm of autonomous drones just by waving the phone in your hand around. To accomplish this, the tiny drone is packing GPS, sonar, IR, and an HD camera to capture your adventures from above. The collision detection smarts in this little casing, combined with additional instructions from the user, is apparently enough to allow some magic to happen.

We didn't get to experience this setup in person just yet due to some technical difficulties, but check out Marketing Director Reece Crowther as he walks through the details with Cali.

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1 week ago

Google publishes Android 5.0.2 factory images for Nexus 10, Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi

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Google has just posted the factory image of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for the Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi. Now that the factory images have been pushed, an OTA update is sure to be around the corner.

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1 week ago

Orbotix gets kids into robots with Ollie and SPRK

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We've jokingly referred to the robotic toys made by Orbotix as the world's best cat toys, but the truth is there's a ton that can be done with these little rolling robots. Sphero has a huge third party following with dozens of apps that let you do everything from roll your ball in an augmented reality maze through the camera on your phone to picking the ball up and using it as a controller for games on your phone. Ollie, their brand new robot, is a little more focused on fun by offering more speed and some fun optimizations. If driving these robots around and chasing your cat aren't enough to get your attention, the Orbotix SPRK (that's Schools Parents Robots Kids) program should be all the push you need. It's a program Orbotix started to help kids learn the basics of robotics and programming, and so far it has been a huge success in the classroom.

Allen Richardson from Orbotic gives Cali and Rene the breakdown on what SPRK has been up to so far, as well as repeatedly shooting the robots off the desk during the video. Either way, it's worth a watch.

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