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2 days ago

How we would change the Nexus 6

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Nexus 6

Some changes we would make

Here at AC, we do a lot of things. Making smartphones, however, is not one of them. But (there is always a but ...) we do use a lot of them. A whole lot of them. That gives us a bit of a different perspective, because we can see each little thing each individual phone does better than the rest.

If you read our Nexus 6 vs. Galaxy Note 4 comparison, you already know that we really like most things about the Nexus 6. Overall, we all would recommend the Note 4 to someone looking for a big-screen device, but the Nexus 6 matches up very well and is still a great choice. I have both, and even though I would recommend the Note 4 to most people, I use the Nexus 6 instead. I'm not most people.

Anyhoo, we went around the table and we each decided the one thing we would like to see changed on the Nexus 6. Here's what we came up with.

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2 days ago

Google adds a splash of Material Design to movie searches on Android

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It looks like searching for movies on your Android device got quite the visual refresh today. Google has added a splash of color, along with a scrolling list of titles represented by their promotional posters when searching for movies involving a specific actor or director.

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2 days ago

Qualcomm: Snapdragon 810 won't be in 'large customer's flagship'

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Qualcomm today reported their first quarter 2015 earnings, and while we don't usually pay too much attention to the financial ticks and tocks of the chipmakers, Qualcomm today flat-out stated that their Snapdragon 810 processor had been snubbed by "a large customer" for their flagship device, and that it would have a material impact on their earnings for the second half of the year. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800-series processors powered every flagship Android smartphone of last year, but it was reported just last week that the one customer that could have a serious impact on Qualcomm's bottom line wouldn't be using the newest 810 processor in their newest phone, and that customer would be Samsung.

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2 days ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Looking up

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 Looking up

Whether it's in the physical world peering toward tall buildings or in an emotional sense thinking of a role model or a relative, you're always looking up in one way or another. That's the inspiration for this week's photo contest, where we're looking for photos that capture the idea of "looking up." There are a few different directions you could take this contest, and we're excited to see what you can come up with.

For their entries this week, we'll be awarding two winners with a $50 ShopAndroid gift card to spend as they wish!

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (February 3) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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2 days ago

Amzer SlimGrip Hybrid Case for Nexus 6

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Amzer SlimGrip Hybrid Nexus 6

Slim case that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the Nexus 6

The Nexus 6, with its enormous 6-inch display, is a handful to comfortably hold for most people. Since one of the main fears about owning and handling a phone this large is that you might drop it, many choose to protect it with a case. If you are like me, you love the way Motorola designed the back of phone and like to display the Nexus branding while using the device. With the Amzer SlimGrip Hybrid Case you get complete protection of your Nexus 6 while also having the ability to see the beautiful Nexus logo.

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2 days ago

Coming up next: We take a look at Android antivirus apps

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We're knee deep in Nest this week as we've begun taking more focused looks at specific topics. And we're not slowing down. Coming up next we're going to dive into a subject that, to be perfectly honest, we've tried to avoid over the years.

That would be Android and viruses. Or, rather, Android and antivirus apps. This is a real gray area. Viruses are real on Android. Make no mistake about that. These are full-fledged computers in our pockets and on our wrists. They're powerful, and very much within a user's control to do some hackery, both for good and for evil. And so we've generally taken a "Yes, but ..." approach when it comes to the scary stories of the latest Android malware that's wreaking havoc across a number of devices in a faraway land.

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2 days ago

FTC rules that throttled unlimited data doesn't qualify as 'unlimited'

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In a ruling that's resulted in a $40 million fine, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's smacking down TracFone's speed throttling of customers that were paying for unlimited data service. The case in question only applies to TracFone, but it helps to reinforce a precedent that could apply to even the larger carriers in the United States.

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2 days ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Vintage' winners!

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This was a throwback week, of sorts, as we were looking for your best "vintage" photos in order to take home prizes in the latest photo contest. Four full pages in the forums filled up with entries showing all sorts of cool old items, from trains to coffee pots and everything in between. In the end we narrowed it down, and two folks will be getting a prize this week for their entries. Read along and see the winners for yourself.

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2 days ago

The basics of using a Nest Thermostat with Android, iOS and the web

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Nest Apps

The mobile component of this connected thermostat is really what makes it futuristic

OK, so it's just a thermostat.

And while you will always have the option to walk right up to the pretty little dial on the wall and give it a spin when you want to change something, there's quite a bit of functionality baked into the Nest online services that ensures you basically never have to. As with all connected thermostats, the ability to reach only your hand out from under the covers to grab a device capable of increasing the temperature in your house is one of the great miracles of the 21st century. The Nest Thermostat offers you a lot more than just temperature control, however, and regardless of what device you're using to access those features you can enjoy the entire feature set.

And that's where we head today.

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3 days ago

Slack acquisition will see video chat and screen sharing integration

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Slack, the current darling of organizations in need of a flexible individual-and-group messaging service, has bought a small video conferencing company named Screenhero. The acquisition will lead to an eventual integration of Screenhero's voice and video conferencing features and screensharing support to Slack's 365,000-and-growing daily users.

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3 days ago

Sony teams with Spotify for new streaming service to replace Music Unlimited

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Sony is teaming up with Spotify to launch PlayStation Music, a new streaming music service coming in spring 2015. The service will replace Music Unlimited, which will shut down everywhere that it is currently available on March 29, 2015. Beginning Feb. 28, current active Music Unlimited subscribers will get free access to the service until its closure.

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3 days ago

The ZTE Blade S6 will come with Lollipop and an octo-core chip for $249.99

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ZTE has just revealed a new mid-range Android smartphone, the 5-inch ZTE Blade S6, that will use Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box. It will also have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor inside for a price of $249.99.

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3 days ago

How to adjust video auto-play settings in the Facebook app

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Facebook changes a lot of things on us automatically, whether it's on the web or on your phone, and one of the more annoying "features" turned on automatically is auto-play videos. From Facebook's perspective auto-play videos seem great — videos are loaded in the background so they play instantly, and as you scroll through your timeline they catch your eye since they're playing without your interaction.

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3 days ago

Your typical mobile gamer today spends two hours every day face-down in a tablet

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A new survey of mobile gamers conducted by the NPD Group says that they are playing, on average, over two hours a day on their devices. The survey, conducted in late 2014, indicates a 57% increase in the average play time for mobile gamers, compared to just 80 minutes a day in 2012.

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3 days ago

Carphone Warehouse to open pre-orders for the LG G Flex 2 on Feb. 28

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The LG G Flex 2 is just about to launch at Carphone Warehouse. Pre-orders for the smartphone are to open on February 28, and the UK retailer has today rolled out pre-registration form for potential buyers to sign-up for alerts. Sales of the G Flex 2 will commence on March 19.

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