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1 day ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

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Samsung’s 2014 flagship smartphone is bigger, faster and more polished, with water-resistant credentials and a more modern user interface. But is it the right phone for you?

For most of the phone-buying public, Samsung's Galaxy line of phones has much broader brand recognition than the Android OS that powers them. With popular devices like the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, the Korean electronics giant has clawed its way to the top of the Android food chain, claiming the title of No. 1 phone manufacturer in the process. Look at any chart of smartphone market share and it's clear the real battle is between Samsung and Apple, with most other manufacturers left to fight over scraps.

So the launch of a new Samsung flagship is an event of huge importance to the mobile industry. With Samsung's vast marketing machinery already in full swing, it seems inevitable that the new Galaxy S5 will be the biggest-selling Android phone of the year. Indeed we've already witnessed lines forming outside Samsung stores across Europe for the April 11 global launch, and early sales figures are apparently encouraging. Tens of millions of people will buy the Galaxy S5, just as they did the Galaxy S4.

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4 hours ago

What I'm playing this week: Sonic CD

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Sonic CD on Samsung Galaxy S5 with Samsung Gamepad

Bring a little retro gaming to your Easter weekend with this 16-bit classic

I've been playing around with Samsung's Gamepad accessory with the Galaxy S5 this past week, and one of the Gamepad's big strengths is classic side-scrolling platform games like SEGA's Sonic CD. Originally released in 1993 for the SEGA CD (Mega CD), Sonic CD has the company's spiky mascot embarking on an adventure through time, doing battle not only with Dr. Robotnik, but a a cybernetic version of himself.

The game controls much like other Genesis-era Sonic titles, with fast-paced gameplay across seven levels and a variety of robotic foes and boss battles to contend with. With past, present and future versions of each zone, sprawling level design, seizure-inducing 3D special stages and an insane J-pop-inspired soundtrack, Sonic CD is unlike any platformer of its era. It represented SEGA getting to grips with the then new CD-ROM format, and going a bit nuts in the process. The result is a game that's sometimes frustrating and confusing, but consistently wacky and always enjoyable — and for $2.99, worth giving a try on Android.

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14 hours ago

TripIt for Android gets a major redesign

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TripIt for Android

TripIt — a must-have travel app for anyone who leaves home more than once a year — tonight got a major redesign in its Android application. It's being touted as a "new card view," and it is, we suppose, insofar as you swipe left and right between items now instead of scrolling and taping back and forth. That's not to say it's not a good update — it is — but visually it feels like some sections got left behind.

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16 hours ago

FCC to limit Verizon and AT&T participation in upcoming low-band spectrum auction

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Verizon

AT&T threatens to not participate in the auction if rumored restrictions are put in place

An upcoming spectrum auction that will offer up airwaves previously reserved for broadcasters could actually give the most benefit to smaller mobile network providers. The auction, which will have highly-desirable 600MHz spectrum up for grabs, may have restrictions placed on it that will keep the big players Verizon and AT&T from snatching up too much. According to reports, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler plans to set up the auction in a way that smaller providers — such as T-Mobile and smaller regional carriers — will have a fair shot at buying some spectrum without being drastically outbid by the big money behind the leading carriers.

Chairman Wheeler explains that because Verizon and AT&T have taken advantage of their market position in past auctions they have snatched up a majority of the sub-1GHz spectrum across most of the country, while smaller carriers have traditionally relied on the less-efficient spectrum above 1GHz and even 2GHz in some cases. The proposed auction plans expect to restrict any single buyer from picking up more than one-third of the spectrum up for grabs in any given market — once they bid and control that amount, the other two-thirds will be up for sale to other carriers.

Naturally Verizon and AT&T aren't too happy about the situation, and AT&T in particular has made statements that it could possibly not participate in the auction altogether — even though it has participated in every major auction in the past — if the restrictions are put in place.

Source: WSJ

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17 hours ago

Nike rumored to be axing Fuelband hardware division

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Here's one to take with a grain of salt, simply because as of now it's not official. Sources at CNet say that most of the FuelBand team is to be let go, and that Nike will halt production of the hardware altogether. This includes the planned "slim" version to be released later this year, and everything else the 70-odd member team may have been working on.

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19 hours ago

Android Central 181: Fix yer stuff!!!

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Audio-only stream below

So what do we think about the Galaxy S5 after a week of use? You've read it in our comprehensive review, now hear us talk about it (again, we know) in our latest podcast. Plus, it wouldn't be sounds coming out of our mouths without more on the HTC One M8, the new Google camera app (it's really good!), and answers to a whole slew of your questions.

Join us!

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19 hours ago

AllCast receiver app arrives in Amazon Appstore for Fire TV

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Coming up tightly behind the launch of Amazon's Fire TV, well-known developer Koush has brought his popular AllCast streaming app to the box. While it was available previously as a simple app to sideload for yourself manually, you can now get it through the Amazon Appstore officially.

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19 hours ago

How to increase touch sensitivity on the Galaxy S5 to use it with gloves

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Galaxy S5

No matter the weather, you won't have to choose between using your phone and having cold fingers.

You won't always need to make use of your phone while wearing gloves, but when the temperatures dip the last thing you want to do is expose your extremities to the elements to send a tweet. With the latest enhancements in touchscreen technology phones can now be sensitive enough to be used with gloves, and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. 

The ability to poke around your new phone while keeping your fingers warm isn't turned on by default, but it's simple enough to turn on if you need the feature. Read along and see how you can turn on the increased screen sensitivity mode on your Galaxy S5, and keep your fingers warm in the process.

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23 hours ago

AT&T GoPhone adding more data to smartphone plans

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AT&T's pre-paid GoPhone customers are in for a nice little treat: their monthly data allotments are going up, but their monthly cost is staying the same. Starting April 25th, GoPhone's 2GB $60-a-month plan will be bumped up to 2.5GB, while the $40-for-250MB plan will double to 500MB. Additionally, those on the larger and more expensive plan will gain mobile Wi-Fi hotspot support at no additional charge. And if you happen to be wanting to buy your smartphone from Wal-Mart, GoPhone shoppers there will have the option of a $45 monthly 1GB plan.

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