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1 day ago

Top Android device, accessory, and app deals for September 19

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We've dug up some solid deals on apps, accessories, smartphones, and tablets. If there's something you've been wanting to get your hands on, check out the list below. As always, if you find any discounts out in the world that isn't listed, let us know in the comments!

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1 day ago

Galaxy Note 4 is available for preorder today on two carriers

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4

And in other don't-need-to-line-up news, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is available for preorder today on a couple of U.S. carriers. (Two others go up next week.)

Here's the deal:

  • AT&T — $34.42 monthly, $299 on contract, $850 outright (preorder)
  • Verizon — $34 monthly, $299 on contract, $699 outright (preorder)
  • Sprint preorders start Sept. 26, which indeed is not today. You can give Sprint your email address here if you want. It'll be $30 monthly, or $720 outright.
  • T-Mobile preorders start at noon EDT Sept. 24, which also is not today. It'll run $31.24 a month for 24 months, which equals $749.76 outright.

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1 day ago

Fess up: Who's buying a new iPhone 6 today?

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iPhone 6, Benedict Arnold

Here at Android Central we're celebrating yet another Friday morning. But elsewhere in the tech world it's the sort of Friday morning you spend camped outside a pristine retail cuboid waiting to fork over hundreds of dollars for a new, slightly larger telephone. That's right, today is iPhone 6 (and 6 Plus) day, and the guys over at our sister site iMore already have their paws on Apple's new, magically bigger iPhones.

The new iPhones have larger screens, metal construction, optical image stabilization, and come in 4.7- and 5.5-inch flavors. So there's that.

But really, we're not here to judge. So let us know down in the comments if you're deserting from the Android army and flocking over to Apple's latest aluminum offerings. Which iPhone did you go for? And which Android phone are leaving behind, you filthy traitor?

You'll find more coverage of iPhone 6 launch day over on iMore.com.

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1 day ago

Photos of a Samsung Galaxy A5 with metal-like materials leak out

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Now that the Samsung Galaxy Alpha is available, the company is working on the next wave of hardware, which is believed to be the A family. SamMobile has been able to take a quick peek at what Samsung may have up its sleeve with the SM-A500 as the first of three smartphones in the new A series. This device (pictured above) is said to launch as the Samsung Galaxy A5, a mid-range handset.

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1 day ago

LG has the world's largest advertisement, and it's in Saudi Arabia

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This isn't something you usually brag about — LG has announced it now has the Guinness World Record for the largest billboard advertisement ever made. The advertisement, which is right outside the Riyadh International Airport in Saudi Arabia, is two football fields long and stretches along a road leading into the airport. LG says it expects a good number of the 20 million people who visit the area to see the billboard.

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1 day ago

Twitpic's mystery angel saves it from an angry 'twittering' bird

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It looks like Twitpic has a mystery guardian angel to save it from demise. After a trademark spat with Twitter, the photo-sharing service had previously announced that it would shut down. Now, it looks like Twitpic will live on to fight another fight thanks to a secret suitor that had acquired it.

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2 days ago

The insane pace of Android

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New Moto X

When things move as fast as Android does, we shouldn't be surprised by bumps in the road

By the time you are reading this, most people who use Google Voice and Google Hangouts are in various stages of excitement and exploration as most of these two services merge together. It has been a long time coming, and the way this merger happened caused me to step back and really think about the pace of software development in general.

When users all across the U.S. started to see that blue box pop up, asking if they wanted to merge Google Voice into Hangouts, the response was spectacular to sit back and watch. Users who had the blue box went from excitement to confusion as the features didn't quite line up the way they had hoped, and users who didn't have the prompt yet expressed immediate outrage at the dismal state of Google's staged rollout system. (Never mind that it turns out Google apparently had jumped the gun a little.)

By the next morning, mere hours later, all of the social networks were filled with excitement, confusion, and anger.

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2 days ago

Google Maps navigates itself to 20 more countries

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Google has expanded availability of its Google Maps with Navigation app, bringing turn-by-turn navigation instructions to 20 more countries. This brings free driving, walking, and bicycling directions to more people as Google Maps with Navigation makes its global expansion.

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2 days ago

Android L phones will shut out NSA for increased privacy

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The next version of Google's Android operating system, known as Android L, will automatically encrypt user data out of the box, making it more difficult for law enforcement officials and security personnel to access your personal data. Though Android has had optional encryption for devices for some time now, next month's Android software update will be the first time that encryption will be turned on out of the box for all users.

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2 days ago

Larry Ellison steps down at Oracle, replaced by new CEOs Hurd and Catz

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Long-time Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has announced he will step down from his post, effective immediately, to be replaced by two new CEOs. Mark Hurd (formerly of HP) and Safra Catz will both take over as CEO concurrently, though Oracle isn't handing out the "co-CEO" title to either of them. Though he's one of the richest people in the world, Ellison isn't leaving the company — he plans to stay on full time as the executive chairman and CTO of the company instead.

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2 days ago

$699 is all that separates you from an imported Samsung Galaxy Alpha

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Samsung's metal-clad Galaxy Alpha may not have an official release date in the U.S., but popular device importer Expansys will be happy to sell you one for a cool $699. That price is quite high, but shouldn't shock anyone who's bought a brand new device from an importer before. The over $700 after shipping you'll pay is getting you a global unlocked model with 32GB of storage, a nice metal frame and an octa-core processor.

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2 days ago

Star Wars: Commander battles its way to Android to make you forget Clash of Clans

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After making its debut on iOS a few weeks ago, the action-strategy game Star Wars: Commander is now available for Android smartphones and tablets. The game, which definitely was inspired by Clash of Clans, is set in the classic Star Wars movie trilogy setting.

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2 days ago

HTC Butterfly 2 review

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HTC Butterfly 2

HTC's new high-end handset for Asia packs M8-level internals, an upgraded camera and a water-resistant body

Over the past year HTC has consolidated most of its smartphone range into two distinct device families — HTC One at the high end, and Desire in the mid-range and entry-level spaces. But there's still one outlier — the Butterfly series, which kicked off with the original J Butterfly a couple of years ago. That phone eventually came to Verizon as the Droid DNA, but the Butterfly line proved most popular in Asia, and the following year it spawned a successor. The Butterfly S brought upgraded specs and BoomSound speakers, but axed a couple of the original's standout features — water resistance unfortunately didn't make the cut. Whereas the HTC One line differentiated itself with premium metal construction, the Butterfly line seemed content taking this product and repackaging it into an Asia-specific device.

A year or so later, it's time for a new Butterfly. The HTC Butterfly 2 (known as simply the "new J Butterfly" in Japan), brings back the look and feel of last year's model with 2014-level specs, an upgraded camera and, once again, the ability to survive a plunge into the sink.

But how does it measure up to the current competition? And in markets where both HTC flagships are available, which is the one to pick up? We'll take a shot at answering both of these questions in our full review. Read on.

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2 days ago

Reviewed: The AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition is the connected toy you've always wanted

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I have had my eye on the AR.Drone 2.0 Elite Edition Quadcopter‎ for quite a while, though I was never quite ready to drop $300 for one. So when Parrot offered to send me one, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement. When the package arrived at my door, I quickly dropped what I was doing and got to work (well, got to play I guess). I popped open the box, pulled out all of the pieces, installed the free app (Android & iOS) and it was up, up, and away!

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2 days ago

Qualcomm gets in on digital eyewear with Vufioria developer tools

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Qualcomm announced a new software development kit for anybody getting in on augmented reality apps for devices like the Samsung Gear VR or Google Glass. Qualcomm's Vuforia SDK will enable augmented reality apps with this burgeoning sector of devices, mainly by easing the process of calibrating position. Big players like Epson have already been working with Vuforia and are liking what it has to offer.

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