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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 announced as official phone of Sochi 2014 winter games


Galaxy Note 3s to be given to all attending athletes 

Just as it did with the London games last summer, Samsung has another major Olympic sponsorship deal in place for next year's Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi. The Galaxy Note 3 has been named as the official phone of the Sochi 2014 games, and Samsung will provide Note 3s to all participating athletes, the first time such a giveaway has been planned.

Samsung will also be providing a "Wireless Olympic Works" (WOW) Android apps as part of its "Samsung Smart Olympic Games" initiative. For Olympic staffers running the games, the app will provide "essential, up-to-date Games time data and connectivity," while the public WOW app will deliver news and other information on the games.

So we can expect to see a lot more of the Galaxy Note 3 in the run up to next February's Winter Olympic, as Samsung seeks to take advantage of the global platform it presents. Today's press release refers to pop-up "Galaxy Studio" stands at the Olympic Park and a "Galaxy Team" of some 80 hopeful athletes from 20 countries. The games run from Feb. 7-23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

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2 years ago

Samsung confirms Galaxy Gear support coming to Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2 and other devices


Galaxy S3, S4, Note 2, S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom getting Gear support

Depending on where you live, you may have already received a software update enabling support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch for your Galaxy S4. Nevertheless, today brings an official news release from Samsung confirming as much.

The Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 will get Galaxy Gear compatibility along with their Android 4.3 updates — an update the S4 is already getting in some countries — while the Galaxy S4 Mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom will get Gear support in another software update starting at the end of the month.

Samsung notes that the Android 4.3 updates for the Galaxy S4, Note 2 and some Galaxy S3 models will also bring the KNOX enterprise security platform, SmartSwitch for transferring content from other phones, Samsung HomeSync support and the Group Play 2.5 app with video sharing capabilities.

As always, the timing of these updates will vary from country to country, so don't get too excited just yet.

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

BlueStacks teams up with Big Fish to bring Android games to desktop computers


Making it even easier for mobile developers to bring games to the desktop

Big Fish Games announced today that it is partnering with BlueStacks to bring its Android game offerings and casual gaming network to Windows and Mac PC's. An extremely popular game maker on both the desktop and mobile, Big Fish will utilize BlueStacks' virtualization technology to bring its popular mobile games to desktop computers, increasing the number of games it has on offer.

Beyond just bringing a current stable of great Android games from Big Fish to PC's, this partnership will enable other Android developers to monetize their apps on the desktop with Big Fish's casual gaming network. Going forward, mobile game developers that integrate with Big Fish's network will now have simple tools to also bring their games to the desktop with no complex porting process required.

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2 years ago

HTC Desire 300 coming to Telstra next week for $179AU


HTC and Telstra hope the price will spur holiday sales on the pre-paid side

Folks in Australia looking for an entry-level device will have a new choice come next Tuesday (Oct 29). HTC and Telstra have announced that the Desire 300 will go up for sale with a price of $179AU.

The Desire 300 certainly isn't the highest specced Android device to come from HTC, with a 1GHz dual-core S4 processor and 512MB of RAM, but it does ship with HTC Sense 5 and BlinkFeed atop of Android Jelly Bean (4.1.2). It also carries a name people world wide know and trust — the Desire. It's the phone that started HTC's rise, and maybe they think a resurgence can capture a few hearts and wallets.

Telstra Director of Devices Andrew Volard says the device is clearly aimed at prepaid customers

The HTC Desire 300 is a great addition to the HTC family at Telstra and I’m sure it will be a popular choice for customers who are after a high-quality but affordable pre-paid smartphone, particularly coming into the festive season.

Here's hoping things go as planned, as HTC could certainly use a little good news.

Source: Ausdroid

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2 years ago

The Vktech 60x microscope attachment for the Galaxy S4 is a cool way to spend $17


See what you've been missing with this 60x microscope lens for the Galaxy S4

The best part about having a really popular phone is all the crazy third-party accessories that get built for it. I did a little shopping at Amazon last week, and one of the things I picked up was this Vktech 60x microscope attachment for the Galaxy S4.

It's a simple concept. You have a plastic case back, and over the camera cut-out there's a threaded ring. A tubular lens body and LED light attachment screws into it, giving you 60x optical zoom and illumination so you can take some wild close-up shots of anything that fits under the lens. The lens tube and LED assembly comes with a tiny pleather carrying pouch to keep it from getting grungy in your pocket or bag.

The lens tube is easy to screw on and off, the case is easy to snap on and off, but neither will fly apart during normal use. It's a little tricky to get focused, but I've found a solution that seems to work. Zoom your camera app the whole way in to 4x, and extend the focusing tube the whole way. Place the end of the tube on whatever it is you're taking a picture of, and slowly slide the tube back into the body until you get a clear picture. The area of crisp focus is small, but there's enough detail that you can crop out the center and still have an interesting picture.

Needless to say, I've been having a ball with it taking all sorts of pictures of everything I can get my hands on. Hit the break to see some of the shots. You can pick up your own Vktech 60x microscope kit from Amazon for $16.79.

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2 years ago

Chickens Can't Fly flies the coop to Android


Save a hapless chicken from harm in this charming game

Given that Android has the largest market share of any smartphone platform, underdog competitor Windows Phone has far fewer exclusive games worth noting. Windows Phone’s precious few exclusive Xbox-branded games often jump ship to other platforms – just look at Wordament and Kinectimals.

Now Chickens Can’t Fly from British developer Amused Sloth – long considered one of the best Windows Phone exclusives – has debuted on Android as well. At $1.99, it’s quite a steal.

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2 years ago

Verizon's Moto X getting the big update today


Camera improvements and more are rolling out to Verizon Moto X users

It started as a soak test, but it was either very successful in a very short time or Big Red just decided to let her fly, because the "camera" update for the Verizon Moto X is now pushing out.

We have the full change log right here, but the parts everyone seems interested in are the camera improvements. They turned a mediocre and unreliable performing camera into something acceptable, which has pleased most users. It's still not the quality you would see from the LG G2 for example, but it can turn out some good pictures in the right hands now. Other equally important things that come with the update are improvements to Touchless Control and a bug fix for Motorola Assist. 

You will eventually be prompted to update with no action of your own, but if you want to try to hurry things you can manually check in the device settings. Discuss the good and bad of this one in the forums.

Source: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Humble Bundle with Android 7 adds three more games to the list


Additional DLC also included, all for a simple donation to charity

Building on the seventh iteration of its Humble Bundle with Android, three more games have just been added to the list for those who donate over the average. Adding to the four games offered for any donation — Ticket to Ride, Greed Corp, Incredipede and Anodyne — and two games that were available for an above-average donation — Worms Reloaded and The Bard's Tale — you now have access to three more:

  • Anomaly Korea
  • Broken Sword: Director’s Cut
  • Organ Trail: Director’s Cut

Humble Bundle is also including a Europe DLC for Ticket to Ride as an added bonus. You'll now lock up a total of nine games for your above-average donation to charity, which currently stands at $6.20. Humble Bundle has raised nearly $900,000 so far, and you could be a contributor as well by following the source link below.

Source: Humble Bundle

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2 years ago

'Supervised Users' feature coming to Chrome Beta channel


Web-based control panel allows administration of site access and browsing history for 'supervised users'

Google has announced a new feature for Chrome, and it's part of the beta channel for users who want to try it this week. The "Supervised Users" option will be folded into ChromeOS, as well as the Chrome browser on Windows Mac and Linux. it does just what it says on the tin — allows user accounts that can be access restricted.

Supervised users will not be required to sign in with a Google account, and the administrator can grant or deny access to any site — or even allow browsing to only white-listed sites. The admin panel is web-based at, where rules can be set and browsing history can be peeked at by the authenticated administrator. The new tools and website will be part of the beta channel update later this week.

This is great news for parents of young children, as well as Kiosk applications. We'll be giving this one a look when it pushes out.

Source: Google

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2 years ago

T-Mobile to 'Unleash the Tablet' in press conference on Twitter


We're all invited to Tweet our questions to @TMobile or text them to 313131

T-Mobile has something up their sleeves for October 23 — that's tomorrow — and it's all about unleashing the tablet and the new Uncarrier 3.0 plans they have brought out. It's also got a little twist, as it will be a press conference (sort of) held on Twitter.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere and CMO Mike Sievert will be fielding your questions on Twitter and via SMS at 9:00 AM PT live, and the whole shindig will also be live-streamed (audio only) at If you're interested in participating, you can send your questions to @TMobile for John Legere and Mike Sievert with the hashtag #unleashthetablet. If you prefer to use SMS, text a question of 160 characters or less to 313131.

We're not sure what to expect, but we wouldn't be surprised to see new data-only tablet plans or even devices as part of T-Mobile Jump. We'll be listening and watching, and fill you in after it's over. In the meantime, T-Mobile's press release is after the break.

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2 years ago

Alcatel One Touch Fierce review


Arriving on T-Mobile shelves on Oct. 23, the One Touch Fierce is proof that OEMs are only able to go so far with $164. 

In the flurry of recent top-notch Android releases, you might have missed the announcement of T-Mobile's latest budget-friendly devices, the One Touch Fierce and One Touch Evolve. No, they're not blood glucose monitors, but rather the latest installments from Alcatel, a company that has struggled to find its place here in the US.  But with its Evolve and Fierce, Alcatel hopes to make waves in the entry-level market, beckoning T-Mobile customers with dirt-cheap price tags of $100 and $164 respectively.

But if we've learned anything from 2013, it's that the current state of entry-level Android has finally reached a balance of affordability and usability, and the days of settling for cheaply-made Gingerbread-powered devices are behind us. But in the case of the One Touch Fierce, it appears that Alcatel made all the wrong cuts in all the wrong places.

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2 years ago

BBM bests 1 million installs in its first day on Android


We're getting our first look at the popularity of the recently released BBM for Android. Fresh out of the gate, the Google Play listing has placed the app in the 1 million to 5 million category. Those are total installations, and not "current" installs, so you've got to keep those numbers in context. Still. More than 1 million installs — and potentially as many as 5 million (we've got an e-mail in seeking more specific numbers) in a day is nothing to sneeze at.

Additionally, BBM's garnered more than 87,000 star reviews on Google Play — with the vast majority a full five stars.

A pretty big caveat, though — remember that there's a waiting list. So you can install the app, but you might not be able to use it just yet.

It's also worth keeping in mind that BBM doesn't work on nearly 30 percent of existing Android phones. BBM runs on Android 4.x, which as of the beginning of October made up 69 percent of active devices, according to the Android platform versions chart.

But either way, it's pretty damned impressive for BlackBerry — and for what many of us consider a dying platform.

Update: BlackBerry has made it official — more than 10 million installs on iOS and Android. We don't get any more of a breakdown than that, but BBM's already climbing the charts.

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3 years ago

Google rolling out CardDAV improvements


High-resolution contact photos among new CardDAV additions

Google's rolling out several improvements to CardDAV, its open standard for accessing contact data, today. The most noticeable change is the new support for high-resolution contact photos, meaning some (mainly non-Android) mobile devices won't be limited to 96-by-96 pixel images anymore. It's worth remembering that if you're using Gmail sync on an Android phone, you shouldn't be affected by this anyway, as your stuff is synced through pure Google cloud magic.

The other changes are all about making CardDAV a faster, better experience —

  • Sync-Collections, which improves battery life for mobile users by reducing the amount of data exchanged.
  • POST support, which reduces mobile data usage when creating new contacts.
  • For Google Apps users, searching the domain’s Global Address List.

CardDAV users don't need to do anything, and the new features should be available within iOS 7 from today. As we said before, this isn't a huge deal for most Android users, but the changes are welcome nonetheless. 

Source: Google Developers

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3 years ago

Here's the changelog for the Verizon Moto X update


Motorola, as it's done for the other carriers, has released the full changelog for the most recent update to Verizon's Moto X. The camera improvements are the big strokes, of course, but there's a good bit more to the update.

Here's what's new in version 139.15.1:

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3 years ago

Every podcast we've ever done — all in the Android Central app!


We're suckers for nostalgia. And so today we're taking a look back at our 156 episodes (not counting a few special editions, mind you) of the Android Central Podcast!

And the easiest way to listen has got to be the official Android Central App! You can download or stream, right on your phone, at your leisure. 

It's a gas to listen to those early episodes. Give 'em a go if you've only recently joined us. And thanks for listening!

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