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3 years ago

LCD/e-ink hybrid YotaPhone launches in December, in Moscow

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One of the more interesting phones to debut in 2013 has got to be the YotaPhone. (Seriously, you'll want to watch this.) Traditional color LCD display on one side, black-and-white e-ink display on the other. And no traditional Android buttons.

Strange, to say the least.

We're still not exactly expecting this guy to be a big seller in the west — but it will be making its debut in Russia next month. Dec. 4, to be exact, in Moscow. We hear it's cold in Russia that time of year. But the livestream should be plenty warm. Stay tuned.

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3 years ago

Pocket updated to version 5, promises to be smarter and more dynamic

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Highlights, better app navigation, and an improved user experience make their way to Pocket's Android client

Pocket is the most popular save-it-for-later service out there. Over 1.5 million items get added daily, and the grand total of over 10 million users makes it the largest provider of it's type. People like to use it. I use it myself. Whenever I come across something on my phone that I just know would be better read on a tablet or computer, into Pocket it goes. It's handy like that. And with today's update to version 5.0, they say it's going to get better.

Anytime big changes come to an app with a slew of existing users, we tend to worry. People don't like change in their normal routine, if their normal routine serves them well. The good news is that Pocket's added some great additions, without doing anything that will force users to change their ways. Read through and see what I mean.

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3 years ago

Android Central hits 1 million Google Play Newsstand subscribers - here's how to add us!

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Get the best of Android Central in Google's latest news app

Google has rounded up what used to be Currents and put it together with Magazine subscriptions in Google Play Newsstand, but rest assured that you can still read Android Central in the new app. We've recently crossed over the absolutely crazy 1 million subscriber number (we've come a long way) on Play Newsstand, but we're hoping the growth doesn't stop there.

If you've just updated to the new Play Newsstand app and are looking for some great Android news to read in the spiffy new interface, adding Android Central couldn't be easier:

  • Update your Play Magazines app to the new Play Newsstand if you haven't yet.
  • Click or tap the Google Play badge above (or link below), which takes you to the Android Central listing.
  • If you're on a computer, click the "Add" button and it will sync to your Play Newsstand app automatically.
  • If you're on a phone or tablet, tap the "Read" button, and be taken to Newsstand for all of the AC goodness!

Subscribe to the Android Central feed on Play Newsstand!

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3 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Sunset

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Capture that magical time when the light is just right

We're back into the swing of things again with another weekly photo contest, and this week we're actually going to go with a similar topic to last week. Going through the submissions in our "skylines" contest, we saw quite a few that also took place at sunrise or sunset. Building on that, we're going to go with the prompt "sunset" this week (sunrises are okay, too!). Taking great pictures in the low light of a sunset or sunrise can be difficult, but we're excited to see the entires to this one.

We'll be picking out one winner this week, and that lucky photographer will receive a BRAVEN 570 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, in your choice of color.

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 (November 26) 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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3 years ago

AT&T Moto X soak test is starting, let the KitKat begin

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Anytime is a good time for a quick soak, but the sooner the better

Members of the Motorola Feedback Network in good standing and using an AT&T branded Moto X are getting the best email ever this evening. The soak test for the AT&T version of the Moto X is soon beginning, and we all know what that means.

KitKat as far as the eye can see. Soon you wont be able to shake a Moto X without hitting some KitKat. And we love it.

When things begin, we'll let you know. We're thinking it will be soon. 

Thanks Anons!

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3 years ago

Google Translate improving conversational translations, expanding language support

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New gesture support and improved language recognition from handwriting and images

The latest version of the Google Translate app is making it even easier to have conversations between languages. The latest update, which will begin rolling out to users today, makes it easier to converse with someone by just activating the app then turning the phone between two people. You now simply select the languages you'd like to translate between, tap the microphone and speak your sentence or phrase, and turn it to the other person.

Gesture support detects when you turn to the other person, and translates what you said, then prompts them to speak back to you. Once you get going back and forth, the experience will be much more conversational than before, hopefully lowering the boundaries of speaking to someone in another language.

For times when you want to translate written input, the latest update also expands handwriting input to Hebrew, Greek, Javanese and Esperanto. If you don't want to write, you can always capture text with your phone's camera and translate any selected portion if you'd like — now supporting Malay and Ukranian.

Source: Google Translate Blog

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 QuickCover by LG

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You'll be able to find cheaper Nexus 5 cases, for sure. But Google's official Nexus 5 flip case is a fine specimen.

There wasn't a whole lot of new ground for LG and Google to cover with its new Nexus 5 QuickCover. We've all grown accustomed to this sort of case/cover combo. So the devil's in the details. Just get them right. And to that end, we've got a winner here. OK, an expensive winner — the QuickCover runs $49.99 in Google Play — but a good product nonetheless.

Let's take a quick look.

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3 years ago

Google Drive is getting another update, bringing tools to manage your files better

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Tools for power users are coming to Google Drive — are you using it yet?

The latest in a series of updates to Google Drive will bring user-facing tools to help manage and sort your files, according to +Google Drive. Rolling out "over the next few days" the update will feature like find and replace, inserting and managing tables, and named styles.

In addition, we'll be able to rename scans before upload, view your files in a two column layout on tablets, and sort by quota used for folks on a Google Apps account. 

Google is serious here. Pushing features from the desktop to the mobile version of Google Drive is a big deal for folks who want to be more productive with their Android phone or tablet. If you're a current user of Google Docs on the web for personal or business use, you'll find things are getting easier to manage while mobile. If you're not using Google Docs on the desktop, you now have a compelling reason to give it a try.

We imagine Google has more planned in this space. Bringing features like this to mobile — which is the area of technology that is expanding daily — will attract people away from other solutions that aren't as small-screen friendly. 

Keep an eye out for the update, and you can always check via the Google Play link above.

Source: +Google Drive

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Skylines' winner!

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Dozens of fantastic skyline entires this week, but just one took the prize

Yet another week has gone by with a successful weekly photo contest. This time around the prompt for your entries was "skylines," and we received dozens of fantastic photos. Seven pages and over 150 entries this week made it tough to pick just one winner, but we eventually had to make a decision.

For their entry, the winner picked up a Sony SmartWatch 2 this week — yet another great prize for getting out and taking some pictures. Hang with us after the break and see the winning photo.

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3 years ago

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 video walkthrough

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It's versatile, don't you know

Lenovo's latest Android tablet is here, and it's a little more interesting than some of the past attempts. The Yoga Tablet 10 has a distinctive hump at its base which is actually a stand, and provides a little more versatility than most other 10-inch Android tablets. Why? Because it can stand up all on its own when you want to watch a video say, it can lay down and tilt at an almost perfect angle for typing on the screen and that hump provides plenty to grip when holding it in portrait mode reading like a magazine. 

Inside the Yoga 10 packs a 1.2GHz quad-core MTK CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. There's a microSD card slot for expandability and on some models also a micro-SIM card slot as well. Display wise we're presented with a distinctly average 1280x800 10-inch panel, and we've a pair of cameras; 5MP round the back and 1.6MP up front. Providing the experience is a customized version of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Oh, and a pair of pretty badass front facing speakers.

We've got the Yoga 10 in for review so stay tuned for that, but for now, here's a quick first hands-on. 

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3 years ago

The Nexus Wireless Charger (2013)

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Google gives us a $49 Qi-compatible charger that you'll actually want to use.

Once you switch to wireless charging full-time, you might well wonder how you ever lived without it. Sure, plugging a microUSB cable into your phone is easy. But we are lazy creatures. (And we can all agree that mono-directional USB plugs are asinine, right?)

Enter wireless charging. It's had its hiccups, to be sure. Multiple standards (hi, PowerMat), and even incompatibilities within single standards such at Qi. Things are finally settling down, though. And today we have the new Nexus Wireless Charger, available from the Google Play Store for $49.99. 

That's not cheap, but you can get a good bit of mileage out of this guy.

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3 years ago

Google's new Chrome Experiment shows off the mobile web, and will fascinate Tolkien fans

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Web technology and the right browser engine bring the land of dwarves and hobbits to life in the latest Chrome Experiment

If you're a fan of Middle Earth, web technologies, or mobile in general you have to check the latest Chrome Experiment out. It's an interactive map of Middle Earth — a place well-known to readers and viewers of The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings — built with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It's magnificent. It's also just the beginning.

Tapping and selecting a location from the map brings up another layer, with parallax scrolling, pinch-to-zoom, and great performance on the desktop, mobile and ChromeOS. Again, this is all built with standard web technologies. 

Finally, each location offers a sort of mini-game, where user input and swiping (or mouse and keyboard action if you're not on a phone or tablet) allow you to outwit trolls, spring forth greenery at Rivendell, or run away from spirits at Dol Guldar. 

This is a serious time-waster, but it also shows what can be done with the right tools and the right browser engine. When you have half an hour or more, you need to check this out from your Android device or any computer with Chrome, Opera or Firefox. Jump past the break for a short trailer.

Journey through Middle Earth Chrome Experiment

Source: Google Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Google Wallet Card now available to order, ships in 10-12 days

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One card can be used to access funds from a variety of other cards and accounts

While the NFC-based Google Wallet payment system may not have taken off, Google is taking another swing at things with a physical Google Wallet Card. Yes, this is actually a physical credit card that basically fills the same role as the Google Wallet app tried to do previously, acting as a prepaid debit card that then pulls funds out of any connected account.

The Google Wallet Card is a physical prepaid debit card that allows you to access your Wallet Balance in the real world, at ATMs, banks, and wherever MasterCard® Debit is accepted.

If you're in the U.S. and have the option to get a Google Wallet card, you'll be prompted in the Google Wallet app or on the Google Wallet website, where you'll then have to verify your identity and request the card. Verifying your identity is as simple as giving your name, address, birth date and social security number, but Google already had the necessary information from previous purchases for us to order with just two clicks.

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3 years ago

Opera 18 is updated to Chromium 31 and brings a new tablet UI

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A better tablet interface joins the features in the Opera browser, and a new blink engine should make the whole experience faster

Opera has updated their Android application today, and along with a bump to Chromium 31 for the internal browser engine brings an all-new tablet UI and a handful of bug fixes. The new tablet layout isn't just a scaled-up version of the phone app, the folks at Opera say they have tuned every element to take advantage of the larger screen size. Of course, things like off-road mode and the speed dial new tab page are still in place.

The full list of changes:

  • based on chromium 31
  • new UI for tablet devices
  • improvements in search engine list
  • new remote debugging feature (requires new permissions)
  • fixed issue with fullscreen video playback
  • fixed issue with HW back button on Discover
  • fixed issue with viewport size in new tab
  • fixed issue with keybord staying on screen
  • fixed issue with page reload when leaving text input in off-road pages
  • various stabilization and performance improvements

We know plenty of people are big fans of Opera and their business philosophy, and it looks like you'll have a great new version to use. You can grab it at the Google Play link above.

Source: Opera

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3 years ago

Google rolls Play Magazines and Currents into Play Newsstand

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New destination for newspaper, magazine and online content on Google Play

Google has today taken the wraps off Google Play Newsstand, its new app for consuming newspaper and magazine content on mobile devices. Newsstand combines Play Magazines and Google Currents, and is available as an update to the former on the Play Store from today.

For the first time users can subscribe to newspapers as well as magazines, with launch titles including The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and Huffington Post. These join the range of magazines already available through the old Google Play Magazines app, as well as web-based content you may have subscribed to through Google Currents. The main "Read Now" section incorporates all this content into a scrolling card-based view, and you can view and manage individual subscriptions from the "My News" and "My Magazines" areas. It's also possible to save individual articles of interest and pin them to the "Bookmarks" section for quick access later on. And naturally, these are synchronized across all your devices.

So Newsstand is supposed to be your one-stop shop for written content on the web, whereas things were split between Currents and Play Magazines before. And the addition of leading newspapers to the mix is an important step for Google, to be sure.

Google says Play Newsstand will be available on devices in the U.S., Canada, UK and Australia as an update from Play Magazines in the next few days. Other countries can download it directly from Google Play. Check past the break for more screenshots and Google's introductory video.

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