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3 years ago

Beware the super-cheap Android tablets on Black Friday

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Sometimes holiday deals are best ignored — we've got your guide to get the most bang for your buck

It's that time of year. Everywhere you look, you'll see incredible deals on "official" tablets that run "Google Android," often times starting at well under $100. Huge retail discount sales — whether real or imagined — during the holiday season are part of American culture. But we're here to help you not get burned by falling into the trap of buying a craplet.

Android is free. People can debate about that issue all they like, but the fact that we see Android installed on pieces of hardware from companies we've never heard of for sale at the local gas station pretty much proves the point that anyone can use Android in any way they like. Free software is a wonderful thing, and we're glad that anyone can build it and use it.

That doesn't mean we think you should buy just any cheap tablet, though. Money doesn't grow on trees, right?

We've got your guide to the best low-cost tablets we'd be willing to spend our own hard-earned cash on.

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3 years ago

Slowly but surely, Chromebooks are finding their niche

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The Chromebook is turning into the success that some thought Netbooks would achieve

Remember a few years ago when tablets hadn’t yet come onto the scene, and all the tech pundits were talking about massive growth in the Netbook market? These mostly Windows-powered computers were more portable and less expensive than traditional laptops, so there were lots of predictions for huge growth in the sector.

I was never a big believer in the idea, but that’s just because I couldn’t see the benefit of small, underpowered hardware running an OS that I felt was bloated and inefficient. My view had nothing to do with tablets, because they weren’t on the scene yet. 

We all know what happened next. Apple introduced the iPad, Android started to optimize its OS for tablets, and now we have a pretty good variety of light, cheap, efficient and net-connected mobile computers. Tablets win. Netbooks lose.

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Sunset' winner!

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An abundance of beautiful horizons this week

We saw another great turnout this week for our photo contest. The prompt was "sunset," and over 300 members turned in their submissions of sunset and sunrise pictures with their Android devices. As we've come to expect, we saw dozens upon dozens of fantastic shots, each with their own bit of creative flair.

Although we wanted to pick far more winners, unfortunately we had to pick just one this week to win a BRAVEN 570 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. Hit the break and see the winning photo submission.

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3 years ago

The official Android Central app is now available in BlackBerry World!

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You'll need to be running OS 10.2, which you'd prefer to be running anyway

Ask and ye shall receive. We have brought the official Android Central App to BlackBerry World

For all intents and purposes, this is the same application we're running on Android — with all the stories, videos and podcasts you've come to expect — but optimized and improved for the Android runtime on BlackBerry. So we recommend that anyone who has sideloaded the actual Android apk use this one for a better experience.

A quick caveat, though. The app is for OS 10.2 and higher. And much like in the Android space, updates don't always come as soon as we'd like. We'd suggest taking this opportunity to remind your operator that you need to be able to run the official Android Central app on your BlackBerry, and perhaps they should consider updating post haste.

Otherwise, enjoy!

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy is $150 off on Monday

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A quick heads up, folks, that the Moto X — which is currently the best Android phone you can buy — gets even better on Cyber Monday. Motorola will take $150 off any off-contract Moto X — including the developer edition, as well as one you customize yourself with Moto Maker.

That means the 32GB Moto X can be had for $400, and the 16GB version drops to $350. (That's the same price as the Nexus 5, by the way.)

Motorola says supplies will be limited, and to stay tuned for more info.

Source: +Motorola

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3 years ago

Dell Venue 8 review

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Dell is back in the Android business, and its Venue tablets are low-cost alternatives to the competition this holiday season

How do you make an Android tablet stand out? If you’re Samsung, you equip it with 101 features and throw in an S-Pen for good measure. If you’re LG, you craft a well-made tablet around remarkable specs and your increasingly popular UI. And if you’re Google, you create a premium and pure Android software experience and let someone else worry about the hardware.

With a market cornered by a handful of big names, how does Dell, a company with an unlucky history in the Android world, compete? Well, one way is competitive pricing. And Dell will be hoping that the Venue 8's $180 price point, coupled with its brand name recognition, will be enough to lure first-time tablet buyers away from the competition this holiday season.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey keyboard 25 percent off in Thanksgiving sale

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SwiftKey celebrates two years as top paid app on Google Play

Popular keyboard app SwiftKey is now on sale at a reduced price in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. From today it's available for 25 percent off the usual price, knocking it down to $2.99 in the U.S.

SwiftKey says its most recent sale is to celebrate its place as a top paid app on Google Play for two years running. The developer says its app has been top in a total of 58 countries during that time, and top in "major territories" including the U.S. and UK for longer than any other app.

The SwiftKey team recently launched version 4.3 of the keyboard, bringing new layouts designed to make it easier to type on larger phones and tablets. If you've yet to pick up the paid version of SwiftKey, you can grab it from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse reveals orange, pink and purple Galaxy S4 Minis

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Pink and purple available now, orange due December 6

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it'll sell the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini in three exclusive colors — orange, pink and purple. The brightly-colored Minis can be had for £379.95 SIM-free, as well as being available for free on 24-month contracts starting at £21 per month from Talkmobile or Vodafone. Carphone Warehouse is also selling the S4 Mini on-contract with EE, O2, T-Mobile and Orange.

Besides the fresh coat of paint, this is the same Galaxy S4 Mini we reviewed over the summer, powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, with a 4.3-inch qHD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 4G LTE connectivity. It's not the most capable "mini" phone out there, but it's a decent all-rounder all the same.

The Galaxy S4 Mini is available from Carphone Warehouse now in purple and pink, in addition to the standard white and black; orange is expected to follow by Dec. 6.

More: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

HTC reveals new Desire handsets for Taiwan

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Desires 300, 501, 601 and 700 fill out HTC's entry-level and mid-range lineup

HTC has today expanded its mid-range and budget portfolio for its home market of Taiwan, announcing the HTC Desire 300, 501, 601 dual-SIM and 700 dual-SIM. We've already become acquainted with the Desire 300 and 601, recently introduced in Europe as single-SIM phones, but the 501 and 700 appear to be new members of the Desire family.

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3 years ago

Moto G available for just £99 on Tesco Mobile

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UK Supermarket chain offering the Moto G for quite a bit less than competitors on its own network

The Moto G isn't exactly an over-priced Android smartphone as it is, but Tesco Mobile has already slashed the price down to just £99 for the 8GB version. That's a saving of £36 over list price for what frankly is already the best budget smartphone in town. 

The 16GB Moto G can also be had, and this one will cost you just £129. Better still, since it's being sold at Tesco, Clubcard points and vouchers can be gained and used by buying the Moto G here leaving a real possibility for an insane bargain as we head towards the holiday season. It'll be locked to Tesco Mobile, but at this price it's even harder to resist picking one up. Head on over to the source link for more and to buy your own. 

More: Moto G Review

Source: Tesco

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3 years ago

YouTube update improves search results, channel pages

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Channel discovery on mobile just got a bit easier

A small update to the YouTube app is being pushed out tonight to improve search and channel functionality. The changelog is brief here, but these are some important small tweaks. First up you'll now see channel results when you search for keywords along with video results — channels will show up at the top of the search results when a match is found.

Additionally, when you tap into those channels you'll now make use of the standardized "tab" layout on the page, which you can easily swipe left and right between Activity, Videos and Playlists. Google says that the app update has various bugfixes as well, including a bizarre issue where the Cast button would be on top of the current video when Bluetooth was connected.

You can snag the latest updated version (5.3.23 on our devices) at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Sonic Dash hits the Play Store - an endless runner with your favorite SEGA characters

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Android players receive special score multiplier this weekend only

SEGA is launching another Sonic game on Android today, an endless runner called Sonic Dash. This new title is an "endless runner" kind of game (think Temple Run) set in the wonderful old-school 3D Sonic world, with all of the fun associated. You'll jump, slide and roll your way through enemies, collect rings and see how long you can go without dying.

The game runs on both phones and tablets in portrait mode, and is a blast to play — even more so if you're a Sonic fan. The big downside here is the intense focus on upselling you to buying more rings, unlocks and power-ups. You'll watch video ads between runs and generally be nagged to make purchases, so if you plan on playing for long you'll want to make at least one in-app purchase with a minimum price of $3.99 to remove the ads.

Beyond the weird freemium model, SEGA seems to have another great title on its hands here, and we're glad it's made its way to Android. You can grab a download at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy

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It’s time fo​r another look at the best Android handsets out there

It’s been a busy three months since we brought you our last roundup of the best Android phones on the market. In that time we’ve witnessed the launch of important devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, LG G2 and Nexus 5, along with the new Android 4.4 KitKat — and important updates for existing phones. The Android smartphone landscape has altered considerably, with the established flagship phones released in earlier months facing new challengers as we approach the end of the year.

So it’s time to take a fresh look at things as 2013 draws to a close. Just about everything that’s going to land in Q4 has done so, and so the current selection of Android phones will be sticking around until the first wave of 2014 handsets arrives in early Spring.

Join us after the break, where we’ll crown the best Android phone overall, the best oversized phone and the best value phone — and look at a few runners-up and honorable mentions.

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3 years ago

Google Voice Search hotword detection extension comes to Chrome

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Saying 'OK Google' will now get your Nexus phone and your computer ready for input

Google is first and foremost a search company, so we can never act surprised when they extend functionality of their search platform. That's what we're seeing today, with the release of a new Chrome Extension that enables the OK Google hotword detection via your computer microphone while on the Google Search page.

Using it should be familiar — say "OK Google," followed by a string to search for or a command. Things like setting timers or asking math problems seem to work well, and we have no doubt folks will soon discover all manner of cool things you can do here — like barrel rolls.

Getting it is easy enough. You'll need a microphone, and Google Chrome on your computer. Then just visit the Chrome Store and install the extension. Have fun, and try to be at least a little productive, OK?

Via: +Google

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3 years ago

Acer unveils touchscreen version of C720 Chromebook for $299 [update]

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Less RAM, more storage accompanies touchscreen with price bump

Update: The new C720P Chromebook is now up for pre-order on amazon at the link below.

Original story​: Acer is building out a third version of its latest Chromebook platform, and this time the biggest notable feature is the addition of a touchscreen. This new C720P model is all but identical to the other C720's currently available, with the same chassis, screen size and ports, with just a few internal tweaks and of course the touchscreen. That screen is the same 11.6-inches across and 1366 x 768 resolution, but now has capacitive touch.

As for internals you're getting the same Haswell micro-architecture Celeron 2955U processor as the original C720, 32GB of storage rather than the 16GB found in the other models but a bump down to just 2GB of RAM from 4GB found in the original. For ports you have one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, SDcard slot and HDMI out.

While performance of the touchscreen is yet to be known, it's a big deal to see Acer shipping a touchscreen Chromebook for such a low price. The Chromebook Pixel gave us an early look at what it's like to use Chrome OS on a touchscreen device, but at $1000 more than this upcoming C720P, it isn't much of a mass-market device.

Acer says the C720P will be on sale from Amazon, Best Buy and from Acer directly in early December.

More: Pre-order the Acer C720P Chromebook from Amazon

Source: Acer

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