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1 week ago

How to update to Kodi 17 on your OSMC-powered Raspberry Pi

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Raspberry Pi

Kodi 17 has been released now to OSMC, our favorite build for Raspberry Pi. Here's how to update.

If you followed our guide on getting Kodi on the Raspberry Pi, then there's a good chance you're also using OSMC. It's definitely one of the more attractive Kodi builds out there and it has now been updated underneath, and out front, with Kodi 17 Krypton.

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1 week ago

Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank will keep you charged on the go for just $9

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Update: This popular deal is back with a new coupon code. Be sure to use RNR3JP7V for the full savings!

Right now you can pick up Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank for just $9 at Amazon with coupon code RNR3JP7V, a savings of $5. With its larger capacity, you should be able to charge your phone or tablet anywhere from 2 to 4 times per charge of the battery pack, which means you shouldn't have to worry about powering your way through even the longest of days. It has two USB outputs so you can charge multiple devices at the same time, and there are built-in LEDs which show how much power is remaining inside of it.

Don't get caught with a low battery and no way to charge it while out and about. Be sure to pick one up with coupon code RNR3JP7V right now!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, home goods, lifestyle needs and more, be sure to check out Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Mobile World Congress 2017: The Android Central preview

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Fira Barcelona

The biggest phone show of the year is about to kick off in Barcelona. Here's what to expect...

Mobile World Congress, held each February (or sometimes early March) in Barcelona, Spain, is usually the event which kicks off flagship phone launch season. For the past two years, Samsung has unveiled its new flagship Galaxy S phone ahead of MWC, and although we'll need to wait a few more months for this year's Galaxy S8, there's still a ton of Android goodness to look forward to.

The show itself takes place at the purpose-built Fira Barcelona in the south of the city, however this is preceded by a couple of days of action-packed launch events around Barcelona. This year the Android Central, Windows Central and CrackBerry teams will be on the ground from Thursday, February 23. Most of the big press events take place on February 25 and 26. And the show officially kicks off on February 27, running until March 2.

In addition to tapas, cervezas and some unmatched scenery, we can predict the following for Mobile World Congress 2017...

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1 week ago

ASUS launches ZenFone 3s Max in India with 5000mAh battery

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The ZenFone 3s Max doubles up as a power bank.

ASUS launched the ZenFone 3 Max in India last November, and is now rolling out an updated variant dubbed the ZenFone 3s Max (ZC521TL) with a larger 5000mAh battery and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The phone retails for โ‚น14,999 ($220), and will be available online and offline stores starting today in Black and Sand Gold color options.

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1 week ago

Samsung Gear 360 is down to $225 for Amazon Prime subscribers

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Samsung's 360-degree camera is available for $125 off for Prime subscribers.

If you're looking to get into the world of 360-degree photography, Samsung's Gear 360 is a good place to start. The camera made its debut last year for $349, but you'll be able to pick one up on Amazon for $225 as long as you're a Prime subscriber. The Gear 360 features two 15MP wide-angle lenses that stitch images together to create a 360-degree photo. The 1350mAh battery allows you to take images for two hours on a full charge, and as there's no internal storage, you'll need a microSD card to save images.

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1 week ago

LG G6 invite teases bezel-less 'Full Vision' display

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Get ready for a Full Vision display.

LG has been teasing the launch of the LG G6 by revealing details of the device ahead of its unveil at Mobile World Congress on February 26. In the press invite for the launch event, LG is touting the bezel-less nature of the 5.7-inch display with the tagline, "Big Screen That Fits."

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1 week ago

ZTE's Axon 7 flagship gets Nougat, Daydream support

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The ZTE Axon 7 is set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat, and users of the popular unlocked flagship are in for a Daydream upgrade! ๐ŸŽ‰

Nougat is an elusive piece of software for many smartphone owners, including those with the world's most popular Android phones on earth, the Galaxy S7.

But China's ZTE, which claims to be the fourth largest manufacturer by sales volume in the U.S., and second in the unlocked space, can now claim that its flagship is among those few beneficiaries of Google's latest features, including improved notifications, more advanced Doze, and proper multi-window support. The company's Axon 7 flagship is set to receive Android 7.0 Nougat beginning February 7, bringing Daydream support along with it.

As part of the release, ZTE says that users will see a simplified interface that doesn't detract from Google's original intentions, along with numerous bug fixes and performance improvements in its so-called MiFavor interface. The company is also teaming up with Hiya, a platform that helps weed out spam and robocalls before they come through to the user. Available as a third-party app to all Android users, Hiya will be integrated directly into ZTE's dialler app, a first for both companies.

The full change log for the update is below:

  • Android OS Upgraded from 6.0.1 to 7.0
  • Axon 7 2017U is Now Daydream Ready! Get a Daydream View to experience VR today.
  • Camera RAW Implemented in Manual Mode and Enhanced Auto-Focus for Camera.
  • Google Security Patch Updated to December 2016
  • Various Device Stability and Security Improvements.
  • Hiya Caller ID/Blocking added to default dialer.
  • Miscellaneous Performance Improvements and other Enhancements.

What's your experience been with the Nougat update? Let us know in the comments!

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1 week ago

Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus 3D renders offer clearest look yet at upcoming flagships

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3D renders of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus detail Samsung's design choices for its flagships.

We've seen the first live photo of the Galaxy S8 late last month, which pointed to a bezel-less display with an 83% screen-to-body ratio, along with a fingerprint sensor located next to the camera module at the back. Noted leaker OnLeaks has now published detailed 3D renders of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus on GearIndia, revealing additional details regarding the design of Samsung's 2017 flagships.

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1 week ago

Action Launcher beta update brings Pixel Launcher's app shortcuts

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Action Launcher is getting a major update in the coming weeks.

Action Launcher is one of our favorite third-party launches, and the app is slated to pick up a major update shortly. Version 3.13 โ€” which is now available as a beta โ€” introduces the Pixel Launcher's styling for app shortcuts, ability to pin shortcuts to the home screen, redesigned icon indicators, and much more.

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1 week ago

Vizio fined $2.2 million by the FTC for secretly collecting and selling owner information

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Vizio did everything wrong when it comes to data collection.

Vizio has been fined $2.2 million by the Federal Trade Commission for "surreptitiously collecting details on viewers' watching habits." The company also agreed to delete all the data collected before March 1, 2016, and to get specific consent from users with a new privacy program.

Vizio's Smart Interactivity technology isn't much different from what other smart TV manufacturers use to find out exactly what you watch and when you watch it. The difference, according to ProPublica, stems from the way Vizio went about collecting it and what they did with it afterward.

For starters, Smart Interactivity is active and running unless you specifically opt out, and you're not told it's there or that opting out is even possible. Oddly enough, the instructions to tell you how to opt out have disappeared from Vizio's support site and have been replaced by a 404 error page. Thankfully, Vizio now has instructions available to show you how to turn off the setting on the TV.

Vizio was tracking everything it could.

While folks were watching TV, Vizio was tracking everything it could about the channels and amount of time viewers spent on them. They also collected your IP address. Standard stuff from the TV industry. But what they did next got them hauled into court by the FTC.

Vizio would work with "data brokers" โ€” companies who only exist to collect data about people, connect it all together, and then sell it. They would use these data brokers to help them connect your IP address with information like your gender, age, income, and interests. They then sold this information to advertisers. The same advertisers other companies use who might already have your IP address from other products.

This makes for a nice tidy way to get a very good profile on who you are and what you do. Frankly, a $2.2 million fine isn't enough.

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1 week ago

Sprint customers used 5TB of data at the 2017 Super Bowl

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That's a lot of data!

Sprint dropped a press release about customer data usage at the big game and the ways they were able to provide enough of it.

Customers used almost 5TB of data inside and directly adjacent to the Houston stadium on February 5. That's three times as much as the 2016 Super Bowl and eight times more than the 2015 game. And the network speed was nothing to sneeze at, either.

Network speeds varied from 85 Mbps from the stands during overtime to 99 Mbps from the stands during the Lombardi award ceremony to 124 Mbps just outside the Verizon box suite during the fourth quarter. Nice jab at the competition there, Sprint. Let's hope it doesn't backfire. We're given no details on who performed the tests or how they were run.

We are told how Sprint was able to supply enough bandwidth for everyone with plenty to spare. Cell on Wheels (COW) and small cell site deployment was able to boost the capacity in and around NRG Stadium. Also, two- and three- channel aggregation on small cell sites played a role, as devices capable of using LTE-A spectrum bonding had access on wider bandwidth lanes to keep network congestion to a minimum.

The best Sprint phones

No matter which team you were rooting for last night, if you were a Sprint customer it sounds like you were a winner. If anyone was at last night's big game, jump into the comments and tell us all about your experience โ€” Sprint or otherwise.

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2 weeks ago

User manuals and photos of LG's upcoming Android Wear watches leak ahead of announcement

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See the LG Watch Style and check out the features for both new watches, because today is a leaky day!

LG has removed the links to the user manuals, so you'll have to find a copy from one of the folks who downloaded them. Ahem, (1), (2).

Everyone who is interested already knows we're going to see a couple of new watches from LG on February 9th. Special watches, because they will be the first to launch with the new Android Wear 2.0 update that makes everything better and they're Google products โ€” the Nexus Watches that have been talked about for months.

The LG Watch Style. Click or tap for a larger view

So we're not surprised in the least that LG has posted the actual user manuals online or that photos from an unknown Best Buy location have appeared at GSM Arena.

We get a good look at the front face of the LG Watch Style from the pictures leaked to GSM Arena, as well as a few pictures of the box it comes in. And nothing we see is a big surprise.

A round design with a moderate bezel and standard lugs means it should be easy to change out the band if you come across something you like better than what LG supplies, and a sizeable button or crown at three o'clock hints at the navigation features that come with Android Wear 2.0

Fans of Android Wear as a platform and LG's watches, in particular, should like what they see here as there has been no drift from LG's tried and true design language for Android Wear.

But photos aren't all we get to see today. LG has also posted the user manual for both the LG Watch Style and the LG Watch Sport on their support site.

LG Watch Style manual

LG Watch Sport

LG Watch Sport overview

A look throughout the manuals confirms some things we all suspected: The button(s) are indeed rotating crowns that will aid in navigation through the features and settings on both watches. The LG Watch Sport will also have two additional buttons that look to be used on a per-app or user-defined basis.

Google Fit is prominently featured on both devices, with sections of the manual going over how to get it set up and how to use Google Fit on your new watch. The LG Watch Sport's manual also mentions NFC and Android Pay, but both are absent in the LG Watch Style manual, so we assume the Style is lacking NFC.

There's also a section about call forwarding from a CDMA phone (Verizon and Sprint) in the LG Watch Sport's manual, mixed in with the sections that explain its stand-alone GSM calling abilities.

It looks like LG is presenting these as two different types of watches with two different markets, just as the rumor mill has suggested. The Sport will be a standalone device with NFC and we assume a bigger price tag, while the Style seems to lack any cellular abilities and NFC. We'll know everything there is to know very soon.

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2 weeks ago

Google is making it easier to see the original URL from an AMP search result

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A new feature makes it easier to make sure the page you're seeing from an AMP search result is legit and lets you share the "real" URL with others.

AMP pages are great. They are designed to help us find what we're looking for when we're mobile and point us towards search results that are easy to read because they were designed for a smaller screen and touch-based navigation. So many people use their phones to get on the internet and get the information they need that anything that makes the experience better is welcomed.

On the web, trust is important. You need to know you're seeing results from a place you trust.

But there are a few drawbacks to using AMP URLs, too. One is that they require a separate (and sometimes frequently changed) URL to be cached by Google, and this breaks the traditional way the web works. When something goes on the internet, it should be there forever, in the same place. Moving the URL we use from a mobile device around can make things confusing. Google is working on streamlining this so the right solution can be found.

The other issue with AMP pages is user-facing. We don't know exactly where we are or if what we are seeing is from the website it claims to be. It's also difficult to share the actual URL of a web page when you are viewing through an AMP search result. This is the issue (they are really the same issue) Google is addressing today.

AMP headers will now have an anchor "button" you can tap to get access to the full canonical URL.

The layout and navigation features of am AMP page haven't changed. You'll still see the header whilst at the top of a page, and it will slide out of view as you scroll down to allow more screen space for actual content. But now, when we push that header back into view we'll be able to find the "real" location of the page we're seeing and share it with a long press on the URL itself.

The feature is available in the Google app for iOS today and is coming to the Android app soon. Google is also working with the WebShare API to allow users to use the native sharing features of their phone and share the canonical URL as well.

Transparency is important. While changes like this may seem insignificant, being able to use Google's AMP platform while verifying exactly what we are seeing is a welcome update.

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2 weeks ago

Best T-Mobile Phones

The best phone options available through T-Mobile.

Whether you're a long-time T-Mobile subscriber looking to upgrade your phone or you're switching and want to find out what's available at a glance, we're here to help.

We've broken down the best devices available to buy through T-Mobile. Check out our reviews to learn more about each of these and if you're ready to take the plunge, we've included links to buy directly from T-Mobile.

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2 weeks ago

LG G6 expected to launch in Korea March 9, U.S. to follow April 7

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Well, you're getting one part of this right, LG.

We are merely a few weeks away from the official launch of the LG G6 at MWC 2017, and now, on top of the latest hardware leaks, we're getting more information about the launch. According to well-known leaker Evan Blass over at Venturebeat, the G6 will launch to consumers quickly after its February 26 launch โ€” at least, in South Korea.

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