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2 weeks ago

Steve Kondik on India, Micromax, and OnePlus

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Cyanogen

Cyanogen's Founder clears the air

If you've been following the misadventures of OnePlus and Micromax over in India, you know that there's been a bit of a disagreement over who gets to use Cyanogen OS (as opposed to the totally open-source CyanogenMod) due to an exclusivity agreement that was created alongside the launch of the Micromax Yu brand. It's been a pretty big mess that has resulted in some unfortunately vague language regarding software support for the OnePlus One in India, and even got the OnePlus One banned from being sold in the country for a bit. While Micromax and OnePlus have clearly drawn their battle lines and are prepared to let the Indian courts settle things, the folks over at Cyanogen, Inc. have been deafeningly silent on the entire matter. Until now. In India yesterday, a statement has been provided to the courts from Cyanogen Inc. that better explains the company's position as the creator of the software for both devices.

Since this whole mess started, there's been general unrest regarding what this will mean for devices running Cyanogen OS in the future. The court documents and public statements from both OnePlus and Micromax have painted a grim picture regarding the deals being struck with Cyanogen. We've seen what looks like an agreement terminated with all the respect of a text message break up, references to a great deal of money being involved in securing exclusivity, and then there's the strange way the company addressed whether or not they would be continuing to update the OnePlus One.

Out of context, none of this looks good on a open source software company whose mission statement has been to get as much Cyanogen out there as possible. Fortunately, for those who care, the company has decided to talk with Android Central about what has been happening behind closed doors.

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2 weeks ago

Nest's Tony Fadell takes leadership of Google Glass, sales ending Jan. 19

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A Google Glass leadership means it's no longer an experiment

The Google Glass wearable headset computer has a new lead, and it's none other than Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell. The Glass project is also moving out of the Google X experimental unit nearly 2 years after its initial release. Current Glass chief Ivy Ross will still be running day-to-day operations of the Glass organization, and Fadell also is not leaving Google's home automation subsidiary Nest, nor is Glass becoming part of Nest. Additionally, sales of the first-generation Google Glass headset are ending on January 19th, with no word of what comes next.

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2 weeks ago

Tylt shows off their new gear, including a silicone Moto 360 strap

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Tylt gear has a hard-earned reputation for being well designed, colorful, and a little on the pricey side. The folks at Tylt target hardcore mobile users with their gear, and every year there's something fun to check out. While the Tylt lineup includes some classics like the Energi backpack and the Vu charger, there are new options available to Moto 360 owners being announced at CES. Tylt has worked with Motorola to release a silicone strap for the 360, and it's going to be available in several different colors. While it may feel like a step down from the leather or metal options that Motorola offers out of the box, the Tylt Band is for folks who want an everyday strap.

Check out the video for details, but beware that it's still listed as coming soon on their website.

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2 weeks ago

Blossom wants to make your sprinkler system smarter

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Everything wants to be smarter at CES this year, including sprinkler systems. If you have a sprinkler system connected to your home, you know that managing the included system takes a strangely significant chunk of time, unless you just leave everything on timers and let whatever happens next happen. Smarter sprinkler systems offer the ability to automate a lot of the scheduling and planning from maintaining a sprinkler system, and Blossom's system for accomplishing this goal is one of the better examples out there today. The hardware installs easily for most people, but it's the app that really makes this worth checking out. Blossom keeps an eye on weather patterns to adjust your sprinkler schedule, and allows you to manage individual zones in your lawn with user-managed focus areas, and photos of those zones can be added to make things easier to modify as you go along.

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2 weeks ago

How to share directions in Google Maps for Android

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Google Maps Direction Sharing

You've always been able to share a specific location, or even your own location, on Google Maps — but as of version 9.3 of the app you can now share point to point directions, just like the good ol' days (remember MapQuest?), to any app you want. The process is extremely simple, and though most folks with smartphones sharing location to another smartphone user will be better off sharing a Maps location, this is how you share complete directions.

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2 weeks ago

Parallels Access now supports S Pen remote editing on the Galaxy Note 4

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge owners can now remotely access their Windows or Mac files with Parallels Access 2.5. The new version of the popular software even lets users edit remote PC files with Samsung's S Pen.

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2 weeks ago

T-Mobile US rolls out new Simply Prepaid plans starting at $40 per month

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Update: Clarified the post to indicate that speeds are throttled back to 128kbps (about 2G speeds) when you hit your data allotment, not 3G. Also added additional information on plan restrictions.

Original story: T-Mobile today announced a new wave of prepaid plans under the Simple Choice branding. Unlimited data, calls, SMS and limited 4G LTE will be offered on T-Mobile's network from $40 a month. Opting for higher LTE allowances will increase the price depending on how much data you believe you'll chew through.

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi's new $30 Android streaming box is the same size as your phone charger

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Along with the launch of the Mi Note and the 2K display Mi Note Pro, Xiaomi also announced an Android media streaming box that is about the same size as your phone charger. Dubbed the Mi Box Mini, the latest streamer from Xiaomi features 282 integrated components, including a motherboard that's about one-third the size of an average credit card.

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2 weeks ago

Google turbocharges Translate, instant translation of voice and text now possible

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As revealed earlier this week, Google has updated its Translate app with real-time text and speech translation, made possible by Word Lens integration and improvements to the translation engine.

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi's new Mi headphones support both over-ear and on-ear experiences for $80

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Unable to decide whether to go for over-ear or on-ear headphones? Xiaomi may have an ideal solution for you in the product that is a new pair of headphones. The company today announced the new accessory, which comes with both over-ear and on-ear covers.

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi announces seriously powerful Mi Note Pro with 2K display

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Along with the standard Mi Note variant, Xiaomi will sell a Pro version of the device that offers some serious hardware, including a 5.7-inch 2K display (2560 x 1440) with a pixel density of 515 PPI, octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 810 SoC, LTE Category 9 connectivity (with download speeds of 450Mbps) and more. Xiaomi calls the Mi Note Pro "literally the best smartphone in the world to date."

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2 weeks ago

Xiaomi's latest flagship is the Mi Note

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Mi Note

Xiaomi's latest device is called the Mi Note. Dubbed the "most epic flagship device of the year," the Mi Note comes with a slew of new features as the brand continues to maintain momentum in the smartphone segment. On offer is a 5.7-inch full-HD display, Snapdragon 801, 3 GB RAM, 13 MP camera with OIS and dual-SIM with dual LTE connectivity, all for just RMB 2,299 ($370).

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2 weeks ago

Lightroom mobile comes to Android — here's your first look!

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Lightroom Mobile for Android

If you're a Lightroom user, this may be the easiest way to sync and edit photos on a desktop

Adobe today has announced that Lightroom mobile — the on-the-go version of its powerful photo organization and editing software — is now available for Android phones.

The broad strokes: Lightroom mobile lets you organize and edit pictures you take with your phone. (Tablet support is coming later, Adobe says.) It's also a two-way sync with the full desktop version of Lightroom, complete with auto-upload. So anything you shoot with your phone will be available in a collection in Lightroom, and any edits you make there will also appear on the phone.

This one's probably not for casual editors — Lightroom continues to be a pretty serious tool, and you'll need one of Adobe's Creative Cloud subscriptions for it all to work. But if you're willing to put in a little effort, this might well be one of the best ways to manage and edit your mobile photos.

Let's explore.

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2 weeks ago

VLC releases preview app for Android TV

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VLC, the popular video player already for a large swath of platforms, has released a preview version of its app for Android TV today. The player, which is known for supporting a crazy number of file formats, should be a boon to Android TV going forward.

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2 weeks ago

Ambient Display on the Nexus 6

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Ambient Display

The display is the notification indicator — for better or worse

You may have heard folks talk about "Ambient Display" on the Nexus 6, with comparisons to Motorola's "Moto Display" that debuted on their 2013 product line. That's fine and dandy, because the two are pretty comparable (and Motorola built the Nexus 6). But I'm betting a good many of us have never used either, and aren't quite sure what all the hoopla is about.

We're going to break it down a bit so we all are on the same page and know a little more about it.

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