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2 weeks ago

Stitcher on Android Auto: Not my first choice for an in-car podcatcher

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Stitcher on Android Auto

Stitcher brings a world of podcasts to your car, and also a couple of headaches.

Android Auto

Podcasts have seen a pretty major resurgence over the past few years — with the Android Central Podcast leading the way, no doubt — and so it's not a huge surprise that podcatchers are among the first apps to appear on Android Auto. We've already taken a look at a couple — Pocket Casts and TuneIn Radio (the latter is mostly an Internet radio app but also does podcasts). And now it's time to take a look at another favorite — Stitcher.

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2 weeks ago

What is an 'unlocked' phone? (And why do I care?)

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Unlocked phones

Is my phone's bootloader unlocked? Is it SIM unlocked? What's the difference, and why is any of this important?

Unlocked. It's a word you'll see used a lot on websites about mobile technology, and most people writing about it will be sure to let you know that it is a good thing™. And it is (See? told 'ya). But unlocked can mean different things — that are all good things — depending on what, exactly, we're talking about.

Maybe you're wondering about being able to unlock the bootloader on the phone you want to buy next. Or maybe you'll need to SIM unlock your phone so you can take that trip abroad and not pay AT&T ten-cents a minute and a handful of dollars each time you check your email. Both are important, and we're going to talk about the differences.

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2 weeks ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Weber Grills, SignalCheck, MAYDAY 2! and more

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Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 weeks ago

HTC One M9 photo comparison: Before and after the latest firmware update

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HTC One M9 in silver and grey

The camera experience isn't the strongest feature of the One M9, but HTC hopes that updates are making it better.

European versions of the HTC One M9 received a pretty substantial update at the start of June that claimed to improve many aspects of the phone, most importantly in the camera department. The fixes centered around better automatic exposure to keep photos in bright environments from getting washed out, while also improving low light shots by cutting back on noise and blur. Fringe cases where green or yellow hues were showing up on photos in harsh conditions have also supposedly been addressed.

Understanding the limits of how much can really change with a single update, we found it worthwhile to do some side-by-side comparisons between an updated One M9 and another device that has yet to receive the update, and see how the photos compared. This is what we found, and what you can expect to see on your M9 once it receives the update.

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2 weeks ago

The best gadgets of the week for June 21

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We're going to try out a new series where we highlight the latest connected devices and accessories. Everything here has recently gone on sale for the first time, or is shipping in the near future. These will span Bluetooth accessories, connected home devices, and anything else that isn't a phone or tablet, but plays nice with them.

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2 weeks ago

From the Editor's Desk: Left brain, right brain ...

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I'm spending the first hour or so of Father's Day in the usual position — hunched over a keyboard while at least one of my kids is buried in a tablet. I know that's not the best way for either of us to spend a Sunday morning. But it's also familiar. And like all things in moderation, it's probably not too bad for either of us. Kid No. 1 is fixated on her screen, playing some awful freemium game, no doubt. (I do have her at least give me a cursory look at what she's playing. But after a while all these crap games tend to look alike.)

In the time it's taken me to write this, she's since retreated to her room, face now buried in phone. I can summon her more quickly over Google Hangouts than I can by voice.

These are first-world parenting problems, for sure. Failure? Success? Both, I think. And I'll take it. Happy Father's Day.

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2 weeks ago

Google Fit Integration, and why you want it

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A central point for your fitness data has arrived.

Fitness apps have been around for years, showing us how to workout more efficiently and helping us to track everything from steps to calories burned. Google wants in on the action, to show us what fitness data should do. Google Fit is the solutions the company have some up with so far, designed mostly to be a central hub for all sorts of health-related data points. We've been playing with the app for a few weeks now, and have the details you need before deciding if Google Fit is right for you.

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2 weeks ago

Alcatel OneTouch is now the Official Smartphone Partner of the Toronto FC

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Alcatel OneTouch is now the new Official Smartphone Partner of the Toronto FC, a Canadian-based soccer club.

With this new partnership, Alcatel OneTouch will focus on pre-game fan experiences, social and digital media campaigns, in-game brand advertising and much more. The deal is a multi-year partnership, and for Alcatel it is the first of its kind as it shows the company's major brand investment in Canada.

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2 weeks ago

Smart Cleaning on the LG G4 - what is it, and do you need it?

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LG G4 Smart Cleaning

Know what is going to happen before you tap that button, or you might regret it.

There are a lot of tools and utilities in the LG G4's settings pages. Some are simple, and the same you would see in any other Android phone or tablet, while others require a bit of thinking before you go and tap on buttons. Smart Cleaning is one of the latter.

The idea is a good one. You will likely have files on your storage that you don't want or need, and Smart Cleaning is a one-touch solution to get rid of a few of them. But there is also the potential to delete things you don't want deleted, like camera raw files and even applications you haven't used recently. Let's take a look at exactly what Smart Cleaning does when you tap the button.

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2 weeks ago

Hands-on with the Nextbook Ares 8

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The Nextbook Ares 8 is a $78 tablet that runs Android 5.0, but at less than $100 is it even worth a look?

Nextbook, a company that makes affordable Android and Windows tablets, has some relatively new Android based tablets available, and we got to see what it was all about.

In the past, it was a general rule to avoid any cheap Android device, but over the past year things have started changing. We have seen more and more affordable Android devices that are worth checking out, and it appears as though that trend may be moving towards tablets as well.

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2 weeks ago

Render of the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 surfaces, shows off possible touchscreen

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Renders have appeared online for what could be the Xiaomi Mi Band 2, and this year it may feature a touchscreen as well.

Xiaomi has had stunning success with its Mi Band fitness tracker, having already shipped more than 6 million of these $15 units. The Mi Band was originally released back in July 2014, nearly a year ago, so it would make sense that the company is already working on, or close to releasing, a successor for it. New renders have surfaced, showing off what could be the Mi Band 2.

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2 weeks ago

2013 Moto X Android 5.1 update begins rolling out in the U.S., Brazil, and Canada

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2013 Moto X owners, your wait is finally over: Android 5.1 Lollipop is on its way.

Motorola's David Schuster once again took to Google Plus today to announce that the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the 2013 Moto X is now rolling out for U.S. and Brazil retail devices, along with the Rogers variant in Canada.

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 241: Phil's Fault

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Audio-only stream below

On this week's show — we break down the Great Samsung Keyboard Exploit Of 2015 That You Probably Don't Really Need To Worry About, check in on Jerry's time with the, erm, Pebble Time, weigh in on the awfully named Dell Venue 10 7000 Series, and we answer more of your questions live on air!

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2 weeks ago

Google to honor requests to remove 'revenge porn' from search results

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Google is taking giving users an option to remove "revenge porn" from search results.

Google has announced that it is taking a stance against revenge porn in its search results. The search giant is implementing a way for victims to request that explicit images shared without their consent be removed from search results.

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2 weeks ago

Amazon launches Lollipop-based Fire OS 5 Developer Preview

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Amazon is giving app makers an early look at the company's next operating system update with the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview.

Amazon will likely launch some new versions of its Fire HD tablets later this year, and it's already preparing for that day with the release of the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview.

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