Headlines

4 days ago

First trailer for the new Hunger Games movie will premiere first on Samsung Galaxy Tab S

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Samsung has teamed up with Lionsgate to announce that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 will see its first official trailer premiere on Galaxy Tab S hardware. The trailer will go live on July 25 at the Samsung Galaxy Experience during Comic-Con, presented by cast members from the popular movie. Fans will be able to enjoy the trailer outside of the massive convention too, heading down to a local Best Buy or downloading the movie pack app for Android.

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4 days ago

Amazon launches Kindle Unlimited, a new ebook rental service for $9.99 a month

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Amazon Kindle App

Amazon has today announced a new ebook rental service called Kindle Unlimited. The new service enables consumers to choose from over 600,000 books, listen to thousands of audiobooks from Audible and more for just $9.99 a month. Think of it as a music streaming package, but for books with Amazon.

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4 days ago

Sky subscribers can now manage their account on the go with new Android app

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If you are a subscriber of UK broadcaster Sky, you'll now be able to manage your account while on the move with the company's latest Android offering. Titled Sky Service, the app enables you to get into account areas, find help for TV, broadband and phones services, as well as easy access to the service status checker. It's a must-have for anyone with a Sky package.

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4 days ago

LG G3 s (aka Beat) to be priced at €349 in Europe, launching next month

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It was only yesterday when LG announced the Beat / G3 s, which caters for consumers looking for a mid-range Android smartphone. Today, LG Germany revealed that the new mobile phone will set purchases back €349. The G3 Beat and "G3 s" are the same phone — those in Asia will get the G3 Beat and Europe will receive the "LG G3 s". It's also stated by LG Germany that the G3 s will launch sometime in August, presumably alongside other nearby markets.

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4 days ago

Samsung managers voluntarily return part of bonuses prior to quarterly report

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Almost 200 Samsung managers have opted to voluntarily return a quarter of their first-half bonuses in a bid to help mitigate the upcoming quarterly report, which will show a decline in profits and consumer demand. Samsung itself is facing some issues with slowing market growth and heightened levels of competition from the industry as a whole, leading to the company releasing an operating profit guidance falling short of analysts' predictions.

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4 days ago

Google Maps adds in-navigation voice control, elevation info for bicyclists

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Voice in Google Maps

Google Maps is receiving an update to version 8.2 today, with a solid set of new features including in-navigation voice control, elevation change information for bicyclists and faster access to voice input from the main maps screen. The biggest change in this latest version is the ability to give Google Maps voice controls while you're navigating, something that hands-free driving advocates (and just frequent drivers) will be a fan of. While navigating you'll now see a small microphone button in the bottom left corner of the interface, which you can tap and then give commands to the phone with.

We've found a few different actions you can take:

  • How is traffic ahead?
  • Show route overview
  • What's my next turn?
  • Show alternate routes
  • When will I get there?
  • What is my next turn?
  • Navigate to [place]

After playing around with it the system doesn't seem too terribly smart just yet — for example you can't say "hide traffic" to remove the traffic display, or make other seemingly-natural language requests that deviate from the scripted queries. There also doesn't seem to be a completely hands-free wakeup phrase such as "OK, Google" that we're all used to. For now you're tapping the on-screen button, but that's miles ahead of performing several taps just to see what's coming up on the map.

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4 days ago

Amazon's Fire Phone ad highlights Prime, little kids using it like adults

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As we close in on a week until the Amazon Fire Phone becomes available, Amazon has just released its first 30-second ad for the product. Building on the messaging that was put in the launch event of the Fire Phone, the short ad shows two children using the phone and talking up a few features to their older counterparts who don't yet know about the device. "It comes with Amazon Prime — tons of stuff, for no extra charge," the little girl says convincingly after going through her library of apps and content on the phone.

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4 days ago

Sony gives Xperia Z2 a minor update

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It looks like owners of the Xperia Z2 are starting to notice a minor firmware update being pushed out to them from Sony. The firmware version number is 17.1.2.A.0.314. Though the update is rolling out now, it doesn't bring the latest Android 4.4.4 to the table as it keeps the Xperia Z2 at Android 4.4.2.

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4 days ago

Motorola soak test brings Android 4.4.4 to Verizon Moto X

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Moto X owners on Verizon Wireless are beginning to receive soak test email notices. We've been tipped by loyal Android Central readers that these emails are beginning to go out, though no specifics were mentioned on what the soak tests will be for we are guessing that an update to Android 4.4.4 KitKat is imminent.

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4 days ago

Kyocera's Sapphire Shield will let Android phones take on the iPhone 6 in durability

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It's no secret now that Apple's iPhone 6 is rumored to come with a resilient and durable synthetic sapphire glass screen, though Apple may not be the only one to release a scratch- and shatter-resistant phone. Thanks to Kyocera's work on what is being branded as Sapphire Shield, various other Android OEMs may be able to source synthetic sapphire glass for their phone's screen as well.

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