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3 days ago

How to extend your Android Wear battery life

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All the wires

Use these tips to get the most out of that little block of polymer

If you picked up an Android Wear watch, or know someone who picked one up, or just listen to what people are saying on the Internet, you know that battery life is a big issue for many new watch owners. The need for frequent charging combined with a tiny proprietary charging cradle to keep track of isn't the best experience in the world. Never mind the fact that finding a second charger is a bit like pulling hens teeth, so you have to take it with you or be at the same spot every time you want to top things up.

We've been testing different things over the past couple of weeks, and now we can stretch things out a bit further, and in a pinch can go two full days without the watch meeting the charger. Everyone uses their watch in different ways, but using these tips will keep your watch on your wrist — and off the cord — longer.

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3 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: Have a listen ...

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Android Central

I'll be perfectly honest, I walked into our most recent podcast not expecting all that much. We're still waiting on Motorola to announce its new phone and release the Moto 360. Yeah, the Amazon Fire Phone is out, but most of the hard-core folks don't want to hear about it, and while I think it's got a lot of interesting things going on with it, it's probably not a phone I'd actually recommend. What we were going to talk about, then?

But an hour and a half later that preconceived notion was proven completely wrong. Nearly 90 full minutes of thoughtful and dynamic conversation about the Fire Phone. And about display technology and what that actually means for us as end users. And the Android L release and what it might mean for design as well as function in conjunction with the desires of HTC and Samsung and others. And yet another week full of engaging questions from the folks listening live, who continue to impress. The Hangouts Q&A feature may be one of my favorite additions to the podcast, actually.

And I've got a few more ideas that we'll try to implement in the coming weeks.Podcasts are in no way dead. Hell, they're still just getting started. If you've yet to give ours a go, I invite you to take a listen to this week's episode. And hit up our podcast page for all the different ways to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

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3 days ago

This ADB Console Windows app makes data communication with your phone quick and easy

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Use ADB and Fastboot commands with no extensive setup

I know plenty of us are hardcore phone hackers who actually enjoy installing the Android SDK and tinkering with the command console. I also know that there are even more people who just need to push a file or use Fastboot every now and then and don't want to mess with installing the SDK and monkeying around with the system PATH or files. If you're part of the latter group, you're going to love this.

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4 days ago

Yahoo News Digest review

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Yahoo News Digest

News Digest is another strong Android app from Yahoo that has popped up in some of their other apps in particularly useful places. As the name suggests, News Digest hauls in the day's top stories from recognized sources and in major topic areas.

Every story pulls on multiple sources and provides embedded videos and relevant tweets. There are both tablet and smartphone-optimized apps that serves up the top eight stories in the morning and eight in the evening.

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4 days ago

How to build your own Bluetooth streaming home audio system

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DIY Bluetooth audio streamer

Get superior audio quality without spending a ton of money

There are a lot of ways to stream music at home. Dedicated Bluetooth speakers, like the Supertooth Disco or Jawbone Jambox work well, but because they are designed for portability they don't sound all that great. At home, the Chromecast is cheap and easy if you already have a home A/V system to distribute the music, or you can splurge and pick up a Sonos for better sound and features like multi-room broadcasting. But, as we all know, a DIY junkie always has his or her eyes open for something better.

I've got an alternative that lets you not only stream music from your Android (or any portable device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 or higher with A2DP) or computer, but will sound as good as you want it to sound, determined on how much you want to spend on speakers. Realistically, you can spend $200 and have the very best audio possible while streaming over Bluetooth, or you can spend $100 and have something that sounds really good and the satisfaction that you did it yourself.

And it's really easy to set up once you figure out which parts to buy.

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4 days ago

How to change your location settings in Android

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Android location

Sometimes it's best to hide your location in Android

ACU- SecurityWhen you first set up your Android smartphone you'll be asked about location services, and whether you want the phone to use them. Google has its own services, and sometimes your carrier will have its own that you'll need to approve as well.

That's just part of the deal, though. There actually are a few other options for location services in Android. And they can all affect your security.

Let's take a quick look.

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4 days ago

Best Android apps and games of the week

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Modern Combat 5 for Android

We're shuffling around our usual weekly app round-up format. Normally we'd harangue all of the AC editors to submit their favorite apps before the weekend, and though that usually did the trick, we think we can do better. Thanks to Newsroom, I can spend a lot more time on apps and take the reins of the weekly roundup, letting the AC editors handle helpful how-tos, device reviews, editorials, and other top-shelf content.

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4 days ago

Blink aims for the security camera trifecta: wireless, affordable, and long-lasting

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A new Kickstarter project, Blink, is mixing up the standard home security camera model by going truly wireless. There are plenty of home security systems out there with "wireless" cameras, but that wireless is only in the transmission of data — they still need to be wired up for power. Blink, however, is touted as having a year's worth of battery inside. And unlike other systems which hook into a central hub, Blink ties straight into your Wi-Fi network and communicates to their cloud service and an app on your phone (with plans for iOS and Android).

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4 days ago

Review 17: Godzilla, Pacific Rim, and Kaiju!

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Review is like app or game coverage but for movie series, television shows, comic books, and other geeky entertainment. It's great stuff you can watch and enjoy on your Android phone or tablet or Chromecast! On this week's episode Dave, Georgia, and Rene are joined by Peter Cohen and Anthony Casella to talk Kaiju — giant Japanese monster movies! From Godzilla to Jurassic Park to Godzilla Cloverfield to Pacific Rim to… Godzilla!

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4 days ago

U.S. House clears legislation to make unlocking cellphones legal

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Although most people generally don't think of it when they go to unlock their cellphone for another carrier, the process of doing so in the U.S. has been a topic of much debate involving consumers, the House of Representatives, and even the President of the United States.

For those unfamiliar, service providers like AT&T and Verizon typically lock their devices so they can only be used with their service. If unlocked, phones can be taken over to other carriers. This is hugely important for promoting healthy competition and empowering consumer choice, not to mention being very useful for travel.

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