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3 years ago

The LG G2 design story

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LG talks about the design decisions and the process that went into the G2

The G2, and it's odd button arrangement, isn't going to suit everybody. But I think everyone has to admit that some thought went into the way the phone was built, and for better or for worse, LG wasn't afraid to try something different. We like different. That's how we get things like the Galaxy Note series, or a 7-inch Nexus tablet. You never know how well something will be received until you just do it.

The video posted after the break goes into the year long process of designing the G2, the initial prototypes that didn't cut it, as well as what all is involved to get such tiny bezels on a big bright screen. Anytime a manufacturer wants to let us in on any inside-baseball information, we love to take a look. I figure plenty of you would as well. Check it out after the break.

Source: LG on YouTube

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3 years ago

Motorola shipping seems to have ramped up, docks and dev units on their way to happy hands

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If you've ordered a Verizon dev unit, or one of the docking stations for the Moto X from Motorola.com, you'll want to check your order status. 

We're getting reports (as well as shipping notices of our own) that Verizon Moto X and Droid MAXX developer edition phones are shipping, and accessories like docks and cases are on the way as well. We've ordered a couple of docks, which shipped today, but our GSM developer edition phone is still waiting. Moto did mention there could be up to a 7-day lead time on those, though.

Here's hoping your stuff is on the way, so you can stop checking your orders out of frustration multiple times a day. And yes, when our stuff gets here we'll show you all you need to know about it!

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

AT&T strikes deal with Fon to share Wifi hotspots for travelers

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1GB of 'international Wifi' available for those paying for international data roaming

AT&T announced today that it has reached an agreement with international Wifi operator Fon to share Wifi hotspots between the two companies for travelers in the US and abroad. Fon, if you're not familiar, operates a network of thousands of Wifi access points in a network based on users sharing Wifi in popular locations. The deal will give AT&T customers access to all of Fon's Wifi locations, as well as offer Fon customers access to AT&T's 30,000 access points in the US.

In order to have access to the so-called "international Wifi" from AT&T, you'll need to be paying for at least 300MB of international data roaming for that month and use the AT&T Wifi International app (linked above). Even at that point, you'll only have access to 1GB of Wifi for the month — not much of a deal, but if it's included in your international roaming for no extra charge it's hard to complain.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

AT&T LG G2 review

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The Optimus tag has been replaced with cutting-edge hardware and a bold button layout

LG has been on a tear as of late, releasing phones that tick all the marks for hardware aficionados, while paring back their user interface slowly but surely. The G2 is the culmination of these efforts. It's currently the hardware king with the Snapdragon S800 CPU (though that will be changing soon enough) combined with a big screen and everything else Internet phone fans have a hankering for. But we've seen enough to know that it takes more than hardware to make a great phone.

The software is equally important. This is an area where LG has historically struggled, often adding too much of the wrong stuff to Android and delivering a product that nobody ever asked for. While we admire any company who thinks outside the box, everyone here has been waiting for LG to get it just right. A perfect phone is surely something that can never be, but the G2 comes close. Read on and see where the G2 excels, where it fails, and why the former outweighs the latter.

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3 years ago

Get moving, get healthy, get quantified - Talk Mobile

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Early on a smartphone accessory used to be something like a case or a holster, or maybe a Bluetooth headset if you were a real power user. But with increasingly powerful, efficient, and miniaturized sensors, memory, and processors, it's become possible for these accessories to become much more than that.

Our smartphones are no longer the only piece of connected technology we can carry with us everywhere we go. Fitness trackers and health monitors have exploded onto the market in recent years, as have sleep monitoring devices and a wide array of nutrition and medical apps and services. They're beginning to change how we live, taking data about our lives and spitting out quantifiable information that we can use to make better choices.

Or so they say. But can technology really help us in our exercise and enable us to be more fit? Are these nutrition apps and services good enough to do what they claim to do, or is it all in our heads? Can you get a more restful sleep with a connected wristband or clip-on monitor? And can all of this technology help us be healthier and make better medical decisions?

3 years ago

Retailer leak reveals Archos Gamepad 2

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We weren't overly impressed by Archos Gamepad tablet when we reviewed it back in April, but it seems there's a re-vamped successor in the works. Revealed in a leak by Hong Kong-based outlet HKTDC, the Archos Gamepad 2 sports a new, curvier design and re-worked internals too. There's an improved 1280x800 7-inch display, an unnamed 1.6GHz quad-core CPU and 2GB of RAM. Storage, too has been upgraded, with an optional 16GB model to be offered alongside the 8GB original, while the microSD slot has also made it across to the new model.

The retailer listing has since been removed, but in any case, we're guessing it won't be too long before we see an official announcement.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

FIFA 14 lands on Android

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Title arrives today on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Following Madden 25 last week, EA's leading soccer/football title FIFA 14 is now available on Android through Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Like the console version, FIFA features a wealth of real-world clubs, tournaments and players, as well as commentary in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. EA's Football Club Match Day feature also lets you play along with real-world fixtures from this year's leagues, including real-time updates of injuries and suspensions.

Like Madden, the new FIFA follows a "freemium" pricing model — there's no charge to download the app, but you'll pay real money for in-game stuff. As we've come to expect from big-name EA games, the graphics are slick and the controls work reasonably well too.

But you're also looking at a pretty big download for FIFA 14 — 1.35GB in fact, so you might want to check your internal storage before you download. Grab it from Google Play using the button above — which will get you a free gold premium pack — or head on over to Amazon to pick it up from them.

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3 years ago

One Mini supply chain issues reportedly hit HTC

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'Casing shortage' affecting HTC's ability to meet demand for smaller handset, reports Reuters

Supply chain problems may add to HTC's difficulties this quarter, if a recent report from Reuters is accurate. The news agency reports via "sources familiar with the matter," that the Taiwanese manufacturer is facing shortages of the HTC One Mini's aluminum casing due to "design difficulties."

The report states that HTC is having difficulties meeting "consumer and telecom demand" for the 4.3-inch handset, which launched earlier this summer, although analyst estimates point to just 200,000 or so One Minis being shipped each month.

The reported difficulties come at an already difficult time for the smartphone maker, amid falling profits and recent layoffs at the firm's American wing.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1.3 stable builds now rolling out

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Final planned 10.1 release adds CyanogenMod Account support​

Even as Cyanogen, Inc. prepares its new installer and partnership with Chinese manufacturer Oppo, it's still hard at work bringing stable CM builds to other devices. Today CyanogenMod 10.1.3 has reached stable status, with builds now available through get.cm — at the time of writing a wide variety of phones and tablets have 10.1.3 builds available, so you'll want to check the site to see if it's out for your device.

In a Google+ post, the Cyanogen team says this is the final planned release for CM 10.1, as the move ahead with the Android 4.3-based CM 10.2 and eventually Android 4.4 Kit Kat-based firmware, presumably CM 11. CyanogenMod account functionality has also been activated in version 10.1.3, allowing you to track your phone if it's lost or stolen. 

Source: +CyanogenMod; Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets another maintenance update

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Both the small maintenance update and larger cumulative update are rolling out OTA

For a company that is largely untested when it comes to providing updates to Android devices, Hisense seems to be looking after its Sero 7 Pro pretty well. Another update, albeit an extremely small one, should be rolling out to nearly all users by now. For those that missed past updates, a cumulative update of 330.6 MB will be available for you to download. For those already on Build number P756.6.02.11.00, the update comes in at a scant 1.7 MB. The latest Build number is now P756.6.02.11.00, with no other obvious software differences in sight.

This update does not change the Android version number, which is still the same one that the Sero 7 Pro had out of the box — Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. With Android 4.4 just around the corner, one has to wonder what Hisense's plans are for the future of this tablet's software.

Thanks, Joshua!

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3 years ago

Samsung unveils ISOCELL image sensors for 'premium' mobile devices

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30 percent less electrical noise will mean better low light pictures

Tonight Samsung has announced their new imaging sensor technology, named ISOCELL. They say that ISOCELL will substantially increase light sensitivity by "controlling the absorption of electrons", which results in better colors in low light. We're not so sure such a thing is even possible, but they do explain things a little bit.

Unlike BSI (Back Side Illumination), which Samsung says is actually pretty limited with how much it can affect your pictures in low light, ISOCELL has a barrier between each pixel. This will reduce electrical crosstalk by up to 30 percent, and as a side benefit allows a wider field of light absorption so the camera module can actually be thinner.

The first part to use this new tech is the 8MP S5K4H5YB, which is making the rounds to hardware partners right about now. We should see the sensors in high-end devices in Q4 of this year.

Sounds interesting, even under all the PR speak. The press announcement is after the break for those interested in a little reading.

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3 years ago

How to: Set up Android Device Manager to lock and wipe your phone

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Google makes remotely managing and wiping your device easy and effective

Back at the beginning of August Google unveiled a new service called "Android Device Manager" that let you locate and remotely wipe your phones and tablets, and now the service is getting a some much-needed refinement. Today Google updated ADM to include options to apply and change lock screen PINs and passwords, adding to the nuclear option of remote wiping the device completely.

Just as we covered when the service launched, enabling ADM is extremely easy. To get started, go to google.com/android/devicemanager on your computer and go through your list of devices that are connected to your Google account. Once there, you can send a notification to the device you want to enable remote password application and wiping on, and you'll be just a few steps away from a much more secure phone.

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3 years ago

The AT&T LG G2 has a familiar face on board - Carrier IQ

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Say hello to my little friend

Yep. That's exactly what it looks like — Carrier IQ running on AT&T's new LG G2. Robstunner in our forums was poking around on his new G2, as Android users are prone to do, and found this lurking there, like the monster under the bed. Unless you're rooted, you're not going to be able to get it off or stop it from doing its business, either.

I'm not going to tell you how to feel about this one. Carrier IQ — when correctly implemented — is no more invasive than all the other loggers and system trackers manufacturers and carriers install on every phone. But I'm not about to suggest that this makes it OK. That's for you to decide. 

My only suggestion if you want to be free of all this sort of hidden software is to use a burner Tracfone. Comments are open, have at it.

Source: G2 Forums

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3 years ago

Motorola posts full list of T-Mobile Moto X update changes

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Improvements to camera, touchless control and call quality among others

We got word earlier today that T-Mobile's version of the Moto X was receiving an OTA that above all fixed some of the camera woes in the release software, and now Motorola has a full list of changes on its support website. The update to software version 139.12.57.ghost_row.Retail.en.US specifically calls out a few different camera improvements: auto-white balance, exposure, color accuracy, focus time and camera switching have all received positive tweaks.

Camera aside, Moto X users should see improvements to Touchless Control to increase responsiveness and training for the "Ok, Google Now" command. The Motorola Migrate feature for transferring data from your old phone has received a speed bump, voice quality has improved and two bugs have been fixed in Moto Care and Moto Assist driving mode.

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3 years ago

Using Quick Memo for notes and annotations on the LG G2

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Jot a simple note or circle and clip a portion of your screen

Along with other nifty software features like Slide Aside and QSlide, LG has included an app called Quick Memo on the G2 that makes it simple to annotate screenshots and write notes with just one tap. You can access Quick Memo simply from the notification bar quick settings menu, where by default it is in the leftmost position. Tap it and you'll be taken to a simple interface that lets you write on the screen with a variety of drawing tools.

By default Quick Memo takes a screenshot of whatever app or home screen you were on when launching it and lets you draw on top of it, but you can also toggle over to a plain old notepad if you'd prefer. You can select between four different pen tip styles or a snipping tool as well as 16 different colors for the pens. Of course you don't have access to a stylus for precise input like you would on a Galaxy Note 3, but for quick jots your finger does just fine.

Once you've drawn your next masterpiece or circled an interesting portion of a web page, you can instantly share the image out to any app in your sharing menu that can handle pictures. You can also choose to save the note to your Notebook app or into your Gallery for use later. Quick Memo is a simple tool that will be useful for those who think and remember things visually, and can easily be hidden for those who don't. Stick with us after the break for a quick video showing off Quick Memo on the LG G2.

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