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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini video walkthrough

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Miniaturized marvel or just another mid-ranger? We guide you through Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini

It wasn't long ago that a smartphone with a 4.3-inch display was considered unusually large — unwieldy, even. But as high-end screens surpass the five-inch mark, we're increasingly seeing 4 to 4.5-inch models dominating the mid-range space, aimed at those who want a premium handset in a smaller form factor.

The Galaxy S4 Mini is one such device, sharing its name, design and much of its software with Samsung's current flagship. It's missing a few of the flashier, heavily-advertised features of the full-sized S4, but the core experience is there all the same, and it's just as speedy as its big brother.

This year Samsung is among the first to market with its Galaxy S4 Mini, but there's every indication that it'll soon be joined by rival "minis" from HTC and Motorola. So is the GS4 Mini worthy of its name, or do niggling issues with the screen and internal storage get in the way?

Check out our video walkthrough after the break.

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3 years ago

Eric Schmidt with a Moto X

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Commence freak-out, everyone! Here's Google Chairman Eric Schmidt holding the unannounced-but-hardly-a-secret Moto X at the Sun Valley Conference "Camp for billionaires." You can see that's Schmidt on the right, holding the phone. And that's the phone on the left, held up to Schmidt's right ear.

Also note the perfect posture Schmidt is employing. Also known as the Graves Method, this provides the perfect amount of control while holding a smartphone. Thumb positioned properly along one edge of the device, with index finger at the recommended 3 degrees off vertical. This gives quick access to what has quickly become the most overhyped phone since the last overhyped phone.

Source: Reuters; More in our Moto X forums

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3 years ago

What to do before giving away or selling your Android phone or tablet

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Before parting with any Android device, review this hardware and software checklist

With the ever-growing Android market, more and more people are buying and selling Android phones and tablets every day. Some people — like myself — depend on the value of their used devices to purchase the latest and greatest. But before shipping that phone or tablet off to its new owner, it is vital to make sure everything important has been removed.

The top concern for many folks in this position is that of privacy protection. Personal information like phone numbers, emails, and compromising pictures are things nobody wants falling into the wrong hands. It's also a good idea not to send any "extras" along with the device, like any one of the cards (microSD, SIM, etc.) that could be hiding in various nooks and crannies of any Android phone or tablet.

Of course, before removing any hardware or erasing any data, you'll want to backup the important things to keep or transfer to another device. Whether it be applications, music, or family photos, it needs to be correctly copied over to removable storage on the device itself or to a personal computer.

Let's get started.

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3 years ago

Audible receives major interface overhaul in latest update

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Not a single piece of the app left untouched, bringing the it up to modern design standards

Users of the Audible for Android app are in for a treat tonight with a complete interface design overhaul update pushing out through the Play Store. Previously a very functional but also clearly dated app, Audible has completely moved into the modern design era with a new interface that relies on tabs, proper use of the action bar and smooth interface movement all around. The app keeps a familiar grey, black and orange color scheme, but improves every bit of functionality, adds in a few new features and improves stability.

It seems as though not a single piece of the app was left untouched, and we have to hand it to Audible for making the necessary improvements to bring the app up to par with modern standards. You can grab a download or update of the latest version from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Vine adds new channels, capture tools and revining

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Improved capture and sharing experience follow in the footsteps of Instagram

The initial popularity of Vine on Android may be hit-or-miss, but updates with new functionality just keep coming -- this time with improved capture tools and new ways to manage sharing. First up are new improvements to creating Vines, which in addition to front-facing camera support now includes the option to show a viewfinder grid, manage auto-focus and add a "ghost" effect to your video. The main overflow menu for the app also now includes a global "mute" switch (thank you!).

On the content side, users can now browse and submit posts to 15 new channels in the app, and can easily "revine" (share) posts to your own stream. The update also includes a "fast capture" widget, which lets you jump straight into the capture mode of Vine to catch those short-notice moments.

You can grab the Vine update from the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Boost Mobile's HTC One SV gets its Jelly Bean update

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Ladies and gentlemen, welcome another phone into the Jelly Bean club. Boost Mobile's HTC One SV is currently getting its update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with Sense 4+ thrown in for good measure. 

The update weighs in at a little more than 400 megabytes, so you'll probably not want to do this without Wifi. In addition to the OS update, you'll get Google Wallet and Google Shopper, and a "Connection Optimizer."

Boost tells us the udpate will be available through July 17, so get to it.

Thanks to BB_BMore in our One SV forums!

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3 years ago

Chrome OS stable updated to version 28 with improvements to Files, notifications and Office Viewer

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New notifications for several apps, full-screen 'Immersive Mode' and 

Google has just released a large update to the stable channel of Chrome OS to version 28.0.1500.68, which includes lots of nifty features and purported performance improvements. First up are the user-facing features, which include a newly designed Files app that now gives access to Shared and Recent files from Google drive, as well as new notification pop-ups for Hangouts, Gmail, screenshots and others. Google has also updated the Chrome Office Viewer to make handling of Microsoft Office documents just a little easier. If you decide to dive into chrome://flags, the latest version also offers an "Immersive Mode" which hides more of the browser chrome and gives a full-screen experience.

Under the hood, version 28 brings the new "Blink" rendering engine, which supposedly speeds up browser performance but offered no distinguishable performance change on our Chromebook Pixel. Speaking of the Pixel, you will now see a visual indicator of touch screen input when clicking on a link, which can be useful for non-touch-optimized sites.

Overall this update brings a tightening of the screws around several different areas of Chrome OS, with lots of little tweaks that make living in the browser just a little easier and better performing. Hang around after the break for several screenshots of the new features in action.

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3 years ago

Google Play highlights photography with free eBook, notable apps

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Free eBook and eight great apps to get new 'shutter bugs' started with photography

As it regularly does, Google Play is highlighting a specific subject with a content promotion and this time the focus is on photography. This week's focus is kicking off with a free eBook from the Play Store -- "Android Photography" by Colby Brown is a 104 page book focusing (pun, I know) on the basics of controlling your phone's camera, which settings to use and how to shoot in different situations.

The book also gives tips on which third-party apps to use to help your photography skills, and Google Play is helping out by offering a full list of popular apps for "shutter bugs". Popular apps like 500px and Camera Zoom FX make it into this list of 8 apps focused on viewing and taking photos.

When you go to "purchase" the book from the Play Store at the link above, don't be alarmed if you're asked to enter your Google Wallet information or get GW set up, it's a necessary process for having the book linked to your account. Happy shooting!

More: 'App Focus: Photography' | 'Android Photography' by Colby Brown

Android Central Photography Forums

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3 years ago

Verizon roadmap shows potential launch dates for HTC One, Moto X

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August to see several device launches; new 'Droid' devices nowhere to be seen

Right on the heels of the latest Moto X device leaks, a new roadmap from Verizon may have just revealed the launch dates for both it and the HTC One on Big Red. According to a purported "Go To Market" roadmap obtained by PhoneArena, the carrier will finally see the previously-confirmed HTC One on August first, with the upcoming flagship Moto X hitting a few weeks later on August 23rd.

While it's a fashionably late appearance for the One on Verizon when compared to the other carriers, an August 23rd launch of the Moto X could put it right in line with the other three if current launch date rumors hold true. As for the expected launch of multiple new "Droid" devices, this roadmap doesn't give us any indication of their release windows.

It looks like Verizon may be in for an important month of August.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Sprint announces new unlimited plans, 'Unlimited Guarantee'

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'Unlimited, My Way' and 'My All-In' plans available starting tomorrow

As a possible reaction to the sweeping changes Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have been making to their plan structure over the last year, Sprint is introducing two new kinds of plans and what it calls an "Unlimited Guarantee". First up is a new plan structure called "Unlimited, My Way", which similarly to other family and "shared" plans lets you build out a plan for multiple people, saving on additional lines all the way up to 10 per account. While the base price per line isn't yet detailed, the plans will offer unlimited data for $30 per month per line, or a cheaper $20 per month option for just 1GB of data. Unlimited, My Way plans can add mobile hotspot in 1GB increments for $10 per month as well.

On the individual side, a new "My All-In" plan gives a single line of service with unlimited talk (to any phone), unlimited text and unlimited data with 5GB of mobile hotspot for $110 per month. This plan matches its current highest-end unlimited plan, but now throws in the mobile hotspot data at no additional charge. Both My All-In and Unlimited, My Way plans include unlimited calling to any phone or number -- wireline or wireless -- which is an improvement from previous plans that would only offer unlimited calls to mobile numbers.

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3 years ago

Sprinkle Islands launches for $1.99 as a worthy successor to the original

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New gameplay mechanics through 48 all-new levels hit Google Play

Sprinkle is an extremely popular game that has been around since 2011 (yes, that long), and today developer Mediocre has finally released a much-anticipated follow up title: Sprinkle Islands. Known more recently for releasing the also-popular game Granny Smith, the developers haven't been asleep at the wheel when it comes to a sequel to Sprinkle. Islands picks up where the original game left off, adding new game mechanics and improved graphics that were already top-of-the-line.

The latest iteration of Sprinkle hits Google Play today, so let's take a little deeper look at the game after the break.

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3 years ago

Pacific Rim game launches in Play Store ahead of movie release

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Game offers exclusive in-depth look at characters not fully revealed by the movie

Capitalizing on launching the same week as the feature film from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, Pacific Rim the game is making its way to Android today for $4.99. The game pulls heavily from the movie in terms of characters, plot and art but keeps things mobile-friendly with a head-to-head fighting style of game. The game offers both a "Story Mode" with 30 levels and "Survival Mode" for extended play, with distinct challenges in each. As you move through the game, you can customize up to five different characters with upgradeable skills and armor as you unlock different achievements.

You can watch a trailer for the game above, and grab a download of Pacific Rim from the Play Store link at the top of this post. Pacific Rim the movie is set to be released in U.S. theaters tomorrow.

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3 years ago

Yet another possible Moto X photo leaks

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Photo shows what appears to be a matte plastic backing 

Despite the lack of any official reveal, we've seen plenty of the phone many are assuming to be Motorola's Moto X. The rear of the device has been allegedly caught on camera again, but it's not so colorful this time around. The camera lens, flash, 3.5mm headphone jack, and recessed Motorola logo are consistent with previous rear shell photos. The speaker grill, composed of three rows of holes, also looks similar, except it is on the opposite side of the camera lens in this photo. From this angle, we can also see what looks like a second microphone next to the headphone jack.

The above photo comes out of China, and in recent months we've also seen video of what might be the Moto X from Vietnam. Carrier-specific versions of the phone are also making the rounds, with AT&T and Sprint varieties having come to light.

With a phone this important to Motorola, we'll be watching with interest to see how things unravel in the coming weeks and months.

Source: Phone Arena

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3 years ago

Kyocera Hydro Edge coming to Sprint and Boost Mobile this month

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Coming to Sprint July 19 and Boost Mobile July 23

We first spotted the successor to the Kyocera Hydro at CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas a few months back. Now, the Kyocera Hydro Edge has become official, joining the underwater leagues of such phones as the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and Sony Xperia Z. As its name would suggest, the Hydro Edge was made for water resistance — up to 3.28 feet in water for 30 minutes to be exact.

On Sprint, the Hydro Edge is available on new lines and eligible upgrades with two-year service agreements for $19.99 before tax after a $50 mail-in-rebate (which comes in the form of a reward card). Boost Mobile subscribers will have to shell out more up front since they are no-contract customers, with the total coming to $149.99 before tax. The Hydro Edge is the first phone to ever be available for pre-order on Boost Mobile.

For more, see our Kyocera Hydro Edge hands-on. We've got official specs after the break

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3 years ago

Follow full coverage of Nokia's Lumia 1020 on Windows Phone Central

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2013 is, among other things, the year of camera-centric smartphones. On the Android side, we've already witnessed the launch of the Galaxy S4 Zoom, and Sony is rumored to be joining the cameraphone party later in the year with the Xperia i1 "Honami."

But today all eyes are on Nokia in New York City, with its announcement of the Windows Phone-powered Lumia 1020. Rumors — and a number of reliable leaks — suggest it'll pack a massive 41-megapixel PureView sensor with advanced optics.

Our friends over at Windows Phone Central are live from NYC today with full coverage of all Nokia's announcements, so check the link below for all the details as they emerge. 

More: Nokia Lumia 1020 event liveblog on Windows Phone Central

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