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3 years ago

Circuitry Live Wallpaper updated - HOLO everywhere

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The full Holo color palette and new settings make the Circuitry Live Wallpaper update feel like an all-new app

One of my favorite live wallpaper applications has received a big update, and it's a veritable HOLOVERLOAD. The Circuitry Live Wallpaper app as an all new design and look, with tons of new settings, and still delivers that same cool electro-geek look of ICs and circuit traces to your phones screen. 

It's one of those live wallpapers that can deliver a lot of motion and animation to your home screen without killing your battery or grinding your phone to a halt, and everyone loves those. The difference is, now during the set-up you've got a slew of options and the full HOLO color palette to choose from. I still prefer grey on black, but the new background colors, patterns and shades combined with the 16 HOLO-color component and circuit choices make it look and feel like an all new application. 

There's a new product video after the break so you can see exactly what some of these colors look like, and you can grab the app ($1.99, Android 4.0 and higher) or the update at the Google Play link above. 

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3 years ago

Talk Mobile Carrier Week Recap: The best things you said

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Talk Mobile Carriers Week was one of our most contentious weeks of Talk Mobile yet, as carrier tend to be such a subject. We dove right in, tackling what carriers are doing right, what they're doing wrong, and how we can fix it all. Really it all boiled down to "give me the phones I want, don't make me pay too much for them, and give me my data free of encumbrances." Is that really too much to ask?

3 years ago

Moto X best feature - Active Display

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Android Central member GMC MaXx writes in our Moto X forums (via the Android Central app, no less):

Not pushing a button to see the time doesn't seem like a big deal, but holy cow, it's awesome!

On my Galaxy Nexus I would push the button countless times a day just to see if I missed any notifications or to check the time. Now when I pull the Moto X out of my pocket the time and any notifications are already shown without hitting a button to turn on the screen. And I don't have to hit a button to turn the screen off before going back in the pocket.

Also, when the phone is sitting on my desk I just give it a nudge and the screen shows me the time. Its such a minor thing, but makes a world of difference in the awesomeness of the Moto X!

We're inclined to agree. It really does change the way you use a phone — even more than that other phone screen gimmick we're toying around with.

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3 years ago

Sony 'Lens Camera' to actually launch as the Smart Shot?

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Latest leaks suggest the name and an alternative color scheme for Sony's rumored camera attachment

We're just a few days out from Sony's September 4 press conference in Berlin at IFA 2013, and the rumored 'Lens Camera' has leaked again. This time with a name and an alternative color scheme for the device. A new report from SonyAlphaRumors suggests that the naming will combine smartphone and Cybershot, and the device will launch as the Sony Smart Shot. Not too crazy all things considered. 

We're also now seeing for the first time this white and gold version. Until now we'd only seen leaks of a black device, and while a white version was perhaps to be expected, how about gold? Would be a perfect match for that rumored gold iPhone 5S. 

In any case, we're live from Berlin all next week so if this does appear as the Smart Shot, or indeed anything else, we'll be there to bring you every little bit of it. 

Source: SonyAlphaRumors via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 tipped for Sept. 16th release, at least on Three UK

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Sony Xperia Z1 also expected for Sept. 24th launch

We were already all but certain that the Galaxy Note 3 would make its debut at Samsung's IFA 2013 presentation, and a leaked carrier inventory system screen shows us Samsung doesn't have much longer to announce the device. The image you see above, given to Engadget, is purportedly from carrier Three UK and shows the upcoming releases for a few different devices including the Galaxy Note 3 and Sony Xperia Z1 (aka "Honami").

The Note 3 is pegged for September 16th, with the Xperia Z1 coming right after on September 24th. We can't be sure that the release dates will be these exact days for all carriers and regions, but given that we dive right into IFA next week and a major UK carrier is ready to sell the phones quickly thereafter, we have to assume they'll be on sale quickly.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

Google working on smartwatch with talent acquired from WIMM Labs

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New employees brought in to work directly with the Android team

The idea that Google will soon enter the connected smartwatch arena is getting more weight today as details emerge that it purchased smartwatch maker WIMM Labs last year. As a report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this year suggested, Google is actively working on a smartwatch competitor to the yet-to-be-released Samsung Galaxy Gear and the ever-rumored Apple iWatch. Talent and technology from WIMM Labs is expected to be a big part of the effort.

WIMM Labs, if you aren't familiar, was a small company working to make watch hardware and software centered around Android with its first product release, the WIMM One, in late 2011. Beyond just hardware and software, WIMM worked to build up a development program for third-party developers to make what it called "micro apps" that were more tailored to running on a small screen independently of a connected phone.

What WIMM did with watches is far beyond what we see with Pebble, which is a frankly basic notification system, and could give us a look at what Google intends to do in the space. It is reported that the employees from WIMM that stayed on with Google post-acquisition have been moved directly into the Android team rather than their own division.

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3 years ago

Android Central 148: Onward, Germany

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Audio-only stream below

Phil, Alex, Andrew and Richard preview next week's IFA conference in Berlin. Plus, more on the LG G2, a wee bit on the Moto X, who among us has spent the most money on Asphalt 8 — and a few of your e-mails. Join us!

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3 years ago

Twitter opens up Google Play beta testing for willing participants

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Weekly updates will roll out with the latest experimental Twitter features

Twitter is jumping on the official Google Play bandwagon today, opening up experimental builds of its app to willing testers. Just as we've seen recently with Facebook's move to proper beta testing, Twitter is opening up the program through Google Groups to anyone that wants to sign up.

Once signed up, your account will be flagged as on the beta track, and you'll soon see an update via the Play Store to the latest experimental build. From that point forward, you'll receive updates on the beta track ahead of the stable release.

As is the case with other beta builds, you'll want to be prepared for a little bit of instability and a few bugs along the way. But if you're willing to handle some of these issues, you will get access to the latest features that Twitter is testing before they hit the general public.

If you're interested in signing up for the beta testing group, you can do so from the source link below.

Source: Twitter Beta Test Group

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3 years ago

ZEN & TECH 58: Zen in the workplace

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ZEN & TECH is Mobile Nations' lifestyle podcast where we work on centering your inner geek and using technology to help reduce stress and live better lives. In today's episode, Georgia and Rene talk about making the workplace a less stressful space. From de-cluttering to familiarizing to feng shui, ergonomics, and taking breaks.

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3 years ago

Amazon Appstore offering 10 apps for free today

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'Free app of the day' gets bulked up to celebrate one-year anniversary of European Amazon Appstore

Amazon's Appstore may be best known for its "Free app of the day" promotion, but today's sale jumps from one to 10 apps that won't cost you a penny. To celebrate one year of availability of the Appstore in Europe, Amazon is making 10 different popular apps free for the entire day, valued at over $35 normally:

  • Angry Birds (Ad-Free) - regularly $0.99
  • Drawing Pad - regularly $1.99
  • PAC-MAN HD (Kindle Tablet Ed.) - regularly $2.99
  • World of Goo - regularly $2.99
  • SwiftKey - regularly $3.99
  • CalenGoo - regularly $5.99
  • Sprinkle - regularly $1.99
  • Paper Camera - regularly $1.99
  • Jamie's 20 Minute Meals - regularly $7.69
  • Shazam Encore - regularly $4.99

Even though the sale is being kicked off because of a European milestone, the sale is available in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Japan. Head to the Amazon Appstore on your device or the source link below to grab your free apps.

Source: Amazon Appstore

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3 years ago

This week's Talk Mobile live hangout!

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It's the final day of this week's worth of Talk Mobile 2013 pieces, so we're getting the gang back together for a little live Hangout action. Join us at noon EDT!

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3 years ago

Cruzerlite SPI-Force Galaxy Note 2 case review

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A phone case for the unapologetic Android fan among us

 

Trying to get a case for the Galaxy Note 2 that protects it but doesn't add too much more bulk to an already large device is tough, and Cruzerlite has decided to not even attempt to keep things small with its SPI-Force case offering. Instead, what you are getting for the extra bulk is serious protection around the entire device and a sturdy center-mounted kickstand for when you need it.

This is going to be a polarizing case design, but it's one worth looking at if you need some intense protection for your Note 2. Stick with us after the break and learn a little more about the Cruzerlite SPI-Force case.

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3 years ago

Net neutrality, VoLTE, and the future of carriers - Talk Mobile

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In the coming years we can expect mobile operating systems to become more efficient, more capable, and more flexible, and there's little doubt that the phones they run on will last longer, be thinner and faster, and have better cameras, screens, speakers, and build quality. The platform and device builders have the most to lose - competitors can spring up out of nowhere, they can pivot quickly, and they can easily attract mind and market share.

3 years ago

Coming up at 4 p.m. EDT: The return of the Greatest Android Podcast in the World!

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OK, folks. Here we go! The Greatest Android Podcast in the World returns this afternoon, live and in living color! We're sneaking in one last show before we hit the road for IFA in Germany, so we'll preview what to expect next week. Plus we've got the LG G2 in our hot little hands, we'll see if we're still in love with the Moto X — and we'll have more of your e-mails!

So join Phil and the gang — and, of course, the chat room — live at 9 p.m. BST / 4 p.m. EDT / 1 p.m. PDT for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Join us on our live page, or you can even watch the broadcast from the official Android Central App!

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3 years ago

The Samsung Galaxy Mega: AT&T’s worst smartphone is its best tablet

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Samsung has created a truly terrible smartphone and a downright dazzling tablet in the Galaxy Mega, available now on AT&T

Whispers. Crook-eyes. The occasional point-and-laugh. These are some of the things I’ve endured on a daily basis for the past week while using AT&T's Galaxy Mega as my main smartphone. Whether I’m making a call on my morning commute or shooting off a message while walking down the street, it’s been hard to escape judgment while carrying Samsung's latest Galaxy iteration.

And who can blame the skeptics? At 6.3 inches, the Mega is conspicuously larger than just about everything else consumers are making calls on. It’s not only the largest phone on AT&T’s shelves, but it’s one of the largest phones in the world, and never for a second pretends to be anything other than just that. Samsung can finally check the “6.3-inch” box off its to-do list, at the expense of unknowingly absurd-looking Galaxy fans.

Read: Our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Mega is not only one of the largest phones on the market, but it’s also one of the worst. Shooting off an SMS takes brute strength and two meaty paws; making a phone call looks and feels ridiculous, despite what anyone graciously might tell you. The Mega is the most polarizing device in Samsung’s arsenal, and the tough love it’s been receiving from the skeptics as a poorly designed and gimmicky smartphone isn’t entirely unwarranted.

But perhaps all of us — consumers, Samsung, and AT&T — have got it all wrong. Maybe the Galaxy Mega is being unfairly judged as an awful smartphone when, in reality, it’s a fantastic tablet.

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