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3 years ago

The new Nexus 7: Wireless charging feature

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The new 2013 Nexus 7 uses the same wireless charging standard as the Nexus 4 -- and the same chargers.

If you were one of the lucky ones who was already able to score a new 2013 Nexus 7, you might not know about a great feature -- Qi wireless charging. It doesn't charge your new tablet fast, and it still requires a cord be plugged into the wall, but it is a great feature for the nightstand or your desk. While the tablet is sitting there not being used to play games, surf the web, or browse your favorite social media network -- all things it does very, very well -- it can be collecting a few charged electrons to keep the battery bumped up. And it makes a great nightstand clock with the Dashclock extension and Daydream feature activated.

We've got a handful of Qi chargers laying around, so I've been fiddling with them all morning. I want to see which ones work the best out of the bunch, and fans of the Nexus brand will be pleased with the result -- the Nexus Charging orb is a perfect match for your new Nexus 7.

They all work. Nokia's charger seems to work fine on my tablet, but offers no compelling reason to choose it over any others. The big Energizer Qi charging mat works fine, too, but it's ugly as sin and life is too short for ugly accessories. The LG puck works really well, and the fact that the charging coil is mounted directly in the center of the back cover of the Nexus 7 makes it easy to place and it stays put. But that blinking light will drive you bonkers at night.

Enter the Nexus charging orb. You new tablet grips the funky rubber surface of the orb just fine and won't slip, and the angle it keeps your Nexus 7 resting at makes that big, beautiful screen easily viewable while it's charging. Combined with some of the great Daydreams available in Google Play, it's the perfect solution. And it's powered by holo. Ok, not really, but it does say NEXUS on the face of it.

If you've got a Qi charger laying around, by all means use that one with your Nexus 7. If you have to buy one, because come on, you have to, grab the Nexus Orb from Google Play. You can use the link above. There are a couple pics after the break, and plenty of room for all your comments.

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3 years ago

Chromecast-a-day: We're giving away 7 of Google's hottest product

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There are seven days in a week. No so coincidentally, we've got seven brand-new Chromecasts just sitting here, waiting for good homes. And we also have the Netflix three-month-free discount codes that go with them.

So, yeah. Let's give 'em away. One a day, actually, starting now. This one's open to anyone and everyone. Just leave a comment on this post through midnight Pacific time tonight. We'll pick a winner first thing Monday morning and contact 'em by e-mail.

And while you're at it, be sure to swing by our Chromecast forums, and be on the lookout for our full take on Chromecast in the next couple days.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: SuperSU, Magic 2014, Pony Creator and more!

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What are the AC editors and writers using on their Androids? 

It's that time of the week again, where everyone here at AC takes a look back and see what apps they were loving the most on their phones and tablets and Google TVs and Game Consoles and -- whew there's a lot of choice out there! We install and try a lot of apps, and always love to share the ones that catch our eye. The big favorites always end up on our list, but a lot of stuff you'd probably never find on your own does, too. Funny how a search company has such a difficult time sorting out apps, isn't it?

But I digress. We've got apps after the break, and you'll want to take a look at them.

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 receives two updates at launch

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An initial update to build JWR66N and subsequent update to build JSS15J are available

Early adopters of Google's new Nexus 7 are being greeted with software updates right out of the box. The first update will automatically begin as soon as the tablet connects to WiFi for the first time, usually during the initial setup process. The tablet will shut down, boot into recovery, apply an update to bring the build number up to JWR66N, and bring the user back to the setup screen to continuing signing into a Google account.

The second update comes in a more traditional fashion: it is downloaded in the background, and then triggers a system update notification in the notification tray. Once the user accepts the update and it is applied, the build number becomes JSS15J. Both seem to be minor updates, most likely containing some system fine-tuning and bug fixes.

Now if Google would just post the factory images for this model.

More: Nexus 7 Q&A in the forums, Nexus 7 first impressions and video

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3 years ago

Chromecast tip: Broadcast Youtube videos straight from the browser

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It's worth a quick reminder that Chromecast doesn't just mirror a browser tab onto your TV. You also can beam individual YouTube videos on over, same as you do from your phone or tablet. By now you've got the "Google Cast" extension installed, right? Once you've got it, just head on over to Youtube and fire up a video. Then look for the Chromecast icon in the lower right. Click it and choose where you want to send the video to. Done. 

Get more tips and tricks in our Chromecast forum!

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3 years ago

Need help updating your Nexus 4 to Android 4.3?

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It's important to remember that not everyone's a whiz when it comes to the command-line aspect of Android. And to that end, the fine folks in our forums — 1.6 million strong and growing — have you covered. 

The over-the-air update that brings the Nexus 4 to Android 4.3 is pushing out now. But if for some reason you haven't gotten it yet and you don't want to wait any longer, Phalgun Gujjar in our forums has a nice little tutorial for sideloading the update. No, it doesn't root your phone, and it's really no different than just waiting for the update to push out. It's quick and it's easy and it's a great way to learn one of the basics of working with your Android phone with the command line.

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3 years ago

Chromekey ...

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In case you had any doubt about its prerelease name. More in our Chromecast forums.

Thanks, Explicit!

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 models now out of stock at Staples

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The laws of supply and demand at work: Staples sells out of new Nexus 7 tablets.

It seems that Staples's $30 off tablet promotion worked well for them, as both models of the new Nexus 7 are already out of stock on their website. They join the 32GB version at Amazon, which now has a lead time of three to four weeks before orders can be filled.

Of course you can still try your luck at Google Play, or call around your local Best Buy and Walmart stores to see if they have any sitting quietly on the shelves.

We're glad to see the demand, but we sure hope we don't see a repeat of the last time.

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3 years ago

Chromecast dongle torn open, no unicorns or leprechaun dust found inside

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Motherboards and heat sinks are what little Chromecasts are made of.

With people everywhere getting their Chromecast units, you knew iFixit would be doing this soon. They've taken their tools and guitar picks and busted the thing open, and found out it's a pretty simple device.

Turns out there isn't much magic or mystery inside the casing, and there are really only two parts -- a motherboard with parts soldered in place, and a big solid aluminum heat sink. On the board itself, the interesting parts are:

  • Azure Wave AW-NH387 802.11 b/g/n WLAN, Bluetooth, FM combo module IC
  • Marvell DE3005-A1 System-on-a-chip, similar to the Marvell DE3005
  • Micron 4GB flash memory 29F16G08MAA
  • Micron D9PXV 4Gb RAM (that's Gigabits, not Gigabytes. In other words, 512MB)

IFixit considers the Chromecast a "luxury device" that you just throw away if it goes bad and replace it with a new unit. At just $35 a pop we have to agree. For tall the gory details, see the source link.

Source: iFixit

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3 years ago

Did Google gloss over Chromecast needing USB power? Not hardly

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A ... certain segment of fans ... have gotten it into their heads that Google played down the fact that Chromecast needs USB power to work. They are wrong.

Here's Google's Mario Queiroz, describing Chromecast at Wednesday's event:

"Once you take it out of its beautiful, clean box, all you have to do is plug it in to, ah, any HDMI input on your TV, power through USB, connect to your home Wifi, and you're ready to kick back and watch."

See also:

Just stop it.

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3 years ago

New Nexus 7 now available from Google Play, ships by July 30

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New Nexus 7 2013 models now available for order in Google Play for those who want to risk another Nexus launch

For those who want to order the new 2013 Nexus 7 direct from Google, things are live in Google Play to order one. Both the 16GB and 32GB Wifi-only models are available, and Google says they'll have them shipped out on or before July 30 -- with free ground shipping for a limited time.

With the devices being available in Walmart stores and online from Amazon at launch, hopefully the order and delivery process will go a little smoother this time. Grab yours from the Google Play link above if you've been waiting.

Source: @GooglePlay

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope updated with new 'Cheese Box' level pack

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Om Nom teams up with mice in 25 challenging new levels

Everyone's favorite little green critter gets some new levels to devour candy in, as Cut the Rope adds its latest level pack, "Cheese Box." As Om Nom continues his ever-hungry quest for candy, he is now joined by some new mousey friends, who can drag the sweets of interest from cheese hole to cheese hole, helping deliver them to On Nom's insatiable gullet.

There are 25 new levels set against the backdrop of cheese, all available now through the Google Play Store. The update is also coming to the Amazon App Store and NOOK in the coming days. Cost of admission for new players is $0.99 on the Play Store and through Amazon, with the NOOK version ringing up at $2.99.

Those interested in the Play Store version can follow the Play Store button link above.

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3 years ago

Get the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Sprint for under $100 from Amazon

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The promotion lasts Sunday 7/28 through Thursday 8/1, includes waived activation fee

Those looking to make the switch over to Sprint have a chance to land a nice deal on one of the hottest phones of the season. Amazon will be offering the Samsung Galaxy S4 to new Sprint customers for $99.99, down from the current price of $139.99. To sweeten the pot even more, they will even waive the $36 activation fee.

The deal starts this Sunday, 7/28, and will continue through Thursday, 8/1. The Galaxy S4 comes with 16GB of internal storage (with less than you'd expect available to the user, but there's an update for that) and is being offered in both the white and black varieties.

For those still undecided if this is the phone to get when switching to Sprint, get out the full Samsung Galaxy S4 review.

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3 years ago

Google Hangouts gets a minor update with more emoji and butter

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More butter and emoji added to the recipe, still missing that dash of Google Voice that everyone wants.

Google Hangouts has received a relatively minor update today, bringing the app to version 1.1. Normally, we don't cover every little app update, but this time around the team have added a little bit of project butter to make the app smoother, and folks with older phones are going to be happy with that news. The full change log:

  • Added more emoji!
  • We added some butter to Hangouts to make it run faster and slicker.
  • Fixed a bunch of bugs.

We still all hope that Google can incorporate Google Voice or SMS messages into Hangouts, but no dice just yet. The last couple updates have had some interesting permissions, though. Hit the break to see what I mean, and grab the update from the Google Play link up top.

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3 years ago

How to use Android 4.3's 'Restricted Profile' feature

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The ability to add a second user profile was added to tablets in Android 4.2, and it's gained even more granular functionality in Android 4.3 with the addition of "restricted profiles." In a nutshell, this lets you choose which applications that restricted user can use.

It's not quite a full-functioned kids mode, and there still are a couple things to watch out for. But for basic account compartmentalization, it works pretty well.

Let's dive into it and show how to use the new "restricted profile" feature in Android 4.3.

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