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3 years ago

Reminder: The Android Central Podcast is live today at 4 p.m. EDT

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A quick reminder, folks, that the Greatest Android Podcast in the World is trying out a new day and time. That'd be 4 p.m. EDT today, or 1 p.m. on the west coast. And we've got tons to talk about after a few weird and wild weeks away, so be sure to catch this one live. Or semi-live. Or have someone else tell you about it. 

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3 years ago

Google Fiber's next stop is Shawnee, Kansas

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The Google Fiber train continues to roll with another Kansas location selected for the service

Google's next expansion to the Fiber network has been selected, and adds another location in Kansas to the map. Next up to receive the Gigabit Internet and TV provided by Google is Shawnee, Kansas, which makes total sense given its proximity to Kansas City. 

Google says they were impressed by Shawnee's vision of keeping their citizens informed and involved using the internet. The announcement has been made after the Shawnee City Council voted to bring Fiber to the city. There's no estimated time of arrival for the service, as there is a lot of planning an engineering works to take place first. But, for the folks of Shawnee, this is fantastic news.

Source: Google Fiber Blog

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3 years ago

Quick Glance on the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Gesture-based feature lets you preview notifications and other info without waking up the phone

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is one of the most feature-laden phones we've ever used, and it's easy to overlook some stuff, especially if you don't go digging in menus. One neat but understated capability of Samsung's new high-ender is its ability to detect gestures at a distance using front-facing sensors, even while the device is sleeping. The GS4 takes advantage of this by introducing "Quick Glance," which lets you preview the time, date, notifications and other details without waking up the phone.

Part of the Air Gesture suite of features, Quick Glance can be activated by long-pressing "Air Gesture" in the quick settings pull-down and enabling it in the list that appears. That's also where you control other gesture features like Air jump, Air browse and Air call-accept. (Yeah, this thing's not short on gesture controls.)

Check out our quick video demo above, and subscribe to the Android Central YouTube channel for more awesome GS4 video content. 

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3 years ago

Acer announces the 7.9-inch Iconia A1 tablet

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Acer today in New York City announced the Iconia A1 tablet, a 7.9-inch endeavor it says is "targeted at modern-day explorers, adventurers, digital freaks and mobile executives requiring an all-day mobile companion." So, uh, yeah.

The Iconia A1 has an IPS display, but it's going a different route than most Android tablets, sporting a 4:3 aspect ratio. We'll have to see if that makes up for the 1024x768 resolution, which puts it (on paper at least) a little below the 7-inch, 1280x800 Nexus 7. It's also got a quad-core tablet of unknown origin running at 1.2 GHz, a 5MP rear camera, GPS, Bluetooth and the other bells and whistles you'd expect.

The Iconia A1 comes in 8- or 16-gigabyte flavors, with the latter running $169 and hitting stores in June.

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3 years ago

How to change the Galaxy S4 lock screen message

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The tag line for the Samsung Galaxy S4 is "Life companion." And that's a fine slogan. But if you're a little tired of seeing it on your phone every time you turn it on, you're not alone. 

Fortunately, it's easy to change. Samsung's taking advantage of the lock screen widgets in Android 4.2.2 to provide that custom greeting, clock and date as soon as you wake the phone. You can change the font, color and size, remove the clock and date if you want -- or get rid of the widget altogether.

See also:

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3 years ago

Loewe unveils Speaker 2go, portable Bluetooth and NFC capable speaker available in June

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Premium portable from German manufacturer Loewe to go on sale in June priced at £269

Anyone familiar with high-end home entertainment equipment will no doubts be aware of Loewe. Their products come with a price, but are always targeted towards the higher end of the market. They have dabbled in mobile compatible devices before, recently with the iOS AirPlay enabled AirSpeaker. Now though, they have pulled the wraps off their debut portable, Bluetooth and NFC enabled speaker -- the Speaker 2go. 

On sale in the UK from June, the Speaker 2go is priced at £269. Despite being a portable, it houses two full speakers, a woofer and a 'specially folded' bass reflex tube with a total of 40 Watts of music power. The on-board batteries provide enough juice for a claimed 8 hours use between charges. 

Beyond music, the Speaker 2go also has an on-board microphone with echo cancellation, meaning that you can turn the Speaker 2go into an ad-hoc speakerphone system where you are. 

The NFC capabilities mean that pairing your NFC enabled Android device to the Speaker 2go is a doddle, with the Bluetooth connection being enabled upon contact. 5 devices can be remembered for automatic connection, and the wireless range is up to 10 metres, handy for using it outside, perhaps. 

Speaker 2go will come in 2 colors -- black and silver -- and for more click on past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G Pro now up for pre-order

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5.5-incher costs $199.99 on contract, ships May 7

Right on schedule, AT&T has begun taking pre-orders for the LG Optimus G Pro. The 5.5-inch device, which rocks a Snapdragon 600 CPU and a 1080p screen, is yours for $199.99 on a standard two-year contract or $549.99 on its own. AT&T's site reveals a May 7 shipping date, so pre-order customers may well get their phones a little ahead of the previously-announced May 10 launch date.

In our March review of the Korean Optimus G Pro, as well as our more recent hands-on with AT&T's version, we've found the device to be a worthy competitor to Samsung's Note series, which has so far dominated the large form factor space.

If you're wanting to place a pre-order today, you can do so over at the source link.

Source: AT&T

More: AT&T Optimus G Pro hands-on, Korean Optimus G Pro review

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4, other Knox devices approved for U.S. Dept. of Defense networks

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Samsung smart devices get the Pentagon's stamp of approval

Update: Samsung's just passed along an official press release, which states that the DoD approval applies to both smartphones and tablets running Knox. You'll find the full presser after the break.

Original story: The Samsung Galaxy S4 has been approved for use on the U.S. Department of Defense's secure networks, Korea's Yonhap news agency reports. The news follows announcements by the DoD indicating plans to open its networks up to Android and iOS-based smart devices by next February.

Samsung has been keen to advance into the secure smartphone market in recent months, a space traditionally dominated by BlackBerry devices. The company's new Samsung Knox security system for BYOD, aimed at enterprise and government customers, is a major part of this push.

In related news, BlackBerry's latest BlackBerry 10 phones and its PlayBook tablet were also approved for DoD use yesterday. The Next Web reports that Apple's iPhone and iPad should gain DoD approval later this month.

Source: Yonhap; via: The Next Web

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3 years ago

Google Play coming to Nook HD and Nook HD+

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Barnes and Noble team up with Google, will significantly increase the availability of apps for both Nook HD tablets

While the Barnes & Noble Nook HD and Nook HD+ each have access to the B&N online stores for books and apps, tonight CEO William Lynch has announced that with an update due to start rolling out today, the Google Play store will be added to the 7-inch and 9-inch tablets.

We saw coming off holiday the market moved to multifunction tablets. Consumer research showed us the breadth of applications available is really critical.

The update will be a standard automatic over-the-air affair, and will include plenty of other Google services as well. Confirmed are Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Play Music. 

The tablets are moderately spec'd by today's standards, but are also moderately priced at $199 for the 7-inch Nook HD and $269 for the 9-inch Nook HD+. We're not sure that the addition of Google's apps and services will generate new sales, but they should be welcome additions for everyone who purchased one last year.

If you're using a Nook HD, be sure to share your experiences with everyone once you get the update!

Via: Huffington Post

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3 years ago

Room 237 is a movie for movie buffs - and available in Google Play

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Cook some Jiffy Pop and keep that tin foil for a hat -- Room 237 is 100 minutes of thought-provoking conspiracy theories

With no podcast tonight, I've been forced to find something else to occupy my idle hands. A quick trip into Google Play found the film Room 237, and halfway through I'm hooked.

Without any spoilers, it dissects Stanley Kubrick's take on The Shining into a million tiny slices, and analyzes it all with a keen eye for detail -- and conspiracy theories abound. Half of what I'm hearing sounds absolutely insane, but all of it sounds interesting as heck. Well worth the $7, and I didn't have to get dressed and head to the theater.

Remember, there's more to Google Play than just apps if you're in a country that supports all the content. If you're bored, or a film enthusiast I think you'll like this one. 

Rent Room 237 from Google Play

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3 years ago

Halo feature from Paranoid Android team demoed in video

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Facebook's Chat Heads feature taken to the next level with the Halo mod

For many folks, half the fun of having an Android phone or tablet is hacking the daylights out of it. For the average user, that means installing custom tweaks and ROMs. For the developer types, though, it means something different. They get inside things, and twist everything around until they get it all the way they like. Here's a great example of that.

The folks hard at work on the Paranoid Android ROM have been teasing a new feature, and today we get a four-minute glimpse of Halo.

Think Chat Heads on steroids. It's an entirely new way of handling notifications, and it looks pretty slick. Trun it on from the status bar, and your notifications appear in a small circular icon and flyout. Tap said icon, and whatever you might be doing will pause, and a small version of the application that gave you a notification will open, allowing you to respond appropriately.

There's no public release available yet, but word is you'll soon be able to try it yourself. We'll keep an eye out for this one.

Thanks, David!

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3 years ago

Mystery Motorola device leaked with AT&T apps on board, labeled XFON

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Habitual leakers @evleaks have popped out yet another unannounced phone, but one we may have seen before

We're all waiting to see what Google and Motorola show the world this year. We've got high expectations, and a little solid information about the companies goals, but nothing firm about the Android devices they will certainly bring to the table. While plenty of rumors and (often silly) speculation about the X Phone project are everywhere, here's one that's a bit more down to earth -- with pictures.

Looking very much like the mysterious Motorola phone we saw from Vietnam last month, todays leak has AT&T plastered all over it. Ignoring the AT&T carrier logo in the status bar (that's written based on the SIM card you're using), we can spy a couple of AT&T applications in the app drawer and the LTE icon matches what AT&T has been using for quite a while. 

The device is in some sort of "fake" shell so we don't get a very good look at things, but a second picture (find it after the break) shows what looks like a carbon fiber back plate -- something we're used to seeing from Motorola -- and the words XFON ATT used for the model number. Could this be the X Phone so many are waiting for? 

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One - the full review

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Mophie's usual quality shines through with this HTC One battery case, but you've got to be prepared for a major increase in size

Let's get this out of the way: The Mophie Juice Pack takes the svelte HTC One and bulks it up. A lot. It's a big case full of battery -- 2,500 mAh, to be precise -- that takes an already lanky phone, makes it even taller and fills it out like a blogger at a buffet. You need to know this before hefting this the Juice Pack.

But those of use who have used the Juice Packs before know that this is the trade-off for having a combination case and battery, an amalgamation that was made popular by the iPhone and has become that much more important as more phone manufacturers seal the batteries inside.

And now we've got a Mophie Juice Pack for the HTC One. Our thoughts, after the break.

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3 years ago

Angry Birds Friends flies into the Play Store

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Fling various birds at pigs in structures... now with your friends

Just as we expected, Angry Birds Friends hit the Play Store this morning as a free download, ready for you to challenge your Facebook friends to some intense tournaments. If you haven't played the browser-based version yet, the concept is pretty simple. You have access to all of the varieties of birds you know and love, but now you compete with your friends to make the highest score every round. There are weekly challenges with new levels in each, as well as individual challenges with friends for trophies, and various ways to brag to your friends about how well you're doing.

This is going to require a Facebook login (no way around that), but if you're interested in mixing up your Angry Birds play time this may be a good way to go. You can grab a download of the game for free from the Play Store at the link above, or if you need a refresher on your Angry Birds skills there are plenty of previous versions to choose from. The app has just now hit the Amazon Appstore in several countries as well, so those of you on a Kindle Fire can grab your free download at the source link below.

More: Amazon Appstore

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3 years ago

Instagram adds account tagging, 'Photos of You' album

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Remember everything about a photo by tagging friends involved

Instagram has updated its app to v3.5 today bringing the notable feature of photo tagging to both Android and iOS concurrently. While hashtags have been a staple of posting on Instagram, you can now choose to tag any of your friends in photos as well. After you're done taking, cropping and applying filters to a photo, tapping a tag button lets you select people (or items) in the picture to mark as those people. You can add any of your friends, but also other accounts you follow such as a restaurant or a sports team. Only the person who took the photo can tag others, which helps keep spam down considerably.

On the other side, if someone tags you in a photo it will now show up in your profile as "Photos of You" for you -- or anyone else -- to see all in one place. If you would prefer to review each tag before it is posted publicly, you can change your settings to prevent unwanted tags. The update is now live in the Play Store, so go grab your download from the link at the top of this post.

More: Instagram

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