Headlines

1 day ago

Google is reportedly working on advanced virtual reality headsets for Android

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Google is reportedly working on advanced virtual reality headsets for Android-powered smartphones. According to a report by the Financial Times, the company is looking to challenge Oculus and HTC with a new device that will be the successor to Cardboard. It's believed to be similar to what Samsung and Oculus managed to launch for Galaxy handsets with the Samsung Gear VR.

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1 day ago

Sprint offers Galaxy S6 and Note 5 buyers $200 off with any working trade-in

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Sprint is pushing forward with another deal for those interested in Samsung's Galaxy S6 or Note 5 by giving a $200 credit with a working trade-in. That's right, as long as you own your current smartphone, and not lease it, you can bring it in to your local Sprint store and save $200 on the cost of a new Galaxy S6 or Note 5.

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1 day ago

Talon for Android gains quick actions, better tablet support and more

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Talon, the popular Twitter app for Android, has hit version 4.0 with a number of new features and improvements, including better support for tablets, quick actions, and more. The developer has also added an option for users to become "2016 Supporters" for Talon, letting them financially support the app beyond the initial price.

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1 day ago

Supposed leaked shot of the Galaxy S7 shows curved glass back and nearly flush camera [Update]

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Update: French blog Nowhereelse.fr has now posted an alleged in-hand picture of the front of the Galaxy S7 edge, which you can check out below:

The Samsung Galaxy S7 has yet to be announced by Samsung — and that should be kept in mind when looking at initial renders and live photos — but already we may have our first glimpse at what could be the next flagship smartphone from the company. If this image is indeed accurate, we're looking at a design that takes the familiar left-and-right-side curves of the Note 5 and adds a bit of top-and-bottom curve as well. In addition, the camera module appears to be nearly flush with the back; certainly much closer than on its predecessor.

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1 day ago

Google Hangouts uses peer-to-peer connections to help with call quality

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Google's Hangouts platform uses peer-to-peer connections during calls when possible to help with stability. Allowing for direct connections between two peers enables the company to provide a more stable service without having to route through servers.

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1 day ago

Snag Kmashi's 11200mAh power bank for just $8 with coupon code at Amazon

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Kmashi's 11200mAh power bank is on sale at Amazon for just $8 with coupon code FVSA9NY2, a savings of 50 percent from its regular price. This battery pack is small and portable, but packs a large capacity inside to keep you charged on the go. While many other power banks have more than one USB output, Kmashi has opted to go with just one this time around, so you'll only be able to charge one smartphone, tablet or other electronic at a time.

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1 day ago

Feeling bored? You can now play chess within Facebook Messenger

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Facebook's Messenger is turning out to be a robust communications platform, boasting over 800 million users. Aside from staying connected with your friends and family, the messaging service has a hidden chess game that you can play from within a conversation window. All you need to do to get started is use the following command: @fbchess play.

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1 day ago

OnePlus 2 gets a permanent price cut to $349

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The 64GB variant of the OnePlus 2 is now available for $349 in the U.S. (down from $399), £249 in the U.K (from £289), and €345 (down from €399) in Europe. Decreasing component costs means that OnePlus is able to pass on the savings to customers.

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1 day ago

Amazon India ends return policy for mobile phones

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Amazon India has notified buyers that they won't be able to return mobile phones bought from the online retailer. The new policy is only applicable to mobile phones that are fulfilled by Amazon. Buyers will be eligible for getting the device replaced only if the product is defective or was damaged during transit, and not by citing the No longer needed option. The replacement is available for a duration of 10-days from delivery of the product.

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2 days ago

Honor 5X versus Honor 7

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Honor 5X vs 7

As Huawei's Honor brand grows its mid-range offerings, it's time to measure up 2015's Honor 7 against the just-released Honor 5X

With the recent announcement of the Honor 5X — the first Honor phone to hit the U.S. market — Huawei's affordable sub-brand continues its focus on delivering decent specs at compelling price points. Over in Europe, Honor has already been competing around the £200-250 mark with the Honor 7, a similar handset that's been available since late 2014. So with the 5X due to land globally in the near future, it's time to see how it measures up against its little brother.

Read on for our quick comparison of the Honor 5X and Honor 7.

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2 days ago

AC editors' apps of the week: The Silent Age, Craft Check, Wallapop and more

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Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 days ago

Five great Android apps to add a dash of science to your life

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We've gotten used to the fact that we our phones can be used as anything from a flashlight to a video camera at a moment's notice. It's easy to get distracted and forget just how awesome the technology that they're made up of actually is! That includes, of course, the science behind all of it. Science is all around us, and we use it to discover awesome new things every day whether it's a breakthrough in physics or medicine or astronomy — or simply in using your computer or driving a car. It's everywhere!

But if you don't feel like you have enough science in your life, then you've come to the right place. We've got five handpicked apps to help bring a bit more science to your day.

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2 days ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: Rumors, acquisitions, and accusations

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Android Lollipop

Everything is crazy.

For being in the weird pre-MWC quiet time, it was a busy week. The biggest news was a surprise acquisition: Microsoft snapped up keyboard app company SwiftKey for $250 million. The slow burn leading up to MWC got a little bit hotter with Sunday, February 21, being the official day for Samsung's next big event — *cough*Galaxy S7*cough*. Speaking of the GS7, it's backside got leaked, we asked what you want in the GS7 and you told us a lot, including waterproofing. Oh, and yeah, it's not an official phone or anything yet — but we're giving away a Galaxy S7 at Android Central!

When it comes to Apple, though, it was an interesting week. iPhone owners that had their phones fixed by unauthorized repair companies were suddenly locked out of their phones thanks to a generic error that turned out to be related to very legitimate securty integrity concerns and Apple found the quality of its own apps under assault — a fair argument, but one lacking in nuance or depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic third-party apps, like great drawing apps for the iPad Pro and excellent iPhone mail apps. Oh, and Apple's own Music Memos is really pretty great, while we're on the subject.

On the Windows front, it was update city. Windows 10 Insiders saw build 14257 , Windows 10 Mobile insiders got build 10586.71, and everybody is expected to get Windows 10build 10586.105 next week. Japanese manufacturer VAIO also made small waves with the introduction of their first Windows 10 Mobile handset, the "Phone Biz", which tells you exactly who they think that phone's meant for.

All of this and more, in this week on Mobile Nations!

Android Central — Billions

Samsung Unpacked invitation

It was a busy week filled with news from a ton of sources, with a little something for everyone.

Speaking of everyone, Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users, as does WhatsApp, and Lollipop is still king in terms of market share among Android phones. In a bit of a shocker, Microsoft purchased SwiftKey for a reported $250 million.

Motorola, Google and Verizon all have some sort of Valentine's Day promos to save you some money.

It was another week of Galaxy S7 information, speculation and analysis, which makes sense as we get even closer to MWC at the end of the month. After Samsung finally unveiled the date of its launch event to be Feb. 21, we got a new leaked render showing off the backs of the phones. We also explored the idea of waterproofing coming back to the Galaxy S7 after being removed in the GS6.

Love Android? Then you'll love our new shirts!

CrackBerry — Ups and downs

BlackBerry Priv

The past week started off with a bang as BlackBerry released their latest security update followed by announcing the Priv in Australia but by the end of the week, there was a little bit of rough news as well as layoffs and departures within BlackBerry have appeared once again.

iMore — Best things ever

It's sounding like Apple's March 15 event is a go, but there's many a week still between now and new, so we've been rounding up the best drawing apps for iPad Pro, best mail apps for iPhone, and kicking off our all-new intructional series with how to make your own website when you don't know how to code.

Meanwhile, in our Experts column, Dave Wisksus of Airplane Mode explains why Music Memos is a songwriter's best friend and in community column, The Network, Myke Hurley of Relay.fm tell us why happiness is a podcasting family. Oh, and then there's this:

Windows Central — Updates for updates

Microsoft was busy again this week. Windows 10 build 14257 for Fast Ring Insiders was released for those on the PC. The update did fix a lot of bugs as Microsoft continues to optimize OneCore in preparation for new Redstone features. Likewise, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.71 was released for all Insiders with new OS optimizations and fixes.

Next week, we're expecting build 10586.105 for PC as a cumulative update for non-Insiders and maybe mobile as well. And VAIO announced their first Windows 10 Mobile handset in Japan, dubbed the Phone Biz.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL started to receive yet-another firmware update. The update should go wider in the coming weeks to other regions. Speaking of the Lumia 950 XL we're giving one away in a new contest.

We unboxed and gave a brief tour of the new 7mm thin Coship Moly X1 Windows 10 Mobile phone. Microsoft asked what HoloLens could do for the NFL with a new concept video. Finally, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are buying SwiftKey to integrate into their Word Flow keyboard.

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2 days ago

Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact (both sans fingerprint sensor) now available in the U.S.

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Sony Xperia Z5

A quick heads up that the Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, as promised, are now available in the U.S. unlocked. As you'll recall from our Xperia Z5 review, these are 5.2- and 4.6-inch phones, respectively, at 1080p and 720p resolution. Both are powered by Snapdragon 810 processors and feature Sony's excellent 23-megapixel Exmor camera systems.

Missing form the U.S. models, however, are fingerprint readers, which are becoming more important as phones and apps update to Android 6.x Marshmallow.

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2 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: On Podcasts ...

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It was fun this week watching folks get all excited because one person (which grew to "some" by the time the Internet game of telephone got ahold of it) apparently got an early look at what podcasts in Google Play Music might look like. And it's probably pretty close — if you've used Google Play Music at all you should have a pretty good sense of how this'll work. Nothing too surprising there.

It's just really odd that it took Google so long after the death of (the poorly named) Google Listen to remember that podcasts are very much still a thing. And it has nothing to do with the "Serial phenomenon" (popular as the first season was) and everything to do with the shift in how we consume entertainment. That's hardly a new realization, of course. But the trick to a la carte is in discovery. If you don't know what's on the menu, you'll starve. And that's why it's all the more surprising that it took Google — the company that makes its living off organizing data — so long to get this back on its radar.

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