Headlines

1 day ago

Google's new Nearby Connections API means Second Screen fun with Android TV

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Android TV

Google wants Android TV to be your hub, and your smartphone/tablet to be the controller.

We're no strangers to Second Screen apps here, especially as they apply to video games. The big thing that pushed Second Screen apps forward in the current generation of apps has been the application of a centralized platform, which is something Microsoft capitalized on with their SmartGlass platform for the Xbox. While this setup works well when you are at home by yourself, or in very specific situations with someone willing to act as your wingman, we don't often see Second Screen apps focused toward multiple users in front of a television that they don't necessarily own. Google has chosen the Game Developers Conference to launch several new tools to help developers improve their games, and included in that list is the Nearby Connections API.

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1 day ago

Lenovo's new device lineup includes a pair of tablets and a fun new projector

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Any suspicion that Motorola had already begun influencing Lenovo's product lineup has been completely dismissed.

Lenovo has no shortage of new products to show off at Mobile World Congress this year, and it's clear their focus for this generation is split between maintaining their current product lines and exploring new categories. While their Android lineup still includes traditional smartphone and tablet experiences that show a clear evolution of their current hardware lineup, there's a new "pro-level" camera and a Micracast friendly projector that are all about extending the Android experience, which is a cool direction for Lenovo to be heading in.

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1 day ago

Sony retires 'Walkman' brand for its built-in music player

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Walkman + Music apps

Once synonymous with portable music, Walkman has been one of Sony's most iconic brands. From classic cassette-based offerings of the early 1980s to the wackier, Android-based versions of 2015, the purpose of a Walkman product is clear — it's all about music on the go. So it wasn't surprising to see Walkman name used in Sony's own music app, which is preloaded on all the manufacturer's Android smartphones. Renders of new Xperia phones would give valuable screen realestate to the purple Walkman icon, and it'd also be preloaded on the default home screen.

But not anymore. As Sony unveiled its first 2015 Xperia products, the Xperia Z4 Tablet and Xperia M4 Aqua, the familiar Walkman icon and name are no more, the app having been renamed to the more generic "Music."

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1 day ago

Hands-on with the refreshed Gear VR for Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

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Samsung Gear VRs

Most people were duly caught off guard by the announcement of a refreshed Gear VR made for the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge here at MWC 2015. Although it was quickly announced as a footnote to the bigger news of the phones themselves, there are some very important changes in this latest version of Gear VR.

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1 day ago

SanDisk's new embedded iNAND flash storage boasts stupid fast write speeds

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There are bottlenecks throughout the modern smartphone, but SanDisk is working to make their path as wide as possible with their new iNAND 7132 embedded flash storage.

While SanDisk is well known for their consumer memory products — SD cards, microSD cards, USB flash drives, replacement SSDs, and so forth — a major (and under-appreciated by the general consumer) part of their business is actually in selling embedded flash storage to device manufacturers.

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1 day ago

Grab these discounted apps now for just 10 cents in the Google Play Store [updated]

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Update: As some of you have pointed out in the comments, it looks like Google has a lot more than a few apps up its sleeve for Google Play's birthday. As of this writing, there are 33 items on sale ranging from books and movies to music and apps. You can check out the full list of sales on Google Play now.

Original story: The Google Play Store is nearing its 3rd birthday, and that means some good promo action could be coming your way.

A few paid apps have been spotted for just 10 cents, and we're crossing our fingers that the fun doesn't stop there. As in years past, Google is no slouch when it comes to birthday time discounts.

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1 day ago

Android Central 225: Live from Mobile World Congress!

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Audio-only stream below

We're coming at you live this week — and, yes, earlier than usual — from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain! We're fresh off the announcements (and some serious hands-on time) with the all-new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, the HTC One M9, and more! Join us!

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1 day ago

Some of Samsung's Galaxy S6 software sends a mixed message about performance

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Smart Tools

Samsung boasts that the software on the Galaxy S6 has been pared back by as much as 37 percent. But a couple of new additions are raising eyebrows, and probably just taking up space.

I can remember sitting in more than one briefing for the latest Next Big Thing and being fairly overwhelmed by all the software features Samsung packs into its Galaxy S line. I'm pretty good at this smartphone stuff, but it was daunting. And has been so more than once So when we learned that Samsung was scaling back the software on the Galaxy S6, it was pretty much universally heralded as a good thing. Sometimes less is more.

But as we started to pore over the software, we started to notice a few things. And a couple press releases confirmed it. Samsung has teamed up with McAfee (erm, Intel Security) and Cheetah Mobile to make your phone safer. And faster. Or something.

Here's what's up with that.

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1 day ago

Oculus and Samsung launching paid apps and games, free short films on Gear VR today

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Samsung and Oculus VR will be launching paid apps and games, as well as new free content offerings, on the Gear VR today. Well-timed after the announcement of an updated Gear VR that works with the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, the new content offerings are a welcomed addition to the current content available on the headset.

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1 day ago

Alcatel OneTouch announces the 6-inch, Cyanogen OS-powered Hero 2+

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Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+

It's a big week for the folks at Cyanogen Inc. as it enters into a partnership with another Android phone manufacturer.

Hot on the heels of a new partnership with Qualcomm, the Cyanogen team have announced a device with Alcatel OneTouch. The Hero 2+ is a North American remix on the original Hero 2, which we took a look at back in September. This new version swaps out the MT8392 found in its predecessor for the MT6592 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz, and that's just about where the hardware changes end. All the changes that earn this device that extra "+" lie in software, as Alcatel OneTouch will be shipping this new version of the Hero 2 with Cyanogen OS.

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1 day ago

Sony Xperia M4 Aqua hands-on

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Xperia M4 Aqua

Sony's latest mid-ranger, announced at Mobile World Congress, is a 64-bit waterproof phone running Lollipop out of the box

Sony didn't surprise us with a new high-end flagship phone at Mobile World Congress this year, however it did introduce a solid new mid-range handset — the Xperia M4 Aqua. With a 5-inch 720p display and a plastic back panel, the M4 Aqua sits squarely in the middle of Sony's Android portfolio, between the Xperia E4 at the low end and the Z3 series at the high end.

A resolution of 720p might not sound particularly impressive in a market dominated by Quad HD panels at its most expensive price range, but the M4 Aqua's screen is not to be sniffed at. As HTC has done with its Desire series, Sony's shipping a somewhat lower-resolution panel, but one with bright, vivid colors that's still going to be more than good enough for most things you'll want to do on a phone.

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1 day ago

Hands-on with HP's Pro Slate 8 (and the giant 12-inch one) and its crazy stylus

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HP Pro Slate 12

We've been intrigued by the idea of the HP Pro Slate 8 and 12 since they were announced, and after checking them out at MWC 2015, we're really kind of impressed.

There was a time not long ago where the only tablet manufacturers worth mentioning were Apple and Samsung. Today that's all changed, with practically every major company that makes Android tablets actually making one that's pretty good. HP's no exception — they've had some major disappointments in Android tablets, for sure — but their new HP Pro Slate 8 and Pro Slate 12 tablets seem really good, if not potentially great, now that we've got our paws on them.

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1 day ago

ARCHOS unveils Fusion Storage and new 256GB Magnus tablet

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Today ARCHOS unveiled a new line of tablets dubbed Magnus, offering up to 256GB of internal storage. In addition, they announced ARCHOS Fusion Storage, which combines internal and micro SD card storage for increased storage of apps, games, and files on an Android device.

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1 day ago

Intel's new Atom x3 processors aim at 64-bit mobile computing

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Intel MWC

Intel's latest mobile chipset is for smartphones and tablets alike, with 64-bit processing for all.

After blowing us away with how enjoyable the Dell Venue 8 is to use, Intel is in a perfect position to impress everyone with what they have planned next. The Intel presentation at Mobile World Congress is filled with announcements for the future of nearly every facet of their business, but it's the mobile bits that excite us the most.

This year Intel is showing off the brand new Atom x3 processor, a fully integrated SoC aimed squarely at the next generations of mobile devices. It's Intel's first SoC with an integrated modems that support global availability, meaning support for 3G and 4G LTE networks is finally a part of Intel's lineup.

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1 day ago

The Nokia N1 tablet is sleek, well priced and a little familiar looking

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Nokia N1

Nokia announced the N1 Android tablet in late 2014 for launching in the Chinese market this year. Now, the Foxconn made, brand licensed tablet has made the trip to Mobile World Congress and we can finally see it for ourselves.

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