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2 days ago

Facebook Messenger's free video calling feature is now available in most countries

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Users of Facebook Messenger should now be able to engage in a video call with every other user of the popular messaging app worldwide, with a few exceptions.

A few weeks ago, Facebook added a video calling feature to its Facebook Messenger app for people in the US and 17 other countries. The feature has been expanded and can now be used by people in nearly every other country.

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2 days ago

These are the top Xiaomi phones you need to know

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Xiaomi

The manufacturer you may have rarely heard of is making some great devices.

Xiaomi is a smartphone manufacturer that is growing in stature day-by-day, despite having virtually no physical presence outside of Asia. Sales of its phones in territories including its native China and India have propelled the relatively young OEM into the top 5 smartphone manufacturers in the world. Impressive, certainly, and sees Xiaomi going toe-to-toe with the likes of Apple and Samsung at the higher reaches of the league table.

And yet while so many have heard the name, the phones are still relatively alien to many in the west. Xiaomi has a reputation for building devices that are extremely good value for money without cutting corners on the specs. If you're interested in picking up a Xiaomi phone or just interested in the brand, these are the phones you'll need to know about.

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2 days ago

Oppo officially announces the R7 and R7 Plus

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Oppo has announced two new smartphones, the Oppo R7 and R7 Plus. The former is a 5-inch handset, while the latter is a 6-inch phablet.

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3 days ago

LG looking to boost smartphone sales, may launch another flagship later this year

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LG will continue to offer two flagship devices a year as the South Korean manufacturer aims for a larger chunk of the smartphone market share.

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3 days ago

This week's sidebar poll: Will you be buying an ASUS ZenFone 2?

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Today, ASUS brings an affordable flagship to the United States with the ZenFone 2. Will you be getting one?

While ASUS is better known for tablets — like the Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 — and a decent offering of lower and middle-end smartphones, the ZenFone 2 — available now for $199 or $299 depending on configuration — is a new foray into a more full-featured phone. Finding a smartphone with a quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for three hundred bucks is eye-catching, to say the least. And while there are sacrifices made here and there — and detailed in our review — the question at the end of the day is a simple one.

Will a ZenFone 2 be finding its way into your hands?

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3 days ago

Hands-on with MixRadio on HTC's BlinkFeed

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HTC BlinkFeed MixRadio

In case you missed it, MixRadio has just been officially released for Android and iOS. It goes further with some HTC devices.

HTC and MixRadio has announced a co-marketing partnership that lets users insert MixRadio playlists into HTC's BlinkFeed. Want to see it in action? Check out our hands-on video using the HTC One M9.

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3 days ago

Russell's favorite Android Wear watches

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Russell smartwatch

I tolerate the Moto 360, but right now my favorite Android Wear watch is none of them.

Smartwatches are all the rage right now in the tech nerd sphere, and as cool as it is to see so many people excited about new technology I remain unconvinced. It doesn't matter if we're talking about Pebble, Apple, or Google, at the end of the day these companies haven't figured out a way to make this technology convenient enough to justify the expense.

All that having been said, I think Google is the closest to a complete thought with Android Wear, and I think the best looking and most functional version of Android Wear currently is the Moto 360.

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3 days ago

Take two: Google announces Android Wear 5.1.1 rollout has begun

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Google announced today that it has officially started rolling out the Android 5.1.1 update to Android Wear smartwatches today.

Over on its product forums, Google announced that it has started rolling out Android 5.1.1 to Android Wear watches. Additionally, according to several users on Reddit, and at least one person on our own forums, the update has already started landing on the LG G Watch and G Watch R.

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3 days ago

Google may be getting close to showing off new photo service

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According to a new report, Google may be getting close to taking the wraps off their new photo sharing service.

The unveiling could come at Google I/O, the companies upcoming developer conference which kicks off on May 28. It is no surprise that Google is working to spin photos out of Google+ and into its own app, this has been rumored since last year.

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3 days ago

Proper Google Maps app appears on Android Wear via latest phone app update

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A proper Google Maps app appears on Android Wear

With the latest update to Google Maps on your phone, Android Wear gains some mapping functionality.

After updating to Google Maps version 9.9 on your phone — which brings a neat new transparent status bar and some navigation features — you may notice that there's an actual Google Maps app on your connected Android Wear watch as well. The launcher icon for Maps showed up on our LG Watch Urbane (which of course has the latest version of Android Wear) after simply re-syncing apps after the latest phone app install, and though it appeared to be broken at first, a couple of reboots later and we had a surprisingly full-featured Maps app ... on our watch.

The app can be launched from the app launcher or by voice with an "open Maps" command, and when opened you get a full screen top-down map experience. You can scroll around, pinch-to-zoom (barely) and even switch between true North and device direction views. Zoom in/out buttons appear on the top of the screen when you tap it, which is much better than pinching, and you also get a small pin button that lets you quickly scroll through nearby places and navigate to them — though when you fire up navigation from the Maps app on the watch it still corresponds with launching Maps on your phone.

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3 days ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, six months on

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Galaxy Note 4

Half a year on, Samsung's most recent Note still ranks among the best Android phones of the moment.

Five months into 2015, and halfway through its shelf life, it's time to take a look back on Samsung's best phone of 2014. The Galaxy Note 4 arrived at a pivotal time for the Korean giant. Along with the Galaxy Alpha, it signaled the beginning of the end for the plasticky, blooping and whistling Samsung phones we'd come to know and eventually tolerate.

It's sometimes said among fans of the series that the only thing that can replace a Note is another Note. And having used the Galaxy Note 4 extensively since its launch, I'm beginning to see why.

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3 days ago

Sega has pulled three of its Android games from circulation

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Android device owners now have three less games to download from the Google Play Store, thanks to Sega removing them from circulation.

As Sega promised they would do last week, the company has now removed three of its older mobile games made for Android from the Google Play Store.

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3 days ago

Google adds 140 more characters to mobile search results, now displaying relevant tweets

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Tweets will now show up in Google Search results on mobile devices, giving you a little more real-time information about the topic at hand.

When performing a Google search on a mobile device, users will now start seeing relevant tweets appearing in the results feed, in addition to the normal links and images. Google has been making quite a number of changes to mobile search results, and the latest adds even more real-time results.

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3 days ago

CYNGN: A brief history of how Cyanogen OS came to be

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Cyanogen OS

It's a story of inevitability, one that is far from over.

Over the last couple of years, a group of clever software developers have built an empire out of a free alternative to whatever version of Android came included on your phone. Many of those people have come together to form a company, with the goal of taking this free alternative and turning it into a compelling option for hardware manufacturers to put on their retail devices.

We've seen the success Cyanogen Inc. has had so far — with a fair bit of very public conflicts early on — but the origin of this company has everything to do with how this company plans to succeed, and frankly that's a story worth telling.

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3 days ago

The best podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

Settle into your favorite shows with these podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6.

We're going to help you find the best way to line up podcasts on the Samsung Galaxy S6, clear out the old ones, and keep them coming in the future. Without a native podcatching app, there are plenty of fantastic developers that have stepped up to the plate to get you your shows.

Of course we don't have to remind you to listen in on our most excellent Android Central Podcast, but you're all doing that already, right? None of these apps are exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy S6, but we're hoping to guide those that just picked up the phone. Whatever device you have, these are the best podcatching apps available on Android.

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