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2 days ago

Verizon and AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 to be available from Staples starting Sunday

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If you're in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 and just couldn't decide where to get it, or you happen to need to pick up some toner at the same time, might we suggest Staples? Starting next week, you'll be able to purchase the latest and greatest from Samsung from the office supplies and more store, specifically on April 20th (as that's Easter day, we hope this also entails getting a chocolate Galaxy S5).

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2 days ago

Google Glass XE16 factory image now available

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The Google Glass XE16 update that started rolling out earlier this week is now available as a factory image, for those interested in tinkering with the software on their Glass (or had been tinkering and broke it back enough that you need to start fresh). Photo replies in Hangouts and Bluetooth 4.0 LE are the biggest additions in the XE16 update, which also upped the base OS to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

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2 days ago

Wall Street may not like the quarterly results, but Google is still powering ahead

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Google

The struggle between short-term thinking and long-term investing continues

Yesterday after the market close, Google reported its Q1 results for 2014 which Derek Kessler nicely summarized already. While its clear that Google is growing the top line in a very healthy manner (19 percent year over year growth), Wall Street was disappointed and the stock is trading lower today. In my usual form, I’d like to touch on what I pulled out of Google’s quarterly conference call and how Wall Streets’ reaction fits into the picture.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Google reported earnings of $6.27 per share on revenue of $15.4 billion. Analysts (on average) expected $6.40 per share on revenue of $15.52 billion, which means Google "missed" its earnings number by 2 percent and its revenue number by 0.8 percent.

The growth metrics are what really have Wall Street bothered. Revenue grew 19 percent, but earnings only grew 4.5 percent. When people see this they instantly worry that expenses are growing too fast compared to revenue. Because Google is involved in a ton of projects that are not directly connected to the main advertising business, the market is concerned that future growth will not be as profitable as the current business. Therefore future growth is worth less, and therefore the stock is worth less.

That’s the logic. Except that this “logic” is decided in nanoseconds after the press release hits the wire. Investors pounce all over a supposed earning “miss” without really thinking about the long term. That’s Wall Street for you. I suggest you ignore it and focus on long term investing. That’s what I do, and being a Google shareholder has served me well.

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2 days ago

Moto G now available to buy from Republic Wireless, starts at $149 no contract

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The Moto G is now available order from Republic Wireless, the little MVNO that relies heavily on WiFi and VOiP to get things done. Starting at $149, the Moto G is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors. Shipments are expected to start in 1-2 weeks, so there's still a bit of a wait before Republic Wireless customers can get their hands on Motorola's budget-friendly Android smartphone, but that's not really all that much longer.

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2 days ago

MLB.com At Bat rolling out Chromecast support today

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Baseball fans will be happy to hear that the official MLB.com At Bat app will support Chromecast soon with an update that should be rolling out today. That means you can wirelessly stream live games from your Android device to your TV (assuming you have the handy Chromecast HDMI dongle). The new feature is locked behind a hefty MLB.TV Premium $24.99 monthly subscription or $129.99 annual membership. There’s also a more lightweight $2.99 monthly plan available for the At Bat app, though you won’t be getting Chromecast support in that instance. Also keep in mind that there are certain blackout periods where live games aren’t available, depending on where you’re streaming from.

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2 days ago

Top 5 Galaxy S5 new user questions answered

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Your top questions for the Galaxy S5, explained!

One by one, feature by feature, we've been taking a tour through new Samsung Galaxy S5 like no other. From the most basic of basics ("How to take a Galaxy S5 screenshot") to more in-depth topics (say, moving from the iPhone to the Galaxy S5), our goal is to be the the world's best resource for Galaxy S5 help, tips and tricks.

And that continues today with a few of the top Galaxy S5 questions we've received from the fine folks out there. Some of these we've already covered. Some of these will be pretty basic for those of you who have mastered your Android smartphone.

But for those of you just starting out, welcome! We're glad you're here. And these top Galaxy S5 questions will speed you on your way.

So let's get to it.

(And be sure to check out our comprehensive Galaxy S5 review!)

How to take a screenshot of your Galaxy S5 screen{.slideshow}

Galaxy S5 screenshot

Believe it or not, this is proven to be our most popular GS5 tip thus far. Turns out folks love taking sharing screenshots from their Galaxy S5. (We'll save what they're actually taking screenshots of for another time.)

As the Galaxy S5 is physically different from most other Android phones in that it still has a physical home button, the methods of taking a screenshot are a little different. We go into more detail here, but these are the three options:

  • Simultaneously press the power button and the home button. Let go when you hear the shutter sound.
  • Swipe your hand, placed vertically with your pinky facing down, over the Galaxy S5 display, either from left to right or right to left.

There's a third option, of course – use the DDMS tool along with the Android SDK. But if you know what that is, then you should also already know how to use it.

How to change the Galaxy S5 lock screen

Galaxy S5 lock screen options

You're going to see your Galaxy S5's lock screen more than just about any other screen on the phone. It's what you see when you first wake it up. When you want to check the time or the weather.

And, fortunately for you, it's customizable.

Go to the phone's main settings menu, then scroll down to the "Sound and Display" section. That's where you'll find the lock screen settings. Once there, you've got a number of options. First and foremost is the "Screen security" option. That's where you choose whether you want a PIN or strong password to unlock your phone. Or if you want to use the fingerprint scanner. Or — and we don't really recommend this — to have no lock screen security at all.

The "dual clock" option will display a second clock when you're on the road. So if you live in the Eastern time zone but are in California, it'll show you the time in both places. Handy. You also can choose how big you want the clock to be.

There are basic checkboxes for the date and camera shortcut. Do note that if you have lock screen security enabled (and you should), opening the camera only gives access to the camera app. To go anywhere else, you'll need the password.

You also can change the unlock effect of the lock screen (ripple is pretty cool), and choose whether you want to see weather and steps information when the pedometer is turned on in the S Health application.

How to turn off Galaxy S5 touch sounds

This is another one of those simple tips that we love to give. The Galaxy S5 tends to make noise whenever you tap the screen, or type on the keyboard. Trust us, you'll want to turn these off. There are a few ways to do it:

  • Pull down from the top of the screen, and tap the sound quick setting to either vibrate or mute.
  • Go into the sound settings and uncheck the "Touch sounds" option.
  • If you're using the Samsung keyboard, we'd also recommend unchecking "Sound when tapped" in that section.

How to maximize your Galaxy S5 battery life

Galaxy S5 battery

Battery life is like chocolate. You just can't ever get enough. Fortunately, the Galaxy S5 gets pretty good battery life. But we have a few tips that can help maximize your Galaxy S5 battery life. The broad strokes include:

  • Lower your display brightness.
  • Use Wifi whenever possible
  • Check your display timeout. If it's set to keep your display on for a long time while you're not using the phone, you're wasting battery life. + Use GPS sparingly.
  • Employ one of the Galaxy S5 battery saving modes.
  • Occasionally reboot or reset your phone.
  • Or just carry a spare battery around.

How to adjust Galaxy S5 call settings

Galaxy S5 call settings

And the last of the top Galaxy S5 new user questions regards the call settings. There are a couple of ways to get to these. One is through the phone application itself. Look for the three-dot overflow menu button. That's where you'll find the call settings. The other way is through the main settings menu.

There are a couple of call settings menus worth looking over. One is for calls themselves. You'll find options for rejecting calls, answering and ending calls, the pop-ups you'll get while you're on calls, call alerts and accessories, and additional call settings. If you're looking for a way to tweak your phone call experience, this is the place for it.

You'll also find the Contacts settings here as well. You can import and export settings, choose when contacts to display, and chose how they're displayed. Powerful stuff here.


And that's it for our top Galaxy S5 new users questions, as posed by you folks. For more Galaxy S5 help and hints, visit this page. And be sure to swing by our Galaxy S5 forums to get help from other folks using the phone!

Once you're through that, take a little more time out for our comprehensive Galaxy S5 review!

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2 days ago

Xperia Keyboard now available in the Google Play Store, Sony device still required

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Sony has moved its Xperia keyboard into the Google Play Store, but you still won't be able to get it if you're not using a Sony device. Sony's move echoes the actions of Google, who has been steadily moving more and more core app elements of Android — from the Google Keyboard to yesterday's Google Camera — into Google Play. Sony's likely done so for the some of the same reason as well: they can update the keyboard and have it on users' devices without worrying about waiting for carrier approval for a full-on operating system update.

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2 days ago

Why I'd still tell anyone who listens to buy an LG G2 today

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LG G2

Just because it's been with us for a while doesn't mean the LG G2 isn't one of the very best Android smartphones you can buy

Eight months on from the launch of the LG G2, many other flagship class phones have come our way from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony and even LG itself with the Google branded Nexus 5. Talk is beginning to turn towards its replacement, the G3, already, but that doesn't mean the G2 is dead. Far from it.

We love the LG G2 around these parts, and consider it one of the very best smartphones to come across our desks in 2013. But as we enter 2014 with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 fresh and shiny, I would still recommend the G2 as a phone to buy to anyone who would listen. Read on to see why.

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2 days ago

LG Lucid 3 now available from Verizon

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Verizon’s introducing an entry-level handset today called the LG Lucid 3. For $299.99 off-contract (free if you sign up for one), you get a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The last Lucid handset left us impressed with the bang-for-buck value, despite several shortcomings. Odds are we can expect more of that with the LG Lucid 3.

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2 days ago

FarmVille 2: Country Escape is made for mobile, requires no friends

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Following a fairly successful soft launch in Canada, Zynga’s FarmVille 2: Country Escape launches globally today on iOS and Android. The Facebook version has been out since 2012, though the new mobile version won’t require a social plug-in to bug your friends for resources. You can also play offline, which is a nice change of pace from these types of games. The usual freemium city-building tropes are here: gather resources, plant new crops, wait on timers, or speed them up through in-app purchases, and co-operate with friends.

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