Headlines

2 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: Zen and the art of the staggered release

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Software update

Nobody likes a trollout. Perhaps the worst words you can see in an announcement about a new release or update to anything is "will start rolling out to users over the next few weeks," or something to that effect. It's called a staggered release. We call it a trollout. It plays with our emotions and, more accurately, our patience.

And it's probably one of the smarter things that happens, at least when it comes to Google releasing things.

That's not to say I have to like it. Chances are I'm just like you. I want the shiny new thing right the eff now. I'm OK with beta testing and I have an unhealthy need to update all the things. It's natural for nerds like us. I sideload core updates more than I care to admit (yes, even while cautioning against it), and I can't remember the last time I actually got an over-the-air update on a Nexus device, instead choosing to load things manually. I probably should go to meetings or something.

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2 days ago

A video walkthrough of the Huawei Ascend Mate 7

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We've been playing with the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 for a couple of weeks now since it launched at IFA 2014 and while the full review will be posted early next week, what we've got here is a slimmed down, three minute version.

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2 days ago

AT&T offering double data on Mobile Share plans for a limited time

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Are you a heavy data user? If so, AT&T is hoping you'll look their way and consider their latest promotion. For a limited time, they're doubling up the data offered on their Mobile Share value plans.

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2 days ago

The best Android apps and games of the week: FIFA 15 Ultimate Team and more!

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The Google Play Store has been busy churning out some solid Android apps and games this week. Soccer, errr, football fans have an updated FIFA game to dig into, there's a great new strategy games from the Anomaly guys, and a smattering of utility apps to top it all off.

As always, we're eager to hear what you've found in the Play Store, but in the meantime, here are our top ten new Android apps and games of the week.

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3 days ago

In pictures: Sony Xperia Z3 + Z3 Compact versus Z2 + Z1 Compact

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Xperia Z1 Compact, Z2, Z3, Z3 Compact

The Sony Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact are upon us, with both devices now available in parts of Europe, and at least one of them likely to hit American shores next month. Sony's rapid-fire release cycle for high-end Android phones results in each generation of phones being the sum of many iterative updates upon the last. That's true of the Z3 series — both phones take their predecessors, the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z1 Compact, and improve upon them in ways both subtle and substantial.

We'll have more to say on both new Sony phones in the next week, but for now we've rounded up both phones and their forebears for a quick photo shoot. Check it out down below.

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3 days ago

New Samsung Galaxy Note 4 video promo is long and full of 'noteisms'

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Now that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is available for pre-order at all four major US wireless carriers, it would appear that Samsung is stepping up their promotion plans for the upcoming 5.7-inch smartphone with a new, and very long, promotional video.

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3 days ago

LG's next smartwatch may not even require a smartphone to work

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LG has so far announced two Android Wear smartwatches in the form of the LG G Watch and G Watch R, and FCC documents suggest that the company may be working on a third option. This latest watch undergoing regulatory approval may not even require a smartphone to operate as it may come with its own built-in 3G CDMA radio. If this is accurate, LG's newest smartwatch endeavor would pit it against the Tizen-based Gear S from rival Samsung.

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3 days ago

Weekly sidebar poll results: Your favorite paid music service

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Paid music services

Everyone loves Google Play Music, but Spotify makes a strong showing

Earlier in the week, we asked everyone to help us find alternatives to Google Play Music All Access. We're all either at, or very near to, the device limit and we need our music. We've fussed and complained about the device authorization and de-authorization limits, but Google and the music companies aren't likely to change their minds, so it's time for us to try something else.

Of course, the most popular option in the poll was Google Play Music. On an Android, it's easy, and the catalogue is pretty rich. And the device limit isn't going to affect most people, so it works great for the majority. Next in line was Spotify, so that's an option some of us will be exploring. After that, things are pretty well split and there's no clear third-place.

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3 days ago

Sprint finally begins taking pre-orders for Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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Sprint has finally begun taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, becoming the last of the four major US wireless carriers to allow its customers to purchase the 5.7-inch smartphone before its release on October 17.

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3 days ago

Android Central 204: How much is too much?

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Audio-only stream below

We're a little all over the place this week with some more giant Nexus news, our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, Moto G and Moto X, plus we answer a bunch of your questions live. And there might well have been some singing.

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3 days ago

The best board games for Android

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Best Android board games

Board games have been experiencing a renaissance in recent years, and it doesn't take a lot of digging in the Google Play Store to see it reflected on Android as well. We've put together our top ten board games for Android for the consideration of long-time board game fans and neophytes alike.

The vast majority of the Android board games on our list employ in-app purchases for expansions, and thanks to established physical games, they tend to be well-balanced and lots of fun.

So if you're having trouble getting everybody together under one roof or just don't have any more shelf space for another box, pick up your Android phone or tablet to grab these fantastic board games.

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3 days ago

European ruling opens up the cabin for in-flight phone calls, Internet access

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Through a new decision made by the European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, the doors may be opening up to in-flight phone calls, emails, and streaming video on a flight in Europe in the future. Though EASA had allowed the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) on flights in airplane mode last year, the new ruling on Friday would allow these devices to remain on whether or not they are placed into a transmission-restrictive airplane mode.

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3 days ago

Experimental switch silences audio alerts in Chrome browser tab

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Google is experimenting with a new feature that would allow users to silence audio notifications in the Chrome browser tab. Admittedly, Google says that it is experimenting with this new UI feature after users had mistakenly assumed that they could click on the tab to mute alert tones, and that it is not promising that the feature will make it to a stable release of Chrome in the future.

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3 days ago

Vine updated with video trimming and undo

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Vine for Android has seen several significant updates over the past few months, and the latest brings improved editing tools to the party. The app, now up to version 2.5.0 sees the following improvements:

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3 days ago

Get moving with Just Dance Now and your Android phone

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Just Dance Now recently launched for iOS and Android, which offers booty-shaking gameplay minus the console. Players use their smartphone as a motion controller, and any screen with browser access as the primary game display. You need to match up with the movements of the dancer on the TV, laptop, or tablet, and are scored based on how closely you mimic the movements. If you're feeling brave, you can share video clips of your sweet, sweet dance moves to social media.

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