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2 years ago

Android at CES: Bookmark this page now! [#CESlive]

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It's time. We're headed to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the 3,295th Consumer Electronics Show. (Not that many? Fine. Feels like it, though. Anyhoo.)

As we've previously shouted from the rooftops, we're cranking things way past 11 this year, going far beyond our usual coverage both as Android Central, and as Mobile Nations as a whole. Once again we're teaming up with John and Cali (and all their awesome behind-the-scenes support) from GeekBeat.TV for a full week of live coverage and interviews once the show floor opens on Tuesday.

But we just can't wait. Head to the Android Central CESlive hub and you'll find all the pre-announcements already underway. And for us, the live coverage begins Sunday. (No rest for the wicked.) You don't want to miss this. All the announcements. First looks. Liveblogs. Random stuff you can't find anywhere other than CES (and Las Vegas, for that matter). It's all going down over the next week. Just look for that little Lloyd and CES icon, and you'll know you're in the right spot. (And click it for a quick link to all the coverage.)

Come meet us at CES! And that's just the beginning. If you're at the show, we'll be set up just inside the lower floor in South Hall. (You won't be able to miss us, actually.) Swing by and say hi.

The Wednesday night meetup! And for the really adventurous, we've got Wednesday night blocked out for some major meetup action with all your favorite Mobile Nations and GeekBeat friends. Get all the details here.

The sponsors! And mad love for Seidio, Vizzywig, QNAP, Ustream, NewTek and the CEA for helping make all this happen.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. We'll see you from the strip.

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2 years ago

LG G Flex renders surface for AT&T and T-Mobile

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Further pricing and availability details yet to be released

It may not be a shock to many, but evidence is building that the LG G Flex will be headed to at least AT&T and T-Mobile in short order. Frequent device leaker @evleaks has just put up the above renders showing the latest bendy device adorned with some simple AT&T and T-Mobile status bar iconography and software branding. Just like previous high-end LG handsets on these two carriers, there doesn't seem to be any carrier branding on the front bezels either.

Now naturally these renders can be easily fudged to look like the device is coming to any carrier. But we tend to give this one a bit of weight considering how likely LG is to be shopping this device around to many carriers. Details on pricing and even rough availability aren't yet being offered, but we will surely hear more about this handset before it hits U.S. store shelves.

Source: @evleaks

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2 years ago

What do your homescreens look like for 2014?

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New calendar year, new look for your phone or tablet

It's now 2014, and that means maybe it's time to clean up that homescreen for a new look in the new year. It always feels good to clear out your phone and start fresh, really thinking about what apps and widgets are most important for productivity (and a little fun as well).

We're sure more than a few of you have taken to your phone and tablet to rearrange things in 2014, so how does it look after you're done? I've posted screenshots of my current setup right now after the break, but we'd love to see what your devices are looking like in the forums as well.

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2 years ago

Polaroid announces range of Q Series tablets ahead of CES

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New 7, 8 and 10-inch tablets start at just $129

Polaroid has just announced some additions, called the Q Series, to its tablet lineup. Coming in a 7, 8 and 10-inch sizes, Polaroid hopes that its latest offerings will attract some attention. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 are all Wifi tablets that will launch running Android 4.4 KitKat — something many people will enjoy. Powered by a quad-core processor, each of these tablets will feature many of the other standard bells and whistles like Bluetooth, HDMI out, front and rear cameras, as well as front-facing speakers for great media enjoyment.

“Tablets are changing the way consumers use and share their favorite media and memories, and Polaroid’s robust line of tablets is allowing more consumers to share with on-the-go convenience,” said Polaroid President and CEO Scott W. Hardy. “Our Q Series provides consumers with super-fast quad core processing speeds allowing for faster performance and less wait times when watching movies, or playing games.  In addition the Q series’ sleek design and affordable price point make it a great choice.”

With pricing starting at $129 and going up to only $179, the tablets are definitely in the affordable range. Polaroid hopes to have these in the hands of consumers by Spring 2014, which isn't too far away. The Q7, Q8 and Q10 will be featured at CES, so stay tuned for some hands-on time with each of these from the show next week.

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2 years ago

Moto G from Boost Mobile available today through HSN for $129

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New budget offering comes to Boost's own stores on Jan. 14

If you're looking to get your hands on a Moto G for Boost Mobile, today is your lucky day. HSN and HSN.com have begun selling a Boost Mobile variant of the Moto G for only $129 without any contract. If you would rather purchase it directly from Boost, you will have to wait until January 14th when it will go on sale both online and in select retail locations. Coming in at $50 below Motorola's own price, and partnered with great prepaid plan pricing the Moto G is a very appealing option.

Boost Mobile — which operates on the Sprint network — offers unlimited talk, text, and data for only $55 a month with the option of having your payments shrink every six months. If you are looking for a great deal on an Android device that we thought was pretty awesome, you won't want to miss out on this.

Source: HSNBoost Mobile

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2 years ago

Pebble announcing 'something special' next week at CES

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Get your livebloggin' boots ready, boys and girls. Pebble plans to announce "something special" next week at CES in Las Vegas.

We're not quite what's in store just yet. The general consensus is some sort of second-generation hardware, as the original design will be closing in on a year of availability this spring. That's speculation, however, and it's important to remember that Pebble's still way more of a startup than the tech companies that pump out iteration after iteration, year after year. On the other hand, Pebble has already announced its upcoming app store, so maybe new hardware makes sense. We'll just have to see.

For those of you not lucky enough to be in Vegas for all the fun next week, Pebble plans to livestream its announcement. Stay tuned. And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out our behind-the-scenes feature with Pebble.

Source: Pebble blog

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2 years ago

First look: The Air Dock wireless charger

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This car dock has a great feature — wireless charging

Wireless charging is a great way to keep your phone battery topped off while it's not in your hands. Having a charger on your desk is really handy, and it makes the worries of battery life on today's big-screen phones just about nonexistent. But one place that really needs some wireless charging love in the car — and it's about to get some.

The folks at Air Dock have kicked off an Indiegogo campaign for what they call the world's best smartphone car charger, and after using it for a couple days I have to agree with them. If you use — and I mean really use — your phone in the car, for navigation, or phone calls, or as a music player or to entertain the passenger with a video or two, this is what you need. 

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2 years ago

Google Play Newsstand has a hidden developer option to disable caching

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... but you probably don't want to use it.

Reader Andrew sends in a little tip regarding the Google Play Newsstand app, and how it has the same sort of hidden developer settings as Android itself these days. Go into the settings menu, scroll down to the build number, and tap your little head off until you're granted developer options.

You'll then be able to disable caching. But as the toast notification clearly spells out, it's not really an option you'll want or need to use. Explains the app:

Disable caching is for testing design changes and makes the app operate very slowly. This operation will be automatically turned off in 4 hours.

Your battery and data cap will thank you.

Thanks, Andrew!

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2 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 soak test invites being sent out

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No clear indication of what the software update will bring

We've already seen Motorola roll out a rather quick Android 4.4 update for the Moto X, and now Droid 4 owners are receiving a soak test invitation. Shortly after rolling out the soak tests on the Moto X, Droid Ultra and various other devices the update starting hitting officially, and we hope for the same here. While this update is likely to keep the phone on a lower version of Android — Motorola's support page still claims the Droid 4 won't go past Android 4.1.2 — we'll never turn down an official software update on an older device.

Invites are going out now, so we can expect to wait a few more days for software to start hitting devices. Hopefully if all goes smooth they will be able to roll the update to everyone rather quickly. Keep your eyes on your update screen and be sure to let us know if you start receiving the update!

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

ARCHOS introduces Helium smartphone line for CES

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ARCHOS unleases 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G pretty cheap unlocked

CES-related news continues to come! This time, it's ARCHOS making the announcement. The big part of the story here is how cheap the phones are: $200 and $250 respectively.

These phones come unlocked and both phones announced today support LTE on the 800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz bands.

Both also have quad-core Qualcomm MSM8926 processors and 1 GB of RAM.

Oh, and here's something else that will make many people happy: both phones have MicroSD slots to satiate your expandable storage needs. Both phones also run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Jump on past the break to learn about some of the differences between the phones.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 unveiled ahead of CES

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Same lens and sensor with updated internals, software and design

We're still a good four days out from the official start of CES 2014, but Samsung has already taken the wraps off its first Android product from the show, the Galaxy Camera 2. Described as a successor to 2012's OG Galaxy Camera, the Galaxy Camera 2 packs the same 16.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor and f/2.8-5.9 21X optical zoom lens as the original, only with updated internals, a newer version of Android and a bigger battery.  The basic shape of the camera is similar, though it now sports a Galaxy Note 3-like faux-leather effect on the front, and it's a little lighter than before, at 283 grams versus 300.

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2 years ago

Moto G officially hits Verizon prepaid on Jan. 9 for $99

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U.S. carrier undercuts Motorola's own purchase price by $80

Verizon today officially announced that the Moto G will be available online on Jan. 9. It'll be available in-stores thereafter, but you might already be able to pick one up at Best Buy.

The U.S. carrier is going as far as undercutting Motorola's own purchase price, selling the LTE-less smartphone for a mere $99. Prepaid plans start at $60 a month for unlimited talk and text, with 2 gigabytes of data. Upgrading to 4GB of data costs another $10 a month. 

Be sure to check out our full review of the Moto G.

Source: Verizon

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2 years ago

Wrist-First: This is Pebble

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"The smartwatch kind of snuck up on us." I'm sitting with Eric Migicovsky in his office in Palo Alto. Even seated he towers over me, which might help explain his extraordinary vision. Or maybe he’s just that far ahead of the rest of us.

Earlier attempts at making watches smarter, everything from the classic Casio calculator watch to the Sony Ericsson MBW series, didn't do it for Migicovsky. They simply didn't do enough. Inspired by pen computers like the Newton, Psion, and the Palm Pilot, and their eventual convergence with smartphones, Migicovsky felt there was a place for a device that was even more convenient.

He wanted something that could take on a subset of tasks and make them available to you at glance, on your wrist, while in a meeting or on a run. After early attempts to hack extra radios onto the iPhone 3G, Migicovsky, a Canadian, switched his focus to the (at the time) far more accessible BlackBerry platform.

2 years ago

Lenovo's new smartphones: Vibe Z, A859, S930, S650

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Lenovo today announced a foursome of new smartphones ahead of CES. The hero device of the group is the Vibe Z, aimed at the fashion-conscious shutterbug crowd.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they will be making their way Stateside anytime soon, but they should be good options for those who live where they're available.

What are their specs like? Jump on past the break to find out!

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2 years ago

Carbon for Twitter goes easy on our eyes with new font options

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Carbon for Twitter, which earlier this week got a long-awaited overhaul, has tweaked things yet again today and addressed one of our chief complaints. Switching to the Roboto font certainly kept things more HOLOYOLO, but not all variants of Roboto are easy on the eyes. To that end, there are now three options — Roboto condenced, regular and light. 

Good options to have, and a good response by the dev. The update's live in Google Play.

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