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3 years ago

Google Now will change the way we use our smartphones


As Google Now gains more functionality, we see more and more what a Big Deal™ it will become

This is not a guess. It's not even a prediction. Google Now is going to change the way you use your smart phone, and maybe even the face of mobile itself. What started as a neat way to see baseball scores has graduated into its own platform and service, fully extensible, and downright wonderful.

Hearing and seeing what Google Now can do is one thing. It looks and sounds really cool, but when you use some of the more advanced features for the first time in a real-life situation, you'll have an epiphany. I know this, because it just happened to me. The experience moved me, and made me realize that Google Now is the killer feature everyone has always looked for.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 RC4 update rolls out to address math calculation bug


Rest assured you didn't use 100GB of mobile data over night

CyanogenMod pushed out a small update to CM10.1 yesterday bumping the software up to RC3, but it turns out there was a small math calculation bug that gave users quite a scare the next day. Because of changes made to the way the software handled complex math calculations, many devices had issues anywhere the system had to calculate and display numbers. The end result were some shocking data usage counters, which often showed devices using 100GB or more over night from very basic usage. The bug, it turns out, was giving exponentially (yikes!) incorrect results when counting on any device with a chipset other than those the new code was tested on, which understandably caused some panic.

Fear not, your phone didn't randomly pull down over 100GB of mobile data while you were sleeping last night -- and the update today to CM10.1 RC4 has fixed the issue. Things like this happen, and that's part of the nature of flashing custom ROMs. Luckily the issues were simply cosmetic, and can be fixed with a quick update to RC4 from the source link below.

Source: +CyanogenMod; More:

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Couple, The Simpsons Tapped Out, Hiversaires and more!


We have another diverse group of picks to keep you busy this weekend

Welcome back to yet another edition of the "Apps of the Week" post, where we bring together a group of apps that the Android Central writers have been using on a regular basis. App discovery can be tough with so many options out there, so our goal is to give you some personal recommendations on the apps we're using ourselves. This week we're looking at a few tools, a couple of good games to kill some time with and as usual some odds-and-ends.

Stick around with us after the break to see what we have for you this week -- you may just come away with a couple apps that you want to download on your own device. 

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3 years ago

Stock Talk: Dish, Clearwire, Sprint, Softbank and the big game of poker


The U.S. telecom landscape can get confusing. But I think we can all agree that technology is pushing forward and consumers will benefit by having more ways to watch the video content they want to watch in a simple way. And so if you’re a subscriber to DISH satellite TV service, it would be really nice to be able to stream the content you’re paying for to a smartphone, tablet or computer within your home or when you’re on the road.

The action going on between Sprint, Clearwire, Softbank and Dish Network is really interesting, and much like a game of poker. Let’s have a look.

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3 years ago

Google won't yet approve Glassware that uses facial recognition


Taking into account user feedback, the policy will evolve in the coming weeks and months

Writing on its official Project Glass Google+ page, Google explained that because of privacy concerns it will not be approving Glassware (apps for Glass) that take advantage of facial recognition technology. While a consumer release of Glass may still be several months away, there are now enough people out there with Explorer Edition units that Google felt the need to address this concern. One of the biggest struggles it is fighting with Glass currently is concerns over privacy, and following its current company line on the use of facial recognition it thinks that now is not the time to include it.

Google says that it is listening to feedback from early users of Glass, and will be evolving its policy on facial recognition software in the coming weeks and months. We of course know that with a little bit of hacking non-approved Glassware including facial recognition could easily be added to Glass, but in these fragile stages of building public perception of the product it is best for Google to have an official stance here.

Source: +Project Glass

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3 years ago

Android Central 137: Have you ever been experienced?


Audio-only stream below

We've got the gang back together for our first proper podcast in a few weeks, so that means it's time to take on all these newfangled "Nexus User Experience" devices.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 Active destined for AT&T leaked in press renders


Another take on the Galaxy S4 with a rugged exterior and new color options

Building on earlier leaks and rumors of a new version of the Galaxy S4 called the "Active", new press images show show off the handset with AT&T branding and a few more details about the device. If you'll recall back just a few days to earlier leaks, the Galaxy S4 Active is purported to be a more rugged version of the original S4, with a tougher design, three hardware navigation buttons and very similar internals. According to information and images obtained by TheUnlockr, the Galaxy S4 Active will ship with a 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 processor and have the same 5-inch 1080x1920 display, but will bump down the camera to only 8MP.

The clock widget prominently displayed on the render's screen shows a date of June 21st, to which we can take with a large grain of salt as a potential launch window for the device. Along with the Galaxy S4 Mini, the Active shows how Samsung is working to fill out its Galaxy S4 lineup to include multiple handsets under the same well-known branding. Will you be inclined to pick one of these up if it hits AT&T? Sound off in the comments.

Source: TheUnlockr

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3 years ago

T-Mobile UK offering Motorola RAZR i for £149 on £10 PAYG plan


Moving up to a £20 plan gets you a Philips SBT300 Bluetooth speaker as well

T-Mobile U.K. is offering a pretty sweet deal on one of Motorola's headline devices for the end of 2012, the RAZR i, for just £149.99 on a PAYG plan. You can nab this device at the aforementioned price with any PAYG plan of £10 or more, which will get you 100 minutes, 400 texts and 1GB of data for the month. There are a couple more popular plans at the £15 and £25 levels with more minutes, texts and 2GB or 3GB of data as well. If you bump up to a monthly topup of at least £20, T-Mobile will also throw in a Phillips SBT300 Bluetooth speaker, which makes the deal even sweeter.

Considering that the original PAYG price for the RAZR i hovered somewhere around £300 for most of its life, this is a pretty great deal if you're looking for a good device on a budget. The device seems to have just sold out on the T-Mobile U.K. website (at least at the moment), but you may still have a shot at picking one up from a local store.

Source: T-Mobile UK; MoDaCo

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3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 review


The Padfone 2 is the second iteration of ASUS' smartphone/tablet hybrid. It's an unusual concept, but does it work?

The ASUS Padfone 2 was first unveiled back in October 2012 as an update to the original Padfone. Beyond mere spec updates, there are design improvements over its predecessor also. It's an unusual concept for sure, but then ASUS is absolutely no stranger to trying out-of-the-ordinary products. This is, after all, the company that brought us the original Transformer tablet with laptop dock, and one which since has released an enormous Windows 8 desktop/Android tablet hybrid. 

And that's why we love ASUS products. There's usually something that sets them apart from the competition, and for that they should always be commended, even if the results aren't always perfect. The Padfone has always intrigued, but it's suffered from limited global availability since the original launched, not to mention astronomical price tags. But, since Mobile World Congress (which also saw the launch of the Padfone Infinity) Padfone 2 availability increased somewhat, and the device finally saw a UK launch. So here it is, one of the more unusual devices to pass through for review, but also one we've been waiting to get our hands on.

But is it any good? Click on and we'll find out. 

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3 years ago

Heads up: We're podcasting at 4:30 p.m. EDT today!


Phil. Alex. Andrew. Jerry. Jerry's Beard. The whole gang gets back together at 4:30 p.m. EDT today for Episode 137 of the Android Central Podcast. We're recording live this week, so you get to come along for the ride as we continue to try to figure out these newfangled "Google Edition" phones, some pretty big changes to Gmail, we've got the White Nexus 4, and of course we'll take more of your questions.

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3 years ago

White Nexus 4 now available in the U.S.


White color variant launches on Google Play and T-Mobile U.S.

After launching in Hong Kong earlier this week, the white LG Nexus 4 has made its Western debut today in the United States. The phone is available right now from the Google Play Store, priced $299 for 8GB and $349 for 16GB, same as the standard black version. The white Google Play version comes with a free white bumper, not currently for sale by itself.

T-Mobile U.S. is also stocking the 16GB white Nexus for $427.99 on its online store, with no monthly installment plan option. That's a good deal more expensive than the Play Store price, so the direct Google route will remain the best option for most folks.

So far we're not seeing any sign of the white Nexus 4 in the UK or Canada -- or anywhere else for that matter -- but we'll keep watching in the hours and days ahead.

U.S. people, here are your links --

More: Hands-on with the white Nexus 4

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3 years ago

Don't hit your cap: A few tweaks to cut down on Google Play Music data usage


'All Access' doesn't have to mean 'all of your data cap'

Google Play Music is a pretty great service, especially when you have chosen to give up $9.99 per month for the new "All Access" subscription service. Without any thought of what music I own, what device I'm on or what I've loaded on my device, I just opened up Google Play Music and listened to the new "Random Access Memories" album by Daft Punk. Within seconds it started streaming in continuous high quality and I got to enjoy the entire album without a second thought.

But there's one small issue -- streaming that album just cost me over 290MB towards my monthly data cap.

In its attempt to make a seamless streaming experience for users, Google has somewhat obscured and selected the settings that make the user experience in Google Play Music as great as possible by default. This is certainly the right choice on average -- users don't want to spend their time tweaking settings, they just want to listen to their music anywhere and any way. But for those who are going to utilize Play Music daily and for hours at a time, there are settings that can be tweaked to make sure you're not unnecessarily using mobile data.

So what can you do to limit the amount of data usage from Play Music? Stick with us after the break and learn a few tips to keep from using up your monthly data cap with just streaming music.

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3 years ago

World War Z invades Android


You're either one of us, or you're one of them. It's that simple. And who doesn't like killing a buttload of zombies? To that end, the mobile game for World War Z -- the movie, not the book it was loosely based off of -- has finally been released to Google Play, bringing with it 28 levels of first-person shooter, along with "intense combat, engaging puzzles, upgradable weapons and armor and unlimited challenge mode."

Certainly looks decent enough. You'll have to pony up $4.99 for the pleasure playing. Hit the link above to give it a go.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SP now available on Three


Available for free on £26 per month contracts, or £349.99 on PAYG

Data-friendly operator Three UK has launched Sony Mobile's latest mid to high-end handset, the Xperia SP. The phone sports an unorthodox design, with an aluminum trim and glowing "transparent element" under the screen. Spec-wise, you're looking at Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 1GB of RAM and a 4.6-inch 720p "HD Reality" display. Around the back there's an 8-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera.

The Xperia SP also supports Three's "Ultrafast" network with 42Mbps DC-HSDPA at present, and 4G LTE in the future.

The phone is being given away free on all Three's 24-month contracts, which start at £26 per month for unlimited data, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts. It's also available on Pay As You Go for a pretty reasonable £349.99.

Check past the break for our hands-on video.

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

EE's 4G LTE goes live in twelve more UK towns


Total markets now stands at 74, as carrier claims more than half UK population coverage

EE, currently the UK's only LTE provider, has announced that its 4G network has been switched on in twelve new markets. The new towns include Ashton-under-Lyne, Chatham, Gillingham, High Wycombe, Merthyr Tydfil, Oldham, Oxford, Rochester, Runcorn, Sale, Stafford and Wigan. This brings the total number of markets to 74, and EE says the new additions mean its 4G services now cover more than 50 percent of the UK population.

The carrier recently launched its first rolling 30-day SIM-only 4G contracts, allowing Brits to try out its LTE network without committing to a hefty year-long plan. Competing LTE offerings from rival networks are expected to arrive later this year, with Vodafone targeting September, O2 hoping for a summer launch and Three aiming for the end of the year.

Meanwhile, EE plans to begin trialing the parts of the faster LTE-Advanced standard before the end of 2013.

Source: EE

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