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3 years ago

I hate the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

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I hate the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

WebOS Nation Editor in Chief Derek Kessler remembers a simpler era, when Palm Touchstones ruled the land

About a month ago I picked up an LG Nexus 4. I've known Android for some time, but until buying the Nexus 4 I'd yet to actually own an Android handset. While Android has surprised me in some areas and frustrated me in others, that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Nope, I'm here to talk about the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger and how much I hate it.

The photo above was taken approximately five minutes after I'd carefully and deliberately set my Nexus 4 onto the Wireless Charger to, well, wirelessly charge. And it did. The move to get from being positioned centered on the charger to resting on its side with the charger as a glorified kickstand was smooth and quiet. It went entirely unnoticed as I sat not two feet away, working on my computer. Not until I looked over to see if it had stayed in position did I discover that it in fact had not.

Normally my Nexus 4 just slips down half an inch or so until it's no longer optimally positioned on the charger and no longer taking a charge through the ether. Sometimes it also lists slightly to the right, but only by ten degrees or so. After I took that photo, rolled my eyes, and posted it to Twitter, I carried on with my work, curious to see where the Nexus 4 would slide to next. Five minutes later, my typing was interrupted by a soft thunk - gravity had finally conspired to pull the phone entirely off the charger and it was now resting flat on its back on my desk.

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope: Time Travel coming soon from ZeptoLab

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ZeptoLab announces the first new Cut the Rope series game in two years -- Cut the Rope: Time Travel

Cut the Rope is an insanely popular mobile game on both iOS and Android, and it's first sequel Cut the Rope Experiments was just as popular. Today, ZeptoLab has announced a third in the series named Cut the Rope: Time Travel.

We don't have much to go on yet. There's a trailer (find it after the break) but other than showing how adorable the little Om Nom character is, it leaves the rest to our imagination. We expect more of the same physics puzzles that help get candy into the cuddly little fellows mouth, and we're fine with that. Why ruin a good thing?

No word on any date or pricing, other than it will be launching for Android and iOS and that it is "almost here". We'll jump on it as soon as we see it, in the meantime hit the break for that trailer.

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3 years ago

Google helps plan your afterlife in the cloud

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Inactive accounts can now have data shared with a person of your choosing, then deleted if you set things up beforehand

The digital age is relatively new. It was only recently that folks started depending so heavily on electronic communications and services, which in turn saves -- at least in part -- your life in the cloud. Photographs of friends and loved ones, email correspondences, and school and work documents are all part of many people's digital footprints today. Google now has incorporated what they call the 'Inactive Account Manager' into Google services.

After a user-defined timeout period that starts from your last sign-in, your Google account will be classified as inactive. Before the end of the timeout period is reached, Google will send you a text or email notification. If Google receives no response from you, contacts of your choosing can be notified after the timeout period that you are no longer using your account. There's even an option to share data with those contacts at this time. Any of the following can be shared: +1s, Blogger, Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube. A warning text and email will be sent before any data sharing occurs. The final step is account deletion after 3-12 months, which is completely optional. Google will erase your account and its contents if you so desire.

The Inactive Account Manager setup page can be found here. It's nice to see Google giving its users a tool to help plan for the unexpected. Whether you choose to simply delete your account or to share photos and documents with loved ones, this new tool has the potential to give a little extra peace of mind.

Setup Page; Source: Google Public Policy Blog

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3 years ago

Facebook Home and the HTC First - what you need to know

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You've got questions about Facebook Home - we've got answers

Friday's the big day, folks. The day the new Facebook Home application and the new HTC First smartphone arrive. Or, maybe it's just Friday. That all depends on your point of view toward Facebook, your phone and this whole social sharing thing in general.

There are more than 650 million active Facebook users. One in seven people on the planet has an account with Facebook. It's no small thing. But at the same time, how close is too close? Do you really want Facebook that much more in your life? Do Facebook Home and the new HTC First make that big a difference in the way you use Facebook? Will you use it more? Will it make you want to use it less? Does it makes the experience that much better?

The answer to many of those questions are a matter of personal taste. But we've been bombarded by questions from our friends and family -- folks who don't necessarily live day in night inside the tech bubble -- and with Friday being launch day, we've put together a few answers, in layman's terms.

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3 years ago

Dropbox update adds improved photo viewing, support for six languages

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Every Dropbox photo can now be viewed in one place

More improvements in the way of picture handling have been added to Dropbox for version 2.3.5. In a recent update we saw albums and photo sharing added to Dropbox; with the latest update, we now get a better way to view stored photos from within the app. All previously uploaded photos will now be displayed for easy viewing in the photos section of the picture tab.

Localization also has been improved, with Dropbox learning six new languages: Indonesian, Malay, Polish, Russian, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese. The change log of v2.3.5 also boasts "tons of performance improvements."

The update is live right now in the Play Store for Dropbox users. Hit the link above to install or update.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo now coming to the UK

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Available from Samsung and major operators

Previously announced just over a week ago, Samsung has confirmed availability for the Galaxy Pocket Neo in the United KIngdom. Targeted at the entry level market, this phone will spare the specs in exchange for being easy on the wallet. Packing a 3-inch TFT screen, 850 MHz processor, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Pocket Neo will be hitting the store shelves in mid-May.

Look for this economically-friendly smartphone in the Samsung Experience Store at the Westfield Stratford City, as well as your favorite major operator. For an in-depth look at the Pocket Neo's specifications, hit the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

The Greatest Android Podcast in the World returns tonight, live, with video!

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We are nothing if not consistently inconsistent. Due to more air miles in the air and weeks on the road than we care to think about, we've had to hop back and forth the past couple weeks between proper, live podcasts on video -- and the old-school recorded versions that just show up in your favorite podcatcher every now and then. This week, though, the Android Central Podcast returns with myself, Jerry and Alex, live and in living color.

And we've got some catching up to do. Facebook Home and the HTC First come out on Friday, Samsung's getting to the point where we're going to have footlong phones, and Google Play got a pretty big revamp. But most important is that we've got a ton of your e-mails and voicemails to answer, and answer them we shall.

So join Phil and the gang -- and, of course, the chat room -- live tonight at 2 a.m. BST / 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus F7 reportedly headed to Boost Mobile

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Prepaid carrier to launch LG's cheap and cheerful LTE handset, says @evleaks

LG's Optimus F series is all about introducing low-cost, mid-range LTE-capable hardware to the market, and so a prepaid carrier like Boost Mobile seems a natural fit for the Optimus F7, the higher-specced device of the two. According to prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks and 9to5Google, that's exactly where the Optimus F7 will end up, alongside Boost's two existing LTE offerings, the HTC One SV and ZTE Force.

In addition to the aforementioned LTE radios, the LG Optimus F7 packs a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4.7-inch 720p display and an 8-megapixel camera, placing it squarely in the middle of the road when it comes to smartphone hardware specs.

We went hands-on with the Optimus F5 and F7 at Mobile World Congress back in February, so check our write-up for some first impressions and photos of the Korean version.

Source: 9to5Google

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 'M3' builds now available for some devices

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Should be more stable than the latest nightlies

The third batch of 'M snapshot' builds for CyanogenMod 10.1 are starting to roll off the servers today. The 'M' builds of the Android 4.2-based custom firmware are designed to be more stable than the regular nightly builds, while still allowing users to keep on top of the latest features and improvements.

Right now CM 10.1 M3 builds are available for devices including the U.S. Galaxy S3, international HTC One X, various Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s and the current crop of Nexus devices. More are sure to follow in the hours and days ahead, so even if your phone or tablet isn't listed above, it's worth checking the CM download page for more info (or heading to the CM updater if you're using an earlier build).

Source: CyanogenMod Downloads

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3 years ago

Lloyd FX cases now available at ShopAndroid.com!

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You wanted 'em, and now we've finally got 'em. The fine folks at ShopAndroid.com have given word that the Lloyd FX cases you see here are now available for three of the most popular smartphones in the Android stable.

They're made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant TPU material (that's short for thermoplastic polyurethane -- but you knew that, right?), that's durable enough to protect the body of your phone during daily use and from accidental dings and falls. Each case has precise cutouts for the ports, microphones and buttons. Wrapping slightly around the front of the phone, it also helps keep the display off a table or desk when left face-down.

The Lloyd FX cases are available for a limited time for just $14.95. Hit the links below to check 'em out.

Want to see a Lloyd FX case for your favorite phone? Let us know in the comments and we'll make sure the ShopAndroid.com folks see it!

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3 years ago

AT&T confirms Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

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Update only available via KIES software, AT&T makes the update offical

The Jelly Bean flavor of Android is hitting yet another phone today. (OK, this one's been available for a couple days now, but this morning AT&T made it official.) This time it's AT&T's Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket that's getting Android 4.1.2, some nine months after its Ice Cream Sandwich update. This one's only available through Samsung's KIES desktop software, unfortunately, but that's a small price to pay for a big update. 

Here's what you have to look forward to:

  • Google Now with enhanced voice activation
  • Adds Browser bar, Drive Mode, ATT Locker, Mobile Hot Spot, Featured Apps widget as preloaded applications
  • Removes Qik and MSpot applications
  • Improved Call Quality

Samsung's KIES software is available on Windows or Mac. Be sure you've got at least 50 percent battery before performing surgery.

Download: Samsung KIES; Galaxy S2 Skyrocket Jelly Bean Instructions

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3 years ago

Sprint's Samsung Galaxy Victory gets its Jelly Bean update

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An early Jelly Bean ROM leaked out for the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE about a month and a half ago, and today Sprint has made it official. Android 4.1.2 (that's a newer version than the leaked ROM) is headed out the door.

The update's coming over the air, Sprint says (feel free to hop into the settings and see if it's available now). In addition to the Googleriffic features like Google Now and the Project Butter speed improvements, you'll also get the following new features:

  • Swype
  • Notifications now display full text of incoming SMS messages, and when you receive an MMS you can view full photo in the notification
  • Pinch notifications to expand or collapse them
  • Notifications from the same application are grouped together, and the first item is automatically expanded
  • Conversational text-to-speech voice in U.S. English
  • Voice typing without an Internet connection
  • Manage/create Google+ Events from device
  • Zagat ratings and reviews built into Google Maps™
  • Indoor walking directions integrated into Google Maps

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Google Map Maker finally hits the UK

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Crowd-sourced mapping tool arrives on British shores

Long absent from the country, Google's crowd-sourced mapping tool Google Map Maker has finally arrived in the UK today. The tool allow Brits to improve the mapping data provided through Google's web and mobile-based products by adding missing information, or bringing more detail to existing maps.

Google's kicking things off with a MapUp event at the former WW2 code-breaking facility at Bletchley Park, adding more detail to road maps of the complex with buildings and paths.

Users in the UK can find the new-map making tools at google.com/mapmaker.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

HTC and Wallpaper* release Global Design Tours app

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Virtual tours of design events Milan, New York and Hong Kong

HTC has released a new virtual tour app for Android in partnership with design magazine Wallpaper*.  The app launches today with tours of design events in Milan, to be followed by New York and Hong Kong next month. The initial Milan tour, from the Salone del Mobile home furnishing show, includes guides from Wallpaper* editor-at-large Henrietta Thompson, One & Co (HTC's design consultancy) principal Claude Zellweger and designer Christian Zuzunaga.

Each one features 30-40 photos and an accompanying soundtrack. Bizarrely, though, the soundtrack isn't included, and here in the UK you're linked to each particular track on Amazon MP3. Same thing in the U.S.

The app is said to be optimized for the new HTC One, though it should run just fine on just about any phone running Android 4.0 or above. It's basic, but well-designed (natch). If you like pretty pictures of well-designed things, you can take a look by hitting the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega specs

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Full spec listings for the new 5.8- and 6.3-inch smartphones

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Mega series, two new mid-range Android phones with ridiculously large screens. The Galaxy Megas' hardware isn't exactly high-end, but they're nothing to sniff at either. In particular the 6.3-inch version boasts a HD screen and LTE connectivity, and a sleeker overall design.

We've got the full spec sheet for both Galaxy Mega devices after the break.

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