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3 years ago

Sony's next-gen SmartWatch adds NFC

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Sony was one of the first to enter the Android wearable game, and today at Asia Mobile Expo in Shanghai it announced the SmartWatch 2.

Sporting a 1.6-inch face at a 220-by-176 resolution (that's about 176 pixels per inch), the SmartWatch 2 can serve as a standalone watch when not connected to a phone. But pair it to a phone and you've got a quick and easy way to glance at notifications, control your music player, take pictures, control presentations, interact with fitness apps — oh, and it can tell time, too. In addition to NFC capability for easier pairing, this latest version boasts a water-resistant design (splash-proof, really — you won't want to wear this thing in the water) and runs for three or four days with normal use, Sony says.

The SmartWatch 2 is compatible with any standard 24mm band, and Sony says it'll have its own custom bands available down the road. It'll be available worldwide in September.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra specs

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Snapdragon 800, 6.44-inch Triluminos display and Android 4.2 make the Z Ultra a beast of a smartphone

Sony's just made official its latest high-end handset, the Xperia Z Ultra, a device which straddles the line between smartphones and tablets with a 6.44-inch screen. The star of the show is Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 chip, which combines a 2.2GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor with the new Adreno 330 GPU.

On top of that there's a Full HD (1080p) "Triluminos" display, waterproof and dust-resistant credentials, and a chassis measuring in at 6.5mm thick. Also of note is the 8-megapixel rear camera and Android 4.2.2-based software.

We've got the broad strokes of the Xperia Z Ultra spec sheet and a few press shots for you after the break.

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3 years ago

BlackBerry launches Secure Work Space platform on Android

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A secure area to keep all enterprise apps, data and communication safe without a VPN

Following up on its goal to have the products released by the end of June, BlackBerry has just put its Secure Work Space apps into the Play Store. The pair of apps -- "Secure Work Space for BES10" and "Work Space Manager for BES10" -- together let enterprise network administrators control corporate data on users devices and keep it safe. The app provides an alternative launcher that gives access to a completely sandboxed set of enterprise apps such as email, calendar, contacts and a secure browser. These apps and their associated data can be controlled by the BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) administrator just like any other BlackBerry can, which is a huge step in the right direction for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs.

Although they won't do you much good until your company has set up your device (and its back-end) to use the service, both of the apps are now showing as available for download in the Play Store. Now is the time to go talk to IT at your place of work to see if they can get you set up -- more information can be found at the source link below.

More: BlackBerry

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3 years ago

OUYA retail availability starts tomorrow at $99

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The little Android console that could hits store shelves in the US, UK and Canada

It's been a long time coming, with a lot of changes along the way, but OUYA has finally hit widespread retail ability and will officially go on sale starting tomorrow. Several different online and traditional retailers -- such as Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and GAME -- will be carrying the Android-powered console, and OUYA says it will be available in "hundreds of stores" across the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

Pricing sits at $99 for the console with one controller, and a (seemingly steep) $49 for additional controllers. Check the links below to either set up a pre-order or have the page ready to go for when the orders go live:

For those of you who don't mind putting pants on to go buy a console, you'll be able to head to local retail locations of the aforementioned stores to grab your own, although OUYA isn't specifying the amount of stock or specific availability at this time.

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 general release is on its way

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Any device that received an RC build will get the stable release; builds hitting servers as soon as possible

The CyanogenMod team announced on its official blog today that it will be ending the release candidate (RC) phase for builds of CM10.1 and moving to a general release. Following a few quick releases of the latest RC builds, the general release is currently being built for any device that has received an RC of CM10.1 and will hit servers for download as soon as possible. Absent from this CM10.1 general release are Tegra 2 devices, as are many Samsung Exynos devices -- the team says it will give an update as to the status of CM for those devices soon.

The launch of a general release also marks the time when we get back into the M-release cycle for experimental features to be added to CM10.1 for willing flashers among us. CyanogenMod says it has already incorporated its new Privacy Guard feature into the latest nightly build and surely has many more up its sleeve to come.

Source: CyanogenMod

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3 years ago

Google now accepting 'Google Play for Education' app submissions

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Third-party group of educators to review each educational app submitted

Google announced on its Android Developers Blog that it is now accepting submissions for its Google Play for Education platform, which will bring education- and age-appropriate apps to schools. The system, which was announced last month, is a subset of the main Play Store that allows bulk purchasing and content curation of apps, books and movies for K-12 schools. Developers who have an age-appropriate app can now mark it for inclusion, where it will then be reviewed by a third-party group of educators.

This third-party will go through each app and determine its subject, grade level and whether or not it meets a set of development guidelines that have been set for the education system. The guidelines (found at the second source link below) indicate that apps, among other things, must not collect personally identifiable information or use student data for any noneducational purposes. Google also has strict guidelines for in-app purchases and advertisements, and encourages developers to submit apps that are either paid or free without ads.

The approval process is expected to take 3-4 weeks for any given app, and Google says that it is currently piloting the Google Play for Education program in schools across the country.

Source: Android Developers Blog; Developer Guidelines

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3 years ago

Microsoft reportedly plans to bring Xbox game titles to Android

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Licensing deal could open up the flood gates to Microsoft titles on other mobile platforms

We could start seeing some of Microsoft's own Xbox and Windows gaming titles come over to Android as soon as this fiscal year if rumors are to be believed. According to sources of Reuters, Microsoft is currently working on a licensing deal with Japanese developer Klab to bring its first-party games to Android (and iOS). The only details known right now are that Microsoft's "Age of the Empires" will be a free-to-play game available as part of the cross-platform expansion and that other titles will come as well.

Details are a bit sparse, but the intent seems pretty clear as Microsoft works on its multi-platform strategy. Microsoft has an opportunity for some serious sales on its hands if it decides to open up more recent and popular games, regardless of what it will do to its own Windows Phone market share.

Source: Reuters

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Android 4.2.2 update rolling out now

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Latest update hitting multiple models in different markets around the world.

Coming in just fashionably late behind its sibling the Xperia ZL, the Sony Xperia Z is receiving an update to Android 4.2.2 starting today. According to reports from users to XperiaBlog, the update is rolling out to several different regions already for the C6603 LTE model, and in Taiwan for the C6602 HSPA+ model. While the official support page hasn't been updated to reflect the newest build, the build number is reportedly the same 10.3.A.0.423 as the Xperia ZL. If you have your hands on an Xperia Z, you may want to download Sony's PC Companion (or Bridge For Mac) for the earliest shot at the update.

This also leads to a few questions about what version of Android will land on the Xperia Z when it hits T-Mobile in short order. Let's hope it's the same updated version as is rolling out worldwide today.

Source: XperiaBlog

More: Sony Xperia Z Forums; Sony Support

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3 years ago

Win 1 of 2 Snapdragon™ 800 Mobile Development Platform devices from Qualcomm and Android Central!

OK, folks. This is gonna be fun. We're teaming up with Qualcomm to give away a pair of Mobile Development Platform devices with Snapdragon 800. That's the latest and greatest Snapdragon that you're going to start seeing in retail devices in the coming months, in Android smartphones as well as tablets. 

And that's what you'll be entering to win here. We've got one smartphone and one tablet to give away.

Keep on reading for the full rules and details on how to enter.

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3 years ago

HP announces Slate 21 desktop-style Android all-in-one

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HP is adding another device to its expanding Android lineup today by announcing the Slate 21, a large "all-in-one" tablet-desktop hybrid device. As the name would suggest, this device has a 21.5-inch display putting it squarely in the market of HP's current line of all-in-one Windows desktop devices. The Slate 21 is running just Android 4.2 though -- there's no operating system switching or virtualization going on here. HP is pitching this as a media consumption device for current Android users that have built up a library of Android apps to have around the house, taking place of having additional tablets or mobile devices.

The Slate 21 stands on an adjustable kickstand in the back, which can pivot the screen to any angle between 15 and 70 degrees, giving a wide range of viewing options. As for specs, we're looking at a 21.5-inch full-HD IPS display, a Tegra 4 processor, Bluetooth 3.0, a front-facing camera and 8GB of internal storage (expandable by SDcard). The absolute specifics of every internal isn't yet known, but we'll surely have a better idea once we get closer to the September launch window where the Slate 21 will be available for $399.

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3 years ago

AT&T offering 50% off phones on-contract online this week

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Trade-in program for $100 off a new device in-store also available

AT&T has stealthily slipped a pretty great promotion into the fine print of its current trade-in offer which gives 50-percent off all devices when purchased on a 2-year contract from its website. The main offer, which requires trading in a qualifying device no more than 3 years old for a $100 discount, is only necessary for in-store purchases. The much more enticing deal is in the fine print, which shows that every on-contract device AT&T current sells between $0.99 and $199.99, including brand new devices like the Galaxy S4 Active, is 50-percent off until June 30th.

There's no special code or hoops to jump through to grab this promotion. Just add any device up to $199.99 to your cart, select any voice and data plan and the promotion will show up in your final shopping cart when you check out. Saving $100 in the scheme of things probably isn't enough to make anyone switch over to AT&T, but if you were planning on picking up a new on-contract device at the carrier this week is a good time to do it.

More: AT&T

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3 years ago

Money to burn? Buy this gold-plated HTC One for $2,900

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A brand new HTC One with a seriously limited edition casing

Luxury goods maker Goldgenie has made a name for itself by gold-plating all kinds of items, including a few phones along the way, and its latest item up for sale is a 24ct. gold HTC One. Coming in at the completely unnecessary price of £1895 ($2919), this is the same HTC One you know and love that has been gold-plated from head to toe in a rather stunning fashion. If you want to show off to your friends even more, Goldgenie also offers a Rose Gold-plated version and Platinum-plated version for £1995 ($3073) and £2095 ($3227), respectively.

Beyond the pretentiousness of the device, you'll also get a very nice cherry oak box with what looks to be a full array of the OEM accessories for your $3000 purchase. What a nice touch. We don't expect anyone reading this to be buying one (the order page hilariously has a "quantity" box you can fill in), but it's fun to take a look -- you can see a few more details at the source link below.

Source: Goldgenie; (2)

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3 years ago

Hisense Sero 7 Pro Review

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An unbelievably low-priced tablet that manages to top Google's own Nexus 7 in the specs department — but is it good enough to justify a purchase this late in the game?

One of the most important factors for any device — especially 7-inch tablets — is price. It's not uncommon to hear that if something is twice the price, it should be twice as good to justify that price. When looking at the $149 Sero 7 Pro, it begs the question: are other tablets that cost an additional $50, $100, or more, that much better than Hisense's new offering?

Many potential buyers no doubt passed up this tablet completely, not recognizing the manufacturer and immediately labeling it a "no name" Chinese Android tablet. Those who frequent Android forums, on the other hand, have likely heard the buzz created by the popularity of this new budget tablet.

The question becomes — even at this price — is it worth it? With specs that match or beat the immensely popular Nexus 7 in almost even area, and at $50 cheaper, it would seem like a no-brainer. Are the improvements over the 11 month old Nexus 7 enough to bring the Sero 7 Pro up to today's spec standards? If not, does the price merit a purchase anyway? How does Hisense's hardware stack up in the quality department?

Keep on keepin' on for our full review.

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3 years ago

How to transfer your Google Reader RSS feeds to Feedly

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Fear not, there is a comparable replacement to Google Reader out there

It's time to face the facts here, folks: Google Reader is shutting down on July 1. Many of us (myself included) have been in the "denial" phase assuming that Google would come up with a replacement for the service, but it's time to start thinking about alternatives. Of the handful of potential replacements, Feedly seems to be in the lead right now and offers a nearly painless transition over from Google Reader.

Let's break down the process of moving your beloved RSS feeds over from Google Reader to Feedly, and give a few tips and tricks along the way to make the process as smooth as possible.

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3 years ago

Start spamming your friends today for an early shot at Jay-Z's new album

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Samsung is teaming up with rapper Jay-Z to bring 1 million copies of his upcoming album "Magna Carta Holy Grail" a few days before it goes on sale, and the Android app that'll do it for you is now available for download.

You'll need to have the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 2 to participate. And then you'll need to log in using either Facebook or Twitter. And then you'll have to spam share content from the app with your friends. At 12:00:01 a.m. July 4, 1 million lucky fans will get the record that might or might not leak early anyway, a full three days before the official July 7 release.

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