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4 years ago

Change phone answering options, Who do you want a 'Nexus' built by? [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Stock keyboard not cutting it on the Nexus 7? Why not try out the ASUS keyboard instead


One of the greatest positives about the Android platform, is choice. Hardware, software, apps, theres something for everybody out there somewhere. Customizing your user experience to meet your every need is possible in so many different ways, including something that's used all the time. The keyboard. Like Twitter clients, there's a keyboard out there to suit everyone. 

So, let's focus a little. In particular, on the Google Nexus 7. A pure, un-tampered, vanilla Jelly Bean experience straight from the depths of Mountain View itself. The stock Jelly Bean keyboard is OK, some would argue it's better than OK. For some of us though -- on the Nexus 7 in particular -- the stock keyboard is nothing but frustrating. But, that's cool, we can change it. And, it looks like there's an alternative built right into the Nexus 7 from ASUS, that's possibly worth a look before handing over some of your dollars to buy a replacement, such as the ever impressive SwiftKey. The one caveat -- you may need to be rooted to try it out. Now that's out of the way, click on past the break and we'll show you how to find it. 

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4 years ago

Read Google Play Magazines in Chrome with new web reader


Google has just announced the availability of the magazines you purchase via Google Play in the Chrome browser with a new web reader. Until now, if you bought magazines, you could download them to your various Android devices, but if you were on a computer, you were essentially out of luck. Now, there is an option once you go to your issue that says 'read' directly under 'subscribe'.

It's nice to have the option to read them in a browser now and the user interface is done quite well. You have controls to view the contents of the issue to the left, zoom buttons above as well as a full screen toggle. If you have access to magazines in Google Play and you use Google Chrome, check it out by visiting the Play Store and go to 'My Magazines'.

Source: Google+

Google Play Store

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4 years ago

Weekly photo contest: Purple Haze (lens flare)


Photo taken with the iPhone 5 by's Leanna Lofte

A tricky subject in this weeks photo contest -- lens flare. Supposedly every camera ever made has a level of purple flare surrounding bright lights in the viewfinder, but looking through past photo contests I sure don't see much of it. I'll let the experts argue that one, and let you guys get all sorts of funky and show me some high quality lens flare in this weeks photos.

The real question is how to create this purple flare. You should get varying degrees of it by adjusting the angle between your camera lens and any bright light sources. Now we don't want anyone staring into the sun, but we do want to see folks get creative and force some flare into their pictures. It doesn't have to be purple, but bonus style points if you can pull it off.

The prize is worth it, as it turns out we still have a few of the series 3 Android mini-collectables left, We've got five of them for the five best pictures, so get into the forums and show us your stuff!

While I'm still working on a proper gallery, here's last week's winning panorama shot.

Taken by cguella with his Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Congrats cguella, check your inbox!

Enter this week's photo contest

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4 years ago

Intel reports Q3 revenue of $13.5 billion as they continue to progress in mobile


Intel's Q3 earnings report has dropped today, bringing word of a $13.5 billion revunue for the quarter. While representing a dip year-on-year, the figures still beat the analyst estimates. A global downturn in PC sales can be held partly accountable for the drop, with CEO Paul Otellini saying in a statement; "Our third-quarter results reflected a continuing tough economic environment."

Intel is a new player to the Android world, but almost no details were spoken during their investor call of the chip giants venture into the mobile marketplace. They did, however, discuss briefly the overall progress being made, pointing to the recent launch of the 2.0GHz Motorola RAZR i -- see our review for more. Additionally, acknowledgement was paid to the transition the global computing market currently finds itself in. Furthermore, no mention was made of any OEM's that Intel may be working in partnership with for projects during 2013. Of course, we already know that Intel has a multi-year, multi-device partnership with Motorola.

We're sure we'll be hearing a lot more from Intel in these parts throughout 2013. For the full run down on todays earnings report, be sure to visit the source link below. 

Source: Intel

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4 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers


A Wi-Fi-only Android device called the MG was announced for pre-order today. Apparently MG stands for More Game, or My Generation, or something. It isn't made by anybody you've heard of, but they're hoping the low pricetag, preloaded games, parental controls, and included $10 credit towards Google Play apps will rope in at least a few moms and dads.

The MG has a Gorilla glass-clad 4-inch 480 x 800 display, a 1880 mAh battery with 3.75 hours of playtime, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a single-core 1 GHz processor. Needless to say, hardcore gamers may be more interested in the Xperia Play, aged as it may be, since there are familiar hardware gaming controls included. It seems like MG is geared more towards to younger kids and their parents that want to monitor usage, though.

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4 years ago

Best Buy's Insignia Flex reportedly priced under $259


Will buyers bite at a Best Buy tablet? At between $239 and $259, it could be a sweet purchase for a mid-range device, if the latest reports from Reuters are to be believed. The news agency sites "a source familiar with the matter" in a report published today.

According to details revealed on the Insignia Products Facebook page earlier this week, the retailer’s Insignia Flex Android tablet will be on the shelves on November 11. Specs include a 9.7-inch, dual-core 1GHz slate running Android 4.0 with ten hours of battery life.

The Insignia branding is Best Buy’s house brand, aimed at competing in the discount electronics range.

Source: Reuters, Insignia Products

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G benchmarks and hardware testing


It's no secret that I dislike benchmark applications on Android. I've got technical reasons that involve native code and virtual machines, but the fact remains that plenty of folks do like them, and I'm here to deliver what you guys want to see. I've put away my dislike for a moment today, because the Sprint Optimus G just blows the doors off of everything else and it deserves a look.

The quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro, high-speed RAM and Nand, and Adreno 320 GPU mean the Optimus G is a well-oiled killing machine when it comes to performance. In every benchmark we ran, it handily beats everything out there -- even while running less than optimal stock software.

We didn't stop at benchmarks. This was also a perfect opportunity to check the hardware performance as well, so you'll see some numbers and graphs for Wifi, GPS, and multitouch, too. Spoiler -- you'll be pleased. 

Hit the break and check it out.

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4 years ago

PSA: Remove all of the protective plastic before you complain


Remember the one where Jerry said he was bothered about the fake chrome trim on the Sprint Optimus G, and how it didn't seem to sit flush?

Yeah. Always remove the plastic before you complain. 

That's all it was. With the protective plastic gone, things are smooth and fit nicely. Crow is delicious!

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4 years ago

Jawbone Jambox review


The Jawbone Jambox is a popular stand-alone Bluetooth speaker with sharp style, heavy bass, and relatively rich app environment. Audio from the jawbone Jambox is pretty solid, and especially heavy on the bass. I didn't have any issues with distortion, even at higher volumes, The lack of hardware playback controls, like pause and play, is a pretty serious downer. The Big Jambox has the full selection of hardware buttons, but costs an extra hundred bucks.

Need more? We got more. Read on!

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4 years ago

Starbucks updates app to follow holo design guidelines


They just keep coming. More and more developers have been publishing updates to their apps recently that apply the latest Android design guidelines. Starbucks joins the list today with an update to their app that brings a pretty noticeable UI redesign.

The new design follows the "holo" design language -- destroying the legacy menu button (which makes Galaxy Nexus uers happy) and replacing it with an overflow settings button. Tabs across the top of the app offer a cleaner look to navigation, and Starbucks simply changed the color scheme from default blue to a dark shade of green. The map of nearby stores is cleaner, and the entire UI seems to have received little bits of polish.

If you haven't given the Starbucks app a try yet, it's really worth a look. The app is free at the Google Play Store link above. If you're just curious about the new UI, we've got a few screenshots comparing the old (left) and (new) designs after the break.

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4 years ago

'It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' now available for Android


It's that time of year when we see a few Halloween apps, and that list wouldn't be complete without a Charlie Brown storybook app. "It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is coming to the Play Store in the form of an interactive storybook, narrated by Peter Robbins -- the original voice of Charlie Brown. The app incorporates remastered animations and original voice material from the original 1966 TV special. Surely this storybook recreation will do the original some justice.

Accompanying this storybook app is an interactive game, The Great Pumpkin Festival. With this app, you can create your own avatar with plenty of costumes and customizations, carve pumpkins, vote on other people's creations and complete achievements to get new costumes for your avatar.

For just over $5.00, this Charlie Brown classic can be yours at the Google Play Store link above. If you're content with a smaller bit of the experience, The Great Pumpkin Festival is available free on the Play Store as well.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 lasts slightly longer in blender than iPhone 5


The fine folks at BlendTec have continued their fine heritage of appliance-based science by seeing whether or not the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5 are able to survive industrial-strength spinning blades. The short answer is no, neither of them can withstand BlendTec's whirling wrath, but as you can see from the video below, the Galaxy S3 manages to stay mostly in one piece longer than the iPhone 5. Some other decidedly more practical (though less scientific) toughness tests have show that the SGS3 doesn't fare quite as well against the iPhone 5 in drop tests

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4 years ago

AT&T Optimus G pre-orders start today


Well, AT&T followed through on this one. Following announcement of pricing and availability for the LG Optimus G on AT&T yesterday, the pre-order page at AT&T's website is now live. $199 with a two-year agreement -- $549 outright -- and a circle on your calendar for Nov. 2 is all you need to reserve LG's latest flagship.

If you're still on the fence about this device, don't worry, Phil and Jerry are working to bring you their official Optimus G reviews. In the meantime, we've got a few sneak peeks at certain parts of the devices.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

Apple to invent smaller tablets Oct. 23


So Apple's going to invent a smaller iPad next week. It'll probably be really, really good. Frankly, it'll probably be better-built than the Nexus 7 we've been enjoying for a few months now. 

And you know what? That's probably a good thing. Google got itself a bit of a gem in the Nexus 7. It's not perfect -- what device is? -- but for $200, it's easily our favorite Android tablet. 

Apple getting into the "mini" game will make Android manufacturers better. They'll have to be. Because Apple's going to sell a shitload of its smaller tablets. (That's a technical term analysts like to use, by the way.) Will the Nexus 7 wither and die? Hardly. Neither will the Amazon Kindle Fire. Or even the Barnes & Noble Nook line. They're going to have to step up their game, for sure. But you can bet your bippy each company has been hard at work on future products anyway.

Think about how much innovation (and iteration) we've seen in the Android tablet space in the span of two years. From the original Galaxy Tab and the defunct HTC Flyer, to the likes of the ASUS Transformer Infinity and Nexus 7.

No. A smaller iPad won't kill off Android tablets any more than the iPhone has ended sales of Android smartphones. The balance may shift, as balances are prone to do. That's a good thing. Because the best is always yet to come.

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