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4 years ago

How'd your holiday Photospheres turn out?


Google a couple weeks ago made a rather nice commercial out of the Photosphere feature, in which you make a 360-degree (more or less) panoramic photo that all gets stitched together on your phone. The holiday spot has someone taking a Photosphere in a (very) large house, with a bunch of family members in the shot.

Now, we all know Rule No. 1 of taking Photospheres is to not have anything too close to you as you take the picture. Rule No. 2 is the fewer people, the better, as people tend to move.

So I waited until things had died down a little bit. My result? Not horrible, especially since I didn't tell anyone to hold still. Check out the full Photosphere pic here. And if you took any over the holidays, be sure to tag them with #photosphere on Google+ so we can all see!

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4 years ago

Our Google Play Gift Card giveaway continues today!


Oh, my. So ... full. Can't ... hardly ... type. But the giving must go on. We're marching toward the final round of our month-long (ish) Google Play Gift Card giveaway, in which we're giving 31 lucky winners $10 to spend on Android apps, movies, music, magazines or TV shows from Google Play.

Oh, and by the way -- all 31 winners (one for each day in December) will be entered to win a shiny new Nexus 4, still in its box, sitting here on our desk. (In case you had any concern for our ability to snag what remains an unsnaggable device.)

So ... for today's entries: Leave a comment on this post and tell us the top Android-related feature you're hoping for in 2013. One entry per person, yadda yadda yadda.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

The Kindle Fire HD


The Kindle Fire HD delivers a tablet experience many folks will love, but is it the right choice for me? Have a read and see what a total Android nerd thinks of Amazon's latest offering.

Amazon’s new Kindle tablets don’t get the attention that other Android tablets get. Android purists tend to scoff at them, thinking that the operating system being used -- a true custom fork of Android 4.0 -- is entirely too basic, lacking many of the features and customization settings that stock Android or the more traditional OEM builds like Sense or TouchWiz have.

But simple -- and consistent -- software has a place. Amazon’s removal of some of the more advanced parts of the Android OS are also part of the reason not much talk goes on about the Kindle Fire HD -- it tends to just work, and users have few issues they need to sort out. Amazon has perfected the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) philosophy of smart devices.

I’ve had both Kindle Fire HD devices here for a while, and have spent a good bit of time playing with the hardware and Amazon’s operating system as shipped. It’s time I put down a few words about them.

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4 years ago

ZTE Grand X passes through FCC with T-Mobile radio and branding


A revision of the ZTE Grand X (read our review) has just passed through the FCC, undoubtedly destined to land on T-Mobile. Not only does the device have FCC clearance to operate on T-Mobile's 1700/2100MHz AWS frequencies for HSPA+, but also has a nice bit of T-Mobile branding on the back. Other than the new radio and branding, we're likely looking at the same device that was released internationally a few months back -- a 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) screen, Tegra 2 processor, 5MP camera and stock Ice Cream Sandwich.

T-Mobile regularly picks up some of these less than mainstream devices, and usually ends up offering them at pretty compelling price points. The Grand X is no slouch by any means, and should be a solid mid-range offering for many customers.

Source: FCC; Via: PhoneScoop

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4 years ago

Round-up: Android games on holiday sale


Happy holidays, everyone! Got some time off and looking to unwind or get away from the Christmas chaos? There a bunch of solid Android games that have steep price cuts, and we've rounded some of them up for you here. Go on, treat yourself to a few - you deserve it. Of course, if you spot anything else that's on sale, don't be shy about dropping a comment!

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4 years ago

Stuff your stocking with Android Central, Christmas Day edition


Right. It's Christmas Day, and the gifts just keep on coming in our Stocking Stuffers contest. Want to win a $10 Google Play Gift Card? Here's all you have to do: Leave a comment on this post. Tell us the coolest thing you got this holiday season. That's it. Get a new tablet? New phone? New puppy? Fruitcake? Nutcase? Crazy horse? Tell us all about it, and you'll be in the running for $10 of free apps, movies, music, magazines and TV shows.

And don't forget -- all 31 of our daily winners will be entered to win a free Nexus 4, which we'll pick just as soon as we've got 31 winners.

Good luck!

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4 years ago

Merry Christmas from Android Central!


From all of us here to all of you out there, we wish you the most splendid of holidays. Here's hoping each and every one of you found a little bit of Android with a bow on it today.

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4 years ago

Rom Manager updated, now you can download flashable zip backups to your computer


If you use Rom Manager to manage your flashing habit and curate all your CWM backups, you're going to want to take a look at the latest update. Beside the theme fixes for older devices, there is a new feature that plenty of folks are going to find useful -- a backup server built right into the app.

It's not just any backup server though. There are plenty of options out there to browse the files on your phone or tablet via Wifi. What Rom Manager is doing provides an extra handy service -- it transforms the backup files into a flashable zip file that you can flash back to your device (or any device) from ClockWorkMod Recovery.

Granted, it's always been possible to pull and share CWM backups, but the new Rom Manager update takes the confusion away and makes it easy for everyone to pull a backup file that's ready to flash, without worrying about the right folder structure or location. As Koush says, this is the first version so there may be a few quirks in it. Be sure to report any of these you may run into back to him. I just tried it, and what I'm seeing works exceptionally well. Give it a go yourself with today's update. 

Via: +ClockWorkMod

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4 years ago

The Nexus 7 giveaway winners list is here


You might remember that we hooked with Google last week and set up some giveaways for Nexus 7 tablets and Google Play gift cards. That's the kind of awesome stuff we do around these parts, and spreading the Android love around is something we enjoy. Anyhow, back to those giveaways.

We went through the forums threads and picked out our winners, and here they be.

Congrats all around! Keep an eye on your inboxes, as I'm going to need to know where to send the Nexus 7s. Thanks everyone for entering, and keep an eye out for more big contests. 

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4 years ago

HTC One S getting its Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update with Sense 4+


Not sure that pushing out OS updates on Christmas Eve is the wisest of moves, but we're not going to knock them either. HTC's following in Motorola's footsteps today, pushing out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the international One S. The 612-megabyte update (jeez, that's big) brings the software version up to 3.16.401.8 (for those of you keeping track at home).

Bullet points for the update include:

  • Android 4.1.1 and HTC Sense 4+
  • Enhanced UI with better performance in Camera
  • New landing page and event/map view in gallery
  • Power management improvement

We're installing now. This sucker's big.

More: HTC One S forums; thanks, @SebasB37!

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4 years ago

Original Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX receiving Jelly Bean OTA update



It's a Christmas Eve miracle! Seemingly out of nowhere, the original Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX are pulling down an OTA update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Several different users in our forums are reporting that their handsets are (often slowly) downloading a very large update, and being greeted with Jelly Bean goodness when they reboot. We don't have any official support documentation from Verizon yet, but it doesn't get much more official than updates currently being downloaded.

So are any of you seeing the update hit the notification bar of your RAZR or RAZR MAXX? Head to the forums and let us know.

Source: Droid RAZR Forums; Droid RAZR MAXX Forums; Thanks, Sean!

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Who's naughty, who's nice


Ah, Christmas Eve. The day we remind our kids that they still have to be good for at least one more day, and remind ourselves that a little extra patience probably wouldn't hurt anyone. Easier said than done, for sure. But it's more important than ever to take a step back, take a breath, and keep some perspective. 

In keeping with the spirit of things, here's my naughty and nice list. 

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4 years ago

Stuff your stocking with Android Central returns!


OK, so our stocking-stuffing schedule got thrown off a little bit thanks to some other, bigger, giveaways. These things happen, right? But it's Christmas eve, we're back on the horse, and we're ready to throw more $10 Google Play Gift Cards your way.

For today's entries, we'll keep things simple: Just leave a comment on this post, telling us what sort of Android kit you'd love  to see this holiday season. That's it. We'll keep giving away a gift card a day until we run out, which looks to be in early 2013 at this point.

And remember that these gift cards are good for apps, books, movies, TV shows and magazines, if you're in a region that supports them. (And if you're not, there are, ahem, ways around that.)

So good luck, happy posting, and Merry Christmas!

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4 years ago

How we're tracking Santa on Android this Christmas Eve


There's a plethora of ways to track Santa Claus online today. Here are the two I'm thrusting at my kids.

  • Google Earth: Everybody's favorite 3D(ish) map app is, of course, tracking that jolly fat guy in the red suit. It's available both in the desktop version as well as on your phone. Look for the "Follow Santa" link in the Tour Guide section. Download Google Earth here.
  • Google Santa Tracker: This one's also available on your phone or in a desktop browser. It's more two-dimensional, but I think it's a little more fun for the kids, too. Looks more like a tracker and less like a "Hey, look, we've slapped Santa on Google Earth" type of thing. Get the Android app here, and check it out in your browser here.

And be sure to remind your kids that he can see them when they're fighting over your phone.

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