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2 weeks ago

The best photo sync services for Android

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Android photo sync services

There's more than one way to make sure you never lose a photo again. And these are some of the best.

It's 2015. There's absolutely no reason to ever lose a photo that you've taken on your smartphone. If anything, the bigger problem should be that you're saving too many pictures and have to cull them from time to time. (That's another post for another day, though.)

Then question, then, is how to best sync your pictures from your phone to ze olde cloud. And forget plugging in. This is the future, folks.

So here, now, is our take on the best photo sync services for Android. We're not talking social sharing, we're talking shoot, upload and worry no more.

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2 weeks ago

Microsoft's apparently passing on $110 million Cyanogen funding round

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Alternative Android OS developer Cyanogen is poised to raise around $110 million in a funding round, but contrary to earlier reports, Microsoft might not be chipping in.

Several weeks ago brought the news that Microsoft was considering investing in Cyanogen and their customized Android system CyanogenMod. That OS is installed on a few retail devices, including the OnePlus One and the Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+, as well as being freely available to download and install on a wide range of Android devices. But it seems that the Microsoft's opting not to take part in this funding round.

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2 weeks ago

Getting to know Google+ - Pages, Communities, and What's Hot

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Some areas of Google+ are great for immersing yourself in a topic, but it's easy to get overwhelmed when the signal to noise ratio tips.

Once you gotten yourself settled in to Google+, by which I mean your account has been completed and you've either located your current friends or gone out to find some new ones through Google's recommendations, it's time to really make the service yours. Google+ has some terrific tools filling your stream with as much or as little information as you choose, and that content can either be narrowed down to specific topics or a firehose of whatever is popular on the service right now. If you so choose, there are even tools to set yourself up as a broadcaster of exciting content. All you need to know is which buttons to push, and how to turn it all off if you've made a mistake.

We're going to explore some of the content-specific portions of Google+ here. Using Communities, exploring What's Hot, and how to set up and manage a Page.

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 227: Five Point One Of Us ...

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Audio-only stream below

It's Friday the 13th, which for some folks is a day of doom and gloom. But we have so many days like that we figured with turn things on their head and break down the latest with the release of Android 5.1 Lollipop, rap a bit about the new devices we've still got coming our way, Russell nerds out on some 3D printing — and, yes, we'll devote precisely 270 seconds to the damned Apple Watch.

OK, maybe a little more than that. Enjoy!

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2 weeks ago

Moto E LTE 2015 review

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Moto E 2015

In 2014, Motorola gave everyone who cares about how much smartphone you can get for $120 something to be excited about. Perhaps more important is that the company demonstrated there is a right and wrong way to address the budget phone market, and most of the players in this space had absolutely been doing things wrong.

Enter the original Moto E.

That, however, was last year. Within the last 12 months, several manufacturers have truly stepped up their game in the budget phone space, leaving Motorola with two options — push forward and continue being a dominant force in this market, or get lost in the mix. Motorola's answer to this particular challenge is the new 2015 Moto E.

And this time, it's got LTE.

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2 weeks ago

Accessory printing - the ultimate customization for your Android

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3D Printed Accessories

Making your own smartphone and tablet accessories with a 3D Printer opens you up to a whole new world of possibilities.

It's late, something like 2 a.m., and everyone in the house has almost simultaneously discovered the need for tacos. I hop into the passenger seat, throw my phone into the cupholder, and off we go. On the way back from this random taco run, a deer wanders out into the road and my friend slams on his brakes. Everyone's fine, but my phone has flown out of the cupholder and is now sliding around on the floor of the car just out of reach. Shortly after recovering the phone, I decide that an actual mount for my phone needs to happen. Rather than head to my usual retail site, I went to Thingiverse and took a quick look at what other folks have made already that fits this need. I see something that interests me, send the file to the 3D Printer in my office, and when I wake up the next morning my new car dock is ready to be used.

This completely true story got me thinking about all of the possibilities that open up when you decide to just print your own accessories. While there are some serious caveats to what is actually possible here, the experience is impressive all the same.

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2 weeks ago

YouTube adds support for 360-degree videos

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Google announced today that YouTube now supports 360-degree videos, opening up a ton of new creative possibilities for the platform.

For now, 360-degree videos are only viewable on specific platforms, such as the YouTube app on Android and videos embedded in Chrome.

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2 weeks ago

Check-in app Swarm adds messages in latest update

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Foursquare's check-in app, Swarm, has just received an update that introduces a new feature, messages, in addition to making it easier to see more details about various locations.

The popular check-in application that allows users to share their location with other users of the application now allows for users to send messages to nearby friends. In addition to adding messages, a few other changes have been made as well.

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2 weeks ago

Google Messenger update brings a new widget and animated GIF support

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Trolling your friends with Google Messenger just got a whole lot better with the addition of animated GIF support.

Google has just released an update for its SMS and MMS app, Google Messenger. This new update brings two new features along with some bug fixes and performance enhancements.

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2 weeks ago

All about photos on Google+

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Photos can make or break your experience on social media.

While text may be the way we primarily communicate online, when we add visuals to our words, social media becomes a lot more fun, a lot more addictive, and to an extent a lot easier. After all, a picture says a thousand words. Communities like the Art of Bread probably could still capture interest and share recipes with text alone, but its the pictures that make not-so-diehard bakers come to drool and to learn. Pictures are also important to more technical pursuits on Google+ like beta testing. You could just describe the issue you're having with the new material beta in Nova Launcher, but when you have pictures to show your particular bugs, not only is it easier for users to report but it's easier for the developers to see.

Google+ has been a platform loved by photographers and artists because of the freedom offered by Google+ Photos. Photographers like Trey Ratcliff and Patrick Smith have racked up tens of billions of views. Yes, billion with a b. And their massive public collections of full-scale, quality photography has been put on display through Chromecasts all over the world.

So, what makes photos so special on Google+?

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2 weeks ago

Honda put Android in its new Civic, but it could have done so much better

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Honda Civic

As we all await Android Auto, let's take a look at what Honda has whipped up in the meantime.

After the fun and games of Mobile World Congress, Europe played host to another huge event, this time for the auto industry. The Geneva Motor Show is where the world's biggest car makers go every March to show off the latest and greatest that four wheels has to offer. Like Honda, with the new Civic. And it's got Android inside, don't you know.

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2 weeks ago

Android 5.1's 'Google VPN' could protect your data on open Wifi networks

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Google VPN

Hiding behind the scenes in Android 5.1 but nonfunctional at present, a Google-run VPN might keep your data secure on public Wifi networks.

With Android 5.1 Lollipop now out in the wild, Android enthusiasts are starting to dig into the latest firmware for Nexus devices and see what's new. One interesting addition, first spotted by Pocketables, presents the possibility of Google operating its own VPN service to keep Android users' data secure over public Wifi networks.

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2 weeks ago

Nexus owners: How's the Android 5.1 update treating you?

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Android 5.1

Android 5.1 Lollipop arrived on Nexus phones and tablets this week, with factory images available for some devices and over-the-air now rolling out too.

While Android 5.1 doesn't make any sweeping changes to the way Android looks and behaves, it's still an important update, especially for Nexus owners. That's because it's a maintenance release — the first major one for Lollipop — in which Google fixes bugs, makes things run a bit more smoothly, and adds a smattering of new features that perhaps didn't make it into the 5.0 release. Now we want to know how you're getting on with it.

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2 weeks ago

Sprint is offering to reimburse all fees for customers to ditch current carriers

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Sprint is now offering anyone who switches from their current wireless carrier to its service full reimbursement of both their termination fees and any remaining phone payments.

This is just the latest effort from Sprint to get new customers. The company says that it will pay off any remaining fees and costs from former carriers "no matter what is owed."

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2 weeks ago

Carphone Warehouse announces availability of the LG G Flex 2

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UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced availability of LG's new G Flex 2.

LG's second generation curved phone, the G Flex 2, is finally hitting the market after being available for pre-order for a couple of weeks now. This time around LG has scaled the screen down to a 5.5-inch 1080p P-OLED display, but doesn't pull any punches with the specs — there's a Snapdragon 810 processor inside, along with a 3,000 mAh battery and 13-megapixel OIS+ camera with laser autofocus. The back of the G Flex 2 also features an improved version of LG's self-healing coating.

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