2 weeks ago

Gadgets of the week: 4K Amazon Fire TV, Roomba 980, and more!


I, for one, welcome our new Roomba overlords.

It's time for another round of the best new releases in the world of Android accessories. We keep tabs on Bluetooth audio, connected home, wearables, and anything else that can talk to your phone or tablet. The latest Roomba has added more intelligence for cleaning your home's floor independently, while the newly-updated Amazon Fire TV supports 4K streaming without cranking up the pricetag. There are plenty more new Android-friendly gadgets this week, so take a look!

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2 weeks ago

From the Editor's Desk: People get ready


And things are about to get real exciting around there.

First up: The Material Design refresh of the Android Central App is nearly ready for full public consumption. Beta testing is going well, and folks are finding a few more things that escaped our internal testing. And that's not surprising given the insane number of devices the app supports.

It's important to note, however, that this is going to be a multi-step process. Some things will get fixed for this first release; some won't. And new features will follow once we've got this part nailed down more.

Then there's the upcoming Sept. 29 Google event. (Not to be confused with the HTC thing that's actually not really a thing.) A couple of new Nexus phones, possibly a new Chromecast — and could there be another surprise up Google's sleeve? (I like it when companies can actually keep things secret.)

Plus, we'll soon start to see Android 6.0 Marshmallow for current devices. Rest up, folks. This is gonna be good.

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2 weeks ago

DMetronome on Android Wear makes it a breeze to keep time


Anyone who has ever spent much time playing an instrument, or who had to suffer through piano lessons as a child, probably remembers what a metronome is. While you might still be playing that piano, the need for a physical metronome has passed with the times. Now instead of lugging one out, you can just download DMetrnome for Android Wear.

DMetronome for Android Wear was the first — but is no longer the only metronome on the Google Play Store. This app works fantastically, and aims to fill all your metronome needs. You can adjust the beats per minute with a slider, or by tapping the arrows on the left and right of your screen, going anywhere from 1 to 200 BPM. The default is a four count, but you can adjust it anywhere from 1 to 12.

This app is only available on your Android Wear device, and really doesn't have much by way of settings. You can turn the always-on setting on or off, as well as enabling a flash screen animation for the beats per minute. That's it though. That's a good thing too, because DMetronome already does an awesome job at what it does. It's a small, sweet, and simple app that is well designed and easy to use. Better yet it's definitely much, much lighter than hauling around a metronome or trying to find one in a practice hall. Your Smartwatch will actually buzz on each count, which makes it even easier to stay in time over the course of a piece.

DMetronome is currently free over at the Google Play store, and it's worth your time if you need to keep time. It works well on Android Wear, and gets you the features you need without the clutter that you don't. That means that you worry less about the timing, and have more time to spend on the music. After all, that's the point, right?

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2 weeks ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: iOS 9, inbound Nexus, upcoming Windows, and leaky sliders

Android Pay

Oh, what a week.

There's a phrase: in the eye of the storm. It's meant to evoke a certain "calmness" that exists in the eye of a hurricane, a respite from the pounding, a brief moment where you can pause to catch your breath. You might call this past week such a thing after the big Apple event last week and the events marked into the calendar in the coming weeks. You would be wrong.

This week saw the official widespread launch of Android Pay, which is going up against not just Apple Pay on iPhones, but head-to-head against Samsung Pay on Samsung Android phones. Oh, and this little thing called iOS 9 launched onto iPhones and iPads around the world, with a tremendous 22,000-word review from iMore as reading material for the weekend

Windows 10 saw new preview builds released for both Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10 for PCs — and speaking of Windows 10 phones, there's a big event scheduled for October where we expect to see new hardware running said software. The folks in BlackBerry land got to see the much-anticipated Android-running BlackBerry Venice vertical slider leak from pretty much every angle. Again. This time with video. Pretty much the only questions left about this device are these: when will it launch and how much will cost?

Sure, we're in the eye of the storm, but don't think that means it's calm.

Android Central — Paying for the calm

Android Pay

It's the calm before the storm. But it's really not even all that calm. Android Pay is officially official and available to use now, Google has scheduled is next Nexus event for Sept. 29, and for the non-U.S. folks (or the hard-core importers) we've reviewed the Huawei Mate S.

CrackBerry — Slide up, slide down

BlackBerry Venice leak

So much happened this week, I'm not even really sure where to begin. BlackBerry CEO John Chen sat down for a fireside chat at the Waterloo Innovation Summit, the upcoming Android-powered BlackBerry Venice Slider got leaked all over the place and BlackBerry announced they would be opening up their first pop-up shop for Germany on September 23.

iMore — iOS 9 is here!

Apple kicked out iOS 9 on Wednesday, updating every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch since 2011, all at once, everywhere. watchOSm2, however, was not so lucky. It's been delayed to fix a bug. Meanwhile iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus ship this Friday, so there's no slowing down!

Windows Central — New builds for all

Windows 10

Microsoft had a rather busy week especially in keeping their Insiders happy with new releases. Indeed, the Redmond giant released a new Window 10 Mobile build on Monday and a new Windows 10 build for PCs on Friday. The release for Windows Phone goes a long way in fixing bugs and lagging, whereas the PC build added a few new features and more UI polish as well. New, finalized versions of both operating systems should be ready for the masses by November.

Oh and about those November releases, Microsoft is doing their fall announcements on October 6 in New York City. Surface Pro 4, Surface XL, Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL and the Band 2 are all on tap to be announced.

Speaking of Windows 10 the Xbox One team started to take volunteers for their big update. Yup, Xbox One is also getting Windows 10 and starting this weekend a very rough build is expected to land on a few users consoles. Unfortunately, there will be a lot of bugs. However, Microsoft is keen on getting two releases out a week sometimes with quick bug fixing turnarounds.


This week on Kicked we look at a high-tech backpack, a smart door lock, a rotisserie grill and more! Plus, Kim questions the tightness of Dan's t-shirt. Dan also does a robot impression which might be less than impressive.

Time is running out on our prize giveaway! For your chance to win a Pebble Time smart watch, an Ilumi smart bulb 10-pack, or the Coolest Cooler, watch this video and subscribe to our YouTube channel. You've only got until the end of September so subscribe today!


This week on Connectedly was all about the future, with both Audi and Porsche showing off their new all-electric cars. We also saw a double-sided TV, LG's 8K ready $133,000 panel, and iRobot's new Roomba connected vacuum system. We also took a look at Amazons new product line, the world's smallest drone and some funny and unique flash usb drives.

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2 weeks ago

The Downton Abbey TV series gets turned into a hidden object game


It appears that most any TV show can be turned into a free-to-play mobile game. That includes the high-brow UK drama Downton Abbey. The show, set in the early 20th century and centering on the activities of the people who live and work in a posh country estate, has been adapted into a hidden object game, Mysteries of the Manor, by publisher Activision.

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2 weeks ago

Come chat about Android Pay and Samsung Pay in our forums!


Android Pay finally launched for everyone to try this week, and we're in the closing days of the Samsung Pay beta before it opens up to everyone in the U.S. Though most of us have had access to Google Wallet up to this point and may have even tried it, these new systems have definitely re-sparked our interest in mobile payments.

As we continue to cover both Android Pay and Samsung Pay here on Android Central, we've also created two new forums for members to discuss everything involved with them. Whether you have some success (or failure) stories, questions about how it works or just have some tips to share, our forums are the place to go!

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2 weeks ago

Best apps for following the NFL 2015 football season


The 2015 NFL season is upon us, and you'll want to stay in the know. These football apps for Android keep tabs on scores for your favorite teams, drill down into detailed player stats, feature video clips, expert commentary, and often a little fantasy football on the side. If you're pumped about football starting up, take a look at our app picks.

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2 weeks ago

Coming soon: The Android Central App in Material Design!


We'll be the first to admit this has taken far longer than we would have liked, but it's finally happening. The Android Central App (erm, AC App for Android) — all the Mobile Nations Android apps, actually — is finally getting a Material Design refresh. That's all the news and reviews and opinions and podcasts and videos you've come to love in our current app, but with a fresh coat of paint.

Actually, that's underselling it a bit.

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2 weeks ago

Google's September 29 event is official


Mark your calendars, boys and girls, because Google's September 29 event is now official. It will take place at 9 a.m. PT, and we're expected to finally get a good look at the hardware offerings Google has up its sleeve for the final half of the year and more.

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2 weeks ago

How to get more out of your Galaxy Note 5's battery

Galaxy Note 5 battery life

There isn't much to worry about, but better battery longevity is always a good thing.

Though the Galaxy Note 5 actually dropped battery capacity when coming from the Note 4, and also lost the ability to remove the battery for a fresh one, there isn't too much to worry about with the battery life on the newest Note. The 3000 mAh cell can easily get you through a day, even if you hit it hard, but no matter what phone you have there's always going to be a desire to get the most out of it.

Your options are relatively limited on the Note 5 for extending battery life while also keeping the experience enjoyable, but we're here to give you a handful of tips to make sure you get the most out of your battery.

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2 weeks ago

Android One expands to Spain and Portugal with the Aquaris A4.5


Google took to its official Spanish Twitter account today to announce that Android One is making its European debut with the launch of the Aquaris A4.5 in Spain and Portugal through retailer BQ.

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2 weeks ago

Android Central 254: New Toys, Old Grievances


Audio-only stream below

We're back with a super extended podcast — more than 90 minutes! — with some hot new hardware.

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2 weeks ago

Bring! Shopping List for Android Wear makes it easier than ever to remember everything on your grocery list

Bring Shopping List

Grocery lists are something most of us use, if only to make sure you don't forget the important ingredients for dinner. Rather than digging out your phone to keep checking on that list, or trying to remember the scrap of paper you jotted everything down on, it might be time to check out Bring! Shopping List on Android Wear. This app lets you build multiple lists to handle your grocery needs, share those lists with friends, and easily check your lists.

Let's take a look.

Bring! smartwatch screenshots

The first thing you want to do is build a shopping list, which you do on your phone. Assembling the list is fairly self explanatory, as long as you know what you want to go shop for. Each list gets a personalized name if you don't like the defaults, along with a background image to help differentiate it. It's a small feature, but one that really makes it easy to grab the right list to look at later on.

Once you've named your list you can add people to it. This feature is especially fantastic if you're planning a party and have asked people to pitch in. You enter in the email address of whoever you want to participate in this list, and Bring! sends an invite to the list and the app. Once they have the app installed, whoever you invite can see and edit the list same as you. You can even set notifications to let you know when someone has edited that list.

Bring Shopping List smartphone screenshot

To add items to your list, you have two basic choices. You can search for specific ingredients and add them that way, or by scrolling through the various categories that Bring has provided for you. Both methods are quite effective, and each ingredient that you add to your list comes with an illustration of the ingredient on a small card.

From your watch, Bring! Shopping List is fantastic. Upon opening the app you can choose between any of your shopping lists to pull up. Once it's open you'll see a small red screen, with the ingredient illustrated in white. Swiping left or right lets you see everything on your list easily, and in a pinch. One of the few pitfalls with the app is that they don't have specific brands, which can be a problem if you're shopping on someone else's behalf and don't know if they prefer something specific.

Bring ingredients

As far as shopping list apps go Bring! Shopping List is definitely one that you should be checking out. It's available on Google Play Store now for the low, low, price of free. With multiple lists, Android Wear support, and the ability to share lists with friends, this is one app you shouldn't ignore — at least not if you're responsible for the grocery shopping anyway.

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2 weeks ago

Pebble teases new countdown on its site, possible software update for original Pebble


Pebble has posted a new countdown on its website, though the company has left no indication as to what the clock could be for. On Twitter, Pebble notified of the countdown clock, and told people to start guessing. With the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel already shipping, there are only a few other things that seem likely.

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2 weeks ago

These are the top Huawei phones you need to know


The smartphone space is an increasingly populated – read, crowded – place to be. And it's getting more so as manufacturers such as Huawei start to pump out more, and better, phones, and push to expand its availability into more western markets. The past year was a pretty good one for Huawei with some excellent devices launched, and more sure to be on the way.

As new phones come and go, though, it's tough to keep up with things. So we're breaking it down into a continuously updated list to highlight the best devices that Huawei has to offer. These are the one's we'll be writing about and they'll also be the ones you'll likely want to consider.

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