2 days ago

Never ask for directions again with Citymapper on Android Wear


Getting from point A to point B when you're visiting an unfamiliar city can be confusing and difficult. Trying to find schedules for trains and buses, and knowing when there is a delay in service — it's not fun for anyone. Citymapper is here to make it easier. It'll give you the directions you need, whether that means walking, grabbing a bus, taking the train, or all three. Available on Android Wear through the Google Play Store, this is a fantastic app for anyone who needs to use public transit in the cities it covers.

From your smartwatch, Citymapper gives you two basic options. You can preprogram regular destinations. Two slots appear by default; Home and Work. You can also add in custom destinations. Your other option is to input a trip on your phone and hit Go, it'll transfer to your smartwatch until you end the trip.

Once you've started your trip, you'll get directions using a combination of walking and public transit. Walking directions include time to your first stop, along with a mini map to help you along your way. Swipe to the right and you'll see your next leg of the journey. For bus or train routes, you'll get the line or route number, the destination and estimated time of arrival. If there is a delay you'll see an icon to let you know. Swiping down will give you more information, like the stops you'll pass while you ride.

Each leg of the journey is clearly indicated, and at any time you can open a larger map on your phone to get your bearings. There are also plenty of additional options in the app on your phone liking texting directions to a place you're meeting up with friends, or checking on the status of local Uber services. Citymapper also gives you multiple arrival times for train lines, and lets you know if you can hop multiple different buses if they'll get you to your destination.

The only real downside of the app is that it isn't available everywhere. Right now it has 10 cities including New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Montreal. The app will still work in the surrounding area, but it isn't nearly as effective. The developers are already asking for input on the next city to add, so hopefully they'll be expanding their list of cities soon.

Overall Citymapper is a fantastic app whether you're commuting, or visiting the city on vacation. With it's options it will ensure you can get where you need it, in the most efficient way possible. Plane, train, and automobile are all covered by this app and it's worth checking out if you're in it's area of operation. Have you tried Citymapper? Let us know!

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2 days ago

LifeProof FRE case review for the Samsung Galaxy S6


LifeProof has made a name for itself by making some of the best-known waterproof phone cases out there. We took the FRE case for a dip with the Samsung Galaxy S6 to see just how well it fared.

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2 days ago

Microsoft's Xbox Music app for Android gets a new name: Groove


Microsoft is having a busy day with the official launch of Windows 10, but it has some time to update its Xbox Music app for Android. In short, the name of the app itself has changed to Groove, along with some other additions and improvements.

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2 days ago

Latest Android bug can disable audio if you download a malicious file


A new bug has been found that can turn off all audio on your Android device running version 4.3 of the operating system or higher, but requires you to download a malicious file.

The bug can be triggered by a malicious app, or a purposefully-malformed MKV file. The bug triggers a buffer overflow in the mediaserver service, and the result is a stop to all audio on your phone or tablet. In some cases, the amount of RAM being used may be enough to cause the phone or tablet to become unresponsive.

Trend-Micro, vendors of a popular Android Antivirus application, submitted the bug to Google last May. Google marked the vulnerability as "low-priority" in accordance with their security vulnerability guidelines. Any reported and accepted vulnerability that can be fixed by a simple reboot of the device is classified as such. You can read more about Google's Severity ratings and associated consequences here.

Our recommendation — don't download files from people you do not trust, and you'll avoid this sort of issue. But if you do get hit by this particular vulnerability, just reboot your phone or tablet and delete the malicious file.

More: Trend Micro

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2 days ago

Quick comparison: OnePlus 2 versus Samsung Galaxy S6

OnePlus 2 versus Galaxy S6

Every time a hot new phone comes on the scene, the instant reaction is to compare it to one of the biggest names — the leading Galaxy S device from Samsung of the year. This year it's the OnePlus 2 drawing the attention of phone enthusiasts, and the Galaxy S6 is the current big name in Android phones.

We've had just a brief time with the new OnePlus 2, and considerably more with the GS6 — here are our quick impressions of using them side-by-side.

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2 days ago

Android Central Photo Contest: Water


This is obviously a very broad prompt for the latest Android Central Photo Contest, but that just gives you even more opportunities to showcase what you can do with your Android camera. We want to see interesting, clever and fun ways to show the word "water," and can't wait to see what you can all come up with.

Two entries will be selected to win this contest, and each will receive a TYLT VU Qi Wireless Charging Car Mount!

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (August 11) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter the latest photo contest

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2 days ago

This portable wireless charger doubles as a 10400mAh power bank


Great for home and travel, the Vinsic 2-in-1 charger keeps you cable-free.

Wireless chargers come in all shapes and sizes, but more often than not, you'll see the traditional flat pad style similar to the Samsung Wireless Charging Pad or ZENS Wireless Charger. The 45° angled design of the Vinsic 2-in-1 Charger makes using your Qi-compatible devices quick and easy while it's getting juiced up. And to be honest, it's refreshing to see — especially when they're built well.

Weighing slightly less than a pound, the charger does have some bulk to it, but still looks great on any desk or coffee table. It features a circular rubber pad on top that keeps your device from sliding every which way, and a matching pad underneath that keeps the entire charger in one place — regardless of how smooth the surface is. On the front are 6 tiny LED lights in total; 4 of which are green and signify how much life of the internal 10400mAh battery remains. The last 2 shine blue — one for power and the other when wirelessly charging. Even with every light on it's not bright, and they compliment the entire charger's aesthetics. Not to mention, once your device is sitting pretty it covers up the lights anyhow.

On the back of the charger is a USB and microUSB port. Vinsic only includes a single 28-inch microUSB cable, which can be used for both charging its power bank or a second device. As I expected, anything charged via the wireless pad gets a slow-going 1A rate, but if plugged directly into the USB port on the back you'll get a more acceptable 2.1A. While simultaneously charging with both, Ampere measured approximately 350mA on the pad and 1000mA connected. So if you're in a hurry, skip the cable-free convenience.

To turn the charger on, simply tap the power button located on the right side. It will instantly light up, showing how much battery life is left. You can tap the power button at any time to check this, too. When you place your Qi-compatible device on the charger, you'll get an audible beep to let you know when it's recognized.

The verdict

$49.90 Buy Now

It's definitely not a bad deal with both the wireless charger and 10400mAh power bank features bundled together. It's case-friendly, which is kind of a big deal in my book, and doesn't blind you while at your bedside. For $49.90, I think Vinsic could have tossed in a 2nd (longer) USB cable and AC adapter, though. The Vinsic 2-in-1 Charger also comes in white, if the black doesn't suit your current setup.

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2 days ago

Weekly poll: Who brought it better - OnePlus or Motorola?

OnePlus v. Motorola

Two days, two companies, plenty of Android.

It's been two days chock full of Android phones from OnePlus and Motorola. Plenty of us have been waiting to see just what both companies would bring to the table, and even after all the rumors and leaks we still were surprised a little bit.

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2 days ago

Announcing the 'AC Photo Contest: Garden' winners!


We waited patiently for the latest photo contest to fill up with great entrants from our members, and we were rewarded with several pages of wonderful pictures. They all had something unique to show, and it was tough to narrow it down to the two eventual winners — read along and see them now.

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2 days ago

Razer Serval Gaming Controller makes its way to the Google Store for $79


Google has added the Razer Serval Gaming Controller to its lineup in the Google Store for $79. While there are already a few gaming controllers available, like the Gamepad for Nexus Player, the Razer Serval has a dedicated holder for your phone built in. The controller is the same one that comes included in the Razer Forge TV Gaming Bundle, except now you can grab just the controller for half the price.

If you are a big mobile gamer, this controller is for you. The minimum requirements to use it is Android 4.2 or above. You can purchase the Razer Serval controller from the Google Store for $79 now, with free shipping.

Purchase the Razer Serval Gaming Controller for $79

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2 days ago

Interview: OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei

Carl Pei

OnePlus' co-founder reflects on the journey of the OnePlus One, and its successor's path to release.

Whether you think the OnePlus 2 is the next big thing or it's not even on your radar, there's no arguing how impactful OnePlus as a company has been over the last year and a half. As a new company, the way we talk about OnePlus and the kind of buzz they have created for themselves is significant. A lot of that is the result of decisions made by co-founder Carl Pei.

He's not exactly what you'd expect from someone running a company like OnePlus, but then again OnePlus isn't exactly a normal smartphone manufacturer. Throughout the OnePlus 2 launch event you could see him float from table to table, engaging everyone hovering over his phones and cautiously asking about initial impressions, so we took a few minutes to ask him some questions about the progress OnePlus has made over the past year.

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2 days ago

Boost Mobile announces two new Android phones from Alcatel OneTouch


The rugged Alcatel OneTouch Conquest available today for $129.99, budget-friendly Alcatel OneTouch Elevate arrives in August for $99.99.

Boost Mobile sees their phone lineup grow a bit today with the announcement of two Android phones from Alcatel OneTouch.

The Alcatel Conquest (pictured above) comes in with a 5-inch 720p display, a quad-core processor and IP67 waterproofing and dustproofing for those who need a bit of extra protection. The Conquest is available now at Boost Mobile's online store for just $129.99, and can be used on any of Boost Mobile's Data Boost plans.

The Alcatel OneTouch Elevate will be available in August, and at just $99.99 it comes in at a price-point that many will find attractive. It's quad-core processor powers Android 5.1 Lollipop, and it's 4.5-inch FWVGA display should prove to be easy on the battery for those who don't want or need a big phone.

The full press release follows.

Two new ALCATEL ONETOUCH smartphones arrive at Boost Mobile

Celebrate summer stress-free with the weather-ready ALCATEL ONETOUCH Conquest; Or harness the excitement of 4G LTE data speeds without spending a fortune with ALCATEL ONETOUCH Elevate

When you're planning to enjoy some fun in the sun, a new smartphone shouldn't hold you back.

Planning to be outdoors? Not to worry, ALCATEL ONETOUCH Conquest™1 eliminates the stress about whether your phone can handle the outdoors. For the budget-minded, ALCATEL ONETOUCH Elevate™ is a smartphone that keeps you connected on-the-go without breaking the bank.

Get Conquest at www.boostmobile.com/conquest/ now for $129.99 (plus tax), and Elevate will be available in August at www.boostmobile.com for $99.99 (plus tax).

Conquer the elements this summer

Summer is in full swing, and it's time to get outside for some fun in the sun. Grab your sunscreen for protection against sunburn, and put your hands on Conquest from Boost Mobile for a smartphone ready to take on the elements.

Key features:

  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof: Don't fear a little water or dirt. With IP67 your Conquest will keep going strong through the elements2.

  • Android™ 5.0, Lollipop: Android Lollipop provides enhanced multitasking, and material design offers Conquest users a better experience, complete with the Google Now Launcher, which brings "OK Google" voice commands and content like local weather, directions and upcoming calendar alerts right to your home screen.

  • 5-inch 720p HD touchscreen display with Dragontrail Glass: Be ready for anything with a 5-inch high-definition display that's sturdy enough for outdoor adventures while offering a beautiful viewing experience.
  • 5-megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash and 2-megapixel front camera: Capture gorgeous memories on the beach or at the pool with the Conquest's 5MP camera, which includes built-in filters, allowing you to capture all your moments perfectly. The 2MP front camera is perfect for video chatting or just taking a great selfie.
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz processor: Power your mobile life with the best balance of performance and low power consumption delivered by Conquest's quad-core processor.
  • 3G/4G LTE/Enhanced LTE3: Browse the Web, download a game or upload a photo with faster 4G LTE speeds.

    Just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you can't have great gear. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ quad-core processor and featuring a 2,000mAh battery, Elevate has all the power you need to take your daily mobile use to a whole new level.

Key features:

  • Android 5.1 Lollipop: ALCATEL ONETOUCH Elevate features the latest version of Android 5.1 Lollipop, providing users an enhanced multitasking experience, complete with the Google Now Launcher, which brings "OK Google" voice commands and content like local weather, directions and upcoming calendar alerts right to your home screen.
  • 4.5-inch FWVGA display: Perfectly portable compact form factor easily fits into purse or pocket, but still provides a large quality screen for staying connecting on-the-go.
  • 5-megapixel auto focus camera with LED flash and 2-megapixel front camera: Never miss a moment with Elevate's 5MP camera, or enjoy video chatting or capturing the perfect selfie with the phone's 2MP front camera.
  • 3G/4G LTE/Enhanced LTE3: ALCATEL ONETOUCH Elevate brings the power of LTE to the masses. Browse the Web, download a game or upload a photo with faster 4G LTE speeds.
  • Quad-core 1.1GHz processor: Powered by a quad-core processor, Elevate delivers smooth performance with low power consumption, so you can rise above whatever the day throws at you.

Data Boost Plans

Boost Mobile is one of the best values in the prepaid wireless industry with the $30 Data Boost Up plan4. After signing up for automatic payments with Auto Re-Boost, get unlimited talk, text and data with 2GB of high-speed data for $30 per month.

Price $30 with Auto Re-Boost $35 $45 $55 Talk & Text**** Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Data**** Unlimited — Includes 2GB of high-speed 3G/4G data Unlimited — Includes 1GB of high-speed 3G/4G data Unlimited — Includes 5GB of high-speed 3G/4G data Unlimited — Includes 10GB of high-speed 3G/4G data
  1. ALCATEL is a trademark of Alcatel-Lucent used under license by TCT Mobile Limited. ONETOUCH Conquest™ is a trademark of TCT Mobile Limited. ©2015 TCT Mobile Limited. All rights reserved.

  2. IP67 includes complete dust protection and water immersion protection up to 1m (or about 3 feet of water)

  3. Nationwide Sprint LTE network reaches more than 280 million people. The Enhanced LTE network is available in limited markets. Visit www.sprint.com/coverage for information.

  4. Plan increases to $40 without Auto Re-Boost enrollment.

  5. Unlimited features are on-network only; international services extra.

  6. Video streaming limited to 3G speeds. 3G/4G speeds subject to coverage/device availability. Once plan's applicable 3G/4G data allotment reached, speeds (including video) reduced to 2G speeds for remainder of plan cycle and restored when new plan cycle begins.


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2 days ago

A fresh look at Aviate Launcher

Aviate Launcher

Aviate Launcher has garnered hype since it first debuted on Android, and after being acquired by Yahoo has actually seen steady improvement through updates. It's been a year since we first wrote a review of the launcher, and now it's time to take a fresh look and see how it works today.

Aviate aims to analyze at how you use your phone to better surface information and apps that are relevant based on a variety of factors, taking the burden of customization away from you. But does it work? We're going to find out.

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2 days ago

Sprint's Family Share Pack offers 10GB of shared data on four lines for $100 per month


Sprint has announced the introduction of new family plans, aiming particularly for T-Mobile and its plans. The Sprint Family Share Pack offers four lines with unlimited talk and text, with 10GB of shared high-speed data for $100 per month.

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2 days ago

Google Translate for Android adds 20 more languages for video text translation


The Google Translate app for Android just got a big update, allowing it to translate the text of 20 more languages when it is used with a smartphone or tablet video camera.

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