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4 days ago

Inside the ZenFone 2 with ASUS and Intel (Part 2)

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Hot on the heels of Part 1, we bring you more of our interview (in partnership with Tom's Guide) with ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih and Intel's Aicha Evans.

In these closing questions we get deep inside what it took to design and build the ZenFone 2, which brings quite a lot to the table despite merely costing consumers $299.

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4 days ago

The difference between Cyanogen OS and CyanogenMod

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Cyanogen OS

The line between community and commercial benefits everyone, and it couldn't be easier to choose one or the other.

You'd be hard pressed to find Android fans familiar with concepts like rooting and flashing roms that don't know what CyanogenMod is. As a third-party replacement for the version of Android that came with your device that has been available since the HTC G1 — as nuts as it was to try and flash something on that phone — CyanogenMod has earned its place in the history of this platform. As Android grew, so did the people responsible for CyanogenMod, and now those people are a proper company working towards bringing their vision for Android to everyone by partnering with companies and being included as the release software. The software on these retail devices is a little different from the zip you can download and flash to replace your current version of Android, and to help differentiate between these two software versions you'll heard a different name associated with this retail variant — Cyanogen OS.

Branding aside, what exactly are the differences between the commercially available Cyanogen OS and the community maintained CyanogenMod? Let's take a look.

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4 days ago

Skrillex and Google bring the 'wub-wub' to your phone with custom cases

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Google has teamed up with electronic artist Skrillex to launch the first in a series of "Edition" cases for certain phones.

Now on sale in the Google Store, the "Skrillex Live Case" is available in three different designs for Google's own Nexus 6 and Nexus 5, along with a trio of Samsung devices, including the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 4.

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5 days ago

Jerry's favorite Android Wear watch

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Moto 360

The Moto 360 is still my favorite Android Wear watch.

Smart watches are cool. I know they are cool, because people tell me they are cool. You get everything you ever wanted — and a lot of what you never wanted — pushed directly to your wrist so you can lift your arm and look at the screen to see the important things you might need to see. Sort of like using a smartphone ...

One thing that's a dead-solid-lock-of-the-week is that Google, with Android Wear, leads the pack when it comes to wrist-wearables. Android Wear has had time to mature and we all see the things that work and the things that don't work when we're using a tiny display to interact with apps and people. And I don't (necessarily) mean Google here. Developers have figured out how to use Android Wear and the way we use apps on our wrist is getting better and better.

When I want to use my watch to communicate or do other "stuff" I do it on a Moto 360.

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5 days ago

The best camera apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Samsung Galaxy S6 camera

Here you can find the perfect camera app for day-to-day shooting on your Samsung Galaxy S6.

There's little argument that the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is phenomenal, so let's find ways to get the most out of it. We've scoured the Play Store to find the best Android camera apps out there so you can produce great shots quickly and painlessly.

The stock S6 app will optimize for the device's camera better than anything else out there, and Google Camera is an obvious pick (especially if you're hooked on Photo Spheres), but third-party options are always welcome. Keep in mind we're focusing on apps that are handling the actual picture-taking experience. There are other apps that do editing after the fact, but only incidentally have a shortcut for launching into the camera.

These camera apps aren't exclusive to the Galaxy S6 by any means. Odds are you'll find something useful here regardless of which Android phone you're packing.

READ NOW: Our top picks for Samsung Galaxy S6 camera apps!

Camera Zoom FX

Camera Zoom FX has been a mainstay camera app for a long time. Hardware buttons can be remapped to take a shot, or you can just tap anywhere on the screen to shoot (handy for shooting selfies blind). Burst mode, HDR support, voice activated shutter, and software stabilization help you shoot in a variety of circumstances. A timelapse function helps you make animated GIFs. On the post-processing side, there are plenty of bundled filters, and additional themed asset packs available for download. Of course manual controls for ISO levels and white balance are included. Some features will require a $2.99 upgrade to the premium version, but even the free one should meet most of your needs.

Download Camer ZOOM FX in the Play Store

Camera360

Camera360 is another massively popular camera app for Android. On top of fine-tuning ISO, contrast, and brightness settings as you shoot, a wide range of filters are available, which can be previewed on the screen before taking your picture. If you aren't using any automatic image back-up, Camera360 has a free and premium service for keeping shots safe in the cloud. Overall the interface is quite modern and sharp. The core app is free, with premium effects available through an in-app store.

Download Camera360 in the Play Store

Camera FV-5

Camera FV-5 is serious business. Automatic exposure bracketing, long exposure, time lapse, EXIF data, and a wide range of composition guides are just some of the goodies available for those that know what they're doing. Large, visible interface elements are very much in the style of a big-boy SLR. On-screen elements for ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed help you stay informed before taking the shot. The free version of FV-5 is feature complete, except it's limited by resolution. You'll need to pay $3.95 to upgrade and lift the limit.

Download Camera FV-5 in the Play Store

Manual Camera

Manual Camera for Android

Manual Camera provides clean, precision control over your shots. A handy dial interface helps you adjust shutter time, white balance, ISO, and exposure with minimal fiddling. You find a lot here in terms of post-processing, like filters or cropping, but depending on your sensibilities, this might be a good thing.

Download Manual Camera in the Play Store

A Better Camera

A Better Camera offers a full suite of camera utilities in a simple, clean interface. Unlike a lot of camera apps, you can shoot video with A Better Camera, including timelapse. Standard modes like Panorama and Night shot are there, plus some fancier ones like Best Shot which will pick out the sharpest picture in a burst, and Pre-shot, which will include images before you hit the shutter button to make sure you get the right moment.

Download A Better Camera from the Play Store

Your favorite camera apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6?

That's a sampling of the best camera apps available, but what are you using on your Samsung Galaxy S6 to take pictures? Let us know in the comments!

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5 days ago

HipChat goes native, receives a Material Design overhaul

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HipChat has received a large update in which it leaves web-view behind in favor of native, and even scores a Material Design overhaul as well.

The team behind the team communications app HipChat has just released a large update that improves the overall quality of the application. In this update the look and feel has been refreshed, thanks to an all new Material Design overhaul. Additionally they have ditched web-view in favor of a native experience, which will improve the overall functionality of the app.

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5 days ago

Spotify Now will build custom playlists around your day

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Spotify has announced several new features built around making the service into a complete entertainment experience.

Spotify has introduced a number of new features that help tailor the music your music listening to different parts of your day. The new Now section will serve up playlists tailored to activities and times of the day, like the early morning, for your commute, or when you go to bed.

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5 days ago

Twitch app now lets users watch past content from their favorite streamers

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Popular game streaming service Twitch has finally added video on demand (VOD) support to its Android app.

In an update to its Android app today, Twitch has finally added support for video on demand—a feature many gaming fans have been anticipating for a while.

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5 days ago

LG G4 camera tips and tricks

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LG G4 camera

The LG G4 has one of the best cameras on an Android phone. Make your photos even better by following a few basic steps.

The LG G4 is one of the best Android phones available right now, and the camera experience is a big part of that. LG's latest flagship includes a 16-megapixel sensor with 3-axis OIS (optical image stabilization), a color spectrum sensor and LG's trademark laser-assisted autofocus. And on the software side, the G4 is one of the first mainstream phones to offer RAW photo capabilities out of the box.

That's a great deal of camera technology inside a seriously impressive phone, but what's more important is how you'll use it. Head past the break for a few simple tips to get the most out of the LG G4's main camera.

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5 days ago

Android Central Photo Contest: Stairs

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Walk on up and snap a photo.

It's time for another photo contest, and this week the subject of your pictures will have to be "stairs." We don't always have escalators, ramps or ladders around, but stairs are pretty universal — and that means there's pretty much a limitless supply of them available for your to photograph. So get out there and get some stair shots, and enter them into the latest photo contest.

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5 days ago

Alcatel Idol 3 to start shipping in the US on May 21

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The Alcatel Idol 3 will be available for consumers to purchase in the US beginning May 21, and pre-orders will also begin shipping at the same time.

Pre-orders of the budget friendly Alcatel Idol 3 are set to begin shipping on May 21, the same day that the company will officially begin selling the device in the US. Featuring a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM along with a 1.7GHz processor, the Idol 3 will run Android 5.0.2 out of the box.

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5 days ago

Ice Age Avalanche promises puzzle game fun on Android

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Fans of puzzle games like Candy Crush Saga might find something new to play with Gameloft's just-launched Ice Age Avalanche for Android.

Gameloft's newest Android game is Ice Age Avalanche. It's a free-to-play "match 3" puzzle game that's based on the popular animated movie series.

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5 days ago

Motorola Camera gains support for manual exposure control

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Manual exposure controls have made their way into Motorola Camera in the latest update, giving you more control of the photos you are taking.

Motorola has pushed out an update to its Motorola Camera app that brings along manual exposure controls, letting users make the subject brighter or darker before taking the picture.

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5 days ago

Announcing the 'AC Photo Contest: Build' winners!

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We built a photo contest that was looking for your best shots to illustrate the idea of "build," and dozens of entries filled up the forums that did just that. A great variety of different styles of photos came in, and we were able to eventually narrow it down to the two that will receive prizes. Read along with us and see the winning entries!

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5 days ago

Getting inside the ZenFone 2 with ASUS and Intel (Part 1)

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We've reviewed the ASUS Zenfone 2. We've seen the phone's launch in North America. And you can now purchase the ZenFone 2 for a completely reasonable price of $299. (Or even a little less if you want to skimp on the specs.)

But that's really just the start of the story for ASUS, which is teaming up with Intel for this new Atom-based phone. There are a lot of firsts here for both companies. And to get the full scoop we (along with our pals at Tom's Guide) sat down with ASUS chairman Jonney Shih and Intel Corporate VP Aicha Evans at the ZenFone 2 launch event in New York City.

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