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1 week ago

Take two: Google announces Android Wear 5.1.1 rollout has begun

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Google announced today that it has officially started rolling out the Android 5.1.1 update to Android Wear smartwatches today.

Over on its product forums, Google announced that it has started rolling out Android 5.1.1 to Android Wear watches. Additionally, according to several users on Reddit, and at least one person on our own forums, the update has already started landing on the LG G Watch and G Watch R.

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1 week ago

Google may be getting close to showing off new photo service

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According to a new report, Google may be getting close to taking the wraps off their new photo sharing service.

The unveiling could come at Google I/O, the companies upcoming developer conference which kicks off on May 28. It is no surprise that Google is working to spin photos out of Google+ and into its own app, this has been rumored since last year.

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1 week ago

Proper Google Maps app appears on Android Wear via latest phone app update

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A proper Google Maps app appears on Android Wear

With the latest update to Google Maps on your phone, Android Wear gains some mapping functionality.

After updating to Google Maps version 9.9 on your phone — which brings a neat new transparent status bar and some navigation features — you may notice that there's an actual Google Maps app on your connected Android Wear watch as well. The launcher icon for Maps showed up on our LG Watch Urbane (which of course has the latest version of Android Wear) after simply re-syncing apps after the latest phone app install, and though it appeared to be broken at first, a couple of reboots later and we had a surprisingly full-featured Maps app ... on our watch.

The app can be launched from the app launcher or by voice with an "open Maps" command, and when opened you get a full screen top-down map experience. You can scroll around, pinch-to-zoom (barely) and even switch between true North and device direction views. Zoom in/out buttons appear on the top of the screen when you tap it, which is much better than pinching, and you also get a small pin button that lets you quickly scroll through nearby places and navigate to them — though when you fire up navigation from the Maps app on the watch it still corresponds with launching Maps on your phone.

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1 week ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, six months on

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Galaxy Note 4

Half a year on, Samsung's most recent Note still ranks among the best Android phones of the moment.

Five months into 2015, and halfway through its shelf life, it's time to take a look back on Samsung's best phone of 2014. The Galaxy Note 4 arrived at a pivotal time for the Korean giant. Along with the Galaxy Alpha, it signaled the beginning of the end for the plasticky, blooping and whistling Samsung phones we'd come to know and eventually tolerate.

It's sometimes said among fans of the series that the only thing that can replace a Note is another Note. And having used the Galaxy Note 4 extensively since its launch, I'm beginning to see why.

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1 week ago

Sega has pulled three of its Android games from circulation

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Android device owners now have three less games to download from the Google Play Store, thanks to Sega removing them from circulation.

As Sega promised they would do last week, the company has now removed three of its older mobile games made for Android from the Google Play Store.

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1 week ago

Google adds 140 more characters to mobile search results, now displaying relevant tweets

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Tweets will now show up in Google Search results on mobile devices, giving you a little more real-time information about the topic at hand.

When performing a Google search on a mobile device, users will now start seeing relevant tweets appearing in the results feed, in addition to the normal links and images. Google has been making quite a number of changes to mobile search results, and the latest adds even more real-time results.

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1 week ago

CYNGN: A brief history of how Cyanogen OS came to be

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Cyanogen OS

It's a story of inevitability, one that is far from over.

Over the last couple of years, a group of clever software developers have built an empire out of a free alternative to whatever version of Android came included on your phone. Many of those people have come together to form a company, with the goal of taking this free alternative and turning it into a compelling option for hardware manufacturers to put on their retail devices.

We've seen the success Cyanogen Inc. has had so far — with a fair bit of very public conflicts early on — but the origin of this company has everything to do with how this company plans to succeed, and frankly that's a story worth telling.

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1 week ago

The best podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

Settle into your favorite shows with these podcast apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6.

We're going to help you find the best way to line up podcasts on the Samsung Galaxy S6, clear out the old ones, and keep them coming in the future. Without a native podcatching app, there are plenty of fantastic developers that have stepped up to the plate to get you your shows.

Of course we don't have to remind you to listen in on our most excellent Android Central Podcast, but you're all doing that already, right? None of these apps are exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy S6, but we're hoping to guide those that just picked up the phone. Whatever device you have, these are the best podcatching apps available on Android.

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1 week ago

Instagram's Layout collaging app has arrived on Android

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Layout, an app for Instagram that makes it easy to build an image collage, is coming today to Android.

First launched for iPhone back in March, Layout is a relatively straightforward app: select the images you want to include, pick a grid, make a few tweaks, and then save it and sent it out to Instagram or the social service of your choice.

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1 week ago

Buy a Moto G and Moto 360, save $129 during four-hour sale

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For a very limited time Motorola will be offering a savings of $129 when combining the purchase of a Moto G and Moto 360.

Motorola is hosting a four-hour sale today on the Moto G and Moto 360, that reduces the total price by $129 down to only $299 for both. The sale runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT, so you will want to act quick.

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1 week ago

Microsoft may have offered to buy part of Nokia's HERE maps division

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Microsoft may have offered to buy a minority stake in Nokia's HERE maps division, according to a new report.

HERE Maps, the mapping division of the Finland-based Nokia, might have a number of new buyout offers. That includes one from Microsoft to purchase a minority stake in HERE

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1 week ago

Save up to 78 percent on Kingston microSD cards today only at Amazon

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For today only, Amazon is offering up to 78 percent off of microSD cards from Kingston. The deal includes cards as small as 16GB to as large as 128GB.

If you are in the market for a new microSD card to store your favorite files on, you will want to check out Amazon's Deal of the Day on cards from Kingston. Today's deal can score you up to 78 percent off, depending which storage capacity you are in the market for.

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1 week ago

Top 6 best cases for Samsung Galaxy S6

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With all the options available to protect your Samsung Galaxy S6 from damage, how is one to decide which case is best?

We all have different needs to be met, but there are particular covers out there that stand out among the rest, providing both quality protection and exceptional design.

After careful consideration and input from members of the Galaxy S6 forums, we've selected 6 cases for the Galaxy S6 that have made the biggest impression. These choices aren't limited by their size, manufacturer or price — only tried and true options that keep your Galaxy S6 safe from the inevitable drop.

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1 week ago

MixRadio leaves beta, brings the noise to the Google Play Store for the first time

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MixRadio

Popular streaming music service, MixRadio, has today announced its official arrival on Android at an event in New York City.

The expansion away from Windows Phone comes as MixRadio recently left Microsoft ownership and was acquired by LINE, perhaps best known for its cross-platform messaging app. And for HTC owners there's an added bonus, too.

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1 week ago

Android smartphones users can now check out preview versions of Office apps

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Microsoft now has preview versions of its Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office apps available for testing on Android smartphones.

After launching its Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office apps for Android tablets back in January, Microsoft is now allowing Android smartphone owners to test preview versions of those same apps.

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