Headlines

5 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: Quick hits on a working weekend

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It's a working weekend — those of you who've been around a while might remember what that's code for — so I'll keep things really brief this week. Still have a few thoughts on things, though, so let's get to it.

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6 days ago

Smart Lock 'on-body detection' now rolling out to Lollipop devices

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Smart Lock on body detection

The new motion-based feature for Smart Lock is better than no security at all — but only barely.

Google appears to be quietly rolling out a new addition to the Smart Lock feature in Android Lollipop, bringing an extra unlock option that works with motion sensors inside Android devices. "On-body detection" is designed to use your phone's accelerometer to figure out when it's been set down on a surface, and lock — with whatever lock pattern or PIN code you've set — when it's not on your person.

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6 days ago

What we're using: How AC editors approach Android photography

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Android photography

We've spent some time talking about photography and Android. The two things go together very well, and most of us want to take the best pictures we can when we pull out our phone to take one.

Here at AC, we're all Android fans at heart — just like you are. We want the same things you do out of the camera on our phones, and we want the best pictures we can get. Again — just like everyone reading this. We get to try and use more Android phones than most folks due to the nature of our job, but because we're Android fans we all have a favorite when it comes to features like the camera. Join us as we take a minute to go around the table and talk about how we do Android photography.

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6 days ago

How to turn photos into Android wallpapers

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You can tell a lot about a person by the wallpaper on their phone...

Be it a battery-efficient black wallpaper or one of the millions of pictures of your kids that has consumed every byte of free-space on your phone, a wallpaper says a lot about its user. Even if they're still using the bland, boring wallpaper that came with it. It says: my phone isn't here to look pretty, it's here to make calls and answer texts. But maybe that's not true. Maybe you just didn't like the wallpapers included on your phone and you didn't think about adding one of your own. Well, setting a new wallpaper is easy to do and something you really should do, as a good wallpaper can help give you a nice little pick me up every time you see it.

If you need some images to use as your wallpaper, check out our lovely wallpaper gallery!

Let's personalize!

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6 days ago

This Moto 360 pocket watch should totally be a real thing

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Moto 360 Pocketwatch

While everyone's going gaga over smartwatches, we whip up a bit of the old-school.

Ever since Motorola's first live stream for the Moto 360, there's been this notion buzzing in the back of my head. As amazing as the round design looked on the wrist, the way Motorola had embedded the watch band connectors into the casing with no lugs on either side gave me visions of a smart pocket watch. With our recent exploration into 3D Printing here at Android Central, now seemed like the right time to see what was possible. What happened next was a solid week of tinkering, printing, very nearly destroying a Moto 360, and at last ending up with a functional design that could be used as a pocket watch.

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6 days ago

Google begins testing new ad-targeting service for Fiber TV in Kansas City

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Google has announced today that it is beginning to test local ads with mobile-like ad-targeting for its Fiber TV service in Kansas City.

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1 week ago

Motorola posts Android 5.1 release notes for the 2014 Moto X

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Motorola has just posted the release notes for the Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the 2014 Moto X Pure Edition.

While it doesn't appear that the update is currently rolling out to users, this could indicate that the software is in testing, keeping up with Motorola's penchant for quick updates to its devices.

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1 week ago

Android Central 228: Hot Hot Heat!

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Audio-only stream below

Strap in, folks. This week is gonna be fun. Perhaps most exciting is that Android Auto has been released — and we're taking it for a test drive! If you've got questions, we'll have some answers.

Plus, Peter Chou is out as HTC's CEO — we'll talk about what that means as we get ready for the release of the HTC One M9. And, yes, we'll talk a tad about the damned Snapdragon 810. Is it hype? Or overheating? 

Plus, more on the Galaxy S6, and we answer more of your questions live!

Also: Enter our Huawei Friendly User Testing Contest at androidcentral.com/huawei.

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1 week ago

Google throws a virtual 'Global Happy Party' for the International Day of Happiness

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Today, March 20, is the International Day of Happiness, and to celebrate, Google has teamed up with the United Nations Foundation and Pharrell Williams to create a website for the occasion.

The website, called "Global Happy Party," presents GIFs of people being happy set to the tune of, you guessed it, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.

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1 week ago

The best ways to get photos off your Android

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Photos aren't much good to you on a camera. They need to get off your camera to reach their potential.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you.

That means that your Android smartphone is likely the camera you use the most and the one you'll be taking pictures off of the most. Nothing can be quite as frustrating as taking a picture you need to print out, or send off to the print shop, but not being able to get it off your phone and onto your necessary machine. And while there are many, many ways to get a photo from your phone to your computer, cloud storage, or anywhere else you'd like to keep it, here are the best ways we've found to get from Point A to Point B.

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1 week ago

Amazon rumored to give away paid apps for free with new 'Unlocked' program

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Amazon may possibly be changing the way they distribute some paid content in Appstore with upcoming 'Unlocked' program.

According to slides obtained by TechCrunch Amazon is working on a new way to entice more downloads through the Amazon Appstore. The new program, called 'Unlocked', will apparently allow users to download paid apps and in-app purchases free of charge for various large name apps and games.

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1 week ago

Is resale value a concern with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge?

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A sealed battery and no expandable storage is often considered by some to be a huge deal, and that applies to initial purchase and secondhand sales.

The secondhand smartphone market is perfect for Android junkies who need to get their hands on everything, but that's pretty far from its primary purpose. Secondhand smartphone sales sites let people sell their existing device to pay for the next one, for sure, but these services let people pick up decent phones, often significantly cheaper than the suggested retail price. A recent post in our forums raised an interesting question about the ability to sell Samsung's latest flagships, specifically whether or not the lack of a microSD card slot or removable battery will negatively impact the ability to sell the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge. While it's true that secondhand consumers are often not looking for the same things as the people who pick up a phone on the day it is released in stores, a quick look at how secondhand markets treat existing phones offers the answer we're looking for.

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1 week ago

Google develops specialized tablet for health workers treating Ebola in Sierra Leone

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Google has developed a specialized tablet in order to assist aid workers in Sierra Leone with easily tracking the vitals of patients afflicted with Ebola.

The device, which is essentially a Sony Xperia tablet wrapped in a protective casing, is designed to be used with gloves and can endure the harsh weather conditions in the area. Additionally, the case's round corners eliminate any risk of piercing the protective clothing used by aid workers.

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1 week ago

Wireless charging, in plain English

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Qi transmitter coil

Wireless charging isn't magic, just convenient.

Wireless charging, like the Qi charging many Android phones use, isn't new technology. My Panasonic electric razor used it many years ago, and most of us have seen toothbrushes that charge wirelessly in a cradle. And of course, we can't forget Palm and the way they brought wireless charging (though a different standard) to the masses with the Touchstone. Now that size, cost and efficiency constraints have all eased up a little, putting wireless charging in something like your Android phone or watch makes perfect sense.

We get more than a few questions about wireless charging and how it works, so let's take a few minutes and talk about the basics — what it is, how it works and why you would want it in your next Android purchase.

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1 week ago

Google releases Android 5.1 factory image for Nexus Player

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Google has just released another Android 5.1 factory image, and this time it is for the Nexus Player.

Over the past week Google has released Android 5.1 Lollipop factory images for a variety of devices, and it is now available for the Nexus Player.

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