Ice Cream Sandwich - Featured Articles

Belkin updates WeMo app with new WeMo Light Switch features

Belkin updates WeMo app with new WeMo Light Switch features

Belkin has updated their WeMo home automation apps for iOS and Android with a few new features. Chief among them is a long-press option for their Light Switch, which is recognizable through the popular IFTTT service. There are also new controls to recognize sunrise and sunset, an away mode which...
Samsung Galaxy S5

Verizon and AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 to be available from Staples starting Sunday

If you're in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 and just couldn't decide where to get it, or you happen to need to pick up some toner at the same time, might we suggest Staples? Starting next week, you'll be able to purchase the latest and greatest from Samsung from the office supplies and more...
Google Glass XE16 factory image now available

Google Glass XE16 factory image now available

The Google Glass XE16 update that started rolling out earlier this week is now available as a factory image, for those interested in tinkering with the software on their Glass (or had been tinkering and broke it back enough that you need to start fresh). Photo replies in Hangouts and Bluetooth 4....
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Although the Beats Music app wasn't the best out of the gates, they've realized some of the growing the pains along the way and listened to user feedback. A new update pushing through Google Play right now brings some requested social features but more importantly improvements to the music player, offline storage and music downloading, and of course, the usual list of 'bug fixes'. We've got the full changelog for you.

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The official Android game for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit the Play Store today, offering plenty of web-slinging and smart-alecky heroism. The storyline expands on what’s in the movie, and has tons of unlockables, like the Symbiote Spider-Man costume, and butt heads with villains like Venom and Kraven the Hunter. There’s original voice acting throughout (though I haven’t been impressed with it in past games) and an open world replete with rich 3D graphics. Added bonus: it looks like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 game launched on Android before iOS this time.

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Anyone interested in trying out Glass without shelling out the full $1500 for the privilege will be interested in hearing about this offer that Google is extending to potential Explorers. For a $50 deposit, Google will ship you four non-functioning dummy units from the Titanium series frames in charcoal, tangerine, shale, and sky paint jobs. Apparently these are returned Glass units that have had all the working elements stripped out of the devices. This pilot program is being made available under the radar through e-mails sent directly to users that have shown interest in Glass.

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Facebook has announced an interesting new feature called Nearby Friends which does pretty much exactly what you think it does. User can optionally turn on broad proximity notifications, so you and your friends can get a notice when your friends are nearby. You can set specific friends and friends lists to get these notifications, and it only works if both parties have it enabled. The new system also allows you to share specific GPS coordinates for a limited amount of time with selected contacts.

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Belkin has updated their WeMo home automation apps for iOS and Android with a few new features. Chief among them is a long-press option for their Light Switch, which is recognizable through the popular IFTTT service. There are also new controls to recognize sunrise and sunset, an away mode which flips the lights on and off randomly to make it look like someone’s home, and programmable backlight dimming.

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If you're in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 and just couldn't decide where to get it, or you happen to need to pick up some toner at the same time, might we suggest Staples? Starting next week, you'll be able to purchase the latest and greatest from Samsung from the office supplies and more store, specifically on April 20th (as that's Easter day, we hope this also entails getting a chocolate Galaxy S5).

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The Google Glass XE16 update that started rolling out earlier this week is now available as a factory image, for those interested in tinkering with the software on their Glass (or had been tinkering and broke it back enough that you need to start fresh). Photo replies in Hangouts and Bluetooth 4.0 LE are the biggest additions in the XE16 update, which also upped the base OS to Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

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Google

The struggle between short-term thinking and long-term investing continues

Yesterday after the market close, Google reported its Q1 results for 2014 which Derek Kessler nicely summarized already. While its clear that Google is growing the top line in a very healthy manner (19 percent year over year growth), Wall Street was disappointed and the stock is trading lower today. In my usual form, I’d like to touch on what I pulled out of Google’s quarterly conference call and how Wall Streets’ reaction fits into the picture.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers. Google reported earnings of $6.27 per share on revenue of $15.4 billion. Analysts (on average) expected $6.40 per share on revenue of $15.52 billion, which means Google "missed" its earnings number by 2 percent and its revenue number by 0.8 percent.

The growth metrics are what really have Wall Street bothered. Revenue grew 19 percent, but earnings only grew 4.5 percent. When people see this they instantly worry that expenses are growing too fast compared to revenue. Because Google is involved in a ton of projects that are not directly connected to the main advertising business, the market is concerned that future growth will not be as profitable as the current business. Therefore future growth is worth less, and therefore the stock is worth less.

That’s the logic. Except that this “logic” is decided in nanoseconds after the press release hits the wire. Investors pounce all over a supposed earning “miss” without really thinking about the long term. That’s Wall Street for you. I suggest you ignore it and focus on long term investing. That’s what I do, and being a Google shareholder has served me well.

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The Moto G is now available order from Republic Wireless, the little MVNO that relies heavily on WiFi and VOiP to get things done. Starting at $149, the Moto G is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors. Shipments are expected to start in 1-2 weeks, so there's still a bit of a wait before Republic Wireless customers can get their hands on Motorola's budget-friendly Android smartphone, but that's not really all that much longer.

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Baseball fans will be happy to hear that the official MLB.com At Bat app will support Chromecast soon with an update that should be rolling out today. That means you can wirelessly stream live games from your Android device to your TV (assuming you have the handy Chromecast HDMI dongle). The new feature is locked behind a hefty MLB.TV Premium $24.99 monthly subscription or $129.99 annual membership. There’s also a more lightweight $2.99 monthly plan available for the At Bat app, though you won’t be getting Chromecast support in that instance. Also keep in mind that there are certain blackout periods where live games aren’t available, depending on where you’re streaming from.

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Your top questions for the Galaxy S5, explained!

One by one, feature by feature, we've been taking a tour through new Samsung Galaxy S5 like no other. From the most basic of basics ("How to take a Galaxy S5 screenshot") to more in-depth topics (say, moving from the iPhone to the Galaxy S5), our goal is to be the the world's best resource for Galaxy S5 help, tips and tricks.

And that continues today with a few of the top Galaxy S5 questions we've received from the fine folks out there. Some of these we've already covered. Some of these will be pretty basic for those of you who have mastered your Android smartphone.

But for those of you just starting out, welcome! We're glad you're here. And these top Galaxy S5 questions will speed you on your way.

So let's get to it.

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Sony has moved its Xperia keyboard into the Google Play Store, but you still won't be able to get it if you're not using a Sony device. Sony's move echoes the actions of Google, who has been steadily moving more and more core app elements of Android — from the Google Keyboard to yesterday's Google Camera — into Google Play. Sony's likely done so for the some of the same reason as well: they can update the keyboard and have it on users' devices without worrying about waiting for carrier approval for a full-on operating system update.

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LG G2

Just because it's been with us for a while doesn't mean the LG G2 isn't one of the very best Android smartphones you can buy

Eight months on from the launch of the LG G2, many other flagship class phones have come our way from the likes of Samsung, HTC, Sony and even LG itself with the Google branded Nexus 5. Talk is beginning to turn towards its replacement, the G3, already, but that doesn't mean the G2 is dead. Far from it.

We love the LG G2 around these parts, and consider it one of the very best smartphones to come across our desks in 2013. But as we enter 2014 with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 fresh and shiny, I would still recommend the G2 as a phone to buy to anyone who would listen. Read on to see why.

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Verizon’s introducing an entry-level handset today called the LG Lucid 3. For $299.99 off-contract (free if you sign up for one), you get a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 display, 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The last Lucid handset left us impressed with the bang-for-buck value, despite several shortcomings. Odds are we can expect more of that with the LG Lucid 3.

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Following a fairly successful soft launch in Canada, Zynga’s FarmVille 2: Country Escape launches globally today on iOS and Android. The Facebook version has been out since 2012, though the new mobile version won’t require a social plug-in to bug your friends for resources. You can also play offline, which is a nice change of pace from these types of games. The usual freemium city-building tropes are here: gather resources, plant new crops, wait on timers, or speed them up through in-app purchases, and co-operate with friends.

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Flickr for Android just got a complete overhaul, bumping the app to version 3.0 and bring a host of new and welcome features. First thing you'll notice upon opening the new Flickr is the completely redesigned interface, bringing it up to modern Android standards. It also just looks plain better than the old version (and possibly better than the iOS version). The app has also gained a suite of editing tools that let you tweak and refine your photos.

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Eyefi has introduced a new cloud service to complement their Wi-Fi-enabled SD memory cards for photographers. Eyefi Cloud provides a polished dedicated interface through new Android and iOS apps for users to view their photos at full resolution, add tags, organize into collections, and sync collections with other devices. The new service will run you $49 for a year of unlimited uploads, plus a free three months when you first download the app. Unfortunately the new app only plays nice with the Eyefi Mobi card for direct camera-to-phone downloads. Anyone with an older card will have to stick with Eyefi’s existing app.

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There's an update for Google Calendar available now in the Google Play Store, and it's going to make adding locations to events a tad easier. The update is relatively minor, but it brings a recently-added feature from the web version of Google Calendar to the Android app: location autocomplete from Google Maps. All you have to do is start typing in the location field on an appointment and Google Maps' extensive address and point of interest database will be queried to provide you as-you-type autocomplete predictions. This can be especially handy when you want to ensure you have a correct address for someplace you'll be using your phone's navigation tools to reach.

The Google Calendar app update is propagating now through the Google Play Store for your updating pleasure.

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The LG G2 Mini is set to arrive in the UK at the end of April and Clove have announced pricing of £249.99 (including VAT) for the 'small' Android smartphone. The UK retailer has the black variant listed and expect stock to arrive later this month.

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If you own a Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) W-Fi (see our review), you'll be pleased to learn that Samsung has finally begun rolling out the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. Note that we're currently at the beginning of the process with only select markets receiving the upgrade for the time being, but it's well on the way.

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