Jelly Bean - Featured Articles

Sidekick Cycle rides onto Android EVGA Tegra Note 7

Sidekick Cycle rides onto Android

We all play games for fun, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were other positive effects too? Global Gaming Initiative’s newly-released Sidekick Cycle has just such a goal. As a game, it’s a 2D bicycling game in which racers ride through impossible courses in order to collect coins and items. Sort...
Google Drive on the HTC One M8

AT&T HTC One M8 users see their Google Drive bonus wiped out, to return in May

The AT&T HTC One M8 has been hit with a glitch that has, at least temporarily, taken away the bonus 50GB of Google Drive storage that come with the device. HTC Advantage is one of the nicer services that come with the device; it includes benefits like free cracked screen replacement, HTC...
Motorola

Summary: Motorola's Punit Soni on design, specs and software

Motorola's Punit Soni has been the public face of software for the company for some time now, especially with the launch of the Moto X and Moto G. This afternoon he took about a half-hour for a live Google Hangout as part of "Celebrating 50 Software Launches" to talk about where the company is in...
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Verizon is finally going to give you a discount for off-contract phones. Starting April 17th, customers of Big Red are going to be able to bring their own off-contract devices onto shared MORE Everything plans at a discount. No longer will they have to pay a subsidy fee for a subsidy they're not using. Plans at or under 8GB will see a smartphone add-on reduction of $10 (bringing the fee to $30/month), while those with data allotments of 10GB or higher will see their fee sliced from $40 down to $25 per smartphone.

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So you just picked up a Samsung Galaxy S5. You lucky devil. It’s so shiny and pristine, wrapper still intact. But what to do with it first?

If you're new to Android, the Galaxy S5 or to smartphones in general, we've got your covered. (For everyone else, move along. We'll post something super nerdy in a few minutes. We promise.)

Let’s plow through the initial Galaxy S5 set-up process once you get the phone and other materials out of the box and have installed the battery, SIM card, and microSD memory card. If you’re looking for a short and sweet start-up guide, be sure to read about the first five things to do with your new Samsung Galaxy S5. This guide is going to be a bit more of a deep dive.

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The LG G2 might not be that old at all, but that doesn't mean that it's not time to be looking at the next iteration and what might very well be an insane display. It's been rumored for a while that the next iteration of smartphones would up the ante from a pretty well pixel dense 1080p displays to super pixel dense 2K displays, and now it's looking like the LG G3 might be one of the first such phones. According to Ubergizmo, the upcoming G2 successor has a screen somewhere in the neighborhood of 5.2-to-5.5-inches with an eye-popping 2560x1440 resolution.

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Users of the Motorola Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR M won't have to wait much longer to update to KitKat. Motorola has been making progress on the 4.4 update for both devices, originally released in September 2012. The update should be available in a few weeks, according to Motorola Mobility's Senior Director of Software Product Management David Schuster.

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Today is the last day of Sphero's National Robotics Week sale, where you can get a Sphero 2.0 for $30 off. Normally $129.99, the discount brings the robotic ball that you can control with your iPhone or Android device down to $99.99. That's still a little pricey for what is essentially a toy, but it's a fancy robotic one. In addition being able to roll around at speeds of up to 7 feet per second, the Sphero 2.0 also contains a set of multi-color LEDs that you can light up and control. And by including inductive charging, Sphero is even waterproof.

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If you're using HTC Sense 6, there are lots of ways for you to interact with your Lock screen. Not sure what all the unlock options are? Want to add widgets to your Lock screen or change the wallpaper to one of your own photos? Follow along and we'll show you how to do all of it!

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After introducing a $40 base plan and then doing away with extra charges for cellular tablets and giving them a free gigabyte of data, T-Mobile is at it again by doing with overage fees. The elimination of domestic overage fees hits all T-Mobile plans. T-Mobile CEO John Legere called out his competition, pointing out that overage fees amount to $1 billion in extra payments from consumers every year.

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Cortana v Siri

There's a new voice assistant in town, and it's called Cortana. With the release of the Windows Phone 8.1 developer preview today, Cortana is in public hands for the first time. It's new to the Windows Phone kids, but Cortana arrives to competition from not only Siri but also Google Now. So what's the best way to check it out? Why, with a head to head, of course!

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Nexus 5

Android 4.4.3 landing imminently?

Sprint says a new firmware update will begin rolling out for the Nexus 5 from today. The carrier says this update will enable Sprint Spark on Bands 26 and 41, along with providing "miscellaneous Android updates." The Android build number to watch out for is KTU48F, and since Sprint's SKU is identical to the U.S. unlocked model, all Nexus 5 models could be seeing an OTA today.

It's likely this is the previously mentioned KitKat maintenance release, which will fix camera bugs and other issues — and presumably this will warrant a bump in version number up to Android 4.4.3. That means we could be seeing this new Android version across other Nexus devices before too long.

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Picture Stabilizer on the Galaxy S5

If your camera is slow to take pictures this might be the reason why

Here's a quick pro tip for making the best of your new Samsung Galaxy S5 camera. We've seen a few threads appear in the Android Central Galaxy S5 forums claiming frustration that the camera is really, really slow to focus and take pictures. That's not always the case. If it is, you've probably got Picture Stabilization turned on as outlined by forums member atg284 and are shooting in lower light situations.

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Samsung has publicly announced a media event in Singapore on April 29 with a definite photography feel to it. There's also a giant K, and the use of the letter in "Kapture the moment" hinting that this letter is of importance. Possible name? Who knows, but this could well be the introduction of the previously leaked 'Galaxy S5 Zoom.'

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When it comes to boot times, faster is better, and getting a full restart down to a mere 8-seconds is much better than what many devices have seen before. Sure, this is being demoed for Chromium OS — the open source version of Google's ChomeOS — but also for Android tablets and that's some pretty impressive stuff.

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Paypal on the Galaxy S5

Access your funds with a single swipe of a finger

The Finger Scanner – don't call it a fingerprint scanner! – on the Samsung Galaxy S5 is more than just a gimmicky piece of hardware used to unlock your phone. OK, so it does unlock your phone, but one of the other neat things it can do is let you authenticate PayPal with a swipe of your finger.

It isn't set up by default – even if you've already registered at least one fingerprint on the phone – but it's not a difficult process to get done. Read on to see how.

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Android SDK

Everything you need to get started with the Android SDK, and everything you need to know about installing it

Installing the Android SDK is far easier than it used to be, thanks to a new package from Google. One download not only gives you a complete and working Android SDK, but it also has everything you would need to develop application in Eclipse should you ever want to dabble in it. That's not required, though, and for anyone looking for an easy way to begin using tools like adb, it's the best way to get started.

For sure, this is not the only way. All the tools are still there for an install without any IDE bundled in, and if you're an advanced user you'll probably want to go that route. This little tutorial wasn't written with you in mind, it's geared towards users who are computer-literate but haven't yet dipped into the world of Android from the command line.

Let's begin.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 and Amazon Fire TV

Our reviews are coming, and I can't wait to read them, too

For all the writing I have to do in this job, I still love editing. That's how I started in the publishing biz — actually, I started as an agate clerk, compiling the night's sports scores and standings — and I still enjoy getting my hands on someone else's priceless prose and helping to make it as good as we can make it. And so I'm eagerly awaiting a couple of reviews this week, from a couple of great reviewers.

Alex is working on the Galaxy S5 review while the rest of us break down its features. I've got lot of thoughts about this phone, but I'm going to (mostly) hold off on sharing them until we get the review out the door. I'm still not entirely sure why I like the GS5 more than I did the GS4, and I'm not entirely sure it's for rational reasons. And that's OK. While I believe opinions should be educated, gut feelings shouldn't be ignored, either. There's a lot to like about this phone, I think. And there are a few things that are driving me crazy.

And Andrew is wrapping up the Amazon Fire TV review. (You might have seen his video walkthrough already.) I don't want to steal any thunder here, either, but I'm very impressed by Fire TV. My biggest complaint (and we talked about this on our latest podcast) is that I have to remind myself that an Amazon Prime subscription isn't the same as a Netflix subscription, and I'm still going to have to pay for a lot of content. I understand why, but it's just a different way of thinking. On the other hand, my 7-year-old daughter, Mia, isn't exactly thrilled when she scrolls through, finds something she wants to watch and then sees me shake my head after seeing that it's not on Prime.

Both kids, however, are having a blast with the games. The big "center button" (as I'm calling it for our 3-year-old) is simple for our youngest to use, but games that need the D-pad are a little tougher for her. Still, this $99 gaming/streaming box has become an instant hit in our house.

That makes me even more excited to see what Google brings to the living room later this year. Amazon has already set the bar pretty high.

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The Moto X's customizability through the Moto Maker site is an important differentiator for Motorola, and if the latest rumor from Twitter leaker @evleaks is to be believed, the apparent successor to that phone, dubbed "Moto X+1" could take things a step further with new backplates, including leather and wood options.

The 25 back panel varieties listed in today's leak include —

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As the Samsung Galaxy S5 went on sale in over 125 countries on April 11, reports from ZDNet Korea suggest that the phone has enjoyed strong sales on launch day. Samsung reportedly shifted on average 1.3 times as many GS5s on April 11 as it did GS4s on its launch day, with some European countries seeing double the demand for this year's Samsung flagship.

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If you were among those who pre-ordered the latest Samsung Wearables on Amazon, then you can take some joy in knowing that at least some of the orders have shipped with an estimated arrival time of Monday, April 14th.

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Apps of the Week

The best apps we have installed and are excited about this week

The weekend is a leisurely time where we all pull out our phones or tablets and find a new app or two to keep us entertained or productive. For that reason, we run an Apps of the Week column every Saturday afternoon to let everyone know what the writers here at Android Central are installing on our own devices. We highlight our favorite games, tools, news readers and more every week, hoping that they'll be useful to you as well.

Read along with us and see our picks this week — you may find an app or two that will find a place on your phone or tablet as well.

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M8 SIM tray

Or how a $3 piece of plastic can ruin your $600 phone

The HTC One M8 is the third high-profile smartphone to use a nanoSIM. Unless you already use an iPhone 5 or later, or a Moto X, you probably don't have a nanoSIM. But this is the way forward, and eventually every phone will be using the new standard. In the meantime, if you find yourself switching phones around a lot, you may need to adapt — with an adapter — any time you need to go bigger.

We went over switching from a microSIM to a nanoSIM and the various ways to go about it, but we only briefly touched on the dangers of a crappy SIM adapter. Let's talk a little more about that, and why you really need to be careful.

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