Jelly Bean - Featured Articles

Aio's new Group Save plan takes on Sprint's Framily Plan discounts

Aio's new Group Save plan takes on Sprint's Framily Plan discounts

A few months back saw Sprint introduce their new Framily Plan discounts that allowed customers to see reduced per-line prices for each line added to their account, and now prepaid carrier Aio is firing back with their own version of the concept. They're calling it Group Save, and it could save...
Google Glass sells out, Explorer Program registration now closed

Google Glass sells out, Explorer Program registration now closed

After yesterday's open-to-all Google Glass sale, Google seems to have run out of the expensive headset. The Glass Explorer program, which previously was open for anybody to sign up (and then maybe be admitted by Google at a later point) is now closed. Those that end up at the Google Glass...
HTC One M8 Duo Camera

New SDK lets developers take advantage of HTC One M8's dual cameras

HTC has released the preview SDK for its Dual Lens API. The HTC One M8 Dual Lens system with a 4-megapixel "Ultrapixel" sensor, working in tandem with a smaller camera that senses depth to capture information about distance, allowing users to do things like defocus parts of an image. Developers...
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Amazon Dash is a new way to shop from home — if you're an AmazonFresh customer

Amazon is introducing a small barcode scanner that works in conjunction with your Amazon account, and when you scan a code or use your voice to describe a product it is added to your AmazonFresh shopping list.

Right now things are invitation only, but if you're interested you can head to the source link and have a closer look. You'll also find the sign up there if you were invited.

Source: Amazon

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Wearables are a new product category and that means early-to-market companies like Samsung not only have to introduce and evangelize the very idea of devices like the Gear 2 and Gear Fit, but also convince us that we need them and that they deserve a place in our gadget collections and our lives. That takes a lot of marketing and a lot of money. Luckily, Samsung has a lot of both. Witness the brand new Another Me commercial above.

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Verizon's HTC One Max has a treat soon, says HTC executive director of product management Mo Versi. Android 4.4.2 and Sense 5.5 have received approval, and will be making their way to users as early as Monday afternoon.

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Apple TV vs. Amazon Fire TV: Which one deserves a spot next to your TV?

With streaming boxes all costing about the same these days, the process of choosing one has become a little more difficult. Amazon added yet another option this week with the Fire TV. We've already given you a hands-on first look of the Fire TV and came away pretty impressed. If you're currently debating between an Amazon Fire TV and an Apple TV, we've put together a comparison over on iMore to help you decide.

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The new U.S. smartphone market share numbers for February 2014 from comScore show Android made a slight gain since last November. Android grew from 51.9 percent to 52.1, while Apple gained 0.1 percentage points to hit 41.3 percent. BlackBerry saw a dip, while Microsoft climbed ever so slightly to hit 3.4 percent market share.

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Automatic, a smart driving assistant for your car, has finally come to Android. The app, which has been available to iOS users for quite some time, was rolling along in beta for the last few months but is now available to all in Google Play. Our friends over at iMore reviewed Automatic not two weeks ago, finding it a potentially useful app and device combo, if in need of some improvements.

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Here's a quick tip for those of you with the HTC One M8. If you're missing notifications for email and calendar on your lock screen, there's a good reason for that. They're not turned on by default. Fixing that is just a matter of diving into the settings and checking a couple boxes.

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Prepare yourselves, as it once again is time for the Greatest Android Podcast in the World! (Say it with a lot of reverb in your head.) Coming up this afternoon we'll have the lowdown on the new Amazon FireTV and see if it gets anyone to unplug their Chromecast. Plus we've got the Google Play edition of the HTC One M8 in hand. The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a week away, and its new watches and fitness band are up for preorder.

And, as always, we'll answer your questions live. OK, most of your questions. At least the ones we can answer in public.

So join us at 4 p.m. EDT — that's 9 p.m. in London — for the live recording of the Android Central Podcast. Use this link to join us!

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If you aren't quite ready to dish out the funds for a new HTC One M8, Best Buy is offering up the HTC One M7 for just $1 today and tomorrow. That means you can grab one on contract with AT&T, Sprint or Verizon at a huge discount. The offer stands for all colors of the One including black, red, silver and blue. Not such a bad price if you're looking to get what's still an awesome device on the cheap.

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Leaked information of the expected Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom continue with reported specs now to accompany the images from earlier this week. According to the folks at SamMobile, the successor to the S4 Zoom will pack Samsung's own Exynos 5 Hexa CPU as well as that 20.2 MP rear camera we've already seen.

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Lenovo has purchased a group of several mobile technology patents from Japanese company NEC. Totaling 3,800 patents, the portfolio covers standards-essential 3G and LTE technologies, along with features found in most smartphones today. Lenovo states that this purchase will give the company the intellectual property they need as they continue to expand. Lenovo recently agreed to acquire Motorola from Google, though that deal does not include the patents that Motorola brought when they were purchased by Google in 2012.

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With any new device comes the seemingly inevitable iFixit teardown. The new Amazon Fire TV is no different, so if you're curious to see what's inside your new box, controller and remote then look no further. The Fire TV is given a repairability score of 6/10 – if for some reason you ever had the need – and generally comes apart pretty easily.

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Have you ever looked at your Samsung smartphone and thought "this could be more bendy!"? Well, this could become reality now the manufacturer has mastered the material graphene in the production process. Partnering up with Sungkyunkwan University, Samsung will reportedly be able to make thinner, lighter and more durable hardware.

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Sony has made the SIM-unlocked LTE version of the Xperia Z1 available in the US. Sold through the Sony web store in black, purple and white, the soon-to-be-outdated Android device (remember, the Z2 is launching this month in some countries) is going for $619.99. Previously, the Japanese manufacturer only had the HSPA+ version available for consumers to purchase.

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Shipping for April 11 global launch

Last but by no means least when it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S5, Verizon has put its pre-order page live at last. It will ship by the global launch date of April 11, and to pick one up you'll need to part with $199.99 – via a $50 mail in rebate – on a two-year contract or $599.99 without one. The Verizon Galaxy S5 is also eligible for the current buy one get one free offer the carrier is running, allowing you to pick up a second phone.

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Samsung Gear Fit

'Release' still marked at April 11

If you're looking to be among the first on your block to get the latest Samsung wearables, now might be a good time to swing by Amazon. The Samsung Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo — that's the one without the camera — and Gear Fit fitness band are now available for preorder.

The Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit are each listed at $199. The Gear 2 runs $299. Amazon lists all three as being "released" April 11. Which, of course, is the official release date.

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Google

A gentle reminder that stock splits basically don’t matter and, no, Google hasn’t robbed you of voting rights.

On Thursday morning Google started trading post-split, as explained in this post from Derek earlier in the day. I’m a Google shareholder, and instead of having shares worth over $1,100 each I have twice as many shares trading at half that price.

I think it’s important for people to have a basic understanding of how the stock market works, because investing in the market for the long term is one of the best ways to ensure you have plenty of money later in life. But too many people get caught up in the day-to-day gyrations of the market instead of focusing on making investments in great companies for the long run.

It isn’t going to change anything in the long run

I happen to think Google is one of those great companies. I’ve been a shareholder for many years, and I plan to be a shareholder for many more years. But as far as the stock split goes? It’s pretty much a non-event to me. I couldn’t care less.

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So let's say you love geography, and you also love trivia. Well Google has just made your day by introducing Google Maps-powered "Earth From Above" challenge category to the game QuizUp. The topic is pretty self-explanatory — each round is a satellite image of some place on earth, and you'll be given options to choose from of where you think the location is.

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HTC One M8 Google Play edition

Some of HTC's custom software survives in the latest member of the GPe ranks

Behold, the HTC One M8 Google Play edition. Same M8, less HTC. Look, there's not a lot here you haven't already read in our comprehensive HTC One review. Same 5-inch display. Same loud speakers. Same tall but sleek form factor. The difference here is software.

And as has been the case with other GPe devices, things get a little interesting here. While we tend to think of Google Play editions as "pure Google" devices, though that's not quite the case. There's still a little HTC code left over. That's a good thing, actually. The question is whether you want a phone stripped of some of the features that make it unique — and that explain some of the hardware peculiarities inherent to the M8.

Pique your interest yet? Let's break down this new HTC One M8 Google Play edition.

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Google Search 'Open in app'

Creating a seamless experience for moving between search results and your own apps

Google has been experimenting with new ties between keyword searches on mobile and Android apps, and now that functionality is being expanded pretty dramatically. Back in 2013 Google started partnering with a selective few big names like IMDb, Wikipedia and Open Table to have an "Open in app" button placed in Google search results when performed on your Android phone. This means you can quickly jump from web search results right into an app without leaving the browser to track it down yourself.

Back then the functionality was very limited in terms of apps but was also U.S.-only. Today Google is expanding the contextual app linking to users worldwide who have their devices set to English, and is adding even more app partners. A full 24 apps are being added, with even more to come as Google is making it simple to get in touch and have your own app updated to participate in the program.

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