Jelly Bean - Featured Articles

Hulu's app for Android now controls Hulu on your Xbox One and PlayStation

Hulu's app for Android now controls Hulu on your Xbox One and PlayStation

Building on its Chromecast remote control support, Hulu Plus will now let you control video playback on your Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 from your Android device. Once your Hulu Plus app is updated on your console of choice, you'll notice that it will show up under the "cast" button menu just like a...
Using the Motion Launch gestures on the HTC One M8

Using the Motion Launch gestures on the HTC One M8

By popular request from a few folks in the office, here's a quick look at how the Motion Launch gestures work on the HTC One M8. You'll see some helpful pop-ups for this when you first use the phone. If you want to turn the gestures off, go to Settings>Display and gestures>Motion Launch...
Samsung Galaxy S5

Developers: take this survey, and get a chance to win a free Samsung Galaxy S5!

Hey developers! If you have ten minutes to spare today and happen to want a new smartphone (who doesn't?), then we have something for you: The Developer Economics Survey. Brought to you by our friends at Vision Mobile, this quick survey focuses on developer questions around the things that are...
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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.

Other notable specs include a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display at 1280x720 resolution, 2GB of RAM a microSD card slot and Android 4.4.2 KitKat fresh out of the box – though we'd expect nothing less from Samsung at this point.

We also hear more about that honkin' great camera on the back. The 20.2MP shooter reportedly has OIS on-board and a Xenon flash to go alongside that 10x optical zoom. All the usual connectivity is included, as well as 802.11ac Wifi support.

Of course, it isn't real, until it's real. And neither are these specs. But nothing seems too out of the ordinary here.

Source: SamMobile

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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.

So, anything interesting inside? Well, since Amazon was pretty open about the hardware specs we know what makes it tick. We see the Qualcomm 1.7GHz quad-core CPU and we see the Samsung provided 2GB of RAM. For a streaming box those are some top-of-the-line specs – as Amazon was happy to point out – and make for a pretty great gaming experience.

Also inside the Fire TV is a pretty hefty heatsink – a pretty hefty and well mounted heatsink at that – since the iFixit boys say that it kicks out a fair amount of heat in operation. It's always fun to check out what's inside our favorite gadgets, and thankfully with folks like iFixit on the case, we don't have to do the dirty work ourselves.

Source: iFixit

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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.

If you’re not familiar with the material, graphene has high heat conduction and is more durable than steel, properties that are perfect for wearables and mobile devices. The only issue with the material was previous manufacturing methods reduced the electric benefits, which led the company to really dig deep and attempt to commercialize graphene.

"This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history," said the laboratory leaders at SAIT’s Lab. "We expect this discovery to accelerate the commercialization of graphene, which could unlock the next era of consumer electronic technology."

It sounds like a neat idea and we’ll surely look out for more graphene news. Would you like to see a bendy Samsung Galaxy 6?

Source: Samsung, via: Engadget

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16GB black model available for $619.99

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.

The black variant of the 16GB LTE Xperia Z1 is currently the only one in stock; the purple and white versions are backordered with an estimated shipping date of April 30th. What’s interesting is the HSPA+ version is also completely out of stock through Sony, so while it’s slightly cheaper you’re now able to quit waiting and pick up an LTE variant.

It’s worth noting that this is listed with Android 4.2, though most Z1 models should be on at least Android 4.3, with 4.4 updates updates rolling out for some models in recent weeks. So, U.S. Sony fans, will you be picking up a Z1 or holding out for an American Z2 launch?

Source: Sony, via: Xperia Blog

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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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Test your geography skills against players around the world with satellite imagery

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.

Just like other QuizUp topics you can easily challenge your friends or random people to the Earth From Above section, as well as check out current rankings and discussions on the topic. You can grab a download of QuizUp if you haven't yet from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

Source: +Google Maps

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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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Before the Project Ara team heads into their Google hosted Ara Developers Conference on April 15-16, 2014, they've decided to go ahead and offer a bit of a behind the scenes look at their development processes in a new video.

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Back in September, the CyanogenMod team went commercial and became CyanogenMod, Inc. Since then, they’ve been busy working with the likes of Oppo on the their N1 smartphone but it has come time once again to evolve and as such, they’ve now unveiled their new brand identity, logos and highlighted their core values.

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Nest has put a halt to sales of their connected Nest Protect smoke detector over concerns that the alarm could be unintentionally deactivated. Protect smoke alarms have a "Protect Wave" feature which allows users to deactivate the alarm when it's activated under not dangerous conditions (say, smoke from cooking) by waving at the alarm. The Nest Wave feature has been found in Nest's own testing to be possible to be deactivated under "a unique combination of circumstances".

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Amazon Fire TV and Fire Game Controller

A compelling experience, and yet another great way for Amazon to have its content in front of as many people as possible.

For the past few weeks rumors have been building that Amazon was ready to make a big step into the living room with some sort of streaming media and gaming device. When the Fire TV was announced, it turned out to be far more than a simple "streaming stick" — this is better described as a latest-generation Kindle Fire, minus the screen and plus a remote and TV-friendly interface. It has a quad-core processor, a full-featured operating system and access to one of the largest media and app libraries in the world.

Thanks to Amazon Prime overnight shipping we have our hands on the Amazon Fire TV and the (optional) Fire Game Controller, and we're already putting it through its paces. Spoiler alert: our first impressions are pretty darn positive. Read along and see what you'll be getting with an Amazon Fire TV on day one — you may find it tough to keep your mouse away from the Amazon 1-Click order button.

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Sprint is getting a little “uncarrier” themselves with a new promotion that offers to pay your early termination fees if you’re willing to switch to them. You can get up to $350 for every line terminated when making the switch; just snap a picture of your last bill, send it to Sprint, and they’ll send you a Visa card with the cash on it. There are a few terms and conditions here and there, but you can read all of that at Sprint’s site starting tomorrow. The promotion will run from April 4 until May 8.

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