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Sonic All-Stars Racing

Sega's Sonic & All-Stars Racing now free on Google Play

Sega has just announced that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is now available for free on Google Play. What's more is both new and veteran racers can look to expect more content added to the intense title next week. Wreck-It Ralph and Metal sonic will join the collection of unlockable...
Samsung and Swarovski to launch blinged-out Galaxy S5

Samsung and Swarovski to launch blinged-out Galaxy S5

Samsung's latest partnership with Swarovski will bring to market a "crystal collection" edition of its flagship phone, the Galaxy S5. A teaser posted on YouTube by Samsung Mobile Korea reveals that the blingtastic handset, the back of which is smothered in Swarovski crystals, will arrive in May...
Samsung Gear 2

Samsung announces Gear App Challenge

With the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear 2 now on the market, Samsung is looking to boost the smartwatch's app ecosystem with a new "app challenge" for developers. From May 8, Gear 2 app developers can register their creations on Samsung Apps to participate in the challenge. The prize pool totals $1....
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As more and more of us start taking advantage of NFC — that's Near-Field Communication, or the standard that lets you tap your phone to some other device to establish a connection, exchange data, etc. — we're increasingly getting the following question: "What is that weird symbol taking up space at the top of my phone?

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Nokia X vs Moto G

Nokia has stiff competition in the budget Android space for its first entrant, so how does the Nokia X stack up against the current king, the Moto G?

In late 2013 Motorola knocked our socks off with the Moto G. What it delivered was a top of the line Android experience for not a lot of money. It changed the budget space for the better and set a new benchmark for how a cheap Android phone should be made. Solid hardware, excellent software, even better price.

Nokia is also well known for its more price-oriented devices. Indeed, we pitched the Moto G against the similarly priced Lumia 625 already, but now it's a straight up Android on Android fight. The Nokia X costs roughly the same as the Moto G (at current pricing), runs Android and is targeted towards the budget conscious smartphone buyer.

So which is best? There's only one way to find out.

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Android Central Podcast

What'd you miss on the most recent Android Central Podcast? No spoilers, but something about a petulant young king, a mother of dragons and a young girl seeking to avenge her family. Plus, a leading astrophysicist walks us through the ends and outs of the cosmos, explaining how the smallest bits of our universe can be of the utmost importance.

Wait. We were thinking of something else. So what really went down on Episode 181 of the Android Central Podcast? Only one way to find out. OK, there are actually 13 different ways to find out. But start here.

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While autocorrect always has the best intentions, it doesn't always play nice with everyone. The Galaxy S5 is no exception. Whether you want to simply disable it permanently or just while typing something that may contain a lot of words it doesn't recognize, you can do so on any keyboard you have pulled up in just a few taps. Here's how:

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Domino's pizza has been a vanguard of mobile pizza ordering, what with their Android app that lets you order on the go — and now they're going even more mobile with Google Wallet support. Announced this morning, the app has been updated to support payment via Google Wallet.

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Largely all is well, until you enter ultra power saving mode

Here's a quick word of caution to anyone sideloading the Google Now Launcher onto their new Samsung Galaxy S5. Largely Google's own KitKat launcher works faultlessly on Samsung's latest Android handset. It's smooth, it's snappy, and it's a great option even if the Galaxy S5 isn't officially supported. But you do run into some issues when you switch in and out of ultra power saving mode.

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Update: Looks like the Google Play edition HTC One M8 won't be making its way outside of the U.S. just yet. In a statement issued to BGR India, HTC India says the Google Play edition M8 was "incorrectly" mentioned in its press release for today's Indian M8 launch. Instead it seems the Sense version of the phone will be the only one available in that country.

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Are the best games on Android or are the best games on iPhone? That's a question that's becoming increasingly important to both Apple and Google, and they're reportedly willing to help developers get massive marketing pushes in exchange for periods of exclusivity for hot new games. This will come as a surprise to precisely no one familiar with the console market, or the basics of running any store, real-world or virtual.

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Facebook, the world's most popular social network, is reportedly looking to get into the lucrative mobile ad game, perhaps as early as their F8 developers conference set to kick off in San Francisco on April 30, 2014. Facebook has been serving their own ads for a long time now, but this would be a way for developers to integrate Facebook ads into their own apps and services, and it would bring Facebook into direct competition with Google's AdMob, Apple's iAd, among others.

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Google Devices for Edu

Android 4.4.3 still hasn't been officially announced or anything, but it's still officially pinging our servers, and not in a way that suggests it's just kids playing with their build.prop file. And on April 16 the Google Edu Device Setup app — an official app straight from Google that helps set up tablets purchased through Google Apps for Education — was updated for Android 4.4.3 support.

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By default, the Samsung Galaxy S5 just needs a little swipe to wake up from the lock screen, but anyone with even a tiny sense of security will want something more. The S5 offers a bunch of different ways to keep your device locked when not in use

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Yacht Club

As we continue to search for the best smartphone camera, let's take a minute and enjoy the damn pictures

When, exactly, did we become so damn cynical about smartphone cameras? In my lifetime we've gone from Polaroids and those point-and-shoots with the crazy five- or six-shot (I don't remember how many) flashes to friggin' computers with 4- or 16- or even 20-megapixel shooters in our pockets. We're able to take multiple pictures, select, edit and then share them with the world just seconds later. No more 24-hour processing. No more hoping you get the right prints back. No more lugging out large photo albums that you might care about once or twice a year. We have unlimited virtual storage.

So why the hell can't we just enjoy the shots?

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Apps of the Week

Another wonderful roundup of apps from the writers at Android Central

Another week is in the books, and that means it's time for the latest edition of our Apps of the Week post. We round up a single app picked by each of the writers here at Android Central and put them on display every Saturday afternoon. The apps we pick out never have to follow a theme or a certain purpose — all that matters here is that we use the app and want to tell more people about the reasons why.

This week we have another great roundup of apps, including a new game, another music service and a great way to repurpose an old Android device for your kids. Read along with us and see how this week's picks stack up.

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TouchWiz

It's different, and many would say improved - but what do you say?

Right now, the hottest thing in the Android Universe is the Galaxy S5. Usually we're the hottest thing in the Android universe, but we're OK being behind the new phone from the biggest Android OEM for a few weeks. And because this is the Internet, you can't say the words Galaxy S5 without someone else saying the words TouchWiz.

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OnePlus One press render

If there's one thing that's driven us — and you — crazy about the OnePlus One, it's been the overhyping process of slowly dribbling out specs, pricing, sale processes, and vague hints about how the smartphone will compare with current flagship devices. We tired so much of it that we opted to ignore the noise until something cut through that was truly interesting — and a series of marketing material renders fits that bill quite nicely.

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The Moto G is as of now Motorola's lowest-priced smartphone offering, but the highly-popular G might soon be looking down at an even cheaper phone: the Moto E. Since its launch in November last year, the Moto G has gone on to be Motorola's best-selling smartphone in history, thanks in no small part to its incredibly affordable price point and decent performance at that price. According to Xataka México (translated), the Moto E will feature similar specs to the Moto G, but come in body that is thinner and more compact.

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Looking to save some cash on the new Samsung Galaxy S5? Then you're in luck if you've been wanting it on Verizon. Head to Amazon where you'll be able to save over $100 off the on-contract price. Verizon offers the Galaxy S5 for $199 with a contract, while Amazon is has the same device for just $99. But you'll have to wait for it — details after the break.

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There are so many groups and organizations that certify devices for compatibility and safety, so it's not terribly surprising when one of those groups publishes data on something that's yet to be announced — like Android 4.4.3. Earlier this week saw Sprint announcing an update to Android 4.4.3 for the Nexus 5, and today it's the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's turn. In this case it's another "Google" device, the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition.

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Sonic CD on Samsung Galaxy S5 with Samsung Gamepad

Bring a little retro gaming to your Easter weekend with this 16-bit classic

I've been playing around with Samsung's Gamepad accessory with the Galaxy S5 this past week, and one of the Gamepad's big strengths is classic side-scrolling platform games like SEGA's Sonic CD. Originally released in 1993 for the SEGA CD (Mega CD), Sonic CD has the company's spiky mascot embarking on an adventure through time, doing battle not only with Dr. Robotnik, but a a cybernetic version of himself.

The game controls much like other Genesis-era Sonic titles, with fast-paced gameplay across seven levels and a variety of robotic foes and boss battles to contend with. With past, present and future versions of each zone, sprawling level design, seizure-inducing 3D special stages and an insane J-pop-inspired soundtrack, Sonic CD is unlike any platformer of its era. It represented SEGA getting to grips with the then new CD-ROM format, and going a bit nuts in the process. The result is a game that's sometimes frustrating and confusing, but consistently wacky and always enjoyable — and for $2.99, worth giving a try on Android.

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TripIt for Android

TripIt — a must-have travel app for anyone who leaves home more than once a year — tonight got a major redesign in its Android application. It's being touted as a "new card view," and it is, we suppose, insofar as you swipe left and right between items now instead of scrolling and taping back and forth. That's not to say it's not a good update — it is — but visually it feels like some sections got left behind.

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