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3 years ago

LG G Pro 2 is officially coming in February


A Mobile World Congress unveiling appears likely for LG's next oversized smartphone

LG this evening officially announced that the successor to the LG (Optimus) G Pro will be unveiled in February, and it'll be call the LG G Pro 2.

The original G Pro — seen in the image above and which launched with the "Optimus" name at Mobile World Congress 2013 — was the Korean manufacturer's first step into the oversized smartphone world. It sported a 5.5-inch IPS display and was the first non-Nexus device to have Photosphere-like capability (called VR Panorama). LG dropped the "Optimus" name from its brand in 2013.

LG has not announced any specs or availability for the G Pro 2. Mobile World Congress takes place Feb. 24-27 in Barcelona, Spain.

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Samsung and Google sign a 10-year cross-licensing deal


Agreement covers current patents and any filed during the next decade

Some pretty heavy hitting news of a patent nature this fine Sunday evening, with the announcement of a cross-licensing deal between Google and Samsung. This agreement between the creators of Android and its biggest OEM covers all current patents held by both parties, and any future ones that should be filed during the next 10 years. 

“We’re pleased to enter into a cross-license with our partner Samsung,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. “By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”

Without dropping names, it could be intimated that the last part of the above comment – and certainly a follow up one that you'll find at the source link below – be directed towards Apple, with whom Samsung has been embroiled in patent lawsuits with for far too long now. Samsung and Google may not have ever been seen as direct threats to each other, but cross-licensing is definitely a more productive outcome to filing endless lawsuits. 

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: When the lights go out ...


Funny things happen when online services we all depend on go down, as much of Google did for a bit on Friday. We all scramble to get stories up, alerting everyone to the fact that this online service they depend on has gone down. You know, just in case they didn't notice. Our inbox floods with tips saying that this online service we all depend on has gone down. We rush over to the Google Apps Status Dashboard to see what's the matter, but it's usually not updated quickly enough for our liking, and even then with only minimal information.

Patience is hard, I know.

Ask anyone who makes their living online, and there's little worse than down time — especially if there's nothing you can do but stay out of the way. We poke fun at the failure in different ways (I do think the "Google+ went down and nobody noticed" jabs were easy and dumb), but, let's be honest here — that's just for attention-seeking on Twitter. "Look how clever we can be while everyone's talking about this thing!!!"

We're as guilty of it as anyone, of course. And it's not that outages aren't serious. They cost time, money and trust. But they will, from time to time, happen. On the micro level, I'm always amazed at the dedication and determination of our own Mobile Nations tech team when the lights go out. (I don't usually understand half of what they're saying, but it's fascinating to listen to.) That the failure technically only lasted 35 minutes (though the residual effect was felt throughout the day for many of us) but affected services worldwide is sobering. 

Google's explanation for what happened is worth reading. It takes a little time to identify, confirm and determine the best way to explain it to customers. Outages are frustrating. But my glass is very much half full these days, and I like to look at them as time to slow down. Take a break. And pray like hell that they don't happen too often.

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3 years ago

Get the Grammys tonight with this Android app


The 56th annual Grammy Awards takes place tonight. And if you can't get in front of a TV, you'll easily be able to follow on your smartphone. Any number of websites track the winners, of course, but there's an official Grammys app that brings you videos, photos and news, long before the TV coverage kicks in.

The app itself isn't all that great, but it's workable. (If it's that bad, just use the website — it appears to be the same content.) And try to ignore the malformed ad that pops up at the begging. Also look out for any Justin Bieber sightings. It's the Grammys, where the recording industry at least attempts to honor good music, so chances are slim we'll see public enemy No. 1. But you can't be too careful.

Download the app at the link above. The show kicks off at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Jelly, Click UI, TowerMadness 2 and more!


A great list of games, tools and themes to get you through the weekend

Saturday afternoon often brings many great things — one of which is our Apps of the Week column on Android Central. We carve out a slot on the site each week to give the writers here a chance to show off an app they've been using on their phone or tablet in the last week. We see games of all kinds, launchers, themes, alarm clock apps and beyond here, and there's a good chance at least one will be completely new to you.

Hit the break to see our list this week, where you may just find an app or two to install on your own device.

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3 years ago

AT&T making eyes at Vodafone for a $60 billion takeover


AT&T CEO has met with EU regulators ahead of any potential bid

Verizon has just recently agreed to buyout Vodafone's stake in it, but the European carrier is now the target it seems of AT&T. Around the time the Verizon buyout was getting going, we first heard AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson talk about Europe as the next potential target for expansion. But instead of going after a smaller carrier, it looks like the target is one of Europe's biggest, with a potential $60 billion takeover of Vodafone in mind. 

Ahead of any bid, Stephenson has been meeting with EU regulators to discuss the U.S. carriers European ambitions. The two giants coming together would create a combined entity with a market value around $150 billion. The Vodafone deal with Verizon hasn't yet been completed, so no formal approach has been made by AT&T, but that is expected to close soon. AT&T has apparently already begun discussing financing for a the potential takeover bid. 

Acquiring Vodafone would certainly be a big entry into Europe for AT&T. Some of the biggest mobile markets in Europe are covered by Vodafone, including the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. 

Source: Sky News

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3 years ago

D'oh! 'The Simpsons' will spoof Google Glass on Sunday


This should be good.

Thanks, Steve!

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3 years ago

How to upgrade the SSD in your Acer C720 Chromebook


Whether you're planning to run Linux or just need more space to work with, an SSD upgrade is easy and cost-effective. {.intro}

Chromebooks are all about working in the cloud, and we admit there's not a whole lot you can do on one without an active internet connection. But sometimes you want to have a local copy of those cloud backed-up files. Or maybe you want to carry around 20GB worth of movies and music to watch offline when streaming isn't an option. And let's not forget how simple it can be to load up your favorite copy of Linux onto your Chromebook if you want to break out of just using Chrome OS.

Whatever the reason, you may find the paltry offering of a 16GB SSD on the Acer C720 Chromebook to be lacking for some use cases out there. You can pick up a C720P model with 32GB of internal storage — and a touchscreen — for $50 more than the regular C720, but what if you already have one or need more than 32GB? Well, it turns out it's extremely simple to replace the SSD in the Acer C720, and we're going to show you how to do it.

Hit the break for the entire step-by-step process.

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3 years ago

Google Nexus 7 (2013) Cases Roundup

We've got skins, hybrids, flip cases and protective films for the Google Nexus 7 (2013) and we're showing off which ones make an impression with customers and staff here at ShopAndroid.com.

Your Nexus tablet needs adequate protection against damage and using it without a case is risky business. While a naked tablet is acceptable for some, having a bit of collateral can make a huge difference when disaster strikes. Jump past the break to dive into this roundup of cases for the Google Nexus 7 (2013).

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3 years ago

Google explains reasons behind today's 30-minute service outage


Proverbial 'software bug' sent a spiral of bad configurations to other systems

Following one of the longer cross-service outages for Google in recent memory, the search and software giant sent out an apology and explanation for today's occurrences. According to the Official Google Blog, an internal system that sends out configuration information for systems beyond it encountered a software bug that sent out incorrect commands to several areas.

It only took from 10:55am PT when the bug was first seen to 11:02am when users began seeing massive outages in Gmail, Google+, Drive and other services. Roughly 12 minutes later while engineers were still in the process of figuring out what was happening, the initial system that sent out the bad information had self-corrected and began to properly configure other systems. Google claims nearly all users' services were back up and running by 11:30, which seems to be consistent with the general consensus among users.

As you would expect, the post gives some detail on what's being done to prevent this from happening in the future. More checks are being put in place so that improper configurations, if they are generated by bugs, aren't so easily sent out to other systems. Additionally, Google plans to improved targeted searching for issues during service failures.

Needless to say, we don't think we're going to be seeing outages like this with any higher frequency than we already experience now.

Source: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Off-contract Moto X will be $299 for 1 hour on Jan. 27


Additional $70 discount promotion will run until Feb. 14

In an attempt to get the Moto X out into more hands, Motorola will be running two discount promotions starting this coming Monday. On January 27th, Motorola will drop the price of the off-contract Moto X from its online store to $299 — that's $100 off — or a single hour from 3pm to 4pm ET. Given how its servers crippled under previous promotions we're going to assume it'll be another situation of signing up for codes that are then applicable for a number of days to get the discount.

If you happen to miss out on this $100 discount, Motorola isn't leaving you in the dust. In a move that's probably more impressive, the off-contract Moto X will have a $70 discount applied from January 27th until Valentine's Day, February 14th. That means you'll have over two weeks to grab an off-contract Moto X for just $329. Add another $25 for a wood back, if you wish.

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3 years ago

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the latest special edition Android mini collectible


Limited quantities go on sale Jan. 28

According to the Chinese Zodiac, this is the year of the Horse, and it seems fitting that for the upcoming Lunar New Year there's a special edition Android mini collectible available. As it regularly does, Dead Zebra, Inc. is releasing a limited run of the special "Year of the Horse" collectible for enthusiasts to pick up and proudly display.

If you're one to want these kinds of things, you'll have your chance on January 28th at 11am EST, and again that same day at 11pm EST. You can only purchase a maximum of two, as is often the case, and it's a good idea to have your account made and details all filled out before the sale as to order as quickly as possible.

Source: Dead Zebra

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3 years ago

Guys, Google services are down — everybody chill [Update: We're chill]


No, really. Chill. Go outside, enjoy the Polar Vortex and walk around for a few minutes while the folks in Mountain View get it straightened out.

Update: OK, things are slowly returning to normal. Just like we all knew they would. Have a nice weekend, folks.

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3 years ago

Nexus 5, two months on ...


After two months of regular use, are we still enamored with Google's latest Nexus phone?

It feels like the Nexus 5 was a long time coming. A couple of days before the IFA conference in early September 2013, I remember being huddled over a MacBook in a hotel bar in Berlin with a handful of other journalists, squinting over a few frames from Google's KitKat unveiling video and trying to make out details on the back of this mysterious new Nexus phone. The two months that followed led us down a garden path of leaks, rumors and gossip as Google's next flagship slowly came into focus — culminating in a couple of high-profile snafus that gave us a full-size render of the phone, along with a mostly-complete spec list, days ahead of the official launch.

Yet when the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 finally arrived on Nov. 1 — having been announced a day earlier, on Halloween — it turned out there was more going on than the pre-release rumors had revealed. Sure, the Nexus 5 was a high-spec'd phone at a relatively low price point. But more important was KitKat, the biggest change to Android in two years, delivering a brighter, flatter, more Googley smartphone experience. It was a big step forward for Google's OS, and one of the most important Android phones of the year.

Since launch we've had a good couple of months to get to know the Nexus 5 properly, using it both as a regular day-to-day smartphone, and as a daily driver during CES, one of the busiest trade shows of the year. The N5 is  still a great phone, but the extra time with it has given us a fresh perspective. Check out our long-term thoughts after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Cyber-shot QX10 camera gets a decent price cut in the UK


£114 will get you Sony's little hockey puck style connected camera 

The Sony Cyber-shot QX10 has only been with us for a few months, but it's already seen a decent price reduction since those early RRP's. For Brits, Clove Technology has dropped both the black and white versions to the lowest price we've seen so far; £114 including delivery. 

We've been pleasantly surprised by the QX10, and had way more fun using it than we ever thought we would. It's not perfect, but it's also more camera, and more zoom, than you'll get on a regular Android smartphone camera. Grab one while stocks last at the source link below, and check out our full review for more. 

Source: Clove

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