Headlines

3 years ago

Android Central Emergency Podcast Broadcast: Android Wear

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Google today unveiled its Android wearable plans in the form of Android Wear, a platform that'll first be used to power Android smartwatches. And we've already seen the first hardware announcements from LG and Motorola — the squarish G Watch and curvy Moto 360.

It's big news for Android and wearable computing, and as such it's time for an emergency Android Central podcast broadcast! Join Phil Nickinson, Kevin Michaluk, Adam Zeis and David Lundblad at 4 p.m. E.T. for a special podcast focusing on today's Android Wear announcements!

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3 years ago

Our Android Wear forums are open for discussion!

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See what the buzz around Android Wear is all about

Google, LG and Motorola have given us plenty to talk about today with the announcement of the Android Wear platform, the G Watch and Moto 360. The one-stop place for all of the talk around Android Wear is already here, and it's in the Android Central forums!

Head into the forums at the link below and get the conversation started — there's certainly a lot to get caught up on already.

Android Wear in the Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Fossil Group supporting Android Wear devices

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Fashion retail company Fossil Group has announced its support for Android Wear-based wearable devices. Fossil, a designer and manufacturer of many fashion items including watches and jewelry, says it's "working with Google" to support Android's venture into wearable tech, though no specific details about the partnership are given in today's press release.

Fossil is named as one of Google's partners for Android Wear in today's announcement, alongside manufacturers like Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung, and chipmakers Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, Mediatek and Qualcomm. Given the nature of watches as a fashion item, having a partner like Fossil onboard from the get-go could be significant. But with the first Android Wear devices not expected until the second quarter, it could be a while before we see the fruits of this partnership.

Source: Press Release

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3 years ago

Motorola to host live Hangout on Air to talk Moto 360 design

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Tune in Wednesday, March 19 to watch Jim Wicks talk about the design of the new wearable

Motorola just dropped the bombshell of Moto 360 on us moments ago, and now we'll have a better idea of how it was designed tomorrow with a Hangout on Air hosted by lead designer Jim Wicks. The Hangout will kick off at 11am PT / 2pm ET tomorrow, March 19th, and will focus primarily on the design of Moto 360 — the craftsmanship, style and features that Moto says make it "unlike any watch on the market today."

You can bet we're adding this one to our calendars, and will be seeing what Jim has to say about this new Android Wear device from Motorola.

Source: +Motorola

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3 years ago

LG announces G Watch, powered by Android Wear

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G Watch

Hot on the heels of today's Android Wear announcement, LG has revealed its first smartwatch powered by Google's wearable platform. The device, teased briefly in today's announcement post, sports an angular design with a reflective black chassis. LG says the watch will be launching in the second quarter, and will be compatible with a "wide range" of Android smartphones

LG's announcement mentions many of the features which were highlighted in in Google's Android Wear demo reel. So you're looking at a wearable that can respond to voice commands through the "OK Google" hotword, as well as presenting relevant info in a similar way to Google Now on a phone.

LG doesn't have any specific pricing to offer for the G Watch, but says it'll "present a low barrier to entry for developers and offer the best Google experience for users."

Source: LG Blog

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3 years ago

Motorola announces 'Moto 360,' its first Android Wear device

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Truly modern timepiece first, smartwatch second

Building on the announcement by Google of its new wearable device platform, Android Wear, Motorola has announced its first device with the software: Moto 360. Just as we expected based on statements back at MWC, the focus here is primarily on the design, materials and experience of the watch as a piece of jewelry more than just as a technologically "smart" device.

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3 years ago

Google officially announces Android Wear

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Android-powered smartwatches on the way

As promised, Google has officially announced its wearables strategy. It's called "Android Wear," and it's all about bringing Android to wearable tech, starting with smartwatches. Much like Google Now on a smartwatch, Android Wear is designed to focus on timely information, delivered when it's most relevant — Google's announcement media mentions social updates, chat updates and notifications from shopping and news apps, for instance.

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3 years ago

Moto X launching in India on March 19

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Indian outlet Flipkart has announced that it'll exclusively begin stocking the Moto X in from tomorrow, Wednesday March 19. Prices start at Rs. 23,999, and judging by the retailer's promotional page it'll have the Moto X in seven color options, including the oak and teak backs which have only recently launched in the U.S.

To sweeten the deal, Flipkart is also offering Rs. 1,000 cashback to those buying the Moto X on an instalment plan, as well as 70 percent off Moto X cases. And one customer will be selected to receive his or her Moto X for free. Motorola's flagship arrives on Indian shores shortly after the successful launch of its little brother, the Moto G, which sold out shortly after release.

For some up-to-date thoughts on where the Moto X sits in the Android phone landscape, check out our European Moto X review and six-month retrospective on the U.S. version.

Source: Flipkart, via: Google+

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3 years ago

New SwiftKey beta adds Google+ and Evernote personalization

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A new beta version of popular keyboard app SwiftKey has been released today, adding the ability to bring in personalization info from Google+ and Evernote. (That's in addition to the emoji support added to SwiftKey beta late last year.)

The new SwiftKey beta 4.5.0.43 also brings performance and UI improvements for emoji and a new themes selection menu, alongside the usual assortment of bug fixes. You'll find more info, and the download link, over on SwiftKey's official blog.

Source: SwiftKey

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3 years ago

New HTC One (M8) available to buy on March 25 in the UK

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HTC

Carphone Warehouse confirms sales to begin from around 4pm on launch day at select stores

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has announced that it'll be selling the new HTC One —aka M8 — in select stores from "around 4pm" on the day of announcement, March 25. That means the phone will be available for Brits to buy "just minutes" after the announcement event in London wraps up — a potentially significant development for HTC, which will get its new handset into consumers' hands ahead of the arrival of Samsung's Galaxy S5.

"Shortly after [the announcement], the new HTC One (M8) handsets will be transported directly from the venue of the launch announcement to six Carphone Warehouse stores in London. Westfield Stratford, Westfield White City, Oxford Circus, Centrepoint and Tottenham Court Road stores will all be hosting special events celebrating the HTC launch with entertainment and giveaways as well as the first chance for customers to get their hands on the new device. Carphone Warehouse at Selfridges will also be stocking the handset from the same time."

There's no word on whether the M8 will also be available on March 25 in the U.S., but either way we'll be live from both the London and NYC launch events to bring you full coverage next Tuesday!

More: What we're expecting from the new HTC One

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3 years ago

Sonos announces new Controller app coming this Spring, opens up beta testing today

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Sonos Controller App

A fresh, easy-to-use design and universal search coming later this Spring

Sonos is completely refreshing its Controller app for Android with new features and design, and its giving Android users an early look as part of a beta test. The first notable change of this update is a complete design refresh — you'll navigate the app between three different modules to choose between currently playing music, what rooms the music is playing in and discovery for upcoming music. And the entire interface is a simple and modern design that's primarily black and white with small pops of color and uses of transparency.

Under the hood, the new Sonos Controller app integrates universal search for all of your music services in one place. Just plug in the details for every music service you're a part of, and the Controller will search each one so you don't have to hunt through each one to find what you'll listen to next.

If you're a Sonos user and want to get an early look at the app while it is in the final stages of development, you can apply to be in the beta testing group at the link below. Those who want to wait for a finished product (or plan to use it on iOS) will have to wait until later this Spring, but considering the leap this app is making it'll surely be worth the wait.

More: Sonos

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3 years ago

Three UK reveals Galaxy S5 pricing

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British mobile operator Three has unveiled its on-contract prices for Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5, while also revealing that it'll be joining the GS5 pre-order party, with pre-orders available in-store and online from March 28. A Three-branded GS5 will set you back £69 upfront on the carrier's 24-month contracts, which start at £38 per month for 600 minutes and 2GB of data, moving up to £44 a month for unlimited minutes and data.

Three will also be offering the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit smartwatches, both priced at £199.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in the UK and other countries from April 11, with pre-orders going live at many outlets from next Friday — for more on the GS5, check out our hands-on feature.

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3 years ago

European HTC One getting second KitKat update with Wifi fix

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HTC has begun rolling out a second Android 4.4.2-based over-the-air update for the 2013 HTC One (M7) to some European customers. Today's 205MB update to version 4.19.401.11 follows the withdrawal of the earlier KitKat update due to "difficulties" experienced by some users. Today's OTA changelog references "support for more routers," suggesting incompatibility with certain Wifi equipment may have led to the earlier ROM being pulled.

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3 years ago

Eight Android phones to buy instead of the 8GB iPhone 5c

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iPhone 5c

Apple's new cut-price iPhone model is still more expensive than many high-end Android phones

Apple has this morning launched an 8GB version of the iPhone 5c — a new budget offering for those willing to trade cut-down internal storage for a slightly reduced price tag. In the UK, a SIM-free 8GB iPhone 5c will set you back £429 directly from Apple's online store — a saving of only £40 compared to the 16GB 5c, but a saving all the same.

Nevertheless, the 8GB device's relatively high price tag highlights the many high-end Android phones around this price point, all of which boast 16GB or more of storage — and in some cases, many other advantages too.

Let's take a look at some after the break.

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3 years ago

Three UK introducing 2GB tethering cap for some new customers [Updated]

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Existing customers to be safe, some new contracts to cap at 2GB

A report this morning by Wired UK claims that UK carrier Three, is set to put an end to unlimited tethering allowances for new contract customers. It's supposed to be part of a raft of changes to the contract offerings which will still see all-you-can-eat data options available, but tethering will now be capped on those at 2GB.

Existing customers and those taking out SIM-only deals are reportedly unaffected, just new customers taking a device and a new contract. It's sure to be a bitter blow to anyone who has been eyeing up a move to Three, where in the last couple of years data allowances have been far superior than the competition. Three is also now in the process of rolling out 4G LTE to its customers across the country.

Oh, and calls to 0800 numbers are supposed to be going free. So, there's that.

At the time of writing the Three website is down for maintenance, so there's every possibility we might see something concrete when it returns. We'll update accordingly as and when things become official.

Update 2: Three has clarified that the new 2GB tethering limit will not apply to SIM-only One Plan customers, who will still have unlimited tethering.

Update: Three has confirmed the plans, outlined in the press release below. Three is indeed making changes to how premium rate and freephone numbers are billed, and tethering is now referred to as "Personal Hotspot." The big news is that yes, a 2GB cap is being imposed on all-you-can-eat data plans, but now all Three contract customers will have access to included tethering. This was previously only available on The One Plan. Free device unlocking will now be offered, a service which previously cost £15.

Source: Wired UK

Ofcom tell us that UK Mobile consumers spend over £600 million on 0800, 0845 and 0870 numbers every year.

Yes, you read that right.

I think we’ve all experienced that sinking feeling you get when you first look at your phone bill, only to find it’s much higher than you imagined, and the culprit is very often those pesky out of bundle calls you forgot you’d even made. You know, when you had to call the bank when you lost your debit card. Or when you had to call your energy provider to talk about your bill. We could go on…

47% of mobile users have experienced bill shock at one time or another and almost a third of these (31%) say it was down to out of bundle expensive calls.

Well we thought it was about time customers actually got the bill they were expecting, which is why, on all of our new Pay Monthly plans, 0800, 0808 and 0500 calls will now be free, when you sign up for 24 months. Not only that, but 084* and 087* numbers will be a mere 5 pence per minute.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said: "People are confused about the cost of calling 0800 numbers from mobiles, so we welcome Three making these calls free for new contract customers. We are also pleased to see cheaper calls to 084 and 087 numbers and Three's commitment to not raising prices on fixed contracts. We call on other providers to follow its lead."

Free 0800 numbers aren’t the only benefit of our new Pay Monthly plans. We want to really put you guys in control. You’ll be able to set caps to stop you going over your minute allowance and you’ll be able to block spending on expensive numbers, such as premium rate numbers.

You’ll also receive text alerts, letting you know when you’re close to using up your voice and data allowances. So you’ll know that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to watch those last few episodes of Game of Thrones just yet… And with All-You-Can-Eat text messages, you won’t need to worry about those at all!

Another little change we’ve recently put in place is free unlocking for our devices, something that previously cost at least £15.

There are also some changes to our tethering offering. You’ll hear us talking about Personal Hotspot rather than tethering from now on. With our old plans, using your phone as a Personal Hotspot was only included if you were on The One Plan. So we’re really pleased to let you know that all of our new plans will now include this functionality.

With our new plans you’ll be able to use all of your data allowance on your Personal Hotspot if you wish, unless you have All-You-Can-Eat data, in which case you can use up to 2GB of this on your Personal Hotspot.

We feel very strongly that All You Can Eat data is something we want to continue to be able to offer as many customers as possible. But when that data is used for Personal Hotspots, it can put a strain on our network. We need to protect the network experience for all customers and this is why we’ve taken a decision to put this limit in place.

To summarise our new Pay Monthly plans; · Free 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers · 084* and 087* numbers just 5p per minute · Texts alerts when you’re nearing your limit · The ability to place spending caps · Personal Hotspot functionality for all, but limited to 2GB if your plan includes All-You-Can-Eat data · All-You-Can-Eat text messages · A range of data allowances up to All-You-Can-Eat · A range of minute allowances up to All-You-Can-Eat

With all of the above as well as Feel at Home, 4G at no extra cost (when you have a 4G ready device) and free device unlocking, choosing Three seems like a darn good option!

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