3 years ago

PSA: Our wallpaper gallery is back online


A quick heads up for everyone who's been trying to download wallpapers through the wallpaper gallery in our app: We broke things just a bit last week when we upgraded some servers. We've since fixed things, and all should be back to normal.

You don't need to update the app or anything — it'll just work now.

If you've yet to give our app a shot (and, really, what are you waiting for?!?!) you can download it here! Apologies for the down time.

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3 years ago

Huawei launches Ascend Y530 for the UK with new smartphone users in mind


New 'Simple Android Interface' makes things easier for new Android users

Huawei has today introduced its latest entry level offering for the UK, the Ascend Y530. While the specs won't bowl anyone over, Huawei is making a play for the new smartphone user with the inclusion of its new Simple Android Interface. The option to switch to this from the regular Emotion UI is designed to make the phone easier to interact with for those new to Android, or smartphones in general.

Both interfaces are layered on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, residing beneath a 4.5-inch 854x480 display. A 1.2GHz dual-core CPU is accompanied by 4GB of onboard storage with microSD card expansion, a 5MP rear camera and a 1700mAh battery.

The biggest issue with the Y530 is its price. At £149.95 it's quite a bit more than you can find a Moto G for these days, and less smartphone for that money. While we'd still recommend Motorola's effort, it is still great to see Huawei offering something attractive to those new to smartphones. It's available to buy now from Argos in black, and will hit Carphone Warehouse in March in black and white. Head on past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Grab a deal on a UK 32GB WiFi Nexus 7 right now


£15 off list price and a free travel cover at Expansys

If you're a Brit looking to pick up a 32GB WiFi Nexus 7 (2013) at the moment, it's worth pointing your browsers at Expansys. Right now you can snag yourself a £15 discount on the tablet as well as collect a free ASUS Travel Cover in one of five different colors.

You need to enter a voucher code to take the price down to £219.99, but you'll find it handily posted on the product page. Google is still selling the same variant of the Nexus 7 for £239 and with the added bonus of a free case, you'll be getting a decent deal. Hit up the source link below for more.

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3 years ago

Acer teases new Mobile World Congress bound smartphone


Acer's next Liquid smartphone dropping into Spain

We're just 7 days removed from the official start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Acer is the latest OEM to tease its new products. Posting this image to its Google+ page, Acer is tagging this as a new smartphone in its Liquid line without giving any further details. Beneath the camera is some kind of sensor, possibly an IR blaster? Something else, perhaps?

Acer's last big release was the Liquid S2 which we saw first hand at IFA 2013 in Berlin. Overall it wasn't a bad device, and was probably one of the nicer Android phones we saw there that sadly few were probably going to buy. Whatever Acer is taking to Spain next week, we'll be on the ground throughout to take a look.

Source: Acer (Google+)

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3 years ago

Google starts rejecting 'Flappy' titles from the Play Store


Won't stop games being made but should reduce Flappy spam

After Flappy Bird's rampant success, the inevitable rush of clones and 'Flappy' everythings started to emerge. The Play Store – and iOS App Store – is full of them, but it looks now as if developers will at least have to be more creative in naming their apps. According to a report by TechCrunch, Google and Apple are both starting to reject apps with Flappy in the title.

Developers on both platforms have been reporting rejection and suspension notices because of the references, and will be forced to re-submit with a new, more original title. From their perspective discovery of their app may be reduced – since Flappy is the key word – and from our perspective the Play Store top apps should at least appear less irritating.

But it doesn't change the actual content of the apps. For now. Eventually the fad will pass, but in the meantime our eyes should become Flappy free.

Source: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

Latest Xperia Z2 'Sirius' hands-on leak shows hardware and software


New Sony software features revealed

As Mobile World Congress approaches, we're getting to see even more of Sony's next high-end Android phone, the D6503 "Sirius," a device which might come to market as the Xperia Z2. Today yet another hands-on video with prototype Z2 hardware has emerged online, showing the new phone's hardware and Android 4.4-based software. YouTube user Rimas Flyil — the source of another recent leak — has published a twelve-minute hands-on video showing the phone's hardware and software in detailed (if slightly dark) footage.

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3 years ago

'Siri' tells us what's new at Mobile World Congress...From Huawei


It isn't Fruit or Somesong that's going to amaze in Barcelona

Chalk this one up under bizarre, but Huawei has today released this teaser trailer for next weeks Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Despite no official references – since Tim Cook would either be getting a check or sending the lawyers to China – it's pretty clearly Siri and an iPhone taking center stage. In a commercial for an Android OEM. What's next? Larry Page telling you all about Windows Phone?

In terms of devices, we're looking at a new phone and a pair of new tablets as has been previously rumored. The phone talks up an "amazing front camera" which wouldn't be surprising, since on last years Ascend P6 we saw a pretty good 5MP front shooter. The tablets are a little intriguing, but it's tough to get our hopes up considering Huawei's previous, mainly low end offerings in this space.

You've gotta hand it to Huawei, though. Whether or not they do truly amaze – more so than Fruit or Somesong! – in Spain, only time will tell. It's a little odd, but it's still fun. Maybe Siri could have given us a few more laughs, though. And of course, we're on the ground in Barcelona throughout next week to bring it all to you as it happens!

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3 years ago

Sound-based authentication company SlickLogin acquired by Google


Google and SlickLogin will aim to make a safe Internet easy for everyone

SlickLogin is, well, pretty slick. It's a two-factor authentication system for your computer, that uses your smartphone as the authenticator. Sounds pretty standard, right? It's not. SlickLogin uses inaudible tones to verify who you are. Your computer will play a series of sounds that humans can't hear, but your phone (and possibly your dog) can. The app on your phone then analyzes these sounds, and if everything is kosher it sends back a token to the program on your computer to log you in.

Welcome to the future. Especially since there's no product yet for us mortals to try.

Today SlickLogin has announced that they were picked up by Google.

Today we`re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way. Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free - and they're working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone. We couldn`t be more excited to join their efforts.

This seems like an exciting tech for Google's deep pockets to get behind. We're going to keep a close watch on this one.

Source: SlickLogin

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3 years ago

Big Android phones, revisited


Sometimes, bigger is better

Android phones come in all shapes and sizes. From the small to the gigantic, there is a phone to suit just about everyone out there. We like it that way, and never want it to change. We think the market should tell CEOs what type of products to build, instead of the CEOs telling the market what kind of products to buy.

Because nothing seems to satifsy everyone, there is constant debate over how big is too big when it comes to our Androids. Some think the "right" size for a smartphone has been eclipsed by huge offerings from the various Android OEMs, while others think we need to go bigger. I'm in the midst of an experiment all about phone size, and it's making me rethink some of the things I'm looking for in an Android phone.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Chromecast and Super Dad


Chromecast costs $35. In a 24-hour span last week, I became more convinced than ever that I'd have gladly paid 10 times as much (and sort of did, once) for this sort of device for what it's done to my living room.

See, my 3-year-old daughter has discovered Space. (Self-Editor's Note: I've always loved the idea of treating Space as a proper noun. Something that's so vast we can't really comprehend it deserves at least that much. It's my website and I'll capitalize what I want.) Isabella is fully aware of the sun, moon and stars, and when I remember to check the schedule she happily escorts me to the backyard to watch the international space station fly overhead. (That's more than I can say for my 7-going-on-17 daughter. And if you've never seen the ISS before, it's something I highly recommend catching.)

I'm not sure when and where Isa learned about "Space" itself, but she asked to see it. So, on goes Chromecast, YouTube, and a whole lot of videos of the space shuttle taking off. And landing. And docking with the ISS. And then some spacewalks. 

I know I'm getting my hopes up, but my dark nerd heart simply melts of the idea of my youngest daughter being the least bit excited about Space. And the day before, on the ride to school, 7-year-old Mia was telling me about how they did experiments on rocks in science class and came to the conclusion that they're made of minerals. Chicks who dig science are cool as hell. (Yes, even when they're my daughters. But seriously, guys, don't even look at them. Ever.) And using Chromecast to nerd out with them on the couch to watch a couple launches and landings made my week. It's a shame we can't do it live anymore.

That's to say nothing of the music. Not a day goes by when we don't listen to something through Chromecast. Watching my monkeys bounce through the living room to Stevie Wonder or Daft Punk or Grace Potter and the Nocturnals does so much for the soul. Or playing old YouTube videos of The Muppet Show.

But just as often I've found myself turning on Chromecast (I use a Logitech Harmony remote to make switching easy, by the way) — and just leaving it be. The photography being showcased as wallpapers is beautiful. Some of the names I know — usually folks with ties to Android. Many I don't, and end up following on Google+. (And major kudos for giving conspicuous credit to the photogs.) Chromecast has become that sort of picture-frame TV of the future that I used to long for. Apps like AllCast have made showing off my own pictures that much easier.

And all for $35.

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3 years ago

Kids' game maker TegTap turns in a mean shooter with Solar Warfare


TegTap is a two-man app development studio based in Arizona with a surprisingly diverse catalog of games. The studio has published a variety of kids’ apps for Android, including Dragon Maker, My Fairy Pony, and Dino Digger.

On the other end of the spectrum, TegTap’s marquee title Solar Warfare is a full-fledged sci-fi shooter aimed at the more serious gaming crowd. With smooth 3D graphics, gigantic bosses, and intuitive controls, Solar Warfare made a strong impression during the Big Indie Pitch competition at Apps World. See these TegTap Android games in action after the break.

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3 years ago

LG announces its L Series III refresh ahead of Mobile World Congress


LG, as it tends to do before major trade shows, has just announced a refresh of its mid-range L-series devices. Dubbed the L Series III, this is a trio of new Android smartphones — the L90, L70 and L40. 

Here's how they break down:

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3 years ago

Kickstarter hacked, user data stolen but credit card info is safe


Kickstarter has posted to their blog this afternoon with a message nobody ever likes to read. Authorities alerted them that hackers had breached their system, and some of their customer data had been stolen. 

No credit card information was taken, but user names, user email addresses, phone numbers, physical addresses and the encrypted version of user passwords were taken. Per Kickstarter:

Actual passwords were not revealed, however it is possible for a malicious person with enough computing power to guess and crack an encrypted password, particularly a weak or obvious one.

Kickstarter says they first learned about the attack and subsequent breach late Wednesday, and were immediately able to shut down the point of attack and start working on analyzing and strengthening the systems. They go on to stress that no credit card data was stolen, as they do not store the full credit card number.

They've posted a FAQ at their blog, which everyone who has used Kickstarter — and that's a pretty big number of people — needs to read. Hit the source link below for that, and any other information they may add in the future.

Source: Kickstarter

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3 years ago

ADATA's UD320 USB OTG Flash Drive is an easy way to store and move files across all your devices


And it's a must-have if you use Linux or a Chromebook

The ADATA UD320 USB OTG flash drive may have a mouthfull for a name, but this small gadget turned out to be awfully handy. It's basically a micro-sized USB flash drive, with a compact USB to microUSB USB OTG adapter, and it all fits together into a tiny package that slips easily into your pocket or attaches to your keyring. The idea isn't exactly new, but the ADATA unit is affordable, well-executed, and essential if you use Linux or a ChromeOS device.

Read on, and see why I think this is something you should think about picking up.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Local Flickr Muzei, Slender Man Origins, Stack Exchange and more!


You want some apps and we've got a list for you to check out

It's Saturday afternoon, and among other things that means it's time to check out our Apps of the Week column. We round up a grouping of apps from each of the Android Central writers and put them on display here, accompanying each with a quick explanation of why we're currently using them. Sometimes the apps are new, sometimes they're old, but in any case if they're installed on our devices they have something going for them.

We have games, wallpapers, tools and utilities to show off this week — catch the full list after the break

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