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4 years ago

Best Android apps of July 2014

16

Best Android apps of July 2014

NPR One for Android
Ovia for Android

We've rounded up the best Android apps to have launched in the last 30 days. We've got plenty of utilities this go-around, though there's also a bit of media to take in too.

Stick around, because we'll be tackling the best Android games of the month tomorrow.

4 years ago

Don't let Android Wear distract you in the car

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Don't let Android Wear distract you in the car

Android Wear in the car
I NEED TO KNOW THE TEMPERATURE RIGHT NOW!!!!111
Ain't nobody got time for Hall and Oates
OK Google navigate me to safety

Android Wear in the car

Distracted driving is worse when your device is always out and always on

Make no mistake — we're pretty psyched about Android Wear here at AC. We see the potential, the way it can change the way you use your Android smartphone, and how convenient things can can be when the info you need or want is at the end of your arm. But we also see some issues that need addressed by both the people making the new hardware as well as the people using it.

The biggest one, in my opinion, is a matter of public safety. Android Wear makes it even easier to take your eyes off the road.

4 years ago

Walking through Android TV with Google's ADT-1

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Walking through Android TV with Google's ADT-1

Android TV Game of Thrones
Android TV
Android TV Voice Search

Android TV

Potential success may hinge on pricing, but Android TV is doing a lot of things correctly from the start

Google is giving set top boxes another try with what can only be described as what happens when a Chromecast and Amazon's Fire TV have a baby. The new experience is highly visual, incredibly fast, and already offers some key features that some of the competition is still working on. Google's ADT-1 offers up a great look at what we can expect from the Android TV user experience, and as long as the developers who are getting these kits in the mail this week are working hard to get apps ready for the platform it looks like this is going to be another hit.

Two things happened at Google I/O when Android TV was announced, aside from the applause that filled the room. Chromecast owners wondered why they needed this new box if they already have their adorable little HDMI stick, and Google TV owners wondered if there was any hope for their existing equipment. Unfortunately for Google TV owners, it looks like Android TV is a whole new paradigm of set top boxes that will exist as though its predecessor never existed. Even if an OEM wanted to push an update to a Google TV box to make it run Android TV, the older hardware in that box is unlikely to keep up with what Google has in store for this new equipment. Sorry, Google TV users, we all feel your pain.

4 years ago

Remembering that all these cool devices actually enrich our lives

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Remembering that all these cool devices actually enrich our lives

Phones!

I sit here writing this on a MacBook Pro, a laptop computer. But how long will it be before I'll be able to truly, genuinely do the same on a smartphone or a tablet? As we cover these devices day in, day out, it's easy to get swept up in the latest nerdy thing, the hottest new piece of hardware, apps or the next event we'll be taken to that will start the cycle all over again. It's easy to ignore just how much these devices actually enrich our lives.

I found myself in a discussion with my not-so-tech-savvy mother recently, describing in simple terms how the LG G3 in my hand has as much, maybe more "power" than the couple-years-old Windows laptop she uses at home. How it's no longer just a phone, but a communication tool, but a genuine personal computing device – she likes to ask how work is going and the conversation started to run away with itself.

4 years ago

What is Google+ and why should I use it?

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What is Google+ and why should I use it?

Some of the many
Find us on Google+
Nova Launcher's Beta Community
Android Central Podcast - Every Friday on Google+

Part social network, part beta system

Google+ is something of a black sheep in the world of social media. Even as a young network of three years that has grown faster than many of the current leaders, Google+ has been disparaged and shunned by much of the public for the moves Google has made with it. Google+ has long required users to use their real name as their screen name, a move which was made even more unpopular when Google announced that YouTube comments would take place through Google+. That requirement is now gone, much to the delight of SamsungKnight1134.

Recently, the departure of the public face of Google+, Vic Gundotra, led many to call the network dead. These naysayers claim Google+ doesn't work, it doesn't make sense, and that it's a ghost town. I'm here to tell you that they're wrong. It is alive, it absolutely works, and you should almost definitely use it. How do I know?

Because I wouldn't be writing here without it.

4 years ago

LG issues update for G Watch to stop corrosion in terminal pins

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LG issues update for G Watch to stop corrosion in terminal pins

lg g watch

lg g watch

LG has confirmed that it has released an over-the-air update for its Android Wear-based G Watch to fix an issue that has been reported by a few of its owners. The problem stems from corrosion that developed in the terminal pins on the back of some of the smartwatches.

4 years ago

AC on the road: What's in Alex's gear bag in 2014

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AC on the road: What's in Alex's gear bag in 2014

Gear
LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5
LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5
Angel wings
LG memory stick
Huawei power bank
Batteries
Skross charger
urBeats
Sony RX100
Tucano case
MacBook Air
LG G Watch
Nexus 7
Olympus E-PL5

Gear

Find out what Android tech and other gadgets Alex packs when it's time to hit the road

It's been almost a year since our last round of "gear bag" features, where we laid out the stuff we use in our day-to-day work, as well as covering trade shows and any other events we might end up at. That's a long time in tech, and so in the run up to IFA and CTIA this September, we're going to bring you an updated look at the gear loadout of each of the AC editors. Some is old, some is new. Some of it's Android, some of it's not. And some of it might just surprise you.

Head past the break to find out what's in my gear bag in August 2014.

4 years ago

Best Android games of July 2014

13

Best Android games of July 2014

Best Android games of July 2014

Best Android games of July 2014

We've been keeping a close eye on the Google Play Store for the best Android games released in the last month and we've come up with our top five, plus a few honorable mentions to boot. You'll find some particularly well-known action games in our list, plus a bit of strategy gaming, and something for the casual crowd.

If you've been hankering for the best new games out there for Android, you've come to the right spot.

4 years ago

How to change your default search engine in Chrome

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How to change your default search engine in Chrome

Chrome Mobile
Chrome Overflow Menu
Chrome Settings

Chrome Mobile

Chrome may be made by Google, but you can choose to search with another provider if you wish

ACU The BasicsChrome, the built in browser on almost all Android devices, is Google's home-built browser for the mobile web. Google started packaging Chrome with Android so that users could have a more unified experience switching back and forth between their mobile and desktop browsers. One of the biggest features of the browser is that you can search directly from the address bar, much like you can on its desktop counterpart. Chrome makes it extremely easy to customize almost every aspect of how the mobile browser works, just like your full browser on your computer.

One of the easiest customizations to the browser is the ability to change the search provider that the application uses by default.

4 years ago

Major Google Play sale sees savings as much as 85 percent off

36

Major Google Play sale sees savings as much as 85 percent off

Major Google Play sees savings as much as 85 percent off
Major Google Play sees savings as much as 85 percent off

Major Google Play sees savings as much as 85 percent off

Google is having a huge sale on select Google Play app titles with savings as much as 85 percent applying to purchases of apps as well as in-app purchases. Final Fantasy V, Paper Camera, and Weather Pro are among some of the titles included in the sales.

4 years ago

Microsoft claims Samsung isn't paying up on patent licenses for running Android

150

Microsoft claims Samsung isn't paying up on patent licenses for running Android

Microsoft logo

Microsoft logo

Microsoft has filed legal action against Samsung today in New York on the basis that Samsung has stopped paying to license intellectual property from Microsoft for its Android devices.

Since 2011 Microsoft and Samsung have held a cross-licensing agreement that has shared the rights of intellectual property between the two companies, with fees associated to using that IP on Android devices. But according to Microsoft's legal team, Samsung stopped making payments in late 2013 for the technology.

4 years ago

Ballistic Every1 Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Ballistic Every1 Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4

Ballistic Every1 Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4
Ballistic Every1 Holster

Ballistic Every1 Case for the Samsung Galaxy S4

The Ballistic Every1 Case turns the Samsung Galaxy S4 into something different. Something ... dangerous. OK, maybe not dangerous. But it certainly turns it into something that's a little less prone to danger.

The case comprises two parts: There's a front cover that includes a plastic protector for the display, and holes for the front-facing camera, speaker and various sensors. It fastens onto the back shell via some pretty sturdy grommets. You're going to want to mind the instructions on the inside of the box, and even then I needed a little extra help to pry them open. (And once fastened, I've had no concerns about them coming loose.)

There are cutouts for the secondary microphones, and flaps over the microUSB and 3.5mm ports. The front home button also is sealed in rubber, as are the power and volume buttons, but all are still perfectly functional.

4 years ago

Google Photos' rumored divorce from Google+ could help increase photo sharing

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Google Photos' rumored divorce from Google+ could help increase photo sharing

Google Photos' rumored divorce from Google+ could help increase photo sharing

Google Photos' rumored divorce from Google+ could help increase photo sharing

Google is rumored to reorganize its Google+ social networking service, which could potentially result in Google separating the photos feature of Google+ into its own standalone service. The move may help Google increase photo sharing and uploading and compete with services like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Flickr.

4 years ago

Google Now Launcher now available on most Android devices

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Google Now Launcher now available on most Android devices

Google Now Launcher officially launches onto Android 4.1+ devices

Google Now Launcher officially launches onto Android 4.1+ devices

The Google Now launcher is now available on any Android device running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or higher. The launcher places Google Now just a swipe to the right away on your home page. Additionally, when you're on the home page all you have to do is say "Ok Google" to trigger voice controls (the default setting is only from the launcher or when in Google Search, although you can set it to be from any screen or even the lock screen, so long as the device is turned on). The Google Now Launcher is meant to make it even faster to get into Google's services, with just a swipe, a tap, or a work to get things rolling.

4 years ago

Flappy Bird is back, but only on Amazon Fire TV

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Flappy Bird is back, but only on Amazon Fire TV

Flappy Bird is back, but only on Fire TV

Flappy Bird is back, but only on Fire TV

The apparently-too-addictive Flappy Bird has made its triumphant return, but it's only on the Amazon Fire TV. Oh, and it's now Flappy Birds Family. The new version of the flash-in-the-pan smash hit game was promised to return this month, and indeed it has, just not in a form we were expecting.

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