Headlines

3 years ago

Coming up at 4 p.m. EST — it's the Android Central Podcast

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Fear not, folks, for there shall be no special Valentine's Day edition of the Android Central Podcast. No hearts. Nothing pink. No candied anything, no stuffed bears, and certainly no hugs. That's just not how we do things. Instead, we'll bring you the week that was in Android news — plus a look ahead to Mobile World Congress, and everything that's leaking out ahead of it.

Join us here for the live Q&A as well! We'll see you at 4 p.m. EST — that's 1 p.m. on the west coast, and 9 p.m. in London. We'll see you there!

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3 years ago

Friday freebies: Win 1 of 4 Moto G Grip Shells!

I've got four Grip Shells here for the Moto G — check out our hands-on with them here — but not for long. It's time to find them a good home. 

If you want to win one, just leave a comment here, in this post. We'll take care of the rest. 

Good luck, and we'll shut this down at 5 p.m. EDT this afternoon.

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3 years ago

Vector 30: Wearables, contextual sensors, and making them mainstream

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Matthew Panzarino, co-editor of TechCrunch joins Rene to talk about why mobile is going wearable, how contextual information and sensors are evolving, and how Apple, Google, Samsung, and everyone else will try and sell them to us.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear on sale for $150 at Best Buy today

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Android-powered smartwatch available for half the launch price

If you're tempted by Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch but have been put off by the relatively high price, Best Buy has a deal that may be of interest. The online store is today selling the Galaxy Gear for $149.99 outright, just half the original launch price of $299.99, as part of its deal of the day. The Android-powered watch is available in rose gold, oatmeal beige, lime green and wild orange. The mocha gray and jet black aren't included in today's sale and still cost $249.99.

The Galaxy Gear didn't exactly wow us at launch, due to its high price and limited notification support for non-Samsung apps. But with recent software updates the device has improved, and at $150 the Gear is definitely worth a look — just remember you'll also need a Samsung smartphone with support for the Gear Manager app.

Source: Best Buy; via: Smartwatch Fans

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3 years ago

Moto G in India seeing its KitKat update

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Local dual-SIM model now updating to Android 4.4.2

A quick heads up for any of our Moto G owning friends over in India that an update should be headed your way. Having recently launched in dual-SIM form in India on Android 4.3, Moto is now updating to Android 4.4.2 KitKat as it has done in many other global markets. 

KitKat brings a few visual changes with it such as the white icons and translucent status bar, and in our experience sharpens up the device a little and makes the camera a little more responsive. There is of course more to KitKat than bells and whistles, so go ahead and load it up and take it for a spin. 

More: Moto G, two months on

via AndroidOS.in

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3 years ago

House of Cards season 2 now available — Will you be watching on Android?

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Entire second season can be streamed on Android, the web or via Chromecast

Today is Feb. 14, and we all know what that means — that's right, season 2 of Netflix's acclaimed political drama House of Cards is now available to stream online. The entire 13-episode run was pushed live at 12:01 a.m. PST, and is available to subscribers through Netflix's web presence, as well as its mobile apps.

On Android phones and tablets, you can to head to Google Play and download the Netflix app to get started; on a Chromebook (or any other laptop) you'll want to use the regular website. And don't forget Netflix's Android and iOS apps support Chromecast playback, so owners of the streaming dongle can can beam Frank Underwood onto the big screen using a phone or tablet.

Whether you're going to savor every episode or blow through the season in one binge viewing, hit the comments and let us know how you'll be watching using your Android devices. (For the benefit of new viewers, let's try to keep it spoiler-free.)

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3 years ago

Sonic Dash update adds Eggman boss challenge

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SEGA's endless runner Sonic Dash is being updated with a new boss challenge, featuring none other than Dr. Eggman (or Robotnik, if you prefer). The update adds a boss battle with the longtime series villain, challenging players to dodge missiles, exploside traps and other nasties as they progress through the supersonic gauntlet, with a "massive score bonus" promised for those who send Eggman packing.

The publisher says its next Sonic Dash "global challenge" will begin next Friday, Feb. 21, allowing players to work together to unlock a new Sonic universe character "who is sure to steal some hearts."

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 'Sirius' pictured alongside Z and Z1 in latest leak

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Leaked photos show slightly taller Xperia with familiar design

As we approach the announcement of Sony's next major Android phone — expected at Mobile World Congress in just over a week — even more details about the device are starting to leak out. Photos of the upcoming Sony D6503, codenamed "Sirius," have today appeared on Chinese site Digi-wo, where it's been compared to Sony flagships past and present.

The first shot reveals the D6503 in black and white, showing a couple of the hardware features we'd seen from earlier leaks — apparently stereo speakers at the top and bottom of thie display, a familiar button setup including a shutter key, and reduced horizontal bezels. The second image, which lines up the new phone with the Xperia Z and Z1, shows some subtle physical differences — despite the reduced bezels, the "Sirius" is a bit taller than the Xperia Z1, perhaps due to a larger display size. (A 5.2-inch panel is rumored.)

Based on these images and other leaks, it seems pretty clear Sony's next handset will retain the blocky, angular design and hefty vertical bezels of its current lineup. The source of the photos suggests an April release is on the cards for the phone, making it reasonably likely we'll get an announcement out of Sony at MWC in Barcelona later this month.

Source: Digi-wo; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

LG not bothered by Lenovo-Motorola combo, plans to take third place in worldwide market in 2014

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Korean manufacturer wants to go toe-to-toe with competitive new products

Alongside the Korean launch of its latest handset, the G Pro 2, LG executives spoke to the change in the smartphone market now that Lenovo plans to purchase Motorola. Despite the bump in market share Lenovo gains from adding Motorola sales to its business, LG isn't worried about the soon-combined companies. Kim Jong Hoon, head of product at LG mobile, said:

"There are many talks over Lenovo and Motorola in the media right now and how it affects LG, but internally, we aren't discussing much about it."

Further, LG has a plan to regain third place in the global smartphone market by the end of the year — it currently sits in fourth place with roughly five percent of shipments. Seeing LG's recent device portfolio, including the just-announced G Pro 2, you can see that the Korean manufacturer intends to go head-to-head with the other leading smartphone makers. Only time will tell if it can fend off a combined Lenovo-Motorola with confident leadership that is poised to grow if it plays its cards right.

Source: ZDNet Korea

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3 years ago

Google+ will apply Auto Awesome floating hearts to your Valentine's Day kissing photos

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Love is in the air on Google+ for Valentine's Day

It's one of those times when no matter where you are there's a feeling of love in the air. Yep, Valentine's Day is tomorrow and Google+ is offering up a special Auto Awesome animated picture for the occasion. Upload or take a photo of people kissing, and in short order you'll be notified that there's a new Auto Awesome picture waiting — this time around you'll see a nice array of animated hearts floating around the picture.

Just like Auto Awesome pictures of the past (aside from the winter snowflakes) there's no way to manually trigger the hearts being applied. Just take a picture and hope the algorithm picks it up — we think Google probably has a pretty good chance of applying hearts to all of the pictures you want. And don't worry, Auto Awesome pictures are private by default.

Source: +Erik Murphy-Chutorian

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3 years ago

T-Mobile expected to change JUMP! terms to remove upgrade wait period, add tablets to the mix

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Terms of trade-ins and pricing not entirely clear at this point

T-Mobile is set to make the first major revision to its JUMP! upgrade plans, giving you the freedom to upgrade as often as you'd like. According to documents acquired by TmoNews, starting February 23rd T-Mobile will remove restrictions on JUMP! that kept customers from upgrading more than twice every 12 months.

The current system with JUMP! indicates that you must wait six months after purchasing your phone before trading it in, then forgiving the rest of your financing payments so that you can pick out and finance a new device. With this impending change you will be able to trade in your phone regardless of how long you've been paying it off, but it isn't entirely sure whether or not you'll have to pay to make up the difference to a new phone (having made few monthly installments). Again referring to this leaked information, it seems T-Mobile will forgive any outstanding financing balance for your original handset, up to half of the phone's original cost.

If the value of the phone you're trading in covers at least 50 percent of its original price, you'll be cleared to pick out a new phone for $0 down and begin financing it. It isn't completely clear at this point how (or if) T-Mobile will expect you to make up the difference if your phone is no longer worth at least half of what it was when you purchased, but that should be cleared up when the changes actually go live.

Indications are that existing JUMP! customers will be brought into the new system automatically, with the ability to upgrade as soon as they'd like, so long as they've been a JUMP! customer for at least six months (the old wait period). Tablets are getting added into the JUMP! program as well, although we're not sure how many people will really take advantage of that deal. In fact, we're not sure how many people will want to upgrade their device more often than every six months in any circumstance — at least T-Mobile gets the good publicity of removing restrictions from the program.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Muzei Live Wallpaper updated to fix daily art refresh issues

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Two crashes related to buttons and permissions fixed as well

Muzei Live Wallpaper, the great new app from Roman Nurik (of DashClock and Google), has received its first important update to fix a few bugs with the initial release. Folks who installed Muzei to have their wallpaper refresh daily with a selection of fine art may have noticed that the image, well, didn't refresh — that's fixed now through a combination of the new app and a change to Google Cloud Storage for image hosting.

Further, the new update fixes a couple crashes related to using the "Activate" button and a permissions-related crash. If you haven't given Muzei a look, it's worth your time to do so — you can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

Via: +Roman Nurik

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3 years ago

Everything you need to know to get started using the Xposed Framework

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There is a lot to know about the Xposed Framework, and a lot that could go wrong — use this guide to get started

So you have an Android phone because you know you can bend and twist just about everything in the software until you make it just right. You've done the custom ROM thing, but there are still things you want to tweak. That's where the Xposed Framework comes into the picture.

Xposed is a base system that allows you to download modules, each of which can make one or more changes to the UI of your device. Things like adding the three dot menu to every app, or enabling the full 20MP sensor for Superior Auto in Sony cameras, or any manner of changes. There's a whole list of modules you can download and install at the Xposed repo site.

Because it's such a powerful tool, there are also a million things that can go wrong if you just jump in without knowing what you're doing. You should definitely read all the documentation, but AC Forums Ambassador Golfdriver97 has also whipped up a really handy getting started guide to keep you pointed in the right direction. Read it. Twice.

Half the fun of hacking your phone is fixing it when you've broken it, but some tools are a bit more complicated than others. Xposed is powerful, and guides like this one are a great way to keep things going smoothly.

Read the getting started with Xposed Framework guide

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3 years ago

AT&T LG G2 gets a quick 15MB update to 'support future updates'

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Let's hope that this is just quick preparation for the big jump to KitKat in the near future

The illustrious KitKat update for the LG G2 on AT&T is still on the horizon, and unfortunately today's update for the phone isn't it. What you will get, starting today, is a 15.4MB update that fixes two things — "FOTA enhancement to support future updates" and "Google enhancements." It's hard to tell precisely what the latter may be, but it's always a good thing when you get an update that can improve the process of receiving future updates — KitKat or otherwise — on your phone.

After updating, you'll be on Android 4.2.2 still, with software version D80010o (baseband M8974A-AAAANAZM-1.0.190034). We haven't seen the update come down on our own AT&T LG G2 just yet, but that doesn't mean it isn't rolling out in some capacity. This isn't an update that's going to change anything you can notice, though, so be patient if it hasn't shown up on your phone just yet.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Moto X on US Cellular now receiving Android 4.4.2 update

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Document printing, battery life and email sync all improved in latest update

As Android 4.4.2 updates for different variants of the Moto X continue to roll out, U.S. Cellular is next on the list. Posting on its support pages, Motorola has confirmed that the update is on its way to users now, bringing with it a few quick fixes that you'd expect in a small point release:

  • Printing documents and pictures: Added support for printing photos, Google Docs, GMail messages, and other content via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and hosted services like Google Cloud Print and HP ePrinters.
  • Improved battery life: Fixed bugs which caused a small number of users to experience shorter battery life after upgrading to Android 4.4.
  • Fixed email sync delays: Fixed a bug that could cause email services like Microsoft Exchange to experience intermittent delays in data synchronization.

If you've got a Moto X running on U.S. Cellular you can expect to see an update notification in the near future — after completing the update, your software version will be 161.44.27.

Source: Motorola

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