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3 years ago

LG G Flex preview

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It bends! It flexes! It regains its shape! And it's just the start of things to come for the Korean smartphone manufacturer.

It’s quite possible that we’ve been looking at this all wrong. But can you blame us? For LG, with its new G Flex Android smartphone, has presented us with something that not only is curved — and not just the glass that rests against our face, but the entire body of the phone — but bends and flexes as well.

By now, we’ve all seen the videos, of course. You can press down on the G Flex — and press pretty damn hard, actually, with up to 88 pounds of force. The phone itself is curved. It flattens out, then regains its shape.

What sorcery is this?

Thing is, it’s but one trick the LG G Flex has up its sleeve. And once you get past that novelty, the rest sort of starts to fall into place.

Let’s be clear here — this is not our LG G Flex review. We’ve only had it for a few short days, and this is the proper Korean model — Korean apps and TV antenna included. There’s no way we can get a proper feel for battery life, and we have no idea what the U.S. carriers will do to this thing when and if (ahem) they get it.

But this is quite the interesting phone.

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3 years ago

HTC and Verizon confirm Droid DNA Android 4.2.2 update

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600MB update already landing on devices

Both HTC and Verizon have confirmed that an update bringing Android 4.2.2 along with Sense 5 is on its way to Droid DNA owners today. It's certainly been a long time coming (as other HTC devices start to hit Android 4.4), but we'll never turn down such a huge update. While bringing all of the modern features of 4.2 and Sense 5, the DNA will now be up to speed software-wise with the HTC One on Verizon, which is important.

Members in our own forums are starting to see the updates on their own Droid DNAs, first in the form of a small update to prepare the system and again in a larger — about 600MB — update to make the jump to 4.2.2. Are you seeing the update on your own device? Sing out in the forums and let everyone else know how you're getting along with it.

More: Verizon Droid DNA forums

Source: Verizon; @moversi

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3 years ago

Coming up at CES 2014: Android Central, Mobile Nations and Geek Beat join forces!

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A full week of live coverage coming up from CES in Las Vegas in January​

Someone might have hinted during our last podcast that we've got something special lined up for CES next month — and we're finally ready to let the cat out of the bag. 

We — as in Android Central and all our sister sites at Mobile Nations — are once again teaming up with Cali Lewis and John P and all the other awesome folks at Geek Beat to bring you live coverage from the show floor all week long. That's four straight days of live coverage with some of the smartest and entertaining folks in this business, and we couldn't be more excited about it.

But, wait. What's that you say? Four days just isn't enough coverage? Well, you're right. While the show floor doesn't actually open until Tuesday, Jan. 7, we'll have stories coming your way starting Sunday, Jan 5. 

It's going to be one hell of a ride. Stay tuned for more, and get ready for #CESLIVE.

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3 years ago

Aldi selling £80 Android tablet this weekend

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Supermarket chain Aldi is the latest UK retail name to start selling super-cheap Android tablets in the run up to the holidays. This Sunday, Dec. 8, the store will offer the Medion LifeTab E7316 tablet for £79.99. It's an Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean slate with a quad-core 1.6GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB internal flash, expandable via microSD card. You also get front and rear cameras — 2MP and 0.3MP units — as well as 802.11n Wifi connectivity.

The specs are nothing spectacular compared to the likes of the Nexus 7. But this thing sells for less than half the price of Google's tablet, and on the face of it seems decent value for money. There is however no indication as to whether the tablet is Google Play certified — a process which has presented issues for some cut-price tablets in the recent past.

In any case, before parting with your cash it's worth remembering that not every cheap Android tablet is worth buying.

Source: Aldi; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

LG 'Optimus F3Q' QWERTY slider for T-Mobile leaked

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As evidenced by handsets like Verizon's LG Enact, U.S. carriers still believe there's a place in the smartphone market for devices with slide-out QWERTY keyboards. And if a newly-leaked render is to be believed, T-Mobile is another operator with at least one more QWERTY handset in its future. Prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks has today published images of the "LG Optimus F3Q," which he says is headed for the magenta carrier at some point.

There's no word on specs, pricing or release dates, but the name suggests it might be a keyboard-toting version of the Optimus F3, which arrived on Virgin Mobile over the summer. That device packs a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, a 4-inch display and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Polaroid mirrorless Android camera to be pulled following patent ruling

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Less than two months after it finally went on sale, a court ruling in a legal battle has scuppered Polaroid's iM1836 mirrorless Android camera. Plaintiff Nikon and iM1836 manufacturer Sakar have reached an agreement whereby the latter may "no longer manufacture, import, advertise, promote, offer for sale, sell, or ship the Polaroid iM1836 digital camera in its present configuration." The agreement comes after the device was found to infringe upon Nikon patents and trade dress relating to the camera manufacturer's 1 series.

The iM1836, first shown at CES 2013 in January, was one of a few Android-powered "smart cameras" to emerge in the wake of the Samsung Galaxy Camera, and the device eventually went on sale in late October. It's actually still available on Amazon.com at the time of writing, though given today's news that might not be the case for much longer.

Source: Nikon Rumors; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 f heading to Japan on December 19

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Miniature Xperia Z1 scheduled for pre-holiday arrival on Docomo

We've known for a while that Sony's dinky Xperia Z1 f was due to arrive on NTT Docomo in Japan this month, but now we have a firm date — Thursday, Dec. 19. An update to the carrier's online store reveals that the pint-sized version of the Xperia Z1 will launch in black, white, lime and pink just in time for the holidays, though there's still no hint of any Western release.

The Xperia Z1 f packs similar internals to its larger counterpart, only with a smaller 4.3-inch display and slightly reduced battery capacity, making it a tempting proposition for those wanting a smaller Android phone that doesn't skimp on hardware muscle. Given Sony's traditional early-year release cycle, there's a good chance we might see an international version of the device — the rumored Z1 S perhaps — at the company's CES press conference in Las Vegas early next month.

Source: Docomo; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

From the forums: What's new in Android 4.4.1?

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Besides Nexus 5 camera enhancements, new version of KitKat brings lots of smaller changes

Android 4.4.1 is upon us, and the first maintenance release of KitKat is rolling out now to certain Nexus devices. The big news that everyone's talking about relates to the many camera fixes and enhancements bestowed upon the Nexus 5, but it turns out there are also a lot of smaller changes and improvements in the new OS.

These include fixes for glitches like the Nexus 5 speaker bug and the bug that occasionally made the notification bar partly opaque. What's more, haptic feedback has been tweaked on the Nexus 5, "Photos" is now the default photo-viewing app when you swipe out of the Camera app.

We're digging through all these changes and more in a thread on the Android Central forums, which is where you'll find our working list of what's new in Android 4.4.1. Check it out below — and join the discussion if you've spotted anything new since updating.

More: What's new in Android 4.4.1 - Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Samsung reportedly developing 8 + 10-inch AMOLED screens for future tablets

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New tablets to compete with iPad Air and iPad Mini in 2014, according to Korean press

In the early days of the Galaxy Tab line, Samsung released a couple of Android tablets with AMOLED screens — the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and 8.9 — but since then the company's tablet lineup has been a strictly LCD-only affair. That may be about to change in 2014, however, as reports from the Korean press suggest that Samsung Display is working on 8 and 10-inch AMOLED screens for high-end tablets, due for release in the new year.

Korea's Digital Daily reports that the new screens will be aimed squarely at high-end tablets to compete with Apple's iPad Air and iPad Mini, and will arrive around the same time as its next flagship smartphone. Samsung's budget tablets will continue to use LCD panels, according to the report, an approach which would mirror its smartphone display strategy.

As these reports are far from official, it's worth taking them with a pinch of salt for the moment. But it'll be interesting to see whether these new devices might bring about a return of the Galaxy Tab brand in the high-end tablet market. In 2013 the Tab 3 line consisted of mostly entry-level tablets, with the high end occupied by the stylus-toting Galaxy Note 8 and Note 10.1 2014 Edition.

Source: Naver; via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Google Play Music All Access launches in Germany

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Free for 30 days, €7.99 promotional deal if you sign up by Jan. 15

Almost four months after it first reached parts of Europe, Google Play Music All Access is now live in one of the continent's largest markets. From today Google's music subscription service is available in Germany where, as with previous launches, it's available to try for free for 30 days. And to tempt early adopters onboard, if you sign up by Jan. 15 you'll pay just €7.99 per month for the life of the subscription, versus the standard price of €9.99.

Signing up to Google Play Music All Access gets you access to Google's massive library of streaming music on the web at play.google.com/music and through the Android and iOS apps. (It's also pretty easy to cancel the subscription at any time if you're not happy.)

If you're signing up today in Germany, join the comments after the break and let us know.

Source: Google Support; via: @arnehess

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3 years ago

New HP Chromebook 11 charger shows up in Google Play

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Still no indication of replacement notices for existing Chromebook 11 owners

While HP Chromebook 11 owners are still being advised to not use their factory chargers following a recall notice, Google has just put up a listing for a new charger in the Play Store. The new charger is still listed as "coming soon" with a price of $19.99, and is very clearly a different design from the one included in the box with the Chromebook 11 originally.

The new charger is also "Chrome" branded, while the original was rather generic looking with no branding. It also packs the same 3A at 5.25V output as the original, meaning that any changes to reduce overheating or fire risk must be done in the new charger's circuitry.

We're still waiting to hear anything official on the resuming of sales of the Chromebook 11 as well as any word on official recall or replacement programs for those chargers, but the existence of a newly redesigned model is a good sign that the wheels are turning.

Thanks, 1ll1TERAT3!

More: HP Chromebook 11 review

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3 years ago

Verizon dramatically increases LTE network capacity in major cities

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Network expands to 40MHz, double the largest available previously

Following up on the admission that its network isn't up to par in major cities, Verizon has just quietly flipped the switch on massive LTE network enhancements across the country. Just one month ago Verizon CFO Fran Shammo confirmed many people's suspicions that the carrier's network performance has dipped in recent months, but that money was being spent to have the issues resolved by the end of the year. It seemed like a lofty statement at the time, but Verizon has just made those improvements live today.

According to statements given to Gigaom, Verizon has just tripled its network capacity in some of the biggest markets in the U.S. — New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C. In other markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the network improvements are in the 150 percent range.

Verizon is accomplishing these amazing network improvements by tapping its holdings of AWS (Advanced Wireless Services) spectrum, which has bolstered its network to operating on a full 40MHz of spectrum, up from a maximum of 20MHz in any given market previously. The carrier claims 5,000 cell cites will be updated to support AWS by the end of the year, with another 5,000 in process of coming online thereafter.

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3 years ago

Latest Google Search app will return spoken results in Japanese, German and French

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Commencez à parler à votre téléphone

Although the feature has been available for some time for English speakers, Google Search (aka Google Now) will now respond to queries in Japanese, German and French. You'll need the latest Google Search app installed, but once that's done you'll be able to ask questions in the three new languages and receive spoken results in the same language.

Naturally Google can't guarantee that you'll receive spoken results for every voice query, but that's already the case for English as well. You can expect the app to speak back to you when receiving results from the "knowledge graph" that returns a card at the top of the results.

While this is a big deal for those living in Japan, Germany and France, it could certainly be of use when traveling to those countries as a non-native speaker as well. Pair this up with Google Translate and you may have an easier way finding things in a new place.

Source: Google Search Blog

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 11 M1 lands for Nexus devices, CM 11 nightlies for others

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M1 or nightly builds for many devices are ready for flashing

Falling right in schedule with the halting of development on CM 10.2, CM 11 M1 has just been released for Nexus devices. The latest release of a new version of CM is usually marked by the start of nightlies, but things are a bit different this time around. Because there are likely to be few bugs with the latest version on Nexus devices (excluding the Galaxy Nexus this time around), CM 11 for these devices will be open to bug reports and tweaks to benefit upcoming CM 11 releases for other devices.

Those other devices will start to receive standard nightly builds of CM 11, and because they're early on in development and are likely to have major bugs, you won't be able to immediately submit bug reports — that will come later as the changes settle down. Once usage picks up on nightly builds, we'll see proper M1 and M2 releases for non-Nexus devices.

You can head to the CM download page to see if your device has a CM 11 build ready to go at the second source link below.

Source: CyanogenMod; CM Downloads

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3 years ago

Epson now supporting Kindle Fire HD and HDX devices for internet printing

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Over 60 Epson models will work with no additional setup

Amazon's latest Kindle Fire HD and HDX tablets support a new wireless printing standard called "Kindle Fire Printing," and Epson is now on-board with the standard. Now if you have one of the new Amazon tablets (with OS 3.11) and an Epson Connect-enabled printer, you can seamlessly send documents, emails and photos between your tablet and that printer with no additional setup.

Epson says that over 60 printers are Epson Connect-enabled, so there's a pretty good chance if you have a late model printer from the manufacturer and a new Kindle you'll have a good chance of this working out of the box. It may not be as robust and supported as Google Cloud Print at the moment, but we can bet that more than a few Kindle Fire HDX owners will be happy about the increased support. 

More: Epson Connect Blog

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