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3 years ago

This week's sidebar poll: Who is going to make your next phone?

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Are you looking for a change, or are you a brand loyalist?

It's time for another poll, and this week should be a good 'un. Updates — both to KitKat and otherwise — were flying fast and furious all week, and one common theme in the comments of all the news posts was users claiming they were switching brands because they weren't getting their update fast enough. We understand a lot of that is frustration, even if misplaced, but doing things like updating fast make for quite the impression. Maybe a manufacturer did gain a few fans, whether it be HTC and their speedy updates, or Motorola beating the Nexus 4 to "official OTA style" KitKat.

Or maybe some old favorites lost a few future customers. We can't guess — so we ask. There's a poll in the sidebar to the right, or you can find it after the break to make things easy. Vote in it. Then jump into the comments and let everyone know what you think. It's your time to be heard!

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3 years ago

Win a phone or tablet of your choice by completing SwiftKey's survey

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SwiftKey, one of our favorite third-party keyboards for Android, has launched its latest annual user survey designed to find out what all phone and tablet owners want out of their devices. It's open to everyone, even if your device doesn't currently support SwiftKey, and to sweeten the deal SwiftKey is throwing in the chance to win a phone or tablet of your choice, Android or non-Android, up to a value of $800. In addition to the grand prize winner, ten runners up will get a Moshi prize pack and SwiftKey t-shirt.

You can also increase your chances of winning by sending friends over to the survey and having them complete it. To get started, hit the survey link below. More details can be found in SwiftKey's blog post.

More: SwiftKey user survey

Source: SwiftKey blog

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3 years ago

HBO Go Android app updated with Chromecast support

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OK, Chromecast fans. Add another supported app onto the list. HBO has just updated its HBO Go Android app to support Chromecast. 

And ... well, that's about it. Fire it up just like you would any other Chromecast stream, and you're watching HBO on your TV, through Chromecast. You'll still need an HBO subscription, of course. And some sort of Android device. And a Chromecast. But other than that, this is pure magic.

More: Chrome blog; Thanks, Matthew and Rob!

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3 years ago

Verizon now selling the HTC One Max for $299

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With exactly zero fanfare, Verizon today has begun selling the HTC One Max. It'll cost you $299 on contract, or $25.22 a month with the Verizon Edge plan. Outright, you'll be paying $599.

The HTC One Max is a large — 5.9-inch display, but the phone itself is a bit bigger than that thanks to the front-facing speakers — version of the HTC One, with the new Sense 5.5 software and a fingerprint sensor on the back for unlocking. You can open up the back to get to the SIM card and (yes!) the microSD card slot.

Here's how our own Alex Dobie put things in his official HTC One Max review:

So the One Max is more than a big HTC One, but also a lesser phone than the HTC One. If you’re after the full HTC experience on a larger display, well, for the most part, this is that device. And right now it's the closest you're going to get to an HTC tablet. But for most buyers the smaller, better-looking HTC One, or the higher-end and more manageable Galaxy Note 3 will be better options.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Xyboard tablets getting Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update

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Two-year-old tablets updated with year-old OS

If you're still rocking a Motorola Droid Xyboard tablet almost two years on from the ill-fated slates' release, then good news — Verizon has announced that both the 8.2 and 10.1-inch versions will soon receive updates to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. With its cringeworthy name and Android 3.2 Honeycomb out of the box, the Xyboards were Motorola's last attempt at an Android-powered tablet, brought to market in late 2011.

Jelly Bean's arrival for the tablets comes more than a year after the Xyboards got their last update, to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, in October 2012. And given their relatively meek hardware — a dual-core OMAP 4430 CPU and 1GB of RAM — Jelly Bean's "project butter" enhancements should significantly improve performance on the tablets. The 4.1.2 update will also introduce Google Now, as well as a redesigned camera app.

No word yet on when this update will hit the international versions of the Xyboard, which were sold under the "Xoom 2" brand, but we're not holding our breath. It's a stark contrast to the situation with Moto's latest products, which have been among the first to get the new Android 4.4 KitKat.

Source: Verizon (2)

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S3 receiving its Android 4.3 update, too

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Yet another Galaxy S3 gets the bump to the latest Jelly Bean

Not to be left out in the cold for too long, AT&T has started pushing out the Android 4.3 update for its own Galaxy S3. Falling in line behind the international version, U.S. Cellular version and T-Mobile version, AT&T's update brings a whole host of new goodies, not the least of which is support for Samsung's latest accessory the Galaxy Gear.

There's already a good bit of discussion on the good and bad of the update in the forums, so if you've already pulled down the update hop in with the other members and get the discussion going.

More: AT&T Galaxy S3 Forums

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

LCD/e-ink hybrid YotaPhone launches in December, in Moscow

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One of the more interesting phones to debut in 2013 has got to be the YotaPhone. (Seriously, you'll want to watch this.) Traditional color LCD display on one side, black-and-white e-ink display on the other. And no traditional Android buttons.

Strange, to say the least.

We're still not exactly expecting this guy to be a big seller in the west — but it will be making its debut in Russia next month. Dec. 4, to be exact, in Moscow. We hear it's cold in Russia that time of year. But the livestream should be plenty warm. Stay tuned.

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3 years ago

Pocket updated to version 5, promises to be smarter and more dynamic

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Highlights, better app navigation, and an improved user experience make their way to Pocket's Android client

Pocket is the most popular save-it-for-later service out there. Over 1.5 million items get added daily, and the grand total of over 10 million users makes it the largest provider of it's type. People like to use it. I use it myself. Whenever I come across something on my phone that I just know would be better read on a tablet or computer, into Pocket it goes. It's handy like that. And with today's update to version 5.0, they say it's going to get better.

Anytime big changes come to an app with a slew of existing users, we tend to worry. People don't like change in their normal routine, if their normal routine serves them well. The good news is that Pocket's added some great additions, without doing anything that will force users to change their ways. Read through and see what I mean.

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3 years ago

Android Central hits 1 million Google Play Newsstand subscribers - here's how to add us!

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Get the best of Android Central in Google's latest news app

Google has rounded up what used to be Currents and put it together with Magazine subscriptions in Google Play Newsstand, but rest assured that you can still read Android Central in the new app. We've recently crossed over the absolutely crazy 1 million subscriber number (we've come a long way) on Play Newsstand, but we're hoping the growth doesn't stop there.

If you've just updated to the new Play Newsstand app and are looking for some great Android news to read in the spiffy new interface, adding Android Central couldn't be easier:

  • Update your Play Magazines app to the new Play Newsstand if you haven't yet.
  • Click or tap the Google Play badge above (or link below), which takes you to the Android Central listing.
  • If you're on a computer, click the "Add" button and it will sync to your Play Newsstand app automatically.
  • If you're on a phone or tablet, tap the "Read" button, and be taken to Newsstand for all of the AC goodness!

Subscribe to the Android Central feed on Play Newsstand!

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3 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Sunset

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Capture that magical time when the light is just right

We're back into the swing of things again with another weekly photo contest, and this week we're actually going to go with a similar topic to last week. Going through the submissions in our "skylines" contest, we saw quite a few that also took place at sunrise or sunset. Building on that, we're going to go with the prompt "sunset" this week (sunrises are okay, too!). Taking great pictures in the low light of a sunset or sunrise can be difficult, but we're excited to see the entires to this one.

We'll be picking out one winner this week, and that lucky photographer will receive a BRAVEN 570 Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, in your choice of color.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (November 26) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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3 years ago

AT&T Moto X soak test is starting, let the KitKat begin

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Anytime is a good time for a quick soak, but the sooner the better

Members of the Motorola Feedback Network in good standing and using an AT&T branded Moto X are getting the best email ever this evening. The soak test for the AT&T version of the Moto X is soon beginning, and we all know what that means.

KitKat as far as the eye can see. Soon you wont be able to shake a Moto X without hitting some KitKat. And we love it.

When things begin, we'll let you know. We're thinking it will be soon. 

Thanks Anons!

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3 years ago

Google Translate improving conversational translations, expanding language support

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New gesture support and improved language recognition from handwriting and images

The latest version of the Google Translate app is making it even easier to have conversations between languages. The latest update, which will begin rolling out to users today, makes it easier to converse with someone by just activating the app then turning the phone between two people. You now simply select the languages you'd like to translate between, tap the microphone and speak your sentence or phrase, and turn it to the other person.

Gesture support detects when you turn to the other person, and translates what you said, then prompts them to speak back to you. Once you get going back and forth, the experience will be much more conversational than before, hopefully lowering the boundaries of speaking to someone in another language.

For times when you want to translate written input, the latest update also expands handwriting input to Hebrew, Greek, Javanese and Esperanto. If you don't want to write, you can always capture text with your phone's camera and translate any selected portion if you'd like — now supporting Malay and Ukranian.

Source: Google Translate Blog

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 QuickCover by LG

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You'll be able to find cheaper Nexus 5 cases, for sure. But Google's official Nexus 5 flip case is a fine specimen.

There wasn't a whole lot of new ground for LG and Google to cover with its new Nexus 5 QuickCover. We've all grown accustomed to this sort of case/cover combo. So the devil's in the details. Just get them right. And to that end, we've got a winner here. OK, an expensive winner — the QuickCover runs $49.99 in Google Play — but a good product nonetheless.

Let's take a quick look.

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3 years ago

Google Drive is getting another update, bringing tools to manage your files better

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Tools for power users are coming to Google Drive — are you using it yet?

The latest in a series of updates to Google Drive will bring user-facing tools to help manage and sort your files, according to +Google Drive. Rolling out "over the next few days" the update will feature like find and replace, inserting and managing tables, and named styles.

In addition, we'll be able to rename scans before upload, view your files in a two column layout on tablets, and sort by quota used for folks on a Google Apps account. 

Google is serious here. Pushing features from the desktop to the mobile version of Google Drive is a big deal for folks who want to be more productive with their Android phone or tablet. If you're a current user of Google Docs on the web for personal or business use, you'll find things are getting easier to manage while mobile. If you're not using Google Docs on the desktop, you now have a compelling reason to give it a try.

We imagine Google has more planned in this space. Bringing features like this to mobile — which is the area of technology that is expanding daily — will attract people away from other solutions that aren't as small-screen friendly. 

Keep an eye out for the update, and you can always check via the Google Play link above.

Source: +Google Drive

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Skylines' winner!

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Dozens of fantastic skyline entires this week, but just one took the prize

Yet another week has gone by with a successful weekly photo contest. This time around the prompt for your entries was "skylines," and we received dozens of fantastic photos. Seven pages and over 150 entries this week made it tough to pick just one winner, but we eventually had to make a decision.

For their entry, the winner picked up a Sony SmartWatch 2 this week — yet another great prize for getting out and taking some pictures. Hang with us after the break and see the winning photo.

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