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4 years ago

Orée Pebble 2 is a beautiful natural material Qi charger looking for Kickstarter backers

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Orée Pebble 2 is a beautiful natural material Qi charger looking for Kickstarter backers

Orée Pebble 2 Qi charger
Orée Pebble 2 Qi charger kickstart

Orée Pebble 2 Qi charger

For those who want to add a little bit of luxury to their smartphone, Orée has created a wireless charging block that's fashioned out of a single block of wood or marble and integrates a speaker and microphone for speakerphone calls. For a Kickstarter pledge starting at $200, the Orée Pebble 2 is an elegantly designed cylinder that sits on your desk and bedside stand so you can merely set a smartphone with Qi wireless charging technology on top of the Pebble 2 and it will begin charging without requiring any wires.

4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Music

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Weekly Photo Contest: Music

Weekly Photo Contest: Music

 Music

Music is all around us, and while we aren't all blessed with the gift of being able to create music, we can certainly take pictures of things that illustrate the idea. This week we're commissioning your best "music" photos for the contest, and whether it's a live performer or an FM radio, we want to see what you can do with this prompt.

Your entry will have to be top-notch this week, as we'll be picking just one winner to receive a prize. That winning photo will be worth of receiving a Ventev Powercell 6000+ wall charger and battery pack.

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 (May 20) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

4 years ago

Flappy Bird will make triumphant return in August

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Flappy Bird will make triumphant return in August

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird, the game everyone loved to hate, will be making a refreshed return later this year according to its developer, Dong Nguyen. During an interview with CNBC, Nguyen says that a new version of the game will be multiplayer and less addictive. A main reason why the game was originally taken down by Nguyen was because of its addictive nature, he claims, though that led to reportedly large amounts of revenue from ads with Flappy Bird being played by tens of millions of people while it was still available.

Details on the new release are slim at this point, but we can only hope the game has a bit more polish this time around. Though the crude nature of the original was fun to scoff at, it wasn't all that fun to look at or play, to be honest. Let's see if the new multiplayer version will turn as many heads when it is released.

Source: The Verge

4 years ago

The Nexus 5 Snap Case

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The Nexus 5 Snap Case

Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case
Nexus 5 Snap Case

Nexus 5 Snap Case

It's plastic, and it protects your Nexus 5

A day after it first went on sale on Google Play, we now have the official Nexus 5 Snap Case in our hot little hands. It's a $29.99 plastic shell that fits onto the back of your Nexus 5, and it's available in five colors — black (which has that nice matte, nearly soft-touch finish), aqua, gray, white and clear.

The phone sort of clicks into the case, and at that point it's not going anywhere. (It actually takes a little bit of prying to get it back out again.) The entire back of the phone is protected, as are the sides. The top and bottom are left exposed, as is the camera house and, of course, the display. The case keeps the display from touching the desk when it's left face-down, though, so you get a little extra protection that way. The power button and volume rocker are left exposed by cutouts in the case. It's thin enough so that Qi wireless charging still works.

Google's got its logo on the back, so bye-bye LG. We're fine with that. Can't say the same for the phone's manufacturer.

All in all, not a bad little accessory, though it's maybe a wee bit expensive. The matte finish also tends to pick up fingerprints, so keep that in mind when you're picking a color.

Want more pics? We've got 'em.

4 years ago

Google Glass now part of UC Irvine medical school curriculum

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Google Glass now part of UC Irvine medical school curriculum

Google Glass

Google Glass

As consumers work on making up their mind on how Google Glass will fit into their lives, medical students at University of California, Irvine will be using the wearables for their classes. Announced today, the medical program at UC Irvine is taking on an initial 10 pairs of Google Glass to use in the classroom with third- and fourth-year medical students, with the intention of adding another 30 pairs for use with first- and second-year students later in the year.

4 years ago

Straight Talk bumps full-speed data allowance to 3GB, still costs $45 per month

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Straight Talk bumps full-speed data allowance to 3GB, still costs $45 per month

Straight Talk
Straight Talk Plans

Straight Talk

Straight Talk, an AT&T MVNO and one of the most popular prepaid carriers in the U.S., has increased its data allowances by 500MB without bumping prices. Though the carrier still advertises its $45 per month plan as "unlimited," following mild outrage it has chosen to clarify that users are throttled after a certain point of data usage. At the time of clarification Straight Talk was offering just 2.5GB of full-speed data, and has now bumped that to 3GB at no additional cost.

4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Red' winners!

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Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Red' winners!

Weekly Photo Contest: Red
Weekly Photo Contest: Red Winner
Weekly Photo Contest: Red
Weekly Photo Contest: Red
Weekly Photo Contest: Red

 Red

Another successful weekly photo contest is behind us, and we had the pleasure of reviewing all seven pages of photo entries in the forums. The prompt this week was "red," and we received a variety of photos that took that prompt with both boldness and subtlety — giving an interesting selection of pictures to choose from. In the end we were able to pick out for winners this week to receive prizes for the entries.

4 years ago

The OnePlus One is so cheap because they're being sold at cost

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The OnePlus One is so cheap because they're being sold at cost

OnePlus One

OnePlus One

OnePlus CEO Peter Lau had confessed how they've been able to bring high-end features with Nexus-like pricing in the OnePlus One smartphone. According to Lau, the company is able to offer its flagship OnePlus One at an affordable price because they are doing so "at cost."

"We are selling the phone at cost," Lau told tech publication Tech Radar. "We are able to do that by redistributing our costs to better benefit the user."

It's unclear how OnePlus will be able to be sustainable selling the device at cost, foregoing profit margins. Though Google utilizes the same strategy with its Nexus phones that ship with flagship specs, Google is able to generate money after device sales have been made through revenue sharing agreements of apps and digital content through the Play Store.

4 years ago

Hands-on: HTC Desire 816 with Sense 6

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Hands-on: HTC Desire 816 with Sense 6

HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816
HTC Desire 816

HTC Desire 816

HTC fields a 'mid-range flagship' that proves plastic and premium aren't mutually exclusive

If there was one product launch that was drowned out in the noise of Mobile World Congress, it was the HTC Desire 816. Announced just a couple of hours before the whirlwind Galaxy S5 event, HTC's new mid-range strategy wasn't the top story for MWC, or even the day of Feb. 24, 2014. But as HTC looks to China and the mid-range for future growth, the Desire line in general, and the 816 in particular, are of huge importance to the Taiwanese manufacturer.

The Desire 816 is HTC's "mid-range flagship," the company tells us — the leading device in the Desire line, a range which fielded solid, though perhaps under-appreciated handsets in 2013. And there's more than a little HTC One DNA in this handset, with its front-facing speakers, pleasing curves and surprisingly full-featured Sense software experience. Join us after the break for our first look at the European 816, the second phone to ship with HTC Sense 6.

4 years ago

AT&T HTC One M8 receives Extreme Power Saving mode via OTA update

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AT&T HTC One M8 receives Extreme Power Saving mode via OTA update

HTC One M8
AT&T HTC One M8 update

AT&T HTC One M8 update

AT&T's version of the HTC One M8 is receiving a small update today, bringing the Extreme Power Saving mode feature to the phone. Though other models of the One M8 launched with the Extreme Power Saving mode, U.S. carrier versions were sent out the door before the feature could be enabled. Today it's AT&T's turn to push out the update (following up behind Sprint), and following confirmation earlier in the week that it would be heading out, members in our forums are starting to see the update already.

4 years ago

Tizen on the Galaxy Gear looks a lot like Tizen on the Gear 2

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Tizen on the Galaxy Gear looks a lot like Tizen on the Gear 2

The original Samsung Galaxy Gear is due to run the Tizen OS soon, and an early build has been previewed running smoothly on the smartwatch. Tizen launched not long ago on the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear Neo, duplicating much of the Galaxy Gear's functionality, but without the Android base. There's now a sleep mode for measuring your napping patterns, an exercise mode which similarly clocks your movement, and a stand-alone music player to access locally-stored tunes. A double-tap shortcut link can now bring up any app you want, not just the settings. The system font, wallpaper, and icon size are customizable now too.

4 years ago

Mobile Nations Community Update, May 2014

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Mobile Nations Community Update

Time for the May Edition of the Mobile Nations Community Update! I'm pleased to report that the Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore, and Windows Phone Central communities have all been buzzing with activity, as per usual. But what I'm really excited to talk about this month is the latest addition to our network.

4 years ago

Hands-on with the new Sonos Controller for Android

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Hands-on with the new Sonos Controller for Android

The folks at Sonos have released an update to their Sonos Controller app for both iOS and Android devices. While it doesn't change much of the functionality, it does add a redesigned UI, the ability to create playlists on the fly and universal search across all of your music services. It's been available on Android in beta form for a few weeks, but it's now officially available for everyone to enjoy.

4 years ago

Motorola exec Mark Randall calls current crop of smartwatches 'pretty crappy'

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Motorola exec Mark Randall calls current crop of smartwatches 'pretty crappy'

Motorola exec Mark Randall calls current smartwatches 'pretty crappy'

Motorola exec Mark Randall calls current smartwatches 'pretty crappy'

Motorola executive Mark Randall isn't just proud of the upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch — he thinks that the current crop of wearables are "pretty crappy" in comparison. Motorola is understandably excited about the Moto 360, the Android Wear-powered wearable is a notable step up in software and hardware design for smartwatches, and one of very few that have dared to go round. Randall, the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Operations at Motorola, said that "We think people just don't want to wear a lot of the devices that are out there today."

4 years ago

Android in the Enterprise: The ball's still in the manufacturers' court

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Android in the Enterprise: The ball's still in the manufacturers' court

Today, iOS dominates the enterprise. This has been the case for a few years now, and reports like Good Technology's report show that iOS is at 72 percent of the enterprise, while Android is at 26 percent.

There is a good reason for this. The out-of-the-box Android does not really allow for much restriction, setup automation (like pre-setting up Exchange mail, contacts, and calendar for example), and visibility into the device. This is in stark contrast to iOS, which has, since 2010, been baking enterprise-friendly features into the core OS. Certainly BlackBerry (both BB7 and BB10) which arguably set the standard for enterprise mobile security back in the early 2000s, still have the most restrictions and control, even if customers are not buying them like they used to.

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