4 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Back to school' winners!


Two lucky winners have some great devices on the way to their houses

It's been a few weeks since we announced that we were running a very special "Back to school" photo contest with some big prizes, and now it's time to announce the winners. After a few weeks, we had hundreds of entries across 22 pages in a forums post full of great pictures, but when it came down to it we had to pick just two.

Come take a look at the two winning pictures after the break.

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4 years ago

Mugen Power Case for the Nexus 4


Battery cases are big. This is, of course, because they are cases that contain not just your phone, but another battery with which you will charge your phone.

And so here we give you a quick look at the Mugen Power Case for the Nexus 4. It's a big battery case — 4,500 mAh and easily double the thickness of the Nexus 4. But it's also simple to remove (without you having to worry that your phone will go flying out. But unlike most battery cases, in which the phone slides onto the microUSB plug somehow to get its juice — Mugen opts for an external plug. It (mostly) tucks away into the soft-touch case when not in use. When you need that extra power, you unstow it, connect it to your phone and pray nobody sees what you've done.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega (6.3) coming to US Cellular Sept. 17


The latest big phone comes to one of the smaller carriers

Samsung's latest maybe-tablet maybe-phone device, the Galaxy Mega 6.3, is making its way to US Cellular this week for $149.99 on a two-year contract. Just as a quick refresher, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is that giant device with a 6.3-inch 720p display, 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM and running Android 4.2.2 with many of Samsung's latest software enhancements on top. US Cellular customers will also have access to LTE data, naturally.

If you're looking to pick up the Galaxy Mega 6.3 on US Cellular, you can do so online starting tomorrow for $149.99 on-contract after an "instant rebate." Those wishing to pick it up in-store will have to wait two more days to September 19th and will have the same pricing offered. Unfortunately US Cellular is only offering the "Nova Black" color of the handset at this time.

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4 years ago

Google acquires sharing service Bump


One of the first popular phone-to-phone sharing apps is moving over to Google

In a short and sweet post on its official blog today, Bump Technologies announced that it has been acquired by Google, effective immediately. Although it may not have been in the news much lately, Bump was one of the original sharing apps that predated things like NFC and Android Beam. It uses a combination of location, Bluetooth and a "bump" of two devices to transfer information between them, but never really expanded to hold onto its household name status.

Although no sale price is given, the team indicates that it "couldn't be more thrilled to join Google" and extends a thank you to everyone who has used Bump's products up to this point. At least for the moment, Bump and Flock (Bump's photo service) will continue to work "for now" — but we wouldn't hold our breath that they'll be around long.

Source: Bump Blog

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4 years ago

Android's Wifi backup feature is neither new, unique nor dangerous


If you let Google back up your Wifi passwords, then Google has your Wifi passwords

The Internet has worked itself up into a bit of a tizzy over the weekend about an innocuous system-level feature that’s been around since Android 2.2 Froyo. The “Back up my data” option —  found under “Settings>Backup & reset” on most Android phones — allows certain stuff, including Wifi passwords, to be backed up to the cloud. The current setting label reads:

“Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords and other settings to Google servers.”

And that’s exactly what it does. Uncheck the box and you’re informed that Google’s copy of the data will be purged from its servers, as it should be.

The checkbox is presented to users during the setup process, and the label is very clear about what will happen if you leave it enabled. The reason for the feature’s presence is also plain to see — it’s supposed to make the process of setting up new devices a little quicker by pulling down your personal settings and network details from the cloud. Yes, including your Wifi password.

If you’re not comfortable with Google keeping a copy of your stuff, simply uncheck the box. Same deal if you change your mind after the fact — uncheck the box, and Google’s copy of your Wifi passwords goes up in smoke. It’s been that way since the feature was first introduced some three years ago.

But in light of the recent controversy over government surveillance, the story seems to have taken on a new angle, with articles appearing suggesting Google is creating a vast database of all the world’s Wifi passwords in one convenient, NSA-accessible place.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 up for pre-order on T-Mobile from Sept. 18


Latest Note device launches on T-Mobile Oct. 2 for $199.99 down payment 

T-Mobile U.S. has announced that it'll begin taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 from this Wednesday, Sept. 18. The 5.7-inch, stylus-toting phone can be yours with a down payment of $199.99 and 24 monthly payments of $21 on T-Mo's Simple Choice plan.

Pre-orders are expected to arrive "on or before" the launch date of Oct. 2, so with any luck you'll be waiting just a couple of weeks. The carrier adds that it'll also be selling the Galaxy Gear smartwatch in stores nationwide from the same date.

So, any takers?

More: Galaxy Note 3 hands-on

Source: T-Mobile

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4 years ago

Sprint flips on 34 more LTE markets


Sprint this morning announced that it's turned on LTE data in 34 more markets. That gives Sprint a total of 185 markets nationwide. 

The new 4G LTE markets are:

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4 years ago

BBM for Android leaks out, but you can't use it yet


A quick heads up that, yes, the BBM for Android application has leaked out. But, no, you can't use it just yet. The deal is that your BlackBerry ID has to first be whitelisted with BlackBerry's servers. And seeing as how you're probably not an official beta tester — hey, we're not, either — ain't nobody whitelisting you.

So, we continue to wait.

Source: CrackBerry; More: CrackBerry Forums

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4 years ago

HTC One Max sighted again with possible fingerprint sensor


Charging contacts also spotted in latest leaked photos from China

The steady stream of HTC One Max leakage continues today with a fresh batch of pics from Chinese social network Weibo. The images show the upcoming 5.9-inch handset in considerable detail, including what could be a fingerprint scanner — or some other kind of additional sensor — on the phone's metal back. Also shown are what seem to be charging contacts on the bottom right edge, likely designed to work with some official dock accessory.

Software-wise, we're still looking HTC's Sense UI on top of Android, though the Android and Sense version information is "protected" on this prototype phone. Despite the quickening pace of leaks — and reports that a September launch was originally planned — there's no updated info as to when the oversized phone might arrive. Naturally, we'll keep you posted as more details emerge.

Source: Weibo; via: AndroidOS.in

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4 years ago

New HTC UI pictured, could be rumored China-centric OS


BlinkFeed with a twist

Late last month The Wall Street Journal reported that HTC was hard at work on a "new" mobile operating system for the Chinese market, as part of an effort to expand its presence in the country. And now we have the first photo of what might be HTC's new China-centric smartphone software.

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4 years ago

Purple Galaxy Mega 6.3 outed on Samsung Hong Kong site


Was Samsung's gigantic Galaxy Mega 6.3 just not quite colorful enough for your tastes? In that case there's good news — a purple version of the enormous handset has been spotted over on Samsung's official Hong Kong site, where it's shown in a selection of device renders.

Aside from the change in color, this looks much the same as the Galaxy Mega we reviewed for the international market and AT&T in the U.S. Which is to say it's still going to be more appealing as a small, mid-range tablet than an oversized smartphone.

There's no word on any plans to release the purple Galaxy Mega outside of Hong Kong, nor was there any sign of the new color option at Samsung's IFA booth a couple of weeks back. Given the manufacturer's fondness for bright hues, though, we wouldn't be surprised to see more colorful Megas make their way out in the near future.

More: Samsung Galaxy Mega review

Source: Samsung HK; via: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Time to announce who won the HTC One from dbrand and Android Central!


If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know we always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. The winner of our awesome HTC One contest sponsored by dbrand is posted below, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up to get your info. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to the lucky winner!

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4 years ago

Sprint ready to join the phone financing party with 'One Up' program


24-month device financing paired with a $15 discount on monthly service price

It was only a matter of time until Sprint finally joined T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T with a program to offer customers early upgrades, and its upcoming offering is purportedly called "One Up." Similar to JUMP, Next and Edge from T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, Sprint's One Up program will give customers access to new handsets every 12 months by choosing to enter a financing agreement for a phone over 24 months. Here's how it breaks down:

With One Up, you will buy a phone for $0 down and commit to 24 equal monthly payments — i.e. a $650 phone will be $27 per month. At the start of the 13th month, you'll be given the option to trade-in your existing phone in good working order and start a new 24-month One Up payment plan. But this is where things get interesting.

If you buy a phone through One Up and choose an "Unlimited, My Way" or "Unlimited All-In" plan, Sprint will cut you a $15 per month break on your monthly service costs. That means an unlimited plan with Sprint can cost as little as $65 per month when you choose to finance your phone. This is similar to the way T-Mobile decouples the cost of the phone and the plan, although in Sprint's case you're getting a discount that's smaller than what you're paying for the phone.

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4 years ago

MiniSuit Keyboard Case for the Nexus 7 (2013)


The idea of a physical keyboard on a 7-inch tablet is a questionable one, but this case makes us consider the proposition more seriously

The Nexus 7 (and all 7-inch tablets, really) are generally better suited for on-screen keyboard input than their 10-inch counterparts, but what if you want to push the capabilities of your tablet more towards a laptop? We've seen wireless keyboards of all shapes and styles for many different devices, but ones that are made to fit a 7-inch tablet walk a very fine line of staying compact without compromising usability.

MiniSuit has had a keyboard folio-style case for the Nexus 7 (2012) on the market for some time now, and has updated the line for the 2013 revision of the tablet. It's a relatively compact, nice-looking and well-made case that also pulls double duty as a full-featured — but hardly full-sized — keyboard accessory. Hang with us after the break where we take a closer look at the MiniSuit Keyboard Case for the Nexus 7 (2013).

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: A good problem to have


Well, here we go again. So many awesome Android phones, so little time. I'm once again left dumbfounded by the sheer number of great devices currently available. The HTC One. The Samsung Galaxy S4. The LG G2. The Moto X. Four phones, (finally) available on all four major U.S. carriers. Or go for the Nexus 4 for just $249 outright. 

This is a really good problem to have, and the year's not even done yet. Figure we'll see a new Nexus in the next month or two. And it wouldn't surprise me to see another fairly major release on Verizon — Motorola or HTC would be my guess.

You almost can't go wrong at this point. Each phone is different, for sure, but I wouldn't steer anyone away from any of them.

A few other thoughts on the week that was ...

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