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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 Review

Sony Xperia Z2 Review

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2

As we approach the midway point of 2014, the march of smartphone progress is as unrelenting as it's ever been. The latest devices from the likes of Samsung and HTC have pushed specs, screen sizes and price tags to new heights, to the point where the year-old phones they've replaced seem quaint and dated.

Yet one manufacturer has committed to an even more aggressive upgrade cycle. Sony Mobile may be an also-ran in the U.S., but it's big internationally, and it likes to refresh its premium smartphones every six months. So as tick follows tock, the Japanese manufacturer unveiled the Xperia Z2 at a press conference in Barcelona this February, replacing the Xperia Z1 a mere half-year after its emergence.

While such a rapid pace can be frustrating for consumers, who may find their shiny new handsets superseded in just a few months, this quick turnover of flagships has allowed Sony to iterate its way to better products. The jump from Xperia Z to Z1 saw the manufacturer finally nail a few important areas — camera, battery life and performance — while advancing its "omnibalance" design language. The Z1's slab-like design wasn't for everyone, but it was, and still remains, a fine phone.

The Xperia Z2 is yet another iterative update, and this time Sony is focusing on improved display and sound quality, while addressing the handful of build issues that affected the Z1. That's not as exciting as built-in fingerprint scanners, heart-rate sensors or Duo Cameras, but it demonstrates a focus on the core experience that competitors sometimes lack. And as we'll discuss in our review, it's a big part of what makes the Z2 not just another solid Sony phone, but a true rival to current flagships from HTC, Samsung and even Apple.

Read the full Android Central review of the Sony Xperia Z2 to find out.

4 years ago

Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas now available on Kindle Fire and Fire TV

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Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas now available on Kindle Fire and Fire TV

Grand Theft Auto on Fire TV

Grand Theft Auto on Fire TV

Amazon is launching the Grand Theft Auto trilogy for the Amazon Fire TV and Kindle Fire. Now, customers can play Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on either the streaming set-top box or on their Kindle Fire tablets. As part of a promotion with Amazon Coins promotional credit, Amazon customers can own all three games in the trilogy for the price of just one title.

4 years ago

FCC votes to limit AT&T, Verizon involvement in mid-2015 spectrum auction

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FCC votes to limit AT&T, Verizon involvement in mid-2015 spectrum auction

AT&T

AT&T

Even with threats from AT&T and Verizon, the FCC has gone forward and voted in favor of previously-proposed restrictions on the 2015 spectrum auction that will offer up valuable low-band airwaves to wireless carriers. The restrictions put in place will reserve portions of the spectrum going up for auction for carriers that don't already have large chunks of low-band spectrum, largely cutting out AT&T and Verizon from participating in many markets.

Though complaints from AT&T and Verizon that claimed the auction was unfairly placing restrictions on some participants made sense on the surface, the argument fell apart when you consider that those two carriers control as much as two-thirds of all low-band spectrum at this point. Opening up an auction that provides smaller carriers an opportunity to get more of this valuable spectrum makes sense, at least on that level.

4 years ago

We've fixed our Android app with some important fixes that needed to be fixed!

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We've fixed our Android app with some important fixes that needed to be fixed!

Android Central App
Mobile Nations Apps

Android Central App

They've been updated, too.

A quick heads up for those of you rocking the official Android Central App — we've pushed out an update today with a number of important fixes. You're going to want to make sure you download this one, particularly if you've seen increased data usage or are using the widget on your home screen. The fixes apply to all the editorial (ie not the Tapatalk-esque one) apps for all our Mobile Nations sites, including Connectedly, CrackBerry, iMore and WPCentral.

Here's the deal:

4 years ago

Eternity Warriors 3 adds real-time PvP mode

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Eternity Warriors 3 adds real-time PvP mode

Glu has updated their fantasy hack-and-slash game Eternity Warriors 3 to include player versus player combat. Online multiplayer showdowns yield Arena points, earn you global ranking, and, of course, big prizes. Regular tournaments and events will likely attract plenty of warriors, mages, and monks to the battlefield.

4 years ago

Big Android BBQ 2014 tickets now on sale

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Big Android BBQ 2014 tickets now on sale

Big Android BBQ 2014

Big Android BBQ 2014

The Big Android BBQ is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and tickets for the 2014 edition of the event are now on sale. One of the best meet-up events for Android enthusiasts is taking place at the same location in the Dallas metro area October 16-18, bringing together like-minded Android folks for a few days of checking out new devices, keynote sessions and of course delicious barbecue.

4 years ago

Epson announces native KitKat support for Android printing

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Epson announces native KitKat support for Android printing

Epson is adding native printing support through Android KitKat 4.4. That means you can print off documents and pictures on over 60 Epson printers without needing some app in between. Functions will include finding available printers, picking paper size, printing specific pages in a document, and lots more.

4 years ago

Google Play Store now accepting PayPal

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Google Play Store now accepting PayPal

Google Play Store with PayPal

Google Play Store with PayPal

Google is adding PayPal as a payment option for Play Store purchases starting today! Just tap through on a purchase and pick your new payment option. The roll-out is just starting today though, so it might take awhile to to live in your area. These are available in 12 countries, including U.S., Germany, and Canada. In addition, carrier billing and Play Store gift cards are getting expanded international support, so they're now available in 24 and 13 countries respectively. Speaking of currency and going international, developers can now sell in 13 new countries and added 28 new currencies.

4 years ago

YotaPhone brings both its front and back screens to the Middle East

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YotaPhone brings both its front and back screens to the Middle East

YotaPhone's front LCD screen

YotaPhone's front LCD screen

The quirky dual-screen YotaPhone is going on sale in the Middle East on local service provider Etisalat and through retailer Jumbo Electronics. This follows a widespread European release including the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, and Russia.

4 years ago

HTC One Mini 2 coming to Verizon, might be dubbed 'Remix'

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HTC One Mini 2 coming to Verizon, might be dubbed 'Remix'

HTC One Mini 2

HTC One Mini 2

The HTC One Mini 2 was announced just today, but known carrier availability has been on the scant side of things, especially in the US of A. But we now have an indication of at least one network on which you might be able to get the One Mini 2 when it launches later this year (availability first will be in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia in June): Verizon.

4 years ago

Foursquare's new Swarm app now available for download

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Foursquare's new Swarm app now available for download

A few weeks back, Foursquare announced Swarm — a new app that aims to help track down your friends when you're out and about. Using Swarm, you'll be able to see which of your friends are nearby, even if they haven't checked in somewhere. You can also suggest plans to your Swarm friends, then text those that are interested in tagging along.

4 years ago

New Forums Feature: Embed your best from Twitter and Instagram!

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New Forums Feature: Embed your best from Twitter and Instagram!

Embed your best from Twitter and Instagram!
The Twitter and Instagram embed features are live!
The insert Twitter and Instagram buttons

Embed your best from Twitter and Instagram!

Have you ever wanted to share a tweet or Instagram photo smack-dab in the middle of a forum post? If you have, today is your lucky day! We've just added a new feature to our forums that allow you to easily embed tweets or Instagram content directly into your posts.

4 years ago

Disney's Maleficent Free Fall casts a match-3 spell on Android

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Disney's Maleficent Free Fall casts a match-3 spell on Android

Maleficent Free Fall
Maleficent Free Fall

Maleficent Free Fall

Disney has kicked off a new game for their upcoming film starring Angelina Jolie called Maleficent Free Fall. The play is more or less standard match-3 fare, only following the theme of Sleeping Beauty's classic villainess. Players are presented with a grid of colored gems, and must swap adjacent tiles to match up those of the same color so they disappear. Every stage requires players to eliminate a certain number of gems in a limited number of moves. The standard freemium tropes are employed here, including in-app purchases for power-ups and a timer-based energy system.

4 years ago

Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

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Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

Shazam will tell you more about that annoying FirstLook movie theater pre-show

Shazam and NCM Media Networks today announced a new partnership that will see the audio-ID service tying into NCM's FirstLook movie theater pre-shows. By opening the Shazam app when FirstLook is playing in AMC, Cinemark, and Regal theaters, you'll be able to get more info about whatever advertised content is filling the screen.

4 years ago

BillGuard launches all-new version of app, makes tracking spending simple and powerful

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BillGuard launches all-new version of app, makes tracking spending simple and powerful

BillGuard
BillGuard

BillGuard

Most of us know that we should be following our finances more closely, but the tools out there to balance your books always feel like they require accounting knowledge to get started. BillGuard is one app that couldn't be easier to use for keeping up with your financial life, and today's update brings a brand new interface to an already popular app. The new app builds on what was available in beta on Android up until now, but also adds yet-to-be-seen features to give you even more control over your money.

Roughly five percent of American adults have tried an all-inclusive finance app on their device, and BillGuard wants that number to be higher. The latest BillGuard release looks like it can help that cause, with a simple new interface that lays out spending by category, helps you set budgets and most importantly go through your financial history to track down potentially fraudulent charges.

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