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9 months ago

Android Nougat update for the Shield Tablet K1 is now live


The Shield Tablet is still great and the Android 7 update means you won't have to buy a new tablet this year.

Android 7.0 is on the way for your Shield Tablet K1, extending the life of everyone's favorite 8-incher and bringing all the new features of Google's latest.

Besides the Android 7 enhancements — split screen, Doze 2.0, better notifications and those sweet, sweet emojis 🌮 🦄 — we see some extra awesome tossed into the mix with support for the new 2017 controller and an exclusive Shield Rewards loyalty program that we're eager to check out.

The update is pushing out now, so grab your Shield and make sure it's charged up. Now begin mashing that button! NVIDIA's full changelog is below.

SHIELD Controller (2017) Support

  • Updates to SHIELD controller support

New Multitasking Features

  • Split-screen: Run two apps side by side* in Portrait or Landscape modes
  • Quick switch: Double tap the Overview button to quickly switch back to the last opened app

Improved Notifications

  • Multiple notifications from the same app are now bundled for a streamlined experience
  • Reply to messages directly from within the notification*
  • Tap and hold on a notification to quickly silence or block notifications from the app

Improved Power Consumption

  • Doze on the Go: Doze is now smarter & kicks in even when the device is being carried around


  • Includes all-new Unicode 9 emojis

Usability Improvements

  • Display & Font size can now separately adjustable to improve readability or screenspace
  • Quick Settings can now be customized directly from the menu by tapping "Edit"
  • The top Quick Setting tiles can now be accessed with a downward swipe from the lock screen
  • Settings now includes a Navigation Menu & Suggestions to improve usability
  • The "Clear all" option in Overview have been relocated to the top right

System wide improvements including:

  • New Data Saver: when enabled, limits access to Cellular data for background apps
  • New JIT compiler: improves the speed of App & System updates
  • Update to Android Security Patch Level December 1, 2016

SHIELD Rewards Program

  • Introducing SHIELD Rewards, the exclusive loyalty program for SHIELD owners

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9 months ago

MrMobile's best Android tablet (is from 2015)


It's been 15 months since Google's Pixel C launched, and it hasn't diminished in quality (or price). It still has some annoying bugs, and there's still software that just won't work in landscape mode, but after over a year since release, I still find myself gravitating toward it whenever I'm able to leave my bigger machines behind.

I'm Michael Fisher, alias MrMobile, and it'd be ridiculous for me to suggest you buy the Pixel C … at full price. But when it goes on sale, or it comes bundled with the attachable keyboard, I'm in enthusiastic agreement with what Jerry Hildenbrand said: the Pixel C is a handy piece of hardware, and it's (still) my favorite Android tablet of the year (so far). Hit play on this video, and let me tell you what's great (and not-so) about the Pixel C in 2017.

Featured Products

Stay social, my friends

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9 months ago

Lenovo announces a cheaper version of its innovative Yoga Book


Lenovo has announced a cheaper version of its innovative, mostly excellent Yoga Book, the aptly-named Yoga A12.

Aimed at emerging markets and people not looking for the power and extra expense of the Yoga Book itself, the Yoga A12 pares back the power — it has an Intel Atom x5 chip, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage by default — to go along with the 12.2-inch HD screen, though it's unclear whether it's 720p or 1080p (I'd venture to say the former).

The Yoga Book's keystone feature, the Halo keyboard, makes a return on the Yoga A12, which the company says has been improved and thinned out since its first iteration. That the Yoga A12 runs Android out of the box is a given, but this version will not come with a Windows option unlike its more expensive counterpart. There's also no stylus input support, which leant the Yoga Book something of a productivity win with a certain demographic, but the tablet does have a 360-hinge that can be positioned in many ways.

The Yoga 12 goes on sale Wednesday, February 8 for $299 in one of two colors: Gunmetal Grey or Rose Gold.

See at Lenovo

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9 months ago

How to replace your laptop with a tablet


If you're looking for true mobility with your devices, sometimes even a laptop can be too much. Tablets are ubiquitous, and with the right preparation, can easily replace a laptop for your (lighter) work days. If you're hesitant about making the move from laptop to tablet, let me assuage your fears.

I'm Michael Fisher, though you probably know me better as MrMobile, and yes, I'm writing this from a tablet. Sometimes all you need is to sit at a cafe, drinking coffee and typing on a device that can comfortably fit inside a SCOTTeVEST. I know that's all I need. slurp ahhh.

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9 months ago

Amazon Fire HD 10 vs. iPad Air 2: Which is the better big tablet?


Is Amazon's big tablet a worthy alternative to the might of the Apple iPad Air 2?

Both Amazon's and Apple's tablets have their own content ecosystems to go along with their hardware, so in some ways are very similar. The biggest difference, of course, is Amazon's Fire HD 10 uses Android, while Apple remains the default choice for the casual consumer considering a tablet, since iOS has the App Store.

The question is, if you're looking for a big tablet, is the Amazon Fire HD 10 a good buy, or does it fall short compared to the stalwart iPad Air 2?

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9 months ago

Samsung teases tablet on MWC 2017 event invite, announcement set for Feb 26


A tablet announcement is a lock for the end of February.

On the same day that we saw our first major spec leak of a purported Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung has sent out invites to its MWC 2017 event with a sneaky image of a tablet on it. The event will be held on February 26 at 7 p.m. in Barcelona, which translates to 1 p.m. in New York and 10 a.m. in San Francisco.

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9 months ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 rumored for MWC — specs, price + release date leaks

Galaxy Tab S2

Snapdragon 820, Nougat and a 9.6-inch display in super-thin chassis.

Samsung's high-end Galaxy Tab S range is long overdue a major update — the current generation of Tab S2 slates were announced almost 18 months ago, in August of 2015. Now it appears Samsung may finally have an updated model waiting in the wings, as Korean outlet Naver News reports that the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will break cover on February 26 in Barcelona, ahead of Mobile World Congress.

Rumored specs include:

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10 months ago

Android Central Best of CES 2017 Awards!


AC's CES 2017 award winners are in!

*/ /*-->*/

At this year's CES in Las Vegas, instead of one particular category standing out, we were impressed by a number of existing ones — and updates to old ideas.

But trends did emerge: the Internet of Things is, while still a meaningless generalization, filtering down to consumer products in meaningful ways, like with the NVIDIA Spot. And new takes on a wrist wearable, like the the Lofelt Basslet, feel designed for more specific, and invested audiences.

Still, it was the old form factors that won our hearts this year: the BlackBerry 'Mercury', in its late aughts glory, impressed us, as did the Samsung Chromebook Pro and ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom. All updates to tried-and-true designs, but great products nonetheless.

So without further ado, here are our awards for the best of CES 2017.

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10 months ago

The Android launcher experience on tablets is still terrible


It's not quite a desktop, but it's not quite a normal home screen.

The Android tablet experience is often awkward and awful, and that goes double for the launchers, which are inconsistent, inconvenient, and often times ugly. From third-party launchers to manufacturer versions of tablet layouts, there's a lot to be desired, and while part of that blame falls on developers, it also falls to Google, which has still not quite figured out how tablets should behave.

And it falls on us. Because we just don't know what we want.

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10 months ago

What size microSD card should you buy for your Amazon Fire Tablet?


It's not always as easy as just buying whatever you see on Amazon.

Sure, it sounds silly. But with the super-cheap Amazon Fire Tablet also comes an important decision on how best to expand the storage capacity. You can slot in a microSD card and make a small, cheap tablet have a lot more space to keep your apps and media.

So, let's try and help you make the buying process a little easier by covering some key points to consider.

READ: Best microSD Cards for Amazon Fire Tablet

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11 months ago

Best Cases For Pixel C


Looking for an awesome case or sleeve for your Pixel C? We can help.

Google's Pixel C is a versatile and powerful tablet with a large, amazing display. And as such, you'll want to protect your investment by slipping it into some kind of case or sleeve. Here are the ones we like.

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11 months ago

Barnes & Noble removes malware from $50 Nook tablet, but you still shouldn't buy it


The update may remove the part where your data goes back to China, but everything else is bad and unchanged.

About that $50 Barnes & Noble tablet. You might have heard that researchers working with Linux Journal found that the BNTV450 shipped from the factory with the same malware that phones from Blu and other companies that use a MediaTek processor had. It's called ADUPS and it was configured to literally harvest your personal data and send it back to a server in China.

Sometimes, data really does get sent back to China. This was one of those times.

Anyway, there's an update in the wild that "fixes" things. At least this one thing. Maybe.

The update brings a new version of ADUPS to the tablet. Supposedly, the "bad stuff" the ADUPS malware does is no longer present in versions newer than 5.5. The shipping version — — was filled with data stealing goodness, but the version in the update file we received last night is 6.0. The worst part is that most of us can't check for this ourselves, as the ADUPS application needs to be completely decompiled to see the version number in the app manifest. To make a long story short, unless the folks behind ADUPS are doing something else that's shady, the update from B&N squares the malware issue away.

The "Maybe" part? Plenty of people consider any device with any version of the ADUPS software to be compromised and not fit for storing your personal information on. Personally, I'm with them but it's your $50.

But there are plenty of reasons to still not buy this tablet. Beginning with the fact that it's still 100% vulnerable to CVE-2015-6616. In human language, that means the Stagefright exploit. The Android version (6.0 in this case) should be at least partially patched, but there are security updates for the processor which have not been applied.

Don't buy this tablet. I'm telling you to not buy this tablet and our own Modern Dad looked at this one so you didn't have to.

Here's what he has to say about the update:

So it had malware in the program that serves ads. An update is removing the malware from the program that serves the ads. It's still not worth $50. Suck it up and buy an iPad or a Kindle Fire HD.

You know what tablet doesn't have malware, performs way better, and also costs $50? The Amazon Fire Tablet 7.

See at Amazon

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11 months ago

With the $50 Barnes & Noble Nook 7 Tablet, you get what you pay for


If all you're looking for is an e-reader, then maybe $50 isn't that bad. Maybe. Possibly.

The Nook 7 from Barnes & Noble is $50. That may be the best thing I have to say about it. It's not particularly fast. (Or fast at all.) The display isn't anything to write home about. The software is basically stock Android with BN apps added in.

But if all you're looking for is an e-reader, then maybe $50 isn't that bad, right?

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I guess it really depends on what you're hoping to get out of this. I'd hoped this might be another option for the kids. And while it is, it's not really a good option. At least not without doing some work to it. There's no real kid support built into the Nook 7 out of the box. There's basic Android user switching, and even profile support for the Barnes & Noble content. It's password protected, even, so you can keep your Disney kids out of your Danielle Steel. But that's it. They still have full access to every single app on the tablet. And you're on your own for setting up any sort of screen time limitations. Point is, for not too much more money you can get a much better tablet for youngsters.

On the other hand, this one does have Google Play support from the moment you fire it up, so there's that.

See at Barnes & Noble

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11 months ago

Amazon Fire HD 8: Finally, a tablet worthy of your kids


See at Amazon

Have kids? Have kids who are always "borrowing" your tablet? Maybe get them this instead!

Fun fact: Kids like stealing their parents' tablets. Maybe they're just watching videos. Maybe Pokémoning. (That's a verb, right?) Maybe they're just catching up on emails and building new slide decks. (My kids are weird. Don't ask.)

Thing is, I've never really found a tablet I actually want to let my kids use. High-end tablets like the Pixel are too big and too expensive. Same goes for iPads, really. At some point they're going to drop it. They're going to leave it on the floor to be stepped on. That's just the way it is.

And I've got a real aversion for cheap tablets. You know — those off-brand things that go for $50, never get updates and have zero in the way of support. But what if you could spend just a little bit more for something decent. And, as it turns out, something that has a little bit of kiddie controls already built in.

And that's why I've been pleasantly surprised with the latest from Amazon — the Fire HD 8. It starts at just $89 for the 16GB model, with "special offers." (That means ads, of course.) I ramped things up just a little bit though, going for the 32GB model and no ads, and came out at about $135. That's not nothing, but it's also not horrible for something that's really gotten a lot of use in my house. (Plus, having a range of options is great!)

Get more at Modern Dad!!!

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11 months ago

Lenovo Yoga Book: An Android tablet like none other


The innovative display ... the gorgeous hinge ... the futuristic keyboard ... or the crazy cool pen input — there are loads of reasons to love the Lenovo Yoga Book.

I've seen lots of Android tablets in my day. Even the odd Android-powered laptop. I've seen Android tablets that sort-of try to become laptops. Today, though, we truly have the first one that's able to both — and then some. That beast, of course, is the Lenovo Yoga Book, which the company sent me to take a look at.

It's one part tablet. Another part laptop. Another part futuristic sketch pad. And it pulls off all three in a way that you almost don't expect, given the state of large-form Android devices. But it's pretty easy to nail down just exactly what Lenovo did to create such a unique product.

See at Lenovo

The hardware and that hinge ...

Start with the basics, of course. You've got a 10.1-inch tablet that's impossibly thin, with a gorgeous 1920x1200-resolution display. That's married to a keyboard unlike any that you've ever seen before — because there aren't any keys at all. Instead you get a flat surface on which the outline of keys will present themselves when it's time to type. The rest of the time that area is a high-tech sketchpad, using a souped-up pen to instantly digitize anything you write or draw. It's almost hard to believe how accurate it is, and it turns the worst of scribbles into something that can be stored and manipulated across all kinds of cloud-based ecosystems.

Keeping all that together is the innovative watch-band hinge that Lenovo has made itself famous for. Nothing else looks like that and provides the sort of range of movement. (Never mind that it looks ridiculously cool.) You can easily go from tablet mode to laptop mode to sketchpad mode, with very little effort at all, and without fear of breaking anything in the process. It's as simple as it is innovative.

There's plenty to like under the hood as well. The Yoga Book is powered by an Intel Atom processor, sports 4 gigabytes of RAM, and has 64 gigabytes of storage, with the option for a microSD card to add even more. And the 8500 mAh battery keeps everything powered up. All of this runs Android with aplomb, though there is also a Windows 10 version of the Yoga Book if that's more your thing.

That Real Pen — and that Any Pen ...

For as cool as the hinge is, and as futuristic as that keyboard looks, it's the pen input that's going to grab a lot of folks' attention. But it actually goes way beyond that.

The "Real Pen" is the main method of drawing, writing and digitizing. It's got a more typical stylus nub on it, but you might well want to go with the ballpoint tip so that you can actually put ink to paper while you're putting pixels to the screen.

But then there's "Any Pen" — a technology that lets you take any sort of conductive metal to the display and have it serve as a stylus. Only have a spork handy? So long as it's metal, that half-spoon, half fork will interact with the Yoga Book's display same as the Real Pen. Or a key. Or a knife. You'll obviously want to be a little careful about your writing weapon of choice, but the point is you've got myriad metal options.

The bottom line ...

It's not too often that you get a product that's worth more than the sum of its parts. The Lenovo Yoga Book appears to be one of those, however. You can't overstate the design — just how thin and light and innovative it is. The keyboard has to be seen to be believed. The options for Real Pen and Any Pen add the sort of extras that you won't find anywhere else.

Or boil it down to this — it's just cool. It looks cool. The metal body feels cool. You're going to pull it out of your bag and attract a gaze or two. And you're also going to get stuff done.

And that's truly what it's all about.

See at Lenovo

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