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3 years ago

Seidio Active Kickstand Case for the Galaxy Note 2

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A bit of that 'rugged' look with protection to match.

 

The Galaxy Note 2 is already and unapologetically large device, but if you don't mind making it just a touch larger you can pick up some serious protection and features with a new case. Today we're taking a look at the Seidio Active Kickstand case for the device, which gives a bit more ruggedness and better grip to the Galaxy Note 2, along with a kickstand to take advantage of that huge screen while out of the house.

Hang with us after the break where we give you a tour of the case and its features.

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3 years ago

HTC One Max pictured again, sized up next to One and One Mini

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Mystery blob under camera

There's most likely a month or so to go before HTC's 5.9-inch One Max becomes official, but we've already seen enough evidence to suggest that the phone is real, and coming soon. Today a fresh image has leaked out over on Taiwanese blog ePrice showing the Max alongside its smaller siblings, the HTC One and One Mini. And while it more or less confirms what we already know — specifically, that it'll look like an oversized HTC One — a couple of features on the device's back warrant further investigation.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega coming to AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular

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6.3-incher headed to the U.S. market this month

Samsung's Galaxy Mega handset, which carries a whopping 6.3-inch display, is heading to the United States on AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular, the manufacturer has confirmed.

The Galaxy Mega is Samsung's largest handset, with the aforementioned gigantic display, a 720p LCD panel, a dual-core 1.7GHz CPU and 1.5GB of RAM. It's also got an 8-megapixel rear camera, and Samsung says the U.S. version will be available with up to 64GB of storage, in addition to microSD expandability. On the software side, you're looking at Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the latest TouchWiz UI. The Mega's software includes many features from the Galaxy S4, such as the WatchON TV app, Air View and multi-window. Protective flip covers and a special windowed S View cover will also be offered for the device.

Samsung says the Galaxy Mega will be available in Nova Black and Polaris White color options from this month. As is often the case with U.S. launches, we'll have to wait on specific carrier announcements to find out exactly when the launch will take place.

Update: Sprint has chimed in with an announcement that it'll range the Galaxy Mega "later in the year."

And here's AT&T's as well — with the Mega available Aug. 23 for $149 on contract.

More: Galaxy Mega video walkthrough

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3 years ago

HTC One X getting Android 4.2 + Sense 5 update in Europe

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Tegra 3-powered One X receiving update with new OS version, BlinkFeed, video highlights and more

Not long after the HTC One X+ started getting its Android 4.2 update in parts of Asia, HTC Europe has followed suit with an update for the original NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered One X. Reports from the XDA forums show that the update to version 4.18.401.2 weighs in at a little under 380 MB, and includes Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and the new HTC Sense 5 UI. As such, the update also adds many features from the HTC One, including the BlinkFeed home screen experience, the new Gallery and Camera apps, and automatic video highlights.

It's worth underscoring that this update is for the European HTC One X (codename Endeavor), not the AT&T One X, known internationally as the One XL (codename Evita). So far there are reports that the update is hitting Nordic countries and parts of Eastern Europe first, including Slovakia and Denmark; other European countries should be getting the OTA in the hours and days ahead.

HTC insider @LlabTooFeR tweets that the European HTC One X+ should also be getting a similar OTA, to software version 2.18.401.2, however we've yet to see any signs that that update is rolling out.

If you're seeing the update on your HTC One X or One X+ this morning, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: XDA, @LlabTooFeR

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3 years ago

Beats reportedly looking to buy back HTC's stake in company

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Two years after deal first inke​d, Beats wants to buy back HTC's remaining 25 percent stake, according to The Wall Street Journal

Headphone maker Beats By Dr. Dre could be looking to end its partnership with HTC by buying back the company's remaining 25 percent stake, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper says it's learned from "people familiar with the matter" that Beats wants to bring in new investors to provide debt financing and take a minority ownership stake, allowing Beats to buy back HTC's share in the company. The news comes after Beats was forced to abandon a $700m refinancing deal earlier in the year that would've also allowed it to buy out HTC's share.

At the peak of its success back in mid-2011, HTC paid more than $300 million for a 50.1 percent stake in Beats. However this was reduced to a 25% share a year later, when Beats bought back half of the Taiwanese manufacturer's share. HTC has also stopped including Beats earphones with its products, instead focusing on Beats-branded software audio processing on handsets like the HTC One. The WSJ reports that differences over strategy soured the  partnership between HTC and Beats. HTC's fortunes have also declined dramatically since the deal was first inked two years ago, on account of fierce competition in the smartphone space.

For its part, Beats is reportedly looking to expand aggressively into the areas of car and home audio systems, as well as introducing a music streaming service, building upon its success in the premium headphone space. Should Beats buy back HTC's remaining stake, it's unclear how this might affect co-branded HTC devices. But it's possible it could open the door to other manufacturers releasing Beats-endorsed handsets in the long-term future.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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3 years ago

The NFC-enabled oven of the future is coming from LG

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The LG Light Wave DIOS oven marries technology with the culinary arts via near-field communication

We've all dreamed of having an NFC-equipped oven, and LG aims to make that a reality. The LG Light Wave DIOS is a convection oven that uses NFC to talk to your smartphone, allowing the luxury, elegance, and delicious food that only an oven with NFC capabilities could deliver.

Tapping your phone, which has the LG Light Wave Oven DIOS app installed, to the oven sets up a line of communication that allows you to choose from over 220 different ways to cook your food, including a healthy Air Fry mode that uses only a small amount of vegetable oil and reduces fat intake by up to 77 percent. The NFC-wielding chef of the future will also be able to look for recipes specific to the type of food they're cooking with, or by the type of cooking they would like to do.

Mrs. Hildenbrand is less than enthusiastic about the oven of the future, which still requires her to walk up to, and stand in front of it to cook, but I see it as one step closer to the jet packs we were promised as children. No word on when (or if) this one will be in your local home-improvement center or what it will cost. 

For more information visit the source link.

Source: LG (Korean)

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3 years ago

Google Services, battery usage and other areas of confusion

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Google Services uses more battery as it encompasses more things, but that doesn't help with the confusion factor

Jonathan wrote in with a concern:

Battery drain since 4.3 and/or new PlayStore

Am I the only one to have this problem? I have the same situation on both Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10. Play Services takes a great chunk out of the battery.

Thank you.

It's not just you, Jonathan. Seems like everyone running the combination of Android 4.3 with the new Google Play services (which, really, everyone should have by now) is seeing the Google Services entry in their battery list with bigger numbers than we're used to seeing. This makes sense — it's doing more than ever. 

The good news is that for most people it's not really keeping the CPU awake very often. That's what abnormally kills your battery. After some investigation and discussion, we think that the Google Services now encompasses more "stuff" so it uses more battery, and some change in the way it gets reported are the cause of what you, and everyone else is seeing.

But that's not the root issue. 

Google needs to change the look of the Battery information screen in the settings, because what the numbers show us isn't the whole story. Follow along.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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3 years ago

Help beta test AirCast by playing any of your videos on your Chromecast

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Cast videos directly from your Android Gallery, Dropbox or Google Drive with AirCast

AirCast,  a new concept application from everybody's favorite Android hacker and developer Koushik Dutta, will let you play any videos from your Gallery, Dropbox and Google Drive on your Chromecast equipped television. Using your Android, you select a video from any of the three locations and use the share menu to cast it to your TV.

Koush has worked around the closed SDK issue by reverse engineering the Chromecast protocols, which means he is allowed to share this app for us regular folks to have a go with and test it. Apps using the official SDK are not yet allowed to be released under the current agreement users of the SDK are bound to.

You'll definitely want to give this a try, so grab the APK file from Koush's website right here and give it a look. Keep in mind that this application will expire in two days, but Koush has said he has plans to release a freemium version, a Chrome extension, and the code he used to make it all work in the future. Remember, you're testing this so be prepared to submit feedback for any bugs you may find. See the source link for more details.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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3 years ago

HTC One Developer Edition will jump straight to Android 4.3

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Will the U.S. carrier editions follow suit?

The HTC One Developer Edition — that's the developer-friendly, 64-gigabyte model sold directly by HTC — will skip Android 4.2.2 and go directly to Android 4.3, according Jason Mackenzie, president of global sales at HTC. Mackenzie was responding to questions on Twitter when he dropped that little nugget.

The reason, Mackenzie said, is that Android 4.2.2 "is [a] minor update, so [we] decided to go straight to 4.3."

Some non-U.S. versions of the HTC One have been updated to Android 4.2.2, which in addition to the core Android improvements brought new features to BlinkFeed and Video Highlights.

The next question is whether the U.S. carrier-branded versions of the HTC One — which launched earlier this year with Android 4.1.2 — will go the same route and update directly to the newest version of Android, which was released just last month. Cincinnati Bell has already said that's what will happen with its phone. And you can't help but think that if a regional operator is doing it, the majors might as well.

One outlier is Verizon, which will finally make its HTC One available this Thursdaybut running Android 4.2.2.

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3 years ago

AC on the road: What's in Alex's gear bag

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Find out what I’ll be taking to IFA

Just as Jerry and Andrew have done in weeks past, today it’s my turn to tear open my gear bag and show the tech I use every day. IFA 2013 is coming up soon, and in a couple of weeks I’ll be packing my bags and heading to Berlin with Phil Nickinson and Richard Devine. So now’s a good time to show what I’ll be bringing along to cover one of the biggest tech shows of the year.

Check past the break for phones, cameras, laptops, accessories and more.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Early morning beta testing

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It's a working weekend — clock's ticking on this Moto X review — so I'll keep things short this week. But I do want to mention that we've pushed out the first beta for v1.4 of the Android Central App. It's got a refreshed design, improved stability, and a few other features that you've been asking for.

You can join the beta group here. Please be sure to read the instructions if you're not familiar with the process.

We'll beta test things for a few days until we're sure we haven't broken anything too horribly. And we've still got more features and tweaks in the works (improved tablet design is high up on our list of things to do), so stay tuned for more.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Dots, KeePassDroid, Middle Manager of Justice and more!

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See the apps, games and tools we've been using this week

It's that time of the week where we give everyone a look into the app choices of the Android Central writers in our Apps of the Week column. We take this post on Saturday afternoon to round up a single app pick from each of the folks here at AC that they have been using and want to tell everyone about.

We've got a jam-packed list of app picks this week, from games and entertainment to tools and icon packs. Read along with us after the break and see how these apps stack up to the rest.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 pictured for AT&T

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6.3-inch handset could be headed to to the U.S. carrier

The Samsung Galaxy Mega -- Samsung's 6.3-inch monster phone -- has been available for some time in Europe and Asia, and how it seems it could be heading to the U.S. A leaked render from the usually reliable @evleaks on Twitter reveals a Mega with AT&T branding in a dark blue color.

The Mega 6.3 packs reasonably quick, but not cutting edge hardware -- the gigantic screen is a 720p LCD panel, and it's powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 CPU with 1.5GB of RAM. There's also an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 3,200 mAh battery.

While we wait on an official AT&T announcement, you can lean more about the Galaxy Mega by checking out our video walkthrough.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Check out Swipe Home Button for gesture-based home screen control

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A couple people have told me about Swipe Home Button, a new app that brings gesture controls to your Android home screen, and I had to take a look. I'm not a big fan of having a whole slew of gestures to try and remember to do things like open notifications or open apps, but Swipe Home Button doesn't have some huge list of gestures that I won't remember.

There are five actions — swipe up, swipe far up (about two-thirds of the screen height), swipe up then down, swipe up and to the right, swipe up and to the left — that you can set up to perform five actions — go back to the "home" home screen, show recent apps, show notifications, play the next track in a playlist and open an app.

The program was designed for phones with "real" buttons (read physical and/or capacitive), and can cause issues on phones with on-screen buttons. I'm not sure what issues — the developer doesn't say. We'll just trust him on that one. But so far, on the Galaxy S4, I'm kinda feeling it.

I'll play with it for a while before I can give any recommendations, but I wanted to pass it along for folks who ae always on the lookout for new apps. Grab the free trial (seven days) from the Google Play link above and jump through the break to see some images and a demo video.

Thanks, onthecouchagain and doobie for the heads-up!

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3 years ago

Talk Mobile Cloud Week Recap: The best things you said

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Talk Mobile Clouds week dove head first into the world of clouds, bridging the internet, mobile, and desktop computing in one fell swoop. It was less about the individual features of each cloud service and more about how these clouds fit into our lives, how they can improve our digital lives, and where they're going in the future.

As always, your feedback is tremendously important to us and continues to help shape and refine Talk Mobile. We're more than half-way through Talk Mobile 2013, but we still want to hear what you think. So there are comments below for you to do just that. Tell us what's great, tell us what sucks - we want to hear it all!

Talk Mobile has always been about elevating the discussion - not just what we write about, but what you in the community are talking about. The Mobile Nations community has definitely stepped up to that challenge, taking on our questions, our statements, and each other in broad and spirited debates about the state of mobile. And really, that shouldn't be a surprise, given how awesome you all are.

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