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3 years ago

Want to send Android Central a tip? Use our app!

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Find something super cool that you want to the rest of the free world to see? Maybe you've got a picture or two of a hot new phone, or you spotted CrackBerry Kevin with an Android device, or a supermodel stopped to ask if you know the best way to root a Galaxy S4 and took a picture with you because you helped and you're an awesome person. (Hey, it could happen.) Or maybe you're wearing your Android Central T-shirt and just wanted to say hi.

Point is: If you want to get our attention and get in touch with us, once of the easiest ways is with the official Android Central app. Just slide on over into the drawer, hit "Tip us," and pick your method. We'll make you famous! (Or keep you anonymous, if that's how you roll.)

Download the Android Central app from Google Play. (Or you BlackBerry-wielding folks can hit up BB World for your version!)

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3 years ago

Monoprice is much more than just cables #CESlive

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This new action camera from Monoprice has all the bells and whistles, without the big price tag

There's a good chance you have a cable or connector from Monoprice in your collection. For things that are important to Android users like Micro HDMI and MHL cables, or USB OTG cables, Monoprice is hard to beat. But they do more than cables — a lot more.

Cali and Phil spent 10 minutes talking with Luke from Monoprice, and we get a good look at their new action-camera, complete with Wifi, a wrist remote and a waterproof case. And it's just $170.

Stick something extra in the box with your next cable order from Monoprice.

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3 years ago

A better Android keyboard from SwiftKey #CESlive

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'Imagine a world where you could type on a phone without it sucking'

That pretty much describes what it's like to use SwiftKey. Join Cali and Phil as they spend a few minutes with Joe from SwiftKey, and they discuss SwiftKey's inception and where it's headed. From SwiftKey cloud, which keeps your personal prediction dictionary backed up and synced between devices, to SwiftKey Healthcare, where the engine has been tweaked to better understand those medical terms — and their context — that would confuse an engine built for the layman.

Being able to replace a vital system app like the keyboard is one of the things that makes Android great, and we love to see the innovation in this space — and talk to the innovators.

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3 years ago

Sprint quietly stopped offering One Up financing on Jan. 9

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Considering how few used One Up, Sprint hopes you won't notice

Falling six days short of its four month anniversary, Sprint has stopped offering the One Up phone upgrade service. What came as a clear response to T-Mobile's Simple Choice plans and subsequent offerings from AT&T and Verizon, One Up gave customers a $15 break in their monthly service charge for financing a device over 24 months. An added bonus was the ability to trade in your phone after 12 months for a new one, so long as you financed that as well.

Well it turns out that One Up wasn't such a great deal for Sprint in the end, and the nation's third-place carrier completely stopped offering One Up on January 9th. The fact that it took a little while to notice shows how unpopular One Up may actually have been, but it's a big step in the wrong direction back towards indirect device subsidies for Sprint

In its notice indicating the One Up is gone, Sprint gives customers links to check out its new Framily Plan, which gives a discount for bringing together friends and family onto one plan. While you can potentially save money with the Framily Plan if you group up folks all on Sprint, it's far from a replacement of One Up — especially for accounts with just one line.

Source: Sprint; Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

BlackBerry's strategy for survival? Android and iOS, of course (And maybe Windows Phone)

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BlackBerry is still a mess. That hardly comes as news to anyone. But with a new CEO at the helm, the company is more focused than ever at not only surviving, but thriving. (That is what companies are supposed to do, after all.)

And if you had any doubts about whether that strategy will include Android, we'll point you to this passage from CrackBerry's lunch with Chen last week in Las Vegas:

 “You could be an iPhone customer, and also a BlackBerry customer,” Chen explained. “You could be an Android customer, and also a BlackBerry customer. It's not mutually exclusive. I think that's an important key message of the company going forward.”

The full interview — and Kevin Michaluk's accompanying piece — are must-reads, especially for the folks who still keep one eye open to what's going on in Waterloo.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1s now available from T-Mobile online

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This, folks, is how you launch a phone. Announced just last week at CES in Las Vegas, the Sony Xperia Z1s is now available on T-Mobile's website. It'll cost you $528 outright, or free if you're willing to pay $22 a month for two years. The Z1s isn't terribly different from its first iteration. Here's how we put it in our hands-on from the show:

The first difference between the two is the weight; the Z1s is lighter than the Z1, and it's a little more plasticky in construction compared to its sibling. The design remains largely the same, with the same power button on the side, magnetic charging dock connectors and SIM slot. Cosmetically they're virtually identical then, with only the headphone jack being noticeably different in location on the Z1s.

Be sure to check out T-Mobile's coverage maps if you're looking at making the switch.

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3 years ago

In praise of SOL Republic's Jax earbuds

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Surprisingly great sound comes from the​se $39 earbuds

I tend to look at the bundling of accessories with smartphones as unnecessary up-sells — particularly earbuds. More often than not they're uncomfortable or just sound horrible, cheap throwaways, really.

With the SOL Republic Jax earbuds that are being sold alongside Motorola's new fare (that'd be the Moto X and Moto G), I was proved wrong. Motorola slipped us a pair of the $39 1-button Jax earbuds in a holiday greeting in December, and I took them along for the ride at CES last week. (Yeah, I was a little late in picking up my mail.)

I don't test earbuds for a living, but for under $50, these are a great buy.

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3 years ago

Every one of our CES videos in one epic playlist

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Call your boss. You're not coming in to work until Tuesday.

And be sure to check out every one of our CES stories on our CESlive home page.

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3 years ago

MyCaseBuilder talks creating the perfect custom case #CESlive

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MyCaseBuilder can help keep your stuff safe from life's bumps and bruises

Phil and Cali talk with Steve Holland from MyCaseBuilder about how they are conquering the issue of everyone carrying different gear with them. Whether you have a video camera, a DSLR and multiple lenses, or some audio gear with you on the go, MyCaseBuilder helps you create a fully custom case. Utilizing their software you can create a layout on their website using the shape library that they are constantly adding to, and preview what it will look like in 3D form.

Using a water jet they are able to precision cut the foam to the exact specifications that you desire, and the customization is endless. If you are in the market for a custom case to haul your gear, head over to MyCaseBuilder and check out the full interview above for some additional information.

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3 years ago

The Eye Tribe gaze tracking enables finger-free Fruit Ninja on Android

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The Eye Tribe was at CES 2014 showing off their eye-sensing bar, which lets users navigate without tapping or clicking anything. This has been available for awhile for $99, but what was really interesting was the micro USB dongle they showing running on an Android device. This enabled gaze tracking on a few productivity apps, but most the most impressive demo it ran was Fruit Ninja, so you could play just by looking at different points on the screen.

The more serious and slightly foreboding application here is that tracking gaze can be used by advertisers to figure out which ads you look at and for how long. Obviously that kind of data would be hugely useful, especially to an ad giant like Google, but this is likely pushing the boundaries of what people are comfortable with. 

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: So long, #CESlive!

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There's something about having your big giant head hanging high over South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center that makes a guy feel a little self-conscious. Never mind that it's actually a pretty good picture of me. (And those are pretty rare.) Never mind that I'm pictured with an outstanding group of people. (It's such a fun, talented group.) Never mind that it's our jobs to be out in public. To be seen.

Yeah, you've got to be a little bit of a narcissist to enjoy it, I think. (And I'd like to think that I at least recognize that narcissism, so maybe it's not so bad.) But that doesn't meant it's not just a little bit weird.

But one thing makes it worth it. 

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3 years ago

Android version numbers in for Dec. — KitKat and Jelly Bean up, Gingerbread down

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No surprises in December, but legacy versions are down to just 23 percent of the total

Google has released the version distribution numbers for December 2013, and things are just about what anyone following along would expect.

KitKat gets a small bump of .3 percent since November, Jelly Bean gets a big boost — up from 54.5 percent — and Gingerbread continues to decline, losing about 3 percent since that last chart. The good news is that legacy versions — anything older than Ice Cream Sandwich — are just under a quarter of the total at 22.6 percent. 

This means that more than 75 percent of the devices out there can run all those great apps that require Android 4 or higher. Android's open nature means one version will never fill the pie chart, but from an application developer standpoint, things are looking good.

Source: Google

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Press, Push Bullet, DailyBurn and more!

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A solid selection of apps to see for yourself this weekend

We've had quite a week with our full #CESlive coverage of CES 2014 in Las Vegas, but that hasn't stopped us from putting together another edition of our Apps of the Week column. We carve out this area every Saturday afternoon to show off an app that each of the writers here at Android Central have been using as of late.

Some of the apps are old (but good), some are new and some are downright random, but if the app is installed on our device then it has to be good for something. Hit the break and see how our list breaks down this week.

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3 years ago

European Moto G receiving Android 4.4.2 update

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OTA currently rolling out for European devices

While the Moto G received Android 4.4.2 here in the states a little while ago, the European model had yet to see the update. Vodafone had announced that when they launched the device it would be running Android 4.4.2 and it now seems as though the update is available for all the European devices. The update will bring Android 4.4.2, KitKat, which is the most current version of Android available at the moment.

If you have not already been prompted to update your device, be sure to hop into the system settings and check manually. If you've already gotten the update be sure to head into the forums and let us know how it is going for you, and any issues you may be experiencing.

Source: @Clint_76. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

ZTE Nubia 5S and 5S Mini hands-on

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Iterative steps in hardware and software, and a new colorful shell choices

Just a handful of months removed from the release of the original Nubia 5, ZTE is refreshing the brand with the Nubia 5S and 5S Mini. Being so close to the release of their predecessor, it's not surprising that these two devices don't differ heavily in their software and hardware. The dimensions of the Nubia 5S are nearly identical to that of the 5, as are the button placements and 1080 x 1920 5-inch screen. Aside from a material change from soft touch to hard plastic and a move from a black to white color scheme, you wouldn't immediately know which device was more recently released.

What you are getting with the addition of the "S" on the name is the bump to a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, 32 or 64GB of storage and a brand new 13MP Sony Exmor RS camera with OIS. The new camera hardware is accompanied by an improved camera software suite with advanced shooting modes, as well as a hardware camera key on the bottom right side of the phone.

The Nubia 5S Mini isn't particularly tiny as the name would lead you to believe, with a screen size of 4.7-inches compared to the 5-inch display on the full-sized variant. It also follows many of the same design cues as the original but with a glossier back, different camera placement and a variety of color options. Just as we've seen with other "Mini" versions, the Nubia 5S Mini lacks the same hardware chops as the larger version. You're getting a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 720 x 1280 screen resolution, just 16GB of internal storage and a 2000mAh battery. But did we mention it comes in several colors? Yellow, blue, pink, green and white, to be exact.

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