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4 years ago

Philips hue review: instant atmosphere for your home

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I’ve been using the core set of the Philips hue light bulbs for a little while now, and they’re pretty great. For those unfamiliar, these are Wi-Fi-enabled LED light bulbs that can change color through an Android or iOS app. Many of the color schemes are prepackaged with the app, based on photos fed into it, though you can can input and color pick from your own pictures too.

There are a few presets that are “scientifically proven” to enhance concentration, relaxation, reading, and energy. This is all enabled through a hub that you plug in directly to your Wi-Fi router, which  communicates to the light bulbs over ZigBee, which is a decentralized, low-energy, low-speed wireless standard. Setup is super-easy; just replace your lightbulbs, plug in the hub, start the app, and hit the button on the hub in the pairing process.

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4 years ago

EE 4G LTE network extends into rural Cumbria

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Promotional mobile broadband price plans to offer 20GB for £25 per month

UK mobile operator EE, currently the country's most widespread 4G LTE network, has announced that it's switched on 4G service in parts of rural Cumbria as part of its latest network expansion. The carrier says this gives 2,000-plus residents and businesses in the area access to its 4G LTE services, and it's launching new promotional prices for 4G mobile broadband designed to let Cumbrians use LTE as their main means of connectivity.

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4 years ago

HTC Desire 500 launches in the UK

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Mid-ranger available in Carphone Warehouse stores starting today

Originally announced for the UK market back in August, HTC today sends word that its mid-range Desire 500 handset launches today at the Carphone Warehouse. CPW has exclusivity over the white version, and will also sell the Desire 500 in the standard black, seen above.

The Desire 500 packs a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 CPU, 1GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera with HTC's ImageChip tech. On the front is an 800x480-resolution 4.3-inch display, and there's 4GB of internal stroage, expandable via microSD by up to 64GB. As you might expect, the Desire 500 runs HTC's Sense UI, with the same BlinkFeed home screen reader found on high-end HTC phones.

A quick glance over the Carphone Warehouse's online store reveals on-contract prices starting at £15 per month, and a very reasonable SIM-free price of £199.99. More details at the link below, and in the press release after the break.

More: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Win some great prizes in the Samsung Pen.UP drawing contest

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You could win a Note 3 and Galaxy Gear, a Galaxy S4, or some kickin' earbuds (plus accessories!) 

Earlier, we told you about Pen.UP — Samsung's new artists social network. It's a great idea and a very nicely done app, and anyone who enjoys making or viewing modern digital art (and has a supported Samsung device) should really take a look. I'm hooked, and can see a lot of time spent scrolling through all the great stuff people have made.

If you're the type who likes to create as well as look, Samsung and AC have a great contest (U.S. only) for you. We want to see your drawings, and as a little incentive to get Pen.UP off the ground Samsung has three very nice prizes to give away.

  • First Prize: A Galaxy Note 3 (on your carrier), an S-View Flip Cover, and a Galaxy Gear
  • Second Prize: A Galaxy S4 (on your carrier) and an S-View Flip Cover
  • Third Prize: A Massive Sound ESH70 wired stereo headset and a Flip Cover for your current Samsung Phone

That's a pretty great set of prizes! And winning them will be fun. Hit the break and pay close attention, as we explain how to enter.

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4 years ago

Moto Maker landing page now live on Verizon site

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We've been pretty sure that this was coming, but seeing this Moto Maker page on Verizon's website seals the deal. Listed as temporarily out of stock, the custom-designed Moto X will soon no longer be an AT&T exclusive.

Supposedly, see Moto Maker open for all, with rumors of it being available for the rest of the big four (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) and some compelling evidence that it happens for both Verizon and T-Mobile on November 11. 

Will the Moto Maker program and the price drop revive interest in one of 2013's best phones? We think so. Hit the comments to share your thoughts.

Source: Verizon. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Samsung's Pen.UP is a great social network for people who love to create digital art

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Whether you're sharing or just looking, Pen.UP is filled with great art from people just like you and me

The folks at Samsung love the S Pen on the Note series. If you've tried one, you can probably understand. It;s not a stylus, it an integral part of the device that can do some pretty wonderful things — including create some excellent digital art. 

To showcase all this great work, Samsung has set up a unique social network that features original work from people just like you and me. Open to folks with a Samsung Note 10.1, Samsung Note 8, Samsung Note 3, Samsung Note 2, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Samsung Galaxy S3, Pen.Up is a lot like Instagram for the pictures you draw instead of the pictures you take with a camera. It's a great idea, and it's filled with some of the best artwork from creative Android users you'll find anywhere.

It's also feature-rich. You can follow people, comment on their posts, even favorite their work to show how much you like it. Of course, they can do the same to you. Hashtags are supported (which is going to be important right very shortly — stay tuned) to make for easy sorting and searching, and built-in categories let you find just the sort of thing you're looking for. Submitting your own content is easy, but even if you're not artistic it's still a great place to find some really cool pictures.

I'm just getting settled into Pen.UP (we've been a little busy here at AC the past few weeks), but I'm really liking what I see. This is something I'll stay interested in, both by just looking as well as posting my own drawings from time to time. We've got a full walkthrough after the break to help explain it all a little better, and if the Pen.UP app isn't already installed on your Samsung device, you can grab it at the Google Play link above. 

I'll see you there, look for gbhil!

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4 years ago

'Redesign, polish' delay Recon Jet's shipping by 'a few months'

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Bad news for folks waiting on the Recon Jet. The $500 Android-based heads-up-display — think of it in the same family of wearables as Google Glass — will miss its expected launch in December.

Recon Instruments co-founder and CEO Dan Eisenhardt in a blog post and email to those who preordered over the weekend announced that "certain aspects of the latest prototype fell short of my expectations, so some redesign will be required." Eisenhardt notes that they have "mapped a clear path to resolving each of the option issues," but "the bad news is the time necessary to execute the re-design will delay first shipments by a few months."

More: Recon Jet update

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Smart Voice Recorder, Meltdown, Rayman Fiesta Run and more!

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A healthy selection of app picks to check out this week

It's Saturday, and along with all of the other great things that come with the weekend we have the Apps of the Week column for you to enjoy. We take up this time slot every week to show off a collection of apps from the Android Central writers, each one showing off an app they've been using in the last week.

This week's collection is primarily made up of some great games, with a few different tools and other apps thrown in for good measure. Read along after the break and take a look at what we've picked out this week, you may just find an app or two that suit you as well.

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4 years ago

The Nexus 5 F.A.Q.

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Answering the most common questions we're getting about Google's new Nexus 5

Whether you have you new Nexus 5 in hand, or are covering all your bases before you decide to dust off the credit card, you've got questions. The most rewarding part of our job here at AC is answering those questions, and we always give it the old college try. 

Hit the break, and see what the top ten questions we're getting are, and their answers. Plus one bonus mystery question that we just have to get the real answer to.

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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4 years ago

Five minutes on ART — the new Android runtime

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There are lots of questions floating around regarding ART — the new experimental runtime that's included as a developer option in Android 4.4 KitKat. Anyone can enable it — just go to the developer settings. 

As described by Google:

ART is a new Android runtime being introduced experimentally in the 4.4 release. This is a preview of work in progress in KitKat that can be turned on in Settings > developer options. This is available for the purpose of obtaining early developer and partner feedback.

Will it make a difference to you as an end user? Maybe yes, maybe no — or maybe placebo? The short, short version? It's way early on this right now and most of us don't need to worry about it quite yet.

We talked some more about it on this week's podcast, and it's worth a five-minute breakout.

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4 years ago

Quickoffice update brings closer integration with Google Drive

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Google purchased Quickoffice over the summer, but the popular productivity app isn't being put out to pasture just yet. In fact, Google's just given it an update that brings more integration into Google's own productivity suite, Google Drive.

With this update, when you have both GDrive and Quickoffice installed on one device — hardly out of the realm of possibility given that Quickoffice is a preload on many devices — Docs, Sheets and Slides (as in word, spreadsheets and presentations) will open up in Google Drive.

So the merging continues. We'll see how long it is before the Quickoffice name gets merged as well.

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4 years ago

Delta Air Lines app updated for Android 4.4 KitKat fixes, throws in UI tweaks for free

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A quick heads up for those of you who spend too much time in the air — or just enough to warrant having this app, anyway. Delta Air Lines has updated its aptly named Fly Delta app for Android 4.4 compatibility issues as well as some unnamed bugfixes. (Could be a placebo effect, but it almost seems a little faster, too.)

In addition, Detla's thrown in a small UI tweak — gone is the darker blue gradient, replaced by a different, flatter shade a blue. The legacy overflow menu button is still there, however — it'd be great to see that go. Otherwise, same old Delta app, though you can now use it from takeoff to landing.

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4 years ago

Hold any device with one hand for just 6 bucks

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No phone or tablet is too big when you have crazy cheap technology from the late-night Internet to help

We've seen similar gizmos, but never for just six dollars. Hook it to the back of your Note 3 or Nexus 7 and free that thumb to reach right around and tap tap tap. Complete with free shipping.

I just grabbed a couple in white and a couple in black, and if they're worth a hoot I'll let you know. 

If you'd rather get in on them while they're cheap and find out for yourself, hit up Daily Steals at the link below.

Source: Daily Steals

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4 years ago

WatchESPN receives dramatic update with new interface and features

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On-demand highlights and news available even without cable subscription

What some would call a long-overdue update to the WatchESPN app has finally arrived, and it seems to have been worth the wait. While the previous version was certainly functional, it was far from attractive or a joy to use. The new version takes things to the next level, with a completely redesigned interface. You now have a new main interface with simple lists and sliding tabs to choose between live TV and other on-demand programming, as well as a new slide-in drawer.

You'll use that left drawer to switch between content on specific sports or channels, separated first by "featured" and then alphabetically and by channel. Streaming seems to kick in faster in our experience, and the app even properly hides all navigation elements to put the video in completely full screen on the Nexus 5 — a nice touch.

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4 years ago

Win an HTC One from Ting and Android Central!

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*Update* The winner of the HTC One from Ting is schnoid!! Congratulations, and enjoy your new phone!

If you're looking for an alternative to your current carrier, and you haven't checked out Ting, you should definitely give them a close look. With no long term contracts, overages, or penalties, Ting offers you the tools you need to take complete control of your account, your usage and ultimately, your bill. You can buy a new or used device directly from them, or bring your own Sprint device and activate it on the Ting network!

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