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4 years ago

Telus is ready for the Nexus 5

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Our Canadian pals at Mobile Syrup (hi, pals!) have scored a few likely (edit: gonna downgrade this to "possible") Nexus 5 renders thanks to the carrier Telus. Revamped launcher, tweaked icons — certainly nothing we wouldn't expect in the upcoming Android 4.4 KitKit release. Nice to see it all coming together, though.

And if you look carefully, you'll note there are four full bars in the Wifi indicator, and four full bars in the cellular signal. Plus, the time is listed as 8:40. Add together all those digits and you've got 20. Plus, given that Canadians prefer 24-hour clocks to the 12-hour a.m./p.m. thing we use here in the states, it's safe to divide things in half and round up the remainder. That gives us an Official Android Central Launch Date Projection Injection of sometime in the next few weeks, give or take.

Source: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

Get the No. 1 Android app that Apple refuses to approve!

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We've had more than a few folks ask us to bring the official Android Central App to iOS. And, frankly, we'd be happy to do it. Unfortunately, any attempts to do so have been thwarted. And, so, we're Android-only ... for now. We've got a few ideas, though, and maybe iOS isn't the only other route to go. More on that later, though.

For now, be sure to check out the latest version of the official Android Central App. And swing by our downloads section for more ways to keep up with the latest Android news while you're at it!

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4 years ago

Google Play Music updated with 'I'm feeling lucky radio'

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New icons for pinned music also in latest version

There's a new version of Google Play Music rolling out today, bringing with it a couple of interesting new features. The first is plain to see at the top of the Listen Now and Radio sections, named "I'm feeling lucky radio," in an homage to Google's famous search button. The new radio channel picks stuff it think you'll like based on your past usage. Once you're in, "I'm feeling lucky" works just line any other radio list in Play Music — you can share it, save it, or save tracks to a playlist.

Secondly, there's been a UI tweak to make it easier to find music you've saved to your device — these items now show a little "pin" icon on the lower right of the card.

The update is rolling out through Google Play right now, though with any staged update everyone might not get the new version right away. If you've picked it up already, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with the new "I'm feeling lucky" radio.

Update: Looks like the new radio mode is rolling out to Google Play Music on the web, too.

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4 years ago

The HTC One Max Power Flip Case

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The already huge HTC One Max gets even bigger (and juicier) with the $90 Power Flip Case

Flip cases are nothing new to smartphones, and HTC introduced a decent one earlier this year with the original HTC One Flip Case. We've got a new iteration with the HTC One Max, one that includes a built-in battery for a little extra juice.

The Power Flip Case serves as case to protect the body of the phone, a cover to protect the massive display — and it also adds an extra 1,200 mAh of power with a thin, flexible battery built into the cover. That's about a third more than you'll get with the 3,300 One Max alone.

It's not cheap, though. Here's a preview of the prototype we've got.

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4 years ago

SwiftKey 4.3 beta debuts with new keyboard layouts, we go thumbs-on

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New 'thumb,' 'compact' and undocked modes make it easier to type on larger screens

The team behind popular third-party keyboard SwiftKey has announced a new version of the app today — SwiftKey 4.3. Dubbed "layouts for living," the new version of SwiftKey introduces a host of new layout options designed to make it easier to type on all kinds of Android devices, from smartphones to tablets and everything in between.

There are three main layout modes to choose from in SwiftKey 4.3, all accessible by pressing long-pressing the SwiftKey menu button. "Full" is the regular SwiftKey layout existing users will already be familiar with. "Compact" gives you a smaller keyboard aligned to the left or right side, depending on which hand you want to use. And "thumb" mode gives you a split keyboard for easier two-handed thumb-typing, best suited for tablet users.

More after the break.

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4 years ago

LG G Pad 8.3 available at BestBuy.com today, in stores Nov. 3

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Sleek LG G Pad 8.3 tablet costs $349, available in two colors

LG today announced that its new G Pad 8.3 tablet is available now from BestBuy.com for $349. It'll be available in stores starting Nov. 3.

The 8.3-inch tablet, as we found in our initial hands-on at IFA in Berlin and in a couple weeks' worth of more recent use, is one hell of a tablet, with a sleek design, great display (8.3 inches at 1920x1200), running Android 4.2.2 and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. 

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4 years ago

Will Google ever bring Android and ChromeOS together?

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When Google acquired Android in 2005 and subsequently unveiled it in 2007, there was no such thing as ChromeOS yet. Google’s entire OS effort was on Android, and separately the company worked on the Chrome browser for desktop and mobile operating systems. 

Over the last year we’ve started to see Google have success with ChromeOS in the notebook computer market. Android and ChromeOS are both based on Linux, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. ChromeOS is a very thin client, almost everything is done via the browser.

On a personal level, I’ve now gotten to the point where I’d rather consume content on a touch screen device. I prefer swiping my finger on a screen to navigate a website rather than being forced to use a trackpad. This tells me all computers will be touchscreen soon, just like all mobile devices already are.

(UPDATE: A few people interpret this to mean I'm suggesting keyboards or mice/trackpads will be taken away.  I didn't think this clarification would be required considering some Windows machines and the Chromebook Pixel have already introduced touch as an added input mechanism without taking anything away, but apparently it is necessary to make explicitly clear.)

So this raises the question — why would Google want to maintain two operating systems down the road? I don’t think they want this. And I’m trying to get my head around the possible solutions.

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4 years ago

Moto Maker now automating iCloud-to-Google switching

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Moving from an iPhone to Moto X? Motorola's hoping to make things a lot easier

Switching between mobile platforms is never easy, but Motorola's hoping a new addition to its web-based Moto Maker service will make things a little less painful for iOS converts. According to a Google+ post by Motorola's Punit Soni, it's now possible to migrate your iCloud account over to Google as part of the Moto Maker customization process.

First, users enter their iCloud login details, then they're given an estimate of how long the conversion process will take. Then, after a successful conversion, they're linked to their new calendar and contacts on Google. The Moto X help page advises switchers to use Google's built-in tools to check for duplicates.

Many other manufacturers, including HTC, Sony and Samsung, have their own software-based solutions for porting over iOS users' stuff to their handsets, but this is the first time we're aware of that it's been done over the web. And it's especially slick that this can be done as part of the ordering process, so the new phone arrives pre-populated with the customer's stuff.

Soni says "there is a long way to go, but its a start."

Source: +Punit Soni, Motorola

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4 years ago

Kindle Fire HDX now up for pre-order in the U.K. and Canada

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Amazon's latest launches starting November 13 in Britain, November 26 in Canada

Amazon's latest effort in the tablet space, the Kindle Fire HDX, is now available to pre-order in the U.K. and Canada for shipping in mid to late November. Both the 7-inch and the 8.9-inch versions are to be available in the full range of storage sizes, though WiFi only appears to be it in Canada. In the U.K. Amazon will be selling a 4G LTE version of the HDX in partnership with Vodafone, which will be available from November 27. The 8.9-inch HDX with LTE won't be available until mid-December. 

Prices start at £199/$254 for the 7-inch HDX and £329/$399 for the 8.9-inch version. Additionally, both countries are accepting pre-orders for the new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, which will begin shipping on October 24. Prices for these start at £119/$149. For more information and to pre-order, hit up the relevant source links below. 

More: Hands-on with the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX

Source: Amazon (U.K.), (Canada)

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 updated with Optical Reader, bug fixes

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150MB update for Verizon's GS4 now rolling out

Verizon's Samsung Galaxy S4 has a new update pushing out for it right now, bringing a couple of new features, tweaks and bug fixes. The 150MB update to software version VRUDMI1 is rolling out over the air and through Samsung's Kies software, though as always it may take a little time before it filters through to everyone.

The main new addition for Verizon GS4 owners is Samsung's Optical Reader app, which can create contacts from business cards using the rear camera and optical character recognition, in addition to translating printed text between languages. Other major changes and tweaks include improved Wifi connectivity, S Memo bug fixes, support for three-way calling when roaming on the Bluegrass network, and roaming support for TELUS in Canada.

If you're upgrading your Verizon Galaxy S4 to the new firmware today, hit the comments and tell us how you're getting on.

Source: Verizon (PDF), via: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

No plans to bring HTC One Max to Canada

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'The current HTC line up of devices is sufficient for the Canadian marketplace'

U.S. carriers Sprint and Verizon might be getting their hands on the HTC One Max later in the year, but there's no such luck for anyone looking to pick up the gianormous HTC handset north of the border. A statement from the company's Canadian arm confirmed to MobileSyrup that there are no plans to launch the 5.9-incher in Canada —

“HTC devices differ from country to country, we work closely with carrier partners in each region to determine what is best for their consumers. Every market is different and has specific needs and demands. We consider a number of factors such as, the HTC devices currently available, the competition etc. At this time the current HTC line up of devices is sufficient for the Canadian marketplace.”

On the other hand we weren't exactly blown away by the One Max during our time with the device, so with the more compelling HTC One already widely available in Canada, perhaps Canadians aren't at such a disadvantage.

More: HTC One Max review

Source: MobileSyrup

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4 years ago

Netflix for Android updated, brings smoother performance all around

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Update brings performance boost, but profiles are still nowhere to be found

The latest Netflix update is rolling out hard and steady this evening, and we've had a chance to give it a spin. The app has a newly tweaked UI with the hamburger menu we all know and love (that's a nerdy term for the slide-out menu apps are adopting) and better lock screen controls when using the Chromecast feature. But that's not even the good part.

What this app brings that everyone will appreciate is a much smoother overall UI. No more janky, stuttery transitions between views, and everything seems nice and fluid while navigating through both your queue and the categories. Huzzah!

What we aren't seeing is the new profiles feature, that seems to have made its way to every platform except Android. Multi-user support for an app like Netflix, which is heavily influenced by user preference, is a big plus. Hopefully we see it soon for the world's most popular mobile platform.

You can try your luck getting the update via the Google Play link above, but as is usual for big updates to popular apps, Netflix is pushing on a controlled rollout. You'll get the new version eventually — just keep checking.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom leaked for AT&T

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Samsung's hybrid camera and phone device shown with carrier branding and 2013 release date

Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom looks to be making it's way to AT&T sometime this year, if @evleaks is correct. The device is best described as a hybrid of a "decent" phone and a "decent" camera, and is certainly a niche device. That's not a bad thing by any means, as other niche devices have seen great sales and plenty of success.

Alex had a look at the Galaxy S4 Zoom last month, and while he wasn't left blown away, the phone was fluid across the board, and he found the auto mode on the camera did a good job capturing photos in most conditions. While you'll surely find better phones and better cameras, this could make for a really interesting device for some folks.

We'll keep out eyes peeled, and as more develops we'll fill you in. Seeing this come to AT&T makes a lot of sense, and we expect this rumor will pan out.

Source: @evleaks

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4 years ago

Talk Mobile 2013 wrap-up

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This marks the conclusion of Talk Mobile 2013. After fifty episodes, more than a hundred breakout videos, and two hundred essays, it's time to wind down the insanity and take a step back an look back at what all transpired. While Talk Mobile brought new tools to the mix, both technical and editorial, the crowning accomplishment was the conversation - not between the writers, but the community.

And that's a conversation that has only just begun.

4 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Animals

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Keeping things lively this week with your best pictures of animals

We're ready to jump into another weekly photo contest, and give away some great prizes to the best photographers that enter. This week we're going away from abstract topic prompts to go a little narrower – this week our prompt is "animals." Whether it's your faithful companion dog, a lion at a zoo or a painting of a dragon, we want to see what you can do with this week's topic.

We'll be picking out three winners this week, and each will receive a Pebble smartwatch to connect to their phone.

Entering is easy. Just drop your entry in a forums post at the link below. Tell us what Android you used to get the picture, and any back story you want to add to it. We'll pick a winner Tuesday (October 22) night at 11:59 PM ET, and announce them on the blog with next Wednesday's contest.

Enter this week's photo contest

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