Headlines

4 years ago

EE to preview LG G Flex in-store ahead of February launch

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Bendy, curvy phone on display at ten EE stores from Friday, Dec. 20

UK operator EE will be getting the LG G Flex early next year, but it's giving Brits the chance to preview the phone in-store in the run up to the holidays. From this Friday, Dec. 20, ten EE stores will have the G Flex on display, including locations in London, Kent, Nottingham, Manchester, Brighton, Cambridge, Merry Hill and Sheffield.

But if you want to actually buy the LG G Flex on EE you'll need to do a little more waiting, as the carrier says it won't be available until February 2014. Unsurprisingly, the company isn't saying anything about pricing at this early stage either.

The G Flex sports a curved 6-inch display with 720p resolution, and its frame is designed to flex and withstand up to 88 pounds of force. The device also packs rear-mounted buttons like the LG G2, and a back panel designed to "self-heal" from minor scratches.

We've got more in our LG G Flex preview, where we take a look at the Korean version of the phone. Check past the break for the full rundown of EE stores previewing the G Flex this Friday.

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4 years ago

Samsung HomeSync now compatible with more devices

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Streaming box compatible with some non-Samsung phones after app update

Samsung's HomeSync, the Android-powered media center box released a couple of months ago in the U.S., is now compatible with some non-Samsung smartphones after an update to the accompanying HomeSync app. Previously limited to just Samsung's Galaxy devices, the change opens things up to a handful of smartphones from rival manufacturers as part of an update dated Dec. 11.

The app description shows that HomeSync is now compatible with the HTC One, HTC Butterfly, Sony Xperia Z, ZL and SP and LG Optimus G Pro and Nexus 4 — alongslide a slew of current Galaxy phones and tablets. The app listing also advises that non-Samsung devices may have "limited access to some functions" — so we're still a ways off universal compatibility here, but it's a start.

The Samsung HomeSync sells for $299 in the U.S. and allows users to access content stored on its 1-terabyte built-in hard drive remotely, as well as pushing content to the box from a supporting smartphone. It can also run Android apps from Google Play or Samsung's own ecosystem.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

EE announces 4G LTE roaming agreement, AT&T first partner network

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Additional partnerships set to launch early next year along with LTE roaming abroad for EE customers

UK carrier EE has announced that it's the first network operator to launch "inbound 4G roaming" for visitors to the UK, having reached its first LTE roaming agreement with U.S. operator AT&T. That means — technology-permitting — that AT&T subscribers should be able to roam on EE's 4G LTE network in the UK at some point in the future.

And there'll also be benefits for EE customers traveling overseas, as the operator says it'll open up LTE roaming to subscribers in the first half of 2014, though no specifics were revealed in today's announcement. EE currently offers a variety of roaming packages for traveling customers, but at present these top out at HSPA data speeds.

It's worth noting that LTE roaming agreements, while important, may still be hampered by the great variety of frequencies used by LTE networks around the world. AT&T, for instance, has much of its LTE deployed on 700MHz, while EE primarily uses 1800MHz. As such most devices currently sold on one network don't support the other's LTE bands.

Nevertheless agreements like this, and the recent partnership between AT&T and Canadian operator Rogers, are a significant first step. For its part, EE says it plans to announce more 4G roaming partners early next year.

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4 years ago

Android 4.4.2 OTA for the Google Play edition Sony Z Ultra rolling out

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Show stopping bugs addressed in the bump to KOT49H

We still don't yet have the URL for side loading, but the 4.4.2 OTA for the Sony Z Ultra GPe is starting to push out. We knew an update was coming "soon" to fix some of the issues we've seen with the phone, and we saw the LG G Pad — the other new Google Play device — get its own update today. Sony and Google have managed to get the software updated before the devices gets into too many hands.

It's confirmed that the 444MB update fixes the security settings bug, the app uninstall bug, the clear data bug and random issues with Google Now voice commands. 

We're up all night to get lucky try and find the URL for this one (I gotta have it myself) and we'll update when and if we come across it.

Update: Nobody can seem to capture a standard URL for this one, but thanks to sfagundes. we have a mirror for side loading. Grab it here. Thanks, Sean!

Thanks, Matthew!

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4 years ago

Android 4.4.2 OTA for the Google Play edition LG G Pad 8.3 now available

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52MB download makes no immediately noticeable changes

Seeing as the latest Google Play edition devices came out of the box with just Android 4.4, it was only a matter of time before the small bump to 4.4.2 came. The OTA is now pushing out to devices, including our own, bringing the first Google Play edition tablet up to build number KOT49H.

The update screen doesn't give much of an indication what's been changed or improved, other than the standard "performance, stability and bug fixes." We're not immediately noticing anything, but you can't expect many changes with an x.x.2 update.

If you haven't yet received the OTA on your own GPe G Pad 8.3, you can grab the download directly from Google at the link above. If you need a refresher on how to update, you can check out our guide, linked below.

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4 years ago

Vote now for the Android Central Best of 2013 Awards

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The cream of the crop in the Android world, chosen by you

As the year starts to wind down, we take some time to make up a list of the "Best of 2013" in the Android world. We've taken the approach of using surveys to ask you, our members, to narrow down the potential winners over a few rounds. Phones, tablets, apps, accessories and more — if it has to do with Android, you can vote on it in our awards survey.

If you're in the mood for helping pick the Best of 2013, grab your favorite device, hit the link below and take a few minutes to give your feedback. The voting will stay open until Friday, December 27th. We'll of course be sharing the definitive list of winners, and you'll be able to see that on Monday, December 30th.

Take the Best of 2013 Awards Survey

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4 years ago

The best Android strategy games

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We're rounding up some of our favorite strategy games on Android for the deep thinkers out there. These are more than just simple puzzles games - these require careful planning and forethought to emerge victorious. You’ll find some great replay value in games like these too, since the same strategy won’t always work twice.

Strategy gamers, pop on your thinking caps and get downloading these outstanding Android games.

4 years ago

Samsung officially announces GamePad availability in parts of Europe

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The Samsung GamePad beats Half-Life 3 to market

We've already had our hands all over the Samsung GamePad at IFA2103, and we've been hearing about it since the launch of the Galaxy S4 some 10 months or so ago, but Samsung has made it official today.

The GamePad will launch in European markets for Android phones between 4-inches and 6.3-inches, and be compatible with devices running Jelly Bean or higher with Bluetooth 3.0. Special attention has been made to Samsung phones of course, and we're told the "most convenient features optimized for Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 4.3 such as Galaxy Note 3, S4, Note II, and S III enable easy connectivity with GamePad via NFC tag and quicker access to games via the “PLAY” button."

The mobile app to control the GamePad is available in the Samsung app store, and the unit itself currently available in select European markets, with new markets being released in the coming weeks. There is no word on US availability dates, or pricing.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Gamepad

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Pebble donates 4000 smartwatches in new Pebble Education Project

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$600,000 worth of hardware is now in the hands of engineering students and young entrepreneurs

Pebble has taken the wraps off a new project today, where 4,000 Pebble smartwatches were given to CS and engineering programs at CMU, Stanford, MIT, Virginia Tech and other technology schools across the US. While Pebble estimates the cost of the donations to be over $600,000, the benefit of having their hardware in the hands of the next generation of thinkers and makers is priceless.

Pebble recently released their new and improved SDK, so attracting minds to work with it is a natural course of action. There are already thousands of applications for the Pebble, but the new SDK — and a group of talented individuals to work with it — should create some great new content. 

The Pebble and it's well-documented SDK is a great tool for budding developers and old pros alike. And hopefully, if the next Alan Turing is out there, he or she gets a chance to spend some time with one. You can read more at the source link below.

Source: Pebble

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4 years ago

Ask the AC editors: Last-minute gift picks

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Procrastinators, unite! Here are a few last-minute gift ideas for the tech lover on your list

The holidays have crept up on us. Again. The next few days are pretty much the last hope of getting something shipped in time for your holiday gift-giving. We know that some of us still have gifts to buy, and that some of them will be for the tech enthusiast in your life. 

We can't help you find a place to park at the mall, or keep you company while you're in that long line at the checkout, but we can give you a few quick ideas to make things just a little easier. Jump past the break and see what last-minute gifts we're filling our carts — both online and off — with.

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4 years ago

Holiday Photo Contest: Day 4 collectible winner!

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The fourth of 14 winners in our extra-long photo contest

We're moving right along on our long-running Holiday Photo Contest, and that means another picture has been chosen as a winner. We're offering up an Android mini collectible to one photo entry following the prompt "holidays" every single day until December 26th.

Hit the break to see today's winner, and be sure to get your entry into the contest thread in the forums if you haven't yet participated. Good luck!

Enter the holiday photo contest​

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4 years ago

It's not just you — Google Wallet seeing issues

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You're not alone, folks. Google Wallet appears to be struggling this afternoon. Time to reach for that good ol' standby in your back pocket. Google's status board is still green, but keep an eye on it.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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4 years ago

12 Days of Christmas giveaway day ten: Win a Galaxy Note 3 from AC and Sprint

On the tenth day of Christmas AC and Sprint gave to me ... A Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The good people at Sprint have partnered with us to do something awesome for the holidays, and we're giving away a great Samsung phone or tablet every day for the next 12 days.

We've got a pile of great stuff, including the Galaxy Tab 3, the Note 3, the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy S4 mini. Winning one is easy, but you'll need to follow the rules.

  • Leave a comment on this blog post for a chance to win today's prize. Only one comment. 
  • We'll close the comments after 24 hours and pick a winner at random. 
  • Make sure the contact details you have entered when you signed up at AC are good, because that is how I will get in touch with you. 

Today's prize is a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It's the best big phone you can buy, so winning one would be sweet, right? Don't miss out on this one.

The 12 days of Christmas giveaway is brought to you by Sprint, and their truly unlimited plans.

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4 years ago

Cast ye olde yule log this Christmas

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It's just not the Christmas season without streaming a roaring fire on the telly. Or, more specifically, using Chromecast! And the Chrome YouTube channel has put together a sweet playlist of fireplaces, burning wood, and Nerdist lasers. 

Yes, lasers. Enjoy. Cast all the things.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 arrives on China Mobile with a few hardware differences

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Build differences, 32GB internal storage and TD-LTE support for Chinese variant

Sony's latest Android flagship, the Xperia Z1, has today landed on China's largest carrier, the state-owned China Mobile. The Chinese Z1 looks much the same as its international cousin — from a distance, at least — and sports a similar spec sheet to its global counterpart. There's a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch Triuminos 1080p display, 3000mAh battery and 20.7-megapixel rear camera. 

But there are some key differences to be found the China Mobile Xperia Z1, which carries the model number L39t. There's 32GB of built-in storage, versus 16GB on the global version. What's more, the frame around the outside of the device is reportedly plastic like the Xperia Z and Z Ultra, not metal as on the global Z1. The position of the headphone jack is more centralized, and the noise-canceling speaker is now found behind a small hole in the glass back. In fact, the Chinese model is a dead ringer for the alleged T-Mobile U.S. version that leaked out a couple of months back.

The new Xperia Z1 variant also supports TD-LTE bands used by China Mobile, as well as TD-SCDMA and GSM.

The Chinese Xperia Z1 is running software based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean; presumably an update to 4.3 will follow at some point given that version's recent arrival on international Z1 devices. In any case, the new and slightly different Sony Xperia Z1 is slated launch on China Mobile for 4,499 yuan ($724) in black and purple flavors around the end of the month.

Source: XperiaBlog, ePrice

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