Headlines

4 years ago

Android U.S. market share dips slightly, Samsung improves its position

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HTC and Motorola both drop market share; LG holding down 5th place

Releasing its monthly report on the U.S. mobile industry, comScore shows Android with a slight decrease in market share as of September 2013. A three-month average ending in September shows Android with 51.8 percent of the U.S. market, down 0.2 percentage-points. Apple naturally holds the second spot at 40.6 percent, with BlackBerry and Microsoft taking up third and fourth place.

In terms of manufacturers (chart shown below), comScore shows Apple still on top with that same 40.6 percent of the market, up 0.7 percent, with Samsung holding second place strong with 24.9 percent of the market, up 1.2 percent. HTC holds onto third place just barely at 7.1 percent, down 1.4 percent between periods. Motorola drops to 6.8 percent market share, and LG 6.6 percent. If you're counting that also leaves 14 percent divvied up among various other small manufacturers.

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

Here are your Nexus 5 contest winners

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For those about to rock a new Nexus 5 from Android Central, we salute you

If you can remember with all the mind-blowing stuff we've seen so far this week, we're giving two lucky folks a new Nexus 5 of their very own. The contest is now over, the random number generator has been activated, and we have your winners. Let's all send out happy thoughts and congratulations to:

  • John in Colorado
  • Jon in the UK

Congrats John and Jon, and thanks for being part of things here. It's folks like you who make Android Central as good — and as fun to be a part of — as it is. We're trying to think of other ways to give away great stuff, so always be on the lookout for it.

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4 years ago

Rochester Optical to offer prescription and fashion lenses for Google Glass in early 2014

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Company also hires wearable tech figure Tim Moore to lead new efforts

With increased excitement over Google Glass as of late, it seems fitting that a company start offering prescription lenses for the headwear. Rochester Optical announced today alongside the hiring of industry figure Tim Moore that it will bring custom prescription, fashion and sport lenses that work with Google Glass in early 2014. Currently, you can only choose from a simple pair of sunglass or clear protective (and non-prescription) lenses from Google.

Although many Glass Explorers that need prescription lenses have been making due with either contacts or wearing both their regular glasses and Google Glass at the same time, it's wonderful to hear that a third party will be making custom lenses. Not only does this open up the market for other companies to get in on Google Glass market, it also means even more people out there can potentially wear the tech in the future.

Source: PRWeb; +Tim Moore

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4 years ago

The KitKat Clock app has a subtle but impressive feature

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Dismiss an alarm before it goes off, right from the notification bar

If you're running a device with Android 4.4 KitKat (Nexus 5 or a custom ROM at this point) and set an alarm in the stock Clock app, you'll be in for a subtle little treat. Google's latest Clock app, which has received yet another facelift with a little more eye candy, now notifies you two hours ahead of when your alarm is set to go off, letting you dismiss it before you're startled by that alarm tone. The notification is silent and subtle, with the option to swipe it away, tap "dismiss now," or tap to enter the Clock app.

It's not something that everyone will use — hopefully we're all sleeping swiftly through the night — nor is it something that we haven't seen from third-party apps before, but it's features like this that remind us Google is working on even the smallest details.

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4 years ago

The Nexus 5 speaker: Yes, there's only one — and software may be hurting what you hear [updated]

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Audio output sounds great in some apps — and lousy in others​, especially with spoken-word playback

Two things you need to know about the the speakers on the Nexus 5: First, there's only one speaker. Never mind that you see a pair of speaker grilles — there's only one speaker hidden back there. As we first learned on the LG G2 — a close cousin, insofar as the hardware goes — there's a speaker, and there's a microphone. Not two speakers. That's been confirmed by iFixit's teardown, as well, not that it was a surprise. Stick your finger over one of the speakers and it's readily apparent.

There other thing we've discovered is that the Nexus 5 speaker can be pretty decent, or it can be downright horrible — and it appears that software may be to blame here.

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4 years ago

New YouTube comment system integrated with Google+ now available

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A better signal-to-noise ratio and more interaction with people you care about

Just as was promised back in September, YouTube is getting a new comment system based on Google+ with several new features. The new system will surface comments from people whose comments you care about most, such as your Google+ friends, the video maker, engaged commenters and other well-known YouTube personalities. Of course if you still want to see the flood of comments roll in, you can switch to "newest first" from "top comments."

One of the biggest bonuses in moving to Google+ for YouTube comments is being able to have a mix of private and public discussions on a single video. You can limit your comments to just specific circles or specific people, right alongside your public comments that everyone can see on the page.

A likely best of all if you're a YouTube video creator, you now have even better ways to moderate comments on your videos. You can review comments before they're made public, block certain words or auto-approve comments from specific people.

Subscribe to the Android Central YouTube Channel!

Source: YouTube Blog

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4 years ago

Google Opinion Rewards pays you in Play Store credit to take surveys

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Answer a question, pay for that in-app purchase in Candy Crush

The Google Opinion Rewards app has just launched in the Play Store, and it may be a good way to build up your Play Store credit balance. The idea isn't new — after you download the app, you'll occasionally be asked to answer a handful of questions, and you'll be rewarded with money to spend on apps, movies, books and music in the Play Store.

Google says the surveys will show up about once a week, and you'll be notified on your phone when a survey is ready to be answered. The questions will be simple and range from things like "Which logo is best?" to "When do you plan on traveling next?" The app is currently U.S.-only, and it isn't clear how much Play Store credit you'll get for answering each survey.

You can download the app (from the Play Store link above) right now and answer a few questions about yourself, and then wait for the first real surveys to come in.

Source: +Google Consumer Surveys

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4 years ago

Google Text-to-Speech now on Google Play, update rolling out

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New version adds Korean support

As part of Google's ongoing effort to spin off certain software features into Google Play for easier updating, the company has today launched the Google Text-to-Speech engine as a standalone app on the Play Store. The will push out automatically to those using an older version (not you, Nexus 5 owners, you're already up-to-date out of the box). If you install it on a device that doesn't have it already, it'll appear as an option alongside whichever manufacturer-loaded text-to-speech service is currently in use.

The only major change we're seeing compared to the older pre-loaded version is the addition of Korean as a supported language. However the ability to update text-to-speech without requiring an OS upgrade presents the possibility of Google introducing more advanced TTS features through future app updates.

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4 years ago

Gallery and Photos: Why does the Nexus 5 have two ways to handle images?

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You'll likely be using two apps to manage your pictures on Android 4.4

If you're lucky enough to have picked up a Nexus 5 this week, you may be puzzled by two of the apps on your new phone. Not necessarily by the apps themselves, but rather the existence of both at once on one phone — Photos and Gallery. Two pre-installed apps that have many overlapping functions between them. You can tap either one to get to your photos, and in either case you'll have access to your automatically backed-up Google+ photos as well.

So why does the Nexus 5 have both a "traditional" Gallery app and this new Photos app at the same time? There are a few reasons. Let's dig into this somewhat bothersome phenomenon after the break.

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4 years ago

Pebble smartwatch gets a firmware update, but it only benefits iOS for now

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Just a quick heads up to all you Pebble smartwatch owners out there. Your watch should be receiving a firmware update today, but don't go looking for any new features just yet. The update brings new functionality to iOS users (and iOS 7 in particular), with a slew of new notification possibilities in version 2.0 of the Pebble SDK.

So, again, expect a firmware update, but your Pebble app will remain as is for now. Our pals at iMore.com have more on the update.

More: Get Pebble

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4 years ago

Get your fingers sticky with a little physics puzzle game called Green Jelly

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There's no shortage of Cut the Rope games out there, I know. But maybe you've been thinking that's not enough. You need more physics puzzlers to play on the go. I've been there, man.

One of my favorite games in that style has long been Spider Jack, which comes from a Russian developed called MaxNick. Their latest physics puzzler Green Jelly (not to be confused with Jelly Bean or that rock band) plays a lot like Cut the Rope, but it also has some clever gameplay mechanics of its own that make it worth a look.

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4 years ago

Photo editing improvements in the Android 4.4 KitKat Gallery

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A few simple changes to make your pictures look a little better

There's a great grouping of user-facing features in the latest update to Android 4.4 KitKat, but one has been generally overlooked. Although it hasn't received much of a visual refresh from what was available in 4.3, the built-in photo editor in the Gallery app has received a bit of a facelift, with a few new features to boot.

This is one of those "tightening the screws" kind of updates that brings the experience up a notch or two, making it just a little easier to edit and tweak your photos to your liking. This isn't going to rival anything you can do with a true photo editor on your desktop, but then again that process isn't as easy as using the Gallery.

Hit the break for a closer look at the new features and capabilities of Gallery in Android 4.4.

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4 years ago

AT&T lights up LTE in 14 new markets

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AT&T sends word that it's brought 4G LTE coverage to another 14 markets, bringing its total LTE markets up to 461. We've got the full list of new switch-ons after the break; if you're seeing AT&T LTE lighting up for the first time today be sure to let us know in the comments.

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4 years ago

Gogo and Glympse team up to let you share your location from 30,000 feet

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Give those awaiting your arrival a better look at your flight progress

Location sharing service Glympse is partnering with in-flight Wifi provider Gogo to let you share your location even while in the air. With this new development, you'll be able to share your flight status and location with friends and family seamlessly, giving them up-to-date flight information. The updated Android app with the in-flight location functionality will hit Google Play this Friday, and once you've installed or updated the app you'll be ready to go on your next flight.

Simply pull out your phone and connect to the in-flight Gogo Wifi, open the Glympse app and send out your location to anyone via their phone number (U.S. or Canada only) or email address. As has always been the case, the person who receives your Glympse won't need to have the app installed, but can still follow your journey.

Once they start tracking your movement, they'll see flight status, speed and continually updated arrival times as they are available. Your phone doesn't have to stay on in order to keep the track going either, everything is handled by the plane's systems.

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4 years ago

Samsung plans own CPU core tech, 560ppi displays for future phones

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Details revealed at analyst event point to 2014 phones with 64-bit CPUs and 5.25-inch 1440p displays

In its first analyst event of the smartphone era, Samsung revealed a few juicy details about the technology behind its future smartphone plans. In slides released in conjunction with the event, the electronics giant confirmed plans to develop its own CPU core technology, as opposed to licensing designs from ARM as it does now. The slide on Samsung's 64-bit CPU plans shows a two-step approach, first developing 64-bit cores based on ARM designs, then moving to its own bespoke designs, similar to the way Qualcomm operates. The plans could be seen as a way for Samsung's phones to become even more vertically-integrated. Some current Samsung phones use Exynos SoCs manufactured in-house, but these use Cortex A15 and A7 designs licensed from ARM.

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