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3 years ago

Google intros 'Chromebox for meetings' hardware and service offering

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A simpler and less expensive solution for video conferencing 

Google is making another step towards the enterprise today with its announcement of "Chromebox for meetings," an integrated and simple solution for getting businesses into video conferencing. At launch, Chromebox for meetings is simply a pre-configured set of hardware that all works together, along with support and a simple interface for Google Apps and Hangouts.

The hardware consists of a standard-issue ASUS Chromebox, a 1080p webcam (what looks to be from Logitech), a wireless speakerphone / microphone combo and a wireless remote. You'll need to provide a display, but choosing what size you need on your own is probably for the best. Chromebox for meetings is being positioned as a cheaper alternative to clunky video conferencing systems — $999 gets you the hardware setup, along with a year of 24/7 management and support (a $250 value).

Once you purchase and set things up, you'll simply be able to start a video call with the push of a button on your remote. Colleagues with Chromeboxes can join instantly, and those with traditional video conference systems can call in to your Hangout with a tool from Vidyo or even dial in on the phone with UberConference.

Being an enterprise product you'll have to contact a sales representative directly for the opportunity to buy one of these new setups, but Google says that both CDW and SYNNEX are helping with distribution. Although ASUS is the first Chromebox maker to be on board with the new program, HP and Dell are expected to join the party later this year.

Source: Google Chrome Blog; Google

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One getting KitKat update 'shortly'

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Andorid 4.4 + Sense 5.5 update receives technical approval, OTA expected soon

Mo Versi, HTC's Executive Director of Product Management, sends word that the Verizon HTC One should start receiving its Android 4.4 KitKat and HTC Sense 5.5 update "shortly." In a tweet, Versi reveals that the update has passed technical approval, the final hurdle before over-the-air updates can begin being pushed out.

Verizon's HTC One should be the second U.S. carrier variant to get KitKat after Sprint launched the update late last week. Elsewhere, the update is live in Canada and Europe, as well as U.S. Developer Editions.

So, Verizon HTC One owners, now's the time to start checking for updates!

Source: @moversi

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3 years ago

HTC One, one year on

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It might not seem so long, but it’s been almost a full year since we first met the HTC One at announcement events in London and New York in February 2013. It went on to be one of the most significant Android phones of the year, and for most of 2013 it was our top Android smartphone pick.

3 years ago

Moto G expected to arrive on US Cellular Feb. 10

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Will only be available without a contract, but pricing isn't yet known

The Moto G has already proven to be a powerful and affordable smartphone option, and now it's headed to another carrier in the U.S. Building on its unlocked availability from the Play Store and Motorola itself, U.S. Cellular will join the ranks of Verizon (albeit its prepaid section) in offering the Moto G directly.

U.S. Cellular will only offer the Moto G at full price without a contract (as you'd expect), but we don't yet know what that price will be. Unlocked models are up in the U.S. for $179, but a Verizon-specific version sells for just $99 — we could see the U.S. Cellular version come in closer to the latter. We do, however, know that this particular model will be shipping with KitKat on board.

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3 years ago

Dayframe 2.0 refreshes UI, adds Chromecast support

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Streaming, other features require $2.99 'prime' upgrade

A quick heads up that Dayframe — which quickly became one of our favorite image viewers last year, showcasing photos from the likes of Faceook, Flickr, Dropbox, Google+, Instagram, 500px, Twitter and others — got a pretty major refresh today. 

In addition to the new user interface, you also get improved organization in the library, better playlists, easier shorcuts — and the all-important Chromecast integration. Some features are (and have been) part of Dayframe "Prime," which has now become a $2.99 in-app purchase. You'll also need the updated Google Play Services, so keep an eye out for that. (It'll be version 4.2.x.)

The short, short version: A great photo viewing app gets even better. Give it a shot.

For those who previously had purchased Prime: Dayframe says all you need to do is drop them an e-mail, and they'll whitelist your account.

For a look at the Chromecast integration, peep the video after the break:

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3 years ago

OtterBox launches heavy duty cases for the LG G Flex

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Ultimate protection for your expensive curved phone

If you're dropping a fair wedge of cash on the LG G Flex, you might be considering some protection for it. Sure, it has that 'self-healing' back to protect against smaller scratches, but what about something a little more, heavy duty? Enter OtterBox with a new Defender series and Commuter series case for LG's curvy little number. 

If you're familiar with som of the OtterBox line of cases, they're about as heavy duty as you'd want to get from a phone case short of encasing it in concrete. If there's something to cover – display aside – the Commuter and Defender will pretty much cover it all. The construction of both is such that if the phone does flex, the case will go with it. The Defender will set you back $59.95 and the Commuter a bit less at $44.95. Both are available now at the source link below. 

Source: OtterBox

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3 years ago

Plants vs. Zombies 2 brings back Dr. Zomboss, adds Snowball Power

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Guess who's back, and not a moment too soon. Plants vs. Zombies 2 got an update this week, with Dr. Zomboss returning to the three existing worlds. In addition, there's a new power-up — Snowball Power. Here's the changelog in its entirety:

  • We have big news and even bigger news about our latest update. There's a new power-up and an old "friend."
  • The brain behind the zombie invasion is here! Dr. Zomboss is waiting for you in an all-new Ancient Egypt level. And you can be sure he'll be causing trouble in other time periods soon.
  • Get your hands (or fingers, actually) on the new Snowball Power and chill zombies to the bone!

Download it at the link above. 

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3 years ago

Kobo Arc 10 HD review

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A decent 10-inch tablet that, sadly, few will purchase

When Kobo launched its first dedicated Android tablet back in late 2012, I have to admit to being taken by surprise. The e-reading specialists first foray beyond dedicated readers was the Vox, and it ran Android. But as a tablet it was a distinctly sub-par experience. Even Google Play access couldn't save the Vox. But, when it came back with the Arc, Kobo had something much, much different. It had all the reading stuff, but was a perfectly capable Android tablet as well.

Fast forward 12 months, and Kobo again caught us off guard a little by announcing a step up to a 10-inch Android tablet. Sitting atop the lineup, the Arc 10 HD is still positioned as a premium reading device, but it still brings more than enough to the table to make us take notice of it. So, will it impress as much as its smaller predecessor did? 

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3 years ago

Rdio and Beats Music looking at adding Chromecast support

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Meanwhile Spotify doesn't seem too interested

We're going to hear about a ton of apps with added Chromecast support in the coming weeks and months, but a couple of big names have already shown their interest. On respective Twitter accounts, both Rdio and the newly launched Beats Music both expressed that they're working towards adding support for Google's $35 HDMI dongle. 

Meanwhile, another big music service, Spotify, doesn't seem at all interested with Chromecast. This despite admitting the request was "uncommonly popular" with its customers. We're not sure what might be the thought process there, but we'll have to ride it out and see if they change their minds. If you're on Rdio or Beats Music though, it looks like good news in the not so distant future. 

via The Verge

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3 years ago

Sony smartphone sales on the rise as company sells off VAIO PC business

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PC division to be sold to investment fund, mobile business to concentrate on tablets and smartphones

There has been much rumor and speculation surrounding Sony in the past few days, but with the release of its Fiscal Q3 2013 results we've learned some what lies ahead for the Japanese manufacturer. Talking about the good points first; the Mobile Products & Communications division saw a 44.8% increase in sales year-on-year to $4.396 billion, with its operating loss reducing by $120 million. 

The relative success in mobile comes despite being lumped together with the personal PC business, and is in part due to a "significant increase" in the sales of smartphones and the average smartphone selling price. 

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 launches in the UK

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£649 gets you a 12-inch KitKat tablet with stylus capabilities

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet is available to buy in the UK from today, Samsung has announced. The Wifi-only version of the tablet launches today from Samsung's own online store, its "Experience Store" at Westfield Stratford City, and "selected retailers" such as Carphone Warehouse and John Lewis. The 12.2-inch behemoth sports a similar chassis design and internals to the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, and is priced at a whopping £649 for the Wifi-only version.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 in red and rose gold white now available in the UK

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Carphone Warehouse launches new color options

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has begun stocking the Galaxy Note 3 in two of the three new color options announced by Samsung late last year. From today CPW has the Note 3 in "merlot red" as well as "rose gold white," which combines a white front and back with bronze-tinted accents. So far there's no sign of the "rose gold black" Note 3 which was announced alongside these two.

On-contract prices start at £32 per month for a free Note 3, with tariffs on EE, Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone; alternatively it's £579.95 outright.

Today's launch is the latest in a series of new Note 3 color rollouts around the world. The new colors appeared first in South America, before hitting the U.S. on Verizon Wireless late last month.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Pick up an original Nexus 7 Wifi or 3G with a solid discount from Groupon

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Not a unique deal, but one you can jump on easily if you're in need of a solid tablet

If you're looking for a cheap way to pick up a solid tablet, the Nexus 7 (2012) is always a good fallback when compared to other tablets in its price range. Groupon is offering a deal right now for the Nexus 7 32GB Wifi for $149, or 32GB 3G (that's HSPA+ in this case) for $189 through its online store.

Deals like this can be found all over the place if you're patient and know where to look, but we still want to give folks the heads up if they're in the market for the last-generation Nexus 7 at a solid discount. Hit the source link below to buy yours now if you're interested — as Groupon regularly says, there's a "limited quantity available."

Source: Groupon; Via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Some unlocked Moto X users seeing 4.4.2 update this evening

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Users of SIM unlocked models on both AT&T and T-Mobile are reporting the OTA

It looks like Motorola has another successful soak test under their belt, as folks with unlocked — as in SIM unlocked not bootloader — have been reporting that they are pulling the 4.4.2 update down this evening.

From what we hear, there's little difference between 4.4 and 4.4.2 that faces the user, but when something is .2 higher you know it has to be .2 better.

As luck would have it, I'm not seeing anything on mine so I'm living through the user reports. I'll keep checking though, and you should probably do the same.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Weekly Photo Contest: Wood

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This renewable resource is all around us - show off the best pictures you can take of wood

Another week, another chance to show off your best photos taken with Android devices and have a shot at winning an awesome prize. We're coming hot off the heels of a well-received photo contest that saw five folks pick up an Android Central t-shirt, and we hope we get another great turnout. This week's prompt is simple and easy to find subject material for — "wood." Whether it's trees, chairs or doors, there's a good chance you can take an artistic photo of something wooden this week. Let's see what you can do.

As always, there will be prizes for the best photos of the bunch. We're in a giving mood again this week and will pick five winners, each of whom will receive a Chromecast!

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 (February 11) 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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