3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Second thoughts ...


After switching back from the Moto X to the HTC One, is Motorola's best really the best? I'm wavering. And excited for 2014.

I have a habit of doing weird things at trade shows. OK, lots of weird things — but the last two I've been to I've switched No. 1 phone in the middle of them. At IFA in Berlin last September, I fired up the LG G2. Never mind that I was starting from scratch — the damned thing put the buttons on the back! And sure enough, it worked. (LG was honored last week at Mobile World Congress for its innovation, by the way.)

And this past week at MWC in Barcelona, I put down the venerable Moto X and once again picked up the HTC One, which was my main phone for a good six months of 2013. 

Now I've made no secret about my feelings for the Moto X. There's a reason (a number of reasons, actually) why we declared it our favorite smartphone of 2013. But holding that HTC One in my hand again, and once again seeing Zoes and Video Highlights, I couldn't help but think ...

What if we were wrong?

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3 years ago

What I'm playing this week: Lyne


Simple, relaxing and endlessly expandable, Lyne is one of the best Android puzzlers around

After a long week at Mobile World Congress, here's a relaxing, atmospheric puzzler for the weekend. Lyne by Thomas Bowker is a simple yet addictive dot-connecting puzzle title that comes with a soothing ambient soundtrack. Like all the best puzzle titles, Lyne is simple to grasp, but challenging to master. The basic premise involves drawing a line between start and end points on a grid, making sure to tag similar-colored shapes as you go. But things soon get more complex when you start dealing with multiple colors and different paths between shapes. Yet throughout all this, Lyne manages to avoid frustration through its calming tones and minimalist design. It's challenging without being overbearing or stress-inducing.

The game comes with fifteen sets of designed levels, with new procedurally-generated ones added on a daily basis. And for the asking price, that gives you a ridiculous level of replayability. Lyne costs $2.50 in the U.S., or £1.60 in the UK, and there are no ads or in-app purchases to detract from the experience. Even if you're not a huge puzzle game fan, chances are you'll end up killing a few minutes at a time in Lyne if you give it a try; get hooked and you could find yourself engrossed in Lyne's world of shapes, lines and soothing sound effects for hours at a time.

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3 years ago

HTC killing its HTC Watch movie service March 31


Customers urged to download their paid content before March 31 closure

HTC is culling their HTC Watch movie sales and rental store, effective March 31, 2014. The service had seen closures outside the states last year, and nobody is really surprised by this move.

As a user of the HTC Watch service we would like to notify you that from March 31st 2014 the store will no longer be available.

Up until this date, you willl still be able to purchase movies from the HTC Watch store as normal. Your library will not be accessible after March 31st, 2014.

Please download the movies you have purchased to your devices before the above mentioned date. If you do not find the HT Watch application in your device to download and watch the movies you have purchased, please kindly visit http://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kqzyfj.com%2Fclick-7293382-13098745%3Fsid%3DUUacUdUnU36366%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.htc.com%252Fus%252Fsupport%252F%26ourl%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.htc.com%252Fus%252Fsupport%252F&token=-UtNY0G2 for more details.

We thank you for being a HTC Watch customer, and apoligise for any inconvenience caused.

You can use the HTC Watch app itself to download any purchases, and if you're no longer able to access the app, you can give HTC Support a holler right here.

Thanks everybody who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous, Fives, Headphone Connect and more!


See what we've been using on our phones and tablets the last two weeks

You may have noticed that we took a one week hiatus from our Apps of the Week post due to all of the shennanigans surrounding our extensive coverage of MWC. We're right back on track this Saturday though, ready to bring you a list of apps to check out straight from the folks here at Android Central.

This week we have a great new game to check out and a few tools — read along and see what they're all about.

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3 years ago

Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition benchmark results


All the numbers for those who love numbers

Regular readers know how we feel about benchmarks. A quick refresher — we don't think they tell a significant part of the story, and are just a bunch of numbers that are easy to manipulate and even easier to get caught up in. A better (to us) method is to do the things we do with a new phone, and see how well it does it all compared to other phones, and the way we want it to be done. A number can't tell me how smooth looking through a photo gallery will be, or how well the browser renders.

For my real-life benchmarks, the Oppo N1 CME is doing great. Battery life is good, using a T-Mobile sim card gives me expected network speeds on their HSPA+ network (no LTE in this one), calls are fine and clear, peripherials like the Pebble and Google Glass work as expected, and the performance is good overall. If you were to pin me down, I'd say it's a little faster than the Galaxy Note 3, but not quite as fast as the Sony Z Ultra GPe — which based on the internals and operating system overhead, is just about where it should be. The short version — I've seen nothing worth getting excited over, and am pleased with the performance.

But sometimes, I've gotta buck the system. While I have the Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition here, I'm gonna do a little testing. It's a phone that appeals to people who do want to know those benchmark numbers, and just might be able to do things to make them higher. I asked around a little and ran a few different benchmarks, and the results are in a gallery below.

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3 years ago

Take the Android Central Semi-Annual Survey (March 2014)


Android Central faithful — stand up and be counted! Starting this year (right now, actually), we're going to check in every months with a dozen quick questions to see where things stand in the state of the nation. 

The idea is to keep this quick, fun and relatively unscientific — just a snapshot of how we use Android. Maybe we'll change the questions up next time around, maybe we won't. We'll see which way the wind is blowing.

So head on over here to take the March 2014 Android Central Semi-Annual Survey. We'll report back in a week to share the results.

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Cooking' winners!


Pictures so delicious you can almost taste them.

Whether it was just a slow week or this prompt didn't spark the interest of many people, we're a little light on entries this week. That's not to take anything away from the folks who did enter — we still had a full three pages in the forums of great entries of food and cooking. This week we had the chance to pick four different winners, each one receiving any item of their choosing from the Android Central CafePress store.

As a quick note — given the craziness and travel surrounding MWC, we chose not to start up a new photo contest for this current week. Fear not, we'll be back to a regular schedule starting this coming Wednesday.

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3 years ago

I'd like to get the new One


Imagining how this might go down for a 'normal' buyer

Sometimes my mind runs wild with imaginary scenarios. The name "the all-new HTC One" stuck out at me as potential for trouble. And it's not the first time HTC's gone down this rabbit hole. So... this happened in my head:

Chad walked into the AT&T store. He'd never felt comfortable in it, even after the most recent remodel with its lounge area full of curved couches and big-screen TVs. The walls of phones and accessories and tablets were overwhelming, and half the time it seemed like any employee he talked to was utterly clueless. The other half were pushing technical jargon he didn't understand. One of his coworkers had mentioned having a fairly similar experience at a Sprint store, though it apparently was awash in yellow tones, whereas this AT&T location was drenched in blues and oranges.

A female store employee, wearing khaki pants, a blue shirt emblazoned with the AT&T logo, and a lanyard with her name badge on it, walked up to Chad, smiling. "Hi, welcome to AT&T. I'm Lisa. Is there anything I can help you with today?" She held her arms out to the sides just a bit, as if she were ready to physically embrace him.

Chad focused his attention on her, blocking out the colorful cacophony of the rest of the store. "Yes, uh, I'd like to buy the new one."

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3 years ago

Dropbox's new arbitration clause takes away your right to sue — so take it back!


Dropbox is giving you 30-days to opt-out of arbitration

Popular online storage app Dropbox has updated their terms of service (ToS) and that includes a new clause that would have any disputes setlled by an arbiter of their choosing. That means, if your privacy is ever violated, your data ever damaged, or anything goes wrong in any way at any point in time, you won't be able to sue either directly or as part of a class action. And that may not be a good thing.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Update to the latest version of the Android Central App!


This morning we pushed live to everybody — none of that trollout business — Version 1.4.6 of the Android Central App

Here's what's new:

  • Removed the (potentially) NSFW wallpaper sections from the app at the behest of many of our readers, as well as a few other app stores we submit to.
  • Fix for wallpaper sizing when set as desktop background.
  • Fix for some images being stretched in article view.
  • Back by popular request: You can now see how many hours or days ago a story was published.
  • Better handling for deeply nested article comments (no squeezed unreadable comments).
  • We now display inline images in article comments.
  • Fixed issue with article comments sometimes being unselectable, keeping folks from replaying.
  • Various updates for recent sever-side updates.
  • Fixed quote handling in forums (from new version of Tapatalk).

And that's that. Think of this as a bugfix release — we've absolutely got more features on the way, and sooner rather than later. Figure a few weeks or so.

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3 years ago

Nokia X rooted and Google apps installed; Android is Android


Nokia X now one step closer to a 'real' Android phone you won't want to buy

When Nokia was handing out Nokia X developer units, they had to know this was coming. Using the Framaroot app the Nokia X has been rooted, and with root comes the ability to add other apps to the system — including Google's own closed-source apps.

Now you can have your Google services on your Android phone, even if someone didn't want you to have them in the first place. That's because the application framework was left intact, so Nokia could let you install apps from Amazon and others. Apps are apps are apps.

I still think you're better off buying a different phone, be it a Lumia 520 or a Moto G, but if you're going to plunk money down on the Nokia X, at least it's a little better option now.

Source: Kashamalaga at XDA forums

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3 years ago

The ASUS PW100 wireless charging stand


A quick look at an expensive but capable Qi ​charger

We love us some wireless charging here at Android Central. And so we quickly scooped up the ASUS PW100 after it was announced through a YouTube video

The short, short version? It's a pretty cool stand/charger, but it's expensive. And it only charges the Nexus 7 (2013) horizontally, not vertically. It does, however, work just fine with the Nexus 5, or Nexus 4, or other Qi-compatible devices you've got laying around. And you can charge through cases, which is always good.

But the damned thing costs $90.

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3 years ago

'Product Engineer' Ashton Kutcher will actually be designing phones for Lenovo


Two-and-a-half special-edition smartphones

It was back in October that Lenovo signed up Ashton Kutcher as their newest "product engineer", a move that was more marketing stunt than anything else. Or so we thought.

Lenovo Chief Marketing Officer David Roman says that Kutcher actually is going to be designing phones for Lenovo. He might not be a technical engineer that works with chipsets, sensors, and the like, but he's also going to be more than a hire-in-name-only (sorry about your luck with Alicia Keys, BlackBerry). Roman said in an interview with Re/code:

"I know on one level, it sounds corny, but it is real. He not only sees himself as an engineer, but he is an engineer. If he sees a problem, he wants to solve it."

What that's going to lead to at Lenovo is a line of special edition phones. Kutcher's going to be putting his stamp on the user experience of the smartphones, but how exactly that will play out (and how weird it will be having the man who played Steve Jobs in a movie designing Android phones) we'll find out later this year.

Source: Re/Code

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3 years ago

Samsung releases T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 source code for Android 4.4.2


KitKat source indicates that KitKat itself could be ready for T-Mobile's Note 3

Samsung has posted the open-source components of Android 4.4.2 for the T-Mobile branded Galaxy Note 3 today. This is not news in and of itself, as manufacturers are supposed to post the open-source code they have used. But when we see code for software we don't yet have, that's another story.

Posting the code means that Samsung thinks it is ready for production. Typically, we have seen source code two or three days before an actual update, and we're hoping to see the same thing here. Of course, it may not be ready for production and it just got posted early. Yeah, I'm a party-pooper sometimes.

Anyhoo, if you have a need for the KitKat source for the T-Mobile Note 3, you can grab it from Samsung's open source page. If you're just anticipating the release of KitKat for the T-Mobile Note 3, come have a seat over here with the rest of us by the electrical outlets.

Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Leak unsurprisingly shows new HTC One is headed to AT&T... and Verizon


It's the all new HTC One in silver with an AT&T logo

So far the all new HTC One (brand new for 2014!) has leaked out in gold, black, and gray. We've seen that it's going to have two cameras, a refined HTC Sense 6, and even HTC has implied that we should expect even better speakers when it's announced on March 25th.

Add one more color to the mix: silver with white trim. So far all the other leaks have had a black trim, but the latest render leaked by @evleaks shows the HTC One in a lighter silver-and-white scheme. It's the same coloring as the original HTC One, though with broader curves and what looks like a full wrap-around unibody instead of the injected polycarbonate sides of the original.

Oh, and there's AT&T branding in the form of a little AT&T globe slapped onto the back.. That's little surprise, considering that AT&T was a launch partner for the last HTC One. Either way, it's our first hint at where we'll expect to be able to see the all new HTC One. Mark your calendar, people, we're less than a month out.

Update: You want a render of the all-new HTC One for Verizon in dark gray? Okay, here it is. Nice subtle branding for Big Red. Seriously.

Source: @evleaks

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