Headlines

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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3 years ago

HTC: A wearable device will be here by the Christmas season

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Consumer-centric problems with battery and LCD tech "solved" after years of development

In an interview with Bloomberg News, part of HTC's leadership team — Chief financial officer and head of global sales Chang Chialin, and chairwoman Cher Wang — seems pretty bullish in HTC's future. They discuss the decline of the popular OEM throughout 2012 and 2013, and more importantly, what they think it will take to bounce back.

Much of the interview was about marketing, and the importance it may play in HTC's future. Wang tells us that marketing was never really important at HTC, and this mistake may be part of the reason the HTC One — one of the years most well-received smartphones — was unable to boost revenue and pull HTC out of their slump.

That's all well and good, and we're sure HTC has some sort of strategy to get ore people aware of their products. What was most interesting to us, was charwoman Wang on wearables:

A wearable device will be available by this year’s Christmas shopping season after years of development and technical challenges.

Many years ago we started looking at smartwatches and wearables, but we believe that we really have to solve the battery problems and the LCD light problems. These are customer-centric problems.

We're ready for an HTC smartwatch or other wearable, if only to keep other OEMs on their toes. We also have the feeling HTC will try to offer a premium design, and maybe even put a little style into wearable computing. Or maybe just Iron Man.

We'll keep crawling around the net for more info on this one, and hopefully we don't have to wait until Christmas to learn more.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

EverythingMe Launcher exits beta, aims to search and show the right things

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Just go with the flow - let your launcher give you the best apps and information automatically

Following a beta program with the pre-release version of its software, EverythingMe Launcher is now available for everyone in the U.S., U.K., Spain and Germany. Building on the recent trend of homescreen replacements that dynamically change based on a multitude of factors, EverythingMe Launcher aims to personalize your phone.

The main interface is similar to that of a standard Android homescreen, with folders, a search box and a dock for your most commonly-used apps. The difference with EverythingMe Launcher is that the folders and app positions will change based on your usage, time of day, location and more. Your apps will all be managed into smart folders based on their tasks, and the bottom row of icons (above the dock) dynamically shows four apps that are most-used for the time of day it currently is.

EverythingMe Launcher is also offering universal search that covers your device, contacts, apps and the web all from one search box — type "news" for example and you'll be shown the Android Central app, an RSS news reader app and then further links to places like CNN, The guardian or Forbes on the web.

This technology is certainly popular right now on mobile devices, and for good reason — many people are looking for a new way to have their phones do the hard work for them. EverythingMe as a company has gained some major recognition for this tech, and is even partnered with Mozilla for features on its Firefox OS and upcoming Firefox launcher.

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3 years ago

Firefox shows off their own Android launcher at InContext conference

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Mozilla may have their own operating system to work on, but they know that the eyeballs are mostly on Android these days. Since eyeballs mean money, they're still all-in with the idea of pushing out their apps and services on our little platform.

Today, at the inaugural InContext conference, they showed what may be their most ambitious idea yet — the Firefox launcher. Branded atop the new EverythingMe launcher which came out of beta today, the Firefox launcher plans to "give people more smart, easy and innovative ways to personalize their Web experience and meet their needs in any context."

What they're talking about of course, is content discovery. The contextual engine behind EverythingMe should blend well with Mozilla's deep hooks into the web, and there's a good chance this app will stand out in the crowd of new launchers that help you decide what you see on your screen.

Mozilla says they'll keep us updated while they finish development, and soon we'll be able to have a go at this one ourselves. We're always interested in what Mozilla can do, so this one is something we're looking forward to.

Source: Mozilla

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3 years ago

Toshiba's first Chromebook now available for $299

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Higher-end price gets you a solid machine with the proper specs and 9 hours of battery

Following up on an initial announcement at CES 2014, Toshiba has put its first Chromebook offering up for sale at its online store. Coming in at $299 it's more expensive than the $279 price point we were told back in January, but isn't far out of the realm of what Chromebooks being sold at currently.

For that price you're getting a relatively run-of-the-mill looking laptop with a silver plastic frame, 13.3-inch 1366x768 display, an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, USB 3.0 and SDcard ports and all other standard appointments you expect for this class of device. Packing a larger screen than many of its competitors the Toshiba CB30-A3120 (great name) comes in at 3.3 lbs, which is a bit hefty but also gives it an expected 9 hours of battery life.

If you're interested in checking out one of these new Toshiba Chromebooks — we certainly thought it was a pretty nice machine back at CES — you can do so direct from Toshiba at the link below. You'll even get free shipping.

Source: Toshiba

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3 years ago

Google Drive updated with quick-scan widget and animated GIF support

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Also a slick new video tutorial the first time you run the app

Rounding out today's Googlicious updates is another small one, this time for Google Drive. The current version — which varies by device — includes just two changes over the ubiquitous bug fixes. namely animated GIF support and a new 1x1 shortcut to the document scanner.

The former you'll find in any document you've embedded an animated GIF in (every doc here at AC ends up with at least one meme), and the latter you'll find where you normally find shortcuts and widgets you want to place on your home screen.

Also pretty cool is the new training video you see when you first run the app. It's very "new Google" and worth wiping data on Drive just to see it. 

Of course, the typical Google slow trollout means you'll either have to wait for your turn or root around the net for a sideload. You can try your luck at the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Newsstand updated with a hot widget and mini card view

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Google has pushed out a few updates to its Android apps today, and after Search and Hangouts comes Play Newsstand. Having come together as an amalgamation of Play Magazines and Google Currents, Newsstand's latest update brings us a couple of neat new additions including the pretty hot looking homescreen widget we see here. 

The default widget size is 4x3, and it's pretty darn nice to look at. You just get one article at a time with a big old image, the headline and where and when it came from. To cycle through your most recent stuff, tap the down arrow in the bottom right corner and you'll keep on going until you run out of things to read. 

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3 years ago

UPS Mobile receives a complete interface refresh, new map experience

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An interface for managing pickups and deliveries that's actually enjoyable to use

After hanging on to a tired-looking interface for some time, UPS Mobile was updated today with a completely new design. The interface now follows tightly to Google's design guidelines, with an action bar serving duty for the search and menu functions, with all other functions placed behind a slide-in panel on the left that is now accessible anywhere in the app.

This makes a lot more sense than the older "home screen" model that put all of the functions on the main screen, having you jump in and out of menus. The in-app mapping experience has also received a facelift, making use of the latest available Google Maps interface to show you nearby stores and drop boxes.

The UPS Mobile app is an extremely useful tool for those who send and receive via UPS, and now it's actually a joy to use when you manage your packages. You can grab an update to the latest version at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Water' winners!

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Five winners made a splash with their photo this week

We've constantly been impressed by the number and quality of submissions to our weekly photo contests as of late, and this week was no exception. Following the prompt "water," we saw hundreds of great entries this week, and although we were able to select more than one winner, we couldn't give away prizes to everyone.

Hit the break to see our five winners this week, who will each be receiving a new Android Central t-shirt.

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