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4 years ago

Sony Xperia SP video walkthrough

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How does Sony's latest mid-range handset shape up?

From a handful of phones a few years ago, Sony Mobile now offers a vast portfolio of Android devices -- and it's quickly exhausting the alphabet with its letter-themed Xperia handsets. We've already covered the Xperia Z and Xperia ZL at the high end, now it's the turn of the Xperia SP, the company's mid-range offering for mid-2013.

With a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, a 720p screen and 8-megapixel camera, the SP boasts specs that would've been considered bleeding edge less than twelve months ago. It's also much more hand-friendly than its larger siblings, with a comfortable, curved back panel. The SP also sees Sony resurrecting one of the quirkier features from its 2011 line-up -- the glowing "transparent element" that acts as a giant notification LED (and disco lights, if you're using the Walkman music app.)

Check out our full video walkthrough of the Sony Xperia SP after the break.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Grid shows you can play Borderlands 2 on Ouya

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Back at CES, NVIDIA announced a cloud gaming solution called Grid, though it was mostly overshadowed by the Shield portable console. Luckily at E3 we got some time with one of the grid engineers, Chad Cooper, to talk about what Grid can do. Specifically, they were showing how the Android-powered Ouya game console could play big-boy games like Borderlands 2 thanks to their tech. 

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4 years ago

Amazon one-day HTC One sale now on

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AT&T and Sprint HTC One going for $79.99 up-front for new customers, $99.99 for upgrades

Amazon's one-day sale on the Sprint and AT&T HTC One has begun. For today only, HTC's latest handset is being sold at a reduced price of $79.99 if you're a new customer, or $99.99 for upgrades, which is a pretty good discount on our favorite Android phone of the moment.

If you're interested, check out the links below --

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4 years ago

Candy Crush Saga for Android: Help, hints and cheats

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If Candy Crush is bleeding you dry, fear not - these tips can help you out 

Admit it: You're playing Candy Crush Saga. Or you know somebody who does. The Bejeweled clone has become a big of hit on iOS as well as Android, amassing more than 50 million total downloads on Google Play, with an average rating of 4.4 on some 1.2 million reviews.

Like the app or not, you can't deny those numbers.

And so Candy Crush has quickly become the latest and greatest timesuck, not to mention a money pit thanks to some devilishly good in-app purchases to get you through those tricky levels. Fortunately, our pals at iMore.com are damned wizards when it comes to Candy Crush Saga, offering up a number of tips and tricks that can keep the frustration at a minimum.

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4 years ago

Devil May Cry developer leaps into mobile with 80s-style beat-'em-up game

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At E3 2013, we got some time with Ninja Theory, who's been working on their first mobile title called Fightback. These guys made the latest Devil May Cry game, which is part of a well-respected console action series, so it was pretty exciting to see what they'd be able to do on Android.

Fightback is straightforward (but gorgeous) beat-em-up where players have to tap and swipe their way through waves of 80s-era goons within a limited timeframe. If things get tight, you can always bust out the guns to clear a wave, but depending on your weapon and upgrades, you'll have to wait on your reload time to use them again. 

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4 years ago

Celebrating 50,000 downloads of the Android Central app with a T-shirt giveaway!

It's Friday and we're in a great mood this week, especially since the latest iteration of the Android Central App has surpassed 50,000 downloads in its first month of release, which is wildly exceeding our expectations!

As a way to say thanks, we're going to give away 20 Android Central T-shirts. Just leave a comment in this post, and we'll pick 20 winners at random. We'll leave comments open through 5 p.m. Sunday to make sure everybody gets a chance, and this one's open to everyone. (We'll post the winners here in this post after they've been chosen, and we'll contact them by e-mail as well.)

Thanks again, everybody! Check out the all-new Android Central app if you haven't already, and be sure to leave a review!

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4 years ago

Testing Google Play Music's new streaming quality settings

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New Play Music settings could cut your streaming data usage in half

The launch of Google Play Music All Access last month reminded many of us just how much data the app uses for streaming and caching. There were a few things you could do to try and limit your usage, but in the end Google was likely going to stream as high quality of music it could, data caps be damned. Google listened to some of the complaints coming its way about the data usage, and has released an update that gives users better options to limit data usage by lowering the stream quality in Play Music.

Rather than allowing the app to offer as high of quality music as possible given the current connection, users now have three settings -- low, normal and high -- to cap the quality, and therefore data usage, of streaming. We've done a little semi-scientific testing on the new settings, and have found them to be quite effective.

So, let's put things to the test.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active up for pre-order on AT&T

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$200 on a two-year plan or $595 up-front, shipping June​ 18

Right on schedule, Samsung's rugged, water-resistant Galaxy S4 Activet is now available to pre-order from U.S. carrier AT&T. The Active packs similar specs to the regular Galaxy S4 -- Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM, 1080p screen -- with the added bonus of being able to withstand the elements. It's rated IP67 for dust resistance and water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

The Galaxy S4 Active will set you back $199.99 on a two-year plan, or $594.99 outright. It's available in "urban grey" and "dive blue" colors, and will start shipping to pre-order customers from June 18, ahead of the June 21 date for general availability.

Anyone placing a pre-order today? Shout out in the comments!

More: AT&T

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4 years ago

New ASUS-made Nexus tablet drops by the FCC

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Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU, 5MP rear camera and 4G LTE

Rumors of a second-generation, ASUS-built Nexus 7 tablet have been circulating for some time, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise to see such a device passing by the FCC today.  The ASUS "K009" tablet is listed on the FCC's online repository, along with the "Nexus" name listed under "brand" in a certification document. The same document specifies a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and 4,000mAh battery, a 5-megapixel rear camera and 4G LTE radios. (Additional FCC data points to T-Mobile and AT&T frequencies.)

The inclusion of LTE connectivity as well as a rear camera is interesting to see, considering the original Nexus 7 featured only a front-facing camera, and at launch was a Wifi-only product. We wouldn't speculate as to exactly when this new Nexus tablet might see a retail release, but FCC certification hopefully means it's not too far off.

Source: FCCEngadget

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4 years ago

Press updated with Feedbin and Feed Wrangler support, interface changes

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Popular RSS reader Press rolled out an update on the Play Store today that added two new options for managing RSS feeds as well as new interface changes. Getting out in front of the planned Google Reader shutdown on July 1st, the latest update now supports both Feedbin and Feed Wrangler alongside the original Google Reader login option. Both of these options are paid ($2 per month for Feedbin, $19 per year for Feed Wrangler), but are a couple of the only viable options available as a Google Reader replacement at this point. Other leading options are Feedly, which Press indicates should be integrated before July 1st, and Fever, which is marked as "coming soon" to the app.

Press has also improved the interface, with better categorizing of feeds and some subtle changes to clean up the reading experience. The app is $2.99 in the Play Store and still stands as one of the best designed apps out there today. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

Talk Mobile 2013 Launch Party in NYC - The Video!

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We're a week removed from the Talk Mobile 2013 launch party in New York City. For those who were able to make it -- well, you know it was a bit of a rager, as the kids like to say. (And if they're not saying that, give it time. It'll catch on.) Just us and 600 of our closest smartphone nerd friends, men and women from all walks of life, coming together to hang out, have a couple beverages and swap a few smartphone stories.

Thank you for coming.

For those who weren't able to make it out, we present this highlights video, and we've got a proper gallery of pics if you keep on readin'. And be sure to check out our Week 1 recap on mobile gaming!

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4 years ago

Android the latest target of EU probe on anticompetitive behavior

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Competitors take issue with Google's licensing terms for Android

Google and Android are once again the target of an antitrust investigation by the European Commission, this time because of allegations that Google used anticompetitive tactics to expand its mobile market share. While it is only an informal probe at this point, the EC is investigating claims from Google's competitors -- such as Microsoft and Nokia -- that it licenses Android to manufacturers below cost, giving it an unfair advantage. The allegations continue, stating that Google also makes demands of its licensees that they give specific placement to Google's other apps, such as Youtube, and not allow them to use other services, which again gives it unfair advantage.

Google makes Android open-source and licenses it to manufacturers for free, and while that may seem like a way to be absolved of any wrongdoing its competitors see it as a great example of Google's anticompetitive tactics.

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4 years ago

Samsung 'Galaxy NX' Android-based mirrorless camera pictured

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Samsung's Android-based, professional-class camera gets leaked ahead of June 20 event

Just hours after Samsung co-CEO JK Shin confirmed that the company will release an Android-powered mirrorless camera, we're already seeing the first leaked promotional shots of the device. Vietnamese tech site Tinh te has published three images of a device bearing the name Galaxy NX -- a product that fuses Samsung's smart device and camera brands.

And it's a big honkin' camera. The Galaxy NX clearly a professional-class product, with interchangeable lenses, a viewfinder, a big grippy body and a large rear display -- a world away from last year's Galaxy Camera. According to Tinh te's post, the NX features a 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, 1080p video recording support, max ISO of 25,600 and a dual-core or quad-core Exynos CPU. The touchscreen back is a "high resolution" 4.3-incher, according to the post. No word on connectivity, but there's a signal strength meter on the display, suggesting it'll feature cellular radios of some sort.

If the Galaxy S4 Zoom was Samsung's answer to a consumer-level Android imaging device, then the Galaxy NX is squarely aimed at the professional market, and may attract attention from high-end users who were underwhelmed by the Galaxy Camera's performance. We can only speculate as to the eventual price (we imagine it won't come cheap), but whatever it costs, we're eager to get our hands on the Galaxy NX at Samsung's June 20 "Premiere" event.

More pics after the break, and at the source link below.

Source: Tinh te

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4 years ago

Google+ update rolling out with new notifications and other tweaks

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Notification sync comes to Google+

An updated notification interface is now rolling out to Google+ on the web and through the official Android app. First up, notification sync is coming to Google's social network, and reading or dismissing a notification on one device or platform will register the change across all platforms. (Google recently announced something similar for Cloud Messaging in Android at Google I/O.)

And the notification UI has been given a fresh coat of paint, too. A new bell icon makes it easier to see if there are any new notifications waiting, and notifications are grouped based on whether they've been read or not.

Google's also used this opportunity to roll out some new features and tweaks elsewhere in Google+.  For instance, it's now possible to delete photos from directly in the "photos" view. Reshares are now shown alongside comments and +1's in the post view. And the left-hand menu has been redesigned to fit with the new look seen in other Google apps, such as Gmail.

The new version of Google+ is being rolled out gradually on the web and Android. Shout out in the comments and let us know if you're seeing the update yet.

Source: +Balaji Srinivasan

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4 years ago

Google Play Music update brings faster downloads, better data controls

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We've found ourselves plenty impressed with Google Play Music of late, but one area of concern has been with mobile data usage. Looks like that's being addressed in the most recent update (version 5.0.1052J, for those of you keeping track), along with some other improvements. 

Of the greatest interest to us is the addition of "new settings for mobile network bandwidth usage." Taking a quick look at the updated app, you have now have a "Mobile networks stream quality" section in the settings with three options -- low, normal and high, and there's definitely a noticeable difference between the best and worst quality. 

As carriers keep pushing us away from unlimited data plans -- and they've been pushing a lot harder over the past year or so -- that's become a cause for concern when you're away from the relative comfort and safety of Wifi. Google says this new version also reduces overall data usage, which is a good thing.

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