4 years ago

Nest co-founder discusses Google's future in the connected home


OK Google, turn on my air conditioner

Nest co-founder Matt Rogers was on the stage at CNET's SmartHome Panel at CES last week, and he had a little bit to say about Google and how things may play out as things push to a connected home.

The timing is interesting, of course, as Google just acquired Nest and their smart controls, and we imagine they have plenty of other smart ideas lined up for Google to make happen.

Could this be the beginning of Google Now in your house? Maybe. Rogers seems to think it is, and we certainly can't argue with someone in his position. There will be privacy concerns, and there will be safety concerns, and there will be all sorts of other pitfalls. But when it all gets sorted — and it will — the connected home working with your Internet of things will probably be worth it. 

Source: CNET

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1s first impressions


Sony and T-Mobile have paired to bring another great phone to the U.S. market

Sony was firing on all cylinders last week at CES, and one of its most impressive new products already is available here in the United States. Meet the Xperia Z1s, the North American answer to Sony’s Xperia Z1 flagship and T-Mobile’s exclusive follow up to last summer’s Xperia Z. It’s available now online (coming to stores next Monday) for $22 per month or $528 outright.

We’ve spent the past few days with the device and before we break it down piece by piece in a full in-depth review,  a few of our first impressions can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 Sleeve now available in red on Google Play


Same case, louder color option

Google Play is again expanding its Nexus accessory ranks with a new color of the Nexus 7 Sleeve. Now sitting alongside the black, grey and yellow options is a new bright red version adorned with the same subtle "Nexus" branding and black accent stitching. The sleeve offers a good bit of protection for either generation of the Nexus 7 as well.

We're starting to see a trend for all of Google's new accessories hitting these bright and bold colors, and while not everyone will gravitate towards them (black is still an option, of course) it is certainly a good way to add a little personality to your device while protecting it.

The Nexus 7 Sleeve will still set you back a cool $29.99 plus shipping, and is currently in-stock and ready to ship.

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4 years ago

Xbox Music for Android now more useable, finally adds offline access


Microsoft has finally made Xbox Music a more viable option for Android users, with offline access finally added in todays update. While the folks up at Redmond said from the word go offline music would always become a feature, eventually, it's taken four months to get it. 

Offline music access is a big deal to folks on strict data plans, and as such the necessity to stream everything may have turned more than a few away. The bigger question perhaps is; now it's here, are you tempted back to Xbox Music? Grab the latest update from the Play Store link above. 

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4 years ago

Moto G Google Play edition now on sale for $179


Same great phone at a budget price, with a slightly different take on software

In yet another quiet release, Google has just put up the Moto G Google Play edition for sale at $179 for the 8GB model. That mirrors the price that Motorola has been selling it directly, but this version will follow in the footsteps of other GPe devices with a slightly different software experience. The differences will likely be a bit more subtle on the Moto G considering that Motorola's current offering is barely changed from Google's take on the software.

The hardware specs seem identical to what we've seen in the current Moto G, as they should be. And although the device is unlocked and listed as being compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile, it's worth mentioning that the spec sheet does not show 1700MHz (AWS) support for HSPA+ — that means T-Mobile customers in markets that have not been refarmed to 1900MHz will be sitting on EDGE with this one.

If you're looking for more storage you'll be able to option up to 16GB for $199, and both versions are listed in the Play Store as in-stock and shipping in 1-2 business days.

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4 years ago

AT&T's Galaxy S4 Active getting Android 4.3 update today


772MB of downloading gets you to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and all the goodness that goes with

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active is finally getting some love from AT&T today, as the I537UCUBML2 update — that'd be Android 4.3 — is currently rolling out over-the-air.

We don't currently have a list of the changes (the update itself isn't "official" just yet) and the update just started pushing so there's not a lot of customer feedback for now. What we do know is that 4.3 is bigger than 4.2, therefore the laws of smartphone physics say it must be better.

If you have an S4 Active from AT&T, be sure to check for your update. Discuss in the S4 Active forums!

Thanks, Trey!

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4 years ago

Seidio accessories keep your Android phone protected, and keep you going!


BIG Thanks to Seidio for sponsoring our #CESlive coverage at CES 2014!

CES 2014 has come to an end, as has our #CESlive coverage for the year. It was an amazing week (and a busy one to boot!), with 70 guests taking to our stage over 4 days.

One of our big sponsors for the year was Seidio, a company we were extremely excited to have come onboard. Like Mobile Nations, Seidio has been around since the beginning of the smartphone era, going back to 2002. Over the years they've always made a great selection of cases, charging docks and extended batteries for popular smartphones on all platforms.

Be sure to hit up the video above for a video walkthrough of Seidio's booth at CES 2014. Derek from Seidio walks us through some of the different products they had on display, including the new OBEX case for the Galaxy Note 3 which is tough and waterproof yet great for everyday use. 

For more info and to buy, you can visit seidioonline.com, or view our selection of Seidio accessories at ShopAndroid.com.

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4 years ago

Smartwatch Fans Android app now available!


Good news, everyone! Our latest and greatest Mobile Nations site — that'd be Smartwatch Fans — now has its own Android app! This one's done in the same vein as our official Android Central app, so you'll be right at home. All the latest news, reviews, videos and podcasts are there. Plus you've got access to the forums, and can comment on stories. (Be sure to log in!)

And, of course, the app is free to use, and free of advertisements. Download it now at the link above!

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4 years ago

Sprint's HTC One gets some bugfixes


Sprint today is rolling out an update for its HTC One. The changelog is short and sweet: "Fixes an issue that blocked users from being able to Update Profile/PRL." That's important for keeping a good connection. So, yeah. Good fix.

Meanwhile, we continue the lookout for the Android 4.4 KitKat update.

Source: Sprint; More: HTC One (Sprint) forums; thanks, Kyle!

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4 years ago

Moto G available Jan. 20 on Boost Mobile for $129


A quick heads up, folks, that Motorola's budget-friendly Moto G smartphone will be available on Boost Mobile starting Jan. 20. It runs just $129 on Boost's no-contract $55-a-month plan. You get 50GB of Google Drive space along with that, of course.

Boost's Moto G will launch with Android 4.3 but should get its Android 4.4 update shortly, Boost says.

More: Boost Mobile

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4 years ago

First look: The European Moto X in London


Moto X gets a British accent and a hefty price tag

It's taken five months, but the Moto X is finally headed to Europe — specifically the UK, France and Germany — from Feb. 1. Moto's flagship, now sporting European 4G LTE support, comes with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and a familiar array of features that American Moto X owners have been getting acquainted with since the fall. There's Touchless Control, which lets you command your device using the "OK Google Now" keyword, in addition to active display, which shows you notifications on-screen in place of a notification LED. And other highlights include the unique wiggle gesture to bring up the camera app, and Trusted Bluetooth to let you disable lock screen security if you're paired with your favorite accessory. In essence, it's the same Moto X we declared the best Android phone around just a couple of months ago.

But the European Moto X's greatest weakness could be its hefty SIM-free price tag. It'll sell "from £25 per month" on contract, we're told, but if you want a Moto X without a monthly plan it'll set you back £380 (around $610) for the 16GB version. What's more, Moto Maker isn't available in Europe yet (it's apparently "a few months" away), so you're limited to the black and white versions. Even then, Phones4u will be the only outlet to offer the white version for the first three months of availability.

So Europeans finally get a Moto X designed for their networks, but a few pain points remain at launch. We got our hands on the European Moto X earlier today, so check out our quick look video and photo gallery after the break.

More: Moto X review

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4 years ago

Samsung rolls out its Sochi Winter Olympics app


App currently is only available on Samsung devices, though ...

Samsung this week has unveiled its official application for the Sochi Winter Olympics, which begin next month. 

The app is pretty good, breaking things down by sport, country and athletes, with easy links to schedules. You can get more information on the event venues in Russia, check out videos and photo galleries — and even see which events are wheelchair accessible. It's easy to follow your favorite athletes and sports as well.

As of the time of this writing, you're only able to install the app on Samsung devices. (Reading the press release again, though, it sounds like that might just be an oversight, so check back to see if more devices are added.) You can also install from the Samsung App Store, if that's how you roll.

(And should you want more information on Samsung products, there's a big banner link at the bottom of the app to help you out. Of course.)

Anyhoo. It's a good app. Give it a whirl.

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4 years ago

LG G Flex now avaliable for preorder from Carphone Warehouse in the UK


If you're in the UK and are looking to get your curve on, the LG G Flex (see our initial review) is now available for preorder from Carphone Warehouse. It's available from £52 a month, CPW says, with a £79 handset cost, or £42 a month as part of an upgrade with no handset cost. 

You can have it in any color you want, so long as it's black.

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4 years ago

Motorola brings the Moto X to the UK


Moto X coming to British customers in February for £380

Five months after the device was announced for the U.S., Motorola has today unveiled the Moto X for the UK ahead of a day of events in London. The European Moto X is the same device Americans have been using since the fall — a 4.7-inch display with a hand-friendly design and Motorola's X8 mobile computing system, combining a dual-core AP with silicon for contextual processing and always-on voice commands. The UK Moto X will run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, and come with all the software features we've seen on the U.S. model — such as active display, touchless control and trusted Bluetooth — only with support for UK 3G and 4G LTE networks.

Motorola says the device will go on sale from February 1, and will cost £380 outright. We won't be getting any Moto Maker facilities right now, so we're limited to the black and white versions. 16GB will be the standard model available, but a 32GB Moto X can be yours from the Motorola website when it goes on sale. 

Update: Following the London event, Motorola has confirmed again the February 1 launch date, applicable to the UK and also to France and Germany. So far, only one UK carrier partner has been announced, O2, and the Moto X will be available on contract from £25 per month. In addition to buying through O2 and Motorola direct, Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U will also both be stocking the Moto X, with the white version initially being exclusive to Phones 4U. 

In addition, Motorola confirmed to us that the 32GB version will not in fact be available in the UK at this time. 

More: Moto X review

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Sony announces 6-inch Xperia T2 Ultra and Ultra dual for emerging markets


Huge device with solid specs and dual SIM option targeted at the mid-range buyer

Sony is expanding its large device lineup today with the Xperia T2 Ultra and Ultra dual. Targeted at a more price-sensitive buyer in emerging markets such as China, the Middle East and Africa — as you would expect with a dual SIM option — the Xperia T2 Ultra brings many headline features and Sony design elements but cuts corners in a few places to lower the cost.

This budget behemoth offers a 6-inch 720 x 1280 Triluminous display, a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (plus SDcard support), a 3000mAh battery, NFC and LTE data access all running with Android 4.3. Sony is also making a point that these devices ship with a 13MP camera and several advanced camera modes. It is also available in three hallmark Sony colors — white, black and purple.

Mid-range devices that carry the same styling and many of the features of its higher-end devices are very important for Sony's brand recognition and market share, particularly in these emerging markets. While much of the focus may be put on its flagships launching in Western markets, the Xperia T2 Ultra and Ultra dual (what a wonky name that is) can sell well if the prices are right.

More: Sony

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