4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: So long, #CESlive!


There's something about having your big giant head hanging high over South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center that makes a guy feel a little self-conscious. Never mind that it's actually a pretty good picture of me. (And those are pretty rare.) Never mind that I'm pictured with an outstanding group of people. (It's such a fun, talented group.) Never mind that it's our jobs to be out in public. To be seen.

Yeah, you've got to be a little bit of a narcissist to enjoy it, I think. (And I'd like to think that I at least recognize that narcissism, so maybe it's not so bad.) But that doesn't meant it's not just a little bit weird.

But one thing makes it worth it. 

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4 years ago

Android version numbers in for Dec. — KitKat and Jelly Bean up, Gingerbread down


No surprises in December, but legacy versions are down to just 23 percent of the total

Google has released the version distribution numbers for December 2013, and things are just about what anyone following along would expect.

KitKat gets a small bump of .3 percent since November, Jelly Bean gets a big boost — up from 54.5 percent — and Gingerbread continues to decline, losing about 3 percent since that last chart. The good news is that legacy versions — anything older than Ice Cream Sandwich — are just under a quarter of the total at 22.6 percent. 

This means that more than 75 percent of the devices out there can run all those great apps that require Android 4 or higher. Android's open nature means one version will never fill the pie chart, but from an application developer standpoint, things are looking good.

Source: Google

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Press, Push Bullet, DailyBurn and more!


A solid selection of apps to see for yourself this weekend

We've had quite a week with our full #CESlive coverage of CES 2014 in Las Vegas, but that hasn't stopped us from putting together another edition of our Apps of the Week column. We carve out this area every Saturday afternoon to show off an app that each of the writers here at Android Central have been using as of late.

Some of the apps are old (but good), some are new and some are downright random, but if the app is installed on our device then it has to be good for something. Hit the break and see how our list breaks down this week.

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4 years ago

European Moto G receiving Android 4.4.2 update


OTA currently rolling out for European devices

While the Moto G received Android 4.4.2 here in the states a little while ago, the European model had yet to see the update. Vodafone had announced that when they launched the device it would be running Android 4.4.2 and it now seems as though the update is available for all the European devices. The update will bring Android 4.4.2, KitKat, which is the most current version of Android available at the moment.

If you have not already been prompted to update your device, be sure to hop into the system settings and check manually. If you've already gotten the update be sure to head into the forums and let us know how it is going for you, and any issues you may be experiencing.

Source: @Clint_76. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

ZTE Nubia 5S and 5S Mini hands-on


Iterative steps in hardware and software, and a new colorful shell choices

Just a handful of months removed from the release of the original Nubia 5, ZTE is refreshing the brand with the Nubia 5S and 5S Mini. Being so close to the release of their predecessor, it's not surprising that these two devices don't differ heavily in their software and hardware. The dimensions of the Nubia 5S are nearly identical to that of the 5, as are the button placements and 1080 x 1920 5-inch screen. Aside from a material change from soft touch to hard plastic and a move from a black to white color scheme, you wouldn't immediately know which device was more recently released.

What you are getting with the addition of the "S" on the name is the bump to a Snapdragon 800 processor inside, 32 or 64GB of storage and a brand new 13MP Sony Exmor RS camera with OIS. The new camera hardware is accompanied by an improved camera software suite with advanced shooting modes, as well as a hardware camera key on the bottom right side of the phone.

The Nubia 5S Mini isn't particularly tiny as the name would lead you to believe, with a screen size of 4.7-inches compared to the 5-inch display on the full-sized variant. It also follows many of the same design cues as the original but with a glossier back, different camera placement and a variety of color options. Just as we've seen with other "Mini" versions, the Nubia 5S Mini lacks the same hardware chops as the larger version. You're getting a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, a 720 x 1280 screen resolution, just 16GB of internal storage and a 2000mAh battery. But did we mention it comes in several colors? Yellow, blue, pink, green and white, to be exact.

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4 years ago

Behind the scenes at #CESlive!


Want to see just how crazy it was backstage at #CESlive in Last Vegas this week? Want to see all the tech — all the TVs, switches, routers, cameras, lights — and, more important, the people — that made it all happen? Want to watch your favorite Mobile Nations bloggers sitting around a table, blogging and blogging and blogging?

Want to see all the sandwiches we went through?

John P and Cali Lewis from GeekBeat.TV will walk you through it.

This one deserves the full 15 minutes, folks. It's a good one.

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4 years ago

First look at Audi's Smart Display, putting Android in your car


Right at the beginning of the CES 2014 week, in the wee small hours of the morning – at least, the Las Vegas morning, anyway – Google announced the Open Automotive Alliance. One of the early partners in the project, Audi, is on the show floor in Las Vegas with a bunch of cool new stuff, including this; the Smart Display

In simple terms, we've got a 10.2-inch Android 4.3 tablet running on a Tegra 4 CPU and carrying a heavily customized user interface. After all, this isn't just another Android tablet. The Smart Display integrates fully and seamlessly with the on-board entertainment and navigation systems. 

Audi has also constructed the Smart Display with the car in mind, too. An Audi representative told us that they tested other tablets such as the iPad and the ASUS Transformer, and in the event of an accident both present a danger to the occupants. That's right, Audi has crash tested its Android tablet. 

It's an interesting concept, and we're sure to start seeing a lot more Android automotive technology in the coming year. But, since we're on the ground at CES, we swung by Audi to see what's going on first hand. Head on past the break for the video, and as a special treat, a few snaps of the uber-impressive Audi S8 we used for some of the shoot. Because, why not?!

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4 years ago

Staying alive at conferences with Seidio


Your phone goes through a lot at a show like CES, so gear up!

It’s the last day of CES 2014. People are heading home. Stalls are being taken down. Feet are being dragged. Batteries, both human and otherwise, are drained. Well, most batteries. When we got to our freakin’ sweet stage in South Hall a few short days ago, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the show, we were greeted by a giant pile of accessories from our gracious sponsor, Seidio. Before long, I had my Galaxy S4 decked out with their extended battery and purpose-built Active Extended case, plus their Charging Vault as a back-up. Of course I slapped one of our new AC stickers to represent while out on the show floor. For all of its usefulness, I normally don’t rock the holster, but at a show like this, the fashion police aren’t exactly going to be writing me up.

I had used a few Seidio cases in the past, and even their extended battery for the Galaxy Nexus way back, but it was great to get reacquainted. It also reminded me about how absolutely vital extra battery life is at a show like CES. We had a huge crew coming, so we all leaned on our phones for chatter on Google Hangouts, figuring out who’s grabbing what taxi, where we need our video guys, and finding our way through the massive, sprawling convention area to our next meeting. I expect that the last week has been the busiest ever for any phone I’ve had in my pocket, and it wouldn’t have made it through any day without some extra juice.

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4 years ago

Gmail update pushing out, enables 'always show images' setting


Images displayed through a proxy server to keep you safer

A couple of days ago a lucky few first saw an update for Gmail that enables the automatic display of images in messages. Today it seems that the update is pushing out hard and reports of users receiving it are coming in.

There is no official change log posted, and all we can see is the new image display option. You can jump in the settings and turn things on and off, so there's no need to start a petition. If you're a Gmail user — and you should be if you're using an Android — look for the update soon if you haven't received it already.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Clarion AX1 car stereo with SwiftKey


When your car stereo is an Android tablet, you need a good way to type on it

Android is on everything here at CES. And while the Clarion AX1 doesn't break a lot of new ground insofar as head units running Android go, it does bring one new feature that we've yet to see in the car.

The Clarion AX1 has the SwiftKey keyboard built in.

That is, you've got a high-quality Android keyboard on a double-DIN head unit, with a fairly stock Android experience. There's no Google Play, of course, so you'll be downloading other apps through Clarion's own app store. Maps are handled by iGO. And of course there's all the music (it outputs at 24x4, by the way) and video (while stationary, or piped out to external displays) the AX1 can muster.

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4 years ago

Can't afford an Oculus Rift? Strap a phone to your face with Dive


Dive was at CES 2014 showing off their recently-launched virtual reality accessory built for smartphones 5 inches and smaller. Besides having adjustable wide angle lenses and the proper straps and clamps in place to make everything work, Dive also has an SDK so developers can make their 3D apps stereoscopic and formatted to work with the accessory. 

I still can't decide if this is so bad it's good, so bad it's bad, or crazy enough that it might just work. While my reaction to wearing the Dive headset wasn't quite as explosive as our demonstrator's here, I was able to get a decent 3D effect, barring a bit of light leakage where the lens sliders are set. I also got to try out the latest Oculus prototype, which obviously blew Dive out of the water when it came to app quality and overall experience, but it's also still very much in a pre-release state. 

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4 years ago

Fitbit talks best-in-class fitness tracking #CESlive


Force yourself to Flex and enhance your fitness tracking

Cali and Daniel were able to catch up with Lindsay Cook from Fitbit to check out some of the new devices that they brought to consumers in 2013. Showing off the Fitbit Flex and the Fitbit Force they give us a rundown of the features of each product.

Luckily Fitbit has recently released an update which allowed for compatibility with more Android devices so syncing on the go is even easier. Be sure to check out the full interview above to catch all the great stuff that Fitbit has going on.

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4 years ago

Android 4.3 rolling out for Dell Venue 7


OTA brings Dell Venue 7 tablet up to version 4.3

Got a Dell Venue 7 tablet? Start mashing the check update button because there is an OTA ready and waiting to bring the 7-inch Clover Trail tablet up to Android 4.3.

Word is that this update does good things, and the Venue 7 runs it well. We've no official change log as of yet, but runs well is the kind of response everyone like to hear.

Thanks, Paul

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4 years ago

Vodafone UK confirms Moto G coming soon


Mid range device coming to large UK carrier soon

We've seen that Motorola is set to launch what we believe is the Moto X in Europe next week, and Vodafone UK has announced that they will be carrying the Moto G as well. Unfortunately Vodafone has yet to announce pricing, as they are holding that for the launch, but we can bet it will likely be less than from Motorola directly. Voda says its Moto G will run Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box — interesting as that update still hasn't landed on the European model.

If you haven't already checked out our review of the Moto G or checked out how it compares to some other devices, you will want to do that now. Would you be interested in making the Moto G your next device?

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4 years ago

Gold HTC One hands-on


One of our 2013 favorites, revisited in an exclusive new color

We've spent all week getting to know some of this year's most-anticipated upcoming Android devices at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. But as we head towards the end of the week, there's just time to take a look at one of our favorite Android phones, we've been able to spend some time with one of our favorites from 2013 in a bold new color option. As announced shortly before the holidays, the HTC One now comes in gold — at least in some European countries — with a darker trim around its edges.

And in our video and photo galleries after the break we'll compare this lustrous new HTC One to the classic silver version, and Apple's rival gold iPhone 5s. Enjoy!

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