4 years ago

First look: The Air Dock wireless charger


This car dock has a great feature — wireless charging

Wireless charging is a great way to keep your phone battery topped off while it's not in your hands. Having a charger on your desk is really handy, and it makes the worries of battery life on today's big-screen phones just about nonexistent. But one place that really needs some wireless charging love in the car — and it's about to get some.

The folks at Air Dock have kicked off an Indiegogo campaign for what they call the world's best smartphone car charger, and after using it for a couple days I have to agree with them. If you use — and I mean really use — your phone in the car, for navigation, or phone calls, or as a music player or to entertain the passenger with a video or two, this is what you need. 

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4 years ago

Google Play Newsstand has a hidden developer option to disable caching


... but you probably don't want to use it.

Reader Andrew sends in a little tip regarding the Google Play Newsstand app, and how it has the same sort of hidden developer settings as Android itself these days. Go into the settings menu, scroll down to the build number, and tap your little head off until you're granted developer options.

You'll then be able to disable caching. But as the toast notification clearly spells out, it's not really an option you'll want or need to use. Explains the app:

Disable caching is for testing design changes and makes the app operate very slowly. This operation will be automatically turned off in 4 hours.

Your battery and data cap will thank you.

Thanks, Andrew!

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid 4 soak test invites being sent out


No clear indication of what the software update will bring

We've already seen Motorola roll out a rather quick Android 4.4 update for the Moto X, and now Droid 4 owners are receiving a soak test invitation. Shortly after rolling out the soak tests on the Moto X, Droid Ultra and various other devices the update starting hitting officially, and we hope for the same here. While this update is likely to keep the phone on a lower version of Android — Motorola's support page still claims the Droid 4 won't go past Android 4.1.2 — we'll never turn down an official software update on an older device.

Invites are going out now, so we can expect to wait a few more days for software to start hitting devices. Hopefully if all goes smooth they will be able to roll the update to everyone rather quickly. Keep your eyes on your update screen and be sure to let us know if you start receiving the update!

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

ARCHOS introduces Helium smartphone line for CES


ARCHOS unleases 45 Helium 4G and 50 Helium 4G pretty cheap unlocked

CES-related news continues to come! This time, it's ARCHOS making the announcement. The big part of the story here is how cheap the phones are: $200 and $250 respectively.

These phones come unlocked and both phones announced today support LTE on the 800, 1800, 2100 and 2600 MHz bands.

Both also have quad-core Qualcomm MSM8926 processors and 1 GB of RAM.

Oh, and here's something else that will make many people happy: both phones have MicroSD slots to satiate your expandable storage needs. Both phones also run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Jump on past the break to learn about some of the differences between the phones.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 unveiled ahead of CES


Same lens and sensor with updated internals, software and design

We're still a good four days out from the official start of CES 2014, but Samsung has already taken the wraps off its first Android product from the show, the Galaxy Camera 2. Described as a successor to 2012's OG Galaxy Camera, the Galaxy Camera 2 packs the same 16.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor and f/2.8-5.9 21X optical zoom lens as the original, only with updated internals, a newer version of Android and a bigger battery.  The basic shape of the camera is similar, though it now sports a Galaxy Note 3-like faux-leather effect on the front, and it's a little lighter than before, at 283 grams versus 300.

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4 years ago

Moto G officially hits Verizon prepaid on Jan. 9 for $99


U.S. carrier undercuts Motorola's own purchase price by $80

Verizon today officially announced that the Moto G will be available online on Jan. 9. It'll be available in-stores thereafter, but you might already be able to pick one up at Best Buy.

The U.S. carrier is going as far as undercutting Motorola's own purchase price, selling the LTE-less smartphone for a mere $99. Prepaid plans start at $60 a month for unlimited talk and text, with 2 gigabytes of data. Upgrading to 4GB of data costs another $10 a month. 

Be sure to check out our full review of the Moto G.

Source: Verizon

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4 years ago

Wrist-First: This is Pebble


"The smartwatch kind of snuck up on us." I'm sitting with Eric Migicovsky in his office in Palo Alto. Even seated he towers over me, which might help explain his extraordinary vision. Or maybe he’s just that far ahead of the rest of us.

Earlier attempts at making watches smarter, everything from the classic Casio calculator watch to the Sony Ericsson MBW series, didn't do it for Migicovsky. They simply didn't do enough. Inspired by pen computers like the Newton, Psion, and the Palm Pilot, and their eventual convergence with smartphones, Migicovsky felt there was a place for a device that was even more convenient.

He wanted something that could take on a subset of tasks and make them available to you at glance, on your wrist, while in a meeting or on a run. After early attempts to hack extra radios onto the iPhone 3G, Migicovsky, a Canadian, switched his focus to the (at the time) far more accessible BlackBerry platform.

4 years ago

Lenovo's new smartphones: Vibe Z, A859, S930, S650


Lenovo today announced a foursome of new smartphones ahead of CES. The hero device of the group is the Vibe Z, aimed at the fashion-conscious shutterbug crowd.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they will be making their way Stateside anytime soon, but they should be good options for those who live where they're available.

What are their specs like? Jump on past the break to find out!

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4 years ago

Carbon for Twitter goes easy on our eyes with new font options


Carbon for Twitter, which earlier this week got a long-awaited overhaul, has tweaked things yet again today and addressed one of our chief complaints. Switching to the Roboto font certainly kept things more HOLOYOLO, but not all variants of Roboto are easy on the eyes. To that end, there are now three options — Roboto condenced, regular and light. 

Good options to have, and a good response by the dev. The update's live in Google Play.

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4 years ago

Welcome Smartwatch Fans to the Mobile Nations family!


Happy 2014! There is no better day to launch a new website than January 1st, so we're doing just that. Today we welcome Smartwatch Fans to the Mobile Nations family!!

We're incredibly excited to launch SmartwatchFans.com. We actually entered 2013 thinking it was the year we needed to go beyond phones and build a new "connected accessories" community to join the ranks of Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and Windows Phone Central. As we discussed throughout Talk Mobile 2013, mobile is about so much more than just phones these days. The problem is, with the "internet of things" growing so big, so fast and penetrating into every area of life, it's really hard to define the scope of where a new community like that would begin and end. As we've learned over the years, a successful tech community needs a focus.

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4 years ago

Build the city of the future with 2020: My Country for Android


Last week we brought news that Russian gaming giant Game Insight would be bringing its multiplayer combat game Tank Domination to Android early next year. That title will be the publisher’s most hardcore Android release to date. They’re actually best known for city building games.

The cream of Game Insight’s city building crop is 2020: My Country, a sequel to the original My Country. The new game carries over the original’s addictive mixture of serious simulation with free to play mechanics. It also throws in a futuristic touch, with hovercars and aliens populating the city. It’s surprisingly fun, if you like this type of game. Head past the break for our detailed review.

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4 years ago

Fly Delta app updated to help keep track of SkyMiles status


Starting today, those of us who play the frequent flyer game on Delta Air Lines need to keep track of what we're spending in order to make status for 2015. And to that end, Delta has updated its Android app to also show your Medallion Qualification Dollars, aka MQDs. Want to keep status next year? You've got to spend, baby, spend, and not just hop cheap flights to nowhere.

Also new is more detailed profile information, and the requisite bugfixes and performance improvements.

And as a reminder, Delta, like other U.S. airlines, now lets you use your phone or tablet below 10,000 feet. Just don't try to make any calls, m'kay?

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4 years ago

Moto X price drops to $399 outright


New off-contract pricing applies to custom designs, too, but bamboo will still set you back another Benjamin

Motorola is starting 2014 out right, dropping the outright price of its flagship Moto X Android smartphone to $399. That's still double the price of its budget Moto G offering, but a third as much (at least) of still less than what most other high-end phones will cost off contract. The new pricing is with 16 gigabytes of storage — 32 GB will set you back another $50.

It's worth noting, however, that you'll still likely be able to get the Moto X even cheaper at some point. Motorola hasn't been shy about putting this guy on sale, and we saw it go for as low as $350 outright in past months.

The new pricing applies to custom-designed phones, as well, but you'll still have to pony up another $100 for the bamboo backs.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Android Central Best of 2013 Awards


It's been a busy year. 2013 has been full of amazing new devices, new accessories, and new apps. Over the last month, we've had voting open to you fine readers to choose your favorite products of the year across all categories.

Over 220,000 votes were cast for this year's awards, which is overwhelming in and of itself. Needless to say, we're excited to show off what's made the biggest impression among you, the Android fanbase at large. Many of the results aren't especially surprising, while others might cause an eyebrow raise or two.

4 years ago

Best Buy offering Nexus 7 for $199 with $25 Google Play credit


Deal available both online and in-store, with Play Store codes sent by email

If you didn't happen to pick up a Nexus 7 during your holiday shopping, Best Buy is running a pretty great sale you may want to take advantage of. You can pick up Google's latest 7-inch tablet for just $199, that's $30 off, and also pick up a $25 Google Play credit in the process. Even if you don't see too much value to the Google Play gift, $30 off an already cheap tablet is nothing to sneeze at.

The sale is active from Best Buy's online store, including free shipping, and we've also heard from a few different folks who have found the deal active in brick-and-mortar stores as well. There's no special coupon code to receive the deal, and it looks as though the Google Play gift will be sent to customers via email. The one unfortunate part of this deal is that it seems to only apply to the 16GB Wifi model, not the higher storage capacity or LTE variants. 

Source: Best Buy; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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