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4 years ago

ARCHOS set to unveil series of connected devices at CES 2014

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From Connected Home to Connected Self ARCHOS is bringing a ton of new products to CES 2014

This year at CES ARCHOS plans to take the wrapping off even more connected objects for Android devices. With everyone looking to automate their lives and control anything they can from their devices ARCHOS has some big plans for the upcoming year. Connected Home is one of the newest things from ARCHOS and this brings a ton of features and functionality right into one place.

Whether accessing through the Android application, or a customized 7 inch tablet that they have designed to sell, you will be able to program various tasks for different scenarios. Some examples would be turning on a light, recording video, or both as soon as one of the motion sensors is triggered. ARCHOS has designed these Bluetooth Low Energy devices with some serious style and kept the size of them extremely small, so they won’t become eyesores in your home. Some of the devices they will have available will be a mini cam, movement tag, motion ball, weather tag and a smart plug.

In addition to Connected Home ARCHOS plans to unveil a Weather Station at CES which will give weather information about the indoors and outdoors. The Weather Station will be able to provide CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure levels and much more.

To make the leap into the personal fitness space ARCHOS has planned a few new connected health devices as well. As a brain to all their fitness stuff they will have a Connected Self Application which all the accessories will report information to. With a blood pressure monitor, connected scale and an activity tracker ARCHOS hopes that you will go all in with their systems.

With CES just a week away it won’t be long until we get to check all of these out for ourselves, so stay tuned for more information right from the show floor!

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4 years ago

Android Central's most popular stories of 2013

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A look back at some of our most-read content from the past year

2013 is drawing to a close, and we're about to begin another year of Android goodness, starting with CES 2014 in the next week or so. So there's just time to reflect on some of our top content from the past year. It's certainly been a busy year, with what seemed like an endless string of high-profile device launches, big reviews every few weeks and more than its share of trade shows and other events. We've had a lot going on, and the pace shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

The list after the break details Android Central's most popular stories of 2013. These aren't necessarily the most important or the most recent, but they're are what you, the Android Central readers have been clicking on the most this past year. Enjoy!

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4 years ago

ASUS asks 'what's your number' in latest CES teaser

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New teaser video hints at three possible sizes for whatever is Vegas bound

We're edging ever closer to CES, and as we prepare to hit Las Vegas, ASUS continues to tease the products it will be announcing in its press conference on January 6. This time out, ASUS asks "what's your number," and drops some colored balls from the sky clearly denoting 4, 5 and 6. The obvious thought would be device sizes, which if true would hint at smartphones. 

But this is ASUS, and we know from past experience to expect the unexpected. We've already been teased with another two-in-one device for a CES debut, so it looks like ASUS is going to be busy next week. We'll be live from Las Vegas with ASUS on January 6 to bring you the very best of it all. 

Source: ASUS (YouTube)

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4 years ago

Google reportedly getting behind the wheel with Audi

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Reports sug​gest CES will see an Android based collaboration with the German auto maker

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Google is set to go in-car in a collaborative project with German car manufacturer Audi. And, it looks like next weeks annual CES in Las Vegas could be the grand unveiling. 

The report goes on to suggest that Google will also be announcing tie-ups with other car makers, as well as NVIDIA, in an attempt to establish Android as a viable option for in-car systems in the future. If it all pans out, it would see Android taking on iOS in yet another arena, following Apple's announcement of iOS in the Car back in June of this year. 

The aim it's said is to offer in-car access to Google's vast portfolio of apps and services. The obvious ones would be Google Maps Navigation and Google Music, but the possibilities are exciting to consider. If it all goes down at CES, we'll of course be there in force to bring you every little detail. But thinking aloud, what Google features would you like to see baked into your car? 

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

Samsung claims first 8-gigabit LPDDR4 mobile DRAM

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New component could put 4GB of high-performance RAM in future devices

Smartphones and tablets with 2GB of RAM have become the norm over the past year, but 2014 looks set to push memory capacities to new heights, and Samsung has announced a new component that could herald the arrival of 4GB phones and tablets in the coming year.

The electronics giant has claimed the industry's first 8-gigabit low-profile double-data-rate 4 (LPDDR4) mobile DRAM component, offering 1GB on a single die, which it says is the highest density currently available. Using four of the chips, Samsung says, a single 4GB package could offer "the highest level of performance available today."

The new LPDDR4 memory is said to provide 50 percent higher performance than current LPDDR3 offerings, with improved energy efficiency resulting in the chips using 40 percent less power than the previous generation, at 1.1 volts. The chips are fabricated using "20nm-class" process technology, meaning a process somewhere between 20 and 30nm.

Samsung is targeting high-end "UHD" smartphones, tablets and notebooks with the new DRAM parts, which it'll start offering in 2014. Elsewhere, the company has already hinted at devices with 1440p (2K or QHD) displays and 64-bit Exynos CPUs making up its 2014 smartphone lineup.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

Editors' top accessories: Andrew's picks for 2013

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The best add-ons that kept our devices charged, safe and productive

Being into smartphones is about more than just the phones themselves. You'll be hard-pressed to find someone that has a phone and hasn't gone out and purchased a case, wireless charger, headphones or some kind of other accessory. The editors here at Android Central are fortunate enough to have access to a good number of accessories for review, so we end up buying the ones that work for us.

While it isn't a long or flashy list, these are my top five accessories that I used throughout the year of 2013. Hit the break and see what I keep around for my devices this year.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Looking back at 2013 (Part 1)

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The first six months were a doozy — full of new hotness, DOA products, and a brush with celebrity​​

Professionally speaking, you've got to love the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays. There's almost zero actual news, basically making it a week off from the usual grind and a chance to relax a tad before the craziness that is CES. It's also the annual time to look back on the year that was. Cliche? Sure. But it's also a practical way to fill virtual space.

And looking back is important, I think, especially in a business that moves as quickly as this one does. It's so easy to move on to the next hotness and ignore a good thing that's still available. It's easy to miss the forest for the trees, if not a single branch. Perspective can be difficult to maintain.

Matthew Panzarino said it well last week on Twitter: "something I think about a lot: the tech ‘fog of war’ which causes bloggers, writers to think in 90 day chunks." That's not unique to writing about tech, but the point stands. The carriers and manufacturers are playing chess, while everyone else is busy playing checkers. 

Something to consider when you see folks arguing that a great phone can't possibly be using a processor that's "200 less" or some such nonsense.

And with that, a look back on 2013, as I saw it ...

(Update: And here's Part 2, with the second six months of the year!)

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4 years ago

LG to include Knock as standard feature in L Series II devices

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Bringing a premium feature down to the low end

LG has decided to make its new Knock feature a standard addition to all L Series II devices. First introduced with the LG G2, the Knock feature allows you to lock and unlock the device by simply double tapping on the screen of the device. Not long ago LG introduced the G Pad 8.3 which also included the feature, and its latest inclusion was on the G Flex.

After a successful rollout with these devices, LG has decided that it will include Knock with all L Series II devices. Devices that are on the market now will be receiving maintenance release updates that will add the functionality, and new devices will launch with the feature included.

“Knock is distinctively an LG UX and a great example of what happens when you marry the latest in mobile technology with consumer-centric insights,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics’ Mobile Communications Company, “No one ever thought that a power button needed to be improved until our engineers wondered why they couldn’t turn the entire screen into a power button.”

The update is set to begin rolling out in January 2014, which is right around the corner. Have you tried out LG’s Knock feature yet? Is this something you would like to see roll out to other Android devices, or are you content with just hitting the power button?

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4 years ago

Unlock With Wifi app retooled and is now SkipLock

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Safety meets convenience with a set of great features 

You may have heard us talk about an app called Unlock With Wifi a time or two. It's an app that tells your lock screen when to become secured with a password or PIN, based on what Wifi AP you're connected to. It's one of those apps that you never really open, but your phone is always using it. It now has a new name, and a new feature-set to go along with an entirely new re-write.

SkipLock is the new handle, and on the surface it looks like a tiny tweak to Unlock With Wifi. When you go to set it up though, you'll notice the changes. You can now use a Bluetooth connection to keep your phone unlocked, rooted users can set it up with a pattern instead of a password or PIN, and you can nix the notification bar icon — three things that users have asked for.

It works just the same, set it up and as long as you're connected to a Wifi AP or Bluetooth device you've listed, your phone is in swipe-to-unlock mode. Once you're not, your phone is secured with either a PIN or password that you've chosen during the setup, or if your rooted, a pattern. No muss, no fuss.

There are a couple things users of Unlock With Wifi need to be aware of. This is a new app, and if you want to use it longer than the four day trial period, you'll need to buy it again via an in-app purchase of about $5. If you bought Unlock With Wifi after October 27, contact the developer for a free license for Skip Lock. Unlock With Wifi isn't going anywhere, it's just not going to be further developed. If you bought it, it will still be in Google Play. The developer explains a bit more of why it was done this way here.

There's not a lot more to tell. If you leave your house with your phone, you need to have a secure lock screen. Period. If you don't wanna fool with passwords or PIN numbers while it is in your hands, you need an app like SkipLock. Grab it from Google Play and check out the free trial.

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4 years ago

Elemental Kingdoms conjures card battles and quests on Android

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The perfect mix of card collecting and role-playing

Earlier this year, Perfect World Entertainment announced their intention to move into the mobile gaming business. Perfect World is best known for publishing PC MMOs such as Neverwinter, Star Trek Online, and even one called Perfect World.

The publisher’s first domestic mobile game Elemental Kingdoms appeared on iOS back in October. Now it’s out on Android too. If you like collectible card games and role-playing games, this is one of the best mobile games in town. And it’s free to play! Head past the break for our detailed gameplay impressions.

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4 years ago

Editors' top accessories: Alex's picks for 2013

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Top accessories for the past year

Looking at picking up something to complement your new Android phone over the holidays? The AC editors been using a whole bunch of different smartphone accessories without our devices in the past twelve months, and each of us have selected five of our favorites to round off 2013.

I'm kicking things off with a couple of cases, some replacement back covers, an essential wireless charging add-on and one of our favorite wearables of the moment. Check past the break to get started!

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4 years ago

Pondering the ever-bright future for Chrome OS

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A look at Amazon's holiday winners may mark the beginning of a major shift for Microsoft and Windows

Over the last year I’ve been paying close attention to the growing number of laptop vendors selling Google powered Chromebooks. We’ve got a Samsung Chromebook in my house, which otherwise is a mixture of Mac, Android, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry. 

I think it’s going to take many years to happen, but I firmly believe Microsoft Windows will keep losing ground as more and more of what we do is Internet-based. Families that have been all-Microsoft will experiment using a cheaper Chromebook. Android customers will enjoy the natural integration of Google’s services on these products. In time, this will eat into Microsoft’s operating system share. That’s my working thesis anyway.

On Boxing Day I noticed an interesting press release from online retail king Amazon. While the focus of the press release is how many new customers joined Amazon Prime, there is also a series of bullet points about product sales.

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4 years ago

HTC details the Android OEM update process with a fancy infographic

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Android updates are a series of tubes ...

Android version updates are a pretty big deal for a lot of end-users. Enough that a few have climbed aboard the Nexus train to keep things timely, even though they enjoy the features an OEM might add to Android. We aren't going to question — we like Android updates, too.

What we like even more is transparency from the people who are delivering these updates. That's why we're really digging HTC's new infographic detailing the process from their end. It confirms a lot of what we assumed was going on, without passing the buck along to anyone else when things don't work the way we want them to work. The image itself is after the break — and it's really worth a good long look — but here is the process in a nutshell:

  • Google delivers the PDK (Platform Development Kit) before they announce the update for HTC to evaluate
  • After announcement, Google delivers source code to HTC and the folks making the chipset
  • Chip makers evaluate, and if the board will support the new version, they deliver updated software packages for it to HTC
  • HTC then evaluates if the device can support the new software with HTC Sense
  • If they can, the carriers get involved for carrier branded phones at this stage
  • Software gets built, and GPe devices and unlocked devices get tested by HTC, carrier devices by the carriers
  • Things go back and forth until it seems to be bug free, then it gets tested and certified by carriers, Google and any other regulatory bodies that need to certify it
  • After all this is done and approved, it can then go out over-the-air

There are no real surprises here, but it's nice to see the entire process broken down into a way that's easy to understand. We assume the process is the same for other OHA phone manufacturers, too. A little bit of that inside baseball Android fans love to peek at. Hit the break for the big picture.

Source: HTC

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4 years ago

Save 20% on Android accessories during the ShopAndroid.com Year-End Sale!

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Santa not bring you the Android goodies you were hoping for this Christmas? No worries, because from now until Dec. 30 you can buy them for yourself from — and save big while doing it!

You can save 20 percent on all Android cases and accessories at ShopAndroid.com in our Year-End Sale. To take advantage of the savings, all you need to do is enter in coupon code END13 during the checkout process. FREE shipping is available on all orders over $50 (domestic US / Canada), and you have lots of payment methods beyond standard credit card including Amazon payments, Paypal and Bitcoin!

Be sure to take advantage of the savings while they last. And have a Happy Holiday season!

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4 years ago

Kanye West's 'Yeezus' leads Google's holiday deals

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As is prone to happen this time of year, Google's got a bunch of holiday deals in order on Google Play. The savings spans across just about every category, from Kanye West's "Yeezus" album free for a limited time. The Star Wars: Tiny Death Star game has an exclusive  Google Play bundle available, Asphalt 8 has an exclusive Google Play Cup challenge, Despicable Me is free (in standard definition), and so on.

Hit the link to check 'em all out.

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