4 years ago

Testing the voice-activated 'find my phone' feature on the Moto X


'You can't find your phone? Where's the last place you had it?'

More often than not, that's the answer I get when I can't find something and ask a human being where it might be. Helpful, right? Yeah, not so much.

Motorola this week added in a voice-activated (ahem, "Touchless Control") feature that helps you find your phone if you've left it laying around somewhere. Speak the words "OK, Google Now." (And then wait a few seconds, because there's still a wee bit of latency there.) Then follow up with "Find my phone." Providing that your phone can hear you, you'll be rewarded with an active sonar-sounding ping

That's all fine and dandy if your phone's out in the open somewhere — it's just that you don't know where it is. 

But what if your phone's fallen into the couch cushions? Or slipped between the sheets? Only one way to find out.

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4 years ago

Samsung Developers Conference day one demos + sessions highlights


As we prepare to kick off day two of the Samsung Developers Conference in San Francisco, there's just enough time for a quick recap of what we saw at yesterday's keynote presentation and dev sessions, as Samsung Tomorrow has put together a playlist of some of the highlights from Monday's events on YouTube.

The videos include keynote demos of the multiscreen and mobile SDKs, backstage interviews with some top-level attendees and a full VOD of yesterday's mobile SDK session, covering a lot of the new Galaxy Note 3 and Note 10.1 features. Check 'em out after the break.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

The best basketball apps for Android


Alright basketball fans, it's time to crack open Google Play

Basketball season is starting off today, and fans will want to stay up-to-date with the latest scores and otherwise get into the spirit of things. We've dug through Google Play to see what's big, and though hardcore fans may already be familiar with what's available, there may be a few hidden gems here.

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4 years ago

SIM-free HTC One Max arriving at UK retailers


Prices for the 5.9-incher start at £585

The HTC One Max has been available from Vodafone UK since shortly after its announcement, and now we're starting to see stock trickle through to SIM-free outlets. Unlocked Mobiles has the device in stock today, priced £584.98 inc. VAT; Clove, MobileFun and HandTec are expecting stock in the next day or so, and offer similar price points.

The One Max is a competent enough big-screened phone, but it's a tough sell at its current SIM-free price, which is perilously close to the higher-spec'd Samsung Galaxy Note 3. For a complete walkthrough of the Max, hit up our full review.

More: HTC One Max review

Source: Unlocked Mobiles

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4 years ago

Sprint fires up another 45 LTE markets


Sprint this morning announced the official roll-out of 4G LTE data to 45 new locations. That brings Sprint up to a total of 230 4G LTE markets. In addition to the new markets, Sprint also added coverage in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, N.Y.

The new 4G LTE markets are: 

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4 years ago

HTC EVO 3D stops bullet, saves man's life in attempted robbery


A gas station clerk from Orange County, Fla. has survived an attempted robbery after his HTC EVO 3D stopped an assailant's bullet. CNN reports that after being unable to access the store's safe, the suspect fired a single shot as he was leaving the scene. It was only after emergency services arrived that the victim's lucky escape became apparent — the bullet had hit the man in the chest, but impacted the phone in his shirt pocket. Photos of the device show that the bullet shattered the screen before becoming lodged in the battery. CNN reported that the gunman remained at large on Monday evening.

Bizarrely it's not the first report of an HTC phone taking a bullet for its owner. Back in 2011 an HTC Droid Incredible was involved in a similar incident, saving an Atlanta valet driver's life by stopping a bullet aimed at his chest.

Source: CNN; Pictures: WFTV

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4 years ago

BBM claims 20 million active users on Android and iOS


Multiplatform BBM launch brings total active users to 80 million

BlackBerry has announced that the recent launch of its BBM messaging app on Android and iOS has added 20 million active users to the platform in its first week of availability. The news comes days after the company revealed the app had passed 10 million downloads in its first day. The new additions bring BBM's total active accounts to 80 million across BlackBerry, Android and iOS devices, according to today's press release.

That's a significant increase for BlackBerry's messaging network, but it's worth remembering that it's still early days for BBM on Android and iOS, and a short-term spike in users is to be expected. Nevertheless it'll be interesting to see how successful BBM is at holding onto these active accounts in the months ahead.

You'll find more coverage of today's numbers and other BlackBerry happenings over on CrackBerry.com.

Source: CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Get caught up on Android Central Live ahead of Samsung devcon day two!


Later today we'll be kicking off our live coverage of the second day of the Samsung Developers Conference, but until then there's still time to get caught up on all the news, interview segments and discussion from day one. The place to find all our coverage of the conference, including keynote news, the day one podcast and interviews with developers, journalists and Samsung people, is our fancy SDC portal page. So hit up the link below and scroll down to see all the content.

More: Android Central Live at Samsung Developers Conference

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4 years ago

WSJ: Google watch with Google Now in late stages of development


Google's Android-powered smartwatch 'could be ready for mass production within months'

Rumors of Google working on its own Android-powered smartwatch are nothing new — we've been hearing whispers to that effect from several sources over the past six months. But a report in The Wall Street Journal today gives us our clearest indication yet as to when the elusive wearable might make itself known. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the paper reports that the Android-powered watch is in the late stages of development, with Google currently working to fine-tune the device to improve power efficiency and battery life. The company is reportedly now in talks with Asian suppliers to begin mass production of the device, according to today's story.

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4 years ago

International Galaxy Note 3 getting another OTA, reactivation lock now defaults off


Another 'stability' update for the unlocked LTE-capable Note 3 with a couple of important fixes

The international Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE (SM-N9005) is getting yet another over-the-air update this morning, bringing it up to firmware version UDMJ6. The 116MB update includes stability fixes according to the official changelog, in addition to a change that may be of interest to anyone selling or giving away their device in the future. Until now the "reactivation lock" feature, which requires your Samsung account details to use the phone after a factory reset, defaulted to "on." It's a useful anti-theft feature, but if it could cause you some headaches if you weren't aware of it. As such, the new update sets it to "off" by default, requiring Note owners to manually enable it under Settings > General > Security.

Other changes in the OTA include a fresh coat of paint for the Samsung keyboard, as well as fixes for bugs preventing certain features, such as direct pen input and the one-handed windowed mode, from being reactivated after enabling Pebble's accessibility service.

If you're updating this morning, hit the comments and let us know if you're seeing any other changes or fixes.

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4 years ago

EE rolls out 4G LTE in 14 new markets


EE, the UK's most widespread 4G LTE network operator, has announced that it's switched on LTE in 14 new towns this morning — Benfleet, Caerphilly, Caldicot, Canvey Island, Carlisle, Chepstow, Cwmbran, Grays, Harlow, Hatfield, Kenilworth, Rayleigh, Southport and Worksop.

The network expansion comes one day before EE's new 4G price plans come into effect, with a new tiered approach to data speeds, higher mobile broadband allowances and EE's first PAYG LTE deals.

The carrier recently claimed to have 60 percent UK population coverage with its 4G network.

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4 years ago

Flyne, a news reader from the developer behind Falcon Pro, goes live


Developer Joaquim Verges — you might remember him as the man behind the popular Twitter app Falcon Pro — has just released a new Android applications — Flyne. It's an offline reader that allows you to take your favorite articles with you, on the go, without worrying about a data connection.

The app itself is free, and you can pull in sources a curated list, but you'll need to pony up 99 cents for Feedly or Twitter access. The app itself is stylish in the manner you'd expect from the force behind Falcon, so this one's well worth a look. There's a dark theme available as well. (We're fans of that, for sure.) 

The article content takes center stage here, with other elements floating on top and not much chrome to distract from what's important. Give 'er a go, we say.

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4 years ago

Meet Ara, Motorola's open and modular smartphone project


Joining forces with Phonebloks and developing a platform in the open

Building off of a project it called "MAKEwithMOTO," Motorola is ready to unveil its plans for modular smartphones called Project Ara. Ara, for short, is all about building a system that makes the process of creating smartphones that are upgradeable, customizable and open. Partnering with the folks at Phonebloks that recently brought this idea to a wider audience, Motorola wants to do with smartphone hardware what Android has done with smartphone software.

Motorola thinks that you, the end user, should be able to decide how much your phone costs, what it's capable of, how it looks and how long it will be in use. The concepts — shown above, and once more after the break — certainly have our gears turning. The basic idea at this point is to have a main "endo" (endoskeleton) that acts as a frame to hold various other modules in place. Those modules could be anything from a camera or a battery to a physical keyboard or various sensors.

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4 years ago

Touchless Control app updated in Google Play


OK Google Now, you're getting an update

Motorola has updated the Touchless Control app for the Moto X and Droids Maxx, Ultra and Mini this evening. The change log is short but sweet:

  • New "Find my phone" command that triggers an alarm to make your phone easy to find
  • Improved accessibility access for the visually impaired
  • Bug fixes

Bug fixes are always welcome, any improvement to accessibility for those who need a little assistance is super, and for Moto X users, the Find my phone command is new. You can try that out by saying "OK Google Now, Find my phone." Say it loud across the room for maximum effect.

It's one of those apps that worked as well as advertised, and we hope the update does what it sets out to do without any hidden bugs. Grab it from Google Play via the link above.

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4 years ago

Verizon's HTC One update delayed for a month, says HTC exec


Verizon stalls with the finish line in sight

HTC America VP Jason Mackenzie has taken to Twitter this evening to break the bad news about the HTC One 4.3 update on Big Red:

It's disappointing, but are we really surprised to see Verizon delay yet another software update? Fill the comments with all your good thoughts.

Source: @JasonMacHTC

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