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4 years ago

The death of privacy: The internet is always watching, and it never forgets - Talk Mobile


Our smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming repositories of our personal information. It's a treasure trove of data that could be used to build a frighteningly complete picture of you as a person. It's more than just your contacts, calendar, memos, and photos - it's your web history, your calls and text messages, your banking data and social network logins.

4 years ago

Seidio SURFACE kickstand case for Nexus 4 review


Protect your Nexus 4's fragile exterior and pick up some style points at the same time.


The Nexus 4's design has a lot of great features, but one of them isn't durability. With big plates of glass on both sides of the device and easily scuffed plastic around the sides, we wouldn't blame you one bit for wanting a case wrapped around it. Or like many of us, you may have gone without a case on your Nexus 4 at first, and now about 6 months in it has picked up some wear and is in need of a little facelift. 

Seidio makes many great cases, and it now offers what is called the SURFACE kickstand case for the Nexus 4, and it's designed to take a beating and add a little bit of functionality and style while it does it. Read along after the break for a closer look.

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4 years ago

ZEN & TECH 57: From NSA to cameras everywhere: Coping with privacy violations


ZEN & TECH is our mobile lifestyle podcast, focusing not just on our phones, tablets, and gadgets, but how we can use technology to help us live better, richer, happier lives. It's how we center our inner geeks! Since it's security week on Talk Mobile 2013, Georgia and Rene talk about everything from camera phones in the locker room to wiretaps on the internet and how we, as private people, can cope in an age of where everyone from friends to family to strangers to governments may be spying on us.


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4 years ago

Chromecast-a-day: And then there were four

OK, boys and girls. We're in the home stretch now. Just four Chromecasts remaining on our desk, and one of them can be yours today.

We're declaring this "No-hoop Hump Day." To enter to win, just leave a comment on this post. We'll collect 'em through midnight PDT (anything after that won't count) and pick a winner in the morning.

And congrats to the winners of the first two days —  Ben in Utah and Ray in Houston! Your Chromecasts are on their way!

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4 years ago

Samsung to launch TDD/FDD dual-mode LTE GS4, S4 Mini


Samsung will launch new variants of its Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 Mini handsets with dual-mode TDD-LTE and FDD-LTE connectivity, the company has announced. While current LTE networks are primarily based upon FDD-LTE the standard, Samsung's new devices will be able to operate on these networks in addition to TDD-LTE networks expected to launch soon in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Samsung said its new dual-mode LTE Galaxy S4s will be the first handsets to market to support "seamless handover" between the two standards, with "continuous and seamless voice and data communications even as the devices switch between two different types of LTE networks." While Samsung hasn't specified which countries will be getting these new dual-mode handsets, smooth handover between the two standards will be particularly important in markets where both TDD and FDD are deployed.

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4 years ago

Microsoft Office now available on Android phones, for subscribers only


You can now get Office on your Android phone — assuming you fit into a very specific group of people

Microsoft has today launched Office Mobile for Android phones, a new app for Office 365 subscribers that allows them to view and edit their Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other documents on their Android phones.

But you'll need to be an Office 365 subscriber to get in on the spreadsheet-based action — Microsoft isn't offering a free version of the app right now. Nor is it opening things up internationally — the app is U.S.-only at the moment, though The Verge writes that Microsoft plans to open up to other markets gradually. Finally, it's also a phone-only app at present — sadly there's no Android tablet support in this release.

Regardless, if you're living in (and paying for) the Microsoft Office ecosystem, the new app looks attractive enough, and offers the kind of quick, basic editing experience you'll likely want on a smartphone. Hit the Google Play link up above to grab the app.

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4 years ago

Google Catalogs app to be discontinued from August 15


Support for the Google Catalogs mobile app for Android and iOS is to be withdrawn from Aug. 15, an in-app message is telling users.

Google Catalog, which launched with festive cheer around the 2011 holiday season, allowed users to browse through virtual catalogs from major brands. However 18 months later the app's installation count sits between the 50-100,000 install level, and it's this lack of user adoption that's likely behind Google's decision to mothball the app. The company has become more aggressive in pruning less-used services in recent months, after all.

Catalogs will continue to be available on the web at google.com/catalogs after the mid-August cut-off, Google says.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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4 years ago

Vodafone UK offers unlimited calls and texts on PAYG


1GB, unlimited calls and texts for £30, 2GB for £40​ on new PAYG plans

Vodafone UK has announced some new additions to its Pay As You Go line-up today. The new "Vodafone Red Freedom Freebee" gives customers unlimited calls and texts — much like the contract-based Vodafone Red service — with the option of 1GB of data for £30, or 2GB for £40. That's a large amount of money to be spending on a pre-paid service plan, but it also gets you access to a greater data allowance than some other carriers are offering, in addition to unmetered calls and texts.

Vodafone has also tweaked its other PAYG offerings, allowing customers to get unlimited texts on a £10 "Freebee" deal, as well as 1GB of data from a £20 bundle.

The operator's PAYG announcements follow the launch of new, competitive pre-paid prices from rival Three.

More: Vodafone

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4 years ago

Moto X may use iPhone 5-style nano-SIM


At this point, many of the Moto X's hardware and software features have already been the subject of extensive online leaks. It's a little surprising, then, to see Motorola's upcoming handset hiding one more surprise — a nano-SIM tray. The photo on the right was snapped by GSM Insider in Hong Kong, and clearly shows a smaller SIM tray and matching nano-SIM card alongside the unreleased device. (That's as opposed to the slightly larger and more common micro-SIM standard.)

Currently the only mainstream smartphone to use the nano-SIM standard is Apple's iPhone 5. Earlier in the year ASUS' quirky Padfone Infinity became the first Android handset to rock a nano-SIM.

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4 years ago

Developer demos Phone-to-Chromecast video streaming


Koushik Dutta shows streaming of video through the gallery app, but a public release isn't on the cards just yet

ClockworkMod developer Koushik Dutta has stepped in to plug one significant feature gap in Google's Chromecast dongle. At the moment Chromecast allows content to be streamed directly through the web, or from a mirrored browser window. But there's been no easy way to view locally-stored photos or video directly from an Android phone — until now. Koush's app, demoed above, uses an Android sharing intent to push local content from the phone to Chromecast.

Everything seems to work pretty smoothly in the video — a single push and the video is streamed to the TV, where it's presumably beamed over a local Wifi network. But Chromecast owners will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the app, as the terms of the beta SDK forbid devs from distributing any APKs. Nevertheless, it's a promising sign of what could be ahead in Chromecast development.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Shield official accessories


Keep your NVIDIA Shield safe and give it a new look with these official accessories

To go along with our review of Shield, we're also taking a look at a couple of accessories being released by NVIDIA. Today we're looking at the official custom carrying case as well as the custom lid. The hard case is exactly what you think it would be, along with a nice surprise around back. It's custom molded to fit Shield perfectly, with moldings on the inside for the triggers as well as a small mesh pouch for smaller accessory on the top half. The inside is lined with a soft felt, and we've yet to notice it leaving any marks on Shield. You'll see some nicely done Shield branding on the front, with "NVIDIA green" piping accenting the bottom half of the case. It also has a wrist strap, which is removable if it's not really your thing. I haven't dropped it, but it's built well enough to take a decent impact. I wouldn't go throwing it across the room, though.

The custom lid is something that allows you to personalize Shield more to your liking. Initially they will be available in glossy black and carbon fiber. I don't have the carbon fiber here, but the glossy black is very well done. I've used it almost exclusively, and it's held up well, with no nicks or scratches to be seen anywhere. Whatever NVIDIA used on this particular lid needs to be shared with other manufacturers — it's that durable. They are held on magnetically, and try as I might, I can't make it not line up the way it's supposed to. Initially NVIDIA used a type of clip to hold them on, but switched to magnets based on feedback from industry experts. It works really well, and kudos to them for listening to the feedback and making appropriate changes.

You can pick up the custom carrying case for $39.99 and the lids for $19.99 each from your local Shield retailer. We have a hands-on video and a few pictures after the break.  

Have questions about Shield?  We'll have all the answers you want in our Ask Me Anything thread.

NVIDIA Shield review | NVIDIA Shield forums

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Shield review


NVIDIA has long been a major player in the PC gaming industry, and that translates nicely to mobile with Shield

The NVIDIA Shield is not the first Android handheld designed for gaming. We’ve seen Archos try its hand at a small-form tablet with gaming controls, MOGA and others have created accessories that will transform your smartphone into a gaming unit, and using USB host with a game controller can make plenty of phones or tablets into a great on-the-go gaming rig. We'll try to forget about the Xperia Play. Sony sure did.

But NVIDIA has done something different. The Shield isn’t an Android device that also plays games pretty well, it’s a gaming machine first and foremost. Every design decision, every hardware part, every component was chosen and used to try and offer the best gaming experience you can get from an Android-powered device. You'll be able to pick up your own NVIDIA Shield starting today (July 31). Preorders are shipping, and units are available for $299 at NVIDIA.com or Newegg.com, or at a SHIELD Experience Center in select GameStop, Microcenter, Canada Computer locations in the U.S. and Canada. Now the real question is -- did NVIDIA succeed at making the Android game system everyone has been waiting for?

Editor’s note: This review was co-authored by both Jerry Hildenbrand and Kevin O’Quinn, Android Central’s resident NVIDIA “champ." Kevin is a known hardware junkie, and provided input about the hardware and specifications from his perspective.

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4 years ago

LG G2 to feature ringtones and sounds performed by the Vienna Boys' Choir


LG has worked with the Vienna Boys' Choir to include nine ringtones and five notifications and alarms performed by the Vienna Boys' Choir on the upcoming LG G2. These are in addition to four musical "chimes" that are included, with Bach’s Air on the G String given as an example.

The Vienna Boys' Choir has been in existence for almost 500 years, and they currently perform in over 300 venues a year all over the world. Headquartered in Vienna, most of the members are from Austria, but the choir features boys from all over the world aged between 10 and 14.

Whether it’s classical compositions or fresh a cappella music, LG has always viewed beautiful music as a great complement to our beautiful devices. As the pinnacle of international choirs and the most famous, it’s fitting that the heavenly music of the Vienna Boys’ Choir is featured on LG G2. — LG CEO Dr. Jong-seok Park

We'll be able to hear all the beautiful music and more when we have a look at the G2 in New York next month. 

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4 years ago

Google releases new Photosphere tutorial video


Googler chimes in in our forums with tips to improve your Photo Spheres.

We're slowly seeing more and more emphasis being put on Photo Spheres, and Google is offering a few tips with a new tutorial video. Between software improvements for taking Photo Spheres in Android 4.3 and new ways to upload and share them on Google Maps, you want to be able to take the best 360-degree views possible. The main tips may seem counterintuitive, but Google seems to have worked out a system here:

  • Hold the phone close to your body
  • Keep the phone in portrait orientation
  • Make full rotations holding the phone at each angle until a full 360 is achieved

ThatAdamGuy, a Googler working on Photo Sphere has also chimed in in our forums to offer a few tips, mirroring many of the things pointed out in the video. He says that Google is working to create more documentation for Photo Spheres, which should help users get a better hold on the technique for creating great images. 

If you're interested in working on your Photo Sphere skills or have a question about the topic, hit up the forums below to join in on the discussion.

More: Photo Sphere tips from the AC forums

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4 years ago

T-Mobile expects 2x10MHz LTE in 90% of top 25 markets by year's end


Faster speeds and better bandwidth allocation coming to the nation's largest markets.

With its LTE network deployment in full swing, T-Mobile is hoping to step things up in the most crucial top markets by deploying more spectrum to the new network. According to a statement given to Light Reading, T-Mobile said that "Nationwide, we plan to deploy 10+10 MHz of LTE in 90 percent of the top 25 markets by the end of the year."

Although the network is currently live in 116 markets, T-Mobile is primarily using a 2x5MHz deployment, which offers less bandwidth and potential to handle a large number of customers on each tower. Testing of the new 2x10MHz network is currently ongoing in New York City, where network engineers have been dropping the HSPA+ network from 42 to 21mbps in order to use those resources for LTE.

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