4 years ago

We're podcasting live at 4:30 p.m. EDT!


It's been a little while since we had a proper sit-down podcast — what with IFA going on last week and all. We'll fix that this afternoon as Phil and Jerry and Andrew get together to rehash the week that was. We've got more on the LG G2 now that it's available, all this new Nexus stuff, a new crop of Chromebooks, another update for the Google Play edition phones — and more of your questions!

So come join us at 4:30 p.m. EDT this afternoon at AndroidCentral.com/live. You can even tune in from the official Android Central App, since we'll be streaming live on YouTube. We'll see you then!

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4 years ago

Straight Talk now offering AT&T LTE with supported phones


Straight Talk's $45 monthly "unlimited" plan gets even faster

Straight Talk, the national MVNO who uses bits and pieces of all four major carriers networks to provide inexpensive pre-paid service across the US, now offers AT&T LTE on their bring-your-own-phone monthly plan.

You'll need a compatible phone from AT&T and a 30 day $45 "unlimited" plan, and a new SIM card from the company, but after that you should be good to go -- there's no need to unlock your phone. 

Before you rush out and sign up, it's worth noting that there are some drawbacks. As Andrew notes here, you'll not have any roaming and customer service isn't a priority, and Straight Talk's "unlimited" is a squirrelly thing. Hence the quotes. The biggest issue is how they define unlimited, which seems to vary from person to person. There is no hard cap, but the terms and conditions allow them to terminate or throttle your data at their discretion. For what it's worth, our very unscientific testing shows that in congested areas like Seattle (for instance) you'll get throttled around 2GB, where in places like West Virginia where there's less data traffic, things usually are closer to real unlimited. This will matter when you're burning through things at LTE speeds.

Anyhoo, as long as you know what you're getting yourself into, LTE on Straight Talk may be a perfect fit for you. Hit the source link if you're interested.

Source: Straight Talk. Thanks, Tony!

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4 years ago

The future of mobile creation and productivity - Talk Mobile


All this week we've talked about mobile creativity and productivity, be it what we can do with cameras or speakers or business apps. Today we're going to talk about those same things, but not so much what we can do today, but what we'll be able to do tomorrow. It's time to tackle the future of creativity and mobile business.

4 years ago

Be sure to read this week's Engadget Distro and check out the Q&A with Phil


Learn a little of what makes an AC Editor-in-chief tick

This week's Distro, a contemporary tech publication put out by the folks at Engadget, is one you'll not want to miss. Tucked away along with the reviews, editorials and news of the week is an interview with a man we all know and love (mostly) -- our own Phil Nickinson.

Available as a .pdf file or in popular book stores like iTunes and the Kindle store as well as having a nicely done Android app, Distro is something you'll probably be wanting to read each week anyway if you're not already. But this week is just a little extra special. Learn more at the source link, and you can grab the app at the Google Play link above.

Source: Engadget (HTML); Distro 107 (PDF)

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4 years ago

The LG G2 QuickWindow Case


LG's got a small line of accessories available with the G2, and chief among them is the QuickWindow Case. It follows the trend that LG actually started in 2012 with the Spectrum 2 on Verizon (what, you thought it was someone else?) — a folio-style case and cover that gives a peek at the display.

This latest iteration serves a couple purposes. First is to protect your phone. The QuickWindow Case is a thin shell that covers most of the G2 — and it does so with minimal thickness. It also protects most of the display, save for the window area. (That's another change from similar covers — this window is wide open, no plastic between you and the display.) And, finally, it brings a bit of functionality to the display without having to open the cover. 

Read on for a quick look at the LG G2 QuickWindow Case.

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4 years ago

Listen up: Comparing Xbox Music and Google Play Music All Access


No single service has everything, but some have more features than others

A full 11 months after Microsoft let us know that Xbox Music would come to Android "eventually," we finally have access to another one of the big music services on our Android devices. While Microsoft was busy working out the kinks of finally launching its app, Google has entered the space with All Access, a subscription version of Google Play Music that gives you customizable radio features and unlimited access to every song its library.

Both of these music services offer a unique feature set, and now that Xbox Music has finally come to Android we can take a look at them head-to-head. Read on with us after the break where we break down the features, shortcomings and overall experience of Xbox Music when compared to Google Play Music All Access.

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4 years ago

Google Play edition Samsung Galaxy S4 also getting JWR66Y update


Minor update to Android 4.3 now rolling out​ for GS4 GPe

Along with the Google Play edition HTC One, it now seems the "stock" Android Galaxy S4 (GT-I9505G) is also getting its over-the-air update to build JWR66Y — a slightly newer version of Android 4.3. The bump from the earlier build JWR66V hit Nexus devices a couple of weeks ago, and includes security updates for the latest iteration of Google's OS.

As always, it may take a few days for the update to arrive on everyone's devices, so patience is advised as Google and Samsung open the latest build up to GPe handsets. If you're seeing it on your phone hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Gold HTC One casing shown off in leaked image


Convincing parts leak could mean a fifth color option for the One soon

A parts leak coming out of China shows off what could be the newest color option for the HTC One, gold, in a few convincing pictures. Not to be confused with a true gold-plated HTC One, this model looks to just be anodized a different color. At this point, considering that we've seen the One announced officially in silver, black, red and now blue we can't say we're surprised that HTC is working on other anodization options. 

Now of course people are going to draw parallels to the gold iPhone 5s that Apple just released, and we can't really know for sure how long HTC has been working on this color option or if it is even legitimate. If the parts turn out to be real and actually make their way to regular sales channels, we think the gold offering may be a nice addition to the increasingly colorful HTC One lineup at this point in its life cycle.

Source: Phandroid

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4 years ago

AT&T launches 400th LTE market, covering almost 240 million people


LTE coverage now live in 3 new markets, expanding in 11 more

AT&T has launched its LTE network in three new markets today, which puts its total number of markets over 400, covering almost 240 million people nationwide. Those three lucky markets pushing the total to 400 are:

  • Alexander City, Alabama
  • Concord, New Hampshire
  • Jamestown, New York

On top of these new markets, AT&T says that it has also expanded LTE coverage in 11 more markets around the country:

  • Fresno, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • Stockton, California
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Houston, Texas
  • Tacoma, Washington
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Charleston, West Virginia

AT&T (just like the other carriers) still has lots of work to do to get its coverage to everyone in the US, but crossing over the 400 market mark is a big deal.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

GetGlue receives interface refresh just in time for Fall TV watching


New visual touches and more information on the shows you love

The second-screen app for TV watchers, GetGlue, has just refreshed its Android app in time for the hit shows starting up this Fall season with new designs all around. The changes can be noticed instantly with the new "Watch" menu, which makes it easier than ever to discover what's on TV as well as Netflix, Hulu and other video on-demand services.

The redesign carries over into the new "Search & Discover" area, where you can browse for new shows based on genre or categories like "Make Me Laugh" or "Surprise Me." When you are browsing and come to a show, redesigned show pages will be easier on the eyes with a new tabbed layout and more information on individual episodes.

If you're gearing up for some TV watching, now's the time to grab GetGlue with its all-new design. You can download it for free from the Play Store link at the top of this post.

More: GetGlue Blog

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4 years ago

Facebook testing auto-play videos in the News Feed for some mobile users


Videos will play on mute by default, advertisements coming 'in the future'

Taking cues from Vine and Instagram (which it owns), Facebook has begun testing a new feature in its mobile apps that will let some videos automatically play as you scroll past them in the News Feed. The feature works exactly how it does in Vine and Instagram, where any video that has been uploaded will show a thumbnail image in your News Feed, and if you stop scrolling past the video it will begin to buffer and play. As soon as you scroll away, the video stops playing.

Videos are muted by default, but sound will play if you tap the video to view it full screen, where you'll also have controls to play, pause and scrub to different portions of the video. Facebook says that the ability to have auto-playing videos will be limited to individuals, verified pages and musician or band verified pages at the moment. As for the future possibility of advertisers having automatically playing videos, Facebook says it will explore the possibility "in the future."

We're seeing videos start to automatically play in our own News Feed, but Facebook says that auto-play is rolling out slowly to a limited number of users right now.

Source: Facebook

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4 years ago

Twitter releases beta update with drastically new interface


Version 5.0 cleans up the interface, adds in-line media previews for some services

Those of you in Twitter's official beta testing group are seeing an update to version 5.0 of the app that is worthy of a full point release jump. Just two weeks after creating the group to help test new features, Twitter has pushed an update that completely revamps the entire interface with a cleaner and even more minimalist design, a new slide-in menu from the left bar to manage organization and a new settings view.

The app retains the same standard blue, white and gray color palette, but spruces things up a bit with use of a thinner font and more options for tabs — home, notifications, messages, activity, trending, find people and me — at the top of the app. In terms of features, it looks as though we're getting in-line image previews (no more tapping in to see media) for at least some services, along with the ability to customize the top tabs to your liking.

The widget has also changed as well, albeit more subtly than the app interface itself. Let's hope that this update makes its way out of beta and to the stable channel soon, as it seems to bring a fresh design and lots of great new features that users will want. If you just can't wait, you can find more information about how to join beta groups of all kinds, including Twitter's, at our app beta page.

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4 years ago

AT&T LG G2 hands-on


The AT&T LG G2 is a little more faithful to the original — but it's got a mountain of carrier apps preloaded

Behold, the AT&T version of the LG G2. This one is a little more faithful to the Euro version we've had for a couple weeks now — save for the mountain of AT&T apps plopped on top of it.

Physically speaking, this phone's nearly identical to our pre-production European unit — all the way down to all the plastic stickers protecting the edges. We mention that up front because when you first take it out of the box, the phone is going to feel like it was slapped together, with sharp edges and all. That's just the stickers attacking you. Take them off, and you're left with a smooth piece of glass and plastic.

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra arrives on O2 and Three


6.4-inch Sony handset launches on two British carriers

British mobile networks O2 and Three have started offering Sony's ginormous Xperia Z Ultra. The 6.4-inch, Snapdragon 800-powered beast is available now from the two carriers' brick-and-mortar stores, as well as online from O2.co.uk (Three's not selling the device online until Oct .18.)

On-contract prices on Three start at £34 per month and a £99 upfront charge on a two-year plan, while O2 offers a wide range of 3G and 4G contract combinations through its "O2 Refresh" program. O2's also selling the Ultra on PAYG for £599, should you wish to pick one up without a monthly plan.

The largest Sony phone we've seen to date, the Xperia Z Ultra is more akin to a tiny tablet than an oversized smartphone, though it arguably fills both roles. For more, check out our hands-on feature from the Xperia Z Ultra launch event.

Source: Three, O2

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4 years ago

Verizon LG G2 hands-on


A few physical changes and tweaked software highlight Verizon's version of the LG G2

What's that, you say? You want the LG G2, but you want it with more logos and a skinnier set of buttons on the back? And maybe a couple fairly significant software changes? Sure thing. Verizon's got you covered with its version of the G2.

Things have changed a little bit on the physical side, and a little bit on the software side. We'll walk you through it all after the break.

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