Recent Articles

Headlines

4 years ago

Roundtable: Pebble Smartwatch

96

I hadn't been a watch-wearer for years. I'm still not convinced I'm one now — strapping a timepiece onto your wrist doesn't feel particularly 21st Century — but here I am, with a Pebble proudly displayed on my arm. And I’m not alone. Myself, Jerry, Andrew — Pebble wearers, all.

4 years ago

The Nexus 5 vs. the Moto X

266

The Nexus 5 vs. the Moto X

Google's two smartphone divisions offer a very different take on 'stock' Android

We love Android phones. That means we have a few of them laying around, and when a hot new one like the Nexus 5 comes out, we can take our time and compare our favorites against it. You've seen how we think the G2 from LG and HTC's One match up to Google's new Nexus, and now it's time for my take on how the Moto X fares against the mighty Nexus.

It's worth mentioning that I almost didn't write this. I'm pretty impressed with the Moto X and phones that can't duplicate it's features aren't going to win my heart. But in the end, since I've been using a Moto X every minute of every day since they became available, it fell on my shoulders. I'm also a huge Nexus fan, so I think we can keep things fair. 

That being said, let's have a look at two of the best phones money can buy on any platform today — the Moto X and the Nexus 5.

More →


4 years ago

1Password 4 for Android is now in beta testing

28

1Password 4 for Android is now in beta testing

Eager users can sign up for a newsletter to keep up on progress

AgileBits, known for its 1Password multi-platform password manager, has announced officially today that a brand new Android version is in the works. Version 4, based on the small leaks shown, will be a big departure from the currently long in the tooth (and frankly ugly at this point) design currently on offer in the Play Store. Details are extremely light at the moment, but knowing that it is on the way and currently in beta testing is a big deal.

Although it isn't taking beta tester sign-ups at the moment, it does have a special newsletter list for those looking for updates on the development process of the Android version. If you're a 1Password user and are chomping at the bit for an update, you may want to sign up so you can be first to know when version 4 will hit.

Source: AgileBits; Newsletter Signup

More →


4 years ago

Android Central 161: The Moto G Love Experience Launcher

16

Android Central 161: The Moto G Love Experience Launcher

We're back and we've got the Moto G in house. Plus KitKat updates to the Nexus line, what, excatly, is going on with all this search and launcher stuff, and a whole slew of your questions. Join us!

More →


4 years ago

Phones 4U offering free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with on-contract Galaxy Note 3

15

Phones 4U offering free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with on-contract Galaxy Note 3

Pick up a companion tablet for signing a contract on your new Note 3

Although it may not be the same great deal as getting a free Galaxy Gear, Phones 4U is offering a free Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 with purchase of a new Galaxy Note 3. For one week only, if you buy Samsung's latest Note 3 from Phones 4U and sign up for a contract to get it, you'll get the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 (a £149.95 value) for free along with it.

Plans on offer range from £49 up-front and £43 per month to free and £48 per month depending on the carrier, and if you happen to go with a 2-year contract on EE you'll get a free wireless speaker to go along with your phone and tablet.

While signing up for a 2-year contract may not be the best of choices, if you were going that route and wanted a Note 3 you might as well grab your free tablet at the same time. Hit the source link if you're interested in the proposition — you'll have the choice of black, white or pink for your new Note 3.

Source: Phones 4U

More →


4 years ago

HTC says it's delivered its GPe KitKat code to Google

75

HTC says it's delivered its GPe KitKat code to Google

Public release timing 'to be determined by Google'

You might remember it was 15 days ago when HTC America President Jason Mackenzie said his company would deliver Android 4.4 for the Google Play edition HTC One within 15 days — so naturally GPe device owners have today been wondering what's up with the update. The official HTC USA Twitter account has chimed in this afternoon with an update on the release's progress, effectively saying the manufacturer has delivered its code and the rest is up to Google —

"Good news, we've delivered KitKat code to Google for HTC One GPE. Timing of push via PlayStore to be determined by Google."

We can only speculate as to what Google needs to do to get HTC's update prepped and ready to push out onto devices, but at least this means it shouldn't be too much longer before the final public rollout.

Source: @HTCUSA; Thanks, Shen!

More →


4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear manager app update brings rich notifications from any app to the Gear

64

Samsung Galaxy Gear manager app update brings rich notifications from any app to the Gear

Samsung's smart watch just got a lot smarter

In tandem with a small firmware update a few days ago for the Samsung Galaxy Gear, an update to the Gear Manager app has enabled "real" notifications from any application to be read right on the Galaxy Gear itself. If you recall (if not see our review), the Gear shipped with one very big reason not to want to use it — for most applications the notification you received simply told you to check your phone.

Yeah, that sucked.

Having to take out your phone and open the notification sort of negated the advantage of having the notification sent to your wrist. It made the Gear something we just couldn't recommend anyone buy without an update to address this. 

Now that update is here. Without users having to install any sort of hack or third party programs, you can now see what you need to see, and it's all user-definable. We're going to have a look at how it all works, and hopefully update our review and recommendation of Samsung's smart watch.

To get the new update, open the Gear Manager app on your phone and you'll be directed to download the latest version from the Samsung app store.

Source: SamMobile

More →


4 years ago

Acer and Google release $199 C7 Chromebook

21

Acer and Google release $199 C7 Chromebook

With a price under $200, Acer and Google want to catch your eyes this holiday season

Acer has expanded their Chromebook line this morning, and the new C7 (C720-2848) is available for ordering in the US today for just $199. For your money, you're getting a package that should be familiar to folks who were interested in the prior Acer C7 Chromebook, save one line item — the RAM. 

The new C7 comes with just 2GB of RAM, but also has the same Haswell architecture, 11.6-inch screen and 16GB SSD. The current C7, which will remain available — there are no plans to replace it just yet — comes with 4GB of RAM, and a $249 price tag.

Certainly Acer and Google want to get your attention with the price, and any computer listing at $199 is worth a second look. But will new users be able to adapt to Chrome OS? For many, web consumption as a primary goal is currently done on a tablet, and being productive means getting out the laptop that can run Microsoft Office or a code editor. Shifting to Chrome comes with a learning curve, and there are still things you just can't do with it.

In the end, we think you're better served spending the extra $50 to get the 4GB version if you're buying, especially if you're planning to do any work — now or in the future as the OS matures — from a Chromebook. 

Source: Best Buy

More →


4 years ago

Sprint doesn't want you to forget you've got dizzingly fast Spark LTE data

140

Sprint doesn't want you to forget you've got dizzingly fast Spark LTE data

So we've gotten our first look at the new Sprint Spark data today on the HTC One Max. This, as you'll recall, is the tri-band LTE that hands off between the 800MHz, 1.9GHz and 2.5GHz bands, promising theoretical peak speeds of 50 Mbps to 60 Mbps. (Your mileage will — cough — vary .) It's also available on the Samsung Galaxy Mega, Galaxy S4 Mini and the LG G2.

And that is the continuously spinning data icon that goes along with it.

Maybe it's not any worse than the animations other operators use. But it's certainly more noticeable. And it's also spinning its little pixels off even if you're not in one of the five Spark launch cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami or Tampa. Odd, but whatever. Hi, little spinner guy.

More: Sprint Spark

More →


4 years ago

Nexus 5 review

207

Nexus 5 review

/*-->*/ /*-->*/

LG’s second Ne​xus is the best phone you can buy for $350, and an excellent platform on which to experience the new Android 4.4 KitKat — but that experience isn’t entirely free from compromises

Just what is a Nexus? The definition of Google’s homegrown gadget lineup has evolved — if not changed beyond all recognition — in the almost four years since the arrival of the Nexus One. Originally expensive, exclusive and developer-centric, Nexus is now solidly a consumer-focused brand. With wallet-friendly price tags, a Nestle-promoted launch, numerous carrier and retailer partners and new, prettier software, the LG-built Nexus 5 is more a phone for normal people than any previous Google-branded handset.

But despite the face of “vanilla” Android becoming more friendly and the Nexus line growing more accessible, these products have always garnered attention from tech-savvy enthusiasts more than average smartphone buyers. Nerds, if you will. People who value the specs, performance and the latest version of Android over shiny features and space-age build quality.

That was clearly the case with last year’s Nexus 4, which demanded users sacrifice LTE connectivity to be part of the elite Nexus club. Similarly, Nexus 4 buyers got only an average camera and unspectacular battery life for their $299. Though it was a fantastic phone for the time — and for the money, particularly in countries where LTE had yet to take off — Nexus 4 ownership was also a lesson in compromises. And so for $50 more, this year’s Nexus promises high-end internals, 4G LTE support wherever you live, and an improved camera experience with “HDR+” mode — in essence, more of what made the Nexus 4 great, with fewer bugbears.

However, hardware is only part of the equation — arguably more important is the new Android 4.4 KitKat software, the biggest step forward for the OS since 2011’s Ice Cream Sandwich release. Aside from the clear visual refresh, KitKat aims to revamp Android’s basic phone and SMS experiences, while making it easier to get to use Google Now, one of the platform’s greatest assets.

All of this for $349 (£299) sounds like impossibly good value. So can the Nexus 5 really be a slam-dunk of high-end hardware, slick, beautiful software and an unbeatable price point? And for those willing to spend more, is a Nexus still the best way to experience “vanilla” Android in a world of Moto Xs and Google Play editions? Let’s find out in the full Android Central review of the Nexus 5.

More →


4 years ago

Stock Talk: Android and Google+ driving profitable growth

74

Stock Talk: Android and Google+ driving profitable growth

I can’t help but notice that Google+ is gaining momentum, and Android is a big part of the cause. My own use of Google+ is up since switching to Android about a month ago, but it’s also clear that the network is growing globally. Late last month at a special event to announce new features, Google disclosed that Google+ has seen 58 percent growth in its user base, from 190 million in May to a current level of 300 million.

Most industry observers know that Facebook is king of the hill — some 1.19 billion monthly active users (pdf) as of September 2013 — when it comes to social networking. But I have to wonder if Google will catch up over time. I wasn’t optimistic on Google+ when it first launched. I didn’t see the need for another social network.  And to be honest, I still don’t.  But Google is growing because of its strategic moves, by making Google+ an integral part of everything, nearly as much as search.

And Android is a big part of this. One simple example is having my pictures all automatically backed up to my Google+ account. On a broader level, Google is pushing everyone to have a Google+ account to do pretty much anything from commenting on YouTube to use Hangouts. The more we access Google services from mobile phones, the more Android is helping Google+ to grow.

More →


4 years ago

Samsung reportedly working on phone with three-sided screen

45

Samsung reportedly working on phone with three-sided screen

Bloomberg reports new flexible-display handset could emerge in second half of 2014

With the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex, we're finally witnessing arrival of flexible, curved smartphone displays, a trend that looks set to continue into 2014. And now Bloomberg brings news that Samsung might launch a different kind of curved-display handset — one with a "three-sided" screen. Citing "people familiar with the plans," the outlet says the screen would extend all the way around the phone's sides, allowing users to view messages from an angle, with each side of the display operating "independently."

The device may form part of the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note line, or it may be the first in a new line of products, according to the outlet. The new "three-sided" device will apparently use an upgraded version of Samsung's Yuom technology, which is utilized in the Galaxy Round's curved SuperAMOLED screen.

However it's unlikely we'll get our first glimpse of this new handset anytime soon, with one source reportedly saying to expect a launch sometime in the second half of 2014.

Source: Bloomberg

More →


4 years ago

Sprint's HTC One Max available today for $249 on contract

41

Sprint's HTC One Max available today for $249 on contract

A quick reminder, folks, that Sprint's mondo HTC One Max is available today. The 5.9-inch phone — and that's just the display, folks! — will run you $249 on contract, or $25 a month with the Sprint One Up program. (You can save another $100 if you port your number over to Sprint, by the way.)

A reminder: This phone's not for everyone. It's big. Really Big. Here's how our own Alex Dobie put it in his official HTC One Max review:

The One Max is more than a big HTC One, but also a lesser phone than the HTC One. If you’re after the full HTC experience on a larger display, well, for the most part, this is that device. And right now it's the closest you're going to get to an HTC tablet. But for most buyers the smaller, better-looking HTC One, or the higher-end and more manageable Galaxy Note 3 will be better options.

So be sure to read our full take before taking the plunge.

More →


4 years ago

Moto G will ship with KitKat in the U.S.

33

Moto G will ship with KitKat in the U.S.

Android 4.4 to come out of the box in 'wave 2' countries

We found out earlier this week that Motorola's new budget handset, the Moto G, will be updated to the new Android 4.4 KitKat by the end of January. However the manufacturer has now confirmed that in the U.S. and other countries launching the device early next year, it'll actually arrive with Android 4.4 out of the box. Speaking with Omio recently, Motorola SVP Mark Randall elaborated on the company's international rollout plans: "Wave 2, products that we ship after Christmas, will start with KitKat [...] Wave 2 is in the US; there’s South East Asia, and other countries."

Recently launched in Europe and Latin America, Moto G is Motorola's attempt to shake up the entry-level smartphone market, with a combination of relatively high-end internals and a competitive price point. For more on the Moto G, check out our hands-on coverage from the European launch event earlier this week.

As for the Moto X, that's due to receive KitKat in "a matter of weeks."

More: Moto G hands-on, Moto G photo gallery

Source: Omio; via: AndroidOS.in

More →


4 years ago

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sends stern letter to CTIA urging phone unlocking reform

36

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sends stern letter to CTIA urging phone unlocking reform

Chairman claims carriers should notify customers when phones can be unlocked

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler hasn't completed his first week on the job, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start laying the groundwork for future policies. In a letter to the CTIA today, the Chairman urged the wireless carrier association to reconsider its opaque and frustrating stance on cell phone unlocking. Building on groundwork between the FCC, federal government and carriers previously, the letter breaks down a five point plan that Chairman Wheeler thinks is a more consumer-friendly option:

  • Provide a clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on unlocking.
  • Unlock mobile wireless devices for customers, former customers, and legitimate owners when the applicable service contract, installment plan, or ETF has been fulfilled.
  • Affirmatively notify customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and/or automatically unlock devices when eligible, without an additional fee.
  • Process unlocking requests or provide an explanation of denial within two business days.
  • Unlock devices for military personnel upon deployment.

More →


Show More Headlines

Pages