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Friday, July 25, 2014

Android Match

Android Match


House approves Senate’s bill to legalize phone unlocking, now it’s up to the President

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 01:30 PM PDT

cellphone-unlocked Inquisitr


Just last week the Senate passed a new bill that would allow users to unlock their phones without explicit consent from the carrier it is locked to, provided they own the device or the contract connected to it has expired. At the time we reported that the House of Representatives had already passed a similar bill, but slight differences between the two bills meant that House and Senate would need to reach some sort of compromise before the bill could be passed into law.


As it turns out, the House of Representatives has now unanimously passed the Senate's version of the bill, throwing out the House's original ban on bulk unlocking. What this means is that after two years, cellphone locking is finally becoming legal again. For those unaware, the legality of cellphone locking came into question in the United States when a DMCA exemption allowing phone unlocking (without carrier approval) expired in 2012. Since then we've heard all sorts of talk about passing laws or making changes that would reverse the decision but, until now, no actual changes had been made.


So what's next? With both the Senate and House approving the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act", it's now just a matter of getting the bill signed into law by the President. For those fearing that the bill will be turned down at the last moment by Obama, we wouldn't worry about it too much, considering the President has long since expressed interest in making cellphone unlocking legal for US consumers.


We'll be sure to keep you updated when the bill is officially signed into law. What do you think of the new bill? Does it go far enough, or do you think locking a cellphone to a carrrier shouldn't be legal in the first place?




Via: The Verge;

Android Match

[New App] Atlas Web Browser Beta Mixes Speed, Advanced Features, And Material Design

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 01:07 PM PDT

unnamed (14) It takes a lot for an Android web browser to get our attention. We've got Chrome in all its Googleyness, and we've got Dolphin of you need something more extensible. But the new Atlas browser beta may just warrant your attention. In addition to speedy rendering and surprising responsiveness, Atlas has some advanced features hidden behind a solid user interface. Oh, and did we mention it uses some Material Design cues in its visuals?





[New App] Atlas Web Browser Beta Mixes Speed, Advanced Features, And Material Design was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




Android Match

Samsung Level In headphones review

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 12:54 PM PDT






These are nice headphones, but there are other really nice headphones out there that don't cost $149


Samsung is finally getting in on the premium audio game with its "Level" series of headphones and speakers, which were recently announced for the U.S. It's offering offering up four models in the series — Over, On, In and Box — that bring high prices and presumably high quality to those who have an affinity for the Samsung brand and some disposable income.


I managed to pick up a pair of the Level In earbuds, which retail for an extremely hefty $149.99 in the U.S., and use them for my daily headphones for the past few weeks. Samsung is definitely making a step in the right direction with these high-quality earbuds from both a design and material perspective, but the Level In headphones are still a luxury purchase for a limited audience — read along for the full review.





















Android Match

Google looks inward with new Baseline Study of human body

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 12:51 PM PDT

google_baseline_skeleton


As Google has grown throughout the years, one result has been their investment in the massive computing power needed to drive all of their services. In a new effort to make use of that computing power, a new Wall Street Journal report indicates Google has turned to their Google X team to start a new project called the Baseline Study to collect anonymous genetic and molecular information in an effort to paint a picture of what a healthy human should be like. That can then be used to help researchers identify potential markers that signal problems and help people become more proactive in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Andrew Conrad, who is heading up the project, notes, "We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like."


According to Google, the initial stage of the project that started this summer consists of clinical testing to collect a variety of bodily fluids from 175 people. Once this pilot stage is complete, Conrad's team which consists of 70 to 100 experts in a range of fields related to the human body will work medical schools at Duke and Stanford to expand the program and start collecting data from thousands of people.


Google says all of the information they collect will be anonymous. For instance, once the project starts collecting samples at Duke and Stanford, investigators at those facilities – who will not be Google employees – will remove personally identifiable information before forwarding the data to Google. In addition, institutional review boards will be established to monitor the project and the use of the data that is collected.


Along with the clinical testing, the Google X Life Sciences team is exploring development of wearable devices to collect other data on a continuous basis, like heart rates, heart rhythms, and oxygen levels. Smart contact lenses may also be utilized as part of the study to monitor glucose levels.


Besides the availability of massive computing power, Google indicates part of the reason it is able to embark on the project is the continuing decline in costs to process the information. For example, a little over a decade ago the cost to sequence a human genome was more than $100 million. Now, the cost is down to around $1,000.


Dr. Conrad believes the collection and analysis of this information is consistent with Google's mission to organize the world's information and make it useful to people.


source: Wall Street Journal




Come comment on this article: Google looks inward with new Baseline Study of human body





Android Match

New app lets you control Tesla Model S functions using an Android Wear smartwatch [VIDEO]

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 12:18 PM PDT

Tesla Command for Android Wear


We're not sure how many of our readers have a brand new Tesla Model S sitting comfortably in their garage (if you do, we hate you), but we're sure just about everyone will own this modern marvel of engineering (or a similar model) at some point in the near future. For those already saving up, you can now look forward to your Tesla being compatible with the latest Android Wear smartwatches thanks to a brand new app.


Tesla Command for Android Wear is the latest app from Harth Labs Inc., makers of popular apps like the "Naughty by Nature" ebook, and games like "Say What?" on Google Play. Shown off in a video by Android developer Matthew Patience, the app simply taps into the Tesla Model S to enable control of basic car functions via voice commands. While there are only 5 commands currently available — lock/unlock doors, honk horn, and open/close sunroof — the developer does promise more features will be added in the future.


Now, we don't know about you guys, but we've been dreaming about controlling our car by voice since since Tim Burton's 1989 Batman flick hit theaters. Now if only the developer can find a way to activate the Model S' shields, we'd be all set for some late night crime fighting.






Download on Google Play: Tesla Command for Android Wear




Android Match

Verizon to put some limits on unlimited data

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 12:12 PM PDT






If you've managed to stay on an unlimited data plan on Verizon, you might soon notice that your speeds beginning to slow down if your using a lot of data . A limited set of customers will fall under the umbrella of Verizon's so-called "Network Optimization" policy, which Verizon says is not throttling. The shift impacts customers in a very specific set of circumstances, according to Verizon:





















Android Match

8 best office Android apps

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 11:45 AM PDT

Office Android apps have really been coming into their own over the last year. We've seen more integration with cloud storage, more features, more stability, and better performance. The landscape is growing and more people are using their mobile devices and tablets to do actual work. If you're going to do work, you should do it with the best apps available right? Here are the best office Android apps.




chrome remote desktop office androidChrome Remote Desktop


[Price: Free]



It's desktop on mobile!




PROS


  • Allows you to use your desktop/laptop office software instead of using software on your mobile device. This can result in more features and more storage since it'll be saving to your laptop.

  • It's cross platform!

  • It's easy to use on supported devices and it's free.




CONS


  • May be buggy, glitchy, or laggy depending on your device and your network speed.

  • Not ideal for offline use.






8.0

Say what? Yes, this is actually a pretty decent option for an office suite. Why, you might ask? The reason is because if you have a nice office suite on your computer, you can use Chrome Remote Desktop to access it and simply write from there. You have the storage of your computer and all the hardcore features that only a desktop office suite can offer. If you're at home and you want to keep using your desktop version of Microsoft Word, you still can!






chrome remote desktop android office


Docs To Go icon office androidDocs To Go


[Price: Free with in app purchases]



It's documents...to go!




PROS


  • Huge list of features including phone/tablet support, MS Office files support, and more.

  • Cloud storage support.

  • Can also view PDFs so you can kill two birds with one stone if you're also looking for a PDF reader.

  • Word, spreadsheet, and presentation support.




CONS


  • This comes preloaded on a lot of devices and people hate bloatware.

  • Advertisements may bother some people.

  • Various bugs are reported on various devices.






7.0

Docs To Go was among the first to embrace the freemium purchase model and that means you can get this application for free and if you want more features, you can pay for them. It's been around for a long time and it's trusted by millions.






Docs To Go android office


Google Drive office androidGoogle Drive (and company)


[Price: Free]



Google's official office suite on Android.




PROS


  • It's rock solid stable. There are still bugs but Google has done well to fix them or keep them only to certain devices.

  • Easy to use interface.

  • Support for MS Office files.

  • You can use it to store other stuff too like photos, various other files, and stuff other than documents.

  • It's Google-supported.




CONS


  • You'll need a total of four applications to make this suite work. That's about two to three more than everyone else.

  • Syncing between the web and mobile interfaces can take longer than expected for some.

  • You have to use Google Drive storage. No Dropbox, OneDrive, etc support.






8.0

Google Drive has kind of morphed from a cloud storage app with office features to an office suite with cloud features. The change isn't bad but you will need to download the other Google office apps, including Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides in order to actually create, edit, and otherwise tinker with various documents. It's free and it's popular plus you get 15GB of free cloud storage!






Google Drive android office


Kingsoft Office office androidKingsoft Office FREE + PDF


[Price: Free]



Free back before free was cool.




PROS


  • Large number of compatibile file types and support for 44 languages.

  • DLNA, Evernote, and cloud storage support.

  • MS Office compatible.

  • Totally free with no in app purchases.




CONS


  • There have been some issues reported with various languages.

  • Has had bugs reported of the app deleting documents that are being edited when the app crashes.






8.0

The venerable Kingsoft Office makes its return to the list as the original free office app. It's still free which is great and it's still a good app which is also great. This is the default option for a lot of people who want the office experience but don't want to fork out any money. It's solid, updated frequently, and well developed. A good option overall.






Kingsoft Office android office


microsoft office office androidMicrosoft Office Mobile


[Price: Free]



The office app that the other office apps want to be like.




PROS



CONS


  • Microsoft has been slow on updating the app and fixing bugs.

  • This isn't a big con, but you can only use OneDrive and you'll need a Microsoft account. Before you complain, keep in mind that Google Docs requires a Gmail account and you can only save to Google Drive.






8.0

Earlier this year, Microsoft Office went totally free on Android. Then they increased their OneDrive storage to 15GB free for all users. That means in terms of functionality and free storage, Microsoft Office on Android pretty much stands up to par against everyone. If you love MS Office, it's on Android but you may have to wait a bit longer for tablet support. It's in beta testing now and will reportedly be out later this year.









Officesuite Pro 7 office androidOfficeSuite 7 + PDF


[Price: Free / $14.99]



A feature packed and solid option.




PROS


  • Has a lot of more unique features, like the ability to convert PDF to Word.

  • Large file compatibility including MS Office.

  • Cloud storage integration.

  • Some of the paid features include saving files to PDF format and locking files with a password.

  • PDF camera scanner is a nice touch.




CONS


  • If this is preloaded on your phone, you can't move it to an external SD card. Also, preloaded means bloatware.

  • Some of the features don't work for some people, such as the PDF-to-Word feature.

  • There are a lot of people who can't justify spending $15 on this app and opt to stay with the free version. Just something to take into consideration.






7.0

OfficeSuite 7 is the first office app on this list that will cost you quite a bit of money to get. In its defense it does have a number of unique features and it's a fairly solid application. That said, many people are going to dislike that $15 price tag. Thankfully, there is a free version that you can try out to see if you like it.






officesuite pro 7 android office


Polaris Office office androidPolaris Office


[Price: Free with in app purchases]



Comes preinstalled on most smartphones




PROS


  • Comes with free cloud storage and support for other cloud storage.

  • Desktop client means you have cross platform support. You also get more free storage if you do this.

  • Camera mode lets you scan documents.

  • MS Office file support.

  • Chromecast support to put your documents on TV.




CONS


  • Bloatware which means it's bloatware.

  • Storage is messy. Documents get duplicated fairly often or deleted entirely.

  • Still buggy and crashy sometimes for some people.






7.0

Polaris Office was one of the first office suites to be preloaded onto phones and that's a tradition that continues to this day. It's a solid option with the basic features if you stick with the free version. There are some unique features and it's a solid option overall.









Smart office 2 office androidSmart Office 2


[Price: $9.99]



Not amazing but not bad. It's good.




PROS


  • MS Office and PDF support.

  • 3D document viewing for all 9 people who would like that. Still cool though!

  • Cloud storage support.

  • Wireless printing support.




CONS


  • It's been a long time since the developer has updated this app.

  • That means the bugs and issues that people are having haven't been fixed yet.

  • Really light feature set for a $10 app.






7.0

Smart Office 2 is another somewhat expensive option but it's still fairly solid. It's a little bare in terms of features but there are some fun features for those who may need them. It's not amazing but it's not bad. It's good.









Wrap up


If you're wondering what happened to Quickoffice, it's been announced that Google is retiring the app and putting all of their focus into Google Drive. If it's not gone already it will be shortly. If there are any really good office apps that we missed, let us know in the comments below!






Android Match

If you had $700 to spare, what phone would you buy? If you only had $300?

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 11:45 AM PDT

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-90

One of the advantages to Android is the shear level of options out there when it comes to hardware. Whether you're looking for a bleeding edge flagship or a modest budget device, you'll find a variety of handsets from HTC, Samsung, Sony, Motorola and countless other OEMs. Of course all these options also can add a bit of confusion when it comes time to find a new phone.


With this in mind, for this week's Friday Debate we ask what Android handset would you recommend on the premium and budget end of the scale? If you had $700 to spend on a phone right now, what handset would you buy? What if you had just $300? Keep in mind we're talking outright prices not what you'd get them if you signed a contract.


Be sure to check out what our contributing team members had to say and then feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments below!


Jonathan Feist




Choosing a phone based on a dollar value is a difficult, but necessary undertaking for many of us. Our budgets often determine our wants, unfortunately.


There are a number of great phones on the market right now, and it is interesting to see the overall price variance between them. It is especially interesting that the price does not necessarily indicate what hardware is in use, nor the overall performance of the device.


If I had to choose one phone at under $300 and another at the $700 mark, I would choose the Moto G and the Sony Xperia Z2. Surprised?


The Moto G is a no brainer, it is a device that is absolutely unparalleled in performance, considering its specs, and indeed, its price tag. Now, let's get into the semantics of the price, with a $300 budget, I would have plenty of money available to invest in a solid case, an external power pack, and maybe some cloud storage after dropping the ~$200 on the Moto G itself.


As awesome as the Moto G is, let's not confuse it for a top of the line device, nor one packed with all of the bells and whistles, but I cannot think of a better, current generation, budget device with this much bang for the buck in the entire history of Android.


Now, getting to that Sony Xperia Z2. Let's face it, at $699, it is as close to $700 as you need to get. Now, I do like the look of the Z2, I also think it packs enough size, power and features to keep me going well on to my next device.


I've seen a few negative reviews of the Z2 camera, but I really do think it takes great photos. And, if I must be honest, it is solely for the camera that I would choose the Z2 as compared to the other $600+ phones out there.


The LG G3 would have been my choice, but for LG's tendency to go overboard on the contrast when taking pictures. The G3 is probably the better bang for the buck too, it just got edged out by a hair for my personal purchasing decision..


It is important to note that if I were purely making a recommendation here, I would say the G3 over the Z2.


Stepping away from the hypothetical $300 and $700 price points, for the average consumer, I would prefer to recommend something in between. The Nexus 5 has always been an excellent recommendation, as has the Moto X. Also, players like OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi and more have been coming to market with devices that cannot be ignored for their price.


Considering the OnePlus One, for example, is rocking pretty much the exact same hardware and specs as the current $600+ flagships, but for under $400, it is hard not to give it serious consideration. In the end, I type this on my own Moto G, still in search of my next device.


Gary Sims




Choices, choices, choices, which phones to choose! This is a great question, what would I buy?


Let's start with the budget phone. If I had $300 to spend on a budget phone I would get the 16GB version of the OnePlus One. At $299 it is a absolute bargain. The phone looks great, it has a great screen, a fantastic processor package and CM11. As an added bonus it is also a 4G phone, something you wouldn't necessarily expect at the lower-end. If my budget was slightly less I would agree with Jonathan and get a Moto G, but I would maybe go for the Moto G 4G version or the dual-sim version! I also think the ThL 5000 should get an honorable mention. I am just in the process of writing up a review of the device and it is very nice, especially when your consider its price – $270. Besides the HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the octa-core processor, you also get that beast of a 5000mAh battery! Give me battery life over pixels per inch any day.


At the high-end, I am a little stuck… It isn't in my nature to spend $700 on a phone (off contract or over two-years). I would actually get two or even three phones for that price, what about a couple of Moto G's and a OnePlus One (64GB version), I reckon I could get all of those for under $700 total. But if I am forced to pick just one phone for $700, I guess I would get a LG G3.


The screen is very cool at 1440 x 2560 pixels, that is a pixel density of 534 ppi. The processor package is top of the range and the 3GB of RAM is a nice touch. LG have done a great job with the design of the G3. Even though it is a 5.5 inch device it is easy enough to handle. There is also a removable battery, an SD card slot and a camera that uses laser focusing, what more could you want!


Joe Hindy




It all really depends on the use case doesn't it? It's not really enough that everyone has their own tastes but everyone has their own needs as well and that's what kinda makes it really hard to recommend phones to people. Generally I'll ask what they prefer in a phone or what they want in a phone and then recommend from there.


That said, if I had to buy one for me, the premium phone I would go with is the HTC One M8. I like it's design (it's a snazzy looking device to me). I also store all my music on the device so the SD card slot is always a big plus. It has the latest specs which I like and because I am a root user, the prospect of getting the bootloader unlocked in under 30 minutes without all that much effort appeals to me a great deal. It actually chased me away from T-Mobile's Xperia Z1s last year because that phone is still pretty much locked down. But that's me and my tastes really. For others I would probably recommend something else based on what they need. Like if I knew someone who camped a lot, I would recommend the Xperia Z2 or the Galaxy S5 thanks to its dust and water protection. I would recommend the M8 to other root users thanks to its easy-to-unlock bootloader. If they wanted a dramatic and amazing multimedia experience, I'd probably tell them to pop down on an LG G3. For me, though, if I had $700 today I'd buy an HTC One M8.


On the budget side of things, I would get a Moto X. I like the voice features and the phone operates better than most other $300 phones. The OnePlus One is pretty good but I learned the day I bought my first Xbox 360 then had to go wait in line at Best Buy to return it thanks to the RROD to be patient when new stuff comes out so they can work out all the kinks. It's an amazing phone but I've seen people all over the place having trouble with it (like the yellow band of doom). Once they solidify their offering, I would likely jump to them. If I were really poor and my phone broke and I had to replace it today, I'd probably go with a Moto G because pretty much everyone can afford one of those like right now.


What's great about Android is that we have these kind of options, eh? Our choice of OEM skins, cheap or expensive phones with varying specs and features. It's a good day to be a fan of Android!

Robert Triggs




Whilst any of the current flagship smartphones are great purchases at around the $700 mark, my money would go to the LG G3. Although the HTC One, GS5, Z2, etc, each have their own nuances, pros, and cons, I feel that LG has done the best job at putting the additional effort into the areas of a smartphone that are the most important to me at this price range.


We can quibble about the subtleties of image quality all day, but features like Optical Image Stabilisation, superfast laser assisted focus, and 4K video capture makes the G3's camera a doddle to use, enabling users to obtain high quality snaps with minimal effort.


Furthermore, whilst a 2K display might not strictly be necessary, at $700 you might as well grab as many pixels as you can. Not forgetting that for $700 you want your device to scream good taste, and, as far as I'm concerned, the LG G3 is by far the best looking smartphone on the market right now.


Picking a device with a more reasonable price tag is a more difficult task, as we sadly have to start compromising. The Moto X is a safe pick at $300, and worthy of the praise it receives, but you can get a little more bang for your buck if you can get your hands on the OnePlus One. These devices are really putting a squeeze on the mid-range offerings from the big smartphone OEMs.


However, if you can stretch an extra Jackson to that $300 budget you can occasionally grab a Sony Xperia Z on Amazon for $320, which still holds its own against current flagship smartphones valued at twice its price. Even better, with the Xperia Z you won't have to make any sacrifices with regards to display or camera quality, or have to worry about issues like the OnePlus One's yellow display tint.


We're not quite there yet, but older flagships are starting to find their way towards the $300 price mark, which will be very exciting times indeed.









Android Match

If you had $700 to spare, what phone would you buy? If you only had $300?

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 11:21 AM PDT

LG G3 Vs HTC One M8-90

One of the advantages to Android is the shear level of options out there when it comes to hardware. Whether you're looking for a bleeding edge flagship or a modest budget device, you'll find a variety of handsets from HTC, Samsung, Sony, Motorola and countless other OEMs. Of course all these options also can add a bit of confusion when it comes time to find a new phone.


With this in mind, for this week's Friday Debate we ask what Android handset would you recommend on the premium and budget end of the scale? If you had $700 to spend on a phone right now, what handset would you buy? What if you had just $300? Keep in mind we're talking outright prices not what you'd get them if you signed a contract.


Be sure to check out what our contributing team members had to say and then feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments below!


Jonathan Feist




Choosing a phone based on a dollar value is a difficult, but necessary undertaking for many of us. Our budgets often determine our wants, unfortunately.


There are a number of great phones on the market right now, and it is interesting to see the overall price variance between them. It is especially interesting that the price does not necessarily indicate what hardware is in use, nor the overall performance of the device.


If I had to choose one phone at under $300 and another at the $700 mark, I would choose the Moto G and the Sony Xperia Z2. Surprised?


The Moto G is a no brainer, it is a device that is absolutely unparalleled in performance, considering its specs, and indeed, its price tag. Now, let's get into the semantics of the price, with a $300 budget, I would have plenty of money available to invest in a solid case, an external power pack, and maybe some cloud storage after dropping the ~$200 on the Moto G itself.


As awesome as the Moto G is, let's not confuse it for a top of the line device, nor one packed with all of the bells and whistles, but I cannot think of a better, current generation, budget device with this much bang for the buck in the entire history of Android.


Now, getting to that Sony Xperia Z2. Let's face it, at $699, it is as close to $700 as you need to get. Now, I do like the look of the Z2, I also think it packs enough size, power and features to keep me going well on to my next device.


I've seen a few negative reviews of the Z2 camera, but I really do think it takes great photos. And, if I must be honest, it is solely for the camera that I would choose the Z2 as compared to the other $600+ phones out there.


The LG G3 would have been my choice, but for LG's tendency to go overboard on the contrast when taking pictures. The G3 is probably the better bang for the buck too, it just got edged out by a hair for my personal purchasing decision..


It is important to note that if I were purely making a recommendation here, I would say the G3 over the Z2.


Stepping away from the hypothetical $300 and $700 price points, for the average consumer, I would prefer to recommend something in between. The Nexus 5 has always been an excellent recommendation, as has the Moto X. Also, players like OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi and more have been coming to market with devices that cannot be ignored for their price.


Considering the OnePlus One, for example, is rocking pretty much the exact same hardware and specs as the current $600+ flagships, but for under $400, it is hard not to give it serious consideration. In the end, I type this on my own Moto G, still in search of my next device.


Gary Sims




Choices, choices, choices, which phones to choose! This is a great question, what would I buy?


Let's start with the budget phone. If I had $300 to spend on a budget phone I would get the 16GB version of the OnePlus One. At $299 it is a absolute bargain. The phone looks great, it has a great screen, a fantastic processor package and CM11. As an added bonus it is also a 4G phone, something you wouldn't necessarily expect at the lower-end. If my budget was slightly less I would agree with Jonathan and get a Moto G, but I would maybe go for the Moto G 4G version or the dual-sim version! I also think the ThL 5000 should get an honorable mention. I am just in the process of writing up a review of the device and it is very nice, especially when your consider its price – $270. Besides the HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the octa-core processor, you also get that beast of a 5000mAh battery! Give me battery life over pixels per inch any day.


At the high-end, I am a little stuck… It isn't in my nature to spend $700 on a phone (off contract or over two-years). I would actually get two or even three phones for that price, what about a couple of Moto G's and a OnePlus One (64GB version), I reckon I could get all of those for under $700 total. But if I am forced to pick just one phone for $700, I guess I would get a LG G3.


The screen is very cool at 1440 x 2560 pixels, that is a pixel density of 534 ppi. The processor package is top of the range and the 3GB of RAM is a nice touch. LG have done a great job with the design of the G3. Even though it is a 5.5 inch device it is easy enough to handle. There is also a removable battery, an SD card slot and a camera that uses laser focusing, what more could you want!


Robert Triggs




Whilst any of the current flagship smartphones are great purchases at around the $700 mark, my money would go to the LG G3. Although the HTC One, GS5, Z2, etc, each have their own nuances, pros, and cons, I feel that LG has done the best job at putting the additional effort into the areas of a smartphone that are the most important to me at this price range.


We can quibble about the subtleties of image quality all day, but features like Optical Image Stabilisation, superfast laser assisted focus, and 4K video capture makes the G3's camera a doddle to use, enabling users to obtain high quality snaps with minimal effort.


Furthermore, whilst a 2K display might not strictly be necessary, at $700 you might as well grab as many pixels as you can. Not forgetting that for $700 you want your device to scream good taste, and, as far as I'm concerned, the LG G3 is by far the best looking smartphone on the market right now.


Picking a device with a more reasonable price tag is a more difficult task, as we sadly have to start compromising. The Moto X is a safe pick at $300, and worthy of the praise it receives, but you can get a little more bang for your buck if you can get your hands on the OnePlus One. These devices are really putting a squeeze on the mid-range offerings from the big smartphone OEMs.


However, if you can stretch an extra Jackson to that $300 budget you can occasionally grab a Sony Xperia Z on Amazon for $320, which still holds its own against current flagship smartphones valued at twice its price. Even better, with the Xperia Z you won't have to make any sacrifices with regards to display or camera quality, or have to worry about issues like the OnePlus One's yellow display tint.


We're not quite there yet, but older flagships are starting to find their way towards the $300 price mark, which will be very exciting times indeed.









Android Match

Minnesota Vikings utilizing Google Glass in training camp

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 11:08 AM PDT

vikings_google_glass_tweet


It seems that Google Glass and sports are just meant to be. Many leagues and teams have taken it upon themselves to use the unique piece of technology to provide a dynamic look at the action. The latest organization to do so is the Minnesota Vikings. The team will supplement video content to its official site, allowing fans to view what is going on in training camp.


With this new form of content, fans know whether or not the players are exceeding expectations. Are we looking at a new way to analyze fantasy sports? We shall see.


Source: @Dave_Schwartz

Via: Android Central




Come comment on this article: Minnesota Vikings utilizing Google Glass in training camp





Android Match

Rovio releases Angry Birds Transformers teaser trailer

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 11:08 AM PDT

Angry_Birds_Transformers_Screenshot_From_Teaser_Trailer_02


A little over a month ago, Rovio announced they were working with Hasbro for Angry Birds Transformers. It will not only include the game, but also consumer licensed goods and a new product line from Hasbro called TELEPODS. In celebration for Comic-Con, Rovio is giving us a sneak peak thanks to a teaser trailer.


They do not show any gameplay, but from the looks of it, it is some sort of an endless runner with a lot of missiles. It's also likely the birds will team up with the piggies to fend off the Transformers. Hit the break for the official video.



Click here to view the embedded video.




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Paranoid Android now supports the OnePlus One and several Oppo handsets

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 10:49 AM PDT

paranoid_android The OnePlus One ships with one of the biggest and best custom ROMs right out of the box (CyanogenMod), but for those who like to tinker and switch things up every so often, there are other options available — like the Paranoid Android ROM, which now provides official support for the One and a number



The post Paranoid Android now supports the OnePlus One and several Oppo handsets appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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Facetune, a selfie editor, is now available for Android devices

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 10:48 AM PDT

facetune_app_icon


After finding a ton of success with iOS folks, Facetune is now available for Android devices in the Play Store. Facetune is an application that allows users to tune up and edit selfies. The app can work on your smile, skin, eyes, hair, facial structure, and makeup. Within these features, there are a ton of choices to make improvements or changes. Facetune costs $2.99, but a true selfie extraordinaire will gladly overlook any price.


Hit the break for the video, gallery, and download links.


Click here to view the embedded video.


facetune_app_gallery_1 facetune_app_gallery_2 facetune_app_gallery_3 facetune_app_gallery_4 facetune_app_gallery_5

qr code


Play Store Download Link




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Google Play now offers section for games that can be played offline

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:58 AM PDT






Google has now set up a section of its Google Play Store devoted to games that can be played offline, in an apparent attempt to give Android device owners a choice between those types of games and others that require an online connection.





















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Friday App And Game Sales: Terraria, Runtastic Heart Rate Pro, Star Traders 4X Empires Elite, And More

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT

thumbnail The apparent Google Play summer sale seems to have petered out, so we're moving on to a new sales roundup, and there are a fair number of them too. Proceed and you will be rewarded with ruches beyond your wildest dreams. Note: this does not constitute a guarantee. Android Police accepts no legal responsibility if your wildest dreams differ from those of Android Police and its subsidiaries.


friday




Apps

Runtastic Heart Rate PRO – $0.99 from $1.99


Cameringo – $1.34 from $2.50


mazec3 Handwriting Recognition – $1.99 from $7.99


Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder – $1.99 from $3.99


Touchless Notifications Pro – $1.32 from $2.19


Field Recorder – $3.99 from $5.99


Games

House of 1000 Doors – $0.99 from $2.99


Star Traders 4X Empires Elite – $2.49 from $4.99


Toca Builders – $0.99 from $2.99


Temple Run: Oz – $0.99 from $1.99


Age of Zombies – Free from $0.99 (Amazon)


Knock-Knock – $2.99from $3.99


THE KING OF FIGHTERS '97 – $1.99 from $3.99


Infinite Warrior – $0.99 from 2.99


Dr.





Friday App And Game Sales: Terraria, Runtastic Heart Rate Pro, Star Traders 4X Empires Elite, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




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Firefox Beta For Android Hits v32, Comes With Moar Internets

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT

f Chrome Beta is sporting a new Material Design look now, but Mozilla's Firefox Beta is doing okay. In fact, it is getting an update to v32 with a number of changes that you might notice. Of course, there are also plenty of things going on behind the scenes that you'll never know about if you don't read the changelog.


ff



Here's what we've got in Firefox Beta 32.




NEW



  • In-browser switching for 54 supported languages

  • Clear History control added to the history panel

  • New HTTP caching (v2) enabled by default

  • Support URI autocomplete on Swype

  • Integration of generational garbage collection

  • Gamepad API finalized and enabled


What changed



  • Removed and turned off trust bit for some 1024-bit root certificates

  • Android 2.2 and ARMv6 no longer supported


HTML5/Developer



  • Vibration API updated to latest W3C spec

  • CSS box-decoration-break replaces -moz-background-inline-policy

  • CSS position:sticky enabled by default

  • Mix-blend-mode enabled by default

  • New Array built-in: Array.from()

  • navigator.languages property and languagechange event implemented


Known Issues



  • Does not start on Android L preview

  • Video controls are displayed in the middle of the video




There's a more extensive developer-oriented changelog available on the Mozilla site.





Firefox Beta For Android Hits v32, Comes With Moar Internets was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Google Play Weekly

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:30 AM PDT




It's been a big week in the world of Android apps. The Google Play Store got an update and it brings some Material Design goodness. Samsung seems to have single-handedly revitalized the momentum of the Gamepop Android gaming console. Amazon Prime Music is adding hundreds of thousands of songs from big name artists. The Google Play Store summer sale is in full swing and includes a lot of awesome apps and games. A new trailer was released for the upcoming Walking Dead game that's due out in early 2015. Now for five Android apps you shouldn't miss this week!




Bamboo Paper icon android appsBamboo Paper


[Price: Free]

First up this week is Bamboo Paper. This app by Wacom is a doodle note taking application that has a crisp, clean layout and some fun tools for doodling and note taking that focus on precision. Some people have been disappointed with it but the overall vibe is that the app isn't terrible and if you're looking for a simpler note taking or doodling app, this could be the way to go.

Get it on Google Play

bamboo paper screenshot android apps




SWIP3 icon android appsSWIP3


[Price: $1.69]

SWIP3 is the first official game designed for Android Wear. It's a little time waster game where you must swipe around your watch face to match blocks. Matched blocks disappear and you get points added to your score. It features online multiplayer and has a phone version too. It's $1.69 in the Google Play Store right now.

Get it on Google Play






Firefox android appsFirefox Browser


[Price: Free]

Firefox browser got a huge update this last week. Included is a few UI tweaks, the removal of CAPS infrastructure, WebVTT implementation, CSS3 implementation, and a lot more. This should result in a cleaner, better experience with less incompatibilities than before. If you're getting tired of your old browser, why not Firefox?

Get it on Google Play






Skype free calls on androidSkype


[Price: Free]

Skype version 5.0 for Android came out this last week. Included are the boilerplate fixes and performance improvements but Skype can now manage your contact list and your contacts will start showing up in your Skype contacts automatically. For many this may not be a big deal but if Skype starts being more like Google Hangouts as an all-in-one chat solution then things could get interesting because you can actually make voice calls already on Skype.

Get it on Google Play






Modern Combat 5 icon android appsModern Combat 5


[Price: $6.99]

Last and certainly not least this week is the release of Modern Combat 5. The game costs $6.99 in the Play Store and has no IAPs. The graphics are phenomenal and the game comes with online multiplayer, more campaign, and more action than the original. Modern Combat 4 remains on a lot of lists for the best first person shooter. We don't expect any less out of Modern Combat 5. If you want to see more, stay tuned because our review will be out soon.

Get it on Google Play




Don't forget to check out the Android Authority Forums!






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The 16GB Nexus 7 is just $129 on eBay right now

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 09:27 AM PDT

2013-google-nexus-7-0 Bargain hunters on the lookout for a new tablet will want to check out eBay's latest offer on the 2013 Nexus 7. A refurbished, 16GB Wi-Fi model can currently be had for just $129, and that's a great price for a powerful slate that's still got plenty of life left in it yet. The Nexus



The post The 16GB Nexus 7 is just $129 on eBay right now appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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Amazon giving away $2,500 in gift cards to one winner in new contest

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 08:38 AM PDT






Amazon will make one of its US-based customers extremely happy, thanks to a new "Beat the Heat" sweepstakes where the lucky winner will get $2,500 in Amazon gift cards.





















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Last chance to enter for a shot at a free 64GB Amazon Fire Phone!

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 08:38 AM PDT






There's still time to enter! What are you waiting for?!


Don't forget that we're giving away a 64GB Amazon Fire Phone! The contest has been running since the announcement, and it's almost time to pick a winner, but you still have time to enter if you want a shot at winning! All you need to do is head over to the contest post and leave your comment. That's right, leave your comment on the original post, not this one!





















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Leak: is this our clearest look yet at the Moto X+1?

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 08:20 AM PDT

moto x plus 1 leak


We're getting awfully close to August, which is the month we expect Motorola to announce the successor to last year's Moto X. With that, the leaks are starting to barrel in and another huge one this morning gives us a pretty clear look at the device's externals.


The source of this leak is calling it a "near-final prototype," which isn't all that hard to believe based on a couple of factors. For starters, a leaked chassis shot from earlier this month showed that the backplate would have two holes. We didn't know what the second hole would be for, but this leak shows that same design.


Unfortunately it looks like the second hole will just be a flush slot for Motorola to place their logo (though it doesn't look like a bad touch if these photos are anything to go by). Of noteworthy mention is that Motorola will be using a bit of metal in this thing, albeit only for the edges of the device and not its entirety. It should still make for a nice premium feel when it's all said and done.


moto x plus 1 leak 2


Also contributing to a premium look and feel is the wooden back plate, something we saw featured on the Moto X. It's telling that an early prototype unit such as this is already being flaunted with a wooden back plate. This could be an indication that Motorola will have premium chassis options available through Moto Maker at launch (whereas we had to wait several months for all of the Moto X's options to come to the forefront).


Of course, it could be just as likely that we won't see it — the Moto X reveal showed us a huge lineup of wooden back plates, but they obviously weren't ready for public consumption in time for launch. Guess we'll just have to cross our fingers that Motorola's more comfortable with their manufacturing and assembly process to have these ready to go for game day. Let us know what you think of the design in the comments below!




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Amazon Fire Phone proves difficult to repair in iFixit teardown

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 08:12 AM PDT

Amazon_Fire_Phone_Teardown_01


Amazon has packed a lot of cool new features into their Fire Phone, but apparently this has come at the cost of repairability. The fine folks over at iFixit have done their traditional teardown of Amazon's first foray into smartphones and its not looking good, earning a repairability score of 3 out of 10 (with 10 being the easiest to repair). Everything starts out simple enough with the use of standard screws and the lack of adhesive holding the casing together, but once you get inside, things get a bit more tricky.



Amazon_Fire_Phone_Teardown_02


It appears that the four dynamic cameras are all heartily glued to the display, meaning if you break the screen, the replacement will be anything but cheap. Additionally, Amazon didn't use many modular parts, so instead of replacing one faulty component, you'll be replacing that component and any other pieces that share cable or adhesive with the faulty part. Definitely something to keep in mind before purchasing, although its safe to assume that if the Fire Phone's unique feature sold you in the first place, then this teardown probably won't be changing your mind.


Click here to view the embedded video.


Source: iFixit




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Become the Caped Crusader in Batman: Arkham Origins

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 08:12 AM PDT







Warner Bros. Interactive has released Batman: Arkham Origins for Android. Originally released last October for iOS devices, Origins puts you in the role of the Caped Crusader in his earlier days as he faces off against villains such as Black Mask, Deathstroke, and the Joker.





















Android Match

New Firefox beta for Android adds more custom home screen options

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 07:15 AM PDT






Mozilla has released a new version of its beta Firefox browser for Android, which includes some new way for users to customize their home screen along with some other features and improvements.





















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Amazon's new kids show is about the wonders of science and technology

Posted: 25 Jul 2014 07:15 AM PDT






Amazon's third original series for kids, Annedroids, is now available on Prime Instant Video. The first seven episodes fo the live-action adventure series are ready to watch right now. Annedroids will also be available through Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. The series is aimed at children ages 4-7.





















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