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12
Aug

Moto announces, then retracts, release date for Moto X Pure Edition


After the announcement last month of Motorola’s newest devices, there were questions surrounding the actual release date of the Moto X Pure Edition. All that we were told was that it would be released sometime in November. Talk about vagueness.

Well today, Motorola may have accidentally announced the release date of their flagship device for 2015. Motorola had tweeted out, stating:

On Sep 3, you’ll see what real love is like. Choose #MotoX for a more powerful connection.

After this tweet was found, it was quickly deleted, with no rhyme nor reason as to why. We can only hope that their mistake is our luck, and that the 3rd is really the release date for those in the US to get their hands on this device.

As a recap, let’s take a quick look at what the 2015 Moto X is bringing to the table for everyone:

  • 5.7″ QHD Display
  • 3000mAh battery
  • 21MP Rear-facing camera
  • 5MP Front-facing camera
  • 3GB RAM
  • 16GB/32GB/64GB internal storage with microSD card support
  • Snapdragon 808 Processor
  • Turbo Charging

Now, not many folks have been able to get their hands on this device, however, we can only hope that the device is as good as it looks on paper. What I’m looking forward to the most, is the camera performance. Hopefully the camera on the Moto X Pure Edition blows the one found on the Moto X 2014, out of the water. Time will tell, but now with an idea of a date, we have something to aim for.

Drop us a line in the comments below, and let us know if you’re looking forward to picking up the Moto X Pure Edition once it finally rolls out. If you aren’t getting the new Moto X, what device are you looking forward to?

Source: Droid Life

The post Moto announces, then retracts, release date for Moto X Pure Edition appeared first on AndroidGuys.

12
Aug

[TA Deals] Get Limbic’s ‘TowerMadness’ for free


tower_madness_phone

Want to pay nothing for a tower defense game that thousands of people had to pay for? Then head over to Talk Android Deals because that’s where we have Limbic’s TowerMadness available for free. The tower defense game pits players against aliens seeking to invade territory. With a vast amount of content, you’ll be replaying TowerMadnesss over and over again.

Here is what the game includes:

  • 100+ maps in diverse environments
  • 60+ weapons and upgrades
  • 17 different aliens
  • Multiple game modes
  • Sweet 3D graphics
  • Addictive tower defense gameplay

The game is normally priced at $1 but you can start playing on your phone by spending nothing at all.

[Talk Android Deals]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Get Limbic’s ‘TowerMadness’ for free

12
Aug

Moto X Pure Edition will arrive on September 3



moto_x_style_specsOn Twitter, Motorola announced that its new flagship smartphone the Moto X Pure Edition will be available starting on September 3. In case you’re wondering the Moto X Pure Edition is essentially the same as the Moto X Style just under a different name.

UPDATE: The post is down so take this with a grain of salt. Hopefully we’ll find out more details shortly.

Motorola’s aim was to make this the best phone for the buck. There is lots of hype for the device but only time will tell how it stands against rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S6LG G4 and recently announced OnePlus 2. Here’s a recap of the device’s specifications.

The device will feature a large 5.7-inch QHD LCD display, a Snapdragon 808 chipset backed with 3GB of RAM, a 21MP rear-facing camera and three storage options starting at 16GB. The device will also be expandable via a built in microSD card slot. Some other details include a 3000mAh battery with fast charging capabilities and Android Lollipop pre-installed.

Users can customize the device through Motorola’s online Moto Maker. This will include different backing options, colors and trims. Pricing will start at $399 for the 16GB off contract model which will be unlocked to support all four major U.S. carriers. This is a smart approach by the company which will ultimately give users Android updates shortly after they’re released. MotoMakers

Source: Motorola (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: Moto X Pure Edition will arrive on September 3

12
Aug

BoomBox V2 portable speaker review


BoomBox_V2_TA (45)One of the great things about summer is having a picnic with friends and family — laying on a blanket while eating sandwiches, relaxing, reading, eating, talking, quaffing the odd glass of wine, and listening to music. Listening to music while out and about is often where the proverbial fly in the ointment appears because the quality of sound from your smartphone’s speaker usually isn’t anything write home about. This is where Wowzr’s BoomBox V2 comes in, a portable audio device that allows you to make a speaker out of everyday objects.

BoomBox_V2_TA (23)

Setup

The BoomBox V2 portable speaker isn’t your typical portable speaker. Once its hooked up to the 3.5mm audio jack on your handset you then need to attach the mini speaker pad to an object that will allow the vibrations it creates to be converted into music. Until you attach the mini speaker pad to an object, the sound that emanates from it is quite low and somewhat tinny. Once it’s attached to an object such as a pizza box, Styrofoam container or even a piece of Tupperware, though, you’ll notice a vast improvement in both sound quality and loudness.

BoomBox_V2_TA (41)
BoomBox_V2_TA (39)
BoomBox_V2_TA (38)

Sound Quality

I attached the BoomBox V2 to a rather flimsy Graze box, a much sturdier filing box, and a Tupperware container, with results ranging from decent to great. While the sound from the admittedly flimsy Graze box was around 50% lower than the other two objects, the sound was still clear and loud enough to be heard without straining. The filing box and the Tupperware container gave much better results, however, possibly because of their thicker, stronger construction materials. The resulting sound was strong and clear. As the manufacturer recommends, I kept the output generated from the smartphone down to around 80-90% to avoid distortion. Now to answer the all-important question: how loud is the BoomBox V2? Well, lets put it this way (provided you have a suitable object to turn into a speaker): the BoomBox V2 is more than loud enough to provide music for a bedroom or if outside, a picnic without annoying the people around you.

BoomBox_V2_TA (32)
BoomBox_V2_TA (33)
BoomBox_V2_TA (34)

Extras

The BoomBox V2 comes with 3 extra sticky pads, a USB-to-3.5mm audio jack cable, as well as an audio jack extension. Naturally, there’s also an instruction manual, but that isn’t really needed as the BoomBox V2 is very straightforward to use. Just insert two AAA batteries or connect it to a USB port, plug it into your phone or tablet, stick the mini speaker pad to a suitable object and you have sound.

BoomBox_V2_TA (28)

I like that the BoomBox V2 feels sturdy since it is made of a strong plastic that doesn’t have any bend or flex to it. While the white sticky pad does pick up dust and fluff, you can wipe it clean with a wet cloth. If necessary, you can also replace it with one of the spare sticky pads that come with the BoomBox V2. Did I mention that I like the sound? Once you’ve found a suitable object to subject to the speakers vibrations, there’s a surprising amount of bass and clarity in sound for such a little device.

I don’t like that the audio cable that connects the BoomBox V2 to the tablet or smartphone is so short. Instead, I wanted the cable to be at least a foot-long. Having said that, there is a 50cm long extension included in the box but that means an extra item to carry around. I also feel that the BoomBox V2 would be more useful if it had Bluetooth connectivity. Perhaps in the next version?

BoomBox_V2_TA (44)

Closing

The BoomBox V2 is a very useful portable speaker, and so long as you can find a suitable foil for its good vibrations, it is more than capable of providing music for a picnic or a bedroom. Knowing its limitations in that the BoomBox V2 isn’t loud enough for a death metal mosh-pit, you can’t go far wrong.

You can snag your own BoomBox V2 for £19 plus shipping from here and get a 10% discount off the items in your basket by entering TalkAndroid into the appropriate box when checking out.

[Wowzr]

Come comment on this article: BoomBox V2 portable speaker review

12
Aug

Soul Electronics’ new sport headphones double as a walkie talkie


App-based personal trainers are great, but they usually lack the yelling abilities of a real live human. Soul Electronics has a solution for that, and it allows you to keep your headphones on. The company is leveraging Kickstarter for its Combat+ Sync wireless headphones that not only keep you from getting tangled in a cord during your bench press sets, but they also pack in a walkie talkie feature. So when your pal needs a bit of extra motivation, you can do just that as the cans have a built-in microphone to capture your cues. Slideshow-312043

Soul is looking to add fitness guidance to its companion app too, in case your gym partner oversleeps. That’ll happen if the crowdfunding campaign eclipses $300,000. For now, there’s a music sync tool that allows you to listen to the same music alongside controls for the walkie talkie mode, music EQ and customizing LED colors. Like previous models in the Combat+ line, the headphones are sweat proof and the earpads are not only removable, but you can wash them as well. The ability to keep those clean is certainly a nice touch. In order to secure a pair before they ship early next year, you’ll need to commit $199 via the source link below.

Filed under:
Portable Audio/Video

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Source:
Kickstarter

Tags: combat+sync, combatplussync, headphones, soul, soulelectronics, sport, training, video, walkietalkie, workout

12
Aug

Researchers can predict bad weather up to a month in advance


storm is coming

Climate change means that it’s no longer certain that the tailgate you’ve planned for the third weekend in August will have clear skies and sunshine. Fortunately, a group of Chinese researchers think that they’ve developed a system that’ll predict catastrophic weather events from anything up to 30 days in advance. That’s a big deal, since the traditional limit for making an educated guess about an impending monsoon was less than half that. The paper, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, reports that the team has managed to overcome a key principle of chaos theory that’s long held-back such research: the Butterfly Effect.

In a chaotic system, like weather, the smallest of variations in conditions can have exaggerated consequences. In Edward Lorenz’s original explanation, the flapping of a butterfly’s wings could change the local atmosphere, which would have a knock-on effect around the globe, causing a hurricane elsewhere. This principle also means that it’s impossible to predict weather patterns more than a fortnight ahead of time, since there’s too many variables for even a supercomputer to keep track of.

That’s why, instead of trying to build bigger and even more sophisticated models the team, led by Dr. Xia Zhiye, decided to go small. By narrowing their focus to local areas only, the researchers were able to spot signifiers of monsoon-like rain events up to 30 days ahead of when they took place. If this system can be replicated, it means that it’s possible to know when heavy rain events will occur a month before they do. It’s still early days, but we’re already thinking that this’ll do wonders for the picnic-planning industry.

Filed under:
Science

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Via:
Business Insider, South China Morning Post

Source:
Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences

Tags: ButterflyEffect, ChaosTheory, Prediction, Weather, XiaZhiye

12
Aug

The countdown begins in August for limited-time game ‘The Flock’


The Flock is a multiplayer horror game with a twist — its in-game population begins at 215,358,979, and every time someone dies, the counter drops by one. When the population hits zero, the game will no longer be available for purchase and only those who already own it will be able to participate in The Flock‘s final phase. The games begin on August 21st, when The Flock hits Steam and the Humble Store for $17.Slideshow-305479

The Flock is set in the year 3000, when the Earth has been ravaged by pollution so thick that it blocked out the sun, forcing humans to extinction. A skeletal, agile race called the Flock now roam the land. They discover an illuminated Light Artifact that transforms whomever holds it into the Carrier, a humanoid creature. Players attempt to capture objectives as the Carrier or simply survive while holding the Light Artifact, fighting off entire hordes of Flock with its radiance. The Flock is a tale of extinction and developers at Vogelsap hope to convey the harsh realities of life among a dwindling population.

Plus, as they write in a new FAQ page:

Most indie multiplayer games lose their player base within a year. Even heavy hitters such as Titanfall and Evolve have a fast dwindling player base. The most popular games such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike still have a somewhat anticlimactic ending of their players’ experience. Because in the end at some point — and this can be after five years or two months — you’ll stop playing because you either got bored of it, you’ve seen it all or you, or your friends have no longer time to play. We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered.

Vogelsap developers also address how they’ll handle hacking and bots in the game. First,they’ll give the hacker a warning and revert all lives, even legitimate ones, that he or she has removed from the game. Repeated hacking or use of bots will result in a ban. In-game suicides shouldn’t impact the population much, developers say: “We rather hope you have fun scaring your friends and enjoy the extra content we’re planning to release. Also, there’s a respawn time.”

The only way Vogelsap would add lives to the in-game population is if developers launch the game on other platforms, such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. If this happens, all platforms will share a single population pool. “The finale is something to be experienced only once by the players of The Flock,” Vogelsap writes.

Anyone who pre-orders The Flock from the Humble Store or Vogelsap’s website, or buys it during launch week on Steam, will receive an extra game key to give to a friend. Or an enemy. Your choice.

Filed under:
Gaming, HD

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Tags: hdpostcross, humblestore, Indie, STEAM, TheFlock, vogelsap

12
Aug

Moto X Pure Edition hits the US on September 3rd


Up until today, we only knew the Moto X Pure Edition would launch sometime this September. But now Motorola’s revealed via Twitter that its new flagship, also known as the Style, will hit the US on the 3rd of said month. (International availability is still unknown, but we reached out to the company to see if had any dates to share.) The Moto X Pure Edition is going to start at $400 unlocked and, here in the States, it’s expected to work on any carrier — with LTE. As a refresher, it also features a 5.7-inch, Quad HD (1,440 x 2,560) display, Snapdragon 808 processor with 3GB RAM, 20-megapixel (f/2.0) rear camera and Android Lollipop. If you don’t feel like waiting for it, there’s always the 2015 Moto G — which is only $180, yet continues to offer some of the best bang for your buck.

Filed under:
Cellphones, Mobile

Comments

Source:
Motorola (Twitter)

Tags: mobilepostcross, Motorola, MotoXPureEdition, MotoXStyle, MotoXStylePureEdition, PureEdition

12
Aug

Google unveils Android Experiments – a showcase of inspiring projects on Android


To better showcase what awesome things are possible with the Android operating system, today Google announced Android Experiments. This is a new initiative from the company that will help show off some of the most inspiring and creative apps, games and even Android Wear applications available.

There are already 20 Android Experiment projects available on the site, from camera apps to puzzle games to the new apps from Google Creative Lab that we talked about yesterday. Roman Nurik’s Muzei live wallpaper and FORM watch face are included on the list as well. Google elaborates:

The 20 initial experiments show a broad range of creative work–from camera experiments to innovative Android Wear apps to hardware hacks to cutting edge OpenGL demos. All are built using platforms such as the Android SDK and NDK, Android Wear, the IOIO board, Cinder, Processing, OpenFrameworks and Unity. Each project creatively examines in small and big ways how we think of the devices we interact with every day.

This is just the start of the new project, though. Google says any developer who thinks their app is creative enough can submit an entry to be featured on the site. It’s open to everybody, so if you have a unique app you’d like to show off, head to AndroidExperiments.com to submit your own.

12
Aug

How to Turn Any Song into a Ringtone on your Android Phone


samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 4

We all know that the stock ringtones for most phones range from merely annoying to other-worldly, nightmarish soundscapes of noise and agony (I’m looking at you, “Moto”). Even after almost a decade of smartphones, creating your own custom ringtone hasn’t gotten much more intuitive.  Fortunately, this simple four-step process will help you turn any MP3, AAC, AMR, or WAV file into a ringtone that will be all your own.

Step 1: Move the Song to your Phone

If you want to create a ringtone, your first step will of course be getting the audio file onto your Android device. There are a variety of ways you can do this, but for the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll just go with a simple transfer over a USB cable.

If you already have the song file on your Android, then congratulations! You’re already one-fourth of the way done! Pat yourself on the back and skip ahead to Step 2, just try not to look too smug about it.

This guide assumes that you are using a PC. Don’t despair, Mac users, because the process is almost identical.

Locate the Song on Your Computer

Using your computer’s file explorer or finder, locate the song you want to use on your hard drive. It may be in any number of places, from an iTunes music stash to a downloads folder, so you might have to look around for a bit. Once you’ve found it, make note of its location.

Link Phone and Computer with USB

Nexus 7 Nexus 9 Moto G Chromebook ADB USB

Using a standard micro USB cable, attach your Android device to your computer.

You probably have one of these cords lying around since they almost always come with new phones, and you usually need one to keep your device charged. However, if you somehow manage to find yourself in a micro USB drought, you can grab a new one for a couple of bucks off Amazon. Don’t worry about shelling out extra for any of the gimmicky, gold-plated kinds; a run-of-the-mill cable will serve you just fine.

Open Phone via Explorer

When you attach your phone to your computer via the USB cable, you’ll probably get a message asking you how you would like to use this device. Choose to explore the device’s files and folders.

If this option does not pop up, go ahead and open a new explorer window. You should find your phone listed among your computer’s available storage devices.

Drag Your File Over

Go back to where you located your music file and drag it over to your phone’s storage.

Move-Song-to-Phone

These next steps use applications that automatically locate audio files for you, so it doesn’t matter very much where you put it. However, it’s generally good practice to put it somewhere you can find it again to keep your device tidy and organized.

Step 2: Get Your Apps

Some songs are ready-made to be used as ringtones. If you’re grabbing AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” for instance, you’re probably going to want that famous opening riff to herald the arrival of every phone call. Depending on file type, your phone might automatically recognize the song as ringtone material.

In most cases, however, some tweaking and fine-tuning is in order. We will be using the following two apps to chop directly to the part of the song you want to use as your ringtone and ensure that your phone is able to use your new creation as a ringtone or notification sound.

Download RingDroid by RingDroid Team

ringdroid

RingDroid is the go-to app for everything custom ringtone. It’s relatively lean, supports a plethora of popular audio file formats, and is able to assign freshly trimmed songs as ringtones right from inside the app.

From time to time, though, RingDroid can hit a snag or two. Some users have complained about having to save two versions of a file if they want to use it as both a ringtone and a notification. There is also some grumbling about its capabilities when it comes to assigning ringtones to specific contacts. That’s why we’ll be installing a second app as a catch-all workaround for all of RingDroid’s potential shortcomings.

Get it on Google Play!

Download File Manager by Cheetah Mobile

filemanage

Oh sweet File Manager, how I love you dearly. I could sing File Manager’s praises all day long, but how-to articles aren’t the best medium for filibustering, impromptu musical numbers. Therefore, I’ll just sum up.

File Manager is a tiny powerhouse of an app that gives you a clean window into your Android device’s backstage. It has a ton of clever little tricks up its sleeves, including a slick wifi file transfer system.

For our purposes, we’ll just be using File Manager for its ability to assign any audio file as a ringtone or notification. This is a huge advantage since most stock interfaces tend to be a little finicky about which file types can be used for what.

Get it on Google Play!

Step 3: Trim your Ringtone

Once you’ve got your apps installed, it’s time to whip that audio file into shape. Cut right to your favorite chords and be sure your ringtone ends before the part you don’t like as much kicks in.

Locate Your Tune

Pull up RingDroid and locate the song you want to use. Note that RingDroid’s interface uses audio file properties rather than file names in its default browser. This means that if your song has track name and artist data, then its listing may differ from the name of the file you moved over from your computer.

Locate-your-song-in-RingDroid

 

Once you find your song, tap it, and RingDroid will open up the editing tool.

RingDroid-Editing-view

Find an Ideal Segment

Use the sliders to isolate the part of the song you want to use as your ringtone. RingDroid will trim away all the rest.

Sliders-select-song-segment

 

Don’t worry about cutting up your song, though. RingDroid will keep the original file.

The app lets you define a segment of any length, but remember that you’ll be using this as a ringtone, so it won’t be playing for more than a few seconds most of the time. Hit the Play button to hear a test run of your ringtone.

Finalize

Once you’ve got your song trimmed, tap the floppy disk “Save” icon.

Now you can give your ringtone a new name. Make sure it’s something you’ll remember.

Rename-song-clip

Before you finish out, change the file type from the default option “Ringtone” to “Music.” This will ensure that you will be able to use it as either a ringtone or notification in the future with the help of File Manager.

Set-save-type-to-music

Step 4: Apply Ringtone

You’re almost there. RingDroid has built-in functionality to assign your freshly-trimmed musical masterpiece as your ringtone without ever leaving the app, but let’s forego using that ability for now.

In this last step, you will use File Manager to select your ringtone instead. This avoids some potential hiccups and you can use this same technique the next time you want to change your ringtone, regardless of whether or not you go through RingDroid first.

Settings

Don’t open File Manager. Instead, pull up your Android device’s settings.

Sound & Notification

Find the Sound & Notification option and tap it. Some variation exists between devices, so don’t worry if your menus look a little different. The important thing is to get to your phone’s stock ringtone selection options.

Android-settings

Once you find your current ringtone setting, tap it.

Android-settings-sound-notification

Use File Manager

Since you installed File Manager, you will be given the option to use it instead of the default ringtone selection function. Choose to use File Manager. You can also choose whether you want to always use this app or only use it once.

Use-File-Manager

 

When File Manager opens up, tap the “Audio” shortcut to see a list of all the audio files on your phone.

View-Audio-Files-in-File-Manager

Locate the file you created with RingDroid. Since you selected “Music” as its filetype, it will have the extension .M4A. Be careful not to confuse it with your original, untrimmed song file!

Locate-Song-Clip

Once you select it, you’re done! Give your phone a test call to give those sweet, angelic tones a trial run.

New-Ringtone-Applied

If you want to assign a specific ringtone to a contact, just use this same process in your contacts menu, using File Manager once again instead of the default ringtone selector.

Conclusion

It’s true that there are other methods to create your own ringtones, but what makes this technique so useful is that it works for a variety of widely-used file types, and it avoids the most common complications that users tend to run into. It’s also a very quick method, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending an entire afternoon chopping apart your favorite songs and trying them out as ringtones!

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