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30
Jan

Today’s best unlocked Android phone deals on Amazon (Jan. 30th)


The days where we walk into a carrier store to purchase a subsidized smartphone are fading. This trend, bundled with the aggressive prices that we’re beginning to see in unlocked phones, makes purchasing a phone full price a more viable option in the mobile market.

Amazon is where a majority of us go to find the best prices of merchandise, therefore, we’ve complied a list of great unlocked smartphone deals you can find there today. Let’s check out what you can save on!

be_together_phones

Bear in mind that these particular prices are at the time of writing. Amazon changes its prices frequently. Also, different smartphone colors often have different prices, and there may be limited quantities.

Happy Android shopping!

The post Today’s best unlocked Android phone deals on Amazon (Jan. 30th) appeared first on AndroidGuys.

30
Jan

Ben Heck’s Steam controller-inspired concept


The Ben Heck Show - Episode 222 - Ben Heck's Steam Controller Inspired Concept

The Ben Heck Show team were asked to check out Valve’s Steam Controller, so we took this as an opportunity to see how the controller works and bring PC gaming to the console masses. The team uses it as inspiration to create a gaming controller for the living room. Karen, Felix and Ben work together using a Teensy, hall effect sensors, clay and metal cutting (with some sewing) to let you kick back and enjoy a game of Quake on the sofa. Do it yourself on the element14 community where we post behind the scenes content, project files and you can talk with the Show’s team!

30
Jan

Here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week – January 30, 2016


honor5X_4

While it hasn’t been all too busy in the Android world as of late, our video team has still been working hard to bring you some great Android-related coverage.

This week Krystal brought you her full review of the honor 5X, Huawei’s new budget smartphone that’s just made its way to the United States. Josh has some thoughts about switching to an iPhone for about a month, and Nirave gives us a detailed walkthrough of Android 6.0 Marshmallow (beta) on the Samsung Galaxy S6. Joe has also brought us two great new videos regarding the best new Android apps and games of January 2016.

There’s certainly a lot to cover here, so without any further delay, here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week.

honor 5X review

The honor 5X is just now making its way to the United States, and it’s one heck of a value. At only $200, this might actually be one of the best cheap Android phones available on the market. Is there anything you should know before you run out any buy one for yourself? Don’t miss Krystal’s full review of the honor 5X.

Why I switched to iPhone (…and back again)

Josh recently took a little vacation, where he actually switched to the iPhone 6s for a full month. Now that he’s back on Android, he’s willing to share his thoughts.

This is Marshmallow (beta) on the Galaxy S6

While there’s still no official build of Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the Galaxy S6, Samsung has released a beta to the public. Wondering what changes it will bring to the handset? Nirave goes hands-on with Marshmallow (beta) on the S6.

Apps, apps, and more apps

10 best new Android apps of January 2016

Following a major lull in December, it seems as though every developer decided to release their new applications in the same month. Check out Joe’s latest roundup of the best new Android apps of January 2016!

10 best new Android games of January 2016

Not only have there been a ton of app releases in the past month, there are also a good amount of games you should check out. Here are the 10 best new Android games of January 2016.

Android Apps Weekly

The future of Link Bubble and the return of the mobile Humble Bundle – you don’t want to miss the latest episode of Joe’s Android Apps Weekly show.

30
Jan

New Sony Xperia C6 render shows off bezel-less display, looks drop dead gorgeous


sony xperia c6 leaked render

A high-quality render of Sony’s unannounced Xperia C6 smartphone has been released by a reliable tech leaker on Twitter. The Xperia C6, if the newly released render is to be believed, looks a lot like Xperia C5 Ultra, which was introduced back in mid-2015. Just like the C5 Ultra, the new Xperia C6 is expected to have a near bezel-less display, which would definitely help this device stand out from amongst the crowd.


Xperia C6 sideSee also: Bezel-less Sony Xperia C6 leaked ahead of MWC 201623

The new Sony Xperia C6 render was released by @OnLeaks, who says that the image was constructed based on the phone’s factory schematics. Not much else is known about the Xperia C6, but rumour has it that Sony’s upcoming device will run an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 chipset under its hood, clocked at a cool 2.0GHz. There’s another rumour which says that the Xperia C6 will have a 1080p resolution display, while the display size may be anywhere between 5- and 6-inches.

While we can’t say for sure, Sony might introduce the new Xperia C6 at MWC 2016, which kicks off on February 22nd in Barcelona. Several other players are also expected to make major announcements on the first day, like Samsung, who’s expected to announce the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge after Sony’s press conference. Alleged press renders of Samsung’s unannounced flagship devices were leaked not too long ago as well, so be sure to check those out before MWC kicks off. Stay tuned for the full coverage on all things relating to Android at MWC 2016!


MWC 2016 Sony InviteRead next: Sony sends out its MWC 2016 invites9

30
Jan

BlackBerry goes all in, says their future is with Android


BlackBerry_Priv_AngleBlackBerry’s Priv was a major change for the company, marking the first time they’d shipped a device running Android instead of any of their BlackBerry OS iterations. So far, it’s done pretty well for the company; well enough, in fact, that the company said they were planning on launching another Android device later this year, which will probably end up being the Vienna we’ve been hearing about

Earlier this month, CEO John Chen said the company was doubling down on Android and only shipping Android-powered devices in 2016, but we might see that exclusivity go a little further than just this year. Damian Tay, head of BlackBerry’s Asian Pacific operations, made some comments about how the Priv was BlackBerry’s “transition” over to Android products. That doesn’t give much hope to anyone that’s holding out for another BlackBerry 10 device.

He also noted that the company considers Android the future, and there wouldn’t be much point in maintaining both operating systems simultaneously. Plus, BlackBerry’s enterprise efforts were cross-platform anyway, so moving that side of things over to Android is basically already finished.

This doesn’t 100% spell the end of BlackBerry 10, as sometimes these comments are mistranslated or misunderstood. But either way you look at it, if BlackBerry has success with Android this year, they probably won’t be keen on changing a winning formula. Sorry, BlackBerry enthusiasts.

source: Economic Times

via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: BlackBerry goes all in, says their future is with Android

30
Jan

Tag Heuer Connected review: $1,500 for a smartwatch?


Smartphone makers have churned out watch after watch in hopes of happening upon something game-changing. If nothing else, they’re getting good at making pretty gear. Still, none of them have the clout that horological giant Tag Heuer does, which is why our collective ears perked up when we heard that the Swiss company was making an Android Wear watch. The result is the Tag Heuer Connected, a watch that looks like some of the company’s most iconic models … and works just like every other Android Wear device out there. At $1,500, it’s also the most expensive Android Wear watch around, but — spoiler alert — it’s hardly worth the price.

Hardware

As you’d expect from a watchmaker with a storied history, the Connected is a remarkably well-built piece of kit. For one, it’s almost shockingly light — thanks to the fancy Grade 2 titanium Tag Heuer used for the chassis and lugs. I honestly wasn’t expecting the Connected to feel as trim as it did just based on looks; it’s a distinctly masculine piece that takes cues from a handful of the company’s existing chronographs, specifically models like the relatively new Calibre Heuer O1. Its waistline measures a plump 12.8mm, for one, making it the thickest Android Wear watch, in addition to the most expensive.

Of course, the body had to have a little extra meat to accommodate the 1.5-inch (38.1mm) LCD display running at 360 x 360. All told, the dial measures a full 46.2mm wide. That screen is also covered with a piece of sapphire crystal that does a fine job fending off scratches, though it didn’t keep the panel from getting smudgy after lots of tapping.

So yes, it’s a big watch — enough to make dainty wrists look totally ridiculous. At least the vulcanized rubber strap made for some comfortable wearing. It’s dead simple to adjust the size for bigger and smaller wrists alike; you just move the titanium clasp up and down along the band to fit just about any size. In any case, I really can’t overstate this: The Connected’s fit and finish are the finest of any Android Wear device, even if the look won’t be for everyone.

While the Connected earns points for build quality, it lacks a few of the niceties we’ve grown accustomed to on other Android Wear watches. It’ll track your steps, for instance, but there’s no heart-rate sensor on board. Other high-end watches, like the Huawei Watch, also come with speakers that will come in handy once Android Wear is updated to support them, but you won’t find any here. Sorry, runners, there’s no GPS, either (although, having taken the Connected to the gym a few times, I find it a little too bulky for running anyway).

Thankfully, the stuff you do get is more potent than you might expect. Rather than run on one of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 400-series chips, Tag teamed up with Intel and Google to get everything optimized for a dual-core Intel chip instead. A brief note on that silicon: It’s actually a 1.6GHz Z34XX Atom processor, though Tag says it’s normally clocked at 500mHz. The more you know! I’ll dig into performance more in a bit, but for now, suffice to say that Tag and its partners might be on to something here. Those processor cores are assisted by 1GB of RAM, and the watch sports the industry-standard 4GB of internal storage and a 410mAh battery.

In use

If you’ve read any of our recent Android Wear device reviews, you already have a pretty good understanding of what the OS is capable of. In fact, it’s matured quite a bit since it first debuted a year and a half ago. Still, as I’ve said before, there’s a pervasive sense of sameness that comes with Android Wear, as watchmakers aren’t able to fiddle much with Wear’s design and functionality.

After you plunk down your $1,500 and receive the watch, the first thing you’ll want to do is register it on Tag Heuer’s website. Yes, I know, I hardly ever bother with that either. This time, though, it’s a crucial step in making sure your watch gets all the functionality it’s supposed to. To wit: Of the four (yes, only four) included watch faces, one called “Themed” revealed a Weather Underground theme only after registering the watch. Even better, after setting that theme, the watch absolutely refused to load any weather information. Uh, thanks?

Tag’s touch is a light one, so the only other apps that come preloaded on the watch are a handsome alarm, a timer and a stopwatch. The stopwatch in particular is a neat touch, as it apes a bit of classic chronometer design by displaying multiple dials for minutes elapsed and tenths of seconds. In a bid to make the Connected more palatable, Tag also inked deals with the makers of apps like RaceChrono, Golfshot Pro, ViewRanger (for trail maps) and Insiders (for curated suggestions of fancy, neat things around you). These all run fine on other Android Wear watches too, but Tag promised that Connected owners would get free subscriptions to those apps’ premium features. Unfortunately, Tag offers no instructions for how to actually claim those free subscriptions, and Insiders in particular won’t even let you past a landing page without an invite code. Swell.

Of course, that’s just the situation right now. Tag Heuer has said that a slew of Connected-exclusive goodies would eventually come to the watch, including watch faces customized by celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and model Cara Delevingne. No, seriously. There’s no word on when those features will get added, but we’ll revisit them if and when they do.

Software stuff aside, the Connected still feels like a mixed bag. On the one hand, the Intel chip powering the watch is no slouch. Normally with Android Wear devices you’ll run into lag while swiping furiously through notification cards and a watch’s app list. There was hardly any of that here; the few instances where I did see some stuttering only underscored how fast the watch usually is. Qualcomm’s stranglehold on the mobile chip market means we’re probably going to keep seeing Snapdragon used in smartwatches, but I’d be happy if more device makers started pledging allegiance to Intel.

Too bad the display is a bit of a letdown. The 1.5-inch LCD panel isn’t nearly as crisp or pixel-dense as the competition’s. The Huawei Watch and the smaller of the two Moto 360 variants have sharper screens, making for text that’s easier to read and watch faces with a little more clarity. Even the ill-fated second-gen edition of the LG Watch Urbane had a screen that was better than what we’ve got here in the Connected, with brilliant colors and 348 pixels per linear inch. It was gorgeous; too bad you can’t buy one anymore.

Normally, this screen situation wouldn’t be such a huge deal — it’s still perfectly readable, after all– but c’mon: This is a $1,500 watch. I don’t think I’m out of line for expecting something more impressive. On the plus side, though, the screen brightness is respectable, and the Connected’s ambient display also does a nice job telling you the time even in bright sunlight.

Since the chipset inside is technically capable of faster clock speeds than the Snapdragon 400s inside most other Android Wear watches, battery life probably weighed heavily on Tag and Intel as they built the watch. Thankfully, while the screen fails to impress, there’s a lot of life in the Connected’s 410mAh battery. During weekdays when the flow of work-related notifications seemed endless, the Connected never lasted for less than 20 hours with the ambient display turned on and screen brightness set at half. And when the relative quiet of the weekend rolled around, that number surged: I’d routinely wake up the day after a full charge and have about 20 percent left to play with.

The competition

Honestly, nothing else in the world of Android Wear comes close to what Tag Heuer is offering. Setting aside how well-designed the device is, owners have the option of trading in their watches after the two-year warranty expires for a unique mechanical Carrera designed to look like the Connected. It’s a neat idea in theory, especially since it provides an escape route from the smartwatch age for Tag Heuer traditionalists. The caveat: You have to shell out another $1,500, which is what the Carrera starts at anyway. On top of that, since Tag hasn’t actually shown anyone what that replacement looks like, who knows whether that $1,500 fee actually constitutes a good deal.

While they aren’t as fancy as the Connected, the relatively affordable Huawei Watch ($349 and up) and the 2015 Moto 360 ($299 plus) are both strong choices if you’re looking for something running Android Wear. As I’ve said, Huawei’s watch has a sharp display, not to mention a boatload of attractive watch faces and an undeniable sense of style. Speaking of style, the Moto 360 comes in two sizes, including a 46mm variant for people who like the dimensions of the Connected’s screen, and it’s highly customizable, too.

Since the Connected’s price is so high, I can’t help but compare it to the upper-level Apple Watches. The closest thing pricewise in Cupertino’s lineup is the $1,500, 42mm stainless-steel Watch with a Fauve Barenia leather cuff by Hermès. Apple’s Hermès line and the Tag Heuer Connected share a sense of luxury and polish that befit their price tags, but man, their approaches seem totally different. Sure, they handle notifications, run apps and allow you to interact with connected phones with your voice. The thing is, the Connected feels more like a proper watch with additional smart features. Apple’s goal was to make something that acts like an all-encompassing digital concierge on your wrist — a smartwatch through and through.

Wrap-up

If you’re looking for a good Android Wear watch, you don’t need to spend $1,500. It’s completely unnecessary. That’s not to say the Connected is a bad device — far from it. Its build quality is fantastic, and it’s comfortable in addition to being stylish. It’s just that nothing about the experience feels worth that kind of money.

But maybe that’s just me. The lure of fancy, expensive watches stretches back to the very beginning of horological history. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who eagerly pull up their sleeves, itching to talk about their new Ulysse Nardin piece or the great eBay deal they found on a Rolex Submariner. For those people — ardent watch lovers — the Connected makes a little more sense. It’s a taste of the smartphone age wrapped in a familiar package, complete with a $1,500 exit strategy in the form of a trade-in. If that’s you, well, enjoy. Everyone else can stay away with no regrets.

30
Jan

Sony Xperia C6 render leaks


Sony_Xperia_C6_render_leak_013016

Sony will be holding a press conference at the upcoming MWC 2016 trade show, just like it normally does. Unfortunately, the next Xperia flagship won’t make an appearance. However, Sony may be prepping some other handsets for a release. Yesterday, a render leaked of what appears to be a yet to be release Sony-branded smartphone.

Sources say that the leaked render is of the Sony Xperia C6. Most of the design elements are similar to that of other Sony handsets. The most notable design element here is the handset’s razor thin bezels along the sides. Based off of rumors, the Xperia C6 could house a 5-inch display with a Full HD resolution. The handset may also include an octa-core processor from MediaTek, the Helio P10. Judging from these specs, the handset will be a mid-ranger, hopefully with an affordable price tag.

Based off the leaked render, the Xperia C6 will come in three colors, a dark grey, a silver, and a goldish-colored model. Perhaps we’ll find out more on the handset at MWC 2016, which is set to begin on February 22 in Barcelona.

Source: OnLeaks (Twitter)
Via: Phone Arena

Come comment on this article: Sony Xperia C6 render leaks

30
Jan

President pledges $4 billion toward computer science in schools


The White House isn’t just relying on legislation to make computer science education a priority in the US. President Obama has launched a Computer Science for All initiative that gives states $4 billion in funding to expand computer science in K-12 schools through a mix of better course materials, partnerships and teacher training. The move also sends another $100 million directly to school districts, unlocks $135 million in funding from government organizations and gets further cooperation from both local governments as well as tech leaders.

Some of those leaders include companies that have already promised support for the President’s educational initiatives. Apple, Cartoon Network, Code.org, Facebook, Microsoft, Salesforce and Qualcomm are all widening their education efforts, investing in programs or both to help improve computer science in the country.

Throwing cash at a problem won’t make it go away, of course, and there aren’t any guarantees that the money will make a difference. However, the effort at least tackles one of the core issues head-on: getting computer science into schools in the first place. Roughly three quarters of schools go without any CS programs, and 22 states don’t accept these classes as credit toward a high school diploma. If the extra funding works as planned, it’ll get CS courses into more schools and help create a generation of kids that know how to code before they reach college.

Source: White House Blog

30
Jan

Sprint HTC One M8 units are now receiving Android 6.0


android_6-0_marshmallow_statue_lawn_building

An OTA update containing Google’s latest Android 6.0 (excluding the minor Android 6.0.1 update) is now rolling out to Sprint HTC One M8 units.

Millions of Android users are still waiting to get their hands on the latest software from Google. Subscribers of Sprint who have HTC’s 2014 One M8 flagship will be happy to know that the update is rolling out to everyone as of this moment. The confirmation came from Mo Versi, HTC’s VP of product management, who announced the plans on Twitter yesterday evening.

The Android 6.0 update will bring you all of the latest features from Google. These include the new Now on Tap capability, doze, simplified app permissions, and lots lots more. Google has received a majority of good feedback regarding its latest update since it launched back in May of last year.

When you receive the update, you’ll want to ensure that you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network to avoid data overages. Since it’s a big update, it will take some time to download and install. It’s also recommended that you charge your One M8 to at least 50% prior to installing the software. The update is rolling out in waves like it normally does, so if you don’t get the update today, or tomorrow, don’t be discouraged. If you haven’t received the notification to update yet, try going into settings under ‘About phone’ and then ‘check for new software updates’, this may speed up the process. Happy updating!

Source: Mo Versi (Twitter)
Via: Android Central

Come comment on this article: Sprint HTC One M8 units are now receiving Android 6.0

30
Jan

Recommended Reading: Michael Jackson’s music in ‘Sonic 3’


The Michael Jackson Video Game Conspiracy
Todd Van Luling,
Huffington Post

If you paid attention to the music in Sonic 3, you likely noticed some of the audio resembles Michael Jackson’s tunes. While Sega admitted the King of Pop was involved with the soundtrack, it claimed to have nixed all of his work from the final version despite obvious nods to the singer. As it turns out, that’s not exactly the case and Huffington Post details the a decade-spanning search for the truth from some of Sonic’s biggest fans.

Trent Reznor Recalls How David Bowie Helped Him Get Sober
Trent Reznor, Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone’s Bowie tribute issue is out this week and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor discusses the loss of a mentor.

How Microsoft Plans to Beat Google and Facebook to the Next Tech Breakthrough
Dina Bass and Jack Clark, Bloomberg Business

Microsoft is refocusing its research division to make it a much bigger part of the company.

A Different Creed: The Legacy of ‘Prince of Persia: Sands of Time’
Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, Eurogamer

Assassin’s Creed traces its roots back to a cancelled Prince of Persia title, and this piece provides some of that backstory.

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