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Android 5.0 Lollipop beta leaked for Galaxy Note 3

Android Guys - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Samsung Galaxy Note 3

A recent beta of Lollipop gives Galaxy Note 3 users the opportunity to play with the newest android update. It is likely that Samsung will not be updating the Note 3 to Android 5.0 any time soon and the most recent official update from Samsung for the Note 3 is 4.4.4 KitKat, but thanks to a post on XDA Developers, users can update to the newest Lollipop beta right away.

While most features seem to be working from the images on the source Vietnamese site, and the build is stated as being an official beta from Samsung, the fact that this is a leak is a cause for concern, and it may not be stable enough to use as a daily driver as of yet.

Unfortunately for the majority of Note 3 users, the beta is only compatible with the N900 international variant of the device. If you would like more info, or wish to download the ROM, visit the XDA Developers post.

The post Android 5.0 Lollipop beta leaked for Galaxy Note 3 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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  2. 32GB Samsung Galaxy S III phones on Sprint shipping now
  3. Apple pays $2.6m bond to halt Samsung Galaxy 10.1 sales in the US

New unconventional Minecraft game announced

Android Guys - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:02pm
Minecraft Story Mode

A new collaboration was announced this morning by TellTale games and Mojang for a game based on the ever popular Minecraft called “Minecraft – Story Mode”. As with their recent string of successful games, TellTale has announced that the new game will be story based and influenced by user choices.

According to TellTale Games’ blog, the new game will be released on “consoles, computers and mobile devices.” Details are scarce at the moment, but we do have high hopes for the game due to the popularity and positive ratings of TellTale’s previous games.

The post New unconventional Minecraft game announced appeared first on AndroidGuys.

Related posts:
  1. Minecraft Arrives as Xperia PLAY Exclusive
  2. Gameloft releases The Amazing Spider-Man for Android for $6.99
  3. Name That Android!

The Google Play Store's App Page Layout On The Web Has Changed For Some Users

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:15pm

nexus2cee_ap_resize_thumb3If you've noticed a few changes around the Play Store on a desktop browser, you're not alone. Some Chrome users spotted a new layout for app pages on Google Play starting this yesterday evening. It isn't universal, and it seems to be a minority for the moment - only one Android Police staff member saw the updated layout, and even then, only in the latest beta for Chrome (40.0.2214.45).

fullpage

The change modifies the full-width view that we've grown used to into a more narrow, three-column view.

The Google Play Store's App Page Layout On The Web Has Changed For Some Users was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Google wants next version of Android (M) to come pre-installed in your car

Phandroid - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 7:20pm

Android Auto smartphone connect

With Android Auto coming soon to vehicles next year, the world will finally know what it is to have the power of Android (and Google Now) inside their car. The problem? First, you’ll need a compatible vehicle and after that, a device running Lollipop in order to enjoy Android’s latest innovation.

While this will soon be more common place as more devices find themselves upgraded to Lollipop and more Android Auto-ready vehicles begin rolling off the lot next year, the ideal solution would be to have Android Auto come pre-installed in your car.

Seems that could be Google’s next course of action for Android M, the next major Android release out of Mountain View. While a dessert name can’t be attached to it just yet, the folks at Reuters have gotten wind from 2 sources close to the matter that Android Auto will soon be built directly into your car’s dash — not simply mirror information on the vehicle’s infotainment system.

Android Auto screenshots

This may not sound like much of a benefit on the surface, but keep in mind that this would allow the Android OS to be truly tapped into a vehicle, possibly pulling up diagnostics and other data, in addition to media and navigation. Of course, Google would still need to convince automakers of the value Android Auto integration would bring, with sources saying more work needs to be done in terms of performance (and stability) before Google can expect any sort of adoption. Because cars are constantly being powered on and off, Android M would need to boot up near instantly before it could be practical as a car’s main OS.

Also — as we’ve seen with smartphone OEMs — auto makers too like to differentiate their product line from competitors. Having Android Auto inside a Honda and KIA could make additional manufacturers like Toyota hesitant about integrating it inside their vehicles, opting instead for Apple’s solution over Google’s.

The Android Police Podcast LIVE (12/18/14)

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 6:29pm

AP_AlbumArt_Final

Welcome to the Android Police Podcast Live for Thursday, December 11th! We'll be starting soon - if you don't see a YouTube player, we haven't begun.

Welcome to the home of the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast. We're live every Thursday (unless otherwise noted on the official calendar below) at 5:30PM PST (8:30PM EST) - or perhaps a few minutes after that - every week. This post will be stickied on the Android Police homepage whenever we're broadcasting, so if you see it, we're either live right now, or about to be!

The Android Police Podcast LIVE (12/18/14) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014 Edition) Quick Review: Still The Best Tablet For Casual Content Junkies

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:50pm

wm_DSC06206

Picture yourself on a couch. Now, across the room is a television. It's just a 48" 720p flatscreen, hooked up to a digital cable box Time Warner sent you like 8 years ago that is slow as molasses and has no remaining DVR space, and beside that is the old Xbox 360 you haven't touched in many a fortnight and is presumably home to a small but happy civilization of dust-eating molds and fungi who are probably as old as the component video cable you have attached to it.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014 Edition) Quick Review: Still The Best Tablet For Casual Content Junkies was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Sony’s leaked emails may have revealed upcoming Xperia Z4 design, launch date too

Phandroid - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:49pm

Sony Pictures Xperia Z4 email leak 1

By now you no doubt heard about Sony Picture’s recent troubles with North Korean hackers . While it’s fun to gawk at movies that could have been, no one could have guessed that buried deep inside Sony’s leaked emails was a sales pitch for still unannounced Sony Xperia Z4.

Sony Pictures Xperia Z4 email leak 2

As part of a product placement pitch from Sony Electronics for the new James Bond flick (Spectre) — in which Sony Pictures is charges upwards of 5 million as part of a “Daniel Craig fee” — we get some pretty clear renders of what the email clearly labels as the new “Z4 phones.”

The design, while familiar, showcases 2 very different designs, so it’s tough to know how early of a look this might be. Or which will eventually be the model we see at launch. One model (pictured below) is closer to the current Xperia Z3, featuring glass on the front and back, although a much more chiseled “resin” frame. The other (pictured above) shows a phone with rounded corners and a soft, cushiony leather like material on the back.

Sony Pictures Xperia Z4 email leak 3

The best part? We’re even given an expected launch date for the device: May and November with the 2 dates mostly likely referring to the full-sized and Compact versions of the Z4, respectively. This pretty lines up with the launch timing we typically see from Sony Mobile, so no real surprises there.

Sony Pictures email leak wearable 1

Additional products being pitched for inclusion in the new 007 movie is some sort of new wearable, although its design doesn’t reveal if it’s a smartwatch or some sort of fitness tracker. We’re sure we’ll see more of what Sony has planned during this year’s CES 2015 in a few short weeks. It’s there Sony always announces the next iteration of their flagship smartphone line (yes, only 6 months after the previous version). Stay tuned.

[Gizmodo]

BBC News App Gets Official Play Store Beta Testing Group For People In The UK

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:43pm

BBCBeta-ThumbYou don't need to live in the UK to turn to the BBC for your daily news—there's already a decent chance you're either using the company's mobile app or consuming its content through some other means—but you do need to live on that side of the pond if you want early access to the upcoming version of the Android app. BBC has made the beta version available to British folks through an official Play Store testing trial.

BBC News App Gets Official Play Store Beta Testing Group For People In The UK was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Google aims to have Android M loaded directly into autos, report says

Android and Me - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 4:42pm

Google’s ambition to get Android into vehicles is well known. Currently the big G is planning to do it with Android Auto, but apparently the company may have an even bigger plan in the works.

According to Reuters, Google is prepping Android M to be capable of being loaded directly onto a car, meaning that it wouldn’t require a smartphone to be connected like the current implementation of Android Auto. The next version of Android is expected to make its debut in 2015.

Obviously this information is still a rumor for now, but it kind of makes sense. If Android is loaded directly onto a car, it’ll be available to you all of the time without requiring you to remember your smartphone or to keep your device charged. Plus it could give Google access to much more — read: all — of your driving habits and where you go.

Loading Android directly into a car will require Google to work more closely with car makers than it has before, and it remains to be seen which of them would be willing to load Android M onto their vehicles. There are likely some that’d only work with the highest bidder, and there are a lot of tech companies out there that’d like to be your car’s only software, especially considering how long some people keep the same vehicle.

Final Fantasy Games and others from Square Enix for Sale!

Android Guys - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:48pm
square enix main

It’s that special time of year when sales abound aplenty in all kinds of shapes and forms. This one is no exception and this sale from Square Enix is no different. If you were trying to decide whether or not to download the game Final Fantasy onto your phone, wait no more. Square Enix, responsible for all Final Fantasy games, Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger is slashing its prices 35-50% for the following games:

Final Fantasy – $3.99

FINAL FANTASY (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy II – $3.99

FINAL FANTASYII (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASYII (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy III – $7.99

FINAL FANTASY III (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY III (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy IV – $7.99

FINAL FANTASY IV (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY IV (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy V – $7.99

FINAL FANTASY V (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY V (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy VI – $7.99

FINAL FANTASY VI (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY VI (Play Store)

 

Final Fantasy Dimensions – $7.99

FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS (Playboard) | FINAL FANTASY DIMENSIONS (Play Store)

 

Chrono Trigger – $4.99

CHRONO TRIGGER (Playboard) | CHRONO TRIGGER (Play Store)

 

Dragon Quest II – $2.99

DRAGON QUEST II (Playboard) | DRAGON QUEST II (Play Store)

 

Dragon Quest VIII – $12.99

DRAGON QUEST VIII (Playboard) | DRAGON QUEST VIII (Play Store)

 

Prices listed in BOLD have already been discounted. Since school is on break for at least a couple of weeks in various places, this will be a great chance to play with some of these games. However, do not hesitate as there is no word how long this sale will last. So start downloading away!

 

 

The post Final Fantasy Games and others from Square Enix for Sale! appeared first on AndroidGuys.

Related posts:
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  3. Open Feint Drops New Titles, Prepares for Version 1.1

Kwikset Kevo's Private Beta Goes Public As The Bluetooth-Enabled Door Lock App Hits The Play Store

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:44pm

key-thumbThe Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock is the kind of tech that reminds us that we're living in the future. With one of these installed in your home, you can get inside just by tapping a finger against the lock. Before you panic, this only works if you phone is in range and on the right side of door (i.e. the outside).

The product first hit the market over a year ago, but it only supported iOS.

Kwikset Kevo's Private Beta Goes Public As The Bluetooth-Enabled Door Lock App Hits The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Android TV Launcher slides into the Google Play Store for compatible devices

Phandroid - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:38pm

Android TV Player

To say Google’s first attempt at an Android-powered television OS was a monumental failure would be putting it lightly. Thankfully, they went back to the drawing board and are took another stab at it with their all new vision for the platform: Android TV.

Only commercially available on the Nexus Player at the moment, Google is now making available the Android TV Launcher in the Google Play Store. While you wont be able to install it on just any Android device (not even a Google TV-powered television), the app exists on Google Play as a quick and easy way for Google to update the app without the need for a full system update, addressing bugs and/or add new features as they come.

Anyone with a compatible device — ADT-1 or Nexus Player owners — will find the app already installed on their devices, so really there’s not much to see here until an update is available. Our question is whether or not this apk can be sideloaded onto other devices (like a dusty old tablet), allowing them to act as Android TV devices?

Android TV Launcher (Playboard) | Android TV Launcher (Play Store)

T-Mobile updates the LG G2 with free Inflight texting support

Android Guys - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:20pm
lg_g2_720_a

T-Mobile recently released an update for the LG G2, and with that update comes free Inflight texting support, and bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity improvements.  The update is rather large at 307MB so you will need a Wi-Fi connection to get the update.

T-Mobile originally announced free Inflight texting in September when they made an exclusive partnership with Gogo who provides airlines with wireless internet.

Source – T-Mobile

The post T-Mobile updates the LG G2 with free Inflight texting support appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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Nexus 9 Magic Cover with black leather quietly pops up on Best Buy’s site

Android and Me - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:13pm

With its 8.9-inch 2560×1440 display, front-facing speakers and aluminum sides, the Nexus 9 is one of the more premium Nexus products that we’ve seen to date. As such, some of you N9 owners may be looking for an equally premium cover to protect your device.

The Nexus 9 Magic Cover in black leather has quietly popped up on Best Buy’s website, complete with an image and a $49.00 price tag, which is $10 more than the standard polyurethane Magic Cover. Unfortunately for you N9 owners, the leather Magic Cover is currently sold out in Best Buy’s store.

nexus9magiccoverleather

The Nexus 9 Magic Cover’s listing on Google Play mentions black leather and natural leather versions, but there’s no indication of when they’ll actually be available. However, the fact that the black leather cover has appeared on Best Buy’s site with an image and price tag suggests that a release could be near.

Would you buy a leather Magic Cover for your Nexus 9?

BBC Releases New iPlayer Radio App Made Specifically For Tablets

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 3:07pm

BBC-ThumbBrits have been able to stream BBC audio content to the iPlayer Radio app for a couple of years now, as long as they're using a phone. Now the company has decided to spit out an alternative made just for tablets, and it's included a few new features to boot.

BBC1 BBC2

A tablet comes with a few inherent advantages over a phone, and this app taps into that for full effect. That large screen leaves users with controls for easily managing both live and on-demand content.

BBC Releases New iPlayer Radio App Made Specifically For Tablets was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Secret is no longer a Whisper copycat, relaunches as Yik Yak copycat instead

Phandroid - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:29pm

The new Secret app

Remember Secret? It was that app that was all the rage when it launched earlier this year on Android. Riding the wave of anonymous social networks, Secret eventually caved in on itself as posts — that were once about juicy gossip — quickly became nothing more than a way for its users to brag about sexual exploits. Soon after that, engagement dropped and with their backs against the wall, Secret was forced to reinvent themselves.

Secret-Post

The old Secret

The newly relaunched Secret can be found right now in the Google Play Store, dropping the the postcard UI they arguably copied from Whisper, opting instead for something that looks more akin to Yik Yak. Gone are the oversized images with overlaying text, replaced now with a message board of simple text and small thumbnails for photos (which aren’t required to post, mind you).

The new Secret Android

The new Secret

Secret still touts anonymity for all its users, connecting them with people from their community, be it friends, co-workers, or others on campus. The big draw here is Secret’s all new way of allowing users to initiate a private conversations with anyone, a feature Secret says is a great way to meet new friends.

Of course, as we saw when Secret first launched, there’s not much you can do about the content posted when users essentially have a big sandbox to play in. It’s been said countless times before that anonymity on the internet brings out the worst in people, and we can’t help but see the new Secret suffering the same fate as the previous version. We doubt even the new chat features will help much that, but who knows.

You can give the new Secret a shot by downloading it free from the Google Play Store down below.

Secret – Speak Freely (Playboard) | Secret – Speak Freely (Play Store)

Making a performant watch face

Android Developers Blog - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:27pm

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate, Android Wear

What’s a better holiday gift than great performance? You’ve got a great watch face idea -- now, you want to make sure the face you’re presenting to the world is one of care and attention to detail.

At the core of the watch face's process is an onDraw method for canvas operations. This allows maximum flexibility for your design, but also comes with a few performance caveats. In this blog post, we will mainly focus on performance using the real life journey of how we optimised the Santa Tracker watch face, more than doubling the number of fps (from 18 fps to 42 fps) and making the animation sub-pixel smooth.

Starting point - 18 fps

Our Santa watch face contains a number of overlapping bitmaps that are used to achieve our final image. Here's a list of them from bottom to top:

  1. Background (static)
  2. Clouds which move to the middle
  3. Tick marks (static)
  4. Santa figure and sledge (static)
  5. Santa’s hands - hours and minutes
  6. Santa’s head (static)

The journey begins with these images...

Large images kill performance (+14 fps)

Image size is critical to performance in a Wear application, especially if the images will be scaled and rotated. Wasted pixel space (like Santa’s arm here) is a common asset mistake:

Before: 584 x 584 = 341,056 pixelsAfter: 48*226 = 10,848 (97% reduction)

It's tempting to use bitmaps from the original mock up that have the exact location of watch arms and components in absolute space. Sadly, this creates problems, like in Santa's arm here. While the arm is in the correct position, even transparent pixels increase the size of the image, which can cause performance problems due to memory fetch. You'll want to work with your design team to extract padding and rotational information from the images, and rely on the system to apply the transformations on our behalf.

Since the original image covers the entire screen, even though the bitmap is mostly transparent, the system still needs to check every pixel to see if they have been impacted. Cutting down the area results in significant gains in performance. After correcting both of the arms, the Santa watch face frame rate increased by 10 fps to 28 fps (fps up 56%). We saved another 4 fps (fps up 22%) by cropping Santa’s face and figure layer. 14 fps gained, not bad!

Combine Bitmaps (+7 fps)

Although it would be ideal to have the watch tick marks on top of our clouds, it actually does not make much difference visually as the clouds themselves are transparent. Therefore there is an opportunity to combine the background with the ticks.

+

When we combined these two views together, it meant that the watch needed to spend less time doing alpha blending operations between them, saving precious GPU time. So, consider collapsing alpha blended resources wherever we can in order to increase performance. By combining two full screen bitmaps, we were able to gain another 7 fps (fps up 39%).

Anti-alias vs FilterBitmap flags - what should you use? (+2 fps)

Android Wear watches come in all shapes and sizes. As a result, it is sometimes necessary to resize a bitmap before drawing on the screen. However, it is not always clear what options developers should select to make sure that the bitmap comes out smoothly. With canvas.drawBitmap, developers need to feed in a Paint object. There are two important options to set - they are anti-alias and FilterBitmap. Here’s our advice:

  • Anti-alias does not do anything for bitmaps. We often switch on the anti-alias option by default as developers when we are creating a Paint object. However, this option only really makes sense for vector objects. For bitmaps, this has no impact. The hand on the left below has anti-alias switched on, the one on the right has it switched off. So turn off anti-aliasing for bitmaps to gain performance back. For our watch face, we gained another 2 fps (fps up 11%) by switching this option off.
  • Switch on FilterBitmap for all bitmap objects which are on top of other objects - this option smooths the edges when drawBitmap is called. This should not be confused with the filter option on Bitmap.createScaledBitmap for resizing bitmaps. We need both to be turned on. The bitmaps below are the magnified view of Santa’s hand. The one on the left has FilterBitmap switched off and the one on the right has FilterBitmap switched on.
  • Eliminate expensive calls in the onDraw loop (+3 fps)

    onDraw is the most critical function call in watch faces. It's called for every drawable frame, and the actual painting process cannot move forward until it's finished. As such, our onDraw method should be as light and as performant as possible. Here's some common problems that developers run into that can be avoided:

    1. Do move heavy and common code to a precompute function - e.g. if we commonly grab R.array.cloudDegrees, try doing that in onCreate, and just referencing it in the onDraw loop.
    2. Don’t repeat the same image transform in onDraw - it’s common to resize bitmaps at runtime to fit the screen size but this is not available in onCreate. To avoid resizing the bitmap over and over again in onDraw, override onSurfaceChanged where width and height information are available and resize images there.
    3. Don't allocate objects in onDraw - this leads to high memory churn which will force garbage collection events to kick off, killing frame rates.
    4. Do analyze the CPU performance by using a tool such as the Android Device Monitor. It’s important that the onDraw execution time is short and occurs in a regular period.

    Following these simple rules will improve rendering performance drastically.

    In the first version, the Santa onDraw routine has a rogue line:

    int[] cloudDegrees = getResources().getIntArray(R.array.cloudDegrees);

    This loads the int array on every call from resources which is expensive. By eliminating this, we gained another 3 fps (fps up 17%).

    Sub-pixel smooth animation (-2 fps)

    For those keeping count, we should be 44 fps, so why is the end product 42 fps? The reason is a limitation with canvas.drawBitmap. Although this command takes left and top positioning settings as a float, the API actually only deals with integers if it is purely translational for backwards compatibility reasons. As a result, the cloud can only move in increments of a whole pixel resulting in janky animations. In order to be sub-pixel smooth, we actually need to draw and then rotate rather than having pre-rotate clouds which moves towards Santa. This additional rotation costs us 2 fps. However, the effect is worthwhile as the animation is now sub-pixel smooth.

    Before - fast but janky and wobbly

    for (int i = 0; i < mCloudBitmaps.length; i++) { float r = centerX - (timeElapsed / mCloudSpeeds[i]) % centerX; float x = centerX + -1 * (r * (float) Math.cos(Math.toRadians(cloudDegrees[i] + 90))); float y = centerY - r * (float) Math.sin(Math.toRadians(cloudDegrees[i] + 90)); mCloudFilterPaints[i].setAlpha((int) (r/centerX * 255)); Bitmap cloud = mCloudBitmaps[i]; canvas.drawBitmap(cloud, x - cloud.getWidth() / 2, y - cloud.getHeight() / 2, mCloudFilterPaints[i]); }

    After - slightly slower but sub-pixel smooth

    for (int i = 0; i < mCloudBitmaps.length; i++) { canvas.save(); canvas.rotate(mCloudDegrees[i], centerX, centerY); float r = centerX - (timeElapsed / (mCloudSpeeds[i])) % centerX; mCloudFilterPaints[i].setAlpha((int) (r / centerX * 255)); canvas.drawBitmap(mCloudBitmaps[i], centerX, centerY - r, mCloudFilterPaints[i]); canvas.restore(); }

    Before: Integer translation values create janky, wobbly animation. After: smooth sailing!

    Quality on every wrist

    The watch face is the most prominent UI element in Android Wear. As craftspeople, it is our responsibility to make it shine. Let’s put quality on every wrist!

    Join the discussion on

    +Android Developers

[Not Lollipop] T-Mobile's LG G2 Gets Gogo Inflight Texting In Latest OTA Update

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:06pm

LGG2-ThumbLG G2 owners on the Un-carrier's network with a tendency to fly often are in for a treat. T-Mobile is now rolling out an over-the-air update that will add Gogo inflight texting support to the device. Users will not only be able to stay in touch with folks on the ground, they won't have to pay anything extra for the privilege.

Users can also receive visual voicemail. But all of this is only available on Gogo-enabled flights.

[Not Lollipop] T-Mobile's LG G2 Gets Gogo Inflight Texting In Latest OTA Update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



20 Most Debated and Popular Phandroid Articles of 2014

Phandroid - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:04pm

Top Phan 2

2014 was a very busy year for us here at Phandroid. In typical Android fashion there were tons of new devices, new device categories, software updates, and much more. On top of all that we increased our focus on unique original content, which resulted in some really fun stuff. Earlier this week we recapped the top stories in Android this year, but now we’re looking back at all the most debated and popular Phandroid posts from 2014. Enjoy!

Most Debated

First we’ll talk about the posts that received the most comments. We love hearing your opinions, and in these posts you did it a lot. Phandroid is nothing without its readers. In 2015 we hope you leave even more comments!

1. 8 things I hate about the Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 back DSC05780

In this editorial from April Chris shares the 8 things he hates about the Samsung Galaxy S5. He wrote this piece during the height of GS5 hype. It was an unpopular opinion at the time, which led to a lot of comments.

Like my mother used to tell me, you’ll never find the perfect woman, only the perfect woman for you. Because, Android is a wonderful mess right now, manufacturers put a lot of time and effort into offering their unique versions of Android, that simply put — aren’t for everyone. Having owned the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a full week now, I think it’s time to stop beating around the bush: this phone simply isn’t for me. [Read More]

2. FBI snatches Google Glass off the face of innocent AMC movie-goer

google-glass-chris

Rob wrote this post way back in January, and it all turned out to be a misunderstanding. The original story that we reported on stated a man went to a movie theater with Google Glass, and halfway through the film a FBI agent snatched it off his face. Eventually an official statement was released which stated the man was not recording. It was dropped at that.

This story received tons of comments because it was during a time when Google Glass was very controversial. There were other stories at the time about businesses not allowing customers who wear Google Glass, and people getting pulled over for wearing Glass while driving. The idea of someone getting Glass confiscated at a movie theater was just another case of people not understanding the technology. [Read More]

3. Samsung officially announces the Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 hand DSC05788

Surprise! People were excited about the Samsung Galaxy S5. Obviously Samsung news is always a big deal in the Android world. They didn’t become the largest Android manufacturer without gaining a few fans in the process. Back in February Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S5, and you guys left over 300 comments about it. We’re sure the Galaxy S6 will get the same reception in 2015. [Read More]

4. Why you should never sign another carrier contract

hands tied

Joe doesn’t like carrier contracts, and in this editorial he urged everyone to never sign another one. His arguments include freedom to upgrade or leave whenever you want, a cheaper monthly bill, and more control over your device and services. The comments on this post were great, especially from our non-US readers.

The moral of the story is very clear. If you want control of your device and service don’t sign a contract. Look at the big picture and don’t let them hook you in with the cheap initial cost. They want your money more than anything. [Read More]

5. The 5 types of Android users you meet

5typesAndroid

This hilariously true post about the types of Android users was written by Joe back in April. He argues that all Android users can be sorted into five types based solely on homescreen personalization. You’re either a Stock Jock, Themer, Minimalist, Hot Chick, or Ugly Duckling. Here’s the description for Minimalist:

Who: The Minimalist has been through the Themer phase. They’ve seen it all, and now it’s time to take things slow. Keep it simple. They have a keen eye for design, or at least that’s what they will tell you.  The Minimalist is also a tad OCD about how things are set up. Every app and widget is meticulously themed and organized. Man, I would love to download this new app, but I just can’t make that icon work.

Item they order at McDonald’s: Hamburger

Favorite beverage: Water

[Read More]

6. Did Google create a better smartwatch interface than Apple?

apple wear

One of the biggest stories in tech from 2014 was the announcement of the Apple Watch. Of course by the time the Apple Watch was announced there were already several Android Wear devices available. In this post Joe compared the UI’s of the Apple Watch and Android Wear.

The crazy thing about this comparison is how much better Android Wear looks compared to Apple’s weird watch software. It’s one of the rare, but happening more frequently, times that Google has bested Apple in software design. Most of you agreed whole-heartedly in the comments. [Read More]

7. If Apple made an Android-based iPhone, would you buy it? [POLL]

iPhone Android thumb wm

When Steve Wozniak talks the tech world listens. His comments about Apple “diversifying their options” inspired Quentyn to create this poll. The question was simple: if Apple made an Android device would you buy it? The reason this poll got so many comments is the real underlying question.

Do you dislike the iPhone because you prefer Android over iOS, or do you just plain hate all things Apple? The comments were very split on this topic. Many of you praised Apple’s hardware design, but just as many of you said you refuse to own an Apple product. The war wages on. [Read More]

8. HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5 vs LG G Pro 2 vs Sony Xperia Z2 [CAMERA FACE OFF]

LG G Pro 2 HTC One M8 Samsung Galaxy S5 Sony Xperia Z2 camera

A big thing to consider when deciding on an Android phone is the camera performance. The easiest way to compare cameras is to get a bunch of phones and take the same photos with all of them. Chris reported on a comparison between the HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G Pro 2, and Sony Xperia Z2 (can you believe the Z3 came out in 2014 too?).

The funny thing about comparing photos is different people see different things. Rarely is it easy to pick a unanimous winner. That was certainly the case with this post, which is why so many of you left comments. [Read More]

9. iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5 (and Android)

Galaxy S5 and iPhone 6 Camera

When it comes to smartphones there were two obvious top dogs in 2014: the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5. For many people these were the only two phones to consider, so naturally a lot of people wanted to compare them. As you might expect, the comparison between an Apple product and top Android phones resulted in a lot of comments.

Some people think the iPhone 6 is better. Some people think the Galaxy S5 is better. Others didn’t even think the GS5 should have been included in the comparison. Posts like these are a great place to see a wide variety of opinions. [Read More]

10. Motorola’s Shamu, the first Nexus phone I do not want [Opinion]

Nexus-Shamu

The last post on our most debated list comes from one of Phandroid’s newest members. Derek Ross wrote an opinion piece about the rumored “Motorola Shamu” device, which we now know as the Nexus 6. At this time it was the first we heard about the next Nexus having a 6-inch display. Derek had this to say about the size:

That’s just insane. I might be a self-proclaimed Android fanboy, but holy hell. I do not want something that big. I might live and breathe Nexus and Android, however I’m saddened to say that this might be the first Nexus phone that I won’t salivate over or end up buying. It’s just too damn big to comfortably use.

The best part about this story is the twist ending. Derek is now using the Nexus 6 as his daily phone. A lot can change when you actually get a device in your hands. [Read More]

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Sony Posts Changelog For Recent Xperia Z3 And Z3 Compact Update

Android Police - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 2:02pm

carousel-sony-xperia-z3-black-380x380-1Sony began pushing out an update to the Xperia Z3 on December 11th, but we didn't know exactly what it contained. Well, we do now. Sony has graciously added a changelog to the page. The Z3 and Z3 compact are getting the same features, but it's a nice little update.

sony_xperia_z3_vs_sony_xperia_z3_compact_side_by_side

Here's what you can expect from build 23.0.1.A.5.77.

  • Enhanced audio volume in notifications and ringtones
  • New Xperia™ camera app: Portrait retouch
  • Improved Exchange ActiveSync performance
  • Fine-tuned audio for speakerphone
  • Stability and performance improvements

So no big new features, but fixing stuff to improve the experience.

Sony Posts Changelog For Recent Xperia Z3 And Z3 Compact Update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



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