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Barnes & Noble introduces the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1

Android and Me - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 3:00pm

In today’s list of terribly-named devices, we have the latest collaboration from Samsung and Barnes & Noble, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 is essentially a Galaxy Tab 4, but with a new UI from Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble says that the UI is designed for peak reading and entertainment, but it mainly just points you in the direction of where to buy movies and books.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 features a 10.1-inch 1280×800 display, 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 1.5GB RAM and Android 4.4 KitKat with Barnes & Noble’s software overlay. Barnes & Noble is now selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1 online and in over 650 stores across the nation. You can pick one up for yourself for $299 and Barnes & Noble says that over $200 of free content including books, movies and magazines has been bundled with the device. Check out the source link below to get one.

Microsoft Garage brings new Android app alternatives

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:51pm
microsoft

Microsoft seemingly cannot decide whether it is for Google or against Google. Nevertheless, for those wanting some Microsoft love on their Android devices can get it through Microsoft Garage.

Microsoft Garage is a project by Microsoft looking to bring projects to reality from hackers, interns, employees, etc. Part of what has come to fruition is a trio of new apps available from the Play Store.

First, Torque is an app for Android Wear where you can twist your wrist, prompting a voice search in Bing. Essentially a Google Now replacement for Android Wear.

Next Lock Screen is an app that allows you to access apps and functions directly from the lock screen. If your device isn’t getting Android Lollipop anytime soon, but you like the idea of interactive notifications on your lock screen might look to this as an alternative.

Journeys & Notes is a way to discover things in between two places by looking at notes left by others. You can also leave your own notes about things you know of and find.

If you want to look at the project more, hit the link below. If you want to try any of the apps, click on one of the widgets below.

Do any of these apps interest you?

via Microsoft Garage

Torque - powered by Bing (Playboard) | Torque - powered by Bing (Play Store) Next Lock Screen (Playboard) | Next Lock Screen (Play Store) Journeys & Notes (Playboard) | Journeys & Notes (Play Store)  

The post Microsoft Garage brings new Android app alternatives appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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Sprint HTC One M8 And E8 Get Matching OTA Update Bringing International Wi-Fi Calling, GPS Enhancements, And More

Android Police - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:35pm

HTCOneM8-ThumbThe HTC One E8 is a plastic remake of the all metal M8 that sports identical specs with the exception of the camera (13MP vs the latter's 4 "UltraPixel"). With this being the case, it's only fitting that the pair get an OTA update at the same time. Sprint is now pushing one out to the two devices that introduces basically the same features across both.

The most interesting item on the change log is perhaps the addition of international Wi-Fi calling.

Sprint HTC One M8 And E8 Get Matching OTA Update Bringing International Wi-Fi Calling, GPS Enhancements, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



The Halloween-Themed Humble Mo-Boo!-ile Bundle Is Live With The Spookening (Free), Dead Effect, The Walking Dead: Assault, And More

Android Police - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:35pm

nexus2cee_nexusae0_bindle-square-1_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumbListen up, ghouls and goblins—the new Humble Mobile Bundle is available for purchase, but since it's getting to be that time of year, it's actually the Humble Mo-Boo!-ile Bundle. There is no acceptable way to pronounce that. At any rate, there are six cool games available right now, plus one free game.

2014-10-22 15_29_37-Humble Mo-boo!-ile Bundle (pay what you want and help charity)

The Halloween bundle works like all the others—you pay whatever you want and can get the basic tier of games.

The Halloween-Themed Humble Mo-Boo!-ile Bundle Is Live With The Spookening (Free), Dead Effect, The Walking Dead: Assault, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Nexus 6 not likely to hit the UK before December!

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:34pm
nexus_6_tile_colors700w

It’s bad news unfortunately if you live in the UK and are looking forward to holding that Nexus 6 in your hands, since the guy that correctly predicted the Nexus 6 release and general accurate rumour reporter says that the device won’t be hitting the UK until at least December.

Paul O’Brien tweeted out the following:

Think you're getting a Nexus 6 in the UK before December? Think again!

— Paul O'Brien (@PaulOBrien) October 22, 2014

With the Nexus 6 showing as not available in the UK Google Play Store, and no other UK retailers showing signs of even listing the device, including Amazon, you begin to think that the UK may be lucky to see the Nexus 6 in 2014 at all. The same thing happened with the Nexus 4, with it arriving several weeks after ordering only minutes after sales went live.

It is certainly bad news for those in the UK wanting a Nexus 6, so let’s hope this is one of those rumours that isn’t right.

 

The post Nexus 6 not likely to hit the UK before December! appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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A Quick Hands-On Look At Inbox By Gmail

Android Police - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:32pm

unnamed

Today, Google officially announced Gmail Blue Inbox, a service we posted about just last night. Previously codenamed Bigtop, Inbox by Gmail is a full reimagining of how an email product should work, and how users should interact with their email.

It is really rare for a product to come out that actually reimagines something rather than just claiming it does, but Inbox is really a fresh take on... the inbox.

A Quick Hands-On Look At Inbox By Gmail was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Samsung teases Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Galaxy Note 4

Android and Me - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 2:00pm

Samsung has generally kept its devices up to date, though at a pace many of us would not consider fast. After Motorola changed the game by updating many of its new devices within weeks of an Android release, waiting months for an update just seems wrong. Hopefully Samsung will step up its game.

Samsung has teased Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Galaxy Note 4 on Twitter. Though the company did not directly mention the new version of Android, the posted graphic is pretty self explanatory. Unfortunately, this also means that we don’t have any sort of timeline for the update, not even a cryptic “soon.”

I’m excited for Samsung to start updating its current and previous devices to Lollipop. Samsung has been good about updating older devices in the past, so I expect this year to be no different. Are you looking forward to Lollipop on your device? Or will this be your incentive to get the Note 4? Leave a comment!

Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Android and Me - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:58pm

New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play Store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

Lookout Enterprise Security

Lookout Enterprise Security

Description: This app is for business users enrolled in the Lookout Enterprise Security program. Lookout offers the best protection against mobile threats to keep your device safe. When installed, Lookout Enterprise Security continuously monitors your device for the presence of threats and will alert you and your company administrator if any are found.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Next Lock Screen

Next Lock Screen

Description: Next Lock Screen, a Microsoft Garage project, saves you time with quick app launch and access to the information you need. It’s a time saver lock screen built for busy professionals. See your calendar, missed calls, email and text messages all at a glance.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta

Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta

Description: Would you like to test drive the new Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta? Experience the new user interface design and ability to connect to multiple sessions. You can connect to a remote PC and get your work done wherever you are.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Journeys & Notes

Journeys & Notes

Description: Journeys & Notes, a Microsoft Garage project, is a delightfully curious social app for the space between an origin and a destination. Whether you’re taking the bus to work across town or jet-setting across the globe, checking in to your trips with Journeys & Notes unlocks a community of people who have traveled the path you’re on.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Bing Rewards

Bing Rewards

Description: With the Bing Rewards app you can manage your account, earn credits, enter sweepstakes and find new ways to earn every day. Redeem credits for great rewards from Amazon.com, Starbucks, Xbox and many more.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

RingSmart

RingSmart

Description: Ring Smart allows you to automatically adjust your mobile device ringer style and volume based on location and time of day. Imagine never having to remember to turn off your ringer at the movie theatre, then remember to turn it back on once you leave. 

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Talon for Twitter

Talon for Twitter

Description: Created with Android Lollipop and Material Design at its center. Talon (Plus) includes stunning and beautiful layouts, eye-catching animations, the smoothness you should expect from the latest and greatest apps, plus so much more.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

RISHI SPOT

RISHI SPOT

Description: RISHI SPOT is a mobile application helping people to report traffic violations in real time simply by taking a picture or video of the incident. The application sends the data along with the location of the incident using GPS date and time of the incident to the nearest traffic authority with the user’s permission anonymously or explicitly.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Fotoswipe

Fotoswipe

Description: Instantly share photos across multiple smart devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, tablets, etc.) with the swipe of a finger. The exclusive FotoSwipe technology allows you to select up to 10 photos, swipe them toward an intended device and you’re done! Never text or email photos again. Download for FREE right now.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Torque

Bing Torque

Description: Torque, powered by Bing, brings the web to Android Wear. With a simple twist of the wrist, Torque wakes up and is at your command. Ask anything: “What’s the weather like in London?”, “Where am I?” for answers right there on your smartwatch.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

Digits is Twitter’s new tool to help developers avoid using passwords

Phandroid - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:58pm

Twitter Digits concept app

As part of Twtiter’s first mobile developer conference in 4 years — dubbed Flight — the social network talked about their latest efforts to add millions of new users by way of eliminating the password. What’s wrong with the password? Well, aside from being easily forgotten (the more secure ones anyway), easily hacked, or just a pain in the butt to type out, they mostly rely on the user having some sort of email address.

After traveling the globe, Twitter’s Senior Product Manager found that when outside the US, not too many people have email accounts. This is why Twitter is now introducing Digits, the company’s new method of killing off passwords once and for all. It’s really not too different from the sign in method you’ve seen a few apps use already, and works by sending an SMS verification code to a phone, and then authenticating the user.

The big deal about Digits is that it’s not just Twitter’s new method for signing in users, it’s available to any and all developers looking to integrate the sign in method into their apps (and for free). Like Vine before it, the Twitter-owned Digits will act as its own separate brand and is yet another way for Twitter to help diversify themselves.

Developers interested in integrating Digits int their apps can learn more via Twitter’s developer site here.

[via The Verge]

The T-Mobile G1 is 6 years old, let’s take a trip down memory lane!

Phandroid - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:34pm

t-mobile_g1_getting_started_manual_35

It’s the year 2008. “Britney Spears” is the most-searched term on Yahoo.com. Tina Fey is impersonating Sarah Palin on SNL. Google and HTC release the very first phone to run a new operating system called “Android.” The T-Mobile G1 is different in almost every way from the trending Apple iPhone 3G. What is Google, a search company, hoping to achieve with a phone? Will anyone buy this thing?

Yes. Yes they will, but more importantly, they will buy a lot more of the devices that follow the G1. Today marks 6 years since the G1 launched on T-Mobile and kickstarted the Android movement. A lot has changed since then. Your first Android device may not have been the G1, but without the G1 your device would not exist. Let’s take a trip back to 2008 to see what we thought about the G1 when it was brand new.

Have you ever heard Rob sound so young excited? Phandroid was the first Android site on the planet, so of course we were very excited to have the first Android device in our hands. We were so excited that we just had to write a rap about it!

Awww yeah.

We did more than just rap about the G1. We also reviewed it. A lot has changed in just six short years, and nothing proves that more than reading our review of the G1. Things that were cool back then are completely gone nowadays, and the specs barely match those of a smartwatch in 2014. Here are some quotes from our review of the T-Mobile G1.

I’ve been reading reviews all over the web that still hate on the “chunk”. I’m an absolute fan of the hardware… chunk included and I’m not sure how others are not. It seems pretty obvious to me that a physical keyboard is easier to type on than a touchscreen, especially with some of the laggy touch screens out there.

I’m sure keyboards will be popular on phones for a long time…

Many people have also complained that the icons graphically lacking, an issue I didn’t address in this video. I agree that the icons could be a little more sharp and attractive, but for the most part that seems like another “preference” issue. It will be interesting to see if developers are able to implement “icon sets” that replace these existing icons.

Icon Sets you say? That sounds like a pretty good idea!

Honestly, the placement of the trackball is pretty impeccable if you ask me. In conjunction with the keyboard you can be surfing the web and scrolling through links without even THINKING about it. It’s just natural. It makes sense. It works.

Poor trackballs.

That’s our trip down memory lane. It’s been a fun six years in the Android World. Who would have thought such a funky phone would start a revolution? We certainly believe it would, and we’re sure many of you did too. Share your own G1 memories and stories with us below, or check out the thread in Android Forums to reminisce. Happy Birthday T-Mobile G1!

Oh, and here is a picture of Chris from the G1 days.

gamercore

 

Samsung reveals plans to sell Galaxy Note 4 developer edition for Verizon

Phandroid - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:33pm

note 4 dev edition verizon

Samsung and Verizon always seem to be cuddle buddies when it comes to developer editions of their phones. The two have once again come together to offer a developer edition of Samsung’s latest flagship, with said flagship being the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The device won’t be offered on-contract and presumably won’t be available through Verizon Edge, so you’ll have to fork over $660 if you want it.

Developer Edition devices tend to be a hot commodity as their unlockable bootloaders make way to easy hacking and custom ROMs. Unfortunately the grass isn’t all that green across the entire field as developer devices don’t tend to be on the same upgrade path as your typical carrier-provided option. The device would have to attract a pretty big development community to get the most out of it, but that’s not always something that’s guaranteed (even if the device is intended to appease those tinkering types).

Adding more adversity to its plight is the advent of the Nexus 6, the first Nexus smartphone to be offered on Verizon’s network since the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 6 will likely capture everyone’s attention and be home to a much larger development community, especially considering all North American Nexus 6 units are identical under the hood. We’re sure many will still find a need to have a Galaxy Note 4 free of carrier and OEM chains, but we wouldn’t be surprised if its popularity fails to live up to its promise. You can order one on Samsung’s site right now, and read our Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review if you’re on the fence about whether the device is worth your money.

Android 5.0 will be made available to the public on November 3

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:17pm
android lollipop

Google has confirmed in a note to developers asking them to ready their apps for the public release of Android 5.0 Lollipop scheduled for a November 3rd launch.

Requesting “we recommend that you test your apps and publish any needed updates to the Play Store”, Google wants to ensure that there are plenty of apps with material design and tested on Android 5.0 Lollipop for when it is released to the public.

Android Lollipop will come preloaded on the Nexus 9 (which releases on November 3rd) the Nexus 6, and inevitably will trickle down to other supported devices in the following weeks.

SOURCE

 

The post Android 5.0 will be made available to the public on November 3 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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'Galaxy On Fire: Alliances' Brings The Beautiful Spacefaring Series Back To Android As A Strategy MMO

Android Police - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 1:01pm

thumbQuite a while has past since there's been any Android-related news for Galaxy on Fire fans. The developers of the series that showed many gamers just how beautiful space could be and let them explore it on their mobile devices surprised a few folks when they said that the next entry would deviate from their action-oriented roots and transition into a strategy-focused MMO. Excuse me, make that a free-to-play strategy-focused MMO.

'Galaxy On Fire: Alliances' Brings The Beautiful Spacefaring Series Back To Android As A Strategy MMO was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Google announces Inbox, a new way to handle email, tasks, and life

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:45pm
google inbox

Google is just rolling out all sorts of fun announcements this month, with Lollipop and Nexus devices last week, Songza integration yesterday, and now a new feature of Gmail called Inbox.

Inbox was announced on Wednesday on the Official Google Blog, and is essentially a combination of the app Mailbox and Google Now into one, all inside your email.

What Inbox does is makes your email life easier. It does this in several ways (from the Google Blog announcement):

“Bundles: stay organized automatically
Inbox expands upon the categories we introduced in Gmail last year, making it easy to deal with similar types of mail all at once. For example, all your purchase receipts or bank statements are neatly grouped together so that you can quickly review and then swipe them out of the way. You can even teach Inbox to adapt to the way you work by choosing which emails you’d like to see grouped together.

Highlights: the important info at a glance
Inbox highlights the key information from important messages, such as flight itineraries, event information, and photos and documents emailed to you by friends and family. Inbox will even display useful information from the web that wasn’t in the original email, such as the real-time status of your flights and package deliveries. Highlights and Bundles work together to give you just the information you need at a glance.

Reminders, Assists, and Snooze: your to-do’s on your own terms
Inbox makes it easy to focus on your priorities by letting you add your own Reminders, from picking up the dry cleaning to giving your parents a call. No matter what you need to remember, your inbox becomes a centralized place to keep track of the things you need to get back to.

And speaking of to-do’s, Inbox helps you cross those off your list by providing Assists—handy pieces of information you may need to get the job done. For example, if you write a Reminder to call the hardware store, Inbox will supply the store’s phone number and tell you if it’s open. Assists work for your email, too. If you make a restaurant reservation online, Inbox adds a map to your confirmation email. Book a flight online, and Inbox gives a link to check-in.

Of course, not everything needs to be done right now. Whether you’re in an inconvenient place or simply need to focus on something else first, Inbox lets you Snooze away emails and Reminders. You can set them to come back at another time or when you get to a specific location, like your home or your office.”

Below is a video Google made to advertise Inbox. Currently this feature is being rolled out slowly, with invites being sent out, where eventually people will be able to invite more and more people. A few of us here at AndroidGuys have requested on invite, so we’ll update you when we get the chance to try it out.

What do you think? Is this something you’d like on your phone?

via Official Google Blog

 

The post Google announces Inbox, a new way to handle email, tasks, and life appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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Samsung Galaxy Mega On Sprint Getting OTA Update NJ1 With HD Voice, WiFi Calling, And Security Fixes

Android Police - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:33pm

2014-10-22 13_30_01-Samsung Galaxy Mega ™ _ Sprint Android Smartphone _ Samsung MobileThe Galaxy Mega is a big phone. This update, on the other hand, is somewhat modest. Still, for those rocking a Galaxy Mega it's a big enough deal. The NJ1 update adds a few new calling features as well as some patches for Android security vulnerabilities.

mega

Here's the official word on what's what in the update.

  • HD Voice Icon support
  • International WiFi Calling support
  • Google Security Patches

The wording of the HD voice line is a little odd.

Samsung Galaxy Mega On Sprint Getting OTA Update NJ1 With HD Voice, WiFi Calling, And Security Fixes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Moto 360 update brings Smart Battery Saving, other features

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:23pm

Motorola continues to try to deliver a “timeless” timepiece with the Moto 360. A new update has struck with additional features like “Timely Time Checks” and “Mood Lighting”. You can view what this update entails below, or visit the Official Motorola Blog to read about what they have to say about their system update. Smart… Read more »

The post Moto 360 update brings Smart Battery Saving, other features appeared first on SmarterWatching.

 

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!

The post Moto 360 update brings Smart Battery Saving, other features appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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My Tracks gets updated to support Android Wear

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:23pm

For those of you who have a Android Wear and use the My Tracks will be happy to hear that Google has updated their app to support My Tracks. Google+ Rens Blom noticed this and shared with the public this news. You won’t be able to take just your smartwatch without your smartphone, but it’s… Read more »

The post My Tracks gets updated to support Android Wear appeared first on SmarterWatching.

 

Read the rest at SmarterWatching.com!

The post My Tracks gets updated to support Android Wear appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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Google introduces Inbox, a better way to manage your messages

Android and Me - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:20pm

Google has introduced a new app to the world called Inbox, and it aims to improve your email experience. Inbox includes important new features for organization like a bundling format for emails of a similar type. Bundles are a more refined version of the Gmail categories that we saw last year. They take emails that are akin to each other and place them together in their own area. For example, Inbox could group all of your bills into one bundle, making it easier to find them. This feature also learns from you, by noticing how you group things manually and changing to group them in the same way

Inbox also has a focus on a feature called Highlights. Highlights will select important pieces from an email, such as photos, flight bookings or package tracking, and show them to you right in the main feed of your inbox so that you can know what the main portion of the email is without even opening it. Further than that, Highlights can also source information from the web that pertains to your email such as the status of a flight or where your package is currently at. Inbox (2)

The final set of features in Inbox helps you to better manage all your tasks. Inbox can set reminders for things to do, both based on things in your email and other things that you may need to do. It will then help you follow through on those things with Assists, which are handy pieces of information designed to help you complete the tasks in your Reminders. These could include a phone number and open hours or even navigation to a place that you need to get to.

Inbox is a new way of dealing with all of our tasks and messages, and it looks like it could be very helpful. Google is currently testing Inbox with select users but you can have a chance to get in on the action as well. Just email inbox@google.com and you’ll be added to a list of people to get an invitation once more become available. Inbox is currently a stand-alone app, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it integrated into Gmail in the future.

Gmail’s new “Inbox” app wants to help make sense of all your email [VIDEO]

Phandroid - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:07pm

inbox by gmail

The Google team is seemingly never satisfied with what they’ve been able to create with Gmail, and they’re always looking to improve on their class-leading email service with new features and ideas. The company has introduced their biggest evolution since bringing priority inboxes and smart categories.

It’s an app by the name of Inbox, and it aims to not only group your emails in a meaningful way, but allow you to act on them in appropriate fashion. Inbox is an extension of your Gmail inbox so it uses the same email you already receive to your typical inbox. The difference is Inbox will do a few different things to help you organize that email a few different ways.

One of those ways is Bundles — Inbox can group similar emails into the same thread to give you a quick look at all of them without an issue. Say, for instance, you’re going on vacation and need to see information about your flight, itinerary, car rentals and what have you. Inbox would know to show you all of those things in a “bundle” instead of you having to peck down each individual email. Not all of it is left up to Google’s algorithms as you can teach Inbox what you would like to see grouped together over time.

So you’ve organized it, now how does Inbox help you act on it? It might automatically add relevant bits of info to your email. A flight check-in confirmation might provide a link to your boarding pass, or a reservation for a restaurant could embed a map to its location within the email to make sure you know how to get there.

More vanilla features include things like snooze and reminders to make sure you come back to an email that you couldn’t tend to the moment it came in. This prevents them from slipping their way into the low pits of inbox hell and makes it much more likely that you’ll remember to check on those lost emails later on. The reason I refer to them as vanilla is because you can get access to some of these features on the desktop version of Gmail today through the use of handy plugins and extensions.

So why not bring any of this into the current Gmail app? It’s tough to say. Google boasts this as an efficient way to tackle one of the biggest communication problems folks deal with on a daily basis, but why do we need a separate to do any of it? My guess is Google doesn’t want to drastically change the way email works without first giving it proper trial and error in its own little sandbox.

This route will allow them to iterate and bring new features, update and changes to make the experience more pleasant and natural. Humans are notoriously afraid of change so it’s likely Google didn’t want to bring any sweeping changes to the core Gmail experience and scare folks away.

And that’s probably why it’s in invite-only status right now — yes, you’ll need an invite to even use the new app. You can easily request one from Google by sending an email to inbox@google.com, and if past invite-only Google services and programs are anything to by it shouldn’t be all that difficult to find your way in. Let us know if you’ll be looking to take part, and if you’re already part of the invite-only affair be sure to let us know how Inbox is treating you in the comments below.

Inbox by Gmail (Playboard) | Inbox by Gmail (Play Store) [via Gmail]

UNU Superpak Battery Pack Review

Android Guys - Wed, 10/22/2014 - 12:02pm
unu superpak

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems that plague our smartphones is the poor battery life. While companies have expressed that they are working to increase battery life, we have yet to see any groundbreaking work in this area. We should be able to watch videos, play games, post on social media, text, and other things without having to worry about the percentage on our phones.

Until then, we have to settle on using external battery packs. The issue with these is your experience can vary, from small mAh amount, to slow charging times, and terrible hold of charge over a long period of time. Well, this battery pack looks to solve all of those.

 

UNU Superpak

This is the UNU Superpak Battery Pack. It is a 10,000 mAh external battery that claims to be the smallest 10,000 mAh battery in the world and to be the fastest charging battery pack ever. Does it hold up?

My experience with the UNU Superpak is a positive one, although not necessarily because of what they advertise. The battery pack is relatively small, but it’s still uncomfortable to have in my pocket. I do think it charges itself fast, but more on that later. What I enjoyed about this battery pack is that it holds a lot of charge for a long period of time that goes far in charging. Confusing, I know. Let’s break it down.

General Charging

This battery pack is 10,000 mAh, which is 3-4 times larger than the battery in the average smartphone. While the mAh in an external battery doesn’t translate exactly to the amount it will charge your device, it should be close. However, this is not always the case. I’ve had experience with external battery packs that is twice as large in mAh amount than my phone, and yet only charges my phone by about 60%. With the UNU Superpak, I charged it on Sunday, and I used it every day until Friday to charge my phone from about 40% to about 80% (I have a Moto X 1st Gen, which has a 2200 mAh battery). On each of those days I also occasionally charged my phone and tablet a little bit. On Saturday, it still had 1 of it’s 4 lights in power! While this turned out to not last very long when I went to use it next, that’s still very impressive. For a work week I didn’t plug my phone in while driving (where I always use navigation and play music), and I didn’t have to worry about charging the battery pack. The other thing this means is from turning it off until turning it on again, it holds the charge it had when turned off, which is something else I have not had great experience with.

Special Features

Something that is interesting about this battery pack that UNU advertises is their “uSmart” technology on the ports you plug your devices into. They claim that the port will detect what device is plugged into it, and apply the proper charging accordingly. While tablets will usually require the 2.1A port, smartphones can be plugged into either port and not be fried by the output. While this is hard to test, I can say that whenever I plugged my phone into the 2.1A port (as opposed to the 1A port), I never had any issues.

The other thing UNU advertises is that their “SuperX” technology allows the battery pack to get a charge faster than other devices. Here is what I can tell you from my experience: it does not necessarily charge fast, but compared to other devices it charges relatively faster. When I plugged in the UNU Superpak, it took a little over 9 1/2 hours to charge. In my opinion, this is by no means fast, as that’s over the 8-hour average of sleep time, meaning you’d have to think ahead to plug it in if you want it fully charged before you wake up. However, I plugged in another battery pack I’ve had for a while that’s 5000 mAh, and it took 7 hours & 45 minutes. See the difference here? A battery with half the capacity took almost as long as the UNU Superpak. Apparently this is done by the battery pack controlling its own input current through the SuperX port. Pretty neat.

Conclusion: 4.35 stars out of 5

To be honest, I’m not one who is big into making an accessory like this more than it is. A battery pack should hold a charge for a long time, and make that charge go a long way. However, it seems UNU is able to hold its ground pretty well.

Currently you can get this battery pack from the UNU site or Amazon for $39.99, which isn’t a bad deal considering all you get from this specialized battery pack. And UNU has offered readers of this article a coupon that is valid until the end of the month. I’ll put that info below. This can easily do in the place of an outlet if you’re going on a long road trip or camping. With a little more than 4 stars, this is a solid option.

COUPON CODE: SUPER5AV

Gives another $10 OFF, bringing the Superpak to $29.99 till the end of this month (October 2014)!

 

The post UNU Superpak Battery Pack Review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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