Articles about Android

Motorola Moto X now available for $299.99 off-contract

New Moto X

Even though it is over nine months old at this point, the second-generation Motorola Moto X is still among the most interesting Android smartphones that you can get your hands on today. Part of its appeal are its more affordable price, lovely design, close-to-stock Android distribution and timely updates, things which few competitors can boast.

If you are considering buying a 2014 Moto X, now is the time to pull the trigger. For a limited time, Motorola is running a very attractive deal, selling the smartphone for as little as $299.99 off-contract.

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Emoji could be used for your next PIN

emoji_passcode

The humble PIN is a common way to secure access to accounts, but it has one major problem -- it is, usually, limited to using the digits 0-9. A UK firm thinks it may have come up with a better solution: emoji-based PINs.

Intelligent Environments' Emoji Passcode system can be used to secure accounts with ideograms. The company argues that Emoji passcodes are not only easier to remember than number-based alternatives, but also more secure. This is thanks to the fact that there is a pool of 44 Emoji to choose from, and research also suggests people find it easier to remember images.

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Google helps you find the best Android phone

Google helps you find the best Android phone

While choosing which iPhone to buy is a fairly simple decision -- there just aren't many options to choose from -- it's a very different matter for Android fans. The wealth of hardware manufacturers producing an endless stream of handsets means that a trip to the phone store, physical or online, can be overwhelming.

Today Google launches a new tool that can be used to home in on the perfect Android handset for you. Answer a few simple questions about the types of thing you need from a phone, and the wide selection of devices will be whittled down to those that are just right for you.

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Snapchat for Android, iOS gets two-factor authentication

SnapChat

Snapchat has bolted on some extra security to its Android and iOS apps in the form of two-factor authentication.

The Verge spotted that with the latest version of the Snapchat app, when you log on from a new device, the software will send a text to the mobile registered with your account containing a security number.

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HTC details global One M9 update: Camera and battery life improvements

HTC_One_M9+_Poster_Silver

HTC is globally rolling out a new software update for its One M9 Android flagship. The device launched in late-March, with a still weak yet higher megapixel main camera compared to its predecessor and faster internals, but a mostly unchanged exterior design. It is one of the few handsets on the market powered by Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 810 processor, which is known for running a bit too hot.

The software update addresses camera quality, battery life and charging temperature, with improvements touted in all aforementioned areas. It has already rolled out in select Asian markets, and is now hitting Europe.

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Windows Phone security is top notch, says Kaspersky

Head Shot of Eugene Kaspersky

There is lots of talk surrounding the level of protection offered by leading mobile operating systems Android and iOS. Whether it is about a new vulnerability, or new security features, it does not take you long to find an authoritative comment assessing their security capabilities.

That is, however, not the case with Windows Phone, which is hardly -- if ever -- given similar levels of attention. It can be argued that this is due to the low popularity of the tiled smartphone operating system, which borders on 3 percent market share, making it a significantly less-attractive target. Nonetheless, there is now an assessment of Windows Phone's security that we can rely on, coming from Eugene Kaspersky.

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Microsoft Portable Dual Chargers give smartphone junkies a power fix

Microsoft-Portable-Dual-charger_feat

For technology junkies, electricity is like crack cocaine. During a blackout, it can seem like users go through withdrawals without access to their precious internet and computers. Mobile devices are the best examples of this; when a user's smartphone battery is depleted, it is like the end of the world. They will sit on a filthy Starbucks floor just to charge their phone in an available outlet.

Sadly, more and more phone manufacturers are forgoing the removable battery option, making a battery swap an impossibility. Luckily, portable battery packs solve this issue, allowing users longer portability without needing to seek out an outlet. Today, Microsoft unveils its own such model.

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Facebook Messenger joins select '1 billion downloads' Google Play club

Facebook Messenger Windows Phone Logo

Being linked to the most-popular social network makes Messenger a very convenient messaging option, giving it a huge advantage in the long run. If you are already friends with someone on Facebook, you can quickly start a conversation with them, share photos, initiate a video chat and more. The way it is designed, you simply cannot ignore its existence, like you would any other messaging service.

Messenger is growing in popularity as new folks sign up for a Facebook account and more and more users have access to smartphones, from which, you guessed it, they want to check what their friends are doing. As a result, Messenger just joined a very exclusive club on Google Play.

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Samsung announces Galaxy S6 active, coming soon to AT&T

AT&T version Samsung Galaxy S6 active

In making Galaxy S6 more visually appealing and compact, Samsung has decided not to keep the water and dust-resistance capabilities of its predecessor, Galaxy S5. And that is a shame, because it would have made this flagship an even more attractive proposition, especially for those who are likely to, for instance, find themselves using the device in pools or dusty areas. It would have also given Galaxy S6 a clear advantage over the competition.

Thankfully, for those looking for a (more) durable Galaxy S6, Samsung has introduced Galaxy S6 active. As its name suggests, it is designed for folks who need or want a water-resistant smartphone that can withstand drops, but without sacrificing any of the highlight features of a flagship product.

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Apple to make it much easier for Android users to switch to iOS 9

movei to ios

Part of the reason why smartphone owners stay with their current choice of mobile operating system is they don’t want to have to mess around transferring personal data between devices. If you have an iPhone, upgrading to a newer model is very straightforward, and if you have an Android device, upgrading to a newer or different one is just as easy. Switching operating systems is, however, a real pain.

Apple wants to make it easy to go from Android to iOS and is introducing a new app called 'Move to iOS'.

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Tidal makes good

Tidal Rolling Stones Nexus 6

On June 3rd, music streaming service Tidal updated its Android app, which in my extensive testing over the weekend resolves a catastrophic bug that skips songs. The previous version jumped tracks before they finished playing on my Nexus 6 or 9. Last week, the lossless listening provider acknowledged the problem. The fix is in, and I am satisfied.

Tidal delivers HiFi streaming—1411kbps Free Lossless Audio Codec—at the premium price of $19.99 per month. For a music streamer charging more, about double other paid service competitors, the glitch was inexcusable. I first reported the erratic behavior nearly a month ago.

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OnePlus One is best Android value -- gets permanent price cut and DropBox Pro option

drop_Blog

While the world awaits Apple's WWDC conference to learn of all the new iOS news, many of us Android users are simply shrugging our shoulders in a collective "meh". Sure, Apple makes great products, including the iPhone, but they are very expensive. Android is better positioned for those of us with more meager bank balances.

One of the best value smartphones is the OnePlus One. Normally $299, the company recently offered a temporary price drop to an eye-popping $249 for the 16GB model. Guess what fellow bargain hunters? Today, the company makes that price drop permanent. However, the fun does not stop there. You can also get a majorly discounted year of DropBox Pro if you buy the 64GB model -- a $99 value.

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Xiaomi's $80 Android smartphone goes on sale -- here's what you get

Xiaomi Redmi 2A color options

There are lots of options available for those in the market for a low-end smartphone, but few are truly exciting and worth considering. Poor camera performance is to be expected in this segment, but a decent screen and adequate performance are must-haves, in my book.

Chinese maker Xiaomi has a very appealing low-end smartphone in the form of Redmi 2A. It just went on sale, as an affordable alternative to Redmi 2, costing as little as $80 off-contract. For that kind of money, it sure comes with all the right features a prospective buyer might be looking for.

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I bought a $200 Android 'flagship' smartphone and it changed everything

Xiaomi Mi 4i lead image

A few weeks ago my one-and-a-half-year-old Nexus 5 started to misbehave. Its power button wasn't holding up well, forcing the phone to switch off a dozen times, while also making it a chore to turn the phone back on again. I realized the phone was on its last leg. I also have an iPhone 5s, but I mostly use it to listen to podcasts, take phone calls, and take photos. Suffice to say I'm an Android guy. With OnePlus announcing its plan to release the successor of its One flagship in Q3 later this year, and LG reportedly working on the successor to Nexus 5, I decided to purchase a cheap phone running Google’s software to keep my boat floating until these much-anticipated smartphones begin to trickle up on the market. This led me to purchase the recently launched $200 Mi 4i smartphone from Chinese conglomerate Xiaomi. After using it for a couple of weeks, I don't think I want to upgrade to a new phone this year.

The smartphone market has seen many new forces arrive in the last couple of years. These new players have changed the landscape entirely, pushing new phones with top-notch capabilities at an increasingly competitive price point. We now have plenty of options in both the low and mid-tier categories. The dirt-cheap $100 Moto E is a decent entry-level smartphone, and the $180 Moto G entices users looking for a more efficient phone. The Lenovo A7000 offers 4G LTE capability for less than $150, and $100 Android One smartphones from Micromax, Karbonn Mobiles, and Lava offer the up-to-date software and reasonably good specs. But I wanted a phone that offers a high-end processor and top-of-the-line hardware modules; Xiaomi was offering me just that.

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Facebook Lite gives a social fix without eating mobile data

facebook_lite

With its Internet.org project, Facebook is trying to not only spread into new parts of the world by bringing the internet to places where it is not currently available. With a focus on minimal data usage to help keep down costs, it was only a matter of time before a stripped down version of the Facebook app appeared.

Today is the day that Facebook Lite arrives. As the name suggests, this is a data-light version of the familiar Facebook app, and it starts its life on Android devices. It is designed with developing markets in mind, and today it starts the rollout process in Asia before it spreads further around the globe.

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