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Android Phone Fans

Android Phone Fans

What Android apps do you want on Chromebooks? [POLL]

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 02:28 PM PDT

chrome android apps

Earlier this week Google finally flipped the switch on Android apps for Chrome OS. The first four apps available are Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and Sight Words. When you use these apps on your Chromebook they behave like they would on an Android tablet, and they can even hook into your Chromebook’s hardware. For example, you can create a Vine with your webcam.

Google is still in a beta period with this, so they're trialing it with select developers. They promise us that we'll see more Android apps in the months to come. Google has even asked users what apps they’d like to see on Chrome OS. Hopefully it won't be long before the SDK is released for all developers to enjoy.

All of this is pretty cool, but these four apps have use clamoring for more. Duolingo and Evernote have great web interfaces and Chrome extensions. Loading up the Android app isn’t that useful. We can imagine so much more, but we know this is just the beginning. What apps do you want to use on your Chromebook or other Chrome OS device? Do you even care about any apps on a laptop? Let us know in the comments below!

Verizon LG G2 gets updated to make way for VoLTE

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 02:11 PM PDT

LG G2 Verizon Wireless

VoLTE is on the way. What’s VoLTE you ask? In short it stands for “Voice over LTE.” This allows users to make calls over LTE networks, which vastly improves call quality. So far only a few devices support this new technology. The LG G2 for Verizon is going to be one of the first.

The G2 currently is receiving an update which includes VoLTE support. You’ve probably never thought too much about call quality since it’s been the same for years. Once you hear a call with VoLTE your mind will be blown by how much better it sounds. Here’s the full changelog for the G2 update.

  • Autocorrect functions properly when '?is selected
  • Cancelled meetings can now be removed from calendar
  • Mobile Hotspot UI prompt to connect corrected
  • Fixed assisted dialing for international numbers
  • Prepare your device for the new Advanced Calling 1.0 feature coming soon from Verizon.
  • Chrome : v31.0.1650.59 > v34.0.1847.114
  • Gmail : v4.7.1 > v4.7.2
  • Google Search : v3.1.24.941712 > v3.3.12.1106182
  • Google Settings : v4.0.34 > v4.3.25
  • Google+ (Google Plus) : v4.2.4.58179886 > v4.3.1.63038142
  • Google Maps : v7.5.0 > v7.7.0
  • Google Play Books : v3.1.23 > v3.1.33
  • Google Play Games : v1.1.04 > v1.5.08
  • Google Play Movies & TV : v3.0.25 > v3.1.22
  • Google Play Music : v5.3.1317M.940995 > v5.4.1413N.1048534
  • Google Play Store : v4.5.10 > v4.6.17
  • Google Voice Search : v3.1.24.941712 > v3.3.12.1106182
  • Google Play Newsstand : v3.0.1 v3.2.0
  • YouTube : v5.3.28 > v5.5.27
  • Google Drive : v1.2.484.18 > v1.2.563.31
  • Google Photos : v4.2.4.58179886 > v4.3.1.63038142
  • Google TTS Engine : v2.4.3.864779 > v3.0.11.1070024
  • Upgrade to SSO v3.1.19
  • Upgrade to Cloud v13.
  • Upgrade to CaNID v2.5.11_2859
  • Upgrade to ISIS Wallet v2.01.00-build.15.30
  • Upgraded VVM : v3.0.3 > v3.1.13.1
  • Alarm Clock : v4.2.13 > v4.2.20
  • Contacts : v4.11.19.2 > v4.11.51
  • Help : v4.4.204 > v4.4.234
  • LG IME : v4.4.22 > v4.4.34
  • LG Email : v6.30.28 > v6.30.53
  • LG Home : v4.3.7 > v4.3.35
  • Music : v4.5.15 > v4.5.24
  • Weather : v4.1.8.1 > v4.2.28
  • Vu Talk was removed

[via Droid-Life]

The beautiful Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are up for pre-order

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 01:37 PM PDT


We’ve been drooling over Sony’s new Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact since they were announced at IFA. Now the time has come to put some money down on these gorgeous new phones. The Z3 is currently up for pre-order from Carphone Warehouse for $700. The Z3 Compact is up for pre-order from Clove for $570.

The Xperia Z3 still has a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 20.7MP camera, and waterproofing. The biggest aesthetic change from the Z2 is a more rounded aluminum frame, which should make it much more comfortable to hold. Sony has also added a new wide-angle 25mm lens, extra-high ISO 12,800 light sensitivity, and a slightly more powerful 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor. The Compact is essentially the same, but it has a 4.6-inch display, 720p resolution, and plastic frame.

We’re still hoping to see these devices arrive on U.S. carriers. T-Mobile will be carrying the Xperia Z3, and Sprint is rumored to have it as well. Sony makes great hardware, but just isn’t as popular here as the likes of Samsung, HTC, and even LG. Anyone going to pre-order these devices?

Protip: Charge your Moto 360 using a portable charger when away from an outlet

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 01:18 PM PDT

Moto 360 portable charging DSC06849

After our post yesterday discussing the Motorola Moto 360′s battery life in great depth, by now you should know the smartwatch’s longevity shouldn’t be a huge concern (unless you plan on being away from a charger for 20+ hours).

But no matter how many hours you get on the smartwatch, there will be a time when you’ll have to charge the thing up. Thankfully, this isn’t a huge chore, as the Moto 360 and its tiny 320mAh battery can easily hit a full charge with little down time. While that’s all good and dandy, what if you forgot to charge the 360 in its dock overnight and have to rush out to make a plane trip?

Moto 306 wireless portable charger DSC06847

For those times when you are away from an outlet, we just wanted to remind you that the 360′s wireless charger can be paired with any old standard portable charger for charging on-the-go. We experimented with the official Motorola Power Pack Micro and sure enough, our Moto 360 charged up just fine. Of course, any old standard portable charger will work just fine, although tiny USB cables might not look at streamlined as the Moto charger picture above but it should still get the job done.

If the odd shape of the official Motorola Moto 360 wireless charger is still too much for you to carry in your pocket (or perhaps you just want to leave it at home), there are several portable wireless charging options available on Amazon, like the Qi-infinity (4,000mAh) for only $35. Simply strap your 360 to that and you should be good to go. We’re all about solutions here at Phandroid.

Mobile Roar 61: Galaxy Note 4, Moto X, Moto 360, iPhone 6, OH MY!

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 12:49 PM PDT

It’s been two weeks since the last episode, and EVERYTHING has happened since then. Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and some other gadgets. Motorola announced the new Moto X, Moto G, and finally released the Moto 360. Apple announced the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Apple Watch. Phew. We had a lot to talk about. Thanks for watching/listening!

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From The Forums: Galaxy Note 4 launching at the wrong time, Uber drivers, and more

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 12:10 PM PDT


It's been a busy couple of weeks for smartphone fans. From Samsung and Motorola's new devices to the iPhone 6 and Apple's first smartwatch, the forums have been buzzing. Here's what has people talking over at Android Forums this week.

Is Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 launch timing all wrong?


Samsung beat Apple to the punch in announcing the Galaxy Note 4, but will it matter if the phone launches a month after the iPhone 6 (and, more particularly, the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus)? That's the question on rushmore's mind this week. Did Samsung make a "Charles Barkley turrible contrast in execution of a launch," as rushmore so eloquently puts it? Will the iPhone steal the Note 4's thunder? Don't forget to check out the full Galaxy Note 4 forum for more.

Uber, Lyft, & Sidecar: The rideshare revolution


Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar — we're sure you have heard of them. Not only are they a great way to get around, but they have also become a viable source of income for a growing number of folks offering rides to cash in. Whether as a part-time or full-time gig, it's easy to see the appeal in the flexible schedule, seamless service, and a never-ending customer base provided by these apps. We've all grabbed an Uber for a ride home, but would you consider getting behind the wheel?

Making sense of T-Mobile's monthly payments

John Legere

T-Mobile started a revolution when they introduced a new monthly payment model while simultaneously doing away with smartphone subsidies. A year later, customer confusion persists. What, exactly, is the user on the hook for? How do payments for a phone roll into and affect the total cost of monthly service? More importantly, is there a catch? Android Forums users attempt to make sense of T-Mobile billing, and it's worth checking out if you are considering changing carriers (and with so many new phones on the horizon, now is a tempting time).

Your nomination for favorite Robin Williams role


It's been a month since the world lost one of its greatest comedic minds, and now that we've all had time to process the death of Robin Williams, there's never been a better time to highlight his storied career. Android Forums members have been discussing their favorite roles portrayed by Williams. My personal pick? Mrs. Doubtfire. This thread has actually existed since the news broke, but it's worthy of all the attention it gets.

And more…

Found your own favorite thread from Android Forums this week? Share it with us below and don't forget to sign up for an account if you haven't done so already. If your thread catches fire, it might even make its way to next week's edition of From the Forums.

These are not the Android watches you’re looking for

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 11:43 AM PDT

android watch2

Did you know that Android watches have actually been around since 1991? It’s true. Some of them are really nice, like the new Skygaurdian model. They even have a few models that can run apps! Wait…a watch that can run apps? How cool is that?!

By this point in the article you are probably thoroughly confused. The Android watches I’m talking about are not made by LG or Motorola. These watches are made by Android. No, not Google. Android. Still confused? Here’s the deal. Android is the name of a watch company that was founded in 1991. They been making watches since phones could display the time, and long before the Android OS came along.

If you’re looking for a cheap “Android watch” that can run rudimentary apps Woot has one up for sale right now. Android makes some pretty wild watches. Check out their Amazon page to browse through their designs. Here are a few of the best/worst (we’re not sure which is which).

81J7xeXntdL._UY679_ 81gdmZkpGIL._UY679_
91YSWRHdO7L._UY679_ 81T5fagtL5L._UY679_
81hoUH0TPAL._UY679_ android watch

LG L Bello and Fino begin rolling out globally

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 11:43 AM PDT


A couple of LG’s latest affordable smartphones have found their way into the market as the company has announced the global rollout of the latest L-Series devices. The LG L Bello and LG L Fino are the devices being talked about here, and both are being offered to folks in Brazil as early as this week. LG also confirmed they’d be making their way to Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the weeks to come.

LG’s content with calling these “premium” devices with “smart” price tags, and aside from paltry display resolutions they might not be far off the mark. Here are the specs sheets for both if you’re wondering what a light wallet will be able to get you:

LG L Fino Specs:

  • Chipset: 1.2GHz Quad-Core
  • Display: 4.5-inch WVGA IPS (800 x 480 / 207ppi)
  • Memory: 1GB RAM / 4GB / MicroSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 8MP / Front VGA
  • Battery: 1,900mAh
  • Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Size: 127.5 x 67.9 x 11.9mm
  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps (3G)
  • Colors: White / Black / Gold / Red / Green (varies by market)
  • Other: Knock Code™ / QuickCircle™ Case

LG L Bello Specs:

  • Chipset: 1.3GHz Quad-Core
  • Display: 5.0-inch FWVGA IPS (854×480 / 196ppi)
  • Memory: 1GB RAM / 8GB / MicroSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 8MP AF / Front 1MP
  • Battery: 2,540mAh
  • Operating System: Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Size: 138.2 x 70.6 x 10.7mm
  • Network: HSPA+ 21Mbps (3G)
  • Colors: White / Black / Gold
  • Other: Knock Code™ / QuickCircle™ Case

Not too bad, we’d say. Many folks are likely to look the Moto G’s way for their affordable smartphone needs (especially considering LG’s L lineup won’t be available in nearly as many countries as the Moto G), but this isn’t a bad alternative if LG is more your style.

The unlocked, unbranded new Moto X could come as the “Pure” edition

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 09:22 AM PDT


Motorola has yet to release any specific details about availability of their Moto X as it has yet to even get an official release date, but one interesting detail has risen ahead of availability. According to The Verge, Motorola will look to offer the unbranded, unlocked version of the Moto X as the “Moto X Pure Edition.” We imagine they went with this name because of the fact that it’d likely be the first in line for OTA updates and should receive support well ahead of any carrier branded versions.

What we still don’t know is whether or not this version of the phone will be treated as a developer edition (that is, come with an unlockable bootloader). Phandroid’s Derek Ross made an interesting observation that the Pure edition could become the developer edition as Motorola might be signaling that unlockable bootloaders and faster updates appeal to more than just actual developers.

We imagine its name doesn’t make much of a difference considering tech buffs would know which exact version they would want, but whatever the case may be it certainly won’t hurt anything. What we’re more interested in is the prospect of getting this “pure” version of the phone through Moto Maker, something a Motorola rep confirmed to Phandroid would be possible with this year’s developer model. Of even more importance is its release date, though we’ll have to wait a while yet before those exact details are forked over.

Square Enix brings the original Dragon Quest to Android

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 08:56 AM PDT

dragon quest banner

After having launched Dragon Quest 4 for Android a few weeks ago, Square Enix wants to add more of the series to Google Play’s catalog. The company has released the original Dragon Quest game, giving us a touch-equipped rendition of the game that started it all. The $3 download gives you access to the entirety of the game as it was released with no microtransaction nonsense to be had (something Square Enix is rightfully proud about).

Dragon Quest is an RPG that puts you in control of the heir of Erdrick, a legendary hero known for saving the world a few too many times. Now it’s your turn head to the Dragonlord’s place of residence and stop him from destroying the world. You know, your typical fantasy RPG stuff. But it’s so good, and for $3 you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Be sure to check it out in the Google Play Store right here if you’re interested.

4 Sony phones reach end of life status: Xperia SP, Xperia C, Xperia M and Xperia L

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 07:46 AM PDT

end of the line

Don’t look now, but a few Sony phones have reached the end of the road when it comes to updates. It appears owners of the Sony Xperia SP, Sony Xperia C, Sony Xperia M (and its dual SIM variant) and the Sony Xperia L will no longer be getting major upgrades. The phones are currently on variants of Jelly Bean between Android 4.2 and Android 4.3, so KitKat is seemingly out of the question.

Why? We’re not sure as some of Sony’s latest phones with similar (read: identical) specs are able to run KitKat just fine. It’s likely a product of them being spread so thin in their testing and certification department that it’s no longer economical for them to support these older phones. After all, Sony does introduce more phones than we can count on a yearly basis. Perhaps it’s time for them to realize that they’re releasing far too many phones.

We shouldn’t be that surprised that phones not considered “flagships” are being left in the dust, though it’s a sad reality of the smartphone world — support could end at the drop of a dime. Your only options are to upgrade to a more current handset or root and get the latest and greatest that the aftermarket community has to offer.

You should note that end of life doesn’t mean critical updates are coming to a standstill. Experience-breaking and security sensitive bugs will likely be ironed out if any arise, but don’t expect any major new features or upgrades to the latest version of Android.

[via XperiaBlog]

Is HTC creating a GoPro-like camera accessory for their smartphones?

Posted: 12 Sep 2014 06:07 AM PDT


It wasn’t but a few short days ago that HTC started sending tech media invites to a “double exposure” event. This theme had us thinking that the device would focus on a camera of some sort, though we weren’t sure if that meant a new phone with an improved camera or some sort of new feature they came up with that was too big not to make a lot of noise over.

We may have a bit of an early answer. According to Bloomberg, HTC is looking to introduce a rugged camera that would join the likes of GoPro — that is, a camera that can be used to record some element-heavy action such as off-roading or snorkeling. The device is said to have an ultra-wide 16 megapixel sensor, and has connectivity options of WiFi and Bluetooth.

Immediately coming to mind is a scenario where you go on a biking trip and record every bit of it with the camera. It then automatically spits video and images back to a phone such as, say, that HTC One M8 so you can create an awesome highlight in, say, Zoe.

It’s not the most off the wall prediction considering external camera attachments have been done before. Sony’s QX lineup is one such example. They use external DSLR-quality lenses that can attach to your smartphone and be used as if you had an actual mirror-less camera.

.Of course, this is all speculation based on a very early rumor so we can’t let our imagination get the best of us just yet. It shouldn’t be long before HTC clears everything up for themselves as the event is slated to take place October 8th. Let us know if you’d dig something like that should it come to pass.