Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 25 Oct 2014 03:27:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sundar Pichai gets a promotion, finds himself the new head of Google’s core products Sat, 25 Oct 2014 03:23:08 +0000 sundar pichai atd

There’s no question Google has their hands in just about everything these days. That’s nothing new. Because of a vast and ever growing product portfolio, Google has typically seen itself run by a large group of execs, with CEO Larry Paige overseeing things, of course. But it looks like that could soon change.

After the departure of high profile execs like Andy Rubin and Vic Gundotra, Larry Paige is now reportedly handing the reins of their entire product line to none other than Sundar Pichai. This is yet another promotion for Pichai who joined up with Google back in 2004, only to quickly rise in the ranks and move from Chrome lead, to head of Google’s Android division.

Although it’s a major milestone for both Pichai and Google, Sundar’s title wont change — at least not at first — despite having execs from products like Maps, Search, social, and more now reporting to him instead of Page. There is one exception, however, with YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki keeping the video unit separate from Pichai’s management for the most part.

Google is continually evolving and the newest change in management is a clear sign that they’re looking to keep the innovation flowing. We wish Pichai the best of luck in his new (still hush-hush) role.


]]> 0
Pocketing your phablet, Inbox invites, buying a car, and more [From the Forums] Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:54:26 +0000 fromtheforums

Is that a phablet in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Yes, we’ll answer that question today in our weekly roundup of the very best Android Forums has to offer. Would you read on if I told you there might be an Inbox invite waiting for you?

How do you carry your extra large phone?


The Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge, Nexus 6, and even the iPhone 6 Plus are all what we would consider phablets — those extra large phones that straddle the line of tablet territory. While many love the extra screen real estate when it comes to surfing the web, watching video, and running apps and games, the flip side is that these devices are in reality still quite bulky. Why aren’t there more discussions about how to carry a phablet like the Note 4? It’s certainly pocketable, but is it better suited for a holster? Do you toss it in your bag and go? Opinions welcome.

Itching for Inbox

Inbox by Gmail promo hero

Google launched their new inbox solution, aptly named Inbox, this week on an invite-only basis. Everyone wanted one, but there were few to come by (at least initially). Google+ was overrun with excited Gmail users begging and pleading for their golden ticket, and Android Forums wasn’t all that different. Now that the dust has settled, did you get an Inbox invite? Have any you’d like to share with the forum faithful?

Getting started with Android programming

coder coding developer development

You know how it goes: make Android app, profit to the tune of thousands of dollars a day. But what comes before, in between, and after those steps? How does one actually get started programming for Android? That’s the million dollar question…or at least you hope it is.

Buying your first car


Normally we’d expect Android Forums to be a place where we can go to get some advice on buying our next smartphone, but lucky for sfbloodbrother we’ve also got quite a few auto enthusiasts. In the market for his first car, he has been soliciting help from the forum goers for a few months and is finally on the verge of laying down his cash. Any last minute suggestions?

And more…

And that will take us into the weekend. If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for an Android Forums account. We’ll be scouring the subs for next week’s best threads, and yours could be among the chosen few. Until then, have a great weekend.

]]> 0
Inbox by Gmail ‘app’ now available in the Chrome Web Store Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:34:15 +0000 Inbox by Gmail Chrome app

Earlier this week we watched as Google unveiled Inbox by Gmail, their radical new take on electronic mail. Although initially limited only to a small group of people, last night Google pushed out their first batch of invites which, for the most part, seemed pretty large. We know many of our readers are avid Chrome users and for those who have the the browser installed on their computers, we just wanted to let you know that an Inbox Chrome app is now available in the Web Store.

We’re not even gonna sugar coat it — the “app,” is anything but. While an icon does appear in your Chrome app drawer, it’s little more than a shortcut taking you to We know. Pretty lame. Like many of you, we had hoped Google would have released something more akin to the Google Keep Chrome app which can operate outside the browser (and even has its own icon in your dock). I guess this is as good as it gets for now, but we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any further Inbox updates.

[Inbox by Gmail on Chrome Web Store]

]]> 0
LG G Pad 7.0 LTE, LG G3 now available at US Cellular Fri, 24 Oct 2014 19:03:46 +0000 lg g pad 7

U.S. Cellular has announced availability for the LG G Pad7.0 LTE. You’ll be able to get the data-connected tablet for $99 on a new two-year contract, and should be able to find it both in-store and online. The 7-inch tablet won’t break the charts in terms of performance, but with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 1280 x 800 resolution, a 5 megapixel camera, 16GB of storage and more it should be worth its low price tag.


The LG G3 is also roaring into US Cellular’s stores today. Many of you are already quite familiar with this device (especially if you’ve read our LG G3 review), but if not here’s a quick refresher on its specs:

  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipset
  • 13 megapixel camera
  • 16GB or 32GB of internal storage

You can grab that one for $99 on a two-year contract as well, though the LG G3 is eligible for a $0 down payment to walk away with the device (so long as you agree to pay it off in equal installments over the course of a couple of years). Be sure to check both of them out over at US Cellular’s website or by stopping by your local retail location.

]]> 0
Mobile Roar 67: Inbox invites, T-Mobile G1 birthday, and more! Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:37:20 +0000

Hey bro, you got any invites? That’s the question being asked across the internet this week as Google introduced a brand new email app called “Inbox.” We talk about this new app and how Google is changing the way we use email. Happy Birthday to the T-Mobile G1! We remember the phone that started Android’s dominance, and share stories about our first smartphones. All of this, and much, much more in this week’s episode. Thanks for watching/listening!

Big News

Quick Hits


App Picks

Follow Us


Hear us on Stitcher Radio
Subscribe on iTunes
Add RSS feed
Download MP3

MR show 67

]]> 0
20 best apps & watch faces for the Moto 360 Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:32:43 +0000 360

The Moto 360 has been available for a while, but it wasn’t until the last couple updates that it got really good. Battery life has been drastically improved, and performance is better too. Now is a great time to pick one up. If you’re a new Moto 360 user, or you’ve had one for a while, there are some apps and watch faces you need to try. These apps and faces will work on any Android Wear device, but they look especially nice on the Moto 360.

Moto 360 Apps



One of the best uses for a smartwatch is a workout companion. You can easily check your wrist to see stats instead of fumbling for your phone. There are a couple of fitness apps that work with the workout voice commands, but Endomondo is my favorite. You can say “start a bike ride,” “start a run,” or “start a workout” to use your last activity. Once you start a workout you can see stats for duration, distance, speed, calories, and more.


Phandroid Facer

Facer is part app, part watch face. You can use Facer to make your own personal watch faces. It’s incredibly flexible and easy to use. We put together a guide for how to make your own analog or digital watch face. If you’re not feeling creative you can check out and download faces that other uses have made, including our very own Phandroid watch face!

Find My Phone

find my phone

Everyone loses their phone at some time or another. Find My Phone is an essential Android Wear app that allows you to use your Moto 360 to locate your lost phone. Just make sure you download the app on your phone before it gets lost. Now you can launch it from your watch whenever you can’t find your phone. It allows you to tap a giant button to make your phone ring and vibrate obnoxiously until you find it.



The Moto 360 doesn’t have a lot of security features. It needs a phone to work, but it wouldn’t be hard for someone to just pair it with their own device if they get a hold of it. Lockable is an app that adds a lockscreen to your watch. You can lock your device with a swipe from the top of the display, or set it up to lock after a certain amount of time.

Motorola Connect

Moto Connect 360

The Moto 360 has a special companion app from Motorola. With the Motorola Connect app you can remotely check the battery life of your 360 and manage a few of the special features that other Android Wear devices don’t have. Those include customizing the built-in watch faces, adjusting your wellness profile, and tracking your smartwatch location. It’s a must-have for the Moto 360.

Slumber for Android Wear

360 charge

A few Moto 360 users have reported screen burn-in from the charging screen image. The burn-in leaves an outline of a circle from the charging indicator. Obviously this is something you want to avoid, and the ever-reliable Android developers have a solution. Slumber replaces the standard charging screen with a blank black image. You won’t be able to see the charging progress, but we already told you how to check that with your phone.

SPS: Football Wearable Edition

sps football

We haven’t talked a lot about games for Android Wear devices, but they do exist. One of the newest and most fun is a simple game called SPS: Football. You’ve probably played a game like this before. All you do is try to keep the soccer ball in the air as long as possible by heading it with the soccer player. It’s the perfect type of game for a watch.



Tockle enables control of your phone from your wrist. Toggle WiFi and other system settings, send an SMS message, and even activate your awesome Tasker tasks from your wrist. And that is the simplest way to think of Tockle. It’s like Tasker for your Moto 360, or any other smartwatch. The usefulness is really up to your own imagination.

Wear Battery Stats


Battery life is a big topic for the Moto 360. At launch the battery life was pretty bad, but a couple recent updates have brought big improvements. If you’re still curious about battery life you can track it with a handy app called Wear Battery Stats. You can see battery life in a chart, and even see which apps are using the most juice. The app can be checked on your watch and phone.

Wear Tip Calculator

wear tip

Not many apps have taken advantage of the Moto 360’s circular display. Wear Tip Calculator certainly does. It’s a beautiful and simple app for finding tip amounts at restaurants. The UI is made up of a circle that is used to adjust the tip percentage. This is one of the first few Android Wear apps that look much more at home on the Moto 360.

Next: Watch Faces

]]> 0
AT&T starts selling Kindle Fire HDX 7″ today Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:50:15 +0000 Amazon Kindle Fire HDX

AT&T and Amazon are continuing their love affair today with the former now selling the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch. There are a few different ways to pay for it if you’re not interested in getting one straight from Amazon.

You can either pay $99.99 and sign a new two-year agreement, pay for it for $10 over 20 months with AT&T Next, or pay the full $200 outright. You can also get it for $49.99 for a limited time when buying it with the Amazon Fire Phone — no surprise they’re trying to move units of that particular smartphone considering Amazon’s bottom line took a major hit due to its lack of sales.

The Kindle Fire HDX is a very decent tablet for $200. It features 1900 x 1200 resolution and Qualcomm’s 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 inside. You’ll also have 32GB of internal storage to play around with, front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band WiFi N and 4G LTE radios.

Loaded up software-wise is Amazon’s Fire OS which connects you to movies, music, apps, games, books and many of Amazon’s other great services. The the phone might not be all that, but no one has ever really gone too wrong buying a Kindle Fire tablet. Be sure to stop by an AT&T store or head online to order one if you’ve been waiting for the carrier to offer it on their own store shelves.

[via AT&T]

]]> 0
Save 50% on these feather-light Bluetooth headphones with this exclusive deal Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:30:32 +0000 feather-buds-androidarea

How much would you pay for a pair of wireless headphones boasting a lightweight design and the ability to drop some heavy bass? What if we throw in a noise-canceling outer shell and built-in microphone for hands-free voice calls? We’d say thats worth at least $60, but you won’t have to pay that much to get your own pair of TOCCs Feather Buds. Thanks to you can snag a set for only $24.99.

Buy TOCCs Feather Buds for $24.99 at

That equates to savings of over 50% off retail value for these in-ear headphones featuring great audio quality at ranges of up 30ft. Pair the with your Android smartphone, a computer, or any other compatible Bluetooth device and free yourself of the hassles and tangles associated with wired headphones. This is 2014, people. Cord cutting is a thing.

Three sizes of comfort gel buds are included to insure a perfect, sound-tight fit for listeners of all shapes and sizes. A rechargeable battery nets you up to 6 hours of audio playback or voice calls and can be quickly juiced up via the included charging cable.

As with all AndroidArea deals, this one won’t last forever. Grab your pair today and take advantage of free shipping.

]]> 0
Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 for $360 on eBay Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:28:59 +0000 galaxy-tab-s-10.5-quick-briefing

One reseller on eBay is holding a nice sale on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 if you’re in the market for one. The tablet, which is the 16GB version, usually goes for $550, but you can get it for $360 through a buy it now offer. It includes free shipping and the peace of mind that out of 214,000+ reviews only less than 1% of people had issues.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S line is one of Samsung’s best yet. The 10.5 inch display is loaded with 2560 x 1600 resolution, and it’s all powered by Samsung’s 1.9GHz Exynos 5 Octa and 3GB of RAM. Other bells and whistles include WiFi ac MIMO at 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz, Bluetooth 4.0, MHL 2.1 for video out, an 8 megapixel rear camera with flash, a 2.1 megapixel front camera, a microSD card slot for up to 128GB of expandable storage and Android 4.4 KitKat.

For all that, $360 isn’t a bad price to pay at all. You’ll want to jump in on this soon as the listing states limited quantities are available, and we’re sure they won’t last long at such a good deal. Head to eBay and order one right now if you’re interested.

]]> 0
All Grand Theft Auto games on sale right now in the Google Play Store Fri, 24 Oct 2014 14:54:29 +0000 gta trilogy header

Rockstar games is giving everyone a little treat ahead of Halloween next week. The company has placed all three of their Grand Theft Auto games on sale, including Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. They’re coming in at price points of $2.99, $2.99, and $3.99, respectively.

Those are some good prices for mobile versions of a series of games that defined their generation. The Grand Theft Auto series was by far one of the most successful back when it enjoyed mid-2000s prominence, and it was as much fun as advertised.

The graphics may not have aged too well up against contemporary counterparts, but Rockstar did a well enough job remastering the graphics for high resolution displays that you should still find it an enjoyable experience. Use the Google Play links above to get going if you’re interested.

]]> 0
Samsung Galaxy S5 said to get Lollipop as early as December Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:43:15 +0000 android l galaxy s5

Samsung was caught teasing Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 earlier in the week suggesting the company was well underway on the big update for the big phablet. But what about the smaller, yet older brother released early in the year? According to SamMobile, the Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t take long to find its bag of candy, as well.

Purported sources suggest the Samsung Galaxy S5’s Lollipop update is expected to begin rolling out this December, a very welcome timeline considering most companies are playing it safe by estimating early 2015. That Samsung hasn’t come out and said anything about their plans to beat everyone to the punch suggests they don’t have total faith in their ability to reach that deadline, though we sure won’t reprimand them from trying.

Recent leaks have already given us an early look at how Samsung would be fusing both TouchWiz and Android 5.0 Lollipop. Doesn’t look quite as clean as stock, but it does seem to be a very nice change of pace over TouchWiz’s current drags. Let’s hope to hear something in a more official capacity before too long.

]]> 0
The Nexus 5 is now back in stock on Google Play (all colors, 32GB only for now) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:19:03 +0000 Nexus 5 Google Play listing

As we approach the 1-year anniversary of the Nexus 5 officially launching in the Play Store, a few days ago the phone — all colors, all storage configs — was suddenly no longer available for purchase on Google Play. This was puzzling, especially after we thought the phone would stick around as a much smaller, much cheaper unlocked option for those of us that couldn’t stomach the Nexus 6.

Some point this evening, the 32GB model — all colors — has once again become available for purchase in the Play Store, showing shipping times of about 1-2 days before leaving the warehouse. Although we’re not seeing the 16GB model, we’ve heard reports that others have seen it, so we’ll keep an eye out. In the meantime if you were thinking about pulling the trigger on a Nexus 5 (it’s still a damn good Android phone), now’s your chance.

Nexus 5 on Google Play

]]> 0
LG G3 Screen is official: 5.9-inch phablet with NUCLUN, LG’s in-house 8-core mobile processor Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:54:00 +0000 LG G3 Screen NUCLUN 2

Rumors of an LG-made processor have been floating around the net for years now. Straight out of left field, LG is now finally putting those rumors to rest by officially announcing their first ever processor for mobile devices: NUCLUN (pronounced “Noo-klun”).

The eight core SoC employs the power of ARM’s big.LITTLE technology to not only offer more power, but handle it more efficiently by taking advantage of four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores, and four 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A7 cores . The A15s will handle the heavy loads, while the A7s will tackle less CPU intensive processing. It’s a feature we’ve seen for while now in rival Samsung’s Exynos SoC. LG’s processors also offer the added benefit of LTE-A Cat 6 for maximum download speeds of up to 225Mbs (and are still fully backward compatible with existing LTE networks).

LG G3 Screen NUCLUN 1

The new NUCLUN processor will officially make its debut inside an all new LG phablet dubbed the LG G3 Screen. The new phablet — made specifically for the Korean market — will come equipped with a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display, 32GB internal storage (with micro SD card slot), 2GB RAM, 13MP OIS / 2.1MP cameras, 3,100mAh battery, and 1W speaker (like we saw on the LG G3). The G3 Screen will be available in both black and white when it launches at a later date, although LG wasn’t talking specifics just yet.

]]> 0
New internet trend sees people using live rabbits as smartphone cases [Awww] Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:29:24 +0000 Live rabbit cases

Whether it was the Harlem Shake or Ice Bucket Challenge, the internet is often the source for all sorts of strange, cute, noble, or hilarious new viral trends. Still in its infancy, the latest internet trend sweeping across the globe is something a lot higher on the “adorable” scale. People are using live rabbits as smartphone cases. Before we go any further, let’s just all get it out of our system right now: Awwwwwwww!

It all started with the above tweet, then seems to have quickly spreading across Asian countries where their love for the cute and odd is commonplace. While the vast majority seem to be iPhone owners, you’ll find the occasional Xiaomi Mi Phone or Samsung device scattered throughout. Take it all in, folks. This is Pulitzer Prize winning journalism right here.

Seriously, though. Man up the f*ck up and tell us which bunny is your favorite (the Samsung rabbit doesn’t have eyes!). I’m gonna grab a beer. Goodnight.


]]> 0
Check your email: first wave of Inbox by Gmail invites are going out now Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:39:44 +0000 Inbox by Gmail promo hero

Yesterday we told you guys about Inbox by Gmail, Google’s new app that looks to make sense out of electronic mail by infusing it with Google Now-like functionality. More of a productivity app, it wasn’t available to the public, requiring would-be users send an email in order to receive an invite.

Inbox invite email

Well, for anyone who sent one off, Google is now notifying early adopters that that they can now sign into the app using their standard Gmail account login. Pretty much everyone who we’ve talked to that requested an invite yesterday has received theirs, so it’s looking like a pretty big first batch of invites are being sent out.

Anyone who emailed Inbox yesterday not receive their invite yet?

]]> 0