Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:23:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Android Wallpaper: Winter Wonderland Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:00:08 +0000 snow wallpaper

See past editions of Android Wallpaper

I don’t want to believe we’re already 3 weeks into November, but Mother Nature is making a compelling argument. The snow has already started piling up in many places. Winter is here, weather we like it or not. A lot of nasty stuff comes with winter: icy roads, delayed flights, cold toes, and sore throats. But winter is not all bad.

Winter can be one of the most beautiful times of the year…if you’re warm and don’t have anywhere to go. Enjoy the these 6 HD wintry wallpapers. To get one of these wallpapers on your phone, tablet, or even PC, simply tap or click on the image to see it at full resolution. Then long press or right-click to save the image. Let us know which one is your favorite, and be sure to share a screenshot if you use one of these wallpapers! Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Push new Android Wallpaper to your Android device with our Pushbullet channel.

close snow

frozen creek

purple snow

tall trees


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Nexus 6 is hiding an RGB LED, can be used for notifications if you’re willing to root Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:50:05 +0000 Nexus 6 LED notification light

Seems the more we learn about the Nexus 6, the more it’s sounding like it was quickly hurried out the door. Another piece of evidence? The smartphone’s dormant (hidden) RGB LED light as discovered by some folks over on XDA. Yes, it’s there. Right smack dab in the center of the top speaker. Like most things, you’ll need root if you’re looking to activate it and an app like Light Flow to configure it.

Nexus 6 Red Blue LED light

If you need more help, check out the thread over on XDA. In the meantime, gawk over these pictures imagine what life would be like if you had the option to choose ambient display mode, LED notifications, or both on your Nexus 6.

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Pushbullet’s Universal Copy & Paste now works on Mac and Linux Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:47:25 +0000 Pushbullet

Back in August, the folks at Pushbullet unveiled their latest feature to blow our socks off: Universal Copy & Paste. A feature that allowed users to share the clipboard function on their PCs with their Android smartphones, it worked seamlessly and with very little setup. The problem? Universal Copy & Paste was only available via the Pushbullet Windows app, leaving Mac and Linux users out in the cold (at least for time being).

As promised, Pushbullet is back with an update to their Chrome and Firefox extensions, finally bringing universal copy/paste to Mac and Linux computers. Once enabled (in both the extension and Android app), you’ll be able to copy text from your computer and paste it on your Android device (or vice versa). It may not sound like much, but it’s yet another feather in the hat of one of the best Android apps on the market. Pushbullet is also promising iOS support in the near future so be on the lookout for that if you’re a multi-platform user.

If don’t have Pushbullet installed on your device, stop wasting time and grab it via the link below.

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Google offering 1TB of free Drive storage when buying a new Chromebook for a limited time Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:12:12 +0000 Google Chromebook

Looking for an affordable laptop for the holidays? Google is making their popular Chromebook line a lot more enticing by upping their previous 100GB of free Google Drive storage to a whopping 1TB (that’s 1,000GB) for 2 years. The offer is good for any new Chromebook user buying a laptop either in-store, online, or through the Google Play Store.

It’s not a bad deal by any means. A 1TB Google Drive plan runs about $10 a month and over the course of 2 years, that’s a $240 in savings. By comparison, the cheapest Chromebook is barely $200 meaning you even get to save a little bit of dough in the process (if you were planning on getting the storage anyway). Don’t forget, Google Drive storage is all encompassing spanning across Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and even includes your Gmail storage.

Typically, internal hardware storage on Chromebooks are lacking compared to “full fledged” PCs, but with 1TB of Drive storage, it should take some of the sting out of moving all your pictures, music, and other media to the cloud. The deal is only good until January 1st, so get a move on.


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AT&T’s Nexus 6 stock is being returned to Motorola because of faulty software [UPDATE] Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:18:38 +0000 Nexus 6 IMG_6216

It’s no secret the Nexus 6 for AT&T had a fair amount of the carrier’s influence as far as software is concerned. In fact, earlier today we even showed you the necessary steps you can take to remove much of this, bringing back a “pure” Nexus the way the Android gods intended. Now, a software bug that’s apparently unique to the AT&T model of the Nexus 6 could make it hard to find the device at your local store.

According to an internal memo sent to AT&T stores, they are to return all stock of the Nexus 6 back to Motorola thanks to “incorrect software” being shipped on initial units. While only these initial shipments seem to be affected, rather than sift through all their stock, all of it is going back to the mother ship.

ATT Nexus 6 software bug

It’s not clear exactly what the bug is, although we’re seeing reports of some devices randomly powering off, or not booting up properly. Yeah, not a fun time, especially for a phone that should just work. A Motorola spokesperson confirmed the bug in a statement:

“We delivered a small number of Nexus 6 smartphones with incorrect software to AT&T customers who pre-ordered. The incorrect software prevents the phone from starting up properly. We will provide replacements for consumers whose phones are affected. The problem has been corrected and the phones currently shipping are fine.”

UPDATE: Turns out we may have another idea what the “software” problem is. A user on Reddit  posted the following images which, like AT&T said, wouldn’t allow his phone to boot properly. In fact, he was stuck in bootloader mode for a good while. Once he was able to get everything up and running, turns out his Nexus 6 was running some kind of Android 4.4.4 KitKat test build — not 5.0 Lollipop. L.O.L.

Nexus 6 att software bug


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Sprint’s Black Friday 2014: $200 off Samsung Galaxy S5, up to $300 off JBL and Harmon-Kardon audio equipment Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:03:45 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!


Sprint has announced their Black Friday deals for 2014. The effort by the Now Network this year is quite moderate, though if you’re in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 or some new audio accessories you’ll want to see what they have to offer.

For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport can both be had for $200 less than they typically go for. The catch? This price only applies to those who opt to buy the phone for full price through Easy Pay or Sprint’s leasing program. The former will get you the device for $0 down and 24 installments of $18.75.

The leasing program, while a tad similar in nature, has its differences. You’ll pay $20 over the course of 24 months, though you’ll receive an $8.34 “Black Friday credit” every month, effectively bringing  payments down to $11.66. And that’s about it for cellular hardware. Sprint’s also holding some pretty nice promos for those who want to get the most out of their audio experience.

The biggest deal will come with the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio, a $400 piece of kit that promises to deliver superior Bluetooth audio. You can get a massive $300 off, but not without buying something else. If you buy three or more accessories, or any JBL or Harmon-Kardon product, you can get the wireless speakers for just $99.

The cheapest product listed on their website that fits that bill goes for $60, though considering you’re getting $300 off a pretty nice set of speakers we wouldn’t complain too much (and there’s also a chance they have more to choose from inside their actual storefront).

Finally, with any purchase you make you’ll get 50% off the purchase of JBL’s Synchro Slate Headphones or Harman Kardon’s SOHO II NC earbuds for $139 and $99, respectively. Sprint was quick to note that the deals for audio accessories will only be available in-store, so you’ll want to be quick to the punch on the morning of November 27th when their doors swing open.

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Google shuts the doors on its Glass stores, Basecamps no longer accepting appointments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 19:48:54 +0000 Google Glass Headquarters

There’s no question Google Glass — a moonshot project birthed from the creative minds of Google’s X Labs — has faced its share of uphill battles. From public outcry over privacy concerns to hardware constraints, it hasn’t been easy trying to change the world with a face-mounted computer doohickey. While Google and Glass supporters can deny reports of doom and gloom surrounding the program, the sudden closure of Google Glass Basecamps definitely isn’t going to help their PR department at all.

Aimed at providing personal, face-to-face communication with Glass Explorers, the makeshift stores were a great way for new customers to, not only browse and try on all the various colors and accessories available, but receive technical support/exchanges as well. Upon first receiving an invite to purchase Glass, Explorers were strongly urged to visit a Google Glass “Basecamp” at one of their 3 locations: San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles. We gave you guys our experience with the Google Glass Basecamp last year in our “day in the life with Google Glass” series.

Although we never once thought them to be permanent, it now seems the short lived Google Glass Basecamps are coming to an end with Google no longer accepting appointments at any of their campuses. Does this mean Google Glass is finally kaput? Not so fast.

Google Glass Basecamp appoinments

With Google Glass recently and its wide range of shades, frames, and accessories recently becoming available on the Google Play Store, this is merely a logical transition into Google’s tried-and-true online store front as the product (we hope) is still preparing for a wider consumer launch. Google admits the wearables market hasn’t been easy to break into, thanks in part to pricing where Glass costs a small fortune just to beta test.

Google Glass fitting room

It’s still a shame. Basecamps were also a great way for ordinary folk build relationships with not only other Glass Explorers via community events, but some of the people that helped shape Glass as well. Google Glass Basecamps were an experience look none other and we’re grateful to have been apart of it. We’ll always have the memories.

Thanks, Andrew!

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Mobile Roar 71: Nexus Player review, Nokia N1, and Chris finds “The One” Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:26:52 +0000

This week on the podcast we’re talking about Kevin’s Nexus Player review. Did Google do enough to persuade Kevin from disconnecting his ancient Google TV? Other topics include Apple’s war on “freemium” titles, Nokia’s weird (but cool?) N1 Android tablet, and SnapCash. We also hear Chris excitedly gush about his latest favorite phone. Will it stick?

NOTE: Next week’s episode will be recorded on Wednesday.

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MR show 71

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5 easy ways to make your AT&T Nexus 6 mostly pure again Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:23:52 +0000 att-store-logo

So you’ve gotten your AT&T Nexus 6 and the carrier’s extra bit of customization doesn’t sit well with you. If you don’t know, AT&T’s  model comes with their classic logo on the back, an AT&T boot animation and other things Ma Bell decided to put their hands on.

Well, as the development community often reminds us, almost anything is entirely reversible with a bit of root and elbow grease. Below we list a few of the device’s impurities, as well as possible solutions (many courtesy of the fine folks at XDA) should you feel the need to do away with any of it. Let’s go!  (Disclaimer: you may void your warranty by doing any of this, so know that you proceed at your own discretion.)


AT&T bloatware is installed at setup

This one is actually quite simple and straight forward. We touched on it yesterday, but here’s a quick recap: you can avoid having AT&T’s apps pre-installed by first setting your device up without a SIM card, and then inserting the SIM after you have gotten to the home screen. Already have the apps installed? Thankfully they came straight from Google Play, so you can uninstall them just as you would any app if you so wish.

AT&T’s Nexus 6 is SIM locked

Nothing much we can do here, yet. You can request an unlock code from AT&T after your contract expires or device is paid off in full, and they’ll most likely be more than happy to oblige. They probably won’t give you a hand if those conditions aren’t met, though, so you may have to look to a third-party unlock service for your needs (as long as you know you do so at your own discretion).

The AT&T Nexus 6 has the company’s logo on the back

Thankfully Motorola didn’t use any tough paint to slap AT&T’s logo on the back. If, for whatever reason, this visual impurity is affecting your ability to enjoy an otherwise perfectly fine device, we hear you can take it off with the light scraping of a knife, credit card or some other tool with a thin, sturdy and/or sharp edge.

AT&T’s boot animation shows when booting the Nexus 6

If you want to remove the boot animation you’ll need to root your Nexus 6, and download a file manager that can handle root operations. From there, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open /oem/media
  2. Mount r/w.
  3. Remove or rename the file
  4. Reboot

You can likely replace that animation with a custom one if you so wish, but you’ll need to look around for one that’s suitable for the Nexus 6’s display size and resolution.

Nexus 6 Data tethering requires an AT&T subscription

Edit your build.prop file with the following line:


Reboot the device, and you should now be able to use Lollipop’s built-in data tethering without the need to check for a subscription. This step may require root.


And now you have a mostly pure Nexus 6! Getting carrier-branded phones will almost always come with a few quirks that you’ll have to put up with, but the versatility of Nexus devices makes it easy for you to pretend AT&T never had their grubby paws on the thing. Let us know if you’ll be looking to do any of this to make your Nexus 6 feel “right” again.

]]> 0’s Black Friday 2014 event features 5 affordable Android tablets on sale Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:10:11 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!


Online retailer Newegg has “leaked” their own Black Friday ad, and there are a few Android tablets to be had. Five tablets in all are being discounted, with four of them going for under $100. Here’s the list of goods you can try for as we head toward the post-Thanksgiving shopping fest:

What’s more is that the savings are available right now so you won’t have to wait until next week to cash in. There’s a chance Newegg will put more items on sale throughout the week leading up to next Friday as they claim their Black Friday listings will be updated on a daily basis. We’ll be sure to update this page with any new goods that might pop up throughout that time so check back often.

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Pebble for Android can now show notifications from all apps Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:38:52 +0000 Pebble Android

Before the Moto 360 and other Android Wear devices arrived on the scene Pebble was the most popular smartwatch. In many people’s opinion it still is, but the space has gotten much more crowded. One thing that Android Wear devices do better than Pebble is notifications, but Pebble is trying to change that.

The latest update to the Pebble app for Android adds a very important feature: full notification support. Previously the Pebble app only supported notifications for phone calls, SMS, and Gmail. Users had to rely on 3rd-party apps to get any more than that. Now you can choose which apps are allowed to send notifications to the Pebble. Unfortunately dismissing a notification on the Pebble still doesn’t remove it from your phone.

pebble app

The entire app has been rewritten from the ground up to be faster and more reliable. If you’re a Pebble user you know how badly this update was needed. Pebble is still one of the best smartwatch options available today, and it should only get better. Download Pebble for Android right here. Do you have a Pebble?

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Here’s how to restore LTE to your Nexus 4 following Android 5.0 Lollipop update Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:46:31 +0000 Nexus 4

Those who upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop on their Nexus 4 ran into a bit of trouble with its LTE radios. If you don’t remember, the Nexus 4 shipped with LTE radios inside, but the device was not approved for LTE use by the FCC here in the United States. As such, Google ended up having to disable the radios via a software patch.

That didn’t hold the community back from bringing support in an unofficial capacity, of course, but those who upgraded to the official Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware recently have found themselves in the same pickle. And, well, today’s development proves history repeats itself quite a bit: you can now get an updated hybrid modem to enable LTE on your Lollipop-equipped Nexus 4. You’ll have to be rooted, though that should be no big task with Chainfire’s latest goods.

Once you’ve taken care of root then it’s as simple as this:

  1. Flash to “enable” LTE in the build.prop
  2. Flash this hybrid modem (in fastboot or recovery)
  3. Perform a full data wipe, or use these instructions if you’re knowledgeable on ADB to get the settings to stick
  4. Reboot

And that’s it. Not the most elegant solution out there, but if you’re not ready to loosen the grip on your Nexus 4 in favor of one of the newer devices then this is what you’ll have to work with. Be sure to back everything up before attempting this, and remember that anything you do on your phone is at your own discretion.

[via XDA, thanks Carl!]

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HTC One M8 Google Play edition’s Android Lollipop update has been delayed again Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:10:47 +0000 HTC One M8 Google Play edition

Many of you HTC One M8 Google Play edition owners likely woke up this morning excited to take the wrapper off of Android 5.0 Lollipop as HTC told us to circle today’s date on our calendars, but it looks like you won’t be able to enjoy that tasty treat just yet. HTC VP of product development Mo Versi responded to a concern on Twitter that the update hadn’t yet rolled out to one user’s handset.

The user wasn’t just being impatient or unreasonable, though — that’s because there’s currently no upgrade to be had (nor will one be made available later in the day). Here’s what Versi had to say about it:

@AshDeezy @htc Sorry Ash, New SW required. Will advise once approval from Google is received. Thanks.

It sounds like HTC might have run into some last minute bugs that they didn’t want users to have to deal with. It’s always frustrating when an upgrade receives multiple delays, but even more frustrating is getting the upgrade installed and finding out that it completely screws something up. Better for HTC to take their time and get it right than to rush it out for the sake of the public’s sanity.

Unfortunately HTC didn’t go into any detail about how long another approval would take, so the only advice we can give is to sit tight and keep your eye on HTC’s Twitter account, especially considering they’re usually one of the more open companies out there in terms of communication.

[via Twitter]

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SwiftKey’s 5.10 update is all about speed, percentage breakdown included Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:50:01 +0000 SwiftKey faster update

An update to SwiftKey in the Google Play Store today is bringing a much needed performance boost to the world’s best prediction keyboard. Back in June SwiftKey went full-on free, dropping their original pricing in favor of an all new theme store hoping to entice buyers looking to customize the look of their keyboard.

At some point during all these updates, SwiftKey’s performance fell to the wayside but today’s update (5.10.60) SwiftKey looks to finally address the lag some of you were experiencing with the keyboard for awhile now.

According to SwiftKey, the keyboard is quicker to launch by as much as 20% faster than previous versions, while closing the keyboard comes in at around 30% faster. More importantly, actual typing has also gotten a boost, with typing up to 18% more responsive than before. Of course, a lot of this is dependent on the hardware capabilities of your device, so your mileage may vary.

SwiftKey 5.1 update speed

In addition to fixing other weirdness (like correction of capitalization), SwiftKey has also made available an additional 12 new Indian languages, including:

  • Assamese
  • Bengali
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Marathi
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Nepali
  • Sinhala

While emoji prediction arrives for 14 additional languages with Bulgarian, Finnish, Romanian and Ukrainian naming a few. It’s a pretty big update, and one that was badly needed. Have to admit, it’s always nice to see the folks at SwiftKey never resting on their laurels, instead continually improving their already phenomenal keyboard app.

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Android Studio nears 1.0 with Release Candidate 1 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:02:18 +0000 tmp_15201--1203866297

If you’re an app developer who’s switched (or is considering switching) to Android Studio, you’ll no doubt be glad to learn that the popular IDE is nearing its first whole-integer release. Although based on IntelliJ Studio, the Android-focused spinoff hasn’t yet been considered worthy of a 1.0 version number, but Thursday’s announcement of Release Candidate 1 for the Canary channel indicates that day is fast approaching.

The Android Developer’s blog provided the following changelog beyond the standard bugfixes:

We’ve also updated the splash screen and branding graphics to include our new logo, and the settings directories for the IDE have been updated from AndroidStudioBeta to just AndroidStudio. When you run this version for the first time, it should offer to import your settings from the beta settings directory.

Finally, we are now bundling a local Maven repository containing the Android Gradle plugin and all its dependencies, which should allow you to create new projects without a network connection. (This is also why this patch is fairly large).

Did I mention “Canary channel”? If you want to take this release candidate for a spin, you’ll need to make sure your updates are set to Canary as opposed to Stable, Beta or Dev. Remember, your input will determine when Android Studio attains to 1.0 status in the Stable channel, so don’t be shy about reporting any issues you encounter.

[via Android Developers]

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