Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:52:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google begins testing answers in auto-complete suggestions Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:52:49 +0000 Screenshot chrome answers

There was a time when Google didn’t try to guess what you were searching, or show your results instantly as you type. It’s hard to believe that Google hasn’t always had these important features. They’ve become so essential to what people expect from a Google Search. A new feature is being tested by Google that takes auto-complete and instant results to the next level.

You can type certain questions in to Google and get a pretty little answer on top of the search results. Unlike the results that show up while you type, answers only show once you press enter. With this new feature enabled you can see answers to questions while you’re typing too. So if you type “Weather in New York” it will start showing before you complete the search. Here’s how to enable this.

  1. Open Chrome for Android
  2. Go to chrome://flags in a new tab
  3. Find the ‘Answers in Suggest’ flag
  4. Tap on the drop down box 
  5. Set it to ‘Enabled’

Now when you do a search in the omnibar you will see answers included in the suggested results. This feature further cuts down on the amount of time it takes to get an answer from Google. Getting your answers accurately and quickly is what makes people come back to Google every day. Are you going to enable this feature?

[via omgchrome]

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Moto Voice update adds features for Moto 360 users Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:18:52 +0000 moto voice update

One of the best reasons to own a Motorola device is the excellent Moto Voice capability. Simply put, it’s like Google Now on steroids. You can talk to your phone when it’s in your pocket, create your own personalized “OK Google” command, get a readout of all your missed notifications, and much more. It’s pretty cool. Moto Voice was just updated with some interesting additions for Moto 360 users.

After you get this update you will notice that Moto Voice knows if you have a Moto 360 connected, and it will adjust its behavior accordingly. Saying “OK Google” won’t wake up your phone and watch. The Moto 360 becomes your main device for voice commands. You will even see a toast notification on your phone if you try talking to it with your watch connected. This is obviously a very nice feature. As we get more devices that are always listening we will need features like this. Download the Moto Voice update below if you have a Moto X (1st & 2nd gen), Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, and Droid Ultra.

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This is the Nexus 9 keyboard case Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:29:18 +0000 nexus2cee_HTC-UG08-1-665x374_thumb

Last week NVIDIA spilled the beans on the upcoming HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet. The leaked document stated the Nexus 9 will be released in the third quarter of 2014, which we are currently in. One of the exciting features of the Nexus 9 is the rumored Microsoft Surface-like keyboard case. We’ve heard rumblings of this accessory in the past, but now we can see it in the flesh.

It’s an interesting keyboard to say the least. At first glance it appears to be upside down. The area where a trackpad would normally be is above the keys. The reason for this is the tablet will fold out and cover that empty space. The benefit of a built-in kickstand, like the one on Microsoft Surface, is that space can be used for a trackpad. You can also notice some special keys for Android functions, such as a voice command button in place of Caps Lock. That way you can scream instead of SCREAM. One thing we can’t see in these photos is the charging mechanism.


Are you excited about the 9-inch Nexus 9 tablet? Will you buy this accessory to go along with it?

Thanks everyone!

[via Chinese VR-Zone]

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Get your wallet ready, Moto 360 to be back in stock tomorrow Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:17:18 +0000 Moto 360

Earlier today Motorola announced pre-order availability for the new Moto X. They also sneaked in word that the Moto 360 will be back in stock. When the 360 went up for sale just over a week ago it quickly went out of stock. In 30 minutes time it was back-ordered on Google Play, Best Buy, and We’re not sure if this was more due to popularity or stocking problems, but Motorola is hoping to have enough this time around.

The pre-orders for the new Moto X start at 11am Central. Motorola did not give a specific time for when the Moto 360 will be back in time, but we’re guessing 11am is a good starting point. We’ll keep you posted on availability. If you’re looking to buy the watch from Google Play or Best Buy you’ll have to wait a little longer. Who is ready to buy this device in round 2? Or have the battery and performance reports scared you off?

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Offline playback is coming to YouTube, starting in India Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:54:08 +0000 HTC One Remix 4

In the age of limited data plans you have to choose wisely when it comes to streaming away from the friendly confines of your home WiFi. Many Android apps allow you to download media for offline enjoyment. This is common among streaming music apps and podcast players. What if you could do the same with YouTube videos?

Along with the launch of Android One in India, Google has announced offline playback for YouTube. Within the coming weeks much of YouTube will be available offline in India. Users will be able to download videos and keep them on their device to play whenever they please. This is a huge deal for India, but we can’t help but feel a little jealous. There is no official word on whether this will come to other countries. Hopefully if all goes well in India it will become a standard feature.

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Panasonic shows Samsung how to make an Android cameraphone Mon, 15 Sep 2014 16:35:07 +0000 Lumix CM1

Cameraphones are a small, but growing, part of the smartphone market. I’m not talking about simply a phone with a camera on it. No, these are cameras with a phone inside. Samsung was one of the first Android OEMs to do it with their Galaxy Camera line. The problem with those devices is they are bulky and not that great at being a camera. Panasonic is trying to do both of those things better with their new Lumix CM1.

Panasonic doesn’t make smartphones anymore, but the Lumix CM1 is much more a camera first. It has a 1-inch sensor like you would find on a full-blown camera. It has 20MP resolution, a f/2.8 Leica lens, mechanical shutter, manual control ring, oh, and Android 4.4 KitKat. The phone side of things is powered by a 2.3GHz Snapdragon processor, and it has a nice 4.7-inch 1080p dispaly, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, microSD card slot, and it’s not ridiculously thick.

Lumix CM1-2

The Lumix CM1 is 21mm thick, which is actually thicker than the Galaxy Camera 2. The Lumix is boxier, which makes it look thinner and less like a camera. Panasonic says it will go on sale in France and Germany this November at a price of around 900 euros. If all goes well in those countries we could see it here in North America. We love the look of this cameraphone. Would you be interested in buying this device?

[via The Verge]

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A Chinese city has made a special sidewalk for phone addicts Mon, 15 Sep 2014 15:05:57 +0000 chinese-phone-lane

Walking with your head down looking at a glowing screen has become a symbol of our times. Everyone has a smartphone, and for some reason we feel the need to constantly check them. Every moment of free time is filled with screen time. All of this walking around with eyes down can cause accidents. One city in China is doing their part to try and solve the problem.

You’ve heard of bike lanes, but what about phone lanes? Chongqing City in China has created a special sidewalk lane for phone zombies. One side of the sidewalk is clearly marked “Mobile Phone Sidewalk,” and the other side is for normal pedestrians. Now all of the accidents can happen in one lane.

This idea was actually tested here in the U.S. earlier this summer. Back in July a group from National Geographic painted similar lanes on sidewalks in Washington D.C. However, a funny thing happened. People who were consumed by their phone didn’t notice the lane markings. I guess it’s hard to tell a zombie where to walk.

What do you think about this idea? Is it silly or a good idea?

[via Engadget]

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Android One devices go on sale in India, more countries later this year Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:21:20 +0000 android one phones

Back at Google I/O we heard about Android One, a new initiative to get Android devices in the hands of the 5 billion people without smartphones. Since then we haven’t heard much about this program, but today Google is finally announcing the first batch of devices. Today in India the first Android One devices from Micromax, Karbonn, Spice and chipmaker MediaTek are available starting around just $105.

This is just the beginning for Android One. Today Google has also announced partnerships with phone manufacturers Acer, Alcatel Onetouch, ASUS, HTC, Intex, Lava, Lenovo, Panasonic, Xolo, and chipmaker Qualcomm. Later this year we can expect Android One devices to be available in Indonesia, the Philippines and South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka). Even more countries will be announced in 2015.

The importance of Android One devices are huge. Markets like India can provide a huge boost for a platform. One recent example is the original Moto G. Here in the U.S. the Moto G was not a big deal, but because of emerging markets it became Motorola’s most successful phone ever. Android One will help our favorite little green robot continue to spread across the globe.

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Get $50 off the new Moto X if you have a .edu email address Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:53:42 +0000 moto-x-unlocked-bootloader

Tomorrow is the big day for Moto X (2nd gen) pre-orders. The “Pure Edition” (unbranded and unlocked) and the AT&T model will be available for $499 to $99, depending on your contract situation. However, if you have a current or old .edu email address lying around you can get a sweet $50 discount.

Moto_X_Promoclick to enlarge

To get this deal you can head over to Motorola’s website and fill in your information. You will need to be able to access your .edu inbox in order to get the discount code. When the pre-order goes live tomorrow at 11AM Central you can put in your code and reap the rewards. If you’re still waiting for Verizon, or other carriers, just hold on to the code for a little but longer. Motorola did not mention when the devices will begin shipping.

Do any of you plan on pre-ordering the new Moto X tomorrow? What color/material options will you be choosing?

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What Android apps do you want on Chromebooks? [POLL] Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:28:37 +0000 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!

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Verizon LG G2 gets updated to make way for VoLTE Fri, 12 Sep 2014 21:11:09 +0000 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]

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The beautiful Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are up for pre-order Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:37:44 +0000 sony-xperia-z3

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?

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Protip: Charge your Moto 360 using a portable charger when away from an outlet Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:18:11 +0000 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.

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Mobile Roar 61: Galaxy Note 4, Moto X, Moto 360, iPhone 6, OH MY! Fri, 12 Sep 2014 19:49:32 +0000

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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MR show 61

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From The Forums: Galaxy Note 4 launching at the wrong time, Uber drivers, and more Fri, 12 Sep 2014 19:10:34 +0000 fromtheforums

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.

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