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Android

Samsung Announces the Galaxy A7

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Android
Linux

The smartphone space is not as it was a few years ago. There's increasing competition from vendors based in countries like China and India who can put out high quality products at a very low price. In a world where vendors are squeezing them on both the high end and the low end, Samsung has been put under significant pressure to improve their mid-range devices moving into the future. We saw the beginning of this with the Galaxt A3 and A5, which had aluminum unibody designs that seemed to defy their low price point. The latest device to continue this strategy is the Galaxy A7, which is the largest and fastest device of the Galaxy A line. I've laid out its specs in the table below.

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Which Android smart watch is right for you?

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Android
Gadgets

In some ways, 2014 might be considered the year of the smart watch. A staggering number of watches – in styles from cool and understated to full on Dick Tracy – hit the market last year.

On the other hand, smart watches generally haven’t been a hit with consumers yet. Many people are waiting to see Apple’s take on the "wearable." The Apple Watch, announced in September, is expected to be released in early 2015.

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Longtime Android fan switches to the iPhone 6 and ‘instantly’ regrets it

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Android

We always love reading about what happens when fans of one platform switch to another and our latest example comes to us from Ernest Oppetit, a product manager for marketing consultants QuBit Group who recently wrote about his experiences switching from Android to iOS on Medium. Unlike other longtime Android users who have had nice things to say about iOS, however, Oppetit says he “instantly” regretted his decision to switch to the iPhone 6.

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Review: Kyocera DuraForce is the Android phone designed for The Hulk

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Android
Reviews

In a world of me-too Android smartphones, the Kyocera DuraForce stands out. Way out. It's heavy, bulky, and not exactly pretty. Something The Hulk would carry around.

But as the name suggests, the DuraForce is not meant to be stylish. Instead, it's designed to be abused yet continue working. This ruggedized Android smartphone is meant for construction workers, utility linemen, oil riggers, security guards, coaches, park rangers, and other folks whose work environments are rough and tumble.

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Apple's Insistence On DRM And Other Restrictions Means EFF's New App Is Android-Only

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Android
Mac

The EFF has produced a new mobile app that allows users to access its alert center and instantly take action on issues pertaining to digital rights and other areas the group focuses on. And, it's Android-only, because the EFF took a long look at Apple's walled garden and said, "Include us out."

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Why Is Nobody Using Android 5.0 Lollipop?

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Android
Google

Why has Lollipop only achieved less than a tenth of the Kitkat distribution? As with every version of Android, Google does not have a direct relationship with the customers’ OS. Any new version of the OS has to be passed to the manufacturers, who then tailor it to each handset and the individual SKU’s of that handset, which are then passed to networks for testing and certification, and then the system to push the over-the-air update to subscribers can begin.

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Android Leftovers

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Android

Android Leftovers

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Android

SlimPort Nano-Console Brings Android to Big Screens

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Android

When is a console not a console? This is not an Eastern riddle; it's the pitch behind the SlimPort Nano-Console. While the Nano-Console may resemble a small Android box, it's actually something much cleverer: an HDMI box that makes your existing Android smartphone or tablet into a big-screen multimedia machine.

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VW shows Android Auto in car system at CES 2015

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Android

European carmaker Volkswagen has rolled out a massive amount of new technology at CES 2015 that will soon be standard fare on their cars and vehicles. One of these is MirrorLink, VW’s second generation “modular infotainment platform”, which integrates Android Auto (and Apple’s CarPlay) into its system.

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Also: CES takeaway: Android Auto

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today's leftovers

Ninja Blocks prepares to begin shipping, announces major Ubuntu IoT deal

Ninja Blocks has begun shipping the Ninja Sphere and announced it has signed up as a key partner for Canonical’s Ubuntu Core embedded device operating system, as it opens its first office in the US. The startup launched in 2012, when it was selected to participate the Startmate accelerator program, and also smashed a Kickstarter campaign for its first product, which was also called Ninja Blocks. Read more

Netrunner 14.1 – Main Edition (Frontier)

The “14.1” indicates an updated and polished release of Netrunner 14 LTS on the same underlying base. Since 14.1 is using the same base “trusty” like Netrunner 14, there is no need for users of 14 to migrate: Simply updating from the shared backports ppa of the Frontier release cycle should give the same result, while keeping customizations in place. Read more

Wayland 1.6.1 & Weston 1.6.1 Released

Bryce Harrington, the former Canonical employee part of Ubuntu's X/Mir team turned Samsung open-source employee, has issued the first maintenance update for Wayland 1.6. Wayland 1.6.1 and the reference compositor Weston 1.6.1 were released on Friday night by Harrington. The Wayland 1.6.1 stable update has just over a dozen changes and they're mostly tiny bug-fixes/corrections but there is also improved handling for some error situations between servers and clients. The brief Wayland 1.6.1 release announcement can be read on the Wayland mailing list. Read more