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If You're Jonesing for a 2nd Screen, Air Display Is a Nifty Fix
December 06, 2013
I was intrigued when I came across Air Display, an Android app that lets you use your tablet as a second screen. Second PC displays definitely boost work productivity. I've been using two displays for years, keeping my email client open all the time on the left screen -- a laptop display -- and work-work on the right screen. I'm able to monitor incoming junk mail without having to stop working.
Samsung Gussies Up Phablet Line With Galaxy Grand 2
November 25, 2013
Samsung has unveiled the latest model in its line of phablets, the Galaxy Grand 2, bearing a string of enhancements over its predecessor. The company's latest device has a 5.25-inch screen with a 16:9 ratio. The TFT screen is 0.25 inches larger than the previous model and has a 1280 x 720 resolution, compared with the 800 x 480 pixels of the Galaxy Grand's WVGA screen.
Neptune Promises Out-of-This-World Smartwatch
November 22, 2013
Neptune Computer, founded by 19-year-old Simon Tian, has raised more than CA$250,000 since launching a 33-day Kickstarter campaign for its Neptune Pine smartwatch on Monday with a target of $100,000. The first prototypes have already been produced, and all parts of the design and engineering phase have been finalized. Mass manufacturing is scheduled to begin in early December.
How to Protect Your Android Device from Malware
November 20, 2013
If you're in the majority of Android users, your smartphone or tablet isn't protected from malware attacks. In fact, Jupiter Research reckons that a full 80 percent of smartphones are unprotected. Why is that a problem? The answer is that even if your smartphone hasn't been affected so far, it likely will be, and that's because of the vast sums of money motivating criminals.
Motorola Guns for Lower-End Market
November 14, 2013
Motorola on Wednesday announced the Moto G, an unlocked, no-contract smartphone with an unlockable bootloader running Android 4.3, Jelly Bean, to be widely available next year. An 8-GB version will be offered for $179 and a 16-GB version for $199. The rollout began this week in Brazil and parts of Europe, and the device will come to the United States in 2014.
KitKat Raises Android Security Bar
November 11, 2013
Google's mobile operating system Android has been a whipping boy for some segments of the security community, but the latest version of the software may begin to rehabilitate its reputation. Android 4.4, or KitKat, contains a number of new and improved features that are garnering the praise of malware fighters -- especially improved implementation of SELinux.
A Tale of 7 Patents: Rockstar v. Google
November 11, 2013
Patent warfare is a veritable fixture of the mobile world these days, sadly, and -- by virtue of Android -- that heaps a whole lot of mess within the boundaries of the blogosphere's Linux territories. We've seen plenty of skirmishes come and go already, of course, but the latest example is being called nothing short of "thermonuclear" war.
Devs Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed for Glass Hackathon
November 08, 2013
Google has invited developers to a hackathon that will give them a chance to learn more about the Google Glass platform. The company sent invitations on Wednesday to an event scheduled for Nov. 19 and 20 at Google's San Francisco Basecamp, where eager developers will hear about the next phase of the Glass Developer Platform. Google will be reaching out to more developers in the coming months.
How to Back Up Data on Your Android Smartphone
November 06, 2013
We all back up our PCs, right? Okay, well, we should back up our PCs, right? Well, smartphones and tablets have become so ubiquitous that we need to back them up now too. It's time. Important photos, videos, contacts and music are now strewn across small, easy-to-lose, easy-to-break, highly pilferable devices. Fail to back up this stuff at your peril.
Niantic Opens Ingress to AR Gamers Hot to Trot for Exotic Matter
November 05, 2013
Google's Niantic Labs on Monday announced that it was lifting the invitation-only restriction on its augmented reality game Ingress. The game launched in beta about a year ago, and interested players needed an invitation code to participate. Now all Android users can download the free massively multiplayer game from Google Play. The game will officially exit beta status on Dec. 14.
Ode to Project Ara
November 04, 2013
Ever since Burger King hit the proverbial nail on the head with its famed "Have It Your Way" slogan back in 1974, everyone has known that people like to -- well, have it their own way. Customization has been a growing trend, but until recently, smartphones were a glaring exception. Linux Girl can no longer even count the number of times she's asked for a big "L" and an image of Tux emblazoned on her device.
Google Debuts Nexus 5, KitKat Combo
November 01, 2013
Google has unveiled the highly anticipated Nexus 5, its flagship smartphone running the new KitKat release of the Android OS. The Nexus 5, manufactured by LG, has a 5-inch 1080p display. At 4.59 oz., it is lighter and thinner than its Nexus predecessor. It's also faster -- it runs on the speedy Snapdragon 800 processor. It comes with an 8 MP rear camera and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera.
Google, Partners Caught in Patent Lawsuit Blizzard
November 01, 2013
A consortium of technology companies is suing Google and Android manufacturers in its first patent lawsuits after it outbid the search giant for thousands of patents previously owned by Nortel. Rockstar, owned by Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Sony and EMC, has accused Google of infringing on seven patents relating to technology that matches search terms to advertising.
Sprint's Spark Starts Flying
November 01, 2013
Sprint announced Wednesday that it had demonstrated 1 Gbps over-the-air speed on its new Spark network at a Sprint lab near Silicon Valley, Calif. The company is just beginning to roll out the super-high-speed network, targeting customers who run data-intensive applications. It will start by offering peak speeds of 50-60 Mbps in five markets and will increase those speeds over time.
Apple Takes a Bruising in Tablet Market
November 01, 2013
Android tablets outsold iPads in the calendar quarter ending in September, according to IDC. Apple's share of the worldwide tablet market also declined compared with the same period in 2012, the firm said. Although Apple sold slightly more units into its retail channel during this year's third quarter compared with last year's, its market share slipped to 29.6 percent from 40.2 percent a year ago.
Ashton Kutcher Joins Lenovo, Keeps Day Job
October 30, 2013
Lenovo's newest product engineer got a higher-profile introduction to the world than many of the company's other employees. That's because he's also famed actor and investor Ashton Kutcher. Lenovo announced its multiyear partnership with the Two and a Half Men star at the launch event for the company's latest tablet. Kutcher will work with engineers on the Yoga Tablet product line, Lenovo said.
Motorola Launches 'Have It Your Way' Smartphone Project
October 29, 2013
Motorola's making a big splash with the launch of Project Ara, an ambitious, open source hardware initiative that allows consumers to customize their entire phone, down to the specific components and display. Ara's approach centers around an endoskeleton, or "endo," that is the core frame holding the other components together. Consumers will be able to swap modules however they like.
LG Introduces Caressable Smartphone
October 28, 2013
LG has swung into the curved smartphone market with the launch of its LG G Flex. Surfacing on the heels of Samsung's Galaxy Round, which curves horizontally, the LG G Flex curves vertically; the shape is optimized for the average face. The design apparently boosts voice and sound quality while improving grip. The G Flex is the first smartphone with a self-healing coating on the back, LG claimed.
How to Tease the Best Photos Out of Your Android Phone
October 23, 2013
Recently I wrote about some of the best ways to take, keep and share photographs with an Android smartphone. We looked at some physical aspects, like how to hold the phone, and how to zoom. This week, we're looking at some of the tweaks you can make to squeeze out the best shots. First, build an arsenal of apps. For an investment of a few dollars, you can up your game.
LG Goes Chrome-Crazy at Trademark Office
October 21, 2013
LG last week filed for trademarks on three names that contain the word "Chrome," sparking widespread speculation that the company is planning to launch an array of devices that run Google's Linux-based Chrome OS. "ChromeOne," "ChromeDesk" and "ChromeStation" were the names LG snapped up, and for all three LG listed the device class as "laptop computers; computers, convertible computers; tablet computers."

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