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Huawei Ascend Mate 2 (Many Left Behind On Jelly Bean) Gets Android Marshmallow Thanks To CyanogenMod 13

When a custom ROM pops up for a device that already has support, it's like watching another politician join an election. You have two options before you, which way do you go? Are you a pragmatist, ideologically driven, or someone who just wants to tinker around?

But when a phone has been neglected for years, the ROM feels more like a savior. For the Huawei Ascend Mate 2, CyanogenMod has stepped into that role.

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Android Audio Latency In-Depth: It's Getting Better, Especially With The Nexus 5X And 6P

Audio latency is defined as the time delay that a signal experiences as it passes through a system. On a mobile device, this is deeply related to how long it takes between tapping on a screen and receiving audio feedback. Low audio latency can be the difference between an immersive gaming experience and an unpleasant, disconnected one. Too long a latency and a device can begin to feel strangely laggy, even if every visual animation is snappy and responsive. It is especially important — essential, even — for recording and composing music, since slow audio feedback can easily throw off even the best artists and destroy their creative process.

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Play Services v8.3: Curious Things With Nearby And Smart Lock, Screenshot Annotation For Feedback, And More [APK Teardown + Download]

It has been a busy month for Google. Marshmallow was officially released, YouTube finally has the subscription service we've been asking for, and some new Nexus phones are shipping. Also on the docket for this month was a new version of the Play services apk. A couple of weeks ago, v8.2.98 began rolling out to a short list of handsets. It was followed a few days later by a .99 release, and then another minor bug fix pushed it up to v8.3.00. There hasn't been a blog post to discuss new features or APIs, which is a bit unusual, but there are a few interesting bits in the apk waiting to be seen.

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IK Multimedia iRig UA Review: Finally, Real Guitar Amp Emulation On Android (With No Latency)

Anyone who's been around AP for a reasonable amount of time knows that I'm a big fan of my iPad Mini simply because I love the guitar amp sims available on the platform. For roughly $50(ish), I'm able to cover essentially any tone I can imagine, most of which are very true to the amp they're recreating. While I wouldn't think about using this in a live situation, it's absolutely indispensable for practice and recording quick licks.

I've longed for this type of functionality on Android for a few years now, and while Google has done a little bit to reduce the amount of audio-in latency with Lollipop, we're still not quite there.

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Amazon Fire Phone Gets Android KitKat In Big Update To Fire OS Version 4.6.1

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[Deal Alert] 7-Inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 LTE (Unlocked) For $99 On eBay

Maybe you don't need the latest and greatest technology when it comes to your third or fourth screen, and if you can save a little money, why not? The LTE-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 is on sale right now for $99, and it's unlocked to work on T-Mobile or AT&T.

2015-04-27 11_36_49-Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 4G LTE GSM Unlocked WiFi 7 inch 16GB Android 4 2 New _ eBay

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Stock Android Isn't Perfect: Lollipop Edition

Of course, now that we've posted Getting To Know Android: Lollipop Edition, it's time to get picky and have a look at the things that still need fixing. As always, we'll be running through some of the issues hanging around in the latest iteration of Android, and taking a look at what's been fixed since our last Stock Android Isn't Perfect post.

Fixes and Updates

Lollipop, as I said in the other post, is probably the biggest change Android has ever seen, so some issues from KitKat have simply disappeared, while others have been fixed in their own ways. We'll take a look at what's changed from our last SAIP entry, and then continue on with the new nitpicks as necessary.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Drops The Fire Phone Down To $189 For The Unlocked 32GB Model, Including A Year Of Prime

Amazon's interesting, unconventional, and unique self-branded phone has flopped hard. You know what that means, HP TouchPad and HTC First owners: rock-bottom prices. Amazon has discounted the unlocked 32GB model all the way down to $189, making it worthy of consideration for would-be buyers of the Moto G and similar mid-range devices. And that's before a year's worth of Amazon Prime ($100 value) for free, so you'll have plenty of movies, music, and cheap shipping to complement your new phone.

fiiiire

If you need a refresher, the Fire Phone uses a 4.7-inch 720p screen, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 13MP rear camera, and a 2400mAh battery.

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[Deal Alert] Grab The Dual-SIM BLU Advance 4.0 For Just $50 On Today's Amazon Goldbox

I've been a long-time fan of Blu phones - they are, generally speaking, solid handsets for the money. Whether you're looking for an affordable daily driver for yourself, a backup, or a cheap alternative for someone else, I feel like Blu is a great place to start the search.

2015-04-09_10h48_16

Today, Amazon is offering a good deal on one of Blu's older handsets, the Advance 4.0, for just $50 as part of its Goldbox deal. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a super-expensive phone in the first place - it retails for something like $90. And as you'd expect, the specs aren't anything to really be impressed by:

  • 4-inch 480x800 display
  • Dual Core Mediatex MT6572 1.3GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB Storage, microSD card slot
  • 5MP rear shooter, VGA front camera
  • Android 4.2

Like I said, it's nothing to get excited about.

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Getting To Know Android: Lollipop Edition

Android 5.0 Lollipop (known previously as just L) was the biggest change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Frankly, I’d rank it as the biggest change to Android ever, for a variety of reasons.

Google has ostensibly searched every corner of Android for opportunities to tweak, improve, or completely reimagine the platform, and Lollipop is the result.

The most noticeable change was undoubtedly the addition of material design, the very first time Google has openly, publicly taken on a cohesive and thoughtful design philosophy, making it - in theory - accessible to everyone, and defining its rules clearly. Material design, which I've written about before, is a huge design shift, which can trace its roots all the way back to Matias Duarte's work on Palm's WebOS.

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