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Is the iPhone 5 Still Worth Buying?

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 23:55

Is the iPhone 5 Still Worth Buying? is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple no longer sells the iPhone 5, its flagship from 2012, but third-party retailers continue to sell it as a cheap alternative to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 6. With holiday shopping in full swing, many consumers will be taking a long hard look at the iPhone 5. But is the iPhone 5 still worth buying? Let’s take a look.

In the fall of 2012, Apple introduced its iPhone 5, a successor to the iPhone 4s, and a device that arrived with a number of new features. The iPhone 5 was the first iPhone to offer a larger 4-inch display. It was the first iPhone to come with 4G LTE support. It was the first iPhone to feature a premium aluminum design. And it was the first iPhone to come with Apple’s Lightning standard. It also came with the usual improvements to the camera and processor.

At launch, the iPhone 5 was featured at Apple’s usual $199.99 price point. And thanks to its price tag and its features, the device sold millions of times around the world.

Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5’s successor. With it, the company also introduced the iPhone 5c, a cheap plastic iPhone meant to serve as a budget alternative to its flagship model. Instead of keeping the iPhone 5 around with a cheap price tag, Apple killed it off. And as we now know, it was killed off for good.

While the iPhone 5 is no longer produced, it’s still on sale at sites like eBay where third-party retailers sell it for a fraction of what it used to cost. It’s an enticing proposition for those that want to buy into the Apple ecosystem but are unwilling to pay top dollar. Because it’s still around, it’s still an option for those looking to buy a smartphone for themselves and for their loved ones.

The iPhone 5 was an attractive phone in 2012 and thanks to the cheap price and a recent iOS 8 update, I continue to get questions about its worth. The questions I get all sound something like this:

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“Is the iPhone 5 still worth buying?”

It’s hard to answer this question for everyone, everyone’s situation is a little bit different, but I’m going to take the bait and try and answer that question for as many of you as humanly possible. To do that, let’s take a look at both sides.

Why You Should Buy the iPhone 5

It’s extremely hard to recommend a smartphone that’s more than two years old but there are some reasons you might want to consider buying the iPhone 5 right now or in the near future.

The first reason is the most obvious one. It’s cheap. We’ve seen unlocked pricing for the iPhone 5 dip below the $300 mark. That’s about $300 off the off-contract cost of the iPhone 6 and also much cheaper than the iPhone 5s off-contract through retailers like Apple.

You also might want to consider buying the iPhone 5 if the person you’re buying it for, yourself or someone you know, doesn’t care about having the latest and greatest hardware features. The iPhone 5’s design is top notch, its processor can handle most games, and the screen is still very solid. This is a well built phone and it shows two years later.

If you buy the iPhone 5, you’ll also gain access to a ton of cheap accessories that have dropped in price as demand for the phone has declined. Cases and other key accessories aren’t as expensive as they used to be and you’ll be able to save some money on those items moving forward.

It’s also worth considering if you aren’t fanatical about software updates. The iPhone 5 currently runs iOS 8 and it should, at the very least, get a bump up to next year’s iOS 9 update. After that, there’s a chance that it will get stuck. If you’re not planning to keep this phone for more than a year or so, it’s definitely worth a look.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy the iPhone 5

There are also plenty of reasons why I don’t think you should buy the iPhone 5. The first reason is that I think its price is misleading. Yes, it’s extremely cheap. But so is Apple’s iPhone 5s. We’ve even seen several iPhone 6 deals emerge in recent weeks and we expect them to continue as we move away from its release date.

For a little more money, you’ll get an iPhone that comes with a better camera, better processor, and Touch ID. In the case of the iPhone 6, you’ll also get a much bigger display, perfect for playing games and watching movies. You’ll also get an iPhone that will last a whole lot longer. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s have a leg up on the iPhone 5 in terms of software updates and that’s important if you’re planning to keep your next phone for the long haul.

It’s also worth noting that the performance on the iPhone 5, at least on my iPhone 5, has declined after the arrival of iOS 8. Many iPhone 5 users I’ve talked to are noticing similar degradation. I can only imagine the impact iOS 9 might have on the iPhone 5. It brings back memories of iOS 6’s terrible performance on the iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone 5 is an old phone. And if you’re not comfortable with sub par hardware and declining performance, you’d be wise to invest you money into another version of the iPhone. Or, perhaps, a cheap Android flagship like the LG G3 or Moto X, two of the best phones from 2014. Both of those devices can be found for less than $100 on-contract.

Is The iPhone 5 Still Worth Buying?

For most people, I don’t think that it is. Not with the advancements that Apple’s made with the iPhone 6, not with Android flagships price as low as they are, and not with the iPhone 5s now sitting at $99 or less on-contract.

You have to think of your phone as an investment. Do you really want to throw a ton of money (up front cost and data charges) at a phone that’s in decline? Probably not. There are too many good, cheap options on the market right now including the iPhone 5s, a device that is barely a year old. Your money is going to go a lot further with a phone like that.

I’ve owned this phone for two years and I loved my two years with it. However, I can’t imagine owning this phone for another year let alone another two years. Not with iOS 8 performing the way that it is, knowing that for a little more cash, I could find a phone that delivers better all-around performance.

When I talk to people about buying phones and tablets, I often use the word “future proof.” You may not envision yourself taking a lot of photos or playing a lot of games right now but you simply don’t know how your habits will evolve down the road once you get comfortable. Buying a two year old phone comes with far too many limitations and I think your future will be much brighter if you invest your money into a newer, better device. Don’t sell yourself short.

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Is the iPhone 5 Still Worth Buying? is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


LG G3 Android 5.0 Update: 3 New Details Arrive

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 23:47

LG G3 Android 5.0 Update: 3 New Details Arrive is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Earlier this year Google announced a few new Nexus products, and along with them debuted the brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop software updating. Delivering a new look and feel to the Android operating system. Today we have good news as the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is rolling out to more users, and a few new details have surfaced for curious owners.

A few months back LG confirmed the LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is a work in progress, and users can expect it to arrive before the end of the year. Then, earlier this week we saw the update officially arrive for most European LG G3 owners.

Read: LG G3 Android 5.0 Update: What to Expect

Earlier this year LG announced its brand new flagship G3 smartphone. Offering one of the better devices released in 2014 with top-tier specs, an impressive 5.5-inch Quad-HD display like the Nexus 6, and extremely small bezels making for a big screen but a small, pocketable and portable handset. And now, we have even more LG G3 Android 5.0 update information.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a few small software updates arrive for the LG G3, but sadly those weren’t Android 5.0 Lollipop. Carriers in the United States like AT&T and Sprint pushed some bug fixing updates, and likely changed a few things to prepare for the Android 5.0 update which is still slated to arrive sometime later this month.

Initial reports from LG promised the G3 would see Android 5.0 before the end of the year, and they’ve slowly delivered it for a few small regions. The LG G3 Android 5.0 update kicked off in Poland and South Korea last month, but today we’re learning details for other locations as well.

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For starters, today Vodafone confirmed the LG G3 Android 5.0 update was in the testing phase, and that once completed it should continue others and push the update out as soon as possible for owners. The company also posted details regarding updates for an array of devices in the same weekly wrap up, but the G3 is the only phone prepping for Lollipop.

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

Then, French carrier SFR announced earlier this week (December 15th) that the LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update had passed testing and would start rolling out the same day, and continue all week long. This marks the 5th region LG has begun updates too, all smaller markets than the US mind you, but this is certainly good news. SFR posted screenshots showing Android 5.0 on the G3, and you’ll clearly see the old on-screen navigation buttons vs the changes made by Google.

Everything we saw with the update from Google arrived in these updates. Those being a redesigned user interface, device encryption, smooth animations and effects, as well as performance improvements across the board. We’ve seen LG updates have some bad after effects, so we’ll keep an eye out for more details. Multiple sources have confirmed the SFR G3 has already got the update, so be sure and check for update on the device yourself if it has yet to arrive.

Thus far we’ve seen LG G3 Android 5.0 updates rollout for Austria, the Baltics, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the UK. Making it one of the fastest devices to see Android 5.0 aside from Nexus smartphones and tablets, and a few smartphones from Motorola.

To add to the list our third set of new details comes from India, where we’ve confirmed the LG G3 Android 5.0 update has also started. Adding one more to the growing list, as those in the United States patiently await it’s arrival.

As for those in the United States, no new concrete details have emerged regarding when carriers will start pushing updates out stateside, but the original announcement of ” before the end of the year” remains on track, or at least appears on track given the wide array of updates surfacing these past few weeks.

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LG G3 Android 5.0 Update: 3 New Details Arrive is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


iOS 8.1.2 Review: 10 Things You Need to Know

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 20:06

iOS 8.1.2 Review: 10 Things You Need to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

With several new iOS 8 updates looming on the horizon, we want to take a final sweeping look at Apple’s current iOS 8.1.2 update. This iOS 8.1.2 review will arm you with the most important information you need to know about the iOS 8.1.2 update right now and Apple’s iOS 8 update moving forward.

Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system rolled out in September but the iOS 8 release is ongoing thanks to a number of iOS 8 problems that emerged in the days, weeks and months after the initial release. Over the past three months, Apple’s been working to patch up its new software with a series of updates aimed at stabilizing the company’s new software ahead of the new year.

Its first attempt was the iOS 8.0.1 update that rolled out a number of weeks ago. iOS 8.0.1 came loaded with bug fixes but it also brought new problems to owners of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple corrected its mistakes with an iOS 8.0.2 update, an update that rolled out just a day after the iOS 8.0.1 release. Weeks later, Apple rolled out its massive iOS 8.1 update, the update that delivered Apple Pay and numerous bug fixes for iOS 8 problems. Many iPhone and iPad users remain on iOS 8.1.

Apple wasn’t, and still isn’t, done. In the days since October, Apple’s pushed out an iOS 8.1.1 update and most recently, an iOS 8.1.2 update. Both updates contained crucial bug fixes for iPhone and iPad. iOS 8.1.2 serves as the company’s most current version of iOS 8 and it’s an update that we’ve covered extensively in the days since its heralded arrival.

iOS 8.1.2 is getting older and those already on iOS 8.1.2 and those thinking about making the move still have a ton of questions about the current climate and Apple’s plans moving forward and that’s why we want to take a final wide sweeping look. This iOS 8.1.2 review offers important information about the current update and it will give you a glimpse at iOS 8’s future.

iOS 8.1.2 for iPad is Solid

Let’s start with the good news. We’ve taken a deep dive into the iOS 8.1.2 update on a number of different devices including the iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad 3, and iPad 2. In our reviews, and our reviews of user feedback, the iOS 8.1.2 update for iPad appears to be extremely stable. We haven’t noticed any major differences between iOS 8.1.2 and iOS 8.1.1 and iPad 2 users say that the update might just be the most stable iOS 8 update yet.

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Another bit of good news is that at least one major iOS 8 problems seems to have been completely patched up by the iOS 8.1.2 update.

We, and plenty of others, had been dealing with pesky landscape issues on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. For those unfamiliar, the problem occurred when trying to shift from portrait to landscape in various applications. We started to notice a decline in frequency after the iOS 8.1.1 update but we still ran into the issue on both devices in the weeks after its release.

Sometimes the iPhone 6 Plus is stuck in landscape mode on iOS 8.0.2.

After getting iOS 8.1.2 on board, we haven’t run into the issue. At all. This is huge for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users because this was one of the most annoying, if not the most annoying, issue to come out of the iPhone 6 launch back in September. It only took a few months to correct but our hope is that it’s smooth sailing from here.

If you’re noticing these issues on iOS 8.1.1 or below, we advise you to update to iOS 8.1.2. At the very least, it should tone the problem down to the point where it’s tolerable.

Rain Check: iPhone 5 & iPhone 4s

If you own an iPhone 5 or an iPhone 4s, you’re going to want to be extremely careful. The iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.2 isn’t delivering the kind of performance that we expected out of an iOS 8 update three months after the initial release and the iPhone 4s iOS 8.1.2 update is a mixed bag. Some users are reporting success with the iOS 8.1.2 update but you’ll want to do your homework before installing either of these updates.

iOS 8.1.2 Problems

Now, for a bit of bad news. Some iPhone and iPad users, it seems, are dealing with assorted iOS 8.1.2 problems. We’ve outlined many of those problems in the days after the iOS 8.1.2 release and we continue to see Apple’s Discussion forums and other Apple-centric forums fill up with complaints about Apple’s brand new software.

While we’ve had a pretty good experience overall, it’s important to remember that Apple’s iOS updates, even small ones like iOS 8.1.2, can have a huge impact on the performance of your device. Our reviews are a good starting point for those of you concerned about the upgrade but we encourage you to get feedback before you make the leap up to Apple’s new software, especially if you’re having a solid experience on another version of iOS.

Most of these problems are isolated but there’s always a chance that you’re going to run into difficulties after making the switch. Come to the update prepared and you’ll be much better off.


In an effort to help those of you in need, we’ve outlined a series of fixes for iOS 8.1.2 problems. We also recently took an extensive look at iOS 8.1.2 battery life problems that appear to be plaguing some users. Before throwing your device against the wall, review those fixes. They’re not going to work for everyone but there’s a good chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for.

You Can No Longer Downgrade to iOS 8.1.1

One step that you can no longer take is a downgrade to iOs 8.1.1. For several days, Apple continued to sign off on iOS 8.1.1 allowing those with iOS 8.1.2 troubles to move back down to the older version of iOS 8. Apple is no longer signing off on iOS 8.1.1 which means that you’re going to be stuck with iOS 8.1.2 if you do decide to make the jump.

iOS 8 Jailbreak

There is an iOS 8.1.2 jailbreak available if you choose to go that route. We’ve outlined the steps you need to take to get the Taig iOS 8 jailbreak on board your iPhone or iPad.

It also looks like the developer teams behind these jailbreaks are making progress on future iOS 8 jailbreaks so if you’re at all interested in jailbreaking your device with an iOS 8 update on board, we suggest keeping an eye on the developments as we push closer to Apple’s confirmed, and rumored, successors to iOS 8.1.2.

iOS 8.1.3

MacRumors reports that Apple could be cooking up an iOS 8.1.3 update for the future. The update has picked up steam in site analytics, a sign that a release could be coming in the near future. The update is not confirmed, however.

Those who can’t find a permanent fix for iOS 8 problems should not bank on Apple releasing this update though with an iOS 8.1.2 jailbreak active, there’s a good chance that Apple will release a patch for the exploits used by Taig. There’s also a chance that iOS 8.1.3 will come with fixes for iOS 8 problems but that, like the update, remains unconfirmed.

For the time being, those dealing with issues will need to rely on third-party fixes and the Apple community for assistance.

iOS 8.2

Today, Apple released its iOS 8.2 beta 3 update, a sign that the iOS 8.2 release date is inching closer. iOS 8.2 is expected to tie into the Apple Watch release that Apple has planned for next year. Unlike iOS 8.1.3, this update is confirmed for all of Apple’s devices running iOS 8.

According to 9to5Mac, the update will also return some of the features that Apple stripped out of the HealthKit application that made its debut alongside the iOS 8 update back in September. iOS 8.2 should be a sizable update though again, iOS 8.1.2 users should not depend on it for bug fixes.

iOS 8 Tips & Tricks

Finally, we realize that there are still plenty of people on iOS 7 and below, thinking about making the jump to Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system. If you are one of those people, you will not only want to review our iOS 8.1.2 tips but also our extensive list of iOS 8 tips and tricks. These will help make the transition from an older iOS update to iOS 8 far more manageable.

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iOS 8.1.2 Review: 10 Things You Need to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


Galaxy S5 Update Arrives Ahead of Lollipop Release

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:49

Galaxy S5 Update Arrives Ahead of Lollipop Release is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

As Samsung Galaxy S5 owners anxiously await the update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, today we’ve learned that the Verizon Galaxy S5 is getting an update this morning with many changes, tweaks, and likely setting the stage for the incoming Android 5.0 update.

Back in February Samsung took the stage and revealed the new Galaxy S5 and released it a few months later with Android 4.4 on board, then the impressive new Note 4 arrived in late October. The Galaxy S5 is still running the latest Android 4.4 KitKat, and a new update is rolling out today for those on Verizon Wireless.

Read: 21 Amazon Galaxy S5 Cases

Over the past few weeks we’ve been hearing more and more about the possible Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 upgrade, and sadly the update arriving today isn’t Lollipop. However, users will still want to accept the update, and below is everything you’ll need to know about the Verizon Galaxy S5 software arriving this afternoon.

Today the Verizon variant of the popular Galaxy S5 is receiving an over the air software update that is delivering plenty of changes, bug fixes and performance improvements. While there isn’t anything too special or sweet, like Lollipop, it does push some much needed fixes and changes to the smartphone ahead of the Galaxy S5 Android 5.0 updates arrival.

According to the Verizon update details webpage, the Galaxy S5 update is fixing a few major bugs and improving performance. Two things that owners will be happy to see. One in particular we’ve experienced on our own Galaxy S5 for months is a problem with the micro-SD being read as unavailable or blank, even when it’s full of pictures, video, music, or anything else users add to the SD slot. The same issue plagued the Note 3, and this is being fixed here today, along with other improvements.

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As you can see from the changelog link and image above this is a minor software update, but an update nonetheless that is fixing issues before Samsung prepares a bigger update to Android 5.0 Lollipop for the US versions of the Galaxy S5. VPN connectivity and drops were a common problem that has been curbed, and the carriers version of Google Wallet or Apple Pay, dubbed ISIS, is being replaced by Softcard. It’s the same app and company, just renamed for obvious reasons.

The update is listed as software version KTU84P, and should start rolling out as of this afternoon for all Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5 owners. Typically when the details and changelog appear on Verizon’s website, the over the air updates start appearing the same day, or within the next 24-48 hours.

Read: 5 Best Wallet Cases for the Galaxy S5

This means that Verizon Galaxy S5 owners can expect the update notification to arrive, and this relatively small bug fixing update should only take a few minutes and a quick reboot to complete. Of course, you can always head into settings > general > about phone > and check for software updates yourself if you’d rather not wait.

The SD card error was a major problem for many Galaxy S5 owners, so this should address that irritating bug without the loss of any data on your micro-SD cards. Of course, the bigger question is still regarding when Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Galaxy S5 will arrive. It recently begun rolling out in Poland and a few other small regions, and we’re expecting US carriers to make announcements and start the rollout to Lollipop in the near future. Possibly before the end of the year.

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Galaxy S5 Update Arrives Ahead of Lollipop Release is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


Top 5 iPad mini 2 Alternatives [December, 2014]

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 00:29

Top 5 iPad mini 2 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Last year, Apple released its second-generation iPad mini, a device now known as the iPad mini 2. Thanks to an iOS 8 update, solid specs and a price tag that just got more affordable, the iPad mini 2 remains one of the best tablets in town. It’s not the only option in town though and we think you need to weigh some  top iPad mini 2 alternatives before buying. Here are our favorites.

In October of 2013, Apple announced two brand new iPads dubbed iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina. The iPad mini with Retina, now called iPad mini 2, was the first iPad mini to come with a Retina Display on board. The device also featured some top of the line hardware specifications including a solid design, processor, and camera. It also helped Apple usher in its iOS 7 era.

This past October, Apple replaced the iPad mini 2 with a brand new iPad mini 3. Oddly enough, the iPad mini 3 only comes with a few noticeable differences though it now costs $100 more than the iPad mini 2. At $299, the iPad mini 2 is a bargain and it’s a device that many of you will probably encounter during your holiday shopping sprees this December. It’s not the only device you should be taking a look at though.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about iPad mini 2 alternatives to look at. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider the top five iPad mini 2 competitors available right now.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five iPad mini 2 alternatives for December, 2014.

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.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Amazon Fire 71 / 5

 We recommend taking a look at Amazon's Fire 7, a 7-inch tablet that comes loaded with features and costs much less than Apple's $299 iPad mini 2.

While we do like the Kindle Fire HDX, the Fire 7 is probably going to be more appealing to prospective iPad mini 2 buyers thanks to the extremely cheap price ($180) and the size. This is an extremely portable tablet though it doesn't skimp on the hardware specifications. It's an extremely powerful slate.

Amazon's Fire 7 comes with a beautiful 7-inch display, a quad-core processor, the company's Mayday button, and all of Amazon's services. These services provide a wealth of apps, movies, games, music, and more. If we were to recommend a top iPad mini 2 competitor, the Fire 7 would be at the top of the list. Check it out before you buy the iPad mini 2.

1 / 5

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Top 5 iPad mini 2 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


Huge Moto X Deal Chops Price for Buyers

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 00:07

Huge Moto X Deal Chops Price for Buyers is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

The impressive Moto X for 2014 was announced and released back in September, and since has been a rather popular smartphone for all the features and customization included. Not to mention a decent price tag. However, for those who waited an even better deal has arrived today, as Motorola has just announced a new Moto X deal slashing the price to just $50.

Motorola’s Moto X 2nd Gen was revealed in September, and instantly was made popular thanks to the array of customization options, leather and wood backs, and for running stock Android 4.4 KitKat on a bigger, better 5.2-inch 1080p display compared to last years model. If you didn’t get one yet, now would be a good time.

Read: Motorola Android 5.0 Update Breakdown

Verizon dropped the price of its Moto X last month after it had only been available for a short while, but now just in time for the holidays Verizon and Motorola are working together and offering this premium smartphone to all Verizon customers for just $50 on contract. Read on for the details.

Motorola kicked off the new Moto X at $99 with a new 2-year contract, or $499 outright, which undercuts all other flagship smartphones available today. That’s less than the HTC One M8, Galaxy S5, LG G3, and many other premium smartphones.

We’ve seen the price drop to $49 on contract before, and during Black Friday a few excellent deals surfaced for the smartphone but they didn’t last long. Motorola even had a rather enticing Cyber Monday option that sold out fast. If you didn’t get in on those deals and are looking for a good present this holiday season, or a new phone, this is a deal worth checking out.

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This morning Motorola announced they’d be offering the Verizon Moto X 2014 for only $50 on contract, and the company confirmed the deal again themselves with a post to Twitter, as shown below.

New #MotoX starting at $49.99 on-contract w/@VerizonWireless through Dec 31

— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) December 17, 2014

However, like previous deals that didn’t last very long, Verizon and Motorola will be offering up this impressive phone for essentially half off (with a new 2-year contract) from now until the end of the year. Giving buyers plenty of time to decide if it’s right for them, or wait and see if they get a shiny new Moto X for Christmas. Those that don’t, will still have time to snag this deal before December 31st.

The new Moto X for 2014 comes with an improved 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, front facing speakers, Android 4.4 KitKat (soon Android 5.0 Lollipop) and a powerful quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The best part though, is the over 18 different customizable colors, wood and leather backs, and a Verizon exclusive NFL football leather back as well. All for only $25 more.

Read: New Moto X 2014 Review

A similar deal offering the phone for just $49 on contract has been seen from other sources, like Amazon, but for those who’ve missed out on all of those this will be available for the rest of the month.

Motorola is also hosting a Holiday Cheer promo over at offering $50 off the Moto X if you buy it outright (regularly $499) as another option, so be sure to check out Motorola’s store before buying this new smartphone. The Pure Edition Moto X 2014 already received Android 5.0 Lollipop, and most likely the carrier versions will be up next. It’s one of the better phones released this year, has plenty of customization options, and now this Moto X deal makes it cheaper than ever.

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Huge Moto X Deal Chops Price for Buyers is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


Why You Should Install iOS 8.1.2 Right Now

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:49

Why You Should Install iOS 8.1.2 Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update is the most current iOS 8 update available to owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As such, we continue to get questions about whether it’s worth installing. Today, we want to answer those questions with a look at why the iOS 8.1.2 update, for some people, is going to be worth installing right now.

The iOS 8 update delivered a number of new features, enhancements and fixes to owners of compatible iPhones and iPads. Apple’s new operating system also brought a number of iOS 8 problems along with it. iOS 8 problems have been a headache for select iPhone and iPad users since day one and they continue to this day.

For months, Apple’s sought to eradicate these iOS 8 problems with a series of iOS 8 updates. First it pushed out iOS 8.0.1. A day later, the company issued iOS 8.0.2 as a mea culpa for the Touch ID and cellular data issues that iOS 8.0.1 brought to iOS 8 users. Days later, the company rolled out the massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer that brought Apple Pay and a series of enhancements a long with it. Soon after that, Apple deployed iOS 8.1.1.

Then, just about a week ago, we finally got to where we are now, iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.2 is an extremely small update, about 20MB for most devices. Its change log lists a fix for a ringtone issue. It’s not big in size but small iOS updates often have a major impact on the performance of iPhones and iPads. That makes iOS 8.1.2 a major update in our eyes and the eyes of many others, particularly those dealing with iOS 8 problems.

We continue to get bombarded with questions about Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update and the most popular question revolves around whether or not it’s worth a download. We’ve taken a deep dive into the iOS 8.1.2 update and today, we want to offer a few reasons why you should at least consider installing the iOS 8.1.2 update this very second.

You Download Ringtones

Those of you who have downloaded ringtones from the iTunes store in the past or plan to download ringtones from the iTunes store in the future would be wise to consider the iOS 8.1.2 update. The main purpose of the iOS 8.1.2 update is to fix an issue where ringtones that were purchased from the iTunes Store disappeared for no apparent reason.

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The iOS 8.1.2 update patches that issue and from what we’ve heard, it’s no longer a problem for owners of the iPhone or iPad. After installing the update, you’ll want to head to Apple’s website to recover the missing ringtones. They are not gone forever and it should only be a matter of minutes before they are restored to your device.

If you are a ringtone person, and there are some people that are, iOS 8.1.2 is probably worth installing right this very moment.

You’re on iOS 8 & You’re Having Problems

If you’re already on iOS 8 and you’re dealing with issues that don’t seem to have a fix, we recommend installing the iOS 8.1.2 update. We’ve spent a ton of time with Apple’s latest iOS upgrade and we’ve determined that for most people, it’s going to be the most stable iOS 8 update yet.

The landscape issues that plagued several of our iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models have vanished after the iOS 8.1.2 update. Better yet, we have yet to discover any hero level bugs lurking on board. Hero level meaning that they require immediate attention from Apple. iOS 8.1.2 is stable and while there are some isolated issues, we think it’s Apple’s best iOS 8 update yet.

There’s a chance that it will iron out at least some of the problems that you’ve been having on iOS 8.1.1 or below. If your issues don’t dissipate after installing iOS 8.1.2, have a look at our lengthy list of fixes for iOS 8.1.2 problems.

You Have an iPad

In particular, our iOS 8.1.2 experiences (and user experiences) on the iPad have been excellent. We’ve experienced solid performance on the iPad Air, iPad mini and the iPad 3. iPad 2 users, yes owners of a four year old tablet, are reporting that the iOS 8.1.2 is actually an improvement over the iOS 8.1.1 update. Others are reporting that it’s about the same but that’s a good thing.

We’ve seen, and heard, complaints about iOS 8.1.2 but most of the problems seem to be plaguing iPhones and not Apple’s iPads. While we can’t guarantee your safety, we can tell you that iOS 8.1.2 is treating us, and lots of other iPad users, quite well. So if you’re touting an iPad that’s capable of running iOS 8, now is probably the time to make your move from iOS 8.1.1 or below.

You Want the Latest & You Want to Jailbreak

If you want the latest iOS 8 update (and you might thanks to the fixes and stability that it brings) and you want to jailbreak, go ahead and make your move right now. The Taig jailbreak is available for iOS 8.1.2 which means that you’re going to get the best of both worlds. Apple’s latest security patches and fixes and a working jailbreak.

Apple’s reportedly working on an iOS 8.1.3 update ahead of its iOS 8.2 update. There’s a good chance it will break the iOS 8.1.2 jailbreak. So, think about getting acquainted with Taig and iOS 8.1.2 now as opposed to later. Just a thought.

You Didn’t Download iOS 8.1.1 and You Want 500MB of Space

If you never got around to updating to iOS 8.1.1, you missed out on something great. For reasons unknown, Apple decided to free up about 500MB of space for iPad users. iPhone users also reported that they too saw 500MB of free space open up on their device. 500MB of free space is a lot, especially on a 16GB iPhone or iPad.

If you missed out on this free gift from Apple and you badly need free space on your iPhone or iPad, think about installing the iOS 8.1.1 update (Apple’s still signing off on it) or the iOS 8.1.2 update. This is a rare occurrence and it’s going to be absolutely huge for those of you that fill up on apps, music and more during the holiday season.

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Why You Should Install iOS 8.1.2 Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


Netflix Offline Playback Is Never Going to Happen

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 19:14

Netflix Offline Playback Is Never Going to Happen is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services available, but don’t expect to be able to watch Netflix content offline.

Many users enjoy streaming services that allow you to save certain content for offline use so that you can watch or listen to it if you don’t have a WiFi or data connection. Spotify is one example, but Netflix says that something like this will never come to the streaming TV show and movie service.

According to TechRadar, Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology, Cliff Edwards, says that “it’s never going to happen”.

Edwards says that offline downloads are essentially just a “short term fix for a bigger problem”, with the bigger problem being WiFi access and the quality of the WiFi signal.

Furthermore, Edwards thinks that users won’t even think about offline downloads in a few years, so by then it won’t be an issue, hopefully.

This isn’t too surprising to hear from Netflix, as a feature like this isn’t really a big deal, and if users want to watch TV shows and movies while offline, there are other resources for doing so, like renting something on iTunes or Google Play, or even going through some less-than-legitimate channels to obtain movies and other video content.

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Plus, offering offline support for TV shows and movies could cause problems for content licensing on Netflix, which is already hard enough to nail down for popular shows and movies.

However, will WiFi quality and access get better within the next few years? While many places offer at least paid WiFi, there are still areas and locations that don’t offer WiFi to begin with, as it seems businesses are still trying to keep up with the times, and with paid WiFi being such a lucrative endeavor, we can’t see free WiFi being a widespread thing in the near future.

Plus, seeing how low data caps are for many data plans on major carriers, streaming Netflix on your smartphone or tablet just isn’t feasible without eating through your data cap. Offline playback would make that easier to handle for sure, but it’s something that Netflix isn’t too worried about.

Instead, Netflix is focusing on adding new features and improving its service overall. For instance, Netflix introduced a new feature on its iOS app for iPhone and iPad back in September that lets you recommend a TV show or movie to a Facebook friend privately.

If you want to recommend a TV show or movie that you watched on Netflix to a Facebook friend (or multiple Facebook friends), you can send them the recommendation via a Facebook message, or if they also have Facebook connected to their Netflix account, your recommendation will show up right on their Netflix page when they’re browsing it.

It’s an interesting new feature that doesn’t spam all your Facebook friends at once, which seems to be the goal of pretty much every other app nowadays. However, Netflix wants to keep things between you and your close friends, and even the app says it won’t post things on your News Feed for everyone to see.

The feature is also available on Netflix’s web interace, PS3, Xbox, and many set-top boxes and smart TVs. Support for this feature will be coming to more devices in the near future.

Netflix seems to be one of the few apps and services that understands that spamming your Facebook friends is really annoying, so this is one step closer to a world where we’re not driving our friends crazy with all sorts of dumb requests that are irrelevant to a majority of your friends.

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Netflix Offline Playback Is Never Going to Happen is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.


Top 5 iPad mini 3 Alternatives [December, 2014]

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 23:40

Top 5 iPad mini 3 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

In October, Apple took to the stage to announce two brand new iPads including an iPad Air 2 and an iPad mini 3. Apple’s iPad mini 3 is an intriguing proposition for those looking for a smaller, portable tablet though it’s not the only option. There are a number of iPad mini 3 alternatives that we think you need to look at before buying Apple’s current iPad mini.

This fall, after months and months of rumor and speculation, Apple predictably sent out invites for a media event in late October. There, the company showed off its brand new iPad Air 2, its iOS 8.1 update with Apple Pay, and its brand new iPad mini 3. The iPad mini 3 serves as the company’s third-generation iPad mini and it replaces the iPad mini 2 as the company’s flagship model.

The iPad mini 3 isn’t all that much different than the iPad mini 2. It comes with Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor technology that’s embedded into the home button or better security and added convenience. And it also comes with a gold color option. The gold color option is not available with Apple’s second-generation iPad mini. It’s a strange release, given the lack of value, but the iPad mini 3 still serves as a viable option to those that want Touch ID and or an iPad in gold. There are, as you might have guessed, some alternatives that we think you need to look at before buying it.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about iPad mini 3 alternatives to look at. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider the top five iPad mini 3 competitors available right now.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five iPad mini 3 alternatives for December, 2014.

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.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } iPad mini 21 / 5

Before you plop the $100 down for a brand new iPad mini 3, consider the iPad mini 2 which doesn't come with Touch ID or a gold color option but is a whole lot cheaper than the iPad mini 3.

The iPad mini 2 features just about everything the iPad mini 3 features, minus the Touch ID and gold color. It features the same design, display, camera, even the processor is exactly the same. The biggest difference between the two is the price. The iPad mini 2 starts at $299 for the base model.

It's a year older which means it probably won't get the same kind of software support but the iPad mini 2 is only a year into its lifespan and iPads typically get three to four years of software support before they are kicked to the curb. The iPad mini 2 has a long life left ahead of it and you'd be wise to check it out before spending a ton on the iPad mini 3.

1 / 5



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Top 5 iPad mini 3 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


HTC One Android 5.0 Update Details Emerge

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 22:57

HTC One Android 5.0 Update Details Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Back in November HTC confirmed many of its popular and most recent Android smartphones would receive an upgrade to the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop update, and now new information has emerged regarding a possible HTC One and HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop update.

Back in November Google released Android 5.0 Lollipop, November 3rd to be exact, and HTC promised the update would arrive within 90 days from then. Meaning anytime between that date and February 3rd. We’ve seen them miss 90 day windows before, but also deliver early, and we could see the HTC One Android 5.0.1 updates arrive sooner than expected.

Read: HTC One Android 5.0 Update: 3 New Details Arrive

Google started pushing Android 5.0.1 Lollipop to many of its Nexus smartphones and tablets last week, along with the HTC One and One M8 Google Play Edition phones, signaling that the rollout had officially started and owners can start anticipating its arrival. Today though, new reports suggest the regular carrier versions could be updated as soon as January 3rd.

According to some new reports from the site TechTastic, who’s been accurate in the past regarding some HTC leaks and secret information, HTC could be on track to be one of the fist manufacturers to get Android 5.0 Lollipop out to smartphones in the United States.

We’ve seen Motorola update a few stock unlocked devices, and even LG G3 Android 5.0 updates outside of the US, and now we’re hearing HTC is making great progress to beat the 90 day window, and actually deliver Android 5.0.1 Lollipop updates within 60 days instead.

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Multiple sources that wish to remain anonymous have reported that at a private event in London this past weekend HTC mentioned the HTC One and HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop update, with a new Sense UI, could start rolling out as soon as January 3rd, an entire month earlier than initial expectations.

So far we’ve yet to see any further tweets from Mo Versi, the HTC employee tasked with keeping users up to date over on Twitter, but hopefully additional information arrives in the near future. The update to Android 5.0 Lollipop hasn’t been as smooth as many expected, with such a massive overhaul to the Android OS, but things are finally starting to get on track.

In recent years HTC has done an increasingly better job at being one of the first manufacturers to push out Android updates to popular smartphones, and Android 5.0 Lollipop could be their fastest yet. It’s also worth mentioning Google worked extremely close with HTC on the new HTC-made Nexus 9 tablet, which could be a contributing factor in the smartphone makers fast updates this year.

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

All the useful features of Android 5.0 Lollipop will reportedly be included, along with the redesigned recent apps menu and all the impressive visual effects and animations on Lollipop, but of course be added to HTC’s Sense UI custom overlay sitting on top of stock Android.

In closing, this report could simply be for the international unlocked HTC One and HTC One M8 smartphones, and not for carrier variants. Typically US carriers require an approval process that puts those updates 4-6 weeks behind international updates. If that is again the case with Android 5.0 Lollipop, the 90 day window ending in February could be right on track for those in the United States with an HTC One or One M8 smartphone.

We’ve already seen HTC Sense 6.0 running on a leaked build of Android 5.0 Lollipop on an HTC One M8, so the update is moving along quickly, and may end up arriving sooner than many initially expected. Stay tuned for more details.

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HTC One Android 5.0 Update Details Emerge is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Update: What You Need to Know

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:28

Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Update: What You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

After a few weeks of waiting, yesterday Google finally started pushing the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update to users. The Android 5.0.1 update comes just a few weeks after Google’s initial Lollipop release, aimed at fixing a few small problems with the initial software rollout last month. With the Nexus 6 update incoming, here we’ll go over a few things owners will need to know about the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Lollipop update.

Back in June Google debuted Android L, which is now known as Android 5.0 Lollipop that the company fully revealed in October and launched in November on the new Nexus 9, Nexus 6, and Nexus Player. Over the past few weeks it’s arrived for many additional smartphones and tablets, but now a bug fixing Android 5.0.1 update is headed to users.

Read: Android 5.0 vs Android 4.4 KitKat: What’s New in Lollipop

The Android 5.0 Lollipop update delivered a number of new features detailed above, as well as tweaks and enhancements to the overall look and feel, along with tons of animations and neat visual effects for Nexus and Android users. Shortly after the release problems started to emerge for many Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 owners, and now Android 5.0.1 is rolling out to curb most of them. The Nexus 6 update started yesterday, and here’s what you should know.

Last week news surfaced that a few Nexus devices and Google Play Edition smartphones were already receiving Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, full of all the fixes, and those with the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and new Nexus 6 were left out. However, yesterday two sourced confirmed it’s officially here. One of those being T-Mobile.

Android 5.0.1 was initially released for the Nexus 7 2013, Nexus 9, and the Nexus 10. Then shortly after it hit multiple other handsets like the HTC One and One M8, as well as the Nexus 5.

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T-Mobile and Sprint both announced the Nexus 6 on their networks would start receiving Android 5.0.1 Lollipop as of yesterday, December 15th, and over the next few days this staggered rollout will eventually arrive for all owners. This means that all those with a Nexus 6 on each of those carriers can expect it soon, as Google’s officially started the update push.

That being said, we’ve yet to hear from Google themselves, or Motorola for that matter, and the update could be for those carriers and not the AT&T Nexus 6, or those bought from the Play Store. However, most likely all Nexus 6 owners can expect the update to arrive sometime this week. The leaked Sprint Nexus 6 document said 5-10% by the 15th, and 50% by today, then all remaining Nexus 6 owners should see Android 5.0.1 Lollipop before the 18th.

Meaning the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update should be complete before the end of the week. This staggered approach wasn’t confirmed by T-Mobile, but most that are waiting should expect a similar result.

Slow Arrival

Just as a reminder, this is a slow and staggered update. What this means is that Google and its partner carriers aren’t pushing the update out to all user at once. If they did the process would take longer for downloads to complete, and if any problems arise they won’t be able to stop it before millions of owners get the update.

As a result, Google does staged or staggered rollouts in small percentages, then bigger quantities, and finishes off the remaining 50-100% of users after 2-4 days of rollouts. This prevents further problems, keeps the update process running smooth, and ensures the best experience.

We know waiting can sometimes be a hassle, especially if your device has a few bugs you’d like addressed, but the update should be here soon enough. This is an over the air update (OTA) and owners can expect a notification to appear sometime over the course of the week. Simply accept, download, and let it reboot and complete the update, and you’re all set.

Android 5.0 Problems

The release of Android 5.0 Lollipop was the initial software debut, and as expected a few small bugs needed to be addressed. Once millions of users got it, more reports surfaced that got Google working on a fix. And while there will likely be a few small issues with Android 5.0.1 Lollipop too, it should fix a majority of the problems Nexus users have been facing.

Nexus 7 devices have struggled with video playback and reboot issues, the Nexus 5 had some batter issues, and the Nexus 6 Android 5.0 release saw complaints about freezing, battery drain, app restarts and reboots, as well as a few other minor problems that should hopefully all be addressed in this software improvement and stability update.

Again, owners can head into settings > about phone > software updates > and tap check for updates to pull down the over-the-air software update, then just follow the on-screen prompts to complete the download and installation.

Get Android 5.0.1 Early

If waiting for the slow staggered update or tapping the “check for updates” isn’t something you’re interested in, don’t worry, because you can get it early. Right now in fact. As usual, Google’s released what the company calls factory images for the updates. These will wipe the phones data and information, and put it back to a completely stock “out of box” state. Meaning you’ll lose all the content on your device. A quick backup can solve this when you restore everything from Google’s servers, but this route isn’t the best option for beginners.

Owners have two choices: flash the factory image and wipe their smartphone, or flash the OTA update file that’s been pulled from Google servers. These both take some technical know-how, and are for advanced users.

Read: How to Install Android 5.0 Lollipop Right Now

The guide above is a general guide for flashing Android 5.0 to the Nexus 5, but the same steps can be followed word for word when flashing the Nexus 6 factory image of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop. Just use the appropriate images from Google’s page, and you’re all set.

On the other hand, flashing the OTA update file won’t erase any user data, but requires ADB setup to sideload the file, or a custom recovery in Android to apply the Again, this is for advanced users.

With the Android 5.0.1 update for the Nexus 6 expected to be on all devices by the end of the week, it’s advised that most owners just wait for the update to hit their device, rather than taking the steps above.

Final Thoughts

The Nexus 6 is available on Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, US Cellular, the Google Play Store,, and Best Buy in the United States. Verizon is the only carrier yet to offer the phone, but should announce availability eventually. We’re not sure if carriers are controlling the Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 update, but in the past Nexus devices are all handled directly by Google.

All said and done, the update should be here sooner rather than later. If the news from Sprint was accurate, all Nexus 6 owners should see it arrive before the end of the week. That being said, there could be a few Android 5.0.1 problems that arrive too, so take precaution and update over WiFi, with at least 75% battery remaining on your device.

Flashing the factory image will yield the best results, as it’s a clean install, but the over the air update being delivered all week long should be perfect for the majority of users. Have patience, as it’ll be here soon enough.

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Nexus 6 Android 5.0.1 Update: What You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


Rockstar Drops Fresh GTA 5 Heists Trailer 

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 19:04

Rockstar Drops Fresh GTA 5 Heists Trailer  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

It’s been months since Rockstar, the developers of the Grand Theft Auto franchise revealed that Heists were coming to the Grand Theft Auto Online multiplayer mode that came with GTA 5. Officially, Heists won’t be available until 2015, but a trailer and interview out today revealed how they will work when they do arrive.

First, the trailer. In itself, it doesn’t contain a lot of details about how GTA 5 Heists will work. Instead, it’s nearly a minute of solid cut scenes as players team up inside the game world of Los Santos to pull off big jobs for tons of in-game cash. It does indicate that players participating in GTA 5 Heists will need to do smaller missions that prep for a big finale. That makes sense as that’s how Heists work in Grand Theft Auto 5’s single player story.

The GTA 5 Heists interview over at IGN sheds some light on the entire process, from how heists work to why it’s taken so long to get them running. According to Imran Sawar, who works as a producer and lead mission designer for GTA Online, the troubled release came down to scope and ambition. “One of the challenges is that unlike a Heist in Story Mode, every player needs to feel central to the action at all times, and that’s much more challenging than it appears, ” Sawar says.

Whereas Heists in the story mode let players cut between different parts of the operation to stay relevant, every person participating in a GTA Online Heist needs to feel essential. That turned out to be more work.

Every GTA Online Heist will require 4 players to participate and each one will need to have ranked their in-game character to level 12 or higher. Any lower, and heists aren’t yet unlocked. Players will also require owning a high-end apartment in Grand Theft Auto Online’s huge world since they’ll need some place to plan their missions and set-up for the Heist. Each Heist will have a leader that personally pays for the expenses incurred by the crew and leads the entire operation. Outfits and mission selection are up to the Heist leader. The Heist leader won’t get paid until a heist is completed, but everyone else will get monetary rewards for completing missions as they happen. Again, Heists will consist of multiple missions. Some players will be tasked with hacking while others will be in charge of collecting supplies and a get-away car. Rockstar’s hope is that Heists will offer players a lot to do and make them want to come back and play them over and over again.

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When GTA 5 Heists launches there will be around 5 to choose from, according to Sawar. On average they’ll take about 20 hours to complete. Each Heist is broken down into small individual missions.

Unfortunately, even now Rockstar isn’t ready to talk about a specific launch date for heists beyond “Early 2015.” That’s a shame, users have been waiting for them for months. If Rockstar is finally ready to show Heists on video and provide mission details then they can’t be too far off. It’s possible that Rockstar is aiming for early January.

Last year, GTA 5 was gaming’s best-selling title. It smashed records, despite it not being available on the Xbox One and PS4 when they arrived. This past November, Rockstar rereleased Grand Theft Auto 5 for Xbox One and PS4. Besides launching with better graphics, each includes a first-person mode that allows users to pretty much become their character during the game’s story or online.

Grand Theft Auto 5 for the Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360 comes with access to GTA Online. The PC version of the game will too when it launches early in 2015.

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Rockstar Drops Fresh GTA 5 Heists Trailer  is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.


Tech Director Chat #13 – Do Tech Directors Make Us Feel Dumb?

The Tech Savvy Educator - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 04:32

This week’s topic can border a bit on the uncomfortable for some. It addresses the soft skills that Technology professionals are often stereo-typically lacking. Some are born to better understand boxes and wires more so than inter personal communication. Some are taught and strive to better their customer service skills. And some may never play well with others. I hope that I’m not in the latter category. People around me tell me otherwise, so I can only imagine that the near constant attention I give to my outward communication and relationships with others is vital to my role. I hope you enjoy this week’s episode! As an added bonus, you can watch the “Mr. Microphone” commercial that plays halfway through this week’s podcast!

As always, you can listen to, download, or subscribe to the podcast with iTunes using this link. The embedded player is below. Android users, the podcast is now on Stitcher as well for easy subscribing and listening!

Timestamps for this week’s questions:

0:53 What has Pete been up to today?

2:35 Jonathan asks, what skills are you having to develop to provide a quality service to your district?

4:00 Ben asks, do you think people feel “dumb” about technology, or do stereotypical attitudes of IT professionals makes them feel “dumb?”

6:05 Would you rather have a tech support staff that is highly skilled in repair skills with poor people skills, or great customer service with very little technical skills?

8:50 Rachelle wants to know, why is the answer “no,” instead of “no, but….?”

11:16 Jennifer asks, do you know “Mr. Microphone?”

12:50 Nancy wants to know, when and where is your band playing this holiday break?

13:50 Is this podcast done during school hours?

16:11 Stump Pete!

16:54 There’s a machine that was built to lick Tootsie Pops?

18:20 Ben asks, what is the most valuable guitar ever created by Gibson?

You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter.

Tech Director Chat – Do Tech Directors Make Us Feel Dumb?


Top 5 iPad Air 2 Alternatives [December, 2014]

GottaBeMobile - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 00:07

Top 5 iPad Air 2 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Apple’s iPad Air 2 is one of the best full sized tablets on the market and a slate that consumers in the hunt should be looking at. That said, there are some top notch iPad Air 2 competitors that we think you need to rule out before buying Apple’s brand new iPad Air. Here, we take a look at the devices we think represent the top five iPad Air 2 alternatives for the month of December, 2014.

In October, Apple predictably refreshed its iPad lineup with two brand new tablets including an iPad mini 3 (third-gen) and a second-generation version of its larger 9.7-inch iPad Air. The new iPad Air sports an improved design including a thinner frame and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor embedded inside of the home button. It also comes with a better performance and a new gold color.

The iPad Air 2 is quite an investment, the base model runs $499, but consumers know that they’ll be getting one of, if not the best tablet that money can buy. We’ve spent a ton of time with the iPad Air 2 and we can say, without question, that it deserves a spot on your shopping list during the month of December. There are, however, some devices that we think you need to look at before buying Apple’s new tablet.

We are constantly bombarded with questions about iPad Air alternatives to look at. There are a number of different devices that we could recommend but we want to narrow things down a bit and take a look at what we consider the top five iPad Air 2 competitors available right now.

These devices represent the devices that we’d recommend to friends and family. And while our list may differ from yours, these are the devices that Gotta Be Mobile editors have selected for recognition this month. We feel like the devices listed here deliver the best, all-around package for this month and this month alone.

With that in mind, here are the five iPad Air 2 alternatives for December, 2014.

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.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } iPad Air1 / 5

If you have you eyes on Apple's full sized iPad Air but don't want to pay $500 or more, have a look at last year's version of the iPad that's $100 less and extremely powerful.

The first-gen iPad Air may not come with Touch ID, a gold color, the improved design, or the performance enhancements but it's still a fantastic package and one that's going to be perfectly fine for most people. And best of all, it won't set you back more than $500 during the holidays.

Apple's iPad Air isn't going anywhere. iOS 8 served as its first major iOS update and there's a good chance that this device will continue to get updates for three years making it a sound investment at a year in. If you don't want to break the bank and you want the full-sized iPad, take a look at last year's model.

1 / 5

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Top 5 iPad Air 2 Alternatives [December, 2014] is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop Updates Continue to Arrive

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 23:43

LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop Updates Continue to Arrive is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Back in October Google announced three brand new Nexus products, including the Nexus 6 smartphone, and along with them debuted the brand new Android 5.0 Lollipop software updating. Delivering a new look and feel to the Android operating system. Today we have good news as the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is rolling out to more users today, with US carriers expected to release it soon.

A few months back LG confirmed the LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop update is a work in progress, and users can expect it to arrive before the end of the year. Today though, that progress is being displayed as the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is officially rolling out in Europe for all users.

Read: LG G3 Android 5.0 Update: What to Expect

Earlier this year LG announced its brand new flagship G3 smartphone. Offering one of the best overall devices so far in 2014 with top-tier specs, an impressive 5.5-inch Quad-HD display like the Nexus 6, and extremely small bezels making for a big screen but a small, pocketable and portable handset. Read on for more details regarding the update.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen a few small software updates arrive for the LG G3, but sadly those weren’t Android 5.0 Lollipop. Carriers in the United States like AT&T and Sprint pushed some bug fixing updates, and likely changed a few things to prepare for the Android 5.0 update which is still slated to arrive sometime later this month.

Initial reports from LG promised the G3 would see Android 5.0 before the end of the year, and they’ve slowly delivered it for a few small regions. The LG G3 Android 5.0 update kicked off in Poland and South Korea last month, but today a much bigger audience is getting upgraded to Google’s latest and greatest software update.

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Read: LG G3 Review

According to multiple tips and reports hitting the web this afternoon, the LG G3 Android 5.0 update is finally rolling out in Europe to many different carriers, as well as the unlocked LG G3. This means that those who maybe imported one before the US release can expect an update today, if not by the end of the week.

That being said, this is still good news for those in the United States. The LG G3 is available from almost all major carriers stateside, including Verizon Wireless, and we’ve been hearing the update is progressing rather quickly, and is on track for a delivery inside the month of December.

In previous years the LG devices on AT&T have been updated first, like the LG G2 Android 4.4 KitKat update, and users can expect the same thing with the G3 and Android 5.0 Lollipop. In the United States carriers put updates through a rigorous testing phase, which will hopefully wrap up before December comes to a close, enabling LG and carriers to push out the latest and greatest as soon as possible.

At it stands right now, most Nexus smartphones and tablets, a few Motorola smartphones, and Google Play Edition handsets have all seen Android 5.0 Lollipop. No other major manufacturer has delivered the update to carrier smartphones yet, but LG could be among the first to do so later this month.

With a large release in Europe currently under way, expect the Android 5.0 update to start rolling out for the G3 in the United States sooner rather than later. Once we learn some official release dates or see it arrive, we’ll be sure to update with all the details.

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LG G3 Android 5.0 Lollipop Updates Continue to Arrive is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.


iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.2 Review

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 19:19

iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.2 Review is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

At the beginning of last week, Apple rolled out its brand new iOS 8.1.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The company’s new iOS 8 update is a bug fixer, aimed at squashing iOS 8 problems. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s new software and today we want to share our full iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.2 review.

Weeks ago, Apple pushed out its iOS 8 update with new features and enhancements in tow. Almost immediately, iOS 8 problems started plaguing owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This is typical of a major iOS update and we, and many others, expected Apple to push out an iOS 8.0.1 update shortly after its arrival.

Right on cue, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.0.1 update with assorted bug fixes on board though it did not have the intended results. While it did deliver some fixes, it also broke cellular connectivity and Touch ID for some users. These issues forced Apple to quickly go back to the drawing board and a day later, the company conjured up an iOS 8.0.2 update that tackled those problems and delivered fixes to those that didn’t have the opportunity to upgrade.

Next, the company pushed out a massive iOS 8.1 bug fixer in an attempt to kill off many of the remaining iOS 8 issues. The company then followed that up with an iOS 8.1.1 update that, unlike most smaller updates, went through the beta program. In our eyes, iOS 8.1.1 was the most stable iOS 8 yet though Apple’s work is clearly not done.

Earlier this month, Apple pushed out an iOS 8.1.2 update with even more bug fixes on board. iOS 8.1.2 is a tiny update but as many of you know, the tiniest iOS updates can make a huge impact on performance. In fact, we’ve been hearing about iOS 8.1.2 problems for about a week now.

With those in mind, I’ve been taking a look at Apple’s iOS 8.1.2 update on a number of devices including the second-gen iPad mini. Today, I want to offer some feedback to those that might be leery of the update and to those that are already on iOS 8.1.2. This is my full iOS 8.1.2 on iPad mini 2 review and it will attempt to answer the question that we’ve received many times over in the past week: Is iOS 8.1.2 worth installing? Let’s find out.

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Since Tuesday, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.2 on the second-generation iPad Air. For those that don’t know, I’ve owned the iPad mini 2 for just about a year now. I bought it shortly after it arrived in the fall of 2013. Before getting into this detailed review and my impressions, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person.

That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, play more games, and use my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.1.2 is worth installing on your iPad mini.


Over the past week, I’ve spent a ton of time with the 50 or so applications I have installed on board the iPad mini. I typically don’t use all 50 on a regular basis but for the sake of the review, I’ve spent as much time as possible with my third-party apps. So far, my experience has been extremely stable. I’ve run into the occasional slowdown when using Netflix and Facebook and I’ve experienced the occasional crash with Google Chrome but none of the problems are frequent.

Apps like Instagram, Slack, Asana, Google Hangouts, Twitter, Dark Sky, Amazon, Netflix are all are functioning as advertised with iOS 8.1.2 on board Apple’s second-gen iPad mini. Developers have done an outstanding job with iOS 8 and my overall experience after the update has been nothing short of outstanding. That continues with iOS 8.1.2.

If you are having issues with applications right now, with iOS 8.1.2 or something else on board, my suggestion is to go ahead and install as many bug fix updates as you possibly can. Most of the time, these updates work out the big kinks. You would also be wise to switch automatic updates on. In another life, I used to forget to install bug fixers. Now, I don’t even have to think about it. The operating system downloads the software for me.

iOS 8.1.2 Battery Life

I am still getting extremely solid iPad mini battery life with iOS 8.1.2 on board. I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain, standby is still holding an excellent charge and I’ve been able to charge the device relatively fast. Battery life has remained consistent over the last year so this outcome isn’t much of a surprise at all.

I’ve been getting feedback from fellow iPad mini users and I’ve been monitoring feedback on other sites and thus far, I haven’t seen too much complaining about battery life. Typically, when there are major issues, I see complaints right off the bat. So, my guess is that most people are having the same kind of experience that I am.

iOS updates like iOS 8.1.2 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems along with them. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by users themselves. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.2 and you start noticing something suspicious.

There’s no guarantee that those fixes will work for you and your slate. At the very least, I recommend monitoring your applications to see if they’re the problem. Apps like Facebook have been known so burn a ton of battery life while in use and there’s a chance that a rogue app is causing problems on your device. Do your homework before blaming the iOS 8.1.2 update for your battery life woes.

Wi-Fi, LTE & Bluetooth

So far, connectivity has not been an issue with iOS 8.1.2 on board. I haven’t stumbled into any connection problems with AT&T’s 4G LTE network. I haven’t noticed any Wi-Fi problems and I’ve yet to encounter any issues with Bluetooth. All of these connections are working exactly like they did prior to the iOS 8.1.2 update.

Now, just because I’m not running into iOS 8.1.2 problems doesn’t mean that others aren’t. That’s precisely why I’ve put together a list of possible fixes for these problems. They’re a good starting point for those of you seeking fixes but again, there’s always a chance that you’ll need to look elsewhere for the fix that works for you. If all else fails, take the device to an Apple Store or contact the manufacturer of your router.

Bugs & Issues

I’ve discovered a number of iOS 8 problems on the iPhone but the iOS 8 update for the iPad has been far more stable. I simply haven’t noticed any major issues on the iPad Air or iPad mini 2.

I haven’t run into any noticeable iOS 8.1.2 problems in the past week. Larger issues typically jump right off the page while minor problems are a little harder to spot. I haven’t noticed anything wrong and I’ve been searching everywhere. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t bugs on board it just means that I haven’t discovered them after a week of continual use.

Bugs have a funny way of popping up weeks down the road so I might stumble into some in the days ahead. But given the solid experiences I’ve had with iOS 8 and iOS 8.1.2 thus far, I’m confident that the software will remain stable.

There are definitely some isolated issues impacting iPad users but nothing has impacted my iPad mini, at least not yet. If you do stumble into problems, have a look at our rundown of bug fixes for iOS 8.1.2 problems. These are a good starting point but you’ll probably also want to gather fixes from other places as well. Remember, these fixes aren’t guaranteed to work so you’ll need to keep an eye out for other potential remedies.


I’ve never encounter any speed problems on the iPad mini 2. iOS 8.1.2 is still extremely fast and animations and transitions are as fluid as ever. I haven’t noticed any occasional lag or slowdown either. iOS 8 is as fast as iOS 7 was and that’s precisely what you want from a new iOS update. Nothing has changed and I hope it stays that way.

Is iOS 8.1.2 for iPad mini Worth Installing?

After using iOS 8.1.2 for a week, I’m confident that it’s extremely stable, least on the iPad mini 2. So if you are dealing with major iOS 8 problems on iOS 8.1.1 or lower, you will want to think about installing it. From where I am standing, it’s the most stable version of iOS 8 yet. It’s worth a try if you can’t find a solution to your issue. Often times, incremental updates will dislodge problems that aren’t listed on the change log.

If you’re having a solid experience on another version of iOS, I think the update is worth considering, especially if you’re still on iOS 7. That said, I recommend pulling in some more feedback from other iPad mini users before settling on the iPad mini 2 update. While my experience has been great, I’m just one man with one device. You’ll want to gather a few more opinions before making the move.

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iPad mini 2 iOS 8.1.2 Review is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.


T-Mobile Reveals Surprise Un-Carrier 8.0 Event

GottaBeMobile - Mon, 12/15/2014 - 19:15

T-Mobile Reveals Surprise Un-Carrier 8.0 Event is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Moments ago, T-Mobile USA, America’s fourth-largest wireless carrier revealed it’s holding a surprise press event and announcement this coming Tuesday, December 16th. It’s dubbing the surprise event Un-Carrier 8.0, hinting at even more changes for its customer-friendly wireless business.

T-Mobile began sending notices about the event to wireless industry pundits and insiders early this morning. The invitation is pretty basic, the event starts at 10:30AM. T-Mobile claims in the email that Un-Carrier 8.0 is such a big deal that it “had to keep it under wraps.” The picture in the invitation is a wrapped gift.

Absolutely no hints about what T-Mobile USA plans to announce at Un-Carrier 8.0 are contained in the email. Following the announcement, T-Mobile CEO and outspoken critique of just about everything the wireless industry has to offer, will take questions from Yahoo News’ David Pogue. T-Mobile is inviting to submit their questions to the two by tweeting at them with the #unCarrier8 hashtag through Twitter. T-Mobile will then hold a call directly with the press a bit later.

There are a lot of people excited about this T-Mobile Un-Carrier 8 event, which only underscores just how big of a turn around T-Mobile has been able to pull off. T-Mobile kicked off its Un-Carrier initiatives, marketing strategy and more after the Federal Communications Commission made it clear that it wouldn’t drop its opposition to AT&T purchasing and merging with T-Mobile. The move would have left just three carriers. The FCC wanted to guarantee competitive pricing for wireless calling, messaging and wireless data.

Luckily, that’s exact what they’ve gotten. Through the Un-Carrier program, T-Mobile has made the wireless industry more exciting than it ever was before. Today, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon allow users to purchase smartphones on monthly installation plans. In theory, doing so is more transparent for users than having the price of their phone buried in their wireless contract. T-Mobile kicked off that revolution when it announced that it would stop offering contracts and let users pay for their phones separately from their wireless plan. It’s not as glamorous as T-Mobile makes it sound, users who don’t have a phone still pay more on top of their wireless bill. The trick is that users can upgrade on their own schedule once their device is paid off. T-Mobile devices purchased with an Equipment Installation Plan can be paid off at any time, effectively giving users some of the best wireless pricing available.

Read: Why T-Mobile Has the Best iPhone 6 Deal

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Equipment Installation Plans were just T-Mobile’s open salvo. Since then its rolled out a $10 a month service that allows users to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphones a lot faster. Called T-Mobile Jump, its extra for users who are paying on a T-Mobile device with an EIP plan. T-Mobile Jump gets users new smartphones for around the same price as new customers without adding a new line. It also includes insurance, which is needed since Jump users have to trade-in their device when they Jump to a new device.

T-Mobile definitely has a wireless network problem, but it’s working hard to put that problem behind it. The carrier used the money it received from the failed AT&T merger to build out a nationwide 4G LTE network that it was years behind on. Today, T-Mobile 4G LTE service is available in most metro areas on the east and west coast. Past Un-Carrier events included announcements to make up for bad T-Mobile coverage. Wi-Fi calling and messaging is now available on every smartphone T-Mobile sells. Windows Phone, iPhone and Android devices all support Wi-Fi calling in places where T-Mobile services wouldn’t normally work.

$100 family plans for users and unlimited Simple Choice plans have garnered T-Mobile a lot of attention too.

Not all of T-Mobile’s initiatives have gone over well with everyone. T-Mobile’s Un-Carrier 7 event included a program called  Music Unlimited. With Music Unlimited, users of certain T-Mobile plans are able to stream from Spotify, Xbox Music, iTunes Radio and Google Play and not have it count towards their data allotment. Proponents of the internet being treated as an open utility free of gatekeepers aren’t too happy about Music Unlimited.

GottaBeMobile will have all the news from tomorrow’s UN-Carrier 8 event as it happens.

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T-Mobile Reveals Surprise Un-Carrier 8.0 Event is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.


7 Casual Games to Download for iPhone for the Holidays

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 19:56

7 Casual Games to Download for iPhone for the Holidays is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Chances are that if you belong to a gift giving family you’re about to give or receive an iPhone or iPad this holiday season. The first thing you’re going to want to do is setup up the new device with an Apple ID and essential apps like Facebook, Twitter and more. The second thing you’re going to want to do is fill up that iPhone or iPad with some great games that you can play in between family meals and such.

Here are some fun casual games to download for the iPhone and iPad from the iTunes Store.

Game of Thrones

Some games toy with choice. They have light stories with very basic story-telling. Game of Thrones is the first officially licensed iPhone and iPad game that incorporates the world from the television show of the same name. In the game users take on the primary role of making decisions. They can interact with the characters they know from the television show, explore some of the localities, and make decisions that determine the fate of a single family. Game of Thrones is $4.99. Purchasing the game’s extended episodes costs another $19.99.

[ Buy Game of Thrones from the iTunes Store for $4.99 ]


Every time we hear someone say that players can be a god in their game, eyes seem to roll. Everyone, absolutely everyone wants to be the Supreme Being in their games. Unfortunately, it rarely ever happens. Godus almost nails it. In the game users create their own world and then nurture its inhabitants. Mystery items and small jokes are scattered through the game. It’s free to download for anyone. To keep the fun coming Godus players might need to buy gems to use for their civilization. Those start at $9.99.

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[ Download Godus for Free from the iTunes Store ]

Angry Birds Go

Angry Birds is a title that’s reached its peak and cratered. That being said, Angry Birds Go is still one of the best racing games you’ll find on any platform. If you’ve ever played Mario Kart than you know how this goes. Angry Birds Go is an arcade racer. Each player starts at a base level with a single card. Winning a race requires ingenuity and using special attacks at just the right moment. Winning also requires experience with some tracks, putting together your own multiplayer time and upgrading your character. Angry Birds Go is free, but upgrades start at $1.99 per kart/character.

[ Download Angry Birds Go for Free from The iTunes Store ]


Nintendo asked for it. It was only a matter of time until a video game developer created their own version of Poke’mon and submitted to the App Store. It’s an incredible franchise, one that some people feel they shouldn’t have to invest in a Nintendo 3DS to get their hands on. That’s where Micromon comes in. All of the same mechanics are there. Users catch tiny monsters and evolve them buying battling them with others. Micromon’s character design and online multiplayer are unapologetically inspired by Poke’mon. Micromon is .$99 to purchase. Depending on how much you want to level up, in-app purchases may become crucial.

[ Download Micromon from the iTunes Store for $.99 ]

Kinectimals Unleased

Releases of the pet-themed Kinectimals games have come to a screeching halt on Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. That hasn’t stopped the company from continuing the franchise on the iPhone and iPad. Kinectimals Unleashed is another take on the long-running pet simulator. It’s free and includes everything from basic pet care to pet sports. Kinectimals Unleashed probably got its name for the sheer amount of pets included. There are 85 different animals in all. Kinectimals Unleashed is free to download. In-app purchase allow players to buy accessories and extras. Unlike other Microsoft games, this one doesn’t include Xbox Live achievements.

[ Download Kinectimals Unleashed for Free from the iTunes Store ]

Minecraft Pocket Edition

There isn’t a game more popular with kids and adults alike than Minecraft. For starters, it’s simple to understand. Harvest resources, build a world and defend yourself. Minecraft Pocket Edition includes local multiplayer so that you can explore the game worlds of anyone over Wi-Fi. Additionally, there’s an unlocked mode that lets users create a world unhindered by enemies or resource constraints.

[ Buy Minecraft Pocket Edition for $6.99 from the iTunes Store ]


Finally, there is Threes. It’s a puzzle game that needs no introduction. The world’s most popular puzzle game for smartphones and tablets is $1.99 in the iTunes Store. It includes support for Apple’s GameCenter system. That means you can compete against your friends.

[ Buy Threes! For $1.99 from the iTunes Store ]

Good luck with your new iPhone or iPad and have fun gaming.

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7 Casual Games to Download for iPhone for the Holidays is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.


How to Fix Nexus 9 Auto Rotation

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 18:33

How to Fix Nexus 9 Auto Rotation is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Nexus 9 brought Android 5.0 Lollipop to the market first, but for some users it also brought a problem with the Nexus 9 auto rotation feature. We’ll show users who have the Nexus 9 auto rotation problem how to fix it by turning off Google Now until Google issues a fix.

There are a few things that some users have tried in order to fix the problem with temporary success. Sometimes a reboot of the device fixed it for a little while. Others fixed it by turning auto rotation off and then back on again (open the notification area using the pull down settings. Swipe down from the top of the screen once to show notification are and then pull down again from the time/date bar of the notification area to show all the settings toggle buttons).

However, neither of these fix the issue permanently for any of the users reporting the problem.

We’ll show Nexus 9 owners how to fix the Nexus 9 auto rotation problem.

Two users in the XDA Developers Forum dedicated to the Nexus 9 discovered the two fixes we’ll explain. The first comes from forum member oldswe, who discovered a simple fix by turning off Google Now. Here’s how to do it.

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Start by swiping towards the right to show the Google Now screen on the Nexus 9 home screen.

In the upper right corner, find the menu button that looks like three short horizontal lines next to the Google search box. Tap the button to show the menu bar that slides in from the left side of the screen.


At the top of the Setting screen there’s a Google Now toggle switch. Tap it to turn it off. A box pops up asking the user to confirm turning off Google Now. Tap on TURN OFF to confirm it.

Nexus 9 auto rotation still won’t work until the user restarts their Nexus 9 tablet. Press and hold the power button (top button on the right side when the camera is at the top of the screen in portrait mode). Tap on Power off to turn off the Nexus 9. After it shuts down, restart it by pressing and holding the power button for a few seconds. The tablet will restart after about 30 seconds and the auto rotation should work now.

Fix Nexus 9 Auto Rotation by Turning Off Location Services

Some users found that location services also interfered with the Nexus 9 auto rotation. If the Google Now fix above doesn’t fix the problem, try turning off the location feature. Here’s how.

Pull down from the top of the screen to show the Notification area. Now pull down again to show the Settings toggle buttons. It sits in the bottom left spot on the screen. Tap to turn it off and reboot the tablet using the steps provided above.

What Now?

Since turning off Google Now and/or Location services fixes the problem, this seems like a software problem instead of a hardware glitch. Some users report that they returned their Nexus 9 and received a replacement that didn’t suffer from the same problem.

Should users replace their tablet? If losing Location services or Google Now annoys a user, then she should replace it before the return period expires, 30 days for most. Since it seems like a software problem, then patience will likely result in a fix. Google will hopeful send out an update to their software that solves the problem. The recent Android 5.0.1 update didn’t fix it.

If enough people with the problem contact Google’s support team, the fix might come sooner than later. Find their phone number at the Nexus 9 devices support page. Also follow the discussion in the Google Help forums and XDA Developer’s forum.


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How to Fix Nexus 9 Auto Rotation is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.


20 Great Android Wear Watch Faces

GottaBeMobile - Sun, 12/14/2014 - 17:32

20 Great Android Wear Watch Faces is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Android Wear platform just got a nice update to Android 5.0. The update adds a rich new watch face API, making more interesting and useful Android Wear Watch Faces possible. The update also adds a better settings user experience and more to the watch itself.

The Android Wear Watch Faces in this list make Android Wear Watches look beautiful, elegant, fashionable, fun or useful. Google highlights some of the best new Android Wear Watch Faces in the Google Play Store. Here’s our list of 20 great Android Wear Watch Faces. Most of these will only run on a watch with the new Android Wear 5.0 software that coincides with Android 5 Lollipop.

The newly updated Android Wear app shows the updated Watch Face interface at the top.

The newly updated Android Wear app makes switching between watch faces easier, both on the watch and in the Android Wear app. Open the Android Wear app on the connected phone and the watch faces show up just below the picture of the connected watch. Tap on the More button to see the available watch faces. Tap on one to send it to the watch.

Once a Watch Face gets installed on the phone, it syncs over to the watch within a couple of minutes. Just press and hold on the watch’s display and the swipe left or right to choose between the installed watch faces.

The newly updated Android Wear 5.0 lets users select watch faces within the Android Wear app.

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ustwo Smart Watch Faces

With ustwo Smart Watch Faces (Free) we get four themes that offer dynamic calendar information and visual cues showing how heavy the user’s schedule is for the day.

  • ALBUMEN – shows the 12 hour overview of the day using an abstract look with “Large blobs” to visually show a busy day.
  • NEXT – shows the next appointment and time
  • EPISODE – a weather watch face shows the current conditions and next two days’ weather conditions
  • RUNWAY – another weather watch face that concentrates on the next 12 hours

The face works on both round and square faces, making it a versatile and attractive option.

Luxury WatchFaces Android Wear

One of the most beautiful collections of simple watch faces comes from Luxury WatchFaces Android Wear (FREE with in-app purchases). These look beautiful and simple. They were clearly designed with style and elegance in mind.

 PAC-MAN Watch Face

Pacman fans will love the look of the PAC-MAN Watch Face ($.99). In the dimmed look it shows the time using the recognizable Pacman font. Bring the watch face to life and we see the blue box that normally holds the Pacman ghosts with the time inside it. Pacman travels clockwise around the screen showing the seconds with our little friend eating up the pellets, ghosts and fruit, one each second. Now if only it let users play Pacman too.

Surfline Watch Face

Surfers will love the Surfline Watch Face (Free) because it shows tide times, the height of the surf, wind speed and direction. This comes from a “team of expert surf forecasters and models,” so the surfer can rely on the data.

Rebecca Minkoff Watch Face

The Rebecca Minkoff Watch Face (Free) looks gold and beautiful. It adds a touch of elegance to your Android Wear Watch with the brand’s style in this attractive face.

Despicable Watch Face

Appeal to the kid or the kid in you with the Despicable Me and Minions film brands in the Despicable Watch Face ($.99). The watch face shows the Minions moods including…

  • Confused
  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Happy
  • Playful
  • Annoyed
  • Caffeinated
  • Furious

The moods change throughout the day so the face looks different every hour. They also show themselves in an animated fashion.

Un Petit Monde Watch Face

“A small world” translates the French-named Un Petit Monde Watch Face (Free), which takes the lovely photography of Kurt Moses and displays it on Android Wear watches. These are shots that Moses created for Android Wear, with specially sketched animations and numbers.

500px Watch Face

One of the best online photo sharing sites, 500px, brings the awesome photography to Android Wear through their Android 500px app. It detects if a users connected an Android Wear Watch to their Android phone and then lets the user display either an analog style or digital style watch face using images from 500px as the watch face background.

The app lets users see the great photos on 500px and share their own. Inside the app the user can select which photos to use. For example, I picked the most popular landscape photos to display on my Samsung Gear Live. Whatever you select from the app shows up on the watch. Choose between the digital and the analog using the Android Wear app.

Plants Vs Zombies Watch Face

People who love the great tower defense game Plants vs Zombies (Free) will love the watch face. It shows a zombie with his hands serving as the watch face hour and minute hand. Like the Pacman themed watch face above, we wish this one included the Plants vs. Zombies game, or some form of it.

Beautiful Watch Faces

Beautiful Watch Faces offers some attractive watch themes. Add each face to the watch from within the app.

WatchMaker Watch Faces Wear

If you like to tinker, use WatchMaker Watch Faces Wear (Free with $.99 Premium version) to create a watch face all your own. The app installs on the phone and the user can add their own background, use their favorite font and add things like…

  • Wi-Fi connection indicator
  • Battery life indicator
  • Bluetooth connection indicator
  • Some text
  • Shapes
  • Image backgrounds from a library or your own pictures
  • Different hour and minute hands
  • Animated GIFs
  • Weather
  • Different time formats
  • Moon phases
  • Calendar entries
  • Date and day
  • Compass
  • Countdowns
Watch Styler for Android Wear

WatchMaker is more powerful, but Watch Styler for Android Wear (FREE) also lets users create their own watch faces. This app also lets the user pick the background from their own photos and then add templates of different styles of watch faces. It also lets people share their watch faces so others can also add them to their watches.

Facer Watch Face

Facer Watch Face ($1.00) is a third watch face making app.  Like the others this one lets the user create their own watch face using their images. It also adds elements like weather, date, time, battery life, forecasts and custom text. Users can share their creations with the Facer Watch Face community or access shared faces. Get images from FaceRepo to make the watch face look  just like you want it to. Of the three, this one offers the most options and fluid presentation.

Angles Watch Face

The Angles Watch Face ($.99) shows the time in a unique way that looks best on round watches. The center shows the hour with the minutes in a partial circle just above the hour. The seconds tick off just above the minutes. The lower left shows the date and the lower right shows the battery life of the watch. Angles looks beautiful and delivers an easy to see time format and the date/battery at a quick glance.

Battery Watch Face

Those users fanatical about their watch’s battery life will love Battery Watch Face ($.99). Aside from telling time it shows the battery life in hours and minutes left. It looks good on round or square watches and comes in a handful of subtle color schemes.

Speed Watch Face Pro

Speed Watch Face Pro shows speeds, great for biking, running or riding with a speed demon.

This racing sports theme watch not only looks great and shows us the time, but it includes an integrated speedometer. It’s great to judge speeds while biking or running. It will even let a passenger keep tabs on the driver even if the person can’t see the speedometer. Get Speed Watch Face Pro for $.99.

Notice from the settings screen above that the face will also show the temperature, steps and a compass.

Behance Watch Face

The Behance community from Adobe gives Adobe users a chance to share their artwork and photos. The Behance Watch Face (FREE) lets Android Wear users show off that artwork on their watch. The artwork makes up the background while five watch face styles show the time.

Muzei Live Wallpaper

Match your phone’s wallpaper to your watch with Muzei Live Wallpaper, an app for styling the wallpaper of any Android phone. Now the app will send the wallpaper to the watch too.

Weather Wear Watch Face

Weather Wear Watch Face is my favorite weather watch face. It shows the time in a highly readable format and shows things like the current temperature and future weather forecasts along with current conditions. We get a battery percentage for the watch and the date. The user can customize the colors and details that the face shows.

Wear LCD Watchface BETA

Wear LCD Watchface looks like an old-fashioned LCD digital watch. That’s pretty much all it does, but we like the look for nostalgic reasons. What geek who lived through the 80s and 90s didn’t own a watch that looks like this? Don’t let the BETA label worry you. It will go gold once they get it updated now that the Android Wear Watchface API was released with Android Wear 5.0.

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20 Great Android Wear Watch Faces is a post by Kevin Purcell from Gotta Be Mobile.

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