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Thursday, May 21, 2015

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Google Updates Hangouts Chrome App With New Android-Inspired Interface

Posted: 21 May 2015 03:05 PM PDT

Hangouts-ThumbWe've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.

nexus2cee_hangouts2 nexus2cee_hangouts

The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app.

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Google Updates Hangouts Chrome App With New Android-Inspired Interface was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Television Streaming Service Sling TV Adds Android TV Support, Offers 50% Off A Nexus Player When You Pre-Purchase Three Months Of Service

Posted: 21 May 2015 02:02 PM PDT

slingSling TV is currently the only service that streams live cable TV and doesn't require you to have a subscription to a traditional cable company. Maybe you still want to watch on a TV instead of a mobile device, though. Well good news, Sling TV works on Android TV now.

unnamed

Sling costs $20 per month for a basic package of 20-ish channels like AMC, Disney, Food Network, and HGTV. Then you can add extra sports, kids stuff, or movie channels for $5 per month.

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Television Streaming Service Sling TV Adds Android TV Support, Offers 50% Off A Nexus Player When You Pre-Purchase Three Months Of Service was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top 10 new Android games this week: Tallowmere, Sunburn!

Posted: 21 May 2015 02:02 PM PDT

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Ice Age Avalanche

Description Join Sid, Manny and Diego on an epic Ice Age journey in search of a long-forgotten treasure in this fun new puzzle game from the makers of Ice Age Village and Ice Age Adventures! Swipe fruit in any direction to match 3 or more of the same kind as you travel with the Sub-Zero Heroes around the Ice Age world.

 

Sunburn!

Description:  Reunite your shipmates and hurtle toward the end in 50+ distinctly dangerous gravity puzzles!

 

Breath of Light

DescriptionHold a quiet moment. Breath of Light is a meditative and beautiful puzzle game with a hypnotic soundtrack by Winterpark.

 

Tofu Hunter

Description Open fire on a wide range of soy-based creatures in a hunt around the world. Take on rare bounties, unlock special weapons and put your itchy trigger finger to the test. Don't turn away. Don't stop shooting. Become the Tofu Hunter.

 

Beast Quest

DescriptionEmbark on an epic action-adventure in a huge open world. Battle hordes of dangerous enemies and take on giant Beasts in huge boss battles. Explore snowy peaks and sandy beaches, seeking out ancient artifacts and lost treasures.

 

Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin

Description: Build the ULTIMATE base, forge a MIGHTY Kingdom and CRUSH your enemies in "Rival Kingdoms: Age of Ruin". A game of EPIC strategy warfare where only the strongest will claim VICTORY!

 

Skiing Yeti Mountain

DescriptionCarve your way through hundreds of levels as you search for the elusive Yeti in Skiing Yeti Mountain. Weave through trees, skid over ice, jump off cliffs and get to know a cast of bizarre locals in this extreme skiing adventure.

 

Stan Lee's Hero Command

Description: Welcome to Stan Lee's Hero Command, starring Stan Lee himself as the leader of Hero Command. Prepare yourself for an action packed thrill ride as Stan dispatches missions to his pantheon of heroes in a fight to save the world!

 

Odd Bot Out

DescriptionOdd is not like the other robots. After failing a standardized test Odd ends up in the recycling bin. Help Odd escape the robot factory using building blocks, electricity, and physics!

 

Tallowmere

Description Indulge Lady Tallowmere and see how far through her lovingly violent dungeons you can delve in this 2D indie action roguelike-inspired platformer.

 


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Facebook Messenger Will Now Provide Background On Strangers And Friends You Don't Talk With Often At The Beginning Of Chats

Posted: 21 May 2015 12:57 PM PDT

Messenger-ThumbBeep. Hmm, someone's messaging me on Facebook.

Checks notification.

"Hey!!! How's life?"

Great, who is this person? "... Do I know you?"

"OMG F U MAN!!1!"

Okay, maybe the strangers messaging you weren't quite as hostile, but we've all been there. A stranger wants to chat, and now you're left contemplating how to respond.

Well, according to TechCrunch, Facebook Messenger is rolling out a way to help users better deal with this issue in France, India, the UK, and the US.

Read More

Facebook Messenger Will Now Provide Background On Strangers And Friends You Don't Talk With Often At The Beginning Of Chats was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung Galaxy S6 Review

Posted: 21 May 2015 12:46 PM PDT

The Galaxy S6 is a complete reinvention of the Galaxy S line for Samsung and one that many users have been clamoring for since the Galaxy S II. While Samsung rose to global smartphone dominance during this time, it was perennially criticized for the construction quality of the phones, its bloated software and some key deficiencies versus its competition.

The Galaxy S6 takes these problems head on, but in the process sacrifices a number of features that Samsung had touted prominently in the past. Gone is the waterproofing that was so prominently advertised with the Galaxy S5, along with longtime mainstays of the Galaxy line like the user-replaceable battery and the microSD slot for expansion.

Were the tradeoffs that Samsung made in reshaping the Galaxy S6 worth it for the average user? Or did Samsung over-correct and in the process lose features that made the Galaxy line appealing?

1. Hardware

The exterior changes to the Galaxy S6 will naturally grab your attention first, but the change to strategy with the internals of the Galaxy S6 are perhaps even more notable.

For the first time, Samsung is using its own CPU in all regions rather than a split between Qualcomm and its homegrown solution, and considering the complaints regarding the Snapdragon 810, this decision definitely came at the right time. Samsung didn't chase the megapixel race and stuck with a 16-megapixel camera sensor this time around, but delivered a substantial upgrade to it nonetheless with the addition of optical image stabilization as seen on the Galaxy Note 4. The screen size also remains the same 5.1 inches as its predecessor, critically keeping the dimensions of the phone down at a time when most continue to edge up.

The two most contentious decisions with the Galaxy S6 hardware are the move to a non-removable battery and the loss of the microSD slot. These features were hallmarks of the Galaxy S line and key differentiators versus the iPhone. While I can see why some users are frustrated with these changes, the reality is that they were marketing points that saw little real word usage. The Galaxy Note line may continue to hold the line with those features for the true power users, but for the mainstream Samsung offering, it was the logical move.

The last feature that I will mention here is the much-improved fingerprint reader. No more swiping across the home button to unlock the phone; simply hold one of the fingertips that you have programmed over the home button and it will unlock.  I found that this worked quite well as long as you have a pretty consistent grip that you use with your phone, and the occasional failure wasn't frequent enough to deter me.

Overall I'm thrilled with the decisions that Samsung made when it comes to the Galaxy S6 hardware. The only potential misstep when I first looked down the spec list was the resolution bump, but more on that later.

  • Height: 5.65 in (143.4 mm)
  • Width: 2.78 in (70.5 mm)
  • Depth: 0.27 in (6.8 mm)
  • 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 (557 ppi) Super AMOLED display
  • Weight 4.87 oz
  • Non-removable 2550mAh lithium ion battery
  • Qi/PMA Wireless Charging
  • 3 GB RAM/32 GB ROM (64 and 128 available)
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 2.1 GHz
  • 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilization
  • 5MP front facing camera with Auto HDR
Galaxy-s6-front-bottom Galaxy-s6-infared-port Galaxy-s6-power-sim Galaxy-s6-volume

2. Design

The Galaxy S6 retains numerous design cues that tell you it is a Samsung phone. In fact, a cursory glance at the front of the phone would lead you to believe that little had changed, but the slightest tilt will quickly reveal how significant a transformation has occurred.

Plastic has been banished completely from the Galaxy S6. The front and back are Gorilla Glass 4 panels (hopefully as sturdy as advertised) and the rounded edges of the phone are done entirely in metal as opposed to the chrome colored plastic of old.

While I concede that the HTC One line looks fantastic, I have often had problems with the feel of those devices thanks to the hard edges on the all-metal construction. That sort of thing is extremely personal, as it is a question of how precisely the phone fits in your hand, but for me the Galaxy S6′s mix of well rounded metal edges and glass offers a much more preferable feel. (Nothing is unseating the Moto X in the feel department for me, though.)

While I understand that some are disappointed at the Galaxy S6′s lack of waterproofing, removable battery and microSD slot, I think the design of this phone warrants those sacrifices. The Galaxy S6 looks and feels superior to the Galaxy S5 in every way, and that is precisely what Samsung had to do in order to shake off the air of complacency that had built up around them.

3. Build Quality

As anyone that has been following Samsung for anytime will know, this is one area that has been a source of near-constant criticism for the company. Regardless of how well the phones held up in day to day use, the complaint that the phones didn't have the premium feel of HTC or Apple remained. With the Galaxy S6, those days are clearly behind them.

This is in no small part due to the Galaxy S6 shedding port covers, removable back and removable battery. While there were positive aspects to each of these features and even the plastic construction overall, the reality is that they were holding the build quality of the Galaxy S line back.

While the phone feels better constructed than any previous Galaxy S, the simple truth is that even Gorilla Glass 4 isn't as durable as plastic, meaning that rather than just worrying about dropping your phone on the front glass, you have back glass to worry about as well. Drop tests seem to bear out that this isn't a huge issue as long as the phone doesn't hit squarely on the back or front, but if a cracked back on your phone is going to kill you, then you may want to consider a case.

4. Display

The Galaxy S6 features a Quad HD Super AMOLED display at 5.1 inches. As I mentioned in the hardware section, the bump from 1080p to Quad HD seems questionable to me given the trade off for battery life, but it becomes hard to argue with the decision when actually looking at the screen. It's flawless regardless of how close you get to the screen, and while that may not be necessary, it unquestionably leaves you impressed the first time you see the screen powered on. Simply put, the display on the Galaxy S6 is the best I have seen on a smartphone to date.

Samsung is one of the few companies that actually takes advantage of the extra pixels that a Quad HD screen offers with multi-window mode. I don't find myself using it day to day, but if you would like to be able to watch a YouTube video and handle Twitter simultaneously, then the Galaxy S6 is one of the only phones with the pixels and software to make that happen for you.

Samsung's AMOLED screens are typically highly-saturated out of the box, and this is no exception. I don't personally have a problem with this, as much like photos, the goal isn't necessarily to perfectly reflect reality. If you want the more natural look, you can change things up in settings, but for most users the wide color gamut that Samsung starts you out with will be the preferred choice.

5. Software

Samsung was once the king of bloatware and while I won't begin to say that it is completely free from this issue (there are at least a dozen apps that fall into this category, depending on your carrier), I will say that it is far better than it once was.

More importantly, Samsung has toned down its own TouchWiz overlay to the point that I actually think it is a pleasant experience that most users that aren't completely dedicated to the Nexus cause will appreciate. The themes are visually interesting, and for the most part the software is helpful.

While I wouldn't call it a crucial feature, I have used the multi-window mode occasionally now that is is more easily accessible through the Recent Apps view, and with the insane resolution of this screen it is actually practical to scroll through the web or your Twitter or Facebook feed while watching a YouTube video.

You have the option to disable any of the apps that Samsung offers that you don't want to use, but deleting them is still not possible without rooting your device. Now that 32GB is the base storage option, this isn't a huge concern anymore as you have over 25GB of space available. And given the available options for cloud-based photo and video storage, you should be able to fit quite a few apps on there before running into any issues.

6. Performance

Samsung has been using its own Exynos chips for years in a number of regions, but has typically relied on Qualcomm for the U.S. among others. For the first time, though, the Galaxy S6 is shipping with the same Exynos processor across all regions, and whether it is as a result of the reported overheating issues with the Snapdragon 810 or not, the results are excellent. Coupling the processor with 3GB of RAM certainly isn't hurting anything either.

While any of the flagship smartphones are going to deal with basic operating system tasks and apps just fine, the area where you might notice the difference is gaming. I threw every fast-action high-resolution game that I had at the Galaxy S6 and it dealt with them all without dropping a pixel or overheating in the slightest. Regardless of where you fall on the Snapdragon 810 issue, I can at least assure you that the Exynos processor powering the Galaxy S6 will hold up just fine until you are ready to upgrade again.

7. Call Quality and Audio

I was testing the Galaxy S6 on Verizon and the call quality was excellent, as it typically is with Verizon in my area. Now that the lineup of phones with Verizon's HD Voice calling is getting fairly expansive, I was able to test that feature out for the first time. I knew HD Voice was going to be roughly double the clarity of existing calls, but it is still an impressive thing to hear. I can't wait for this to be the standard, and hopefully the carriers work toward compatibility across networks.

The audio quality on the Galaxy S6 is a step up from previous Galaxy phones, but still limited by the decision to stick with a single speaker now placed at the bottom of the phone. While the speaker is adequate and holds up to reasonably noisy environments, this is one of the few areas that I see as still warranting an upgrade for next year. Front-facing speakers would be ideal, but at least adding another speaker to the top of the phone would help considerably.

8. Camera

A smartphone that offers standout camera quality has been the white whale for Android devices for years now. While there have been some that offered the ability to capture fantastic images under the right conditions, nothing has been able to consistently capture solid photos in all environments with the ease of a standalone point and shoot camera. The Galaxy Note 4 took tremendous strides in this department last year, adding optical image stabilization to the already-solid camera package Samsung was using, and the Galaxy S6 successfully builds on that foundation.

Samsung has wisely backed off the megapixel race and stuck with another 16MP sensor from Sony this year. At f/1.9, the camera is capable of performing well in low light and reliably captures colors and details in what might be a slight exaggeration of reality, but it's an exaggeration that is more pleasing to the eye.

Speed is another huge factor where cameras are concerned. Samsung offers two quick access options for the camera: either a swipe up on the home screen or a double tap of the home button. The ability to use a hardware button for this feature is excellent, as it means that even pulling the phone from your pocket, you can start to double tap and have it ready by the time it's pointed at the action.

There's an HDR option that provides excellent results when lower light becomes an issue, as long as your subjects aren't quick-moving children or animals.

Video capture is similarly wonderful on the Galaxy S6, with the option to record 4K video at up to 30fps and 1080p video at up to 60fps, and the 720p resolution offers up to 120fps, which allows for some slow motion antics. The best bang for your buck is probably found at 1080p, as you retain use of both optical and digital image stabilization as well as the HDR mode, whereas these features are lost at 4K.

The bottom line is that I can state with certainty that regardless of what device on what platform you are coming from, the Galaxy S6 camera is not going to disappoint.

Goldfish swarming in the pond. Bunny caught in "flight". Front garden. Entry to a fairy garden. Skyline at dusk. Android in low light. Detail shot of a flower.

9. Battery Life

The Galaxy S6 uses a 2550mAh battery, one of the few steps back from last year's Galaxy S5. This seems a particularly odd move given the substantial boost in power needed for the Quad HD display and the fact that users are no longer able to swap in a replacement battery should things get dire. However, Samsung asserted that the new 14nm Exynos processor offered sufficient energy savings to warrant the move.

For the most part, my results have borne out these claims. I haven't had difficulties making it through a day with the Galaxy S6, but tests have shown that overall the S6 does offer slightly decreased battery life from its predecessor. Down the road as the battery ages, this could start to present an issue for power users, and of course you won't be able to swap out a new battery to start the clock over on your battery in a year or two. The ability to fast charge (50 percent in about 30 minutes) with the charger included in the box with the Galaxy S6 helps alleviate some of the concern, and with the convenience of Qi charging, I find myself far more likely to just drop my phone on the charging pad here and there throughout my day.

Overall I think users would have been better served had Samsung stuck to a 2800mAh battery with the Galaxy S6, but it shouldn't present an issue for anyone other than edge case power users, and these are precisely the people that will know to take advantage of fast charging and Qi charging to further ameliorate any problem.

10. Extras

Physical extras aren't too common with smartphones anymore, but Samsung does actually still throw a pair of heapdhones in with the Galaxy S6, and while I wouldn't use them personally, it's a nice gesture on Samsung's part to make sure users have at least one set of headphones (so they aren't subjected to relying on that built-in speaker). Beyond that, I will also credit Samsung with providing the fast charging adapter in the box. I'm absolutely baffled by the manufacturers skimping on this accessory, as it makes for such a clearly superior experience for users.

Samsung has continued to lead the pack in for the last few years is offer a number of free software and services to go with its devices. Now clearly, the companies that you are signing up with hope that you will want to keep using their product and eventually pay them for it, but in the mean time you get to test out some interesting software for free.

You can hit this link for the full list, but some of the highlights are a free book each month via the Kindle app, three months of Audible and Evernote, 100GB of OneDrive storage for two years, six months of Pocket Premium and Endomondo Premium. There are over a dozen other offers worth over $500 in total, and while I'm sure you won't use all of them, there are a number of services in there that I pay for personally and are worth taking a spin with the free trials.

Samsung Galaxy S69 / 10

As I said at the outset, the Galaxy S6 is in many ways a total departure from the Galaxy S phones that have come before it. The exterior changes are the most obvious, and from the seamless glass and metal construction to the Quad HD screen, this phone looks like Samsung leapfrogged a couple generations in the often evolutionary advancement of the Galaxy S line.

For those that valued the removable battery, microSD expansion or even the waterproofing found in the S5, I can only say that thankfully with Android, you always have options, and the Galaxy S just isn't the option for you anymore.

The reality is that most users never took advantage of any of those features, and the tradeoff for the considerably more streamlined appearance of the Galaxy S6 is more likely to draw in mainstream users. And critically, the Galaxy S6 isn't just a pretty face. It continues the Galaxy S tradition of offering a nearly-unbeatable specs list, and this time, couples that with possibly the best smartphone camera to date. As of right now, the Galaxy S6 has clearly staked its claim as the Android smartphone to beat in 2015.


Android Match

Last chance: Save 67% on two years of NordVPN for a limited time [Deal]

Posted: 21 May 2015 12:29 PM PDT

redesign_nordvpn-mf6Don't fall victim to Internet hackers while using public Wi-Fi; protect your data and browse anonymously with NordVPN. Say goodbye to internet browsing restrictions, and hello to private unrestricted access and super savings. Get two years of NordVPN access and save 67% for a limited time, thanks to Cult of Android Deals. Here are some

The post Last chance: Save 67% on two years of NordVPN for a limited time [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.









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Now live on Android TV: SportsCenter, HBO and more with Sling TV

Posted: 21 May 2015 12:21 PM PDT

Android TV brings the best entertainment -- apps, games, movies, shows, music -- to the biggest screen in your home. Today, the Sling TV app adds your favorite dramas, live sports and more.

The NBA Playoffs and SportsCenter on ESPN
Sling TV offers 22 channels for $20 per month so you can catch live sports like The NBA Playoffs on ESPN and highlights on SportsCenter. Best of all, the app is available for phones, tablets and televisions powered by Android. Whether you're at home or stuck at the office, Android and Sling TV keep you connected to the teams you love.

Ballers℠ premieres on HBO®
Sling TV's tailored add-on packs also bring more current-season shows and live premieres to Android TV. Add HBO® to your core package for $15 to watch premium content like Game of Thrones® and True Detective®. Ballers℠ premieres at 10pm on June 21 -- catch it live on Sling TV.
Get started with a 50% discount on Nexus Player
Starting today in the United States, you can get the Sling TV app in Google Play on Nexus Player. If you've been considering getting Android TV, Sling TV is also offering Nexus Player at a 50% discount when you pre-pay for 3 months of service.

Posted by Thomas Riedl, Android TV Partnerships
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Hexy Launcher From SwiftKey Greenhouse Is A Weird Homescreen Replacement That Dumps Your Apps Onto A Hexagonal Grid

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:54 AM PDT

Hexy-ThumbAndroid app drawers come in all shapes and sizes, but most stick to the same basic formula. There's a homescreen with apps, folders, and widgets. Everything else is tucked away inside the app drawer.

Well, that isn't the case with Hexy. This experimental third-party launcher takes the apps that would otherwise be in your drawer and dumps them all over your homescreen. There they reside in a sea of hexagonal tiles.

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Hexy Launcher From SwiftKey Greenhouse Is A Weird Homescreen Replacement That Dumps Your Apps Onto A Hexagonal Grid was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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HTC Mail app is now live in the Google Play store

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:48 AM PDT

Lately HTC's been steadily releasing its custom Sense apps in Google Play, and today the company added another to the list.

HTC Mail is now live in Google Play, and it's got a lot of the features that you'd expect from an email app. That includes support for services like Gmail and Outlook, the ability to search for messages, and support for tweaking the text of your messages by changing its color, font, and more.

htcmailscreenshots

HTC Mail requires Android 5.0, and right now it looks like there are some device restrictions on the app too, because it's not compatible with a One M7 that I've got access to. That'll likely change soon, though, giving more HTC One users access to the app so that they can get future new features and bug fixes in a hurry.

HTC's custom email app can be found at the link below.


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Tip: Quickly Search Through Your Installed Apps By Pulling Down On Nova Launcher's App Drawer

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:05 AM PDT

unnamed (8)Nova Launcher is easily the top pick for conventional Android home screen replacements, and a "daily driver" for a good chunk of Android Police's staff. The latest update added a Material Design user interface, but there are other goodies hiding just below the surface. For example, version 4.0 includes a simple app search function hidden in the app drawer. It's especially handy if you've got hundreds of installed apps (like Artem) or just don't like organizing your apps into folders (like everyone else).

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Tip: Quickly Search Through Your Installed Apps By Pulling Down On Nova Launcher's App Drawer was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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HTC's Exclusive Mail App Arrives In The Play Store

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:05 AM PDT

HTCMail-ThumbLike other manufacturers, HTC has made it a thing to publish its stock apps to Google Play, allowing for easier updates. The latest addition is HTC Mail.

HTCMail4 HTCMail2

I used Mail on my One M7 for quite a while, and it's nothing fancy. The app pulls down your messages via IMAP or POP3 like a traditional email client. In terms of features, you have the essentials. You can manage multiple accounts, organize messages into folders, format text, and search through your inbox.

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HTC's Exclusive Mail App Arrives In The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube 60fps Video Support Appears To Be Rolling Out On Android, Plus 60fps Live Streaming Is Official

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:05 AM PDT

nexus2cee_YouTube.pngWe've gotten a few reports today of a new feature hitting the YouTube app, and it's a big one. After an extended public outcry, Google appears to be adding support for 60fps video to Android. Videos shot in 60fps look much smoother and more realistic, but this doesn't seem to be live for everyone yet.

kfIJHgyh

So far we've heard from two people using the Nexus 5 who have seen the 60fps playback option pop up.

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YouTube 60fps Video Support Appears To Be Rolling Out On Android, Plus 60fps Live Streaming Is Official was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Twitch For Android Gets New On-Demand Streaming Video, New App Icon, And A New Play Store Listing In The Latest Update

Posted: 21 May 2015 11:05 AM PDT

unnamed (7)Why did the Twitch app move from its old Play Store listing at "tv.twitch.android.viewer" to a new one at "tv.twitch.android.app?" Beats me - maybe it's because the added functionality in version 4.0 makes it more of a "full" interface for the popular streaming game video service, as opposed to simply a viewer. You still can't stream video directly from your Android device, but now you've got access to the whole expansive collection of gameplay videos.

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Twitch For Android Gets New On-Demand Streaming Video, New App Icon, And A New Play Store Listing In The Latest Update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Moto X Sequel To Include Front Facing Flash And Expandable Storage?

Posted: 21 May 2015 10:55 AM PDT

moto

 

Earlier this month a pretty extensive spec sheet for the upcoming Moto X leaked.  While that leak provided most of the key details for Motorola's next flagship, there's still more to be learned and one Verizon engineer may have spilled a few more beans.

Jose Arturo, a Verizon device test engineer, was apparently trying to provide some explanations for the delayed Droid Turbo update and in the process he also let slip some details for the new Moto X.  According to Arturo, the next gen Moto X may re-introduce expandable storage.  This is something Motorola went away from, particularly when they were under Google, but may be bringing back as it has consistently been a request from all prospective smartphone buyers.  The new Moto X might also include a front facing flash which will definitely please those selfie junkies out there,.

All of these posts have apparently been removed now which makes me think there is some legitimacy behind the claims.  We likely have a little ways to go before we get an official release but I'm sure as we near a launch more information will make its way out.

[Droid-Life]

Moto X Sequel To Include Front Facing Flash And Expandable Storage? is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Moto X Sequel To Include Front Facing Flash And Expandable Storage? appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Blue Topaz And Green Emerald S6 May Not Coming To Canada

Posted: 21 May 2015 10:55 AM PDT

Blue and Green S6

 

Just a couple of days ago Samsung officially launched two more colours options for their flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.  The Blue Topaz S6 and Green Emerald S6 Edge are both stunning colour options but it seems we may not be getting them here in Canada.

The guys over on Mobile Syrup received an e-mail from Samsung Canada which stated that "we do not have any specific information on Canadian availability to share about new GS6 colour variants."  While it doesn't outright state that the colours aren't coming our way, the e-mail also doesn't sound very promising at all and I personally wouldn't hold my breath waiting for these.

I guess you'll have to stick with the White, Black or Gold for your S6 or Edge!

[MobileSyrup]

 

Blue Topaz And Green Emerald S6 May Not Coming To Canada is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Blue Topaz And Green Emerald S6 May Not Coming To Canada appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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NSA hijacked Google Play to install spyware

Posted: 21 May 2015 10:53 AM PDT

The NSA teamed up with four other agencies to spy on smartphone users. Photo: NSAThe National Security Agency and several of its allies around the world have hijacked connections to multiple Android app stores to plant spyware on hundreds of millions of devices. According to a top secret document leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the Google Play Store, Samsung's app store, and UC Browser, a web browser that's incredibly popular in

The post NSA hijacked Google Play to install spyware appeared first on Cult of Android.









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Zen Puzzler Breath Of Light Mixes Basic Gravity Mechanics With Soothing Graphics And Music

Posted: 21 May 2015 10:06 AM PDT

unnamed (6)A good way to describe Breath of Light would be "ethereal." The soft, flowing music, abstract visuals, and odd lack of any kind of verbal or numerical user interface can almost lull you into a daze, which is an odd thing to say in praise of a puzzle game. And yet in a strange way it is a praise: the combination of music and visuals give Breath of Light that hard-to-define but nonetheless positive vibe of the best "zen" games.

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Zen Puzzler Breath Of Light Mixes Basic Gravity Mechanics With Soothing Graphics And Music was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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NSA and others targeted Google Play, Samsung app store to send malware

Posted: 21 May 2015 09:01 AM PDT

Apps have become one of the most important parts of our mobile devices. If we need something and it can be handled from a smartphone or tablet, an app is usually the way to get it done. So for the NSA and other agencies around the world, infecting those apps so many people download apparently seemed like an easy way to get access to information on those devices.

According to a report published by The Intercept, the U.S.-based National Security Agency (NSA), along with the agency's Five Eyes allies (entities in New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia), sought to infect applications available within the Google Play store, Samsung's own app store and other digital app-focused storefronts with malware. The goal was to access the information found on those handsets without the user knowing anything was happening behind the scenes.

According to the report, tests were run back in 2011 and 2012 as part of a program entitled Irritant Horn. Those tests were designed to find out if infecting the apps would gain the information they were seeking, as well as determine if other methods could be utilized to gain the same results.

The document, which was shared by Edward Snowden, and followed up with a report from The Intercept, outlines that the program was meant to determine how smartphones could be used for surveillance:

"The main purpose of the workshops was to find new ways to exploit smartphone technology for surveillance. The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google."

As it stands right now, the Google Play Store has several separate security measures to make sure that this type of behavior cannot actually be implemented.


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Chrome For Android Is Now Almost Completely Open Source After Huge Code Dump

Posted: 21 May 2015 08:58 AM PDT

nexus2cee_Chromium_thumb.pngThe code behind Google's Chrome browser has always been open source—it's known as the Chromium project. The Android port has thus far been more locked down, but that changes today with a big commit from the development team. Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source, and that could mean some cool new browsers are on the way.

On the desktop side, there are a bunch of browsers that are based on Chromium, for example Flock, Opera, and Yandex.

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Chrome For Android Is Now Almost Completely Open Source After Huge Code Dump was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Fiber customers get automatic fines for piracy

Posted: 21 May 2015 08:54 AM PDT

...and Google will remind you of that.Those who choose to obtain music, movies, and other wares illegally will want to think twice about switching to Google Fiber. Some subscribers have reported receiving automatic fines via Google for allegedly downloading pirated material. Rights holders contact internet service providers (ISPs) all the time if they discover that their content has been accessed or downloaded illegally, and in some

The post Google Fiber customers get automatic fines for piracy appeared first on Cult of Android.









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eBay's Close5 Android App Lets You Buy And Sell Locally In San Francisco, San Diego, And Las Vegas

Posted: 21 May 2015 07:56 AM PDT

Close5-ThumbThere isn't a person reading this site that hasn't already heard of eBay. The site has been around since the 90s and allows folks to buy and sell stuff all over the world. Now the company is working on a service that lets people sell exclusively in their local area. It's called Close5, and it's now available for Android. Unfortunately, most of us can't use it just yet.

Close5 currently only serves the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, and Las Vegas.

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eBay's Close5 Android App Lets You Buy And Sell Locally In San Francisco, San Diego, And Las Vegas was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Blu introduces the Studio C, priced at just $99

Posted: 21 May 2015 07:18 AM PDT

Blu Products has announced its newest smartphone, the Studio C, that certainly fits Blu's goal of creating high-quality devices at extremely low prices. The Studio C comes outfitted with specs such as a 5-inch 720p display, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage plus microSD card slot, 8-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, dual-micro SIM card slots, 3000mAh battery and Android 5.0 Lollipop.

The Blu Studio C is available now on Amazon and is priced at just $99. Five different color options of Sandstone Black, Ceramic White, Salmon Pink, Mint Green and Sun Orange are available, giving you a decent set of choices over the look of your smartphone. One note about the Studio C, it features GSM support with 3G access, no LTE here. Keep that in mind before pulling the trigger. Nonetheless, that may not be a deal-breaker with a price as low as this one. At the very least, the Studio C makes an excellent back-up phone should you break or lose your primary phone.

To purchase, follow the via link below.

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[Wake Me Up When September Ends] Spotify Adapts To Your Day And Runs, Adds Videos And Shows, But Only On iOS Now — Android Sometime Later

Posted: 21 May 2015 07:06 AM PDT

Spotify-Thumb

Here's an all too familiar story: major app or service gets new feature, releases it on iOS and says it's coming soon or later ... or sometime in the future we don't really know since we just started working on it and our one Android developer is a bit overwhelmed with everything we asked him to do just now and you should be patient because we really value our Android users, cross our heart and hope to die, and we want them to have the same experience as iOS users but it's hard to give you a solid timeline, so trust us that it's coming and we're trying really hard or as hard as we can to make it look like we are, but just leave us alone for a few months and maybe then ask us about it again?

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[Wake Me Up When September Ends] Spotify Adapts To Your Day And Runs, Adds Videos And Shows, But Only On iOS Now — Android Sometime Later was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[APK Teardown] Google Play Movies & TV v3.8 Prepares New Continuous Mode For Binge Watching TV Like A Pro

Posted: 21 May 2015 07:06 AM PDT

MoviesAndTv-Teardown

Google mixed things up a bit this week as all of the biggest app updates turned up on Monday, leaving mostly bug fixes and minor tweaks to roll out on Wednesday. We didn't get to see anything exciting from the likes of Keep, Gmail, or most of the other updates, but Play Movies & TV came packing at least one extra. True TV fans will be able to binge watch an uninterrupted stream of episodes from their favorite shows.

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Movies & TV v3.8 Prepares New Continuous Mode For Binge Watching TV Like A Pro was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Chromecast App Updated With Backdrop History And Layout Tweaks [APK Download]

Posted: 21 May 2015 07:06 AM PDT

chromecastMost updates to the Chromecast app don't warrant a full post around here, but hold crap, you guys. This one has backdrop history, finally. The app will now let you page through the last few images displayed on your Chromecast so you can find out what they were.

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The app has a few layout changes to accommodate the new focus on backdrop history. Now you'll have a card for your active Chromecast(s) with a history icon below the image preview.

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Chromecast App Updated With Backdrop History And Layout Tweaks [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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