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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Unboxing videos of the Nexus 5X and 6P start popping up

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 02:05 PM PDT

While the Nexus 5X and 6P went up for pre-order for a while now, people haven't had the chance to get their hands on the devices yet. A lot of us are patiently waiting for the devices to arrive. But there are a few unboxing videos for the devices already up, and they offer insight on what comes in the box.

The Nexus 5X comes in a very simple box, which includes a (very large) wall adapter with a USB Type-C port on it. The cable that's supplied is a Type-C to Type-C cable, identical and reversible on both ends. This does mean you'll need a separate cable to sync the device with your computer.

The Nexus 6P comes in a very similar box, and while it also includes a dual ended Type-C cable, supplied is a Type-C to regular USB adapter so you can at least sync your phone with a computer out of the box. The extra cash does get you a bit more.

Otherwise, the packaging for the devices is nearly identical, and the devices look really nice. How many of you are waiting for your new Nexus device? Leave a comment!

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SwiftKey releases first keyboard with neural network word predictions

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 01:24 PM PDT

SwiftKey pioneered predictive keyboards (and still does it best, in my opinion), but the company won't stop there. It has released experimental keyboards before, but the latest is more than just a minor experiment. It's called SwiftKey Neural Alpha, and it's the first keyboard to use a neural network for word predictions.

While the details are fairly complicated, neural networks don't just learn from existing patterns, but form an understanding of words and sentences. Do you ever notice SwiftKey suggesting a word that could go after the word you just typed but simply doesn't fit into the sentence? Neural Alpha aims to fix that.

If you want more information on the processes behind the keyboard, head over to the SwiftKey Blog to learn more! And hit the source link to give it a shot for yourself. Don't worry, you can change the theme from purple to regular old SwiftKey carbon.

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BLOCKS is the modular smartwatch we’ve waited for

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 12:24 PM PDT

With modular smartphones like Project Ara getting lots of attention, it was only a matter of time before a modular smartwatch hit the scene. BLOCKS is the world's first modular smartwatch, and it looks even better than we'd expect from a modular smartwatch. BLOCKS works by having modules that all connect in a strap to a central watch, called the Core. The Core is a fully-functioning smartwatch that features a round touch screen and all of the abilities that you'd expect from a modern smartwatch, such as phone notifications, activity tracking and voice control. In the future, more Core options will be available with options such as rectangular and e-ink displays.

As for the modules, you can simply link them together as part of your smartwatch strap. As far as we can tell, there isn't a set limit on how many can be linked together at once, although there will certainly be a practical limit based on the fact that the modules make up the strap of BLOCKS. For current modules, you can choose from an extra battery, heart rate sensor, GPS, NFC and an Adventure module that tracks altitude, pressure and temperature. There are also planned modules such as a GSM SIM card slot and fingerprint reader. The BLOCKS team gave plenty of examples for future modules and what can be done with them.

The BLOCKS team is currently working with partner companies to develop and create more modules. BLOCKS is currently available through Kickstarter and has already met its $250,000 goal. The estimated release date is May 2016, which isn't too terribly far away. For $195, you can get a BLOCKS core and a strap. But for $285, you can get a BLOCKS core and four modules of your choice. With that pricing structure, BLOCKS actually looks to be pretty affordable and right on par with pricing of competitors.

Follow the source link for more info and backing options.

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Nexus 6P Coming To Bell On October 26!

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 12:19 PM PDT

We knew pretty early on that some Canadian carriers would be carrying the new Nexus devices and now we have a release date for at least one device from at least one carrier.  Thanks to some proactive work from @DannyCanadian, we now know that Bell will launch the Nexus 6P on October 26.  We're still unsure of when the Nexus 5X will hit but hopefully it isn't too far behind.

In terms of pricing, nothing was detailed but Rogers currently has the Nexus 6P up for reservation at $200 on a 2-year term and $700 outright so it's likely other carriers will be priced similarly.  It would also appear that carriers will only be getting the lowest storage options, 16GB for the Nexus 5X and 32GB for the Nexus 6P, so if you're needing more space your best bet is likely to go through Google directly.

We'll keep an eye on any more developments on the Nexus devices coming to Canadian carriers and once we know more we'll pass it along.


Nexus 6P Coming To Bell On October 26! is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Nexus 6P Coming To Bell On October 26! appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Refurbished Nexus 6 down to $269.99 on eBay

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 11:45 AM PDT

Google recently introduced two new Nexus devices, which has accordingly sent the price of the Nexus 6 into a tailspin. The price has been dropping all over the place, but this latest sale takes it as low as we've seen. Guaranteecellular, an eBay seller, has priced the 32GB manufacturer refurbished Nexus 6 at just $269.99, making it a steal for anyone looking to get a great phone at a great price.

Even at a year old, the Nexus 6 is still a fantastic device, bringing in a gorgeous 6-inch QHD AMOLED display that's perfect for consuming media on. Combine the impressive specs list with the power of Google and its speedy update process and you've got a killer combo that's still got a lot of life in it. If you're looking for a bargain, this is the one you should jump on. Follow the source link to check out the eBay listing.

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Save 43% on the Monster Overdrive portable SSD [Deal]

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 11:28 AM PDT

bf01b9a9f8671b89adfe73ba76b1a663d8919ae7_main_hero_imageStoring your hard drive safely in your closet does you little good when you're on-the-go—but sticking to the cloud can end in a hacker catastrophe. There's no better solution for this classic tech dilemma than the spacious Monster Overdrive, which packs 128GB of storage for just $44.99 — 43% off its regular retail price — for

The post Save 43% on the Monster Overdrive portable SSD [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.

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iPhone 6s Plus somehow batters Galaxy Note 5 in real-world speed test

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 11:28 AM PDT

On your marks, get set, go! Photo: PhoneBuffWhen it comes to specifications, Apple's latest iPhones look like they're lagging far behind their Android-powered rivals. But thanks to super-efficient software, they're not as slow and as outdated as they might look on paper. This is demonstrated in the real-world speed test below, in which the iPhone 6s Plus somehow batters a Galaxy Note 5.

The post iPhone 6s Plus somehow batters Galaxy Note 5 in real-world speed test appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google records your voice searches — and you can hear them all

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 10:56 AM PDT

Ok Google is listening... and recording. Photo: GoogleGoogle is incredibly accurate at understanding voice searches, which makes it super useful on mobile when you might want to find information without using your hands. But did you know that the company records every single voice search you make? What's more, you can listen back to each and every one. Don't believe us? Visit your "Voice &

The post Google records your voice searches — and you can hear them all appeared first on Cult of Android.

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[So Spooky Right Now] 'Halloween Watch Face' Is A Watch Face For, Well, I Bet You Can Guess

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 10:52 AM PDT

DSC_0679-01Halloween. What a wonderful holiday. Costumes, haunted houses, pumpkin evisceration, and free candy. Seriously, there are few holidays that can compete with Halloween in crazy awesomeness and weirdness (St. Patrick's day, I'm giving you the second place prize).

When I used to work in the business world I could wear orange ties and crazy socks to celebrate Halloween all month-long. Now that I work in a hospital where I wear the same hospital provided scrubs every day, my options for self-expression are severely limited.

Read More

[So Spooky Right Now] 'Halloween Watch Face' Is A Watch Face For, Well, I Bet You Can Guess was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Review: Photolamus

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 10:18 AM PDT

You might not come across many caricaturists in your lifetime. On vacation or in tourist spots, you can likely sit down with an artist and have them draw you in 10 minutes, but these experiences are not regular occurrences and are usually pretty expensive.

When we've all got thousands of photos of ourselves and our loved ones at our fingertips, why would we need to sit still in front of gathering onlookers in order to get our faces drawn? Photolamus is a caricature service that aims to bring artists and customers together in this increasingly digital world.

Photolamus screensUsing Photolamus is simple. Through the company's Android app (as well as Web, iOS and Mac interfaces), simply submit your photo, select the desired style and receive your caricature in digital form in 1-5 days.

Prices vary based on the number of people present in the provided photo, the style chosen and the required turnaround time. Styles range from black and white pencil, to full-color digital drawings, with a broad number of themes from Vacation to Sports to Halloween to Professions or a straight-up regular caricature. All Photolamaus's caricatures are 100% hand-drawn by artists across the globe — it isn't simply an app that just applies gawky effects to your images. There are no computer-generated images involved — these are real caricatures from real artists.

And the results are truly excellent. You can check out some of Photolamus's artists' recent works at the company's website or within the app, but if you don't believe those, check out the Halloween themed caricatures provided of my photo below. These were returned to me within 24 hours of submitting my photo to Photolamus which is a truly impressive turnaround.

Photolamus examples

The quick turnaround makes them ideal as gifts and their digital delivery means you are not waiting (or paying) for a physical package to arrive at your door. Photolamus does not offer printed versions — if you submit your image in the Android app, you'll receive the finished version there too — and instead provides high-res caricatures in digital form. The 4,000px by 4,0000px resultant image is owned by you and can be used in whatever form you want — from your Twitter avatar or Facebook profile pic to being self-printed on canvas (up to 100cm by 100cm without loss in quality).

The Android app itself is fairly plain in terms of design, but it makes it easy to upload your photo (by taking new, adding from the Gallery, or from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Flickr or VK) and place an order with your desired theme. There's no way to preview the result and no free trial — the artist has to draw it, after all — which may disappoint some users. However, the artists — like you, no doubt — can't work for free.

The app is translated into a slew of languages meaning it can be used all around the world and there are regular opportunities to win discounts and prizes through the app.

Photolamus screens 2

To coincide with the review here at Android and Me, Photolamus has dropped the prices of its caricatures to provide our readers with some sweet deals:

Pencil, Black & White — from $12.99 $9.99
Pencil, Color — from $18.99 $15.99
Digital, Color — from $24.99 $19.99

The prices are affordable and, having seen the results, are worth every penny in my opinion. Being hand-drawn, the results are unique to each order and, if you're willing to pay a little extra, you can have the caricature back within one day which makes for a great last minute gift.

Check out Photolamus on Google Play where it can be downloaded for free.

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How to access Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s hidden file manager

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 09:59 AM PDT

Marshmallow has lots of hidden tricks. Image: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow is filled with hidden features. We've already told you about its secret "System UI Tuner," and now a built-in file manager that lets you organize your photos, music, documents, downloads, and more has been discovered. Here's how you can access it. Just like the System UI Tuner, Marshmallow's file manager is incredibly

The post How to access Android 6.0 Marshmallow's hidden file manager appeared first on Cult of Android.

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VLC 1.6 For Android Comes With Fewer Permissions, Speed Improvements, And More

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 08:21 AM PDT


VLC remains perhaps the best ways to play video files of any shape or format on a desktop, and the story is similar on mobile devices. With version 1.6, the developers have pushed out some changes to smooth out your video playing experience.

To begin with, VLC now asks for fewer permissions if you're running Android 4.4 or higher. On a tablet running Lollipop, the app asked for access to Device & app history, Photos/Media/Files, and Device ID & call information.

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VLC 1.6 For Android Comes With Fewer Permissions, Speed Improvements, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 to rip off the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 07:28 AM PDT

The next Galaxy is going to be even better. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidThe pressure-sensitive displays packed into Apple's latest iPhones give them a unique advantage over their rivals, but not for long. Samsung is already working to put a pressure-sensitive screen of its own into next year's Galaxy S7, new reports claim. According to a source on Chinese microblogging network Weibo, Samsung will use Synaptics' new ClearForce technology

The post Samsung Galaxy S7 to rip off the iPhone 6s' 3D Touch appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Apple Watch is ‘phenomenal’ but not a threat, says TAG Heuer CEO

Posted: 13 Oct 2015 05:58 AM PDT

tag-heuer-carrera-teaser-fixed_0Swiss watchmakers have been tripping over themselves to dismiss the Apple Watch as a threat, but TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver has come out with what I think is one of the fairer assessments of Apple's debut wearable device to date. His take? That the Apple Watch is hella bad news if you're a low-priced

The post Apple Watch is 'phenomenal' but not a threat, says TAG Heuer CEO appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Samsung's Game Tuner App (For S6, S6e, S6e+, Note 5) Is An Awesome Way To Scale Any Game's Resolution And FPS

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 05:35 PM PDT

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A shockingly useful piece of software? From Samsung? Color me surprised, too, but the company's new Game Tuner app is nothing short of incredibly useful for mobile gamers. As you may well know, playing visually-intensive games on your smartphone can demolish the battery fairly quickly. While most such games render at 1080p - even on 2K displays like Samsung's - such resolutions can be burdensome on both your battery and your device's processor, causing throttling and excessive power drain.

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Samsung's Game Tuner App (For S6, S6e, S6e+, Note 5) Is An Awesome Way To Scale Any Game's Resolution And FPS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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28 New And Notable Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (9/29/15 - 10/12/15)

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 05:04 PM PDT

nexus2cee_gamethumbWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.


Ski Safari 2

Android Police coverage: Have A Blast Sliding Until You Die – Ski Safari 2 Is Now Available On The Play Store

The original Ski Safari was well-received thanks to high production values and a laser focus on the basics of the runner genre.

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28 New And Notable Android Games From The Last 2 Weeks (9/29/15 - 10/12/15) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Posted: 12 Oct 2015 04:03 PM PDT

BBM APK Download

BlackBerry Messenger, the popular BlackBerry-owned messaging service, has started rolling out a new 'PayPal integration' feature for Android users in the form of an app update. The feature aims to let users quickly sending money to BBM contacts as an attachment. Thanks to its just released version update that also has some under-the-hood performance improvements.

BlackBerry has provided a quick change log of the Android update:
• Bug fixes and performance improvements
• Official BBM Sticker Club subscription in the BBM Shop
• PayPal integration for sending money to BBM contacts as an attachment
• Customizable font size within BBM conversations with pinch-to-zoom
• Enhancements to BBM Voice connectivity
• View, like, and comment on group pictures and other events from within BBM feeds.

The update is now available to grab on the Google Play Store. As always, you can download the latest BBM apk file from the source link given below.

Download BBM APK

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Mystery OnePlus phone leaks again in new, clearer images

Posted: 12 Oct 2015 03:46 PM PDT

Remember that mysterious OnePlus smartphone that the FCC leaked last week? Well it's back today, but this time it's China's TENAA agency that's doing the leaking.

TENAA has posted a few images of an unannounced OnePlus smartphone — TENAA calls it the "One E1001" — that looks largely similar to the one leaked by the FCC last week. It's got the same off-center rear camera, the same rear OnePlus logo, and the same switch on its left side. These photos also give us a better look at the phone's face, on which we can faintly see what looks to be capacitive Back, Home, and Recent Apps buttons.


In addition to these images, the TENAA listing named a few of the specs of this OnePlus "One E1001." Those include a 5-inch display, a 2450mAh battery, and measurements of 140.0 x 69.0 x 6.9mm. Last week, the FCC said that this phone packs a 1.9GHz processor, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, LTE, and FM radios.

It's still unclear exactly what this OnePlus device is, but it could be the affordable device that OnePlus CEO Pete Lau briefly mentioned earlier this year. Lau didn't say much else about the phone at the time, but the smallish screen and battery that this leaked phone have suggest that it'll be a more affordable handset. Perhaps this is the OnePlus mini/OnePlus X that's been rumored lately?

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