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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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Twitter’s switch to hearts resulted in significant increase in activity

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 03:00 PM PST

A lot of people were angry that Twitter changed the favorite action with the star icon to the "like" with a heart icon. Why there was such a strong reaction to a change in icon, we'll never know. But it looks like the change has been working out well for Twitter.

The company has noticed a 6% increase in activity in old users since the change, which is a pretty huge change considering how many users Twitter has. The change in activity among new users is 9%, which is an even larger increase. Twitter was apparently right that the heart was an easier to understand icon.

It looks like there's no chance that Twitter will return to the old system, no matter people's displeasure over the situation.

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Google Will Consider Making Their Own Phone

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 03:00 PM PST

Google Devices Banner

Ever since its introduction, if you wanted a phone that was the closest to what Google wants in a smartphone, you would buy a Nexus phone. However, this could change in the future.

According to a report by The Information, Google has been internally discussing about building their own smartphone allowing them to have more control over hardware. This discussion follows the company's newest Chrome tablet, known as the Pixel C, which was built by Google alone.

Coincidentally, this news comes only days after The Information reported that Google was considering making their own SoC similar to how Apple does with their A series of SoCs.

[Droid-Life / The Information]

Google Will Consider Making Their Own Phone is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Google Will Consider Making Their Own Phone appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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First gen Moto 360 now $99.99 on the Google Store

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 02:45 PM PST

If you've been interested in Android Wear but have been waiting for the price to drop, now is a good time to buy. The first generation Moto 360 has been discounted on the Google Store from $149.99 to a mere $99.99.

The first gen Moto 360 isn't particularly quick, and its battery life isn't that great. You'll have to deal with some stuttering during use, though actual speed is fine. Despite all that, it's a great device if you don't need the absolute best.

At under $100, it's a fantastic deal and should be great for those who aren't sure if a smartwatch will suit them. Spoiler: it likely will. Let us know if you're buying one!

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Digitally Imported Radio (DI.FM) Gets Google Cast Support In Latest Update

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 02:26 PM PST


Digitally Imported Radio takes music and digitally imports it into your mobile device of choice. It's more practical than toting around analog media. Take your phone for example. You don't want to try sticking non-digital stuff in that.

With the newest version, you can take that digitally imported music and send it to your TV thanks to Google Cast support. Whether you're using an old Chromecast, a new one, or a set-top box with Android TV.

Read More

Digitally Imported Radio (DI.FM) Gets Google Cast Support In Latest Update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Apple Music Takes A Cross-Platform Trip To The Play Store

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 01:56 PM PST

imageApple has been promising an Android version of its new streaming service ever since it announced that it would adapt Beats Music into its own branded alternative. Today is the day: after publishing a cheeky "switch to iOS" app and a Beats speaker management app, Apple Music is now on the Play Store. Be sure and get your quips about pigs flying and infernal snowballs in while you can.

image (6) image (2) image (1)

The app is, presumably, for that subset of iOS and Mac users that have an Apple computer and/or tablet and an Android phone.

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Apple Music Takes A Cross-Platform Trip To The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Huawei Watch review

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 01:15 PM PST

The Huawei Watch is a surprising entry into the Android Wear game. Huawei went all out in creating one of the most beautiful smartwatches we've seen so far, and it has the specs to match. However, starting with a mid-range price point and going all the way to the super high-end, this watch isn't particularly cheap.


1.4-inch round AMOLED 400×400 display coated in sapphire crystal
1.2GHz Snapdragon 400
512MB storage
300mAh battery
Bluetooth 4.1 LE/WiFi
42mm diameter stainless steel body, 11.3mm thick
18mm strap
Where to buy: Get Huawei, Google Play Store


Huawei Watch review 2

The hardware of the Huawei Watch is truly beautiful. It was designed to look like a regular, classic watch. The stainless steel body on this unit was polished to a mirror finish, including a metal back (no cracking!) and the sapphire-coated display is a fantastic touch. This sapphire crystal is far harder to scratch than glass, which is important in a watch. Also, the button being at the 2 o'clock area instead of 3 o'clock was a great decision, functionality-wise.

Huawei Watch review 3

The strap on my unit is black leather with stitching. It's thinner than the 22mm strap on my first gen Moto 360, measuring at 18mm, but it's very high quality. The leather feels great and the strap is nice and pliable. A good feature Huawei uses is quick swappable bands. Each spring bar has a knob on it so you can swap bands without tools. I love this!

Inside are some really modern specs. With a Snapdragon 400 and 4GB of RAM, the watch is unbelievably smooth and fast. The 512MB of storage is lacking, but is par for the course when it comes to Android Wear watches.

Huawei Watch review 4

The display on this watch is absolutely gorgeous. It's a 1.4-inch 400×400 display, and the idea to use AMOLED was brilliant. The blacks are a deep black, making watch faces pop and look beautiful. It also has the perk of being pretty visible in direct sunlight.

The one thing lacking from the Huawei Watch is an ambient light sensor, something that Motorola has stuck with (and that causes the infamous flat tire). So the tradeoff for the fully round display is lack of auto brightness.

Without auto brightness, you're stuck at a single brightness. This means setting it bright will blind you at night (leaving a well lit building and having it blind you in your car is no fun), and setting it dim means you won't be able to see it well. Thankfully, you can triple tap the button to turn on brightness boost, so it's better to leave it low. Changing brightness is not particularly quick on Android Wear, so you'll stick with one brightness most of the time.

Huawei Watch review 5

The charger is a mixed bag. It has a magnetic base with a few pins on it that have to line up with the contacts on the back of the watch. The magnet does a pretty good job of aligning everything, but there were a few times where it missed and my watch didn't charge overnight. It doesn't take up much space, especially compared to Motorola's (far better) stationary Qi charger.

Huawei Watch review 6


The software is exactly what you'd expect from an Android Wear device: stock Android Wear. And that's a good thing, as I think OEM modifications would muddy the software, much like it does with Android smartphones. But Huawei did add its own touches in the form of tons of watch faces.

No, really, the amount of exclusive Huawei watch faces included is staggering. Each one is unique, and even though I don't like nearly all of them, they're all interesting. Many copy classic watches, making this watch look even more premium. Unfortunately, none of them seem to be customizable like Motorola's custom offerings.

Another nice feature is the always-on watch face. Likely thanks to the AMOLED display, the watch is always displaying a watch face, making it look more like a real watch and not relying on gestures to show you the time. Saying that, the gesture for viewing the full watch face works great and very rarely fails.

Everything on this watch just flies due to the powerful hardware. Each transition is buttery smooth, actions are fast, and I had no issues with the software at all. It's stock Android Wear and it feels so good.

Battery life

The battery is a 300mAh unit, but thanks to the modern processor and AMOLED display, I had no issues with the battery dying. It lasted me two days each time, with more than 50% remaining by the time I went to bed on the first day. This is with ambient mode on and the watch face being always on. I'm able to easily get a consistent 2 days of battery life out of it.

With ambient mode off, you could probably eek 3-4 days out of the watch. It's not at the point of weekly charging — I still charge it nightly — but it has a very competent battery to keep it running when you need it.

Huawei Watch9.5 / 10

Huawei Watch review 7

At $349 for the stainless steel base model with a leather band, it's a pricey offering in the Android Wear world. And it just goes up from there.

Huawei Watch review 9

The stainless steel model with link band is $399.

Huawei Watch review 10

The stainless steel model with steel mesh band is $399 as well.

Huawei Watch review 11

The black stainless steel with black steel link band is $449, a 22 karat rose gold-plated stainless steel model with coin-edge ring and alligator-style leather strap is $699, and a rose gold-plated model with rose gold-plated steel link band is $799. That's pricey.

But the Huawei Watch is damn near perfect, so I can't help but say it's worth every penny. It's beautiful, quick, smooth, and features many little details that just prove its worth. Everything from the quick swap bands to the selection of watch faces, Huawei knocked it out of the park.

The lack of ambient light sensor is kind of a bummer, because after using the Moto 360 for so long, I found not having auto brightness to be quite annoying. But I quickly grew used to it, so I'm sure you will too.

If you're in the market for a smartwatch and want something very premium, the Huawei Watch might be it. The sapphire display sets it ahead of the Moto 360 in terms of premium construction, but the Moto 360 is better in its own ways (including a lower price). If you choose the Huawei Watch, but you won't be disappointed.

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Google Finally Adds Offline Navigation To Maps

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 01:15 PM PST

Google Maps

Google Maps is without a doubt the most popular map application in the world but there has always been one feature missing from their mobile app, offline navigation.  Well that feature is now here as Google has added it in their latest update.

Now it was possible to save portions of a map previously but you could only view the map, not use it for turn by turn navigation.  With the new update, however, if you lose connection or don't have connection you can still utilize their wonderful turn by turn feature assuming you have that map content downloaded.  The offline version will also allow you to search for specific destinations and get information such as hours of operation!

Some features, such as live traffic, will not work when you're offline but once your phone re-establishes a network connection it will automatically bring those features back online.

Now if you haven't received the update yet, don't fret.  Google is gradually rolling it out so it might be a few days before you see the update hit your phone.


Google Finally Adds Offline Navigation To Maps is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Google Finally Adds Offline Navigation To Maps appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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T-Mobile Uncarrier X event; Free video streaming and data doubling

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 12:43 PM PST

John Legere took the stage to announce the latest Uncarrier moves today and this time it was all about data and video. "Data Day" was plastered across the screen and John announced that the standard Simple Choice Plans were getting Amped up with the following upgrades.

Doubling data

This one couldn't be more straightforward, these plans were 1GB, 3GB, 5GB and now will be 2GB, 6GB and 10GB. Otherwise no changes to the plans.

Binge On: Video streams free

Streaming video will be joining streaming music on T-Mobile with all included services not counting against your high-speed data caps. Video will be DVD quality with optimization done by T-Mobile, there's no bumping up past 480p at launch, but they expressed hope to move beyond at some point in the future. Binge On will start November 15 for new customers and November 19 for existing customers. Everyone with 3GB or higher data plan will be eligible for Binge On, same class of customer eligible for data stash.

At launch the included services are:

New services will be added at the request of customers or service providers as possible. YouTube was specifically mentioned as one that they are trying to work with, but no news at this point.

Family match

Fourth line will be free for a limited time only for anyone that signs up, normally $140 for four family members with 6GB each, just $120 right now. Unlimited 4G LTE will be available for a family of four at just $180, which is the lowest price ever.

Event is ongoing, new details will be added as available.

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Nexus 5X Now Available Through Canadian Carriers

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 12:43 PM PST

Nexus 5X Official - 2


As previously mentioned, the Nexus 5X is now available through select Canadian carriers.  The carriers that have added the device to their line up include Bell, SaskTel, Videotron, and WIND.  Eastlink also has plans to launch the device in the near future.

Outright prices range from $500-$600 while contract prices range from the $100-$150 mark.  All carriers only have the 16GB Carbon (Black) model available so if you're wanting more storage or a different colour you'll need to go through the Google Store.

Anybody picking one of these up today?


Nexus 5X Now Available Through Canadian Carriers is a post from: Android in Canada Blog

The post Nexus 5X Now Available Through Canadian Carriers appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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T-Mobile’s BingeOn plan lets you stream video for free

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 12:26 PM PST

Watching Netflix no longer counts against your data on T-Mobile.Binging your favorite shows on Netflix, HBO, and Hulu is about to get a lot cheaper now on T-Mobile thanks to the carriers new BingeON plans that let users stream as much video as they want, without it counting toward their data plan. The carrier has been looking to gain a competitive edge over AT&T

The post T-Mobile's BingeOn plan lets you stream video for free appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Twitch Adds Two-Factor Authentication For Accounts On Web And Mobile Apps

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 12:07 PM PST

unnamedTwitch has been the largest live streaming video platform for quite some time now, and now they decided to push out an update that helps users protect their accounts. Two-Factor Authentication is now available on all Twitch accounts.

Enabling this feature adds an additional layer of security by requiring something that you have in your possession, with the first layer being something you know (e.g. your password). This thing you have is a code, which can be generated through a Two-Factor Authentication application, or sent to you via a text message. This generated code changes after a brief interval, usually 30 seconds.

Read More

Twitch Adds Two-Factor Authentication For Accounts On Web And Mobile Apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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You can now pre-order Samsung Gear VR for $99

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 11:25 AM PST

Get ready for VR. Photo: SamsungSamsung's first consumer version of the Gear VR is now available to pre-order for $99.99. That's half the price of the original developer edition — and the new model is compatible with not just one, but four of Samsung's latest smartphones. Developed in collaboration with Oculus, Gear VR gives Galaxy smartphone owners the ability to

The post You can now pre-order Samsung Gear VR for $99 appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Get a lifetime subscription to PureVPN and save 88% [Deal]

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 10:55 AM PST

641ceb634cb533e48ba6aa5e0105ebb8e4e6e7f5_main_hero_imageMake sure your personal data and Internet activity are never exposed with the extremely reliable VPN trusted by over a million users. Whether you're looking to beat geo-restrictions to binge-watch your favorite show anywhere in the world, or you need to send personal banking information over a safe connection, lifetime access to PureVPN's self-managed VPN

The post Get a lifetime subscription to PureVPN and save 88% [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Fandroids can finally boogie down to Apple Music

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 10:25 AM PST

Apple Music is finally on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidApple Music for Android has finally arrived on the Google Play Store today after being publicly demoed at WWDC in June. The new app brings Android users over 30 million songs from the Apple Music catalog, Beats 1 Radio, Playlists, Connect, and more. Apple's offering users a 3-month trial, just like iOS. Pricing starts at

The post Fandroids can finally boogie down to Apple Music appeared first on Cult of Android.

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[APK Download] Maps 9.17 With Offline Navigation, Searching, Much Larger Saved Areas, And Direct Shortcut To Your Contributions

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 10:21 AM PST


Several years ago Google introduced the ability to use Google Maps offline, sort of. You could save portions of an area, but you couldn't use navigation, nor could you do much else. It was more of a tease than a practical feature.

At this year's I/O, Google announced that better things were on the way. Soon, the company said, we would get offline search. We would get turn-by-turn navigation.

Read More

[APK Download] Maps 9.17 With Offline Navigation, Searching, Much Larger Saved Areas, And Direct Shortcut To Your Contributions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Apple Music is now available for Android

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 09:55 AM PST

In June of this year, Apple officially announced that its music streaming service, Apple Music, would be making its way to Google's Android operating system at some point in the fall. Now, sure enough, the service is now available to Android users who want to give it a shot.

As far as what's available with Apple Music on Android, it looks like it's almost everything that's available for iOS users right out of the gate. That includes access to Apple Music's 30 million tracks as well as all of the individual categories to take advantage of. That includes the "For You" section, which will work through handpicked recommendations based on music you listen to, "Radio" that allows users to listen in on Beats 1 Radio, "Playlists", which is a quick way to find the unique playlists users put together, and "My Music", where the subscriber's music can be found.

Interestingly enough, Apple is calling this a beta, and lists a few important details for Android users:

  • Music videos are coming soon.
  • Sign-ups and upgrades to Family memberships require Mac or iOS.
  • Sign-up process to be optimized for Android.

For new subscribers, Apple is still offering a three-month trial period, so any potential listeners can try out the service for an extended period of time before deciding on handing Apple any of their money.

Do you plan on checking out Apple Music?

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Google giving away up to $12 Play Store credit ($6 per Chromecast)

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 09:25 AM PST

Google's original Chromecast has truly ended up being a great investment for me. I purchased it the day it was announced, and since then I've easily recieved enough free movie and Play Store credit to cover the cost of device. Recently, Google released two new Chromecasts. One is an updated version for your TV and the other is a new version to make any stereo a connected device. In a promotion to incentivize you to buy one, or to get current users to realize the joy of spending money in the Play Store, Google is giving away up to $12 in Google Play credit ($6 per Chromecast if you own more than one). This offer is available for new and old Chromecasts as well as Android TV devices.

To pick up your free Google Play money, you can use your phone or computer. I have the steps for the phone in screen shots below. Enter your Chromecast app, select the devices tab, then hit the setting button for a given Chromecast device. Once you're on your device's settings page, hit the menu in the corner and select "Check for offers". A popup will appear asking you to consent to sharing your Chromecast's information to help Google find your available offers. Obviously you need to consent if you want the free money. Once you agree, Google will "check for offers" and open your browser to show you available offers. I had 5 offers available, including the $6 per Chromecast offer, a free movie rental, and 90 days of Google Play Music if you're a new subscriber. Select your desired deal and you'll be taken to the Play Store to confirm your gift.

chromecast offer 4 chromecast offer 3 chromecast offer 2 chromecast offer 1

As a heads up, we know this deal is working in the US, but we're not sure if it's available elsewhere. Feel free to comment below if it is or isn't working where you are. Additionally, when Google was "checking for offers", this search failed several times for me. I don't know if this is because I have old Chromecasts or some other strange reason, but if this check for offers fails for you, just try again. It eventually worked for me. I now have $12 of Google Play credit, and icon pack themers should be stoked about that. This is a limited time offer, so take advantage of it soon.

Let us know if you have any questions or thoughts by commenting below. And be sure to let us know what you're going to spend your credit on. Enjoy your free money!

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EA Releases Star Wars Battlefront Companion App, Complete With 'Base Command' Strategy Card Game

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 09:21 AM PST


I have fond memories of playing Star Wars Battlefront over a decade ago. I was never the biggest Star Wars fan, but futuristic shooters and strategy games appealed to me, and Battlefront was both. You weren't just gunning down waves of rebel scum, you were attacking the right bases and deploying the best vehicles to crush the enemy's capacity to fight.

Star Wars Battlefront II arrived in 2005, only one year after the original's debut.

Read More

EA Releases Star Wars Battlefront Companion App, Complete With 'Base Command' Strategy Card Game was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Not all BlackBerry Priv handsets have wireless charging

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 08:55 AM PST

Will your Priv come with wireless charging? Photo: BlackBerryWouldn't it be annoying if you bought a smartphone with wireless charging, only to find out it didn't have wireless charging? That's what some BlackBerry Priv owners are experiencing in certain markets, because it turns out that for some inexplicable reason, not all models have wireless charging capabilities. When BlackBerry made the Priv official last

The post Not all BlackBerry Priv handsets have wireless charging appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google Maps update brings offline navigation and search

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 07:55 AM PST

Google Maps goes offline. Photo: GoogleGoogle Maps is getting offline navigation to ensure you never get stranded in a strange place when your data connection disappears. Users can download entire areas onto their smartphone, then get turn-by-turn directions even while they're offline. "Roughly 60 percent of the world is without Internet today, and even where online access is available, it

The post Google Maps update brings offline navigation and search appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google Officially Releases Offline Maps And Navigation, Available Starting Today On Android

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 07:21 AM PST


Back at Google I/O earlier this year, Google teased offline maps and turn-by-turn navigation in Google Maps, a feature that many of us have wanted for a long, long time. Today, that feature comes to fruition.


As of today's Maps update, users will be able to save specific areas to their devices when they know that they'll be in an area with poor data coverage. When an unacceptable connection is detected, Maps will automatically switch to offline mode; turn-by-turn directions, searches, store hours, and the like will all continue to be available.

Read More

Google Officially Releases Offline Maps And Navigation, Available Starting Today On Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Maps now with offline search and navigation

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 06:55 AM PST

After showing off Google Maps offline navigation and search at I/O in May, Google has finally beginning the rollout of the new feature. While most of us in the US and Europe don't think twice about using Google Maps with our data plans, the new feature will be especially handy for those who pay high data fees or simply don't have access to data while on the go. While Google has allowed users to download areas to their device in the past, the update to Google Maps now gives you the ability to use turn-by-turn navigation, search for local businesses and even business hours.

The new features should help quite a few Android users conserve their precious data, but Google is promising even more updates to improve Google Maps' offline capabilities in the near future. What Google Maps feature do you hope Google will add offline support for next?

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Nokia's Z Launcher Update Adds Synonyms And WhatsApp Contacts To Scribbles

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 06:51 AM PST


Nokia's Z Launcher is a bit different. Instead of a customizable homescreen where you place your app icons, it chooses them based on the ones you often open and you're most likely to need right now. Essentially, it adapts to your context. It has a few more tricks too, like scribbling the names of apps, contacts, and websites to launch them directly. In its new update, this scribble function is about to get a little more powerful.

Read More

Nokia's Z Launcher Update Adds Synonyms And WhatsApp Contacts To Scribbles was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Get a 30% discount on htc.com when you spend at least $650

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 06:40 AM PST

You know the drill. HTC is back for another Hot Deals Tuesday. The offers from HTC over the past few weeks have been good, but HTC has really outdone itself today by slashing the price of every product listed on their site by 30% if you spend $650 or more. Just think, you could buy a new HTC One M9 for only $454.30. If you're looking to spend a little less, HTC has you covered as well with three different discount tiers. 

  • Save 30% when you spend $650
  • Save 20% when you spend $400
  • Save 15% when you spend $200

If the HTC One M9 isn't really your thing, we recommend picking up the new HTC One A9 and the 32GB Nexus 9 for a cool $685.29. We really wish the HTC Vive was already available for purchase, but we doubt HTC would have included it in this promotion even if it was.

Is this week's HTC Hot Deal enticing enough for you to purchase a new smartphone, tablet or accessory from htc.com?

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Hangouts update delivers call quality improvements, UI tweaks

Posted: 10 Nov 2015 06:10 AM PST

Google has release a handful of new features to Hangouts, improving video quality and tweaking the UI for an overall cleaner experience. The updates are baked into an updated version of the Hangouts Android app and the desktop browser experience. The main UI of the app hasn't really changed, but Google has made a few tweaks that clean up the on-screen controls during video calls.

The update to the browser-based version is slowly being rolled out to small groups of users, but Google is planning to make it widely available in the near future. If you happen to be included in the initial rollout and don't really want to deal with the new changes, you can go to http://g.co/hangouts or select "Original version" from the menu in the top right corner.

Let us know if you see any significant performance improvements the next time you use Hangouts.

Android app updates

  • Create group MMS messages for Google Voice
  • Landscape support for contacts list and compose screens on all devices
  • New Google Hangouts welcome screen
  • Performance improvements including better stability, latency and call quality

Desktop Browser updates

  • Calls that start faster and stay crisper, with higher quality video
  • A more streamlined and immersive full-screen interface
  • A simpler way to invite friends and family to your calls

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