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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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IMDb Android App Gets Material Design Updates To Action Bar, Navigation Menu, Search, And More [APK Download]

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 02:21 PM PST


What's playing right now? I don't know. Check IMDb. And while you're there, notice the new look. The Android app now comes off as a piece of software ready for the post-Lollipop era.

We're not talking a change to how the app feels here, as all buttons are more or less where they were. But now the hamburger menu has disconnected from the edge of the screen, as we've come to expect since leaving KitKat behind.

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IMDb Android App Gets Material Design Updates To Action Bar, Navigation Menu, Search, And More [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Real-Time Mobile Comments Are Now Supported In Google Docs, Sheets, And Slides Across Both Android And iOS

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 01:21 PM PST


Collaborative features are a big part of the draw to Google's online office suite. Part of this is the ability for multiple people to edit documents from two locations at once. Since this can get hectic really fast, another important part is being able to communicate using comments. Now mobile comments look the same across Android and iOS in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Whichever app you're using, you can communicate in real-time.

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Real-Time Mobile Comments Are Now Supported In Google Docs, Sheets, And Slides Across Both Android And iOS was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Lace Up Your Gunboots—Roguelike Platformer 'Downwell' Drops Into The Play Store

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 12:35 PM PST


Downwell hit Steam and iOS last year, and the developer has been working on an Android release for a while now. You might not expect it from the pixelated screenshots, but Downwell has been collecting plenty of accolades from players and critics thanks to its tight platforming and innovative gameplay. At long last, the Android version is here.

The gist of Downwell is that you're falling down a well filled with monsters, but also treasure.

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Lace Up Your Gunboots—Roguelike Platformer 'Downwell' Drops Into The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hit vertical scrolling shooter Downwell drops for Android

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 12:25 PM PST

Downwell was a surprise indie hit late last year on iOS and PC, appearing on multiple game of the year lists and frequently called out by reviewers as wildly addictive.

At first glance, the game is not much to look at. It uses simple 8-bit graphics and an extremely limited color palette, so if the retro aesthetic isn't your thing, this probably won't be the game for you.

The goal of the game, as the title suggests, is to get down while avoiding traps and jumping on or blasting enemies with your gun boots until you reach the final boss. You can move yourself side to side while falling and jump when you find yourself on solid ground or atop an enemy. Jumping on enemies recharges your boots and starts you on a combo that is stopped as soon as you touch down on actual ground.

You will find a variety of power-ups along the way, including additional health (you start with 4 health) and modifications to your weapon like the Laser and Shotgun that have advantages and disadvantages.

Despite the simplistic art style and gameplay, Downwell can be shockingly difficult, particularly as you unlock new play styles. This is the kind of game you could find yourself playing for months on end trying to truly master it.

If you want to get an idea of what you are in for, here's a 20-minute video of someone clearing Hard mode.

If any of this has piqued your interest, you can pick up Downwell in Google Play right now for $3.00.

Let us know how you fare with it.

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Insane Nexus 5 mod adds microSD card slot

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 11:56 AM PST

A Nexus 5 with expandable storage? It's possible. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidNeed more storage for your Nexus? Google's latest models don't have an expandable storage option, unfortunately — but that doesn't mean you can't add your own. One Nexus 5 owners has proven it's possible to add a microSD card slot to the device that's fully supported by Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Only the very first Nexus phone released

The post Insane Nexus 5 mod adds microSD card slot appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P get another price cut

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 10:51 AM PST

Get another $50 off Google's latest Nexus devices. Photo: GoogleGoogle is again offering a sweet discount on its latest smartphones, but you'll have to act quickly to take advantage of this one — which will save you $50 on all models of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Despite launching both devices just four months ago, Google has already offered a variety of discounts on

The post Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P get another price cut appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google has shipped over 5m Cardboard headsets, served 25m VR apps

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 10:21 AM PST

Google Cardboard is a winner. Photo: GoogleGoogle Cardboard may not be the most sophisticated virtual reality headset, but it's definitely the most accessible. As such, it's been a huge success, with more than 5 million units shipped to date, and over 1,000 Cardboard apps now available on Android. Cardboard was one of the first headsets to turn almost any phone into a VR

The post Google has shipped over 5m Cardboard headsets, served 25m VR apps appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Win the ultimate Star Wars bundle worth $248 [Deal]

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 10:21 AM PST

images_mediumIt's the perfect pair. Take home Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, and embark on the six-film adventure to a galaxy far, far away. But it doesn't end there. Every true fan needs a Astromech Droid by their side and BB-8 is as good as it gets. This authentic robot will explore, record, and

The post Win the ultimate Star Wars bundle worth $248 [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google Cardboard crests 5 million units shipped, over 1,000 apps available in Google Play

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 10:05 AM PST

Google has made a few moves, including appointing of a head of virtual reality, over the last month that point to a greater commitment to VR in the future, and today Google's blog is highlighting how far it has come with VR already.

Google Cardboard is unquestionably the most widely used VR platform in history, with over 5 million having shipped since the launch 19 months ago. It may not be remotely the equal of the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, or even Samsung's Gear VR, but it is still capable of delivering amazing experiences at a fraction of the cost of anything else on the market.

There are now over 1,000 Google Cardboard compatible apps in Google Play and over 25 million Cardboard apps have been installed from Google Play, with 10 million of those coming in the period from October to December. The top 5 apps for Cardboard are Chair in A Room, Vrse, Lamper VR: Firefly Rescue, Caaaaardboard! and Proton Pulse.

Over 350,000 hours of YouTube content have been watched in VR and since the launch of Cardboard Camera in December, and over 750,000 VR photos have been captured with it.

Highlighting the educational opportunity offered by Cardboard, over half a million students have now used it to take a virtual field trip with Google Expeditions.

These are impressive statistics for something that many people assumed was a joke when it first launched. In an exclusive interview with Time today, Clay Bavor, the aforementioned new VR head for Google, had a few comments on the future of VR at Google. When asked about new higher-end Cardboard "hardware," he made it clear that Google's primary focus was on making sure that everyone could have access to VR, but that Cardboard in its current form is "not the end of the line." "I think if you imagine the types of things that a company with the ambition and the technical resources and the know-how of Google would be working on, we're working on a lot of those things," he said.

While Google may not be pushing the boundaries of what's possible with VR right now, it is positioning itself as the company that delivers VR to the masses, and that is potentially an incredibly valuable place to be at the dawn of mainstream VR.

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Android Developer Story: Travel app Wego, increases monthly user retention by 300% with material design

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 09:22 AM PST

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Headquartered in Singapore, Wego is a popular online travel marketplace for flights and hotels for users in South East Asia and the Middle East. They launched their Android app in early 2014, and today, more than 62 percent of Wego app users are on Android. Wego recently redesigned their app using material design principles to provide their users a more native Android experience for consistency and easier navigation.

Watch Ross Veitch, co-founder and CEO, and the Wego team talk about how they increased monthly user retention by 300 percent and reduced uninstall rates by up to 25 percent with material design.

Learn more about Material Design, how to use Android Studio, and how to find success on Google Play with the new guide 'Secrets to App Success on Google Play.'

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Bell Rolling Out Marshmallow For The HTC One M9

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 09:21 AM PST

HTC Marshmallow Logo

Another device has ascended to Marshmallow greatness as Bell is currently rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the HTC One M9!  Marshmallow is Google's latest version of our favourite green robot and comes with sweet features like Doze, Now on Tap, and granular app permissions.

As for the other carriers, Rogers customers should already have the update according to Rogers' update schedule (anyone confirm this?) and Telus is slated to roll out the update on February 4.

If you don't see a notification for the update, jump into your settings and scroll down to "about phone."  You should be able to check for an update manually in there.


The post Bell Rolling Out Marshmallow For The HTC One M9 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Get Your Tweet On For A Good Cause #BellLetsTalks

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 09:21 AM PST

Bell Lets Talk

Over the past five years Bell has been raising money for mental health awareness with their Let's Talk campaign.  Last year they raised $6.1 million to support mental health awareness in Canada but I feel like we can all help them do even better this year.  The campaign runs today only and you can help raise money by simply sending a Tweet with #BellLetsTalk.  You can also help by sharing the Bell Let's Talk image on Facebook.  For each share/Tweet, Bell donate 5 cents so if there was ever a day to waste your time on social media, today is it!

Bell customers can also help by simply placing a call or sending a text.  Each call or text made today by a Bell customer will also raise 5 cents.  So call/text your mom today and tell her what a wonderful person you are in helping with this good cause!

[Bell / Facebook]

The post Get Your Tweet On For A Good Cause #BellLetsTalks appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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[International Giveaway] Like Wallpapers? We Have 50 Backdrops Pro Codes To Give Away

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 09:16 AM PST

Ghastly Galaxy_crop

A couple of weeks ago, Google gave developers a way to offer promo codes for their apps. Shortly after, we teamed up with the developer of LocalCast to hand out 50 promo codes for the premium version of the app, which was a great success. Today, we're teaming up with the dev behind Backdrops, a popular wallpaper app, to give out 50 codes for Backdrops Pro. Let's go.

First off, if you haven't tried Backdrops, I feel bad for you, son.

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[International Giveaway] Like Wallpapers? We Have 50 Backdrops Pro Codes To Give Away was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon’s first Super Bowl ad is all in on the Echo

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 08:36 AM PST

While the Amazon Echo has garnered quite a bit of praise ever since its launch as an invite-only curiosity in November of 2014, it will likely come as a surprise to many when the Echo appears as the central focus of Amazon's first Super Bowl ad next month.

Amazon released a teaser for the ad today, featuring Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino planning a Super Bowl party and the Echo chiming in with some helpful advice.

The teaser definitely fails to highlight the actual utility of the Echo for me, so hopefully Amazon figures out how to shoehorn a little more into the real ad if they are trying to convince folks to take another look. One of the convenient features of the Echo is keeping a list for you, so putting a smartphone in Marino's hands with the list from the Echo as it updates would make a lot more sense to me.

Amazon has shown its dedication to the Echo with continuous updates and increased functionality over the last year, and rumors of a portable Echo seem to reaffirm that dedication, but putting the little black speaker front and center in a Super Bowl ad is the clearest sign yet that Amazon views the Echo as a crucial part of its ecosystem.

What do you think of the teaser ad? Can Amazon can sell the Super Bowl audience on the Echo?

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Samsung to copy iPhone Upgrade Program to stop switchers

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 08:21 AM PST

Samsung doesn't want you to commit to Apple. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidSamsung is reportedly planning to launch its own upgrade program to give Galaxy smartphone fans an easy and more affordable route to its latest devices. The move would be a direct response to Apple's iPhone Upgrade Program, and could prevent long-time users from making the switch to iOS. "Samsung could start the program once its

The post Samsung to copy iPhone Upgrade Program to stop switchers appeared first on Cult of Android.

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T-Mobile BOHO deal is on, save 50% on second smartphone from same manufacturer

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 07:35 AM PST

Thanks to our compatriots at TmoNews, we gave you the heads up on this deal yesterday and, just as predicted, the deal is now live.

New and existing customers on Simple Choice plans are eligible for this offer, with the caveat that you have to buy both smartphones from the same manufacturer, so no mixing your LG G4 with a Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+. You can apply the deal on up to 6 devices and can purchase through either an installment plan or pay for the devices outright.

The full list of eligible devices include:

  • Samsung Galaxy S6
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5
  • LG G4
  • LG V10
  • Some Apple devices too, apparently. Not that any of you care.

The deal is available either in-store or by calling 1-877-413-5903. There's on way to access it online, unfortunately.

T-Mobile didn't give an end date for the deal, only that it is a limited time offer, so if you want to take advantage I would recommend doing it sometime this week.

Anyone planning to take T-Mobile up on this deal?

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Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P discounted €80 and €100 in Europe

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 07:05 AM PST

If you live and Europe and were planning to buy a new phone, we highly recommend checking out the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Between now and February 16, Google is offering a €80 discount on the Nexus 5X and a €100 discount on the larger Nexus 6P, regardless of the phone's storage capacity. Those with money to spare could pick up the 128GB Nexus 6P for €749. If you're on a tight budget, you can always get your hands on the 16GB Nexus 5X for €349.

Even with the discounted prices, both phones are still priced higher than they are in the US, but you do need to take into consideration that the listed price includes VAT (value added tax) which typically sits at about 20% in most European countries.

If you happen to already own either of the phone, please leave a comment below and let prospective buyers know what they should expect from the phone you own.

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Deal: 16GB Nexus 5X available for $299 from Amazon

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 07:05 AM PST

While deals on the Nexus 5X are becoming increasingly common, this remains the lowest price we have seen (ignoring bundled items anyway), and it is the first time we have seen it his this price on Amazon, which I know is basically the only place that many of us shop at this point.

Unfortunately there is no matching discount on the 32GB model, but they do have both the black 16GB and the white 16GB model available. The 16GB Mint Nexus 5X is also part of the deal, but won't ship for 2-5 weeks.

We still have mixed feelings on the Nexus 5X overall, but below $300 it is an easy recommendation for those that want to stick to a budget but don't want to give up regular Android updates.

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HTC M10 To Follow In The A9’s Footsteps?

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 10:21 PM PST

HTC One A9

HTC has been free falling for a couple of years now so the time for change is now.  Current rumour has it that HTC might redesign the M series for 2016 but according to a rather cryptic Tweet from @evleaks, the overhaul may not be as extreme as some may think (and maybe hope)!


Now Evan didn't specifically state that he's talking about the design but the software really isn't that different between the M series and the A series so that wouldn't make a lot of sense.  The design, on the other hand, does have some clear differences with the A series looking very much like a certain fruity phone.

When asked for some more information, Evan did state that an article was on the way so we may have some more information regarding the M10 soon.


The post HTC M10 To Follow In The A9's Footsteps? appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google Lowers The Nexus 5X Price Yet Again, Now Starts At $389

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 08:21 PM PST


Only a couple of weeks after the initial $60 price earlier this month, Google has yet again dropped the price of its "budget" Nexus 5X smartphone.

Google is now selling the 16GB Nexus 5X for $389 and the 32GB is now going for $449. As of writing this, all storage sizes and colours are in stock and are shipping within 1 to 2 business days. Google's other Nexus phone, the 6P, remains at the same $699 starting price.

It's not clear why Google is selling the phone at a discounted price but my assumption is due to low sales. Has it been a flop? You decide.


The post Google Lowers The Nexus 5X Price Yet Again, Now Starts At $389 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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LG Confirms Two Flagships For 2016

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 07:21 PM PST

LG Logo

LG announced their 4th quarter earnings today and although things in 2015 were pretty good for the Korean tech company, things weren't great either.  The 4th quarter saw a 12% increase in sales over Q3 but the 2015 Q4 numbers were very similar numbers to their 2014 Q4.

So what's the plan for 2016 to try and boost profit?  LG confirmed in their report that they will release two flagship devices this year.  This announcement should't be too much of a surprise as LG more or less did this last year with the G4 and the V10.  The V10 was a bit of a surprise in 2015 but it seems to have done well despite its limited availability so I'd imagine that a sequel to that device will be the second flagship next to the G5.

The G5 could be unveiled as early as next month but we'll probably have to wait a little longer before we see a follow up to the V10.


The post LG Confirms Two Flagships For 2016 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Spotify video revolution begins with Android

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 04:35 PM PST

Video is finally coming to Spotify. Image: Spotify.Spotify has made video streaming available via its Android app, although integration of the feature into Spotify's desktop app is said to be off the table (at least for now). The Spotify video service brings content from the likes of NBC, BBC and Comedy Central to the app, with the company claiming that it will

The post Spotify video revolution begins with Android appeared first on Cult of Android.

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How Fabulous and Yummly grew with App Invites

Posted: 26 Jan 2016 04:21 PM PST

Posted by Laurence Moroney, Developer Advocate

Introduced in May 2015, App Invites is an out-of-the-box solution for conducting app referrals and encouraging sharing. So far, we've seen very positive results on how the feature improves app discovery. While 52 percent of users discover apps by word of mouth, we have seen 92 percent of users trust recommendations from family and friends with App Invites. In this post, we'll share some success stories from companies that have already used App Invites to grow their user base.

Fabulous is a research-based app incubated in Duke University's Center for Advanced Hindsight. The app helps users to embark on a journey to resetting poor habits, replacing them with healthy rituals, with the ultimate goal of improving health and well-being.

Users started taking advantage of App Invites within the app to share their experience with their friends and family. App Invites installs now account for 60 percent of all Fabulous installs via referrals. Sharing clicks also increased by 10 percent once App Invites were used. Fabulous also noticed increased user retention, with 2x the Life Time Value of the app for users that came in to it via App Invites. Fabulous simplified their user experience, combining SMS and email into a single interface, allowing users to focus on sharing.

Additionally, users that were acquired via App Invites versus other channels were found to be twice as likely to stay with the app.

CTO of Fabulous, Amine Laddhari, commented, "It took me only a few hours to implement App Invites versus several days of work when we built our own solution. It was straightforward!"

You can view the full case study from Fabulous here.

Yummly, a food discovery platform that views cooking a meal as a personalized, shareable experience wanted to expand its user base and generate awareness on the Android platform. It added App Invites so that users could recommend the app to their family and friends, giving functionality to share specific recipes, dinner ideas or shipping lists.

With App invites, they found that installation rates were about 60 percent higher compared to other sharing channels. Additionally, Yummly was able to take advantage of the seamless integration of Google Analytics. It's the only share channel that has this integration, allowing data such as the number of invites sent, accepted and resulting installs to be accurately tracked.

Melissa Guyre, Product Manager at Yummly, commented, "The App Invites Integration process was seamless. A bonus feature is the excellent tracking tie-in with Google Analytics."

You can view the full case study from Yummly here.

App Invites is available for Android or iOS, and you can learn how you can build it into your own apps at g.co/appinvites.

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