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Monday, February 1, 2016

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Alphabet tops Apple to become world’s most valuable company

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 03:06 PM PST

Google is at the top of the world. Photo: GoogleGoogle's parent company Alphabet is now the most valuable company in the world, passing Apple in market capitalization today in after hours trading. This is the first time since February of 2010 that Google has passed Apple in value. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker has held the top spot since 2013 when it passed Exxon Mobile,

The post Alphabet tops Apple to become world's most valuable company appeared first on Cult of Android.

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WhatsApp Now Has One Billion Monthly Active Users (Yes, On The Same Day As Gmail)

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 02:46 PM PST


Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.

Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months.

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WhatsApp Now Has One Billion Monthly Active Users (Yes, On The Same Day As Gmail) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Gmail Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users, According To Sundar Pichai During Alphabet Earnings Call

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 02:31 PM PST


During Alphabet's first earnings call this afternoon, Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented that as of this month, Gmail now officially has one billion monthly active users. That's a lot of Gmail.

The Gmail app for Android, by comparison, hit one billion installs a little over 20 months ago, back in May of 2014. And that was two years after Gmail became the most popular email service on the planet.

Read More

Gmail Hits 1 Billion Monthly Active Users, According To Sundar Pichai During Alphabet Earnings Call was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Elivebuy Bluetooth motorized 360 degree selfie stick review

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 01:35 PM PST

No, this isn't a joke. This is a real product, and it's only as bad as you want it to be. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a selfie stick that can rotate a full 360 degrees thanks to a motor and some buttons.


Price: $19.99
Batteries: 3 AAA (not included)
In the box: Selfie stick, carrying pouch
Length: 10 inches folded, 32 inches extended
Where to buy: Amazon


I'm not going to lie, I think selfie sticks are ridiculous. But they're fun, especially with friends. And this is a motorized, rotational Bluetooth selfie stick… it's both extra ridiculous and extra fun. At the very least, it gets people talking.


The Elivebuy selfie stick is quite simple. It has a control box above the padded handle that takes three AAA batteries and has three buttons. Two buttons control the rotation, and one is the Bluetooth remote easily connects to your device. It also has a tripod threaded hole at the bottom of its handle.

The head of the selfie stick features a soft rubber base and two arms. They can hold a device both vertically and horizontally, and pretty tight at that. It's not all that easy to insert your device, but once it's in, it stays in. The arms do a great job keeping your phone in place.


One cool feature of the Elivebuy's selfie stick is the convex mirror on the back, which you can use after rotating the stick 180 degrees to take photos with your rear camera. It's a small touch, but it's nice.

If you're in the market for a selfie stick, why not pick this one? I'm sure you can find a use for the rotational head. It allows some adjustment when it's extended, and you can get yourself off center to fit some other subject in the shot. Yes, it's kinda useless, but I had a surprising amount of fun with this thing. Just be prepared for your friends to roast you.

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Barracuda Is Shutting Down The Copy Cloud Storage Service On May 1st

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 01:01 PM PST


Love the idea of cloud storage providers but don't want to trust your data with the big guys? One more of your options is about to go away. Copy, the cloud storage service from Barracuda, is shutting down on May 1st, 2016.

Copy has been around for four years, and during that time, the Android app has been pretty decent. The Play Store shows the app having been installed between 500,000 and 1,000,000 times.

Read More

Barracuda Is Shutting Down The Copy Cloud Storage Service On May 1st was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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It’s Official. The Next Unpacked Event Will Be Hosted On February 21

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 12:36 PM PST

Well the long awaited question has now been answered.  Samsung will unveil their next Galaxy's, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, on February 21, 2016.

Samsung posted the above video yesterday confirming the date.  The fact that their Gear VR is so prominent in the short clip also hints that they may make the event viewable through their virtual reality headset.  It also would suggest that the two new devices may be compatible with the recently released Gear VR (or at least we can hope that that's the case).

So there you have it ladies and gents.  Buckle up and hold on as one of 2016's hottest smartphones will soon be upon us!


The post It's Official. The Next Unpacked Event Will Be Hosted On February 21 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Galaxy S7 And S7 Edge Show Off Their Back Side

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 12:36 PM PST

S7 & S7 Edge Back

After giving all of us a look at the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge over the weekend, @evleaks is back with another look at the device.  This time we get a crisp clear look at the back of the device.

All in all, it looks very similar to the S6 family but it does also remind me slightly of the Galaxy S3 this its seemingly more rounder corners.  The apparent two tone nature also points to a rather glossy and reflective finish on the device.  Black can never just be black with Samsung it seems.

The devices are expected to debut some time this month but at the rate these leaks are coming, there won't be much left to unveil at the announcement.

So what do you guys think of the S7 and S7 Edge?  Step forward in design or a step back?  Let us know in the comments!


The post Galaxy S7 And S7 Edge Show Off Their Back Side appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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AirDroid Update – record phone screen, plus copy & paste between clipboards

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 12:15 PM PST

AirDroid Record Screen

If you've ever needed to control your Android device remotely from your computer or laptop then you understand the many benefits of using an app combo like AirDroid. The latest update adds the ability to record the smartphone screen, copy between clipboards and reply directly to instant messenger apps. A much sought after feature for... View Article

AirDroid Update – record phone screen, plus copy & paste between clipboards is a post from: AndroidTapp

The post AirDroid Update – record phone screen, plus copy & paste between clipboards appeared first on AndroidTapp.

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As Apple thrives, Samsung falls in China

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 12:06 PM PST

Samsung's struggle continues in China. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidAs the iPhone becomes increasingly popular in China, its Galaxy-branded rivals are falling. According to the latest data from Strategy Analytics, Samsung dropped out of the top five smartphone makers in China last year, with Apple the only non-Chinese company to make the list. Huawei topped the list for 2015 with a 15.2 percent share

The post As Apple thrives, Samsung falls in China appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Google Chrome update will bring Material Design to desktops

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 11:36 AM PST

Material Design is coming. Photo: GoogleAndroid's Material Design spec is coming to your desktop. With an upcoming Chrome update, Google will introduce a brand new look that will be immediately familiar to those who regularly use the company's mobile apps — and we can't wait. Chrome for desktops looks a little long in the tooth in comparison with its mobile counterpart,

The post Google Chrome update will bring Material Design to desktops appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Notepad, Downwell

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 11:35 AM PST

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven't appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1. Downwell


App info: Downwell is a curious game about a young boy venturing down a well in search of untold treasures with only his Gunboots to protect him.


2. Chrooma Keyboard

Chrooma Keyboard

App info: A lightweight, fast keyboard that adapts itself to the app you are using, giving you a pleasant chromatic feeling.


3. Wallz


App info: Wallz is a great wallpaper app, with thousands (over 100,000 wallpapers) of high definition wallpapers to be downloaded for your android phone. 


4. Blade: Sword of Elysion

Blade - Sword of Elysion

App info: Blade: Sword of Elysion is an infinite epic action RPG. Slash through dungeons and annihilate all evil forces. Evade and raid other heroes in a bloodstained, action-packed arena. Engage in fierce PvP battles and show no mercy!


5. Notepad


App info: Adler Notes is free, full-featured and easy to use notepad app for Android. You can use it as a digital notebook or diary. Our app is also perfect for recording lectures, business meetings and interviews.


Note:  To ensure that all apps receive a fair chance to make the list, we will retire any app that has made the list for three consecutive weeks.

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Google reportedly wants to take ‘Apple-like control’ over the Nexus lineup

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 11:06 AM PST

Google's Nexus lineup is a brand that garners plenty of adoration and attention, as well as plenty of talk about how Google should handle its future devices. Now, a new report suggests that even Google is having conversations about what it could change for the lineup.

According to a report from The Information, Google is looking to grow its level of control when it comes to Nexus devices. Right now, Google partners with manufacturers like Samsung, LG, and HTC to bring to life its latest Nexus devices. The report indicates that Google is looking to expand its level of control over the hardware side of things, which would mean the construction of its next Nexus smartphones and tablets would be similar to its Pixel C tablet, which Google manufactured. It goes as far as to say Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, has told "colleagues and outsiders" that it will take more control over Nexus smartphones at some point in the future. When that will be, though, isn't known.

Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of information about this plan. It's suggested that HTC is still working hard to be the manufacturer that gets to build this year's Nexus smartphone, so if that's the case, we might not get to see this "Apple-like control" this year.

There seems to be confusion about the future of Nexus phones as far as it relates to carriers and pricing, too. The report suggests that some inside Google want future Nexus smartphones to be sold through carriers, like the Nexus 6, and that if they aren't, they should carry a higher price tag.

What do you think? Should Google take more control over the Nexus lineup?

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Twilight Adds Support For Android Wear And Android TV

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 11:01 AM PST


Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put to to the test on your phone.  Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well.

When Twilight is activated, it adds a red filter to your display that should reduce the signals that tell your brain it's daytime.

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Twilight Adds Support For Android Wear And Android TV was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Pay what you want for a full-course education in JavaScript [Deals]

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 10:36 AM PST

PWYWJavascriptDevBundleJavaScript is one of the most essential languages underpinning the modern internet. It's an invaluable entry on anyone's resume, and with this bundle of 10 JavaScript development courses you'll be able to claim that knowledge with confidence. What's more, you can pay whatever you want for the whole thing, and 10% of anything you pay

The post Pay what you want for a full-course education in JavaScript [Deals] appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Marshmallow and User Data

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 10:32 AM PST

Posted by Joanna Smith, Developer Advocate

Marshmallow introduced several changes that were designed to help your app look after user data. The goal was to make it easier for developers to do the right thing. So as Android 6.0, Marshmallow, gains traction, we challenge you to do just that.

This post highlights the key considerations for user trust when it comes to runtime permissions and hardware identifiers, and points you to new best practices documentation to clarify what to aim for in your own app.

Permission Changes

With Marshmallow, permissions have moved from install-time to runtime. This is a mandatory change for SDK 23+, meaning it will affect all developers and all applications targeting Android 6.0. Your app will need to be updated anyway, so your challenge is to do so thoughtfully.

Runtime permissions mean that your app can now request access to sensitive information in the context that it will be used. This gives you a chance to explain the need for the permission, without scaring users with a long list of requests.

Permissions are also now organized into groups, so that users can make an informed decision without needing to understand technical jargon. By allowing your users to make a decision, they may decide not to grant a permission or to revoke a previously-granted permission. So, your app needs to be thoughtful when handling API calls requiring permissions that may have been denied, and about building in graceful failure-handling so that your users can still interact with the rest of your app.

Identifier Changes

The other aspect of user trust is doing the right thing with user data. With Marshmallow, we are turning off access to some kinds of data in order to direct developers down this path.

Most notably, Local WiFi and Bluetooth MAC addresses are no longer available. The getMacAddress() method of a WifiInfo object and the BluetoothAdapter.getDefaultAdapter().getAddress() method will both return 02:00:00:00:00:00 from now on.

However, Google Play Services now provides Instance IDs, which identify an application instance running on a device. Instance IDs provide a reliable alternative to non-resettable, device-scoped hardware IDs, as they will not persist across a factory reset and are scoped to an app instance. See the Google Developer's What is Instance ID? help article for more information.

What's Next

User trust depends largely on what users see and how they feel. Mishandling permissions and identifiers increases the risk of unwanted/unintended tracking, and can result in users feeling that your app doesn't actually care about the user. So to help you get it right, we've created new documentation that should enable developers to be certain that their app is doing the right thing for their users.

So happy developing! May your apps make users happy, and may your reviews reflect that. :)

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NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow rolling out now

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 10:05 AM PST

Owners of the original NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet may have been gritting their teeth at the thought of the new SHIELD Tablet K1 getting the Marshmallow update first, but a little over a month later, the tablets are once again running the same version of the OS. (Take solace in the fact that you'll always have the integrated stylus over them.)

I'm assuming at this point that we are all pretty familiar with the advantages of Android 6.0, but just to highlight some of the most relevant pieces for the SHIELD Tablet.

  • Doze mode – This might be the biggest highlight for me, as the one consistent complaint I have with the SHIELD Tablet is that I will all too frequently come back to it after a day of it just sitting on my desk and find that it is either dead or near dead. The update last September had helped this issue to some degree, but I am hopeful that Doze mode will put an end to it entirely.
  • Adoptable storage – As the owner of a 16GB SHIELD Tablet, this one is an extremely close second as I can now slot in a microSD card and have it be treated as internal memory. Just remember that when you go to set up the microSD card for this, it is going to wipe the card in the process, so make sure you back up first.

If you want to check out the rest of the features, hit the source link below, but if there was nothing other than the two aforementioned features, I would still be scrambling to download this update. It's rolling out to devices right now, but you may have to wait for it to hit your device; my personal SHIELD Tablet is still clinging to the lie that it is up-to-date on 5.1.1.

SHIELD Tablet K1 owners shouldn't feel completely left out, you have an update coming today as well with a number of bug fixes and the January 2016 security update. Check the VIA link below for the full details on the K1 update.

What are you most looking forward to with Android 6.0 on your SHIELD Tablet?

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New Galaxy S7 images reveal curved glass back

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 09:36 AM PST

Galaxy S7 leaks again. Photo: Evan BlassLeaked renders have already confirmed what the front of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge will look like, and now a new set have revealed their backs, too. Both devices have curved edges, as recent rumors have promised, as well as what appears to be a new heart rate sensor. Once again, these images confirm

The post New Galaxy S7 images reveal curved glass back appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Samsung confirms it will announce the Galaxy S7 on February 21

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 09:06 AM PST

Samsung Galaxy S7 leakSamsung has confirmed it will unveil the Galaxy S7 at an Unpacked event in Barcelona on February 21. The short video below teases "the next Galaxy," which is expected to go on sale in the U.S. and Europe on March 11 with big internal improvements. Thanks to recent leaks, we were already expecting a Galaxy

The post Samsung confirms it will announce the Galaxy S7 on February 21 appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Hopper App Update Lets You Book Flights, Save Payment Information, And Store Traveler Profiles

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 09:01 AM PST


Hopper is a mobile app whose primary goal in life is to save you money on airplane tickets. Enter when and where you're flying, then wait for the app to come up with the most affordable way of making your trip. The journey may involve leaving in the middle of the night and waiting longer than you'd like, but hey, you're saving money on your flight. With the latest update, this piece of software will help you book it too.

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Hopper App Update Lets You Book Flights, Save Payment Information, And Store Traveler Profiles was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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US Mobile is now carrying Xiaomi and Meizu devices

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 08:50 AM PST

Xiaomi and Meizu are two of the biggest and fastest-growing smartphone manufacturers in the world, yet both are virtually unknown in the US. Neither company has made an effort to expand its offerings into the US, instead sticking to the known territory of China and the surrounding region. But now, one small US carrier is becoming the first authorized US retailer of Meizu and Xiamoi devices.

US Mobile, a small subsidiary carrier that runs on T-Mobile's network, is now selling Xiaomi and Meizu devices. The Xiaomi devices that will be offered include the Xiaomi Redmi 2 ($119), Xiaomi Mi 3 ($135) and the Xiaomi Mi 4i ($219). The only Meizu device that will be offered is the Meizu M2 Note ($149). All of the devices place an emphasis on offering big bang for your buck, with powerful specs paired with a low price.

There are some downsides, however. First of all, both Xiaomi and Meizu pack their phones with very heavy skins atop older versions of Android. As the phones were designed for the Chinese market (which doesn't allow for Google services), the manufacturers make up for that with their own software. That may be a turn-off for many customers.

Additionally, none of the devices from Xiaomi or Meizu support LTE within the US. The phones weren't designed to be sold in the US, and as such, they don't include compatibility for US LTE bands.

Even with those drawbacks, the phones may still find a market on US Mobile, which is designed to offer value and flexibility to its customers. The carrier offers 150 different plan options that allow you to mix and match to find the plan that best fits your usage style. It also supports any T-Mobile phone and sells a huge array of devices itself, ranging from voice-only devices to high-end offerings such as the Blackberry Passport.

With this first entrance into the US, we'll be sure to keep on the lookout for further US expansion from Xiaomi and Meizu.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge show off their back plates in latest leaked image

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 08:50 AM PST

Right at the end of January, we got to see what the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge from Samsung look like from the front, not really surprising anyone in the design choices that the manufacturer went with for their upcoming flagships. And now, in another leaked image, we get to see the other side of things.

Thanks to serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks), we get "Part two" of his leaks focusing on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The new image shows the backside of both handsets, with the familiar Samsung logo in the middle, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge stamp at the bottom, the camera near the top edge, and the flash right there next to it.

There's not a lot to see, but it does give a good glimpse of what we should expect to see when Samsung officially announces the devices on February 21.

Are you looking forward to the Galaxy S7 and/or the Galaxy S7 edge?

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Samsung adds an ad blocker to its Android web browser

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 08:20 AM PST

Back in 2015 (like it was a long time ago), blocking ads were a hot topic of discussion around the social networks, as companies like Apple built ad blocking support into their platforms. Now Samsung is jumping into the mix, too.

The company is officially adding ad blocking support into its Android web browser. The update will arrive for the stock browser beginning today on Android devices running Lollipop or higher. The first one out of the gate for Samsung's browser is called Adblock Fast and, according to those who made the software, it will reduce load times on your Android device by 51 percent. It's a free download from Google Play.

As far as big companies in the mobile market go, Samsung is one of the biggest, so the fact it's throwing ad blocking into its default browser is a pretty big deal. Of course, many Android users probably use other browser apps, so it would be interesting to hear if someone switches away from, say, Google's Chrome browser to Samsung Internet, just for the ad blocking.

Will you make the switch?

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4 out of 5 most popular gadgets on Facebook are made by Apple

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 07:36 AM PST

Surprise, surprise! Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidFour out of the five most popular gadgets on Facebook are Apple devices, according to the social network's new Preferred Audience tool. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone tops the list with more than four times as much interest as fourth-placed Samsung Galaxy. "By programmatically emulating searches of all possible letters and numbers until no more results were

The post 4 out of 5 most popular gadgets on Facebook are made by Apple appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Cortana Adds A Homescreen Widget For Fast Access To Voice Searches And Reminders

Posted: 01 Feb 2016 06:01 AM PST


Microsoft's Cortana has been available on Android for about 2 months, but shortly after its launch, it got an update to remove the Hey Cortana hotword (though that remained functional in Cyanogen OS) because of potential conflicts with Google's own Ok Google. That dampened a bit the app's utility as it became slightly more difficult to launch when in a hurry.

This update to version 1.4.0 tries to circumvent the issue by adding a homescreen widget.

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Cortana Adds A Homescreen Widget For Fast Access To Voice Searches And Reminders was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 unveiling scheduled for February 21

Posted: 31 Jan 2016 05:35 PM PST

It's been a couple of days since the first official-looking images of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were leaked online, and now Samsung has come forward to officially announce an announcement date for the next flagships.

Samsung has put together a quick video — coming in at just under 15 seconds — to show off a Gear VR headset on someone's face, as they reach out for a virtual box that looks strikingly similar to Samsung's Unpacked box. And then there's a hashtag that tells us the company has plans to show off the "#TheNextGalaxy," followed by a February 21 announcement date.

Of course, Samsung hasn't made any confirmation that the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge is what they'll show off at the event, and one might even consider that virtual reality might have something to do with the event, but it's a safe bet that the Galaxy S6 follow-up is waiting in that box to be shared with the world.

You can check out the video below.

Are you looking forward to the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge?

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