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Monday, February 22, 2016

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Samsung Galaxy S7 camera superior to iPhone 6s in low-light MWC test

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 03:10 PM PST

Samsung's latest flagship has debuted, and the camera is a point of interest. The rear-facing camera is a mere 12-megapixel sensor, but it features a big aperture, large pixels, and optical image stabilization. This should make for great low-light photos, and Samsung's own test at Mobile World Conference confirms this.

The above photos were taken together at one time in a very dim room, and the shot from the Galaxy S7 is far brighter than either the iPhone 6s or the Galaxy S6. It's really impressive! However, there are a few variables that might be influencing this test.

First of all, the phone was mounted to a table, so this doesn't show how good the optical image stabilization is, nor does it show how well the phone accounts for blur. The exposure might have also been set higher, but we don't know that. Either way, the camera shows some real potential, but we'll have to test it for ourselves to see how well it really performs.

What do you guys think? Is this amazing camera going to be the defining factor of the Galaxy S7? Would this aspect influence your smartphone buying decision? As a happy owner of a Moto X, I can honestly say I'm being swayed.


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The Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge Will Launch On March 11 – Pre-Orders Live!

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 02:18 PM PST

S7 & S7 Edge Pre-Order

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are now up for pre-order and they're coming with a pretty sweet gift.  Those who pre-order Samsung's Next Big Thing will be treated with a free Gear VR, Samsung's virtual reality headset!  I've used it with my S6 before and it's pretty impressive!  All three of the Big Three have the same offer running but they are all "while supplies last" so you may not want to wait too too long.

In terms of pricing for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the premium price tag is still in tow.  The Galaxy S7 sits around $400 on a 2-year contract and $900 outright on all carriers.  The larger Galaxy S7 Edge carriers a $500 contract price tag and $1000 off contract price.

All carriers only have the 32GB model available right now (but remember, it's expandable!) and they all seem to have both white and black options.  Devices are set to launch on March 11, so if you're planning on buying, you may as well pre-order for the free gift!

[Telus / Bell / Rogers

 

The post The Galaxy S7 & S7 Edge Will Launch On March 11 – Pre-Orders Live! appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Google and select carriers pushing for improved messaging system

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 02:01 PM PST

Google has partnered with Sprint, Orange, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom (owner of T-Mobile US), and more alongside the GSMA to push for an improved messaging system to replace the aging and limited SMS/MMS service we currently use. The RCS (Rich Communications Services) standard will be used to achieve this.

With the use of RCS, a standard messaging app will be able to send high quality photos, do video calling, and do proper group chats. It would be much like Apple's iMessage, which admittedly is quite great. T-Mobile is already using RCS for video chatting, and AT&T uses RCS for larger MMS attachments and rear receipts, so it's not that tough. All it requires is a standardized way of implementing it.

Sadly, this might not happen as idealistically as necessary. AT&T and Verizon have not joined Google in this push, so a universal system for all Android phones isn't too likely at the moment. However, it would greatly improve the user experience of Android devices. Yes, there are apps that already do this, but they requires that everyone have the same app, and a lot of people prefer different apps. A native solution would be best.


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The Next Big Things Are Here: Samsung Announces The S7 & S7 Edge

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 01:33 PM PST

S7 & S7 Edge - 1

It's flagships a plenty this week and Samsung has brought two new players to the market in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.  Let's breakdown the specs first:

Galaxy S7

  • 5.1″ QHD Super AMOLED Display
  • Snapdragon 820 Processor
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 32GB/64GB Storage
  • microSD Card Slot
  • 12MP Camera with Smart OIS
  • 5MP Front Facing Camera
  • 3000 mAh Battery
  • IP68 Rating for Water and Dust

Galaxy S7 Edge

  • 5.5″ QHD Super AMOLED Display
  • Snapdragon 820 Processor
  • 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • 32GB/64GB Storage
  • microSD Card Slot
  • 12MP Camera with Smart OIS
  • 5MP Front Facing Camera
  • 3600 mAh Battery
  • IP68 Rating for Water and Dust

Solid specs all around, probably a good indication of what every flagship will carry this year.  The big additions, or perhaps re-additions, to the S7 and S7 Edge are expandable storage and IP68 rating.  Both were featured on the S5 and then dropped on the S6, much to the chagrin of prospective buyers.  So good on Samsung for bringing back what the people wanted!

In terms of design, the S7 and S7 Edge very much resemble the S6 series.  It should be noted that the S7 Edge is actually replacing the S6 Edge+ and the smaller edgy S6 Edge has been dropped altogether.  A good move in my mind as a smaller portfolio should make decisions for consumers easier. Getting back to the design, both devices feature the same metal frame sandwiched between glass panels.  The back glass is now curved thankfully so the device should fit much nicer in the hand.  The camera bump has also become nearly non-existent!

Speaking of the camera, Samsung has once again opted for pixel size over pixel count.  The 12MP shooter will now take even better pictures, particularly in low light, thanks to the larger pixels, brighter lens, wider aperture, and new Dual Pixel technology.  They've also thrown OIS into the fold which should truly make the S7 and S7 Edge's camera one of thee best on the market!

While things didn't change much on the outside, it seems like Samsung put in their work on the inside and I think they've got a real winner here.  The re-introduction of expandable storage will definitely win people over and the camera, if it's anything like the S6's, will have devices flying off the shelf in big numbers!

S7 & S7 Edge - 2 S7 & S7 Edge - 3 S7 & S7 Edge - 4

The post The Next Big Things Are Here: Samsung Announces The S7 & S7 Edge appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV being updated to Marshmallow with Vulkan drivers included

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 01:11 PM PST

Hot on the heels of the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet duo getting the Marshmallow update after a long delay due to WiFi issues, NVIDIA has announced that the SHIELD Android TV is getting updated to the latest version of Android, and with the update come a few new features.

One of the features NVIDIA is emphasizing is the addition of Vulkan drivers. These multiplatform drivers, also available for Windows and Linux, allow for "highly efficient, low-level access to modern graphics hardware." Vulkan will be a core API in future versions of Android, so the SHIELD Android TV is getting a headstart.

Other improvements include:

  • Upgradable storage and home screen customization
  • Quick access to the power menu on the homescreen by long pressing the "Back" button
  • Seamless switching between surround sound and headset audio in Netflix app
  • Wireless support for SHIELD controller when charging via USB, including headset audio and voice search
  • Improved color support for YUV 4:2:0 video playback
  • Option to set 1080p 60Hz resolution on Ultra HD TVs
  • Option to set RGB Full Range via Settings > HDMI > Dynamic Range
  • Improved support for Denon receivers and CEC volume control for more audio receivers

The update seems to be a big one, so go ahead and update your device (and pray there are no bugs this time around). NVIDIA is also touting some new games available for the device, so check out the store.


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Samsung won’t bring always-on display feature to older devices

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 12:35 PM PST

Always-on display in action. Photo: SamsungSamsung's new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have an always-on display that lets you check notifications, calendars, and more without waking your device. Samsung could bring the same technology to older Galaxy handsets — but it won't. Samsung's always-on display does more than most. It shows outstanding notifications just like the others, but you can also customize it

The post Samsung won't bring always-on display feature to older devices appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Video Slow Motion Player – a slowmo, fastmo & reverse playback video player

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 12:24 PM PST

Video Slow Motion Player - Video Player Horizontal

Video Slow Motion Player not only allows you to slow down video playback motion but speed it up and reverse the playback as well! In addition these playback alterations can be saved back to your device and shared. I'll discuss the full feature set in this review! Price: Free, Offers in-app purchases Tested on: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge... View Article

Video Slow Motion Player – a slowmo, fastmo & reverse playback video player is a post from: AndroidTapp

The post Video Slow Motion Player – a slowmo, fastmo & reverse playback video player appeared first on AndroidTapp.


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Deal: Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Gaming Edition discounted for a limited time

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 12:19 PM PST

Amazon's enhanced Fire TV has seen a few deals since it launched last fall, and today's pricing matches some of the lowest prices we have seen.

The Fire TV itself is marked down to $84.99 from $99.99, which is as cheap as it has been outside of Black Friday. This deal includes the Fire TV and updated remote with support for Amazon's voice assistant Alexa. As a reminder, this new version of the Fire TV is 75% more powerful than the original and capable of streaming 4K Ultra HD content.

Even deeper discounts can be had if you are looking for a bundle. The Amazon Fire TV + HD Antenna Bundle is $109.99, which is roughly $40 off its normal price and almost $63 cheaper than buying each piece separately. As the name suggests, this bundle adds a 50-mile AmazonBasics Ultra Thin Indoor HDTV Antenna as well as a 6-foot HDMI cable to the basic Amazon Fire TV package.

Last up is the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition at $124.99. This is within $10 of its lowest price ever and includes the official Amazon Game Controller, a 32GB microSD card and two games. (Shovel Knight and Disney DuckTales: Remastered)

I'd imagine we'll see another big sale out of Amazon again this July that could drop these prices by another $10, but if you are looking to pick up a Fire TV anytime in the next few months, these are likely the best offers you'll come across.


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SanDisk announces UHS-II microSD card with up to 275MB/s speeds

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:45 AM PST

The age of expandable storage in Android devices is back. The dark ages of Samsung foregoing microSD slots is over, and both the LG and Samsung have included expandable storage in their flagships. What better time to announce a new microSD card?

SanDisk has announced the new Extreme PRO UHS-II microSD card, which more than triples the transfer speeds of the previous Extreme UHS-I card, boasting a 275MB/s speed compared to the old 90MB/s. That's pretty incredible, but the price reflects the speed.

With such crazy speeds, storage begins at 64GB. The 64GB card will cost $179.99, while the 128GB card will cost $299.99. We doubt many will pay that much on day one, but the prices will come down quickly and become far more affordable with time, as is always the case with expandable storage.

SanDisk USB Type C drive

If microSD cards aren't your thing (Nexus users, this if for you), SanDisk also announced USB Type-C flash drives with read speeds up to 150MB/s. These are available in sizes from 16GB to 128GB and are far more affordable ($19.99 to $79.99).

Source: SanDisk (2)
Via: Droid-Life


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Microsoft Updates 'Next Lock Screen' With Fingerprint Unlock, Smart Contacts, And More

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:41 AM PST

2016-02-22 13.07.16

Third-party Android lock screens are always at a disadvantage compared to the stock option when you care about security. Some of them do have neat features if all you really want is a quick way to see and access information without unlocking the device. Microsoft Next has some cool stuff going on, and it's getting an update today billed as the biggest it's ever had.

Here's what's coming in this apparently huge update.

Read More

Microsoft Updates 'Next Lock Screen' With Fingerprint Unlock, Smart Contacts, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Fertility study accuses your phone of spermicide

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:29 AM PST

Cherries by Holger SchuĂ© cellphone fertilityWe were already worried about keeping hotel keycards in the same pocket as our cell phones, but it turns out that our devices might be erasing some slightly more important things. Namely, men's sperm. In a new study, fertility experts claim that men who keep their mobiles anywhere near their reproductive organs — in their

The post Fertility study accuses your phone of spermicide appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Why LG dropped the G5’s app drawer, and why it doesn’t matter

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:29 AM PST

G5's upgrades more than make up for the missing app drawer. Photo: LGLG's new G5 ships with a new launcher that lacks an app drawer, meaning every title you download from Google Play ends up on your home screen. There's a rumor that claims Google will take the same step with its Android N upgrade later this year. Here's why that decision makes sense, and why it

The post Why LG dropped the G5's app drawer, and why it doesn't matter appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Everalbum, Shuffle

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:12 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. SecretFlix codes for NETFLIX

SecretFlix codes for NETFLIX

App info: To match the right content to a specific user Netflix has tons of secret hidden categories that go far beyond the usual ones like Thriller, Comedy, Horror etc.

 

2. Weather

Weather

App info: The Sony Xperia™ Weather app is a simple-to-use weather app that provides you with current weather info.

 

3. Everalbum

Everalbum

App info: Everalbum protects your life's photos so you never have to worry about losing​ them. Across devices and photo sources, Everalbum automatically backs up your photos and videos so you can access them at any time.

 

4. Shuffle

Shuffle

App info: Shuffle features app for making todos. Mark high priority items as Important. Switch the list to important using Switch button on top. Block unwanted people from sending via whatsapp. Edit the tasks anytime.

 

5. Graphite Watch Face

Graphite Watch Face

App info: In order to use this watch face you will need to install the Watchmaker Premium v3.6 or higher, application can be downloaded from here: http://goo.gl/FMxUfY

 

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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Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge only coming in 32GB to the US, may not get adoptable storage

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:12 AM PST

When the Samsung Galaxy S6 launched without a removable battery or microSD slot, a lot of people were angry. Samsung was one of the few popular manufacturers to still offer those features on the S5, and both were now gone. But with the announcement of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, it seems Samsung is appealing to fans once again, at least with the addition of a microSD slot.

Unfortunately, this also means that storage options will be taken away for many markets, including the US. We'll only get the 32GB option when it comes to buy the devices, so heavy storage users won't be able to opt for a 64GB model.

You'd think this isn't a big deal with Android 6.0 Marshmallow's adoptable storage, but the latest crop of Samsung devices may not have this feature (much like the LG G5 doesn't). Rumor has it that Samsung dropped the feature to prevent people pulling the microSD when adoptable storage is in use, which is a valid concern because you know people will do it. But it really should be available to the user nonetheless.

Without adoptable storage, we won't be able to use the extra memory for apps. And with games growing to over a gigabyte or more in size as well as the bloated hunk of software known as TouchWiz, you can only fit so much content on the 32GB of built-in storage.

How many of you are disappointed about the lack of adoptable storage? Does it affect your purchasing decisions? Leave a comment!


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Become a certified web developer for less than $40 [Deal]

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 11:12 AM PST

medium_sale_3298_image-updateWant to learn web development and earn the certificates? Start with this incredible course bundle, which includes 25 hours of cutting-edge coding courses that will help you earn your instructor-signed certification for under $40. This course bundles includes the following: Advanced JavaScript Development — $1,099 CSS Development — $559 GitHub Fundamentals — $559 Ajax Development — $549 Become a Certified Web

The post Become a certified web developer for less than $40 [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.











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The LG G5 Is Here

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 10:10 AM PST

LG G5

The LG G5 has landed and it's ready to challenge any top dog with a brand new design and unique new features.  Let's take a look at some of the the specs first:

  • 5.3″ QHD IPS Display
  • Snapdragon 820
  • 4GB RAM
  • 32GB Storage
  • microSD Card Slot
  • 16MP Camera + 8MP Secondary Camera
  • 8MP Front Facing Camera
  • 2800 mAh Battery
  • USB Type-C

Pretty solid specs and the USB Type-C is a nice touch but specs alone does not a winner make so let's see what else the LG G5 has to offer.  On the design front, LG really rebuilt things from the ground up.  Like the majority of manufacturers these days, LG has ditched plastic in favour of "higher end" materials, in this case metal.  But unlike most metal phones, LG has kept their famed removable battery and expandable storage in tow with a unique modular design!  Yup, you read that right, the G5 is modular!  The bottom of the device can be slid out and replaced!  Pretty nifty little trick.

In addition to being able to quickly swap out the battery, LG has brought some "Friends" to accompany the G5, accessories that also pack their own batteries but add additional functionality.  These "Friends" include the LG CAM Plus, a camera attachment for the G5, and the LG Hi-Fi Plus with B&O PLAY, an audio attachment to bring Hi-Fi sound for those who need it.

These new "Friends" are definitely what make the LG G5 stand apart from anything on the market but there are some other fun features on the G5.  For starters, LG is giving the dual-camera set up a go once again.  The set-up debuted on their V10 but rather than using the set up on the front, LG has moved it to the back, which really makes a lot more sense.  This set-up will allow for a much wider angle shot, just like it did on the V10.

Another new feature the G5 will be bringing to LG is an Always-on Display.  This feature wasn't any sort of secret as LG touted it before the device launched.  Quite simply, it's LG's version of Motorola's Active Display or Google's Ambient Display.

So there you have it, the LG G5!  I have to say I'm quite impressed by what I see.  LG took a gamble a little bit with their modular device and hopefully it pays off for them.  In terms of a release date, we don't have anything concrete at this time but we'll be sure to let you know when we do!

LG G5 Accessories LG G5 Cam Plus LG G5 HIFI

The post The LG G5 Is Here appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Sony’s Xperia X series muddies already confusing smartphone lineup

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 10:04 AM PST

Xperia X in cool lime gold. Photo: SonyIf you thought Sony's habit of launching new Xperia Z smartphones every six months was confusing, try keeping up with the Xperia X series at the same time. Unveiled today at Mobile World Congress, the Xperia X lineup consists of three devices that promise to "redefine communications." They borrow trademark Sony features from other Xperia

The post Sony's Xperia X series muddies already confusing smartphone lineup appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 introduces RAW shooting in-app and more

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 09:31 AM PST

While the mobile photo world has long been focused on firing off quick shots and slapping a filter on them, largely to help to mask the questionable image quality often associated with smartphones, the reality is that in the last couple years, smartphone camera quality has improved exponentially.

Last year, Adobe introduced Lightroom for Android with the goal to allow photographers on Android to manipulate their Lightroom library on the go. That functionality remains and, naturally, has seen a number of enhancements in this 2.0 update. But as you can see from the full list of what's new for Lightroom 2.0, the main focus is the addition of an in-app camera.

  • An in-app camera, supporting the capture of images in DNG raw format
  • Shoot-through presets, also available within the in-app camera, enabling previewing and capturing images with a series of built-in presets providing non-destructive editing
  • Dehaze tool to adjust haze and fog in an image
  • Split Toning enhancement, enabling the addition of a color cast to the highlights and shadows of an image, creating a uniquely stylized color image or replicating the look and feel of a traditional toned black and white image
  • Target Adjustment Tool functionality in the Color/B&W editing tool, providing direct, on-image editing controls
  • Point mode in Curve tool providing complete control over the tonality and contrast of an image
  • Enhanced sharing with one-tap access to Adobe Premiere Clip for crafting video stories.

It's an important shift in thinking for Lightroom. While photographers aren't going to be giving up their DSLRs or mirrorless cameras anytime soon, the reality is that quality photography can be achieved entirely on a smartphone, and the old adage that "the best camera is the one that's with you" is as true as ever.

Take a look at the before and after images below for an idea of the results possible with the new Lightroom app. These images were captured by photographer Colby Brown on a Nexus 6P. The app is free, so if you like what you see, hit the Via link below to download.

LRM_White Blance - Original LRM_White Balance - Edited LRM_Vignette - Original LRM_Vignette - Edited LRM_Split Toning - Original LRM_Split Toning - Edited LRM_Shoot-through presets - Original LRM_Shoot-thorugh presets - Edited LRM_Rating - Original LRM_Rating - Edited LRM_Point Curve Mode in Tone Curve - Original LRM_Point Curve Mode in Tone Curve - Edited LRM_Hue Saturation and Luminance - Original LRM_Hue Saturation and Luminance - Edited LRM_Highlight and Shadow - Edited LRM_Highligh and Shadow - Original LRM_Dehaze - Original LRM_Dehaze - Edited LRM_Clarity - Original LRM_Clarity - Edited

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Player FM 3.1 Adds Black Theme, Subscription Sorting, And "Downloaded Only" View

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 09:27 AM PST

playerfm-black-episode-list

When it comes to podcast applications, we often talk about Pocket Casts and BeyondPod here on Android Police, but one of the unsung heroes of the category is Player FM. The free app has over 1M downloads on the Play Store, a web client, Google+ sign in, and a lot of cool features to keep podcast fans happy. It's usually my first recommendation as a free podcast client, especially for those who are new to the medium and want to see what it's all about.

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Player FM 3.1 Adds Black Theme, Subscription Sorting, And "Downloaded Only" View was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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ZTE rolling out Android 6.0 for Axon Pro; Axon update delayed

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 08:50 AM PST

It seems as though February is a very big month for smartphones getting updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. We've seen flagships like the Galaxy S6 getting updated, while other devices have also been receiving their updates throughout the month. Today brings in another device receiving its update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. ZTE's Axon Pro update is all set to go and is currently rolling out to customers.

Customers will either receive a notification of the update, or they can head into their settings and manually check for the update. Marshmallow packs in a lot of behind the scenes improvements, such as Doze, which reduces background battery consumption when you don't use your phone for long periods of time. Users will also see Now On Tap, Android's easy way to give you information based on what's on your screen.

The update is quite large, so ZTE has suggested that users download it over Wi-Fi, rather than burning through mobile data allotments.

It should be noted that this update is only for the Axon Pro. ZTE has said that the Axon will also be receiving an update to Android 6.0, but the update has been delayed a bit, so stay tuned for more info on when that update will arrive.

Show Press Release
ZTE

When we launched the Axon Pro this past July we made a promise to our consumers that we will support and provide ongoing Android updates to our flagship device. Today, we are keeping this promise by providing the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow for you to enjoy!

The upgrade from Lollipop to Marshmallow is quite significant and there are several new features you should explore and use. You can find out about all the updates here, but to give you a glimpse of what's ahead, here are just a few of our personal favorites that have been added that we think makes Android just that much better.

  • Doze – With Marshmallow, Android introduced its Doze mode that puts your phone into a deeper sleep when not in use for a long period of time. The result? Increased battery life throughout the day or night for your Axon Pro.
  • Now on Tap –If you're like us, meeting up with friends at a new, local spot happens very often, but sometimes you don't know where the restaurant is or perhaps what type of food it serves. Now, Android can anticipate your needs by a simple long press on the home button that provides quick access to learn more about the hang out spot or how to get there. Use this feature while surfing the web, checking email or almost any other activity to get the information you need at a press of the button.
  • New app drawer –Marshmallow's app drawer has been redesigned with new enhancements that make it quicker and easier to find the app you need most. Incorporating fast alphabetic scrolling and pinning your most used apps at the top, among a few other tweaks, searching and finding your favorite app just became a whole lot easier.

Before you're ready to take advantage of this upgrade, we strongly recommend installing this while using a WiFi connection. The upgrade is such a large download (roughly 835 MB) that it will take quite a bit of time and there's no reason to eat up your data plan. So, once connected to WiFi, and you're ready to experience the latest and greatest Android for your Axon Pro, select "Settings" -> "About phone" -> "System updates" -> "System updates" -> "Update Now".

This upgrade is currently just for the Axon Pro. If you own an Axon stay tuned for more information as we'll have more soon.

Once you have a chance to play around with Marshmallow come back and let us know what you think! Now, who's hungry for a s'more?


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Lightroom v2.0 Available With Built-In Camera, New Tools, And More

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 08:46 AM PST

2016-02-22 16.19.16

Adobe opted to make Lightroom free a while back, and now it's adding a few new features that might make you more likely to take advantage of the app. Lightroom v2.0 includes some new tools and a dedicated camera with RAW support. The RAW support won't work on all phones, but it'll be pretty handy on the ones that do.

Here's the full changelog for Lightroom v2.0.

  • An in-app camera, supporting the capture of images in DNG raw format
  • Shoot-through presets, also available within the in-app camera, enabling previewing and capturing images with a series of built-in presets providing non-destructive editing
  • Dehaze tool to adjust haze and fog in an image
  • Split Toning enhancement, enabling the addition of a color cast to the highlights and shadows of an image, creating a uniquely stylized color image or replicating the look and feel of a traditional toned black and white image
  • Target Adjustment Tool functionality in the Color/B&W editing tool, providing direct, on-image editing controls
  • Point mode in Curve tool providing complete control over the tonality and contrast of an image
  • Enhanced sharing with one-tap access to Adobe Premiere Clip for crafting video stories.
Read More

Lightroom v2.0 Available With Built-In Camera, New Tools, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Sony introduces X series to take on upper-mid range competitors

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 08:18 AM PST

Despite producing hands down the best camera sensors for mobile devices and designs that catch our eye each year at CES and MWC, Sony largely remains an afterthought in the smartphone market. The extreme budget smartphone market isn't likely a source of interest for them, but to date they hadn't targeted the upper-mid range that has become an increasingly contentious market in recent years.

This is precisely where Sony is looking to strike with the trio of X series devices that they have unveiled at MWC. Let's take a look at the specs on each one and see if Sony has found a winning formula.

Xperia X

  • 5-inch 1080p screen
  • 23MP f/2.0 rear camera
  • 13MP f/2.0 front facing camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (microSD support up to 200GB)
  • 2620 mAh battery
  • Android 6.01

The camera is clearly the highlight feature with the standard X. With many manufacturers scaling back or holding their ground on the megapixel count, Sony is in rare space with a 23MP camera. Sony pushes its Predictive Hybrid Autofocus and Smart Capture as game changers, along with the ability to launch and capture an image in less than 0.6 seconds.

The Xperia X's design isn't groundbreaking, but Sony has executed well on the all-metal design that many favor these days. While it doesn't feature an edge-style screen, the display is curved to create a seamless feel to the device.

Battery is the final feature that Sony is touting on the X, claiming that it will go two days on a charge. I can see how it's possible given the specs inside the X, but still, I'll believe it when I see it.

Xperia X Performance

  • 5-inch 1080p screen
  • 23MP f/2.0 rear camera
  • 13MP f/2.0 front facing camera
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage (microSD support up to 200GB)
  • 2700 mAh battery
  • Android 6.01

Did the Xperia X sound interesting to you? How about if it were faster and waterproof? That's the sales proposition with the X Performance. On the X Performance, the X's Snapdragon 650 is swapped out for an 820, the battery is bumped up by 80mAh, and the whole package is now waterproof. Notably, the claims about two-day battery life also drop with the X Performance, so you are paying for that extra power. No word on the price difference between these two at the moment.

Xperia XA

  • 5-inch 720p screen
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 8MP front facing camera
  • MediaTek MT6755 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (microSD support up to 200GB)
  • 2300 mAh battery
  • Android 6.01

The XA is the last member of the X series, and it is a definite step down from its siblings in basically every area. The two-day battery life and the edge-to-edge display are the most interesting selling points for the XA. (And presumably the price, but we don't have that yet.)

The X and X Performance certainly have the potential to be two of the most interesting devices that Sony has put out, but the questions that linger are whether Sony has finally managed to capitalize on its own camera prowess and whether it can price these phones competitively with the likes of the Moto X and OnePlus 2.


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Google could be about to ditch one of Android’s biggest features

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 08:01 AM PST

Are the app drawer's days numbered? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidAndroid's famous app drawer could soon be no more. Google will reportedly ditch the age-old feature for its upcoming Android N upgrade, placing all apps on the home screen instead. The move could make the platform more convenient for some users, but will it upset many others? The app drawer has been baked into Android since

The post Google could be about to ditch one of Android's biggest features appeared first on Cult of Android.











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ZTE Blade V7 and Blade V7 Lite now official

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 07:14 AM PST

As is typical for this time of year, new phones are starting to get announced left and right. ZTE isn't missing the boat, either, with a pair of new Android-based smartphones to call their own.

First up is the Blade V7, a handset with a 78.2 percent screen-to-body ratio and a 2.5D curved edge glass on the 5.2-inch display. The Blade V7 features a MT6753 1.3GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. There's a 13-megapixel camera on the back with PDAF, double color flash, and ZTE says it takes only 0.3 seconds to focus. There's a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, and you can use the display as a flash when that selfie needs more light.

ZTE has included Smart Sense intelligent gesture controls, and the battery is measured in at 2500mAh. It's running Android M right out of the box. ZTE says it will be available in Germany, Spain, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mexico by summer 2016.

Blade V7 Lite

The Blade V7 Lite features a 5-inch display, with the same 2.5D curved design. Under the hood, there's a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It has 16GB of built-in storage and expandable storage, with a battery measured in at 2500mAh. It's running Android M. The camera on the back is an 8-megapixel shooter with autofocus, and there's an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, too. It boasts the same Smart Sense intelligent gesture controls.

The Blade V7 Lite will be available in Russia first, and then roll out to Mexico, Spain, Germany, and Thailand by the spring of this year.

What do you think of ZTE's new handsets?


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D’oh! Samsung S7’s industrial design is as lazy as ever

Posted: 22 Feb 2016 05:55 AM PST

Galaxy S7 in gold. Photo: SamsungSamsung may have "borrowed" Apple's Upgrade Program for its new Galaxy S7 handset, but one thing it seemingly can't copy is Apple's perfectionist approach to design. New photos popping up online highlight how Samsung just can't seem to afford the ruler it would require to get all of its Galaxy S7 ports, microphones, speakers and jacks

The post D'oh! Samsung S7's industrial design is as lazy as ever appeared first on Cult of Android.











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