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Monday, April 4, 2016

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HTC 10 To Feature “The Best Boom Sound Yet”

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 02:38 PM PDT

The HTC event is just a week away now and they're back with yet another little teaser.  The focus of this latest teaser?  Sound.  Or better put, Boom Sound.

HTC's Boom Sound debuted on the HTC one M7 and despite some disappointing apsects of the M8 and M9, the sound was always good!  I'm really interested to see how HTC has improved on this particular feature as they have been one of the best in audio, particularly in terms of quality and volume, since the M7.

Could this be the year I jump back to HTC?  Maybe…. Maybe….

Anyone else excited to see the HTC 10?

[HTC]

The post HTC 10 To Feature "The Best Boom Sound Yet" appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Blackberry Is Looking For Beta Testers For Their Marshmallow Update For The Priv!

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 02:38 PM PDT

Android Marshmallow

If you're a Blackberry Priv user and you're itching to give Marshmallow a try then you'll want to pay attention.  Blackberry posted an invitation on their blog earlier today seeking beta testers for the Marshmallow update.  There are some criteria though so take a look:

  • To be in the first wave of beta testers, you must have a PRIV purchased from ShopBlackBerry, Amazon or Carphone Warehouse. Other device owners may apply too, but won't be accepted into the program immediately.
  • You'll need to enable background diagnostic reporting so engineering teams at BlackBerry can analyze collected data in aggregate and make improvements where necessary.
  • There is limited space in the beta program. New registrations join the waitlist, from which new participants will be selected as we grow the program. The first group of participants will receive invitations this week.
  • Registration will be open for about two weeks, and we'll begin beta testing during the second week of April.
  • The beta will last about 4-8 weeks.

One thing that's kind of odd about the post is that they state that the beta will last 4-8 weeks.  Just last week Blackberry's CEO John Chen had stated that they were planning to release the update by the end of April or early May.  So either the beta will be on the shorter end of that 4-8 week period or we may not see the update until June!

Nevertheless, be sure to register quickly if you're interested as there are limited spots.

[Blackberry]

The post Blackberry Is Looking For Beta Testers For Their Marshmallow Update For The Priv! appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Toronto Raptor’s Cory Joseph Is LG’s New G5 Canadian Ambassador

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 02:18 PM PDT

LG G5 Cory Joseph

I love basketball.  I love tech.  And I love it when the two world's collide, such as in this new announcement by LG.

LG announced earlier today that Toronto Raptor's back up point guard Cory Joseph (who is one of the many Canadians in the NBA) will be their Canadian ambassador for the G5!  According to the press release, Joseph will be featured in all types of advertising for the company in the 2016-2017 season.  But given that the Raps are headed back to the post season, it wouldn't surprise me if LG tried to get some additional attention via Joseph in the coming month as basketball fans across the country tune in to watch the Raptor's (hopefully deep) playoff run.

Here's some things that Joseph had to say about the G5:

"It's impossible to use the LG G5 without being impressed…It's the smartest smartphone I've ever used and it's really something I can get behind. The companion devices blew my mind and once you've experienced the back-up battery switch out – you'll never go back. It's a game changer."

As you all know, the G5 is set to launch on April 8 here in Canada.  Any of you guys have one reserved?

[CNW]

The post Toronto Raptor's Cory Joseph Is LG's New G5 Canadian Ambassador appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Android Auto v1.6 Adds Full Music Library Browsing, Improved Connection Reliability, And More

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 01:52 PM PDT

unnamedGoogle is rolling out a new version of Android Auto in its usual staged fashion, and it's an major update. The new v1.6 build addresses one of the major issues with Android Auto going all the way back to the original release. You can finally browse your full Play Music library from the Android Auto interface. Well, that's what Google says anyway. It doesn't seem to work yet.

Here's the changelog for Android Auto v1.6.

Read More

Android Auto v1.6 Adds Full Music Library Browsing, Improved Connection Reliability, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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A new method to measure touch and audio latency

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 01:25 PM PDT

Posted by Mark Koudritsky, software engineer

There is a new addition in the arsenal of instruments used by Android and ChromeOS teams in the battle to measure and minimize touch and audio latency: the WALT Latency Timer.

When you use a mobile device, you expect it to respond instantly to your touch or voice: the more immediate the response, the more you feel directly connected to the device. Over the past few years, we have been trying to measure, understand, and reduce latency in our Chromebook and Android products.

Before we can reduce latency, we must first understand where it comes from. In the case of tapping a touchscreen, the time for a response includes the touch-sensing hardware and driver, the application, and the display and graphics output. For a voice command, there is time spent in sampling input audio, the application, and in audio output. Sometimes we have a mixture of these (for example, a piano app would include touch input and audio output).

Most previous work to study latency has focused on measuring a single round-trip latency number. For example, to measure audio latency, an app would measure time from app to speaker/mic and back to the app using the Dr. Rick O'Rang loopback audio dongle together with an appropriate app such as the Dr Rick O'Rang Loopback app or Superpowered Mobile Audio Latency Test App. Similarly, the TouchBot uses a fast camera to measure the round-trip delay from physical touch until a change on the screen is visible. While valuable, the problem with such a setup is that it's very difficult to break down the latency into input vs output components.

An important innovation in WALT (a descendant of QuickStep) is that it synchronizes an external hardware clock with the Android device or Chromebook to within a millisecond. This allows it to measure input and output latencies separately as opposed to measuring a round-trip latency.

WALT is simple. The parts cost less than $50 and with some basic hobby electronics skills, you can build it yourself.

We've been using WALT within Google for Nexus and Chromebook development. We're now opening this tool to app developers and anyone who wants to precisely measure real-world latencies. We hope that having readily accessible tools will help the industry as a whole improve and make all our devices more responsive to touch and voice.


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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Flail Rider, SPMC

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 12:35 PM PDT

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. Calculator

Calculator

App info:  Calculator provides simple and advanced mathematical functions in a beautifully designed app. Perform basic calculations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Do scientific operations such as trigonometric, logarithmic, and exponential functions. Perform basic calculations on the go using Android Wear

 

2. Dream Machine

Dream Machine

App info: Manipulate fantastical machinery and solve the many mysterious optical illusions that lie in wait. Use all your ability to survive hazardous levels and fight epic boss battles.

 

3. HD Walls & Background Scenes

HD Walls & Background Scenes

App info: Get unlimited best High – Resolution wallpapers for free. Search wallpapers by category. Easy to crop fit exactly to any screen Phone and Tablet. Make your favorite wallpapers. Play Slideshow of wallpapers. Control slideshow of wallpapers.

 

4. SPMC

SPMC

App info: SPMC is an unofficial fork of the Kodi app, dedicated to android users and made by the former Kodi Android maintainer, Koying (aka me).

 

5. Flail Rider

Flail Rider

App info: Blow EVERYTHING up with a giant flail attached to your vehicle! Flail Rider is a colorful, fast-paced, top down arcade racing game. Drive, drift, destroy and warp from one area to another. The more environment destroyed with your spiked ball, the higher the score

 

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 is updating the Play family of apps with new icons

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 11:53 AM PDT

It's been four years since Google officially released the family of Play apps, including different digital storefronts to get your hands on new games, movies, books, and more. The app icons have changed a bit through those years, but now Google is getting a bit more uniform in the next refresh.

The company has officially announced that the new app icons will look a bit more uniform across the board, while they'll still obviously showcase right in the icon just what they're selling in each store. That means while all the icons will look somewhat similar in layout, you'll be able to determine that Play Games is offering digital games thanks to the game controller front-and-center. Meanwhile, Play Books has a little book peeking out, and Play Music showcases a record with a music note at its center.

Google aims to offer a consistent look across its family of Play apps, and it looks like they accomplished that. The company confirmed that the new app icons will start showing up on both mobile devices and on the web in the coming weeks.

What do you think of the new icons?


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Google gives Play suite icons a fancy revamp

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 11:53 AM PDT

Google's new Play icons. Photo: GoogleGoogle's Play apps for Android are all getting a fancy new icon. The makeover brings a consistent look to the entire the entire family, and users can expect to see them on their Android devices in the coming weeks. Although Google Play is one giant repository for apps, movies, music, books, and more, Google has

The post Google gives Play suite icons a fancy revamp appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Amazon CEO teases top of the line Kindle coming next week

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 11:53 AM PDT

Hopefull the new Kindle is not like the Fire Phone. Photo: AmazonLooking for a new tablet but don't need all the whiz-bang features that come with Apple's pricey new iPad Pro? Amazon may have just what you need when it reveals the 8th-generation Kindle next week. Amazon CEO teased the new tablet on Twitter today, giving readers a heads up on something wonderful coming their way.

The post Amazon CEO teases top of the line Kindle coming next week appeared first on Cult of Android.











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BlackBerry offers up a Marshmallow beta for the Priv

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 11:53 AM PDT

Marshmallow comes to the Priv... in beta. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidBlackBerry is offering Priv owners early access to its Android 6.0 Marshmallow software. Users can sign up for beta access today, and the first wave of updates will be going to those who purchased their handset off-contract from Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, and ShopBlackBerry. We've already seen the Priv's Marshmallow update in action, and on the face

The post BlackBerry offers up a Marshmallow beta for the Priv appeared first on Cult of Android.











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Google Announces New Google Play App Icons

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 11:07 AM PDT

google_play_icons_blogpost

Google is kicking off the week by revamping the look of its "Play" family of app icons. That includes the Play Store, Play Music, and anything else that starts with "Play." The look is much more consistent, but I imagine the redesign will be rather divisive. I mean, isn't everything?

You'll probably see the Play Store icon most, and it's changed the least. It's brighter, and the little folded handle is flat now.

Read More

Google Announces New Google Play App Icons was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Search can now teach you animal sounds

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 10:51 AM PDT

What does the pig say? Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidEver wondered what a raccoon sounds like? Do you know the difference between a lion's roar and a tiger's "grrr?" Now you can find out right inside Google Search. Google has baked a whole bunch of animal sounds into Google to help teach kids what they sound like. To access them, you simply search for

The post Google Search can now teach you animal sounds appeared first on Cult of Android.











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A new look for Google Play family of apps

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 10:31 AM PDT

Whether you like watching Despicable Me on Google Play Movies & TV, streaming "Sorry" on Play Music, battling your friend in Clash Royale on Play Games or reading John Grisham's latest on Play Books, Google Play is your home for the best apps, games and digital entertainment. Since launching Google Play four years ago, we've always had dedicated apps in addition to the Google Play store. Today, all our icons are getting an update to provide a consistent look across the entire family of Play apps.


You'll start to see the new Google Play icons across devices and online in the coming weeks. We hope you'll continue enjoying the Play family of products—now with a new look.

Posted by Jonathan Chung, Visual Design Lead, Google Play

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Bag a free Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 worth $399 [Deal]

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 10:29 AM PDT

Galaxy Tab S2It's no secret that Samsung's newest premium tablet is the cream of the crop. With 9.7 inches of high resolution display and feature-packed technology, this tablet will support your media and technology needs like no other tablet on the market. Plus with a long-lasting battery and 32GB of memory, you better bet you'll stay entertained

The post Bag a free Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 worth $399 [Deal] appeared first on Cult of Android.











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BlackBerry’s first Android is a flop, and we’re not surprised

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 09:27 AM PDT

BlackBerry PrivIt seems not even Android can save BlackBerry's falling hardware business. The Canadian company has confirmed that it sold just 600,000 smartphones during its fourth fiscal quarter, despite the launch of Priv last November. The new handset clearly hasn't been the savior many fans were hoping for, then — but we're not surprised. Until now, BlackBerry

The post BlackBerry's first Android is a flop, and we're not surprised appeared first on Cult of Android.











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LG G5 ships with an unlockable bootloader on T-Mobile

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 07:44 AM PDT

You might want to get your G5 on T-Mobile. Photo: LGSamsung's focus on making its smartphones as secure as can be mean there's little chance you'll be able to flash third-party ROMs and tweaks on many handsets in the Galaxy S7 series. That's not the case for LG's new G5 handset. If you buy the device on T-Mobile, it ships with an unlockable bootloader, paving

The post LG G5 ships with an unlockable bootloader on T-Mobile appeared first on Cult of Android.











Android Match

[Bonus Round] Hammer Bomb, Flail Rider, The Slimeking's Tower, Prison Run And Gun, Slide The Shakes, And The Greedy Cave

Posted: 03 Apr 2016 06:22 PM PDT

bonusroundWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we have a first-person casual dungeon crawler, a driving game where you destroy everything with a giant mace, another dungeon crawler with top-down shooter controls, a platform-shooter, a casual shake-sliding game, and one more bonus dungeon crawler.

Read More

[Bonus Round] Hammer Bomb, Flail Rider, The Slimeking's Tower, Prison Run And Gun, Slide The Shakes, And The Greedy Cave was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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