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Friday, April 8, 2016

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Samsung Galaxy S7 selling 25% better than Galaxy S6

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 03:14 PM PDT

According to Counterpoint Research, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is selling better than the Galaxy S6 by 25% overall. The sales are up by 30% in the US, 20% in Western Europe, 10% in China, and have stayed about the same in Korea. After facing shortages of some S6 models, this is a good sign for Samsung.

While the Galaxy S6 edge faced shortages due to the edge display, the Galaxy S7 has no such problem. As a result, almost 47% of all Galaxy S7s sold are the edge model. Even with a slightly higher price, the edge model seems to be quite popular.

With the Galaxy S7, Samsung brought back the water resistance and microSD slot that people wanted and missed in the Galaxy S6, so it's not surprising to see sales rise.

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BlackBerry will launch two mid-range Android phones this year

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 03:14 PM PDT

The BlackBerry Priv is not only BlackBerry's first Android phone, but it's also a high-end one. Unfortunately, it isn't selling as well as the company had hoped. BlackBerry sold 600,000 phones in the first three months of 2016, which was less than expected. Unfortunately, we don't know how many of them were Privs.

Understanding that the Priv was quite an expensive device and many potential enterprise customers were not willing to pay so much, chief executive John Chen said that there will be two mid-range Android-based phones released this year.

Though almost no detail was given, Chen did say that one of the devices will have a hardware keyboard (which BlackBerry is famous for) and the other will be full touchscreen. There's no release date, but they should be significantly cheaper than the Priv's original $750 price tag. Chen hinted at a price around $400.

Would you buy a mid-range BlackBerry Android smartphone with that sweet physical keyboard? Let us know in the comments!

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HTC Boost+ is a phone cleaner that’s currently in testing

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 02:29 PM PDT

Phone cleaners were once a sweeping phenomenon on Android phones. Dozens of third-party phone cleaners existed, and manufacturers began to create their own phone cleaners that they would pre-load on devices. But as Android has advanced, the operating system has become capable of completing all the functions of phone cleaners, although usually far more effectively. Nonetheless, phone manufacturers continue to offer them, and now HTC is getting on the game.

Through its preview program, HTC is currently testing a new phone cleaner app called Boost+. Boost+ can function on non-HTC phones, as well, and performs all of the standard functions of phone cleaners, such as clearing the cache and RAM of your device. Additionally, users can use Boost+ to lock apps, although the lock screen features ads on it, as a way to monetize the app for HTC.

Due to the nature of phone cleaners, there's not much of a reason to install Boost+. With Android more effectively performing the functions of phone cleaners, they've become redundant and can actually hinder the performance of your device. When you clear the RAM and shut down all of the apps, your battery life and performance will suffer as all of those services are forced to restart themselves. Boost+ may be well designed, but it's inherently flawed by being a phone cleaner.

You can check out some screenshots at the source link below.

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T-Mobile LG V10 receiving Marshmallow update next week

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 02:29 PM PDT

It was just earlier this week that we saw the latest Android distribution numbers, which showed Android 6.0 Marshmallow doubling in growth over the past month. April should carry on that trend, and now we know of yet another device that will soon be receiving its Marshmallow update. T-Mobile's Product Manager, Desmond Smith, more popularly known by his Twitter handle, @askdes, has revealed that the T-Mobile variant of the LG V10 will be receiving an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow next week.

There's no word on the specific date and time of the launch, but V10 users can at least rest easy knowing that the update is just days away. Des also confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will be receiving its Marshmallow update in the near future, though he didn't offer up any specifics on the date, so customers using that device will have to wait just a bit longer.

If you're an LG V10 user on T-Mobile, be sure to let us know when you receive your update to Marshmallow!

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Google Photos Web Update Brings Uploading Improvements And Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 12:21 PM PDT


It sometimes may feel like the Google Photos web app gets a little left behind in the wake of its Android brethren, but today is the day: a post on Google+ from the Photos team has detailed the latest update, which brings improvements in the upload procedure and all-new keyboard shortcuts.

Photos can now now be uploaded directly to an album, instead of having to upload photos and then add them to an album after they've uploaded.

Read More

Google Photos Web Update Brings Uploading Improvements And Keyboard Shortcuts was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: PayPal, TuneIn Radio

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 12:10 PM PDT

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We've found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we're going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we'll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

TuneIn Radio - Version 15.2.0

TuneIn Radio

What's new in this version:

  • Station, show and event pages have a brand new look!
  • Your profile has been redesigned as well, making finding the stations you follow easier than ever.
  • Improvements to buffering to decrease battery use
  • General bug fixes & improvements.


NFL Mobile - Version 13.0.13

NFL Mobile

What's new in this version:

  • Follow NFL.com experts latest predictions with Mock Drafts
  • Learn the best prospects at each position with Mike Mayock's Top 5 Articles
  • Follow your favorite team's picks with Draft Tracker


MAPS.ME - Version 6.0.6


What's new in this version:

  • Map editor: add new places to the map and edit existing ones directly from the app! Please be careful — all your edits will be visible for users worldwide.
  • New way of downloading maps: we have divided maps into smaller parts to save space on your device. You can now download just the regions you need.
  • Improved search function: address search has been significantly improved. If you still can't find a place, please check if it is mapped in the app.


YouTube Gaming - Version

YouTube Gaming

What's new in this version:

  • Revised homepage navigation based on your feedback
  • Popout player that stays visible above other apps
  • Live tab on the homepage with top streams, top games, and more
  • New pages to manage your games and channels, plus discover new ones
  • Live stream playback improvements: quality switching, 60fps, and DVR mode
  • Pause/resume when recording or streaming with Mobile Capture


Android Auto - Version 1.6.0

Android Auto

What's new in this version:

  • Improved phone-car connection reliability
  • Ability to browse your music collection without lockouts while vehicle is stopped
  • Android Auto now available in 19 more countries, incl. Russia, India, Brazil, Austria, Switzerland, and many more countries in Latin America


PayPal - Version 6.1.6


What's new in this version:

  • Add cash to your PayPal balance. Go to select CVS or Rite Aid locations, open your PayPal app, and scan a barcode at the register. Give the cashier your cash and it gets sent to your balance (U.S. only)
  • Our updated widget gives you fast access to the top features…right from your phone's home screen.
  • Take screenshots of your receipts.
  • Update your expired cards.
  • Turn off Notification sounds.


SwiftKey Keyboard - Version

SwiftKey Keyboard

What's new in this version:

  • Accessibility will read out 'letters' instead of 'ABC' for the abc key
  • Accessibility will announce when the emoji panel has been open or closed when TalkBack in on
  • Talkback will pronounce Chinese characters (in the stroke layout) in Chinese instead of English, exclusive of locale


BBM - Version


What's new in this version:

  • Forward messages from one chat to another
  • Ability to mute notifications for a multi-person chatScroll through all pictures shared within a 1:1 or multi-person chat
  • Choose if you want pictures taken within BBM chats saved to your device
  • Improved BBM Voice call quality
  • Marshmallow (Android 6.0) support


Playstation® App - Version 3.50.7

PlayStation App

What's new in this version:

  • You can now create events.
  • dailymotion has been added to [Live from PlayStation].
  • Other players' shared activities now appear in your activities.
  • Players who have been tagged now appear in your activities.


Google Maps - Version 9.23.0


What's new in this version:

  • • An enhanced Photo Gallery for places that now includes 360-degree images


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HTC 10’s Sense 8 to bring ‘Freestyle UI’ with sticker app shortcuts

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 11:24 AM PDT

The Freestyle UI in Sense 8. Screenshots: LlabTooFerThe HTC 10's Sense 8 user interface could be just as exciting as the device itself is shaping up to be. According to new leaks, HTC has packed in a new "Freestyle UI" feature that gives users more control over their home screens, and allows pretty stickers to serve as app shortcuts. Isn't it annoying

The post HTC 10's Sense 8 to bring 'Freestyle UI' with sticker app shortcuts appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Multiple Major Newspaper Publishers In The US Tell The Brave Browser To Stop Blocking Ads

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 11:06 AM PDT


Brave Software, the company that recently purchased and rebranded Link Bubble, has a plan to make the Internet a better place by stripping out bad ads and replacing them with good ones.

But there's a problem. According to The Wall Street Journal, 17 major US newspaper publishers want nothing to do with the idea. They've sent a cease-and-desist letter to Brave, calling the company's ad-blocking software illegal.

They don't only take issue with Brave's ad-blocking.

Read More

Multiple Major Newspaper Publishers In The US Tell The Brave Browser To Stop Blocking Ads was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC Is Testing A Phone Cleaner App Called Boost+ Via Its Preview Program

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 10:51 AM PDT


Most phone makers have their own storage/RAM cleaner apps, and now you can add HTC to that list. The OEM's new HTC Preview program kicked off recently, and the first thing users are previewing is a phone cleaner called Boost+. It's not restricted to HTC phone, but you can only get it via the preview program (not that you should want it).

It's well established at this point that these phone cleaner apps have little positive effect.

Read More

HTC Is Testing A Phone Cleaner App Called Boost+ Via Its Preview Program was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Rock out with these Adidas Originals headphones by Monster [Deals]

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 10:26 AM PDT

a7d965be0e497de735f9696a453655b17853dcbf_main_hero_imageSlipping on headphones doesn't mean you have to slip under the radar. These high-performance headphones will take you front and center to music that might as well be live. They're super comfortable, can bend and fold as you wish, and look incredibly stylish all the while. Plus with universal ControlTalk for any smartphone, you can

The post Rock out with these Adidas Originals headphones by Monster [Deals] appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Galaxy Note 6 could pack Samsung’s first iris scanner

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 09:41 AM PDT

Galaxy Note 6 won't just be a larger S7. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of AndroidIt's not difficult to predict what Samsung's Galaxy Note refresh will bring each year; it typically ends up being a larger, slightly more powerful version of the latest Galaxy S that launched months earlier. But every so often, Samsung surprises us with something completely new. According to one report, that will be an iris scanner for this

The post Galaxy Note 6 could pack Samsung's first iris scanner appeared first on Cult of Android.

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Niantic Labs Expands Pokémon GO Field Test To Australia And New Zealand

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 08:49 AM PDT


There are Pokémon springing up in the land down under, and you can start catching them all if you're in that part of the world. Niantic Labs has announced the expansion of the Pokémon GO field test to Australia and New Zealand. It was previously limited to Japan.

You can sign up for the test on the Pokémon GO website, but signing up does not guarantee access to the game at this early stage.

Read More

Niantic Labs Expands Pokémon GO Field Test To Australia And New Zealand was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC Sense 8 screenshots show off ‘Freestyle Layouts’ that let you place apps and widgets anywhere

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 08:37 AM PDT

While HTC hasn't been shy in teasing its upcoming flagship Android smartphone, the HTC 10, ahead of its April 12 reveal date, the company has been laser focused in not actually showing anything off.

That's where the leaks come in handy. The latest batch of photos reportedly show off what's called "Freestyle Layouts," a new feature within HTC's proprietary software called Sense 8.0. The images, published by serial leaker LlabTooFeR, show that with this new feature, Sense 8.0 users will be able to place, widgets, app icons, and stickers wherever they want on their home screens.

Stickers work in the same way as app icons. Selecting one will launch the corresponding app. There are stickers like martini glasses, a hot air balloon, and a tree in the images leaked today, all of which appear to be part of the wallpaper in use.

Customizing home screens has been a major part of Android's development over the years, with third-party launchers dominating the market with an easy way to add icon packs, wallpapers, and themes. With this new Freestyle Layout feature, HTC apparently wants to make it a bit easier to make these screens stand out even more.

What do you think of the feature?

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Beyond Ink is the not-so-little pen that aims to simplify communication

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 08:07 AM PDT

The ink pen is a common accessory for students, professionals, bloggers, travelers and more. It secures a unique place as a classic and reliable form of communication with the ability to write on a number of different surfaces. For some, the type of pen matters not; as long as it writes, it works. For others, the pen they use is vitally important, often displaying status and occasionally offering unique functions.

Beyond Ink is a new pen that targets a curious market. This market is comprised of tech-savvy individuals looking for new, innovative ways to aid communication, without straying too far from the basics. Targeting this market has led Beyond Ink to become a pen that's a curious hybrid of new and old, a mishmash of technologies seeking to work together.

The company's website proudly proclaims the conception story of Beyond Ink, emphasizing that it was born from a need for one tool that could enable multiple forms of communication. The question is, how does Beyond Ink accomplish that goal?

Before that question can be answered, the make-up of Beyond Ink must be revealed. The pen itself is 156mm long and weighs a hefty 71 grams, making it far heavier than most pens, even luxury models. That extra weight is there for a reason, however, as Beyond Ink packs a 1000mAh battery within its cylindrical body. This battery is connected a hidden charging cable that you can have outfitted with either a microUSB or Lightning connector.

Beyond Ink (3, JPEG)

There's still another secret hiding within Beyond Ink. Users can unscrew the top of the device to find a USB stick that features two different functions, depending on how it's inserted. If you insert the USB stick with the pen clip facing up, Beyond Ink will recharge the battery within. If you insert the USB stick with the pen clip facing down, it functions as a 16GB USB 2.0 flash drive, allowing you to easily carry your files with you.

All of that is wrapped inside a body made of brass and stainless steel. The pen tip itself is a fairly typical ballpoint that utilizes Lamy Ballpoint ink. If you're more a technology buff, the pen tip unscrews from Beyond Ink and can be replaced with a stylus tip, allowing it to be easily used on touchscreens.

As a pen, Beyond Ink functions, but doesn't excel. The ink color was surprisingly light and occasionally skipped, making it less pleasurable to use than other higher-end pens. Additionally, the extra weight of the pen proved to be a great detractor while writing, as the hand simply tires of lugging the pen across the page. As a stylus, Beyond Ink fared slightly better, with the stylus tip working well and the extra weight acting as less of a detriment, due to the difference in how the hand holds a stylus as compared to a pen.

Beyond Ink (2, JPEG)

The design of the pen faces some issues. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the brass body was seriously hindered by the smooth, glossy coating that covered it. This coating held a great affinity for fingerprints and scratched surprisingly easily, making the pen feel cheaper than it is.

Additionally, two of Beyond Ink's key features, the USB stick and charging cable, are hindered solely because of design. The charging cable is flexible and is hidden behind the pen clip. While easy enough to access, the cable is so short that your phone will practically need to sit on top of the pen in order to charge it.

The USB stick also faces issues, with its only workable use being in a situation where it can sit on top of a flat surface while in use. For example, it was practically unusable on my Microsoft Surface Pro, where the USB port sits on the top right of the device. Beyond Ink is much too heavy to stay in the USB port if there's no solid surface for it to sit on. This is a pity, as having a flash drive integrated into a pen is a brilliant idea, but it's no good if it can't be used in most situations.

Beyond Ink is an interesting idea, combining several different technologies into one device designed to aid communication. It can be used as a classic ballpoint pen, a stylus, a flash drive, or even a battery pack, designed to be large enough to give you a couple more hours of talk time on your phone.

The current iteration of Beyond Ink, however, falls short of its goals, being hindered by design flaws that make it more of hassle than it's worth. Additionally, with a price of $70, it's hard to justify purchasing it over any other pen. Nonetheless, Beyond Ink is a concept that has great potential with interesting and useful ideas that could prove to be extremely effective. With some tweaking and a few design changes, Beyond Ink could be an important new tool for communication. While the current iteration is good, we have faith that the next version will be even better.

Click here to purchase Beyond Ink for yourself.

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Chrome Dev Revamps The Bookmarks Widget With Material Design

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 07:33 AM PDT


We already know at least one improvement with the latest Chrome Dev build (v51): the complete removal of the 'Merge Tabs and Apps' option. Well, here's the second improvement: a brand new widget. Or rather, a revamped version of an older widget.

The bookmarks widget, formerly with big, largely useless thumbnails, has been re-designed to use a list item style instead of a grid, and material design navigation. The result is a much cleaner-looking widget, with better, easier to understand navigation to boot.

Read More

Chrome Dev Revamps The Bookmarks Widget With Material Design was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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BlackBerry CEO promises two mid-range Androids for 2016

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 06:21 AM PDT

BlackBerry won't give up on Android. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of AndroidBlackBerry's switch to Android may not have done much to boost its smartphone sales so far, but the Canadian company isn't ready to give up yet. CEO John Chen has promised that BlackBerry has two mid-range Android devices lined up for 2016 — one of which will feature a physical keyboard like the Priv, while the

The post BlackBerry CEO promises two mid-range Androids for 2016 appeared first on Cult of Android.

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LendingRobot Lets You Monitor Your Portfolio Performance On Prosper, Lending Club, And Funding Circle

Posted: 08 Apr 2016 02:17 AM PDT


If you listen to as many podcasts as I do, you must be familiar with Prosper thanks to its many ads across different podcast networks. The company's business model is to let peers lend money to each other, without any banks or institutions standing in the middle, or so I understand. But Prosper isn't alone in this domain, there's Lending Club and Funding Circle as well. The problem with all of these sites is that they don't offer a mobile application, which is a big miss in our modern day.

Read More

LendingRobot Lets You Monitor Your Portfolio Performance On Prosper, Lending Club, And Funding Circle was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Potential Moto X (2016) Leaked

Posted: 07 Apr 2016 09:53 PM PDT


Almost every major Android OEM has already announced and released their flagship smartphone for the year and others are expected to do the same very soon. Now it seems you can add Motorola to the list.

HelloMoto.hk has received a photo from a source of what looks like a prototype version of the company's upcoming flagship smartphone, the Moto X. The reason why it's a prototype is obviously because of the Motorola "M" stamp on the top left corner of the phone.

Say goodbye to stereo speakers as the front of the phone features a decently large screen with a home button/fingerprint scanner in place of where the bottom speaker would have went. We can also see a centered USB Type C connector on the bottom of the phone.

Here's hoping more pictures find their way on the internet soon.


The post Potential Moto X (2016) Leaked appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Amazon discounts 32GB Moto X Pure Edition to match price of 16GB model

Posted: 07 Apr 2016 03:48 PM PDT

If you're looking for a budget smartphone with good specs, the Moto X has been that smartphone for three generations now. And with the third generation Moto X Pure Edition, the specs have gotten pretty high-end (along with a slight bump in price).

Amazon currently has the black 32GB model discounted $50, though, bringing it down to $349.99, putting it at the same price as the 16GB model. You do lose the ability to customize it via Moto Maker, but this a great device for a great price, and this sale is a good excuse to buy it.

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