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Friday, May 13, 2016

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PSA: The Google Dialer Works With Many Non-Nexus Phones Now

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:46 PM PDT

unnamedThe Google dialer is what ships on all Nexus phones, but OEMs usually create their own vastly different dialer app. Beginning with the v2.05 update, you can install Google's version on most other phones too. This update rolled out a few weeks ago, but it seems that people are still just noticing, so let's get this all out in the open.

Most phones from the last generation or two appear to be compatible with the dialer now including the HTC 10, LG G5, Galaxy S7, OnePlus One, LG G4, Nextbit Robin, LG V10, One A9, Moto X Pure, and more.

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PSA: The Google Dialer Works With Many Non-Nexus Phones Now was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 6 firmware development rumored to have started

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:34 PM PDT

The Samsung Galaxy Note 6 is rumored to launch sometime in August, and this new rumor goes along with that one. SamMobile says that firmware development has officially begun for the Galaxy Note 6, which is a good indication that it will launch fairly soon.

Firmware development generally doesn't begin until the hardware is mostly finished, so the Note 6 hardware may be ready for production. It's rumored to feature a 5.8-inch Slim RGB AMOLED display (with a possible curved counterpart), a Snapdragon 823 or Exynos 8890 processor, 6GB of RAM, a 12MP camera sensor like the one in the Galaxy S7, and a 4,000mAh battery.

Hopefully we'll see this device soon, as I know many of us are looking forward to it. With the major improvements in the Galaxy S7 giving us hope that the Note 6 will be the device we've been waiting for, expectations are set high.

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Snapchat Android App Update Introduces One-Handed Zooming

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:17 PM PDT


There comes a moment when you're making a recording where you wish you could zoom in. Well, you can, and now Snapchat has made that something that only requires one hand.

While you're making a video, slide your finger up from the record button. Boom, you're zooming. No need to pinch.

The question is, should you? This is digital zoom we're talking about, and the answer is no (unless you own a ZenFone Zoom).

Read More

Snapchat Android App Update Introduces One-Handed Zooming was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sony brings back limited version of Stamina Mode in latest Marshmallow beta

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:04 PM PDT

Sony's Stamina mode was a feature in older software builds that served as a battery saving mode. It shut off many different processes and features to preserve your precious battery life. Unfortunately, with Google including Doze mode in Marshmallow, Sony had to remove the feature so it wouldn't interfere.

The company promised that the feature would return, and it finally has, though only in the beta Marshmallow 6.0.1 builds for the Xperia Z2, Z3, and Z3 Compact. It's also very limited now to avoid interfering with Doze mode, but it's back and it's working with the limitations set by Google's new software.

This also means that Stamina mode will come to official builds eventually, so keep an eye out for it in your next software update!

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Google Maps Driving Mode may be rolling out to everyone

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:04 PM PDT

Google Maps Driving Mode, a feature that has been available to a limited amount of people, allows you to use navigation without actually having a destination. Do you like having your map open to check on traffic and location, but don't necessarily have a destination in mind? This feature is for you.

The feature is apparently rolling out on a global scale now, and people in many countries are now seeing it on their devices. It'll be in the left side out menu as "Start driving." The feature will show you a navigation screen and suggest addresses along the way.

As someone who uses Google Maps all the time even if I know where I'm going, I'll be using this feature more often. It's also a nice "mini map" when you're driving spiritedly (but safely) down a windy road. Let us know if you see it pop up on your device!

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Square Enix releases Hitman GO for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift

Posted: 13 May 2016 02:04 PM PDT

Hitman GO is a strategy puzzle game released two years ago by Square Enix. It's based on the popular Hitman series, though rather than the regular third-person stealth game, it became a top-down turn-based puzzle game. Despite being a huge change, it became very popular.

Square Enix has announced that it is re-releasing Hitman GO for virtual reality platforms. The game has been redesigned with head tracking and intuitive controls, and it seems like a good fit for virtual reality. It's available for both the Samsung Gear VR ($7.99) and the Oculus Rift ($9.99).

The game won't include in app purchases either, as all of the extra content is already included in the game. There are 91 levels in total, which makes the game a great value. Head to your favorite VR app store to give it a shot!

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Instagram, Miitomo

Posted: 13 May 2016 01:35 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.

Google Translate - Version 5.0.0

Google Translate

What's new in this version:

  • Tap to Translate text in any app.
  • Instant camera translation: English to/from Chinese (Simplified and Traditional).
  • Smaller offline translation file sizes for 52 languages.


FOX Sports GO - Version 3.0.1

FOX Sports GO

What's new in this version:

  • Improved video quality
  • Enhanced discovery with recommended content and Search
  • Personalized favorite teams and sports
  • Great new design
  • Improved stability and performance


Colorfy - Version 2.3.5


What's new in this version:

  • This update is out to improve Colorfy's performance, providing you a happier experience while coloring!


Instagram - Version 8.0.0


What's new in this version:

  • We have a new look! Our updated icon stays true to the camera and rainbow. The simpler design puts more focus on your photos and videos without changing how you navigate the app.


TripIt - Version 4.6.0


What's new in this version:

  •  Released an Android Wear app! Our new watch app gives you access to your most important travel details without having to pull out your phone. We also added a new flight countdown timer, only available for Android Wear.
  • Added the ability to merge itineraries from your phone.
  • Made some improvements to our maps and directions.
  • Updated your itinerary with a few tweaks and enhancements that we think you'll enjoy.
  • Made it easier for you to see the trips you have coming up next.


Google Calendar - Version 5.5.2-12

Google Calendar

What's new in this version:

  • Goals – Add personal goals—like "run 3 times a week"—and Calendar will schedule time for them automatically.
  • (Google Apps for Work and Education only) Find a time – Add colleagues as guests to your event and let Google Calendar find the best meeting times for you.


Miitomo - Version 1.2.0


What's new in this version:

  • Added feature for inviting friends via e-mail, SMS, etc.
  • Friend requests and blocking can now be done within comment and heart lists.
  • When posting Miifotos in the comment list, existing Miifotos can now be edited and posted.
  • An "Answer" option has been added to "All answers."
  • Implemented bug fixes and speed optimizations.


YouTube Music – Version 1.26.0

YouTube Music

What's new in this version:

  • New: Listen to your YouTube playlists in the YouTube Music app! Find your saved playlists in the Liked music tab, and discover new playlists in Search. This feature will be rolling out to users over the next several weeks.
  • Fixed: A bug in Offline mixtape that was preventing some users from turning it on or off, or allowing playback.


Evernote - Version 7.8.2


What's new in this version:

  • Many enhancements to the editing experience
  • Support for strikethrough, subscript, and superscript text styles
  • Camera now automatically detects and captures business cards, documents, whiteboards, Post-it ® Notes and receipts
  • Ability to mark up images and PDFs
  • Select multiple notes at once
  • 'Trash' can now be emptied


Google Photos - Version 1.20.0

Google Photos

What's new in this version:

  • Comment on photos in shared albums
  • Add your photos to a received shared album in one tap with smart suggestions
  • Device folder performance improvements


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Call Blocking Is Now Automatically Disabled For 48 Hours After You Call An Emergency Number

Posted: 13 May 2016 01:00 PM PDT


Apparently if you call an emergency number from your Android device, you can't block calls for the next 48 hours.

We don't know why this is the case, though we imagine it may be to prevent you from blocking your local police department or other emergency personnel.

The notification appears at the top of the Call Blocking screen. It does not provide a rationale, nor is this all that happens after you call for help.

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Call Blocking Is Now Automatically Disabled For 48 Hours After You Call An Emergency Number was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google is on a roll releasing new apps … for iOS

Posted: 13 May 2016 12:00 PM PDT

In the last two days, Google has released two new apps, a guide to Google I/O and a brand new keyboard, both for Apple's iOS.

Gboard is a new keyboard meant to combat Google's mobile search problems. In the suggestive text row above the keyboard on iOS, Gboard adds a button that allows users to perform searches and call up Google Now-style cards right in the space the keyboard normally occupies. It also allows users to search for GIFs and emojis in the same place. This way, iOS users never have to leave the window they're chatting in to look up when a restaurant closes or how far away a movie theatre is. Google is apparently researching how to bring the app to Android, but for now it's an iOS exclusive (Google doesn't face the same issues with search market share on iOS as Android, so it makes sense).

The other app just released for iOS is a Google I/O guide. This app already exists on Android and is your handbook on what's happening at Google I/O 2016.

The releases shouldn't come as a huge surprise, Google has always been platform agnostic, but it's interesting to see an app like Gboard come out for iOS only. Both apps can be downloaded now from the App Store. Let us know in the comments if you use both iOS and Android, and if you want to see Google's Gboard grace both platforms.

Google I/O 2016

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Mobile Passport Arrives At The Orlando (MCO) And Denver (DEN) International Airports

Posted: 13 May 2016 11:28 AM PDT

Screenshot from 2016-05-13 14-20-07

Airside's Mobile Passport app offers a way to speed up the process of re-entering the US after traveling abroad. You send Customs and Border Protection your passport and customs information via your Android device. Then you get to skip the line rather than fill out the blue-and-white form awaiting most travelers.

In order to experience this convenience, you must use Mobile Passport in one of the support airports. Originally, that was Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

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Mobile Passport Arrives At The Orlando (MCO) And Denver (DEN) International Airports was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Verizon’s new prepaid plans get more competitive

Posted: 13 May 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Starting May 15, Verizon will being offering three new prepaid plans that aim to be more competitive against rival carriers who have traditionally offered plans with the most bang for your buck.

Priced at $30, $45 and $60, each plans includes a new tier of benefits:

  • $30 – No data, unlimited talk to US and text to US, Mexico and Canada
  • $45 – 3GB data, unlimited talk to US and text to US, Mexico and Canada
  • $60 – 6GB data, unlimited talk to US, Mexico and Canada and text to US, Mexico and Canada

Those data numbers are only included with auto-pay accounts, otherwise data limits go down 1GB. None of these plans include tethering, but they're not bad if Verizon is your network of choice.

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Samsung’s Charm is a cute fitness tracker coming to a market near you

Posted: 13 May 2016 10:31 AM PDT

Not everyone who wants to track their health wants a big, bulky fitness band or a complicated smartwatch. That's exactly where devices like Samsung's new Charm come in. It's small, sleek and can help track your daily activity in style.

Launched in Korea, Italy, France and Russia, and coming soon to further select markets (we assume, or hope, that includes the US), Samsung's Charm is a "stylish lifestyle band" that tracks activity and uses a small LED light for customized notifications. It's meant to look more like a small bracelet than a smartwatch, and syncs to S Health to calculate steps taken in a day, distance traveled and calories burned. Available in gold, black and rose quartz, the Charm has a 17mAh battery, which lasts 14 days according to Samsung, and uses pogo-pins to charge.

Samsung hasn't provided detailed release information yet, so keep checking back if the Charm is something that interests you.

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Sprint now offering a year of Amazon Prime when you sign up for the 40GB Better Choice XXL plan

Posted: 13 May 2016 09:00 AM PDT

Sprint is certainly not shy about offering up access to Amazon Prime. Earlier this year, it started offering $11 per month access to Amazon Prime, and last year Sprint offered a year's worth of Amazon Prime just for buying a Samsung smartphone. Now you'll just need to sign up for a specific plan to get another Prime deal.

Sprint has announced that it is now bundling Amazon Prime access with one of its packages. Specifically, Sprint customers that sign up for the carrier's 40GB Better Choice XXL Plan will get a year's worth of Amazon Prime as well. The base price of the plan is $100 per month, but then you'll also pay $20 per month for an access charge that's coupled with each phone that's purchased on an installment or lease plan. The access charge is $45 if you want to buy your phone on a two-year contract.

The plan is only available for a limited time, according to Sprint, and it's an option for both new and existing customers.

If you aren't already enrolled with Amazon Prime, does this deal sound good?

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YouTube Music v1.26 Brings YouTube Playlists To The Likes Tab And Makes A Few Visual Adjustments [APK Download]

Posted: 13 May 2016 07:57 AM PDT


Many YouTube Red subscribers aren't making use of the dedicated YouTube Music app yet, but it remains one of the somewhat unique perks of the program. Since launch, the app hasn't seen all that many changes, but updates have been coming out pretty regularly with little tweaks and adjustments. Last week, an unexpected jump from v1.20 to v1.25 suggested some big changes were afoot. A teardown didn't reveal anything of substance – just some minor visual tweaks – but a new changelog has come out since the release of v1.26 this week, and gives us something a little more meaningful.

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YouTube Music v1.26 Brings YouTube Playlists To The Likes Tab And Makes A Few Visual Adjustments [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Messenger 1.8.266 Adds A SIM Card Messages Manager [APK Download]

Posted: 13 May 2016 04:57 AM PDT


Google's SMS app, Messenger, is one of those apps that does what it says on the tin: it sends and receives SMS messages, and can manage them too. With version 1.8.266, a new feature is coming to Messenger: the ability to manage messages which are saved to the SIM card. It's not clear if the previous versions of Messenger could see these messages but had no interface for displaying them, or if they were completely invisible.

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Messenger 1.8.266 Adds A SIM Card Messages Manager [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Cardboard Now Available To Purchase In Canada

Posted: 12 May 2016 11:01 PM PDT


For those of you that still haven't had an experience with Virtual Reality then this post is for you.

Google Cardboard was one of the first low cost high volume "virtual reality" phone based headset in the market when it launched during Google I/O nearly two years ago. While it was a US-only exclusive for quite some time, Google has now officially released it for Canada, Germany, France and the UK. Currently a single unit goes for $20 however you can get two for $35.

With Google I/O coming up soon, I can only imagine what Google has in store for us in terms of Android and VR.

[Google Store]

The post Google Cardboard Now Available To Purchase In Canada appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google Translate Makes Translation Even Easier With Latest Update

Posted: 12 May 2016 09:01 PM PDT

Google Translate

Google has some pretty helpful apps and services out there and Google Translate is up there with the best of them.  In an increasingly connected world, Google Translate can help you understand and communicate with just about anyone anywhere and with the latest Android update, things get even easier.

Google has introduced a new feature called Tap to Translate.  Rather than copying and pasting from app to app, you simply copy the text you need translated and Translate will pop up just like that!  I've tried it out a little bit and it works just as advertised.

According to the release, Tap to Translate works with all 103 Google Translate languages so chances are you'll be able to find some use for it.

This could be really helpful app with summer trips!



The post Google Translate Makes Translation Even Easier With Latest Update appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Rumour: Galaxy Note 6 To Release On August 15

Posted: 12 May 2016 08:46 PM PDT

Back in March a rumour surfaced stating that Samsung might push the Note 6 launch up a month earlier and launch their flagship phablet in July.  Well according to an even newer rumour, that first rumour is incorrect, well at least as far as the US is concerned.

According to Evan Blass (aka @evleaks), Samung's next big thing will launch on August 15 in the US of A.  While it's possible that the initial rumour of a July launch could also be true for other regions, it seems a little unlikely that Samsung would delay the launch by a month in one of their biggest markets.

Current rumoured specs for the Note 6 include a 5.8″ QHD display (maybe curved), Snapdragon 823 or Exynos 8890 processor, 6GB of RAM , a 12MP camera,  a 4000 mAh battery and USB Type-C.  Rumours also state that the Note 6 might run Android N out of the box.

As always, take these rumours with a grain or two of salt.  Nothing is official until it's official.


The post Rumour: Galaxy Note 6 To Release On August 15 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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LG Phoenix 2 launches for AT&T as a prepaid GoPhone

Posted: 12 May 2016 04:44 PM PDT

Some phones, even from a company like LG, can manage to sneak in below the radar. Especially a handset with a name that no one has thought about in five years.

That's the case with the LG Phoenix 2. For those trying to remember where that name might sound familiar, the original Phoenix launched in 2011 — with Android 2.2. Now, five years later, AT&T has launched the Phoenix 2 under its GoPhone prepaid banner, and it'll be available on the Big Blue network's website beginning today with a price tag of $99.99.

Interestingly enough, the Phoenix 2 will be in "select national retailers" beginning May 14, but it actually won't be in physical AT&T retail stores until June 10. So, chalk one up for an interesting rollout.

The Phoenix 2 features a 5-inch HD display, with an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. The battery measures in at 2125mAh, and it's running Android 6.0 right out of the box.

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Five Years Ago, A Google Dev Told Us App Gifting Was On Their List Of Things To Do (It's Still Not There)

Posted: 12 May 2016 03:57 PM PDT


As we approach Google I/O 2016, I was engaged in my Thursday ritual of looking for something to throw back to. A Throwback Thursday, if you will. What I stumbled upon was too good to just link on our social networks for consumption - I was floored the moment I read it, and then overcome with a strange combination of the giggles and sadness. Back in 2011 at I/O, as they still do today, Google held "office hours" for developers.

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Five Years Ago, A Google Dev Told Us App Gifting Was On Their List Of Things To Do (It's Still Not There) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Fi Updates Fix Data Toggle Bug, Allow Users To Block Incoming Calls

Posted: 12 May 2016 03:26 PM PDT

togglesGoogle's Fi mobile virtual network allows users an impressive amount of fine grain control when it comes to selecting their data allowances. That being the case, it's especially important for users on low tiers to be aware of said usage, and to limit their data consumption when they stray away from the Wi-Fi homestead. A bug in the system created a problem there: it sometimes kept the GSM and/or LTE connection active if a user turned the data toggle off while still on Wi-Fi.

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Google Fi Updates Fix Data Toggle Bug, Allow Users To Block Incoming Calls was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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