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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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SoundHound Update Brings 'OK Hound' Voice Commands For Hands-Free Operation

Posted: 17 May 2016 02:45 PM PDT

soundhoundhero

The music discovery app SoundHound has introduced its own voice control feature, which is triggered by "OK Hound." This means SoundHound can be used hands-free in the car or at a party when a cool song comes on and you want to impress your friends with your music knowledge. However, it only works when the device is awake and SoundHound is open.


WHAT'S NEW
Now go Hands-Free with "OK Hound…" Use your voice to search, discover, and play!
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SoundHound Update Brings 'OK Hound' Voice Commands For Hands-Free Operation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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ESPN App Comes To Android TV, And So Does Starz (Again)

Posted: 17 May 2016 02:12 PM PDT

Screenshot from 2016-05-17 16-50-59

Sports are more enjoyable on TV than phones and tablets. It's a demonstrable fact. You don't see bars hanging Samsung Galaxy Tabs on walls do you?

It's for this reason that many people will be happy to see ESPN adding support for Android TV. You can see this is the changelog for the ESPN app. Viewers are getting WatchESPN access, with the ability to stream live events.

The app will come included in all new Nexus Players, making sports content easier to find and partially addressing an area of continued weakness for set-top boxes.

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ESPN App Comes To Android TV, And So Does Starz (Again) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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SwiftKey's New Beta 'Swiftmoji' Keyboard Predicts What Emoji You Might Want To Use

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:39 PM PDT

swiftmoji

Emoji have gone from a weird, insular Japanese thing to a global phenomenon. Remember how upset everyone was when we didn't have that taco emoji? Now SwiftKey is looking to improve everyone's emoji game with Swiftmoji, a keyboard with predictive emoji. This is a giant leap for mankind.

The basics of Swiftmoji are much the same as the main SwiftKey. You get regular text suggestions, there's swipe input, and you can personalize with your account info.

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SwiftKey's New Beta 'Swiftmoji' Keyboard Predicts What Emoji You Might Want To Use was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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WeMo Smart Home Products Now Integrate With Nest

Posted: 17 May 2016 01:23 PM PDT

Screenshot from 2016-05-17 15-58-06

Belkin makes a series of gadgets intended to make your home smarter. Think WiFi-connected light switches and outlets that let you toggle anything you plug in. Now these products work with Nest.

Connecting WeMo devices to a Nest Thermostat makes controlling all these products even simpler. Rather than tapping a few buttons on your phone, Nest will adjust things automatically as you enter and leave the house. Dim the lights, turn on the fan, and get that smooth jazz playing.

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WeMo Smart Home Products Now Integrate With Nest was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Project Fi App Update Lets You Block Calls And Text Messages

Posted: 17 May 2016 12:04 PM PDT

ProjectFi

Some calls are essential. Others are a hindrance that must be stopped. To do so, all you have to do is add the caller to a list of blocked numbers. Simple? Sort of.

You can already block numbers using the stock dialer app. Doing so stops calls, but it doesn't prevent texts. That's where Project Fi is now cranking things up a notch.

Google has added the ability to block calls and texts to the Project Fi app.

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Project Fi App Update Lets You Block Calls And Text Messages was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Motorola could rebrand its flagships the Moto Z Play and Moto Z Style

Posted: 17 May 2016 10:39 AM PDT

Earlier today, Lenovo's Motorola subsidiary announced a pair of brand new Moto G-branded smartphones, but for the folks waiting for flagships, the wait continues. And there could be a marketing shakeup coming with them.

According to VentureBeat. Motorola is apparently planning to ditch the Moto X brand for its flagship phones coming this year. Instead, the company will adopt the "Moto Z" brand. That means that if this report is true, Motorola's upcoming flagships will be called the Moto Z Play and Moto Z Style.

The naming scheme change is actually trickling all the way down to Verizon's DROID lineup, too. In previous years Verizon has rebranded its DROID handsets with names like DROID Turbo and DROID MAXX. This year, though, Lenovo's new branding for its flagships will stick around, and the new devices will reportedly be called something like "Moto Z Play Droid Edition."

A previous report suggested the accessories that Motorola will offer via modular backplate design, like a pico projector and other options, would be called Amps, but apparently that won't be the case any longer, either. Instead, those accessories will be called MotoMods.

There are quite a few changes in the works. What do you think of the new brand name?


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Sony Says Something Big Is Coming! (UPDATED)

Posted: 17 May 2016 09:28 AM PDT

DSC_0046

I received a curious little package in the mail today.  I opened it up and inside all there was was the little card you see above.  There isn't a whole lot of information to go by on the card but obviously this is hinting at some sort of release.

Given that Sony just announced a new phablet, the Xperia XA Ultra, there's a good chance that that is the device they're hinting at.  There's also a possibility that they're referring to the entire Xperia X line up, the successor to the Xperia Z lineup, as none of those device have released yet.

What do you guys think Sony has planned?  And are you excited about the new X line up from Sony?

UPDATE

So I just got an e-mail from Sony confirming that this was in reference to the Xperia XA Ultra.  More to come!

 

The post Sony Says Something Big Is Coming! (UPDATED) appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Building better mobile apps for work

Posted: 17 May 2016 09:20 AM PDT

Hey Google, Please Deal With The Explosion Of Lock Screen Adware In The Play Store

Posted: 17 May 2016 09:02 AM PDT

nexus2cee_es

The once beloved ES File Explorer was revealed recently to be little more than a Trojan Horse, used to get adware installed on thousands of devices with one update. This was apparently just the beginning. Users have started compiling a spreadsheet of apps that sneak the same adware-infused charging lock screen onto your device. There are already about 20 of them. Google, where are you?

The spreadsheet includes apps like ES, Xender, Z Camera, FotoRus, and more.

Read More

Hey Google, Please Deal With The Explosion Of Lock Screen Adware In The Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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T-Mobile adds 12 new services to Binge On, including Spotify and Tidal

Posted: 17 May 2016 08:49 AM PDT

T-Mobile has garnered plenty of flak for Binge On, the company's offer that allows users to stream video from select apps without cutting into their data allotment. The catch is that all of the video being streamed is downgraded to lower quality, so that it uses less data on T-Mobile's network. That being said, a large number of people continue to use Binge On and T-Mobile is working to add new services. Today's addition brings in the following 12 services:

  • Great Big Story
  • NBC
  • Kiswe
  • Ligonier Ministries
  • NOGGIN
  • Qello Concerts
  • Radio Disney
  • Univision
  • Univision Noticias
  • Spotify
  • TIDAL
  • Toon Goggles

This latest package brings in options for everyone, ranging from kids' content to religious content to music-related content. T-Mobile says that customers have streamed more than 377 hours of video with Binge On, showing that plenty of customers are perfectly okay with downgraded quality if it means that they don't have to use up their data.

Do you use Binge On or have you disabled it on your device?


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Motorola Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus now official with 5.5-inch display, Snapdragon 617, and more

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:32 AM PDT

All of the leaks were leading up to this point. Motorola held a special event that officially saw the announcement and release of two new handsets: the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus.

The devices share plenty of similarities. Both boast a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 HD display and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor under the hood, both clocked at 1.5GHz. The devices share a similar design as well, and both weigh 155g. Both devices feature a 3000mAh battery behind the swappable back plate.

The differences are plenty, too, though. The Moto G4 features 2GB of RAM under the hood, and will launch in either a 16GB or 32GB variant, which offers support for up to 128GB microSD cards for expandable storage. The Moto G4 boasts a 13MP camera on its back, coupled with dual-LED flash, burst mode, auto HDR, video stabilization, and it can record up to 1080p HD video at 30fps. The front camera is a 5MP shooter with a wide-angle lens, and it can use the display as a flash.

The Moto G4 Plus, on the other hand, can boast up to 4GB of RAM, and it will launch in variants of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of built-in storage, and offer the same support for 128GB microSD cards just in case the base storage amount isn't enough. The camera on the back is a 16MP shooter with laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus, and dual-LED flash. It, too, can record video up to 1080p HD at 30fps. There's a 5MP front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens and the display can be used as a flash. There's a fingerprint reader below the display.

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus both feature support for Moto Maker, allowing potential owners to choose from a variety of accent colors, back plates, materials, colors, and more. They are both running Android 6.0.1 right out of the box.

The release schedule for both new phones starts with limited markets. The Moto G4 will launch today in Brazil, while the Moto G4 Plus will be available beginning today in Brazil and India. Motorola plans to see the devices launch in other markets in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific at some point in the future, but no specific dates were provided.

Both devices will launch in the United Kingdom in June, with the Moto G4 priced at £169 and the G4 Plus with a price tag of £199.

Interestingly enough, Motorola also announced the Moto G Play, which features a quad-core processor, a 2800mAh battery, and a "clutter-free version of Android," which the company says will help boost performance. There is 16GB of built-in storage (with support for 128GB microSD cards), 2GB of RAM, an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 5-inch 720p HD display. It's running Android 6.0.1 out of the box, too.

Motorola says the Moto G Play will launch globally later this summer, but it will not offer Moto Maker support.

What do you think of Motorola's new phones?


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Samsung Galaxy S7 Active leaks again, this time in gold

Posted: 17 May 2016 07:15 AM PDT

Earlier in May, the first glimpse of the rumored but not yet official Samsung Galaxy S7 Active surfaced, showing off yet another rugged handset in the long running Galaxy S Active lineup. Now another variant of the handset has leaked, this time in gold.

The image was published by Evan Blass (@evleaks) recently, and he calls it more of a "desert camo," which, after looking at the device, makes quite a bit of sense. Other than the gold-ish hue, this Galaxy S7 Active looks quite a bit like the first leak, with beefed up corners and physical buttons below the display.

The AT&T branding is strong with this leak, too, but that makes sense considering the Galaxy S Active line has been an AT&T exclusive to date. The model number for the handset, according to Blass, is SM-G891A.

As far as specifications go, we're still waiting for the leaks in this department. It's likely that the Galaxy S7 Active will share plenty of similarities to the Galaxy S7, including a 5.1-inch display that will probably have a resolution of 2560×1440. It's possible it has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor under the hood, too.

Are you planning on getting a Galaxy S7 Active?


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Sony Announces The Xperia XA Ultra, Sports A Massive 6-inch Display

Posted: 16 May 2016 09:20 PM PDT

xperia_xa_ultra

Sony has finally announced their first real spiritual successor to the Xperia Z Ultra released back in 2013 and it's called the Xperia XA Ultra.

Sony-Xperia-XA-Ultra

While this is still a midrange smartphone, it still packs quite a punch. The phone comes with a massive 6-inch 1080p display with the Mediatek Helio P10 SoC, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Thankfully, this is expandable via microSD expansion.

Other specs for the phone include the 21.5MP Sony sensor with hybrid autofocus. As for the front, it sports a whopping 16MP sensor with OIS. Battery size is still not known however the company states that the phone will last up to two full days of use.

[Sony / GSMArena]

The post Sony Announces The Xperia XA Ultra, Sports A Massive 6-inch Display appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Sony’s Xperia XA Ultra boasts ‘borderless’ display, powerful selfie camera

Posted: 16 May 2016 08:10 PM PDT

Sony is a company that has continued to struggle with its mobile division. Some would even argue that the company has fallen by the wayside when it comes to smartphones. Nonetheless, Sony continues to create devices, catering to loyal customers in some markets. Today, the company has launched a new device for those loyal customers.

Sony's Xperia XA Ultra is a new device that sits somewhere between powerful mid-range and high-end. While the XA Ultra doesn't match the specs of today's flagships, it does pack some powerful stand-out features. These include a 6-inch "borderless" 1080p Bravia display and, to match it, a 16-megapixel front-facing camera with an Exmor R sensor, optical image stabilization and even a front-facing flash to illuminate during low-light shots.

Other specs in the XA Ultra consist of an octa-core MediaTek processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage plus microSD card slot, 21-megapixel rear camera with Exmor RS sensor and hybrid autofocus, 2700mAh battery and Android Marshmallow, though the exact version isn't specified.

Three color options of Graphite Black, White and Lime Gold will be offered. Sony hasn't disclosed any details on pricing and availability, but did mention that the phone will be released globally. We'll keep you updated.


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Play Store v6.7 Prepares To Preload Data For Faster Performance And May Hint At New Android Wear Features [APK Teardown]

Posted: 16 May 2016 07:06 PM PDT

store

As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three years: the ability to join and leave beta test groups from within the Play Store. For reasons we can only speculate about, the join/leave capability was disabled about 24 hours later. While the headlining feature was covered in our original post, there are still a couple of interesting tidbits waiting for the teardown treatment.

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Play Store v6.7 Prepares To Preload Data For Faster Performance And May Hint At New Android Wear Features [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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The Makers Of Pokémon GO Are Looking For Game Testers In The United States

Posted: 16 May 2016 06:37 PM PDT

pokemon goThere are only a few months left (probably) before the young and young at heart will be able to live out their Pokémon fantasies in glorious augmented reality with the upcoming Pokémon GO game. But a select few will get an early ticket to Kanto (or wherever you set a Pokémon game with an entire planet's worth of playing surface). Today The Pokémon Company announced that it was looking for participants for the game's "Field Test," and registration is open on the US site.

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The Makers Of Pokémon GO Are Looking For Game Testers In The United States was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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24 New And Notable (And 1 WTF) Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (5/3/16 - 5/16/16)

Posted: 16 May 2016 06:05 PM PDT

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

DashLinQ Car Driving Mode App

This week's roundup is brought to you by DashLinkQ Car Driving Mode from GROM Audio.

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24 New And Notable (And 1 WTF) Android Apps And Live Wallpapers From The Last 2 Weeks (5/3/16 - 5/16/16) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Oppo Find 9 rumored to fully charge in 15 minutes

Posted: 16 May 2016 03:50 PM PDT

With batteries getting bigger and smartphones getting more power hungry, battery life isn't making any big leaps forward. We're still stuck with day-long battery life, sometimes less. This is where quick charging has really helped us getting through a long day.

It's rumored that the unreleased Oppo Find 9 will be able to recharge its battery in full in only 15 minutes using Oppo's VOOC charging technology. This is a lot faster than anything Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 can do. It's unknown what size the Find 9′s battery will be, but this rumored charging rate is impressive nonetheless. Spending 15 minutes by a charger and getting another day out of your battery is a great solution.

It's unknown if this is true, and if it is, how much quicker it will degrade the battery over time. But having the option would be amazing. Maybe Oppo will even license the tech to other companies. We'll have to see when the device is launched in June.


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Google Dialer now blocked from installation on non-Nexus phones

Posted: 16 May 2016 03:19 PM PDT

Late last week, Google Dialer surprised everyone with a lack of compatibility restrictions. Those on Marshmallow and up could install it on their non-Nexus devices, which was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, this was a mistake on Google's part and has now been rectified.

The newest update to Google Dialer has restrictions set by the Play Store so only Nexus devices can install it. Not only that, but the new APK also will not install on non-Nexus devices, though it'll work on some custom ROMs like CyanongenMod with the right setup.

There may be a good reason for Google not wanting its dialer app being used on other devices. We don't know what it is, but it's Google's decision. How many of you managed to get it installed before it was no longer possible? Leave a comment!


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