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Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Android Match

Square Introduces Android Register API To Integrate Mobile Payments With Other Apps

Posted: 28 May 2016 01:44 PM PDT

squareSquare, the company that makes those little headphone jack credit card readers, would like you to use their services more. Of course they would - that's kind of the whole point of commerce. But at the moment merchants using Square are limited to the dedicated Square app, which by default is a sort of digital cash register. The company is hoping to expand itself a bit with its latest API, which allows developers to integrate Square payments into their independent Android apps.

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Square Introduces Android Register API To Integrate Mobile Payments With Other Apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

ASUS ZenPad Z8 for Verizon Wireless specs leak: 8-inch display, 8MP camera, and more

Posted: 28 May 2016 11:47 AM PDT

It looks like Verizon Wireless is on track to add another Android-based tablet to its roster, based on newly leaked information regarding the upcoming device.

Evan Blass (@evleaks) has released information and an image of what is being called the ASUS ZenPad Z8. Thanks to prominent branding on the front of the device, it's obvious that this is headed to Verizon Wireless at some point in the future.

According to the leaked specs, the ZenPad Z8 will feature an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1536×2048. There will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor making everything tick along, and it will have 2GB of RAM. It will offer 16GB of built-in storage, feature an 8-megepixel camera on the back, and a 1.8-megapixel front camera. It will also offer a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

That's about all that's known about the upcoming tablet for Verizon at this point. A launch date wasn't teased, nor how much it will cost.

What do you think of the ASUS ZenPad Z8? A worthy tablet, depending on price?

Android Match

Samsung Galaxy C5 and C7 now official with metal designs, Super AMOLED displays

Posted: 28 May 2016 11:47 AM PDT

Samsung is jumping into the metal smartphone pool and extending the design to more phones. That includes two brand new handsets, the Galaxy C5 and Galaxy C7.

Samsung has made the two devices officially official, showing off the Galaxy C5 and C7 which are heading to the Chinese market. First up is the Galaxy C5, which features a 5.2-inch 1920×1080 Super AMOLED display, which is set over an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor. The device also boasts 4GB of RAM, will be available in 32GB and 64GB variants, and will include a microSD card slot for expandable storage and a battery measured in at 2600mAh. There's also an 16-megapixel camera on the back, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and a fingerprint sensor on the front below the display. It also has NFC support.


The other new handset is the slightly beefier Galaxy C7, which boasts 5.7-inch 1920×1080 Super AMOLED display. There's an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, and the battery is measured in at 3300mAh. The other specs are similar to the C5: 16MP camera on the back and an 8MP front-facing shooter, 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of built-in storage, microSD card slot, and NFC support. A fingerprint reader is included as well.

As mentioned earlier, Samsung is launching the devices in China and there's no word on whether or not they'll make it to any other markets. For those interested in the devices, the Galaxy C5 starts at 2,199 yuan ($335 USD), while the Galaxy C7 starts at 2,599 ($396 USD).

What do you think of Samsung's newest Android devices?

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Story-Focused Platformer 'Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons' Jumps From PC And Consoles To The Play Store For $3

Posted: 28 May 2016 11:44 AM PDT

image (3)The latest indie game to immigrate from the huddled masses of Steam is one that makes a lot of sense for mobile. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a 3D platformer, at least broadly: you control one brother with an analog stick on one side of the screen and the other brother with a second stick on the opposite side. If you ever tried to play both sides of The Adventures of Cookie and Cream (AKA Kuri Kuri Mix) by yourself, it's sort of like that, without the division.

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Story-Focused Platformer 'Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons' Jumps From PC And Consoles To The Play Store For $3 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC offering big sales on Memorial Day, free RE with HTC 10

Posted: 27 May 2016 05:33 PM PDT

HTC is hosting a Memorial Day sale and it's a pretty good one. If you were looking to buy an HTC 10, now is a good time. The company is offering a free HTC RE camera with your purchase, regardless of the model you buy.

If you want the RE on its own, it's 60% off, down to $80 from its $200 original price. There's also a 40% sale on select accessories if you already own some HTC products.

If you want to take advantage of this sale, hit the source link and get buying. The sale ends on the 30th so you have the weekend to decide on what you want.

Android Match

Acer Liquid Zest Plus coming to US with a 5,000 mAh battery for $200

Posted: 27 May 2016 04:41 PM PDT

It's not a soap or a ranch. No, the Acer Liquid Zest Plus is a budget smartphone that features some pretty respectable specs. It has a 5.5-inch 720p display, a quad core MediaTek MT6735 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a 13MP camera, Android 6.0, and a huge 5,000 mAh battery.

The surprising thing is that the device is officially coming to the US! Despite advancements in how we buy phones, carrier payment plans are still really popular. Off contract devices are gaining in popularity, but Acer will have an uphill battle to fight. Thankfully, the device is only $199.

The Liquid Zest Plus will be launching in the US in July in Moroccan Blue and Andes White, and for a device that touts 3 day battery life, $199 really isn't much. It's also coming to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for €199. Would you consider buying this device?

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Phonebloks creator isn’t thrilled with latest Ara update

Posted: 27 May 2016 04:41 PM PDT

Google's latest Project Ara update was a huge one, met with just as many jeers as cheers. The modular device is actually going to be released next year! But you can swap out far fewer components than originally planned, which kind of ruins much of what made Ara exciting in the first place. Phonebloks creator Dave Hakkens has taken to his website to speak out on this, voicing his concerns.

Hakkens is essentially disappointed with two major aspects of Ara: the lack of modular components and Google's complete control over the platform. From his website:

... the Ara skeleton is a fully equipped phone with things like CPU, antennas, sensors, battery and display. The 6 little blocky modules on the back of the phone are just add-ons like better camera's, speakers, scanners etc. Things to customise your phone, for fun.

It means your phone still gets obsolete after a while. What if your screen breaks? Well you still need to replace the entire phone. And after a couple of years it gets slow and you need to replace your entire skeleton.


Originally their goal was to 'create a phone for the entire world', we loved this.

Ara is build on open standards, and developers can develop their own modules. Which is great. It creates and ecosystem of modules. However it isn't truly open. Everything happens under the umbrella of Google. They are in charge, they make the rules. They can decided to suddenly change the connectors, or design. Making all previous modules you have obsolete. It's a powerful ecosystem which shouldn't be in the hands of one organisation.Dave HakkensPhonebloks

Hakkens' concerns are valid and most certainly shared. How will Ara help reduce environmental waste? How is it really different than the LG G5 or upcoming Moto Z? While we're still excited to see how Ara will turn out next year and how it will evolve, the first generation device sounds like it won't be the modular phone we've been waiting for.

Android Match

BlackBerry Priv getting app updates for manual camera controls and new keyboard shortcuts

Posted: 27 May 2016 04:41 PM PDT

The BlackBerry Priv may be a bit slow to get OS updates, but the flexibility of the Play Store allowing companies to update apps rather than the entire operating system has made adding features much easier. BlackBerry has just released a few app updates for the Android-powered device and the additional features are great.

The camera app has been updated with manual controls, a big deal for anyone who loves photography. You don't have to have an amazing camera as long as you have some control over your photos. You'll now be able to control shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. You'll also get keyboard shortcuts, like space to take photos, swiping the keyboard to adjust settings, and hitting "A" to revert to auto.

The keyboard has also been updated with new shortcuts, many of which computer users are used to. Cut, copy, past, undo, redo, italic, underline, and bold were added. There's also support for Korean Hangul and Vietnamese for both the virtual and physical keyboards.

To get these new features, head to the Play Store and update your apps. By default, your BlackBerry may have already done so automatically. Let us know how you like it!

Android Match

Weekend poll: What mobile trend are you most excited about?

Posted: 27 May 2016 03:41 PM PDT

Smartphones, and Android phones in particular, are seeing a resurgence in innovation. Just a year ago, manufacturers seemed to be doing little to differentiate their handsets, with specs reaching a satisfying ceiling.

This year, things are different. We're seeing interesting new trends in hardware, software and accessories. And we want to hear from you.

What mobile trend are you most excited about? Advances in AI? Virtual Reality? Something else? Check out the poll below, and let us know how you answered and why in the comments below.

Android Match

Samsung demos 4K SAMOLED display designed for VR

Posted: 27 May 2016 03:41 PM PDT

If it wasn't clear before, it is now: Samsung is taking virtual reality very seriously. How seriously? 5.5-inch, 3840 x 2160, 4K, 806ppi seriously.

Yes, Samsung has just unveiled a new 5.5-inch 4K display that will be destined for use in VR systems as a phone display. The display is currently being shown off as a demo, but could be appear in a phone anytime now, maybe even the Galaxy Note 6 7 we're anticipating with bated breath.

Alongside the 4K display, Samsung also showed off a Bio Blue display with better image quality and less blue light.

In VR quality, perhaps nothing matter more than display quality. Of course you need the hardware to push the display, but that's not an issue. With a fast enough refresh rate, Samsung's 4K display could be a game changer.

Android Match

Unlimited original quality storage for Nexus devices among changes tipped for future Google Photos update

Posted: 27 May 2016 03:41 PM PDT

A recent Google Photos update may have appeared to include little more than bug fixes, but according to code found within the app, much more interesting features are coming soon, including unlimited original quality photo storage for Nexus devices, album sorting and more.

Today's information comes courtesy of Android Police, who has torn down the latest Google Photos APK only to find some interesting change coming soon to the app inside:

  • Unlimited original quality storage for Nexus devices
  • Album sorting options
  • Device folders will appear as albums
  • New exposure and contrast controls

Album sorting options and more editing tools will be nice, but the big surprise here is unlimited original quality photo storage for Nexus devices for free. Right now, unlimited storage only applies to photos under 16 megapixels. And even for the photos under that limit, they are compressed a wee bit to help Google reduce data storage.

When, how or if these changes will be implemented remains to be seen, but there's a good chance it will happen, and soon. Yet another reason to buy a Nexus phone. What do you think?

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