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Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Sony’s latest Marshmallow beta includes soft charging to keep your battery healthy

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 03:20 PM PDT

Battery life is all the rage these days, with beefy batteries and quick charging technology being the norm. But the more you charge a battery, the faster it deteriorates. Sony is thinking about this and giving users a way to keep their batteries healthy.

Sony has updated the Xperia Z2, Xperia Z3, and Xperia Z3 Compact to the latest Marshmallow beta build 23.5.A.1.238, and it includes a new feature called soft charging. It "adjusts the amount of charge to extend battery lifetime," presumably by not charging the battery to 100%. It'll lower battery life, but should extend battery longevity.

If you keep your devices for more than three years, this feature might be worth using. But a battery should easily last 2-3 years with regular use, so most of you shouldn't worry about it, especially when battery life is a concern. It is an interesting feature, though, and I'm glad Sony is giving the option to us. What do you think of this new feature? Leave a comment!

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Samsung's Milk VR drops the weird branding and becomes simply Samsung VR, opens up to individual user uploads

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 02:51 PM PDT

samsung VRFor about a year there Samsung decided that everything it produced with even a whiff of media presence needed to be branded "Milk," starting with music, jumping to video, then killing video, then trying video again in VR to augment the Gear VR headset. If the name "Milk VR" doesn't mean much to you, then you're not alone - apparently someone at Samsung thinks the branding is pretty nonsensical too.

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Samsung's Milk VR drops the weird branding and becomes simply Samsung VR, opens up to individual user uploads was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Moto X Pure Edition 16GB and 64GB models on sale, B&H offering free microSD card with purchase

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 02:11 PM PDT

There are some great deals going on for the Moto X Pure Edition in the wake of the Moto Z announcement. Although the Moto Z line won't be replacing the Moto X, the Moto Z will be Motorola's true flagship device, relegating the Moto X to a mid-range position.

Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo Video are all offering the same deal on the Moto X Pure Edition in 16GB and 64GB storage (strangely the 32GB model is currently $30 more expensive than the 64GB model). However, B&H is sweetening the deal with free microSD cards.

The 16GB model is currently $300 from Motorola, but the three retailers are offering it for $239. B&H will toss in a free 32GB microSD card with the purchase. The 64GB is $320 — down from $400 from Motorola — and B&H is offering a free 64GB microSD card, doubling the storage to 128GB. And with adoptable storage, that microSD card can be treated like internal storage.

The device is available in black, white, and white/bamboo, depending on the storage tier and availability. The black 64GB model is already backordered on B&H. Hit the source links to take advantage of these deals!

Source: B&H Photo Video, Best Buy, Amazon

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Google Play Music giving away Jason Mraz album ‘We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.’

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 02:11 PM PDT

Google Play Music occasionally offers free albums for people to download, and this time they made a really good selection. The service is offering the album "We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things." by Jason Mraz for free.

This album is fantastic. You may have heard a few of the songs on the radio (again and again and again) but the whole album is really well made, with varied music and lots of talent. "Details in the Fabric" is an especially good song.

If you want to give it a listen, hit the source link and add it to your library!

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BlackBerry CEO To Talk About Upcoming Midrange Android Phone In July

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 01:49 PM PDT


The Priv was BlackBerry's first real venture into the extremely competitive Android space and now the company is planning on launching their second device.

Priv Camera

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry revealed during an investor conference call that he is planning on talking more about their upcoming midranged smartphone in July.

"I'm not really prepared to unveil that. I guess, I was thinking about doing that more in July timeframe. I have spoken about having two of them in between now and the end of this fiscal year, and they usually they both of them more in the mid range and mid to high, not going to be a high end phone"

He also went on to say that BlackBerry is still very committed to delivering Google's monthly Android security updates to the Priv and that they are consistently faster at rolling out security updates compared to "…Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and other Android-based players".

Be sure to stay tuned for updates on BB's upcoming midranger for the comimg weeks ahead.


The post BlackBerry CEO To Talk About Upcoming Midrange Android Phone In July appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Android TV universal search now includes an 'available on Netflix' button

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 01:19 PM PDT


Android TV includes a universal search feature that is intended to find content wherever it may be, but it hasn't supported Netflix thus far. That changes today with the addition of a Netflix button to search results on Android TV. However, I think calling this "universal" is a bit of a stretch.

When you do a search on Android TV, the info card at the top has links to the content on various services like Google Play.

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Android TV universal search now includes an 'available on Netflix' button was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Instagram rolls out ‘Picked for You’ video channels

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 12:12 PM PDT

Instagram wants you to explore the world within its social network, where plenty of people post a plethora of pictures and videos. That's where the Explore page comes in. And now that tab is getting better thanks to content that will be geared more towards your liking.

Instagram has officially announced a new "Picked for You" series of video channels that will show you content based on a user's favorite topics and interests. This content will continue to expand and get better as more videos are added.


Users have been able to upload 60-second Instagram videos for only a few months now, so the content will surely expand in good time. Indeed, Instagram says that over the course of six months, Instagram users' video consumption has grown 150 percent.

The new Picked for You video channels are only available in the United States for now, but an international rollout should happen soon.

How often do you watch videos in Instagram?

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BitTorrent Now music and video streaming app launches on Android

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 11:22 AM PDT


The name BitTorrent conjures up the specter of piracy, but the BitTorrent the company has been working on a few legitimate ventures based on the same peer-to-peer technology that lets you download the latest Game of Thrones. The newly launched BitTorrent Now is a music and video streaming platform aimed mostly at independent artists you're probably not familiar with.

Everything available in BitTorrent Now is supposed to be provided by the content creator—it's not a platform for piracy.

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BitTorrent Now music and video streaming app launches on Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Nextbit is promising major battery life improvements for the Robin

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 10:14 AM PDT

Nextbit has a focus on improving things. That started out with storage in its Robin smartphone, and now the company is setting its sights on battery life.

In a community post, Nextbit has published a quick post on what the future holds for the Robin and how Nextbit will place a focus on battery life. There aren't a lot of details in the forum posting, but it's a good sign that Nextbit is continuing its focus on improving specific functions of our smartphones. Well, for the Robin, at least.

According to Nextbit, a new version of Nextbit OS will launch sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. With it, the software will learn the habits of the Robin owner and then make changes at the system level to make sure they get the most screen time possible. Nextbit plans on building this smart feature on top of what Google already has built into Android Marshmallow and what it will introduce with Android N later this year.

This sounds great, especially because batteries seem to evolve more slowly than anything else on our smartphones.

How has your battery life been, Robin owners?

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[Can you hear me now?] A jaw-dropping 100 million WhatsApp voice calls are made each day

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 09:45 AM PDT


WhatsApp's voice calling doesn't seem like it has changed a lot since it was first tested as an invite-only feature then released to everyone in March of 2015. But the service, from my personal experience, has become more reliable, less spotty, with fewer delays and disconnections. Around me, everyone uses WhatsApp calls, because everyone is on WhatsApp to begin with, but also because local calls still aren't unlimited or cheap on any plan, not to mention the exorbitant prices of international calls.

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[Can you hear me now?] A jaw-dropping 100 million WhatsApp voice calls are made each day was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Walmart Pay expands to 15 new states

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 09:03 AM PDT

Walmart decided to jump into the mobile payment market not by supporting all of the major options out there, but instead by offering its own proprietary service with a super original name.

Walmart Pay was announced in December of last year, but it didn't see its rollout in Walmart stores begin until May of this year. Last month Walmart Pay made its debut in over 500 stores in Arkansas and Texas, and Walmart has plans to finish its national rollout by the end of 2016. This week, the rollout continues, as Walmart has announced that it has added 15 new states and more than 1,500 stores to the mix.

The newly-enabled Walmart Pay stores are located in the following states: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia.

To use Walmart Pay, you'll need to install the Walmart app on your phone and then link your credit or debit card to a Walmart account. You can use pre-paid and gift cards, too. Once you're at the checkout register, a QR code will be displayed on the screen, which you'll scan using your phone's camera. Walmart will offer you in-app receipts after each purchase.

Have you tried out Walmart Pay yet?

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T-Mobile sponsors summer with unlimited LTE data in Europe and free in-flight Wi-Fi

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 07:52 AM PDT

T-Mobile wants to be the official sponsor of summer and summer vacations, and it's going to provide high-speed data access in a variety of places.

Today the Un-carrier officially announced "Summer Unleashed." The first part of the announcement deals with the folks that will be traveling to Europe this summer, of which there are expected to be more than 2.5 million. From July 1 and until August 31, Simple Choice customers will get unlimited high-speed data throughout Europe (except in Andorra) at no additional cost. T-Mobile also points out that calls are 20 cents per minute and texting is always free.

Keeping sights on international travel, T-Mobile also announced that Belize will become part of its Simple Global feature beginning July 1. With Belize now part of the deal, that means T-Mobile travelers never have to worry about roaming or texting fees in all the 20 countries in South and Central America.

Finally, domestic flights that feature Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi access will offer up one hour of free smartphone connectivity for anyone flying domestically between June 24 and June 26. This applies to everyone, including those that aren't T-Mobile customers.

If you're a T-Mobile customer are you traveling to Belize or Europe this summer?

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VNC Viewer for Android updated with Bluetooth mouse support and horizontal scrolling

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 05:03 AM PDT

imageVirtual Network Computing, better known as VNC, remains one of the most popular ways around to access remote computers. VNC Viewer, the official remote access app for Android from the developers of Real VNC, gets a substantial update today. The biggest improvement is the addition of support for Bluetooth mice and trackpads. Of course you could use them with the app before, but now the Viewer app will specifically interpret them to directly control the cursor of the remote machine instead of simply emulating local touches.

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VNC Viewer for Android updated with Bluetooth mouse support and horizontal scrolling was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 new Android games this week: Raid HQ, Viridi

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 04:46 AM PDT

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Raid HQ

DescriptionCollect and upgrade dozens of troop cards, build your squad and lead them to victory in an all new type of shoot-em-up! Build and customize your island to fend off enemy raids, forge an unstoppable clan and battle to win Trophies, power and glory. The enemy HQ is in your sights… RAID ON!!!


Pets Unleashed™

DescriptionGet up close and personal with the insanely cute characters from The Secret Life of Pets™ in this sensational match-3 game. From EA and Illumination Entertainment—the creators of Despicable Me and Minions—comes a matching adventure that's the perfect blend of pets, puzzles, and personality.



DescriptionBattleheart – enter a world of epic fantasy combat! Rebuilt for compatibility Android 5+, and with all characters intact – sorry it took so long. Pick it up now for free – no ads, no IAP, no nonsense. Zombieville USA 2 has also finally made its way to android, check it out!


Zombieville USA 2

DescriptionThe definitive zombie shooter returns, reborn with stunning new graphics, gameplay and more! This sequel is jam packed with content and features. Take command of your favorite character, customize them with a spectrum of weapons and skills, and do battle with the living dead – either alone, or with your friends!



DescriptionNurture a small pot of succulents that grow in real time. Viridi is a safe haven, a place you can return to for a moment of peace and quiet whenever, and wherever you need it.


Lineage War

Description: Lineage War, a free, brand new magic mobile game, trans from Human beings, elves, to half-beast men, begins with a noble warfare between evils and goods. Players, are destined to be the legends, along with heroes and champions, fight for Freedom and Honor! Let's rolling !


Sim Betting Football

DescriptionDo you love football? Are you tired of playing the usual simulation games as a football manager? Do you want to try something new? Then install for free and play Sim Betting Football, the only football betting simulation game!



Description_PRISM is a visually stunning journey through a microcosmic galaxy. Touch shapes and patterns to unfold sacred geometry and reach the ethereal soul. Each level is a push and pull of cinematic design, mythology, and intuitive touch exploration.


Rodeo Stampede

DescriptionSaddle up and get ready to wrassle with the stampede-iest critters this side of the Savannah. Lions and Tigers and Bears are no match for this rodeo star. Armed with a lasso and a ten gallon hat, swing from the backs of stampeding buffalo, elephants, ostrich and more.


The Sandbox Evolution

DescriptionUse your godly powers to craft amazing pixel worlds or destroy the universe! Welcome to The Sandbox Evolution, the #1 pixel art world creation game. Play with physics, over 170 elements and controllable heroes. Make your own games or levels, and then share your creations online. There are no limits to your creativity and imagination!


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Never Alone comes to Android phones and tablets a year after Android TV release

Posted: 23 Jun 2016 04:20 AM PDT


I'm a big fan of atmospheric games that immerse you in their gameplay and story - Machinarium, The Wolf Among Us, and Lifeline are some of my favorites on Android. After being available on Android TV for almost a year, Never Alone, from developer Upper Line Games (published by E-Line Media) is now available on Android phones and tablets, and it looks like it's going to hit it out of the park.

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Never Alone comes to Android phones and tablets a year after Android TV release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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There’s a new OS in the works, and it’s being built by Huawei

Posted: 22 Jun 2016 08:12 PM PDT

There comes a point when everything passes, and for some, the best way to cope is to prepare. Huawei falls into that group, with The Information reporting that Huawei is developing its own operating system as a fallback to Android. While the details are unknown and intriguing, the larger question is, why?

Huawei is a company that enjoys security. As a whole, the company is diversified, giving Huawei plenty of safety in case one sector should fall through. With its devices, Huawei is generally playing it safe, with a design that echoes of Apple's distinct creative notes. Its own UI, EMUI, has been compared to iOS on so many occasions that Huawei has hired former Apple designer, Abigail Brody, to rework the software in a more original fashion.

But as for a new OS? That seems to be from speculation on Huawei's part. Huawei is clearly not sold on the future of Android, and is preparing a fallback should the situation arise. We can only speculate based on the sparse info, but a possible concern is that Huawei is worried about Google changing the way Android is handled. If Google was to limit the amount that OEMs can tweak Android, Huawei would be in a pinch, as EMUI takes plenty of liberties.

Huawei's OS is reportedly in the early stages and is being designed by a team in Scandinavia. That may seem like an odd location choice for the Chinese company, but The Information reports that several former Nokia engineers are working on the project, which lends credence to the location choice.

With Huawei beginning on its own OS, the question begs to be asked, when will the other manufacturers start on theirs?

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Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari, the latest casual game from the makers of Crossy Road, mixes endless runners with park managers

Posted: 22 Jun 2016 05:16 PM PDT

2016-06-23 00How do zoos procure the exotic animals that they care for and exhibit? In the real world it's a complex process of identifying wild animals that can be captured without danger to themselves or the environment, often requiring cooperation with conservationists, universities, and private dealers. In Rodeo Stampede, you rope them like a three-day-old calf, jump on their backs, and try not to run into a wall.The latest game from Crossy Road developer Yodo1 isn't claiming to be anything close to authentic, but it's a lot of fun.

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Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari, the latest casual game from the makers of Crossy Road, mixes endless runners with park managers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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