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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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Google Keep update includes automatically generated search topics [APK download]

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 02:55 PM PDT

2016-06-29 21.42.19

It's update Wednesday, but it's been a bit of a slow one so far. Things are picking up with the Google Keep update. It's rolling out now with a revamped search feature, though. With this update, you'll be able to access automatically generated search topics without typing a thing. No update showing on your devices yet? We've got you covered.

You can access the auto-labels simply by tapping the search button at the top of the screen.

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Google Keep update includes automatically generated search topics [APK download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Verizon announces $249.99 4G LTE Network Extender for better in-home coverage

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 01:10 PM PDT

Carriers always try to expand their coverage when they can, but it's just not possible to cover every place. Verizon customers who have discovered their network quality isn't that great inside their home, can get a new in-home network extender to help with that.

It's called the 4G LTE Network Extender, and it does exactly what the name suggests: it extends Verizon's 4G LTE network to reach where the regular network may not cover. The device will cover 7,500 square feet, and there can be seven devices connected to it at once. There's a separate eighth channel reserved for 911 calls. The 4G LTE Network Extender also offers HD Voice coverage for the devices that support it.

Verizon says the 4G LTE Network Extender can "automatically learn its surroundings and adjust its coverage to improve user experience." If you leave the Network Extender's range, you should automatically be switched over to Verizon's standard 4G LTE network, as long as coverage permits.

Verizon's new 4G LTE Network Extender launches on June 30 for $249.99. For it to work, though, Verizon says you'll need to have broadband internet service in your home, with speeds at least up to 10Mbps down and 5Mbps up. Verizon recommends internet speeds of 20Mbps down and 10Mbps up for it to work as well as it can.

Do you use a network extender?

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The Uber app will soon tell drivers to drive safer and buy a damn phone mount

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 12:07 PM PDT


Until such time as Uber can replace human drivers with robots (and it really wants to), it has to deal with people doing stupid things on the road. In an effort to make Uber safer for passengers, the company will start reminding its drivers about safety measures in the Uber app. This program will launch in 11 cities over the coming weeks, and more cities will be added soon.

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The Uber app will soon tell drivers to drive safer and buy a damn phone mount was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sony's PlayStation Vue Android app is out now

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:17 AM PDT

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As Sony promised it would last week, it has released the PlayStation Vue app for Android today, featuring real-live cast support. The app is available on the Play Store now, or via APK Mirror right here. To use Vue, you'll have to be an existing Vue subscriber - the Android app doesn't have any kind of sign-up flow, so if want to start a Vue trial, you'll need to do that through your PlayStation 3 or 4 console, or through the PS Vue webpage.

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Sony's PlayStation Vue Android app is out now was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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New video tips to help news publishers find success on Google Play

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:05 AM PDT

Posted by Tamzin Taylor - Strategic Partner Lead, Google Play

Today we have released a three-part video series 'Tips for your news app on Google Play', where you can find actionable tips and learn best practices for developing, launching and monetising a high quality news app. The video series accompanies the recently published News Publisher Playbook.

Watch the video series to learn:

  • 10 tips on how to design and develop your News app
  • 10 tips to help you launch your News app and start gaining readers
  • 10 tips to engage your readers and monetize your News app

You can also get the News Publisher Playbook on the Play Store to help you develop a successful news mobile strategy on Android. It includes tips on mobile website optimization, how to create a Google Play Newsstand edition, how to improve your native app, and more.

Give us your feedback

Once you've checked out the video series, we'd love to hear your feedback so we can continue to help you find success with and achieve your business objectives. Leave a comment or a thumbs up, and subscribe to the Android Developers YouTube channel!

Also, check out our other videos in in the Tips for Success on Google Play series, including the recent video on 10 tips to build an app for billions of users.

For more best practices to find success on Google Play, get the new Playbook for Developers app.

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NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV update adds support for Netflix in HDR, YouTube 4K 60FPS, and more

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 10:03 AM PDT

For a set-top box, being able to access the highest-quality content is certainly one way to get a leg up on the competition, which is fierce these days. For anyone that owns a SHIELD Android TV box from NVIDIA, an update is on the way that helps to do just that.

NVIDIA officially announced today Software Upgrade 3.2, which brings with it what NVIDIA calls "industry-leading features" to the set-top box. At the top of the list is support for High Dynamic Range, or HDR, content from Netflix. With HDR, viewers get benefits like a wider color gamut, brighter highlights, and even more detail in darker scenes. You'll need a TV that supports HDR to get the full benefit. Specifically, you'll need a TV that supports HDR10, the open source format in the fledgling format war. Samsung, Sony, and LG support HDR10 out of the box. Vizio will support HDR10 for some of its M- and P-Series TVs later this year.

The update also includes support for watching YouTube content in 4K at 60 frames per second, as well as 4K support for VUDU. And for the audiophile out there, the SHIELD Android TV also supports Dolby Atmos surround sound pass-through.

Here are the other new additions coming today to the SHIELD Android TV:

Best Universal Search

  • Perform a natural language search for music, movies, TV shows or games and get results from over 60 apps including top new additions: Netflix, VUDU and Spotify.

Media Streaming – At Home and On the Go

  • With PLEX Media Server now built-in, you can stream your personal media collection from SHIELD to mobile devices, even outside the home. Accelerate your media (even from a NAS) with SHIELD's HD transcode. Learn more here: http://ift.tt/293PUrw

More Top Apps Streaming to Your TV

  • If you're a sports fan you can now stream all WatchESPN has to offer. Music lovers now have access to Spotify. For news junkies, CNNGo, NPR and ABC News are on the way. Family-friendly programming will get a major boost with WATCH ABC, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney Jr. and Disney XD, and Nick. Viacom also brings popular shows with MTV and Comedy Central.

Automatically Turn your TV Off

  • Rounding out our HDMI CEC support, SHIELD now automatically turns off your TV when SHIELD sleeps. Enable in Settings > HDMI > HDMI-CEC preferences.

Share SHIELD Folders with a PC

  • Access SHIELD folders from a network PC or Mac and enjoy drag-and-drop file sharing. Enable in Settings > Storage & reset > Access SHIELD folders on PC.

Mount Network Storage

  • Mount a network attached storage device (NAS) to SHIELD to access your complete media collection. Stream this media to mobile devices using the Plex app and SHIELD's HD hardware transcode. Set up in Settings > Storage & reset > Network storage.

Improved Picture Quality

  • Enable YCbCr 4:4:4 color space for improved video quality on supported TVs. Go to Settings > HDMI > Color space.

The new software should be rolling out beginning today, so keep an eye out. The SHIELD Android TV was recently updated to Android Marshmallow as well, so NVIDIA is certainly keeping the ball rolling when it comes to new software.

Android Match

Amazing site lists nearly every 'OK Google' voice command

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 09:58 AM PDT


Have you ever wondered just how many things 'OK Google' voice commands can do? Wonder no more (or at least wonder less) - a new site called ok-google.io has set about documenting over 150 voice commands for Google on your Android device. Examples include:

  • Open [webpage]
  • Increase/decrease brightness
  • Take a picture
  • Show me my messages
  • What's my next appointment?
  • When is my next alarm?
  • Set the volume to full.

And so on and so forth.

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Amazing site lists nearly every 'OK Google' voice command was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Maps for Android is finally rolling out multi-waypoint directions

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 08:26 AM PDT


As we discovered in our teardown of Maps v9.31 beta last week, Google has been working on implementing true multiple waypoint directions in the Maps app for Android. Unfortunately, we couldn't actually get the feature to, well, work. But according to multiple tips we've now received, the feature appears to be going live for end users. Multiple waypoints will allow you to set "stops" along your route, as shown in the hero image and the screenshots below, a very handy feature indeed.

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Google Maps for Android is finally rolling out multi-waypoint directions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon is discounting unlocked Android phones and loading them with lock screen ads

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 08:13 AM PDT

How would you feel about looking at ads on the lock screen of your phone? What if you could save some money on the price of a new unlocked phone by doing so? That's what Amazon Prime Exclusive is all about.

The new Prime Exclusive program from Amazon offers new, unlocked Android phones at discounted prices. In exchange for those lower prices, the phones will show you ads on the lock screen and come preloaded with Amazon software, including apps and a widget to display daily deals. If you see an ad on your lock screen that you like, you can tap on it to learn more. If you don't care for the ad, you can simply unlock your phone like normal to dismiss it.


The first two phones to be available through Prime Exclusive are the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD, and they're both being discounted by $50. That means that the Moto G4 is $149.99 for the 16GB model and $179.99 for the 32GB version, while the BLU R1 HD is $49.99 for the model with 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM or $59.99 for a version with 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM.

Both the Moto G4 and BLU R1 HD are available for pre-order today, and they'll begin shipping on July 12. In order to buy them, though, you will need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber.


While the idea of having ads on your lock screen may sound crazy to some, Amazon's Prime Exclusive phones could be a nice option for budget-conscious shoppers. These are brand new, recently-released Android phones that come unlocked out of the box, and the $50 discount that you get with them is a sizable chunk of their total price. And because the ads are on your lock screen, you could end up not even seeing them half the time that you use your phone, as you just quickly swipe to unlock the phone and dismiss the ad.

What do you think of Amazon's Prime Exclusive phones? Would you deal with ads on your lock screen in exchange for getting $50 off of a new phone?

Via: Amazon
Sources: Moto G4, Blu R1 HD

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Wink Relay control panel adds new features such as Uber and Fitbit monitoring

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 06:07 AM PDT

Wink is a integrated smart home system that allows you to use and automate all your smart home devices all with one app. If you haven't heard of the Wink system, we've been reviewing the system, some of the devices that work with Wink, and how we use them in our homes such as the smart garage door controller and ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat with more to come. Today Wink announced that their Wink Relay, a touchscreen control panel and light switch replacement that that's powered by Android, added a few new nifty features such as Uber, Fitbit, and IFTTT integration.

In my home, I don't have a Wink Relay so if my smart devices aren't automated I have to use them through my phone. Most of the time that's convenient enough for me, but it also could be convenient to be able to access the smart devices from a central hub within my home such as the Wink Relay. The Wink Relay is a smart light switch replacement that also acts as a hub for all your Wink devices. In my initial review of the Wink system, I use a Wink Hub in my home. I believe with this Wink Relay you don't need a Wink Hub. The Wink Relay acts as a hub and does all the smart device integration for you. You connect it to your Wi-Fi and your smart devices and you can automate and control your smart home from the Relay or from anywhere.

Uber_arrivingOn Tuesday Wink announced some neat new features for the Wink Relay: Third party integration. The Relay now has widgets that can do things such as call an Uber. I just Ubered for the first time a few weeks ago and thoughts the experience was pretty great. If I Ubered on a regular basis, I think it would be fun to call and Uber and be able to monitor to progress on the Wink Relay. In addition to Uber, you can now monitor you Fitbit step goal progress and smart buttons to trigger lights or IFTTT recipes. In addition to the third party integrations, if you have multiple Wink Relays in your home, you can now use them as an intercom which a nice new feature.

Home automation is a passion of mine. I think it's fun, challenging, add protection to your home and can save you money if you do it right. If you're on the lookout for smart devices to add to your home the Wink system deserves a look and the Wink Relay with its new updates seems like a great place to start. The Wink Relay is available on Wink.com for $99 or Amazon from 3rd party sellers for more than $99.

Fitbit_on white-cropWhat are you thoughts on the Android powered Wink Relay and its recent updates? Would you like to call an Uber from where your light switch used to be? Do you already have a Wink Relay? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

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Yahoo releases new Yahoo Sports app with modern Material Design interface

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 03:08 AM PDT


Yahoo already had a Sports app on the Play Store, which until yesterday enjoyed the brand's signature purple icon and "Yahoo Sports" name. Now, that app has been clearly retired with a grey icon and a switch back to its old Sportacular name. Instead, there's a brand new Yahoo Sports app on the Play Store with an improved purple icon and an entirely redesigned UI.

Say buh-bye to the old black and blue half-Holo half-Material look and hello to a full on white and dark blue interface with differentiated cards, easy to parse information, and a nice focus on visual aids.

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Yahoo releases new Yahoo Sports app with modern Material Design interface was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Netflix introduces a new app icon with a ribbony red N

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 01:11 AM PDT


After launching quasi-worldwide and implementing lots of small usability improvements for data usage, Netflix is ready to take another big leap forward. Or NNNNNNot. The service is introducing a small branding change in its app icon and across its various social media presences.

Gone is the white icon with the full Netflix logo, and instead there's a new black background and just the letter N on top of it. The N itself now carries the full curvature on its bottom and has a new ribbon effect that doesn't exist in the regular logo.

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Netflix introduces a new app icon with a ribbony red N was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Twitter starts showing a Night Mode toggle on Android

Posted: 29 Jun 2016 12:38 AM PDT


About a month ago, some Twitter users started spotting a night mode in their Twitter app that transformed the entire interface into a dark blue shade. The change was triggered server-side, meaning it showed up inconsistently across different Twitter beta and alpha versions, but it didn't seem like there was a way to revert it back to a light theme on request.

Now, more users are reporting this dark theme, except Twitter seems to have introduced a specific toggle in the app's drawer for Night mode.

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Twitter starts showing a Night Mode toggle on Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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