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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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Chinese company LeEco buys Vizio for $2 billion

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 03:08 PM PDT

LeEco is a Chinese company with no presence in the US. To fix that, the company announced that it has purchased American TV manufacturer Vizio for $2 billion.

The Vizio brand will stay alive here in the US, but the software on the televisions will be replaced with LeEco's TV operating system. At a certain point in the future, we will start seeing big changes in the products Vizio is putting out. If you're a fan of Vizio, it'll be time to reevaluate its products.

Vizio's executive staff will stay in their Irvine, California headquarters, while Vizio's data business Inscape will be spun off as its own entity, 51% owned by Vizio's CEO and founder William Wong.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016, giving LeEco a foothold in the US market. The company may even release its own products under the Vizio brand in the US in the future. While Vizio primarily made TVs and sound bars (with some Android integration thrown in), LeEco has plenty of experience with Android so we may even see Android devices from them.

What do you think of this acquisition? Are you saddened by the loss of another US company, or are you excited to see what LeEco has in store for our market? Let us know in the comments!

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OnePlus 3 getting small update to OxygenOS 3.2.2

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 02:08 PM PDT

The OnePlus 3 is getting a new update to OxygenOS 3.2.2 to fix some bugs and add some security patches. It's not a big update by any means, but it's a pretty important one. Here are a list of changes:

  • Improved notification management in doze.
  • Addressed alert slider/silent mode issue.
  • Disabled fingerprint sensor while in pocket.
  • Added NFC toggle in quick settings.
  • Improved noise cancellation in video recording.
  • Updated 4K video recording codec.
  • Added latest security patches and various optimizations.

The security updates are reason enough to update, but the improved video recording is also nice. The rollout will be incremental, so you may not get the update instantly, but you'll get it soon. Check for updates and start downloading!

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Google Maps gets visual changes across all platforms

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 02:08 PM PDT

Google Maps may not be fundamentally changing, but the newly announced changes make a big improvement. Google has announced that the visual style of its maps will change, and it's definitely for the better.

The changes include roads no longer having outlines, text being bigger with different text colors for different types of areas, and an overall cleaner look. With these changes, it's easier to see names of neighborhoods and points of interest thanks to the new text styles.

Google Maps update 2

Areas of interest are also getting an update. They're now highlighted white, while the rest of the map is a lighter color than before. This makes it easier to find interesting things going on and where people are going most. Zooming in shows individual buildings highlighted as points of interest.

Google Maps update 3

The color scheme has also changed, and though it's actually pretty natural and self-explanatory, Google made a chart to explain it.

The changes definitely seem to make for a better Google Maps experience, and though they're not that big, the visual appeal of the maps is quite a bit better. What do you guys think of the changes? Leave a comment!

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Twitter for Android adds Night Mode

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 11:19 AM PDT

Back in May, word on the street was that Twitter for Android was going to add a new Night Mode into the fold. Sure enough, those rumors were right on target.

Twitter has officially announced that Night Mode is now available in its official app for Android. To get it to work, users need to tap either the navigation menu icon or their profile icon, and in there there's a new option for Night Mode. You'll slide the bar to "on" if you want to activate the new feature, or switch it to "off" if you want to go back to the traditional view.

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BlackBerry DTEK50 now official as the ‘world’s most secure smartphone’

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 11:19 AM PDT

That didn't take long. On the same day leaked images of the BlackBerry DTEK50 leaked, BlackBerry has gone ahead and made the device officially official.

BlackBerry has announced the DTEK50 as the "world's most secure smartphone." As we can see, the DTEK50 does indeed share design similarities to the Alcatel-branded Idol 4, but there are certainly some BlackBerry-focused aspects to the upcoming device, especially when it comes to security. Here are just a few things BlackBerry is bringing to the table with the DTEK50 in that regard:

  • Rapid Security Patching: BlackBerry has a record of being the quickest to deliver security patches, setting the bar in incident response and patch management to protect your device from malicious threats.
  • DTEK™ by BlackBerry App: Enables users to automatically monitor their OS and apps to know when their privacy could be at risk and to take action to improve it. The DTEK app also tracks applications and notifies you when someone is: taking pictures or videos without your knowledge, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location.
  • Hardware Root of Trust: BlackBerry's manufacturing process uses a proprietary technique that adds security from the start, allowing for the tracking, verification and provisioning of DTEK50.
  • Secure Boot Process: Starting with the root of trust, each stage of DTEK50's secure boot chain must first verify that the next component is fully intact before proceeding, ensuring your device has not been tampered with since the last restart.
  • Android OS hardening: BlackBerry provides additional security patches, improved random number, address space generation and certificate pinning to make it more difficult for attackers to target a device by scrambling application/system memory.
  • FIPS 140-2 Compliant Full Disk Encryption: Protects your private information, like pictures or bank information, from being stolen if you were to lose your phone.

As far as the rest of the specifications go, the leak earlier today turned out to be accurate. There is a 5.2-inch 1080p display with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor under the hood. There's a 13MP camera on the back and an 8MP front-facing shooter on the other side. The battery is measured in at 2610mAh, there's 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage with a microSD card slot for expandable memory. The DTEK50 is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box.

blackBerry Neo leak

There's also a "Convenience Key" on the right side of the device that, when pressed, will automatically launch the BlackBerry Hub.

Pre-orders for the DTEK50 begin today from BlackBerry's official online store. It retails for $299.99, and the unlocked variant works for T-Mobile and AT&T in the United States. It will also be available in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands in the weeks ahead.

What do you think of the DTEK50? Should they have called it the Neon?

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Night mode UI finally comes to stable version of Twitter

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 10:55 AM PDT


Twitter started testing a dark UI mode several months ago, but it was a server side toggle on beta and alpha builds with no way to guarantee it would be on your device. The test must have gone well because today Twitter announced dark mode as an official feature of the Android app. This should be available on all installations of the Twitter app soon.

Because Twitter has ridiculous UI fragmentation across its various test builds, you'll find the night mode toggle in the navigation menu, which is accessed either by your profile photo or the standard slide-out icon.

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Night mode UI finally comes to stable version of Twitter was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Titanium Backup 7.5 adds Android N support and introduces secure MyTiCloud backup early bird

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 09:43 AM PDT


Titanium Backup still looks like it was stuffed in a time capsule in 2011 and never gotten out of it, but who cares. The app provides backup and restore features that make the lives of every root and custom ROM user several folds easier, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of its capabilities. And it's not like it's been abandoned: the developers keep updating it and today it's reached version 7.5.

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Titanium Backup 7.5 adds Android N support and introduces secure MyTiCloud backup early bird was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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T-Mobile expands Binge On partners, now includes over 100 providers

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 08:21 AM PDT

T-Mobile Binge On has been around for eight months now, and the Un-carrier has been working hard to steadily add new partners to the service, which allows subscribers to watch video content without using their monthly high-speed data allotment.

Now T-Mobile has expanded the Binge On list yet again, adding another group of video partners that will pad out the zero-rated content available for T-Mobile subscribers. Today's expansion includes ABC, Apple Music, Disney, DISH Anywhere, FOX NOW, and NAT GEO TV.

Here's the full list of the new providers added today:

  • ABC
  • Apple Music
  • Big Ten Network
  • DISH Anywhere
  • Disney Channel
  • Disney Jr.
  • Disney XD
  • D-PAN.TV
  • DramaFever
  • Shalom World
  • Sioeye
  • Tubi TV

With these latest additions, Binge On now supports over 100 video providers. In the Un-carrier's announcement, it notes that Binge On has made it possible for customers to stream over 765 million hours of video since the service's launch.

If you're a T-Mobile subscriber, do you use Binge On? How much video do you watch every day?

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BlackBerry Neon leaks with Android, 13MP camera, and more

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 08:21 AM PDT

BlackBerry's second Android-based smartphone has been revealed in a new leak, giving us a taste of the Neon's specifications list ahead of its official debut.

CrackBerry has shared some images of the Neon that it got because some BlackBerry servers went live a bit early, revealing the handset ahead of schedule. The report notes that the Neon has a model number DTEK50, and the leak indicates that the rumors swirling around the upcoming handset were right on target.

The Neon will feature Android, as expected, and the device will boast a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display. Under the hood there will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor along with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. There will be a microSD card slot that will support cards up to 2TB. On the back there's a 13-megapixel camera, while on the front there's an 8-megapixel shooter. The report also states there will be plenty of pre-installed software, including BlackBerry Calendar, DTEK, BlackBerry Messenger, Password Keeper, BlackBerry Hub, and more.

The BlackBerry Neon will launch with Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board.

The name of the device isn't official just yet, and there appears to be some back and forth on what it'll be called once BlackBerry announces it. No price or release date are known, either. Based on the specs and image, what do you think of the Neon?

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Spotify beta switches the slide-out navigation drawer to a bottom bar

Posted: 26 Jul 2016 08:16 AM PDT


I don't like this recent trend of using bottom navigation bars. Not because it is reminiscent of iOS apps, but because I have gotten so used to sliding a navigation drawer from the side that reaching the bottom of my phone's screen is just not engrained in my muscle memory. Also, the way it's implemented often uses screen estate that can be better utilized to display more data than to provide switches to other tabs that I may not need or use all the time.

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Spotify beta switches the slide-out navigation drawer to a bottom bar was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Phone App Updated To Detect Spam Callers

Posted: 25 Jul 2016 08:48 PM PDT


Say goodbye to those pesky spam callers bothering you during the day as Google has updated their stock phone dialer app.

With Caller ID enabled, the app will do an instant lookup of the phone number and then notify the user if the number has been reported as spam. The incoming call screen will be red instead of the regular blue colour to make it easier to tell spam calls apart.

Right now the app is only supported for Nexus and Android One smartphones but users have reported success sideloading the app on other phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow.


The post Google Phone App Updated To Detect Spam Callers appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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25 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (7/12/16 - 7/25/16)

Posted: 25 Jul 2016 08:26 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

DigiCal Calendar Agenda

Today's roundup is presented by DigiCal Calendar & Widgets from Digibites.

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25 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (7/12/16 - 7/25/16) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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