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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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Madfinger unveils Shadowgun Legends, an MMORPG shooter

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 03:40 PM PDT

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Mobile gaming has been getting pretty intense in the last few years, due in no small part to increasingly powerful hardware available to shove into phones and tablets. Games like Clash of Clans and Hearthstone have served to push the mobile platform forward into general popularity, something that the rest of us gamers can appreciate. Hoping to take full advantage of what we have available now, developer Madfinger Games has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming addition to the Shadowgun franchise: Shadowgun Legends.

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Madfinger unveils Shadowgun Legends, an MMORPG shooter was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

USB-IF to start certifying USB chargers for proper functionality

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 02:07 PM PDT

The USB Implementers Forum, or USB-IF, announced that it will be certifying chargers to make sure consumers are buying safe and functional chargers. With the influx of chargers that do not comply with USB specifications and even chargers that are just plain dangerous, this is a great move to further the safety of USB chargers.

We're no strangers to the dangers of cheap USB chargers. Everyone hears about the occasional fire started by a bad charger, and even Google employee Benson Leung had his Chromebook Pixel USB port fried by a bad Type-C cable. And with the proliferation of USB Type-C, we're seeing a lot more non-compliant USB accessories.

USB-IF is going to certify USB accessories submitted to them by manufacturers, so it'll be an optional thing. But if you want USB chargers "that just work," you'll pick up a certified charger.

We don't know if Quick Charge compatible chargers can even be certified. The Quick Charge technology goes against USB specification, and USB Power Delivery is a standardized system designed to replace it. Quick Charge is just a proprietary method designed to do the same thing as Power Delivery, so we may never see a certified Quick Charge USB Type-C charger.

What do you guys think of this? Will you strictly buy certified chargers? Let us know in the comments!


Android Match

Review: Moto Insta-Share Projector

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 02:07 PM PDT

Dustin reviewed the Droid Z and Droid Z Force from Lenovo (Moto), but we wanted to take a deeper dive on each of the "Moto Mods" given that they are the major differentiator for this new line from Moto. Today we are going to take a look at the priciest of the current Moto Mods, the Moto Insta-Share Projector, which Verizon let us put through its paces for the last couple weeks.

Overview

As the name suggests, the Moto Insta-Share Projector is a pico projector that allows for quick sharing on any nearby surface. Like the rest of the Moto Mods, it magnetically attaches to the back of the Droid Z or Droid Z Force and relies on the proprietary connector to pass data between the two. While we have seen our fair share of pico projectors over the years, the Moto Insta-Share Projector represents an ease of connectivity and sleekness to the overall package that far outstrips any other offering to date.

Hardware

  • 153 x 74 x 11mm
  • 125g
  • 480p up to a 70-inch screen
  • 50 lumens
  • 1100 mAh battery
  • 10,000 lamp hours
  • USB Type-C

Design and Build Quality

moto-insta-share-projector-side moto-insta-share-projector-propped-up moto-insta-share-projector-lens moto-insta-share-projector-connector moto-insta-share-projector-back-open moto-insta-share-projector-back-closed

The Moto Insta-Share Projector offers a minimal design with just a power button, focus ring, articulating stand, USB Type-C port and, of course, the lens itself.

While it unquestionably adds some bulk to the phone at 11mm thick (more than double the thickness of the phone itself), the Mod is tapered at the top and bottom, making the entire kit comfortable to hold. When first picking it up, the Mod is surprisingly light given its size relative to the phone, but with just an 1100 mAh battery, there is precious little going on inside. I can't imagine opting for the Insta-Share Projector as your daily carry with the Droid Z, but sticking with it for a few days wouldn't be an issue.

A notable exclusion from the device are speakers. You are dependent on the output from the phone itself unless you opt to connect a speaker via Bluetooth. (Remember, there's no 3.5mm audio jack on the Droid Z devices.)

Regardless of its weight, the device still feels well-built and should hold up just fine to normal wear and tear. It comes with a simple cloth case which should be plenty to keep it safe when not in use.

Battery Life

The Moto Insta-Share Projector offers an 1100 mAh battery which Motorola claims should add an extra hour beyond the 2600 mAh (Droid Z) or 3500 mAh (Droid Z Force) of the phone itself. In my time with the Droid Z Force and the Moto Insta-Share Projector I experienced between 3-4 hours of projection time in a dark environment before the phone would hit low battery and disable the projector. That number dropped significantly in a well-lit room with approximately 90 minutes until the projector would shut down.

It's important to note that the projector first depletes its own battery and then begins to draw from the phone itself, both battery levels are displayed in the notification bar when the projector is in use. You can opt to charge either the phone or the projector by plugging directly into one or the other and the charger included with the phone will charge both simultaneously, but don't depend on that working with 3rd party chargers as it was hit or miss in my experience.

Image Quality

moto-insta-share-projector-image-dark moto-insta-share-projector-image-light

The Moto Insta-Share Projector can output up to a 70-inch image at a resolution of 854 x 480, which longtime Android fans might remember as the mind-blowing resolution of the original Motorola Droid back in 2009. Today that resolution feels quite a bit less impressive as our smartphones (including the Droid Z line) are now at Quad HD (2560 x 1440) and beyond. With that said, I still found myself pleasantly surprised by the image from the projector in darker environments.

The resolution is considerably less of a concern to me than the brightness of the image, which falls apart quickly in a well-lit environment. That isn't much of an issue for those that are looking to use this primarily as a business tool, as you can cater to the capabilities of the projector by using light-colored background slides and dark text which display well in reasonably bright light. Just remember that you are going to chew through battery quite quickly in full light, so for the sake of your phone battery and image quality, you are better off if you can dim the lights at least slightly.

Value

If your job necessitates giving presentations in front of small groups or displaying images to clients, this seems like a relatively easy sell at $299. The Moto Insta-Share Projector simply doesn't have any realistic competition when it comes to this size and ease of connectivity. You will pay another $50-$100 for superior image quality, and it will be in a package at least 4-5 times larger and necessitate the use of cables and adapters.

For those that are looking at this as more of a novelty, it's really a question of whether $299 is a significant expense for you. It's a fun gadget to have around, because you can be displaying an image or video on a nearby surface in just seconds, but it's hardly a necessity and there are numerous environments where using it is impractical.

Conclusion

The biggest catch with any of the Moto Mods is that they are only compatible with two phones at the moment. Lenovo has confirmed that they'll be compatible with at least two generations of the Z line, so if you like the concept, you'll be good with these mods through at least one more round of Droid Z smartphones.

Moto has already hinted that more Moto Mods are coming at IFA as well, so this is a concept that they have invested in heavily. If you are the sort of person that swaps phones every year, the Mods might be a questionable purchase, but if you stick things out for 2-3 years, this doesn't seem like much of a concern.

While I wouldn't go building my home theater around it, the Moto Insta-Share Projector makes for a fun time for a quick and easy movie solution while on the road, camping or even in the backyard. And naturally, it can display anything on your screen, so you could also use it for a big-screen Android gaming experience (if paired with a controller) or share some photos or videos with the family without passing the device around.

Business users will net the biggest return out of Moto Insta-Share Projector, but after a couple weeks with it, I can assure you that you will find plenty of opportunities to use it for other purposes if you can justify the initial cost.


Android Match

LG G5 getting limited Nougat beta test, but only in South Korea

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 01:16 PM PDT

LG is joining in on the fun and offering a beta test of Android 7.0 Nougat for owners of the LG G5! Unfortunately, this beta test is extremely limited.

Only 2,000 people are going to be able to use this beta software, only in South Korea, and only on the LG U+ network. Yes, it's that limited.

Hopefully LG will eventually expand this beta test program to other countries, as a lot of people would want to test drive the latest version of Android, much like Nexus owners have been able to do. We'll have to wait and see.


Android Match

Google shifting Hangouts on Air from Google+ to YouTube Live

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 01:16 PM PDT

Hangouts on Air was a great tool for live streaming and communication, but Google has moved ahead of it. With the introduction of YouTube Live for live streaming, it was a bit surprising that the two services remained separate.

That's no longer going to be the case though, as Google has announced that future Hangouts on Air livestreams will need to be done through YouTube Live starting September 12.

It's a move that makes sense; moving Hangouts on Air users to YouTube Live means only needing one service rather than two similar ones. Unfortunately, this also means that some features will be lost. The Q&A feature many YouTubers use for their Q&A livestreams is gone, as are the Showcase and Applause features.

How many of you still use Hangouts on Air? Will YouTube Live adequately replace it for you? Leave a comment!


Android Match

The BLU Pure XR teased ahead of August 29 launch

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 10:09 AM PDT

Manufacturers want you to jump on their hype train before it even arrives at the station, which is why they tease a device before launching it. And that's what BLU is doing: teasing a brand new flagship device ahead of its launch later this month.

BLU is teasing the Pure XR on its official Facebook page, showing off the front of the device but keeping the details at a minimum. We do know the handset will boast 4GB of RAM, though. There appears to be a physical button below the display, too, and a front-facing camera in place above the display.

BLU says the Pure XR is a "premium device" and it will be unveiled on August 29, so the wait won't be too long.


Android Match

Google is shifting Hangouts towards business customers

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 10:09 AM PDT

Late last night, Google announced Duo, its latest communication app that offers simple one-to-one video calling. With the launch of Duo and the upcoming release of Allo, Google's AI-driven messaging service, there's been a bit of speculation as to what will happen to Hangouts. The messaging hub hasn't taken off in quite the way that Google hoped for, largely because of older, stronger competition. Now, Google is providing a bit of insight as to the path ahead for Hangouts.

While Allo and Duo are geared directly at everyday users, Hangouts will receive a bit of shift in its game plan, according to Nick Fox, Google's VP of Communication Products. Fox spoke to Engadget and said that Hangouts will "increasingly focus" on enterprise and business customers, where the service has seen its greatest success. Thanks to its rich feature set, Hangouts is able to offer a number of specific benefits that assist collaboration and increase productivity. These include integration with Google apps and the ability to call, message, or even hold video calls with multiple participants.

Another key difference for Hangouts is that it will still exist in the web space, allowing customers to use Hangouts to chat when using Gmail in a browser. Allo and Duo, however, are entirely mobile, and Google has no plans to create web counterparts for them. With the biggest market now in mobile, it stands to reason that Google is concentrating its efforts there. The real question is whether or not the move comes too late for Google to make a real impact.

Google is facing stiff competition in a world where Facebook Messenger, iMessage and Snapchat dominate the mobile messaging scene. While Allo and Duo both have interesting selling points, it's not a sure bet that either one will be able to rally customers. Only time will tell if Google's new apps have what it takes to compete in the mobile messaging game.


Android Match

Snapchat is acquiring search and recommendation service Vurb, winner of TechCrunch Disrupt

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 07:57 AM PDT

snapchat-vurb

Snapchat is quickly becoming the place where teenargers, young adults, and even older generations share what they're doing and communicate with each other. Now the service is looking to buy Vurb, a start-up specialized in mobile search, recommendations, and discovery.

Vurb had won TechCrunch's Disrupt in 2014 with its idea of a mobile search engine that serves you relevant results in the form of cards from the apps you care about most, like Yelp, Google Maps, Fandango, Netflix, Uber, and so on, and combines them together in a way that makes sense: take a ride, watch a movie, get dinner, get another cab home.

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Snapchat is acquiring search and recommendation service Vurb, winner of TechCrunch Disrupt was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

[Update: APK Download] Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 06:13 AM PDT

  • Google Duo APKs are now up on APKMirror! Note: At the moment, SMS verification seems to only work in the US, so if you don't have a US number, you will likely have

duo-PR-launch-screens_0003_screen-4

Google announced the Duo video chat app (and the messaging app Allo) at Google I/O this year, saying only that we'd see the final release later this summer. Well, here we are. Google Duo is beginning its global rollout right now.

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[Update: APK Download] Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google planning to focus Hangouts on business consumers after Allo, Duo release

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 01:42 AM PDT

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Just a few hours ago, Google started the rollout for the first of its two new messaging apps, Duo. For me and some of us here, the Play Store listing still shows "Pre-Registration," but this is the typical Google way. As a refresher, Google is releasing the dynamic messaging duo (ha) to compete in this mobile-first market. Both the text-based Allo and the video-based Duo will be tied to a phone number instead of a Google account.

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Google planning to focus Hangouts on business consumers after Allo, Duo release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Instagram adds one-finger zoom to Stories, much like Snapchat did a while ago

Posted: 16 Aug 2016 01:27 AM PDT

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Instagram's Stories is a blatant copy of Snapchat Stories, so it's not really a huge surprise to see another feature carried over. In this update, Instagram is getting one-finger zoom - simply hold the record button and slide your finger up or down to zoom. Wonder where they got that idea from?

WHAT'S NEW

  • We have a few improvements to Instagram Stories!
  • Zoom with one hand as you're recording a video.
Read More

Instagram adds one-finger zoom to Stories, much like Snapchat did a while ago was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google’s Duo video calling app is rolling out today

Posted: 15 Aug 2016 11:16 PM PDT

Three months after its original announcement at Google I/O, Duo is ready to be your new video calling app.

Google Duo is launching today on both Android and iOS. If you don't see that it's available for download quite yet, check back after a bit to see if that Download button appears. Google says that Duo will be available worldwide in the next few days.

Just like it was when Google announced it back in May, the goal of Duo is to offer a dead simple video calling experience. That includes a simple user interface that doesn't require an account or anything beyond your phone number. Duo can automatically switch between Wi-Fi and cellular without dropping your call, and the app will adjust your call to changing network conditions. For example, if your bandwidth becomes limited, Duo will reduce the resolution to ensure that your call stays connected and smooth.

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Google Duo also offers a feature called Knock Knock. With it, you'll be able to see a live video of the person on the other end of the call to help you determine why they're calling.

Finally, Google says that Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted for your security.

Google's focus with Duo is simplicity, from the sign-up process to the ability to launch a video call with one tap. The app looks nice, but the good news is that now that Google is finally ready to unleash Duo on the public, we can put it to the test and see if Duo can take on competition like FaceTime, Skype, Viber, and others.


Android Match

Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store

Posted: 15 Aug 2016 09:42 PM PDT

duo-PR-launch-screens_0003_screen-4

Google announced the Duo video chat app (and the messaging app Allo) at Google I/O this year, saying only that we'd see the final release later this summer. Well, here we are. Google Duo is beginning its global rollout right now. It's still showing as "pre-registration" for us right now, but it's finally happening. No sign of Allo yet.

Duo is designed to be a simple 1-on-1 video chat client without all the complications and baggage of Hangouts.

Read More

Google's Duo video chat app is rolling out in the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Photos Of The Upcoming Sailfish Nexus From HTC Finally Leaked

Posted: 15 Aug 2016 09:36 PM PDT

nexus_render

Most of you probably know Google is preparing to release their newest Nexus flagship later this year. HTC has been chosen as the OEM and will manufacture both the budget and premium versions. Now it looks like a couple of photos of Sailfish have been leaked.

nexus_sailfish_leak_2

On the weekend, a user on Twitter posted a blurrycam picture of the Sailfish generating a boatload of hype. Shortly after, Android Police shared their own closeup of Sailfish, showing off a rather large bottom bezel and the rear side of the device.

nexus_sailfish_leak

Specs for the device are as follows (courtesy of Android Police):

  • Manufactured by HTC
  • 5″ 1080p display (~440PPI) AMOLED (revised per Marlin leak)
  • Quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit processor (model unknown)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 2770mAh battery
  • 32GB storage (unknown if multiple models will be available, or even if this is the base storage level)
  • 12MP rear camera, 8MP front
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • USB-C port (bottom)
  • Bottom-firing speaker or speakers (unknown if dual)
  • Top-mounted headphone jack
  • Bluetooth 4.2

[Twitter / Android Police]

The post Photos Of The Upcoming Sailfish Nexus From HTC Finally Leaked appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


Android Match

30 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android games from the last 2 weeks (8/2/16 - 8/15/16)

Posted: 15 Aug 2016 08:12 PM PDT

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