Popular Posts

Monday, August 22, 2016

Android Match

Android Match


Walgreens seamlessly integrates loyalty program into Android Pay

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 03:07 PM PDT

Android Pay is meant to be as simple as possible. You just unlock your phone, tap a sensor, and you've paid. Unfortunately, loyalty programs aren't quite as easy. You still have to bring up your loyalty card and have the cashier scan a barcode.

Walgreens is changing that by becoming the first company to integrate its loyalty program into Android Pay. To activate your Balance Rewards card, you'll tap your phone to the same sensor. A second tap will pay. This is a great idea and will definitely make shopping at Walgreens just a bit more simple.

This feature should automatically be turned on for you, but check your Balance Rewards card in Android Pay if you want to make sure. And let us know how you like it when you end up giving it a shot!


Android Match

Samsung Milk Music gets an expiration date of September 22

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 03:07 PM PDT

Samsung Milk Music is a streaming service that never really took off. Samsung made a push for it early on, but the hype died down as people went back to their favorite, more popular services. And thus, Samsung has decided to shut it down.

Come September 22, the service will be no more. The announcement was very brief and without detail, so we don't know what Samsung is working on for the future. It's likely the company has other plans, as it has tried its hand at almost everything Google has done (including making a smartphone OS).

How many of you used Samsung Milk Music? Will you miss it? Leave a comment!


Android Match

Kodi version 17 beta with new Estuary and Estouchy themes is now ready for download

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Kodi

Kodi version 17 is bringing a new look to the app that turns your Android device into a media center. Some of you may still recall the open source project by its old name, XBMC. Either way, the upcoming release has reached beta status. That makes now a good time to dive in if you can't wait to get what's coming next.

This release brings the new Estuary and Estouchy themes for big screens and mobile devices, which we detailed version 17's changes back when the first nightly builds became available.

Read More

Kodi version 17 beta with new Estuary and Estouchy themes is now ready for download was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google already working on next Nougat update

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 02:06 PM PDT

Android Nougat launched today and all of you lucky Nexus owners are starting to get the update. Being on the forefront of Android updates is great, but Google is already working on improving Nougat.

Android Nougat is getting a new maintenance schedule, and Google has already begun working on a new maintenance release that will fix bugs and polish up any problems that the new software has. It should be launching as a developer preview this fall.

Hopefully the current release isn't too desperately in need of bug fixes, since Google has had plenty of feedback from the numerous developer previews we've seen so far. But rest assured, Google is already working to improve Nougat.


Android Match

Walgreens becomes first retailer to add loyalty program to Android Pay

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 12:15 PM PDT

AndroidPay

Walgreens has supported NFC payments for a number of years, even when other retailers were trying to fight it. They are taking it a step further by becoming the first retail store to support their loyalty card on Android Pay. Walgreen's Balance Rewards program works exactly how you would expect - purchasing items earns points, which you can then spend in-store. Instead of showing the actual Rewards card at checkout, you can now simply tap your phone on the PIN pad.

Read More

Walgreens becomes first retailer to add loyalty program to Android Pay was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Android 7.0 Nougat: a more powerful OS, made for you

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 12:05 PM PDT

Today, we'll begin rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to Nexus devices. And with more ways to make Android your own, it's by far our sweetest release yet.

We took a different approach to building and launching Nougat this year. For starters, we invited developers to take a sneak peek at Android N back in March, so they could bring their apps to the new platform earlier. And of course we asked you to help us come up with names for this year's release, resulting in lots of great ideas, and a delicious unveiling back in June.

Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers all over the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, but we wanted to highlight a few of the features you've been most excited about.

More personal
Providing more ways to customize your phone to fit your personality is kind of a big deal, and Android has been leading the way since day one (Homescreen widgets, anyone?). With Android Nougat, you'll have even more ways to make your phone your own, including:
  • Expanded emoji: There are now over 1,500 different emoji built into Android, including 72 new ones, so go ahead: express yourself.

  • Quick Settings controls: Quick Settings gives you easy access to things like bluetooth, WiFi and the all-important flashlight. With Android Nougat, you can actually control what tiles go where, and move 'em around to fit your needs.
  • Multi-locale support: Apps can tailor their content based on your locale settings. So if you speak multiple languages, for instance, then search engines can show results in each of those languages. 
Expanded emoji and Quick Settings controls

More productive
Whether you're responding to work emails or making plans with friends, Android Nougat helps you multitask with ease with new features like Multi-window, Direct reply, and Quick switch.
  • Multi-window: Run two apps side-by-side. The windows are resizable, too, by simply dragging the divider.
  • Direct Reply: Reply directly to notifications without having to open any app.
  • Quick Switch: Switch between your two most recently used apps by simply double tapping the Overview button.
Split-screen

More battery smarts
Starting with the release of Android Marshmallow last year, we have been making the battery smarter. That's why we made the Doze feature even dozier with Android Nougat. Your device can now drop into lower power usage when it's getting jostled around in your pocket or bag while on the move.*

More immersive
Android Nougat is designed with immersive experiences in mind—including support for VulkanTM (an advanced 3D rendering API) and Daydream (Google's platform for mobile virtual reality).
  • VulkanTM: Games will now leap to life thanks to high-speed, next-generation graphics — all powered by your device's multi-core processor.
  • Daydream: Android Nougat is ready to transport you to virtual worlds with Daydream-ready phones, headsets and controllers — all coming later this year.

More secure
As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private. For new devices coming this fall, we've also added new features like Seamless updates, File-based encryption and and Direct Boot.
  • Seamless updates: New Android devices with Nougat can install software updates in the background which means you won't have to wait while your device installs the update and optimizes all your apps for the new version. And for current Nexus users, software updates now install much faster, so you won't have to wait for minutes while your device reboots. 
  • File-based encryption: Android Nougat can better isolate and protect files for individual users on your device.
  • Direct Boot: Direct Boot helps your device startup faster, and apps run securely even before you unlock your device when your device reboots.

And for those of you who also want to use your Android device at work, there are also new security features for using Android in enterprise, which you can learn more about on the Android for Work website.

Coming soon, to a device near you
Today, and over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over the air software update** to Android 7.0 Nougat. Any devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20 which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box. You can learn even more about Android Nougat at http://ift.tt/2bx6CVB.

Posted by Sameer Samat, VP of Product Management, Android & Google Play

*Hey, just a reminder that actual battery performance varies and will depend on a number factors including signal strength, network configuration, battery age, operating temperature, features selected, device settings, and voice, data, and other application usage patterns.

**The Nexus and Pixel C update to Android 7.0 Nougat occurs in stages and some carriers will receive the update later than others. This update will be pushed simultaneously to devices in the Android Beta Program.

Android Match

Google Assistant feature spotlight: What a nice poo

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 11:10 AM PDT

screenshot_20160822-135847

Google Assistant seems... fun. Taken from a prerelease version of Allo. (And yes, this is what will happen if you send Google Assitant a poo emoji in Allo.)

Read More

Google Assistant feature spotlight: What a nice poo was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Android 7.0 Nougat is now rolling out to Nexus devices

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 11:06 AM PDT

Earlier this month, a report suggested Android 7.0 Nougat would arrive on Monday, August 22. It turns out that report was spot-on.

Google has officially launched the Android 7.0 website, showcasing the variety of new features the new platform bring to the table. Google has published an official blog post regarding the launch, which also goes over the new features, and confirms the new software will rollout beginning today and proceed over the "next several weeks." Google also confirms the handsets enrolled in the Android Beta Program will receive the over-the-air (OTA) update with the final version of the software.

Here's the list of devices that will be receiving the Android 7.0 Nougat update directly from Google over the next few days, with the rollout starting today:

  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 9
  • Nexus Player
  • Pixel C
  • General Mobile 4G

As far as new features go, the website details what Google announced earlier this year at the company's I/O developer conference. That includes multi-window support and the ability to easily switch between two apps when you want, just by double-tapping the Recent apps soft key. Android 7.0 will aim to preserve battery life as well with Doze on the Go, and the notifications have been overhauled as well, including the ability to mute apps right from the notification and tweaks for bundled notifications as well.

There's a Data Saver mode, which will limit the amount of data your device consumes while connected to a mobile network, Direct Boot, seamless updates for a faster updating schedule, and more.

Android 7.0 Nougat begins rolling out today. Do you have a supported device?


Android Match

Galaxy Note 7 in Japan lacks Samsung’s branding

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 11:06 AM PDT

Branding on smartphones can be okay, but other times it can be ridiculously overbearing. In the case of the Galaxy Note 7 in Japan, though, owners won't encounter any branding at all.

Samsung's Japanese website is promoting the company's newest flagship phablet handset, as it should be, but there's one curious element that's been discovered: there's no branding on the phone. As you can see in the images, Samsung's logo, the part that lets everyone know it's a Samsung phone, is missing from the front and back of the handset.

galaxynote7japanrearsmall

It's even missing the Samsung logo on the box. As it stands right now, there's no word from Samsung why it has decided to go this route with the Galaxy Note 7, but this isn't the first time that Samsung has made some alterations to the way its branding works on phones. The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are missing the Samsung logo on the front of the handsets, for instance. And in China, the Galaxy Note 7 is missing any branding on the front, but Samsung's logo is present on the back.

It's easy to make a case for a phone that looks as sleek as the Galaxy Note 7 to go without any and all branding, but it's probably not a trend we'll see outside of Japan any time soon. Would you prefer a de-badged design like this?

galaxynote7japanfrontlarge


Android Match

Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Google Duo, skyler

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 11:06 AM PDT

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven't appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1 . Google Duo

Google Duo

App info: Duo is a one-to-one video calling app for everyone – designed to be simple, reliable and fun so you never miss a moment.

 

2. The Mindreader

The Mindreader

App info: Experience magic and wonderment as the Mindreader reads your thoughts in a short interactive illusion. No math problems or symbols.

 

3. skyler

skyler — fashion x weather

App info: A visual weather experience unlike any other, Skyler delivers inspiring, accurate styling suggestions based on your local weather conditions, to help you get ready for the day.

 

4. Easy File Converter

Easy File Converter

App info: It is a utility app for conversion of 200+ different file formats.

 

5. Deus Ex GO

Dues Ex GO

App info: Deus Ex GO is a turn-based puzzle infiltration stealth game set in a stylized interpretation of the Deus Ex Universe.

 

Note:  To ensure that all apps receive a fair chance to make the list, we will retire any app that has made the list for three consecutive weeks.


Android Match

Taking the final wrapper off of Android 7.0 Nougat

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 10:58 AM PDT

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Android Nougat

Android 7.0 Nougat

Today, Android 7.0 Nougat will begin rolling out to users, starting with Nexus devices. At the same time, we're pushing the Android 7.0 source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), extending public availability of this new version of Android to the broader ecosystem.

We've been working together with you over the past several months to get your feedback on this release, and also to make sure your apps are ready for the users who will run them on Nougat devices.

What's inside Nougat

Android Nougat reflects input from thousands of fans and developers like you, all around the world. There are over 250 major features in Android Nougat, including VR Mode in Android. We've worked at all levels of the Android stack in Nougat — from how the operating system reads sensor data to how it sends pixels to the display — to make it especially built to provide high quality mobile VR experiences.

Plus, Nougat brings a number of new features to help make Android more powerful, more productive and more secure. It introduces a brand new JIT/AOT compiler to improve software performance, make app installs faster, and take up less storage. It also adds platform support for Vulkan, a low-overhead, cross-platform API for high-performance, 3D graphics. Multi-Window support lets users run two apps at the same time, and Direct Reply so users can reply directly to notifications without having to open the app. As always, Android is built with powerful layers of security and encryption to keep your private data private, so Nougat brings new features like File-based encryption, seamless updates, and Direct Boot.

You can find all of the Nougat developer resources here, including details on behavior changes and new features you can use in your apps. An overview of what's new for developers is available here, and you can explore all of the new user features in Nougat here.

Multi-window mode in Android Nougat

Multi-window mode in Android Nougat

The next wave of users

Starting today and rolling out over the next several weeks, the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One) will get an over-the-air software update to Android 7.0 Nougat. Devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also receive this final version.

And there are many tasty devices coming from our partners running Android Nougat, including the upcoming LG V20, which will be the first new smartphone that ships with Android Nougat, right out of the box.

With all of these new devices beginning to run Nougat, now is the time to publish your app updates to Google Play. We recommend compiling against, and ideally targeting, API 24. If you're still testing some last minute changes, a great strategy to do this is using Google Play's beta testing feature to get early feedback from a small group of users — including those using Android 7.0 Nougat — and then doing a staged rollout as you release the updated app to all users.

What's next for Nougat?

We're moving Nougat into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters. In fact, we've already started work on the first Nougat maintenance release, that will bring continued refinements and polish, and we're planning to bring that to you this fall as a developer preview. Stay tuned!

We'll be closing open bugs logged against Developer Preview builds soon, but please keep the feedback coming! If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview tracker, just file a new issue against Android 7.0 in the AOSP issue tracker.

Thanks for being part of the preview, which we shared earlier this year with an eye towards giving everyone the opportunity to make the next release of Android stronger. Your continued feedback has been extremely beneficial in shaping this final release, not just for users, but for the entire Android ecosystem.


Android Match

Community build of Marshmallow arrives for the OnePlus X

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 09:06 AM PDT

OnePlus stands out for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the incredible community of support that the company has fostered. Part of that network includes community builds of software for its devices. The latest community build is OxygenOS 3.1.0 for the OnePlus X, which is built off of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. While it's not an official build, this community build is surprisingly fleshed out, so let's check out what you'll find in it.

Along with Marshmallow, this build contains a host of improvements and tweaks to the launcher that aid customization. There are also changes to the settings, notably with the new native app permissions that are a part of Marshmallow. New apps include the OnePlus Music Player and OnePlus Gallery. To fill in the cracks, users will also find improved overall performance and security patches for the August security update.

Like all community builds, there will be bugs. OnePlus has listed a few that it knows of and is encouraging users to report any other issues they might come across. Additionally, all flashing of builds is done at the user's own risk and carries the possibility of losing personal data, so be sure to create a backup.

You can find more details at the source link below. If you try this build, drop a comment and let us know how you're liking it.


Android Match

Samsung is planning to sell refurbished smartphones

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 08:11 AM PDT

Samsung is a corporate machine, and like most corporate machines, the company is driven by profits. Samsung has seen success with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7, but it isn't taking anything for granted. Samsung is now looking for ways to maintain its high earnings, and according to Reuters, the company's next bet is to sell refurbished smartphones.

The refurbished program will reportedly use phones from customers who take advantage of one-year upgrade programs. Samsung will refurbish the used smartphones and then sell them at a lower price. This approach allows Samsung to employ a new line of defense against lower-cost competitors in countries like China, where Samsung is working to maintain and grow its market share.

The refurbished approach is one that Samsung's primary competitor, Apple, has employed with success. Samsung, however, could face product redundancy with the proposed refurbished program. While Apple sells just two models of the iPhone, Samsung has an enormous line-up of smartphones that span multiple market tiers. While Samsung's high-end and entry-level offerings should remain unscathed, its upper mid-range market could take a hit.

Samsung's Galaxy A series offers premium build quality with specs lower than those of the company's flagships. This family of products allows customers a lower-cost, but still high-end, alternative to the top-tier flagships that can retail for more than $800. With refurbished flagships likely being similarly priced to the Galaxy A line, it's difficult to see many customers opting for the Galaxy A devices.

The program will reportedly begin as soon as early 2017. We'll keep you posted on further updates and rumors surrounding Samsung's plan to sell refurbished devices.


Android Match

Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version)

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 06:20 AM PDT

google-allo-no-backup

I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.

In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history.

Read More

Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google Allo's incognito chats have Snapchat-like expiring messages, private notifications, and encryption keys

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 05:30 AM PDT

google-allo-incognito

The nice graphic you see above is the background of all your incognito conversations on Google Allo. It's one of the visual cues the app uses to let you differentiate between a regular chat and an incognito one. But what are these more secure chats and how exactly do they work?

Based on information we've obtained from a test preview version of Allo, here is what you should expect.

First, these chats are end-to-end encrypted (we've known they'll be using the Signal protocol for a while) with unique identity keys for each participant.

Read More

Google Allo's incognito chats have Snapchat-like expiring messages, private notifications, and encryption keys was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Instagram reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, the 19th app to do so

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 04:05 AM PDT

Screenshot_20160822-113809

The latest app to join the rather exclusive 1 billion club on Google Play is... drumroll please... Instagram. This is quite surprising when estimates only put the number of accounts at 500 million, but I guess the downloads counter doesn't differentiate between unique installs or not. Either way, it scares me that Facebook owns the two biggest social networks in the world.

After the Facebook app, then WhatsApp, then Messenger, Instagram is the fourth of Facebook's apps to get 1 billion installs.

Read More

Instagram reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, the 19th app to do so was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

[Revolutionary] Google Allo will let you search all of your conversations... inside the app

Posted: 22 Aug 2016 02:05 AM PDT

google-allo-search-conversations

One thing has always annoyed me about Hangouts: there's no search option. How can you have a messaging service and not allow people to search through their conversations inside the service?! That's beyond comprehension. Of course there's a way to circumvent it by searching through chats in Gmail. But that neither was intuitive nor made sense unless you were familiar with the feature.

According to screenshots we've received from a test preview version of Allo, Google's new messaging app doesn't suffer from that silly limitation.

Read More

[Revolutionary] Google Allo will let you search all of your conversations... inside the app was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

No comments:

Post a Comment