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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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Telegram version 3.11 adds group previews, personal storage, faster downloads, trending stickers, and more

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 03:53 PM PDT

telegramStickers: they're seriously business. Apparently. Not being into all of these newfangled messenger alternatives I've really never seen the point, but they're important enough that super-popular alt messenger Telegram thinks they need their own "trending" section in the app. Version 3.11 adds a trending sticker area to its dedicated sticker page, so you can browse the most popular images being used by the service's hundreds of millions of users. Neat.

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Telegram version 3.11 adds group previews, personal storage, faster downloads, trending stickers, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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The new Weather Quick Settings Tile is ready to take up residence in your Nougat quick settings

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 03:29 PM PDT

11

Android 7.0 is right around the corner, and will bring with it a customizable version of the quick settings list. For the first, time, developers will have an officially supported way to add new items to this UI, and some are getting an early start. Weather Quick Settings Tile puts the weather up there. You can already have the weather just about anyplace else, why not in the quick settings?

The app has 14 different weather icons in a clean white style to match the system theme.

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The new Weather Quick Settings Tile is ready to take up residence in your Nougat quick settings was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Chrome updated to v52 with improved video performance and other tweaks

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 03:10 PM PDT

nexus2cee_Chrome_thumb.pngLook, Chrome updates are not usually glamorous or particularly interesting, but they are often important. You use Chrome a lot, and even little changes can make your overall experience better. In the latest build to hit the stable channel (v52), video performance has gotten a boost, and it'll use less data.

Google says video will load five times faster now, and it will be run through data saver if you have that enabled.

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Chrome updated to v52 with improved video performance and other tweaks was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Apple Music is officially out of beta, adds equalizer settings in latest update

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 01:55 PM PDT

apple musicScoff all you like, Google purists: there are a lot of people who double-dip Android and iOS/Mac platforms, and we have the analytics to prove it. Those of them who subscribe to Apple's paid Music service (which is built off the bones of ye olde Beats Music) will be happy to hear that the Android version is now out of beta. It was available publicly on the Play Store before, but now it's formally released for everyone.

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Apple Music is officially out of beta, adds equalizer settings in latest update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Skrumble streamlines remote work for on-the-go employees

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 01:42 PM PDT

Show of hands, who has worked from a remote location before? With the today's connected world, many employees are on-the-go and frequently work from remote locations. Whether it's working on vacation, working in transit or simply working from home, it's more important than ever for employers and employees to be connected, even when they're not in the office together.

The problem? A huge array of options makes it difficult for communication to be streamlined and straightforward. Enter Skrumble.

Skrumble is a start-up that aims to bridge the gap between employers and employees for remote work options. By offering all of the necessary services, Skrumble streamlines the communication gap and makes it easier than ever for employees to work from out of the office.

What are some of the features that you'll find?

  • Instant messaging between individuals and assigned teams
  • Public and private channels for specific projects (both internal and client-facing)
  • Live meetings with multiple attendees
  • Document sharing
  • Unique phone number assignment (with area codes of over 60+ countries available)
  • Screen-sharing and remote presentation settings
  • Cloud-based information storage
  • Universal search capabilities
  • Calendar invitations
  • Assessment and tracking of each member's time allocation

Skrumble is targeting small and mid-sized businesses with its offerings, as these are often younger companies that are willing to experiment with remote work options. As far as pricing goes, Skrumble has four different options ranging from free to $30 per user, per month, depending on the assortment of features you choose. With that kind of range, each business can choose the option that offers the best value to fit its needs.

While Skrumble clearly faces an uphill battle against larger competitors, its strong package of streamlined services helps to set it apart. By targeting other young, growing companies, it fares an even better chance of cementing itself as an industry standard.

For more information, follow the source link to Skrumble's website.


Android Match

BlackBerry Hub+ comes to non-BlackBerry Marshmallow devices, includes a $0.99 monthly subscription option

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 01:17 PM PDT

bb

BlackBerry is trying to make Android phones these days, or at least sell them. Its latest device is just a re-branded Alcatel Idol 4, but you don't have to get a BlackBerry phone to get all of BlackBerry's software features anymore. The company has released Hub+ in the Play Store, which gives you access to features like unified inbox, BlackBerry Calendar, and a password manager.

According to BlackBerry, Hub+ is currently only compatible with Marshmallow, but I'm still seeing several 6.0 devices in my list that are not included.

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BlackBerry Hub+ comes to non-BlackBerry Marshmallow devices, includes a $0.99 monthly subscription option was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Dropbox gives Evernote some competition with Paper, now in beta on the Play Store

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 12:59 PM PDT

2016-08-03 19.42.00Cloud storage and reminder apps seem to go together naturally - Evernote and Google Keep both have some basic attachment tools, and they share collaborative elements with things like Dropbox and Drive. Today Dropbox is trying to bring it all together with Paper, the company's first new app in quite a while. It's up on the Play Store in beta form, and like the primary storage app, it's free to download and use.

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Dropbox gives Evernote some competition with Paper, now in beta on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Polar’s M600 sport watch is powered by Android Wear

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 12:45 PM PDT

Android Wear has hit a few bumps on the road to domination, but the wearable OS is making great progress. Today brings another manufacturer creating an Android Wear device, with Polar introducing the M600 sport smartwatch. Polar is known for its fitness trackers and heart rate monitors, but the company is diving deeper into the wearable market with the M600. Let's look at what this new sport watch is offering.

First and foremost, Polar is pushing the heart rate sensor on the M600. The company uses a proprietary optical measurement system with six LEDs to track a user's heart rate quickly and accurately. Other highlighted features include GPS, continuous activity tracking and the ability to use Polar's Smart Coach features through its Android app.

Polar_M600

Polar has designed the M600 to be waterproof and the device boasts a battery life of over 48 hours. On the front is a 1.3-inch display and a button that's used for control while training and tracking. For example, the button could pause and resume a workout. As far as the strap goes, you're looking at a simple silicone band that is available in black and white, with a red option arriving later this year.

Polar is pushing its software as a big perk of the M600. The company's software allows you to aggregate and quantify your health and fitness data. Users can track their sleep, activity, heart rate and more. With Android Wear as the OS, users can also utilize all of the features there, such as the ability to view and respond to notifications, play music and take notes on the fly, even with voice commands.

The Polar M600 will be released globally later this year. Pricing is set at $329.90 USD (€349.90).


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Google employs a cartoon yeti as a virtual tour guide in Verne: The Himalayas

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 11:45 AM PDT

image (7)Google's Creative Lab internal division certainly has a diverse body of work. Between all the experimental apps and weird web tools released under the name, you can find entries that range from novel to straight-laced and back again. The latest addition to the catalog falls into the former category. Verne: The Himalayas is a virtual tour of the world's highest mountain range, utilizing both Google's 3D satellite mapping technology and a cartoon abominable snowman.

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Google employs a cartoon yeti as a virtual tour guide in Verne: The Himalayas was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Maps v9.34 Beta adds features to keep maps pointed north, plans to give advice about parking difficulty, and may reveal the return of Launcher Shortcuts [APK Teardown + Download]

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 11:10 AM PDT

maps

The Google Maps app is back again with a fresh update, and this one is certainly interesting. As far as live features go, there are some changes related to navigation that will help keep maps oriented north, even with accidental swipes. A teardown also shows that Google is planning to give advice about parking at different locations, and Local Guides can look forward to status indicators for edits. And finally, there's evidence suggesting the return of Launcher Shortcuts.

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Google Maps v9.34 Beta adds features to keep maps pointed north, plans to give advice about parking difficulty, and may reveal the return of Launcher Shortcuts [APK Teardown + Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube Kids finally works with Red subscriptions

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 11:10 AM PDT

YTR-kids-social-thomas-tom-appicon-pr

YouTube has a lot of content, not all of which is acceptable for kids. Actually, a lot of it isn't acceptable for grown ups either, but that's beside the point. The YouTube Kids app was launched last year to aggregate kid-friendly videos, but it didn't support YouTube Red. Now, it does support YouTube Red, which we predicted in an APK Teardown earlier this year.

When signed into YouTube Kids with a YouTube Red account, you get offline saving, background play, and no ads.

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YouTube Kids finally works with Red subscriptions was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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OnePlus suspending sales of OnePlus 3 in Europe and Hong Kong for a limited time

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 10:38 AM PDT

The OnePlus 3 went on sale not too long ago, and thankfully, it wasn't hidden behind an invitation system. While OnePlus made the necessary steps to make sure they could sell as many OnePlus 3 units as possible, it appears demand has outstripped stock, at least in Europe and Hong Kong.

OnePlus says the OnePlus 3 has been the fastest-selling device the company has ever sold, and while they had prepared, the shipping dates for purchases made from their website began to slip further and further back. As a result, OnePlus has made the decision to suspend sales in a number of different countries across Europe, as well as in Hong Kong, for a limited time.

The sales pause will begin on August 9 at 0:00 (CEST) and last until September 12 at 23:59 (CEST). In Europe, the pause will go into effect in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain. And as mentioned earlier, sales in Hong Kong will be suspending during the same stretch.

OnePlus says that they are working on filling out stock so they can deliver handsets, but it sounds like this sales suspension was something they had to do. It's also worth noting that this doesn't impact sales that have already happened or for those who buy the OnePlus 3 before August 9. OnePlus says the delivery date will remain in tact.

Did you buy a OnePlus 3?


Android Match

Mobius Final Fantasy gives the famous console series a freemium mobile makeover

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 10:31 AM PDT

mobius headerMobius Final Fantasy looks like a pretty standard entry in the famous RPG series from the last ten years or so: vague otherworldly threat, androgynous young hero, production design that borders on cocaine-fueled insanity. It helps that the plot is fleshed out in beautiful 3D cutscenes with full voice acting and orchestral music, unlike other "original" Final Fantasy mobile games such as All The Bravest. Indeed, Mobius might be the first Square-Enix title that can lay claim to being a truly original Final Fantasy game, built from the ground up for mobile devices.

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Mobius Final Fantasy gives the famous console series a freemium mobile makeover was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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BlackBerry Hub+ coming to all Android Marshmallow phones

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 09:41 AM PDT

BlackBerry has had its share of rough times, facing extinction more than once. But the company seems to be finding stable footing again, largely by ditching its own OS and using Android as a platform to build off of. The BlackBerry PRIV wasn't a runaway success, but it helped to stabilize the company and offer hope. BlackBerry is now taking things a step further and is offering BlackBerry Hub+ to all Android Marshmallow users, with plans of offering it to Lollipop users as well.

BlackBerry Hub+ is a full suite of apps and services that are aimed at increasing productivity and bolstering security. Apps included are:

  • Blackberry Hub
  • Calendar
  • Password Keeper
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Device Search
  • Notes
  • Launcher

All of BlackBerry's apps are filled with tweaks and changes to make your experience simpler, faster, and easier. To try it out, Marshmallow users can download BlackBerry Hub+ from the Play Store for a free 30-day trial. After the trial, it's just $0.99/month to continue using Hub+, making it extremely affordable. For those who don't want to shell out any money, there is a free option, though users will see occasional ads in BlackBerry apps.

The trial version of BlackBerry Hub+ may take some time to populate the Play Store, so have patience and you should be able to give it a whirl soon.

In addition to the goal of expanding to Lollipop users, BlackBerry has also said that it's looking into expanding to iOS as well, though it's not a sure bet that such a move will occur.

BlackBerry is caught in a bit of a conundrum with this move. While it's now made its services available to an enormous audience, it's also struck a serious blow to its hardware department. Many users of the BlackBerry PRIV were sold on the device because of the software, not because of the hardware. With the software no longer being exclusive to BlackBerry devices, it's difficult to see a clear path ahead for BlackBerry's hardware division.


Android Match

Chrome for Android update saves battery life and loads videos faster

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 09:41 AM PDT

Google is now rolling out the latest iteration of Chrome for Android, which bumps the version up to 52 and brings improvements geared toward video playback and loading.

With Chrome 52, video playback will be smoother, load faster and be more power efficient. Google says that it has made changes behind the scenes to achieve these triumphs, but doesn't go into great detail in how they implemented them. The company says the change is noticeable, though, with Chrome 52 loading up to five times faster when compared to the previous version.

The changes will be most noticeable when a user loads up a short video or a video that's in the HTML5 format.

As many people already know, Chrome for Android offers a Data Saver feature, which will now work with these changes to video playback and loading. So that means videos played in the Chrome browser will now consume less data. Google says Chrome 52 is now rolling out to Android users.

How often do you use Chrome for Android?


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Samsung Pay app update adds support for Samsung Rewards Card

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 07:00 AM PDT

samsung-rewards-card

We may have all been a bit dubious about Samsung Pay when it was first announced, especially as another duplicate service that Samsung was launching to provide its own solution instead of Google's or Apple's, but Pay has proven to be more of a success story so far. Launches in multiple countries, ease of use, and MST compatibility make it a great contender in the mobile payment segment.

With this continuous improvement comes a new feature of Samsung Pay: Samsung's own Rewards card.

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Samsung Pay app update adds support for Samsung Rewards Card was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Cheetah Mobile expands its app empire by buying News Republic for $57 million

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 04:40 AM PDT

republicLook, it's not as if we at Android Police are fanatically opposed to Cheetah Mobile as a company. I can see how one could get that impression from reading the previous Cheetah stories, I really can. But between screwing up an otherwise anticipated game sequel with in-app purchases, screwing up a perfectly good ASUS phone with bloatware, or screwing up future generations of developers with bloatware classes, it's hard not to see them as the cackling cartoon villains of the Android software world.

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Cheetah Mobile expands its app empire by buying News Republic for $57 million was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Handwriting Input adds support for several languages, Android N, and more emojis [APK Download]

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 03:34 AM PDT

google-handwriting-input

If typing is too much effort for you or you don't enjoy pecking at small buttons on your screen, then you might enjoy the art of handwriting a lot more. And in that case, you're probably using Google Handwriting Input (or a similar keyboard) to satisfy all your scribbling needs.

After adding a few languages in its 1.5 update, the app is now receiving more of them in version 1.7 and improving support for several existing languages.

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Google Handwriting Input adds support for several languages, Android N, and more emojis [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Snapchat's latest update adds Geostickers in a few cities

Posted: 03 Aug 2016 02:29 AM PDT

snapchat-geostickers

In the past year or so, I haven't had the time or opportunity to travel or explore new countries and cities. What I do have time for is my job where I sit behind a desk and write about people who are traveling and enjoying new places and who also have enough free time to use Snapchat to chronicle their trips... Oh how I envy their lax lifestyle.

Anyway, these people — you or your friends or your kids or your parents even — now have a new feature in Snapchat that uses their location to show appropriate stickers to add to photos or chats.

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Snapchat's latest update adds Geostickers in a few cities was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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New Nexus phones tipped to have fingerprint reader gesture for opening notification shade

Posted: 02 Aug 2016 09:43 PM PDT

The 2016 Nexus leaks continue to flow tonight with a new report regarding a software feature that may be included with both phones.

According to the folks at Android Police, Google is planning to give its new Nexuses a swipe gesture that'll let you quickly access your notification shade. This gesture will be performed with a swipe down on the fingerprint reader, which is expected to be included on the back of the phone. For a look at what the new Nexus phones may look like, check out these leaked renders.

Today's leak also appears to include a toggle so that you can disable this swipe gesture if you don't want it.

nexus2cee_swipescan_loop1_thumb

This could end up being a pretty nifty feature if it is included with Google's 2016 Nexus phones. While pulling down your notification shade may not take a ton of effort, some folks have to really stretch their thumbs to reach up to the top of their phone's screen and pull the shade down with one hand. This fingerprint reader gesture will make accessing the notification shade easier, as you'll just have to place your finger on the back of the phone, which probably isn't too far from where it normally rests when you're holding the device.

Also of note is that today's leak includes those refreshed on-screen navigation buttons that we first saw in June, though the blue and green dots on the sides of the home button appear to have glitched. Additionally, the tip shows a device with a blue back, which is said to be the Electric Blue version of the new Nexuses that we've previously heard about.


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Android Distribution Numbers Out For August, Marshmallow Rises To 15.2%

Posted: 02 Aug 2016 09:22 PM PDT

android_dist_aug2016

It's now the 2nd of August and Google was pretty quick to release their updated Android distribution numbers. These numbers are updated by Google at roughly the start of every month for developers to look at so they can generalize what version of Android their potential install base is running and act upon it.

After seeing a massive jump last month, Android 6.0 Marshmallow growth has slowed to 1.6% this month to sit at 15.2%. Android 5.1 Lollipop also saw a rise strangely of only 0.4% to 21.4%. It's good to see 6.0 finally overtaking 5.0 after less than a year since its release. Now for the rest, they all saw their decline respectively expect for Froyo, staying at 0.1%. Again.

With the release of Android 7.0 around the corner, it'll be interesting to see how it affects the distribution next month.

[Android Developers]

The post Android Distribution Numbers Out For August, Marshmallow Rises To 15.2% appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Marshmallow usage grows in August, now up to 15.2 percent of Android devices

Posted: 02 Aug 2016 08:39 PM PDT

New month, new Android distribution numbers!

Google today shared its Android platform distribution stats for August 2016, which show the different Android versions that accessed the Play Store during the seven-day period ending on August 1. Unsurprisingly, Android 6.0 Marshmallow has grown again, going from 13.3 percent in July to 15.2 percent in August.

In somewhat more surprising news, Lollipop grew in August, too. It had a 35.1 percent share in July and claimed a 35.5 percent share in August.

googleaugust2016androidstats

KitKat fell in August, dropping 0.9 percent to finish at 29.2 percent in August. Jelly Bean dropped from 17.8 percent in July to 16.7 percent in August, while Ice Cream Sandwich slipped from 1.7 percent in July to 1.6 percent in August.

Rounding out this month's stats is Gingerbread slipping from 1.9 percent in July to 1.7 percent in August and Froyo holding steady at 0.1 percent.

Marshmallow is the latest version of Android available to the public — for now, at least — so it's good to see it continuing to grow in usage. That growth should continue in the coming months, thanks in part to the impending launch of the Android 6.0.1-equipped Galaxy Note 7.


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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 official with iris scanner, improved S Pen, and more

Posted: 02 Aug 2016 06:49 PM PDT

After being the subject of a multitude of leaks, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now officially official.

While the Galaxy Note 7 may look similar to the Galaxy Note 5, there are a few subtle tweaks that make it a very different handset. First up is the display, which is a 5.7-inch 2560×1440 Super AMOLED screen like on the Note 5, but the Note 7's display features dual curved edges. The addition of these curved edges means that the Note 7 gets the Edge UX software features found on the S7 edge. The Note 7's screen is also covered by Corning's new Gorilla Glass 5.

galaxynote7bluetrio

Above that display is an iris scanner. This iris scanner gives the Note 7 added security, letting you use it to unlock your phone, authenticate Samsung Pay purchases, and authenticate other apps that support Samsung Pass.

Finally, the bottom of the Note 7 is home to a reversible USB Type-C port. This is notable because the Note 7 is the first Samsung smartphone to offer USB Type-C. Because the Note 7 has USB Type-C, Samsung today also announced a new version of the Gear VR that supports the Note 7 and its USB Type-C port as well as the other Galaxy S6, S7, and Note 5 flagships that use microUSB. The new Gear VR will launch on August 19 alongside the Note 7.

gearvrgalaxynote7

The rest of the Note 7's feature set is about what you'd expect from a Samsung flagship in 2016. It's got a Snapdragon 820 processor in the U.S., China, and Japan, while all other regions will get a Note 7 outfitted with an octa-core Exynos 8 Octa 8890 chipset. Also included is 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 3500mAh battery that supports fast charging over both wired and wireless methods. Rounding out the hardware features is a Dual Pixel 12-megapixel rear camera with OIS and a 5-megapixel front camera. All of those features are wrapped in a body that's IP68-rated for water resistance.

Since this is a Note device, you're also getting an S Pen. This S Pen features a smaller 0.7mm tip and improved pressure sensitivity, and like the Note 7 itself, the S Pen is also IP68-rated for water resistance.

galaxynote7bluebottom

Finally, the Note 7 runs Android 6.0.1 beneath Samsung's custom user interface. That custom UI includes several software features, including Always On Display and Samsung Knox. There are several S Pen features, too, like the ability to quickly create GIFs using Smart Select and new Air Command features, including Magnify and Translate.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be sold in Black Onyx, Blue Coral, Silver Titanium, and Gold Platinum color options, though the gold model doesn't appear to be coming to the U.S., at least not initially. Samsung will launch the Note 7 on August 19.

galaxynote7goldtrio

In the U.S., the Note 7 will be available from AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. The big four will kick off pre-orders on August 3, while U.S. Cellular will start on August 4. No matter which carrier you buy from, you'll be able to choose either a free Gear Fit 2 or 256GB microSD card to go with your new phone. Additionally, T-Mobile subscribers will have the option of getting a free year of Netflix instead of the other two gifts.

galaxynote7silvertrio

Here's what the Note 7's U.S. carrier pricing looks like:

  • AT&T: 30 payments of $29.34 with AT&T Next or 24 payments of $36.67 with AT&T Next Every Year. Buyers can get $695 in monthly bill credits to put toward a second Note 7.
  • Sprint: No pricing announced as of this post.
  • Verizon: $36 per month for 24 months.
  • T-Mobile: $69.99 down and 24 payments of $32.50.
  • U.S. Cellular: 30 monthly payments of $27.80. Also offering 20 and 24 monthly payment options.

So now that it's official, what do you think of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7?


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