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Friday, August 5, 2016

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Google shutting down Together feature in Android Wear

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 03:49 PM PDT

Android Wear has a feature called Together, which is a watch face that can be paired with another watch so you can share stuff like emojis, sketches, stickers, and photos between two specific people. It's a cute feature, but one that likely isn't used very much at all.

With the newest update to the Android Wear app came a warning that the Together feature will soon be shut down. Android Wear 2.0 contains many new social features that render Together far less useful than it used to be. Unfortunately, even if your device won't get Android Wear 2.0, Together will no longer function.

The feature will be shut down September 30, so those who still use it will have to find an alternative by then. How many of you actually used the feature? Leave a comment!

Android Wear Together feature


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T-Mobile offering buy one get one free deal on Samsung phones tomorrow only

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 02:42 PM PDT

T-Mobile is hosting a one day only deal tomorrow, Saturday, August 6. If you buy one qualifying Samsung device, you can get another completely free.

The qualifying devices are the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+, and Galaxy Note 5. Buy one and get one of equal or lesser value for free. You'll have to buy the devices on payment plans and you'll have to add a second line for the free device.

If you're interested, the deal will be available tomorrow both in store and online. Let us know if you're going to take advantage of it!


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HTC announces Viveport, an app store for virtual reality

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 02:42 PM PDT

The virtual reality competition is just beginning, and the two major players are Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. HTC has today announced an app store for its VR headset, and it's called Viveport.

Viveport, which is coming later this fall (and in a developer beta even sooner), will feature content compatible with the Vive headset. While there's already some content on the Vive, the Viveport will be an easier way to find and download new content.

It's also going to be great for developers. With support for subscriptions, in-app purchases, and more, developers will be able to earn money on their content in many ways.

Plus, whoever controls the content distribution controls the money. With HTC's own app store, the company should see more profits. And with its phone business not doing so great, it'll be a good way to keep the business going (and hopefully booming).


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New Android Wear app update announces shutdown of Together by September 30... because Wear 2.0

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 12:56 PM PDT

together-wear-shut-down-hero

A new update to the Android Wear app is rolling out now to version 1.5.0.308, but this one carries sad news for those of you who are using the Together watchface and its different features to closely communicate with a friend or loved one.

Introduced about a year ago, Together was a way to pair your watch with a partner's and share sketches, photos, emojis, stickers, and activities. But with Android Wear 2.0's upcoming addition of more interactive watchfaces and messaging features, Together is no longer as unique as it once was.

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New Android Wear app update announces shutdown of Together by September 30... because Wear 2.0 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube Music v1.38 now allows removing tracks from offline mixtape, promises landscape orientation [APK Download]

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 11:49 AM PDT

ytm

If you're a regular user of the dedicated YouTube Music app, you're probably accustomed to updates that add fairly non-obvious changes. The latest update includes a hidden gem that makes the offline mixtape feature considerably more useful. According to an official changelog posted late last night, we should also see screen rotation, but it seems that didn't actually make it into this release. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom so you can skip Google's staged rollout.

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YouTube Music v1.38 now allows removing tracks from offline mixtape, promises landscape orientation [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Action Launcher v3.9 beta includes features from the rumored Nexus Launcher

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 10:56 AM PDT

ActionLauncher3Developer Chris Lacy has been hard at work, it seems. Just a few days after we posted details of the upcoming Nexus Launcher for Google's devices, a new beta build of Action Launcher 3 is live with several features seen in that leak. This is all based on non-final software and the beta will have a few bugs, but you can give it a shot right now.

Here's the changelog for the new beta.

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Action Launcher v3.9 beta includes features from the rumored Nexus Launcher was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Spotify Release Radar is a personalized playlist with new releases from your favorite artists

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 10:24 AM PDT

spotify-release-radar

One of Spotify's most beloved features are its playlists. You can create some, listen to those made by your friends or shared by strangers or musicians, and the service also curates playlists that are either tailored for you or available for everyone. Now Spotify is introducing one more personalized playlist: Release Radar.

Dropping every Friday, Release Radar will have the latest singles from your favorite artists — those you listen to the most — so you don't have to go looking for new releases from each artist or band individually. You might also find some new discoveries there as well, but the focus is on the music creators you already love.

Read More

Spotify Release Radar is a personalized playlist with new releases from your favorite artists was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Verizon will reportedly carry both new Nexus smartphones

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 08:48 AM PDT

At some point in the (near) future, Google will announce new Nexus-branded smartphones. Rumor has it that they'll both be manufactured by HTC, and be powerhouse handsets in a market full of powerhouse handsets.

There's plenty of excitement surrounding the new Nexus smartphones on the way, and it turns out Verizon Wireless customers might have something to look forward to as well. According to Evan Blass (@evleaks), Verizon will be selling both new Nexus smartphones, but apparently there's a catch. Bless says Verizon will carry two "Nexus" handsets, making a point to call out the quotation marks around the Nexus brand name.

There isn't any additional information paired with the tweet, so what those quotes mean for Nexus phones remains to be seen. The easy guess would be that Verizon is going to use its branding on the phones and perhaps even put some of its Android apps on them, too. The fear for some is that Verizon will get in the way of the update process, too.

Still, this is potentially exciting news for Verizon customers who are ready to upgrade later this year.

Do you plan on picking up the new Nexus smartphones?


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Google has started testing Now cards in Google Now on Tap

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 08:44 AM PDT

ontap

We all had high hopes for Google Now on Tap, but the reality of actually using it didn't live up to the hype. There are too many instances where Google Now on Tap simply misses key words or phrases, or just brings up that sad "nothing on tap right now" card. Google is testing a new feature of Now on Tap that might make it vastly more useful. Some users are seeing standard Google Now cards in Now on Tap.

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Google has started testing Now cards in Google Now on Tap was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Review: What’s in Town

Posted: 05 Aug 2016 03:41 AM PDT

What's in Town touts itself as "the essential Android app to find out more about UK Cities, Towns and Villages". If you live in the UK, or are taking a vacation in the country, it wants to be your go-to guide for all the sights and attractions — from historic points of interest to bars, shops and accommodation.

Regular Android and Me readers will remember we took a look at What's in Town last year and the app's philosophy remains much the same:

The basic premise of What's in Town is simple — easily letting you find out what there is around you or what points of interest there are in a particular place you are about to visit. It's limited to the UK for now but could prove useful for British residents or those planning a trip to the UK in the near future with support for an impressive number of cities and towns across the UK and Ireland.

When first launching What's in Town, the app will download the data needed for its maps and locations. This only happens on first launch and doesn't take too long.

Whats in town 1

Once you're in, you'll see a familiar map-based UI — as What's in Town is built on Google Maps, this should come as no surprise. Color-coded pins relate to points of interest in different categories — Historical, Shopping, Bars & Restaurants, and Accommodation. You can choose to view the categories all in one, or filter by point of interest type. There is one ad at the bottom of the screen, which can be removed with an in-app purchase, but it does not tend to impede the user too much.

If you zoom out, you can see the number of pins in each geographical area — this is much improved over previous versions that showed an overwhelming number of individual pins that were impossible to decipher.

Like the previous version, most of the points of interest are for historical locations — What's in Town really nails the historical POIs and is ideal for this type of tourism. Each historical entry provides a little summary and a link to see more information. While the link is labelled "go to site", it actually opens a popover window for the Wikipedia entry for that location which provides a more detailed insight (side note: this label should probably just say "More Info" or "Wikipedia" to make its function clearer). For the majority of locations I tested, the historical monuments and buildings were spot on with only a few exceptions. I hope the database is constantly evolving and more will be added.

Whats in town 2

Where the app succeeds with historical points of interest, it falters in other categories. If you opt to view one of the other sections on its own, you'll see that only a few towns have entries for bars, restaurants, shops or accommodation. It's disappointing that these are so lacking as it makes the app much less useful outside of a few locations. When I tested the app last year, the situation was much the same and it seems relatively little has been added in these categories. When you do find a bar, restaurant or accommodation listing, the "go to site" link does not function which means information on these venues is scarce within the app and requires some research outside of the app — rendering it fairly unhelpful.

An added feature is the ability to see the local council for the area you are viewing — this then gives you easy access to the council website and more information on local amenities like car parks, public toilets and so on. This button is a little hit and miss — the first time I used the app it appeared to be totally non-functional as it was unresponsive when tapped. After quitting the app and reopening, it did begin working when I searched for my next location. One downside to the feature, however, is that it does not seem to work when panning across to a new location — it still brings up the council from the last searched-for location and not the area that you are currently viewing.

Whats in town 3

Search has seen some improvement in the latest version. You can now search for a town or city, or a specific landmark, and have accurate results. Previously, search was completely lacking so this is a much needed addition. Further improvements could be made to auto-filling search queries and finding the most relevant result.

What's in Town has improved in performance and functionality since last year. There remains a wealth of information for historical points of interest across the UK making it easy to discover more about your local town or vacation destination. A lot of bugs have been ironed out over time, but the app still has room for improvement — both in terms of listings for bars, restaurants, shops and accommodation as well as in overall polish.

If you want to explore more of the UK, download What's in Town for free on Google Play.


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Sam's Club Scan & Go is the perfect app for shoppers who hate cashiers

Posted: 04 Aug 2016 06:18 PM PDT

scanWalmart (the parent company of Sam's Club) has been testing a service called Shop & Go for several years now. The idea is that you shop normally, scan in items with a barcode app, pay from the app via a credit card/debit card/store payment system, then just walk out the door - no need to go through the cashier's line at all. Previously the program was limited to only a few hundred stores and it only worked on the iPhone, but it looks like the company is ready to put a more widespread version out for the Sam's Club bulk retailer stores.

Read More

Sam's Club Scan & Go is the perfect app for shoppers who hate cashiers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Nike posts a dedicated shopping app to the Play Store

Posted: 04 Aug 2016 06:02 PM PDT

2016-08-05 00The Nike+ system of sports trackers actually pre-dates Android, or at least the consumer version of the operating system. For a long time Nike withheld Nike+ apps and accessories from Android and Google Play, though they've loosened up a bit in the last few years and posted a bunch of fitness and sports support apps. The latest Nike+ app gets right to the heart of what the company is all about: selling stuff.

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Nike posts a dedicated shopping app to the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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More Nexus Marlin Details Leak Out

Posted: 04 Aug 2016 05:32 PM PDT

Nexus 6P

Earlier today we shared news of the Sailfish spec leak and now we get to take a more detailed look at the more premium Marlin Nexus.

nexus_render

According to Google+ user Nate Benis, he has received a bunch of Marlin specific details and while some of the stuff is irrelevant to non-US customers, here's the good stuff:

  • imx179 front camera (8MP), imx378 rear camera (12MP)
  • ambient temperature sensor
  • relative humidity sendor
  • compass sensor
  • vulkan graphics
  • will feature an updated camera app moving from experimental 2015(5x/6p) to experimental 2016(marlin/?)
  • possible boom sound as it has the boom sound librarys from nexus 9
  • Samsung AMOLED 5.5-inch display S6E3HA3 (1440 x 2560)
  • Snapdragon 820/821
  • OpenGL ES 3.0
  • new alarms, notifications, ringtones, ui sounds, and bootanimation

Both the Sailfish and Marlin Nexuses are set to launch sometime this Fall.

[Google+]

The post More Nexus Marlin Details Leak Out appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Google local search now shows best-of lists and critic reviews

Posted: 04 Aug 2016 04:40 PM PDT

Trying to find places to visit around you? Whether you're a tourist or a local exploring new places, Google is improving its search even more to help you find what you're looking for.

The latest change now shows critic reviews and reputable best-of lists when you search for places to eat. This will definitely be helpful for those who don't trust Yelp (and there are a lot of us).

Another addition is the length of time people generally stay at attractions. This is to help you plan activities based on the time you have, especially if you're short on it.

The feature is now available in the US, so if you're in a new area, give it a shot!


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