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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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Google releases The Bohemian Rhapsody Experience, a VR app in co-operation with Queen

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 03:39 PM PDT

borhapvrhero

Bohemian Rhapsody is, all told, a pretty cool song, so it only seems fitting it gets a VR experience recognizing its legendary status in music history. Google's released an app that's been developed in cooperation with Queen - that's Brian May and Roger Taylor, out of the four original members - and, as with many things Queen do, it's great.

A VR experience for one of the greatest songs ever written sounds a little gimmicky, and maybe it is.

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Google releases The Bohemian Rhapsody Experience, a VR app in co-operation with Queen was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Gmail introducing responsive design for better email formatting across desktop and mobile

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 03:17 PM PDT

Reading emails on mobile can be tough, as they're often formatted for desktop viewing and everything on mobile is too small. Links are hard to press, text is hard to read, and everything is far apart. Thankfully, Google is working on that problem.

Responsive design aims to adapt emails to fit your mobile device, with bigger links and buttons and better spacing. But this goes both ways, making mobile-style emails will also look better on desktops.

If you're interested in how this works and looks, hit the source link and check out what Google is going to do. We should start seeing the change this month, so let us know when you spot it!


Android Match

Huawei announces 1.5 million Honor 8s sold

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 02:22 PM PDT

The Honor brand is doing quite well. Huawei has announced that it has sold 1.5 million Honor 8s since the device launched in July. This is definitely an impressive number, even when compared to the big boys of the mobile industry.

Huawei also says that it sold 100 million handsets in the 999 days since the Honor brand launched. With its US launches getting bigger and more popular, this number should rise even faster.

With the Honor 8 being such a great phone, it's not hard to see why people are buying it. As the US market moves further towards unlocked devices, we'll likely see sales of such brands rise as people realize they can get near-flagship level devices for a fraction of the normal flagship cost.


Android Match

Qualcomm talks about its Clear Sight dual camera tech

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 02:22 PM PDT

Dual camera tech is nothing new, despite what some may say. However, it's quickly growing more popular, and Qualcomm is hopping on the bandwagon to help manufacturers implement a quality dual camera setup.

Qualcomm calls their dual camera tech Clear Sight and it relies on two identically specced sensors, one color and one black and white. The monochrome sensor has color filter removed, making it three times more sensitive to light. This means you'll get sharper, less noisy low light photos. Combined with the color sensor data, the photos are superior to a single sensor setup.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 821 both support Clear Sight due to the integrated Spectra ISP, a dedicated image processor. This opens up the processors to be used with dual camera setups in the future.

However, Chinese manufacturers have been doing this for a while. The Huawei P9 and Honor 8 both feature dual sensors, one color and one monochrome, used identically to this. The Kirin 950 and 955 processors have the same features already on the market. And if anyone has doubts about how well it works, lay those doubts to rest because it's a great feature.

Hopefully some competition in the US market from Exynos and Kirin processors will make Qualcomm to step up their game. This is a big step forward and we're excited to see where it leads.


Android Match

Gmail is getting responsive design for emails on Android and the web

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 01:49 PM PDT

nexus2cee_gmail_thumb.pngYou can see the same emails on your phone as you can on your computer using Gmail, but these devices have a number of fundamental differences. The way emails render on a large screen device won't always make sense on a smaller one, so Google is getting ready to implement responsive design for emails in Gmail.

Responsive email design means the layout will be optimized for your device. Buttons and links will be large enough to hit on your phone, and content will be spaced more appropriately.

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Gmail is getting responsive design for emails on Android and the web was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google Duo hits 10 million downloads on Android, but it's not doing so well on Top Charts

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 01:25 PM PDT

duo

About three weeks ago, we reported that Google Duo had reached 5 million downloads on Android in the week or so that it had been officially released. Now, Google's new video chatting app has hit a whopping 10 million downloads. That's certainly impressive for a month-old app, but less healthy-looking is its placement in the Play Store's Top Charts; it's fallen over a hundred places from its high point at first place.

screenshot_20160914-155442 screenshot_20160914-155200

left: Peep the 10 million downloads. right: Sitting pretty at 127th.

Read More

Google Duo hits 10 million downloads on Android, but it's not doing so well on Top Charts was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung rumored to launch Galaxy S8 earlier than expected as device model numbers leak out

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 12:10 PM PDT

With the Samsung Galaxy S8 looming, today we're getting another dose of news that could excite potential GS8 owners.

According to unnamed sources speaking with SamMobile, the device model numbers and codenames for next year's Galaxy S8 flagship smartphones have been revealed. The codenames for the handsets are reportedly Dream, and, wait for it, Dream2. If the model numbers are real, then the Dream is SM-G950, while the Dream2 is SM-G955.

The model numbers are interesting because it looks like Samsung will be skipping over the SM-940 model number. If you keep tabs on this sort of thing, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have model numbers SM-G930 and SM-G935, respectively. Skipping the "4″ could be a sign of tetraphobia, the belief that four is a number tied to bad luck.

Now, the potentially really exciting news is that Samsung could be looking to launch the pair of Galaxy S8 variants earlier than some might have initially anticipated. According to analysts, Samsung may be planning on launching the Galaxy S8 models earlier due to the Galaxy Note 7 recall that's been plaguing the company the last few weeks.

The Galaxy S7 lineup debuted in late February, so we could see the Galaxy S8 as early as late January or the beginning of February, if these reports are true.


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LG, Motorola and Huawei slow down on Android Wear for 2016

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 10:09 AM PDT

The smartwatch market is about to take another hit as LG, Motorola and Huawei have all confirmed that they won't be releasing any new Android Wear smartwatches for the rest of the year. The news comes amidst struggling sales for smartwatches as a whole, as Google rallies a new version of Android Wear in an effort to drive demand.

While LG launched an Android Wear smartwatch earlier in 2016, Motorola and Huawei have yet to release any smartwatches in 2016, raising questions about the companies' future plans for the sector. Consumers have failed to embrace smartwatches as expected, leading many companies to reconsider their efforts in the category.

With this news, it'll be interesting to see what happens with Android Wear and smartwatches. If three of the largest manufacturers back out, it could spell trouble for Google's wearable OS.


Android Match

Android 7.0 Nougat headed to Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE ‘in the coming weeks’

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 10:09 AM PDT

This year has been chock-full of anticipation for Android 7.0 Nougat, which only continued to build through the developer previews of the latest version of Android. But when the official release hit a few weeks ago, people became incensed over the fact that there weren't factory images available yet for the Nexus 6 or, to a lesser extent, the Nexus 9 LTE.

The good news, however, is that the update is still coming and isn't too far out. Google has given word that the update will arrive "in the coming weeks". That's not a specific date by any means, but it gives some reassurance to owners of these Nexus devices.

While frustrating, it's likely for the best, as the delay is probably in place to squash some bugs remaining in the software. Hold out a bit longer and your update will arrive before you know it.


Android Match

Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 10:09 AM PDT

New apps need lovin' too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We've shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

DeskDock

DeskDock

Description: DeskDock allows you to share your computer's mouse with your Android devices via a USB cable. The app enables you to control your Android device as if it was an additional monitor for your computer. 

 

ISS Live

ISS Live

DescriptionISS Live allows you to watch live video feed of the Earth from International Space Station directly on your android phone or tablet. ISS live offers you an exciting experience where everything is thoroughly thought and designed, the complete app that shows Earth video streaming about 400 km above it, with a lot of options fully customizable.

 

NBC Universo Now

NBC Universo Now

DescriptionNBC UNIVERSO is your destination for full episodes of your favorite shows, including new episodes available the day after they air on television and back episodes of some shows. Log in with your television provider account and open up a whole new way to enjoy NBC UNIVERSO—anywhere and anytime.

 

Nick Jr.

Nick Jr.

DescriptionWelcome to the Nick Jr. App—the home of Shimmer & Shine, PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and all your preschooler's favorite Nick Jr. shows! Download this free app today and kids can watch full episodes, play educational games, discover original videos, and, with a tap, uncover other silly surprises.

 

StickerRide

StickerRide

DescriptionStickerRide is a car app which allows you to earn money and cut your costs for gasoline, car wash and parking. Whether you're going to work or dropping your kids off at school, earn money with StickerRide by placing our high quality stickers on your vehicle.

 

Parallel Windows for Nougat

Parallel Windows for Nougat

Description: If you happen to be a fan of split-window mode in Android Nougat, there is a good chance that may find this nifty tools App that I have been working on. YES! You can run two Windows of an App, two windows of almost any App on a phone but MANY windows of an App on tablet, as seen on the screenshots.

 

Wallbase

Wallbase

DescriptionWallbase allows you to simply browse through thousands of wallpapers available on alpha.wallhaven.cc (successor to wallbase.cc) and personalise your smartphones and tablets with those awesome high definition backgrounds and wallpapers.

 

Oxygen Now

Oxygen Now

DescriptionOxygen Now is your go-to destination to watch full episodes of your favorite Oxygen shows. New episodes are available the day after they air on television and previously aired episodes are available for select shows.

 

CANINE

CANINE

DescriptionGarmin Canine mobile app works with the Delta Smart dog training device to help you maintain a healthy and happy relationship with your dog.

 

 Ladies Watch Face

Ladies Watch Face

DescriptionThis is our first collection of watch faces just for you girls! After the success of the Watch Face Collection apps, we needed to create a wonderful app with stylish faces for all kind of women.

 


Android Match

FOX Sports VR lets you watch games in the dream house you'll never be able to afford

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 10:08 AM PDT

2016-09-14 16.56.04One of the core principles of video games is that they're aspirational: we beat the invincible bad guy and drive hovercraft race cars in lavish fantasy worlds because we can't ever do it in real life. Video games are now so amazing that they're intersecting with the real world in the form of VR, but our aspirations have softened a bit as we've gotten older - now some of those impossible dreams include "owning a really nice house." FOX Sports VR has embraced the death of the American dream by virtualizing that nice house and letting you watch football in it.

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FOX Sports VR lets you watch games in the dream house you'll never be able to afford was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Android Distribution Numbers Out For September, Marshmallow At 18.7% And Froyo Still Hangs On

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 09:27 AM PDT

android_dist_sep2016

We're now well into the month of September and Google has released their updated Android distribution numbers accordingly. 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.

Android 7.0 Nougat saw a release late last month but as expected, it is nowhere to be found since the install base is so small. As for Marshmallow, it is up 3.5% to sit at 18.7% and Android 5.1 Lollipop only grew by half a percent at 21.9%. The rest of the versions lost a few percentage points but nothing out of the ordinary. As for Froyo, well… it's still there at 0.1%.

Feel free to share your predication as to when Froyo will disappear completely.

[Android Developers]

The post Android Distribution Numbers Out For September, Marshmallow At 18.7% And Froyo Still Hangs On appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


Android Match

Nexus 6 And Nexus 9 LTE Android 7.0 Nougat Update Delayed

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 09:27 AM PDT

android_nougat

You know something's up when some of Google's own Nexus devices have their OS update delayed by several weeks.

For those that don't know, the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE still have not received the Android 7.0 Nougat update, whether it's an OTA or as a factory image.

Android Police has now received word from Google saying that the update should be rolling out to users "in the coming weeks". I presume there are still a couple device-specific bugs to fix but the company has yet to provide any sort of transparent communication on the matter. I won't be surprised if it goes directly to Android 7.1 when the new Pixel phones launch.

[Android Police]

The post Nexus 6 And Nexus 9 LTE Android 7.0 Nougat Update Delayed appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


Android Match

WiFi Assistant can secure manually connected non-secure networks as of Play services 9.6

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 09:20 AM PDT

wifiamhero

After rolling out to new countries and devices without a Project Fi SIM just under a week ago, Google has made Wi-Fi Assistant even more useful. The Assistant can now connect to non-secure public networks that are connected to manually, instead of only being able to secure networks that it connects to automatically.

This solves one of those caveats mentioned in the post last week. Without this functionality, WiFi Assistant could only secure a network if it identified it was open and could connect automatically, which is by no means certain.

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WiFi Assistant can secure manually connected non-secure networks as of Play services 9.6 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Amazon introduces Echo and new Echo Dot in White; expands to UK and Germany

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 08:59 AM PDT

It's no secret that Amazon has seen success with its Echo line of voice assistants. What began with the original Echo has expanded into the smaller Echo Dot, which is now an even lower-cost option for customers thanks to the new model. While the Echo Dot has been exclusive to Echo and Fire TV customers, the Echo Dot (2nd Gen) is available for all customers with a price of just $49.99, and is also available in discounted 6-pack or 12-pack options. Pre-orders are now open and devices will ship out on October 20.

Beginning today, Amazon is also expanding the Echo and Echo Dot to two new markets: the UK and Germany. In addition to the new markets, Amazon is introducing a white color option for both the Echo and Echo Dot.

In the UK, orders are now open and devices will begin shipping within the coming weeks. Germany has a bit different of a situation. Currently, the Echo and Echo Dot are available by invitation only for customers who want to test and shape Alexa, Amazon's personal assistant software, for the future. Those interested can order and will receive their devices in October.

As a refresher, the Echo Dot is essentially a small voice assistant that can be placed in multiple places throughout the home, such as on a nightstand or in the kitchen. At just 1.5-inches tall, it's much smaller than its bigger brother, the Echo. While it's not intended as a full-fledged speaker for playing music, it offers all of the benefits that Alexa brings in an affordable and compact option.

For more information, check out the source links below. You can purchase the Amazon Echo Dot here.

Source: Amazon, (2)


Android Match

Animation Throwdown is available to all after geo-limited beta

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 08:45 AM PDT

1

Fans of animated things on the Fox network and in-app purchases have reason to celebrate today. After a geo-limited test period, Animation Throwdown is live in the Play Store for everyone. It's a collectible card game with all the animated characters and in-app purchases Fox can legally cram into a single product.

While playing Animation Throwdown, you'll be able to collect characters from Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, Futurama, American Dad, and King of the Hill.

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Animation Throwdown is available to all after geo-limited beta was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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CloudMagic rebrands as Newton Mail, adds mandatory $49.99 yearly subscription fee

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 08:09 AM PDT

newton

CloudMagic has long been one of the most popular third-party email applications on Android. Today, the developers are really testing the loyalty of their users by changing the name and payment model of the app. It's now called Newton Mail, and it will cost you $49.99 per year after an initial 14-day trial. Thus far, people do not seem pleased with the change.

CloudMagic did have a similarly priced pro tier previously.

Read More

CloudMagic rebrands as Newton Mail, adds mandatory $49.99 yearly subscription fee was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Audible offers free Channels and audiobooks to Amazon Prime members

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 03:59 AM PDT

audiblefreestuffhero

Audiobooks are a great way to 'read' when you're driving, cooking, or doing some other activity in which you want listen to something that isn't your favorite musical act. Good thing, then, that Audible is offering free streaming audio books and Channels to Amazon Prime members as part of the 'Prime Benefits' scheme.

The number of audiobooks is upwards of fifty, with the selection changing every so often, so there'll likely be something in that list for even the most picky of readers.

Read More

Audible offers free Channels and audiobooks to Amazon Prime members was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Update: RIP for real] Sunrise Calendar lives to see another day as Microsoft postpones shutdown

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 03:09 AM PDT

  • That reprieve didn't last long. Sunrise is now officially done. The team shared the news on its site explaining that any changes you make to Sunrise will not be

ap_resize

The popular calendar app Sunrise was supposed to shut down permanently yesterday, but that didn't happen. Microsoft now says it has decided to hold off on killing Sunrise while it works to integrate more Sunrise features into the Outlook app.

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[Update: RIP for real] Sunrise Calendar lives to see another day as Microsoft postpones shutdown was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Microsoft is bringing 'interesting calendars,' event icons, maps, and other Sunrise goodies to mobile Outlook's calendar

Posted: 13 Sep 2016 07:54 PM PDT

screenshot_20160913-213746

Microsoft has announced a series of upgrades to the calendar portion of the mobile version of Outlook. These are mostly borrowed features from the now-defunct Sunrise Calendar, which Microsoft acquired over 18 months ago. 

While already on the web, Microsoft has now confirmed that a selection of "interesting calendars" will be available to add and view from the Android app. Initially, these will be just sporting event calendars but TV shows and other topics will follow.

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Microsoft is bringing 'interesting calendars,' event icons, maps, and other Sunrise goodies to mobile Outlook's calendar was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube is testing new Community feature for supplementary content

Posted: 13 Sep 2016 05:20 PM PDT

community

I'll admit, YouTube has added some strange features lately, and at first glance this seemed like yet another useless addition. Starting with a few select channels, a new 'Community' tab will appear on the channel's profile, both on mobile apps and the desktop site. This essentially works like a social feed for the channel, allowing content creators to share text, images, GIFs, livestreams, and more straight through the YouTube app.

Read More

YouTube is testing new Community feature for supplementary content was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Update: Live in SF, others 'soon'] Lyft announces Scheduled Rides, soon users will be able to plan their trips ahead of time

Posted: 13 Sep 2016 05:09 PM PDT

Lyft-Thumb

Lyft, the definitely-not-a-taxi service that is not Uber, is adding a useful feature: scheduled rides. This means exactly what you think, giving the option to call for a, well, Lyft for some future time. With that said, you probably can't use scheduled rides just yet as it is currently being piloted in San Francisco.

Assuming Lyft does roll it out to their other markets this summer as they say they will in their announcement, there will be some guidelines.

Read More

[Update: Live in SF, others 'soon'] Lyft announces Scheduled Rides, soon users will be able to plan their trips ahead of time was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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