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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

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Samsung Pay gains iris authentication support

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 03:02 PM PDT

Having a form of authentication is very important for mobile payment apps, and fingerprint sensors are a lot easier than entering a PIN over and over. Now Galaxy Note 7 owners have another authentication option for Samsung Pay.

The latest update to Samsung Pay adds iris scanner support, allowing you to approve purchases in what Samsung says is a safer and more secure fashion. The update also includes a cloud restore option for restoring your membership and gift cards when you log in, though this won't support payment cards.

If you're interested in giving it a shot, download the update to the app and let us know how it works out!


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Verizon starts selling CPSC-approved Galaxy Note 7

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 03:02 PM PDT

It's been a difficult journey for Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 was unofficially recalled due to batteries exploding, then an official recall was announced because the issue was found to be more serious than expected, and Samsung has lost customers and money during the whole ordeal. And though it hasn't been handled as well as it could have been, in the end it hasn't been so bad.

Now it seems that the situation is finally over. People are starting to get replacements from retailers today and some retailers are even selling post-recall devices. Verizon has put the Note 7 back up for sale with a bunch of information surrounding the recall.

The Verizon page for the device has multiple mentions of the CPSC recall and says that the Note 7s on sale are safe and CPSC-approved. The company also links to a FAQ about the issue. If you've been waiting to pick up a Note 7 that's not going to explode, now is your chance.


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Samsung allegedly testing Nougat builds on Galaxy S7 in Europe

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 02:06 PM PDT

When it comes to updates, Samsung isn't particularly fast. With a heavy software skin, many features to add, and lots of custom hardware to support, the company has a lot of work to do to get a new version of Android ready for its flagship devices.

However, Samsung is allegedly testing a Android 7.0 Nougat build on the Galaxy S7 in Poland only one month after Nougat launched. It's not a public test, and it doesn't necessarily mean that the update is close to rolling out, but it's good to see Samsung working quick to get the update out to consumers.

Nougat is by no means a massive update to Android, but it'll be nice to be running the latest and most secure version of Android on your device. Hopefully Samsung will release some timeframes for the update.


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Google releases the paper planes demo from Google I/O 2016 on the Play Store

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 12:47 PM PDT

paperplanes

If you can remember, Google displayed a Paper Planes interactive map at the Google I/O keynote before the actual presentation began. Users in the audience could catch and throw paper planes, with the planes themselves flying all across the world. If you need a refresher, this is what it looked like at I/O.

The demo is now available on the Google Play Store for anyone to try out. Once you install the app, you can stamp planes with your location and throw them out into the world for someone else to receive.

Read More

Google releases the paper planes demo from Google I/O 2016 on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Inbox starts asking if you want to share the photo you just took

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 11:40 AM PDT

2016-1

Google's Inbox email client aims to be more automated than Gmail. It bundles messages and suggests replies for you. Now, it's making it easier to attach photos to your emails. If you took a photo recently, new emails will get a handy link to add it as an attachment.

This appears to be something Google is testing or slowly rolling out—I'm not seeing it on my devices yet, but at least some users get the photo suggestion when composing an email.

Read More

Inbox starts asking if you want to share the photo you just took was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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AutoShare 2.0 integrates text from any application with Tasker

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 10:19 AM PDT

text-processorTasker is one of the most useful root applications on Android, allowing you to automate your device to do practically anything. Tasker plugins, like AutoShare, only seek to make Tasker even more feature-filled. If you have never used AutoShare, it allows you to send data to a Tasker tasks via Android's share menu.

For example, you can create a task called 'Add as wallpaper' that appears as an application in the Share menu, and when you share an image to that application, it inserts all available data into your Tasker task.

Read More

AutoShare 2.0 integrates text from any application with Tasker was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Extending Web Technology with Android

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 10:15 AM PDT

Developer guest post by Active Theory

Paper Planes started as a simple thought - "What if you could throw a paper plane from one screen to another?"

The heart of our concept was to bring people together from all over the world, using the power of the web - an instant connection to one another. Modern web technology, specifically JavaScript and WebGL, powered the experience on every screen.

Paper Planes was initially featured at Google I/O 2016, connecting attendees and outside viewers for 30 minutes preceding the keynote. For the public launch on International Peace Day 2016, we created an Android Experiment, which is also featured on Google Play, to augment the existing web technology with native Android Nougat features such as rich notifications when a plane is caught elsewhere in the world.

Introduction

Users create and fold their own plane while adding a stamp that is pre-filled with their location. A simple throwing gesture launches the plane into the virtual world. Users visiting the desktop website would see their planes flying into the screen.

Later, users can check back and see where their planes have been caught around the world. Each stamp on the plane reads like a passport, and a 3D Earth highlights flightpath and distance travelled.

In addition to making their own planes, users can gesture their phone like a net to catch a plane that has been thrown from elsewhere and pinch to open it, revealing where it has visited. Then they can add their own stamp, and throw it back into the flock.

WebView

We developed Paper Planes to work across devices ranging from the 50-foot screen on stage at Google I/O to desktop and mobile using the latest in web technology.

WebGL

From the stylized low-poly Earth to the flocking planes, WebGL is used to render the 3D elements that power the experience. We wrote custom GLSL shaders to light the Earth and morph targets to animate the paper as the user pinches to open or close.

WebSockets

When a user "throws" a plane a message is sent over websockets to the back-end servers where it is relayed to all desktop computers to visualize the plane taking off.

WebWorkers

The plane flocking simulation is calculated across multiple threads using WebWorkers that calculate the position of each plane and relay that information back to the main thread to be rendered by WebGL.

To create an experience that works great across platforms, we extended the web with native Android code. This enabled us to utilize the deep integration of Chromium within Android to make the view layer of the application with the web code that already existed, while adding deeper integration with the OS such as rich notifications and background services.

If you're interested in learning more about how to bridge WebView and Java code, check out this GitHub repo for a tutorial.

Notifications

Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) was used to send push notifications to the Android app. When a user's plane has been caught and thrown by someone else, a notification showing how many cities and miles it has travelled is sent to the device of the plane's creator via FCM. Outgoing notifications are managed to ensure they are not sent too frequently to a device.

Background Service

We implemented a background service to run once a day which checks against local storage to determine when a user last visited the app. If the user hasn't visited in over two weeks, the app sends a notification to invite the user back into the app to create a new plane.

The Communication Network

Our application runs on a network of servers on Google Cloud Platform. We used built-in geocoding headers to get approximate geographic locations for stamps and Socket.IO to connect all devices over WebSockets.

Users connect to the server nearest them, which relays messages to a single main server as well as to any desktop computers viewing the experience in that region.

Moving forward

This approach worked extremely well for us, enabling an experience that was smooth and captivating across platforms and form factors, connecting people from all over the world. Extending the web with native capabilities has proven to be a valuable avenue to deliver high quality experiences going forward. You can learn even more on the Android Experiments website.


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Allo vs. Hangouts: Should you make the move?

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 10:09 AM PDT

hangallo

Google has dug itself a deep hole with Hangouts by integrating multiple messaging protocols and a myriad of little-used features. It's become a lumbering beast that often lags behind other Google apps in adopting new features as Android itself evolves. Enter, Allo—Google's new consumer-facing messaging client. It's faster, simpler, and it has Google Assistant built-in. So, how do these apps stack up? Let's find out.

Set up and finding friends

Getting up and running with Allo is straightforward—it's based on your phone number rather than a Google account.

Read More

Allo vs. Hangouts: Should you make the move? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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HTC Bolt for Sprint leaks out in new image

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 09:36 AM PDT

Sprint hasn't officially announced anything just yet, but according to a newly-leaked image, the Now Network has a brand new HTC smartphone on the way.

Thanks to serial leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks), we've got a first look at the upcoming HTC Bolt. The wallpaper on the handset shows Sprint's emblem, and Blass previously said that the Bolt will launch at Sprint in October.

No other details were provided about the upcoming device. It's been suggested that the Bolt might not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack, as there isn't one clearly visible in the image, but that's strictly speculation at this point.

What do you think of the Bolt based on its looks?


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Allo Is Here! Google Finally Releases Its New Allo Messaging App

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 09:31 AM PDT

google_allo

Remember that messaging app Google revealed back in Google I/O that everyone wanted to try out the very same day? Well nearly 4 months later the company has now officially released Allo to the public and so far it's very impressive.

The app contains a lot of interesting and unique features not found in other messaging apps.

One of them is Smart Reply and it suggests a text or emoji response based on your previous chat history and learns more about you as you talk to people. Another very good one is the ability to increase or decrease the default message text size to emphasize what you say. And the list goes on.

But the most interesting feature here is the inclusion of Google's Assistant which can easily be invoked by typing "@Google" in your message followed by your query, and also be messaged directly as a Preview feature.

Unfortunately this app is not meant to directly replace Hangouts as there's no desktop client nor is it a direct competitor to Apple's iMessage platform which has an SMS fallback. Hopefully we'll see these features implemented in the coming weeks ahead. You can download the app from the Play Store and also on Apple's App Store.

If you're not able to download the app from the Play Store, you can sideload the apk from APKMirror.

[Google]

The post Allo Is Here! Google Finally Releases Its New Allo Messaging App appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 08:44 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.

FOX Sports VR

FOX Sports VR

Description: FOX Sports VR lets you experience top live sports events in ways you never could before! For supported events, you have a ticket to your own VIP stadium suite, where you can watch live events in immersive Virtual Reality.

 

Storage Quick Settings Tile

Storage Quick Settings Tile

DescriptionA quick settings shortcut so that you can quickly access your built-in storage explorer from any screen.

 

Google Trips

Google Trips

DescriptionGoogle Trips makes exploring the world easier by organizing your essential info in one place and making it available even offline. Get activity suggestions based on what's nearby, customizeable day plans, and your travel reservations from Gmail.

 

AutoShare

AutoShare

Description: Add Tasker support to any app with AutoShare! Do anything on an ever growing number of apps with AutoShare intents available here:http://goo.gl/r1ibqy. You can also share to AutoShare from the regular Android share menu and get the share info into Tasker.

 

Google Allo

Google Allo

DescriptionIntroducing Google Allo, a smart messaging app that helps you say more and do more. Express yourself better with stickers, doodles, and HUGE emojis & text. Allo brings you the Google Assistant, preview edition.

 

Star Wars Studio FX App

Star Wars Studio FX App

DescriptionWITH THE HASBRO STAR WARS STUDIO FX™ APP, YOUR STAR WARS TOYS ARE THE ON-SCREEN HEROES! Create video clips of your favorite Star Wars action figures, vehicles and playsets, then use the Hasbro Star Wars Studio FX™ app to add exciting special effects to the video clip!

 

Bohemian Rhapsody Experience

Bohemian Rhapsody Experience

DescriptionThe Bohemian Rhapsody Experience offers a journey through frontman Freddie Mercury's subconscious mind and recreates the sensation of being onstage with the band, with visual and audio elements that respond to your movements. The content is also available as a 360 degree video for you to experience even if you do not own a VR device.

 

Hero Care – American Red Cross

Hero Care

DescriptionHero Care by the American Red Cross is a complete solution for members of the military, veterans, and their families to prepare for, cope with and respond to the challenges of military service.

 

Lifetime Movie Club

Lifetime Movie Club

DescriptionIf you love Lifetime movies, then you need Lifetime Movie Club! For only $3.99/month, less than the price of one movie rental, get access to a great selection of Lifetime movies on your Android devices, as well as Roku, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch (Web access and other platforms coming soon!).

 

MESH

MESH

DescriptionThe MESH App is a digital canvas that provides everything you need to design your own smart gadget and personalize the ones you already own. In the drag-and-drop recipe canvas you can instantly add smart features to make just about anything smarter – a coffee maker, connected light bulb, speaker, wearable, or anything you'd like – without any coding or hardware experience!

 


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Google Allo arrives with wide array of features

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 08:44 AM PDT

After a lengthy wait, Google Allo is now available for download on Android and iOS. Google's new messaging app combines a myriad of features into a single, smart experience that's designed to make messaging faster, easier, and more advanced. The notable feature of Allo is the inclusion of the Google Assistant and the smart replies that accompany it. Google Assistant can analyze text, photos, links and more to determine a suitable reply.

Additionally, users can interact with Google Assistant. The possibilities are vast, ranging from a simple request for information to asking Google to send a joke or poem on a daily basis. The software becomes more intelligent the more you use it, allowing it to better cater to your needs.

If the other features aren't enough, Allo offers encryption of all messages, although Google will still have access to the messages in order to make Google Assistant work. To hide things entirely, there's an Incognito Mode that eliminates the Google Assistant features, but gives users end-to-end encryption, discreet notifications and expiring messages.

Allo is now available for download on Android and iOS and will roll out globally over the next few days.


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[Water gun] WhatsApp brings iOS 10's emojis to its latest Android beta

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 01:47 AM PDT

whatsapp-new-ios-emoji

[Not Allo] If you want Allo, this is what you're looking for: one, two, three.

With that out of our system, WhatsApp's latest beta v 2.16.274 has implemented one change we were all probably not looking forward to all that much. Just like the web app a couple of days ago, WhatsApp now uses new emojis throughout its whole interface. They are, predictively, the same ones that Apple has introduced in iOS 10 with their more 3D-looking designs.

Read More

[Water gun] WhatsApp brings iOS 10's emojis to its latest Android beta was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[New: NYC Marathon] Fitbit adds Adventure challenges, a series of virtual exploration trails to help you move more

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 01:47 AM PDT

  • An update to the Fitbit app has rolled out with the second promised set of adventures from the New York City Marathon. There are 3 different courses you can partake in,

fitbit-adventures

Fitbit just unveiled its two upcoming trackers, the Flex 2 and Charge 2, but there's more that the company is adding to its trackers' experience this week: Adventures.

Sitting inside the Challenges tab, there will be a new series of challenges to compete in, except these are personal ones that you can undertake at your own pace and with a lot more to gain than just bragging rights against your friends.

Read More

[New: NYC Marathon] Fitbit adds Adventure challenges, a series of virtual exploration trails to help you move more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Allo's weird SMS support explained, and other answers

Posted: 21 Sep 2016 12:17 AM PDT

allosms

The burning question on everyone's mind when Allo was released - "can you send SMS?" The answer, as seemingly common with Google products, is "it's complicated." Allo-w me to explain the answer, and more of Allo's quirky behavior, below.

What happens when I send a text to someone without Allo?

When you tap a contact that has not yet registered for Google Allo, you are presented with the above message warning that you are sending messages through SMS.

Read More

Allo's weird SMS support explained, and other answers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Editorial: Google Allo looks a lot like WhatsApp, not Hangouts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 10:17 PM PDT

allo-whatsapp-small

... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.

Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image.

Read More

Editorial: Google Allo looks a lot like WhatsApp, not Hangouts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Allo is finally rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download]

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 10:17 PM PDT

allo-hero

Google said Allo would be available at some point during the summer, and it's getting in right under the wire. The new chat application is now official, and it's starting to pop up in the Play Store for download. Don't fret if it's not showing up for you quite yet; we have the APK ready for download.

If you need a refresher on features, Google has a handy promo video (below) and a landing page that hits all the high points.

Read More

Allo is finally rolling out in the Play Store [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung announces that over 500,000 Note 7s have arrived in the US

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 06:21 PM PDT

The replacement process for the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has finally begun. Samsung has announced that over 500,000 units have arrived in the US and are being shipped out to retailers for tomorrow.

Samsung also announced a notification that existing Note 7 owners will get every time they charge or power up their device if it's a recalled unit that hasn't been exchanged. This warning will urge them to power down their phones and exchange them, which is hard to ignore. This change will come with a software update.

If you still haven't exchanged your Note 7, tomorrow is the time to do it. Retailers should have a new Note 7 to exchange for your old one if you're there early enough.


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CNNgo delivers bite-sized news video to Android TV, no cable login needed

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 06:17 PM PDT

image (8)If you don't subscribe to a cable or satellite provider, your options for all of these new streaming apps seem to shrink fairly quickly. There are more and more channel apps coming in for Android TV, but most of them assume that you already pay for premium TV somewhere else. CNN is offering an alternative, and if it's not ideal, then at least it's there. CNNgo doesn't want any of your money, it just wants to show you the news.

Read More

CNNgo delivers bite-sized news video to Android TV, no cable login needed was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Firefox 49 brings tab improvements, offline page viewing, and more [APK Download]

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 04:47 PM PDT

firefox-hero

Firefox may have been overshadowed by Chrome in terms of worldwide users, but it is still an excellent browser, even on Android. The latest update, version 49, has the usual dose of new features and bug fixes.

The biggest new few feature is offline page viewing, which coincidentally enough, was recently added to the Chrome Dev builds. However, Chrome allows you to manually choose what pages you want stored for offline reading, whereas Firefox tries to store recent pages offline automatically.

Read More

Firefox 49 brings tab improvements, offline page viewing, and more [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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HTC launches Desire 10 Lifestyle and Desire 10 Pro

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 04:41 PM PDT

HTC has launched a duo of new Desire devices aimed at the mid-range, called the Desire 10 Lifestyle and the Desire 10 Pro. The devices look very similar but are quite different inside.

Both devices feature a plastic body with gold metal trim, no matter the color you choose. They come in Stone Black, Polar White, Royal Blue, and Valentine Lux (a baby blue). They also have microUSB ports rather than USB Type-C ports and Android 6.0 with a new version of Sense. But that's where the similarities end.

The Desire 10 Lifestyle features a 5.5-inch 720p S-LCD display, an aging Snapdragon 400 processor, either 2GB RAM and 16GB storage or 3GB/32GB, microSD slot, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP front camera, and a 2,700mAh battery. It also has 24 bit "hi-res audio" and Dolby audio.

The Desire 10 Pro also has a 5.5-inch display but it's IPS and 1080p. It has a MediaTek Helio P10 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage with a microSD slot, a 20MP main camera with laser focus and pro mode, a 13MP front camera with 150 degree panorama selfies, dual SIM support, a fingerprint reader and a 3,000mAh battery. Interestingly enough, it doesn't appear to have hi-res audio.

The devices launch later this month, but don't have price tags. We look forward to seeing how they're priced, as HTC definitely needs to price them competitively to succeed.

Source: HTC, (2)


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