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Thursday, September 29, 2016

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South Korean Kookmin Bank announces support for Note 7 iris scanner

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 04:08 PM PDT

The adoption of the fingerprint sensor on smartphones is huge among phone makers, but app support hasn't quite matched that growth. While a few apps have support using your fingerprint for authentication, it's still an an uncommon trick.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 iris scanner claims to be a faster and easier take on biometric identification, and South Korean Kookmin Bank has announced that it will soon support the iris scanner in its mobile banking app.

Seeing support grow for the iris scanner is great, as those who use it can use it in more places. Unless those places are outdoors, as many have trouble with the scanner in the sunlight.

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BlackBerry will continue to release devices with physical keyboards, despite not making hardware

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 04:08 PM PDT

BlackBerry announced yesterday that it will no longer be making its own hardware. This is a move to cut costs and focus on software, where BlackBerry may still see success. This news worried fans of the classic BlackBerry keyboard.

Thankfully, CEO John Chen says that the keyboard isn't going anywhere. Despite its hardware being outsourced, BlackBerry will keep to company standards and the keyboard we all loved will make a return in the future.

If the company that builds BlackBerry's next keyboard-sporting device can nail the amazing feel of keyboards past, BlackBerry's move away from hardware may not be a bad one for consumers. And if it keeps a brand we love alive, it'll be even better. We hate to see iconic brands die.

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Unity game engine now supports Vulkan rendering on Android

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 03:09 PM PDT


Unity, if you're not familiar with game development, is a popular cross-platform game engine. Although Unity games can most often be found on PC and consoles, Android games utilizing the engine include Crossy Road, Monument Valley, Lara Croft: Relic Run, and more. Today Unity has announced the Vulkan Renderer Preview, finally allowing developers to use the Vulkan API with their games.

The Vulkan API (not to be confused with the Star Trek planet Vulcan) has been hyped to the moon and back in the gaming industry recently, and for good reason.

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Unity game engine now supports Vulkan rendering on Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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PSA: Today's update to the Oculus VR app on Samsung phones is causing heavy battery drain

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 02:14 PM PDT


Those of you with a newer Samsung phone might want to take a peek at the battery usage today. Many users are reporting substantial battery drain after an update to the Oculus VR app. The only fix right now appears to be completely uninstalling the app.

Users are reporting the CPU in their phones is staying cranked up, preventing the device from going to sleep, thus wasting a lot of power. One post says the Galaxy S7 lost 70% of its juice in three hours.

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PSA: Today's update to the Oculus VR app on Samsung phones is causing heavy battery drain was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3 released; final version pushed to 2017

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 12:08 PM PDT

Google has announced that the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 is now available. The tech giant delved into wearables with the first version of its specific OS, Android Wear. Since then, wearables have faced a rocky road, with consumer interest remaining lower than expected. Regardless, manufacturers are hoping that a fresh OS and new technology can help to drive the market forward.

Android Wear 2.0 is the next step for Google, featuring more innovation and a great deal of refinement over the original launch version. The third developer preview carries in the important addition of the Google Play Store on the watch itself. Previously, users have had to download apps for their watch on their phone, which was connected to the watch via Bluetooth. As part of a response to developer feedback, Google has now integrated the store into the watch itself, in an effort to make it easier for users to find apps.

An important note in the announcement was the statement that the developer preview program has been extended until early 2017, which also pushes the final release of Android Wear 2.0 to early 2017. The final version was originally set to be released this in late fall/early winter of 2016.

You can find more details at the source link below, and we'll keep you posted on further updates regarding Android Wear.

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LG X power with 4100mAh battery, LG G Pad X II headed to U.S. Cellular

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 11:08 AM PDT

For those of you on U.S. Cellular, your carrier has some new offerings for you.

First up is the LG X power, which originally debuted back in June. Its biggest draw is the 4100mAh battery tucked inside its shell. The X power also features a 5.2-inch 720p HD display, and there's an 8MP camera on the back and a 5MP front camera, 16GB of built-in storage, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage which supports cards up to 2TB. The X power is running Android 6.0.1 out of the box, it boasts 2GB of RAM, and also there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor.

U.S. Cellular is charging $0 down and $7 per month for 30 months. You can also choose to pay $8.75 for 24 months or $10.50 per month for 20 months. If you opt for prepaid option, you'll pay $149.99.

Also new to U.S. Cellular is LG's G Pad X II. It has a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. It also offers a microSD card slot, a 6000mAh battery, and 5MP front and rear cameras. It's also got a built-in kickstand.

For the G Pad X II, U.S. Cellular will charge $0 down and $10 monthly payments for 30 months or $12.50 for 24 months. There's a two-year contract option, too, which will cost $149.99.

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 3: Play Store and More

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 10:18 AM PDT

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate

Today we're launching the third developer preview of Android Wear 2.0 with a big new addition: Google Play on Android Wear. The Play Store app makes it easy for users to find and install apps directly on the watch, helping developers like you reach more users.

Play Store features

With Play Store for Android Wear, users can browse recommended apps in the home view and search for apps using voice, keyboard, handwriting, and recommended queries, so they can find apps more easily. Users can switch between multiple accounts, be part of alpha and beta tests, and update or uninstall apps in the "My apps" view on their watch, so they can manage apps more easily. Perhaps the coolest feature: If users want an app on their watch but not on their phone, they can install only the watch app. In fact, in Android Wear 2.0, phone apps are no longer necessary. You can now build and publish watch-only apps for users to discover on Google Play.

Why an on-watch store?

We asked developers like you what you wanted most out of Android Wear, and you told us you wanted to make it easier for users to discover apps. So we ran studies with users to find out where they expected and wanted to discover apps––and they repeatedly looked for and asked for a way to discover apps right on the watch itself. Along with improvements to app discovery on the phone and web, the Play Store on the watch helps users find apps right where they need them.

Publish your apps

To make your apps available on Play Store for Android Wear, just follow these steps. You'll need to make sure your Android Wear 2.0 apps set minSdkVersion to 24 or higher, use the runtime permissions model, and are uploaded via multi-APK using the Play Developer Console. If your app supports Android Wear 1.0, the developer guide also covers the use of product flavors in Gradle.

Download the New Android Wear companion app

To set up Developer Preview 3, you'll need to install a beta version of the Android Wear app on your phone, flash your watch to the latest preview release, and use the phone app to add a Google Account to your watch. These steps are detailed in Download and Test with a Device. If you don't have a watch to test on, you can use the emulator as well.

Other additions in Developer Preview 3
Developer Preview 3 also includes:
  • Complications improvements: Starting with Developer Preview 3, watch face developers will need to request RECEIVE_COMPLICATION_DATA permission before the watch face can receive complication data. We have added ComplicationHelperActivity to make this easier. In addition, watch face developers can now set default complications, including a selection of system data complications which do not require special permission (e.g. battery level and step count), as well as data providers that have whitelisted the watch face. Lastly, there are behavior changes related to ComplicationData to 1) help better differentiate various scenarios leading to "empty data" and 2) ease development by returning a default value for fields not supported by a complication type instead of throwing a runtime exception.
  • New WearableRecyclerView: This new UI component helps developers display and manipulate vertical lists of items while optimizing for round displays.
  • Inline Action for Notifications: A new API makes it easy to take action on a notification right from the stream. Developers can specify which action is displayed inline at the bottom of the notification by calling setHintDisplayActionInline:

    NotificationCompat.Action replyAction =
    new NotificationCompat.Action.Builder(R.drawable.ic_message_white_24dp,
    "Reply", replyPendingIntent)
    .extend(new NotificationCompat.Action.WearableExtender()
  • Smart Reply: Android Wear now generates Smart Reply responses for MessagingStyle notifications. Smart Reply responses are generated by an entirely on-watch machine learning model using the context provided by the MessagingStyle notification, and no data is uploaded to the cloud to generate the responses.
  • And much more: Read about the complete list of changes in the Android Wear developer preview release notes.

    We've gotten tons of great feedback from the developer community about Android Wear 2.0––thank you! We've decided to continue the preview program into early 2017, at which point the first watches will receive Android Wear 2.0. Please keep the feedback coming by filing bugs or posting in our Android Wear Developers community, and stay tuned for Android Wear Developer Preview 4.

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Google is rolling out a ton of new navigation voice commands

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 09:31 AM PDT


Driving is serious business—you're in control of a rolling pile of metal and glass weighing thousands of pounds, and one moment of inattention can have very messy consequences. So, for goodness' sake, don't screw around with your phone while driving. Google Maps has voice commands while in navigation or driving mode to help you keep your hands off the phone, and today there are a lot more available.

Google's blog post goes through the whole process of setting up OK Google commands to work in Maps.

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Google is rolling out a ton of new navigation voice commands was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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SwiftKey Beta gets a big update with support for 5 simultaneous languages, new neural network languages, and more

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 08:52 AM PDT

unnamedSwiftKey has been making some big changes lately, and running the beta version of the keyboard gets you a sneak peek at what's coming next. In the latest beta update, there are new languages integrated with SwiftKey's improved neural network prediction engine, as well as support for using as many as five languages at the same time. SwiftKey loves multi-lingual users, apparently.

Here's the full changelog provided by SwiftKey.

  • You can now type in 5 languages at once!
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SwiftKey Beta gets a big update with support for 5 simultaneous languages, new neural network languages, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage that personalizes the news

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 06:20 AM PDT


We all have our own unique ways to read the news. Some like RSS apps. Some like Flipboard, or Yahoo News Digest. Others prefer to read the news direct on the website. There's yet another solution now: a new app from Microsoft Garage, a department of the software giant that seems to have an unlimited stream of Android apps, has released News Pro, aims to center the news around you and your profile, finding content that'll interest you.

Read More

News Pro is a new app from Microsoft Garage that personalizes the news was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 new Android games this week: Looty Dungeon, Frost

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 06:14 AM PDT

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.

Pumped BMX 3

DescriptionThe final installment of the smash hit #1 rated BMX game is here! Following on from the insane success of Pumped BMX 2, Pumped 3 is back with more riders, more bikes, more stunts, more levels and more challenges!


Fusion Masters

DescriptionFusion Masters is a cartoon fantasy card game where you create a customizable team of elemental monsters from a varied collection of cards! FIRE, WATER, NATURE OR DARK – WHAT WILL YOU CHOOSE?


Looty Dungeon

DescriptionOutwit, outrun, and slay your enemies and in this never ending world of endless dungeons and epic boss battles. Play as a knight, an archer, a pair of dueling twins, a fairy, a wizard or any of the other 50 unforgettably unique characters.


Check It: Memory Challenge

DescriptionDesigned from the ground up to be a true test of memory, Check It was made to put even the smartest minds to the test. Although only 50 levels in length, these 50 levels will test your patience!


Banner Saga 2

DescriptionThe epic award winning story-based role-playing game continues its emotional journey across a breaking world. Lead your Viking clans across hostile country on the brink of collapse. Make bold leadership decisions, manage resources wisely and strike skillfully in battle to survive another day in the harsh wild.


Burly Men at Sea

Description: Set in the waters of early 20th-century Scandinavia, the game's story branches through a series of encounters with creatures from folklore. You play as storyteller and wayfinder, shaping the narrative around three ungainly heroes. Play through once for a single tale, then set sail again to uncover paths to new adventures.


Concrete Jungle

DescriptionA follow up to the puzzle hit Megacity! Concrete Jungle is a new take on the city building genre that swaps micro-management for a more strategic and puzzle-orientated style of city planning.



DescriptionOn a world where a giant and lethal storm restlessly moves around the globe, people learned to survive in this cold, harsh and hostile environment. They are searching for the Refuge, a place where the Frost would never go.


Dog Sled Saga

DescriptionAs a rookie musher, foster a dogsledding team whose skills will grow if they're treated right. Week by week, get to know your dogs' unique traits, and carve your story into the trails of the Mount St. Something region.


Micro Machines

DescriptionThe legendary MICRO MACHINES gameplay returns in this all-new multiplayer combat racer from Codemasters! MASSIVE RACING ON A MICRO SCALE! Race across 18 fun-filled tracks including breakfast tables, desktops, pool tables and kitchen sinks in a vast array of tiny, but powerful, MICRO MACHINES.


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Versus Evil releases Banner Saga 2, looks as beautiful as the original

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 04:50 AM PDT


The Banner Saga, first released on Android just under two years ago, is a beautiful, beautiful game, with fantastic graphics and a great story. The company behind it, independent games developer Versus Evil, has just released the sequel, Banner Saga 2, onto the Play Store, and my word does it look good.

In case you've not played these wonderful games, The Banner Saga is a role-playing game set in a Norse world, with Vikings, myths, and legends abound.

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Versus Evil releases Banner Saga 2, looks as beautiful as the original was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google Photos v2.1 adds rotation suggestions to quickly fix sideways pictures [APK Download]

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 04:50 AM PDT


It's fairly common for Google's app updates to be a little less feature-packed in the days leading up to major announcements. Whatever the reason, the changelogs – if there were any – probably wouldn't mention anything more than "bug fixes and performance improvements." The latest release of the Photos app isn't quite untouched, but it's pretty light on changes. The only clear addition is a settings toggle to enable rotation suggestions.

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Google Photos v2.1 adds rotation suggestions to quickly fix sideways pictures [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 02:59 AM PDT


I haven't traveled anywhere in the past year, but if I had, I would have surely used Hopper. The app, which was released a little more than a year ago, monitors flight prices and predicts the best time for you to purchase your tickets for the lowest possible price. However, there was one aspect to Hopper that was lacking: it just looked at all flights and didn't take into account your personal preferences.

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Hopper adds Watch Filters to tailor price drop alerts to the flights that matter to you was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Spotify launches today in Japan on an invite-only basis, debuts song lyrics on mobile

Posted: 29 Sep 2016 02:35 AM PDT


Spotify today announced the official arrival of its music service in the Land of the Rising Sun. Both Spotify's ad-supported free streaming plan and ad-free subscription will be available in Japan, making it the only music service in the country to offer the choice between these two approaches — or so does Spotify claim.

But the service isn't yet available to all. Users will have to go to Spotify.com in Japan and request an invite to be able to join.

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Spotify launches today in Japan on an invite-only basis, debuts song lyrics on mobile was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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BlackBerry DTEK60 appears in new leaks

Posted: 28 Sep 2016 05:08 PM PDT

Shortly after BlackBerry's announcement that it would no longer be making its own hardware, leaks have appeared of the BlackBerry DTEK60, a new smartphone that sits on the high-end of the spectrum. The device is manufactured by TCL, which also makes Alcatel devices. Design-wise, the similarities with Alcatel smartphones are quite clear, though the DTEK60 also shares a resemblance to its brother, the DTEK50. The device is grey and features curved sides.

The DTEK60 is a large device, with a 5.5-inch QHD (2560×1440) AMOLED display. Inside, users will find a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 3000mAh battery. For cameras, users can find a 21-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. One very unique aspect is the fingerprint scanner, which is a first for a BlackBerry device.

BlackBerry is reportedly releasing the DTEK60 in Canada on October 11 for $699 CAD ($530 USD). A US launch is likely to follow.

Source: WinFuture, @evleaks
Via: PhoneArena

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