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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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Pokemon Go reaches 500 million installs on all platforms

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 04:22 PM PDT


Despite much of the hype wearing off, Pokemon GO is still one of the most successful mobile games of all time. The game has become a cultural phenomenon, not to mention a money-maker for Niantic Labs, The Pokemon Company, and Nintendo. But just how many downloads has Pokemon GO achieved? Over 500 million across Android and iOS, according to a press release from earlier today.

500 million is a bit difficult to wrap your brain around, so let's try to compare it with other well-known mobile games.

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Pokemon Go reaches 500 million installs on all platforms was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Michael Kors and Google team up for Access smartwatch

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 03:11 PM PDT

Smartwatches are a curious breed that have struggled with a bit of an identity crisis. To date, it hasn't been clear if they're for techies, fitness buffs or average folk. The numerous models on the market span across a growing number of categories, making it hard for smartwatches to distinguish themselves in the market. One area that's been tested, however, is that of luxury smartwatches. While this sector hasn't been quite as successful as hoped, companies are continuing to give it a go to see if there's untapped potential.

Michael Kors is the latest brand to get in on the action, utilizing Android Wear to create the Access smartwatch. This wearable is geared towards the fashion market and features two styles, a metallic gold option and a sportier metal option that comes in charcoal. Both watches have interchangeable leather and silicone bands, though metal and other materials should also work as long as they're of the right size.


The Access features built-in fitness tracking and magnetic charging, as well as the usual features of Android Wear, such as notifications and voice commands. Powering the smartwatch is a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, which should ensure better battery life and smooth performance.

Pricing starts at $350 and goes up to $395, depending on the finish. The watches are now available from Michael Kors, as well as select department and specialty stores.

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LG is sticking with modular design despite more traditional V20

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 03:11 PM PDT

The LG G5 featured a modular design that lets you swap out the bottom section of the device for other modules, like a camera grip or a higher-end DAC. Unfortunately, the G5 did quite poorly in the market, causing LG to post a six percent year-over-year decline in Q2.

Then came the LG V20, freshly announced last night. It features none of the modular features of the G5, opting for a very basic design that may have given some the impression that LG was shying away from modular design.

Fortunately, that's not the case.  LG spokesman Ken Hong says that the V20 was already being designed when the G5 launched, so the lack of modular features has nothing to do with the G5′s lack of success. This means that there's a future for modular design for LG, which is good. While the G5′s modules weren't great, we can hope that the G6 will be better.

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House of Marley Liberate BT Bluetooth speaker review

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 03:11 PM PDT

Cheap Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. They range from the mediocre (or straight up bad) speakers littering Amazon to great ones you can get on a budget. But there are some speakers that are unquestionably premium, and House of Marley is aiming for this segment.


Price: $99.99
Battery: 8 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm aux
Dimensions: 1.75″ H x 2.90″ W x 8.6″ D
Charging port: microUSB
Where to buy: House of Marley

Build quality

House of Marley Liberate BT 3

This is where the Liberate BT absolutely shines. Really, it's that good. The front has a metal plate with holes. Behind that is a soft mesh grill. The M logo has an LED underneath.

House of Marley Liberate BT 5

The sides are covered in a rough fabric that looks simply fantastic. House of Marley says it's 30% hemp, 30% organic cotton, and 40% recycled plastic bottles. The sides also have two rubber flaps covering a microUSB port on one side and an aux port on the other.

House of Marley Liberate BT 4

The back has a slate of bamboo, finishing off a very classy and high end look. Marley is carved into the vivid bamboo.

The speaker is extremely well built, with no creaking or bending.

Sound quality

The speaker definitely gets very loud. And even at loud volumes, it's fairly clear. Distortion isn't a big problem at all, and it's plenty loud (in fact, it's louder than expected).

Unfortunately, the tone is really off. It's very biased towards the highs, almost shrill. The speaker also produces very little bass. I'm not alone in these feelings, as people who aren't into audio even commented that the speaker sounds a little high.

Honestly, the sound isn't awful by any means. It's not bad. But it's not particularly pleasant. This wouldn't matter outdoors or in a noisy environment (where this speaker excels due to its high volumes), but it definitely matters if you're focusing on the music.

Battery life

The battery life is pretty solid. At medium volumes, it lasts for around what it's rated for. 8 hours is definitely a good amount for the price.

House of Marley Liberate BT6 / 10

House of Marley Liberate BT 6

A Bluetooth speaker's main goal is to be a speaker. No matter how good it looks, it should play music well. And trust me, this speaker doesn't just feel good; it's beautiful and it's built extremely well.

But if it can't play music cleanly and pleasantly, it's hard for me to recommend it. Maybe those who are outdoorsy type or don't care at all about audio will love this speaker. It has good battery life, very loud volumes, and little distortion. It would look good on a shelf and can be thrown in a backpack without worry of damage.

Otherwise, look elsewhere, especially for the price. There are plenty of speakers that sound better for less money. It's a real shame, I love it otherwise.

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SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD drops to $60 on Amazon

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 03:11 PM PDT

If you've been looking for a huge microSD card to store all your hopes and dreams, Amazon has you covered. The massive SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD card is currently on sale at Amazon for only $59.99.

It's a Class 10 card with read speeds of up to 90 MB/s. It's not the fastest card out there, but it makes up for it with large amounts of storage. While prices aren't as high as they used to be for huge microSD cards, this sale drops the cost even further than usual.

If you want to use it with your Android device, make sure it supports such large amounts of memory (most modern devices do). Hit the link to grab yours!

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AT&T now lets you stream DirecTV channels anywhere without using your monthly data

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 01:19 PM PDT

Watch it Anywhere with AT&T DIRECTV

T-Mobile and Sprint each have their own unlimited video streaming plans that let you watch all the content you want without eating away your data plan, with or without throlling. Now AT&T is coming out with a special one of its own, as promised.

Customers with both an AT&T and a DirecTV subscription are gaining the ability to stream live shows to their smartphones or tablets wherever they have an internet connection.

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AT&T now lets you stream DirecTV channels anywhere without using your monthly data was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Pay comes to Apple Federal Credit Union, C&F Bank, United Bank, and over 30 others

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 12:52 PM PDT


Android Pay is spreading. If you manage your finances with a big bank, chances are you can make payments by tapping your phone against a payment terminal -- yes, even if you use Chase. If you do your banking with a smaller institution, you may have to cross your fingers.

Fortunately, every month or two that passes by brings with it another batch of supported banks and credit unions. 44 banks in the US and Australia gained Android Pay in mid-August.

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Android Pay comes to Apple Federal Credit Union, C&F Bank, United Bank, and over 30 others was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Quick Snapseed update fixes a bug that deleted some original photos after editing

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 11:37 AM PDT

nexus2cee_2016-09-01-18_thumbGraphic designers know the pain of accidentally saving a project and accidentally writing over their only copy of an original photo. Last week a few Snapseed users knew that pain too, because at least a few of them were experiencing a frustrating bug that did the same thing. While the bug wasn't widespread (we couldn't replicate it on our own phones, for example), multiple Reddit users said that sending a photo to Snapseed via the Share menu could either delete or overwrite the original non-edited photo.

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Quick Snapseed update fixes a bug that deleted some original photos after editing was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 09:23 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.



Description: Amity is an interactive messaging app that brings everything together in one place. And it's free. With Amity, now you can chat with your friends using interactive messages, high fives, thought messages, and even request photos, videos, and location from your friends.


Remote for GPMDP

Remote for GPMDP

DescriptionA beautiful remote app for controlling your Google Play Music Desktop Player. Have complete control of your player from the comfort of your couch.




DescriptionJifiCal is all about managing your favorite calendar app in a most natural manner. JifiCal uses state of the art natural language understanding technology to understand your requests and your text conversations to create events and reminders in your calendar.


FreeFlight Jumping

FreeFlight Jumping

DescriptionWith FreeFlight Jumping, piloting your Jumping Minidrone is ultra-simple. The app connects to your Minidrone via Wi-Fi. The accelerometer and touch controls on the piloting interface help navigate your drone based on the movements of your smartphone or tablet.


Samsung SLEEPsense

Samsung SLEEPsense

DescriptionSamsung SLEEPsense is an under-the-mattress sleep monitor that tracks your sleep through the SLEEPsense app on your smartphone. Track your nightly sleep statistics and review your overall sleep score, average heart and respiratory rates each morning, with tips and recommendations on how to improve your sleep.


WoW Legion Companion

WoW Legion Companion

DescriptionThe new World of Warcraft: Legion Companion app for Android lets you make the most of your time in the game, wherever you may be. TRACK WORLD QUESTS: View your active world quests and emissary bounties from directly within the app! You can check out the rewards and figure out which quests to do once you're in-game.




DescriptionConscient is a very simple automation app that lets you launch certain apps whenever certain conditions are met. In Conscient, it is called Fences. You can assign a complex context like Walking or Running and have your favorite app launch automatically.


FreeFlight Mini

FreeFlight Mini

DescriptionFreeFlight Mini's easy-to-use interface makes piloting simple, even for beginner pilots. The app connects to your Minidrone via Bluetooth Low Energy. Once connected, select your preferred piloting method and take-off.


Moto File Manager

Moto File Manager

DescriptionManage your files efficiently and easily with Moto File Manager! Moto File Manager helps you handle all your files whether they are stored in your device's main storage or microSD card.


Ringer Modes – Quick Tile

Ringer Modes

DescriptionQuickly switch the audio volume ringer mode between Normal/Vibrate/Silent


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Android Pay adds support for Chase Bank and more, mobile payments in Chrome

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 08:41 AM PDT

Android Pay already has support from huge banks in the United States, and now it's added yet another to the (still growing) list.

Google has officially announced that Android Pay now supports a variety of different cards from Chase Bank. Those include the Visa Sapphire, Freedom, Slate, United Mileage Explorer, and Hyatt Credit Card. The benefits and protections that are tied to each of those cards are still available while using them in Android Pay.

In the United Kingdom, Android Pay will support Santander Bank and TSB in the coming weeks, so Android users waiting to use those mobile payment options can expect support soon.

Integration with Uber is happening, too. Google officially confirmed that Android Pay will integrate with the driving service's Payment Rewards program, which allows customers to activate timed discounts. For instance, beginning September 7, Android Pay customers in the United States can utilize 50% off 10 Uber rides, without using a code. That discount will apply until October 15.

And, finally, one other big announcement: mobile payments support in Chrome. Google has confirmed that Android Pay will soon work inside Chrome at dedicated websites like Groupon.com, 1-800-Flowers.com, and many others that'll be added to the list. Android Pay will work the same way it does when using it at a physical checkout location, but built into your browser.

How often do you use Android Pay?

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Tap. Pay. Yes! Android Pay Welcomes Chase and More

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 06:41 AM PDT

Android Pay helps millions of people pay for things simply and securely with their Android smartphones. We've expanded to the UK, Singapore and Australia and added hundreds of new banks, enabling people to tap to pay at millions of stores – and in hundreds of apps, including recent order-ahead newcomers: Domino's in Australia, hungryhouse in the UK and Grubhub and Seamless in the US.

Today, we're excited to share some updates:

More banks in the US and UK

It's with great delight that we welcome Chase, one of the largest banks in the US, to the Android Pay family. Starting today, Android Chase customers can add their eligible Chase Visa cards like Freedom, Slate, Sapphire, United Mileage Explorer and Hyatt Credit Card to Android Pay. Customers will be able to enjoy the same benefits and protections they're used to getting with their Chase card – while making contactless purchases in stores and apps. You can learn more about how to get started with Chase and Android Pay here, and see a full list of all the banks supported in the US.

And across the pond in the UK, Santander and TSB customers and more will soon be able to add their cards to Android Pay. This rollout will start over the coming weeks – you can follow @Android on Twitter to find out exactly when.

More value from your favorite merchants
We've also been working closely with our merchant partners to streamline the checkout experience and increase the value people get from Android Pay.

At Walgreens, we recently integrated their Balance Rewards loyalty program with Android Pay at more than 8,100 locations nationwide. Now, with just two taps at checkout, Walgreens customers paying with Android Pay can enjoy savings, earn and redeem loyalty points, and pay for their purchases. And there's no need to even open the app – it's smart enough to know when to pull up a customer's Balance Rewards card and when to pay. We're also thrilled to partner with Dunkin' Donuts and Chili's, who will both be integrating their loyalty programs with Android Pay in the coming months.

With Uber, we're excited to be the first mobile wallet to deeply integrate with their new Payment Rewards program, which allows users to unlock timely discounts. Starting today through October 15th, all Android Pay users in the US can enjoy 50% off 10 Uber rides.* No codes, no hassle – just use Android Pay on Uber to get your discounted rides.

More checkouts made simple
We're moving beyond mobile apps and bringing the simplicity and security of Android Pay onto the mobile web. Users will soon be able to speed through mobile checkout on Chrome using Android Pay on sites like Groupon.com, 1-800-Flowers.com and many more to come. Just like in stores and in apps, Android Pay does not share actual account numbers with merchants, so users can shop online with confidence, knowing that Android Pay keeps their card number secure.

Groupon.com mobile checkout experience on Chrome coming soon

We're looking forward to bringing Android Pay to more countries, more banks, and more of your favorite stores, sites, and apps. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

Posted by Pali Bhat, Global Head, Payments Products

*Merchant terms apply
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Badland 2 is out of its geo-restricted beta: IAPs, energy, coins, and boosters galore for all!

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 06:32 AM PDT


The original Badland was a beautiful adventure game with interesting physics, gorgeous graphics, immersive soundtrack, and enough charm to land it on my personal list of 15 hauntingly beautiful dark and atmospheric games. The game was done so well that we forgave its late arrival on Android compared to iOS, applauded it for implementing cloud save and immersive mode for gameplay, and even lauded its implementation of free to play. This is a direct quote from Ryan's review of Badland:

You don't even have to drop any cash to play this game – 40 full levels for free?

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Badland 2 is out of its geo-restricted beta: IAPs, energy, coins, and boosters galore for all! was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Chrome Dev starts handling opening of all links as new "Elderberry" flavor Chrome Tabs, loses all other flavors

Posted: 07 Sep 2016 05:47 AM PDT


Back in April, after Google pulled the option of having tabs and apps merged in Recents, it became apparent that the Chrome team was trying to work out how to move forward. The team placed a new flag in Chrome Dev 52, #tab-management-experiment-type, with five 'flavors' of tab management: Asine, Basil, Chive, Dill, and Elderberry. In Chrome Dev 54, this has now come to a head, with Elderberry being the only option remaining.

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Chrome Dev starts handling opening of all links as new "Elderberry" flavor Chrome Tabs, loses all other flavors was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google To Release Nexus 7 Successor Later This Year

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 11:20 PM PDT

White Nexus 7

It's been two long years since Google released the Nexus 9 and more than three years since the 2nd Nexus 7. Now it looks like a 7-inch tablet from Google is back on the table.

Evan Blass claims Google and Huawei have been working on a true spiritual successor to the Nexus 7 recently and the final product is expected to be out to the public before the end of this year. For those wanting to upgrade from the original Nexus 7, Nexus 7 (2013) and Nexus 9, this may just be the one for you.

So far, the only detail that was given was its RAM, which comes in at 4GB. I'm confident we'll hear a lot more in the coming days and weeks ahead.

The post Google To Release Nexus 7 Successor Later This Year appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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[It's happening] Chase now officially supports Android Pay, silences complaining commenters

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 10:41 PM PDT


A few weeks back, a tipster leaked an internal Chase document to us that stated Chase would begin support for Android Pay on September 7th. Guess what? It's now September 7th, and the Android Pay website has just been updated with Chase support. In addition, Chase has its own Android Pay page on its site now.

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[It's happening] Chase now officially supports Android Pay, silences complaining commenters was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG V20 debuts as Android 7.0 smartphone with dual displays and dual rear cameras

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 08:49 PM PDT

In 2015, LG brought two flagships to market: the G4 and V10. Now LG is repeating itself in 2016 by bringing two more flagships: the G5 in April and now the V20.

The LG V20 places a major focus on its cameras. On the back of the V20 lives a 16-megapixel standard lens and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, and it's also got what LG is calling Hybrid Auto Focus. HAF offers laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus, and contrast autofocus. Also included with the V20 is Electronic Image Stabilization 3.0 for reducing shaky video capture.

Another big focus of the V20 is its audio. The LG V20 includes a Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analog converter) that promises to minimize distortion and ambient noise by up to 50 percent. LG also partnered with B&O Play to fine-tune the V20's audio. LG notes, though, that the V20 with B&O tuning is "available in specific markets only."

LG is also talking up the body of the V20, which is made of a lightweight aluminum. The corners of the phone are covered with silicone polycarbonate to help reduce shock, and LG says that the V20 passed MIL-STD 810G Transit Drop Test. That means that the V20 was dropped on its front, back, sides, and corners from four feet up and kept on ticking.


As with the LG V10, the V20 boasts a secondary display above its main 5.7-inch 2560×1440 screen. This secondary display has a resolution of 160×1040 and can be used for app shortcuts, accessing quick settings, and expanding lengthy notifications.

The rest of the LG V20 spec list includes a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot for adding even more storage, NFC, USB Type-C, and a fingerprint reader. There's also a 3,200mAh battery that you can remove by pressing the button on the bottom of the V20's right side.

On the software side, the LG V20 will launch with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It'll also come equipped with LG UX 5.0+, which you can get a preview of above.

The LG V20 will launch in Korea this month, followed by rollouts in other regions. It'll be offered in Titan, Silver, and Pink color options.

Overall, the LG V20 looks like a mix of old and new features. It's got some of what made the V10 stand out, like a focus on multimedia and its unique second screen, and LG also kept the removable battery and microSD slot found on the V10. LG got rid of the front dual cameras of the V10 and put the dual cameras on the back of the V20, though, and it ditched the rubber back of the V10 for a metal back on the V20. That metal back gives it a premium look and feel, but some folks might miss the grippiness of the V10's backside.

Now that it's officially official, what do you think of the LG V20? Will it be your next phone?

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