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Friday, September 9, 2016

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AT&T updates the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge to Marshmallow

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 03:12 PM PDT

Are you the owner of an AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or Galaxy Note Edge? If so, you're probably frustrated with not getting your Marshmallow update yet. Marshmallow launched a year ago, and Nougat launched a few weeks ago. Two Android versions behind? That's just sad.

Thankfully, AT&T is finally (finally!) updating its Note 4 and Note Edge to Marshmallow. Expect to download a 1.3GB file followed by quite a bit of downtime while updating, but when you're done, you'll get all the benefits of Android 6.0 like Google Now on Tap, better volume controls, permission controls, and a lot of under the hood improvements. You'll also get video calling, advanced messaging, and Wi-Fi Calling from AT&T.

If you're ready to download your update, head to Settings > General > About phone > Software updates and check for a new update. Make sure you're connected to WiFi and can live without your phone for half an hour. When you're done, let us know how the update process went!

Sources: AT&T, (2)

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FAA advises against using Galaxy Note 7 on flights, real recall coming soon

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 03:12 PM PDT

Since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is a bit explody at the moment, Samsung is doing a voluntary exchange of the device. Notice that we didn't say recall, because it technically isn't a recall.

Unfortunately, the reports of exploding Note 7 batteries have caught the FAA's attention. We were worried that the devices would be banned from flights, since generally recalled batteries are banned. However, the unofficial status of the recall helped Samsung out in this case. The FAA put out a statement to Note 7 owners:

In light of recent incidents and concerns raised by Samsung about its Galaxy Note 7 devices, the Federal Aviation Administration strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.

So if you do take a Note 7 on the plane, you're advised not to charge it or turn it on. Thankfully, you'll still be able to bring them onboard for now.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that it is working with Samsung to announce an official recall of the Note 7. The CPSC is asking for more drastic measures than the FAA.

Lithium-ion batteries pack a lot of power into a small package. When these batteries overheat and burst, the results can be serious. This is why the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging all consumers who own a Samsung Galaxy Note7 to power them down and stop charging or using the device.

An official recall could eventually cause a flight ban, but it also means consumers may get replacements easier. We'll have to see where this goes.

Sources: FAA, CPSC

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Google Play Store now shows file sizes for apps on most pages

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 02:48 PM PDT


If you're trying to be conscious about your device's storage space, the Play Store doesn't make it easy. To see an application's total file size, you have to tap on the app's page, tap 'read more' on the description, and scroll all the way to the bottom. That's not incredibly intuitive, but it looks like Google is trying to fix that.

The Google Play Store is pushing out a server-side change that shows the app file size on almost every screen on the Play Store. 

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Google Play Store now shows file sizes for apps on most pages was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Both Galaxy S8 variants will reportedly feature a curved screen

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 02:09 PM PDT

Samsung has been utilizing curved screens for awhile now, with the Galaxy S6 edge and Galaxy S7 edge leading the charge. The Galaxy Note 7 is championing the feature now, and it looks like Samsung could be ready to spread the wealth to even more phones.

According to a report from The Korea Herald, Samsung is ordering displays from Samsung Display that measure in at 5.1 and 5.5 inches, both of which will feature a curved design. The 5.1 and 5.5-inch size has been used before in the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, so it's possible Samsung is sticking to that size with the upcoming Galaxy S8 variants, which are expected to arrive in early 2017.

It's not official by any means, but considering word on the street is that the Galaxy S7 edge is selling better than the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy Note 7 has been a hit on as well, it would make sense that Samsung would want to bring the curved display to more of its devices.

It will be interesting to see the new naming scheme for the Galaxy S flagships moving forward if both devices have a curved screen, as the "edge" marketing might not work so much if they do.

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[Update: Block has been lifted] WhatsApp Is Blocking Telegram Links In Its Android App

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 10:35 AM PDT

  • We've heard through several sources and have confirmed independently that this is not caused by a random glitch but by code that was added to WhatsApp with the
  • We're not sure when it occurred, but WhatsApp is no longer blocking Telegram links in its Android app. The change likely took place sometime during the last several months,


Honest companies are expected to retain their users by offering the best service they can provide and not by actively locking them in and making it hard to switch to a competitor.

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[Update: Block has been lifted] WhatsApp Is Blocking Telegram Links In Its Android App was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Pawesome] Garmin releases Delta Smart dog training and activity tracker with Canine app for Android

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 08:32 AM PDT


Are you having a rrrruff time training your dog and keeping him away from trouble? Is he taking ages to develop some people skills and improve his corgnitive behavior? Garmin has a solution to make your little canine the most puppylar in the park, on the street, and at home. It's a Bluetooth training and activity tracker called the Delta Smart and it costs a wooffing $149.99. But for your best friend, that's the leash you can do.

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[Pawesome] Garmin releases Delta Smart dog training and activity tracker with Canine app for Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Parallel Windows for Nougat lets you run two copies of an app in split screen

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 08:17 AM PDT


Google made split-screen multitasking a reality in the Android 7.0 update, and now developers have started fiddling around with the feature. We've already seen Taskbar, which lets you turn on the hidden freeform window mode, and now there's Parallel Windows for Nougat. This app lets you run two copies of the same app in split-screen.

Normally, Android only permits one copy of an app in split-screen. Parallel Windows includes a "mirror" option to do away with that limitation.

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Parallel Windows for Nougat lets you run two copies of an app in split screen was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: DIRECTV, FOX Sports GO

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 08:12 AM PDT

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We've found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we're going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we'll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

FOX Sports GO - Version 3.1.0

FOX Sports GO

What's new in this version:

  • Chromecast support
  • Bug fixes and performance optimization


ES File Explorer - Version 4.1.3

ES File Explorer Pro

What's new in this version:

  • Added Sender feature
  • New Brand icons in homepage
  • Added Clipboard floating button in settings
  • Fixed bugs


YouTube - Version 11.35.60


What's new in this version:

  • The redesigned YouTube app makes it easier to find what you love.
  • Now your recommended videos, favorite channels, and subscriptions are all just a few taps away.
  • You can also create fun videos with new in-app editing tools.


Maps - Version 9.36.2


What's new in this version:

  • • Add "catching Pok√©mon" as an activity type in your Timeline to remember the times and places you caught them


Instagram - Version 9.3.0


What's new in this version:

  • Announcing zoom on Instagram. Pinch to zoom on photos and videos in feed, on profiles and on Explore.


Fandango Movies - Version 6.7.1

Fandango Movies

What's new in this version:

  • Your existing rewards cards just got better. Instantly earn points for every purchase from Cinemark and Goodrich.
  • We've gotten rid of the bugs to give you a more movieful experience.


Chase Mobile - Version 3.31.0

Chase Mobile

What's new in this version:

  • Chase QuickPay payments are now available within minutes between Chase and select banks.
  • Search, sort and filter credit card transactions.
  • Now pay or transfer funds without having to re-enter your password when you use fingerprint sign in.
  • Explore auto loans from your phone and apply to get financing before heading to the dealer.
  • Explore your mortgage options right on your phone. Discover options to buy, refinance or tap into your home's equity.


Arrow Launcher - Version

Arrow Launcher

What's new in this version:

  • Hot Fix on crashes for some devices
  • "Recent" page: Instant messenger support
  • Turn off background animations and blur settings to make Arrow Launcher faster.
  • Bing search integration


Chrome Browser - Version 53.02785.0

Chrome Browser

What's new in this version:

  • Bug fixes and speedy performance improvements
  • Android Pay support


DIRECTV - Version 4.7.017


What's new in this version:

  • Watch Live and Recorded Shows
  • Data Free TV
  • One-tap access to DVR & Live TV
  • Live Icon on the Home page
  • Bug Fixes


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Aukey’s 20,000mAh Portable Charger with Quick Charge is almost magical

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 07:11 AM PDT

Portable chargers are great. They can really save the day when you're on the go and your device's battery is low. I can't get enough of them. But one of the biggest annoyances I have with portable battery packs it that they need charging, too. It's one more thing you need to plug in at night, and if you forget to plug the portable charger in and it's spent, it's worthless.

I've had the opportunity to review the Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger with Quick Charge (QC) 2.0 over the last couple of weeks and it does not solve my annoyance with having another thing to charge overnight. However, the giant 20,000mAh battery capacity gets pretty close. I can go days without recharging this thing and get all the battery boosts I need to get through those days. It's fantastic.

Aukey's portable charger has its quirks, but it's managed to become one of my favorite battery packs for its combination of capacity, features, and price.

The pics

AUKEY 20kmAh-1 AUKEY 20kmAh-2 AUKEY 20kmAh-3 AUKEY 20kmAh-4 AUKEY 20kmAh-5 AUKEY 20kmAh-6

The specs

Technology: AiPower & Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0
Capacity: 20,000mAh 74Wh
Battery type: Li-Polymer
Inputs: Lightning and micro-USB 5V 2A
Outputs: DC 5 V 2.4A, DC 5V 2.4A 9V1.67A 12V 1.25A (Quick Charge 2.0)
Dimensions: 5.9 inches (149.5mm) x 3.2 inches (82.5mm) x 0.8 inches (21mm)
Weight: 13.7oz (387.2g)

The design

This Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger has a very simple design, which I appreciate because I don't feel the need to have wild colors or fancy shapes on my power banks. This is a matte black brick with 'AUKEY' debossed on the top.

There's also a single button with many typical battery functions, such as displaying the current battery charge range, starting the charging, and if held down, the flashlight will turn on. An LED light behind the button will indicate that the Portable Charger is charging, and on the front, there are two standard USB ports: one green that uses a 5V 2.4A AiPower technology to automatically adjust the power output for your device's needs. The second standard USB port is colored orange and is the Quick Charge 2.0 port.

If you're not familiar with Quick Charge, it's a Qualcomm technology supported by many newer mobile devices that allows for rapid charging. If your device doesn't have QC capability, the second USB port will just act like a regular charging port with normal charging speeds.

In-between the two USB ports is the LED flashlight, which is handy for emergency purposes. Lastly, there's a Lightning port and a micro-USB port for charging the pack. A QC 2.0 wall charger will recharge this Aukey pack faster than a standard wall adapter.

I only have one complaint about the Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger: When you press the button to see how much of a charge the pack has, the colors are in a silly order. Red means 0-30 percent, green means 30-70 percent, and white means 70-100 percent charged. I used the pack for a few days thinking I wasn't able to get it fully charged until I busted out the manual to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong, and my suspicions were confirmed: green does not mean fully charged, white does. I've talked to several people and they also thought green should mean fully charged. This isn't a big deal if you know what's going on, but it's a weird choice, Aukey.

The data

AukeyDataAs you can see in the graph to the right, I did some simple charging speed tests with the Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger, comparing its two charging points with the Choetech QC 2.0 portable charger reviewed here. I used Battery Widget Reborn to export the data. In the graph, I've included the charging rates for the different charging methods.

The Choetech pack charged my Nexus 6 the fastest, using its Quick Charge 2.0 port to charge at a rate of about 1.33 percent per minute. The Aukey QC 2.0 port was a close second, posting a charge rate of 1.16 percent per minute.

As a disclaimer, I wasn't able to start them both off at the exact same battery charge. I'm not sure how this effects the results knowing that the QC technology charges very quickly in the early stages of a charging session and then will slow down in the later stages. Regardless, these rates would result in a difference of minutes to get a complete charge.

Last, the Aukey's non-QC 2.4A port was also tested, posting in a charge rate of 0.6 percent per minute, almost half the speed of the QC ports.

In conclusion, if your device has QC technology, it's well worth it to get chargers that can take advantage of the technology's increased charging rates.. In the end of this head to head battle, though, the Choetech charger narrowly beat out the Aukey charger.

The verdict

One last topic that needs to be brought up is this portable charger's price. Aukey is currently selling its 20,000mAh Portable Charger with QC 2.0 on Amazon for $34.99 with Prime shipping. Also available is a nearly identical pack for $29.99 that swaps the QC outlet for another 2.4 Amp outlet, which would be the obvious choice if you don't have a QC device. There's a $39.99 portable charger with QC 3.0, too.

The QC 2.0 portable charger that I reviewed is very competitively priced compared to similar devices on Amazon. Aukey is a fairly well-known name, and all of their products come with a 24-month warranty.

So what's the verdict? I think Aukey's 20,000mAh Portable Charger a great piece of kit at a great price. We have a couple of Quick Charge 2.0 devices, and so this battery pack will quickly charge our phones, and so it's become my go-to portable charger. I highly recommend it.

Let me know if you have any questions regarding the Aukey 20,000mAh Portable Charger with Quick Charge 2.o. Additionally, if you have a favorite battery pack or something else that you'd like to share, please get involved and let us know your thoughts.

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WiFi Assistant for non-Project Fi Nexus devices is rolling out

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 06:33 AM PDT


A few weeks ago, Google told us that Project Fi's WiFi Assistant, which connects users automatically to public WiFi using a secure VPN, was heading to Nexus devices in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Nordic countries. This has now started rolling out, via an update to Google Connectivity Services, version D.1.5.10.


  • Google Connectivity Services is now available to Nexus devices, enabling them to securely auto-connect to quality public Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Assistant.
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WiFi Assistant for non-Project Fi Nexus devices is rolling out was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Mercenary Kings is an Android TV 2D action game published by OUYA

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 06:18 AM PDT


It's not often we see a new game exclusive to the Android TV platform. Mercenary Kings is a 2D action game funded in 2014 on Kickstarter and originally released for Windows. The game was later ported to the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and eventually released on Steam. Now Mercenary Kings has made its way over to Android TV.

In the game, you are part of the Mercenary Kings, "the most skilled team of warriors-for-hire on Earth." But when your buddies are killed, it's up to you and the back-up crew to fight the forces of CLAW.

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Mercenary Kings is an Android TV 2D action game published by OUYA was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: DirecTV apps updated] AT&T now lets you stream DirecTV channels anywhere without using your monthly data

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 05:30 AM PDT

  • Both the DirecTV and DirecTV for Tablets apps have been updated on the Play Store to add the live TV and streaming capability and data-free TV option for AT&T subscribers.

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 throttling. Now AT&T is coming out with a special one of its own, as promised.

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[Update: DirecTV apps updated] 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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WhatsApp Beta adds image drawing and stickers, bigger emojis, front-facing flash, one-finger video zoom

Posted: 09 Sep 2016 04:39 AM PDT


WhatsApp's developers suffer from a bit of a delay when it comes to updating their changelogs on the Play Store. Yesterday, they pushed version 2.16.262 (followed by 2.16.263) to the beta channel on the Play Store, but the changelog mentioned features we've seen in v2.16.230 like forwarding to multiple contacts and frequent chats, but didn't say anything about the new feature that was really newly implemented in 2.16.262: image drawing, nor did it say anything about the big emojis we've been seeing since 2.16.256.

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WhatsApp Beta adds image drawing and stickers, bigger emojis, front-facing flash, one-finger video zoom was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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T-Mobile upgrading plans for select customers with extra gig or even unlimited data

Posted: 08 Sep 2016 05:20 PM PDT

If you're a loyal T-Mobile customer and happen to have a bit of luck on your side, the carrier may be throwing some extra data your way to reward you.

People have reported getting texts saying that their plans have been upgraded for free. Those with 2.5GB and 5GB plans are getting an extra gigabyte for free, while those with a 10GB plan are getting bumped up to unlimited data. That last one is quite good.

The plans will automatically switch back to the original plan on February 28 2019 so you'll get two years from the upgraded plan. The unlimited upgrade will cause you to lose your Data Stash and tethering data amounts won't change with the data upgrade.

The texts are being sent out from September 7 to September 9 so you might still get it if you haven't. Let us know if you do!

Via: TmoNews
Source: T-Mobile, (2)

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DeskDock shares your computer's mouse and keyboard with your Android device

Posted: 08 Sep 2016 04:42 PM PDT


What is this witchcraft? DeskDock, now available on the Play Store, allows you to share your computer's keyboard and mouse with your Android device. If you've ever used Synergy, it's very close to that.

What's the point of something like this, you may ask? The primary use the developer provided was to make Android development much easier. With this tool, you could work on an application on your computer, push it to your device, and test it without your hands ever leaving your keyboard.

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DeskDock shares your computer's mouse and keyboard with your Android device was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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