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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

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Android Pay v1.7 reveals upcoming support for debit cards in Canada [APK Teardown]

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 03:29 PM PDT

pay

As many people can attest, Google hasn't always been particularly quick or consistent to bring wanted–or needed–services to countries outside of the United States. Some have been slower than others, and perhaps the ones feeling it the most are our neighbors to the north, Canada. Among the absentee services is Android Pay, leaving both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay as the primary contenders in that market. However, that appears to be changing as Google prepares to support Interac, a network of banks providing most of the debit cards in the country.

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Android Pay v1.7 reveals upcoming support for debit cards in Canada [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung return kit for Note 7 includes multitude of boxes and even gloves

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 02:29 PM PDT

If you still have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung has discontinued the device and urges people to return existing devices. So if you bought it at a store, you should return it there and get another device. Five major US carriers and many retailers now offer exchanges for other devices.

But if you bought the device directly from Samsung, you'll need to ship it back. And as you can imagine, shipping companies aren't too happy about transporting explosive devices. Thankfully, Samsung has an elegant but likely pricey solution.

Samsung is sending people Note 7 return kits that feature an anti-static sleeve, two regular cardboard boxes, and a special cardboard box with ceramic fiber coating to contain potential fires. The company even includes rubber gloves, as some people might be sensitive to the ceramic fiber coating. Then the package has to be shipped via a ground service.

If you do get one of these return kits, don your gloves and get packing. It seems like overkill, but we don't want any mail trucks burning down.


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Google announces Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 02:29 PM PDT

Google has announced the latest version of its mobile OS, Android 7.1 Nougat, that will be arriving soon as a developer preview. The 7.1 update is incremental, but includes some important changes, most notably a new app shortcuts API. This API allows developers to create shortcuts for the launcher that allow users quick access into deep areas of the app. These shortcuts can be static or dynamic and developers can create up to five shortcuts.

Other changes include support for circular app icons, expanded wallpaper metadata, storage manager intent and support for image keyboards, which would allow apps and keyboards to work together to expand means of communication. For example, if an app supports .gifs, it can relay that to the keyboard, which if the keyboard supports .gifs, then that would appear as a means of input, much like the current emoji section of keyboards.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will be available later this month as an open developer preview. Those interested can simply join the Android Beta program and the preview will arrive when Google opens the floodgates.

For more detail, check out the official post from Google at the source link.


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Pre-order the BlackBerry DTEK60 for $499.99

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 02:29 PM PDT

BlackBerry might have given up on hardware, but the company is still pumping out solid devices for both the businessman and the everyman. The latest device to go up for sale is the BlackBerry DTEK60, a higher end successor to the mid-range DTEK50.

The device features a 5.5-inch 1440p AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 21MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, a 3,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the regular BlackBerry security modifications.

B&H is offering a pre-order for the device for $499.99, which is a pretty great price for the specs being offered. Unfortunately, there is no estimated ship date. You also get a soft shell case and a rapid travel charger with your order.

The device is unlocked and supports GSM carriers. If you want to check it out, hit the source link and get to ordering!


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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown]

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 01:34 PM PDT

store

Google is rolling out the red carpet for the upcoming Pixel phones, ensuring that its core lineup of apps are dressed the part. An update to the Play Store began rolling out yesterday with a new round launcher icon for the Pixel Launcher and an app shortcut (formerly known as launcher shortcuts) for Android 7.1. Also joining the list of upcoming features will be support for purchasing 4K movies and TV shows, a marker to indicate if a device is certified, and a new icon for promotions and gifts.

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Play Store v7.1 adds a round launcher icon and an app shortcut in preparation for the Pixel Launcher and Android 7.1, and more [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Keyboard v5.2 from the Pixel system dump has new Pixel themes and other minor tweaks [APK Download]

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 11:33 AM PDT

k1

The Google Pixel phones aren't coming out for a few weeks yet, but some system dumps are available for closer inspection already. Among the myriad of APKs pulled out of that, there's a new version of Google Keyboard. It's version 5.2, and includes two new Pixel themes, as well as a few little tweaks.

The new themes are available in the settings; one is dark (above) and one light (below). Both have a bright blue accent color for the enter/search button.

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Google Keyboard v5.2 from the Pixel system dump has new Pixel themes and other minor tweaks [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Coming soon: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 11:33 AM PDT

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Today, we're taking the wraps off of Android 7.1 Nougat, the latest version of the platform. You probably saw a sneak peek of it at last week's event. It's an incremental update based on Android 7.0 but includes new features for consumers and developers — from platform Daydream VR support and A/B system updates to app shortcuts and image keyboard support.

We've already been working closely with device makers to get them ready for Android 7.1, and next we'll give you access to this update so you can start getting your apps ready.

Later this month we'll be bringing you the Android 7.1 platform as an open Developer Preview, similar to what we did for Android 7.0. You'll be able to test and build on the new platform and try the latest features.

As always, we'll deliver the Developer Preview through the Android Beta program, which makes it incredibly easy to participate.

What's in Android 7.1?

Android 7.1 delivers the productivity, security, and performance of Android 7.0, along with a variety of optimizations and bug fixes, features, and new APIs (API level 25).

For developers, Android 7.1 adds new capabilities to help you drive engagement in your app and deliver an improved user experience, such as:

  • App shortcuts API — lets you surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.
  • Circular app icons support — lets you provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.
  • Enhanced wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information.

Android 7.1 also adds these much-requested developer features to the platform:

  • Image keyboard support — expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, letting them express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.
  • Storage manager Intent — lets an app take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device.

For carriers and calling apps, the platform includes new APIs to support multi-endpoint calling and new telephony configuration options.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

Image keyboard support: Let users input images and other content directly from a keyboard.

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

App shortcuts: Use app shortcuts to surface key actions and take users deep into your app instantly.

Get your apps ready

Android 7.1 is an incremental release, but it's always important to make sure your apps look and run great — especially as devices start to reach consumers.

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview will give you everything you need to test your apps or extend them with new features like shortcuts or keyboard images. Included are the SDK with new APIs, build tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported Nexus devices. We'll also include a launcher and apps that support app shortcuts, and a keyboard and apps that support keyboard images.

If you want to receive the Developer Preview automatically, visit Android Beta and enroll your device. If you previously enrolled a device and haven't unenrolled, your device will receive the update. If you already enrolled but don't want to receive the update, visit Android Beta to unenroll the device as soon as possible.

Initially, we'll offer the Developer Preview for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, extending to other supported devices by the end of the preview. At the final release of the Android 7.1.x platform, due in early December, we'll roll out updates to the full lineup of supported devices — Nexus 6, 5X, 6P, 9, Player, Pixel C, and supported Android One devices — as well as Pixel and Pixel XL devices.

Coming to consumer devices soon

We're working with our partners to bring Android 7.1 to devices in the ecosystem over the months ahead, so we recommend downloading the Android 7.1 Developer Preview as soon as it's available. Test your apps for compatibility and optimize them to look their best, such as by providing circular app icons and adding app shortcuts.

Meanwhile, stay tuned, we'll be sharing more details about the Developer Preview soon!


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Google’s Project Fi now has a group plan

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 10:09 AM PDT

Ever since Google's Project Fi launched in 2015, it's only been available as a single-user experience. That's changing today, as Google has officially launched group plans for Project Fi, which allows up to six people on a single plan.

Pricing for Project Fi's group plans is set at $15 per user for unlimited talk and text. Data costs $10 per GB, and Google will be issuing refunds as usual for unused data used every month, even with group plans.

Project Fi's app will also offer easy group plan management, letting the account manager can handle all of the basic plan needs like adding or removing users (there is no activation fee for new users) and monitoring data usage. The manager can also set data limits per user, and all users can get notifications for data usage as well. Managers can also pause a user's data service if needed.

projectfigroupplansaam1

To help incentivize new subscribers, Google is offering $150 off the Nexus 5X for anyone who buys one and activates it with Google Fi service. Meanwhile, the Nexus 6P is seeing a $100 discount. The Pixel and Pixel XL, remain full price, though.

Are you already a member of Project Fi, or have you been waiting for a group plan?

projectfigroupplansaam2


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EA's FIFA Mobile Soccer shoots into the Play Store after a long soft launch period

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 10:06 AM PDT

fifa-mobile-soccer

There was a time back in 2000 when I loved playing FIFA on my computer. I'd mastered the art of the keystrokes so it was quite easy for me to win any length of match against any opponent on any level of difficulty. But as time passed and I got more busy with school and work, I didn't have enough time to learn the new tricks and options of new versions of FIFA and I fell behind.

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EA's FIFA Mobile Soccer shoots into the Play Store after a long soft launch period was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google Assistant can be enabled on any rooted Android 7.0+ device

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 09:04 AM PDT

google-assistant-joke

Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any rooted Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 6.5.35.21 or newer.

If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short.

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Google Assistant can be enabled on any rooted Android 7.0+ device was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Deal Alert] Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is down to $0.10 in a few countries

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 08:48 AM PDT

oddworld-strangers-wrath

If you like well designed games with engulfing graphics, appropriately adapted to mobile gameplay, gamepad support, and dozens of unique characters and environments, you'll love Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath. The game was first released on Android back in 2014 as an Amazon exclusive, then made it onto the Play Store for all. It has since been downloaded over 100,000 times and managed to keep a 4.5 star rating with nearly 17500 reviews. Impressive.

Stranger's Wrath first cost $4.99, but it has been hovering between $0.99 and $2.99 over the past few months.

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[Deal Alert] Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath is down to $0.10 in a few countries was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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New Pokémon GO update with revamped training and capture bonuses is rolling out [APK Download]

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 08:23 AM PDT

nexus2cee_pokemon-go_thumb.png

The number of people playing Pokémon GO has declined in recent months, but the player base is still huge compared to most mobile games. The loss of casual players is probably down to the slow rate of improvements, but today there are a few significant changes rolling out. As we previously reported, Pokémon GO now has capture bonuses and improved training at gyms.

Here's the full changelog.

  • Catch Bonus: Trainers can earn a catch bonus for a Pokémon type as they catch more of a specific type.
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New Pokémon GO update with revamped training and capture bonuses is rolling out [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung officially discontinues the Galaxy Note 7

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 08:11 AM PDT

Following weeks of issues with faulty batteries and burning phones, Samsung has put the final nail in the Galaxy Note 7's coffin.

Samsung recently asked all of its sales partners to stop selling the Galaxy Note 7 to avoid any more issues with customers. Now Samsung has gone a step further and officially announced that it is permanently ending sales and production of the Galaxy Note 7.

As of now, Samsung says it is important that Galaxy Note 7 owners power down their device and "take advantage of the remedies available."

The major wireless carriers in the United States and Best Buy have all confirmed that customers can return their Galaxy Note 7 and exchange it for a different phone.

Have you returned your Galaxy Note 7 yet?


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Samsung Officially Orders All Note 7’s To Be Powered Down And Returned

Posted: 10 Oct 2016 08:50 PM PDT

note7_recall

All of you probably know of Samsung's latest Note 7 smartphone exploding and catching fire, and while the company did issue a recall in exchange for replacements, it turned out the replacement phones were also exploding and catching fire.

Today the company announced they have halted both sales and exchanges of all Galaxy Note 7 phones and recommend current Note 7 owners to "power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available." Right now the only remedies available are getting a full refund or exchanging the phone for a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.

Samsung Canada has also commented on the situation and tells MobileSyrup the following:

"At Samsung Canada we remain committed to working diligently with regulatory authorities, carriers and our retail partners to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Canadian consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device. Details of the remedies available for Note7 customers, which will include a full refund at their place of purchase, will be announced shortly. For more information, Canadian consumers should contact 1-800-SAMSUNG."

It's been more than a month since reports of exploding Note 7 started appearing but the company says it is still investigating the issue.

[Samsung]

The post Samsung Officially Orders All Note 7's To Be Powered Down And Returned appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Samsung to stop Galaxy Note 7 sales around the world, current owners urged to power down

Posted: 10 Oct 2016 06:06 PM PDT

As reports were coming out about replacement Galaxy Note 7s catching fire and carriers were halting sales of the device, we wondered when Samsung would come forward and do something itself. Now that time has come.

Samsung will ask all of its carrier and retail partners around the globe to stop sales and exchanges of the Note 7 as it investigates the recent cases of the device catching fire. The company is also urging owners of the Note 7, both the recalled and replacement versions, to power down their device and "take advantage of the remedies available."

In addition to halting sales of the Note 7, all of the major carriers are letting Note 7 owners exchange their device for another smartphone.

Samsung says that it's working with regulatory bodies to investigate reports of its Galaxy Note 7 catching fire. In the mean time, it's wise for the company to urge all Note 7 owners to power down their devices. There were five reports of replacement Note 7s catching fire in the US in the past week, and so Samsung is trying to avoid any further personal or property damage that would be caused by other units that may catch fire.

Samsung's full statement is below:

"We are working with relevant regulatory bodies to investigate the recently reported cases involving the Galaxy Note7. Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note7 while the investigation is taking place.

We remain committed to working diligently with appropriate regulatory authorities to take all necessary steps to resolve the situation. Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note7 or replacement Galaxy Note7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available."


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US Cellular latest carrier to suspend sales of Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Posted: 10 Oct 2016 04:06 PM PDT

Every one of the four major US carriers have now suspended sales of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, as well as retailers like Best Buy. This is due to the devices still catching fire and exploding, despite them being recalled and claimed "safe" models.

US Cellular has officially followed suit, ceasing sales of the Note 7 and offering customers an exchange for any phone sold by the carrier. If you own one, it's recommended you power it off and exchange it as soon as possible.

US Cellular's full statement is as follows:

"Due to Samsung's most recent announcement regarding its investigation of an incident with a replacement Note7, and with the safety of our customers in mind, as of this morning U.S. Cellular has suspended sales of replacement Samsung Galaxy Note7 devices. While the investigation is underway, any U.S. Cellular customer who is concerned about the safety of their replacement Galaxy Note7 may exchange it for any other device at a U.S. Cellular store."

The whole ordeal is a messy one, but most important is people's safety. We know plenty of people feel burned by Samsung's blunder, but let's keep that figurative.


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