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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

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Google Phone 5.1 includes UI changes, swipe up to answer, and more [APK Download]

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 02:39 PM PDT


We're still tearing down all the applications from the Pixel system dump, and the included Google Phone 5.1 app is certainly worth talking about. Without further ado, let's dive in!

New call UI

The first major change is the brand new Call UI, which is now a translucent blue shade over your wallpaper. The new interface looks a bit like the iOS dialer, with large buttons and a circular Caller ID icon at the top.

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Google Phone 5.1 includes UI changes, swipe up to answer, and more [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Leaked photo of Blue Coral Samsung Galaxy S7 edge hints at Verizon release

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 02:38 PM PDT

The Blue Coral model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was very popular with buyers. Of course, the Note 7 is no longer popular with buyers for reasons relating to combustion, but the color was definitely a winner.

Samsung may be trying to get some hype back in its own products by planning a Blue Coral version of the Galaxy S7 edge. The backplate of the device leaked in the blue color with a Verizon logo, hinting at a release on Verizon.

With quite a bit of time remaining before a new Samsung product launch to recover from the Note 7 fiasco, the company seems to be doing some damage control for current loyal customers. How many of you Note 7 owners might consider an S7 edge as a replacement?

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Google launches Sprayscape camera app to snap VR-ish photos

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 12:04 PM PDT

Virtual reality is a major focus for a lot of companies, including Google, and now it found a way to smash it together with taking photos.

The new camera app is called Sprayscape, and it's a product for Android Experiments, the program Google launched last year. The new app uses a combination of your Android phone's camera and the gyroscope to "paint" onto a 360-degree sphere canvas. Touching the display will spray onto the canvas, and users can move the phone around to capture more of their environment as they see fit. Those images will be placed on top of one another.

It's better to see how it looks in action, so here's a video:

Once you've taken a VR-ish photo with Sprayscape, you'll be able to share it either through a link in a text message or through social media platforms. Google Cardboard is also supported, so if you want an immersive experience, strap a Cardboard viewer onto your face.

Sprayscape is available now and it's free to download.

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Verizon’s Pixel and Pixel XL will be updated at the same time as Google’s

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 11:29 AM PDT

Google will sell the Pixel and Pixel XL in its own online store, but they'll also be available through Verizon Wireless. Google previously said that Verizon will handle the software updates for the Pixel and Pixel XL, which led to hesitation Verizon's Pixels would receive system updates later than Google's Pixels.

Now, Ars Technica reports that Google and Verizon have both issued statements saying that all Pixel phones will be updated simultaneously. Verizon says that it "will not stand in the way" of software updates for the Pixel and Pixel XL. Verizon's full statement:

"First and foremost, all operating system and security updates to the Pixel devices will happen in partnership with Google. In other words, when Google releases an update, Verizon phones will receive the same update at the same time (much like iOS updates). Verizon will not stand in the way of any major updates and users will get all updates at the same time as Google.

Also, the Verizon version of the Google Pixel is carrier unlocked, so you can use it where ever you like. Finally, we have three apps pre-installed on the phone Go90, My Verizon (which is your account management tool) and Verizon Messages (your messaging app). As you noted, all three can easily be uninstalled by the user."

And Google's confirmation:

"OS updates and monthly security patches will be updated on all Pixel devices (Verizon and non-Verizon versions) simultaneously."

That is good news for future Verizon Pixel owners who might have been worried their devices would be left behind.

Do you plan on picking up a Pixel from Verizon?

Android Match

Huawei Mate 9 appears in photos with flat and curved screen designs

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 11:29 AM PDT

Huawei's upcoming Mate 9 smartphone has appeared in new images that reveal two designs for the device, giving users the choice of a flat or curved screen. The two devices are codenamed Manhattan (flat screen) and Long Island (curved screen). Both devices are set to be high-end, but the Long Island will reportedly be the premium handset, packing the most powerful specs and a QHD display to support Daydream VR. Additionally, the Long Island may only be sold in China, but the specifics remain to be seen.

Huawei has been growing both worldwide and in the US, and the Mate 9 will continue that trend. While the device may look all too similar to a Samsung product, the specs will be powerful and the device will likely use one of Huawei's own Kirin processors, which should provide power a-plenty. The devices are set to premier in Munich, Germany, on November, but no pricing or availability details are known yet.

We'll keep you posted on further leaks and reports regarding the Huawei Mate 9.

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Introducing Sprayscape: a perfectly imperfect VR-ish camera app for Android

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 11:17 AM PDT

Last year, we launched Android Experiments, a celebration of the creative, ingenious, and surprising things developers are making with Android. With so many great projects being sent in each month, we were inspired to make and share an experiment of our own. We love virtual reality (VR). And we love taking pictures. So why not try smashing the two together?

Sprayscape - a perfectly imperfect VR-ish camera

Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone's gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas.

Like what you've captured? You can easily share your creations via a link in a text message or on social media with friends. They can jump into your scapes and have a look around using their phones or even Google Cardboard for a more immersive experience.

Download Sprayscape on Google Play to get started or, if you're feeling curious, take a look at the open-source code to see how Sprayscape works.

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Android Developer Story: PicMix reaches global audience on Google Play

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 11:03 AM PDT

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Google Play team

Inovidea Magna Global, is the developer of PicMix, a photo and video editing app, which has now evolved into an interest based social media platform powered by content discovery and social commerce. It has 27 million users worldwide, 65% of which are outside of its home market in Indonesia.

Hear Calvin Kizana, CEO, and Sandy Colondam, Co-founder, explain how they used Google Play tools, such as Store Listing Experiments and Material Design, to create a high quality app which appeals to a global audience.

Learn more about store listing experiments and find out how to get started with Material Design. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app and stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 10:26 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: Tiles makes use of the new Quick Settings Tile API (http://ift.tt/1P0hu5c) to provide new tiles that can be added to Quick Settings to change system settings and take quick actions without leaving the context of the current app.




DescriptionClimendo – the statistically most likely weather forecast for your location. With literally 10,000 weather apps to choose from, not all of them will be equally accurate for your location




Description: Tired of taking notes in class? Not anymore! Snapnotes offers you the possibility to take snaps of any content in class and organize them in subjects in an intelligent and automatic manner.




DescriptionCreate GIFs anytime using GIPHY CAM. Feeling creative? Add some filters or special FX then share the best ones in a text or post it on the web! Check back every week for new filters!




DescriptionCan you imagine knowing the secret to getting along with anyone? Take a free personality test, invite your partner or friends to do the same and compare your results! Discover your compatibility score and easy ways to improve your relationship!


Wave Music Player

Wave Music Player

DescriptionWave Music Player is a futuristic Music Player packed with powerful features and a modern UI. With Wave Music Player you can tag your music with any keyword of your choice and later search tracks based on that tag.




DescriptionDingless will give you the ability to: 1) Eliminate notification sound alerts while using your smartphone. Alerts will be restored automatically once the screen is switched off. 2) Pre-set time lapses between two successive sound notifications while you are away from your smartphone. 


Retrocon – Watch Face


DescriptionRetrocon is inspired by the 80s consoles and the games that still hold a special place in our hearts. Features: Automatic 12/24 support based on device settings. Ambient mode support. Press and hold to choose your text color. Tap watch face to cycle game backgrounds.




DescriptionForget about time tracking manually. Average human being checks phone every 8 minutes, around 120 times a day. SaveMyTime is taking advantage of this habit. App replaces your standard lock screen and every couple minutes asks what you have been doing.


Digit Save Money Automatically

Digit Save Money Automatically

DescriptionAutomate your savings. Digit is the free, effortless way to save money without thinking about it. Every few days, Digit checks your spending habits and saves a few dollars from your checking account if you can afford it.


Android Match

Amazon introduces Music Unlimited to compete with Spotify

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 09:36 AM PDT

Amazon has announced its latest service, Amazon Music Unlimited, which aims to compete with Spotify. Music Unlimited taps into Amazon's broad catalog of music to offer on-demand streaming as well as access to thousands of curated playlists and custom stations. Amazon is pairing the service closely with Alexa, the company's voice-controlled assistant. Users can take advantage of a variety of commands, ranging from searching for mood-specific playlists to having Alexa play a personalized playlist based on your favorite music. If users are lacking on the name or artist of a song, they can ask Alexa to find the song based on a lyric that they remember.

The company has a variety of plans and pricing options available. Music Unlimited is being offered to Prime customers for $7.99/month or $79 annually. Non-Prime customers can take part for $9.99/month. Echo users have a special offer open to them, with the ability to pay just $3.99/month for access to Music Unlimited on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Amazon Tap. A family plan is also coming soon which will offer access for six users at a price of $14.99/month or $149.99 annually.

Amazon is now available on PC and mobile for customers in the US, with expansions into the UK, Austria and Germany coming later this year.

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Road Not Taken from Spry Fox is available in beta form on the Play Store

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 09:22 AM PDT


You might know Spry Fox from its bear-themed games Alphabear and Bushido Bear. The new Road Less Traveled isn't about bears, but admittedly there are some bears in it. Instead, it's about a ranger whose task it is to rescue foolish children who are constantly getting trapped by blizzards.

Road Not Taken is a puzzle game, but it doesn't play like any other puzzler I can recall. Your goal is to find all the lost children in the randomly generated levels, but to do so you'll have to move objects around with your magic staff.

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Road Not Taken from Spry Fox is available in beta form on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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PSA: You can finally zoom on screenshots in the Play Store

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 08:41 AM PDT


Need to get a closer look at something? The Play Store on Android will now oblige with pinch-zoom on screenshots, which let's be honest, it should have had ages ago. However, this was just snuck in recently, possibly as a server-side switch.

We've seen this on 7.0.x, 7.1.x, and 6.9.x variants of the Play Store client. We've been hearing intermittently from people who say they have he ability to zoom on Play Store screenshots, but it wasn't a widely available feature until recently.

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PSA: You can finally zoom on screenshots in the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The Google Now Launcher's search widget is getting a transparent sub-widget

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 08:11 AM PDT


Google is no stranger to testing changes server-side before releasing them for public consumption; in fact, we reported on them testing multiple Play Store UI tweaks at the same time just a few days ago. For several weeks, we've been getting tips about this new extension for the Google search widget, but it seems to be rolling out more widely now.

download_20161012_054417 nexus2cee_screenshot_20161012-084957

This option is showing up for some users on the latest Google beta (

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The Google Now Launcher's search widget is getting a transparent sub-widget was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Amazon introduces Music Unlimited at $9.99/month with lower prices for Prime subscribers or Echo owners

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 04:44 AM PDT


Confused about all the paid Amazon subscriptions? Well, join the club. The way I understand it, there's Amazon Prime that gives you plenty of perks and its little brother, Prime Video, that only lets you access movies and TV series. But you can also get more reading and audiobook material through Kindle Unlimited and now you'll be able to add Music Unlimited to the list.

Whereas Amazon Prime members already had access to Prime Music with a selection of more than 2 million songs, Music Unlimited opens up the catalogue to tens of millions of songs and curated playlists.

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Amazon introduces Music Unlimited at $9.99/month with lower prices for Prime subscribers or Echo owners was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Alarm.com updated with 2x1 widget, but it's not resizeable

Posted: 12 Oct 2016 03:04 AM PDT


We all love a good widget, so it's great to see home security app Alarm.com updated with a widget to trigger or control any scene on the home screen. Back in May, the app received one-touch automation in the form of scenes - the widget now controls those scenes with a single tap. However, the first iteration of the widget is, um, a little... big.

You see, instead of being simple 1x1 toggle buttons like other apps have, the widget is 2x1 (there is one widget which can be placed as many times you needed), meaning it takes up two app icon spaces horizontally.

Read More

Alarm.com updated with 2x1 widget, but it's not resizeable was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android 7.1 Developer Preview Coming Later This Month

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 08:13 PM PDT


Google officially unveiled its new Pixel lineup last week featuring a bunch of features exclusive to those phones, however every other feature was part of the new Android 7.1 update.

Google has now confirmed with its developer community about an opportunity to test the new update before releasing to the public later this year. The Android 7.1 developer preview is set to make its debut by the end of the month and to recap, here's what's new:

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 live wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your live 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.

[Android Developers]

The post Android 7.1 Developer Preview Coming Later This Month appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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33 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android games from the last 2 weeks (9/27/16 - 10/11/16)

Posted: 11 Oct 2016 07:44 PM PDT

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