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Monday, October 17, 2016

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Samsung’s 10nm FinFET SoCs First to Start Mass Production

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 02:59 PM PDT



The Galaxy Note7 has been getting a lot of press for the past couple of months, but that's not all Samsung is about. For example, at the beginning of this week, the Korean tech giant announced it has started mass production for its 10nm FinFET process.

The company claims it has achieved an industry-first. Samsung was also first to mass produce FinFET technology back in 2015.

The smartphone titan says to expect to see devices based on the new SoCs to make an appearance on the market as soon as the first part of 2017, obviously hinting at the Galaxy S8 launch next year.

The new 10nm processors are said to offer up to 30% increase in area efficiency with 27% higher performance or 40% lower power consumption. This translates to future smartphones being able to deliver better battery life or increased processing power (not both at the same time, though).

Compared to the previous 14nm generation, the new 10nm process makes use of advanced 3D transistor structure with enhancements in process technology and design. The first 10nm SoCs are called 10LPE, but Samsung intends to release a second-gen process dubbed 10LPP in the second part of 2017.

A new report from Reuters also reveals that Samsung will be the sole manufacturer of Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 830 which will probably power the US version of the Galaxy S8. Naturally, the chipset will be based on a 10LPE process.

[Samsung / (2)]

The post Samsung's 10nm FinFET SoCs First to Start Mass Production appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Samsung Self-Tested Those Faulty Galaxy Note7 Batteries

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 02:59 PM PDT


The Galaxy Note7 might be dead and buried, but now Samsung is focusing its energies on identifying the real reason why the phablet abnormally overheated.

Well, a report coming out of the Wall Street Journal now seems to indicate Samsung might have only itself to blame for the giant fiasco. You see, it is standard practice in the tech world for manufacturers to test their products in one of the 28 external labs certified by the US Wireless Industry Group (the CTIA). Companies like Apple and Lenovo follow these guidelines to determine whether their smartphone parts comply to the standards installed by the IEEE (Electrical and Electronic Engineers).

But not Samsung. According to the association, the Korean tech giant is actually the only tech manufacturing conducting testing in-house in its otherwise CTIA-certified lab. Then there are other companies like Motorola, which choose to conduct their testing both internally and externally, in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

A Samsung spokesperson told the WSJ the company found no problems with the Note7 batteries (both the original ones and the replacements) during testing in its own labs. The smartphone giant has been self-testing its batteries ever since 2009.

The Galaxy Note7 certainly made Samsung rethink its testing strategy. The company said it's finally going to implement major changes to its quality assurance procedures, in order to make sure it will never release a dangerous phone again.

[Wall Street Journal]

The post Samsung Self-Tested Those Faulty Galaxy Note7 Batteries appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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AT&T announces cracked screen repair for its insurance plans

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 02:34 PM PDT

AT&T has announced a new feature for customers of its insurance plans. If you purchased AT&T's Mobile Insurance, Mobile Protection Pack, Mobile Protection Pack for Business or Multi-Device Protection Pack programs, you can get your screen replaced rather than having the phone replaced.

The benefit to having the screen replaced by a professional rather than having your device replaced is not losing all of your data. Setting up a new phone sucks. The repair person from Asurion will come to you, potentially on the same day if there's an appointment available, and replace your display for an $89 deductible.

However, this new option has a lot of caveats. First of all, the list of supported devices is tiny. There are five iPhones (not including the iPhone 7), the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy S5, and the Galaxy S6. Some colors are not eligible for repair, and the parts used can be aftermarket. But you do get a 12-month warranty.

The service will be available in 15 markets when it launches on November 15. Another 29 markers are coming on December 1, though. Hit the source link to check out if the service is available in your market, and let us know what you think in the comments!

Source: AT&T Protection Center, (2)
Via: Android Police

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SanDisk memory on sale on Amazon, including 200GB microSD

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 02:34 PM PDT

If you're looking to expand the storage on your Android device (or on anything, really), the best time to do it is during an Amazon Deal of the Day sale. Memory drops in price significantly and new products often get really cheap.

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD is part of today's sale and it's only $58.99. Considering that it launched on Amazon for $240, it's a great deal if you need tons of storage on the go.

You'll also find USB drives, microUSB drives, and full size SD cards on sale. Hit the source link and let us know what you buy!

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Pixel smartphones from the Google Store will have unlockable bootloaders

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 01:39 PM PDT

The Nexus line is dead, but it seems that the mod-friendly nature of Google devices isn't. Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones purchased from the Google Store will have unlockable bootloaders, so you can mod them to your heart's content.

Verizon announced that its models of the Pixel lineup will receive updates at the same time as the Google models, but they will not have unlockable bootloaders. So if you like modding your device, avoid the Verizon model.

We're glad to hear that Google is still trying to appeal to enthusiasts despite the Pixels being more mainstream than Nexus devices.

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Humble Mobile Bundle 21 adds The Last Door and Prismatica—plus, we've got 10 free codes to give away

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 01:20 PM PDT


We're at the midway point of the latest Humble Mobile Bundle, and that means it's time for new games to be added. Humble Mobile Bundle 21 now comes with nine games total. The new arrivals are The Last Door and Prismatica. If you want a chance at winning the whole bundle free, read on.

The newly added games are in the second tier, meaning you'll unlock them if you pay above the average price.

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Humble Mobile Bundle 21 adds The Last Door and Prismatica—plus, we've got 10 free codes to give away was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ZTE Axon 7 Mini priced at $299.98 as pre-orders go live

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 11:39 AM PDT

Earlier this year, ZTE officially took the wraps off its flagship Axon 7 smartphone. For folks who want a similar design but in a smaller form factor, ZTE has you covered.

ZTE has launched pre-orders for the Axon 7 Mini from a variety of different retailers, including Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, Newegg, Amazon, and ZTE itself. The device is priced at $299.98 and is available in either Platinum Gray or Ion Gold. The gold option is a Best Buy exclusive for the first 60 days.

As far as specs go, the Axon 7 Mini features a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor under the hood, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in storage. There's a microSD card slot, dual SIM support, a rear fingerprint reader, and a battery measuring in at 2705mAh.

Also included  a 16-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel front-facing shooter on the other side. The Axon 7 Mini is running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box.

What do you think of the ZTE Axon 7 Mini?

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LG V20 for T-Mobile pre-orders begin today

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 11:39 AM PDT

T-Mobile confirmed it would be launching the LG V20 on October 28 earlier this month, and now the Un-carrier has opened up pre-orders.

T-Mobile has officially announced that the LG V20, the first non-Pixel Android smartphone to come preloaded with Android 7.0 Nougat, is now available to pre-order. Pricing is set at $49.99 down and $30 per month for 24 months after that. For the folks using JUMP! On Demand, the phone price is $0 down, and then $34 per month for 18 months. If you prefer to pay full price, T-Mobile is pricing the V20 at $769.99.

T-Mobile is offering up to a $200 credit for customers that trade in any 4G smartphone towards the purchase of their V20. T-Mobile is also offering is a pair of Beoplay H3 headphones to V20 buyers. Both of the offers will be around only for a limited time.

For customers that want a tablet, T-Mobile is offering a free LG G Pad F 8.0 or the LG G Pad X 8.0. Whichever you choose, your tablet will be attached to a 24-month financing agreement and you'll need to have a postpaid phone plan and a mobile internet plan that's 1GB or larger to get the tablet deal.

If you need a refresher on the V20′s specs, it includes a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of built-in storage, a microSD slot, NFC, USB Type-C, and a fingerprint reader. There's also a 3,200mAh removable battery.

On the back of the V20 lives a 16-megapixel standard camera and an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. The V20′s also got what LG is calling Hybrid Auto Focus, which offers laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus, and contrast autofocus. There's Electronic Image Stabilization 3.0 for reducing shaky video capture, too.

Do you plan on picking up the V20 from the Life's Good crew?

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Tiles, SnapNotes

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 09:34 AM PDT

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven't appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1. Sprayspace


App info: 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.


2. Tiles


App info: com.rascarlo.quick.settings.tiles


3. SnapNotes


App info: 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.


4 . Photobooth


App info: Photobooth is a utility for joining multiple photos together into a single image for easy sharing online. You can import photos from the gallery or capture new pictures directly from the camera to create a custom photostrip in just seconds.


5. Wave Music Player

Wave Music Player

App info: Wave Music Player is a futuristic Music Player packed with powerful features and a beautiful modern UI.


Note:  To ensure that all apps receive a fair chance to make the list, we will retire any app that has made the list for three consecutive weeks.

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Four years later, Lara Croft: Guardian Of Light surfaces on the Play Store for everyone

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 08:25 AM PDT


We're not really sure what the story is here. Lara Croft: Guardian of Light has been out since 2010 on iOS, XBox 360, PS3, and PCs, and according to RedmondPie, it was even released on Android in July of 2012. But the Play Store listing that's mentioned in that article, which is this link, doesn't appear to be live anymore. RedmondPie noted back in 2012 that the game was a Sony Ericsson exclusive, but 4 years is a really long time for an exclusive on a game title.

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Four years later, Lara Croft: Guardian Of Light surfaces on the Play Store for everyone was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Kingdom: New Lands, a beautiful pixel-art kingdom-builder arrives on NVIDIA SHIELD

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 03:45 AM PDT


The NVIDIA SHIELD is the premier Android TV device currently on the market, but what really sets it apart is the games NVIDIA are able to secure as exclusives on Android (or sometimes just straight-up AAA titles). The next one of these games to come to the SHIELD is Kingdom: New Lands, a kingdom-building game in a cool, cute pixel-art graphical style.

Kingdom: New Lands is the sequel to the popular Kingdom, which unfortunately never arrived on Android.

Read More

Kingdom: New Lands, a beautiful pixel-art kingdom-builder arrives on NVIDIA SHIELD was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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