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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

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Google App 6.7.13 beta readies Lite Mode for data-constrained regions [APK Teardown]

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 03:20 PM PDT

google

Google hasn't been shy about ingratiating itself and its services with the people of India and similarly data-constrained markets – and it should take a bow because some competitors certainly aren't trying very hard to keep up. Last month Google announced a number of initiatives for the Indian market designed to cut down on unnecessary data costs. Among the announcements was a change to the News & Weather app adding a so-called "Lite Mode" that intelligently reduces the amount of text and images that ultimately reaches a phone.

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Google App 6.7.13 beta readies Lite Mode for data-constrained regions [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Foursquare gets in on the voice assistant action with Marsbot, now in invite-only beta on Android

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 12:35 PM PDT

marsbotTech companies are not immune to the ebbs and flows of the tide of fashion. The latest fad among mega-corps is voice-controlled interfaces - Google has half a dozen or so with the latest being Assistant, to say nothing of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or any number of other vaguely feminine "bots." Location specialist Foursquare wants into this party, and they've decided to go masculine with their interpretation: Marsbot. It was previously available on the iPhone, but as of today the Android version is on the Play Store.

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Foursquare gets in on the voice assistant action with Marsbot, now in invite-only beta on Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Canary channel for Chrome is now Available on Android

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 12:23 PM PDT

Google has made it possible for developers and those who like to live on the edge to try out pre-release versions of Chrome for quite some time, even on Android. But for the folks who want the absolute freshest version of Chrome, known as Canary, that was only possible on Mac and Windows. Until now.

The Canary channel for Chrome is now available on Android. The Canary channel has always released the most "bleeding-edge" version of Chrome possible. But of course it's pre-release software, so it might crash. When it's working, and the team constantly aims to make it work around the clock, users will see the most advanced version of the browser possible.

Because Chrome Canary is such an early version of Google's browser, it's updated very frequently. There will be frequent updates to the app, with new builds coming every weekday and possibly even on the weekends in the future. These constant updates can mean using more than 100MB of data (if users allow for app updates over a cellular connection) every week.

If you want to try out the Canary channel for Chrome and you find any bugs, you can report them here.

Do you plan on trying Chrome Canary?


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Qualcomm introduces three new processors: Snapdragon 653, 626 and 427

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 11:08 AM PDT

Qualcomm Inc. has announced that three new processors are entering its lineup. The Snapdragon 653 processor introduces an X9 LTE modem for Cat 7 downlink and Cat 13 uplink. Speed improvements are also included. The Snapdragon 653 offers 10 percent faster performance than the 652, bumps addressable RAM up to 8GB and offers support for dual camera devices, which could be important, as dual cameras begin to become more prevalent on devices, such as the LG V20.

The company is debuting the Snapdragon 626, which also brings an X9 LTE modem, 10 percent faster performance and support for dual cameras. Additionally, the 626 processor packs in Qualcomm's TruSignal Antenna boost technology, which improves reception, quality and reliability in congested network areas.

In the entry-level 400 series is the Snapdragon 427, which bears some similarity to the Snapdragon 653 and 626. This processor also features an X9 LTE modem and dual camera support, as well as a TruSignal Antenna. The Snapdragon 427 now supports integrated Digital Signal Processing (DSP), moving the series further forward.

These new processors will likely be seen in mid-range phones. Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 653 and 626 to be available this fall, while the Snapdragon 427 will arrive in early 2017.


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Chrome Canary now available on Android, if you live life dangerously

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 10:45 AM PDT

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Google Chrome has traditionally been available in four 'channels' - Stable, Beta, Dev, and Canary. Beta and Dev are progressively buggier and unfinished than Stable, and Canary is the definition of bleeding-edge. Canary builds are released automatically every day, with no manual testing, and are prone to more bugs than all the other channels.

Until now, the Canary channel has only been available for Windows and Mac (not even desktop Linux).

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Chrome Canary now available on Android, if you live life dangerously was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Plants vs. Zombies Heroes brings multiplayer card battles to the casual franchise

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 10:26 AM PDT

image (5)Plants vs. Zombies started as a fairly simple lane-based tower defense game, much loved thanks to its tight gameplay and whimsical style. But like any casual game that gets a big following, it's now branching into other genres as well. The Garden Warfare spinoffs on consoles have done well as Team Fortress-style multiplayer shooters, and now PopCap is going after another multiplayer giant: Hearthstone. PvZ Heroes, now out of geo-limited beta, brings semi-random card decks into the eternal undead-rhododendron fight.

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Plants vs. Zombies Heroes brings multiplayer card battles to the casual franchise was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Pre-Orders Live At BestBuy Canada

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 10:17 AM PDT

samsung-gear-s3-classic-smartwatch

Even if smartwatches lost some of their hype this year, at IFA 2016 in Berlin Samsung unveiled a new product from this category called the Gear S3.

While device manufacturers aren't flocking to release smartwatches like they used to, Samsung continues to believe in its wearable line. Actually, the Gear S3 is quite a fantastic smartwatch. And good news, the product is now available for pre-order at Best Buy in Canada.

The watch can be yours either in classic version and sporty Frontier model for CAD$469.99 and ships out to interested parties free of charge.

If you decide to order now, then you should know Best Buy is offering a 10% discount. All you need to do is enter the promo code at check-out and you're good to go.

samsung-gear-s3-frontier-smartwatch

Unlike many smartwatches around today, the Gear S3 runs Samsung's home-grown Tizen OS and takes advantage of a 1.3-inch circular AMOLED display and an iconic rotating bezel which makes app navigation and messaging a breeze.

The watch is also water-resistant, has a built-in GPS and the capacity to make contactless payments via Samsung Pay and a heart-rate monitor. Compared to the last year's Gear S2, the Gear S3 brings 50% more RAM and 50% larger battery.

Anyway, the Gear S3 is scheduled to start shipping out to customers who have placed a pre-order starting November 18.

[BestBuy]

The post Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch Pre-Orders Live At BestBuy Canada appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Google Pixel Review Roundup: The Best Android Phone Of 2016 Is Here

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 10:17 AM PDT

Google_Pixel_Phone

Google announced its next-gen Pixel and Pixel XL last month, but the phones are yet to be made widely available. However, major news outlets already received their advance units and are in the process of publishing their reviews of the phones.

The Pixel and Pixel XL's official release date is set for October 20. That's just a few days away, but if you haven't decided yet whether you should jump onboard with Google's latest handsets or not, take a minute to check out these reviews. They will help you decide whether the Pixel or Pixel XL is worth your money.

The Verge (Score 9/10)

"This is Google's first phone, and for a first effort it is remarkably good. By almost every metric I can think of — speed, power, camera, smart assistant, you name it — it matches or exceeds the best phones available on the market today. And though the design is far from groundbreaking, it's certainly approachable. The whole package is pretty incredible, and if you're not put off by the premium price, you'll be very happy with this premium phone. I prefer the XL, which isn't huge and seems to get notably better battery life."

CNET (score 4.5 from 5)

"The Pixel and Pixel XL are nearly identical, but the latter has a bigger, sharper display and a bumped up battery. Other than that, they're the same. Both are polished and well crafted, and their sleek, one-piece aluminum design make them more elegant than previous Nexus devices."

TechCrunch

"The company's latest phones take a step beyond it long-standing and well-loved Nexus line to demonstrate the true power of Android. Because if you want something done right, you'd better do it yourself. And if Apple has taught the company anything (besides the benefits of a well-appointed pair of blue jeans), it's that nothing beats the harmony of an end-to-end hardware and software solution."

iphone7galaxys7pixel

Engadget (Score 86/100)

"After years of experimenting with Nexus devices, Google finally decided it wanted to make a phone of its own. HTC might be assembling the phones, but Google designed and developed the Pixel from end-to-end. In doing so, it crafted a truly great smartphone that sadly looks a little dull. Still, the inclusion of a speedy new Snapdragon 821 chipset and a fantastic camera make the smaller Pixel a device to be reckoned with. Now, if only it were a little cheaper."

Ars Technica

"As for Pixel phones, they look… like any other HTC phone (most notably the HTC One A9 and the Desire 10). HTC's recent lineup has been criticized for looking too much like the iPhone; the Pixel phones look like iPhones, too.

When you look at their feature list, you can't shake the feeling that Pixel phones were cobbled together from an HTC parts bin. For instance, is there a design reason that the $500 Huawei Nexus 6P had stereo speakers and the $750 Pixel XL does not?"

Wired

The Pixel continues the tradition, established by Google's discontinued Nexus line, of being the only way to enjoy the best of Android. (In fact, its even more extreme than that: Assistant is exclusive to the Pixel feature for the foreseeable future.) It's a shame, because the Pixel addresses almost all of the annoying little things about Android."

9to5Google

It's special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It's special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It's special because it has a great camera. It's special because it's the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It's special because it's the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It's special because it's the best portal to Google's services, full stop."

VentureBeat

Both HTC-built Pixel and Pixel XL feel great in the hand. And, like all phones that have smaller and larger counterparts, chances are you'll prefer one over the other simply based on the size of your hands and how you generally use a smartphone. Jordan prefers the Pixel, and Emil prefers the Pixel XL. The only trade-off between the two is based on size: The screen, dimensions, and battery vary. Everything else is the same, from processor and memory to camera and headphone jack."

As you can see, the general consensus is that Google did a great job with these two smartphones. More picky reviewers such as Ars Technica might flag the Pixel for being bland, but in the end they do recognize the Pixel is the king of the Android world.

The post Google Pixel Review Roundup: The Best Android Phone Of 2016 Is Here appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


Android Match

Inbox's newest feature Templates inserts preset text snippets into emails

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 08:55 AM PDT

InboxByGmail-Thumb

Email can be overwhelming, so it's useful to get someone else to manage it for you. Failing that, a computer should be able to take over the task. Google's Inbox has been doing this for a while now, with cool features like bundles, smart replies, digests and snoozing until later. A new feature, Templates, has just appeared in the web version of Inbox, which makes email even easier.

Templates are basically preset text snippets that can be inserted into emails.

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Inbox's newest feature Templates inserts preset text snippets into emails was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Sprint begins offering an unlimited data plan for tablets

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 08:13 AM PDT

Sprint has announced a new plan to add to its repertoire. The latest offering is an unlimited data plan exclusively for tablets, priced at $20/month. The plan does include a few caveats, though.

To enroll in the plan, users must already have at least one active phone line on their Sprint account, and they must be enrolled in AutoPay. Additionally, the plan includes throttling on streaming speeds. Streaming video is limited to 480p+, music streams are capped at 500kbps and online gaming streams are confined to 2Mbps.

Sprint is offering a premium resolution streaming upgrade to the plan at a rather hefty price tag of an extra $20/month, bringing the full plan price to $40/month. This upgrade allows video streaming of 1080p+, HD music streaming at up to 1.5Mbps and online gaming speeds of up to 8Mbps.

In addition to unlimited data, this plan offers unlimited SMS on tablets with that functionality.

While the throttling isn't ideal, the plan still offers decent value to customers who use tablets as a primary internet source. For more information, follow the source link to read Sprint's official announcement.


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Samsung is setting up Galaxy Note 7 exchange kiosks in airports around the world

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 08:13 AM PDT

Now that the Galaxy Note 7 has been recalled for a second time, it's become illegal to bring the phablet onto an airplane. To help accommodate the folks who might not be able to get to their initial point of purchase to exchange or return their device, Samsung has a pop-up idea.

Samsung has launched kiosks in "high-traffic" airports all around the globe, with some appearing in the United States and others in Australia and South Korea. There are representatives in those kiosks that will make it possible for Galaxy Note 7 owners to exchange their device for another Samsung-branded smartphone. The rep will help you swap over your data to the new device, too.

The booths are open from 6:00am to 8:00pm local time.

How did your Galaxy Note 7 exchange experience turn out?


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Amazon improves Prime Photos with Family Vault, including free unlimited photo storage for up to 5 members

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 04:55 AM PDT

amazon-prime-photos

Whoa, is Amazon on a roll these last few weeks or what! The company has been announcing new hardware, new services, improving existing offers, and more, all within the span of a couple of months. Today, it's Prime Photos' time, one of the free benefits that come with an Amazon Prime subscription. The service is getting a significant revamp and plenty of new options.

First, there's Family Vault which gives any Prime member the possibility to share their Photos perk with up to 5 family members.

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Amazon improves Prime Photos with Family Vault, including free unlimited photo storage for up to 5 members was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Deal Alert] Perspective correction app SKRWT and Neo Monsters game down to $0.10 in a few countries

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 03:45 AM PDT

skrwt

Neither of these deals is valid in the US, Canada, and many countries around the world. There. That should help you skip reading this post altogether. But if you're still around, then you probably live in one of the few countries where these $0.10 deals have been frequent in the past few months and you already know the drill. We're talking about 0.10 EUR in France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, GBP 0.10 in the UK, RUB 10 in Russia, and AUD 0.20 in Australia.

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[Deal Alert] Perspective correction app SKRWT and Neo Monsters game down to $0.10 in a few countries was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Yahoo Mail adds direct reply, bundled notifications, and multi-window support for Android Nougat

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 03:15 AM PDT

yahoo-mail-nougat-features

One of the most useful features of Android N is the improved notifications handling: notifications coming from the same app are bundled together and can be unbundled and dealt with individually, and there's direct reply support to quickly answer a message without opening the app.

Not a lot of apps have added support for both of these features, but now Yahoo Mail is joining this elite group. Thanks to a new update, Yahoo's mailing app lets you send direct replies to emails from the notification, and it bundles notifications together for less redundancy and clutter in the drop-down.

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Yahoo Mail adds direct reply, bundled notifications, and multi-window support for Android Nougat was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Improved Google+ notifications appear to be rolling out to all

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 11:20 PM PDT

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Some months ago, Google looked to be rolling out a new interface for notifications in the Google+ app. No sooner did we report on it than Google removed the new notifications with a server-side switch. Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Today, Google giveth. The new G+ notifications appear to be rolling out for real.

So, what will you see in the new Google+ notifications? Only what you want, which is rather the point.

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Improved Google+ notifications appear to be rolling out to all was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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23 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last 2 weeks (10/3/16 - 10/17/16)

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 07:30 PM PDT

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Featured App

AccuBattery

Today's roundup is presented by AccuBattery from Digibites.

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23 new and notable Android apps and live wallpapers from the last 2 weeks (10/3/16 - 10/17/16) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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LG V20 headed to Verizon on October 20

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 04:53 PM PDT

LG's latest handset, the V20, is turning heads in the wireless world, and it'll soon be offered to an even wider audience. Verizon Wireless announced today that the LG V20 will be available for purchase from its website beginning this Thursday, October 20. A brick-and-mortar rollout will take place one week later on October 27. The company is keeping pricing and promotions to itself until later this week when the V20 is ready for launch.

Setting the LG V20 apart is a secondary display above the main display, which can be used to show notifications, app shortcuts and more. New camera technology also gives the V20 a competitive edge. The device utilizes a 16-megapixel sensor paired with an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera to take superior shots. The speed of shots also receives a boost from a Hybrid Auto Focus system that combines contrast detection, phase detection and laser autofocus for increased accuracy and speed.

We'll keep you up-to-date on the launch details of the LG V20.


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Google Flights now tracks airfare prices, notifies you of price changes and offers tips

Posted: 17 Oct 2016 04:53 PM PDT

Finding a good price on flights can be very difficult, especially since prices fluctuate so often and even change for specific people. Google aims to solve that by further improving Google Flights.

New features include notifications about price changes on the flight you're looking at, the ability to track flight prices via email updates, and tips to get the cheapest price by using different airports or buying at specific times.

Google is also improving hotel searching by adding a "Deals" category and displaying loyalty discounts you can take advantage of, as well as adding an explore feature so you can find the ideal vacation for yourself.


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