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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

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Verizon won’t have 128GB Google Pixel XL in-store on launch day

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 04:08 PM PDT

For any Verizon subscribers out there who were hoping to walk into a retail store and pick up a 128GB Pixel XL tomorrow, those dreams have been dashed.

Jeffrey Nelson, part of the Verizon Wireless communications team, said today that the 128GB Pixel XL is sold out and that Verizon retail stores will not have any stock for launch tomorrow.

It's probably also worth noting that shipping dates for the 128GB Pixel XL have slipped to November 18 at this point, so if you were thinking about ordering online, be aware of that.

There is no word on when the 128GB Pixel XL might find its way into Verizon stores, but we hope that the drought won't last long.

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Now available: Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 03:52 PM PDT

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

A couple of weeks ago we announced that a developer preview of Android 7.1 Nougat was on the way. You can get started with this new release today by downloading the SDK and tools. To get the 7.1 release on your eligible device, enroll your device in the Android Beta program. If your device is already enrolled, you'll receive the update automatically.

What's in the Developer Preview?

The Android 7.1 Developer Preview gives you everything you need to test your app on the new platform or extend it with new features like app shortcuts and image keyboard support. It includes an updated SDK and tools, documentation and samples, as well as emulators and device system images for running your apps on supported devices.

We're continuing the model we used in N and earlier releases, and with Android 7.1 being an incremental release there are a few differences to highlight:

  • Since 7.1 has already launched on Pixel, we're delivering the initial Developer Preview at beta quality for the Nexus lineup of devices. The goal is to tease out any device-specific issues.
  • We've finalized the new APIs as API Level 25
  • We've opened up publishing on Google Play for apps targeting the new API level, so you can update your apps soon as you are ready.

After the initial preview release, we plan to deliver an update in November followed by the final public release to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in December. Initially available on Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C devices, we'll extend the Developer Preview to other devices in November.

Get your apps ready for Android 7.1

To get started, update to Android Studio 2.2.2 and download API Level 25 platform, emulator system images and tools. The final API Level 25 SDK is available for download through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

Once you've installed the API Level 25 SDK, you can update your project's compileSdkVersion to 25 to build and test against the new APIs. If you're doing compatibility testing, we recommend updating your app's targetSdkVersion to 25 to test your app with compatibility behaviors disabled. For details on how to set up your app with the API Level 25 SDK, see Set up the Preview.

If you're adding app shortcuts or circular launcher icons to your app, you can use Android Studio's built-in Image Asset Studio to quickly help you create icons of different sizes that meet the material design guidelines.

The Google APIs Emulator System images shipped with the Android API Level 25 SDK include support for round icons and the new Google Pixel Launcher. The Google API system image allows you to test how your app's circular app icons look in devices that support circular icons. Also, if you are developing live wallpapers, you can also use the the new system images with the Android Emulator to test the enhanced preview metadata in Android 7.1.

To help you add image keyboard support, you can use the Messenger and Google Keyboard apps included in the preview system images for testing as they include support for this new API.

Along with the API Level 25 SDK, we have also updated the Android Support Library to 25.0.0. The new version lets you add image keyboard support with compatibility back to API level 13. It also introduces BottomNavigationView widget, which implements the bottom navigation pattern from the material design guidelines.

For details on API Level 25 check out the API diffs and the updated API reference on the developer preview site.

Image keyboard support on Nexus 6P

You can use the Android Emulator in Android Studio to test your circular app icons & shortcuts in a launcher

App shortcuts on Nexus 6P

You can use the Image Asset tool to quickly create circular icon assets.

Publish your apps to alpha, beta or production channels in Google Play

Since the Android 7.1 APIs are final, you can publish updates compiling with, and optionally targeting, API 25 to Google Play. You can now publish app updates that use API 25 to your alpha, beta, or even production channels in the Google Play Developer Console. In this way, push your app updates to users whose devices are running Android 7.1, such as Pixel and Android Beta devices.

How to Get Android 7.1 Developer Preview on Your Eligible Device

If you are already enrolled in the Android Beta program, then your eligible enrolled devices will get the Android 7.1 Developer Preview update right away, no action is needed on your part. If you aren't yet enrolled in Android Beta, the easiest way to get started is to visit android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet -- you'll soon receive this (and later) preview updates over-the-air. If you have an enrolled device and do not want to receive the update, just visit Android Beta and unenroll the device. You can also download and flash this update manually.

We welcome your feedback in the Developer Preview issue tracker, N Preview Developer community, or Android Beta community as we work towards the consumer release in December!

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Android Pay says “Nei hou” to Hong Kong

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 03:26 PM PDT

LeEco enters the US market with Le Pro 3 and Le S3 smartphones

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 01:03 PM PDT

LeEco is a manufacturer that has made a name for itself in its home country of China. The company became the first smartphone manufacturer to ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack, making the move before both Motorola and Apple. Since then, the company has continued to build a reputation with a variety of products that it offers. Today marks the company's US launch, which is spearheaded with two smartphones, the Le Pro 3 and Le S3.

The Le Pro 3 is the more powerful of the pair. LeEco has equipped the device with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Power is a priority, with the phone using a 4070mAh battery that can charge quickly with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. Camera-savvy customers will have a 16-megapixel rear sensor and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera at their disposal.

LeEco S3 (2)

The Le S3 has the same 5.5-inch display, but uses a Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 3000mAh battery that charges at standard speeds. LeEco chose to use the same cameras on this device, and added support for dual-SIM cards.

Both devices will be available through flash sales beginning on November 2, at 10AM PST. The Le Pro 3 is priced at $399, and the Le S3 is more budget-friendly at $249. The devices are part of LeEco's new ecosystem, which also includes smart TVs, a wide range of accessories, and a new bicycle that's in testing.

Source: LeEco (1), (2)

LeEco Pro 3LeEco S3 (2)LeEco S3

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends card battle game comes to Android in pre-release form

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 11:16 AM PDT

scrollsFinally, Bethesda's storied Elder Scrolls series is available on Android! Sort of. If you were hoping to romp through Skyrim or one of the older open world RPGs that PC and console players love, well, keep hoping. The Elder Scrolls: Legends is a card battle game, like Magic: The Gathering, Hearthstone, or any of the hundreds of similar titles in the Play Store. At the moment it's in pre-release (beta), but it's listed as compatible with both phones and tablets running Android 4.0 and higher.

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends card battle game comes to Android in pre-release form was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google aims for the home screen with Wallpapers app

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 11:04 AM PDT

Google continues to improve the aesthetics of its Android operating system with its latest application, Wallpapers. The app takes advantage of Google's repertoire of high-quality images, allowing users to select from Google Earth images, scenic landscapes, urban cityscapes and more. For a personal touch, users have the ability to easily size their own photos into the correct aspect ratio to create a custom wallpaper.

Wallpapers is able to utilize one of the new features found in Android 7.0 Nougat, the built-in ability to set different wallpapers for home and lock screens. The app offers a clean, simple interface for selecting and placing the right wallpaper for your device.

For a final touch, Wallpapers can automatically set a new wallpaper each day from the category of your choosing.

Wallpapers is now available on the Google Play Store for devices running on Android 4.1 and higher. A link to the app can be found at the source link below.

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New Google Keep update adds note pinning [APK Download]

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 10:55 AM PDT


Google Keep has become a nice little note taking app. While it lacks some of the features of more mature tools like Evernote, Keep is infinitely easier to use. Now, it's getting a feature it should have had a long time ago—pinned notes.

We first spotted this feature in a Keep teardown almost exactly four months ago. That's an awfully long time to sit on a fairly straightforward feature like this.

Read More

New Google Keep update adds note pinning [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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T-Mobile will pay out $48 million following FCC investigation over deprioritization policy

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 10:33 AM PDT

Unlimited data plans are still a crucial element for T-Mobile, but the Un-carrier got into choppy waters with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its rules regarding deprioritization.

As a result of an investigation, T-Mobile has settled with the FCC and will pay $48 million. The investigation centered on customers that had complained to the FCC that they were unhappy with the deprioritization policy put forth from the Un-carrier, saying that they did not believe they were being given access to the unlimited data plan that was being advertised.

The investigation determined that prior to June 2015, the Un-carrier was not explaining its deprioritization policy for the heaviest unlimited data customers (the top 3% of data users), and did not explicitly outline the threshold that customers had to pass before their devices were deprioritized on the network. On top of that, the FCC found that T-Mobile did not outline in clear language the speed reduction that those devices would be hit with.

Here are the changes T-Mobile has agreed to implement moving forward:

  • Update disclosures for its deprioritization, including on T-Mobile and MetroPCS websites
  • Clearly explain deprioritization in all marketing materials for unlimited data plans or stop using the word "unlimited" to describe plans that are subject to deprioritization
  • Will not misrepresent performance of unlimited data plan
  • Provide direct and individual notification to a customer when they're nearing the deprioritization threshold
  • Spend at least $35.5 million on benefits to T-Mobile and MetroPCS unlimited data plan customers, including offering 20 percent discount (up to $20) on an accessory and 4GB of additional data for mobile internet customers
  • Spend at least $5 million on a program that'll provide students of low-income schools with free devices and service
  • Pay a $7.5 million civil penalty

Under T-Mobile's current deprioritization policy, a customer needs to use more than 26GB of data in a month to be deprioritized. This means that customer's devices will be prioritized below other devices connecting to the network in "locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources."

Have you ever had to deal with T-Mobile's deprioritization?

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Google's Project Tango gets an official gallery app on the Play Store

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 10:25 AM PDT

image (3)So far there are only two devices that officially support Google's neat-o Project Tango spatial detection technology: the original developer kit (no longer being sold) and the shiny new Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. The latter is set to release next month, so Google is preparing the way with a new first-party app, simply called "Tango." It's available as a free download in the Play Store right now, but without access to either the tablet or the phone, you won't be able to play around with it.

Read More

Google's Project Tango gets an official gallery app on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Mobile Unit Staff Fears Job Losses, Following Note 7 Fiasco

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 10:17 AM PDT


Samsung's recent Galaxy Note7 debacle is bound to have repercussions on the company's Phone Group, the division responsible for releasing the phablet on the market.

The Group's 26,600 workers who were until recently celebrated as the driving force behind Samsung's ascension in the mobile market, are now going through an extremely difficult period. Most of them fear they won't be able to keep their jobs, given the fact that the division is basically held accountable for the unprecedented Galaxy Note7 fiasco.

Samsung already announced the whole Galaxy Note7 affair is going to cost it more than $5 billion. Add to that the massive collapse in reputation. Will customers be able to trust Samsung products ever again? It's one of the most pressing issues at Samsung right now.

While the company has declined to comment on salaries and potential job losses, a few employees have agreed to talk to Bloomberg and discuss the situation. The workers explained "A lot of people are worried about who will be held responsible […] We all want this to be resolved and put behind us."

They also called the debacle "sad and shameful" but continued to maintain a certain positive attitude. Employees say the mobile unit is completely devoted to determining and addressing the cause behind the Note7 issue. They also hope to nail it with the next phone – hinting towards the Galaxy S8 release next year  – and wash away their sins in the process.


The post Samsung Mobile Unit Staff Fears Job Losses, Following Note 7 Fiasco appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Samsung Slapped With Class Action Lawsuit in the US

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 10:17 AM PDT


Samsung's Galaxy Note7-related streak of bad luck continues on. After having to issue not one but two recalls for its premium phablet and eventually killing it off altogether, Samsung is now facing a proposed class action lawsuit in the US.

According to federal court documents in Newark, New Jersey, the lawsuit has been filed by law firm McCuneWright representing three ex-Galaxy Note7 owners: John Waudby, Robert Spuntak and Mohamad Ibrahim, reports Motherboard.

As it turns out, the lawsuit, which is still waiting to be approved by a judge, isn't about the phone causing damage of physical injury. Instead the three plaintiffs accuse Samsung of mishandling the whole recall situation and leaving them without a phone for several weeks, while they still had to pay for the device and plan fees.

Samsung originally instructed users of the Note7 to stop using their phones over fire hazards concerts on September 9. But it wasn't until September 21 that the Korean tech giant started issuing replacement phones. Which we all know now, came fostering issues of their own.

It's only the beginning for Samsung, as the lawsuit creates a precedent and many other angry ex-Note7 users might join the witch hunt against the Korean company. Samsung is striving to maintain itself afloat, while handling the aftermath of the Galaxy Note7 disaster as best as it can. But its reputation already took an enormous blow, so things are looking grim for the smartphone titan.


The post Samsung Slapped With Class Action Lawsuit in the US appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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SafetyNet API fails on some unlocked Android phones, Android Pay affected

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 09:50 AM PDT

Mi Pay_01

The SafetyNet API is the bain of root and custom ROM users everywhere. For those unfamiliar, it is part of the Google Play Services API that is designed to detect modified devices. If your system is tampered with in any way, be it rooted or a custom ROM, the SafetyNet check will fail. Android Pay, among other applications, uses this API and will fail to run if SafetyNet fails.

Reports are coming in from Reddit and our own tip box that SafetyNet appears to fail on some unlocked devices, even if the device has not been modified in any other way.

Read More

SafetyNet API fails on some unlocked Android phones, Android Pay affected was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode is now free

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 09:10 AM PDT

unnamedMinecraft is extremely popular, and has been for several years. Minecraft: Story Mode from Telltale Games has also been quite successful. It's been near the top of the Play Store charts since it came out despite the $4.99 buy-in. Today, the game is free to download. Although, that's just the first chapter.

As with other Telltale titles, Minecraft: Story Mode has several episodes. Buying the app previously would get you the first one, and now that is free.

Read More

The first episode of Minecraft: Story Mode is now free was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Official Google Wallpapers app hits the Play Store, runs on non-Google devices too

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 08:16 AM PDT


A feature that we first associated with the Pixel Launcher was the wallpaper picker. And since the Pixel Launcher is exclusive to Pixel phones, you might have thought the same would go for its wallpaper feature. Well, in that case, you would be wrong. Google has broken it off into an app called Wallpapers and it is now in the Play Store, available for download on all manner of non-Pixel, non-Nexus devices.

Read More

Official Google Wallpapers app hits the Play Store, runs on non-Google devices too was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG V34 features 5.2-inch QHD display and water resistance, but it’s only available in Japan

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 08:13 AM PDT

The LG V20 is right on the cusp of landing on store shelves, but it looks like folks in Japan are going to be getting a slightly tweaked version of the flagship handset.

LG Japan has officially debuted the LG V34, and while it shares plenty of similarities between the V20, there are a few key differences. The V34 features a 5.2-inch 2560×1440 display, while the V20 features the same resolution in a 5.7-inch panel. The V34 also boasts a 3000mAh battery, while the larger V20 has a 3200mAh battery. Another big difference? The V34 is IP67-rated for water and dust resistance, a feature that the V20 completely lacks.

The LG V34 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, boasts the V20′s dual rear camera system, and features 32GB of built-in storage and 4GB of RAM. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor is tucked inside to keep things humming along as well.

The only "bad" news here is that the V34 isn't going to be available outside of Japan.

Would you buy the LG V34 over the V20 if you were given the choice?

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Pixel Launcher lands in the Play Store, predictably only compatible with the Pixel [APK Download]

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 08:10 AM PDT


Google now has two launcher apps in the Play Store, but you probably can't install the new one. The Pixel Launcher is one of the selling points of the Pixel phones, and remains technically exclusive to them. But of course, we have the APK available for download.

Having the Pixel Launcher in the Play Store means several things. First, Google can push updates to the launcher very easily. If you want to sideload the launcher, the versions published on the store will be mirrored quickly.

Read More

Pixel Launcher lands in the Play Store, predictably only compatible with the Pixel [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 06:33 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.

Luna Launcher

Luna Launcher

Description: Luna Launcher is designed by a father for kids. It's a powerful parental control tool for Android. Kids are using smartphone to learn and play at younger ages then ever before. Some of them are very susceptible to developing an addiction to their smartphones and/or social media.




DescriptionCobbleCord (www.cobblecord.com) is the first of its kind — a free website and App that will help you cobble together your perfect combination of online streaming video services. CobbleCord holds your hand through the sometimes daunting process of cord-cutting – a.k.a. cancelling your expensive cable package filled with unwanted channels.


Uptime Robot

Uptime Robot

DescriptionThe official app for Uptime Robot which is a free uptime monitoring service that supports multiple monitoring types (HTTP, keyword, ping and port). It can notify you once a monitor is down via e-mail, SMS, Twitter, Slack, HipChat, push and more.




DescriptionFlychat offers a revolutionary way to read messages of your favourite messengers. It overlays every other app and you can reply from anywhere you want.




DescriptionDraftMaster is a new, phone-first take on fantasy football that delivers the best parts of daily and season-long fantasy, without the headaches. The gameplay is simple: draft your weekly lineup, compete against your friends, select your keepers, and repeat!




DescriptionStash is an intelligent bookmarking tool that will automatically analyze and organize links that you save, allowing you to find them when you need them.


Disney Story Central

Disney Story Central

DescriptionDive into hundreds of Disney adventures, starring all of your favorite characters with Disney Story Central! Everyone in the family can build their own collection of stories, themed with the characters they love and get personal recommendations selected just for them! 


Messenger Lite

Messenger Lite

DescriptionInstantly reach the people in your life for free with Messenger Lite. This lightweight version of Messenger is faster, uses less data and works in all network conditions.




DescriptionSprayscape 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.


Tandem: Language Exchange

Tandem Language Exchange

DescriptionThe best way to learn languages is to practice speaking as much as you can. Tandem makes language exchange easy. With our language learning app you can practice talking with native speakers who can help you learn and get fluent in no time. With more than 3m users already, become part of a buzzing language learning community.


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Google updates Play Store developer policy with examples of text, images, and videos that will get your app taken down

Posted: 19 Oct 2016 03:35 AM PDT


According to the Google Play developer content policy, Google wants to build "the world's most trusted store for apps and games." With this in mind, the company has updated the developer policy with examples of things that will get your app removed from the store, such as sexually explicit material, excessive graphic violence, or use of drugs, plus some 'metadata' app listing items which are now not allowed.

The listing is an important part of how an app is promoted to customers.

Read More

Google updates Play Store developer policy with examples of text, images, and videos that will get your app taken down was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Pay gets a new, more stylish landing site

Posted: 18 Oct 2016 11:05 PM PDT


The Android Pay landing site (android.com/pay) has just been revamped with some more eye-catching elements. I haven't heard anybody complain that Android Pay's landing site is too drab, but this new site definitely looks quite a bit nicer. (You can check out the old one here.)

When you get to the site, you're hit with a splash of color, some "tap. pay. xxxxx." text, and a Nexus 6P or 5X demonstrating these actions (oddly, they didn't go with the Pixel or Pixel XL for this).

Read More

Android Pay gets a new, more stylish landing site was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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