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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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DEAL: Alcatel Idol 4S selling for $349 without its VR headset

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 02:29 PM PST

The Alcatel Idol 4S is one of the best Android devices currently available in the $400 segment, but its desirability factor has been bumped up a few notches thanks to the phone's new $349.99 price. The new low price gets you the same phone as before, but you won't get the VR headset and Incipio case that ships with the $399.99 model.

Since the $400 OnePlus 3 has been replaced by the $439 OnePlus 3T, we suspect there will be a lot of people interested in the cheaper Alcatel Idol 4S. The phone is still bundled with JBL headphones and a tempered glass screen protector, add-ons which would set you back an additional $30 to $40 if you were to buy them separately.

When you consider that the Idol 4S is equipped with a 5.5-inch QHD display, Snapdragon 652 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 16MP rear camera, 8MP selfie cam, fingerprint sensor and stereo speakers which pump out audio to the front and back of the phone, there's no denying that the Idol 4S is the best phone you can buy if you're only looking to spend $350.

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Telegram updated to v3.14 with 'Instant View' links, interface improvements, faster camera, and more

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 01:22 PM PST


Telegram updates are always fun. Not only do the developers tend to release substantial new features, but the changelogs and blog posts are amusing. Such is the case with v3.14, which is rolling out now in the Play Store. The Android version is getting some wide-ranging updates to bring it closer in functionality to the iOS app, and there are some all new features like Instant View links. It's like viewing links, but you know...

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Telegram updated to v3.14 with 'Instant View' links, interface improvements, faster camera, and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Re-Volt3 hits the Play Store, frantic, competitive RC racing inbound

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 11:52 AM PST


Remote control cars are great fun, so game developer WeGo Interactive has brought a form of that to Android, with the release of Re-Volt3, a sequel to the popular Re-Volt2. The 'official launch' of the game is today, with different items on offer every day until November 27. Previous to today the game has been a in geo-restricted, limited launch, but today it is available worldwide on the Play Store.

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Re-Volt3 hits the Play Store, frantic, competitive RC racing inbound was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: Live on stable build] Latest Spotify beta brings back a redesigned bottom nav bar

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 10:52 AM PST

  • It would appear that this change is also going live for users on the stable channel, which makes it seems like this was a server-side switch.


I am certainly not the first to say it, but I do not like the bottom navigation bar thing. Perhaps because I have been trained to like the slide-out navigation in my years of using Android. Who knows. Regardless, it is a trend and we are seeing more apps toying with the idea.

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[Update: Live on stable build] Latest Spotify beta brings back a redesigned bottom nav bar was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Final update to Android 7.1 Developer Preview

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 10:34 AM PST

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Today we're rolling out an update to the Android 7.1 Developer Preview -- the last before we release the final Android 7.1.1 platform to the ecosystem. Android 7.1.1 includes the developer features already available on Pixel and Pixel XL devices and adds optimizations and bug fixes on top of the base Android 7.1 platform. With Developer Preview 2, you can make sure your apps are ready for Android 7.1.1 and the consumers that will soon be running it on their devices.

As highlighted in October, we're also expanding the range of devices that can receive this Developer Preview update to Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C.

If you have a supported device that's enrolled in the Android Beta Program, you'll receive an update to Developer Preview 2 over the coming week. If you haven't enrolled your device yet, just visit the site to enroll your device and get the update.

In early December, we'll roll out Android 7.1.1 to the full lineup of supported devices as well as Pixel and Pixel XL devices.

What's in this update?

Developer Preview 2 is a release candidate for Android 7.1.1 that you can use to complete your app development and testing in preparation for the upcoming final release. In includes near-final system behaviors and UI, along with the latest bug fixes and optimizations across the system and Google apps.

It also includes the developer features and APIs (API level 25) already introduced in Developer Preview 1. If you haven't explored the developer features, you'll want to take a look at app shortcuts, round icon resources, and image keyboard support, among others -- you can see the full list of developer features here.

With Developer Preview 2, we're also updating the SDK build and platform tools in Android Studio, the Android 7.1.1 platform, and the API Level 25 emulator system images. The latest version of the support library (25.0.1) is also available for you to add image keyboard support, bottom navigation, and other features for devices running API Level 25 or earlier.

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

Get your apps ready for Android 7.1

Now is the time to optimize your apps to look their best on Android 7.1.1. To get started, update to Android Studio 2.2.2 and then download the API Level 25 platform, emulator system images, and tools through the SDK Manager in Android Studio.

After installing 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. You can test your round icons on the Google APIs emulator for API Level 25, which includes support for round icons and the new Google Pixel Launcher.

Android Studio and the Google APIs emulator let you quickly create and test your round icon assets.

If you're adding 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.

Scale your tests using Firebase Test Lab for Android

To help scale your testing, make sure to take advantage of Firebase Test Lab for Android and run your tests in the cloud at no charge during the preview period on all virtual devices including the Developer Preview 2 (API 25). You can use the automated crawler (Robo Test) to test your app without having to write any test scripts, or you can upload your own instrumentation (e.g. Espresso) tests. You can upload your tests here.

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

After you've finished final testing, you can publish your updates compiled against, and optionally targeting, API 25 to Google Play. You can publish 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.

Get Developer Preview 2 on Your Eligible Device

If you have an eligible device that's already enrolled in the Android Beta Program, the device will get the Developer Preview 2 update over the coming week. No action is needed on your part. If you aren't yet enrolled in program, the easiest way to get started is by visiting android.com/beta and opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet -- you'll soon receive this preview update over-the-air. As always, you can also download and flash this update manually.

As mentioned above, this Developer Preview update is available for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, and Pixel C devices.

We're expecting to launch the final release of the Android 7.1.1 in just a few weeks Starting in December, we'll roll out Android 7.1.1 to the full lineup of supported preview devices, as well as the recently launched Pixel and Pixel XL devices. At that time, we'll also push the sources to AOSP, so our device manufacturer partners can bring this new platform update to consumers on their devices.

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

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Blue Coral Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Lands at Rogers

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 09:25 AM PST


Are you looking to purchase a premium Samsung smartphone but you can't make up your mind? Well maybe the following news will help you decide.

Rogers just announced reservations for purchasing the Blue Coral version of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge are now being accepted.

The appealing color was first introduced with the now defunct Galaxy Note7, so those who want to bring back the vibe of the phablet will surely be thrilled by the new Galaxy S7 edge version.

While Rogers is accepting reservations for the device, Samsung.ca is also offering the stunning Blue Coral phone starting at $1,000 CAD.


In case you don't remember, the Galaxy S7 edge was introduced back at MWC 2016 in Barcelona, alongside its non-curved brother the Galaxy S7.

The dual-curved display phone takes advantage of a Snapdragon 820 in combination with 4GB of RAM and 32GB/64GB of internal storage. The device features a 5.5-inch display with 1,440 x 2,560 pixel resolution and a 12MP/5MP camera combo.

The Galaxy S7 edge features microSD cardslot for memory expansion and a fingerprint scanner. Users can also make payments via Samsung Pay just by using their phones.

So far the phone was sold in Black, White, Gold, Silver and Pink Gold. Now customers have a new option available. Are you going to get one?


The post Blue Coral Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Lands at Rogers appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Calling European game developers, enter the Indie Games Contest by December 31

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 08:34 AM PST

Originally posted on Google Developers blog

Posted by Matteo Vallone, Google Play Partner Development Manager

To build awareness of the awesome innovation and art that indie game developers are bringing to users on Google Play, we have invested heavily over the past year in programs like Indie Corner, as well as events like the Google Play Indie Games Festivals in North America and Korea.

As part of that sustained effort, we also want to celebrate the passion and innovation of indie game developers with the introduction of the first-ever Google Play Indie Games Contest in Europe. The contest will recognize the best indie talent in several countries and offer prizes that will help you get your game noticed by industry experts and gamers worldwide.

Prizes for the finalists and winners:

  • An open showcase held at the Saatchi Gallery in London
  • YouTube influencer campaigns worth up to 100,000 EUR
  • Premium placements on Google Play
  • Tickets to Google I/O 2017 and other top industry events
  • Promotions on our channels
  • Special prizes for the best Unity game
  • And more!

Entering the contest:

If you're based in Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France (coming soon), Germany, Iceland, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland (coming soon), Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, or UK (excl. Northern Ireland), have 15 or less full time employees, and published a new game on Google Play after 1 January 2016, you may now be eligible to enter the contest. If you're planning on publishing a new game soon, you can also enter by submitting a private beta. Check out all the details in the terms and conditions. Submissions close on 31 December 2016.

The process:

Up to 20 finalists will get to showcase their games at an open event at the Saatchi Gallery in London on the 16th February 2017. At the event, the top 10 will be selected by the event attendees and the Google Play team. The top 10 will then get the opportunity to pitch to a jury of industry experts, from which the final winner and runners up will be selected.

Even if someone is NOT entering the contest:

Even if you're not eligible to enter the contest, you can still register to attend the final showcase event in London on 16 February 2017, check out some great indie games, and have fun with various industry experts and indie developers. We will also be hosting a workshop for all indie games developers from across EMEA in the new Google office in Kings Cross the next day, so this will be a packed week.

Get started:

Enter the Indie Games Contest now and visit the contest site to find out more about the contest, the event, and the workshop.

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HTC announces the 10 evo, an international version of the Bolt

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 08:07 AM PST


The HTC 10 came out a good while ago now - at least in terms of technology - so the Tawinese company is feeling the need to refresh its lineup in time for Christmas. Just as well, then, that the HTC Bolt came out recently, right? Well, HTC is now releasing that phone for international markets, under the name HTC 10 evo.

The evo is, for all intents and purposes, the same phone as the Bolt.

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HTC announces the 10 evo, an international version of the Bolt was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC 10 evo is the international Bolt

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 07:24 AM PST

Earlier this month, HTC and Sprint teamed up to launch the Sprint-exclusive Bolt, but HTC wasn't content on keeping their latest device as a single carrier exclusive.

The HTC 10 evo is a rebadged Bolt that will be available in other markets around the globe. The 10 evo is the same device as the Bolt, including the IP57 water resistance rating and the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with the 5.5-inch QHD display. There's also a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM under the hood, and a 16-megapixel camera on the back with optical image stabilization. Android 7.0 is on board as well.

As with the Bolt, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack on the 10 evo. You'll need either USB Type-C or wireless headphones to listen to music here. HTC is including wired headphones in the box.

Unfortunately there's no word on pricing just yet, but the HTC 10 evo will be available in gunmetal, black, and gold when it does launch.

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The Sony Xperia XZ gets a $74 price cut on Amazon

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 03:04 AM PST

For a limited time, the price of the Sony Xperia XZ has been reduced by $74.22 on Amazon. For those keeping track, that's a $74.22 on top of the $50 price reduction the Xperia XZ was given in late October, lowering the final price to just $575.77. The Sony Xperia XZ's main highlight is its 23MP camera with triple image sensors (Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, Laser Autofocus, and RGBC IR) which can capture images instantaneously and track moving object better than any other smartphone on the market. 

The Sony Xperia XZ sold by Amazon does come with a US warranty and is fully compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Since the Sony Xperia XZ's reduced price is featured as part of Amazon's Black Friday Deals Week, don't be surprised if the phone's regular $649.99 price tag shows back up in the next day or two.

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Wind Mobile Rebrands as Freedom Mobile, Launches LTE Network

Posted: 22 Nov 2016 01:50 AM PST


Canada's fourth major carrier, Wind Mobile has just announced a major rebrand. From now on the company will be known as Freedom Mobile.

But that's not all, the Canadian telecom also announced it's long overdue LTE network in Toronto and Vancouver is scheduled to go live on November 27.

Wind Mobile has been engaging in competition with Canada's big three mobile operators – Rogers, Telus and Bell ever since 2009, but remains smaller in comparison. Last year, the company was acquired by Calgary-based Shaw Communications for $1.6 CAD billion.


For months Freedom Mobile has teased its customers via Twitter with the upcoming launch of the LTE network, as well as the release of the high-end dual-camera LG V20 flagship. Now it seems we're a step closer to seeing things become reality.

With the Freedom rebrand, the company now brings forth a new look and marketing voice. All existing customer accounts and rate plans will be automatically ported to Freedom Mobile, including pre-authorized payments and other regular transactions.


Freedom Mobile plans to offer new LTE plans starting at $45 CAD which offer unlimited calling to Canada and the US plus unlimited global messaging (within Freedom's 3G and LTE coverage areas). The plan also bundles 3GB of monthly data, with a bonus of 3GB of data through the end of January 2017. It might just be the deal you're looking for.

However, we should point out that Wind is using a wireless spectrum in the AWS-3 frequency band to build its LTE network and this particular band has not been widely deployed worldwide. This means only a few phones out there are compatible with this frequency, so the majority of users won't be able to simply take advantage of the LTE service for now.


The post Wind Mobile Rebrands as Freedom Mobile, Launches LTE Network appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google announces $99 sale on Google Home across several retailers

Posted: 21 Nov 2016 09:04 PM PST

Best Buy has put up their Black Friday sales catalog that offers Google Home at $99, $30 off. Fortunately, you're not limited to Best Buy, because Google has announced the same sale across multiple retailers.

Google's sale starts on November 23rd and will apply to the Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. You now have a choice of four different retailers to pick up your new Google Home. Hit the source link for more info and links to buy it come the 23rd!

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Huawei announces Black Friday sales on Honor 8, Fit, Watch, and more

Posted: 21 Nov 2016 05:29 PM PST

Black Friday is almost upon us, and Huawei decided to celebrate early. The company has announced sales on many of its newer devices, including the Honor 8, Huawei Watch, Huawei Fit, MediaPad M3, and MateBook.

Huawei Black Friday sale

The Honor 8, a device which I absolutely love, is discounted by $100, bringing it down to $300 for the 32GB version and $350 for the 64GB version. The Huawei Watch is also being discounted, with the cheapest dropping $100 to $199.99. The Fit is down $30 to $99.99, the MediaPad M3 is down to $250 with $50 off, and the MateBook is discounted $200 on all models.

The sales are all available now at the retailers listed, so if you want to pick one of these devices up, you should do it now!

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Sprint LG G5 getting Nougat update

Posted: 21 Nov 2016 05:29 PM PST

LG is pushing hard to keep up with updates. Despite the software skin and being a carrier model, the Sprint version of the LG G5 is now receiving an update to Android 7.0 Nougat.

The update brings features like direct replies from notifications, an improved Doze mode, and the November security patches. LG also included a simple DPI changer with three settings, which is a very useful feature.

The file is 1.3GB, so you may want to get on WiFi before you start the download. Check for updates in settings and let us know when you get it!

LG G5 Nougat 1 LG G5 Nougat 2 LG G5 Nougat 3
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23 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (11/9/16 - 11/21/16)

Posted: 21 Nov 2016 04:32 PM PST

nexus2cee_gamethumbWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android games 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.


Party Hard Go

Android Police coverage: Dispatch unruly neighbors with pixelated ultra-violence in Party Hard Go

Party Hard mixes the neon-soaked ultraviolence of postmodern games like Hotline Miami with sneaky stealth action a la the original 2D Metal Gear.

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23 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (11/9/16 - 11/21/16) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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