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Monday, November 7, 2016

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Qualcomm teases upcoming OnePlus device with Snapdragon 821

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 01:25 PM PST

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 chip is the leading processor at this point, but it's only featured in a select number of devices, like Google's Pixel phones. However, OnePlus will soon adopt the flagship chipset, too.

Qualcomm took to Twitter today to tease an upcoming OnePlus device with a Snapdragon 821 processor. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of details to go along with the announcement, so we'll have to keep waiting to see what the new device looks like. For those keeping track, it's only been five months since OnePlus launched the OnePlus 3, the company's current flagship smartphone.

Leaker Evan Blass recently teased a "OnePlus 3T," so it's possible that the company is planning an even more powerful variant of its OnePlus 3 with the Snapdragon 821 on board. With the 821 built-in, the OnePlus 3T would be a Daydream-ready phone, which could certainly earn it a bit more attention whenever it gets announced.

If you bought a OnePlus 3 already, would you consider upgrading to something new if it featured the Snapdragon 821 inside?

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Samsung Galaxy S8 may feature dedicated button for digital assistant when it launches in April

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 01:25 PM PST

Following up on a report that outlined Samsung's plans to include the Viv digital assistant in the Galaxy S8, some more details on Samsung's plans have come to light.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that one of the new features of the Galaxy S8 will be a dedicated button that will call up its new digital assistant. That button is located along the side of the prototype units that the sources have seen.

It's worth noting that this report is based on prototype units, so it's possible that some things change between now and the launch of the Galaxy S8. As for when that launch will be, today's report also states that Samsung is leaning towards an April release date, which is a bit later than Galaxy S fans have grown accustomed to: the Galaxy S6 debuted in the beginning of March and the Galaxy S7 was announced in February.

What do you think? Should the Galaxy S8 feature a hardware button to call up a digital assistant?

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Pokémon GO updated to v0.45.0 with daily rewards, gym tweaks, and more [APK Download]

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 12:27 PM PST


Ah, Pokémon GO... those first few weeks over the summer were something magical. Even if you aren't very into Pokémon, it was amazing to see that so many people were experiencing the same thing out in the real world at the same time. Then, Niantic killed the Pokémon tracker and took ages to improve the basics. Pokémon GO is still popular compared to most mobile games, but the developer is looking to regain some momentum with the v0.45.0 release.

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Pokémon GO updated to v0.45.0 with daily rewards, gym tweaks, and more [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Make and ndk-build support in Android Studio 2.2

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 11:21 AM PST

Posted by Kathryn Shih, Android Product Manager

In addition to supporting the experimental Gradle plugin, Android Studio 2.2 enables you to build C/C++ components of Android projects using CMake and ndk-build.

The Android Studio team plans to continue to support the experimental Gradle plugin. This will eventually replace the current Gradle plugin, providing additional tightly-integrated benefits to C/C++ developers such as smarter dependency management. So if you're interested in someday having the smartest possible interface between your IDE and your build system, you shouldn't ignore the experimental plugin.

CMake and ndk-build are useful alternatives to Gradle in several cases:

  • Projects that are already using CMake or ndk-build, such as legacy Eclipse ndk projects
  • Projects that are unable to assume the risk of using an experimental plugin for their C/C++ builds
  • Projects that will share a C/C++ build system across multiple platforms
  • C/C++ projects that need to use advanced features currently unavailable in experimental Gradle such as NEON support

For new projects, we recommend using CMake or experimental Gradle. For new Android projects with limited C++, we recommend trying the experimental Gradle plugin. For projects with substantial amounts of C++, or where you want the maximally stable build configuration, we recommend using a CMake build. Android Studio intends CMake to be a permanently supported solution.

While we think that there are substantial advantages to having a single build system able to handle all parts of an Android application, stabilizing the experimental plugin is not an option for us because it relies on Gradle APIs that are still a work in progress. Until the Gradle APIs are stabilized, the experimental plugin will keep changing, particularly in its Domain Specific Language, and will be strictly tied to a very specific version of Gradle itself.

Note that the the old, undocumented ndkCompile integration is deprecated. If you are using it, you need to move away from it as we'll remove it completely in the near future. We recommend migrating to gradle+cmake via our migration guide.

Migrating from Eclipse to Android Studio

We no longer support the Eclipse ADT. To get started migrating, download and install Android Studio. For most projects, migration is as simple as importing your existing Eclipse ADT projects in Android Studio with the File → New→ Import Project menu option. For more details on the migration process, check out the migration guide.

Feedback and Open Source Contributions

We're dedicated to making Android Studio the best possible integrated development environment for building Android apps, so if there are missing features or other challenges preventing you from using Android Studio, we want to hear about it [please take our survey]. You can also file bugs or feature requests directly with the team, and let us know via our Twitter or Google+ accounts.

Android Studio is an open source project, available to all at no cost. Check out our Open Source project page if you're interested in contributing or learning more.

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Samsung Canada Issues Galaxy Note7 Update to Limit Battery Charging to 60%

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 10:47 AM PST


Recently we told you that the Galaxy Note7 is scheduled to be blacklisted on New Zealand's mobile networks, in a bid to peruse phablet owners to return the potentially explosive device.

Well in other territories, Samsung is not taking such a drastic measure. In Canada, the company has simply rolled out an update for the device which limits battery charging to 60%, reports Mobile Syrup. It is Samsung's way of making sure people who are still holding on to the Note7 won't end up with a fiery device when they least expect it.


It's not clear whether the update is "forced" or not. In all likelihood it's not, so users will have a choice between ignoring the notification and updating the device. Once installed, the phone will show you a "Power down and stop using this Note7" message, while informing the user the Note7 is a recalled device which needs to be returned.

The controversial Note7 has already been banned from flights and owners of the device are prohibited by law from re-selling the handset to third-parties.

Samsung hopes a limited battery capacity will finally convince those who are still holding on to a Galaxy Note7 to return them. The company has been trying to lure users into renouncing the device by offering $100 credit towards the purchase of another Galaxy phone. But that doesn't seem to incentive enough for diehard Galaxy Note7 fans.

Have you received your update notification yet?

[Mobile Syrup]


The post Samsung Canada Issues Galaxy Note7 Update to Limit Battery Charging to 60% appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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[Deal Alert] Kingdom Rush Origins and Stellarium Mobile Sky Map are now $0.10 in some countries (not U.S.)

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 09:38 AM PST


So let's just get this out of the way. Neither of the deals here are valid in the U.S., nor are they likely to be available in most other countries. Although, it never hurts to check to see if you are in one of the lucky few. We have all seen these 10-cent deals before, so we should all know the drill by now.

First up is the game Kingdom Rush Origins.

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[Deal Alert] Kingdom Rush Origins and Stellarium Mobile Sky Map are now $0.10 in some countries (not U.S.) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Auto is now available on your phone

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 09:32 AM PST

Earlier this year, Google showed what Android Auto would like running on a phone, without the need of an expensive head unit in a car. Now that updated app has finally arrived.

Android Auto is a streamlined way to give you the features that you need while you're driving while helping you to keep your eyes on the road. The Android Auto app offers music controls and tilize voice commands for replying to text messages or taking phone calls. The app will also read your messages out loud, and if you receive a phone call, you'll see a full-screen caller ID.

The new Android Auto also includes the option to automatically launch the app the moment that your phone connects to your car's Bluetooth. Users can also choose to keep their screen on while the app is running or only when the phone is plugged into a charger.

Google also says that better voice commands, including support for "OK Google," are coming soon.

The new Android Auto (2.0) requires Android 5.0 or higher and is rolling out beginning today in over 30 countries around the globe.

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AT&T GoPhone increases data allotments for popular plans

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 09:32 AM PST

AT&T GoPhone has announced that it's ringing in the holiday season with increases in data allotments for the company's two most popular plans. Customers who renew the $45/month plan will receive a 25% boost in data, moving to 4GB of high-speed data. Customers who renew the $60/month plan will also receive a 25% increase, bringing their allotment up to 8GB of high-speed data per month.

In addition, deals are being offered on 4G LTE smartphones. From Friday, November 11, to the end of the year, the ZTE Maven 2 will be free for customers who activate a new line and pay at least $30 for service. For the same time period, the LG Phoenix 2 will be discounted to $49.99, down from its regular price of $69.99.

AT&T GoPhone doesn't offer the same array of devices as its full-fledged parent, but it does give customers an option for inexpensive no-contract plans. Additionally, the service includes unlimited talk and text, as well as for rollover data. For those interested in a more affordable option, AT&T GoPhone is a possible alternative.

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Android Auto v2.0 is rolling out with on-phone mode [APK Download]

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 08:58 AM PST


Google announced it would be making Android Auto available directly on your phone's screen a while back, but it didn't offer any time frame. It was starting to look like it was never happening, but lo and behold, Android Auto on phones is now rolling out. It's part of the Android Auto v2.0 app, and we've got the APK ready for you.

When you launch Android Auto 2.0 on your phone, it takes over the full display to show a more friendly driving mode.

Read More

Android Auto v2.0 is rolling out with on-phone mode [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature Viv digital personal assistant

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 08:25 AM PST

In October, Samsung acquired the Viv Labs, Inc. team, which includes the original creators of Apple's Siri digital personal assistant. Just what Samsung planned to do with Viv remained a mystery, but thanks to a recent Samsung briefing, we now know when we'll see Viv show up in a Samsung device.

Samsung will use Viv's tech to create a digital assistant that'll debut with the Galaxy S8, and Samsung says that it will allow for developers to "attach and upload services to our agent." If that sounds familiar to what Apple and Google are doing with their own digital assistants, it should, but obviously Samsung doesn't want to get left behind in that regard. Working with third-party services is instrumental at this point.

Digital assistants are getting a huge chunk of attention recently, from Google's new Assistant and the Home device, and Siri's introduction into macOS. Microsoft has Cortana, and even Amazon has Alexa which started in the Echo device.

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Pixel Launcher, Messenger

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 08:25 AM PST

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. Pixel Launcher

Pixel Launcher

App info: Pixel Launcher is the home screen experience for the Pixel and Pixel XL phones by Google. Personalized information from Google is just a swipe away.


2. Spirit Run: Multiplayer Battle

Spirit Run

App info: Join worldwide battle arena in the universe of Spirit Run! Fight and Win epic realtime duels, acquire souls of your friends and enemies. Help your brood – run to defend the Aztec Temple from Apocalypse.


3 . Messenger


App info: Stay in touch with friends and family. Messenger from Google is a communications app that helps you send and receive SMS and MMS messages to any phone.


4. ActionDirector Video Editor

ActionDirector Video Editor

App info: The simple video editor interface and helpful tutorials will have you adding action effects to your clips instantly. Mix in your own background music and create your own viral video, ready to share on your favorite social networks or messaging apps!


5. Pettson's Inventions 3

PI 3

App info: In the third game about Pettson's Inventions you get to explore Pettson and Findus farm while completing even more of their amazing inventions. Enjoy 36 brand new inventions divided into 6 different areas, each with it's own unique theme.


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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Android Auto: now available in every car

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 08:10 AM PST

Twitter's stable release implements app shortcuts, multi-window, and rounded icons on Android Nougat

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 07:57 AM PST


A couple of weeks ago, Twitter updated its alpha release version to add several of Android Nougat's features. Now these options have made it onto the stable release version of the app, so you no longer need to live on the bleeding edge to benefit from them.

Version 6.22 of Twitter is the one that brings it all. There are Android 7.1's launcher shortcuts, which you can access if you're using the Pixel, Nova, or Action Launcher, as well as a rounded icon that will likely only be visible if you have a Pixel or if you're running a launcher that supports them.

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Twitter's stable release implements app shortcuts, multi-window, and rounded icons on Android Nougat was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google VR Services is going live in preparation for Daydream VR

Posted: 07 Nov 2016 07:19 AM PST


Daydream VR was revealed alongside the Pixel phones and Google Home last month, but while those other things began to ship, news surrounding Google's latest virtual reality headset remained sparse. However, the Mountain View-based company has just pushed an update to Google VR Services, the framework needed for Daydream VR to work with the Pixel and Pixel XL.

2016-11-07-14-44-53 2016-11-07-14-45-13

The update, which is not limited to the Pixel phones (I got the update on my 6P running 7.1.1), weighs in at 6.76MB.

Read More

Google VR Services is going live in preparation for Daydream VR was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Latest Google Play services update restores the 'Check for updates' button on Nexus and Pixel devices

Posted: 06 Nov 2016 04:42 PM PST


With a security update looming on the horizon, we thought now would be a good time to point out that there's a small incentive to update to the latest version of Google Play services ahead of its normal rollout schedule – assuming you didn't already do it for those handy little Cast notifications with player controls. If you happen to miss repeatedly slamming on the update button after it was removed from Nexus devices with the Android 7.1 update, you'll appreciate knowing that Play services v10 restores the button to its former state of existence.

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Latest Google Play services update restores the 'Check for updates' button on Nexus and Pixel devices was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Weekend poll: Do you use Google Photos cloud backup?

Posted: 06 Nov 2016 04:12 PM PST


Google Photos' unlimited cloud backup is one of the best things Google's done with an app product in a while, if you ask me. Unlimited storage of intelligently compressed (or original quality for some phones) photos and video mean you can keep every moment your smartphone (or other camera) captures without ever [realistically] worrying about storage space. It's great. But other photo backup services do exist, and some people just don't like to use (or trust) the cloud for backing up their personal data.

Read More

Weekend poll: Do you use Google Photos cloud backup? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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