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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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Get the guide to finding success in new markets on Google Play

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 02:23 PM PST

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Developer Marketing at Google Play

With just a few clicks, you can publish an app to Google Play and access a global audience of more than 1 billion 30 days active users. Finding success in global markets means considering how each market differs, planning for high quality localization, and tailoring your activity to the local audience. The new Going Global Playbook provides best practices and tips, with advice from developers who've successfully gone global.

This guide includes advice to help you plan your approach to going global, prepare your app for new markets, take your app to market, and also include data and insights for key countries and other useful resources.

This ebook joins others that we've recently published including The Building for Billions Playbook and The News Publisher Playbook. All of our ebooks are promoted in the Playbook for Developers app, which is where you can stay up to date with all the news and best practices you need to find success on Google Play.


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Phiaton BT 330 NC noise cancelling Bluetooth headphone review

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 01:03 PM PST

Bluetooth and active noise cancelling? That's an awesome combo, especially for on-ear headphones. The Phiaton BT 330 NC Bluetooth headphones have a lot to offer.

Details

Bluetooth version: 4.0
Battery life: 14 hrs / 60 hrs (NC on/off)
Price: $199.99
Where to buy: Phiaton, Amazon

Phiaton BT 330 NC headphone review2

The headphones have buttons on both cups. On the right is a switch that can be pressed up and down for volume or held for track skipping or fast forward/rewind. Pressing it in plays and pauses. This switch is right under your thumb when you grip the ear cup. The power button is above that. On the front is a call button, which also activates Google Now, and on the left is a single switch for the noise cancelling.

Comfort

These headphones are surprisingly comfortable for their small size. The ear cushions are soft and very comfortable, and the headband is squishy. They're a little tight on the head, but they would fall off if they weren't due to the on-ear design.

Wearing these for a few hours is no problem, but further wear might cause a little soreness due to the tightness on your ears. Nonetheless, I'd say they are comfortable.

Audio quality

Audio quality is definitely the most important part of any audio product, and the BT 330 NC headphones don't live up to their price point. Don't get me wrong, they don't sound bad, but they don't produce $200 worth of sound.

The sound is reasonably clear. The bass is not very strong but pleasant sounding, though the very low notes are a little muddy. The mids sound good but the highs are very bright, though many people like that. At high volumes there is distortion, but they sound pretty good when turned down.

Turning noise cancelling on and off changes the sound, and interestingly enough, they sound better with it on. The sound is more full and natural. With NC off, it sounds tinny and lifeless. Unfortunately, this means that I couldn't reap the battery life benefits of keeping noise cancelling off.

Build quality

The build quality is excellent. The headphones are made out of plastic, but that's not a bad thing. They're lightweight yet durable. The adjustment is firm and doesn't move accidentally, and the hinges are smooth and snap into position. Each ear cup also rotates on the frame, which is great. The controls all feel very good.

Battery life

The battery life on these headphones is rated at 14 hours with NC on and 30 hours with NC off. These are impressive figures, and the headphones definitely last as long as advertised. Long periods of not using them don't drain them, either.

A critical note is that noise cancellation does not turn off with the headphones. Even when they're off, NC will still function. This is great for times like plane rides when you don't want to listen to music, but it will drain your battery. Always switch NC off when you're done!

Other features

The BT 330 NC headphones get their name due to the noise cancelling feature. Unfortunately, it works pretty poorly. It will block out quiet, constant noise, but things like conversations nearby are nearly unaffected. It works on a PC fan, but not a bathroom fan.

Another feature is an included microUSB to 3.5mm cable. If the battery dies, these headphones can be used with this cable, but sans noise cancellation. This is a great feature for those on the go since a dead battery doesn't mean useless headphones.

Phiaton BT 330 NC5 / 10

Unfortunately, no matter how many features they offer, they don't sound like $200 headphones. There is some muddiness, the highs are overly bright, and the bass is a bit lacking. Not to mention that the noise cancellation doesn't work too great either.

The highlights here are that they're comfortable, they have a long-lasting battery, they can function on a dead battery, and they fold for travel. For these reason, they're a great set of headphones to take with you on an adventure.

If you can get them for a lower price (and you can, check Amazon), they are a good buy. They're definitely good headphones! Just don't pay full price.


Android Match

AT&T launched free Call Protect feature with spam warnings, fraud blocking, and custom number blocking

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 10:34 AM PST

AT&T is not usually one to leave money on the table, but in a rare showing of benevolence, it has launched a new service called Call Protect. It can be activated free on AT&T devices, allowing you to block numbers and get warnings of potential spam calls at the network level.

There are three main features included in Call Protect. Most important of all, known fraud numbers will be automatically blocked from ringing your phone at all.

Read More

AT&T launched free Call Protect feature with spam warnings, fraud blocking, and custom number blocking was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Start building Actions on Google

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 09:24 AM PST

Posted by Jason Douglas, PM Director for Actions on Google

The Google Assistant brings together all of the technology and smarts we've been building for years, from the Knowledge Graph to Natural Language Processing. To be a truly successful Assistant, it should be able to connect users across the apps and services in their lives. This makes enabling an ecosystem where developers can bring diverse and unique services to users through the Google Assistant really important.

In October, we previewed Actions on Google, the developer platform for the Google Assistant. Actions on Google further enhances the Assistant user experience by enabling you to bring your services to the Assistant. Starting today, you can build Conversation Actions for Google Home and request to become an early access partner for upcoming platform features.

Conversation Actions for Google Home

Conversation Actions let you engage your users to deliver information, services, and assistance. And the best part? It really is a conversation -- users won't need to enable a skill or install an app, they can just ask to talk to your action. For now, we've provided two developer samples of what's possible, just say "Ok Google, talk to Number Genie " or try "Ok Google, talk to Eliza' for the classic 1960s AI exercise.

You can get started today by visiting the Actions on Google website for developers. To help create a smooth, straightforward development experience, we worked with a number of development partners, including conversational interaction development tools API.AI and Gupshup, analytics tools DashBot and VoiceLabs and consulting companies such as Assist, Notify.IO, Witlingo and Spoken Layer. We also created a collection of samples and voice user interface (VUI) resources or you can check out the integrations from our early access partners as they roll out over the coming weeks.

Introduction to Conversation Actions by Wayne Piekarski

Coming soon: Actions for Pixel and Allo + Support for Purchases and Bookings

Today is just the start, and we're excited to see what you build for the Google Assistant. We'll continue to add more platform capabilities over time, including the ability to make your integrations available across the various Assistant surfaces like Pixel phones and Google Allo. We'll also enable support for purchases and bookings as well as deeper Assistant integrations across verticals. Developers who are interested in creating actions using these upcoming features should register for our early access partner program and help shape the future of the platform.

Build, explore and let us know what you think about Actions on Google! And to say in the loop, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, join our Google+ community, and use the "actions-on-google" tag on StackOverflow.

Android Match

HTC teases announcement coming on January 12

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 09:04 AM PST

HTC has begun sending out teasers for an announcment on January 12, 2017, with no other information than saying, "Something big is coming from HTC…For U." The nature of the announcement is unknown, as it remains unclear what the event is regarding. The most likely cause is a new smartphone, but it seems unlikely that HTC would release a new flagship so early in 2017. The most likely device to be announced is the rumored HTC X10, which is an upcoming mid-range device.

It's also possible that HTC could be announcing something entirely different. This opens up the realm of possibilities to a wide range including everything from VR to new company collaborations. With such a minimalist approach to the teaser, there's not much in the way of clues. The only notable design piece is that the U is just a rotated version of the C from HTC's logo.

We'll keep you updated on HTC's official announcement on January 12.


Android Match

Minecraft PE 1.0 is available with higher max block height, igloos, and an endgame dragon

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 08:40 AM PST

Minecraft hit upon something primal in our human nature; we like to make things. This game lets you make pretty much anything your heart desires, provided it's composed of voxel-like blocks. The previously teased v1.0 update to Minecraft Pocket Edition has landed on Android, and it adds a number of nice gameplay extras, plus there's something of an endgame with a dragon to slay.

Here's the full changelog posted by Mojang for the v1.0 update.

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Minecraft PE 1.0 is available with higher max block height, igloos, and an endgame dragon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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'Marvel: Contest of Champions' publisher Kabam will sell its assets to South Korean firm Netmarble

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 07:59 AM PST

marvelThe mobile market represents the biggest chunk of video game sales on the planet. It's also the most diverse and contentious, with no clear formula for achieving success or return on investment. When something like Flappy Bird can bring in a million times its operating cost while presumably sure-fire licensed games flop, there's no reliable way to know if your developer's next game will break even. Kabam, a publisher focused on licensed titles from Marvel, Warner Bros., and Universal, is no exception.

Read More

'Marvel: Contest of Champions' publisher Kabam will sell its assets to South Korean firm Netmarble was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Could This Be the Upcoming Nokia P Flagship? [PICS]

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 07:49 AM PST

alleged-nokia-p1

Nokia is making a comeback into the world of smartphones in 2017. But according to the latest info, at MWC 2017 we will probably see a couple of affordable Nokia handsets make an appearance.

However premium phones are still in the cards and according to the latest leak coming out of China, it seems that HMD (the Finnish company which has the rights to Nokia's logo) is still working on a flagship as well.

The phone dubbed Nokia P, leaked in the wild showing a metal back, alongside a few specs. It turns out that Nokia's upcoming high-end handset will bundle a Snapdragon 835 under the hood, 6GB of RAM and a 23MP with Zeiss lens.

Previous rumours would have us believe the Nokia P will be launched in two form factors, one with a 5.2-inch display and the other with a larger 5.5-inch screen. It's quite possible both models will boast QHD resolution (1440 x 2560 pixels).

The two phones will probably launch with Android 7.0 Nougat onboard, although if the release date ends up being pushed towards the end of 2017, Nokia P might make it out with Android O onboard.

All this is pure speculation at this point, so you'd better take this report with a healthy grain of salt.

[KKJ]

The post Could This Be the Upcoming Nokia P Flagship? [PICS] appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


Android Match

Rogers Makes “Roam like Home” Available Beyond Share Everything Plans

Posted: 20 Dec 2016 07:49 AM PST

rogers-store

With the busy holiday season, Rogers wants to make sure you travel safe and keep in touch with everyone that matters to you. That's why the Canadian carrier is opening up its popular roaming plan, "Roam like Home" to all of its subscribers.

The good news is that you don't have to be a "Share Everything" subscriber in order to take advantage of "Roam like Home"

According to Vice President of Wireless Marketing, Leroy Williams: "Customers told us they wanted access to Roam Like Home no matter what wireless plan they were and we listened.

Now we're giving more customers the same freedom to roam, whether it's keeping the kids entertained on the drive down to Florida or using Google Maps to find your way through London."

For those who don't know, "Roam like Home" is a service that immediately becomes activated once a Roger subscriber leaves the country. In the US, the service is available for $5 CAD/per day or $50 CAD/per 10 days max on billing cycles.

Under "Roam like Home" users can place calls, text and use data with no additional costs being involved. Outside the US, the service costs $10/per day, up to a max of $100 per billing cycle.

While Roam Like Home is easy, there are cheaper ways to roam while traveling, such as using a local SIM card with your unlocked device, or using Roam Mobility.

[Rogers]

The post Rogers Makes "Roam like Home" Available Beyond Share Everything Plans appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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51 new and notable (and 1 WTF) Android games from the last 2 weeks (12/6/16 - 12/19/16)

Posted: 19 Dec 2016 07:01 PM PST

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