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Monday, December 5, 2016

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Google Assistant's Smart Reply in Allo updated with Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese language support

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 01:28 PM PST

alloGoogle's Allo chat program remains the only way to access the cool Assistant voice control tools without spending money (either on a new Pixel phone or a Google Home gadget). But as with a lot of Google products, it seems fairly focused on the American market. Today its Smart Reply linguistic powers get widened to two of the next-most-spoken languages on the planet, Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese. Support seems to be rolling out via a server-side switch, so don't be surprised if you can't immediately change to either language.

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Google Assistant's Smart Reply in Allo updated with Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese language support was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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A sweet update to Nougat: Android 7.1.1

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 12:49 PM PST

Plex updated to v5.2 with syncing to adoptable storage and more

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 12:29 PM PST

Plex-ThumbThere's a Plex update rolling out, and it has finally fixed a long-standing deficiency in the app. Specifically, syncing just didn't work on adoptable storage. As of v5.2, it does. That's not all that's changing this time, either.

Here's the full changelog for Plex v5.2. The adoptable storage support is the most important change, but there's a ton of little stuff.


  • Update Audio Player to improve the visibility of Lyrics.
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Plex updated to v5.2 with syncing to adoptable storage and more was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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40 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (11/22/16 - 12/5/16)

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 12:23 PM PST

Android 7.1.1 begins rolling out for Pixel and Nexus devices

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 11:50 AM PST

Last month, Vodafone was talking about the Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for its Nexus 6P, and now Google is making that update officially official.

Google has updated both its over-the-air (OTA) update site and factory images site to reflect that Android 7.1.1 is now beginning its rollout to a select number of devices. The Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6PNexus 5X, and Nexus 9 are now receiving the update.

With the new software, Nexus devices will catch up in the software department to Pixel phones, including support for app shortcuts when long-pressing on an app's icon. Also, support for round app icons is in there, among other new additions.

While these Nexus phones, and the Pixel C tablet, will be adopting some of the new additions that initially saw the light of day with Android 7.1 on the Pixel smartphones, it's worth noting that they won't be getting Assistant just yet.

The Verizon variants of the Pixel and Pixel XL are also receiving the Android 7.1.1.

If you have these devices, are you looking forward to the update?

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Welcoming Android 7.1.1 Nougat

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 11:28 AM PST

Posted by Dave Burke, VP of Engineering

Android Nougat

Android 7.1.1 Nougat!

Today we're rolling out an update to Nougat -- Android 7.1.1 for Pixel and Pixel XL devices and the full lineup of supported Nexus devices. We're also pushing the Android 7.1.1 source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) so that device makers can get their hands on the latest version of Android.

With Android 7.1.1 officially on it's way to users, it's a good time to make sure your apps are ready.

What's in Android 7.1.1?

Android 7.1.1 is an incremental release that builds on the features already available on Pixel and Pixel XL devices, adding a handful of new features for consumers as well as optimizations and bug fixes on top of the base Android 7.1 platform (API level 25).

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. For details on API Level 25, check out the API diffs and the API reference.

You can find an overview of all of the Android Nougat developer resources here, including details on the core Android 7.0 Nougat behavior changes and developer features.

Coming to consumer devices soon

We're starting the Android 7.1.1 rollout today, and we expect it to reach all eligible devices over the next several weeks. Pixel and Pixel XL devices will get the over-the-air (OTA) update, as will Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and General Mobile 4G (Android One) devices. Devices enrolled in the Android Beta Program will receive the final version as well. As always, you can also download and flash this update manually.

We've also been working with our device manufacturer partners to bring Android 7.1.1 to their devices in the months ahead.

Make sure your apps are ready

Take this opportunity to test your apps for compatibility and optimize them to look their best on Android 7.1.1, such as by providing round icons and adding app shortcuts. We recommend compiling your app with, and ideally targeting, API 25. See our recent post for details.

With the final platform we're updating the platform and build tools in Android Studio, as well as 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.

We're also providing downloadable factory and OTA images on the Nexus Images page to help you do final testing on your Pixel and Nexus devices. 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 through the end of December.

After your final testing, publish your apps to your alpha, beta, or production channels in the Google Play Developer Console.

What's next?

We'll soon be closing open bugs logged against Developer Preview builds, but please keep the feedback coming! If you still see an issue that you filed in the preview tracker, just file a new issue against Android 7.1 in the AOSP issue tracker. You can also continue to give us feedback or ask questions in the N Preview Developer community.

As mentioned back in August, we've moved Android Nougat into a regular maintenance cycle and we're already started work on refinements and bug fixes for the next incremental update. If you have an eligible device that's currently enrolled in the Android Beta Program, your device will automatically receive preview updates of upcoming Android Nougat releases as soon as they are available. If you don't want to receive those updates, just visit the Beta site and unenroll the device.

Thanks for being part of the developer preview. Let us know how this year's preview met your needs by taking a short survey. Your feedback helps to shape our future releases.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon offers a free $50 gift card with a one year Dropbox Pro subscription

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 09:53 AM PST

dropboxDropbox, being the de facto leader in paid cloud storage, rarely offers any discounts on its 1TB "Pro" service. But lately that seems to be changing, if only through Dropbox's retail partners: Dell offered a sizable discount on a year's subscription plus a gift card last month, and now Amazon is doing something similar. Head to this link and you can purchase a year of premium Dropbox service for $99, with a free $50 gift card for Amazon, effectively bringing down the price to just $49.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon offers a free $50 gift card with a one year Dropbox Pro subscription was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sprint extends three free lines deal from Black Friday

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 09:50 AM PST

For Black Friday, Sprint ran a promotion that offered three free lines of service for switching at least one line to Sprint. That deal officially ended on December 1, but the Now Network has seen fit to extend it.

Sprint is offering the same deal as before, giving you three free lines of service as long as you switch at least one line to Sprint and sign up for an Unlimited Freedom plan with AutoPay. Once these requirements are meant, you'll get your third, fourth, and fifth lines for free.

It's worth noting that the three lines are free only until January 31, 2018, after which they will revert to their standard $30 per month per line price.

Sprint says that the promotion will only be available for a "limited time."

Do you plan on taking advantage of this deal?

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Is This BlackBerry’s Upcoming QWERTY Phone Dubbed ‘Mercury’?

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 09:33 AM PST


Blackberry might not be making phones itself anymore, but that doesn't mean you won't be seeing a new 'Berry' soon enough.

The company ended all internal hardware developments and outsourced that function to partners, which will be making the next BlackBerry. The rumor mill calls it Mercury and over the weekend a few images of the purported device leaked online.

Word on the street has it Mercury is going to be the last device with a physical QWERTY keyboard developed in-house. The pictures you see here popped up on Weibo.

The phone comes with a rectangular design and runs Android out of the box. A few months ago, the Mercury showed up in GeekBench with model number BBB100-1 and revealing its specs.

If we are to flag the listing as authentic, the phone should make a debut with a 4.5-inch display with 720 x 1280 pixel resolution and a Snapdragon 625 chipset clocked at 2.02GHz under the hood. The BlackBerry could also arrive carrying 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and an impressive 18MP main camera plus an 8MP selfie shooter.

Breathing life into the rumoured model will be a 3,400 mAh battery. Mercury will launch with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box and BlackBerry will slip some of its software package on board.

If the listing turns out to be true, the Mercury will make an entrance as a budget-minded device that shouldn't be super expensive. What do you think?


The post Is This BlackBerry's Upcoming QWERTY Phone Dubbed 'Mercury'? appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Unannounced BlackBerry Android phone with physical keyboard leaks

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 09:05 AM PST

BlackBerry has launched a few Android-based devices to date, and they're slowing down anytime soon.

As revealed in leaked photos, BlackBerry has at least one new device coming down the pipe that features a touchscreen and a physical keyboard. Of course, this isn't a surprise, as BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed that such a device was being developed.


Photos showing the handset have been published to the Chinese social network Weibo, showing a handset that looks like a cross between a Motorola DROID Pro and BlackBerry's own Classic.

Unfortunately, the images weren't accompanied by any details regarding specs or features, so we don't know the resolution or size of the display, what processor BlackBerry plans to use, or how much storage it will include.

Based on just looks, what do you think of this new handset?

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Google’s Trusted Contacts makes it quick and easy to share your location in an emergency

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 09:05 AM PST

For situations where quickly sharing one's location is important, Google wants to make it easier to get that done, all with people that you've designated to be important to you.

Trusted Contacts is available in the Play Store beginning today. With it, users will be able to quickly learn a contact's location or share their own.

Trusted Contacts lets users add their friends and family for quick access. Once someone is added, they will be able to request your location from within the app. The app will give you the ability to deny that request if you so desire, but if you don't respond to the prompt, your location will be shared automatically. Users can send out their location to their trusted contacts, too.

Additionally, the app works based on your stored Google location history, so your phone doesn't even need to be on for someone to request your location.

Trusted Contacts also makes it possible for a person to see the battery life remaining in your device and see the last time you were active.

The app is opt-in, and you'll need a device running Android 4.1 or later to use it.

What do you think of the Trusted Contacts?

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Google Reveals Top Play Store Apps and Games for 2016

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 08:58 AM PST


Are you out of ideas when it comes to apps or games to download next on your phone? Google might be able to help.

Since we're nearing the end of 2016, Google has posted a list of the best apps, games but also books and movies listed in its Play Store.

Naturally the game list is dominated by Pokemon Go – a game that has made countless headlines over the last few months.

In the trending apps list you'll find a two photo/selfie editors which basically reaffirms that our generation is in love with taking pictures of itself.

Anyway, check Google's full list for yourself in case you want some fresh ideas about which content to check out next:

Top trending apps:

  1. Face Changer 2
  2. Lumyer – Photo & Selfie Editor
  3. Castbox – Podcast Radio Music
  4. Emoji Keyboard Pro
  5. MSQRD

Top trending games:

  1. Pokémon GO
  2. Clash Royale
  3. Traffic Rider
  4. slither.io
  5. Dream League Soccer

Top streamed songs:

  1. Stressed Out, Twenty One Pilots
  2. Sorry, Justin Bieber
  3. One Dance (feat. WizKid & Kyla), Drake
  4. Don't Let Me Down (feat. Daya), The Chainsmokers
  5. Me, Myself & I, G-Eazy

Top movies:

  1. Deadpool
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  3. Zootopia
  4. Captain America: Civil War
  5. Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Top TV shows:

  1. Game of Thrones
  2. The Walking Dead
  3. The Big Bang Theory
  4. Mr. Robot
  5. The Flash

Top new books:

  1. Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe by Cullen Bunn
  2. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two (Special Rehearsal Edition) by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
  3. The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
  4. The Art of War by Tzu Sun
  5. Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Moyes


The post Google Reveals Top Play Store Apps and Games for 2016 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Google’s New Trusted Contacts App Wants You To Be Safe

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 08:58 AM PST


Planning a solo trip into the wilderness to clear your mind and get away from the city? Then you might want to make sure you have a way of letting your loved ones know you are ok. And with Google's new Trusted Contacts app you can do just that.

The Android app allows you to share your location with your trusted group of friends and family via the device's GPS system. People in that list will also be able to know whether your phone is out of battery or offline.


Trusted Contacts gives users the option to create a circle of up to 50 people, although most of us will probably add only 4 to 6 people to the group. When they open the app, loved ones can see whether you are "active" – basically if you're connected and moving, or the last time you were active.

If friends and family believe you are in danger, they can request your location. The app offers a five minute window for you to approve or deny a request to revealing your whereabouts. If you don't respond, it will forward your location or last known location to your trusted circle.


The app can also be used as a virtual companion – you'll be able to share your daily route with coworkers or friends and they can watch you as you arrive at your destination. There is a potential for creepiness to be tapped here – just imagine your boss staring at the screen waiting for you to walk in the office door.

Trusted Contacts is available for download free of charge from the Play Store, available now.


The post Google's New Trusted Contacts App Wants You To Be Safe appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Motorola Moto X (2017) Leaks in Images

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 08:58 AM PST


The Motorola Moto X (2016) appeared in a few leaks a few months back, but the device never materialized into a real product.

But luckily it seems like Motorola is looking to bring back the Moto X next year. According to a recently leaked roadmap, Motorola is plotting the return of the Moto X in 2017.

It appears that Lenovo will also be involved in the design and engineering of the upcoming device, while Motorola is going to be on its own for the Moto Z and Moto G.


Fast forward a few weeks later and the Moto X (2017) has already made an appearance online in the flesh. The phone appears to be entirely made out of metal and sporting a big round camera on the back, characteristic of the Moto lineup.

So far we're in the dark regarding next year's Moto X. We don't know much about specs or launch date, but we can speculate.

The phone could arrive with a QHD display and take advantage of Qualcomm's newly announced Snapdragon 835. Or maybe it's going to be the Snapdragon 830, which is supposedly still in the pipeline.

We do hope Motorola will launch the Moto X (2017) in Canada and the States. We're pretty sure there are plenty of Moto X fans in these countries that will welcome its return.

[Tech Droider]

The post Motorola Moto X (2017) Leaks in Images appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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[Deal Alert] Grab Prince of Persia: Shadow & Flame for $0.10 in select countries

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 08:43 AM PST


The name Prince of Persia should be familiar to many gamers. The series has been around a long time, seen many reboots and remasters, and platformed onto several... well, platforms. Chronologically set after Prince of Persia Classic, Shadow & Flame introduces some new combat and movement mechanics optimized for mobile. It is currently $0.10 in certain countries (yep, another one of those). Unfortunately for us United States fans, the U.S. is excluded from this sale.

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[Deal Alert] Grab Prince of Persia: Shadow & Flame for $0.10 in select countries was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Google releases Trusted Contacts, a location sharing app for personal safety and emergency assistance

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 06:18 AM PST


Over the past couple of years, we've seen many iterations on the personal safety app, but the gist has always remained the same: choose a few persons you trust to share your location with all the time, or at least when you feel the need or they request it. Now Google is releasing its own official take on the matter, Trusted Contacts, and part of me is wishing this app or its functionality at least becomes integrated in all Android phones from now on.

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Google releases Trusted Contacts, a location sharing app for personal safety and emergency assistance was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Tap. Pay. Celebrate.

Posted: 05 Dec 2016 02:47 AM PST

Little Briar Rose offers a Grimm adventure with gorgeous stained glass visuals

Posted: 04 Dec 2016 05:55 PM PST

image (1)On paper, Little Briar Rose isn't anything particularly exciting. It's a competent side-scrolling adventure title, a rookie effort from developer Elf Games, that retells the Grimm fairy tale of the same name. But the game's visuals, painstakingly crafted to look like an animated stained glass window on every frame, are downright breathtaking. In a sea of pixelated graphics and safe me-too styles, Little Briar Rose is a breath of fresh air.

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Little Briar Rose offers a Grimm adventure with gorgeous stained glass visuals was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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