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Monday, January 16, 2017

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Google app v6.11 beta adds an option to change search region, hints at improvements for Google assistant and Now stream [APK Teardown + Download]

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 04:08 PM PST


Just over two weeks into 2017 and there's already a second beta update to the Google app rolling out to users. The previous version didn't present with any notable new features, but it did leave some clues about future updates. The latest update is also packed with nuggets of future improvements, but it also adds at least one feature for people that have to search internationally from time to time. This update is currently rolling out to users signed up to the beta program, but if you want to pick it up separately, there is a download link at the bottom.

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Google app v6.11 beta adds an option to change search region, hints at improvements for Google assistant and Now stream [APK Teardown + Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG G6 will include heat pipes to prevent overheating

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 01:29 PM PST

The Galaxy Note 7 turned out to be one of the biggest stories in mobile in years, with several units catching fire and Samsung ultimately deciding to discontinue the flagship device. Now LG has announced that it's taking steps to make sure that the same thing doesn't happen to the G6.

LG has confirmed that the G6 will include copper heat pipes meant to help keep the inside of the device cool. LG is also designing the internals of the G6 so that the parts that produce the most heat are as far apart as possible so that heat doesn't concentrate in one area.

"We will significantly improve the safety and quality of our new flagship smartphones as more consumers seek safe smartphones," said Lee Seok-jong of LG Electronics.


LG isn't stopping there, though. The company is also putting the G6 through even more rigorous testing than is required by international standards by conducting heat exposure tests that use a temperature 15 percent higher than required by the standards of US and Europe. "The battery also undergoes diverse tests such as piercing it with a sharp nail or dropping a heavy object on it from a high place," an LG official added.

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 was a really solid phone, but the whole catching fire thing ended up sinking the device. Obviously LG doesn't want that to happen with the G6, so the company is doing all it can to prevent the G6 from burning up. Plus, the company could point out the G6's heat pipes and extra tests to consumers to try and assuage any fears that they might have about other smartphones overheating.

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NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2017) is launching today

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 12:29 PM PST

Less than two weeks after making its debut at CES in Las Vegas, the new NVIDIA SHIELD TV is now available.

The NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2017) is officially launching today, with NVIDIA and several other retailers offering the 16GB for $199.99. A Pro model with 500GB of built-in storage is expected to launch later this month for $299.99.

In exchange for your hard-earned dollars, you'll get a new NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2017), complete with Google Assistant, support for 4K HDR in Amazon Video, and more. Also included is a redesigned controller for your gaming needs and a voice remote.

You can order the new SHIELD TV (2017) directly from NVIDIA, and you can also snag an extra controller ($59.99), remote ($49.99), or a vertical stand ($19.99) for the device. Several other retailers are offering the new SHIELD TV, too, including Amazon, Fry's, Best Buy, B&H Photo Video, and Newegg.

The original NVIDIA SHIELD TV (2015) is widely regarded as one of the best Android TV boxes on the market, and the new model looks like another solid offering. If you've got the original SHIELD TV, NVIDIA has announced that it's pushing an update to that device that'll include some features of the new model, but if you want to upgrade to the new hardware or just want a new Android TV box, you can now get a SHIELD TV (2017) of your very own.

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Samsung Galaxy Note7 Investigation Revealed: Battery Was to Blame

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

On January 23, Samsung is expected to make public the results of its investigation into what caused the Galaxy Note7 to catch on fire. But a new report coming out of Reuters today reveals the reason ahead of schedule.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Samsung was able to replica the fires in its testing labs and arrived at the conclusion the Galaxy Note7's fault lay with the batteries. The Korean tech giant wasn't able to identify other hardware or software faults.

Earlier this month a report from South Korea claimed that the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship will be powered by the Samsung SDI's batteries – the same that initially got blamed for the whole Galaxy Note7 fiasco.

But with replacement units operating on Amperex batteries also plagued by the same problem, some experts assumed the Galaxy Note7's fault didn't lie with the batteries. Well it seems this is not the case.

We sure hope Samsung is absolutely sure and ruled out every other possibility. We don't even want to imagine the scandal that would blow up in the case the Galaxy S8 were to have the same issues. It would probably be the end for Samsung, at least smartphone-wise.

While the Reuters report doesn't give us more details about how Samsung conducted the investigation and what were the steps taken to reach the conclusion, we'll find out more next week when the company releases the official statement, ahead of their upcoming earnings call.


The post Samsung Galaxy Note7 Investigation Revealed: Battery Was to Blame appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Android Creator Working on a Google Pixel Competitor

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 12:13 PM PST

If you are a fan of Android, then you're probably familiar with the name Andy Rubin and the story about how he helped create Android. Two years after leaving Google, Rubin is preparing to make a return to the world of smart consumer tech.

Actually, according to a report coming out of Bloomberg, Rubin is planning to announce a new company called Essential where he will serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The new venture's first product? A smartphone to take on the Google Pixel and iPhone.

Sources familiar with the matter said that Rubin was also present at CES 2017 in Las Vegas where he discussed the handset with representatives of different US carriers including Sprint. According to the information we have at hand, the phone should make a debut with an edge-to-edge display and will be made of high-end materials.

Essential is said to be currently testing a display that senses various levels of pressures being applied onto it, akin to the Apple's 3D Touch. Other features that might make it into the end product include a 5.5-inch display, metal edges and a ceramic back.

What's even more interesting is that the first Essential phone might have a lot in common with the Moto Z bunch meaning it will allow snap on accessories designed to add extra functionalities, very much in the vein of the Moto Mods. One of them could be a 360-degree camera. The current report also says Essentials is working on a proprietary port designed for charging, but also for connecting add-ons.

At this point, we're not really sure whether the Essential phone will run Android or not, but we're certainly interested in finding out more.


The post Android Creator Working on a Google Pixel Competitor appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Open world puzzler 'The Witness' comes to SHIELD Android TV for $20

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 11:38 AM PST

Owners of NVIDIA's Android devices are no strangers to exclusive titles with somewhat higher than average prices. The latest release is notable in a few ways, though. The Witness has been available on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and other platforms, but it's only about a year old. It's also one of the more expensive games available for the SHIELD at $20. That might still be worth it, based on the reviews.

In The Witness, your character awakens with no memory on a mysterious (and beautiful) island.

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Open world puzzler 'The Witness' comes to SHIELD Android TV for $20 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC begins pushing Nougat update to One A9

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 10:14 AM PST

HTC has announced that it will begin pushing the Android 7.0 Nougat update to the One A9 smartphone. The rollout will begin tonight as an OTA update for unlocked One A9 devices. There's no word yet on when the update will be available for carrier-specific versions, but individual carriers will likely announce the updates on their own.

This update matches with HTC's timeline for the device's update, which was scheduled for Q1 2017. The One A9, though over a year old now, proved to be a fairly successful device for HTC, and the company is working to keep it updated as long as possible.

We'll keep you posted on further updates regarding the One A9.

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PSA: Chrome Dev allows you to modify recommended sites or articles, sort of

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 09:33 AM PST

Many weren't happy with the change that shows recommended sites and articles in Chrome 54 - Android Police team members included - and while I personally do not mind them, I can see why you would prefer not to have Google recommend stuff you may not like.

In light of this, Chrome developer evangelist Fran├žois Beaufort has come to the rescue. A new Chrome internals page, in the latest builds of Chrome Dev, allows modification of the recommended sites and articles, at least somewhat.

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PSA: Chrome Dev allows you to modify recommended sites or articles, sort of was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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WhatsApp's notifications now work properly on Android 7.0 and 7.1 Nougat

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 08:58 AM PST

WhatsApp Nougat users, the time has come, the day is here — well, it was here a couple of days ago, but it was the weekend and I was busy sweeping the floors of my new apartment, so I had to delay coverage... priorities y'know. Anyway, for all of you who have been lamenting the poor notification situation on Nougat, cried over the fact that you only see the most recent message making the whole "notification" thing completely useless, things are looking out.

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WhatsApp's notifications now work properly on Android 7.0 and 7.1 Nougat was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Canvy, Interactive Whiteboard

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 07:19 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. SystemPanel 2

SystemPanel 2

App info: SystemPanel 2 is a re-imagining of SystemPanel from the ground up. The UI has been entirely redesigned, with the main screen now providing an overview of your device's recent behavior/activity. More detailed information is available from the left slide out panel, or by tapping on items on the overview page. Material Design is used throughout.


2. Interactive WhiteBoard

Interactive WhiteBoard

App info: So what exactly can you do with this? 1. Write notes in your own handwriting. 2. Let children be creative for hours. 3. Edit Photos,write or mark on them. 4. Draw sketches or diagrams, use any color any pen thickness.


3. Canvy


App info: Rediscover the continuously updated intuitive & personal way to connect with your contacts. Canvy is the contacts manager that brings all the valuable information at your fingertips for a fast and personal communication.


4. ADW Launcher 2

ADW Launcher 2

App info: For a limited time, to celebrate the new year and the public release of ADW Launcher 2, you can unlock the premium features 45% off!!! Most of the application have been reprogrammed and redesigned from scratch. Also we have added a lot of new features. 


5. Walmart Scan & Go

Walmart Scan & Go

App info: Save time by scanning your items when you add them to your shopping cart. Then check out and pay with the app, and your receipt appears on your phone. Show the receipt to the exit greeter and you just skipped any long checkout lines.


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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Meet the 20 finalists of the Google Play Indie Games Contest

Posted: 16 Jan 2017 03:08 AM PST

Posted by Matteo Vallone, Google Play Games Business Development

Back in November, we launched the Google Play Indie Games Contest for developers from 15 European countries, to celebrate the passion and innovation of the indie community in the region. The contest will reward the winners with exposure to industry experts and players worldwide, as well as other prizes that will showcase their art and help them grow their business on Android and Google Play.

Thank you to the nearly 1000 of you who submitted high quality games in all types of genres! Your creativity, enthusiasm and dedication have once again impressed us and inspired us. We had a very fun time testing and judging the games based on fun, innovation, design excellence and technical and production quality, and it was challenging to select only 20 finalists:

Meet the 20 finalists
(In alphabetical order)

Blind Drive
(coming soon)

Lo-Fi People
(coming soon)

United Kingdom
Crap! I'm Broke: Out of Pocket

Arcane Circus Netherlands

Lonely Woof

Salmi GmbH Germany

Happy Hop: Kawaii Jump

Platonic Games
Hidden Folks (coming soon)

Adriaan de Jongh Netherlands
(coming soon)

Lost in Harmony

Entertainment France
Mr Future Ninja (coming soon)

Huijaus Studios
Paper Wings

Fil Games

Power Hover


United Kingdom
Rusty Lake: Roots

Rusty Lake Netherlands
Samorost 3

Amanita Design Czech Republic
The Battle of Polytopia

Midjiwan AB Sweden
twofold inc.

Grapefrukt games Sweden
Unworded (coming soon)

Bento Studio France

Check out the prizes

All the 20 finalists are getting:
  • The opportunity to exhibit and showcase their game at the final event held at the Saatchi Gallery in London, on 16th February 2017.
  • Promotion of their game on a London billboard for one month.
  • Two tickets to attend a 2017 Playtime event. This is an invitation-only event for top apps and games developers on Google Play.
  • One Pixel XL smartphone.
At the event at Saatchi, the finalists will also have a chance to make it to the next rounds and win additional prizes, including:
  • 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!

Come support them at the final event

At the final event attendees will have a say on which 10 of these finalists will get to pitch their games to the jury, who will decide on the final contest winners who will receive the top prizes.

Register now to join us in London, meet the developers, check out their great games, vote for your favourites, and have fun with various industry experts and indie developers.

A big thank you again to everyone who entered and congratulations to the finalists. We look forward to seeing you at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 16th February.

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