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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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Super Mario Run launches for Android in March

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 04:41 PM PST

Super Mario Run is Nintendo's first major push into gaming on smart devices, but it was a launch exclusive for iOS devices in December 2016. Before the end of 2016, though, Nintendo opened up pre-registration for the endless runner, suggesting that the game would be launching soon. Nintendo went quiet immediately after that, but has finally changed.

The official Nintendo Twitter account (@Nintendo) today said that Super Mario Run will launch on Android in March 2017. Unfortunately, there isn't an exact date to circle on the calendar just yet.

For anyone that has been anticipating the launch, Super Mario Run for Android is almost here. It will likely be like the iOS version by being free to install but cost $9.99 to unlock all of the content.

Do you plan on trying Super Mario Run when it launches?


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Nintendo's next mobile game is tactical RPG Fire Emblem Heroes, coming to Android in February

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 04:18 PM PST

fe headSuper Mario Run is still a no-show for Android (Nintendo said just today that it's aiming for a March release), but there's another classic franchise coming to the Play Store in just a couple of weeks. Fire Emblem Heroes, the first mobile entry in a long-running series of tactical strategy games, will arrive on Android on February 2nd. Like Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes adapts familiar elements of the franchise in new ways for mobile players.

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Nintendo's next mobile game is tactical RPG Fire Emblem Heroes, coming to Android in February was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Alleged Samsung Galaxy S8 front panels leaked in new photos

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 03:39 PM PST

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to be showcased sometime in April, so the rumor mill is likely going to be cranked up with new leaks and rumors surrounding Samsung's upcoming flagship in the months before that debut.

Today, by way of a Twitter account @dfordesign, we've been gifted by what are believed to be the front panels for not only the Galaxy S8, but also its larger sibling. The first thing to note in the images is that both corners in the display window are rounded, which tells us that the Galaxy S8′s screen itself may be rounded. Android Police reports that their source on the matter says that the Galaxy S8 will indeed feature this type of display.

Perhaps even more notable than the rounded edges is the fact that these display panels do not have a space cutout for a physical home button. This would line up with earlier rumors which have suggested the upcoming flagship will have an "all-screen design."

While nothing is official just yet, and obviously with any leak there should be some caution, these do images seem credible. As noted in AP's report, the cutouts above the display line up with what's present in the Galaxy Note 7, so if these panels are fake, the attention to detail is certainly something.

If these are real, do you like the upcoming design decision?


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OnePlus 3 and 3T getting OxygenOS 4.0.2 with Android 7.0 Nougat

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 01:39 PM PST

OnePlus has announced that the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are now getting the update to OxygenOS 4.0.2, which is based on Android 7.0 Nougat! After beta testing the software for a while, it's now ready to be installed by those who own the devices. Here's a full changelog:

Upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat

  • New Notifications Design
  • New Settings Menu Design
  • Multi-Window View
  • Notification Direct Reply
  • Custom DPI Support
  • Added Status Bar Icon options

Improved Shelf Customization
Updated APN Settings for select Carriers
Fixed Proximity Sensor bug during calls
Fixed Google Play Store download bug
Increased System Stability

As always, this update will roll out incrementally. Some may get it immediately, but most will have to wait a few days. There still might be WiFi issues, so keep that in mind and message OnePlus if you experience this. Let us know when you get it!

Source: OnePlus, (2)


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ZTE Blade V8 Pro now available for $230

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 01:39 PM PST

The ZTE Blade V8 Pro was announced at CES 2017 as an unlocked mid-range device. It features a Snapdragon 625 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage with a microSD slot, a 5.5-inch full HD display, dual 13MP rear cameras with bokeh effect, a 3,140mAh battery, dual SIM slots, a fingerprint reader, and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

While the specs aren't super high-end, the $229.98 price tag makes it a good value. Plus the dual cameras, dual SIM slots, HD display, and other features add to the value and give you flagship features for a low price.

If you're looking for a mid-range unlocked device, the Blade V8 Pro is now available!


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Google’s offline search queue has you covered, even without data

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 12:39 PM PST

Google has announced the ability to search offline on Android devices with a nifty offline search queue. The way it works is that if users don't have an internet connection, they can still go ahead and type their search in the search bar. The Google app will automatically add it to a search queue and when a connection is detected, the app will perform the search in the background. Users will then receive a notification informing them that their search results are ready.

The update aims to alleviate issues with spotty networks or areas where coverage isn't available, such as in tunnels or on planes. The search giant is also offering assurance that battery life won't be affected and that data usage will be minimal. With those potential issues out of the way, it seems like offline search should be a handy tool for users.


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Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) Design Gets Revealed by Leaked Case Renders

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 12:23 PM PST

Samsung fans are all awaiting the launch of the new Galaxy S8 with great interest. But the company is also busy refreshing its mid-range Galaxy A lineup and its entry level one, the Galaxy J.

Samsung will soon launch the Galaxy J7 (2017) and thanks to Sam Mobile which received a few renders from a case maker, we can even give you a preview look at the upcoming device.

As you can see the phone certainly looks sleek boasting (at least) a metal frame. However, other premium features like fast charging aren't going to be included.

Nevertheless, we can spot a microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port and two mics for noise cancellation in the images.

Now if you're not familiar with the anticipated features, listen to this. The Galaxy J7 (2017) should arrive with a 5.5-inch display with 1080p resolution and a Snapdragon 625 under the hood. Samsung will also offer 2GB of RAM, 13MP/5MP camera duo and a decent 3,000 mAh battery.

We're told the back of the phone is removable, so you'll be able to swap out the battery. However that also means plastic on the back of the device. We shouldn't forget to mention the phone will run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box upon launch. There's no info related to pricing, but we'll keep you updated. So far we like what we see, how about you?

[Sam Mobile]

The post Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) Design Gets Revealed by Leaked Case Renders appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Tips from developers Peak and Soundcloud on how to grow your startup on Google Play

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 12:10 PM PST


Posted by Francesca Di Felice, Developer Marketing at Google Play

At Playtime 2016, Google Play's series of developer events, we met with top app and game developers from around the world to share learnings on how to build successful businesses on Google Play. Several startups, including game developer Peaklabs and audio platform SoundCloud, presented on stage their own best practices for growth, which you might find helpful.

Testing for growth, by Peak

Hear from Kevin Shanahan, Product Manager from Peak, a brain training app, on how to grow sustainably.



  • Test lots of ideas: You can't be sure of what will work and what won't, so you need to test lots of ideas. Peak ran four different tests to try to increase conversions to Pro (their subscriber offering):
  1. Made the ability to replay games a Pro feature
  2. Reduced price of Pro by 25% in top 2 markets
  3. Bundled add-on modules from partners into Pro
  4. Showed a preview of Pro-only content
          One of these tests resulted in a 50% increase in conversions.

  • Get the basics right: Start with a great product and have a data-informed culture. Don't only test app features, experimenting your store listing using store listing experiments is also important.
  • Build a robust A/B testing process: Having a well-defined A/B testing process and a system for tracking your experiments is key to testing quickly and effectively.

Improving user retention, by SoundCloud

Andy Carvell, former Product Manager at SoundCloud, an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote, and share their originally-created sounds, explains how they focus on retention to improve growth.

 

  • Design your retention strategy: Apps with poor retention grow slowly. To increase your retention you should:
    • Convert new users to repeat visitors by providing a strong onboarding experience for new users and taking a high-touch approach during the first days and weeks.
    • Increase visit frequency within this group by providing frequent, timely, and relevant messaging about content or activity on the platform.
    • Target returning users who were not seen over the last period, who are 'at risk of churn' users, by giving them reasons to come back for another session before losing them.
    • Re-activate lapsed (long-term churned) users with campaigns to remind them about your app and offer an incentive to return.
  • Build 'growth machines': Create repeatable processes that testing has proven to positively impact retention, retaining users, and preventing churn.
  • Use activity notifications in a personalised and effective way: At SoundCloud there are plenty of things that happen when users are not in the app that might be relevant to them, for example new content releases or social interactions. They tested 5 new notification types, always keeping a control group to better keep track of the impact, and managed to increase retention in a 5%. Watch the video above for more of Andy's tips on making better use of notifications.

Other speakers, such as Silicon Valley VC Greylock, have also shared their tips for startup growth. Watch more sessions from this year's Playtime events to learn best practices from other apps and game partners, and the Google Play team. Get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up to date with news and tips to help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

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LG to Unveil Two New Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches February 9

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 12:03 PM PST

We were expecting to see Google unveil Android Wear 2.0 at CES 2017, but that didn't happen. Well it seems we now have a new date for the launch.

According to Venture Beat, the new wearable operating system will be announced on February 9. And on the same occasion LG will launch two new Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches called the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

The wearable market has been going down the drain lately, but somehow LG and Google hope they can shake it up with the new Android Wear 2.0 and these freshly squeezed smartwatch products.

Here's what to expect from the two models:

LG Watch Sport (the flagship)

  • 3-inch display with 480 x 480 pixel resolution
  • 768MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage
  • 430 mAh battery
  • 2 mm frame
  • Bluetooth / Wi-Fi
  • 3G/LTE
  • NFC (so Android Pay will be enabled)
  • IP68 certification
  • Google Assistant onboard
  • Titanium, Dark Blue

LG Watch Style

  • 2-inch display with 360 x 360 pixel resolution
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB of internal storage
  • 8mm frame
  • Bluetooth / Wi-Fi
  • IP67 certification
  • Google Assistant onboard
  • Titanium, Silver and Rose Gold

The report doesn't mention anything about pricing, so we'll have to wait until the two watches go official. What do you think? Fancy a new smartwatch?

[Venture Beat]

The post LG to Unveil Two New Android Wear 2.0 Smartwatches February 9 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.


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Latest Waze update adds category, voice search and distance auto complete

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 10:53 AM PST

To say that Waze is popular would be an understatement. The community-based traffic and navigation app has fans the world over, so when the developers add any new features, plenty are bound to notice. There's a new version out and it has a few additions, so let's take a look.

  • Search by category: Find places by category, like nearby parking, restaurants, hotels, shopping, and more without having to type exact names
  • Search by voice update: Search for a street by speaking its name in the language of the country you're in, even if your Waze is in another language
  • Auto complete distance: See the distance to any location as you type it in the Search box, with new auto complete distance feature
  • Minor bug fixes and improvements

From all appearances, these aren't exactly new features, a few having made an appearance in some form or another in recent beta builds.

Read More

Latest Waze update adds category, voice search and distance auto complete was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 10:44 AM PST

New apps need lovin' too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We've shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

Vine Camera

Vine Camera

Description: The Vine Camera is for making 6 second looping videos. You can post the videos directly to Twitter or save them to your phone. Videos that are posted From the Vine Camera to Twitter will loop.

 

MeTV

MeTV

DescriptionMeTV, America's #1 all classic television network, is now available for Android phones and tablets. Listen to MeTV Music while on the go all across the U.S.! Plus, see the complete MeTV program schedule, find MeTV channels in your area and receive TV series and episode summaries.

 

EZ Web Video Cast

EZ Web Video Cast

DescriptionEZ Web Video Cast is the best browser app that allows you to stream videos of online movies, TV shows and other media from internet websites to your Chromecast.

 

NeonFace Watchface

NeonFace Watchface

DescriptionWhat's cooler than a neon-themed watchface in 2017? Well, probably a lot of things. Explosions for one thing. But you can't get those on the Play Store if you don't own a Note7. So, this is the next coolest thing!

 

Microsoft StaffHub

Microsoft StaffHub

DescriptionMicrosoft StaffHub is a cloud-based platform that slips work (and the tools to manage it) into everyone's back pocket. With Microsoft StaffHub, staff workers can view schedules, swap shifts, and request time off. Managers can create schedules, approve requests, and share information.

 

Redshift 11 Watch Face

Redshift 11 Watch Face

Description: Red Bred Inc plans to go the distance to change the way we tell time. Each watch face is designed with the intent of being different and completely unique. Red Bred's goal is to create watch faces that will help make Android Wear watches known for being new and innovative.

 

Squeeze

Squeeze

Description Squeeze is a seamless personal finance app used to provide consumers comparison pricing on their recurring bills and to track and categorize spending so that they can save money, reduce debt, and grow wealth.

 

Toontastic 3D

Toontastic 3D

Description3… 2… 1… ACTION! With Toontastic 3D you can draw, animate, and narrate your own cartoons. It's as easy as play. Just move your characters around onscreen, tell your story, and Toontastic records your voice and animations and stores it on your device as a 3D video.

 

BHIM

BHIM

DescriptionBharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an initiative to enable fast, secure, reliable cashless payments through your mobile phone. BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, and bank accounts.

 

Weather Wiz: Forecast & Widget

Weather Wz

DescriptionWeather Wiz provides accurate weather forecasts based on your current location or any other place in the world. The real time local weather forecast as well as the hourly forecasts and 10-day weather condition forecast can be found in this free weather app.

 


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Southeast Asian indie game developers find success on Google Play

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 10:05 AM PST

Posted by Vineet Tanwar, Business Development Manager, Google Play

Indie game developers bring high quality, artistic, and innovative content to Google Play and raise the bar for all developers in the process. In fact, they also make up a large portion of our 'Editor's Choice' recommended titles.
Southeast Asia, in particular, has a vibrant indie game developer ecosystem, and we've been working closely with them to provide tools that help them build successful businesses on Google Play. Today, we're sharing stories from three Indie developers based in Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia, who joined us at our 'Indie Game Developers Day' workshops in May 2016 and all of whom have experienced significant growth since.

Inzen studios from Singapore learned how to use store listing experiments and has improved the conversion rate of their newly launched game Dark Dot by 25%. Indonesia based studio, Niji Games, creator of Cute Munchies, implemented 'Saved Games' and 'Events and Quests' from Google Play games services to significantly improve user retention, and also earned an 'Editor's Choice' badge in the process. Ho Chi Minh City based developer, VGames, optimized monetization and introduced new paid products for their game Gungun online, and grew revenue by over 100%.


Indie game developers who are interested in meeting members of Google Play and who would like to work closer with us are invited to join our next round of SEA workshops in March 2017. To apply for these events, just fill in this form and we will reach out to you.

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Personal file storage company Drobo launches DroboPix on Android

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 09:23 AM PST

File storage and home servers are getting more and more popular these days, with people getting wary about what companies such as Google and Apple are privy too. In light of this, Drobo has launched a new Android app for photo storage, named DroboPix, prompted by "high customer demand" after the iOS release last year.

The app seems to be much like other network storage solutions, such as Synology - photos and videos are automatically uploaded, upon which they are accessible through any Drobo client.

Read More

Personal file storage company Drobo launches DroboPix on Android was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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[Updated] Google Maps 9.44 shows parking availability and Atmosphere images [APK Download]

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 03:38 AM PST

  • This post previously stated that the feature seems to be a server-side switch that's showing up for some users on v9.44 beta, but following more tests, we can say for sure

Back in August, Cody found strings in his teardown of Google Maps v9.34 beta that hinted at an upcoming display of parking difficulty. The option may have crept up for some users since then, but now we have our first glance into how the feature will work since it has started showing up for more is live for users on Maps v9.44 beta.

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[Updated] Google Maps 9.44 shows parking availability and Atmosphere images [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top Features start showing up for more users on the Play Store

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 03:03 AM PST

Google always seems to be tweaking reviews in the Play Store, changing how they're presented to users and trying to make it easier to see how an app/game fares and how users perceive it. We've been seeing Review Highlights, detailed Feature Ratings for games that divide the rating by controls, gameplay, and graphics, and more. One of the tweaks is Top Features, a list of the best features a given app has, approved by users who give it a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down.

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Top Features start showing up for more users on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube's new sharing feature is live in Canada, remains invite-only everywhere else

Posted: 18 Jan 2017 01:18 AM PST

A built-in sharing feature for YouTube has been in various forms of testing for months, but now is now live for all Canadian YouTube users. You read that correctly - Canada actually received a feature first.

YouTube says they went with Canada first because, on average, users there share videos 15% more often than other global users. Starting today, Canadians will see a new Shared tab in the mobile YouTube app, which serves as a list of ongoing conversations.

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YouTube's new sharing feature is live in Canada, remains invite-only everywhere else was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google is rolling out offline search to help counter spotty connections

Posted: 17 Jan 2017 06:58 PM PST

The power of Google searches has always had an Achilles heel: terrible connections. Whether you have little to no mobile signal or less than stellar WiFi connectivity, you know the frustration when you're trying to look something up. There is nothing to counter this, but Google has officially rolled out an "offline search" feature which will deliver your searches to you when an adequate signal becomes available.

  

How this works is similar to previous tests we saw a little while ago.

Read More

Google is rolling out offline search to help counter spotty connections was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google’s Android One program said to be US-bound, first low-cost smartphone due by mid-year

Posted: 17 Jan 2017 06:44 PM PST

It's expected that Google will launch its first Android Wear smartwatches in February, and in the following months, we could see another major launch from Google.

A new report says that Google is bringing its Android One program to the US. The Android One program places a focus on affordable smartphones that offer timely software updates, and sources tell The Information that Google will launch the first Android One phone in the US by the middle of 2017.

It's unclear which manufacturer will make the first Android One phone for the US. Sources do say that the device will cost between $200 and $300, though, and that it'll be guaranteed timely software updates for two years from its release.

There's no shortage of affordable Android phones in the US, but it seems like many of those devices ship with outdated software or take a long time to receive updates. Google's Android One program will look to address those issues while by bringing to market what could be a low-cost alternative to the Pixel and Pixel XL.


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