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Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Popular photo app Meitu is sending IMEI, MAC address, and more to remote servers

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 03:06 PM PST

Every once in a while, you might wake up and see everyone playing the same new smartphone game/app, much like in The Next Generation. Meitu is a bizarre Chinese photo app, that applies various filters and 'enhancements' to pictures of yourself and others. In just the past few hours, it has received massive coverage online. While the app is certainly fun to mess around with, several users have pointed out that the application is sending a massive amount of user details to external IP addresses.

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Popular photo app Meitu is sending IMEI, MAC address, and more to remote servers was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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App Security Improvements: Looking back at 2016

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 02:10 PM PST

Posted by Rahul Mishra, Android Security Program Manager
In April 2016, the Android Security team described how the Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program has helped developers fix security issues in 100,000 applications. Since then, we have detected and notified developers of 11 new security issues and provided developers with resources and guidance to update their apps. Because of this, over 90,000 developers have updated over 275,000 apps!
ASI now notifies developers of 26 potential security issues. To make this process more transparent, we introduced a new page where developers can find information about all these security issues in one place. This page includes links to help center articles containing instructions and additional support contacts. Developers can use this page as a resource to learn about new issues and keep track of all past issues.

Developers can also refer to our security best practices documents and security checklist, which are aimed at improving the understanding of general security concepts and providing examples that can help tackle app-specific issues.

How you can help:
For feedback or questions, please reach out to us through the Google PlayDeveloper Help Center.
To report potential security issues in apps, email us at security+asi@android.com.

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[Deal Alert] Ip Man trilogy on sale for just $3 at Google Play ($24 off)

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 01:44 PM PST

Have you seen Star Wars: Rogue One? Did you like the character Chirrut Imwe, the blind, force-influenced character who beat the crap out of storm troopers with nothing more than a stick and snarky one-liners? You did, great! Then you might just like this deal. You see, the actor who plays the role of Chirrut is Donnie Yen, a martial arts master and the star of the much acclaimed Ip Man trilogy.

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[Deal Alert] Ip Man trilogy on sale for just $3 at Google Play ($24 off) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Master & Dynamic MW50 wireless on-ear headphone review

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 01:40 PM PST

There is a whole world of high end audio products that make a far bigger difference than you'd think. Truly good audio is special and can't be compared to cheaper products on the market. Spending hundreds on a single set of headphones is the norm.

The Master & Dynamic MW50 wireless on-ear headphones aim to bring that high end audio to a portable and wireless form factor.


Drivers: 40mm Beryllium
Impedance: 32 ohms
Bluetooth version: 4.1 with AptX
Battery life: 16 hours
Microphone: Dual
Price: $449.99
Where to buy: Master & Dynamic

Master Dynamic MW50 Bluetooth headphone review 2

The Master & Dynamic MW50 headphones have three buttons on one ear cup; two volume buttons and a play/pause button. There is also a USB Type-C port, and it's great to see manufacturers start using Type-C on accessories.

Master Dynamic MW50 Bluetooth headphone review 3

The other ear cup has a switch. One click of the switch turns on the headphones. Pushing the switch momentarily to the second position will give you an indicator showing the battery life. Holding it there will enter pairing mode. There are two status LEDs nearby. Underneath is a 3.5mm headphone jack to use the headphones when the battery dies.

Included is a very nice round leather box. Inside are high quality braided cables with metal ends; one USB Type-C for charging and one 3.5mm. Also included is a carrying pouch.

Build quality

These headphones are impeccably built. Every bit is designed to be as premium as possible. The body is made out of aluminum and trimmed with heavy grain leather on the cups and headband. The inside of the headband and the ear cups are made of lush lambskin and memory foam.

There are buttons on both cups and they're made out of metal as well. They feel extremely solid and clicky. Despite the volume buttons being tiny, they're engraved with a + and -.

The rotation of the cups as well as the size adjustment are both very stiff and smooth. They scream premium.

Master Dynamic MW50 Bluetooth headphone review

One feature I love is the replaceable magnetic ear cups. If they ever wear out, a firm tug removes them and new ones can be installed.


The headphones have a very light pressure on the head and very soft ear cups. When they're on your head, they are very comfortable and can be worn for long periods of time with no problems.

If you want to get these for fitness, don't count on it. Due to the light head pressure, they don't stay on your head reassuringly. Running in them will not work. However, walking is fine.

Sound quality

For $450, you'd expect amazing sound quality. Yes, they're extremely well built and use high end materials. And yes, there are finishing touches that are simply amazing on these headphones. All of this costs money. But they're headphones, they have to sound good.

Thankfully, they sound amazing. The drivers used are fantastic and capable of some serious sound. The highs are crystal clear, the bass is smooth and pleasant, and every detail can be heard. These surpass any other Bluetooth headphones I've ever used.

They can also be turned up really loud without distortion. Volume junkies won't be disappointed by the loudness of these cans. And even at ridiculous volumes, everything sounds crystal clear.

Audiophiles may not be completely happy with the sound. They are definitely not reference headphones: the sound is far from flat. They have a very powerful sound signature with warm lows and very strong highs. In some instances, the highs may sound a little shrill. Nonetheless, the lows are well balanced (there is no rumbling or distortion) and the mids are present.

In the end, the "consumer" tune on these headphones serves them well. Perfectly flat sound doesn't sound great to most people. While I'd prefer the highs to be smoother and the bass to be punchier, they sound absolutely excellent and very enjoyable. The detail is amazing and up there with high end headphones, even wired ones.

Battery life

The headphones are rated at 16 hours of battery life, which is very nice for their size. Heavy use even at higher volumes barely makes a dent to the big battery. 16 hours is easily attainable at reasonable volume, and this should last weeks with light use.

Master & Dynamic MW509.5 / 10

Master Dynamic MW50 Bluetooth headphone review 4

The MW50 wireless on-ear headphones may be expensive, but they're worth every penny. Everything about them is exemplary. The build quality is phenomenal, the comfort is fantastic, and the sound quality is a joy. And the little extra touches like a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and really nice cables included seal the deal.

The sound quality could be tuned a little better, as I do prefer a smoother and warmer sound, but they sound amazing and the drivers themselves are up to the task.

If you're in the market for a truly good set of high end Bluetooth headphones, look no further. Master & Dynamic has made a high end product that doesn't disappoint despite the high price tag. They truly feel special.

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AT&T is raising its upgrade and activation fees by $5

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 11:50 AM PST

AT&T has decided to follow in the footsteps of Verizon Wireless by hiking up the fees tied to getting a new device on its network.

The big blue carrier has confirmed to FierceWireless that it is hiking its activation and upgrade fees by $5. That means subscribers will now pay $25 to either activate a new line or upgrade their device. An AT&T spokesperson said that the change is due to the company "making minor adjustments" to its fees, but didn't explain beyond that.

The new upgrade and activation fees go into effect beginning Friday, January 20.

What do you think of the "minor adjustments?"

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Google Photos 2.7 tidies up the navigation drawer, adds a loving Easter egg, and sets up for timestamp editing [APK Teardown + Download]

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 11:04 AM PST


A new version of Google Photos hit late yesterday, bringing the current version to 2.7. At first glance, it's hard not to notice there are fewer items in the navigation drawer, but not much else seems to have changed for regular use of the app. Digging a bit deeper reveals a neat Easter egg that's all about the love, and a hint that Photos will soon allow users to edit the timestamp on a photo.

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Google Photos 2.7 tidies up the navigation drawer, adds a loving Easter egg, and sets up for timestamp editing [APK Teardown + Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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See Which Samsung Phones Are Getting Android 7.0 Nougat

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 10:56 AM PST

A few days ago we told you the Android 7.0 Nougat update started rolling out for Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge owners who were previously enrolled in the Nougat beta program.

Well today Samsung announced it was officially rolling out the update for Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 phones. It also revealed an important aspect – which other devices are bound to get Nougat. Here they are:

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 edge
  • Galaxy S6 edge Plus
  • Galaxy Note 5
  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
  • Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE unlocked)
  • Galaxy A3
  • Galaxy A8

Samsung says to expect these phones and tablet to get Nougat before the first half of 2017 ends.

On top of that, the Korean tech giant also listed some of the main features that will become available for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge owners (and hopefully the other devices too) once they update to Nougat.

The company says Notifications got clearer and Quick Panel is now more intuitive, with titles having been removed from the icons in the panel's first depth, while the icons in the second depth are now arranged in groups of nine.

Multi-window is now capable of supporting five more separate windows (in addition to Split-Screen view) thanks to the new pop-up window function.

A new Performance Mode allows users to switch between four different modes including Optimized Mode, Game Mode, Entertainment Mode or High Performance Mode, depending on the app(s) they are running on the phone.

Last but not least, Samsung Pass has been enabled on the two devices, a feat which allows users to set a master key for website login on Samsung Internet.

To conclude, we'll tell you one more thing. According to leaked info Telus' subsidiary Koodo is expected to start rolling out the Nougat update for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge come February 8.


The post See Which Samsung Phones Are Getting Android 7.0 Nougat appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Koodo Moto G4 Plus Getting Android 7.0 Nougat in February

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 10:51 AM PST

If you are Moto G4 Plus owner and reside in Canada, then you'll probably be very happy to know that your device will be getting Android 7.0 Nougat next month.

The information was revealed by Telus' subsidiary Koodo. Android Soul managed to get its hands on information revealing that Koodo is planning to unleash the Nougat update for the Moto G Plus on February 11.

It's quite sensible to assume that other carriers will start updating their respective Moto G4 Plus versions around the same date. The leak also suggest the Koodo Moto Z variant will get Android Nougat come March 4, while the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge will get in on February 8.

It remains to be seen if any this info pans out, but we're keeping our finger crossed. The Moto G4 Plus is one of the most popular budget smartphones out there.

The phone features a 5.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and a Snapdragon 617 under the hood. Motorola offers several variants including 2GB/16GB, 3GB/32GB or 4GB/64GB of RAM and internal storage respectively. For those who want more there's a microSD cardslot onboard which allows for memory expansion up to 256GB.

The Moto G4 Plus also takes advantage of a 16MP/5MP camera duo plus a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery. The phone is known for its long life cycle and with Android 7.0 Nougat onboard things are certainly bound to improve.

[The Android Soul]

The post Koodo Moto G4 Plus Getting Android 7.0 Nougat in February appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Small Microsoft Office updates for PowerPoint, Excel, and Word add in whiteboard capture and form control file opening

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 09:54 AM PST

After Google improved the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps a few weeks ago, Microsoft is responding with updates to the Android apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The update adds small, incremental improvements which won't matter to the vast majority, but for a little subset of users, might be the thing that gets them to use one or all of the apps.

Microsoft PowerPoint

The major thing that's new in PowerPoint is the ability to share only one slide.

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Small Microsoft Office updates for PowerPoint, Excel, and Word add in whiteboard capture and form control file opening was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Developer Story: Wallapop improves user conversions with store listing experiments on Google Play

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 08:50 AM PST

Posted by Lily Sheringham, Developer Marketing, Google Play
Wallapop is a mobile app developer based in Barcelona, Spain. The app provides a platform to users for selling and buying things to others nearby in a virtual flea market by using geolocalization. Wallapop now has over 70% of their user base on Android.

Watch Agus Gomez, Co-Founder & CEO, and Marta Gui, Growth Hacking Manager, explain how using store listing experiments has increased their conversion rate by 17%, and has allowed them to optimize organic installs.

Learn more about store listing experiments. Get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date with more features and best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

How useful did you find this blogpost?

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LG sending out MWC Save the Date invites for February 26

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 08:45 AM PST

February 26 is shaping up to be a busy day in the mobile industry, with multiple companies set to unveil new devices on the day before Mobile World Congress officially kicks off.

LG is another name to add to the list, as the Life's Good crew is officially sending out Save the Date event invites for Sunday, February 26. The invite includes the phrase "See More, Play More." and includes the date and time for the big unveiling.


The invite itself doesn't include any details regarding what LG will show off, but the easy bet is on the upcoming flagship, the G6. LG has already said in the past that it could unveil the upcoming flagship at MWC, so the event would certainly line up with that.

Are you looking forward to the G6?

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Top 10 New Android Games This Week: HERO Unit, WarFriends

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 08:45 AM PST

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we're playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week's post.


DescriptionLunaform is a puzzle arcade game like breakout, but instead of destroying all of the blocks your trying to fill them up. Swap the hexes just in time to catch stars of the same color, and fill up the grid to complete the level. 


Odin's Protectors

DescriptionOdin's Protectors is a character-building RPG based loosely on Norse Mythology. Unlike most role-playing games, your character's attributes and equipment are improved solely through several different mini-games.


Mazing Penguin Runner

DescriptionTerrified penguin runs across handcrafted mazes. Have fun with this unique 3D runner game! Beat multiple levels of labyrinth and return happily to the pole to the home of penguin Matt. Each level in a different location with various challenges.



DescriptionADVENTURE. ANYWHERE! Explore endless magical worlds and battle fearsome creatures alongside millions of friends. Unleash your imagination by crafting beautiful buildings. BE BOLD. BE A HERO. Play as the quirky builder, the fearless fighter, the perky scout or the mysterious sorceress and become the legend you were destined to be!



DescriptionWelcome to Hotline Emergency Response Operators "H.E.R.O." police emergency hotline. HERO agents play the role of police call operators. Each agent is dedicated to a special device that enables them to respond to emergency calls in real time, right within the HERO app.


Soul Knight

Description: This is the game you have always wanted in your subconscious. Explore the dungeon, collect crazy weapons, dodge bullets and shoot'em all up! Extremely easy and intuitive control; super smooth and enjoyable gameplay, mixed with rogue-like elements. Best shooter game you will find on the mobile store so far.


Immortal Conquest

DescriptionDevise masterful strategies to rule over 2 million pieces of land on a vast map shared by all players. Harvest resources, forge powerful alliances, and conquer a city, a region and ultimately claim total world domination. There's no one path to victory in this MMO strategy game but there can be only one winning alliance – so the fight for control is on!



Description: In XenoShyft Onslaught players take on the role of a commander in the NorTec Corporation. You're tasked with defending your division of the NorTec base as wave after wave of horrific Hive beasts attempt to destroy the base and end NorTec's strip mining operation.



DescriptionGo to war with your friends and become the world's best squad in WarFriends, a unique 3D tactical action game from the makers of Mega Dead Pixel. Dodge bullets, dive between cover and take out the invading enemy forces by any means necessary!



DescriptionLoad your guns! Rain death from above! Protect your valuable orphans! Defeat giant, improbable bosses! Gunhouse is part puzzle, part active tower defense, as you make big combos to launch a hail of bullets and special attacks at the alien invaders who would like nothing better than to consume your delicious orphan friends.


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Samsung lists devices that are getting Android 7.0 Nougat

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 08:45 AM PST

Android 7.0 Nougat is already making its way to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, but for anyone who has another one of Samsung's handsets and has been wondering if they'll get the latest version of Android, the company has a new list to keep you updated.

The below list includes the devices that Samsung plans to update to Android 7.0 Nougat in the first half of 2017:

  • Galaxy S6
  • Galaxy S6 edge
  • Galaxy S6 edge Plus
  • Galaxy Note 5
  • Galaxy Tab A with S Pen
  • Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE)
  • Galaxy A3
  • Galaxy A8

The list isn't huge, but Samsung's statement that these are the devices getting updated in the first half of 2017 does at least leave the possibility that more could be added later in the year.

Is your Samsung phone or tablet getting the update in the first half of the year?

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[Update: Release in March] Super Mario Run is up for pre-registration on the Play Store

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 01:58 AM PST

  • Nintendo America has tweeted the release date of Super Mario Run on Android: March. That's as specific as it gets, so you'll have to brace yourself for more than a

One of the most anticipated games of the last quarter of 2016 is Super Mario Run. The game was announced by Nintendo at Apple's event in September as an iOS-first release and was made available a couple of weeks ago to rather disappointed reviews that plunged the company's stock value.

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[Update: Release in March] Super Mario Run is up for pre-registration on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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YouTube shows a fun castle animation when loading a video

Posted: 19 Jan 2017 01:43 AM PST

If you happen to have a slow internet connection, you're used to seeing a spinning circle on Youtube while it loads, and loads, and loads, and finally really loads a video. That's the bane of my existence when I'm on WiFi (3G and LTE are much faster in Lebanon, but also more expensive, so we endure WiFi). But YouTube has recently implemented a castle animation, which is a lot more fun and playful. It doesn't make the wait any shorter, but it sure feels like it is.

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YouTube shows a fun castle animation when loading a video was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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