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Monday, January 2, 2017

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ASUS ZenFone AR leaks reveal new Google Tango and Daydream VR handset

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 11:56 AM PST

ASUS is hosting a ZenFone event at CES later this week, but one of the company's new devices leaked out today.

The ASUS ZenFone AR will be the second Google Tango smartphone. Images of the ZenFone AR have been revealed by Evan Blass, showing a black slab of an ASUS phone with an array of sensors.

Meanwhile, Qualcomm today published an official announcement for the ZenFone AR. The problem is that the announcement is dated January 4, meaning that it went live a couple of days early.

Qualcomm's announcement confirms that the ASUS ZenFone AR will support Google Tango and that it'll include a Snapdragon 821 processor, which is an upgrade over the Snapdragon 625 chipset in the first Google Tango phone, Lenovo's Phab 2 Pro. Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 821 in the ZenFone AR will offer improvements to graphics, performance, and power efficiency.

In addition to supporting Tango, the ZenFone AR will support Google's Daydream VR platform. "The ZenFone AR with Snapdragon 821 is built for VR with high-resolution display, ultra-smooth graphics, and high-fidelity sensors for precise head tracking," reads Qualcomm's announcement.

While most of the details of the ZenFone AR are still up in the air, the news that it'll have a Snapdragon 821 as well as support for Tango and Daydream VR make this ASUS phone sound pretty interesting. We should hear more details about this device on January 4, so stay tuned.

Sources: @evleaks, Qualcomm

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Screens lets you create shortcuts to launch apps in split-screen mode

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 10:32 AM PST

Android finally added support for split-screen apps in 7.0 Nougat, but Google has been playing with the specifics of launching apps in split-screen. It removed the UI tuner's swipe gesture, and the home button behavior has been tweaked in 7.1. The whole system can be a little clumsy at times, but Screens makes split-screen mode a one-tap proposition. It's rather barebones, but it gets the job done.

Screens creates shortcuts for your home screen that instantly launch two apps of your choosing in split-screen mode.

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Screens lets you create shortcuts to launch apps in split-screen mode was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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ASUS says ‘world’s best processor’ to power upcoming ZenFone

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 09:36 AM PST

Back in November, Qualcomm made its flagship Snapdragon 835 processor officially official. Now ASUS looks to be teasing that that processor will power one of its smartphones.

ASUS took to Twitter to post a picture of a small ASUS-branded box with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor tucked inside of it. While the processor itself doesn't show off any number badging, the 835 is the likely bet, with ASUS teasing the chipset as the "world's best processor."

Unfortunately, ASUS hasn't revealed any real details of the upcoming ZenFone at this point, only pointing to an unveiling date of January 4 during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. That event kicks off at 11:30am PST.

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Samsung updates Galaxy A series with better cameras, water resistance

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 08:31 AM PST

Samsung's Galaxy A series of devices are a lineup of mid-range handsets, and today new models have debuted with some noteworthy changes.

There are three models in the Galaxy A lineup: the Galaxy A3, the Galaxy A5, and the Galaxy A7. The biggest distinction between the three are screen sizes, with the A3 packing in a 4.7-inch, 720p HD display, the A5 with a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, and the Galaxy S7 with a 5.7-inch 1080p HD display.

Both the Galaxy A5 and A7 have the same 1.9GHz processor under the hood, while the A3 has a 1.6GHz processor. The two bigger siblings also have 32GB of built-in storage and 3GB of RAM. The A3, however, has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage. All three devices feature dust and water resistance as well as a USB Type-C port.

The other big new addition is the upgrade in cameras, with the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 now both featuring 16-megapixel cameras on the back and front. The two models also feature Samsung's Fast Charge technology.

Finally, all three devices feature a glass-back, similar to the S7 lineup, as well as a physical home button below their displays that also serves as a fingerprint reader.

Samsung is launching all three devices in Russia this month, but it says it will land in other European countries at some point in the future. The company has not divulged pricing just yet.

What do you think of the improved Galaxy A series?

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Pigment, ExaGear

Posted: 02 Jan 2017 06:36 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. Pigment


App info: Pigment, coloring book for adults, is the ultimate stress reliever on the go! Take a break and relax with this unique adult coloring book app that lets you color like you would on paper, unlike other "tap-to-fill" coloring apps


2. FastKey Launcher

FastKey Launcher

App info: Launch any app with just a couple of taps right from your home screen. Never lose an app again! Fast access to all your apps using the always-on keyboard


3. Tiny Rails

Tiny Rails

App info: Set out on adventure in Tiny Titan's immersive, world-spanning train game Tiny Rails! Your grandfather has handed down his train company and it's up to you to expand your modest engine into a multi-car masterpiece! 


4. ExaGear – Windows Emulator


App info: ExaGear is a virtual machine that allows you to run Windows PC applications on ARM Android devices and ARM Chromebooks.


5. Contacts


App info: Contacts helps you stay in touch with the people you care about. Easily add contacts and edit information like their photo, phone number, and email. Save contacts to your Google Account and access them on any device. 


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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