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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

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Google I/O 2017 is happening May 17-19 at the Shoreline Amphitheater

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 03:56 PM PST

Get out your calendars, everyone, because the dates for Google I/O 2017 have been revealed.

Google I/O 2017 will take place May 17-19. Like last year's I/O, it'll happen at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif.


This info was revealed today as part of a Google puzzle. A few hours ago, the official Android Developers account on Twitter posted a puzzle and said that a "secret" would be shared when it was solved. A Discord channel was formed, and it quickly solved the puzzle and revealed the date and location of this year's I/O.

While I/O is largely a developer-focused event, Google usually has some juicy info for us non-developers to get excited about, too. For example, I/O 2016 included news about Android Instant Apps, Daydream VR, Android Wear 2.0, and an Android N tease.

Google hasn't shared any details about what I/O 2017 might hold, but it's certainly possible that we'll get a taste of Android O there. Stay tuned.

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More details on Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 02:51 PM PST

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a lot riding on it. After the downfall of the Galaxy Note 7, a lot of people are waiting for the Galaxy S8 to upgrade and many more are waiting for something to be wrong with it.

New rumors have given us more details on what the device is going to feature when it launches. There are currently two versions, codenamed Dream and Dream 2, which are in the 5-inch and 6-inch region, respectively. Both should have "infinity" displays that will cover most of the front of the device and curve to the sides. There isn't even room for a logo on the front, which means the fingerprint reader has been moved to the back.

Other details are the inclusion of an iris scanner, a headphone jack, a similar but improved camera from the Galaxy S7, 64GB of memory with a microSD slot, USB Type-C, a 10nm-based processor, and a personal assistant AI.

Some accessories were also discussed. There will be a dock and a DeX (desktop extension) to turn the device into an Android-based PC when hooked up to the right peripherals.

The Galaxy S8 will reportedly go on sale late April and won't be announced at Mobile World Congress, so we have a bit longer to wait to find out more. What do you think so far? Leave a comment!

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BlackBerry teasing the Mercury for Mobile World Congress

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 02:51 PM PST

We've already seen the BlackBerry Mercury at CES 2017. The device has a touch-sensitive physical keyboard underneath a large display, a USB Type-C port, a fingerprint reader in the spacebar, and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

The Mercury name isn't final and none of the specs were finalized for CES. But now the company is teasing the Mercury on Twitter for its official launch at Mobile World Congress on February 25.

The device will be made by TCL, who also makes Alcatel devices, but it'll have that BlackBerry DNA some people still love. We hope to see the company succeed because BlackBerry still seems to know how to make a great phone.

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Strategy game Pokemon Duel launches for Android

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 02:51 PM PST

Pokemon Go captured the hearts of many, but it's still missing a proper battle system for trainers. Sure, you can battle at gyms, but you can't battle your friends or strangers around you. Instead, we're getting Pokemon Duel.

Pokemon Duel is a new strategy game where you have to move your Pokemon around a board trying to defeat others in battle. The Pokemon can be customized, the battles depend on chance when it comes to attacking, there are online battles, and it's free.

It definitely looks like an interesting game, and there's no doubt it's going to get popular quick. The Pokemon name alone guarantees that. You can give it a shot both on Android and iOS for free, so hit the source link to download it!

Sources: Pokemon, Google Play: Pokemon Duel

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Huawei prepping data-connected Watch 2

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 01:41 PM PST

Huawei is currently at work on a follow-up to its first smartwatch, VentureBeat is reporting. The company is staying with the brand and calling it the Huawei Watch 2, with a target launch this spring. Huawei's first watch received favorable reviews, but a high price held some customers at bay. With the successor, Huawei is looking to reach a broader audience.

A sportier design is expected for the Watch 2. This may help to reduce the price from last year's model, which featured several high-end design options. The most significant change comes with the addition of cellular connectivity for certain models. This change would allow customers to freely use the smartwatch with data, providing freedom from Bluetooth tethering and Wi-Fi.

Huawei's goal is to initially launch the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, though VentureBeat cautions that this is a goal rather than a sure matter. This launch would shortly follow Google's release of Android Wear 2.0 on February 9, which is expected to be accompanied by the launch of two smartwatches from LG.

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Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 5 with iOS support now available

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 01:41 PM PST

The fourth developer preview for Android Wear 2.0 was released back in December of last year, and today the fifth build has arrived.

Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview 5 is now available. Google says it's the last developer release before the public launch, adding that applications compiled with Developer Preview 5 are ready for final submission to the Play Store.

As far as what's new, Google has included iOS support with this latest build. That should be a bonus for developers who want to build their apps to also support the iPhone in time for Android Wear 2.0′s public launch in early February. Google has also included a variety of bug fixes and other improvements.

If the rumors pan out, then Android Wear 2.0 will launch to the public on February 9, so we may not have long to wait before its arrival. Are you looking forward to the update?

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Google shuts off Chrome Sync API for third-party browsers on Android, citing a security vulnerability

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 11:37 AM PST

If you aren't familiar, Chrome has two versions: the open-source Chromium project, and Google's proprietary Chrome builds with added functionality (like a built-in Flash player). Numerous browsers on Android are based on Chromium, including the popular Snapdragon-optimized CAF browser. Unfortunately, Google has now shut off access to the Chrome Sync API on Android for anything but Chrome itself, including vanilla builds of Chromium.

A bug report was filed on January 3 on the Chromium bug tracker, explaining that attempting to sign-in with Chromium builds on Android resulted in an 'INVALID_SCOPE' error.

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Google shuts off Chrome Sync API for third-party browsers on Android, citing a security vulnerability was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Pokémon Duel comes to Android, and it still isn't the Pokémon game you want

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 11:32 AM PST

Do you wanna be the very best, like no one ever was? Well, you better have some money, sucker. There's a new Pokémon game on Android, and it's called Pokémon Duel. Despite the name, this game has very little to do with the traditional Pokémon battle mechanics. It's a board game with oh so many in-app purchases and timers.

Pokémon Duel is essentially a basic strategy game. You have game pieces that must be used to defend your side of the board while also advancing on your opponent's side.

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Pokémon Duel comes to Android, and it still isn't the Pokémon game you want was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Discover Mobile app gets fingerprint login support (finally), new convenience features

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 10:52 AM PST

Using biometric authentication for banking logins is nothing new. It adds a level of convenience with only a slight decrease in security, although I find it only a bit faster than using a PIN. Apps like PayPal and USAA have had it for some time, and Discover is finally joining the party.

Here's the official changelog:

  • Use Fingerprint to log in quicker, easier and more securely on compatible Android devices
  • Edit your account password within the app
  • Access and download TAX documents within the app
  • Enjoy an updated Bill Pay experience with streamlined design and layout enhancements
  • Choose and personalize which account Alerts you'd like to receive within the app
  • Transfer Money with improved functionality

As you can see, adding in fingerprint support isn't the only thing Discover has added here.

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Discover Mobile app gets fingerprint login support (finally), new convenience features was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Final Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview: iOS support. Time to upload your apps to the Play Store!

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 10:18 AM PST

Posted by Hoi Lam, Developer Advocate 

Cross platform support by Telegram Messenger

Today, we are releasing the fifth and final developer preview for Android Wear 2.0. In this release, we have added iOS support and included a number of bug fixes and enhancements. Apps compiled with this preview are now ready for final submission to the Google Play Store, so it's time to publish your apps. As Android Wear 2.0 approaches its final release in early February, we would like to thank you for your continued feedback during the developer preview program. Your input has helped us uncover bugs as well as drive critical product decisions. Thank you!

iOS Support

Since 2015, you've been able to pair Android Wear watches with iPhones, and now you can distribute your apps to iPhone-paired watches as well. To do so, just set the standalone=true flag in your watch app manifest. This lets the Play Store know that your watch app doesn't require an Android phone app, and therefore can appear in the Play Store on watches paired to iPhones. To pair your watch to an iPhone and test, just follow these steps.

The available network bandwidth for standalone apps can be lower than expected, as the platform balances battery savings vs network bandwidth. Make sure to check out these guidelines for accessing the network, including accessing Wi-Fi and cellular networks on watches paired with iPhones.

Also with this developer preview release, Android Wear apps running on watches paired with iOS devices will be able to perform phone hand-off flows such as OAuth and RemoteIntent for launching a web page on a paired iOS device.

Uploading Your App to the Google Play Store

The final developer preview includes an update to the Wearable Support Library. Apps compiled with API level 25 and this support library are considered ready for deployment in the Google Play Store. Please note that there are no updates to the preview watch image or emulator in this developer preview release.

Other Enhancement and Bug Fixes

  • Navigation Drawer: Flip a flag to toggle to the single-page, icon-only action drawer, which provides faster, more streamlined navigation to different views in your app.
  • NFC HCE support: NFC Host Card Emulation FEATURE_NFC_HOST_CARD_EMULATION is now supported.
  • ProGuard and Complication API: New ProGuard configuration means complication data container classes will no longer be obfuscated. This fixes a ClassNotFoundException when watch faces are trying to access data supplied by a complication data provider.

Countdown to Launch

Thank you for the fantastic level of feedback we have gotten from you as developers. Check out g.co/wearpreview for the latest builds and documentation, and be sure to publish your apps before the Android Wear 2.0 consumer launch in early February. As we work towards the consumer launch and beyond, please continue filing bugs or posting comments in our Android Wear Developers community. We can't wait to see your Android Wear 2.0 apps!

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Netflix adds support for downloading content to SD cards

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 10:02 AM PST

After years of waiting, Netflix finally added support for saving content for offline viewing last year. But until now, that was limited to the device's internal storage. The latest update, version 4.13, now supports downloading content to an external SD card.

To check where Netflix is saving offline content, go to 'App Settings' at the bottom of the hamburger menu, then tap 'Download Location.' At least on my tablet, SD card was set as the new default location.

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Netflix adds support for downloading content to SD cards was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG G6 Won’t Get Snapdragon 835 Due to Samsung’s Galaxy S8

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 09:12 AM PST

As we have already told you before we were expecting that both LG and Samsung will unveil their 2017 flagships at MWC 2017 next month.

Well according to the most recent information only LG will launch its next-gen premium handset, the G6 during the event. But that's not all. A new report by Forbes claims the LG G6 won't take advantage of the computing power of Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835, as anticipated.

Instead the handset will launch with last year's Snapdragon 821, just like the recently announced HTC U Ultra. Now why is LG settling for a 2016 chipset when launching its 2017 flagship, you might wonder?

The truth is, it had no choice. You see the Snapdragon 835 is the product the collaboration between Samsung and Qualcomm. It turns out Samsung has claimed the initial batch of Snapdragon 835 chips for its Galaxy S8 flagship – probably anticipating a high demand.

So the Korean tech giant who keeps telling us "Life's Good" was faced with two options: push back the launch of the G6 or opt to use a different chipset.

Given that LG hoped to get the LG G6 out into retailer faster than the Galaxy S8, it makes sense the company would go for the second variant. This way it has a chance of wooing in some customers, before the Galaxy S8 beast arrives.

Also, a leaked picture showing our first real view of the LG G6 popped in today. Take a look above and check its mighty slim bezels.


The post LG G6 Won't Get Snapdragon 835 Due to Samsung's Galaxy S8 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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LG G6 rumored to include Snapdragon 821 processor

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 08:47 AM PST

The Snapdragon 835 processor is expected to be the go-to chip for companies launching high-end, flagship Android smartphones this year. But according to a new report from Forbes, LG won't be launching its upcoming G6 with the Snapdragon 835. Instead, it will have a Snapdragon 821 under the hood, and it apparently has everything to do with Samsung.

The report indicates that Samsung "has first dibs" on the Snapdragon 835, claiming the lion's share of available 835 chips for the Galaxy S8's launch and forcing other companies to go with last year's flagship Snapdragon processor instead. The Galaxy S8 is rumored to launch on April 14 in South Korea and LG's G6 is expected to be revealed on February 26, with a launch sometime in March.

Today's report suggests that Samsung's partnership with Qualcomm, in which Samsung is helping Qualcomm build the SD 835, could explain why Samsung is hoarding the chip for itself until after its own flagship smartphone launch.

We've already seen HTC launch the U Ultra this year with the Snapdragon 821 under the hood, but HTC has also suggested that handset is just one member of a "family of flagships," so maybe we see another high-end device from HTC later this year with Qualcomm's latest chipset running the show.

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Adobe is optimizing its Android apps for Chromebooks

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 07:12 AM PST

You might have heard yesterday that Google promised that all Chromebooks released from 2017 onward would have support for the Play Store out of the box. That's great, but what can you install on them that's going to work well? Adobe has you covered, if you like Adobe's apps. It is releasing updates for six Creative Cloud Android apps to optimize them for use on Chromebooks.

The updated apps are as follows.

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Adobe is optimizing its Android apps for Chromebooks was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag is the new entry in the hit anime series, available from Google Play

Posted: 24 Jan 2017 03:27 AM PST

Bandai Namco seems to pump out anime games at a rate of knots unseen by man, so it's no surprise to see a new one in the Sword Art Online series, this time called 'Memory Defrag,' originally announced in June. This is the third game available for Android, after End World and Code Register were released in 2013 and 2014.

Besides from the slightly bizarre name, this looks like a good anime RPG game, by all accounts.

Read More

Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag is the new entry in the hit anime series, available from Google Play was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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New leaks show LG G6, LG and Google’s upcoming Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches

Posted: 23 Jan 2017 04:51 PM PST

It's expected that we're going to see some high-profile devices from LG in the next month or so, including a new flagship smartphone and a pair of Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches. But before those products are officially announced, the rumor mill has churned out images of them all.

First up, the LG G6 has leaked. Specifically, the upper half of the front of the LG G6 has leaked. An image shared by The Verge shows part of LG's next Android flagship, complete with a metal and glass body and slim bezels. It's said that the G6 will offer a screen-to-bezel ratio that's greater than 90 percent.

Also notable about this leaked image are the corners of the screen. They're rounded, just like on the Xiaomi Mi Mix. Rumors have suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will have rounded display corners, too, meaning that that feature could become a trend among 2017 flagships.

The LG G6 will make its debut at an event on February 26, and it's looking like the display could be a major feature of the device. Not only will it have slim bezels and rounded corners, but the G6 is also expected to offer a 5.7-inch 2880×1440 display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. If all these rumored features hold true, it'll definitely be interesting to handle the G6 and see what special tricks LG has in store for that screen.


Meanwhile, images of what are said to be LG and Google's upcoming Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches may have been leaked by TechnoBuffalo. They're a bit blurrier than the G6 image, but we can see that one is larger than the other. The larger LG Watch Sport is also expected to have better specs than the smaller LG Watch Style.

The LG Watch Sport will reportedly include a 1.38-inch 480×480 display, 768MB of RAM, IP68 water and dust resistance, and a 430mAh battery, while the LG Watch Style may include a 1.2-inch 360×360 display, 512MB of RAM, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a 240mAh battery. Both watches will allegedly include a digital crown for navigating the Android Wear OS, but the LG Watch Sport appears to have a couple of additional buttons on its side.

These LG smartwatches are rumored to be debuting on February 9, the same day that Android Wear 2.0 will begin rolling out to existing smartwatches, with US availability coming the following day.

Sources: The Verge, TechnoBuffalo

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