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Archive for the ‘Android News’ Category

[Purrfection] Google Photos can make a cat-themed video of your beloved feline pics

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Google Photos does a lot of smart things with your photos and hides plenty of cool and cute easter eggs. One of these just came to our attention — it may be new or it may have been there for months/years. Either way, we hadn't seen it before today so we thought we'd share it with you.

If you take a lot of pics of cats, which you probably do if you have cats and you love keeping the meowmories of every ridiculous thing they do, then Google Photos will make a video out of them.

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[Purrfection] Google Photos can make a cat-themed video of your beloved feline pics was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

ZeroLemon releases its massive battery cases for the Pixel, Pixel XL, OnePlus 3/3T, and Moto Z

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

We love the idea of ZeroLemon's battery cases for phones. On paper, they should provide more protection for our beloved devices while also letting us abuse them more and more during the day without worrying about battery level because the phone is constantly sipping on power the entire time. But in reality, some of ZeroLemon's cases haven't been well thought-out (exhibit A). However, it looks that the company has learned a bit from its mistakes and is fixing some of them in its latest releases.

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ZeroLemon releases its massive battery cases for the Pixel, Pixel XL, OnePlus 3/3T, and Moto Z was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Bottom navigation is being tested for the YouTube Music app

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

After some time spent testing out different bottom navigation styles, the latest incarnation in the Android YouTube app is something very similar to what you'll find in the iOS version. It's still being a/b tested as far as we know, so some users will see it and others won't. It now appears that the YouTube Music app is following suit with a bottom navigation UI of its own.

Slide-out menus and top-level tabs were preferred previously, but Google added bottom navigation to its Material Guidelines in the last major refresh.

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Bottom navigation is being tested for the YouTube Music app was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Tango, the chat app, releases its Web client

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Tango, beside being a cool dance, is also a chatting application similar to WhatsApp, Telegram, Allo, and countless others. It may not be as well recognized as some of these brands, but it is popular in some countries around the world. And just like many of its competitors, Tango is now spreading from mobile to the desktop.

The Tango WebChat app is live at web.tango.me. You sign in by verifying your phone number and once you're in, you can chat with all your contacts and continue your mobile conversations from the comfort of a larger screen and more responsive keyboard.

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Tango, the chat app, releases its Web client was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Xiaomi unveils the Mi Max 2 with a massive 5300mAh battery

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The Mi Max 2 delivers two-day battery life, will be able to charge other phones.

At a media event in Beijing, Xiaomi unveiled the Mi Max 2. The phone retains the 6.44-inch Full HD display, and the highlight this time around is the 5300mAh battery, 450mAh more than what was included in its predecessor. Xiaomi is claiming a battery life of two days, touting over 18 hours of video playback, 21 hours of GPS navigation, and 57 hours of talktime. More importantly, the phone offers Quick Charge 3.0, allowing you to charge up to 68% in just an hour.

The phone features an all-metal unibody design, and is powered by a 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625 SoC. There's also a 12MP camera at the back (Sony IMX386 sensor), 5MP front shooter, microSD slot, rear fingerprint sensor, and an IR blaster. On the software side of things, the Mi Max 2 runs the latest build of MIUI 8 atop Android 7.0 Nougat. With dimensions of 174.1 x 88.7 x 7.6mm and an overall weight of 211g, the Mi Max 2 isn't that much larger or heavier than the first-gen model.

Like its predecessor, the Mi Max 2 is targeted at users that consume a lot of multimedia on their phones. The device offers stereo speakers that activate as soon as you switch to landscape mode, and the 6.44-inch display is ideal for watching videos and movies on the go. There's also a one-handed mode that shrinks the screen down to a more manageable size, and split screen functionality.

As it has a huge battery, the Mi Max 2 doubles up as an external power bank. You'll be able to charge other devices by hooking them up to its USB-C port. The variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage is set to go up for sale in China starting June 1 for ¥1,699 ($250), and a model with 128GB storage will be available for ¥1,999 ($290).

If a tweet sent out by Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain is any indication, the Mi Max 2 will make its debut in India on July 23. Xiaomi is doing very well in India, with its latest phone — the Redmi 4 — clocking over 250,000 sales earlier this week. By introducing the Mi Max 2, Xiaomi will be looking to cater to mid-range buyers looking for a device that delivers a great multimedia experience.

What do you guys think of the phone?

Traveling to India? Here’s how you can pick up a local SIM card

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

A local SIM card is essential to staying connected in India.

India's handset market is seeing a meteoric rise thanks to an influx of affordable devices and wide availability of 4G data, and with the country becoming a mobile-first market, having a local SIM card is mandatory for accessing the plethora of digital services available.

A local number comes in handy not just for staying connected, but also for undertaking basic tasks like payments and money transfers. To curb corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetized high-value currency notes at the end of the last year, and the country still doesn't have adequate cash reserves. The move has led to a drastic rise in digital wallet services like Paytm, but to register and use the service, you need a local SIM card.

Thankfully, the Indian government is making it easier for foreign travelers visiting the country by providing a pre-activated SIM card on arrival. The SIM card is issued by state-run BSNL, and comes with 50MB of data along with a ₹50 credit (90 cents) for making calls. You can top up the data and get additional balance for calling by recharging online.

SIM card on arrival

The SIM card comes with a kit that contains maps, brochures for popular tourism destinations, along with contact information for a 24-hour tourist helpline number that's available in 12 languages, including Russian, German, and Japanese.

All you need to do to pick up your SIM card is show a copy of your e-visa at the immigration counter. An e-visa is the easiest way to get a short-term tourist visa to India, and the facility is available to citizens of over 150 countries.

That said, not all airports offer a SIM card on arrival. Right now, the service is limited to ten airports in the country, with more being added regularly:

  • Bengaluru
  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Chennai
  • Panjim (Goa)
  • Ahmedabad
  • Amritsar
  • Jaipur
  • Lucknow
  • Varanasi

If you're landing at an airport that doesn't offer the service, your best recourse is to purchase a SIM card directly from a retailer. But before we get to that, a primer on LTE bands in India.

LTE bands in India

If you're looking to use LTE in India, you'll need to make sure your phone has the following LTE bands: Band 3 (1800MHz), Band 40 (2300MHz), and Band 5 (850MHz). Band 5 is predominantly used by Jio, a recent entrant in the segment that has amassed over 65 million customers in the space of eight months.

Even if you don't have Band 5 support, you will be able to access LTE from Airtel, Vodafone, and others. BSNL — the service provider with the free SIM card on arrival — delivers LTE on Band 40 (2300MHz). Coverage varies wildly across states, so if you're looking for a detailed breakdown of the state of LTE in India, you should take a look at our detailed guide:

LTE in India: Everything you need to know

Picking up a SIM card from a retailer

Airtel is the leading carrier in the country, with a userbase of over 275 million subscribers. The carrier also has the most robust network for LTE, 3G, and calls. To pick up an Airtel SIM, you'll need to head to a retail store near your location with a copy of your passport, visa, and a photograph. You'll be able to walk out with a SIM card in under 10 minutes, and the number will be activated in an hour or two.

The carrier has very affordable tariffs, but not all plans are available in all regions. That said, you'll be able to select a plan that gives you 3GB of LTE data and unlimited calls within the country for as low as ₹300 ($6), with a validity of 28 days from the time of purchase.

Airtel is your only viable option for a local SIM card, as other carriers have fairly stringent requirements. Jio, for instance, requires you to submit details of a local reference as well as your residence details within the country. You won't be able to get a SIM card unless you submit these details.

Then there's Vodafone and Idea, which aren't worth your time. Neither carrier offers nationwide LTE coverage, so if you're looking to travel from one state to another, there will be times when you'll switch over to 2G.

Questions?

Got any questions or queries? Let us know in the comments below.

[Deal Alert] Here are 25 temporarily free and 65 on-sale apps, plus the other 0.10 App of the Week

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

It's the middle of the week again, which means that we're back again with some more app sales! Today's list is quite a monster, so let's not waste too much more time. If you're interested in what appeared on Monday, be sure to go back and check that post. As always, the free apps will remain in your library unless you uninstall them within the Play Store's refund window. It's just like buying an app in that regard.

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[Deal Alert] Here are 25 temporarily free and 65 on-sale apps, plus the other 0.10 App of the Week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android O feature spotlight: The proxiomity sensor can turn off ambient display

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Ambient display on the Android O developer preview is doing some odd things right now. It's showing a minimal and less useful UI for some people, while others see something more akin to the old version. Whatever is going on there, we do know of one small (but useful) change to ambient display in O—covering the proximity sensor now puts the phone back to sleep.

In Nougat and earlier, ambient display won't kick on if the proximity sensor is covered.

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Android O feature spotlight: The proxiomity sensor can turn off ambient display was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus hitting Canada on June 6

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus will come to Canada just in time for the summer.

Huawei's P series will be sold at a North American carrier for the first time ever starting June 6, as Canadian providers are set to sell the P10 and P10 Plus.

The company's newest flagship phones do a lot of things right — and, unfortunately, one thing very wrong — but they stand up well to the competition from Samsung, LG and others. And with no HTC flagship launching in Canada this summer, the P10 and P10 Plus should stand in nicely.

The smaller P10 will be sold at Bell, Videotron, Fido and Rogers in black. Rogers, which has an excellent existing relationship with Huawei, will sell the P10 in both gold and black, and will exclusively stock the larger P10 Plus in black, with the blue variants of both phones coming out later this summer, again as Rogers exclusives.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus specs

Both phones are remarkably similar, with the P10 Plus notching a slightly bigger 5.5-inch QHD panel compared to the P10's 5.1-inch 1080p display, along with a larger 3,750mAh battery compared to the P10's 3,200mAh cell. The P10 Plus also has a slightly sharper f/1.8 lens, but in real world usage we found it to be nearly indistinguishable from the P10's f/2.2 lens except for in very dark scenes.

Pricing has not been determined just yet, but we'll know in the coming days.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus hitting Canada on June 6

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus will come to Canada just in time for the summer.

Huawei's P series will be sold at a North American carrier for the first time ever starting June 6, as Canadian providers are set to sell the P10 and P10 Plus.

The company's newest flagship phones do a lot of things right — and, unfortunately, one thing very wrong — but they stand up well to the competition from Samsung, LG and others. And with no HTC flagship launching in Canada this summer, the P10 and P10 Plus should stand in nicely.

The smaller P10 will be sold at Bell, Videotron, Fido and Rogers in black. Rogers, which has an excellent existing relationship with Huawei, will sell the P10 in both gold and black, and will exclusively stock the larger P10 Plus in black, with the blue variants of both phones coming out later this summer, again as Rogers exclusives.

Huawei P10 and P10 Plus specs

Both phones are remarkably similar, with the P10 Plus notching a slightly bigger 5.5-inch QHD panel compared to the P10's 5.1-inch 1080p display, along with a larger 3,750mAh battery compared to the P10's 3,200mAh cell. The P10 Plus also has a slightly sharper f/1.8 lens, but in real world usage we found it to be nearly indistinguishable from the P10's f/2.2 lens except for in very dark scenes.

Pricing has not been determined just yet, but we'll know in the coming days.

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