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1 day ago

One Button Nav on the Moto G5 is an exciting new way to interact with your phone

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The Moto G5 puts the fingerprint sensor to good use.

One of the more interesting features in the Moto G5 and G5 Plus is a new Moto Action called One Button Nav. The feature made its debut on the 5.0-inch Lenovo Z2 Plus last year, and after seeing positive feedback from its user community, Motorola included it in the G5 and G5 Plus.

The feature eschews the on-screen navigation buttons, instead relying on the fingerprint sensor of the G5 and G5 Plus to navigate. A single tap on the sensor takes you to the home screen, a right-to-left swipe takes you back within an app's interface, and a left-to-right swipe reveals the multitasking pane.

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1 day ago

Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus: A class apart

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Moto G5 Plus vs. Moto G4 Plus

Motorola's latest budget phone has a lot to offer.

The Moto G4 Plus represented a significant change for Motorola, with the company offering a phone with a large 5.5-inch display and a camera that was considerably better when seen against its predecessors. The same holds true for the G5 Plus, which offers a metal chassis, great internal hardware, and a camera that's one of the best in this segment.

Let's see how it matches up to one of 2016's best-selling budget devices.

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1 day ago

Massive emoji update slated for June includes zombies, dinosaurs, vampires, and more

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Get ready for a whole lot of new emoji.

The Unicode consortium has released a draft of the Emoji 5.0 update, which includes 69 new emoji that will be released in June 2017. The new additions include a T-Rex, fairies, mages, zombies, vampires, genies, mermaids, a breastfeeding woman, curling stone, and more.

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1 day ago

How to fix LG G6 battery life problems

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How to improve LG G6 battery life

There are several ways to make sure your battery goes the full day, every day.

No matter how good battery life is on a phone, we always want more. The LG G6 manages to do pretty well with its 3300mAh battery, getting most of us through a full day of typical use — but of course, not every day is typical.

Whether it's turning into a regular occurrence for your phone to hit 50% before lunch, or just a here-and-there situation of needing to be sure that you'll have enough battery for well into the night, there are a handful of things you can do to make the most of your LG G6's battery. And now that LG's leading device no longer offers a replaceable battery, these tips may be even more important to know.

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1 day ago

Michael Kors returns for Android Wear round 2.0, this time with jewels

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Popular fashion brand Michael Kors has announced two new smartwatches at Baselworld 2017.

Back in September, when we reviewed the first in Michael Kors' line of Android Wear smartwatches, it was clear that the popular medium-high fashion brand was in it for the long haul. And like so many first tries in the wearables space, it was far more miss than hit.

But a year after the announcement, and six months after the release, of the Fossil-owned brand's entry into wearable tech, Michael Kors is back with two new Access-branded watches, and they are considerably better pieces of hardware.

Grayson and Sofie are the names of the rounded men's and women's watches, respectively, and they are clearly demarcated in their designs — for better or worse. Both have AMOLED displays without the dreaded flat tire, an issue with all of last year's models, and run the slightly newer Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip that appears, along with Android Wear 2.0, to be adorning every smartwatch released in 2017.

Arguably the best-looking announcement of the day isn't a smartwatch at all.

While Sofie goes full-on jewelry with its "pavé embellished bezel" replete with a full set of cubic zirconia and a single side button, Grayson takes better advantage of AW 2.0's new feature set with a rotating crown and two additional buttons, similar to the LG Watch Sport.

Grayson will ship in gold, stainless steel, and blue-on-black, with four strap options. Sofie will have eight color-and-bracelet combinations and seven strap choices. Each start at $350 USD.

Arguably the best-looking announcement of the day isn't a smartwatch at all, but a so-called "hybrid" analog watch that includes fitness and sleep tracking, along with basic notification alerts. The Gage hybrid watch is your basic chronometer, with a stainless steel body and thin leather strap, but to my eyes (and pocket book) it's the better value at $250.

The company is also giving its My Social app, which as the name suggestions connects the smartwatch to various social networks to automatically update watch faces with personal photos, an overhaul. "By the end of 2017," the press release says, "the brand will have released 15 new digital watch faces, all with multiple customizable elements."

Finally, the company says that it is launching its smart wearables in many new countries throughout 2017, including Mainland China and Brazil, which each have enormous potential markets for a popular fashion brand like Michael Kors.

At this point, the company's retail channels ensure that its smartwatches will be seen by millions more people than the average tech product from LG or Motorola — even likely Samsung — which bodes well for their sales. And even if neither the Grayson nor Sofie model is best-in-class in any particular category, they will sell because they have the trusted, and well-known, Michael Kors brand behind it.

See at Michael Kors

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1 day ago

Misfit's $199 smartwatch arrives this summer with Android Wear 2.0

30

Misfit's first smartwatch will run Android Wear 2.0, retail for $199.

Misfit showed off the fitness-focused Vapor smartwatch earlier this year, and today the manufacturer is announcing that the watch will debut with Android Wear 2.0 when it hits store shelves later this summer. The watch will retail for $199, and offers a 1.39-inch circular AMOLED display, heart rate sensor, integrated GPS, Snapdragon Wear 2100, and a touch-enabled bezel that you can use for navigating the interface.

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1 day ago

Galaxy S8 leak reveals gold model + U.S. branding

28

It says 'Galaxy S8' on the back.

Prominent leaker Evan Blass continues to lay bare the Samsung Galaxy S8 ahead of next week's announcement. This morning we're getting a look at the GS8 in gold, in addition to a fresh perspective on the grey and black models. Behold!

Blass also reveals the branding for the U.S. versions of the phone which — surprise! — has additional Galaxy branding in addition to the Samsung logo up top.

The most interesting thing about these late-breaking leaks is what they show us about the front face of the phone. Earlier GS8 images have revealed colored front panels, whereas these suggest Samsung is sticking with a black border top and bottom. It's an understandable move given the large number of cutouts required for cameras and sensors. But this does leave us wondering if other colors — like the blue we keep seeing — may be different.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

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1 day ago

These are the phones that receive regular security patches, according to Google

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Pixels, a lot of Nexus devices, and a few names that are a welcome addition.

In its 2016 Android security year in review post, Google highlighted steps it has taken over the course of the year to thwart malware and malicious apps on the Play Store. The company said that only 0.05% of apps downloaded from the Play Store in 2016 had a Potentially Harmful Application, down from 0.15% in 2015. Verify Apps — which periodically scans your phone for harmful apps — conducted 750 million daily checks in 2016.

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1 day ago

Xiaomi's $90 Redmi 4A is going up for sale on Amazon India

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The first Redmi 4A sale kicks off at 12 p.m. IST on Amazon India.

The Redmi 4A is Xiaomi's most affordable phone to date in India, offering decent specs for ₹5,999 ($90). The phone will be going up for sale for the first time later today, March 23 at 12 p.m. IST, on Amazon India.

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1 day ago

Leaked render shows off the Moto G5 in stunning blue

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The Moto G5 is getting a new color option.

Motorola launched the Moto G5 in grey and gold color options, and it looks like the company will launch a blue color variant. Renders of the blue version — which will be called Blue Sapphire — were leaked earlier today by Ronald Quandt of WinFuture, showcasing a device that looks far more attractive than the two colors currently available.

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1 day ago

Super Mario Run is finally available on Android, and it's worth buying

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The Nintendo game you've all been waiting for is here!

Android gamers now have one more title to claim as their own, and one fewer that their iOS counterparts can't lord over them. That's right, Super Mario Run is now available on Android, three months after it debuted on the iPhone.

The game is actually considerably newer than the version that debuted three months ago, since it includes all the updates and bug fixes, plus a bunch of small improvements that have culminated in version 2.0. But the core mechanics are still the same: users control an auto-running Mario, tapping on the screen to make him jump over crevices, onto enemies, and shimmy up walls.

While the first four stages are free (three if you don't count the introductory tutorial course), the full game costs $9.99, which caused a fair amount of consternation in the gaming community when it debuted last year. But there's a lot more to the game than just the six worlds to complete; there are playable characters like Peach, Luigi, Yoshi and Toadette; and there's also the competitive Toad Rally, which pins your Mario against people around the world for style and points.

Finally, Kingdom Builder adds a bit of an RPG element to Super Mario Run, allowing you to customize the look and feel of Mario and the buildings he inhabits.

Do you plan to download and pay for Super Mario Run? Let us know in the comments!

Download: Super Mario Run (free w/ IAP)

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1 day ago

Instagram continues to morph itself into more than just another social network

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You're already posting pictures to Instagram and using it to exclusively chat with your pals. You'll soon be able to book your next appointment through it, too.

Ahh, Instagram. It's become one of those bonafide social networks that's really more than it advertises to be. Instagram isn't just a reel of photos your friends are posting from their days out in the sun. It's where you can keep long running group chats with friends where you're sending each other memes, or peruse through your favorite artist pages to buy their original work. Soon, you'll be able to book appointments through it, too.

Per a blogpost written to its advertisers today, Instagram announced it would soon bring a new "Book" option to the Instagram pages of your favorite hair salon, for instance. You'll know how much you're paying for every treatment, as there will be a separate pricing and payment section available.

You can imagine plenty of hair salons, nail salons, and even independent makeup artists using this particular feature as a way to attract more customers. Instagram is already its own advertising platform, after all, a sort of "choose your own adventure" for small business owners. It'll also be particularly convenient when planning your own appointments. There's nothing worse than having to call the salon because their online reservation system is outdated.

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1 day ago

You can now send Android APKs to your friends via Allo

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It's not full-featured SMS support, but the new file sharing features could help tide over Allo users for a little while longer.

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Allo users, I know you're feeling it — any time Google announces a new feature for the nascent chat app, you're jumping around, hoping it's that one feature you've been waiting for a while now.

Unfortunately, today is not that day. There is still no word about the oft-requested SMS integration making its way to Allo, but at least now you can attach documents to your messages. With the latest update, Allo chatters can now send PDFs, Microsoft Word files, compressed files, audio files, and even Android APKs. You can use this feature by tapping the paperclip icon in the menu screen above the message input window. This will launch your device's file explorer.

Google announced in the same blogpost that Brazilian users will also get the Smart Smiley feature in Portuguese, which uses machine learning to pick the most relevant emojis and stickers.

The update will be rolling out to your Android device this week.

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1 day ago

Every Daydream app you can install right now, and a look at what comes next

Just go ahead and install all of them. You know, for fun.

Google's first Daydream headset is finally shipping to people who purchased the first Daydream phone, and are quickly finding it's not easy to locate the whole list of Daydream apps from the Play Store. While we've been having a lot of fun showing you the best free Daydream apps and the Daydream games everyone should have installed, the act of browsing for apps and then waiting for them to install while in VR isn't a good time.

To make it a little easier, we've tracked down the first wave of Google Daydream apps that are available to install now, so you can load up your Pixel with VR goodness and see what this new experience is all about.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 day ago

Google Photos now uploads your pics over cellular, but don't freak out

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Google is now uploading your photos over 3G or LTE, but promises not to eat your data.

Google has announced that it is making low-quality previews of photos available to users right after they take them, so they can start sharing through Google Photos without having to wait for a Wi-Fi connection.

The company announced the update to Google Photos alongside a number of other bandwidth-saving measures aimed at reassuring its very important, and growing, Brazilian user base that it is taking their suggestions seriously.

Today we're rolling out two new features on Android and iOS to make backup and sharing easier on low connectivity. Now your photos will back up automatically in a lightweight preview quality that's fast on 2G connections and still looks great on a smartphone. And when a good Wi-Fi connection becomes available, your backed up photos will be replaced with high-quality versions.

We're also making it easier to share many photos at once even on low connectivity. Never mind if you're at the beach or hiking in the mountains, with Google Photos you can now share pictures quickly even with a spotty connection by sending first in low resolution so friends and family can view them right away. They'll later update in higher resolution when connectivity permits.

The company isn't saying at what quality the preview images will be uploaded, and of course the feature can be disabled, but it's an interesting move for a company always interested in finding a balance between persistent online presence and bandwidth preservation.

It's also interesting that a photo can now be in one of three stages within Google Photos: low quality, uploaded over cellular; "high" quality, which is what Google calls its unlimited storage tier (around 12MP max); and original quality, which does not change anything about the initial photo.

The update will be rolling out to Android and iOS in the coming days, so stay tuned.

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