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1 week ago

Google Photos update simplifies sharing, launches new automatic creations


It's now even easier to share from Google Photos to anyone, no matter what.

Google Photos

Google Photos already does a great job letting you share photos, videos and albums, but with its latest app update things are getting even simpler. Now when selecting photos to share, you can bypass the idea of sharing to a specific app and just send to specific people instead — the share sheet will now just have a "To:" field where you can type names, email addresses or phone numbers.

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1 week ago

Supercharging Google Cardboard with VRidge

Your smartphone-based VR has another trick.

There's already a lot you can experience with Google Cardboard. Quick horror experiences to make your friends jump, exciting trips on roller coaster you may never go on yourself, and concerts to watch as though you're in the audience top a surprisingly long list of possibilities. There are hundreds of Google Cardboard apps available for anyone to try, but if you're looking for something to try that is just a step above your average app the folks behind VRidge want you to see what desktop-class VR is like without relying on Oculus or Valve for anything.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

Huawei Nova + Nova Plus review: Lean and mean

Huawei Nova

Huawei's new pair of mid-rangers boasts impressive build quality and flagship-beating battery life.

Expensive, top-tier phones are all well and good. But over the past year, the £300-400 mark is where some of the most meaningful innovation has been happening. Huawei has dabbled in this market through its Honor brand, and its answer to this for the mainstream market is Nova, a new series of mid-tier phones. The Huawei Nova and Nova Plus bring similar specs to two different screen sizes, with a particular focus on camera performance and battery life.

So how do they measure up? Let's find out.

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1 week ago

How to tell if your Galaxy Note 7 is safe to use

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's going to make it easy to check that new purchases — and replacement units — are unaffected by battery issues.

Samsung is replacing potentially dangerous Galaxy Note 7s purchased during the first few weeks of the phone's availability with new safe versions. As it does so, the manufacturer is also giving buyers a couple of ways to identify a safe Note 7.

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1 week ago

Best leather cases for the Galaxy S7

Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 is a sophisticated phone. It demands a sophisticated case.

Many cases that are meant purely for protection aren't necessarily the prettiest. Leather cases are a great and durable way to protect your Galaxy S7 while maintaining a sense of upscale style and really making your phone stand out.

We've rounded up the best (and sexiest) leather cases we could find, just for you.

Piel Frama FramaSlim

Piel Frama FramaSlim

Piel Frama's line of FramaSlim leather cases for the Galaxy S7 are the epitome of haute couture. The height of fashion also means top price, with these cases starting at 60€ (around $70 US).

That being said, you get what you pay for, which is one of five types of handcrafted genuine leather cases made in Spain. You have your choice of cowskin, cowskin-crocodile, iForte Style (a more rugged cowskin), lizard, and stingray. These are all blends of calfskin and other material that add a truly personal touch to your S7. "Oh, your case is from Best Buy? Mine was hand-made by an old man in rural Spain."

Piel Frama has been making leather cases for cell phones since 1984, so if anyone knows how to craft a case that fits your phone perfectly, offering a bit of protection and maximum style, it's Frama. Form meets function, in that there is no need to open your case when you want to talk, so that you don't have the cover awkwardly flapping away.

Something to note is that your phone doesn't actually sit in these cases, rather it sits on them via an adhesive pad. This pad, however, has deep "craters" in it so that no residue is left on your S7.

See at Piel Frama

Leather wallet case by Sarac Leather

Sarac Leather

We mined Etsy for leather cases because some of the finest craftspeople in the world sell their good there. This leather wallet case by Sarac Leather is a gorgeous and stylish cover that offers your S7 some solid protection, while accenting it with personal style.

Hand-made of genuine leather, this unit comes in either brown or purple suede and has two slots on the inside for debit or credit cards. The cover also flips back and folds to provide a handy stand for hands-free video watching or calling.

Since these are hand-made items, no two are alike, so if you want a case that's truly unique to you and your S7, then consider Sarac Leather's offer.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet case by Jinapple


Jinapple's handmade leather case for your GS7 is one of rustic beauty and somewhat rugged protection. It's made of the type of leather that you're not worried about scuffing up, since that would just add to its appeal.

The leather comes in a few different shades of brown and then you have your choice of brown for the thread. You can make everything uniform or your can make the thread pop by choosing a dark leather and light thread. There are many combinations, meaning your case will truly be yours. For an extra five bucks you can even have your initials etched into it.

There are three slots for cards on the inside and a larger cash slot that can fit cash. The thin leather won't add a ton of bulk to your S7 and you won't be able to fill it with credit cards so no worry of bulk there either.

If you want a splash of rugged style and like the feel of leather but don't want a case that you have to preen over and worry about scratching, then give Jinapple's offer a look.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet case by Istanbul Leather Shop

Istanbul Leather Shop

This is the type of leather case that you'd associate with a glass of 12 year old scotch and a deep leather chair, with a roaring fire next to it and a portrait of Ron Swanson on the mantle – refined.

This elegantly designed case has three slots inside for credit and debit cards, with a little more room that some of the other cases in this roundup. So, the front cover is a little bulkier, but it'll still fit comfortably in your pocket.

There are speaker holes on the front so that you can talk with the cover closed. You can also fold the cover back to create a stand for hands-free video watching.

There is only one choice for color, but it's a deep and rich brown that will suit any Galaxy S7 color.

See at Etsy

Leather wallet pouch by Benittorre


This case is a little different from the others in this roundup in that it's a pouch rather than a folio. Your S7 easily slide in and out of this handsomely crafted pouch without being scratched up, since the inside is made of soft microfiber. Heck, it might even clean your screen as you slide it out.

The front pocket is only really designed to fit one card, but you might sneak two in if you don't mind a bit of stretch. You have the choice of a bare case, one with the Benittorre logo, or a monogrammed case, which makes this one an excellent and personalizable gift idea for someone special.

This is the best-reviewed case in our roundup, so Benittorre is clearly doing something right. If you're looking for a case that easily flips open and stands when you want to watch videos, this isn't for you. However, if you're wanting more of a sheath to protect your S7 while it's in your pocket or purse, then this pouch is beautifully ideal.

See at Etsy

Samsung leather cover

Samsung leather cover

This still isn't available on Samsung's website, but you can find it on Amazon for around $35. Looking more like a textured bumper case, Samsung is joining form with function in a sophisticated-looking package. It's made from genuine leather that's hardened to make your Galaxy S7 feel substantial, though it likely won't protect your phone from a big drop – you do compromise protection for style.

However, it will indeed protect your Galaxy S7 from scratches and bumps and the raised bezel on the front will protect the screen should you lay your phone face-down.

See at Amazon

If leather cases just aren't doing it for you, check out our roundup of the best cases for the Samsung Galaxy S7.

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1 week ago

Digital Offers: Grab the complete Machine Learning Bundle for just $40

Ever wish you could take some of your extra money and double or even triple it on the stock market? Unfortunately, the market is tricky, it can be hard to know what to do, how to read the trends and figure out where the money is to be made. Luckily, you can get started with all you need to know for only a small investment.

With this complete Machine Learning bundle for just $40 you can get access to 64 lectures, 11 hours of content and more at anytime you want it. You can set up historical price databases in MySQL using Python, learn Python libraries and even access the source code any time as a continued resource.

Some of the other benefits of the bundle include:

  • Access 64 lectures & 11 hours of content 24/7
  • Get a crash course in quantitative trading from stocks & indices to momentum investing & backtesting
  • Discover machine learning principles like decision trees, ensemble learning, random forests & more
  • Set up a historical price database in MySQL using Python
  • Learn Python libraries like Pandas, Scikit-Learn, XGBoost & Hyperopt
  • Access source code any time as a continuing resource

You'll want to take advantage of this $40 bundle to get yourself started down the right path. Whether it is something you want to turn into a career at some point or just a way to try and make a few extra bucks, this bundle is worth checking out.

You'd normally pay just under $800 for it, making the $40 price tag a 94% savings through Android Central Offers.

See at Android Central Offers

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1 week ago

Grab this 3-port travel charging hub for $6.50 right now!


Ugreen is currently offering its USB travel hub with cradle for just $6.50 with coupon code JR958YZF, which happens to be the lowest price the company has offered it at. Normally priced at $11, you'll save $4.50 on the purchase. It offers 3 USB ports to plug in the cables of your choice, as well as a cradle to place your phone for safe keeping while it is charging. You'll have a single 2.1A charging port, as well as two other 1A charging ports, and it has its own on/off switch to prevent wasting power.

If you are looking for a portable way to charge more than one device, this may be your best bet. Remember, you'll need coupon code JR958YZF for the full savings.

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Xiaomi debuts a $330 mirrorless camera


The latest out of Xiaomi's ecosystem partner XiaoYi is a $330 mirrorless camera dubbed the Yi M1 that looks awfully familiar. The Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera features a 20.16MP Sony IMX269 imaging sensor, offering a mechanical shutter, 4K video recording at 30fps, ISO up to 25600, and ability to shoot in RAW.

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1 week ago

Five reasons the LG V20 may be your next phone


Why the LG V20 might be your next daily driver.

On the inside, the LG V20 is a souped-up version of its flagship sibling, the decidedly lackluster G5. But on the outside, it's equipped with dual 16-megapixel and 8-megapixel rear-facing cameras that are meant to be used by serious content creators. And I don't mean serial Snapchatters.

There's a reason Cool Indie Filmmaker™️ Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the face of the V20. LG wants you to think of this device as mobile camera equipment, but is that realistic? The ultimate verdict will come down to our review of the device, which is coming soon. For now, here's a look at some of the features that come standard with the V20 and why you might want to consider it as your next Android smartphone.

Note: I'm using a preview version of the LG V20. Its software hasn't yet been finalized. Take heed that some of the features mentioned here might not be part of the final version.

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1 week ago

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android

How do I transfer my iPhone contacts to my Android phone?

You've made the brilliant decision to switch from iPhone to Android. Congratulations and welcome! Now you just need to get all of your contacts off your iPhone and onto your new Android phone and your Apple ties will be severed and you shall be reborn anew (or something like that).

Here's how!

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1 week ago

Galaxy Note 7 UK exchange program begins [Updated]

Galaxy Note 7

Exchange program hits its stride in the UK starting today — but no new Note 7 sales yet.

Update: We've updated this post with confirmation from Samsung on the update to cap "unsafe" Notes at 60% battery, and show a green battery icon in replacement units.

From today, Samsung will start swapping out potentially dangerous Galaxy Note 7s with new, safe units in the UK. In line with the company's announcement a couple of weeks back today's the day anyone with an early Note 7 unit in the UK can get a new replacement.

Samsung halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 right before the official UK street date of September 2, so the only people with UK devices will have been pre-order customers who took advantage of Samsung's offer to get the phone three days early. (A significant number, but far fewer than would be out there had the retail launch gone ahead as planned.)

Samsung says customers should get in touch with the place they bought their Note from in order to arrange an exchange, if they haven't already been contacted.

UK customers will be contacted by the provider or operator from which they purchased the product in order to arrange their device exchange. If customers have not been contacted before 19 September they should contact the provider or operator themselves to arrange the exchange.

Samsung has also confirmed earlier reports that it'll issue a software update to limit potentially unsafe Note 7s to 60% battery charge, and make new "safe" handsets show a green battery icon. Both updates (presumably as part of the same firmware package) will land on British Note 7s from tomorrow.

Samsung will issue new software to all pre-ordered Note7 devices in Europe that will limit the battery charge to 60%. This software will begin rolling out to existing customers' devices this week (from September 20th in UK and Ireland). By actively limiting the ability of the device to charge to full capacity, Samsung aims to reduce the risk of incidents and simultaneously reinforce the message to customers that they should immediately replace their existing device with a new Note7.

Customers who exchange their existing device for a new Note7 can be fully confident that their replacement device is not affected by the battery cell issue, courtesy of a new UX update to the battery icon. Any Note7 device that shows a 'green' battery icon (previous software version is white) on the device notification bar, the 'Power Off' prompt screen or the Always-On Display can be assured that the device is safe for charging. This UX update will be rolled out from tomorrow in UK and Ireland.

There's still no word on exactly when new sales of the Note 7 will begin; a Samsung told AC "Our first priority is to support current Note7 owners who are participating in the Product Exchange Program. We will confirm new in store dates shortly."

Independent retailer Clove says stock has been delayed until "early October," while Carphone Warehouse is more pessimistic, saying October 21.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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1 week ago

Morning brief: Allo, is it Mi you're looking for?


Google's long-awaited messenger app could be with us soon; meanwhile Samsung's Note 7 recall program hits its stride.

Welcome to Monday on Android Central! The Note 7 recall is still big news, and this Bloomberg piece doing the rounds today has a lot of good background on the goings-on at Samsung around the Note 7 recall fiasco. The main narrative that all this happened because of a reaction to Apple feels forced and not particularly convincing, though. (X happened then Y happened, so Y happened because of X.) However, there are some interesting details on the battery issue itself: according to the CPSC chairman, the Note 7 batteries made by the original supplier were ever so slightly too big for their compartments.

Was that because Samsung felt pressured to leapfrog boring iPhones by fitting bigger batteries into a smaller chassis? Maybe, but that's a tenuous argument with no direct evidence to support it. Besides, fitting ever more tech into increasingly svelte gadgets has always been the main engineering challenge of making a smartphone. Would phones still be catching fire if Samsung had taken its time? Who knows. But the piece offers little beyond speculation to back up a headline that's very sure of itself.

Anyway, on with the rest of the morning's news!

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1 week ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: Sevens


You might have heard about the hot new thing in tech...

Samsung's Note 7-shaped hole, err, recall just keeps getting deeper — the recall of the potentially-explosive phone got "now the government's involved" official. If you're still using a recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (if you've not exchanged your phone, that's you), please go to the nearest store for your carrier and exchange it. It doesn't matter if you'll have to use a different phone for a week or two while we wait for replacement Note 7s to become available in mass quantities — this is a safety thing we're talking about.

As we've been saying since the news first broke, the timing couldn't be worse for Samsung: Apple rolled into town with the iPhone 7 launch and sucked all of the oxygen out of the room (we hear that's good for putting out fires), along with a major update to iOS. Of course, if you're not into Apple stuff, that won't change your mind, but it's worth noting that while there are a lot of people that read sites like this one, there are a lot more people that don't, and the only mainstream news about the Note 7 is that it blows up while the worst the iPhone 7 gets in the midst of another huge launch is that there's no headphone jack.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is staying quiet while the Note 7 and iPhone 7 storm rages on by (don't doubt that they'll have plenty to say about both in comparison once the dust settles). We saw new preview builds for the next major update to Windows 10 and a neat PC-phone-bridging feature coming to Skype. And with the new HP Elite x3 stepping into the spotlight as the new most powerful Windows Phone, it was put to the test with a week of using the phone with a monitor and keyboard instead of a PC.

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1 week ago

From the Editor's Desk: Lucky number 7


What's been rumbling around in Daniel's brain this week.

Odd, I know, but it was only this week the Galaxy Note 7 was officially recalled in the U.S. It's a strange thing to write after spending what seems like the past month typing that same sentence, but what was presumed and informal was made concrete on Thursday after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued its decree.

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1 week ago

Android Central 306: Note 7 Armageddon


Audio-only stream below

Another week, another evolution of the Galaxy Note 7 recall saga. This time, it's for real!

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