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2 months ago

The Honor 7 gets its Marshmallow update in the EU

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Honor has announced that the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update is now available over-the-air for Honor 7 owners in the EU. The update comes a few weeks after Honor originally expected, but it's good to see that it's actually rolling out now.

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2 months ago

Developers can submit their Android Experiments for a chance to go to Google I/O 2016

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Google wants to see what developers can come up with in new and innovative software for the Android platform. It has announced a contest where entries submitted to the Android Experiment site will be judged by a panel of Google team members, and the top three winners will get a free trip to San Francisco to attend the 2016 Google I/O conference on May 18-20.

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2 months ago

The best Android launchers

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Android Launcher

There are tons of launchers available for android — these are some of the best!

Launchers are the way Android users customize their smartphone and tablet experience. There's superficial stuff, like changing screen transitions, icons, and fonts, but the best Android launchers out there enable users to tweak the device's behavior to suit their daily usage, so long as you're willing to put the time into defining those customizations. Some launchers act very similarly to the one that came with your device, while others completely change the way you interact with your home screen. You can make your home screens as simple or complicated as you wish, while tweaking every little detail or just taking what's given to you by default — all by installing one single app.

If you're looking for a change of pace from the out-of-box software experience on your phone, consider a new launcher. We've found the best ones available today, and listed all of the pros and cons of each.

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2 months ago

Verizon rolling out Wi-Fi fixes for the Galaxy S7, S7 edge

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Verizon is now pushing out updates for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The updates correct Wi-Fi issues that these phones may be experiencing, and changes the software version number to MMB29M.G930VVRU2APB5 for the Galaxy S7 and MMB29M.G935VVRU2APB5 for the S7 edge.

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2 months ago

Netflix admits it throttles video streams for Verizon and AT&T customers

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Following accusations from T-Mobile CEO John Legere that AT&T and Verizon were throttling Netflix streams, Netflix has now admitted that it is responsible for capping the speed of the streams.

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2 months ago

Snapchat reportedly acquires Bitstrips for around $100 million

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Snapchat has reportedly agreed to acquire Bitstrips, the company behind the popular Bitmoji mobile app.

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2 months ago

Apple Music beta for Android now has a widget

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The Apple Music beta app has been updated with a very Android feature: its own widget.

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2 months ago

Verizon updates LG G3 and G4 with March security patch

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Verizon is now pushing out a fresh set of updates to the LG G3 and LG G4, bringing along the latest Android Platform Security patch and more.

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2 months ago

Playing your PlayStation 4 games remotely on your Sony phone is really cool

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If you're a gamer, you probably already have a preferred way to enjoy your games. Whether that means that you're fiercely loyal to your platform, or that you've spent the money and gotten yourself a sweet setup. Games, and the way that we access them are changing, and it seems like Sony is trying t be on the forefront of that change. They've already announced PlayStation VR, but now they've also given gamers the ability to play their PlayStation 4 from compatible Sony phones.

PS4 Remote play streams gameplay from your PS4 console direct to your phone or tablet. This app is built so that you can pair a Dualshock 4 controller, and play your PS4 from your phone — so long as you are connected over Wi-Fi. There's no need to learn new controls, since you'll be playing with a normal controller and for the most part this app and its features work beautifully. For anybody who has lost control over the TV (or fallen asleep in the living room while playing on the PS4), this is a pretty awesome deal. So if you've got a Sony Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 compact, or Xperia Z4 tablet, then you're good to go.

Setting up Remote Play is really easy, and the app will walk you step-by-step through the process. You'll need to pair your Xperia device to a controller, and then connect your device to the PS4 system you plan on using, and make sure that you are connected to the internet via Wi-Fi. The actual setup takes five minutes at most before you have access to your console.

After you've gotten set up and paired, it's time to play some games on your phone. I mean, you can watch Netflix from anywhere, but when was the last time you had the opportunity to sit outside and play video games if you wanted? Playing a game here is almost the exact same experience as you would get from your television. Considering that your TV is typically significantly larger than your phone or tablet, we were pretty pleased with the experience.

PlayStation Remote Play can chew through 15 percent of your battery in just an hour.

You also have the choice to bypass using a controller entirely and just use your phone. The controls will show up on the lower half of your screen, with less than half of the screen being taken up by the game that you are playing. Unless you are using a tablet we really don't recommend this. It didn't work as well as using a controller, but the bigger problem was how small the gameplay area was using this method. Holding your phone vertically will give you bigger controls but a tiny screen to play in, while rotating to landscape gives you controls that are literally superimposed over the game.

Unlike some mobile games you may have played, where the writing is illegible, or it's hard to navigate, you get a gorgeous experience when using a controller. The entire screen of your phone becomes a TV, and the quality is on par as well. Your console is streaming over Wi-Fi to your phone, which means your phone isn't doing the heavy lifting. The Xperia Z5 has some slight problems with heating up when you try playing heavy mobile games, but that doesn't seem to be a problem when using remote play. Keeping an eye on your battery is a good call though, because this app can chew through 15 percent of your battery in an hour.

The biggest problem, I'm sad to say, was lag. Since you are connecting to your PlayStation 4 console over your home Wi-Fi, you may not always get a solid connection. If you're the only person using the internet at home, you should be safe, but you'll start to see issues if there are multiple people all using that same Wi-Fi. While we were only actually disconnected once, the warning popped up pretty regularly when there were multiple devices online. The lag can be especially frustrating for anyone playing a multiplayer game.

We ran into severe pixelation, characters moving counter to our commands, frozen screens, and the pain of catching back up to where the game was when it got over the lag. None of these issues lasted for too long, usually it was a 5-15 second aggravation that quickly fixed itself. However, when you're in the middle of inflicting a massive bloodbath and you suddenly can't move your character at all ... it's a problem. In fact, it's enough of a problem that after a serious lag in Destiny we switched games.

Lag can be an issue, but it's usually brief enough that you can wait it out and keep playing.

While there were connectivity issues on both Destiny and Last of Us, they were less of a serious problem in the latter, a single-player game that doesn't depend on reactions with other players over the internet. When you're playing a single-player game, you can just wait out the lag and then keep playing uninterrupted. While that's obviously not an ideal situation, it still works quite well, and is a serious win for anyone that's had to surrender control of the TV to somebody that doesn't appreciate console gaming as much as you do.

To really get the most of Sony Remote Play though, you'll probably want to order a Game Control Mount. This will let you mount your phone right above your controller and by far gives you best Remote Play experience. It turns remotely playing the PS4 into an experience similar to a handheld game system with the controls and your screen right next to one another. The mount isn't a necessary accessory to enjoy PS4 Remote Play, but it does make things far less awkward.

Overall PS4 Remote Play is a great app for anyone who happens to own both an Xperia phone, and a PS4 console. It would be nice to see more phones with the ability to use this, but it isn't surprising that Sony is keeping it exclusive to their own devices. The app functions well for the most part, but you'll probably want to go ahead and steer away from multiplayer games if you've got roommates using the Wi-Fi. While lag and battery use were somewhat problematic, it didn't end up being a large enough issue to make the experience enjoyable.

Are you going to give PS4 Remote Play a shot? Do you think that Remote Play should be available for more phones and tablets? Let us know what you think about it in the comments!

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2 months ago

Google's latest app aims to help improve Android app accessibility

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Google has introduced a new app designed to help developers make their apps more accessible. Accessibility Scanner can suggest improvements to apps, such as enlarging small touch targets, changing the contrast, and more. While developers can use the app to find areas where their own applications need improvement, Google also encourages other people to use it to provide feedback to developers.

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2 months ago

Marshmallow update imminent for Verizon LG V10

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LG V10 owners on Verizon have a sweet treat to look forward to, as the carrier has indicated Android 6.0 Marshmallow will begin rolling out to the handset on March 24.

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2 months ago

Google reportedly building live streaming app dubbed YouTube Connect

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Google is reportedly working on its own entry into the live streaming app space with a new app for Android and iPhone dubbed YouTube Connect.

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2 months ago

Google Photos will now help you make new albums after a trip

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Google Photos is rolling out an update that is designed to make it easier to put recent images in new albums. Now, when you return from an event or trip, Photos will suggest new albums from photos you took to commemorate those events.

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2 months ago

Grab Enpass password manager for just ₹170 in India

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Enpass is kicking off its Holi promotion by offering the pro version of the password manager — which removes the 20-item limitation — for just ₹170 ($2.5) in India. That's down from the usual ₹600 asking price for the additional features.

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2 months ago

Popular Indian mobile wallet MobiKwik goes hyperlocal with 'Explore Nearby'

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The latest update to Indian digital wallet app MobiKwik brings a new hyperlocal aspect: "Explore Nearby." MobiKwik is one of the leading independent mobile payments networks in India, connecting 30 million users with 50,000 retailers.

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