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1 month ago

First Android 7.0 Nougat factory images now available

22
Nougat

Better late than never: Now you can download Nougat factory images for the Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Pixel C

A little later than usual, Google has started rolling out the first of the Android 7.0 Nougat factory images for Nexus devices and the Pixel C. In addition to the Google-made tablet, Nexus 9 (WiFi-only) and Nexus Player owners can grab the new version of Android in its entirety and directly update over a USB connection.

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1 month ago

Opera rolls out a dedicated VPN app for your phone

18

After integrating a built-in VPN in its desktop browser and rolling out a dedicated VPN app for iOS, Opera is now bringing the service to Android users. While there are several VPN services available for Android, Opera is looking to differentiate its offering by providing free unlimited access.

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1 month ago

Android 7.0 Nougat: Everything you need to know

55
Android Nougat

The latest version of Android is here, and it's coming to a Nexus near you.

Android 7.0 Nougat is Google's way of refining what we already have, and adding some essential features to an operating system they were already happy with.

Since Android 5.0 we've seen how Google was shifting their design language on the phones they sell themselves and the apps and services that come on your phone. Android itself has followed this trend, and with Marshmallow we saw a flat but bold design that tied everything together.

Android Nougat doesn't make major changes to the way your phone looks or the way it "feels." But what Google has done under the hood brings some new features — and much needed polish — to our favorite smartphone operating system.

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1 month ago

Best Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and cheats

It's dangerous to go alone. Wait, what game are we talking about again?

Welcome to the life after level 5, Pokémon Trainer. It doesn't matter if you're Instinct, Mystic, or Valor right now, it's a war zone out there. There has never been a game to receive quite as much 24/7/365 action as Pokémon Go. You can take over a Gym in most areas right now and have it reclaimed for another team before you make it down the street. It's intense, exciting, and if you're not constantly playing you could find yourself at a very real disadvantage.

Unless, of course, you have this guide helping you out. We've collected a great list of tips, tricks, and sneaky little cheats to give you the upper hand when playing against other high level players out in the world. Are you ready for this?

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1 month ago

Android 7.0: Your language, your way

18

Android 7.0 gives you a way to make sure you understand what is written and better tools for developers to help.

Choosing a language has been part of Android since the beginning, since being able to read and understand the information on our phone is vital. We've all seen it during the setup procedure on a new phone, and for some of us, that covers everything we need. We pick English or French or Spanish and trust that what we see will be in the language we prefer. We can then pick other languages to use the keyboard and switch if we ever need to.

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1 month ago

Android 7.0: Better and more interactive notifications

47

Android N makes notifications more interactive and meaningful — and they can be backward compatible.

Getting notifications on your phone isn't something new or something that started with Android. Whether we're talking about annoying pop-up boxes or that addictive red blinking light, our phones have always been able to tell us it wants our attention.

But with Android 7.0, things are going to get a lot better, largely because developers now have more control over the way notifications are displayed.

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1 month ago

Samsung's Milk Music service ends for U.S. customers on Sept 22

57

Fans and customers of the Milk Music service from Samsung have some bad news coming. As rumored, the service will be ended for customers in the U.S. on September 22, 2016.

A press release from Samsung's Newsroom says that the company has changed direction and has a plan to provide "the best music services available" across their Galaxy line.

We have made the strategic decision to invest in a partner model focused on seamlessly integrating the best music services available today into our family of Galaxy devices. We believe that working with partners will accelerate innovation, enhance device sales and provide amazing new experiences for our customers.

No word on what exactly Samsung is planning or what services may be incorporated into a new music platform, as Samsung says it has no additional details to share at this time. With IFA right around the corner, a great venue to unveil a new service is already in place. We're there, and eyes are always on Samsung during IFA. We'll make sure you know if any announcement is made.

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1 month ago

Getting 'GPS signal not found' error in Pokémon Go? Here's how to fix it!

89

Don't let GPS errors stop you from playing Pokémon Go!

Pokémon Go is everywhere, and that's great for Android gamers around the world (or at least in the countries the game has launched. But if you're getting a "GPS signal not found" error when you launch the game, here's how to fix it!

GPS errors? First, make sure GPS is enabled!

Many Android phones come with their GPS radios turned off by default in order to save battery life, since the technology is very battery-intensive. Here's how to turn it on.

Note: This example was done on a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, but these steps should apply to most Android devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop or higher.

  1. Tap on your phone's Settings icon or access Settings through Quick Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Privacy and safety. Tap on it.
  3. Tap on Location.

  4. Make sure Location toggle is in the on position.
  5. Tap on Locating method. This may also be called Location mode.
  6. Tap GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile networks. This may also be called High accuracy.
  7. Ensure that Wi-Fi is also turned on throughout the game, even if your phone is not connected to a network.

Pokémon Go uses both local Wi-Fi (also known as Assistive GPS), your closest mobile network tower, and GPS satellites to accurately place you in the game world. Turning on just Wi-Fi and mobile network-based location tracking will make your character jump around and less likely to be placed close to Pokémon.

Still getting an error even with GPS enabled?

GPS satellites are finicky things. While the radios inside Android phones have improved significantly over the last few years, they're still not perfect, and may sometimes have trouble locating you, especially indoors.

If you're still getting GPS errors even after turning everything on, take a step outside and hold your phone steady for around 30 seconds. That should allow the GPS satellites to lock onto your phone and get things back to normal.

MORE: Common Pokémon Go problems and how to fix them!

Can you still play the game without GPS?

Yes! If you don't have a phone with GPS, or are using a Wi-Fi tablet that doesn't have a GPS radio, it's still possible to play Pokémon Go. Unfortunately, the experience won't be as good, since you'll need to be in areas that have strong Wi-Fi signals, such as restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other businesses, that you can connect to. Since Pokémon Go relies on having an internet connection, it will be able to locate you with just a Wi-Fi signal — just don't expect to compete on the same level as your Android phone-wielding friends.

Getting a driving warning when you're not actually driving?

That's a GPS problem! It's called GPS drift and it is usually caused when your phone can't latch onto a strong GPS signal while indoors. The quick fix is to turn on Wi-Fi, or to get close to a window, which will make it easier for a satellite to lock onto your GPS location.

MORE: How to avoid a driving warning in Pokémon Go

Update to the latest version

Are you getting a lot of GPS errors even after following all the steps above? Update to the latest version from the Play Store!

Pokémon Go

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1 month ago

Best Reddit app for Android

91

BaconReader is the best Reddit app for Android. Its long-established history of support, easy of use, and cutting-edge features make it a great app for all kinds of Redditors.

This post was last updated on August 18, 2016 with a new top pick.

Best overall

BaconReader

$1.99

See on Google Play

BaconReader has been around for a long, long time and users have enjoyed using it for just as long. It is one of the most-downloaded and most-reviewed Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by wooing users with slick features and maintaining them with stellar service and support.

BaconReader is carefully and pristinely laid out, making it easy to quickly browse and find something new and interesting to read, without stumbling around or leaving anything out. If BaconReader's beautiful design and feel seem familiar, their developer OneLouder is also the design of 1Weather, one of our favorite weather apps.

Bottom-line: BaconReader has robust features, support, and loyalty among its users. And while you can use it for free, it's more than worth upgrading to premium.

One more thing: If you ever need any help, BaconReader's subreddit is quite active and the developers are quick to answer most questions.

Why BaconReader is the best

BaconReader is one of the most well-established and most-used Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by being feature-rich, responsive to its users, and giving said users a lot to upvote about. It's a beautiful app with easy-to-understand settings, a highly intuitive interface, and the best damn subreddit manager I've seen.

BaconReader shows your subscribed subreddit list and lets you star important subreddits to keep them at the top of your list, handy for ones you use more often, especially those towards the end of the alphabet like r/todayilearned. You can also unsubscribe from subreddits with a simple tap of a checkbox — no going to each individual subreddit to unsubscribe, no double-taps or pop-ups to click through.

BaconReader's card view is more functional than most, showing only a part of the photo but allowing you to see more cards on a page. I wish that GIFs had the option to autoplay, as they do in the official Reddit app, but this card view is easy to browse and easier to act on than others.

In the BaconReader settings are both a charcoal-grey dark theme and an AMOLED-friendly black theme, perfect for browsing /gifs when your insomnia kicks in. You can also resize the font to best fit your device and your eyesight.

Best for long-time users

Reddit: The Official App

Free

See on Google Play

Reddit didn't have an official app for a long time. It finally debuted its official app as a beta in January and then dropped the beta tag in April. It's a clean app, it's a refreshingly simple app, great for users that don't want to hassle with pages and pages of settings.

That simplicity can also be a vice. You can't resize the text which is a shame because it's a bit on the small side. The app's dark theme and card views are just okay, but it can auto-play GIFs and videos in card view, which is amazing for GIF-centric subreddits.

Bottom-line: It's the official app, and it's off to a great start, but it's a little late and a little lacking. If you've already got your subreddit subscriptions where you want and browse a lot of GIFs, this is the app for you.

One more thing: Because of the concise feature set right now, the settings for Reddit: The Official App are wonderfully simple and easy to navigate.

Best for Beginners

Relay

$2.99

See on Google Play

This is the most beautiful of the Reddit apps and also one of the best explained. If you're new to Reddit or looking for an easy-to-navigate app, Relay has got your back with a simple layout and explainer tips the first time you use the app (or whenever you forget thanks to an option in the settings to turn it back on).

While many Reddit apps have implemented Material Design, no one has done it quite as boldly or as well as Relay. It is also one of the few apps to offer themes beyond the simple light and dark, offering pink and blue as well. GIFs may not autoplay, but the image pop-ups that appear when you tap a thumbnail beat the heck out of the image loading in a new window or in a browser, and the material transitions out of these previews are gorgeous.

Bottom-line: Colorful, highly customizable, and material to a T, Relay is a Reddit app that's it's hard to go wrong with, especially for newer Redditors and lovers of long threads.

One more thing: Relay's great for longer posts with lots of threads, like popular AMAs, because you can use navigation controls in the floating action button to skip between one thread and the next.

Best for Purists

reddit is fun

$1.99

See on Google Play

I said it two years ago and it still holds true: reddit is fun looks most like the Reddit site, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your tastes. reddit is fun has a card view, and it also has three experimental beta themes if you're bored of the traditional views. Switching views isn't a simple toggle the way other apps do it, but at least you have more options when picking a theme and layout.

reddit is fun is great for users who need to watch their data usage or are using a slower device, allowing you to skip downloading thumbnails when off Wi-Fi. While most apps can't load user flair, reddit is fun can display what the flair would be if you were on desktop, for instance: usernamehere pikachu on r/Pokemongo.

Bottom-line: It's a traditional take on a Reddit app, but reddit is fun is more than willing to experiment in order to keep users happy and give them a classic Reddit feel on Android.

One more thing: You can unsubscribe from a subreddit from the navigation page rather than having to go a separate page or menu, nice for cleaning up your subreddit list while you browse.

Best overall

BaconReader

$1.99

See on Google Play

BaconReader has been around for a long, long time and users have enjoyed using it for just as long. It is one of the most-downloaded and most-reviewed Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by wooing users with slick features and maintaining them with stellar service and support.

BaconReader is carefully and pristinely laid out, making it easy to quickly browse and find something new and interesting to read, without stumbling around or leaving anything out. If BaconReader's beautiful design and feel seem familiar, their developer OneLouder is also the design of 1Weather, one of our favorite weather apps.

Bottom-line: BaconReader has robust features, support, and loyalty among its users. And while you can use it for free, it's more than worth upgrading to premium.

One more thing: If you ever need any help, BaconReader's subreddit is quite active and the developers are quick to answer most questions.

*/

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1 month ago

Android 7.0 brings DVR features and picture-in-picture to Android TV

40

Changes to the "time-shift" and multiwindow APIs for Android TV will make for a better living room.

Google didn't forget about the big-screen experience in Android 7.0, and two new features are here that are designed to enhance the experience on your Android-powered television.

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1 month ago

Android 7.0: Multi-window for everyone

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Android 7.0's three multi-window modes can make sure you never miss a Pokémon — even when you have other things that need doing.

Android Nougat's biggest user-facing feature has to be the new native multi-window support. The concept isn't new. Samsung's been doing it for a while, Microsoft is changing the way they do it for smaller devices and even Apple is doing it on tablets. Now it's Google's turn.

It's not an entirely new concept for Google, either. The basic Android framework has always allowed what you see on your screen to be drawn at almost any size, and the idea of having more than one view shown at a time was kicked around in more than one session at Google I/O 2011 as part of the "next-step" for Android Tablets on Honeycomb. Five years later, it's finally ready.

A good part of the reason it took longer was because baking it into Android at the system level can be tricky. Android is designed to run on just about anything with a processor. It powers microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators, sprinkler systems and more. It can even solve a Rubik's Cube with ease. The things that run Android and have a display — like your phone — also come in many different sizes. Once you change the operating system so that every app can run in a multi-window environment, it has to work everywhere.

And that's what Google did. Android 7.0 supports three types of multi-window views natively. That means any app you download can use it unless the developer of the app writes it so that it tells the system no when you try to move it to a multi-window view. And it's not just a split screen system — the other views make it even more complicated.

Android Nougat has three different types of multi-window mode.

Split-screen view is almost the same as what we see on Samsung phones right now. You can either long press a thumbnail in overview mode or long press the overview button and you'll be able to have two separate windows with separate apps running in each. You can drag and drop data between them, and the dividing line is movable so you can make one app larger than the other. Developers can optimize their apps by doing things like declaring a minimum size for the window it's in, but even if they do nothing their app will try to run in split-screen multi-window mode. Google says split-screen mode was designed for handheld devices, which means tablets and most phones.

Multi-window can also be displayed in a picture-in-picture mode. We already talked about how it works and how it will make Android TV better. When an app goes into a picture window, things like the controls and interface elements need to be hidden and the content portion shrinks to a size based on the dot pitch of the display being used. Also, apps can sprout the second view and have a picture window of one part of the app while another part of the app is in full-screen mode. The new API's support the new window view, and a developer can use it in their app without too much of a hassle. This is designed for Android TV and the people who built the actual hardware need to enable it. An app designed for picture-in-picture mode won't do anything if the user tries to put it in any other mode unless the developer has also included support for them.

Multi-window has a third view — freeform mode. So far it only officially exists in the documentation. It got hacked onto the first Android N preview, but since we haven't seen it. The Android Developer website says:

Manufacturers of larger devices can choose to enable freeform mode, in which the user can freely resize each activity. If the manufacturer enables this feature, the device offers freeform mode in addition to split-screen mode.

Notice they don't specify what a larger device is. So far it seems that this doesn't include tablets like the Pixel C, but it could be enabled on bigger devices with 12-inch screens, or Chromebooks that run Android apps. It's up to the manufacturer to decide if they want to include support.

The short time we had to play with freeform mode during the Nougat Developer Preview showed that it puts apps into floating windows than can be resized, moved around, minimized or maximized. This is just like how the software on your laptop or desktop computer works. The apps will support drag-and-drop data sharing and every app knows when it's been moved to the top layer and we're actively using it. Apps can even open in a "shrunken" view provided the developer chooses to do so. The apps each run in their own process and are independent of each other, though.

If a developer targets their app for Android 7.0 they have a few options for a multi-window view. They can define the size and the layout of the app when it's not using the full screen and make it easier to use after it's shrunk down. Because that's a real issue — some apps just don't look good or aren't very usable if they only use half of an already small display — developers can also decide to not support the feature.

If apps aren't updated, they are forced into a multi-window view by the system itself — sometimes with bad results.

If a developer doesn't update their app, it will be "forcibly resized" by the system after a dialog letting us know it's an older app that doesn't support the feature so things may be broken. If the app was written to only support a fixed size, multi-window mode is closed and that app takes the entire screen.

We already knew from hacking Samsung's Multi-Window feature that most apps just shrink down to one side or the other without much of a fuss if they aren't officially supported, and our time with the Nougat Developer Preview shows the same results. While the code used to do things is a good bit different as an Android native feature, the basic concept remains and apps that use best practices in the code look and work the same, only smaller. But not every app plays nice and we hope developers will soon update those to handle things gracefully even if they don't change anything else.

Finally, if you don't want to use multi-window on your phone, you don't have to. All Android apps will still run full screen until you tell them to change their view.

Android 7.0 Nougat

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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How to avoid a driving warning in Pokémon Go

How do I avoid that annoying driving warning in Pokémon Go?

How many times a day do you hit that "I'm a passenger" button? Too many. In an attempt to decrease the number of Pokémon Go players in the world who think it's a good idea to play while driving, Niantic's last update added a pop-up message when the GPS determines you exceeding the speeds humans are able to travel using two legs.

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