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1 month ago

QuadRooter vulnerability: 5 things to know about this Android security scare

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Android security

New Qualcomm-targeted Android security bug is reported to put '900 million' devices at risk. Here's what you need to know.

Once again, it's Android security scare season. This morning news broke of the latest collection of vulnerabilities, discovered by security firm Check Point and grouped together under the catchy monicker "QuadRooter." As usual, most of the reporting has focused on worst-case scenarios and a shockingly huge number of potentially vulnerable devices — in this case, an estimated 900 million.

We're going to break down exactly what's going on, and just how vulnerable you're likely to be. Read on.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. Note 5: Should you upgrade?

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Should I upgrade from the Galaxy Note 5 to the Galaxy Note 7?

The argument for upgrading from a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to a Galaxy Note 7 is fairly straightforward: considerably more power and a larger battery in a smaller body, an improved camera, and an S Pen with twice the pressure sensitivity, and twice the features. The upgrade speaks for itself.

But here I am holding both a Galaxy Note 5 and a Galaxy Note 7 in each hand, and the justification for upgrading becomes much less convincing. The Note 5 has been out less than 12 months at the time of writing, and feels just as modern — and new — as it did back in 2015. With Samsung maintaining the Note 5 on shelves as its cheaper S Pen-enhanced variant, should you be thinking about upgrading to the Note 7 from the Note 5? Let's dig into it a bit.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 edge: What does a curvy Note 7 mean for next year's flagships?

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Will the Galaxy S8 have a flat display, or is Samsung going all-in on the edge?

Update: We're revisiting this article following recent reports that Samsung may indeed go all-edge in the Galaxy S8 line.

Unless the past several weeks of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 leakage have been part of some elaborate trolling campaign, it's looking like the next member of Samsung's popular Galaxy Note family will feature a curved "edge screen," like the Galaxy S7 edge.

If that happens, it raises an interesting question about the future of the Galaxy S line: Is Samsung going all-in on edge? Could this year's regular Galaxy S7 be the last flat flagship?

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1 month ago

Galaxy Note 7 ordering: Everything you need to know is in the forums

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be available — as in, sitting on a shelf where you can go trade money for one — in the U.S. on August 19. That's right around the corner. But many a smartphone enthusiast, as well as people who just want or need a new phone, aren't about to wait until then to start the buying process.

Pre-orders have started across the country (folks in Europe have to wait another week) and different places are offering different reasons and incentives to buy from them. Should you order your Note 7 direct from your carrier? What about a big-box store? Or a pseudo-warehouse? If you have questions, the AC forums has the answers.

Of course, there are more discussions to be had about the Note 7, and you'll find the forums filled with them. You owe it to yourself to have a look!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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1 month ago

Verizon is taking online orders for the HTC Desire 530

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Verizon Wireless is the latest carrier in the U.S. to sell the HTC Desire 530. Orders are being taken at Verizon's website and the phone will also be available in its retail stores starting on August 11.

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1 month ago

How to fix Nexus 5X battery life problems

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How do I improve battery life in the Nexus 5X?

While the 2,700mAh battery in LG's Nexus 5X can get you through the day on a single charge, depending on usage, we think you can probably get a little bit more out of it by making a few simple changes.

1. Turn off Ambient Display

Ambient Display is a feature that sends notifications to your screen when it's locked. It's useful to see what's going without having to unlock your phone's screen, but it does consume battery power.

To turn this feature off, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Ambient Display switch to off.

2. Mind your Bluetooth

Smartwatches are great and we love them, but you should be aware that they consume more battery than Ambient Display does. If you know that you need extra power, leave your smartwatch at home that day.

The same goes for fitness trackers, speakers, car audio systems, and just about anything else with a Bluetooth connection. When in doubt, disable Bluetooth!.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to off.

3. Lower your screen's brightness setting

The Nexus 5X has a beautiful 5.2-inch inch full HD LCD display that hits that sweet spot for size but is one of the most battery-intensive features of the phone.

Dial down how much battery your Nexus 5X's screen draws by decreasing the brightness level a few notches:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap on Brightness level.
  4. Tap and drag the brightness bar to your desired level.

Alternatively, you can let Adaptive brightness manage the brightness level of your screen based on the amount of ambient light available:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Adaptive brightness switch to on.

Nexus 5X

4. Limit or turn off Location Services

Google's Location Services is useful for helping you get around town and some apps, such as Foursquare and Twitter, use it to determine your location as well. However helpful Location Services is, it can take a huge chunk out of your battery, especially when using GPS.

Location Services has three modes: High accuracy, Battery saving, and Device only. High accuracy uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile network information to find your position, Power saving uses just Wi-Fi and mobile network information, while Device only uses only GPS. Of the three, the most power hungry modes are High accuracy and Device only.

If you need some form of location services on, choose Battery saving — it won't be as accurate, but it will save on battery. For the most power savings, turn off Location Services altogether. If you choose to turn off Location Services, some apps that rely on it may not function properly — just something to be aware of.

You can find all of these settings under Location in your Nexus 5X's Settings menu:

  1. Tap Location.
  2. Tap Mode to pull up the Location mode screen. From there tap the option of your choice:
    • High accuracy
    • Battery saving
    • Device only

To turn Location Services off, simply toggle the switch to off at the top of the screen.

5. Check apps' battery usage

Android keeps tabs on how much battery every app on your phone consumes and it's simple to check:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Battery.

Here you'll see a breakdown by app of how much battery they consume as a percentage of total battery use.

Video streaming services and games naturally will use more battery than others, but if something else is hogging the battery when it shouldn't be, you'll see it here.

6. Avoid streaming video

The Nexus 5X loses power more quickly when streaming video. If you can, download any video content you plan to watch to your device and watch it locally.

Here's how you can download content for offline viewing in Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Play Movies and TV app from your Home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Menu button. It looks like this ☰.
  3. Tap My library.
  4. Tap the Download button next to the content you'd like to watch offline.

That's it. Now the content will download to your device and be available to watch any time you'd like, no internet connection necessary.

How about you?

We've given you some tips on how you can eek out a few more hours of life from your Nexus 5X's battery, but what about you? What do you do to make your battery last longer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more information on the LG Nexus 5X? Have a peek at our review.

Nexus 5X

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1 month ago

Alcatel Idol 4 with free VR goggles now available at Cricket for $200

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AT&T's no-contract subsidiary Cricket Wireless has started selling the Alcatel Idol 4 for $199.99. The phone comes bundled with free VR goggles.

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1 month ago

Score a free Samsung phone from T-Mobile with the purchase of another on August 6

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T-Mobile has announced that it will be running a promotion this Saturday, August 6, that will score you a free Samsung phone with the purchase of another. That's right, if you purchase a Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, any of the Galaxy S6 line or a Galaxy Note 5 you can get another for free with the addition of a new line to the account. If you have a few lines that need upgrading, this is a great way to get more for your money.

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1 month ago

Galaxy Note 7: The 7 new features you need to know about!

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Why should you buy the Galaxy Note 7? Here are seven reasons.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is going to be out on August 19, which means that millions of people are mulling whether to sink their hard-earned dollars into what is likely Samsung's best, and most expensive, phone to date.

While the Korean giant didn't elaborate on many of the software changes found in the Note 7 during the keynote, we were able to uncover some unique and interesting additions that will take your Note-ing to a new level.

The camera app is all new

Samsung's camera app has come a long way since the admittedly dreadful experience of the Note 3 era. Things started improving with the Note 4 and S5, but even today there are things that could stand to be improved.

Starting with the Note 7, Samsung has taken a gesture-friendly approach to the camera app, letting you switch between modes like Pro and Video using a vertical swipe, as well as filters and other settings using a horizontal swipe.

The UI has also been cleaned up, with a much clearer delineation between the viewfinder and the buttons, all of which have been simplified, too. I got to use the new app briefly during my time with it, and have to say it's a big jump from Samsung's previous efforts, and will at the very least make switching between back and front cameras considerably easier.

Power-saving mode actually lowers your resolution

Like most phones today, the Note 7 has a great power-saving mode. But unlike most phones, turning it on actually lowers the resolution of the phone to make the screen use less power.

That's right: when you first enable the medium power saving mode on the Note 7, your QHD resolution screen drops to 1080p, in addition to the standard toggles like lowering CPU speed and adjusting background processes. The maximum power saving mode lowers the resolution even further — to 720p.

This is certainly the first time we've seen something like this, and it's unclear how much battery this will save in the long run, but it's a very interesting idea.

The S Pen doubles as a magnifying glass

There are a lot of very cool new features in the Note 7's S Pen, but one of the coolest is its Magnifying feature. Yes, it's mainly for accessibility, but that makes it especially important, since it's one of the easiest ways for someone with less-than-perfect vision to see the finer details of an on-screen object.

The feature allows for up to 300% magnification, and the great thing is that even at that level the screen doesn't appear pixelated, thanks to the high-density QHD display.

The S Pen at a glance

Here's another unique use case for the S Pen: Glance, which generates a small thumbnail of an app that can be maximized when the stylus hovers over it.

Think of the possibilities, especially for apps that don't support Multi Window: you need to refer to an email or text message but don't want to constantly switch back and forth between apps, so you minimize the client and hover over it when you need it. Very cool idea, and one that I think I'm going to use a lot.

There's a blue light filter to save your eyes

Blue light filters are certainly not new to smartphones, but Samsung's implementation in the Note 7 is not only good, it's customizable.

It can scheduled to turn on at sunset — or any time you want — to save your eyes the indignity of all that sleep-affecting blue light. It's also possible to adjust the intensity of the filter, so you can find just the right level to suit your late-night reading needs.

Samsung's browser has extensions

While many browsers have extensions support, Samsung's bundled version comes with two pre-loaded ones that hope to entice you away from Chrome. The first is a QR code reader, which is useful in a pinch.

The second is a video assistant, which perfects the color and sound of a web-based video. Not necessarily the most exciting add-ons, but the fact that Samsung has created a single place for all it's extensions means that it is doubling down on its homegrown browser, which runs counter to the majority of other manufacturers in the industry that have accepted Chrome as their default.

You can turn off those awful icon frames

For some reason, the Note 7 burdens the natural beauty of Android's app icons with white "frames", something we've bemoaned from the likes of Huawei for years. While many of Samsung's redesigned icons have been designed to look good encased in white, the vast majority of others do not.

Thankfully, Samsung offers a toggle to return back to the blissful simplicity of the status quo. Because some things shouldn't be changed.

Your turn

What's your favorite feature of the Note 7, hardware or software? Does the iris scanner interest you, or is it the updated software experience that is getting your attention? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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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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1 month ago

You can save $190 on an unlocked LG G5 right now!

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Right now you can score an LG G5 for just $410 at eBay, which is a savings of $190. The unlocked phone is available in gold, silver and titan currently, and the listing is for a brand new unit, so you won't be dealing with refurbs here. Between the 5.3-inch display, the 32GB of internal storage and the ability to swap different modules, this savings makes for a pretty sweet deal.

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1 month ago

Should you upgrade to the Galaxy Note 7 from the Galaxy Note 4?

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The big question a lot of people are asking.

Though traditional two-year contracts are all but gone now, the 24-month cycle of upgrading to a new phone is still very much in play. So when we see a huge phone release like the Galaxy Note 7, there are millions using a Galaxy Note 4 who perk up and take notice.

With more powerful internals, an improved camera, better screen, new S Pen features and an amazing leap in design, the Galaxy Note 7 definitely has a lot going for it ... but is it enough to give up a Note 4, which likely still works very well two years on? We're going to tell you all you need to know about this upgrade.

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1 month ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. iPhone 6s Plus: First impressions

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Note 7 vs iPhone 6s plus

The latest pairing in an age-old rivalry: Our first impressions of two phones a world apart.

It's been a while since you could reasonably say Samsung was straight up copying Apple in its smartphone designs. In the market of 2016, the two camps are very clearly differentiated: Samsung with its glass-backed designs, curved panels, super-slim bezels, big batteries and wireless charging. And Apple arguably doing more with less: shipping super-slim metal handsets with its own tightly controlled hardware and software, where performance and ease of use is king.

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1 month ago

Welcome back to Europe, Galaxy Note ♥

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Congrats, Euros. You're allowed to buy the Samsung Galaxy Note this year.

A little under a year ago, there was a nasty surprise for anyone in Europe wanting to buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 5. Other territories would get to choose between the GS6 edge+ and Note 5, but in Europe Samsung had made that choice for you. But forget all that — the Galaxy Note brand is back with a vengeance, and the latest Note 7 will land on European shores in early September.

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1 month ago

What color Galaxy Note 7 should you get: Black, blue coral, silver or gold?

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 Black, blue coral, silver or gold?

Things to consider when choosing a Galaxy Note 7 color to buy.

Since moving to a new metal-and-glass design with its modern phones, Samsung has done some very interesting things with colors. For the Galaxy Note 7, we're looking at four different color schemes, with each one having its own draws. While we know that a large portion of the decision of what color to get is simply personal preference about style, we wanted to give you a few tips and things to consider when making your decision.

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1 month ago

Galaxy Note 7 ships with Marshmallow, not Nougat — but maybe that's not a huge deal

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Galaxy Note 7 Marshmallow

The Note 7 runs Android 6.0.1 out of the box — which, for the time being, is still the latest stable version of the OS. But even without Nougat, Note owners aren't missing out on that much.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 lands at a precarious time on the Android calendar. We're just reaching the end of the Marshmallow era, with final Android 7.0 Nougat code likely to be released in a matter of weeks. By the time the Note 7 hits store shelves in some countries, it could already be running an "old" version of the OS. That's sure to provide ammunition for Samsung's rivals (like a certain Cupertino-based company with a phone launch coming up in September). But are regular consumers really missing out on all that much? Well, yes and no.

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