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1 week ago

What makes a phone battery explode?

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We're all a little curious about why a battery might explode, so let's talk about it.

Exploding battery talk is something you can't escape right now, thanks to a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. It's good discussion to have: the more people talk about it, the less likely it is for a child to get hurt from a battery failure. As much as we hate to see a product we like experience safety issues, we hate seeing people get hurt far more.

But the Note 7 isn't the first phone to ever go through battery problems, and it won't be the last. There will always be isolated incidents of batteries failing as long as we use phones with lithium-ion cells, and the Note 7 isn't the first phone whose battery needed a widespread recall because something is wrong under the hood — as long-time Nokia fans know too well. It happens. It's never a good thing, but it's a thing. Let's talk about why it can happen.

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1 week ago

Samsung phone explodes in New York, injures 6-year-old boy [Updated]

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Update: As it turns out, the phone in question wasn't a Note 7, but the Galaxy Core. The reason for the explosion is still being investigated, but at the moment there is no reason to believe it is directly related to the ongoing Note 7 battery flaw. Apologies for the confusion.

Original story: A 6-year-old Brooklyn boy was watching videos on a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Saturday evening when it burst into flames as he was holding it. The young boy's grandmother, Linda Lewis, told the New York Post that the resulting fire was enough to set off alarms in her house, and her grandson was taken to Downstate Medical Center to treat burns on his body but was later released.

Lewis told the Post "he doesn't want to see or go near any phones. He's been crying to his mother." Lewis says the family has been in contact with Samsung but declined further comment.

Late last week the phone maker advised all Note 7 owners to return their handsets under the official recall program, working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

If you are holding on to your Note 7 after Samsung advised you to power it off and return it, this is the risk you're taking. The folks saying "it probably won't happen to me" — including popular media personalities, are right. It probably won't. I'm sure Ms. Lewis didn't think it would happen to her grandchild, either.

Return your Note 7 under the recall. Nobody wants to see this type of story.

We wish the young man and his family the best and hope for a speedy recovery and resolution.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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1 week ago

Samsung to limit recalled Note 7s to 60% battery in Korea as report blames 'production error'

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Galax Note 7

OTA will mitigate the risk of explosions by limiting battery charge. Meanwhile a preliminary report to Korean regulators blames production error which "placed pressure on plates" in battery cells.

While Samsung won't be remotely disabling recalled Galaxy Note 7s anytime soon, it seems the company has a plan to mitigate the risk of further battery explosions — at least in its home market of Korea.

The Associated Press reports that Samsung will issue a software update to recalled Korean Note 7s still in use to stop them charging past 60% capacity. According to the report, Samsung took out a front-page ad in the Seoul Shinmun newspaper to inform customers.

We don't yet know if or when Note 7s outside of Korea will get the battery-limiting update.

The over-the-air update will begin at 2 a.m. KST on September 20 for any recalled Note 7 handsets still in the wild; there's no suggestion that the OTA will affect safe replacement units. We've reached out to Samsung for details on whether recalled Notes in other regions will get a similar OTA.

While limiting battery charge levels may reduce the likelihood of further fires or explosions in unsafe Note 7s, it's unclear what the side effects of actually applying the OTA will be. Android 6.0 phones like the Note 7 must recompile (or "optimize") installed apps after most software updates — a CPU-intensive process which produces a fair amount of heat. Introducing extra heat to a possibly defective battery could cause its own problems.

Meanwhile Bloomberg has news of a previously unpublished preliminary report to Korean regulators on the cause of the Note 7's battery issues. The report to the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards (KATS) body draws some early conclusions, but says more time is needed to pinpoint exactly what's going on.

Initial conclusions indicate an error in production that placed pressure on plates contained within battery cells. That in turn brought negative and positive poles into contact, triggering excessive heat. Samsung however stressed that it needed to carry out a more thorough analysis to determine "the exact cause" of battery damage.

Samsung has publicly stated that a "battery cell issue" was responsible for incidents of fires and explosions — of which 70 have now been reported in the U.S. alone — however this is the first we're hearing on the specific fault. Bloomberg echoes earlier reports that Samsung SDI, the group's energy and battery company, was responsible for making most of the affected cells.

Update: Reuters now reports that Chinese firm ATL will become the main battery supplier for the Note 7 from now on.

Samsung will soon launch an online tool to let Note 7 owners check if their handset is affected, based on their phone's unique IMEI number. The firm's advice remains that if your Note 7 is affected, you should switch it off and return it under the recall program.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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1 week ago

Morning news briefing: September 13, 2016

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Android Central

The Note 7 recall saga continues, HTC teases its next Desire, and Google opens an online gallery.

The big news of the morning is that there are now 70 confirmed cases of Note 7s catching fire or exploding in the U.S. alone, as Samsung launches its own IMEI checker to reassure Note owners. It's the latest development in a dire couple of weeks for Samsung, as replacement Notes start to trickle out to customers.

Meanwhile it's looking like we'll see the HTC Desire 10 for the first time next week, with a virtual launch event on September 20 welcoming the new mid-ranger into the world. Kick off your Tuesday with the latest Android news from around the web, curated by the AC team!

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1 week ago

Honor 8: Challenges and opportunities ahead as sales pass 1.5 million

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Honor 8

Honor's relationship with Huawei will soon bring huge software benefits — but it's unclear how a more fleshed-out Honor lineup might coexist with the parent brand.

At a recent event in China, Honor Vice President George Zhao announced that the Honor 8 had passed 1.5 million units sold in just two months. The phone went on sale first in China in July, before arriving in the West less than a month ago. Underscoring the rapid growth of Huawei's online-centric brand, Zhao also revealed that 100 million Honor phones had been sold in total throughout the brand's 999-day history.

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1 week ago

New Samsung site tells you if your Galaxy Note 7 is safe [Update: Taken down]

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Galaxy Note 7s

Update: Samsung has now disabled the link, which currently redirects you to your local Samsung support site. It's likely the tool will be relaunched in the near future.

Original story: As promised a few days back, Samsung has launched a new online tool to let Galaxy Note 7 owners check if their phone is affected by the battery issue causing some units to catch fire or explode.

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1 week ago

Health Canada working with Samsung over Note 7 recall; finds 70 reported failures in the U.S.

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When Samsung kicked off the global recall for the Note 7, the company said that it found over 35 reported instances of battery malfunctions around the globe. That number has increased to more than 70 in the U.S., according to a new report published by the Canadian government.

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1 week ago

Exploring the world of Adult VR apps [NSFW]

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How do I find the best adult VR apps?

The last couple of years have represented the time when VR became accessible to the people. From Google Cardboard to the popularity of the Samsung Gear VR just a few weeks ago, we've seen experiences that can take us around the world, right to the Avengers Tower. For some of us though, there has been a lingering question, is there adult content for VR floating out there on the internet?

Plenty of folks have been wondering about adult content for VR out there, and how well it was done. So I took it upon myself to hunt it down, and let everybody know whether it's worth your time — and money.

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1 week ago

Save 60% on these great Android games right now!

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For a limited time, you can score 60% off on a variety of awesome games at Google Play. From Hitman GO to Goat Simulator, Rayman Classic and more, there are a bunch of titles here that you will want to pick up at the discounted price if you don't already own it. All of the games include in this sale are less than $3, and most of them come in at the $2 price which is awesome.

Some of the included titles for this 60% savings are:

There are a bunch of other great apps in this sale as well, so be sure to hit the link below to check them all out. Once you've saved your money and made your purchases, be sure to head into the comments and let us know which ones you picked up!

See at Google Play

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1 week ago

Essential accessories for the LG G5

Essential Accessories for the LG G5

Turn your LG G5 into a workhorse with the right accessories.

Do you have your phone on you at all times ready to respond to every call, text, and email that comes your way? Do you use your phone as your primary TV, game console, and music player? If that sounds like you, then you my friend, are a power user.

Great accessories are the icing on the phone cake. You already have the the phone you want that works amazingly well, not you want those little extra pieces of hardware that just make your life that much easier. We've rounded up some accessories for the LG G5 you won't want to miss out on.

Aukey dual-port car charger

aukey dual-port car charger

If you use your LG G5 for literally everything you possibly can, then you might find yourself tethered to a power outlet more often than you'd like. If you find yourself needing a charge on the road, then the Aukey dual-port car charger is a great solution.

This car charger plugs into your car cigarette lighter and has two USB ports, so you can charge double the devices! The top port is a 3.0 Quick Charge port and is specifically meant to get the fastest charge out of the USB-C connection. So, grab the Aukey dual-port car charger, ditch the wall socket, get out on the road, and charge your G5 in no time.

See at Amazon


LG G5 official battery charger

The LG G5 is one of the few devices on the market with a removable battery, which means — obviously — that you can buy a spare one to keep around in an emergency.

LG's official G5 battery charger comes with a spare battery and a convenient little case that can charge it independently from the one in your phone. If you run out of juice and can't charge your phone on the go, having a fully-charged battery backup comes in pretty handy. Trust us, we've been through it! With a 2,800mAh charge, the G5's battery should last you all day, but just in case it doesn't, this spare one is a great addition to your kit.

See at Amazon

Encased desktop charger

Charging your phone in your office can be a bit of a nightmare. If you are trying to do your work, and use your phone at the same time you probably start wondering why you only have two hands.

Encased makes a neat charger that allows you LG G5 to remain upright. It may not seem like much, but when you think of how many times you touch your phone in a day, having the ability to do so without holding it sounds pretty nice doesn't?

You can plug the charger into your computer's USB port but we suggest plugging it in directly to a wall socket for the best effect.

See at Amazon

Joto LG G5 armband case

For anyone who uses apps to workout - whether it's heavy cardio or pumping lots of iron - an armband case is a great accessory to have. You can strap your phone to your arm and not worry about dropping or damaging it.

Joto's armband cases is specifically made for the LG G5 so it fits the phone really well and feels really secure. The back of the armband also has a few card slots for you to store bank cards or a little cash so you can even run to do your errands no problem!

Added bonus of this armband is it's sweat-resistant, so it works well even for those really long runs, or intense workouts.

See at Amazon

IQ Shield screen protector

Screens are delicate, and can too easily be scratched and chipped but that doesn't need to happen to your LG G5. Screen protectors are life savers - or more accurately phone savers - that are a really good investment for anyone who want to keep their phones screen looking brand new.

IQ Shield offers a screen protector that is a little difficult to put on, but once you do it right it is immaculate. It uses a mild amount of liquid (very minor, don't be afraid) to really make that protector stick to the screen. IQ Shield offers a lifetime warranty and will send you a new screen protector free of charge anytime the product is damaged or defective in anyway.

See at Amazon

Need more things?

This is just scratching the surface of cool things you can buy to go along with your LG G5. Check out these sweet clear cases for the LG G5.

LG G5

AT&T Unlocked Sprint T-Mobile

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 week ago

Best fantasy football apps for Android

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Football season is back, baby!

The kickoff to the 2016 NFL season is rapidly approaching, and from office leagues to public leagues, we're sure there's a lot of you looking to get in on the fantasy action. We've gathered up our favorite Android apps to help you dominate this year's fantasy football draft (and hopefully, the season that follows it)! You'll find plenty of options here, each letting you drill down into player statistics, latest news, and updates to your draft.

Note: these apps are for season-long fantasy football, not daily fantasy sites like FanDuel and Draft Kings.

Updated: This article has been refreshed with the latest information as of September 2016.

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1 week ago

Best Sprint phones

Best Sprint Phones

Sprint offers some of the best phones on the market. We've rounded them up just for you!

Sprint doesn't exactly play well with others, so the selection of unlocked phones that you can bring to its network is rather limited. If you are trying to bring your own unlocked phone to Sprint, it's best to head to the nearest location and ask if your device is compatible.

That being said, it has a relatively decent list of phones that you can buy straight from them, including some of the top Android phones available right now.

We've rounded up a quick list of the best they have to offer.

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2 weeks ago

Titanfall: Frontline condenses frenetic FPS action into an Android card game

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Strategically outmaneuver your opponents in Titanfall: Frontline.

Fans of Titanfall will soon get the opportunity to command their own brigade of powerful Titans, as the critically-acclaimed first-person shooter franchise leaps onto Android devices later this fall. Titanfall: Frontline will be the first in a series of strategy card games set in a extended Titanfall universe, as part of a multi-year collaborative deal between developers at Nexon, Particle City and Respawn Entertainment.

The game will be available for free from the Google Play Store. Fans are encouraged to head to the official Titanfall: Frontline website to pre-register ahead of the global launch, which should coincide with the release of Titanfall 2 for Xbox One in late October. Pre-registered players will also receive some in-game rewards to help them when starting out.

Titanfall: Frontline features hundreds of Pilots, Titans, and special ability Burn Cards, which Commanders will collect and upgrade to build out their battle deck to match their preferred style of play. For example, one might choose to build their deck around fast, light Titans and Pilots for a quick strike strategy, or opt for a more defensive deck stacked with stronger units supported by installations to wear their opponent down.

Bottling the frantic gameplay and scale of a massive console game such as Titanfall into a strategic card game for mobile devices is no small task. The developers say they've done their best to encapsulate the full Titanfall experience onto this new platform.

"We've worked hand-in-hand with Respawn to weave in card battle strategy and collectibility with the iconic gameplay elements that make Titanfall so unique and that will help evolve the genre," said Larry Pacey, co-founder of Particle City, in a press release.

"From dropping a Titan onto the field of play to turn the tide of battle to using a combination of Parkour and Rodeo Burn Cards to take a Titan down, Titanfall: Frontline is unapologetically intense and utterly Titanfall."

For more information, check out the official game website — where you can also pre-register and score some in-game rewards as you start your campaign — and like and follow Titanfall: Frontline on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.

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2 weeks ago

The sad state of Android updates in India

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Think manufacturers are slow to roll out updates in the U.S.? The situation is far worse in India.

Android has a 97% market share in the smartphone segment in India. There are over 1,000 models that run the operating system in the country, with prices ranging from $30 all the way to $1,000. Over 50 new handsets are introduced into the market every month, and it is not uncommon to see phones debuting with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box.

The sheer breadth of models in the market makes it a tough ask for companies to roll out updates to their portfolio of devices, made doubly hard for local vendors. The likes of Micromax, Intex, and Lava roll out nearly 50 new phones a year across their distribution channels, and lack of adequate engineering resources means that most of these devices never see a single update. That not only leads to fragmentation, but also renders phones open to potential software exploits.

Barring companies with huge engineering division like Samsung and the former Google-owned Motorola, manufacturers have done a terrible job of keeping their phones up-to-date in India. With Nougat on the horizon, let's see the state of Marshmallow in India.

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2 weeks ago

Welcome to Android Central's new digital deals store – where you can save BIG on software and courses!

Say "Hey!" to Android Central's new digital deals store – saving you a ton on the courses and software you need to be an Android hero!

It's 2016. Most people would rather learn something new in their own home, on their own time, and in their own way. So increasingly, they are turning to online courses and downloadable software. But these courses and guides can be very expensive. Unless, of course, you find the right deal. Welcome to Android Central Digital Offers!

Through our awesome partnerships, we're able to save you a ton of money on the courses you need to further your career and must-have software to make your life easier. And when we say "a ton," we mean hundreds of dollars — on every deal you buy!

Which brings us to our very first deal!

The Complete Android Developer Course

If you've ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of Android development, Rob Percival, a web developer who studied at Cambridge, has the course you need to become Android-savvy.

Through 17 sections, featuring 232 lectures (31.5 hours of content!), you'll learn everything, from the absolute basics of Android Marshmallow right up to building viable apps, studying permissions, working with Android Wear, and lots more! You'll even learn how to submit your apps to Google and get them into the Play Store for everyone to enjoy!

Here's what you'll learn and do:

  • Study Android Marshmallow coding from scratch w/ 17 sections, over 232 lectures & 31.5 hours of content!
  • Download Android Studio & build a simple Currency Converter app
  • Build a Brain Training app & a Favorite Places app
  • Create Uber & Instagram clones w/ Parse
  • Learn to submit your apps to Google Play
  • Effectively market your apps & generate revenue w/ Google Ads
  • Study the latest Android Marshmallow features: App Permissions & Android Pay
  • Take a look at Android Wear - the future of wearable computing

If you want to become an Android app mogul, then the only place to start is square one, and Rob Percival's all-encompassing course is perfect for you.

Normally, the Complete Android Developer Course would run you about $200, but right now through Android Central Digital Offers, you'll pay only $17 for lifetime access! That's not a joke – you save 91%!

We're super excited to bring you this deal and many more like it, so keep an eye on Android Central for more ways to help you learn and save like only Android Central Digital Offers can!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

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