2 weeks ago

What we need from YouTube Music, two months on


I had high hopes for YouTube Music. They have not been met.

I'm a big music fan. I was happy when I could finally listen to that music with the screen of my phone off in the YouTube app. I was even happier once we got a dedicated YouTube Music app launched for users like me who could honestly listen to YouTube for hours.

And while YouTube Music is usable, it is not nearly ready for heavy listeners like me, especially users who like to have some control over their music.

Here's what needs to be done.

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2 weeks ago

Everything you want to know about the upcoming Galaxy S7


It's not yet official, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot to talk about. Tap here find everything Galaxy S7!

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2 weeks ago

Samsung commences the global launch of the Gear S2 Classic, kicks things off in China


Samsung has announced that the company has commenced the worldwide launch of the Gear S2 Classic New Edition, kicking things off in China. Should you reside in the country, you'll now be able to purchase the wearable. The Classic New Edition of the Gear S2 was unveiled back at CES, offering a more premium option for those who have more expensive tastes.

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2 weeks ago

Leaked photos show the LG G5 locked inside a secure case


The LG G5 is soon to be upon us — we're at least expecting to see something at MWC — and already new photos are making their way online to reveal just what LG's next flagship smartphone will look like. Kind of. Unfortunately, the shots that are reportedly of the phone show the unit secured in a case. That said, one can still gaze at the USB Type-C connector, massive display and more.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung opening a studio in New York to create immersive experiences for VR


Samsung is about to open a VR studio in New York, which will produce immersive experiences centered around virtual reality. The South Korean vendor made the announcement at the Sundance Film Festival, where it is showcasing the Gear VR headset.

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2 weeks ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Crashlands, Touchnote, Folio and more


Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 weeks ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: Silly season commences in 3… 2… 1...

Samsung at CES 2015

Rumors of leaks, leaks of rumors, updates on suppositions of tales of releases.

We're entering something of a lull in tech news. Well, lull might not be the right word. It's not like the end-of-year holiday hiatus slash pre-CES quiet time. No, this is more like that period of time at the restaurant between the appetizer and the main course. In this metaphor, CES was the appetizer, and now we're talking about how much we enjoyed that little taste and how much we're looking forward to the surprises of the main course: MWC. It's still a few weeks out before the Barcelona trade show, but already things are starting to heat up in the kitchen.

On the Android front, Galaxy S7 silly season is in full swing. We've got Galaxy S7 benchmarks that don't matter (and might not even be real), and the rumored return of the microSD card slot on the Galaxy S7. And in companies not called Samsung, it looks like Android 6.0 Marshmallow is in testing for both HTC phones and Honor devices. The BlackBerry Priv also started hitting other carriers in the US, with T-Mobile up first.

Samsung's not the only smartphone company making the rumor rounds: the iPhone 7 is going to be the continued topic of conversation for months to come, but the iPhone 5se might get here first. iPhone silly season is the longest silly season of all. And in addition to updates to iOS 9 and OS X Yosemite, Apple pushed out an enormous update to GarageBand for iPad and the new artist-centric Music Memos.

And then there's Microsoft, who set the date for their Build 2016 developer conference and promptly sold out. At the same time, firmware updates came out for the 3rd-generation Surface tablets, Dropbox released a new universal app for Windows 10, and the first previews of the Xbox February update began to arrive.

All that and more, this week on Mobile Nations!

Android Central — Something for everyone

Samsung Galaxy S6, not S7

There was a solid mix of news this week, offering a little bit for everyone. On the app front, Pocket Casts released a big update, Link Bubble has been re-released as the Brave browser and WhatsApp is dropping its annual subscription fee.

In terms of phone software, Marshmallow updates are in testing or on their way for both HTC's recent flagships and several Honor phones in the UK.

The Galaxy S7 speculation is growing a bit, and we're doing our best to analyze some of the available rumors. This week we explain why we don't care about benchmarks, and what an SD card slot could mean in the new flagship.

CrackBerry — T-Priv

BlackBerry Priv

This week was unsurprisingly filled with quite a bit of Priv news as BlackBerry continues to expand the device availability. T-Mobile has revealed their pricing, we're expecting a launch in India soon and several other carriers are now offering the device. In other news, BlackBerry has shut down the Built for BlackBerry app program for developers and AtHoc has scored another win.

iMore — iPhones, Apple Watches, and Updates, Oh My!

iPhone 5s and iPhone 6

This week at iMore, we saw rumors over the iPhone 7 and wireless charging and a smaller iPhone 5se, Georgia Dow gave us a primer on iOS 9.3's new Night Shift feature, and Serenity bemoaned the state of Google Drive on the iPad Pro.

We also saw a few new releases from Apple: iOS 9.2.1 and OS X 10.11.3 brought security fixes and bug updates, while the new Music Memos app and GarageBand update for iPad Pro had Serenity singing.

On the Apple Watch side, we heard more rumors about what to expect this March, and for those willing to drop $1100 on an Apple Watch, the Hermes model is now available online.

Windows Central — Updates wanted

Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Microsoft is pushing on with OS updates, Surface news and their Build conference set to kick off at the end of March.

First up is Build, which is taking place once again in San Francisco on March 30. Tickets went on sale for developers but within one to five minutes the event was sold out. The $2k tickets went faster than expected and leaving many developers a little peeved. Luckily, the event is streamed, and dev sessions later will be available for online viewing. Additionally, Microsoft won't be giving away any free hardware to attendees and will instead focus on offering more developer sessions at the event.

The Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 picked up a rather significant firmware update. Newer Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book owners, however, are still waiting for their fix for ongoing power issues. Additionally, 1TB editions of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 also went on sale. Microsoft also did a voluntary recall of some Surface AC power plugs.

Dropbox has a new universal Windows 10 app that is part of their renewed partnership with Microsoft. HERE Maps and apps finally returned to Windows 10 Mobile after a bug fix.

Rounding things out was the Xbox February update, which is now rolling out to insider preview members.

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2 weeks ago

Google Play Games to lose Google+ requirement, gain auto sign-in

Google Play games

Some changes are coming to Google Play Games this year, and they'll affect both users and developers. As announced on the Android Developer Blog, the changes are intended "to reduce sign-in friction and unnecessary permission requests for players by moving the Games APIs to a new model."

Here's the deal:

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2 weeks ago

From the Editor's Desk: Understanding EMUI


There's a method to Huawei's UI madness, even if you're not a fan of it.

I've become a pretty decent fan of Huawei's phones over the past year or so. It started with a brief look at the Honor 6 Plus. I didn't really get it at the time. Interesting hardware, weird software, and this was a pure China model, full of features I'll never understand. Months later, in Berlin, I snagged and reviewed a Mate S. It may be my favorite design since the HTC One M7. (Erm, for somewhat obvious reasons.)

And not too long after that we got the Nexus 6P, which remains atop our list of the best Android phones you can buy. Then there's the Mate 8, a big beast that goes all day but takes some work to get the software where it's usable. And now we have the budget-friendly Honor 5X. Again, decent hardware, but software that leaves us trying to figure things out.

But I've decided it's just not that complicated.

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2 weeks ago

You can save up to 50 percent on various in-app purchases on Google Play


Google Play is currently hosting a sale which saves you up to 50 percent on in-app purchases of select apps. There are around 60 apps currently participating in the deal, from titles like Mobile Strike, Agar.io, Sim City Buildit and many others. The games here are all free to play, but they have in-app purchases to allow you to unlock additional content or help you move through the levels faster.

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2 weeks ago

What do you want to see from the LG G5?


Mobile World Congress cometh. And with it we're expecting a new flagship smartphone from from LG — in all likelihood it'll be called the LG G5. And that in and of itself is pretty exciting, given that the LG G4 was an excellent (though, yes, imperfect) smartphone. The display. The camera. The sleek lines. The removable battery and expandable storage. There was a whole lot to like.

And making things even more interesting was the late-2015 launch of the LG V10, bringing beefier construction, a manual mode for the video camera — and even more possibilities for what we might see in 2016.

So let's open the floor for questions. What is it you want to see in the LG G5? Should that manual video recording make its way to the G line? Will we really see some sort of crazy interchangeable modular thing? Or do we really just want to see better software? Sound off in the comments below!

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2 weeks ago

Use your phone to unlock a better rental experience with Silvercar

Silvercar Audi A4

Your Android or iPhone plays a cursory role in renting one of Silvercar's Audi A4s, but the experience is great nonetheless.

"Uber for xxxxx" is still a pretty popular marketing crutch these days. Think of it as shorthand for "on-demand something or other." And you can (roughly) call Silvercar "Uber for rental cars." I recently gave it a shot on a personal trip with my family. (Read: Silvercar didn't give us anything for this review. It came out of my pocket, personally.)

The gist is simple. You book a car through the Silvercar app (Android or iOS). When you arrive at your destination airport, you text Silvercar (the app helps with this) to let them know you've arrived. They arrive with a Audi A4. In silver. (You guessed that part, right?)

"Another startup-type company trying to disrupt things?" you ask? Sure. But my initial experience in Fort Lauderdale left me pretty excited.

Here's why.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S7 rumored launch in the U.S. on March 11


According to a new leak, it appears as though March 11 is possibly the date when the Samsung Galaxy S7 will release in the U.S. The information comes from Evan Blass (evleaks), a source who has a mixed track record when it comes to leaked information. Beyond the date of March 11, no additional details were provided.

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2 weeks ago

Better battery life leads our Galaxy S7 wish list

Samsung logo

We recently asked what you fine folks want to see in the Samsung Galaxy S7, which we're expecting to see in the coming weeks, quite possibly at Mobile World Congress. (Though nothing has been announced, and anything is possible.) And your responses were as realistic as they were ... aspirational.

Well, we've got our own ideas about what Samsung needs to do with the Galaxy S7. And a few ideas of things we simply want Samsung to do with the GS7. Some of them might even happen.

But for the most part we've all centered on a few key details.

So without further ado, here's what the editors of Android Central are hoping to find once the Galaxy S7 is officially official.

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2 weeks ago

Best Buy is offering a free Gear VR with the purchase of a new Samsung Galaxy smartphone


Best Buy is running a promotion today which gets you a free Gear VR headset with the purchase of a new Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ or Note 5. Should you find yourself looking to upgrade your phone to one of Samsung's latest, you may want to do so at Best Buy to score the $100 Gear VR headset for free. The promotion ends at midnight on January 23, and you can order it online if you are unable to make it into a local Best Buy store.

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