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4 days ago

Galaxy S7 display defaults to Full HD after Nougat update, but you can switch back


Samsung's new display scaling options change the default resolution of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

The Nougat update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge introduces a new display scaling option that lets you reduce the screen resolution as a way to conserve battery life. With the update, you can now choose between three modes — WQHD (2560x1440), FHD (1920x1080), and HD (1280x720). While it's a nifty feature to have, the display on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge is automatically defaulting to Full HD for those that have installed the update.

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 review: Setting the benchmark for the budget segment

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 India

Xiaomi's Redmi Note 3 was one of the best-selling devices of 2016 in India. With its successor, the company is looking to continue the momentum.

Quick take:

It's hard to follow up on the Redmi Note 3, but Xiaomi has managed to deliver a great successor in the Redmi Note 4. The phone now comes with more memory and storage, and the design changes make the device feel upmarket. Battery life has also received a boost thanks to the Snapdragon 625 SoC, and the camera is also better than what we saw last year. In short, this is the phone to beat in the budget segment.

The good

  • Class-leading performance
  • Premium design
  • Great battery life

The bad

  • MIUI quirks
  • Fast charging limited to 5V/2A

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 lands in India with Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM, 4100mAh battery


The Redmi Note 4 is here, and it is amazing.

At a media event in New Delhi, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 4 for the Indian market. The local variant of the handset is powered by a 14nm Snapdragon 625 SoC, offering a 5.5-inch Full HD display, 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage, a 13MP camera, 5MP front shooter, and a 4100mAh battery. On the software front, the phone runs MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but a Nougat preview is already in testing and will be rolling out shortly.

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 specs


The latest phone in the Redmi series is a beast.

The Redmi Note 4 has made its debut in India, offering enticing specs and a great all-metal design. The Indian variant is powered by Qualcomm's 14nm Snapdragon 625, and comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. Here's a look at the hardware on offer with the Redmi Note 4.

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4 days ago

Super Mario Run on Android: What we know so far


Here we go! (not quite yet for Android users, though...)

Super Mario Run is finally here, seeing a release in over 150 countries through the iOS App Store.

Super Mario Run was first announced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind the most iconic character in video games history, at Apple's event back in September, where the game was revealed as an iOS exclusive at launch and demoed live on stage.

What's it all about? What's this I hear about it requiring a constant online connection? How much does it cost? When's it coming to Android?

You've got questions, we've got answers! Here's what we know so far.

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4 days ago

Super Mario Run is coming to Android in March!


That was shorter than expected, honestly.

Nintendo has been teasing the release of Super Mario Run on Android since it put the app up in the Play Store for "pre-registration" back in December, but now we know that the game will fully release in March. Depending on when in the month it finally hits Android devices the total time as an iOS exclusive will only be about three months, which is honestly a bit shorter than many would have expected considering the gravity of such a huge title.

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4 days ago

Nintendo's next mobile game lands on Android Feb 2 [update]


They'll figure it out eventually, right?

Update: A tweet from Nintendo's main Twitter account has clarified that Fire Emblem will launch for both Android and iOS on the quoted date of February 2. Hooray!

Original story: Nintendo is following quickly behind the launch of Super Mario Run with another mobile title from its coveted IP. Instead of focusing on turning a popular game into a weird, single-hand mobile spin, we're getting a strategy game backed by a rich heritage. The next game will be Fire Emblem: Heroes, and based on current information it seems like iOS will be getting it first once again — thankfully Android won't be far behind, if at all.

Fire Emblem isn't one of the Nintendo franchises that sets the whole world ablaze like Zelda, Mario, or even Kirby, but its following is still massive. Bringing this world to mobile as a grid-style strategy game makes a lot of sense, as these games typically encourage users to sit and play for hours on end. What Heroes brings to mobile is an impressive online component, allowing you to put your armies against your friends to see which is the better tactical mind.

Nintendo has set a February 2 launch date for Fire Emblem: Heroes on Android, which seems to be later than the launch of "soon" for iOS simply based on Nintendo's history of making hitting Apple's platform a priority — expect Apple to have the exclusive for just a bit, but thankfully it won't be months this time around. Like before, you can pre-register to grab the game from its Play Store listing right here.

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4 days ago

Google explains how Android detects malware before it gets out of hand


Hummingbad, Ghost Push, and Googligan — malware that didn't stand a chance against Google's DOI metric.

Security! No, really, security. That word is practically synonymous with the Android operating system, which is why the Android Developers Blog is always taking about it. In today's installation, Megan Ruthven, Software Engineer for Android, writes about how the development team developed a metric to help identify Dead or Insecure (DOI) apps floating around in the Play Store.

If you remember back to Marshmallow, Android introduced the Verify apps functionality to scan devices for any Potentially Harmful Apps (also known PHAs). Over time, some devices stopped checking in with Verify apps. This usually occurs when you've switch phones or something more pressing is happening in the background. If it's the latter situation, that's because there's an app installed on your device that refuses to identify itself against the Verify apps database. The Android dev team is using the statistics from those apps devices to find other offensive ones:

A device is considered retained if it continues to perform periodic Verify apps security check ups after an app download. If it doesn't, it's considered potentially dead or insecure (DOI). An app's retention rate is the percentage of all retained devices that downloaded the app in one day. Because retention is a strong indicator of device health, we work to maximize the ecosystem's retention rate.

Therefore, we use an app DOI scorer, which assumes that all apps should have a similar device retention rate. If an app's retention rate is a couple of standard deviations lower than average, the DOI scorer flags it.

You can read more about the formula employed by the Android development team in the blog post. Thus far, the DOI metric managed to flag over 25,000 apps related to three well-known malware families, including Hummingbad, Ghost Push, and Googligan.

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4 days ago

The BlackBerry Priv Review Re-Do: before Mercury rises


It's been 14 months since the BlackBerry Priv launched, and it still does some things amazingly well -- but amazingly slow. The Priv is still a security powerhouse, and has some great features, but why does it take so long to launch everything?

MrMobile takes us way way back to November of 2015 (were we ever so young?) and talks what's good, what's ugly, and what to look forward to when we finally get our hands on Mercury. Michael Fisher knows his phones, and wants to impart his knowledge about what's good onto you. Watch this video and look back and forward at the same time. Once you get un-cross-eyed from that, leave us a note in the comments letting us know what you think!

Stay social, my friends

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4 days ago

Is this big piece of glass part of the Galaxy S8?


The Galaxy S8 is coming, and this might be the front end of it.

We have no way of knowing what this big piece of glass is. @DforDesign tells us it's part of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and mentions that it's rounded at the top and bottom as well as the sides.

Other than a big piece of glass with little to no bezel on the side, there's not much here. But if you're waiting patiently for more on the Galaxy S8, it's enough!

More: Galaxy S8 rumor roundup

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4 days ago

Google buys mobile app toolkit Fabric from Twitter


Twitter has announced that Google has purchased Fabric for an undisclosed sum.

Fabric is Twitter's set of tools that helps mobile app developers to build, distribute and monetize apps. These tools are designed to give developers easy access to Gnip, Fabric's data platform, and the MoPub ad revenue platform. This gives a wide range of analytics and tools for development and a complete set of enterprise APIs driven by real-time and historical social data and hosted methods to make money using it. A stream of data that's the size generated by Twitter is extremely difficult to manage. Tools that do the filtering for you and building a monetization platform around the data makes development much easier.

Twitter says this deal will allow them to focus on "core products and business to best position Twitter for long-term growth" and that they are confident that Fabric will be a great addition to Google's efforts to provide tools and a platform for mobile developers. Existing services that were available through Fabric — Gnip, MoPub (a set of monetization tools) and Twitter's Ad API will still exist and be available.

For Google, the acquisition means a little more.

Expect Google to build upon what Fabric has to offer with Firebase as a preferred data and analytics platform.

While Gnip isn't part of the deal, it is a competitor to Firebase — Google's own data platform. Expect Google to build upon what Fabric has to offer with Firebase as a preferred data and analytics platform. They also will acquire the Twitter employees working on Fabric, and they're always on the lookout for talent when it comes to mobile app development and building the tools to make it easier. Perhaps the most important part of the purchase is Crashalytics — Twitter's easy to use and very popular tool for detecting and analyzing application crashes and failures. Crashalytics will help Google manage application behavior metrics across their entire ecosystem.

It's unclear what this means for developers who are invested in the Fabric platform. There will certainly be changes once things are merged into Google's operations, and those may affect how the services work as well as access to them. This play is not about Twitter from Google's perspective, so developers will likely have to transition their products to use these changes or find an alternative.

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4 days ago

NVIDIA Shield vs. Shield Pro: Which should I buy?


We know NVIDIA Shield rocks a solid Android TV experience, but the Shield Pro might just be the better buy for some.

The NVIDIA Shield TV does just about everything from streaming 4K movies and TV shows to playing high-end Android games with the included Shield Controller. But when NVIDIA refreshed the line at the start of the year, it kept around the Shield "Pro" model as well — and in this case, it hasn't been physically redesigned like the standard version, though it retains its $299 price tag.

That leaves an interesting question about whether you should consider the standard Shield Android TV model or the Pro — let us help you decide.

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4 days ago

Best Screen Protectors for Galaxy S7


What are the best screen protectors for the GS7?

The Samsung Galaxy S7 is one of the best phones out right now. With its beautiful glass curves, you'll want to try and protect the screen from scuffs and scratches.

After many months of waiting for a decent tempered glass screen protection for the S7's curved screen, we've finally found one we're able to recommend. We've also included some decent options for film screen protectors — not as tough as the tempered glass, but still providing good protection for your screen.

amFilm Galaxy S7 Screen Protector Glass

When you're looking for a tempered glass screen protector, you ideally want edge-to-edge coverage. Otherwise you're left with an ugly edge around the perimeter of your phone. For a while, there simply wasn't a decent option available for the Galaxy S7's curved screen.

Enter this option from amFilm. This tempered glass screen protector is scratch resistant and only 0.3 mm thick, featuring curved edges designed to contour to the curves of your phone and offering the best edge-to-edge screen protection you'll find for the Galaxy S7.

Installation is easy thanks to the precise cutouts and solid border around the bezel of the phone, and you shouldn't notice any difference in the phone's touch sensitivity. It's also available in three colors — Black, Gold and White — so you can match the style of your phone while keeping it well protected.

See at Amazon

Yootech Curved Edge to Edge Screen Protector 3-Pack

Yootech's 3-pack of screen protectors provides edge-to-edge coverage for your phone with precise cutouts for the ear speaker, camera and fingerprint scanner. The kit includes everything you'll need for installation — alcohol prep pad, squeeze card and dust removal tape.

This screen protector uses dry installation, meaning it adheres to your phone's screen via magic! Actually, they use static electricity to cling to your phone. That means you'll want to be quite careful during installation to be in a dust-free environment. A good tip would be to steam up your bathroom to get all the dust in the air to settle, then do the installation in there.

If you completely mess up your first installation attempt, you at least get two spares here, so you can give it another shot and still have a replacement to swap out if your first one gets too beaten up.

See at Amazon

Maxboost Liquid Skin Samsung Galaxy S7 Screen Protector

The Maxboost Liquid Skin protector includes two screen protectors for the screen — one with precise cutouts around the bits you want exposed, and the other a case-friendly option with cutouts from the edge around the top and bottom of the screen. It also includes a protector film for the back panel of your phone, because it's made of glass to and susceptible to scratches and scuffs too!

As you may have gathered from the name, these protectors require a wet installation with the included spray bottle. You spray down the sticky side of the screen protector, place it down on your cleaned screen and adjust it until it's just right. Then you'll want to use the squeegee card to clear out any bubbles then leave it to dry overnight. You'll want to be careful with it for the first few days, too, especially if you plan to slap a case on your phone too.

See at Amazon

IQ Shield LiQuidSkin 2-pack

Another wet installation option, the IQ Shield LiQuidSkin includes two screen protectors that IQ Shield claims each screen protector consists of four layers of protection. Cutting through the marketing buzzwords, these screen protectors feature a layer of TPU, will adhere well to your phone and should provide durable, transparent protection without yellowing over time.

Installation requires you to spray the adhesive side of the screen with the included spray bottle, then squeegee out the excess and any bubbles then leave it to dry for a few hours. The benefits of a wet install over a dry install include crystal clear transparency, and you're able to adhere the protector around the curved edges better.

See at Amazon

Which screen protectors do you trust?

If the screen protector brand you use isn't on our list, let us know in the comments!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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4 days ago

YouTube's AdBlitz kicks off its 10th year for Super Bowl 51


For many, the best part of the Super Bowl is the ads.

YouTube has been the go-to place to watch all of the catchy (and cringe-worthy) ads from Super Bowls, and has even given a one-stop place for them called "AdBlitz." Super Bowl 51 marks the 10th year for AdBlitz, and that means the channel is live and ready to go for kickoff that's only a couple weeks away.

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4 days ago

YouTube is launching a new private chat feature, and it's starting in Canada


Canadians finally get a Google product first.

YouTube is rolling out a new sharing feature, and Canadians — who YouTube says share 15% more videos than an average user — are getting it first. The new interface turns the YouTube sharing system into more of an integrated chat experience, keeping a private conversation around a video inside the YouTube app rather than elsewhere.

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