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55 min ago

Google I/O returns to Shoreline Amphitheater from May 17-19

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Now we know when Google I/O is.

Every new year brings us another year of Google I/O, the company's annual developers conference. Not only is it the week that we'll learn about all of Google's upcoming projects — and Android's future products — it's also a time when developers from around the world can come together and learn about making better apps for Android.

A tweet posted today by the official Android Developers account gave us clues about when the event will actually be held. Google's Save the Date site has also had a bit of a revamp compared to last year's neon, festival aesthetic. If you click the Go! button, you'll be taken to GitHub, where there's a riddle:

5 puzzles. Each gets more difficult.

5 clues. Take notes. Each puzzle is gone after it's solved.

5 places. Think numbers.

Enter all answers at savethedate.foo.

You must know where you've been to get where you're going.

The official I/O events page has also been updated with an obvious tease to check back for more details.

Turns out we don't have to wait. Thanks to some adroit scavenger hunters (h/t Android Police) we now know that Google I/O will be held once again at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, just a few miles away from Google's home base, from May 17 to May 19.

Last year's conference was fraught with long lines, poor organization and a lack of hands-on products to demo, but it was a beautiful place with great facilities, so let's hope Google fixes what needs to be fixed and we can have a great three days.

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2 hours ago

BlackBerry 'Mercury' to get official announcement in late Feb at MWC

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BlackBerry will announce new phone name, specs on February 25 in Barcelona.

While we still don't officially know the new name of BlackBerry's forthcoming device (code name: Mercury), we will soon enough, as BlackBerry teased the announcement in a short video tweeted from the company's official Twitter account. The new device will be formally launched on February 25 in Barcelona, the Saturday before the official start of Mobile World Congress 2017 on the 27th.

Designed and developed by Chinese company TCL, our very own Andrew Martonik went hands-on with a pre-production version of the BlackBerry Mercury at CES this past January. It's no secret that BlackBerry has been struggling as a brand in recent years, but there's some genuine excitement surrounding this new phone, with its physical keyboard (sans slider) and it running on Nougat out of the box.

BlackBerry will certainly be looking to build upon the momentum it has gained from its previous Android devices; the Priv, DTEK-50 and DTEK-60.

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3 hours ago

VR porn: The Ultimate Guide [NSFW]

VR porn isn't a thing of the future. It's here now, and easier to find and access then you may have thought.

When it comes to watching videos on VR, one of the first questions many people asked was whether or not you'd be able to watch porn or other adult content. From apps that let you speak with camgirls, to full blown 360 degree adult videos, porn in VR is here and it's making it's mark. Whether you've got a Gear VR, Oculus Rift, or even Playstation VR, there is plenty of adult content just waiting for you out there.

Read more at VR Heads!

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3 hours ago

Huawei Watch 2 with cellular connectivity coming in 2017

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Another Huawei Watch coming your way in 2017.

With the new Android Wear 2.0 release just around the bend, we've been seeing a flurry of news surrounding wearable devices. The latest comes from Huawei, via a report from VentureBeat, with the Chinese manufacturer reportedly working on a followup to their Huawei Watch from 2015.

According to a source familiar to the company, the new model will allegedly be "sportier" than its predecessor, but still feature an identically sized 1.4-inch display and swappable bands. The big addition here is an option to get a Huawei Watch 2 with cellular connectivity — a built-in e-SIM card will allow the watch to remain connected when out of range of Wi-Fi or a paired smartphone. It's similar to what we saw from Samsung, which released a 3G model of the Samsung Gear S2.

The Huawei Watch is our current pick for the best Android Wear smartwatch, so you know we're excited to see what Huawei brings to the table in their second go around.

The first Huawei Watch was announced at Mobile World Congress 2015. Based on the timing of this leak — with Android Wear 2.0 set to officially release on February 9 and MWC 2017 scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 2 — we expect Huawei to repeat history and officially unveil the details of this new wearable in Barcelona at the end of next month.

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4 hours ago

Final Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview arrives, ready for developers to upload apps

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App developers only have a handful of days left to get their apps ready for launch.

Google has just released the final Android Wear 2.0 Developer Preview leading up to its official release, which is rumored to be February 9. This final preview puts some final polish on the software, and signals to developers that it's time to submit their apps targeting the upcoming release to the Play Store.

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4 hours ago

Best wallet cases for the Galaxy S7 edge

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Best wallet cases for the Galaxy S7 edge

Make your pocket or purse lighter. Wallet cases have it all!

Most wallet cases feature a cover that folds over to protect the screen of your Galaxy S7 edge. This tends to add a bit of bulk, but since most wallet cases have room for cards and cash, it's a great way to be able to leave your wallet at home. So in the long run your pocket or purse will feel a bit lighter.

These are our picks for best wallet cases for your Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

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5 hours ago

Pokémon Duel brings your favorite characters to a strategy-based board game

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Finally, a new Pokémon game that doesn't require walking.

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Riding the incredible success of Pokémon Go, The Pokémon Company has released a new game for Android and iOS called Pokemon Duel — and it's available today. The game isn't in any way like Pokémon Go, and is instead a strategy-style battle game inspired by board games.

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5 hours ago

Vertu's new Constellation has modern specs, stunning materials ... and Marshmallow

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You can have a phone that's made of exquisite materials but also has high-end specs.

Vertu is a name we often like to poke fun at for offering ridiculously overpriced phones that are more about luxury than practicality, but its latest phone, Constellation, actually aims to come closer to offering both. Vertu calls the Constellation "The Luxury Performance Smartphone," and to that end it actually has a set of high-end specs you'd expect to find on a modern phone: 5.5-inch QHD display, 12MP camera (with 1.55-micron pixels), Snapdragon 820, 4GB of RAM, 128GB storage, 3220 mAh battery, USB-C charging, stereo speakers, wireless charging and a fingerprint sensor.

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5 hours ago

How to change the Amazon Echo 'wake word' using Alexa app

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How can I address my Echo as "Computer"? Just follow these steps!

There's a new way to address your Amazon Echo, and it's about as fun as wearing Combadge — only with fewer stares in public. Amazon has updated the Echo and Echo Dot to respond to the wake word "Computer," instead "Alexa" or "Echo," and it's easy to change. Here's how to do it!

See at Amazon

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5 hours ago

International data: How AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and Project Fi compare

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International data overseas

Roaming outside the U.S. has improved dramatically — but not every carrier handles it the same.​

The editors here at Android Central tend to travel a lot for this job, and that isn't limited to staying in our home country. When we travel, we need to have our phones with us and connected all the time — that's kind of what we do. We're no strangers to dealing with roaming internationally, and thankfully for us the U.S. carriers are getting on board with everyone's tendency to get out of the country and see the world with their phones and tablets at their side.

Gone are the days of astronomical pay-per-megabyte rates, limited roaming carrier agreements and poor options from some of the carriers. Two of the big four carriers are now offering some sort of free international roaming, with the other two coming around to friendlier pricing structures and fewer restrictions on how we use our data we bought. Even prepaid carriers are getting in on the action with some international calling plans.

Even with all of these changes, international data still isn't cheap. Your best bet is to find a local prepaid SIM card when you travel and pop it in your unlocked phone. But that's not always easy — and there's really something luxurious about stepping off a plane, firing up your phone ... and seeing it just work.

So we've gathered up the international data rates and policies for the four major U.S. carriers — Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint — plus Google's own Project Fi. Each carrier does things slightly different, whether it's buying data ahead of time, loading up full-speed data passes once you're already gone or setting up a monthly roaming add-on.

Here's how each of the carriers handles international roaming.

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5 hours ago

Save 25% on select Anker accessories for a limited time only!

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Anker is currently offering 25% off a variety of its products for a short period of time. The 48-hour sale can save you on charging cables, portable batteries, and even a Bluetooth speaker. Anker makes a number of different types of products, most of which have great reviews on Amazon, so you are looking at high-quality accessories here. Whether you are looking for a gift for yourself or something for a friend, you won't want to miss out on the savings here.

The deals include:

These deals are only good through January 25, so you'll want to act quickly if you are interested in any of these items. Be sure to check them all out, and use the corresponding coupon codes to get the full savings on the items you want!

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6 hours ago

Adobe is optimizing its most popular Android apps for Chromebooks

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Some Android apps take to Chrome OS just fine, but others need a little extra help.

Adobe is making sure its suite of extremely popular apps have a smooth transition to Chromebooks with an announcement today that it's optimizing many for the laptop form factor. Updates to the Android apps will come in the next few weeks with various under-the-hood optimizations for use on Chromebooks that will make the apps run smooth just like on any phone or tablet.

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6 hours ago

Video: Latest Samsung Galaxy S8 leaks + rumors

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A new Samsung flagship is inevitably one of the biggest Android launches of the year — and that's especially true this year, as Samsung looks to move on from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle with an all-new flagship. Although we're not expecting the Galaxy S8 to hit until some time after Mobile World Congress, there's already plenty of unconfirmed info floating around online, including valuable clues about what the GS8 will look like and the technology lurking within.

Check out our video feature for a primer on what we know about the Samsung Galaxy S8 (and S8 Plus!) so far.

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7 hours ago

Best Cases for Honor 6X

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Even cheap smartphones deserve protection.

You may have dropped only a few Benjamins on the Honor 6X, but that doesn't mean you have to throw it around and scratch it up! Before you hit the purchase button on Amazon, here are a few cases to consider placing in your shopping cart to protect your new purchase.

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8 hours ago

The LG G6 needs to be about way more than its choice of Snapdragon chips to win 2017

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The LG G6 needs to do a lot of things really well. Not having the latest Snapdragon chip is not a great start.

We were so excited. Well, we're still excited, but less so. See, a Forbes contributor, Ben Sin, splashed water on the idea that the LG G6, which is expected to be announced at MWC in February and debut in March, will not have the newer Snapdragon 835 chip, but rather the older-yet-still-excellent-but-not-quite-ideal Snapdragon 821. Yes, the Snapdragon 821 inside the Pixel phones and OnePlus 3T, all of which are excellent performers.

The question, though, is whether, by duffing its G5 flagship as much as it did, it's too far behind Samsung in the ways that matter.

After this week's leak, which shows LG's flagship at its sleekest and most forward-thinking, it's unfortunate that the hardcore user base is probably not going to be able to see past this decision, if it was a decision at all. With LG (mostly) eschewing gimmickry in favor of a phone that just works, it seems 2017 is off to a better start than last year for the South Korean giant.

The question, though, is whether, by duffing its G5 flagship as much as it did, it's too far behind Samsung in the ways that matter. Ignoring for a moment the fact that Samsung had its own troubles last year, the company still managed to sell upwards of 40 million Galaxy S7s, and dozens more millions more of its low-to-midrange devices in the Galaxy A and Galaxy J series. While LG has never really been competitive against Samsung in units sold and market share, there's always been a perception that the two companies were at least technologically well-matched. Beautiful LCD vs. stunning SuperAMOLED. Smart camera vs. smart camera. Sleek design vs. sleek design.

The G4 may not have been as aesthetically significant as the metal-and-glass overhaul of the Galaxy S6 back in 2015, but it had its fans, me among them. The G5 was supposed to be that radical reinvention to take on the more sedate, mature pivot of the Galaxy S7, but it failed. Hard. That's OK, there's always next year, and LG appears to be well on its way to correcting course. The V20 was already showing what it's capable of doing with a legacy form factor and a bit of focus, but it looks like LG is positioning the V series as the performance-heavy entrant in the series.

Building the equivalent of the Galaxy S7 in 2017 is not a bad idea for LG.

So now we have the G6, and we know a few things: it will have a tall 5.7-inch screen with an unusual 2:1 aspect ratio. It will have teeny tiny bezels that will certainly attract the minimalists out there. And it will be made of metal and glass, much like the Galaxy S7, while retaining the G5's dual-camera-and-fingerprint-sensor on the back. It's probably going to be waterproof, too, because all flagships need to be waterproof in 2017.

Building the equivalent of the Galaxy S7 in 2017 is not a bad idea for LG, but Samsung is now a year ahead, about to release the Galaxy S8 with what appears to be the fastest SoC on the market and a reinvigorated commitment to safety and security. And AI. The good news is that LG has typically been able to eke better day-to-day performance from its flagships than Samsung, mainly by optimizing software and incorporating fewer gimmicks. But Samsung is doing the same thing, so this year should be very interesting for flagship smartphones.

Can LG keep up? Let us know in the comments!

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