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2 weeks ago

Pinterest for Android now works with Nougat's app shortcuts

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The social collaging app takes advantage of a new feature introduced in Android 7.1.

As Android users, we can appreciate when an app maker attempts to take advantage of some of Android native abilities. The app action shortcuts introduced in Android 7.1, for instance, are a worthy feature to add to marquee apps. Pinterest has certainly caught on.

The latest update to the Android app adds the aforementioned app action shortcuts. You can tap and hold on an icon from the Home screen for quick access to many oft-used tasks. There's even a shortcut for the new Lens feature, which uses your camera to find pins relevant to what you're seeing in real life. If you start to see you're using one particular feature more often than the others, you can drag it down and out to sequester it into its own shortcut icon.

The update is slowly rolling out to compatible Android devices with the Pinterest app installed. The company says the feature will come to the iPhone in the near future.

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2 weeks ago

Win a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Android Central! Enter now!

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have been announced, and it's time to give one away to an Android Central reader.

The latest flagships from Samsung are easily the biggest Android phones of the year. If you haven't already, you're definitely going to want to check out our detailed hands on preview of the new phones, as well as dive deeper into all the new features that you need to know about. When you're done watching and reading all about the latest innovations Samsung is bringing to the table, come back here and enter to win one of these phones for yourself! All the details are below, so get yourself entered!

THE PRIZE: One Android Central reader will be taking home their choice of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+!

THE GIVEAWAY: Head down to the widget at the bottom of this page. There are multiple ways to enter, each with varying point values. Complete all of the tasks for maximum entries and your best shot at winning! Keep in mind that all winning entries are verified and if the task was not completed or cannot be verified, a new winner will be chosen. The prize does not include service, and we cannot guarantee that the device will work on all carriers. International winners will be responsible for any customs fees incurred during shipping.

The giveaway is open until April 4th, and the winner will be announced right here shortly after the close date. Good luck!

Android Central is giving away a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+! Enter now!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Verizon AT&T T-Mobile Sprint

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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2 weeks ago

Apple Music for Android now looks way more like iOS

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Who else just remembered that Apple Music for Android was a thing?

Apple Music for Android just received its first major update since its debut in the Play Store last summer. Version 2.0 brings with it on-screen lyrics and better navigation. The menu has also been reorganized into four major sections. Here's the full changelog for Apple Music:

  • An all-new design brings greater clarity and simplicity to Apple Music
  • Now Playing. Read lyrics for songs as you listen.
  • Library. Navigate your music easily and see the Downloaded Music you can play offline.
  • For You. Get recommendations for playlists, albums, and more—based on music you love.
  • Browse. Listen to new music first, plus playlists for any mood or activity.
  • Radio. Tune in to Beats 1 shows or listen to stations for any genre.

One major feature update to the Apple Music for Android app that wasn't mentioned in the change log was the adoption of a decidedly iOS-like aesthetic. There is virtually no Material Design display in the app, unless you count the three-pronged menu button to the left.

If you're intrigued, or you live a dual platform kind of life, you can download Apple Music in the Google Play Store. A subscription to the service costs $10 a month.

Are you a streaming music customer? Let us know in the comments!

The best streaming music services

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2 weeks ago

LeEco reportedly didn't have enough money to pay U.S. employees in March

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Things aren't looking so good for LeEco lately…

LeEco Inc. was forced to delay payroll for U.S. employees in March, according to Bloomberg Technology, which spoke to people familiar with the matter. This latest bit of bad news from the embattled Chinese technology conglomerate seems to further confirm that the company is struggling for cash.

It's been a tough go overall for LeEco since the company attempted to make a big splash last October when it launched LeMall, its U.S. e-commerce store. It entered the North American market as a virtual unknown in a highly competitive space, but instead of building up its brand of smartphones, TVs, and other electronics in the new market, the company reportedly continues to struggling financially.

We reported last November how the company's co-founder and CEO Jia Yueting wrote a letter to employees explaining how the company may have "over-extended" itself and was running out of cash. Since then, the company has started falling behind on payments to some suppliers and has struggled to maintain its premium sports broadcasting rights.

While Jia has been able to raise some capital amongst some Chinese investors, Bloomberg reports that its plans to expand into the U.S. — including its tentative deal to acquire California TV manufacturer Vizio — continues to hit roadblocks:

Jia has aggressively chased funding and attempted to establish a foothold in the U.S. But those efforts may be faltering. A proposed $2 billion acquisition of California TV maker Vizio Inc. is being held up by tighter controls on Chinese currency outflows, according to a person familiar with the matter, and as reported in Chinese media. That deal was intended to create a beachhead for branding and acquiring American customers. LeEco is now exploring other options, including taking a minority stake in or partnering with Vizio, the person said.

This latest bit of news certainly fits within the narrative of LeEco's continuing struggles in North America. In October 2016, Jia confirmed that the company had at least 500 U.S. employees who may have been affected by this payroll delay.

Here's what you need to know about LeEco

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2 weeks ago

Project Fi vs. T-Mobile: Which is better for you?

Fi or T-Mo? Which should you choose?

T-Mobile is one of the Big Four carriers in the U.S. (along with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint), and its casual approach to contracts and limitations is what draws customers in for the long haul. Google takes an even more cavalier approach to contracts and data caps with its Project Fi, leasing coverage from the bigger networks to bring you lower prices (usually).

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Which is better for you? Let's compare the two and see.

T-Mobile background

Who owns it? Deutsche Telekom

Which network does it use? T-Mobile 4G LTE (da-durr)

How long has it been around? Since 1990

Tethering allowed? Yes, up to 10GB of 4G LTE free (3G speeds after 10GB)

Cheapest plan: $45/month: Prepaid, up to 4GB of 4G LTE, unlimited talk, text, and 2G data, Music Unlimited

Project Fi background

Who owns it? Google

Which network does it use? Sprint CDMA and LTE, T-Mobile 4G LTE, U.S. Cellular CDMA and LTE

How long has it been around? Since 2015

Tethering allowed? Yes

Cheapest plan: $20/month: Unlimited nationwide talk and text, unlimited international text

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T-Mobile plans

T-Mobile has really pared down its plan selection to, essentially, just one plan, aptly named "T-Mobile ONE". Starting at $75 per month, you get unlimited talk, text, and data, with speeds throttled after you use 30GB of data in a month (very few people ever do). There are then discounts for every line you add.

T-Mobile ONE Unlimited data
(30GB before throttling) 1 line $75/month 2 lines $100/month (with $5 Autopay discount) 3 lines $140/month (with $5 Autopay discount) 4 lines $160/month (with $5 Autopay discount) What's included Tethering
unlimited SD video streaming
unlimited talk, text, and 2G data
Music Unlimited T-Mobile prepaid 4GB 4G LTE 6GB 4G LTE Price $45/month $55/month What's included Tethering
unlimited SD video streaming
unlimited talk, text, and 2G data
Music Unlimited

Note: T-Mobile likes to change its pricing often. Above prices are as valid of April 4, 2017.

Add-ons

T-Mobile ONE Plus: $5 per line, per month gets you unlimited HD video streaming in the U.S., 2x non-LTE data speeds, unlimited tethering with the first 10GB at up to 4G LTE speeds, plus unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on Gogo-enabled flights, voicemail to text, and name ID.

T-Mobile ONE Plus International: $25 per line, per month gets you unlimited HD video streaming in the U.S., 2x non-LTE data speeds, unlimited in-flight Wi-Fi on Gogo-enabled flights, voicemail to text, name ID, unlimited international calling to landlines in 70+ countries and mobile numbers in 30+ countries, and unlimited 4G LTE tethering.

T-Mobile Tuesdays: T-Mo Tuesdays is not a paid add-on; it's how T-Mobile likes to show appreciation for its customers. Every Tuesday, you'll get free stuff, just for having the T-Mobile Tuesdays app downloaded. You'll get free stuff from great brands, like PetSmart and ESPN, as well as movie tickets, discounts, downloads, and more.

Project Fi plans

Project Fi offers two types of plans: family and single line. What you get with each plan is the same, but you'll save money on each additional family plan line (up to 5 lines).

The Basics Extra data (1GB) Price $20/month $10/month Free Extras Unlimited international texting
Call and text from any Android or iPhone

Family Plan

The Basics Extra data (1GB) Primary line price $20/month $10/month Secondary lines (up to 5) $15/month $10/month Free Extras Unlimited international texting
Call and text from any Android or iPhone

Note: Google calls the base Project Fi plan "The Basics." No data is included and must be purchased at the rate of $10/GB. Data is not shared between lines on a family plan. Each line pays the same $10 per GB of data (domestic and international in 135 countries) with the cost of any unused data refunded at the end of each month

Add-ons

Data-only SIM:

Google offers a data-only SIM card to use in any compatible LTE device, It shares data with the primary line at the same $10/GB rate. You need to have at least one line of service and purchase a minimum of 1GB of data to use the data-only SIM card.

Data pricing:

  • 1GB of 4G LTE: $10/month

Phone Insurance:

$5 per month, per device covers accidental damages and device malfunctions. You can make one in a 12-month period. Deductibles are $79 for Pixel, $99 for Pixel XL, $69 for Nexus 5X, $99 for Nexus 6P. When you make a claim Google will ship out a replacement device the next business day.

International add-ons:

International cellular calls cost $0.20 per minute.

Google Wi-Fi services:

Your Project Fi phone service includes Wi-Fi calling and texting anywhere in the world. In addition, Google VPN services are available and allow you to connect to open Wi-Fi hotspots safely and securely.

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Project Fi and Google Hangouts apps:

The Project Fi app is tied to your Google account and can be installed on any Android or iPhone. You can pay your bill, check account balances and talk to customer service through the app at no cost. The Google Hangouts app allows calls and texts using your Project Fi number on any Android or iPhone.

Project Fi phones

Project Fi only supports phones from Google. That means your selection is currently limited to:

  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus 6
  • Nexus 6P
  • Google Pixel
  • Google Pixel XL

Note: While it's possible to enable Project Fi on unsupported phones, this is against the Project Fi terms of service.

A data-only SIM is available and can be used in any compatible LTE device as long as at least one line of Fi service is active.

Which one is better?

Looking at the big picture, Project Fi is the better way to go, because $75/month for 30GB is a lot of money to spend on a lot of data that you likely won't use. According to NPD Research, the average person only uses 3.53GB per month. In fact, 95% of Americans don't use more than 10GB of data per month.

If you pay for The Basics and 4GB of data from Project Fi, that's only costing you $60/month. Plus, if you pay for more data than you actually use on Project Fi, you get a refund for that amount at the end of your billing cycle.

Project Fi also leases coverage from more than one network, so where T-Mobile's coverage falters, Fi is able to fill in the blanks with Sprint and U.S. Cellular's networks.

All that being said, Project Fi only works with five phones. If you're not into any of their hardware or software, then you'll likely be put off by Project Fi. You can bring just about any unlocked phone to T-Mobile — all you need to do is make sure it's compatible.

T-Mobile's multi-line deals are pretty attractive, especially at $100 for two.

Alternative carriers (MVNOS)

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2 weeks ago

Amazon Cash lets you shop on Amazon without a bank card

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You can now pay for things on Amazon with cash... sort of.

Another sign of the increasingly cashless world we live in, Amazon is partnering up with convenience, grocery, and drug stores to give consumers a novel way to quickly flip the cash in your wallet over to your Amazon account balance.

It's called Amazon Cash, and it uses a unique barcode associated with your Amazon account to essentially add an Amazon gift card to your Amazon account. Simply go to a participating convenience store, get the cashier to scan your barcode and load your account up with cash.

The easiest way to use Amazon Cash is to pull up your account barcode on the Amazon app on your phone, hand over your cash to the cashier, and the funds will be added to your Amazon account nearly instantly. And you don't necessarily need a smartphone to use the service, either — you also have the option to print out your personalized barcode.

It's essentially a new, more efficient way to buy an Amazon gift card for your own use, except you're no longer limited by the pre-set gift card denomination. You may only add between $15 and $500 of cash to your Amazon account on one transaction and there are no fees associated with using Amazon Cash. So far there are only seven participating retail stores — CVS, Speedway, Kum and Go, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare, VG's Grocery and Sheetz — but more will be added in the future.

Right now, you can get $10 of bonus cash if you add $50 to your account via Amazon Cash before May 31.

Learn more about Amazon Cash

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2 weeks ago

Six ways to make the Samsung Galaxy S8 work with Windows 10

14

If you're getting a new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone, these tips and tricks can help make the device work for you alongside your Windows 10 PC.

More than most Android phones, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is quite attractive to Microsoft fans.

The Galaxy S8 has plenty of Microsoft support built right in by way of preloaded apps and the Continuum-like DeX system. Aside from all that, here are some of the ways you'll be able to use your phone and PC in perfect harmony.

Note: This article was originally published on Windows Central.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6: It's time to upgrade

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Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

Two years on, it's a great time to consider moving to the newest Galaxy S.

Holding over from the days of two-year phone contracts, most people choose to upgrade their phone on the same path today, even though financing plans have made it even simpler to move on to the latest devices every 12 months. The Galaxy S6 just had its second birthday, and while its hardware actually still feels quite modern, there are many parts of it that likely haven't aged well and will have longtime owners looking for an upgrade.

The question is, will you make the jump from a Galaxy S6 to a new Galaxy S8 and keep it in the Samsung family? We've put the phones side by side and have the information you should keep in mind when considering the move.

Hardware, specs and features

For all of the gripes about some of the internal spec choices on the Galaxy S6, you can't argue that its hardware design has held up nicely over two years. That metal and glass exterior was a complete change of direction for Samsung in 2015, and you can clearly see its influence in the Galaxy S8 today. Of course, some things have changed and for the better: The Galaxy S8 has small bezels to fit even more display in a compact frame, the body has been rounded off to be easier to use, and the camera bump on the back has been eliminated. Samsung also moved to waterproofing and reintroduced the SD card slot right after the Galaxy S6, which were key differentiators in 2016.

You can see the GS6's legacy in the GS8, but big improvements have been made in 2 years.

The Galaxy S6's 5.1-inch QHD AMOLED display actually still looks great today, but display technology has continued to advance and Samsung has done an even better job on the Galaxy S8. What hasn't changed are the characteristics of its AMOLED displays — they're crisp, low on glare, great in bright sunlight, and exhibit punchier colors than the competition. If you have the Galaxy S6 and not the S6 edge you may be worried about the curved screen on the Galaxy S8, but there's reason to look at this with fresh eyes as Samsung has nicely tweaked the design since 2015.

More: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ preview

After two years of increasingly heavy apps and a few software updates the internal specs on the Galaxy S6 don't seem quite as state-of-the-art as they did in 2015. The Galaxy S8's new processor (a Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895) will beat the GS6's chip, and the extra gigabyte of RAM helps with multitasking. Perhaps the biggest spec jump is the battery, which was a critical flaw of the GS6 — the Galaxy S8's 3,000mAh cell, partnered with a more efficient processor and display, will outlast the GS6's 2,550mAh.

The camera is another key differentiator in the hardware. The Galaxy S6's 16-megapixel camera with an f/1.9 lens was a huge step up from anything the company had done before, but just like the rest of the hardware, that formula has now been applied to more modern components with improved results. The Galaxy S8's 12MP sensor has a better auto focus mechanism, larger pixels, and sits behind a faster f/1.7 lens. If you like what the Galaxy S6's camera can do (and it definitely still takes great photos), you'll love what the GS8 can do with the same ideas applied to new hardware.

Software and experience

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

If your Galaxy S6 has been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat, you're actually getting a great feel for the software experience on the Galaxy S8. While Samsung may take a long time to get its big platform updates out, it does do a pretty good job of bringing all of the new software design and features (within reason) back to older models with an update.

Sure, the Galaxy S8 has a few tricks up its sleeve with the camera interface, new icons, and a redesigned launcher, but the core Nougat experience is very similar between an updated Galaxy S6 and a brand new Galaxy S8. While that means you won't have to upgrade just to see an updated interface, it also gives you the comfort to know you can get a new phone and not have to re-learn how to use its core features.

Software updates are important for security and features, and the GS6 isn't going to get many more.

The thing is, even though you may be happy with what Nougat has brought to your Galaxy S6, there's a good chance that that's the last big update the phone will ever receive. At two years old, the Galaxy S6 is hitting the age where Samsung is going to cut it loose from major platform updates and perhaps only support it for a while longer with security patches. That means that going forward, if you want to stay on Samsung's radar for updates, you're best making the jump to the newest phone.

Moving to the Galaxy S8, you'll also get to check out Samsung's latest features that won't be coming back to other phones via updates. The Bixby voice assistant is all new for the Galaxy S8, as is the new DeX desktop dock that lets you turn your GS8 into something approximating a light workstation with a keyboard, mouse and monitor. You may not be entirely sold on these features, but if you want to give them a try you'll be going to the latest phone to get them.

Bottom line

Samsung Galaxy S8 vs. Galaxy S6

After two years using a Galaxy S6, you know it's about time to upgrade — the only question is whether or not you want to stick with Samsung or move elsewhere. There are definite synergies in moving to the Galaxy S8, including familiarity with the software, consistency with the services if you've been using anything tied to a Samsung Account, and of course just brand loyalty. Chances are if you kept your Galaxy S6 for two years, you actually like what it offers.

It's time to update from the GS6 — the only question is whether you want to stick with Samsung.

If you move from the Galaxy S6 up to the Galaxy S8, you're going to get that same high-quality metal and glass build you're used to, now caressed into a more ergonomic curved shell with a much larger display in not much more body. You're also getting up to speed with Samsung's new default features, like an SD card slot and waterproofing, while also keeping wireless charging, fast charging, and a high-resolution AMOLED display. The camera has also notably improved since the Galaxy S6, with a real emphasis on being able to take great low-light photos.

Moving to a Galaxy S8 gives you the familiarity of staying with a Samsung phone, while also bringing you up into the future in terms of battery life, performance, hardware features, and of course future software updates. This is a great move to make, so long as you're happy with Samsung and want to stay on that path.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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2 weeks ago

Will you be using a Galaxy S8 screen protector?

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It's a new year with a new Samsung flagship — and another curved screen to try and protect.

As we patiently wait for the release of the Samsung Galaxy S8, we've already started thinking ahead to all the awesome accessories that will help keep your new phone protected and looking stylish.

One key accessory that some folks absolutely swear by is a tempered glass screen protector. If you've spent any time in the Galaxy S7 forums this past year, you'll know that finding a quality screen protector for the curved screens of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge has proved exceedingly difficult. Many suffered from the dreaded "halo effect", which is especially prevalent with flat screen protectors on curved screens, while others had issues with adhesiveness or touch sensitivity. Eventually, we saw proper curved screen protectors emerge that offered true edge-to-edge protection, addressing the issues that plagued the early releases.

Now, any time we write about screen protectors, we always get a few contrarians in the comments who say screen protectors are a waste of money and they've never had so much as a scratch on their screens. And hey, that might actually be the case for some people. But why is a tempered glass screen protector so important? Because life happens — just ask Biggmac419 who shared the following story in the forums:

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Biggmac419 02-13-2017 09:45 PM “

I'm a firm believe in tempered glass 2 years ago I was riding my motorcycle about to go for a jog and it flew out of my pocket and was ran over by what a bicyclist said 4 cars. He was a good guy and gave it back. This is how it was returned. The best 40$ I ever spent. And invisible shield replaced it for 6.95 shipping. AMAZING!!!

Reply


And the results:

It's worth noting that you can see this particular screen protector from ZAGG didn't need edge-to-edge protection to fully protect this Note 5 from sure destruction.

We won't be able to figure out for sure which screen protectors will work best until the Galaxy S8 has been officially launched and we've all had some time to test and try out different screen protectors, but here's hoping accessory manufacturers nail the design and functionality right out of the gate this time around.

If you're still not convinced on the value of a screen protector for your phone, we'd suggest picking up a case that offers a lip around the edge of your phone so that your screen is protected properly if you place it screen-down on a table.


These are the best Galaxy S8 cases available so far

Here are some curved glass screen protectors that seem promising, to say the least:

Incipio Curved Glass Screen Protector

Incipio's Plex Plus Shield Edge screen protectors for the Galaxy S8 aren't available yet, but they sure look promising. They claim to be custom-crafted tempered glass sheets that will fit your phone like a glove and allow for perfect touch sensitivity.

See at Incipio

Otterbox Alpha Glass Screen Protector

If you trust in Otterbox to keep your phones safe, you'll be happy to know it's offering a curved glass screen protector for the Galaxy S8. No word yet on whether its screen protector is also compatible with its cases, but it looks like a promising option if you're not scared off by the price. They're expected to start shipping out by April 28.

See at Otterbox

SuperShieldz 3D curved glass

Supershieldz are experts in protecting smartphone screens. If you're looking for tempered glass protection for your Galaxy S8 with curved edge-to-edge protection that won't break the bank, you can order yours in advance from Amazon.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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2 weeks ago

VR coasters are improving rapidly and discarding what doesn't work

Rapid iteration and constant improvements are leading to and incredible future for VR in theme parks.

Alongside the launch of Galaxtic Attack, the new virtual and augmented reality layer to Mind Eraser at Six Flags America, Samsung and Six Flags have rolled out some significant improvements to the concept of VR coasters. The Samsung Galaxy S6 that sat in the heavily modified Gear VR for Superman: Ride of Steel has been upgraded to a Galaxy S7, and that's far from the most interesting thing that has changed since last season.

Samsung and Six Flags have worked together to improve the fit of the headsets, dramatically increase the graphics in the headset, and make it much easier to bring users in and out of these experiences to help with potential ride delays. It's a lot to have fixed over a relatively small period of time, and from our chat with Six Flags' Sam Rhodes on what comes next it's clear this pace for improvement isn't going anywhere.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Galaxy S8 'Microsoft Edition:' Everything you need to know

33

What exactly is the "Microsoft Edition" of the Samsung Galaxy S8 (GS8)? How is it different than the regular version? And why would you want to buy an Android phone from Microsoft?

Last week, Microsoft quietly (and somewhat curiously) said that it will sell a version of Samsung's new flagship smartphone in its U.S. retail stores. The phone, The GS8 "Microsoft Edition," immediately grabbed online headlines, and in the process created some confusion.

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2 weeks ago

T-Mobile now offers free roadside assistance with its SyncUp connected car solution

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Flat tire? Harrowing highway repair? T-Mobile has you covered.

Last November, T-Mobile did what a lot of wireless carriers are doing: it got into the connected car game. But it did so cautiously, launching a small tool called SyncUp Drive in partnership with ZTE and Mojio that plugs into the OBD-II port of any car made after 1996.

The idea is to not only give its connected users a way to monitor their car's health, but to provide a 4G LTE hotspot to passengers, along with other useful information. Multiple cars in a family can talk to one another to provide updates on whereabouts without having to text or make an unsafe call, while drivers also get a readout of potentially dangerous behavior and speeding alerts.

Now, T-Mobile says that after demand was double its initial forecasts, it is launching free roadside assistance with Allstate Motor Club. Anyone who buys a SyncUp Drive and at least 2GB of data per month on a 2-year plan gets the roadside assistance included. T-Mobile says that the addition was the biggest request from existing customers. The SyncUp Drive product itself is also down to $48 from $150.

To receive free roadside assistance, existing customers just need to update the SyncUp Drive app in the Play Store.

Do you use SyncUp Drive? If so, how do you like it? Let us know in the comments!

See at T-Mobile

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2 weeks ago

Here's what is coming to the Gear VR this month!

Are you ready for more Gear VR apps?{.intro}

The biggest mobile VR library is getting a lot bigger this month! Oculus is planning a big surprise party for the Gear VR near the end of the month, with a bunch of games launching with support for the new Controller! Adding a special Controller you can see from inside the headset is going to be a lot of fun, but it's far from the only thing coming to the Gear VR this month.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Sony's impressive Xperia XZs is available Apr. 5, but you should wait for the Premium

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Sony has a new phone out tomorrow, but you may want to wait for the real upgrade.

Sony makes a lot of phones, and many of them aren't particularly noteworthy in the U.S. Thanks to a long-term contract with Verizon that isn't set to expire until next year, Sony can't sell phones with fingerprint sensors in the country, making them more of a difficult proposition than they otherwise would be.

This week, the Xperia XZs is going on sale at Amazon and other online retailers for $700, a steep price to pay for any phone, never mind one that doesn't include the latest and greatest technology. The XZs was one of four phones that company announced during MWC 2017, and while it is an impressive handset in every way, it doesn't stand up to the competition.

Sony Xperia XZs specs

The phone is, for all intents and purposes, a repackaging of the Xperia XZ released in September, swapping out the 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage for 4GB and 64GB, respectively. It also has a Snapdragon 820 processor, which is unchanged from the XZ, along with a 2,900mAh battery. The major difference, aside from the bump in memory, is the new 19MP Motion Eye camera, which reportedly brings a new camera sensor that's better in low light and faster to autofocus.

For $700, the above sounds like a pretty lousy deal, especially with no fingerprint sensor. Sure, Sony's got some great software in there — the phone ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat — but if you're really into the whole "I need a Sony" thing, you can get your fix in a couple of months with the gorgeous, far-more-impressive Xperia XZ Premium, which bumps up the spec sheet considerably, sporting a 4K HDR-ready display and a Snapdragon 835 platform.

If you're not into waiting, though, you can get the Xperia XZs starting April 5 at Amazon.

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

How to view your location history in Google Maps

1

See where you've traveled with Google Maps.

Google Maps has a nifty Timeline feature that lets you browse the places you've visited along with the routes traveled. The feature was overhauled in 2015, and Google has added the ability to collate images you've taken at a particular location, allowing you to get a better overview of your travels.

It certainly comes in handy if you're looking to see all the images you took at a particular location, or if you're trying to get a highlight of your weekly or monthly activity.

How to view your location history in Google Maps

  1. Launch Google Maps.
  2. Tap the more button (three horizontal lines) on the top left corner.
  3. Tap your timeline.
  4. Tap the calendar icon to view a particular day.

  5. Swipe left or right to switch months.
  6. Tap a date to view your location history. You'll see the route traveled, along with the duration and length of the overall journey.

How to disable location tracking

Timeline is certainly a useful feature if you're interested in looking at your previous travel data, but it also comes off as creepy (Google tracks everything). Fortunately, you can easily turn off location tracking in Maps.

  1. Tap the more button (three horizontal lines) on the top left corner.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Personal content.

  4. Tap the field that says Location History is on under Location Settings.
  5. Tap the switch next to each device for which you'd like to disable location tracking.

There's also the option to pause tracking for your account as a whole. To do so, toggle Location History to off, and select OK in the dialog box that follows.

That's all there is to it! I like the feature a lot as it gives me a detailed look at where I've been over the course of the month (and how much time I wasted being stuck in traffic). What are your thoughts on the location history feature? Like it? Feel like it's an intrusion of your privacy? Sound off in the comments below.

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