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4 days ago

MIUI 8 now rolling out for Redmi Note and Mi 4i, coming soon for other devices

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It's time for a software update.

After months of beta testing, MIUI 8 is now available for download on select Xiaomi phones. The stable ROM is being rolled out via an OTA update to the Redmi Note (3G and 4G editions) and Mi 4i starting today, with other devices slated to receive the update in the coming days and weeks.

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5 days ago

First major Nougat update coming soon, new Developer Preview landing this fall

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Nougat statue

Android is moving 'into a new regular maintenance schedule over the coming quarters.'

Now that Android 7.0 Nougat has been released we're starting to hear the first details on what's next for Google's OS. In a post on the Android Developers blog, Engineering VP Dave Burke lays out what's next for Nougat.

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5 days ago

Win a new Note 7 and metal kickstands from Spigen and Android Central!

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We recently took a look at Spigen's new U100 Universal Kickstand. We put the kickstand through its paces and overall we were really pleased with its aesthetics, as well as its functionality. Make sure you check out the full review! So we've now teamed up with Spigen this week to give 100 of you a free Universal Kickstand for your phone, and what's even cooler is one other winner will also be taking home a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note 7! Keep reading for all the details and to get yourself entered!

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5 days ago

LG V20: Google gives us our first look at Nougat-powered phone

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Google 'introduces' new LG phone on Nougat promo page.

As Google officially unveiled Android 7.0 Nougat, there's a small surprise waiting on the shiny new Nougat promo page — an early look at the upcoming LG V20.

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5 days ago

Android 7.0 Nougat: Everything you need to know

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Android Nougat

The latest version of Android is here, and it's coming to a Nexus near you.

Android 7.0 Nougat is Google's way of refining what we already have, and adding some essential features to an operating system they were already happy with.

Since Android 5.0 we've seen how Google was shifting their design language on the phones they sell themselves and the apps and services that come on your phone. Android itself has followed this trend, and with Marshmallow we saw a flat but bold design that tied everything together.

Android Nougat doesn't make major changes to the way your phone looks or the way it "feels." But what Google has done under the hood brings some new features — and much needed polish — to our favorite smartphone operating system.

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5 days ago

Android 7.0 Nougat available now for Nexus devices

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Android Nougat

The latest version of Android has been released!

After a five-month developer preview program, the next version of Android is finally upon us! Google has announced that Android 7.0 Nougat is complete, and Nexus devices will begin receiving the update starting now.

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5 days ago

Best screen protectors for Galaxy Note 7

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Best screen protectors for Galaxy Note 7

What's the best screen protector for Note 7?

The Galaxy Note 7's screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 5, one of the most scratch-resistant subtrates out there. But even the strongest glass can scratch, which is why it may be a good idea to invest in a screen protector.

Screen protectors and curved screens still aren't really friends, and the "halo effect" runs rampant. But, if you don't want to see your screen marked up any time soon, you should cover it up and put up with the halo.

Here are the best screen protectors for your Note 7.

IQ Shield LiQuidSkin

IQ Shield LiQuidSkin

IQ Shield's LiQuidSkin screen protector is one that employs the wet-install method, wherein you spray the heck out of the screen protector with the provided solution and it becomes as floppy as cooked ramen. This is perfect for a phone with a curved screen like the Note 7.

The wet screen protector will conform to the contours of the screen and even has a little stretch, so you can slap it on, make sure there are no bubbles, and ensure it's covering absolutely everywhere it needs to. That being said, it won't go all the way to the very edge of the screen, since it'll just end up peeling up, thus creating the halo effect. It's not the end of the world, just something to get used to.

The way IQ Shield protectors are manufactured is what makes them some of the best money can buy. Instead of being a bunch of layers of film slapped together, these protectors are a single layer of flexible, tough film that's as good as other products with several layers.

This means you never lose touch sensitivity and it'll stave of discoloration, since there aren't as many layers absorbing light.

The application of the IQ Shield LiQuidSkin might be a bit involved, but it's the best way to make sure that your Note 7's screen remain pristine for years to come.

See at Amazon

Skinomi TechSkin

Skinomi Tech Skin

Skinomi's TechSkin is another film screen protector that uses the wet-install method so that you apply a flexible layer of protection to your Note 7's screen. It'll resist scratches and won't yellow over time like most TPU does.

The wet-install method helps to ensure that you won't any air bubbles under the protector, which can harbor dirt that may, in time, scratch up your screen.

If you're worried about the fact that TechSkin is a TPU film and not glass, fear not. Skinomi offers a lifetime replacement warranty, meaning that if it starts to peel, or you notice pits or scratches, just let Skinomi know and it'll send you a replacement for free.

If you're looking for a well-made, reliable screen protector with an unbeatable warranty, then check out Skinomi TechSkin.

See at Amazon

IQ Shield Matte

IQ Shield Matte

Some screen protectors can be far too shiny and produce an obtrusive glare that prevents you from seeing your phone outside.

IQ Shield Matte helps with your glaring problem with its anti-glare coating that lets your big beautiful screen shine through in broad daylight.

IQ Shield's protectors comprise only one layer of tough, flexible film so that you never lose touch sensitivity or even really notice that there's a screen protector on your phone at all.

If you want to protect your Note 7's screen but can't stand the glare that some protectors tend to produce, then IQ Shield Matte is definitely the way to go. You get a lifetime replacement warranty, and that wet-install method can't be beat for phones with curved screen.

See at Amazon

Samsung Note 7 Screen Protector

Samsung Screen Protector

Samsung might not have made screen protectors for previous Note phones, but on its website there is indeed an official screen protector.

The description doesn't say much more than marketing speak, so we still don't know if it's going to be glass or film, but put money on it being a film protector, since (as mentioned) tempered glass and curved screens don't get along.

Likely, if it's made by Samsung, for a Samsung device, it probably fits nicely and precisely. I'll give this an update once the screen protector is available for purchase, so check back!

See at Samsung


What's on your Note 7?

Are you using a screen protector on your Note 7? Are you going to bother? Oh, and heed this advice:

You're gonna have a bad time

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

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5 days ago

Best Galaxy Note 7 tips and tricks you need right now

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How can I make my Galaxy Note 7 even better, right out of the box?

The Galaxy Note 7 is Samsung's best phone ever, but it's not perfect. Some of the out-the-box settings are a little strange, and others are downright frustrating. Here's how you can make it the best possible experience — immediately!

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5 days ago

The Big Android Dev Interview: Maarten Edgar

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From the Big Android BBQ Europe, Appstudio.nl senior developer Maarten Edgar on transitioning from Windows Mobile to Android, why you need to read the documentation, and what might lie ahead for Google's OS.

The Big Android BBQ Europe, held in Amsterdam, Netherlands recently, brings together some of Europe's top Android developers, enthusiasts and other community members in a celebration of Android, code and cooked meat. A spin-off from the U.S.-based Big Android BBQ, the European event is now in its second year.

In addition to the actual BBQ part, it's also host to two days of talks from Android developers. Among the devs presenting this year was Appstudio.nl senior Android developer Maarten Edgar. We caught up with Maarten to talk about breaking into Android development, current challenges for devs, and what the future might hold.

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5 days ago

Xiaomi isn't ready for the U.S. market — yet

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Flagging sales in China could lead to Xiaomi accelerating its U.S. launch window, but there's a lot of work to be done.

Xiaomi has been rumored for a long time to bring its value-for-money phones to the U.S. market, and it looks like the brand is paving the way for a debut in the country. In an interview with Bloomberg, Xiaomi's global VP Hugo Barra said that the company would enter the U.S. market "in the near future."

The company has been making strides toward an eventual launch in the U.S. market: Xiaomi already sells fitness trackers and power banks in the country from its e-commerce store, and the brand signed patent deals with Microsoft and Qualcomm in recent months.

Without going into the specifics, Barra said that a product the vendor "talked about previously" will make its way to the U.S. in October. While it could mean the launch of the Mi 5 or the budget Redmi Note 3 in the country, it is more likely we'll see the arrival of the Mi Band 2, the successor to the popular $15 Mi Band fitness tracker.

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5 days ago

How to fix Galaxy Note 7 battery life problems

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How to fix Galaxy Note 7 battery life problems

Use these tips to make the most of the battery inside your Note 7.

Even though the Galaxy Note 7's battery is 500 mAh bigger than last year, and with regular use the full 3500 mAh cell should make it through a day, for some people that's just not enough. Whether it's a daily or irregular occurrence, there are likely to be times when you need to get just a little more out of your Note 7's battery, and thankfully there are several ways to do that, with varying amounts of trade off in terms of experience.

Whether you just want to get a bit more from your Note 7's battery or make sure you can always go a full day no matter what, we have the tips and tricks you need to extend its battery life. Read on.

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5 days ago

Samsung reportedly planning to sell refurbished phones as part of new trade-in program

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Make once, sell twice.

Note: Samsung already has an area of its U.S. site that sells certified pre-owned Galaxy devices, but this news pertains to an upcoming trade-in program.

Samsung is reportedly launching a program where the company sells refurbished high-end phones in the Galaxy S and Note lineups. Citing an individual with "direct knowledge of the matter," Reuters is saying that the program will go into effect as early as next year. The program will see Samsung refurbishing handsets returned as part of its yearly upgrade program in the U.S. and South Korea, and selling them in emerging markets.

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5 days ago

Samsung could be readying a Batman-themed Galaxy Note 7 Injustice edition

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After launching the Batman-themed Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition, it looks like Samsung will bring out a limited edition variant of the Galaxy Note 7 with the same color scheme. Leaked images on Weibo showcase a Note 7 with golden accents around the home button and the camera housing and a Batman logo at the back. The images also reveal a custom theme that's based on Injustice: Gods Among Us.

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5 days ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: So Noted

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The Note 7 arrives, Honor 8 makes a splash, and a treat for Windows Phone users.

Behold, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is now here — and Android Central has everything you need to know about the S Pen-toting flagship Android phone. Also arriving, a flagship from Huawei that's solidly-specced but about half the price: the dual-camera-toting Honor 8.

Just two weeks after landing for Windows PC users, Windows 10 Mobile has received its anniversary update. The update brings a bunch of behind-the-scenes improvements for Windows phone users as well as few new and long-awaited features. But there's no rest for the weary: the first beta builds for the next major iteration of Windows — Redstone 2 are already in the hands of testers.

While Android fans are busy with new devices and Window users have swanky new software, Apple land is busy with new devices to come, including plenty of rumors about the Apple Watch 2 and iPhone 7.

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6 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: Meeting smart people

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Big Android BBQ NL

Apps don't just happen. A trip to the Big Android BBQ Europe gave me a fresh perspective on how challenging it is to make great Android applications.

One of the best things about this job is meeting the incredibly smart people who make the devices we use great. I spent a large chunk of this past week in Amsterdam at the Big Android BBQ Europe getting to know some of the top European Android developers — the people responsible for making the great apps we all use every day — and learning how they do it.

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