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2 days ago

Verizon starts redirecting outgoing calls for Note 7 holdouts

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Verizon is taking additional measures to retrieve the Note 7.

Earlier this month, Samsung announced that it recovered over 96% of Note 7 devices sold in the U.S. With the carriers issuing updates to effectively brick the phone, most customers that have bought the device have returned it to Samsung. However, Verizon has revealed to Fortune that "thousands" of its customers are still using the device, posing a legitimate safety risk:

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2 days ago

Google could bring its budget Android One phones to the U.S. later this year

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Low-cost phones with software updates directly from Google.

Google launched the Android One platform in India in 2014, tying up with third-party vendors to offer $100 phones with clean Android and the promise of quick updates. According to The Information, Google is looking to bring Android One phones to the U.S. "before the middle of the year." The phones will be priced between $200 to $300, and will receive software updates and security patches directly from Google for "two years from sale date."

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2 days ago

Here's how to tell your fortune with autocorrect

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The future is now where we don't have to visit a seedy fortune teller to get the scoop. Maybe.

One reason I love reading Leigh Alexander: She always manages to find a connection between the ethereal parts of our culture and technology at large.

In one of her latest pieces on Motherboard, Alexander draws relations between our smartphone keyboard's predictive text feature and how that could be used to tell the future. The article, titled Who Needs a Tarot Reading When We Have Predictive Keyboards? (so true) is a larger look at what our phones know about us and how that keyboard data could be used to essentially predict the future. That's kind of how Tarot works, too!

Your phone's knowledge base about language is generally shaped in part by collective use and ongoing updates to a shared database, and partially by what it learns from you in particular. No two users will necessarily have the same experience of autocorrect or predictive text, which means the system is simultaneously personal and universal. That's also one of the traits that makes tarot such a valuable tool to contemplate one's goals and choices: the system is universal, where each card generally has a particular meaning, but that meaning depends entirely on the context in which the card appears, the interpretation of the person who reads it, and the personal prompt from the querent.

Fascinating, right? Alexander continues on to make the case for how auto-predict has ostensibly become "a new form of traditional folk divination," as a source puts it in the article.

Before you dive through the piece, I thought it would be fun to share our own fortunes from GBoard, or whatever other keyboard app you're currently using.

This year, I will be gone for a while and I will be in touch with me.

Alexander suggests typing out a phrase like "This year, I will," or "My 2017 will be" and then tapping on the words that show up as it make sense for the sentence. Mine were a bit too personal to share, and almost a bit too revealing, but I'm not surprised considering what the keyboard app has witnessed me type. (I bare my heart through text messages to my closest friends — Gboard stores all that!) Here's one I didn't mind sharing, though:

What's your fortune? Share it in the comments!

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2 days ago

The Moto 360 (2015) has officially exited the Google Store

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Tossing out the old to make room for the new.

With Google's smartwatches making headway in the rumor mill, it's likely this won't surprise you: the second-gen Moto 360 is no longer available in the Google Store.

The Moto 360 was one of the first worthy Android Wear smartwatches for the mainstream by virtue of its pleasantly circular watch face. It was then followed up with a second-generation device that was equally as attractive and came in color variations that suited almost everyone. Since there are still plenty of users out there donning the device, they will see Android Wear 2.0 quite soon. But if you were thinking of buying one, you can hit another retailer like Amazon. Or wait for Google to release its own line of circular smartwatches.

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2 days ago

Google, LG to unveil new Android Wear 2.0 watches at Feb 9 event

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The first watches to run on Android Wear 2.0: the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

Google and LG have teamed up to produce two new smartwatches, the first to run on the new Android Wear 2.0 platform, according to a new report from VentureBeat. We previously reported that Google was planning to launch Android Wear 2.0 on February 9, and now we know that event will also include the official unveiling of the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

Photo credit: Android Police

The Watch Sport is 14.2-millimeters thick with a slightly larger watch face and will be available in titanium and dark blue. The Watch Style is slightly slimmer at 10.8-millimeters thick and, as the name suggests, is available in more stylish color options — titanium, silver and rose gold — with the option of swapping out straps for accessorizing.

Both watches feature circular touchscreen watch faces with a side button for navigation purposes, dust and water resistance — IP68 for the Watch Sport and IP67 for the Watch Style — Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and 4GB of internal storage.

But it's the internal specs where the added bulk of the Watch Sport becomes clear. The Watch Sport has 768MB of RAM (to the Watch Style's 512MB) and also includes cellular connectivity with both 3G and LTE data along with GPS and NFC radios — easily making it the superior option.

And of course, since both will be running Android Wear 2.0, we'll get our first look at Google Assistant integration on a wearable, as well as see Google Play Store access on the wrist and standalone smartwatch apps.

Android Wear 2.0 will be the new standard for future Android timepieces, and will be pushed out as an upgrade to some legacy models.

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3 days ago

NVIDIA Shield Android TV specs

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NVIDIA Shield Android TV

This box packs a ton inside, and manages to offer top-of-the-line specs for just $199.

The Android TV marketplace isn't the most diverse, but there's a clear winner in the high-end here with the NVIDIA Shield Android TV. Its success and superiority start on the inside with its top-notch specs. They blow the competition in the Android TV world out of the water, and it's no surprise that they're capable of handling all of your media tasks but also higher-end gaming. Here's everything that's inside the Shield Android TV, in both its standard and Pro version.

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3 days ago

Thinking about a Pixel 2: How to improve the best Android phone

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What do we want from the Google Pixel 2?

We're well into the new year (happy 2017!) and we've just done an audit of our favorite Android phones, and yes, the Google Pixel still sits atop the list.

Despite much haranguing from a small minority, and a few notable issues people continue to encounter along the way, Google has quite a smash hit on its hands — critically, if not financially.

But that doesn't mean the Pixel is perfect. Far from it. There are many things we thought immediately needed to be changed, and have since lengthened that list, from waterproofing to wider carrier availability. Here are the things we think the Google Pixel 2 — or whatever it's going to be called — needs when it inevitably debuts later this year.

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3 days ago

OnePlus confirms Nougat update uses proper kernel, will remove confusing debug warning

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After some confusion, OnePlus says there's nothing to worry about in its kernel.

A few tidbits of information swirled yesterday about the Nougat update for the OnePlus 3 and 3T in regards to what kernel it was using. Looking at logs, some users had found messages indicating that the OxygenOS 4.0.1 build was using a debug kernel in what would otherwise be completely release-level software. With a debug kernel, unknowing consumers would be vulnerable to various attacks, as there would theoretically be no checks against modifying the system folder of the phone.

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3 days ago

Google Contributor is well and truly dead; successor yet to be revealed

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Google Contributor website

Contributor accounts have been shut down, and refunds have been issued. It's done.

To quote our previous story about Google Contributor, "this whole thing sounds really weird." After announcing back in December that its pay-to-remove-ads product would be replaced with something new come January, Google swiftly and abruptly shut down the service in a less-than-graceful manor. Now, it's completely dead.

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3 days ago

Best Cases For OnePlus 3 & OnePlus 3T

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Best cases for OnePlus 3

What are the best cases for the OnePlus 3 and 3T?

The OnePlus 3 and the identical, newer OnePlus 3T have an all-aluminum body that looks great, but could use a little protection (and maybe some jazzing up). The ideal case will fit perfectly, keep your phone safe from your daily grind, and look fantastic. We know exactly what you're looking for.

OnePlus 3 Protective Case

OnePlus 3 Rosewood case

The protective cases by OnePlus are more than just interchangeable backings for your OnePlus 3 or 3T; they really do offer excellent protection that wraps around the corners of the phone and keeps your hardware safe. You can only buy them directly from OnePlus.

The cases are light, thin, and don't add any unnecessary bulk or weight to your OnePlus 3 or 3T. They're available in Sandstone (the iconic look from previous generations of the OnePlus), Karbon, Black Apricot, Bamboo, and Rosewood (pictured here). All the cases are made from the actual material they're named for, as well as PC or kevlar for additional strength and durability.

For a case that's got a unique look and feel and is crafted exclusively for the OnePlus 3 series, the Protective Case in all its variations is the one for you.

See at OnePlus


OtterBox case

OtterBox in Cardinal Red OnePlus 3

OtterBox, the go-to name in phone protection and style, is available for the OnePlus 3 or 3T exclusively via the OnePlus website. The hard outer layer and shock-absorbing inner layer of silicone keep your phone just like new, no matter what your day throws your way.

The newer versions of OtterBox cases are slimmer and lighter, so you won't have significant size and weight added to your OnePlus 3 device. The textured back surface and sides make for secure handling, and the cases come in Saharan White, Dark Matter, and Cardinal Red (pictured here).

For trusted protection of your OnePlus 3 from a brand that's made its name synonymous with durability and damage protection, check out the OtterBox case.

See at OnePlus


OnePlus 3 Flip Covers

Sand flip cover OnePlus 3

Offering style and protection in one great-looking case, the OnePlus 3 flip covers are made of soft, supple PU leather that's made to last. There's even room for a credit card or even a few folded bills on the inside of the front cover.

The flip cover will automatically put your display to sleep when you close it, which is great for battery conservation. The slim design won't take up loads of space, and the front cover protects your screen. The color selection is simple, elegant, and a perfect complement to your OnePlus 3; choose from black, gray, or the sand tone pictured here.

If you want the look of a wallet case without unnecessary bulk or compartments, pick up one of the Flip Covers made just for your OnePlus 3 or 3T.

See at OnePlus


Tudia Ultra Slim LITE case

Tudia clear case

Cases from Tudia are building a strong following, and there's good reason for that: its cases for the OnePlus 3 series have a snug, secure fit and the soft, flexible shell offers just that little extra bit of grip you need to have on your phone.

The TPU case fits well over a screen protector, like the one included with your OnePlus 3 device, and it also features raised edges to keep the screen away from hard surfaces like desks or tables. You'll have access to every button and port, thanks to the precise covers and cutouts, so charge away or plug in your headphones without fidgeting with an ill-fitting cover.

Take your pick from cases in black, vibrant teal, or the clear case (pictured here) to show off the original aluminum hardware of the OnePlus 3 or 3T.

See at Amazon

Orzly Grip-Pro case

Orzly Grip-Pro case

An alternative to the OtterBox style and price comes from Orzly in the form of the Grip-Pro case for the OnePlus 3 or 3T, which offers a two-year warranty and is becoming a popular choice for many people.

The shock-proof internal skin and hard, rubberized exterior protect against bumps and drops, and it maintains a slim profile with cutouts for speakers, buttons, as well as a raised edge around the camera to keep the lens safe.

Grab one (or two, 'cause you can never have too many colors to choose from) in black, blue, pink, silver, or the red version pictured here.

See at Amazon

Love Ying Soft Skin case

Love Ying Soft Skin clear case

For one of the slimmest case profiles you can get, check out the Soft Skin from Love Ying. Minimal bulk, minimal extra weight, and a great fit for your OnePlus 3 series device.

The flexible TPU offers excellent shock and bump protection in spite of its minimalist design. A little bit of extra material around the screen edges keeps it up and away from surfaces, which is helpful if you're someone who's in the habit of placing your OnePlus 3 face-down.

Get your Love Ying Soft Skin case in mint, pink, purple, or the clear version pictured here.

See at Amazon

Tudia Slim-Fit Heavy Duty

As the name suggests, Tudia's Slim-Fit Heavy Duty is slightly more robust than the Ultra-Thin Lite, bundling an inner TPU wrapper with a stylish polycarbonate shell in one of four colors. Tudia has built up a very good reputation for a reason: its cases are well-made and exact, with precise cutouts for ports while adhering to the proper design of the phone.

See at Amazon

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Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen has built up a well-regarded reputation for its cases of decent quality and low prices, and the Rugged Armor for the OnePlus 3 is the perfect combination of that worldview.

The Ruggor Armor is a single-layer TPU case with a raised lip to prevent screen impact damage and reinforced corners, along with a spiderweb interior pattern to ensure the phone is snug. It allows for access to all the buttons and ports, and doesn't add much thickness, but the best part about the Rugged Armor is how great it looks on the OnePlus 3 and 3T.

See at Amazon

A case for everyone

Are you using one of our favorite cases for your OnePlus 3 or 3T? Tell us how you like it in the comments below!

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3 days ago

Google+ update adds new comment moderation, brings back events

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Hey, Google+ is still a thing!

The pace of updates to Google+ has dwindled over the last year, but in a reminder that the platform is very much still alive Google has rolled out three solid updates. The changes, which will come via app and web updates in the next couple of weeks, center around handling comments, seeing more in your feed and bringing back events to the community.

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3 days ago

How to hide VR porn on your Gear VR

Hiding VR porn your Gear VR is far easier than you think, and we've got the details on how to do it!

By now, you're probably well acquainted with Gear VR and the fact that you watch and enjoy porn using it. The problem crops up if you don't want somebody to accidentally stumble across your downloaded porn videos while scrolling through your phone. This is especially true if you like to hand over your phone to your children. Thankfully, it's super easy to make sure that this never happens by doing a few small things to hide your porn.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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3 days ago

Kano Computer is the best gift I have ever given!

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This is the educational software overhaul I've been looking for.

It's not hard to get most kids excited about programming. You say "Hey, how cool would it be if you could make your own games?" and watch their faces light up. The problem is often what comes next.

There's a handful of fun and educational apps online that will help a child establish the core thought patterns needed to actually write a program, but most of them really need that guiding hand from someone who has written code before to push those patterns into something useful. If your idea of writing code is that one time you customized a theme for your MySpace page in 2005, chances are you don't have the tools needed to help a child become a programmer. That's not on you, in fact it represents a real problem with accessible education in this space.

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3 days ago

How to save your Vine videos before they disappear

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Vine is going away. Here's how to download all of your loops in video format!

Twitter is doing some housecleaning, and is [getting rid of its Vine social network in the process](http://www.androidcentral.com/twitter-shutting-down-vine-video-sharing-app. On January 17, the app will no longer allow users to upload new Vines, and is purging its extensive database of 6-second masterpieces.

If you're looking to hold onto your Vines, here's how to download them, or get them emailed to you, in video format.

  1. Open Vine for Android.
  2. Log in using your Twitter account or another email.
  3. Tap the Profile icon on the right of the tab.
  4. Tap Save Videos.

  5. Decide whether you want to receive an email with the download link or to save the videos to your phone.
  6. If saving to your phone, decide which videos you want to save.
  7. Tap Save.

That's it! Now your Vines will be saved to a special folder under the same name in your gallery. Each file will have a long string of numbers with no file extension, but they can be renamed to .mov or .mp4 — they're simply H.264 files at 480x480 with AAC audio.

Have fun!

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3 days ago

Google Home vs Amazon Echo: Which has the better speaker for music?

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Which sounds better, Google Home or Amazon Echo?

For those of us without dedicated stereo systems in the house, smaller connected speakers are great. Some of them are portable enough to follow you around the house with its own battery, while others connect to the wall and focus on delivering the best possible audio you can get from a Bluetooth or Chromecast Audio connection (which isn't super great, but that's a story for another time).

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