This was the best Friday since last Friday. Here's what you need to know for October 28, 2016.
I was on a plane today and saw someone in the waiting area with a Galaxy Note 7. I facetiously tweeted out that I could either ignore the problem and hope for the best or tackle him and remove his phone forcefully. In fact, I did neither: I let the flight attendant know that I thought I saw someone using a Note 7, but by then I had lost him in the crowd, and they said they'd be making an announcement.
Airport waiting areas are really interesting for a number of reasons. It's a concentrated area full of diversity, people anxious to return home or begin their adventures. It's also full of technology. These days, I keep a look out for the phones people are using, and the equipment they use to stay connected. Tablets, even iPads, appear to be less common than they were a couple of years ago as smartphone sizes have grown. I see a lot of Galaxy S6s and 7s, a lot of iPhones and, in the U.S., quite a few Droids. I still even see some BlackBerrys in business class.
These pocket computers have taken over our lives. Have you welcomed your new phone overlord, lately?
The LG V20 is now available in the U.S. and Canada
It's not exactly the perfect phone, but if you're looking for basically the only phone with expandable storage and a removable battery, the LG V20 is the only game in town. And today it is available from T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, U.S. Cellular, Wind Mobile and Videotron in the U.S. and Canada, respectively. More
Stranger Things stickers arrive for Allo Messenger
Are you a fan of Netflix's hit show Stranger Things? If so, you can find a new set of Hawkins-style stickers for Allo Messenger through the app. Coffee and contemplation in time for Halloween.
Google Play and Android apps coming to Lenovo's Thinkpad 13 Chromebook
The message behind this video and its catchy tune is that Android app support will soon be available for Chromebooks for Business, and that Lenovo plans to enable them for their 13-inch Touchscreen model Thinkpad 13 Chromebook. There's been no word on other Chromebook for Business partners (like HP or Dell) as of yet. Here's hoping!
Sunshine team returns to unlock the Verizon Pixel's bootloader
It's that time of year again when every would-be Android tweaker starts hitting up XDA Developers for news of that elusive mechanism to unlock the latest hottest phone's bootloader. Right now, though, that phone is the Pixel, and most of the models are easily opened, thanks to Google's liberal stance on "fastboot oem unlock."
The Verizon and EE models of the Pixel, though, are not unlockable out of the box, which has led to the Sunshine team coming back from the dead to crack the Pixel's bootloader. You may remember Sunshine from the work they did on various HTC and Motorola models over the years, and given that the Pixel is HTC-built, this makes a lot of sense.
Action Launcher October 2016 update is available
The October 2016 update for Action Launcher is now available. Developer Chris Lacy notes a bunch of new features and enhancements that are available in this release. You'll notice better support of Quickcuts, an option to pick a global icon style and much more. If you are an Action Launcher user, you'll want to check this update out.
Pocket Casts update brings app shortcuts and shared lists
Shifty Jelly, purveyors of fine podcasting apps, has returned with a new version of Pocket Casts for Android, adding multi window and app shortcut support for those few running Nougat, and a fantastic shared list feature for everyone else. More
Samsung's Galaxy S8 will focus on camera and AI improvements
Samsung has a lot riding on the release of its next flagship, the Galaxy S8, which is likely coming in February. In an interview with WSJ, Samsung's Lee Kyeong-tae, vice president for mobile communications, said that the phone will feature a "slick design and an improved camera, as well as an enhanced artificial-intelligence service." More
Barnes and Noble is considering the Google Play Store for the Nook
An FCC listing suggests that Barnes and Noble is looking to adopt the Play Store for its Nook tablet. Once a direct competitor to Google's Nexus tablets, the forthcoming 7-inch Nook might have the Play Store already installed, according to the sample user manual included in the filing.
Blue Coral Galaxy S7 edge 4G+ is coming to Taiwan and Singapore
If you were lusting for a Blue Coral version of the Note 7 just before the phone was recalled, (and then recalled again, and then discontinued, and then…) you have a chance to live your dream… if you live in Singapore or Taiwan. It's coming on November 5 for $1098 SPD ($789 USD). Via
The Google Pixel has been rooted
Anything can happen if you will it. Chainfire, a revered developer in the Android community and the brains behind SuperSU, has announced that he's managed to successfully root the Google Pixel.
Victory is mine! Full systemless root achieved. Boot image mods only, /system fully intact, dm-verity switchable. #pixel— Chainfire XDA (@ChainfireXDA) October 27, 2016
It appears that full SuperSU support for the Pixel and Pixel XL is in our future.
Make your Vines into GIFs with Giphy's new tool
That's it for this week! See you on Monday, folks. Be safe out there.