The day's latest Android news, now with more green battery icons and one fewer music streaming service.
Another day, another evolution of the Galaxy Note 7 recall situation. But this is good news this time around — U.S. Note 7s are getting the new software update that will give recalled Note 7 owners additional warnings about using their phone, and change the battery icon green on new safe Note 7s. Good news all around.
On the other side of things, if you chose to return your Note 7 for a full refund, you can now drop that hefty sum of money on an unlocked Moto Z or Xperia XZ — you'll pay $699 for either one. Or maybe you'll save a bit of money and buy a Chromebook instead — two more models have access to the Play Store in the Chrome OS stable channel
Let's all take a minute to pour one out, as Samsung also finally killed off Milk Music — which let's be honest was probably the best thing to happen at this point. As you collect yourself from that sad news, read on for the rest of the happenings from the day!
Samsung's green battery icon update in hitting North American Note 7s
Samsung and its carrier partners have begun rolling out an important update for new and recalled Note 7s, adding a green battery icon and other explicit indicators for devices with certified new batteries. Those stubbornly holding onto recalled, potentially dangerous Note 7s will have to deal with warning messages every time they start up or shut down. More
U.S. unlocked Moto Z now available for $699
If you managed to hold out nearly four months after the announcement of the Moto Z, you can now buy a U.S. unlocked model. The price is steep, but then again you don't have to deal with Verizon. More
Sony's new Xperia XZ is also $699
On October 2 you'll be able to buy the U.S. unlocked model of the Xperia XZ, Sony's latest flagship. It has a flagship price, and mostly a flagship experience ... but for some reason doesn't have a fingerprint sensor in the U.S. Puzzling. More
LeEco is making a big push into the U.S. with former Huawei executive hire
LeEco, a Chinese company famous for its eclectic product lineup, including phones (obviously), TVs, movie production, music streaming, and sports teams, has just hired Richard Ren to run its Smart Devices business in North America and Europe. LeEco made headlines a few weeks ago when it purchased Vizio for $2 billion.
Samsung Milk Music goes sour
September 22 marks the final song for Samsung's poorly-received Milk Music streaming product. Powered by Slacker, it was announced a month ago that the service would be shutting down. All existing subscribers are being offered a free two-week trial of Slacker Plus, which normally costs $3.99 and is similar to Pandora. Slacker also offers a $9.99 a la carte tier that competes with Spotify.
Android apps available through the stable Chrome OS channel … on two Chromebooks
It's not the wide roll-out we were hoping for, but the Play Store is now officially available on two Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook R11 and Asus Chromebook Flip, which means (slightly) more people will be able to use the feature. More
Canada's Interac is a bonafide debit success
It's not a household name outside of Canada, but Interac is one of the most successful and widely-used debit networks in the world. The company has announced that last year it processed 105 million transactions, valued at $44 billion, and has since added support for mobile payments through its Token Service Provider (TSP) platform.