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2 days ago

Top Allo features you need to know

192

'Allo Allo.

Allo is Google's latest attempt at a messaging app that competes with the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, both of which boast a userbase of over a billion users. The main differentiator for Allo is Google Assistant, a chatbot that provides answers to your queries by drawing on the search giant's machine learning smarts. AI is at the core of Google's strategy, with Assistant available on hundreds of millions of phones as well as the Google Home and Android TV.

These are the top Allo features you need to know. If you're just installing the app, be sure to check out our setup guide.

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2 days ago

ASUS teaser hints at dual rear cameras for the ZenFone 4

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ASUS is the latest manufacturer to jump on the dual camera bandwagon.

ASUS is set to unveil the ZenFone 4 sometime next month, and if a recent teaser on ASUS Taiwan's Facebook page is any indication, the phone will sport dual cameras at the back.

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2 days ago

Google is making it easier to discover local events in India

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Google wants to help you plan your weekend.

Google is rolling out an update to its mobile search platform in India through which you can easily find popular events in your city. The search giant issued a similar update in the U.S. back in May, and in India the company is pulling information from the likes of BookMyShow, AllEvents, EventsHigh, 10times, and more.

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2 days ago

India's Jio is effectively giving away its 4G-enabled feature phone

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The JioPhone will come with unlimited data for just ₹153 a month.

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani has unveiled the JioPhone, a feature phone with 4G and VoLTE connectivity that "reinvents the conventional feature phone." The phone will be up for purchase from September, and you'll need to pay a deposit of ₹1,500 ($25) to get your hands on a unit. Where things get interesting is that the deposit is fully refundable after three years, making it essentially free.

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2 days ago

LG Q8 is a smaller, waterproof V20

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Major features of last year's handset packaged into 5.2-inch chassis for new Q series device.

LG is building out its new mid-tier Q series of phones with a more pocketable take on last year's flagship V20. The LG Q8 includes basically all the main features of the V20, only now in with a 5.2-inch Quad HD screen, and with the added bonus of IP67 water resistance, and a fixed internal battery. (Sorry, removable battery fans.)

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2 days ago

Samsung Pay launches on Gear S3 in the UK

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Samsung Pay

Payment service comes to all Gear S3 owners whose watch is paired to an Android smartphone.

Samsung has announced that its mobile payments service has finally arrived on Gear S3 series smartwatches in the UK, following the rollout of Samsung Pay on phones in the country a couple of months ago. Just like in the U.S., British Gear S3 owners can use an app similar to the phone version of Samsung Pay, on a Gear S3 paired with any Android device running version 4.4 or up of the OS.

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3 days ago

YouTube now redirects searches for extremist videos to curated anti-terrorism playlists

41

The Redirect Method is a new active stance against online extremism.

Starting today, YouTube will return results for curated anti-terrorist playlists when someone searches for hateful content. The details, from Tubefilter:

The new feature, dubbed The Redirect Method, is part of a four-prong strategy announced by Google last month to quash extremist ideologies across its platforms. The Redirect Method was developed by Jigsaw -- an Alphabet subsidiary whose mission is to counter extremism, censorship, and cyber attacks -- alongside another tech company called Moonshot CVE (which stands for "Countering Violent Extremism").

Jigsaw and Moonshot CVE developed the tech after studying, over several years, how terrorist factions like ISIS leverage technology to spread their messaging and recruit new followers. In coming weeks, YouTube says it intends to incorporate The Redirect Method into a wider set of search queries in languages beyond English, use machine learning to dynamically update search terms, work with partner NGOs to develop new anti-extremist content, and roll out the Method to Europe.

This new initiative comes, for the most part, as a result of advertiser outrage because their products were regularly being advertised on videos deemed hateful. While we applaud the effort to halt terrorism and appreciate the technology that drives these tools, we also know censorship of any kind can be a very slippery slope.

We expect the people behind the scenes at The Redirect Method know this as well, and will act accordingly.

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3 days ago

Samsung confirms Galaxy Note 8 launch for August 23

69

A year later, the Note line is hotter than ever.

Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 8 on August 23 at various Unpacked events around the world, though the main one will be in New York City starting at 11 a.m. ET.

The company sent out press invites with a silhouetted phone slightly boxier than the Galaxy S8, replete with an S Pen overlaid on top, In other words, nothing surprising.

The date lines up with previous rumors, and gives Samsung a few weeks to get the phone onto store shelves prior to the unveiling of Apple's new iPhone model. Samsung is also expected to spend some time reassuring the media, and potential customers, that the new Note model is free of battery defects, and that its eight-point battery test is the best in the industry.

This year's Note is expected to have a 6.3-inch Infinity Display, a Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM, along with dual 12MP rear cameras, a 3300mAh battery, an updated S Pen, running Android 7.1 out of the box.

More soon!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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3 days ago

ASUS getting back into phones in the UK starting with Zenfone AR

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After a few years away, ASUS has announced it will begin selling smartphones in the UK again.

It begins with the Google Tango powered Zenfone AR which will be up for pre-order from ASUS directly beginning on July 21.

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3 days ago

How to fix OnePlus 5 battery life problems

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How to fix OnePlus 5 battery life problems

No matter how long your battery lasts, there will always be someone who needs more.

The OnePlus 5 has above-average battery life thanks to its lean software, efficient processor, and 3300mAh battery. But not everyone uses their phone the same way or has the same demands from the limited power supply — some of us need more longevity than others. This difference in configuration means that some may have a combination of factors leading to lower battery life than expected.

If you're in need of longer battery life from your OnePlus 5, we have a handful of great tips to help you out. Read on.

Look for unnecessarily power-hungry apps

Misbehaving apps are one of the most common causes of bad battery life, and they can often be the easiest ones to diagnose as well. Head into your Settings and then Battery to see your usage over the last charge cycle — it's best to do this near the end of the day to get the most complete picture of things.

Apps should be conscious of your battery life, too.

You'll see many typical battery drainers here like Wi-Fi, cell standby, Android System, and the screen, but if you see an individual app cracking the top few places in usage there's a good chance it's doing something it isn't supposed to. Now if you just spent the last 3 hours streaming Google Play Music, it's understandable that it used a lot of battery, but if you haven't opened Facebook all day and it took up 8% of your battery, it's worth investigating.

The best thing you can do is reboot your phone or at least force close the app in question, followed by clearing its data to start over from scratch. If it continues to drain your battery, consider uninstalling it altogether.

Turn off Google Play auto updates

Google Play auto updates

Google Play has this pesky habit of automatically updating apps, and sometimes with app updates actually changing its settings back to auto-update apps. You can understand why, because most people don't want to think about app updates, but then again most we want to control just what happens on our phones too.

To save battery life, you can turn off automatic updating of apps through Google Play. Go into Google Play, open the sidebar menu and tap Settings then tap Auto-update apps to adjust the setting. Most people will be okay with letting app updates happen on Wi-Fi, but if you want to keep your battery life in check you should turn it off entirely.

Just remember to check periodically for updates or at least turn on notifications for pending updates so you don't forget.

Turn off radios you're not using

OnePlus 5 location settings

This is something simple you can to to save battery life, though the amount saved isn't necessarily going to be substantial. If you're not going to be using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth for a long period of time, it's worth simply turning them off.

If you're extra worried about battery life and want the full effect, you should also turn off the feature that lets the phone scan for Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth devices to improve location services. You can find the setting in Settings, Location and Scanning under the menu button. You can turn off one or both as you see fit — just remember that this may negatively impact an app's ability to accurately locate your device in the world.

Tweak your display settings

Smartphone screens are more efficient than ever, and the OnePlus 5's 1080p panel really doesn't use much juice, but there is still a direct correlation between screen brightness and battery usage. To save battery, consider dropping the screen brightness using the slider in the notification shade quick settings.

Extra battery life is great, but so is being able to see your screen.

Unless you can remember to constantly be on top of adjusting your brightness, the best balance of usability and battery will be simply using the "Adaptive brightness" setting. When you're outside or in a bright room it'll crank up so your view isn't impacted, but when it's darker it will save battery (and your eyes) by lowering it. Extra battery life is great, but so is being able to see your screen in every situation!

While you're in the display settings of your phone, consider turning down the "Sleep" time. This is the interval at which your screen will dim and turn off when it hasn't been touched. Simply moving from 1 or 2 minutes down to 30 seconds will have a positive influence on your battery life over the course of the day.

Use Battery saver mode

The built-in "Battery saver" mode does exactly what it says: saves you battery. It does so by reducing your brightness, throttling back performance, cutting back vibration, limiting location services and cuts way back on apps accessing data in the background. Adding it all up, it can seriously improve longevity without dramatically impacting your experience.

Battery saver walks a nice line of improving battery life while keeping your phone usable.

You can turn on Battery saver manually from the notification shade quick settings, or you can also set it to come on automatically — most people will choose the latter. In Settings, Battery and Battery saver you can choose when it comes on. Simply choose between 15% and 5% battery to have it trigger; if it is on, it'll turn off automatically when you plug your phone in.

You won't want to use your phone in Battery saver mode all of the time, but if you're in a situation where you know your battery is draining quickly and you can't afford to have it die on you before the end of the day it's worth being proactive and tossing on Battery saver early.

Take advantage of Dash Charge

Yes, we know, this doesn't exactly make your battery itself last longer — but it does help your phone get through the heavier-than-usual days you sometimes encounter. If you get to the point where your battery is draining faster than expected, and you have a long day ahead of you, the best thing you can do is toss it on a proper Dash Charge charger for a little bit.

Because of the way Dash Charge works, you can get an incredible amount of charge back in just 15 or 30 minutes — probably enough to comfortably make it through the rest of you hectic day. There's a Dash Charge charger in the box with the OnePlus 5, and you can also get a compatible car charger from OnePlus.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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3 days ago

Augmented Empire brings an awesome story-drive cyberpunk strategy game to Gear VR

It's time to join the revolution.

It's a dark future with revolution brewing amongst the lower tiers of citizens in New Savannah, and the elite gathering for the ascension of Willa Thorne to the ultimate citizen, Level 10. When her estranged mother breaks in to warn her and is then gunned down, a series of events is set into motion that will take Willa far from the hallowed halls of the city and into the depths of the world she inhabits. With a robot aiding her, a plan to make a heist, and revolution on the horizon, there is a lot going on.

Augmented Empire delivers an awesome experience that will have you begging for one more mission as you try to unravel what is going on. It's available on Oculus now, and we've got all the details for you here!

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3 days ago

Moto Z2 Force leak reveals smaller battery, dual cameras and Snapdragon 835

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Motorola continues all of its trends — for better or worse.

We're less than a week away from the July 25 launch event where Motorola will unveil what we expect to be the Moto Z2 Force, the successor to not only the Moto Z Force Droid but at the same time also the standard Moto Z. As usual, Venturebeat has some leaked promotional materials that point to what we can expect from the launch.

The renders show off a phone that looks like a higher-end version of the Moto Z2 Play's design, with that back plate that will of course be compatible with Moto Mods. On front it will once again have a 2560x1440 ShatterShield display. The rear shows off dual 12MP cameras, which is the thing to do in 2017.

Exactly as we saw with the Moto Z2 Play, Motorola is expected to cut the battery capacity on the Moto Z2 Force — down to just 2730mAh from the previously large 3500mAh. That's more than a 20% haircut, and only some of that will be made up for by the more power-efficient Snapdragon 835 processor. In exchange for that drop in battery size, Motorola is obviously going with a thinner chassis here, which will make it easier to add a Moto Mod without making the combined package as large.

A 20% haircut in battery capacity is tough to swallow.

The drop in battery size makes a little more sense when you consider that the Moto Z2 Force seems to be taking over for both the Moto Z Force Droid and Moto Z, having to fit a more mainstream size and weight expectation. And for as small as the 2730mAh capacity is (and yes, it's quite small), it's larger than last year's Moto Z, which had just 2600mAh. But if this is the capacity, it'll be a tough hurdle to overcome for some buyers who just can't trust a flagship with a sub-3000mAh battery.

One potentially frustrating part about this leak is that it points to a continuation of Motorola's tactic of using a variety of different memory and storage combinations in different areas. (A tactic used by just about every other manufacturer, it should be said.) VB's report says that the U.S. Moto Z2 Force will have "just" 4GB of RAM, while international versions will have 6GB — it's not uncommon, but still frustrating for what is expected to be a top-tier high-price phone.

We'll get the full breakdown of the Moto Z2 Force on July 25, when its event kicks off at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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3 days ago

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for LG G6

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Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for LG G6

The taller the phone, the longer the screen — protect it!

Your LG G6's screen is extra long, so there's more to get scratched and scuffed. A tempered glass screen protector is the perfect way to keep the most important part of your phone safe and blemish-free. Here are the best you can buy.

Yootech

Yootech

Yootech's two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors is a great value for around $8. Yootech guarantees bubble-free installation and promises 99.9% clarity, meaning you shouldn't notice the protector on your screen at all. It also won't mess with touch sensitivity, which is awesome because you don't want to have to reach your thumb all the way up your phone twice.

See at Amazon


Omoton

Omoton

Omoton's tempered glass screen protectors are always highly rated on Amazon, and that's because they're easy to install and reliable. And for $7 for a two-pack, you really can't go wrong. These protectors are scratch-resistant and feature a hydrophobic and oleophobic coating to repel water and fingerprints.

See at Amazon


Spigen

Spigen

Spigen, maker of fine phone cases, makes a great tempered glass screen protector for your LG G6. This is a two-pack of case-friendly tempered glass screen protectors for $8 that leave a little room around the edges so that you can, presumably, pop a Spigen case on your phone without worrying about it peeling up at the edges (other cases will still work, of course)q.

Spigen's protectors get a lifetime replacement warrant, so if anything goes wrong, let them know and they'll send you a new one.

See at Amazon


Supershieldz

Supershieldz

If you're looking for the best value, then the Supershieldz three-pack is where it's at — only $8. These protectors also come with a hydrophobic/oleophobic coating, so water will bead and roll off and you shouldn't have to constantly be wiping your screen with your shirt to get the fingerprints off.

See at Amazon


Got a favorite?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

Updated July 2017: These are still your best options for keeping your LG G6's screen scratch-free.

LG G6

Verizon Sprint T-Mobile AT&T B&H

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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3 days ago

Google Keep: Ultimate guide

71
Google Keep

Create lists, transcribe recordings, doodle, collaborate on to-do lists, and much more with Google Keep.

Google Keep isn't your average note-taking client. While the app sports a minimal interface and is easy to pick up and use, it offers a set of powerful tools that make it an effective task management utility. From creating collaborative to-do lists to transcribing voice notes and saving bookmarks, the app does it all.

The best part about Keep is that all changes are synced automatically, giving you quick access to your notes across all your devices, and on the web. Here's what you need to know to get started with Google Keep.

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3 days ago

Google Play Protect now widely available, keeping your phone safe from bad apps

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There's a new interface to the app security on your phone.

Google's new (and now properly branded) security system, Google Play Protect, is now widely available and should at this point be active on any phone with the latest version of Google Play Services. After a slow rollout with varied reports that Play Protect was available, as we look at our own devices here every one of them has it.

Google announced Play Protect back at Google I/O as a revamped and more consumer-friendly version of the old "verify apps" system, but with an identical goal: to protect you from harmful apps installed on your phone. Functionally, things aren't much different today than they were in the old verify apps world, meaning Google is constantly tracking apps to make sure they're all on the up and up, no matter what phone you have. But the aim of Play Protect is to let the user know what's going on with the scanning in a way that wasn't really available before.

You can find Play Protect by going into your Google settings, then Security and Google Play Protect. The interface is simple, and lets you know how many apps were recently scanned, when the scan occurred and how everything looks. A big green check mark will greet you if everything looks good. Eventually, this confirmation will be surfaced in the Play Store as well.

If your phone doesn't yet have Play Protect, don't think that your phone is left insecure — but once it does, it's worth poking around in the (admittedly simple) settings to see what it's all about. But the most important thing you can do is just keep that "scan device for security threats" toggle turned on. Google can't catch every malicious app, but it has historically done a pretty great job and now users have a better feeling for what's happening with app security on their devices.

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