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3 months ago

You can now install Samsung's browser on Nexus + Pixel devices

69

Samsung is making its browser available on Google hardware.

In a bid to deliver faster updates, Samsung decoupled its browser from TouchWiz and started offering it on the Play Store since 2015. The browser was limited to Galaxy phones, but a beta version of Samsung Internet is now being listed on the Play Store with support for the Google Pixel and Nexus devices.

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3 months ago

Google Translate picks up machine learning support for even more languages

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Google Translate gets much better at converting phrases from Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese into other languages.

Google announced back in November that it was adding neural machine learning to its translation service, allowing the service to translate entire sentences at a time. The move resulted in a drastic improvement when using Google Translate with English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Turkish, and today the company is adding support for Hindi, Russian and Vietnamese.

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3 months ago

Android Pay is now live in Belgium

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Android Pay is slowly becoming available in more markets around the world.

Google has rolled out Android Pay in Belgium, making it the tenth country in the world to receive the digital payments service. Belgian users will be able to pay at over 85,000 retail locations with Android Pay, including Carrefour, McDonald's, Media Markt, H&M, and more. The service also allows customers to checkout within apps, and is supported by Fancy, Uber, Deliveroo, TransferWise, Hotel Tonight, Vueling, and more.

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3 months ago

Pixel and Nexus factory images with March 2017 security patch now available

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You can now get up to the latest software without waiting for an over-the-air update.

In keeping with its regular cadence of releasing full software builds for its latest devices, Google has updated its factory image page to include Android 7.1.1 builds with the March 2017 security patch for its latest phones and tablets.

The latest images are available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. You may also recall that this will be the final full platform update for the Nexus 6, with only security patches coming to the phone going forward until its support is ended.

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3 months ago

Lightroom Mobile adds RAW HDR capture for Pixels, Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

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There's something wonderful about being able to use professional-level processing on your phone.

Lightroom Mobile is taking another awesome step to get people using its built-in camera app rather than simply processing photos taken in the phone's default app, adding RAW HDR capture for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.

In typical HDR fashion, Lightroom captures three photos at once and merges them together to create an image with a higher range of light and colors. The difference here is when capturing in RAW, each of those three photos itself has more image data, giving Lightroom more to process in the end — and giving you more room to tweak it after the fact.

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3 months ago

Here's your last chance to grab a lifetime license to pCloud for just $59!

Many people store tons of information in the cloud. Easy access from just about anywhere is key for us these days, but it can get costly, and people have different services for different files. Wouldn't it be nice to bring them all to one place, and not have it break the bank?

Pay less for a lifetime subscription! Learn More

Meet pCloud premium cloud storage an easy way to sync up to 500GB of information in the cloud for easy access. That's right, no hunting down the files locally or being unable to access that important document when you aren't home.

With it you'll get:

  • Get 500GB of cloud storage & 500GB of download link traffic without taking up any space on your computer
  • Download & upload links fast & invite users to shared folders for easy collaboration
  • Enjoy high-level security w/ a 256-bit TLS/SSL connection
  • Boot up auto upload from your iOS or Android camera to get photos on the cloud fast
  • Sync your data across multiple devices automatically & w/ any folder
  • Access content of unlimited size w/ built-in video & player & HD video streaming
  • Backup your files from Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, & OneDrive
  • Stream audio & video on all your devices w/ pCloud's built-in media players
  • Access on multiple devices, from PC & Mac, tablet, smartphone, & more

Put your files in the cloud with this lifetime subscription Learn More

Priced at just $59 for a lifetime subscription, this seems almost too good to be true. You won't need to pay more fees yearly, or worry about remembering to renew, it's good after the first purchase. With the ability to sync across multiple devices, stream audio and video and more, you'll want to check this out if you keep anything in the cloud.

Don't get forced to pay yearly fees or nearly $500 for this lifetime license by missing this deal, and instead be sure to act quick and get it for yourself now!

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3 months ago

Android Nougat gives you even more ways to save cellular data

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Android N

Data Saver mode is a new feature that lets you easily lock down certain apps' data consumption when you're away from Wi-Fi.

Update, March 2017: Updated with the latest information and changes.

While Android has long been able to restrict certain apps' access to background data on a cellular connection, Android Nougat adds a new feature that makes it easier to cut down on your data consumption when necessary.

Data Saver is a new mode that can be toggled in quick settings under the notification shade, or found under Settings > Data usage. When enabled, apps that aren't whitelisted are prevented from using cellular data in the background, and according to Google's developer documentation apps will also be signalled to consume less data when they're actively being used.

Pick and choose which apps get unrestricted data access in Data Saver mode.

When Data Saver is turned on, Android displays a "pause" icon in the status bar. You'll also see a message at the top of the Settings app in Android Nougat informing you that it's enabled.

The settings menu for Data Saver lets you control which apps get to use "unrestricted" data when this mode is enabled — by default, the only whitelisted app is Google Play Services, which makes sense given the importance of this low-level app.

Generous cellular data bundles are something many in the West take for granted, however, this new Android feature could be a big deal in some developing markets, where data quotas may be more restrictive. Those that regularly travel to foreign soils may also benefit from Data Saver feature, as background usage can quickly eat through precious roaming data allowances.

Android Nougat

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3 months ago

Master Arduino programming with this complete starter kit and eBook bundle

Many of us have dreamed about building a robotic servant, but jumping into that level of circuitry right off the bat isn't exactly feasible. It's best to start with simple circuits — things that control lights and buzzers — before moving onto more complex builds. What you need is an Arduino kit that starts at the bottom and moves up to more advanced projects through hands-on experiments.

Become a robotics pro with this Arduino bundle! Learn more

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on the 2017 Arduino starter kit and course bundle. Instead of the regular $474, you'll pay only $75 — that's 84% off the regular price! If you've always been interested in circuity and creating your own electronic and robotic builds, now is the time to take the plunge.

The ARDX Arduino starter kit comes with everything you need to start tinkering, including 13 circuits, each with a breadboard layout. Once you've mastered the basics and feel confident enough to proceed, you'll be able to crack open one of eight eBooks full of projects and blueprints. Get started on robotics, wearables, and much more.

Become an Arduino pro now! Learn more

Ready to get started with Arduino? This starter kit and eBook bundle is the best way to immerse yourself in the world of circuitry. And at only $75, there's no better time than the present. Don't wait too long; this offer won't last forever.

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3 months ago

Good things are coming to VR and mobile graphics from the Khronos Group

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Open XR, WebGL 2.0, and glTF 2.0 aren't just buzzwords — they're new specifications to help beef up graphics rendering for smartphones, virtual reality headsets, and browsers.

There were a few exciting announcements to come out this week from the Khronos Group, the consortium behind the Vulkan API that helped your Galaxy S7 and Pixel soar despite graphics-heavy gameplay. As part of GDC 2017, the group announced several initiatives that will hopefully aid in standardizing 3D image rendering across the board, and thus make games look better on your smartphone and virtual reality more accessible across varying platforms. There's plenty of bullet points to go through, so let's get started.

"JPEG for 3D"

A boombox rendered with glTF.

Have you heard of the specification that will help three-dimensional graphics render more seamlessly? It's called glTF and it's a spec that was introduced last year. It's the sort of thing that will make gameplay easier for mobile devices. And it's the kind of thing that could help make the Chrome browser a bonafide operating system of its own. Imagine, playing games through your browser.

The Khronos Group announced that it's now finalizing the second iteration of that specification. glTF 2.0 will bring with it Physically Based Rendering (PBR), which will make it easier to conjure up assets. Essentially, you're programming the shade of the texture to create the model. You can read more about it in the official blogpost. At present, BabylonJS, three.js, Cesium, xeogl and instant3Dhub engines, and Sketchfab are all in the process of migrating over to glTF 2.0.

OpenXR

Who likes open standards? Khronos is introducing a new one called OpenXR, essentially an open standard for virtual reality and augmented reality apps. This will make it so that companies Steam and Oculus can develop titles and hardware that works interchangeably with the HTC Vive's hardware, or even the Daydream VR. It will also help lower the barrier to entry for the smaller app and device developers looking to enter the VR and AR space, in addition to easing away from any further fragmenting of the industry.

WebGL 2.0

Click here to see this live in your browser.

For the last bit of pertinent news, Khronos has revealed that WebGL 2.0 has been finalized and is shopping out to browsers everywhere. This isn't mobile-facing news, but if you're a Chrome or Firefox user, you'll have access to OpenGL ES 3.0, which will essentially make it easier for either browser to render 3D graphics. It's especially curious how this sort of functionality could work with Chrome OS in the future, considering it'll be baked into the Chrome browser.

If you'd like to read up on the Khronos Group's announcements this week, you can read the blog in its entirety here.

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3 months ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on your phone

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OK Google, let's see what you can do.

Google Assistant is starting to roll out to all Android phones running Marshmallow and Nougat. There's a lot of pretty cool things it can do to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

Update March 2017: Google Assistant has started rolling out to all Android phones running on Marshmallow and Nougat.

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3 months ago

You can now sign up for beta versions of Gboard and Google Play Services

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Get the latest Gboard and Google Play Services features before everyone else.

Google is now offering beta versions of Gboard and Google Play Services, allowing you to test out upcoming features before they're available to all users. Doing so is relatively straightforward — you have to head to the signup page for Gboard and Google Play Services and hit the "Become a tester" button.

Doing so switches you to the beta channel, and you should see the corresponding change on the Play Store:

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3 months ago

Spotify is testing a lossless Hi-Fi option as it hits 50 million paid subscribers

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Spotify is about to launch the 'ultimate music experience.'

Spotify announced back in September that it crossed 40 million paying customers, and it took the world's largest streaming service just five and a half months to pick up an additional 10 million subscribers. In a tweet, Spotify revealed that it crossed 50 million paid subscribers. 2016 was a great year for streaming services in general, and Spotify is now looking to continue its momentum by testing a lossless tier with CD quality audio.

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3 months ago

YouTube TV FAQ: All your questions answered!

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YouTube TV is coming, and you probably have questions.

It's always exciting to see a company like Google offer something new, but YouTube TV is not the first time this company has tried to do something innovative with streaming video. Here's what you need to know about Google's latest efforts to shake up television as we know it.

What is YouTube TV?

Think of YouTube TV as an internet-based cable television subscription. For a monthly fee, you can stream live television directly to your phone without needing an account through your local cable company. You can use this as a way to watch live television when you aren't at home, or you can completely replace your home cable service with YouTube TV.

Aren't there other apps that do this right already?

As a matter of fact, there are three rather popular services offering similar services. Sony's PlayStation Vue lets you watch and record live TV across many different screens, DirecTV Now is a satellite-free alternative to cable companies, and SlingTV exists as an alternative to watching your favorite shows with a cable box.

YouTube TV is looking to compete with these services by offering a price point in the middle of these services, with expanded features a promise of more consistent streaming video quality.

What channels do I get with YouTube TV?

Currently, YouTube TV is offering:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • NBCSN
  • USA
  • FX
  • FreeForm
  • Oxygen
  • Bravo
  • MSNBC
  • Fox News
  • CNBC
  • FXX
  • FXM
  • SyFy
  • Fox Business
  • Local Now
  • Disney
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • The CW
  • E!
  • Universo
  • Universal
  • Sprout
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Chiller
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • ESPN News
  • ESPN U
  • SEC ESPN
  • CSN
  • Fox Sports
  • BTN
  • NBC Golf
  • Telemundo
  • FS1
  • FS2

YouTube TV also includes YouTube Originals, which are shows and movies previously available only to YouTube Red subscribers.

There will also be the ability to add networks to your subscription for an additional fee. Currently, Fox Soccer Plus and Showtime are on the list of add-on networks to be available at launch.

Can I record shows with YouTube TV?

You can! YouTube TV includes a "Cloud DVR" service that allows you to record multiple shows simultaneously so you can watch them later. This feature includes a commercial skipping feature if you're watching a recorded show, available with a simple tap in the YouTube TV app.

This Cloud DVR service comes with unlimited storage, and videos you have recorded can only live on your account for nine months before they need to be erased.

How many people can use my account at the same time?

Each YouTube TV account allows you to connect up to six accounts in a family plan for no additional fee. Currently no other live TV streaming service supports six simultaneous users as part of the base price, and each of these connected accounts will get separate recommendations and offers based on their viewing habits. This means you kids can watch all the Pokemon they want and it won't interfere with reminders about Game of Thrones or Football.

So far, Google has not mentioned any need to prove those six people live in the same house or share any other Google services.

What do I need to use YouTube TV?

According to Google, YouTube TV will work on just about everything with a screen. Android and iOS apps will be available, as well as a website for watching and controlling your account.

If you have a TV with a Chromecast dongle or Google Cast service embedded, you will be able so stream anything from YouTube to your television easily.

How much does YouTube TV cost?

Right now Google is offering a flat rate of $35 per month for YouTube TV. There's currently no mention of the individual costs for the add-on networks.

This monthly plan does not include any contracts or commitments, so you can quickly cancel the service if you decide you are unhappy with it.

What about people outside of the US?

As is often the case with Google products and streaming TV services, YouTube TV is currently US only and will likely remain US only for quite a while.

In order to launch in other countries, Google needs to secure streaming rights in each country. That kind of thing takes a lot of time, so the current focus is delivering in the US for now.

Can I get YouTube TV now?

Not yet! YouTube TV is going to be available "soon" and when it is actually available it won't be available across the whole US all at once. Google's plan is to make the service available first in the largest US markets and expand rapidly after the launch. In case you are curious, the 10 largest media markets in the US are:

  • 1 New York, NY
  • 2 Los Angeles, CA
  • 3 Chicago, IL
  • 4 Philadelphia, PA
  • 5 Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • 6 San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA
  • 7 Washington DC/Maryland
  • 8 Boston MA/NH
  • 9 Atlanta, GA
  • 10 Houston, TX

To sign up so you can be notified of when this service is available in your area, head here and let Google know you're eager to try YouTube TV.

We'll be sure to update this FAQ as more information becomes available!

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3 months ago

Serious work was put into the LG G6's wallpaper design

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Serious work was put into the LG G6's wallpaper design

There's more to it than you'd think.

Everyone loves to personalize their phone a bit, and that usually starts with a wallpaper. But before you download one of your own, you're going to start with a pre-installed wallpaper, and LG put some serious work into the default set on the LG G6.

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3 months ago

YouTube TV is a slick full cable television replacement

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For $35 a month, you can watch a variety of broadcast and cable networks on the same app you use for adorable animal videos.

Google has announced YouTube TV, and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a $35-a-month TV service that packages a bundle of channels from the broadcast networks and various cable networks. The networks includes Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as their affiliated cable networks, including Fox News, ESPN, and Bravo.

The base package will include roughly three dozen channels. Operators like Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon) and Time Warner (HBO) will likely not be broadcast since these are either still considered exclusives for pay TV or have successful standalone services already. Showtime is noted on the YouTube TV site as being available for an extra free, but that price hasn't been revealed yet.

Unlike, say, conventional cable, which is typically watched on a television set, YouTube TV will be pivoted as "mobile first." The company expects its subscribers will spend a majority of the time consuming content on smartphones, though they'll also be able to watch it through all the other mediums — including the traditional TV in the living room.

YouTube also heavily pushed the notion of better service to Recode recently. We'll let Peter Kafka explain it:

What YouTube is really pushing, though, is the notion that while it may have the same programming as its competitors, it will have a better service. YouTube product chief Neal Mohan says the company has been working on YouTube TV for two years; he promises that you'll see the results when you actually get to play with it.

Since you can't do that yet, here are some of the features Mohan has talked up:

A cloud DVR with unlimited storage space, included in the base package. (That's a feature Hulu has been talking about selling as an add-on to base package.)

A recommendation system powered by Google's AI.

"Reliability and scalability" — a not-veiled reminder that other digital TV services have had technical struggles when they first launched.

Kafka makes some other noteworthy points about YouTube TV, which will launch later this spring, including the fact that the service is likely to directly compete with Hulu, the other anti-cable streaming service.

Anyone eager to jump on this new way to catch television from your phone can sign up to be notified as soon as the service is available here. Are you signing up for YouTube TV? Drop us a line in the comments!

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