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1 hour ago

How to track what's being said to Alexa with the history feature

0

Alexa history automatically saves your conversations; here's how to review them.

Alexa, the Amazon Echo's virtual assistant, learns about you as you interact with her, and part of the reason she's able to do this is that she records all of your conversations. The history is where all of these conversations are stored and where you can delete conversations you don't want Alexa to learn from. It's located right in your settings and we have the details for you here!

How to view Alexa's history

When viewing your Alexa history, you can see a text transcript of all of your questions, and you can even listen to audio recordings.

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap on the menu button in the upper left corner of your screen that looks like three horizontal lines.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Open the Alexa app, Tap the overflow button, Tap Settings

  4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom and tap History.
  5. Tap the entry you want to view or listen to.
  6. Tap the play button to listen to the recording.

    Scroll down and tap history, Tap the entry you want to view or listen to, tap the play button to listen to the recording.

How to delete a conversation from history

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap on the menu button in the upper left corner of your screen that looks like three horizontal lines.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Open the Alexa app, Tap the overflow button, Tap Settings

  4. Scroll all the way down to the bottom, and tap History.
  5. Tap the conversation you want to delete.
  6. Tap Delete voice recordings.

    Scroll down and tap history, tap the conversation you want to delete, tap delete voice recordings

Are you using the history feature?

Have you deleted conversations with Alexa? Have questions? Let us know about it in the comments below!

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

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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6 hours ago

Android O brings huge improvements for VR

1

For Google Daydream, software is as important as the hardware.

Mobile VR has come a long way since Google Cardboard. And it's one area where a lot of different companies have ideas for how it can get even better. We're nowhere near a "peak VR" situation and expect advances with every generation.

Daydream-ready phones need to perform without overheating or killing the battery in 10 minutes.

A big part of why things can get better is the hardware. Getting a phone Daydream certified isn't a mystery. You need to have a display with an HD resolution that can process two separate streams at 60 frames per second with latency under 25 milliseconds. And you need to be able to do it while it's running on battery power and keep it cool while tucked away in a headset. It's not easy to do, but newer hardware helps a lot. An engineer from Motorola who went through the process for the Moto Z has some specific and interesting things to say about it here.

It is neither required nor sufficient to have [a Snapdragon] 821, nor any other specific chipset. But the requirements to meet from an overall system behavior perspective are not trivial to meet and require some specific platform hooks and code to be added, which involve display, graphics pipeline, security, sensors, scheduler, thermal engine, and significant testing & validation effort - for that you will need to send devices to Google and they will verify whether your device compiles. Then they will whitelist your device, and that will enable Daydream-specific mode of graphics pipeline operation for your production devices, which is required for stutter-free performance of 3rd party apps.

Google is serious about making the Daydream experience the best it can be, and there's a lot involved. And much of it is in the software. Specifically, Android and how it can use graphics APIs from Vulkan or Open GL. Android O will be better at drawing all the data on your screen and turning it into a VR experience because it's more efficient and takes better advantage of these 3D graphics APIs. That's a given — the Daydream team and the Android team certainly work closely to make sure the experience is the best it can be, while always working on making it even better in the future.

Besides Daydream-specific changes in Android, other improvements can also help make a better experience.

But other changes in Android O, like the way background processes are handled and better power management through the operating system itself, can have a major impact. VR is a heavy load for any phone and reducing the way the rest of the system uses resources leaves more CPU time for the various processes at work when you have a Daydream unit strapped to your head. We know a lot of work is being done to optimize Android O for VR even further because Google is working on a major platform update and launching stand-alone Daydream devices from HTC and LG in late 2017. We imagine people working on the project are pretty busy for the rest of the summer.

VR is important. Getting it right is just as important. We've seen huge strides from Samsung's Gear VR platform and Google Daydream, and can't wait to try Daydream 2.0 on a proper Android 8 device.

Android O

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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Google Daydream

Google

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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1 day ago

How to set up an iCloud email account on Android

39

There's no need to abandon your iCloud email address when you get a new Android device.

If you're moving to an Android device from an iPhone or iPad, there's every possibility you're already set up and using an iCloud email address. Android devices require you to have a Google account (Gmail), but you might want to keep using your iCloud account for email. And that's just fine.

The good news is it's perfectly possible to get your iCloud email address up and running on your Android device. It's pretty straight forward but does involve a little effort on your part. Here's how.

How to add your iCloud email address to your Android device

Besides the Gmail app on your Android phone or tablet, you should also have an app just called "Email." (There are also dozens of great alternatives on Google Play.) How it looks may vary from phone to phone, but the overall function should be the same since you need to set up your iCloud account using IMAP and SMTP.

However it looks, the key information remains the same. Here's how to add your iCloud email address to your Android device,

How to add an iCloud email address to Android

  1. Launch Settings by swiping down to reveal the notification shade and tapping the gear button.
  2. Tap Accounts. On some phones, it may be under something like "Cloud and accounts".
  3. Tap Add account.
  4. Tap Email if the option is there or tap Personal (IMAP) next to the Gmail symbol. If you choose the Gmail option, Gmail will automatically recognize your iCloud address and import the correct server settings.
  5. If you chose the Email option, you'll have to add the server settings manually:
    • Incoming mail server:
      • Server name: imap.mail.me.com
      • SSL required: Yes
      • Port: 993
      • Username: The name portion of your iCloud email address. So if it's johnsmith@icloud.com, just the "johnsmith" part.
      • Password: Your iCloud email address password. You can also choose to generate an app-specific password.
    • Outgoing mail server:
      • Server name: smtp.mail.me.com
      • SSL Required: Yes
      • Port: 587
      • SMTP Authentication Required: Yes
      • Username: Your full iCloud email address, including the @icloud.com part
      • Password: Use the password you used in the incoming mail server section, whether it was your original or the app-specific password you generated.
  6. Tap Next or Continue or whichever button finishes the process.

If there is an error message in the SSL required section of either the incoming or outgoing mail server sections, use TSL instead.

Hopefully, the details above should be enough to get you up and running. It's a little fiddly to get set up – especially if you've come from the iPhone which does it all for you – but it works, and it gets your existing email onto your new Android device.

Of course, there may be other apps out there that do this for you, or you might know of some tips and tricks to make things run a little smoother. If you've got anything that'll help, drop it into the comments below!

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below.

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1 day ago

How to use Alexa for sports updates

0

Alexa can make sure you always know the score of the big games!

If you're a sports fan, then it can be difficult at times to keep track of the score for all of your favorite teams. With Alexa, you can program in your favorite teams and get updates by simply asking her for sports updates. You can add multiple teams too, so you'll never miss a score again.

We've got all the details here!

Alexa can give you sports updates

With Alexa, you can stay up to date on your sports teams by adding them from within the app. While the list of teams isn't inclusive of every sport, you do have access to the major leagues for baseball, football, soccer and hockey. There are 13 different leagues you can add teams from, including the UEFA, NHL, WNBA and NCAA. The search function also means that if you're having trouble remembering a specific team, you can enter the city or state they hail from and the team name will pop up for you.

How to use Alexa for sports updates

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button that looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Tap settings.

  4. Tap sports update.
  5. Tap the search bar that says search for your teams.

  6. Using the keyboard type in your team name.
  7. Tap to select your team.

How to remove a team from your sports updates

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button that looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Tap settings.

  4. Tap sports update.
  5. Tap the X to the right of the team name you want to remove.

Questions?

Do you use Alexa to stay up to date with your favorite teams? Do you still have questions? Be sure to leave us a comment about it below!

Amazon Echo

Amazon

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1 day ago

OnePlus 5 vs. OnePlus 3: Should you upgrade?

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OnePlus 5 vs OP3

If you've been holding onto a OnePlus 3 for the past year, is now the time to upgrade?

After a barnstorming 2016, OnePlus is back with its most anticipated smartphone yet, the OnePlus 5. It's slimmer, with improvements to build quality and battery life, and a new dual camera system. But if you're rocking the year-old predecessor, the OnePlus 3 — or its upgraded cousin the 3T — is the new model worthy of a $479 splurge?

That all depends on your priorities, so let's examine why you might want to take the plunge and upgrade to a OnePlus 5 — and why you might be smarter to hold onto your cash and stuck with a 3 or 3T.

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1 day ago

How to add a user to your Alexa Household

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Share your Amazon content with your special someone with Alexa Household.

Household profiles are an option that you can use on Alexa to share certain Amazon content and purchases with another user. This means that you and your sweetie can share your Audiobooks, Music, Lists within Alexa, and plenty more. We've got all the details for you here!

What is an Alexa Household?

Alexa Households let you share content

By using Alexa Households, you can ensure that no matter which of you buys the new Stephen King audiobook, you'll both be able to listen. When you join in a Household with someone, you're essentially linking your accounts by using Alexa. This is so that purchasing content twice or having to log out and then log back in doesn't become an issue. Since many couples only purchase content on one account, this is a serious godsend for making sure you can always access the content that you shelled out dollars for!

Now it's worth mentioning that by adding someone to a Household with you, you are authorizing them to use the credit or debit card that is linked to your account. If you're worried about accidental misuse, you may want to set a verbal pin number that must be used when trying to make voice purchases.

How to add another member to your Household

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button that looks like 3 horizontal lines.
  3. Tap settings.

    Open the Alexa app, Tap the overflow button, Tap settings.

  4. Scroll down and tap Household Profile.
  5. Tap Start.

    Scroll down and tap Household Profile, Tap Start.

  6. Tap OK after passing your device to the person whose account you want to add to your Household.
  7. Enter the email address and password for the Amazon account you are adding to the Household and tap Verify Account at the bottom of the screen.
  8. Tap Join Household.

    Pass your device to the person you want to add and tap Ok, Enter the account information and tap Verify Account, Read the terms and conditions before scrolling down and tapping Join Household.

Have you added anyone?

Have you added a member to your Alexa Household? Have questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

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2 days ago

OnePlus 5: Do you really need 8GB of RAM in a phone?

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Nope. But it opens a lot of possibilities.

You can buy a OnePlus 5 that has 8GB of RAM on board. That's 4GB more than most other high-end Android phones (and Chromebooks and cheap Windows Laptops) have and about 6GB more than the absolute bare minimum you can get away with. We'll answer the question right here in the first paragraph: No, you do not need 8GB of RAM in a phone.

But it does mean some really cool stuff could happen.

Read our OnePlus 5 review

What your phone does with RAM

We all know that more RAM means more apps can be kept running at the same time (sort of at the same time, anyways) but that's just one thing your phone does with the RAM inside of it. In fact, a portion of that RAM gets used before Android even starts running.

Without getting too nerdy and injecting ideas like compcache into the mix, your phone uses RAM like this:

  • The kernel-space: Your Android phone runs on top of the Linux kernel. The kernel is stored in a special type of compressed file that's extracted directly into RAM during the device power-on sequence. This reserved memory holds the kernel, drivers and kernel modules that control the hardware and room to cache data in and out of the kernel.
  • A RAMdisk for virtual files: There are some folders and files in the system tree that aren't "real." They are pseudofiles written at boot and hold things like battery levels and CPU speed data. With Android, the whole /proc directory is one of these psuedofile systems. RAM is reserved so they have a place to live.
  • Network radios: Data about your IMEI and radio settings are stored in NVRAM (Non-Volatile memory that's not erased when you power off your phone), but get transferred to RAM along with the software needed to support the modem when you first turn on your phone. Space is reserved to keep this all in memory.
  • The GPU: The graphics adapter in your phone needs memory to operate. That's called VRAM, and our phones use integrated GPUs that have no stand-alone VRAM. System RAM is reserved for this.
  • Available RAM: This is what's left over, minus any extra reserved for file-system cache and minfree settings. This is what the apps you run can use.

Having 8GB of RAM means any or all of these different ways RAM is used can use a lot more of it if it needs to. Or if a person writing the operating system wants to try something new and different.

What can you do with extra RAM

I'll start by saying we're not yet sure what OnePlus is doing with the extra RAM or what plans it has for the future. We'll know more when the phones get in the right hands. At first glance, it appears that it's not doing anything different at all.

But there is one thing that OnePlus (or any custom ROM developers) can do that would be a great way to use an extra 2GB of RAM: store the entire system home launcher in it.

8GB of RAM means more could be set aside for the user interface or a game mode.

Think back to the HTC M7 if you've been around Android that long. It was the first phone that used Android and was super-responsive when you were zipping around the OS. It was because a good portion of the system RAM was "reserved" for HTC Sense and wouldn't be freed when another app asked for more memory. In the M7's case, that meant it couldn't hold as many apps open as other phones. Most companies making Android phones do something similar now and set things up so that parts of the launcher are never removed from RAM, and Android feels much better to use because of it. With 4GB of RAM, getting a balance that offers good performance without upsetting users who want to keep apps open in the background can be tough.

With 8GB of RAM, the whole user interface can not only be kept in RAM, but done with a real reserved block outside of the system memory parameters.

Writing a device driver that enables DMA (Direct Memory Access) for the user interface means RAM can be set aside for use by only the user interface. The operating system still controls the i/o, but no other application can overwrite any part of it so everything needed for "instant" scrolling and swiping is held in RAM where it's fast and ready at all times.

OnePlus may not have anything planned for the extra RAM, but I'm sure developers at XDA will.

This is a little different than the memmap kernel parameter that reserves space outside the operating system for the radios and VRAM, but it lets the OS manage the RAM so data can move in and out and a buffer can be written when you shut the phone down to prevent data loss. It's a more robust solution than using the standard Linux LMK (Low Memory Killer) system to keep important processes running. The end result is a user interface that's fluid and responsive all the time, without affecting the way other apps run or stay alive in the background.

And that's just one example I thought of without digging too deep into it all. Imagine a "game mode" that reserves more RAM for the GPU or can keep more of a 3D game in memory while you're playing it. Or even tweaked minfree settings so we can leave every app we love open in the background all of the time.

Don't forget the cool factor

The OnePlus 5 can have 8GB of RAM to do crazy stuff with the OS for better performance, but it likely has it simply because it can.

RAM isn't expensive. At least not component RAM used on a phone mainboard. Spending a few dollars more per unit (which can be a lot if you sell millions of units) to give the OnePlus 5 something the Galaxy S8 or iPhone doesn't have is a real selling point in parts of Asia and for a lot of enthusiasts. Plenty of people are obsessed about the specs of a phone because they understand how they could be used, or simply because more is always better. Double the RAM of other flagship phones makes the OnePlus 5 more futureproof.

I'm sure someone at OnePlus did the math and figured that through a combination of all these factors, it was beneficial to sell an 8GB RAM model.

We'll end this the same way we started: by saying no, you don't need 8GB of RAM in a phone. But it doesn't hurt anything, and the creative freedom it gives to Android developers, both at OnePlus and third-party devs, could very mean some cool things will be coming.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus

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2 days ago

All about Android O's Notification Channels

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Android 8 comes with the power to take control over your notification tray so you can sort out just what you want to see.

One of the bigger changes and features coming with Android O is the new Notification Channels system. It can also be a little confusing to talk about, since it's not something we're used to seeing on our phones. But when you cut through all the fancy technical words and developer language, they're not hard to understand at all!

What are Notification Channels

Coming with Android O, Notification Channels are something a developer uses to break down the notifications his or her app can give to us by type. The channels are decided by the people doing the developing, and the idea is to give us a way to separate out the notifications that are important to us from the ones that aren't, then decide how they will be shown. Some apps will have a lot of different channels. Some will have just a few and some will have only one.

How a notification is prioritized is no longer left for the app developer to decide.

In versions of Android before O, a developer used what was called a priority level to decide how to show you a notification. If they felt the notification was important, they could set it to peek (show a visual indication on your screen) or make a sound, or both. If they felt it wasn't it would just be placed in the tray for you to see the next time you went through them.

Now they break things out into channels and we get to decide how each type of notification is displayed. All notifications of the same type (for example, a reply on your Twitter feed) are placed into the same channel without any other types of notification grouped with them.

As a bonus, apps that allow us to use more than one account can have channels for each combined — your personal email and work email can follow the same rules and show you things the same way no matter which account received the notification.

Notification Channels developer documentation from Google

How we can set things up

The whole reason for the change is so that we have better control and can see the things we want to see. That means we need to have ways to filter all the different channels and the notifications that come with them. Through the settings, we can see every channel an app has for notifications and change how they are delivered with the following settings:

  • Importance: Urgent will make a sound and show on the screen. High makes a sound. Medium makes no sound. Low makes no sound and gives no indication that it's been received.
  • Sound: Set any supported sound as the notification tone for the channel.
  • Lights: Whether the notification should trigger a hardware notification light.
  • Vibration: Whether the notification should vibrate your phone.
  • Show on lock screen: Decide if a notification should appear on the lock screen.
  • Override do not disturb: Decide if a notification should bypass any do not disturb settings for sounds.

Most of these are self-explanatory. That's a good thing because this isn't really better if it's difficult to understand.

YouTube is a great example

If you have the Android O beta installed on your phone, you already have an app that's using notification channels: YouTube. It's also a really good example because there are only two channels — Standard notifications and offline notifications.

In the image above, the left side shows the two channels and the right side shows the individual settings for a channel. You'll find these settings in Settings > Apps and notifications > App info. Choose the YouTube app and tap App notifications.

This is an easy way for us all to see how notification channels work because the YouTube app has such simple notification settings. But this will all scale to something like Facebook or Gmail that will possibly have more channels. And if an app only needs one channel, it only has to use one. The whole idea scales well and should be a great way to help us sort through all the distractions!

Android O

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2 days ago

How to use Alexa for traffic updates

4

Nobody wants to get stuck in traffic, and Alexa can help.

Traffic is the bane of existence for anyone who's ever been late to a meeting because of gridlock. While you can use your phone, the radio, or the internet to check on traffic before heading out of the house, you can also ask Alexa. She'll let you know what your commute looks like; all you need to do is let her know where you're going.

Alexa can let you know about traffic

From within the Alexa app on your phone. you can add an address and from then, on all you need to do is ask Alexa what traffic on your commute looks like. She'll let you know the status of traffic, approximately how long it will take there, and the fastest route to get you there. Once you've got your destination address set in the Alexa app, you can check on your commute by asking "What does my commute look like?", "What is traffic like right now?", or "How is traffic?" to ensure you know what the roads look like before you even leave the house.

Since you can just ask Alexa what your commute looks like, this is a great way to save a few minutes in the morning when you're running around, trying to get out the door to start your day!

How to add a destination in the Alexa app

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone.
  2. Tap the menu button that looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner of your screen.
  3. Tap Settings.

    Open the Alexa app, Tap the overflow button, tap settings.

  4. Tap Traffic.
  5. Tap add address.
  6. Type in the address of your destination and tap save changes.

    Tap Traffic, tap add address, type in the address and tap save changes.

Questions?

Sound off in the comments below.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

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3 days ago

How to get the Pride flag reaction on Facebook

145

Share some love on Facebook during Pride Month!

Android Central loves, well, love. With that in mind, we're sharing something fun for those who feel the same. If you're celebrating Pride Month and have a Facebook account, you've already seen most of the account tweaks you can add, like temporary profile banners. If you want to go a little deeper, Facebook now lets you share the Pride flag as a reaction to both posts and comments. It's not a takeover of an existing reaction, it's an entirely unique reaction you can share!

Here's how to enable the Pride reaction for your account!

Enabling the Pride reaction on your Facebook Account

Like many other custom reactions on Facebook, you can opt-in by liking a specific page. In this case, liking the LGBTQ@Facebook page will enable the Pride reaction for your account.

Once you've liked the page, if you hadn't previously liked it, wait about five minutes and you'll see the rainbow option appear on both mobile and the web. This will probably only be around for the rest of the month, so enjoy it while it lasts!

Step-by-Step instructions

  1. Open the Facebook either through the app or browser
  2. Search for LGBTQ@Facebook in the top search bar
  3. Like the LGBTQ@Facebook page
  4. Wait five minutes
  5. Spread delightful rainbows as far and wide as you choose

Got it? Great! Have fun, and remember...

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3 days ago

How to fix Google Pixel battery life problems

139
How to fix Google Pixel battery life problems

How do I extend battery life on my Google Pixel?

Google's Pixel XL offers impressive battery life for a phone of its size, but determined users can definitely drain it over the course of a hectic day. The smaller 5-inch Pixel with its 2770 mAh battery doesn't always offer the same longevity, giving you less wiggle room if you have heavier-than-usual use or forget to charge overnight.

Though both should be able to make it through an average day for most people, if you're finding your Pixel's battery coming up short sometimes, you'll want to follow a few of these handy tips to make the most of what you have.

Check for battery-draining apps

Google Pixel

The Pixel really uses its systemwide battery-saving function called Doze, which puts the system and apps into a low-power state to help save battery when the phone isn't in use. A vast majority of the time the system can handle all sorts of apps and manage them so you still get notifications even while other apps are "sleeping," but in some cases a poorly coded app can keep the system awake when it's not supposed to, draining your battery in the process.

Doze does a great job, but you can always check on individual apps.

To find if there are any apps causing issues, head into your Settings, tap on Battery and look at the list of apps under "Use since last charge." You'll see most of the usual suspects like the screen, Android OS and Bluetooth or Voice calls, but if you see a seldom-used app taking up more than a couple percent of your battery drain, you should investigate to see if it's doing things it shouldn't be.

Use Battery optimization features

The "Battery optimization" feature in Android is a tad bit complicated, and in most cases will simply work as intended without your management, but if you're having battery life troubles it's worth checking out. Battery optimization builds on the battery-saving features of Doze to identify how and when you use apps to put forcibly them to sleep when they shouldn't be awake draining your battery. Go into Settings, tap on Battery and then tap the Menu button and tap Battery optimization to get started with this.

The system does a great job on its own, but you can still check in on it.

By default, the system has been analyzing how you use your phone since the minute you started installing apps, optimizing usage on the apps to get the most battery out of the phone while keeping your most-used apps available when you need them. In the main screen of the Battery optimization settings you'll see the "Not optimized" list, which you can see will include some apps that can't be optimized, along with some stragglers that may not be optimized yet.

If you see an app that you want to be optimized, tap it and switch to "Optimize." If you want to switch to a full apps list, tap the top bar and you'll see the option to view "All apps." Here you can tap on individual apps and switch them to "Don't optimize" if you wish to let the app have free reign to run as it pleases. You may choose to do this for critically important apps like those for travel or banking — just know that most of the time, the system will handle these functions exactly as you want, with the added benefit of optimizing them for battery savings.

Use Battery saver

Google Pixel battery saver

Though it isn't nearly as comprehensive as similar features on other phones, the Pixel includes a Battery saver mode that can help extend your battery life with the flip of a switch. With Battery saver turned on, your phone will have reduced performance, limited vibration, limited location services and reduced background data. Together the limitations don't have a huge effect on the usability of the phone, but they do save precious battery drain.

Battery saver can add a couple hours of life in a pinch.

Pull down the notification shade, tap on your battery icon and you'll see a "Battery saver" toggle you can turn on and off as you please when you know you need a bit more longevity. If you prefer, you can also have it come on automatically at 15 or 5% battery, which is what most people will be more comfortable with. Battery saver automatically turns off when you start charging your Pixel.

Battery saver isn't something you'll want to leave on all the time, but in a pinch it can help you get through the end of the day or a tough time away from the charger — it's just another tool to make the most of the Pixel's battery.

Uninstall unused apps

Of course you can mitigate the issues from the prior situations by simply uninstalling apps that you're not using that often (or at all). When you have a little free time, sit down and open up your app drawer — check out your apps and see which ones you've honestly opened in the past couple weeks. Chances are you're going to find more than a few you haven't even touched since you got your Pixel.

Going forward, when you're setting up a new phone a good rule to follow is to just install the basic apps you need from the start, and only install additional apps when you find you need them. After using several different phones we often fall into the trap of installing dozens of apps we think we'll need, but in reality never touch — and in the end we have to end up uninstalling them later.

Last resort: A mobile battery pack

Google Pixel with battery

Yes, we know, a portable battery pack doesn't fix the root problem of bad battery life on a phone, but it does fix the issue of a low battery. If you can't manage making it through a heavy day without needing a charge, and can't spend time plugged in at any point, you'll want to invest in a mobile battery pack.

There are plenty out there that will charge up your Pixel super quickly, and top up your friends' phones as well, like the Anker PowerCore 10,000 mAh battery, or this 20,100 mAh battery from Jackery that has USB-C. For a relatively inexpensive purchase, these batteries can be a great backup solution when you can't spend time at a power outlet.

How have you been finding battery life on the Pixel and Pixel XL? Did any of these tips help extend its life? Let us know in the comments!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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4 days ago

NVIDIA Shield vs. Shield Pro: Which should I buy?

47

We know NVIDIA Shield rocks a solid Android TV experience, but the Shield Pro might just be the better buy for some.

The NVIDIA Shield TV does just about everything from streaming 4K movies and TV shows to playing high-end Android games with the included Shield Controller. But when NVIDIA refreshed the line at the start of the year, it kept around the Shield "Pro" model as well — and in this case, it hasn't been physically redesigned like the standard version, though it retains its $299 price tag.

That leaves an interesting question about whether you should consider the standard Shield Android TV model or the Pro — let us help you decide.

See at Amazon

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6 days ago

Where to buy the HTC U11 in the U.S.

65
HTC U11

HTC U11 in the U.S.: where, when and for how much.

HTC's relationships with the U.S. carriers have weakened, and with the launch of its 2017 flagship the U11 it has just one carrier on board. The HTC U11 is exclusive to Sprint at launch, but has other retail partners for a proper unlocked model. The pricing from Sprint is set at $0 down and $29 per month for two years, or a total price of $696. Sprint will be offering the U11 in black and blue colors, at least at launch.

Thankfully, you are only stuck going to Sprint if you want to buy the phone directly from your operator. HTC is also selling the U11 unlocked on Amazon and HTC.com, continuing an excellent trend of selling directly to consumers who want to bypass the carriers. It's available immediately for order from both storefronts for $649, with an additional color choice of silver alongside black and blue.

Amazon

Amazon is selling the U.S. unlocked model of the U11, coming in black, silver and blue colors. The listing has a proper price of $649, plus free shipping for Prime members. Amazon offers special 12-month financing if you use an Amazon Store Card.

See at Amazon

HTC

It's always a fine idea to buy a phone directly from the manufacturer. HTC sells the U11 directly for $649 in the same black, silver and blue color options — no word yet on when (or if) the red and white color options will be available. HTC offers 24-month financing from its website.

You'll notice that HTC lets you select your carrier when buying, but don't be confused by that — selecting AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon gets you the same unlocked model. HTC is simply trying to explain that its unlocked phones work on all U.S. carriers. The Sprint model is indeed a Sprint-specific SKU, though.

See at HTC

Sprint

If you're already a Sprint customer or perhaps switching and can get some incentives on a new phone, you may end up finding that getting a U11 directly from Sprint makes the most sense for you.

Sprint only offers the black and blue colors, and the price is a smidge higher at $696 (or $29/mo), so seriously consider buying the unlocked one for more options and a lower price.

See at Sprint

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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1 week ago

How to shop on Amazon with Alexa

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Amazon Echo

As an Amazon product, naturally you can buy things with Alexa. Here's how.

Everything Amazon ever does has some form of hook into buying things from its retail store. On its tablets, that extends to adverts on your lock screen, but on the Amazon Echo, it's pretty much the opposite.

You can use it to buy things from Amazon, but only if you want to. There're no ads, no up-sell. But instead of reaching for your phone or going on the computer, just ask Alexa to order things for you. Here's how.

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1 week ago

What color HTC U11 should you buy: Black, blue, silver, white or red?

41
HTC U11 colors

You want the phone ... now you just have to pick a color.

The HTC U11's big design feature is its pristine curved glass back, which has a unique color infusing process to bake the colors into the glass rather than layering on top or underneath. It's a look that you can't get from any other glass-backed phone, and it means you may be taking extra care in choosing which color HTC U11 you want to buy.

We have great pictures of all five colors, and some things you may want to keep in mind when making a choice — read on.

See at Amazon

HTC U11 in Brilliant Black

When you're releasing a new phone, you pretty much have to offer a "safe" color — that's Brilliant Black. It's a pretty basic look, but you still get the shiny "deep" color embedded in the glass. When you turn the phone the colors do shift and give it a look of some deeper greens and blues, just not to the extremes that the other colors do.

Who is it for?

If you're interested in the U11 but don't want to go all out with one of the flashy colors, black is going to be the one to get. The glass still stands out, but it isn't way out of line.

HTC U11 in Sapphire Blue

The "Sapphire Blue" U11 is one step above the black in terms of flash. The deep blue glass flows into color-matched blue metal on the side, and it really looks nice. When you tilt the phone the colors change to different shades of blue, and because it's a bit lighter it also starts to pull in colors from around it.

Who is it for?

If the black U11 feels a bit boring for you, but you still don't want to go flashy, the blue will be a good middle ground.

HTC U11 in Amazing Silver

This is where things start to get crazy. Depending on what angle you see it from, the "Amazing Silver" U11 can look like anything from shiny chrome all the way to deep blue. In a purely white room with no other colors around, the silver U11 is more of a very light blue — both the glass back and metal sides. But because of the extreme reflectivity, it pulls in colors from all around — it's hardly ever the same color twice.

Who is it for?

If you want a super-interesting color that will stand out from every angle every single day, this is the one to get. So long as you're okay with the "regular" view of it being a light blue base color, the silver U11 is a good choice.

HTC U11 in Ice White

The "Ice White" U11 is a pretty typical white glass and silver metal color scheme. The back has a very deep color that isn't nearly as reflective as the other colors, and the color doesn't shift as much. You get a pearlescent look and hints of pink from some angles, but the back stays very much "white" from most angles.

Who is it for?

There aren't a lot of white glass phones available, so if you've been looking for something that's beyond the standard black/gold/silver options, this is for you.

HTC U11 in Solar Red

It's hard to explain the ridiculousness of the "Solar Red" U11. Nominally, it's red. But when you tilt it off-axis, it turns a deep gold, orange or yellow depending on the angle. It's an amazing effect that's truly unique, even among the other U11 color options.

Who is it for?

The Solar Red color is absolutely for someone who wants to stand out. Not only are there so few red phones out there in general, but you won't find another "red" phone out there that can change colors so dramatically.

Regional differences matter

As is always the case, you won't necessarily be able to choose from all five colors in all regions around the world. Right at launch, HTC is primarily offering the black, blue and silver colors. White and red were not finalized until later on in the development of the U11, so they won't be widely available for some time. Here's the current breakdown of availability, as of mid-June:

  • U.S.: Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver (Amazon and htc.com only)
  • Europe: Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver, Ice White, Solar Red (coming soon)
  • China: Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver, Ice White, Solar Red (coming soon)
  • Taiwan: Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver, Ice White, Solar Red (coming soon)
  • Australia: Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver (carrier/retailer dependent)

One thing you'll notice is that the Solar Red model isn't available anywhere right at launch — but expect it to head out to various regions soon. So if you have your heart set on red, be patient rather than settling for another color, because it is coming.

HTC U11

Amazon Sprint HTC

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