Articles about Android

Android Nougat on Samsung Galaxy S7: A big step in the right direction

Android Nougat Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung started the Android Nougat roll-out for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge last week, but only members of the Galaxy Beta Program could get it right away. That changes today, as Samsung is finally making the much-awaited update available to more users, starting in China and UK.

After installing the hefty Android Nougat update on my Galaxy S7 edge, it became immediately clear that Samsung has put in a lot of effort to deliver a much more user-friendly experience. Its skin is much improved over what we had before on Android Marshmallow, packing lots of nice changes, both visual and under the hood. It is not perfect, but there is lots more to like now.

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Spotify is the top-grossing iOS app, Line takes first spot on Google Play

Streaming video service Hang w/ shares its profits with users -- others take note!

There are lots of really successful paid apps, but which one generates the most net revenue? According to a Sensor Tower report, Spotify comes out on top overall in 2016. The music streaming service only led the pack on the App Store, but that was enough to push it all the way to the top. On Google Play, it was messaging service Line which took top honors in this category.

Line actually came second overall, and in third place on the App Store. It is interesting that Spotify managed to come out ahead despite the fact that it is nowhere to be found in the top ten grossing apps on Google Play. This suggests that iOS users spent far more than Google Play users did on Spotify subscriptions.

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Samsung rolling out Android Nougat for Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge

Android Nougat Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung announced in late-December that it would release Android Nougat for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in January. And it has lived up to its promise, as the much-awaited software update is now rolling out for the two flagships.

At the time of writing this article, the official Android Nougat update is only available for Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge users who joined the Galaxy Beta Program, but it is expected to be rolled out to more customers in the following days.

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HTC's U Ultra flagship is an epic fail

HTC U Ultra

HTC has a serious problem: it cannot deliver a flagship worth getting excited about. A while back, the company at least tried to do things differently, to get consumers talking, but lately it seems happy just to have a new high-end smartphone on the market -- even if everyone knows it's way behind the competition.

Last year's flagship, called HTC 10, was better than its most-recent predecessors, but it failed to stand out against devices like Apple's iPhone 6s and Samsung's Galaxy S7. So no one cared about it. This year's HTC U Ultra is no different -- it's probably the most uninspiring device in its segment. How disappointing.

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iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus are the best-selling smartphones in US (again)

iPhone 7 Plus

Apple traditionally enjoys very strong iPhone sales after it launches new smartphones. And this is certainly true of the three months ending November 2016, when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus topped the sales charts in US and helped iOS close in on Android in Great Britain.

In US, it is actually an all-iPhone podium, with the iPhone 6s joining the newer models in the top three, according to a new Kantar Worldpanel ComTech report. Apple saw its share rise to 43.5 percent, while Google's Android dropped to 55.3 percent of the market.

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With 93 percent of Samsung Galaxy Note7s returned, FAA says airline warnings are no longer needed

airplane

After apologies and updates to kill batteries, it would appear that Samsung has managed to convince most customers to part with their faulty Galaxy Note 7s -- in the US, at least. As a result of this, the Department of Transport has announced that airlines no longer need to warn passengers that taking the phone on planes is prohibited.

Airline passengers were banned from taking their Note7s on flights back in October; the ban remains in place, but the Federal Aviation Authority now believes that the issue gained so much publicity that it no longer needs to be advertised.

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Google enhances museum experience with augmented reality using Tango smartphone

NerdPhoneWowShock

Augmented reality has a big future in consumer electronics. While much of the hardware -- such as Google's Tango and Microsoft's HoloLens -- are not yet ready for the mainstream, we are slowly getting there.

Today, Google announces that it is enhancing the museum-going experience with its Tango technology by way of the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro Android smartphone. Attendees can request one of the devices before touring the Detroit Institute of Arts, allowing them to interact with some of the exhibits in exciting new ways.

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OxygenOS 4.0.1 rolling out for OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 3

oneplus-3t

OnePlus kept its word and launched the Android 7.0 Nougat-based OxygenOS 4.0 update for its OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 flagships by the end of 2016. But, as is usual with a first major release such as this, a small update is bound to arrive shortly thereafter to resolve some of the initial issues.

So now OnePlus is rolling out OxygenOS 4.0.1, for both the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3. The update comes with a couple of changes, as expected, but OnePlus also lists some known problems that users might experience and ways to deal with them.

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Google makes Fastboot and ADB available as separate downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux

lg_android_phone_logo

Answering the pleas of many Android users, Google has finally made ADB and Fastboot available as separate downloads.

Previously only available as part of the large and intimidating Android SDK or Android Studio, the change of heart means that it is now quicker and easier than ever to jump on the handset flashing and sideloading bandwagon.

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Enable notifications to find out when there's a new Google Doodle

google-doodle

Google Doodles are fun little additions to Google search that highlight major events in history, important birthdays and so on. Unless you make a point of hitting Google every day, you could easily miss one of the many animations, images and games that are added throughout the year. Until now.

While there is more than one way to find out if there is a new Google Doodle -- as well as checking the Google homepage, you can also follow the Google Doodles Twitter account -- Google has only just got round to providing notifications. Here's how to receive a message on your phone when a new Doodle is posted.

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Vine is closing on 17 January -- download your Vines now!

Vine

Back in October Twitter announced that it was shuttering Vine, with the promise that more details of the closure would follow. A subsequent announcement narrowed it down to the first month of 2017, and now it has been pinned down to 17 January.

The move sees Twitter morphing the app into a new Vine Camera app, and killing off the Vine website as we know it. It will still exist, but only as an archive of Vines for you to browse. If you want to download your old Vines for posterity, you'll need to do so by the 17th.

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Huawei Mate 9 Android smartphone comes to USA with Amazon Alexa voice support

Huawei_Mate9_Reg

Huawei has been working very hard to make an impact in the USA, and its efforts are paying off. Its products are well-received, offering elegance and power at affordable prices. Quite frankly, the company's MateBook was my favorite Windows 10 computer in 2016.

Now, the company is bringing its Mate 9 flagship to the USA -- starting tomorrow. While the previously announced 5.9-inch 1080p smartphone looks impressive, there is a software aspect that is arguably more exciting -- support for the Amazon Alexa voice assistant is coming.

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Why is WhatsApp not working on your phone? Because it's too old

skype-whatsapp-icons

Welcoming the new year with a trumpet of doom, WhatsApp is bringing misery to many users. If you're using old versions of iOS, Android or -- heaven forbid -- Windows Phone 7, Facebook's popular messaging tool no longer works.

There is a brief stay of execution for anyone still packing a BlackBerry, but as of June 30 these will also be cut off. WhatsApp says that "BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry 10, Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60" will stop working by the middle of the year, but it is the hundreds of thousands of Android and iOS users that will be hardest hit.

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Update side-loaded Android apps with APKUpdater

apkupdater

When you install apps from Google Play, you'll be notified whenever an update is available. If you have opted to side-load apps from other sources, however, this update notification is not available, leaving you having to keep manually checking for new versions.

This is, of course, a massive pain in the derriere, and far too much like hard work. Install APKUpdater, and your side-loaded apps will be kept up to date just like those from more official sources. Here's what you need to know.

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Samsung kicks off 2017 with new photo-centric Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A3 handsets

samsung-galaxy-a-2017

We are less than 48 hours into 2017, and Samsung is already on the ball with a series of new smartphone announcements. Kicking things off for the new year is the updated Galaxy A series -- comprising the Galaxy A7, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A3.

Available in Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist and Peach Cloud, the handsets feature 5.7-, 5.2- and 4.7-inch screens respectively. The main focus of the product line refresh is the enhanced camera, but Samsung also highlights the metal frame and 3D glass back which it says draws on the company's "premium design heritage".

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