Articles about Android

ASUS unveils new ZenFone 3 smartphone line -- here is everything you need to know

ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra

If you are looking for a smartphone that offers great value for money, the ZenFone family includes some of the nicest Android handsets that you can get today. The devices are attractively priced and offer specs that can appeal to just about anyone shopping in their segment. However, a lot has happened since the introduction of the second generation, so now it is time for ASUS to take the wraps off the ZenFone 3 line.

ASUS has chosen Computex 2016 to unveil three new ZenFone 3 devices: the ZenFone 3, which is the base model featuring mid-range specs, the ZenFone 3 Deluxe, the flagship in the family, and the ZenFone 3 Ultra, a massive phablet which borrows features from the other two handsets.

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Microsoft says it will stop spamming Android users with Office ads in the notification tray

Office 365

It feels like we complain about Microsoft a lot here. We do; in recent months there has been a lot to get upset about. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding Windows 10, so let's have a change of subject. Now Microsoft is spamming the Android notification tray with ads for Office.

The notification tray in Android serves a very specific purpose. There's a clue in the name -- and it's nothing to do with advertising. Android user Thom Holwerda was upset this week when Microsoft Office for Android starting to spam him with ads for apps he already had installed. There are many questions here, one of which is why is Microsoft ignoring Google's guidelines and using the notification tray to display ads?

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Samsung unveils Batman-themed Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge Injustice Edition phone

If you're a Batman fan and like the Galaxy S7 edge then you're in for a treat. In celebration of the third anniversary of the Injustice: Gods Among Us game, Samsung has teamed up with Warner Bros. to release a Batman-themed, limited-run version of its latest Android flagship phablet.

Known as the Injustice Edition, it features a black Galaxy S7 edge with a gold Batman logo on the back and matching accents and a number of attractive extras which include a black Gear VR headset and what appears to be a gold-plated batarang.

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Google wins trial against Oracle -- Java APIs in Android are 'fair use'

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Google has won a case brought against it by Oracle in which it was accused of infringing on copyright by using Java APIs in Android. But at the end of a two-week trial, the jury found in Google's favor saying that 'fair use' was an acceptable defense.

Had Google lost the case, it could have cost the company billions of dollars and would have set something of a precedent. This was the first major case in which a company tried to use copyright law to control the use of APIs.

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Google plans to replace your Android password with a 'trust score'

Android unlock pattern draw lockscreen

Google wants to do away with traditional passwords on Android and replace them with "trust scores".

The company outlined how it is planning to make the transition away from passwords on its mobile platform by 2017 during its I/O conference last week. By using a variety of different metrics, Google’s Trust API technology would be able to replace traditional passwords and pins used to unlock its smartphones.

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TripAdvisor and Google Play Music deliver regional playlists to Android listeners

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While there are many great streaming music services nowadays, such as Spotify and Apple Music, the best value is Google Play Music. Why do I say this? Well, it costs $9.99 monthly for an individual, but the real killer-deal is the $14.99 offer for the six-person family plan. The icing on the cake is free access to YouTube Red, delivering an ad-free video-watching experience, plus exclusive content.

Today, Google Play Music on Android is getting even better, thanks to a partnership with TripAdvisor. The popular travel-planning app can now deliver regional playlists, meaning you can hear the music popular with locals when you travel. Best of all? If you do not already subscribe to Google's streaming music service, you will be awarded two months free for just downloading the TripAdvisor Android app. This is absolutely brilliant for the upcoming summer season.

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Ulefone Vienna: A competitive phablet that doesn't break the bank [Review]

Ulefone Vienna

Up and coming Android manufacturers are proving that you do not have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get a good smartphone. The Xiaomi Mi4c, which I reviewed late last year, is a fantastic alternative to big-name devices from the likes of Samsung and LG that does not break the bank. The new Mi4s is shaping up to be even better, and the Mi5 looks to be more impressive still.

But, say you prefer something that's a bit larger that is also relatively inexpensive. Well, in this case, you should take a look at the new Ulefone Vienna, which packs a big display, large battery, nice camera, and competitive specs, all at a sub-$200 price point. You can read my impressions below.

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Google 'Science Journal' Android app is a digital notebook for STEM education

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While all jobs and careers are important to society, scientists are arguably the greatest drivers of change. These professionals are responsible for curing diseases, improving our quality of life, and advancing our knowledge of the world.

In order to keep a steady crop of quality scientists coming out of universities, it is important to create ways to foster interest in STEM -- science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- at a young age. With this in mind, Google releases an Android app, called Science Journal, aimed at helping young students record and trend scientific experiment results.

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Why is Google bringing Android apps to Chromebook?

Chromebook in School

Answer: Your kids. Chromebook leads laptop and desktop sales through U.S. commercial channels to schools, according to NPD. Education is overwhelmingly the primary market for the computers. The institutions can't buy enough of the thangs, for their utility and low-cost compared to notebooks running either OS X or Windows. That cost is as much about extended webapps and services from Google (or its developer partners), available for free or comparatively next-to-nothing, set against software for the other platforms.

Wrinkle in the Google firmament: iPhone and Chromebook are like water and dirt. The sediment settles unless shaken up. Sure youngsters can do all their Googly things—Docs, Gmail, Maps, Photos, YouTube, etc. -- on iOS but the experience is smoother and more homogenous when mixed Android and Chrome OS. What the kiddies lack, and their educators, is a swath of useful apps like the Apple kids get.

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Android N's seamless updates may not support existing devices

sad sorry puppy dog

Android N is coming later this year and it will introduce some pretty interesting new features. One of them is seamless updates, which makes it possible for software upgrades to be performed in the background without interruptions in the user's flow. As you may know by now, this feature is already implemented in Chrome OS with good results. However, it may not be available on existing devices after users upgrade to Android N.

Naturally, many of you will want to experience it on your devices after they get Android N support, but technical limitations are getting in the way. How the feature is designed, for seamless updates to work on existing smartphones and tablets, some serious modifications would need to be performed beforehand.

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Samsung's next Android flagships may have 6GB of RAM

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Each new generation of Android flagships seems to push the limits of what we consider high-end hardware specifications. A few years ago we were looking at sub-5-inch displays with 720p resolutions and dual-core processors with 2 GB of RAM, and nowadays larger, 2K displays backed by octa-core chips and 4 GB of RAM appear to be the norm.

While the bump in resolution and processor speed may not be as noticeable when moving to a new-generation flagship, the extra RAM is certainly a welcome addition. Of course, for some companies not even 4 GB is enough in this department, as Samsung just unveiled a larger module, which should be available in its next flagships.

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Microsoft's share of the mobile market plummets to below 1% as Android continues to rise

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Global smartphone sales figures published by Gartner show that Windows-based devices have a market share of just 0.7 percent. The latest figures cover the first quarter of 2016 and reveal that fewer than 2.4 million handsets with Microsoft's OS installed were sold.

This is a dramatic drop from the first quarter of 2015. A year ago the numbers were hardly earth-shattering, but with a 2.5 percent market share they were decidedly healthier than right now. While Windows Phone continues to drop like a stone, Android's seemingly unstoppable rise continues, with Google increasing its market share from 78.88 percent a year ago to 84.1 percent in Q1 2016. Apple suffered a drop to 14.8 percent.

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Google makes Chromebooks exciting again by adding Google Play and Android apps

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Much like Windows Mobile, Chromebooks have long suffered with something of a limited range of apps. Starting today, all this changes; Google is bringing the full range of Android apps to Chromebook users via the Google Play store.

With Chromebooks having just overtaken Macs in terms of popularity, the introduction of millions of Android apps to the platform is incredibly well-timed. Before you get too excited, the rollout is not immediate. Users on the developer channel with certain Chromebook models will get access first, but there are plans to bring Google Play to more devices over the coming months.

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Google will soon let you share Android apps with family members

Gamer gaming games playing child kid small smartphone mobile

While you can share a Google Play Music subscription with your family, the same cannot be currently said about apps that you purchase from the Play store. Unless everyone is on the same Gmail account, each member has to buy the same title separately to enjoy it on their devices. Considering that both Amazon and Apple offer this feature, Google needs to follow suit.

The good news is that Google will soon introduce Family Library. This new feature will be available to Play users in the coming months and will finally allow them to share paid apps with their family members.

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Cortana update brings Android notifications to Windows 10 users

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The ability to view notifications for multiple devices in one place is something that has been tried in various forms before. Now fans of Cortana can take advantage of notifications about their phone on their computer.

The latest version of the Cortana Android app brings the previously hinted at app notification syncing that users have been asking for for so long. First noted by a Windows 10 user on Reddit, the feature is something that we can expect to see included in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update later this summer.

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