Samsung: Galaxy Note 7 fires caused by two separate battery issues

Samsung Electronics today confirmed the cause of its Galaxy Note 7 fires, stating that the crisis stemmed from two separate battery issues. The first round was caused by a flaw in the battery design, which could cause electrodes to bend and eventually allow the positive and negative tabs to come into contact, short circuiting the battery. The second round of batteries, which came from a supplier in Hong Kong, had no flaws in the design. Rather, these batteries faced similar problems due to a manufacturer issue after production was quickly ramped up to provide Samsung with batteries. In the rush to produce batteries, a welding defect occurred in the batteries, which caused them to short circuit.

Samsung’s explanation partially correlates with a report from The Wall Street Journal, released on Friday, which stated that the battery fires were caused by two separate issues.

In the end, it turns out that there was no defect with the device itself, but with the batteries. It’s unfortunate that Samsung was hit with these two separate issues, which led to a complete shutdown and recall, amounting to billions of dollars lost.

To prevent further incidents in the future, Samsung is implementing a number of new safety measures and an 8-point battery safety check. The company has also assembled a Battery Advisory Group composed of experts, academics, and external advisers. This group will help to ensure that Samsung continues to innovate and promote safety within its batteries.

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WatchMaker Adds Over 1,000 Watchfaces to Samsung Gear S2, S3

Want to give your Gear S2 or Gear S3 smartwatch a new look? Then we have some good news we want to share with you.

Popular watchface designer, WatchMaker just announced it plans to bring its watchfaces to two of Samsung’s best known Tizen OS smartwatches, the Gear S2 and Gear S3. WatchMaker is mostly known for its Android Wear watchfaces.

The new WatchMaker app for Tizen will allow users to tap into 1,000 new watchfaces. On top of that, smartwatch owners are given the option to create their own customized watchfaces if they feel like they got what it takes, free.

The company also reveal it plans to expand support for Android Wear 2.0 when it comes out next month. The first watches to take advantage of the new wearable OS are the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style.

We’re not told how much we can expect the Gear S2 or Gear S3 smartwatches to cost, but we can assume the company is going to keep the same pricing scheme it had in place with the Android Wear app.

The free app should get you 6 watch faces, 12 fonts, 15 backgrounds and the watch designer template. However, for $5.31 CAD, users could get 8 featured watch faces each week, access to a database of 1000+ faces and the option of using personal images to build watchfaces.


The post WatchMaker Adds Over 1,000 Watchfaces to Samsung Gear S2, S3 appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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LG G6 Could Come with Google Assistant Onboard

One trend that seems to be emerging in 2017 when it comes to smartphones is the inclusions of AI-driven virtual assistants.

Apple has had Siri for quite a while now, Microsoft has Cortana and Google put its Assistant on the Pixel phones. But in 2017, we saw HTC unveil the HTC U Ultra which comes with the Sense Companion assistant and Samsung is going to unveil Bixby with the Galaxy S8. Come MWC 2017, Nokia will probably pull the wraps off Viki, its own AI companion for its flagship phones.

Speaking of MWC 2017, LG is also expected to unveil its next-gen G6 flagships. We talked about the upcoming product extensively in a few of our articles, but today we bring you an extra piece of information on the matter.

According to Business Korea, LG is expected to jump onboard of the AI-driven virtual assistant bandwagon when it comes to the LG G6. But instead of building its own solution, it will embed the Google Assistant instead.

So far, Google’s virtual companion is available only on the Pixel and Pixel XL, but if this information turns out to be correct, we’re bound to see it arrive on the LG G6 soon enough.

On top of that, the Google Assistant is going to be included into Android Wear 2.0, which means we’re going to see it on the upcoming LG Watch Sport and Watch Style we talked about only a few days ago.

[Business Korea]

The post LG G6 Could Come with Google Assistant Onboard appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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HTC’s smartwatch appears in new photos

New photos have leaked that show HTC’s upcoming Android Wear smartwatch. This smartwatch initially leaked on Weibo in October, but no announcement or teaser has come from HTC. These new photos were also released on Weibo and show the watch powered on and from a number of different angles.

HTC’s smartwatch utilizes a circular display with a 360×360 resolution and no flat tire bezel on the bottom of the display. Instead, the components are packed into a ring around the display. The watch has two buttons on its edge, pogo pins on the rear and a heart rate sensor. Also notable is the Under Armour logo. HTC and UA previously partnered together to create the Healthbox platform. This smartwatch is a continuation of that partnership.

There’s no word on when this smartwatch will be released, though we’d guess it won’t be too far into the future. An interesting note is that the device pictured is running on a version of Android Wear 1.0, even though version 2.0 is just weeks away. It’s possible that this is simply an early production model and the final version will release with the latest version of Android Wear. Nonetheless, it’s something to keep in mind.

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Two Good Apps for Creating Stop-motion Videos on Android Phones


Stop-motion video apps can provide students with a good way to bring their stories to to life. Through stop-motion your students can create fun, non-fiction stories to animate in Gumby-like fashion. Your students can also use stop-motion to create a timelapse of a process or event. The following two apps offer good platforms for making stop-motion videos on Android devices.

Lapse It is an Android app that makes it easy to create short time lapse videos. The app comes in two versions, free and pro. The free version is adequate for most uses, but the pro version offers additional editing effects and a much higher output resolution. To create a time lapse video with Lapse It just open the app, select “new capture,” and set the timer for the frequency with which you want images captured. You can set the frequency by milliseconds, seconds, or minutes. Lapse It provides options for setting the focus, white balance, color saturation, and flash for the camera on your phone or tablet. Once you’ve captured all of your imagery for your time lapse video you can use Lapse It to set the number of frames per second in your playback. Lapse It also provides tools for trimming your video and adding music to your video. When you’re happy with your final product you can share it to YouTube or render it in MOV, MP4, or FLV.

Stop Motion Studio lets you take as many pictures as you like and string them together in a sequence that plays back at a frame-per-second rate of your choosing. Each frame can be edited individually before you produce the final video. You can also add narration to your video within the app. Completed projects can be saved to your device and from there you can share them on YouTube or on your favorite social network.

Android Match Peanuts review: The coolest way to monitor your fridge, rooms, cookie jars... as long as you can rely on Bluetooth is a relatively new entrant in the connected home and IoT space. The company's most prominent product is the Mother, an oddly shaped humanoid-like hub that connects to small "Cookies" you can intersperse everywhere to monitor motion, temperature, presence/absence. The concept is interesting: bills it as a way to keep an eye on different things and people around your home, including how often someone brushes their teeth or when the cookie jar is opened.

Read More Peanuts review: The coolest way to monitor your fridge, rooms, cookie jars... as long as you can rely on Bluetooth was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Top 10 Android app updates this week: Hulu, Waze

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we’re going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we’ll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

 Roku - Version 4.0.010


What’s new in this version:

  • Start streaming your favorite channels with just a tap of your phone screen
  • A new navigation bar helps you access popular features with a single tap
  • Never wonder what to watch next. The new What’s On feature puts an entertainment guide in the palm of your hand.


CBS Sports – Version 8.4.7

CBS Sports

What’s new in this version:

  • Watch CBS Sports videos on your Android TV device!
  • Choose content from categories including NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA, Golf, and more.


Lumosity - Version 2.0.9961


What’s new in this version:

  • Introducing Workout Modes. These sets of games use your training habits and preferences to target different ways to train your brain.
  • Feeling creative? In the new game Masterpiece, you’ll complete mosaics by arranging the last pieces — challenging your spatial reasoning.
  • Or you can challenge your Vocabulary with Continuum. You’ll discern the subtleties between words as you sort them by meaning.


Waze - Version


What’s new in this version:

  • Search by category: Find places by category, like nearby parking, restaurants, hotels, shopping, and more without having to type exact names
  • Search by voice update: Search for a street by speaking its name in the language of the country you’re in, even if your Waze is in another language
  • Auto complete distance: See the distance to any location as you type it in the Search box, with new auto complete distance feature


Microsoft Word - Version 16.0.7766

Microsoft Word

What’s new in this version:

  • Capture whiteboards: Use the functionality of Office Lens to capture, clean up and crop pictures of a whiteboard and add them to your documents.


Microsoft OneDrive – Version 4.8.0


What’s new in this version:

  • Now you can hold and drag to select multiple items in the Photos and tiles view! This has been a top customer ask, so let us know what you think about this feature by shaking to send us feedback.


Microsoft PowerPoint - Version 16.0.7766

Microsoft PowerPoint

What’s new in this version:

  • Share one slide: Don’t send a whole presentation when all you want to share is one thing. PowerPoint lets you share a single slide with others.
  • Capture whiteboards: Use the functionality of Office Lens to capture, clean up and crop pictures of a whiteboard and add them to your slide.


Hulu – Version 2.28.0


What’s new in this version:

  •  Creating individual profiles enables you to keep track of all of your favorite shows and movies regardless of what other viewers in your household watch. Each profile created within the same Hulu account will have its own personalized Watchlist, recommendations, and viewing history. 


ZEDGE™ Ringtones & Wallpapers - Version 5.12.0


What’s new in this version:

  •  Beautiful new item pages.
  • Improved navigation – Tap more places to find more stuff!
  • Various bug fixes and stability updates


Google TalkBack - Version 5.1.0

Google TalkBack

What’s new in this version:

  • Webpage load progress is announced (Chrome 52 and up)
  • Screen stays unlocked while reading text
  • TalkBack doesn’t interrupt voice search or dictation
  • New keyboard shortcut opens custom actions
  • “Read from top” and “Read from next” work better


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Amazon app adds virtual Dash buttons for slightly faster Prime ordering

dash buttonsThe hook for Amazon's physical Dash buttons is an easy thing to understand: hide little Wi-Fi connected buttons around your house, then press them when you're low on toilet paper in the bathroom, or dishwasher detergent in the kitchen, or imported all-natural small batch coconut oil in the bedroom, and the relevant product will automatically be bought via your Amazon account and shipped out in a couple of days. Now Amazon has made virtual Dash buttons for its website and shopping apps...

Read More

Amazon app adds virtual Dash buttons for slightly faster Prime ordering was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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