DxOMark gives Huawei Mate 10 Pro a 97 overall, a 100 for stills

The Google Pixel held its reign as the top dog of the DxOMark camera ratings for a long time. Since them, the rating system has changed to incorporate points for dual camera systems and a few new phones have surpassed the Pixel. Of course, the top spot was retaken by the Pixel 2 despite it lacking a secondary camera.

Shockingly, the recently announced Huawei Mate 10 Pro has now taken second place with a score of 97, a single point below the Pixel 2. And even more interesting, the Mate 10 Pro scored a 100 in still images, a point above the Pixel 2 (which received a better 96 in video, while the Mate 10 Pro got a 91) and matching the Note 8. Is the Leica-branded Mate 10 Pro a better smartphone shooter than the Pixel 2?

Well no, these numbers are not a perfect representation of final image quality. The meat of the information is in the write up, and the Mate 10 Pro seems to be an absolutely excellent camera. In fact, it can shoot more natural, lower noise shots in low light than the Pixel 2 (which is admittedly brighter and shows more dynamic range). It looks like that second monochrome sensor is putting in work. DxOMark even praised the device’s 2x digital zoom, which is not quite as good as a dedicated 2x zoom lens but far better than other devices without one.

Hit the source link for the full scoop on camera performance and the intricacies of how it takes photos. It’s an interesting read, and it’s definitely cool to see a different brand make it to the top of the DxOMark leaderboards!


Android Match

Google Pixel 2 durability test does not end well

If you’re a smartphone enthusiast, you’ve likely heard of JerryRigEverything. He’s the man that comes off as rudely destructive until you figure out that his tests are valuable and constructive rather than destructive (well, both).

The latest victim is the Pixel 2, and the man doesn’t hold back when he’s not happy. The removal of the headphone jack in particular is a problem, because it’s a removal of a feature that so far has not been adequately replaced.

Problems with design aside, the durability of the device is dubious. The metal unibody is covered in a “hybrid coating,” which is just a thick layer of plastic that scrapes off easily. This can cause ugly wear down the line. It’s reminiscent of the LG G5′s coating that people hated so much.

When it came to the bend test, which emulates (albiet in an exaggerated manner) what a phone endures in back pockets or skinny jeans, the phone immediately fails along the antenna band. The entire casing cracks along the side. The device itself still works, but it seems oddly fragile. The water resistance is also compromised due to this.

While the Pixel 2 does not earn a spot on JerryRigEverything’s shelf of shame due to a lack of catastrophic failure, it still didn’t hold up as well as expected. Plus, we’re sure that the plastic coating is going to piss some people off.

Let us know what you think of the Pixel 2′s durability in the comments!


Android Match

Welcome the new week with 45 temporarily free and 54 on-sale apps

Welcome to the final full week of October. We're nearing the holiday season craziness, so let's enjoy the calm while we can, eh? Anyway, we have a huge list to get through today with only a few notable apps. mainly Forever Entertainment's catalogue. So it's the usual story again, mostly.

Free

Apps

  1. 0Quotes $0.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  2. 10 Minute Burning Workout - Full Body Workouts $3.49 -> Free; 2 hours left
  3. Trig or Treat $0.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  4. Cambi Photo Camera $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  5. learndutch.org - Flashcards $3.49 -> Free; 1 day left
  6. Poke Me - Water Drink Reminder $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  7. Smart Wi-Fi Hotspot PRO $2.99 -> Free; 5 days left
  8. Chemistry Dictionary $2.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  9. Names and Meanings $2.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  10. Drugs Dictionary $0.99 -> Free; 7 days left

Games

  1. CosmoLands | Premium Edition $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  2. Dead Ship $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  3. Socxel | Pixel Soccer | PRO $1.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  4. Cube.IO Pro $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  5. MontaSayer PRO $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  6. Survival Time FULL $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  7. QoQo: Camera $0.99 -> Free; 3 days left
  8. Can You Escape - Fear House PRO $0.99 -> Free; 5 days left
  9. Mystic MAZE - A 3D Adventure $1.49 -> Free; 6 days left
  10. AceSpeeder3 $0.99 -> Free; 7 days left

Icon packs & customization

  1. classic timeless poweramp skin $1.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  2. Digi Clock Widget Odinson $1.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  3. Gear Sun 2 $0.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  4. Real Zen Garden 3D LWP $0.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  5. Bits Oreo- Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  6. Gear Live Wallpaper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  7. Life Icon Pack $2.49 -> Free; 1 day left
  8. Space Clock Live Wallpaper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  9. Star X 3D live Wallpaper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  10. Tropical Ocean 3D LWP $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  11. Vibrant Zooper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  12. Zebra Zooper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  13. Zed Zooper $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  14. Art Alive 3D Pro lwp $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  15. Vesuv icon pack red glow gold black $1.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  16. light blue HD live wallpaper $2.49 -> Free; 3 days left
  17. Graby Spin - Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 4 days left
  18. Poweramp Widget Pure Gold $1.99 -> Free; 4 days left
  19. 3D/4D HyperCube B&W Wallpaper $1.49 -> Free; 5 days left
  20. Rarent - Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 5 days left
  21. Recticons - Icon Pack $2.49 -> Free; 5 days left
  22. Prettiee Wallpapers $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  23. Oreo Square - Icon pack $0.99 -> Free; 7 days left
  24. Rugos Premium - Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 7 days left

Sale

Apps

  1. CPU Monitor PRO $1.49 -> $0.99; 4 days left
  2. Geometry Calculator $3.95 -> $1.95; 4 days left
  3. North Pole Command Center - Video Call Santa Pro $3.99 -> $0.99; 4 days left
  4. Computer and IT Quiz (Pro) $3.99 -> $1.49; 5 days left
  5. doubleTwist Pro: music, podcast player (FLAC/ALAC) $7.99 -> $5.49; 5 days left
  6. Glextor App Mgr & Organizer $4.49 -> $2.49; 5 days left
  7. Diseases & Disorders $2.99 -> $0.99; 6 days left
  8. MailDroid Pro - Email Application $6.99 -> $4.49; 6 days left
  9. Speccy - Sinclair ZX Emulator $3.99 -> $1.99; 6 days left
  10. AR GPS Compass Map 3D Pro $3.49 -> $1.49; 7 days left
  11. Be Stronger $1.99 -> $0.99; 7 days left
  12. Super Resume Builder Pro, CV $4.99 -> $0.99; 7 days left

Games

  1. Draw Rider Plus $1.99 -> $0.99; 1 day left
  2. Frederic: Director's Cut $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  3. Frederic - Evil Strikes Back $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  4. Frederic Resurrection of Music $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  5. Merchants of Kaidan $5.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  6. Millie $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  7. Potato Thriller Portable $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  8. Sinless: Remastered $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  9. Sparkle 3 Genesis $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  10. Teddy Floppy Ear: Kayaking $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  11. Teddy Floppy Ear: Mt Adventure $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  12. Teddy Floppy Ear: The Race $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  13. The Dweller $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  14. The Final Take $2.99 -> $0.99; 5 days left
  15. Dungeon Adventure: Heroic Ed.
Read More

Welcome the new week with 45 temporarily free and 54 on-sale apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Cerberus is working on a personal safety app called Persona

Cerberus has been one of the most popular device security apps over the years, and the developers are now looking to protect more than your phone. Persona is a "personal safety" app that can instantly share your location in the event of an emergency. This service is included with Cerberus, so subscribers are already set as soon as the app goes live.

Persona is out in beta today, with the opt-in available at this link, and the app will be here.

Read More

Cerberus is working on a personal safety app called Persona was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Devialet Phantom Silver WiFi/Bluetooth speaker review

I can already hear people screaming. “$2,400 for a speaker? Who would be crazy enough to buy that?” What if I told you that they can be used in pairs via a separate hub? What if I told you that, with the remote, a stereo setup using the Phantom Silvers costs over $5,000?

The Phantom Silver is the mid-range 3,000 watt version of the Phantom, sandwiched between the 750 watt regular Phantom and the 4,500 watt Phantom Gold. It’s a ridiculously expensive, ridiculously high-end WiFi speaker that uses its own app to stream music from your devices and also offers Bluetooth. The sound coming from this guy will knock your socks off.

Overview

  • Price: $2,390.00
  • Wattage: 3,000W
  • Sound pressure: 105 dB SPL at 1 meter
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth with aptX, optical, WiFi, Ethernet, Airplay
  • Dimensions:  253 mm x 255 mm x 343 mm
  • Weight: 25.1 lbs
  • Where to buy: Devialet

The design of this speaker is striking, and the last word I’d use to describe it is subtle. It stands out as a huge white egg. Opinions on its design will be mixed, but I think it’s beautiful. Even in a more traditional interior, it somehow looks the part. Maybe that may not be the case for the gold Phantom, but the white and silver make for a stunning look.

On the front you’ll find a flowery grill housing the aluminum tweeter. The ring around it is the aluminum mid driver with a Devialet logo right above it.

On the sides are stainless steel panels and the all important bass drivers. These can pulse for effect, but when the sound is turned up, they’re pumping out some crazy pressure.

On the back is the only button you’ll find on this speaker. It’s a simple power button. Every other control is done on your phone, aside from the pairing command. At the bottom there is a big metal heatsink and the power cable coming out of it. Underneath the power cable cover is an Ethernet port and an optical port. The power cable is an unfortunate yellow color, and being very thick, it stands out too much.

Inside is an ARM Cortex-A9 800MHz dual-core processor with 512MB of DDR RAM paired with a Texas Instruments PCM1898 DAC that supports 24bit/192kHz audio.

The box the Phantom comes in is pretty brilliant. Split it open and you’ll find the Phantom in a thin, tight cover on a styrofoam stand. It’s a pretty triumphant unboxing experience.

Build quality

The outside shell is a glossy ABS plastic with no give to it. The sides are covered in matte stainless steel. Inside is an aluminum core made to build high pressures, replacing the need for a large cabinet size. Devialet claims that it can produce up to 1.2 tons of pressure. All of this results in over 25 lbs of weight; it’s a hefty speaker.

All of the materials feel very premium, though with stationary speakers this is not critical. The main part is that they look premium, which they absolutely do. Again, the only thing I really take exception to is the yellow power cord.

Sound quality

So what does $2,400 and 3,000 watts get you? An amazing listening experience. The maximum volume is ridiculously loud. The highs are perfectly clear even at full volume. Every detail is obvious in a way I have not heard before.

And the bass. It’s thunderous. It shakes your ribs, which is a wonderful feeling and very unexpected for the size. At one point the clock mounted to the opposite wall fell off. The woofers move like crazy, and putting your hands on them allows you to feel just how hard they’re pushing. It’s a wonderful sight to see these speakers putting on a show. Yet place your hand on top of the speaker and it’s barely even vibrating.

But it’s not all about impact, as the woofers produce a smooth, complex sound that really brings out the detail in the lows. This results in a beautifully warm tone to the music.

The highs are very powerful but far from sparkly. They’re surprisingly smooth, and that’s rare in any sound system. Brightness tends to be popular, but I never much enjoyed it. Despite not being sparkly, the highs are incredibly detailed.

The overall sound signature becomes very warm, though the bass never becomes overpowering. I do wish that the bass was adjustable, as in music like power metal I might turn it down a tad, but overall the sound is balanced very well.

My favorite part about the speaker is how distinct the separation is between the lows, mids, and highs. It really feels like the various sounds of complex music are coming from different spots despite the speaker being fairly small. This is especially apparent when two are set up in stereo.

The Phantom produces sound below the 20Hz level of human hearing. These tones have been shown to produce feelings of unease and nervousness from long exposures. With the Phantom able to product 16Hz sound, this creates a feeling of chills and depth that regular sound simply can’t.

Yes, the Phantom is an amazing experience at crazy volumes. But even at low volumes the sound is so smooth and warm. At a quiet volume you can talk over, you’ll easily differentiate between a Phantom and a sound bar with a subwoofer almost outsizing a Phantom. Unlike most speakers, clear details and warmth are not lost at low volumes.

Listening over Bluetooth is definitely a downgrade from WiFi streaming, so you’ll want your music to either be local or through Tidal (which prides itself on high-fidelity audio). Over Bluetooth you’ll notice a loss of detail and a lower maximum volume. It’s definitely still extremely enjoyable, but if you’re turning it up to 11, WiFi is the way to go.

Software

The speaker comes with its own Android app called Devialet Spark, both to set the system up and to stream music over WiFi. The app supports streaming of local music, Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, and built-in web radio stations. There’s no Google Play Music here, which is a huge shame.

The initial setup basically asks what room your speaker is in and what connections you’ll be using. During the setup, a quiet tone will play and the woofers softly quiver like they’re alive. It’s almost eerie, but it adds so much to the experience. If you have two or more as well as a Dialog hub, you can assign each to a separate room or assign two to the same room in stereo. To select the speaker, you simply place a hand on it and the woofers will pulse and make a sound. Once it is done, the tone gets higher pitched and fades away. It’s an amazing and really special setup process. I’ve redone it simply for the experience!

From there, you can select local music, make playlists, listen to streaming services, and change settings for your speakers. It’s a simple, barebones app that isn’t particularly great. Thankfully it’s not buggy or annoying to use, either. It streams music just fine.

This app also updates all of your Devialet devices, which adds new features on a regular basis. Spotify support was added not too long ago.

Extras

With the Devialet Phantom system, you can buy various accessories. The Dialog is a central hub that allows you to sync up multiple Phantoms and build a multi-room network. If you want more than one of these $2,400 speakers, you’ll need this box. It has its own Ethernet and optical ports.

Devialet Phantom 3

You can also get a $149 remote. Will this remote control every function of your Devialet system? Absolutely not! It’s a simple volume knob, but what a volume knob it is. The ring is made out of stainless steel with an acrylic center. To connect it to your Phantom, you bring it close and turn it upside down. It’s definitely an awesome piece of tech, but it’s a ridiculous amount of money for a remote that just does volume.

Then there are the various mounting methods if you don’t like your speakers on the floor. The Tree is a tall stand that comes in brown or white for $375 and $349, respectively. The Treepod is a three-legged, short stand that is $329. The Gecko is a $199 wall mount that is frankly impressive as it holds over 25 lbs. You can also get the $299 handmade Cocoon, a carrying case for travel.

Devialet Phantom Silver9.5 / 10

DSD_4137 - Copy

It’s hard to describe the experience of listening to a pair of Phantoms. It’s just that: an experience. All the reviews and specs on paper won’t explain how it feels to listen to music on these speakers. Fire up some high-quality music of your choice, sit back, turn it up, and enjoy.

You’ll hear details you may have never heard with every listen. The bass will shake your chest. The warmth will envelope you. You’ll experience music in a new way. This is a bit dramatic, but it’s truly amazing when one has never had experience with truly high-end audio.

Of course you can build a better sound system for the money. It won’t be fancy, it won’t have all the nice software and support, and it’ll be much much larger. But you can get better sound for the price. However, Devialet has built an incredible, easy-to-use product that packs a ridiculous punch in a small package.

If you can get a chance at listening to one of these, take it. If you can afford to pick one up, do it. It’s an amazing product that matches audiophile sound and flashy presentation. Plus, every guest will ask you what that weird white egg is in your living room.


Android Match

Google delaying some white Pixel 2 orders by a month

One of the biggest questions Google was forced to answer with the launch of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL was whether or not it’d be able to meet demand for its new smartphones. When Google launched the original Pixel and Pixel XL last year, it took quite a while to start fulfilling orders on a timely basis, especially for the Pixel XL. This year doesn’t seem to be much different, but it looks like the smaller Pixel 2 is seeing the brunt of the pressure this time around.

As noted by Android Police, many people are expressing their unhappiness at the fact that Google has apparently delayed their order of the white Pixel 2 by a month. In an effort to appease customers whose orders have been delayed, Google is offering a $40 Live Case for free.

It’s worth noting that shipping for the Pixel 2 is a bit all over the place depending on which model you are looking for. The unlocked 64GB white Pixel 2 is listed as out of stock at the time of publication. However, the same variant with 128GB built-in storage will ship in 3 to 4 weeks. The Verizon variant of the 64GB white Pixel 2 ships immediately, but the 128GB Verizon model will ship out in 3 to 4 weeks.

Depending on the model you want and the amount of storage you need, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are kind of hard to come by just days after launching to the public.

Were you notified by Google that your white Pixel 2 order had been delayed?


Android Match

11 new and notable Android apps from the last week (10/17/17 - 10/26/17)

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Apps

LastPass Password Manager Beta

Android Police coverage: LastPass releases separate beta listing on the Play Store to test autofill in Android Oreo

The LastPass Password Manager Beta is just that, a beta release.

Read More

11 new and notable Android apps from the last week (10/17/17 - 10/26/17) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google is actively investigating reports of Pixel 2 XL display burn-in

Following the October debut of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, early reviews for the Pixel 2 XL began to call out issues with the display.

Google recently responded to those complaints, saying that the display was designed to have “more natural colors,” but that it could perhaps address the issue by adding more color options via a software update at some point in the future. That wouldn’t necessarily fix some of the other issues some have caught with the display, but it might be enough for some owners.

Over the weekend, some reviewers started to notice something else: what looks like screen burn-in:

There’s some speculation that this could be image retention and not actual burn-in. Image retention isn’t as bad, but it wouldn’t be a permanent issue like screen burn-in.

Still, The Verge saw the same thing happening with its own Pixel 2 XL review unit. As is pretty standard, Google’s statement touts the technology in its POLED display and says that there is an extensive quality testing procedure that happens before a phone is launched. Still, they say that they’re investigating the report of screen burn-in. Here’s the statement:

“The Pixel 2 XL screen has been designed with an advanced POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution, wide color gamut, and high contrast ratio for natural and beautiful colors and renderings. We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. We are actively investigating this report.”

Screen burn-in is an issue with OLED displays, but this is typically diagnosed after months, if not years, of usage. Having this problem crop up with just a couple of weeks of usage could be a big problem for Google, especially if it is discovered to be actual screen burn-in and not image retention.

If you picked up a Google Pixel 2 XL, what are your thoughts on its display?


Android Match

[Update: Fixed] Google Photos isn't showing recently backed up images for some

  • Based on my own experience, some of the comments on this post, and threads on Google's support forum, this particular issue looks to have been fixed. Images and photos uploaded

Google Photos is probably one of the most renowned products the company has ever made. But, right now some people are having a bit of trouble with it. For many, images uploaded to the service since October 17th aren't appearing on the Google Photos website, although the images are being backed up and can be accessed via Google Drive. 

I'm one of those affected by this problem, and from the plethora of posts to the Google Photos product forums, I'm not alone.

Read More

[Update: Fixed] Google Photos isn't showing recently backed up images for some was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

YouTube Music v2.04 introduces an all-red icon, will soon enable double-tap to seek [APK Teardown]

YouTube may be in the process of making some changes to its branding and style choices with some of its mobile apps. A few days ago, the YouTube Gaming app received an update sporting a redesigned icon that kept its original heart shape, but sidelined the low-poly look it had launched with. And now it's time for the YouTube Music app to do the same. 

The shape is basically the same, but the classic vinyl look of the old icon has been retired and filled in with YouTube's signature red and white color scheme.

Read More

YouTube Music v2.04 introduces an all-red icon, will soon enable double-tap to seek [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Pay With Google aims to speed up online checkout

If you buy things online, Google wants to make your process a bit faster.

Today Google officially announced Pay With Google. The idea is that users will be able to checkout a bit faster with online services. Pay With Google uses the stored credit and debit cards that are already linked with your Google Account, so you don’t have to type in anything to checkout. Google will automatically send the appropriate card data and shipping information to the seller.

Unsurprisingly, Pay With Google works with things like Google Play and Android Pay and users will also find upstart from services like Eat24, Kayak, Postmates, and Doordash. Other services like Papa John’s, StubHub, Boxed, and more will be supported in the near future, too.

If you’re someone who does a lot of mobile online shopping and you hate inputting all of your card and shipping data, Pay With Google sounds like it will help quite a bit.


Android Match

Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Love You to Bits, What the Forecast?!!

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven’t appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1. Lawnchair Launcher

Lawnchair Launcher App info: Lawnchair, bringing Pixel Features to the masses. An open-source project developed by volunteers, Lawnchair has quickly become the de-facto choice for Android enthusiasts everywhere. New features are being added regularly… with the promise that Lawnchair will always be FREE and open-source.

 

2. Love You to Bits

Love You to Bits App info: You will follow the journey of Kosmo, a clumsy, rookie space explorer in search of Nova, his robot girlfriend. After a fatal accident, all of Nova’s pieces get scattered in outer space! So now Kosmo wants to retrieve all Nova’s bits, rebuild her, and get back together. 

 

3. What The Forecast?!!

What The Forecast App info: Welcome to What The Forecast?!! Finally, there is an accurate Android weather app that will explain, in real terms, how nasty it is outside. You will never again wonder if you should just go back to bed (which, of course, you should). Sometimes, it is better to just give up and try again tomorrow. 

 

4.  ASUS 360° CAMERA

ASUS 360 CAMERA App info: 1.View the World in 360°. 2.Capture Beautifully Detailed 360° Pictures. 3.Connect to the World With the Exclusive App. 4.Immersive VR Mode

 

5. Movies Anywhere

Movies Anywhere App info: Seamlessly store the movies you’ve collected in one place—so you can watch them when and where you want. With Movies Anywhere, every night is movie night.

 

Note:  To ensure that all apps receive a fair chance to make the list, we will retire any app that has made the list for three consecutive weeks.
Android Match

Essential drops the price of the Essential Phone to $499

If you missed the limited time promotion from Best Buy that saw a $100 discount applied to the Essential Phone, the company behind the smartphone has a new deal worth checking out.

Essential has announced that it’s now offering the Essential Phone for $499. That’s a $200 discount off of its launch price.

To get the Essential Phone at its new price point, you’ll need to get the smartphone from Essential.com directly; it doesn’t look like the price drop will be available from Sprint or Best Buy (it’s still listed at $699 from both).

For the early adopters out there, Essential is offering a $200 coupon code that can be used on Essential.com for either a new Essential Phone or the 360 Camera (which is priced at $199). To be eligible for this friends and family code, you’ll need to have purchased your Essential Phone before today, October 22.

You will also need to go through this website and fill out the online form. That means you’ll need to input your email address as well as input your Essential Phone’s serial number and IMEI number so Essential can verify the device’s eligibility.

So, who’s going to buy an Essential Phone at the new $499 price point?


Android Match

Mercedes adds fingerprint support to its otherwise-terrible app

If you have a recent Mercedes-Benz, you may have used the 'Mercedes me' app. It allows you to manage your car remotely, including starting the engine (2016 models or newer) and locking/unlocking the doors. The app currently has an average rating of 2.1 stars on the Play store, with the vast majority of reviews being one star.

While I can't say for certain if the app's basic functionality has improved at all (I don't own a Benz), Mercedes has quietly added an important feature - fingerprint support.

Read More

Mercedes adds fingerprint support to its otherwise-terrible app was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google Photos isn't showing recently backed up images for some

Google Photos is probably one of the most renowned products the company has ever made. But, right now some people are having a bit of trouble with it. For many, images uploaded to the service since October 17th aren't appearing on the Google Photos website, although the images are being backed up and can be accessed via Google Drive. 

I'm one of those affected by this problem, and from the plethora of posts to the Google Photos product forums, I'm not alone.

Read More

Google Photos isn't showing recently backed up images for some was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

YouTube has a zoom-to-fill mode for the Pixel 2 XL

More and more phones are being released with 18:9 screens (can we just call them 2:1?), and OEMs usually make small tweaks to Android to improve the experience. Google is no exception, as the company has made at least one change for the Pixel 2 XL - a new mode for YouTube videos.

On the Pixel 2 XL, you can now pinch and zoom to adjust the video fit. By default, the video fits inside the screen, but you can do a zoom gesture to make it fill the entire screen.

Read More

YouTube has a zoom-to-fill mode for the Pixel 2 XL was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google Allo v21 adds a cropping tool for profile pictures [APK Download]

These days, almost every service with any kind of social element includes a place for a profile picture. Most apps will also give users an opportunity to crop the image down before locking it in, that way you don't have to break out a photo editor just to center yourself and cut out other people from the shot. Most people probably never noticed it, but this little convenience feature wasn't available in Allo, at least not until now.

Read More

Google Allo v21 adds a cropping tool for profile pictures [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Icon Pack Mixer lets you build your own custom set of icons from your favorite packs

One of the best things about Android is the ability to customize it. You aren't locked into a particular look, from replacement launchers to icon packs, you can change things to fit your tastes quite extensively. With the new Icon Pack Mixer, a recently-launched app from the developer of Adapticons, you can even take that a step further. It lets you mix and match individual icons from various packs into one.

Read More

Icon Pack Mixer lets you build your own custom set of icons from your favorite packs was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

High-end HTC U11 Plus specs leak

With its focus on a leaner product line, HTC has been fairly quiet in recent times, releasing a handful of devices each year. The time is nigh for a new smartphone from the company, and if the rumors hold true, it’ll be a high-end device with specs to satisfy power users. The HTC U11 Plus is slated to launch on November 2, and thanks to @evleaks, we know what to expect.

HTC is packing the U11 Plus with power including components like a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB/6GB RAM, and 64GB/128GB storage plus a microSD card slot. The display is a 6-inch WQHD+ (2960×1440) LCD stunner, perfect for viewing photos shot with the 12-megapixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture. There is also an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 3930mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, IP68 dust and water resistance, BoomSound audio, and HTC’s Sense UI.

The U11 Plus is a real powerhouse, designed to compete with the latest and greatest flagships on the market. There’s no word on pricing or a release date, but keep watching for more rumors and coverage of the reveal event on November 2.


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Google gives Pixel 2 owners early access to its latest Spotlight Story, 'Son of Jaguar'

Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners are getting a small bonus for purchasing Google's latest smartphones. Google Spotlight Stories, a vestige of Google's Motorola days showcasing the power of virtual reality storytelling, is giving owners of the latest Pixel devices early access to "Son of Jaguar," an animated short film about a luchador from director Jorge Gutierrez.

The eight-minute VR story is told from the point of view of Son of Jaguar, a formerly renown Mexican wrestler, as he "faces his legacy, his family, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than himself," according to the Google Spotlight Stories site.

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Google gives Pixel 2 owners early access to its latest Spotlight Story, 'Son of Jaguar' was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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The ‘Made for Google’ accessory site is now up!

The “Made for Google” program aims to guarantee that any accessory you buy with that badge is a quality part. Of course, it’s also a clever business move to make some money and feature certain companies, but that’s good business. And now the site for the program is up!

The site links to various retailers, some well known and some not so much. The links go directly to a Google-centric page on the retailer’s site. Some links don’t work, but we assume that the site is a work in progress to show what retailers Google is working with.

With this program, you can get certified cases, screen protectors, skins, cables, headphones, and more for your Pixel devices. The cables in particular are a good buy because they’re guaranteed to comply with USB spec. Hit the source link and check out what’s available!


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Amazon Tap portable speaker receiving big discount today only

Amazon’s latest Deal of the Day will help you take Alexa with you wherever you go.

Amazon is now offering the certified refurbished Amazon Tap for a significant discount. Amazon says that this refurbished device is tested and certified to look and work like new.

The Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth speaker, letting you take the Alexa assistant with you on the go. You can tap a button on the speaker to call up Alexa, or you can enable hands-free mode to speak to Alexa whenever you want. Hands-free mode will slightly decrease the device’s battery life.

When connected to Wi-Fi, the Amazon Tap offers Alexa skills like streaming from music services, giving you the weather, requesting a ride from Uber, ordering a pizza from Domino’s and more.

This deal on the Amazon Tap will only be available today, October 20, so you’ve only got around 10 hours left to take advantage of it as of this post.


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You can now use PayPal to send money through Facebook Messenger

Technically speaking, Facebook Messenger has supported the ability to send and receive money for quite awhile. But if you prefer to handle your online transactions with PayPal, that base is now covered, too.

PayPal announced today that you can use Facebook Messenger to send money. To get it to work, Messenger users just need to tap on the blue “+” sign while in a one-on-one chat or a group chat, then select the green “Payments” button. From there you’ll be able to select how you want to send your money. PayPal doesn’t make any specific mention of it in the announcement, but it does look like if you have multiple money accounts tied to your PayPal account, you’ll be able to select which one you want to use before you send any funds.

If that isn’t enough, PayPal is also introducing a specific bot to help PayPal customers when they might not want to call it or just want to stay in the Facebook Messenger app. The bot will help PayPal users change their password and get help with payment issues and refunds. It can also help users with general account issues.

Both the payment support and the PayPal bot are rolling out today.

Do you think you’ll use the new feature?


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Superior ‘Hey Google’ command rolling out to phones

When it comes to triggering a virtual assistant, Google’s hotword has to be the worst. Instead of the easy to say “Alexa” or “Hey Siri,” you have to say the awkward phrase of “OK Google.” While not a big deal, it’s not the most pleasant of hotwords.

Google Home introduced the far superior “Hey Google” hotword, but it has been exclusive to the line of Google Home devices so far. Thankfully, Google is finally rolling out the new hotword to smartphones.

Once the feature has rolled out to you, you’ll get a notification to retrain the voice model for the new hotword. If you haven’t gotten the update yet, check Google Play for the Google app update. That might get you the new hotword support.


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HTC U11 Plus passes through TENAA

Much like the FCC in the US, TENAA certifies devices like smartphones for the Chinese market. This usually gives us a peek at the device before it’s announced. The latest phone to pass through TENAA is the HTC U11 Plus.

The device looks very much like the original U11 but with an 18:9 display ratio. Rumored specs include a 5.99-inch QHD+ screen, a Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, a single 12MP rear camera, IP68 water resistance, and of course no headphone jack.

It’s pretty likely we’ll be seeing this device unveiled during the November 2 event. Who’s excited for the next HTC flagship? Leave a comment!

Via: SlashLeaks, XDA-Developers
Source: TENAA


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Here's how to remap the Pixel 2's Active Edge squeeze function [APK Download]

One of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's highlight features is the Active Edge squeezable frame. By default, the squeezing motion will activate Google Assistant, and Google doesn't allow you to make it trigger anything else. But just as it only took developers a few days to circumvent the issue with the Galaxy S8's Bixby button, we've already got a workaround courtesy of an update to an app called Button Mapper by flar2.

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Here's how to remap the Pixel 2's Active Edge squeeze function [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Chrome 62 revamps the Chrome Home UI, enables new web features, and more [APK Download]

It has been about a month and a half since the last Chrome release, but good things come to those who wait, right? Chrome 62 includes yet another redesign hidden behind a flag, some new APIs developers can use, and several smaller tweaks. So without further ado, let's get into it.

Modern UI for Chrome Home

Google is still gradually rolling out the bottom address bar redesign for Chrome, known as 'Chrome Home.' At the same time, the company is working on 'Modern layout for Chrome Home,' which is essentially version 2.0.

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Chrome 62 revamps the Chrome Home UI, enables new web features, and more [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google’s ‘Try It Now’ feature will let you try Instant Apps before you download

Google announcedInstant Apps” back at its I/O conference back in 2016. The initial aim of the project was to let Android users quickly try an app they discovered through Google Search without actually downloading and installing the app onto their device.

That idea is now extending into the Play Store directly with a new “Try It Now” button. This button will allow Android users to quickly try out an app without downloading it. A new section in Google Play called “Apps to Try Now” has eight apps to try, including The New York Times Crossword, Hollar, SkyScanner, and others.

If a user decides they like the app after trying it out, they will be able to then quickly download the full version of the app onto their device and keep using it without issue. If they don’t, they can just stopand go about their day without having to worry about uninstalling anything.

Right now the feature is only available for free apps, and there isn’t any word on if this will be a way for folks to try out paid apps without having to buy them before they really try them, but it would certainly be an interesting way to handle it.

What do you think of Google’s Instant Apps idea?


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Samsung Galaxy Tab Active2 now official with 8-inch display

Samsung today officially unveiled a brand new tablet which will launch before the end of the month.

The Galaxy Tab Active2 sports an 8-inch display with a resolution of 1280×800. It’s got a rugged design and is IP68-rated for water and dust resistance. Under the hood the Galaxy Tab Active2 boasts an octa-core Samsung Exynos 7870 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. There is a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 256GB for expandable storage.

Also included is an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a USB Type-C port on the bottom for charging, and a battery that measures in at 4450mAh and is user replaceable, too. Samsung included a fingerprint reader on the Galaxy Tab Active2 as well as Android 7.1 Nougat. It also features Samsung’s Knox 2.8 security software suite.

Samsung is packing an S Pen in with the Galaxy Tab Active2 which supports Air Command for quick-launch features, a 4096 pressure level, and IP68 water and dust resistance.

The Galaxy Tab Active2 will launch in October “in select markets.” Exactly which markets those are hasn’t been divulged, nor has the tablet’s price.

What do you think of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab Active2?


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ZTE Blade X now available at Cricket for $120

ZTE and Cricket Wireless are teaming up to launch a new prepaid Android smartphone.

The ZTE Blade X is now available from Cricket. Pricing is set at $119.99.

When it comes to specs, the ZTE Blade X is packing a 5.5-inch 1280×720 display and 5-megapixel camera on its face, and around back there’s a 13-megapixel camera with LED flash and a fingerprint reader.

ztebladexcrickettopbottomaam

Inside the Blade X’s shell is a Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, as well as a microSD card slot if you need additional storage. There’s a 3,000mAh battery included, and the Blade X uses USB Type-C for recharging that battery.

Rounding things out are audio features like a 3.5mm headphone jack, Dolby Audio, and FM radio, as well as Android 7.1.1 Nougat.


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End the week with 34 temporarily free and 16 on-sale apps

The weekend is nigh upon us, which means that it's time for one more round of app sales. After Asmodee's sale on Wednesday, today's list feels a bit anticlimactic, but we trudge on nonetheless.

Free

Apps

  1. Dual Browser (Paid) $9.99 -> Free; 8 hours left
  2. BlackCam Pro - B&W Camera $1.49 -> Free; 1 day left
  3. GIF PartyPro - GIF Video Booth $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  4. Droper - Notes in Status Bar $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  5. Sketch Me!
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End the week with 34 temporarily free and 16 on-sale apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown]

The latest (minor) update to the Google app brought with it a surprise twist as it enabled customization in the search bar widget. As it turns out, that's not the only new thing in this update. A teardown also turned up quite a few clues relating to a new on-screen interface for Google Home or a new Home device with built-in display.

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
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Google app v7.14.15 includes references to Quartz, possibly a new Google Home device with built-in display [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps

The road to Instant Apps has been a long and tedious one. After being announced at I/O 2016 (yes, more than a year ago), they only began testing at the start of 2017, were opened to devs at I/O this year, and started properly rolling then to reach more than 500 Million devices in August. One component was still missing though from the Instant Apps experience: a way to try an Instant App on the Play Store without downloading it first.

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"Try Now" button starts showing up in the Play Store for Instant Apps was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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AMC's new VR apps will immerse you in The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands

Every fan of The Walking Dead has surely imagined what it would be like to encounter a walker in real life. Similarly, if you watch Into the Badlands, you'd probably love to get up close with the flight scenes. Thanks to two new VR apps from TV network AMC, you'll be able to watch both shows as part of a new immersive experience.

AMC VR takes you through the screen and into your favorite shows.

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AMC's new VR apps will immerse you in The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download]

The YouTube Gaming app has been flying under the radar for a while as most of the updates have been focused on fixing bugs or making fairly minor changes–there haven't even been any new easter eggs since v1.97. Yesterday's update shows a little bit more activity as both cosmetic and functional changes were made. A revamped app icon and splash screen bring a little freshness to the look, and the always familiar autoplay feature from the core YouTube app is now available so you can put on an endless stream of game reviews or let's plays.

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YouTube Gaming v2.02 adds Autoplay and introduces a new icon and splash screen [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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You can now buy Google’s new Daydream View VR headset

Earlier this month at Google’s most recent event, the company unveiled a brand new, slightly tweaked Daydream View VR headset.

If you’ve been eagerly anticipating the headset’s arrival, the big day has arrived. You can now head over to Google’s online storefront and order the new Daydream View. The VR headset is priced at $99, which is $20 more expensive than last year’s model. There are three colors: Charcoal, Fog, and Coral. Each headset comes with an included controller.

If you want to go with the Fog color option, you can buy it right now but it won’t ship for two to three weeks. The Charcoal variant will ship out on October 22 and the Coral color option will ship out immediately.

Google is also throwing in a bundle of VR games worth more than $40 if you purchase the new Daydream View VR headset by December 31, 2017.

As far as what Google changed in the new headset, there is a new fabric and new lenses, and Google says the new headset should be even more comfortable than the first generation headset.

Even with the small price hike compared to the original model, at $99 the Daydream View VR headset is certainly worth picking up if you want a VR experience. Do you plan on picking one up?


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Google comments on Pixel 2 XL display complaints

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are Google’s newest smartphones, and as reviews have surfaced, many have pointed out some issues with the display on the larger model.

Many complaints have centered around grainy grays and dark colors, especially when the brightness of the display is lowered below 30 percent. Others have pointed out that the colors on the OLED-equipped Pixel 2 XL are not as bright as they should be. But, according to Google, the color situation is on purpose, as the company aimed for a “more natural and accurate rendition of colors.”

For what it’s worth, there is a vivid color option to turn on if owners prefer their colors to pop a bit more on the display. And Google says that it could add more color options at a later date, depending on how user feedback goes.

Here’s the official statement from Google sent to CNET:

“We designed the Pixel display to have a more natural and accurate rendition of colors this year but we know some people prefer more vivid colors so we’ve added an option to boost colors by 10% for a more saturated display. We’re always looking at people’s responses to Pixel and we will look at adding more color options through a software update if we see a lot of feedback.”

When you pay as much as you do for a smartphone, one that is billed as a flagship with premiere specs, these types of issues with the display are certainly worth listening to. It’s good that Google is paying attention, and that a software update could improve things, but it’s still less-than-stellar that the problems existed in the first place.


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[Hands-on] PUSH, a minimal puzzle game that offers a beautiful and relaxing experience

Rainbow Train, the makers of the hardcore minimal "dodge-em-up" oO, has released an all-new minimal puzzle game experience on the Play Store that is simply known as PUSH. A fitting name for a puzzler where the central mechanic has you pushing button after button. What is interesting is that there is no timer, no point system, and no real objective other than to complete one puzzle after another.

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[Hands-on] PUSH, a minimal puzzle game that offers a beautiful and relaxing experience was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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F-Droid, the open-source app repository, has been updated to v1.0

If you are a big Android enthusiast, then you're probably familiar with the name F-Droid. If not, it's an extensive repository of open source apps, as well as the name of its accompanying client. Today that client has been updated to v1.0.

If you remember our coverage of v0.103, v1.0 should look pretty familiar. While there have been some significant changes behind the scenes, apart from a general improvement in performance and ease of use, you're not likely to notice much.

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F-Droid, the open-source app repository, has been updated to v1.0 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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Top 10 New Android Games This Week: Chef Wars, Tidy Robots

Welcome back to Android Gaming Weekly, our weekly recap of new game releases. We still plan to cover upcoming releases and games we’re playing, but this column is dedicated to new games that you can start playing right now. Check out our top picks and let us know in the comments section if you have any suggestions for next week’s post.

Love You to Bits

DescriptionYou will follow the journey of Kosmo, a clumsy, rookie space explorer in search of Nova, his robot girlfriend. After a fatal accident, all of Nova’s pieces get scattered in outer space! So now Kosmo wants to retrieve all Nova’s bits, rebuild her, and get back together. 

 

Tidy Robots

Description: Tidy Robots is an addictive puzzle adventure with cute characters and unique ‘marble-gobbling’ gameplay. Discover new toys as the robots collect marbles throughout the toy shop. Use toy blocks to change your robot’s direction, send robots walking over each other’s heads, leave your robots trapped in bubblegum, and smash chocolate balls into teddy bears!

 

Eternity Guardians

DescriptionWelcome to Eternity Guardians – An amazing real-time action MMORPG set in a reimagined mythical world of norse gods. Assume the role of a demigod as you embark on a journey to repel the Orcish invasion from the realms of mortals, and save your beloved sister from a mysterious and shady organization known only as Pandora.

 

Splish Splash Pong

Description: Splish Splash Pong is a water pong game with obstacles. Start as a rubber duck, bounce back and forth to avoid killer whales, collect coins, unlock more rubber characters and get the highest score.

 

Infinity Slice

DescriptionA puzzle game when in practice you have the possibility to reach an infinite score – As long as you keep slicing and slicing and slicing. The rules are simply: Slice, obey to the rules of physics and don’t cross any of the objects.

 

Bounce House

Description: Test your skills on the world’s longest bouncy Bounce House gauntlet! It’s so long it never ends! Bounce babies, dodge blocks, and watch out for the Castle Master…How far can you bounce?!

 

Chef Wars

Description: Chef Wars is the first food discovery RPG! Recruit chefs, source ingredients, and invent hundreds of recipes from around the world. Then use those recipes to win themed kitchen battles! Become the most famous chef and stop the evil Baron von Pork from world domination!

 

Drag’n’Boom

Description: Drag’n’Boom offers you a unique mobile gaming experience. The left side of the screen controls your movement: JUMP, FLY, and CHARGE YOUR PREY. The right side lets you spit fireballs: PILLAGE, BURN, RANSACK… and all in STYLE!

 

Word Select

Description: It’s simple to play: search, swipe, and connect the letters to guess the scrambled puzzle words. Can you find the right words hidden inside each puzzle? Try now and improve your spelling and train your brain daily!

 

Diamo XL

DescriptionSurvive the constant onslaught of obstacles by moving your character to all five zones within the Diamond. Collect points before the enemies smash them and keep moving to keep your multiplier high. Fill in the four triangles to complete the Diamond and get bonus points.

 


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