Google Home arrives in the UK this spring

Google Home, the smart speaker, launched in the United States back on November 4. Since then, the international rollout for Home has been eagerly anticipated by those wanting to put the device in their living space. For those in the United Kingdom, the wait is almost over.

Early this morning, Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC tweeted out that Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh has confirmed that Home will arrive in the United Kingdom in the second quarter of this year.

The tweet added that the AI skills and “vast data” of Home would give it an advantage over Amazon’s Echo. The Echo has been available in the UK since September of last year, so it certainly has had plenty of time to gestate in the region.

If you’re in the US, do you own a Google Home? How do you like it? For those in the UK, are you eagerly awaiting the Home’s arrival?

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The official Reddit app v2.1.9 receives a redesign to introduce bottom navigation

In the midst of the MWC hullabaloo, Reddit released a small redesign to its official Android app. Gone is the cluttered hamburger menu, so say hello to a bottom nav bar that's taking its place — for better or for worse. Version 2.1.9 also brings some other changes, which are mentioned in the official changelog.

  • We've now switched to bottom tabs for navigation - no more crowded hamburger menu!
  • Comment options are now accessible via a dedicated overflow menu
  • Check out the new Featured carousel to discover great new content
  • Bug fixes & performance improvements


There you have it.

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The official Reddit app v2.1.9 receives a redesign to introduce bottom navigation was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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SkyVR is now available for Daydream headsets

This isn't Sky's first foray into virtual reality. Previously, the British company had released Sky VR aimed at Cardboard headsets and now it's back with SkyVR for Google's newer and more capable Daydream platform. Was that confusing? Look for the space: Sky VR, space, versus SkyVR, no space. It's an important distinction.

Jokes about the name's reiteration, potential confusion, and lack of inventiveness aside, SkyVR is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in certain experiences like driving an F1 car with Damon Hill or walking the red carpet with the Star Wars cast.

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SkyVR is now available for Daydream headsets was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Racelink from the makers of Zombies, Run! is a virtual racing platform for brands and charities

Finding the motivation to put on your running shoes and get out to the street and, worse, start running can be tough. Zombies, Run! makes it fun by providing a back story and a "reason" for your run: Zombies are chasing you and your survival depends on running. It's thrilling and different enough that it could be the thing you need to start running and keep doing it every day. You might even get so passionate about it that you'd participate in the app's virtual races where you compete with real runners around the world.

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Racelink from the makers of Zombies, Run! is a virtual racing platform for brands and charities was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hangouts redesigns the unread message indicators [APK Download]

Hangouts users, gather 'round. There's an important update that will likely make this the most popular messaging platform in the world. Ha, I kid! That ship has sailed long ago. But there is actually a small nifty update to Hangouts that will make it easier to catch up on active chats.

Now, when you open a conversation with lots of unread messages, you'll see a new floating button at the top to "Jump to last read" (first screenshot above).

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Hangouts redesigns the unread message indicators [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Lenovo’s new Tab 4 series tablets feature front-facing speakers, Nougat

Following Samsung’s announcement of a new Android tablet, Lenovo today revealed a quartet of its own new Android slates.

The Lenovo Tab 4 series is now official with four different models. The Tab 4 8 and Tab 4 10 are the more affordable of the set, and they share a largely similar spec list. Both tablets include Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, two front-facing speakers, 16GB of storage, and a microSD slot for adding more storage.


The two big differences between these two devices are their screen sizes and battery sizes. The Tab 4 8 features an 8-inch 1280×800 display and 4850mAh battery, while the Tab 4 10 is packing a 10.1-inch 1280×800 screen and 7000mAh battery.


The Tab 4 8 Plus and Tab 4 10 Plus are higher-end versions of those devices. Both Plus models include Snapdragon 625 processors, 4GB of RAM, 8-megapixel rear and 5-megapixel front cameras, dual front-facing speakers, and fingerprint readers. They also come with 64GB of built-in storage and a microSD slot if you need more storage on top of that.


As with the non-Plus Tab 4 tablets, the differences between the Plus tablets are their screen and battery sizes. The Tab 4 8 Plus has an 8-inch 1920×1200 screen and 4850mAh battery, while the Tab 4 10 Plus includes a 10.1-inch 1920×1200 display and 7000mAh battery.

On the software side, all four tablets come equipped with Android 7.0 Nougat. Lenovo also touts that it’s got some of its own special features baked in, including multi-user support.

All four Tab 4 series tablets will begin rolling out globally in May. Pricing will start at €169 ($179 USD) for the Tab 4 8 and go up to €179 ($190 USD) for the Tab 4 10, €259 ($274 USD) for the Tab 4 8 Plus, and €299 ($316 USD) for the Tab 4 10 Plus.


Rounding out today’s announcements are optional add-ons for the Tab 4 series tablets. Lenovo is prepping a Kid’s Pack that’ll include a shock-resistant bumper for your tablet, a blue-light filter, and some stickers for your device. Lenovo also offers a Kid’s Account on the software side along with parental controls and curated kid-friendly content.

For grown-ups, Lenovo will offer a Productivity Pack that’ll include a Bluetooth keyboard. This keyboard can also work as a stand and a protective sleeve.

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17 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (2/14/17 - 2/27/17)

roundup_icon_largeWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks 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.



Android Police coverage: BatON is an app that tries to show the battery level of connected Bluetooth devices, despite Android's limitation in this area

Bluetooth, as a wireless standard, is working on its fifth major revision.

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17 new and notable Android apps from the last 2 weeks (2/14/17 - 2/27/17) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Inbox v1.41 prepares to intelligently choose snippets from emails and allow sorting [APK Teardown]


The Gmail team put artificial intelligence to task with Inbox. Its usefulness as an email client is punctuated by how effective it is at organizing and determining the importance of incoming mail. Of course, there's always room to add more clever features, whether they are designed to cut down cognitive load or just save a couple taps. A teardown of the latest Inbox update reveals two more features are coming soon to do exactly that.

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Inbox v1.41 prepares to intelligently choose snippets from emails and allow sorting [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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CloudPets user data, possibly including children's voice messages, hacked and held for ransom

cloudpetsEverything can be hacked, as a certain Overwatch character is fond of saying. That seems to be increasingly true of consumer electronics... including stuffed teddy bears and unicorns. According to security researcher Troy Hunt, a series of web-connected, app-enabled toys called CloudPets have been hacked. The manufacturer's central database was reportedly compromised over several months after stunningly poor security, despite the attempts of many researchers and journalists to inform the manufacturer of the potential danger.

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CloudPets user data, possibly including children's voice messages, hacked and held for ransom was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Oppo shows off slim 5x zoom camera setup

A second camera sensor for optical zoom isn’t anything new in smartphones, but usually it’s limited to 2x zoom. LG has been using a zoom sensor for a while, and the iPhone 7 Plus has a second 2x zoom sensor as well.

Oppo has taken it a step further and announced a new 5x optical zoom setup. It’s not currently being used in any device, but it likely will be in the future.

To reduce bulk, Oppo mounted the sensor sideways and used optics to take a photo at a 90 degree angle. This allows for the use of a series of lenses without adding thickness.

While 2x zoom isn’t very useful, 5x zoom definitely could be. Oppo’s implementation is definitely unique and interesting and we can’t wait to see it in a smartphone. It should be in a flagship this year!

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Facebook Video app now available on Samsung Smart TV

Facebook announced that its new video app will be coming to TVs and streaming boxes a few weeks ago, and it’s holding true to that promise. You can now download the app to your Samsung Smart TV if it was made in 2015, 2016, or 2017.

The app focuses on showing you videos that were posted by your friends as well as top videos on the site. Facebook is placing more of a focus on video, so pushing an app dedicated to video is a strong first step.

If you’re interested, check it out on your Samsung Smart TV today. It’s still coming to other platforms like the Apple TV in the future. Now it’s up to you to decide whether Facebook has any good, unique content to offer you.

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Google makes Play Store sales (including free offers) for paid apps and games official

You may have seen earlier this month that Google started testing a few new sale features on the Play Store. Select developers were able to set sale prices that showed up on the purchase button, and (finally) paid listings could be temporarily free. Now, that functionality is official. There's a support page with all the relevant details developers can check out.

There are a few important things to know before you go setting apps to free all willy-nilly.

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Google makes Play Store sales (including free offers) for paid apps and games official was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Cricket to start throttling unlimited data customers after 22GB

Cricket’s unlimited data plan has been truly unlimited. Though it’s limited to 8Mbps speeds, you still get as much data as you can use. Unfortunately, this is about to change.

Cricket has announced that it will be throttling unlimited data users after 22GB of data usage if the network is congested. This doesn’t mean that you’ll lose high speed data after 22GB, but you may be throttled depending on the network use around you. This practice will begin April 2.

Cricket is also releasing a new feature called Stream More at the same time, which will basically downgrade all streaming video to 480p. So you can “stream more” by streaming lower quality video. This is a good feature for many, but Cricket is making it opt-out rather than opt-in. It will be automatically enabled for everyone.

Looking ahead, the carrier announced that both WiFi calling and Voice over LTE will be coming later this year.

These are some big changes that are sure to upset some Cricket customers. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Mozilla acquires article-saving app Pocket

Mozilla wants a bigger stake in the mobile space, and one way to do that is to acquire a service that has more than 10 million users across the globe.

Mozilla has officially announced that it has acquired the read-it-later service known as Pocket. The app, which allows users to save articles from around the internet to read later, has over 10 million monthly users and is one of the more popular article-saving apps out there.

Mozilla has also confirmed that the 25-person Pocket team will stay together, and that they will continue to do their work as a separate entity from Mozilla, but still be under the company’s umbrella moving forward. Mozilla’s technically folding Pocket into its open source project.

Pocket was originally founded back in 2007, when it was known simply as Read It Later.

Do you use Pocket or do you prefer another read-it-later service?

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ZTE Blade V8 Mini and ZTE Blade V8 Lite announced at MWC 2017

After announcing the flagship Blade V8 Pro, ZTE is back to unveil a pair of mid-rangers for the younger generations at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

First up, the Blade V8 Mini. This handset offers a 5-inch HD display, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor under the hood, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage. There’s a microSD card slot for expandable storage, a fingerprint reader on the back, and a non-removable 2800mAh battery. It will run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

On the back, ZTE included a dual camera setup with one 13-megapixel shooter and a 2-megapixel camera for capturing with bokeh-style photos. ZTE says owners will be able to take 3D photographs, too, by combining two images taken with each camera. The Blade V8 Mini also features support for HDR photos, manual shooting modes. The front-facing 5-megapixel camera features a moonlight flash feature.

When the Blade V8 Mini launches later this year, it will be available in Europe and some Asia Pacific regions. ZTE didn’t reveal how much it would cost.


The other new addition is the Blade V8 Lite, which features a 5-inch FHD display and an 8-megapixel camera on the back. There’s a MediaTek MTK6750 processor inside, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of built-in storage that supports a microSD card. The 2500mAh battery is non-removable, it’s running Android 7.0 Nougat, and there’s a 5-megapixel front-facing camera above the display.

The Blade V8 Lite will launch in Italy, Germany, and Spain at some point in the near future, and according to ZTE, it will be aggressively priced. However, the company didn’t divulge how much it would actually be just yet.

Based on specs and design aesthetics, are these the devices to win over the younger generation?

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Motorola Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus Are All a Budget Shopper Wants

Budget-minded consumers have been hotly anticipating the Motorola Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. The two devices come to replace the super popular Moto G4 family.

As it seems to be the trend these days in the middle-range market, the newcomers seem to look pretty premium boasting metal backs and frames. Thus Motorola offers budget consumers the chance to purchase a stunning looking phone without breaking the piggy bank. So let’s see what the two new phones bring to the table:

Motorola Moto G5

  • 5-inch display 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • Snapdragon 430 clocked at 1.4GHz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD up to 128GB)
  • 13MP f/2 system with phase detection autofocus/5MP
  • 2,800 mAh battery with 10W rapid charger in the box (removable)
  • Option to navigate through the screens using the fingerprint reader
  • Google Assistant
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

  • 5,2-inch display 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • Snapdragon 625 clocked at 2GHz
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD up to 128GB)
  • 12MP f/1.7 with phase detection autofocus/5MP
  • 3,000 mAh battery with 10W rapid charger in the box (non-removable)
  • Option to navigate through the screens using the fingerprint reader
  • Google Assistant
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Only the Moto G5 Plus will be sold in the States and if we have to guess Canada too. The device will available in Lunar Gray or Fine Gold for approximately $392 CAD. Expect it sometime in March.

The post Motorola Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus Are All a Budget Shopper Wants appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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LG G6 Goes Official – Here’s Everything You Need to Know

As anticipated, LG unleashed the LG G6 flagship over the weekend. The struggling Korean tech giant has invested a lot of time and dedication into developing this smartphone – which it hopes will be much better received than its predecessor, the LG G5.

Anyway, we already knew a lot about the device, but now LG has come out and officially unveiled the device. The phone features a spacious 5.7-inch “FullVision” display which is said to take over 80% of the front panel. The screen features 2,880 x 1,440 pixel resolution and allows users to open two square app windows side by side (for example: web browser and messaging app).

Like anticipated the phone takes advantage of last year’s Snapdragon 821 processor and not the Snapdragon 835 which for the time being is reserved for Samsung’s Galaxy S8. The phone supports 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of internal storage (microSD card slot available to increase memory up to 2TB).

The newcomer features a dual camera setup with 13MP sensors (one for wide-angle shots with 125-degree lens and f/2.4 aperture and the other for regular shots with 71-degree lens and OIS 2.0). As for selfies, the LG G6 comes equipped with a 5MP wide-range lens with f/2/2 aperture and 100-degree lens.

The phone relies on a 3,300 mAh battery (500 mAh extra than the LG G5) and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with LG’s brand new UX 6.0. It also comes with the Google Assistant onboard, but if you don’t want to pay premium to get access to the Assistant we suggest you take a look at Nokia’s new slew of phones.

The LG G6 is said to be the “first smartphone with Dolby Vision video support.” It also comes with support for HDR10 tech. Dolby confirmed there are about 90 movie with Dolby Vision already available for streaming. The phone also has a 32-bit Hi-Fi Quad DAC (digital to analogue converter) but this feature will be limited to some areas.

The phone will offer dual SIM support in the Middle East and CIS, the larger storage option is mainly for the Asian market, while the US (and maybe Canada) is the only region getting wireless charging and HiFi quad DAC is not available in the vast majority of the world as well.

The new flagship is indeed launching early March, as previously reported. It will be made available on the Korean market first, starting March 10 and globally shortly after. In LG’s home country, the price will start at $1,043 CAD. It’s a pretty steep price, but certainly not more than Samsung will be asking for the Galaxy S8.


The post LG G6 Goes Official – Here’s Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Mozilla announces acquisition of Pocket

If you've never used it, Pocket is a popular app that allows you to save links from several browsers and other applications in an easily-accessible list. Mozilla and Pocket have been working together for a while now, most notably to bring native Pocket integration to Firefox. Now Read it Later, Inc., owners of Pocket, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Mozilla.

The acquisition has two main purposes - expanding Mozilla's product portfolio beyond Firefox, and using the Pocket core team to help develop Mozilla's Context Graph initiative.

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Mozilla announces acquisition of Pocket was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Epic Games announces Battle Breakers, a tactical RPG coming to Android later this year

Epic Games has released titles exclusive to iOS for years, and now its first Android game is on the schedule for release in 2017. It's called Battle Breakers, and you can pre-register for it on the Play Store right now. There's even some bonus content available if you sign up. You might want to do that considering the expected use of in-app purchases in this free-to-play game.

Battle Breakers is a turn-based RPG done in the style of "zany 80’s Saturday morning cartoons." I can get behind that in theory.

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Epic Games announces Battle Breakers, a tactical RPG coming to Android later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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LG G6 to launch in South Korea on March 10, LG Pay arrives in June

LG officially announced the G6, its newest flagship yesterday, but at the time, it didn’t confirm a launch date or pricing. LG’s mobile chief, Cho Juno, has now confirmed a few key points.

The first is that the G6 will launch in South Korea on March 10. That lines up with a previous rumor, so it’s possible that the flagship handset will launch in the United States in early April. However, Juno did not confirm any launch news for the U.S. market just yet.

Additionally, Juno did mention that the Korean pricing for the G6 could be set around 899,800 won, which is about $795 USD. Nothing official just yet, but if the G6 is indeed priced there, it wouldn’t be too surprising.

Juno also mentioned LG Pay, the company’s efforts in the mobile payment space. While LG Pay was announced awhile ago, LG gone quiet on that front ever since. Juno says the company plans to launch LG Pay in June of this year, but didn’t go into any details on how that might work, where the service will be available at launch, or what type of support it will have out of the gate.

Finally, logos. According to Juno, the consumers in the United States actually like seeing the logo on the front, so that’s partly why the company decided to stick it just below the display, on that small bezel. However, he also noted that it’s “just a matter of time” before the company removes it altogether on the front, as screens continue to grow in size (and, presumably, bezels continue to shrink).

Are you planning on buying the LG G6 when it arrives?

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Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Cipher Chat, BatON

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. YouTube Go

YouTube Go

App info: Find a world of videos: songs, movies, TV shows, comedy, fashion, cooking, how-to’s and many, many more! Download and watch your favorite videos. Instantly share videos – no data used to transfer. Search for any video and discover new videos. Only 8.5MB app size.


2. Island Delta

Island Delta

App info: Island Delta is an exciting action filled adventure game where you wield a powerful anti-gravity weapon to defeat dangerous enemies, solve puzzles and overcome hazardous traps. Explore this retro-futuristic world with heroes, Zoe and Baxter, as you set out on a daring rescue mission and face the evil Doctor Gunderson and his mechanical minions.


3. Email – Fast & Secure mail (Unreleased)


App info: Email delivers an intuitive interface to keep things simple and manage all of your accounts in one place–including Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Outlook, Office/Outlook 365, AOL, and IMAP mail accounts.


4. BatON


App info: “This app _tries_ to show battery level of the bluetooth devices. Bluetooth device MUST has Hands-Free profile (accept, reject phone calls) or GATT profile (usually 4.0+ Low Energy devices).
To recheck battery level just tap on the notification.”


5. Cipher Chat

Cipher Chat

App info:  Chat anonymously. No phone number, email address or personal info required. Here you can be john doe. How does it work? Choose any username and password to login/register. Search for other people by their username or chat with complete strangers.


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.

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Welcome to Google Developer Day at Game Developer Conference 2017

Posted by Paul Bankhead, Director, Product Management, Google Play 

Mobile gaming is more popular than ever. Over the past year, we saw breakout hits, including Pokemon GO, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, Clash Royale and Reigns introduce new, high quality gaming experiences on Google Play. Gamers around the world were also able to access Google Play more easily than ever before, helping developers reach a larger audience and grow their businesses. In 2016, nearly 300 million new (30 day active) users adopted Android devices from emerging markets such as India, Brazil, and Indonesia. And last year, more than 100 million new users were able to access locally relevant forms of payments (such as direct carrier billing or gift cards) helping more people globally access and buy their favorite apps and games on Google Play.

We've also focused heavily on polishing our software and hardware offerings to improve the overall gaming experience on Android. The release of Nougat delivered high-performance realtime 3D graphics with the Vulkan API and the launch of Pixel phones provided the first Daydream-ready devices tailored for immersive mobile VR. Elsewhere, the expansion of Firebase provided the tools and infrastructure to support developers throughout the lifecycle of their game with features like real-time analytics, push notifications, storage, and ads. To streamline the integration, Firebase is now completely available for C++ and Unity developers.

Today, during our annual Developer Day at the Game Developers Conference, we introduced new tools to improve the overall discovery on Google Play, especially supporting developers who build high quality and engaging games.

  • Promoting high quality experiences based on engagement, not just installs: With the enormous variety of games available on Google Play, there are many instances when great games don't get the visibility and attention they deserve. Recently, we've begun tuning our algorithms to optimize for user engagement, not just downloads. This is one of our ways to reward quality, which for games means promoting titles with stickiness (strong engagement and retention metrics) as well as a more traditional measure like a high star rating.

  • Offer sales and increase purchases of premium games with strikethrough pricing: Available in the Google Play Developer Console starting today, strikethrough pricing allows developers to run their own price promotions on paid apps and games leading to greater awareness and conversion. During our pilot phase, developers not only saw a 3x–20x lift in installs during their promotions, they also maintained a nice lift once the sales ended.

  • More curation of high quality games through editorial pages: One more way we'll highlight quality games is through new editorial pages on the Play store launching later this month. These pages allow our editors to hand-select games exemplifying optimal gaming experiences on Android. They allow users to explore different game styles and genres with editorial reviews on themes such as epic RPGs and top racing games.


At our Developer Day, we also gave attendees a sneak peek at some high-fidelity games coming to Google Play later this year. Including titles from major studios to indies, and even two new VR titles, there's something for every gamer!

Available for pre-registration on Google Play
  • TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight by Kabam is a new high-definition, action-fighting mobile game set in an immersive world. The game will feature authentic Transformers "more than meets the eye" action, allowing players to engage with Optimus Prime, Megatron and many other popular Autobots and Decepticons in a stunning 3D environment. The game will be available worldwide on April 5, 2017.
  • Battle Breakers is a new frenetic tactical role-playing game from Epic Games, powered by Unreal Engine 4. A vibrant fantasy sci-fi cartoon adventure, Battle Breakers lets you recruit and build a dream team from hundreds of unique heroes to battle monsters as you take back the Kingdom, one break at a time!
  • Injustice 2 lets you guide your stable of Super Heroes and Villains to victory. Expanding on the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2 delivers brand new characters, tons of exciting new modes and the look and fighting style that NetherRealm Studios is known for. Injustice 2 will be available on Google Play for Android devices in May.
Coming soon
  • Virtual Rabbids is the first VR Rabbids experience on mobile developed by Ubisoft Montpellier in collaboration with Bucharest. Available this spring on Daydream, players will find themselves in some of the most precarious situations as they race to save the planet.
  • Beartopia is a cooperative multiplayer village game by Spry Fox. Make friends, work together and grow a thriving community.
Later this afternoon, we'll host a series of lightning talks to share what it takes to launch successful VR and AR games, build with Firebase, implement machine learning in your game, and so much more. Visit our site for more info and the Google Developer Day schedule. For those who can't make it in person, watch the live stream!

This is just the start of what we have planned for 2017. We hope you can make use of these tools to improve your games, engage your audience, and grow your business and revenue.

How useful did you find this blogpost?

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Sony launches Xperia Touch smart projector

Mobile World Congress is in full swing, with product announcements left and right. One of the more notable products is Sony’s Xperia Touch Android projector. The Xperia Touch can turn any flat surface into a 23-inch HD touchscreen that has a variety of capabilities ranging from streaming video to playing games. More importantly, the fact that it’s powered by Android allows it to run any app or game from the Google Play Store, opening up a wide world of possibilities. Additionally, PlayStation 4 Remote Play works with the Xperia Touch, creating even more opportunities.

Sony Xperia Touch

The Xperia Touch uses Sony’s SXRD projection technology paired with a camera that senses Infrared light at 60 frame per seconds, enabling touch technology. Sony has created a custom home screen skin that’s designed for ease of use in any lighting condition. Users can quickly see the weather, take video notes, use Skype, see their calendar and more.

The Xperia Touch is rolling out to select European retailers in Spring 2017. It will also be available in select countries via the Xperia Store Online. Suggested pricing is set at €1499 ($1593 USD).

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Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ caught on camera in new photos and video

Expectations have been high for Samsung’s upcoming flagship, with potential buyers hoping the company can bounce back in a big way from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle of last year. Now, a series of new leaks have reportedly caught the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ out in the wild.

The photos and videos show the rounded corners and curved edges of the upcoming handsets. Both flagship smartphones are also reportedly ditching the capacitive navigation buttons of past models to make room for more display, and we get to see the on-screen buttons in these latest leaks.

Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked photo Samsung Galaxy S8 leak2 galaxys8sideleak galaxys8bottomleak

A tour of the handsets show the fingerprint reader on the back, curiously placed to the right of the rear camera. We get to see the hardware buttons alongside the right edge and USB Type-C port along the bottom. There’s a speaker down there as well, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack for good measure.

For anyone craving more of the Galaxy S8, and the Galaxy S8+, these newest images and video should fill the void for now. We still have about a month to wait before Samsung makes either one of these handsets official, though.

Are you getting excited for Samsung’s newest flagship?

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T-Mobile offering a free line of service beginning in March

T-Mobile is kicking off a new promotion to thank its customers.

The Un-carrier has announced that “virtually any” current T-Mobile customer can add an additional line of service for free as long as they have at least two current lines of voice service. That includes T-Mobile One plans as well as Simple Choice and Simple Choice No Credit. The promo will be available beginning Wednesday, March 1.

T-Mobile also confirmed that customers will be able to use that free line in whatever way they want: a new smartphone line, free access to a tablet, a smartwatch, or other options.

The new offer will also work with another deal: T-Mobile ONE’s two lines for $100 per month. That means that subscribers that can get three lines for only $100 per month (with AutoPay enabled).

What do you think of T-Mobile’s new deal?

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Sony launches Xperia XA1 and Xperia XA1 Ultra at MWC 2017

Alongside the unveiling of two new Xperia XZ-branded devices, Sony has revealed a pair of mid-range handsets to fill out the new lineup.

The first is the Xperia XA1 Ultra. Sony’s new mid-range device boasts a 6-inch full HD 1080p display, a MediaTek helio P20 octa-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and variants with either 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage. The handset supports microSD cards for expandable storage, a battery measured in at 2700mAh, and Android 7.0 Nougat on board.

The camera on the back is a 23-megapixel shooter, with Hybrid Autofocus, 5x Clear Image Zoom, HDR, and a 24mm wide-angle F2.0 lens. There’s also a 16-megapixel front-facing camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), autofocus, and a 23mm wide-angle F2.0 lens.

It will be available in gold, black, and pink, and it will launch in the spring of this year.

Sony Xperia XA1 official

Meanwhile, the XA1 features a 5-inch 720p HD display, a MediaTek helio P20 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, up to 32GB of built-in storage, and support for expandable memory. The battery measures in at 2300mAh, and it will run Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

The camera on the back of the XA1 is a 23-megapixel shooter with Hybrid Autofocus, 5x Clear Image Zoom, SteadyShot, and a 24mm wide-angle F2.0 lens. Around front is an 8-megapixel camera with Autofocus, SteadyShot, and a 23mm wide-angle F2.0 lens.

The Xperia XA1 Ultra will be available in gold, pink, white, and black. It will launch this spring.

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Sony announces Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZs at MWC 2017

Mobile World Congress is officially underway, and Sony decided to make the first day exciting by announcing not just one new smartphone, but four.

Sony has filled out its flagship lineup with two new devices and then added a couple of mid-range handsets for good measure. At the top of the list is the Xperia XZ Premium, which touts a sharp, colorful display as well as the world’s first smartphone camera with super slow motion video capture.

The Xperia XZ Premium (pictured above) boasts a 5.5-inch 4K HDR TRILUMINOS display with Dynamic Contrast Enhancement and Sony’s proprietary X-Reality for mobile picture engine. Underneath the hood is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in storage. It supports a microSD card up to 256GB for expandable storage. The battery is measured in at 3230mAh, it’s running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, has a USB Type-C port, and a fingerprint sensor as part of the power button (not available in all markets).

The big takeaway of the Xperia XZ Premium is the camera. On the back, it has a 19-megapixel shooter with Motion Eye and a memory-stacked Exmor RS sensor. This means that the flagship smartphone provides five times faster image scanning and data transfer. It supports video recording at 960 frames per second. It also supports Predictive Capture, anti-distortion shutter, triple image sensing technology, Predictive Hybrid Autofocus, SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization), and 4K video recording.

Meanwhile, the front-facing camera is a 13-megapixel shooter with a 1/3.06” Exmor RS™ for mobile image sensor, 22mm wide angle lens, ISO6400, and F2.0.

The flagship device is also IP68-rated for water and dust-resistance. The Xperia XZ Premium will be available in Deepsea Black and Luminous Chrome in the spring of this year. Prices haven’t revealed at this time.

Sony Xperia XZs official

Sony also introduced the Xperia XZs, which has a 5.2-inch 1080p HD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in storage (a 64GB dual-SIM model also exists). The battery is measured in at 2900mA and there’s also a USB Type-C port, a fingerprint reader on the power button (on some models), and Android N out of the box.

The Xperia XZs has a 19-megapixel camera on the back that supports:

  • Motion Eye
  • 19MP 1/ 2.3” Exmor RS™ for mobile, memory stacked image sensor
  • Super slow motion 960fps video capture
  • Ant-distortion shutter
  • Triple image sensing technology
  • Predictive Hybrid Autofocus
  • SteadyShot™ with Intelligent Active Mode (5-axis stabilization)
  • 4K video recording

The Xperia XZs will be available in Ice Blue, Warm Silver, and Black in April of 2017.

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Samsung Family Hub app now available on the Play Store, if you have the fridge to match

We interrupt our MWC reporting now to bring you some Very Important Breaking News That Couldn't Wait Any Second Longer™. (Read: Rita got bored of spec sheets and wanted to have some light fun.)

Remember Samsung's Family Hub fridge? Yeah, that one, the ridiculous fridge that looks like it has a Droid slapped on the front, the same fridge that's probably more expensive than your entire current kitchen and appliance fleet combined, yup that fridge.

Read More

Samsung Family Hub app now available on the Play Store, if you have the fridge to match was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Alcatel’s latest Android phones include one with an LED-covered back

Alcatel is the latest manufacturer to show off new Android hardware at MWC 2017.

Alcatel’s got three new affordable Android smartphones to show today, starting with the Alcatel U5 (shown above). The U5 runs Android 6.0 on a 5-inch 854×480 display and places a big focus on its selfie features, which include a 2-megapixel front camera with LED flash and software features like Face Mask and Face Beauty.

Other features of the Alcatel U5 include a 5-megapixel rear camera with flash, quad-core MediaTek MT6737M processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 2050mAh battery.


Next up is the Alcatel A3. This one’s all about selfies, too, packing a 5-megapixel front facing camera with a wide angle 84-degree lens and similar software features to the U5. There’s also a 13-megapixel around on the back of the A3.

The Alcatel A3 features Android 6.0 and a 5-inch 1280×720 screen, and inside its shell lives a quad-core MediaTek MT6737 processor paired with 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. There’s a 2460mAh battery packed inside there, too.


Rounding out the trio of new Alcatel phones is the Alcatel A5 LED, which Alcatel touts as “the world’s first interactive LED-covered smartphone.” Its back panel is covered in LEDs that can show different lights for notifications, and there’s also Color Catcher 2.0 for creating special LED cover patterns and themes.

When it comes to raw specs, the Alcatel A5 LED is running Android 6.0 on a 5.2-inch 1280×720 screen and it’s packing an 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-tone flash and a 5-megapixel front camera with a wide angle lens and flash. Inside the A5 LED is an octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 2800mAh battery.

With its new phones, Alcatel looks to be targeting the affordable Android market and shoppers that care more about special features than high-end specs. Two of the devices have lots of selfie features, and then there’s the A5 LED, which is sure to get some attention when you’re out and about. So if those features pique your interest, keep an eye out for Alcatel’s new handsets.

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AT&T Unlimited Plus and Choice plans official, coming March 2

The unlimited data war in the US continues this evening.

AT&T says that this Thursday, March 2, it’ll launch two new unlimited data plans. The first is Unlimited Plus, which starts at $90 per month for a single line with autopay and paperless billing and goes up to $145 per month for two lines and then $20 per line per month for additional lines.

With Unlimited Plus, you’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data, HD video streaming with Stream Saver turned off, and 10GB of high-speed mobile hotspot with speeds slowed to 128Kbps after. After 22GB of usage, though, your speeds may be slowed during times of network congestion.

If you’d like to add a tablet or hotspot to your Unlimited Plus plan, you can do so at a rate of $20 per device per month. Smartwatches can be added for $10 per device per month.


AT&T is also offering deals on TV service to Unlimited Plus customers. Unlimited Plus customers that sign up for DirecTV, DirecTV Now, or U-verse TV can get a $25 monthly video credit on their bill. With this discount, Unlimited Plus with DirecTV Now will cost $100 per month, while Unlimited Plus with DirecTV will cost $115 per month.

Also launching on March 2 is the Unlimited Choice plan. This rate plan also offers unlimited talk, text, and data, but the data is capped at 3Mbps and video streaming tops out at 480p and 1.5Mbps.

Pricing for Unlimited Choice is $60 per month for a single line after autopay and paperless billing and $115 per month for two lines. From there, it’s an additional $20 per line per month. You can add tablets or hotspots for $20 per device per month or smartwatches for $10 per device per month.

This announcement comes days after AT&T announced that it was making its previous unlimited data plan available to all of its customers. The good news here is that AT&T’s new Unlimited Plus plan is an improvement over the previous plan, offering 10GB of hotspot like unlimited plans from other US carriers. And while Unlimited Choice may not sound like a very attractive plan to some of us, $60 for unlimited data could be a decent option for lighter users or folks that don’t stream a ton of video.

Sources: AT&T (1), (2)

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Samsung Gear VR gains a controller

Today turned out to be a pretty big day for Samsung at MWC 2017. In addition to introducing a new Android tablet and teasing its next flagship, the company debuted a new controller for the Gear VR.

The Gear VR with Controller is a bundle that includes a Gear VR headset and a wireless controller. That controller includes a touchpad and Home, Volume, and Back buttons, letting you use those features with the controller in your hand rather than making you reach up to your headset overtime you want to use them.

The controller, which runs on AAA batteries, also includes a wrist strap so that you don’t accidentally send it flying during a gaming session.

Oculus, who Samsung has partnered with on the Gear VR, says that there are more than 70 new controller titles in development. All of the existing touchpad apps will also work with the new controller.

The Gear VR headset itself seems to be similar to the one that Samsung launched late last year, offering 42mm lenses, a 101-degree field of view, and both microUSB and USB Type-C support.

If you’ve been thinking about buying a Gear VR, it may be worth holding out for this model, because the addition of the controller seems like it’d make using the Gear VR quite a bit easier. Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on when the Gear VR with Controller will launch, so for now we’ll just have to wait for Samsung to spill the beans. Maybe it’ll happen on March 29?

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Samsung teases upcoming Galaxy S8 with March 29 announcement date

Samsung previously confirmed that it would not be unveiling the Galaxy S8 at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and instead it lent the stage to a new flagship tablet. But the company also confirmed that we wouldn’t be completely without Galaxy S8 news.

Indeed, Samsung planned to announce the big reveal date for the Galaxy S8 at this year’s MWC, and now it’s done just that. After announcing all of its other keynote products for 2017, it launched a quick video to tease the incoming handset.

The video measures in at about 30 seconds, and it shows a variety of different ways to represent a phone. And, as Samsung makes it pretty clear, our smartphones all share a pretty common theme. However, Samsung is looking to change things up a bit with the Galaxy S8, as it teases at the end of the video with the tagline “Unbox your phone.”

In that last image, we are teased with a phone that’s only major defining outline will be the bezels at the top and bottom of the handset.

This would certainly line up with the laundry list of rumors and leaks that have seen the light of day over the last few weeks. The last leak we saw of the handset showed its minimal bezels as well as onscreen navigation buttons.

Word on the street is that Samsung plans to launch the Galaxy S8 globally on April 21 following its big reveal date on March 29.

Are you looking forward to picking this phone up when it launches?

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 announced with S Pen and four speakers

Samsung has officially announced a brand new Android product at Mobile World Congress. As expected, it’s a brand new tablet.

Officially known as the Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung unveiled the device today, showcasing a new flagship device with a large 9.7-inch display and all the bells and whistles potential buyers would come to expect.

As far as the specs go, that 9.7-inch display supports High Dynamic Range (HDR), and it’s a Super AMOLED panel with 2048×1536 resolution. Under the hood, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It offers 32GB of built-in storage, but the Galaxy Tab S3 also offers a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

There’s a 13-megapixel camera with autofocus and a flash on the back, and on the front there’s a 5-megapixel shooter for selfies. A USB Type-C port is on the bottom, it’s running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, and the battery measures in at 6000mAh. Fast charging support is in there, too.

The new Galaxy Tab S3 also comes with a “refined” S Pen, which is a bit thicker than previous generations to help with handling on the larger tablet display. The tip of the pen has been reduced to only 0.7mm, and it has increased pressure sensitivity. The S Pen will also support the ability to take notes on the tablet’s display while it’s off, PDF annotation, and more.

Unfortunately, while the tablet has been revealed, a release date and pricing have not. Hopefully Samsung announces those particular details soon.

What do you think of the Galaxy Tab S3?

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Moto announces new Moto Mods, one with Amazon Alexa support

Amazon‘s Alexa, the digital personal assistant, has certainly expanded beyond Amazon-branded products like the Echo smart speaker.

That trend continues with a new announcement out of Moto from Mobile World Congress 2017. The company has confirmed that it is set to launch a variety of new Moto Mods, the modular accessories for the Moto Z flagship line, in the first half of this year.

The most notable new addition to the Mods lineup is one that supports Amazon’s Alexa. The Mod will allow users to simply ask the digital personal assistant for updates on the news, request a ride from ride-hailing services like Lyft, and control your smart home accessories.

Moto also announced that it will be directly integrating Alexa into its smartphones beginning later this year, but didn’t reveal too much in that regard.

More Moto Mods set to arrive a little later this year. They include a Moto Power Pack that will instantly add 50 percent more battery life to your smartphone without adding any bulk. It also has a “special efficiency mode,” which will automatically charge your phone to keep efficiency at its peak. Moto says it will launch in the United States sometime in March for $49 USD.

There are others on the way, too. That includes a wireless charging Moto Mod, a Turbo Power Moto Mod, and a charging adaptor. The Gamepad Moto Mod is another newcomer to the family, which Moto hopes will transform your Moto Z into a mobile gaming console by adding an integrated battery, physical controls that flank the phone’s display, and more.

These new Moto Mods are set to arrive in the first half of 2017.

If you own a Moto Z, do you use Moto Mods?

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New Nokia Android phones unveiled along with updated Nokia 3310

Back in early January, the Nokia name made a comeback with the debut of the Nokia 6, a new Android phone produced by HMD Global. Now that comeback continues with a few more new devices.

Nokia today took the wraps off two new Android phones and a new feature phone, and also shared some big news regarding the Nokia 6. Here’s how it all breaks down:

  • Nokia 6 is launching internationally in Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue, and Copper color options. Pricing will be set at €229 ($242 USD). There will also be a limited edition Nokia 6 Arte Black edition with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a high gloss black finish for €299 ($316 USD).


  • Nokia 5 will sell for €189 ($200 USD) in Matte Black, Silver, Tempered Blue and Copper colors. Specs include Android 7.1.1 running on a 5.2-inch 1280×720 display, 13-megapixel rear camera with phase detection autofocus, 8-megapixel front camera, Snapdragon 430 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD slot, and a 3000mAh battery.


  • Nokia 3 is even more affordable, coming in at a price of €139 ($147 USD) and Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White color options. Buyers will get an Android 7.0 smartphone with a 5-inch 1280×720 screen, 8-megapixel front and rear cameras, quad-core MTK6737 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot, and a 2650mAh battery.


  • Nokia 3310 is the updated version of a classic mobile phone. This new model runs Nokia Series 30+ software and has a 2.4-inch QVGA display. Included is a 2-megapixel camera, 16MB of storage, a microSD slot, FM radio, microUSB, 2G network support, and a 1200mAh battery. Nokia and HMD are also throwing in the classic game of Snake that’s been updated for 2017. The Nokia 3310 will sell for €49 ($52 USD).

As a reminder, these new phones aren’t actually being built by Nokia. Instead, Finnish company HMD Global is making the devices and licensing the Nokia name. That doesn’t change the fact that these Nokia-branded Android phones look like solid pieces of kit. They’ve got clean designs and run the pure version of Android Nougat, complete with Google Assistant, and they’re priced affordably, too. We’re looking forward to checking them all out — including the new Nokia 3310 — when they start rolling out globally in Q2 2017.

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