BLU Vivo 8 debuts with 13MP camera and 4GB of RAM, will be on sale for $199.99

If you’re in the market for a deal on a new Android smartphone, BLU’s got just that for you.

BLU today introduced the Vivo 8, and the new handset is now available on Amazon. Normally it’s priced at $299.99, but between August 31st and September 1st at 11:59 pm ET, it’ll be $100 off. That’ll leave the final price at $199.99.

No matter when you buy the BLU Vivo 8, you’ll get an Android 7.0 smartphone with a 5.5-inch 1920×1080 display. It’s got a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and Sony IMX258 sensor as well as a 16-megapixel front-facing camera with its own LED flash. Below the display lives the Vivo 8’s fingerprint reader.

Other features of the Vivo 8 include an octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD slot, dual SIM slots, and a 4,010mAh battery. The BLU Vivo 8 is sold unlocked and offers support for LTE bands 2/4/7/12/17, which means it should work on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S.

The BLU Vivo 8 has some nice specs, like 4GB of RAM its large 4,010mAh battery, that make it worth a look at its regular price. The phone becomes even more interesting at its sale price of $199.99, though, and so you may want to keep it in mind if you’re in the market for a new Android smartphone.

Android Match

Google Photos v3.4 prepares to add favoriting and offer one-time permission to do backups over cellular [APK Teardown]

Version 3.4 of Google Photos started rolling out earlier today, and like so many other recent app updates, you're probably not going to see much in the way of changes. This is a pretty common theme around this time of year as Google prepares to launch new hardware and services. But investigating the app updates themselves can still turn up clues about future enhancements. In this release, there are signs that users will be able to mark photos as "favorites" and quickly pull up a list for easy browsing.

Read More

Google Photos v3.4 prepares to add favoriting and offer one-time permission to do backups over cellular [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Google Camera HDR+ port updated with bug fixes and zero shutter lag

The Google Camera app with HDR+ from the Google Pixel was recently ported to other Snapdragon-powered devices, but it had a lot of bugs keeping it from being a main camera app. 60 FPS video was broken, the front camera wouldn’t work on some devices, and there were a multitude of crashes.

The latest release has fixed most of the bugs and the developer has also added Zero Shutter Lag in auto HDR+ mode. You can now take photos in an instant, even when HDR+ is in use. Forcing HDR+ will disable ZSL and use a stronger HDR algorithm.

Another developer has fixed some issues with Snapdragon 820 and 821 devices in a separate APK release for those who need it. If you’re rocking a late model Snapdragon devices with the Hexagon 680 DSP, hit the source link to give the app a shot! The results are pretty amazing.

Android Match

SoundHound updates its music ID and discovery app with a fresh new look

Sometimes there's nothing nicer than seeing an app you like get a new coat of paint. Today the popular app SoundHound was updated to v.8.0.2, bringing with it a brand-new look that makes it even easier to navigate and help you find the songs you love. Or, at least, the songs on the tip of your tongue you heard one time playing in a coffee shop that sounded kind of cool.

Read More

SoundHound updates its music ID and discovery app with a fresh new look was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Google Assistant is coming to more devices, including speakers and appliances

Much like Amazon has done, Google is opening up Google Assistant to third parties. Though the companies virtual assistant has so far resided on smartphones and watches (and of course the Google Home), you’ll soon start to see it in products like speakers and appliances.

Google mentions that new speakers like the Zolo Mojo by Anker, TicHome Mini by Mobvoi and GA10 by Panasonic will feature Assistant built-in, as well as appliances from LG and others. Many new products with Assistant will be announced at IFA Berlin.

Of course, Google Assistant isn’t limited to speakers and appliances. Many new products will be announced that support Assistant control as well, which is arguably more important than featuring Assistant in the first place.

In the next few days we’ll see these teased products be announced. Google is pushing hard to compete with Amazon in the virtual assistant game and bringing the service to third parties may very well pay off.

Android Match

T-Mobile likely launching Samsung Galaxy Note 8 BOGO deal soon

New leaked documents show that T-Mobile is already planning a Buy One, Get One deal for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 8. If you have a T-Mobile One or Simple Choice Unlimited plan, you’ll be able to buy a Note 8 on EIP and open a second line to get a second Note 8 free.

This is nothing new, as T-Mobile constantly runs BOGO deals on flagship Samsung devices. The same rules apply, requiring you to open a second line to take advantage of the deal. So it comes as no surprise that T-Mo is doing the same with the Note 8.

If you don’t want a second Note 8, you can also get a Galaxy S8 or S8+. You’ll need to enter the code 17SAMN8BOGO at the T-Mobile Promotion Center to get your prepaid MasterCard. And best of all, the deal will apply to you if you’ve already pre-ordered the device within the conditions previously mentioned.

The deal should launch on September 1 according to the leaked documents, though it’s no guarantee it will go down exactly as described. Will you be taking advantage of it?

Android Match

Here are 36 temporarily free and 41 on-sale apps, plus the Game of the Week

It's already the middle of the week and the last app sales post for August. Today's list is more substantial than most that we see on Wednesdays, so prepare yourselves. And the first of the ten-cent apps has appeared, and it's a good 'un. Just remember that we in the U.S. are more often than not excluded from the $0.10 sale price — today is no exception.



  1. Fine Diary (Paid) $4.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  2. GocalSD Premium Key $3.49 -> Free; 2 days left
  3. Ekstar Pdf Reader $30.99 -> Free; 4 days left
  4. EasyCloud for WD My Cloud $2.49 -> Free; 5 days left
  5. AppSearch Pro - Search your apps $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  6. Memorize Everything Me $0.99 -> Free; 7 days left


  1. LASERBREAK Pro $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  2. Etaria | Survival Adventure $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  3. No Man's War $1.49 -> Free; 3 days left
  4. Hero Unleashed $1.99 -> Free; 5 days left
  5. Alien Adventure(Full Ver) $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  6. Balance 3D $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  7. Craft Prison Escape 3D - PRO $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  8. GOW ( Get Off Work ) $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  9. Ocean Survival 3D - Pro $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  10. Striker in The hole(Full Ver) $1.49 -> Free; 6 days left
  11. Survival on Raft Online War PRO $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  12. Survivor of Hell:Lets Play Tag(Full Ver) $1.49 -> Free; 6 days left
  13. Wari Gari Chicken $0.99 -> Free; 6 days left
  14. Kids Puzzle - learn 82 animals $1.99 -> Free; 7 days left

Icon packs & customization

  1. Easter 3D Live Wallpaper $0.99 -> Free; 2 hours left
  2. Impossible Reality 3D Pro lwp $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  3. OREO 8 - Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 1 day left
  4. IconX - Icon Pack $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  5. N8 Zooper Widgets $0.99 -> Free; 2 days left
  6. The ROX Kollection KWGT $0.99 -> Free; 4 days left
  7. 3D Abstract Live Wallpaper $1.49 -> Free; 6 days left
  8. Earth.
Read More

Here are 36 temporarily free and 41 on-sale apps, plus the Game of the Week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

9 new and notable Android Wear apps and watch faces from the last month (7/20/17 - 8/30/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android Wear apps and faces that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous month 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.


Music Streaming, Songs, Albums & Radio

Android Police coverage: Deezer updated to include support for Android Wear [APK Download]

About a month ago the internet-based music streaming service Deezer added support for Android Wear.

Read More

9 new and notable Android Wear apps and watch faces from the last month (7/20/17 - 8/30/17) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Hardening the Kernel in Android Oreo

Posted by Sami Tolvanen, Senior Software Engineer, Android Security

The hardening of Android's userspace has increasingly made the underlying Linux kernel a more attractive target to attackers. As a result, more than a third of Android security bugs were found in the kernel last year. In Android 8.0 (Oreo), significant effort has gone into hardening the kernel to reduce the number and impact of security bugs.

Android Nougat worked to protect the kernel by isolating it from userspace processes with the addition of SELinux ioctl filtering and requiring seccomp-bpf support, which allows apps to filter access to available system calls when processing untrusted input. Android 8.0 focuses on kernel self-protection with four security-hardening features backported from upstream Linux to all Android kernels supported in devices that first ship with this release.

Hardened usercopy

Usercopy functions are used by the kernel to transfer data from user space to kernel space memory and back again. Since 2014, missing or invalid bounds checking has caused about 45% of Android's kernel vulnerabilities. Hardened usercopy adds bounds checking to usercopy functions, which helps developers spot misuse and fix bugs in their code. Also, if obscure driver bugs slip through, hardening these functions prevents the exploitation of such bugs.

This feature was introduced in the upstream kernel version 4.8, and we have backported it to Android kernels 3.18 and above.

int buggy_driver_function(void __user *src, size_t size)
    /* potential size_t overflow (don’t do this) */
    u8 *buf = kmalloc(size * N, GPF_KERNEL);
    /* results in buf smaller than size, and a heap overflow */
    if (copy_from_user(buf, src, size))
    return -EFAULT;

    /* never reached with CONFIG_HARDENED_USERCOPY=y */

An example of a security issue that hardened usercopy prevents.

Privileged Access Never (PAN) emulation

While hardened usercopy functions help find and mitigate security issues, they can only help if developers actually use them. Currently, all kernel code, including drivers, can access user space memory directly, which can lead to various security issues.

To mitigate this, CPU vendors have introduced features such as Supervisor Mode Access Prevention (SMAP) in x86 and Privileged Access Never (PAN) in ARM v8.1. These features prevent the kernel from accessing user space directly and ensure developers go through usercopy functions. Unfortunately, these hardware features are not yet widely available in devices that most Android users have today.

Upstream Linux introduced software emulation for PAN in kernel version 4.3 for ARM and 4.10 in ARM64. We have backported both features to Android kernels starting from 3.18.

Together with hardened usercopy, PAN emulation has helped find and fix bugs in four kernel drivers in Pixel devices.

int buggy_driver_copy_data(struct mydata *src, void __user *ptr)
    /* failure to keep track of user space pointers */
    struct mydata *dst = (struct mydata *)ptr;
    /* read/write from/to an arbitrary user space memory location */
    dst->field = … ;    /* use copy_(from|to)_user instead! */
    /* never reached with PAN (emulation) or SMAP */

An example of a security issue that PAN emulation mitigates.

Kernel Address Space Layout Randomization (KASLR)

Android has included support for Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) for years. Randomizing memory layout makes code reuse attacks probabilistic and therefore more difficult for an attacker to exploit, especially remotely. Android 8.0 brings this feature to the kernel. While Linux has supported KASLR on x86 since version 3.14, KASLR for ARM64 has only been available upstream since Linux 4.6. Android 8.0 makes KASLR available in Android kernels 4.4 and newer.

KASLR helps mitigate kernel vulnerabilities by randomizing the location where kernel code is loaded on each boot. On ARM64, for example, it adds 13–25 bits of entropy depending on the memory configuration of the device, which makes code reuse attacks more difficult.

Post-init read-only memory

The final hardening feature extends existing memory protections in the kernel by creating a memory region that's marked read-only after the kernel has been initialized. This makes it possible for developers to improve protection on data that needs to be writable during initialization, but shouldn't be modified after that. Having less writable memory reduces the internal attack surface of the kernel, making exploitation harder.

Post-init read-only memory was introduced in upstream kernel version 4.6 and we have backported it to Android kernels 3.18 and newer. While we have applied these protections to some data structures in the core kernel, this feature is extremely useful for developers working on kernel drivers.


Android Oreo includes mitigations for the most common source of security bugs in the kernel. This is especially relevant because 85% of kernel security bugs in Android have been in vendor drivers that tend to get much less scrutiny. These updates make it easier for driver developers to discover common bugs during development, stopping them before they can reach end user devices.

Android Match

Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

Libre Music


Libre Music

Description: Libre Music is a free and open source media player that lets you simply enjoy your music by being fast, easy to navigate through, and having various other features such as: Support for all popular music formats (MP3, FLAC, WAV, etc…), Support for CUE sheets and CUE sheets embedded in audio files, Modern, simple material design.





DescriptionnPlayer officially supports DTS (DTS HD ), DTS Headphone:X. You don’t need to convert video files to MP4 to play them in your mobile device. nPlayer enable you to play all kinds of video formats and codecs without file converting efforts.


ZenUI Safeguard


ZenUI Safeguard

DescriptionZenUI Safeguard includes the features SOS and Report Location. SOS allows you to make an SOS call or send a preset SMS with your location information to your message group during emergencies by quick pressing the power button three times. 


Page Marker


Page Marker

DescriptionPage Marker help you easily save, read and organize interested web articles in one place! Comprehensive article keeper – Save the internet articles you like on your mobile phone. Sync all your favorite content to Google Drive to store the clippings.


Fingerprint Gestures


Fingerprint Gestures

Description: Fingerprint Gestures allows you to perform custom actions on your device using fingerprint sensor of your mobile.


MaskIt – Customize your icons!



DescriptionWith MaskIt you can renew your icons. You can customize your apps in four different styles, all in one application!





DescriptionSamsung Smart Lighting Platform is designed for integration with LED lighting systems to make it much easier to transform luminaires into smart, digital nodes. 


Pronounce – Free offline Text to Speech



Description From the developers of 2Do, we bring to you a beautiful new tool that helps you focus on words, their correct pronunciation and nothing else. With Pronounce you can master speech, or adopt that accent you thought you never could.


Croatia in VR – Ancient Pula



DescriptionExperience Croatia in a way that has not been possible for 2,000 years. Step into the shoes of a Roman, and see Pula exactly as they would have seen it in the 2nd Century A.D.


PhET Simulations



DescriptionEngage in learning science and math with the award-winning PhET simulations! Whether understanding atoms, exploring energy, or mastering multiplication, there is a sim for every learner. 


Android Match

New BlackBerry Phone with IP67 certification and Big Battery Coming Soon

The BlackBerry KEYone has reportedly seen great success, so naturally TCL – the company which now manufacturers BlackBerry handsets – is eager to launch more great products.

According to one of the company’s officials who spoke to Engadget, we can expect a new BlackBerry smartphone to make a debut in October. However, this time we’re talking about a full-touch model without the iconic QWERTY keyboard.

TCL has high hopes for the new product, as it believes it could even convince iPhone or Samsung Galaxy owners to make the switch. What will be the features that will enable it to do that?

Apparently, the yet to be announced handset will be the first BlackBerry to be water-resistant coming with IP67 certification. It will also boast a big battery, said to be able to last 26 hours or more with mixed use.

Apart from these details, we don’t really know what the upcoming BlackBerry device will bring to the table. For example, we can’t tell you at this point whether the phone will come bundling high-end specs or middle-range ones like the BlackBerry KEYone does.

Anyway, TCL is going to be present at the IFA 2017 trade show in Berlin this week, so maybe the company will be sharing more details about the upcoming product during the event.


The post New BlackBerry Phone with IP67 certification and Big Battery Coming Soon appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

Android Match

Amazon and Microsoft partner up to make Alexa and Cortana play together

If you don’t like using only one digital personal assistant, Microsoft and Amazon want to help you.

Both companies announced today that they are partnering so that Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana can interact with one another. That means you’ll be able to ask Alexa to book a meeting through Cortana, or check up on your calendar from digital personal assistant to another. Doing so will be pretty straightforward, too, accessed by saying, “Alexa, open Cortana.”

On Android and iOS devices as well as Windows 10 PCs, you’ll be able to access Alexa through Cortana just by saying “Hey Cortana, open Alexa.” With that statement, you’ll then be able to do things like control your smart devices in your home, as well as whatever other Alexa skills you might have in place, too.

This functionality will be rolling out to devices later this year, but there’s no definite timeline in place just yet.

There are a variety of different digital personal assistants out there, and it’s still a burgeoning market, so there’s likely more coming down the pipe. Hearing that Microsoft and Amazon are making it possible for their options to work together will probably be a big benefit for folks who don’t want to rely on just one.

Will you use the upcoming feature?

Android Match

Samsung officially unveils Gear Sport smartwatch, Gear Fit2 Pro, and Gear IconX 2018 earbuds

In June of last year, Samsung debuted the Gear IconX wireless earbuds as well as the Gear Fit2 fitness wearable. Now the successors to each of those devices, as well as an all-new smartwatch, have been unveiled.

Today Samsung officially announced three new devices: the Gear Sport smartwatch, the Gear Fit2 Pro fitness tracking wearable, and the Gear IconX 2018 wireless headphones. Samsung announced each device with its own focus on fitness, while some even feature sleep tracking and nutrition monitoring.

Samsung Gear Sport official

First up is the Gear Sport, which features a 1.2-inch circular 360×360 AMOLED display, an Always On function and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Gear Sport is equipped with a dual-core 1GHz processor and Samsung’s Tizen operating system, and it features a 20mm strap.

Also included with the Gear Sport is 768MB of RAM and 4GB of built-in storage, while the battery measures in at 300mAh. As far as compatibility with other devices goes, if you have a Samsung Galaxy device, it will need to be running Android 4.3 or later to connect. Any other Android device needs to be running Android 4.4 or later. And for iPhones you’ll need an iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 6S, 6s Plus, SE, or an iPhone 5 running iOS 9.0 or later.

The Gear Sport will be available with a black or blue strap.

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro official

Next, the Gear Fit2 Pro. It has a 1.5-inch curved AMOLED display with a 216×430 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. There’s a dual-core 1GHz processor, Tizen, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of built-in storage, a 200mAh battery, and a small strap (fits 125~165mm wrist sizes) or large strap (fits 158~205mm wrist sizes). It’s got the same compatibility as the Gear Sport for Android and iOS devices and comes in black or red.

Samsung Gear IconX 2018

And finally, the new Gear IconX 2018. These will be available in pink, gray, and black, and they are outfitted with 4GB of built-in storage per earbud. They connect with Bluetooth 4.2 and each battery in the earbud is 82mAh. Samsung says battery life will last 7 hours on standalone mode (not connected to a phone for music playback), or 5 hours in Bluetooth mode. The charging case has a 340mAh battery and can provide one extra charge on the go. The Gear IconX 2018 connect to Android devices running Android 4.4 or later that have 1.5GB of RAM on board or more.

Samsung also confirmed that the Gear IconX 2018 are the newest devices to support Bixby integration. Just tap-and-hold on an earbud and bring up the digital personal assistant.

Which of these new devices are you planning on picking up?

Android Match

The Walking Dead: Our World AR Game Coming to Android and iOS Soon

Love AMC’s The Walking Dead? Soon you’ll be able to join in on the action. AMC has partnered up with Next Games to bring Android and iOS fans a new mobile game in AR called The Walking Dead: Our World.

The developers are harnessing the power of Apple’s ARKit technology to infuse the game with augmented reality.
While the video teaser for the game doesn’t reveal much, you can see players fighting zombies in places like stores or hospitals with weapons such as guns, grenades and even Michonne’s sword. Speaking of which virtual versions of popular characters including Rick, Daryl or Michonne will come to your aid when needed.

What’s more, we also know that the Walking Dead: Our World game is going to be location based just like the super popular Pokemon.

We don’t have a release date for the game yet, but we assume it might be a while before we’ll be able to run across town and fight real-looking zombies.

In case you don’t know AMC and Finland-based Next Games previously collaborated on The Walking Game: No Man’s Land mobile role-playing game. The title launched back in October 2015 and was downloaded more than 16 million times. So we have high expectations for the new game.


The post The Walking Dead: Our World AR Game Coming to Android and iOS Soon appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

Android Match

Armor Games has remade their popular turn-based RPG 'Sonny,' and it is out on the Play Store

Armor Games has remade their popular flash-based strategy RPG Sonny and have released it on the Play Store. It contains all of the content found in the Steam release and is available for free with intermittent advertisements after every other battle. There are no extra purchases, no wait timers to artificially slow you down or any other shady free-to-play mechanics. What you see is what you get.

Fans of the flash games will quickly notice that this Android release is quite different.

Read More

Armor Games has remade their popular turn-based RPG 'Sonny,' and it is out on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Essential Phone buyers being targeted by phishing scam

Essential, which recently started shipping its Essential Phone, is in the midst of an apparent phishing scam.

Several people have taken to social media to voice their concern that they’ve been targeted by a phishing scam via email. The first post on Reddit was published by user “Cygnosity,” and they copied the text of the email to the forum. It reads like plenty of other personal identification-seeking scams, requesting that the recipient not only send over their phone number and an alternate email address, but also a photo I.D. where the address and other discerning information is clearly legible.

Here’s the email:

Our order review team requires additional verifying information to complete the processing of your recent order. 
This verification is performed to protect against unauthorized use of your payment information and similar to what is conducted for in-person purchases. 
Please provide an alternative email and phone number to confirm this purchase..
We would like to request a picture of a photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, state ID, passport) clearly showing your photo, signature and address. NOTE: the address on the ID should match the billing address listed on your recent order.
We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation.  Once verified, we look forward to shipping your order.
Essential Products Customer Care”

The email was sent from “,” so it certainly looks like a credible request. However, Essential has taken to Twitter and posted that the company is looking into the email and that they are taking “steps to mitigate.” What that actually means at the moment, though, remains unknown.

If you ordered an Essential Phone, keep an eye out for these emails, and definitely don’t reply to it with any personal information.

Have you received this email?

Android Match

[Update: Live] Alexa is finally rolling out to Amazon's Android app, starting this week

  • The Amazon Shopping app was just updated with a new changelog stating that Alexa is now integrated. Give it a try and let us know if it works for you. WHAT'S

Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant is best known for being on its Echo line of speakers, but it's available on both iOS and Android. There's a dedicated Alexa app on both of those operating systems, but only iOS has Alexa built into the main Amazon app.

Read More

[Update: Live] Alexa is finally rolling out to Amazon's Android app, starting this week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

[Who Needs Humans?] Alexa and Cortana will start talking to each other later this year

Some companies see competition in the same field as an adversary that needs to be eliminated in the most cutthroat way, and others see it as a potential for synergistic growth. That latter approach seems to be the philosophy Microsoft and Amazon are taking when it comes to voice assistants. The two companies have just announced that their two brainchildren will be able to talk to each other by the end of the year.

Read More

[Who Needs Humans?] Alexa and Cortana will start talking to each other later this year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Verizon begins pushing Android 8.0 Oreo update to its Pixel and Pixel XL

Verizon Pixel and Pixel XL owners, it sounds like you’ve got an Oreo treat coming your way.

Verizon says that it’s starting to push Android 8.0 Oreo to its Pixel and Pixel XL today, August 29th. The update is version OPR6.170623.012 and includes features that you’d expect from an Oreo update. That means that you’re getting picture-in-picture, autofill, notification dots, and more.

As with most over the air software updates, Verizon is likely sending Oreo out to Pixel and Pixel XL units in stages. That means that it might take a few days for the update to hit your device. You can always manually check for the update if you’d like, which you can do by going into Settings > System > System updates > Check for update.

When Google revealed Android Oreo last week, it said that the update would begin going out to devices soon, and it looks like that was indeed the case. We haven’t seen any other Nexus or Pixel phones get their Oreo treat quite yet, but now that Verizon has started to push the update to its Pixel phones, the updates for other devices shouldn’t be too far off.

Sources: Verizon Pixel, Pixel XL

Android Match

Instagram adds format choice when sharing multiple photos

Standing strong as the image-centric social network, Instagram continues to add new features in its quest to remain relevant. It wasn’t long ago that the company introduced the ability to share multiple photos in a single post. The feature had been heavily requested by users and its introduction served as both a new means of creative expression and an effort to curb users sharing multiple single-image posts in quick succession.

The drawback of the multi-photo feature was that all photos needed to be cropped into a square format. Criticism of the oversight has been prevalent, and today Instagram added portrait and landscape format choice when sharing multiple photos.

Praise of the update has been overwhelming, with many applauding the company for listening to users.

With a competitive market for social media, Instagram has grown consistently since its launch, while also maintaining strong usage rates from existing customers. Though the company came under fire when it eliminated chronological feed order, it’s remained popular as ever, overshadowing Snapchat and serving as a powerful compliment to its parent company, Facebook. The key for Instagram now, is ensuring that it can monetize its service, without drawing the ire of its customers.

Android Match

31 new and notable Android games from the last week (8/23/17 - 8/29/17)

Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games 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.



Android Police coverage: Take an exploratory journey through the heavens with Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars

While you may not at first understand what exactly is going on in Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars, it is an enjoyable experience all the same.

Read More

31 new and notable Android games from the last week (8/23/17 - 8/29/17) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Instagram now allows multiple photos/videos posts to be in aspect ratios other than 1:1, adds minor design tweaks

Back in February, Instagram began allowing up to 10 photos/videos in one post. However, they were restricted to a 1:1 (in layman's terms, a square) aspect ratio. With the latest version 12 update for Instagram on both the Play Store and Apple's App Store, those multiple photos/videos can now be in any aspect ratio, so long as the photos/videos within one post are of the same ratio.

So that main aspect of the update is pretty self-explanatory.

Read More

Instagram now allows multiple photos/videos posts to be in aspect ratios other than 1:1, adds minor design tweaks was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Samsung Set to Launch “Star Pink” Galaxy Note 8, But You Won’t Be Able to Buy It

Samsung unveiled the highly anticipated Galaxy Note 8 last week during a press event in NYC. At launch, we were told the phone will be available in four colour options including Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Maple Gold and Deep Sea Blue.

Well as it turns a fifth colour version is in the pipeline, but you won’t be able to get it. Remember the Pink Galaxy S8+ model? Well, Samsung is currently preparing an equally pink Galaxy Note 8 variant dubbed Star Pink which will only go on sale in Taiwan. That’s right folks, don’t get your hopes up about ever seeing it arrive on Canadian shores.

Apart from the pink hue, the Galaxy Note 8 will retain the same specs as the other models meaning the phone will come with a 6.3-inch InfinityDisplay with 2960 x 1440 resolution and 521 ppi. A Snapdragon 835 sits underneath the hood, aided by 6GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage.

Of course, the pink Galaxy Note 8 will also take advantage of the dual camera setup which pairs two 12-megapixel sensors for incredible photography opportunities.

The phone will ship out with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, but will surely be among the first Samsung phones to receive the Android 8.0 Oreo update.


The post Samsung Set to Launch “Star Pink” Galaxy Note 8, But You Won’t Be Able to Buy It appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

Android Match

YouTube v12.32.60 includes new logo and video speed controls [APK Download]

Earlier today, YouTube started enabling the Material Design YouTube site for everyone, and announced a new logo. But a few changes were also revealed for the Android app, which are included in today's YouTube 12.32.60 update.

Speed controls

The YouTube desktop site has had video speed controls for a while, but never on the mobile apps. The feature first appeared in the Android app earlier this month, as a server-side test.

Read More

YouTube v12.32.60 includes new logo and video speed controls [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Safe and Secure Smartphones Will Soon Bear the “Certified Android Devices” Label

In its latest attempt to make Android safer, Google announced it will be branding devices which comply to a specific set of requirements as “Certified Android devices”.

The branding will sit alongside the “Google Play Protect” inscription and will be visible on the product’s retail package.

In case you don’t remember Google’s Play Protect was announced during the company’s I/O 2017 as a security package for Android devices consisting of app scanning, browser protection, as well as anti-theft measures. The program started rolling out just a few weeks ago.

Devices coming from iconic Android smartphone makers like Samsung, HTC or LG are already “Certified Android devices”, but the label will help users know whether more obscure OEMs have complied with Google’s standards or not.

So from now on, when shopping for a new device, make sure to look for the green Google Play Protect logo in order to make sure the device you’re about to buy is safe to use.

News of malware infecting Android apps come at us every week and Google is trying to counter this trend as much as it can. Case in point, recently we’ve heard that 300 apps have been removed from the Play Store as they were found to be secretly hijacking Android devices for DDoS attacks.


The post Safe and Secure Smartphones Will Soon Bear the “Certified Android Devices” Label appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

Android Match

OnePlus offering 10% discount to students

For a lot of folks, it’s back to school season. Some may have already started, while others are gearing up to go back. In light of that, OnePlus is offering a discount to students.

It’s called the OnePlus Student Program, and it’s pretty straightforward: get 10% off on any order placed from OnePlus’s online shop. To be eligible for the discount you’ll need to confirm you are a student through a site called Student Beans. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to buy one OnePlus 5 (and only one per order) or any other product and get that 10% discount. This discount brings your 128GB OnePlus 5 down to just $486.

It’s certainly worth taking a look at if you’re a student and are in the market for a new phone. Who’s planning on taking advantage of the deal?

Android Match

YouTube gets a new logo and adds new features to mobile app

The YouTube logo has been the same for quite some time, but everything is eventual, so a change has finally arrived.

Today YouTube officially announced several updates, including a new logo, the dark theme finally rolling out to everyone in a new desktop experience, and new features for mobile users. So, first thing’s first: the new logo. YouTube is dropping the stylized “Tube” and going for a more simple logo. The iconic play image is now sitting off to the side.

YouTube logo change

Desktop, meanwhile, is adopting Material Design, which many Android users are familiar with by now. The team says it should make navigating the desktop site more intuitive and everything should look cleaner. Perhaps most importantly, though, the dark theme that has been available for a limited number of people is now rolling out to everyone, just like the new Material Design experience in general.

The mobile app is seeing some changes and new features, too. There will be a new gesture that lets users swipe to the left to watch a previous video or swipe to the right to watch a new video. Mobile users will be able to change the speed of videos, too, from slower to faster depending on what they want.

The mobile app will also quickly adapt the viewing experience based on orientation. “Soon, the YouTube player will seamlessly change shape to match the video format you’re watching, such as vertical, square or horizontal,” says YouTube.

Quite a few changes, to say the least.

The new experiences are rolling out now.

Android Match

Google Maps adds even more parking features

Google Maps isn’t just about getting you to where you want/need to go, but also a way to find out what you should do when you get there, and an easy way to remember where you parked when you arrive. And now Google Maps is getting even more features when it comes to parking your car.

Google is making it easier to find a place to park thanks to a new feature aptly called “Find Parking.” The feature will pop up when you pick a destination and it will let you see a list of nearby parking sites, including garages and lots.

Google Maps will then navigate you to the parking area you pick and give you walking directions from the lot or garage to your final destination.

This new feature is only available on Android for now, and it’s available in the following cities in the United States: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas/Fort Worth, DC, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, and Tampa.

Google Maps find parking2

Google is also expanding the parking difficulty icon, which it added to the Google Maps for Android and iOS not too long ago, to more than 20 different cities across the globe. Here are the new additions: Alicante, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Cologne, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Toronto, Valencia, and Vancouver.

Goolge Maps find parking

What do you think of the new parking features?

Android Match

YouTube enables desktop Material Design interface for everyone, reveals new logo

Google started testing a Material Design makeover for the desktop YouTube site over a year ago. The design went into open beta a few months ago, and now Google is finally flipping the switch for everyone. Also, YouTube has a new logo.

The interface hasn't changed since the public beta went live, but if you've never used it, the new site heavily relies on Google's Polymer framework to deliver a fast and reliable experience.

Read More

YouTube enables desktop Material Design interface for everyone, reveals new logo was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

Google launches ARCore for augmented reality experiences

Google is no a stranger to augmented reality by any means thanks to Project Tango, but that project might not have been the perfect match for the general consumer. Another project was inevitable, and today Google unveiled just that.

It’s called ARCore, and it appears that to be a direct response to Apple’s ARKit augmented reality platform. ARCore is an AR software development kit (SDK), and it essentially draws from all of the Project Tango core elements and puts them into phones that don’t require all of the Tango sensors. This is Google’s AR experience for “normal phones.”

ARCore is meant to put AR creations right in front of you, similar to how digital pocket monsters appear in the popular AR game Pokémon GO. The camera on the back of your phone will make it possible to detect flat surfaces and let users place AR objects into the world as they see fit. And thanks to the built-in motions sensors in the phone, users will be able to walk around their AR content in real-time.

ARCore will also make use of the light sensors, so there will be dynamic shading and lighting, so those AR objects can have shadows while they are integrated with the real world.

ARCore is already seeing support from Unity and Unreal Engine, along with plenty of other developers out there in the world. Google is obviously supporting the platform, as are Niantic (the folks behind the aforementioned Pokémon game). ARCore even supports browsers, so users can experience the technology from inside a browser.

Google is launching ARCore today, and it will be available with preview experiments for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel phones. Of course, support for other devices is on the way, with device manufacturers like Huawei and LG expected to arrive on the scene soon. You’ll need a handset running Android 7.0 or higher to get ARCore to work.

Who’s excited for more augmented reality experiences?

Android Match

Amazon Echo gets multi-room audio

Amazon is gifting Echo owners with a new feature.

Starting today, Amazon Echo owners can use multi-room audio on their devices. This feature enables Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show owners to synchronize their music playback across multiple devices in different rooms.

To enable multi-room audio on your Echo devices, go into your Alexa app and group together two or more Echo devices, then name that group something like “downstairs”. You can then tell your Echo device “Alexa, play Smash Mouth downstairs” and playback will begin.

Amazon says that multi-room audio is supported for Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora to start. Support for Spotify and SiriusXM is coming soon.

Also announced today is Amazon’s Connected Speaker APIs, which will let you use Alexa to control connected audio systems. Amazon is working with companies like Sonos, Bose, Sound United, and Samsung on this feature.

Multi-room audio is a pretty big addition for the Amazon Echo. With it, you can fill your house with tunes and listen to them as you move from room to room, all without having to carry headphones or any other device with you.

If you need a new Echo device or two to build out your new multi-room audio setup, you can get an Echo Dot for $44.99 (a $5 discount) or an Echo Show for $229.99. While the standard Echo is sold out, you can get a refurbished Echo for $129.99, which is $50 off the price of a new Echo.

Android Match

Biliscreen is an app that could use selfies to to help diagnose pancreatic cancer

It may seem unthinkable that the much maligned 'selfie', a photo of oneself taken by oneself, could be used in any sort of meaningful, useful way. Yet that's exactly what is being proposed by researchers at from the University of Washington. They've developed an app called Biliscreen which could utilize selfies, as well as computer vision algorithms and machine learning tools, as a method of screening for pancreatic cancer.

For anyone who takes things too literally, let's be clear; this doesn't involve trying to take a snap of your own pancreas with your smartphone.

Read More

Biliscreen is an app that could use selfies to to help diagnose pancreatic cancer was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Match

ARCore: Augmented reality at Android scale

Posted by Dave Burke, VP, Android Engineering

With more than two billion active devices, Android is the largest mobile platform in the world. And for the past nine years, we've worked to create a rich set of tools, frameworks and APIs that deliver developers' creations to people everywhere. Today, we're releasing a preview of a new software development kit (SDK) called ARCore. It brings augmented reality capabilities to existing and future Android phones. Developers can start experimenting with it right now.

We've been developing the fundamental technologies that power mobile AR over the last three years with Tango, and ARCore is built on that work. But, it works without any additional hardware, which means it can scale across the Android ecosystem. ARCore will run on millions of devices, starting today with the Pixel and Samsung's S8, running 7.0 Nougat and above. We're targeting 100 million devices at the end of the preview. We're working with manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, LG, ASUS and others to make this possible with a consistent bar for quality and high performance.

ARCore works with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal and focuses on three things:

  • Motion tracking: Using the phone's camera to observe feature points in the room and IMU sensor data, ARCore determines both the position and orientation (pose) of the phone as it moves. Virtual objects remain accurately placed.
  • Environmental understanding: It's common for AR objects to be placed on a floor or a table. ARCore can detect horizontal surfaces using the same feature points it uses for motion tracking.
  • Light estimation: ARCore observes the ambient light in the environment and makes it possible for developers to light virtual objects in ways that match their surroundings, making their appearance even more realistic.

Alongside ARCore, we've been investing in apps and services which will further support developers in creating great AR experiences. We built Blocks and Tilt Brush to make it easy for anyone to quickly create great 3D content for use in AR apps. As we mentioned at I/O, we're also working on Visual Positioning Service (VPS), a service which will enable world scale AR experiences well beyond a tabletop. And we think the Web will be a critical component of the future of AR, so we're also releasing prototype browsers for web developers so they can start experimenting with AR, too. These custom browsers allow developers to create AR-enhanced websites and run them on both Android/ARCore and iOS/ARKit.

ARCore is our next step in bringing AR to everyone, and we'll have more to share later this year. Let us know what you think through GitHub, and check out our new AR Experiments showcase where you can find some fun examples of what's possible. Show us what you build on social media with #ARCore; we'll be resharing some of our favorites.

Android Match