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You can now buy the HTC Ultra in Canada for a cool grand

Myandroid.com / March 22, 2017
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By Daniel Bader

The HTC U Ultra has come to Canada at a steep price.

There were a number of beautiful photos of the HTC U Ultra I could have chosen for this post, because the phone is very nicely made. Its reflective glass shimmers in the light in a way that no other does. It’s also $749 USD.

Now, Canadians can get in on the fun, with the U Ultra available unlocked through HTC’s website for a cool grand. That’s $999 CAD.

Available in three choice colors — blue, white, and black — the phone has all the makings of a great flagship, but as Andrew Martonik points out in his review, there just aren’t many reasons to buy one over the many cheaper and better alternatives:

HTC continues to get the basics right with flagships. The U Ultra has a great screen, amazing build quality and stunning design. You get just about every spec inside you’d expect, and the day-to-day performance as a result is fantastic with a super-smooth software experience. Unfortunately, HTC’s camera performance once again lags behind the pack, its secondary display is all but useless and there’s no headphone jack or waterproofing — all in a phone that’s charging a premium price of $999 CAD.

If you can get over those things, the HTC U Ultra is still a great device with some awesome HTC-built software.

See at HTC

…read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/elhCIeTuVTY/you-can-now-buy-htc-ultra-canada-cool-grand

    

Win a Galaxy S8 from Android Central! Enter now!

Myandroid.com /
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By Michelle Haag

The Samsung Galaxy S8 will be revealed soon, so now is the perfect time to give one away to an Android Central reader.

Samsung ended its Mobile World Congress presentation with envelopes telling everyone to come to NYC on March 29th for the unveiling of the Galaxy S8. That date is just around the corner now so what better time to hold a contest and give Android Central readers a chance to win the new S8? Let’s get to it!

THE PRIZE: One Android Central reader will be taking home a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8, when it’s released!

THE GIVEAWAY: Head down to the widget at the bottom of this page. There are multiple ways to enter, each with varying point values. Complete all of the tasks for maximum entries and your best shot at winning! Keep in mind that all winning entries are verified and if the task was not completed or cannot be verified, a new winner will be chosen. The prize does not include service, and we cannot guarantee that the device will work on all carriers. International winners will be responsible for any customs fees incurred during shipping.

The giveaway is open until April 4th, and the winner will be announced right here shortly after the close date. Good luck!

Android Central is giving away a Samsung Galaxy S8! Enter now!

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/0bh-EURirvY/android-central-giving-away-samsung-galaxy-s8-enter-now

    

Best accessories for the LG G6

Myandroid.com /
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By Marc Lagace

Purchase accessories for your LG G6 today so you’re ready to go on day one!

The LG G6 doesn’t officially ship until April 7, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start stocking up on great accessories for your phone. Case manufacturers get early access to the latest devices so they can perfectly craft their products to fit a phone’s dimensions, so you can buy with confidence knowing these cases were specifically designed for your new phone.

We’ve also included a few other essential accessories you should definitely consider.

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen’s Rugged Armor case is always a great option to protect your new phone, so of course we’re going to recommend it for your LG G6.

This one-piece case offers great protection for your phone while keeping a mostly sleek and slim profile. Made of flexible and durable TPU material that makes it easy to install, it’s got a premium look to it with carbon fiber textures at the top and bottom on the back. Featuring cutouts around the camera and fingerprint scanner on the back, and with tactile buttons for the volume control on the side, this case feels natural in hand while ensuring all your phone’s functionality remains intact.

For a stylish case that offers quality protection, get the Spigen Rugged Armor case for your G6.

See at Amazon

SUPCASE Full body Rugged Holster Case for LG G6

If keeping your new investment in good condition is important, you’ll want to slap a rugged case on your phone. SUPCASE provides some of the sturdiest cases you’ll find for smartphones, so you can buy with confidence here.

SUPCASE offers full protection for your phone, with a front plate that includes a built-in screen protector and port covers for the headphone jack and charging port. Made from a combination of TPU and polycarbonate materials, your phone will be protected from anything life throws your way.

Ideal for heavy use and outdoorsmen, it also ships with a 360-degree swiveling belt clip holster so your phone is always within arms reach.

See at Amazon

Tronsmart Dual USB Car Charger w/ Quick Charge 3.0 technology

Tronsmart’s car charger with a built-in USB-C cable is a great option for keeping your LG G6 juiced while on the road.

The built-in USB-C cable is convenient, since you’ll never need to remember your cable each time you drive. The included USB Type-A port is handy for charging another device at the same time via Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0.

If you need a car charger that to keep your LG G6 charged when you’re on the go, check out the Tronsmart 33W dual USB charger.

<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/Charger-Tronsmart-Charge-Technology-Attached-Approved/dp/B0146FK3G0/?tag=androidcentralb-20&ascsubtag=UUacUdUnU59849" …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/BzfEQTZCVZA/best-accessories-lg-g6

    

The best streaming video box for most people is a Roku

Myandroid.com /

By Phil Nickinson

Sure, we tend to prefer Android TV around here. But beyond that, the best all-around streaming video box for most people absolutely is the Roku.

So you’re cutting the cable TV cord. Good for you. And we’ve already established that the NVIDIA Shield TV is the best Android TV box. But what if you don’t want to dive that far into Android? (Crazy, I know.) Which streaming box is the best? Easy answer. For most folks, Roku is going to be the best bang for your buck.

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First: Why a Roku? It pretty much has every streaming service available. (Everything except Apple content because Apple is why we can’t have nice things.) It’s got PlayStation Vue. Sling. Amazon. Google. Netflix. Chromecast. YouTube. So many different “channels” that for as long as I’ve had a Roku I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. (DirecTV Now is listed as coming eventually.)

Why a Roku Ultra, though, when there are sticks for a third of the cost? You get what you pay for. Yeah, the stick is cheap and can do a decent job, but if you want 4K resolution and HDR and USB media and a better remote and private listening and … Basically it’s way more future proof, and tended to handle the streams for me better. If you just want a test of how all this works, fine. A stick will do. But if you’re serious about it, it’s worth spending the extra money.

See at Amazon

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/8X6sqrszYLE/best-streaming-video-box-most-people-roku

    

Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Which works best with Philips Hue

Myandroid.com /
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By Russell Holly

Making the lights dim when you proclaim “It’s movie time” to everyone in your house is kinda awesome.

There are a lot of fantastic things you can do with smart lighting, from subtle adjustments to mood and awareness to crazy color raves when you want to freak the dog out. It’s a convenience for most, but it’s becoming less expensive to set up in your home every day and well-worth checking out if you can.

A big part of that smarter experience can be control with your voice, and while Google Home and Amazon Echo both support the ability to control lights with your voice, the details are very different. Here’s what you need to know!

Set up

Philips Hue bulbs, which are my favorite of the connected bulbs, offer an API for just about any app to reach in and give commands to your lights once you’ve given approval. As a result, both Google Home and Amazon Echo offer similar initial connection steps. You use the app on your phone to connect to the Hue bridge, which involves tapping the little button on the box near your router, and moments later you can control individual Hue lights through these services.

Once you’ve made that connection, things are wildly different. Amazon has its own system in the Alexa app for organizing smart home hardware into individual rooms, so you can say things like “turn off the bedroom lights” and have everything assigned to that room turn off. This isn’t a huge deal, unless you have a lot of Hue lights and have already organized your bulbs by room in the Hue app. None of that information is imported by Alexa, so you have to basically set all of your lights up a second time.

Google Home, on the other hand, imports your room selections from the Hue app and adds them to the Home app. It also offers a simple tool from within the app for quickly moving lights to other rooms, instead of just a set of register/unregister check boxes. It’s a great deal more user-friendly, especially if you’ve already spent a lot of time setting up your lights and exploring how you want those lights to work in your home.

Using your voice

Google and Amazon both earn high marks for performance when it comes to actually controlling the lights. There’s no performance drop when compared to using the Hue app, and voice recognition on both Echo and Home is exceptional, so misfires are rare. That having been said, it’s clear Google Home is a great deal more integrated with Hue than Echo is right now.

If you want to control whole rooms for brightness and darkness, the …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/4IGI_PXl9bQ/amazon-echo-vs-google-home-which-works-best-philips-hue

    

Pre-register now for Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore, the latest sci-fi epic launching on Android

Myandroid.com /
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By Marc Lagace

Can you save the world from impending destruction?

Fans of epic space battles rejoice — you can now pre-register to be informed of the official release of Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore, the latest sci-fi epic released by Deep Silver FISHLABS. You can sign up for pre-registration here to be notified once the game is available on select Android devices.

Check out the trailer below:

The game is a sequel to the well-recieved Galaxy on Fire 2 HD, which has been downloaded millions of times from the Google Play Store while maintaining a solid 4.4 user rating. You should certainly check it out if you haven’t already.

The latest entry in the franchise promises to be bigger than ever, with even better graphics than the previous titles and a variety of missions to unlock.The game will feature next-gen Vulkan graphics standard along with the legacy Open GL ES graphics standard to ensure the game is available across a wider range of devices. Reviews on Metacritic of the iOS version have been somewhat mixed, with some reviewers disappointed with the changes the developers made to some of the core gameplay elements compared to GoF2.

We’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves. In the meantime, Galaxy on Fire 2 HD is a free download from the Google Play Store, with in-app purchases available to unlock the two story add-ons Valkyrie and Supernova.

…read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/qSY3BjeJrr8/pre-register-now-galaxy-fire-3-manticore-latest-sci-fi-epic-launching-android

    

Should you install Android O developer preview on your Pixel or Nexus?

Myandroid.com /
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By Daniel Bader

Android O is now available to download as a developer preview. But that doesn’t mean you should do it.

The day that Google releases a new version of Android is one of the most exciting of the year, especially for early adopters like us who want to play with all the new features and see what’s in store for the final release.

But unlike last year, when Google released its Android N preview alongside an easy-to-install beta program, the company is going decidedly old school with this one, reverting back to the tried-and-true method of factory images that require an unlocked bootloader and some knowledge of terminal commands. This isn’t a surprise — Google has been doing this for both developer previews and final releases for years — but delaying an easy-for-consumers-to-install Android O version until later in the year speaks to the early nature of Android O right now. In other words…

You shouldn’t install the Android O developer preview on any phone you need to use on a daily basis.

Things are going to be broken

We say this every year, but things are definitely going to be broken with the Android O developer preview. There are going to be lots and lots of bugs, and core features of the phone, from making calls to connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices, may be incomplete or completely not working.

Moreover, many of Google’s own apps will not have been updated to take advantage of the new system APIs — things like Font Resources, Adaptive Icons, and Picture-in-Picture — potentially limiting its usefulness.

Third-party apps are not going to be compatible

Google doesn’t usually allow developers to release public versions of their apps with support for the latest Android APIs until a few weeks before the final public release. In this case, that means we’ll likely have to wait until late August or even into September — months after Google I/O — for anything resembling an interesting set of user interactions.

In the meantime, the Android O dev preview will likely have been updated at least three times with new versions that fix bugs and overcome some of the more core functionality issues we’re seeing in the initial release. For something like Picture-in-Picture, for instance, you’re not going to see a working version of YouTube — probably the most important app to support the feature — until close to the final release.

It’s a pain in the butt to install

Finally, it’s not easy to install the Android O developer preview, especially if you’re not familiar with the commands that require you to unlock your bootloader and flash a system image.

Worse, even if you get there, you will have to factory reset your phone at some point in the process — when you unlock your bootloader in the first place, or when you flash your …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/g3fN8h3fKoo/should-you-install-android-o-developer-preview-pixel-nexus

    

Google announces Android O, Developer Preview image now available

Myandroid.com /
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By Andrew Martonik

Start getting ready for the latest version of Android.

Google is continuing its transparency of pre-releasing early builds of new versions of Android with the announcement of the Android O Developer Preview. As always, the Developer Preview is designed to give developers an early look at what’s coming in Android O so they can start to make their apps compatible with the new APIs and design guidelines. It does, of course, give all of us fans of Android an early look at what Google has up its sleeve in terms of new features as well.

Android O, as it stands right now with what Google is showing us, doesn’t have a ton of eye-popping features. Just like previous Developer Previews, you get a little taste of new features and more importantly overall structural changes, but future builds of the Developer Preview can and will add more as Google develops it.

Here are a few of the high points in Android O Developer Preview 1:

  • Background limits: Additional automatic limits will be put on apps running in the background, particularly in terms of background services and location updates. These changes will let developers create apps that have less impact on performance and battery.
  • Notifications: With Android O, users will be able to manage which kinds of notifications come from each app, rather than controlling all notifications for that app the same way. How granular the controls are will be defined by the app developer. There are also new visual changes to grouping of similar notifications that make it “easier for users to see what’s going on” when receiving messages or glancing at the shade.
  • Autofill APIs: Users can choose an “autofill” app similarly to how you currently choose a default keyboard. Password managers will be able to work with this autofill setting to surface usernames and passwords that you can enter into apps without switching to the password manager.
  • Adaptive icons: Developers can create adaptive icons that can change based on how the system wants to display them, so they fit in on different phones with different interface looks. New icons can be animated in various parts of the interface when interacted with.
  • Bluetooth audio: Android O supports high-quality Bluetooth audio codecs, including Sony’s LDAC codec.

These are the changes that are most likely to get users excited and ready for the new version to come to their phones, but still require lots of work from developers to support the new changes. At least in this first Developer Preview, there’s very little to “show” here — it’s mostly framework and API changes that let developers create better experiences when running apps on Android O.

More: How to install the Android O Developer Preview

The first Android O Developer Preview is available today in the form of a factory image file, and is in no way designed to be used on a primary phone or by regular consumers. It’s available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/n6Y86P_bj1M/android-o-announced

    

Android O isn't available in the Android Beta Program yet, will likely join in mid-May

Myandroid.com /
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By Andrew Martonik

Everyone with a Pixel or modern Nexus will get their opportunity to use Android O soon.

With Android O entering Developer Preview status, this is our first opportunity to download and run a preview version of the latest OS. Unfortunately for those who became accustomed to simply enrolling in the Android Beta Program and getting builds over-the-air, this first Developer Preview of Android O isn’t available in the Beta Program.

If you want Android O right now, your only way to get it will be through manually flashing an image of the Developer Preview.

And that is a great indication of who should actually be using the first publicly-available build of Android O: developers who need the system image to start working on updating their apps for the new platform version. When Google feels it’s stable enough to push out to Beta Program users, which tend to be more of the realm of enthusiasts eager to see the new interface and features, an update will arrive to everyone who opts into the Android Beta Program.

More: How to manually update your Pixel or Nexus

Most of us should just be patient and wait for the Android Beta Program update.

Considering that Google just released an updated version of Android 7.1.2 to the Beta Program, this timeline of waiting until after the first Developer Preview makes sense — even though the first Developer Preview of Android N did land on the Android Beta Program the same day as the flashable image last year.

Google’s timeline for the Android O Developer Preview lists mid-May for the Dev Preview 2, and specifically calls it a “beta” launch to the Dev Preview 1’s “alpha” state. There’s a great chance this means that the Android Beta Program will get in on the Android O fun with this release. It is set to coincide with Google I/O 2017, naturally.

But we don’t know for sure yet. We’ll just have to wait and see. For now, if you want to try your hand at Android O on a non-critical device, you’ll need to manually flash the system image yourself.

For the vast majority of us who will plan to wait for the Android Beta Program release, expectations are that it will be available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C and Nexus Player once released.

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Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/EQfchfuhwDk/android-o-beta-program

    

How to get Android O on your Pixel or Nexus (and how to roll back to Nougat)

Myandroid.com /
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By Daniel Bader

Here’s how to get the Android O Developer Preview on your Nexus or Pixel device.

The Android O Developer Preview is here, and if you’re one such developer (or just a person who doesn’t listen to good advice!) here’s how to install it onto your phone or tablet.

Which devices support the Android O Developer Preview?

The preview is supported on the following phones and tablets:

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel C
  • Nexus 6P
  • Nexus 5X
  • Nexus Player

What you need to know beforehand

The Android O Developer Preview is being released only as a factory image, which means you can’t just go to Android’s beta page and get the update as an over-the-air release. This is because O, in its current form, is very early, and isn’t intended to be installed by the general population — just by developers.

In order to update a phone or tablet to Android O, you need to first unlock your bootloader.

Before we go into these steps, it is strongly recommended that you have previous knowledge of working with the Android SDK (software development kit) and Terminal (OS X or Linux) or Command Prompt (Windows), as it is possible to harm your device if something were to go wrong in the following process.

You’ll need to download an updated Android SDK that has the latest Android O tools and images, and you can grab it from the Android Development website and follow their instructions on how to install it correctly. For the following process all you will need is the adb and fastboot files which are located in the Platform Tools folder.

Additionally, all the following commands are written as they would be in Terminal on a Linux or OS X platform. If you are following this guide and using a Windows machine, you will not need to use the “./” seen in the guide.

Enable developer settings and USB debugging

Before you begin, you’ll need to have a compatible Nexus or Pixel device running Android 7.x Nougat.

  1. Go to your Settings and scroll down to About Phone/Tablet
  2. Tap on the Build number seven times until the dialog box says you are now a developer
  3. Go back to the Settings menu and you should find a new option called Developer options. Click into the Developer options
  4. Make sure that the developer options are turned on and that USB debugging is checked on
  5. Make sure Enable OEM unlock is checked.
  6. Plug your device into your computer and click “OK” on the dialog box asking you to Allow USB debugging while connected to the computer. You can also select to always allow access on that computer

If done correctly, this will be everything you will need to do on your phone or tablet for the moment.

Unlocking your bootloader

Nexus devices and Pixel phones bought from Google directly have a bootloader you can unlock. If you want to manually flash software, you’ll need to do this.

To do this …read more

Source:: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/androidcentral/~3/6SP7CKlQ18o/how-get-android-o-your-pixel-or-nexus-and-how-roll-back-nougat