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Month: January 2017 (page 1 of 106)

Samsung teases tablet on MWC 2017 event invite, announcement set for Feb 26

A tablet announcement is a lock for the end of February.

On the same day that we saw our first major spec leak of a purported Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung has sent out invites to its MWC 2017 event with a sneaky image of a tablet on it. The event will be held on February 26 at 7 p.m. in Barcelona, which translates to 1 p.m. in New York and 10 a.m. in San Francisco.

The image doesn’t do much to give us an actual clue about the design of the tablet aside from what looks to be a standard Samsung physical home button. The earlier specs leak points to solid internals on par with a mid-2016 phone, which would be a great improvement over what we have in the current-gen Galaxy Tab S2

We’ll be at the event, of course, covering whatever comes of it — though at this point we can expect to see at least one tablet, probably named the Galaxy Tab S3 unless Samsung wants to call an audible on us. The whole thing will be streamed over at Samsung’s website.

Andrew Martonik #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

RCS for T-Mobile subscribers could be here any day now

Users have reported seeing the RCS support option sprout up in Messenger for Google’s settings panel.

T-mobile users, your text messaging prowess is about to get more rich — in the sense of Rich Communication Services, that is.

T-Mobile customers have mentioned on Reddit and Google Plus that they’re seeing the RCS option pop up in the settings panel on the Messenger for Google app. But it’s been difficult to parse whether RCS is ready on the network given the lack of confirmation that it’s life. Other subscribers have suggested that with Digits in beta, the functionality is inevitable.

RCS as often been poised at the “SMS Killer,” and that’s partially true. The standard will essentially infuse your plain old text messaging app with the same powers as Apple’s iMessage. Here’s how my colleague, Jerry Hildenbrand, explained it:

Combined with FaceTime, iMessage already offers exactly the things RCS is trying to achieve. Voice and video calls are simple and messages are rich with great media sharing and read receipts and typing indicators and everything else. And it uses SMS in tandem with regular data to do it. It’s the best SMS app you’ll ever use until RCS becomes ubiquitous (if it ever does.)

Spring, T-Mobile, and AT&T were the three carriers who had initially signed on to the standard last year. But at present, only Sprint and Canada’s Rogers has signed on. If T-Mobile is indeed ready to adopt, it’ll be great news for RCS for the rest of us.

Florence Ion #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

Google boosts Snapseed by adding a Curves tool and fixing Face detection

It’s as if Google finally realized that a real photo-editing app has Curves.

Snapseed is getting its first major update of the year. The photo-editing app, which Google purchased from Nik Software back in 2012, finally features a Curves tool, which helps provide precise control over the brightness levels and varying colors of the picture you’re editing. And with smartphones becoming almost as capable as the some of DSLRs, this is a welcome feature for those who may not want to carry laptop with them just to edit photos on the road.

Google has also improved Snapseed’s face detection feature. If Snapseed fails to detect a face, for instance, you can essentially ask it to “try harder.” And if you’re hoping to get a bit kooky with your captions, the Text tool now lets you choose where to wrap lines.

You can read all the details of the Snapseed update at the official Google Plus post on the matter. Or you can wait for the app update to hit your device.

Florence Ion #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

Why Is Creating a Bootable USB Drive More Complex Than Creating Bootable CDs?

Creating bootable CDs and DVDs tends to be a simple, straightforward process, but why is it more complex when creating bootable flash drives? Is there really that much difference between the two? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a curious reader’s question.

Click Here to Continue Reading

by Akemi Iwaya #HowToGeek

Coin officially shutting down product support by end of next month

Coin will be shutting down product services and support as of February 28.

The end is nigh for Coin cards, secure smart payment devices that allow you to store information from up to eight credit, debit or gift cards onto one, digitally secured, wallet-sized card.

Coin had already begun shutting down all their business operations since Fitbit officially acquired the start up back in June of 2016. Now, just seven months after the sale, the company took to the company blog to officially announced that product service and support would be shutting down as of February 28th:

“Effective from February 28, 2017, the Coin product services will officially be shut down. As a result, support through the Coin website or through social media channels will no longer be available.

“If you have a working Coin device, it will continue to work for the duration of the device’s battery life, which is two years from activation date. Please note that functionality will be reduced as a result of the February services shutdown.

For example, the Coin mobile app will no longer work once product services are shut down. Among other things, this means that you will not be able to add or change the cards that are stored on your Coin device.”

If you’re still using your Coin card, you will definitely want to make your final arrangements and shuffle around the cards you plan to be using before that drop dead date, as you will still be free to continue using your Coin cards at your favorite supported merchants until its internal battery finally bites the dust. However, if anything goes haywire after February 28th, you’re officially out of luck.

Also worth noting is that, as of today’s date (January 31), Coins will no longer be covered by or eligible for warranty exchanges.

Fitbit bought Coin for their compact use of NFC technology for secure in-store payments. While neither the Fitbit Flex 2 or Charge 2 featured NFC capabilities to allow you to pay for things with your fitness tracker, we should hopefully start to see the tech included in the next round of product updates — or perhaps in a brand new Fitbit-branded smartwatch?

Marc Lagace #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

We’re celebrating 10 years of CrackBerry here at AC!


It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago, Kevin Michaluk laced up his boots, walked to the local internet cafe and wrote Matrix levels of HTML to get up and running (that is what happened, right?).

Well, CrackBerry is still very much alive, and while its output has slowed with the changing nature of BlackBerry the company, it still has hundreds of thousands of diehard readers visiting every month.

‘Mercury’ is the perfect throwback to the halcyon days of QWERTY phones, but running the most powerful mobile OS on the planet.

Many of those readers now also visit Android Central on a regular basis after BlackBerry made the necessary changes to keep itself afloat, first with the Priv then the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — and soon, the ‘Mercury’!

We’re expecting the BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ to be fully unleashed at Mobile World Congress, almost 10 years to the day that opened its virtual doors, and to celebrate this momentous occasion, CrackBerry Kevin — yes, that Kevin — is coming out of retirement! You can expect him to be very active on CrackBerry, of course, but because ‘Mercury’ is an Android phone, AC wants to get involved, too. That means tons of coverage on the home page, through social media, and in the forums, going over every aspect of the brand new phone.

If you haven’t checked it out already, we have a wicked hands-on review of the BlackBerry Mercury from CES earlier this year, and while we don’t know everything about it, we know a few things.

First, that it’s the perfect throwback to the halcyon days of QWERTY phones, this time running the most powerful mobile OS on the planet (sorry, BB10 lovers ❤️).

Second, it’s getting all the fans excited for the renewed BlackBerry Mobile, which is now separate from BlackBerry the software company. Of course, the ‘Mercury’ will run BlackBerry’s homegrown flavor of Android 7.0 Nougat, and we’ll be here to dissect all the subtle changes and improvements over the already-great Marshmallow build.

From CrackBerry:

TEN YEARS is a HUGE milestone, and I want to make sure we celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry this February in true CrackBerry fashion. To me, and to the many of you that weighed with ideas on how we should celebrate, that means bringing back the same crazy energy we had in our early years, both here on the “blogs” and within the CrackBerry and broader BlackBerry Community. Expect crazy giveaways, crazy podcasts, crazy videos, crazy confessions (untold stories of the years gone by), stories highlighting our amazing community members, and way, way, WAY more.

We’re excited to share some of that love, and a few of those giveaways, here on AC! Because even though we operate independently, all the Mobile Nations channels work very closely to ensure that you get a 360-degree view of the mobile ecosystem. With BlackBerry Mobile exclusively releasing Android phones from here on out, look for AC and CB to work even more closely in the months and years ahead. To start, Kevin will be helping us out with some of the ‘Mercury’ coverage, and the rest of the AC team is looking forward to getting our hands on the phone when it is finally unleashed.

Better start exercising our thumbs again!

The Good ‘Ole Days of CrackBerry Are Coming Back for our 10th Anniversary!

Daniel Bader #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

How to Crop an Image in Photoshop

Cropping photos is one of the most basic, but important, photo editing skills. A crooked horizon or something distracting on the edge can ruin a great image.

Click Here to Continue Reading

by Harry Guinness #HowToGeek

Geek Trivia: Which Entire Family Of Plants, Save For A Sole Exception, Is Only Indigenous To The Americas?

Which Entire Family Of Plants, Save For A Sole Exception, Is Only Indigenous To The Americas?

Redwood Trees




Think you know the answer?

by Jason Fitzpatrick #HowToGeek

How to replace Shield Android TV remote batteries

When your remote batteries finally die, swapping them out is a quick task.

NVIDIA redesigned its TV-style remote that comes with the new Shield Android TV so it’s no longer rechargeable, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In turn, you get a remote that gets one year of battery life with average use, meaning you don’t have to think “is my remote charged?” when you go to turn on your TV.

But after a year of use — or perhaps a bit less if you use it a ton — you’ll want to replace the integrated batteries. Thankfully it’s a job that only takes a few minutes and will cost you just a couple of dollars once you know the right batteries to buy.

The batteries you’ll need

Before you can replace the batteries in your remote, you’ll need to buy new ones. The new Shield Remote requires coin cell batteries that you aren’t guaranteed to find in your local drug store, but you can always find them online or at a specialty electronics store (if one still exists near you). The specific version you need is a CR 2032 3V battery, and you’ll need two for your remote.

You can get a two pack for less than $2 on Amazon, so this is an extremely small investment. A reminder when buying batteries online is to check the expiration date if possible — some specialty batteries can often be old and not work very well.

How to replace them

To replace the batteries in your new Shield Remote, pick it up and look at the bottom for the little circular button in the middle — you’ll press that to open the battery tray. You’ll need to use a pretty small implement in order to press the button — I’d recommend a ballpoint pen or perhaps the tine of a small fork — but once you do it’ll pop right out.

Pull the tray out and gently remove the two batteries. Make note of the direction the batteries sit in the tray — the lettering denoting the battery type will be facing you. Once you have them settled in their slots, slide the tray back in snugly and it’ll click closed.

And that’s it! You now have another year of use in your Shield Remote. It’s that easy.

NVIDIA Shield Android TV

Read our Shield Android TV review

The latest Shield Android TV news

Shield vs. Shield Pro: Which should I buy?

Join the forum discussion

Complete Shield Android TV specs


Andrew Martonik #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

Google has open-sourced Chrome for iOS

Welcome to the club, iOS.

After years of being completely separated from the rest of the Chromium project, Google has merged Chrome for iOS into the open-source repository it uses for Chrome on other platforms. The move comes with quite a bit of work on the backend as Apple’s constraints on the iOS platform require Chrome for iOS to be built on WebKit rather than Google’s own Blink rendering engine.

Thanks to a bunch of hard work, all of those hurdles have been overcome and there’s a full upstream flow of the Chrome for iOS code into Chromium. Google says that development speed will also improve now that all of the tests done on Chrome for iOS will simply be part of the larger Chromium community.

If you’re the sort of person who likes to check out the open-source code for massive projects like Chromium, you can do so now and see the inclusion of the iOS code as well. You can even compile the iOS version of Chromium on your own.

Andrew Martonik #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

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