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Posts tagged ‘News’


Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands Season Finale coming to Android October 22

Tales from the Borderlands E5

Telltale Games has just announced that the season finale of the extremely popular point-and-click title Tales from the Borderlands is coming to the Google Play Store on Thursday, October 22nd. As for availability on other platforms, the fifth episode will launch on PC/Mac, Playstation 3 and 4 on Tuesday, October 20th, and on the Xbox 360 and One on Wednesday, October 21st. This new episode will be called The Vault of the Traveler, and you can get a sneak peek of the newest episode in the video attached below.

The sneak peek trailer isn’t just for the new episode, though. Telltale is also taking this time to announce that the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands is now available in the Play Store for free. This game usually costs $4.99, so this is quite the steal.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the first episode follows Rhys and Fiona, an unlikely duo that runs into gangsters, Vault Hunters and more on their search for cash that they both think is theres. In typical Telltale style, there’s lots of hilarious dialogue, a unique storyline and point-and-click gameplay.

Be sure to check out the trailer attached below, then head to the Play Store link to grab the first episode for free!

Download Tales from the Borderlands from Google Play


Netflix raising standard plan by $1 come November 11th

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Tis’ the season to raise some prices. Netflix will increasing their standard monthly subscription fee from $8.99 to $9.99 a month come November 11th. The cost increase is fairly marginally when you consider the amount of commercial free binge watching content you get from them when simply streaming. The last monetary change was in 2014 when Netflix added went from $7.99 to the current $8.99. Prior to that they kicked in a 4 device streaming limit plan in 2013 for $11.99.


The Netflix website is already showing the price change and is likely due to the standard 30 day free trial offer they always offer. If you aren’t a Netflix subscriber then you can look at the pros/cons of the various packages. The gap between subscriptions is now $2 each, but you gain quite a bit between them with the Premium package being the best bang for your buck if you have multiple HDTV’s and tablets.

For all you current subscribers, nothing will change. If you currently sport the $8.99 plan, your monthly payment won’t change in the slightest. All new subscribers going forward will be the only ones effected by the small increase.

Source: Bloomberg


The post Netflix raising standard plan by $1 come November 11th appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Facebook beginning to test Reactions, a much easier way to express yourself

Facebook reactions

Facebook has been toying with the idea of adding a ‘dislike’ button to its posts for some time, though the company thought the idea could use some work. CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised his concerns last month about adding a ‘dislike’ button to the social network, in fear that users would use the button as a way to downvote posts rather than to express empathy.

Today we’re getting our first look at the new feature the company has been working on. Facebook has just announced that it’s now testing Reactions, which can be thought of as a more expressive Like button. Instead of liking or disliking a certain post, Reactions will allow you to choose between a number of different emotions, including love, awe, humor and sadness. You can access the new Reactions by long pressing on the Like button, and selecting your desired emotion from there.

Facebook has begun testing Reactions in Ireland and Spain. Since this is a pretty substantial new feature, the company says it will learn from the testing period and make adjustments to the feature before it rolls out to other regions.

What are your thoughts on Reactions? Do you think you’ll use this feature when it launches in your region, or are you planning on sticking with the simple Like button?

Download Facebook from Google Play


Verizon aiming to price you out of your grandfathered unlimited data plan with a $20 price increase

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Unlimited data use on cell carriers is tricky business these days. Verizon and AT&T still have a lot of stragglers on the old grandfathered unlimited plans. While they all have their own way of handling the massive usage of some customers, it usually always boils down to throttling at a certain limit. Those living in highly populated areas that consume a lot of data are usually the ones that feel the effect the most. Rather than force a plan change for a new phone or special promo, it looks like Verizon is taking another route for the unlimited customer base that still exists, simply charge them more per month.

Verizon plans to raise the monthly line cost an additional $20 per month for those who are still sporting an unlimited plan. According to The Verge, the change will only hit those who are currently out of contract. Droid-Life is reporting that the hit to out-of-contract customers will start as early as November 15th. Customers under contract are safe, for now, but when your contract ends you will be subject to the same price increase.

The upside to the news is that Verizon will, once the change takes effect, all you to buy devices on the Verizon Edge program and keep the unlimited data. Where as currently you had to buy your device outright.

The question that some might have to answer is whether or not the increase is worth keeping your unlimited data and pay the extra monthly to do so. For many it won’t phase them a bit. For others, it will be the straw that breaks the camels back to either migrate to one of Verizon’s simplified data plans or switch carriers entirely. What will you do when the time comes?

Source: The Verge | Droid-Life


The post Verizon aiming to price you out of your grandfathered unlimited data plan with a $20 price increase appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


SwiftKey’s new Neural keyboard will offer better word predictions thanks to neural network technology

Swiftkey Neural

Back in April the SwiftKey team announced its new Greenhouse initiative that would act as a platform for which to debut experimental projects to the public. Among the first applications to come from the Greenhouse were a new Clarity keyboard which aimed to eliminate as many distractions as possible, as well as a smart hexagonal launcher for your home screen called Hexy Launcher.

Today we’re getting a first look at the next project to come from the Greenhouse, and it’s pretty awesome. SwiftKey’s new Neural keyboard is quite similar to the standard SwiftKey keyboard, but with a big twist. The software that powers SwiftKey Neural’s text prediction actually uses artificial neural networks to predict what it thinks you’ll want to type next. It does so by not only understanding more complex word relationships, but also analyzing longer sentence context.

Take a look at the comparison below to get a better look:


Because this new neural network model looks at entire sentences rather than only two or three words at a time, the keyboard will be able to better predict what it thinks you’re planning on saying. So with the current ‘n-gram’ model as laid out in the image above, the keyboard predicts that the next word you might say will be ‘look’, based solely on the two words ‘take a’ at the end of the sentence fragment. But with the neural network model, the keyboard will predict words based on the entire sentence.

keymonk keyboard how i android aa-9-3See also: 15 best keyboard for Android apps136

SwiftKey Neural is currently in the alpha stage, and we imagine it will stay in that form for quite some time. Of course there’s still a lot of work to do with this new text prediction technology, but so far after a few minutes of testing, it’s working really well so far. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, head to the Play Store link below for the download.

Download SwiftKey Neural from Google Play


Verizon raising unlimited plans by $20

verizon logo

For better or worse (though arguably often the latter), Verizon has made a lot of changes to its plans, pricing, and general strategy over the years. For its part, however, Big Red is fairly good about grandfathering its customers into old deals. Not only do they allow contract customers to continue down that path if they so choose, they also have been good about allowing unlimited data subscribers to keep their plans – albeit with increasing restrictions. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Verizon isn’t slowly trying to force these unlimited customers onto different plans.

In their latest effort towards this goal, Big Red is raising up pricing on these unlimited grandfathered plans by $20 per line. That brings the charge for unlimited data up to $50, in addition to whatever charge a customer pays for their voice/texting side of the plan. On the plus side, the new change does open up a new door for unlimited customers: the ability to purchase new phones through a monthly device payment plan. In the past, you couldn’t renew a contract or even participate in monthly payment plans without giving up your unlimited data, meaning buying outright was the only option.

For those who still happen to be on a contract for unlimited data, the new price rate won’t take effect until your contract expires. For everyone else, the new price hike will go into effect in mid-November. This latest move is obviously designed to take away some of the value of unlimited data, but for those who are super-heavy users, the extra price my still very well be worth it.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge-21See also: Best Verizon Android phones (July 2015)38

What do you think, with an increase in pricing, is the Verizon Unlimited Data plan still worth hanging onto? For those that feel it isn’t, are you going to switch to another plan with Big Red, or jump ship to another carrier? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


You’ll soon be able to run Windows programs on select Android devices, thanks to WINE

WIndows vs Android Windows 8 Android Logo Brand -2

While most Linux purists prefer to stick to programs natively designed to run on their favorite distros, there are times when a user runs into a wall. Maybe they absolutely need Microsoft Office, or perhaps their favorite game just isn’t Linux compatible. That’s where WINE and CrossOver come in handy, making it possible to run some Windows applications with relative ease. And now that same magic is making its way over to the world of Android.

For those that don’t know, WINE is an application layer that fills in the missing ‘bits’ that aren’t found on Linux and other non-Windows platforms (okay, an obvious oversimplification.. but you get the idea), allowing Windows programs to work at essentially the same speed as they would on Microsoft’s own OS. How well these programs work varies from nearly perfect to buggy as all get out.

Crossover is coming to Android by the end of this year, with WINE to follow sometime shortly after.

What WINE isn’t is an emulator, and is instead billed as a “compatibility layer”. In fact, WINE actually stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. As for CrossOver? This is the commercial side of WINE, with more app/game specific optimizations. CrossOver actually funds WINE, and in return utilizes WINE’s progress to help further its own goals.

So back to the main topic here: Crossover is coming to Android by the end of this year, with WINE to follow sometime shortly after. It’s unclear how Crossover and WINE might differ from their Linux counterparts, but the end goal is the same: the ability to run popular Windows programs on your Android device. Considering that many traditional Windows programs are designed with touch in mind, we imagine this will be more useful for tablet users that want to improve their productivity and aren’t afraid of attaching a keyboard and mouse to do it.

Android emulatorRunning Android apps on Windows: BlueStacks vs Andy – The best Android emulators on PC119

If the idea of running Windows programs sounds at all intriguing to you, don’t get too excited yet, as there is one big caveat. Because WINE and Crossover aren’t emulators, Windows programs will still require an x86 processor. That means that the majority of Android devices, which run ARM-based chips, won’t be able to utilize this tech. On the bright side, the number of Intel-powered Android devices is on the rise, especially in the budget tablet segment. Even the smartphone world is seeing a few well-received Intel-powered options, like the Asus ZenFone 2.

If you happen to have an Intel-powered Android device, or are considering getting one in the future, you can sign up to be notified when the CrossOver for Android “Technology Preview” is ready to go. What do you think, any situations where you think that being able to run Windows programs on Android would come in handy?


Moto X Style launches in India for Rs. 29,999

Moto X Style Hands On-31

As expected after yesterday’s invites, the Moto X Style has officially made its way to India today and will be available to purchase from next Wednesday, October 14th.

The Moto X Style boasts a 5.7-inch QHD (2560×1440) display, Snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of RAM and an impressive 21 megapixel rear camera. The handset also sports a microSD card slot, fingerprint scanner, 3,000mAh battery, 4G LTE support, an IP52 water repellent coating, Turbo Charge technology and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop on board. The 16GB and 32GB storage variants have both made their way to India, with Rs. 29,999 and Rs. 31,999 price tags respectively. Both models will be available to pre-order from FlipKart next Wednesday.

editor-choiceRead more: Motorola Moto X Pure Edition (Moto X Style) review88

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To sweeten the deal, Motorola has also announced a selection of pre-order launch offers, which are valid until October 20th. There’s a handset exchange offer for up to Rs. 15,000, 100 percent cashback for 100 lucky customers, Rs. 5,000 off international holidays for MakeMyTrip customers, and Flipkart electronic gift vouchers worth Rs. 1,000.

If you’re still undecided about Motorola’s new high-end smartphone, be sure to check out our impressions and full review of the new Moto X Style. The more mid-range Moto X Play also launched in India not long ago and is certainly worth checking out if you’re after a less expensive model.

Who’s planning to pick one up?


Cyanogen Inc. maintains a close partnership with YU in India

cyanogen (2)

There was a time when Cyanogen OS was heading into the hands of lots of users, through new products from OnePlus, Alcatel and Micromax, but things seem to have died down a little. After ending its relationship with OnePlus, Cyanogen Inc.’s OS also disappeared from the YU Yuphoria phone, leaving many to wonder if Cyanogen was running out of major partners.

However, Cyanogen Inc. states that it still has a strong partnership with YU and that it doesn’t necessarily make sense for the company to support every device that YU developers. The company has also announced that its OS will be shipping with YU’s upcoming Yutopia smartphone. This will be the first flagship grade YU phone, powered by a Snapdragon 810.

“We have a great partnership with YU, and happy to announce that Cyanogen OS 12.1 will be powering YU’s upcoming flagship – Yutopia. We’ll also be rolling out the latest 12.1 update to Yureka / Yureka Plus very soon. It doesn’t always makes sense for us to support every device in a partner’s portfolio, and there are one-off model variations. We want to put the unfounded rumors to rest.” – Cyanogen Inc.

What makes the case more curious however is that Cyanogen OS Yuphoria model (YU5010) originally launched but is now no longer available. Instead, there is now a YU5010A model running stock Android 5.5.1 for sale at a slightly reduced price. Unfortunately we don’t have an explanation as to why the OS was swapped out so shortly after launch. Perhaps, there wasn’t a suitable update roadmap planned, which is what happened with the Onetouch Hero 2+.

Alcatel Onetouch Hero 2-4Related: Alcatel OneTouch Hero 2+ with Cyanogen cancelled5

Additionally, the YU brand is partly own by India’s MicroMax. MicroMax has previously gone on record stating that it is developing its own Android based operating system for smartphones, tablets and wearables. While not necessarily even destined for the YU range, this leaves a few unanswered questions hanging over any long term partnership with Cyanogen Inc. The first phones powered by this new OS are expected to appear by the end of this financial year.

For now, Cyanogen Inc and YU are still working together on at least one new smartphone.


The multi-lens compact Light L16 wants to take on the DSLR

Light L16 Android camera front and back

Photography aficionados have probably heard it all before, DSLR-like features and quality in a compact form factor. So far the numerous promises have failed to deliver. However, Light believes that it has what it takes to compete with its compact L16, a “multi-aperture computational camera.” The technology packed into this camera is very different from your typical setup, which might just give it the edge that it needs.

As you may have guessed, the L16 part of the name has to do with the 16 different lenses that the start-up company has packed into the camera. Each of these lenses captures a picture using different focal lengths, the data from which is then combined to form one detailed 52-megapixel image. Five of the sensors come with the equivalent focal length of a 35mm, five at 70mm and the remaining six are 150 mm. Even more impressive is the fact that this additional image data allows for photographers to adjust a picture’s depth of field, focus and exposure even after it has been taken.

The Light L16 comes with a selection of other features too. The range of camera focal lengths allows for a high-quality zoom, rather than a basic digital zoom. The L16 also comes with WiFi built in, which allows photographers to share their images straight from the camera or quickly transfer them over the air to a PC. It can also be used to shoot 4K video and runs an Android operating system. Best of all, this technology all fits into a device that is only marginally bulkier than a Nexus 6 smartphone.

Speaking of smartphones, manufacturer Foxconn has licensed the technology from Light. The company plans to build a similar array of cameras into a future smartphone, which is expected to launch some time in 2016.

All of this cutting edge technology won’t come cheap. Customers who pre-order the camera before November 6th will be offered a reduced price of $1,299, while the regular retail price will shoot up to $1,699 by the time that the Light L16 starts shipping out in summer 2016.


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