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Digital Offers: Learn to build cross-platform apps with Xamarin for just $35!

App development is the bees’ knees right now. The cat’s pajamas. “Where it’s at”. But do you build apps for iOS or Android? And which software do you use to do it? Of course, you want your apps to be in both the Google Play Store and the App Store, so do you bounce back and forth between coding languages to get them there? No.

There’s a big opportunity for people who use Xamarin to help develop apps for both iOS and Android, simultaneously. People who can use Xamarin to its fullest are much-sought-after in the current app development industry and the current app development industry is thriving. You need to get in there and show ’em what you got. But you need to learn Xamarin and get some real-world app-building experience first.


Enter the Xamarin Cross Platform Development Bundle from Android Central Digital Offers. Through more than 57 hours of content, you’ll learn the absolute basics of Xamarin, right up to the most advanced cross-platform development techniques, and you’ll build fully functional apps for iOS and Android using the C# programming language. That’s lifetime access to almost 60 hours of content, comprising 6 courses, for only $35. Go elsewhere for this kind of education, and you’d end up spending over $1000, but at Android Central Digital Offers, you save 96%!

In the first course, you’ll learn the basics of Xamarin and jump in the deep end, creating fully developed apps. From there, you’ll tackle mastering C#, Xamarin Forms, Xamarin and Android, building native cross-platform apps, and finish off with the Ultimate Xamarin Course, where you’ll learn advanced development techniques and strategies.

App development is big business right now and being able to simultaneously create apps for the two biggest mobile platforms is not only efficient but a valuable skill in the industry. Grab the Xamarin Cross Platform Development Bundle from Android Central Digital Offers and learn all there is to know about Xamarin so that you can get a foot in the app development door and start to build your career. Just don’t pay over $1000 elsewhere. Get lifetime access to over 57 hours of content for just $35 at Android Central Digital Offers.

See at Android Central Digital Offers


Go Time! Episode 15: The better wardrobe


It’s time for Episode 15 of Go Time!

Jen and Erin are back for another awesome episode of Go Time!, a Pokémon Go podcast. We talk about the fourth migration having occurred, ideas for ways to incorporate events into Pokémon Go, and rumors about a Halloween event inside of the game. Let’s be honest, though, this episode is mostly just the three of us firing back and forth about which team is superior.

There is always more to discuss in the world of Pokemon Go! Be sure to join us again next week!

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You can also join our Facebook page to keep up on all things Pokémon Go. See you in the world!

Pokémon Go

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Xiaomi won’t launch the Mi Note 2 and Mi Mix outside China, and there’s a good reason for that


Xiaomi’s latest and greatest won’t be making their way to global markets.

Xiaomi announced the Mi Note 2 and the bezel-less Mi Mix at an extravagant launch event in China. The Mi Note 2 is the successor to last year’s Mi Note and offers high-end internals in the form of a 5.7-inch QHD dual curved display, 2.35GHz Snapdragon 821, up to 6GB of RAM, 128GB storage, 22.56MP rear camera, 8MP front shooter, and a 4070mAh battery.

The Mi Note 2 looks impressive, especially when you consider the fact that the high-end model with 6GB of RAM and 128 gigs of storage retails for the equivalent of $515. The Mi Mix surpasses all of that with its edgeless display, with the phone boasting a 91.3% screen-to-body ratio.


Xiaomi had to innovate in several areas to cram a 6.4-inch screen in a chassis that’s not larger than an average 5.7-inch phone. In doing so, it switched out the proximity sensor with an ultrasonic distance sensor, moved the front camera sensor to the bottom of the screen, and used a piezoelectric ceramic driver in lieu of the earpiece. What initially started out as a concept turned into a functioning product, and Xiaomi is set to kick off sales of the Mi Mix in China for what amounts to $590.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Now for the not-so-fun part. Xiaomi has announced that it will not sell either phone outside of China. While that was to be expected considering Xiaomi’s primary focus is on its home market, but there was a belief that the company would launch its latest offerings in India, Singapore, or Malaysia. That won’t be the case, as Xiaomi is targeting the enthusiast segment in China.

The Mi Note 2 is catered to the enthusiast segment in China.

Xiaomi stuck to a similar strategy last year with the Mi Note. This time around, there’s a lot of interest in the Mi Note 2 given its global LTE support, making the phone compatible with carriers around the globe. The Mi Note — much like Samsung’s Galaxy Note series — isn’t meant to sell as much as the mainstream Mi 5s. It is instead a halo device that represents the best that Xiaomi has to offer right now. Most of the refinements we’ve seen in the Mi Note last year were carried over to the Mi 5, and it is likely we’ll see the same with next year’s flagship in the Mi series.


Since we’re on the subject of Samsung, the design of the Mi Note 2 — with the dual curved sides at the front and back — is eerily similar to that of the discontinued Note 7. Xiaomi undoubtedly worked on the phone for several months, but it is uncanny to see the phone resemble the Note 7 to such an extent.

The Mi Mix will understandably sold in very limited quantities. Ceramic has a price.

As for the Mi Mix, the phone will be sold in limited quantities, which makes sense considering its ceramic design and its overall design. The product looks like something Xiaomi designed to showcase its technical prowess, and while it looks fantastic, it probably won’t be the most usable device. But there is the chance that we’ll see an iteration of the Mi Mix designed for the mainstream audience a few years down the line.

In a Reddit thread, Xiaomi India product head Jai Mani offered up reasons for why the Mix won’t go on sale outside of China:

The answer is limited quantity mostly, but it is a bit out there in terms of design. Will people accept having the selfie camera on the bottom? What about the edge detection? ETC. It may sound trivial, but selfies are incredibly important in China.

However, we did want to show that it’s not a fake phone.

It’s still a concept so I don’t think it really makes sense to launch it in other markets. Also we’re still a really small team in India. We have to consider each product very very carefully given our limited resources.

Mani also talked about after-sales service and certification in various markets as additional reasons for not launching the phone in other regions:

After sales and certification are the primary reasons. Also shipping time/cost is another smaller one. I think there are potentially some ways around these issues, such as being up front about support and shipping times, but it’s not completely clear on how to do it.

The other complication is the manual and labelling. Some countries have pretty specific requirements on both (need to list screen size in centimeters, local price, various lab ratings like SAR value, etc.).

Then there’s the pricing issue. Even though the phone has a high price tag when compared to other Xiaomi products, it’s likely the company isn’t making any money on the handset. Xiaomi rolled out a ceramic version of the Mi 5 earlier this year, and while the phone was sold in limited quantities, the company ended up losing money on each unit sold.

Although the Mi Note 2 and Mi Mix will be limited to China, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll pop up on third-party sellers like GearBest or HonorBuy. So even if you won’t be able to buy the products officially, you can get them imported. The downside in doing so is the lack of support when it comes to software updates. That’s the price to pay for cutting-edge tech.


Essential Accessories for LG V20


Gear out your new V20 with these solid accessory picks.

We all have specific needs from our phones, but when it comes down to it there’s a handful of accessories most of us will need to pick up. Before you get too deep into more specific accessories, give this group a look to find a great starting point with the basics for your new LG V20.

Ringke Fusion Clear PC Back TPU case


The V20 is a big and tough phone so you may be reluctant to toss a case on it, but if you want to protect that metal exterior when you expect to toss the phone around a bit you should have a case ready to go. Considering its size you probably don’t want a big and bulky case, either, so we’ve picked the Ringke Fusion Clear PC Back TPU case.

Keeping things simple, this case has a hard plastic back combined with a shock-absorbing TPU “bumper” around the outside. You can get it in either all-clear or with a smoke bumper accent, but in either model you’re going to get a solid amount of protection while also showing off the V20’s design. It’s also plenty cheap, starting at just $10.

See at Amazon

SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB UHS-I/U3 microSD card


There are so many microSD cards out there to choose from, and they all offer various value propositions in terms of price, capacity, speed and reliability claims. If we have to pick just one that you know lands right in the middle of the pack and offers good value for the money, right now we pick the SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB U3 microSD card. At about $45 for 64GB (to double your internal storage) it isn’t cheap, but the idea here is that you’re buy a fast, reliable card that’s worthy of your high-end phone.

If you need something more specific in terms of higher capacity or a lower price, be sure to look at our list of the best microSD cards for Android.

See at Amazon

Anker PowerLine USB-C to USB-C cable


The LG V20 comes with a USB-A to USB-C cable in the box (a nice one at that), but the future is all about C-to-C. Whether it’s for connecting to new computers, wall chargers or other phones and tablets, you’ll want to have a C-to-C cable around at some point. Thankfully there are lots of good, cost-effective models out there like this Anker PowerLine cable.

The 3-foot cable comes in black or white and is just a smidge over $10 — perfect for starting your USB-C transition.

See at Amazon

JOBY GPod Mini Magnetic Compact Tripod


The LG V20 is packed full of excellent photo and video features, from its dual cameras to complete manual controls and hi-fi audio recording. It can do great things when it’s simply handheld, but for the most professional-looking videos, long exposures and time lapses, you’ll want a tripod. This compact magnetic GPod tripod from Joby does the trick. It has sturdy, flexible legs that articulate to wrap around objects and get positioned just right, and also has magnetic feet so you can stick it on metal for a secure hold.

It comes with a standard tripod head, so you can attach whatever phone clamp you like … Joby’s own is slim but relatively expensive, but there are a whole host of solid (and cheaper) choices out there. Take your pick!

See at Amazon

Anker PowerCore Speed 10000 QC portable battery


The V20 has a removable battery, but since replacement cells aren’t available just yet we’re going to recommend you pick up a compact but powerful portable battery. Anker’s one of the best-known names in the business, and its PowerCore Speed 10,000 mAh battery gets the job done. It’s compact but packs plenty of juice for multiple recharges of your V20, and offers Quick Charge 3.0 support for the fastest possible charging of your phone.

The battery has a standard USB-A port so you can plug in the cable that came with your V20 but also any other cable if you need to charge up an older Micro-USB or Apple device instead. Anker’s power delivery system will give the fastest possible charge for the device that it detects.

See at Amazon

Aukey CC-T8 Car Charger


Seeing a theme here? Quick Charge 3.0 is great, and if you’re going to be buying new accessories for your phone you might as well get ones with the proper specs to get you charged up right. Charging in a car is a perfect example of when charging speed is important, getting your phone topped up while you’re on a quick drive or keeping it from draining while you’re using the screen and GPS for navigation.

Aukey’s CC-T8 car charger offers two Quick Charge 3.0 ports, meaning you can keep your V20 topped up on one but can also have a backup for your passenger to charge up at the fastest possible speeds. For less than $20 that’s a great deal.

See at Amazon

Anker Micro-USB to USB-C adapter (2 pack)


If you’re coming to the V20 from an older Android phone, chances are you haven’t stocked up on USB-C cables just yet. If you want to be able to use your old Micro-USB cables with the V20, you can pick up this two pack of Anker adapters. They’re cheap and get the job done, particularly for chargers or devices that have integrated cables you can’t easily swap out.

See at Amazon

LG V20

  • LG V20 review: Built for power users
  • LG V20 specs
  • All LG V20 news
  • LG V20 vs. Galaxy Note 7
  • Discuss the V20 in the forums!



BT Family SIM plan for up to 5 family members could save you cash

BT has launched a new Family SIM plan that lets you and up to four other family members each have a SIM card for smartphones and tablets, with individual monthly allowances, all while saving money.

BT says the plan can save families up to £372 a year and that BT broadband customers will get a £5 per month discount.

There are two tariffs to choose from, 2GB data, 500 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited BT Wi-Fi, or 15GB data, unlimited minutes, texts and BT Wi-Fi. You can’t mix and match tariffs across SIM cards.

Five SIM cards on the first plan costs £36 per month, or £7.20 each and five cards with the 15GB data tariff costs £69 per month, or £13.80 each.

So, rather than having a contract for each parent separately and then contracts for each child in a house, for example, BT is offering a way to get everything on one contract, but offering each SIM individual allowances.

Furthermore, there are controls for each SIM, so the main bill payer gets parental controls so that those other SIMs don’t get free roaming access, unless that’s allowed.

The first SIM in a plan has to be on a 12 month contract, but each additional SIM is on a 30 day rolling contract, so you can add and remove them depending on each member’s needs. The new Family SIM can be combined with handsets too, depending on your needs.

BT’s Family SIM plan is available to sign up for now, either as SIM-only or included with phones from BT’s online store.


Next major Windows 10 update will be called Creators Update

Microsoft is live in New York City, where it is holding a hardware event.

While at the event, the company revealed the next major Windows 10 update would be available in “early 2017” and that it would be called Creators Update. Keep in mind the last major update to Windows 10, the Anniversary Update, just rolled out in August with a bunch of new features, including the new Windows Ink workspace and Edge extensions, among other things.

3D creation 

The Creators Update will be all about creating and playing, Microsoft suggested. And it’ll be free to every Windows 10 device. After announcing the update’s name and shipping target, the company launched into 3D creation, saying it hopes to expand its for “vision for mixed reality with 3D for everyone”. With the Creators Update, Microsoft asked what 3D can do to “unleash the creator in each of us”.

As easy as 1, 2, 3D – it’s a snap to create 3D objects from scratch with the new Paint 3D Preview. #MicrosoftEvent

— Windows (@Windows) October 26, 2016

Microsoft then introduced the new Paint 3D app. After a brief demo of the app, in which we saw the ability to move objects to the top of what looks like 3D layers, as well as a magic selection tool that creates shapes and objects and automatically removes backgrounds of photos, Microsoft declared “3D is for everyone” with the Creators Update. You’ll even be able to export Minecraft creations and 3D print them.

Announcing new ways to bring your ideas to life with 3D for everyone. #MicrosoftEvent

— Windows (@Windows) October 26, 2016

You’ll also be able to scan and create 3D objects and create your own personal emojis. Microsoft said it will integrate 3D into its popular applications as well, including PowerPoint, which will have a new 3D models option. For more information on Microsoft’s 3D capture experience that will be available in the new Paint 3D app with the Creators Update, check out this separate piece.

Holograms and VR headsets

Microsoft said 3D objects are holograms, so you can create a chair, and then use the HoloLens headset to see how it’ll look in your house. From there, Microsoft launched into a pitch about wanting VR headset makers to start using Windows Holographic. It also said, “With the Creators Update, our partners including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer will be shipping VR headsets.”

All these new VR headsets will ship with six degree of freedom sensors, and they’ll start at $299.

We’re partnering with top PC makers to build a range of innovative VR headsets starting at $299. Coming in 2017. #MicrosoftEvent

— Windows (@Windows) October 26, 2016

Game broadcasting

Microsoft also started talking about Xbox and gaming, and it related this all back to the Creators Update, saying it designed the update for e-sports. Game broadcasting will be part of the Xbox app in the update, for instance. So, you’ll hit the Game Bar inside the Xbox app, then hit broadcast, and it’s immediate. A chat window will hover over the top of the game, and you can see your stream in real-time.

Game Bar in #Windows10 Creators Update features fully integrated game broadcasting with Beam. Just press Windows key + G. #MicrosoftEvent

— Windows (@Windows) October 26, 2016

The company is essentially going after Twitch here. After demoing the broadcast feature, Microsoft announced Arena on Xbox Live, which will let you host your own tournament, and then it went to a Xbox One S recap, including mentions of how Windows 10 is built for 4K gaming. It also said Bitstream audio pass-thru, with Atmos support, is coming with the Creators Update for Windows 10 and Xbox.

This story is developing. Please refresh for updates.


Windows 3D capture experience will be designed to work on all devices

Microsoft wants to have everyone playing with 3D with its forthcoming release of Windows 10 Creator Update, coming in 2017. 

Presenting new features of the update, Megan Saunders, general manager at Microsoft, briefly talked about 3D capture, an essential part of the 3D puzzle. Rather than just taking a photo or video of an object, Microsoft demonstrated 3D scanning of that object instead. 

Walking around a sandcastle on the stage, it was scanned and made available in the new Paint 3D software as a 3D object that could then be used with other objects to create a new 3D scene.


That capture wasn’t done on a fancy device, but a regular HP Elite X3 Windows Phone. However, Saunders said that Microsoft will “envision this experience on any device”, suggesting that this won’t be limited to capture from a Windows Phone.

Microsoft appears to be targeting 3D creation as a major element of its future strategy for Windows and we’re hoping that Android and iPhone capture will play a part in that.

Moving forward, Microsoft will be supporting all this 3D content through the Edge browser and letting you view 3D worlds with your HoloLens, or via any of the VR headsets that Microsoft it lining up from partners like Asus and Acer.


Microsoft will release VR headsets with the Windows 10 Creators Update

Microsoft announced at its Windows 10 event that several of its hardware partners will be releasing virtual reality headsets to coincide with the launch of the Creators Update. Partners include HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus and Acer and all VR headsets will come with inside out six degrees of freedom sensors, which Microsoft says are the world’s first.

  • Next major Windows 10 update will be called Creators Update

By fitting the sensors, it’s claimed you’ll be able to experience virtual reality without the need for a separate room or a “complicated setup”. The headsets will be available from $299 when they’re released.

The VR headsets will work with HoloTour, the software included with the HoloLens headset that transports you to countries and places around the world. From within Microsoft’s virtual world you can create your own space, and the example given at the Windows 10 event showed a representative having a screen dedicated to sports and a selection of his most used apps on another wall. 

Microsoft’s new virtual reality headsets are being marketed as Creators Update accessories and will be available from early 2017.


Live from Microsoft’s Surface 2016 event!

After surprising us with the Surface Book last year, what could Microsoft have in store next for its flagship PC lineup? We’ll find out today during its Surface media event in NYC. As we explained in our preview, rumors currently point to an all-in-one PC that can be converted into a large tablet. It could be something like a cross between the iMac and the Surface Hub. We might also catch a glimpse at Microsoft’s Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor, the “Home Hub,” and hear more about how Windows 10 will evolve.
Microsoft’s Surface event will kick off at 10 am Eastern. Check back here for our live coverage as things kick off.


ICYMI: Channel your inner magician with IoT controllers

ICYMI: Channel your inner magician with IoT controllers

Today on In Case You Missed It: If you’ve gotten chicken juice on your smartphone one too many times while trying to whip up a masterpiece in the kitchen, you may be interested in a motion sensor that you can control with a wave of your hand. There’s the practical option, or the adorable. Do you.

Meanwhile, an MIT study aims to understand urban decay and will next automate the process of scoring city photos to help with urban planning. The parody video your shortcut-obsessed friend needs to see is here, while the Silicon Valley Fashion Show story is here. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

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