LG is holding an event in New York on Thursday, October 1st, where the company is rumored to show off its latest flagship Android handset. We’ve heard rumors of LG releasing a “super premium” smartphone later this year, and that the device in question could possibly turn out to be what’s known as the LG V10.
Up until now, not too much information has been given regarding the V10, except that it may sport an auxiliary “ticker” display above the phone’s main screen. If you’re like me, you probably have a ton of questions about this rumored device. Thankfully, a new leak has just arrived, giving us our first look at what the V10’s “ticker” display could look like.
As you can see from the image attached above, the V10 looks (mostly) like any other smartphone to come from LG. When you look towards the top, though, you’ll see a little “ticker” display above the main screen that sits next to the front-facing camera modules. It looks like it holds shortcuts to various phone applications such as the camera, contacts, gallery, text messages and settings.
Hopefully LG utilizes the ticker display to show other useful information such as notifications and more, though we’re not entirely sure how it will function at this point. We’re assuming the icons that are displayed at the top will be customizable, too.
Also worth noting is the inclusion of a second front-facing camera sensor, which sits on the left side next to the ticker display. We saw a good look at the device’s front camera sensors a few weeks ago when the V10 was spotted passing through TENAA, and this new leaked image looks pretty consistent with those first images.
This is still an unannounced device, so we should take this with a grain of salt. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate until the device’s rumored October launch. So, what say you? Are you interested in seeing what the LG V10’s second ticker display can do, or do you think it’s a bit gimmicky?
Developer Chris Lacy has just released a big update to Action Launcher, which should be rolling out in the Play Store as we speak. The update, which brings Action Launcher up to version 3.6, brings a handy new Quickfind feature, a number of new home screen transition effects, and much more.
For starters, though, Quickfind is the headline feature in the version 3.6 update. It allows you swipe up (or double tap) the All Apps icon to perform a quick search of your app drawer. Your keyboard will pop up right away, and you can instantly begin typing out the name of the app you’re looking for.
The most recent version of the Google Now Launcher also lets you search for apps, but Action Launcher’s implementation is much quicker. For instance, a swipe up in Action Launcher is much faster that a long press in the Google Now Launcher. Plus, you can press the keyboard’s enter button to automatically open the first app on your list, which should come in handy. You can even use a T9 keyboard for performing a quick search with Quickfind.
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Version 3.6 ushers in Google’s new colorful logo in the Search bar, but you can choose to keep the standard non-colorful variant if you so choose. There are also 12 new home screen transition effects to choose from, complete with previews in the selection menu so you don’t have to keep jumping to your home screen to test them out. It’s the little things.
There are many more changes that come along with this update, which you can find at this link. If you’re interested in grabbing the latest version, follow the Play Store link below.
The new update to Gmail adds the ability to block senders and unsubscribe from mailing lists. The update is coming to the Gmail Android app and on the web. This will be great to stop spammers or annoying people who refuse to stop emailing you.
The update is currently out on the web, but will be coming to the Android app soon. Any email you block will now automatically go to your spam folder. This is great since you can always go to the spam folder and unblock them if you did it by mistake.
Come comment on this article: You can now block senders and unsubscribe within Gmail
Next week Google will be making several announcements, like the launch of their new generation of Nexus devices. Not all changes will be related to hardware though as some software and application updates are expected. One of these changes that has surfaced, thanks to some astute observers noticing some app wording, is the possible rebranding of the YouTube Music Key Beta subscription service as YouTube Red.
The YouTube Music Key Beta service launched in late 2014 and was focused on music delivered via the YouTube app as opposed to Google’s Play Music. One of the benefits users on the platform enjoyed was the ability to keep a video playing in the background when a user switched to a different app. This allowed users to continue to enjoy some background music while they attended to other matters.
The term “YouTube Red” now pops up in a dialog box or in a notification box when a YouTube user who has the Music Key Beta switches to a different app. The notifications describe YouTube Red as a way to keep videos playing even though the screen may be off or switched to a different app. This description matches what Music Key Beta offers, so many think this is the new name for the service. The new wording is included in YouTube v10.37 which was released within the past few days.
Although the dialog screens in YouTube have changed, users have thus far not found any other modifications to the Music Key Beta service, in either the app or online at the web site, to indicate a change is pending.
source: Android Police
Come comment on this article: YouTube Music Key Beta may be rebranded as YouTube Red
Volkswagen has a new celebrity filled ad to show off Android Auto on their new 2016 cars. The ad is called “Party” and stars Adam Scott, Michael Peña, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse all using Android Auto in their new Volkswagen.
The ad shows them making calls to each other and touching the screen, but is specifically featuring App-Connect, which is basically showing that Volkswagen supports all three new car standards, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink. Almost any smartphone can be plugged into most of their new 2016 models and be connected to the car.
With Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect available on certain models, you can access select smartphone apps right from your dash. Maps, messaging, music, and more can show up on your touchscreen for easy display and use. App-Connect makes your phone and your car friends. It’s the beginning of a beautiful connection.
Come comment on this article: Volkswagen has a new celebrity filled ad to show off Android Auto
Do you use Deezer? The music streaming has its fans, six million of them paying subscribers. But it’s also French, so it might go on strike at any moment and ruin your vacation, leaving you stranded in Ibiza forever.
With any luck, however, those strikes will be averted if all goes according to plan with Deezer announcing an IPO on the Paris Stock Exchange. Though Deezer is doing moderately well, it can only fight so hard with limited capital against juggernauts like Spotify and Apple Music, both of which boast many times more subscribers (though it remains to be seen how Apple music’s numbers level out after free trial periods end). It’d be nice if Google actually threw something behind Google Play Music to make it a fierce competitor in the space, but that’s another article.
Deezer officials say the company intends to use funds raised from the IPO to improve distribution and the product itself. Officials are also hoping to sell off pieces of the company, which is valued at roughly $1 billion.
Unlike Spotify, which focuses on ad revenue, Deezer is largely funded by partnership agreements with mobile carriers and other firms. For example, Deezer purchased Muve Music, which opened up access to all Cricket subscribers. Deezer also struck hardware deals with Bose and Sonos.
For audiophiles, one big area where Deezer differentiates itself from Spotify is in top-tier audio quality for those willing to pay for it. Spotify Premium subscribers can listen to audio at 320 kbps, whereas Deezer’s highest tier listeners can listen to FLAC-level lossless tracks. If Neil Young’s Pono Player were to get in the mix, we’d have a stew, baby.
Because going in on a brawl with Sweden’s Spotify would not just be bad for international relations, but is a dubious business choice, Deezer intends to focus on different markets than Spotify at first, expanding market share where there is a vacuum rather than struggling to carve out one’s own space. As a reader of TalkAndroid, your very own preferred mobile OS has done basically the same thing while Apple played the exclusivity card.
IPOs can be a great way to raise money, but once finicky shareholders are in the mix, it becomes more difficult to take risks. Deezer will need to find reliable revenue streams to keep investors appeased. It will be interesting to see how everything stacks up as time goes on.
Alright, I’ve basically slammed the French, the Swedish, Cupertino, and Mountain View in one article. Did we miss anyone? Ah.
Come comment on this article: Deezer to File for IPO, Spotify Doesn’t Care
If you own a Wink device and are worried about the future of your products, don’t be. The Wink team have said devices like Hub and Relay will still be sold in stores, and they are still working on new features. It would of definitely sucked if they stopped working on them and one day your Wink door locks didn’t work.
Flextronics International USA Inc. has submitted a “stalking horse bid” with the minimum amount that Wink will be acquired for. However, they are open to higher bids from other companies. If no one else bids, Wink will be sold to Flextronics. Everything will be complete in 60 days.
Come comment on this article: Quirky has filed for bankruptcy and are selling off Wink
Owners of the Fitbit Surge activity tracker should be on the lookout for a software update rolling out for their devices. Fitbit has packed in several improvements to the device in the latest update to help users keep their activities on track. The biggest change for the Fitbit Surge is the addition of alerts, called Run Cues, based on time and distance marks. Users will find these can be helpful in setting their pace as they pursue their training goals.
According to Fitbit, the update includes some improvements to help extend battery life. Fitbit says the tracker will go for 10 hours, versus the previous mark of 5 hours, when using the active GPS and heart-rate sensor. They also included a new timer and stopwatch tool that will make it easier to use the Fitbit for workouts that use timed intervals.
The update should start hitting users on Wednesday.
Come comment on this article: Fitbit updating Surge software with several new features
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus include several new camera features that have been highly popular in reviews thus far, but there’s also a fantastic update to the way photos are displayed on the two devices. With Live Photos, exclusive to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, a bit of motion is captured alongside each photo, enabling short animations that bring each image to life.
To enable Live Photos, the iPhone captures 1.5 seconds before every picture is taken and 1.5 seconds afterwards. The motion is then displayed whenever a 3D Touch force press is used on a photo, activating the animation to add a bit of context.
With iPhone 6s reviews coming out today, we’ve learned several interesting details about the Live Photos feature, including some negative aspects that Apple’s working to improve. We’re also able to get an in-depth look at what the reviewers thought of the feature, giving us an idea of whether it’s truly useful or more of a gimmick.
Image via TechCrunch
Apple has been quick to point out that a Live Photo is not a video, and it appears the feature is enabled by combining a 12-megapixel JPG with a MOV file. TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino reports (in his full review of the new iPhones) that a Live Photo consists of a JPG combined with a MOV file that contains 45 frames playing back at around 15 frames per second. Combining a JPG with a MOV file means Live Photos take up twice the space of a normal image. Panzarino also shared some tips on getting good Live Photos shots, but said he believes the best use cases are still undiscovered.
In my experience, Live Photos work best when capturing ambience, not action. Because the frame rate is relatively low, moving the camera a ton while you shoot them or having a subject move will display a bit of jitter. If, however, you’re shooting a still image with some moving elements, the effect is extraordinary.
According to The New York Times’ Brian X. Chen, there’s a “short learning curve” for Live Photos, because moving a camera immediately after taking a photo will ruin the Live Photo, something Apple says it will fix in an upcoming software update. There’s also no way to remove audio, and editing a Live Photo only applies edits to the still frame.
Two other items that I’d like to see addressed in future software updates: One, when Live Photos are captured, they include audio. I’d like the option to disable that because images alone can speak loudly enough. You also can’t edit Live Photos. You can only apply an edit to the still frame, but not the motion frames. It would be ideal to at least be able to make minor adjustments to Live Photos, like increasing brightness or contrast.
The Wall Street Journal‘s Joanna Stern calls Live Photos “the phone’s best new feature,” in her review, and shares a selection of example images that give a good look at how Live Photos look.
Live Photos File Details
Because of the way Live Photos work, combining a MOV file with a JPG file, the full Live Photo experience will only be viewable on iOS devices that run iOS 9, the Apple Watch with watchOS 2, and Macs running OS X El Capitan. Sending a Live Photo by email or directly to non-supported devices, the Live Photo will be stripped of the MOV component and sent as a regular JPG.
However, when importing Live Photos to your Mac in the Photos app, they’re imported as a separate JPG and MOV file. When TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino sent a Live Photo to our iPhone 6 running iOS 9, the Live Photo was viewable (with motion) in iOS 9. When imported into Photos, the image was split into the JPG and MOV components.
As you can see, the JPG and MOV components took up 2.5MB and 1.7MB of space, respectively, for this Live Photo taken with the iPhone 6s back camera. Meanwhile, the front camera took a lower resolution 1MB image, but with the same size 1.7MB MOV file. The MOV resolution was 960×720 at ~12FPS for both sample Live Photos.
We’ll learn a lot more about Live Photos this Friday, when the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus become available to the public.
Toshiba has announced an upgraded version of its Chromebook 2, which is scheduled to ship next month. Compared to last year’s, the company’s new Chrome OS laptop will be available with 5th-generation (Broadwell) Intel Core i3 or Celeron processors — both are geared toward performance, so you can expect this machine to be much snappier than its predecessor. Additionally, the refreshed Chromebook 2 features a backlit LED keyboard for the first time. What does carry over from the previous model is that great 13.3-inch, 1080p IPS display, an HD webcam, two USB ports (3.0, 2.0) and the option to add up to 4GB of RAM. Battery life rating, meanwhile, continues to be about nine hours, but hopefully those fresh processors will make Toshiba’s Chromebook 2 last longer than before. It’ll be available in October for $330 and $430 for the Core i3 and Celeron models, respectively. Slideshow-322381