Hurricane Patricia is one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the western hemisphere. And to make sure everyone can stay in touch with their family and friends, T-Mobile is allowing all of their subscribers in Mexico to make calls and send texts for free during the impact period and recover stage. This includes T-Mobile, MetroPCS, GoSmart and Walmart Family Mobile brands. Meaning wherever you may be, it’s great to know that making a simple phone call or sending a message is free of charge. The offer is valid for all customers, even those on a prepaid plan. It’s too bad that other carriers won’t do the same.
Come comment on this article: T-Mobile makes it free to call and text in and out of Mexico during Hurricane Patricia’s arrival
It’s Sunday, the time of the week when Talk Android brings you a report on some of the very best applications we’ve been using over the course of the past seven days. Today we’re focusing our attention on an awesome aircraft-tracking tool, a fantastic plain text editing service, a reliable photo-editing platform and an incredibly addictive game.
Have you ever looked up at the sky, spotted a plane and wondered where it’s headed? I know I certainly have. That’s why I decided to take to the Play Store to see if I could find a reliable app to lend a helping hand, and, lo and behold, I did. It’s called Plane Finder, it comes courtesy of Pinkfoot Limited and enables users to view a real-time map of aircrafts flying nearby.
As you’d expect from any aviation-orientated service, Plane Finder is filled to the brim with tons of exciting features — both simple and complex. My favourite being the facility to set filters for airlines, aircraft types, airports, altitude and speed. This means that I can instantly focus on the planes that are in close proximity to me, without having to scroll around looking for my current location on a map.
I found this app particularly useful recently when my grandmother was on her way to the Maldives, and I wanted to check on the progress of her flight. I simply opened up the app, input her travel details and within seconds I was presented with an icon depicting her plane flying over the coast of India.
I know what you’re thinking, and I completely agree. This is a very geeky app, but trust me when I say that it really is a lot of fun. If you’d like to see Plane Finder in action, be sure to take a look through the gallery below.
As a student and blogger, I have to do a lot of writing in plain text and markdown. While I like to get most of my work done on my computer, I frequently find myself sitting on trains for long periods of time. Time which could be used productively to get some of my tasks done, so recently I’ve been checking out apps that can assist me. That’s how I stumbled upon JotterPad.
The app features a minimalistic user interface with support for distraction-free editing, which means that you can focus your attention on your writing without being overwhelmed by tons of different features taking up the majority of your display. There’s even Dropbox integration (a pretty rare find in free apps), which gives you the ability to sync your documents between Android, iOS, OS X and Windows without having to pay a dime.
I can’t stress how amazing JotterPad is. It’s already saved me from missing a deadline or two in the very short time I’ve been using it. I honestly can’t see myself switching to a different service anytime soon. If I had to choose my favourite feature within this app, It would have to be its ability to let you color-code documents, making it incredibly easy to find just what you’re looking for.
Be sure to take a look through the gallery below to get a feel for all of JotterPad’s features.
Truth be told, I’ve never been one to edit images on either my smartphone or tablet. However, since installing Photoshop Express on my device last Sunday, I’ve become obsessed with making heaps of minor alterations to the images I’ve captured.
Prior to downloading this app, the only previous mobile photo manipulation experiences I’d had were using Snapseed and the default Photo Editor that ships on board the Galaxy S6, but they are both fairly basic.
Photoshop Express, on the other hand, gives you much more by way of functionality. Not only does it provide you with one-click tools to automatically fix your photos, but it also lets you take the reigns to crop, straighten, rotate, flip, color correct and render images so that they’re better suited to your personal preference. Once your editing is complete, you’ill be able to upload the images to your favourite social websites.
While the app is free to download, there is a premium pack available which gives you access to some additional filters and adjustments. These can be unlocked for $3.99, which is a fairly reasonable price to pay in order to have a fully-fledged editing suite on your mobile device.
To see Photoshop Express from all-angles, check out the gallery below.
The final app we’re looking at this week is one that I discovered a mere three days ago, but haven’t been able to close ever since. Hook is a minimalistic brain-training game, which requires you to solve complex pathway puzzles to get to the next level. As you progress through the title, new obstacles are introduced, like looped tubes, which make it incredibly difficult to follow the individual paths. Nevertheless, it’s still a great deal of fun.
Check it out in the gameplay video below:
Previous Apps of the Week editions:
- October 18, 2015
- October 11, 2015
- October 4, 2015
- September 27, 2015
- September 20, 2015
- September 13, 2015
- September 6, 2015
Come comment on this article: Talk Android Apps of the Week: October 25, 2015
It’s been a week filled with 30 to 40-year-old movie franchises, but other stuff happened, I swear. There is a new Cheap, cheap Segway pretender, a high-speed asteroid fly-by and more! Time may be relative, but TAM still comes in weekly installments. Halloween special? We didn’t say that.
This year was pure bliss for Android purists, with two Nexus devices hitting market. One phone definitely doesn’t fit all, something Google learnt with the Nexus 6, a device that was significantly larger than most smartphones and came with a price tag that was heavier than usual.
We have been playing with both the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X for some time and are ready to put them face to face. These Nexus devices have plenty of differences, but the price is obviously the first that comes to mind. The Nexus 5X costs $379, while the Nexus 6P will set you back $499 – but will this make one of these phones better than the other? Let’s find out in our full comparison of the Nexus 6P vs Nexus 5X.
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These smartphones come from the same family, but you would surely think one of them is adopted. They look nothing alike. And much of that is due to the fact that they are made by different manufacturers. Also, the “P” in Nexus 6P stands for premium, which will definitely make it a bit more high-end than the Nexus 5X. “Premium” is definitely the best way to describe the bigger, badder of these two products. Huawei managed to make a good-looking smartphone with a metal design that is ever so slightly curved on the back. Of course, things change once you take a look at the large and heavy top area that houses the camera and its accessories.
Some folks are not too fond of the black bar on the 6P, but it has really grown on us. After all, it actually serves a purpose; and since it’s covered in strong glass, it should hold up under normal usage. Below said bar you will find the fingerprint reader and the landscape-oriented Nexus logo, which does manage to look quite snazzy.
Looking around the phone we can find that the sides are nice and flat, giving the device a very nice grip. Regardless, the phone is still a bit too large for one-handed use. All the buttons are on the right side, and a USB Type-C port sits lonely at the bottom of the smartphone. We are still getting used to this new port, but it’s something that’s growing on us. Aside from being double-sided, this should make a huge impact on peripheral support and accessories.
Finally, there are two front-facing speakers: one above the screen and the other one below, with the 5.7-inch panel right in between them. Front-facing speakers are definitely a must for many of us. I still don’t know why manufacturers continue making phones without them at this point.
On the other hand (quite literally), we have the Nexus 5X made by LG. It’s not only made by a different manufacturer, but it falls under a different price range. For starters, the Nexus 5X is made completely of plastic, so no metal here. And though the black bar in the back is missing, the Nexus 5X’s camera optics do pop out a bit, creating that dreaded protruding camera bump. The fingerprint sensor and landscape Nexus logo are still on board. The general button layout and ports are also the same as with the Nexus 6P, with the only exception being that the 3.5 mm headset jack is located at the bottom of the 5X.
One complaint is that the front of the handset does sport only a single front-facing speaker right below the 5.2-inch display. The good news about this smaller display is that it makes the handset much easier to handle. And though it’s not made of sturdy metal, the soft plastic does manage to feel great in the hand, similarly to the original Nexus 5.
As you can see, these phones are quite different, which is not necessarily a bad thing. We will say the the exquisitely chiseled 6P looks better than the more generic plastic-clad 5X. But I also wouldn’t say the 5X’s plastic body makes it cheap, though. After all, it’s somewhat similar to the previous-gen Nexus 5, and that phone was loved by many. It just happens to be a phone of essentials. No bells or whistles.
Does this mean the Nexus 6P is trying too hard? Certainly not. The high quality build will be familiar to Nexus fans, and it goes in line with Google’s philosophy. Just lifting the device evokes a pleasant emotion, and this phone has everything it needs to give you the best Google has to offer.
Talking about premium – this Nexus 6P display is gorgeous. The 5.7-inch AMOLED panel touts a Quad HD resolution (2560×1440), which emits vibrant colors, deep blacks and steep saturation, something we can expect from high-quality AMOLED screens. Text is obviously amazingly sharp, and media is a pleasure to view.
What about the Nexus 5X display? I have always said a good 1080p panel trumps a bad QHD screen, but there are obvious differences in this case. While a Full HD resolution works just fine for most uses, there’s an obvious difference in color reproduction here. The Nexus 5X looks a bit washed, so to speak. Colors are simply not as vibrant, and this can be mostly due to the AMOLED display doing a better job of displaying black levels, which help with contrast and ultimately make colors pop better.
The spec hungry will need a larger screen and overall higher-end specs. Without a doubt, the Nexus 6P does provide a better experience. And it’s not even about the resolution.
The Nexus 6P obviously brings the best performance to the table, in this case, featuring a powerful Snapdragon 810 processor and 3 gigabytes of RAM. It has what it takes to compete against the best of the best, and quite frankly, there is very little we can do to slow it down. Going through every single part of the phone was a breeze.
In contrast, the Nexus 5X features a Snapdragon 808 chipset with 2 gigabytes of RAM. Given the demands that Android can have on the system, more RAM has become the standard and 2 gigabytes seems like the bare minimum at this point. With that in mind, the 5X is still capable of providing a great daily experience.
When you put these phones side to side though, there is a noticeable difference. We would say the Nexus 5X is a couple steps behind the Nexus 6P. It’s not a huge difference, but it just may be enough to sway some of you from one device to the other.
This part is interesting, because much of what makes the Nexus experience has been put in both gadgets. The lower-end Nexus 5X still enjoys the benefits of the fast fingerprint reader, Nexus Imprint and awesome camera. Is there anything in which the Nexus 5X falls short, though? The speaker set-up has to be the main concern. But at the very least the single front-facing speaker LG opted for has a nice soundgate, though it could use more volume.
Battery is another point of contention – the smaller 2700mAh battery in the Nexus 5X is not made to go for long periods of time, but we did find it does much better than the older Nexus 5. We can probably thank Doze for this, which puts the phone in a deeper slumber when in sleep for extended periods of time. Overall, you should be able to get a full day of juice, but this is not great compared to the Nexus 6P.
The larger Nexus comes with a massive 3450mAh battery, allowing us to experience battery life times that go well over a full day. We managed to get over 4 hours of screen on time during our tests, without even trying to save battery.
In addition, the dual front-facing speakers provide a loud stereo experience. Once again, the Nexus 6P is simply the better of the two.
Both phones offer the USB Type-C port, which is very convenient, but does come with its downsides. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge solutions are no longer available, for one. Charging is still pretty quick, though, with both phones reaching 0% to 100% in under 90 minutes.
Finally, we have to mention that we love the circular fingerprint readers in these handsets. These are literally some of the best performers we have ever used. They are not only easy to set up, but are also a breeze to use. One can wake and unlock the devices in no time. Using these sensors really do feel like second nature, and you can have your phone ready to go in the very motion it takes to take it out of your pocket.
Perhaps the best news in terms of these phones’ similarities is the camera, which is the same in both cases. These Nexus handsets have a 12.3MP sensor that Google claims is better at registering more amounts of light. Aside from the better sensor and improved optics, these handsets also tout laser auto-focus, which makes focusing faster.
The app also brings great auto interface, but we must say the software lacks in terms of manual controls. HDR+, Photo Sphere, Panorama and Lens Blur modes do all the work on their own; all you have to do is point and shoot.
4K UHD recording is also available, as is 120 and 240 fps slow motion, though that would be recorded at 720p. What I do love is that Google has added a way to quickly launch the camera by double tapping the power button.
After some testing, we have found the images are actually very detailed. The Nexus line-up has never been known for having great cameras, so it’s definitely pleasant to see this change with the 6P and 5X. Low light performance is quite good, and HDR does a good job at keeping lighting uniform.
All in all we have a good time with these cameras despite the omission of optical image stabilization, which is most felt when shooting video – in photos, it might have been a good boost but hasn’t felt like a huge gap.
You can’t go wrong with Nexus software, right? I mean, these phones offer a pure Google experience, which means the software will be as clean and simple as they get. You also get the benefit of enjoying the latest and greatest Android version, which is 6.0 Marshmallow.
One of the main differences you will find is within the app drawer, which now scrolls vertically, as opposed to horizontally. There’s also a row of favorite apps added to the top of the drawer, which is great for accessing your 4 most used applications. The flashiest addition to Android 6.0 is definitely Google Now on Tap, though. This software addition looks at what is displayed on the screen and pulls related information on the fly. You can easily access it by pressing and holding the power button. The service might be a little off at times, but overall it works great with text (not so much with images).
Other significant additions are Nexus Imprint, Doze, granular app permissions and more.
|Nexus 6P||Nexus 5X|
|Display||5.7-inch AMOLED display
2560 x 1440 resolution, 518ppi
|5.2-inch LCD display
1920 x 1080 resolution, 424ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor||2.0GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor|
|Storage||32, 64, 128GB||16, 32GB|
LTE Band 2/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/41
LTE Band 2/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/41
|Software||Android 6.0 Marshmallow||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Camera||12.3MP rear-facing camera
8MP front-facing camera
|12.3MP rear-facing camera
5MP front-facing camera
|Battery||Non-removable 3450mAh||Non-removable 2700mAh|
|Dimensions||159.4 x 77.8 x 7.3mm, 178g||147.0 x 72.6 x 7.9mm, 136g|
Pricing and final thoughts
This time around price is much less of an issue compared to other years, this is because Google’s offerings now include both an affordable and a high-end option. The Nexus 5X costs $379. On the other hand, a bigger battery, faster processor and superior build is still quite reasonably priced at $499.
We have to tip our hats to Google for bringing the best high-end Nexus they have ever put together, yet they also made a lot of Nexus 5 fans happy with the 5X. Those grabbing the mid-end device will have an amazing experience, but if what you want is to be on the cutting edge, the Nexus 6P is the obvious option. The Nexus 6P is incredible, the Nexus 5X is essential. Assess your needs, take your pick, and you can enjoy the best that Google has to offer in this year’s two great Nexus offerings.
What are your thoughts? Would you choose the Nexus 6P or the 5X? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.
A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Nexus 6P giveaway: Sumith J. (India).
This week we have a special halloween giveaway sponsored by DU Battery Saver where we are giving away 3 Nexus 6P smartphones.
Wishing you could get a bit more life out of your phone in between charges? Du battery Saver is a free app designed to help you make the most out of your phone’s battery. The app not only can detect battery-hungry apps that are running in the background, and give you the tools to close them, it also has a variety of different power management modes baked in. Using Du’s “Optimize” feature, the app will even scan your phone and will present you with further options on how you could potentially enhance your battery life. You can learn more about Du Battery Saver, as well as the pro version with extra features, here.
How to enter the giveaway:
I think we’ve all had a time where we desperately needed our phone and our batteries dies. We want to hear your story, you can earn tickets into the giveaway by sharing your low battery horror stories on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #LowBattHorrors. You can also earn extra tickets by following BaiduMobile on Twitter & Facebook, downloading DU Battery Saver and sharing the giveaway with your friends.
Winners Gallery on Google+
Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
- If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
- We are not responsible for lost shipments.
- You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
- We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
- Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
- We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
- This giveaway is operated by Android Authority.
- The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.
Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.
So far Elon Musk has created next-gen spacecraft and some of the world’s best electric cars — could a futuristic airplane be next? This past week, Musk announced that he’d like to build a “pretty cool supersonic, vertical takeoff and landing electric jet.” In other transportation news, automakers had a Back to the Future field day last week. Stanford rolled out a self-driving DeLorean; Toyota showcased a special Mirai with gull-wing doors and a flux capacitor; and students built an all-electric version of Doc Brown’s time-traveling car. A sleek solar-powered car won the World Solar Challenge by rocketing across the Australian Outback in four days. And we took a test-drive of the all-new, completely rebuilt 2016 Chevrolet Volt, which just hit the market in California.
Yesterday was the first time Finnish developer Supercell hosted “ClashCon”, a gathering hosted in Helsinki based on all things “Clash of Clans”. Beginning at lunchtime, the event lasted until 21:00 GMT+3 and saw several clans face off in a war tournament, with “GLORY CHINA 1” taking first place.
Ilkka Paananen, CEO of Supercell, took to the stage before all the events began and gave a short speech before inviting Jonas Collaros, co-founder of the game, up. Jonas had a nice surprise up his sleeve as he connected his developer iPad to the big screen, followed by shouts of joy as Town Hall 11 appeared (or shouts of terror at how ugly it was). A demonstration of the new “Falcon” defense followed, before telling the crowd that this was just a small part of the incoming update.
Typically, big updates are released once per year and we are yet to witness that. A Halloween update was released on Thursday which brought the usual small changes, mostly graphics changes to incorporate the Halloween essence. It is rumored that this update will bring new buildings, new troops and several new features.
We are yet to find out when the new content will be pushed. Supercell did, however, hint that more sneak peeks will be released in the weeks following up to the update, so we can assume it will land between Halloween and Christmas (which also brings a theme update).
Android fans, HTC was in the spotlight this week, though not just for good reasons. The Taiwanese company’s new A9 looks great, but it’s a little too familiar for some tastes. In other news, we heard a credible rumor about the release of the Galaxy S7; we brought you our initial impressions of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P; Google released a couple of big updates; the BlackBerry Priv finally went up for pre-order; YouTube Red and YouTube Music launched; we got another look at the Droid Turbo; and Samsung launched the Galaxy On5 and On7.
Inside AA HQ
Android fans, on October 21, 2015, the future has finally arrived. We don’t have hoverboards just yet, but what we carry in our pockets every day is just as amazing. As Doc Brown himself put it, the “future” is different from what we all thought, but that’s a good thing. When it comes to mobile technology, Nirave did a good job highlighting the absolutely massive leaps that the phone industry made in just one decade. Think about that the next time you feel the urge to complain about your device. And think about where we will be ten years from now.
The results of our blind camera shootout between the Xperia Z5, Galaxy Note 5, LG G4, and the iPhone 6S has caused a huge stir. Yes, the iPhone 6S won on an Android site, and the Apple blogosphere rejoiced. For us, the takeaway here is that Apple is still better at giving most users what they actually want from their cameras, and that should be food for thought for the Android OEMs that are still too fixated on raw specs. The other takeaway? Expect more camera shootouts in the future!
This Halloween, share your data horror story and stand to win a Nexus 6P, Galaxy Note 5, or Xperia Z5 from our friends at Opera. Enter the giveaway here!
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Review: Gary reviews the smallest member of the Xperia Z5 family
- Editorial: Delays are okay, lack of communication is not, Andrew tells Saygus
- How to: Here’s what you need to know to make the most of USB OTG
- Feature: Specs, specs, specs! On our unhealthy obsession with specs
- Review: It’s not Android, but it’s still a great smartwatch – Samsung Gear S2 review
Top news of the week
Galaxy S7 release date?
HTC One A9 is here
- HTC One A9 officially announced: everything you need to know
- HTC One A9 first impressions: trying some new things
- HTC One A9 vs Nexus 5X vs Moto X Style vs ZTE Axon: specs comparison
- HTC CEO: Our new smartphone will be good enough to replace the iPhone
- Unlocked HTC One A9: software upgrades within 15 days of every Nexus update
- HTC One A9 availability – what we know so far
- HTC executive is not amused: “It’s Apple that copies us.”
- Nexus 6P unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours
- Nexus 5X unboxing and impressions after first 48 hours
All things Google
- You can now become a beta tester for the Google app on Android
- Google Maps now makes pit stops easier, also adds gas pricing
- Here’s how Verified Boot warnings look in Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Google tightens its OEM requirements for new Marshmallow devices
- New look Google Play Store begins hitting devices
Priv is for priviledge
- BlackBerry details the security measures it baked into the Android-powered Priv
- BlackBerry Priv briefly goes up for pre-order: $749 unlocked [update: shipping Nov 6]
- BlackBerry Priv pre-order opens in US, UK and Canada; ships Nov 6
YouTube Red & Music
- YouTube Music app launching alongside YouTube Red
- YouTube Red, Google’s ad-free video service, launching October 28 for $9.99 per month
Here comes the Droid Turbo
- DROID Turbo 2 teased ahead of official announcement, courtesy of Verizon
- Motorola DROID Turbo 2 and Maxx 2 press renders leak out ahead of official unveiling
Galaxy On5 and On7
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One day, you might not have to even touch a canvas to make a masterpiece. Scientists from Imperial College London have developed a system that lets you paint hands-free through a combination of eye tracking and a robotic arm. All you do is adjust your gaze and blink at the right times — you can even munch on breakfast while you’re in mid-oeuvre. The technology is crude at the moment, but it should eventually become intuitive enough that you can focus on perfecting your style, rather than mastering the basics.
Closed-circuit security cameras are supposed to make you safer, but some malware is turning them into weapons. Researchers at Incapsula have discovered code that turned about 900 Linux-based CCTV cameras into a botnet, which promptly bombarded an unnamed “large cloud service” that serves millions of people. The intruders compromised cameras from multiple brands, all of which had lax out-of-the-box security — in some cases, they’d been hacked by more than one person.