The BlackBerry Priv is many things: new, novel, secure, sound, and pretty pricey. The device, which is a little over a month old, has now received its first major price cut via Canada’s SaskTel, albeit for a limited time. The Priv’s standard retail cost of $399.99 on a new two year contract has been diminished by $150 and thus the device can be had for just $249.99. Please note that as these are Canadian dollars, it translates to a savings of $109 USD, making the new retail price $181.08.
While the deal may sound superb, be aware that the price does not include the one-time activation fee of $25, nor does it include any relevant taxes. Perhaps more concerning however, is the fact that the carrier’s website currently lists the BlackBerry Priv as “Out of stock online” thus those eager to take advantage of the offer need to head to a physical retail location for the cash savings.
While this price cut is listed as temporary, the next few months are likely going to see a real price cut across the board, at least as hinted by BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen. In a recent interview the corporate executive alluded to the fact that once Mobile World Congress hits, the hardware and components inside the Priv will seemingly lose some of their top-tier classification thus a price cut would be a logical step.
Canadian readers, what do you think? Is the Priv more of a proper purchase at the lower price point? Should the hardware have been set around this cost tier from the beginning? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section and let your voice be heard!
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 a fantastic Xbox One companion, a reliable satellite tracker, a great shift calendar and last, but not least, an incredibly addictive game.
Xbox One SmartGlass
If you were lucky enough to receive an Xbox One from Santa this Christmas, then you’re going to want to pay very close attention to the first application up this week. SmartGlass is an all-in-one service that enables you to interact with your Xbox on an entirely different level.
While using this app, you’ll not only have the facility to access your friends list and respond to messages whilst on the go, but you’ll also be able to use your smartphone’s touchscreen as a remote control when you’re at home in front of the TV.
I prefer to use my Xbox to take in a show on Netflix using this application as the integrated media buttons make it significantly easier to navigate through a large catalogue of content. SmartGlass is great too when you want to check out your achievements as it’s much quicker than sifting through the My Apps & Games menu on the console.
ISS Detector Satellite Tracker
Since Tim Peake’s recent arrival on the International Space Station, my interest in astronomy has been reignited. As a result, I took to the Play Store to seek out an application to help me find the satellite, and that’s when I came face to face with the ISS Detector Satellite Tracker.
The app is a third-party tool that records your location so it can tell you when and where to look in order to see the International Space Station, the application also checks nearby forecasts to see if you are experiencing suitable weather conditions for space-spotting.
My favourite feature the ISS Detector app bundles is the facility to create an alarm to alert you when the satellite is about to pass, which means that you can always be in the right position with your camera at the ready.
Shift Schedule is an extremely useful calendar application and widget, which has been designed specifically for shift workers. The main purpose of the app is to provide you with a clear and detailed overview of your shifts, so that you can easily see when you’re working.
You will also be able to access a comprehensive breakdown of all the hours you’ve worked in a specific month, together with your estimated income based on the rate you provided during the configuration process. These figures can then be exported as a spreadsheet and uploaded straight to Google Drive for safekeeping or emailed to your employer for payment.
Up last this week, we’re looking a simple puzzle game, which goes by the name of Arrow. All you have to do is tap on either the left or right side of your device’s display to navigate the maze without hitting any walls. If you do happen to come into contact with a wall, your arrow will instantly crack and you’ll be forced to start again. Just like Circle, progress is tracked by the scores that you obtain — so the longer you go without colliding with any obstacles, the more points you’ll be credited with.
Previous Apps of the Week editions:
Come comment on this article: Talk Android Apps of the Week: December 26, 2015
If you were hoping that you could regularly rely on encrypted messaging services to keep your discussions private while you’re in China, you’re about to be disappointed. The country has passed an anti-terrorism law that requires companies to hand over encryption keys when officials want to spy on someone’s communications. Officials swear that this isn’t tantamount to requiring backdoors, but it’s not exactly heartening news if you rely on any app or website where it’s feasible to request those keys.
Some services are theoretically safe. For instance, Apple’s iMessage is designed in such a way that even Apple can’t obtain the keys and crack codes. That sets up a potential conflict, however: what happens if Chinese courts order these services to fork over keys that they can’t possibly deliver? While the odds of that happening aren’t high (especially as the companies bring a lot of money to the country), they’re high enough that they could make some tech giants uncomfortable. No matter what, there are some firms that now have to sacrifice your privacy if they want to continue operating in the world’s most populous nation.
[Image credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images]
Welcome back to the last edition of Android Apps Weekly in 2015! We’d like to thank you for another 52 weeks of tuning in each week to catch the latest app news. Let’s get to the headlines:
- A little more news leaked out about Nintendo’s upcoming Android game this week. It’s been all but confirmed that it’s going to be a social media style app and the clothing items will be used to customize your avatar. We’re not sure where the game part is yet, but we’ll find out eventually.
- Last week we reported that there were 35 awesome games on sale on Google Play. That list has been updated and there are now over 85 titles available right now with a varying amount of discounts. Some of the games include most of Square Enix’s library, Half-Life 2, Worms 2, NBA JAM, most of Kemco’s library, and plenty of others. Check it out before these deals end.
- In an effort to show people that the Play Store is more than just apps and games, Google Play is having a promotion to get users into the other parts of the store. Until January 4th, you can get 3 months of Google Play Music for $1, some Google Play Books titles are up to 80% off, and movie rentals are up to 75% off.
- In perhaps one of the best news stories of the year, it was announced that The Beatles were coming to streaming services for the first time in most markets. As of now, you can listen to the fab 4 on Apple Music, Google Play Music, Microsoft Groove, Rhapsody, Amazon Prime Music, Slacker, Spotify, and Tidal.
- It’s been rumored that Google is creating another messaging service and this one is a little bit different. Instead of the usual paradigm where you can chat and stuff, this new service is rumored to have a ton of bots that will chat with you, make recommendations, and fetch information. We’ll have to see what happens if this rumor turns out to be true.
For even more Android apps and games headlines, updates, and new releases, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter where we’ll have all the information from the last week. If you want, you can subscribe using the form below and we’ll send the newsletter to your inbox every Sunday!
Signup for our newsletter
- Android Weekly
- Apps Weekly
[Price: Free / $4.99]
Launcher X is a fairly new launcher that seems to blend a simple premise with some complex ideas. It’s built on the AOSP 3 launcher so it’s fairly close to stock in terms of performance and look but the developers have added plenty of extra goodies. They include a metric ton of customization options, gesture control, swipe-able docks, a slide out drawer, and you can even recreate Google Now Launcher’s functionality. It’s new, which means it’s a little rough around the edges, but it’s worth a shot!
Get it now on Google Play!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Space Jet is an online aviation shooter where you fly a spaceship and shoot down other people who are also flying space ships. The controls are surprisingly good and the game is actually quite a bit of fun to play. As you play, you unlock upgrades for your spaceship that can do more damage, give you powers like camouflage, and a lot more. It is a freemium game so there is a bit of a pay-to-win mechanic and there are some ads here and there, but it’s an above average multiplayer shooter.
Get it now on Google Play!
Metro 2033: Wars is an open world strategy game based on the book of the same name. You play in a post apocalyptic wasteland as you do battle with rival factions. You’ll also be tasked with strengthening and improving your specific Metro Station which adds bits of simulation and city-building elements as well. It’s a tad expensive but it is a pay-once game with no in-app purchases and it’s a great pick-up if you like strategy games.
Get it now on Google Play!
LEGO Nexo Knights is the newest game from LEGO that’s meant to accompany the short series of videos that follow the same story line. This is a hack’n’slash style of game where you must defeat the evil Jestro to save the kingdom. This is meant to be played with accompanying action figures which can be scanned for additional powers but it’s playable without them as well. It’s good for older kids and it’s also free with no in-app purchases.
Get it now on Google Play!
[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Gods of Rome is the latest release out of Gameloft and, interestingly enough, this one is a fighting game. It’s sort of a callback to the fighting games of old and the mechanics are similar to games such as Injustice and Soul Calibur. There is actually a story to this one and your role is to fight to restore peace in your era. It’s simple, yes, but fighting games generally are. It’s a Freemium game so you can expect some pay-to-win mechanics, but overall it’s not half bad.
Get it now on Google Play!
If we missed any great Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! Thanks again for reading and we’ll see you next week in 2016!
Happy Holidays, Android fans! This week brought us rumors about the Galaxy S7’s release date, Marshmallow update news, rumors about Google’s plans for a new messaging service, the release of the Galaxy A9, HTC One X9, and new generation LG G Pad, more reports about the Xiaomi Mi 5, and a slew of Google Play store deals.
Inside AA HQ
We’ve worked hard this year, bringing you news, features, reviews, and how-to’s around the clock, so we think we deserve some downtime. The entire AA team is taking a little time off to be with family and enjoy the Christmas spirit. But we’ll be back before you know it!
var ooyalaplayers = ooyalaplayers
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
- Review: Lanh reviews the controversial Pixel C
- Opinion: Adam argues that everyone should learn how to code
- Review: Oppo R7s: just how good is it?
- Review: Gary reviews the Mini version of the ZTE Axon
- Tech talk: Which SoC performs the best? Gary compares chips from Intel, Samsung, and Qualcomm
Top news of the week
Galaxy S7 release
- Marshmallow hits NVIDIA Shield Tablet K1
- Moto X Pure Edition (2014) now updating to Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- How to install the Android 6.0 Marshmallow beta on your Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge
- (Update: UK too) Samsung launches a Marshmallow beta program for the Galaxy S6 in Korea
- Marshmallow arriving for the HTC One M9 (unlocked) within 24 hours
New Google Messenger and Ford partnership
- Log in to your Google account on the PC using your phone, no password needed
- Google may be building a bot-heavy messaging service
- Google’s immersive 360-degree Spotlight Stories make their way to YouTube
- Google and Ford rumored to announce partnership at CES; yes, it’s about self-driving cars
LG G Pad II
- (Or 75% off a movie rental!) Get a 50% discount on any one album, courtesy of the Google Play Store
- Google Play sale: $1 for 3 months music, 75% of movie rentals, and more
- Update #4: 85+ great Android games are on sale right now
Galaxy A9: 6-inch goodness
Xiaomi Mi 5 rumors
One X9 released
Join our newsletters
Get the Android Weekly delivered to your inbox each and every Sunday, sign up for our newsletter below.
Android Authority Newsletters
- Android Weekly
- Apps Weekly
- Dev Weekly
- Breaking News Alerts
- Top Stories of the day
- Review Alerts
- Deal Alerts
Comcast’s gigabit internet access doesn’t officially go live until sometime in 2016, but that isn’t stopping the company from flicking the switch a little early. The cable giant recently activated what it says is the first public-facing DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem in the world — a fortunate customer in Philadelphia now has the kinds of speeds that previously required at least a partial fiber optic link. There are additional tests running in parts of Atlanta, northern California and Pennsylvania, too.
The trial run will seem old hat if you’re using an existing gigabit internet service like Google Fiber or AT&T’s GigaPower. To some extent, Comcast is playing catch up in hopes of preventing its rivals from getting too strong a foothold on the market. Even so, the upgrade is a big deal. However much you might prefer one of the alternatives, DOCSIS 3.1 (whether from Comcast or another cable provider) is more likely to be widely available — cable companies don’t have to overhaul their networks to enable the faster speeds. Ultimately, this deployment is the first step in bringing gigabit-class internet access to the mainstream.
[Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
When politicians want approval for controversial security measures, they sometimes like to lean on insecurities about your kids’ safety — the “won’t somebody think of the children?” trope is so common that it became a joke in The Simpsons. And the British government isn’t above using that tactic to get its draft Investigatory Powers Bill past critics, apparently. Home Secretary Theresa May tells a member of Parliament that the far-reaching surveillance legislation would help tackle the “pernicious” problems of cyberbullying and trolling. She claims that the bill would make it easier for police to pinpoint both the harassers and their victims, making it harder to threaten someone anonymously. See? Your young ones will be safer!
As you might have guessed, that defense doesn’t hold up that well under scrutiny. How would extensive web logs help fight harassment when it’s already easy to document most incidents? Is law enforcement really going to take advantage of potential encryption backdoors to hack into a bully’s phone? While the bill might go some way toward catching online meanies in the act, it still boils down to giving up privacy in the name of a little extra security.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Matt Dunham]
Apparently, the hacktivists from Anonymous aren’t just targeting ISIS directly — they’re causing chaos for indirectly responsible countries, too. The collective is taking credit for an escalating series of cyberattacks that have disrupted banks, internet backbones and government websites in Turkey. The campaign is meant to punish Turkey for allegedly turning a blind eye to activities that fund ISIS’ extremism, such as oil smuggling. According to Radware, the attacks have been so fierce that they took down access to 400,000 sites and left Turkey blocking traffic in an attempt to keep sites online.
Whether or not Anonymous is primarily responsible isn’t certain. While a site address administrator says that the attacks stem from “organized sources” outside of Turkey, there is the concern that this may be Russian retaliation for Turkey shooting down one of its warplanes. As it stands, the government refuses to point fingers and says only that it has things under control. It may be a long while until there’s a break in the digital assault, let alone a clear idea of who’s to blame.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Hussein Malla]
Pluto may have been imaged six ways from Sunday, but it’s clear that the New Horizons probe still has a few surprises up its sleeve. NASA has posted both a photo and a video showing how the spacecraft can produce vibrant colors from the seemingly drab-looking dwarf planet. The key is New Horizons’ infrared spectrometer. Its linearly-varying filter produces a stained glass window effect as it looks for reflected chemicals, like in the clip you see below — the dark bands come when Pluto’s methane ice absorbs those materials. And when researchers plug the results into visible color channels, the result is the almost festive mix of red and green (with hints of blue) that you see above.
These images aren’t just meant as art, of course. Infrared scans were crucial to confirming the presence of water ice on Pluto, and further research using this data should help understand how both Pluto and its main moon Charon have evolved over time. You may well have to rethink your perception of the Solar System thanks to these pretty pictures.
All eyes were on the UMi Zero 2 smartphone last July, the first time we saw the Chinese smartphone was revealed to the public. The main reason for the hype was its secondary E-Ink display. To everyone’s disappointment, though, it seems that unique feature is now gone, something the industry found out after a second teaser from October.
We have no idea what could have led to this change, but it is certainly sad news, as this secondary screen was one of the upcoming phone’s main selling points. But despite the lack of the dual-display set-up, UMi is still pushing forward with the phone and its specs have been revealed today.
Phone Arena has gotten in touch with UMi and received the latest info on the internals. Now we know the phone will come with a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a QHD (2560x1440p) resolution. Inside you will find a MediaTek Helio X20 processor and 4 GB of RAM – components which should definitely help keep things running smoothly enough (mid-to-high-end level). In the storage department we also have plenty of room to store all the goodies. The UMi Zero 2 is said to come with 64 GB of internal storage.
And UMi is said to have gone as far as revealing the price, which does go right in line with the whole mid-to-high-end range theme. The phone will cost only $299. Not bad at all, right? I would certainly pay extra cash for that secondary E-Ink display in the back, but it’s still a good option. Now we just have to worry about other factors, such as UMi’s performance when it comes to pushing out updates.
But what do you guys think of this phone? Was its main attraction the second screen? Do you care that it’s gone? Hit the comments to share your thoughts!