It’s been a little while since we’ve seen any improvements come to Google’s wearable platform, but that changes today. Google has just announced a big update to Android Wear that will bring some new gestures, new options for sending voice messages to your contacts, and the ability to make calls and listen to messages with speaker support.
Early last year, Google introduced gestures to Android Wear that would allow users to navigate through cards without the need to touch the screen at all. With this latest update, you’ll be able to expand information cards, bring up applications and return home to your watch face with a simple push, lift or shake.
Today’s update will also allow you to send messages with more third-party applications with just your voice. Now you can send messages from apps such as Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat and WhatsApp. For instance, to send a Hangouts message, all you need to do is say “Okay Google, Send a Hangouts message to Jimmy: How’s it going?” Google understands not all folks use standard text messages to communicate with friends, so this update should make keeping in touch much easier.
Last but not least, Google has introduced speaker support to Android Wear. With speaker support, you’ll be able to take and receive calls over Bluetooth, and even listen to audio/video messages with apps like Glide. Of course, this feature won’t be available for all current Android Wear watches. You’ll need a device with a built-in speaker, and right now that only includes the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2 (49mm).
This big update is coming to all Android Wear watches over the next few weeks, including the new Casio Smart Outdoor Watch and Huawei Watch for Ladies.
Final Fantasy Adventure, the old Square Enix title originally released for the Game Boy in the early 90’s, has been remade for numerous gaming systems since its original launch – and for good reason. It’s considered to be one of the best RPGs ever to be released on the Game Boy, and it also spawned an entirely new game series, called the Mana series. Seeing as how Square Enix is doing everything in its power to bring most of its classic titles to mobile, it was only a matter of time until this game was next on the list.
Square Enix has just released a remastered version of Final Fantasy Adventure, called Adventures of Mana, to the Google Play Store.
For those unfamiliar with the story, you play as an unlikely hero that’s forced by the Dark Lord of Glaive to fight monsters in a gladiator pit day in and day out. In the distance sits the Tree of Mana atop Mt. Illusia. Legend has it that this sacred tree will grant eternal power to anyone able to lay their hands upon its trunk. This kind of eternal power is something that the Dark Lord is very interested in, and it’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen. You’ll be able to collect various weapons throughout your journey, each divided into six categories. There are also eight different spells to use in multiple occasions that will help you restore lost HP or removing ailments from your character.
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This remastered version is built with mobile devices in mind. You’ll be able to navigate around via a virtual joystick that’s accessible anywhere on the screen. There’s also an auto-adjust feature that will help you keep control of your character if you happen to move your thumb from its original position.
Adventures of Mana is now available in the Google Play Store for $13.99. We know this isn’t cheap, but luckily there are no in-app purchases to be found. Follow the Play Store link below for the download.
The LG G5 is set to be announced later this month in conjunction with MWC 2016 and the device is expected to bring some big changes to the design of LG’s flagship. One group that looks forward to the release of any new smartphone is accessory manufacturers. This is especially true when there are significant changes that will prevent the use of prior generation accessories as it creates an open market for new sales. Case makers are probably excited to see the new LG G5 launch approach and have already started loading up sites like Amazon with their wares. That is good for us as these listings help reveal what LG has in store for us.
For the LG G5, several sources have indicated the smartphone was getting a new dual-camera setup and the volume rockers were moving around compared to prior generations. Some new cases that are listed on Amazon show us what the new setup is going to look like in some of the clearest images yet and help confirm these rumors.
These listings reveal a pair of camera lenses sitting side-by-side when the phone is held in a vertical position with a pair of dual-LED flashes sitting in between. As part of the camera module, there also appears to be a laser autofocus unit which would be consistent with LG’s past G series and V10 history. Below the camera module is the power button that is believed to double as a fingerprint scanner. The cases also clearly show the volume rocker being moved to the side of the device.
Come comment on this article: New cases surfacing on Amazon reveal LG G5 details
Verizon Wireless has just announced that it’s increasing the amount of data it offers to subscribers of its prepaid plans with no extra cost. This move comes shortly after both AT&T and T-Mobile upped their standard allowances for users of their Internet services.
If you’re a registered member of Big Red’s $45/month plan, you will now be able to enjoy 2GB of super-fast 4G data, as opposed to 1GB, and if you opt for the $60/month tariff you’ll be getting an extra 2GB of data — so you’ll have 5GB to play around with.
These two plans feature unlimited talk and text as standard. If you do happen to find yourself needing a larger data allowance, you can add an extra 500MB for $5, 1GB for $10 and 3GB for $20.
As this is a prepaid plan, subscribers have to manually top up either $45 or $60 to purchase their bundles. However, if they schedule automatic payments, Verizon will throw in an extra 1GB of data per month, which means the former jumps up to 3GB and the latter to 6GB.
Come comment on this article: Verizon increases the amount of data it offers to prepaid customers
Companies that use Instagram to cross-post their video ads have a new option available in their playbook after the social media platform revealed 60-second ads will join 15- and 30-second long ads as an option. The move comes just in time for the big Super Bowl event this weekend. T-Mobile is already jumping on board with the release of an extended version of the 30-second Super Bowl ad T-Mobile will be running during the telecast.
Joining T-Mobile as an early adopter of the longer format is Warner Bros. which released a 60-second trailer for the upcoming movie How to Be Single. Outside of the U.S. and the Super Bowl hype, Guinness is running a longer spot in the U.K. market as part of its Made of More campaign. The long spot focuses on American record producer Jon Hammond who fought segregation in the music industry.
Instagram indicated there are several more consumer-goods oriented companies who have advertisements ready to go that take advantage of the new longer format. These are expected to start rolling out in the coming weeks.
Come comment on this article: Instagram goes long in time for the big game with new 60-second ads
The 2016 Galaxy A series has been announced in India, featuring the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7 smartphones, each with their own impressive specs.
Dropping with a 5.2-inch Full HD display and 2GB of RAM, Samsung’s Galaxy A5 2016 is powered by a Snapdragon 615 chip, with the gadget boasting a 2,900 mAh battery. The back of the device is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4, and the smartphone will run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop out of the box.
When it comes to camera power, the Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 features a 13 megapixel snapper capable of shooting 1080p video. The shooter comes with OIS built in, along with autofocus and LED flash. The front-facing camera is a 5-megapixel offering.
On the other side of the fence is the Galaxy A7, which is the better-equipped of the two new devices when it comes to specs. Samsung’s Galaxy A7 2016 has a 5.5-inch display, 3GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery. The galaxy A7 is powered by the same Snapdragon beast as the Galaxy A5, also arriving with a 13 megapixel camera.
The Samsung Galaxy A5 2016 and Galaxy A7 2016 each feature a fingerprint sensor living inside their home buttons. On top of that, the pair both come with 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot.
Both smartphones will go on sale starting February 15, and both models are available in gold, black and white. The Galaxy A5 2016 is the cheaper of the two smartphones, costing around $433. Meanwhile, Samsung’s Galaxy A7 2016 will set buyers back by $492.
Come comment on this article: Samsung’s 2016 Galaxy A series unveiled in India
Instagram has begun testing multiple account support on iOS, suggesting the feature could be coming to all Instagram iOS users in the near future. Starting today, some Instagram users began noticing an option to log into more than one account in the Instagram app, but multi-account support is limited to a small number of users at this time.
Instagram users who have access to the multiple accounts feature will see the option to add additional accounts in the Settings menu through a new “Add Account” heading. Once a second or third account is added, switching between them can be done with just a couple of taps. With multiple accounts logged in, notifications for Likes and Comments will also have a header to let you know which account is receiving the alert.
Multi-user support has been a highly desired feature on Instagram for several years. The first hint of support came in late 2015, when Instagram began testing the feature on Android. It is not clear when multiple account support will see a wider release for iOS users as Instagram has not yet made an official announcement.
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Since Android Wear’s debut, Google has regularly added new features for the wearable software. Today, those gadgets are getting three more tools — the stuff we first heard about back in November. First, Android Wear is adding new gestures for navigation through what’s on your smartwatch. You can push, lift or shake your wrist to peruse cards, pull up a list of apps or return to the home screen. If you’re not exactly sure how the movements work, you can get a tutorial on your Android Wear device from the Settings menu.
Android Wear already allows you to search or control music with your voice. Now, you can use those voice controls to send messages. Apps like Google Hangouts, Nextplus, Telegram, Viber, WeChat, and WhatsApp will all accept your spoken cues, so you won’t have to pull out your phone to text someone. For example, saying “OK Google, Send a Hangouts message to Edgar: Does 5PM work?” will employ the voice feature to complete the task.
Lastly, if you happen to have an Android Wear device with a built-in speaker, like the Huawei Watch and ASUS ZenWatch 2, you can take calls and listen to messages on your wrist. Of course, you’ll be doing so in a speakerphone-like scenario, so you’ll want to be sure you have some privacy. All of these features are rolling out “over the next few weeks,” which means you’ll be able to take advantage soon enough.
If you’ve been clamoring for multiple account support in the Instagram app, you might soon be in luck. Some iPhone users, including our own Mat Smith, are seeing the feature pop up on iOS. If you’ll recall, the ability to sign in to multiple accounts and toggle back and forth when posting made an appearance back in November on the Instagram Android app.
You had to manually download an APK to take advantage then, but that’s not necessary in iOS. Since multiple account support is only available to a few, it appears to still be in the testing phase. Hopefully that’ll change soon as Instagram is one of the few social apps that doesn’t allow you to easily switch between accounts.