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24
Dec

Best games to play during Christmas dinner


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You can get together with your family — but then maybe play a game to get away.

We’ve already touched on the best games to play with friends and family over the holidays season, but for some folks the holiday season means forced, awkward interactions with your extended family.

Whether you still find yourself relegated to the kids table, or you need something to distract you from your family holiday snoozefest (no judgement here), we’ve got some recommendations that offer a more rewarding challenge than arguing politics with your in-laws. These are some of our favorite casual games of the past year and a bit that’ll help you kill some family time.

  • UltraFlow 2
  • Brain it On!
  • Trivia Crack
  • Downwell
  • Slither.io
  • Alto’s Adventure

UltraFlow 2

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UltraFlow 2 is a simple yet challenging puzzle game that you could (in theory) easily play under the table at family dinner. It features very casual gameplay wherein your goal is to launch the fling the ball into the whole by bouncing it off the provided obstacles — but you only have a set number of ricochets per level.

The game features a chill, minimalist vibe and can be pretty relaxing even when you’re trying to brute force your way through a particularly tough level. It’s a free game so you have to deal with the occasional ad, but they’re spaced out enough so that it doesn’t feel overly intrusive.

Download: UltraFlow 2 (Free)

Brain It On!

This physics-based puzzle game is unique and challenging, requiring you to think outside the box to solve each level.

You use your finger to draw lines, shapes, weighted objects, and whatever else you think you need to solve each screen. Things get progressively creative and difficult as you progress through the over 200 levels, but you’ll eventually need to go back and revisit old levels to get three stars to unlock new ones (stars are earned by finishing the level under time within the limit of shapes number of shapes).

It’s a really fun game that’ll make you feel smarter than everyone around you… when you’re not stumped by a tricky level.

Download: Brain It On! (Free)

Trivia Crack

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Enjoy the festive update for Trivia Crack as you prove how smart you are at the end of 2016. Just like the name suggests, Trivia Crack is the fix for anyone addicted to trivia.

You login via your Facebook profile and can either challenge your friends or a random opponent, then spin the wheel to answer multiple choice questions from six different categories — Entertainment, Science, Arts, Sports, Geography and History. As long as you keep answering the questions right, you can keep picking up pieces. Collect all six category pieces and you win!

There’s also Challenge mode, where you go head to head with seven other opponents at one time, where time and accuracy is needed to win. This one might start as a solitary escape, but plays just

Download: Trivia Crack (Free)

Downwell

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Grab your gun boots and jump down the well in Downwell. This retro-styled roguelike game is extremely challenging, with a steep learning curve. But it’s quick to jump right into the game, no pun intended.

Since your character is falling, enemies and shops come from the bottom-up, so you need to be strategic in your freefall do you don’t accidentally land on an enemy and lose a heart. There are a number of different ‘styles’ you unlock through repeated play, which give you different numbers of hearts at the start, changes the way end of level upgrades work, and slightly alters the way your sprite falls down the well.

The goal is to survive as you fall deeper and deeper down the well. There’s no in-app purchases, save points, or continues, so when you die you must start at the entrance of the well again.

Download: Downwell ($0.99)

Slither.io

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Simple snake gameplay meets massive multiplayer in this wonderfully addictive casual game that will eat up your free time as you eat up your enemies.

The Snake Game has been a mobile gaming mainstay since the Nokia phones of the 90s, but slither.io updates the format in a big way. Slither.io allows for free-roaming, 360 degree movement and a smorgasbord of pellets to eat and grow your snake — and you’re never alone. You’re dropped into a circular arena with hundreds of other players, all battling for the same pellets.

You start as a tiny snake but quickly grow as you collect pellets. Double-tap and hold to go fast and try to cut off other snakes — if you run into another snake, you explode into energy pellets and must start from scratch. You can change your skin, set a custom nickname and go online, or play against A.I. opponents for faster gameplay.

Download: Slither.io (Free)

Alto’s Adventure

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Beautiful visuals, intuitive controls, and endless playability. Alto’s Adventure is one of the best games of 2016 and a great way to kill some time.

You play as Alto, a snowboarding llama farmer who must race down the mountain to collect runaways. This endless side scroller features smooth gameplay and simple controls: tap to jump, tap and hold to do a backflip. Landing tricks — backflips and grinds across buildings and bunting lines — gives you a speed boost to help blast past obstacles. Collect coins and spend them on upgrading power ups that will assist you on your next adventure.

Alto’s Adventure includes objectives, which are challenging but fun and greatly enhance the replayability. Overall, it’s a fairly relaxing gaming experience, with tight physics and a great sense of speed.

Download: Alto’s Adventure (Free)

Happy holidays!

No matter what you get up to this season, we want to wish you seasons greetings and a very Happy New Year!

24
Dec

Adding an OnHub router to your Google Wifi network


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Your Google OnHub is now a bigger Google Wifi node.

Google Wifi is a great product. It’s easy to setup and easy to make any adjustments or additions to the wireless network in your house. But it’s not the first Wi-Fi router from Google. That’d be the OnHub.

Many were worried that the OnHub would be abandoned when news of Google Wifi was revealed. With good reason — the OnHub is a great product, and we’ve seen great products wither and die before. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We were told during the initial product briefings that an update was coming that would let the OnHub and Google Wifi work seamlessly. Google later made a similar public announcement when the required software updates started rolling out to OnHub users.

I’ve been using a network with an OnHub and three Google Wifi node for about a week. “Seamlessly” is a great description of how the two different products now work together and act the same.

What changed for the OnHub

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The software. Basically, all of it.

The OnHub now performs exactly like any Google Wifi would, through the same interface in the same Google Wifi app. it is now a bigger Google Wifi mesh node. The unique features are still there: I can still wave my hand over the top of my ASUS OnHub like a Jedi to prioritize a device for an hour. You still have 13 antennas (six for the 5GHz radio, six for the 2.4GHz radio and a signal booster) that aren’t designed for a straight line long range signal like many other routers in the price range. But the brains inside are now the same as we see used for Google’s mesh network product.

You still have the strong antennas and unique features of your OnHub, but the way they work and how you set them up has changed.

You can use it the same way you would use a Google Wifi node, too. It can be added to an existing network as a Wi-Fi bridge (things worked exactly as expected and setup was easy), added to an existing Google Wifi network as a new node (we’ll talk about that in a bit) or as a NAT Gateway router attached to your modem or ethernet service — which is how I recommend using it.

Performance in every configuration was similar to the older software when the OnHub was a stand-alone router. The range seems a little more broad than a Google Wifi unit, but they are very similar and if you’re inside the magic bubble (I say the number is 45 feet in any direction) you’ll have pain free wireless with any modern wireless interface. Go much further and you’ll see things drop off, slowly at first but there is a definite distance where things just quit. That depends on what’s between you and the unit, but in general, I’ve found one OnHub can cover my average-sized home. When added to an existing Google Wifi network, you have one more node that can stretch great wireless to even more corners and crannies in your house. It was shockingly flawless in this configuration and performance was equal to or better than a Google Wifi node would have been.

The setup process

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You’re basically following the same process as you would for Google Wifi — unbox the product, open the app and follow the simple step by step instructions. After you’ve read a few hints, though.

The biggest difference is that you’ll need a software update. If you’ve been using your OnHub and have switched to the Google Wifi app, you already have the correct software. If you haven’t had it up and running or you just got it, you’ll need to take it out of the box and attach it to your modem or ISP gateway and let it download some software. Get it connected and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then open the Google Wifi app and make sure it’s showing in the app. You’re now good to go.

Once you update the OnHub software, you set it up the same as Google Wifi through the same app.

You can add an OnHub to an existing Google Wifi setup, but I found that the setup process complains about doing it and suggests you try using the OnHub as your NAT Gateway instead of a mesh bridge and sometimes just refuses to start the setup process. Once the setup does commence, the rest is easy and it just works. The good news is that you won’t have to be playing with the setup more than once. The bad news is that you might not have any luck the first time. In any case, the setup that it recommends — building your Google Wifi network with the OnHub installed first and as the gateway to the internet — was a breeze and everything worked great the first time. I haven’t touched the setup since.

Setting an OnHub up as a bridge on an existing network is similar to adding it to an existing Google Wifi network. You’re told that this is not an optimal setup (but not given any real details why) but you can tap your way through anyway. The reason why, by the way, is because it can create what’s called a double NAT (Network Address Translation). Most of the time your first router can send data through a bridged router seamlessly, but not all the time. It’s something I’m more than happy to discuss in the comments if anyone wants to know more. With that out of the way, once set up and running it works fine. You just have to be careful when changing advanced network settings.

The way I recommend you set things up is to unhook all the things you have on your existing network and build your mesh network around the OnHub. Plug it into the modem and power, let it get its software updated if it needs it, and start the process in the Google Wifi app to build a new wireless network. You won’t have the app fussing at you, and you’ll have a strong router near the modem that still has a free Ethernet port. That leaves any other Google Wifi nodes as the smaller and easier to place newer units.

An extra Google Wifi unit can be a wonderful thing

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This is the most exciting part. OnHub routers can frequently be found on sale and will end up a good bit cheaper than the single Google Wifi unit. It’s a great way to add a fourth node to a network and can give you the freedom to be creative.

Google Wifi units (including the OnHub) are wireless other than the power connection. Plug the first one into your modem, and place the rest anywhere within range. But you can use a wired connection between one or all of your nodes. And Ethernet cables can get long.

Wi-Fi in the kid’s (or your) treehouse is an entirely different level of awesome that’s easy to do if you have an extra Google Wifi node.

A Google Wifi three pack can make for damn near perfect wireless everywhere in an average home. Even the porch and driveway. But many of us have a workshop or pool or other areas around our house where good wireless would be a great addition. A 100-foot, 200-foot or even longer CAT-6 cable can be attached to two Google Wifi units to stretch them far apart. You can even buy long cables that are designed to be buried directly in the ground. It works great, and you don’t lose the wireless speeds you would trying to cover 200 feet of distance — Ethernet is fast, too.

I suggest setting the unit up wirelessly first while it’s in the range of everything else. Once finished, unplug it from the power and take it out to the deck or treehouse and connect it to the cable you’ve run. Power it up, give it a minute or two, and enjoy the fast Wi-Fi for your phone or your Chromecast or TV.

It’s late December. It’s far too cold for me to be outside scratching away at the frozen dirt with a shovel. But I’ve tested this with a 200-foot cable and a Chromecast audio setup and it works just grand. I’m looking forward to a nice Springtime project that’s easy to do and can make a great home improvement.

Google Hardware

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  • Google Wifi review
  • Google Home review
  • Everything you need to know about the Chromecast Ultra
  • Chromecast vs Chromecast Ultra: Which should you buy?

Google Wifi:

Google
Amazon

Google Home:

Google
Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google
Best Buy

24
Dec

Samsung Galaxy S7 Deals


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Looking to save some money on a Galaxy S7? Here are the best deals available right now!

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge have been extremely popular since being announced, and Samsung has been marketing them with a big push. From offering freebies with the handset to carriers discounting it, there are a ton of different deals available out there. Before you can pick the best deal for yourself, you need to make the decision on which model you are even looking at.

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The two models are very similar but also very different. On the regular Galaxy S7 you’ve got a 5.1-inch flat display while the Galaxy S7 edge offers a 5.5-inch display with dual curves. If you are looking for a smaller form factor that is a bit easier to hold, the regular Galaxy S7 is the one to look at, but if you want something a little more unique then the Galaxy S7 edge is sure to catch your attention.

Aside from the screen difference, the only other big difference you will find here between the two models is the battery capacity. The Galaxy S7 edge features a 3600mAh non-removable battery while the Galaxy S7 a 3000mAh battery inside. Besides this, the camera, processor, storage and everything else is the same between both models.

Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge: Which should you buy?!

Now that you have some more insight as to which one you’ll want to pick, let’s take a look at some of the best deals available right now to help you save some money!

Samsung Galaxy S7

  • Best Buy is offering a free $400 e-gift card when purchasing on new installment plan
  • Samsung is offering a free Gear VR with the purchase
  • Verizon is offering the Galaxy S7 for free with eligible trade-in
  • T-Mobile is running a Buy One Get One promo on both models
  • B&H Photo discounted the unlocked version by $120 and is including a free wireless charging battery pack

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

  • T-Mobile is running a Buy One Get One promo on both models
  • Best Buy is offering a free $200 e-gift card when purchasing on new installment plan
  • Sprint is offering a Buy One Get One promo
  • Samsung is offering a free Gear VR with the purchase

Other deals?

Have you found any other deals that aren’t mentioned here? If so, be sure to drop a comment in with a little about the deal and a link to where others can grab it!

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

  • Galaxy S7 review
  • Galaxy S7 edge review
  • U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7
  • Should you upgrade to the Galaxy S7?
  • Best SD cards for Galaxy S7
  • Join our Galaxy S7 forums

Unlocked
AT&T
Sprint
T-Mobile
Verizon

24
Dec

In 2016, emoji kept it 💯


In addition to everything else that happened in tech this year, something small, cute and unassuming wormed its way into your smartphone, your social network and even your MacBook keyboard. While emoji have been around a while, this was the year these pictographs firmly lodged themselves into our lives. It’s become less like immature shorthand and more like another language.

Apple and Google both showed they were both taking the tiny icons seriously. The iPhone’s iOS 10 added search and predictive features for emoji to its keyboard, making it even easier to inject winks and explosions into everything you type. (Apple also added emoji functions to the OLED Touch Bar on its new MacBook Pro.)

Google took it even further, with its latest Android keyboard and gBoard on iOS both including predictive emoji. The company even baked them into its new AI assistant, Allo. The assistant can play emoji-based movie guessing games. In fact, the internet juggernaut has a real emoji crush: In early December, its main Twitter account even started offering local search results if you tweeted an emoji at it.

Granted, the results are … mixed. It won’t be replacing Yelp anytime soon, but it demonstrates how emoji are moving beyond their quick-and-dirty text-message roots.

Quicker access to emoji on your phone also comes at a time when most of our digital interactions (or at least mine) happen through smartphones. It’s become easier to use emoji, and new uses are introduced all the time. GoDaddy launched a service that allows you to create and register website addresses written purely in emoji. It could open a new wave of easily memorable sites — and there’s no shortage of emoji combinations available.

Perhaps the biggest challenge in use of emoji is how open to interpretation many of the pictograms are. More than the written or spoken word, emoji can be easily misunderstood — a fact compounded by the subtle visual differences between identical symbols in different emoji fonts. Send an iPhone emoji to someone using Google hangouts on a PC, and they might not pick up the exact same meaning.

Credit: Grouplens

They can also deliver entirely new uses, beyond the simple word was once meant to represent. There’s a reason for the popularity of the eggplant emoji and it has nothing to do with moussaka.

This vagueness and playfulness is part of their charm; some things are just funnier or easier to say in emojis. Occasionally, they can be haunting:

It’s not all frivolity and euphemisms. Updates to the emoji series attempt to better represent modern culture and society. Unicode’s latest character set for 2016 had a strong focus on gender and jobs, offering dancing bunny-boys and female police officers in an effort strike a better balance between the sexes. It even added the option of a third, gender-neutral option — although that’s apparently proved more difficult to visually express.

This year, Sony Pictures announced that it’s making a CGI feature film based entirely around emoji. It sounds like a terrible idea, but the studio believes it can make money from it. (There might even be more than one movie.)

The effect of emoji has even been noted by one of the world’s most prestigious design museums, with the Museum of Modern Art inducting emoji earlier this year. The debut set of symbols, designed for Japanese phone carrier Docomo back in 1999, is now filed under the same roof as the works of van Gogh and Dali. Used at the time to convey the weather and other messages (in a character-frugal way), the symbols were soon copied by other Japanese carriers, but it took another 12 years before they were translated into unicode in 2010, which Apple then expanded when it launched the original iPhone the following year.

So have we reached peak emoji? The initial set of low-pixel characters totaled 176. Now, at the end of 2016, there’s over 1,300 of them — and no shortage of new suggestions.

Check out all of Engadget’s year-in-review coverage right here

24
Dec

Epson’s new scanner resurrected my childhood memories


My mother likes to post old scanned photos of me on Facebook. Baby me in a clown costume. Toddler me looking grumpy, having just woken up from a nap. My brother and me looking like tiny British royals on Easter Sunday. These photos are embarrassing but not necessarily for obvious reasons. I don’t mind people knowing I was a child. What I do mind is that the scans aren’t good: Many are crooked, badly cropped or discolored. They don’t look nice, and with at least 25 years of my life captured on film, neither my mother nor I have the time to scan the entire collection, let alone fix each picture to make it presentable for public consumption. That is, until we got our hands on Epson’s $650 FastFoto FF-640, which can scan one photo per second. Spoiler alert: We were done with my mom’s archive in under three hours.

I had the scanner sent directly to my parents’ house so I wouldn’t have to lug it over myself, but I needn’t have worried: The FastFoto is relatively tiny. It’s a little under 12 inches wide and weighs 8.8 pounds; I could have fit it in my backpack and still had room to spare. We planted it on the dining table right next to my mom’s laptop and a massive pile of old prints. We hoped to have that table clear by dinner.

Setup wasn’t hard, but it was also the most unappealing part of the process. Besides the usual tangle of cables, getting the scanner running involves downloading the software, which is … not pretty. It looks like any other piece of printer or scanner software you’ve ever encountered — that is, it’s straight out of 2002. But it does the job and isn’t hard to use.

Once we got it connected, we were off to the races. My mother keeps most of her photos in a small filing cabinet, so it was easy enough to take a stack of pictures and drop them into the feeder tray. The scanner can take about 30 photos; it’s not an exact number, and in fact I occasionally slipped in a few extra photos to see what would happen. (When I tried for 40, the scanner refused to finish the batch.) It’s also best to sort them by size, as mixing photo sizes can lead to the FastFoto missing smaller pics or stopping the batch outright.

The FF-640 is true to its claim of one photo per second. I’d start a scan and the machine would be done before my mother finished putting together the next pile. It takes longer for the computer to process the images; the software will straighten out crooked photos and, if you choose, fix common issues like red-eye and discoloration automatically.

Of course, as we discovered, this only works if you insert the pictures correctly. The FastFoto is a double-sided scanner, so I thought it didn’t matter what side you put the pictures in, as it always scans both sides. The idea behind this feature is that scanning the back will archive any metadata that might be printed there, such as photo lab stamps or handwritten notes. It stores that alongside the actual photo, appending the labels “A” and “B” to the file names. Epson’s promotional materials for the scanner always showed images facing upward, so that’s how I dropped in my stacks of photos.

There was no discernible difference in quality between the front and back scans. But what we discovered after diving into the folders where the images were being stored is that the software will always designate the side facing downward as “A,” and that’s where the machine works its autocorrect magic. The end result: We now had vivid scans of dates and handwriting while all the actual pictures were as red and brown as before. A few were upside down. Luckily we hadn’t scanned too many photos at that point.

No, wait, because this thing goes through photos so quickly we had already scanned hundreds of pictures. Oops.

Still, it wasn’t a big deal, because the scans were rather good and the “corrected” images … were hit and miss. Many were still discolored; a few were somehow worse. Basically, the software is no match for good Photoshop skills. So if you were hoping for thousands of print-quality images right out of the box (so to speak), you’ll be disappointed. It’s unlikely you were going to print that many images anyway. If you were planning to throw stuff up on Facebook, you’re probably fine, and you can share straight from the program — though my mother and I opted not to upload the thousands of scans we made yet, because we’re not monsters who overload people’s feeds. (We did choose to have it back up everything to Google Photos, however.)

Most of the photos in my mother’s collection were pretty standard 4-x-6 snapshots, but there was a hodgepodge of sizes and textures to worry about, all with unique challenges. Matte photos fared the best while glossy prints had a tendency to stick to one another, requiring me to open up the machine and pull them apart. This is easy to do: The FF-640 is designed to split open so you can remove trapped documents or clean the rollers inside.

Polaroids presented a problem until I fiddled with the settings on the scanner itself. (My mother later found they worked best in a small stack.) But the biggest surprise came from an old photo booth picture of my great-aunt, which was either developed with silver nitrate or a close relative thereof. Its cardboard frame carried a date of 1945. I was feeling pretty confident about the FastFoto at this point, so I took the photo out of the frame and dropped it in the scanner. It went through smoothly, with no damage to the picture (whew). I opened the file, and it was perfect. The scan even smoothed out an errant fingerprint on the original document.

But given the FastFoto’s blistering speeds, I wouldn’t recommend putting fragile photos in it by themselves. Epson actually provides a special transparent sleeve for such documents, but in practice I found it kind of hit or miss too. Sometimes I would get a clean image, but occasionally a ripple from the plastic made its way into the file. These might be best left to a flatbed scanner, which the FF-640 is not.

It wasn’t long before we had cleared out most of my mother’s little filing cabinet, several manila envelopes and other assorted ephemera from not only my childhood but also my mother’s own youth and that of her seven siblings. At this point I decided to bow out and leave my mother to it, confident that the FF-640 was simple enough for her to use on her own. She wrapped up not long after I left, which I could have guessed from all the pictures she’s been posting on Facebook. Where she used to repost the same shots over and over, she now has enough original material for #TBT to ensure I’ll be blushing at old photos of myself for the next decade.

24
Dec

Cyanogen’s services and nightly builds are shutting down next week


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Cyanogen’s grand plan to put “a bullet through Google’s head” has failed.

It’s been a rough couple of months for Cyanogen that saw the company undergo a round of layoffs, shutter its headquarters, and part ways with its co-founder Steve Kondik. The company has now announced that it will be shutting its services and nightly builds after December 31.

In a short post on its blog, Cyanogen said:

As part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen, all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued no later than 12/31/16. The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.

Essentially, what this means is that devices running Cyanogen OS will no longer pick up updates, and will entirely rely on the community-driven CyanogenMod ROM for further development.

Cyanogen OS gained momentum thanks to its partnership with OnePlus on the OnePlus One, but that relationship soured thanks to an exclusive deal Cyanogen made with Indian handset manufacturer Micromax. That exclusivity deal ended earlier this year, paving the way for Lenovo’s ZUK Z1. The partnership with lenovo didn’t work out as well, as the ZUK Z1 never received any updates.

If you’re running a handset powered by Cyanogen OS, your best recourse is to find a CyanogenMod ROM for your phone. What’s left of Cyanogen will be focused on working with partners over its modular platform.

24
Dec

Android Central Offers is giving away a Samsung Galaxy Bundle, and it could be yours!


Usually this space is used to share great deals on software and online courses, but today we’re offering a chance to win a great Samsung giveaway which includes two of the hottest Samsung devices of the past year — a Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. And best of all, it’s absolutely free to enter!

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The Galaxy S7 edge is one of the best phones of 2016, and paired with the very capable Samsung tablet, this bundle is valued at $1,149. What a great way to start the New Year, with a brand new phone and tablet!

It’s just our way of saying thanks for making 2016 such a great year. Good luck to all who enter!

Enter the Samsung Galaxy Bundle Giveaway! Learn more

24
Dec

Android Central 319: Year in rearview


This week, Andrew, Jerry and Daniel recall the year that was. From Android on Chrome to Note 7s on fire, 2016 was a pretty great — and interesting — year in the mobile space.

Thanks for joining us for another journey around the sun! See you in 2017.

Podcast MP3 URL: http://traffic.libsyn.com/androidcentral/androidcentral319.mp3

24
Dec

How refunds work on Google Play


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We all have purchases we regret.

We buy apps that aren’t as great as we hoped. We buy books and movies we don’t like. Our kids buy things we didn’t want them to. Co-workers get into your phone while you’re in the bathroom and buy dirty movies. Things happen, and if you need a refund on Google Play, there are ways to get one.

But as always, there are caveats and hoops to jump through.

  • Refunding unauthorized purchases
  • App refunds
  • Google Play Movies & TV refunds
  • Requesting a refund through the Google Play website
  • Google Play Music refunds
  • Google Play Books refunds
  • Google Play Newsstand refunds

Refunding unauthorized purchases

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If your kid got into your phone and bought ALL THE THINGS, you can request a refund here. You can only request refunds for items within 65 days of purchase, but if it takes more than two months to notice the mistake, that’s on you.

We’d also like to remind you that you can set Google Play to require a password for every purchase for this very reason. Go to Google Play, then Settings, and look for Require authentication for purchases.

App refunds

App refunds fall into a few different categories depending on the type of purchase and how long it’s been since you bought it. If you buy an app and decide you don’t want it, try and get a refund as soon as possible, as you options dwindle the longer you wait.

App refunds under 2 hours

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If you made a paid app purchase in Google Play, you can return to the app’s Google Play listing and tap Refund. The app will be uninstalled and your money refunded automatically.

You can only be refunded for an app once, so if you buy it, refund it, and buy it again, you’re not going to get a refund if you get buyer’s remorse again.

In-app purchases and app purchases under 48 hours

All in-app purchases you wish to refund have be requested through Google’s online form, no matter how short a time it’s been. Someone from Google will call or email to follow up with the request and either approve or deny it. If it’s been more than two hours after you purchase a paid app, you’ll need to use this form, too.

If you need to refund more than one purchase, Google asks that you request a call from a Google Play Apps & Games specialist so that you two can get through them in a more expedient manner. Also keep in mind that the developer might remove progress and items from your app once the refund is processed.

After 48 hours

If you’re still having misgivings after 48 hours, your refund doesn’t go through Google Play, it goes through the developer itself. You can find the developer’s email at the bottom of the details page in the app’s listing.

Scroll to the bottom of the app’s listing in Google Play.
Tap Send email.

Select which email app you want to send the email through.

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Compose your refund email. Try to be polite, concise, and honest with when you bought the app and why you don’t want it.

Send your email.

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The developer should get back to you approving or denying the request. Sadly, emails to developers can often be ignored, especially if you bought an app from an inactive developer — another reason it’s important to see how frequently an app you want to buy has been updated.

Google Play Movies & TV

Did your daughter buy Frozen on your phone while you were stuck in the car on a road trip? Well, you’re going to have to wait until you can sit down at a laptop or desktop to refund it, as Google Play apps can’t process movie & TV refunds, only the website can. There are also a few conditions that have to be met in order to ask for a refund:

  • Did you open the video? Once a movie has been watched, even in part, your chance of getting a refund is slim to none.
  • Has it been more than a week? Unless you live in a few select countries in Europe you need to make the refund request within a week of purchase.
  • Does the video not work? Does the audio go out on it for some odd reason? Does the video cut out before the ending? Does the video straight-up not play no matter what you do? Defective videos get refunds in most cases.

Requesting a refund through the Google Play website

On the Google Play website home page, click Account.

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Under Order History, click the three-dot menu button on the right side of the order you want to refund and select Report a problem.

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Click on the reason for your request.

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Compose the report with your problems and state that you would like a refund and click Send.

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Google Play will email you with a response approving or denying the request. Movie & TV returns are somewhat rare because once you open the video, it’s usually yours forever.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music refunds are also a bit tricky because you can’t have downloaded or streamed the songs you purchased (unless they don’t work). You also only have 7 days to request a refund through the Google Play Website.

Google Play Books

Google Play Books refunds are actually a little more lax than their audio-visual brethren. You have 7 days to refund a book after you buy it to request a refund through the Google Play Website.

Google Play Newsstand

Subscriptions refunded within the first 7 days of that month can usually be refunded for that month, but single-issue magazine purchases aren’t refundable at all unless you are unable to access the content or the content is defective. You request a refund through the Google Play Website.

24
Dec

Pros and cons: Our quick verdict on the Huawei Mate 9


The most interesting thing about Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 9, is actually invisible to the naked eye. Under the hood, the phone uses machine learning to anticipate which apps you’re going to use when, allowing for supposedly smoother performance. What the phone would have been like without this AI, we don’t know, but we can say that the performance feels brisk throughout. If fluid day-to-day use seems like table stakes, you might also be impressed with the long battery life, bright display and the fact that it actually has a headphone jack. Unfortunately, what’s otherwise a great phone stumbles with low-light photography, as well as some heavy-handed software tweaks that will turn off Android purists. ]

The Mate 9 isn’t on sale here in the US yet, but we expect to learn pricing in the next month or so. If the price is on par with what it costs in Europe, the phone will be on par with or slightly cheaper than its rivals, which would make it a good value, so-so camera notwithstanding.

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