Android

5-million+ Google Cardboard VR headsets now in the wild

Today Google has announced that more than 5-million Cardboard VR headsets have been shipped. That's after 19 months, and includes a wide variety of ways and means: viewers sold by 3rd-part retailers as well as all give-aways and promotions with partners are included. That'd be with the Star Wars / Disney promo, NFL/Visa, Legendary Picture, The New York Times, and etcetera. So while Samsung may have the only consumer-level VR headset on the market for sale today, Google is certainly running a big part of the entry-level interest initiative for virtual reality in general.

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Google Hangouts 7.0 update gets Quick Reply (APK)

This morning Google pushed their newest update to Hangouts with a feature that'll make your replies to messages all the quicker. Quick Reply will allow Hangouts messages to not only appear within your notifications pull-down menu, but will allow you to tap the Reply button to return a message with minimal effort. Once tapped, the reply button will bring you a tiny text window in which you can send a message back in an instant. This is all available within the newest update to Google Hangouts for Android.

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Samsung Galaxy S7 might launch with an upgrade program

Deja vu? If yes, then you might have heard of how Apple offered an upgrade, or some might call it "rental", program when it announced the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus last September. Or you might have also heard of Samsung's plans to do likewise. While whispers about that upgrade scheme has died out since, it is being resuscitated now that the Galaxy S7 is just around the corner. Or so it is hoped. Korean media report that Samsung might have its own rental system in place by the time the Galaxy S7 flagship hits stores in March.

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Hugo Barra confirms Xiaomi Mi 5 on 24th Feb, gets leaked first

Given Xiaomi's high profile status in the mobile industry, both in China and elsewhere, whenever it is scheduled to announce a new flagship device, people take note. Especially considering the OEM's speculated move into new territory, like the US market. The upcoming Mi 5 is, of course, no different. Finally putting rumors to rest, Xiaomi's Hugo Barra, formerly a Google exec, has taken to Twitter to confirm the announcement date of the smarpthone, scheduled to debut on February 24. But even before that happens, we aret treated to another batch of leaked photos of the alleged Mi 5.

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LG to have 2 smartphone flagships to face challenging 2016

Korean manufacturing giant LG has just revealed its financial performance for the last quarter of 2015. All in all, the company was happy to tell a mostly positive story, with an operating profit of 349 billion KRW, roughly $301.4 million), which is an impressive 27% increase from the previous quarter of that year. However, like its fierce rival Samsung, much of that profit came from businesses other than its mobile devices. Expecting rough seas ahead, LG is said to release two flagship smartphones this year to try and offset whatever sales problems it might encounter in 2016.

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Nexus 5X gets another discount, Google preps for Valentines

In a little over two weeks, the world will once again go crazy over buying gifts for that special someone. If you ask Google, the perfect gift would, of course, be one of the devices available from its online store. So in preparation for that season, Google is putting up a few promos to entice buyers. A "better together" arrangement will land you a special partner for a purchase of a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P. Plus, Google is giving the Nexus 5X yet another, seemingly permanent, price cut.

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Apple’s 1-billion active devices figure in perspective

This afternoon, Apple announced many firsts and bests, one of the simplest being "1 Billion Active Installed Base". This number represents what Apple has recorded as "iPhone, iPad, Mac, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Apple Watch devices that have been engaged with [Apple] services within the past 90 days". That's one whole heck of a lot of devices. It doesn't account for devices that've been active offline exclusively, and it doesn't count how many Apple devices have been sold to date.

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iMessage is not Android’s problem

Your mother has sent you and your sister a photo of their dog, and expects you to reply with a positive note back. But you have an Android device and you're using Google Voice. You get the message, but you don't get the photo. Your mom gets mad that you've not replied. You say it's because she's using iMessage and photos and videos won't be sent to devices unless they also have iMessage. She tells you to get iMessage. You can't get iMessage, you have an Android device. You see where this is going.

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Spotify videos launch on Android first, iOS second

Well, well, well, Spotify, you decided to break the never-ending trend of iOS updates to apps coming before Android. Well, well, well indeed. Today Spotify launches their video initiative, called Spotify Video, bringing on all manner of video bits and pieces - entertainment videos to news updates - inside the Spotify subscriber portal and app and so forth. The videos you find here are short, and tiny. They're meant to be consumed in very short bursts.

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