Android

VIZIO SmartCast app enhanced, Google Play Movies & TV coming

VIZIO SmartCast app enhanced, Google Play Movies & TV coming

Even with Android TV, Google’s formal presence on TV sets and boxes remains rather week. That, however, doesn’t always matter considering how its Google Cast technology exists in every Android TV and beyond, providing a bridge to Google’s services and content. Case in point is VIZIO’s Cast-ready SmartCast products, which, thanks to an updated SmartCast app, will soon be able to stream videos from Google’s own selection of movies and TV shows from Google Play Movies & TV, in addition to other services like Netflix, VUDU, and Hulu.

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Samsung Pay apparently just turned one year old

Samsung Pay apparently just turned one year old

It definitely doesn’t feel like it, especially for users in the US, but Samsung has just triumphantly announced that its mobile payment system, Samsung Pay, has just reached its first birthday. Of course, it was launched first in South Korea and took a few months before spreading out to other markets like the US. Within that time, Samsung boasts that it has already made nearly 100 million transactions in its seven current countries, which is no small feat considering who Samsung Pay is up against.

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Sony Android Nougat update list leaves out the Xperia Z3

Sony Android Nougat update list leaves out the Xperia Z3

Now that Android 7.0 Nougat has been formally launched, the wait is on for manufacturers to bring the update to their latest smartphones, and even some not so latest smartphones. OEMs usually start scrambling to shout their support from the rooftops, and it seems like Sony is one of if not the first to do so after the announcement (HTC made their public commitment last month. Surprisingly, it’s a rather long list of devices, but sadly leaves out the Xperia Z3 from 2014

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LG V20 teased to come with Bang & Olufsen audio system

LG V20 teased to come with Bang & Olufsen audio system

It seems that LG is pulling out all the stops when it comes to audio technology for its upcoming LG V20, perhaps trying to shift the focus away from the now overly competitive smartphone display and camera technologies. After boasting about how the V20 will be the first smartphone to come with a 32-bit Quad Digital-to-Analog Converter or DAC, it is now flaunting the fact that its audio system, including even its in-box headphones, has been made in partnership with Bang & Olufsen, one of the biggest names in high-end audio equipment.

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Android Nougat MR1 to bring Google Assistant, new Launcher

Android Nougat MR1 to bring Google Assistant, new Launcher

Android 7.0 Nougat is barely out the door, and here we are already talking about its first Maintenance Release, a.k.a. MR1. That, however, is to be expected, as the fresh new Android dessert apparently didn’t come with all the new features we’ve seen in leaks, like a redesigned Nexus Launcher, Google Assistant, and slightly different navigation bar. Worry, as those are still coming, but a bit later, around the time both the MR1 and the new Nexus smartphones come out of the woodwork.

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Prisma offline mode puts filters on your disconnected iPhone

Prisma offline mode puts filters on your disconnected iPhone

Hit photo editing app Prisma has gained offline support, addressing one of the most common criticisms about the tool that uses artificial intelligence to manipulate images with artistic styles. Launched back in June, initially only on iOS but subsequently for Android users too, Prisma takes advantage of a neural network to analyze photos and then apply different filters to them, spanning a range from Pop Art through to classical watercolors and oil paintings.

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Opera’s free VPN app arrives on Android

Opera’s free VPN app arrives on Android

In May, Opera unveiled an iOS app that gives Apple device owners free VPN access for their various Internet browsing activities. That itself followed the company's announcement earlier this year that it was adding a free VPN to its browser. If you're on Android and feeling left out, good news: Opera is finally launching a free VPN app for Android, too, the addition of which means most Internet browsers now have at least one way to use Opera's offering.

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Android 7.0 Nougat images appear for Nexus 9, Pixel C, Nexus Player

Android 7.0 Nougat images appear for Nexus 9, Pixel C, Nexus Player

In case you haven't heard the news, Android 7.0 Nougat released yesterday. The news is even better for owners of current Nexus devices, as they're first on the list to receive over-the-air updates to the latest version of Android. However, like previous releases, we're expecting the OTA roll out to take as long as a couple of weeks, so eager Nexus owners may not get the update right away. For those who prefer their gratification to come sooner rather than later, you'll be pleased to know that Google has started posting Nougat images for a handful of Nexus devices.

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Google Allo will support expiring messages and encryption keys

Google Allo will support expiring messages and encryption keys

Back in May, we first talked about Google Allo, tipped early on to be a smart chat app. Now that the app has been around a while a new feature has surfaced that shows Google is thinking along the lines of Snapchat and offering users of the app the ability to send incognito messages and to send messages that automatically expire after a bit.

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Lenovo to bundle Office and other Microsoft apps on Android devices

Lenovo to bundle Office and other Microsoft apps on Android devices

Lenovo and Microsoft have announced that they are teaming up to deepen their strategic tires. The team up will mean that Lenovo will now load Microsoft productivity apps by default on its Android powered devices. That will presumably mean tablets and smartphones. Lenovo expects to ship millions of Android devices globally over the next several years.

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Pokemon GO Update makes Team Leaders useful, promises exciting features

Pokemon GO Update makes Team Leaders useful, promises exciting features

Niantic Labs has just announced what seems to be a very minor update to Pokemon GO, which could still pique people’s curiosities. For one, it finally gives a bit of character to the otherwise practically useless Team Leaders. It also very briefly mentions one of the most debated aspects of the game: bots (and cheating). But most importantly, it tells players to hold on to their seats because new and exciting features are coming. Which isn’t really that surprising, but is now actually more critical than ever before.

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LG V20 will really have Nougat first, high end features teased

LG V20 will really have Nougat first, high end features teased

It seems that there is some truth to LG’s boast after all. Now that Android 7.0 Nougat has been formally launched, the list of devices getting first dibs have also been revealed. Naturally, existing Nexus devices, as well as the Pixel C and General Mobile 4G Android One, are getting the preferential treatment. But as far as new devices rocking the new Android version, it seems that the honor will actually belong to the LG V20 after all. That’s based on Google’s own website for Android Nougat, calling the V20 the "first new smartphone that comes with Android Nougat, right out of the box."

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