Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Galaxy S7 System Uses Up 8GB Out of the Box, but You can Move Apps to SD

Remember that big stink that was made about Samsung not allowing for Android 6.0 Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage feature? Well, this is right here is why people threw a bit of a fit. Out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S7 uses up 8GB of the phone’s 32GB for system apps and TouchWiz and whatever else Samsung has pre-loaded. That’s a quarter of all of your internal storage, to put it another way. That’s…not good. 

As you can see from the image above, before I even completed setup on my Galaxy S7 (we unboxed it here!), I was down to around half of my 32GB storage available. In actuality, the image shows that I’ve used under 16GB total, but I’m still installing apps and have already jumped past the halfway mark and now have around 15GB left to use. If I were a typical smartphone owner who keeps a phone for two years, 15GB isn’t leaving me much space to install apps to.

People were complaining about the lack of adoptable storage, because they assumed that heavy app-installers would quickly run out of space to install more apps. If you look at my situation, that could easily happen. However, after digging around in the storage settings of the Galaxy S7, I noticed that Samsung is still allowing you to move apps to SD cards, just like they have done in the past. Take a look.

galaxy s7 apps to sd galaxy s7 apps to sd-2 galaxy s7 apps to sd-3

I ran through this process with a number of apps that I installed through Google Play that weren’t system apps. From games to airline apps to Google Analytics – they all let me move them to my 200GB SD. If I ripped the SD card out, it took away all of those apps and said they were tied to the SD card. That’s somewhat surprising, since the Moto X Pure Edition doesn’t allow you to do that. See for yourself here.

galaxy s7 apps to sd-2 galaxy s7 apps to sd

So, Samsung may be using up 8GB of space for system apps and services, but they are still letting you move apps to an SD card to free up space on the internal partition. That’s a good sign, especially since you can put in up to 200GB SD cards in the S7 or S7 Edge. And now might be a good time to buy this 200GB SanDisk microSD from Amazon.

Feeling better about the storage situation?

Galaxy S7 System Uses Up 8GB Out of the Box, but You can Move Apps to SD is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Unboxing!

To kick off what we are expecting to be one heck of a 2016 smartphone season, we have the Samsung Galaxy S7 in house and in-hand, ready for us to attack it. We’ll be doing everything we can to this device to hopefully help all of us (yes, we’re always on the hunt for our next smartphone too) decide if this, its edge-filled brother, the LG G5, or something else, will be our next smartphone. 

As a quick recap, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge arrive officially on March 11, but you can pre-order them today from all of the major carriers. If you do choose to pre-order, there is a good chance that your phone will arrive well before March 11. Just ask some of our readers.

For the next several weeks, we’ll dive into the phone’s specs, software, performance, battery life, how it compares to the other flagships available today, and again, help you decide if it should be your next phone. If you want a recap of the specs, you’ll find that here. If you want to see our initial impressions of the phone during the launch party, you can see those here.

Alright, are you ready to get into this? This is our Galaxy S7 unboxing.

galaxy s7 unboxing

galaxy s7 unboxing

galaxy s7 unboxing galaxy s7 unboxing

galaxy s7 unboxing

galaxy s7 unboxing

Samsung Galaxy S7 Unboxing! is a post from: Droid Life

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Moto G (2nd Gen) Getting Marshmallow Update Right Now in US

The last time we spoke specifically about the Moto G (2nd Gen), it was when Motorola announced back in October that a Marshmallow update would eventually be made available for the device. Now, in March of 2016, the time has come for owners of the Moto G (2nd Gen) in the US to install the update. 

In the changelog listed on Motorola’s website, the company details the many changes that users should expect to see. These changes include App Standby, comprehensive App Permissions, Adoptable Storage via microSD cards, enhanced notification settings, Google’s Now on Tap, edited volume controls, and more.

In addition to changes for the Android OS in general, Moto is also baking in changes and even removing services on their end. This includes enhancements for Moto Assist, the removal of Motorola Migrate, as well as the removal of Motorola Alert. If you wish to continue using Motorola Alert after the update is applied, you can download it from Google Play.

The update is rolling out now, so be on the lookout for a notification to install it.

Via: Motorola
Cheers John, Joshua, and everyone else!

Moto G (2nd Gen) Getting Marshmallow Update Right Now in US is a post from: Droid Life

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DEALS: Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge for $399, LG Watch Urbane for $179

Since I appear to have been moments late on sharing that Jaybird Bluebuds X deal from earlier, here are three other solid deals worth considering today. You can grab last year’s Galaxy S6 (SM-G920F) or Galaxy S6 Edge (SM-G925V) with 32GB storage for as little as $399, or the LG Watch Urbane for just $179, all from eBay.

The Galaxy S6 that’s on sale is an international unlocked GSM unit, so it will work without a hiccup on T-Mobile or AT&T. The S6 Edge is Verizon’s version, so you should stick with using it on Verizon’s network if you care about an LTE connection. Otherwise, you could get some connectivity on AT&T without LTE. The Watch Urbane is the Watch Urbane, an LG watch that is mostly ugly, but should perform well still and would be a good first Android Wear device at this price (here is our review).

All three deals include free shipping. 

eBay Links:

DEALS: Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge for $399, LG Watch Urbane for $179 is a post from: Droid Life

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Marshmallow Update Hitting Huawei Watch Today

After a bit of waiting on the part of owners, Huawei is shipping out the Android Wear 1.4 update, labeled as MEC23L (Marshmallow), to the Huawei Watch. This update will bring speaker functionality, as well as the ability to place and receive phone calls while the device is synced to your smartphone via Bluetooth. 

Additional features inside of the update are new wrist gestures, plus added support for additional messaging applications when using your voice to dictate messages. All of the info you need on what to expect can be read here.

This update has been in testing since late December, but as we creep into March, no doubt many owners have been eager for their devices to receive it. According to Huawei’s community forum, the update is set to begin rolling out via OTA today, so if you own this smartwatch, be on the lookout for the update later today, or sometime this week.

Let us know if you receive it, and in the meantime, check out our hands-on with the Marshmallow update below.

Via: Huawei

Marshmallow Update Hitting Huawei Watch Today is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Jaybird Original Bluebuds X Just $72 at Amazon Today (Updated: Gone)

Jaybird’s Bluebuds X, arguably one of the most popular sets of sport Bluetooth headphones of all time, are currently available on Amazon through a lightning deal for just $72. These headphones originally retailed for around $170, but have dropped a lot in price in recent years as new models have been introduced.

This is the original pair of X headphones from Jaybird that have since been replaced by the X2 and soon-to-be-released X3. They still offer pretty incredible sound quality for sport Bluetooth buds, 8 hours of play time, controls over your phone, and a bunch of adjustable pieces to help you get the best fit.

As a long-time user of Jaybird X products, I’d highly recommend considering this deal if you are in the market for some of the best Bluetooth headphones money can buy at a reasonably low price, even if these are the original model that have been replaced. I’ve used the X and X2, and will likely upgrade again to the X3 once they come out. The quality and sound with this line is unmatched, in my opinion.

UPDATE:  Ugh, it looks like they already sold out at $72. I refreshed just before posting and thought it was at 22% claimed. Sorry, folks.

Amazon Link

DEAL: Jaybird Original Bluebuds X Just $72 at Amazon Today (Updated: Gone) is a post from: Droid Life

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Google I/O 2016 Site Goes Live, Registration Lottery Begins March 8

Ready for Google I/O 2016 at its new location in Mountain View? Google has opened up the 2016 site with information about the festivities, including when you can register and how much it will cost you.

As far as registration goes, Google is once again doing a lottery of sorts. On March 8 at 9AM PST, they will open registration that closes on March 10 at 5PM PST. During that time, you’ll need to sign in with your Google account and complete a required registration application. In previous years, you needed a credit card to do so, but Google hasn’t mentioned that this time, as far as I can tell. 

On March 10, once the registration period closes, Google will randomly select applicants and notify them via email.

So how much will I/O cost you? General admission tickets are $900 and academic tickets are $300.

The updated I/O 2016 site doesn’t dive into how the event will work on May 18-20, now that the keynote is taking place at the Shoreline Amphitheater, but Google is now referring to this as a “developer festival.” That could be fun.

More info at the Google I/O site.

Google I/O 2016 Site Goes Live, Registration Lottery Begins March 8 is a post from: Droid Life

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Chevy Dealers Offering Android Auto Update Free of Charge to Compatible Vehicles

Chevy vehicle owners with the necessary hardware in the dash can head into a Chevy dealership to receive the Android Auto software update. According to Chevy, the carmaker will reach out to vehicle owners who meet the requirements, and for those lucky few, the update will be completely free of charge and take about 30 minutes to complete. 

For those curious, in order to meet the requirements for the update, you will need an eight-inch MyLink system installed in your vehicle. Chevy models with the seven-inch MyLink system already include both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, so no update is required for you.

“We are working with our dealers to make the software update as quick and easy as possible to minimize any inconvenience to our owners,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet.

Chevy owners, you ready for Android Auto?

Via: Chevy

Chevy Dealers Offering Android Auto Update Free of Charge to Compatible Vehicles is a post from: Droid Life

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Blackberry Priv Camera, Keyboard, and Launcher Apps Receive Updates

Blackberry, today, is pushing a bunch of updates to key apps on its Android phone, the Priv. Updates include improvements to the phone’s camera, keyboard, and launcher apps, most of which were likely based on user feedback.

In the camera, Blackberry is adding in “smooth” 120fps slow motion video capture, while addressing stability and performance improvements. With the keyboard, predictive typing is learning new tricks and the physical keyboard’s fine cursor control is improved. Finally, the app launcher has a new default view for apps, there is a new “flick” action for removing application shortcuts, and overlays throughout are improved.

Below, you’ll find details for each app, in Blackberry’s own words. 


  • Users can capture smooth slow motion video with PRIV’s camera that’s up to four times slower. The Slow Motion function can be accessed through the camera’s “Mode” button, and captures video at 120 fps which plays back smoothly at 30 fps. Audio is not enabled for slow-motion video at this time.
  • General stability and performance improvements.


  • PRIV’s prediction engine now processes a user’s email and social messages to better understand the user’s typing style and provide a better out-of-box experience.
  • Predictive typing can now learn words with numbers.
  • Option to have the keyboard suggest names from a user’s contacts during email creation.
  • Fine Cursor Control mode on the physical keyboard now features an enhanced cursor locator along with on-screen arrows for easier positioning and control.
  • Holding down ‘delete’ for two seconds now deletes on a word-by-word basis, making it easier to stop on single words.
  • Tapping a key on the physical keyboard more accurately places the focus cursor on screen.

App Launcher

  • Default view for apps now separated into Recent, Personal, and Work.
  • While in overview mode, the “home” panel can be set to any available panel, and panels can be deleted by pressing down on them for several seconds.
  • Can now flick to remove application shortcuts from the home screen.
  • Pop-up widgets now enabled by default.
  • Improved overlays to provide users with more information on app locations, launcher settings, pop-up widgets, and the productivity tab.
  • Apps installed on the SD card will be grayed out if the card is removed to let the user know it’s still around but inaccessible.

Play Links:  Blackberry Launcher | Blackberry Keyboard | Blackberry Camera

Via:  Blackberry

Blackberry Priv Camera, Keyboard, and Launcher Apps Receive Updates is a post from: Droid Life

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Fenix Update Includes Ability to Search and Share GIFs

An update for Fenix, a popular 3rd-party Twitter app, includes support for quickly adding GIFs to your tweets and direct messages. This inclusion comes shortly after Twitter added the same functionality, and exactly like Twitter, this feature is powered by Giphy. 

As a basic rundown, when you begin to compose a tweet, you will see a button for adding a GIF. GIFs are broken down into categories, making the process of finding the exact one you need much easier. Once you select a GIF, it will be added to your tweet, ready to be shared with the world.

To celebrate this, update the Fenix app, then get to GIF’ing.

Play Link


Fenix Update Includes Ability to Search and Share GIFs is a post from: Droid Life

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SoundHound’s Hound Personal Assistant Leaves Beta, Open to All

Hound, the personal assistant app that launched last June out of music search service SoundHound, has moved out of its beta phase and is available to all on Google Play. I don’t know that the beta was all that difficult to be a part of it, seeing as the app has over 100K downloads on Google Play, but it’s now really easy to get into. 

What is Hound and what does it do? It’s a bit like Google Now and Google’s voice actions, only in a stand-alone app. Like with Google, Hound lets you ask it questions, then follow up those questions to dive deeper into subjects as if you were speaking to it naturally. You can have Hound find you hotels and restaurants and check the stock market and search for music or play interactive games. You can also find out the weather and what the day looks like tomorrow, harness the power of Yelp, pull up navigation and directions, book through Uber, make phone calls and send text messages, and use a calculator, all with your voice.

It’s a lot like your typical personal assistant type of app, but it’s pretty fast and has a clean UI. Launching with “OK, Hound” also works well.

Hound is free to use, so if you were looking for a stand-alone assistant type of app, now is your chance to give it a look.

Play Link

SoundHound’s Hound Personal Assistant Leaves Beta, Open to All is a post from: Droid Life

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