Monday, March 28, 2016

Yep, Jason Statham Really is the Face of the LG G5 Campaign

Remember the bad LG G5 commercial that we trashed on pretty heavily last week for being bad and a bunch of you acted like you were offended? Remember the creepy guy in the video that was way too excited to be watching donkey-sheep clips? Remember how some of you suggested it was Jason Statham? IT IS. It’s Jason f*cking Statham. 

LG announced the partnership or sponsorship or whatever it is, this evening, saying that the first “commercial will portray Jason Statham experiencing the G5 in exciting and fun ways” and that every “character in the commercial is portrayed by Mr. Statham, an amusing mise-en-scene consistent with the G5’s Life’s Good when you Play More tagline.”

Oh and we have Statham quotes!

“I think the concept that LG is putting forward with the G5 and its modular design is going to catch on with consumers.” Jason Statham knows what the consumers want! Damn.

OK, goodnight.

Yep, Jason Statham Really is the Face of the LG G5 Campaign is a post from: Droid Life

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Pro Tip: Ignore the Jackasses on Instagram Telling You to Turn on Notifications

A couple of weeks ago, we told you that Instagram was on the verge of screwing up your timeline, just like Facebook did a few years back and has yet to fix. The screw-up will arrive in the form of a new timeline that has been re-ordered to show you the moments Instagram believes “you care about the most.” It’s going to be terrible because most of us like things in chronological order. We also like to do things our own way, not based on what Instagram or Facebook thinks we like.

Why are they doing this, you ask? Because Instagram’s numbers show that people miss some 70% of their feeds, they think this new based-on-what-Instagram-thinks-you-care-about timeline is a great solution. It isn’t, just like it isn’t/wasn’t/never-will-be on Facebook. Thankfully, we have “months” to go before this new timeline ever reaches our personal feeds. During those months, Instagram also says that it will “take time to get this right and listen to your feedback.” In other words, there is still hope that they’ll let us turn off their stupid re-arranged feed and let us keep it in chronological order. 

Unfortunately, dipshits on Instagram who don’t understand any of this and for some reason, think Instagram is making this change tomorrow, are spamming to their followers that they all need to subscribe to notifications from their account in order to not miss a thing. Seriously, look at the hashtag #turnmeon. Over 56,000 people have used it, all of which are under the ridiculous impression that their Instagram feeds are about to receive less likes before the world implodes on itself during some sort of apocalypse that involves having to watch Will Smith movies on repeat. As terrible as that sounds, especially the Will Smith part, Instagram isn’t going to make this change tomorrow or this week or the next, for that matter.

See, look.

Instagram went a step further in an email to CNET, where they said there are “still weeks, or even months, of testing to come before we roll this out more broadly.” Again, you have nothing to worry about right now.

As for this whole notifications thing, just know that it’s a really bad idea for you to turn on notifications for every single account you follow. Depending on how many accounts you follow, you could see dozens if not hundreds of notifications in a day from Instagram alone. Do you want that? I sure as hell don’t. Do I want to get notifications from the important accounts I follow, like those run by my family and friends? Of course. Do I need to notifications from all of the beer, sneaker, basketball, and watch accounts too? Hell no. That shit isn’t really that important.

So, folks, ignore the fools on Instagram who keep spamming to you to turn on their notifications. Once Instagram actually starts rolling out changes, we’ll let you know if different measures need to be taken. For now, carry on with your chronological Instagram.

Pro Tip: Ignore the Jackasses on Instagram Telling You to Turn on Notifications is a post from: Droid Life

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This is My Android: March 2016

Every so often, we try to take you into the personal setup of a smartphone that we have chosen as our go-to, through a feature we call “This is my Android.” You see, as we review phones, we do so in a setup that the manufacturer has handed us, because we want to experience the phone the way they think it should be used. That means by using their launcher and skin, a number of their apps, and without any sort of special setup, other than by placing the apps we use the most in places they had other apps we wouldn’t bother sniffing on a normal day.

With the “This is my Android” series, we want to show you what happens when that review period is over, which launcher we switch to, the icon pack of choice for that day, which apps we use the most, if we have folders or gestures or anything special customized, and if a theme has been applied, depending on the phone, of course.

We haven’t done one of these since June of last year, so let’s get into another and see what has changed in the way we use smartphones. This is my Android for March 2016. 

The Phone

At this point, I’m using the Galaxy S7 and that should come as no surprise. I had very few negative comments to make during my review because Samsung has done a brilliant job with this phone. I did switch over from a US carrier variant to an international Exynos-powered unit, though, and man, I am so glad I did.

With this model in particular, I am seeing some of the best day-to-day battery efficiency of my life. I’m typically a 1-2 hours of screen on time guy, but with this phone, I can hit 4 hours by the end of the day and still have 10-15% battery left. For me, that’s record-breaking stuff and I tend to believe it’s the Exynos processor inside to thank. The Snapdragon 820 model I used never came close to usage like that.

But I’m also using this phone because of the camera, the incredible size, the fit and finish, the headphone jack placement, water resistance, and at least so far, the performance.

While I’m tempted to jump back to the Nexus 6P for that stock Android goodness, I haven’t needed to. The Galaxy S7 is running Android 6.0.1, so until the 6P gets a big update, like to Android N this summer, I’m current and that’s good enough for me.

galaxy s7 this is my android-3

The Launcher

I use Nova Launcher and have for years. Until another launcher comes around and does something unique enough for me to switch, I’ll still be here. This launcher offers more features than almost anyone and gets me close to the Google Now Launcher experience if I need it to, but is also so familiar at this point that I can set it up with backups or by memory in a matter of minutes on a new phone.

If you aren’t using Nova, it’s an app I will always recommend. The developer is constantly adding new features that take advantage of new features Google has introduced, has a beta version for those into experimenting, discounts the pro version regularly, and is showing no signs of slowing support.

Play LinksNova Launcher (Prime)

The Setup

The basics for my setup haven’t changed much within the past year, but it has certainly evolved to make my smartphone experience more efficient than ever. I still keep my most used apps readily available in an app cluster, but I’ve taken away the extra dock panels I used to use and have replaced them with page 1 folders that are represented by these fun little dot icons. I’ve also added a shortcut to my battery stats, since I seem to be obsessing over them in recent months. Oh, and I do have one other dock page that is setup just for when I go out running, since it has Runkeeper and Google Play Music on it.

As for home screens, I keep two still to this day. This is my main page, which sits next to page with calendar and Google Search bar. That’s it. I can swipe either direction to get between them. I also keep a swipe down gesture for notifications, along with a swipe up for Google Now. I’ve also turned off Now on Tap, because since it was released last year, I have yet to use it in a real world setting for whatever reason.

Again, I like to consider my setup compact, yet efficient.

galaxy s7 this is my android

Icons, Wallpapers, and Themes

I’m currently using Material Cards for my icon pack, the Material Black theme for the Galaxy S7 to darken things up, and am jumping between wallpapers from Materialistik and Plastexo. This wallpaper here is from Plastexo. My setup in recent months tends to reflect Google’s Material Design, but through the vision of some truly great icon and wallpaper designers. I keep it simple and clean at all times.

Play Links:  Material Cards | Plastexo | Materialistik

This is My Android: March 2016 is a post from: Droid Life

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Google Appears Ready to Kill Physical Google Wallet Card

The end is near, Google Wallet Card owners. According to code buried in the latest version of the Google Wallet app, Google plans to end support for the physical Google Wallet Card on June 30. That’s a bit unfortunate for the six of you still using it, but I can’t imagine the card was much of a success and probably isn’t worth the hassle for Google.

Not familiar with the physical Wallet card? It was introduced back in November 2013 as a way for you to pay for things using your Google Wallet balance. It wasn’t like Coin or any of the other 1-card-to-rule-them-all credit card types, but more like a PayPal card that paid with whatever cash you had pushed into your Google Wallet account. 

At one time, it was great for pushing all of your VISA gift cards to, because it let you clean out those $1.16 balances and put them to card that was much easier to use. I could see it also being of use for families who want to give kids spending money without access to a full-blown debit or credit card. In the end, though, it never did seem to gain much traction.

As for its supposed end, here is a portion of what was found in the latest Wallet app:

“As of June 30, Google Wallet will no longer support the Wallet Card. You’ll still be able to use Google Wallet to send and receive money and we’re working to make those features better than ever. If you have money in your Wallet Balance, you can keep it in Wallet or cash out anytime.”

There are also notes that mention users being able to add money until May 1 or cashing out at any time. But again, come June 30, the card will stop working.


Via:  Android Police

Google Appears Ready to Kill Physical Google Wallet Card is a post from: Droid Life

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New Photos of HTC 10, King of the Double Chamfer, Emerge

The HTC 10 will be unveiled on April 12 through an online press conference, where HTC will show off its “world first, world class” camera, the double chamfer life, and BoomSound audio experience. They may announce its almost-immediate availability, show off the phone in various colors, and try to sell the world on why this is better than the Galaxy S7 or LG G5.

In the mean time, a whole batch of new images of the phone’s backside have hit the dirty web in what appears to be a listing for replacement parts for the phone. The images were posted to TaoBao, which is like eBay in a way, though just for Chinese shopping. 

The images show both the inside and outside of the phone’s back plate, with USB Type-C port, bottom-firing speaker, and camera in place. We aren’t necessarily seeing anything new, but these pictures do help us get used to the overall design. While this may not be an Earth-shaking design pot of newness, it is growing on me for its simplicity.

Any new thoughts on the HTC 10 design?

photos-htc-10-gris-noir-014 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-015

photos-htc-10-gris-noir-02 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-04 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-05 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-08 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-09

photos-htc-10-gris-noir-012 photos-htc-10-gris-noir-013

Via:  XDA | TaoBao

New Photos of HTC 10, King of the Double Chamfer, Emerge is a post from: Droid Life

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There Will Probably be a Galaxy S7 Active on AT&T

For the past couple of years, Samsung has released an AT&T exclusive version of their Galaxy S flagship as an “Active” model that’s water resistant and tough, for those who need a phone that can take a daily beating. In 2016, even though Samsung brought back water resistance to the Galaxy S7 line-up, we wouldn’t be shocked if they still went forward with the Active line by introducing the Galaxy S7 Active. According to notes left on the Samsung Level app’s listing and a report from SamMobile, it may be here shortly. 

The listing (seen below) shows the supported devices list for the Samsung Level app, an app that powers the company’s Level audio products. In the devices list, you can see the “Galaxy S7 Active” is mentioned, which probably isn’t a typo unless an intern who knows nothing about Samsung was typing this out and just assumed there was already an S7 Active in existence.

SamMobile thinks the S7 Active will fall under model number SM-G891A. That model number is a perfect next-in-line option from last year’s S6 Active, which had a model number of SM-G890A. For additional reference, know that the S5 Active was model SM-G870A and the S4 Active was SGH-I537.

Assuming the S7 Active is close, please don’t be surprised at its AT&T exclusivity and come bitching. OK, feel free to bitch, because this phone should be available to everyone, not just AT&T customers.

Play Link


Via:  SamMobile

There Will Probably be a Galaxy S7 Active on AT&T is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: 32GB Nexus 9 for Just $299 ($180 Off)

In need of an Android tablet that receives timely updates and has been substantially discounted? Amazon currently has the black WiFi-only Nexus 9 with 32GB of storage for just $299. That’s $180 off the original price of $479 that Google and HTC introduced it at.

While the device may be a year and a half old, Google is still supporting it with updates and has even made it a part of the Android N preview. It’s a great tablet size at 8.9-inches and would be a great travel buddy or coffee table mate when you need a bigger screen.

You can read our Nexus 9 review from back in 2014, but just understand that the device has evolved in recent years with each big update.

Amazon Link

Cheers Greg!

DEAL: 32GB Nexus 9 for Just $299 ($180 Off) is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Up to 60% Off Anker Products Today at Amazon – $20 Bluetooth Earbuds, Power Banks, QC 2.0, and More

Today only, Anker and Amazon have teamed up to run a Gold Box deal where a number of their popular products are discounted up to 60%. We are talking deals on Bluetooth earbuds as low as $20, 16000mAh battery packs for $25, Quick Charge 2.0 2-port car chargers for $15, IPX7 Bluetooth speakers for $23, and more.

If you are in need of some new accessories, today’s package of deals is certainly worth a look. Anker has always made solid products that are well-reviewed on Amazon and the discounts featured are on some of their best.

Amazon Link 

DEAL: Up to 60% Off Anker Products Today at Amazon – $20 Bluetooth Earbuds, Power Banks, QC 2.0, and More is a post from: Droid Life

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LG’s UX 5.0 on the G5 Further Detailed, Will Include App Drawer at Launch

Over the weekend, LG sent out a press release detailing the UX 5.0 experience that users will see when the G5 launches this Friday. The list of changes, along with an accompanying video, talk about the experience being “more playful and innovative,” making it easier to keep track of your “Friends,” which is what LG calls anything you pair to the G5 over Bluetooth. The new UX also adds new camera features and a “refined” skin to “enhance usability and convenience.”

The video below details every single new change, most of which are options that you would only use in special situations that aren’t necessarily headline grabbers. Feel free to take a look. 

There is one change, though, that is particularly of interest to those of us who are Android purists. You’ll notice that LG points out specifically that the default home screen experience is one without an app drawer, but that an option with the standard app drawer is only a couple of settings away. That’s right, LG heard the cries over the lack of an app drawer and has added the option in UX 5.0.

You have probably seen the poor reporting over recent weeks, which suggests that the LG G5 has an app drawer that is hidden or readily available in a settings menu. The fact is, that LG, up until this video was released, killed the app drawer unless you were willing to use their ridiculously degraded EasyHome launcher experience. Yes, other outlets are trying to tell you that you should just switch to EasyHome to get the app drawer, but that’s actually not a good solution. I’ve explained it here to all of those out there who don’t actually understand what EasyHome means and continually take to comments to tell us to “do some research” on the subject, but the basics are this. EasyHome is just that, an easy home option without any of the actual options (like Widgets, for one) or customizations that anyone complaining about an app drawer-less experience would want.

So yeah, LG heard us and they are bringing back the app drawer. That’s a pretty quick turn-around on their part. The phone isn’t even out yet and they are backing away from a pretty major decision to appease the loud Android purist crowd. Good on them.

LG’s UX 5.0 on the G5 Further Detailed, Will Include App Drawer at Launch is a post from: Droid Life

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