Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Straight Talk Introduces $55 Plan With 10GB Data

Straight Talk, arguably the most popular prepaid wireless solution, introduced a new $55 plan this month that gives customers 10GB of high-speed data to use each month, on top of unlimited talk and text. The most popular Straight Talk plan has been the $45 option with 5GB of data, so for just $10 more, you are doubling your data. 

The plan can be signed-up for at the link below, which will walk you through the Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) process. For those who haven’t been following Straight Talk for some time, they basically accept almost all phones at this point, thus the need for this tool. They have SIM cards for both GSM and CDMA networks, so you can access AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon’s networks.

Again, to get signed-up, head to the link below and take it all in, step by step, to see if your phone will work and decide which SIM you’ll need. As always, Straight Talk SIMs cost $0.99.

This new plan matches up nicely with Cricket’s $60 10GB plan that can be reduced to $55 with autopay. The big difference here is that you get the $55 price and your choice of network.

If you have continued to use Straight Talk over the years, feel free to drop into the comments to answers questions. It’s been some time since I had a Straight Talk SIM in a phone, so I’m curious as to how your download and upload speeds have been holding up.

Straight Talk Link

Cheers Bob!

Straight Talk Introduces $55 Plan With 10GB Data is a post from: Droid Life

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Deals: Latest HTC Hot Deal Offers Discounts on One A9, Nexus 9, and More

For today only, HTC is offering discounts on five of its devices, directly from its website. As listed, folks can grab a One M9 for $399 (any carrier, even the Developer model), One A9 for $389, Desire 626 for $149, or even get a Nexus 9 tablet for up to 40% off.

In addition to tablets and smartphones, HTC is also offering its RE Camera at 60% off, bringing the grand total for the hand-held shooter to $80.

As for HTC’s Hot Deals, this is the first time to our memory that they have offered this many devices at a discount at the same time. With that said, we must remind you, the company is about to announce its next flagship on April 12. That might explain it.

Here’s the complete rundown.


  • HTC One M9  for $399.
  • HTC One A9 for $389.
  • HTC Desire 626 Series for $149.
  • RE Camera 60% off.
  • Nexus 9 up to 40% off.

If any of these deals interest you, head on over to HTC website to take advantage.

Hot Deal Link

Deals: Latest HTC Hot Deal Offers Discounts on One A9, Nexus 9, and More is a post from: Droid Life

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WhatsApp Now Features End-to-End Encryption for All Calls and Messages

Announced today, WhatsApp has completed work on end-to-end encryption for all of its services, allowing users to chat and call in complete privacy. With this security upgrade in place, all messages sent, calls made, and photos shared will be completely encrypted. This also includes encryption for group chats, too. 

The move to implement end-to-end encryption is straightforward enough. The only people who should have access to your messages are you and the person you send them to. End of discussion. WhatsApp does well at explaining this stance in its announcement.

The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private – sort of like a face-to-face conversation.

This change is available to all WhatsApp users who update their apps via Google Play, or whichever app store you downloaded WhatsApp from. For the sake of your personal privacy, update that app as soon as possible. Once done, you can go back to chatting and calling as you normally would.

Play Link

Via: WhatsApp

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Tuesday Poll: Do You Even Mobile Pay, Bro?

We are in the fourth month of 2016 and mobile payments still aren’t really that main stream. Sure, Apple finally jumped on board with Apple Pay and adoption has picked up some, but I still don’t see the majority of people at grocery stores or movies or the mall or at sports arenas tapping to pay. When I do it, I still feel like everyone is looking at me like, “Ummm, what are you doing, sir?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have expected mobile payments to be a bigger deal by now. Then again, Google Wallet with NFC payments did launch back in September of 2011. That was well over four years ago! That’s a long time and yet, it doesn’t really seem like most people are ready to give mobile payments a full-time go. Is it because they are confusing to use? Is it because we don’t have enough retailers supporting them? Are there too many mobile payment systems to choose from? Unfortunately, I do not have the answer.

But what we do want to figure out today is whether or not any of you have used a mobile payment system – ever. It could be Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, or that terrible carrier thing called Isis, that Google eventually bought. From there, feel free to tell us if you use it regularly or why you have yet to take the plunge.

Ready? Go.

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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Deal: $20 Off NVIDIA SHIELD TV 16GB ($179), $50 Off SHIELD TV Pro ($249)

The SHIELD TV from NVIDIA is currently on sale, with the savings changing slightly depending on which model you choose. Regularly, the 16GB model of the Android TV-powered set-top box is priced at $199, while the SHIELD Pro model (500GB), is priced at $299. With these deal in effect, you only pay $179 for the 16GB model and $249 for the Pro model. 

As a fan and daily user of my SHIELD TV, I can attest to its worth. Now that the box is running Marshmallow, performance is silky smooth, support for an ever-growing library of games is top notch, and allowing myself to unplug my aging Chromecast (1st Gen) HDMI dongle has been clutch.

Regardless of which model you purchase, each SHIELD TV comes with a SHIELD Controller. If you would rather use a SHIELD Remote, that will be a separate purchase. Additionally, a SHIELD Stand is also a separate purchase, but I do recommend a stand.

To our knowledge, there are currently three spots online you can take advantage of this deal – either through Amazon’s website allowing you to use your Prime account for ultra-fast shipping, through NVIDIA’s website which also offers pretty fast shipping, or Best Buy. The choice is yours.

Amazon Link | NVIDIA Link | Best Buy Link

Deal: $20 Off NVIDIA SHIELD TV 16GB ($179), $50 Off SHIELD TV Pro ($249) is a post from: Droid Life

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Download: HTC 10 Wallpapers

We are still a few days away from HTC’s unveiling of the HTC 10, but since when has that ever stopped the Android community from getting their hands on the goodies? In the latest release of intel, a well known HTC leaker has published a gathering of wallpapers that will be included on the HTC 10. In my own personal opinion, they are way better than anything you will ever find on Samsung device, so here’s your chance to rock them before the phone is even announced. 

As of right now, a total of 13 wallpapers have been leaked, but there may be more down the road. A few are quite similar to what we have seen from HTC in the past, but a lot of the wallpapers bring a bit of new flavor. They are sized largely at 2880 x 2560 for very high resolution displays, making them perfect for any device rocking a QHD panel.

To get the full resolution files on your own device, use the download link below, extract the wallpapers, then apply them on your smartphone.

Download Link

HTC 10 Wallpaper 1 HTC 10 Wallpaper 2

HTC 10 Wallpaper 4 HTC 10 Wallpaper 7

Via: @LlabTooFeR

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Android Distribution Updated for April 2016: Marshmallow Closes in on 5%

The new Android distribution numbers are in for April 2016, with Marshmallow showing slow, but steady signs of growth. From last month to this month, Android 6.0 has jumped 2.3% to 4.6%. I know, I know, it’s been months since Marshmallow was released and this looks really bad, but it feels like we’re getting somewhere, especially now that Samsung has started updating many of its phones to Android 6.0.1. 

As for the rest of the numbers, everyone else dropped, like Lollipop to 35.8% from 36.1%, KitKat to 33.4% from 34.3%, Jelly Bean to 21.3% from 22.3%, and ICS to 2.2% from 2.3%.

Last month’s numbers can be seen here.

Via:  Android Developers

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You Can Now Direct Message Tweets From Your Timeline

Want to spark up a private convo regarding a tweet you see on your Twitter timeline? Thanks to the addition of a new, little message icon, users on Twitter can privately share any public tweet directly to a friend, then discuss it behind closed doors. 

To do this, any tweet you see after you have updated your Twitter app (Android and iOS), should feature a little message icon. When you tap that icon, you will see a list of contacts on Twitter that you can private message. Typically, you will need to follow that user and that user will need to follow you. Once you select your contact, the tweet will be embedded inside of a message, which you can then add your own commentary to.

This change is rolling out today, available via the Twitter app update on Google Play.

Play Link


Via: Twitter

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Google Calendar for the Web Gets Reminders Too

Back in December, Google introduced Reminders to Google Calendar on Android. By doing so, Google was making reminders a cross-platform, cross-app to-do list-like feature that could be managed from multiple places (Calendar, Inbox, Keep, and the Google App). It was a feature that Calendar addicts had been waiting years for, so today’s news that Reminders will now be available to Google Calendar on the web are so welcomed. 

Google says that Reminders should be here this week and should show up when your account gets the green light. Like on Android, Reminders will stick around if they aren’t completed, work across the apps I just mentioned, and will sync with mobile.

To see if your Google Calendar account is live with Reminders, click on your calendar to create an event. If live, you’ll see an option at the top of the pop-up box for “Reminder,” right next to “Event.”

Via: Gmail Blog

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Nova Launcher Beta Updated With Night Mode, Bug Fixes

The beta for Nova Launcher received an update this week, bringing with it a new Night Mode feature, improved search bar configuration, as well as fixes for bugs. The Night Mode feature can be turned on manually whenever you want it, or can be set by time. For example, once it’s 8PM, the feature can turn on automatically, and once 7AM rolls around, it turns off. Night Mode essentially turns all white objects, such as the search bar and app drawer, to black, making them easier on the eyes when in low lighting. 

In addition to Night Mode, which was previously released as a “Holo Mode” April Fools’ joke, the developer lists “improved search bar configuration.” This means, inside of Settings, you can better configure the look of the search bar. You can now change the color manually and the logo that appears.

If you are reading this, kicking yourself for not already being a part of the Nova Launcher beta, don’t worry. You can easily opt into the beta here on Google Play. It may take a couple of hours for your beta opt-in to be processed, but one it is, you are free to download the beta app directly from Google Play.

What’s New

  • Night Mode
  • Improved search bar configuration
  • Bug fixes

Play Link

Via: +Kevin Barry

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Latest HTC Teaser Video Talks “Best BoomSound Yet”

Ahead of the April 12 announcement, HTC posted yet another teaser onto YouTube this week for the HTC 10, this time detailing what’s labeled as the “best BoomSound yet.” According to the video, HTC has been tweaking BoomSound, which should bring all of the joy associated with needle drops, live guitar solos, warm tubes amps, and face melting drum solos. 

From the latest photos we have seen of the HTC 10, it is still relatively unclear if the device will sport dual front-facing speakers, although, HTC’s own teaser imagery (shown above as the header image), hints at possible dual speakers. One thing we do know, as the company has done in the past, HTC will more than likely include tweaked BoomSound audio software for when users are wearing headphones.

HTC has a solid history of providing great audio experiences in its smartphones, so we expect 2016 to deliver the same.

We’re one week away, folks.

Latest HTC Teaser Video Talks “Best BoomSound Yet” is a post from: Droid Life

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T-Mobile Adds More Services to Music Freedom and Binge On Like Amazon Music and Video, ESPN Radio

T-Mobile announced new additions to its Music Freedom and Binge On services today, bringing the combined list to over 100 services. They also spent another press release telling us how much people watch and listen to videos and music now that they have Binge On and Music Freedom, because after the firestorm of insults that came out of their CEO’s mouth at the end of 2015 when Google and the EFF questioned each, they are still trying to justify to the world that you should not be questioning such success. 

As for the new services, Music Freedom is getting Amazon Music, Chilltrax, ESPN Radio, OHIO.FM, PreDanz and Uforia. Binge On, on the other hand, is getting Dailymotion, EPIX, OVGuide, OWNZONES, Viki, YipTV,120 Sports, Nickelodeon, Spike, and TV Land. Again, the total number of services has eclipsed the 100 mark. That’s a whole lot of music and video services to use that won’t count against your data bucket.

As a reminder, both Music Freedom and Binge On are free to T-Mobile customers.

Via:  T-Mobile

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DEAL: PNY 128GB MicroSD Card is Just $29.99 at Amazon

For a limited time, PNY 128GB microSD cards can be had from Amazon for just $29.99. As far as I can tell, this is the lowest price we have seen yet.

The cards will work in your new Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, or LG G5, along with any other SD card-supported phone in recent memory (like the Moto X Pure Edition). With transfer speeds at up to 60MB/s, you should have no trouble moving files to and from your phone, you just may not want to use Marshmallow’s adoptable storage with one of these.

The item is a part of Amazon Prime.

Amazon Link

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