Friday, April 15, 2016

Video: HTC 10 vs. Galaxy S7 vs. LG G5

So, here is a somewhat ridiculously lengthy video to take you into the weekend and kill a good 20 minutes of your life, assuming you have no plans and don’t mind killing 20 minutes of your life. This afternoon, I spent some time (a lot of time) talking on camera about the HTC 10 and how it compares to the other two flagship phones of the moment, the LG G5 and Samsung Galaxy S7. After some overlooked issues with the original video, the version I feel comfortable publishing is now live for you to take a look at.

In this clip, I talk through the differences between the three devices, which areas strike me as being better from one to the next, and if there is one or two I would recommend you take a look at. Because this is – again – a ridiculously lengthy video, I’ll give you a spoiler by saying, the G5 doesn’t exactly crack the top 2.

We’ll have a full review of the HTC 10 along shortly, but for now, grab a drink and snack and take it all in. 

Video: HTC 10 vs. Galaxy S7 vs. LG G5 is a post from: Droid Life

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Don’t Miss These Android Stories: April 15, 2016

Another big week is in the books here at Droid Life. The HTC 10 was unveiled, we went hands-on with it a couple of times, and you still told us that you aren’t buying it, even if it is a really good smartphone. Hell, even AT&T doesn’t want any part of it. Yikes.

Outside of that fun, we got the Developer Preview 2 of Android N and dove into its minor changes. We also talked about Motorola’s struggles at replacing devices under warranty, looked at Google’s new Live Cases for Nexus phones, and took some time to chat during DL Show episode 106.

Don’t miss a thing! 

Blazers in 5.

Don’t Miss These Android Stories: April 15, 2016 is a post from: Droid Life

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Friday App Sales: ISS Detector Pro, Machinarium, EPOCH 2, and More

Yes, it’s Friday already, meaning it’s time to go over the latest apps and game sales available on Google Play. Currently on sale, folks can grab a few classics, such as Machinarium for only $2.49, EPOCH and EPOCH 2 for $0.99 each, or go a bit bigger with Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for $14.99.

There are other deals taking place that aren’t on Google Play, available through NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW game streaming service. For example, you can grab Mad Max for 66% off, The Wold Among Us for 50% off, and Super Mega Baseball for 50% off. Lots of good deals. You can find all of them here.

Check out the full list of apps on sale through Google Play below. 

Friday App Sales

Go support those developers!

Friday App Sales: ISS Detector Pro, Machinarium, EPOCH 2, and More is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Get $50 Off Nexus 6P, Now Starting at $449

For a limited time, specifically April 15 through May 6, folks can purchase a Nexus 6P through many online retailers at $50 off of the usual price. Regularly priced at $499 for the 32GB model, you can now purchase the phone starting at $449, with the $50 promo applying to any of the available storage options. 

At this time, four online retailers are listing the $50 discount, including Google Store, Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy. Depending on where you want to buy the device, you have plenty of options. If you are asking yourself if the Nexus 6P is worth the purchase, I would argue yes, absolutely. The phone performs very well, the camera is still exceptional, and the overall Android experience is very tasty on this Nexus device.

If you are in the market for a 6P, follow one of the links below.

Links: Google Store | Amazon | Best Buy | Newegg

DEAL: Get $50 Off Nexus 6P, Now Starting at $449 is a post from: Droid Life

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The Droid Life Show: Episode 106 – HTC 10 is Here!

On episode 106 of the DL Show, we’ll be talking a lot about the HTC 10 now that it is official and in house and has been in hand for the majority of the week. We will also share some final thoughts on the G5 with review complete, and of course, the rest of the big Android news will make an appearance as well!

Join us at 1:00PM Pacific (4:00PM Eastern) for the fun.

If you miss us live, feel free to subscribe to us by following one of the links below. We have a video embed as well and will be chatting it up over at the YouTube page for the show. You can find it here.  

Subscribe | iTunes | Stitcher | Show Page

The Droid Life Show: Episode 106 – HTC 10 is Here! is a post from: Droid Life

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Motorola’s Warranty and Replacement Service is Taking a Beating Right Now, Got a Story to Share?

Yesterday afternoon, this reddit thread picked up a whole bunch of steam after the original poster shared his story on how he believes Motorola’s customer service has become a disaster within recent months. He links to forum threads and customer complaint sites to show that he is not alone and even gets a bunch of redditors to weigh in with similar stories.

The basics of the whole fiasco are that Motorola, depending on the device, isn’t able to issue warranty replacements and are leaving people without phones and watches for months at a time. That’s not a good look. It’s 2016 and most of us can’t go hours without our phones let alone days or weeks or months.

Now, we often hesitate about reporting on these types of stories, because customer complaint boards are just that – customer complaint boards. When people are satisfied with products, they aren’t going to spend time on complaint boards telling the world how great companies are. When they have a complaint, you know they will be there within minutes to express their frustration. These places almost always show companies in a bad light. With that said, something feels different about this situation. 

I’ve spent a good deal of time (more than any human should) this morning looking through complaint boards and Motorola’s own forums trying to look for patterns or see if there is a serious issue here. I’ll just say this – it doesn’t take long to see that Motorola customers are flooding to multiple areas of the internet to voice their frustrations over warranty returns and replacements.

Now, so you know, I also took a look at Samsung, LG, and HTC boards to see if they are filled with similar-styled complaints. They aren’t. The complaint boards from those companies are all over the place with issues, but they often deal with lower-end phones or 2-year old phones that people are now having issues with. That’s not to say that those aren’t valid complaints, but if you spend 2 minutes looking at Motorola-related complaints, you see almost nothing but issues with their new products, namely the Moto X Pure Edition and the lack of replacements.

Our inbox has also seen a couple of emails from our readers who have dealt with issues getting replacements, like this one from Ryan J.:

I have had the absolute worst customer service experience and have chronicled most of it. Just got off the phone with their “Repair Escalation Team” and they literally have NO devices to swap out for my exchange supposedly.

Others in the reddit thread are sharing similar stories, where they have spent hours on the phone with Motorola, only to be told that they simply do not have phones available at this time, but that they hope to within a few days. Those days keep turning into weeks and then into months.

Here is someone whose replacement took more than 70 days. Here is another that has been going on for a month or more. This one called it “purgatory” and said that at least two replacements were broken phones when they arrived.

I don’t know Motorola’s situation, obviously, but not having phones available for replacement in their warranty program is not exactly acceptable. Sending out broken phones as replacements is even worse.

If you have a Motorola support story, we would love to hear it – both good and bad. Keep in mind that this isn’t a post created to attack Motorola. But we do think we have one of the strongest and loyalist Motorola communities on the planet here and probably have a number of readers who could shed some light on this potentially unfortunate situation.

Let’s hear it.

Motorola’s Warranty and Replacement Service is Taking a Beating Right Now, Got a Story to Share? is a post from: Droid Life

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Opinion: After Seeing the HTC 10, Maybe HTC Should Make This Year’s Nexus

If Nexus rumors are your life, you will already know that reports have been circulating, claiming that HTC has be chosen by Google to create this year’s Nexus device. In those reports, it was even written that HTC would make not just one, but two Nexus devices for 2016. When these reports first surfaced, I thought to myself, “Crap, guess I won’t be buying any Nexus phones this year.”

To me, HTC’s past attempt at a Nexus device, the Nexus 9 tablet, was one of the more underwhelming tablet experiences I have had. It’s just boring. Looking back at it, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was HTC’s fault, but Android in general is ridiculously shallow on tablets. However, with the latest software tweaks we have seen from Android N, maybe that will change soon.

My point is, HTC might be making this year’s Nexus device, and after seeing the HTC 10, I don’t think I’m as disappointed as I was when the rumor first hit the street. Let me explain why. 

The HTC 10 is a fine looking device, better than what I initially expected from the company. Yeah, it’s got sh*t tons of chamfer and other little things I would change, but overall, it’s a handsome phone. I was thinking, what if this year’s Nexus device was designed loosely on the HTC 10, maybe covered in a soft-touch coating like on the Nexus 5 from a few years ago? That would feel lovely, right? Then, we move that fingerprint reader to the backside (where it belongs, thank you very much), bring back on-screen buttons, and you’ve got yourself one fine looking Nexus device. Beyond a couple of gripes, which are the capacitive buttons, fingerprint reader placement, and usage of a LCD panel instead of AMOLED, the HTC 10 is a solid phone. All of these things are changes Google could make in partnership with HTC to create an awesome experience for the launch of Android N.

With the release of the HTC 10, the company has proven, at least to me, that they still know how to make a good smartphone. Yes, the past couple of years have been very lackluster and some feel that the 10 should have been released years ago, but the fact is, it’s released now, just in time to inspire Google to create something magical. As long as Google and HTC can work together on making the camera and accompanying software as good as it is on the Nexus 6P or better, and possibly tweak a few other hardware components to bring the MSRP to something a but more reachable for the masses, say $549, then that’s a winner in my book.

HTC, this is your time to shine. Don’t let us down.

Opinion: After Seeing the HTC 10, Maybe HTC Should Make This Year’s Nexus is a post from: Droid Life

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You Can Now Share Motion Photos as Video on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge

Apparently included in the latest updates for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, but going completely unnoticed due to the feature not being all that exciting in the first place, those who snap Motion Photos can now share the clips as video files, instead of just a single still shot. As it is reported, those who attempted to previously share Motion Photos were only able to share the last piece of the video, which is the shot you see as the thumbnail inside of your gallery. 

We did a story on Motion Photos when the Galaxy S7 was new, concluding that while the feature was neat for certain situations, the potential hog of valuable storage space it would become outweighed any actual value as a feature. Yes, Motion Photo is cool, but not exactly necessary. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Samsung should have made it an add-on feature for the camera app, downloadable from the Galaxy Apps store.

Anyway, with the files now sharable as video, you can upload your clip in its entirety to social media services, such as Instagram and Facebook, or you can still choose to only share the single still image from the end. At times, Motion Photo can capture those happy moments directly before a photo is taken, leading to more candid experiences.

If you recently received the big software update for the Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge, try it out. And if you still have yet to test out Motion Photo, give it a shot.

Via: SamMobile

You Can Now Share Motion Photos as Video on Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge is a post from: Droid Life

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Cricket Introduces $70 Unlimited Plan, Will Give T-Mobile Switchers $100 Bill Credit

Cricket Wireless, the prepaid arm of AT&T, is targeting T-Mobile customers with its newest wireless plan that includes unlimited talk, text, and data for just $70 per month. That price can drop lower, though, down to $65 if you sign-up for autopay alongside it.

What’s the catch, you ask? There isn’t much of one, assuming you understand Cricket. The biggest drawback to their service is the fact that they cap your data speeds at 8Mbps down. You will never see speeds higher than that. Are you OK with that? If so, and you think that’s fast enough, Cricket is a solid option, especially for the price. 

Remember, Cricket runs on AT&T’s network, so you get all of that nationwide connectivity that AT&T customers would get. That’s part of the sell here to T-Mobile customers, since T-Mobile is still known as having an inferior network to AT&T and Verizon. It’s certainly gotten better in recent years, but T-Mobile has a ways to go.

The new unlimited plan from Cricket is live on April 17 (this Sunday).

And in case you were wondering, T-Mobile’s unlimited plan costs $95 these days after a couple of recent price increases.

Via:  Cricket

Cricket Introduces $70 Unlimited Plan, Will Give T-Mobile Switchers $100 Bill Credit is a post from: Droid Life

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NPR Says Google Play Music Podcasts Arrive Monday

According to an NPR email that has gone out to its partners, we should be seeing (or is it hearing?) Google Play Music Podcasts arrive on Monday, April 18. While I think it’s safe to say that we are all a little hesitant to mark it on our calendars, this seems much more official than Bill Simmons spouting off to Twitter. This is NPR, after all, sharing with who knows how many partners, Google’s plan to release podcasts. The point of this email is to let their partners know how they can prepare for the launch and probably isn’t something they would casually, softly, throw out there. 

So what does this mean for you and I? Podcasts on Monday! Yay! Hopefully.

Google first announced that podcasts would join the Google Play Music family back in October of last year and even let publishers (like us!) sign-up for the service. Our DL Show has been ready for launch from that day and so we can’t wait for this to finally happen because you will have another option for subscribing to not only us, but you other favorite shows as well.

Here is a piece of the NPR email:

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 7.22.29 AM

We’ll let you know if any pieces start moving Monday morning.

Via:  Android Police

NPR Says Google Play Music Podcasts Arrive Monday is a post from: Droid Life

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