Monday, April 18, 2016

Google Analytics App Gets Massive Update to v3.0 With New Icon Material Design

Google Analytics, an invaluable app for website owners that never seems to get the attention it deserves, received a major update today on Android. Not only is it a big Material Design overhaul, but Google is throwing in enough orange to rival Google Play Music, alongside a new logo and icon. 

The update, overall, is much cleaner and less grey than the previous version. Google has added a quick stat sharing action to info screens as well. Yes, there is lots of white space, but the boxes with your data, like real-time traffic, overall sessions, users, etc., all take up less space for the most part. With that said, Google has taken out all of the dropdown lists from the slideout menu and tossed everything into swipe-able boxes in each category page and box. I don’t know if I love that idea yet, to be honest. I guess once I get used to it, it could be OK, but I’m so used to years of that slideout menu. We’ll see.

As I mentioned in the intro, a new icon and logo accompany the update. I didn’t notice at first, but when I went to find Analytics in a home screen folder, I couldn’t and that’s because Google is completely replacing the app as far as I can tell.

Here is that icon:


You can grab the update on Google Play or sideload it with the .apk below.

Play Link | Download Link (.apk)

new google analytics

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A Bunch of Photos Taken With the HTC 10

We have already spent an exhausting amount of time taking a look at the HTC 10, through first impressions videos, tutorials on the first 10 things you should do with the phone, and epic 20-minute comparisons to the other flagships of the moment. That isn’t necessarily out of the norm, since that’s typically the treatment we give to flagship phones around these parts, we just don’t typically do it for the products released by VR companies. Kidding! In all seriousness, HTC has put forth their best phone in years and it deserves the time, even from your supposed resident HTC haters. Yes, I guess that’s us.

What has us caught up with this year’s HTC 10 is over whether or not the camera is any good. That’s the sticking point because HTC hasn’t put a camera in a phone since, well, the One X? Maybe the original Incredible? We all know that they can put lots of metal into the shape of what the world has dubbed a “premium” phone and can do sound with the best of them and are appeasing Android enthusiasts by slimming the hell out of their Sense skin, but will they ever again be able to put a camera into a phone that isn’t a gimmick or disaster? I’m starting to think so with the HTC 10. 

We will have a deeper analysis of the photos this camera is capable of taking when we push out our full review later this week, but for now we wanted to simply share a whole bunch of pictures taken with our review unit. There are lots of outdoor shots, since the weather has been incredible in Portland for the past few days. You will also see some indoor shots, a low-light range of photos with the light decreasing through each, and some macros, because we love burger and toy macros.

So far, I have to say that I am mostly impressed by what this camera is capable of. Of course, HTC has no excuse here because this is more than likely the same camera used in the Nexus 6P, a camera we love dearly and is a proven winner.

My only real issues right now have to do with the speed of the camera launching, its finicky focusing, slowness to shoot in low lights, and the dulling it does of some colorful photos. But in most situations, I don’t know that those issues have outweighed the overall experience, which is pretty solid. Just please, don’t cover the damn laser in the autofocus system or you’ll be welcomed over and over and over again by this annoying message.

Onto the photos!

If you want to download the full resolution files, you can grab the .zip here.

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Deal: Moto 360 Sport in Black for $239, Down From $299

For who knows how long, interested folks can grab a Moto 360 Sport from Amazon for just $239, down from its usual price of $299. At this time, only the Black model appears to be on sale, with no price drop available for the Red or White models. 

The Moto 360 Sport is an Android Wear smartwatch geared towards the more active crowd, complete with heart rate monitoring, step tracking, and calorie tracking. After having reviewed the Moto 360 Sport, I concluded that the display and overall quality of the watch was good, but at $299, it was a tough sell. With this sale price of $239, that’s a much better bargain.

To take advantage of this dropping in price, follow the link below.

Amazon Link

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Verizon HTC 10 Pre-Orders Start April 29

Verizon reached out moments ago to let us know that they will be opening up pre-orders of the HTC 10 on April 29. They didn’t give us any other information outside of that, other than that they plan to host “exclusive” in-store previews on the 29th for those interested in getting the phone in-hand before pulling the trigger.

As for pricing and all that, well, we should have that tomorrow. Verizon says that they have a full press release planned, but they didn’t have that for us today.

So, here is their statement. 

Verizon will start preorders for the HTC 10 on April 29. In addition, Verizon Wireless stores will host exclusive in-store previews on April 29 to give consumers and media a hands-on look at the HTC 10. Verizon will be the first wireless carrier to offer the HTC 10.

Ready to pre-order? Oh, and if not, our full review will be up this week to help out with that decision.

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YouTube Launches Spatial Audio for On-Demand Videos, 360-Degree Live Streaming

Announced this week, YouTube is bringing support for 360-degree live streams, as well as spatial audio for on-demand videos. With support for 360-degree live streams, viewers will be able to wear their VR headsets and watch events in real-time, whether it be flagship unveilings, concerts, or the theater. To celebrate this, YouTube has been streaming videos from Coachella, viewable on YouTube with a Cardboard viewer or any other VR headset you have. 

Not only will live streams in a full 360 degrees be viewable, but spatial audio brings a more immersive experience for everyone. Spatial audio is essentially how we hear the world around us in everyday situations. When you hear a sound, you can usually tell which direction it came from and how far away it is. With support for spatial audio in VR on YouTube, creators can deliver a better environment for creating experiences. YouTube has created a playlist to highlight spatial audio support.

Naturally, to best experience spatial audio, a user may want to be wearing a good set of headphones to absorb all of the sounds as they were meant to be heard.

If you have your VR headset ready to rock, all of these changes are now live on YouTube.

Via: YouTube

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DEAL: Nexus 5X Back on eBay for Just $239.99 ($110 Off)

Another laughably low price is back and attached to the Nexus 5X over at eBay today. For just $239.99, you can own one of Google’s newest smartphones and get on with your Android N or update-first-having self. In case you were wondering, that’s a solid $110 discount before even factoring in the free shipping.

Like the deal a couple of weeks back, this 16GB Nexus 5X is the Euro model H791. That’s worth noting because even though it will still work in the US – on T-Mobile and AT&T – it won’t have the universal connectivity on Verizon and Sprint as well.

You can read our Nexus 5X review here.

eBay Link

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Podcasts Launch on Google Play Music Today!

NPR was right! Google Play Music Podcasts are now live today on the web before rolling out slowly to Android. I don’t know what else to say other than, podcasts are now available.

You all know what podcasts are, right? We have one! You can subscribe to The Droid Life Show right here

With podcasts on Google Play Music, you can search for your favorite shows, hopefully discover new ones from the podcasts page, subscribe to them all, and receive notifications when new episodes arrive. Yep, it’s just like any podcast service, only now it’s integrated into Google Play Music.

To browse podcasts on the web, hit up this link. At this time, podcasts are only available in the US and Canada.

Have fun!

Via: Android Blog

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SHIELD Android TV Receives 3.1 Update, Includes Game Optimizations and Mouse Navigation

The SHIELD Android TV set-top box from NVIDIA is receiving its Upgrade 3.1 update this week, bringing with it new optimizations for recently released game titles, as well as the March security update for Marshmallow. A few of the games affected by the optimizations are Super Mega Baseball, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and Real Racing 3. Additionally, new GeForce NOW games are also seeing support for optimizations, like LEGO: Jurassic World, SOMA, and Sleeping Dogs. 

A software tweak baked into the update will bring mouse support for the right stick on the SHIELD Controller, usable inside of select applications. For example, those using Chrome can scroll around with a mouse button, instead of using the left stick to click on individual cells. To sum up the mouse, it should allow for better navigation inside many applications.

The update also tweaks Marshmallow functionality and brings stability improvements, such as external USB drive detection, FTP write access, HDMI-CEC, idle and sleep stability, and SD card formatting.

All of these changes are now live for your SHIELD Android TV.


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Samsung Pay Gains Support for TD Bank and Regions Bank

Samsung Pay added two more banks to its growing list, this morning, bringing its total to 130 and “over 75% of the US debit and credit card market.” The two new financial institutions are TD Bank and Regions Bank.

Samsung also noted in a press release that it has added 60 Visa and MasterCard banks and credit unions since early March. 

Is your bank or credit union supported by Samsung Pay?

Via:  Samsung

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LG Sets Up “Friends” Store to Help You Find and Buy G5 Modules and Accessories

As much as we try to continue to ignore the fact that LG insists on calling its accessory line-up for the G5, “Friends,” they just keep throwing it (and that stupid green cat) in our faces. In the latest installment of “Look at our really weird advertising for Friends of the LG G5,” LG is introducing us to the LG Friends website, which will feature all of the “Friends” you can handle, assuming they are even available in your country.

If interested, you must be a carpenter who loves pink phones and dog collar headphones, a hollywood C-level actress with an audio addiction, grandmother with shaky hands, a discount Britney Spears on a VR trip, or the tiniest James Bond ever, who is so small that LG’s Rolling Bot becomes a volleyball when held instead of the softball that it actually is. 

This site will feature not only the current line-up of Friends, but will eventually feature modules and accessories from third party developers. You will be able to use the site to see which retailers near you have stock of specific items, as well.

Picked up any of the G5 “Friends” yet?

LG Friends Link

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Photo: Possible Shots of Moto G (4th Gen) Posted Online

According to France’s No Where Else, the below images may be our first look at the upcoming Moto G (4th Gen) for 2016. As you will note, on the frontside bottom chin, the phone appears to sport a squared-off fingerprint reader, similar to earlier intel that was provided by Evan Blass. Going over the front and back, the device appears to be rather plain, but does feature Motorola’s vertical camera setup along the backside, including the camera sensor itself, LED flash, and a set of sensors. 

Also on the backside, you can clearly see the Moto logo dimple, which would have been the perfect spot for an integrated fingerprint reader. Instead, Moto has taken away the dual-front facing speaker appearance (only one was an actual speaker for listening to audio externally) and opted to slap on a square-ish fingerprint reader, which is an added bonus for a phone that is sure to be priced very competitively.

With only these two shots to look at, there is not much else to go on at this time. We don’t know when Motorola/Lenovo intends to announce this phone, and we also don’t know if it will be made available for customization through Moto Maker. Last year’s Moto G (3rd Gen) was available for customization, so we do hope Motorola will look to continue that tradition.

Take a look over the photos, then share your take below.

Moto G 4th GenMoto G 4th Gen

Via: No Where Else

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T-Mobile Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ Get Marshmallow Updates

The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ on T-Mobile are receiving updates to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow this morning. Maybe I should include a “finally” in there, since T-Mo owners of these phones feel like they have been left well behind typically slower carriers like Verizon who have already pushed out updates to each phone. 

Both the Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ will receive software version UVU2DPD1, with file sizes weighing in at 1.38GB and 1.34GB, respectively.

Through the Marshmallow updates, users will be able to use Google Now on Tap, see longer battery life through Doze, and enjoy finer controls over app permissions. The Edge+ will also grab a bunch of new Edge features that should make it finally useful.

To check for each update, head into Settings>About device>Software update.

Via:  T-Mobile [2]

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