Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Corning Can Now Print High Quality Photos Onto Gorilla Glass

Corning announced Vibrant Gorilla Glass this week, offering device manufacturers another way to help distinguish their designs from the pack. With Vibrant, Corning can print high-quality, multi-color images directly onto Gorilla Glass, giving devices a more custom appearance. For example, on the backside of the Galaxy S7, a water drop could be printed onto the glass, but more realistically, logos and device model names could also be printed.

Corning claims that the process is scalable enough to allow for personalized smartphones. This means anyone who wants to pay a little extra might have the opportunity to receive a custom one-off smartphone. As consumers, that’s what gets us excited. Allowing pet owners to print a photo pf their cat directly onto their device’s glass would be sweet.

According to Corning, product samples are on their way to customers (OEMs) around the globe, meaning we could see Vibrant Gorilla Glass sometime in the near future.

Here’s a brief overview of Vibrant taken from the press release.

Device manufacturers today are looking for new ways to differentiate their products, without compromising important features such as durability and clarity. Vibrant Corning Gorilla Glass provides a new opportunity for customized decoration and commercial branding and is one of several valuable product enhancements that leverage Corning’s core capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

Do you think any OEMs will use this from Corning?

Via: Corning | Engadget

Corning Can Now Print High Quality Photos Onto Gorilla Glass is a post from: Droid Life

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Video: 20 HTC 10 Tips and Tricks

HTC and their handful of carrier partners still won’t share with us the exact launch date of the HTC 10, so at this point, we are really just putting it all out there in preparation for that day should it come without warning. We have taken tours, told you the first 10 things you should do, compared it to the Galaxy S7 and G5, and even fired off a bunch of camera shots from the phone. You should know almost all there is to know about this phone at this point. Well, our full review will dive into the rest, but you probably already know enough to form some solid opinions as you continue to wait.

With that in mind, there is one or two remaining videos to do to wrap this all up. The first is our 20+ tips and tricks video, which will take you through an in-depth look at how you can get the most of your device. 

In this video, we walk through some of the items from that “first 10 things you should do” video, but then take it a step further by diving into screen pinning and exiting, using Zoe and Pro camera modes, quickly adding your apps to folders, Smart Lock, and why you should ditch HTC’s really terrible stock keyboard.

Here we go – 20+ HTC 10 tips and tricks!

Video: 20+ HTC 10 Tips and Tricks is a post from: Droid Life

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Motorola Confirms Delays in Warranty Exchanges Apologizes is Working on Solutions

Last week, we highlighted an unpleasant situation involving warranty exchanges of Motorola products and how people were being left without phones and watches for months when they were told initially it would be just days. We asked at the time that you share your Motorola warranty stories, in part because we wanted you to have an outlet to voice your frustrations (if you had any), but also because this site, depending on the topic, does have some influence from time to time. What I’m saying is that by having hundreds of you share horror stories in this public arena, we may get Motorola to wake up and at the very least, acknowledge that they have some serious issues on their hands that need to be addressed.

Today, Motorola reached out with a statement confirming that their US repair center is experiencing delays. Motorola even admitted that this whole mess is not up to their standards and “deeply apologize” for the inconvenience. They don’t currently have an overnight solution in place to fix all your issues, but they did say that they are working to “identify and implement” some. 

Here is the full statement.

We’re experiencing delays at our US repair center that is influencing repair times for some customers. We know how important it is for you to get your phone back as quickly as possible so we’re working hard to identify and implement solutions. We are dedicated to the highest quality service and this is not up to our standard of excellence. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this situation has caused.

If you are currently having an issue with warranty fulfillment, please contact us at 888-355-8422. We are available Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time.

Here’s to hoping they can tidy this up in a hurry. The post-purchase service agreement with customers is often the most important because not every product you or I buy is going to be perfect for the time you own it. When those times come where we need servicing or repairs, we want to know that the company who sold us the product can be counted on.

Motorola Confirms Delays in Warranty Exchanges, Apologizes, is Working on Solutions is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Moto 360 (1st Gen) is Just $89.99 Today at eBay

I don’t know that I would recommend that just anyone rush out and buy the original Moto 360 these days, now that the watch is closing in on its 2-year anniversary, but if you have been curious about smartwatches and their supposed usefulness, and are ready to dive in with little investment, we have a deal for you today. For just $89.99, you can buy the Moto 360 (1st gen) over at eBay. $90! With free shipping!

Keep in mind that the original Moto 360 launched with pretty dated specs (namely the processor), so in 2016, it’s going to struggle some. With that said, it’s still arguably the best looking smartwatch ever released and will still work with your current phone. It’s also just $89.99…which, again, is nuts.

The seller has all sorts of combinations available, including those on leather or metal bands. He says that they are in “new other” condition, which could just mean that they won’t ship to you in original packaging. Or it could mean something else. Either way, something to consider.

eBay Link

DEAL: Moto 360 (1st Gen) is Just $89.99 Today at eBay is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: One Month Later

Our review of the Galaxy S7 Edge has been up for a little while now, and having used the device for a solid month at this point, I feel as if I should share my final take on the device before I get something else in my hands. Unsurprisingly to many, I’m sure, the Galaxy S7 Edge is still my vote for the top device released so far in 2016. It’s pretty early in the year after all, but from what I have seen thus far, I don’t think the LG G5 or HTC 10 have what it takes to overcome everything the Galaxy S7 Edge offers.

Over the course of this month, I have been very happy with the phone’s overall performance, and thanks to an update that recently came from T-Mobile and Samsung (I have an unbranded T-Mobile variant), my battery life has even gotten better from what I experienced during my review period. While I was usually hitting the hay with about 10-15% of juice left at the end of each day, I am easily seeing 30-35% battery left come bed time. For me, this is quite adequate.


Other high notes from this past month include the Galaxy S7 Edge’s camera, IP68 water resistance, and theming software Samsung baked into the phone. Usually, one of my main gripes with Samsung phones is the UI and color palette choice, but with themes, all of that is changeable and I can get pretty darn close to a stock Marshmallow look if I try hard enough. In addition, I have been using Nova Launcher to strengthen my customization options. For real, if you don’t use Nova, you’re doing Android wrong.

As for the previously mentioned camera experience, the aspects I notice most are the speed of the shutter and the time to focus. When switching between subjects inside of a shot, the phone is very quick to focus, and as soon as it is focused, I can begin shooting instantaneously. There is hardly pause between shots, which makes shooting my fast-paced dogs very easy. When they are running around the yard, I want to be able to capture those silly faces they make, and when you have a phone that can snap shots back-to-back in rapid succession, it makes life so much easier. I continue to rate the camera experience on the Galaxy S7 Edge as the top of what Android has to offer.

Let’s also get back to water resistance. While it may seem that IP68 is a trend we just recently started hyping, I can’t say enough good things about it. Now, when a new phone is announced, if it doesn’t have this feature, I almost feel ripped off. If Samsung is able to build a device of this standard, while making it resistant to tons of water and solid ingress, then why don’t other OEMs? My point is mostly directed at HTC. The HTC 10 is a damn good looking smartphone, but really, they couldn’t give that thing IP68? Or even IP67? As it stands, the HTC 10 has very little water resistance, so little that you really wouldn’t even want to splash water on it. For HTC to charge $700 off the bat for the 10, higher water and dust resistance would have been appreciated. Now that I have a phone that I can do whatever with, like completely use when it’s raining outside or in the kitchen when I am making dinner with no fear of it getting ruined by spilling something, I don’t want to lose that added experience. As an example, I have been watching baseball with my Galaxy S7 Edge on the counter, all while rinsing off salad leaves and veggies. Then, with my hands still wet, I can move the phone out of the way. No worries at all. As a consumer, that added peace of mind is great.


With all of the good stuff out of the way, let’s talk about what I don’t like and my fears of having this device in the future. As we all know, Samsung and carriers have not been the best about delivering updates. Yes, they are getting better, but it’s still nowhere near Nexus levels. You think because the Galaxy S7 Edge is the “new” phone, Samsung is magically going to send updates more quickly? Please. The Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 were once considered new phones and look at them, only recently receiving updates to Marshmallow. As someone who relies on having the latest and greatest software from Google, that is purely unacceptable. Not too long ago, HTC began promising 90-day update windows for when new versions of Android launched. 90 days isn’t too bad, but to this day, Samsung or LG have been nowhere near a timeline like HTC promises. When it comes to the update game, you just can’t trust these companies to deliver the goods in a timely manner. Sure, you might see a few updates quickly, but in the long run, you will be left behind like every other flagship buyer before you.

Prediction time: The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge won’t receive Android N until November or December, at the earliest. With Android N release scheduled for “Q3,” bet your bottom dollar that you won’t see an official update for these phones until months after that.

Lastly, my only real gripe would be the single speaker on the bottom of the phone. It’s placement is bad. The sound is weak. The overall external audio experience on the phone leaves much to be desired. It’s shallow, tinny, and lacks any sort of audio depth. The fact that I constantly need to cup my hand over the speaker to hear it is definitely a downside.

And there you have it, my month with the Galaxy S7 Edge in a nutshell. The performance, battery, and camera are still fantastic, but I fear Samsung will screw me when it comes to updates. As it stands right now, if I had to stick to one phone for this year, it would be the Galaxy S7 Edge. It delivers everything I need and then some.

If you own the Galaxy S7 Edge, please feel free to share your ups and downs with the phone in the comments section. Do you agree with my assessment?

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: One Month Later is a post from: Droid Life

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In Celebration of 4/20 Slickwraps Offering Hemp Wraps (42% Off Code Too)

For today only, in celebration of April 20 (4/20 aka National Weed Day aka Be Like Snoop Dogg Day), Slickwraps is offering hemp wraps for select devices. For smartphones, the price appears to be consistent at $25, while wraps for a MacBook will cost you an additional $5 at $30.

The hemp wraps are exactly what you would find from other wraps from Slickwraps, with the exception of the real look and feel of hemp, of course. According to Slickwraps’ product listing, these wraps will offer dust and scratch protection for your precious smartphone, while also including the same 3M adhesive found on all of their other wraps. 

As for which devices you can purchase a hemp wrap for, Slickwraps has the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, LG G5, and tons of iPhones models available, just to name a few.

Again, these wraps are available today only.

Update: Slickwraps is also hosting a 42% off sale. Use the code “420” at checkout on anything.

Slickwraps Link



In Celebration of 4/20, Slickwraps Offering Hemp Wraps (42% Off Code Too) is a post from: Droid Life

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Google Keep Also Gets Quick Link Storing in Latest Update Hashtags Slight Redesign

You know how we just told you that Inbox was getting a sweet new link storing feature? So is Google Keep. According to a blog post from Google on the Docs Blog, Keep is getting a similarly quick-share option for links both in Chrome (new extension!) and in the Android app. Not only that, but you will now be able to organize with hashtags too. 

The new Keep Chrome extension works a lot like the new Inbox extension. Once installed (link below), you tap on a Keep extension shortcut that then launches into a new note with that link attached. From within the new note window, you can add tags, type out additional notes, or trash it all.

On Android, sharing links is as easy as hitting the “Share” button, just like it now is on Inbox. Tap the “Share” button from within an app and you can create a new note with that link without actually leaving the app. Nice, right?

SaveToKeep (1)

The new Keep lets you quickly organize your notes by using hashtags from within the note to create labels. Instead of applying labels the old fashioned way (create one, then apply it), you can now type out hashtags to help you better organize and then find notes. Typing them will show you a list of already-created tags, but also allow you to create one.

Labels (1)

Finally, the Android app has be re-organized a bit to group items together and take them out of the toolbar at the top. You’ll now see buttons on each side of a new bottom navigation bar, with shortcuts on the left for adding images or drawings, along with one on the right for changing labels, colors, collaborators, and deleting.

You can grab the update below through the Play store or sideload it with the included .apk file.

Play Link (APK Link, v3.3.157.0) | Chrome Extension

Via: Google Docs Blog

Google Keep Also Gets Quick Link Storing in Latest Update, Hashtags, Slight Redesign is a post from: Droid Life

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Exploding Kittens Kickstarters Most-Funded Game Now Available for Android

Kickstarter’s most-funded game, Exploding Kittens, is now available for download from Google Play. Priced at $1.99, Exploding Kittens is a multiplayer card game that has been redeveloped for mobile devices. On mobile, you can play online with strangers from across the world, or you can choose to play offline with friends. The game supports 2-5 players.

The game is essentially a kitty version of Russian Roulette. Players draw cards until they draw an Exploding Kitten. If that is done, the player is dead and can no longer play. However, if that player has a defense card, such as a Catnip Sandwich or Laser Pointer, that player continues. All of the other cards in the deck are used to move, mitigate, or avoid the Exploding Kittens.

Artwork for Kitten Explosion has been done entirely by The Oatmeal, and this digital version of the game also features expansion packs for new cards, kitties, and gameplay action.

If having a blast with your friends seems like good old fashioned fun, give it a try.

Play Link ($1.99)

Exploding Kittens, Kickstarter’s Most-Funded Game, Now Available for Android is a post from: Droid Life

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Googles Inbox Gets Three Awesome New Features Today Including Link Storing

Google’s Inbox, my personal email app of choice, is getting three really cool new features today that continue to make it difficult for its users to ever look at another email app again. The new features involve better calendar event tracking, a way to preview newsletters you often click through, and a new “Save to Inbox” option for storing links (!) you find across the web.

In the calendar portion of this latest feature add, Google is letting Inbox gather emails from events together, sort of like they do with Trips, to let you see what has changed over the course of the event’s life. A simple tap on an event should then take you into the overview of happenings. 

With newsletter previews, Inbox can show you a short list of the items you might click through before taking you into a more picturesque preview with shortcuts to articles you may want to read.

And finally, Google has added a new “Save to Inbox” option for sending links to yourself. You know why this is awesome, right? How many times have you been cruising the web and wanted to send yourself a link to be viewed on your computer or later? This fixes that problem. Now, with the latest Inbox, when you are reading something and decide you want it emailed or stored, a tap on the share button and then Inbox will give you a choice to “Save to Inbox.” On a system level, Inbox can even tell if you have a link copied at the moment and will ask if you want to save it when you enter the app. Those saved items are available in the slideout menu in the Inbox app under a new “Saved” bundle.

To take this all a step further, Google is also introducing a new Inbox Chrome extension that allows you to either save a link directly to Inbox or fire it off in an email. How sweet is that?

bowling medium-newsletter savemobile

Play Link | Chrome Extension

Via:  Gmail Blog

Google’s Inbox Gets Three Awesome New Features Today, Including Link Storing is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Announces Gear S2 Band Adapter to Allow for Quicker Style Swaps

To help owners of the Gear S2 change up their style more quickly, Samsung announced the Band Adapter this morning, opening up the door for better watch strap swapping. As it is, the Gear S2 features a proprietary clipping mechanism that attaches the watch straps to the body of the watch. With this Band Adapter, you can attach standard 20mm watch straps, like the ones available for the Gear S2 Classic or any other strap you might have laying around the house. 

Coming in either Dark Gray or Silver, users will simply remove the original band on the Gear S2, then attach the Gear S2 Band Adapter. Once attached, any standard 20mm strap is attachable via the pin process. This means you can use watch straps from Amazon, Etsy, or wherever else you may be buying watch straps.

At this time, the Band Adapter is now yet available in the US, but according to Samsung, its availability is rolling out to more countries over time. If you really need one, you will need to import it from either Germany, Singapore or South Africa.


Via: Samsung

Samsung Announces Gear S2 Band Adapter to Allow for Quicker Style Swaps is a post from: Droid Life

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GIPHY App Updates on Android With All the Sharing

GIPHY released an update to its Android app today that makes it more than just a Facebook Messenger sharing service. With the update, GIPHY is now free from its Messenger kennel and ready for you to bark your favorites everywhere, even in Hangouts.

The update is rolling out slowly, though, so if you still have the “GIPHY for Messenger” version and aren’t seeing an update, go yell at GIPHY. If you are just installing today, well, you may very well get the new share-friendly version. I would be in that boat, that glorious, glorious boat. 

Confused at what GIPHY is? It’s a massive GIF-filled service that is categorized for easy GIF finding, but also has the new hotness that is trending at the moment. You want this app, I’m thinking. Your internet will be much more fun with it. Trust me.

Play Link


GIPHY App Updates on Android With All the Sharing is a post from: Droid Life

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Galaxy S7 Now Comes in the Color You Have Always Dreamed Of

Pink. A Galaxy S7 in pink.

Try to deny it. Tim isn’t. I’m pretty sure he is pre-ordering today, from Korea, where it is debuting.

Actually, I think the real story here is the fact that Samsung is admitting that it’s pink, something Apple refuses to do with its “rose gold.” GTFO, Apple, your “rose gold” is pinker than Samsung’s pink. Look at this. 

Galaxy S7 in pink vs. iPhone 6s in “rose gold”

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.12.46 AMScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.11.41 AM

We do not know if this rose gold pink Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge will arrive in the US. It’s OK to MJ cry to that thought.

mj crying meme

Via:  Samsung

Galaxy S7 Now Comes in the Color You Have Always Dreamed Of is a post from: Droid Life

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Google Already Lets You Play Podcasts From Within the Google App

With podcasts launching in Google Play Music earlier this week, Google is already making it easier than ever to find and play them. Google is issuing a (behind-the-scenes) update to the Google App today that will allow for the finding and playing of podcasts without ever having to open Play Music.

To find and play a podcast in the Google App, all you need to do is search for one, like “Droid Life Show,” and the results should return a list of our most recent episodes. You can then tap the “play” button from the search results to play specifics episodes, which will then open a set of controls at the bottom of the screen, including play/pause, rewind and fast-forward. Google says that you will also be able to browse the web on your phone or turn the screen off while you listen without killing audio. 

The update should begin rolling out today on Android.

EDIT:  I just ran a search for “droid life show” and it is already popping up with listings. It looks like an actual app update may not be needed after all, even though Google’s blog posts says “today’s update.”

Play Link

android podcasts

Via:  Inside Search

Google Already Lets You Play Podcasts From Within the Google App is a post from: Droid Life

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