Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AppSales Update to 5.0 Brings New Design, New Features for Discovering Deals

AppSales, an app we use quite often to share with you the best deals on apps and games, received a big update to version 5.0 this week. Other than the fresh Material Design coat of paint, the app welcomes in new sections and better deal discovery, which ultimately is the point of AppSales. 

According to the changelog sent over to us by the developer, the new AppSales does indeed grab a “modern” Material Design makeover. That means sh*tloads of white space (kidding! sort of) and other fun. As far as new features go, there is a new “Latest Discount” section (which should be self explanatory), extended price history on apps (premium users only), search functionality, improved sale detection, support for regional sales, and a change from Google+ sign-in to just Google.

The update is live now, so head on over to Google Play to grab it.

Play Link

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Poll: Which Smartphone Feature Can You Not Live Without?

Many awesome features are being built into smartphones these days, and when you find a smartphone with all of them, you have hit the jackpot. At this time, no phone features exactly every feature under the sun, but we are getting close. For example, Samsung has been able to create IP68 rated phones that don’t sacrifice design, but lack USB Type-C and decent speakers. The HTC 10 features great external speakers and USB Type-C, but lacks any real water protection.

The point is, of all of the special features that are being incorporated into smartphones, which one can you not live without? For me, I might have to go with either the fingerprint reader or water resistance. Both are pretty great, but I suppose if I was splitting hairs, I would go with the fingerprint reader. There is just too much convenience there.

Vote, then share your opinion in the comments section.

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: Moto X Pure Edition Starting at $299

Those in need of a new phone can pick up a Moto X Pure Edition from Motorola, starting at just $299. That’s a good drop from its original launch price of $399. For the $299 price, you can customize your very own smartphone on Moto Maker, with plenty of back color options to choose from, as well as accent colors.

If colored soft-touch plastic is not your style, you can opt to spend an extra $25 for a real-wood or leather back. According to Moto Maker, Motorola still has plenty of options to choose from, including tan, black, and red leather. For wood, Moto has bamboo, walnut, ebony, and charcoal ash. All of the original options. 

The price for a fully decked out Moto X Pure Edition, with wood (or leather) and the max amount of storage (64GB) is $425. That’s pretty solid.

Do note, the Moto X Pure Edition is an unlocked phone with all bands needed to work on pretty much all major US carriers. That includes, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon.

Have at it.

Moto Link

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Android Distribution Updated for May 2016 – Marshmallow Climbs to 7.5%

Google updated the Android distribution numbers today for the month of May, showing Marshmallow continuing its steady climb, while the rest of the Android versions in the wild stay mostly the same. 

As of May 2, Android 6.0 Marshmallow sits on 7.5% of devices, which is up from 4.6% in April. On a non-increasing front, Lollipop dropped to 35.6% (from 35.8%), KitKat to 32.5% (from 33.4%), Jelly Bean to 20.1% (from 22.3%), Ice Cream Sandwich to 2.0% (from 2.2%), and Gingerbread to 2.2% (from 2.6%). Froyo remained at 0.1%.

You can see last month’s numbers here.

Via:  Android Developers

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5 Reasons the LG G5 is Worth Buying

The LG G5, even as a flagship device that might not make our top 3 smartphones of moment, is still a very good phone for 2016. It’s not the best, no, but it does have some things going for it that make it a compelling option.

In our G5 review, we talked about it all. We talked about the camera setup, fingerprint reader, battery life, swappable battery situation, modules (or lack thereof), design, and performance. We talked about why the G5, overall, is a solid phone and pointed out areas that need improving. But if you want the straight-to-the-point reasons why this may still be a phone to consider, we have that for you below.

These are 5 reasons the LG G5 is still worth buying. 

lg g5

1. The wide-angle camera is pretty fun.

Play with the LG G5’s wide angle camera for 5 minutes and tell me you don’t want one in your next phone. It’s pretty fun! Even just flipping between the standard 16MP shooter and 8MP wide-angle camera is a blast, because you can see how much more of a scene you can capture. In the camera section of our review, we tried to show you just that, so be sure to swing over there for a look.

Some may call a 135-degree camera in a smartphone a gimmick, but it’s not. This camera is capable of capturing an entire view that your eyes can barely take in. It gives you an extra tool as a mobile photog that few others have. It gives you some artistic freedom even if you aren’t an artist. And it may even let you snap the photo that all of your friends share, the photo the grabbed it all and then some.

Honestly, I hope other manufacturers start considering a second shooter that can capture the scene like LG’s G5.

2. Hey, removable batteries are convenient.

I have never been a big, “I can’t live without a removable battery!” guy, but having the option is incredibly convenient. With the G5, you get that convenience in one of the last phones to include swappable batteries. And actually, if you are the type that would say what I just said above, you can just stop reading now and go buy the G5. You don’t have another choice in phones.

I found, during my review period, that I never had to plug the G5 into an outlet and enjoyed every damn second of it. Because I always had a spare battery charged and ready, whenever the battery on my G5 did get anywhere near find-an-outlet levels, I just swapped for a fresh one. Sure, I had to power off the phone to do so, but within a few seconds I was back up and running and free from cables and plugs and wasting time.

Removable batteries may not be a feature I list as one that I can’t live without, but I get it, I get why some are still praising the heck out of LG for maintaining the idea.

lg g5

3. There are few smoother performing phones than this one.

When HTC announced the HTC 10, they bragged about the touch latency and performance of the phone, calling it the fastest version of Android. I hate to break it to them, but that title may still be with LG and the G5. LG first shocked me in the performance department with the V10 and managed to up that here.

I’m not sure I can even express how buttery smooth the G5 is. And that’s kind of surprising, since LG blasts one of the most notoriously gross skins atop Android. Somehow, though, LG has managed to fine-tune this thing so well that after jumping back to the Galaxy S7 post-G5 review, I started to miss the butter.

The G5 is one of those phones that when your finger is on the screen and you are swiping, it also seems to swipe faster than you can keep up with. It’s sensitive like an iPhone. Maybe even more sensitive. You touch and – Boom! – things open. It games with the best of them, thanks to the Snapdragon 820. The battery life is good enough. Apps open instantly. The app switcher does too. Transitions between this all shows no signs of jank. And even the fingerprint reader unlocks swiftly without the press of a button.

Yep, this as good as it gets in the performance department, folks.

4. SD card support is here.

LG has long-been a supporter of the microSD card and nothing changes here with the G5. LG says that the phone supports up to 2TB of space, so you should really consider taking advantage, especially since the phone only comes with 32GB out of the box. 32GB, is of course, not even what you get to use out of the box because all of the system apps and skin take up a good chunk. Just buy this 128GB card and never worry about storage again.

LG isn’t the only one doing SD cards, but this is still a solid selling point. Companies like Google and Apple still hate the SD card.

lg g5

5. There may be a future filled with modules. Maybe.

This last reason is a bit of a tricky one. You see, LG is pushing the G5 as one of the first modular phones. That’s cool! Right? Yeah, in a futuristic, this-may-be-super-cool one day, type of way. The G5, unfortunately, isn’t quite the modular wonder we want, but if anything, it could help set us up for a future that’s filled with modularity.

For now, the G5 (depending on your country) has two modules that can either aid in photography (a camera grip) or take your audio experience to the next level (a DAC). Those two choices don’t strike me as mass-market or mass-appeal options and may not be for any of you. So the thought here is that there is a chance that more modules will arrive down the road to make your G5 even more awesome. If they don’t, well, hopefully that means the G6 will get a flood of them.

See, what I mean about this being a tricky one?

Considering another phone? Feel free to take a look back at 5 reasons to buy other phones, like the Galaxy S7, Nexus 6P, or LG V10 in previous installments of this ongoing series.

5 Reasons the LG G5 is Worth Buying is a post from: Droid Life

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Open Source PieMessage Brings iMessage to Android, Thanks to Mac Middleman

An open source project called PieMessage has hit GitHub, with the creator (Eric, a long-time DL reader) looking for help from other developers to get this app finished and published. PieMessage looks to bridge the gap between Android and Apple’s iMessage, which is actually quite a large gap.

As it stands today, many Android folk attempting to send texts to iMessage users encounter many issues, and the same goes for those who leave iOS and switch over to Android. The transition from one OS to the other is quite funky, and if you look around, there are countless forum posts and support tickets opened up with people trying to “fix” iMessage. This is where PieMessage comes in. 

Using a Mac middleman that acts as a server, PieMessage can seamlessly send and receive iMessage texts from iPhones. As you see in the video below, the developer has the proof of concept and basic app completed, but there are additional features/fixes he wants to build in before it sees the main stage.

This is a call to developers, please help this man create the perfect iMessage app for Android. We all want it, badly.

GitHub Link

Cheers Eric!

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Twitter Overhauls the Connect Tab, Shows Improved Recommendations

Starting this week, users of the standard Twitter app will be treated to an overhauled Connect tab, which is the tab used for finding new people to follow. Usually, Twitter recommends a few brands for you to follow, as well as people you might interact with on the service. According to Twitter, folks should begin to see better recommendations following an update to the app.

Not only should the recommendations be a bit better, but profile text will also be accompanied with the standard name and profile picture, giving you a better understanding of why you are seeing these users as recommended. For example, if you follow a certain sports team, you might be recommended to follow that team’s press core, giving you more insider info on that team.

Twitter states that it will continue to deliver recommendations based on tweets you like, accounts you follow, popular accounts in your specific area, current events taking place in the world, and other variables.

This updated tab is rolling out in an update for both Android and iOS.

Play Link


Via: Twitter

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T-Mobile LG G3 Receiving H63120b “Marshmallow” Update

The G3 from LG on T-Mobile is in the process of receiving an update, one which we ever so slightly thought might never come. Official as of this morning, T-Mobile is pushing out Marshmallow (software version H63120b) to the G3, which should make any remaining G3 owners quite happy.

With Marshmallow, G3 owners will be introduced to Doze for better battery performance, Google’s Now on Tap for quicker search, comprehensive app permissions, better control over notifications, and probably tons of bug squashing. 

According to T-Mobile, the G3 will also feature WiFi Calling improvements.

This update began making the rounds late last week, but as of today, T-Mobile made it official. If you have yet to see it hit your G3, it’s rolling out via OTA.

Via: T-Mobile

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DEAL: Amazon Fire TV Drops to $85 Today ($15 Off)

The Amazon Fire TV, a streaming media box that is also one of the few pieces of Amazon hardware worth owning, has been discounted today to $84.99, down from its usual $100 price. I say that this is one of the few, because the Fire TV offers great value for the price, while helping turn your TV into a smart one.

With the Fire TV, you get not only the box that connects to your TV, but you also get Amazon’s voice remote that now has access to Alexa. Yep, that’s the same Alexa that powers the Amazon Echo and lets you ask for the weather or sports scores or shout out commands like, “Alexa, play Prince all day every day!”

The Fire TV also supports 4K, thanks to a recent update, and still gives you access to your favorite media services like Netflix, ESPN, AMC, HBO Now, etc. You can play games on the Fire TV as well.

Amazon Link

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