Thursday, May 26, 2016

Here is the Batman Galaxy S7 Edge, and OMG It’s Hot

The Batman themed Galaxy S7 Edge that Samsung teased earlier in the day is now official and fully unveiled. As we mentioned earlier, the partnership is based on the game Injustice: Gods Among Us, but from this “unboxing” video, it’s clear that Samsung and DC spared no expense.

In the clip, we get to see a Bat symbol emblazoned box with both Galaxy S7 Edge and “Injustice” branding. Inside, Samsung is showing off a gold plated Bat symbol accessory that matches the branding on the back of the gold and black phone, specially themed Gear VR unit, and matching case. There are headphones in there as well, though they aren’t shown outside of their box. 

As predicted, parts of the UI have been themed to play into the collaboration, including skinned icons, lock screen, always-on display, and dialer. TouchWiz has themes these days, so it’s more than likely just a special edition Batman theme.

Yeah, it’s hot and we need one now.

Here is the Batman Galaxy S7 Edge, and OMG It’s Hot is a post from: Droid Life

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#TBT: Motorola Shadow, the Fake Phone of Everyone’s Dreams

I was recently diving through many older Droid Life posts — like, 2009 and 2010 posts — and came across a device that everyone seemed very hyped about. At the time, the OG DROID was still a very popular device among Android owners, but many of them were getting ready to find a worthy successor to their new-found Android love. The Motorola Shadow, as it was known among the blogs, seemed to be the phone many of us wanted.

The Shadow featured the same full QWERTY slide-out keyboard we had learned to love on the original DROID, and the design of it oozed high-tech and modern. As it turned out, the Shadow, or at least what we thought was the Shadow, was pretty much nothing; merely a design render that got passed around time and time again. The Shadow name lived on, though, morphing into DROID Xtreme, and then finalized as DROID X. The DROID X launched on Verizon back in July of 2010 and was quite popular with Android users.

I recall specifically looking at the below render years ago, thinking to myself, “That’s gonna be my next phone.”

Did you feel the same way about the Motorola Shadow as I did?


#TBT: Motorola Shadow, the Fake Phone of Everyone’s Dreams is a post from: Droid Life

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Want to See the Inside of Samsung’s Gear 360?


Now, if Samsung would just put the damn thing up for sale in the US, all would be good, because yes, I want one. I don’t know why, but I do.

Via:  Samsung

Want to See the Inside of Samsung’s Gear 360? is a post from: Droid Life

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DEAL: Save $5 on Chromecast and Chromecast Audio

Google’s dongle line-up is currently on sale with a $5 discount at retailers like Best Buy and through the Google Store. The dongles I’m talking about are the Chromecast and Chromecast Audio of course, two products from Google that turn TVs and speakers into Cast-ready devices for modern day stream-a-thons. With a $5 discount, you are looking at spending just $30 for each.

Not sure what a Chromecast does? Please leave now. I’m kidding! 

A Chromecast is a device that plugs into your TV, allowing you to stream content from your phone or a computer to that TV. You can toss up some YouTube clips, movies from a variety of services, music from just as many more, and even play games through them with friends. It’s one of the best pieces of technology that Google has released in recent years, especially at the price. The Chromecast Audio is similar, only its an audio-only product.

The deal ends on May 29.

Links:  Best Buy | Google Store

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Google’s Use of Oracle’s Java APIs in Android Qualify as “Fair Use,” Says Jury

A jury returned a favorable verdict for Google today in their trial with Oracle over use of Java API’s in Android. The jury, after three days of deliberation, says that Google’s re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by “fair use.”

I’m no copyright specialist, but this is  good news for both Google and developers. Not only does this save Google from what could have been a multi-billion dollar settlement, it alleviates some worries of developers who use public and open APIs for their own software. 

There will be an appeal from Oracle, I would imagine, so this thing probably isn’t over. Think about that – six years later, along with a 2-week trial, and this could still continue on. Woof.

In hilariously satisfying yet related news, Florian Mueller, a supposed patent and copyright guru who takes wads of cash from anyone willing to hear his expertise on why Google, Android, and all involving parties are evil in an attempt to bend the narrative, is throwing an absolute fit at the moment. Actually, the guy has been crying over this battle on his FOSS Patents blog for weeks, almost as if Oracle was paying him to do so. Oh wait. Do you, Florian, do you.

Via:  Arstechnica | Techcrunch

Google’s Use of Oracle’s Java APIs in Android Qualify as “Fair Use,” Says Jury is a post from: Droid Life

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Skype 7.0 Available for Android, Redesigned UI on Tablets and Better Multitasking

Skype 7.0 is rolling out to Android users via Google Play with a ton of changes for users of the service. First thing you should notice immediately is a redesigned UI for Android tablets, bringing more of the Material Design hotness that Skype unveiled last year on smartphones. This new UI includes a floating action button (FAB), featuring quick access to new video calls, messages, and contacts. 

In addition to the design changes, Skype touts an enhanced universal search feature, making it easier and quicker to find contacts, chats, groups, and Skype bots right from the main screen of the app. Multitasking is also getting an upgrade on Skype, with the new design allowing for a multi-pane view when in landscape. To enter this, simply flip your device to landscape and you will see different sections of the Skype app neatly organized.

On top of the new look and features, Skype also declares that call quality is only getting better with the latest update, saying specifically that, “Downloading the latest version means you’ll also benefit from the latest call quality and performance improvements.”

Go grab that update.

Play Link

Via: Skype

Skype 7.0 Available for Android, Redesigned UI on Tablets and Better Multitasking is a post from: Droid Life

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Verizon HTC 10 Getting Update Tomorrow With Camera Improvements

Own an HTC 10 from Verizon? Cool! You get an update tomorrow! And you get an update tomorrow! And you too, get an update tomorrow!

According to HTC’s Mo Versi, they “have the approval for the MR update that includes camera improvements and additional fixes.” That means they somehow already worked through Verizon’s 8-month (that might be an exaggeration) update testing approval process and are now ready to give you the goods. The goods being a better HTC 10 camera experience. 

For what it’s worth, Verizon concurs – you should expect an update tomorrow. This page will be live at some point with additional details.

Verizon HTC 10 Getting Update Tomorrow With Camera Improvements is a post from: Droid Life

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ZTE Announces the Flagship-Level, Affordable Axon 7, One of the First Daydream VR Phones

ZTE took the wraps off its new flagship phone this morning, the Axon 7. The phone, like most ZTE phones, is being positioned as an unlocked phone with high-end specs and an affordable price. Unfortunately, ZTE isn’t ready to share specifics on the price, but they are revealing the specs, which are very much so in the incredibly high-end category. 

The ZTE Axon 7 features a 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 20MP f/1.8 rear camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), 8MP f/2.2 front camera, 3250mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0, USB Type-C port, dual speaker setup with a dual Hi-Fi chipset (Dolby Atmos surround sound), and fingerprint reader. As for storage and RAM, ZTE is releasing two models, one with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, along with another that has 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Each model also has a microSD slot.

See what I mean? That’s about as high-end as it gets.

zte axon 7 zte axon 7 zte axon 7

Now, about that price. All ZTE will say is that there is “value” here and that the price will be lower than other flagship smartphones of today. That should mean a sub $500 price, but are you willing to get into a ZTE phone over something like the Nexus 6P to save $50 or so? I’ll let you decide on that.

As for availability, the Axon 7 hits China today and will then make its way to other markets, including the US, in the coming weeks. Once it arrives here, you will be able to buy it from zteusa.com, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, eBay, and Newegg. The Axon 7 will be available in either gold or silver.

Which carriers will it work on? Out of the box, it will for sure work on T-Mobile and AT&T, because of its GSM connectivity. However, ZTE says that it has the ability to work on both Sprint and Verizon. At this time, they aren’t guaranteeing that the phone will receive certification for use on those networks, only that it might “possibly” happen later in the year.

zte axon 7 zte axon 7 zte axon 7

Along side the announcement of the Axon 7, ZTE announced that they created a VR headset to pair with it, since this phone is one of the first Google Daydream-ready devices. After looking at those specs and seeing that the Axon 7 sports a QHD AMOLED display, it makes sense that it would be ready for Google’s new VR platform.

zte axon 7 vr

It’s certainly a pretty phone with great specs and tons of potential. But again, can ZTE get your cash over someone like Google or HTC or even Samsung for that matter?

ZTE Announces the Flagship-Level, Affordable Axon 7, One of the First Daydream VR Phones is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Working on Dedicated Controller for Gear VR

The one thing that the Gear VR experience is currently missing is, surprisingly, not content. There is actually plenty of that. In reality, Gear VR needs a controller, one that allows users to better interact with aforementioned Samsung and 3rd-party developer content. Right now, a user must fiddle with the touchpad on the side of the Gear VR headset, and in a few apps and games, that is simply not an intuitive experience. One of the reasons we enjoy playing with HTC Vive are the controllers, which makes playing games much more enjoyable, instead of twisting our heads about and pressing on the side of our headset.

According to leaked renders, Samsung is finally at work on a dedicated controller device for the Gear VR. As shown in the images, the controller will feature an analog joystick, action buttons (X,A,B,Y), three-lined menu button in the direct center, as well as two top-facing left and right bumper (trigger) controls. Additionally, the last render also details that the controller is attachable to the headset when not in use. 

Now, a controller is certainly a good start, but in my opinion, a wand is much more suitable for many VR experiences. With a wand you could point and click on items when in your virtual world, instead of a controller which is merely an uninspired replica of the console gaming experience. Vive has wands. Wii has a wand. For VR, a wand makes sense. Yes, a gaming controller certainly has its own place in VR, but a wand should come first. Call it Gear Wand – that’s badass.

Samsung has yet to confirm it is building a controller (or wand) for Gear VR.

Do you own a Gear VR? You tell me, would you want a gaming controller or wand?


Via: SamMobile | Samsung Mania

Samsung Working on Dedicated Controller for Gear VR is a post from: Droid Life

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Galaxy S7 Edge “Batman” Isn’t the Phone We Deserve, But It’s the Phone We Need

Samsung is teaming up with DC Comics and appears to be creating an Injustice: Gods Among Us smartphone. Details are scarce, but maybe part of a bigger series, the device being teased on Twitter is a Batman-themed Galaxy S7 Edge. Oh my gawd. 

Much like we saw last year with the release of a limited Iron Man-themed Galaxy S6 Edge, our belief is that this Batman phone will be pretty much your standard Galaxy S7 Edge, but entirely blacked out. We may even see a few special themes for TouchWiz, all Batman-esque, complete with custom icons and wallpapers.

At this time, release and availability is unknown, but I would suspect the device will be very limited in quantity. If you want one, keep your eyes peeled to Samsung’s Twitter and DL.

Galaxy S7 Edge “Batman” Isn’t the Phone We Deserve, But It’s the Phone We Need is a post from: Droid Life

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Lenovo Admits That It’s Acquisition of Motorola is Not Meeting Expectations

On the phone side of things, Lenovo is struggling at the moment, if you didn’t know. Once a top three smartphone maker, the company is slipping as its acquisition of Motorola, which they thought would propel them towards Samsung and Apple, not away, is not paying off. In fact, during their Q4 earnings release this morning, Lenovo was quite frank in admitting that the acquisition is not meeting expectations. 

For the quarter, Lenovo shipped around 10.9 million phones globally, 5 million of which came from the Motorola side of the company. To put some context around those numbers, know that for the quarter, in China (the home country of Lenovo), smartphone shipments declined 85%. Yikes! They also said that “product transition” in North America was “not successful.”

According to Lenovo, they have “learned a great deal” since they completed their acquisition of Motorola and are looking to apply those learnings as quickly as possible. For one, they now have two co-presidents, with one focusing on China and the other on the rest of the world. While the US doesn’t have its own specific leader, Lenovo is going to focus on getting its US “business back on track,” likely with the upcoming Moto Z.

If you ask anyone around these parts, I don’t know that any of us are shocked to learn that Lenovo and Motorola together are struggling. The Moto X Pure Edition, while a fine phone, hasn’t seen much support in recent months and other than being discounted every few weeks, doesn’t even seem like a phone Motorola cares to talk much about. Couple that with the disaster of a customer service department and you don’t exactly have the most winning formula for retaining customers to drive sales. They also have a DROID line, but it’s also been well documented how unimportant it feels to both Motorola and Verizon. Oh, and Rick Osterloh, the man in charge of Motorola for the past few years, took off for Google to lead a new hardware team.

It’s hard to see much of a light at the end of this tunnel for Moto and Lenovo. Maybe a modular phone will be the ticket?

Via:  Lenovo

Lenovo Admits That It’s Acquisition of Motorola is Not Meeting Expectations is a post from: Droid Life

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OnePlus 3 Pictured During Trip Through Equipment Certification

As we keep stating, there is no doubt we are close to an official unveiling of the OnePlus 3 from OnePlus, and the latest happenings only strengthen that assumption. It appears that the OnePlus 3 has gone through TENAA equipment certification overseas, which many companies must go through to ensure their products are okayed to launch to the masses. 

During its pit stop, TENAA confirmed that the device will feature a 5.5″ FHD AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 3,000mAh battery, Android 6.0.1, as well as GSM, CDMA 2000, and LTE radios. Dimensions of 152.6 × 74.6 × 7.3mm were also confirmed.

Most importantly, TENAA provided high-quality photos of the device, as shown below. As I joked previously, the OnePlus 3 looks like the love child of a HTC One device and an iPhone, thanks to the plastic bands and centered camera on back, with the metallic-ringed fingerprint reader on front. Don’t get me wrong, this device looks pretty solid and we look forward to its launch.

You can only write up rumored specs and leaked photos so much before things begin to dull, so unless OnePlus decides to finally announce this device, we will probably cool it on posting OnePlus 3 news. Just announce it already, OP!

Share your final pre-launch thoughts on the OnePlus 3 below.

OnePlus 3 1OnePlus 3 3

OnePlus 3 1OnePlus 3 2


OnePlus 3 Pictured During Trip Through Equipment Certification is a post from: Droid Life

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Here are Some Moto Z Modules, Plus a Fresh Moto Z DROID Edition Look

In just under two weeks, Lenovo is going to unveil the next Moto phone, a phone we are fully expecting to be called the Moto Z at this point. Previous reports have suggested that it will attempt the modular thing with back plates, called MotoMods, that may be much more user-friendly and flexible in terms of potential than what LG tried with the G5. We may also see that same Moto Z phone as a DROID Edition, though there is no certainty that it will show up an Lenovo Tech World on June 9.

This morning (well, last night to be exact), we are getting a fresh look at the Moto Z in DROID Edition form, along with a first look at three of the MotoMod modules. 

In the image above, we can see “DROID” branding on the camera housing, which is really the only differentiator from this phone and the standard Moto Z. Well, there is always a chance that the DROID Edition will get exclusive colorways (like these heavily gold plated models), but the shape and size, along with the rear pin placements for MotoMod connecting appear to be identical.

A previous report suggested that Lenovo would simplify their line this year, by just branding the flagship Moto Z as a DROID Edition, instead of pushing out the Moto Z and then creating an all new phone (like previous DROID Turbo devices) to be sold at Verizon under the DROID name. This is yet more evidence of that happening.

But what about those MotoMod modules. Well, here are three of them.


moto z motomods modules

From what I can tell, we have (front-right) a camera module with a massive lens, shutter button and control, and flash. In the middle, that looks to me like a thicker battery pack module with kickstand. In the far back, it’s really tough to tell, but that could just be a slimmer battery pack, though there does seem to be some extra fun baked in there. Is that a button? What is that line down the middle for? (Any thoughts?)

In case you were wondering, yes these apply right onto the back of the phone. The idea here is that the ultra thin body of the Moto Z can be expanded upon by slapping or snapping these modules across the entire back. A current or magnet of some sort will hold these MotoMod modules in place through the sets of pins seen on the back. This could make for quickly swappable modules and might actually be a great implementation.

And I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but damn, this phone is growing on me.

Via:  @evleaks [2]

Here are Some Moto Z Modules, Plus a Fresh Moto Z DROID Edition Look is a post from: Droid Life

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