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2018-05-22T13:48:56.585Z
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{"feed":"Android-and-Me","feedTitle":"Android and Me","feedLink":"/feed/Android-and-Me","catTitle":"Technology","catLink":"/cat/technology"}

Remember the Alcatel 3V? Months after making its international debut, the 3V is ready to make its U.S. debut.

The Alcatel 3V will be available from Amazon next week for $149.99, and it’ll begin arriving in Best Buy and Walmart stores in the coming weeks. The device will be sold GSM unlocked and in a Spectrum Black color option.

The highlight features of the Alcatel 3V include a 6-inch 2160×1080 display with 18:9 aspect ratio, which should help it to stand out compared to other devices at this price point. It’s also got a dual rear camera setup that includes a 12MP regular sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. These two cameras let you refocus photos after they’re taken and add bokeh effects.

Also included with the Android 8.0-powered Alcatel 3V include 16GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, 2GB of RAM, a quad-core MediaTek MT8735A processor, and a 3000mAh battery. Alcatel has thrown in microUSB and 3.5mm headphone jacks, too, along with a rear fingerprint reader and face unlock.

What do you think of the Alcatel 3V? With a large screen and affordable price tag, are you interested in the new device?

Amazon’s Prime Exclusive program offers discounts on unlocked Android phones, and now another device is available through this lineup.

The LG K30 is now available as a Prime Exclusive device, meaning that you can score one at a hefty discount. Because this is a Prime Exclusive phone, this LG K30 comes with Amazon apps preloaded, including Amazon Alexa, Amazon Music, and Amazon Prime Video.


Amazon sells its LG K30 unlocked, and it supports AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon in the U.S.

In addition to having support for those networks, the LG K30 boasts a 5.3-inch 1280×720 display, 8MP rear and 5MP front cameras, and a Snapdragon 425 processor. This Android 7.1 device also includes 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a 3000mAh battery. There’s a rear fingerprint reader for added security, too.

LG’s K30 is an affordable device, but it does include a metal and glass design to help give it a more premium feel. Combine that with Amazon’s Prime Exclusive deal and this LG K30 could be a nice device if you’re in the market for a new phone that’ll be easy on your wallet.

We’ve seen the HTC U12+ leak out a few times now, and today another leak has surfaced. This one’s a little different than the others, though, because it comes directly from HTC.

The HTC U12+ appeared on an HTC test site earlier today, and while the page was taken down shortly after Roland Quandt discovered it, it wasn’t before the specs and images began to spread.

The U12+ shown in the leaked images line up with what we’ve seen from the rumor mill in the past. That includes a device with a large screen, minimal bezels, and no notch. There are dual camera setups on both the front and back of the device as well as a rear fingerprint reader.

When it comes to specs, today’s leak said that the HTC U12+ will have a 6-inch 2880×1440 Super LCD6 screen, a microSD card slot, a Snapdragon 845 processor, and a 3500mAh battery. Also expected to be included are Boomsound speakers and a body that’s IP68-rated for dust and water resistance.

According to the test page, HTC will offer a version of the U12+ with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage for 5,888 yuan ($924 USD). One detail...

One of the areas where fragmentation might be a real issue is emoji support, because while Google is working on improving the overall emoji experience in Android, folks on older versions of the mobile operating system might not actually get to take advantage of that.

So Twitter, one of the biggest social networks on the planet, has decided to take matters into its own hands, as first reported this week by Emojipedia. According to the publication, Twitter has been testing what it calls “Twemoji” since March of this year, and apparently it has gone well enough that it has begun rolling out support for the custom emoji beginning today, May 21.

This new feature is available only in the Twitter app for Android, and it’s part of the app’s latest update. The idea is to give Twitter users a universal experience for emoji. Folks on differing versions of Android are seeing different versions of emoji, and the situation gets even worse if you start seeing emoji published on Twitter by iPhone users.

As you can see in the image just above, there are some emoji that just don’t show up at all, as indicated by the boxes. However, after installing the Twitter for Android app, those boxes are filled in with proper emoji. Not the same emoji you might see on the latest version of Android, mind you. But emoji and not empty boxes nonetheless.

If...

If you’re like me, your phone is full of photos. I tend to take too many photos of daily life and interesting events, so finding the best photos in a mess of thousands is very difficult. Google Photos aims to fix that with a feature that’s admittedly been present in many gallery apps for years.

Starting this week, you’ll be able to favorite photos in the Google Photos app by tapping the star button when viewing any photo. You can then view your favorites folder in the Albums tab.

While this seems like a pretty small addition, it’s a big deal for those with far too many photos. The feature is rolling out to everyone this week so keep an eye on the app!

OnePlus has its own proprietary quick charging method called Dash Charge, and despite our disdain for proprietary charging methods, it works surprisingly well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the name will stick around for much longer.

The company filed for a trademark on the name in the US and EU back in 2016, but it was rejected in the EU in March. Amazon and Bragi have both contested the trademark, causing it to be rejected.

While OnePlus can still legally use the name, it doesn’t make sense without the trademark. And the company has already started phasing out the name. The latest OxygenOS beta uses a “charging rapidly” prompt instead of “Dash charging” and much of its online literature has removed the Dash Charge name from feature descriptions and products.

We’re sure OnePlus will soon announce a new name for the same charging system people have come to love.

The LG G7 ThinQ is right around the corner, but the G6 isn’t forgotten. Android 8.0 Oreo has been out for 10 months now, and Android P is already in the developer previews, but an update is always appreciated.

The LG G6 is now being updated to Oreo on Verizon. So far the other carriers haven’t released this update yet. Oreo brings with it picture-in-picture support, app shortcuts, a better doze mode, better notification controls, notification dots, and a lot more.

Head to Settings > System update to check for updates and start downloading! The file weighs in at a crazy 1.89GB so be sure to use WiFi if you are limited on data.

Android 8.0 Oreo is nothing new by now. We’re already on our second developer preview of Android P with the final release not too far off. Yet some devices are still getting updated to Oreo, while others may never see the OS.

Luckily the Moto Z is not being abandoned yet. The unlocked US model is now being updated to what is for now the latest version of Android. This includes features like picture-in-picture, improved doze mode, notification dots, and more. It’s a good update and is sure to make your older device feel a bit more fresh.

Lenovo also claims various improvements and bug fixes, along with the March 1 security patch. You’d think that it could get a patch newer than two months old. Head to Settings > About phone > Software update to check for updates and let us know when you get it!

LG recently announced the G7 ThinQ, and now it’s looking to fill out its mid-range lineup.

The smartphone company has officially unveiled three new smartphones: The Q7a, Q7, and Q7+. These are mid-range devices, even as they adopt the smaller bezel approach. Unfortunately, while LG has confirmed each of the handset’s existence, it isn’t going out of its way to reveal specific launch dates or price points. LG only says that the Q7 phones will begin shipping to “key markets” in Europe in early June, followed by launches in the Americas and Asia.

Each Q7 model will boast a 5.5-inch FHD+ (2160×1080) display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The Q7a and Q7 will have 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage, while the Q7+ will up the ante to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. The Q7 and Q7a will also rock a similar processor, with a 1.5GHz octa-core chipset under the hood. The Q7+ will offer a 1.8GHz octa-core processor.

The similarities between the Q7a and Q7 continue with the rear cameras, with each unit rocking a 13MP shooter on the back. The Q7+ has a 16MP rear camera. Around front, the Q7 and Q7+ will have either an 8MP or wide angle 5MP camera, while the Q7a will have a wide angle 5MP camera.

LG is spicing things up a bit in the features department for the Q7 series. Each of the handsets will feature LG’s...

The Razer Phone was introduced in November of last year with a pair of rear cameras, but unlike some handsets out there on the market, it didn’t boast a portrait mode to blur the background of a photo.

The bokeh mode might not have been part of the Razer Phone’s arsenal at launch, but the company is changing that with the May software update. Razer has just announced that the over the air software update is beginning to roll out today, May 21. It’s a minor update in the grand scheme of things, but it does finally add portrait mode to the mix.

The new feature is available by way of the pair of cameras on the back of the handset. With it, as you have seen in other smartphones, Razer Phone owners will be able to use the camera to add a blurring effect to the background of a picture, which will bring an object or person in the foreground into sharper focus.

The May update also “updates privacy controls to address GDPR requirements facilitating enhanced data protection and privacy”. Otherwise, the new software includes general bug fixes.

If you have a Razer Phone, keep an eye out for the May update.

Rumors have suggested that Samsung is working on a “lite” version of the Galaxy S8, basically trimming down some of the specs but retaining a few key features in the smaller, mid-range handset.

Turns out that is indeed the case, and the handset is now officially official in China, as discovered by SamMobile. Instead of going with the previously rumored Galaxy S8 Lite, the new smartphone is called the Galaxy S Light Luxury, and it retains several of the Galaxy S8′s features.

That includes the “Infinity Display” with the 18.5:9 aspect ratio, though this time it has an 2220×1080 resolution, down from the 2960×1440 display on the Galaxy S8. Under the hood, the Galaxy S Light Luxury boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of built-in storage. There is one 16MP camera on the back, while the front-facing shooter is 8MP.

The Galaxy S Light Luxury is IP68-rated for water and dust resistance, the battery measures in at 3000mAh, and it is equipped with iris scanner for biometric security. It is running Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box and has a physical Bixby button the side, too.

The Galaxy S Light Luxury is already available in China, priced at ¥3999 (~$626) and available in black and red. No word on whether or not the Galaxy S Light Luxury will be arriving in other markets.

Would you pick up Samsung’s newest...

The Life’s Good crew officially unveiled the G7 ThinQ earlier this month, but at the time, only Verizon confirmed a launch window. Now T-Mobile has come forward with its launch info.

T-Mobile has confirmed that the LG G7 ThinQ will arrive on June 1 for $750 full retail. Customers can also use T-Mobile’s Equipment Installment Plan to get the LG G7 ThiNQ for $30 down and $30 per month for 24 months. T-Mobile is opening up pre-sales on Friday, May 25, at 5:00 AM PT.

T-Mobile is looking to sweeten the G7 ThinQ launch by offering a buy one, get one deal. Pick up the first device and then T-Mobile will cover the monthly cost of the second one via 24 monthly bill credits.

Finally, T-Mobile is getting an exclusive on the Raspberry Rose color of the LG G7 ThinQ.

So, T-Mobile customers out there, are you going to pre-order the G7 ThinQ?

Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones that are most likely new and haven’t appeared in the top five list more than three times.

1. Dank

 

App info: Here lies the description of the greatest Reddit app ever built.

(Playboard) | (Play Store)

 

2. BOMBARIKA

 

App info: Tired of playing never ending games? We present you BOMBARIKA, where you can ultimately win the game!! Locked up in a house with a bomb(s), do you have what it takes to spot the bomb(s) and push it out of the house with the help of living...

Welcome back to our weekly Top 10 Android App Updates column, where we take a look at the most frequently upgraded apps for the week. We’ve found that one of the best ways to discover useful apps is to find the ones that are actually being updated by the developers rather than selecting the apps with the most installs. As in the past, we’re going to filter out minor updates for the super-popular apps that have over 10 million installs, but we’ll make exceptions for apps that have had significant updates. We hope you enjoy this weekly feature and that you discover some apps that end up being useful.

Pocket Casts - Version 6.4.11

What’s new in this version:

  • We now maintain some back buffer while streaming, so you can skip back and your podcast will keep playing
  • Fixed some issues with episode lists not updating properly

Augmented reality and virtual reality are popular platforms for developers and customers, and companies like Google aren’t likely to give up their forward momentum with either any time soon.

As such, it isn’t too surprising to hear that Google is working on a new AR headset, based on a new report this week from WinFuture. The new AR headset will reportedly be manufactured by Quanta, which is based out of Taiwan, and will have similarities to Microsoft’s mixed reality headset, HoloLens.

That starts with the design, which the report indicates this new headset from Google will be an all-in-one device, so it won’t have to be connected to an external PC or have a phone stuck into it. The new headset will feature microphones and cameras and it will have Qualcomm-branded chips under the hood.

The headset’s codename is reportedly “Google A65″, and according to the report it is still in its early stages of development. So, even if Google does indeed plan to bring this new AR headset to market, it might still be a ways out.

As for the new chips from Qualcomm, it is reportedly the QSC603, which is a four-core chip based on ARM architecture.

With Google Glass now situated within the enterprise market, it will be interesting to see how Google can differentiate this new AR headset if it ever sees the light of day. A more robust mixed reality experience, one that aims to blend the standard AR and...

It has been a rollercoaster of a year for ZTE, the smartphone manufacturer based out of China. Back in April the United States Department of Commerce banned American companies like Qualcomm from exporting goods to ZTE.

It didn’t take long before ZTE announced it was ceasing main business operations. But the company had a surprise supporter in the form of the President of the United States, who said that he was working very hard to get ZTE “back into business”.

But it looks like ZTE’s troubles aren’t going away any time soon. The Hill is reporting that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee has unanimously passed an amendment to prevent the Commerce Department from renegotiating sanctions with ZTE. All that to say that the ban against ZTE importing U.S. goods for their smartphones is being upheld as of now.

“This amendment, which passed with the unanimous support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, shows that, when the United States enacts sanctions, we stand behind them,” said Congressman Ruppersberger, who lead the amendment. “It will also prevent a foreign company that is beholden to its government – and that ignores embargoes – from infiltrating the devices and networks that are now indispensable to American life.”

As it stands right now, it does not look like ZTE will be ramping up its operations again. And while the U.S. President has previously directed the U.S. Commerce Department to figure...

Back in March, Epic Games made news by announcing that its mega-popular game Fortnite Battle Royale was heading to iOS and Android. It launched for iOS users not too long after, but Android users have been left to wait.

Now, in a blog post published on Friday, Epic has revealed when we should expect to see the title launch on Android. The developers are “targeting this summer for the release”, but aren’t ready to go into any specifics just yet. For now, we’re just going to have to keep waiting.

The blog post also details a few important changes and additions coming to the title. Epic recently added the ability to customize the HUD for iOS users, so that should also be a feature ready for Android users when it launches for that platform.

Voice chat is another feature Epic is working on adding to the mobile experience as well. The most interesting part of this news is that Epic is working on adding voice chat across platforms. So even if you’re on mobile and playing with your Xbox friends, you’ll be able to talk with them.

Epic is also working on game performance boosts, general stability, and other key improvements.

Are you excited to try Fortnite Battle Royale on your smartphone?

It has been almost a month since we first got word of an Avengers-themed OnePlus 6, and now the smartphone is being officially unveiled.

Following the official debut of the OnePlus 6 earlier this week, OnePlus is confirming its team-up with Marvel Studios and unveiling an Avengers-themed OnePlus 6. This is the OnePlus 6 Avengers edition, which features a kevlar design on the back, golden highlights on the OnePlus and Avengers logos, and a golden alert slider as well.

OnePlus is tossing in some extras with this special device. In the box, future owners of the Avengers-themed handset will get a special case with Iron Man’s helmet designed on it, a special medal, and plenty of Avengers branding all over the place.

There isn’t any specific word just yet on when, exactly, the OnePlus 6 Avengers edition will launch, but we do know it will cost 4,199 yuan (~$660) when it does launch. You’ll get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of built-in storage, along with plenty of Marvel Studios highlight flares, for that price tag.

What do you think of the OnePlus 6 Avengers edition? Would you pick one up if you could?

After confirming last night that YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium are both coming soon, Google has now provided more info on its official YouTube blog.

The new YouTube Music Premium will launch this Tuesday, May 22nd, in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and South Korea. It’ll roll out more broadly in the following weeks, with launches scheduled for Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Pricing for YouTube Music Premium will be $9.99 per month. That’ll get you ad-free music, background listening, and downloads. Existing Google Play Music subscribers will get the same features they already have at the same price, and they’ll still be able to access their purchased music, uploads, and playlists in Google Play Music.

There’s also YouTube Premium. Priced at $11.99 per month, this subscription offers all of the features of YouTube Music Premium in addition to ad-free, background, and offline access to all of YouTube. Customers who are already subscribed to YouTube Red will continue to receive access to the service at the current $9.99 per month price.

After going through names like YouTube Music Key, Google Play Music, and YouTube Red, it seems that Google is now settling on “YouTube Premium” as the name for its paid YouTube service, with a music-only option for folks...

Earlier this month, Valve announced that it was bringing Steam Link to both Android and iOS devices, which will allow smartphone owners to play their Steam Library titles right on their mobile devices.

Now the beta version of Steam Link is available for Android. The app is live in the Google Play Store right now as a free download if you want to see how the whole experience stacks up. With the app, you will be able to stream full Steam games to your mobile devices, but there are some steps to follow.

To get up and running, your PC with the Steam Library on it has to be connected to your router via an Ethernet cable. In addition to that, if you want to stream to your mobile device, it needs to be connected to a 5GHz Wi-Fi network.

It is possible to play on your Android TV set-top box as well. In that case, you will still need to have your PC connected via an Ethernet cable to your router, and make sure that the Android TV is connected via Ethernet to the same router.

You can play the games on your Android device by connecting a Bluetooth controller, like an Xbox One controller, or the Steam Controller if you have one of those. Other Bluetooth-enabled controllers should work, too, but Valve hasn’t posted a comprehensive list of supported controllers just yet. The standard experience should be 1080p at 60fps, but Valve does...