google cardboard io 2015 aa (1 of 9)

Google has a lot on its plate right now, but it seems the company still has room for an appetizer. Google UK has taken it to its Twitter account to share a taser regarding… something about Cardboard.

29.09.16 – 01.10.16 #GoogleCardboard pic.twitter.com/HPE3BlcjNV

— Google UK (@GoogleUK) September 27, 2016

We really have no idea what this could be about. Google did announce Daydream at this year’s IO conference, which means their VR focus is probably shifting towards that direction. What could be new about Cardboard?

Some believe this could be an event, as opposed to an announcement. And the fact that they are teasing a time period (Sept. 29 – Oct. 1), as opposed to a set date, really makes this seem like it could be some kind of local occurrence.

Daydream represents the future of mobile VR.See also: Does Daydream have what it takes to make VR mainstream?13

Meanwhile, we continue to wait for Google’s October 4th event. This one is going to be big, with expected announcements for new Pixel smartphones, Google Home, new Chromecast hardware, Daydream View and more.

We will probably learn more about this in the coming days, so let’s keep it tuned to Google UK’s Twitter account. WE will also keep our eyes open and update this post with any new details.

 

Moto Z Play Droid-13

We already have the world’s first phone to run the all new Android 7.0 Nougat right out of the box. And with the Pixel phones slated to be unveiled very soon and with major manufacturers preparing for the Nougat update wave, it’s only a matter of time until Nougat becomes actually visible in the Android distribution chart. Now, if you are a Moto owner, you may be wondering what’s up since Lenovo hasn’t been all too clear about which devices will be getting the Nougat update and when.

Nougat is here, though getting it to all devices is a whole other story.See also: How Android updates will change with Nougat48

Well, the folks over at Droid Life reached out to the company, and according to a Lenovo spokesperson, the Nougat update will be available for the Moto Z family and the Moto G4 family in the fourth quarter of this year. To be clear, this would include the Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Moto Z Play, Moto G4, and Moto G4 Plus.

Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t know the fates of other Moto phones in terms of whether they will be receiving the update or not. Lenovo warns that “upgrades are about getting it right and making sure the phone performance remains the best it can be” and that the company will be sharing “upgrade plans for other products and more specific timing later.” However, it would be very surprising if other Moto lines like X series didn’t get the update.

Lenovo warns that “upgrades are about getting it right and making sure the phone performance remains the best it can be” and that the company will be sharing “upgrade plans for other products and more specific timing later.”

Given that Motorola was shown to be the fastest non-Nexus OEM to push out the Marshmallow update, it would be interesting to see if the trend continues with the Nougat update. In the meantime, if you want to track and see where your device is in terms of the update process, you can go to Lenovo’s software update page.

Do you have a Moto device? How important are Android updates for you? Let us know by dropping a comment down below!

Samsung Pay bakery

Samsung Pay is on the prowl to become your go-to payment method essentially anywhere you would use a card. When the system initially launched, adoption of it wasn’t much to write home about, so Samsung launched an aggressive ad campaign demonstrating how effective the system was as well as a variety of adoption incentive programs. Now the platform is officially one year old, so let’s see how far they’ve come.

In spite of security concerns and initially limited support from banking entities, Samsung has drastically increased Pay’s availability by expanding to new regions and partnering with new banks. To date, the platform now supports over 500 banks, snagging fully 80 percent of US debit and credit cards. Samsung reports that it is now the most widely accepted mobile payment system.

Samsung-Pay-1See also: Samsung Pay finally gets Capital One24

Samsung’s Nana Murugesan, the VP and General Manager of Service and New Business made the formal announcement:

Since its launch a year ago, Samsung Pay has redefined what consumers can expect from a digital wallet. Samsung Pay has led the way for mobile payments in the U.S. by providing our customers innovative services they can use almost anywhere they shop. Our impressive growth shows that we are closer than ever to a world without wallets. We are excited to roll out more services and features that will allow the user experience and build enthusiasm for a safer, smarter and better digital wallet.

What new services and features in particular? Well for now, coupons! As of today, Samsung is rolling out a new feature to the app that lets you search for, store, and redeem coupons from the convenience of your mobile device. Samsung also took this opportunity to point out the recent cloud storage feature that allows members to restore membership on new devices without hassle.

This news comes on the tail of Samsung Pay finally securing Capital One, one of the last major banks not participating in the program. In celebration of its one year anniversary, Samsung says that they are offering up $100,000 worth of prizes to 365 lucky users. To see more information about this contest, head over to the official details page over here.

What do you think about Samsung Pay turning one? Are you an active user? Let us know your take in the comments below!

Andoid Pay vs Apple Pay vs Samsung PayNext: Samsung Pay nears 100 million transactions on first anniversary15

Ubisoft-Logo

Ubisoft has made quite a name for itself in the triple-A gaming arena. The company is responsible for a slew of popular video game franchises including Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Assassin’s Creed, Rayman, and Far Cry, Now it appears that they’re looking at getting much more involved in mobile gaming, but they way they’re going about it raises an eyebrow or two.

For many, Ubisoft’s expansion on the mobile platform is a boon. After all, a brief glance around the mobile gaming landscape makes it evident that there’s a lack of triple-A quality. Maybe having another experienced, well-funded game developer throw their weight into mobile design will up the ante a bit. And they’ve done this by purchasing Ketchapp.

That’s right. Ubisoft has announced today that they bought the mobile studio Ketchapp, a company that – while not nefarious by any definition – has previously come under fire for some of their practices. You may be most familiar with Ketchapp’s 2014 smash hit “2048.” The game involves sliding tiles on a 4×4 grid to combine like numbers with the ultimate goal of achieving 2048. The simple, satisfying gameplay, minimalist graphics, and surprisingly nuanced difficulty made the game immensely popular for a while there.

Assassins-Creed-Identity 1See also: Ubisoft is brings Assassin’s Creed Identity to Android24

You may not have been aware, but that game was essentially a clone of a puzzler called THREES by indie developer Asher Volmer. And Ketchapp has since developed something of a reputation for cribbing ideas. Risky Road is pretty similar to Owlchemy Labs’ Smuggle Truck, Gravity Switch is basically a trimmed down version of VVVVVV, Crazy Circle is a lot like Super Hexagon, and Stack looks an awful lot like Monument Valley.

So why would a production company with so much clout choose to throw in their lot with Ketchap, a developer who has kind of started rubbing other developers the wrong way.

“With Ketchapp, Ubisoft acquires a highly profitable publisher with a successful portfolio of free-to-play games for mobile,” Ubisoft mobile director Jean-Michel Detoc said. “This acquisition gives Ubisoft one of the world’s leading mobile game publishers and reinforces our advertising capabilities in mobile gaming.”

With Ketchapp, Ubisoft acquires a highly profitable publisher with a successful portfolio of free-to-play games for mobile.

There’s your answer right there. Regardless of how Ketchapp is perceived, the company does an astoundingly good job of cross-promoting their array of games within each of their apps. By focusing on addictive gameplay, no-risk entry, and natively marketing their other products, Ketchapp has developed a strong foothold in the mobile market. And now that foothold is Ubisoft’s.

It’s uncertain which direction Ubisoft will take with their newly achieved mobile presence. Indeed, we don’t even know what the price tag of Ketchapp was since Ubisoft’s fiscal quarter won’t end until the end of December. Previously, Ubisoft has had to lean on the success of their non-mobile franchises to boost mobile sales, so their releases have been essentially revisions or ports of non-mobile games. Theoretically, Ketchapp’s robust mobile platform will allow Ubisoft to launch games with built-in exposure thanks to Ketchapp’s massive userbase and successful crosspromoting, and this may open them up to start developing more novel mobile content.

What do you think of Ubisoft snagging Ketchapp? Let us know in the comments below!

Republique best puzzle games for androidNext: 15 best puzzle games for Android65

While Google is reportedly planning to launch a premium notebook next year as a showcase for its new Andromeda OS, it looks like the new Huawei-made Nexus tablet could be the developer device for it. Read more…

Google’s big October press event is said to include the announcement of a new 4K Chromecast device. We’re still a week away from the event, but we’re getting our first look at Google’s new Chromecast. Read more…

roku_IMG_9564_remote_1_0

Looking for a new streaming media box? We know it can be hard to find the one that meets your needs. People definitely like options, and Roku has just come up with 5 of them.

These cover a large spectrum of the market, with prices ranging between $29.99 and $129.99. In fact, these 5 new devices are nearly replacing Roku’s entire line-up. The only current Roku device not discontinued is the $49.99 Streaming Stick.

What do these have to offer? It depends on the model, but they have plenty of good features. Some are amazingly affordable, while others provide performance and quality. Let’s look at the details to better understand where everything stands.


Roku Express – $29.99

Roku_Express_Hand_Holding

  • Fast 1080p HD streaming
  • Simple IR remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons
  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless
  • Optional removable adhesive strip for mounting to a TV
  • High Speed HDMI cable included

Roku Express+ – $39.99

Roku_Express-right_turn_2

  • Fast 1080p HD streaming
  • Simple IR remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons
  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless
  • Optional removable adhesive strip for mounting to a TV
  • High Speed HDMI cable included
  • Composite jack and included composite A/V cable (red/white/yellow)

Roku Premiere – $79.99

Roku_Premiere-top_down

  • Works with both HD and 4K UHD TVs
  • 4K UHD video playback, delivers crisp detail and brilliant, life-like images
  • HDCP 2.2 compatible and capable of up to 60 fps 4K UHD playback
  • Can upscale 720p to 1080p on HDTVs, and from 720p or 1080p to 4K up to 60 fps on 4K UHD TVs
  • Fast quad-core processor
  • 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
  • Simple IR remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons
  • Night listening mode setting adjusts audio sounds to maintain volume consistency

Roku Premiere+ – $99.99

Roku_Premiere_0

  • Works with both HD and 4K UHD TVs
  • 4K UHD video playback, delivers crisp detail and brilliant, life-like images
  • HDCP 2.2 compatible and capable of up to 60 fps 4K UHD playback
  • Can upscale 720p to 1080p on HDTVs, and from 720p or 1080p to 4K up to 60 fps on 4K UHD TVs
  • Fast quad-core processor
  • 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
  • Simple IR remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons
  • Night listening mode setting adjusts audio sounds to maintain volume consistency
  • HDR support displays an incredible range of colors including brighter whites and deeper blacks
  • Enhanced point anywhere remote with headphone jack for private listening
  • MicroSD card slot for additional channel storage
  • Ethernet for wired internet connectivity

Roku Ultra – $129.99

Roku_Ultra-top_down

  • Works with both HD and 4K UHD TVs
  • 4K UHD video playback, delivers crisp detail and brilliant, life-like images
  • HDCP 2.2 compatible and capable of up to 60 fps 4K UHD playback
  • Can upscale 720p to 1080p on HDTVs, and from 720p or 1080p to 4K up to 60 fps on 4K UHD TVs
  • Fast quad-core processor
  • 802.11ac MIMO dual-band wireless
  • Simple IR remote control with popular streaming channel shortcut buttons
  • Night listening mode setting adjusts audio sounds to maintain volume consistency
  • HDR support displays an incredible range of colors including brighter whites and deeper blacks
  • Enhanced point anywhere remote with headphone jack for private listening
  • MicroSD card slot for additional channel storage
  • Ethernet for wired internet connectivity
  • Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Plus decoding for advance surround sound in home theaters
  • Optical digital audio out port to connect to a receiver or sound bar
  • USB port for local media playback
  • Convenient point anywhere remote control with voice search, headphone jack for private listening and gaming buttons
  • Lost remote finder feature finds remotes stuck in the couch with the touch of a button on the player

Interested? We are too, but you will have to wait a bit before these devices hit your door step. The release date is set for October 9th. The Roku Express+ is a Walmart exclusive, but the rest will be available from Roku, Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and others. And you can pre-order starting today, just in case you want to put your name on one.

Who is signing up?

pixi-4-power-plus

While Alcatel is far from a household name in the smartphone game, it has gained a bit more attention in recent times thanks to some of its affordable yet solid devices like the Idol 4 family. Now Alcatel is back with yet another phone, this time dubbed the Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power.

Ridiculous name aside, the Pixi 4 Plus Power has one big trick up its sleeve: a 5000 mAh battery. This would be a huge battery even for a higher-end device, but with budget-level specs, this phone could end up lasting a real long time.

Under the hood, the Pixi 4 Power Plus offers a 5.5-inch 720p display, an undisclosed (likely MediaTek) processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB storage with microSD, 13MP front and back cameras, dual-SIM slots, and other standard features like Bluetooth and WiFi. Totally out of character for 2016, there isn’t even LTE.

None of the specs onboard should be battery guzzlers by any means, though the phone won’t exactly impress either. It is worth noting that there is quick charging onboard, which considering the massive size of the battery, is a nice addition.

At the end of the day, this phone probably won’t make sense for many readers here at Android Authority. That said, it could be perfect for someone who spends long periods away from a charger, or even for that relative that is holding on to a flip phone because they “don’t need smart features if it means bad battery life” (something an actual relative told me not long ago).

Of course, pricing isn’t known just yet. Would you consider this for yourself or a friend/family member, if the pricing was right? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

AAP081FeaturedImage

Join Joshua Vergara, Joe Hindy and David Imel for another great episode of the Android Authority Podcast. Joe wanted to rant a little about the Windows 10 anniversary update, Josh explained his long trip that included Jimmy Westenberg’s wedding, IFA in Berlin and iPhone coverage in Australia. A little more iPhone coverage followed. Joe has the ZTE Axon 7 in hand, listen on to see if he loves it or not. Josh issues a small warning, there is a lengthy check-in this week, for those that just want the news, jump forward half an hour this week, but you will miss some fun movie talk and an interesting peek into California living. Finally, Google has finally launched Allo! Is it all it was promised to be?

Thank you for joining us. If you have not already, be sure to subscribe to the channel on your favorite podcast app, and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Also check out our partner sites – SoundGuys cover the best mobile audio gear and VR Source is the home of all our virtual reality coverage, from gear to games, check out VR Source for all kinds of reality. Finally, we are very happy to announce the official launch of TabTimes 2.0. We’re still covering the same great tablet news and reviews, but you can look forward to expanded coverage on ultrabooks, smartphones and all the tech that helps you get through your day. Check out the new and improved TabTimes! Sign up for our various newsletters and enter for your chance to win one of our many giveaways.

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Special news – we’ve officially launched TabTimes 2.0!

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We’re still covering the same great tablet news and reviews, but you can look forward to expanded coverage on ultrabooks, smartphones and all the tech that helps you get through your day. You’ve got Android Authority for all things Android, SoundGuys for your mobile audio gear, VR Source for all sorts of reality and now you can hit TabTimes for almost everything else  – we’re now all tech, all the time. Check out the new and improved TabTimes!

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September 2016 giveaways

Recorded on September 22nd, 2016 – Hosted and produced by Joshua Vergara.

“Caffeine – here on the health authority podcast.”

google_pixel-930x465

Google’s October 4th event is right around the corner, and this year the search giant has been far more revealing than they have in years past. The hype train is in full gear, and now we’re seeing what appears to be an official image of the Google Pixel coming from VentureBeat. The publication also says that they are confirming that the Pixel and it’s bigger sister the Pixel XL will be unveiled at the October 4th event (an assumption that had previously been all but confirmed).

The device we’re seeing in the image is allegedly the Pixel, and not the larger Pixel XL. It’s a very minimalist device that looks pretty unassuming. The bezels seem a bit large, and the buttons appear to be positioned on the right side of the device with the power button riding above the volume rockers.

sony-xperia-z3-plus-210See also: Google Pixel may only have an IP53 rating, so no swimming106

According to rumors, this smaller device is expected to start at $649, which would set the bar of the Pixel line in a notably higher price range than the now seemingly abandoned Nexus brand. Both devices are expected to initially launch on Verizon and as unlocked devices in the US.

What are your thoughts regarding this look at the Google Pixel? Any remarks on the design? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

pixel-lineSee also: Google Pixel pricing could start at $649, but financing will be an option179

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