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Google Pixel XL International Giveaway!

By Derek Scott

Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday!

A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Google Pixel giveaway: Elfego G. (Mexico). Enjoy your new Pixel phone.

This week we are giving away a brand new Pixel XL Smartphone!

The Pixel XL features a vibrant 5.5-inch QuadHD AMOLED display alongside a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 3,450 mAh battery and an all-new 12MP Pixel XL camera with phase detection and laser autofocus. The standout feature is Google Assistant, a new incredibly-clever AI assistant that also powers Google Home. To see how the Pixel XL compares to flagships new and old, check out our Pixel XL vs Galaxy Note 7 and Pixel XL vs Nexus 6P comparisons!

Enter giveaway
Google Pixel XL International Giveaway!

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Winners Gallery

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • We are not responsible if your giveaway prize malfunctions.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties or import fees that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by AndroidAuthority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

…read more

Source:: android authority


Will manufacturers make phones in Indonesia next year?

By Edgar Cervantes


Indonesian Cellular Show 2014 – These people were waiting in line to pay for their unsubsidized new phones

Concerns surrounding the future of tech in Indonesia have been on the rise as we approach 2017. The Asian country holds plans to launch a new legislation starting January 1st, which would enforce a “Made in Indonesia” certification on high-end, 4G smartphones.

The government wants tech companies to bring their tech to the emerging smartphone market, but not without some conditions. They plan to increase the country’s production power by forcing phone makers to build at least 30% of these smartphones within Indonesia. This could include the hardware, software or a mixture of both.

Other governments and tech entities are worrying about the new standard and claim this will harm the country more than it could help, as many manufacturers would probably decide not to do business in said market.

“We fear that the approach taken in this draft regulation could inadvertently restrict access to new technologies, raise the cost of ICT for Indonesian companies, stimulate grey and black markets for mobile phones, and carry other unintended consequences.” -American Chamber of Commerce

But why not go to Indonesia to build these phones? There must be a lot of factors coming into play, but they are not only about money, really. Some companies worry that Indonesia may lack the supply chain to produce these high-quality mobile devices.

Needless to say not all companies are making a huge deal out of this. We know at least Lenovo/Motorola has found a way to accommodate to Indonesia’s requests. And that is kind of a big deal. Will other manufacturers follow suit? If there is money to be made, they probably will. What do you think?

…read more

Source:: android authority


Google seems to have hidden HTC involvement in Google Pixel XL code

By Edgar Cervantes

google pixel xl initial review aa (38 of 48) back logo featured

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are “made by Google”… or at least that is what the Search Giant is trying to advertise. Though HTC is the ODM (original design manufacturer), Google is adamant on the argument that this as a work done by themselves. But with all the mystery surrounding this case, it is still unclear just how involved HTC was in the making of these devices.

Recent evidence seems to show HTC and Google worked more closely in the development of the phone than we previously believed. And what is more surprising is that it seems the Taiwanese phone maker was an important part of developing the software, something Google is usually all about doing.

A commit from an HTC Engineer shows the removal of a said “htc_cerberus” from all the code. In addition, Android security researcher Jon Sawyer got to look at the bootchain and found plenty of HTC code in there.


“It’s a standard HTC bootchain with some hardening/changes.” -Jon Sawyer

What is the point of all these changes, then? On a marketing perspective, it is believed having a true Google phone would help the Mountain View-based company compete with the likes of Apple and Microsoft, which have their own operating systems, as well as devices. The Nexus program worked well, but attaching another manufacturer to the brand probably didn’t make things as “official”.

While Google has contracted HTC to assemble the Pixel phones, Osterloh says the approach is no different than Apple’s partnership with iPhone builder Foxconn. Flip the Pixel over and you’ll see “Made by Google,” another tip of the hat to Apple, which has long made much of the fact that its phones are “Designed by Apple in California.” Osterloh says Google will never say the Pixel is co-engineered with anyone else. He proudly proclaims, “It’s ours.” – Rick Osterloh, chief of Google’s hardware vision, speaking to Bloomberg

The idea here is that the Pixel phones (just like the Chromebook and Pixel C) are supposed to be mostly designed, elaborated and coded by Google. Instead we are finding there may not be much of a separation here. Some believe the new phones may essentially be Nexus devices without the manufacturer branding – a marketing move, as opposed to an actual business change.

But will the strategy work? Can Google (with the help of HTC, of course) really take on iPhones on its own? That is something we will have to wait and see. What do you think?

…read more

Source:: android authority


Minecraft: Pocket edition update includes Add-Ons, the Wither, slash commands and more

By Edgar Cervantes


Minecraft: Pocket Edition is a great mobile alternative to the PC iteration, but it has obviously lacked some of the features many of you are used to. The latest update to version 0.16.0 brings some of these capabilities to your smartphones and tablets.

For starters, users can now customize how the game looks and behaves with the inclusion of Add-Ons. These make it easy to transform your worlds and change mob behavior. They are easy to develop and share, so expect to see a lot of them showing up online. You can always learn more about Add-Ons at Minecraft’s dedicated page, too.

Another addition to the Pocket Edition is the Wither, a very powerful mob you have probably come across in the PC version of the game.

This update also brings lazer-shooting elder guardians, ocean monuments and slash commands. The latter will make it possible to change the time of the day, summon mobs, give items away and more.

The update is now available on the Google Play Store, so go have some fun. And don’t forget to hit the comments section to let us know how these improvements are working out for you.

Download Minecraft: Pocket Edition
…read more

Source:: android authority


Double tap: five killer Android features

By Kris Carlon

lg g3 knock code aa (3 of 6)

Everyone has their own particular favorite Android features. Over the years there have been plenty. Some have stuck around, like a two-finger swipe to access Quick Settings, while others have disappeared, like lock screen widgets.

But when I started thinking about some of my all-time favorite Android features, I realized that, for me at least, they all had something in common: they were all based around a double tap.

Double tap to wake

Originally appearing on the LG G2, the first and last of the G series to not have big issues, Knock On – also known as double tap to wake – is easily one of my all-time favorite Android features. Frequently imitated, the feature is so convenient you frequently find yourself trying to do it on phones that don’t support it.

Using a knuckle to quickly activate the display is a great option when you’re eating and have messy fingers, don’t have easy access to the power button (especially useful considering the G2’s rear-mounted power button) or just generally feel like smacking your smartphone around a bit.

But not all knuckle gestures are equal: Huawei’s horrid knuckle gestures are a joke and even LG’s Knock Code was a bad idea. Sometimes the first idea is the best idea, and in the case of applying knuckles to your phone screen, this was it.

Quick app switching

Found only in devices running Android 7.0 Nougat and above, quick app switching is easily the most intuitive gesture I’ve ever come across. It takes moments to get used to and just minutes to become reliant on.

Switching back to a phone that doesn’t support quick app switching is one of the most painful Android experiences you’ll ever endure. Who would’ve thought that something as simple as double tapping the recent apps button would become such a cornerstone of the Android experience basically overnight?

Camera shortcut

This has been my favorite hardware shortcut since it first appeared. The Moto X may have been the first device (as I recall) to provide a quick camera shortcut, but that awkward wrist flick gesture was goofy and slow.

Then, HTC’s “press a button and raise the phone in landscape orientation” combination came a little closer to getting things right, but it wasn’t until the Galaxy S6 and Nexus 6P that all my dreams were fulfilled (I have bland nerd dreams, what can I tell you).

Google Camera best camera apps for android

I personally prefer the power button shortcut to the home button version found on Samsung devices, mostly because I’m less likely to accidentally hit the power button twice whereas I found myself continually in the camera on the S6 when I didn’t want to be.

When I got the OnePlus 3 after that with the same functionality, I hoped it would quickly be adopted by all manufacturers. We’re not there yet but I can still hope. Some ideas are so good and so fundamental to the platform that they truly deserve to be gifted to all OEMs without any pesky patent claims to get in the way out our enjoyment.

Double tap to highlight words

If you do as much translating of foreign words as I do, or simply copy hashtags, URLs or other snippets of text on the regular, then being able to double tap to instantly highlight a word (or double tap and swipe to highlight phrases) is a godsend.

It’s far from the sexiest double tap shortcut on this list but its easily the one I use the (second) most, right up there with quick app switching.

google pixel xl initial review aa (33 of 48)

Honorable mention: fingerprint scanner gestures

Now, this shortcut doesn’t rank as highly as the others because its only available on a couple of Huawei phones and the new Google Pixels, but being able to use the fingerprint scanner as a tool for bringing up the notification shade, navigating menus and swiping through image galleries is brilliant.

But the double tap functionality I’m talking about here is the double tap to clear all notifications gesture (which isn’t supported on Pixels). I have to admit that the use cases of some scanner gestures can get a little lost because you don’t typically have your index finger resting on the scanner for that moment your gallery app launches. In those cases it’s much simpler to just swipe with a fingertip on screen.

But for unlocking your phone, dragging down the navigation shade, reading your notifications and then clearing them all away, the fingerprint scanner gesture and double tap combo is a one-stop shop of fantastic. I’m not sure how far scanner gestures will ever spread, but Android 7.1 on the Nexuses doesn’t seem to support them (apparently due to a missing piece of scanner hardware).

What are your favorite Android features? Best gesture shortcuts?

…read more

Source:: android authority


Evernote now supports Android Nougat’s app shortcuts

By Kris Carlon


The most recent update to

Long-pressing the Evernote icon on your launcher in Android 7.1 will reveal four default options: Search, Simple Note, Audio, Camera. As with other Android 7.1 app shortcuts, you can also drag the shortcut to your home screen to create a shortcut to the shortcut. The app shortcuts work both on the home screen as well as in the app drawer.

This is the first non-Google app we’ve seen to support Android 7.1’s launcher shortcuts, but it definitely won’t be the last. If you spot any other app updates delivering this functionality, be sure to tip us or hit the comments to share. The Evernote update also delivers “note stats”, improvements to the note-taking camera’s auto-focus and bug fixes.

Do you like this feature? What app needs shortcuts the most?

Want to know when you’re likely to get Android Nougat?

…read more

Source:: android authority


YouTube reinstates that GTA V exploding Galaxy Note 7 video

By Kris Carlon


The video of the GTA V mod featuring an exploding

sdaddy345 submitted the claim, got his video reinstated and promptly published the entire correspondence with YouTube so we could all see how it went down. Samsung’s DMCA revolved around the video being a copyright violation, but it would appear YouTube changed its mind about that being the case.

Writing to sdaddy345 in one of the published emails, YouTube acknowledges that the Samsung complaint “lacks one or more legally-required elements of a copyright takedown notice”. It’s safe to say that Samsung will attempt to submit these missing details in the coming days, but for now the video remains live.

Whether the video does indeed infringe on copyright (all sdaddy345 did, after all, was screen record a video game), the video has been re-uploaded on many other channels already, so it isn’t going anywhere.

Of course, Samsung may not be able to prove copyright infringement, leaving sdaddy345 to enjoy the YouTube fruits of his labors. The video has been viewed over one and a half million times already, which amounts to somewhere in the vicinity of $1,500.

Is this all a bit of fun or a serious issue? Seen any other funny Note 7 jokes?

…read more

Source:: android authority


Why Apple’s A10 chip “blows away the competition”

By Kris Carlon


This article first appeared on our sister site, Tab Times.

Credit where credit is due: Apple’s A-series chipsets are pretty impressive. Despite only recently stepping up to the quad-core table, Apple’s processors have traditionally stood their ground very well against the likes of hexa-core and octa-core SoCs from the likes of Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek. So how does Apple do it?

Read also: Apple iPhone 7 vs the Android competition

The Linley Group set out to find out just that. The chip research group tasked teardown experts Chipworks with disassembling the A10 Fusion chip and explaining the secret sauce that makes Apple processors so formidable.

The iPhone 7 delivers better performance than even some low-end PCs.

According to Linley Gwennap, the director of The Linley Group, “Apple’s investment in custom CPU design continues to pay off, as the new iPhone 7 delivers better performance than any other flagship smartphone and outscores even some low-end PCs.”

According to Gwennap’s research, the Apple A10 used in the iPhone 7 is notably faster than the Samsung Exynos 8890, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and the Huawei Kirin 955.

The A10 delivers “nearly identical performance” to Intel’s Skylake processors.

Furthermore, Gwennap notes, “Apple’s new CPU actually compares better against Intel’s mainstream x86 cores,” claiming that the A10 delivers “nearly identical performance” to Intel’s Skylake processors, primarily due to its high performance Hurricane architecture.

Gwennap even forecasts an ominous future for Intel: “Apple’s CPU prowess is beginning to rival Intel’s. In fact, the new Hurricane could easily support products such as the MacBook Air that today use lower-speed Intel chips.”


The A10’s Hurricane cores do all the heavy lifting while the Zephyr (which translates to “light breeze”) cores perform energy efficient tasks, following ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture. Hurricane reportedly delivers 35% better performance over the Twister cores found in the A9, “boosting both the clock speed and the per-clock performance”. Meanwhile, the Zephyr cores reduce battery consumption.

It might be easy to ignore all this as typical Apple-focused grandiloquence, but Gwennap has data to back up the claims. Chipworks pulled apart the A10 chip, exposing its dual Hurricane and dual Zephyr cores and found some interesting things that set the A10 apart from the competition.

The A10’s Hurricane cores are about twice the size of other high-end mobile CPUs.

The biggest revelation was just how huge the Hurricane cores are. At 4.18 mm2 they’re “about twice the size of other high-end mobile CPUs”. Even the smaller Zephyr cores are much larger than their low-power counterparts – “nearly twice as large as Cortex-A53”. But does size really matter?

Apple iPhone 7 gold Apple logo camera

In this case, it does. According to Gwennap’s research, “die size is an important metric, since it drives both cost and power”. And herein lies the crux of the argument. Despite their gargantuan size, Apple cores are not necessarily more powerful than other chipsets per square meter. But Apple chips “make up for it in efficiency per clock cycle, thanks to a better “instruction per clock” rate”.

Apple’s advantage is its ability to spend money.

There’s a lot of technical stuff going on in the analysis I won’t bore you with, but Gwennap essentially boils it all down to something we all already know:

“Apple’s advantage is its ability to spend money. Die area is expensive for a processor built in leading-edge 16nm FinFET technology….Because Apple sells phones, not chips, adding a few dollars of die cost is of little importance if the resulting high performance enables it to sell more $600 products.”

Whether you believe throwing money at performance is the right move compared to keeping costs down and optimizing everything instead (remember, Apple chipsets don’t always have the best performance per square meter), Apple has at least demonstrated its approach makes a lot of money in the end.

Who do you think makes the best chipsets? Is speed or stability more important to you?

…read more

Source:: android authority


How games make money: an interview with Noodlecake Studios, publishers of Alto’s Adventure

By Kris Carlon

best free android games


AA: Alto’s Adventure is arguably one of the ‘simpler’ Android games that is still massively popular right now. Why do you think Alto’s is so successful and what are your thoughts generally on the balance between complexity and mobility?

RH: I think Alto managed to walk the line between simplicity and beauty perfectly. The gameplay really couldn’t be much simpler, which instantly makes the game accessible to a mass audience.

Having a simple control scheme with easy to understand goals laid out is something everyone can get on board for.

Sure, hard-core gamers might be looking for more depth in things like tricks and whatnot, but having a simple control scheme with easy to understand goals laid out is something everyone can get on board for.

Combine that with an absolutely gorgeous art style that is ever-changing due to the dynamic weather system, and you have this perfect package for mobile games. It’s fun to play, easy to understand and beautiful to look at. What else do you need?

AA: Do you think simplicity is the key to instant uptake? Or at the very least a big help? The same kind of simplicity could be said to exist in Pokemon Go, where the basic gameplay is very easy to pick up and play. Or do you think Pokemon Go’s instant appeal is more likely down to other factors, like nostalgia, the novelty of AR or its huge community?

RH: With Alto and many mobile games, simplicity is a huge factor. The average session time of mobile games is extremely short compared to console gaming. Even more so with free games versus paid, so you have to hook players immediately. If the game presents too much tutorial and complexity before actually getting to the “fun” of the game, your drop-off rate is going to be massive.

Pokemon has that simplicity and novelty of real world gameplay but so do a ton of AR games that came before it. Next to Mario, Pokemon is the biggest franchise in Nintendo’s storied history. If you equate this to a snowball starting to roll down a hill getting bigger and bigger, other AR games started like a golf ball, but Pokemon Go started out more like the boulder from Indiana Jones.

best VR games for Google CardboardSee also: Best VR games for Google Cardboard11

AA: With the launch of Alto’s Adventure on Android TV and Amazon Fire TV recently, you obviously see potential for longer gaming sessions on larger screens, even with a mobile-first title. Have you got data to back that up or are you working on a hunch? And to what degree does the paid aspect affect session duration? Have you seen longer gaming times on iOS (which is a paid app) versus Android where Alto’s is free?

RH: Alto is just one of those games that looks great on small screens but we felt would look even better on a big TV. There was demand from TV-based Android consoles like Android TV and the NVIDIA Shield to bring the game to these platforms so it was a combination of our love for TV gaming and their desire to feature the game on their platforms which lead to that decision.

Paid games always result in longer session times.

In general we have found that paid games always result in longer session times just due to the fact that players feel more invested in the title since they paid for it. This makes perfect sense.

Right now we do not have a lot of data to go off of to make an apt comparison between the two operating systems, but what I can say is that the f2p version of Alto’s Adventure boasts an impressive 4.4 minute average session length, with over 5 million sessions lasting 30+ minutes.


AA: Has the free-to-play nature of Alto’s on Android led to more in-app purchases, or does the game price on iOS drive Alto’s money-making ability? How does having a game that’s free on one platform and paid on another affect revenue?

RH: The f2p version of Alto has resulted in a ton of downloads, but the main revenue driver is not IAPs but instead opt-in video. The IAPs account for less than 1% of all revenue on the platform, just reinforcing the fact that the average player would rather watch an ad than pay for anything.

IAPs account for less than 1% of all revenue, reinforcing the fact that the average player would rather watch an ad than pay for anything.

AA: Having said that, do you think developers are generally better off either pricing their games up-front or offering video ads to skip ahead rather than offering a multitude of IAPs? Has Alto’s seen better revenue from iOS’ up-front purchase price or Android’s video ad revenue?

RH: Unfortunately I can’t speak to the revenue numbers of Android versus iOS as we did not release the game on iOS. I do know that it really does depend on the game though.

Mobile players tend to have a preconceived notion of quality with certain games. This comes down to many things such as the look, previews, developer history and store placements. Certain games just feel premium while sometimes others don’t. None of them are wrong though and each have their own merits.

If you go free, you are banking on mass adoption or perfected monetization within the game. If you go premium, you need much less in terms of downloads to achieve the same revenue.

Free games are more popular by nature and have the ability to usurp premium in almost every way financially.

However, as the grossing charts show, free games are just more popular by nature and because of that, have the ability to usurp premium in almost every way financially.

If you …read more

Source:: android authority


Facebook finally acknowledges that some newsworthy content is NSFW

By Kris Carlon


Moving forward, Facebook will work with its partners and community to decide what is deemed significant and important. But it only takes a quick look at recent scandals to see why Facebook has finally decided to loosen its iron grip on what is publishable.

The Facebook live video of Philando Castile’s shooting obviously resonates here as one of the most significant live streams in memory. Facebook came under scrutiny for removing the video and later reinstated it due to its significance for public debate.

Facebook also copped flak for removing the historical Vietnam War-era “Napalm girl” photo because it exhibited nudity. That said, Facebook intends to “allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them”.

Do you think this is a positive move? Or is Facebook’s censorship a good thing?

…read more

Source:: android authority