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Tesla’s Model 3 can now benefit from the wonders of the Tesla Motors app

By Scott Adam Gordon

Tesla’s Model 3 electric vehicle is the least expensive of its current lineup and has been in limited production since July this year. As such, there are likely to be more takers for it in the months to come, and future owners may be keen to explore all of the opportunities it provides.

Those people may also be excited to know, then, that Tesla has now updated its dedicated Tesla Motors app to include support for the Model 3. Tesla’s app offers a wealth of features for owners of its cars, including the ability to lock or unlock them, control the ventilation system to warm them up or cool them down before driving, and “summon” cars out of a parking space or garage if they include Autopilot.

See also:
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What’s more, the app also lets users remotely check on the charging status of a vehicle and start or stop charging it, as well as track its movement/location.

In related news, it was also reported yesterday that Tesla will cease production of its Model S 75 vehicle by the end of this week. The move follows comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk earlier in the year about regrets over the Model 3 naming convention; sales of its Model S EVs have apparently slowed as customers believe the Model 3 to be a new version of it.

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Source:: android authority

    

Huawei Mate 10 Lite may have already been revealed as Maimang 6 in China

By John Callaham

Sometimes Chinese smartphone companies launch a new handset in its native country under one name, and then make it available to the rest of the world under another branding. That appears to be the case with the newly announced Huawei Maimang 6. The phone will go on sale in China first, but is likely to be sold under the Mate 10 Lite brand outside the country later this fall.

See also:
Huawei Mate 10 series: Release date and price

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Huawei Mate 10 series: Release date and price

3 weeks ago

The Huawei Maimang 6 has a large 5.9-inch 1,080 x 2,160 display with a 18:9 aspect ratio. It also has Huawei’s in-house octa-core Kirin 659 processor inside running at at 2.36 GHz, along with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, plus a 3,340 mAh battery. The phone has four cameras. The rear contains a 16 MP main sensor and a 2 MP secondary sensor, while the front has a 13 MP camera and another 2 MP secondary sensor. A fingerprint sensor is placed on the back of the phone and it will be launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, along with Huawei’s own EMUI 5.1 skin.

The Huawei Maimang 6 will come in Obsidian Black, Streamer Gold and Aurora Blue colors. Pre-orders began in China today for the phone, which is priced at 2399 yuan, or about $364. The phone will officially go on sale in China on September 30. Huawei is expected to officially announce the Mate 10 series to the rest of the world at a press event in Munich on October 16. The rebranded Mate 10 Lite is likely to go on sale in Europe sometime in November.

What do you think about the specs and price for the Huawei Maimang 6, which may turn into the Mate 10 Lite? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Source:: android authority

    

5 best Final Fantasy games on Android

By Joe Hindy

best free android games

Final Fantasy is one of the most popular gaming franchises ever. It’s been around since the 80’s and there are dozens of games in the series. As it turns out, some of them are on mobile. We can help you find the very best ones. Here are the best Final Fantasy games on Android. Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition is coming out soon. Assume that’ll be on the list when it comes out.

Here are some more game lists featuring Final Fantasy and other RPGs!

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Console ported Final Fantasy games

Console ported Final Fantasy games

Price: $7.99 – $20.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Square Enix ported many of its console Final Fantasy games to mobile. That includes many from the main series. The options include Final Fantasy I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, and IX. Additional options include Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lion. The ports are all generally excellent. Some of the games even have new features and graphics. Final Fantasy IX has a fast-forward mode, for instance. The games can get rather expensive. However, you get the full experience with no advertising and no in-app purchases.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is among the most popular mobile Final Fantasy games. The story revolves around two heroes trying to save the crystals. You can unlock various characters from other Final Fantasy games to aid you in your quest. The game features raid bosses, tons of levels, public events, PvP, and more. It also includes dungeons and towns for you to explore. It’s a freemium game. However, it’s also one of the better freemium games out there There isn’t a whole lot wrong with this one aside from it getting very repetitive eventually.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Final Fantasy Dimensions

Final Fantasy Dimensions

Price: $13.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Final Fantasy Dimensions was one of the first Final Fantasy games on mobile. It features a lot of the elements that made the series popular originally. That includes a job system, an Active Time Battle system, and a huge, long story. The graphics are similar to Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V. That should make retro fans happy. It feels and plays very similarly to the older games in the main series. It is expensive. However, there are no in-app purchases or advertisements.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Final Fantasy Dimensions

Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Final Fantasy Record Keeper

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Final Fantasy Record Keeper is the definition of fan service. The game lets you recruit characters from various Final Fantasy games. You then play through scenarios from the older games. The premise is that you have to reset history to make sure everything happened as it was supposed to. The game also includes weekly events, various abilities and equipment to collect, and more. It’s another freemium game. It’s a little more aggressive in its freemium strategy than Brave Exvius. That said, reliving those old game memories can be fun for many.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY

Mobius Final Fantasy

Mobius Final Fantasy

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Mobius Final Fantasy is a fairly unique Final Fantasy title. It doesn’t follow the typical combat mechanics or story style of the main series or even the other freemium Final Fantasy games. It does have some similar elements, though. They include a job system, summons, and more. The story involves a hero that appears in a broken world. Your job is to play the hero and fix everything. It’s a bit of an over simplification, but I have limited space here. It’s a decent play. Just be ready for the very long introduction cinematics and tutorial.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Mobius Final Fantasy

Thank you for reading! Here are some more great game lists for you!

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If we missed any great Final Fantasy games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Are smartphones still getting faster? Does Moore’s law still apply?

By Adam Sinicki

Moore’s Law predicts that the number of transistors used on dense integrated circuits will double year on year. The theory belongs to Gordon Moore, who co-founded Intel and who had observed this trend up to that point in 1965.

Often though, this prediction has been extrapolated to apply to all technology. That is to say, that it is generally accepted that the rate of technological improvement should double, year on year. Take a look at the smart phone in your pocket. That device is hugely more powerful than a computer even just a few years old. To put it in perspective, it is millions of times more powerful than the computers at NASA that sent astronauts 356,000km across space from Earth to the Moon. That’s pretty incredible.

The smart phone in your pocket… is millions of times more powerful than the computers at NASA that sent astronauts 356,000km across space from Earth to the Moon

We’ve certainly seen a lot of growth in the past several decades then. And that also explains why we can now play console-quality computer games on the bus or film 4K video when we forgot to bring our ‘big camera’.

But is the hardware in our smartphone really still adhering to Moore’s Law?

The Galaxy S8 arguably doesn’t feel twice as powerful as the S7 or even the S6. The way we use our mobiles hasn’t changed dramatically in the last few years. And you can pretty much do everything you could want to now on a two year old flagship with relatively little compromise. So has smartphone technology finally peaked? Was Moore wrong?

Let’s take a closer look.

Specs now and then

Perhaps an obvious place to start is by looking at specs. How do the numbers in the latest phones stack up against their predecessors?

Seeing as I am a Samsung guy and I have a few lying around, let’s take a look at Sammy’s flagships and see what we find. I’ve also included some benchmark scores from Geekbench here, to demonstrate how these specs perform in the ‘real world’.

There is definite gradual improvement here but however you slice it, there’s no getting around the fact that the specs are not doubling and neither is the performance – at least on paper.

This could come down to manufacturers focusing on other features, rather than blindly adhering to Moore’s Law. Phones don’t just have to be faster year-on-year but also more beautifully constructed, more battery efficient, with higher resolution displays etc. CPU performance simply isn’t the sole priority – which could go some way to explaining why we’re not seeing a ‘doubling’ in improvement here.

But there’s more to it than that, of course.

A little about how CPUs work

Looking at the table above you can see that GHz and performance aren’t really related and looking at GHz alone will certainly give you a skewed picture.

Instructions given to a CPU are generally sequential in nature and will be queued up in a metaphorical ‘pipeline’ for the computer to execute. The clock speed tells you how quickly the CPU is able to fetch and execute each of these instructions. GHz is a measure of how quickly this can be carried out, with one cycle per second being represented as 1 Hertz. So a 2 GHz CPU can execute two billion cycles per second. The higher the GHz then, the more quickly the CPU can carry out its to-do list and the faster it will be able to run code.

But as Gary explains in a lot more detail here, it’s actually a fair bit more complicated than that. That’s because there are various tricks that a CPU can use in order to carry out more instructions per cycle or to carry them out more efficiently. For instance, CPUs will begin fetching their next instructions before their current instructions are complete and by breaking their ‘pipelines’ into multiple stages, this can be carried out more efficiently.

Likewise, an execution engine can be split into two separate units capable of running in parallel. This ‘instruction-level parallelism’ (ILP) means that more than one instruction can be carried out simultaneously.

(This isn’t a perfect system however as certain instructions inherently need to be consecutive!)

These efficiency tricks are often described as making the pipeline ‘wider’ and ‘longer’ and both these things can increase the instructions per cycle. There are limitations here (some tasks need to be carried out sequentially for instance) but this is another way to squeeze more performance out of a chip.

This means that in many cases, a CPU with a slower clock speed can still keep up with a faster one; it is going through fewer revolutions but it is doing more work on every go-around.

A CPU with a slower clock speed can still keep up with a faster one

That’s before we’ve even discussed the benefits (and minor drawbacks) of having multiple cores to juggle tasks, of being more efficient (to save energy, deal with heat and prevent throttling), or the cache (which stores useful information close-to-hand). And we haven’t looked into what the GPU does (handle certain kinds of tasks that are specifically useful for rendering graphics) or how bits and RAM factor in (holding information in memory).

The point is that the overall performance of your device is the result of many smaller elements all working in unison. The CPU is just one small part of the SoC, which is just one small part of the …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Former opera singer’s language learning app on its way to becoming most funded Kickstarter app ever

By Scott Adam Gordon

There have been a number of solid attempts at effective language learning apps in recent years, from the likes of the free Duolingo approach, to the award-winning Memrise and its subscription model. Fluent Forever could be the next great app to help you learn another language, as it has just been successfully backed on Kickstarter.

And it might become the most funded Kickstarter app project ever.

The project was launched by Gabriel Wyner, a former opera singer and writer of the Fluent Forever language learning book. Wyner’s language learning techniques are said to be less about trying to get people to translate words into a new language, but rather getting people to “think” in that new language. To do this, Fluent Forever relies not on simple one-for-one translations like [English word] = [Spanish word], but on building multiple associations. This means language learners have a larger pool of foreign words stored in their memory from which to draw on when trying to recall a specific term (you can watch the video here for a more detailed explanation of that).

See also:
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February 19, 2017

The Kickstarter project was funded to the tune of $100k within the first 53 minutes of its launch (according to its Kickstarter page), and now sits at almost $300,000 — well past its $250,000 goal just a few days into the campaign. If it passes the $332k mark, which, at the going rate, it surely will, Fluent Forever will become the most funded app on the website (ahead of current frontrunner Flag).

Wyner is seeking to bring the app to life in its final form by August 2018, and there are several tiers through which you can support it, running into the hundreds of dollars. Similar to Memrise, this will be a subscription-based app, with backers receiving different subscription deals depending on how much they pledge.

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Google Trips, Flights, and Destinations adds more countries and languages

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Like many of these Kickstarter projects, the reward tiers are flimsy however, with promises of “enough app usage to reach fluency” in a particular language. Personally, I wouldn’t trust such claims this far in advance of the app being put to the test, if ever. Learning a language is hard, yo, and success varies wildly from person to person.

Still, that’s not necessarily a reason to avoid backing the project — Wyner’s book has been well received and an audiobook version is included at the $25 tier, so you can get your hands on that as well support the campaign if you wish.

Take a look at the Fluent Forever Kickstarter page here, and let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google’s new trade in program can bag you up to $388 off a Pixel

By Scott Adam Gordon

Google has launched a trade in program via its online store ahead of the anticipated launch of the Google Pixel 2. The program allows customers to hand over an existing smartphone to save up to $388 on a Google Pixel or Pixel XL (though the Pixel 2 will likely be added once it’s available) from a list of eligible devices.

This is how it works: when you click the “Buy” button on the Google Pixel page at the Google Store, you will be taken to the configuration options (color, storage size etc) where you can click the “trade in your phone” button to visit the Trade In page. From here, you can select from one of the six manufacturers whose phones are currently available for trade in, and then proceed to select the individual device you wish to trade.

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Finally, fill out the short phone details and condition form to see how much money your device is worth — the figure will depend on a number of factors like whether it’s unlocked, turns on, and is free of any cracks.

The manufacturers currently supported in the program are: Apple, Google, LG, Samsung, Motorola and Huawei, and of these, only a few smartphones are available for trade in. From Huawei and Motorola, for example, only the Nexus 6P and Nexus 6 are available.

Here is the full list of the current trade in devices, with their price ranges:

  • Nexus 6: $35-$80
  • Nexus 5X: $82.50-$115
  • Nexus 6P: $113-165
  • LG G6: $35.20-230
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 5: $61-150
  • Samsung Galaxy S7: $52-$150
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: $40.40-$175
  • Samsung Galaxy S8: $59.60-$305
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus: $66-$345
  • iPhone 6: $35-$143
  • iPhone 7 Plus: $68-$388
  • iPhone SE: $30-$143

It’s a small and somewhat strange list of prices: no doubt few people would be willing to part with an iPhone 6 for just $35, especially since they can still be found being sold online for hundreds of dollars. It’s also odd to see that the LG G6, released with Android Nougat earlier this year, could be worth only as much as a Nexus 6 from 2014, or a little more than an iPhone SE, at the bottom end of the scale (though I accept that a broken phone is a broken phone).

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It’s still very early days for the trade-in store — you’ll find some quirks there like the weirdly formed “does your screen work properly and is free of cracks?” question — and it’s likely to be improved over time. Nevertheless, the current offers might strike some as disappointing overall; I guess that’s the price you pay for convenience. Perhaps once the Google Pixel 2 arrives, sometime after its expected unveiling on October 4, things will improve.

To check out the trade-in offers for yourself, you can visit the Google Store here. Do you think Google is offering a fair price for the hardware? Let us know in the comments.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

The HTC U11 Plus could be coming soon with an 18:9 display

By Matt Adams

It seems like HTC has been grabbing all the headlines this week. Despite selling off part of its mobile division to Google, HTC is still hard at work on what’s next. According to a new report, that could be the HTC U11 Plus. The U11 Plus would take up the 18:9 display aspect ratio that has swept the market in 2017 and pair it with high-end specs and…wait for it: a lower price. Here are the alleged specifications for the U11 Plus:

  • 5.99-inch JDI display with a 2880 x 1440 resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
  • 4 or 6 GB of RAM
  • 64 or 128 GB of UFS 2.1 storage
  • 12 MP main camera, 8 MP front-facing camera
  • IP68 Water resistance
  • QuickCharge 3.0
  • EdgeSense
  • U-Type USB headphones

There are a couple interesting points here. Pretty much everything listed lines up with the HTC U11 released earlier this year. The biggest differences are the front-facing camera (8 MP instead of 16 MP), a bump in water resistance from IP67 to IP68, and the new display. Since the U11 already had pretty great specs, HTC looks to be betting on the new display to differentiate the two devices.

Speaking of that display, we’ve seen 18:9 displays on a ton of devices this year. The LG G6 released back in March was the first widely-available phone with the new ratio and it seems like pretty everything since then has featured it. It some ways it feels like HTC is just playing catch-up by sticking a new display in the same phone it released several months ago. Can a cheaper U11 Plus with a more modern display make an impact or will it be passed over like most HTC devices already are?

According to speculation, the new device is a play to regain a foothold in the Chinese market, but it could be released in the West too. David Chen, Chief Operating Officer of HTC, is confirmed for a conference in China on November 11 where we expect to see new products launched. The previously leaked HTC U11 Life that we brought you exclusive details of and the company’s Android One plans will also be discussed at the conference.

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The history of Android OS: its name, origin and more

2 days ago

Hopefully, HTC is learning from its mistakes. It’s bringing more modern features to market in a quicker fashion, trying out new features like EdgeSense, and is reportedly going to lower prices. Could this be the start of a turnaround for HTC or just more of the same mistakes that got it into trouble in the first place? Let us know down in the comments what you think.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google announces zero-touch enrollment for enterprise customers

By Matt Adams

Setting up new devices in a work environment can be a long and tedious task. Each device must be taken through initial setup and then be weighed down with the relevant security protocols. Google is looking to remove this pain point for companies by launching a new deployment method called “zero-touch enrollment.”

Zero-touch enrollment sees supported devices show up at the door preconfigured. During the purchase process, companies can choose a leading enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider like VMware AirWatch, BlackBerry, MobileIron, IBM, SOTI, GSuite, or others. All you have to do is specify which EMM you want and the particular configuration. The device policies are then applied during initial setup. This is what the entire process looks like once the device gets to your door:

Starting today, Verizon Wireless will begin offering zero-touch enrollment on Google Pixel devices. The Huawei Mate 10, Sony Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact will be the first non-Pixel devices to support the program, with more on the way soon. On the hardware front, Google says it’s working with Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG, HMD Global, Motorola, Honeywell, Zebra, and Sonim right now on devices with additional OEMs to be added later. Samsung devices that ship with (or are later upgraded to) Android Oreo will also support zero-touch.

Over time, the scheme will roll out to other networks, too. Here in the states, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are all slated to participate. Internationally, BT, Deutsche Telekom, Softbank, and Telstra will join the zero-touch enrollment plan in England, Germany, Japan, and Australia respectively.

Do you think this new program will help sway businesses towards using Androids instead of iPhones in business settings? Let us know down in the comments what you think.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball is Cartoon Network’s latest wacky mobile game

By Scott Adam Gordon

Cartoon Network’s latest game, Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball, has now landed free to play in the Google Play Store. The platforming title sees you take control of Gumball Watterson as you direct him through levels (voids) using floating islands to help him reach the end.

The game is based on Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball TV series, and it looks like it will offer fairly lightweight platforming action. You can manipulate the floating islands to allow you to reach them, and use power-ups like the giant Gummy Hand to swing across gaps and Universal Remote to rewind time. Each level is also procedural generated, so you’ll never come across the same scenario twice.

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Oh, and you’ll meet the cast of characters from the show like Richard, Nicole, and not forgetting Banana Joe, along the way.

Wrecker’s Revenge – Gumball also includes gamepad support and there’s no talk of in-app purchases, though Cartoon Network says its other products and services are cross-promoted in-game.

It looks like a decent time-killer and you can download it in the Play Store via the button below. If you want to check out other titles featuring Gumball, like Agent Gumball or Sky Streaker – Gumball, visit the Cartoon Network developer page at Google Play.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Xiaomi’s next flagship might finally feature wireless charging

By Brian Reigh

It appears that Xiaomi has officially joined the Wireless Power Consortium, which means that its next flagship might be the first Xiaomi device to feature wireless charging.

See also:
The looming wireless power standards showdown (Updated with video!)

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The looming wireless power standards showdown (Updated with video!)

March 28, 2017

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Wireless Power Consortium: formed in 2008, its mission is to create and promote wide market adoption of the Qi wireless charging technology. It started to become a mainstream topic in 2012 when Nokia and Google both launched phones that supported inductive charging using the Qi standard. And it’s become a standard check-list feature for every flagship device ever since major Android OEMs like Samsung and LG started incorporating the technology into their smartphones.

Apple was the last multibillion dollar company to join the Consortium back in February, amid rumors that next-generation iPhones would at last bring wireless charging capabilities (which did materialize earlier this month, thank God). Well, curiously enough, according to the Wireless Power Consortium website, we should expect to see a big announcement from yet another multibillion dollar company in the near future: none other than Xiaomi.

It’s extremely likely that Xiaomi is preparing to launch devices that support the Qi standard although it remains to be seen whether the first Xiaomi-made phone with wireless charging will be the Mi 7.

Although the company hasn’t officially announced it, the Wireless Power Consortium website lists the Chinese tech company as one of its members. It’s extremely likely that Xiaomi is preparing to launch devices that support the Qi standard although it remains to be seen whether the first Xiaomi-made phone with wireless charging will be the Mi 7. This is great news since wireless charging has been one of the features that we lamented not seeing from past Xiaomi products, including the recently introduced Mi Mix 2. Not only that, the Qi standard is slowly gaining momentum around the world, with multiple fast food restaurants and cafes offering built-in wireless charging pads in select stores.

Would you say wireless charging is a deal-maker? Do you think Xiaomi will launch the Mi 7 with support for the Qi standard? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

…read more

Source:: android authority