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Sprint’s Nexus 6 is getting Android 5.1 today

By Evan Selleck

While Android 5.1 had been present on some Android One handsets already, Google made the update to the mobile platform official not too long ago, with wording that suggested the new software should be rolling out to some Nexus handsets sooner rather than later. As far as Sprint’s concerned, the update should be rolling out now.

The Now Network has updated its Nexus 6 support page to reflect the incoming arrival of Android 5.1 for the large handset. The new software will bump the version to LMY47D, which is the same version number as the Android 4.1 factory images that were released recently. According to Sprint, the new Android 5.1 will bring enhancements to sending MMS while in the UK, Factory Reset Protection, and a fix for a bug that was causing duplicate SMS to be sent randomly.

What’s interesting, is that Sprint’s Nexus 5 support page has also been updated, and it lists the same LMY47D software as incoming today. However, it doesn’t say that it’s Android 5.1, instead listing it as a simple Google Security Patch, with a few other tweaks behind the scenes as well.

Either way, if you have a Sprint Nexus 6 or Nexus 5, be on the lookout today for new software landing on your device.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Deal: Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for 70% off

By AA Deals

redesign_1287_VPNUnlimited_MF1

Having access to a VPN service is extremely important in today’s age. If you’ve ever used public Wifi, gotten your bandwidth throttled, needed to work remotely, or simply just don’t trust your ISP provider, then a VPN service might be for you. And thanks to the Android Authority Deals Store, you’ll be able to score a lifetime subscription to a service for cheap.

VPN Unlimited allows you to keep your data hidden and encrypted while you’re connected to a public Wifi network. You also don’t need to worry about traffic bandwidth, because your data usage will never slow down due to high traffic volumes. And with VPN Unlimited 3.0, you’ll get a list of fully downloadable global servers, the ability to switch servers quickly, and receive hands-on statistics for both mobile and desktop devices. Also in VPN Unlimited 3.0, servers have been added to Romania, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ukraine, Japan and Texas.

VPN Unlimited is compatible with Android devices running 4.0 and up, Windows devices running XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1, Mac devices running OS X 10.7 and up and the iPhone 4 and newer. It’s even compatible with Linux devices running Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 and Ubuntu 12.04+.

Thanks to the AA Deals Store, you can grab a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for only $39… that’s a full 70% off the suggested retail price. To take advantage of this deal, head to the link below.

Get this deal now

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Source:: android authority

    

Android 5.1 said to be rolling out to Nexus 6 today

By Andrew Grush

nexus 6 first impressions (17 of 21)

Earlier this week, Google formally announced Android 5.1 and immediately made factory images available for the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 10. So when might we see the latest version of Android come to other Nexus devices? While the image has yet to hit, Sprint has now updated its Nexus 6 support page to indicate that the update will hit N6 users starting today.

For those that aren’t on Sprint’s network, don’t worry, this update will apply to you as well. After all, there’s only one SKU for the Nexus 6, and so the update should be hitting everyone in reasonably short order. It’s also probable that the Nexus 6 factory image will be showing up sometime soon, at least if Sprint’s 3/11 release target proves accurate.

While we already have an idea of what’s new in Android 5.1, including the quasi-return of silent mode, Sprint’s changelog specifically points out the following:

• Factory Reset Protection
• Enhancements to sending MMS messages in the UK
• Fixed duplicate SMS messages being sent

We’ll be sure to update readers as soon as we get confirmation that the update is rolling out over the air, or if the factory images hit. Anyone get 5.1 on their Nexus 6 yet? Let us know in the comments.

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Source:: android authority

    

First Google branded store opens in London

By Rob Triggs

Google Shop London 2

Google had partnered up with Currys PC World to open its first branded store, located in the UK. The Google Shop is based inside the Currys PC World store on Tottenham Court Road in London, a popular area for electronics retailers in the capital.

Rather than a Google owned store, the front is more of an advertising exercise and mutual arrangement between the two businesses. All sales revenues goes directly to Dixons Carphone, but Google doesn’t have to pay any rent for the space. Inside the store, a range of Android phones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and Chromecast TV services are all available for purchase. The shop also holds tutorials showing consumers how to use the devices and various apps.

Inside the store, there is a large screen “Portal” that allows people to fly around the world using Google Maps and a “Doodle Wall” complete with digital spray-can.

“With the Google Shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer,” – James Elias, the U.K. marketing director for Google.

Although many electronics retailers are shifting more and more products online, there is still a lot to be said for hands-on experience before purchasing. The Google Shop could be as important for company brand recognition as it is useful for consumers looking to find their ideal gadget.

In addition to the Tottenham Court Road store, Google plans to open two more London-area shops. Currys Pc World stores in the London borough of Fulham and the Essex borough of Thurrock are both set to feature Google branded stores later in the year.

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Source:: android authority

    

‘The Google Shop’ is Google’s first branded store

By Alex Wagner

Ever wish you could go into a store and be surrounding by Google goodies? Well if you can make it to London, you can do just that.

The first Google-branded store has officially opened up. Named “The Google Shop,” it’s located inside the Currys PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London. The store sells Android phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and Chromecasts, and it also offers lessons in online security, classes to teach kids how to code, and events to let teachers try educational tools.

James Elias, Google’s U.K. marketing director, had this to say about The Google Shop:

“The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years. With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life.”

Google plans to open two more stores in Currys PC World locations in Fulham, west London, and Thurrock, Essex. There’s no word if we’ll see Google expand its shops beyond that, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea. The stores could be a good way to let consumers spend some quality hands-on time with Google products, form connections with them, and get help from employees that know all there is to know about Android, Chromebooks, and Chromecasts.

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Source:: androidandme

    

ASUS: you’re out of your mind if you buy a gold Apple Watch Edition

By Rob Triggs

Asus on Apple Watch Edition

As we have come to expect from Apple, its first smartwatch is priced right at the top of the market. It seems that ASUS is willing to call out the Apple Watch Edition as more than a little overpriced, and has posted a rather amusing image on Twitter to express its sentiments (above).

In case you missed the announcement, the Apple Watch Edition options begin with a retail price of $549. However, the 18K-karat or rose gold options start with a much steeper $10,000 price tag! For comparison, you can purchase the ASUS Zenwatch for a far more modest $199.99.

We rather liked the ASUS Zenwatch in our review, but it appears that the company has not managed to grab as much of the smartwatch market as its Android competitors, such as LG, Sony or Samsung, according to recent sales estiamtes. With that in mind, perhaps a more aggressive marketing campaign might be just what ASUS needs.

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Source:: android authority

    

More alleged LG G4 renders show front and sides… and an outdated logo

By Matthew Benson

LG-G4-Photos-Presse

nowhereelse.fr

2014 was a very good year for LG. Despite the fact that its smartphone market share didn’t actually increase, it saw mobile phone sales rise by over 10 million units. This was in no small part thanks to the LG G3 flagship, the world’s first mainstream device to feature a QHD display. The same handset would, just months later, then become one of the first mainstream devices to be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop, a feat that impressed even the most skeptical critics.

Yesterday we brought you a picture that claimed to be of an early press-render for LG’s 2015 flagship, the G4, which is expected to pack a 5.5-inch screen, Snapdragon 810 SoC and high resolution back/front cameras. Today, the leak has become more of a steady drip as the sides and front are now making rounds courtesy of none other than French website Nowhereelse:

LG-G4-Press-01 nowhereelse.fr

As you will notice, the device itself definitely appears to be curved, not just the back but also the front as well. This subtle curve appears to be similar to that of the new LG Magna and Spirit mid-rangers, which feature a slightly curved LCD screen.

The camera is also clearly a very large part of the top bezel which corroborates the rumors of a 5-megapixel front facing shooter. This might very well indicate there will be additional camera-related software on-board to take advantage of the component. Also note the sides which look quite similar to those of the Flex 2 and suggesting that, interestingly enough, the new bendable handset might have been designed along side the G4 as opposed to the G3 which many had assumed was the case.

One thing that is a bit curious (suggesting these renders might be quite old/early) is that the logo at the bottom of the device is clearly the pre-2015 version. Take a look at the G Flex 2 and see what we mean:

lg g flex 2 unboxing aa (6 of 31)

The G Flex 2 is the first device to feature LG’s new, smoother logo.

Notice the font used on the above image is much cleaner and thinner. More specifically, the bottom right portion of the “G” is rounded whereas in the old logo, it wasn’t. You can see this as well by taking a look at the company’s exhibition booth designs, with the old logo appearing on the left side, and the new logo on the right:

lg logo mwc 2015 1

Rounding out the leak, we have the side and back of the device which highlight the curve as well as suggest LG will once again be making use of metal-like plastics:

Note the presence of the old logo, again.
Note the presence of the old logo, again.
LG-G4-Press-03

Those fearing Korea’s other conglomerate may have pulled a Samsung and opted to create a uni-body design need not fear, as a pry point can clearly be seem along the bottom left side of the back, which may-or-may-not have self-healing functionality. While this will likely indicate the presence of microSD expansion, the G Flex 2 also featured a removable rear yet lacked the ability to swap out the battery. Hopefully LG will either seal-in an ample power cell or else allow owners to replace it.

lg curved edge display (2)

LG curved it because it can, but until a product releases it’s unlikely to have lots of fans.

Despite the fact LG’s G4 has yet to be officially unveiled, it hasn’t stopped the company from already trying to build up hype for an even more premium, higher flagship. While nothing is being hinted, we suspect it will either come in the form of a Galaxy Note-type G4 variant, or else a LG Curve which would make use of the company’s double dual edge display, similar to what Samsung has done with the Galaxy S6 Edge.

Any thoughts on the leaks? Assuming these pictures are indeed an indication of the final product, are you happy with the ergonomics?

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Source:: android authority

    

Smartwatch sales estimate places Samsung as No.1

By Rob Triggs

samsung gear 2 neo smartwatches aa 3

The Apple Watch may be grabbing headlines this week, but we know that the smartwatch market is already bustling with competing products. In fact, recent figures published by Statista suggest that over 4 million smartwatches were sold in 2014 and that Samsung is leading the field.

According to the data, Samsung’s Gear series has propelled the company to the front of the smartwatch market, with approximately 1.2 million smartwatches sold in 2014. Samsung products already account for 17.7 percent of the market.

Building on the popularity of its smartphone brand, Samsung has released a range of successive smartwatch products, has capitalized on the popular health and fitness aspect of wearables, and was also one of the first to market with a SIM-enabled smartwatch with the Gear S. Even so, Samsung’s lead is not as insurmountable as its grip on the smartphone market, especially given the potential room for growth.

Statista smartwatch sales estimate

The data is not limited to just Android based products either. Pebble, an early Kickstarter entry into the market, comes in second place with around 700,000 smartwatches sold, followed by FitBit on 600,000. The closest Android competitor to Samsung appears to be Sony, followed by Lenovo and LG, with Asus at the bottom of the top 10. The Moto 360 presumably falls under Lenovo’s brand now.

Although these sales estimates don’t come close to smartphone numbers, this evolving market is clearly healthy and diverse with competition. Do you see the publicity surrounding the Apple Watch producing a boom in wearables or will the market remain stuck as a niche?

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Source:: android authority

    

Samsung Galaxy S6 boasts the best display in the business

By Rob Triggs

samsung galaxy s6 edge aa 17

Samsung’s Super AMOLED display technology has shown continued improvements over the past few years, with the Galaxy Note 4 proven to have the best display in the mobile world last year, according to the discerning DisplayMate. The new Galaxy S6 is another showcase for Samsung’s in-house display technology, and there’s far more to it than just a curved screen and a higher resolution.

Samsung_Diamond_Pixels_2DisplayMate has put the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge through a range of demanding display tests, to see if it can top last year’s Galaxy S5 and the reigning Note 4.

For starters, both the S6 and S6 Edge are 5.1-inch Quad HD (2560×1440 pixel) displays, resulting in a density of 577 PPI and pixels that cannot be resolved by naked 20/20 vision at typical viewing distances. The pixels are laid out in a diamond sub-pixel pattern, meaning that there are only half the number of red and blue pixels as a standard RGB display. The only technical difference between the two comes from the flexible plastic substrate used to make the S6 Edge’s display bendable.

Time for a summary of the results, beginning with one of the most important factors – color accuracy. This metric is used to measure the accurate reproduction of content colors across the spectrum. Testing found that the Galaxy S6’s basic screen mode provides the most accurate image colors of any smartphone or tablet. The measured Absolute Color Error for the Galaxy S6 is just 1.6 Just Noticeable Color Difference, tied with the Galaxy Note 4. Any error less than 3 JNCD appears perfectly accurate to the human eye.

Readability in high-ambient light situations is also important for mobile products and the S6 excels here too. It has a screen reflectance of just 4.6 percent and an impressive maximum screen brightness of 784 cd/m2 (nits). As a result, the Galaxy S6 has a Contrast Rating for High Ambient Light that ranges from 118 to170, the highest that DisplayMate has measured for any mobile device. The previous champion, the Note 4, has peak brightness of 740 cd/m2 and a contrast rating of 100 to 156.

Galaxy S6 Display Color Reproduction

Samsung’s latest smartphone also measured an impressive 20 percent improvement in display power efficiency over the Galaxy S5. At 50 percent brightness the Galaxy S5 consumes 0.82 watts and the Note 4 consumes 0.85 watts, while the Galaxy S6 measured only 0.65 watts.

DisplayMate also notes that the Galaxy S6 has more than four times the number of pixels as the iPhone 6, significantly higher Absolute Color Accuracy, lower power consumption, and significantly better viewing angel performance.

Essentially, not only has Samsung increased the pixel density over the Galaxy S5, but has also managed to provide noticeable improvements to absolute color accuracy (up 27 percent), peak brightness (up 12 percent), contrast and readability in high ambient light (up 10 percent) and improved energy efficiency (up 20 percent). Importantly, the curved S6 Edge display shows no performance difference from the standard S6 and both are industry leading displays.

Samsung can add its latest AMOLED display as another notch for its technically impressive Galaxy S6. For the full report and details on the tests, be sure to check out the full article.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

You can enter Amazon’s $25,000 sweepstakes by downloading just one app

By Jimmy Westenberg

Amazon

If you think about it, you can buy just about anything you’d like from Amazon. So wouldn’t it be awesome to win $25,000 to spend on whatever you’d like? That may be possible, thanks to a new sweepstakes put on by the company. To help bolster its Appstore installs, Amazon is giving out a $25,000 shopping spree to a lucky Android user from the US. As long as you’re over 18 and live in the United States, you can enter.

To enter, you’ll want to first download the Amazon Appstore, which can be found at this link. Next, fill out the entry form on the contest page. After you fill out the form, you’ll be sent to a link that will either launch the Appstore or begin downloading it if you haven’t already. Once you’re inside the Appstore, simply download an application, free or paid, and you’ll be instantly entered into the sweepstakes!

The contest is going on now until Sunday, April 15th, and there’s only one entry allowed per user. So if you like free money (and who doesn’t), head to the source link below to begin the entry process.

If you had $25,000 to spend on Amazon, what new gadgets would you get?

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Source:: android authority