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Lightroom for Android 2.1 introduces manual camera controls and more

By Team AA

Adobe Lightroom AA

Adobe’s Lightroom for Android first introduced an in-app camera in version 2.0. Now the team is back with version 2.1, which further expands control over the app’s camera, alongside a few other improvements. Easily the most important change in this latest update is the addition of manual controls for the camera ISO, white balance, shutter speed and focus. These new tools have been sorted them into a box Adobe is calling “Pro Mode.”

You can also now launch the Lightroom camera app via a widget, which saves you from having to make a detour through the core app first. That’s not all that’s new, though.

Adobe Lightroom AASee also: Adobe Lightroom for Android receives huge 2.0 update, gains in-app camera and much more2

Adobe Lightroom for Android will now see out and fetch full res photos from any end-point in your Lightroom ecosystem. You can export those images from the app without having to scale them down, and the update for the iOS version of the app suggests you’ll be able to do more with those raw images soon.

Though Adobe didn’t set a timeline for an Android arrival, Lightroom’s iOS team has been working on a “raw technology preview” that’ll allow users to modify raw files from their mobile devices. Edits to a raw image will reflect across all instances of a that photo in a Lightroom ecosystem.

Elsewhere in the update, Adobe dished out some miscellaneous bug fixes. But what it didn’t deliver was support for meta data delivery, though Adobe’s Josh Haftel, Digital Imaging, said the team is working on fulfilling the this commonly requested feature.

Overall, this isn’t a massive update, but it’s great to see that the recently added in-app camera has been further upgraded. What do you think of the update? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.

Get it on Google Play
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Source:: android authority

    

AT&T wants to use drones to improve network service

By John Dye

AT&T Logo

Shutterstock

Yesterday, Louis CK and a handful of other comedians held a standup show at the NRG Arena in Houston. Traffic stalled the show as hundreds of fans arrived late, but those who were already in their seats were delighted to discover that they were within comfortable range of a nearby lure-upgraded PokeStop. Alas, the surge of LTE traffic coupled with Pokemon Go’s already buggy server issues meant that Pokemon Masters in the arena went without collecting anywhere near as many pokeballs as they had hoped. AT&T wants to make sure that never happens again, and they want to use drones to get it done.

In an announcement today, AT&T painted a curious picture. “Imagine you’re at a concert watching your favorite band,” writes John Donovan, chief strategy officer for AT&T Technology and Operations, “and out of the corner of your eye you notice a tethered drone hovering nearby.” While some might suspect that this drone is present to capture footage of the show, AT&T has a different goal in mind. They want to use these kinds of drones to temporarily boost LTE wireless coverage.

xiaomi mi drone (2)See also: Xiaomi’s first drone starts from just $3808

These particular little drones are called Flying COWs (Cell on Wings), and they are just part of a widespread initiative that AT&T has kicked off that involves extensive and creative use of drones to improve their network in a variety of ways.

The company has revealed that they have entered the trial phase of this national drone program. Their team boasts decades of history in the fields of military, flight control, and tech experience. LTE augmentation isn’t their only ambition with drones. The team is also using them to remotely inspect cell towers and detect spotty service, allowing them to adjust their networks in real time.

The carrier has revealed that they will be making further announcements regarding this drone program at their SHAPE Conference in San Francisco later this week. The event will also include a live demonstration of their drone technology. While we wait for more details regarding AT&T’s drone implementation, let us know what you think of it in the comments below!

AT&T LogoRecommended: Best AT&T Android phones20

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Source:: android authority

    

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review

By Jimmy Westenberg

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 AA 3

Buy now from Amazon

Xiaomi is all over the place in the technology world. The Chinese company first came to the scene with its MIUI firmware back in 2010, and has since moved on to creating its own Android smartphones, televisions, tablets, and so much more.

One of the most interesting products the company has in its lineup is the Mi Band. Announced in August 2014, Xiaomi’s first Mi Band wearable aimed to bring basic activity tracking to the masses thanks to its seriously low $13 price point. Now Xiaomi is back with a new, more expensive fitness tracker – the Mi Band 2.

With an OLED display and a new design, does the Mi Band 2 have what it takes to make its way to your wrist? Let’s find out.

Here is our full Xiaomi Mi Band 2 review.

Review notes: I’ve been using the Xiaomi Mi Band 2 as my main fitness tracker for 20 days. The HTC 10 has been my smartphone companion of choice for the duration of this review.

Design

Aside from the strap, the Mi Band 2 doesn’t really look anything like the original Mi Band. It still comes in the form of a dongle that fits snugly into a silicone strap, and it’s thin and light enough that you’ll forget you’re wearing it most of the day. One of my biggest problems with the first Mi Band is that it feels cheap. I mean, I know it is cheap at only $13, but the silicone strap was too plasticky for my liking. The Mi Band 2’s strap is much more rubbery and soft this time around, which I really like.

The OLED display is nice… indoors

I won’t talk too much about price just yet, but you should know that the Mi Band 2 is a bit pricier than its predecessor. It retails for around $40-$50 here in the US. Why the bump up in price? Xiaomi decided to include an OLED display this time around, which I must say is very nice most of the time. Indoor visibility is just great, but it’s pretty tough to read outdoors in the sun. In fact, trying to check the time on a run just isn’t possible at times, but I suppose having a display is better than not having one.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 AA 9

Xiaomi says the .42-inch display is also UV coated, scratch resistant and anti-fingerprint. I haven’t gotten any scratches on mine, but fingerprints do show up quite a bit. The display can get very smudgy and greasy.

Underneath the display sits a snazzy capacitive button that lets you filter through the current time, steps, distance, calories heart rate and battery. You can also check the time by simply lifting your wrist, though I’ve found this feature to be more laggy than what other fitness bands offer. Sometimes the time delays for about 2 seconds before showing up. This definitely won’t make or break your experience with the device, but it’s still something worth noting.

Xiaomi also says there will be more colorful band options available at a later date, but as of writing this review we’re not sure when the bands will launch.

The Mi Band 2 also comes with an IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. This means you can wash your hands without taking it off, but you shouldn’t go swimming with it.

Features and performance

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 AA 1

The Mi Band 2 does everything you’d expect from an entry-level fitness tracker. It tracks your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and your sleep. And for the most part, it’s very good at tracking all four of those metrics.

I’ve taken the Mi Band 2 out on a few runs with the Fitbit Charge HR and Garmin vívosmart HR, and all three devices have given me similar results. In terms of step tracking, the Mi Band 2 recorded 7,055 steps taken on a run, while the Charge HR recorded 7,058. During a second workout, the Mi Band 2 recorded 5,022 steps, while the vívosmart HR recorded 5,018. Basically, if you care about step tracking and you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative to other fitness bands, the Mi Band 2 will definitely do the trick.

Fitbit Charge HR vs Garmin vivosmart HR 5See also: Fitbit Charge HR vs Garmin vívosmart HR8

The device will automatically record your workouts in the Mi Fit app, which is quite convenient. It can sometimes take a minute or two to recognize when you’ve started exercising, but it still should be accurate enough for most people.

Sleep tracking is one of this device’s strongest features

There’s much more to an activity tracker than step tracking, though. The Mi Band 2 will also record your light and deep sleep, and it does a pretty good job at both. It will automatically detect when you go to sleep, so there’s no need to open the app and press a sleep now button. Once you wake up, you can check all your sleep stats in the Mi Fit app. You’ll be able to see how much light and deep sleep you experienced, how many minutes you were awake, as well as the exact times you fell asleep and woke up.

The Mi Band 2 also supports silent alarms, so you can wake up with a subtle vibration if you aren’t a fan of noisy alarm clocks.

Xiaomi Mi Band 2 AA 14

The …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Official Discogs app hits the Google Play Store

By John Dye

discogs app

For those not in the know, Discogs is a crowdsourced database of music renowned for having an impressive listing of a variety of genres and formats. Discogs is especially well regarded for their large collection of electronic music and releases of vinyl media. Right now the service boasts over 7 million releases by almost 4.5 million artists across nearly a million labels, and now all of that can be right at your fingertips with the official Android app.

Discogs for Android is seeking to be your go-to resource for cataloging your music collection, seeking out new music, and verifying prices of releases. If you’re a record collector running an Android daily driver, then this app is probably going to look pretty tempting. For some, Discogs is the end-all, beat-all in terms of physical music collection organization.

Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play MusicSee also: Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music59

Not only will you be able to catalogue your collection on the go, letting you check and see if a record is already in your trove before you buy it, but you’ll also be able to price check records on the fly. Maybe you can find a better deal online than what you’re seeing at the record store. Easy camera scanning makes this process absolutely seamless.

Moreover, joining up with Discogs puts you in contact with a broad community of music enthusiasts who turn to each other for recommendations and advice. Click the button below to give the app a whirl. Discogs is free and has no-in app purchases. Try it out, then let us know what you think of it in the comments!

Get it in the Play Store best music streaming apps for androidNext: Best music streaming apps and services for Android38

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Source:: android authority

    

Alcatel Idol 4s hands on: new surprises

By John Velasco

Alcatel idol 4s hands on 5

Almost hard to imagine at this point, but it’s already been over four months since Mobile World Congress 2016. Time surely does go by quickly, in an instant in some cases, but for Alcatel, it has quietly been planning and prepping for the anticipated launch of its newest smartphone over the last couple of months. After a lengthy wait, consumers won’t have to wait much longer as Alcatel has revealed the Idol 4s will be launching officially through the company’s website starting on August 3rd – where it’ll be slapped with a cost of $399.99.

The Alcatel Idol 4s isn’t much of a stranger to us, given that the phone received a Best of MWC award for us for its impressive laundry list of specs, affordability, and a new premium looking design that kind of reminds us of Samsung’s new design language with its flagships. Between the Idol 4s’ announcement back at MWC until now, the company used the time to be more strategic in its plans for release by giving accompanying the phone with a couple of new surprises.

The first, of course, is instantly recognizable as we take peek at the back of the phone. During MWC, the Alcatel Idol 4s units on hand had these stickers slapped right beneath the camera lens. Looking back on it now, they were intentionally placed there because it wasn’t made clear whether or not the phone would indeed have a fingerprint sensor. Well folks, that can be put at rest because there’s one right there at our disposal. It’s flush with the surrounding area and also features the same glass finish, so it’s definitely a treat that solidifies its package.

Meanwhile, the other unexpected treat with the phone’s impending release is the special bundle price that it’ll be flaunting during its pre-order period. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the phone will fetch for $399.99, which includes the phone itself, VR goggles, 2.5D tempered glass screen protector, JBL headphones, and a case for the phone from Alcatel’s accessory partner Incipio. Most people will agree that the $400 cost is already good enough, but Alcatel is sweetening the deal by offering this bundle for $50 less at $349.99 for those who pre-order the phone starting on July 15th! Now that’s more tempting!

Alcatel idol 4s hands on 9

Beyond those two things, the addition of the fingerprint sensor and the pre-order bundle price of $349.99, the Alcatel Idol 4s is the same exact phone we first feasted our eyes on back at MWC. Right from the get-go, its glass-meets-metal construction is a standout on its own, exuding that premium feel without the premium cost attached to it.

The specs sheet, too, is something worth drooling over as it includes a 5.5-inch Quad-HD AMOLED screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, microSD slot, 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture lens, 8MP wide-angle front camera, 3000 mAh battery, 3.6 watt JBL certified speakers, NFC and dual-SIM. Best of all, it’s completely unlocked!!

Alcatel idol 4s hands on 2

What’s also astounding is the ingenious packaging of the phone, which incorporates the VR goggles to accommodate the phone. Best of all, it’s VR-ready right out of the box – so there’s no unnecessary cost to you. Based on the trends so far, $400 seems to be roughly the sweet spot that many companies have been striving for with their smartphones.

Already, we have the OnePlus 3 at that same price point, but Alcatel’s offering with the Idol 4s doesn’t intend to be forgotten anytime soon – or left in the dust either. We’re itching to see how this smartphone performs, so stay tuned for our full review! What do you think of the new and improved Alcatel Idol 4S, its $349/$399 price tag and the inclusive VR bundle? Let us know your views down below, vote in our poll and check out our original Idol 4S hands on from back at MWC!

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Source:: android authority

    

If you think Facebook is a battery hog, check out how much work they put into performance testing

By John Dye

facebook phone rack

Photo via Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

If you think Facebook’s mobile app is a battery hog, you might be surprised to learn exactly how much work the social giant is putting into battery and performance optimization. For most developers, testing their smartphone app on a handful of key devices is generally more than enough rigor to ensure that user experience will be by-and-large acceptable. But since Facebook is one of the most widely used services in the world, their testing process is a bit more complex.

Did I say a bit more complex? I meant several orders of magnitude more complex. Enter Facebook’s Mobile Device Lab. It’s an entire facility dedicated to endlessly test Facebook’s mobile apps on an ever-growing legion of older smartphones.

Facebook-1See also: Facebook’s new, more adaptive news feed shows you more of what you want5

Located in a vast facility of Prineville, OR, this lab has something in the ballpark of 2,000 different smartphones, all running Facebook apps. Whenever developers create a new version of an app, they upload test versions to all of these smartphones. These devices are then rigorously tested to see if there is any dip in performance or battery life.

Antoine Reversat, a member of the production engineering team, explains that even a single line of code can produce regression on some devices, but not others. Because of this, Facebook has thrown a lot of weight into regression analysis. Since much of the developing world is using smartphones that are two or three years old, and these devices represent a massive userbase.

this lab has something in the ballpark of 2,000 different smartphones.

It’s true that whole companies exist to perform the kind of testing that Facebook is doing here, but the social giant prefers to keep their analysis in-house. Although many testing utilities use software emulation to check a slew of different devices on a single computer, Facebook has opted for on-device testing. “We wouldn’t be able to track down a 1 percent performance regression in a simulator,” says Reversat, indicating that such a drop would be sufficient cause for concern.

As the number of different devices on the market continues to explode, Facebook anticipates a correlating growth in their testing center. Currently devices are organized on 60 server racks, each capable of housing 32 smartphones. Plans are already in the works to expand that capacity of each rack to 64 devices.

ZTE Blade S6 Plus aa batteryTips and Tricks: How to extend your Android’s battery life51

In spite of all this testing, Facebook is still widely regarded as a notorious battery hog, and even users of more recent smartphones have been hopping to alternatives like Swipe. What do you think of Facebook’s substantial testing facilities for older smartphones? A waste of resources or a necessary undertaking? Give us your feedback in the comments below!

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Source:: android authority

    

Pokemon NO! is a Chrome extension that mutes this torrent of online Pokemon content

By John Dye

pokemon go

If you haven’t heard about Pokemon Go, then I can only assume you’re some kind of super-entity with powers of incredible selective attention. The AR mobile game has become absolutely ubiquitous over the last week, and it’s getting to the point where some people are really damn tired of hearing about it. That’s where Pokemon NO! steps in.

If you’re someone who is sick and tired about hearing about Team Mystic and Bulbasaurs and server downtime, and if you really wish your office building wasn’t directly between three “PokeStops,” then this just might be perfect extension for you. Once installed, Pokemon NO! functions pretty similar to adblock programs, only instead of blocking advertisements, it scrapes away any Pokemon related content leaving clean, white space. Ahh~

See also: Pokemon Go already bigger than Tinder, soon to surpass Twitter13

You’ll even get a little anti-Pikachu popup, if you want, which lets you know exactly how many Pokemon references have been purged from your online experience. The jury is still out on whether this extension is designed for the fun of it or one intended for practical use. Either way, it certainly highlights just how far the Poke-craze has gone in terms of raw bandwidth command.

Click the button below to grab Pokemon NO! From the Chrome web store. Give it a spin, then let us know what you think of it in the comments!

Get the Chrome extension Pokemon Go teaserNext: Pokemon Go incites a 136% increase in PokePorn consumption on PornHub14

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Source:: android authority

    

Report: LG might launch the ‘V20’ in early September

By Bogdan Petrovan

LG V10 Hands On-23

If the G5 is the dud that reports paint it to be, LG really needs a hit in the second part of the year to revive its flagging mobile business. The shot in the arm may come from the successor to last year’s V10, that, rumor has it, will be launched in early September.

ETNews, a credible Korean tech publication, reported today that both Samsung and LG would bring forward the release of their respective flagships.

According to industry sources, Samsung would release the Galaxy Note 7 right after its Unpacked event on August 2. That’s opposed to last year, when the Note 5 was launched on August 13 and started shipping from August 20.

: Galaxy Note 7 – everything you need to know

The more interesting morsel of info though concern the successor to the LG V10. ETNews says that, while the name of the device hasn’t been decided, there’s a good chance it will be called LG V20, rather than LG V11.

Furthermore, LG is said to be bringing up the V20’s launch from late September/October to early September. The reason why LG is keen to release the V20 earlier is the opposite to Samsung’s motivation: while Samsung wants to capitalize on the strong performance of the Galaxy S7/Edge and transition to a new hit, LG wants us to forget the bad taste left by the G5 and get excited about the shiny new V20.

Of course, launching in early September means that the V20 will have to battle for attention with Apple’s iPhone 7. But that may still be preferable to launching in October or later, which is somehow outside of the crucial Fall season.

There are no other useful details in the ETNews report regarding the V20, but we can speculate that we’ll see the LG V20 be released during IFA. With the Note 7 out of the way, the Berlin tech show is ripe for an LG takeover.

It’s important to note that this report doesn’t sound very conclusive. The plans for the LG V20 (or V11) seems to be still in flux, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the device ends up later than anticipated.

Let us know your thoughts.

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Source:: android authority

    

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are outselling the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in the U.S.

By Kris Carlon

Galaxy-S7-Edge-vs-iPhone-6s-plus-3of18

We all know Apple’s fortunes have been a bit all over the place of late: still raking in profits but experiencing declining sales. Well, this latest bit of news is probably handled best like a Band-Aid: just get it over and done with. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is outselling the iPhone 6s in Apple’s traditional stronghold of the U.S..

Galaxy-S7-Edge-vs-iPhone-6s-plus-14of18See also: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge vs iPhone 6s Plus59

New figures from Kantar Worldpanel confirm previous reports that Apple’s sales are in decline, but what the new report also reveals is that the combined efforts of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have been sufficient to dethrone the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus from the number one spot in America.

As Kantar analyst Lauren Guenveur notes, “in the three months ending May 2016, Samsung accounted for 37% of smartphone sales and Apple 29%….with the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge accounting for 16% of sales and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus at 14.6%.” The number of those switching from Samsung to Apple were still almost three times larger than in the opposite direction though.

Samsung accounted for 37% of smartphone sales and Apple 29%….with the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge accounting for 16% of sales and the iPhone 6s/6s Plus at 14.6%

But neither company is exactly going broke: “in both the US and UK markets, Samsung and Apple claim the entire top 10 list of smartphones sold. Only when expanding our view to the top 20 do we begin to see brands such as LG (in the US) and Sony (in the UK) make an appearance.” So while no Apple investors are likely to start living on the street, playing second fiddle to Samsung on home ground has got to hurt.

Galaxy-S7-Edge-vs-iPhone-6s-plus-7of18

Of course, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus came out several months before the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, so you can always take the “novelty factor” into account. But Apple has traditionally dominated sales in the U.S. regardless of when the latest Galaxy appeared. The figures would seem to indicate what many have been saying for months: Apple has failed to reinvent itself just as Samsung has done a good job of doing so.

Apple has failed to reinvent itself just as Samsung has done a good job of doing so.

Furthermore, Samsung’s customer satisfaction figures have skyrocketed. According to Kantar: “among those intending to change devices within the next year, 88% of current Apple users and 86% of current Samsung users intend to stay loyal.” With the even-more-refined Grace UX destined to appear on the Galaxy Note 7 next month, Samsung may win over even more loyalists in the latter half of the year.

Does this surprise you? Do you think the trend will continue?

Up next: Why is Apple still able to command such high prices?

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Source:: android authority

    

Deal: get the OontZ Angle 3XL Bluetooth speaker for $79.99 (40% off) on Amazon

By Bogdan Petrovan

oontz angle 3xl

OontZ speakers may not have the brand recognition of Beats or Bose, but they are known for their excellent value for money. Normally selling for $130, the OontZ Angle 3XL Bluetooth speaker takes the value up a notch, if you buy it today on Amazon.

Amazon has the OontZ Angle 3XL going for $79.99. That’s almost 40% off the normal selling price and the lowest this device has ever got on Amazon.

The 20 watt RMS OontZ Angle 3XL put out big sound. That’s a recurring theme across reviews, so if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker than can fill out the room – or drown out the noise of a party – you can give the Angle 3XL a shot. The loudness doesn’t come at the cost of clarity though. One thing to note is that the OontZ Angle 3XL don’t output the really “thumpy” bass that some people prefer, so if you like to listen to a lot of hip hop or other bass-heavy genres, there might be better options for you.

The OontZ Angle 3XL have an excellent review score of 4.6 stars out of 5, across 170 reviews on Amazon.

Buy now on Amazon

If the Angle 3XL isn’t your thing, but still want a nice Bluetooth speaker you can’t go wrong with the devices on SoundGuys’ Best Bluetooth Speakers of 2016.

Happy shopping!

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Source:: android authority