In last week’s poll we asked which phone announcement from Mobile World Congress 2016 was your favorite. This year we got to see another amazing spread of brand new smartphones like the LG G5 and the new Sony Xperia X Series. There was plenty to be excited all over the place.

We gave you six options in last week’s poll: “Samsung Galaxy S7,” “LG G5,” “Sony Xperia X Performance,” “ZTE Blade V7,” “Alcatel Idol 4″ and “Other.”

In first place with 51 percent of the overall vote, was the Samsung Galaxy S7. The LG G5 took second place with 28 percent of the vote. In third place, at only 9 percent, was a tie between the Sony Xperia X Performance and Other. The Alcatel Idol 4 managed to scrape into fourth place with 3 percent, and the ZTE Blade Z7 came in last with just 1 percent of the total vote.

So did your favorite win? Or was your favorite not on our list this week? Sound off in the comments, and let us know!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Each phone you put in the Gear VR is great, but if you want the best possible experience you should choose wisely.

All Gear VR experiences are not created equal. Many of the newer, more capable apps don’t run on the Galaxy Note 4. Using a Galaxy S6 means you get about 45 minutes of play time before you’re scrambling for power. The Note 5 is the only current-generation Gear VR phone that doesn’t give you overheat warnings when connected to power for more than a few minutes while playing a game. It’s all the same Oculus-based system, but the details matter if you plan to be using that free Gear VR Samsung is offering for a limited time.

This means you have a choice to make, as we discovered in our forums. Do you go with the Samsung Galaxy S7, or the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge? There are advantages and disadvantages for both, and we’ve got them outlined for you right here.

Samsung built the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge so they are nearly identical inside. In fact, the only differences between these two phones are display and battery capacity. As it turns out, those are two of the most important things to consider when using the Samsung Gear VR.

Screen size in and of itself isn’t as important as pixel density. Remember, the Gear VR takes your display and holds each half up to a parabolic lense. Denser pixels means you’ll have a better image, which in turn means your visual experience will be better. If the visual experience is the most important thing to you, the Galaxy S7 will be the phone you want.

While both phones have the same functional resolution, the pixel density on the S7 is greater than that of the S7 edge. You won’t notice a difference in normal, day to day activities, but when held under that magnifying lens the difference will be clear.

Battery capacity in this instance has two meanings. First, and most obviously, the larger Galaxy S7 edge will last longer in the Gear VR. Larger battery means more time for watching Netflix and blowing up spaceships, both of which are quite a bit of fun on the Gear VR. The second detail, which is less obvious, is heat management.

Taxing the processor means a greater draw on the battery, which means more heat is generated in both places. Same goes for anyone charging their phone while playing, you’re creating more heat. The larger surface of the Galaxy S7 edge will dissipate heat faster, which means fewer opportunities for overheating when playing your games.

Choosing between these two phones for the Gear VR isn’t easy, but it’s all about what you expect to get out of the experience. If you want the best possible visuals, you want the Galaxy S7. If you plan to be spending a lot of time inside the Gear VR, the S7 edge is more likely to be the better overall experience. Either way, you’ll have everything you need to thoroughly enjoy yourself in VR.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Fallout Shelter, the popular mobile game based on the post-apocalyptic franchise, will be getting a major update later this week. The 1.4 update will add a much-requested feature for the sim-based game: crafting.

Here is what’s included in the 1.4 update:

  • Turn worthless junk into useful items! Introducing… crafting!
  • New Rooms! Build the new Weapon and Armor crafting rooms and use them to create your own items in game!
  • Lunchboxes now contain a bonus 5th card: Junk! Trust us – it’s more useful than it sounds. Lucky wasteland explorers may also find junk on their adventures.
  • Take the Overseer role to the next level. Build the new Barbershop and customize the look of any Dweller.
  • Keep up with the latest fashions! Find new Outfits and Weapons straight from Fallout 4 in lunchboxes, or craft them yourself!
  • Because four-legged companions bring overwhelming happiness, we’ve added new Dogs and Cats, and are introducing… Parrots! Plus, new Pet bonuses!
  • Time of day is now properly reflected. Because authentic Vault simulation is our #1 goal!

You can download the free-to-play Fallout Shelter right now in the Google Play Store.

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The Sony Xperia Projector — still an experimental “Concept” for the moment — shows how a smart projection system could serve as a hub for your family’s digital lives.

In additional to products like the Xperia X series and Xperia Ear smart earpiece, Sony’s Mobile World Congress presence was big on “Concepts” — work-in-progress experimental gadgets intended to show the firm’s future direction. One such device is the Xperia Projector Concept, a connected sensor-plus-projector system designed to serve as a digital hub for your home.

In its current (and very much unfinished) state, the Xperia Projector is a small box capable of projecting images onto a surface directly adjacent to it, and sensing touches on that surface. In essence, it can turn a table or wall into a rudimentary touchscreen. The built-in camera, Sony tells us, will be able to detect someone approaching the unit, and even recognize individual people within a home, showing them specific notes or reminders accordingly.

The brief demo setup shown at MWC starts with a large clock display with calendar notifications on the right, and notifications like missed calls on the left. A right swipe brings you to a family calendar, complete with photos and notes attached to each date, one of a number of interactive slides in this proof-of-concept. Others include recipe readout, a notepad, through which you can draw on the wall or table with your finger, and a recipe readout.

Unlike the Xperia Agent, Sony’s other experimental projector gadget, this device is supposed to serve more as a digital hub than a personalized assistant. It also lacks some of the personality of the Agent, with its cutesy design and cartoon-like movements. But maybe you’re looking for something a bit more neutral in a shared device.

Like all Sony’s Concepts, it’s unclear what, if anything, the Xperia Projector Concept will develop into, but the technology at the heart of it has all kinds of interesting possibilities. Check out our hands-on video above to see the Xperia Projector in action.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

HTC is now accepting pre-orders for the HTC Vive. For now, HTC is limiting pre-orders to just one HTC Vive per customer, but that will likely change within the coming days as HTC can get a clear picture regarding demand … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

New HTC One M10 details

29 February 2016

The HTC One M10 is coming and it’s going to feature a bold new design and a “very, very compelling camera.” While details like these are typically followed by images and Tweets from “a trusted source,” HTC is the one … Read More

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 | Posted by | Categories: HTC |

Our weekly app picks

It’s Appday Sunday and that means we’re back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

Jared DiPane — Promo Codes V2

Promo Codes was originally released to everyone through Google Play, and it appears as though it grew a bit to quickly with little understanding. The developer had to end up changing the app and has released a second version. The concept is still the same, you try and win promotional codes for paid apps or in-app purchases, but this time you need an invite to download it.

The idea behind the invites is to help grow the right type of user base, as you now need to know someone using the app to get in. The more that people spend as a result of discovering a new app from Promo Codes will ultimately help the developer bring other developers with promo codes on-board. If you want a chance to win some free apps, be sure to try this out. And remember, if you don’t win it doesn’t hurt to pay for an app if it looks great. Support developers!

Download: Promo Codes 2 (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand — Stack

Stack is a beautiful and simple game where your goal is to try and stack blocks as high as you can. The blocks come in from the right and the left, and you need to tap the screen when they are perfectly aligned with the top of your stack. Any overlap gets cut off, and the top of your stack gets smaller.

It’s addicting. I’m OK with that, because the simple graphics are absolutely gorgeous and the one-touch controls are perfect for a game on a phone. Even the audio is oddly satisfying. What I don’t like are the ads that randomly pop up, so I paid the $1.86 for the ad-free version. That’s $0.13 less than the cup of coffee I bought this morning, and well worth it.

Download: Stack (Free, ad-free as $1.86 IAP)

Russell Holly — Galactic Nemesis

There’s nothing quite like a well made arcade-style game to suck up all the time you should be spending doing other things. Galactic Nemesis is straight out of my childhood, only with a finger on the screen instead of on a cabinet in a dark room full of quarters and cheap pizza.

Shoot the bad aliens, upgrade your ship, shoot the bad aliens some more. It’s simple, straightforward, and more fun than it probably should be. Enjoy!

Download: Galactic Nemesis (Free)

Jen Karner — Neko Atsume

There is no reason I should enjoy playing a game where all I do is try to collect cats. Yet, that’s exactly what Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector is. You play by luring kitties to your yard with a variety of treats, food, and toys for them to play with. When they show up, all you really do is take pictures of them being cute. It’s ridiculously small, and simple…and yet after two months it’s still on my phone.

You’ll quickly realize different cats are lured by different things. Put out the right kind of lure and you’ll see special cats show up, like Ramses the Great. When cats enjoy visiting your yard they’ll leave you gifts of normal fish or goldfish. Those fish are the currency you’ll use to buy expansions on your yard, food for the cats to eat, and of course toys.

Download: Neko Atsume (Free)

Andrew Martonik — MLS Soccer 2016

I get to talk about the latest iteration of the official MLS Soccer app but once a year, and the week before the season kicks off is a perfect time for it. Being a young league with a young following, MLS does a pretty great job with its digital strategy — in its website, match streaming, social media presence and its official app.

Each year the app gets better, and in 2016 it’s basically just refined and improved from the big overhaul last year. The new News & Videos section has a much friendlier layout, the sidebar sorts things in a simpler way so you don’t have so many options and the individual articles don’t seem to have a format that gets broken with complex posts.

Perhaps most importantly, the app retains its great functionality as a way to get notifications about your favorite clubs, see match details for the entire league and even watch full matches streaming to your phone or tablet. There’s still Chromecast support (with an MLS Live subscription) here, too, which I use on a weekly basis every year.

This app will obviously only appeal to those who want to follow local league soccer in the U.S., but if you do it’s a no-brainer to have it on your phone and tablet.

Download: MLS Soccer (Free)

Phil Nickinson — MultiWindow Toggle

I’ve grown to enjoy Samsung phones more over the last year or so, mostly thanks to the Galaxy Note 5. What I’m not a fan of is grabbing the top of the screen to extend the notification area and instead shrink whatever app I’m in down to multi-window status. I just don’t use multi-window at all. I don’t want to use it. And Samsung doesn’t give us a way to turn it off.

This app does. And that’s all it does. OK, it also lets you put a toggle in the quick settings. But that’s it. No muss, no fuss, no more multi-window. Hersey, I know. But it’s my heresy.

Download: MultiWindow Toggle (Free)

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Google has really been knocking it out of the park with a diverse set of commercials related to its “be together, not the same” marketing campaign, and the latest iteration debuted during the Oscars. Even though Rock, Paper and Scissors are historically at odds, the latest commercial shows them on the same team.

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Back from Barcelona and down to business.

If there’s ever a week that’s guaranteed to be absolutely insane, it’s the week of Mobile World Congress. MWC 2016 was no exception, bringing a huge number of new devices to the mobile party.

Let’s start with Android: we finally got to check out the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its bigger and curvier S7 edge stablemate. As well as the modular metal LG G5. And the quite impressive Xiaomi Mi5. Plus the Sony Xperia X and X Performance and Alcatel Idol 4S.

Not to be left out, Microsoft was on hand at MWC as well, showing off the insane new HP Elite x3, targeted at business users with optional desktop and laptop Continuum docks. Huawei unleashed the powerful Matebook and Alcatel went after entry-level customers with the Alcatel Plus 10. Plus Lenovo’s Yoga 510, 710, and MIIX 310.

Apple’s fight with the FBI continued, and you can expect it to continue for some time across the media, courtrooms, and boardrooms across the world. [Apple filed their formal legal stance on the issue), claiming that the FBI has neither the law nor the U.S. Constitution on their side. We’ll see how this is going to play out, but we expect it’s going to take a very very long time to reach a final resolution.

All that and much much more in this edition of Mobile Nations Weekly!

Android Central — An MWC hangover

This was the week of Mobile World Congress, and that means there’s a lot to talk about here.

Plenty happened at the show itself, from smaller phone announcements to some information coming out of interviews with company representatives, but some of the biggest news just simply coincided with the show, happening at outside venues instead. Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, LG brought out the modular G5 and Xiaomi took the wraps off of its spectacular Mi5.

Here are some of the biggest MWC stories:

Believe it or not, there was also some non-MWC news that happened this week:

CrackBerry — Acquisitions

Although Mobile World Congress was light on hardware news for BlackBerry, the company still had plenty to announce including new partnerships, new acquisitions and new company initiatives.

iMore — No cancerous GovOS for us!

FBI vs. Apple continue to dominate the news cycle this week, with the government hitting the blogs, Apple hitting the courts, and everyone else hitting the web to talk about it.

Meanwhile Apple’s March Event approaches, which means we’re getting close to a new 4-inch iPhone 5se, an iPad Air 3 that might end up being more iPad Pro mini, and plent more.

Come, walk with us!

Windows Central — Pivot

Microsoft has been busy once again this week releasing Windows 10 build 14271 for both Fast Ring Mobile and PC Insiders on the same day. The company has only done that one other time, but with 2016 upon us and backend changes to OneCore, more updates on both platforms for Insiders is to be expected. Speaking of, production builds of Windows 10 Mobile build .107 is now going out to more phones including the AT&T Lumia 950.

The purchase of Nokia’s mobile division never sat right with Microsoft’s focus as a software company, which is why the acquisition of Xamarin makes so much sense. Xamarin makes very popular cross-development tools for iOS, Android and Windows and Microsoft plans to make Universal Apps truly universal.

Finally, early in the week HP unveiled the Elite x3, which is the most powerful Windows Phone to date. Targeted for enterprise the phone can operate as a mobile, laptop, or desktop device using Continuum. The phone is a remarkable feat of engineering if only because HP has jammed every piece of modern technology into it. The phone should ship by late summer. Read our Elite x3 FAQ to learn more and check out our hands-on video.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Protect your Nexus 6 from drops and scratches without covering up its design with these durable hard cases from Amzer. The clear polycarbonate shell is matched with a flexible rubber bumper for an enhanced grip. Grab one in black or white today and save 60 percent.

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