The successor to the LG V10 is just around the corner. Here’s a primer on what we know so far.

In any other year, the LG V20 might have been just another Android phone. But the follow-up to the decent but underappreciated V10 has one unique trick up its sleeve — it’ll be the first handset to arrive with Android Nougat preloaded. And that turns what might’ve been just another Android “phablet” into a milestone device for the platform.

Ahead of the September launch event, let’s take a look at what we know so far about LG’s next big thing.

1. The first phone shipping with Android 7.0

Google’s Nexus devices are already starting to get Nougat, but the honor of first phone shipping with the new version of Android goes to the LG V20. LG — a company that’s proudly boasted of software “firsts” in the past — has announced that its device, not any future Nexus phone, will be the first with Android 7.0.

The V20 is even prominently promoting the V20 on its Android Nougat website, showing a holographic cutout of the phone.

That render also pours cold water on hopes that the LG might have switched to a more barebones UI atop Nougat; instead the screenshot shown on Google’s page looks almost exactly like the UI of the LG G5.

2. It’ll probably be modular

One of the more reliable leaks to surface thus far points to the V20 being LG’s second modular phone, following in the footsteps of the G5. While that handset didn’t achieve universal acclaim — our Phil Nickinson described it as “great cameras attached to a modular mess” — LG was likely already committed to a modular V20 by the time the first reviews emerged.

Expect a cross between a V10 and a G5.

CAD renders of the phone leaked by Steve Hemmerstoffer (a.k.a. @onleaks) show a G5-style camera protrusion, a secondary display and another release switch for plug-in modules.

If the renders are accurate — and Hemmerstoffer has a decent track record here — then we’re looking at a more angular handset than the G5, but with a similar dual-lens camera setup around the back, a larger display (estimated around the 5.6 to 5.7-inch mark) and secondary ticker display, along with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. But the real surprise? It’s looking increasingly likely that the V20 will be LG’s second modular phone.

The renders show a G5-style release switch on the bottom right side of the phone, and what appears to be a clean join between the bottom section of the phone and the body. It sure looks like we’re in for another LG phone with swappable modules.

MORE: LG V20 could be another modular phone

3. Big screen, secondary ticker display

Of course the whole point of the V20 is that it’s a big-screened counterpoint to the G5, and as such we’re expecting a similar 5.7-inch screen size. (And, we’d hope, a battery that at least matches its predecessor’s 3,000mAh cell.) The V10 was also the first mass-market phone to feature a secondary ticker display above the main screen which can be used for app shortcuts, notifications or cutesy messages. This feature got a mixed reception last year, but it looks like LG is undeterred, as leaked renders from Evan Blass reveal a similar setup in the V20 — alongside a relatively subdued dark grey chassis

It’s difficult to make out fine details in an image of this size, but it also appears that the V20 will lose its predecessor’s twin selfie cameras, instead most likely using two cameras around the back, like the G5.

MORE: LG V20 leak confirms secondary ticker display

4. Killer audio output

As LG continues to trickle out nuggets of information ahead of the V20′s launch, one of the more interesting revelations has centered on the phone’s audio capabilities. It’ll purportedly be the first smartphone with a 32-bit quad DAC (digital to analog converter) for improved high-resolution music playback. The component comes from audio firm ESS, which provided the 32-bit DAC for the V10.

LG is also talking up a continuation of the partnership with Bang & Olufsen, which created the B&O Play module for the G5. The company claims the V20 will “feature best-in-class audio functions developed in partnership with B&O PLAY.” It’s possible that means another plug-in module from B&O, though that’s not explicitly mentioned.

5. Launching September 6 in San Francisco

LG’s launch is sandwiched between IFA and the new iPhone.

LG will hold the V20′s launch event in San Francisco on Sept. 6, within days of the major announcements taking place at IFA 2016 in Berlin, and perilously close to Apple’s expected iPhone 7 launch event. That means we can expect the phone to be widely available in the U.S. — and likely LG’s home country of Korea as well.

However we’ve heard nothing official on any Euro release plans for the V20, and given that the V10 never got a widespread European launch, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

What’s the best wireless charger for Galaxy Note 7? Any that are Fast Charge-enabled!

The Galaxy Note 7 has a big ol’ 3500 mAh battery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to last you all day if you push the phone hard. That huge 5.7-inch screen and high-end specs take a lot to power and you might need to charge up throughout your day.

A wireless charger lets you remain free of annoying cables, so you can just pick up your phone, do what you need to do, and put it right back on the charger. There are a ton of wireless charging stands, but not all of them are compatible with Samsung’s Fast Charge.

We’ve rounded up the best of the best and all of these chargers are Fast Charge-enabled so that you don’t have to wait around all day for a fill-up.

Note: For all of these charging stands and pads (except Samsung), you must use the wall adapter that came with your Note 7. Otherwise, you’ll be getting regular Qi charging and not Fast Charge.

Samsung Fast Charge Qi wireless charging stand

The best route to go when looking at proprietary charging methods is the manufacturer itself and Samsung’s Fast Charge Qi wireless charging stand is the sure-fire way to true Fast Charging for your Note 7.

Samsung Fast Charge wireless charging stand review

This model is upright, so that you can keep an eye on your Note 7 and keep it on display without having to stop charging.

The Samsung Fast Charge stand even comes with a Fast Charge wall adapter, just in case you lost the one that came with your phone or would rather keep it by your bedside and have an extra to carry around with you.

See at Amazon

Seneo Fast Charge wireless stand

Seneo’s stand is another great option that lets you keep using your Note 7 without having to interrupt charging. It’s a larger charger (rhyme time!) than Samsung’s, but that just means more support for your Note 7 and less rocking back and forth if you’re using the S Pen or texting with your thumbs.

The nice part about this stand is the way the coils are placed – you can charge your Note 7 vertically or horizontally, so you can keep your movie or YouTube video while charging.

An excellent safety feature is the LED indicator which turns blue when the stand is receiving power and turns green when it begins charging your Note 7.

If you like your Note 7 to remain upright while charging so that you can remain productive, then check out Seneo’s wireless stand.

See at Amazon

Pleson wireless charger

Pleson’s wireless charger is your typical wireless charging fare in a stylish, clear package that has a sleep-friendly LED indicator that turns on to let you know your Note 7 is charging and turns off after 10 seconds.

The neatest thing about the LED indicator is that it tells you whether or not you’re charging normally or Fast Charging. Blue is normal and a green indicator means Fast Charge.

This charger also features surge and short circuit protection, so you won’t fry your big, beautiful, expensive phone.

If you like an unobtrusive wireless charging pad that allows you to make sure you’re fast charging, check out the Pleson wireless charger.

See at Amazon

Nekteck Fast Charge wireless charger

Nekteck’s Fast Charge wireless charging pad is your classic black wireless charging pad that reliably gets the job done.

It’s got a rubber ring on the bottom so that it isn’t slipping and sliding all over your desk or table and its LED indicator will let you know when your Note 7 is charging.

If you want a sharp-looking, reliable wireless charging pad, check out this one from Nekteck.

See at Amazon

Itian Qi charging stand

Itian’s upright charging isn’t just Fast-Charge compatible — it’s only for Samsung phones with Fast Charge capability. That’s probably a bit downside for some who may have other Qi phones now or in the future, and something to seriously keep in mind.

This is a 10W charger, so you’ll want to be somewhat careful with it, but don’t fear it. It does exactly what it’s supposed to: Fast Charge your Note 7. It will only work if you place your phone on it vertically; horizontal is a no-go.

If you want an exclusively Fast Charging wireless charging stand, then Itian’s stand is the only way to go.

See at Amazon

What keeps you charged?

Are you using an awesome Fast Charge wireless charger not mentioned here? Sound off in the comments below!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Second life

29 August 2016

What’s the best way to enjoy this column? With a big cup of Kona.

I like good coffee. Anyone who knows me well knows that I obsess about it. Good beans, a high-quality grinder, and time. Patience. Every morning, I stumble downstairs, boil some water in my well-used Hario gooseneck kettle, and proceed with the ritual: grind, weigh, pour-over. It takes five minutes, longer than many people are willing to wait for good coffee, but to me it’s a rule, not an exception. There is nothing better than that first sip of bright Kenyan coffee as the sun pours in through the blinds, the radio on in the background, sounds of voices familiar and present, comforting.

I think everyone needs these rituals to look forward to each day, to fill in the gaps between the rote and mundane.

I also play dodgeball. It’s something I’ve done for almost ten years, and I’ve broken almost that many fingers (often the same one multiple times). It’s always a conversation starter — “Like the movie?” No, nothing like the movie. Better! — but it’s also an entirely different world than my day-to-day. I get to leave my pinging phone in my bag for two hours, and channel my troubles into a winning score on the court. Cliché, sure, but there’s a reason exercise is the best thing you can do for anxiety.

We are publishing fewer articles overall, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.

As the Northern Hemisphere cools, and the days shorten, I have to remember to really appreciate the rituals, the breaks in the norm, and the opportunities to pull away from the myriad screens that keep me tied to my work, and increasingly my friends and family, day after day.

You’ve seen some of that realignment of thought on Android Central since I took over as Managing Editor, publishing fewer articles, with an emphasis on quality over quantity. In the next few weeks, you’ll see an even greater emphasis placed on individual writers (with some big announcements), and a new approach to news that will hopefully find a compromise between the news ticker (that we admittedly rolled out too early) and the high-quality analysis you expect from a site of AC’s reputation and influence.

As I said in my introduction, my mandate is to make Android Central, and Android as an idea, more broadly accessible to everyone. We already have Jerry doing an amazing (AMAZING!) job delving into the parts of the ecosystem in a way that is both accessible and comprehensive. I’m so excited to read his Saturday column every week, and you should be, too.

Many people just want to know which phone to buy at a certain budget, or what case to get for their brand new Droid.

But many people just want to know which phone to buy at a certain budget, or what case to get for their brand new Galaxy S6, or Moto G4. AC should be accessible and valuable to those who arrive randomly after fastidiously making their coffee in the morning, or returning from the gym, or hanging with friends. People whose phones are a part of their day, not their entire day. I love that we can, and will, cater to both audiences.

We have a busy week coming up. IFA is just around the corner, and you’ll start seeing a trickle leading into a flood of announcements from almost every company whose tendrils even graze the Android ecosystem. Last year we got new smart watches from Samsung, new phones from Huawei and Sony, and some pretty big surprises. I’m excited to see what these same companies have learned in 12 months.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your week!


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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Pokémon Go is shockingly popular. But it’s not the most stable app at the moment.

With tens of millions of players hitting the game, there are bound to be a few issues — particularly when the game relies on your phone’s internet and GPS connections, as well as Niantic’s servers.

Rather than have you track down things all over trying to fix issues, we’ve rounded up common Pokémon Go problems, and some solutions to fix them! Read on.

Pokémon Go not available in your country yet

Yes, this is perhaps the biggest issue with Pokémon Go … it isn’t available everywhere just yet! Niantic has been quickly adding more countries to the Play Store as it grows capacity, but for many the wait is quite frustrating.

Dedicated individuals have started to side-load the app in order to use it in other areas, though we really don’t recommend that. There are malicious fake Pokémon Go apps out there, and installing one is bad news for your phone.

If you eventually decided to go the route of side-loading the app, it’s very important to re-enable the “unknown sources” security check in your phone’s settings so you aren’t leaving your phone open to issues in the future.

More: Pokémon Go not available in your country? Here’s what’s going on

Pokémon Go not available on your phone or tablet

The demands to run Pokémon Go aren’t all that high, but there are a few things you’ll need to have in order to properly play. You’ll need a phone running at least Android 4.4. KitKat, and you’ll also need a mobile data connection as well as GPS services — this isn’t an offline game in any way.

You can use Pokémon Go on a tablet, but if it’s a Wi-Fi only device and you’re trying to use it with a separate hotspot … it isn’t really worth your time. An LTE-enabled tablet will work just fine though! Devices with Intel processors also aren’t supported, which is a bummer — but at least you know that going in.

More: Does Pokémon Go work on your phone or tablet?

GPS problems in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go relies on mobile data and GPS to pinpoint you on a map so you can hit up PokéStops, catch Pokémon and battle at Gyms, so things kind of fall apart when your phone can’t get an accurate GPS signal. If you keep receiving the “GPS signal not found” error, there are a few things you can do, including making sure that you haven’t accidentally turned location services off, and if you have them on make sure they’re set to “high accuracy” mode.

For all of the GPS troubleshooting steps, be sure to check out our dedicated guide below. And whatever you do, do not fake your location — bad things will happen if you do.

More: Fixing ‘GPS signal not found’ error in Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go draining your battery

No, it’s not just you — Pokémon Go is a battery killer. Keeping your screen and processor ramped up playing the game, plus constant GPS and mobile network use, with a little camera thrown in, and your phone’s battery is going to drain quickly. Thankfully, you can save some battery live by turning down your screen brightness and turning off the display intermittently while you’re walking around.

Check out all of our battery-saving tips below, and if push comes to shove, consider getting yourself an external battery to keep your phone powered up for long Pokémon Go sessions.

More: How to save your battery while playing Pokémon Go

More: Best external battery packs for Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go data usage

Since Pokémon Go requires you to walk around outside to collect Pokémon and hit up PokéStops, you’re going to be out of Wi-Fi range and using your mobile data. Everything is downloaded on the fly, to make sure you can keep current with the other players, and that means you’ll definitely be using mobile data. Thing is, it doesn’t actually turn out to use that much data when you’re playing — maybe 20-30MB per hour you’re walking around.

You can do a few things to keep data usage down, like latching onto open Wi-Fi networks in cities, but for the most part you should be cautious about how much mobile data you use in other apps while you’re out playing Pokémon Go. Remember to pre-download music or podcasts you may be listening to, and turn off auto-downloading of app updates and disable auto-loading of media in apps like Instagram and Facebook. Every megabyte saved means another megabyte to use on Pokémon go!

More: How much data does Pokémon go use?

Understanding Pokémon Go privacy concerns

There were some initial scares about how Pokémon Go was handling your private information — particularly in the iOS version of the app — but there are more real things to be aware of beyond that.

Pokémon Go collects data on where you move and what you do in the game, and can share that data anonymously and in aggregate with third parties. (Of course this is pretty standard stuff for any game of this kind, but knowing is half the battle.) You can always delete your account at any time, if you wish, but Niantic may hold on the data for a reasonable amount of time after you do so. When in doubt, read the privacy policy and terms of service for the game.

More: Understand the data collected when you play Pokémon Go

Have some other issues you’re trying to work out while playing Pokémon Go? Our forums are filled with tons of questions and answers that could hold the information you need!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |