The phone that time (and Samsung) forgot finally gets a Nougat update.

Everyone was happy when Samsung decided to sell a factory unlocked Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge last year. First-adopters and enthusiasts wanted it and they got it. But nobody was happy when it was forgotten any time an update rolled around for carrier versions. If you were one of these enthusiasts and bought a Galaxy S7 edge, you need to start looking for your USB cable because Android 7.0 is available through Samsung’s Smart Switch desktop software.

The full change log courtesy of userFscC8dPJ4j at Samsung’s official forums:

  • OS upgrade – Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Provides new UX and various performance modes
  • Improved usability of the Notification feature and Quick settings button
  • Improved usability of the Multi window
  • Improved setting menu and AOD feature, addition of the Samsung pass feature
  • Efficient space for installation of downloaded apps, improved speed of system upgrade and app installation

According to information at Samsung’s forums, there is no OTA update just yet and no specific date when or if it will become available. The same goes for the “regular” non-edge U.S. unlocked Galaxy S7; no news when or how.

The update brings the April 1, 2017 security patch and is ready and waiting if you haven’t already flashed a T-Mobile ROM to your GS7 edge. If you give it a try or have already updated, holler in the comments so we all know how things are going!

Thanks to Tom for the tip!

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Haven’t found the perfect case for your new Galaxy? Take a look at Caseology cases!

Finding the perfect case for your brand new Galaxy S8 or S8+ can be a daunting task especially if you don’t want to sacrifice style for protection or vice versa.

Luckily for you, Caseology’s lineup for Samsung’s latest flagship phone caters to a wide variety of style preferences and protection needs. Plus, Caseology has added three new designs — the Coastline, Vault II, and Fairmont series — which means you have even more great options to choose from. Here’s a look at what Caseology has to offer for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.

Legion Series

If you’re looking for heavy-duty protection with a slim profile, look no further than the Legion series.

Caseology’s most rugged offering uses a dual-layer design consisting of a shock-absorbent TPU sleeve that protects your Galaxy from drops and the hard polycarbonate shell to avoid scuffs. Its matte finish on the shell will give offer you a better grip and comfort while holding the Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ in your hand, and the corners have extra cushioning to help protect the phone in case it does slip out of your hand.

The TPU sleeve covers the buttons along the edge of the Galaxy, preventing dust and dirt from getting through the cracks, while the bottom ports and speaker are readily available due to precise cutouts.

The Legion series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in gunmetal, rose gold, and orchid gray.

Coastline Series

Brand new in Caseology’s line up, the Coastline series offers excellent protection without taking away from the natural beauty of the phone.

This clear case is comprised of three different layers: transparent polycarbonate, a colored polycarbonate panel, and a transparent TPU frame. Dropping your Galaxy on the corners would usually end in a lot of tears, but the added cushioning in the Coastline series will help protect that glass and metal chassis.

The buttons along the edges of the Galaxy are all covered to prevent dust and dirt from entering your phone, but you won’t have to worry about losing functionality, as all the ports along the bottom freed by precise cutouts.

The Coastline series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in orchid gray and frost gray.

Parallax series

Who says a case that offers excellent protection can’t have a bold design? The Parallax series offers a unique geometric design so your Galaxy can stand out from the crowd.

The dual-layered design of the Parallax series offers the same great shock-absorbing TPU sleeve and impact-resistant polycarbonate you expect in a protective case. The etched grooves of the design into the back of the phone offer excellent grip, so your Galaxy won’t tumble out of your hand.

The Parallax series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black, burgundy, and orchid gray.

Vault I series

If you aren’t a fan of the extra bulk heavy-duty cases offer, the Vault I series case could be perfect for your Galaxy S8 or S8+.

Made from a single piece of flexible TPU, the Vault I still offers great shock-absorbing capabilities, to help you out when you accidentally drop your phone.

The brushed texture on the back of the phone will not only improve your grip but also offers a distinct design to help your Galaxy stick out from the crowd.

All of the ports and the speaker on the bottom of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are accessible by way of cutouts, and all the buttons along the sides are covered to protect from dust and dirt.

The Vault I series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black.

Vault II series

If you like the protection and style of the Vault I series, but dislike the design on the back, the Vault II series case could be for you.

The textured design on the back of the Vault II offers more grip than your Galaxy S8 or S8+ would bare, and is a much more subtle to the eye than the Vault I. The Vault II is also made up of a single-piece TPU that features cushioned corners. Just like with the Vault I, your buttons will be covered for dust protection and your ports will all be available to you with ease.

The Vault II series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black and burgundy.

Fairmont Series

The luxury Fairmont series is new to Caseology lineup and is perfect for people who prefer an elegant sense of style.

This slim case compliments the sleek design of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and is made of hard polycarbonate to prevent scratches and scuffs from marking up your phone.

The faux-leather cover has a slightly textured grip, meaning you should be able to hold onto your Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus much easier. Plus, the design is very bold and will stand out in a sea of ordinary cases.

The Fairmont series case is available for both the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8+ in black and cherry oak.

Which case do you like?

Which of the caseology lineup is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Save your Gear VR progress when moving between Samsung Galaxy devices!

With the Samsung’s Gear VR platform quickly growing with new titles, it’s getting easier than ever to sink your hours into mobile virtual reality. But once a new phone comes along and you jump ship, why should you lose your cherished progress from your Gear VR games?

With the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S8, it’s now the time to move your Gear VR saves. Provided you have access to both devices, this process is made a little simpler thanks to a third-party application. Here’s how to love your Gear VR saves between compatible Samsung Galaxy devices.

Read more at VR Heads!

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AT&T told us it would be rolling out its 5G lie back in February. At the time, no one cared. Here’s why we still shouldn’t care.

In February, AT&T announced that it would launch something called a 5G Evolution network in Austin later in the year. At the time, no one paid the announcement much attention because it was filtered in with a larger, seemingly more-important pronouncement: that AT&T was moving towards real 5G trials, also in Austin where it has extensive research facilities. With the impending hardening of the official 5G standard, America’s second-biggest wireless carrier was on its way towards an honest-to-goodness leg up in the next generation of wireless.

Moving from LTE to 5G is like going from 1080p to 4K — it’s a big difference, but you need the right equipment to see it.

Last week, AT&T launched said 5G Evolution network in Austin, and the world, including us, took umbrage at the naming convention. But we should have seen this coming — AT&T made it plain three months ago that it would be adulterating the idea of 5G for its own branding advantages. At the core of the disdain towards AT&T was the apparent flagrancy of its convention-breaking, the idea that what the industry, or a standards body, decides is 3G or 4G or 5G must be followed to the letter by the companies that famously make billions of dollars each year distorting or exaggerating the truth. (AT&T has defended its use of the 5G Evolution name, telling FierceWireless that “AT&T’s 5G Evolution lays the foundation for 5G while the standards are being finalized.”)

.@ATT @TMobile So I’m very, very proud to announce @TMobile “7G Eventual” – very exciting, already existing technology.

— Neville (@NevilleRay) April 26, 2017

When I first read that AT&T was launching a 5G Evolution network, I got just as worked up as everyone else (though I didn’t swear in my title). I said the company was ruining 5G for the rest of the industry, an admittedly hyperbolic refrain that now, days later, I regret. AT&T hasn’t ruined 5G because 5G isn’t ruinable. It’s not a thing yet. 5G is a mishmash of ideas and best practices and existing technologies, buoyed by dozens — likely hundreds — of organizations each with a vested interest of advancing their minor constituent towards the center of the enormous game board. To further the board game analogy, the main problem with the ruthless advancement of 5G is that no one is waiting their turn to play; everyone is merely using the resources at hand to advance their pieces as quickly as possible.

It’s within this climate that AT&T decided to make the first public move, and stood to face the most ire as a result. But here’s the thing to note about this unilateral move: it’s really not a big deal. And even though, in principle, AT&T probably shouldn’t mislead customers by calling what is clearly still a 4G LTE-based network ’5G Evolution’, it’s not nearly as objectionable as when, back in 2011, AT&T balked at Verizon’s early launch of true 4G LTE and renamed its decidedly third-generation network ’4G’.

5G promises to be a big upgrade over 4G LTE, but it’s also a much more complex beast to tackle.

But as the difference between 720p and 1080p was enormous, and the advantages obvious to the naked eye, so too was the variation in speed between “faux-G” and real 4G, which was, as it is today, based on the LTE standard. AT&T and T-Mobile, doubling down on HSPA+ and DC-HSPA, which were certainly improvements over existing 3G speeds, especially for downloads, began referring to their networks as 4G-capable so it didn’t fall behind what was a yawning technological divide between Verizon at the time. Sprint, with its doomed WiMAX standard, did the same, much to its detriment.

But 4G LTE isn’t just faster than 3G in terms of speed; it’s more efficient, with the ability to push more megabits over much narrower airwaves; and it offers considerably lower latency, which is becoming increasingly important as the mobile web transitions to consuming more video than anything else.

5G promises to be a big upgrade over 4G LTE, but it’s also a much more complex beast to tackle. It’s more like moving from 1080p to 4K — better, but you need a much bigger TV to see the difference.

Part of the 5G standard uses very high-frequency airwaves that approach the same signals used by microwaves, which hold enormous capacity for throughput but due to physics can’t travel long distances. On the other side of the spectrum (literally), 5G plans to achieve sub-one millisecond response times for mission-critical services, and be the vehicle for the Internet of Things products to send billions of tiny packets to one another so that everything, not just phones and lightbulbs, are somehow connected to the Internet. It’s a huge, daunting and potentially society-changing project, but even when the first stages of the new standard begin to show up in consumer products in the last year of this decade, it will still be many years until 5G takes on its final form, just as LTE has taken the better part of this decade to reach maturity.

At the same time, though, the average smartphone user isn’t going to see massive advantages in terms of wireless speed, latency and coverage when those first 5G-compatible phones roll off the line sometime in 2019 or 2020. Part of Qualcomm’s recent marketing push is to explain that gigabit LTE, which can be achieved using its X16 solution found inside the Snapdragon 835 (which is only in the Galaxy S8 right now), lays the foundations for 5G because it incorporates the same fundamental OFDM-based technologies that will eventually migrate to the next generation: MIMO, carrier aggregation, 256QAM (and higher) and the use of unlicensed spectrum. AT&T tells us that its 5G Evolution network uses all of these things; T-Mobile has been using them since September of 2016.

But regardless of what you call these achievements — LTE Advanced Pro, 5G Evolution, 7G Eventual — it’s unlikely to completely change your life and blow your mind the way that moving from “faux G” to real 4G did a few years ago.

In the meantime, you can make fun of AT&T for jumping the gun, but really — and unfortunately — if it didn’t do it, another company was going to.

A few more notes from this week:

  • The more time I spend with the Samsung Galaxy S8, the more its flaws are revealed to me, and the less I care. This is one solid phone, quirks and all.
  • Good to see Samsung not waiting for the carriers to roll out emergency fixes for its latest phone. More of this, please.
  • It was interesting watching and reading Phil’s take on the S8, since he’s no longer inundated with new phone releases like he used to be. I agree with some of his points, but I do think the S8 stands on its own, and would have made just as much of an impact had the Note 7 stayed on store shelves.
  • Our most popular post last week was, unsurprisingly, Andrew’s essay on how it’s still stupidly difficult to buy a Google Pixel. It’s a vivid retelling of a very poorly-planned product launch. Not only does the Pixel XL now feel comically oversized next to the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, but I know more than a few people who forwent buying one after waiting for stock replenish, finally giving up and buying an S8.
  • You’ll be seeing more about the BlackBerry KEYone this week, and I’m excited to say that, even though a hardware keyboard isn’t really for me — at least not as my main device — the phone is solid, well-designed, and pretty damn fun to use.

That’s it for now! See y’all on the flippity-flip.


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