LG announces UI for unannounced smartphone

As it often does ahead of a big new smartphone announcement, LG has started the process of pre-announcing its next big thing. Today, a news release from the company takes the wraps off the LG V30′s‘s software suite, giving us our first look at the UI we’ll be using on the upcoming flagship. The new LG UX 6.0+ tunes up the visuals, with a rounded, Galaxy S8-style search bar, a simplified weather widget and a new Floating Bar feature, alongside new camera, security and Always-On Display tricks.

The Floating Bar is pitched as the successor to the LG V20′s second display, effectively confirming the ticker panel’s demise. LG doesn’t go into great detail about what you’ll be able to do with this panel, only saying it’ll be used “for quick access to frequently used functions.” The feature sounds similar to Samsung’s Edge Display, though it doesn’t appear to dominate the entire display like that feature does.

The new LG UI also brings new photographic capabilities. In today’s presser, LG reveals its new “Graphy” feature in the camera’s manual mode. Graphy will allow V30 owners to download and share presets (ISO, white balance, shutter speed, etc.) used by professionals to capture specific kinds of shots. LG also promises quick and easy GIF creation, and new movie creation tricks. (Think video highlights.)

LG’s upcoming phone borrows a lot of new features from the Galaxy S8.

LG’s Always-On Display has been re-tooled too, thanks in part to the V30′s OLED panel. New features include the ability to display “Quick Tools” (likely some kind of shortcut menu), music controls, or your photos.

On the security front, the V30 will apparently include always-on face recognition, active even when the display is off, without pressing the power button. (Likely using some secondary sensors to detect motion, as keeping the front camera active constantly would be a massive battery drain.) And voice recognition through Qualcomm’s Aqstic voice UI will allow V30 owners to securely unlock their phones through a predetermined wake phrase. (We’ll have to see how convenient that ends up being.)

Not mentioned in today’s press release: whether the V30 will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps and be the first device to ship with a new version of Android. The V20 was (just about) first with Nougat in 2016, but LG hasn’t said whether its latest handset will debut with Android O.

There’s been plenty of LG V30 leakage in recent weeks, with major hardware specs set to include a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64 or 128GB of storage and a new dual camera system led by an f/1.6 main shooter. We’ll learn more at the official launch event in Berlin, German on August 31.

SEOUL, Aug. 14, 2017 — The new UX 6.0+ to make its debut in the upcoming V30 from LG Electronics (LG) is an advanced version of LG’s UX that has been optimized to work even better with the immersive 18:9 OLED FullVision display while offering more personalization options for a more intuitive user experience. Featuring the company’s first OLED FullVision display and an advanced dual lens camera, the LG V30 is a powerful multimedia tool and the new UX is designed so that users can leverage its advanced capabilities to the fullest.

Graphy, which can be accessed in the camera’s Manual Mode, gives any shutterbug professional quality photography capabilities. With Graphy, users can choose from among a portfolio of professional shots, each with a different style and mood or they can download photos taken by professionals from the Graphy website or mobile app and apply those metadata presets – such as white balance, shutter speed, aperture and ISO – to photos taken with the V30. Different shooting modes such as auto, grid shot, snap shot and match shot are conveniently grouped under one menu for ease of selection. GIFs can be quickly created in the Gallery menu while the Create Movie option allows for the creation of movie using photos and/or video files which can then be edited in the included Quick Video Editor.

The Second Screen in the LG V20 has evolved to become Floating Bar on the V30. The semi-transparent Floating Bar allows for quick access to frequently used functions and can be dragged completely off the FullVision display when not needed. When powered off, the Always-on Display is even more customizable than before. The AOD now not only shows the clock, it can also be set to display Quick Tools, Music Player or a personal photograph as well.

Security features in the LG V30 are also more advanced than in LG’s previous smartphone UX. Using Face Recognition, the V30 can be unlocked instantaneously using the front facing camera even when the phone’s display is off. And there is no need to press the power button first, unlike on other phones. Voice Recognition uses a combination of the user’s voice and self-generated keywords (ideally three to five syllables combined) to unlock the V30 without the need to press a button or swipe the screen. It is supported by Qualcomm Aqstic voice UI technology for always-on, always-listening capabilities that requires very little battery power.

Even the feel of the UX can be tailored to users’ preference. Haptic feedback on the LG V30 can be customized with various included vibration combinations that can be matched to the phone’s ringtone.




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It can be inconvenient to find the perfect spot to play VR games, but it doesn’t need to be.

At first, it can seem daunting to meet the needs for a VR setup, especially if you want to play online. You need to have a nice-sized space free of obstacles and breakables, reliable internet access, a television, and lighting that doesn’t interfere with your system’s camera tracking ability. But fortunately, at least in the case of the PlayStation VR, you can easily eliminate one of those variables.

Outside of mobile gaming, when we think of gaming systems we tend to associate them as something tethered to a television, and when I explain my TV-less PlayStation VR setup to people I often hear, “Wow, I never thought of that!” Fortunately, you to can ditch the TV, and set your PlayStation free!

Read more at VRHeads!




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How do I track my Android phone? There are quite a few tools at your disposal.

Worried about misplacing your phone or (worse yet) having it stolen? Ease your fears and set up a tracking system before your worst case scenario strikes. For best locating results, your phone should be connected to a Wi-Fi signal, but GPS and mobile networks will still manage to pinpoint a fairly accurate location. You must also have a Google account for virtually all of the tracking services available, whether they are built in or downloaded.

How to locate your phone using Google

Most Android phones now come with Find My Device (formerly Android Device Manager) built in. This service will automatically track your phone’s location, so if it ever goes missing you can hop on your laptop or a friend’s phone and find it’s last known location, ring your phone if it’s near by and you need a hint, or lock and/or erase your phone if you fear it has been stolen.

The most important thing you can do is make sure your phone is set up to be found before it goes missing. Otherwise, you’re basically on your own.

How to enable Find My Device on your phone

In newer Android phones, the Find My Device service is already located conveniently in your Settings app, but if you can’t find it you can always download Find My Device from the Google Play Store. This locating service has essentially amalgamated with Google to make finding your phone easier. There are just a couple of things you’ll need to activate.

  1. Launch Settings.
  2. Tap Security.
  3. Tap Device Administration.

  4. Tap Find My Device so that a checkmark appears in the checkbox.
  5. Tap the back button in the top left corner of your screen.
  6. Tap the back button again in the top left corner to return to the main Settings menu.

  7. Tap Location in the main Settings menu.
  8. Tap the switch beside Location at the top of the screen so that it turns on.
  9. Tap Mode.

  10. Tap High accuracy so the circle is filled in.
  11. Tap the back button in the top left corner.
  12. Tap Google Location History.

  13. Tap the switch beneath Location History so that it turns on.
  14. Tap the switch beside your device so that it turns on.

How to locate your phone with Google

Should you happen to lose your phone, you can locate its whereabouts by logging into your Google account from any computer or even from another phone.

  1. Launch a web browser from a phone, tablet, or computer.
  2. Navigate to Google if it is not your default search engine or home page.
  3. Type find my phone android in the Google search bar.

  4. Tap on Find My Device (usually the first option in the search).
  5. Enter your email address and password just as though you were checking your email. If you have 2-step verification set up on your Google account (and you most certainly should), you’ll need to complete that process as well.

When your phone is located, you have three options to choose from:

  • You can Ring your phone so that it makes noise (even if you had it on silent). This feature is helpful if the map indicates that the phone is within earshot and you simply can’t see it.
  • You can Lock your phone so that the finder can’t access your home screen. This feature is most helpful if your phone wasn’t previously secured with a passcode or a fingerprint sensor.
  • You can Erase your phone. This is the best option if you know for certain that you aren’t likely to retrieve your phone.

If you are trying to locate your phone with Find My Device and it doesn’t seem to be working, the most likely cause is that your phone is not currently connected to Wi-Fi or an available network. In this case, it’s important to keep trying; the moment your phone does make that connection, it will appear on the map.

If you want to download a tracking app for fear of a missing phone crisis, there are a number of options to choose from, and we’re highlighting some choice picks for you.

Find your phone with third-party apps

While Google’s built-in option is definitely your best bet, there are some third-party options you might want to consider. We’ve broken down the best third-party apps for finding your phone below.

Family Locator

The Family Locator app by Life360 is essentially a GPS tracker for phones but is especially useful for families with multiple phones in use. Your family members become a “Circle”, the app’s name for a closed group of people who consent to having their phones tracked in real time. Your family members will appear on live maps within the app as little icons so that you can see where everyone is at any given moment.

The app also allows you to chat with people in your Circle or broadcast a meeting time and location. And, of course, if a phone from within your Circle is ever lost or stolen, the app will track it on the map.

Download: Family Locator (Free with in-app purchases)

Cerberus anti theft

This locator app from Cerberus offers an impressive array of remote control features if you find your phone has been lost or stolen. You’ll still be able to lock, ring, or erase your phone, but you’ll also be able to remotely access your camera or sound a loud alarm from your phone, even if it was on silent mode when you lost it.

The advanced features allow you to hide Cerberus in your app drawer so that it can’t be detected if and when your phone is found or stolen. Your missing phone will transmit data to you via the Cerberus website or via SMS text from another phone with the Cerberus app installed.

Download: Cerberus anti theft (Free with in-app purchases)

Prey Anti Theft

The Prey Anti Theft app is impressive in that three different devices can be protected through one download. You’ll have the ability to sound an alarm from your missing phone, take screenshots if it’s in use, and lock down the device the moment you realize it’s missing.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, it will walk you through a series of tutorials to show you how to use your Prey Account to track your phone. The app itself is free and doesn’t require additional purchases in order to access the high-end features.

Download: Prey Anti Theft (Free)

Lost Android

Lost Android will allow you to have remote access to your missing phone via their website. Here, you’ll be able to erase sensitive information if you fear that your phone may never be returned, or send messages to your phone in the hopes of someone finding and returning it.

Additionally, you can choose to remotely forward any calls you may be missing to another number and record a running list of any calls or messages made or photos taken with your phone.

Download: Lost Android (Free with in-app purchases)

Where’s My Droid

The basic features of the Where’s My Droid app allow you to ring your phone if you misplace it, locate it via GPS on Google Maps, and use a passcode to prevent unauthorized changes to apps on your Android phone. Stealth Mode also prevents anyone who finds your phone from seeing your incoming text messages; instead, they’ll see a customizable attention word that alerts them of the phone’s lost or stolen status.

The Pro version of the app, which you pay to use, lets you remotely wipe data from your phone, use a landline to access your phone, and remotely lock the device.

Download: Where’s My Droid (Free with in-app purchases)

The best solution

Google’s phone location tools are your best bet — as long as you’ve gone through the process of setting things up ahead of time. Really, this should be something you set up on any device you care about or that will have sensitive data stored on it, especially with how easy Google has made it to locate your device should you lose it.

Of course, one of the benefits of Android is having the freedom to customize your experience as you see fit. If for whatever reason Google’s offering just doesn’t cut it for you, you should consider the third-party options we’ve highlighted above, as they include some clever features that might give you some added peace of mind if your device goes missing.

If your phone is stolen or found and it’s then factory reset, you will not be able to rely on any apps or services to find it; a factory reset will wipe out any of the original data, accounts, or passwords that are needed to remotely find your Android phone.

As always, exercise caution when retrieving a lost or stolen phone. If you have any concerns about it being lost or stolen, it’s best to set up and test your preferred tracking system as soon as you buy it, and contact the police. It can be a bit of extra front-end work to register some apps, but it will be more work trying to locate a missing phone if no safety nets are in place at all.

How do you track?

What app do you use to track your Android phone, if any at all? Let us know in the comments section below!




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It’s the only way to know what you’re giving away.

When you buy a new phone or install a new app, reading the boring (and often difficult to comprehend) privacy policies and terms of use are the last thing you want to do. But it’s also the most important part of the process.

We were having a discussion about visual voicemail in the Android Central Slack channel recently. With Marshmallow, Google introduced a visual voicemail framework for the dialer that anyone can use once a way for the mobile operator to tap into it is coded. The question was, “Why aren’t carriers using it through the dialer instead of bundling their own voicemail client?” While we don’t know the full answer, there was one really good reason put forth — because they want to be able to use their own terms when it comes to how your personal data is handled. Using Google solution and Google software would put much of the data collected under Google’s privacy policy, not the carriers.

Several companies have access to your data and each handles it differently.

A lot of different companies have access to your personal information, and they each have their own terms of service and privacy policies. Google has its blanket privacy policy that covers all of its applications, whether they came with your phone or you downloaded them from Google Play. Let’s be clear — it’s invasive. Google keeps track of where you are, what you’re looking at, what you’re searching for and anything else they can every time you use your phone. But it makes things clear that it does not sell or share any of your information and it guarantees to keep the data secure and anonymous.

The company that built your phone also has its own privacy policy or policies. These cover the software that came on your phone as well as other code that might be pushed or downloaded from a brand-specific app store (like Samsung’s Galaxy Apps store). These policies vary, but most clearly state that you agree it can collect as much data as possible for things like product research and customer profiling. There are also very specific mentions of how and why your data may be sold or shared.

If your phone comes from a carrier, which is how most of us in North America buy our phones, it too has a separate privacy policy for applications and the data collected. This is separate from government regulations about usage data while you are using the network, which now often says any service provider can collect and sell any data it likes while you are using its network services. Again, the way your data is protected, shared or sold will be covered in these policy agreements. This is especially important when dealing with pre-installed apps that may have full system-level permissions to collect and read all of your information.

Pre-installed software can have access to everything you do on your phone.

Finally, any application you install will have access to some of your data and should have a written privacy agreement. If you install an app that doesn’t have one, you should assume the publisher is able to give your personal information away to whomever it likes. There is a section at the bottom of every application page in Google Play where a privacy policy can be linked.

One thing all these different documents have in common is that most people don’t bother to read them. Part of the reason is how they are written, and when you need a lawyer to decipher how a company will treat your data before you can use your new phone the urge to just click “yes” is strong. Writing policies and agreements and terms of use are difficult because they are a binding legal agreement. If a company breaks the terms it can be held responsible by the courts and pay hefty fines and/or damages. It takes a lawyer to read some of them because it took a lawyer to write them.

Another thing to keep in mind is that every policy you agreed to is in effect at the same time. Google might not sell information about the times you visited Jamba Juice and paid with your phone, but that doesn’t mean the company that made your phone or the company that you bought it from won’t. All parties involved with access to your information get to do what you agreed they could do with it. Thankfully, this is less of an issue with apps you installed because they only have access to their own data. Although, sometimes the data these apps collect can be ridiculous.

You need a lawyer to understand a privacy policy because it needed a lawyer to create it.

So, what can you do if you’re concerned about who can see what and the things they can do with it once collected? Unfortunately, the only answer is to read and understand the things you’re agreeing to before you click Yes. Most policies from phone makers and carriers aren’t horrible once you understand them.

The company that made your phone collects a lot of data about how you use it so they know how to make the next one even better. They may share information with other companies in the world of mobile hardware or software development, but they’re not selling your phone number to IRS scammers. Network providers have lengthy agreements about services and documents about software, but again these are designed to see how you use them so they can be improved. It’s are not out to get you, it just wants to make more money by offering things people just like you want.

We suggest you read before you agree to anything and if you don’t understand something you should ask. A quick question via email or a call to a customer service number should be all that’s required to answer any questions you have. Once you’ve agreed to it, there’s not much you can do.




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Kick back and chat during your weekend downtime.

We’re all busy getting ready for Android O and IFA and V30s and Note 8s and everything else, but it’s still important to remember to take a break once in a while. That’s especially true if you spend the majority of the week behind a desk in a cubicle or office. Take your weekend time, whether it be the normal Saturday and Sunday weekend or other days because work is a 24/7 thing, and get some fresh air.

After you have spent some time in the glorious sunshine of the great outdoors, you can kick back and chat with friends right here. Express yourself, and be yourself with no judging. I think we all learned this week that it’s very difficult sometimes when the way you feel inside clashes with what others think. Don’t let that stop you from doing a bit of free thinking even if what you’re thinking turns out wrong in the end or others don’t agree.

The important thing is to be respectful of others when you do disagree. We’re all wired differently, but we’re all in this mess of a world together. Let’s chill and chat with each other!




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