Phandroid » Events Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 25 Apr 2015 19:37:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google and Samsung get a head start on April Fools with Chrome selfies and a meat cleaver phone Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:46:54 +0000 can't tell if serious

Have you looked at your calendar today? If not, let me tell you what day it is: March 31st. You know what that means? Tomorrow is April 1st, the infamous April Fools day. That means companies are about to flood the internet with jokes, press releases about fake products and other cheeky shenanigans.

There’s just one problem this year: some companies can’t help but to get started a day early. Google has already unleashed a few of their own, the most cool of which is an interactive new Google Maps feature that turns your local area map into a game of Pacman. You can actually play it right now by clicking here, if you want (or stroll into the Google Maps for Android app).

google maps pacman

It’s not a joke, per se, but it’s a cool and fun little quirk that Google likely tossed in to celebrate the goofiness of tomorrow’s pseudo-holiday. It’s also a great way to promote the real-world augmented reality counterpart being featured in the latest Ingress update.

It doesn’t stop there for them. They’ve sneakily baked a feature into the latest version of Google Chrome that will enable a new “Chrome Selfie” feature once the calendar turns.

Phandroid chrome selfie

Steve is blown away by that dreamy Samsung user interface concept! The idea is that you take a selfie with your reaction of whatever site you’re viewing, and you can send a shot of that selfie and website off to your friends to view. It’s the one killer feature we’ve always been waiting for! Not. You can give it a try right now by changing the timezone on your calendar to GMT +10.

It isn’t just Google’s US arm having a good time, either. Those in Japan have already gotten their fun in, with Google Japan teasing a new “hornpipe” input feature that allows you to input text in Japanese without having to type or even speak anything. Just blow!

And then there’s Samsung, whose Samsung Galaxy Blade Edge smartphone promises to serve dual purpose as a butcher’s knife. It’ll feature built-in thermometer styli, a fold-up handle for easy conversion and, you guessed it, a fire proof display.

samsung galaxy blade edge joke

Oh, and food porn. Finally, we’re able to record our meat chopping experience from the perspective of the destructive tool that makes it all happen, and then easily take a photo of the finished product afterward!

Sad to say it, folks, but this is only the beginning. The Next 24-48 hours will spawn an even greater number of jokes. Some will be funny. Some will even make us wish they were actual ideas and products. And then there will be the bunch that will outright make us cry, cringe and wish this day never existed, all the while actual announcements have to be questioned for their legitimacy in a sea of ridiculous satire. This is April Fools. Prepare yourselves.

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LG’s next event happens April 28th in 6 different cities, & it should finally bring us the LG G4 Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:41:44 +0000 lg g4 event invite

LG has finally set a date for their first big event since CES 2015. The company has announced an April 28th shindig where they want us “see the great” and “feel the great.” We imagine this event will serve as the launching pad for the LG G4, especially since it’s being simultaneously held in 6 different cities (New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore and Istanbul) and because LG has yet to bring us their flagship contender for 2015.

We still don’t know what, exactly, to expect out of LG for the G4. Recent leaks have shown that the device will adopt a design similar to that of the LG G3 of yesteryear and the LG G Flex 2 revealed at CES a few months ago. That said, leaks aren’t always reliable — ask @evleaks — and we could end up seeing something totally different.

One thing to note about the invitation being sent to press is that it looks like a leather book cover, such as one you’d find on a premium notebook. Does this mean the LG G4 will have that same faux leather with stiching we loved (or hated) on Samsung’s 2013 phones? That’s a slim possibility, but our bet is that — if this invite is indeed showing a notebook in its background — it’s teasing the Note variant of the LG G4 that will come with a stylus.

Or it could just be that LG’s PR team wanted to use a nice looking background, and we’re talking a whole lot of something about a whole lot of nothing. Either way we’ll know what the company is planning for sure once April 28th rolls around. Mark your calendars!

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HTC sends invites for HTC One M9+ revelation April 8th in Beijing, new images leak Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:27:57 +0000 HTC-One-M9-Plus-date-Sortie

HTC had a big shindig in Barcelona a couple of weeks ago to unveil the HTC One M9, and now the variant we were really hoping to see could be due April 8th. The company is sending invites to Chinese press to show that they have “More Than One” device on tap this year, and they’ll be unveiling the latest in Beijing.

The invitation shows a device that looks to be similar to the rear of an HTC One M9, except it has the same dual camera setup we’ve seen on previous leaks instead of the lone camera featured on the company’s 2015 flagship — this, folks, is likely the HTC One M9 Plus.

That’s all we can tell from the company’s official teaser, though we know the device will have a couple of key differences up front. The main one is that there will be a physical home button smack dab in the middle of the bottom set of BoomSound speakers and will have dual functionality as a fingerprint scanner. The display is also a tad bigger, though at 5.2 inches (if OnLeaks’ most recent information is to be believed) it’s not the phablet-sized monster we were expecting.

The device is expected to have Quad-HD resolution at 2560 x 1440, 3GB of RAM and a 20 megapixel camera sensor. It might also have MediaTek’s 64-bit Octa-Core MT6795T.

Oh, and it looks like the mockup made by @OnLeaks was about as accurate as accurate can be — the in-the-wild shots seen below definitely show a device that looks like a slightly bigger HTC One M9 with a fingerprint scanner.

Its Chinese debut might suggest this device won’t be made available for many other regions to start, though we’ll have to wait for official word from HTC to be clued in on their exact plans.

proto-htc-one-m9-plus-01 proto-htc-one-m9-plus-02 proto-htc-one-m9-plus-03

[Weibo, via Engadget]

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Start checking your inbox: Google IO 2015 invites are starting to arrive Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:29:19 +0000 Google IO 2015 thumb

If you signed up for Google’s big IO raffle, you might want to start checking your inbox: invites are now starting to roll out. It appears those who haven’t been accepted won’t receive an email saying so, and there’s a chance Google is sending invites out in waves (after unclaimed tickets become available) so don’t lose hope on getting one.

Those who have received invites to purchase a ticket have a limited time to do so (the first batch of invites are all saying by Thursday, March 26th) so it shan’t be long before Google knows how many more tickets they can issue. You’ll need $900 handy to pay for the ticket, though if you’re a student you can be admitted for just $300. Let us know if you’ve received one!

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T-Mobile’s latest Uncarrier promises: all promo plans permanent, prices never hike, & they pay all fees to switch Wed, 18 Mar 2015 18:42:56 +0000 03/26/2014 T-Mobile Un-Leash Announcement

T-Mobile was in New York today to announce some exciting new changes for those who choose to use their service. The eye-opener most of you will care for: the un-contract. It’s what John Legere called his company’s commitment to never raise the price of the rate plan you happen to be on (though you shouldn’t rule out the possibility for them to lower it).

But even that isn’t the most exciting thing about this “contract.” The company also promised to make all promotional plans permanent, meaning if you happened to switch to T-Mobile for an unbelievable deal that wouldn’t last forever, that is now reversed.  It does last forever (or as long as you want it to, anyway).

This means that awesome 4 lines for $100 plan that gave each line 2.5GB of data won’t be downgraded to 1GB of data after a couple of years — you’ll always have 2.5GB per line, and it’ll always be $100 as long as you don’t switch plans.

Another big piece of news: T-Mobile is taking Sprint’s cue by not only promising to pay your way out of a contract should you decide to leave, but also to pay for any device payment plans you may still have to take care of as a result. They’ll pay up to $650 per line for up to 10 lines, which should be more than enough wiggle room for you to migrate to Magenta’s network without having to pay your old carriers a dime.

Legere also touched on unlimited data, and while he didn’t have some earth shattering announcement to make in that regard, he did promise that they wouldn’t change their stance, prices or availability of it for at least the next two years. It’s not all that comforting to know that T-Mobile isn’t committed to unlimited data forever, but at least they’re committed long enough to keep sweat off our foreheads. Let us know if any of this will convince you to switch on over (or if this makes you happy that you’re with T-Mobile if you already have).

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Reminder: Google I/O 2015 registration opens today at 9am Pacific, and here’s what you need to know Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:02:39 +0000 google io 2015

Here’s a quick reminder for any developers hoping to get in on the fun in San Francisco for Google’s annual developers’ conference: registration opens today at 9am Pacific. It will be hectic as Google I/O has consistently sold out within hours (and, in recent times, minutes) of ticket sales going live, but things will happen a bit differently this year:

  • Registration will run three days — between March 17th and March 19th.
  • Registering for a ticket does not guarantee you a ticket. Applicants are selected at random once the aforementioned registration window closes to give people a fair shot of going to the event.

This is a much saner route than years prior where Google would open the floodgates and only those lucky enough not to be smacked in the face with frustrating server issues are allowed to purchase a ticket.

The best thing you can do to prepare right now is to make sure your Google / Google+ profile information is all accurate and up-to-date. Google has used Google+ information as default registration details in the past so let this serve as a good reason to finally update that old profile you abandoned a while back. Google might also be making use of Google Wallet for payment, so be sure your payment sources are all up to date and ready to go.

Other than that, grab some coffee and start smashing that F5 button promptly at (or even a bit before) 9am Pacific. This new registration system doesn’t mean people won’t be eager to sign up. Servers might crash. Hair might fall out. People might die. OK, that’s a bit melodramatic, but prepare for anything because only so many people can be packed inside the 6,000-person venue known as the Moscone West, and there will be a lot more than 6,000 people trying to stamp their tickets to the event when it kicks off May 28th.

[via Google I/O]

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Yahoo will host an Android vs iOS Fanboy Smartphone Challenge at SXSW 2015 and I’ll be representing Team Phandroid Sat, 14 Mar 2015 16:08:01 +0000 Android_Fanboy

Newsflash everyone – I’m a fanboy. An Android fanboy.

On Monday, March 16th at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Yahoo is holding a Fanboy Smartphone Challenge. They’ll be putting an Android enthusiast and an iOS lover head to head in the ultimate fanboy showdown. Thanks to a little bit of luck and years of praising our Lord and Savior, Matias Duarte, I have been chosen to represent the Android faithful in glorious battle.

What does it mean to be an Android fanboy? Well, simply put, I live, breathe, eat, and sleep all things Android. A normal day for me consists of playing with an abundance of Android powered devices; from phones, to tablets, to TV consoles, to smartwatches, and even face computers. Besides owning an absurd amount of gadgets, I’m often found geeking out, talking about Android to friends and colleagues, writing about Android here on our beloved Phandroid or social media, and generally consuming as much Android related news as humanly possible. I also may or may not own way too many mini Android figurines, collectible pins, stuffed plushies, and enough swag to start my own second-hand Android store. It’s not an obsession. It’s just a hobby that I’m very passionate about.

For Yahoo’s Fanboy Smartphone Challenge, I’ll be put through a series of tasks against my opponent, which will be done game show style. I’m hoping that I can use my Nexus 6, since my opponent will be using an iPhone 6, though Yahoo wasn’t too confident in hooking my Nexus 6 up to their A/V system. I did inform them that the Nexus 6 works beautifully with a Chromecast, however they sent me a Nexus 5 so that I could use it with a Slimport to HDMI adapter just in case. To be a little honest here, that kind of upsets me a little bit, seeing as I may not be able to use my daily driver, not to mention a phone that’s a year newer, and capable of activating voice commands while the screen is off – something my opponent’s trusty iPhone 6 cannot do. Oh well. I’ll turn it into a positive. My opponent is going to need all of the help that he can get. I don’t mind starting with a handicap.

It’s worth mentioning here that this game show will be done in pure jest. This is all in good fun. I’m not one of those fanboys that hates the other platform. In fact, I surely can recognize a positive when I see one and I’ve been known to praise Apple where applicable. Their products may not be for me, and I may not agree with everything that they do, but Apple does get a lot of things right. It doesn’t matter if you’re first to bring a product to market if it’s a horrible product or an implementation that isn’t very user friendly. This is why the general media sees Apple as the Jesus of computing. When Apple enters a market or launches a service you can bet that there will be little to no snafus along the way (well, except for people getting lost and bending phones). And speaking about markets, almost no one can drive a market like Apple can. I’m excited to see what they’ll do with mobile payments and wearables this coming year. Their success only means additional success and greater adoption for Android Pay and Android Wear.

Anyways, this event sounds like a blast and I’m excited. If Yahoo wants me to be a fanboy, I’ll gladly ham it up and be a their fanboy. I’ll be on stage wearing my Androidify’d t-shirt, Android beanie, wearing my Moto 360, and by the sounds of it rocking both the Nexus 6 and Nexus 5. Praise Duarte.

If you’re in Austin at SXSW this Monday, be sure to stop by Yahoo’s Brazos Hall at 12pm to see it all go down. Sadly, there won’t be a live stream for all of you to watch at home, but Yahoo has told me that they’re planning on posting the recorded video promptly at Wish me luck!

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T-Mobile’s next big announcement is happening in New York City March 18th Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:21:22 +0000 t-mobile new york invite

Quick heads-up, folks: T-Mobile is getting ready to make another big announcement. They’ve even carved out a block of time — March 18th — and a venue in the Big Apple for this one, so it must be something big.

There aren’t any strong rumors floating about, but the invitation’s “This One is a Real Piece of Work” tagline suggests it could be business oriented. Will we finally see Magenta bringing all of the great Uncarrier features over to business customers? That’d be awesome, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. All will be known in about a week and a half so sit tight and we’ll bring you the news as we hear it!

[via TmoNews]

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This is what it’s like to unbox the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge [VIDEO] Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:38:28 +0000 galaxy s6 boxes

If you don’t want your Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing experienced ruined once it arrives on your doorstep this Spring, do not watch this video. But who are we kidding — you probably can’t help yourself! Neither could Samsung:

We’ve seen the device at every angle, explored every nook and cranny, and gotten to check out its most cool features, but one thing we can’t partake in right now that Samsung was able to is a good, old-fashioned unboxing. Be sure to indulge by hitting the play button above.

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“Android Pay” likely to be introduced as a full-blown wireless payments platform at Google I/O Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:46:19 +0000 Nexus 7 Google Wallet 2

Before you freak out, no — Google Wallet is not dying. In fact, it might actually get better. Google’s Sundar Pichai spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this morning about the company’s plans for mobile payments in the future. This comes at a time where Apple and now Samsung have thrown their hats into the arena with exciting platforms of their own.

Google Wallet in the now slightly pales in comparison to those guys, but Android Pay will hopefully look to change that. The first thing to know is that Android Pay won’t actually replace Google Wallet.

Instead it’s a full-blown payment platform and API that Google and third-party developers alike can tap into. Google Wallet will likely still exist as its own app and service, but Google will use Android Pay as the backbone. Don’t like Google Wallet? Another developer could come along and do things differently, but still enjoy the same secure backbone that Google uses with little issue and you’d be free to give that service a go if you so wish.

For its part, Google says they aren’t necessarily threatened by Samsung’s move to enter the wireless payment space. In fact, Google hopes the two can work together in some way and get the idea of wireless payments into the hands, pockets and minds of more people. Google has a leg up on Samsung thanks to their acquisition of Softcard (formerly ISIS) which is already backed by most of the United Stats’ major carriers.

Unfortunately that’s all we know at this point. We’re not sure what other plans Google has to affect the wireless payment scenes in a powerful way, but we should be treated to more details once Google I/O arrives.

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Watch the Samsung Galaxy S6 press conference in 60 seconds [VIDEO] Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:38:25 +0000 samsung whats next mwc galaxy s6

Not able to catch Samsung’s 45 minute unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge? Thankfully the company has condensed the entire event down into a 60 second highlight reel. It’ll dish out all the basic details you need to know about Samsung’s 2015 flagships.

If you need more, be sure to slice a bit of time out of your schedule later today and circle back to We’re posting comparisons, feature highlights, hands-on and more all throughout the day so you don’t want to miss a thing!

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Watch us get Androidified at MWC 2015 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:59:43 +0000 Android booth MWC 2015 DSC08511

Androidifying yourself is nothing new. The app has existed for quite some time and Google continues to utilize the resulting Android caricatures in advertising and media. This year at MWC 2015 they are inviting all attendees to Androidify themselves, offering custom badges and tote bags to commemorate the experience. Naturally, it’s one of the first things we had to do upon setting foot inside the show gates.

It’s hard to miss the giant Android head that adorns Google’s outdoor booth. We went right inside and got to work on making our Android counterparts by way of several large touchscreens adorning the walls. You can see the end result in the above video.

androidify-front-entrance Android booth MWC 2015 DSC08504 androidify-chris-finished androidify-chris-customizing androidify-chris-customizing-3 android-pins-list android-pins-map Android Be Together Not The Same DSC08507 ]]> 3
SanDisk was able to stuff 200GB of storage space inside their latest microSD card Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:23:55 +0000 SanDisk-microSD200gb-hero-blnk

You thought SanDisk’s 128GB microSD cards were insane? The company has just announced another huge milestone — a whopping 200GB of data inside a chip smaller than the size of a nickle. It’s a UHS-1 Class 10 chip, which means it can transfer data at up to 90 megabytes per second.

So why not 256GB, the natural step up from 128GB? It’s likely SanDisk was unable to physically fit enough circuitry, doodads and whatever else makes these things tick inside such a compact form factor. It’s possible that could change with refined engineering techniques in the future, but for now this is as high as it gets.

You shouldn’t bat an eyelash at 200GB. It’s absolutely insane, and it’s even crazier to know that it can work in any device that supports microSDXC cards of 64GB or higher (which includes the newly-announced HTC One M9, but unfortunately not the just-as-fresh Samsung Galaxy S6).

Of course, you’d have to be willing to spend the $400 that this thing will cost to start so if you have that sort of money to throw around on micro storage chips you’ll likely be able to afford a smartphone that can utilize it. The chips are due Q2 2015.

[via SanDisk]

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Samsung introduces new version of the Gear VR fit for Samsung Galaxy S6 + Edge Sun, 01 Mar 2015 20:31:49 +0000 samsung gear vr for s6 s6 edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 owners won’t be the only ones who can get in on the virtual reality fun. Samsung announced a new edition of the Samsung Gear VR made especially for the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

It’s the same headset, essentially — you put it on your face, drop your phone in and take in a horde of content in virtual reality — but this one will hold the company’s latest flagships instead of yesteryear’s phablet. Pricing is expected to be similar so try to set aside $200 if you’re interested. If that’s too rich for you, well, it should still work perfectly fine inside of something like Google Cardboard.

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Samsung Pay aims to do what other wireless payment platforms can’t Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:53:53 +0000 samsung wireless payment

During the announcement event for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the South Korean giant introduced a new payment platform to take on Apple and Google.

It’s called Samsung Pay — based on the recently acquired LoopPay — and it will use the NFC + Magnetic Secure Transmission chips found inside the company’s latest smartphones to facilitate wireless transactions with a great deal of pre-existing point-of-sale terminals. Samsung’s chip will allow their payment service to be compatible with more merchants and banking institutions than any other single service. Here are just a few of the partners they’ve gotten on board on the banking side:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Bank of America
  • Citi
  • Chase
  • U.S. Bank

Not too shabby a list there.

They’ve taken a lot of pride in the strides made in areas of security, as well. The company has incorporated new elements into Samsung KNOX that will serve as the backbone of the secure payment platform.

The use of temporary tokens makes it so that your hard credit card information is not mishandled by whichever merchants you do business with, and your information doesn’t get saved to your device which would make it hard for any thieving no-gooders to somehow snag your credit card information from your phone.

It all sounds very promising, but we’ll have to wait until the service launches before seeing just how much potential Samsung has to impact the wireless payments scene.

The first markets to receive it will be South Korea and the United States this summer, with Samsung looking to extend into parts of Asia and EU before too long. Anyone with a Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will be able to give it a go once it hits their market.

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