Unlocked Moto Z units receiving Nougat update in the U.S.

As promised, Motorola is now rolling out Android 7.0 Nougat to the unlocked variant of the Moto Z in the U.S., a wait that, for many, was far too long.

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The company told Android Central last month that it wouldn’t be until February that the unlocked Moto Z would begin getting upgraded to Android 7.0, well after the Verizon edition, which was released over two months earlier.

Motorola USA hasn’t acknowledged the rollout yet, which appears to be happening in small chunks to minimize problems.

The company also said that it would begin pushing the Nougat update to the Moto Z Play sometime in March.

Motorola has come under fire in recent months for falling behind other manufacturers in getting the latest version of Android to its devices, especially since, when it was owned by Google (but still run independently), it was second only to its parent company in issuing updates to its devices.


Android 7.0 starts rolling out to the unlocked Moto Z

Good news today for those who purchased the unlocked Motorola Moto Z directly from the manufacturer. As promised, the update to Android 7.0 has begun rolling out to the handset OTA. That means that those sporting the model will soon be able to avail themselves of the new features that come with Android 7.0. We are talking about the enhanced version of Doze which improves your battery life, the multi-task multi-screen, an improved notification system, the ability to close all open apps with a single tap, and more. It also adds support for Google’s Daydream VR platform.

When you receive notification …

7 awesome Android and iOS games you've probably never heard of

The mobile gaming market is a flooded one. There are new games coming out each day, and developers really struggle to make a splash in the huge ocean that are the various app stores. And while the majority of the unknown titles remain unknown for a reason, there are these select few that really deserve more exposure.

So, in order to give them said exposure and try and boost the confidence of some pretty solid developers by increasing their download stats, we decided to go digging through game development forums, subreddits and message boards for a portion of these diamonds in the rough.

So, …

Android 7.1.2 brings fingerprint gestures over to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P likely to follow

Two days ago, Google announced that a new maintenance update for Android Nougat is rolling out to Pixel and Nexus 5X owners participating in the Android Beta program. The developer preview is currently available only to owners of the aforementioned devices, although a version for the Nexus 6P is expected to follow soon.

According to Google, Android 7.1.2 is an “incremental maintenance update focused on polishing and refinements,” but Nexus 5X owners who have installed it on their phones are now reporting that a cool new feature has popped up in Settings …

Sony Xperia Z5 successor could be showcased behind closed doors at MWC 2017

Sony fans can’t wait for the company’s MWC 2017 announcements, which are set to go live on February 27. However, the Japanese company might not bring any flagship smartphones at the trade fair.

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The so-called Sony Yoshino that leaked not long ago is said to pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and a stunning 4k display. If Sony introduces the flagship later this month, it might not be able to put it on sale until after the Galaxy S8 hits the shelves in late April.

In order to avoid that, Sony is now rumored to have delayed the announcement of its Xperia flagship for a later date. Still, the device will still be present at MWC 2017, but it will only be showcased behind closed doors.

Instead, Sony will unveil at least four other Xperia mid-range Android smartphones, which are only known by their codenames: BlancBright, Keyaki, Hinoki and Mineo.

The latest rumor concerning Sony Xperia Z5’s successor certainly comes in line with the latest reports claiming the Snapdragon 835 chipset won’t be commercially widely available until after the end of April. That if Sony really wants this CPU inside its flagship, of course.

Android 7.0 update for the German Moto Z Play is delayed until next month

Motorola Germany’s official Twitter account is delivering some bad news today to owners of the unlocked Moto Z Play in that country. The update to Android 7.0 that was expected to hit the phone by the end of January, is now scheduled for March. And the Moto Z Play isn’t the only Moto handset in Germany that is affected by a Nougat delay. The Moto G4 family made up of the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play were also supposed to receive the tasty Nougat update at the end of last month. But this never happened.

With the delay, German owners of the Moto G4, Moto G4 Plus and Moto G4 Play …

What a steal! Spectacular platformer Limbo discounted to $0.99 on Android, 83% off

ProductLocationItem ConditionCurrent PriceOffer ExpiresLimboGoogle Play-$0.99 ($4.99)-

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When executed well, simplicity is memorable and easily stands the test of time. 
That’s exactly what made the award-winning atmospheric puzzle-platformer Limbo a game that’s almost universally loved; a living proof that less is indeed more. Words can’t do justice to Limbo, as it’s a game that has to be experienced. Too bad if you haven’t had the chance to do just that as its one of the best examples for an indie …

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 coming, mobile chief confirms

At Samsung’s 837 “experience store” in New York’s trendy Meatpacking District, a few visitors lined up to try the company’s virtual reality experience based on the action series “24.” Others took in a latte and a comfy chair, surrounded by the latest phones and smartwatches.

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The “store” — it should be noted that you can’t actually purchase items there — is a boastful showcase of the latest and greatest tech from Samsung.

Two floors above, Samsung’s mobile chief, D.J. Koh, sat in a conference room on Thursday, flanked by his lieutenants. None was in the mood to brag.

Koh spoke with CNET ahead of Sunday’s big how-it-all-happened press conference, going into detail about why the Galaxy Note 7 caught fire. In talking about the company’s plans to rebuild its credibility with consumers, Koh confirmed that Samsung would bring out a successor to the Galaxy Note 7.

“I will bring back a better, safer and very innovative Note 8,” Koh said.

The decision is a risky move for Samsung, given the baggage the Note brand now carries. It’s been the butt of countless jokes. For the past several months, airline attendants were required to say that Note 7 phones could not be carried on flights, even if they were powered off. The Note 8, which following previous years’ precedent will likely debut this fall, will serve as a measuring stick for how much progress Samsung makes in the coming months.

“A lot is going to be based on the next great thing that comes out that’s problem-free,” said Thomas Cooke, a professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business.

To Koh, the Note garnered a group of devoted users he couldn’t walk away from.

“We found through the investigative process, we knew there are lots and lots of loyal Note customers,” he said.

Indeed, Samsung says its most loyal base of customers across all of its products (and it makes a lot of stuff) are those who’ve bought Note models. Just look at the thousands of Note 7 users still on Verizon — the carrier has to take drastic action like routing calls to its customer service to get them to turn the devices in.

Globally, 96 percent of Note 7 buyers have traded in their phones. In the US, the official tally is 97 percent, but Tim Baxter, president of Samsung’s US arm, says the volume of phones taken out of use is actually closer to 99 percent because more than half of the remaining units are no longer connected to cell networks. “We are pushing to get to that 100 percent,” he said.

Beyond its loyal customers, Samsung is likely unwilling to give up one of the marquee pieces of its mobile portfolio. The company is often criticized as a fast-follower, mimicking the hot trends of competitors (read: Apple). But Samsung was the first to hit the market with a jumbo phone, and the Note brand endured years of ridicule before people started to warm up to the idea of a phone that can double as a cheese plate.

When you think big phones, you think Samsung first.

There’s also a personal reason for Koh, who said that he and his team developed the original S-Pen stylus that is the signature feature on the Note line.

More than 10,000 Note customers have signed up to stay connected to Samsung for more updates, according to Baxter. He added that there is still a large base of Note 4 and Note 5 customers who are looking for an upgrade.

LG G6 leaked image shows top half with impressively small bezels

The Xiaomi Mi Mix ‘concept’ phone from last year really did predict the future, in terms of screen-to-body ratio of upcoming smartphones. That said, we assume not many were expecting minimal bezels to become a feature of top of the line handsets from Samsung and LG so soon after the Mi Mix’s outing. But here we are.

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The Galaxy S8 has long been rumored to have almost no top and bottom bezels, and the side bezels are taken care of by the curved touchscreen. And now it looks like LG won’t let its fellow South Korean company get all the accolades for killing the bezels in 2017.

The G6 is going to be unveiled on February 26 at MWC, earlier than the Samsung Galaxy S8, and it apparently shall have a “screen-to-bezel ratio is greater than 90 percent”. The information has been leaked alongside the image you can see above, which purportedly shows us the top half of the G6.

LG’s next flagship phone is once again ‘confirmed’ to sport a 5.7-inch display with an unusual 2:1 aspect ratio. The bottom bezel (not shown here) is rumored to be “only slightly taller than the top bezel”. The G6 also has curved display corners, and the entire device will be made from glass and metal. It will keep the headphone jack that’s been known to disappear from certain competing products, and it’s expected to be water-resistant too.

The G6’s battery will not be user-replaceable, a feature that its predecessors have boasted. The modularity of the G5 will be gone, as we told you a while back. “The rear design of the phone” will be very similar to that of the G5, today’s report goes on to say, with a dual camera array fitted alongside a fingerprint scanner. We’ve already seen this portrayed in some earlier leaked renders originating at a case maker.

Metal clad Asus ZenPad 3S 10 LTE tablet with Snapdragon 650 CPU, 4GB RAM announced

Asus has already announced the upcoming availability a couple of Android smartphones earlier this year, the ZenFone AR and ZenFone 3 Zoom. More recently, the Taiwanese company introduced to the world its new premium tablet, the ZenPad 3S 10 LTE.

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The ZenPad 3S 10 LTE (Z500KL) is not to be mistaken with the ZenPad 3S 10 LTE (Z500M), which was launched last year with a 2.1GHz hexa-core MediaTek MT8716 chipset inside.

The new slab comes equipped with a much different 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 processor, coupled with and Adreno 510 graphics processing unit, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory.

The premium tablet features metal finish and it’s only 6.75mm thin. It weighs around 490g since it’s powered by a generous 7,900 mAh battery, which should provide users with up to 16 hours of usage or 150 hours of standby.

As the name suggests, the tablet comes with LTE support and sports a 9.7-inch (not 10-inch) display that supports 1536 x 2048 pixels resolution. Those who wish to take photos now and then, will be able to do so since the slab packs an 8-megapixel rear camera, which, sadly, lacks LED flash.

There’s also a secondary 5-megapixel camera in the front for selfies and video calls. The ZenPad 3S 10 LTE runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and it will be available for purchase for around $405.