Honor 5X versus Honor 7

As Huawei’s Honor brand grows its mid-range offerings, it’s time to measure up 2015′s Honor 7 against the just-released Honor 5X

With the recent announcement of the Honor 5X — the first Honor phone to hit the U.S. market — Huawei’s affordable sub-brand continues its focus on delivering decent specs at compelling price points. Over in Europe, Honor has already been competing around the £200-250 mark with the Honor 7, a similar handset that’s been available since late 2014. So with the 5X due to land globally in the near future, it’s time to see how it measures up against its little brother.

Read on for our quick comparison of the Honor 5X and Honor 7.

The specs

Category Honor 7 Honor 5X
Operating System Android 5.1 Lollipop (with upgrade), EMUI 3.1 Android 5.1, EMUI 3.1
Display 5.2-inch 1080p LCD 5.5-inch 1080p LCD
Dimensions 143.2mm x 71.9mm x 8.5mm 151.3mm x 76.3mm x 8.15mm
Weight 158 grams 157 grams
CPU HiSilicon Kirin 935 (octa-core, 2.2GHz + 1.5GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 (octa-core, 1.5Ghz + 1.2GHz)
RAM 3GB 2GB
Storage 16GB + microSD 16GB + microSD
Camera 20.7MP, F/2.0 lens 13MP, F/2.0 lens
Front camera 8MP, F/2.4 lens, front LED flash 5MP, F/2.4 lens
Battery 3100mAh internal 3000mAh internal

External hardware

The shared design language of the Honor 7 and 5X is plain to see. From the front, the Honor 5X could easily be mistaken for its smaller sibling. Around the back, the differences are more subtle. Both devices use aluminum bodies, with plastic sections top and bottom to allow the antennae to do their thing. The main difference here is the finish of the metal — the Honor 7 features a “sand-blasted” aluminum rear, while the 5X has a slicker texture with an attractive brushed pattern. It’s not unlike the back of the HTC One M9 in terms of both look and feel.

The slicker finish of the 5X makes it feel less obviously metallic than the Honor 7.

The slicker finish of the 5X makes it feel less obviously metallic than the Honor 7. In fact, pick it up for the first time and you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for plastic. Both look like classy devices — especially for the price — but the heft of the Honor 7 and its coarser texture give it more of a premium feel.

The other obvious difference is size. The Honor 7 packs a relatively compact 5.2-inch 1080p screen with slim horizontal bezels, whereas the 5X bumps this up to a roomier 5.5 inches at the same resolution. Despite this, both phones weigh about the same — 158 grams for the 5X versus 157 for the 7. And given that the Honor 5X’s mass is spread out over a wider area, it doesn’t feel quite as hefty.

Both phones offer an excellent fingerprint security system — a core feature of the series — and we’ve noticed no differences in the capabilities of the sensors used in the Honor 7 and 5X. Both are quick reliable and easy to set up.

Aside from the most obvious difference — the size — there’s not a whole lot separating the displays of these two phones. Both the 5.2-inch screen of the Honor 7 and the 5X’s 5.5-incher are Full HD 1080p panels, and both are similarly bright and vibrant, being easily visible in direct sunlight. Viewing angles are ever so slightly wider on the Honor 7, though the 5X’s screen is perfectly fine in most use cases.

The Honor 5X is missing something crucial, though, and it has to do with what’s on top of that display — or rather what’s not. Unlike its smaller sibling, the 5X lacks any kind of oleophobic coating on its display, which means it’s highly susceptible to getting gunked up from finger grease — much more so than the Honor 7. It’s probably the phone’s biggest hardware compromise, and one that you’re aware of each time you use the device.

Software and Performance

The Honor 7 is due an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow imminently — sometime this month, according to the company. Meanwhile the Honor 5X launches on Android 5.1 Lollipop. And while it’ll get Marshmallow in the future, it’ll presumably be sometime after its higher-end cousin.

There’s a lot of customization going on in both phones, and it’s not always for the best.

So for the moment, the face of both phones is version 3.1 of Huawei’s EMUI software, which is slowly improving, but remains something of an acquired taste. EMUI is based around an iOS-style springboard home screen arrangement, with icons being tweaked to fit with EMUI’s visual style. The interface is heavily themeable, and you’ll find plenty through the online theme portal. But most will mess with your icons, often resulting in a graphics that look slightly out of place.

Notifications (including lock screen notifications) are also handled the Huawei way, not the Google Android way, which can take a bit of getting used to. And on the current Honor 7 stable software (not including the Marshmallow beta), there are a few unresolved bugs that prevent apps like Gmail from displaying clearly in the notification shade. (Or at all on the lock screen.) That’s not good — but it is fixed in the Honor 5X’s variation of EMUI 3.1. Such are the vagaries of Huawei’s software.

Left: EMUI 4.0 on Honor 7; Right: EMUI 3.1 on Honor 5X

Huawei’s changes to the task-switching menu can make it more difficult to manage chrome tabs too. That’s an issue you’ll need to deal with on both handsets.

The Marshmallow update for Huawei phones will bring EMUI 4.0, a new revision of the software that we’ve already seen on the Mate 8. It’s an improvement in a lot of areas, with new swooping animations and a cleaner approach to the inevitable icon customization. But it’s not yet ready for public consumption.

The Honor 7 outperforms its cheaper sibling.

Despite the few frustrating software issues we’ve run across, EMUI actually does a lot right when it comes to features. Helpful gestures let you take screenshots by tapping the screen with your knuckle, bring down the notification shade by swiping down on the fingerprint scanner, or double-tap the sensor to clear notifications. Much of this stuff is buried in the Settings app, but it’s worth exploring to find new software tricks you might not be aware of.

So the bottom line here is that Huawei’s software in general will take some adjustment if you’re used to the way Android is interpreted by the likes of Samsung, LG and HTC. Software remains a sore spot for Huawei, but with any luck the upcoming EMUI 4 updates will bring a significant step forward.

One major surprise — or not, depending on your perspective — is that the Honor 7 seriously outperforms its less expensive brother in general UI responsiveness and animation fluidity. That’s likely due to the differences in CPUs between the phones; whatever the reason, it’s noticeable.

Battery life

On paper there’s not much separating the batteries of the Honor 7 and Honor 5X — the former boasts a 3,100mAh fixed internal cell, while the latter has a 3,000mAh unit. One significant factor affecting power consumption is that you’re powering a smaller display in the Honor 7 — although the differences in CPU will likely affect longevity too.

In real-world usage, the Honor 5X seems to come out on top, but not by a lot. We’ve easily gotten a full day out of these phones, but heavy use seems to take a greater toll on the Honor 7 than the 5X. The cheaper, Snapdragon-powered 5X routinely got us 5 hours of screen-on time per day, whereas the Kirin-powered Honor 7 got us between 4 and 4.5 hours.

As we’ve noted above, though, the Honor 7 feels noticeably quicker during day-to-day use, so at least you’re getting something extra in exchange for a slight hit in battery life.

Camera

Both the Honor 7 and Honor 5X put in a pretty good showing here, with the 20-megapixel Honor 7 camera and the 5X’s 13-megapixel shooter producing generally good-looking images in well-lit scenes — before falling victim to the laws of physics in darker conditions. The Honor 7 has a higher ceiling for image quality, and is also less susceptible to the kind of artefacting and noise that tends to eat away at fine detail. But these are differences you’ll only notice upon examining your photos up close.

No surprises — your extra £50 or so buys you better image quality in the Honor 7 — but the 5X isn’t far behind.

Perhaps the most obvious difference is the Honor 7′s superior dynamic range. The 5X tends to wash-out skies or underexpose terrain in shots with challenging lighting conditions, though this can be mitigated with HDR mode.

The other big difference is the front camera. The Honor 7 can boast a sharper 8-megapixel sensor for selfies, along with a front-facing LED to illuminate your mug in darker conditions. Unsurprisingly, the plain old 5-megapixel front-facer of the Honor 5X can’t quite measure up. It’s fine in daylight; in a dark bar at night, not so much.

You’ll also miss out on some of Huawei’s headline camera modes on the Honor 5X, the big one being Super Night mode, which lets you use a tripod (or very steady hands) to capture longer exposures. Whether that’s due to the optics of the camera or merely the lack of a capable sensor, night photography isn’t among the 5X’s strengths.


Wrap-up

With the 5X, Honor has reinterpreted its 2015 flagship as an entry-level device that retains many (but not all) of its premium features. Obviously the Honor 7 is the better device, in terms of both speed, build quality and feature set. The question when deciding between the two has to come down to what the extra £50 — assuming you’re buying unlocked — gets you.

The answer? A subtle but tangible improvement in build quality, a screen that won’t get gunked up so easily, a superior camera experience and a faster update to Marshmallow.

That said, the core experience of the Honor 5X is really solid for a phone that costs less off-contract than many smartwatches and other high-end accessories. The fact that you can get a complete (although not perfect) Android experience for £189.99 is impressive in itself.

Software is a crucial part of any phone, though, and both models stumble a little in this area — at least for the moment. That said, we’re hopeful for some meaningful improvements in the upcoming EMUI 4.0

Have you bought an Honor 5X or Honor 7? Share your thoughts on these phones down in the comments!

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AC editors’ apps of the week: The Silent Age, Craft Check, Wallapop and more

Our weekly app picks

It’s Appday Sunday and that means we’re back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!


Phil Nickinson — The Silent Age

I’m back on the exercise bike again. Every morning, for at least 30 minutes. And while I love a good time-wasting game — something I can put up and put down without too much investment — there’s nothing better than something immersive for killing time going nowhere. Vainglory has been my go-to for that. But some recent downtime sent me searching for something new. And The Silent Age quickly (though briefly) filling that gap. It’s your basic tap-and-walk puzzler. The artwork is simple but well done and fits the overall tone of the game. It’s sort of a modern-day throwback to the likes of Kings Quest and its ilk. Only with time travel. The storyline is first-class, and the puzzles are a little on the easy side. And the ending felt a little abrupt. The first episode is free, and I couldn’t fork over $5 to finish it fast enough. The problem is now I’m done, and I want more.

Download: The Silent Age (first chapter free, second chapter is $5

Russell Holly — Craft Check

I don’t do a lot of drinking, and I’m just about as far as you can get from being a beer snob, but I love trying new things. Since I don’t know a ton about what goes into this process, I rely fairly heavily on word of mouth and pretty labels to tell me what drinks might be good when roaming the store. One such beverage popped up in a TV commercial recently, and I went and bought some immediately. When handing one to a friend who is a beer snob, I got a 30 minute lecture on why it is bad that mainstream brewing companies are pretending to be craft beer companies with new products, and that the tasty thing in my hand wasn’t made by some scrappy upstart like I’d have thought by looking only at the label.

A solution to this problem, if you think you care enough to check in the store, is Craft Check. It’s a simple barcode scanner app that lets you know a little background on the company making your potential purchase. If nothing else, it’s fun to get some extra information before making the purchase.

Download: Craft Check (Free)

Andrew Martonik — Swappa Price

As we approach another huge set of phone announcements at MWC, now’s the time to start formulating a plan for selling your current devices to get together the money for whatever interests you next. Swappa Price is a super simple app that identifies your phone, and lets you know the history of what that model has been selling for on the Swappa marketplace. You can also search for different models if you’re interested in buying the devices that are being offloaded around this time.

Unfortunately if you actually want to make a purchase or sale you still have to load up the mobile website (we would hope the app ends up incorporating this), but when it comes to buying or selling used phones it’s always great to get as much information as possible. Swappa Price gives you another data point, and makes sure you get a good price for your outgoing phone.

Download: Swappa Price (Free)

Jen Karner — MARVEL Avengers Academy

I’m not usually drawn to many city builder style games because I generally don’t remember to come back to check on my town. I am however a gigantic Marvel fan, and the idea of my favorite heroes as teenagers is amusing enough to draw me in. You’ll need to purchase buildings like Stark Tower, The Timeless Archives, and Pym’s Lab to fill up the school campus and prepare for the onslaught that HYDRA has thrown at you.

You’ll start out with Iron Man, before quickly acquiring Loki and Wasp to start. As you level up you’ll be able to add heroes like Black Widow, The Hulk and Captain America to your team. You’ll level up by completing small quests on the campus with each member of your team, and getting buildings upgraded. This game is fun, easy to get hooked on, and a ton of fun to play.

Download: MARVEL Avengers Academy (Free)

Jerry Hildenbrand — Wallapop

I just bought an iPhone 4 for $20. I don’t have any need for an iPhone 4, but dude — $20. Someone will want it. I hope.

The important part is how I bought it. Wallapop is an app that lets you post stuff for sale, and people local to you can see it inside the app and then come buy it. It’s just like the local newspaper classifieds people used to use. Or a smaller version of Craigslist without the prostitutes. When someone is interested in your listing, they chat with you through the app. No personal data is shared until/unless you want to share it. Then you meet the person with old iPhones in the McDonald’s parking lot and make the deal.

Anyhoo, if you love to buy and sell junk (I love it, my wife does not love me loving it) or even stuff that’s not junk, give Wallapop a look. If you see me selling an iPhone 4 for only $25, holler.

Download: Wallapop (Free)

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The Sony Xperia Z5 And Z5 Compact Are Now Available In The US For $600 And $500, Respectively

nexus2cee_DSC03189-728x485While they don’t carry the same popularity as flagships from Samsung, HTC, and LG, Sony still has some dedicated fans of its unique hardware. Those fans will be glad to know that the Xperia Z5 and its smaller cousin the Xperia Z5 Compact are now on sale in the United States, right on time. According to Sony’s blog post, both phones should now be available at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and other electronics retailers.

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The Sony Xperia Z5 And Z5 Compact Are Now Available In The US For $600 And $500, Respectively was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Weekend Poll] Where Do You Prefer The Headphone Jack – Top Or Bottom?

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Today’s question could be a contentious one, or it might not – I’m genuinely unsure. I know that for many people, headphone jack placement on a smartphone can be a point of consternation when it’s anything but <insert your preference here.> As someone who reviews smartphones, I deal with all kinds of headphone jack placements. Well, when I say “all kinds,” I mean basically five: top left, top middle, top right, bottom left, and bottom right.

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[Weekend Poll] Where Do You Prefer The Headphone Jack – Top Or Bottom? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Hangouts now uses P2P connections for better call quality

hangouts

When people see the phrase “peer to peer connection”, a lot would probably assume we’re talking about torrents and illegal downloads, since that is the most popular way that people use to share files. But you also can use P2P to have better quality connections, and it looks like that is what Google is banking on as they add it to the backend options for Google Hangouts. A spokesperson has confirmed that “when possible”, the messaging app will switch to P2P connections to improve call quality and speed.

A reddit user first spotted this on their Google Hangouts for Android app. When an online news outlet reached out to the tech giant, a spokesman confirmed that they are indeed switching to P2P whenever the quality of the call needs to be improved and it is possible. And if you go to the Help section of Hangouts, you’ll find a support document to explain this away. It says that instead of your call going through Google’s servers, it “efficiently routes” your call directly to the person you’re talking to.

google_hangouts_android_p2p-337x600

So that means, you’re letting Google know your location through your IP address, which may be a source of concern for some. But it looks like there is no way to show that IP address through the Hangouts app interface. Skype is one of those communication apps that use P2P connection for their calls but it is only lately that they hid the IP addresses by default.

The peer-to-peer functionality has rolled out not just for Google Hangouts for Android but also for all the other platforms where it is available. Since this is a small backend upgrade, you probably won’t notice the update, but it’s there and it’s important to improve the quality of your calls.

VIA: Venture Beat

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Mobile Nations Weekly: Rumors, acquisitions, and accusations

Everything is crazy.

For being in the weird pre-MWC quiet time, it was a busy week. The biggest news was a surprise acquisition: Microsoft snapped up keyboard app company SwiftKey for $250 million. The slow burn leading up to MWC got a little bit hotter with Sunday, February 21, being the official day for Samsung’s next big event — *cough*Galaxy S7*cough*. Speaking of the GS7, it’s backside got leaked, we asked what you want in the GS7 and you told us a lot, including waterproofing. Oh, and yeah, it’s not an official phone or anything yet — but we’re giving away a Galaxy S7 at Android Central!

When it comes to Apple, though, it was an interesting week. iPhone owners that had their phones fixed by unauthorized repair companies were suddenly locked out of their phones thanks to a generic error that turned out to be related to very legitimate securty integrity concerns and Apple found the quality of its own apps under assault — a fair argument, but one lacking in nuance or depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic third-party apps, like great drawing apps for the iPad Pro and excellent iPhone mail apps. Oh, and Apple’s own Music Memos is really pretty great, while we’re on the subject.

On the Windows front, it was update city. Windows 10 Insiders saw build 14257 , Windows 10 Mobile insiders got build 10586.71, and everybody is expected to get Windows 10build 10586.105 next week. Japanese manufacturer VAIO also made small waves with the introduction of their first Windows 10 Mobile handset, the “Phone Biz”, which tells you exactly who they think that phone’s meant for.

All of this and more, in this week on Mobile Nations!

Android Central — Billions

It was a busy week filled with news from a ton of sources, with a little something for everyone.

Speaking of everyone, Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users, as does WhatsApp, and Lollipop is still king in terms of market share among Android phones. In a bit of a shocker, Microsoft purchased SwiftKey for a reported $250 million.

Motorola, Google and Verizon all have some sort of Valentine’s Day promos to save you some money.

It was another week of Galaxy S7 information, speculation and analysis, which makes sense as we get even closer to MWC at the end of the month. After Samsung finally unveiled the date of its launch event to be Feb. 21, we got a new leaked render showing off the backs of the phones. We also explored the idea of waterproofing coming back to the Galaxy S7 after being removed in the GS6.

Love Android? Then you’ll love our new shirts!

CrackBerry — Ups and downs

The past week started off with a bang as BlackBerry released their latest security update followed by announcing the Priv in Australia but by the end of the week, there was a little bit of rough news as well as layoffs and departures within BlackBerry have appeared once again.

iMore — Best things ever

It’s sounding like Apple’s March 15 event is a go, but there’s many a week still between now and new, so we’ve been rounding up the best drawing apps for iPad Pro, best mail apps for iPhone, and kicking off our all-new intructional series with how to make your own website when you don’t know how to code.

Meanwhile, in our Experts column, Dave Wisksus of Airplane Mode explains why Music Memos is a songwriter’s best friend and in community column, The Network, Myke Hurley of Relay.fm tell us why happiness is a podcasting family. Oh, and then there’s this:

Windows Central — Updates for updates

Microsoft was busy again this week. Windows 10 build 14257 for Fast Ring Insiders was released for those on the PC. The update did fix a lot of bugs as Microsoft continues to optimize OneCore in preparation for new Redstone features. Likewise, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.71 was released for all Insiders with new OS optimizations and fixes.

Next week, we’re expecting build 10586.105 for PC as a cumulative update for non-Insiders and maybe mobile as well. And VAIO announced their first Windows 10 Mobile handset in Japan, dubbed the Phone Biz.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL started to receive yet-another firmware update. The update should go wider in the coming weeks to other regions. Speaking of the Lumia 950 XL we’re giving one away in a new contest.

We unboxed and gave a brief tour of the new 7mm thin Coship Moly X1 Windows 10 Mobile phone. Microsoft asked what HoloLens could do for the NFL with a new concept video. Finally, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are buying SwiftKey to integrate into their Word Flow keyboard.

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Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact (both sans fingerprint sensor) now available in the U.S.

A quick heads up that the Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, as promised, are now available in the U.S. unlocked. As you’ll recall from our Xperia Z5 review, these are 5.2- and 4.6-inch phones, respectively, at 1080p and 720p resolution. Both are powered by Snapdragon 810 processors and feature Sony’s excellent 23-megapixel Exmor camera systems.

Missing form the U.S. models, however, are fingerprint readers, which are becoming more important as phones and apps update to Android 6.x Marshmallow.

Z5 at Amazon   Z5 Compact at Amazon

Here’s a look at the two models side by side:

Facts and figures

Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact Specs

Category Xperia Z5 Xperia Z5 Compact
Operating System Android 5.1 (Lollipop) Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 octa-core 64 bit processor
GPU Adreno 430 Adreno 430
Display Resolution 5.2-inch 1920×1080 resolution (428 ppi), IPS display 4.6-inch 1280×720 resolution (323 ppi), IPS display
Glass panel Chemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coating Chemical tempered glass + Anti-fingerprint coating
Display Technology TRILUMINOS display with X-Reality TRILUMINOS display with X-Reality
Rear camera 23MP Exmor RS sensor
4K video
24 mm wide-angle G Lens
HDR photo and video
ISO12800 Photo / 4000 Video
SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
23MP Exmor RS sensor
4K video
24 mm wide-angle G Lens
HDR photo and video
ISO12800 Photo / 4000 Video
SteadyShot with Intelligent Active Mode
Front camera 5MP Exmor R sensor
Full HD 1080p for video chat
25 mm wide-angle lens
SteadyShot with Intelligent
Active Mode
Superior Auto
5MP Exmor R sensor
Full HD 1080p for video chat
25 mm wide-angle lens
SteadyShot with Intelligent
Active Mode
Superior Auto
RAM 3GB 2GB
Storage Up to 32GB
microSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported)
Up to 32GB
microSD™ card, up to 200GB (SDXC supported)
Fingerprint sensor Side-mounted, in power key Side-mounted, in power key
Battery 2900 mAh 2700 mAh
Quick Charge Yes Yes
SIM Card Nano SIM Nano SIM
Design IP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
IP65 / IP68 dust-tight & waterproof
Capless USB
Networks LTE (4G), LTE Cat6, GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G) LTE (4G), LTE Cat6, GSM GPRS/EDGE (2G), UMTS HSPA+ (3G)
Size 146 x 72 x 7.3 mm 127 x 65 x 8.9 mm
Weight 154 g 138 g
Colors White, Graphite Black, Gold, Green White, Graphite Black, Yellow, Coral

So which one’s right for you? Here’s how we summed things up back in November:

Sony continues to cater to a market that other manufacturers ignore. If you want a high end phone without a large display and the form factor to go with it, you go Sony. And if you’re interested in an Xperia Z5 at all, the Compact is the one to go for. It’s cheaper while offering the same experience as the larger phone in a package that’s virtually identical. Just smaller.

You can also find the Z5 line at Best Buy and at NewEgg.

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From the Editor’s Desk: On Podcasts …

It was fun this week watching folks get all excited because one person (which grew to “some” by the time the Internet game of telephone got ahold of it) apparently got an early look at what podcasts in Google Play Music might look like. And it’s probably pretty close — if you’ve used Google Play Music at all you should have a pretty good sense of how this’ll work. Nothing too surprising there.

It’s just really odd that it took Google so long after the death of (the poorly named) Google Listen to remember that podcasts are very much still a thing. And it has nothing to do with the “Serial phenomenon” (popular as the first season was) and everything to do with the shift in how we consume entertainment. That’s hardly a new realization, of course. But the trick to a la carte is in discovery. If you don’t know what’s on the menu, you’ll starve. And that’s why it’s all the more surprising that it took Google — the company that makes its living off organizing data — so long to get this back on its radar.

And podcasts are better than ever. Not just in sound quality, but the content of the quality as well. The fact that a sitting president sat down with a comedian for a rather introspective hourlong conversation — if you haven’t heard it, click here!!! — still floors me. (And of all the crazies running right now on both sides, I’d love to hear Jeb Bush — the lone grown-up on that side of things — do an hour like that and just be a semi-regular person, ya know? Jeb: Call me. I’ve got a show.)

Podcasts are coming back to Google, and soon, from the looks of it. It’s going to be real interesting to see if Google Play Music manages to unseat any of the really good podcatchers we already have on Android.

What I’m currently listening to: Nerdist, Star Talk, Ted Radio Hour, Sex With Emily, and and few others that are more sporadic. I actually have to limit the number of shows I’m subscribed to because of Android Auto’s six-tap limit — I can’t scroll down too far. (It’ll be interesting to see how quick you run into that with podcasts in Google Play Music.) But if you’ve got anything you think I absolutely should listen to, sing out in the comments.

And in any event, be sure to subscribe to our show!

A few other things I think I think:

  • I’m back on the LG G4 now that it’s got Marshmallow. It’s so nice to use a phone that actually fits in my pocket. That’s my chief issue with the Nexus 6P. Makes me excited for the G5 and the GS7.
  • I get why folks are wary about Microsoft buying SwiftKey. Maybe they should be. Maybe I’m a little blinded because I know those guys and believe them when they say they’re not going anywhere.
  • Or maybe I’m just an optimist.
  • I’ve been enjoying all the pre-announcement SEO jousting for the Galaxy S7. But I’ve got to say we’ve not written a single post that I’ve been unhappy with. I’m fine talking about plausible possibilities (plausibilities?), so long as we’re smart about it.
  • Frankly, I’m also pretty excited about the LG G5, and not just because that gives me an excuse to type LG G5 a few more times.
  • I don’t think I’ll be OK with the buttons moving from the back. The fingerprint sensor is a big deal, and it just didn’t work on the V10.
  • I’m enjoying the town halls so much more than the proper debates. They’re so much less about sound bytes and so much more about actually trying to give answers.
  • But you can’t make this stuff up.
  • Good recap of last night here. Goes back to what I was saying about loathing soundbite politics.
  • The fact checks are still pretty brutal, though.
  • I want to actually pay for services I use and not get gouged for them. Why is this so hard?
  • If you haven’t already (and what’s wrong with you?) it’s time to subscribe!
  • A fun little upcoming addition to the Android Central App — you’ll soon be able to invite your friends to use the app. And you should!

OK, I’m running out of things to pimp this week. Go buy one of these shirts. See y’all Monday.

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Save 50% today on this tempered glass screen protector for Galaxy Note 5

Much stronger than your average plastic film protector, Amzer’s tempered glass screen protector provides top-notch scratch protection for the Galaxy Note 5′s display while retaining excellent clarity and touch screen response. On sale today for just $9.95!

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Five great Android apps to add a dash of science to your life

We’ve gotten used to the fact that we our phones can be used as anything from a flashlight to a video camera at a moment’s notice. It’s easy to get distracted and forget just how awesome the technology that they’re made up of actually is! That includes, of course, the science behind all of it. Science is all around us, and we use it to discover awesome new things every day whether it’s a breakthrough in physics or medicine or astronomy — or simply in using your computer or driving a car. It’s everywhere!

But if you don’t feel like you have enough science in your life, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got five handpicked apps to help bring a bit more science to your day.


TED

If you aren’t already familiar with TED talks then you seriously have no clue what you’ve been missing out on. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and these talks are given by some really fascinating people. Covering everything from Stephen Hawking talking about questioning the Universe, to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos discussing web innovation, to a guy making a clarinet out of a carrot right there on the stage. There are thousands of videos here, spanning dozens of languages, so ignoring TED talks would be an epic mistake.

While you don’t need the TED app to check out any of these talks, it is the easiest way to get your fix when you are on the go. The TED app will lets you download and bookmark your favorite talks, lets you know when new talks are added, and even has a radio option. You can also cast to your Chromecast or Android TV. TED talks are on the pulse of the way the world is changing, and it’s a great place to hang out if you realize there is a lack of science in your life.

Download: TED (Free)

Science Daily

In today’s world, trying to keep up with every bit of science news that comes out is nigh on impossible. There just isn’t enough time in the day to spend it hunting for news. That’s where Science Daily comes. This app is built specifically to help to find the science news that you’re looking for without any hassle in the process. It gives you hundreds of new articles daily on over a dozen different topics.

There aren’t really many bells and whistles to be found on the Science Daily app. Instead you’ll find tons of articles to slake your thirst for science. There are a half dozen main categories like Health and Education with niche topics nestled underneath. You can also check out just the Top Science News or Latest Headlines easily as well. When you come across the articles that are fascinating it’s also a breeze to bookmark or share them. You can also adjust the sizing of article fonts to make it easier to read.

Download: Science Daily (Free)

Skeptical Science

Climate change science is a big deal, and a surprisingly controversial one at that. There’s a lot of yelling and misinformation out there, and Skeptical Science aims to explain what peer reviewed science has to say about global warming. They give you an easy-to-navigate app that lets you easily educate yourself on the topic. It gives you access to the most common arguments against climate change, and then provides you with the facts to show how that argument is flawed — or just plain wrong.

Each argument gives you a great page with all the info you need, with the skeptic argument at the top, followed by what science currently says and then a longer explanation backed up with sourced facts. This trifecta makes it really easy to see and understand the science behind the debate; as they say, knowledge is power, and it’s hard to argue with what the scientific experts on the subject have to say.

Download: Skeptical Science (Free)

Electronics 101

Have you ever thought about wanting to refresh your electronics knowledge? Does your kid have questions you can’t remember the answers to? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you should definitely check out Electronics 101. This is just one of over a dozen apps by Education Flow that can help you catch up on topics like Physics, Biology, and Calculus.

Each of these fantastic educational apps is made to be accessible whether you learned about the topic years ago or this is your first encounter. You’ll get a breakdown of the terms, along with any symbols that are regularly used. These 101 apps are more or less text books, and they work really well doing just that. You can easily refresh your existing knowledge or start teaching yourself the basics. Electronics 101 is easy to use, and is completely available even when you’re offline.

Download: Electronics 101 (Free)

Hubble Space Center

Space is the final frontier, the last place left unexplored, and no one tool has done more to bring outer space down to earth than the Hubble Space Telescope. And so we have the Hubble Space Center app to bring you all the best from the Hubble Telescope. It’s a great app for both the new new fan of space and those that have been enamored with the universe for years.

The Hubble Space Center gives you access to everything this fantastic telescope has to offer. From facts about the Hubble Telescope itself, to news, to photos of space further away than we could possibly see with the naked eye. With over a thousand images in the gallery, you can easily share them to Facebook, or even set them as your wallpaper. If you’ve ever wanted to see space up close, this is a great place to start.

Download: Hubble Space Center (Free)

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Top-Down Racer Splash Cars Mixes And Matches Concepts From Micro Machines And Splatoon

splashNintendo’s kid-friendly multiplayer shooter Splatoon has been making a splash (sorry) in the wider gaming world ever since its release, thanks to an engaging mix of bright, colorful design and fresh gameplay ideas. We’re never going to see the full Splatoon on Android (even when Nintendo does get around to making mobile games), but if you’d like something with a similar feel, give Splash Cars a try. It hits a lot of the same notes in a single-player mobile package.

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Top-Down Racer Splash Cars Mixes And Matches Concepts From Micro Machines And Splatoon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Server Failed Issue & Other Related Problems

Welcome to another part of our troubleshooting series where we aim to resolve the #Samsung Galaxy #S4 issues that our readers are facing. Although this model can already be considered as an old phone there are still quite a number of people using this device which is why we are still catering to their requests. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Galaxy S4 camera server failed issue & other related problems. Some of our readers sent us issues of this nature which they are experiencing with their device which we will be discussing below.

Samsung Galaxy S4

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4  or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to contact us using this form. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We however ask that when you do contact us try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.  

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.  

You may also reach us at our Facebook and Google+ social media accounts.

S4 Camera Server Failed Error

Problem: CameraServer failed. Restart Camera is what comes up everytime i try to use the front camera . i’ve removed the battery and reset my phone , i’ve gone through the application manager and tried everything , ive also factory reset my phone but nothing works . i don’t use an sd card .

Solution: Since you already performed a factory reset which didn’t resolve the issue this now appears to be a hardware related problem. Is your phone still running on its stock firmware? If you are using a custom ROM on your phone then there’s a possibility that this problem will occur especially if the custom ROM you are using has bugs or if it is designed to work for a different phone model.

If your phone is still running on its stock software then the problem could be caused by a defective camera module. I suggest you bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it checked.

S4 Phone Restarts When Camera Is Used

Problem: I have a samsung galaxy S4 (i9500) smartphone that recently encountered a very rare problem. At the battery level of 60-70% or even higher or lower, If I open the camera to take a picture, the screen freezes and after that the phone restarts and this issue repeats again and again. If at the same time, I connect the phone to the charger, the problem disappear. I changed the phone battery with new one, but the problem still exist. I checked the Internet for any solutions, the none of them solved the problem. Also I reset the phone and even upgraded it to 5.0.1, but the problem still exist. Do you have solution for this?

Solution: Since the problem disappears when you connect the phone to a charger then the issue could be caused by a voltage drop when the camera is activated. Normally, replacing the battery will resolve this issue. Try getting another new battery to eliminate the possibility that the new one you got is also faulty. If the issue still persists then I suggest you bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it  checked. The problem could be caused by a component inside the phone that is failing.

S4 Camera Auto Focus Not Working

Problem: seems the camera auto-focus is no longer functional.  Unless you’re inches from the subject, the photo will be out of focus.  Tried all I could find out there related to settings, but the problem prevails.  Also tried rebooting in safe mode, wiping cache, deleting the camera cache — all no joy.  Even went so far as to download another camera app and same issue there.  I can’t find any mechanism for putting the camera into manual focus mode.  Was working fine for some time and the only thing I have yet to try is a hard reset back to factory defaults…  Any ideas?

Solution: Does your phone have a case installed? If it has then try removing it as this may cause the focusing problem. You should also check the camera lens for any signs of dirt, oil, or smudges. This will interfere with the ability of your phone to focus. If necessary, clean the camera lens with a microfiber cloth. Use this type of cloth to avoid scratching the lens.

If the issue still persists then you should do a factory reset. Just make sure to backup your phone data before performing this procedure as it will delete all of your phone data.

S4 Camera Failed

Problem: I have samsung galaxy s4 (I9505), when i use camera application. Often it is showing camera fail special when i am using camera from standard mode to selfie mode. It is hanged. Please suggest me solution. Thank

Solution: This issue is usually caused by some form of corrupt data. Try to clear the cache and data of the camera app then check if the problem goes away. If the issue persists then I suggest you start your phone in recovery mode then wipe its cache partition.

Another factor that you should not overlook is the possibility of this issue caused by an app you installed in your phone. To check if this is the case you need to start your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the pre-installed apps are allowed to run while apps you downloaded are disabled. Check the camera operation in this mode. If the problem does not occur then an app could be the culprit. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

If the above troubleshooting steps fail then I suggest you backup your phone data then do a factory reset.

S4 Video Not Playing

Problem: Everything was fine until yesterday when I tried to play a video in gallery and it says cannot play video. If I go to the my video icon I can play it there but not from my gallery as I have previously.  Also my pictures are fine in the gallery but if I send them anywhere it turns them sideways.  All this  started.

Solution:  The gallery app may have a problem. Try clearing the cache and data of this app to resolve the issue. Regarding the photos turning sideways the phone camera may not be recording the correct meta data information on photos which is why they appear sideways. Try clearing the cache and data of the camera app to resolve this issue.

If the problem persists then I suggest you start the phone in recovery mode then wipe its cache partition.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android device that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your questions. Contact us using this form. We read every message we receive can’t guarantee a quick response. If we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends.

The post Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Server Failed Issue & Other Related Problems appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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How to Install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE with AICP custom ROM

It’s true that lollipop made the 3-year old #Samsung Galaxy S4 (#GalaxyS4) slow in some respect especially for stock users because of the bloatwares. When Kitkat was rolled out, the device just vanished from the list of Galaxy devices to receive it. It is, therefore, expected that when #Marshmallow becomes available, good old S4 won’t get a taste of it but it doesn’t mean the hardware isn’t up to it.

Galaxy-S4-Marshmallow-AICP-ROM

The fact is Marshmallow has been optimized so well that it became lighter than the last two Android versions. If the S4 was able to run with Lollipop and its bloatwares, it can run Marshmallow. But since there’s no official update for it, owners who want to have a taste of the new firmware must install custom ROMs, which are often lighter than stock firmware as bloatwares have been scraped off.

In this post, I will guide you through installing Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on your Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE (I9505) via AICP ROM. But before we go any further, if you have problems with your phone and you need assistance, feel free to fill up this form and/or visit our troubleshooting page as we listed all problems we already addressed before. Find ones related to yours and use the solutions we provided.

Requirements

Make sure your phone meets the following requirements prior to installing the ROM:

  • The battery should be 50% or more. If the phone runs out of juice during the flashing, it’s difficult to bring it back to life again.
  • Your S4 should have been rooted and unlocked.
  • You must have installed a custom recovery tool such as CWM or TWRP.
  • Enable USB Debugging by going to Settings > Development options > USB debugging.
  • Backup all important data because you will be wiping your phone off before installing AICP ROM.
  • Download the AICP ROM from here. You don’t need to extract the contents of this file.

Disclaimer: Manually flashing a custom ROM is a risky process. There are times when some things happen even if you’re following instructions correctly, so please proceed at your own risk. If you’re not comfortable with it, then don’t proceed.

Step-by-step Instructions

That you’ve completed all requirements, you’re ready to install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on your Samsung Galaxy S4.

Step 1: While your phone is still on and running, connect it to your computer where you downloaded the AICP file.

Step 2: Now copy the file from your computer to the root directory of the microSD card mounted on your S4. Do not place it inside a folder.

Step 3: Turn off your Galaxy S4 and disconnect it from your computer.

Step 4: Now boot your phone in recovery mode: press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons together.

Step 5: Make sure you have a fail-safe in case things don’t go as planned; perform a Nandroid backup of the current system. On CWM recovery, go to Backup > backup and restore.

Step 6: As I said earlier, you will have to wipe off everything in your phone, so while is CWM recovery screen, choose wipe data / factory reset.

Step 7: After the wipe out, it’s time to install the AICP ROM. From the menu, choose install zip from sdcard, then choose zip from sdcard.

Step 8: Locate the AICP file you saved in the microSD card and confirm the process to begin the installation.

Step 9: After the flashing, return to the recovery menu and reboot your phone from there.

Note: The first reboot after the installation usually takes longer than usual as the phone creates new caches and data for the new system.

So far, AICP installation has always been successful, so I assume that if you followed the checklist above before flashing the ROM, everything will go smooth and easy. If you have issues, we are always willing to help so don’t hesitate to contact us.

Now, enjoy Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Feel free to leave a comment below if you want to tell us about your experiencing with this ROM in your Galaxy S4.

Connect with us

We are always open to your problems, questions and suggestions, so feel free to contact us by filling up this form. We support every Android device available and we are serious in what we do. This is a free service we offer and we won’t charge you a penny for it. But please note that we receive hundreds of emails every day and it’s impossible for us to respond to every single one of them. But rest assured we read every message we receive. For those whom we’ve helped, please spread the word by sharing our posts to your friends or by simply liking our Facebook and Google+ page or follow us on Twitter.

The post How to Install Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE with AICP custom ROM appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Is Unresponsive Issue & Other Related Problems

There are always instances when a phone will operate slowly or worse, become unresponsive. This is usually caused by some form of corrupt data in the phone, an app causing a conflict, the phone software, or even the phone hardware. The #Samsung Galaxy #S4 for example is not immune to this type of problem. This is why in this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Galaxy S4 is unresponsive issue & other related problems. We have selected several issues of this nature sent to us by our readers and have provided the best possible troubleshooting steps below.

Samsung Galaxy S4

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4  or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to contact us using this form. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We however ask that when you do contact us try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.  

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.  

You may also reach us at our Facebook and Google+ social media accounts.

S4 Is Unresponsive

Problem: Hi, over the past week my phone has been getting more and more unresponsive and it is quite annoying. For example messenger app (facebook) wont even open and i think facebook app is now the same, along with instagram. Texts aren’t sending at normal speed but very delayed and same for incoming texts. When i type it sometimes lags or repeats the word somehow. About 3 or 4 times a day i have to force shutdown the phone because the whole screen has become unresponsive, including the off and reset buttons, and when it turns back on the texts and missed calls notifications all come again even if i had seen them already. Even the camera app has frozen a couple of times. Im wondering if it’s a hardware problem and if i should go to get a replacement like you said?

Solution: The first thing that you should do is to check if the problem is software related. There are three things that you need to do in troubleshooting the software.

First, you need to start your phone in recovery mode then wipe its cache partition. This eliminates the temporary data stored in your phone which can cause this problem if it is already too bloated or corrupt. Once this is done restart your phone then  check if the issue still occurs.

Second, you will need to check if the issue is caused by an app you downloaded into your device. To do his just start your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the pre-installed apps are allowed to run while apps you downloaded are disabled. If the issue does not occur in this mode then it is most likely caused by an app you downloaded. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

Third, you need to do a factory reset. This allows your phone to revert back to its original state. You should however backup your phone data first before doing this procedure since it will be deleted in the process.

Once you have finished the software troubleshooting and the issue remains it’s time to check the phone hardware. If your phone has a microSD card installed then try removing it. A faulty card usually causes the phone to freeze and this is what you should check.

Another thing to consider is to check the phone while it is being charged. If the issue does not occur while it is being charged then the problem could be caused by a weak battery. Try getting a new battery and see if this fixes the problem.

S4 Freezes Unexpectedly

Problem: Hello, i have a samsung galaxy s4 from previous 7 or 8 month, but recently a new problem has occured.it freezes unexpectedly for a very long time and after that if i would swipe the screen it will freeze immediately.i cant touch anyware on the screen. i press the power button but nothing happens so i have to remove the battery from the back and have to restart it but after some time the same problem occurs. so i decided to factory reset my phone,which i did, though it worked well for some time but then the same problem occured, so i am frustrated.Many apps like facebook clash of clans and etc are not opening,when i touch them a black screen appears and then nothing happens.

Solution: Since you mentioned that after doing a factory reset the problem disappeared then the issue could be caused by an app you installed in your phone, some form of corrupt data, or too many apps and service running at the same time using up your phone’s RAM. Since restarting the phone also resolves the problem temporarily then I suggest you check what are currently running in your phone. Try to force close some of the apps that you are not using to free up some RAM.

You should also check if a third party app installed in your phone is causing the problem by starting your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the pre-installed apps are allowed to run while apps you downloaded are disabled. Check if the issue still occurs in this mode. If it doesn’t then the problem is most likely caused by an app. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

Another factor that you should not overlook is the temporary data stored in your phone. You should clear this out by wiping the cache partition of your phone from the recovery mode.

S4 Delay In Sending Messages

Problem: When I type a text message and send it to somebody, it’ll take like half an hour just to send the message! This is driving me nuts. I have good service so I don’t understand. I receive messages fine but it’s sending them that’s an issue. And ever since that problem started my phone will freeze for a couple seconds often no matter what I’m doing. Please help! What do I do??

Solution: Try to determine first if the issue is network related. Check if this issue occurs in other locations. This allows you to determine if the problem is with the tower in your area. You should also try to send yourself a text message to determine if the issue is caused by inter-network problems ( this is if you are sending a text message to a person on another network).

If the problem isn’t caused by the network then I suggest you clear the cache and data of the text messaging app.

Since your phone also freezes I strongly suggest that you backup your phone data then do a factory reset. This reverts your phone back to its original condition and will most likely solve this problem.

S4 Screen Is Unresponsive

Problem: The touch screen seems fine, because when I click the power button, I have about half a second to swipe the screen and it opens. But then afterwards the screen is unresponsive. I could also press the home button and when the screen comes on I have half a second to choose something. Like messaging, and then it will be unresponsive. Thank you for looking into this for me.

 

Solution: In most cases like this the problem is caused by some form of corrupt temporary data. Wiping the cache partition from the recovery mode usually resolves this type of problem. If the issue still persists then I suggest you backup your phone data then do a factory reset.

S4 Screen Is Intermittently Unresponsive

Problem: Phone has been In case.. No damage. Screen intermittently becomes unresponsive in upper left corner also area of screen that turns camera around. Sometimes those areas work others they don’t have but it’s become very common for them to quit. Plz help

Solution: There have been quite a number of complaints regarding this issue lately. In other devices the cause has been pinpointed to a recent update to the Facebook Messenger app. To check if this is the case try to uninstall the Messenger app then check if the problem still occurs.

If it does then the next step is to wipe the cache partition of your phone from the recovery mode. Check if the issue still occurs. If it does then proceed with checking if a third party app is causing this problem. To do this you need to start the phone in Safe Mode. If the issue does not occur in this mode then it is most likely caused by an app you downloaded. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

One final troubleshooting step that you can do is to backup your phone data then do a factory reset. If the issue still occurs then I suggest you bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it checked.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android device that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your questions. Contact us using this form. We read every message we receive can’t guarantee a quick response. If we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends.

The post Samsung Galaxy S4 Is Unresponsive Issue & Other Related Problems appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Chainfire’s FlashFire Tool Updated To v0.27 With Marshmallow And OTA Support

flashfire

We don’t talk about rooting nearly as much these days. It’s not that plenty of people aren’t still doing it, but the popularity of modding has slowly dropped off as Android continues to mature. One of the leading deterrents to rooting is the hassle of manually staying current with updates, which can take more effort than it’s worth–especially with Google adopting a monthly rollout schedule for Nexus security updates. Chainfire, developer of SuperSU, has updated his app FlashFire to take the pain out of keeping up-to-date by adding support for OTA packages and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

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Chainfire’s FlashFire Tool Updated To v0.27 With Marshmallow And OTA Support was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Screen Is Black Issue & Other Related Problems

Most of the issues that mobile device owners experience with their phone’s are usually easy to resolve. The #Samsung Galaxy #S4 for example despite showing its age has a couple of issues here and there that are generally easy to fix. One of the issues that we will be concentrating on today concerns the phone display.

Samsung Galaxy S4

In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Galaxy S4 screen is black issue & other related problems. We have selected some of the issues of this nature sent to us by our readers and have provided the best possible troubleshooting steps below.

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4  or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to contact us using this form. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We however ask that when you do contact us try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.  

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.  

You may also reach us at our Facebook and Google+ social media accounts.

S4 Screen Is Black

Problem: I dropped my device this morning and I initially did not think the impact was that much to cause damage.  but when I looked at it the screen is black with some horizontal lines.  i have tried to turn it on and off, although i could hear some sound of it going on/off, nothing is coming up.

Solution: The drop could have caused some physical damage to the phone display. Try taking out the battery of the phone first then press and hold the power button for at least a minute. This discharges your phone circuit and clears out its RAM. By doing this you can verify if the issue is caused by a software glitch. Reinsert the battery then check if the phone display is still black with horizontal lines. If it is then the display could have suffered some physical damage. I suggest you bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it checked. There’s a possibility that you will need to replace the phone display.

S4 Freezes Then Shows Black Screen

Problem: A few times I had a problem with the charging, and it would not show it was charging, so I simply reset it and it would be back to normal. But recently, I had done just that, and when my phone turned back on, it was just a black screen. I had tried all of what you guys have said to do, and it didn’t work, so eventually, I just factory reset. It was okay for a while, but it happened again when I tried putting on a password for my phone, and the phone in fact goes slower, and freezes more frequently, sometimes resulting in the black screen. It had happened even after I just factory reset my phone, and it mainly only happens when I try to set up a password. Is there anything I can do?

Solution: Since you mentioned that after doing a factory reset the issue disappeared then try to check if one of your downloaded apps is causing this problem by starting your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the pre-installed apps are allowed to run while apps you downloaded are disabled. If the issue does not occur then an app could be causing the problem. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

If the issue still occurs then check if wiping the cache partition from the recovery mode helps. If your phone has a microSD card installed then I suggest you take it out temporarily since faulty microSD card can also cause this type of issue.

If the problem still persists at this point then I suggest you try to flash your phone software. You will need a copy of your phone’s firmware file and a software called Odin installed in your computer. Detailed instructions on how to do this can be found at several of the popular Android forums online.

S4 Screen Flickers With White Color

Problem: When I open  the camera app the entire screen starts flickering with a mainly white color.   The same thing happens when I play videos on youtube and select full screen.   This also happens when I try to play a video from my photo gallery.   I can view pictures fine.   Everything else seems to work fine.

Solution: Sometimes this problem is caused by some form of corrupt data in your phone. Try wiping the cache partition of your device from the recovery mode then check if the issue still occurs. If it does then the next step is to check if the problem is caused by an app you downloaded. To do this you need to start your phone in Safe Mode. In this mode only the pre-installed apps are allowed to run while apps you downloaded are disabled. Check if the problem still occurs in this mode. If it doesn’t then it is most likely caused by an app. Find out what app this is and uninstall it.

One final troubleshooting steps that you can do should the above steps fail is to perform a factory reset. Take note that this will delete your phone data so make sure to backup your data before proceeding with this.

S4 Screen Not Working

Problem: I was using my S4 for playing music at like 7am and it was working fine, at 8:45am I got a text message from my Dad (in the middle of school), so I woke my phone from sleep to turn it on silent. I remembered the text message at 11am and my phone screen wouldn’t show up. The blue light would, the boot up sound would work but not the screen itself. It is to note I have dropped this phone on many occasions but in the time of when I set it to silence and when I checked my phone, it did not touch the ground once. How do I get the screen working again, if not is there a application or way to recover photos and other files from the phone? Thanks

Solution: Try checking if this issue is caused by a software glitch by taking out the phone battery first then press and hold the power button for at least a minute. This will discharge the phone’s circuit and clear out its RAM. Reinsert the battery then try to turn on your phone.

If the issue remains then see if you can access your phone from the recovery mode. From here you can wipe the cache partition of your phone ( this does not delete your phone data)

If you can’t access the recovery mode then the phone display may be damaged already. Since you will need to recover your phone data try connecting the device to a computer with Kies o Smart Switch running. Check if you can backup your data. If you are unable to backup your phone data then you will need to have the display checked, and possibly replaced first at an authorized service center.

S4 Screen Blacked After Drop

Problem: I dropped my phone not to long ago, maybe like an hour ago. And when I picked it up my screen was completely black. I took the battery out and restarted it but I got like the colors green, and , blue ect. Parts of my lockscreen were showing up. But I couldn’t touch anything on there.

Solution: This problem could be caused by the drop which damaged the phone display. Try to check if you can access the recovery mode of your phone. If you can then I suggest you do a factory reset. Take note that this will delete your data stored in the phone so proceed with the risk of losing your data. Once the reset has completed restart your phone.

If you are unable to access the recovery mode then I suggest you bring your phone to an authorized service center and have it checked.

S4 Downloading Do Not Turn Off Target

Problem: “Hi. My phone automatically turns off after running for 10 minutes and very warm. Then I pressed the home page, turn off and volume keys .And it came to the screen in this picture. Downloading… Do not turn off target!!! What do I have to do?

Solution: If this issue appeared randomly then it is a sign that the phone software could already be corrupt. Try to check if you can boot the phone in Safe Mode. If you can then I suggest you backup your phone data. Once this is done restart your phone in recovery mode then do a factory reset.

If the problem persists then you will need to flash your phone with its original firmware. You will need a copy of your phone firmware file and a software called Odin installed in your computer. Instructions on how to perform this procedure can be found at several of the popular Android forums online.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android device that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your questions. Contact us using this form. We read every message we receive can’t guarantee a quick response. If we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends.

The post Samsung Galaxy S4 Screen Is Black Issue & Other Related Problems appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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Samsung Galaxy S4 Won’t Boot Up Issue & Other Power Related Problems

Smartphones are great to have when they work properly however if issues occur then its usefulness to its owner decreases. The #Samsung Galaxy #S4 for example is a great all around smartphone to have despite being available in the market for almost 3 years already. In this span of time several issues will most likely occur one of which is what we will be discussing today.

Samsung Galaxy S4

In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Galaxy S4 won’t boot up issue & other power related problems. We have selected several issues of this nature sent to us by our readers and have addressed them below.

If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4  or any other Android device for that matter then feel free to contact us using this form. We will be more than happy to assist you with any concern that you may have with your device. This is a free service we are offering with no strings attached. We however ask that when you do contact us try to be as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment can be made and the correct solution can be given.  

If you would like to browse the previous parts in this series then check out this link.  

You may also reach us at our Facebook and Google+ social media accounts.

S4 Won’t Boot Up

Problem: Hi my phone wont boot up, it gets to the first galaxy screen, and sometimes it doesn’t even power on. When i plug it in to charge, it might show the battery symbol then shut off again. How can i fix it?

Solution:  There are two possible reasons why this issue occurs on your device. It could either be caused by a corrupt software or it can also be caused by a faulty hardware.

To troubleshoot this issue you should first take out the phone battery and the microSD card if your phone has one installed. Press and hold the power button for at least a minute. This will discharge the phone circuit and clear out its RAM. Reinsert just the battery then try to turn on your phone.

If it still does not turn on then check if you can access the recovery mode of your phone. If you can then I suggest you immediately do a factory reset. Take note that this will delete all data stored in your phone so do this only if you are willing to lose your phone data.

If the phone can’t access recovery mode or if the factory reset fails to resolve the problem then try using a new battery on your device. A battery that is not providing the correct voltage to the phone could potentially cause this type of issue.

If the problem persists at this point then I suggest you backup your phone data then do a factory reset.

S4 Not Charging No Power

Problem: wife dropped Samsung S4, it still worked until battery died and has no power at all. She tried charging it and would not charge.  I tried charging with different charger from my S5 with S4 cable and other cables that fit the phone, but it still would not charge.  I tried fixing it by buying and installing a new Samsung S4 USB port board which I ordered from Amazon and followed instructions from You Tube.  It still was not charging and still has no power.  Any suggestions?

Solution: Have you tried using a new battery on the phone? Sometimes in cases such as this the problem is caused by a weak or faulty battery. If changing the battery does not work then the problem could be caused by a defective power IC. I suggest you have your phone checked at an authorized service center as this may already be a hardware related problem.

S4 Does Not Charge Or Turn On

Problem: The battery went in the night. Plugged the charger in but no buzz sound and it will not switch on at all. CHANGED BATTERY AND CHARGER but still nothing. Battery is getting hot but no power seems to be getting to the phone?

Solution: If the battery is getting hot then the problem could be caused by some a grounded or shorted wire. Try changing the charging cord of your phone as this could be causing the problem. You should also check the phone’s charging port for any signs of dirt or debris. If necessary, clean this port using a can of compressed air or cotton bud dipped in alcohol.  

If the issue persists then I recommend that you have your phone checked at an authorized service center.

S4 Won’t Power On

Problem: My Samsung s4 won’t power until I start it up with powerbank…even if I use normal light to charge it won’t on I can only on it while the powerbank has boost it. And also battery drain completely while phone is off and rate at which battery drain while it’s on is also much..  pls how can I fix this problems

Solution: This problem could be caused by a weak battery or a corrupt software. I suggest you first try to backup your phone data then do a factory reset. Once the reset is done check if the issue still occurs. If it does then Try getting a new battery.

S4 Does Not Turn On

Problem: My mobile switched off one afternoon after doing the backup on my laptop a few hours before. It looked like the battery just run out. But everytime I put another battery, the mobile looks it is turning on by itself (just putting on the battery without pressing power button), but it stops as soon as the Samsung icon comes up on the screen. I have plugged the mobile and nothing happens, and same with the troubleshooting steps of your website. Could you please help me?  

Solution: Try clearing the phone of electrical charge by taking out the battery and the microSD card. Press and hold the power button for at least a minute. This will also clear out the phone’s RAM. Reinsert just the battery then turn on your phone.

If the problem still occurs then try to check if you can start your phone in recovery mode. From here you will need to do a factory reset. Take note that this will delete all of your phone data so do this procedure at the risk of losing your data.

If the problem still persists then connect the phone to its wall charger and repeat the recovery mode troubleshooting steps.

One last troubleshooting step that you should consider is to flash your phone with its stock firmware. This is usually done when the software has already become corrupt causing the phone not to boot up. You will need a copy of your phone’s firmware file as well as a software called Odin installed in your computer. Instructions on how to do this can procedure can be found at several of the popular Android forums online.

S4 Does Not Turn On After Being Drained

Problem: I forgot to charge my phone and the battery was drained out. I’m using a wireless charger it indicates that it is charging. But my phone wont still open. I tried to do all tips you gave but yielded no results

Solution: Sometimes if the battery is fully drained it will take some time to charge it. Before charging the phone try to take out the battery and microSD card first. Press and hold the power button for at least a minute. This discharge the phone circuit and clear out its RAM.

Reinsert just the battery then let it charge for at least 20 minutes. Try to check if the phone charges. Try to turn on your phone after 20 minutes of charging.

If the issue persists then I suggest charging your phone using a new charging cable and wall  charger. You should also consider getting a new battery as the one you are using could be causing the problem.

S4 Won’t Turn On Or Charge

Problem: phone won’t turn on or charge .. just turn on then Samsung Logo shows then it is off again. it’s been of for a year now ..I took it to two different shops and no luck ..none of them said they can’t fix it.

Solution: The first thing you should do in this case is to check if this problem is caused by a software issue. To do this you should check if the phone can be started in recovery mode. Try doing a factory reset in this mode. Take note that you will lose your phone data in the process.

If you are unable to start the phone in recovery mode or if the factory reset fails to fix the problem then check if using a new battery works.  

One last troubleshooting step that you should consider is to flash the phone software. Detailed instructions on how to perform this procedure can be found at several of the popular Android forums online.

Engage with us

Feel free to send us your questions, suggestions and problems you’ve encountered while using your Android phone. We support every Android device that is available in the market today. And don’t worry, we won’t charge you a single penny for your questions. Contact us using this form. We read every message we receive can’t guarantee a quick response. If we were able to help you, please help us spread the word by sharing our posts with your friends.

The post Samsung Galaxy S4 Won’t Boot Up Issue & Other Power Related Problems appeared first on The Droid Guy.

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VRS Design cases offer peek at Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge

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With new devices just around the corner, case manufacturers once again help us get a peek at what smartphones may look like before their official announcements. We saw this happen recently with a manufacturer’s rendering of the LG G5 as well as some listings on Amazon for LG G5 cases. Now the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge get similar treatment thanks to VRS Design.

If you are not familiar with VRS Design, that is understandable. Until very recently, they were known as Verus, but now they have completed a rebranding of the company to VRS Design. In their old iteration of Verus, we recognized them as producing one of the best cases available for the Nexus 6P.

VRS Design has several models in the works for both the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge. The renders they have prepared do not reveal anything we have not already seen for Samsung’s newest flagship devices, but they are some of the cleanest images we have seen yet.

You can check out what VRS Design has in the works. The company indicates the cases should be ready and available when the new phones launch in March. They also have cases for the LG G5 in development, but no images of that device in the company’s cases have surfaced yet.

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vrs_crystal_bumper_galaxy_s7_edge
vrs_layered_dandy_brown_galaxy_s7_edge
vrs_shine_guard_galaxy_s7_edge
vrs_triple_mixx_galaxy_s7_edge
vrs_single_fit_mint_galaxy_s7_edge
vrs_high_pro_shield_galaxy_s7_edge
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vrs_layered_dandy_black_galaxy_s7
vrs_shine_guard_galaxy_s7
vrs_triple_mixx_galaxy_s7
vrs_single_fit_galaxy_s7

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Firefox OS will end support after version 2.6



Even though we focus on Android here at AndroidSPIN, it’s been an interesting experience watching Firefox OS try and break into the mobile industry. It’s been enlightening, definitely for us, but presumably for the team at Mozilla as well. Unfortunately for Mozilla, however, that enlightening has informed them that it might be time to end the experiment that is Firefox OS and instead focus on IoT (Internet of Things) projects instead. Here’s Mozilla’s statement on the end of Firefox OS:

“Through the work of hundreds of contributors we made an awesome push and created an impressive platform in Firefox OS. However, as we announced in December, the circumstances of multiple established operating systems and app ecosystems meant that we were playing catch-up, and the conditions were not there for Mozilla to win on commercial smartphones. We have decided that in order to succeed in the new area of Connected Devices we must focus our energy completely on prototyping the future and exploring how we can make the biggest impact in IoT.”


Firefox OS support will cease after version 2.6. This news is probably a bit of a bummer for the people who have sunk time into seeing whether Firefox OS might have the legs to steal a part of the smartphone market, but it’s probably a necessary lesson that will hopefully serve as a precedent for other companies thinking about having a go as well.

What do you about the end of Firefox support? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Mozilla via TalkAndroid

The post Firefox OS will end support after version 2.6 appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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Tennis Club Story continues Kairosoft’s run of brilliant simulation games



I have a pretty big soft spot for Kairosoft games – if you haven’t heard of Kairosoft before, you might have heard of their breakout mobile game: Game Dev Story. From there, the studio has released a mountain of simulation games that cover a broad spectrum of activities including owning a sushi train restaurant, a soccer club and running a mega mall. Kairosoft’s latest title is called Tennis Club Story, and as you might imagine puts you in charge of training up the next champion of the (completely fictional, yet slightly satirical) tennis world.

Those who have closely followed Kairosoft’s releases will be happy to know that Kairosoft has shied away from the freemium format it has been experimenting with of late, meaning you’ll be paying $4.99 USD for the complete experience of Tennis Club Story. If $4.99 USD seems a bit steep for a mobile game, Kairosoft has ‘lite’ versions of several of its games so you can try those and see what this simulation craze is all about. In my experience, Kairosoft games have the ability to keep you up till 4am engrossed with trying to squeeze the best out of your home-grown team – take that recommendation as you will.


What do you think about Tennis Club Story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Pocketgamer

The post Tennis Club Story continues Kairosoft’s run of brilliant simulation games appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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Twitter CEO: ‘We never planned to reorder timelines next week’

Twitter is keeping its real-time chronological timelines, at least for now, according to posts from its CEO Jack Dorsey. The posts try to deny, at least in part, rumors from Buzzfeed that Twitter was planning to switch to a more algorithmic timeline, based on what it thinks its users want to see, as soon as next week.

Those rumors generated a ton of negative comments from Twitter users, so Dorsey used his own account to offer some clarifications:

“Hello Twitter! Regarding #RIPTwitter: I want you all to know we’re always listening. We never planned to reorder timelines next week. witter is live. Twitter is real-time. Twitter is about who & what you follow. And Twitter is here to stay! By becoming more Twitter-y. Look at “while you were away” at the top of your TL. Tweets you missed from people you follow. Pull to refresh to go back to real-time. “

“I love real-time. We love the live stream. It’s us. And we’re going to continue to refine it to make Twitter feel more, not less, live! Twitter can help make connections in real-time based on dynamic interests and topics, rather than a static social/friend graph. We get it. Thank you all for your passion and trust. We will continue to work to earn it, and we will continue to listen, and talk!”

Dorsey’s comments hint that Twitter might be making some timeline changes, but they also will retain the chronological mode.

Source: Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

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The Honor 5X was made for tinkering

Most of us are more than happy to use our phone the way it came from the factory. Things mainly work as intended, and other than a few hiccups here and there, most new Android phones are more than capable of doing the stuff we want them to do. But for some of us, things need some changing.

If you fall into the second category and just love to mess with things — whether it makes them better, or just different — the Honor 5X is a phone you should be looking at.

The Honor 5X has the three things needed to be a perfect phone for tinkering.

  • It’s cheap. And we don’t mean it was poorly built, because the thing feels like quality and has decent internals. We mean it’s not going to set you back five or six hundred dollars. If you’re a person who wants one phone to just use for doing phone things, and another to play with, break stuff and then fix things, you can pick up the Honor 5X for under $200.
  • Huawei helps you unlock the bootloader. Some companies do everything they can to prevent you from having access to all of the software on the phone you paid for. Sometimes it’s done in the name of security — we can appreciate that — and other times it’s done so you can’t remove apps and services they want to force down your throat. The Honor 5X is unlocked and free from any of the malignant carrier nonsense you find with other phones and Huawei doesn’t care if you unlock the bootloader. They happily give you everything you need to do it safely. Good guy Huawei.
  • It already has community support. Easy instructions that tell you how to unlock the bootloader and flash a custom recovery are available, and custom ROMs and assorted hacks will be coming. Want to monkey around with Exposed modules? That’s gonna happen. As will a handful of other assorted performance hacks, interface tweaks, custom scripts to make stuff better and everything else you would want to do for fun and profit.

A lot of words have been written about the Honor 5X and why it’s a good buy at $200 for just about anyone. EMUI makes things a bit funky, but it will do all the phone things you need your phone to do right out of the box. But if you want or need to have it your way, it can do that too.

Go forth and break stuff.

How to unlock the Honor 5X bootloader

TWRP recovery for the Honor 5X

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TWRP Custom Recovery Now Available On The OnePlus X And The Honor 5X

nexus2cee_DSC01194The OnePlus X and the Honor Huawei 5X have a lot in common: relatively low prices, slick case designs, and far-reaching marketing campaigns. And now both of them can be loaded with the fan-favorite Team Win Recovery Project, a custom Android recovery that makes loading custom ROMs and other modifications easy. Users can download the recovery images at the official TWRP site, here and here.

The Android community (or at least that part of it that uses custom recoveries) tends to gravitate around certain models, if only because there are so many these days that it’s impossible to support every one with every ROM.

Read More

TWRP Custom Recovery Now Available On The OnePlus X And The Honor 5X was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Deal] T-Mobile offers customers an Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 7 basically for free

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In honor of Valentine’s day, T-Mobile is giving away Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 7 tablets basically free. Here are the details.

The deal is only for the Alcatel OneTouch Pixi 7 and will last until supply runs out. First you must setup the device with an Equipment Installment Plan as well as a data plan with at least 1GB on a monthly basis. T-Mobile will offset each monthly charge of $7 for equipment. It will be labeled with “Credits and Adjustments.”  You’ll also pay a $0 down payment. T-Mobile has promised to pay all the monthly charges so long as you keep your account in good standing. If not, the remaining balance of the device becomes due.

T-Mobile is obviously trying to clear stock of the tablet for new ones to take its place. You can purchase the offering at select T-Mobile stores or online at the carrier’s website. To find out more on the promotion, click the link down below. Get it now before quantity runs out!

[T-Mobile]

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Better call quality is coming to Hangouts

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Hangouts has been at the top of Google’s priorities lately. The recently pushed 7.0 update brought some nice new features and a ton of small fixes. Google is looking to take things to the next stage now by significantly improving audio and video quality.

Google wants users to be able to share great experiences over Hangouts, and where better to start than call quality. Considering that Google can’t change the quality of everyone’s camera and microphone they use for Hangouts, Google pans to create a direct peer-to-peer connection, which could potentially help improve voice/video quality drastically.

Google is always looking to better people’s experiences through the use of their services while keeping it safe at the same time. Unfortunately, with the direct peer-to-peer connection, security and privacy are a major concern. This is because each member’s IP address is up for show during the call. Google knows that one’s IP address needs to remain confidential because of the dangers that can take place if one gets possession of another’s. Let’s hope Google can come up with a solution.

The additions are making way to the Android version of Hangouts already. Those on iOS haven’t gotten the capability just yet. For now, it might be a good idea to only chat with people you know would cause no harm. We’ll keep you posted if we hear more.

Source: Google

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Power tools: Apps that give your battery more juice

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These days, we’re pretty used to smartphones having 3,000 to 4,000mAh batteries – pretty standard fare for 2015 and 2016 smartphones. Also, with Android Marshmallow, you get a plethora of battery saving features that will allow your already large capacity battery to go for much, much longer. But what if you own a phone bought in 2012 or 2013, whose battery only takes in 2,200mAh of power? And what if this said phone only gets you Android Lollipop at best, or worse, just up to Android 4.4 KitKat?

Then you’ll need some help in extending the battery life of your device. Don’t worry about it – we’re here to help you out. Here are some apps that you can study, install, tweak – just so you can get more out of your battery. We’ll include some tips at the end as well. For now, here come the apps.

Juice Defender

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There are a lot of apps out there that purport to save you battery power, but only a few of them really deliver. The rest are just platforms for installing other apps, or worse, spam and malware. This is why we like Juice Defender – because it does what it says it will do. This free app gives you a lot of options, and we mean a LOT. It lets you manage connections, gives you multiple preset modes, like “aggressive” and “balanced,” allow for toggling and scheduling, background synchronization, and choosing which apps can keep your screen on.

Aside from the free app, Juice Defender also comes in paid variants – the Juice Defender Plus (USD$1.99) and the Juice Defender Ultimate (USD$4.99) versions. It really matters that you know what level of control you are looking for. The Plus version adds “extreme” and “customized” profiles as well as location-aware Wi-Fi, not to mention scheduling for night hours – something that Marshmallow already gives you. The Ultimate version boasts of peak hours and weekend settings, autosync, and deeper GPS controls.

DOWNLOAD: Google Play Store

Greenify

Greenify

Oh Greenify, how do we love thee? Allow us to count the ways. Kidding aside, everybody should know about Greenify. It’s an app that helps you save on battery by hibernating apps that run in the background. It’s simple logic – if an app is running, it uses the phones resources. If the phones resources are being used, you can bet on it that it requires power from your battery. So, hibernate apps equals to less battery usage.

It used to be that Greenify was only for rooted phones, but that’s not the case anymore, to our advantage. The free version will give most people what they need – that is to be able to choose what apps to hibernate when not being used. A word of caution – DO NOT hibernate messaging apps, social media, email and alarms – basically stuff that you need to get notifications from.

By default, I hibernate photo editing software, games, my ebook reader, and anything that I can tap on to use. All the others can stay, but hibernating stuff already gives me such an advantage with battery life. We’ll say it again, no Android phone should go without Greenify.

DOWNLOAD: Google Play Store

Go Battery Saver

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This is the app that makes us feel it was created to look good, and in that sense, it puts people right at ease. In its defense, it does what it says it will do, so that should be enough for us. What it does is that the client keeps an eye on your which apps are eating up your battery power more than the others. The app also has a battery scoring system, so from that system it is able to determine which features you can enable or disable to extend its life.

You will have a one-tap optimize button that in essence cleans up unnecessary, resource-sucking processes and tacks on some extra expected life. We gather that doing optimize regularly alone can provide an extra hour or more to your smartphone’s uptime. That our will be important to some of us who are communicating while on the road.

DOWNLOAD: Google Play Store

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Ok, we have our power apps. Now we go to some hardcore battery saving actions for your smartphone. First up, if you know that your phone’s battery is just at the 2,000mAh level – turn off vibrations and haptic feedback. We know the vibration feels good on your hands, but longer battery life is needed more than feeling good. Sacrifice is key.

Secondly, if your phone has an AMOLED screen (most Samsung devices do, so check the specs of your phone), choose a black wallpaper. The way AMOLED screens work is that they turn off the LEDs to display black color. So black on your AMOLED screen means more of the screen turned off, less battery drain.

Next, stop using adaptive screen display or auto brightness. This will toggle a constantly running sensor to check for light levels near your screen. Constantly adjusting the screen means more drain on your battery. Also, as a bonus to this, a shorter screen timeout setting saves a lot of battery power. We figure something around 1 minute should do the trick.

Up next, you need to know that given strong signals on WiFi, 3G and 4G, it is 3G that consumes most battery power. This knowledge should give you awareness to switch network preferences depending on where you are and how strong the signals are. At home, for instance – I knock my network down to 2G (battery saving) where I can rely on my strong WiFi signal for data. During the commute, I switch to 4G.

Lastly, we need to tell you – stop looking at your phone all the time. Not only does this save on battery, this actually makes you a better person. Appreciate the world and people around you more. When there’s no one to talk to and there’s nothing to do – go ahead and play your games. But there’s just no excuse for being so phone obsessed. Take our word for it.

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Front-facing speakers top your LG G5 wish list

We asked, and you answered. Here’s what you want to see in the LG G5.

It’s February already, and that means that Mobile World Congress and its slew of new phones is only a few weeks away. With the anticipated arrival of the LG G5 on the horizon, there is no better time to start thinking about the features you’re hoping to see. Phil asked what you want to see from the LG G5 — and boy did you answer.

After spending some time going through the comments here, as well as over on our Youtube channel, we put together the five features that you told us you were most hoping for in the LG G5. With the phone tipped for announcement in a short time and hopefully a release soon after, there is plenty to get excited for. Whether you’re hoping for new features or improvements to existing ones, we’ve got the top 5 features right here.


Front-facing speakers

Front-facing speakers were the most requested feature for the LG G5, and that isn’t much a surprise. Playing music or a video on your phone is something most of us do everyday, and if you want the best sound possible then it’s gonna be from front-facing speakers. That means that you’ll get clear and concise sound for everything you need to hear instead of a muffled or tinny sound.

With front-facing speakers you just get a better sound overall, as anyone who uses a Nexus 6P can attest. If LG just moved just the branding from the bottom of the phone, they could probably nestle a speaker in right at the bottom. Adding a front-facing speaker would make plenty of people mighty happy.

SD Card

The second feature you all told us that you needed was a microSD card slot. This isn’t surprising at all. Nobody wants the hassle of having to constantly delete or upload things just to keep from filling up your phone. With adoptable storage support from Marshmallow, and LG’s history of including the slot in their previous phones, we aren’t expecting a sudden shift and the removal of expandable storage as an option.

Most of us have our shiny new phones for a year or two (or longer). During that time, your phone ends up holding everything from music to photos to files from work. Expandable storage makes sense, and thankfully that’s something that LG already seems aware of. Certainly, along with the removable battery they market it as one of the differentiating points with their main competition: Samsung Galaxy S6. We’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope they don’t decide to toss it out.

Removable battery

Keeping the removable battery was the third feature that you are hoping to see. While the removable battery had long been a feature that many companies were using, 2015 saw a shift away from this. Being able to remove the battery is handy too, for a variety of reasons. LG is one of the companies that didn’t shift away from using replaceable batteries last year, and the G4 probably sold a little better as a result.

There are pretty decent odds that LG will be keeping their removable battery design, but honestly, anything could happen. Plenty of people prefer a removable battery — certainly it’s more convenient to pack a slim stand-by battery in your bag than a USB battery pack and a cable to get charged up. Plenty of you made clear that you want the removable battery to carry over as a feature with the LG G5.

Fingerprint sensor

Adding a fingerprint sensor to the LG G5 comes up fourth on our list. Many of you are hoping that LG will add a fingerprint sensor to the back of the phone where the power button has been seated, like we saw with the LG V10. Adding a fingerprint sensor, especially one with such intuitive placement, would seem to be a good idea. This is especially true as more apps begin to adopt fingerprint sensor features.

A fingerprint sensor can make it easier to unlock your phone, authorize purchases, and even sign in to specific apps. However not all sensors are built the same, so the hope is that if LG decides to take the plunge and add a fingerprint sensor, they’ll do so in an intuitive manner. The back placement for a sensor already works well, as users of the LG-built Nexus 5X can tell you.

Improved software

Last, but certainly not least, was an improvement in software for the LG G5. The software from the LG G4 wasn’t entirely horrendous, but it did leave quite a bit to be desired. Between lag when pushing the phone a bit hard, or stuttering when flipping between apps, there were plenty of smaller issues that could be resolved this go ’round.

It makes sense to continue fine-tuning their software with each new generation of phone, so we’re hopeful that we’ll see software that works a bit smoother. You also told us that you’d like to see a bit less bloat in the software with the LG G5. While carriers often exacerbate bloat on smartphones, with LG we’ve come to expect a bit more than many people would like. Having software that can easily handle anything a user throws at it shouldn’t be just a pipe dream.


So there you have it. The top five features that you, the Android Central readers, told us you wanted to see on the LG G5. Was your favorite feature on the list? Are you excited to get a look at the G5 at Mobile World Congress? Let us know in the comments below!

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Why Amazon Echo is the one connected device you should buy

I’ve used a lot of “connected” gadgets. The Amazon Echo is the only one that’s actually getting better all the time.

The Internet of Things is still a mess. Few would argue that. There still are too many “standards.” Google’s Brillo/Weave solution is still in its infancy. Apple’s HomeKit is a nonstarter for me or the obvious reason. “Works With Nest” works, I guess, but it still only goes so far. I’ve never messed with my router too much and am loving the simplicity of OnHub. For a person who does what I do, you’d think I’d be willing to put up with more difficult home tech. But, no. It’s gotta be simple for me, for my wife, and for my kids.

Between the Nest and the Ring doorbell and the OnHub and legacy Dropcam and all the other stuff I’ve dragged through the house (NAS, Xbox, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Canary, to name a few), I’ve had a lot of stuff come and go. Some I liked more than others. Some I still use.

But of all the connected tech I’ve brought into my house and into my family’s life only one continues to get better all the time. That’s the Amazon Echo. And if you have to choose just one piece of connected tech to buy, it’s what I’d recommend.

My Echo — Alexa, as the family refers to her — lives in my kitchen. It (she) resided, for a time, in my eldest daughter’s bedroom. (When I was a kid we had to have imaginary friends. Now mine just hang with Alexa.) Every morning at 6 a.m. (if not sooner) I trudge out and start the coffee. “Alexa, gimme the news,” I mutter in her general direction. That’s usually enough. I probably could be a little more polite to her, or address her a little more directly, but whatever. She’s a connected speaker.

So, news. I get the latest update from NPR via TuneIn Radio. Then the BBC. Then the weather, all in the time it takes me to make my coffee and get the kids’ breakfast going. It’s maybe not my first human (OK, almost human) interaction of the day, but it’s close. (I do generally give my wife a squeeze first.)

Once the kids make an appearance, someone usually asks her what the weather is going to be that day. Sometimes this is met with a little frustration, depending on how our 5-year-old’s annunciation is doing that day. (And you’ve got to admit that hearing “Awexa, what’s the weather wike” is cute as hell.) She then might ask Awexa “What time is it in Spain?” (Because guess where Dad’s going next.)

And that’s all before 7 a.m. Any number of questions may get shouted Alex’s way throughout the day. Sometimes she doesn’t have answers, but usually we get something back. It’s maybe not quite as deep a knowledge pool as Google Now, but it’s getting really good.

I still don’t have any connected light bulbs — that’s next, maybe, and is well-supported by Echo. Nest integration is pretty rudimentary through IFTTT, but it works. (And my house isn’t that big anyway.) The Echo is now tied into my connected sprinkler system though, which is a good thing since the first-gen Rachio doesn’t actually have a manual on/off switch. I’ve been testing the Ring doorbell and it’d be nice to have Echo ring when someone’s hit the button. For for now, nothing.

And then there’s music. Echo’s an Amazon product, of course, and that means Amazon Prime Music. It’s not as full a catalog as Google Play Music or Apple Music (which my wife and I use, respectively). But I did hear Shannon cranking some Phil Collins the other night. (There’s a new Deluxe Edition of Face Value, apparently.) But there’s more than Amazon Prime Music. Pandora. I Heart Radio. And Spotify was just added.

The biggest reason for an Amazon Echo, though, is that the vast majority of these features I’ve mentioned weren’t even on the platform at launch. It’s been about a year since I reviewed the Echo. And as Russell pointed out in his follow-up review, a lot has changed since then. And the Echo platform continues to grow. Every week Amazon sends out an email with new features, added seamlessly to the Echo. (I don’t even have the Echo app on my daily driver.)

Echo is, in a word, the easiest connected device I’ve used thus far. And it’s only getting better.

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Amzer skin cases for the Galaxy Note Edge are only $4.95 today!

After simple protection against drops that won’t bulk up your Galaxy Note Edge? Look no further than this slim skin cover from Amzer. It features a matte finish on the back surrounded by a glossy bumper that enhances grip. Grab one today while they’re 50% off!

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Can’t Connect to a PC

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge

Hello Android users! Here’s a write up about issues encountered by some of you who attempted to connect a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge to a PC. The most common is the phone not being recognized by the PC which I have elucidated in detail. If you happen to encounter this problem, here’s the basic thing to do.

  1. Download Smart Switch for Windows. If you have already installed the software and the issue persists, open Smart Switch and tap on the More button at the top right hand side. Look for the Reinstall Device Driver option and select it. Once the process is complete, plug the USB cable into a USB port in your computer that you have not connected previously. Connect the other end of the cable to your phone. The drivers will be installed and should resolve the problem.
  2. Enable USB Debugging. This option is available under the Developer menu. Originally, this menu is hidden so here’s how you can make it visible in order to enable USB debugging. Go to Settings> Device Information. You should see the build number as part of the list. Tap this entry several times in succession to enable the developer menu. A box stating that the developer mode has been enabled should pop up afterwards. You can now go to Settings> Developer Options> USB Debugging. Enable it by ticking the checkbox. Your PC should now detect your phone as a storage device instead of a media unit.

If you happen to own a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge or any other Android device for that matter, then feel free to reach us using this form or you can also send us an email at mailbag@thedroidguy.com. Be sure to religiously fill out the form as this will help us gauge the issue your getting and provide an accurate solution as well. We will do our best to respond to every email we receive. 

Problem #1: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Unrecognized by the PC

Hi. By now this problem should be very common for you guys to get asked about but I can’t find any other solutions on the net. I have an S6 Edge that can’t be recognized by the PC or MAC, I’ve tried everything like installing all necessary drivers, smart switch, KIES, different PC’s and MAC, different cables, debugging mode on and off. Nothing worked. I even changed the entire USB dock of the phone thinking it was faulty but it’s still not recognized. By the way, the phone can’t “rapid-charge” both on the old and new USB docks. I’ve tried the same fast charging adapter on another S6 and it worked. My last hope now is the battery. I know it may sound a little bit ridiculous but the battery has been exposed too much in the sun so it bumped up and pushed the back cover of my S6 Edge. I thought maybe somehow it’s because of this incident that the phone is not recognized by the PC and that it couldn’t get to charge rapidly.
Note that I have never connected the phone to a PC nor had a rapid-charging adapter before the battery incident so i couldn’t know if the phone worked on the PC or could rapid charge prior. I’m going to replace the battery in 3 days from the sending date of this email and see what happens but please, if you have a solution just let me know as soon as possible. Thank you very much!
Sidek

Solution: Hello Sidek. It’s possible that the phone’s firmware is not up to date. This will cause connection issues of the device to the PC. Have you tried checking for new updates? You can go to Settings> About Device. The current software version is displayed. It should be displayed as Android™ version 5.1.1, Lollipop (G925AUCU3BOJ7). Make sure it’s the latest. If it’s not, update the device by going to Settings> About Device> Software Updates. If it is, it’s possible that an application or antivirus is blocking the connection. To check if this is the case, we need to boot your phone into Safe Mode. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Turn off the device. Leave it at this state for 5 minutes.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time. Release the Power button once you see the screen lights up but DO NOT release the Volume Down
  3. Continue holding the Volume Down button until you get to the lock screen. You will know if you have successfully booted into Safe Mode if you see a Safe Mode icon at the bottom left of your screen.
  4. Exit Safe Mode by going to the notification panel. Tap the “Turn off Safe Mode” option in order for the device to boot to its normal mode.

Try connecting the device to a PC while on Safe Mode. If it’s still not recognized, a complete device reset maybe needed at this point. To perform a master reset on your phone, follow these steps.

  1. Create a backup copy. This is a must to avoid data loss.
  2. Go to Settings and look for the Backup and reset Select it.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and tap Factory Data Reset.
  4. The on-screen prompts should warn you about data loss. Since backup has been made, confirm that you wish to proceed and press Reset Device.
  5. Wait for it to complete the boot process. Your phone has been restored to factory settings.

Try to connect your phone to the PC again and see if it is detected. If not, call Samsung support for additional assistance or a possible phone replacement.

With the charging issue that you have encountered, I am positive that the battery is the culprit. A bumped up battery is a sign of damage. Hope you have replaced it already. Your phone should charge smoothly with a new one. Let us know if you need further assistance.

Problem #2: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge does not appear on PC

Hello. I have spoken to Samsung and tried using USB debugging mode, safe mode, updating my drivers, updating Windows 10, changing cables, changing ports, deactivating firewalls and anti-viruses and nothing will get my phone to appear on my PC. I just want to access my files so I can put music on my phone but the phone only charges and does not appear as a media device. Any help would be appreciated.Alexis

Solution: Hi Alexis. Perhaps a factory reset may resolve this as everything has been tried out and it was not successful. Have you tested it on a different PC though? See if it is recognized. If not, consider performing a master reset as this may completely resolve the issue. You can follow the steps on the solution stated above for the first problem. If this fails, replacing the unit is the most viable solution. Let us know of the outcome.

Problem #3: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus charging cable unable to fast charge after it was connected to a PC

Hi. I hope this message reaches you in the best of your health. Here’s the thing, I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus which I bought two weeks ago. Yesterday, I tried to transfer something from my phone to the computer but in doing so, after I put the USB charging wire back into the fast adaptive charger, it won’t fast charge anymore. It simply just said cable charging and it was extremely slow and barely charged. That was then. Now, every time I try to charge it, there is no sign showing that it’s charging at all. The charging cable is connected but it the screen is completely blank. The charging icon won’t show anymore. Please I really need your help. My life is literally based on this phone because this is where I do my school stuff. Thank you.Abyaz

Solution: Hello Abyaz. I’m sorry to hear about your phone. Have you tried using a different USB cable? Perhaps the old one got damaged while it’s connected to the PC. I’m positive it’s not the charging adapter and the battery as I can’t find a reason why it would be affected. Try a new USB cable first and see if it would make a difference. If not, replace the entire charger completely.

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ENGAGE WITH US

If you or someone you know encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

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