Tag: Android

60 New Banks Now Support Android Pay

The growth of Android Pay in 2017 globally has been impressive, particularly here in the United States.  The tap-to-pay service has added new financial institutions nearly every month in 2017 and June is no exception.  Late on Friday, 60 new financial institutions added support for Android Pay.

The vast majority of these new additions are regional or local banks and Credit Unions.  The team over at Android Police have put together a list of all the new banks which includes:

  • Great Lakes First Federal CU
  • Gulf Coast Educators FCU
  • Hoosier Heartland State Bank
  • Isabella Bank
  • Lakeside Bank
  • Lamar Bank and Trust
  • Libertyville Savings Bank
  • Lone Star National Bank
  • Los Angeles Police FCU

See the post at Android Police for the complete list.

AT&T Releases June Android Security Update for The Galaxy Note 4

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 continues to get incremental updates from both Samsung directly and carriers here in the United States.  AT&T has started rolling out updated firmware version N910AUCS2EQF1 which is fundamentally the June Android Security update that was released by Google earlier this month.  In fact, only security updates are listed in the release notes on the AT&T site for the device.

This update does not update the device to Android Nougat, an update that is likely never to happen officially given the age of the device and the expected release of the Note 8 this summer.  Indeed, it is because of the debacle of the Note 7 that the 4 is still getting regular updates more-or-less.

Latest Google Photos Update Removes Backup While Charging Feature

In the latest update to Google Photos for both Android and iOS, the ability to backup photos while charging your phone has been removed.  It is unclear as to why the feature was removed but in version 2.17 for Android and 2.18 for iOS, the feature is gone.  You can still limit the app to only backup when you are on WiFi networks as well as if you want to backup while roaming.

Google Photos remains one of the most popular Google apps with over 1 billion users of the service and over 500 million active monthly users.

Google Play Music Update Brings Search History Feature

The Google Play Music app for Android has an update rolling out that brings new features to everyone.  The bulk of the version 7.9 build is aimed at the future, namely Android O so a lot of the attention and focus of this release is to be found once O rolls out to everyone.  That includes things like Notification Channels, a new feature that will be coming in Android v8.

For today however, there is a new Search History feature that you can access on devices today that will give you access to your music search history.  This history includes any music, album or artist searches you have done either from the Play Music app or site.

Google WiFi Update Finally Brings IPv6 Support

Google has released an update to Google WiFi that, along with the latest firmware for your WiFi or OnHub devices, will allow you to enable IPv6 to your ISP.  For those who are not familiar with IPv6, it is a more advanced version of IPv4 (which you are likely using now) that uses 128-bit addressing of devices.  The theory is you can get more devices on the Internet because there is significantly more IP addresses available with v6.  The lack of IPv6 has been a contention point for many who use Google WiFi or OnHub as it is more secure and is somewhat of a checkbox requirement for a contemporary network device.

The update to bring IPv6 is a combination of firmware for the physical device itself, which is build 9460.40, and the updated app which is in the Play Store.

Android Nougat 7.1.1 Starts Rolling To The ZTE Axon 7 Mini

One of the best budget phones out there is the Axon 7 Mini.  This 5.2″ phone has excellent specs and you can pick one up in Gold for $199 right now.  Unlike most budget phones however, ZTE has done a great job of keeping this phone (and its bigger sibling the Axon 7) up to date and today is another example of it.  The Android Nougat 7.1.1 update is now rolling out to the Axon 7 Mini and should be hitting all devices over the course of the next few weeks.

The update will bring all of the goodness of Nougat to the phone along with support for Wi-Fi calling on the T-Mobile network.  If you don’t recall what is in Nougat 7.1.1, you can check out my post on the update.

OnePlus 5 Goes On Sale June 27th

After a significant number of leaks and rumors, the OnePlus 5 was officially announced yesterday by the Chinese company.  The phone will go on sale on June 27th and will be available in two variants:  a 6GB RAM/64GB Storage model for $479 or a 8GB RAM/128GB Storage for $539.  Both of these price points represent an increase in price over the OnePlus 3T but the OnePlus 5 is a higher spec’d phone too.

Those specifications include being powered by the Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor which has four cores running at 2.45 GHz  & four running at 1.9 GHz.  This is coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the model you purchase and 64GB or 128GB of storage.  The rear facing camera is a dual-camera configuration that is capable of shooting up to 16MP photos while the front facing selfie camera is also a 16MP shooter.

Today’s Deal – LeEco LE S3 Down to $139 at Amazon

Today’s Deal is on the well appointed LeEco LE S3.  This 5.5″ aluminum chassis dual-SIM phone is down to $139.99 today at Amazon, a savings of $60.  The LE S3 is powered by the Snapdragon 652 with 4×1.4 GHz cores & 4×1.8 GHz cores.  It is coupled with 3GB of RAM and has 32GB of storage.  It is has a 3000 mAh battery to keep you going through the day, a fingerprint scanner and 16MP camera.

The phone is sold unlocked and will work with GSM carriers here in the US like AT&T and T-Mobile.  Here’s a rundown of the supported frequencies and bands.  Be sure to check with your carrier for support.

  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • HSDPA 850 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
  • LTE band 1(2100), 2(1900), 3(1800), 4(1700/2100), 5(850), 7(2600), 8(900), 12(700), 17(700)

For those on Sprint or Verizon, sorry, the phone doesn’t support CDMA.

AccuWeather Platinum Adds 7-Day Allergy Forecasts

The AccuWeather Platinum app for Android, the pay version of the free app, has been updated today with a new 7-day allergy forecast.  As a pane on the Now tab of the app, you can get not only details on the types of pollen that are in your area but can get a view of what is going to be in the air over the course of the next week.

To get an idea of the types of pollen that are in the air for the day, just scroll through using the arrows on the Allergies pane to see things like grass, tree and Ragweed pollen in your area.  If you have multiple cities that you track in the app, the Allergies pane will reflect the conditions for those locations too.

Withings Health Mate Now Nokia Health Mate With A Major UI Refresh

Nokia’s acquisition of Withings is now complete and we are starting to see the first changes.  This morning, the Nokia Health Mate app started rolling out to users, updating it from the Withings app under the same name.  The app changes are not just in name or the icon on your Home page.  Nokia has done a major revamp of the UI for the app but all of the features of the Withings app are still there for you to access.

Nokia moved all of the navigation in the app to the bottom, giving you a Home, Dashboard, a Leaderboard for activities you are competing against each other, your devices and your profile.  All of this is wrapped in a beautiful white, Material Design inspired UI that looks much more modern than the last update from Withings.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher Update Brings More Information Flexibility

Microsoft’s continual updating of Arrow Launcher, the company’s Android launcher app, has been impressive and for the most part, have been significant updates.  That’s no different with the latest update, version 3.6.  This update to Microsoft Arrow Launcher brings a handful of refinements and improvements to the launcher.  Perhaps the most interesting one for the majority of users is the ability to hid or show the system status bar.

The System Status bar is the bar at the top of the display where you see your clock, Wi-Fi indicator, battery indicator and so forth. Arrow Launcher now gives you the option in Settings>General Settings to turn this on or off.  This is a great feature if you want to have a more clutter free view of your home screen.

Huawei P10 Update Brings Optimizations & April’s Security Patch

Huawei has released an updated firmware build for the Huawei P10.  The new version is VRT-L09C432B133 for those keeping score at home.  The key part of Huawei’s naming convention is the last four figures, in this case B133.  The earlier part of the build will change depending on which model you have (dual-SIM versus single SIM for example).

The update brings a handful of optimizations to the phone along with the April Android Security Patch.  Unfortunately the update does not bring Android Nougat 7.1.1 or a newer security patch.  As for those optimizations, they are in several key areas.  First, power consumption has been optimized when you are using the P10 for an extended period of time while Wi-Fi performance has also been optimized.  Optimizations have also been made to the UI content display on some screens.  As mentioned, the April 1, 2017 Android Security Update is a part of this new firmware and Huawei also removed the TripAdvisor app from the firmware.