Download the Essential Phone Wallpapers

Essential Phone

Last week, the Essential Phone, the PH-1, became available for both those who had pre-ordered as well as those who want to pick one up.  The unlocked variant of the phone is $699 through the Essentials site.  You can also purchase it through Amazon for the same price but orders placed at the online retailer won’t ship until September 1st.

While you are waiting for your PH-1 to arrive, you can at least have the benefit of the stock wallpapers that come with the phone on your current device.  Over on the wallpaper page, I’ve added all six of the default wallpapers for you to freely download and use on your devices.  I’ve also added them to this post after the break so those who want to move along can do so without having to download them.

The six wallpapers are a mix of scenic views and abstract images, all of which look great.

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US Carriers Outline Samsung Galaxy Note8 Pricing

Samsung Galaxy Note8

With the Samsung Galaxy Note8 announced earlier this morning, the focus now turns to the carriers here in the United States as to what the pricing is going to be for their customers.  As for Samsung, they will be selling the Note8 unlocked for $960 and that is pretty much on par with carriers but with added payment options.

AT&T hasn’t explicitly called out their pricing for the Note8 at the time of this post but we do know that it will be $31.67 per month for 30 months.  If you order before September 14th, you get your choice of either a Gear 360 Camera or the Galaxy Foundation Kit which contains a 128GB EVO+ microSD card and wireless charging station.

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Google Contacts Update Expands to More Android Phones

Google Contacts for Android

Google has begun rolling out an update to Google Contacts for Android that brings it to non-Google devices.  The update, version 2.1 for those keeping score at home, will allow users running Android Lollipop or later to install the app and use it as your contacts app on your phone.  Like many other Google apps, Contacts was limited to the Nexus and Pixel lineup to a large extent but Google has been relaxing this as of late.

If you have Google Contacts installed, the OTA update to this new version should be on your phone in the next few days.  For those who want to download it and have a compatible device, you can get it in the Play Store.

Along with the support for more devices, there are also some new features in this update.

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Samsung Announces the Galaxy Note8

Samsung Galaxy Note8

This morning, Samsung announced the all new Galaxy Note8.  The new 6.3″ phablet has been one of the more anticipated phones of 2017 and fills the gap that was created with the recall of the Note7 last year.  Samsung has been hard at work, making sure the Note8 is tip-top in performance.

The 6.3″ device renders at 1440 x 2560 resolution with an 18.5:9 aspect ratio.  Physically it is 162.5 x 74.6 x 8.6mm and weighs 195g.  In old money, that’s 6.39 x 2.9 x .34 inches and a weight of 6.87 ounces.   It is powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor here in the US while the international version will be powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 8895 processor.  Regardless of which version you get, it will have an eye watering 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.  That storage can be expanded up to 2TB thanks to the MicroSD slot.

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Walmart Coming to Google Express in September

Google Express

Google has announced that US retailing giant Walmart will be coming to Google Express in late September.  The addition of Walmart to the shopping app means that you will be able to buy thousands of products from the retailer via the app or by adding it to your list via Google Home.

We’re entering an exciting partnership with Walmart to bring you hundreds of thousands of products at Walmart’s Every Day Low Prices—everything from laundry detergent to Legos—that you can buy through voice with your Assistant on Google Home or on the Google Express website or app.

The addition of Walmart to Google’s shopping app & service will greatly expand the products available to users.   If you already have a Walmart account, in the Express app you will be able to link your accounts which will allow for a quick and smooth shopping experience.

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Watch The Android O Launch Event Live on YouTube

Android O on The Nexus 6P

Today at 2:40 p.m. Eastern, the Android team will be hosting a live web event to announce the public availability of Android O.  The timing of the event coinsides with the solar eclipse that is happening and, you guessed it, will be at its height at 2:40 p.m. in New York.

The stream of the event will be available on YouTube and there will be a live video stream with the launch stream from NASA showing the eclipse.   You can watch the stream below:

Yeah, so my opinion is go outside and see the eclipse (with proper eye protection of course).  That’s a rare event and while I’m a big fan of the ‘Droid, I think the timing of this is silly at best and marketing gone array at worst.  My .02.  And to top it off, there isn’t really anything outside of the official name that we don’t already know about Android O anyway at this point.

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Latest Microsoft To-Do Update Improves In-App Searches

Microsoft To-Do for Android

Microsoft has released a significant update to the task management app, Microsoft To-Do, for Android.  The updated build is version 1.11.29 for those keeping score at home and brings some nice improvements and new features.

First, and for those who have managed accounts (like Office 365) you can now add those accounts to To-Do.  Previously, the app would only work with @Outlook.com or @Hotmail.com accounts which was fine, but if you want to have all of your information within your Office 365 account, you couldn’t do it.  In order for this feature to work, you must have To-Do enabled on your account which is something that your administrator will need to do if you can’t sign in with your managed account credentials.  Also keep in mind that if you are adding a managed account, permissions to your Contacts will be required for it to work properly.

The ability to integrate with Office 365 accounts was something that the company said would be coming when the announced the original preview of Microsoft To-Do back in April.

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