Google is destroying Apple in the app game — except where it counts

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Android is dominating app stores but Apple is still beating Google in one extremely important metric: revenue.

Cupertino made nearly twice as much money from its App Store in 2017 as Google did from Google Play, despite seeing only a fraction of the downloads, according to a new report out today from App Annie.

Just how big is the difference? Apple made $34 billion on 29 billion app downloads in 2016, according to the company’s data. Google, by comparison, made $10 billion on 63 billion downloads in 2016. 

Put another way, Apple made more than three times as much money as Google with less than half as many downloads.  Read more…

More about China, Google, Android, Google Play, and App Store

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has a killer feature that nobody’s talking about

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Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is packed full of awesome new features like the new larger screen, face recognition and Bixby AI assistant. But there’s one pretty killer feature on the phone Samsung didn’t bother to mention at its Unpacked event on Wednesday.

That feature: a built-in GIF maker. It’s not like the Smart Select GIF maker that first appeared on the Galaxy Note 7 and later trickled to Samsung’s Galaxy Tab A and Galaxy Tab S3. It’s even better.

Located within the Gallery app’s video section is a little GIF-creation tool that lets you convert a section of any video (even ones you record) into an animated GIF. Read more…

More about Smartphones, Android, Gif Maker, Gifs, and Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8’s fingerprint sensor will send you into a rage spiral

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There’s a lot to like about Samsung’s newly announced Galaxy S8 and S8+, like the gorgeous “Infinity” displays, faster performance, improved selfie camera. Hell, there’s even a headphone jack!

But can we talk about the fingerprint sensor for a minute? More specifically, the awful, terrible place Samsung decided to relocate it to.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know it was coming. Thanks to a steady flow of high-resolution leaked images that made their way onto the internet over the last few months, we’ve known for some time that the S8 wouldn’t have a fingerprint sensor/home button on the front. Read more…

More about Android, Biometrics, Security, Fingerprint Sensor, and Galaxy S8

The Galaxy S8’s iris scanner fixes the one thing that made it suck on the Note 7

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One of the coolest features from the Galaxy Note 7 (RIP) is back and better on the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

I’m, of course, talking about the Note 7’s iris scanner. Samsung introduced the iris scanner on the Note 7 as an alternative way to secure the phone, but it wasn’t without its flaws.

Fast as it was, activating the iris scanner was kind of a pain in the ass. Allow me to quote myself:

And: 

Samsung’s fixed this complicated three-step process on the S8 and S8+. 

First, it’s now only two steps: Wake the phone up by pressing the power button or virtual home button and then look into the IR sensor on the top bezel. No more, swiping up to bring up the iris scanner preview/PIN lock screen. Read more…

More about Security, Android, Biometrics, Iris Scanner, and S8

Samsung’s new Gear 360 streams 360 live, and finally works with iPhones

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The Galaxy S8 and S8+ aren’t the only new gadgets Samsung announced at its big Unpacked event on Wednesday.

Along with the new flagship phones, Samsung also took the wraps off a new Gear 360 camera that’s smaller and more powerful than the original.

The new Gear 360 now records 360-degree video at true 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) compared to the original model, which topped out at 3,840 x 1,920.

More pixels will make for sharper 360 videos, but the two most compelling new features are 360 live streaming to YouTube, Facebook or Samsung VR (a third-party API could open 360 streaming to other services like Periscope), and iPhone support. Read more…

More about Galaxy S8, Cameras, Ios, Iphone, and Android

The Huawei Watch 2 (and Android Wear 2) have all the same smartwatch problems

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Generally, smartwatches aren’t worth the time it takes to charge them. 

But when Huawei handed me a review unit of their new Huawei Watch 2, which has pretty much all the tech you can stuff into a smartwatch these days, and runs the new Android Wear 2, I decided to give it a chance. 

Unfortunately, while both the watch and the new version of Google’s smartwatch OS do have a few redeeming qualities, after a few weeks of usage I still can’t recommend either. 

On paper, the Huawei Watch 2 is everything a modern Android smartwatch should be: A powerful, versatile wearable watch that’s great at tracking your fitness activities. It’s got LTE and GPS chips, so you can untether it from your phone. It’s water resistant. It has a speaker and a microphone, so you can make calls without ever pulling out your phone. It can even store and play some music while you run.  Read more…

More about Google, Android, Huawei, Smartwatch, and Android Wear 2

Truecaller gets payment support and Duo integration as it trickles to feature phones

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For Truecaller, an app that offers real-time caller ID and spam protection, the past two years have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. 

On one hand, the eight-year-old service continues to grow strongly in developing markets, and has also chalked out plans to attract people globally.

On the other hand, several features that made Truecaller so popular are now shipping out of the box with iPhone and Android smartphones. 

So what does the Swedish company doing to survive in the market? Partnerships, mostly, it said today at an event in New Delhi.  Read more…

More about Apple, Android, Ios, Spam Protection, and India

A new update will finally kill the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 once and for all

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The last remaining Galaxy Note 7 phones that haven’t been returned will finally be put out of their misery.

Samsung’s planning to issue a software update that’ll disable remaining Note 7 phones from charging at all, according to a report from Yonhap News Agency.

Samsung will reportedly push the update out later this month, and it will cripple the remaining 3-4 percent of Note 7 phones still in use worldwide, mostly in South Korea. 

Earlier this year, Samsung said 97 percent of Note 7 devices had been recalled in the U.S. and 96 percent worldwide. Read more…

More about Galaxy Note 7, Note 7, Smartphones, Android, and Samsung

Google now offers a free Android app every week

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Google has quietly launched a new section on its Play Store, offering one app that normally costs money for free every week. 

Called “Free App of the Week,” the section is only available to U.S. users. 

Today, for instance, it’s offering for free Cartoon Networks’ Card Wars game, which usually costs $2.99.

Spotted by Android Police, the idea is not entirely new; in fact, Google ran a similar promotion last year, but it didn’t stick. 

According to VentureBeat, it was re-launched last week, with first app on offer being Ultimate Guitar Tabs & Chords, but hardly anyone noticed.  Read more…

More about Free App Of The Week, Google, Google Play, Android, and Tech

9 secret apps to hide your sexts

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Since the dawn of time, solitary lovers (more accurately, lusters) have kept the erotic spark alive by sexting. Trading flirty notes and then much more explicit pics makes loneliness a little more manageable and much more steamy.

Smartphones have made sexting easier than ever — just get to the dirty talking via text, then snap a suggestive pic or eight and send them over. Instantaneous digital gratification. 

But what do you do after your sexting sesh? While one option is always to delete them ASAP, if you’re going to keep them, do yourself and your partner a favor and lock them down. Read more…

More about Android, Ios, Secretary, Hidden, and Security