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LG G4 Release: Everything You Need to Know

GottaBeMobile - 4 hours 58 min ago

LG G4 Release: Everything You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

In just a few days and starting on June 3rd the impressive new LG G4 smartphone will be available in the US on the shelves of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular. Now, ahead of the official release date here’s everything prospective buyers need to know.

On April 28th LG took the stage in New York City and announced the all-new redesigned LG G4 after months of rumors and speculation. It’s already on sale in Korea, and up next all five major US carriers will have it in stores, and some are selling it online as we speak.

Read: LG G4 Review

Earlier this week the LG G4 went up for sale on T-Mobile, not to mention pre-order and online sales commenced for Verizon and AT&T. However, those considering this impressive new 5.5-inch flagship smartphone with genuine handmade leather backs will want to read on for all the details regarding the release date, pricing, colors, some exclusive deals and more from all carriers.

Those considering the brand new LG G4 smartphone as their next purchase will want to check out our review linked to above, then read on to learn everything about the LG G4, how much it will cost, what colors and genuine leather backs will be available and more.

LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the LG G4, comes with a big and bright 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 Quad-HD display, a powerful 6-core processor and 3GB of RAM, one of the best cameras on any smartphone, a 16 megapixel f1.8 shooter with optical image stabilization, 32GB of internal storage and a micro-SD card slot for user expandable storage, a large 3,000 mAh removable battery and more. All those numbers may be confusing, but what it all means is the LG G4 is one of the best Android smartphones released thus far in 2015, and is certainly worth considering.

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Read: LG G4 vs Galaxy S6: 5 Key Differences

Those who haven’t bought a new smartphone in 2015 or are eligible for an upgrade are likely considering devices like the Galaxy S6 which we’ve compared to the LG G4 above. Then below is more details about the LG G4 release in the United States from all major carriers.

LG G4 Release Date

Over the past week all major carriers in the United States have announced plans to carry the LG G4, when, and for how much. T-Mobile has it first on June 3rd, and it’s available online now from many other carriers, and here’s what you need to know.

  • T-Mobile – This week T-Mobile confirmed the G4 went up for sale online May 27th, and will start shipping ahead of its June 3rd in-store release date. T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer the phone.
  • Verizon – The LG G4 from Verizon went up for pre-order on May 28th and they announced it will be in stores starting June 4th. All the information can be found at the Verizon News Blog.
  • Sprint – The LG G4 will be available from Sprint starting on June 5th
  • AT&T – Yesterday May 29th, the AT&T LG G4 went up for pre-order online and the carrier also announced it will be in stores on June 5th.
  • US Cellular – Last weekend US Cellular announced it will be kicking off its presale for the LG G4 on Friday, May 29 online and the in-store date is June 4th, just like Verizon.
LG G4 Price

The LG G4 appears to be $199 with a new 2-year contract from most carriers, or $239 with a new contract for the leather variant, as that costs more from some carriers. Everyone has something different, exclusive colors, and different payment plans so we’re not going to break everything down too much.

Verizon has the LG G4 off contract for $549 outright, in plastic or leather. At the same time T-Mobile is asking $599. Then AT&T is asking $199 with a 2-year contract, $629 outright, or $669 for the genuine leather. It’s odd to see all the different asking prices, so we’d suggest users head into their nearby carrier store for more details.

LG G4 Leather

The LG G4 comes in Black, White and Titanium silver plastic options, as well as six genuine leather handmade options that are truly worth waiting for, and paying a little extra. LG has confirmed the six leather backs will cost more, and likely be sold separately for those who’d like them, but carriers will also be offering leather back versions as well. Most appear to only have the black leather, but hopefully LG sells each of the six colors separately online for those interested.

Verizon has an exclusive in the United States on the Ceramic White LG G4, but will also offer LG’s latest phone in Metallic Gray (plastic) and Genuine Black leather. AT&T will also have the Black leather, as well as the Metallic Gray. T-Mobile has the silver model as well, and appears to be the only US carrier with the brown leather color option.

US Cellular announced they’ll carry the gray, gold, and black leather as well. We’ve yet to hear concrete details regarding what Sprint has to offer, but we’ll know more soon enough.

Read: 15 Best LG G4 Accessories

At this point we have no additional details regarding the other five leather colors, but with the back being removable users will be able to buy replacements online, from carriers, and hopefully from LG. The light blue was my favorite. Below is the black leather most carriers will have for sale.

Deals

As many already expected, LG has tons of deals on this new smartphone. Those who buy the LG G4 between May 28th and June 21st from any carrier in the United States will have the chance to get a 32GB micro-SD card, an extra 3,000 mAh battery, and a spare battery charging cradle all absolutely free.

LG confirms these are in limited supply and owners will be required to send in proof of purchase and a few other things to this promotional website, and the free accessories will ship within 4-6 weeks.

Best Buy also has a deal delivering a $100 gift card, but buyers will need to head into a Best Buy rather than a Verizon store or the carrier of their choice.

Read: 30 LG G4 Tips & Tricks

As an added bonus, for a limited time while supplies last T-Mobile will be giving buyers a 128GB micro-SD card free with their purchase. That’s one of the best free gifts with any smartphone purchase we’ve seen in a long time. This deal ends on June 21st and users will still likely be able to also get the bundle provided by LG as well.

The LG G4 is available now online from most carriers and in stores for users to try it out early, and will officially hit the shelves of all major carriers next week. Who’s buying the LG G4?

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } 6 Exciting LG G4 CasesLG G4 Folio Flip Case1 / 6

Similar to last year, LG is offering an official LG-made Folio Flip Circle Case that offers multiple levels of protection, additional neat features, and more. The G4 Folio case protects the entire device as usual, but then has a flip cover that protects the 5.5-inch screen. The trademark circle window cutout in the flip cover shows a clock, the weather, incoming call or text message information, quick access to the camera and more all without ever opening the case.

Then opening it instantly wakes up your device. This case makes your phone durable, offers additional features, and protects the screen all in one. Last but certainly not least, there's also a second version of the Folio Case that enables wireless charging, making it more than worth the more expensive price point.

LG hasn't announced pricing for the G4 Folio case, but last year the G3 Folio case was $49, and the wireless charging enabled case was $59.99.

1 / 6

LG G4 Release: Everything You Need to Know is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nexus Android 5.1.1 Release: 5 Things We Learned in May

GottaBeMobile - 5 hours 11 min ago

Nexus Android 5.1.1 Release: 5 Things We Learned in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Google’s Android 5.1.1 update has been official since April but it only recently started picking up steam with releases for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, and Nexus 4. With those updates in mind, we take a look at a few things we learned about Google’s Android 5.1.1 release over the course of the last month.

In March, Google confirmed an Android 5.1 release for Nexus devices. Android 5.1 started rolling out a short time later bringing bug fixes and some new features to owners of Google’s Nexus smartphones and tablets. And while its focus was on fixing bugs, Android 5.1 also brought some big time problems to Nexus users including a serious memory leak problem.

So, it was no surprise when Google confirmed a Nexus Android 5.1.1 update in April. Android 5.1.1 was made official in April but its taken Google several weeks to get it and its crucial bug fixes pushed out to key devices like the Nexus 5, Nexus 4, and the Nexus 9.

With May coming to an end, we want to take a look at the most important things we learned about the Android 5.1.1 release for Nexus devices.

Nexus 4, Nexus 6, Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 Updates

The first thing that we learned is that even when Google’s updates are a mere 15MB in size, the roll outs can be unpredictable and extremely slow. We get it. It needs to test the software for each device behind the scenes to make sure it gets things right. But how about a little communication during the process? Someday, maybe.

In any event, the last week of May has seen an uptick in the speed of Google’s current Android 5.1.1 OTAs for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 6. All three updates are pushing out with authority and it should only be a matter of time before the OTA appears on all versions of these devices. Google’s roll outs can take up to two or so weeks to complete.

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If you’re feeling impatient, know that you can install all of these updates early. We don’t recommend it at this point but if you’re about to have an ulcer due to your Lollipop problems or impatience, we’re not going to stop you.

Android 5.1.1 Impressions & Performance

We’ve been digging into the Android 5.1.1 update on the Nexus 6, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 and so far, the update is treating the device’s well.

The Nexus 6 Android 5.1.1 update was extremely stable on Google’s big-screened Nexus smartphone and we didn’t run into any major issues during our time with the update. We’re using the past tense here because we recently moved the Nexus 6 to Android M, Google’s brand new Android update.

The Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi is still holding up and the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update has alleviated some of the issues we were seeing with Android 5.1 on board. Namely, app crashes and random reboots. We’ve spent about a month with the Nexus 7’s update and a week with the Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 update.

And now that the updates are pushing out with some force, we’re also finally started to see Nexus users take to several different forums and post feedback about their experiences with Android 5.1.1. While we’ve seen complaints about problems, we’ve also seen Nexus users provide positive feedback.

If you haven’t installed Android 5.1.1 yet, we encourage you to do some investigating. Our impressions and reviews are a good place to start.

Nexus Android 5.1.1 Problems Continue

While a lot of the feedback has been good, we’ve also heard about a bunch of Android 5.1.1 problems during the month of May. Granted, complaints haven’t been as loud as complaints about Android 5.1 but we’ve still seen people struggling with Nexus Android 5.1.1 problems nonetheless. We’ve pointed a few of these out already.

Nexus 4 users are complaining about several problems including severe battery drain, Android 5.1.1 installation problems, boot issues, video playback issues (a carry over from Android 5.1), random rebootsproblems with the Nexus 4’s soft keys, various other battery drain issues, issues with the touch screen, black screen of death, battery drain problems, and more.

Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users are complaining numerous Android 5.1.1 problems including charging issuesapp performance issues, problems with the rear camera and the camera application, lag and sluggishness that wasn’t there on Android 5.1 and below (Nexus 7 2012 users have been complaining about this for weeks), connectivity problems, the usual array of installation errors, boot issues, Wi-Fi problems, and more.

And finally, Nexus 5 owners are chiming in about problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, issues during the boot up phase,battery life problems, charging issues, problems with various applications including Gmail, data connection issues, odd problems with contacts and messages, random reboots, and more.

Most of these issues are common and that’s why we’ve put together a list of fixes for many of these issues. Those fixes are a great place to start if you’re nervous about the Android 5.1.1 update or if you’re already encountering issues on board Google’s latest software.

Some Nexus Devices Might Stay on Android 5.1.1

Yesterday, Google announced its brand new Android M software update for Nexus devices. The Android M Beta is now available for the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, and Nexus 9 though it’s also expected to hit the Nexus 7 2013 later this year.

Unfortunately, some devices are rumored to be staying put on Android Lollipop. According to a report from Android Police, Google will not release Android M for the Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 10 or the Nexus 4.

While the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 probably won’t get Android M, the site claims they will still get security updates from Google. The Nexus 4 will reportedly get updates thru August while the Nexus 10 will get updates into 2016. The Nexus 7 2012’s support will evidently end this summer.

This all makes the Android 5.1.1 update that much more important for owners of the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 2012. It could be the last major update for these devices.

Android M Release Date

It’s not clear if Google will release an Android 5.1.2 update which means that the company’s next update could very well be the Android M update that it announced on stage. Android M can be seen in action in the video below.

Google’s confirmed an Android M release in Q3 of this year but it hasn’t confirmed a specific release date for Nexus devices. A report from Android Police asserts that Google is indeed shooting for an early Android M release date. Their report suggests that the Android M release could come in August. It’s important to note that software release dates are always subject to change based on testing.

Android 5.1.1 is going to stick around for the foreseeable future. After all, Google still owes Android 5.1.1 updates to the cellular versions of the Nexus 7. No word on when those are going to be released but June could be the month. We’ll see.

Nexus Android 5.1.1 Release: 5 Things We Learned in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Delete the LG G4 Browser History

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 21:50

How to Delete the LG G4 Browser History is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Privacy is a top priority for many smartphone users, especially when we use our devices for just about everything. Devices like the new LG G4 are pretty secure with lockscreen passwords or KnockCode, but that may not be comforting enough for some. For those that own the LG G4 and would like to learn how to delete or remove the browser history, we have you covered.

Browser history or form data is one of many privacy issues owners need to be aware of. There are many different reasons a user may want to delete their internet browser or search history on a smartphone, and we’re sure you have your reasons, so here we’ll explain how to do so on the new LG G4.

Read: How to Close Apps on the LG G4

Unlike many other devices, LG finally made Google Chrome the default browser on the G4, so that’s the only instructions we need to provide. Many other device have their own browser with different settings, not to mention many 3rd party browsers from the Google Play Store. Read on to learn how to delete the G4 browser history.

When a user is logged into a Gmail account, which most are, each website you visit is saved to the browser or account history. This is what we’ll be targeting here today. That is, unless you have history turned off completely or are using an incognito tab or an incognito browser, which we’ll mention again below.

Read: 30 LG G4 Tips & Tricks

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Removing your browser history and search history are two different things, but below we’ll explain how to clear the browser history on the LG G4. This could be so your kids or significant other can’t see what you bought for their birthday, general privacy concerns, or for other reasons we won’t get into, here’s how to do it.

Instructions

As we stated above, there are multiple options and 3rd party browser readily available on the Google Play Store for users, and from manufacturers. Google Chrome is the most popular and the default browser on our LG G4, so let’s start with that.

While using the Google Chrome application on the LG G4, which is the web browser, tap the three dots “Menu button” at the top right. This brings up the popup menu, where you’ll scroll down and select “History”.

As you can see in the image above you now have access to a list of all the website you’ve visited on the Chrome Browser. Next up users simply need to tap the “clear browser data” button at the bottom, and then select which information they’d like to remove, as shown below.

You’ll get a similar option of check-boxes as shown above, and you can control what you delete forever, and what stays. Another great benefit of Google Chrome is you can remove individual site visits, instead of all or nothing, so it doesn’t appear that you’re hiding your tracks. Just hit the x to clear each individual search you’d like removed and that’s it.

Incognito Mode

To prevent any of this from ever being an issue from the start, users can just use something called Incognito Mode. When you’re in the LG G4 browser hit menu and open an Incognito tab. This makes it so the browser won’t remember or save any history, passwords, login, or track what you do. This is your best bet, and something many users should consider if privacy is a concern.

There are multiple browsers on the Google Play Store that do this by default and will never remember any of your data or information. Dolphin Zero is a good one, or Opera Browser has a browser-wide privacy mode you can enable. I’d stick to the stock browser or Chrome, but everyone likes something different, and there are plenty to choose from on Android in the Google Play Store.

What we do on our smartphones is our own business, so make sure you take some of the steps mentioned above to prevent it from being saved, or seen by others. That, or simply delete anything you don’t want falling into the wrong hands.

How to Delete the LG G4 Browser History is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Best iPhone Audiobook Apps

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 21:04

Best iPhone Audiobook Apps is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

If reading isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps listening to someone read is more up your alley. Here are the best iPhone audiobook apps.

Audiobooks, as you might have guessed, are audio versions of books, and they’re perhaps even more convenient than physically reading a book, as you can listen to audiobooks in the car on your way to work or while traveling.

They’re especially handy if you easily get carsick while reading in a car, plane, train, etc. No need to look down at blocks of words and read them. Instead, you can listen to calm voices of narrators reading books aloud to you.

However, if you’re new to audiobooks or new to the iPhone, you may not know the best apps for listening to audiobooks, but there are a few winners out there that are great for listening to audiobooks on your iPhone, some of which have unique features that you may enjoy.

Without further ado, here are some of the best iPhone audiobook apps available.

Audible

Perhaps one of the most popular apps for audiobooks is Audible, and it offers a great selection of books to choose from.

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Audible is actually owned by Amazon, so if you already use Amazon for your shopping, buying audiobooks is just as easy. From within the app, you can do all sorts of stuff, like skip forward or backward within an audiobook and even adjust the quality of your audiobooks when they’re downloading so that you don’t go over your data cap if you’re downloading while on the go.

Plus, you can email or call Audible customer support right from within the app, which is a huge plus, and if you’re extra geeky, you can even view your listening stats that show how long you’ve “read” and it also shows daily and monthly stats.

iBooks

If you’re one to stay within Apple’s own ecosystem as much as possible, then iBooks has you covered when it comes to audiobooks, at least when iOS 8.4 releases soon.

Currently, the Music app on your iPhone or iPad handles audiobook duties, but that will change in the very near future, as iBooks will take over audiobook responsibilities when iOS 8.4 launches, which is rumored to arrive early next month.

When this happens, many new features will be available to users, including the ability to easily scrub through an audiobook chapter, as well as open a tracklist for each book. You’ll also be able to set the speed of the audiobook and even share your discovery of the book with a friend.

Audiobooks

If you like the word “free” then you’ll most likely enjoy the Audiobooks app, which offers free audiobooks and a simple interface to listen to them.

The app has “thousands” of free audiobooks that you can listen to, as well as a decent selection of “premium” audiobooks of best-selling titles.

The interface includes a wealth of useful features, including a sleep timer, a dark mode for when it’s night time, offline playback, AirPlay support, and even the ability to continue listening to your audiobooks in the background while you do other things on your iPhone.

There’s also Apple Watch support in case you ever want to control your audiobooks right from your wrist.

Roll Your Own Setup

If you’d rather have more freedom with your audiobooks, then there are some other options that you can go for.

There are many websites that let you download .MP3 versions of audiobooks. LoyalBooks is one of them, which allows you to download .MP3 audiobooks by chapters for easy listening. From there, you can listen to them on your computer or mobile device through the Music app.

There are even the less legitimate means of downloading audiobooks, such as using torrents. Admittedly, the selection is fantastic, but if you’re feeling a bit more ethical than that, then perhaps going with an established service like Audible is more up your alley.

Best iPhone Audiobook Apps is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Close Apps on the Samsung Galaxy S6

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:57

How to Close Apps on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

With a beautiful new design and powerful 8-core processor the Samsung Galaxy S6 is one of the best and fastest smartphones on the planet. It’s capable of multi-tasking and opening a wide array of apps, even two at the same time with multi-window mode. However, there will still be times users will want to close apps on the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, and below we’ll explain how to do it.

Doing something as simple as clearing or closing unused apps may seem very generic and simple for average users, but first time smartphone owners users switching from the iPhone will need to know how to perform such a task on their new Galaxy S6.

Read: How to Reset a Frozen Galaxy S6

Now that the Galaxy S6 has been available for nearly two months we’ve been getting a lot of questions, and one is about closing unused apps. Closing and clearing apps on the Galaxy S6 to improve performance and battery life is extremely easy, so read on for the simple instructions.

Samsung’s phone has a fast 8-core processor and 3GB of RAM that can handle almost anything, but we’ll go over how just in case. The general rule of thumb on Android is to let the operating system manage your memory. That said, there are still times a user may want to clear apps from memory that aren’t being used.

Google’s Android OS does an excellent job managing apps and multi-tasking unlike any other operating system by putting apps in a low-power state ready to be called into action when needed, and saving battery the rest of the time. However, many users still opt to close apps manually and here’s how to do it on the Galaxy S6.

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Clearing apps out of memory or the multi-tasking  (recent apps) menu on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge is extremely easy, but may be different with than previous Galaxy devices. There’s a dedicated button for all your recent apps, and a single clear all button to make it all very easy for the end user.

Simply tap the overlapping rectangle-like button to the left of the dedicated hardware home button. This is the multi-tasking menu key that brings up all currently used and running apps. For those that didn’t know, switching from Facebook to Gmail, then to the browser, and back to Facebook is extremely fast and efficient with this menu. However, this is also where a quick swipe will close and kill apps.

Once you tap the button to the left of the home key you’ll see what is pictured above. This is the recent apps menu. It’s a good idea to leave things like phone, messages, or even the browser in here, especially if you use these often. Clearing the SMS text app only means it will need to restart on your next message, wasting battery and CPU cycles. This same rule applies to all apps, so only close the ones you won’t be needing anymore.

A simple swipe of your finger on each box will swipe them away, and instantly close the app. Any saved progress or website you may be on will have to reload next time you use that specific application. The image above shows the menu, and us swiping to close the YouTube app. That’s all you have to do to close apps on the Galaxy S6.

However, sometimes a user may want to simply clear everything all at once. Again, this is not recommended as the OS does a great job keeping most apps in a low power state. If so, just tap the new “Close all” button at the bottom, which will wipe out every app currently in system memory. A good time for this may be while at work and you won’t be on your phone, before bed, or while driving.

We’d recommend only clearing apps that you won’t be needing, or apps that are system intensive. Something like YouTube, Google Maps (or navigation are a big one) and even Netflix. As they can be killed to preserve battery. In general clearing apps is rarely needed on Android devices, especially ones as powerful and efficient as the Galaxy S6, but each user can do as they please based on their own needs.

Read: 5 Best Galaxy S6 Wallet Cases

Killing all of your apps could end up slowing down the phone, as it will need to reboot certain apps as they are called, and in the end lower battery life. So again, only clear what’s necessary, and generally this menu isn’t as needed as most think. For some reason Samsung removed the menu key in favor of it, but for those who’d like better control, now you have it.

In the end only close apps you won’t be using for the foreseeable future. Users claim all types of different results for clearing apps throughout the day and using the task manager, but use it wisely and feel free to try it yourself today.

How to Close Apps on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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iPhone 6s Release: 10 Things We Learned in May

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:34

iPhone 6s Release: 10 Things We Learned in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

In May, we’ve heard a whole lot about Apple’s rumored iPhone 6s, a device that’s expected to replace the iPhone 6 later this year. With May coming to a close, we want to take a look at a few things we’ve learned about Apple’s still unannounced iPhone 6s release.

The first three months of the year were pretty light on iPhone 6s rumors. April saw the start of the iPhone 6s rumor avalanche and in May, reports started piling it on. This month, we’ve started to see the iPhone 6s take shape thanks to a number of credible leaks and rumors. And while iPhone 6s rumors haven’t matured yet, we’re starting to get a pretty solid read on the company’s plans.

While nothing is confirmed, we’ve learned a lot about the device, or devices, that will replace the company’s best selling iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. With June and WWDC nearly here, we want to take a look at the most important things we learned about the iPhone 6s release in May.

No WWDC Launch

Let’s just get this out of the way first. While it would be nice to see Apple talk about the iPhone 6s at WWDC 2015 in early June, that’s probably not going to happen. Apple will be busy at WWDC 2015 but thus far, all signs point to the iPhone 6s skipping a WWDC launch.

Instead, WWDC will serve as the launch pad for a number of other products including iOS 9, iOS 8.4, Apple’s streaming music service, a new version of OS X for Mac, and perhaps, a new Apple TV. Apple hasn’t confirmed any of these announcements but thanks to a number of rumors, we have a pretty good idea about what it has planned for June 8th.

iOS 9 & Longevity

iOS 9 rumors have been emerging right next to iPhone 6s rumors. iOS 9 isn’t official just yet but it’s expected to arrive at WWDC and head into a beta shortly after Apple’s keynote ends. iOS 9 is rumored to be the software that will help accompany the iPhone 6s to shelves and we should get a solid glimpse at it and its features on June 8th.

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According to 9to5Mac, Apple has “restructured its software engineering process to better support older hardware.” What this means is that we could see iOS 9 updates land for devices like the iPhone 4s. If iOS 9 does arrive for the iPhone 4s, it will be the device’s fourth major iOS update. Apple’s iPhones typically get three.

This is absolutely huge for iPhone 4s users and it’s also big for prospective iPhone 6s users because it means that you could be investing in a phone that’s going to get software support for four years. That’s a plus for those of you that like to keep your device around for more than just two years.

iPhone 6s Release Date

In May, we learned that the iPhone 6s release date could come early but is more likely going to take place in and around the September window that Apple always users.

One notable iPhone 6s release date rumor comes from the very credible KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who claims that iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus production will start in mid-to-late August. Kuo believes that Apple will announce the new iPhone in August and that they will arrive on store shelves in September. Not everyone agrees though. 9to5Mac claims that there is no truth to the August rumors.

The big takeaway here is that while the exact date has yet to be nailed down, the iPhone 6s release window has narrowed and it’s looking like we still have a few months to go before Apple takes the stage. That makes sense given that Apple will need to test iOS 9 and its features. The iOS 9 beta should stretch across several months.

iPhone 6s Plus Likely

Nothing is confirmed but most iPhone 6s rumors we’ve seen have hinted at two devices, an iPhone 6s and a larger iPhone 6s Plus.

iPhone 6s rumors point to the arrival of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and a 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus. These mirror the sizes of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. There’s nothing surprising about this.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus both garnered excellent reviews and Apple recently posted record iPhone sales. It’s safe to assume that these sizes will be sticking around for another year at least.

4-inch iPhone 6s Unlikely

Rumors leading up to May hinted at a possible 4-inch iPhone 6s or iPhone 6c that would give fans of smaller displays a chance to buy an updated version of the iPhone. While it would be nice to see Apple offer the option to consumers, a 4-inch iPhone 6s probably isn’t happening.

Ming-Chi Kuo claims that Apple is unlikely to release a 4-inch iPhone 6s later this year. Here’s what he said in a note issued to investors, according to MacRumors:

iPhone 5S still going strong; next 4-inch likely in 2016. Shipments of 5S are still going strong at 5-7mn units every quarter, an impressive level at such a mature stage of the product cycle. Momentum is being sustained by a more affordable price and the product’s outstanding design. But we still believe it’s necessary for Apple to have a new 4-inch iPhone because: (1) it will be key to extending momentum in the 4-inch category; and (2) it could complete the Apple Pay ecosystem, assuming it is equipped with NFC. We predict a launch in 2016.

Kuo reiterated his predictions in another note a few weeks ago. He believes that the iPhone 5s will serve as Apple’s entry-level device taking the spot of the iPhone 5c. It’s not yet clear where the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus fit in.

If that wasn’t enough, 9to5Mac recently debunked another 4-inch iPhone 6s rumor throwing more water on embers that were already starting to burn out. Plans can change but at this point, we’re not expecting more than the two iPhones.

Similar Design

We’re in an iPhone “S” year and that’s precisely why we’ve seen iPhone rumors refer to the device as iPhone “6s” rather than “iPhone 7.” Apple’s “S” models typically feature an array of upgrades though they tend to feature designs similar to their predecessors. The iPhone 6s probably won’t be any different.

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman says sources have told him that the iPhone 6s will look like the iPhone 6. No big surprise there given that we’re less than a year removed from Apple’s all-metal redesign. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be changes.

Kuo believes that Apple will include an improved Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 6s. He’s also expecting an additional microphone at the bottom of the phone and some internal design changes that should end the “Bendgate” problems that plagued the iPhone 6.

There’s also talk of a rose gold version of the iPhone 6s. This was backed up by a Wall Street Journal report this month which means that it has some legs.

iPhone 6s Display & Force Touch

iPhone 6s display rumors have firmed up around those two sizes, 4.7-inches and 5.5-inches, and they’ve also started to firm up around another feature: Force Touch.

A new report from 9to5Mac, a site that has a healthy track record when it comes to iOS rumors, claims that Apple’s “Force Touch” technology will come to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. From the report:

Apple has designed iOS 9 to be Force Touch-ready and is working to let developers integrate Force Touch into App Store apps.

Force Touch technology can determine the action a user wants to perform based on the strength of a tap. Apple built this into the Apple Watch, the new MacBook and the MacBook Pro Retina and it’s rumored to have it on tap for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus or both. And that’s just one reason why the new iPhone 6s display could blow consumers away.

Performance Boost

iOS 9 is expected to come with tons of bug fixes, security enhancements and features to help performance. That should benefit the iPhone 6s.

iPhone 6s rumors in May have also pointed to some hardware bumps including a high-performance A9 processor and a move to 2GB of RAM. There aren’t a lot of specifics but Apple’s well known for swapping out processors year-after-year so there’s a good chance that we’ll see a change this year.

iPhone 6s Camera

Multiple reports suggest that the iPhone 6s camera will feature a new 12MP sensor. Apple’s iPhone 6 includes a 8MP sensor and the iPhone 6 Plus uses the same sensor but adds optical image stabilization.

 

Ming-Chi Kuo reiterates the 12MP sensor in the iPhone 6s and GforGames reports that Kevin Wang, IHS Technology Research Director in China says the iPhone 6s will use a 12MP sensor with smaller pixels. So does a new report from Feng. And then there’s this.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple acquired LinX, an Israeli Camera technology company that develops cameras for smartphones. That hints at some big changes.

Galaxy Note 5

Finally, we’ve also seen an iPhone 6s rival start to make waves in May. The Galaxy Note 5 is rumored to be coming out sometime this fall, possibly in September. It’s rumored to have a number of big time features on board and if it’s able to match the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge designs, it could pose a serious threat to the iPhone 6 Plus.

iPhone 6s Release: 10 Things We Learned in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Need for Speed 2015 Release Reignites Controversy

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:31

Need for Speed 2015 Release Reignites Controversy is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

With the 2015 rethinking of the Need for Speed franchise quickly approaching release this fall, we’re finally learning more about how the game will work and how Electronic Arts hopes to foster an online car enthusiast community for the game. Unfortunately, a key component of fostering that enthusiast community could be enough to send some gamers in search of a racing game other than Need for Speed this fall.

This week Need for Speed’s public facing Twitter account revealed that to play the game users will need an internet connection. According to Electronic Arts, “NFS will require an online connection, but the benefits are nice. More variety and a more rewarding experience with friends.”

The message was in response to a question from a series fan who seems to have hoped that Need for Speed actually wouldn’t require an internet connection to play. That fan’s initial message perfectly echoes the reaction to come from some potential Need for Speed buyers when they find out about the requirement: “Look how always online worked for [Microsoft] when they announced the Xbox One. Don’t make the same mistake!”

Read: Need for Speed Release Revealed

Need for Speed 2015 is set for launch on November 3rd, weeks before the holiday shopping season kicks off in the United States. It’s also, roughly a month into the all-too-busy video game buying season that typically starts in late September and early October.

As Microsoft found out the hard way back in 2013, there’s a dedicated group of gamers who are emphatically opposed to any console or title that requires them to have an internet connection. Forcing gamers to connect to a server to play a title means that people with a less than stellar internet connections and those who don’t have internet access at all can’t participate. It also means that when your normally stable internet connection is down, you can’t play your games.

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If for some reason Electronic Arts decides to shut down the game’s servers — which they can do at any time — gamers are left with a title they paid full price for that no longer works.

To their credit, Electronic Arts isn’t locking users into multiplayer just to play the new Need for Speed. A single player mode is present, though it’ll still require an internet connection.

Need for Speed hopes to strike it big by recreating the nighttime street racing scene. The game hopes that players will want to admire each other’s cars,  swap modification ideas and communicate with their friends in between races. As such, it makes sense that an internet connection would be required.

@NeedforSpeed look how always online worked for Micrduringwhen they announced the Xbox One. Don't make the same mistake!. #NFS #Underground

— DeanRheims (@DeanRheims) May 28, 2015

It’s worth noting that there are plenty decent examples of online-only games striking it big with players. Most of the popular PC games have required internet access for years. World of Warcraft and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic come to mind. They’ve been a success on consoles too, with Destiny and Titanfall being two of the biggest releases to arrive on the Xbox One last year. Interestingly enough, Titanfall is actually a title published by Electronic Arts, the same publisher of Need for Speed.

There have been some pretty high-profile online-online meltdowns too, like Grand Theft Auto Online and Electronic Arts’ own Sim City game are perfect examples. The controversy with Sim City ended with Electronic Arts adding offline play and completely abandoning the title.

The only competitor to Need for Speed we know with a launch window later this year is Microsoft’s own Forza Motorsport 6. It’s unclear if it’ll require online connectivity, through Forza Motorsport 5 used Microsoft’s Xbox Live service to create competitive drivers.

Need for Speed 2015 Release Reignites Controversy is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Check Out the Free PS3 & PS4 Games in June

GottaBeMobile - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 14:06

Check Out the Free PS3 & PS4 Games in June is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

The free PS4 games and PS3 games for PS Plus members in June are official and there is a special treat for anyone waiting to play Metal Gear Solid 5 later this year.

Every month Sony offers free PS4 games and free PS3 games to users who pay for PS Plus. The PS Plus service is essential to play online on the PlayStation 4 and delivers other benefits to users.

The free games offer up an affordable way to try recent releases and to enjoy new games without paying for them. To get these free PS4 games you need to download them during the free period and then you will own them. There are also a few free PS Vita games in the mix.

Read: PlayStation Plus: 6 Things Buyers Need to Know

There is usually a free trial of PS Plus with a new PS4 purchase. PS Plus is $49.99 for a year membership, but you can try it out with a shorter 3-month membership for $17.99.

Free PS4 Games in June

If you want to play online with the PS4 you need a PS Plus membership, so it is nice to see the addition of free PS4 and PS3 games with the service to help add to the value. Sony changes the free PS4 games every month. The free PS3 games are often older, but better known titles, while the PS4 offerings often include several arcade type games.

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The PS3 and PS4 games arrive online for free starting on June 1st.

Metal Gear Solid 5 Ground Zeroes for PS4

The first free PS4 game for June is Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes. In this lead up to the Metal Gear Solid 5 release in September you take Snake through a mission in a Cuban military base to rescue Paz from imprisonment. This game is normally $19.99, but it is free in June to PS Plus members.

Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition PS4

Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition is a turn based strategy game for the PS4. Take control in the Samurai afterlife on the PS4. In this game you must build an army of undead soldiers to destroy opponents and earn your honor back.

Super Exploding Zoo for PS4 & PS Vita

Super Exploding Zoo is a cross play game for the PS4 and PS Vita. You need to defend eggs in a zoo from aliens who want to eat the eggs. Do they want to scramble them, cook them over easy or make an omelet? We don’t know. We do know that you must protect the eggs with the only weapons handy in a zoo. Exploding animals.

Futuridium EP Deluxe for PS4 & PS Vita

Futuridium EP Deluxe is a crazy looking shooter with an electronic soundtrack and a retro vibe that mesh well. In addition to shooting, you’ll need to solve puzzles as you listen to a fast paced soundtrack.

Call of Juarez Gunslinger for PS3

This first-person shooter places you in the wild west where you need to restore some order by taking out anyone who crosses you or your path. You are Silas Greaves, bounty hunter, and you need to survive and capture or kill the bad guys.

Cloudberry Kingdom for PS3

If you enjoy a challenge that changes based on your skill level, Cloudberry Kingdom is where it’s at. This game includes artificial intelligence that won’t take over our world, but it can build an infinite number of levels to match your skill level.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Metal Gear Solid 5 Release: 5 Things to KnowTry Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes First1 / 5

Maybe the first thing that you should know is that the first part of Metal Gear Solid 5 is already available for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, and PS3. The game isn't as massive as The Phantom Pain but it's still very important nonetheless. 

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes serves as a prolouge to The Phantom Pain which means that it's important to the story. If you're already planning to buy Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, then it's probably worth a download for that reason alone. 

It's also worth a download if you're on the fence because it will help you decide if Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is going to be worth your hard earned dollar. Maybe you fall in love with the combat and the stealth, maybe you don't . 

Now is the perfect time to give it a shot because the price has dropped in the year since its arrival. We've seen a number of Metal Gear 5: Ground Zeroes deals emerge in recent months so you'll want to keep an eye out as we push towards the release of the main story. 

1 / 5

Check Out the Free PS3 & PS4 Games in June is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Problems: 5 Things to Know

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 23:08

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Problems: 5 Things to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update has been rolling out for several weeks now and many owners of the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 have installed Google’s new update. The update brings bug fixes though it appears that it’s causing problems for some users. With that in mind, we take a look at these Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 problems.

Last month, Google confirmed its Android 5.1.1 update, a follow-up to the Android 5.1 Lollipop update that it started rolling out back in March. Android 5.1.1 isn’t as big as Android 5.1 but it comes with some essential bug fixes for owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, and others.

The Android 5.1.1 Lollipop release started with two popular tablets, the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi models) and those updates have been rolling out for a few weeks now. That means that most, if not all, owners of the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi should have access to Android 5.1.1 and its bug fixes.

Incremental updates like Android 5.1.1 Lollipop always have the potential to have a huge impact on performance. In some cases, they have a positive impact on performance. In others, negative. While the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update is still new, we’re already hearing about some Android 5.1.1 problems plaguing Nexus 7 users.

With Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 problems swirling, we want to take a look at everything you need to know about these issues. This roundup offers a look at the issues themselves and some steps to take if you do happen to run into Android 5.1.1 problems on your Nexus 7.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Problems Plague Users

Android Lollipop problems have plagued Nexus 7 users since the original Android 5.0 release back in November. Over time, Google’s worked to correct bugs and problems with a series of Lollipop updates including Android 5.0.1, Android 5.0.2, Android 5.1, and now Android 5.1.1. Each brought its own set of fixes and each brought its own collection of problems.

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The Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update has rolled out to most users and we’re finally starting to see Nexus 7 owners post their feedback about Google’s latest update. And while Android 5.1.1 brings bug fixes for Nexus 7 problems, some owners have run into issues after installing.

Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 users are complaining about a myriad of Android 5.1.1 problems including charging issuesapp performance issues, problems with the rear camera and the camera application, lag and sluggishness that wasn’t there on Android 5.1 and below (Nexus 7 2012 users have been complaining about this for weeks), connectivity problems, the usual array of installation errors, boot issues, Wi-Fi problems, and more. This is just a small sample and Google’s forums are full of other complaints about Android 5.1.1.

It’s important to point out that most of these Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 problems are isolated in nature, at least for the time being. There are a few, lag on the Nexus 7 2012 in particular, that seem to be affecting more than a few people.

We point these Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 problems out for a few reasons. One, we want to generate discussion because discussion always leads to potential fixes. And two, as a reminder.

Nexus 7 users need to be cautious when it comes to Android updates, even small ones like Android 5.1.1. That’s why we always recommend preparing for these Android releases. You may not be able to completely stop all of the bugs from surfacing but you can lower the risk with a little preparation.

Not Everyone Though

We’ve been using the Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 update on the Nexus 7 2012 and Nexus 7 2013 and after spending several weeks with the software, we haven’t run into any major problems. Both updates are performing well and the Nexus 7 2013 update feels especially stable. We’re not alone.

We’ve spoken to several Nexus 7 users who say that Android 5.1.1 has worked wonders for their slate. Comments on Google’s Nexus Help Forum echo this sentiment. There are certainly problems but not everyone is dealing with them.

If you haven’t installed Android 5.1.1 yet, you’re going to still want to dig into user feedback before going one way (skipping Android 5.1.1 for now) or the other (installing right now). Our impressions (linked above) are a good start.

It’s also worth mentioning that Android 5.1.1 could potentially fix some Lollipop problems that aren’t listed in the software’s change log. For instance, the Android 5.1.1 update appears to have fixed Android Device Management issues on the Nexus 5. This issue wasn’t called out in the software’s change log.

You Can Downgrade

Those experiencing Nexus 5 Android 5.1.1 problems have a few options. The first option is a downgrade back to Android 5.1, Android 5.0.2 or even Android 4.4 KitKat if Lollipop isn’t performing.

We’ve put together a handy guide that will take you through the downgrade process for the Nexus 7. The guide is for Android KitKat but if you can find the appropriate files, it will help with a downgrade back to an older version of Lollipop.

Fixes for Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Problems

We’ve also put together a list of common Android 5.1.1 problems and fixes that will help Nexus 7 users struggling on Android 5.1.1. These fixes cover battery drain issues, problems with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, even slow charging issues. There are a great starting point for those that need immediate help.

What’s Next

Finally, know that you’re probably going to have to be pretty proactive if you’re dealing with Android 5.1.1 problems, especially if you own a Nexus 7 2012. Here’s why.

Google hasn’t announced an Android 5.1.2 update and we haven’t seen any Android 5.1.2 rumors emerge. That doesn’t mean that an update isn’t coming, it just means that we could be weeks, even months away from a release. It could be that Android M will be the next release for the Nexus 7.

Today at Google I/O 2015, Google announced Android M, a follow-up to Android Lollipop. While the public Android M release won’t happen today, Google did release a Android M beta for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, and Nexus 9 ahead of a public release in Q3 2015.

Now here’s where things get interesting. Rumor has it, the Nexus 7 2013 will get Android M while the Nexus 7 2012 won’t. Android M is expected to be huge performance boosts and bug fixes to Nexus devices which means that Nexus 7 2013 users have a safety net while Nexus 7 2012 users may not.

Either way, if you do run into a problem, don’t expect Google to fix it right away. Android M isn’t supposed to arrive until August, at the earliest.

Nexus 7 Android 5.1.1 Problems: 5 Things to Know is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Android M Beta Hands-on: What’s New

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 23:04

Android M Beta Hands-on: What’s New is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

This morning Google announced the successor to Android 5.1 Lollipop, called Android M, and the company also released an early developer preview or beta for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and more. Here’s a quick hands-on video looking at the newest software from Google.

As promised this morning Google released an early beta version of Android M for developers to test, but most of the new features are missing. We’ve gone ahead and installed it on the Nexus 6, and the video below will explain what’s new, what’s new that isn’t included, and show you a few neat aspects of Android M.

Read: Android M Beta: 6 Things You Need to Know

At the annual Google I/O developer event today Google revealed a lot of its plans for the Android operating system, Google Photos, Android Wear, Android Auto and more. Now that the Android M developer preview is available now, users are likely curious about what’s new. And while we couldn’t try everything today, we gave it a quick look and here’s our thoughts.

With Android M there are a lot of behind the scenes changes, things that won’t be apparent when users first install the update later this year. However, Google’s made huge improvements to how app permissions are handled, added native fingerprint scanner support, changed Google Wallet to Android Pay, introduced a new Google Photos app, improved Google Now with something called “Now on Tap” and more.

A few things we noticed immediately is the completely revamped application drawer and its persistent recent open apps area at the top, the option to change the theme color of the settings menu, and just more of Google everywhere. There are tons of changes with Android M, and the link above goes over many of those, not to mention our hands-on video below.

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Read: How to Install the Android M Beta Right Now

However, the Android M beta that’s available now doesn’t have most of it. Fingerprint security is missing, maybe because there’s no fingerprint scanner on the Nexus 6. Android Pay is no where to be found, Google Now on Tap doesn’t work, and other things are changes made that aren’t visually noticeable. That all being said, check out the hands-on video below, not to mention some screen captures of the user interface changes.

As you can see above, Android M looks a lot like Android 5.0 Lollipop. Overall the general look and feel with all the animations, effects, and material design interface changes are present. There aren’t any major changes aside from the few we’ll show you below. With Android M it appears that Google wants to refine the Android experience, make things easier, improve performance and battery life, all while keeping the same beautiful interface announced last year with Android L.

Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop hasn’t been a smooth update for many. Forums are filled with complaints on app crashes, poor battery life, and other issues. Hopefully all that has been worked out with Android M, and so far we’re experiencing no problems on the developer preview. Everything is fast, fluid, and seamless.

What’s New in Android M

There are tons of changes in Android M, but many of them aren’t visible, but that doesn’t mean Google hasn’t made a few changes. We’ve been running Android M for the past hour, so can’t say too much on performance just yet, but here’s a list of a few new things aside from what was announced and mentioned above.

App Drawer

The application drawer is completely different in Android M, but we’re not sure if this will make it to the final release. For the first time in years apps are now on a vertical list as you scroll, rather than on horizontal pages. The top has a search bar to easily search for the app users want, then there’s a neat “recent apps” list of four apps at the top that are always present, but change as you use apps.

Then below the search and recent apps is the completely changed apps menu. We now have all the apps in the same alphabetical order, but separated by letter, so there are gaps in the list of applications. Rather than just a wall or sea of icons, everything is neatly separated. Some will like it, some won’t, and I’m not sure if I’m a fan yet or not.

This same new layout and vertical scrolling of apps has been integrated into the widgets selection, which hasn’t changed in years.

Dark Theme in Settings

Another new change in Android M that wasn’t announced or easily noticeable is the settings menu interface now has a dark and light theme, instead of just being light as before. Users can head into the hidden developer options menu and change this.

It’s a nice change that users have been asking to have for years, so many will likely be happy to see this new feature. There is also an automatic option, which we’re assuming will change based on lighting conditions, or time of the day. It’s also worth noting that in the developer options there’s also an area to customize the “quick settings” in the notification pulldown bar. This is listed under “System UI Tuner”. Awesome!

Automatic App Backups

One of the biggest and best changes to Android M that wasn’t mentioned at all today is something called automatic app backups, and more details can be found here. What this means is that any app you download will be automatically backed up to Google Drive (up to 25mb) automatically with nothing required by the end user, or app developers.

Apps settings, data, game saves, information and more (up to 25mb) will automatically be backed up to each Google account’s Google Drive cloud storage. So whether you buy a new phone, have to replace a broken or stolen one, or simply uninstall and reinstall an app, all the app data is automatically restored. This is a huge feature users have been asking about for years, and is finally coming with Android M.

Backups are reportedly to happen every 24 hours, and once you download an app everything just automatically syncs. This is one of the best new features of Android M, but wasn’t mentioned during Google’s announcement today.

Improved Volume Controls

In Android 5.0 Lollipop Google messed with the volume controls, and many users did not like the changes. In Android M they’ve redone the volume controls with something easier to understand. One tap of the volume button will change notification levels, but a dropdown arrow appears letting users instantly change all three main volume options, as shown in the screenshot on the right of the image below.

This is just one more of many extremely small changes, but changes that are making Android M a better and easier experience for all users.

Android M Easter Egg

Something almost every Android user knows (or should know) is the Easter eggs Google puts in Android. Head into settings > about phone > and tap the Android Version button 4-5 times really quick. This instantly shows you the big “M” in the picture below. Last year it was a Lollipop, and with Android 4.4 it was a KitKat logo.

However, long press this again and you’ll get an additional hidden Easter Egg. In Android 5.0 Lollipop it was a Flappy Birds like game, but this year all we get is an emoji with its hands up.

¯\_(?)_/¯

Doze

Another thing we can’t really show users, but is worth noting is something Google is calling Doze. With Doze Google hopes Android M will deliver the best battery life of any version of Android ever released. This feature is something we’ve seen on iOS, and is a welcomed change to Android. Doze mainly focuses on standby battery life, not overall usage, but Google claims this has doubled the battery life on the Nexus 9. That’s huge!

Doze essentially will recognize when a device is not being used, and tone down everything to improve battery life. When Google says “tone down” what this means is apps won’t update as often (like Facebook refresh periods) Gmail won’t sync and look for new emails as often, and in general apps and things that wake up a smartphone or tablet and drain the battery will temporarily “doze” off for a moment, and preserve battery life.

However, Doze won’t stop important things like text messages or hangouts, and we’ll likely have control over how much our devices doze, in order to keep important things like Gmail or Facebook active. Tests have shown standby battery life doubled, which will transfer into overall better battery life for all smartphones and tablets running Android M.

First Impressions

So far our first impressions of Android M on the Nexus 6 are relatively positive. The overall experience isn’t that much different from Android 5.1 Lollipop, only with a few small changes for the better. The more I use it the more I’m enjoying the application tray. We can’t try out Android Pay, Google Now on Tap isn’t working in this release, there’s no fingerprint options like announced this morning, so there’s only so much we can do on this early developer preview.

Everything is running extremely smooth so far. Apps open and close quickly, changing permissions is a nice and welcomed change that gives users more control, WiFi has been extremely stable, and browsing the web is extremely quick.

From what we’re seeing it is clear that Google didn’t set out to make drastic changes to the Android experience, but instead refine areas that needed improvement, add new features, and hopefully improve battery life all at the same time.

We’ve only just received Android M a few hours ago so will need more time to test all of the features, check battery life, and see just how good Android M runs on Google’s latest Nexus 6 smartphone. So far we’re pretty impressed with the few things Google is showing, but then again, this is just a very small preview, a taste, of what’s to come later this year.

Android M Beta Hands-on: What’s New is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 20:37

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release date has been delayed but EA’s highly anticipated golf simulation is still set to arrive for consoles this summer. With a release date confirmed, we take a look at some things buyers need to know, right now, about the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release.

For years, gamers enjoyed yearly Tiger Woods PGA Tour series of games for the Xbox and PlayStation. Then, after the release of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 in 2013, Electronic Arts put the series on hiatus with no clear sign of what was ahead.

In June 2014, EA showed off a demo of its next golf game which, at the time, was dubbed EA Sports PGA Tour. The company confirmed plans to use the Frostbite 3 engine that was developed for the popular Battlefield series of games. The company did not outline an official name or a release date leaving those announcements for another day.

Two months ago, EA signed well known golf star Rory McIlroy as the cover athlete for its next golf game. In response, the company renamed the game Rory McIlroy PGA Tour and tagged it with a June release date for Xbox and PlayStation. That release date has since been delayed but excitement for the game continues to grow as we push towards the summer.

With a concrete Rory McIlroy PGA Tour confirmed once again and with E3 2015 coming up in just a few weeks, we want to take a look at everything we know right now about the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release. If you’ve been following along, this will serve as a reminder. If you haven’t been following along, this roundup will get you all caught up with the latest details.

.gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } #gbmslideshow { border-width: 0px; } Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Release Date1 / 5

If you're at all interested in EA's Rory McIlroy PGA Tour then you're probably interested in the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release date. Well, you're in luck because after a short delay, the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release date is now confirmed for a specific date in July. 

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In late April, EA confirmed that it needed more time with the game. The developer says that the push to July "allows us to deliver a fully-featured online gameplay and tournaments." In other words, it needed more time to polish online multiplayer, a huge component of any sports game. 

EA says that the Rory McIlroy PGA Tour release date is now set to coincide with the start of the Open Championship at St. Andrews in Scotland. If everything goes according to plan, and it should at this point, Rory McIlroy PGA Tour will be out on July 14th.

1 / 5

Rory McIlroy PGA Tour Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Install the Android M Beta Right Now

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 20:14

How to Install the Android M Beta Right Now is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

This morning Google announced that the brand new Android M update is available right now for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player as an early developer preview, and this guide will show you how to install Google’s latest Android update today.

Google is offering developers and those willing to try it now an early Android M beta of the upcoming Android update months ahead of the expected November or October release date. Google just released the factory images for all of the devices mentioned above, and below we’ll explain how to update to the latest release right now.

Read: Android M Beta: 6 Things You Need to Know

The Android M System Image is a download that contains all the files needed to install a stock version of Android M on the Nexus 5, 6, 9 or Player. This is essentially everything that you would download as an OTA update for regular Android updates.

With Android M that was just unveiled this morning at Google IO, the company has introduced a slew of new features, improvements to battery life, Android Pay and more for Android smartphones and tablets. There is a lot going on behind the scenes, and a few changes visually, and some users will want to try it now.

Before we start it’s worth noting that this is not official software that average users should install to their daily devices. This is an extremely early developer preview (beta) of Android M for testing and getting apps prepared for all of the changes, and may not be 100% stable or functional. We’ve already installed it ourselves that appears to run great and will have a hands-on video posted soon, but for now, proceed at your own risk.

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This guide will show you how to install the latest Nexus Android M Beta software release. This is something you can do from Windows, Mac, Linux or ChromeOS. There are multiple ways this can be done, and lots of things that can go wrong, but below are the easiest steps without spending hours setting up all of Google’s developer software.

How to Install ADB on Windows, Mac, Ubuntu & ChromeOS

Before you can install the Android M Preview to the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, or others you will need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer. This is a program that runs on your PC/Mac to connect to your Android device through a USB cable and flash the Android software to your device.

Installing ADB and Fastboot is one of the most annoying parts of installing Android factory images, but several new tools make it incredibly easy.

How to Install ADB on Windows

If you are using a Windows machine, including up to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 you can use the 15 second adb installer to streamline the process.

Download the ADB installer for Windows. Find the file, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator. When prompted you need to give the app access to run as an administrator. After the app launches type a Y and enter to select yes to Install ADB & Fastboot, to intsll ADB/Fastboot systemwide and to install Drivers. When a new window pops up follow the steps to install the drivers.

After this is installed you should be ready to install the Android M Beta on your Nexus smartphone or tablet.

How to Install ADB on Mac, Linux & ChromeOS

Nexus Tools makes it easy to install ADB on a Mac, Linux or even ChromeOS. All you need to do is open Terminal on your computer and past in the code from xda. Open terminal by going to search, and simply typing Terminal and opening the program.

This will install ADB and Fastboot on Mac, Linux and Chrome OS without the need to do anything else. It’s extremely easy, and avoids all the ADB package mess that typically takes much longer to complete.

After the script completes you can type ADB or Fastboot to start running either program. This is where you’ll need to be to flash the new Android M system images provided by Google onto your device. Remember to head into settings > developer options and enable USB Debugging first.

How to Install the Android M Beta Now

The first thing you need to do is download the just released Android M Developer Preview System Image for your device. You can find them at the links below. You’ll have to agree to the terms that this is a preview copy only, and then proceed. We’ve already noticed a few features missing, so again, proceed at your own risk.

You will need to unzip these files to a folder you can access, we just unzipped it to our Mac desktop. After you have the Android M system image unzipped you will need to find this folder and type cmd into the address bar on Windows, or open terminal and change the folder to this folder on Mac, Linux or Chrome OS. Reminder, if you’re on a MAC you need to make sure terminal is running inside the folder you just unzipped.

If your Nexus is not bootloader unlocked you should do that first. We could not install the Android M System image and update with the device locked. This will wipe your device and erase all user data, settings, pictures, etc. Repeat, this will erase everything!

Open a Terminal in the adb folder and type the command below then hit enter.

adb reboot bootloader

In Fastboot type:

fastboot oem unlock

Then hit enter. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose to erase the device. Wait a minute or so for it to unlock. This removes everything on your device.

Flash the Image

Now open the folder containing the unzipped Android M System Image file you downloaded. Type cmd in the address bar. Type the following commands posted below and hit enter. On a Mac you can open Terminal in the folder by enabling terminal shortcuts in settings. This is key for Mac users. Head to System Preferences and select Keyboard > Shortcuts > Services. Find “New Terminal at Folder” in the settings and click the box. Now when you’re in Finder, just right-click a folder and you’re shown the open to open Terminal. Or just do it from the desktop where you unzipped the Factory image as shown below.

Once in terminal simply copy and paste the commands below to install the Android M beta to your Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, or even the Nexus Player.

flash-all.bat

This will flash all of the needed files. If you are on a Mac or other computer you will need to type;

sudo ./flash-all.sh

This will push all of the files and update your device to the just released Android M developer preview beta. The files will start pushing and installing and your Nexus device may reboot and you will see an Android figure and then a moving Android logo. The logo screen may stay for a long time. Don’t unplug the device. This may last 10 minutes or longer. When Android prompts you to complete setup you can unplug the Nexus. It took less than two minutes for us.

Read: Android 5.0 Tap N Go Restores Your Phone in Minutes

It’s worth noting that some users may experience a “missing system.img” error and the installation will be aborted. This is because the way you’re trying to flash the update. Instructions on how to get around this can be found right here. Essentially users will need to unzip the update.zip folder and move all the images to the original folder we mentioned above, then manually flash them one by one, vs the flash-all command mentioned above. Only do this if you run into issues.

When the process finishes you can enter your information or Gmail account and start using Android M today on your Nexus devices. Give Google’s Tap n Go (automatically restore) a try using NFC to automatically restore and and all apps, settings, accounts and more from another device. This was introduced with Android 5.0 Lollipop and also available here. We went with a clean install to start things off fresh.

For those who’d rather not toy around with all this stuff, we’re expecting the official Android 5.2 (0r Android 6.0 M) update to arrive sometime later this year. Google mentioned a 3rd quarter release date for Nexus smartphones and tablets, and we’ll update the moment we know more. For the foreseeable future this is the only way to try Android M right now.

How to Install the Android M Beta Right Now is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Video Reveals Why Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4 is a Better Buy

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 14:47

Video Reveals Why Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4 is a Better Buy is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Batman: Arkham Knight, the upcoming adventure game that puts players in the role of Batman and behind the controls of his famed car-turned assault vehicle, is coming to both the Xbox One and PS4. That being said, Sony shows why buying Batman: Arkham Knight for and along with a PS4 is a much better idea in a new video.

Sony posted a new video detailing all of the exclusive content Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4 buyers can expect earlier this week on its YouTube profile. The video is stuffed with around a minute full of exclusive content that users won’t be able to get if they purchase the Xbox One version of Batman: Arkham Knight on release day.

First up is the Justice League 3000 Batman skin. It gives players a more hardcore look complete with red accents as they battle Gotham’s notorious criminal infestation. Unfortunately for Xbox One owners, the PS4 exclusive Batman: Arkham Knight content doesn’t just come in visual changes. There are exclusive missions included too that are all themed around Scarecrow. There are called Scarecrow Nightmare and it isn’t yet clear how much gameplay time users are losing out on if they purchase the game for other platforms. Presumably, there’s nothing hugely revealing in the missions that would affect the story in a big way. Video of the Scarecrow Nightmare missions looks a lot like the Scarecrow mission from Batman: Arkham Asylum, only they involve the Batmobile.

Other extras exclusive to the PS4 version of Batman: Arkham Knight include the Classic TV Series Batman and Batmobile Skins too. It’s important to understand that users don’t necessarily have to purchase the PS4 version of batman: Arkham Knight to get their hands on this content as originally feared. A voice over in the trailer indicates that this content will only be available on Sony’s console first. This means that it’ll come to the PS4 at some point in the future. What’s worrisome is the amount of time users will have to wait to get their hands on this content on the Xbox One and Windows PCs. For example, Destiny launched a year ago with exclusive content players couldn’t get anywhere else included in its season pass. That content still isn’t available on the Xbox One despite users having paid the same amount for their season pass that PS4 owners did.

It’s worth noting that Batman: Arkham Knight’s add-on content line-up was already confusing before Sony announced this exclusive content. Those who pre-order the game at any retailer get a special Harley Quinn Story Pack. She has her own set of weapons, gear and combat options. GameStop has an exclusive on the Red Hood Story Pack. Best Buy pre-orderers get a WayneTech Booster Pack that unlocks takedowns and weapons upgrades. Wal-Mart is getting a special edition pro-type Batmobile pre-order bonus. Video game buying service Steam is getting exclusive access to a Batman Beyond Skin Pack. For some, it’s going to be a long and grueling process as they try to figure out where to pre-order and get the extra content they crave.

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Batman: Arkham Knight is video game developer Rocksteady’s swan song to the Batman: Arkham franchise that it created. The original game in the series changed the video game landscape forever by delivering a superhero experience that didn’t feel like just a licensed game. Batman: Arkham Knight adds new villains, more daring adversaries and a drivable Batmobile that alternates between being an assault tank and a super fast way to navigate Gotham City without having to glide around as in previous games.

Batman: Arkham Knight won’t be coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360. It’s strictly for current-generation gaming platforms. Thankfully, potential buyers can purchase the game and PS4 console in a single bundle.

Video Reveals Why Batman: Arkham Knight on PS4 is a Better Buy is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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How to Keep MacBook Cables from Breaking

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 14:14

How to Keep MacBook Cables from Breaking is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

Is your MacBook cable on your charge breaking? You’re certainly not alone (and we have a fix), but we have a few tips that will help you avoid a broken MacBook charger cable in the future.

We’ve all experienced a broken charging cable. They get worn out after a while and the cable starts to tear open at either end of the base of the connector. The cable might still work (sometimes not), but exposed internal wires are considered a safety hazard to begin with, and unless you want to wrap it up with electrical tape, you’ll simply have to throw it out and get a new MacBook charger, which can be costly.

However, MacBook chargers and the attached cable can last practically forever if you want them to. All it takes is a bit of care and general maintenance on your part and you’ll never have to replac a MacBook charger ever again (unless, of course, Apple ever changes the connector standards like they did going from MagSafe to MagSafe 2).

There are multiple ways that you can preserve your MacBook cable. There are simple methods such as wrapping it carefully every time you’re done with them, and even ways to reinforce the cable with various materials so that they won’t break in the first place. Here are some tips that may prove useful to you if you’re sick of your MacBook cables constantly breaking.

Wrap MacBook Cables Correctly

Most incidents involving MacBook cables breaking are because the user doesn’t properly take care of the cable in the first place, and it usually has to do with how they wrap the cable.

More likely than not, you probably wind the cable harshly around the power brick and then toss it into your bag. It turns out that wrapping your MacBook cable like that can cause a lot of kinks in the cable, which can slowly degrade the wires on the inside. Technically, the way charging cables come wrapped in packaging before you even open it up isn’t the best way to wrap cables, so don’t do it like the manufacturers.

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Ideally, the best way to wrap a MacBook cable for storage is to loop it around several times and have it create a circle when it’s all done. This is called “coil wrapping” and it’s the best possible way to wrap a cable, as it won’t create kinks or sharp bends in the cable. The above video does a great job of demonstrating the coil wrap with an iPhone cable.

Avoid Sharp Bends

This sort of goes along with the previous section, but it not only applies when wrapping your MacBook cables, but also when you’re just simply using them.

Avoid creating sharp bends in your MacBook cable whenever possible, because that’s how you can ruin the wires on the inside. It’s especially important not to create sharp bends near where the connector is. That area where the connector ends and the cable starts is extremely fragile, and with enough action, it can eventually kink and split open, exposing the wires within. Usually the cable won’t work after that, but even if it did work, it would be a huge safety hazard anyway.

So the next time you go to plug in your MacBook charger into the wall behind a couch or other piece of furniture, be aware that creating a sharp bend in the cable is never a good idea.

Reinforce MacBook Cables

If you don’t really want to be careful with your MacBook charger and continue to use it like you normally do, then at least you can reinforce the cable so that it’s less likely to break. There are a handful of DIY tricks you can use in order to reinforce your MacBook cable, and there are different materials you can choose from.

A popular option is using small springs from writing pens and wrapping them onto the ends of your cables. This prevents them from making sharp bends in the first place.

You can also use shrink tubing on the ends as well. You probably don’t have shrink tubing just lying around, so this probably isn’t the most convenient option, but you can choose from all sorts of colors to make your cables more festive. You can even double up with pen springs and shrink tubing for an even more reinforced cable.

How to Keep MacBook Cables from Breaking is a post by Craig Lloyd from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10: Surface 3’s Arch Rival Arrives

GottaBeMobile - Thu, 05/28/2015 - 02:06

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10: Surface 3’s Arch Rival Arrives is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

The Surface 3, Microsoft’s high-end answer to Apple’s MacBook and iPad, is itself getting some worthy competition later this summer. This August plans are set for the launch of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10, a Windows 2-in-1 aimed at businesses and high-end users who need a tablet and PC but in a more durable package.

Lenovo announced the ThinkPad Tablet 10 at its TechWorld event in Beijing, China this week. It’s at TechWorld that the company gave industry insiders and technology press an in-depth look at their new line-up of PCs and accessories.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10 is the company’s first big move into the new frontier that is Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system. With Windows 10 Microsoft hopes to correctly blend the notebook and tablet into a single device that users can carry with them. Therefore, it’s understandable that Lenovo is positioning the ThinkPad Tablet 10 as the only machine professionals need for everything in their lives when it arrives in August beginning at $499.

The ThinkPad 10 looks almost exactly like a tablet. It’s covered in the same hard matte material that have made other ThinkPad machines capable of taking a beating. Only two versions of the ThinkPad 10 are coming, a model with an Intel Atom Z8500 processor and another with an Intel Atom 78700 processor. Having Intel processors means the ThinkPad 10 will be able to run programs downloaded from the web – like iTunes – and apps downloaded from the Windows Store without a problem.

A 10-inch 1900 x 1200 WUXGA display with multi-touch dominates the Lenovo ThinkPad 10’s front-face. Lenovo will let buyers configure the ThinkPad 10 with either 2GB of 4GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage. Both versions will include an audio jack, a microphone array, front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera, 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash, Bluetooth 4.0, a single USB 3.0 port and 802.11ac wireless internet are included too.

It’s the extras that make the ThinkPad 10 a worthy competitor for Microsoft’s Surface 3. First, Lenovo says that the ThinkPad 10 will last for roughly 10 hours, an hour more than what the Surface Pro 3 does and just as much as what the Surface 3 offers. Second, Lenovo is taking a page out of Microsoft’s book and focusing on some key tablet scenarios.

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Read: Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 3

Every ThinkPad 10 will come equipped with what Lenovo calls WRITEit. WRITEit is a Lenovo made app for note-taking. Additionally, Lenovo has its own competitor for the Surface Pen included with the ThinkPad 10. Called the ThinkPad Pen Pro, it’ll let ThinkPad 10 users take notes and navigate Windows 10 without using a mouse and keyboard. Another way the ThinkPad 10 competes with the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 is accessories. Most PC makers barely dip their toes into building an accessory ecosystem for their Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 alternatives. Lenovo is diving in with a keyboard, dock and cover all coming for the ThinkPad 10. The company is promising that more is on the way soon.

The Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 are designed as catch-all devices. They can be used for business and pleasure, but they lack some business specific features that some large enterprises need.. Lenovo is taking advantage of this weakness with The ThinkPad 10, adding in a fingerprint reader and DTPM encryption. Having DTPM encryption means there’s a processor inside the ThinkPad 10 protecting data and ensuring no one gets access to records and documents they shouldn’t have. Lenovo will also let buyers add 4G LTE wireless data compatibility to the ThinkPad 10, something that’s coming in a future Surface 3 upgrade but isn’t available on the Surface Pro 3.

Lenovo has only said that the basic version of the ThinkPad 10 will launch soon. Depending on how it is configured, the ThinkPad 10 could cost some users a bit more. The Surface 3 itself costs $499 without any accessories.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 10: Surface 3’s Arch Rival Arrives is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Uncharted 4 Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 23:39

Uncharted 4 Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

Its been several years since the release of Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and naturally, fans of the series of anxious for the follow-up. That follow-up will be Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, a game that once again puts gamers into the shoes of Nathan Drake. With new details emerging, we want to take a look at what you need to know, right now, about the highly anticipated Uncharted 4 release.

In 2011, Naughty Dog released its third game in the Uncharted series. Uncharted 3 arrived for the PlayStation 3 and it immediately received widespread acclaim for its graphics, gameplay and story. Since then, we’ve seen the release of the PlayStation 4 and Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us. Both have helped to drive anticipation for an Uncharted 4 release.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was first revealed in the fall of 2013. Since then, we’ve seen the series writer and director leave the company and the minds behind The Last of Us join the project. We’ve also seen gameplay teased and a number of new Uncharted 4 release details emerge, some good and some bad.

The official Uncharted 4 release date remains unconfirmed though we’re finally starting to nail down a precise window for Naughty Dog’s next big edition to the world of Uncharted.

With E3 2015 just weeks away and new details now available, we want to take a look at everything we know right now about the Uncharted 4 release. This includes new details and it will bring those of you who haven’t been following the development of the game up to speed.

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 The Uncharted 4 release date was originally confirmed for 2015 though it has since been delayed until sometime next year. 

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Writing on the Official PlayStation Blog, Neil Druckmann confirmed that fans of the series won't see the game until 2016. At the time, he claimed that the title was more "ambitious than we originally envisioned" as the reason why the team at Naughty Dog made the decision to push the release date. 

Right now, the only confirmed specifics that we have to go on is a Spring 2016 release. The first day of Spring in 2016 is March 20th. While nothing is set in stone, we should see the developer confirm a firm release date well before the start of the new year. 

With E3 2015 just a few short weeks away we, and many others, are hopeful that the company releases new Uncharted 4 details to hold us over until we get much closer to the game's highly anticipated release.

The company is also expected to do monthly live streams after E3 to give fans a glimpse at the inner workings of one of the most popular video game studios in the world. It's not clear yet if Uncharted 4 will be a part of those streams. 

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Uncharted 4 Release: 5 Things to Know Right Now is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: 5 Things to Know in May

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 20:10

Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: 5 Things to Know in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

In May, we’ve started to see Samsung Galaxy Note 5 rumors emerge at a rapid pace teasing smartphone enthusiasts and smartphone buyers. With the month coming to a close, we want to take a look at the five most important things you need to know about the inevitable Galaxy Note 5 vs iPhone 6 Plus matchup.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are two of the market’s top smartphones and they will remain there up until Apple announces a brand new iPhone 6s. iPhone 6s release rumors point to an arrival in the fall which means that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus should remain flagships for at least a few more months.

As we’ve pushed deeper into the year, we’ve been hearing about potential competitors for Apple’s 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus including the rumored Samsung Galaxy Note 5. In fact, we’ve been hearing rumors about two new Samsung Galaxy Note rivals for the iPhone 6 Plus.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 5 isn’t confirmed but thanks to these rumors and leaks, we have a pretty good read on what to expect months ahead of the device’s launch date. Nothing is confirmed until Samsung takes the stage but we have enough to start making some early comparisons.

This comparison focuses on the most important things to know about how the current Galaxy Note 5 rumors compare to the iPhone 6 Plus. The Galaxy Note 5 vs iPhone 6 Plus matchup isn’t set in stone but this quick outline of what we’ve seen in May will help set your expectations as we push deeper into the year towards a Galaxy Note 5 release.

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It's only May but you're interested to hear how the Galaxy Note 5 is stacking up with the iPhone 6 Plus so far. Well, the first thing that we'll tell you is that we still have a long way to go before the Galaxy Note 5 rumor cycle matures and a long way to go before the Galaxy Note 5 is announced. It's still very early. That said, we're starting to get a read on some of the most important details including the Galaxy Note 5 launch.

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Earlier this month, a report from Korean outlet WhoWired Korea made the rounds and it outlined some potential Galaxy Note 5 launch details. The publication claimed that Samsung would expedite the Galaxy Note 5 release to better challenge Apple's iPhone.

The report also claimed that the company planned to finalize the Galaxy Note 5 in June and start taking Galaxy Note 5 pre-orders soon after. It said that the launch would coincide with the arrival of Samsung Pay, Samsung’s Apple Pay competitor. 

Samsung wasn't feeling those rumors because JK Shin took the time to dismiss the information. He didn't elaborate but he didn't have to. The fact that he addressed these rumors is unusual and our guess is that he is trying to set consumer and investor expectations accordingly.   

The company always announces the Galaxy Note at IFA and IFA kicks off on September 4th. There's no reason, at this point, to believe that it will announce the Galaxy Note 5 anywhere else. So, if you're thinking about buying the iPhone 6 Plus or the Note 5 or if you're looking to get rid of the iPhone 6 Plus, you're probably in for a wait. 

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Galaxy Note 5 vs. iPhone 6 Plus: 5 Things to Know in May is a post by Adam Mills from Gotta Be Mobile.

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HTC One M9 Review From an iPhone User

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 19:55

HTC One M9 Review From an iPhone User is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

This HTC One M9 review compares how well the new HTC One smartphone handles in the hands of an iPhone user. If you are thinking about switching from the iPhone to the HTC One M9, this will walk you through important details that buyers need to know.

After spending a month using the Verizon HTC One M9 alongside the iPhone 6 and to a lesser extent the iPhone 6 Plus there are several features that stand out, but ultimately there is not enough to convince me to put down the iPhone 6 and make the HTC One M9 my primary smartphone.

Read our in-depth HTC One M9 review for a closer look at each area and feature that the HTC One M9 delivers to users. In this shorter, focused guide potential buyers can get a closer look at how these two smartphones compare and which one is worth buying.

Here’s a HTC One M9 review from an iPhone user.

I am using a Verizon HTC One M9 review unit for this comparison with Verizon pre-installed apps, access to XLTE speeds and Android Lollipop software with a HTC Sense overlay that changes the look and adds special features.

You can buy HTC One M9 is $199 on a two-year contract from Verizon and at Amazon. Shoppers can also purchase it for $0 down and $24.99 monthly payments at Verizon.

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The HTC One M9 looks and feels very much like the HTC One M8 from last year. In some ways this is good. HTC kept the front-facing BoomSound speakers that the iPhone doesn’t even tough when it comes to sound quality and volume. The single downward facing iPhone 6 speaker is quiet compared to what the HTC One M9 delivers, and the new HTC One quickly became my go to device for listening to Spotify without headphones.

The HTC One M9 BoomSound speakers beat the single iPhone speaker.

Even with two front facing speakers the new HTC One is not that much taller or wider than the iPhone 6. The HTC One M9 is thicker, but the curved back makes this less of an issue. It is easier to hold on to the One M9 than the iPhone, but the set back edge that defines the HTC One M9 design does not look as appealing as the iPhone 6’s curved edges.

The iPhone 6 and the HTC One M9 are both made of metal and glass with antenna breaks on the back and no space for a replaceable battery. HTC managed to combine a gold and silver color throughout the metal, which changes based on the light and movement.

HTC offers the One M9 with 32GB of storage standard and Apple still sticks with a 16GB iPhone 6 at the same price. The biggest difference is that the HTC One M9 includes a Micro SD card slot that makes it easy to add a lot of extra storage without spending $100 to $200 on a higher capacity phone up front. My 64GB iPhone 6 is $100 more than the base price of the HTC One M9.

The HTC One M9 display is good, but the whites include a blue tinge.

The HTC One M9 screen looks good with a 5-inch, 1080P display. This is bigger than the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 display and offers a higher resolution, but the difference is not as noticeable as what I see when comparing the LG G4 and the iPhone 6 displays.

HTC’s display is bright enough to use outdoors and large enough for watching a short TV show on Netflix, but so is the slightly smaller iPhone 6 display. The iPhone 6 display also delivers whiter whites, while the HTC One M9 display’s white areas include a bluish hue. If I had to pick one display to look at for the next two years the iPhone 6 is the clear winner.

A physical home button with a fingerprint sensor is very useful.

Apple’s physical home button is easy to find without looking and it includes a fingerprint reader that unlocks the phone for fast user. Combined with the easy access to Siri, a voice assistant, with a long press and the iPhone buttons are more user-friendly.

The HTC One M9 includes on-screen buttons for home, back and recent apps. Physical volume and power buttons on the right side don’t stick out very much and there is not enough space on between the power and volume down button for my liking.

I like that it is easy to turn the HTC One M9 off with a double tap on the blank screen, but without a fingerprint reader there are many times where I still need to enter a password.  Smart Lock on Android 5.0 helps ease the pain of unlocking the HTC One M9 in trusted areas or when connected to a Bluetooth device, but I definitely miss a fingerprint reader for the ease of logging into apps like a password manager.

The iPhone 6 camera is better than the HTC One M9 in most situations.

One area that HTC focused on upgrading is the camera, but the new 20MP camera on the rear of the HTC One M9 does not come close to the quality that the iPhone 6 delivers with an 8MP sensor. In the best of conditions the HTC One M9 camera takes good photos, but it fails to capture detailed texture well and the low light performance is not up to par with the competition. The iPhone 6 also delivers more consistent results and a more reliable camera app. The One M9 includes a decent front-facing 4 Ultrapixel camera that takes good selfies and delivers good quality for video calls. 

On the software side the HTC One M9 includes a theme manager that lets users change the look and sound profile for the device using built-in themes or even from photos that you take. Themes look great and custom themes work very well. I wish Apple included this level of control and customization without the need to jailbreak the iPhone 6. Unfortunately the themes cannot make up for HTC Sense skin that sits on top of Android Lollipop and feels clunky and dated compared to iOS 8 on the iPhone 6.

Apple also scores a win on call quality on the same Verizon network. This doesn’t even include FaceTime Audio calls that a standard phone call cannot compare to. For more, check out 15 reasons the iPhone is better than Android.

Ultimately the iPhone 6 is a better phone for many users.

The HTC One M9 battery life is very good, lasting a full day of moderate to heavy use without a problem. The iPhone 6 battery life comes close, but on days with heavy calling the iPhone 6 battery will drop out sooner than the HTC One M9.

At the end of the day the HTC One M9 is not on the same level as the iPhone. The poor camera performance on the HTC One M9 and HTC Sense software aren’t where they need to be in 2015. Even with excellent speakers, expandable storage and themes the iPhone 6 is a better overall smartphone.

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Apple offers more choice than ever for the iPhone line with the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 4s offering a four screen options as well as three different designs, but Android delivers more options.

With Android smartphones users can choose a waterproof option like the Sony Xperia Z3v or the Galaxy S5, a metal design like the HTC One M8, or a high-end option with a built-in Stylus like the Galaxy Note 4.

There are also options to buy an Android phone with wireless charging or a replaceable battery, neither of which is available without adding a case to the iPhone.

Users can pick the phone size and design they want, and they can also pick a phone that offers a replaceable battery, a great camera or another feature without limiting to just two phones for the latest features and user experience.

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HTC One M9 Review From an iPhone User is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Sony Busts Out Weekly PlayStation PS4 Specials In Battle With Xbox One

GottaBeMobile - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 13:58

Sony Busts Out Weekly PlayStation PS4 Specials In Battle With Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

Sony is taking a page out of Microsoft’s book as it continues to do battle with the company’s Xbox One video game console and Xbox Live online service. This week the company announced PlayStation Plus Specials, deep discounts on games that it hopes will keep PS4 players subscribed and those who don’t have a new console yet interested.

Sony announced the new PlayStation Plus Specials in a blog post on its PlayStation Blog in the United States early this week. It’s the details included in this blog post that reveal ongoing details about PlayStation Plus Specials and the deals PlayStation Plus subscribers can take advantage of this week through the program.

PlayStation Plus Specials seems purpose-built to rival Microsoft’s own Xbox Live Deals with Gold. At least the raw details are the same. Each week Sony will discount different titles and pieces of content for said titles. In order to take advantage of the savings PS4 owners will need a PlayStation Plus subscription. Sony says that PlayStation Plus specials will include “top titles at a sweet discount,” a possible dig at how some games included in Microsoft’s Xbox Live Deals with Gold promotion are years old.

To their credit, Sony is delivering new PlayStation Plus specials to users of all its major consoles. Listed in this week’s deals include titles for the PS4, PS3 and PS Vita handheld.

PlayStation Plus costs $49.99 a year.

The slate of deals included in the promotion for this week is pretty extensive. Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires, Helldivers Turn Up the Heat Edition, Bloodborne, The Order: 1886, Atelier Ayesha Plus: The Alchemist of Dusk, Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart and Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines are all on sale for the next week. The most notable discount in the group is Bloodborne, which is $59.99 normally and going for just $47.99. Bloodborne only recently arrived on store shelves. Again, these deals only last for a single week. As such, they’ll expire on Tuesday, June 1st.

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PlayStation Plus Specials are tangible proof that so much more goes into making a console buying decision than just hardware. In theory, offering deep discounts through PlayStation Plus on games puts the PlayStation Network on a better competitive footing with Xbox Live, not the Xbox One console itself. Previously, Sony would post sales to the PlayStation Store, but they were spread out and could happen at any moment. Nailing down deals gives Sony something to point to when users are thinking about signing up for PlayStation Plus.

Though it’s clearly a move to compete on equal ground, there’s nothing shameful about it. Microsoft has borrowed from Sony’s PlayStation Plus notebook a few times. First, it began offering free digital downloads to anyone and everyone with an Xbox Live Gold subscription for the Xbox 360. Those games were for users to keep, but when it brought the program to the Xbox One it made them fully dependent on maintaining an Xbox Live Gold subscription — just like on PlayStation. Microsoft also removed Xbox apps from being a perk of Xbox Live Gold, something that Sony never charged users for to begin with.

Besides discounts, both Xbox Live and PlayStation Network offer subscribers access to online multiplayer. Subscribing is the only way to play with your friends online in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for example.

How good a deal PlayStation Plus Specials are depends heavily on whether you’re already planning to buy new titles and how often you take advantage of them. That being said, if you’re already planning to play online with the PlayStation Network, they’re just an added perk to something you already enjoyed.

Sony Busts Out Weekly PlayStation PS4 Specials In Battle With Xbox One is a post by Travis Pope from Gotta Be Mobile.

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Tech Director Chat #025 – Putting Learning First

The Tech Savvy Educator - Wed, 05/27/2015 - 13:28

It’s late, I know, I know! Insert “end of the year, far too busy excuse” here. Thankfully, it’s only a week off, and with the final podcast being recorded later this week, that will make 26 conversations revolving around technology and education that Pete and I have had this year…well 26 conversations that we’ve actually documented. I’ve got some ideas on where to take this for next year, as well as incorporating more voices from learners and teachers, but for now, enjoy!

Our teachers are getting new laptops this summer, and there’s a lot of concern over the lose of DVD drives (we’re going to MacBook Airs), and we address those concerns with some optimism about moving to online video. We talk about how certain technology purchases are made, and thanks to Todd Bloch and Michael Medvinsky, we also answer some “big” questions about trying to put learning first when it comes to technology.

Click here to listen to this week’s Tech Director Chat (or listen below) Click here to subscribe via iTunes (Mac and iOS) Click here to subscribe via Stitcher (Android and iOS) Timestamps for this week’s questions:

0:51 What has Pete been up to today?

2:47 Todd from Twitter wants to know, what is the most important thing for teachers to know about technology?

3:55 So the most important thing about technology is to ask for help?

5:30 So what does Ben think about Todd’s question?

6:54 Michael from Twitter wants to know, how are we ensuring that thinking and learning drive our use of technology?

10:20 What does Pete think about Michael’s question?

13:00 Wait, are we really getting new laptops?

14:00 Will the new laptops be in before the end of the school year?

15:42 Why didn’t we order the laptops earlier in the year?

16:40 So, what are the specs on the new laptops? Are Macbook Airs slower?

18:26 Stump Pete!

18:43 The “Artist” wants to know who is Ronnie Tutt?

20:13 Pete wins some glitter flowers!


Tech Director Chat – Putting Learning First

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