- Verizon LG G4 pre-orders begin May 28th, available in-store June 4th
- Android Auto is coming to 14 new 2016 Chevrolet models later this year
- Google Spotlight Stories makes its way to the Play Store with support for more devices
- 13 best new Android apps and games from May of 2015
- Xiaomi Mi Store officially launches on June 1st in the UK, Germany, France, and the US
- Galaxy S6 to gain better manual exposure control in Android 5.1 update
- Verizon Edge now let’s you pay it off anytime, no trade-in required to upgrade
- Sony explains why the Z4 was rebranded to the Xperia Z3+
- LG G4 now in-stock in the UK
- Giveaway: Enter for your chance to win a Nexus 9, Chromecast and $100 Google Play gift card
If you've been wondering when you can get your hands on an LG G4 on Verizon, wait no longer. Verizon has just announced that you can pre-order the device in Metallic Gray, Genuine Black Leather or the Verizon-exclusive Ceramic White starting Thursday, May 28th. Pre-orders will begin shipping out to customers before the in-store launch date, which falls on Thursday, June 4th.
Related Videos *LG G4 review *LG G4 Camera Manual Mode - F... *LG G4 First Look! *LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6/e...The device will be available off-contract for $549.99 or with Verizon Edge for $22.91 per month for 24 months. Big Red hasn't given us the details on two-year contract pricing, but we'd imagine it will land on the carrier for around $199.99. Additionally, the brand new LG G Pad X8.3 will also be available in-store starting May 28th. The new tablet will be available for $299.99 off-contract or for $12.49 per month for 24 months on Verizon Edge. Purchasing the tablet with a two-year contract will cost $129.99. Specs for the G Pad X8.3 aren't extremely impressive, though they'll certainly suffice for many users out there. The tablet has an 8.3-inch Full HD IPS LCD display, a 1.5GHz octa-core processor, an 8MP rear-facing camera, 2MP front-facing camera, 16GB of internal storage and microSD expansion up to 128GB. It also has a 4800mAh battery and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. For a limited time, if you purchase an LG G4, you'll be able to score the G Pad X8.3 for just $49.99 on-contract ($129.99 value). LG's free battery and memory card promotion is also applied here, so be sure to take advantage of that deal if you're interested in buying one of these devices.
As more and more automobile manufacturers have been announcing their newest Android Auto-equipped vehicles, it's becoming easier than ever to find the right connected vehicle for you. If you've been thinking of purchasing a car with Android Auto built-in, Chevrolet may be a good option for you. The car company has just announced that 14 of its 2016 model year cars will come equipped with Android Auto. The list of supported cars include the 2016 Chevy Cruze, Malibu, Camaro, Silverado, Impala, Volt, Suburban, Colorado and Tahoe lines.
More About Android Auto *Parrot Android Auto Intervie... *Android Auto Demonstration a... *Hyundai BlueLink Android Wea... *Android Auto Demo at Google ...The car company is also making Android Auto in these vehicles available wherever Android Auto is supported, which means this news isn't just for the U.S. folks out there. All of these vehicles will either ship with or receive an update containing the system in the future. And remember that there's now backwards compatibility here, so you'll have to purchase a 2016 model if you want Android Auto built in. If you're not too keen on Chevrolet vehicles, Hyundai just recently announced that its 2015 Sonata will come with Android Auto as well.
Back when Motorola's Moto X first launched, we got our first taste of the Motorola Spotlight Player app - an immersive application built by ATAP engineers that brings interactive short stories straight to your mobile device. That app is still only compatible with the Moto X, but since the ATAP team is now under Google's ownership, a new version has just been published to the Play Store that brings support for many more Android devices. It's called Google Spotlight Stories, and it aims to bring more interactive content to many more Android smartphones. It's not a huge departure from the original Motorola version of the app, though the UI is a bit more refined this time around. Here's the full description if you're interested:
Immerse yourself in a world of storytelling made just for mobile. Engineers and critically-acclaimed filmmakers are bringing stories to life using the latest advances in mobile technology. Using 3D and 2D animation, 360° spherical cinema-quality video, full-sphere surround sound, and sensor fusion techniques, the screen is now a window into a story that unfolds all around you. Look anywhere, follow individual characters, watch it over again and again. It’s a little different each time. Google Spotlight Stories is your mobile movie theater.Along with the launch of the new app, Google has launched "HELP", the very first live-action Spotlight Story, which is free for a limited time. It comes in at a massive 1GB in size, though there's an option in the app's settings that lets you download new stories via Wi-Fi only. Since the new story is marked as "free for a limited time", that's a pretty good indicator that Google will begin charging for these stories sometime soon. The app is only compatible with a few different devices at the start, but Google says it's working to bring support to more devices in the future. If you're interested in checking it out, head to the Play Store link below.
We're reaching the end of May and a lot of exciting things are about to happen, including Google I/O which usually brings about a lot of big Android things. We're heading into the lull of summer but there were still some amazing apps and games released this month. Let's take a look at the best Android apps and games from May of 2015. ------------------------- BLEEP [Price: Free] Bleep is a free messaging service from, believe it or not, BitTorrent. The premise of the app is very simple, it stores all of the encryption keys and messages on your device instead of the cloud. This helps prevent hackers from intercepting and decoding your messages and gives you a very secure, private way of messaging other people. The interface is also pretty nice.------------------------- BROKEN AGE [Price: $9.99] Broken Age is a game from Double Fine Productions that has you playing the stories of two teenagers and you can switch between their stories at will. The game includes gorgeous hand-drawn graphics and an all-star cast of voice actors including Elijah Wood, Jack Black, and many others. It's a bit expensive at $9.99 but there are no in-app purchases and it's a good looking game.------------------------- CHROME DEV [Price: Free] Chrome Dev is the developer channel release of the Google Chrome Browser. This is very popular with the tech nerd community because it gives you a glimpse of the latest features that could be coming to Google Chrome. If you like living on the bleeding edge of development, this app is for you but do beware that there will be bugs because this is essentially the Chrome Browser test bed. ------------------------- GOATZ [Price: $4.99] GoatZ is a parody of the popular DayZ game that is based on the popular Goat Simulator game. You play as a goat as you take out zombies, get hit by cars, and cause other, goat-related mayhem. The graphics are good and the game is buggy but it's kind of meant to be. It's pretty funny and there's a lot to do. There are also no in-app purchases and plenty of zombies.------------------------- GOOGLE I/O 2015 [Price: Free] This year's Google I/O is fast approaching and those interested in keeping up will need the official Google I/O app in order to do it. The app is done completely in Material Design and features the ability to live stream sessions, see what's going on, check events, and engage with the event. Everyone who is going will have this app but it's still useful for everyone. ------------------------- LAYOUT FROM INSTAGRAM [Price: Free] Layout from Instagram is a new photo manipulation application that allows you to turn your photos into collages. Despite its origins, you don't actually need an Instagram account to use it and you can post the collages you make almost anywhere. It's a fun little app for those who like collages and it even comes with a variety of effects. It's also totally free to use. ------------------------- MEERKAT [Price: Free] Meerkat is one of two new streaming applications out this month that allow you to live stream footage from your smartphone camera. Meerkat allows you to stream footage to your Twitter followers straight from your camera. People can only watch it live and video doesn't get saved afterward. It's a fun concept that's already seen some controversy but it's fun to play with. ------------------------- MIXRADIO [Price: Free] MixRadio finally released an Android app this last month. The UK-based streaming service is kind of like Pandora in that you can subscribe to stations and listen to music. It also takes the music you listen to and tries to guess what kind of music you might like. It's good for music discovery and radio-style streaming. It's also free to use and it has a decent interface.------------------------- PERISCOPE [Price: Free] Periscope is the other video streaming application that was released this month alongside Meerkat. Unlike Meerkat, Periscope allows for video replaying so people can watch your streams over and over. Otherwise, the concepts are pretty much the same. Both rely on Twitter integration and both stream live from your phone camera. Also like Meerkat, Periscope has already seen some controversy. ------------------------- SEABEARD [Price: Free with in-app purchases] Seabeard is a puzzle adventure game where you walk around, solving puzzles, and beating up bad guys. The graphics and design are reminiscent of a Nintendo game and there is quite a bit of stuff to do. The main premise is to build a trading empire and most missions revolve around that idea. It's great for kids and adults, is free to play with in-app purchases, and it looks nice.------------------------- SNAKE REWIND [Price: Free with in-app purchases] Snake Rewind is the long awaited spiritual sequel to the hit game Snake that we used to play on the mobile phones of old. The mechanics remain largely untouched and while some may not like the controls, I didn't think they were that bad. The graphics are decent and the game is free to download. It's a Snake game through and through and it's a good burst of nostalgic joy.------------------------- SNL OFFICIAL APPS [Price: Free] Saturday Night Live is one of the best sketch comedy shows of all time and they released their official application this last month. Included is the upcoming line up of hosts so you know who is doing what and when. There is also access to archival footage from years past so you can relive the hilarity over and over again. It'll even eventually recommend sketches the app thinks you might like. ------------------------- SUNBURN [Price: $2.99] Last up this month is Sunburn, a new game out of Noodlecake Studios. This retro style game has you exploring the harshness of space as you attempt to save your crew mates after a space ship wreck. You have to find them all without dying and without running out of oxygen. In includes 50 levels and Google Play Games services. It's a fun little game and there are no in-app purchases.------------------------- WRAP UP If we missed any great new Android apps and games from this last month, let us know in the comments! If you want to stay up to date on the latest and greatest Android apps and games news, don't forget to subscribe to our app-centric newsletter using the button below! To see our complete list of Android apps and games lists, click here!
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Last week Xiaomi kicked off a test of its Mi store for the UK, Germany, France, and the United States. The initial test saw the sell of a few select accessories in limited batches. The good news is the test phase apparently went well, as Xiaomi has now announced it is fully launching its store in these markets starting June 1st. Just like before, Xiaomi is only offering the Mi Band ($14.99), a 5000 mAh power bank ($9.99), a 10500 mAh power bank ($13.99) and a high-end headphone set ($79.99). The only difference is that quantities should be less restricted, and likely Xiaomi will add several other accessories in the weeks and months to come. Of course what most of us are really waiting for are their phones and tablets. We imagine patents relating to software and hardware design are at least part of what’s holding back this expansion, but then there’s also considerations like the need for global support centers if they were to bring their phones to new markets, changes in the software to make it more ‘western’ friendly, and the list goes on. For now we’ll have to be content with this small baby step, knowing that if all goes well, the Mi store’s full launch could just be the beginning of bigger things for the company in the U.S. and Europe. If Xiaomi did bring its phones and tablets to your market, would you consider making a purchase?
Whether you're an Apple fan or a Samsung fan, one thing is certain - the iPhone has offered one of the best camera experiences on a smartphone for quite some time now. Though, just recently, that may have changed for some users after the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Samsung's two newest flagships not only brought a much-improved camera experience over their predecessor, but they were arguably the first Android phones to give the current iPhone offering a run for its money. To make the experience even better, Samsung is supposedly bringing a handy feature to the Galaxy S6's camera that has only been implemented on iPhone cameras so far. _READ MORE:__ Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge camera shootout_ Just about every smartphone camera out there has an option to adjust exposure, but on Apple devices, users have the ability to manually adjust the exposure at the point of focus in the viewfinder. For instance, when there is an abundance of light behind the subject of the photo, using the stock camera on the iPhone will let you increase or decrease the exposure amount by simply dragging your finger up or down on the subject. According to _SamMobile_, this easier method of adjusting exposure is making its way to the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in the update to Android 5.1 Lollipop. The publication has been testing out an early build of the software for a little while now, and they have confirmed that the feature is in fact present in the 5.1 update.
Related Videos *Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edg... *Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Revie... *Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Apple i... *Samsung Galaxy S6 Review!Along with an easier way to control exposure, both Samsung devices should also receive support for RAW image capture and shutter speed control in the update to Android 5.1. The Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are expected to receive the update sometime in June, so users don't have much longer to wait.
Verizon Edge was first introduced in the summer of 2013 as a response to T-Mobile’s own uncarrier initiative. Since that time, the program has somewhat evolved, but yesterday Big Red announced a new change that makes the program much more appealing. Currently, you have to wait 30-days after signing up for an Edge program before you can upgrade. Once a month has passed, you’ll have to pay off 75% off a device and trade it in. Needless to say, this isn’t a good deal at all. Thankfully, come May 31st, Verizon is doing away with the timeframe altogether. From here on out, the only requirement before upgrading to a new device is that you have it paid off. Once you’ve met that requirement, you can upgrade, while keeping the phone you’ve already paid in full. This new move means that folks looking for a new phone can pick it up through Edge and pay it off at their own pace. Once their done, they can upgrade if they so choose, and can either keep their existing phone or can turn to Ebay, Swappa, or other sources to sell their previous device instead of giving it away to Verizon. What do you think of the change, does this make the Verizon Edge program more appealing to you -- or do you still feel it isn’t worth it? Let us know in the comments.
Prior to the launch of the Xperia Z4 last month, there were many rumors that Sony's next flagship would feature a redesign with new build, better display and a lot more. Then Sony revealed the Xperia Z4 for Japan and essentially, the handset was the Xperia Z3 with a few updated internals yet it came with a name that suggested it was a major upgrade over the past version. Today, Sony has launched the handset in the UK but with the Xperia Z3+ moniker, which it revealed a couple of days ago. Speaking to _TheInquirer_, the company released the following statement explaining the decision to give the handset a different name to its Japanese sibling:
“The main reason for the name difference here (UK) is down to Sony being such a dominant force in the Japanese market [where] consumers crave flagship devices with the latest features as soon as they can be delivered. Xperia Z3 continues to perform well as our flagship device across the rest of the world. To address those customers that would like to have the very latest features and refinements, we have introduced Xperia Z3+ as a premium addition to our existing flagship Z3 series.”As identified by _XperiaBlog_, the Xperia Z4 moniker works in Japan as that market believes the upgrades offered by the Xperia Z4 as worthy of a flagship upgrade but in other markets, these modest upgrades would not be considered enough to be worthy of an entirely new flagship model. As a result, the Xperia Z3+ was born but, of course, this will pose an interesting naming problem when Sony does eventually release its new flagship, which may or may not be later this year. few modest upgrades that include a new Snapdragon 810 chipset, capless USB port and fast LTE Cat 6 support in a package that is smaller and lighter than the Xperia Z3. The initial rumors before the Z4 was announced suggested that the handset would have a metal build, Quad HD display and improved camera but the rumors turned out to be false for the Xperia Z4/Z3+. Maybe the true Sony flagship will be announced at its Hong Kong event tomorrow?
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has today launched the LG G4 in the UK, two days ahead of its May 29th general release date. The retailer - who has an exclusive on the black leather version - is offering LG's latest flagship handset on contracts starting at £35 per month. That deal gets you 1000 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB 4G data on Vodafone each month but if you're looking for a lower monthly price, the same deal can be had on EE for £31.99 per month with a £49.99 upfront charge. There's also a range of other deals available, including 4G contracts through O2, EE and Carphone's own iD network (which runs on Three UK). The LG G4 is one of the best smartphones on the market at the moment and comes with a curved Quad HD IPS display, a powerful Snapdragon 808 processor and 16MP camera equipped with Optical Image Stabilisation, Color Spectrum Sensor and laser autofocus. At a cost of £35 per month, it's significantly cheaper than its key rivals, including the iPhone 6, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge and offers one of the best Android experiences on the market.
Last year Google and HTC teamed up to bring us the Nexus 9 - a great tablet with high-end hardware, software and a great user experience. Unfortunately, many folks haven't even considered buying the tablet due to its high price point. A year before the Nexus 9 launched, Google released the Chromecast streaming stick, which provided an easy way to consume all types of media. Thanks to the Android Authority Deals Store, you may have the chance to win both of these awesome devices… and then some! By entering the Google Gadget Giveaway, you'll have the chance to win a Nexus 9, Chromecast streaming stick AND a $100 Google Play gift card! Sounds awesome, right?
Head here to enter the giveaway
Related Videos *Nexus 9 Tips and Tricks! *Best Media Streamers! *Nexus 9 Review! *Nexus 9 Unboxing & First...Here’s how to enter: Simply head to the giveaway page and enter your email address in the space provided. That will score you one entry into the contest. If you’d like to enter more than once, you can do that, too. After entering your email address, share on Twitter for additional entries. The more your friends and followers enter, the more entries you receive. Make sure you enter with a valid email address so StackSocial can contact you if you win. Be sure to head to the giveaway link below to enter! _Editor’s Note: This deal is through StackCommerce, in partnership with AA Deals Store and other StackSocial partners — and not an exclusive Android Authority contest._