Time to take a look back at the week in Android news, which actually aligned quite a bit with the week in Apple news…wait, what? Yes, Apple held their WWDC 2015 event this past week and announced some apps that will be coming to Android. Hell hasn’t frozen over yet, but we’re going to keep checking on that. We also finally saw the official announcement of the Galaxy S6 Active, and it doesn’t look that bad, although I’m not feeling those camo colors. The leaks were also strong this week-we saw information surface on the 3rd generation Moto X, OnePlus 2, and a new sexy version of the Hangouts app. Let’s delve into the details, I’ll kick in some more thoughts after the break:
- AT&T officially unveiled the Galaxy S6 Active- We knew pretty much everything about this phone, except pricing and availability. This past week AT&T took all doubt away and made the S6 Active available starting on 6/12/15 in the United States. The AT&T exclusive phone is a rugged version of the familiar Galaxy S6, with a much bigger battery. At 3,500 mAh the Galaxy S6 Active should alleviate any concerns about needing a removable battery. Unfortunately the phone also loses the fingerprint scanner and adds a bit of bulk. Obviously to get a water resistant, dust resistant, and shock resistant phone you need to give up some of the sexy S6 design appeal. The total cost is about $695 on AT&T, and the phone can be had on their Next program with monthly payments. Hit the link if you want to grab one for yourself!
- Verizon Issued an update to fix S6 Edge Auto-Rotate Issue- Shane originally told us about the Verizon Galaxy S6 Edge auto-rotate breaking due to the fast charge overheating. This week Verizon issued an update to the S6 Edge that fixes this problem, good news for all of us with this phone. Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t change the fact that you still have a completely fried accelerometer, it just moves the auto-rotate function to other sensors. Definitely grab this update if you have the S6 Edge on Verizon. Hit the article to find out the full details from Shane’s excellent write up!
- Apple Music is Coming to Android- Apple announced their new streaming service, simply dubbed Apple Music, at WWDC this week. The service actually looks pretty good, and includes the 24/7 Beats Radio service as well. With their massive iTunes library and 3 month free trial this might be a music service everyone should try, including Android fans. Normally that would be impossible, but Apple shockingly announced that Apple Music will arrive on Android this Fall! This is pretty huge news considering Apple’s apparent disdain for all things Droid. Hit the link to get more info on pricing if you’re interested in a taste of the dark side this fall.
- LG Offering Buy 1 Get 1 Free Leather Backs for G4- If you have a G4 and want to add some color to its backside, check out this buy 1 get 1 offer from LG. A single leather back runs $70, so you can get them $35 each with this promo. Unfortunately, most of the colors are pastel, but if you’re into that kind of thing go cop now!
- Moto X 3rd Gen Leaks Galore- Shane brought us a few meaty leaks on the 3rd Gen Moto X. The phone will apparently feature a fingerprint scanner to bring it in line with Samsung’s flagships. In addition to a fingerprint scanner, the Moto X will feature a much-improved camera this year. Motorola has struggled with cameras in past Moto X iterations, as well as the Nexus 6. The 3rd Gen Moto X could be one of the best phones of 2015 if Motorola steps up their camera game.
- T-Mobile LG G4 Received Sizable Software Update- The T-Mobile and AT&T G4 variants both received mandatory software updates this week. The update for T-Mobile was over 170 MB and there was very little detail about what the update actually fixed/improved. I took the update earlier this week and found that it improved some small lag I previously experienced when opening app folders. Other than that, I don’t really see any noticeable improvements, and battery life seems about the same. You should still grab this update if you have the G4 T-Mobile variant.
- Sexy Leaks of Hangouts 4.0- Hangouts is one of the uglier Google apps, especially in terms of usability. This week we saw some leaks of the upcoming Hangouts UI refresh, version 4.0. If the leaks are the real thing, it appears Hangouts will see a huge improvement in aesthetic appeal and usability. I hope Google rolls this out sooner rather than later!
- BlackBerry is Building an Android Phone- Blackberry is reportedly looking to bring their brand of mobile device security to the Android OS. Blackberry has failed spectacularly each time they attempt to launch a consumer focussed smartphone. While it isn’t a bad idea to bring Blackberry’s enterprise solutions to Android, the company is apparently planning a slide phone for their first Android hardware release. I have my doubts about a slide phone working in 2015, but only time will tell.
- OnePlus 2 Launching in July with Higher Price- OnePlus is apparently gearing up to launch their 2015 flagship next month. The invite system will be back as well as a reported $50 price increase for the base model. I’m not ready to start begging for an invite just yet, but if someone wants to send me an invite early on, I’ll grab the phone and review it on my Youtube Channel. I’m still not the biggest OnePlus fan, but maybe they will change their PR practices some for the OnePlus 2 launch.
There you have it, the biggest Android stories of the past week. I’m particularly looking forward to the 3rd Gen Moto X arriving later this year, it could be one of the best phones of 2015. Hangouts 4.0 is also a reason to get hyped, I use Hangouts as my everyday messaging app, but it still pains me to see laggy hiccups everyday. The Galaxy S6 Active actually looks pretty sweet, and I love that big battery. I will definitely give Apple Music a try when it arrives, I love trying new streaming services. I’m currently testing out Tidal HiFi and finding it to be a really nice service, especially with the 50% EDU discount. Thats about it for me this week, stick with HOA all week for more great Android news, features, and reviews! Give me a follow on Twitter (@jspring86az) and Google+ so we can talk tech all week!
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