Tis the season for timely Android OS updates. Most of the phones that get bumped to the latest version of Android before the end of the year are flagships and other high-end devices, but it looks like Motorola may be bucking the trend a bit with the latest G-series phones. Reports from a small number of users in India indicate that the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus are seeing over-the-air Nougat updates. Read More
Google's Allo chat program remains the only way to access the cool Assistant voice control tools without spending money (either on a new Pixel phone or a Google Home gadget). But as with a lot of Google products, it seems fairly focused on the American market. Today its Smart Reply linguistic powers get widened to two of the next-most-spoken languages on the planet, Hindi and Brazilian Portuguese. Support seems to be rolling out via a server-side switch, so don't be surprised if you can't immediately change to either language. Read More
Niantic's augmented reality take on Pokémon GO continues to be staggeringly popular as it approaches its one month anniversary. It recently passed 100 million downloads across Android and iOS, despite some rather vocal negative press after the removal of the Pokémon step tracker and third-party tools for hunting monsters manually. Today Niantic is expanding the game to some of the biggest markets it hadn't previously supported: South America and Central America. Read More
WhatsApp is hugely popular in Brazil where mobile subscribers pay high rates for cellular calls and messaging. WhatsApp isn't getting as much use today as a Brazilian judge has ordered the country's five wireless providers to block access to the service. Unlike past blackouts, this one does not include an end date—it's intended to continue until WhatsApp complies with a court order to turn over information. However, it says the requested information doesn't exist. Read More
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games may not have everyone's backing, with the Zika virus and claims about unclean water causing concern, but T-Mobile seems to be firmly in the 'support' camp, announcing that it's going to give users free, unlimited, "high-speed" internet for the duration of the Games.
Not only that, but calling to and from Brazil is also free, as is texting worldwide. T-Mobile estimates 100,000 Americans alone will be in Rio to watch the world's biggest sporting event, so this will be a big boon to customers of the carrier. Of course, AT&T is sponsoring the entire event, so T-Mobile has had to up its game in a serious way - and I think it's safe to say it has. Read More
Samsung Pay has been on an expansion spree over the past couple of months, starting with China, Singapore, Spain, and then Australia. Over the past couple of days, the mobile payment service has announced availability in two more countries: Brazil and Puerto Rico.
In Brazil, Samsung Pay will work on both MST and NFC terminals starting July 19, and with different devices among the company's portfolio: the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy A7 (2016), Galaxy Note5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 edge. It's compatible with card issuers from Banco do Brasil, Brasil Pré-Pagos, Caixa, Porto Seguro, and Santander. Read More
Dear international Android Police readers: thank you. Our staff is relatively small, so we can only be on the ground (so to speak) in a handful of countries... most of which are the US. So when a bunch of you from one particular place start telling us that something big is happening, we listen. The latest one is Google Now On Tap, the contextual screen-based search tool, which appears to be rolling out in Brazil right now. If you're in the country (and happen to be running Android M), give it a shot.
Update: Turns out Google Now on Tap is now enabled for the Portuguese locale rather than specific countries. Read More
Yesterday Brazil made headlines by once again blocking the function of mega-popular SMS replacement service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The reasons were... complicated. Apparently. We don't actually know the reason - the purpose of the ruling has been sealed by the court in the state of Sergipe which issued it. But fear not, Brazilian WhatsApp users: you now have access to the service once again, thanks to some quick work on the part of WhatsApp and the ruling of an appeals court. Read More
Oh Brazil, you magnificent country of beautiful landscapes, sexy women, excellent football players, and silly judges and judicial system. For the third time since 2015, a Brazilian state judge has ordered a complete shut down on WhatsApp by forcing operators to block the service nationwide for 72 hours, and thus killing the main means of communication of 91% of the country's mobile users.
The main question is why. Due to legal secrecy in the country, the details aren't released, but it appears that this isn't related to the first two bans in February of 2015 (issued by judge Luiz de Moura Correia from the state of Piauí) and December of 2015 (issued by a São Paulo judge). Read More
Of all the countries that get to enjoy Google Play Music access, only a select few have support for Play Music gifts. That means that there's a limited number of users who can send each other the gift of music, but that number is getting a bit larger now: Brazil, Mexico, and Switzerland have been added to the list of countries with access to Music gifts.
They join Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States in letting users purchase music subscriptions for their friends, family members, or maybe distant acquaintances (we won't judge). Prices are the same for a gifted subscription as a personally purchased one, but at least you can now get others hooked on the service even if they were reticent to try it out in the first place. Read More