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Samsung Announces Unpacked Event On February 21st To Unveil The Galaxy S7

Samsung has had its own dedicated Unpacked events in recent years to talk about its new flagship phones, but this year it's doing the deed at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Unpacked and the probable Galaxy S7 announcement is now official for Sunday, February 21st at 7PM local time (doors open an hour earlier). That works out to 1PM on the East Coast in the US for the start of the event.

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Google+ Version 7.1 Gives The Tab Bar Instant Scroll-To-Top Behavior

image: Luke Wroblewski

In case you missed it, the Google+ app for Android got updated recently to version 7.1.

The update is mostly comprised of bug fixes - 37 bug fixes to be exact - but it also offers fixes for 17 "accessibility issues," a fix for the "keep contacts up to date" setting, and one pretty handy feature that makes the bottom tab bar just a little more useful.

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It Looks Like Google Has Finally Caught On To Systemless Root - Android Pay No Longer Compatible

Well, it was nice while it lasted. A few months ago prolific Android developer Chainfire introduced a method of rooting Android devices without modifying the /System partition. It had the added and extremely welcome benefit of getting around SafetyNet detection for applications that were intentionally disabled on rooted phones, like Android Pay. But it looks like Google has caught on: starting this weekend (as reported on the /r/Android subreddit ), Android Pay and other SafetyNet apps no longer work with the roundabout root method. Bummer.

Google's system uses a server-side update, so at the moment there's no way to get around the check even with older versions of Android Pay, Google Play Services, et cetera.

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The Sony Xperia M5 Gets Its Over-The-Air Update To Android 5.1, PC Companion Update Also Available

Sony has been rolling out Android 5.1 updates intermittently ever since last July... up to and past the point where Android 6.0's AOSP code has been available to manufacturers. The last few devices that received bumps to 5.1 were the Xperia C4 and C5 Ultra earlier this month, and today the Xperia M5 gets the same treatment. Users can wait for the over-the-air update alert in the usual manner, or use Sony's PC Companion computer program to download and install the update manually.

This "super mid-range" M5 was launched back in August, running Android 5.0 at launch, much to the consternation of Android fans who would have preferred the latest software.

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Blu Vivo XL Quick Review: Breaking The Boundaries Of What A $99 Phone Should Be

AT CES earlier this month, Blu announced two new phones: the Vivo 5 and Vivo XL. Today, we're taking a closer look at the lower-end of the two, the Vivo XL, which is the first one to hit the market. This one isn't a dramatic difference from some of the other more recent stuff we've seen from Blu — like the Life One X, for example — but it does continue the company tradition of offering a lot of phone for the money.

Under the hood, it's actually a lot like the aforementioned Life One X, though it does have a slightly larger, lower-resolution display.

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Android 6.0.1 Starts Rolling To The Sprint HTC One A9 [RUU Provided]

HTC's One A9 is the luckiest Android but non-Nexus non-Android One phone on the planet these days. It keeps getting updates sooner than most other OEM smartphones and is even receiving the monthly security patches faster than all of them too. The unlocked version of the device received Marshmallow 6.0.1 at the end of 2015 and now, one month later, the Sprint carrier version is ready for this update too.

Version 1.57.651.1 of the software brings the A9 all of the new Android 6.0.1 emojis with plenty of improvements that HTC details in its changelog below.


This software upgrade available for your HTC One provides the following key enhancements:
· Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update
· Battery life improvements
· Camera feature improvements
· Addition of Wi-Fi Calling Functionality
· System enhancements

The OTA should have already started rolling to Sprint One A9 devices, but if you don't see the notification yet, be patient because it's probably on a slow release.

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[Deal Alert] The New BLU Vivo XL Is On Sale For A Sweet $100 On Best Buy ($50 Off)

The amount of technology and specs that you can get for less than $200 nowadays is staggering. Do you remember when we were gushing over quad-core processors and 720p displays in flagships that cost over $600 and $700? Well, now those specs count in the lower end of the smartphone market, or at best the lower midrange.

Take the BLU Vivo XL for example. It was just announced at CES at the beginning of the month.

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[APK Download] Google Calendar Adds Smart Event Suggestions And 54 New Country Holidays

Most of us rely on our Calendars to tell us where we need to be and what we need to do. Few calendars, however, take into account public and religious holidays, so we often end up scheduling meetings on these off days or putting deadlines right after them. Google Calendar has long been able to show public holidays from many countries around the world, but it's now adding 54 more for a total of 143. Lebanon, for example, is among the new additions. Yay! These holiday calendars can be enabled from Settings > Holidays and then choosing one or several countries to display.

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[Deal Alert] eBay Has A New Unlocked GSM-LTE LG G4 In Black Leather For $340 With Free US Shipping

The G4 is easily the best LG smartphone available at the moment, and if you're particularly fond of the leather back option or of manual camera controls, it may be the best choice on the market. We've seen some significant discounts on the phone before, but one eBay vendor has the best price yet: $339.95 for a new, unlocked GSM model. Depending on where you buy from, that represents a discount of $100 to 300 or more off of the retail price.

This particular model appears to be the international LTE version, and the description says that it supports LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 17, and 25.

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YouTube App Adds 'Watch Later' Action To 'New Upload' Notifications

Google added the handy "bell" icon to the YouTube app's channel screens last summer to make signing up for "new upload" notifications quick and painless. But until now, users could only watch the video immediately, or take a shortcut to settings to disable the notification.

Recently though, it seems the YouTube app's upload notifications are gaining a new action - watch later. If you don't want to see the latest video from your favorite channel right this second, you can tap this new action to add it to your Watch Later list on YouTube. Here's a before-and-after shot of the notification:

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