Sometimes it's hard to defend LG and its "me-too" strategy of always trying to launch the exact same thing Samsung does, but several months or years later. This case is another example, although the details do appear a little encouraging in LG's favor.
The company has officially announced today that it made an agreement with Dynamics Inc., a US-based company that has developed a Wireless Magnetic Communication technology that's similar to Samsung's MST but with a different algorithm, to start using said tech in LG Pay. The service is supposed to launch in South Korea in June, with the first official phone being the G6 since it already has all the necessary hardware. A firmware update may bring LG Pay to other devices later in the year as well. Read More
After weeks of teasing Samsung Pay in India, the service was made available to testers earlier this month, but today it's been officially announced for everyone.
Owners of supported Galaxy devices in India will be able to install the Samsung Pay app today and add VISA, Mastercard, and American Express cards issued by Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, and Standard Chartered Bank, with Citibank India to follow shortly. Digital wallet Paytm is also supported, as well the Indian government's new Unified Payments Interface.
Then, users will be able to tap to pay at various retailers using either NFC or Samsung's Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which is the most prevalent across POS machines in India. The announcement doesn't say which Galaxy devices are supported, but your best bet based on previous countries' Pay launches are flagships from the last year or two and high midrange devices from the last year. Read More
If you're feeling left out of the Android O party, there's one new thing you may be able to check out that doesn't require flashing a new firmware or having a specific device. The "Recents" search screen that lists all of your previous Google searches on a specific device appears to be going live for everyone - or at least almost everyone on the Google app beta release.
The "Recents" interface first made its appearance last December when we noticed plenty of server-side tests in the Google app including Offline Searches (which are now live) and Lite Mode (which doesn't appear to be live for everyone yet). Read More
Right before the avalanche of Android O news yesterday, Google made one small announcement that we had our eyes on but never really got around to writing: Search shortcuts are now official.
You may remember we first spotted them last September when they had a very distinct circular look, then we saw a newer iteration in November when the circle was ditched but the icons began opening up to more actions, and finally this most recent look started popping up in our tips inbox over the past few weeks. So some of you may already have seen the new Search shortcuts over the last weeks, others will probably start seeing them now. Read More
Installing apps from outside of the Play Store can be a good thing (I mean, it's the whole basis for APKMirror), but it can also lead to trouble. For some time now, a user would have to go into the Security settings and toggle "Install from unknown sources." One of the many changes in Android O is to how this model works — that old option is gone and each app now must be granted the install source permission for APK installation. Read More
Android has allowed blocking notifications from selected apps for a while now, but it was all-or-nothing. Android O aims to give users more control over what notifications they want to see, through the new Notification Channels API. Read More
Google's version of Android has historically been relatively light on features, but the Mountain View-based company has been rapidly closing that gap. Other implementations of Android have had multi-window for a while now, but that took until 7.0 Nougat to make its way onto stock Android. Now, we're getting another feature that we've seen on other skins: custom lockscreen shortcuts. Read More
Sometimes updates to Google products are two steps forward, one step back. Ambient display originally showed up in stock Android with the launch of the Nexus 6, which turns on the display for a few seconds when notifications arrive. It has remained a popular feature, but Android O changes it quite a bit. Read More
I cannot fault people for loving the theme support present in certain OEM and custom ROMs. The fact that Google has never implemented them in any sort of official way has been a frustration to many, but we did find something very interesting in the Android O preview. In the display settings, there is a section for "Device theme," which has two options. Hm... Read More