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Some Things To Know Regarding SIM Cards When Activating An Unlocked Device On Sprint

Ever since the Nexus 5, Sprint seems to be ever more accepting of unlocked devices designed to work on its network. As of right now, there are nine unlocked, SIM-free phones that Sprint allows, and that number will likely grow with each passing year. While this is a great thing, there are definitely some obstacles with getting a SIM card which, in turn, can make activating one of these devices a less-than-pleasurable experience.

Background

Sprint still runs its network with an iron grip as far as the devices allowed on it. In order to be permitted on the network, your device's IMEI must be white listed in the carrier's activation system.

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PSA: You Can Enable Google Maps Traffic View In Countries And Regions Where It's Not Available

No matter how much we use our Android devices, there are tips and tricks that we don't discover until someone shares them with us and we hit ourselves on the head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" One example is how to enable traffic view in Google Maps in countries and areas where the app says it isn't available.

Live traffic is officially enabled in about 50 countries in the world, and the rest of us often have to just start driving and then discover that the route we picked was jam packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some countries have a local solution in terms of a standalone app or traffic provider, but that isn't as universal and integrated of a solution as Google Maps.

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PSA: Unlocking The Nexus 6P Bootloader Requires The New 'Flashing' Command, Likely To Become Common For Many Devices In The Future

By now most orders for the Nexus 6P have been delivered, or at least getting close. If you haven't tried unlocking the bootloader yet, it might come as a surprise that the 'fastboot oem unlock' command no longer works. Attempting to use it with the Nexus 6P fails with a message that it is an unknown instruction. Don't worry, this doesn't have anything to do with drivers, and it isn't a fluke. Google had Huawei replace the oem command in the Nexus 6P bootloader with the new flashing command. Here's what it will look like:

fastboot flashing unlock

fastboot flashing lock

fastboot flashing unlock_critical

fastboot flashing lock_critical

fastboot flashing get_unlock_ability

There are two levels of unlocking: normal and critical.

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Why Does My Android Phone Have eFuses And Why Should I Care About Them?

This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.

As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?

Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash.

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Reminder: Your New Chromecast Came With A Free Play Movies Rental, Use It!

Did you buy the new-and-improved 2015 Chromecast? If so, you may have forgotten that your purchase includes a free movie rental on Google Play Movies, even if you'd already purchased a Chromecast previously (offers are per device, not account - so you get one for each CC you purchased up to a maximum of five). The movie rental offer doesn't apply to Chromecast Audio purchases, in case you were wondering.

eCrtVdv

The current offer runs until the end of the year (12/31/15), so there's no rush to redeem it. As always, in order to redeem the offer, you'll need to open the Chromecast app on your device or head to cast.google.com/chromecast/offers while on the same network as or nearby your Chromecast device.

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Google Translate 4.3 Includes Systemwide Translation Option For Devices Running Marshmallow

Are you tired of having to copy text, flip to the Translate app, paste the text, copy the translated text, then paste it back into whatever you're working on? It appears Google has you covered, as long as you're running Android 6.0. Taking advantage of Marshmallow's new contextual selection functionality, it appears that the latest version of the Google Translate app has added the ability to translate words on the fly from text fields that follow the new Text Selection behavior.

translate_systemwide_2 translate_systemwide_1

It goes without saying that this is incredibly useful. Besides translate, the mind wanders at the possibility of what else could be done with the contextual selection features in Marshmallow.

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Users Are Reporting Difficulty With Sending And Receiving MMS Messages After Upgrading To Hangouts 4.0, Google Investigating

The relationship between Hangouts and SMS/MMS messaging has been a long, gut-wrenching story full of danger at every turn. Although Hangouts 4.0 was a massive improvement over every previous version, it would appear that all is still not well on the MMS side of things.

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[Update: Moto 360] Android Wear 1.3 (LCA43/LCA44B) OTA Roundup

If you own an Android Wear device right now, chances are you're probably waiting patiently furiously checking for that elusive Android Wear LCA43 update. Well, we've got you covered. As the links to the OTA ZIP files become available, we will post them here. To flash these, you'll need to have ADB installed and have the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK. You'll reboot your watch into recovery mode, then select "Install Update From ADB." You can then run "adb sideload filename.zip" from a command prompt.

A Note About Flashing

You can only sideload an OTA update manually if you can actually connect your watch to a computer via USB, and even then, you may not be able to.

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Hands-On With YouTube's New Advanced Editing Options (Add Music And Filters) On Android

As early as last year, we began seeing quite a few references in teardowns pointing to the ability to overlay music onto videos uploaded in the YouTube app for Android, along with other features like video filters. With the wide rollout of the new YouTube UI, these advanced editing options are finally available to more people, so let's take a look at them.

Adding Music

'Featured,' 'Genre & Mood,' and 'On Device' are the categories you can choose when adding music. The featured section seems to be a catered list of the best generic instrumental tracks that Google has to offer.

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Don't Change Your Google Password Before Factory Resetting Your Android Phone - You Might Trip A 72-Hour Security Lockout

This isn't a news story, but more of a "public service announcement" about an Android feature not everyone may be aware of. If you've ended up here because your Android phone is telling you that, after a factory reset, you cannot log into your device for 72 hours (3 days), I don't have much good news: you're going to have to wait it out.

If you want to know why exactly this happens, regardless of whether or not it has affected you, this post will at least show you how to avoid falling victim to this security measure again if you find it to be too much trouble, as well as why this feature exists to begin with.

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