Question of the Day: Do You Use a 3rd Party Launcher? Which One?

In today’s Galaxy S7 tips and tricks video, the 2nd to last tip I suggest is for you to swap out the Samsung TouchWiz launcher and app drawer for something on Google Play, a 3rd party launcher. I suggest this in almost every single tips and tricks video because 3rd party launchers really can turn your phone into a powerhouse of efficiency (and Samsung’s launcher is terrible).

With a 3rd party launcher, you can easily change the look of your phone with an icon pack, take more control over the layout of widgets and icons and other home screen add-ons, introduce gestures for accessing settings or apps or shortcuts, and even do really cool things like access an app’s widget with a swipe on its icon. 3rd party launchers are awesome. In fact, changing to Nova Launcher – the DL favorite – is the first thing I do after completing a review of a phone.

For today’s question, it seemed like the perfect time to catch-up on the launchers you are all using these days. Are you still using a 3rd party launcher? If so, which one and why?

Question of the Day: What Would You Fix About the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge?

Our Galaxy S7 review is now out, if you haven’t read it yet. I point that out because during the review, we talk about a lot of the good things that Samsung has done this time around to create an incredible phone. Yet, I think it’s clear that many of you still have issues with the S7 or S7 Edge (and rightfully so, no phone is perfect).

Whether it’s the software skin on top of Android, worry over a lack of updates, the choice to not include a USB Type-C port just yet, the stance against removable batteries, or just the fact that it’s made by Samsung, all seem to be issues we keep seeing in the comments. For today’s question, let’s see if we can’t fix the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge.

And not that everyone needs to like these phones. After all, we love the fact that Android gives us choice and that we all aren’t siloed into a single device family. But we also like talking about a vision for the perfect phone and Samsung seems to be getting quite close with their newest Galaxy devices

If you could turn these phones into the perfect phone, how would you do it? What would you fix about the S7 or S7 Edge?

Tuesday Poll: What is Your Typical Screen on Time in a Day?

In October of 2014, we asked our community what their typical Screen on Time (SoT) was in a day. Most folks had anywhere between 2-4 hours in a day, with the majority of those people seeing 2-3 hours. That’s about what we at DL see on an average day, but your times will vary greatly depending on how often you use your device. Given we are on our phones all day long playing with apps and shooting pictures, we never expect to see crazy-good battery life. However, there’s always someone out there who seems to get 7 hours of SoT with two days usage, and to you, fine sir, we say, “Liar, liar, pants on fire.”

To check this stat, head into the Settings menu on your device. Find the Battery option, click it, then proceed to click on Screen. Underneath the graph which shows your battery drainage over the course of the day, you will see that option. For those running Marshmallow, you will not only see a metric for Time On, but also one for Computed Power Use. This details how much of your phone’s battery the display has consumed in a period of time. For those on earlier versions of Android, you will only see Time On.

So, check that, then shoot your numbers down below. We are very curious to see if a year and a half, on top of new versions of Android, has made any difference when it comes to daily battery life.

What is Your Typical Screen on Time in a Day?

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Poll: Does Your Phone Have Marshmallow Yet?

According to last month’s Android distribution numbers from Google, only about 1.2% of you are running Android 6.0+ on your phones. With Marshmallow having been out since October, that seems like a pretty low percentage. But then you consider the fact that previews of Android M were available as early as last May and you really have to wonder what the hell all these manufacturers are doing and why they are taking this long to update phones.

Today, we would, in the simplest of ways (a yes or no poll) like to know if your phone is currently running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. You can tell us which phone you own as well, in the comments, if you’d like.


Does your phone have Marshmallow yet?

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Question of the Day: Do You Have Smart Home Products?

This morning, shortly after Amazon announced two new Alexa-powered devices to help them extend their smart home assistant presence to more places and in new forms, the folks at Nest finally came around to announcing that their products were now working with Amazon’s. It was a big day for the smart home, because we are starting to see where Amazon could become a central hub leader for controlling everything in your home, from thermostats and lights to music, appliances, and beyond.

As someone who can’t help but buy smart this or that when I probably don’t need it, I’m excited to see a company emerge as a potential leader. For so long, I feel like my smart home setup is a patched together oddball line-up that all requires stand-alone apps for each piece, but with Amazon potentially becoming the centerpiece, now that it has Nest on board, I’m excited. That’s not because I’m some Amazon fanboy, but because I’d rather have one control than five or six.

And that leads us into today’s question – do you have any smart home products? If so, which ones? Are you satisfied? Is one of them an Amazon Echo?  (more…)

Question of the Day: Do You Use Google Now on Tap?

At Google I/O last year, one of the highlights of the entire show was without a doubt the demo for Google Now on Tap. During the brief performance, if you will, Google showed that Google Now had grown into an on demand-like service that was capable of doing more than just anticipating your day. Instead, Google Now had grown to be able to analyze a current screen and then provide relevant information in a matter of seconds.  (more…)

Friday Poll: Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, or LG G5?

In two days, we’ll be able to stop posting leaks and tell you all of the official details of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and LG G5. At this point, you are probably as sick of the leaks as we are, but try to hang in there. These phones leak like crazy for a reason – they are each a big, big deal. These are the flagships from Samsung and LG to take us into 2016. These phones set the standard for Android for the year ahead and are typically each company’s best selling line of products.

With that in mind, which of the three are you most excited about at this point? Have you seen enough from Samsung to upgrade from the Galaxy S6? Have you seen enough from LG to upgrade from the G4? Have seen enough from either to get you to switch manufacturers? Or, are you planning on sticking with what you’ve got until something else comes along later in year?

In the poll below, tell us which you would choose or are leaning towards before all things become official.

Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, or LG G5?

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Thursday Poll: Have You Ever Run Out of Storage on a Phone?

Today, you’ll see a lot of talk about cloud storage and phones, mostly in reference to Nexbit’s Robin smartphone, as the first wave of reviews for it are out. You can also purchase it as of today for $399, though we are told they have limited quantities.

For those not familiar, the Nextbit Robin thinks we all have a storage problem. To deal with that, they have created a solution that auto-manages the storage on your phone, so that if you are running low, they will backup items you rarely use to the cloud to free up space without you doing any of the leg work. It’s an interesting idea, assuming anyone actually has storage problems.

Personally, I don’t get it. For one, most phones these days have SD card slots that allow for expansion, often up to 2TB. In a two year period, that seems like plenty of storage, especially when you combine it with the 16GB or 32GB the phone has internally. SD cards also don’t require you to backup anything to a cloud, restore it, or deal with security issues that could surround that entire process. I get why people buy phones because of their cameras, displays, speakers, processors, designs, and operating systems, but I don’t know that anyone in my 6+ years of doing this, has ever said, “Man, I really wish I had a smart-cloud backup solution on my phone because I’m always out of space.”

So you tell me, have you ever run out of storage on a phone? If so, does it happen often?

Have You Ever Run Out of Storage on a Phone?

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