Watch: 15-Minute Video Details Updated TouchWiz for Galaxy Note 7

Posted by Italy’s HD Blog, the below 15-minute video could be our first look at what to expect UI-wise from the Galaxy Note 7. Typically, Samsung redesigns TouchWiz once a year to make it appear more polished. On the Galaxy S7, the latest iteration of TouchWiz isn’t what we would label as terrible, but it still isn’t anywhere near the simplicity of running stock Android.

In the video, the gentleman working the camera takes us on a tour of the pulldown notification area, the updated look for the system toggles, device settings menu, theme management, TouchWiz Home app, and pretty much everything else you would need to see to get a feel for what to expect. As you might guess, this build of TouchWiz is likely a beta build, so it’s possible things may change before launch.  (more…)

Alexa Skills Kit Hits First Birthday, Features Added for Skill Discovery

A year ago, Amazon opened up Alexa to developers, allowing them to integrate the tech into their own platforms. Because of this, the amount of skills offered on the Echo has shot up tremendously, with more being added every day. To help navigate through all of these skills, Amazon has redesigned the Skills layout inside of the Alexa app, listing individual skills under categories, making discovery easier for Echo owners.  (more…)

Moto G4 and G4 Plus are Unlocked and Work on All Major US Carriers

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus will arrive in the US on July 12 at a starting price of $199. The price and set of specs should be enough to get you interested in them on their own, but these two phones are also some of the few options out there that work across all of the major US carriers, including Verizon. At this point, not even the incoming flagship Moto Z line can say that, unless something changes last minute.  (more…)

Pre-Orders Open for Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus in US, Starting at $199

The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus, Motorola’s newest budget-friendly phones, are now up for pre-order here in the US with a starting price of just $199. Neither landing page for each says specifically, but if you add either to your cart, they show an expected delivery date of July 12.

UPDATE: Motorola has now announced the news and says that July 12 is indeed day 1 of availability at Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Car Toys, Fry’s, Microcenter, Sam’s Club, Walmart.com, and their own store. Each device will also hit Republic Wireless on July 28.

As a recap, the Moto G4 is the cheapest of the two, but by no means lacks decent specs for a $200 phone. The Moto G4 Plus is probably the phone you’ll want to splurge a bit for, though, if you were eying either. You can check out the full specs here, but each has a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 617 processor (octa-core), 5.5-inch Full HD display (1080p), 3000mAh battery, microSD card support, and can be customized through Moto Maker. The differences are in additional specs for the G4 Plus. The G4 Plus can be upgraded from 2GB to 4GB RAM and from 16GB storage to 64GB storage, it has a 16MP camera with laser and phase detect autofocus (regular G4 has just a 13MP camera with neither AF), and also a fingerprint reader.  (more…)

Monday Poll: Do You Use a Custom ROM?

It’s no secret, we have pretty much entirely stopped talking about custom ROMs. Sure, we used to adore them and use them on all of our phones, but that was years ago. Times have changed, Android has matured, and frankly, custom ROMs don’t offer all that much these days in terms of added benefits over running whatever stock software your device comes with.

While the arguments that are pro the usage of custom ROMs will always be legitimate, such as custom themes and the de-bloating of smartphones thanks to added privileges, I would argue that the number one reason for rooting and ROM’ing back in the day was speed. With a custom ROM, you could load up a hotrod kernel, overclock that puppy, and all of a sudden your OG DROID is running like a million bucks. Ah, yes, those were good times, but sadly, like everything else, all good things must come to an end.

So, have your rooting and custom ROM days passed, or are you still clinging onto them? And if you are, please, share your wisdom with us non-custom ROM common folk.

Do you use a custom ROM?

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Google Earth Satellite Imagery Updated With Superior Clarity

Google announced updated satellite imagery for Maps and Google Earth this week, courtesy of the USGS/NASA Landsat Program. Using HD images from primarily the Landsat 8 satellite, these images feature greater detail and truer colors, offering a better look at a cloudless Earth.

Not only does Landsat 8 provide better photos than Landsat 7 (which most of Google’s previous images were compiled from), but the sensor also snaps shots twice as fast. This allows Google to provide the most up-to-date look at our planet from the sky.  (more…)

DL Q&A Sessions: Volume 41 Answers

Last week, we opened up Volume 41 of the DL Q&A Sessions. Good for me, but bad for you, I took last Friday off, so we were unable to post our answers. To everyone’s delight, now I’m back, so let’s get to answering your questions.

We received a ton of great questions last week, ranging in topics such as how we sync our devices properly when we’re always changing daily drivers, if we ever get tired of blogging, if LG should drop the removable battery schtick, and if we were at all surprised by the NBA Finals outcome.

Let’s get to it! (more…)