I’ve always believed that tablets and phones are great learning tools for kids, and there certainly isn’t a shortage of educational apps available on Google Play. This means parents can always find something that’ll both entertain and educate their child without needless distractions. I Love Preschool features tons of fun and educational activities for kids to complete. Each activity is designed to stimulate learning and creativity, meaning your child will have fun figuring out how to do new things and complete tasks.
Concept and Functionality When it come to children’s games, the one thing I focus heavily on is usability. It’s amazing how many games are too complicated and tricky to figure out, and kids just want to have fun. I Love Preschool, by Kids Games Projects, is just the opposite; menu navigation is very easy and instructions are clear and easy to understand. Each level in I Love Preschool features a text and audio overview of how to complete it, and kids can navigate through the menu via left and right arrow buttons. Activities are depicted by picture only, but that shouldn’t be a problem for kids who are just exploring the app and playing games at random. Features
I Love Preschool Android App
I’ve mentioned multiple times that I Love Preschool features many activities for kids to enjoy, but just how many are there? Currently the number sits at just over 50, which means it’s very unlikely that your child will run out of things to do anytime soon. It also means that the developer can freely add new activities in future updates. I Love Preschool is the perfect app to bring along on your summer vacation trip to entertain and educate your young ones. It also features multilingual support for languages such as Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, and Polish. Changing the language also changes both text and audio narration for activities, which is perfect for parents of multilingual kids. They can learn new words this way and experience the language they’re learning in a natural way. ValueI Love Preschool is available to download from Google Play for free and currently doesn’t include in-app purchases. The developer mentioned advertisements, but I didn’t come across any during my review period. If ads are enabled, it will likely deter parents from downloading the game and handing it to their child, but the developer mentioned that ads can be disabled via in-app purchase when they’re added. Personally I’d rather pay a few bucks for the game simply because it offers tons of things for kids to do and is definitely a quality app. Overall, I Love Preschool is worth checking out if you’re the parent of a preschooler and you actively use your Android device as a learning tool. It’s very fun to play, easy to figure out, and kids have tons of cool activities at their disposal.
Jelly Flop: Help the poor and helpless ocean critter fulfil his dreams to fly! Concrete Software are living up to their name by delivering a solid and thoroughly entertaining Physics game. Don’t let the flimsy and whimsical name deceive you – this is a smash hit game for sure and the millions of downloaders would be testament to this fact!
Gameplay: A poor little jellyfish is hanging on a ledge and he’s dropped to his doom. Your job is to place bouncy platforms to repel him towards the magical feather. The ultimate goal is to get enough feathers so that he can have wings so he won’t keep falling into trouble! Along the way you should collect the water droplets … just because that’s what a truly skilled hero would do. Anyway… the poor bugger is somehow flying through the sky and is clearly out of his element, so you may as well do something good for the critter! Slick Controls: Very intuitive drag and release controls are used to create the platforms. Each of the end points can be moved around afterwards, or the whole platform can be dragged around. You can’t litter the screen with reflectors though because you have a limited supply of the stuff – it’s clearly represented by the pink bar in the bottom left corner of the screen. The only slight thing which might not be totally automatic knowledge is that a double tap will remove the platform. (It is explained in the tutorial so you will know this if you don’t skip through all the instructions.)
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Monster Crew – Game Free For AndroidRestrain your zenthusiasm with Quell ZenBeach harmony: It’s been so long since I’ve been so enlightened by a game! The lively tropical music is interwined with real sounds from the sea taking you for the full beach-side experience. As the jelly-fish bounces and wobbles his way around the screen I’m totally mesmerised and reaching the final feather has so much satisfaction. Probably the best thing about this game is its Angry Birds fun factor – anyone can pick it up to play and enjoy it. If you’re unsure about a level then you can just build your path slowly because you can test your setup anytime and a trail of where the jelly fish travelled will be left behind. The platforms will stay in place too so you don’t have to keep redrawing them. This way no one can get stuck and it’s up to yourself to control yourself and set your own difficulty. Rating: 5/5 Addictive and amazing – it must be downloaded by all. It’s been a long time since we’ve come across such a fun and original game! 100 levels for free – what more could you ask for? Jelly Flop Tips from Android Games Review
The longer you draw your rubber reflectors then the more accurate the angle of your platform. This in turn will give you more control over the jelly-fish reflection. So if you’re having problems controlling the bounce direction then draw longer platforms.
You don’t have unlimited rubber so if you did extend the platform length as per the above tip then I suggest reducing the platform after you’ve confirmed that you have the correct angle.
If you’re a true elitist then you should try using the shortest reflectors you can – it should increase your level score.
Sometimes you can have scenarios where you’ve got the right angle but you’ve missed a water droplet by a smidgen. In those scenarios you should drag the whole reflector around so you don’t lose your angle of reflection.
Monster Crew: Smash and grab the loot in this endless platformer! Finally we’ve found a uniquely stylised game which is fresh and original in multiple different ways. Keep reading to hear more… Gameplay: You play as Frankenstein and need to run through the spooky infested halls whilst destroying pretty much everything (and not killing yourself in the process!). You’ll keep running forever and one tap the screen will make you jump. Tap again and you’ll stomp down destroying anything below. Most likely you’ll find some coins in the process but otherwise you can pick up a lot of loot just lying around in the stage. But hey… it’s way more fun to just destroy everything! In essence this it very much like Jetpack Joyride – for those of you who haven’t heard of this game: Jetpack Joyride is probably one of the best endless runner games around and its addition of micro reward missions and upgrade packs have made it an incredibly addictive game. Monster Crew has adapted this winning formula and put it into their own platform game. The fundamental game differences are that Monster Crew is broken up into short levels which go from right to left as well as the classical left to right, and it is ultimately a platformer where the enemies are trying to attack you. There’s also an energy bar instead of the insta-kill style of Jetpack Joyride. Mini mission fun: Let’s be honest… prancing around endlessly through medieval hallways can get tedious quite quickly. So sets of mini target missions are placed into the game to help to break up the monotony. These small objectives vary from collecting coins to smashing targets and keep you entertained through the repetitive corridors. Story Fun: Upon completing a pack of mini missions you’ll get a new story set as well as more targets. These little comic sketches are pretty damn awesome – the fab graphics and great stylisation breathes more life into the game and makes it very entertaining.
Game extras: The upgrades for your character, Frank, are set at quite expensive levels. But aside from these powerups there are also bonus cards which you can use to boost your abilities within a level. You can strategically cast these at the beginning of every level in order to maximise on coin collection. Unfortunately, like a deck of cards, you’re randomly assigned a hand and you can’t just stick to the cards you find helpful. Rating: 4/5 Monster Crew is a great twist on an endless runner game. It has the game structure of Jetpack Joyride but with more variety and complexity. It’s got a slight money grabbing feel which tarnishes it’s name and could deter you from coming back to keep playing. Developer: BonusXPMonster Crew Tips from Android Games Review
Many objects can be be destroyed – even the ones which don’t look like crates.
Focus on surviving longer to get better rewards. This means that you should not be too greedy and focus on avoiding the enemies and obstacles.
Very often running into one enemy can cause you to lose alot of energy because it’s very difficult to leap over them after the initial collision… so really focus on avoiding enemies.
If Frank is moving from left to right, and you’re right handed then there’s a tendency to tap on the right of the screen. If this is the case, then tap slightly higher on the screen so you’re not obstructing your vision. Otherwise try tapping with your left hand instead.
There seems to be no way to see your inventory/deck of cards, so the simplest suggestion is to not use them until you’re sure the benefits will have great impact. It may seem like you’re accumulating cards unnecessarily, but otherwise you’ll be drawn into an endless spending cycle.
Focus on completing the missions to get more reward bonus cards.
It’s hard not to think of Quell Zen as something of a misnomer. With its fiendishly tricky puzzles that have you repeating them over and over to try and get a perfect score, Quell Frustrationmight have been more accurate. When it clicks, it’s a genuinely enjoyable puzzler. But its difficulty curve is too erratic to give any sense of meaningful progression. InhaleQuell Zen isn’t much different from other Quellgames. You swipe to move a raindrop in one of four directions, and it moves until it hits an object. There’s a bunch of different objectives, so while some levels task you to pick up a certain number of pearls, others require you to push gems together.
You’ll also be pushing spikes out of the way, matching gendered blocks together to make them disappear, sliding through teleporters, shifting whole rows of the level… the list goes on. New concepts are introduced at a decent pace, so you’ll never feel overwhelmed by anything, but you’re also unlikely to feel instantly comfortable with every new object. Hold Which is both a blessing and a curse, because while Quell Zen provides a solid challenge throughout, it can also be a stupidly frustrating experience. You’ll struggle through endless slogs of taxing levels, find one that finally clicks with you, and then immediately be stumped again without even the introduction of new objects. Every time you feel like it’s all making sense, you’ll be thrown back to square one, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. There’s also a move counter hovering around at the top of the screen that lets you know how many moves you have left until you’re not perfect anymore. It’s frustrating because the levels are hard enough without having a counter reminding you of your inadequacies. Exhale Overall, Quell Zen is neatly presented, plays well, and will give puzzle fans a solid challenge. When you hit your stride and it all makes sense, it does give a wonderful feeling of accomplishment, and you’ll race onto the next level with glee. But thanks to a frustrating difficulty curve, and a compulsion mechanic that aggravates instead of rewards, the only thing that’s truly zen about it is the Japan-inspired visuals.
Crush Your Enemiesis a strategy game like no other. This bare-looking game combines accessibility and the moment-to-moment action that every mobile strategy game should aspire to. In Crush Your Enemies you command hordes of barbarians, pillaging enemy territory and taking over towns and outposts, through which you can reinforce your army. Barbarism 101 The core gameplay is simple – you have to send your army to fight the enemy’s. If you have more soldiers than the enemy you will come out victorious. If you don’t, your army will get annihilated. How do you expand your army? Easy: you get some of your soldiers to rest in the towns. The more soldiers there are taking refuge in a village, the faster their numbers will go up. Additionally, you can send your army to special camps and equip them with more powerful weapons, turning them from a mob of peasants to a horde of warriors. This’ll tip the odds in your favour even when you have lower numbers. Timing your plundering Your army can only walk through territory you control, otherwise it will take some time capturing it first. This is precious time that you have to use wisely. The enemy hordes work exactly the same, which means that your goal is to outsmart the enemy by timing your attacks and rests, conceding some minor battles at times, so you can later attack with a full army. >>> See more:
With a combination of special items, territory management and buildings, your goal is always to keep your enemy at bay while maintaining a constant and high influx of soldiers from the towns you control. The more you send to fight, the slower the troops will fill up. Do the opposite, and you will see your territory being rapidly covered in enemy banners. Rush your enemies What keeps this all together is a very high-paced action where you always have troops to command, outposts to capture, and enemy soldiers to oppose. Both the campaign and multiplayer play out similarly – and every match, although rarely going longer than a couple of minutes, is packed with strategy, carnage, and quick thinking. In the words of the Emperor of China from Mulan, ‘a single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat’.
For those who like virtual Trading Card Games, there is a new entrant into that genre. Dubbed Azedeem: End of Era, players will look to elect a hero and race, and go off adventuring from there. At the start of the game, players will choose a race (humans, orcs, ogres, or elves) and a class (wizard, mage, or warrior), and once a name is finally chosen, the game begins. Players will need to manage several facets of the game, in order to succeed. Equipment, leveling up, which character cards to take, as well as where they’re to be placed on the board will all need to be factored in. For what I tried of the game, there wasn’t much of a story. As players accept missions and defeat their enemies, they will be awarded coins. These can then be spent on purchasing other heroes, or upgrading spells and equipment of existing characters.
Build your army from trading cards in Azedeem: End of Era, now available from Google Play
Azedeem: End of Era Features: – Hundreds of main and side quests. – Great battles where it is necessary to develop a unique strategy. – Lots of amazing cards. – Upgrade and evolve your cards to discover new cards and abilities. – Upgrade and improve characteristics of your hero to become immortal. – Use hundreds of cards and hero’s abilities. – Create different decks and combinations to use the full power of your creatures. – Play a unique for each race campaign to learn the full story of a magic world. There is no “energy” or something else you need to wait to restore to continue playing, you just can keep on playing till you don’t want to anymore. Azedeem: End of Era is available for free, from Google Play. It also includes optional IAPs as well.
Should you buy the new Moto G4 Plus? With a better camera, more RAM and storage, plus a fingerprint scanner it seems like it but we’re not convinced in our Moto G4 Plus review. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW Motorola has updated its best budget smartphone line-up for 2016 with two different models. The Plus model isn’t bigger but comes with a fingerprint scanner, extra RAM and storage, plus a higher resolution camera so the price might be worth paying for some. Here’s our in-depth Motorola Moto G4 Plus review. Updated with our video review. Also see: Best smartphones 2016. The firm, now owned by Lenovo (formerly Google) has been making great budget phones since 2013 and we’re informed the Moto G family is the company’s most successful range ever. This time around there are two models to choose from which is a first but the range isn’t exactly budget anymore. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW: PRICE AND RIVALS Although the Moto G range has traditionally been budget phones, the price has crept up each year. The regular model starts at £169 now and to bag yourself the Moto G4 Plus, you’ll need to spend at least £199. You do get a few upgrades though which we’ll look at in the specs section below. The specs are impressive for the price and even outpace the existing £259 Moto X Play in many areas. It’s worth noting that the Moto G 3rd-generation from last year is now £149 if you’re looking for something cheaper. The £200 mark is an unusual one for a phone these days and if you want to order via the Moto Maker where you can customise elements such as the rear cover and accent colour, it will cost you £229. For the more tempting 64GB model, the Moto G4 Plus price jumps to £264. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW: DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY Seemingly unhappy to conform to smartphone market traditions, the Moto G4 Plus isn’t actually bigger than the regular Moto G4. In fact, you’d struggle to tell them apart since they are almost identical in design. The only way to tell the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus apart is the fingerprint scanner which sits below the screen. So we’re not left with much to say without repeating our Moto G4 review. The phone looks stylish and new while retaining the look and feel of previous Moto G phones. It is bigger due to an increase in screen size though so some users will find the device unwieldy. It’s not too thick and heavy at 9.8mm and 155g.
Build quality is good but the Moto G4 Plus is still very much a plastic phone and there’s better available at this price point elsewhere if this is important – the OnePlus X is a prime example. It’s a shame Motorola doesn’t offer other materials, such as wood and leather, like it does with the Moto X Style for an extra cost for those who want it. One of our only complaints about the design is that the volume rocker is a little tricky to use as it is very flush with the case. We also envisage the groove for the earpiece above the screen will get clogged with dirt over time. A bigger issue is that Motorola has decided to ditch the waterproofing which it used last year. Instead it has saved some money by just going for basic splash protection which it thinks is enough for most consumers. See also: Moto G4 vs Moto G4 Plus comparison review. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW: SPECS AND PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS As we’ve already mentioned, the G4 Plus is exactly the same size and shape as the regular Moto G4. This means that it has the same 5.5in screen size, despite the likes of Apple and Samsung using plus models for a bigger phone. You might think that perhaps the screen resolution is higher but it’s still Full HD like the cheaper model. We’re not saying it’s a bad thing and the screen is very good quality offering good contrast, colours and viewing angles. As we’ve said, it’s mainly the size that might put some users off so it’s a bit of a shame there isn’t a choice on that front. The G4 Plus uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor as the regular G4. The octa-core CPU (up to 1.5GHz A53 cores) is a nice jump from the Snapdragon 410 previously used and features Cat 7 LTE and Adreno 405 graphics. There’s potentially a big difference if you splash out on the higher-spec model of the Moto G4 Plus which comes with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM which is double the standard model on both fronts. Storage becomes less of an issue due to the inclusion of a Micro-SD card slot which can take up to 128GB. Sadly, we’ve only been able to benchmark the lower spec and you can see the results below. We’re impressed with the performance from a user point of view; the Moto G4 Plus is a smooth operator in general use. You might be a little bit disappointed when it comes to connectivity as although the Moto G4 Plus is more expensive you still only get 11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 and regular Micro-USB. This means there’s no NFC, modern Wi-Fi or other features like USB-Type C. The fingerprint scanner provides extra security but the lack of NFC means you can’t use it with Android Pay which is a shame. It’s fast and accurate most of the time but it’s smaller than most and usually as a small rim around it which feels odd but also helps you locate. What’s strange is that you can’t use it as a home button.
Moto G4 Plus fingerprint scanner
The Plus in the model name doesn’t refer to battery life as the phone also has a 3000mAh battery which is non-removable even though you can take the rear cover off. In our benchmark test the Moto G4 lasts a very decent eight hours and 50 minutes with a score of 3537 which is a decent result. What you do get for your money is the TurboPower charger included in the box which the regular Moto G4 doesn’t come with. Via fast charging you can get ‘6 hours battery life from a short 15 minute charge’; or 25 percent charge going by Motorola’s 24 hour battery life claim. We found it only charged 17 percent in the space of 15 minutes. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW: CAMERAS On paper, photography is one area which might convince you to spend the extra cash on the G4 Plus since it comes with a 16Mp camera compared to 13Mp. It still features an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection and laser autofocus plus a dual-LED (dual tone) flash. You’ll need to shoot in a 4:3 aspect ratio to use all 16Mp as the phone will shoot at 11.9Mp by default. Sadly, in our tests there’s really no visible difference in still photos, even when you crop into a small section so for uploading to social media you’re definitely not going to notice any benefit. Moto G4 Plus camera test It’s disappointing to find that the G4 Plus, like the regular model, is limited to 1080p video recording at 30fps despite the extra resolution. It can also only shoot slow motion 120fps video in a paltry 540p. MOTOROLA MOTO G4 PLUS REVIEW: SOFTWARE AND APPS There’s understandably no difference between the Moto G4 models when it comes to software and the Plus comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. We’re happy to report that Motorola keeps things very much stock so you get a pure user interface experience almost like buying a Nexus phone. Motorola’s thin layer does include some handy features though which are welcome additions. There are basic things like the clock widget which has date and temperature info, but most are found in the Moto app.
Moto G4 Plus software
Head here to find some useful functions which were previously spread across various apps. Now this is a hub for things like Moto Display and Moto Actions. The former allows you to get information on the lockscreen without switching the screen on. You can also set up a time period to keep the screen dark. Moto Actions is a set of optional gestures for quickly doing things like launching the torch or camera app. You can also pick up to answer a call or flip over to enable do not disturb. It’s very much a blank canvas as there are no duplicate apps for things like gallery or messaging. You just get the standard Google selection and then can download the apps you want from the Google Play Store.
OUR VERDICT The Moto G4 Plus is a nice phone but it’s very similar to the regular model. Since we’re disappointed in the camera (with no noticeable difference), it’s not worth paying the extra money to get a fingerprint scanner which can’t even be used with Android Pay since there’s no NFC. The only real reason to opt for the Plus is to gain more storage and the extra RAM which comes with the 64GB model; however, the Micro-SD card slot negates this somewhat
We use 3 different weather providers to deliver accurate local forecasts. The weather forecast comes in real time, hour-by-hour and 10-day, so you can keep track of the local weather conditions in advance.Weather widgets are for those who prefer getting the latest weather updates right on their home screens, and the ultimate customization options let you make your dreams real. As featured on the PhoneArena. Androidpit, AndroidCommunity,Talkandroid,… Weather360 focuses on delivering weather forecast in a material design and beautiful way. Speaking of weather information, using the Weather 360 you get to be notified of weather current temperature, feels like temperature, weather condition, minimum and maximum temperature, Wind speed, precipitation and humidity. To make sure the local predictions are all accurate, Weather 360 uses the 3 best weather providers, Wunderground, forecast.io and World Weather Online, and all you have to do is choosing the provider which does the forecasting for your local weather condition the best. When it comes to the Weather Radar, Weather360 lets you choose between 2 different Radar providers: Windyty and Open Weather Map. Regardless of the Radar you choose, you have access to these features in a map: Clouds, Temperature, Precipitations, Wind, and Sea level Pressure. Weather 360 is also a perfect companion for those who are looking for unique home screens and use minimal weather widgets and clock widgets on their home screens. Once you place a Weather 360 widget to the home screen, you have the option to choose a layout, clock style (both digital and analog), weather icon, and last but not the least, change the color of almost any element in that W360 widget. The weather app itself comes with cool animated weather conditions as one of the most distinguished graphical features of the Weather 360. We have created fun and eye-catching animations for different type of weather conditions, for both days and nights, and we are sure you’ll be enjoying keeping track of the weather in your current location or any other location all around the world. There are unique animations for each type of weather conditions, based on the hour of the day and for instance if it’s pouring rain outside, you’ll feel it inside your Android device.
Weather 360 app
Phone Arena: Weather360 app brings new blood to your dusty homescreen
Android Community: Weather360 gives you a beautified way of looking at weather updates
Droid Views: Weather360 : A Free Material Style Weather App You Must Try
Android Guys: Look at the weather in a beautiful way with Weather 360
andro4all: pronóstico del tiempo con un atractivo diseño para Android
Weather360 Features at a glance:
• Android Wear support to get the weather updates right on your wrist • Supports Android Marshmallow devices • Weather RADAR • Auto Locate (To give you a real time weather information) • Current, Hour-by-hour and 10day weather forecast • Moon Phase (Coming soon) • Material design • Ultimate customization options • Measurement units: Metric (Celsius, Kilometer, meter) or English (Fahrenheit, Mile, Inch) • Change update interval: manual, every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, hour, 2 hours • See weather condition or current temperature in the status bar • Detailed weather forecast and info in the notification panel • Home screen widgets • Online theme store to get new digital clocks, analog clocks, and weather icons packs
• widget sizes for phone and tablets: 1×1, 2×1, 2×2, 4×1, 4×2, 4×3, 4×4 • layouts: Analog clock, Digital clock, Weather condition, Battery percentage, Dual clock, Analog clock & Weather, Dual weather (For 2 different locations), Detailed local weather prediction, Analog clock & Battery status & Weather, Digital clock & Detailed weather, and of course a lot more. • Change the home screen widgets’ transparency
Rocket VPN is a free app for Android that encrypts your data, unblocks geographically restricted content and keeps you anonymous for a safer, better browsing experience. App Name: Rocket VPN [Android App] Cost: Free Developer: Liquidum Rocket VPN is an app that lets Android users encrypt their private mobile data, unblock geographically restricted content, surf fast and anonymously, and avoid being monitored by third parties for the utmost in speed, security and privacy. Stay anonymous and avoid being tracked, even on Wi-Fi networks that aren’t secured. Freely use Whatsapp, Netflix, Youtube, Skype, Facebook, Messenger, Viber, Kik, Snapchat and more, no matter where you are.
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UNBLOCK THE INTERNET – Choose from our worldwide servers to access geographically restricted content no matter where you are. SURF SECURELY – Browse the internet right from Rocket VPN with the new Rocket Browser so you’re always protected. QUICK LAUNCH YOUR APPS -With Rocket Launcher you can create shortcuts to open an app and connect to your preferred location right from Rocket VPN. SECURE YOUR CONNECTION – Protect your data with encryption to keep your personal information safe. PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY – Anonymize your connection and prevent third parties from tracking your identity and location. GUARD YOUR PRIVACY – Lock down your security to block third parties from spying on your web traffic. *Unused bandwidth cannot be carried over to the next month
Apparently, six is overrated. Rumors swirling around the next Samsung Galaxy Note — Samsung’s annual large-screen device with a stylus for navigation and drawing — say its name is jumping from 2015’s Note 5 straight to the Note 7, skipping the Note 6 model entirely.
But even more important than fretting over the Note’s new name is piecing together its identity: What kind of phone will the next Note be? Will it simply iterate off of the Note 5 and S7 that came before, or will it wow us with unforetold (or hinted at and unconfirmed) hardware goodies that shake us from the eyelid-drooping expectations of smartphones today? The most reliable rumors suggest that the Note keeps its 5.7-inch screen, but adds aUSB-C port (they’re all the rage) and an iris scanner for unlocking the phone with your eyes. Let’s take stock of the most telling rumors. (P.S. remember, they’re unsubstantiated, so anything could happen!)
Note 7’s the name
Chronology be damned! The internet agrees, the next Note will be the Galaxy Note 7 and not the Galaxy Note 6, even though 2015’s model was called the Note 5. But who cares about logic when there’s branding at stake? However, this would make for a mini-trend in phones named “7.” Samsung already has the Galaxy S7, and ZTE’s Axon lunged from the Axon to the Axon 7, and now this Note 7 rumor. Why? It could be a desire for Samsung to keep the Galaxy S and Note series in line, or perhaps phone makers have no wish to be left behind the gold standard Apple’s already established and will likely continue when and if it releases its iPhone 7 this fall. And yet, when you count up Notes 1-5 and add in the little-remembered Galaxy Note Edge, this next Note would make the line’s legitimate seventh addition. So there’s that math for ya. We won’t know for sure until Samsung spills the beans, but the company remains tight-lipped for now.
Launch date: Early August instead of late August
Samsung’s Note line has been a mainstay at the IFA conference held in Berlin, Germany in late August, but whispers suggest an early August arrival. Either way, the phone would come ahead of Apple’s yearly iPhone launch in early September, which usually falls in the first two weeks of the month. Twitter tipster Evan Blass, who has built a reputation of accurate leaks, suggests that the phone will start selling around August 15.
Curved display up front
The Note 7’s display will look more like the S7 Edge than the straight-faced Note 5,according to a recent rumour. Anything’s possible, sure, but assuming it’s true, I do wonder two things. Would the screen be just as navigable with the Note’s signature pen? And with so many similarities between the Note 7 and the S7 Edge, the stylus could be the only important feature dividing the two.
Totally new software interface
New software, new name. The TouchWiz interface that Samsung has used for years to differentiate its phones from other Android-makers could see a major overhaul, including a potential name change. We might kiss TouchWiz goodbye and open our arms to Grace, a more paired-down yet interactive take on phone software, shown in an allegedly leaked video (below) from Italian site HD.Blog.IT. It’s suggestive even if you don’t understand a lick of Italiano.
The video goes pretty deep on widgets, and transparent folder effects, but one cool reveal is that you can swipe up on an icon to see a window that opens more cool stuff. Likewise, pressing and holding on a quick-access toggle in the notifications shade may snap open extra options for you to act on, like on the flashlight and Wi-Fi settings. For instance, the video shows that you can lower the flashlight brightness and change your Wi-Fi network without having to exit the notifications pull-down. In essence, this could make the home screen and notifications shade even more of an activities hub than they are now. The photo gallery could expand and condense with a pinch and zoom of your fingertips.
Updated Note software, too
Samsung usually previews its freshest take on its TouchWiz (or maybe Grace) software on the year’s Note release, but the changes go down to the pen level, too. This time, according to the HDBlog.It video above, we could see a lightly refreshed style with different icons, but much the same functionality to handwrite, scribble and navigate with a touch of the S Pen to the screen.
Pressure-sensitive screen? Not too likely
From what I can see in the Italian video above (which cites the build-of-unknown-origin as “Note5”), the Note 7 doesn’t look like it borrows Apple’s pressure-sensitive display, which lets you press and hold until the screen gently jostles to pull up more granular data. Still, this is a persistent rumor, and one we also heard about the Galaxy S7 (it didn’t happen).
Iris scanner for real this time
We’ve also heard tell of an iris scanner that can unlock your phone by staring you in the eye. The iris scanner loomed large in Galaxy S4 rumors, too, but turned out to be a different feature that kept the screen from locking when you looked at it often enough. Now that Microsoft’s iris-scanning “Windows Hello” feature in the Lumia 950 has made the security option a reality, it’s much more likely that Samsung will include a real iris scanner this time around.
Other suspected specs
5-megapixel front-facing camera
IP68 certified against water and dust
64GB of space expandable through a microSD card
USB Type-C port; Quick Charge 3.0
Black, silver, blue colors
What about Android Nougat?
Notably missing from the seething rumor mill is an indication of the Note 7’s operating system. Google’s Android N, revealed this week to be named Android Nougat, isn’t out yet and won’t be until fall, so don’t expect the new Note to debut with the OS. Instead, expect Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with an upgrade later on, at least a few months after Google’s Nexus phones get a chance to show off all that Nougat can do.
Price and availability
As a rule of thumb, Samsung’s prices hover on the higher end of the scale, and a stylus-packing handset like the Note goes for more than a smaller, more mainstream model like the S7. If prices hold from 2015, expect the 64GB version of the Note 7 to sashay out for roughly $800, which converts to roughly £600 and AU$1,080. Prices will vary further by region, carrier, storage capacity and promotional deals. Samsung responded to a request for comment by saying “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”