Tag Archive | "ANDROID"

Duet Display for Android lets you turn an old device into a second screen

You simply cannot have too much screen real estate, that’s a fact. Coming to Android today, Duet Display promises to let you turn that old Android tablet you have lying around into a second screen for your PC or Mac.

Duet has been quite successful on iOS, and over the past months the team behind it worked to make the jump to Android. The app lets your devices act as secondary displays for your laptop or desktop. The beauty of it is the broad compatibility – as of today, Duet Display works on Android, iOS, Chrome OS, Mac, and Windows devices. Whatever combination of platforms you favor, there’s a solid chance you’ll be able to run Duet (except Linux, sorry Linux users, I love Linux).

Duet for Android works on phones or tablets running Android 7.1 or higher. That covers most Android tablets released in the past three years. If you have a Chrome OS device that supports Android apps, it can join in the fun as well.

On the other end, the computer needs to run Mac OS 10.14 or later or Windows 10 and the Duet desktop app. You can connect your Android device either using a USB-C cable (microUSB is sadly not supported) or wirelessly.

Editor’s Pick

Once set up, your Android or Chrome device will work just like a regular secondary monitor. The Duet team promises “stellar performance” with zero lag, regardless of the platforms you use. That said, to ensure lag-free functionality you’ll probably want to use the wired connection.

Duet has long been available on iOS only, and it’s good to see this genuinely helpful app make the jump to our platform of choice. Duet Display normally costs $ 19.99, but for the first week of Android availability you’ll be able to get it for 50% off or $ 9.99.

Other Android apps, like iDisplay, have purported to offer the same functionality as Duet. However, a brief look at iDisplay’s recent user reviews suggests the app is suffering from performance and compatibility issues.

Will you try out this app?

Android Authority

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(Update: available now for some users) Video calling app Duo is finally arriving on Android and iOS

Update, 08:50 AM ET: Duo is now available for some users in the Play Store. Click on the download button bellow to check the availability on your device.

Original post, 2:53 AM ET: One half of the dynamic, um, duo of chat apps that Google introduced at I/O is finally here. Almost.

In a blog post, Google announced that one-to-one video calling app Duo would become available on Android and iOS starting today. The post was published late in the evening (Pacific time), so the app should be rolling out right now.

Currently the Play Store Google Duo listing only gives us the option to pre-register for the app. It’s very likely that Google is rolling Duo out gradually, to avoid virtual traffic jams and iron out any unexpected issues that can arise with a brand new service.

Google highlighted the simplicity of Duo, an app that lacks the bells and whistles of Skype or even Google’s own Hangouts. “Duo takes the complexity out of video calling, so that you can be together in the moment wherever you are,” said the company.

It sounds like Google wants to remove any friction that could potentially prevent users from using video calling – the Mountain View company cited research stating that half of all users never make a video call.

To be as accessible as possible, Duo doesn’t need a separate account. You can start using it with just your phone number, just like WhatsApp.

Simple as it may be, Duo is not completely barebones. One of its coolest features is Knock Knock, which basically lets you see the person who’s calling before picking up. You also get end-to-end encryption, which aligns Google with Facebook and Apple when it comes to protecting user privacy.

Very importantly, Duo works on Android and iOS, which will put it on collision course with Apple’s very popular FaceTime.

We’ll keep an eye on the Google Duo Play Store page and update you as soon as the app becomes available.

Download Duo from the Play Store
Download Duo from the Apple App Store

No word yet on Allo, the text chat app that Google introduced alongside Duo. It can’t be too far behind though.

Anyone here who’s got Duo yet? Let us know!

Android Authority

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Pokémon Go hits 100 million installs on Android, made $200 million in its first month

Pokemon Go Pokemon Team

The Pokémon wave continues to wash across the world, with more regional releases in Central and South America, Asia and Oceania in recent days. While the game’s popularity is on the wane in the U.S., it’s worldwide appeal will last for a long time yet. With each new market, Pokémon Go adds a new spike to its download figures and opens up the potential for a lot more paying players. Pokémon Go has now surpassed 100 million installs in Google Play and reportedly made $ 200 million in its first month of release.

pokemon go 8See also: Pokemon Go increases battery pack sales by 101%31

Making millions daily

To put some of these figures in perspective, we recently reported that Pokémon Go developer Niantic is making $ 10 million per day on the title. Which is not bad at all considering the game’s slow geographical slow rollout.

Now, app analytics firm Sensor Tower is reporting that Pokémon Go made $ 200 million in its first month of availability. As more and more new markets start playing, that monthly revenue figure may continue to grow significantly.

Pokemon Go PokeStop timer

100 million Android installs in a month

Following its launch on July 6, on July 25, Pokémon Go topped 50 million installs on Android and 75 million on iOS and Android combined. One week later on August 2, across both mobile platforms, Pokémon Go topped 100 million installs.

Then, less than one week later, on August 7, Pokémon Go surpassed 100 million installs on Android alone. (In Google Play, you’ll notice that the game now sits in the 100,000,000-500,000,000 install bracket) The game saw its first 50 million Android installs in 19 days. The next 50 million came in half that time. With even more markets opening up that download rate will only continue to accelerate.

While some very large untapped markets remain, in particular India and Africa, some others – including Russia and China – won’t be getting Pokémon Go for some rather comical reasons. Regardless, the game doesn’t look like slowing down anytime soon and will likely earn a billion dollars for Niantic before the end of the year.


How much have you spent on Pokémon Go? Do you think its popularity will slow down or continue to grow?

Android Authority

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Must read: top 10 Android stories

BlackBerry DTEK50 hands on 13

This week we reviewed the ZTE Axon 7, talked about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, rounded up the best new Android apps and games, and much more. Here’s the news of the week.

Who wants to win a Nexus 6P?

The Nexus 6P is still one of the best Android phones on the market. Here’s how you can win one.

10 Android stories we handpicked for you

ZTE Axon 7 review A year after the mysterious Axon Pro, ZTE have launched the Axon 7 with a lot of upgrades and a $ 400 price tag. Is it the best affordable flagship around?

BlackBerry DTEK50 hands-on: the Priv minus the keyboard, essentially It’s been nearly a year since BlackBerry launched the PRIV running Android and now, they’re back again with the DTEK50. Is the phone as lame as its name?

Moto Mods review: blast, power and project in a snap Modularity is the name of the game and Josh takes a closer look at the Moto Mods – great ways to add more capabilities to the Moto Z range… at a price.

The most iconic phone from each manufacturer It’s easy to get caught up in the current smartphone landscape, but every once in awhile we need to look back and remember our history. Join us as we take a look at the most iconic phones from each OEM.

I want to develop Android apps – what languages should I learn? Developing Android apps can be rewarding, both personally and financially. Assuming you have a certain level of technical knowledge then it is possible to develop Android apps yourself. But what programming languages do you need to learn?

10 best new Android games of June 2016 Our own Joe Hindy rounds up the best Android games from June 2016!

10 best new Android apps of June 2016 Every month we update our list of favorite new apps, and this time Joe Hindy has given us a very neat portfolio of great additions to the Google Play Store. Among them are Bitly, Evie, Expeditions, Discogs and more.

Cyanogen OS vs Android: what’s the difference? If you’re at all interested in smartphones, you’ve probably heard of Cyanogen OS. What is it, and how does it differ from Google’s Android? Let’s find out.

Failure to launch: 6 devices we’re still waiting for Crowdfunding has kickstarted a number of great products, but for every success there are some failures. Here are six devices that we are still waiting for.

Lenovo K4 Note review We take a look at one of Lenovo’s new mid-range offerings in this in-depth Lenovo K4 Note review!

You have to watch this

And more: Here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week – July 31, 2016

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Android 7.0 preview leaks for the Huawei P9

Huawei P9 Lite-11

Historically speaking, Huawei hasn’t been the best with updates, taking well over a year to bring the Huawei Mate 7 over to Lollipop. Thankfully, in recent times they’ve gotten a lot more responsive when it comes to updates. If a newly leaked ROM is any indication, Huawei’s future update timeliness is only going to get better. Thanks to a user over at XDA, a leaked beta build of Android Nougat has now arrived for the Huawei P9.

Ordinarily, it might seem a bit early for a new version of Android to leak with so much time left until the official release. But back in April, Google revealed that its Nexus family wouldn’t be the only devices to get a preview build of Android Nougat and announced that Sony’s Xperia Z3 would receive it as well.

Going by the posts over at XDA, as well as YouTube evidence, it looks like Huawei is working with a preview build of Nougat because the leaked files updates the handsets’ stock ROMs instead of flashing it in full. That lines up with what Google and Sony are doing, but it also means you’ll have to fall back to your stock ROM before springing forward with the official version when it releases this fall. And because this leak updates files instead of flashing the ROM, you’ll need to make sure you’re running stock before installing it. The XDA thread includes the P9’s stock files for those running cooked ROMs.

Further supporting the legitimacy, forum users have ran CPU-Z benchmarks and found that, contrary to what’s reported in the About Phone section, the update brings the ROM to version 7.0 and OS kernel version 4.1.18 — and its rocking a security patch from next Friday, Aug. 5. On top of that, there’s the presence of a new version of Huawei’s emotional user interface (EMUI). The changelog for EMUI 5.0 indicates that Huawei is rolling out a multi-user mode, camera optimization and battery management improvements. However, at least one user reported encountering worse battery management.

Are you considering a taste test of Android Nougat of your Huawei handset or have you had your fill of previews on a Z3 or Nexus device?

Android Authority

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Best Chinese Android phones

In 2015, 7 of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers in the world were Chinese OEMs, and apart from their popularity in China, companies like Lenovo, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei, and others have been making in-roads into competitive markets like the US, Europe, and India. We’ve covered these companies and their popular offerings extensively here at Android Authority, and you can check them out in the links below.

However, China is home to a slew of other great smartphone manufacturers as well, that, while quite popular in their home market, aren’t as well-known internationally. That’s certainly not because of the lack of a good product, with devices that offer everything you’d expect from a flagship smartphone, including solid specifications and features, all at a very affordable price point. The phones listed above definitely qualify as some of the best Chinese Android smartphones, but for this roundup, we attempt to showcase some of these lesser-known OEMs and their devices. Let’s take a look!

samsung galaxy s7 review aa (20 of 20)See also: Best Android phones215

Meizu Pro 6

Meizu Pro 6

Meizu may not be as well-known as some of its Chinese counterparts, but the company offers some fantastic smartphones, particularly in the ultra budget-friendly segment. That said, Meizu is making waves with their high-end offerings as well, and only a few months after the release of the Pro 5, comes the company’s latest flagship smartphone, the Meizu Pro 6. The Pro 6 retains the beautiful full metal unibody construction of its predecessor.

It comes with some useful features and hardware, including its own take on Apple’s 3D Touch and Huawei’s Force Touch, called 3D Press, which uses additional force to pull up previews, extra menus, and other hotkey functions. It also comes with a Cirrus Logic CS43L36 audio chip for Hi-Fi audio. The Pro 6 is also the first smartphone to be powered by the deca-core MediaTek Helio X25 processor, and backing it is the Mali-T880MP4 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. Other high-end features include a fingerprint scanner up front, a USB Type-C port (USB 3.1) and mCharge 3.0 fast charging capabilities, and a 21 MP rear camera.

The Meizu Pro 6 is the complete package, with specifications and features to give any current generation flagship a run for its money, but where it has its high-end competition beat is when it comes to price, with the 32 GB model retailing for ¥2,499 (~$ 390) and the 64 GB variant priced at ¥2,799 (~$ 430). Granted, the price will be slightly higher if you’re looking to import the device, but it’ll still be much cheaper the most of its competitors. You can find out more about the Meizu Pro 6 here.


  • 5.2-inch AMOLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423 ppi
  • 2.5 GHz deca-core Helio X25 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32/64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 21 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,560 mAh battery
  • Flyme OS 5.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • 147.7 x 70.8 x 7.3 mm, 160 grams

Read more

Buy now from eBay

Nubia Z9

ZTE Nubia Z9-26

Nubia is a subsidiary of ZTE, and has produced a series of fantastic mid-range to high-end smartphones that are definitely worth checking out. The latest flagship offering from the company is the Nubia Z9, which comes with a solid design and build quality. It’s comprised of a metal and glass unibody construction and sports other top of the line specifications and features that make it a deserving competitor to its high-end brethren.

There are actually three variants of the Z9 available. While all three are powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, the Classic version comes with 3 GB of RAM, while the Elite and Exclusive iterations feature 4 GB of RAM. The Exclusive edition also comes with a fingerprint scanner, which isn’t available with the other two options. One of the standout features of this device is the display, which comes with a slightly raised 2.5D glass panel on top with curves along the edges that allows for a bezel-less look and feel which is sure to turn heads. Of course, the Full HD display also provides a fantastic viewing experience, with bright, vivid colors, high brightness, and good viewing angles.

The Nubia Z9 is a powerful device with a beautiful design, great display, solid battery life, and other specifications and features that make it among the best smartphones of 2015. On the pricing front, the Z9 is priced quite similarly to its flagship competition, and is one of the more expensive devices on this list, but is certainly worth every penny.


  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 423 ppi
  • 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM (Classic edition), 4 GB of RAM (Elite and Exclusive editions)
  • 32 GB (Classic edition), 64 GB (Elite and Exclusive editions) of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 16 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 2,900 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 147.4 x 68.3 x 8.9 mm, 192 grams

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

Elephone P9000

elephone p9000-1

Elephone is another Chinese device manufacturer that is gaining a reputation for offering solid, mid-range to high-end smartphones at a fraction of the price when compared to its competitors. The latest smartphone from the company, the P9000, is one such device that strikes the perfect balance between specifications and price, and is definitely a phone worth keeping in mind.

The Elephone P9000 features a design that goes far beyond what its price point would suggest, with its metal frame and nearly bezel-less front. The black version of the device comes with a sand paper-like finish on the back that helps with the grip and handling experience, but can take some getting used to. Continuing with the trend of boasting features beyond its price point, the P9000 is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor, backed by the Mali-T860 GPU and 4 GB of RAM. There is also a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a useful addition is an extra button on the side that apart from acting as a way to silence the device easily, works as a hotkey to quickly launch a preset application.

When considering all that the Elephone P9000 has to offer, what proves to be most impressive is the fact that this phone is currently priced at just $ 245, which is significantly cheaper than any smartphone that the Elephone P9000 may call its competition. If network compatibility and other considerations aren’t negative factors, the P9000 is definitely a device worth considering.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 2 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 32 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 256 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,000 mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Buy now from Amazon

Lenovo Vibe P1 Turbo


Lenovo has been making a name for itself with some fantastic mid-range offerings, one of which is the Vibe P1 Turbo. The Vibe P1 Turbo isn’t actually all that different from the Vibe P1, with the Turbo moniker indicating just an additional gig of RAM. All other specifications and features remain the same, and we can only assume Lenovo released two variants to compensate for different markets.

Speaking of specifications, the Vibe P1 Turbo comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, which is backed by the Adreno 405 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. The device comes with a fingerprint sensor up front, which is works quite well, but may not be as fast as some other scanners out there. The Vibe P1 Turbo is a mid-range smartphone through and through, but its biggest selling point is its huge 5,000 mAh battery which allows for at least 2 days of battery life comfortably.

The Lenovo Vibe P1 Turbo is relatively affordable as well, currently priced at $ 357. So if you are looking for a solid mid-range smartphone with a beautiful design, decent specifications, and great battery life, the Vibe P1 Turbo could be the device for you.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 1.5 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor
  • 3 GB of RAM
  • 32 GB internal storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 5,000 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 152.9 x 75.6 x 9.9 mm, 189 grams

Read more

Pre-order now from Lenovo



ZUK is a Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer that is backed by Lenovo, and the companies first effort, the ZUK Z1, is a solid mid-range smartphone that runs Cyanogen. Under the hood, the ZUK Z1 comes with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, backed by the Adreno 330 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, which continues to be a reliable processing package, and using it is a smart move on the part of ZUK.

The ZUK Z1 doesn’t pack a whole lot in terms of extras, but does come with a fingerprint scanner up front, which is as fast as accurate as expected. As is the case with other mid-range smartphones from Lenovo, including the Vibe P1 Turbo above, the big selling point of this device is the large 4,100 mAh battery that it packs, that allows for 2 days of battery life quite comfortably with average use. Of course, its other attractive feature is its software package, with the phone running Cyanogen OS 12.1, based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The highly-customizable software package is one of the most liked around, and perfectly complements the older processor to allow for a smooth and snappy experience.

The Lenovo ZUK Z1 is currently priced at $ 300, so if you are looking for a reliable smartphone with decent specifications, great software experience, and fantastic battery life, the ZUK Z1 is a good choice.


  • 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 64 GB of on-board storage, no microSD card expansion
  • 13 MP rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 4,100 mAh battery
  • Cyanogen OS 12.1 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 155.7 x 77.3 x 8.9 mm, 175 grams

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

honor 7


Huawei has a slew of mid-range and high-end smartphones, and the company continues to expand their portfolio with new devices ever so often. One such series is the honor line, which falls under the “premium but affordable” segment, with one of the best options from the series being the honor 7.

The honor 7 was the first smartphone of the series that made the move to a full metal unibody construction, and the backing comes with a ceramic-like finish that counters the slipperiness that is usually associated with metal phones. Under the hood, the honor 7 packs an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor, clocked at 2.2 GHz, and backed by the Mali-T628 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. And with the software optimized for their in-house processing package, you get a smooth and snappy experience overall. There aren’t a lot of extras in terms of hardware, but there is a fingerprint scanner on the back that works very well.

The honor 7 is another solid offering that gets a lot right with its beautiful display, impressive battery life, fantastic fingerprint scanner, good camera, and useful additions like the swipe gestures and the SmartKey button. The device is currently available for around $ 400.


  • 5.2-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, 424 ppi
  • 2.2 GHz octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 935 processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 16/64 GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128 GB
  • 20 MP rear camera, 8 MP front camera
  • Non-removable 3,100 mAh battery
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 143.2 x 71.9 x 8.5 mm, 157 grams

Read more

Buy now from Amazon

So, there you have it for this roundup of some of the best Chinese Android smartphones! Of course, there are numerous other Chinese OEMs with great devices out there, and we will be sure to keep this list updated. One thing worth keeping in mind is that if you do consider picking up any of these smartphones, don’t forget to first check about network compatibility, as you may have trouble getting access to 4G LTE networks with these devices depending on your home market. If that isn’t an issue, all of the smartphones listed above are fantastic options from OEMs that have been flying under the radar, and are definitely good choices to make.

Next: Best cheap Android phones

Android Authority

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HoloFlex is prototype Android smartphone with a flexible display and glasses-free 3D

The world’s first holographic flexible smartphone has arrived. Researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University have created an Android device that can not only display objects three-dimensionally without the use of glasses or head tracking, but it also takes advantage of bendable screen technology to allow for depth input. The device, called the HoloFlex, is still clearly a prototype, but it’s a strong foreshadowing of the direction mobile tech might take in the future.

Royole super thin OLED displaySee also: The only thing stopping flexible displays from taking over is that no one is making them21


“HoloFlex offers a completely new way of interacting with your smartphone,” said Dr. Roel Vertegaal, the director of the Human Media Laboratory. “It allows for glasses-free interactions with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user.” Content displayed on the phone appears three dimensional when viewed from any angle by any number of viewers. The press release explains how this device works thusly:

HoloFlex features a 1920×1080 full high-definition Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touchscreen display. Images are rendered into 12-pixel wide circular blocks rendering the full view of the 3D object from a particular viewpoint. These pixel blocks project through a 3D printed flexible microlens array consisting of over 16,000 fisheye lenses. The resulting 160 x 104 resolution image allows users to inspect a 3D object from any angle simply by rotating the phone.

The video showcasing the device’s capabilities includes a demonstration of the Z-axis bend input feature being used to move around parts of a 3D rendered model. Furthermore, a 3D version of Angry Birds shows how the bend capability can be used to pull back the slingshot, with haptic feedback simulating the tension in the slingshot’s strap. When the bird goes flying at the pig in a parabolic arc, the model appears to rise in the Z-axis above the surface of the phone in a parabolic arc.

holoflex AngryBirds

The HoloFlex will be officially unveiled at ACM CHI 2016 this coming Monday. Here’s hoping that someone snags some VR footage of this clever creation, because 2D video doesn’t quite do it justice. What do you think of the HoloFlex? Is this the direction smartphones are going to go, or are bendable screens and 3D just a passing novelty? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Next: Samsung doubles down on flexible OLED production in advance of new iPhones

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PlanetPron app for Android updated with Material Design (NSFW)

Before we go any further, please be aware that this post is about a porn app being updated, which some readers may find offensive. You have been warned.

There’s really no beating around the bush about what PlanetPron is all about; it’s an app designed to look at adult pictures and videos, plain and simple, but the app is currently undergoing a big update, so it’s certainly worth highlighting. We first talked about this app in our best adult apps roundup, praising the app for being one of the best of its kind. That was mostly down to its content, however, not design. Now PlanetPron is catching up in that department as well.

Material Design is prominent in PlanetPron and this is seen from the outset when launching the app. You’re greeted with a home screen that consists of a grid of content packed with high-resolution thumbnails of the content itself. We’ll ignore the irony present here that one is observing and appreciating the app design and layout, as opposed to the actual content. Simply tap a thumbnail on the grid to be taken to that image or video in a new window and you’ll find the usual comments, sharing, and rating icons.

PlanetPron also Features an app locking feature that works with a PIN or the Marshmallow fingerprint API to keep the app away from prying eyes. Privacy is continued as you can configure the app to time-out and also even change the app icon to further hide it on your device.

Of course the app isn’t on the Google Play Store, so you’ll need to download it directly from the app maker. That means you also need to allow the installation of apps from unknown sources in order for this to work.

Download PlanetPron

Android Authority

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Forget battery life, get Ambient Display notifications on any device – Android customization

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

We’re taking a little break from our Android Wear projects on our Android customization series, we were going to return to root tips, tools and tricks this week, but our project will work on most any phone or tablet. We’d like to take a look at a feature that is found on only a few devices today, and make it work on any Android phone or tablet.

The idea is simple, many new devices with AMOLED displays come equipped with a feature called Ambient Display, simply turning the display on for a few seconds to show you new notifications. This is a handy feature, one that is predominantly reserved for devices with AMOLED displays simply for battery preservation purposes.

Like I said, forget about battery life, we want the feature on our old-school Nexus tablet. For this we turn to our old friend, Tasker, and the plug-in Secure Settings.

Before we begin

You will require a fairly modern device to follow along today, we are having success with Marshmallow and Lollipop devices, but not as much luck on an older KitKat device. Go ahead and install Tasker and Secure Settings, Tasker is $ 2.99 in the Google Play Store and Secure Settings is free with in-app purchases to unlock extra functions.
Secure Settings – Google Play StoreTasker – Google Play Store

Ambient Display on your Android phone or tablet

Before we jump in, I just wanted to say again, Ambient Display is made for AMOLED displays because the display tech only turns on the pixels required to display the minimal message, using very little battery to do so. Our project today will need to completely turn on your display, this will eat a great deal of your battery throughout the day, especially if you configure exactly as I will be.

Related reading: Real time battery drain warnings

If battery life is not of concern, good, let’s get started.

Open up Tasker and start a new Task, let’s call it “AmbientNotification

Tap the “+” button to add your first action.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Select Plugin.

Select Secure Settings.

Tap the pencil Configuration button.

Expand Actions.

Select Wake Device.

Change the Duration to an amount of time that makes sense for you. Remember your battery life.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Click Save at the top.

Tap the system Back button a couple times, we’re done with the Task, let’s now create the associated Profile.

Head over to the Profiles tab and start a new Profile.

Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Select Event.

Select UI.

Select Notification.

Tap on the spaceship icon to the right of Owner Application.

Tap the All button in the bottom right, or choose your desired apps to have turn on the display.

Tap the system Back button twice again to save and exit to the next step.

Select your Ambient Notification Task from the list.


Tasker Ambient Display Notification

Wait, the whole point of Ambient Display is to show you your latest incoming notification, good thing we already handled this in a previous project:

Create your own popup notifications using Tasker

Finally, you’ll need to turn off your display for this to work, obviously. But before it does, please consider the extra security settings that you’ll need to grant to Tasker and Secure Settings.

Tasker Android Wear

I might have told you this in the first place, sorry, head into your main system settings, go to Security -> Device administrators and grant Tasker and Secure Settings admin access. When that’s done, head over to the Sound & notification settings to grant Notification access for Tasker. If you follow along after the break, you’ll want to also go into App notifications and make Tasker a Priority.

Tasker Android Wear

What’s next

Just for the fun of it I decided to pop up a Tasker notification along with this ambient display project. it serves no point except proof of concept. You could, however, work with our Android Wear project from last week. You can handle yours so that it provides an actionable card on your smartwatch. Like, maybe a button to dismiss this ambient display so it does not eat so much battery.

Tasker Popup notification Project

Now that, hopefully, your creative juices are flowing, remember that we took the fairly obvious notifications as our trigger to turn on the display. You could dive deep and consider many other things to pop on the display, remember that you can use Tasker and Secure Settings to bypass the lock, then display a Tasker Scene to show off any info you’d like.

Here’s a cool project I just thought up, but won’t be building for myself, pair your phone and your tablet (or WiFi camera and tablet) so that with each shot you take the photo pops up for a few seconds on the tablet. This will rely on network traffic and probably a combination of services like Dropbox and IFTTT, but I believe in you.

Next week

I hope this little Ambient Display trick on your Android device was useful for you, next week on our Android customization series will be something fairly similar. Perhaps a different project, but we’ll continue with these tools next week, we are, after all, huge fans of Tasker.

Have you noticed any significant battery drain changes after created your own Ambient Display project on your non-AMOLED Android device?

More Android customization projects:

Android Authority

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10 best fighting games for Android

soulcalibur best fighting games for android
Fighting games may not be the most popular genre anymore, but the people who still love the genre are among the most loyal of any gamers. Unfortunately, fighting games haven’t been as rampant on Android as many would’ve hoped and there aren’t many amazing options available. That said, we found some of the best fighting games for Android that we’d like to share with you.

brothers clash of fighters best fighting games for androidBrothers: Clash of Fighters

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Brothers: Clash of Fighters is a simplistic fighting game where you must knock out your opponent. Matches take place in a variety of arenas and the controls are easy enough to learn. It boasts mostly fictional characters and the game revolves almost entirely around strike moves as there really isn’t a grapple function available in the game. It features arcade mode, tournament mode, combos, finishers, and daily quests to give you something to do. It’s a decent fighter if you don’t mind simplicity.

Get it now on Google Play!

fighting tiger liberal best fighting games for androidFighting Tiger – Liberal

[Price: Free]
Fighting Tiger – Liberal is a free fighting game that plays a little bit like an action game. You start in an area and you must beat up a number of opponents instead of just one. The mechanics are predominately fighting with grapples, special moves, and combos to help you along the way. It also features a number of fighting styles, weapons, and more that you can use to beat up the bad guys. It has a campaign mode where you must save your girlfriend and fight for your life to survive. Not bad for a completely free game.

Get it now on Google Play!

injustice gods among us best fighting games for androidInjustice: Gods Among Us

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Injustice: Gods Among Us has been one of the most popular fighting games out there for a couple of years now. In the game, you grab a team of your favorite DC Comics characters and take on opponents. Your team consists of three heroes and you battle until your whole team is exhausted. The controls kind of suck as you’ll only be required to pay attention long enough to swipe and tap (similar to Mortal Kombat X), but at least there is a ton of content to keep you busy. If you require combos and controls, you’ll likely want to avoid this one.

Get it now on Google Play!

iron kill robot fighting game best fighting games for androidIron Kill: Robot Fighting Game

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Iron Kill: Robot Fighting Game has been around for a while and has a bit of a lame name, but it’s a decent fighter. It allows you to pick a robot and go head to head against other robots. Much like the fighting games of old, there is a branched storyline you can play through. You can also level up your robot to become more powerful. It has a variety of events, including league wars, restricted fights, and limited time events to keep things interesting. It’s not the most complex game ever, but it’s definitely serviceable.

Get it now on Google Play!

punch boxing 3d best fighting games for androidPunch Boxing 3D

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Punch Boxing 3D is the first of a few boxing games on this list which are technically fighting games. As with most boxing games, the game play is a bit slower than combo fighters and you rely more on block and strike moves rather than movement. The graphics are alright and the controls seem to function as intended which makes this a solid game to try out. You can level up your character by fighting at the gym and there are a variety of accessories you can unlock as well. It’s a bit simple, but still fun.

Get it now on Google Play!

best escape games for androidSee also: The best Android games, ever!164

real boxing 2 rocky best fighting games for androidReal Boxing 2 Rocky

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Real Boxing 2 Rocky is the successor to the hit boxing title Real Boxing. The mechanics and graphics are on par, if not slightly improved over the original game in the series. In this one, you have the added bonus of being able to play as Rocky Balboa which is nice for fans of the movies. The game features boss fights, various boxing styles, unlockable items to improve your performance, the ability to create your own fighter, and real-time PvP against online opponents.

Get it now on Google Play!

real steel best fighting games for androidReal Steel series

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Real Steel is a series of fighting games by Reliance Big Entertainment. As the name subtly suggests, these games have you fighting robots against each other. There are three games in the series in total and they’re all still getting regular updates from developers which is a really good sign. These games feature online PvP mode, dozens of robots to choose from, and a variety of game modes and types for you to engage with. It’s a pretty good fighting game series and it’s worth checking out.

Get it now on Google Play!

samurai showdown ii best fighting games for androidSamurai Showdown II

[Price: $ 2.99]
Samurai Showdown II is one of the few “pure” combo fighting games on Android. It has a single cost so there are no freemium traps to get boggled up in. It comes with 15 characters that you can play with along with an expansive list of movies, special moves, and other mechanics. It also has two control schemes so you can play casually or for real if you prefer. It also comes with local online multiplayer over Bluetooth if your friends have the game installed. It’s a classic and, along with SOULCALIBUR, are the only two console ported fighting games worth playing until the developers of Street Fighter IV release the game worldwide.

Get it now on Google Play!

snk playmore the king of fighters best fighting games for androidSNK Playmore collection

[Price: Free with in-app purchases, Free, $ 2.99]
SNK Playmore is a developer studio that has a history of releasing decent fighting games. Their series, known as The King of Fighters, has a number of good games in the series, listed by year. You can pick up The King of Fighters 97, 98, 2012, and 2012(F), denote a free version of the game. All four titles are solid fighting games that hold true to the traditional fighters such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Each one has its own set of mechanics, characters, and storylines to play through. Click the link below to check out SNK Playmore’s entire collection!

Get it now on Google Play!

soul calibur best fighting games for androidSOULCALIBUR

[Price: $ 13.99]
SOULCALIBUR is a classic console fighting game from one of the better fighting game franchises that ever existed. This is a complete port of the first installment of the series and features all of the characters, game modes, storyline, and controls from the first game. The touch screen controls work well and it doesn’t take long until you’re belting out combos. The five game modes and 19-character cast helps keep it interesting. It’s one of the more faithful console ports that we’ve ever seen and it’s worth a shot if you don’t mind the price.

Get it now on Google Play!

Related best app lists:

If we missed any of the best fighting games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! On a note to the developers of To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Android Authority

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