Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

2016 will surely be entered in the annuls of history as annus horribilis. But for the Android world at least, the tragic lows have been counterbalanced by equally euphoric highs. From the emergence of the outstandingly good Pixel phones at the expense of the Nexus program to the all-too-brief reign of the Galaxy Note 7, the year has been bittersweet. In what can only be described as one of the most tumultuous years for Android on record, here are ten defining moments of 2016.

See also:

15 best Android apps released in 2016

20 hours ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall

Easily the biggest Android event of 2016, the global sales halt and subsequent total recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was the Android story of the year. It had everything: the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, explosions, mystery and arguably the best Android phone ever to have graced our pockets. As unfortunate as it was unprecedented, the Galaxy Note 7 recall will remain a black spot on 2016 not only for Samsung but for Android in general.

Google gets in the hardware game and Nexus dies

If you had asked most Android fans a year ago (at peak Nexus 6P popularity) if they’d want to drop the Nexus program in favor of Google-built hardware, you’d probably have been lucky to get more than one hand in ten raised. But Google clearly thought it was a good move and graced us with the Pixel phones this year, sadly at the expense of the Nexus program. Nexus fans are justifiably miffed, but there’s no denying the Pixel has proven it was a risky bet that has already paid off in spades.

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

CyanogenMod breathed its last

Almost as long as there has been Android there has been CyanogenMod, with the custom ROM even pre-dating the Nexus program. But Steve Kondik took some risks that unfortunately didn’t pay off as well as Google’s Pixel punt. Arguably getting mixed up with folks he would have been better off avoiding, the fate of the various Cyanogen properties has looked grim for a while now. The recent announcement that Cyanogen Inc. will shut its doors by December 31 demolished the infrastructure of CM with it, marking the end of an era. Thankfully the soul of CM will live on as Lineage OS.

“Cheap” phones got redefined, again

The definition of a “cheap” Android phone has been steadily rewritten in recent years, perhaps starting with the game-changing Moto G. That same impulse – offering rock solid performance at a rock bottom price – has officially reached the mid-range too, with more and more “high-end” phones priced like mid-rangers. Despite diminutive price tags, these phones deliver similar specs and performance as their more expensive competition. The honor 8, OnePlus 3 and ZTE Axon 7 are obvious examples in 2016, a year when an awesome phone no longer had to be an expensive phone.

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

The Xiaomi Mi Mix shows OEMs what users want

Xiaomi has never really been known for its original smartphone design, fitting comfortably into that dated Chinese approach of cloning popular device designs. But all that changed with the Mi Mix, a concept phone that took everyone by surprise, not least because it miraculously avoided being leaked in advance of its announcement. A phone this cool, this futuristic, has been on every Android fans mind for years, and while we’ve seen similar phones before, the Mi Mix will be remembered as the phone that ushered in the era of the bezel-less smartphone.

Pokemon Go takes the world by storm

To say Pokemon Go has had a troubled childhood would be an understatement. If it were a teen idol it would’ve been in rehab twice by now. But despite a painfully slow global rollout, launching in a bizarre half-finished state with nowhere near enough server infrastructure, requiring a permanent connection to a battery pack and offending its most dedicated fans at almost every turn, Pokemon Go was the game of 2016. Augmented reality has been around for years, but it wasn’t until Pokemon Go that regular folks fully understood what it was. That, and it made $600 million in a couple of months.

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

Nokia sells its brand to HMD Global

Nokia finally gave up the hardware ghost after a misguided OS bet on Windows Phone that resulted in Microsoft selling off the company for spare parts in early 2016. Fortunately, the branding rights to the Nokia name went to a newly-formed company called HMD Global Oy, a hastily constructed mishmash of Nokia veterans committed to keeping the flame alive. With tons of experience and a deep-seated love for the Nokia of old under their belts, HMD is promising new Nokia-branded devices in 2017. They’ll be running Android and will have the whole world watching when they are eventually unveiled at MWC 2017.

BlackBerry sells its brand to TCL

With the Priv, BlackBerry presented itself as a potential Android manufacturer to pay attention to. But the Priv didn’t quite fly and the next couple of Android-based follow ups were equally overpriced. With one last BlackBerry-built device planned for 2016, the company has now sold its naming rights to TCL Communications, meaning come 2017 there will be no more BlackBerry-designed devices from the iconic Canadian company. BlackBerry will now focus on software, security and enterprise and TCL will take a punt at getting BlackBerry-branded hardware up and running on Android.

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

OnePlus returns to form, twice

When OnePlus’ follow up to the breakout OnePlus One failed to even outdo 2015 flagships, it looked like the company’s “flagship killer” promise might have been misguided. But with lesson in humility learned, OnePlus returned with a vengeance in 2016, delivering outstanding phones in both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. OnePlus offended a lot of its core fans by releasing an updated device just a few months after the first, but OnePlus has practically turned stepping on toes into an art form. And when the results are as good as the OnePlus 3T, a few bruised toes are a small price to pay.

Project Ara dies and modules face an uncertain future

For a while it looked like 2016 might be the year of the module. With Project Ara on the horizon, the LG G5‘s modular slot design and the Moto Z‘s magnetic version, modules had officially arrived. But then no one bought the G5 or its Friends, Project Ara got scrapped entirely and Moto Mods found themselves the only residents left in an overpriced graveyard populated by ghosts. Lenovo may now be the best company doing modules, but it might also be the only company doing them next year.

2016 in review: 10 defining moments in the world of Android

Bonus mention: Android apps on Chrome OS

This may not have registered too highly on most folks’ radar this year, but bringing the million-plus Android apps to Chrome OS devices suddenly made Chromebooks even more compelling. Already massively popular for offering great performance at an almost laughably low price, Chromebooks have already become the default option for education and business, with Chromebooks outselling Macs for the first time in 2016. With Google Play’s massive app library now available, Chrome OS and Chromebooks are only going to get bigger.

Wrap up

2016 was a year of game-changing events: from the end of CyanogenMod, Nexus and Project Ara to imminent rebirths for BlackBerry, Nokia and Lineage OS. Affordable phones held their own against expensive rivals better than they ever have before and finally all major flagships raised the bar on camera performance. Google Now/Now on Tap essentially got supplanted by Google Assistant, AR and AI was everywhere and tablets and smartwatches were nowhere.

Qualcomm became reliable again, Alphabet was briefly the most valuable company in the world and Samsung’s crown prince finally ascended to the board of directors before losing face in the wake of the South Korean presidential impeachment scandal. Nougat arrived, the Note 7 departed and we all looked like idiots in VR headsets (when we weren’t busy talking to our speakers that is).

HTC, Sony and Moto largely dropped off the radar, only to be replaced by Pixel, Huawei and Xiaomi. Headphone ports became an endangered species, smartwatches saw signs of life with Google promising new Android Wear 2.0 watches in early 2017 and everyone and their dog ran beta previews for Android 7.0. It was a wild rollercoaster of a year, no doubt, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

What did we miss and what are you predicting for 2017?

Pokémon Go’s new holiday event will help you hatch more creatures

0

The augmented reality game Pokémon Go will begin its latest holiday event on Monday, December 25. The event will give players a better chance to find and hatch some of the new Pokémon creatures that were recently added to the game.

See also:

How to find Pokemon in Pokemon Go

October 10, 2016

From December 25 to January 3, 2017, the game’s PokéStops will award one single-use Incubator each day after the player’s first Photo Disc spin. There should be a better chance of finding Eggs that hatch the new Togepi, Pichu, and other new creatures in the game during the same time period. Also, the special Pikachu wearing fun “festive” hats will continue to show up during the event.

There will also be a New Year’s event that will begin on December 30 and run through January 8, 2017. Niantic Labs says there should be a better chance of catching a number of rarer creatures like Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard, Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise in the game. Finally, the game will increase the time for its Lure Modules from 30 to 60 minutes.

Will these temporary holiday changes make you go back and play Pokémon Go if you haven’t played it recently? Let us know in the comments!

Get it at Google Play

Study: Pokemon GO increases physical activity, but not for very long

0

Unlike most mobile games, Pokemon GO gets you off the couch and out the door. In addition to being fun, the game can also increase your physical activity. People from all over the world have been bragging about how much more active they are thanks to Pokemon GO. If you have a Pokemon GO playing friend, you no doubt would have already heard all about the fitness benefits of playing the game.

That may be true, but only to a point. Well, at least according to the interesting study that was recently published by The British Medical Journal. Researchers from Harvard University have conducted an online survey among 1,182 US citizens aged 18 to 35 years. The purpose of the study was to figure out if players really are more active thanks to Pokemon GO.

See also:

Pokémon GO gets more Pokémon added

3 days ago

Out of the 1,182 participants in the survey, 560 were avid Pokemon GO players, while the rest (622) had not downloaded or played the game. The researchers tracked and compared the activity — steps taken daily — of both groups four weeks before downloading the game, with the number of steps taken during the first six weeks of playing.

The data shows that before downloading the game, both groups took roughly the same number of steps on a daily basis. But as soon as participants started playing the game, things changed. In the first week, the playing group took 955 extra steps per day on average, which translates into 11 minutes of additional walking. Meanwhile, the non-playing group’s activity level did not change.

Apparently, Pokemon GO really does increase people’s physical activity. But unfortunately, the game wasn’t able to keep its players motivated for long. According to the study, the number of steps among the playing group returned back to pre-download levels within six weeks. The reason for this is that some stopped playing Pokemon GO, while others simply decreased their playing time and therefore took fewer steps.

So, there you have it. The study shows that Pokemon GO does indeed have an effect on players’ physical activity, but only for a short period of time. But this is only to be expected, as people tend to get bored easily and quickly move on to the next best thing. Pokemon GO was never going to maintain the fever pitch of its initial popularity for long.

It must also be noted that this study was part of the BMJ‘s year end research, which typically aims more for entertainment value than hard science, so your mileage may vary. If you’ve moved on from Pokemon GO and are looking for a new game to play, including those that don’t ask you to leave the couch, then be sure to check out our list of the best Android games of 2016.

Are you a lot more active than usual when playing Pokemon GO? Or do you simply do less walking outside the game?

Pokémon Go is coming to India tomorrow

0

Five months after it was first released, Pokémon Go is now headed to India thanks to a partnership between developer Niantic and telecoms company Reliance Jio. The augmented reality (AR) title, initially released July 6, will arrive for free to Android and iOS in India on Wednesday, December 14.

“We are delighted to partner with Jio to launch Pokémon Go in India. It’s exciting to see Pokémon fans in India step out and explore their neighbourhoods in search of Pokémon and Jio’s disruptive high-speed 4G LTE Network will be an excellent way to experience the game,” said Niantic’s CEO John Hanke in a statement.

Reliance Jio will also deliver an exclusive Pokémon Go channel to its messaging app to help players communicate, while its Reliance Digital (and partner) stores will become in-game PokéStops and gyms. Further, Reliance Jio is offering new users free data until March 31, 2017, which could prove useful for players of the persistently online Pokémon Go.

See also:

Pokémon Go is getting more Pokémon today

22 hours ago

“With over 500 million downloads globally, we are excited to launch Pokémon Go officially in India on the Reliance Jio network. Our partnership with Niantic not only brings access to the Pokémon Go app but also opens the door to more opportunities for our customers to enjoy content on Jio’s one-of-a-kind mobile broadband network,” said Reliance Jio president Mathew Oommen.

Pokémon Go will be available to download from the Play Store at the link from tomorrow.

Pokémon Go is getting more Pokémon today

0

As promised last week, developer Niantic Labs has revealed some details about the new Pokémon that are now available to find and catch in its augmented reality game, Pokémon Go. The bad news is that the game won’t be adding 100 new creatures at once, despite hints in the game’s code that were discovered a few weeks ago.

See also:

How to find Pokémon in Pokémon Go

October 10, 2016

The “new” creatures are actually ones that should be familiar to hardcore Pokémon fans. They were originally introduced in the Pokémon Gold and Silver games for Nintendo’s Game Boy. Niantic says the new creatures include Togepi and Pichu, plus a number of others that the developer is not revealing yet. They can be acquired by going to PokéStops to collect Eggs which can then hatch to reveal the new Pokémon. In addition, more creatures will be added to find and catch in the game over the next few months.

Pokémon Go has also kicked off an in-game holiday event by putting in limited edition versions of Pikachu that will be wearing a “festive hat”. These limited Pikachu creatures will be available to spot from now until December 29.

Will you be going to your local PokéStops to find and collect the new creatures in Pokémon Go?

Get it at Google Play

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly

Welcome to the 169th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Niantic and Starbucks have announced a collaboration. Over the course of the coming weeks, 7800 Starbucks locations will be turned into either a Gym or a PokeStop. This comes just a couple of weeks after a similar Sprint deal that saw 10000 stores join the ranks of PokeStops or Gyms. Additionally, Starbucks will be selling a Pokemon Go Frappuccino. This is just in time for the massive December update that promises more Pokemon along with more features.
  • Pandora has finally announced a relative release date for their Pandora Premium service. For those who don’t know, the service is going be much like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and others. It’ll have on-demand access to a larger music library, playlists, and more. It’ll still have some features of the original app. Pandora is launching the service sometime in early 2017. We don’t know how much it’ll cost, but we’re guessing it’ll be the standard $9.99 like most services.
  • Google Play is reportedly testing a new and separate apps and games section in the Google Play Store. Currently, both are in the same spot in the Play Store. Earlier this year, Google started removing the games from the app section of the top charts. This seems to be a natural continuation of that effort. We don’t know if it’s rolling out to everyone or if it’s just an A/B test, but it would be really nice if it did.
  • A while back, Sony teased that they could be getting into the mobile gaming fray. This week, they officially announced that they are working on ten mobile games. ForwardWorks will be developing and releasing all ten games. That is a company that Sony set up specifically to make mobile games based on PlayStation IP. The release date is set for 2017 for all ten games. In a surprise twist, Square Enix will also be collaborating on a game with Sony next year as well.
  • Google has officially opened up Google Home for app development. The platform should allow developers to integrate new voice commands into their apps to make it compatible with Home. A few developers are already working on it, including Yahoo, Dominos, CNBC, and others. Google will also be adding in additional features over time. Some examples are the ability to purchase things or book things like airplane flights.i

For even more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you’ll find a whole bunch of information that we didn’t have space for here. You can also sign up for the newsletter using the form below and we’ll send it out every Sunday. Don’t forget to check out the Android Authority app!

Android Apps Weekly
Subscribe to the Apps Weekly newsletter.

Apollo Justice Ace Attorney

[Price: $15.99]
The cult classic courtroom sim from Capcom has hit Android! Apollo Justice Ace Attorney was released this last week to critical acclaim. The game is the fourth in the series which is a bit odd but that isn’t a bit issue. It has been faithfully ported with all of the game play of the original. The controls have, of course, been adapted to mobile for easier play. It costs exactly one arm and one leg at $15.99, but there are no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyPayPal Business

[Price: Free]
PayPal Business was quietly released by PayPal last week. As the name implies, the app was made for business owners. It has a variety of business-oriented features, including the ability to manage invoices, send invoices, transfer money, access customer information, and you can even manage sales and account activity. It has a simple design that is quite easy to use. It’s also complete free. You could do a lot worse than this if you run a business out of PayPal.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyDawn of Titans

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Dawn of Titans is a new strategy game. Okay, it’s not exactly new. It was soft launch months ago. The game was officially launched this week. This game shares a lot of mechanics with other large scale war games and strategy games. The difference is that this one looks pretty good. You build and command a giant army that you’ll have fighting against massive titans. It has the usual array of stuff, including daily quests, events, and campaigns that you can engage with. It’s a freemium game, but it’s worth a shot if you don’t hate those.

Download now on Google Play!


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyTrusted Contacts

[Price: Free]
Trusted Contacts is a new app from Google that tells other people your location. Thankfully, it’s only when you want it to. The app works by allowing you to define a number of trusted contacts. Those contacts can request your location at will. If you don’t respond in a reasonable time frame, the app will let them know where you are. It’s great for emergency situations, natural disasters, and especially for families. It’s also completely free.

Download now on Google Play!

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly


5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps WeeklyBully

[Price: $6.99]
Bully was originally released by Rockstar Games back in 2006. Like its Grand Theft Auto titles, it received its fair share of controversy but had a loyal cult following anyway. Now, the game is on Android. For those who never played, it’s an open world adventure game where you play as a kid. Your goal is to complete various missions, go to class, and engage in various other activities. It’s relatively inexpensive at $6.99 and it has no in-app purchases.

Download now on Google Play!


Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! To see our complete list of best app lists, click here.

Pokemon Go combines Nearby and Sightings in new global update

Niantic has never quite recaptured the initial user friendliness of the nearby Pokemon tracker found in the original version of Pokemon Go. That feature disappeared, supposedly due to a problem with the game’s Google Maps integration, but the Sightings feature that replaced it was far from popular and it too disappeared.

When Nearby returned in modified form, it only revealed Pokemon in close proximity to PokeStops, a decision that severely limited its usefulness to anyone outside metropolitan areas. Niantic has now updated the game once more, changing Nearby’s mechanics and bringing Sightings back to work in tandem with Nearby. Both features have now been rolled out to “most regions of the world”.

With the new update announced on Friday, Pokemon Go will now supplement Nearby Pokemon with Sightings. If there aren’t enough PokeStops in your area to make Nearby useful, or if there are less than three Pokemon on the Nearby tracker, the game will now add a Sightings list to Nearby.

This is especially useful for players in rural areas, where they may only see Sightings due to a lack of PokeStops in their vicinity. However, if you live in a city with lots of PokeStops around you won’t have access to Sightings at all, because Nearby takes priority over Sightings.

Niantic specifically calls this update a test, so there’s no guaranteeing this will be the way the game remains for long. If The Silph Road sub-Reddit is anything to go by, most players would prefer to have the choice between seeing Nearby Pokemon or Sightings. With Niantic seemingly paying closer attention to what its users want, that request may well appear in future.

How do you think Niantic should handle Pokemon tracking?

UPDATE POKEMON GO

Pokémon Go code leak may reveal what will be in the game’s Dec. 12 update

0

Developer Niantic Labs has already confirmed it will reveal some major updates for its augmented reality game Pokémon Go on Monday, Dec. 12. Now, some people have code dived into the latest version of the game and discovered what may be included in that update.

See also:

How to battle in Pokemon Go

October 9, 2016

Many previous rumors claim that the game could see 100 new Pokémon creatures added to next week. However, the code inside the new 0.49.1 version for Android shows that might not be all that will be added to the game. If you don’t want your experience ruined beforehand, consider everything beyond this sentence as a spoiler.

The code reportedly shows that Niantic could add Male and Female genders to the creatures in the game. Also, some creatures will get very rare shiny color variants, according to the code. Avatar customization might be in the works, as players can change the avatar’s hair, shirts, pants and much more. Finally, the code suggests that the creatures could get optional costumes to wear, perhaps in a holiday-themed event.

It’s important to keep in mind that the developer might decide not to put in some or all of these features in the next update, as the code might just be placeholders for future versions of the game. Which new feature are you most excited about for Pokémon Go?

Get it at Google Play

The Pokemon Go Starbucks collaboration is official

When you’re out hunting Pokemon this holiday season, you can now officially rest your weary feet at one of your numerous local Starbucks for a Pokemon Go Frappuccino and a little monster battling action. Starbucks has made official what has been frequently rumored lately: 7,800 Starbucks locations will be evolved into either PokéStops or Gyms.

At 2 PM EST/11 AM PST the transformation will be begin and you’ll be able to get the exact same Starbucks experience you know and love, but with Pokemon. The promotion comes hot on the heels of the Sprint Pokemon Go collaboration, which turns over 10,000 Sprint stores into PokéStops or Gyms as well.

See also:

Niantic: There’s a secret in Pokemon Go that nobody knows about

4 weeks ago

Niantic has promised to reveal the details of its massive December update on Monday December 12. Current rumors claim over 100 new Pokemon will be added to the game and at least one legendary Pokemon will be included. Other additions are expected to include in-game trading, PvP battles and the ability to raise Pokemon like Tamagotchi.

If all that sounds exciting, stay tuned for more details on Monday, and don’t forget your Pokemon Go Frappuccino, which consists of a “Vanilla Bean Frappuccino blended beverage and raspberry syrup blended with freeze dried whole blackberries and topped with whipped cream.” So once you’re done training in the Starbucks gym, you can go make an appointment at the dentist.

What legendary Pokemon are you expecting on Monday? What feature does Pokemon Go still need?

Pokémon Go creature reveal due Dec. 12, Sprint stores to become PokéStops and Gyms

Pokémon Go is finally getting close to adding some new Pokémon creatures to the mobile augmented reality game. Developer Niantic Labs has confirmed it will reveal the details about the additions on Monday, Dec. 12.

See also:

How to make Pokestops in Pokemon Go

October 13, 2016

Rumors about the game adding as many as 100 new creatures have been making the internet rounds for the past few weeks, but it looks like Niantic now has a firm date for when they will be let loose for players to catch em all.

In the meantime, the game has received a new update to version 0.49.1 for Android. That update will allow trainers to transfer multiple Pokémon at a time to Professor Willow by pressing and holding on a Pokémon.

The update also adds Pokémon-type icons to the Gym battle approach and Gym battle screen, and the total Candy count for your Buddy Pokémon has been added to the buddy info screen. Finally, you can check out the total number of kilometers a Buddy Pokémon has walked on that same info screen with this update.

As if that were not enough for fans of Pokémon Go, Niantic Labs and Sprint have announced a partnership that will turn 10,500 Sprint, Boost Mobile and Sprint at RadioShack locations in the U.S. into PokéStops and Gyms. In addition, Sprint stores will feature in-store charging stations for players of the game to keep their smartphone powered up.

Get it at Google Play