Jailbreaking or Rooting a Phone Does NOT Invalidate Its Warranty

After a recent story broke about Microsoft and Sony undoing the warranties of opened devices, news has come to light that the practices of jailbreaking and rooting do not invalidate the warranty on one’s phone. 1975’s Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act stipulates that it is illegal for a manufacturer to void the warranty of an electronic device whose software has been altered. Furthermore, the manufacturer has to prove that such modifications directly resulted in malfunctioning hardware.

The main reason that the big companies don’t appreciate rooting and jailbreaking is that it removes some of the direct control they have over your phone. Common arguments against the practice are that is worsens battery life, leaves the phone open to hacking attempts, can ruin built-in features or give users the option of installing stolen or unapproved software. While phones have been exempted from jailbreaking claims since 2010 and smart TVs/tablets were exempted in 2015, video game consoles are still illegal to jailbreak as it was ruled that such devices are used almost exclusively to run pirated software. When the cell industry lost their case in 2010, they changed their anti-jailbreaking tactics to claiming the practice could void a warranty.

While manufacturers have threatened all sort of acts against jailbreakers and rooters that are totally illegal, only a very small portion of their consumer base is aware of what they can do, and what the manufacturers cannot do, within the bounds of the law. While companies cannot void a warranty for jailbreaking your phone, there are certain claims that can still result in problems for your phone. Overclocking a device can lead to an increased level of heat that runs the risk of damaging the device. This is just one of the situations that can lead to indirect invalidation of your warranty; Apple could see that you overclocked your phone and leave you hanging out to dry.

On an unrelated note, most current-day devices have improved their accessibility and interfaces to the point that jailbreaking and rooting offer far fewer benefits than the practice yielded five or even ten years ago. Additionally, users are cautioned that most jailbroken iPhones fail to automatically receive security updates, putting the onus on users, rather than Apple, to keep apprised of new problems.

Android Stuff: ES File Explorer strips out much-despised adware lockscreen

best file manager apps for android

ES File Explorer has long been a favorite management app for a vast number of Android users, and we’d never really had anything negative to say about it until earlier this month. The developers pulled a questionable maneuver when they added “Charging Boost,” an ad-heavy lockscreen feature that claims to increase charging speed. Monetization is one thing, but affecting user experience is another altogether. However, it seems like ES File Explorer’s developers have listened to the outcries of their fanbase. A new update has stripped out Charging Boost for good. As the changelog succinctly notes:

*Removed Charging Boost function for better user experience

This favored file finder isn’t the only app to fall victim to what seems to be a growing plague of lockscreen ads, as apps like Z Camera, FotoRus, and Xender all look to be infected. It seems like users have drawn a line in the sand regarding what level of ad intrusion they are willing to endure. It’s nice to be able to download something for free, so ads are a necessary evil for many apps, but there’s a difference between tastefully recommending content and pulling control away from the user. The addition of Charging Boost led a good number of ES File Explorer’s followers to say goodbye, so its removal kind of looks like the devs extending them an olive branch.

ES File Explorer Charging Boost adwareSee also: If you ever needed a reason to uninstall ES File Explorer, this is it178

The question is, will it be enough? The answer to that can only be found in the minds of users. Over the course of years, ES File Explorer built a solid reputation that garnered nearly 2.5 million downloads. For a long time, it was a go-to manager for many Android nerds. With this irritating adware component gutted, it remains a very capable file manager that offers essentially everything you could want from such an app. Although the addition of Charging Boost has made many users feel once-bitten, twice-shy, it’s hard to ignore such a solid track record. Will users be willing to overlook this stumble?

What call are you going to make? Was this misstep a deal-breaker for you, or are you willing to let bygones be bygones and give ES File Explorer a second chance? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Get it in the Play Store

Next: 10 best Android file explorer apps, file browser apps, and file manager apps

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/es-file-explorer-kills-charging-boost-695122/

Android Stuff: OnePlus 2 gets a new Marshmallow build in OxygenOS 3.0.1 beta

OnePlus 2 and notebook

The official Android Marshmallow update for the OnePlus 2 isn’t far away, but it’s still far enough in the future that another Marshmallow “community build” has appeared. OxygenOS 3.0.1 is now available for the OnePlus 2 and should be the last manual install beta before the final version rolls out to everyone.

oneplus 3 tenaa d (1)See also: TENAA listing confirms OnePlus 3 specs and design82

There’s a bunch of new stuff in the latest beta firmware (outlined below), so if you’re comfortable manually flashing ROMs on your device it’s definitely worth a look. Otherwise, you can just sit back and wait until the official update rolls out OTA in the coming weeks.

oneplus 2 review aa (28 of 38)

OxygenOS 3.0.1 features an enhanced Doze Mode, even more finger sensor improvements, a “Clear process” option in the recent apps screen to shut down background processes, locked apps in recents that are immune to “Clear all”, a SwiftKey update to v6.3.3 and camera improvements including a bug fix for optical image stabilization.

OnePlus has been surprisingly slow to get Marshmallow out for its short list of products, but a recent OnePlus price drop across the board is sure to keep new customers coming in as we approach the OnePlus 3 launch next month.

Are you a OnePlus owner? What are your thoughts on the community builds?

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/oneplus-2-update-oxygenos-3-0-1-695119/

Android Stuff: ZTE’s Z-Community is a place where you can talk about mobile tech with other ZTE fans


ZTE has been in the news quite a bit lately, mostly because of its brand new Axon 7 flagship. This new smartphone boasts an all-metal build, top-of-the-line specifications, support for Google’s Daydream platform and much, much more. It will also probably come to market at a pretty affordable price point, at least compared to other flagships on the market. If you’re looking for a place to discuss the new Axon 7 or pretty much anything else regarding the mobile technology world, you should check out ZTE’s new Z-Community.

Z-Community isn’t just a standard forum site. Sure, you can participate in the forums to ask questions and start discussions, but you’ll find there’s actually much more if you poke around a little bit. It’s also a place where you can check out ZTE’s official blog, and get access to beta testing opportunities. Here’s a full list of what you can find in the Z-Community:

  • Forums: Discuss your ZTE device and perhaps one you’re looking to buy with other community members. As the fourth largest mobile phone supplier in the U.S., it makes sense to have world-class support for our fan base so feel free to submit a question, search for answers, or simply converse with fans and ZTE staff.
  • Labs: If R&D is your thing and you want to know about the latest and greatest, then the Labs is your place to be. From beta testing opportunities to discussions around new features and functionalities currently in research phase, be ready to share your thoughts on what should be integrated into our next mobile device.
  • Blog: Are you a thought leader or simply a mobile enthusiast, we invite you to share your perspective of industry trends, firsthand experience with the latest gadgets, and much more on the blog. We’ll have guest posts from thought leaders within ZTE other participants as well, so stay tuned for some exciting content.

ZTE is also kicking off the launch with a giveaway. From now until June 5th, ZTE will give the five most consistently active members a new Axon 7. The winners will be announced on Z-Community, so be sure to check back for the results.

Interested in checking it out for yourself? Follow the link below.

Visit Z-Community

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/zte-z-community-695090/

Android Stuff: Full Samsung Gear Fit2 manual leaks ahead of official launch


You gotta love leaks like these. Not only has Samsung already posted press renders of the unannounced Gear Fit2 wearable on its own site, it has now published the full user manual as well, clearing up any lingering doubts as to what we can expect from Samsung’s next-gen fitness band.

Best Android Fitness apps and workout appsSee also: 15 best Android fitness apps and workout apps39

The Gear Fit2 features GPS, perhaps the most highly sought after feature in a wearable for those that, you know, go outside. It also has an IP68 certification, meaning it can be submerged in a meter and a half of water for half an hour. The Gear Fit2 comes with a curved 1.84-inch AMOLED display and 4 GB of internal storage.

Samsung Gear Fit2 manual

The Gear Fit2 is more ergonomically designed to better suit the curve of the wrist and looks to be made from the same rubber as the original. Fortunately, the awkward charging cradle of the original has been replaced with a more convenient charging dock. The heart-rate sensor, back and home keys are all located in the same place as the original Gear Fit.

Gear Fit2 dock

It’s pretty clear that Samsung wasn’t looking to reinvent the wheel with the Gear Fit2, just to add GPS and slightly bump the IP rating of an already successful design. Refinement seems to be the name of the game at Samsung this year, and the Gear Fit2 shows that Samsung knows when to change something and when to leave well enough alone.

The Samsung Gear Fit2 launch is expected in South Korea sometime next month.

Will you be buying a Gear Fit2? Do you prefer a fitness band or a smartwatch?

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-gear-fit2-manual-695092/

Android Stuff: WhatsApp is reportedly the world’s most popular Android messaging app


The messaging app landscape is one of those arenas where the rich get richer. What makes a messaging app most desirable is that you’re able to use it with as many people as possible. Thanks to a report by SimilarWeb that analyzed Android usage data from 187 countries, we’re now seeing that the runaway winners in this regard are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with WhatsApp winning by a substantial margin.

North American readers might be a bit puzzled by this. After all, Facebook Messenger is the hands-down winner of this category in the US and Canada. However, of the countries surveyed, 109 of them (55.6 percent) preferred WhatsApp over any other messaging system. Facebook Messenger is the crowd favorite in 49 countries, but from there on down the competition gets pretty stiff between a variety of apps such as Viber, Line, WeChat, and Telegram. Even BlackBerry’s quaint little BBM managed to snag a single country: Indonesia! In fact, it’s installed on 87.5 percent of Android devices active in the country, massively outstripping any other country’s BBM use. For comparison, only .42 percent of US Android devices have the BBM app installed. What’s the deal, Indonesia?

WhatsApp-video-callingSee also: WhatsApp preparing to roll out video calling to beta users4

You can bet Facebook is laughing their way to the bank, seeing as they own both the world’s most popular and second most popular messaging apps. It’s no surprise that they are looking for better ways to monetize them. Keep in mind that the percentages noted above and in the pie chart do not compare total active users. That was not studied by SimilarWeb. Rather, this report compares apps in terms of how many countries choose them as their favorite messaging app to use. A subtle but important distinction.

What are your thoughts regarding this report that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world? What messaging apps do you tend to use most frequently? Let us know in the comments below!

Get WhatsApp in the Play Store

Next: Best Android texting apps

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/whatsapp-most-popular-messenger-695099/

Android Stuff: Here are the insides of the Samsung Gear 360


Samsung is looking to evolve the way we think about digital cameras with the new Gear 360. Before this point, properly constructing a 360-degree camera was a process that could only be done by professionals. But that was then, and this is now. Samsung’s new Gear 360 will allow for consumers to preserve every angle of their memories, placing innovation in the palms of their hands. In a recent blog post, Samsung revealed what exactly goes into the Gear 360.

It all starts with the case. The Gear 360 sits inside a portable IP53 dust and splash resistant spherical casing. Note that it is splash resistant and not waterproof, so don’t try recording anything underwater. Complimenting the sturdy case is Samsung’s first tempered circular glass lens.

Gear 360 teardown

Protecting the insides of the Gear 360 is a strong front bracket with a .5-inch PMOLED display. The 72-by-32 pixel screen will allow users to switch between image and video modes, as well as change a few other settings. Also protecting the device is a copper plate and other thermal interface materials that prevent it from overheating in most situations.

On the camera’s mainboard, you’ll find the CPU and a DRIMe5 image processor, along with a microSD card slot. A 1350mAh lithium-ion battery was also placed in, allowing you to record up to 140 minutes of video on a single charge.

The Gear 360 sports two CMOS 15 megapixel fisheye lenses, which on their own are capable of recording video and images in 195 degrees. When recording, the Gear 360’s software takes the images from both cameras and patches them together to create the 360-degree content. Each lens also has an f/2.0 aperture, so low-light photography shouldn’t be much of a problem.

The Gear 360 is available now in select countries. Will you be picking one up for yourself when it goes on sale in your region?

Samsung-Gear-360-5See also: Samsung’s Gear 360 is a consumer-level 360-degree video camera2

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-gear-360-teardown-695053/

Android Stuff: Help animals get revenge in Crashing Season, out now on Android

Crashing Season Android

Hunting games have been around for a long time. Some people think it’s fun to venture off into the virtual wilderness and hunt down animals, but what if the roles were reversed? You can now help animals seek revenge in Crashing Season from Koukoi Games.

So, what’s it all about? Crashing Season is a closed-area runner game that puts you in control of an animal that’s being hunted. It’s your job to run around and knock over any enemy that stands in your way. There are a good amount of characters to choose from, too. You can play as a bear, moose, fox, ram, beaver and many more.

To proceed through the game, you’ll need to collect coins, diamonds and complete challenges all while knocking down as many enemies as you can. You’ll also be able to team up with other animals in certain levels to take on bosses. Check out the trailer below to see the animals in action:

Crashing Season is free to download and play. There are a few optional in-app purchases available as well, but they won’t get in your way of achieving world domination. Interested? Head to the Play Store link below to give it a shot.

Get it now from Google Play
best endless runner gamesSee also: 10 best endless runner games for Android8

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/crashing-season-android-695072/

Android Stuff: HTC 10 arrives to India on June 5th, in both Snapdragon 820 and 652 configurations

Ever since the HTC 10 was first announced, we’ve known that there would potentially be two models, one dubbed the HTC 10, the other the HTC 10 Lifestyle. Based on our initial understanding, the Lifestyle would come to select markets, including India, as the only option for HTC fans. As you can imagine, there’s been a lot of anger over this decision — as well as a ton of confusion.

While HTC initially suggested the “HTC 10” for India would have a Snapdragon 652 and just 2GB RAM, lining it up with the expectations of the so-called Lifestyle model, the company quietly changed the “coming soon” listings for HTC India to mention a Snapdragon 820 processor as the main chip. Later HTC clarified that the “global HTC 10 model would be launching in India”, though they still didn’t comment on what chip this model featured. Was the 820 variant or the 652 variant considered the ‘global’ model by HTC’s definition? The good news is the dust has settled and we now have an answer as to what version of the HTC 10 will be available in India. Both.

At a special launch event in New Delhi today, HTC announced the impending arrival of a number of new HTC handsets in India, including the higher-end HTC 10 and its slightly less impressive “Lifestyle” variant.

As a refresher, the HTC 10 is powered by a Snapdragon 820 with 4GB RAM, and the HTC 10 Lifestyle has a Snapdragon 652 with 3GB RAM. Other specs, and the phone’s design, remain the same across the board with 32 or 64GB storage models with microSD for expansion. There’s also a 12MP UltraPixel camera on the rear, a 5MP UltraPixel cam on the front, and newly improved BoomSound audio. On the software front you get Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Sense 8.0.

HTC 10 Sense Feature Focus-12See also: HTC 10 Sense UI – Feature focus29

In addition to bringing both the HTC 10 and 10 Lifestyle to India, HTC has also confirmed plans to offer a whole slew of Desire products including the HTC One X9, HTC Desire 628, HTC Desire 630, HTC Desire 825, and HTC Desire 830. HTC says the HTC 10 and 10 Lifestyle will go on sale starting June 5th, with the One X9 arriving June 20th. The arrival details for the rest of the new HTC lineup in India have yet to be confirmed.

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/htc-10-arrives-india-june-5th-snapdragon-820-652-configurations-695076/

Android Stuff: Deal: HTC 10 currently $100 off at Verizon

htc 10 first look aa (5 of 19)

From the LG G5 to the Samsung Galaxy S7, consumers have many options when it comes to getting themselves a flagship smartphone these days. Considering they all have similar specs, like octa-core processors, metal cases etc — it really becomes a matter of personal preference, and deciding which of the little differences matter most to you. Samsung gives you a dual curved display, LG gives you a modular bay, and so on.

HTC was a bit late game when it came to finally revealing their new flagship device, the HTC 10. Obviously, it’s an upgrade from the HTC One M9, but also has some big aesthetic changes, including a fingerprint scanner within the home button. In addition to a Snapdragon 820 processor, specs for the HTC 10 include a 12 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, a 1550×2560 5.2″ display, 4 GB of RAM, and a 3000 mAh battery.

The HTC 10 hasn’t been out for pre-order that long, but it currently sits at $648, or $27 per month. For those of you that have Verizon though, the company is currently offering the phone for a mere $548 – broken down into $22.83 per month – if you purchase it with a new device payment plan. However, to get the deal, you must order online.

This deal is set to last for a limited time, but the window is unspecified. So if you’re on Verizon and fancy yourself a powerful HTC 10, I’d jump on the opportunity before it jumps away from you.

Are you excited for the HTC 10? Will you be jumping on this deal? Let us know in the comments!

Get it on Verizon

Read more at http://www.androidauthority.com/deal-htc-10-currently-100-off-verizon-695034/