Smartphones

Android Neko is surprisingly addictive

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It’s been nearly two weeks since we installed the final build of Android 7.0 Nougat on our Nexus 6P, and while we’ve been enjoying every new feature, there’s one that really stands out. No, it’s not the upgraded multitasking button or extra set of emojis, but the hidden cat-collecting game called Android Neko.

An obvious reference to the mega-popular Neko Atsume game, the Nougat-only feature doesn’t have all the intricate gimmicks and visuals of its standalone app equivalent. In Google’s implementation, you’re restricted to leaving out food for the cats, being notified when one arrives, and naming the felines that stay in your collection forever.

Android Neko (4)

Surprisingly, since Android Neko doesn’t require as much dedication to feed and pamper playful kitties, the simplicity of letting you casually check on notifications whenever your busy schedule permits actually adds to the addictiveness of the game.

Activating the mini-game isn’t as simple as opening up the hidden Flappy Bird clone of Android 5.0 Lollipop and 6.0 Marshmallow, so we came up with a step-by-step guide to accessing Android Neko on Android Nougat. Here it goes:

Android Neko (1)

  1. Make sure you have Android 7.0 installed.
  2. Navigate to the Nougat logo by going to Settings > About Phone, and then rapidly tapping “Android version 7.0” three times.
  3. Tap the huge letter N a few times, then give it a long press until a cat appears below it.
  4. Pull down the notifications shade from above twice and tap on “Edit.”
  5. You’ll find a new icon named “Android Easter Egg.” Drag that to your Quick Settings list.

Now that it’s part of your Quick Settings, tap on the icon to select which food you want to place on the dish. There are a total of four: chicken, treat, bits, and fish. As far as we know, it doesn’t matter which one you choose – cats will come. Once it’s empty, simply refill the dish to lure in another cat.

You’ll be shown a traditional notification whenever a cat appears. Tap it, and you’ll be presented with your hopefully growing collection. You can also hold the icon in Quick Settings (with or without food inside) to check out the cats.

Android Neko (2)

Again, Android Neko is no where near as comprehensive as the already simple Neko Atsume. You’re limited to renaming your new friends by tapping on them, and sharing your pets with actual friends by pressing on a cat a little longer. The great thing is that it could probably go on much longer with hundreds of furry friends to discover.

For the fortunate minority who have Android Nougat: Enjoy!

Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S9: Four fun new features

AR emoji and a very, very detailed beauty mode!

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The Galaxy S9 has just been announced at MWC! (Yes, like, just now! Visit our MWC 2018 microsite to see what other devices have been announced.)

One very obvious observation: The Samsung Galaxy S9 looks almost exactly like the Galaxy S8, and though this might seem like an anti-climactic move, it’s probably for good reason.

Those are not Samsung Galaxy S8’s!

It’s been almost a year since the Samsung Galaxy S8 was released and I still remember being very impressed with that particular phone’s design. For my tiny, girly hands, the narrow phone fit perfectly and the Infinity Display looked impressively big despite this.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Samsung Galaxy S9+

This year, it seems Samsung has decided to stay with a formula that works. Of course, there were a few tweaks. The fingerprint scanner has been relocated below the camera instead of beside it which will, hopefully, mean less accidental fingerprint smudges on the lenses.

There’s also a new color — it matches Pantone Color of the Year Ultra Violet, and my hair!

The S9 in purple!

Another photo because it’s just so pretty

Another notable change comes to the cameras. The Galaxy S9+ has dual-camera rear shooters (finally) — this means you get Live Focus, which allows you to adjust the bokeh during and even after taking the photo, and a zoom feature on the device. It also has a Dual Aperture function which allows the phone to switch to the camera with a wider aperture when more light is needed in the photo. These additions are limited to the Plus version, however, which leave my small phone-loving self a little disappointed.

Shooting with this beaut! Of course, no live focus on this thing because this is an S9.

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy S9 Hands-On: Same but better

Those aren’t the only improvements on Samsung’s newest premium phones, though. Here are my favorite new functions on the Galaxy S9 and S9+.

AR Emoji!

Samsung decided to take emoji to a whole new level with this phone release. In what I consider the biggest tech development since Animojis (no, really! Ha ha ha!), the Galaxy S9 now offers you the chance to turn yourself into emoji.

It me 🙃

Yes folks, that just means you don’t only animate the emoji, you are the emoji!

If you’re a little shy, you can also animate pre-set characters on the phone.

Animojis are so last year. Karaoke AR emoji, anyone?

Super Slow-mo and video background music

Your videos will never be the same with this new feature. There’s a super slow-mo feature now, and it allows you to shoot at 960 frames per second!

Okay, those numbers don’t really mean anything to me but just know that it can capture videos like this:

As if that isn’t great enough, you can even edit background music in using your phone.

Background music for added effect; you can even choose music from your playlist!

Imagine the cinematic possibilities!

Beauty mode and makeup mode

The S9 is stepping up the selfie game. Despite the single front shooter, the bokeh feature is available on the Selfie Focus mode.

Artificial bokeh on the single front-facing camera

But that’s not all!

All photos from the Galaxy S9’s built-in camera app

These handsets offer a very, very detailed beauty mode — one that even includes makeup filters that you can edit all the way to your eyelashes.

There’s a number of different makeup looks you can achieve without lifting a single makeup brush.

Food mode

A camera feature made especially for Instagram foodies!

This mode is designed to enhance your food shots to make them look as good in your photographs as they are on your plate.

Notice how the pizza on the right looks yummier. The photos come out a little more saturated and there’s background blur that allows for more focus on whatever gastronomical delight you’re taking a photo of.

Bonus: Beautiful Bokeh

This feature can only be found on the Galaxy S9+. Though I personally haven’t been able to try it, I still feel this is worth mentioning. This feature supposedly allows for different bokeh shapes and effects.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know

SEE ALSO: I’ve used the Samsung Galaxy S8, and I’m now doubting my iPhone loyalty

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News

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ pricing and availability in the Philippines

Galaxy phones are getting more expensive

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Samsung just announced their greatest and latest Galaxy flagships — the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy S9+.

Unlike last year, the two new Galaxy phones don’t just differ in size. The Galaxy S9 is the smaller of the two with a 5.8-inch AMOLED Infinity Display and a 3000mAh battery, while the Galaxy S9+ has a larger 6.2-inch AMOLED Infinity Display and beefier 3500mAh battery, hence its “Plus” moniker. But the Galaxy S9+ is not just bigger; it also has a dual rear camera setup like on the Galaxy Note 8. The rest of the specs are identical on both, but you’ll have to weigh the advantages of the Galaxy S9+ before making the choice.

Beginning February 27, you can pre-order the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ starting at PhP 45,990 and PhP 52,990, respectively, for the base storage configuration of 64GB storage. If you want more internal storage, only the Galaxy S9+ gets the options: 128GB for PhP 55,990 and 256GB for PhP 60,990.

We were told that the 256GB variant is exclusively available for pre-order, so you better start making early reservations if you want that model.

As for the colors, only Midnight Black and Lilac Purple are available for the Galaxy S9. Again, the Galaxy S9+ gets a slight advantage over its smaller sibling with the addition of Coral Blue as one of its color options that’ll be locally available.

The new Galaxy S9 phones will hit Philippine stores on March 16.

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Hands-On

Samsung Galaxy S9 Hands-On: AR Emoji and super slow-mo

Everything there is to know about Samsung’s new flagship

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In our Samsung Galaxy S9 hands-on, we show you how to create your own AR Emoji, shoot super slow-mo videos, and take photos using Live and Selfie Focus.

These are just some of the new things you can do with Samsung’s newest flagship launched here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Over the last few days, we spent some time with the phone and tried all the new features.

Is this your GadgetMatch? Stay tuned!

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