lundi 22 janvier 2018

Android 8.1 Oreo’s Wi-Fi Menu Shows Speed Labels for Public Networks

When you’re surrounded by public Wi-Fi networks, it’s nearly impossible to tell which is fastest without connecting to each one, conducting a speed test, and dutifully recording the results. Luckily, Google’s introducing a new feature in Android 8.1 Oreo that does all the legwork for you: Speed labels in the Wi-Fi settings menu.

In the coming days, devices running AOSP-based Android 8.1 Oreo-based software will begin to see four different speed indicators in Android’s Wi-Fi settings menu (Settings > Network and Internet > Wi-Fi): Slow, OKFast, and Very Fast. Google describes each of them in a support document:

Source: Google

The gist is that Slow and OK networks aren’t good for much else besides calling, texting, browsing the web, and streaming tunes. Networks fast enough to get the Fast and Very Fast designation, on the other hand, can handle data-hungry apps like Netflix and YouTube.

Just how much faster is Very Fast than Fast? According to Android Police, which reached out to a Pixel User Community Manager for comment, these are the thresholds for each label:

  • Slow = 0 – 1 Mbps
  • OK = 1 Mbps – 5 Mbps
  • Fast = 5 Mbps – 20 Mbps
  • Very Fast = 20 Mbps+

Speed labels are enabled by default, but you won’t see them next to private networks that require passwords or hotspots that use a canary URL opt out of Android’s Wi-Fi Assistant service. If you prefer not to see them on any network, you can turn them off by heading to Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi Preferences > Advanced > Network rating provider.

Wi-Fi speed labels aren’t Android Oreo‘s only network-focused feature. Oreo adds support for Wi-Fi Passpoint, an authentication protocol that allows devices to hop seamlessly between multiple hotspots in a network, Google Pixel devices on Android 8.0 and newer automatically connect to “high-quality saved networks”. If Oreo’s new speed labels work as advertised, they’ll be a worthy addition to a growing suite of Wi-Fi conveniences.

Source: Google Support Via: +Android

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Samsung Reveals New ISOCELL Camera Sensors, May Hint to Galaxy S9 Camera Upgrades

The Galaxy S9 isn’t too far away now. We have seen a lot of information about it, from CAD renders and case renders to rumored ship dates. Samsung has confirmed that the phone will be unveiled at Mobile World Congress next month, and it’s expected to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip in US and China markets and Samsung’s Exynos 9810 in international markets. Now, Samsung has revealed a new ISOCELL camera sensor family, hinting at the Galaxy S9’s camera capabilities

The first product in the new ISOCELL lineup is ISOCELL Bright, which uses Samsung’s Tetracell tech to improve light sensitivity by amalgamating four neighboring pixels into one big pixel. The technology was announced last year, and Samsung integrated a Smart WDR feature that enables the sensor to record multiple exposures in a single shot. The mix of Tetracell and Smart WDR allows the new camera sensor to capture greater detail in both bright and dark lighting conditions compared to competing products on the market.

Next in the new ISOCELL series is a three-stack fast readout sensor called ISOCELL Fast, which supports Full HD video recording at frame rates as high as 480 FPS and high-speed PDAF autofocus that leverages Samsung’s Dual Pixel and Super PD technologies. The ISOCELL Slim, meanwhile, is a 24MP high-resolution sensor that’s “thin and small”, with a tiny 0.9 micron pixel size.


Source: Samsung

Finally, Samsung revealed ISOCELL Dual, a camera sensor that supports features such as optical zoom, low light shots, and bokeh adjustment.

So what conclusions can we draw from the new ISOCELL sensor family about the Galaxy S9’s camera features? Since the Galaxy S9+ is rumored to have dual cameras, there’s a pretty good chance it’ll have some variant of the ISOCELL Dual. The sensors announced this week probably won’t be the ones used on the Galaxy S9, but their features might show up in Samsung’s 2018 flagship phone.

The Galaxy S9 reportedly has Dual Pixel sensors with large pixel sizes, and might have features such as a variable aperture and slow-motion video recording. It’s also rumored to have a “Super Speed” camera tech, a 12MP Dual Pixel rear camera and an 8MP front camera with autofocus, optical image stabilization, a “Super Slow-mo” mode, and a variable aperture range from f/1.5 to f/2.4.

We expect to learn more about the Galaxy S9 and the S9+ in the days leading to the launch event.

Source: SamsungVia: NDTV Gadgets

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Xiaomi Plans to Expand its Offline Store Network in India

Xiaomi’s expansion into offline retail in India was one of the phone maker’s boldest moves in 2017 — previously, it sold its phones exclusively online. The strategy was a success to some extent, but was also an impediment to growth. Rival China-based smartphone vendors such as Oppo, Vivo, and Samsung dominated the offline retail market, and Xiaomi changed course in response.

In May 2017, the company opened its first brick-and-mortar Mi Home store. Since then, it has embarked into a rapid offline expansion program with Mi Home stores, Mi Preferred Partner stores, and large format retail stores such as Croma. Xiaomi’s phones are now available at a variety of offline retailers, and it’s enjoyed increased brand recognition as a result. Its market share has also grown exponentially, to the point where it tied with Samsung in the third quarter of 2017 for the top spot in the $100 billion Indian smartphone market, according to IDC.

Now, Xiaomi plans to expand its India store network, according to a Reuters report. Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain told the publication that the biggest change in 2017 and 2018 is the company’s focus on offline retail. It already operates 17 Mi Home outlets in India, and Mr. Jain said that the company is on track to open 100 Mi Home stores by mid-2019.

Xiaomi’s strategy has, up until now, hinged on flash sales and e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Flipkart, a strategy which helped it save on expensive marketing. Mr. Jain said that the company will launch six to eight new smartphones across key price ranges in 2018, and that the company intends to improve on what it launched in 2017.

Xiaomi released eight smartphones in 2017 priced from Rs. 5000 ($78) to Rs. 33,000 ($516). Samsung, on the other hand, sells more than 40 smartphone models in India.

Source: Reuters

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Google’s Hangouts Meet App Gains Support for Android Tablets and iPads

Google took the wraps off Hangouts Meet, an enterprise-centric version of its Hangouts chat platform, in March 2017. It’s chock full of nifty features like meeting reminders and Google Drive integration, but ever since launch, it’s lacked tablet support. The search giant rectified that longstanding shortcoming with a tablet-forward update for the Hangouts Meet app. Starting today, it’s officially supported on Apple iPads and Android tablets.

The updated Hangouts Meet app, which started rolling out Monday, is the latest in a series of enhancements Google’s made to the business-focused G Suite tool. In July, it added an in-conference messaging feature that let video chat participants share messages and links in a dedicated, slide-out tab, and dial in support for phones that aren’t compatible with the Hangouts Meet app. And in November, it bumped the maximum number of video chat participants to 50 from 30.

The update also follows on the heels of Hangouts Meet hardware, a $2,000 package with a touchscreen, camera, microphone, and Chromebox designed for conference rooms that Google announced in October 2017. The eye-popping price tag nets you a high-tech camera that uses machine learning to properly frame meeting participants, a Google-designed speaker microphone, and a capacitive touch display from Mimo that costs $500 on its own.

Hangouts Meet might not be the most consumer-oriented product in Google’s portfolio, but it’s a breeding ground for innovation. Video calls can be shared with a simple link. Native integration with G Suite means meeting updates get pulled directly from Google Calendar, eliminating the need to manually update meeting times across multiple platforms. And the web app’s natively supported in Chrome and Firefox — it doesn’t require an additional plugin.

Google says the new Hangouts Meet app will roll out to all G Suite Enterprise Edition users by the end of this week. If you’ve already installed it on your iPad or Android tablet, it’ll update automatically.

Hangouts Meet (Free, Google Play) →

Source: Google

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MIUI 9.2 Global Stable ROM Brings Mi Drop, Mi Video, and Other New Apps to Xiaomi Phones

Xiaomi, the China-based company that’s among the world’s biggest smartphone brands, announced the newest version of its in-house Android skin, MIUI 9, in November 2017. Since then, it’s rolled out to folks enrolled in the MIUI Global Beta, but those in the stable channel were kept waiting. That changed this week, though, with the debut of MIUI 9.2 Global Stable ROM.

MIUI 9.2 Global Stable ROM, which went live Monday for the Mi Mix 2, Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4, Redmi Y1, Redmi Y1 Lite, and Redmi 5A, is packed to the brim with new features, applications, and other enhancements. App Vault, an app that shows Google Now-like cards containing shortcuts, upcoming calendar appointments, notes, and sports scores, is in tow, as is Mi Video, a first-party Xiaomi video player. Also new is Mi Drop, a file sharing app that lets you transfer data to a Xiaomi device via file transfer protocol (FTP).

Most of the other changes are aesthetic. MIUI 9.2’s revamped notifications shade features bundled notifications, which group multiple notifications together on a per-app basis, and quick reply, an Android Nougat-like option that allows you respond to SMS messages and emails directly from the corresponding notification. Xiaomi says MIUI 9.2 contains a patch for the KRACK WPA2 security vulnerability uncovered by security searchers last year, and fixes a bug involving duplicate WhatsApp and Telegram notifications.

MIUI 9.2 Global Stable is available for devices that have received the MIUI 9 Global Stable ROM. If your phone’s supported and running MIUI 5 Global Stable or newer, you can update to MIUI 9.2 by waiting for an over-the-air (OTA) update notification to arrive and letting the ROM install automatically, or by flashing the ROM in your phone’s recovery menu. If you opt for the former option, be forewarned that it’s a staged rollout — some devices will get the update before others.

You’ll find installation instructions and files at the source link.

Source: Xiaomi Via: FoneArena

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How to Enable Call Recording on the Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro [Root]

Being able to record phone calls is really useful — especially when you need to take notes and don’t have a pen and pencil handy. Lucky for Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro owners, they’ve just gained this functionality. XDA Senior Member badmania98 came up with a step-by-step guide that shows how to activate it. The process involves downloading a file attachment from the XDA forum thread, transferring it to a specific location on the Huawei Mate 10/Mate 10 Pro’s internal storage, and giving it proper file permissions. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get new options for automatic call recording tucked away within the phone application’s settings.

The method requires root, but not to worry if you haven’t unlocked your phone’s bootloader or rooted yet — this Huawei Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro guide will help get you started.

Check out this guide in our Huawei Mate 10 forum

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OpenSignal: T-Mobile Comes Out on Top in Mobile Network Speeds, but Verizon and AT&T are Catching Up

Wireless carriers in the US have experienced a few shakeups in recent years, and they’re starting to have an effect on the industry. AT&T and Verizon spent years at the top, but T-Mobile’s rapid growth pushed them to reintroduce unlimited plans, which have changed the way people use their mobile devices. A new State of the Mobile Networks report published by OpenSignal shows that while T-Mobile ranks at the top in terms of network speeds, both Verizon and AT&T are starting to close the gap.

For the report, which covered the fourth quarter of 2017 (October 1 to December 30), OpenSignal collected data from more than 200,000 mobile devices across 33 major cities. While some wireless carriers in the United States were resting on their laurels, T-Mobile invested heavily in its LTE Advanced network, and it shows. The carrier topped OpenSignal’s charts in four of five categories: 3G, 4G, overall speed, 4G availability, and 3G latency. (It’s the second time T-Mobile’s come out on top in OpenSignal’s 4G speed test.) The only award it didn’t win was 4G latency — AT&T took the crown with an average LTE network ping time of 58.3 milliseconds.

Source: OpenSignal

Sprint has been struggling, lately, but its recent network investments have paid off. The carrier managed to increase average 4G speeds across its network by 33 percent (from 3 Mbps to 12 Mbps), according to OpenSignal, and improve measurably (9 percentage points) in 4G availability tests — testers were able to find a Sprint signal 85.7 percent of the time.

Source: OpenSignal

When AT&T and Verizon launched their respective unlimited plans, both networks showed a decrease in 4G speeds. Thankfully, though, the carriers have been working to improve speeds. Verizon’s network speeds have returned to “pre-unlimited speed levels”, according to OpenSignal, rising to an average of 17.8 Mbps. AT&T’s 4G LTE speeds also rebounded, hitting 13.3Mbps for the quarter.

The full report is available at the source link.

Source: OpenSignal

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