samedi 30 avril 2016

Physical Versus Virtual Buttons — it’s More than Just Placement

The beginning of the trend

Up until late 2011, hardware buttons were the widely-accepted norm for buttons on a handheld device, with Android’s hardware partners taking advantage of the free rein given to them, going on to flirt with a variety of functions, icons and positions in a somewhat-wayward manner. In November that year, Google took charge of the playing field with the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, the device that pioneered Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and with it, the first legitimate implementation of softkeys on Android. As has been the case with numerous such niches, Google taking a step caused most of the OEMs to fall in line over the years, and softkeys became prevalent on a wide number of device lineups.

The Impact on OEMS

keys_005

Following the release of the Galaxy Nexus, things didn’t go exactly as planned, as most OEMs resisted the change, citing Google’s fondness for experimentation. However, year after year, Google continued down this route, and one-by-one, most device manufacturers responded in kind. Samsung for one, actively opposed the change, and for a while it seemed that the South Korean OEM was fighting an uphill battle, as HTC gave in with the One M8, Sony with the Xperia Z, LG with the G2 and Motorola with the Droid Razr Maxx, but a twist in the tale took place with the launch of fingerprint sensors.

As biometric authentication became increasingly popular, the hardware design teams at each camp were left with the mammoth question of placement. Where did fingerprint sensors belong? Samsung was quick to respond with an obvious solution, its home button, but others were left wondering, and the years 2014-15 saw various takes on the problem, but most notable was the tendency to resort to Samsung’s implementation, which saw large OEMs like HTC, OnePlus and Xiaomi go the home-button route, consequently causing each of them to give in to hardware buttons. Google and LG sport the sensor at the back, with Sony using the power button to house it, and while the world awaits Motorola’s take, two clear camps have arisen in the playing field, with powerhouses on both sides refusing to give up any ground.

A Deep Dive into Both Camps

With the market offering a variety of devices with both options to choose from, one might opine that it doesn’t make much of a difference, and while that might hold true for the average consumer, power users tend to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each device feature, so let’s take a look at the factors that constitute the gargantuan rift between the two manifestations.

Real Estate

The placement of softkeys on the lower edge of the screen causes a 48dp loss in screen real estate, blocking apps from availing the complete height of the screen. Some users think nothing of it, but hardware button enthusiasts vehemently argue that that space can be used by the system instead. Phones are getting larger, and the inability to experience the complete glory of a large, high-resolution screen is enough to send some over the edge. However, Google has been consistently working on making the best of the situation, deploying APIs that developers can use to hide the system bars and thereby provide a temporary fix.

Ease of access

Apps that hide softkeys, and the subsequent swipe-up gesture to show them is a notch against them given the mild inconvenience caused, but overall, hardware buttons prove to be much less friendly towards ease-of-access than softkeys. Their inability to adapt to device orientation hinders the user experience and the effort required to press them is considerably more than that required to press softkeys.

Lifetime

Hardware buttons are mechanical (or capacitive) in nature, with actual components making up their underlying structure. As such, their lifetime and durability are questionable, and have several variables such as intensity and frequency of usage, overall care of the device, et al, whereas softkeys are mere image renders tied to system-wide method calls, and are insusceptible to any such hindrances.

Adaptability and Modification

Perhaps the most significant advantage of softkeys is their ability to adapt as the situation calls for. Their virtual nature allows for the embodiment of Google’s “Design for the user and all else will follow” philosophy and there are a number of ways they carry this out:

Orientation

keys_003
While hardware keys remain locked to portrait orientation even when the device rotates, softkeys adapt and reflect the change in orientation, with the icons rotating to match the device on phones, and entire navigation bar changing the edge its anchored to on tablets. The result? A seamless user experience that sheds the learning curve and initial incompatibility when one attempts to use portrait-oriented keys in any way but that.

Customization

keys_002

With custom ROMs allowing users to modify close to every inch of the system, the navigation bar is, without a doubt, an active and salient member of the array of customization options. From custom icon sets and manual height settings to modified order and user-defined functionality, softkeys allow for a level of personalization that remains near-impossible for hardware buttons, yet under-exploited in practice.

Mutation

keys_001

Mutation of softkeys is a new and unfamiliar topic, one that has been discussed from time to time on social media, and is just beginning to unfold in the Xposed community. Softkey mutation, should it come to fruition, would modify the navigation bar in a contextually-aware manner, allowing it to react and adapt to situation changes and thus providing a delightful and powerful user experience. While it might never see the light of day in the AOSP repository, community solutions such as Xtended Navbar give a glimpse of the potential held in the small black bar that so many oppose.

Conclusion

With all the facts laid out, it’s pretty clear that both sides have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, softkeys have infinitely more potential, and more importantly, the weight of Mountain View’s support. Like them or not, they’re here to stay for the foreseeable future. Which side do you root for? Does it affect your choice when buying a new phone? Let us know in the comments section below!



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On Affordable Smartphones: Iterative Improvements Over Time Depend on the Flagship

It’s been hard this week to look anywhere in the technosphere and not see an article proclaiming the death of the Flagship. Fueling these thoughts are years of declining profits and device sales from some of the worlds largest phone manufacturers.

The fuel seems to have been resparked when Apple not only posted a lower quarterly growth for the iPhone, but advised it will continue to decline through the next quarter. It’s hard not to get caught up in this though, mid-ranged phones have gotten really good. Just a few years ago if you wanted a phone that was not horrible and $400 or below, you would have to settle with a prior years flagship. Last year though, we saw the rise of the sub $400 capable phone with excellent devices like the Idol 3,  ZenFone 2 and the One Plus brand. There is no denying that you can get a great phone without spending over $400, but they will never replace the proper flagship, nor should they.

acerc710

The Acer C710 was a decent Chromebook, but has an awful TFT panel, physical hard disk and cheap plastic construction

When Google introduced the Chromebook Pixel it was regarded as being comically expensive for a device that can only surf the internet. You could go and get a Chromebook that delivered the Chrome OS experience without spending over $300, and in some cases less than $200. So why would Google introduce and then release a sequel device that boiled down to just being a $1,000+ web window? To answer that one only has to look at the shift in Chromebooks over the past few years. TFT displays, actual hard disks, and crappily built plastic bodies used to make up almost all Chromebooks. However, contrast that to the Chromebook market today. Chromebooks are available at almost any price point with higher resolution displays, proper desktop class processors, and better high quality plastic or metal construction. In many cases the quality device you can buy for $250 today far surpasses what you could find just a few years ago for the same price.

Likewise, Microsoft has demonstrated a similar strategy with their Surface line. By putting out premium products at a premium price the result was having OEM partners raise the quality of their devices across their various price points. Similarities can be drawn between the PC and Chromebook markets and the mobile phone space. Profits, technological advances, and process refinements made on these premium flagship models help in making mid-range ones better. It can sometimes be difficult to see thatNexus 5X the road to the betterment of mid-range devices was created by the flagships so many people are seemingly trying to bury.

I recently picked up a Nexus 5X after I cracked the AMOLED panel on my Nexus 6. In the 8+ years I have had a smartphone this is the first one I have purchased that was not a proper “flagship” tier device and I’ve learned a number of things. The 5X is a great phone, but it has its compromises, and for a device that cost $379 at launch these compromises are some that many people just don’t want, nor have to make. It’s not just the 5X that makes these compromises, devices like the One Plus Two are famous for the compromises they made to hit a specific price point. While the performance, display, camera, audio quality and battery are good, flagships like the HTC 10, Galaxy S7 or Nexus 6P do it even better, in some cases even far better. Likewise, quality dual stereo speakers, dedicated powered amps, waterproofing and modularity are all features that generally can only be found on flagships; the premium price allows OEMs to do more, whether that involves refined quality or bleeding-edge features.

However, not everyone can afford a premium smartphone, tablet or laptop and everyone loves to save money where they can. This makes these affordably priced phones appealing, especially when they are fully capable of doing almost everything a flagship can as far as the Android UX goes. So did I just make the argument that we don’t need the flagship device and the mid-range ones can reign supreme? No, in fact I am making the opposite argument.

While mid-range phones can be really good, it is only due to the refinements made by prior premium ones. The amazing quality of the screen on the Galaxy S7, the feel of its premium construction (with a degree of flawlessness that affordable flagships like the Mi5 simply can’t match), and the flawlessly fast and reliable camera are all things that no mid-tier phone can match — not yet, at least. The refinements made to screen technology, improvements in things like waterproofing techniques, and the faster, better cameras and processors will find their ways into mid-range devices making them even better. If we want the trend of outstanding affordable phones to continue, we better also hope that the flagship phone gets even more premium as well.

Saying that days of flagships are numbered or over is both short sighted and is just plain wrong. Affordably-priced phones need the premium flagship phone today, as they always have.



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vendredi 29 avril 2016

RootJunky: How to Bypass Factory Reset Protection on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge

We here at XDA are big fans of esteemed flashaholic RootJunky who specializes in teaching you how to hack your Android device. If you’re the owner of a flagship Samsung or Motorola Droid device, then you might have seen him on our forums at one point.

If you don’t own any of those devices, then you might remember RootJunky from his instructional video on how to bypass Factory Reset Protection on Samsung devices that made the rounds in the Android tech world. Don’t remember that one? What about his video on bypassing Factory Reset Protection on the LG G4 and LG V10? Or maybe his video on bypassing Factory Reset Protection on the Android N developer previews?

Today, RootJunky is bringing us a new video showcasing how to … you guessed it, bypass Factory Reset Protection. This time, it’s for the newly released Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.

Factory Reset Protection this, Factory Reset Protection that … just what is FRP? In case you’ve forgotten, it’s the nifty security feature introduced in Android 5.1 Lollipop that requires you to enter the account details of the last Google account used on any device after it has been factory reset. This is a quick way to prevent people from getting to use your device if they steal it, since without your Google account details they’ll have a locked device no matter how many times they factory reset it. Just remember to never change your Google account password prior to factory resetting your phone or you’ll be locked out of your phone for 72 hours!

Why would you want to bypass it? Well, we hope you’re not up to something nefarious here. It’s possible that you need to bypass it for some legitimate reason (maybe you bought someone else’s phone and they forgot to remove FRP before handing it over to you), though. Whatever the case may be, the bypass itself is interesting to note because of the security implications behind the bypass. We hope that by drawing attention to this discovery by RootJunky that OEMs will provide updates to patch this loophole and ensure that our devices can’t be accessed after they’ve been reset.


Follow RootJunky on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, or on their blog.

 



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KangVIP ROM For The Mate 8 Changes Developer, Updated to B180

After announcing that he was selling his Mate 8 but would continue to try and support the development on his ROM, ajsmsg78 announced today that pappschlumpf had taken over as lead developer. Shortly after this news, the ROM received an update to B180  which comes with ViperAtmos included!



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Intel Cutting Significant Part, Possibly Entire Atom Lineup

Intel has started to clarify where it is going after the announcement of cutting up to 11% of its workforce last week – and fans of Intel’s Atom lineup are in for some broken hearts. According to information from Patrick Moorhead at Forbes it appears that at least two projects – SoFIA and the previously announced Broxton SoC – are cancelled.

PC World has also announced that the Cherry Trail lineup is cancelled and that the successor, codenamed “Apollo Lake” will be rolled into the Pentium and Core M brands.

The news would come as a surprise to many given that Intel has reportedly invested millions into research, development and retooling to break into this market.  If confirmed, Intel would effectively withdraw them from the tablet and smartphone market as well as impact other projects such as the Microsoft HoloLens, Intel’s Compute Stick and Next Unit of Computing (NUC) lineups. OEMs of Intel’s smartphones, such as ASUS and Samsung, would also see significant impacts if this is confirmed.

We have sent inquiries out to Intel to request further information and we will clarify if and when more information becomes available. Other sites have been doing the same so more than likely the picture of Atom’s future, if one exists, will be clear no later than early next week.

Note: This is a developing story.

So fans of Intel’s smartphones and tablets: What will you do if the lineup is continued? Do you use an Atom device? We will be covering this with updates as they become available. In the meantime sound off in the comments below!



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SurveyMonkey: Microsoft Mobile Office App Usage Crushed by Google

Earlier this week SurveyMonkey released information from its Intelligence division that provides some insight into how many people are using Microsoft Office apps on mobile devices in comparison to Google. While I expected the numbers to heavily lean towards Google, what I saw was staggering.

According to SurveyMonkey’s research collected through March 2016, Microsoft only carries an eighth of the mobile market for productivity applications compared to Google. And the numbers are unfortunately even worse for Microsoft when each app is compared separately.

msft_1E-mail in particular suffers greatly with Google’s Gmail and Inbox applications dominating over Microsoft’s Outlook usage by having nineteen times the number of users compared to Outlook. File storage and Document writing round out the top 3 productivity apps, again with Google’s base much higher than Microsoft’s. Now part of this can be attributed to the fact that many OEMs like Samsung and LG install the Google apps as part of the base package. SurveyMonkey noted:

“Ironically, Microsoft Office is being thwarted by the same structural distribution disadvantages on mobile (Google’s ownership of Android) that its competitors suffered on desktop.”

The European Union agrees with this sentiment as the use of Google apps on Android is at the center of the antitrust charges by the EU against Google. The results also do not factor in stock e-mail apps, which often include support for Gmail, Exchange, POP3 and IMAP and may be used in conjunction with a provider’s supplied app.

Also not considered are note applications that are often supplied by the OEM and may be used more than a separate app like Google Docs or Microsoft Word. As a result this picture may not be a complete look at the install base and use of productivity applications in the mobile ecosystem.

Readers interested in seeing the full article can head over to SurveyMonkey to read the details.

After seeing these results do you agree with SurveyMonkey’s assessment? Does this perhaps change your view on how the EU is handling the antitrust charges against Google? Want to talk about something else from the article? Sound off in the comments below!



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Chrome OS Gets Google Play. MODE Switchable Android Wear Bands. Ultra-Sonic Link Sharing?

Chrome OS is getting full Google Play Store support! Google introduces switchable watch bands for Android Wear with MODE. Finally, share links using ultrasound. These stories and more are talked about by TK as he covers the news from the week ending April 29, 2016 at XDA-Developers.com. Check out this video!

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.

Stories mentioned:

Please subscribe to XDA TV and Subscribe to TK’s channel.



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Chinese OEMs in the West: Can They Capture both the Mainstream and Enthusiasts?

Chinese OEMs are no stranger to North America, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that they really started breaking into our higher-end smartphone market. Until then, offerings from major brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony, and HTC have been dominating the smartphone space.

In fact, the same handful of smartphone brands have been available in North America since the beginning.

I wrote an article early in the year highlighting the increase of budget offerings, and one part of that article mentions smartphones like the Huawei Honor 5x and the Y6 as being really good bang-for-your-buck devices. With their success in the lower-end space, industry giants from China are now stomping into North America with their high-end smartphones. But how will they compete with the well-known brands that we know?

One of the ways Huawei is competing is by offering a two year warranty on some of their handsets, rather than the standard one year manufacturer warranty that is required. It looks like right now this extended warranty applies to certain devices only. Interestingly, Rogers in Canada is offering 2 years on the Huawei Y6 as well. The Y6 has also been listed as a “Staff Pick” device since its release on the carrier, which is an interesting testament to the company’s future commitment to the brand.

Huawei Honor 5cHuawei has already seen relative success in the North American market, largely due to the company’s partnership with Google to release a device like the Nexus 6P. This phone remains a go-to option for enthusiasts, and proved to Western audiences how well Huawei can handle premium hardware packages. Now we are seeing more head-turning smartphones from Huawei, namely the recently announced P9. One of the major features of the P9 being the dual-lens technology, which features one RGB and one Monochrome sensor, both of which can be used independently or together to create excellent photographs.

Huawei is also investing 3 million in the University of Toronto’s electrical and computer engineering department over the next three years in the hopes to boost the technology behind cellular data communications in Canada. In addition, their presence in Canada has been a big success with providing Communications growth in northern communities and ongoing discussions about 5G. Huawei is already a pioneer of the “internet for all” idea with their ongoing plans to bring their MBB network to areas of need all over the world. It would seem that one of the ways that Huawei is making an impact in the western market is through providing advanced mobile network technology. It makes sense that Huawei could be the one to make this push, as they are one of the top three largest smartphone companies in the world, even though they are just starting to get traction and recognition in North America. Also, they are well-known in other parts of the world for their cellular infrastructure technology.

Another Chinese company, Xiaomi, recently saw a good number of devices receive support from TWRP and can now support custom recoveries, furthering the appeal to the enthusiast community. Many are opting for the a smartphone from a Chinese manufacturer because they tend to be less expensive, but still provide good performance. Huawei and Xiaomi are the newest brands to grace our shores, but we can’t overlook that brands like Oneplus, ZTE, and Alcatel, which have also been pumping out devices that have made our wallets smile and satisfied performance needs.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Phones like the Redmi Note 3 are redefining the budget smartphone.

There’s also been the Asus Zenfone series, which turned some heads in the West a year or so ago with the release of the Zenfone 2, an unlocked smartphone that was readily available for purchase at an affordable price either online or at local electronics shops. Thankfully, the Zenfone 2 is also rootable and has decent development support. Of course, I can’t forget to mention OnePlus, who gained popularity with their high-end but low-cost devices, and their phones’ healthy ROM options for enthusiasts.

What this all means is that there is a clear push from these companies to really make an impact in the western cellular market, even against big competition from companies like Samsung and Apple. Even if the overall build quality doesn’t always match up, like with the Xiaomi Mi5 and the Nexus 6P bend tests. But who is planning on bending their phone anyway? I suppose it’s still an important consideration for durability, but I don’t feel it’s a huge issue, especially since both devices perform well and are reasonably durable (as long as you don’t bend it!). Timely updates and good software support is probably one of my most important considerations when buying a smartphone, so we’ll have to see if these OEMs provide that, as it would be a good nail to the competition. And of course, as we all know, competition is important to ensure that we keep seeing the high-quality product, but low cost, trend continue.

Xiaomi and Huawei are some of the bigger names, but they are not the only ones looking at big slice of the Western pie. You have companies like LeEco doubling their smartphone efforts, and they have now established headquarters in the United States. We can expect bigger incursions by more “Eastern Giants” as the year progresses, which means more affordable options to a market that has been accustomed to the high-end.

It may take a while before consumers begin to notice brands like Huawei and Xiaomi as viable, as currently they are mostly known only to the enthusiast community. But it’s already happening, and everyone is all in a buzz about these Chinese OEMS and what they have to offer. And that’s really the key here – good quality devices that don’t break the bank is exactly what has made Android successful (not to mention viable) in other parts of the world.

What do you think? Are smaller and/or Chinese OEMs beneficial for the Western consumer? Can they hope to attract the attention of both the mainstream and the enthusiast? Let us know in the comments!



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Fairphone 2’s Open OS is Available to Download

The software inside the Fairphone 2 is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop and this week the company has released it for all to download. You can use if you ever need to reinstall the software on your own Fairphone 2, or you can check out their open source & development website to go through the code. It should be noted that Google Mobile Services (GMS) are not included here.



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Screenshots Emerge of Google Trips: Google’s Latest Travel Focused App

Google has begun testing Google Trips, an app focused on travelling. Open to select Local Guides volunteers, Trips allows you to view info on reservations, local transportation, local attractions and more. Further, the app also works offline, which is a very good feature for an app focused on travel.



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Google Enhances App Security in the Play Store

Google has just announced they have added another layer of app security to Google Play via the Developer Console. After you upload an application, and before it is accepted, the app itself will be scanned for “safety and security.” If there’s something found, Google will alert you and the app will remain unpublished. Google says they’ll also continuously re-scan apps already in the Play Store.



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ZUK Z1 Landing in India as Lenovo Z1, Cyanogen OS in Tow

The ZUK Z1 is coming to India, taking a rebranding as it comes in. The device will be known as the Lenovo Z1, and is “powered by ZUK”. There is mention of Cyanogen OS as well, so it remains to be seen how Micromax/YU react to this, as they did with the OnePlus One.



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LG Invests ~$400 Million to Expand OLED Production

With so much money being invested in OLED (from both LG and Samsung), it’s hard to say the technology isn’t the future of displays. LG has just announced they will be investing $395.99 million in their OLED division. The majority of the investment (310 billion won) will go to increase OLED production while the rest will be used to build a dedicated OLED lighting production line



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Sony Patents Contact Lens Cam with Zoom, Aperture Control and More

Joining the ranks of Google and Samsung on eye-wearables, Sony has applied for a patent on a contact lens camera. The patent points towards a contact lens with built-in camera, storage and transmission unit. Further, for camera features, the lens would contain autofocus, zoom, aperture control and a form of image stabilization as well.



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LeEco Opens a U.S. Headquarters in San Jose

LeEco now has a presence in the United States. The company just opened up their first U.S. headquarters in San Jose right on North First Street and say customers in the country “will never again settle for less.” The campus is about 800,000 square feet and currently employs 250 people with projects to expand to around 800 by the end of the year.



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Amazon’s 1st Appstore Developer Day Happens May 12th

If you’re going to be around Amazon’s UK office on May 12th, you might want to show up at noon to take part in the company’s first Appstore Developer Day. It’s a free, half-day event that will be focusing on mobile app development. You’ll hear from Amazon Appstore Mobile Experts as they talk about Android and HTML5 development, monetisation, user acquisition and retention.



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Three UK Partners with will.i.am to Launch Dial

Musician will.i.am has been getting into the hardware business the last few years and his company’s latest device is a wearable called Dial. It’s being described as a “voice-first” device that has its own virtual assistant (similar to Google Now, Cortana, Alexa, etc) that they are calling AneedA. You can pre-order it from Three UK, but you’ll need to sign a new contract to use it.



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Zopo Speed 8 is the Cheapest, Top-Benchmarked Smartphone in the World

Zopo recently announced the Speed 8 as the world’s first smartphone with a 10-core SoC and it only costs $300. It has the MediaTek Helio X20 in it, and their screenshots say it was able to obtain an AnTuTu score of 91,931. In this test, the registered devices that beat it were the iPhone 6s, Galaxy S7 Edge and the Xiaomi Mi 5.



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jeudi 28 avril 2016

Rick Osterloh is the SVP of Google’s New Hardware Division

It was March 18th when news hit that Rick Osterloh would be leaving Motorola as Lenovo finalized their reorganization plans. It didn’t take long before someone snatched him up and that someone is Google. Osterloh will be the Senior Vice President of a newly-formed hardware division within Google which is said to include Chromecast, Nexus, Pixel, OnHub, ATAP and Glass.



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Twitter Helps Bring Fenix Back into the Play Store

We recently reported on the removal of a popular Twitter application, Fenix, but the application is back in the Play Store. Matteo Villa is the developer of the application and he recently announced the application was able to be brought back into the Play Store with help from Twitter themselves. It seems like they gave Fenix some additional tokens, but he can’t share the details.



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BlackBerry brings BBM Video to Priv Users in the US

BlackBerry says their users have been wanting a way to do video calling within the BBM application and now the feature is here. The feature comes with the latest BBM app update and it will only be available to U.S. Android users for now. This is a beta run of the feature so be sure to report any bugs that you see.



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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 XDA Review: The King of The Low End

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is one of Xiaomi’s trump cards to capture the low-mid end market for 2016, being the successor of one of Xiaomi’s most popular phones, the Redmi Note. Featuring some very enticing specs at a price that is unbelievable, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 seems to bring most of the right ingredients to become the king of the low end.

But can its real world performance do justice to its beastly specifications? Or is there a catch in this too-good-to-be-true deal? Read along as we find out if the Redmi Note 3 “Pro” can put its money where its mouth is.

Here’s a quick look at the spec sheet for the Redmi Note 3:

Dimensions 150 mm x 76 mm x 8.7 mm Screen Size 5.5″
Weight 164 g Screen Type
& Resolution
IPS LCD, 1080 x 1920, 401 ppi
Primary Camera 16 MP, f/2.0, PDAF Secondary Camera 5 MP, f/2.0
Chipset MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795

“Pro”: Qualcomm Snapdragon 650

CPU & GPU 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53, x8; PowerVR G6200

“Pro”: 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, x4
+ 1.8 GHz Cortex A-72, x2; Adreno 510

Storage 16GB/32GB Internal;
expandable upto 128GB
RAM 2GB/3GB
Battery 4000 mAh Li-Po, non-removable NFC No
Android Version MIUI 7.2,
based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
SIM Dual, Micro SIM
Fingerprint Scanner Yes, Rear IR Blaster Yes
USB Port & Charging Micro USB
Quick Charging as per QC 1.0
Supported Bands GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
HSDPA: 850/900/1700/1900/2100
LTE: Bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/38/39/40/41

Contents: (needs relinking)IMG_20160414_162221

Design, Build Quality

Xiaomi is no newbie in the smartphone making game, and the Redmi Note 3 is a tribute to the expertise the company has acquired over the years. Moving over the plastic builds from the Redmi Note 2, the Note 3 features a metallic build that grants it a nice heft and leaves no stone unturned in hiding away the true price of the device. No way you can say this is a cheap device, because it certainly does not look cheap.

On the face of it, the Redmi Note 3 would appear as a device sporting a metallic unibody build. The marketing materials sure do point to this as they smoothen out and make the back appear to be made of one material. But, the phone is not all metal and glass. The top and bottom ends of the Note 3 are definitely plastic, but the combination of plastic bits to the metallic back that Xiaomi went for does not easily give it away. The main metal body bears a cool, smooth finish; while the plastic has a glossy finish which is less slippery. This works in the device’s favor in two ways: one, Xiaomi has a way to incorporate the antennae needed for radio communication without resorting to plastic band lines; and two, this texture difference makes the device less slippery than an entirely flat, metallic phone would be.

Marketing Material Actual back of the device

Speaking of flat, the back of the Redmi Note 3 is not entirely flat. It does bear curves at the edges, and these help with the grip of the device considering that it has decent thickness to it, along with a bit of height. In my case, the curved back and rounded corner help in holding the phone, resting on the palm for one handed use.

While we are on the topic of the back of the device, the back also features the rear camera module in the center, with the dual tone LED flash placed horizontally below it. Below these, you will find the fingerprint scanner inset significantly, making it very easy to find without looking at the back. In comparison, the camera module lense as well as the glass on the LED flash are flush with the back, making them vulnerable to scratches. On the bottom end of the back, you will find the Mi logo, along with some self-declaration to comply with Indian government rules. Below this, you will find a drilled grill pattern of which the middle 50% open up to the speaker on the inside.

IMG_20160423_123924

There is also a tiny obtrusion just below the speakers, on the plastic bottom cap. Xiaomi mentioned that this was intentionally placed so that the speakers are not muffled when you place your phone on the back, but in my experience, the device did not show any noticeable gap between the phone and any flat surface because of this lip. It’s barely there, and it does not make any difference, positive or negative. Fortunately, it also does not cause any rocking of the device in any direction.

IMG_20160414_143952

At first glance, you see a black slab of glass…

Unlike the back, the front bears a very minimalistic look. You get the speaker grill deep inset on the top, along with the ambient light and proximity sensor beside it and the front camera and notification LED following it along. The 5.5″ FHD LCD display sits in the middle, and three backlit capacitive buttons are below it. You can remap these to a certain degree for other actions, so you get some choice in the matter even though you can’t disable them entirely in lieu of the navigation bar. The front is so clean, you see only see a black slab of glass in the first glance. Focus, and then you can make out the various elements. I really like such a super clean and smooth look for my devices, but your subjective opinion may differ and that is alright.

Interestingly, the Dark Grey color of the Redmi Note 3 does not bear the black border bezel around the display, since the entire front of the device is black. This gives a very uniform color and a clean, distraction-free look to the device that I really appreciate. Bezels are necessary, I get it, but it is the choice of coloring which decides if it becomes a distraction or something you’d never notice. In contrast, the Silver and the Gold color variants have matching colored front, but with the black bezel border around them. If these are a distraction to you, I would suggest to opt for the Dark Grey color variant which has an all-black front.

Silver Color with White Front Dark Grey Color with Black Front

Moving on to the sides of the device, you get the microphone hole and the headphone jack on the top left and the IR blaster on the top right. The left side bears only the slot for the hybrid SIM + micro SD card combination, and is otherwise devoid of any buttons or marking. The bottom side bears the primary microphone hole and the micro USB connector on the left (and not on the middle, as a lot of phones tend to go for). The right side of the device gets the volume rockers towards the top and the power button below it. These have the same texture as the rest of the metal back, so you may occasionally have an issue hitting the correct button in the first try. Otherwise, these are good stiff with a sufficient press and have absolutely no wiggle or sideways travel to them.

Top Bottom Left Right

Before we move on, the box contents of the Redmi Note 3 are very minimal. You get a standard USB to micro USB data cable, a power adapter rated at 5V/2A of output, a SIM removal tool and some documentation. An important message in the documentation, relating to the SIM slots, is that the Redmi Note 3 does not support dual-4G. If one SIM has 4G/3G/2G, the second SIM will only be restricted to 2G. Also to mention, the Redmi Note 3 does not have NFC in it.

IMG_20160414_141959 IMG_20160414_142023 IMG_20160415_104829

IMG_20160414_161749

For its dimensions, the Redmi Note 3 has a very typical setup as you come to see in 5.5″ phones. The phone is a tad bit smaller than the OnePlus One, and is almost as thick. But the Redmi Note 3 bears a larger battery, an improvement of over 1,000 mAh in pure capacity as compared to the OnePlus One. As a result, it feels more dense and heavy even though the phone is just 2 grams heavier than the OnePlus One. The curves on the phone make it feel more smaller than the difference in pure dimensions, and the Redmi Note 3 can be used one-handed better than the OnePlus One.

The Redmi Note 3 is one of the best built phones I have owned. Holding the phone, you certainly do not feel as if this is a $150 phone. It kills all the other devices in my collection, considering how much this phone retails for. With a weight of 164 grams, the Redmi Note 3 is a tad bit heavier than the OnePlus One (162 grams), but bears slightly smaller device dimensions overall and a 33% increase in battery capacity. As a result, the Redmi Note 3 feels really solid in the hand, but not blocky either due to its curved side profile. There is no creaking or noticeable bending, no noticeable gaps, no other hardware issues. It’s just a well built phone altogether, a rarity for phones from Chinese manufacturers (although our review unit was manufactured in India as part of Xiaomi and the Indian government’s “Make in India” initiatives).

The Redmi Note 3 has an air of confidence to it. You can hold the phone without a case and not be terrified of dropping it. It is not a “tough” phone, but it certainly has that air to it. It is slightly slippery as smooth finish metal phones tend to be, but I haven’t had any incidents of it slipping out of my hand or off the table or any slight incline. Overall, I am very satisfied with the package Xiaomi has put together in terms of build quality and design and have no significant complaints.

Software UI & Features

The Redmi Note 3 bears MIUI 7.2.3.0 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. We have done an extensive, comprehensive review of MIUI 7 on the Redmi Note 3, so check that out!

I did find some smaller annoyances after the review section. Mainly, I could not find any setting to turn off Android’s Spell Checker, and that the brightness slider compulsorily needs the finger to be at the current level before the slider can be dragged, which can be difficult to do when you can’t see what is on the screen.

Continue to Page 2 — Performance



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Android N Style SystemUI for Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Dual

If you’re looking to get some Android N flavor onto your Sony Xperia Z5 or Z5 Dual, install this modified SystemUI by XDA Senior Member nreuge!



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Rady Red Theme for Sony Xperia Z5

Rady Red Theme by XDA Member tanto124 employs a combination of black and red in the right proportions to give a new look to your Sony Xperia Z5!



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Control Music From the Edge Panel with Edge Player

XDA Member hymxdev‘s app, Edge Player, lets you make better use of the Edge panel on Galaxy Edge devices by using it for controlling music. The app works with a host of music players, so give it a shot!



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Official Facebook, Messenger and Instagram Apps Coming to Windows 10

Facebook is releasing the suite of official apps for Facebook, Messenger and Instagram for Windows 10. These apps are designed for to run quickly and efficiently on Windows 10, and will be released up-to-date compared to their Android counterparts.



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Moto 360 Sport No Longer Listed on Google Store

Mere months after its release, the Moto 360 has been taken out of the Google Store. The device now shows up as “Not Available” on the Store, although you can still purchase the device from other online stores. Also to note, the Moto 360 Sport was very recently launched in India as well, so this could be a redirection of stock outside of non-performing markets.



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Google and HP Collaborate on Chrome OS based Chromebook 13

HP has unveiled the Chromebook 13, a chromebook designed in collaboration with Google and running on Chrome OS. Base models of the Chromebook 13 bear a 1080p display, 4GB RAM, with Skylake Core M processors. The higher end models bump up the display to 3200×1800 resolution, 16GB RAM and better processor.



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Motorola Sends Out Invites for Indian Event on May 17th

Motorola has sent out invites for an event in New Delhi, India scheduled for May 17th. While the invite itself does not mention many details, it is expected to be the launch of the Moto G4 and the Moto G4 Plus. To recap, the Moto G3 was launched in July 2015.



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Sony’s 2015 Financial Report Shows Revenues Down but Profits Up

Sony is working hard on getting its mobile division back above water but it lost $544 million in the company’s 2015 fiscal year. Overall, Sony was able to bring in around $71.1 billion in revenue and $2.7 billion of that was profit. The majority of Sony’s profit is thanks to their gaming division (which brought in $785 million) as well as its camera division (which brought in $638 million).



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LG’s Q1 Financial Report Shows a 65% Increase in YoY Profits

LG’s quarterly financial report shows a healthy increase in profits, but this was mostly thanks to their entertainment and home appliance divisions. Overall, LG brought in $11.12 billion in revenue with $420 million of that being pure profit. LG’s mobile device Q1 shipments were down 12% compared to last year and this, paired with its heavy investment in the G5, resulted in the mobile division losing $170 million.



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LG’s Q1 Financial Report Shows a 65% Increase in YoY Profits

LG’s quarterly financial report shows a healthy increase in profits, but this was mostly thanks to their entertainment and home appliance divisions. Overall, LG brought in $11.12 billion in revenue with $420 million of that being pure profit. LG’s mobile device Q1 shipments were down 12% compared to last year and this, paired with its heavy investment in the G5, resulted in the mobile division losing $170 million.



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Samsung Working on Standalone VR Headset

The Gear VR is a great, and inexpensive way to get people who already own a Samsung flagship interested in VR but even Samsung understands its limitations. At SDC 2016, the company says they are working on a standalone VR headset much like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. We didn’t get a release date, but they said it will feature positional, hand and gesture tracking.



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Samsung is Experimenting with a Vulkan Version of its TouchWiz Launcher

A lot of people are getting excited about what Vulkan can bring to the table in terms of graphical power on mobile devices. Samsung, however, is testing to see how power efficient it can make certain apps. At SDC 2016, the company talked about a Vulkan prototype of its TouchWiz Launcher and learned it increased the battery life of the Galaxy S7 Edge by about 40 minutes.



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Huawei Announces the Affordable honor 5C

It is unclear if the honor 5C will make it out of China, but the device seems to offer a lot for its price tag. The honor 5C has a 5.2″ 1080p display, Kirin 650 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage that can be expanded by up to 128GB via microSD. It has 13MP rear and 8MP front cameras, rear fingerprint scanner and 3,000mAh battery for CNY 899 (~$139) for the 3G variant and CNY 999 ($155).



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“Contains Ads” Labels in the Play Store Appearing for Users

Toward the end of last year, Android app developers received a message from Google saying they need to designate whether or not their app contains ads. Google said this label would roll out to all applications, both in and out of the Family section, “early next year”. Now, it seems that Google is finally ready to push this feature out in Google’s standard phased rollout.



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FTC Extends Google Investigation into Possible Antitrust Issues

Shortly after the EU formally starts investigating Google for antitrust issues, the FTC has decided to extend the probe they started in 2015. The FTC is basically looking into the same thing as the EU. The FTC has reportedly requested data from at least 2 companies involved, so it seems they are progressing with their current investigation.



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Google Calendar Helps You Find a Time for an Event

If you use Google Apps for Work or Edu, then it just got a lot easier to schedule an event with people on your team. All you have to do is create an event, like a meeting, and then choose the people who will need to attend. When selecting the Find a Time option, it will automatically refer everyone’s calendar to find the time best suited for everyone involved.



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Nextbit Releases Factory Images for the Robin’s April Update

We knew the Nextbit Robin was going to be receiving the Android 6.0.1 update sometime in April and today it started rolling out to users. Not many people want to wait for an OTA update, and Nextbit knows this. The company has just released the factory images for the 6.0.1 update and they even include a guide showing how to manually flash the update.



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LeEco Announcement Event Recap

Chinese Manufacturer LeEco has announced the Le Max 2 and some other variants. XDA TV Host TK was in Bejing, China covering the event and all the exciting announcements. TK took a moment to give us his highlights from this event. Check out this video and check out his hands on videos with the Le Max 2 and the Le 2.

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.

Hands on Videos:

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mercredi 27 avril 2016

Piecing Evidence Together: The Nexus Line, HTC M1 & S1, and an Elusive Tablet

Google I/O 2016 is less than a month away, which means we’ve entered the final bout of new Nexus rumor hype. Today, famed device leaker @evleaks threw the Android enthusiast world into a tailspin with his latest tweet:

Now, Mr. Blass has a penchant for leaking accurate information, so I was already on board with the idea of the HTC Nexus existing. However, these tweets do not tell us much information if at all about the actual devices themselves. Plus, as much as we believe that @evleaks has a solid source, it’s always good to find corroborating evidence to back up his claims. After all, the only thing we have to go on is the reputation of Mr. Blass, right? That’s why we took a look at the evidence, both circumstantial and direct, in order to paint a picture for what Google is cooking up to reveal next month.


How do we know it’s HTC?

We don’t know, for sure. There are only a string of rumors out there, but when many rumors point to the same thing, you start to suspect it might just be true. First of all, HTC made both the first generation Nexus 7 as well as the Nexus 9, so of course it was always a possibility for HTC to again partner with Google. However, the first one to jump on the 2016 HTC Nexus bandwagon was another leaker by the name of @LlabTooFer:

This first rumor about the existence of the HTC Nexus devices isn’t very strong on its own. In addition, you might think that the discrepancy in codenames listed here and what @evleaks just posted shows that these earlier rumors to be inaccurate. It’s possible, but keep in mind that over 4 months have passed and it’s possible that the internal codenames have changed. There’s not any evidence pointing to this being the case, but that’s why we’re going to use other pieces of evidence to build our claim.

Like, for instance, the fact that LG is unequivocally out of the Nexus game. LG states the reason being that the company needs to focus on its own brand. This makes sense, considering LG’s momentum coming into 2016 with a slight market share increase. Although, we can’t really say it’s worked out too well for LG given the less than stellar reception to their LG G5 so far, but I digress. We might be reading too much into it, but it’s possible that LG moving away from the Nexus series was also in part due to the fact that Google was beginning to express interest in exerting more direct control over the brand.

It’s hard to imagine why a company would want to bend over backwards to fulfill the whims of their Google overlords, unless, perhaps the company is desperate for cash. Indeed, HTC has not had a very stellar performance as of late. While this does somewhat lend credence to the idea that HTC would partner with Google to garner sales where their own products are failing to do so, keep in mind that Google itself doesn’t see the Nexus brand as a huge moneymaker, so why would HTC? One possible reason is that even though Google doesn’t intend for the Nexus devices to be top sellers in the market, that doesn’t mean they can’t be.

Nexus 7

The Venerable Nexus 7 – First of Its Name, King of the Nexus Tablets and the First Jelly Bean, Lord of the Seven Inch Tablets, and Protector of the Nexus Brand

 

Next, we have a rather admittedly-spotty source in the form of a Chinese leak claiming that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, signed a three-year contract with HTC to partner for the next Nexus devices. That same source claims that the devices will be a pair of 5.0″ and 5.5″ devices, which lines up with the “T50” and “T55” codenames earlier if we are to believe that those names indeed refer to the screen sizes of the devices.

Finally, of course, we return to the original source mentioned in this post, namely Mr. Blass’s own tweet. This is the final piece of evidence we believe points to the fact that HTC will be in line to produce the next Nexus device(s). AndroidCentral makes a pretty good argument that this partnership makes perfect sense given HTC’s string of recent partnerships in other areas. All of the coins spin and point in the same direction, the only thing left is to wait and see until Google I/O 2016.


How do we know it’s a Tablet?

Again, we don’t know for sure. But there are a lot of things that do point to this being the case. For starters, let’s look at the currently released Pixel C device. We’ve talked about this before, but the Pixel C was released at a time when Android simply wasn’t a suitable operating system for tablets. We know, we know, this has been a problem for for ages. However, Google themselves have admitted the failures of the Pixel C tablet and has promised that Android N would be coming with better tablet support.

Credits: AndroidCentral

Credits: AndroidCentral

Speaking of Android N, remember all the multi-tasking improvements they’ve made? Multi-window support? Enhanced stylus support? Many of Android N’s most important software improvements are pretty geared towards tablets rather than smartphones. So it makes sense for Google to push for a new tablet device to showcase their recent tablet enhancements. But that’s not it, it not only makes sense for us to think Google is gearing for better tablet support, they’re practically begging developers to work on new tablet apps before Android N goes live.

Furthermore, consider the fact that Google just today pulled the plug on the Nexus 9. You can no longer find the Nexus 9 tablet on the Google Play Store no matter how hard you look. This is hardly an unusual occurrence, but it suggests that it may be time for a new tablet refresh. It wouldn’t make sense for Google to pull the Pixel C tablet, since it’s still relatively new hardware. But the Nexus 9 being pulled makes perfect sense.


Two Nexus Phones, or a Nexus and a Pixel?

Looking back at the tweet that started all the craze today, there’s nothing in it that actually suggests that the two leaked devices are Nexus phones. All we know is that they are two Android N devices dubbed M1 and S1. A new Pixel could just as readily be one of the devices that was leaked here. Or it could not be, if the very early leaks by @LlabTooFer and the Chinese site MyDrivers are to be believed. One interesting thing to note is that Google has no interest in making a Pixel phone, as they already have the Nexus lineup to cover that. In addition, the Pixel line-up is primarily designed by Google, while the Nexus line-up is always created in collaboration with a partner. Obvious, I know, but it’s important to consider when figuring out what the new device will be.

So what does this mean for us? It means that the two new devices could be two new Nexus phones, or a new Nexus phone and a Nexus tablet, or a new Nexus phone and a Pixel tablet. I’m leaning towards the middle option, here, given the evidence we’ve seen thus far. At the very least, we’re pretty sure that at least one of these devices is a new tablet, but we know next to nothing about the phone.

Finally, some additional tidbits about these rumored devices: the codenames. M1 and S1 don’t tell us much about the devices, but given Google’s penchant for naming their Nexus devices after aquatic animals, it’s possible that the codenames for these devices will also follow a similar pattern. AndroidPolice found some evidence from a Qualcomm senior engineer making reference to a device called ‘Marlin’ in the AOSP Gerrit just about a month ago. Furthermore, as 9to5Google points out, on April 8th a strange device bearing the name of ‘Nexus 6P’ showed up in a Geekbench benchmark. Strange how, you might ask? Well, the device scores far higher than other Nexus 6P devices, and in fact scores about on par with devices bearing the Snapdragon 820 SoC. The device also has 4GBs of RAM and is already running Android N, too. But the strongest piece of evidence from this benchmark is the fact that the motherboard shows the name ‘Marlin’ in the bench, which is the same codename referenced by the Qualcomm engineer.

nexus2cee_marlin1_thumb-1 Nexus 6p bench

As for ‘S1’, we have no idea what this one could be, as we haven’t seen any actual reference to a codename that starts with S in any of the usual places. Your guess is as good as mine, though, again it’s probably going to be named after some kind of aquatic animal.

And there you have it. That’s all the evidence we’ve seen so far. We think it’s highly likely that HTC is involved in making the next Nexus devices, and we also think it’s very likely one of those devices will be a tablet. The only way to be sure is to wait and see. I’m hyped, are you? Let us know your thoughts below!



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Minimal ADB & Fastboot Tool Updated to v1.4

XDA Recognized Developer shimp208 just released version 1.4 of their Minimal ADB & Fastboot tool. This brings ADB and Fastboot up to the latest version 1.0.3.5 release candidates and prepares it for eventual open sourcing of the tool.



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How Much Mobile Data Do You Consume, How Much Do You Really Need?

One of the propagating factors that played a symbiotic role in the adoption of smartphones is Mobile Data. Over the years, our consumption of mobile data has spurred the the growth and improvement of Telecom infrastructure which in turns helps adoption and increase in consumption of mobile data. Mobile Data went from being a luxury, to being a necessity for work-on-the-go or an indulgence for media consumption.

However, we do not always need all the data that our contracts and prepaid plans offer us. With the increase in public hotspots and the often presence of often-superior home broadband connections, a lot of us can shuffle, offload and stagger our data consumption onto more relaxed sources. So we ask you:

How much mobile data do you consume on a monthly basis? And how much of this data do you really need? Could you get by with a very limited mobile data connection? Could you live an offline mobile data life?

Let us know in the comments below!



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Poweramp Music Player App Review & Giveaway

Today XDA TV Host TK takes a look at the music player app Poweramp. Additionally, we are giving away twenty-five (25) unlock codes for the Poweramp full version. To learn about Poweramp Music player and how to win, check out the video!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Network Monitoring: How to Get Started and Why You Should Consider it

Security and privacy are of the utmost importance when modifying your device or buying from a third party reseller.  Of course, nothing will ever beat only buying or downloading from trusted sources but if you ever believe your device is sending or receiving information to/from a third party, there are several ways to check.

Image 022The method we’ll look at is primarily developed for Windows; however, official builds do exist for OSX and Linux via mono, alternate software options such as Wireshark are out there but we will be taking a look at Fiddler, which is a free web debugging proxy.  To start you’ll want to download the client from here and (Mac and linux users can grab a build here). Once it has installed we can begin setup, head to Tools > Fiddler Options > Connections and ensure “Allow remote computers to connect” is ticked.

Then head across to the “HTTPs” tab and tick “Decrypt HTTPS traffic” if you would like to see encrypted traffic. Exit the settings and hover over the “Online” indicator which should be in the top right of your display, make a note of the IP address that appears.

The following instructions will differ slightly depending on your ROM or Android version, but for the most part should be similar enough to follow with ease. On your phone head to your WiFi settings and ensure you are connected to the same network as your PC, once connected long press on the connection name and select modify network, then tap show advanced options.

Set your Proxy settings to manual, under hostname type the IP address you copied down earlier and then under Proxy port enter 8888 unless you changed it in the connections menu of Fiddler. Hit save and then in your phone’s browser head to http://ift.tt/1UUXLc6 which should show the Fiddler Echo Service webpage. If you chose to enable decrypted HTTPS traffic earlier you will also want to click the FiddlerRoot Certificate link in your phone’s browser now and install. Once you have completed your testing you can revert your phone’s WiFi connection by heading back to WiFi settings and removing the proxy settings.

You are now all set up and should begin to notice the traffic from your phone appearing in Fiddler. If you are using your PC at the same time you can stop traffic from there showing in Fiddler by right clicking traffic you know is from your PC and then filter, followed by hide process; you should only need to do this for your browser and anything else that is actively connected to the internet. From here you can start testing your device, if you plan on testing your ROM you may want to leave the program running while you use your phone as normal for an extended period of time which should allow you to review the entire log at a later time, to check for any sporadic malicious connections. If, however, you are wanting to check an individual app this can be done quickly by simply using the app and monitoring which connections are made during this time. Fiddler will not prevent these connections, but it will show you what is being sent or received and from where, which brings us to investigating individual connections.

On the right-hand side of the Fiddler client, you will see several tabs, including but not limited to Composer, Log, Filters and Inspectors. Click any traffic that you wish to inspect in the main panel and then inspectors, in the new options that appear below ensure you are in Headers. This should display information such as the version of Android you are running, the make and model of phone you are running. Below this will be the host.

Image 024
Image 021

The entry in the main panel (above, left) shows the URL, host, file size and content type, for example, this .PNG from baidu has been picked up upon my opening of ES File Explorer Pro, the fallen king of file managers. The right-hand side of the client goes more in-depth As you can see from the top panel, I am using a Huawei-AL10 running Marshmallow, which is currently connecting to baidu.com. The bottom panel shows the data that is being sent which in this case can be viewed in the WebView tab, as you can see in this case ES File Explorer Pro is downloading a Christmas image, (Estrongs, if you are reading this thanks for wasting my data on Christmas images in April…). These logs  can then be analyzed to determine a lot about the app in question, in this scenario the accumulation of data and the other traffic from ES file explorer shows that:

A) Even though the Pro version does not come with ads, several MBs worth are still being downloaded just not shown.
B) The app is built poorly with no regard for efficiency.
C) The app is communicating with Baidu constantly.

This method can be used to monitor any data your phone handles over the WiFi connection, thereby making it relatively simple to find out if an app or ROM is sending your data somewhere it shouldn’t be or downloading something that could be malicious. Give it a try sometime, you may be surprised at what you find out.

Footnote:
untit785led u76ntitled untitl8ed untitled un7titled
Just a bit of the pure filth uncovered from ES File Explorer during the network monitoring



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Android N Preview Now Supported in Android Studio 2.1

The Android team released version 2.1 of the Android Studio and there are significant changes in the release. Primarily the release now adds support for the Developer Preview of Android N. Android’s Jack compiler is now supported and now opens the door to Java 8 language features without additional tools or resources.

In addition to Android N support, Instant Run has seen further enhancements since the 2.0 release earlier this month. Java applications are now sped up significantly by incremental compilation, meaning that instead of the entire package being compiled only changes to the package will be recompiled.  The process of creating a dex file from a class has also been migrated from a separate process and into the Gradle daemon process. Because of this the Android team now is advising developers to ensure a minimum of 2GB RAM is available for Gradle. They are also actively soliciting feedback on the Instant Run feature to help refine and improve it. Hopefully those of us in the community using it are sounding off and helping make these tools as good as they can be!

More details can be found on the Android Studio 2.1 announcement yesterday. Want to download it? Head over to the Android Studio download page and pick up 2.1 today!



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HTC 10 with Unlocked Bootloader and TWRP Cannot Download OTA

XDA Recognized Contributor topjohnwu found out that unlocking the HTC10’s bootloader and installing TWRP makes the device incapable of even downloading all OTA’s in the first place.



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Qualcomm Releases Updated Tools for Vulkan

A lot of people are betting on Vulkan to be huge and recently Qualcomm updated their developer tools to help developers. The Adreno SDK now has a directory with sample Vulkan graphics as an Android Studio project. The Snapdragon Profiler will now show how your apps are taking advantage of the Vulkan API. It alsos track Vulkan API calls to give you GPU timing information.



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Google Redesigns the Homepage of the YouTube App

If you’re an avid user of the YouTube app for Android then you can look forward to an update that will revamp the homepage that you see when you open it up. There’s more to this update than just large images too. Google says they’ve improved the personal recommendation engine that suggests videos it feels you are interested in watching.



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Leaked Photos Allegedly Reveal the Samsung Gear Fit 2 & Gear IconX

Evan Blass was able to get his hands on some photos that allegedly show off two upcoming products from Samsung. First up, we have the Gear IconX Bluetooth earbuds that we see both in and outside of its charging case. Then there’s the Gear Fit 2, a successor to the company’s fitness wearable from back in April of 2014.



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Even Intel wants to Ditch the 3.5mm Jack in Favor of USB Type-C

There’s been rumors of Apple ditching the 3.5mm jack and LeEco did exactly that with their latest batch of devices they released. Now it seems Intel agrees and transition over to the more universal USB Type-C standard. This idea is already a very polarized topic so it will surely spawn heated debates from both sides of the argument.



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Nextbit Robin Receives Android 6.0.1 Update with Camera and Sound Improvements

A system update for the Nextbit Robin for Android 6.0.1 fixes a few issues with the camera and brings in better sound quality and control. We noted in our review how the Robin’s camera was a bit on the slow side, and this update promises to fix this as well as bring in improvements with image sharpness and vibrancy.



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Microsoft’s Xamarin Launches Major Update to Cross-Platform Development Tools

Xamarin, which was acquired by Microsoft in February, has announced major updates to its cross-platform development tools. Notably, Xamarin is open-sourcing its SDK’s for Android, iOS and Mac under the MIT licenses. These SDK’s include the command-line tools for building applications as well as Xamarin’s cross-platform Xamarin.Forms UI framework.



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Nintendo Confirms 2 Franchises are Coming to Smartphones

The tweets from Nintendo of America have been taken down, but Engadget was able to preserve the text from it. Earlier today, Nintendo went on Twitter and said “More #Nintendo apps are coming to smart devices, including Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing!” It’s unclear if these will be ports of previous games or new games, but it seems these 2 franchises are next on Nintendo’s list.



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Pokemon GO Field Test Invites are Going Out in Australia & New Zealand

Niantic is bringing in more people to test their upcoming game, Pokemon GO. If you live in either Australia or New Zealand, then you have the opportunity to get a field test invite for the game. Invites will be sent out based on which mobile platform you’re using, if you have any experience in real world games (hint, Ingress players), and a little bit of luck.



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India Bans Import of Phones Without IMEI From China

In an effort to avoid dumping of low quality products in India, the government of India has banned the import of mobile phones and certain other products from China. The Chinese mobile phone import ban is restricted to phones that ship without an IMEI number (such as unbranded generic feature phones), which implies that smartphones are outside of the scope of this ban.



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mardi 26 avril 2016

3 Minute Games Discounts all Lifeline Games to $0.10

3 Minute Games is a game developer studio known for their Lifeline series of games. So far, the team has released Lifeline, Lifeline 2 and Lifeline: Silent Night. You can pick up each of these games in the Play Store right now for only a dime a piece. It’s unclear how long this sale will last, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can.



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Developer Explains the Future of Talon

With Fenix recently hitting its Twitter token limit, Luke Klinker (the developer of Talon) has been getting a lot of questions about the future of his Twitter application. He says Talon “still has plenty of tokens available” and then goes on to explain that he will continue to support it with updates once it finally does hit the token limit.



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BlackBerry Announces Android 6.0 Rollout for the Priv

After the short beta program, BlackBerry has officially announced the full Android 6.0 Marshmallow rollout. The update is already starting to hit devices that were purchased from BlackBerry’s own web store (ShopBlackBerry) and the company says it will be hitting carrier models starting on May 3rd. With this being BlackBerry’s first major Android update, we’re curious to see how they handle it.



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Pokémon GO Beta Extended Gameplay Footage

More footage has appeared online for Pokémon GO, Niantic’s newest game which is under beta testing in Japan and Australia. This gameplay footage shows us several mechanics of the game, including how to catch Pokémon, fight a gym battle, and even hatch an Egg. The Pokémon seem to be limited to Gen 1, but do remember this is in Beta, so gameplay and/or content may change upon public release.



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