mardi 28 février 2017

We Finally Get a Proper Galaxy S8 Leak — Curved Screen, Rounded Corners, Minimal Bezel

We’ve been receiving bite-sized pieces of information about the Galaxy S8 for the past few months, with each new credible rumor and each new solid leak further enhancing our understanding of our new handset. Today we finally get a full look at the design courtesy of @evleaks himself.

Evan Blass is the most reputable leaker in the industry, and given the proximity of the S8’s release and how this new image ties together several past renders, we are rather confident this is indeed the real Galaxy S8 we are looking at. So, what do we find here? First, we see the prominent edge-to-edge curved display we expected, but this time bezels have been further shrunk through the use of rounded corners and the removal of the iconic Samsung home button. We’ve been hearing that Samsung would opt for capacitive keys for a while now, and previous CAD-based renders also showed these bezel proportions.

It’s worth noting that these rounded corners are far sharper than those coming with the recently-announced LG G6, and ultimately the Galaxy S8 does seem to sport a much higher screen-to-body ratio. We also get a hint of what TouchWiz is aiming for with this new release, with the extremely flat camera and dial shortcuts suggesting iterative refinements to Samsung’s UX. The wallpaper also showcases the Galaxy ‘S’ that’s part of the lineup’s logo.  It’s  also important to note the date! March 29, the date the Galaxy S8 is set to be officially unveiled. A few other notable observations include a myriad of sensors at the front (including the Iris Scanner, set to make a return) and an indentation at the bottom, seemingly confirming the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Finally, to the left you can observe one extra key, which we presume will be a shortcut key (similar to that of the Galaxy S7 Active) pre-programmed to launch Samsung’s new AI assistant, Bixby.

This design is the clear culmination of Samsung’s latest efforts to minimize bezels and shoot for a curvy and symmetric glass body. We expect the construction to be top-notch, as usual, and we will see the phone come with the lastest specs as well — including the much-anticipated Snapdragon 835 and the newly-revealed Exynos 9 Series processor.  This is set to be a huge release for Samsung, and a trial where we’ll finally get to see if consumer trust remains strong after the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

We are looking forward to getting our hands on the Galaxy S8 to see what makes it tick. In the mean time, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

What do you think of Samsung’s new design?


Source: @evleaks Check Out XDA’s Galaxy S8 Forum! >>>



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Google is Not Working on Another Pixel Laptop

Google’s Pixel lineup originally began with the company’s chromebook ambitions — the original Pixels were high-end, well-specced and premium laptops that managed to showcase Chrome OS’ true potential.

It wasn’t long before Google decided to use the Pixel branding for other endeavors, including the Pixel C (which could have very well been a Chrome OS device at the drawing board stages) and now the new Pixel phone lineup. However, TechCrunch reports that in a small meeting with journalists at MWC 2017, Google’s Senior VP for Hardware Rick Osterloh communicated that the Pixel Chromebook has hit its end of the line, and that there won’t be any more premium Pixel chromebooks for the foreseeable future. This is sad news for chromebook enthusiasts, as the Pixel laptop only had two runs to iterate upon itself, and it was definitely getting closer to that refined vision of a web-first computer — even if at a hefty price.

The Pixel name has found new success with Google’s smartphone line-up, though Mr. Osterloh admits that the company struggled to keep up with demand — supply has traditionally been a pain-point for Google releases going back to its Nexus devices. While future products may use the Pixel name to build upon Google’s flavor of hardware, laptops are not likely to bear the revitalized branding, as Mr. Osterloh says the company has “no plans to do one right now”. Furthermore, Google has no plans to keep producing current models of Pixel laptops. Chrome OS remains a “huge initiative in the company”, and Mr. Osterloh says that Google “hasn’t backed away from laptops”, where they have a strong marketshare in both the UK and the US,

It’s sad to see such iconic pieces of technology not get a third moment under the spotlight, particularly now that the Pixel brand has been getting traction and has reached new customers through the Pixel phones (and the intense advertisement campaign behind them).  The Pixel Chromebooks might have been expensive, but they also pushed the boundaries of hardware for Chrome OS computers, and they also innovated in their own right, bringing many design elements that users loved, and some that carried onto other devices and platforms such as the famous lightbar on the Pixel C tablet (which is still on sale).

Alas, all good things come to an end. We certainly didn’t expect Google to drop such a well-received and foundational product after just two attempts. Hopefully, this frees up resources and talent within the Mountain View giant to enrich other Google (or Pixel) products.

What do you think about the Pixel brand? Did you ever consider a Pixel Chromebook? Let us know in the comments below!


Source: TechCrunch

 



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Latest Xperia Keyboard has been Ported for All Android 4.4+ Devices

Sony’s stock Xperia keyboard has recently been updated to version 8 with performance improvements and support for Android 7.0 devices. XDA Member Shoot-niK has posted a modified APK of this version that can be installed on any Android 4.4+ device. Check it out!



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Island gets an Update with “God Mode” to Freeze any Installed App without Root

Island, XDA Senior Member oasisfeng, is an application sandbox that allows you to clone apps into a sandbox “Island” environment where the cloned app cannot access your personal data even if it has been granted those permissions. You can use this app to clone a permission-hungry app then uninstall the original, and then furthermore freeze the cloned app to kill background services. Now, a recent update introduces “God mode” which allows you to freeze applications without cloning it. All of this, without root!



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InstaWide Helps you Post Wide/Panorama Images to Instagram

Instagram recently updated to let you upload up to 10 photos to a post. InstaWide, from XDA Senior Member alirezaafkar, takes advantage of this new feature and helps you to divide and crop your wide or panorama photos so they can be posted as an album.



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Radify is an Internet Radio Application with Over 25,000 Stations

Radify is a curated list of internet radio stations from XDA Senior Member ivan123. The stations are available in over 200 countries and you can pick from 25,000 different stations. You even have the ability to pick your station based on location, genres, moods and themes.



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How to Clone any Application with EMUI’s App Twin Feature [No Root]

If you’ve recently purchased a Huawei Mate 9 or you’re one of the lucky few to partake in the EMUI 5.0 beta for some Huawei/Honor devices, then you might have heard of the new “App Twin” feature.

Evidently, Huawei must consider this feature one of EMUI’s biggest selling points, since they stuck it in the top-most layer of the Settings application. App Twin, as you might expect from its name, allows you to create a duplicate application so you can log-in to two different accounts at the same time. Owners of a European model can duplicate Whatsapp or Facebook while Chinese models can duplicate QQ or Wechat, but these are your only options by default.

When you duplicate one of these applications, a new app icon will be created on your home screen that allows you to start the duplicated app. You’ll see a little “2” card icon within the app icon that indicates which app you’re using – the original or duplicate. This duplicate application can only exist on Huawei’s stock launcher, and when the icon is cleared from the home screen, the App Twin is deleted.

Now, this certainly isn’t an innovative concept on the part of Huawei. There are several applications that do this same function on the Play Store; some of the more popular ones include App Cloner and Parallel Space. I would argue that by default, these third-party alternatives are superior to Huawei’s App Twin feature. Any app that you duplicate through one of the Play Store alternatives isn’t tied to Huawei’s stock EMUI launcher. But most importantly, you aren’t limited to only 2 predetermined applications that Huawei has set.

These apps, and others like them on the Play Store, also have their own fair share of downsides, though. App Cloner, for instance, doesn’t work on many applications (such as most Google apps). Parallel Space, while demonstrating greater compatibility, is in my opinion a pretty bloated application that is slow to launch any given duplicated app.

Fortunately, Huawei’s App Twin feature does not suffer from either of these two problems, but for some odd reason Huawei decided to restrict the feature to so few apps. Despite Huawei’s claims that App Twin only works for Whatsapp/Facebook or QQ/Wechat, it can actually work with pretty much any application on your device. Here’s how it’s done.


Clone any App with EMUI’s App Twin Feature

Those of you who have been following my previous tutorials might know that I’m a huge fan of using Tasker and/or the ADB shell to discover and tweak hidden settings on your device. This time is no different, though you can breathe a sigh of relief as we won’t be needing Tasker this time around. I almost completely missed this trick because I never gave App Twin a second thought after I switched over to using Nova Launcher, but while I was messing around with other tweaks, the ADB command I sent days before suddenly made a secondary Gmail, Solid Explorer, Chromium, and Reddit is Fun icon pop up.

To my surprise, these were fully functional duplicate apps. And it’s really quite easy to add whatever application you want to the App Twin list. All you need is the application’s package name and a working ADB shell (if you already have root access, then you can use Terminal Emulator instead).

First, download the ADB binary straight from Google and extract it to any folder on your computer. Next, install HiSuite from Huawei so your computer will have the latest drivers necessary for ADB to work. Finally, you need to enable USB Debugging in Settings –> Developer options (tap on Build Number 7 times in Settings –> About phone to unlock Developer options if you haven’t already) and grant your computer ADB access.

Verify that ADB is set up properly by seeing if it recognizes your device. Open up a command prompt in the same directory as your ADB binary (Windows: right-click in the folder and click on “Open Command Prompt Here”) and then type adb devices. If you see your phone’s serial number (and it doesn’t say “unauthorized”) then you’re ready to move on. If you don’t see it, check to make sure that HiSuite recognizes your phone and double check that USB Debugging is enabled.

Now, we need to get a list of package names that we will clone using the App Twin feature. I recommend you install an application like App Inspector from the Play Store which will tell you the package name of all installed apps. Open up the application and tap on “App list” to show an alphabetical list of your apps. Tap on an application to open up a details page with a bunch of information including the install time, data storage location, usage statistics, and more.

What we’re interested in is, of course, the package name. The package name is the first line underneath the app’s name up top, or you can find it by looking after the last / in the data storage location. It will usually start with “com.” but this is not always the case. For Gmail, the package name is com.google.android.gm.

Now that you’ve got the package name, open up a command prompt in the same directory as your ADB binary. We will now send an ADB command to create our cloned apps. First, you’ll need to enter an ADB shell. Type the following:

adb shell

Once you’re in an ADB shell, enter the following command:

settings get secure clone_app_list

If you are already using the App Twin feature, then you should see either one or two package names returned with this command. If you aren’t using this feature, this string will be empty. Now, we will either append to the existing list or create a new list of apps to clone.

settings put secure clone_app_list "PACKAGE#1;PACKAGE#2;PACKAGE#3"

where PACKAGE#1…PACKAGE#3…PACKAGE#N is the full semi-colon separated list of app packages you want cloned. Make sure that you don’t forget to put the package list in-between quotation marks, otherwise the command won’t work.

If you are already using the App Twin feature and you received a list of packages during the “get” command, then be sure to APPEND your list to the ones that were returned. Otherwise, the existing apps will be deleted.

For instance, if I want to clone Gmail, Solid Explorer, Chromium, and Reddit is Fun, I would enter the following command:

settings put secure clone_app_list "com.google.android.gm;pl.solidexplorer2;org.chromium.chrome;com.andrewshu.android.reddit"

Immediately after entering this command, you should see a toast message telling you that a cloned app has been placed on your home screen. Depending on how many packages you entered in this command, your home screen should now populate with one or more cloned apps.

You can have some fun with this command, as it can be used on pretty much any app on your phone (though I wouldn’t recommend cloning SystemUI, as I have no idea what would happen). I was able to clone the Google Play Store and Fire Emblem Heroes, for instance.

The cloned Play Store is fully functional, but it does result in some peculiar behavior if you install an app from within it. As you can see in the screenshot below, I installed Parallel Space from within the clone Play Store. The system becomes confused, thinking that you’ve just created another cloned app, but when you tap on the home screen icon you are told that the app isn’t installed. Not to worry, though, as the app is actually installed and accessible from the app drawer.

If you want to play around with this command on your own, there is one very important thing you should be careful of. Anytime you want to add a package to the list, you must append to the list and not overwrite the existing packages in the list, otherwise your existing cloned apps will all disappear. You can get the current list of cloned packages by entering the “get” command from earlier in this tutorial.


Conclusion

I hope you find this neat little trick useful. I don’t know why Huawei decided to restrict which applications you can clone, especially since the feature seems to be fully functional with nearly every app on your device. In my experience, Huawei’s App Twin (after this tweak) is actually better than using third-party apps from the Play Store, since it has wide compatibility and doesn’t suffer from speed issues.

Although, the one remaining caveat is that this feature still only works on Huawei’s default launcher. I haven’t yet figured out a way to get around this restraint, but it might require third-party launchers to support this feature (which I don’t think will happen). Nevertheless, this tutorial should still help those of you who were hoping that EMUI’s App Twin feature could be more useful.

Try it out and let us know if it works for you!



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Amazon is Reportedly Working on Advanced Voice-Recognition for Alexa

According to a new report coming out of Time, it appears Amazon is internally working on a new technology to further improve the voice recognition capabilities of Alexa.

Amazon is reportedly developing a new technology which would allow it to identify and distinguish between individual voices. That means Alexa might be able to recognize whether a voice command is given by you or anyone else in your household.

Internally known as “Voice ID,” the feature has been in development since last year and is almost ready for launch, according to the person familiar with the matter who spoke with Time. The goal behind the new Voice ID technology is to prevent unauthorized access, implement a more personalized user experience for every account, and make Alexa more seamless for all family members. Once launched, the feature could be used to impose more restricted accessibility over other family members’ accounts to prevent them from making unauthorized purchases or controlling smart home appliances.

Amazon already supports multiple accounts on Alexa, but it currently requires manual action on the user’s end to switch between accounts. With “Voice ID,” Alexa would be able to identify the voice of different users, making it possible to automatically switch between accounts after recognizing the user’s voice.

The report also claims that the most of the work behind the feature has already been finished, but privacy concerns are holding back the launch of the feature. Unfortunately, the report doesn’t specify exactly when, if ever, the feature will be launched. Google is very likely working on such a technology for their own Google Assistant product, but we haven’t yet heard any details about that. Still, this news is an exciting development for fans of home assistant products, and we hope to hear more about Voice ID and similar technology from Google in the near future.


Source: Time



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Google Home is Scheduled to Launch in the UK by June

Google Home might not have impressed everybody when it launched, but it’s still a nice entry product into home assistants for the Mountain View technology giant.

Fans of Google Assistant have been pushing Google to focus on it and natural language technology as much as Amazon has been with their Alexa platform, but we have to remember that Google Home isn’t even widely available right now. Currently, Google Home is only available in the United States. However, that may soon be changing.

Reporters at the BBC spoke with Google representatives at Mobile World Congress this year and they were greeted with some good news for customers who live in the United Kingdom. While a release date or launch price has not yet been set in stone, Google has confirmed with the BBC that Google Home should be available in the UK before the end of June.

This delay isn’t too surprising given the nature of the product. While Amazon’s Alexa platform is good at taking specific commands, Google is trying to make things more conversational with Google Home. Google’s own Rick Osterloh says their goal here is “trying to really understand what people are asking for.” While certainly a difficult task to begin with, Google has a history of launching products first in the United States as a sort of test market for their products, as the U.S. is where the company is based.

Although, Google is a global company so they have a ton of search data to pull from. Still, it seems logical for Google to start small and iron out the kinks before expanding into additional countries with various nuances to the language.


Source: BBC



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Huawei Missed their Profit Target for 2016, Talks of Possible Layoffs

Huawei is one of the largest smartphone OEMs in the world right now.

The company is undoubtedly facing a lot of pressure to meet their sales targets and maintain their lead over their competitors. However, a recent report confirms that Huawei’s mobile division ended up missing their internal profit target for the year of 2016. Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business division, was at Mobile World Congress this year to discuss the issue.

Mr. Yu told Reuters that, while the mobile division was still profitable last year, their margins were lower than what they had aimed for. Since Huawei’s mobile division accounts for a third of the company’s total revenue, missing that goal is a big deal. As a result, The Huawei Group founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, sent an internal memo to employees to discuss the situation and encourage the company’s staff to improve their numbers.

Of particular note, the memo contains a line that states that “Huawei will not pay for those that don’t work hard,” which suggests the company may start cutting back jobs. Huawei employs a total of 170,000 people, with 45% of them working on research and development. A Huawei engineer is quoted by Reuters as saying “everybody is nervous” since they know they are now at risk of being laid off.

Huawei’s official statement on the report is that they do not have a layoff plan at this time. It’s possible that they’re working on one, but it’s also possible that this memo was written in a way to simply encourage their employees to work harder. We’ll have to wait and see if they can increase their profit margins for 2017, or if Huawei decides to cut staff before the final numbers are in.


Source: Reuters



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Google Announces Play Store Changes to Help Promote Great Games

While a lot of Android publications are currently talking about Mobile World Congress 2017 from Barcelona, there’s also another big convention going on right now: The Game Developers Conference is currently happening too, and since Google has their hand in mobile gaming, it makes sense for them to be there right now as well. Along with 5 new games that Google just announced are available for pre-registration, they also announced some new tools to help good mobile games get discovered more often.

The first new feature that will be seen by both developers and the end user is the ability to show that a game in the Play Store is on sale. Some parts of the Play Store currently do things this way right now (like Movies and Books), but we haven’t had this feature available for music or applications/games yet. Earlier this month Google did a small test with a select number of developers that allowed them to put their game on sale and display this price change right on the application page.

Google said developers saw an increase of 3x–20x in sales from this pilot program since the user was actually aware that the game was on sale. This will even let developers offer their games for free for a short time while being able to revert it back to its paid price once the promotion is over. Google also talked about how they’ve been tweaking the discovery algorithm of the Play Store to help promote games based on engagement instead of just the number of installs it has.

Not only will this help the better games get improved visibility, but it will also help to prevent the developers who pay for application installs from gaming the system. The last thing Google talked about here will be them curating more high quality games and promoting them through editorial pages. This will launch later this month and will allow their editors to hand-pick games that provide value to the community.

Source: Android Developers Blog



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Spreadtrum to Base an Upcoming Chip on Intel’s Atom Architecture

Intel definitely made a mistake when it came to approaching the mobile chip market. The company refused to focus on things like power efficiency once smartphones started to gain traction and this led to a number of other companies stepping up and filling the void. Then when Intel changed their mind, it almost felt like it was too late since others like Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei had already matured their mobile chip businesses.

We did see a few smartphones and tablets opt for an Intel x86 SoC, like the ASUS Zenfone 2, but it ultimately wasn’t enough for the desktop and server chip company to gain enough momentum. The lead mobile chip executive left the company in April of last year, then a month later we started seeing reports claim Intel spent over $10 billion trying to play catch up in the mobile space before eventually giving up. Many felt the Intel x86 chips were dead when it came to smartphones and tablets but that doesn’t seem to be the case now.

PCWorld has a report up that talks about partner companies keeping the chips’ architecture alive now that Intel is currently out of the game. The report specifically names Spreadtrum as the Chinese chip maker who is basing their SC9861G-IA chip on Intel’s Atom architecture named Airmont. The chip will be paired with the PowerVR GT7200 GPU and is said to support up to 1440p displays. However, it seems Spreadtrum will actually be using this chip in mid-range devices.

This deal between Intel and Spreadtrum started back in 2014, but it isn’t the only partnership that Intel currently has with chipmakers. Rockchip, the company responsible for the OP1 used in Samsung’s new Chromebook Plus, also has a partnership with Intel that could result in x86 mobile chips. The report also goes on to say that Intel may not be completely out of the mobile space themselves either. Aicha Evans, senior vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group at Intel, says they’re open to making chips for any device that wants to connect to the internet, and that includes smartphones.

Source: PCWorld



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UMIDIGI Z PRO Unveiled at MWC [Hands-On Pics]

The UMIDIGI Z Pro in the first real dual-camera phone made by the Chinese phone company. It’s being shown at MWC right now. While the pre-sale begins, you can grab an UMIDIGI Z Pro at a special price–$50 off to be exact, bringing the price of this flagship to a budget-friendly $249.99. The specs are similar to the Z (but with a dual-camera setup), which includes a Helio X27 2.6GHz deca-core CPU, 4GB RAM, a 3,780mAh battery with USB Type-C fast-charging, plus a 1080p 5.5″ display.

The first 13MP Dual-Lens Mediatek Phone


Dual-lens cameras are some of the hottest technology at the moment. The iPhone 7, Huawei P10, Huawei Mate 9 and Xiaomi Mi5s Plus, have some of the best cameras that you’ll find in smartphones today. They also all happen to be dual-lens setups.

When we look at Mediatek-powered phones, we usually see phones with a secondary camera that is significantly lower resolution than the primary. These setups aren’t nearly as good as full-blown dual-camera phones.

UMIDIGI Z Pro is the first ever Mediatek-based phone to feature two real 13MP cameras made by Sony, using the IMX 258 sensor on both of the rear cameras.

Real Black & White Photos

The UMIDIGI Z Pro uses two cameras: one that shoots in monochrome and one in RGB. This means if you take a photo in color, the phone uses both lenses to create the image. If you shoot in black and white, it will only use the dedicated monochrome lens. This means the Z Pro doesn’t have to rely on post-processing and filters to produce black and white photos. Real Black & White photos are way more detailed, crisp and natural than artificial B&W filters.

Here is a video which shows some awesome black and white moments captured with the UMIDIGI Z Pro.

Hands-on with the Z Pro

We stopped by the UMIDIGI booth at MWC to get an early look at the new Z Pro. The look and feel reminds us a lot of the OnePlus 3.



Subscribe for a $50 Discount and Enter to Win a Z Pro

To get the $50 discount, just head over to this page and leave your e-mail address to receive the discount code which you can redeem on March 9 when the pre-sale begins. Coupons are limited so get one quick!

You also have the opportunity to win a Z Pro for free! On the same page, comment saying which features of the dual-lens camera you like the most. Share the comment using the social media buttons to increase your chances of winning.

Thanks to UMIDIGI for sponsoring this post.



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Xiaomi Launches its Own In-House “Surge S1” SoC with the new Xiaomi Mi 5C

lundi 27 février 2017

Sailfish OS Port for the Lenovo Zuk Z1

Own a Lenovo Zuk Z1 and want something new to try out? Check out this port of Sailfish OS 2.0.5.8 by XDA Member aki237. It’s based off of a Cyanogenmod 12.1 base, and is considered in an alpha state due to numerous issues. Still, it’s exciting to see new, unique developments for lesser known devices.



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Hardware Mod to Fix Display Flickering, Overheating, and Reboots on the LG G3

With a little bit of thermal grease and aluminum foil, you can temporarily solve display flickering, overheating, and frequent reboots on your LG G3. XDA Senior Member IngJulian_RVLX has put together a picture guide on opening up your G3 so you can bring it back to life, DIY style!



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Dynamically Manage the Theme on your Windows 10 Mobile with DHTPersonalization

Although the Portal usually covers Android related topics, we still recognize the popularity of Windows 10 Mobile on our forums. If you own a Windows 10 Mobile device that is developer unlocked, then check out DHTCustomization by XDA Senior Member ngame. This application allows you to dynamically set tile colors periodically or on a set-time basis.



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Mod to Enable Fingerprint Unlocking after a Reboot on the Moto Z Play

XDA Senior Member S3V3N has posted a guide on how to enable unlocking your device with a fingerprint after a reboot. It involves decompiling your SystemUI.apk file and making a minor edit to KeyguardUpdateMonitor.smali. A flashable zip has been provided for users running on a Deodexed ROM. Remember to backup before messing with a modification like this!



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ShortCutter lets you Customize your Quick Setting Tiles on Android Nougat

XDA Recognized Developer LeeDroid has created an application that allows you to perform various actions from your quick setting tiles as well as launch applications or websites. If you have root or send an ADB command, you can access additional features such as toggling immersive mode, location mode, or ambient display.



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EMUI 5.1 is in Testing Phases for the Huawei Mate 9, Brings Improved Touch Response and Wifi Throughput

Merely a day after the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus with EMUI 5.1 was officially announced, we now have word that EMUI 5.1 is in testing for the Huawei Mate 9. This is not at all surprising given that the Mate 9 is still Huawei’s phablet flagship. The internal testing build, labeled MHA-AL00C00B202-log, brings with it decreased touch latency as well as improved WiFi throughput according to XDA Senior Member duraaraa.



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XDA Forums Live for MWC 2017 Devices!

This year’s Mobile World Congress was a busy affair — OEMs from all across the world converged under one roof to announce their newest products. We saw devices ranging from dumbphones all the way to premium flagships, giving everyone something to choose from.

In order to provide our forum users the best of experiences and give a one-stop shop to talk about everything surrounding their upcoming new phones, we are opening new XDA subforums for the devices that were announced at MWC 2017!

Click on the links below to visit the device forum:

BlackBerry

LG

Huawei/Honor

Lenovo

HMD Global / Nokia

Sony


The purpose of these forums is to provide our forum users a central location to talk about the device of their interest. Once the devices go on sale and become available to the public, these discussion areas will also host development as well. Having device-specific subforums will help maintain order in our general areas, giving all our forum users a place to go to in order to look for and find answers to their questions.

Head on over to the device specific sub forums to participate in discussions and know more about the new devices! Also check out our MWC 2017 coverage by following this link!



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Suamp is an Audio Player with Support for YouTube Audio Playback

XDA Junior Member Ionut Cristea has created an application that allows you to play local audio files as well as search YouTube to play audio-only from videos or playlists.



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How to Copy Desktop Chrome Bookmarks to CAF-based Chromium Browsers

Google recently killed bookmark sync support for third-party Chrome browsers, so there isn’t any way to sync your bookmarks. At the very least, you can manually add all of your desktop bookmarks to your third-party Chrome browser by following the instructions of XDA Member big_edd. These instructions are made for TugaBrowser, but you can modify the data directory to point to your particular Chrome browser package.



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Jolla Collaborates with Sony Open Devices to Bring Sailfish OS to Xperia Devices

Jolla’s open source Sailfish OS has been able to grab our attention at XDA over the years. The company’s mobile software platform recently received certification for both government and corporate use in Russia. The company may have had a few stumbles when it came to fulfilling orders for their tablet hardware, but at least they stepped up and offered refunds to the 21,000 backers who weren’t able to receive their product. Since then, Jolla has focused on its software and that has put them in a better position to grow their platform.

Jolla has just announced that they have teamed up with Sony Open Devices to bring Sailfish OS support to Sony Xperia devices. As you may already know, Sony is quite friendly to the developer community and us here at XDA admire the work they do for it. Some would argue that they could do better, but Sony certainly does more than most smartphone OEMs do right now by providing more than they are obliged to, and fostering the growth of the development community through tutorials and programs.

The Open Devices Program enabled Jolla to create a version of Sailfish OS for the Sony Xperia X. Sailfish OS can thus be used by advanced users and developers who are wanting to try (and tweak) Sailfish OS on a solid piece of hardware.

Many Sailfish OS developers were working with Jolla and with the Xperia X, they have a more modern piece of hardware to develop on. On top of these news, we’ve also learned that Jolla has formed a consortium in China for developing Sailfish OS based platforms for smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT, and smartwatches, although, we haven’t been given any additional details about who is involved in this project at this time.

Source: @JollaHQ



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Lenovo Announces the Tab 4 8, Tab 4 8 Plus, Tab 4 10 and Tab 4 10 Plus at MWC

Lenovo is also at MWC this year and they just announced a slew of new devices in an oft-forgotten category: the Android tablet.

There will be four devices in a Lenovo Tab 4 series that include two different versions of 8″ and 10″ models. We have the Lenovo Tab 4 8, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 and lastly the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus. All of these devices will be made available in both black and white variants, and they all have a “dual-glass” design meaning there’s glass on both the front and back of the tablets.

To start things off, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 includes an 8″ 720p display with a Snapdragon 425 SoC built inside of it. It also includes 2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of internal storage, and a 4,850mAh capacity battery with Android 7.0 Nougat installed out of the box. Lenovo says they’re looking at a $109 price point for this device when it is made available to the public.

Next up we have the Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus that also comes with an 8″ display but this time they’ve increased the resolution to 1920×1200 pixels.

This Plus version comes with a Snapdragon 625 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage with another version including 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of internal storage. The regular Tab 4 8 has a microUSB port for charging but the Tab 4 8 Plus has a USB Type-C port. This plus version also has a 4,850mAh capacity battery and Android 7.0 Nougat installed. Lenovo says this tablet will be priced at $199 when released.

The Lenovo Tab 4 10 will have a 10″ 720p display, the Snapdragon 425 SoC, 16GB of internal storage, and a 7,000mAh capacity battery. There will also be a 32GB version available, but it comes with a microUSB port and Android 7.0 Nougat for a price of $149.

Lastly, the Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus will have a 10″ 1920×1200 pixel display, the Snapdragon 625 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage (with a 4GB/64GB option too). Like the Tab 4 8 Plus, it will also have a USB Type-C port and Android 7.0 Nougat installed. It has the same 7,000mAh capacity battery as the regular Tab 4 10, but with a starting price of $249.


Via: 9to5Google



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ZTE Debuts the Blade V8 Lite and Blade V8 Mini at MWC 2017

ZTE originally announced the Blade V8 Pro at CES earlier this year and shortly afterwards we started to hear about rumors of the existence of other variants in this series.

Along with many other companies in Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress event, ZTE was there to show off a couple of new smartphones. One of these new devices is called the ZTE Blade V8 Lite, and as the name implies, it’s a less expensive version of the company’s higher end Blade V8 Pro. The second of these new devices is the ZTE Blade V8 Mini which supports “3D shooting” thanks to its dual rear camera setup.

ZTE says the Blade V8 Lite offers “competitive features at an unbeatable price” though we’ll have to wait and see for it to be released before we can really judge that claim. But one promising aspect of this new phone is that it will launch with Android 7.0 Nougat. With Nougat being released last year, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but it’s shocking how many smartphones and tablets are still being launched with Marshmallow right now.

ZTE explains that the design of the Blade V8 Lite was inspired by French upholstery and its curved design was able to keep it at 8mm thick too. The Blade V8 Lite has a metallic design with a No.205 Zircon-sand blasting cover to help give it that industrial look.

On the hardware front, we’re looking at a smartphone with a 5″ 720p display, 2GB of RAM and a MediaTek 6750 SoC. There’s a “3D” fingerprint scanner on the back of the device, with an 8MP camera with autofocus sitting right above it. It also has a 5MP front-facing camera, a 2,500mAh capacity battery, 16GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot.

Next up, the ZTE Blade V8 Mini has a 5″ 720p display as well, but this one is sporting the Snapdragon 435 SoC. It has 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 5MP front-facing camera, and a 2,800mAh capacity battery. Other than the Snapdragon chip, the big difference here is the design and its two rear cameras. The V8 Mini has a 13MP sensor paired with a 2MP camera on the back to give you that 3D shooting mode as well as a refocus mode.

We haven’t been told when the new ZTE smartphones will be launched, or at what price the company will be selling them for. The V8 Lite/V8 Mini are targeted at the entry level market though, so we’re expecting them to be on the inexpensive side. Lastly, ZTE tells us the Blade V8 Lite will be made available in Italy, Germany, and Spain. As far as the V8 Mini in concerned, the device is set to launch in various markets across Asia Pacific and Europe.

How much do you think ZTE should charge for these devices for it to be competitive with the rest of the market?


Source: ZTE (1) Source: ZTE (2)



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Sony Launches the Xperia XZ Premium, XZs, XA1 and XA1 Ultra at MWC 2017

Sony is making its presence felt at Mobile World Congress 2017 by launching not one or two, but four new smartphones. While the phones share a similar design language, these smartphones mark a few key firsts in the market for Sony.

Xperia XZ Premium

The Xperia XZ Premium is the top product that was announced by Sony, and it became one of the first phones to be announced with newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC (albeit availability is a different issue). Sony is also packing a heavy punch by fitting the device with a 5.5″ Triluminos 4K display with support for HDR, a display which Sony claims is 40% brighter than the Z5 Premium.

The XZ Premium also packs in 4GB RAM, 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot for expansion, a 3,230 mAh battery with QuickCharge 3.0 as well as Qnovo adaptive charging support. The phone runs on Android 7.1 Nougat, and is IP68 rated. It also boasts of a 1Gbps LTE modem inside.

The real kicker comes in the camera department. The Sony Xperia XZ Premium comes with what Sony is calling the Motion Eye camera. The rear camera is a 19MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, but instead of a 2-layer design, this features a memory layer in between the sensor and control circuitry layers. This allows the camera itself to store photos temporarily instead of waiting on the chipset to transfer them to RAM. This in turn allows the camera to capture 4K video, and 720p HD video at an astounding 960fps slow-motion (albeit for only 0.18 seconds). The front camera is a 13MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture.

Sony did not reveal the pricing of the Xperia XZ Premium. The availability of the phone is also inconvenient, as the Xperia XZ Premium will be available closer to the second half of 2017.

Xpera XZs

The Xperia XZs is the step down cousin of the XZ Premium, but one that will be available in early April 2017.

On the front, you get a 5.2″ Triluminos FHD display with Gorilla Glass 5. On the inside, you get the more widely available Snapdragon 820 SoC, with 4GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage and microSD card expansion. The phone is powered by a decent 2,900 mAh battery with with QuickCharge 3.0 and Qnovo adaptive charging support. The phone also runs on Android 7.1 Nougat, and is IP68 rated too.

The good part of the Xperia XZs is that it retains the Motion Eye camera setup from the Xperia XZ Premium. This includes the 720p slow-mo video recording at 960fps. The front camera also bears the same specifications.

Pricing info on this device will be made available soon.

Xperia XA1

The Xperia XA1 forms the mid-range offering in Sony’s portfolio. The highlight of this device is the borderless (side) edge-to-edge display, though you do get bezels on the top and bottom.

The Xperia XA1 comes with a 5″ HD display. Inside, the phone has a MediaTek Helio P20 SoC, with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and microSD expansion. The phone is powered by a 2,300 mAh battery with Pump Express+ 2.0 fast charging support, and it runs on Android Nougat.

The camera setup on the device consists of a 23MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture. Video recording is limited to 1080p with no support for 4K. The front camera is a 8MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture.

Xperia XA1 Ultra

The Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra gets part of its name from its 6″ FHD display, which is borderless in a fashion similar to the Xperia XA1.

On the inside, you get the same MediaTek Helio P20 SoC, although RAM and storage have been bumped up to 4GB and 32/64GB respectively. The battery capacity of the device is 2,700 mAh, and it comes with Pump Express+ 2.0 fast charging support.

The rear camera setup on Xperia XA1 Ultra is the same as the Xperia XA1. The front camera is where the upgrade comes in, with the front selfie camera now being a 16MP shooter with OIS, dedicated flash and f/2.0 aperture.

Both the Xperia XA1 and Xperia XA1 Ultra will be available in March 2017. Pricing information has not been revealed.


What are your thoughts on the new additions to the Xperia lineup? Do you look forward to purchasing the new smartphones? Let us know in the comments below!



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dimanche 26 février 2017

Motorola Announces an Alexa Mod, a Gamepad Mod, a Wireless Charging Mod, and More

At Mobile World Congress 2017, Motorola unveiled a plethora of new additions to its Moto Mod family, including an Alexa Mod, a Gamepad Mod, and a Wireless Charging Mod. Motorola also took this time to tease a few interesting Mod prototypes to boot.

During the press conference, Dan Dery, Motorola’s head of Moto Mods, re-iterated the company’s commitment to the Moto Mod program, promising that the company will support Moto Mods for the foreseeable future. This is consistent with similar comments made by Mr. Sharay Shams, Lenovo’s General Manager for Middle East Smartphones. But Mr. Dery went even further, and suggested that Motorola could even slow down their production of new smartphones due to the power of the Moto Mod program. Here are the Mods that are new so you can decide for yourself whether Mr. Dery’s comment has any merit.


Alexa Mod

Credits: Daniel Bader \\ AndroidCentral

Alexa, the voice service that powers devices like the Amazon Echo has been recently expanding into the smartphone market. First, Huawei announced that Mate 9 devices sold within the United States would be shipped with a voice assistant powered by Alexa.

And now, Motorola has announced an “Alexa Mod” for the Moto Z. This mod will connect your phone to Amazon Alexa once it’s docked to a Harman branded speaker.

If you’re not aware of what Alexa is, it is Amazon’s voice control system that responds to certain voice commands. Playing music, turning the lights on, and controlling your smart home lights/thermostat are some of the more common commands that Alexa is capable of.


More Charging Mods

Motorola sure loves their charging mods. We do, too, since many of us feel that OEMs have been sacrificing too much battery capacity for the sake of shaving off tenths of a millimeter every year. The company has announced a Wireless Charging Mod, a Fast Charging Mod (that uses Motorola’s proprietary Turbo Power, not Qualcomm’s Quick Charge), and a charging mod that charges other Moto Mods.


Moto Gamepad

Credits: Daniel Bader \\ AndroidCentral

It’s been a long while since the Sony Xperia Play was relevant, but it looks like it may finally see a spiritual successor in the form of Motorola’s Gamepad Mod. This Mod extends beyond both the top and bottom of your device to introduce a button layout that you might expect from a handheld game console.

You’ll get dual analog sticks, a directional pad, four (hopefully customizable) buttons, and what appears to be a few menu buttons. There’s even a cradle that you can use to easily carry the entire device. Pretty nifty for any serious gamers on Android.


Prototype Mods

Motorola has also teased three interesting Moto Mod prototypes. The first is a portable printer Mod that attaches to your phone so you can quickly print a document while on the go (because why not). The second is a robot-building Mod, which looks like it works with LEGO Mindstorm, which could be interesting for use in the classroom (though that would require an entire classroom with a Motorola flagship, so good luck with that). Finally, there’s a more functional multi-SIM card holder so you can swap between up to 4 SIM cards at any time.

Honestly, at this point we don’t even care if these prototypes never make it to market – they’re still just so damn cool. But we’re still interested in hearing what you guys think. Let us know your thoughts about these Mods, and the future of the Moto Mod program, in the comments below!


Via: AndroidCentral



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Samsung Teases the Galaxy S8, Launches the Galaxy Tab S3, Gear VR with Controller at MWC 2017

MWC 2017 is on in full swing, and Samsung’s keynote was one of the most anticipated events despite the lack of a new Galaxy flagship. What we got instead was a new Galaxy Tab, a new Gear VR with Controller, and a short teaser of the Galaxy S8

Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus

The teaser for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus is as cryptic as teasers go. The only part that gets confirmed by the teaser is the existence of curved edges on the device.

Samsung will be revealing the new flagship at a separate Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event to be held on March 29, 2017 at 11.00 am EDT in New York. Mark your calender!

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 was one of the consumer product highlights at Samsung’s MWC keynote. The new Galaxy Tab S3 is aimed at tablet users who are looking for productivity but also want a device that can deliver all the multimedia functionality expected out of a modern tablet.

The Galaxy Tab S3 comes with a 9.7″ QXGA (2048 x 1536) Super AMOLED display in a body that is only 6mm thick and weighs about 430 grams. On the inside, the tablet is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC, coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage as well as microSD expansion. The battery is a decent 6000 mAh in capacity, and the tablets features USB Type-C connectivity. The device also comes with a 13MP rear camera with f/1.9, as well as a 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera. The tablet is launched with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, along with Samsung’s Grace UX on top.

One of the major draws of this new Galaxy Tab S3 is the new S Pen stylus. Samsung is promoting hard on the productivity aspect of this tablet by bundling the S Pen in the box. There is also a dedicated Pogo pin-connected keyboard available as an accessory, which locks the tablet into place for better typing and productivity experience. Neither the S Pen, nor the keyboard require charging, so that is a plus. Focus is also given onto the audio experience on the tablet thanks to the presence of four speakers in each corner of the device, fine tuned by AKG by Harman.

A point to note though, the S Pen has no mechanism to attach or store itself with the Tab S3. This is why this tablet comes under the Tab lineup, as devices in the “Note” lineup do posses an area dedicated to S Pen storage.

Pricing and availability of the Galaxy Tab S3 were left unknown.

Gear VR with Controller

Samsung’s keynote also played host to the unveiling of the new Gear VR, which now comes with its own controller in the box. To keep life simple, Samsung is calling this the Gear VR with Controller.

The Gear VR with Controller comes with 42mm lenses that deliver a 101° field of view, and also feature distortion correction to minimize motion sickness. The Gear VR with Controller supports both microUSB and USB Type-C devices, which expands its scope to many past Galaxy flagships.

The Controller is a control stick for tracking movement and providing a better means of interaction with the VR world. The small device comes with its own touchpad and a few buttons for initiating and controlling actions like point, drag and drop, tilt, and shoot. There is also a strap, so you (and the Controller) do not get too carried away in the action.


While Samsung was missing from MWC 2017 with its flagship, it still managed to make its mark and left people in hot anticipation. We can’t wait for March 29th to see what Samsung has in store for their next flagship.

What are your thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3, the Gear VR with Controller and Samsung’s teaser? Let us know in the comments below!



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Nokia Announces the new Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 Arte Black Edition

At MWC 2017, HMD Global is bringing back Nokia to the smartphone market with the international reveal of the new Nokia 5, Nokia 3 and the international launch of the Nokia 6 and the revisited Nokia 3310 feature phone.

Nokia 6

First up, Nokia’s first Android smartphone that was launched in China is now going global. This is the biggest phone amongst the trio, with a 5.5″ FHD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage along with microSD expansion and a 3,000 mAh battery. The front camera is an 8MP shooters with a wide angle lens and auto focus, while the rear camera is a 16MP shooter with dual tone flash.

To mark the occasion of the global unveil, Nokia is introducing an Arte Black limited edition Nokia 6 as well The device features a glossy back, and bumps up the RAM to 4GB and storage to 64GB.

The Nokia 6 Standard Edition will retail at €229 ($242), while the Arte Black variant will retail for €299 ($315).

Nokia 5

The Nokia 5 brings down most of the specifications from the Nokia 6. The device comes with a 5.2″ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 3,000 mAh battery. The rear camera is a 13MP shooter, while the front is a wide angle 8MP sensor.

The Nokia 5 will retail at €189 ($199).

Nokia 3

The smallest of the trio is the Nokia 3, and similarly, has watered-down specifications. This phone has a 5″ display, a MediaTek MT6737 SoC, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and a 2,650 mAh battery. Unlike the Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 which are made entirely of aluminum, the Nokia 3 features an aluminum frame and a poly-carbonate back. The camera setup on the Nokia 3 comprises of a 8MP shooter on the front and back.

The Nokia 3 will retail at €139 ($147).

All of the announced smartphones will be made available globally in Q2 2017. In addition to the specs and pricing, HMD Global has also announced that all the three phones will come with the latest Android OS, Android 7.1 Nougat. Nokia will also be committed to providing a pure Android experience. This enables them to commit to monthly security updates as well as quick Android platform updates across the three smartphones.

Nokia 3310

Nokia also took to stage to announce the refreshed Nokia 3310. This is still a feature phone, with a 2.4″ QVGA color display, dual-SIM capabilities, micro-USB port, Bluetooth 3.0 and microSD card support up to 32GB. The purpose here was to re-imagine a classic Nokia product, and hopefully bring people on board the new Nokia by relying on past experiences and memories.

The Nokia 3310 will retail for €49 ($53)


HMD Global is banking heavily on nostalgia to bring them their first wave of customers. The Nokia 6 has been receiving a positive response in the Chinese market, so it might just as well work around the globe. Notably missing from this event was any mention of a flagship, as all of the devices that were announced fall within the budget category.

We hope Nokia also ventures into the premium market with a true flagship product.

What are your thoughts on the new Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 and the Nokia 3310? Let us know in the comments below!



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Lenovo Unveils Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus with New Metal Designs

The Moto G Line has been one of the engines driving Motorola’s and Lenovo’s growth, with remarkable success in developing countries and growing markets, including my hometown of Argentina. Now, a design choice aims to elevate the Moto G5 above the rest of budget-friendly crowd.


Hardware Specifications

Moto G5 Moto G5 Plus
Display  

5-inch LCD (1920×1080, 441ppi)

 

5.2-inch LCD (1920×1080, 424ppi)

Processor Snapdragon 430

1.4GHz octa-core CPU + Adreno 505 GPU

Snapdragon 625

2GHz octa-core CPU + Adreno 506GPU

RAM 2GB or 3GB
(Depending on variant/region)
2GB, 3GB or 4GB

(Depending on variant/region)

Storage 32GB (Latin America)
16GB
32GB or 64GB (US)

32GB (Latin America)

Cameras 13MP, f/2.0, 1.1-micro pixels, PDAF

5MP, f/2.2, 1.4-micron pixels

 

12MP, f/1.7, 1.4-micron pixels, dual AF pixels

5MP, f/2.2, 1.4-micron pixels

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11n dual-band
Bluetooth 4.2
Wi-Fi 802.11n dual-band
Bluetooth 4.2
Battery 2,800mAh (Removable) 3,000mAh (Non-removable)
Resistance Water repellent coating Water-repellent coating
Dimensions 144.3 x 73 x 9.5 mm 150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm
Weight 144.5g 155g

The rumors were true: Lenovo officially announced the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, both running Android 7.0 Nougat (with Moto’s custom features, including Moto Display, gestures, and now extensive fingerprint gesture support for navigation too!) and they are indeed sporting metal bodies alongside a design overhaul. The enticing prices of the Moto G line usually came at a compromise, and while the phones were durable and comfortable in the hand (often allowing for great customization through replacement backs), the G5 lines joins the likes of Xiaomi and Honor and instead offers a more-premium metal body. The metal finish and redesign also drives the G5 closer to the Moto Z family, a much-needed change of direction now that the Moto X line is out of the picture.

Of course, the finish of a phone isn’t everything, and while that’s an aspect where the Moto G5 definitely turned it up a notch, the rest of the package retains its bang-per-buck philosophy as well. On the front you will find a 5-inch 1080p LCD display, while on the G5 Plus you get a slightly-bigger 5.2-inch LCD panel, with the same Full HD resolution. Behind the display, the similarities begin becoming apparent, as the G5 features a Snapdragon 430 processor while the G5 Plus opts for the tried-and-true Snapdragon 625, the same one the Moto Z Play managed to excellently implement. In terms of cameras, both pack a 5MP front-facing camera, the G5 features a 13MP rear shooter with f/2.0 aperture and PDAF, while the G5 Plus lowers the MP count to 12 but improves the camera with an f/1.7 aperture and dual-focus pixels, as well as support for 4K video.

Storage options for the G5 include 16GB or 32GB with microSD card support, while the G5 Plus comes in 32GB and 64GB variants with the same expandable storage. The lower and upper variants are accompanied with 2GB and 4GB of RAM respectively, and as always, we advise you consider the variants with higher RAM for optimal performance — however, that might be tricky as some combinations are exclusive to specific regions. The back plate on the G5 might be metal, but it’s still removable, and under it you’ll find the microSD slot, the dual-SIM slot, and a removable and replaceable 2,800mAh battery — the Moto G5 Plus is not so lucky, as its bigger 3,000mAh battery is sealed and the back cover cannot be removed. Both phones do support Moto’s TurboCharge too.

As far as connectivity goes, you won’t get NFC in the US, although that’s not unexpected given these are global phones aimed at global markets (although the G5 Plus should come with NFC for international variants).


So there you have it — the newest members of the Moto G line continue their tradition of low-end specs with a stellar UX and solid construction, now augmented by the inclusion of a metal back, albeit with little innovation to speak of. The fact that the Moto G5’s back plate and battery are removable is also a nice and convenient detail that’s increasingly missing from all smartphones, but especially the budget alternatives that switched to metal backs. The processing packages should be more than enough for day-to-day operations, and Moto proved its expertise with the 625 with the renowned Moto Z Play, too.

The Moto G5 starts at €199 for the 2GB RAM variant, while the G5 Plus will be available in the US and will retail for $229 (unlocked) for the 2GB RAM + 32GB storage variant; it should be compatible with all major US networks.

What do you think of the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus? Are they rightful heirs to the Moto G line? Let us know below!

 



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Safestrap Recovery for the Verizon Galaxy S5 on Android 6.0.1

Safestrap is a recovery that works on rooted, bootloader locked devices. If you have a rooted Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy S5 on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, then you can install this Safestrap build made by XDA Senior Member mohammad.afaneh by using Flashfire. Read the thread for detailed instructions, precautions, and requirements.



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Huawei Launches the New Huawei P10 and P10+ At MWC 2017

At MWC 2017, Huawei has launched the Huawei P10 and P10+. These new devices pick up the mantle from the Huawei P9 with updated specifications and yet-more focus on camera performance.

The Huawei P10 comes with a 5.1″ FHD display, while the Huawei P10+ comes with a 5.5″ QHD display. Inside, the Huawei P10 and P10+ come with Huawei’s own Kirin 960 processor. The differences continue on with RAM and storage with the P10 getting 4GB of memory and 64GB of internal storage, while the P10+ gets 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is microSD expansion (hybrid SIM slot) available on both the models, so you won’t be left starving for storage.

The difference in size also means different size batteries. The Huawei P10 has a 3,200mAh battery, while the Huawei P10+ has a 3,750mAh battery. The phones also come with Huawei’s EMUI 5.1 on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. The fingerprint sensor is on the front of the device in the form of a capacitive button, which also doubles up as the primary means of navigation on the device.

Huawei spent a lot of time on stage talking about the camera setup on the new P10 and P10+. The Leica-branded dual-camera setup continues on the rear, and as a bonus, the front is also Leica-branded this time around. The rear setup comprises of a 20MP monochrome shooter and a 12MP color sensor, along with OIS and PDAF. The aperture on the rear camera on the P10 is f/2.2, while the P10+ gets wider f/1.8 aperture. The front camera is a 8MP shooter with f/1.9 aperture.

Huawei is differentiating its product in the market with the help of new colors and a new back finish. Called the “Hyper Diamond Cut”, this back texture is present on the Dazzling Blue and Dazzling Gold color offering more ridges on the back. Huawei also worked with Pantone on the coloring of the Dazzling Blue, as well as the new Greenery shade. There are conventional colors available too, in case these did not suit your taste.

The Huawei P10 and the Huawei P10+ will ship in March across Europe, Australia and more countries. The P10 is priced at €649 ($685), while the P10+ is priced at €699 ($738).

What are your thoughts on the Huawei P10 and P10+? Let us know in the comments below!



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Huawei Watch 2 & Huawei Watch 2 Classic Unveiled at MWC 2017

It was the first Huawei Watch that kickstarted a new round of premium Android Wear devices — with an exquisite steel body and a sapphire glass coating on top of a beautiful, fully round AMOLED screen, that watch looked excellent from every angle, standing above the competition.

Long-lasting battery life, the ability to easily replace straps (with some good options provided by Huawei out of the box, to boot), and even some slight future proofing in the form of a speaker later enabled by a software update, the Huawei Watch ticked all the right boxes at the time. But smartwatches have evolved since, so Huawei naturally felt compelled to refresh the Huawei Watch for today’s market. The result is twofold — as in, there are two Huawei watches now, with the “plain” Huawei Watch being a more-rugged alternative for sports and fitness tracking now. While the original Huawei Watch was anything but sporty, Huawei made sure to target those looking for a durable smartwatch to take on any kind of trip this time around.

Watch 2 and Watch 2 Classic

Huawei Watch 2 Huawei Watch 2 Classic
Display 1.2-inch 39×39 P-OLED

(Gorilla Glass 3)

1.38-inch 480×480 P-OLED

(Gorilla Glass 3)

Processor Snapdragon Wear 2100 1.1GHz Snapdragon Wear 2100 1.1GHz
RAM 768MB 768MB
Storage 4B 4B
Connectivity LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC
Battery 420mAh 420mAh
Resistance IP68 IP68
Case Size 45mm 45mm
Straps User-Replaceable User-Replaceable
Price TBD TBD

Following Google’s template, Huawei has released two devices, with the more-expensive and feature-packed of the two being targeted towards outdoors users. The Huawei Watch 2 is a sportier variant that’s LTE-capable, while the Watch 2 Classic assumes the mantle of the original Huawei Watch. Unlike the recently-announced LG Watch Style, though, even the non-LTE variant Huawei offers is feature packed.

Starting with the software, both watches are running Android Wear 2.0 with Google Assistant for all your needs, although most features are identical to what the standard Search option on Wear 1.X offered, other than support for connected devices. Android Wear 2.0 offers a refined UI with better less clutter, a dark background and streamlined navigation, but perhaps the bigger news here is that both the Watch 2 and Watch 2 classic support Android Pay, as they both feature NFC chips. This is different than Google’s approach to the LG Watch Sport and LG Watch Style, as the cheaper offering by LG doesn’t allow for a true showcase of Wear 2.0.

Both watches are equipped with the basic heart-rate sensor for fitness tracking, but both also pack a GPS for accurate location (and steps/distance) tracking too. They are also IP68-rated for dust and water resistance — while the Watch 2 might be the more rugged option, the Watch 2 Classic can certainly hold its own for lighter fitness tracking. Of course, the rubberized back of the Watch 2 is better-suited for long, sweaty workout sessions, and its LTE connectivity allows you to take it with you anywhere and stay connected without your device (at the expense of pitiful battery life when actively making use of your mobile connection). Ultimately, the software in both allows for a myriad of fitness information, with stage-guidance, statistics, warnings and in-depth assessments.

So far, no details have been given on pricing and availability for the US, but we’ll keep you updated when we get more details. Pricing in other markets is set to start at €349.

What do you think of the Huawei Watch 2 and Huawei Watch 2 Classic? Let us know your thoughts below!

 



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How to Disable System Applications on MIUI 8 without Root

MIUI 8 is a heavily modified skin of Android, and one of its peculiarities is the inability to disable system applications from within the Settings app. To solve this, XDA Senior Member Thri11 has put together a short guide on how to disable pre-installed apps without using root access or ADB. Quick and easy!



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Google Assistant Now Available for All Android 6.0+ Devices

Google Assistant was one of the main selling points of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL. This software addition from Google formed a key part of the Pixel experience, and the company intended to keep the experience exclusive for a while. You could still find ways to make use of Google Assistant on unsupported phones, but for the most part, average users would have limited choices if they wished to experience Google Assistant.

That changes today, as Google has lifted the exclusivity of Google Assistant from the few select means to now include a wide range of devices. All devices running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above with Google Play Services installed will now be able to access and enjoy Google Assistant just like they could on the Pixel.

Allowing all Android 6.0+ devices access to Assistant expands the apps support to more than 30% of Android users. This is a significant jump when one considers that Android 7.0 and 7.1 together constitute only 1.2% of Android devices as per the Android distribution numbers from February.

Google is also opening up Google Assistant to OEMs to include in their devices. The newly announced LG G6, as a result, will also be shipping with Google Assistant.

Assistant will begin rolling out this week to English users in the U.S., followed by English in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as German speakers in Germany. We’ll continue to add more languages over the coming year.

Google says its goal is to eventually “make the Assistant available anywhere you need it.” Opening up to previous Android versions is one step in that direction.

What are your thoughts on Google rolling out Assistant to all devices on Android 6.0 and above? Do you look forward to trying it out on your phone? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: The Keyword Blog



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LG Launches The LG G6, Complete With Dual Cameras, 18:9 Ratio, and Google Assistant

It has now been a full year since the ill-fated launch of the G5, a device that aimed too high yet fell too short of it’ potential. After the device’s launch, it was mired by reports of questionable build quality and firm competition.

Now at MWC 2017, LG Electronics is back with some major changes to the design and user experience of their flagship line-up, this time with no trace of modularity.

Specifications
Gallery
Cameras
Build Quality and repairability
Comments

Specifications

Device Name: LG G6 Android Version: 7.0 Nougat
Chipset: Snapdragon 821 Display: 5.7” 18:9 (2880×1440 / 564 ppi) 600 nits
Memory: 4GB LPDDR4 Battery: 3300 mAh (non-removable)
Storage: 32GB, 64GB1 Charging Method: Qualcomm QC 3.0, Type-C 3.1 compatible
Rear Cameras: 13MP wide angle (F2.4, 125°) / 13MP Standard OIS 2.0 (F1.8, 71°) Sony IMX258 Max Charging Speed: 50% in 32 min, 100% in 96 min
Front Cameras: 5MP wide angle (F2.2 / 100°) Dimensions: 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9 mm
Colours: Ice Platinum / Mystic White / Astro Black Misc: Google Assistant, IP68, Hi-Fi DAC2, Wireless Charging3, NFC, SD support. Dual SIM4
164GB variant is only available in the following markets: Korea, HK, ASIA (except Optus and Telestra Australia) India & CIS.
2HI-Fi Quad DAC is not available in the following markets: US, EU, SA or MEA.
3Wireless charging is only available for the US market.
4Dual-SIM is only available in the Middle East and CIS.

Things may seem confusing as you read the spec sheet, because LG has seemingly left the specs race with the G6 as shown by the use of a Snapdragon 820-era chipset, which have powered three of their flagship devices. A spokesperson for LG stated that they believed that this was the right decision for both them and their customers, as their engineers are now experienced with this particular SoC, allowing them to decrease boot times by 10%, reduce power consumption by 10%, and visibly improve scrolling and browsing performance (as always, we’ll be the judges of that). The 835 may be the superior hardware, but for now, LG feels that they can offer a better experience without the bump in specs and we certainly hope that it lives up to expectations.

Quite a few features of the G6 are region-specific. The phone will only feature dual SIM support in the middle east and CIS, the larger storage option is mainly for the Asian market, the US is the only region getting wireless charging and HiFi quad DAC is not available in the vast majority of the world as well. When questioned on the matter, LG had the following to say “We see different needs in different markets, we chose to support these needs individually to be more local to the markets. Most markets don’t appreciate DAC.” To justify the lack of wireless charging outside the US, they stated that other markets prefer the speed of charging with cables over the ease of wireless charging.

The first thing anyone handling this device will notice is the unique 5.7-inch display, which with an aspect ratio of 18:9 (1:2), appears to be much taller and slimmer than that of its predecessor (this also means you don’t get the same amount of horizontal space as a regular 5.7-inch display). This new aspect ratio, which they predict is becoming a new standard, is justified by LG through the desire to make a large-screen device that can still be used one-handed — a clear return to the philosophy of the LG G2 and LG G3. The unusual choice of ratio means that content can still be viewed at 16:9 or more while still keeping the navbar present on the screen. This new ratio should allow for more content or text to be viewed in apps or usecases such as Facebook, instant messaging, and article-based websites. While most apps will automatically scale to 18:9 without any problems, LG are not leaving it to chance, and heading to the settings of the device you can find the option to open specific apps in different aspect ratios including 16:9, 16.7:9 and of course 18:9. To make the most of this new ratio, LG has recreated their UI around the concept of having two squares to utilize. In the stock media player you will notice that the screen is divided 50:50 with the artwork taking the top half and media controls taking the lower half. Likewise, the stock email and SMS apps when held horizontally will split down the center showing the inbox on the left and message content on the right (who types an email like that, though?).

Those of us who consume huge amounts of video content on our devices will be glad to hear that the G6 supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision playback, the latter of which provides brighter and sharper video content while using 10% less bandwidth than HDR. At the current time both Amazon Video and Netflix offer a moderate amount of supported content for both but they are continuing to grow.

Following industry trends, the G6 has stayed away from previous design choices. The iconic leather back seen on the G4 doesn’t return and neither does the rubberized back of the V10 nor the metal back of the V20 (and thankfully, the primer coating of the G5 is dead and buried), with LG instead opting for a sleek panel of Gorilla Glass 5. Having considered adding a refracting pattern under the glass, they decided against it which gives the device a minimal, professional aesthetic. An interesting choice of design was the rounding of the corners of the display, which is a very nice effect on the black unit as the bezel and black border merge into one. However, on the silver and white units, the display corner does curve at a different angle to the black border as seen in image four in the gallery below. To try the rounded corner concept for yourself check out the app Cornerfly in the forums, it works best with AMOLED displays and black slab fronts.

Gallery

Cameras

The rear of the G5 features two 13MP cameras, each using 1.12 micron pixels, meaning that unlike the G5 when you switch to wide angle you are not losing quality. The device’s predecessor featured both a 16MP standard angle camera and an 8MP wide angle meaning you saw a significant drop in quality when switching to the latter. Now switching between the two cameras should be far more consistent and with greatly improved image post-processing, so even the standard angle camera should provide superior images to the G5’s. The cameras also offer 2x optical zoom and 16x digital zoom.

The device also ships with a new set of options in the stock camera, and these are all based on the new square design that comes with the 18:9 ratio. Known as square mode, these options consist of effects that are useful for heavy users of apps such as Instagram and include:

Grid shot: This option allows you to take four photos or videos and combine them in a 2×2 grid
Match shot: This allows you to take 2 photos and connect them side by side, the ability to take one on the front camera and one with the rear cameras allows you show both yourself and what you are looking at, at the time.
Guide shot: this places an overlay over your cameras such as a plate of food or a hand holding a phone this allows you to take multiple photos with the same composition.
Snap shot: This mode takes a square photo and then displays the full image in the lower half of your screen while keeping the top half free to take more photos.

Build Quality and Repairability

Having learned from the mistakes of the G5, LG has doubled down on the build quality increments we saw in the V20, this time adding an excellent IP68 finish which means that the device is certified as protected from dust and water damage when submerged in 1.5 metres of water for 30 minutes. LG also stated that the device has survived the same tests in both fresh and salt water. The Glass back of the phone feels incredibly sturdy in hand, with no creaks or flexing, and the dreaded camera bump is now entirely gone. The sides of the phone are Aluminium with the SIM tray sitting flush, which is an issue commonly seen across the industry. The front of the unit is made of Gorilla Glass 3 (unlike the previously-mentioned GG5 on the back) which stretches from edge to edge only being disrupted by a small logo above the charging port.

Interestingly LG has moved the antennae bands away from the corners with this device. The bands now sit 18mm from the corners unlike many devices, this is intended to reduce the possibility of severe damage when dropping the phone. According to their research, 48% of phone drops result in the device landing on one of its corners, and by moving these weak points they aim to significantly increase the device’s durability.

As a community, XDA tends to be more DIY when it comes to repairs than most people, that being said if you were hoping that, in the event of your battery wearing down or your display being damaged, you could replace parts of the LG G6 yourself, then you are out of luck. While the device is simple enough to disassemble in just a few minutes with the right tools, the battery and display are just about the only two parts of the phone you couldn’t replace. The battery is held firmly in place and any attempt to remove it could result in damage, the display is built right into the frame of the unit and so cannot be replaced easily either.

What do you think to the G6? Do you have any questions? Leave a comment below!



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