mercredi 31 mai 2017

Would We Care About the Essential Phone if it Wasn’t for Andy Rubin?

After months of alluding to what’s coming next and an essentially leak-proof operation, Andy Rubin has finally announced what his new company “Essential” is simply calling the Essential Phone, or the PH-1. It has been hard to miss the hype surrounding its announcement day, since virtually every media outlet has been covering this device, including XDA, giving nearly as much headline space for the name of Andy Rubin as they do the name of the device.

Ocean Depths

In the early leaks of what many expected to be a mainstream flagship device, we already had good indications that the phone would feature a premium build along with a nearly edge-to-edge display. Being that Andy Rubin, responsible for Android’s inception (and the reason most of us are here at XDA), was bringing this device to market we also expected a fairly unadulterated version of the OS, making the entire package fairly compelling. Unfortunately though, what we got was pretty much what should have been expected; an ultra premium device, matching price tag and “in-depth” coverage from all the media outlets that will pop-up on your parents’ news feeds.

With a name like “Essential” and some outlets touting it as the “Anti-iPhone”, what is it exactly that the PH-1 brings to the table that makes it so special, so essential? For starters, the phone isn’t powered by an all-new in-house processor making what is in your pocket obsolete; it is powered by the same package that the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11 have, that being the Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM. It also does not have some super special camera tech; it uses the same dual color and monochrome sensor setup that Huawei has been essentially using for over a year now, and that is increasingly being adopted by others too. It also has an extensibility function that is a more flexible version of what Moto has been doing with Moto mods, albeit so far it looks to be watered down in terms of offerings and support. Speaking of watered down, if you take your phone swimming with you, you will essentially kill it. The display is one of the stand-out features of the phone offering a not-quite edge to edge display that is more like the Mi Mix in execution than the Galaxy S8, except it has a huge notch in the top that in all actuality will in all likelihood break fullscreen applications on the phone, or force a large but unobtrusive and permanent status bar. Oh, the one thing that was not essential was the headphone port, for some reason.

For some reason, the Essential Phone is being dubbed the “anti-iPhone”, and Andy Rubin is treated like a new Steve Jobs

If you have been following along, the Essential Phone is little more than a grab bag of ideas borrowed from other OEMs’, though with different implementations (for better or worse) . So what is there to be excited for that others can’t match? For starters the Essential Phone offers a titanium injection body, which differs from other metal devices which are milled from a block; we will have to wait for people like Zach at JerryRigsEverything to find out if there is a trade-off in durability, but Andy Rubin’s reasoning for the choice makes sense on the surface — it follows that Titanium allows the thin phone with a narrow edge-to-edge display to not bend like an aluminum build would. It is also being offered unlocked and available for nearly all networks, at least in the US in terms of CDMA and GSM support. Andy Rubin and his team also have a vision for the future that differs greatly from our present, and should Essential take off, we could see some real innovation in the market.

Essential not only needs to deliver an excellent phone, but also a convincing suite of modules to be successful

But those are things they hope for the brand’s future, and today the Essential Phone is simply yet another rectangle with some major tradeoffs in usability and an outrageous price for such an unproven brand. And that is, I think, what we shouldn’t ignore. Pretty flagships are a dime a dozen in today’s market, premium phones with new materials pop-up every cycle, and the trend towards infinitesimal bezels permeates the industry as a whole. With no outstanding hardware features outside of the modular functionality, which is neither essential nor too affordable (though, by the looks of it, cheaper than Moto’s), what’s making the internet go crazy about this phone? You know it and have known it since the headlines of the original rumors: Andy Rubin’s name. You’ll be hard-pressed to find coverage on an news portal that doesn’t put Andy Rubin’s name in the title of Essential Phone articles (we are guilty, too). If the Essential Phone is dubbed the anti-iPhone, Andy Rubin is implicitly being treated like a new Steve Jobs, and the way he has been presenting the device online, on stage and on interviews, only adds to such optics.

Going back to the Essential Phone itself — it looks like a modest flagship with everything we’d expect, and so far we really can pinpoint any crucial flaws or compromises outside of the lack of a headphone jack and, perhaps, the front-camera design (though that’s more subjective). Indeed, because of the very slim hands-on coverage, we can’t tell if the device’s day-to-day experience will live up to the hype, and because this is a new release, we have no track record to base (or ground) or expectations. It might have, for example, sub-par speakers (as some similarly-bezeless phones before it have had), or durability, or what have you. The core specification points are certainly there, but a pretty face and the promise of features not included in the box, with no actual reputation or brand history, is a tough sell in today’s market.

Of course, we want to get some hands-on coverage before we take our assertions any further. And, to be honest, the device does look gorgeous, and we have no reason to believe that the software experience at least, will be anything short of stellar, given the philosophy giving birth to this device, plus its emphasis on basics and openness. Yet after all of this, I can’t shake off the feeling this this is, at the moment and from everything we’ve seen so far, another beautiful flagship with small bezel that’s taking on a lot of popular features, and asking for a high entry price. This isn’t a rarity in today’s market, which is (thankfully) full of stellar options, with most in 2017 sharing nearly identical underlying hardware. What is most certainly unfair is prematurely overhyping this release merely due to the name attached to the company. Android has been trying to build an “anti-iPhone” of its own for years — many companies have tried and fail, proven companies that dwarf Essential in track record and execution. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and let’s not treat it differently up until we see what it’s truly capable of.


What do you think about the Essential Phone? Would you be as interested if it was offered by a no-name Chinese OEM, for example? Sound off in the comments!



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Android O – Daily Driver for 2 Weeks

The dust for the Android O Developer Preview 2 is starting to settle, with much of the hype now passed. When it was first released in mid May, Android fans scrambled to get their hands on the new version. TK was one of them, and decided to try it out for 2 weeks to see if its worthy of a daily driver.

New features include a much faster boot time, picture-in-picture video (for YouTube Red) as well as a host of other impressive features. But do they stack up against daily use?  In the video above TK gives us his personal impressions on the preview. Become part of the beta program here.

 

Some may find the at-a-glance notification bubbles quite useful.

Picture-in-picture for videos is great, if you have YouTube Red.

 

Are you currently running Android O on your device? If so, we’d like to hear your feedback below.

Join the Android Beta Program



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Paranoid Android returns with Android 7.1.2 Builds: Pie Controls, Color Engine, and More!

Paranoid Android’s recently teased a return to form with a revamped Pie control and Android Nougat on board, and while a few users are skeptical of their return, the team is ready to unveil that what they’ve been working on in the shadows. The wait is finally over – Paranoid Android has returned with Android 7.1.2 Nougat builds for a bunch of devices.

So what’s new, you ask? The first highlight is obviously the platform upgrade to Android 7.1.2 Nougat. Paranoid Android claims that they have been able to utilize the hardware better as they now have a system which is lighter than ever and which ships with a pre-configured kernel that promises a “fluid, lag-free performance.”

For the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T specifically, the PA team is also claiming significant improvements in their ROM’s picture-taking prowess. The picture quality and image processing is stated to possible be “significantly better” than the stock OxygenOS software! Given that one of the major downsides of switching to a custom, AOSP-based ROM is a reduction in picture quality, we hope that this claim is backed up in practice.

Beyond the general Android and performance upgrades, there are a bunch of features available across all supported devices, as well as a few features available specifically for OnePlus devices. PA’s famous Pie Controls make their return as does a revamped theming interface called the Color Engine (though Substratum themes are also supported). The ROM supports a whole bunch of gestures including drawing letters on the screen to launch applications/shortcuts. The full list of features is reproduced below.


Paranoid Android Features

General Features:

  • Pie Controls
  • Color Engine
  • On-the-spot controls
  • Immersive Mode
  • Paranoid OTA Updater
  • Battery Styles
  • Advanced Power Dialog
  • Recent App Locking
  • Quick Pull-down
  • Substratum Support
  • Enhanced Kernel + Control

OnePlus Specific Features:

  • Advanced Button Control
  • Gesture Control
  • Alert Slider Support
  • Fingerprint Enhancements
  • Camera Enhancements

Pie

The much awaited Pie Controls are back with a new design and overall experience. For those of you who haven’t used PA in the past, you’ll need to have Immersive Mode enabled to start using Pie. Immersive Mode can be accessed from a Quick Settings tile in the notification shade. The first time you enter Immersive Mode, you will be greeted with a prompt asking if you would like Pie enabled.

 

Once enabled, you can initiate Pie from a swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen. You can switch pie positions by holding your finger over one of the snap points on either side of the display. You can also customize Pie to get the experience your prefer on your device. If you hold your finger down while Pie controls are showing, you will see a settings icon to access Pie control customization. Oh, and there’s also an icon right above the Pie control that allows you to quickly launch Google Assistant.

Color Engine

Color Engine is a new feature for Paranoid Android which allows for changing device themes on-the-fly. Color Engine can be accessed under Settings > Display > Theme.

 

You can set the primary and base colors of the system theme according to your liking. And if you’d like a completely dark theme to supplement the AMOLED display on your device, there is an option for that too! Before you choose your theme, Color Engine will show a preview of your selection so you can quickly decide if you like the new theme.

Gestures

For those of you who love using gestures to navigate the interface or quickly launch selected favorites, then we have good news for you. PA supports both onscreen and offscreen gestures. Onscreen gestures include such things as drawing letters to launch an application or quickly toggle something like the flashlight. Offscreen gestures include your standard double tap to wake device, but also one finger swipe up/right to launch your selected shortcut.

Other hardware gestures such as double tapping the power button to launch the camera and lifting the phone to check your notifications (Ambient display) are also supported out of the box.

Style

Paranoid Android was once known not only for their innovative features (Pie controls, HALO, and more), but also their style. The ROM was designed to be clean, but beautiful. Thanks to a partnership with Hampus Olsson (the same graphic designer behind the wallpapers on OnePlus phones), the default wallpaper of the ROM is as stylish as it can get.


Supported Devices

The list of supported devices at this time is as below:

The team is undergoing final testing for the following phones. These builds will be released as soon as the team feels they are stable enough.

The team is looking to expand the range of supported devices, so we can expect to see more devices gaining official support depending on the contributions of device maintainers. There are currently 21 members who are a part of the team as well as 5 contributors, per the official release.


Hands-On: Paranoid Android in 2017

We had the opportunity to try out an early pre-release build. Here is a gallery of screenshots showing off the ROM and its features.

We will update the article when download links go live. As with any custom ROM, you’ll need to have an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery (such as TWRP) in order to install it. Furthermore, you’ll definitely want to perform a factory reset over your existing build before switching over to PA.


What are your thoughts on Paranoid Android’s return? Let us know in the comments below!



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SuperSU v2.82 Released on the Google Play Store

XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire has announced that SuperSU is being updated to version 2.82. The latest app should be available on the Google Play Store already to most users, as the roll out began last week.

This comes after a few updates that caused a number of issues with some users. Chainfire and the CCMT company released a quick bug fix, but not all issues were fixed. SuperSU v2.80 caused a bootloop on some Xperia devices running the older version of Android. The version available in Play Store does not fix it. Users that still face the issue should flash the newest ZIP file available on Chainfire’s server, which we’ve linked below.

Otherwise, the new release contains a lot of bugfixes and improvements, with most changes focusing on stability for Android Nougat users. SELinux handling has been significantly reworked for Android 7.0+. The required ruleset has been reduced, and the binaries now live and execute commands in their own supersu context.

According to Chainfire, the latest version of SuperSU should work on some devices with Android O Developer Preview 2, though some devices (mainly the Google Pixel and Pixel XL) are not supported yet. Chainfire recommends waiting a little longer for version SR1 or SR2.

Boot image signing is not yet integrated but should find its place in the upcoming SR1 release. As a reminder, Google recently started requiring all boot images to be signed on the Google Pixel and Pixel XL starting with the release of the May security update. If you are planning on installing the latest SuperSU on your Pixel, you’ll have to flash the VerifiedBootSigner zip after flashing the SuperSU zip linked below but before rebooting.

Finally, the SuperSU team decided to drop the support for Android 2.1 Eclair and 2.2 Froyo. Android 2.3 Gingerbread is now the oldest supported device. Official statistics show that a small number of devices run these old versions of Android, so it makes sense for support to be dropped given how much time may be spent testing compatibility with each update.


Source: Chainfire (Google+)   Get the latest flashable SuperSU ZIP



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Essential will (Essentially) Support all 4 Major U.S. Carriers, will ship with New Virtual Assistant in June

Yesterday was a big day for Andy Rubin and his team over at Essential Products. The company announced a new smartphone called the Essential Phone, a new virtual assistant for the home called Essential Home, and even a new operating system that is being used in Essential Home. We talked about these big announcements as they happened, but as the day progressed we have since learned some additional details about these products.

Although we know the price of the Essential Phone along with its first modular attachment, the company did not initially state when the device would first begin shipping. It has now been revealed that the first Essential Phone orders will begin shipping sometime in June. This was revealed on stage at Recode’s Code Conference. Although we now have an estimated time frame on when to expect orders to ship, an exact date still eludes us. It could be the first week or the last week of June – we’ll just have to wait and see.

When the device was first announced, the company stated the Essential Phone would work on all major United States carriers. This is generally an expensive task to accomplish and even devices such as the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T won’t connect to all the bands available on Sprint or Verizon. However, The Verge reached out to Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T to ask if the phone would work. All but AT&T has responded so far and confirmed the phones will work on their networks, but they can’t guarantee the quality of service.

The last new piece of information that was revealed yesterday was the fact that the Essential Phone will have its own virtual assistant. This virtual assistant will compete with the likes of Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. The company earlier revealed that they built their own operating system for the Essential Home because they needed a way to connect to all of the smart home protocols that are available today, so it’s not too surprising to see the new phone ship with Essential’s own assistant out of the box.


Source: The Verge [1] Source: The Verge [2] Source: The Verge [3]



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BlackBerry KEYone now available for Purchase in the U.S. and Canada

Originally announced at MWC 2017, the latest BlackBerry-branded Android smartphone, the BlackBerry KEYone, is now finally available for purchase in the U.S. and Canada. In a press release, TCL, the manufacturer of the device, has announced that the device will officially go on sale in the U.S. and Canada starting today.

The BlackBerry KEYone will be available in two variants in the U.S., with one model compatible with GSM-based networks such as T-mobile and AT&T and a CDMA variant that is made to work on Verizon and Sprint. U.S. residents can purchase the BlackBerry KEYone from online retailers such as Amazon and BestBuy.com as well as select retail Best Buy stores for a price of $549.99. The CDMA version of the KEYone will be exclusively available from Amazon at launch with the company promising additional carrier availability, including Sprint retail availability, coming later this summer.

Meanwhile, the device is also going on sale in Canada as well. The device was available for pre-order in Canada earlier this month but starting today customers will be able to purchase it from official channels throughout the country. The BlackBerry KEYone will be available for purchase from Canadian carriers such as Bell, Bell MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, and TELUS at $199 CAD on a 2-year contract. There will also be an unlocked version of the KEYone for $749 CAD upfront, which the company states will arrive next month.

As a refresher, the BlackBerry KEYone sports a 4.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1620 x 1020, but the main highlight of the device is its physical keyboard. The keyboard packs some cool features such as touch gestures, predictive typing, and the ability to program each letter key to access favorite apps and most important contacts.


Recommended Reading: Opinion: The BlackBerry KEYOne Is Not for You or Me, and That’s Why It Is a Great BlackBerry


Under the hood, the device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core SoC, 3GBs of RAM, and 32GBs of flash storage with expandable storage support thanks to a MicroSD card slot. As for the camera, the device comes with a 12MP rear-facing camera and an 8MP front-facing camera. The device also packs a hefty 3,505mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0. On the software side of things, the BlackBerry KEYone comes running Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box, with BlackBerry’s promise to provide timely security updates.


Source: BlackBerry [1] Source: BlackBerry [2]



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Pete Lau Confirms OnePlus 3 And 3T Will Get Android O

It’s only a matter of time to see before we see the official premiere of the much-awaited OnePlus 5. The new flagship smartphone will most certainly be shipped Android 7.1 Nougat, but we expect it to get Android O as well. Today, we have some pretty good news for the owners of OnePlus 3 and 3T, OnePlus’ older devices and now-discontinued devices.

A couple of days ago we informed that OnePlus has ceased the production of OnePlus 3T and started selling the remaining stock. Nevertheless, the company will continue software support for its 2016 devices. The news has been confirmed by OnePlus’ founder and CEO, Pete Lau, on Twitter.

There is no mention of the other OnePlus devices, like the OnePlus 2, which had its fair share of problems with updates. You probably shouldn’t expect to see any updates coming to the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. Users of these phones will likely have to stick to the official firmware or get one of the custom ROMs available on XDA. Mr. Lau didn’t mention any time frame for the update, but speaking from our experience, Android O for 3/3T should be released within a few months after its official release, likely after the new OnePlus 5 gets its share of love.

On another note, OnePlus has recently announced the referral program where users can get discounts for accessories. It seems like a OnePlus 5 launch is imminent, so stay tuned for more news and content.


Source: Twitter



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Mod Adds a Call Record Button to the Huawei P10 Plus

Sometimes there are situations where you just need to start recording a phone call. There are thousands of applications in the Play Store that do this, but true integration of this feature is obviously more elegant, and a common feature of custom ROMs for example. So XDA Senior Member Blackball released a mod that you can flash in TWRP which will add a Record button to the UI when you’re in the middle of a phone call.

Check out the CallRecorder Mod in our Huawei P10 Plus forums



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Android Pay is now live in Canada

Another country is officially joining the shortlist of places that support Google’s Android Pay program. After the official announcement during Google I/O 2017, support for Android Pay in Canada is finally rolling out starting today. This confirms earlier rumors that stated Google would unveil Android Pay support on this exact day.

If you are an Android user in Canada, you can now download and install the application from the Play Store. At launch, BMO, CIBC, Banque Nationale, Scotiabank, Desjardins, President’s Choice Financial, ATB Financial, and Canadian Tire Financial Services will work with Android Pay on devices running Android KitKat 4.4 or higher. Google stated support for American Express cards and Tangerine will be coming soon. Similar to Apple Pay, the wireless wallet app uses the tokenized system to create a secure transaction for payments when an Android phone is tapped against an NFC-supported terminal. It’s a fast, reliable, and most importantly secure method of payment.

Android Pay was launched in September 2015 in the United States. Since then, Google rolled out the program to 10 other regions including New Zealand, U.K., Australia, Japan, Poland, and Hong Kong. In the next few months, we should see the program expanding to other areas such as Russia, Spain, Brazil, and Taiwan.

If you live in Canada and have an account with one of the listed banks, you can try Android Pay already by downloading the app from the Play Store link below. Please note that your device needs to be pass SafetyNet checks to make it work. If your device is rooted or has an unlocked bootloader, that means you’ll need to have Magisk and Magisk Hide enabled. Instructions for how to install these two modifications can be found here.


Get Android Pay from the Play Store Via: Reddit



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mardi 30 mai 2017

Request A Logo For Your Project From Dibble Designs

Every project, no matter how big, should have a high quality logo. It’s the face of the project after all and the first thing that a potential user sees when looking at your project.

Not every developer is good at creating graphics, but this is why XDA Forum Member dibbled comes to the rescue. They are offering to create a logo for developers of active projects on XDA. If you need a new icon or logo you should visit the thread and post your request. Before making a request, think of your expectations. That will make things much easier!


Visit Dibbled’s thread and request a logo



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OmniROM Status Update – Moto G4/G4 Plus and Redmi Note 3 Added, Improved Camera for Xperia X/X Compact

It’s been a while since we last talked about OmniROM. The Omni team has been very busy with a number of administrative tasks but found a brief moment to post an update on that they’ve been working on lately.

Omni, just like most Android custom ROM teams, uses Gerrit as its code review portal. The team did some maintenance and updated the portal to version 2.14, which is the latest version at the time. There have been a few other things to work on, but everything is set and ready to fly.

The build roster has been expanded by two (or rather three) new devices. OmniROM builds are now available for:

  • Motorola G4/G4 Plus
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

The team also has some important news to share for Xperia X and X Compact owners. The device trees for Sony Xperia X and X Compact have been updated to use CAF HALs and blobs. This move should greatly improve the camera quality and produce pictures that look like those taken by the stock camera. We understand that camera quality is one of the major drawbacks for using custom ROMs for Sony devices, so hopefully this should alleviate those concerns somewhat. Finally, the team announced that ambient display will be working as well.

OmniROM with Android 7.1.2 is now available on the following devices:

If you own one of these devices and would like to try the newest OmniROM, you can download the newest nightly from the official website linked below.


Source: Omni   Get OmniROM for your device!



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Essential Home is Andy Rubin’s Answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo

The Essential Phone has dominated our morning as it quickly became the new talk of the town. The co-founder of Android launching a flagship smartphone certainly got people interested for many reasons. But the Essential Phone isn’t all that Essential Products revealed today.

Essential Home is another product that was announced today by Essential Products. Essential Home is essentially a Google Home competitor, but with an interactive display. The round ‘auto-display’ can be activated with a spoken question, a tap, or even a ‘glance‘. The small device looks like a wireless charging dock, and Essential claims that it is designed to never intrude upon the home.

Essential Home does a lot of what we have come to expect from digital assistant products like Google Home and Amazon Echo. You can initiate voice searches, set timers, and control your lights. What Essential does differently is aiming to talk to your devices over your in-home network as much as possible to limit sending data to the cloud. The proactive assistant on the Essential Home also runs its AI engine locally on the device, indicating a better sense of user privacy so far than Google and Amazon.

Essential Home is powered by Ambient OS. Details are scarce on what Ambient OS exactly is, but Essential claims Ambient OS “brings the home to life by choreographing the devices, content, people and context in it”, which means it is an OS for a smart hub when you look past the marketing speak. Ambient OS also claims to automatically introduce itself to new and existing devices and help set them up in no time. Ambient OS is also “the API for home technology, allowing you to write applications that provide a unified experience across multiple devices”. Ambient OS has an open SDK that will allow developers to develop new functionality and radically extend Essential Home’s capabilities, but the company has not provided any more information or a link beyond this statement. We hope to learn more about Ambient OS and its SDK when the Essential Home reaches the hands of consumers.

Speaking of reaching the hands of consumers, there is no information on the company’s website for the availability of this product. There is very little information on Essential Home for that matter — no specifications, no prices, not even a complete feature list of what the product can do. A report from Wired claims that the Essential Home will ship ‘later this summer’, claiming that Essential has built a system that works seamlessly with SmartThings, HomeKit, Nest, Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. That is a bold claim, one which we can verify only when the product actually comes out.

What are your thoughts on Essential Home? Can the device stand apart from other digital assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Essential Story Via: The Verge



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Homescreen Tutorial: Oviate (aka Aviate-style for Nova Launcher)

If you’re getting a bit tired of your Android homescreen, then this Aviate-inspired setup might be something you need. The Aviate Launcher had a great idea, and many people still use it to this day, but its stubbornness to customizing and its acquisition by Yahoo put some people off. The one thing that it did have, though, was a fresh setup and its ability to adapt to certain conditions. Oviate, designed by Andre Zimmerman (aka Kohlewrrk), gives you a 3-page homescreen that not only looks fresh and clean, but also has some tricks up its sleeve.

Dark or light, take your pick.

For starters, you can change the color of the backgrounds and blocks. But its main selling feature, the ability to switch to a music-like widget when your headset is plugged in, makes it definitely a unique setup. Watch the video or read the guide below if you’d like to set this is up on your Android phone.

Apps and Resources Needed

 

Apps

Nova Launcher Kustom Live Wallpaper Kustom Live Wallpaper Pro Key Tasker

Icon Packs

Delta Icon Pack FlatOut Icon Pack

Kustom and Tasker Resources

Oviate Preset Oviate Weather Komponent Tasker Headset Preset

Nova Launcher Setup

Open Nova Launcher Settings, then set up the following:

  1. Desktop
    1. Desktop Grid – 9×5 is recommended, with Subgrid Positioning enabled
    2. Icon layout – set Icon size 115% and disable the labels on the homescreen.
  2. Dock – disable it
  3. Look and Feel – Icon theme can be set to the Delta Icon pack for ease of placing it onto your homescreen
  4. Add 3 blank homescreens, so delete any app icons and widgets (Note that you won’t have an app drawer, so either add one via a Nova Launcher Action when adding a new Widget, or set the app drawer to open when you swipe up in the Gestures section of the Nova Launcher settings).

Kustom Live Wallpaper Setup

  1. Copy the Oviate Preset onto your phone.
  2. Open Kustom (KLWP) either via Live Wallpapers or the app, then select the gear icon at the top to open its editing settings.
  3. Once open, select the menu on the top left, then Load Preset.
  4. Tap the Open icon at the top, then select the Oviate.klwp preset file.
  5. Select the Exported tab, where the Oviate preset should be available to select.
  6. Once selected, you can edit it’s Global Variable settings, such as colors and background image.
  7. If you are happy with the result, select the Save icon and follow any on-screen prompts to set this preset as your new wallpaper.

If the weather icons aren’t showing properly, try reloading the preset a few times. The Weather Komponent is also available if the first method doesn’t work.

Also, leave a comment below if you’d like to see a video on how to make colors have an automatic day/night cycle change.

Icon Setup

Simply open your app drawer and drag the needed icons onto the rightmost screen. The middle homescreen’s icons can be edited to either the FlatOut icon pack or any free alternative you require.

Tasker Setup

  1. Copy the Tasker Preset onto your phone.
  2. Open Tasker, then tap on the Profiles tab, then select Import.
  3. Tap the phone icon, then find where you saved the .xml preset file on your phone and select it.
  4. The Headset Profile should now appear.
  5. You can test it out by starting your music app, plugging in your headset, then unplugging it. The leftmost homescreen should change accordingly.

 

And that’s it. If you have any issues I can address them in the comments section below. If you’re new to Kustom and Android homescreen personalisation, check out this homescreen and this intro video for more details.

 

 



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ARM Unveils Cortex-A75, A55 Processors And Mali-G72 GPU

ARM has officially announced three new products that surely will make their way into next-generation mobile devices. The company presented its new products right before the COMPUTEX event that will be held in Taipei between May 30 to June 3.

ARM’s portfolio is now expanded with the high-performance the Cortex-A75 microarchitecture and  the energy-efficient Cortex-A55. In addition to these two products, ARM presented its high-end Mali-G72 GPU. The Cortex-A75 and A55 are the first DynamiQ CPUs from ARM.

The new most powerful CPU from ARM, the Cortex-A75, is a successor to the Cortex-A73 which we begin to see in phones this year. The latter has been announced exactly one year ago, also during the COMPUTEX event. This new latest product from ARM supports the ARMv8-A architecture and is designed to be implemented in a diverse range of devices, including smartphones and tablets. As usual, the producer focused on bringing yet more performance and minimize energy consumption. ARM believes that the Cortex-A75 outperforms Cortex-A73 in most metrics, including up to 20% in integer core performance. The CPU also provides extra performance for advanced and specialized workloads, like machine learning.

ARM has also introduced a new memory sub-system. Among new features, ARM mentions access to the shared cluster L3 cache, support for asynchronous frequencies, and potentially independent voltage and power rails for each CPU or groups of cores. The Cortex-A75 CPU also uses a private L2 cache per core with half the latency of  those in the A73. These changes directly translate into better performance, and although these specific gains won’t show up everywhere, in advanced use cases the A75 chip can be 48 percent faster than its predecessor.

Note that the scale of ARM’s graphs is misleading, pay attention to the multipliers and not the length.

The latest high-end CPU from ARM can also be used on devices with large screens. The British company opened a dedicated Large Screen Compute division a year and a half ago and wants to tackle on the segment, where Intel king. ARM did a major architectural change with the A75 and opened a larger power envelope for chips using this core, with power consumption now being scaled to 2W. As a result, a laptop would get 30 percent of extra performance, according to ARM.

Below you can see a full technical specification of the newest ARM’s frontrunner.

General Architecture  ARMv8-A (Harvard)
Extensions  ARMv8.1 extensions

ARMv8.2 extensions

Cryptography extensions

RAS extensions

ARMv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only)

ISA Support  A64, A32 and T32 instruction sets
Microarchitecture Pipeline  Out-of-order
Superscalar  Yes
NEON / Floating Point Unit  Included
Cryptography Unit  Optional
Max number of CPUs in cluster  Four (4)
Physical addressing (PA)  44-bit
Memory System and External Interfaces L1 I-Cache / D-Cache  64KB
L2 Cache  256KB to 512KB
L3 Cache  Optional, 512KB to 4MB
ECC Support  Yes
LPAE  Yes
Bus interfaces  ACE or CHI
ACP  Optional
Peripheral Port  Optional
Other Functional Safety Support  ASIL D
Security  TrustZone
Interrupts  GIC interface, GIVv4
Generic timer  ARMv8-A
PMU  PMUv3
Debug  ARMv8-A (plus ARMv8.2-A extensions)
CoreSight  CoreSightv3
Embedded Trace Macrocell  ETMv4.2 (Instruction trace)

Cortex-A75 and A55 are the first DynamIQ big.LITTLE CPUs from ARM. DynamIQ also enables new flexible combinations for vendors. The standard half+half with multicluster combination can be replaced with 1+7 or 2+6 — in essence, SoC vendors can decide whether they want to use more big or LITTLE CPUs within a single cluster. New processors have been redesigned with a new essential DynamIQ Shared Unit (DSU), which is tasked with power management, ACP and peripheral port interfacing. They also feature the L3 cache for the first time for ARM’s mobile processors. It’s important to mention that both A55 and A75 are built on the company’s latest ARMv8.2-A architecture. This makes them incompatible with any other processors including A73 and A53.

The smaller Cortex-A55 is a long time replacer of the Cortex-A53. The latter has been shipped on 1.7 billion devices over last three years, and you’ve probably come across it as it’s been featured in both budget devices and flagships alike. The new A55 is set to be placed in most smartphones in the foreseeable future. The Cortex-A55 has the highest power efficiency of any mid-range CPUs designed by ARM. In fact, it uses 15 percent less energy than Cortex-A53. Finally, ARM claims that the newest LITTLE cores are the most powerful mid-range units. It also features the latest architecture extensions that introduce new NEON instructions for machine learning, advanced safety features and more support for Reliability, Accessibility and Serviceability (RAS).

Full specifications of the Cortex-A55 are available below.

General  Architecture  ARMv8-A (Harvard)
 Extensions  ARMv8.1 extensions

ARMv8.2 extensions

Cryptography extensions

RAS extensions

ARMv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only)

 ISA Support  A64, A32 and T32 instruction sets
 Microarchitecture  Pipeline  In-order
 Superscalar  Yes
 NEON / Floating Point Unit  Optional
 Cryptography Unit  Optional
 Max number of CPUs in cluster  Eight (8)
 Physical addressing (PA)  40-bit
 Memory System and External Interfaces  L1 I-Cache / D-Cache  16KB to 64KB
 L2 Cache  Optional, 64KB to 256KB
 L3 Cache  Optional, 512KB to 4MB
 ECC Support  Yes
 LPAE  Yes
 Bus interfaces  ACE or CHI
 ACP  Optional
 Peripheral Port  Optional
 Other  Functional Safety Support  Up to ASIL D
 Security  TrustZone
 Interrupts  GIC interface, GIVv4
 Generic timer  ARMv8-A
 PMU  PMUv3
 Debug  ARMv8-A (plus ARMv8.2-A extensions)
 CoreSight  CoreSightv3
 Embedded Trace Macrocell  ETMv4.2 (Instruction trace)

Moving on to the GPU, ARM has also prepared a new product. The Mali-G72 is a successor of the G71, which has also been featured in 2017 SoCs in a variety of configurations, due to its remarkable scalability. The new GPU, though, offers 20 percent better performance density, which means that manufacturers can use more GPU cores in the same die area. It’s estimated that smartphones will use up to 32 shader cores as a maximum. Additionally, the new GPU will use 25 percent less energy, and it is also improving in terms of machine learning efficiency — ARM claims it’s showing itself to be 17 percent better than the G71 in ML benchmarks.

SoC vendors should begin implementing ARM’s new portfolio in their new generations. We should expect devices using ARM’s hardware early next year at the latest, possibly during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


Source: ARM [1] Source: ARM [2]



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Enroll in Ethical Hacking Bootcamp at 97% Off

Forty-eight hours of instruction will get you ready for a career in ethical hacking. These types of courses can sometimes be absurdly expensive. That’s why we are featuring this great bargain for the Ethical Hacking Bootcamp from the XDA depot.

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Ethical hackers are in constant demand because companies and organizations need competent people to monitor and expose any security risks that their network infrastructures may face. In this massive bootcamp, you’ll learn everything an ethical hacker worth their salt must know, and get a major boost on your resume.

  • Access 144 lectures & 45 hours of content 24/7
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  • Learn about perimeter defenses
  • Scan & attack your own networks
  • Understand Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms, & more

Get this deal!
Purchases made through XDA Depot benefit XDA. Our sponsors help us pay for the many costs associated with running XDA, including server costs, full time developers, news writers, and much more. While you might see sponsored content (which will always be labeled as such) alongside Portal content, the Portal team is in no way responsible for these posts. Sponsored content, advertising and XDA Depot are managed by a separate team entirely. XDA will never compromise its journalistic integrity by accepting money to write favorably about a company, or alter our opinions or views in any way. Our opinion cannot be bought.



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Play Music Through Your Phone’s Earpiece With Stealth Audio Player

Usually, there are two ways of playing music on Android device. You can either use your headphones or a speaker. But how about a third option?

XDA Senior Member usman farhat created an interesting app that allows you to listen to music via the built-in phonecalls speaker. This is useful not just for music, but also podcasts, and comes in handy for when you forgot to bring headphones and do not want to disturb those around you. Currently, the application supports MP3, OGG and WAV files, but the developer plans to enhance its functionality with other formats.


Get the Stealth Audio Player



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Google Announces Actions on Google Challenge

Recent Google I/O has shown how important the Google Assistant is for the company. Google is encouraging developers to publish their apps for Google Assistant by announcing a challenge. The winner can get $10,000 and a free entry to Google I/O 2018.

What exactly is this challenge about? In Google’s words — Actions on Google is the platform that allows developers to build for the Google Assistant on Google Home, eligible Android phones, iPhones, and soon everywhere else where Assistant is available. For the challenge, Google wants developers to create an application for Google Assistant on Google Home that should also work on Android devices and iPhones. The contest ends on August 31.

Google highly recommends using the API.AI website to create the applications. Nevertheless, it’s not a requirement. Entries are going to be judged by members of the Google Assistant team including engineers, product managers, and UX specialists. Google encourages developers to send initial versions of the apps early, as the team will give feedback and offer enough time to make last changes. Some applications might need multiple submissions before they are approved.

Those who want to take part can create the teams of a total of 3 members. Every team or developer can create and submit three apps to the contest. Google requires diversity, so each app must offer a different experience.

The winner will have a trip to Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, CA and tickets to Google I/O 2018. The prize includes the meeting with the Google Assistant team and 10,000 in cash. Second place gets $7,500 and a Google Home. Third place gets $5,000 and a Google Home as well.

Besides the main category, Google offers prizes up to $5,000 to the winners in the following subcategories.

  • Best app by students
  • Best easter egg
  • Most fun distraction
  • Best sound effects
  • Best persona
  • Crowd favorite
  • Best voice only interaction
  • Best parenting app
  • Most adaptive app
  • Best life hack
  • Best API.AI app
  • Best Converse.ai app
  • Best DashBot powered app

If you want to win an exciting prize, visit the event’s website for details. The contest ends on August 31, 2017, so you need to hurry.


Source: Google via: Google+



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ElementalX Kernel for Moto Z And Moto G5 Plus!

Stock kernels simply do not provide the advanced features that we love. Smartphone vendors pack stable but bare solutions that give little room for customization and general improvement.

Luckily, XDA is a place where a lot of kernel developers share their work. One of them, XDA Recognized Developer flar2, has just published his ElementalX Kernel for the Moto Z and Moto G5 Plus. This kernel adds many interesting features including vibration control, Sweep2wake, Doubletap2wake, Sweep2sleep and more. You can also overclock and underclock your device with ease. Finally, the kernel does not modify the system partition, so the OTA updates should work flawlessly. Give it a try and say goodbye to your boring stock kernel!


ElementalX for Moto G5 Plus ElementalX for Moto Z



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Someone is Reverse Engineering the Samsung Cover SDK Used in the Galaxy S8’s LED View Cover

A developer over on the /r/GalaxyS8 subreddit at Reddit recently purchased an LED View Cover for their Galaxy S8 and ended up being a bit underwhelmed by its features. The developer was wondering why Samsung wasn’t adding in some other features and does mention that it could be updated in the future. Until then though, they started to reverse engineer the LED icon editor and LED Cover Service applications to learn more about the system.

While going through these applications, fonix232 says they were able to make a number of discoveries about how certain things work with this LED View Cover. To start off, they found out that the case can actually be updated with a firmware update, enabled by its low-power controller. Samsung is using this controller to handle all of the graphics so it should be possible for people to upload their own hacked firmware. However, they warn that messing this up could brick the LED View Cover.

They also found out the LED View Cover uses regular NFC, but isn’t sure how they were able to figure out NFC tag cross-talk because the NFC reader is still usable. Since it uses NFC though, they believe the framework can be backported to AOSP and possibly implemented into LineageOS. Samsung is trying to keep this locked down so that you have to use the original application and so far it doesn’t seem like the stock firmware will use any extended features.

Samsung is using a proprietary format for the images they are using with the LED View Cover as they are using a .spr extension. Some old video games used this file extension for sprites, but this is actually a proprietary Samsung format called SemPathRendering. This specific cover can also detect touches at the top and bottom, so it can do more than just display things. There’s a second LED display on the bottom and they feel there are commands not in use that send data to the secondary display.

If you want to contribute and find out more, check the Reddit thread below!

Source: /r/GalaxyS8



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Turing Announces Distribution Partnership with Potevio in China for its $1,599 Smartphone

Turing Robotics Industries (TRI), the makers of the elusive (putting it lightly) Turing Phone, came back into the spotlight with their recent manufacturing agreement with TCL to produce the $1,599 Turing Phone Appassionato GX8. The company does appear to be working towards an actual product that consumers can buy, as it has now announced a distribution partnership with Potevio, a China state-owned telecommunications distribution company.

The partnership agreement with Potevio ensures the distribution of 750,000 Turing Phone Appassionato GX8 models throughout China via Potevio’s 20,000+ retail stores, beginning this fall and aligning with the previously revealed September 2017 shipping timeline. The agreement also allows for the co-establishment of Turing Phone flagship retail stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The press release from TRI also reveals a few specifications of the Turing Phone Appassionato, although the press release remains silent on whether these apply to the high-end GX8 model or to both, the GX8 as well as base PX8 variant. The Turing Phone Appassionato will feature a 5.5″ 2K AMOLED display from Samsung, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC (and not the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC), 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The device will also sport the Sony IMX378 sensor for its camera, and Android 7.1.1 Nougat with TRI’s ‘mobile defense platform’ for its OS. The phone will be made out of an amorphous alloy dubbed ‘Liquidmorphium’ which will provide a scratch resistant surface and a ceramic feel. Well, that’s what Turing claims, and we have yet to see them deliver on such buzzwords.

TRI is also disclosing more details about Sir ALAN, its “human enhanced-concierge service and digital assistant”. Sir ALAN is said to be able to help optimize trips, suggest activities based on social popularity and secure reservations, map traffic-oriented driving routes, report weather conditions, manage paperwork like expense reports and even provide advanced legal, HR assistance and business services. It remains to be seen how well Sir ALAN works (if at all) and how it competes against popular digital assistants like Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri.

What are your thoughts on the Turing Phone Appassionato? Will it hit the market? Who do you think would buy one? Let us know in the comments below!



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Auto-clicking Adware Called Judy Found in Dozens of Play Store Applications

Last week, a new type of adware was discovered to be on at least 41 different applications in the Google Play Store. This was discovered by the Check Point security research team, and the details were then passed along to Google. These infected applications and games have been removed from the Play Store, but their install counts were able to reach between 4.5 million and 18.5 million. The adware in question is now being referred to as Judy.

This piece of adware was able to bypass Google’s Bouncer protection feature by creating what seemed like a benign bridgehead application. So once one of these malicious applications were downloaded, it proceeded to silently register receivers so that it could establish a connection with the C&C server. This server would then reply with a payload that was actually malicious (which includes JavaScript code), a user-agent string and then some URLs which were controlled by the owner of the server.

The malware would then proceed to open up the URLs with the user-agent string so it can imitate a PC browser that is all hidden to the user. That would then redirect them to another website and then it starts to use that JavaScript code to locate and then click on ads provided by Google’s own advertising platform. So the whole point was to infect as many smartphones and tablets as possible so they could rake in some money by making you click on ads without your consent.

Judy wasn’t some adware that was being used by a lot of people either. All of the malicious applications that were detected in the Play Store were all published by a Korean company named Kiniwini. This account was registered as a developer on Google Play by a company called ENISTUDIO corp, which actually develops applications for both Android and iOS.

Source: Check Point



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Samsung Releases SoundAssistant App for Galaxy Devices on Android 7.0

Samsung has launched a new app called SoundAssistant on the Play Store that allows for users to customize several audio settings on their device. This app is restricted to Samsung Galaxy devices, and specifically, to Galaxy devices that are on Android 7.0 and beyond.

SoundAssistant allows for 150 steps of volume adjustment, a floating equalizer function as well as mono and stereo balancing. SoundAssistant also lets users set separate volumes for individual apps, which can be really handy if a game has low audio volume by default. You can also change the volume key behaviour using the app, defaulting to media volume instead of ringtone. This feature forms a staple part of several custom ROMs, so it is good to see Samsung embracing the same for some of its devices.

SoundAssistant also lets Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ users set different output path for each app, like playing music through a Bluetooth speaker and letting game music through the device speaker.

SoundAssistant is available only to Galaxy devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher, and since it is an official Samsung app, it works without the need for root functionality. It remains to be seen if Samsung will open up the app to other non-Galaxy devices and Galaxy devices not on Android 7.0.

Have you tried out SoundAssistant? Do you find the app useful? Do you use other alternatives to solve your issues with device audio? Let us know in the comments below!

Check out SoundAssistant on the Google Play Store Story Via: Android Authority



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Here’s how to get Google Assistant on Android 5.0+ Tablets WITHOUT Root

Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa – a smart, personal service that has evolved in numerous ways and has expanded to multiple new platforms since its initial unveiling during last year’s Google I/O. Although initially exclusive to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones (and available in a more limited manner in the Google Allo app), the awesome users on our forums were able to get Assistant running on any rooted Nougat phone. Back in March, Google announced that they would make Assistant available for all smartphones running Android 6.0+ in certain countries. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Google Assistant on Android Smartphones

Since then, even desktop and laptop PCs can take advantage of Assistant thanks to the release of an official SDK. Those among us who own an Android Wear 2.0 compatible smartwatch, certain Android TV models, and some vehicles with Android Auto can also take advantage of Assistant. But there’s one device that is notably missing from this growing list of Google-blessed devices – tablets. A Google spokesperson confirmed that the wider Assistant roll out back in March would not include Android tablets running 6.0+.

That’s never stopped us at XDA from trying to figure out ways around (in our eyes) these arbitrary restrictions. Thanks to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038, we now have a way to use Google Assistant on any Android tablet running Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat without needing root!

I’ve tested this on two separate devices – a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This should theoretically work on smartphones running Android Lollipop as well.


Google Assistant for Tablets Tutorial

The way this method works is by launching a hidden (but thankfully accessible) activity within the Google App called com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. This can easily be done by using an application that can list and then launch all available activities from your installed apps. Activity Launcher is one app that is dedicated to this purpose, though the well-known Nova Launcher has a built-in function to launch activities in case you already have this launcher installed. Update your Google App to the latest stable version if you haven’t already.

Method 1 – Using Activity Launcher

  1. Open Activity Launcher
  2. Tap on the “Recent activities” tab up top and select “All activities.” Wait for all activities to load.
  3. Scroll down until you find the Google App. Tap on it to expand all available activities under the Google App.
  4. Find com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity. You can either tap on it once or create a shortcut to it on your launcher.
  5. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  6. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  7. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  8. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Method 2 – Using Nova Launcher

  1. Find an empty spot on your home screen and long-press to add something new.
  2. Tap on “Widgets.”
  3. Under “Nova Launcher” tap and hold “Activities” and drag it to your home screen.
  4. Scroll down and find the “Google App.”
  5. Tap on it to expand it, and select com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.hq.OpaHqActivity.
  6. This will add a new “Google Assistant” icon to your home screen which is a shortcut to this activity. Tap on this icon.
  7. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  8. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  9. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity com.google.android.apps.gsa.staticplugins.opa.OpaActivity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  10. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Caveats

The first, and most obvious caveat, is that you can’t access OK Google by long-pressing on the home button. Long-pressing the home button will instead launch Google Now on Tap. I know many of you would actually prefer having Now on Tap as well as Assistant available, though, so I can’t knock too many points off for that. Though, this does mean that you’ll have to live with using your voice to access Assistant, which I would imagine isn’t too much of a problem considering where most people keep and use their tablets (at home). If you want, you can keep the home screen shortcut we made in this tutorial and tap on “add a reminder” anytime to manually bring up Assistant, but it’s less convenient this way.

Next, there’s the unfortunate reality that Google may patch this method in a future update of the Google App. This wouldn’t be the first time that a company has removed unofficial functionality after we publicized it, so I would recommend getting this set up while you can. Fortunately, you can just refuse to update the Google App if you really wanted to, which is far more realistic than never updating your Samsung Galaxy S8 if you were planning on using the original Bixby remap method.


Stay tuned to the XDA Portal for more tutorials like this! Thanks again to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038 for publishing this method on our forums!



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