Articles about Android

Performance issues and high failure rates continue to plague iPhones

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We reported back in August that failure rates of iOS devices had overtaken those of Android for the first time.

The latest State of Mobile Device Performance and Health report from Blancco Technology Group shows that this trend is continuing with the iOS failure rate at 62 percent in the final quarter of last year.

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Xiaomi unveils Mi 5c featuring its first in-house processor

Xiaomi Mi 5c

There aren't many smartphone makers that develop their own mobile processors, which means that Xiaomi is now part of a very select club. The Chinese company just unveiled the Surge S1, which powers its new Mi 5c Android smartphone.

The Mi 5c is the successor to the Mi 4c, which is one of my favorite affordable Android smartphones, and it comes at an affordable price (about $220) and with some pretty attractive specs.

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Genymotion On Demand is a cloud-based virtualized Android emulator for the enterprise

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Genymobile, the company behind the Android emulator Genymotion, has announced a new cloud-based virtualization platform aimed at Android developers. Running on Amazon Web Services, Genymotion On Demand offers access to the full Android operating environment online.

Billed by the hour, Genymotion On Demand gives enterprise devs the opportunity to try out apps in the cloud and extend existing services into the cloud. With no contract, the service offers an affordable entry point into virtual Android devices.

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Samsung's teaser video reveals little about the Galaxy S8

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Not content with showering us with tablets in the form of the Galaxy Book and the Galaxy Tab S3, Samsung also used yesterday's announcements at MWC 2017 to tease us about the keenly awaited Galaxy S8 smartphone.

At the event in Barcelona we were treated to teaser video which questions whether we know what a smartphone looks like. While we don’t get to see the Galaxy S8 (or, indeed, the Galaxy S8+) in the video, we do learn that the phone will be unveiled on 29 March, and the stark graphics hint at elements of the design -- which we largely know about from leaks already.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is the first interesting Android tablet in ages

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At MWC 2017 we were treated to the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Book, but this was not the only announcement from the company still waiting to launch the Galaxy S8. Continuing to add to its Galaxy range, Samsung also officially unveiled the Galaxy Tab S3 -- and it looks pretty special.

As the 9.7-inch tablet comes equipped with an S Pen, it is somewhat reminiscent of a large Galaxy Note. The high-quality glass and metal build puts the tablet on a par with Apple's iPad, and audiophiles will be pleased to see the inclusion of quad-stereo speakers from AKG. But this Android 7 tablet has a lot more to offer.

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Xperia XZ Premium is Sony's new flagship Android smartphone

Xperia XZ Premium front

Sony today unveiled a new flagship Android smartphone that might just put the company back on consumers' radar. It's called the Xperia XZ Premium and it has all the right features that we expect high-end Android devices to offer in this first part of the year in terms of hardware and software.

Sony has put some effort into making the Xperia XZ Premium stand out in today's high-end smartphone market. So it has a 4K display, the latest processor from Qualcomm, a camera that's ideal for slow-motion video, a premium water-resistant build, USB Type-C, lots of storage space, and a large battery.

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MWC 2017: Huawei unveils P10 and P10 Plus

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Today at MWC 2017, Huawei lifted the lid on its new P10 range. As with their predecessors, the Huawei P10 and Huawei P10 Plus have a strong focus on photography, with the Leica brand being used as a draw.

As is the norm these days, there are no huge surprises to be found here, with the latest flagships being really little more than an evolution of last year's models -- not that that's a bad thing of course. In addition to the cameras, standout features for this year's handsets include a serious boost to battery life, and a front-mounted (hooray!) fingerprint sensor, complete with gesture support.

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Google Assistant is coming to all smartphones with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and up

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If you like the idea of Google Assistant but didn’t like the fact that it was tied to the Pixel range, there's some good news. Google has announced that the handy helper is making its way to all Android 6.0 Marshmallow and Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones.

The roll out starts this week, and brings Siri- and Cortana-like voice control to millions of Android users. Earlier today at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, the newly-announced LG G6 became the first non-Pixel device to offer Google Assistant, and Google now says that the feature is coming to "eligible Android phones running Nougat and Marshmallow with Google Play Services".

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LG G6 is a flagship smartphone with a 5.7-inch 18:9 display and impressive specs

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If there is anything to be garnered from LG's unveiling of the G6 at MWC 2017 today, it is that the company learned a lot from last year's G5. While the G5 was a modular affair, the LG G6 gets back to basics and concentrates on being a decent flagship handset with a few interesting quirks.

In terms of specs, the G6 may not blow you away, but it still succeeds in standing out from the crowd, thanks in part to its display. The 5.7-inch screen has an aspect ratio of 18:9 (a resolution of 2880 x 1440), and the tall device is IP68 rated for waterproofing. But what else does the LG G6 have to offer?

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MWC 2017: Watch the Samsung Galaxy announcement here, live!

samsung-galaxy-press-conference

Mobile World Congress 2017 may not technically kick off until tomorrow, but lots of companies like to jump the gun so they can be the first to get their announcements out. In this group is Samsung, and later today the company is holding a press conference in Barcelona at which it will unveil the latest addition to the Galaxy range.

Of course, there has not been official word that it's the Samsung Galaxy S8 that will be announced, but there have been enough hints, rumors and leaks for this to be considered likely (even if Samsung has said the actual launch will come after MWC). If the rumors are to be believed, we may also see a Samsung Galaxy S8+, and the specs sound pretty special, and may be enough to help the company rebuild faith after the Note7 debacle. So, are we in line for the Galaxy S8, and/or an addition to the Galaxy Tab range?

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Samsung Secure Folder for Android safeguards your private data

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If you want to secure your Galaxy smartphone, the first thing that you should do is set up a screen lock. But what if you want to go a bit further, and protect specific things on the device? Well, Samsung just released Secure Folder, which gives you a "private, encrypted space" to store sensitive data in.

Secure Folder is derived from Knox, the company's secure platform for business users, and can be seen as a consumer-focused iteration. It acts as a sandbox for apps and data and works with existing authentication options to keep them safe.

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Google renames Messenger to Android Messages as the company pushes RCS

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Just last week we were talking about Google's championing of RCS (Rich Communication Services), the successor to SMS. Now the company has renamed its Messenger app to Android Messages as it aims to become not just the default SMS app, but the default RCS app for Android users.

The name change also helps to better differentiate the app from others that had the same name -- such as Facebook Messenger, which is shortened to just Messenger on shortcuts. At the same time, the change is likely to cause a degree of confusion thanks to the sheer number of messaging apps Google now has.

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5 things mobile developers need to consider in 2017

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Android or iOS? Or both? It’s a question anyone who’s been involved in building a mobile app will have asked. Android is still the major player in the development world, due to the simple fact of the size of the market, but it’s foolish to write anything that’s grown from Apple off.

As with just about every trend in technology, it appears that flexibility and fluidity is the choice route. Here are five things developers will need to consider to stay relevant in 2017 and beyond.

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Microsoft unveils Skype Lite, an Android app for India that's light on data usage

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Microsoft has thrown a lot at Skype in recent years, and the latest move sees the company releasing a completely new version of the Android app designed for use on slower internet connections -- specifically in India.

Described variously as being "our fastest and smallest app to date" and "built in India, for users in India", the focus with Skype Lite is on speed and efficiency. The new version of Skype uses less data and battery power, but still delivers the Skype experience that users have come to rely on.

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Google partners with Telenor to bring enhanced RCS messaging to Europe and Asia

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A potential successor to SMS has received strong backing from Google as it partners with Telenor to launch RCS messaging in Europe and Asia. Rich Communications Services is more feature-rich than traditional SMS and Google's latest partnership sees the technology spreading outside of the US and Canada.

With support for features such as group chat, read receipts and high resolution image sharing, RCS has a lot going for it. There's just one catch. In integrating RCS support into Android, Google is providing the "upgraded SMS experience" through its own Messenger app.

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