Articles about Android

Vivaldi launches its first mobile web browser for Android

Norwegian-based Vivaldi Technologies has released its first mobile web browser: Vivaldi Beta 2.7 for Android. This little brother to Vivaldi for desktop shares its aim of offering users as much control over the browser’s look and functionality as possible.

Despite the 'beta' tag, Vivaldi for Android is fully featured from the off. While lacking some key elements likely to appear in future releases, such as support for add-ons, it’s fully functional and supports key elements such as panels and Vivaldi accounts for syncing.

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Samsung angers customers by canceling US Galaxy Fold pre-orders

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Just when it seems that the Galaxy Fold launch could not be any more chaotic or infuriating, Samsung just managed to annoy would-be buyers even further.

For reasons that have not really been explained, the company has chosen -- at the very last minute -- to cancel pre-orders placed in the US. To soften the blow, Samsung is offering $250 of credit to those affected by the cancelations, but the news may well lead customers to question whether the Fold is really worth all the hassle.

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Check out the Samsung Galaxy Fold in this hands-on video

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Depending on where you are in the world, you could get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Fold as soon as tomorrow -- and it should only be a matter of weeks before it launches in all the markets it will hit.

But what is the newly redesigned Galaxy Fold like? Samsung says it took note of the problems and criticism that cropped up after the first batch of review units were sent out, and now you can see what these changes have amounted to in a new hands-on video.

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold finally has a release date

Samsung Galaxy Fold

It has been one of the most problematic handset launches ever, but the beleaguered Samsung Galaxy Fold finally has a release date.

Just days after pre-registrations for the folding smartphone went live in the UK, Samsung has started to reveal detail of the release schedule. For some people -- those in Korea specifically -- the Fold launches tomorrow, September 6. The launch for other regions follows in the coming weeks.

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Google's bug bounty program now covers any big Android app

Bug bounty

Bug bounty programs have become a popular way for developers to track down security issues in software, but big pay-outs are not something that every company can afford.

In a bid to keep its Android platform secure, Google has announced that its own bug bounty program is being expanded to include all big Android apps, regardless of who develops them. The company will reward security researchers who find bugs in any app in the Google Play Store with 100 million or more installs.

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Fairphone 3: the ethical, environmentally friendly, modular phone 'that cares'

Fairphone 3

Fairphone is not a new name in the smartphone market, but it's not one that everyone is aware of. The company has a strong ethical and environmental stance, producing handsets that are gentle on the environment, the people producing them, and are easily repaired.

Now the company has announced the Fairphone 3. Due for release next month, the Android handset is a decent mid-ranger which is likely to attract more interest than its two predecessors. So what's all the fuss about?

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#GoogleSoWhite

New Play store

Google has a diversity problem. Whereas the company's mobile app offerings were once colorful and full of highlights, more recent iterations -- like the newly released version 16 of the Google Play Store -- have been thoroughly and deliberately "whitewashed." Gone is the inclusive rainbow of headers that delineated each app type. In its place, a monochromatic sea of pure whiteness.

The transition is jarring -- and a bit intimidating. As someone who is married to a "person of color" I find the loss of background hue to be disquieting. The notion that it is better to suppress diversity of content in the name of "consistency" or "visual clarity" strikes me as downright bigoted. By ignoring the unique contributions that categories like "Movies" and "Games" have made to the overall Google landscape, you slight those behind the content that drives them.

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Google reveals Android Q will be called Android 10 as it undergoes an evolutionary rebrand

New Android logo

Google has famously named each version of Android after a dessert or confectionery. With Android Q this changes. As well as introducing a new naming scheme, Google is also updating the branding for Android.

Android Q is to be called Android 10 -- bringing Google's mobile operating system in line with Microsoft's Windows 10, and Apple's iPhone X. The new name is accompanied by a new logo and a new color scheme.

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Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are powerful, beautiful, and very expensive

Earlier today, Samsung had its big "Unpacked" event in New York, and BetaNews was there to take it all in. As was expected, the Galaxy Note10 was unveiled. Yours truly was in the third row, listening to well-placed Samsung employees loudly "ooh" and "ah" at every little thing shown off on stage. While their feigned enthusiasm was comically overdone, there actually was some exciting stuff revealed, including the removal of the old-school headphone jack -- finally!

This year, there are two new Android 9.0 phones -- Note10 and Note10+. This is the first time a Note smartphone has been offered in more than one screen size. The plus in the name indicates it is the better device, including having a bigger screen. It has a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display with 3040×1440 resolution, while the non-plus has a 6.3-inch screen with a 2280x1080 resolution. Both are HDR10+ certified.

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Google to let Android users in Europe choose their default search engine -- and will make money in doing so

Android search choice

In response to a $5 billion fine for antitrust violations in Europe, Google has announced that it will introduce a new "search engine choice" option next year. It's an idea that is similar to the Browser Choice screen Microsoft introduced following anti-competition complaints about Internet Explorer.

Google will "introduce a new way for Android users to select a search provider to power a search box on their home screen and as the default in Chrome (if installed)" in Europe starting in 2020. The search engines that appear in the list will be determined by auctions. Google rivals will have to bid to be featured in the list, meaning the company will -- controversially -- make money from giving users choice.

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Google lets Android users non-verbally contact emergency services by phone

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, you can just call 911 for help, right? Well, usually, but not always. In some situations, you may be unable to communicate verbally. God forbid, but what if you are kidnapped and forcefully gagged by an assailant? Maybe an intruder is in your home and you are hiding in a closet -- calling 911 might alert the bad person of your location. Hell, maybe you have a brain incident, such as a stroke, that causes you to lose verbal skills. As you can see, calling for help isn't always so easy.

Today, Google announces a brilliant new Android feature that is certain to save lives. Starting with Pixel smartphones, users will be able to initiate an audio call to emergency services where the phone verbally communicates for you. In other words, by just tapping the on-screen buttons, a 911 operator will be told the general nature of the emergency and your location. Cool, right? This should prove indispensable for those that find themselves in a non-verbal situation.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is actually a really exciting Android tablet

Android tablets have fallen out of favor with consumers, and that's sad. Things have gotten so bad for this device type that Google -- the maker of Android -- has even pulled the plug on making them. Yikes! That is as ominous as it gets, folks. Why did this happen? Well, I blame the influx of cheap no-name tablets from China that crowded the market. Not to mention, smartphones started getting ridiculously large, making tablets a bit redundant. Ultimately, Android tablets became synonymous with crap. With the exception of Samsung and Huawei, quality tablets running Google's mobile OS have been few and far between.

Today, Samsung announces its latest Android tablet, and you know what? It is actually very exciting. Called "Galaxy Tab S6," it is just 5.7mm thin and has a 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen. The device is outfitted with some really cool technology too. For instance, it has an in-display fingerprint reader and a dual-camera setup on the rear -- one of the lenses is "ultra wide." It features an octa-core processor with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM -- depending on configuration. Storage is either 128GB or 256GB, and yes, you can increase that using micro SD. The super-cool DeX feature, which can essentially transform the tablet into a desktop/laptop experience, is also included.

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Samsung's Galaxy Fold is surprisingly still coming to market -- after some fixes

Folding smartphones are probably still the future, despite Samsung's epic fail with the Galaxy Fold. It's hard to fault the company for being overly ambitious -- we need the envelope to be pushed for true innovation to come to market -- but clearly, it was not ready for prime time. As reviewers who got an early look quickly found out, Galaxy Fold was ridiculously fragile, and what looked like a screen protector actually wasn't -- peeling it off destroyed the damn thing.

After all the bad press, I actually assumed the Galaxy Fold would be canceled entirely. It would make sense to simply try a folding phone again in the future with a new name. Well, surprisingly, Samsung has decided to stay the course and release the Galaxy Fold this September -- after some revisions, of course.

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Microsoft is ripping SMS Connect from Skype... Again

Skype on laptop

Microsoft has announced that it is cutting the SMS Connect feature from Skype at the end of August.

The feature -- which makes it possible for Android users to send and receive text messages via Skype on their computers -- has been dropped in the past but made a reappearance last year. But now Microsoft is trying to push people into using the Your Phone app instead.

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This beautiful Android R design could make me switch from iOS

I’ve switched between owning an iPhone and various Android handsets over the years, but for me iOS remains easily the best mobile operating system (and iPhone XS the best smartphone). It would take something very special to tempt me back to Android.

Something like this stylish vision of Android 11.

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