Articles about Android

Google adds floating keyboard mode to Gboard for Android

Gboard icon

Users of Google's own Android keyboard app Gboard have a new option available to them. In an update that is rolling out, a new floating keyboard feature lets you move the location of the keyboard as you see fit.

This is not something that is unique to Gboard by any means; floating keyboards have been available in other keyboard apps for a while, so this is really just Google playing catch-up. But for existing users -- as well as those who are looking for a reason to try out Gboard for the first time -- this update is great news.

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Google to charge smartphone makers to use Google Play in Europe in response to antitrust ruling

Broken Google logo

Following a European Commission ruling earlier in the year that Google had exploited Android for "very serious illegal behavior" and used its mobile operating system "as a vehicle to cement its dominance as a search engine", the company was hit with a record €4.34 billion ($5 billion) fine.

Today Google has outlined how it will respond to the European ruling, in addition to appealing against it. One of the things the company will do is to start charging smartphone makers a licensing fee to use Google Play.

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Real-time Google Translate comes to all Google Assistant headphones and Android phones

Google Translate

Previously a Pixel exclusive, Google is opening up real-time translation to a wider range of devices. So wide, in fact, that real-time Google Translate is now available to all Assistant-optimized headphones and Android phones.

For quite some time, the option was only available to people with a Google Pixel phone paired with Pixel Buds earphones, but now just about everyone has access to the feature.

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Winamp is being updated and reimagined as an audio app for mobile


The name Winamp -- you know, the audio player that "really whips the llama's ass" -- is one that will stir up nostalgic memories for people of a certain age. Since its inception in the mid-90s, Winamp gained a huge and loyal following but, after changing hands a couple of times since the turn of the century, it was then largely forgotten.

But Winamp is making a comeback. In the next few days the desktop app will be getting an update -- not that this is something you should expect too much from -- but it is what's happening in 2019 that's really exciting.

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Razer Phone 2 Android 8.1 gaming smartphone puts Google Pixel 3 to shame

A couple of days ago, Google unveiled its 3rd generation of Pixel phones. And you know what? Many consumers don't really seem to care. Let's be honest, the search giant's flagship devices are usually reserved for only the most hardcore Android lovers -- most consumers prefer Samsung. Sadly, even the Google faithful seem unimpressed by the terribly ugly Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. These devices are beyond uninspired, and the notch on the XL variant is shockingly large.

Thankfully, there is another phone that should wash the filthy Pixel 3 taste out of your mouth -- the Razer Phone 2. Yes, the popular gaming company is back with a second generation phone. The device is still focused on gaming, and this time it has a faster processor which delivers an impressive performance boost. It also gets a glass back which helps enable Qi wireless charging -- a must in 2018. And since this is a gaming device, it now has customizable RGB lighting -- for the rear Razer logo.

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Twitter is killing off Moments on iOS and Android

Twitter support

In less than two weeks, Twitter's Moments will no longer be available to mobile users.

Seemingly in recognition of the fact that hardly anyone used the feature, Twitter is killing off the ability to create Moments in its iOS and Android apps. But the company is not completely shutting down Moments -- the feature will still be available to those who really want to continue using it.

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Google reveals the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

There have been so many leaks surrounding Google's latest Pixel phones that today's announcements felt like little more than a formality. Nevertheless, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are now official.

Taking design inspiration from numerous other handset manufacturers, the new Pixels move away from previous models and have a glass construction. The 5.5-inch Pixel 3 does not feature a notch, but the 6.3-inch XL model does; both handsets feature a Snapdragon 845 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 64 or 128GB of storage -- and, of course, Android Pie.

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Google implements new Play Store policies for apps that request SMS and Call Log permissions

Phone and Contacts icons

Google has introduced privacy and security focused changes as part of an update to Google Play Developer policies. In a move designed to protect sensitive data, there are new rules for apps that request SMS and Call Log permissions.

With immediate effect, it will only be possible for apps configured to be the default calling or text app to access phone and SMS data.

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Here is the OnePlus 6T -- coming October 30

OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has revealed more about the upcoming OnePlus 6T. The company is famed for ramping up the hype ahead of a new launch, and things are no different with its latest handset.

The company has now revealed when the OnePlus 6T will launch -- October 30, at an event in New York City. As well as revealing this, OnePlus has also confirmed that it is no longer possible to sign up for The Lab -- a review opportunity it created to enable a select few to get their hands on the OnePlus 6T early.

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Voice control and dictation options are coming to Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger icon closeup

The ability to control devices and apps with your voice is becoming increasingly common, and Facebook is looking to bring this capability to its Messenger app.

Analysis of the Android version of the Facebook Messenger app shows that the company is looking to use its M assistant in messages to listen out for commands. App code shows that users will be able to make requests of M: "You can ask me to make calls, send messages, and create reminders".

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People love Microsoft's Your Phone so much, it's the top trending Android app in the Google Play Store

Your Phone Companion app trending

Having abandoned its own mobile operating system, Microsoft is increasingly embracing Android and iOS and improving interoperability with Windows. A recent example of this is the Your Phone Companion app which makes it possible to send texts from your computer and easily access photos stored on your Android phone.

The ability to access and use a phone via Windows 10 has gone down very well -- as the interest in our story about the app showed. So well, in fact, that the Your Phone app is the number one trending app in the Google Play Store.

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How to voice-control your Android phone using the Voice Access app

Google Voice Assist

Digital assistants are becoming increasingly popular as people become used to the idea of controlling electronic devices by speaking to them. With Android, Google has supported limited voice control for a while with "OK, Google", but with the release of the Voice Access app you can now do much, much more.

The problem with uttering "OK, Google" at your phone is that there are fairly severe limitations on what you can do -- there are only a small number of supported actions. But with Voice Access you can use your voice to dictate and edit text, and interact with anything that appear on the screen. Here's how to get started.

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How to access your Android phone from Windows 10 with Microsoft's Your Phone app

Your Phone app

Without a mobile operating system of its own, Microsoft is doing more for iOS and Android users than ever before. One example of this is the Your Phone app which makes it possible to view your Android phone's photos on your computer, as well as viewing and sending text messages from the comfort of Windows 10. Microsoft has also promised to enable an exciting-sounding app-mirroring feature.

As long as you have upgraded to the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, you'll have the Your Phone app installed on your computer already. Here we take a look at this handy tool and show you how to get started with it.

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Google Assistant gets a revamp and new features

Google Assistant

Having introduced a new Voice Access app to allow for full voice control of Android phones, Google has also redesigned Google Assistant on both iOS and Android.

The revamp makes the app a more visual experience, with Google acknowledging that while the Assistant is a voice-activated tool, touch is also a key component. With the redesign, Google hopes that bigger visuals and new controls will make it easier and faster to get things done with a combination of voice and touch.

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Google's new Voice Access app lets you control your Android phone with your voice

Google Voice Access app

Google has a new app that allows for full control of an Android phone with your voice -- Voice Access. While it has been possible to perform simple actions such as switching apps and writing messages, the ability to interact with on-screen elements is something that has been missing.

Pitched as an accessibility tool, Voice Access fills in many gaps in Android's voice control system, making it possible to navigate apps, edit text and much more.

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