It's mere days since we were talking about the impending release of Android P for developers. Now, slightly earlier than expected, a preview of the latest version of Google's mobile operating system is here.
As this is a preview build, it is not only not aimed at the masses, but is also only compatible with a handful of Android phones -- specifically the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. If you have one of these devices, you can try out Android P for yourself, but Google has revealed that we’ll have to wait until Q3 for the final release.
Software updates offer a quick and easy way to bolt new features and options onto apps and operating systems -- or at least in theory. If you like the idea of streaming HD Netflix content on your OnePlus 5 or 5T, you'll probably be pleased to hear that there's an update available that brings this very feature to your phone.
This is clearly great news. What's not so great, however, is the extraordinary fact that in order to get this feature you will need to physically send off your phone so OnePlus can perform the update for you.
Ahead of Galaxy Unpacked 2018 we already know everything we could possibly want -- or need -- to know about the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. A few details and specs have trickled out in recent weeks, but now the company has accidentally (maybe) published the launch video online.
The new Galaxy handsets have the tagline "The Phone. Reimagined", and the video shows off the waterproof capabilities of the phone as well as the new DeX Pad. There's also an automatic translation feature, a repositioned fingerprint sensor and AR features. And thanks to an article that was published a little early by the HuffPo, we know even more about the phones.
It's easy to get excited about new technologies when you're privileged to live in one of the handful of markets and speak one of the few languages that tech companies support. Case in point: voice assistants. You can read about Cortana, Alexa or Google Assistant, but, chances are, for many people that's where the fun ends.
The problems are dead obvious, but, at least when it comes to Google Assistant, things will drastically improve this year, as Google today announces that it's expanding the availability of the service to include over 30 languages -- a huge increase over the eight it supports now.
Samsung has revealed a new, free Android app -- Samsung Max, which it says is "designed to promote mobile data savings and application privacy management". The app replaces Opera Max and anyone with this app currently installed should find that it automatically updates to Samsung Max.
While Opera Max included a fully-fledged VPN tool, Samsung Max downgrades this to a DNS-masking service. There are, however, other security and privacy options, as well as tools for reducing data usage.
The best smartphone experience that one can have is the iPhone. Not only are Apple's devices well made, but iOS is a spectacular operating system that gets consistent updates. The top model is the iPhone X, and its starting price is a sky-high $999. If you can afford spending that much, more power to you. Let's be honest though -- despite being a great product, a thousand dollars for a phone is just insane.
How crazy is the iPhone X price? Well, for comparison, today, BLU announces a flagship Android flagship called "VIVO X" that costs just $299.99 (currently $249 at Amazon). Yes, you can pretty much buy four of these devices for the same price as the base model iPhone X. Blu's phone is no slouch either -- it has a 6-inch display, an Octa-Core processor, and 4GB of RAM. Unlike the iPhone X, it has a fingerprint reader. Photographers will appreciate that it has a total of four cameras -- two on the rear, and two in the front for selfies. Even the battery is impressive -- a monstrous 4,010mAh with fast-charging technology!
Android and iOS users who are not happy with the stock keyboard on their device have lots of third-party options to choose from. Among the established alternatives is Swype, which has been available for nearly five years on Android and over three on iOS. It's actually one of the first third-party keyboards I tried on both platforms.
Swype, however, hasn't really caught on in quite the same way that, say, SwiftKey has, which is likely the reason why the company behind the app, Nuance, has announced that it's reached "end of development." In other words, Swype users, your favorite keyboard is now discontinued.
While Android ransomware is still growing, it's doing so at a slower rate than at its peak in 2016. However, it is using sneaky new techniques to trick users.
New findings from researchers at ESET reveal techniques like the misuse of Android's Accessibility services being used to infect devices. The most popular attack technique though remains screen-locking followed by a ransom demand. The most frequently detected variant being the Android/Locker family.
It's only a week since Samsung started to roll out Android 8.0 Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and now the company has paused the update.
A "limited number" of handsets receiving the update have been experiencing reboot problems after installing Oreo. While Samsung investigates the matter, the rollout has been paused and a new version of the update is being worked on.
Google has high hopes for the Pixel line. Its smartphones compete against the best the market has to offer, featuring cutting-edge hardware, vanilla Android and, unlike many of its droid-toting siblings, three years of support. But consumers aren't (yet) enamored with them.
According to IDC, Google shipped 3.9 million Pixel smartphones last year, which is not a whole lot when you consider just how many tens of million of units the big players ship in a single quarter.
The number of people running Oreo may well be very small, but there's already talk about the next version of Android -- Android P. Reports about what has been named internally as Pistachio Ice Cream promise not only a design overhaul, but also iPhone X-style notch support.
The Oreo successor is due for release later this year, and a Bloomberg report shed some light on what we can expect, including tighter Google Assistant integration, support for different phone formats, and improved battery life.
Which is better -- the MIUI skin, or Android One? This is what Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi decided to ask on Twitter, and the results were... interesting.
Presumably the company was rather hoping that Twitter users would vote for its own MIUI which it could then rub in Google's face -- but the poll actually went against Xiaomi. Rather than leave the results of the vote up for anyone to see, the company decided to simply delete it and pretend it never happened.
Kodi is a superb, and very flexible free media center, but in the past year or so legal crackdowns, court cases, vanishing add-ons and other bad publicity have made people wary of it, and understandably so. It’s not illegal to use Kodi, but installing add-ons that let you stream copyrighted content for free could get you into trouble.
In the wake of all this bad publicity, rival streaming service Mobdro has been gaining in popularity. The app can be installed on any Android device, including phones, tablets, Amazon's Fire TV Stick, and Google's Chromecast 2.
Samsung has kicked off the Android Oreo roll-out for the Galaxy S8, three months after introducing a public beta program. The first to get it are the testers who enrolled, starting with those in Germany.
What's interesting is that, even though version 8.1 exists, Samsung is pushing Android 8.0 Oreo. That's pretty much what happened last time round with the Galaxy S7, which received Android 7.0 Nougat, when 7.1 was available.
Going under the banner of Emoji 11.0, a raft of new emojis are due to hit the screen of iOS and Android devices later this year.
After being previewed late last year, the full list of emojis has now been published by the Unicode Consortium, and they're due to be launched in the second half of 2018 -- August or September. What can you look forward to? New red-haired and bald men and women feature, as do a female superhero, a pirate flag and a microbe.