lundi 31 octobre 2016

Honor 8 Camera Focus: Road Trip to Big Android BBQ

Miles from XDA TV set out to test one of the best features of the Honor 8 phone by taking it on a road trip all the way to the Big Android BBQ in Texas. This video takes a look at some of the photos and videos that were taken so you can see the quality for yourself. If you want to read more about the Honor 8’s dual-camera setup and how it works, you can read our explainer.


The first photo is from a hotel in Texas. This is a prop of an old vintage camera. This was taken with the wide aperture mode in the Honor 8 camera app. Taking wide aperture photos can produce images with a shallow depth of field. In this photo you can see how the lens of the vintage camera is the part that is in focus and the background is blurred. This gives this picture a very professional look. This effect is handled entirely in the software side of the phone.


This is a picture of the conference building that the Big Android BBQ took place in. The camera did really well in handling this type of condition. On the right you have strong shadows coming from the trees, the sky is bright and even the building has a shadow over it. Normally this would make for a difficult picture to take. Notice how the shadow areas are still visible, the sky isn’t blown out at all, and you can even see the small details on the building in the distance.


While it look like this video was taken at day time with good lighting conditions, it was actually taken in a dark restaurant at night time. There is virtually no noise and colors and details looks great. You can easily read the small text on the menu sitting on the table.


This is one of the best photos taken on this roadtrip. HDR mode was used to improve the details in the lightest and darkest areas of this photo. Look at how consistent the details are throughout the picture, even though you have varying levels of light going on.

Thanks to Honor for making this post possible. As a reminder, we have a partnership going with Honor which includes, among other things, an incentive program where you can win prizes just by being active in Honor forums on XDA.

from xda-developers

PSA: Google Assistant says it’s “Offline” when you’re on a VPN, but everything still works

Google Assistant is one of the most advertised features for the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, although there are ways to enable it on non-Pixel Nougat devices as well as on non-Nougat devices. Although Google has currently restricted official compatibility to a very small subset of Android devices, you can still get full use out of Assistant through these unofficial mods. Assistant is still clearly undergoing lots of changes, as many of the features shown off during the October 4th event have yet to make their way into the production build of the service. Though, we at XDA have been having some fun with the IFTTT integration that was recently released.

A few users have noticed a peculiar, yet ultimately benign bug in Google Assistant. If you regularly make use of VPN on your Android device, you will find that Google Assistant seemingly falls back to working only in offline mode. The choice of device does not matter nor does the means of getting Assistant working in the first place (eg. via build.prop edits or Xposed module), as the bug seems to be Google Assistant related. We say that the bug is benign because despite warning you that Google Assistant is in offline mode, everything still seems to work just fine. Some users of ad-blocking software that relies of creating a VPN are reporting that Assistant is not working for them, but we haven’t been able to corroborate that claim.

In any case, to recreate the bug simply turn on any VPN connection (in my testing even Google’s WiFi Assistant seems to trigger the bug) and open up Google Assistant. There you have it: in case you were confused why Google Assistant is saying you’re offline, it’s because of a bug triggered by whatever VPN you’re currently running.

Notice the "You're Offline" Subtle Warning But Assistant still works. See: this totally legitimate Assistant command.

from xda-developers

Xposed Module LeEco EUI Modder allows for a Near-Vanilla Android UI

XDA Member zyberkiddy has created an Xposed Module called LeEco EUI Modder that lets you customize a number of features included in version 5.8 of LeEco’s EUI OEM skin. You can bring back the vanilla lockscreen, vanilla recent app switcher, and more.

from xda-developers

ARM announces their second Bifrost GPU – the Mali-G51

Back in May of this year ARM announced the Mali-G71, the company’s first GPU that utilized their new Bifrost architecture. This new architecture from ARM was quickly adopted into the high-end mobile market, due to growing demand for VR gaming along with other complex and constantly evolving power hungry mobile gaming content. When building their new Bifrost architecture, ARM wanted to create a GPU that could scale to any price point.

Thus, the Mali-G51 GPU was born. Aimed at the “mainstream” smartphone market rather than the high-end market, the Mali-G51 is ARM’s attempt at creating a GPU capable of handling high-level graphics requirements without pushing the cost requirement. The company was able to tune the Bifrost architecture to the performance level and power limitations that most smartphones and tablets have. ARM says they were able to optimize Bifrost’s low-level instruction set even further with the introduction of the new Mali-G51, and they’ve also implemented a new dual-pixel shader core.

ARM states that they’ve also redesigned the texturing units and improved the framebuffer compression as well. There’s been a lot of work put into this GPU over the past 5 months, and ARM is clearly pleased with their results. The Mali-G51 GPU supports scalable performance for the latest graphics APIs including OpenCL 2.0, OpenGL ES 3.2 and the popular Vulkan. When compared to the Mali-T830, ARM says the G51 offers a 60% boost in performance density.

This performance boost is also accompanied by a 60% increase in energy efficiency, and the GPU as a whole is 30% smaller when compared to the Mali-T830 as well. ARM says the Mali-G51 GPU offers sustained performance thanks to the their latest advancements in energy efficiency, which is really important for those long mobile gaming sessions. The company says they will bring the Mali-G51 to its first SoC sometime in 2017, and that means we’ll likely start to see it appear in many mobile devices in 2018 at the latest.

Source: ARM Connected Community

from xda-developers

Mod Brings Night Mode Back to the Nexus 6P on Android 7.1.1

Many people have been disappointed with the removal of Night Mode on the Nexus 6P with the Android 7.1 Developer Preview. Now, a modification from XDA Senior Member SyCreed brings Night Mode, Pixel navigation bar icons, uncolored battery saver mode and more for the Nexus 6P.

from xda-developers

Root is Now Available for the LG V20

We saw SuperSU released for the Pixel phones this weekend, but now root has made its way to the LG V20 as well. This root method is possible thanks to XDA Recognized Developer jcadduono, who walks you through the entire rooting process in his forum thread.

from xda-developers

Sony publishes instructions on how to build Android 7.1 AOSP for Xperia Devices

Sony is one of the few OEMs that remains a firm believer in AOSP. Most companies do not bother providing necessary firmware binaries to allow developers to port AOSP onto the device. But while some OEMs actually do provide binaries for developers to make AOSP builds, like we saw with the OnePlus 3, Sony takes it a step further and ensures that AOSP functions properly on all of their devices. Although Sony’s Open Device program does not extend to every device it releases, the work that they put out makes the lives of custom ROM developers far, far easier and the community could not be more appreciative for it.

Right now, Sony has published binaries and resources for the Xperia X Compact, Xperia X, Xperia Z5 Premium, Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact, Xperia Z3+, Xperia Z4 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3 Compact, Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia E3, Xperia M2, Xperia T2 Ultra, Xperia T3, Xperia L and the Xperia S.

Sony has also been the only OEM to participate extensively in the Android N Developer Preview program as well. They have previously published a guide on how to build Android 7.0 AOSP for their various supported Xperia devices and this weekend they did the same for the newly released Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Previews. This is an early build though, and thus it is currently marked as Experimental. The guide assumes you’re running Ubuntu, as the guide was made using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, but it will work in a similar way on other Linux distributions.

The guide starts by having you prepare your Java environment, then has you installing the necessary tools to make an Android build and then has you download the Repo tool and set a PATH. Then, the guide walks you through initializing the AOSP tree, adding the necessary patches from the AOSP upstream branch, and then instructions on how to build AOSP images for Android 7.1 Nougat so they can be flashed to the device.

Be sure to check out the Sony Xperia Developer GitHub page and contribute in any way that you can.

Source: Sony Mobile Developer World

from xda-developers

dimanche 30 octobre 2016

Google Pixel XL Performance Stress Test, Throttling and Thermals Analysis — A Remarkable, Consistent Performer

Google’s new Pixel phones assume the mantle of yesteryear’s Nexus devices, which were consistently some of the fastest devices around. But while the user experience rarely suffered on a Nexus, there were some caveats near the end of the line’s life.

The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X both packed a particularly flawed set of processors – the infamous Snapdragon 810 and its brother the 808 – that were ultimately tamed for the everyday user experience in the real world (by the Nexus line, in particular), but nevertheless demonstrated severe throttling and temperatures under heavy stress. A year later, the Nexus line is no more and the Pixel devices pack Qualcomm’s newest processor, albeit the Snapdragon 821 “Pro-AB” variant which comes with the same clockspeeds as the Snapdragon 820 across the board. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and I don’t believe consumers should feel cheated –the new chipset is 5% more power-efficient (according to what Qualcomm told us, this gain is achieved when running at the same clockspeeds as the 820) and it also means slightly more breathing room for overclocking.

But overclocking is only truly viable when other variables allow for it, namely thermal efficiency and throttling. The Nexus 6P, which we tested for one of our performance-over-time articles, displayed pretty poor endurance with severe throttling and high temperatures. That wasn’t exclusive to the 6P as other 810 devices suffered the same fate, but with the Snapdragon 820 line, we found much better results despite the surprising variance across devices. The OnePlus 3 is the best example (that we’ve tested, anyway), as it rarely ever throttled in any of our tests, with the surprising ability of sustaining performance through multiple 30-minute sets of GFXBench Manhattan sessions (even if it had to reach 45° C | 113° F in the process). The Pixel phone theoretically has a slightly better (yet not faster) processor, so can it achieve the same level of stamina?

We set out to find if the Pixel XL displayed any kind of throttling, either small or significant, and to figure out what its relative standing is among other 2016 devices. A few notes to keep in mind: these tests are only representative of the Pixel XL which has a different body than the regular Pixel, and thus different thermal properties. Most importantly, these tests are not representative of real-world usage (other than “worst case scenarios”), but of the processor’s strengths and the phone’s behavior under stress. To minimize extraneous variables, we disabled nearly every app that could interfere with the testing. Other variables we tried to control are temperature (same starting temperature for all tests and devices), room temperature and surface heat absorption by running all tests for all devices in nearly-identical starting conditions. We measured device surface temperatures using SEEK and FLIR thermal cameras backed by IR thermometers, so take into account temperatures could have a ±1°C margin of error.

pixelThe body of the Pixel XL has both glass and metal, which actually complicates measuring the temperature of the device under stress as we had to adjust our measurement tools to account for both the glossy and matte textures. The first question is, where does one measure the temperature? Both materials have different heat transfer coefficients, with aluminum being able to both heat up and cool down several times faster than the glass window. Glass is not a good thermal conductor like metal, and it does act as an insulator, a result clearly reflected in our thermal imaging. It’s worth noting that the glass lays on top of the chassis and is not in direct contact with the internals, as shown by iFixit’s teardown.

Finally, the fingerprint scanner seems to lay at the heart of some shielding, and it ultimately gathers the most heat from the device, even if you won’t often feel it. Given it always shows up at the hottest point of the device, this is where we decided to take our measurements. Because of this, though, I must point out that the temperatures listed  in these tests are actually higher than what you’ll feel in-hand throughout the rest of the body, making the results even more favorable for the Pixel XL. This behavior is similar to that of other devices with fingerprint scanners on the back, too, so it is nothing new.

Due to Geekbench 4’s long runtime plus several pauses to defer throttling, that benchmark is not suited for endurance and performance over time tests, as it gives breathing room to the processor. We’ll be using Geekbench 3 as usual to look at the performance drop over time — keep in mind we’ll be focusing on the differentials, and not the magnitudes of the peak scores for the comparisons, to assess the impact of throttling on the device’s performance. Geekbench 3 has a shorter runtime with no real pauses, making it better to stress the processor. Below you can find the 3 data sets from 3 different sets of 10 consecutive Geekbench 3 runs on the Pixel XL.

pixel-gb-1 pixel-gb-2 pixel-gb-3

These tests show extremely good results for the Pixel XL, as there is no significant drop in performance over the 10-run tests, and the differences in scores are easily attributed to inherent variance in the test. Temperature, too, barely goes up over time, hitting a peak of 33.4°C | 92.1°F  on the fingerprint scanner — this isn’t only lower than what we found on other devices, but it’s also at the hottest point in the device. This marks a tremendous year-on-year improvement for the 821 over the 810, and for the Pixel XL over the Nexus 6P as shown in graphs below.

gb-score-comparison-pixel-vs-oneplus-3 gb-score-comparison-pixel-vs-n6p

Moreover, the trends across the different data sets are similar, which indicates there is consistency to the lack of throttling found in this round of benchmarks. It’s important to note that while this device does show lower peak scores in Geekbench 3 than what we found on our OnePlus 3 test, the drop in scores (or lack thereof, rather) is similar in proportion yet the Pixel stayed slightly cooler at its hottest point in our testing.

geekbench-3-score-over-time-set-comparison geekbench-3-temperature-over-time-set-comparison

Other Snapdragon 820 devices like the HTC 10 showed more significant drops in performance after the 10-test mark, and the Snapdragon 820 Galaxy Note 7 also showed similar behavior with a maximum drop in score of 6.1% in single core and 3.5% in multi core, whereas the Pixel doesn’t quite reach a 4% difference between its highest and lowest scores in multi core and it’s highest drop in single core is ~5.2% . To sum up, we found no significant throttling in our set of Geekbench 3 tests for the Pixel, although the variance between sets of 10-run tests seems to increase slightly into each run. Overall and from what we can infer from these results, the Pixel XL shows remarkable CPU performance over time with no thermal constraints, and its hottest point is still neither hot enough to be detrimental to the user experience, nor large enough for you to really notice.

Moving on to GPU and graphics performance over time, we ran a set of graphics-intensive benchmarks to see the proportional drop in scores after 7 tests for 3DMark Sling Shot using ES 3.1, and 30 (consecutive) iterations of GFXBench’s Manhattan tests (within the battery benchmark). Beginning with the set of 3DMark tests below, you’ll see that the Pixel XL actually does a surprising job at keeping its performance, and the throttling we observed is actually one of the least severe ones we’ve found: it doesn’t quite reach a 10% drop in scores. For reference, the OnePlus 3 saw a score loss of 8% in its fifth test, while the Snapdragon Note 7 has a loss of 18% in its final 3DMark score, and the Exynos Note 7 lost up to 27%.

pixel-3dmark-3 pixel-3dmark-1 pixel-3dmark-2

While the Pixel XL throttled significantly less than those Galaxy devices, its final temperature was around the same, ranging from 43.1°C | 109.6°F  to 43.6°C | 110.5°F. This isn’t unconventionally hot for these kinds of tests, but once more we must stress the fact that this is the temperature on the fingerprint scanner, and the rest of the body feels cooler to the touch. The sustained score is not as big of an improvement over last year’s Nexus 6P’s 3DMark performance, which actually did surprisingly well despite the Snapdragon 810 inside it. That being said, not all Snapdragon 810 devices were created equal, and the OnePlus 2 saw a drop in score of ~21%.


Looking at the trends throughout the different tests of sets, we can see remarkable consistency in the temperature curves, and also similar proportional drops in score once the throttling kicks in. The only discrepancy is that in two of the sets the score drop kicks in on the 5th test, while the odd one out has the throttle show up on the 6th test. If you look at the graph you’ll also find that its temperature is slightly lower throughout and up until that point, suggesting it maybe hadn’t reach a breakpoint for the throttling to kick in.

3dmark-score-over-time-set-comparison 3dmark-temperature-over-time-set-comparison

distributionBut regardless of that slight difference, these test ultimately show very unsubstantial throttling on the Pixel when it comes to graphics performance. We also put the Pixel XL through GFXBench tests, however, to see whether it’d perform as well during that intensive 30-minute benchmark, where many devices fail such as the HTC 10, but others like the OnePlus 3 do a more-than-remarkable job. While 3DMark renders the Sling Shot ES 3.1 benchmark at 1440p regardless of resolution (and then scales it), GFXBench’s Manhattan does take the phone’s native resolution into account, so we tried the test on both 1440p and 1080p to see how it stacks up to all kinds of 820 devices. Below you can find the results we obtained from various sets as well as a short timelapse of the heat distribution on the body throughout the test.

1440p1 1440p2 1440p3

When running GFXBench at 1440p, the Pixel XL sheds the consistency of previous tests and gives slightly-varying results without clearly-identifiable throttling patterns. Those who read our Snapdragon 820 vs Exynos 8890 Note 7 comparison might recall that the throttling pattern for those devices was extremely replicable throughout various tests, but even when controlling the starting conditions, the Pixel XL shows wildly-different results — I made sure to run this 30-minute test many, many times. Even if I couldn’t get a clear and satisfying pattern down, all of my results were above the average. Indeed, the Pixel XL actually beats the Snapdragon 820 Note 7 and the HTC 10, the former shedding up to half its score and the latter losing close to a third. The Pixel XL, by comparison, saw drops between 5% and 20%, with most results sitting around a 10% drop in performance at most. Temperatures never rose past 44°C | 111.2°F very much like in 3DMark.

1080p1 1080p2 1080p31

In order to compare the device to 1080p Snapdragon 820 devices, we had to downgrade the device’s resolution using simple a simple adb shell command (wm size 1080x1920) and then re-adjusting the DPI. The OnePlus 3 has been the absolute champion in GFXBench from what we’ve tested, as it simply didn’t throttle nor did it see drops above 5% in a controlled environment. While the OnePlus 3 was running at 1080p, it’s worth pointing out that devices like the Note 7 and HTC 10 still saw similar performance loss when tested on 1080p, as the processor is still pushed to its limits and it still hits the same physical thermal constraints. That being said, the Pixel XL actually offered us more-consistent results when running at 1080p, with an ~11% drop at most in our set of tests. As predicted, maximum temperature remained nearly the same with the fingerprint scanner reaching 43°C | 109.4°F to 44°C | 111.2°F (for comparison, the OnePlus 3 could hit 45°C | 113°F throughout a larger area of its body). As always, seeing close to double the framerate when lowering the resolution is a nice reminder of the level of performance we trade for 1440p screens.

What about gaming? Unfortunately, with the Pixel running Android 7.1, all of the framerate measurement tools we’ve grown used to for our tests seemingly need updating. The same goes for much of our other methodology, and up until yesterday, we did not have root to get in-depth results for many areas of our review. We’ve begun updating some of our tools for the Pixel and the new Android version, however. One curious example is our in-house battery logger tool, which keeps track of battery voltage/current and temperature so that we can get better data, nice charging curves and see what’s going on behind the chassis. The changes to Android 7.1 made it so that root is seemingly required to fetch these stats, but now that Chainfire has released his clever root method for the Pixel and Pixel XL, we’ve been able to update it. As a side note, this device stayed rather cool on the outside while charging, so that’s nice (more will be explained in our full battery life article or review section). We’ll work on updating our methodology (and even expanding it!) to work around changes like this for the full in-depth review coming soon.

What do these tests tell us? Once more I want to empathize that we haven’t used these benchmarks to compare theoretical maximums and/or the practical peak performance of a device, but how it behaves over time. While there are many devices that share the same processor, they are never created truly equal, and we’ve seen great variability in the endurance and behavior of the Snapdragon 820 devices we’ve tested to date. The Snapdragon 821 in the Pixel XL is not very different at all from these devices, so if we were to compare it to that category, it clearly sits at the top with the OnePlus 3. The Pixel XL has done a remarkable job even when pushed to its limits, and even at its hottest points it remains relatively cool for the level of performance and consistency it outputs.

Measuring performance over time and the heat a device generates is, to us, an aspect as important as the peak speed of the processor. Last year was a reminder to all of us that a cool and consistent processor ultimately wins the race, and we are glad to see Qualcomm has offered OEMs a solution that in great part redeems last year’s failure. Google has done an excellent job with the Snapdragon 821 in every aspect we’ve admired so far: the phone is one of the snappiest around, it’s cool to the touch and it’s extremely consistent in delivering a smooth UI experience. The software is just as important as the hardware here, as Google’s optimizations to Android Nougat and 7.1 in particular result in a faster and more pleasant UI experience — our favorite improvement being the changes relating to touch latency, which we’ll cover in a separate article and in our review with the appropriate data and explanations.

What else is there to say? Not much, because the Pixel is one of those devices where we begin our tests  half-expecting the kind of results we’ll get — it’s something you can’t escape inferring when you actually get to use the device day-to-day and experience its fluidity and consistency. And as we half-expected, the device is not half-bad: it’s one of the more consistent and consistently-good performers we’ve put through these tests, and I wouldn’t expect any issues with overheating or throttling during day-to-day usage with Google’s phone.

Stay tuned for more Google Pixel and Pixel XL testing and our review!

Check out XDA’s Pixel XL Forum! >>>

Special thanks to Aamir and Mishaal for their contributions to this article!

from xda-developers

How to Unlock Bootloader on Honor 8


Before you can root your Honor 8 or install a custom recovery, you’ll want to unlock your bootloader. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to get the unlock code for your device and how to use ADB to unlock your bootloader.

Backup your data first. Unlocking the bootloader will wipe the data on your Honor 8.

Get your unlock code

  • Go to this website and create an account.
  • Go to Downloads > Unlock Bootloader
  • Fill out the form with the S/N, IMEI, product code and model number
  • Your unlock code will be shown on the same page, at the bottom of the form

Turn on USB Debugging and OEM Unlock

  • On your Honor 8:
  • Go to Settings > About
  • Tap on Build Number seven times
  • Go to Developer Options
  • Check Enable OEM Unlock
  • Check USB Debugging

Unlock VIA ADB

If you haven’t installed ADB yet, see this thread for instructions.

  • Plug your phone into your computer VIA USB
  • Type the command adb reboot bootloader and hit enter.
  • Once in bootloader mode, type fastboot oem unlock [unlock code]
  • Follow the on-screen instructions


If you see this warning when your phone reboots, then you have done everything correctly.

We are working closely with Honor and several developers to make sure that there will be more development content for this device in the future.

For more Honor 8 content, check out the Honor 8 XDA forums.

from xda-developers

samedi 29 octobre 2016

Root is now available for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Here’s what Changed and what Works

As promised, systemless root for the Google Pixel and Pixel XL is now available. XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire was working on root for the Google Pixel phone running Android 7.1 Nougat these past few days, and he has reached a stage in his development where he is now comfortable enough sharing his work with the community.

screenshot_20161029-141704Root access for the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL is available by flashing SuperSU 2.78 SR2, which enables su access without touching anything in the /system partition and allowing for dm-verity to be toggled. Before you can root your device, you will first need to have your bootloader unlocked. The first step in unlocking your bootloader is to download the adb and fastboot binaries (we recommend grabbing Minimal ADB & Fastboot from our forums) and then installing the appropriate Google USB Driver for your machine.

If you’ve purchased your Pixel device straight from Google, then you only need to issue a fastboot flashing unlock command followed by fastboot oem unlock. In case you purchased your Pixel from Verizon or EE, you would need to unlock your bootloader through the dePixel8 tool. But hurry, because the SunShine developers have mentioned that their bootloader unlock exploit may be patched in the upcoming November security update!

Immediate Uses of Root Access

By the way, besides the usual functionality that root access should bring we’ve gone ahead and tested a few things that we knew you all would be interested in. First up, can you bring back Google Now on Tap? The answer is yes! All you need to do is edit build.prop with the following change, reboot, and clear Google App data and you’ll no longer be greeted with the Google Assistant.




screenshot_20161029-143946 screenshot_20161029-144019 screenshot_20161029-144050

What about another commonly hidden feature: double-tap-to-wake? We’ve looked around for the hidden toggle, and have discovered what appears to be it.

sailfish:/sys/devices # echo 1 > ./soc/7577000.i2c/i2c-3/3-0020/input/input3/wake_gesture

Unfortunately, when we changed the value it didn’t seem to stick. For now, it seems you’ll have to flash a custom kernel such as ElementalX to get d2tw working.

Some other things we’ve tested include whether or not Titanium Backup works (it does), Better Battery Stats (works) Substratum/Layers Themes (seems to be having some issues), and ad-blocking (fails). Ad-away fails to work currently because /system cannot be mounted read-write by default, so we’ll have to wait until TWRP is available before we can flash the systemless workaround for Ad-Away. And yes, we’ve already tried using FlashFire to flash the Ad-Away enabler for systemless root, but that doesn’t seem to be working either at this time.

sailfish:/sys/devices # mount -o rw,remount /system
mount: '/system' not in /proc/mounts

Here are some screenshots showing that Titanium Backup works, though. So if you’re coming from another device and you would like to restore all of your backed up apps, you can be rest assured that all of your app data will be now be restored.

screenshot_20161029-152619 screenshot_20161029-152004

We’ll continue to dive deep into our Pixel devices to see what we can toggle. Which “Pixel exclusive” feature will be the next to fall?


The Struggle to Achieve Root

Chainfire is fairly meticulous when it comes to release notes. When you’re the developer providing tens of thousands of users a method to achieve root access, it makes sense to be as transparent as possible lest you face a horde of confused users wondering why something is broken. While his Twitter account (@ChainfireXDA) is reserved more for short announcements, Chainfire tends to post much-welcome, lengthy explanations on his Google+ account. This time is no different.

To download SuperSU for the Google Pixel phones, head on over to the XDA forum thread. A big thanks to Chainfire for bringing root over to the devices! Let the Tweaking Games begin!

Visit the SuperSU XDA Subforum!

This story is developing and will be updated as we receive new information. One Google Pixel was sacrificed in the making of this article. RIP Jeff’s data.

from xda-developers

UMi Plus XDA TV Review

As we all know, flagship phones are not cheap. Many people simply do not have the money to spend on a high end flagship device. Today we are going to be looking at a phone that, while not a flagship, has many of the specs and features that you’d expect in one. This is the $200 UMi Plus.


Check out the YouTube video review from Miles to see how you can win an UMi Plus for yourself.

Thanks to UMi for sponsoring this video and letting us check out the UMi Plus.
See more info about the UMi Plus here.

from xda-developers

vendredi 28 octobre 2016

Tiered Fees are Coming to Swappa on November 1st

If you haven’t already heard of the service, Swappa is an online marketplace that was launched for people to buy or sell mobile devices. Over the years, the types of products available for listing on the site have expanded to include tablets, laptops, wearables, and even VR headsets. With other reseller marketplaces such as eBay becoming cluttered and expensive for the seller, Swappa quickly caught on among enthusiasts. When we shut down the XDA marketplace back in 2013, partnering with Swappa was a no brainer to fill the gap left behind by our now-defunct marketplace.

Since Swappa launched, the company has only charged a measly $10 fee to the seller when their device was sold. If the device goes unsold, then the seller isn’t charged a penny which is more than you can say for some of the competitors out there. But with such growing demand for the service, it seems that this service model was not sustainable for Swappa to continue offering to its customers. Swappa has just announced that they will be introducing a tiered fee system that will be applied to all devices listed on the site starting on November 1st. The result is that some sellers will be charged more than the previous $10 flat fee, but it’s still much less than its competitors.

To break things down, if your device is sold on Swappa within the $0 – $100 price range then the fee will only be $5. If the device you just sold on Swappa was priced between $101 and $300, then your fee will be the same $10 like it always has been. Any devices sold at a price over $300 will be subject to an additional $5 per price tier increase, as listed in the chart below.

Be sure to check Swappa’s fee page for the full details, but looking at the price difference between the available services it’s clear that Swappa’s tiered pricing system makes Swappa the preferable choice for enthusiasts looking to buy or sell their device. If this article is the first time you’ve ever heard of Swappa, then go register an account using the XDA-Developers username integration, and keep on the lookout for great sales on a wide variety of products.

Swappa Fees

Source: Swappa

from xda-developers

Sony Announces PS Vue for Android TV

Sony just made a big announcement for PS Vue users who also have a smart TV or a standalone box running Android TV. PS Vue on Android isn’t new, as the app has been available on mobile devices for a few months now. The big news this week is that PlayStation Vue is finally available for Android TV. Sony says you can download the new PS Vue app on your Android TV device that’s running “Android OS 4.4 or higher” (even though we know Android TV launched with 5.0 Lollipop).

If you already have a PS Vue subscription, then you can download their new Android TV application from the Play Store and instantly start watching the content on your TV right now. Those who have yet to try out PS Vue, Sony is offering a free seven-day trial over on the PS Vue website. After you sign up, you can easily connect your Android TV device to your newly-created account.

PS Vue comes with a number of different subscription plans that try to fit your personal usage. The Access plan starts at $30 per month, but could be $40 if you live in a city with “major live local broadcast stations”. This plan comes with over 55 channels including live cable TV, movies, and sports. The Core plan is priced at $35/$45 and comes with over 70 channels including live national and regional sports networks.

The Elite PS Vue subscription plan will cost you $45/$55 and it comes with over 100 channels that add in movie and entertainment channels. Lastly we have the Ultra plan that will run you $65/$75, and adds in both Showtime as well as HBO. These plans also come with Sony’s cloud-based DVR system that enables you to “record hundreds of shows at once with no scheduling conflicts.”

Sony also tells us that PS Vue will be launching on both the PC as well as macOS soon, and that subscribers can stream PlayStation Vue content on up to five devices at the same time.

Source: PlayStation Blog

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Oracle Files for an Appeal in its Case Against Google

Soon after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, the company went after Google for allegedly infringing on copyrights and patents that are related to Java. It took two years before the case went to trial and Oracle eventually lost as the courts were unable to find any evidence about what the company had claimed. Oracle then decided to revive part of its case thanks to the appeals process in the United States, with the second trial focusing solely on the APIs for Java.

During this time, we watched as Android 7.0 would not use Oracles proprietary Java APIs, an Oracle attorney revealed Android revenue information that was meant to be for their eyes only, the judge accused both Oracle and Google they were setting up the jury to fail. Oracle felt that Google should pay $9.3 billion for the way they used Java’s APIs, but the settlement talks ended up falling through.

The jury agreed that Google’s use of the Java APIs were considered fair use, and that they shouldn’t be penalized for how it was implemented in Android. Oracle even tried to have their copyright trial loss thrown out because Google hadn’t told the courts they were planning to launch Android apps on Chrome OS. This request was denied, but now they have filed for an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

It’s unclear at this time if they will be granted the appeal, but it is highly likely since it is such a high profile case. If granted, Oracle will have an uphill battle as the tests for whether something is fair use or not are pretty subjective. So the case is now going back to the Federal Circuit, which is the same appeals court that originally said APIs could be copyrighted. Still, it will be a long and difficult road for Oracle’s lawyers to try and pull off a win.

Source: Ars Technica

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Which Past Phone Did You Like for its Innovation?

The recently released Xiaomi Mi MIX has opened up to a lot of appreciation for its bold approach in imagining what the smartphone future would look like, while still maintaining commercial sense (even if SHARP has done similar things before). With a nearly bezelless display, and all the innovation that went into making the phone possible, the Mi MIX is a breath of fresh air in the world of ordinarily rounded rectangles.

But the Mi MIX is not the first one to have experimented. There have been a lot of phones, both smart and feature phones alike, that stood out of the pack. They chose to redefine what the smartphone experience of the future would be like, albeit not all tasted the same success. So we ask you,

Which phone from the past did you like for its innovation? What did the phone bring to the market that was not considered ordinary at that time? Was it a new set of features, or was it a new software experience? How popular did the phone get, and how did it influence the future that we are living in today?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Alphabet Brings in Over $5 Billion in Profit During Q3 2016

To round off the week, Alphabet has just published their 3rd quarter financial earnings for investors and the media. We can see that June, July, August and September were good for the internet tech giant. Overall revenue for the quarter increased to $22.4 billion when compared to the same quarter last year (which was at $18.6 billion). This quarter’s revenue is up from $21.5 billion when you compare it to the second quarter of this year.

Google has reported that they were able to net $5.7 billion in total profit for the quarter, which is up from $4.7 billion compared to the same quarter of last year. This was mostly attributed to the profits that were brought in from the Google division. Google themselves saw their overall revenue go from $18.5 during the third quarter of 2015 up to $22.2 billion this year — with net profit increasing from $5.8 billion during the quarter last year all the way up to $6.7 billion from June through September of this year.

Naturally, Alphabet lost some of its profits thanks to their other bets/moonshot projects that they currently invest in. Alphabet’s other bets consist of projects like Nest, Fiber, Verily, and more. They were able to increase overall revenue from $141 million during the third quarter of last year to $197 million this year. However, these other bets also cost Alphabet a total of $865 million and this is actually down from the operating loss of $980 million compared to the same quarter last year.

These types of results have been very typical ever since Alphabet was formed as the parent company of Google. We see the established products and services are bringing in enough profit to keep their moonshot projects funded. Sometimes these other bets don’t pan out exactly as they originally planned. Which is what we’re currently seeing with the fiber side of Google Access, but we can see that the company is still able to beat expectations.

Source: Alphabet Investor Relations

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Google Assistant Gains IFTTT Support

This year, we’re seeing Google take on the likes of Amazon, Siri and Microsoft in the personal assistant category with Google Assistant. The company will begin shipping out Google Home pre-orders within the next week, but the service won’t be as powerful as its competition if it doesn’t support a wide range of 3rd-party products and services. Many will be happy to use it for asking Google questions and interacting with Google services, but it will need more if it wants to be successful.

We’ve watched as Amazon has continually supported their Alexa personal assistant ever since the Echo was launched in November of 2014. 3rd-party developers are embedding the service into their own products (which is what Google is hoping for as well), and earlier this year they announced Alexa had over 1,000 skills. Amazon has even announced a year-long Alexa hackathon, and will be putting up a record-breaking $2.5 million purse for it.

So it’s clear that Amazon is very dedicated to making Alexa work with as many services and connected devices as possible. This is why it was so surprising when Google announced the only products Google Home had support for was Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, as well as “given” ones like Nest. Granted, Google is just getting started in this market so it’s fair that they aren’t launching with support for hundreds of products and services.

Google just needs to be dedicated to the platform and it will easily be able to compete with the likes of Amazon Alexa. This is why it’s such good news to hear that Google Assistant has gained support for IFTTT this week. Before Google Home has even been launched, it is able to connect with 258 different IFTTT channels. So, on the Pixel and Pixel XL, you can already do things like send a tweet by voice, send a note on Slack, add a new Google contact, add a Todoist task and so much more.

Be sure to check out the Google Assistant IFTTT channel to see all of the actions that are available.

Source: IFTTT

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Motorola Moto M Spec Leaks Point to SD-625 SoC and 5,100 mAh Battery

Lenovo seems to have a surprise in store for the upcoming holiday season. The Motorola Moto M has had its fair share of leaks for a while, but based on what we’ve learned so far, the device seemed to be just another low-end device. Interest in the device was recently renewed, however, with new reports indicating that we may see Microsoft apps pre-installed on the Moto M which differentiated the device amidst the saturated low-end market, although without much to really get excited over.

moto-mBut that’s not all up the Moto M’s sleeve. A new leak is providing a ton of more juicy details on the device. First up is a leaked press render of the device, although we do already have a good idea of the device’s design thanks to the previous TENAA listing for the device.

The more interesting tidbits on the device come from the its specifications, though. The Moto M is likely to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. For storage and RAM, there are two distinct models with further sub-divisions. The Moto M aimed at the Chinese market (PRC) will come with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM with 64GB of eMMC storage. The Moto M for the Rest of the World (ROW) cuts back on some of the specs with its two variants: you’ll either get 3GB or 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM with 32GB of internal storage. Both the PRC and the ROW models will sport expandable storage of up to 128GB via a micro-SD card slot.

But the best part about the Moto M is likely to be its insane battery life, as the specification leak points to the presence of a whopping 5,100 mAh battery on the device. Keep in mind that the Moto M is still very likely to include a 5.5″ 1080p LCD display. Couple that with the efficient Cortex-A53 core setup on the Snapdragon 625 SoC (and obviously, the massive battery capacity), and what you should have is a phone that will easily churn out 2-days of heavy phone usage like a walk in the park.


Curiously, the battery specification mentioned here does not match up entirely with the TENAA listing that was previously spotted, so it is best to keep contain your hype until the product is officially unveiled. That, and the device seems to be launching with Android Marshmallow, which while totally expected of a low/mid-range device is still rather disappointing given that Nougat is already out in the wild.

The Lenovo Motorola Moto M is likely to be launched in December 2016, which is in-line with other leaks pointing to a late 2016 release. We hope to get more concrete info on the device as we approach the launch date.

What are your thoughts on the Moto M? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: @krispitech

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jeudi 27 octobre 2016

Verizon Pixel/Pixel XL Bootloader Unlock has been Released

When Google revealed they had struck a carrier exclusivity deal with Verizon for sales of the Google Pixel and Pixel XL within the United States, many of us feared the worst. Given Verizon’s history of preventing bootloader unlocking, enthusiasts feared that even the standard bearer for Android, Google’s first truly in-house flagship smartphone, would be subject to Verizon’s draconian security measures. And indeed, that did appear to be the case. But cracking the Verizon Pixel/Pixel XL’s bootloader seemed to be a matter of when, not if, and just the other day XDA Senior Recognized Developers beaups and jcase announced that they had figured out a way to unlock the bootloader. Furthermore, the two SunShine developers disclosed to XDA that their unlock method would be released for free which is something the two developers were under no obligation to do, but decided to do so for the benefit of the community.

Keeping their promise, the SunShine developers have just released dePixel8, a tool to unlock the Google Pixel and Pixel XL sold on Verizon Wireless in the U.S. or EE in the U.K.

According to the website, the tool works by forcefully enabling bootloader unlocking on the Pixel/Pixel XL by running the dePixel8 program on the target device. The tool does not actually unlock the bootloader, but that step can be easily done by issuing the usual fastboot oem unlocking command followed by fastboot oem unlock. You’ll of course need to have the ADB and Fastboot binaries installed (we recommend Minimal ADB & Fastboot from our forums) and the appropriate drivers to allow your PC to recognize the device.

Because the tool is free to use, the SunShine developers will not provide any support for the product should anything go wrong. Though the tool is likely safe, you should accept any potential risk involved with using an unofficially supported bootloader unlocking method, so please do not go blaming the developers if something happens! If you appreciate the work that they’ve done (and you should), then all the developers ask of you is that you send donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

We at XDA-Developers always appreciate the wonderful work done by developers, most of whom take precious time out of their lives to provide us the fruit of their labor for free. With the release of dePixel8, owners of the Verizon/EE Pixel and Pixel XL will soon be able to join their Play Store-bought brethren in flashing ALL the custom ROMs and kernels they desire.

Download dePixel8 from the SunShine website

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Chainfire’s Systemless Root for Pixel Phones is Coming

We all knew it was coming. It’s basically tradition that within days of Google releasing a new device, XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire finds a working root method. In keeping with that tradition, earlier today Chainfire demonstrated he had achieved root access on his Pixel phone with a picture of ADB shell requesting superuser access. The news understandably brought much excitement to fans of the Google Pixel phones, but Chainfire quickly clarified that the method he used to achieve root access required modifying /system and disabling dm-verity.

Frequent readers of our Portal might recall that we wrote an article explaining the possible difficulties with rooting the Pixel phones, and it seems we were right on some fronts: Chainfire initially confirmed that disabling dm-verity would be problematic, and for a while he thought it would be impossible to disable dm-verity without changes to the kernel. But eventually he found a way to disable dm-verity, as usual, and within a day of poking around he achieved full systemless root by modifying the boot image:

This is exciting news for all Pixel owners, as systemless root has become the most common way of rooting devices since Android Marshmallow and now Google’s latest phone can enjoy the benefits of root access, without the need for altering the kernel. Chainfire has once again worked around Google’s changes to Android in order to bring root access to millions in the Android community, but the method is not ready for release yet. Chainfire says it’ll take a few days to automate the process, clean up his work, and package it into a flashable zip, so please wait patiently for the release!

Keep in mind that to even attempt to root your device requires you to unlock the bootloader, which will cause SafetyNet to fail, so don’t expect to play Pokemon Go or use Android Pay on your Pixel. Even with SultanXDA’s temporary SafetyNet bypass patch, it’s only a matter of time until Google updates SafetyNet to fix this loophole. Still, we were worried that disabling dm-verity would require modifying the kernel, but Chainfire proved us wrong. We can only hope that the ingenious developers on our forums can continue finding workarounds should the need arise, but at this point it’s basically a game of whack-a-mole between developers and Google.

Feature image credit: The Legend

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Android BBQ Vlog Day 2

The second day of the Big Android BBQ of 2016 was a bitter sweet experience. It was announced that this would be the last BBQ as there was no longer the sponsor presence needed to keep the event going. The event was a lot of fun and this video captures some of the final bits of the BBQ.

We were lucky enough to go to the Big Android BBQ thanks to our sponsor UMi. Their latest phone, the UMi plus, has 4GB RAM, a 4,000mAh battery, and stock Android for $149. Click here to check it out!

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XDA Forums Live for the Elephone S7 and Elephone R9

The curved display Elephone S7 and the almost bezel-less Elephone R9 now have their own sub forums over at XDA! Head on over!

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AOSP 7.1 Lands Unofficially on the MT6752-based Jiayu S3

If you are looking to try out the absolute latest of Android, and have the MT6752 based Jiayu S3, try out the AOSP 7.1 builds from Team MAD.

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Check out Unofficial CyanogenMod 13 on the Huawei P8!

XDA Senior Member nexolight‘s Unofficial CyanogenMod 13 is a Work-In-Progress ROM that showcases the stock Android experience on the Huawei P8. Be wary of the bugs though!

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Qualcomm to Acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 Billion

Qualcomm has officially announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire NXP Semiconductors. The agreement allows Qualcomm to purchase all issued and outstanding common shares of NXP for $110 per share, which gives NXP a total enterprise value of around $47 Billion. The acquisition has been rumored for a while, and Qualcomm has now made it official.

NXP’s acquisition will help broaden Qualcomm’s scope as areas of focus under NXP were primarily related to the automotive industry. This will reduce the dependence of the parent company on smartphone chips, as Qualcomm is seeing rising competition from Chinese and other Asian manufacturers in this area, which is likely to have its toll on profit margins in the future. The combination of Qualcomm and NXP is expected to have an annual revenue totaling more than $30 billion.

It is not all money though. Qualcomm will also see benefits in the form of additional expertise in the automative silicon market as well as the acquisition of sales channels, along with the sharing of NXP’s portfolio of security solutions which in turn will complement Qualcomm’s IoT solutions.

The acquisition transaction is expected to be complete by the end of 2017. While the tender offer is not subject to any financing conditions, the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in various jurisdictions.

Source: Qualcomm

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LG Looking to Incorporate MST Tech For Mobile Payments in LG G6

LG plans to go in strong with the G6. We do not really know a whole lot about the G6 at this stage, but recent developments have pointed that LG may finally be ready to move past dead technology and favor newer tech that offers more convenience.

A new report coming out of South Korea indicates that LG is giving up on the “White Card” payment method for mobile payments, which it was reportedly developing for its smartphones for about a year now. The White Card method needed the possession of a physical card in order to undertake mobile payments. LG is abandoning this method due to the White Card’s “low usefulness, problems with batteries and lack of sales strategies”, though the presence of a physical card (thus defeating the purpose of using your phone and not using a debit/credit card in the first place) sounds like a very good reason to not use this mobile payment solution from a consumer perspective. The White Card method sounds like adding inconvenience where it should not exist, and LG moving on is probably for the best.

LG's White Card that it was developing for LG Pay

LG’s White Card that it was developing for LG Pay

What LG will use instead is the kind of MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology that Samsung uses in Samsung Pay. Of course, Samsung does have patents on MST which should have granted it exclusivity over the technology. But LG is keen on avoiding infringement of Samsung’s patents, which it will do by developing its own MST technology. LG will not outsource the development of this tech, and it has already selected partners to provide components for MST linkage. LG will start working with card companies at the end of this month for linking its payment system.

This MST tech will then be part of the LG G6, which is scheduled to come out in spring of 2017. The report also mentioned that the G6 will come bearing NFC and wireless charging as well. A separate report mentions that the LG G6 will also ditch the “Friends” module ecosystem as LG is not keen on staying aboard the sunk pseudo-modularity ship. We hope LG also manages to clean up on its QA systems, so that problems on its current flagships are not repeated in the future ones.

What are your thoughts on LG moving towards MST for LG Pay? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: ET NewsFeature Image:

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South Korea Grants Samsung a Patent on Fingerprint Scanner Gestures

We’ve seen multiple companies begin implementing fingerprint scanner gestures on their smartphones in the past. Huawei/Honor has been known for these gestures for quite a while, and many were hoping that it would be included in the Nexus 6P. This never happened, but Google was able to bring the feature with this year’s Pixel and Pixel XL. However, it seems Samsung now has a patent for this type of functionality… at least in its home country of South Korea.

Samsung had actually filed for this fingerprint scanner gesture feature two whole years ago. So they have been thinking about this type of feature for a while now. The patent illustrations show off a different implementation than we’ve seen on smartphones today though. Instead of using the swipe gestures to trigger the notification shade, like we see on the Pixel phones, it looks like Samsung wants to use them for quick access to certain applications.

The patent shows someone swiping up on the fingerprint scanner to launch the web browser, swiping to the left to launch a saved contact, and swiping to the right to bring up your messaging application. If implemented, it’s possible that these fingerprint scanner gestures could be customizable within Samsung’s TouchWiz OEM skin, but we’ll have to wait and see how the company plans to introduce it before we know for sure.

Just because Samsung now owns a patent for this implementation of fingerprint scanner gestures in their home country, doesn’t mean we will see it in a product they will sell. Companies own lots of patents for things that are never used in their own products. So this might just be something that Samsung wants to keep in their trove of patents, but we could see it brought to life in an upcoming smartphone or tablet.

Source: SamMobile

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Samsung and LG Both Announce Their Q3 2016 Financial Reports

Yesterday we saw HTC publishing their financial report for the third quarter of the year, and today we see that both LG and Samsung have done the same. All three companies were not able to put their best foot forward this year for different reasons, but some were able to come out better than others. LG wasn’t able to sell as many units of the LG G5 as they had hoped, and Samsung had to deal with the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. So let’s take a look at how these two companies fared this past quarter.

For Samsung, the company’s overall revenue dropped by 3.87 trillion won to 47.82 trillion won when compared to the same quarter last year. As far as operating profits though, they were able to bring in 5.20 trillion won, which again is down by 2.19 trillion won compared to the 7.39 trillion they brought in last year at this time. When we specifically look at the company’s mobile division, we can see that profits dropped a whole 96% when compared to the third quarter of last year as they were only able to bring in 100 billion won thanks to the Galaxy Note 7 being discontinued.

As far as overall revenue is concerned, LG was able to bring in $11.8 billion from the sales of their entire company. This resulted in LG being able to bring in $252.7 million in profit, but this is partially due to the company’s Home Appliance & Air Solution business. LG’s mobile division accounted for $2.3 billion of the company’s revenue stream, which is down 23% compared to the same quarter last year. LG’s mobile division actually had an operating loss of $389.4 million during the quarter, even though they were able to ship 13.5 million units.

It’s safe to say that a number of smartphone companies haven’t had the best 3rd quarter in 2016, but at least Samsung can say they were able to bring in some profit while others were unable to do so.

Source: Samsung Newsroom

Source: LG Newsroom

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Google Announces New Tools for Creating Material Design Apps

In a new article this week, Google tells us that design is never done, because it’s the art of continuous problem solving. Even if you optimize a user interface element for today’s world, something will change that will require you to go back and work on it at a later date. To support this, Google has just announced some new tools for designers who want to collaborate with other’s who practice the Material Design philosophy.

The first new tool that Google tells us about is called Gallery, and it works similar to how GitHub is currently set up, but specifically for designers. So those who are creating Material Design interfaces for applications can upload their designs, share a design that’s currently on the website, and comment on them as well. The system is said to have version control as well so that you can upload new versions of the project you’re currently working on.

The next Material Design tool that Google announced this week is called Stage. The goal of this tool is to help designers speed up the prototyping process. With Stage, application developers can test various elements of their project. This will also give developers a way to demonstrate how movement and animations work in applications much earlier. The quicker you can get a demo out to show your vision, the easier it is to communicate the idea to your team.

Last up, we have a new Material Design tool that Google is calling Remixer. This tool also helps with the prototyping process, but this one will actually get you a demo in your hand that you can interact with directly. Remixer will allow you to demonstrate the design of your application and even make changes to the app right on the smartphone/tablet, or even on a website.

Learn more about these new collaborative tools, and other Material Design articles on Google’s website.

Source: Google Design

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mercredi 26 octobre 2016

Google Confirms Fix for Huawei Phone/Android Auto Incompatibility is on the Way

Android Auto has remained one of Google’s more low-key products these past two years since its initial announcement in 2014, but the project has slowly been expanding each year. During this year’s Google I/O, the company announced that it would be working with Qualcomm to deliver a customized Snapdragon SoC aimed at car kits as well as allowing car manufacturers the ability to customize the user interface and even develop their own apps. (By the way, we’re still waiting on that promised standalone Android Auto app for smartphones, Google!)

For now it seems that the only way to truly experience Android Auto is if you have one of the vehicles listed on the Android Auto website. But even then, it seems that some users are having issues connecting their Huawei device to their Android Auto-enabled vehicle. The issue, as reported multiple times on our forums, seems to be affecting the Huawei P9, P9 Lite, and P9 Plus. The apparent “incompatibility” bug could be affecting other Huawei devices, but we haven’t seen reports from users on other Huawei devices as of yet. Fortunately, we now have confirmation that Google is aware of the issue and that they are working with Huawei to deliver a fix.

In the recently launched “Android Auto User Community” Google Group, one of the Android Auto Community Managers states that they’ve discovered an issue with some Huawei devices that marks them incompatible with Android Auto. How or why this issue occurs is not mentioned in any sort of detail, but at least they’ve acknowledged the issue and have promised to resolve it as soon as possible. If you’ve ever used Android Auto before, let us know your experience below!

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Report: 70% of Note 7 owners will stick with Samsung

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, you’ve probably heard of the sometimes explosive nature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s battery. The fiasco has resulted in Samsung recalling the millions of phones it had shipped out: not once, but twice. Samsung has been so careful with trying to salvage what’s left of the Note brand that they’ve even sent thermally-insulated return kits to press so any further news wouldn’t blow up in their faces (quite literally). Despite having weeks to investigate the issue, the company is still unsure why their Note 7 devices keep exploding. Estimates peg that the Note 7 fiasco will cost Samsung a catastrophic $9.5 billion in lost sales. Despite these setbacks, a new report by BayStreet indicates there may be a silver lining for Samsung amidst the Note 7 chaos. According to the report, 70% of prior Galaxy Note 7 owners will remain with Samsung and will likely purchase a Samsung branded smartphone in the future.

The report continues with its findings and tackles a different question: how many Note 7 owners will abandon the Android ecosystem in favor of the premium iPhone 7 Plus? The answer is, apparently, very few. BayStreet finds that despite the fact that Note 7 owners are “aspirational” and “value premium brands”, they are unlikely to favor switching to an Apple product due to their loyalty to Samsung. These findings are quite surprising, considering the fact that an exploding smartphone is quite literally one of the few things one would expect a consumer to abandon a brand over. Instead, BayStreet estimates that only 15% of total Note 7 owners (approximately 200-300k) will switch to an iOS device.

Another marketing information and analysis firm, CCS Insight, believes that Samsung will easily weather the storm of financial and reputational damage incurred by the Note 7’s PR disaster. They note that the company’s $70 billion war chest as well as the estimated 80 to 90 million non-Galaxy Note smartphones they will ship will more than make up for the lost revenue from the Note 7. But if there is one lesson to be learned from this mess, it’s that Samsung cannot rush its future products. The Note 7 seems to be an isolated incident among Samsung products, but any repeat disaster could spell doom for Samsung’s future in smartphone electronics.

Source: FierceWireless

Source: CCS Insight

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Google Allo Updated to 2.0 With Split-Screen and Quick Reply Support

Google Allo did not quite have the start that Google had hoped for the app. In the saturated market of Instant Messaging platforms, Allo has offered very little to the average consumer that could keep the user, and his contact circles, hooked. Decouple the Assistant from Allo, and you’re left with an IM app bereft of key messaging features found on other popular platforms such as Whatsapp.

Nevertheless, Google still has hope for Allo. The company has just pushed a new update to Allo which bumps up its version by a full number. Allo’s Play Store listing does not yet display the change-log as the app is still rolling out, but the Google Nexus Twitter account has announced that the latest update brings Nougat split-screen support and quick-reply from notifications. However, a couple of community members have posted an unofficial change-log Allo 2.0’s APKMirror page, which we’ve reproduced below.

What’s new in Allo 2.0?

Allo 2.0 adds the following changes, in addition to presumed bug fixes and performance enhancements:

  • Support for toggling chats to monochrome
  • Direct Voice Recognition in Assistant
  • Splash Screen
  • Quick Reply Support
  • Split-screen Support
  • GIF Support in keyboard for 7.1+
  • App Shortcuts for 7.1+
  • Direct share
Monochrome Toggle Normal Chat Monochrome Chat

While the update might not seem significant enough for a full version number jump, the update does add a few useful features to the app. The addition of quick reply and split-screen support was necessary to take proper advantage of Android 7.0 Nougat’s feature set. With the Pixel devices shipping with Allo pre-installed, it was important for Google to provide the same set of features and experiences that we’ve grown accustomed to from other apps on Nougat. The splash screen might seem like a trivial addition, but it does give users on older devices with longer loading times something pleasant to look at instead of just a blank screen while the app is loading.

You can download Allo 2.0 from the Google Play Store, however, the new update may take some time to roll out to all users. Alternatively, you can also download the update from APKMirror.

Have you tried out the new update? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Twitter: Google Nexus

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