samedi 30 septembre 2017

HMD Global CTO on Locked Bootloaders: “We will Unlock One Model at the Time, What Device would you Unlock First?”

HMD Global caused a small uproar in the enthusiast community when they first revealed that there won’t be any official bootloader unlock method for the Nokia 8. This seriously affected the Nokia 8’s viability as an alternative to competitors like the OnePlus 5, at least within the enthusiast community, as the lack of official support for bootloader unlocking would greatly limit the device’s customization potential.

The company then had to respond to the increasing complaints by reassuring users that they were reassessing the situation. they stated they’d consider an official bootloader unlocking solution, and this helped ease some of the complaints or requests sent their way.

It seems Nokia is still indecisive on whether they want the Nokia 8 to be unlocked officially or not, as HMD Global’s Chief Technology Officer Mikko Jaakkola has now commented that HMD Global “would unlock one Nokia model at the (sic) time”. He then proceeded to ask users which device they would like to unlock first.

Taken literally, Mr. Jaakkola’s statement would indicate that Nokia would first unlock one device, and continue from there. However, Mr. Jaakkola’s statement could also be understood to mean a gradual release of official bootloader unlocking tools for Nokia’s existing portfolio, with priority being given to one single device first.

Mr. Jaakkola is also inviting users to share what they would like to do with a bootloader unlocked device, and further reaffirming that unlocking the bootloader is in their backlog of things to do (although the used hashtag #firstthingsfirst indicates that bootloader unlocking is not  for HMD Global currently).

There’s still many questions all of us would like to see answered. Which devices are being considered for the bootloader unlock? Will unlocking the bootloader be restricted to one device? How low is it on Nokia’s priority list? Following this, will Nokia also provide kernel sources for its devices in a timely manner as well?

Despite all that, it’s nice to see that a company that’s largely steering an old beloved brand back into relevance is also open to feedback, and is considering the requests of enthusiasts.

What are your thoughts on HMD Global’s latest statement? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Twitter – MikkolJaakkola

from xda-developers

Google Reportedly Retooling User Security with Optional USB Security Keys

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., plans to implement the Advanced Protection Program next month according to a report from Bloomberg. This is a system designed to fully replace two factor authentication and is seen as much more secure. It is specifically going to be marketed at those with security concerns, such as corporate executives and politicians. This comes in the wake of John Podesta, Hilary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman, being hacked (phished) and having his Gmail-provided emails leaked during the last US presidential campaign.

Said to improve on existing security measures, Google will be releasing a security USB for use with accounts. Google has already released similar software for a USB Security Key 2014. It is designed to replace the standard method of two factor authentication.

Accounts with these security features will require a USBs to be plugged in to log in running Google’s USB security software as well as a second physical key for greater protection. As part of the package, Google will block access to a user’s personal information, including emails and Google Drive, from all third party applications. The plan for Google is to upgrade the device periodically to introduce new security features and continue to protect user information.

This news comes during a time where security should be at the forefront of many of our minds. Google has started to send out emails when users may be the aim of a state sponsored attack, along with information if someone is attempting to phish them. It is fair to say however that for 99% of use cases a two factor authentication SMS code is enough security. It is highly unlikely people will be able to get access to your phone if you are being hacked online. Still it’s great to see Google stepping up their security and putting the needs of their users first.

Source: Bloomberg

from xda-developers

Upcoming Huawei Mate 10 May Feature a Samsung DeX-like Interface

Integrating a desktop interface in our mobile devices has been attempted many times in the past. Back in 2011, Motorola released a lapdock for their Motorola Atrix device, which turned it into a laptop in order to improve your workflow. With Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft introduced Continuum, which allowed any Windows 10 mobile device to plug into a monitor and boot an incomplete desktop version of Windows 10, eerily similar to the actual PC version, which also included things like full Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Office support. And earlier this year, Samsung introduced their DeX interface, which allows S8 and Note 8 users to boot into a desktop interface using a dedicated dock. However, there’s apparently another major player looking to get into this growing market: Huawei and their flagship device, the Huawei Mate 10.

As the Huawei Mate 10 announcement nears, more details about said device surface. Thanks to a report from French technology site FrAndroid, we now know that Huawei may debut a DeX-like desktop interface with their Mate 10 flagship phone. Just like Samsung DeX, said interface would work using a proprietary dock aided by the DisplayPort, which would seamlessly convert the Huawei Mate 10 into a desktop computer easily. However, unlike Samsung’s solution, the Mate 10 would apparently also work with existing docks and lapdocks, like the Andromium Superbook and the Miraxess Mirabook, in an effort by Huawei to maximize compatibility. Miraxess CEO Yanis Anteur also reportedly told Gearburn that the Huawei flagships coming in October would have a DeX-like feature, and that they’d be compatible with the Mirabook.

Of course, we should note that at the moment this is nothing more than a rumor supported by one statement, as no leaks or pictures have actually surfaced regarding said desktop interface, so take everything with a grain of salt. But, seeing that Huawei is now the second most popular smartphone brand in the world after surpassing Apple earlier this month, this move (together with Samsung’s DeX) should make more and more manufacturers implement a desktop interface in their flagship phones during the coming months/years.

Having desktop interface support in your device is immensely useful: instead of having to deal with watered down applications and mobile versions for your programs and websites of choice, you can access more desktop-friendly versions of these programs without carrying around a computer, improving your workflow considerably on the go. While a possible Huawei implementation is sure to put more pressure on other OEMs, we still remain to see if it will be widely adopted at long last, or if it will remain as a gimmick like the Motorola Atrix and Microsoft’s Continuum.

The phone will be announced on October 16th, and if this does end up being true, then we’ll get more details about this supposed desktop interface.


from xda-developers

The Sprint-Exclusive LG V30+ is Launching on October 13th With Leasing Deal

The LG V30 is a phone that has managed to turn quite some heads during these past weeks. It drops the gimmicks and includes top of the line specifications, a 6″ 18:9 FullVision POLED display with smaller bezels than the LG G6, improved camera hardware and audio capabilities, and more. And with the LG V30 announcement last month, we also got to know the LG V30+, which, just like the LG G6 and the LG G6+, is pretty much a slightly beefed up version of the V30. Sprint has officially announced that they will be the sole carrier selling the LG V30+ in the United States, at least at launch.

The phone will be launching on October 13th exclusively through Sprint. This means that you will be able to pick up the latest and greatest from LG in Sprint stores or at the Sprint website. And being the only carrier selling the phone at launch, they are also celebrating the LG V30+ launch with a deal.

For a limited time, new and upgrading Sprint users who get the phone through the Sprint Flex lease program (which offers the V30+ for $38 per month) will get a second leased V30+ completely free. Additionally, as a result of a Daydream partnership with Google, V30+ users will get a free Daydream View headset with their device.

The LG V30+ is pretty much identical to the LG V30, but it includes twice the on board storage of the V30, at 128GB instead of 64GB. Unlike the LG G6+, though, it doesn’t include a RAM bump, and the LG V30+ stays with the stock 4 GB of RAM. It also includes a pair of wired LG Quad Play earbuds in the box, which provides a superior audio experience accompanied by the V30’s Quad DAC. If you’re interested in grabbing an LG V30+, you can hop on your nearest Sprint store or order it online starting on October 13th.

Source: Sprint

from xda-developers

vendredi 29 septembre 2017

Magisk Module to Allow Location Mocking, Screenshots in Any App, and Disabling System Signature Verification

Magisk is a systemless root and module host for Android devices. With the use of Magisk, users can modify their Android /system partition without breaking SafetyNet. This is because Magisk makes its changes in the RAM without overwriting actual system files, meaning build.prop edits and more are possible. A Magisk module is just a /system modification prepackaged in a flashable zip which installs its data to a Magisk.img file in the data partition.

Some of the achievements we have seen with Magisk have been pretty amazing, and one of the latest released on our forums allows you to hide that mock location is enabled from your apps (hello Pokémon Go players), take screenshots in DRM protected apps, and disable signature checking for installed applications. All of this comes courtesy of XDA Recognised Developer fOmey.

To be more specific, this will allow you to spoof your location with applications such as FlyGPS and apps won’t be able to tell, you can take screenshots of applications such as Netflix and you can install modified system applications over the pre-installed ones.

How it works is pretty simple, you install the application and it will detect your device and take your services.jar. It will then download the latest Magisk module template, modify a copy of your services.jar file to apply the changes and then create a Magisk module. This can then be flashed in your recovery.

If you have any interest in the above features, then take a look! Avid Pokémon Go players may enjoy it (or detest it, if you’re against that kind of thing), but the ability to screenshot specific apps may be nice for even just making wallpapers of nice scenes in movies or TV shows  at ease. All you need is Magisk, so go try it out now below!

Check out this Magisk Module on our forums!

from xda-developers

Amazon Quietly Announces Fire OS 6 for the Amazon Fire TV Gen 3 Based on Android Nougat

If you are unfamiliar with Amazon Fire TV, they are devices used to provide a smart TV experience based on Android, coming preloaded with applications and support for all major streaming services. The applications which are installed are just Android applications, as the devices themselves run on Android (albeit lacking in Google Apps). The Amazon Fire TV Gen 3 was only announced a few days ago and will be launching with Fire OS 6 based on Android Nougat.

We don’t know the specs of the new device, but we do know it is launching with 4K and Alexa support. Previous devices had decent mid-range SoCs at the time of launch, so we expect no different from the third generation of Amazon’s TV boxes. Now we have learned that these new boxes will also be launching with Fire OS 6, based on Android Nougat.

Launched quietly, it’s no wonder that Amazon isn’t touting their new release for everyone to see. On the same page, we are told that “At this time, the previous Fire TV devices will not uplevel to Fire OS 6.” which may indicate Amazon’s knowledge of the backlash they may receive from an admittedly small part of the overall consumer base of this technology. It’s not really a big deal, but some of the TV-specific features would certainly be nice.

What’s interesting to note is that Amazon specifically mentions that they will be implementing Android Nougat’s new TV-specific features, including the following:

It’s important to note again, you can’t use Google services on Amazon Fire devices. This means no Google Play store or any other such apps on your Amazon Fire TV. Other than that, Fire OS 6 is basically just Android Nougat but for Amazon’s newest generation of TV products.


from xda-developers

What’s a Feature From Your Device That You Wish Every Phone Had?

A big advantage Android has for enthusiasts is that we get to try out different flavors of Android. If you are savvy enough, you can even build and add in the features that you want to see in a custom ROM for your own smartphone or tablet. Most people on XDA will try out a number of ROMs that are available for their particular device instead, getting to experience tons of extra functionality in addition to (or instead of) what their device’s manufacturer offers out of the box.

A lot of great features are also largely implemented through applications, as Android provides many options for developers that allow them to set up new ways to navigate the user interface, automate actions or programmatically change device settings, and even build overlays to enable new interfaces and shortcuts. Android offers a lot of freedom to application and ROM developers, and to OEMs as well given they are even able to implement new hardware features for their releases. So with all of this in mind, we ask you:

What features do you love on your smartphone that you wish every ROM had? Why is the feature useful to you, and why should it be included in other ROMs? What kinds of UX improvements does your device or ROM of choice provide that are invaluable to you?

Join the discussion in the comments!

from xda-developers

HTC Sense Home Update will Include a Pixel Launcher Style App Drawer

Smartphone OEMs like to use software to differentiate themselves from the competition. This results in OEM ROMs attempting to have a different style and feature set compared to devices from other companies. HTC has Sense, with their own HTC Sense Home launcher. Right now, this functions like a normal launcher where you have your commonly used apps on a page and then a button to open the home screen. However, a new video shows that an upcoming update will add in the swipe up gesture to open up the application drawer.

When leaks of the Pixel Launcher were first making headlines, many people within the community got paranoid that Google was doing away with the application drawer entirely. This was because the application drawer button was no longer there and they weren’t privy to the idea that swiping up on the home screen was the idea to open up the app drawer. Since then, we’ve seen some custom launchers add in this feature so the user can replace that app drawer button with a useful application icon.

We’ve even seen OnePlus transition to this app drawer style, as well as Samsung, and now a new leak suggests HTC will be doing something similar. XDA Recognized Contributor LlabTooFeR is known for their HTC custom ROM as well as the HTC leaks they’re able to provide to the community. Earlier today on Twitter, they uploaded a video of what is said to be an upcoming update to the HTC Sense Home launcher for eligible HTC smartphones.

The video that we see shows a swipe up gesture expanding the application drawer just like we see in the Pixel Launcher. Interestingly though, is this version still has the application drawer icon so it’s possible that either this is an unfinished version of the launcher, or that the app drawer and/or swipe up gesture is included as options so the end user can mix and match how they have it setup. The end of the video also shows that app shortcuts also function just as you would expect

Source: @LlabTooFeR

from xda-developers

Huawei Mate 10 May Debut “Object Recognition” & “Makeup” Camera Modes

While much of the tech press’ attention is focused on Google’s upcoming October 4th reveal of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2XL, Huawei is set to unveil the next big thing in the Mate lineup: the Huawei Mate 10. Thanks to previous leaks we have a good idea of its specifications and what it may look like, but apart from some generic teasers and theoretical capabilities of its HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC we don’t have many details about its software. Huawei, like Samsung and Xiaomi, is known for packing their devices with a plethora of different features in a software flavor known as EMUI. The Huawei Mate 10 will be no different as we believe that device will debut two new camera mode features: “makeup” and “object recognition.”

Hints of these features can be found on the system firmware of existing Huawei devices such as the Huawei Mate 9, but these features are disabled in the camera app. This is true even for devices running the latest public release of EMUI—version 5.1. But we have reason to believe that these features will be enabled in the Huawei Mate 10 as we have obtained access to a pre-release system firmware of the device.

Unfortunately, we cannot confirm if these features are indeed enabled on a live production device, and Huawei’s framework modifications make it exceedingly difficult to analyze their APK files. Nonetheless, we were able to dig into the release, and given what is already known about the upcoming Mate 10 we are fairly confident in our findings.

Object Recognition

With the rising popularity of smartphone assistants powered by machine learning, it seems that every company is attempting to create their own version with distinct features enabled by natural language processing and computer vision. There’s Samsung Bixby and the soon-to-be-launched Google Lens, but it’s evident from Huawei’s (rather overdramatic) marketing that they are going all in on AI as well.

But marketing aside, how exactly would Huawei use AI to make your life better? Through more features, of course! And it appears that object recognition in the camera app will be an added mode that users can select.

As you can see above, the user is prompted to select an area of interest in the viewfinder. The Mate 10’s AI would then determine what kind of object the user is focusing on. We dug around in the system firmware and potentially found a list of categories that the object recognition feature uses:

  • stage
  • beach
  • bluesky
  • sunset
  • food
  • flower
  • greenplant
  • snow
  • night
  • text
  • cat
  • dog
  • other

These categories were located in a file called IC_conv_112x112_synset_words.txt under the ImageClassification folder (a directory not present in the system firmware of the Mate 9 or P10). Interestingly, the folder containing this particular file is called “caffe”, which most likely refers to the open source deep learning developed by Berkeley AI Research. You may have heard of Caffe2, which is an evolution of Caffe and is supported on newer Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs.

Given Huawei’s increased marketing of the Mate 10’s AI capabilities, it makes perfect sense for them to debut this new object recognition feature. We just hope that, if it does happen, their live demonstration doesn’t mess up.


Like the “beauty” feature found on many smartphones sold in China, this makeup feature is presumably designed to allow users to change their complexion prior to taking a picture. We aren’t quite sure why this feature isn’t already enabled on existing devices, but it’s possible that it just wasn’t ready by the time that the Huawei Mate 10 or Huawei P10 were set to be released.

We will be doing more digging over the coming days to bring you more information about the upcoming Huawei Mate 10’s software. Stay up to date with the latest news on the XDA Portal by downloading the XDA Labs app.

The firmware was discovered by, a service which lets you install pre-release Huawei firmwares, and recover bricked devices.

from xda-developers

LG has Dropped the LG G3, G4, G4 Stylus, CK, and Stylo from Monthly Security Update List

Every month Google will gather up all of the Android security fixes for AOSP and make them available so that OEMs can implement them in their ROMs. These go out a month in advance so that all of the companies have enough time to implement them before they are disclosed to the public. Companies like LG and Samsung add in so many features to their OEM ROMs that they sometimes introduce their own bugs and security holes into the software they’re pushing out to their devices, prompting them to release specialized patches too.

This has resulted in these companies offering a security bulletin page for their own devices: LG, Samsung, BlackBerry and other smartphone OEMs have thus stepped up to provide secure software to their customers, informing us their device-specific changes. This also results in smartphone OEMs deciding which smartphones are eligible for these new security updates as well. Companies like Google promise 24 months of major version updates and 36 months of security updates, for example, and we would expect most other manufacturers (particularly the bigger names in the industry) to offer similar coverage.

OEMs like Samsung and LG tend to offer long-lasting security patch support, but only for their flagship devices. There are cases in which low-end or mid-range devices are also added to the list, but it’s generally handled as a case by case basis and, sadly, it’s not something that is guaranteed. LG has given us a list of which smartphones they are providing these security updates for, and the September update looks to have removed some devices from this list.

As of this latest update, LG is providing security updates for the LG G5, LG G6, LG V10, LG V20, LG V30, LG Q6, LG Q8, LG X300, LG X400, LG X500 and the LG X cam. As mentioned though, this list of devices changed with this update and no longer includes the LG G3, LG G4, LG G4 Stylus, LG Ck and the LG G Stylo. So if you own a smartphone listed in this second group of devices then you should not expect official security updates from LG anymore.

Via: utoprime Source: LG Security Bulletins

from xda-developers

Google to Separate its EU Shopping Unit From the Company

Google has been under fire with the European Commission about antitrust violations for years now. The company’s biggest two complaints right now deal with Android and the way they require OEMs to pre-install their applications while the other pertains to its Google Shopping comparison division. The company filed for an appeal for this investigation earlier this month and has been working on some terms that both them and the EU will agree with.

It seems that the company is likely more worried about the Android investigation as they are quickly trying to resolve the Google Shopping one. The New York Times reports that this move “frees Google up to battle European regulators over claims that the company uses its Android operating system to dominate online search.” Which certainly makes sense too, and even a company as big as Google will only have so many attorneys working for them, and having two big investigations going on at the same time makes them split their resources.

So after the appeal, the company proposed that they would make an auction for the shopping comparison feature on its search engine. This way, it would force Google to bid against competitors in order to gain that prominent position on the page. Google is now taking this idea one step further and saying they will completely separate its European shopping unit from the company So while it would create a stand-alone unit for its shopping service, the unit itself will still remain part of its overall business.

The change here is that it will operate separately and will be subject to regular monitoring by the European Commission. These proposed changes are going into effect today so the company does not face any additional fines from the European Commission. As a result, about a dozen shopping sites from other companies now have the potential to become more visible and accessible.

Source: The New York Times

from xda-developers

Google is Making a Smart Hub Screen in 2018, Similar to the Amazon Echo Show

Recently, Amazon has announced a slew of new devices, which include a new streaming device (the Amazon Fire TV Gen 3), a new, smaller smart hub screen device (the Amazon Echo Spot) and a lot more. It’s pretty clear that Amazon wants to be in every single corner of your home, and they want you to be able to control everything in your home, using only your voice with Alexa doing the rest. But there’s another major player out there looking to take over your house: Google. They want to extend their Google Assistant much further than Android phones, and after confirming that they were going to roll out the Assistant to Android TV devices, we now have information that Google is building a smart hub screen device.

The device, which is codenamed Manhattan, looks to directly take on Amazon’s Echo Show device. It will come with the Assistant, which will probably be the most publicized aspect of the device, as well as support for YouTube, which was controversially pulled from the Echo Show due to “a violation of their terms of service”. Google Photos support and video calling with Duo and Hangouts are also coming with this device. It will apparently run Android, making things way easier for developers to make third-party apps for the Manhattan device.

It was originally slated to be launched in mid-2018, however, the launch of the Amazon Echo Show put some internal pressure to get it launched in 2017 in order to regain some market share from Amazon. As we said earlier, Google has pulled YouTube completely from the Manhattan device’s direct competitor, the Echo Show, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Google changing their terms of service just to make YouTube exclusive for their own device as well. This is obviously just pure speculation based on current events and could be completely wrong. But if it’s true, then that would mean that the device is indeed coming very soon, and we might even hear from it on Google’s October 4th event. Because of the sheer lack of leaks on said Manhattan device, though, then you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high, as a 2018 launch is much more likely than a 2017 launch.

Whenever it launches, it’s pretty clear that Google is serious about turning its Google Assistant into the main voice operating system of your life, going much further than your Android phone or your Google Home device. We expect to hear more about this Manhattan device very soon.

Source: TechCrunch

from xda-developers

jeudi 28 septembre 2017

Google Camera HDR+ Port Updated with RAW Support, HDR Customization, and Major Bug Fixes

Just over a month ago, we saw a Ukrainian developer known as B-S-G bring the Google Camera app with working HDR+ to many non-Google devices. A while after the initial release, the port was updated with support for Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) as well as greater compatibility for the OnePlus 3/3T and other Snapdragon 820 devices. Now there is a new, massive release of Google Camera HDR+ with RAW support, full HDR+ customisation and stability fixes! 

The latest updates have added so much that it feels like a new application! If you face issues or want to try tweaking the application to get better quality photos, you can, and there are many combinations for you to play around with. I will be providing some photos and the options I used to take them, so if you find my photos satisfactory then you can copy them!

All of the photos below were taken on the OnePlus 3 using automatic HDR+, not the forced option. Forcing HDR+ uses a stronger algorithm which cannot make use of Zero Shutter Lag (ZSL) and can sometimes even lead to unnatural results. Note that I am not a professional photographer, and some of these photos could have come out a lot better. Overall I am extremely happy with the results, especially over the stock camera processing. I have been testing this for a while, and overall stability and speed have massively improved.


RAW Support with Google Camera HDR+

The application now has an option under experimental settings to enable RAW capture while also saving the processed JPEG file! This allows users to enjoy the benefits of HDR+ and also salvage a picture if the processing screws up.

Google Camera HDR Port Raw Capture

Configuring HDR+ Settings

Another brand new feature in the recent ports is the ability to actually select your processing modes. Rather than having separate APKs with different algorithms, you can now select them within the application. Many combinations will crash, but we have a perfectly working one for you to get going!

Install the application and navigate to settings. Simply installing the application doesn’t work anymore, as you need to choose your own HDR+ algorithm. Once there, you will be faced with a plethora of options. These options allow you to customize the HDR+ algorithm to your liking.

You can play around with those as much as you want! They’re just an initial guideline for you to get going with HDR+. There are so many options to choose from that if you had issues with previous builds,  you can try a few combinations to see what works and what doesn’t.

Installing Google Camera HDR+ Port

If you are upgrading from a previous version of the application, you will need to clear your data. This is likely because the application settings for processing have changed how they’re saved in newer versions.

Device Compatibility with Google Camera HDR+

Some devices confirmed to work so far:

What’s more, other devices (with Camera2 API enabled, such as the Nokia 6 and Redmi Note 3 and Redmi Note 4) may work too! As far as we can tell, this camera port relies on the Hexagon 680 DSP on a Snapdragon SoC for image processing, which is why this port does not work on other SoCs such as Kirin, Exynos, and MediaTek.

Sadly the port does not work on the ZTE Axon 7 and is unlikely to ever work with it so long as there’s no Camera2 API support available for the device. Other Snapdragon 820+ devices should work fine though.

The port still works on Xiaomi devices, especially the Xiaomi Mi5s which the port was originally targeted towards. Regardless of the SoC in your Xiaomi phone, give it a try and let us know how it goes!

And many other devices are rumored to work too, so honestly, give it a try at the following link!

Download Google Camera Port with HDR+, ZSL, and RAW Capture

Google Camera HDR+ Port Optimised for Snapdragon 820/821 Devices

XDA-Member Ivanich has continued work on his modification of the above Google Camera port to further optimise it for Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 devices such as the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. The changes listed below are the same as before but just updated for the new B-S-G releases. The steps for configuring it are the same as above.

  • Added 60fps capture, thanks to Amir Z
  • Fixed dark video issue in video mode
  • And disabled burst which caused camera force close’s on these devices

Again, the changes above are taken from the previous article, as they are the same.

Download Google Camera Port Optimized for Snapdragon 820/821 devices

For now it seems the port is largely finished. With a plethora of options and almost complete stability, it’s hard to think of anything else that’s truly needed. Stay tuned to XDA, as there may still be more changes in store for the Google Camera HDR+ Port! If you find something that’s not covered in this article (such as compatibility with a specific device we haven’t mentioned) then leave us a comment below!

from xda-developers

T-Mobile is Rumored to Sell the Galaxy S8 Active in the Future

Samsung’s Galaxy S series has been the main flagship series of the company for years now. They understood that some need a more rugged smartphone with high-end specs though, so they partnered with AT&T for their Galaxy S Active series. Until now, the Galaxy S Active lineup has been exclusive to AT&T but a new rumor says that T-Mobile will begin selling the Galaxy S8 Active. There have also been other rumors that suggest there could be a universal model sold as well.

Every year we have the a new Galaxy S smartphone from Samsung that’s more than capable of handling the average customer’s needs. However, a few months later they typically end up announcing an Active variant of that device with a more rugged design, bigger battery and some new hardware/software features. We first heard about the Galaxy S8 Active back in April of this year as it was said to carry the codename “Cruiser”.

A few months later some hands-on images of the device were leaked and then we saw the Galaxy S8 Active officially launched by AT&T in August of this year. We assumed that would be the end of the story since this is how things have been since the inception of the Galaxy S Active series. Granted, Sprint did sell a rebranded version of the Galaxy S5 Active as the S5 Sport, but that was a different story. Now, marketing material received by Evan Blass at VentureBeat says that the Galaxy S8 Active will come to T-Mobile with the model number SM-G892T.

The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S8 Active is said to be available in the same Meteor Gray and Titanium Gold that we see with AT&T, but they were unable to reveal any details about a release date. The assumption is that it could be months away since we have yet to see anything from the FCC or the Bluetooth SIG. The rumor also talks about how there have been other rumors suggesting another version of the device with the model number SM-G892U could be released to a wider audience in the future.

Source: VentureBeat

from xda-developers

MediaTek MT6739 Launches in India, along with the Helio P23

The MediaTek MT6739 has made its debut at the India Mobile Congress 2017, New Delhi in India for entry-level and mid-level 4G handsets. Its notable new features include dual camera photography support, and a WorldMode LTE.Cat 4 modem. This System on Chip (SoC) is specifically built for the growing Indian 4G market. Along with this, the Taiwanese company has pledged to bring its flagship Helio P23 to the growing Indian flagship market.

Currently MediaTek devices are in a few devices in India, most notably some Xiaomi phones. The Xiaomi Redmi series is known for having two versions, a Snapdragon version and a MediaTek version. The MediaTek versions are usually slightly cheaper, but Snapdragon devices tend to have a large amount of custom ROMs on our forums as they are typically a much more open platform to develop for.

MediaTek MT6739

First, let’s deal with the specs.

  • CPU: 4x ARM Cortex-A53 up to 1.5GHz
  • Memory: LPDDR3 (Up to 3GB, 667MHz)
  • Storage: eMMC 5.1
  • Camera: 13MP, dual camera supported
  • Video Decoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264/HEVC
  • Video Encoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264
  • Graphics: IMG PowerVR GE8100 up to 570MHz
  • Display: 1440 x 720
  • Modem: 4G LTE Cat. 4 DL / Cat. 5 UL (FDD/TDD), CDMA2000, L+G, L+W/L+L DSDS, eMBMS, HPUE, 600MHz band supported
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, FM, GPS+Glonass / GPS+Beidou

The MT6739 is a 64-Bit ARM Cortex-A53 operating up to 1.5GHz. As can be seen from the specs above, the SoC is obviously for use in low-end, entry-level devices. The aim for MediaTek is to create powerful processors at affordable prices for sale in Indian devices. As we can see, it is clearly an entry-level processor with some pretty weak specifications, but that’s exactly the aim given it’s meant to be affordable.

MediaTek Helio P23

This is an older, mid-level processor that has not come to India in Indian mid-level phones quite yet.

  • CPU: 8x ARM Cortex-A53 up to 2.3GHz.
  • Memory: LPDDR3 (Single Channel) or LPDDR4x (LPDDR3: 933MHz; LPDDR4X: 1500MHz, LPDDR3 up to 4GB; LPDDR4X: 6GB)
  • Storage: eMMC 5.1
  • Camera: Up to 24MP, dual camera support.
  • Video Decoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264
  • Video Encoding: 1080p @ 30FPS, H.264
  • Graphics: ARM Mali-G71 MP2 up to 770MHz
  • Display: 2160 x 1080
  • Modem: LTE Cat. 7/13 modem with support for 300Mbps down and 150Mbps up
  • Connectivity: multi-GNSS options (GPS/GLONASS or GPS/BeiDou), Bluetooth, FM radio and 802.11n Wi-Fi

With 64-Bit support, 8 ARM-53 Cores clocked at 2.3GHz, this is a more mid-range chip from MediaTek with some additional strengths over the MT6739.

It’s great to see an investment from MediaTek into the Indian phone market, decreasing costs and increasing competition within the market. As Xiaomi and competitors continue to grow in India, it may be that soon we will see devices come with either of these SoCs. Xiaomi’s MediaTek devices usually use the Helio X series, MediaTek’s flagship chips. Giving more options to manufacturers can only be a good thing.

Press Release from MediaTek

from xda-developers

Google Brings Family Link to All Parents in the United States

Google has done a great job at getting Android into the hands of your average smartphone customer. From there, they needed to work on expanding this outreach to those who may not be able to just walk out and purchase a new smartphone. Back in March of this year they introduced a new program for kids called Family Link. It was originally available to only those who were given an invitation, but today the company is making it available to all parents in the United States.

When Google announced Family Link earlier this year, it sparked the interest of a lot of people because it’s something that Android has needed for a long time. We’re in an age when people joke about smartphones and tablets being given to kids when they’re born. Where we used to have complaints about parents letting their kids watch too much TV, we’re now seeing children spending a lot of time with a smartphone or tablet in their hands. This can be worrisome to some parents since they generally have unfettered access to the internet, and the content found in the Play Store.

So Google introduced Family Link as a way for parents to let their children use a smartphone or tablet, while being able to limit the type and amount of content they can access. Family Link comes with all sorts of features including being able to be notified about pending application downloads, a way to see and limit the amount of time they’re using the device, and a way to actually remotely lock the device via your own smartphone or tablet.

Today’s announcement means that any parent in the United States can use Family Link without an invitation. Sadly, we’re still at a point where Google is unable to roll this feature out worldwide at this time. This could be because they want to use the U.S. as a trial market and see how that goes, but it could also mean that Google needs to get around regulatory hurdles in other countries too. This could put them in a spot where they decide to either delay the launch until other countries are allowed to use it, or test it out in a market that it can be released in quickly.

Source: The Keyword

from xda-developers

Flimsy Leaks Hint at “Ultra Pixel” Smartphone, but Color us Extremely Skeptical

Google is scheduled to host their 2017 hardware launch event next week on October 4th. The company has already started to advertise that date with cryptic marketing banners around the world and it aligns with what they did last year as well. For the better part of the year, details about Google’s upcoming Pixel smartphones have been leaked but now, less than a week before the event takes place, a new rumor is making headlines by hinting at a device called the “Ultra pixel”.

So first of all, this rumor came from an anonymous tip that was sent in to a YouTube channel called Mrwhosetheboss. Said channel is hosted by Arun Maini, a 21 year old economics student, and he uses it to review smartphones, gadgets, and life hacks. The tip that was sent in consists of a photo of an internal slide which is claiming to be for an upcoming smartphone called the “Ultra pixel, Phone by Google”, as well as a short video. For starters, it seems odd that Google wouldn’t capitalize the word “pixel” in the proper name of an alleged Pixel device, and our questions don’t end there.

Who knows, let’s say we give them the benefit of the doubt and let’s say it’s an early internal slide that was thrown together at the last minute. The video’s main way of communicating the validity or trustworthiness of the supposed insider source is pointing to a Google wallpaper, in what’s implied to be a computer at Google’s offices. We don’t think this is sufficient proof, though, and the video doesn’t go out of its way to raise our trust by qualifying the source as trustworthy or reliable in any other way. Along with this photo, Mr. Maini was sent an extremely blurry video (that briefly goes into focs) in which we can see another slide that says “The Future of Android is Fluid“. The slide also shows three different phones next to each other, which are likely to be the same phone and the one the rumor claims is the Ultra pixel (just at different angles).

The resolution of the shown still is low, but we can see the smartphones have very slim left and right bezels, with top and bottom bezels that look like what we’ve seen from the LG G6 and the LG V30. Then there’s a close up photo of one of these phones without any bottom navigation keys, and the host starts to speculate that Google will be getting rid of the software navigation bar opting for gestures in place of the Home, Back and Overview buttons.

Now that we got what has been presented out of the way, let’s get serious here: we’ve been hearing rumors about the upcoming Pixel 2 smartphones for months now. As secretive as Google can be with certain products and services, it’s hard to keep everyone quiet on such ambitious projects, and the “Ultra pixel” looks to be even more ambitious than their main Pixel releases. So, if this were a third Pixel smartphone that is going to be released at the hardware event next week, then we would have heard about it from reputable leakers, or we would have seen the device show up in FCC or other certification documents. Moreover, the designs shown in the leak don’t look very professional, and their main image seemingly reuses a wallpaper already used in the original Google Pixel.

Would Google reuse an old wallpaper for their uber-secret Ultra pixel?

These blurry and baseless rumors are a dime a dozen and get published by technology blogs all the time. We generally tend to stay away from such rumors and we found this one quite unsubstantiated. There are a number of reputable sources out there that leak this type of information, so if there’s an “Ultra pixel”, we most likely would have heard something about it by now. I like to think that there are surprises left to unveil with each smartphone release, but in this case we are very skeptical about the whole thing.

Besides that, the timing is suspicious, especially given the leak would have Google’s release strategy mirror that of Apple. The idea that Google wants to ditch software navigation keys and switch to a gesture based system (just like Apple did with the iPhone X and its hardware button) seems incredibly suspicious too. If I were you, I wouldn’t expect an “Ultra pixel” release next week, not even in a “one more thing” surprise unveiling. Such a device would likely be even harder to keep under wraps than the “regular” Pixel sequels, and there’s nothing in these leaks that instill confidence. The YouTube channel hosting the leak doesn’t have a track record of correct or precise leaks, and we’ve been given no indication that the source is reputable or trustworthy either. Because of all this, color us skeptical.


from xda-developers

Google Assistant is Coming to Android TV, Starting with the NVIDIA Shield TV

Google may have been late to the game when it came to getting Google Assistant into the home, but the company has been working hard to allow 3rd-party developers the ability to integrate it into their products. We’re already starting to see these products appearing but many have wondered why it hasn’t been made available for Android TV yet. We already knew they were working on this and starting today NVIDIA Shield TV owners can use Google Assistant right on their set-top box.

We tend to see this type of service availability issue crop up a lot when dealing with new offerings from Google. It’s inevitable now that Google will launch a new service and make it only available to those in the United States at first. This can go on for months and months before even reaching other countries or territories, such as the United Kingdom. Devices that are eligible for a new service Google has launched also go through this and this is something we saw with Google Assistant only officially being made available for the Pixel phones for a long time last year.

People were wondering why they couldn’t use Google Assistant on Android TV devices, as most of the more popular products come with a remote that has a microphone embedded in them. Voice commands for the Nexus Player were even something the company used to market the device. So now, the company has announced Google Assistant is coming to Android TV devices, but the rollout is slow as the NVIDIA Shield TV is the only set-top box that is mentioned in the announcement article.

We’re told it will be launching on the NVIDIA Shield TV later today, and that we can expect it to land on Sony Bravia TVs “in the coming months.” Sadly though, we don’t see any mention of other Android TV set-top boxes from anyone else.

Source: Google Keyword

from xda-developers

NVIDIA SHIELD Experience 6.0 Coming to NVIDIA Shield TV, Brings Google Assistant Support

Earlier today, we’ve learned via the Google Blog that the Google Assistant was soon making its way to Android TV devices, starting with the NVIDIA Shield TV and later coming to Sony Bravia TVs in the following months. Google Assistant brings users the ability to browse content on your TV, search for relevant information, and pretty much anything you can already do using your phone’s Assistant. Following this announcement by Google, a new system update for the NVIDIA Shield TV was set to roll out to Shield TV devices starting today.

This new update, dubbed NVIDIA SHIELD Experience 6.0, now brings official Google Assistant support to your device, which will continue to improve further in future updates. Google Assistant will allow Shield TV users to browse movies and TV shows, see your Google Photos, see your schedule, ask questions, and a lot more. The Assistant is aided by the Shield controller’s built-in microphone with low-power ambient listening capabilities, so you can press the mic button on your controller or just say “OK Google” to trigger the Assistant. It’s conversational and context-aware, just like in Android phones, and also works with other Assistant-supported devices in your home, allowing for some nifty things like dimming the lights using your voice. Assistant support also brings a 3 month trial of YouTube Red for Shield TV users, removing ads and adding YouTube Red-exclusive content for everyone.

SmartThings support is also coming with the NVIDIA Shield Experience 6.0 update. This means that when paired with a SmartThings Link, your NVIDIA Shield TV will work as a SmartThings hub, integrating with other SmartThings-certified products in your household. This will allow you to perform some tasks like dimming the lights, turning them on and off, adjusting your thermostat, and much more using your TV. And with SmartThings routines, you can trigger customizable actions whenever you want — at a certain time of the day, when you’re at work, when you’re out shopping, and more through the SmartThings app. The SmartThings Link, which is required for unlocking the SmartThings capabilities of your device, will be priced at $39.99, with an initial promotional price of $14.99.

If you own a NVIDIA Shield TV, be on the lookout for an OTA update coming soon to your device, bringing Google Assistant support and the features listed above Owners of other Android TV devices, like Sony Bravia TVs, will need to wait for an official timeline or announcement from their manufacturer. We are excited to see Android TV make its way to Android TV devices, and we hope to hear from other OEMs soon regarding this Assistant update.


from xda-developers

LG V30 to Come to All Major Wireless Carriers in the U.S. Within 2 Weeks

After much teasing, LG officially unveiled the LG V30 to the world on August 31st at IFA 2017. We were able to finally see official images of the device, learned about its hardware specs and this led to many deciding they wanted it as their next smartphone. South Korean customers knew that day that the device would be made available to them on September 21st, but the company was quiet about the LG V30 release date for the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and various other territories.

A couple of weeks later we heard that LG had planned to undercut Samsung and Apple’s new flagships when it came to pricing. The company was hoping that the LG V30 would offer as much or better than the competition and that the reduced price would help win over a number of customers. This seems like a great idea as both company were to release their most expensive smartphone ever and it looked as if LG was actively working to compete against them.

We were just a few days away from one full month after the LG V30’s official launch date and we had yet to learn anything about pricing or a launch date for the device in the United States. Since then, Samsung and Apple have both announced and released their new smartphones and it’s left people wondering what LG has been doing this whole time. We can understand if they simply weren’t able to manufacture enough to launch in additional countries, but they could have at least communicated the situation with the public.

Finally, LG has confirmed when the United States will receive the LG V30. We’re told that it will be available from all 5 major wireless carriers (AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular) within the next two weeks. Pricing will be determined by the individual carrier, and each of them will have their own promotions to go along with it. But LG themselves will be offering a free Google Daydream headset if you buy the device within a certain timeframe (details have yet to be revealed).

To alleviate the worry about the company’s recent bootloop issue, they have even launched a new website,, as a way for customers to register their device for a free second year of limited warranty .

Source: PR Newswire

from xda-developers

Motorola Starts Rolling Out Android Nougat Update to Moto X Pure Edition in the US

For those still holding onto a Moto X Pure Edition in the US, you will be happy to know that your device won’t be stuck on Android Marshmallow forever. It appears that Motorola is finally rolling out the much-awaited Android 7.0 Nougat update to the Moto X Pure Edition in the US. The company hasn’t made any formal announcement about this software rollout yet, but many Moto X Pure Edition owners in the US are now reporting that they have received this update on their device.

The update is based on Android 7.0, carries build number NPH25.200-22 and also brings along the September’s security patches to the device. We wish Motorola had at least rolled out Android 7.1.1 so that users wouldn’t miss out on features like App Shortcuts and rounded icons. But anyway, it’s still better than running two-year-old Android Marshmallow.

It’s quite surprising to see Motorola rolling out Android Nougat after such a long time. The September 2016 security update was the last update rolled out to the Motorola X Pure Edition; since then there wasn’t a single software update for the device.

The Android Nougat update has been a long time coming for the Moto X Pure Edition. After the Android 6.0 update, it seemed as if Motorola had no intention to provide further software support for the Motorola X Pure. However, to everyone’s surprise, the company rolled out Android Nougat to the Moto X Style in Brazil back in July. And finally, it’s now available in the US, too.

If you’re sporting a Motorola X Pure Edition device in the US, you can look forward to receiving this update in the coming days. However, if you don’t want to wait for the automatic OTA rollout, you can flash the official OTA update zip captured by XDA Senior Member gokart2 from the stock recovery to manually update your device.

Image courtesy: Reddit user u/TwopackShaker

Download Android Nougat for Moto X Pure Edition from our forum!

from xda-developers

Google Addresses Annoying Google Assistant Screen Scan Bug, Fix Coming With a Future Update

Since Google Assistant’s introduction as a mobile assistant back in October 2016, it has also come with its fair share of bugs and issues that have been ironed out with subsequent updates, together with new features like keyboard input support, screen scan improvements, and a lot more. A recent issue has been plaguing some Google Assistant users, in which whenever “What’s on my screen” is pressed, the Google Assistant page would scroll all the way up to the top of your Assistant’s history, with the user having to manually scroll down to see their intended search results.

Obviously, this is a pretty annoying behavior which breaks the UX of the screen scan mode of the Google Assistant. This issue has been going on for quite some time without a fix from Google to be seen, requiring an annoyed user to manually report the issue over at the Google Issue Tracker on September 25th. The issue was originally reported to happen on a Google Pixel running Android 8.0 Oreo, with the version of the Google app. It was picked up by a Google employee around an hour after it was initially reported on the Google Issue Tracker, and it was marked as fixed by the same Google employee on September 27th.

It was also confirmed that the fix was rolling out in a future release of the Google app, which given the nature of the bug, should be pretty soon. The video depicted above shows the issue in action on the original user’s Google Pixel device on Android Oreo. There’s currently no details on when will said future release will actually roll out to users, but if you’re affected by that issue, then be on the lookout for a future Google app update, where a fix will be readily available. You can read more on said issue, along with the answers provided by Google, in the official Google Issue Tracker thread.

Source: Google Issue Tracker

from xda-developers

HMD Global to Look into Possibility of Unlocking Nokia 8 Bootloader

Yesterday, we reported on a tweet from the Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, Juho Sarvikas, where he was talking about the bootloader unlock status of the Nokia 8. At that time the company’s stance was that they wouldn’t allow users to unlock the bootloader due to security reasons. However, a new tweet from the same representative says they’ve talked with the company’s CTO and that they will reconsider this issue at a later date.

Many of us Android enthusiasts relish at the idea of a new smartphone coming with a bootloader unlock method. It’s how we get popular modifications such as TWRP, Magisk SuperSU, Xposed Framework, custom ROMs and custom kernels installed on our devices. The idea is to let the customer actually, fully own the piece of hardware they’re buying from a company so they can install anything they want on it. Sadly though, there’s been a transition to where less and less OEMs are actually allowing this to happen.

Granted, there are ways to get some Android modifications installed on devices which have a bootloader that cannot be unlocked. This tends to be rare and it requires way more work than it should when you consider how much money we’re paying for smartphones these days. It’s unclear if this newfound attention is what made HMD Global change their mind, but now Mr. Sarvikas has said the company will look into this issue in further detail later.

We’re told that he sat down and spoke with HMD Global’s CTO, Mikko Jaakkola, and that he has agreed to look into the topic at hand. However, the company feels they’re still new to the scene and need to focus on getting their new phones into the hands of the customers who want them. Once they finish with this “ramp up” then they should have more time to look into the bootloader unlock issue.

Source: @sarvikas

from xda-developers

Break Into a Career As An Ethical Hacker

mercredi 27 septembre 2017

Magisk 14.1 Adds Official Support for the Google Pixel & Other A/B Partition Devices

Over the past year, Magisk has exploded in popularity as an alternative to SuperSU for users on our forums. It provides many advantages over other root solutions: it’s open source, plays nice with the SafetyNet tamper check, and has an extensive repository of modules that modify your phone without touching your system partition. However, Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL users who wanted to use Magisk on their device were forced to use unofficial ports—until now.

XDA Recognized Developer / Recognized Contributor topjohnwu has released Magisk v14.1 which brings official support for devices with an A/B partitioning scheme. This means the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL are now supported as well as the Motorola Moto Z2 Force and the Xiaomi Mi A1. According to the developer, a lot of changes had to be made in order to properly accommodate the Google Pixel devices. The changes made to Magisk also mean that owners of these devices (or the Google Pixels, at least) will be able to take OTA updates seamlessly while preserving Magisk. The instructions for how to apply an OTA update without losing Magisk can be found here.

If you own a Google Pixel or another device with the A/B partition scheme, head on over to the official XDA thread to download Magisk version 14.1. The installation methods remain the same for these devices: either install it through your custom recovery or let Magisk Manager make a custom boot image for you to install.

This is pretty good news for owners of A/B partitioned devices, and as always, we are looking forward to future Magisk releases to see what it brings to the table. Follow the XDA Magisk forums to keep up to date on the latest Magisk Modules as well as any news straight from the main developer, topjohnwu.

Get Magisk v14.1 now

from xda-developers

Third Generation Amazon Fire TV Announced, Includes 4K UHD and HDR Support at $69.99

The Amazon Fire TV has been one of the best-selling digital media players available in the market, ever since it was introduced back in 2014. The first-generation player included 2 GB of RAM, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, and support for 1080p video playback, making it a compelling package back in the day. The second-generation device, introduced in 2015, added 4K UHD support and improved processor speeds for roughly the same price. Today, Amazon has announced the third generation of its Amazon Fire TV streaming device, adding some substantial improvements over the previous generation devices while lowering the price tag considerably.

The new Amazon Fire TV, aside from including 4K UHD support like its predecessor, also includes high dynamic range (HDR) support for multimedia playback on HDR-compatible TVs. HDR allows for more vivid, true-to-life colors on videos and images, and puts the Fire TV on par, feature-wise, with other media players like the Chromecast Ultra or the recently launched Apple TV 4K. The new Amazon Fire TV also comes with Alexa support built in, allowing you to search, control and launch content using your voice. It also allows you to pair your Fire TV with any of your Echo devices — including the just-announced Echo Spot, which will launch in December. There’s currently no information on internal specs, but the second generation device was powered by a MediaTek 8173C, so it’s unsure whether they will continue using an MTK chipset this time around.

The 3rd-generation Amazon Fire TV also includes a drastic price reduction, making the device even more affordable than ever. While previous Amazon Fire TVs have retailed for a $99.99 price point, the 3rd-generation Fire TV will be available for $69.99. The device will launch on October 25th, initially available in the US, with no information yet for availability in other countries. The Fire TV has previously launched in the UK, Germany, Japan and India, and we expect these countries to also receive this much-needed refresh eventually during the coming months. To see more about the new Fire TV, you can check out the Amazon press release, when you will see the whole list of new features and improvements.

Source: Amazon

from xda-developers

Amazon Echo Spot is a Smaller, Less Expensive Version of the Echo Show

Amazon is holding an Alexa-themed hardware launch event at their headquarters today and has announced a number of new products. Likely as a way to compete with the likes of Google and Apple who are both gearing up for the holiday season, Amazon is not holding back either and has just announced a flurry of new products. The latest announcement is a device they’re calling the Amazon Echo Spot wish looks to be a smaller version of the Echo Show and will fit perfectly on your nightstand.

When it comes to Amazon’s Echo products, they seem to be trying to cover as many bases as possible. The company’s first Echo connected speaker was big, expensive and high quality for 2014. They realized that it would be difficult to get people to outfit their entire home with that product, so they released the Echo Dot. This was less expensive than the regular Echo and was also a lot smaller too. So not only did customers save money compared to the bigger version, but they could also fit it in more places.

Amazon took the same approach with their new Echo Show product as well. This was the company’s first Alexa-enabled device that also came with a big tablet sized 7″ touchscreen display on it. It has a lot of features packed into it but also comes with a $230 price tag as well. So to compliment the new Echo Show, they have just announced the Amazon Echo Spot for $130. So we can already see that it’s smaller and less expensive and that will definitely attract a certain type of customer.

Amazon says this new product combines what people love about the Echo Dot with the new Echo Show and we can see how that describes it perfectly. It comes with a built-in 2W 1.4″ speaker, microphone, Bluetooth and audio out thanks to a 3.5mm stereo cable. It also features a 2.5″ screen, offers free calls to the US, Mexico, and Canada and includes support for Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. The device is available for pre-order right now from here, and will be shipping in December.

Source: Amazon

from xda-developers

The Ground Zero Open Source Project (GZOSP): an Android Oreo Base for Custom ROM Development

Ground Zero ROMs, the ROM development team that brought us the popular custom ROMs Tesla, Tipsy, and Validus, has provided a central Android Oreo repository from which custom ROMs can be built without having to start from scratch (meaning straight from AOSP). The idea of the Ground Zero Open Source Project (GZOSP) is to give custom ROM builders a better starting point with both the necessary AOSP code and the CAF (Code Aurora Forum, Qualcomm’s own repository which is useful for non-Nexus devices with Snapdragon SoCs) code to build for a wide variety of devices.

It should not be confused with the popular ROMs Tesla, Tipsy, and Validus because it contains none of the features that make those ROMs unique. Accordingly, when you build from this repository, the team requests that you do not brand your ROM as an unofficial Tesla, Tipsy, or Validus build until they’ve released the first official version for public consumption.

This repository includes the following:

  • Basic features expected of all custom ROMs (such as advanced reboot menu, night mode, and Quick Settings brightness slider control)
  • Bug fixes that Google won’t be pushing out until the next monthly security patch or even the next Android maintenance update
  • AOSP features that Google deactivates by default such as System UI Tuner
  • Other Android Oreo-specific additions listed here or on the repository’s home page here

As mentioned previously, GZOSP does not include the set of custom features we’ve come to expect from the popular Ground Zero ROMs Tesla, Tipsy, and Validus. For example, you won’t see any built-in dark system themes, the Wolves Den custom settings section, or Validus wallpapers. The reason for this is simple: the team’s goal is to provide a base for any and all developers to build their own custom ROMs without being limited to the three Ground Zero ROM brands that the project is best known for.

If you build straight from the GZOSP repository, you’ll get a stock Android 8.0 Oreo build with the additions listed previously, but with none of the features specific to existing custom ROMs. It’s an alternative to building from LineageOS 15.0 as a base or from Slim or Paranoid Android in which you have all of their custom features included by default. Meanwhile, you have any CAF code you need available to run the non-Nexus devices listed here (more will be added in time) and you’re not being limited to what Google has merged in AOSP.

There have, of course, been other attempts to build a central repository designed for custom ROM development, but in the case of GZOSP, the team has assured us that they will keep it updated because it’s the starting point from which they will create their Validus repository (until further notice, Validus will be the only Ground Zero ROM being developed for Android Oreo). If you have any further questions about GZOSP, you can post them in the team’s Google+ community or in the XDA forums.

Thanks to the GZOSP team for reaching out to us on their new project. If you are a developer and would like to share an interesting project you or other members have been working on, please reach out to us on our contact form.

from xda-developers

HMD Global: No Official Bootloader Unlock Method for the Nokia 8

A lot of people have a soft spot for the Nokia brand due to the company’s history in the cell phone market. Before smartphones were a thing, Nokia was a big player in the mobile phone business, with millions of devices sold around the world. As smartphones took over, the dominance of Nokia fell to the wayside. Eventually, Microsoft acquired the company’s phone business, but that venture died down as well once Microsoft started to give up on the Windows Mobile business. Some of the founding members of Nokia branched off to form HMD Global, and this fledgling company secured a licensing agreement to start selling smartphones with the Nokia brand name.

This made a lot of Android fans happy, and many of us eagerly waited for the company to start selling new devices. They started off competing in the low-end and mid-range market with the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 and there are even rumors of a Nokia 2 currently in development. But was the Nokia 8 that enthusiasts had their eye on because it would be their first flagship Android smartphone. Reports went back and forth about which countries it would be released in, though, and there’s some indication it might come to the United States.

HMD Global has done rather well in the eyes of many Android enthusiasts. They’ve shipped phones with stock Android and have often times beat out Google when it comes to monthly security updates. They have even promised all of their current devices will receive the Android Oreo update.

They’ve ticked a lot of the right boxes to fancy our interests, but one piece of the puzzle has been left out: the bootloader. Juho Sarvikas is the Chief Product Officer at HMD Global, and in a recent tweet speaking about the Nokia 8 he confirmed they would not be offering an official bootloader unlock method “due to security.” While this could change in the future, this announcement is disappointing for those of us who may have wanted to flash a custom ROM or kernel onto the device.

Source: @sarvikas

from xda-developers

Second Generation of Amazon Echo is Smaller, and More Powerful and Less Expensive

The first connected smart speaker from Amazon, dubbed the Echo, was released back in 2014 and received mixed reviews at first. As time has gone by the device has become more popular and has spawned a number of other devices such as the Echo Dot and the Echo Show. Today, the company is holding an Alexa-themed launch event and has just announced the second generation Amazon Echo which will launch for just $100.

Since the initial launch of the Amazon Echo, the company has seen a number of competitors from the likes of Google, Microsoft and soon to be Samsung and Apple. To stay ahead, they have been working with a ton of 3rd-party companies to add support for the Alexa platform. They even launched the Amazon Echo Dot as an affordable way for customers to outfit their entire house without spending a fortune while also offering the Echo Show for those who wanted more out of the device.

Today, Amazon has announced the second generation Amazon Echo that is smaller than the original while actually being more powerful too. This new product will go on sale later today for less than its predecessor (at $100), and it will have its own dedicated bass tweeter to help improve the audio experience for the new multi-room audio feature. The new Amazon Echo also received a new design with a cloth exterior that is similar to Google Home to help it fit in with modern house decor.

Along with the new Amazon Echo, the company has also announced the Echo Connect which will be priced at $35. The goal here is to take advantage of the product’s new calling feature by letting land line phones plug into the Echo Connect and take advantage of Amazon Alexa’s new calling feature, with free calls to the United States, Mexico and Canada. Both devices will go on sale later today with the new Amazon Echo being offered in a 3-pack for $150.

Source: The Verge[/button

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OnePlus is Seeking Feedback on Potentially Revamping the Alert Slider

For years, virtually all Android smartphones and tablets primarily handled their sound profiles via software. Sure, you could press and hold the volume down button until it triggers this sound profile, but that took more time or effort than the solution found on other platforms, namely the iPhone. Not unlike its fruity competitor, OnePlus decided to incorporate a piece of hardware that was dedicated to handling these sound profiles. It is now known as the alert slider, and the company is asking for feedback on how it is currently implemented, and what can be improved.

Over in the /r/OnePlus subreddit, an employee spoke about a comment they received from a OnePlus 5 owner. In said comment, the company received some constructive criticism about how OnePlus was using the alert slider. Some people in the community feel they only need two options (vibrate and silent) while others would rather it switch between ring, vibrate, and then total silence.

It’s definitely hard to please everyone with such a feature so they decided to reach out to the community and learn how most wanted the alert slider implemented. So, if you have a OnePlus smartphone or simply want to offer your thoughts and ideas, click through the source link below to take the survey that has been created using Google Forms. Your thoughts and ideas may help transform how the company is using the alert slider on their phones.

Interestingly enough, I remember that back when the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T were being criticized for their “touch latency” issues, the company had said that they were working on it. And when it was fixed, a tweet from co-founder Carl Pei read “touch latency” with a checkmark next to it followed by “alert slider”, without such checkmark. So it’s possible that OnePlus has been discussing whether or not to adjust how the alert slider works since April of this year.

Source: Google Forms

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Are You Excited for the Pixel 2 / Pixel 2 XL and Other Google Announcements?

We are exactly one week away from Google launching a new batch of hardware to the world. So far, we have heard about a miniature version of Google Home, a premium Google Pixel Chromebook, an updated version of Daydream View and two new Pixel smartphones from both HTC as well as LG. The smaller of the two new Pixel smartphones will be from HTC and we’ve seen it stop by the FCC, some colors and pricing details, and an alleged live photo of the device.

The Pixel 2 XL will be manufactured by LG and seems to be taking design cues from their LG G6 and LG V30 smartphones. Our own sources have revealed what should be the new hardware specs for these two devices, features such as stereo speakers, always listening and portrait mode, and an always on display, HTC’s squeeze feature and multiple display profiles. So with all of this in mind, we ask you:

Are you looking forward to a specific device at Google’s hardware launch event next week? What do you think of the new Pixels based on what we know so far? Are you considering an upgrade at all, and if so, what do these devices need to convince you?

Join the discussion in the comments below! 

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Sony’s Next Flagship Smartphone to Feature a New Design

Last year we saw a big transition in the smartphone market where OEMs were focusing on improving the quality of their camera like never before. This year, there’s been a clear trend where the goal is to reduce the bezels any way possible. Sony though, they’ve been using the same design for their smartphones for a few years now and they’re starting to look dated. However, Sony’s India managing director Kenichiro Hibi has announced their next flagship smartphone will feature a completely new design.

Sony calls their current hardware design Ominbalance, and it definitely offers a focused and signature style for the company. They’ve been using it since they launched their first X series smartphone and now it seems the company is looking to change that up with their new generation of products. They were unable to give specific details about the changes that were coming with this new design (such as a 2:1 aspect ratio, or bezel-less design), but they were able to confirm that changes are coming.

Many feel this is definitely long overdue too as customers have been asking for a new design for a couple of years now. HTC felt the wrath of the community when they were unable to make significant improvements to the design of their smartphones. And with the G5, LG learned that making changes just for the sake of making changes wasn’t a good idea either. So it will be interesting to see what the Japanese smartphone OEM can come up with for their next flagship.

We weren’t given a date for when we should expect this new flagship design, but Mr. Hibi did say it was coming “soon.” They have a history of releasing a new flagship every 6 months so it’s possible that we’ll see it in the first half of next year. The company also confirmed they are holding their ground in the mid-range segment and that they do not have any plan to leave anytime soon.

Source: The Indian Express

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