dimanche 31 janvier 2016

Community Homescreen Showcase

homescreen showcase

Every Saturday we run a community show and tell on Twitter, many of you take part and join us in showing the latest changes, tweaks and improvements to your homescreens in something that has become known as #homescreensaturdays.

It’s nothing we ever expect to achieve weekly global virality however for those who take part it’s a great opportunity to find inspiration for your own phone and discover some amazing wallpapers and themes. Here we will showcase just a few of your screens that we thought deserved a second look, click to expand each one.

To find more check out the complete collection at #homescreensaturdays and don’t forget to join us on Twitter next Saturday for more!



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What Does the S7 Need to Improve upon, Change, and Avoid?

galaxy s7

The S7 is a much-awaited flagship by the android community at large, but like with every Samsung release, there are still many users skeptical of the upcoming Galaxy, and with good reason too.

It’s undeniable that Samsung phones have packed some of the best hardware in the past, but their software has always left plenty to be desired, and in 2015 the company abandoned their microSD and removable battery tradition, instead opting for the premium design that arguably revitalized much interest in the line-ups. Now that the S7 is approaching, with a rumored launch date of February 21 and a March consumer release, it’s time we begin discussing our expectations for the upcoming Galaxy — including what we want and what we don’t want to see.

So we ask you: What things do you want to see Samsung improve upon? Which changes do you think Samsung should revert? How can they redeem TouchWiz and the traditional shortcomings of Galaxy phones?



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H2OS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow Leaked for OnePlus 2

oneplus 2

XDA Member gagne.pierreluc has shared with us a leaked build of Hydrogen OS for the OnePlus 2, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Do note that there is no recovery or fastboot, so you will have to follow an unbrick guide.



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Flashable Zip Brings Xposed for Marshmallow to the LG G4

rovo89 Releases Version 79 of the Xposed Framework

LG G4 owners have been facing bootloop problems when flashing Xposed for Marshmallow. Now, there’s a flashable zip file fix available, courtesy of XDA Senior Recognized Developer rovo89.



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Walloid Updates Bring New Features, Pro Version 50% Off

Walloid

Walloid is a free app with a large collection of OEM/custom ROM wallpapers. Recent updates have added more wallpapers, new features like Muzei support and several other improvements. Walloid Pro is currently 50% off too!



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Quick Toggles Small App for Sony Xperia Devices

Quick Toggles Small App

XDA Recognized Contributor abo hani has developed an app for quick toggles for JellyBean+, which works as Sony’s small app. If you’re looking to add in quick toggles to your Sony device on any version above JB, go over to the forum thread!



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Render Images of Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Surface

CZ6lKoiWAAEnG2i

Leaker Evan Blass aka @evleaks has posted images of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S7 Edge. Inline with the rumors, the renders show different screen sizes for the phones, indicating a shift in Samsung’s usual pattern. The S7 is rumored to come with a 5.1″ display, with the S7 Edge bearing a 5.5″ curved display.



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Android 6.0 Rolling Out to Sprint HTC One M8

HTC One M8

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow update is rolling out to HTC One M8 users on Sprint. This is good news for One M8 owners because the HTC One M9 on Sprint is still looking at a tentative release date for next week for the update rollout.



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samedi 30 janvier 2016

One-Click Enable Double Tap-to-Wake on the Nexus 6P (Root)

Kernel Dev Finds Hidden Double Tap to Wake Feature on the Nexus 6P

Just like the Nexus 6, the Nexus 6P has a double tap-to-wake feature. And just like the Nexus 6, it’s disabled by default. We don’t know exactly why it’s been disabled, but thankfully you can easily enable the feature (provided that you have root access) by using a simple one-click method that changes the value of a single file in the stock kernel configuration.



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Open-Source Android App turns your Tablet into a Magic Mirror (Mirror not Included)

Speculum

The idea of a magic mirror assistant was popularized thanks to Disney’s iconic Snow White. One of the most popular attempts at making a magic mirror was a project made by Hannah Mitt, and used a Nexus 7 (2012) mounted in-between the panels of a two-way mirror. Thanks to the beauty of open-source, one user took it upon themselves to improve on the original design and add a few new features to boot.



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Google Publishes a “No-Nonsense” Guide to App Monetization using AdMob

AdMob

Google’s AdMob is an invaluable source of income for developers publishing free apps. Advertisements, when done poorly, can be a contentious issue for many users. That’s why Google has published a free eBook on how to properly monetize your app using its AdMob developer platform. In only 10 minutes, you’ll learn about 7 different app monetization models, how to choose the right model, and important considerations to keep in mind when implementing the model.



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Android Pay no Longer Working with Systemless Root

Android Pay, Chainfire, Systemless Root

Tap. Pay. Done. If you’re the owner of an NFC enabled Android phone running 4.4+, then you’ve probably heard of Android Pay. The app supports adding cards from many different banks and works in many major retailers, and it’s pretty easy to set-up as well. Google is practically begging you to sign-up!

That is, unless, you’re a power user who has a rooted device. For us, we had to choose between having root access and all the benefits it entails (ad-blocking, theming, Xposed, etc.) and using Android Pay. Google has stated that restricting Android Pay access for rooted users was a precautionary step to prevent any chance of financial security breaches.

While the platform can and should continue to thrive as a developer-friendly environment, there are a handful of applications (that are not part of the platform) where we have to ensure that the security model of Android is intact.

That “ensuring” is done by Android Pay and even third-party applications through the SafetyNet API. As you all might imagine, when payment credentials and–by proxy–real money are involved, security people like me get extra nervous. I and my counterparts in the payments industry took a long, hard look at how to make sure that Android Pay is running on a device that has a well documented set of API’s and a well understood security model.

We concluded that the only way to do this for Android Pay was to ensure that the Android device passes the compatibility test suite–which includes checks for the security model. The earlier Google Wallet tap-and-pay service was structured differently and gave Wallet the ability to independently evaluate the risk of every transaction before payment authorization. In contrast, in Android Pay, we work with payment networks and banks to tokenize your actual card information and only pass this token info to the merchant. The merchant then clears these transactions like traditional card purchases. I know that many of you are experts and power users but it is important to note that we don’t really have a good way to articulate the security nuances of a particular developer device to the entire payments ecosystem or to determine whether you personally might have taken particular countermeasures against attacks–indeed many would not have. – jasondclinton_google, a security engineer at Google speaking on our forums

Fortunately, XDA always finds a way (although this time, unintentionally). By rooting your device without making modifications to the /system partition (ie. systemless root by XDA Senior Recognized Developer and Developer Admin Chainfire), users were able to bypass the root restriction and access Android Pay. In a Google+ post, however, Chainfire mentioned that this “fix” is merely “by accident, and not by design, and Android Pay will be updated to block it.” Well it looks like Google has finally stepped in and updated their SafetyNet API, 91 days after the release of the systemless rooting method.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

There are several reports going around on Reddit and on our own forums that the newest SafetyNet check detects systemless root, meaning you can no longer use Android Pay with a rooted device. If you’re an Android Pay user with a device rooted using the systemless root method, then you might notice that the app still opens for you, and you’ll be in denial (I know, it’s hard to admit…) but unfortunately it’s true. Android Pay only checks your device for passing the compatibility device suite when the app is first installed and opened, when a new card is added, and at the time of a transaction. Users on our forums are noting that the app may give you a green check-mark, lulling you into false hope that it worked but alas, no, the transaction will not process any more.

Not all is lost, however. Fortunately, you can disable su from the SuperSu app before making a purchase to temporarily allow your device to pass the CTS check. Then after you’ve made your purchase, you can open the SuperSu app, ignore the ‘update binary’ pop-up, and re-enable su. A minor inconvenience, sure, but at least you’ll still be able to enjoy your Xposed modules while making purchases on your phone.



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Windows Phone 7 Gets a Makeover with Windows K UI

windows k

No one can argue that Microsoft’s life in the mobile market has been a story of ups and downs (more downs than ups during the past 5 years). They make a solid (albeit closed) product that is victim of current trends, trends that are not exactly the platform’s main objectives.

One of the things that plagues Windows Phone (all versions) is the lack of customization on most aspects of the UI (aside from changing background and tile colors). If you still have a Windows Phone 7 (or 8) laying around and would like to try something new, have a look at what XDA Member ErickNoz has prepared.

Windows K is a UI replacement for Windows Phone 7 through 8 (no word from the dev as to whether this works on Windows Phone 10). This app brings a more familiar desktop looking UI to the aging platform and while it is still in early alpha development, the UI already brings some sought after features for Windows Phone lovers.

>>>>New UI for WP7
>>>>Shell EXE calling
>>>>>Startmenu
>>>>>QuickMenu
>>>Icons (Some icons wont work, Iam building My Computer, Window. Style)
>>>MainPage
>>>>Desktop

As stated by the developer, there are many features you might expect to exist that are still turned off due to this being an early alpha (such as menu animations and other goodies), but it is looking promising. On top of everything, this will have some level of customization/theming as well since the dev states that there will be more “styles’ for the taskbar coming soon. Please swing by the thread and if you can test and leave some feedback for the dev, it will certainly help.

You can find more information in the Windows K original thread.



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vendredi 29 janvier 2016

Three UK Forcibly End All Remaining Unlimited Tethering Plans

#makeitright

In a move that will surely surprise no one in today’s society, mobile carrier Three UK has now ended all plans that still allowed for unlimited tethering.

 Back in 2010, Three launched the One Plan including 2000 minutes, 5000 same carrier minutes, 5000 texts and All-You-Can-Eat (1TB) of data with unlimited tethering. Over the years other plans have allowed for unlimited tethering and while they still offer several plans to include this incredible amount of data, they no long offer any with unlimited tethering, with a maximum of 12GB on the more expensive plans. Evidently seeking to end the people using their phone in lieu of home broadband. In 2014 they announced all remaining One Plans would be phased out and now any customers still on these plans were transferred on to the closest current plan on January 26.

We reached out to Three UK to ask just how many customers had been affected and were told that 400,000 customers had either had their unlimited tethering removed for just 12GB or transferred on to a different plan entirely.

“If you don’t choose to upgrade or change price plan, we’ll change your plan to one of our one-month SIM plans, which you can change or upgrade at any time. We’ve picked the closest match to your current plan in terms of your allowances …

… We no longer offer plans that support all-you-can-eat personal Hotspot use. If you want to use Personal Hotspot regularly, we recommend our SIM plan with all-you-can-eat phone ddata and an 12GB PH allowance. Our research shows that this is enough for the vast majority of our customers” – Three UK

This of course, does mean that some customers were hit by a large price increase if they originally purchased their plan during a promotional offer. Although all new plans are just 30 day rolling which means you can immediately end or change it. They have offered a support page for people affected which can be found here and includes most of the information regarding the changes and what you can do next.

If you would like to contact them to enquire about your plans status, one of the easiest ways is by sending them a social media contact request from this page

Have you been affected by this change? Leave a comment below!

 

 

 



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Jolla to Ship 540 More Tablets, Will Seek to Offer Refund to 21,000 Backers

Jolla Tablet

Jolla has been in financial trouble, but they are still trying to maintain a positive attitude. The company plans to ship the already produced 540 tablets they have in stock to Indiegogo backers, while the rest of the backers will get half their refund in Q1 of 2016, and the other half within a year, provided the company can still afford to return it.



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US Banks Said to Integrate Cardless-ATM Technology in 2016

Android Pay Logo

Reports of multiple US banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo, will all be working to add cardless-ATM technology this year. This means that people will be able to use their Android Pay mobile wallet to get cash from an ATM without ever having to use their ATM card.



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Microsoft Posts Q4 Financial Report, Sells 4.5 Million Lumias

Microsoft Posts Q4 Financial Report, Sells 4.5 Million Lumias

For the second quarter in a row, Microsoft is showing a decline in sales of their Lumia smartphones. During Q4 of 2015, the company says they were able to sell only 4.5 million Lumias. The financial report wasn’t all bad though. Overall, Microsoft was able to bring in $25.7 billion in revenue, which beat Wall Street’s expectations of $25.26 billion. Although, it was still 1.6% less than Q4 of 2014.



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Sony Made $1 Billion in Profit During Q4, but Still Losing Mobile Sales

Sony's Made $1 Billion in Profit During Q4, but Still Losing Revenue in Mobile

Sony has just released their financial report for Q4 2015 and revenue still seems to be dropping for their mobile division. The overall company brought in $1 billion in profit, but they saw a 13% year-over-year decrease in sales. Sony Mobile was able to increase operating income to $201 million thanks to reduced spending in marketing, research and development.



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Google Brings Smart Suggestions to Google Calendar in Latest Update

Google Brings Smart Suggestions to Google Calendar in Latest Update

Google is making the task of adding events into the Google Calendar quicker and easier with Smart Suggestions. As you’re entering in a new event, you’ll see suggestions appear as you type. This feature is even expanded to suggest places and people you want to include. Google says the update will take 1-3 days for the full rollout, and it will be available in over 30 languages.



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Xiaomi to Showcase the Mi 5 During Their First MWC Keynote

Xiaomi will Showcase the Mi 5 at their First MWC Appearance

Xiaomi has never hosted a keynote at Mobile World Congress, but that changes this year. The company has announced and scheduled a press event for MWC 2016 so they can show off their upcoming Mi 5 smartphone. The press event takes place February 24th at 8:20am, and the event flier says it will be “all you ever imagined, and more”.



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What Was Your Most Overdue Android Epiphany?

slowpokeandroid

Android is a big ecosystem, with lots of gadgets and plenty of software to tinker with. Phones come chock-full with features, and we are constantly bombarded with updates on our applications and services. Every now and then we find something new -perhaps something truly useful or interesting – that had been there for ages. What was your most slowpoke Android moment?



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rCast Turns your Chromecast into a Stand-Alone Media Player

chromecast-v1-7-4-apk-brings-screen-casting-mirroring-devices-running-android-4-4-1-higher

The advent of the smart TV gave us quite a few things to enjoy. It allowed us to consolidate (most) of our screen-on time on a single device (without the need to have side-by-side screens), and it has allowed us to do things on our TV’s that we couldn’t do before without the aid of overpriced gaming consoles or computer systems.

On top of that, this trend also gave birth to inexpensive solutions to turn “dumb” TVs into smart ones. One such solution was Google’s answer to Cupertino’s AppleTV, the Chromecast. The little device has not evolved a whole lot since its humble entrance to the market back in July, 2013 (and can be seen by doing a comparison with the latest incarnation of the HDMI dongle). However, it is because of developers like XDA Senior Member rundgong that the device (and owners) has gotten far more bang for the measly US$35 it costs.

The Chromecast is essentially useless without an internet connection, and Google has made sure of this by adding a large number of locks to prevent things like custom firmware. This is in fact, its Achilles’ heel… or at least it was. Enter rCast. This is a custom ROM that basically enables the user to make good use of the internal memory of the Chromecast by enabling local media playback. What is more, the device does not require an internet connection to be able to work. The dev goes on to explain that the ROM uses patched binaries to make the ping to Google servers to be directed to a local server instead.

– cast_shell and net_mgr makes http requests to google servers. I have patched those binaries so they make requests to the local web server instead.
– The device make a dns lookup sent to server 8.8.8.8. I have worked around that by creating an alias for 8.8.8.8 on the local host and run a dns server.
– The device will not finish booting until it has received an updated time from pool.ntp.org. This is fixed by adding pool.ntp.org as 127.0.0.1 in the hosts file, and locally running a sntp server.
Those workarounds will let the device start up normally even when network is missing.

Needless to say, the device must be able to flash custom firmware on it as this is an Eureka-based ROM. Go ahead and try it if you feel like doing something “fun” with your old Chromecast.

You can find more information and the full guide in the rCast original thread.



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MediaTek “Backdoor” Potentially Opens up Devices to Attacks

mediatek

Justin Case has informed of a vulnerability in MediaTek chipsets which opens up devices on Android 4.4 Kitkat to security attacks. The flaw allows an attacker to glean private data from the phone, and even remotely monitor all traffic. MediaTek has confirmed the existence of this bug and assured that their security team is working on it.



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Zenfone Zoom Launched, OnePlus X Invites No Longer Needed! OmniROM Marshmallow Nightlies Incoming! – XDA TV

Hands-on with Reddit’s Official Android App (Beta)

reddit beta app

9to5Google has gone hands-on with Reddit’s new Android app, which is in beta. The app features a few Material Design elements, a optional night mode and the ability to switch between accounts. They do note that the app is janky and suffers from the occasional bug, which is expected for an app in Beta. Users who are not part of the Beta program can sideload the app to freely log in.



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OnePlus Brings OnePlus 2 16GB to India, Priced at Rs. 22,999 ($340)

oneplus 2

After pulling the 16GB/3GB variant of the OnePlus 2 from US and Europe, the company has brought the device over to India. The 16GB/3GB OnePlus 2 will be available for purchase invite free for Rs. 22,999 ($340) alongside the 64GB/4GB variant via Amazon.in.



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jeudi 28 janvier 2016

Google Paid Out $200,000+ to Android Security Researchers

Google Paid Out $200,000+ to Android Security Researchers

Google brought Android into the company’s Vulnerability Reward Program in June of 2015. Since then, they have paid out over $200,000 to researchers who helped keep the mobile operating system secure. Google even paid out their largest single VRP payment to an Android security researcher last year, which amounted to $37,500.



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Registration is Now Open for IDEAA’s 2016 DC Code Kitchen and Meat & Greet

Registration is Now Open for IDEAA's 2016 DC Code Kitchen and Meat & Greet

IDEAA has been hosting Android events for a while now and it is now time to register for your spot at their 2016 DC Code Kitchen and Meat & Greet. This event takes place on April 9th from 8:30am to 7:30pm and consists of developer talks, challenges, hands-on training for those interested in becoming a developer, BBQ and more.



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BlackBerry Priv Launched in India for Rs. 62,990 ($925)

d9c6aa0c9b7f15db4923a98ea1ff5b38a1f6d757

BlackBerry has launched its first Android smartphone in India, at a whooping Rs. 62,990 ($925). The phone will be available at leading retail outlets and on Amazon.in from January 30.



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Rumored Details of Upcoming HTC Flagship Revealed in Leak

HTC Logo

Infamous mobile leaker Evan Blass has just revealed possible information about the upcoming HTC Perfume flagship. It is believed that the device will have the Snapdragon 820 SoC, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, 5.1″ Quad HD AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner on the front and a 12 UltraPixel rear-facing camera. An interesting thing to note in this leak was the lack of front-facing speakers that HTC is known for.



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Samsung Confirms 10nm Chips will go into Mass Production in Q4 2016

Samsung Logo

Samsung has revealed that they are on schedule to start mass production of 10nm SoCs in the fourth quarter of 2016. This should put have things ready for the next flagship system on a chip from both Samsung as well as Qualcomm (if they choose to go with Samsung again). We also learn that Samsung Pay will be launching in China, UK and Spain later this year.



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Recording Breaking 1.4 Billion Smartphones Reportedly Shipped in 2015

1.4 Billion Smartphones were Reportedly Shipped in 2015

The latest shipment report from Strategy Analytics suggests there were over 1.44 billion smartphones shipped in 2015. In 2014, this number tipped over the 1.2 billion mark so this year sets a new all-time record. We also learn that Samsung sits on top with 319 million smartphones shipped, Apple comes in second with 231 million, Huawei in 3rd with 107 million, Lenovo in 4th with 73 million, and Xiaomi in 5th with 72 million.



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LG Announces Global Rollout of K4 and K10 Smartphones

LG Announces the Global Rollout of the K4 and K10 Smartphones

LG is ready to release the LG K4 and LG K10 smartphones on a global scale. The company has just announced that these two devices will be available across Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States. LG says this rollout will continue with these two devices being available in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia “in the coming weeks”.



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XDA Sub Forums Available for the LG G5!

lg g5

While we wait for LG to drop us more scoop on the G5, XDA sub forums for the device are now live! Gather around with other users as we await for LG to unveil its revolutionary new flagship!



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Samsung Galaxy S7 Forums Now Live!

Galaxy S7

We’re preparing for the imminent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7! If you plan to purchase Samsung’s flagship of 2016, head on over to the forums to interact and discuss various topics with other users!



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Oppo Reveals Details of the F1 Plus with 4GB of RAM

Oppo Reveals Details of the F1 Plus with 4GB of RAM

When Oppo teased the F1 smartphone, they described it as a mid-range smartphone that focuses on camera quality. It seems the company also wants to launch an upper mid-range to high-end version of it called the F1 Plus. This device will have 4GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch 1080p display and what we can assume will be the same (or similar) camera quality as the regular F1.



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Huawei’s honor 5X & honor Holly 2 Plus Launched in India

honor 5x

Huawei’s honor brand has launched two devices in India: the honor 5X and the honor Holly 2 Plus. The devices will be available for sale via two of India’s popular e-commerce portals, Flipkart and Amazon.in.

The honor 5X will cost Rs. 12,999 ($191) for the 2GB RAM variant, and is available for pre-order now. Sales are expected to begin on February 1, 2016. The honor Holly 2 Plus, on the other hand, is priced at Rs. 8,499 ($125), and will go on sale from February 15. As an added incentive for purchasing, the devices will come with 15 months of warranty (rather than the standard practice of 12 months followed in the Indian market), along with 1 month free screen replacement. Furthermore, warranty shall remain valid even if the device is rooted, which is definitely a plus for anyone looking to root their phone from the very beginning.

The honor 5X is a device that packs in an impressive build into a budget package. You can read more about the device in Mario’s in-depth review.

The honor Holly 2 Plus was launched today at an event held in New Delhi. As the price tag would indicate, the device is aimed at a lower price segment than the honor 5X. The Holly 2 Plus bears a 5″ HD IPS display, the 64-bit 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735P with Mali 720 GPU. For RAM, the device packs in 2GB of it to keep thing chugging along at a sufficient pace. There’s also 16GB of inbuilt storage, with microsd expandability of up to 128GB.

For the camera, the Holly 2 Plus packs in a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera. It is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, and supports dual-SIM dual-4G. The Holly 2 Plus runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop, with honor’s EMUI 3.1 customization skin on top.

What are your thoughts on the two devices reaching the Indian market? Will they be able to carve themselves a place in the competitive low and mid end segments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Lenovo CEO Says to Expect a Motorola Smartphone in July

Lenovo Motorola

The WSJ had a chance to interview Yuanqing Yang, CEO of Lenovo, and he revealed some plans they had going forward. Firstly, he says they are using the Motorola brand to launch a “more innovative, more attractive” smartphone for the US in July. Secondly, he says that they will be focusing on emerging markets like India, Middle East and Africa to counterbalance the slowdown in China.



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honor 5X XDA Review: The Current Vanguard of the Mid-Range Segment

The OnePlus X Can be Purchased Without an Invite Now

OnePlus X

Just last month we saw the OnePlus X go invite-free with open sales happening every Tuesday. Now it seems that OnePlus is happy with the amount of stock they have built up because anyone can purchase this device without an invite during any day of the week. You’ll even be able to able to take advantage of the free shipping offer they have too.



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Top 5 Google Maps Tips – XDA TV

mapsthumbnail

When he’s not destroying innocent phones, XDA TV Host Ronald spend his time exploring. Exploring the world can be a dangerous task. You shouldn’t leave the house without knowing your way around Google Maps! With so many amazing features there will be a few that go unnoticed. In this video Ronald explores the top five Google Maps tricks that you may not have heard of. Grab a pen and check this video out!

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.

Tips:

  • Number 5: Download Offline Maps (Timecode: 00:16 – 01:02)
  • Number 4: Share Location With Friends (Timecode: 01:03 – 01:43)
  • Number 3: Send Location from PC to Phone (Timecode: 01:44 – 02:29)
  • Number 2: Create Private Google Maps (Timecode: 02:30 – 03:04)
  • Number 1: Measure Distance in Google Maps (Timecode: 03:05 – 03:54)

Please subscribe to XDA TV.



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Samsung Releases 4th Quarter Financial Report and Thinks 2016 will be Difficult

Samsung Logo

Samsung says they were able to make just over $5 billion in profit in the last quarter with a total of $44 billion in overall revenue. The South Korean tech giant says 2016 is going to be difficult thanks to “softening demand and intensifying competition”, but the company will continue to strive to bring value to consumers and shareholders alike.



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mercredi 27 janvier 2016

Over 5 Million Google Cardboard Viewers Have Shipped

Over 5 Million Google Cardboard Viewers Have Shipped

Google just released some interesting stats about Google Cardboard and the state of VR for Android. Over 5 million viewers have been shipped (this includes viewers that 3rd-party vendors sell/ship too), over 25 million Google Cardboard apps have been installed from Google Play, more than 350,000 hours of VR content has been watched on YouTube and over 750,000 VR photos have been taken with the Cardboard Camera application.



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Huawei’s Ascend Mate 2 Gets Marshmallow with CyanogenMod 13

Huawei's Mate 2 Gets Marshmallow with CyanogenMod 13

The Ascend Mate 2 was launched with Huawei’s EMUI 2.0 interface that was built on top of Jelly Bean. The device never saw an official update to KitKat, but it did get Lollipop around the end of 2014 (for some regions). It’s unclear if it will receive an official update to Marshmallow but CyanogenMod is keeping it alive with brand new nightly builds of CM13.



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Mobile Comments Arrive on Google Docs, Sheets, Slides

Google Docs, Sheets, Slides

Mobile App users of Google Docs, Sheets and Slides can now add comments onto their documents from within the app. This is one of the long missing features from the apps, so the addition of this will help with real time collaboration with people on-the-go.

 



from xda-developers » xda-developers | Mobile Comments Arrive on Google Docs, Sheets, Slides http://ift.tt/1PBu37s
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Review: CHOETECH T513 Wireless Charger & G4 Wireless Charging Case

The T513 Charger and G4 Wireless Charging Case

Much to the chagrin of others, including a fellow moderator on this site, I’ve never jumped onto the wireless charging hype train. The idea of being able to drop my phone down did entice me but I was concerned whether or not this was practical enough for me in my daily activities.  And to be honest – I thought adding wireless charging would be an expensive ordeal. So when CHOETECH provided an opportunity to put this to the test, I figured it’s finally time to see if it’s time to finally embrace wireless charging.

My Sprint LG G4 supports wireless charging but for some reason LG didn’t decide to offer it in the standard backs that they provided.  I’m a bit perplexed why LG didn’t after looking at the back – the pad where NFC is provided doesn’t seem to be that different from the CHOETECH pad with the obvious exception being the additional two pins on the upper right. After comparing it to the official LG G4 Quick Circle case, which is the only offical way to get the Qi wireless charging from LG, I couldn’t tell you the difference between the official version and the one from CHOETECH. That’s impressive given that the official one is over double the price of the CHOETECH one, making someone wonder why LG is possibly charging this much when others can provide a nearly identical product for a much lower price. I was particularly excited about the fact that I’d have the quick circle clock available – but after a week of using it I think I’ll be looking at alternative clock faces because it’s near impossible to see the white notification icons against the white clock background.

The wireless case is only complete though with a charger and so I put the CHOETECH T513 wireless charger to the test. This particular model does not support fast wireless charging and was not an issue for me since my G4 and Sprint Galaxy S6 don’t support it either. This brought out a difference that I finally noticed – indicating the charge method. On the S6 Samsung changes the offline charging display and charge text when powered on to indicate wireless charging. The G4, on the other hand, didn’t do this and while it certainly isn’t necessary is a nice thing to know. Charging on the pad couldn’t get easier – place it on the pad and when the light turns blue, you’re charging. Placement might be a bit tricky on this unless you remember where the pad is on the device; it took me a few times to start getting the G4 to the right position for charging while the S6 went as soon as I put it down without issue.

I tested both for 15 minutes on the wireless charger and then again through the Samsung USB charger that I keep in my office. In both cases the wireless charger takes about twice as long as the Samsung charger, a noticeable difference below the 70% claimed by CHOETECH on their Amazon store. But to be perfectly honest that’s fine with me. I spend 8 hours a day at a desk and can usually let it sit there, or at home where it usually won’t move from the table or place I put it after return. As long as it charges by the time I get up and go, I really don’t care about the charge delay. This is the case where wireless charging makes sense in my life – maybe not 100% of the time, but I’ve got my backup battery from LG for cases when I’m going long distances or long times without a charge. This solves the daytime solution not just for me but for many who often just plop their smartphone down on a surface for many hours, only picking it up when they need it. And given the pricing of the charger and case from CHOETECH – I’d say wireless charging is moving out of the niche it once was and more into an affordable, practical item for many to use.

Review Summary

Pros:

  • The CHOETECH T513 wireless charger is easy to set up and wireless charging is great for desk use
  • The CHOETECH G4 case is inexpensive and keeps the style of the official LG case at a much lower price.
  • Qi standard makes it compatible with other devices like the Galaxy S6
  • Inexpensive compared to other solutions out there

Cons:

  • Charging wirelessly is 50% slower in 15-minute tests versus directly charging via Samsung USB charger.
  • Placement was a bit touchy on the T513 but is easily countered by the light indicating charge has started.

Product Links:

Photo Gallery:

The T513 Charger and G4 Wireless Charging Case LG's G4 Charging. Notice the pins on the back are only on the left for NFC. The CHOETECH wireless charging case, unlike the LG one, has two pins on the right. That's for the Qi wireless charging. Front of the LG G4 wireless charging case. Slick when it shows the clock. Top of the T513 wireless charging pad. Bottom of the T513 wireless charging pad.

Reviewer’s Note: Products were supplied by CHOETECH for review purposes.

Do you use wireless charging? What are your thoughts about it and will this perhaps change the way you think about using a Qi wireless charger? Feel free to continue the conversation by leaving us a comment below!



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