jeudi 31 mars 2016

Leaked Internal Memo Claims Verizon Contemplating Flat $20 Upgrade Fee

Verizon-Upgrade-Fees

According to a leaked internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Verizon is planning to impose a flat $20 upgrade fee soon. The upgrade fees will apply to all upgrades, including iPhones. Verizon was claimed to cite “increasing support costs associated with customers switching their devices” as the reason for this fee.



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Chuwi Launch Dual Booting Hybrid Tablet for $179.99

Image 089

Chuwi is not the first brand we think of when someone says “hybrid tablet” but they have recently launched a new device that appears to be an excellent contender for the budget market. Starting with a promotional price of $179.99 for the next 2 days and then rising to $224.99 after that although the keyboard has to be purchased separately, if you are looking for a tablet that comes with the option to dual boot both Windows 10 and Android this may be a device to consider and is a worthy contender to other options available.

Model Chuwi HiBook
Display 10.1 inch  IPS (1920 * 1200)
Dimensions 26.20 x 16.75 x 0.85 cm
Weight 550g
RAM 4GB (DDR3L)
Storage 64GB
Processor Intel X5 Cherry Trail Z8300
GPU 10.1 inch  IPS (1920 * 1200)
Camera 2MP Front, 5MP Rear
SD Card Support Yes (up to 128GB)
Speakers Dual Stereo
OS  Windows 10/Android 5.1
Ports USB Type C, Micro USB, 2 * USB Type A, HDMI, 3.5mm,
Battery 6600 mAh (3 Amp fast charge)

The device features many of the features you would expect from a device in 2016 including: 4GB RAM, USB type C, 3 Amp charging and SD card support. The decision to include Android 5.1 is a bit disappointing now that Marshmallow has been around for so long, but hardly surprising looking at Android distribution figures showing Marshmallow still remains at just 2.3% of the market. The inclusion of both USB type C and Micro USB is a welcome change during the current transitionary period.

Image 089 Image 088 Image 087 Image 086

The Chuwi HiBook can be bought at AliExpress in their 6th-anniversary flash sale here

What do you think to the tablet? is it a worthy hybrid competitor? Leave a comment below



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Unofficial CyanogenMod 12.1 Available for Elephone P8000

spy-p8000-3

XDA Senior Member BlueFlame4 efforts have culminated in a stable CyanogenMod 12.1 ROM for the Elephone P8000, with a working fingerprint sensor on Android 5.1 Lollipop.



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LG G5 on T-Mobile Bears Unlockable Bootloader Afterall

LG G5

The recent Galaxy S7 Bootloader-gate for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 variants, especially on US carriers like T-Mobile which are usually bootloader-unlock-friendly, gave a lot of people a reason to be vary of their purchase decisions.

So when it surfaced that the LG G5 on T-Mobile might be a victim of the same, a lot of people were worried. Afterall, this eliminated the chances of any development happening on the device. Ofcourse, an unlocked bootloader will not make these Snapdragon 820 devices comparable to a Nexus, but having an unlocked bootloader will give atleast some freedom in how you can use your device, with root and custom kernels being easier to obtain.

With the first batch of the LG G5’s reaching the consumers hands (thanks to T-Mobile delivering its pre-orders 2 days earlier), it has come to light that the bootloader is actually unlockable. To everyone’s relief, the procedure is also straightforward, akin to a Nexus.LG G5 Bootloader Unlock

This opens up the LG G5 on T-Mobile a definitive Edge (heh, get it?) over the Samsung devices sold in the US. While we agree that power users make but a very small portion of LG and Samsung’s market share, having an option for those who care is certainly a good turn of events.

LG G5 users on T-Mobile will still have to wait for TWRP to land on the device, not because it is difficult, but mainly because none have volunteered for the task so far. Once you get a custom recovery, obtaining root will be a cakewalk.

We’re certainly happy to see the LG G5 on T-Mobile being power user friendly. If you’re looking for a flagship device with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, this is one of the better choices you can lay your hands on right now!

What are your thoughts on the bootloader unlock status on the LG G5 on T-Mobile? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Read on for related content:



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Square Enix Announces Justice Monsters 5, an RPG Pinball Game

Justice Monsters 5

Square Enix just held their Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event to show off some new footage and reveal new details about their upcoming console game. There will be a playable game within FFXV called Justice Monsters 5 that is a pinball game with RPG elements. Square Enix says this pinball game will also be released on Android, iOS and Windows 10 sometime in 2016.



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Nintendo Expands the Launch of their First App, Miitomo

Nintendo Miitomo

Nintendo’s first mobile application, Miitomo, was initially launched in Japan only but now it is available in more countries. There’s not a list of available countries as of yet, but it seems to be a big expansion so far. However, there are reports that Nintendo is blocking users whose phone or tablet is currently rooted.



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Nest Reportedly Underperforming; Funding Could be in Danger

Nest Tony Fadell

A new report citing “three people with knowledge of the matter” says that Nest was only able to make $340 million in 2015. They also say this isn’t what Google was expecting with their $3.2 billion acquisition and some say its future could be rocky. That is because many employees are reaching the point where they can leave their contracts, and funding for Nest also runs out this year unless Alphabet extends it.



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LG Innotek Announces a 15W Qi Wireless Charging Pad

LG Innotek 15w wireless charger

LG has just unveiled a wireless charger that could make you want to drop wired charging. The company is able to pump out 15W with the Qi specification, but it also interoperates with the 9-watt receiving modules that were recently supplied along with WPC 15W or PMA 5W. The example they gave says the wireless charger can bring a fully discharged compatible smartphone to 50% within 30 minutes.



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Vivo Officially Launches the X6S and X6S Pro

Vivo X6S and X6S Pro

Vivo has just upgraded their X6 and X6 Pro models with two newly launched devices today. The X6S now has the AKM4375 32-bit DAC and the X6S Pro has the ES9028 DAC inside a YAMAHA YSS-205X audio processor along with a 16MP rear camera. They also upgraded the SoCs, switching out the MediaTek MT6752 in both of these devices with the more powerful Snapdragon 652.



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Of Bootloaders & Previews: Despite Higher Prices, the Nexus Line now Offers Better Value than Ever

nexusarehere

The Nexus line always had a particularly special place in the heart of tinkerers and power-users, but as the years went on, the line-up once reserved to the savviest became one of the most user-friendly phones you can get today.

The evolution of the Nexus line-up is certainly interesting, and I somewhat lament that due to geographical constraints I was not able to experience it until its fifth iteration. When I managed to purchase the Nexus 5, I was immediately in awe  — to this day, I can not find a first-impression that gives me the sense of fluidity and snappiness that the KitKat-premiering beauty gave me. The Nexus 5 would go on to become a fan-favorite, a device that seemingly never slowed down, update after update, due to its tried-and-tested Snapdragon 800; even with better processors making rounds, the combination of a light-weight, optimized OS and that beastly SoC gave the Nexus 5 legs to run faster and further than some 2014 devices.

The Nexus 5 still sees development today, something that is now expected of all Nexii, present and future. Indeed, in a world where the biggest manufacturers are offering locked-down versions of their flagships, or complicating the unlocking procedure, the Nexus remains the staple of openness and the example of Android’s philosophy. But this phone in particular was, I think, the one that opened the door to many, and that cemented the idea of Nexii as spectacular packages for unbelievable prices. Alas, this second part wouldn’t last past the 5, but the value of the Nexus line-up has, in my opinion, gone up since.

Part of this is because, as previously stated, unlocked devices are becoming more and more scarce, with the feature remaining a marketed selling-point only by OEMs who fight for the power-user audience, like OnePlus and Nextbit. Samsung and LG, on the other hand, keep offering amazing phones but with less potential for all-things-XDA. This frustration has likely made many enthusiasts migrate – or return – to the Nexus line. At the end of the day, those who follow Android know that Nexus phones are where development is at, and that said development will give their phone more endurance through the years.

Software updates are also extremely important to a large number of Android enthusiasts, and the Nexus line allows us to stay up-to-date. Other than the extra features we get from new software, and the significant bug fixes, we can also sleep better at night knowing that we’ll get timely security patches. Software updates on Nexus phones are not infrequent and sometimes bring much-needed improvements; the Nexus 5 saw its camera performance increase through a patch, the Nexus 6 also saw improved camera quality and then gained a significant speed boost after the forced encryption experiment of Lollipop was put to rest, and the Nexus 5X and 6P have also gotten improvements across the board. To top that off, custom ROM and kernel makers are quick to merge the newer changes and optimize them further, making the experience even better for those willing to unlock their bootloaders.

And not only do Nexus owners typically get access to faster and more frequent updates with enhancements or bug fixes, but they also get to preview upcoming software. Trying out Lollipop on the Nexus 5 was wonderful, and later on, the builds became surprisingly stable. With Marshmallow, the story was similar, and now that Android N’s preview arrived surprisingly early, there is no better time to be a Nexus owner. Not only do we know we’ll be first-in-line for the update — we also get to experience it ahead of time, test it, and even contribute to the final release through constructive or technical feedback. Android N is shaping up to be one of the most significant Android releases, the kind of “coming of age” of a line of updates, like KitKat was to Jelly Bean.

But the Nexus has come of age in terms of hardware as well. While the price of the Nexus line went up, I think its value is better too — more bang for your buck, that is. The Nexus 5 out-competed flagships in this regard mostly because of its price and processing package. It didn’t stand up to the camera or build quality of its competitors, but its specific internal hardware and software combo made for a tremendous user experience. The Nexus 6 upped the price – perhaps a bit too much – but also brought fewer sacrifices in hardware. Yet the Nexus 5X and 6P (remember, P for Premium) split the Nexus line into the two things people wanted most out of it: low-price with the X, top-specs with the P.

I’ve owned both of these phones. Admittedly, the Nexus 5X was overpriced at launch, but now its price accurately matches its value, especially with the $150-off Fi deal. The Nexus 6P, on the other hand, has become my favorite phone to date. The build feels great, the screen is gorgeous, the speakers are to die for. And it has, hands-down, the best-implemented Snapdragon 810 to date. Frequent readers would know that I was perhaps the harshest critic of the 810, but an optimized Stock Android (and particularly on the most recent builds) has made this thing shine.

The Nexus as a product has matured and I’ve personally never been happier with it. In fact, I see few reasons to purchase anything else right now. I loved and still really like Samsung hardware, for example, but after testing the S7 Edge and learning about its locked bootloader, the Nexus 6P holds greater value to me. And that’s the brilliant part of the Nexus line in 2016: it has managed to compete with the best of last year, and I can’t see that trend slowing down either. HTC is rumored to be the next Nexus manufacturer — under Google’s supervision, and with HTC’s hardware excellence, I do think we are in for a treat. But even then, the current Nexus phones have achieved something that seemed far-off a few years back, and that’s widespread, mainstream appeal and recognition. This doesn’t necessarily translate to amazing sales, but the line-up is more than just an enthusiast phone now.

This also means that newer users might not know or learn of all of the Nexus’ virtues; we’ve discussed this in-depth before, as we found that indeed, many Nexus owners don’t have the slightest idea of how to root the phone. As much as I would love it if they did – for their own sake, given this knowledge really is power – this also shows that the Nexus line has a lot going for it, rooted or otherwise. And this is where it all comes together: the Nexus line finally offers as many or less compromises than other flagships when it comes to options. And given that more phones come locked down, and that software updates are still an issue almost everywhere else, the Nexus’ value has gone up.

Having a Nexus opens up a lot of doors for the savvy to explore Android, be it the current, the newest, or the upcoming. I can’t say the Nexus has become the ultimate Android phone, or the best — that’s still personal preference. But the trend is clear: it has gotten good enough, especially relative to other flagships, that many enthusiasts (including myself) will keep coming coming back.



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It’s Settled: The OnePlus One has Stood the Test of Time

Xiaomi Mi 5 Launched in India for Rs. 24,999 ($380) for 3GB+32GB Variant

Mi 5_Image 1

Xiaomi has launched the Mi 5 in India for a price of Rs. 24,999 ($380) for the 3GB RAM + 32GB storage variant. The phone will go on sale on April 6th on MI.com. No details have been given on the higher end variant in India. Xiaomi has also released an insurance plan called Mi Protect which covers accidental damage.



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iFixit Gives the Oculus Rift a Repairability Score of 7 out of 10

Oculus Rift Teardown

iFixit loves to get inside of gadgets to see how they’re put together and their latest official teardown is for the Oculus Rift. They tell us the cable management is much better than before, the earpiece speakers and face pad are easily removable. However, internal clips make getting inside difficult, the ribbon cables are delicate & replacing the head strap is impossible without cutting the fabric.



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BlackBerry Priv Spotted Running Android Marshmallow

priv

So far there was no real evidence that BlackBerry is working on the Android 6.0 for the Priv model. Recently a video popped up showing this phone running nothing but the newest incarnation of Android. Does it mean that an update is right around the corner? Head over to the source to check it out yourself.



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Will Lowering Your Device’s Resolution Affect Performance?

There is a lot of talk about the greatness of the latest devices with QuadHD. However, there is the constant complaint of battery life. In this episode XDA TV Host Rirozizo asks the question “Will Lowering Your Device’s Resolution Affect Performance?” He shows you how to change your resolution and runs some basic tests to answer the questions. What is the answer? Check out the video to find out!

Resource Links:

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.



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Best Apps You’ve Never Heard of: Portal

In today’s video showing you the Best Apps You’ve Never Heard of we are talking about Portal. No not the Valve puzzle game! This is an application that allows you to transfer files quickly and easily between your desktop and Android device. Check out the video and remember there are all sorts of cool and interesting apps that you probably have never heard of on the XDA forum “The Best Apps You’ve Never Heard of”.

Resource Links:

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.



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mercredi 30 mars 2016

Websites Can Now Embed 360-degree Content with VR View

VR View

VR View is open source HTML and JavaScript code from Google that web developers can use to transform 360-degree photos and videos into interactive content on their website. This content can be viewed in a web browser, or in Google Cardboard for both Android and iOS. This also marks the first release of a native Cardboard SDK for iOS as well.



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Google Launches New Developer Show About Machine Learning

Machine Learning Recipes

Google has a few developer focused shows up on their Google Developers YouTube channel and today they have launched a new one. If you’re an app developer and you’re looking to integrate machine learning into it, then this show is for you. Dubbed ‘Machine Learning Recipes’, Google will walk you through Hello World examples all the way to solving real world problems.



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AT&T Reportedly Working on a ZTE CyanogenOS Smartphone

nexus2cee_cyanogen_logo_hero

AT&T is allegedly working with Cyanogen to produce a smartphone that breaks away from the stranglehold Google has on Android. The Information says they were made aware of this by “one person with direct knowledge and one person briefed about the talks”. They also mention that AT&T has been in talks with ZTE as the company to manufacture the device.



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What is Your Current Daily Driver Set-Up? (Phone/ROM/Kernel)

discussion flashing

It’s that time again! Now that new phones are out and updates and sources allow for new software, we want to know what phone, ROM and kernel you run on your daily phone, and specifically, why you chose that set-up! That way we can share your opinions so that others can check them out and perhaps try something new.

What is your current daily driver setup? Why did you choose your phone, ROM and Kernel? Are you satisfied with your choice?



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OnePlus Releases Community Build of OxygenOS 3.0 (MM) for the OnePlus 2

OnePlus Marshmallow

Android N is the latest talk of the town, but that’s only restricted to a select few Nexus devices. For the rest of us non-Nexus simpletons, we still have to stay content with Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Now, users of the OnePlus 2 can jump on the Android 6.0 Marshmallow bandwagon too! In an official manner, no less. This comes to us courtesy of the Community Build of OxygenOS 3.0 for the OnePlus 2 released by OnePlus themselves.

OnePlus had been in the process of soak testing Android 6.0 since a few weeks, and the progress and stability on the release is at a level which makes them comfortable to share with a wider audience. Note, this is not an OTA upgrade available to all users, this is still a community build of OxygenOS 3.0. What OnePlus means by a community build is that they have ironed out most major issues, but they still need feedback on some more minor ones from users spread over a wider geographical area.

We’d like to ask for a little help with testing some aspects of the software that require a larger user base around the world. Here’s what we need your feedback on:

  • Network testing (how is this update working on your specific carrier, your specific region?)
  • Are you noticing improvements to the camera (both UI and picture quality)?
  • Performance and battery life – let us know how your phone runs.

OnePlus is calling it a “daily-driver-material” community release of OxygenOS 3.0, and as such, you can expect a certain level of stability from this official release. However, getting the ROM on your OnePlus 2 will require a bit more effort than just pressing the “Install Now” button on an OTA link (as there is no OTA link as of yet). But, things are still fairly easy seeing that this comes directly from OnePlus themselves.

For installation, all you have to do is download the ROM, place it on your phone’s storage, reboot to stock recovery and flash it from there without wiping any data. OnePlus does have certain disclaimers for users not on stock OxygenOS ROM and recovery:

We only support dirty flashing of this build using Oxygen recovery.

Dirty flashing (that means flashing the update without wiping data or factory resetting first) requires OxygenOS 2.2.0 or higher.

Factory reset is needed if you are using any other recovery or coming from any other ROM. We do not guarantee these cases to work properly. We cannot guarantee results on rooted devices as well.

Further, this build is OTA eligible for OxygenOS 3.0’s public releases, meaning that you will seamlessly get future OTA’s on your OnePlus 2 without having to resort to any additional steps like downgrading, manual flashing etc.

Incase you are interested in the full changelog and can’t simply flash builds which say “Android 6.0 Marshmallow”, here are the things that are new in this build if you are coming from an OxygenOS based on Android Lollipop:

  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow upgrade
  • New OnePlus Camera UI
    • UI has been cleaned up: swiping up/down now switches between photo/video, whereas HD/HDR and flash settings live in the top right corner
    • You can now change the aspect ratio and toggle grid view without going all the way to the settings
  • New wallpaper picker
    • Easily preview and set both home screen and lock screen wallpaper in one place.
  • Shelf UX has been improved
    • No more edit mode, long press boards to rearrange or remove
  • General system performance improvements
    • Benchmarked 47% faster than OxygenOS 2.2.1 on key test scenarios
  • Fingerprint performance improvement
    • Tested 45% faster than OxygenOS 2.2.1 on average
  • Settings changes
    • Old app permissions are gone, say hi to new (native Android) app permissions.
    • Alert Slider has its own entry point with more customization options
    • Improved settings menu readability by changing the order a bit
  • March security patches

OnePlus notes a few issues for flashers, the major one being that your fingerprints will not be carried forward, and so you will have to re-register your fingerprints. For an up-to-date and complete list of issues that you could face, we recommend checking out the main announcement post over at the OnePlus forums.

As OnePlus recommends, and we echo, do backup whatever is important to you before flashing. Despite there being virtually negligible risks as long as you follow instructions, it does not hurt to be double sure when it comes to important data.

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for OnePlus’s flagship device is quite late, coming to us almost five months after the public release of Android 6.0. OnePlus is not setting good benchmarks for sending out quick updates for an OS that is quite close to stock Android. Other OEMs, both big and small, have had faster update adoption rates despite having more cumbersome UX’s to port. Nonetheless, the update is finally here. Better late than never, we say.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your OnePlus 2 and head on over to the downloads page and flash up! Be sure to leave feedback for OnePlus in their community thread, and leave your first impressions of the update in the comments below!

 



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Opinion: Smaller Brands Might Offer Clones, but They also Maximize Niches

chinese_smartphone_brands

When you hear names such as Elephone, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Gionee, Infinix, TECNO, Meizu, Oppo etc. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you see them as those Chinese phone brands that make low priced smartphones? Do you see them as “experts” at cloning (a dubious virtue, admittedly) smartphones from the more-popular manufacturers?

Whatever you say may be correct, but there are some things worth commending about these lesser-known brands.

You see, these lesser known brands have actually contributed to the Android ecosystem that we know today, many thanks to the open source nature of Android. Have you ever wondered how these brands have managed to stay relevant and profitable? I’ll highlight below a few of the reasons:

  • They always have a (small) target market.
  • They produce their devices in measured quantities they can sell.
  • They rarely release software updates, a few do if you’re lucky (this is certainly not good).
  • They have little or no after sales support in the markets they operate (this isn’t either).

By having target markets and operating with lean budgets, they don’t bother shipping millions of units, they just make a few thousand units, sell them off and smile to the bank. Then they go back to make another one. Consistently churning out devices in small quantities with small profit margins and staying profitable.

They have managed to stay relevant with their small followings unlike the bigger players such as HTC and Sony that are struggling to stay up. One thing I’m glad about these brands is that that they have been able to consistently improve. They have greatly reduced the gap between mid-range and high-end smartphones,they have stiffened the competition, and kept the bigger Android players at their toes.

Still looking at the broader picture, we shall look at the various ways these smaller OEMs have helped pushed the Android revolution up to the level where it is today.

The Biggest of Batteries
The very first Android device I saw with a 4,000 mAh was in 2014. Then that was super huge! That was the Gionee M2. That was among the very first devices to come with bulky battery capacity, now a staple of the budget space. With time the big battery trend has gained lots of traction and now almost everyone wants a device with a big batter as opposed to a thinner profile. We have now seen the likes of Lenovo, Samsung, LG and even Apple release phones with bigger batteries and sometimes chunkier bodies. Interestingly, the phone with the highest battery capacity today is the Oukitel K10000, carrying 10,000 mAh of battery goodness. This is from a Chinese OEM, as expected. They have also managed to keep this big battery phones in a relatively slim profile.

The Slimmest of Phones
In 2014, the same Gionee broke the Guinness book of records twice for making the world’s slimmest smartphones. The first was the Gionee Elife S 5.5, 5.5mm thick, followed by the Gionee Elife S5.1 at 5.15mm (clever naming schemes, huh?). It is certainly incredible what these smaller players have managed to pull off considering their limited scope and resources, especially when compared to themselves just a few years back. This has somewhat pushed other bigger players to reconsider sleekness of devices. Samsung’s reply to this is their A series line up of 2015, with the Galaxy A8 being their slimmest smartphone till date.

Better Pricing/Better specs
We really have the Chinese OEM’s to thank for bringing dirt cheap smartphones, especially to developing countries. In these places, one cannot afford the expensive offerings of the likes of Samsung and Sony. The only affordable options are the ones from these Chinese OEMs.

These OEMs have greatly helped to reduce the line between high-end and mid-range devices. These days, the so called mid-range has become so good and yet affordable, people actually ignore the flagships and buy them instead. Manufacturers have bent the knee to this trend too. We have seen the likes of Motorola last year, launching a couple of really good mid-range phones in the mold of the Moto X Style, Moto X Play etc.

Finally… The Success Stories
Still moving in this line of thought, we have seen some of these smaller brands grow to be recognized internationally and get highly acclaimed. The story of Xiaomi’s success will always be an inspiring one — growing from nowhere to become the number 1 smartphone brand in China in a few short years. Huawei unseated them, but they were the world’s most valuable start-up, a big achievement in today’s start-up culture. OnePlus too is another brand that has enjoyed some form of success using this formula. Though I still have personal grudges with their invite system, plus the long waits and delays before your phone gets shipped to you.


 

It’s clear that the smaller OEMs, particularly those that still have growing up to do in terms of reach and scope, cannot compete with the higher-end in many many ways. But at the same time, they offer various niches that allows them to target small and marked demographics. The Android motto is “be together, not the same” precisely because of variety and diversity, and we’ve seen smaller brands push everything from the biggest batteries to the smallest bezels.

Sure, you and me might prefer something else, something more balanced and traditional, or something that actually receives after-sales support.. but nevertheless we must give credit where credit is due and also recognize that when these companies get better, they apply pressure to the giants we are accustomed to. And in turn, the well-known flagship makers must find new ways to justify their price-point, through better hardware, innovative features or better services. I’d call that a win-win!

Do you think the Chinese and other smaller OEMs have helped push the Android evolution? Or did they just make things more overly complicated? Tell us your thoughts below!



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CyanogenMod 12.1 Hits The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

xiaomi_redmi_note_3_pro

While Android 6.0 is available for some newer devices, Lollipop is still a popular option. XDA Recognized Developer Santhosh M has made a functional port of the CyanogenMod 12.1 for the Snapdragon variant of Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. Only minor things remain on the to-do list, so you can use it as your new daily driver.



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Google Publishes Android’s Stock Calculator in the Play Store

Google Calculator

We’re starting to see both Google and Android OEMs publishing more and more of their stock applications into the Google Play Store. This is beneficial to both the companies and the users as it allows for more, and quicker updates to be pushed out to devices around the world. The latest stock Android app to hit the Play Store from Google is the Calculator.



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Samsung’s Q1 Financial Report is Expected to Beat Estimations

Samsung Logo

Some analysts had previously expected Samsung’s Q1 financial report to be as low as 4 trillion won, but new estimates are now aiming higher. Thanks to the success of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the South Korean tech giant is now said to announce as much as 6 trillion won (~$5.14 Billion USD) in revenue for the first quarter of 2016.



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Google Paid Sundar Pichai $100.5 Million in his 1st Year as CEO

Sundar Pichai

Being the CEO of the company that has the largest market cap in the world can be a very lucrative gig. According to a filing from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Sundar Pichai received a pay package totaling $100.5 million. This breaks down to the $99.8 million in restricted stock (which will vest in full by 2017) and then an annual salary of $652,500.



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MailTime Finally Makes its Debut on Android

MailTime

MailTime is a different take on email and until now it has only been available on iOS. Instead of the slow, longwinded communication format that email is known for, MailTime wants you to use it as a messaging service similar to WhatsApp or Telegram. The application has finally been published in the Google Play Store and you can download it right now for free.



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SoundCloud Launches Subscription Service Called SoundCloud Go

Soundcloud Logo

Soundcloud has been a great music streaming service for indie musicians wanting to get their music out to the masses. There have been talks about the company going out of business due to a lack of funds but this new subscription model might just save them. For $9.99 (or $12.99 on iOS), you’ll get access to more music, the ability to listen offline, and uninterrupted ad-free music.



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OPPO Teases a Fingerprint Scanner for the F1 Plus

OPPO F1 Plus Teaser

OPPO has been hinting about an updated version of their OPPO F1 smartphone with slightly different specs. Up until this week, the only change we’ve been told about was that it would have a 5.5″ 1080p display. However, the Indonesian OPPO page has just revealed a teaser image that hints it will also have a fingerprint scanner.



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Amazon Updates Their Policy Regarding USB Type-C Cables

Amazon USB Type-C

Google’s Benson Leung has been looking out on behalf of customers with USB Type-C products by reviewing as many cables on Amazon as possible. Now, it seems that Amazon has taken notice of the problem at hand and have now made a change to their “Prohibited listings” policy. If a manufacturer is caught selling a USB Type-C cable that is not compliant, then they are banned.



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XDA Forums Now Available for LeEco Le1 Pro!

LeEco Le1 Pro

The LeEco Le1 Pro is credited to be the world’s first Snapdragon 820 device, and as such, it was bound to get a home on XDA. Head on over to the forums to reach out to other users of this device!



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Top 5 Widgets for Android!

Top 5 Widgets

The great thing about Android is its customizability. There are tons and tons of widgets available on the PlayStore. XDA TV Host Zach was told he had to single out 5 that he had to have? He chose the ones listed below and shows them off in today’s video! Check of the one he thinks are great and tell us about your favorites in the comments below.

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.

Widget Links:

Please subscribe to XDA TV and Zach’s Channel!



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MIUI Global Beta ROM v6.3.17 Based on Android 6.0 Released for Mi 3, Mi 4 and Mi Note

MIUI Global Beta ROM

MIUI’s Global Beta ROM v6.3.17 has been released for the Mi 3, Mi 4 and the Mi Note. This ROM is based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Along with several additions that Android 6.0 brings to the table, the ROM also brings in a Permission Manager as well as device-to-device wireless transfers in Explorer.



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Pokémon GO Japan Field Test Goes Live; More Screenshots Appear!

Pokémon GO Japan Field Test Goes Live; More Screenshots Appear!

The Japanese Field test for Pokémon GO is now rolling out in a phased manner for users who registered for it. Although details and screenshots have emerged of the game, Niantic is attempting to maintain utmost secrecy and attaching unique identifiers on all screen images. Citing NDA, Niantic is also banning users who distribute the screenshots.



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Best Apps You’ve Never Heard of: TrinusVR

trinusthumbnail

The world of Vitual Reality headsets are upon us. However, the big players are still very expensive. Today we review TrinusVR. It’s a powerful app that allows you to use your Google Cardboard device to play VR PC Games! There are all sorts of cool and interesting apps that you probably have never heard of on the XDA forum “The Best Apps You’ve Never Heard of”.

Resource Links:

Be sure to check out other great XDA TV Videos.



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mardi 29 mars 2016

Snapchat Update Brings New Features like Stickers, Audio and Video Notes to Chat and more

Snapchat Chat UI Update

Snapchat is revamping its platform with a host of changes that will allow users to communicate in a wide variety of manners. Now you can send stickers and audio and video notes in a private conversation, and even use the Snapchat app for voice or video calls.



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Google Introduces Fiber Phone in Fibre Connected Cities; Offers Unlimited Local and Nationwide Calling for $10/Month

Google Fiber Phone

Google has introduced the Fiber Phone in Google Fiber cities. The Fiber Phone is a cloud based home phone service which can be used on any phone, tablet or laptop. Additionally, you get unlimited local and nationwide calling for $10/month, as well as Google Voice rates for international calls. Fiber Phone’s voicemail service will also let you transcribe your voice messages and send as text or email.



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Samsung Pay Now Available in China with China Union Pay

Samsung Pay Has Plans to Support Online Payments Soon

Samsung Pay is now available for users in China. Samsung has officially announced support for China Union Pay, with future support on the cards for more banks and cards. Samsung Pay is currently limited to late-2015 and 2016 flagships in China, but support will be extended to additional mid range models in the future. Notably missing is the Galaxy S6 in the list.



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Google’s Project Vault Would Bring Easier Access to Encryption

Project Vault

In light of the recent Apple-encryption fiasco, Google has been called to release Project Vault, a design for a “Mobile Safe”. Project Vault includes a memory card like device, that brings in advanced security features to connected devices, such as strongly encrypted storage, messaging, video and voice calls. Google is rumored to shed more light on Project Vault in the upcoming annual keynote.



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Konami Partners with Tencent to Bring Contra to Mobile

Contra Mobile

No release date has been given yet, but we have learned that a Contra game is being made for both iOS and Android. This game is made possible by a partnership between Konami and Tencent. The game isn’t a port of an older game so Contra fans can look forward to a brand new installment into the franchise.



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Teaser Reveals the HTC 10 with Capacitive Buttons

HTC 10

HTC is still hyping up their upcoming flagship and today’s teaser shows us the bottom of the device. From what we can see, the HTC 10 will have capacitive buttons on the left and right side of the home button(just like previous leaks/rumors have shown). The teaser image also seems to confirm that it will not have dual front-facing speakers either.



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Samsung Advanced UI: This New TouchWiz UI is a Giant Leap Forward, Two Steps Back

samsungadvanced

It feels like Samsung wants to make us scratch our heads and wonder what it is doing quite often and today is no different. Late last night a discovery on the Galaxy S7 subreddit led me to trying out a new application for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. It is not quite “new” since it is actually an update to an already installed application – but particulars aside – how does it work and what does it do?

The app in question is called “Good Lock” from Samsung and only available from the Galaxy Apps store. Once you update the application you are prompted to reboot (for good reason) and once you are back to Android everything is slightly different, some for the better and some… well, some just makes us scratch our heads wondering why. There are 3 main areas of change – Lock Screen, Notification Pane, and Recent Apps menu – so let’s explore them.

Screenshot_20160329-114124The Lock Screen is fairly simple and is more of a hodgepodge of various versions of Android than anything. It has Lollipop style notifications, a bottom app list similar to the HTC and TouchWiz of old, and limited widget support like KitKat. It is very customizable with numerous clock widgets you can choose from (the clock is the default, you cannot have another widget be the primary one), colors can be changed, apps can be switched around and entire sections can be turned on and off. If you prefer a no clock lockscreen it can be done, as can one with no notification support. The wallpaper, oddly enough, cannot be changed to anything you want, you only have a choice of your primary wallpaper or a colored one based on your color settings. Swiping down on the clock widget opens the widgets view where you can add or remove widgets (I use the condensed DPI which causes the clipping of the Weather widget). Unlocking with your fingerprint is blazing fast and TouchWiz finally has the ability to open a notification by double tapping on it from the lockscreen. Finally.

The second area of change is the Notification Panel. Anyone who has used a Nexus device can feel right at home, but only if you like a horrible color pallette. I mean seriously, is it so hard to get a normal looking shade color?

Screenshot_20160329-113152You choose a primary color and the other colors are selected automatically based off it. Nothing looks normal, and all the selections have some sort of undesirable effect. But nitpicking aside they seem to be bringing more AOSP into the fold here then anywhere else: the status bar icons switch to AOSP variants, the quick toggle selection panel is very AOSP down to the animations when long pressing a toggle, and the general look and feel is just stock Android which is a welcome change. Things like the spinning settings button and the ability to tap the alarm icon all work exactly as they would on a Nexus or Motorola device (minus the System UI Tuner). 

Notifications get an overhaul too. There are two general filters “All” and “Keep”. It seems like this is Samsung’s approach to notification overload. Need to get to something something but cannot act on it immediately, just swipe it to the right and it ends up in “Keep” where the icon will disappear from the status bar but it is still actionable and easily viewable. Also new is the ability to sort your notifications into self titled “Groups”.

Screenshot_20160329-113156To expand or open a group just tap the title and it will expand anything it contains. The final big change is the ability to snooze a notification. Once a notification is snoozed it will disappear and come back once the time period expires. If you are like me and love the ability to snooze Inbox notifications this is a huge step in the right direction. All of these are fairly new approaches to notification overload and I really enjoy using them. Seeing something like this implemented into Android N would be a welcome addition considering the notification overhaul it is going to bring.

The final (and worst) change is to the Recent Apps view. There really isn’t much to say other than it is horrible. It is a totally broken implementation of an otherwise almost perfected interface. The list view is ugly, you lose the ability to see the image of the last app state, and the animations are just over the top. What Samsung was thinking when they left this in the application is beyond me, and I have no clue what direction they are heading towards with it. On the bottom of the recents menu are the same list of applications you have listed on your lockscreen.

The best feature is the ability to long press a recent application and have it open directly into the popup view, a feature that should have been implemented a while ago. Otherwise, please remove this Samsung.

Screenshot_20160329-113903Another notable thing is that it is heavily location oriented. I am a big fan of the “My Places” edge feature that will show recommended apps on the edge panel and change system settings depending on location or WiFi connection and it seems like they are aiming for a system level implementation of it. The colors, settings, and lock screen can all be adjusted based on your location. How could this be useful? Say you are at church and don’t want your editor spamming your lockscreen (this happens), simple, just set a Routine that hides the notification section of your lockscreen to be enabled automatically when you are there. Location aware features (love them or hate them) that adjust your experience based on your location with just a simple setup are just the next step in making our phones work better for us proactively. Seeing Samsung looking to implement this on a system level makes me very happy.

So how much of this should be taken with a grain of salt? Well, all of it. Samsung really hasn’t said much about this, but it is a publicly available application. It is in fairly early stages and there are bugs. But it is a very interesting direction for Samsung.

On one hand they are pulling fairly close to AOSP and just attempting to improve upon it as we can see from the change in the statusbar and quick toggles. On the other hand though we have the recent apps menu which follows no sort of material guidelines and is a huge step back in usability.

Personally, I’d say that if you are interested and have some time to try it out, I highly recommend it. You may like some of the features like the increased speed, AOSP statusbar icons or the quick app launcher on the lockscreen. Alternatively if you cannot stand the new recents menu you should probably stay far far away until that is changed. Personally, the new notification grouping support and the ability to double tap a notification are worth the downsides and it will be staying installed. Ill be sure to update you with any notable changes in the future.

In the meantime use the comments to let us know what you think Samsung is on the right track with on this new UI!

Screenshot_20160329-114124 Screenshot_20160329-113903 Screenshot_20160329-113855 Screenshot_20160329-113808 Screenshot_20160329-113801 Screenshot_20160329-113753 Screenshot_20160329-113746 Screenshot_20160329-113711 Screenshot_20160329-113703 Screenshot_20160329-113652 Screenshot_20160329-113646 Screenshot_20160329-113612 Screenshot_20160329-113537 Screenshot_20160329-113534 Screenshot_20160329-113506 Screenshot_20160329-113252 Screenshot_20160329-113218 Screenshot_20160329-113200 Screenshot_20160329-113156 Screenshot_20160329-113152 Screenshot_20160329-113141 Screenshot_20160329-113114 Screenshot_20160329-113109 Screenshot_20160329-113106 Screenshot_20160329-113052 Screenshot_20160329-113030 Screenshot_20160329-112929 Samsung Advanced UI Gallery

 



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