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Samsung Galaxy S9 to Launch in Late February at MWC
Just like Apple, Samsung typically takes the wraps off its new flagships during separate launch events, as despite the company participating to mobile conferences, it obviously wants all eyes to be on its new models only. For the Galaxy S9, however, Samsung could embrace a completely different strategy and unveil the upgraded smartphones at the MWC 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. This is what a new report from Korean media claims, indicating the Samsung wants to bring the Galaxy S9 to the market in mid-March, hence a late February debut is the right timing. The iPhone X effect The Samsung Galaxy S8 was officially launched on March 29, while sales started in mid-April, but this time it’s believed the South Korean firm might be in a rush to bring its new device to the market because of the strong demand that Apple is experiencing with the iPhone X. Apple lau...

Google Blocks Android Torrent App Update Because It Uses the Word “BitTorrent”
There are a lot of BitTorrent apps apps on Android, and the Google Play Store has never seemed to have a problem with any of them, contrary to Apple who banned them from reaching its own store. But this could change very soon if what happened to developers of new BitTorrent client BiblyBT is the result of a new policy created by Google. An update to the torrent app was rejected in the Google Play Store because it used the word BitTorrent in the description, despite the client originally approved to be listed in the store with the same text being used. “Hi developers at Bigly Software, thanks for submitting BliglyBT Torrent Downloader & Remote Control to Google Play. I reviewed your app and had to reject it because it violates out metadata policy. The apps’ full description mentions other brands: Bittorrent,” the message sent to the dev reads. Plenty of unofficial BitTorrent apps in the store It’s not known if this was an automated message or sub...

Samsung Won’t “Innovate” with 21:9 Display Aspect Ratio on the Galaxy S9
Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S9 in the first quarter of 2018, and one of the biggest changes coming to the device is an increased screen-to-body ratio that could reach 90 percent. While this could be a substantial improvement in terms of display experience, there were several rumors as to how Samsung could achieve the high ratio on the upcoming model. One of them claimed Samsung could make the Galaxy S9 even taller than the S8, in the end offering a display aspect ratio of 21:9. This isn’t going to happen, according to a report from Dutch site GalaxyClub, who says that people close to the matter indicated the same 18.5:9 display ratio as on the Galaxy S8 would be offered on the next generation as well. This means that Samsung would increase the screen-to-body ratio in a different way, and the one that makes more sense and aligns with previous speculation on the m...

New VLC for Android Update Adds Picture-in-Picture Mode to Android Oreo Devices
After more than a year of silence, VideoLAN recently updated the VLC for Android media player app with a lot of new stuff, numerous improvements, and much more. Coming more than a year after the VLC 2.0 release, VLC 2.5 has hit the Google Play Store over the weekend and it's a major update that adds support for 360-degree videos, a more dynamic and Material Design-compliant user interface, Picture-in-Picture mode for Android Oreo devices, as well as DayNight mode integration. VLC for Android is now integrated with Google Now and comes with a new Search activity, refactors the MediaLibrary, adds support for latest Chrome OS operating system with Android apps support, improves RTL (Right-to-Left) support, implements custom equalizer presets, and boosts audio in the video player. "VLC for Android releases have been trapped in VLC 3.0 preparation and big media library refactoring black holes. So, there hasn’t been any update for 13 months, but development is still act...

Android Phone Maker Offers Huge Discounts If You Accept Lock Screen Ads
Android phone maker Wileyfox is giving consumers the chance to get their devices substantially cheaper as part of a program that puts ads on their lock screens in exchange for big discounts. Called Add-X, the new offering comes in the form of an add-on that runs on devices enrolled in the program and which enable discounts up to 43 percent should ads be displayed on the lock screen. The company says the ads showing up on the lock screen won’t be intrusive in any way, as essential information like date, time, notifications, shortcuts, and anything else would still be displayed. Device performance won’t be affected, Wileyfox guarantees, and impact on data is negligible, as it eats up less than 20MB per month. It costs $55 to remove the ads There won’t be any ads for adult content or money-lending companies, and only users older than 18 will get to see ads for alcohol brands. “Protecting customer data is a priority. No customer data is shared with ...

Qualcomm Officially Announces the Snapdragon 845 Mobile Chipset
Qualcomm used its very own Technology Summit to announce the all-new Snapdragon 845 mobile chipset that will power the next-generation high-end smartphones. Even though Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager of mobile for Qualcomm Technologies, presented the Snapdragon 845 chip, the company just wanted to build up the excitement around its new platform, choosing instead to unveil all features and specs on the second day of the event on December 6. What’s important to know, however, is that once again Samsung contributed to the development of the chip, as the Samsung Foundry will be the foundry for the Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm says this a collaboration that will help “advance the silicon manufacturing process,” but at the same time, it’s also undoubtedly an alliance against Apple, especially following the latest legal dispu...

Android 8.1 Oreo Officially Released for Supported Pixel and Nexus Devices
A bit early than expected, Google seeded today the final Android 8.1 Oreo software update to supported Pixel and Nexus devices, also releasing the binary images for those who want to update manually. After announcing earlier the upcoming availability of the Android 8.1 Oreo software update for all supported Pixel and Nexus devices, Google now released the factory images for Nexus 5X (bullhead), Nexus 6P (angler), Pixel C (ryu), Pixel (sailfish), Pixel XL (marlin), Pixel 2 (walleye), and Pixel 2 XL (taimen) devices. Android 8.1 is the first point release to the Android 8 Oreo stable series of Google's mobile operating system powered by the Linux kernel, and it's also rolling out today to the aforementioned Pixel and Nexus devices, though, as with any incremental update, it will take a few days to arrive to all users worldwide running Android 8.0 Oreo.

Google Fixes 47 Severe Vulnerabilities with December's Android Security Patch
Google released the December's Android security patch for supported Pixel and Nexus devices, addressing more than 40 severe vulnerabilities across multiple core components. According to the latest Android Security Bulletin, Google has patched a total of 47 critical vulnerabilities for the media framework, system, framework, MediaTek components, Linux kernel, as well as NVIDIA and Qualcomm  components. The update also patches 48 security vulnerabilities specific to supported Pixel and Nexus devices. The most severe of all the issues patched by Google engineers in December's Android Security Patch is a critical security vulnerability in Media framework, which could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code within the context of a privileged process using a malicious file. "The severity assessment is based on the effect that exploiting the vulnerability would possibly have on an affected de...

Google Launches Android Oreo Go Edition for Low-End Phones
Google has just announced Android Oreo Go edition, a new version of its mobile operating system that’s specifically aimed at low-end devices with several tweaks to optimize performance and run better than the original sibling. Basically, with Android Go Google wants to offer an uncompromised Android experience to low-spec smartphones, such as those that feature just 512MB or 1GB RAM. In order to achieve this, Google implemented a series of optimizations to the operating system, as well as tweaks to its own apps that should help boost performance regardless of the specs. The Mountain View-based search giant says the average app is now 15 percent faster on an Android Go device, while the storage that preinstalled Google apps need is 50 percent smaller on this new OS version. This, of course, applies only to Google apps, but the company will work with devs to optimize their apps for Android Go as well to take advantage of the new system. Uncompromised securi...

Google Announces Android 8.1 Oreo
Google has just confirmed that the rollout of Android 8.1 Oreo would begin tomorrow for the very first devices, with select Nexus, Pixel, and Pixel 2 models to be provided with the OTA update in just a few hours. While it’s being rumored that the update could start showing up as soon as today, Google’s announcement dated December 5 says the Android 8.1 release will take place tomorrow, so you better not start checking for updates every minute already. Depending on the time zone and region, the release date of Android 8.1 Oreo could vary, but either way, we’re not very far from the moment Google presses the go-ahead button. Android 8.1 update is already available for beta testers as part of a preview program that kicked off on October 25 with the very first release. What was believed to be the final developer preview saw daylight last week, and Google is now...

Firefox for Android Beta Adds FLAC Playback, Converts Websites to Native Apps
Mozilla pushed a new beta version of its Firefox for Android web browser in Google Play Store finally adding support for playing FLAC audio, as well as several other improvements. FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is the audio format of choice for audiophiles, and it looks like more and more apps and operating system are supporting it these days (finally). The latest app to support FLAC audio playback is Mozilla's Firefox for Android web browser. FLAC playback is now available to Firefox for Android Beta users, and it allows them to play audio files encoded in the FLAC lossless audio format from various websites. It's an excellent addition to the supported audio formats, and we believe it will attract more users to use Firefox instead of other web browsers. It's now possible to convert websites to native apps In addition to the FLAC playback support, the latest Firefox for Android Beta lets users add websites to their home screen, though it remove...

Opera for Android Web Browser Gets a Fresh New Look, Faster Access to News
Opera Software announced today the newest version of the Opera for Android web browser, which comes with a fresh new look, faster access to news, and a bunch of other noteworthy changes. During the past few months, Opera Software worked on redesigning the UI of the Opera for Android web browser in an attempt to offer users quick and painless journey to access the latest news and find out what’s happening in the world, so you won't have to miss anything ever again and stay up-to-date with the latest headlines. "The new Opera for Android starts you off on the news feed with what is interesting and popular on the web . The “For You” section is found below your Speed Dial, and is delivered by our AI-powered news feed engine," reads today's announcement. "The more you use this feature, the more relevant news you will receive." Your new news experience on Opera o...

Android 8.0 Oreo Update Now Rolling Out to HTC U11 Life Unlocked Smartphones
After pushing the latest Android 8.0 Oreo software update to its HTC U11 unlocked units a few days ago, HTC today released the Android Oreo update for HTC U11 Life users too. HTC's VP of Product Management Mo Versi announced just a few moments ago on Twitter that owners of unlocked HTC U11 Life smartphones can now also install the Android 8.0 Oreo mobile operating system on their devices. Android Oreo is being seeded to HTC U11 Life users as an OTA (Over-the-Air) update. Again, please note that only unlocked HTC U11 Life handsets are receiving the Android 8.0 Oreo update, which could take a while to arrive for all users around the globe. It's an incremental update, so if you're not s...

How to Enable Pixel 2's Hidden Imaging Chip for HDR+ Photos on Android 8.1 Oreo
A few days ago, Google released the final Developer Preview of its upcoming Android 8.1 mobile operating system, the first point release to the Oreo series, and it added a new option to enable the hidden imaging chip in the Pixel 2 smartphone. Soon after Google revealed Pixel 2 in early October this year, the Internet discovered that it ships with a chip that's not activated yet. The chip is called Pixel Visual Core and it's Google's first mobile chip designed for image processing and ML. Android 8.0 Oreo, launched on August 21, didn't support it, so it remained hidden in the Pixel 2. With the soon-to-be-released Android 8.1 Oreo update, Google...

Samsung Launches Its Galaxy S8 Android Smartphone in Burgundy Red Color
Samsung announced the immediate availability of its Galaxy S8 Android smartphone in Burgundy Red color option, first in South Korea. Samsung Galaxy S8 is the company's flagship device, launched officially in April 2017. Customers could previously purchase the smartphone in Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Maple Gold, Midnight Black, and Orchid Gray color options in different markets around the globe, and a new Burgundy Red color option is now available, launching first in South Korea. "Samsung Electronics has officially announced the release of a bold new colorway for the Galaxy S8: Burgundy Red. The striking edition will be available first in Korea beginning on November 28, before rolling out to select markets," said Samsung in the press release. "The new, luxurious hue accentuates the elegance of the Galaxy S8’s ergonomic glass and metal form, creating a seamless and refined aesthetic...

Android 8.1 Oreo Slated for Release in December, Supports Pixel 2’s Hidden Chip
Google released the final preview of its upcoming Android 8.1 Oreo software update, teasing users with a December release for supported Pixel and Nexus devices. Promising to bring various enhancements to the Oreo platform, the Android 8.1 update will finally active the hidden imaging chip of Google's Pixel 2 mobile phone. It will also introduce optimizations to Android Go on devices with at least 1GB of RAM, as well as an all-new Neural Networks API to accelerate on-device machine intelligence. "Starting today we're rolling out an update to the Android 8.1 developer preview, the last before the official launch to consumers in December," said Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google. "For Pixel 2 users, the Android 8.1 update on these devices enables Pixel Visual Core -- Google's first custom-designed co-processor for image processing and ML." With the Android 8.1 Oreo Final Developer Preview installed on a Pixel 2 device, the Pixel Visual Core chip can be enabled v...

Samsung Starts Testing Galaxy S9 Running Android 8.0 Oreo - Report
Rumors swirling around the web indicate the Samsung Galaxy S9 could see daylight as soon as January ahead of being launched officially in March at a dedicated event, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the South Korean company has already started testing the device. Galaxy Club writes that the Samsung Galaxy S9 is currently being tested with Android 8.0 Oreo in anticipation of its public launch in early 2018, though this raises a few questions regarding the company’s software strategy. While Samsung has never been in a rush to bring the latest versions of Android to its devices - and living proof is the Galaxy S8 which is yet to receive Android 8.0 Oreo, tech-savvy customers might be a little bit disappointed to see the next flagship not going live with the latest version of the operating system. Android 8.1 nearly complete Google has recently shipped the f...

Samsung Galaxy S9 to Launch with New Fingerprint Sensor
Unlike Apple, who abandoned fingerprint sensors and embraced facial recognition on its anniversary iPhone, Samsung has no plan to give up on this technology and instead wants to improve it on its next-generation flagships. The best way to do this, it seems, is to pick another manufacturer, as Samsung has reportedly chosen a Taiwanese company to make the fingerprint sensors that’ll be used on the Galaxy S9, and most likely on the Note 9 as well. Very little is known at this point about the name of this company, but local media outlets report that this Taiwanese manufacturer expects a huge boost in profit following the contract it signed with Samsung and the sales volume that the South Koreans typically record for their flagship devices. At this point, speculation is all we got, and Samsung picki...

HTC U11, Sony Xperia XZ, XZs, and X Performance Now Getting Android 8.0 Oreo
As of today, users of the HTC U11, Sony Xperia XZ, Sony Xperia XZs, and Sony Xperia X Performance mobile phones are receiving the latest Android 8.0 Oreo software update. According to a tweet posted recently by Mo Versi,‏ Vice President of Product Management at HTC, HTC U11 owners are now receiving Google's latest Android 8.0 Oreo Linux kernel-based mobile operating system on their unlocked devices. The major software update started rolling out today, Monday, November 27, 2017. The HTC U11 smartphone was launched officially in June 2017 with the Android 7.1 Nougat operating system by default, but now users can update to Android 8.0 Oreo, which brings numerous new features and improvements, including Picture-in-Picture, notification dots, Android instant apps, and over 60 new emoji. Sony Xperia XZ, XZs, and X Performance users get Android Oreo It would appear that HTC U11 is among the first mobile phones not backed by Google to receive the Android...

Google Knows Where You Are with GPS Turned Off and There's Nothing You Can Do
If you think that by disabling the location services on your Android device you'll be safe, then think again. It turns out that the location of Android users is still being determined by Google using other means. The ability to turn the location off is one of the utmost importance, in an era when privacy is paramount. The fact that Google is still able to determine your location using other means than GPS is worrying, especially since users are led to believe that by tuning the location services off people are no longer giving away their position. According to a report on Quartz.com, it turns out that Google doesn’t really need for you to turn on GPS in order to know where you are, within a reasonable margin. Of course, the company says that the information about the user’s location is not being stored, but what else can they say not that the ...

Google Removes Popular UC Browser from Android Play Store Due to Policy Breach
If you're looking for the UC Browser in the Google Play Store, you should know that it's been temporarily removed by Google today for about a week due to policy breach. First spotted by Gadgets 360 via Reddit, the application recently disappeared from the Google Play Store for Android, due to developer's "unhealthy" and "misleading" methods of increasing their install base and making them overall more successful. It would appear that Google accused the UC Browser developers of adopting misleading and malicious advertising for their app. It's not the first time the Chinese-based Alibaba company is accused of practicing "bad habits." The UC Browser was under government scanner in August 2017 for leaking personal and ...

OnePlus 5T Keeps the Headphone Jack, Introduces Face Unlock and Parallel Apps
Five months after it launched its OnePlus 5 flagship Android smartphone, OnePlus unveiled today its successor, the OnePlus 5T, running the latest Android 8.0 (Oreo) mobile OS. OnePlus held a live event today in New York City to tell us all about the new features it implemented in the OnePlus 5T, and they don't disappoint as the smartphone features a gorgeous and bright 6.0-inches Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with multitouch, a 1080x2160 pixels resolution, 18:9 ratio, and approximately 402 PPI density. The design has been changed a bit as well for OnePlus 5T, which is made of anodized aluminum. Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-core processor and an Adreno 540 GPU, OnePlus 5T features a dual 16MP f/1.7 24mm and 20MP f/2.6 36mm rear camera system that offers image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, 1.6x optical zoom, geo-tagging, HDR, touch focus, face detection, intelligent pixel technology, panorama, and dual-LED flash for better low-light perfo...

Google Maps Is Getting a Major Update to Make It More User Friendly
Google Maps is getting major design update, as the company is preparing to make the experience more user-friendly and consistent across the environment. Google Maps is one of the oldest apps for Android, and it’s been evolving for a long time. In fact, it’s always getting updates, but they are usually small ones and they deal mostly with bug fixes. Now Google is looking to greatly improve the functionality of the application by adding a number of features that should make it more appealing, and much easier to use. It might not seem like it, but the truth is that Google Maps is long overdue for an overhaul. Making Google Maps more attractive While the general design of the application won’t change all that much, it’s safe to say that it’s going to become much more helpful. All of the aspects, including driving, navigation, transit, and exploration are going to benefit from the new color scheme and new icons that should makes it much simple to iden...

One Billion Android Devices Are Out of Date and Won't Get Further Updates
Android devices are getting replaced slower by their users, and now more than a billion Android phones and tablets are out of date and no longer have any kind of security support in place. One of the problems with the Android market is that it’s really fragmented, meaning that there are a vast number of different devices, with their own hardware. On top of that, many of the mobile devices are also running old versions of Android that are no longer supported, and that shouldn’t be used. In any case, it looks like there is a trend that follows every new release of Android. According to David Luu, a Microsoft engineer that put together a really interesting analysis, Android devices are getting older all the time and more out of date. ​[ORIGIMG=2] This means that people don’t really throw away their old phones, despite the illusion that companies seem to sell a lot of new devices each year. The truth is the bulk of An...

Samsung Releases Second Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo Beta with DeX Improvements
Just one week after Samsung rolled out its Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo Samsung Experience 9.0 beta program in the US, UK, and South Korea, the tech giant released this past weekend the second beta. SamMobile reports that the second Samsung Experience 9.0 Beta release, which is based on Google's Android 8.0 "Oreo" mobile operating system powered by the Linux kernel, is now rolling out to Galaxy S8 and S8+ users in the US, UK, and South Korea tagged as version number G950FXXU1ZQK4. The update appears to include Google's October Android security patch, along with stability improvements for the DeX mode, which lets users transform their Galaxy S8 devices into full-fledged Linux PCs. The update also improves the ...

Samsung Will Not Use In-Display Fingerprint Sensor on Galaxy S9
Samsung will not use a fingerprint scanner under the display for the new Galaxy S9, according to a new report that surfaced today. It’s been speculated for a while now that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 will not integrate the long-awaited fingerprint scanner under the display. With the advent of edge to edge displays, space has become a premium, and Samsung wanted to make the fingerprint scanner work through the screen. It turns out that's more difficult than they expected. Initially, this new type of sensor should have been available in the previous generation, but the integration of such a sensor was delayed. The new technology is developed by a company named Synaptics, and you might have heard about them before because they are the ones responsible for the touchpads on many laptops. The fingerprint s...

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Coming in Deepsea Blue Color in the US, on November 16
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Samsung announced today that it brings the Galaxy Note 8 flagship Android smartphone to potential buyers in the U.S. in Deepsea Blue color. US customers were able to buy Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 smartphone only in Midnight Black and Orchid Gray colors, but starting November 16, 2017, they'll be able to pick up the superb Galaxy Note 8 in Deepsea Blue finish too. The bad news is that the device will be available for purchase exclusively from Best Buy stores or online from Samsung.com and BestBuy.com, but the good news is that it's supported on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint carriers. T-Mobile's network doesn't seem to be supported at this time, but at least Samsung will let customers in the U.S. who bought a Galaxy Note 8 in either Midnight Black and Orchid Gray finish to trade-in their device for the Deepsea Blue variant. "For U.S. customers who trade-in an eligible device, they can receive an instant trade-in credit toward...

Samsung's Rugged Galaxy S8 Active Android Smartphone Coming to Sprint, T-Mobile
Samsung announced that it brings its rugged Samsung Galaxy S8 Active Android-powered smartphone to users of T-Mobile and Sprint cellular networks in the US later this month. Featuring military-grade durability and large 4000mAh battery that should keep the device powered for long periods of time on a single charge, Galaxy S8 Active is coming this month to Sprint and T-Mobile customers in the US in Meteor Gray finnish. The device was previously available only for AT&T customers in the US, but Samsung partnership recently with T-Mobile and Sprint to expand the availability of the rugged smartphone powered by Google's Android mobile operating system. "Previously only on AT&T, [Galaxy S8 Active] will now be available through Sprint and T-Mobile in Meteor Gray starting this month," said Samsung in the press release. "The Galaxy S8 Active delivers military-grade durability with a long-lasting ba...

OnePlus 5T Android Phone to Be Unveiled on November 16, Sales Start November 21
OnePlus teased Android fans today with the upcoming availability of the OnePlus 5T model, which the Chinese smartphone manufacturer plans to unveil on November 16, 2017, via a live event. The company invited members of the OnePlus community to an upcoming live event called "A New View," where the OnePlus 5T Android smartphone will be officially unveiled, along with all of its new features and innovations over the current model, the OnePlus 5. "We can't wait to tell you all about the new features and improvements that we have been working on," said OnePlus in the forum announcement. "That’s why we’re inviting you to join the team in Brooklyn for the official unveiling of the OnePlus 5T." The event will take place in Brooklyn, New York, US, on November 16, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time (4:00 p.m. GMT). Tickets will be available starting November 8, for $40 USD, and they can be...

Google Fixes Pixel 2 XL Display Issues with November's Android Security Patch
Google is now rolling out November's Android security patch for all of its supported devices, including the brand-new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, for which it fixes some recent display issues reported by users. This month's patch is fixing critical security vulnerabilities, such as the well-known KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) issue, which affects virtually all devices that connect to the Internet using the WPA2 security protocol. A total of 84 issues have been addressed with the November Android 8.0 "Oreo" security patch. Google also announced that it launched a new Pixel / Nexus Security Bulletin to inform the Android community about any additional security vulnerabilities and improvements that it brought to supported Pixel and Nexus devices. For example, the company addressed some recently reported the Pixel 2 XL display issues. Burn-in protection and new color modes now available for Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Among the new features Google added w...