This past weekend OnePlus announced they were rolling out a small but important update the OxygenOS operating system for the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T smartphones. Although the update is small, it does include an important security update.
Even though it is a mid-range phone, Motorola is off to a strong start with keeping the Moto X4 up to date with Android updates. On Wednesday they started rolling out the Android 8.1 Oreo update today for unlocked and Amazon Prime versions of the phone. These versions join the Android One variant that got the update back in March.
Samsung has been working for a long time to bring device to market that has a foldable display. Throughout the years we have spotted patent applications showing different ways a folding display could be used in a smartphone and rumors occasionally pop up regarding Samsung’s work on the product. That long, slow effort is expected to finally pay off later this year or in early 2019. However, the latest word is that potential buyer’s will be asked to pony up in a big way to offset all of the development costs Samsung has incurred over the years for what will probably be a niche product.
This may seem like an odd combination but Huawei has announced plans to make it possible to run Windows 10 on several of their Android-powered smartphones and mobile devices. The capability will be made available through a new Huawei Cloud PC service and only requires installation of an app on the device. The Huawei hardware that will be able to take advantage of this new service include the Huawei P20, the P20 Pro, the Mate 10, the Mate RS and the MediaPad M5 tablet.
Running beta versions of software, even entire operating systems, always comes with some risks that something will get severely messed up. It is rare that problems rise above the level of annoyance, but when it does happen it can be quite maddening. Owner’s of HMD Global‘s Nokia 7 Plus smartphones who decided to take on the risk of running Android P are discovering this after the latest OTA update has thrown them into a downgrade loop.
Today in China Vivo unveiled a new series of smartphones that will occupy their “flagship” position for the company. Eschewing the current trend of notches, Vivo has gone in their own direction to make features like a front-facing camera, speakers, and fingerprint scanners available in a way that maximizes the screen real estate and minimizes bezels. Vivo claims the new NEX has achieved an industry best 91.24% screen to body ratio.
For a brief period of time, Google moved to a model where they were releasing updates to apps on a regular, set basis. More recently though Google seems to be more interested in releasing new features and functions on a more sporadic basis pretty much as soon as they are ready via series of smaller, incremental updates. An example of this is Android Messages, which saw an update start to roll out over this past weekend. The update includes some minor enhancements, but the real change seems to be in some code not yet activated that points to help with spam messages.
Google has been a bit inconsistent in recent months with timely updates to their Android distribution stats, so it is a bit more challenging to identify shifts in the deployed versions. One of the trends we have seen in more recent months seems to be toward manufacturers relying more on users upgrading phones to something with newer versions of Android instead of trying to go back and issue updates for older devices. Looking forward, we may finally start to see some impact from Project Treble – maybe.
Today as part of Computex 2018, the gamer-focused wing of ASUS – Republic of Gamers – announced the ROG Phone, a device specifically designed and produced for the high-performance mobile gaming market. The ROG Phone comes equipped with high level hardware and some unusual, innovative solutions designed to address some specific challenges to playing games on a smartphone.
If you need a basic fitness tracker able to collect standard fitness data while providing some limited data from your phone at a rock bottom price, the newly announced Xiaomi Mi Band 3 may just be the ticket. Announced at their Shenzhen press conference today in conjunction with the launch of the Xiaomi Mi 8 smartphones and some other devices, the Mi Band 3 is a successor to the Mi Band 2. Xiaomi added some more curvature to the device and a new capacitive key in this latest version of a fitness tracker from the company.
At a press conference in Shenzhen today, Xiaomi introduced several new products. The first one we check out is the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition, one of three variants of the phone launched today and the most powerful option for interested buyers. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition includes hardware that puts it on par with flagship level devices and is a large device for buyers who prefer bigger phones.
Whenever a new smartphone hits the market, it seems to be pretty standard practice that new owners discover a host of issues that somehow made it through the quality control checks that manufacturers implement. The OnePlus 6 is no exception. Although no major issues like exploding batteries have been identified yet, there are several items to be addressed that can be irritating and annoying to users who just plunked down some hefty money for a new device. OnePlus has updated a Q&A post on their web site that outlines some fixes that are in the works.
Google Pixel 3 leaks and rumors are on the uptick as we head into the summer months and we have yet another one today. This comes on the heels of news that the Pixel 3 XL will hit the market sporting a notch in the display. Over on Weibo today, tipster Ice Universe posted an update on the display for the Pixel 3 XL indicating the device will have an OLED display and adding another data point to the presence of a notch in the display.
Believed to be launching next week on June 6th for the Brazil market followed by wider global availability, apparent official images of the Motorola Moto Z3 Play leaked to the web today. The Motorola Moto Z3 Play is the latest update to one of Motorola’s mid-tier line of devices. That means the hardware is not going to be super impressive and the design is unlikely to push any boundaries. However, it does appear Motorola is pushing some top-tier concepts into the middle market segment with the Motorola Moto Z3 Play.
Every week I get together with some friends and the host has an Amazon Echo where we meet. Our group has a fun time cracking jokes about Amazon listening in on our conversation (along with various government agencies). The idea that Amazon is listening in may not be so funny after an incident that occurred in the Portland area in which a private conversation was recorded and then sent as an audio file to a third party.