Did you ever use Samsung’s built-in Movie Maker application on your Galaxy devices? If not, don’t feel bad; it was pretty well hidden, and obviously fairly underutilized as Samsung will be dropping the feature after the next major Android update.
While rumors of the OnePlus 6 have already begun with tales of a notch, a display with 19:9 aspect ratio, and a Snapdragon 845 processor under the hood, let’s not forget about the company’s 2017 flagship phones. OnePlus has been running an Open Beta program for the OnePlus 5 and 5T phones, with the latest OxygenOS beta builds bringing Android 8.1 Oreo to handsets enrolled in the program.
Google announced Android P on March 7 with the first Developer Preview factory images available to download and flash for both the first generation Pixel smartphones as well as the Pixel 2 and 2 XL. There was some speculation that older Google devices such as the Nexus 5X, 6P, and Pixel C wouldn’t get a final build of Android P and sadly, this seems to be the case.
Having announced the Android P Developer Preview a week before everyone thought it would, Google has also laid out a timeline on the Android Developer’s website that shows the planned progression to the public release of the new Android software. In total, there will be a total of 4 more versions of the Developer Preview in the run-up to the final release in the third quarter of 2018.
While we were expecting the first Android P Developer Preview to be announced in the middle of March, Google stole a march on everyone by unveiling it yesterday. This means that there are loads of new goodies to talk about such as the updated Pixel Launcher. As you might expect, Google hasn’t exactly reinvented the wheel here, but there are some small visual changes, and new is always better, right? Join us after the break for a brief run-through and a download link.
If you’re still holding on to an older mid-range Samsung phone, you’re probably about to get left behind on security updates. A few of Samsung’s 2016 devices have been shuffled around on the security update priority list and won’t get any more updates whatsoever, while a few newer devices have been dropped to quarterly updates only. If you’re using any of these, you might want to plan on upgrading soon.
Do any of you remember the terrible Android tablet known as the Motorola Xoom? Back in 2011, Verizon and Motorola offered an upgrade from 3G to 4G LTE connectivity about ten months after its release. There was a big caveat, however, as owners had to ship their devices back to Motorola and wait about a week for them to provide a physical upgrade. It wasn’t a popular option then and certainly isn’t a popular one today. Unfortunately for OnePlus 5 and 5T owners, they’ll have to jump through the same nonsensical hoops if they want to upgrade their devices to stream HD video. And how many users have a spare smartphone laying around to act as a surrogate rental car while their phone is away for several days?
It’s unfortunately a common occurrence these days. A new version of Android rolls out to a particular device, only to be abruptly suspended when a major bug is discovered. It’s definitely better to stop a defective update before too many unhappy users are affected, but impatient users also want these updates as fast as possible. If you’re not rocking an official Pixel phone, odds are those updates are slow to appear. In Samsung’s case, they finally began pushing out the long awaited Android 8.0 Oreo update a couple of weeks ago following a successful beta test, only to slam on the brakes a week later due to spontaneous rebooting. The good news is that the OTA update has now resumed for the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and it looks like it’s smooth sailing.
With the Oreo beta program for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ coming to an end, it was expected that Samsung would soon begin rolling out the stable Oreo firmware update to the masses. Having begun sending out the update to users in Germany first, with Poland and a smattering of other countries following suit soon after, Samsung pulled suddenly stopped the OTA process without an explanation. As it turns out, the Oreo rollout was halted due to reports of devices rebooting unexpectedly after receiving the OTA.
It’s a couple of weeks since Essential announced it was skipping Android 8.0 Oreo due to ‘stability issues’ and would instead concentrate its efforts on Oreo 8.1 where it hoped these ‘issues’ would be solved. The smartphone maker said at the time that it hoped to begin rolling out an Oreo 8.1 beta to the Essential Phone in a couple of weeks, and true to its word, an OTA has just started rolling out.
The Razer Phone launched at the tail end of 2017, aimed at discriminating gamers who wanted a smartphone that was tailor-made for gaming. With a 5.72-inch 120Hz UltraMotion QHD display, Snapdragon 835 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a dual rear camera setup, Razer Phone certainly isn’t lacking in hardware. Still, some of us like to tweak things to get even more out of the phone, which is where the custom ROM community comes in to play. The good news is that if you’ve gone down the custom ROM route, you can now get your Razer Phone back to stock thanks to the gaming company posting factory images for the phone.
Android P is still pretty far out from being official and loaded on our smartphones, but we’re already hearing quite a bit about how much control it will give wireless carriers over how the software displays signal strength. An earlier rumor suggested that carriers could hide signal strength entirely in the next version of Android, but it looks like they’ll also to tweak just how many bars of signal it looks like you’re getting.
The wait is finally over for Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users. The Android 8.0 Oreo update finished its beta stages a few weeks ago, and now it’s starting to deploy to phones. Its first official release will be in Germany, but everyone else should follow very closely behind, barring any carrier interference.
Someone at Samsung accidentally flipped the switch on the Android 8.0 Oreo OTA update on that particular model in that particular country, updating the device to Samsung Experience 9.0 before even the Galaxy S8 saw the official update. Whoops.