Factory images with September’s Security Patch now available for Pixel and Nexus devices

Google has confirmed that it will indeed be launching the Pixel 2 on October 4, and we at TalkAndroid can hardly wait. In the meantime, if you own a Pixel or eligible Nexus device running Android 8.0 Oreo, you know what time of the month this is, it’s when you get the latest Security Patch on your handset as well as any other firmware tweaks. While security patches aren’t usually terribly exciting, the September update has the added bonus of fixing the BlueBorne flaw that affects a couple of billion Android devices. 

It’s official: Google will announce the Pixel 2 on October 4

It was previously thought that Google may announce its new smartphones on October 5th, but no, the search giant has chosen to confirm that Pixel 2 devices will indeed be launched a day earlier on October 4th. It would appear that a switch has flipped at Google HQ, turning the Pixel 2 hype machine on at full tilt with videos, billboards, and web pages all confirming the same thing. 

[Download] Use the official BlueBorne Vulnerability Scanner app to check if your phone is safe

By now, you may have heard a little about the BlueBorne Bluetooth vulnerability that billions of devices are exposed to. Even if you haven’t actually paired with another device, many of us leave Bluetooth active on our phones, which leaves them vulnerable to BlueBorne because it doesn’t even need to pair with the handset to take control of it. Scary, right? An IoT security company called Armis Labs first discovered ‘BlueBorne’, and has also published an app that you can download to check if your handset is vulnerable to this latest attack.

Google Allo gets a web update including ‘volume’ and Smart Smileys

Google has been quite slow to expand the Allo ecosystem since first revealing yet another messaging platform from the tech giant. One piece that seemed to take forever was the launch of a web interface for users wanting to access Allo from their desktops. Google finally released a web interface last month, but users quickly discovered it was a barebones version lacking some features. Google is starting work on addressing the shortcomings and today released an update adding the ability to shout or whisper when sending messages and they added the Smart Smiley function.

Samsung pushes out firmware update for Galaxy Note 8 with camera improvements and security patches

The Galaxy Note 8 was officially announced last month at an Unpacked event held in New York, with preorders going live on August 24th. With the official release date of September 15th coming up in just a couple of days time, Samsung is rolling out a day one update for the Galaxy Note 8 that includes some optimizations and improvements.

How to turn off or remap Bixby Voice on your Samsung Galaxy S8

Bixby’s a really cool feature on Samsung’s current crop of flagship devices, but for some of us, it’s simply annoying to deal with, especially if you accidentally hit the Bixby button throughout the day. Don’t be ashamed, I do it, too.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through disabling Bixby Voice so you can use your Galaxy S8 without having to worry about getting interrupted. And as a bonus, we’ll even show you how to remap Bixby to work with Google Assistant instead.

Nougat overtakes KitKat in September 2017 Android distribution

Google released their updated monthly distribution numbers for the Android operating system for September 2017 showing Android Nougat growth continues. Although the measurement period occurred a few weeks after the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest version of Android does not show up in this report, meaning the share is still quite small. More details after the break.

Samsung could launch a Galaxy Note with a bendable display in 2018

2018 has been a year of consolidation for smartphones, it seems that most of the major players, Samsung, LG, OnePlus, and even HTC, have stepped up to the plate to offer a great smartphone. About the only thing that is changing fast is the omission of the audio jack and the ever-increasing price of the handset, take the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X as prime examples. But the improvements are mainly iterative, with new handsets boasting slightly better cameras and performance or a display with a different aspect ratio. So where is the innovation going to come from? As it did in 2013, Samsung hopes that flexible displays will be the next big thing, but this time the Korean company has slightly more definite plans, such as bringing a Galaxy Note to market in 2018 with a bendable display.

Qualcomm touts some Android firsts the chipmaker says they brought us

Likely as a bit of a dig at Apple and the iPhone ecosystem, a day before Apple reveals their latest updates to the iPhone line of devices Qualcomm posted about some of the “firsts” the company has achieved for Android devices. Some of these pre-date their adoption by Apple and some may still be exclusive to Android devices, although Qualcomm does not make any specific claims regarding the two competing platforms. Meanwhile, some sources have been picking apart the list and noting some inconsistencies surrounding Qualcomm’s claims.

Samsung pushing into 7nm chip production for high-end, 11nm for mid-tier

In an announcement released yesterday, Samsung revealed that they are planning to transition production of their top of the line chips to use a 7-nanometer manufacturing process. Chips destined for mid-tier devices are also getting a boost as Samsung plans to move those chips to an 11-nanometer process. Currently, many top-tier chips use 10-nm production processes, so that may give you an idea of how the market continues to evolve with today’s flagship performance becoming tomorrow’s mid-tier.

Huawei Mate 10 lock screen features ‘Smart Color Selection’ in latest version of EMUI

Having announced its brand new HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor sporting baked-in AI at IFA 2017 a few days ago, Huawei is busy prepping to launch the Mate 10 on October 16th in Munich. To whet the appetite, Huawei has teased the lock-screen of its new device that should launch running EMUI 6 and confirmed the aspect ratio of its display.