Friday, 17 November 2017

OxygenOS open beta 27/18 for OnePlus 3/3T brings new DND UI, improved battery in standby and more


OnePlus has pushed new Android Oreo beta build for the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. To remind you OnePlus started testing Oreo for the device last month, and this is the third beta build.

The Oreo based Oxygen OS Beta 27 for OnePlus 3 and 18 for OnePlus 3T brings new UI for Do Not Disturb mode, optimized standard battery usage, improvements to Smart Text locations, and update OnePlus Gallery apps. 

The update also fixes some bugs in Weather, Recorder, File Manager and Camera Gestures, and also includes Bluetooth performance enhancements, memory optimization along with October 2017 Android security patch.
Changelog:

  • New UI for Do Not Disturb
    • We’ve made the Do not Disturb setting easier to understand
  • Optimized standby battery usage
  • Smart Text Selection improvements
    • This option should now work as intended
  • General performance improvements
  • Updated OnePlus and GMS applications
    • We’ve updated OnePlus Gallery, and fixed some bugs in Weather, Recorder, and File Manager
  • Updated Google security patch (October 2017)
  • Other bug fixes and optimizations
    • Updates to language localization, fixes for extended screenshot in some applications, Bluetooth performance enhancements, camera gesture fixes, and memory optimizations
Known issues:
Two UI bugs that show as blank spaces in certain areas of the UI sometimes



The update weighs at around 325 for OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, and it is rolling out over-the-air for users who are already on a previous beta build. Others will need to flash the update manually by downloading the build from downloads.oneplus.net. 

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Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro (2018), Galaxy J5 Prime (2017) specs leaked


Samsung is done launching high-end flagship product this year, and the focus is now on the mid-range handsets. In the coming months, the South Korean tech giant will introduce its latest addition to the Galaxy A and Galaxy J line. So far details of Galaxy A5 (2018), Galaxy A7 (2018) and Galaxy J3 (2018) have surfaced online, thanks to listing on benchmarks, FCC, WiFi and Bluetooth certification website and Samsung support site.

And now two more budget handsets belonging to the Galaxy J line up has run through benchmark platforms revealing key specs.

The Samsung Galaxy J2 (Pro) 2018 with model number SM-J250F was spotted on Geekbench running Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It features 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 430 processor and 2GB RAM. The phone also briefly appeared on Samsung's South Africa website and revealed it to have dual-SIM slot.

The next Samsung model SM-G751, which is the Galaxy J5 Prime (2017) appeared on GFXBench. As per the listing, it will have 4.8-inch HD display, Exynos 7570 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internl storage, 12MP rear camera and 8MP front facing camera. It will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box.

Earlier this month the Galaxy J3 (2018) also appeared on GFXBench. The specs listed include 5-inch HD display, quad-core Exynos processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and 8MP/5MP rear and front camera with dedicated LED flash.

Samsung's Galaxy J and Galaxy A line up are expected to break cover in December 2017 or January 2018.

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Lenovo launches $79.99 Tab 7 Essential Android Nougat tablet in the U.S


Lenovo recently launched the Tab 7 budget tablet in India with voice calling capabilities. Now in the U.S, Lenovo has launched the Tab 7, alongside a more affordable model called Tab 7 Essential.

As a reminder, the Tab 7 offers 6.98-inch HD display, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8735B/8161 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 5MP/2MP rear & front camera, 4G LTE and 3500mAh battery. It runs Android Nougat. In India, it is priced at Rs. 9,999, and is available from Flipkart.

The affordable model, the Tab 7 Essential gets its specs toned down. It misses out on the voice calling function, and features 7-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixels  resolution. The tablet is equipped with 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8167D processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 2MP front & rear facing camera. 

There's also microSD card for storage expansion and support for WiFi and Bluetooth. It runs Android Nougat, and Lenovo claims the tablet can deliver up to 20 hours of battery life with mixed usage.

The Lenovo Tab 7 and Tab 7 Essential has been priced at $79.99 (Rs, 5,000) and $99.99 respectively and is available for purchase in the U.S from the company website.

YouTube adds pinch to zoom feature for smartphones with 18:9 display


Smartphones with bigger and wider display featuring 18:9 aspect ratio are on the rise, thanks to use of bezel-less design in most of the handsets including mid-rangers.

They offer immersive media viewing experience, but watching YouTube has not been pleasing as most of the videos are optimized for the 16:9 aspect ratio. This means when you watch YouTube on a 18:9 display in full screen mode, black bars will appear on each side of the display.

Having said that, YouTube has updated its Android and iOS app (v.12.44) to add 18:9 display support with a new 'pinch-to-zoom' gesture function. This feature will let you expand the video to fit into the entire display.

So now users with devices like LG G6, LG V30, Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, Galaxy Note8, Pixel 2XL, Micromax Canvas Infinity, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, vivo V7+, OnePlus 5T and iPhone X can just pinch the YouTube video with two fingers, and it will zoom out to fit the entire display, hence, eliminating the black bars.

The new feature is being rolled out to YouTube app for Android devices through the Google Play Store and for the iPhone X through App Store.

Samsung rolls out Android Nougat for Galaxy C7


After updating most of the newly released Galaxy A and Galaxy J series handsets, earlier this month, the South Korean tech giant started pushing Nougat for the Galaxy C line up, starting with Galaxy C9 Pro in India.

And now the Nougat update has arrived for the Galaxy C7. The Nougat update with build number C7000ZCU2BQJ6 weighs at 1.1GB, and is rolling out in China.

Along with native features like multi-window support, notifications enhancements, quick setting improvements, the update brings Samsung specific tweaks included in Experience 8.1 user interface.

You'll be notified if the update is available for you device, or else you can do a manual check by going to Settings>About Device then tap Download Updates Manually.

To recollect, the Galaxy C7 is a China-exclusive mid-range handset, and offers features like 5.7-inch Full HD display, octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB/64GB internal storage, 16MP/8MP rear & front camera, 4G LTE, NFC and 3300mAh battery.

Apart from Galaxy C7, the Galaxy C5, Galaxy C5 Pro, Galaxy C7 Pro and Galaxy C9 are expected to get Nougat update soon. 

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Facebook intros an app for video creators called Creator


In an attempt to take on Google's YouTube, Facebook has released an app called Creators. It is basically a rebranded Mentions app that was introduced to verified celebrities and public figures back in 2014. But the new Creators app is designed for everyone, and can be used by all individuals on pages and profiles.

With Creators app you can easily create original video, go live with exclusive feature and connect with you community on Facebook. It is also testing shows with a set of creators and plans to roll out in the future.

If you're a creator, Facebook's Creator app will provide the following features
  • Live Creative Kit: Access exclusive tools that make it easy to create live broadcasts with a personalized and fun feel. Creators can add intros as openers to their live broadcasts, outros that conclude them, custom live stickers that viewers can use to interact, and graphic frames to create a consistent brand.
  • Community Tab: Connect with fans and collaborators with a unified inbox, which centralizes comments from Facebook and Instagram, and messages from Messenger.
  • Camera & Stories: Use fun camera effects and frames and easily cross post content to other platforms. Creators can also access Facebook Stories to engage with their fans.
  • Insights: Easily access metrics to inform content creation, including analytics about your Page, videos and fans.
The Facebook Creator app is now available globally for iOS device, and will be rolled out to Android platform in the coming months.

Besides the app, Facebook also launched a new website called Creator, where content creators will find resources and tips on how to create great videos, connect with fans, and grow on Facebook.

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Instagram now lets you upload stories from mobile web


Instagram is bringing few of its mobile app feature to the mobile web platform. Users will now be able to create Stories and save posts when accessing Instagram through web browser via smartphone.

The Stories feature was introduced to mobile web back in September, and users could only watch the stories. But now you'll be able to create Stories and post them for mobile web.

Similar to the mobile app, the mobile web now gets a camera icon, which is located at the top left of your feed. You can tap on it to take a photo, or add a photo from your library. You will also be able to add text and change text color.  Once you're done, you can post it to your story by tapping "Share to Your Story". 

Do note that video sharing feature and tools such as face filters and stickers are not supported on mobile web. Also, you can't upload stories from desktop yet.

Next up, with the mobile web version you'll now be able to save your favorite posts to revisit it later. To access the saved post tap on the bookmark icon present in the top right corner of the page.

The latest update will be available for Android and iOS platforms as part of Instagram version 22. 

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Tesla's second-generation Roadster introduced as the world’s fastest production car


Alongside the Tesla Semi electric truck, Chief executive Elon Musk also had surprise in store, as he unexpectedly showed off the next generation Roadster. 

The red sports car was driven out of the trailer of the Semi truck during the presentation. Musk said the new sports card would be the fastest production car ever made.

The  Roadster has a range of 1000km (620 miles) on a single charge, and will do 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. It also translates 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds, a quarter-mile in just 8.9 seconds with a maximum speed over 250 mph. 

Musk described the car as "a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars". Musk further said that riding in traditional cars would be like driving a "steam engine with a side of quiche". 

The convertible can accommodate four people, and has removable Glass Roof for an open air. It also features three motors, one in the front and two in the rear, all-wheel drive and torque steering. Other details are not known yet.

The new Roadster will be available in 2020, and will cost $200,000.

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Meet the Tesla Semi electric truck


Tesla has finally unveiled its highly anticipated all-electric heavy duty truck called Tesla Semi, designed to compete with diesel trucks. Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Semi, by riding it into an airport hangar near Los Angeles.

The electric truck is one of  Tesla's many effort to be less dependent on Fossil fuels, a project that also includes electric cars and solar roofs. According to the company, Tesla Semi delivers massive savings in energy costs, performance, efficiency, safety and reliability, when compared to a diesel truck.

The Tesla Semi has a range of 500 miles (800km)on a single charge. Without a trailer, the it achieves 0-60 mph in five seconds, compared to 15 seconds in a comparable diesel truck. With a full 80,000-pound load it can achieve 0-60 mph in 20 seconds, a task than takes a diesel truck about a minute. Tesla also claims that its electric truck climbs 5% grades at a steady 65 mph, whereas a diesel truck maxes out at 45 mph on a 5% grade. 

The Tesla Semi requires no shifting or clutching for acceleration and deceleration, and its regenerative braking recovers 98 percent of kinetic energy to the battery, giving it a basically infinite brake life. Overall, when compared to a diesel truck, the Tesla Semi is more responsive and covers more miles in the same amount of time. The company will also setup Megacharger charging solution at origin and destination points, to recharge electric trucks to a 400-mile range in 30 minutes.

Speaking of the interior and design, unlike other trucks, Tesla Semi's cabin has been designed specifically around the driver, featuring unobstructed stairs for easier entry and exit, full standing room inside and a centered driver position for optimal visibility.  There are two touchscreen displays positioned symmetrically on both sides of the driver to provide easy access to navigation, blind spot monitoring and electronic data logging. The built-in connectivity integrates directly with a fleet's management system to support routing and scheduling, and remote monitoring.

The Tesla Semi's all-electric architecture is designed to have a higher safety standard than any other heavy-duty trucks, boasting a reinforced battery that shields it from impact and gives it an exceptionally low center to gravity. Its windshield is made of impact resistant glass. Jackknifing is prevented due to the truck's on-board sensors that detect instability and react with positive or negative torque to each wheel while independently actuating all brakes. The truck also has surround cameras to detect object and minimize blind spots to automatically alert the driver to safety hazards and obstacles. It also features Enhanced Autopilot for automatically applying emergency breaks, lane keeping, lane departure warning and event recording.

The truck also requires significantly less maintenance, as it comes with fewer moving parts than a diesel truck. Its battery is designed to support repeated charging cycles for over a million miles, while the motor can last more than one million miles under the most demanding conditions.

The Tesla Semi electric truck will go into production in 2019. Reservations can be made for $5000 USD per truck. 

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Android Oreo for OnePlus 5 & 5T coming in beta by end of 2017


OnePlus at the OnePlus 5T launch event revealed that the Oreo beta testing for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T will begin soon. Even though OnePlus 5T is new phone, it ships with Android Nougat. This is because OnePlus didn't want to offer buggy Android Oreo software.

The Oreo update open beta for OnePlus 5 will be available later this month, while for the OnePlus 5T it will be out in late-December. Once the testing is over, and Oreo software is stable for release it will be out in early-2018 first for the OnePlus 5, followed by OnePlus 5T.

Currently Oreo is being tested for last year's flagship OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T as part of open beta program, and the final  Android Oreo OTA update for consumers should roll out by the end of this year. Sadly an exact time frame is still not known.

OnePlus also announced a new feature for OxygenOS called OnePlus Reach, which makes it easier for an user to transfer their Old phone's data to the new OnePlus device with a single tap. The app will also support iOS devices, and is expected to release in the coming weeks. 

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Thursday, 16 November 2017

OnePlus 5T with near bezel-less design, dual-camera gets official


Putting an end to months of rumors and leaks, OnePlus has finally unveiled the OnePlus 5T, an upgraded version of the OnePlus 5. With the OnePlus 5T, OnePlus joins the bezel-less territory, a feature missing on OnePlus 5.

OnePlus says the phone size is same as OnePlus 5, but the OnePlus 5T has a higher screen-to-body ratio. It flaunts a near-bezel less design for an all-screen front with minimal bezels on all sides. And since there is no space below the screen to place a home button,the fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back.

Apart from a new design, OnePlus 5T also get an improved dual camera system. OnePlus has also added facial recognition technology as well, to let you unlock the phone by just looking at it. Also 3.5mm audio jack is still part of the package. 

In terms of specifications, the OnePlus 5T has 6.1-inch Full HD+ Optic AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio and 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 on top. Just like OnePlus 5, the upgraded version is powered by Snapdragon 835 processor, and comes in two RAM/storage configurations: 6GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB. It runs Android Nougat based OxygenOS, and battery remains the same at 3300mAh, backed by Dash Charge fast charging technology.

As for the camera, the OnePlus 5T boasts dual-camera consisting of a 16MP Sony IMX398 sensor paired with a 20MP Sony IMX376K sensor both having an aperture of f/1.7. The secondary camera misses out on telephoto lens but still offer improved low-light photography and Portrait mode for bokeh images with blurred background. The rear camera is also capable of capturing 4K videos, and features EIS for shake-free videos. For selfie, you get 16MP Sony IMX371 sensor on the front with f/2.0 aperture and 1080p video recording.

Connectivity features remain untouched and includes dual-SIM slots, 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C, NFC and GPS. It will come in a single Midnight Black color.

Coming to the pricing, the OnePlus 5T has been priced at Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB/64GB model and Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB/128GB model. It will be available exclusively via Amazon India on November 21 starting from 4:30pm for Prime customers only. The OnePlus India eStore and OnePlus experience store in Bangalore will also be part of the early sale. Open sales will begin November 28.

For the international market OnePlus 5T will go on sale starting November 21 in the U.S and Europe. The pricing is mentioned below.
  • US: $499 (64GB)/ $559 (128GB)
  • Europe : 499 euros (64GB)/ 559 euros (128GB)
  • UK: GBP 449 (64GB)/ GBP 499 (128GB)

Sony Xperia XZ1 & XZ1 Compact gets November security patch and image distortion fix


Last month, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium tasted Android Oreo update, which also included a fix that corrects image distortion. As a reminder, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, XZ1, XZ1 Compact and XZs ships with a Motion Eye camera which has a wider lens compared to other phones.

And several users complained of  camera distortion effects when taking photos, using the wide-angle lens. As mentioned earlier, the Xperia XZ Premium already got the fix with the Oreo update, and now Xperia XZ1 and XZ1 Compact are also getting the fix.

Sony has rolled out a new firmware update for the Xperia XZ1 and Xperia XZ1 Compact carrying build number 47.1.A.5.51. The update weighs at 396.2MB in size and adds a new option in the camera setting, in the form of toggle "Correction for image distortion", and enabling it will minimize the distortion effect. Additionally the update also brings 1 November Android security patch as well.

Note that the update is being pushed in phases, so it will be released across all regions over the coming days, however, timing will vary by region.

As for the Xperia XZs, it is likely to get the camera distortion fix with the upcoming Android Oreo update. 

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Honor V10 to debut in China on November 28


Huawei sub-brand Honor has sent out invites for an event scheduled for November 28 in China for the unveiling of the brand's latest flagship Honor V10. The teaser shared by Honor confirms that the V10 will feature near bezel-less design, dual-rear cameras, and come with enhanced AI capabilities.

Since Honor V10 will be a flagship device it will utilize Huawei's powerful Kirin 970 chip, which has a dedicated Neural Processing Unit to handle artificial intelligence. The chip made its debut on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro and also drives the camera performance as well. The handset will also ship with Huawei latest Android Oreo based EMUI 8.

As for the specs, the Honor V10 is said to come with 6-inch Full HD+ FullView display with 18:9 aspect ratio, 6GB and the options of 64GB and 128GB storage. The dual-camera system is rumored to consist of a 16MP main sensor paired to a secondary 20MP sensor. It is expected to pack 4000mAh battery and support fast charging function.

As a reminder, the Honor V9 was launched as Honor 8 Pro in international market, so a similar strategy can be expected this time as well. Moreover, the V10 will be introduced for the global market at an event in London scheduled for December 5. 

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