Sunday, October 22, 2017

[Poll] Pixel 2's Missing Headphone Jack Bothers You?

10:35:00 PM

As you all know, Google's latest smartphones doesn't have headphone jack. Yes, that can be a deal breaker for some of you and maybe it is too early to remove such important thing or maybe it is the right time to move on from the analog tech. Although, Google do provide the headphone dongle in the retail box, but still fans weren't ready for this step by Google.

Now, we want your opinion of this subject. You can vote your answer below and let us know what do you think about this whole missing jack from the latest Pixel devices.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Don't Have A Headphone Jack. Does it interferes with your decision of buying it?

I don't care because I am a Pixel Warrior
Poll Maker

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Google Pixel 2 XL’s 18:9 Display Gets 'Zoom-to-Fill' Feature In YouTube

10:24:00 AM

The 18:9 screen is now in trend and every OEM is making their phones bezel more thinner and more one-hand friendly. But sometimes these 18:9 screens doesn't play well with videos due to the weird aspect ratio. OEMs usually make small tweaks to Android to improve the experience. Google is no exception, YouTube now has a native way to adapt to that ratio for Google’s new flagship.

This feature is exclusive to the Pixel 2 XL, Google has added a way to let users adapt the video they are watching to better fit the aspect ratio on this device by pinching and zoom to adjust the video. The video is not pinched in or filled in by default, the video fits inside the screen, but you can do a zoom gesture to make it fill the entire screen. If you want to go back to the original fit, simply zoom out. You can see it in action below:

Unlike Samsung’s tweak for this 18:9 screens, which uses the OS to adjust the video, this feature is enabled directly into the YouTube app. All you have to do to adapt the video is use a pinch-to-zoom gesture either to view the video on the entire screen or to zoom out and see it in its native ratio

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Google Pixel 2 Owners Get Early Access To The Latest Spotlight Story 'Son of Jaguar'

12:05:00 AM

Google's latest smartphones right now are Pixel 2 and 2 XL and gives the owners a small gift by giving them the new movie from Google Spotlight Stories. The company giving owners of the latest Pixel devices early access to "Son of Jaguar," an animated short film about a luchador from director Jorge Gutierrez.

This eight-minute VR movie is told from the point of view of Son of Jaguar, a Mexican wrestler, as he "faces his legacy, his family, and what it means to be a part of something bigger than himself," says the Google Spotlight Stories site. Gutierrez, who directed "The Book of Life," says his newest animated short is meant to be a metaphor portraying the lives of Hispanics in the U.S.

The latest animated short from the director, who also voices the titular peg-legged character, was announced in December 2016 and previewed in the summer. Gutierrez's first foray into VR is the eighth Google Spotlight Story.

"Son of Jaguar" is available exclusively on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL by way of an update to the Google Spotlight Stories app or the APK. The VR animated short will roll out to Daydream, Steam, and non-Pixel 2 devices soon.

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Google Is Rolling Out Instant Apps With A Try Now Button On Play Store

10:12:00 PM

Google unveiled Android Instant Apps back at Google I/O 2016, finally Google introducing it to the public. Hit the link at the end and you will land on a list of app within the Play Store that already support the technology and thus have a new "Try Now" button. When you press the button, it will launch the app without the traditional install process.

To expirience this you need to have recent Android OS: Android 5.0 (API level 21) through Android 8.0 (API level 26). Support for the feature also needs to be enabled from the Google settings interface on the device. And still if you don't see the "Try Now" button, it can be due to market limitations or slow staged rollout because this feature is still rolling out.

Soon we will see more Instant Apps, since adapting an existing app to use the technology is a fairly easy process and the end result has massive potential benefits. If you are not familiar with the technology, you can sort of view Instant Apps as a way to "stream" Android applications. The idea is that you don't necessarily need to store an app locally on your device for it to work. Instead, Google is experimenting with a much more flexible design model, where a user would only be presented with parts of an app that are relevant to his current activity.

In this early Play Store test scenario the "Try Now" button only pulls in certain segments of the app or game, sort of like a "lite" version. Then, as you progress in its functionality, you can gradually pull more parts of it in, as needed. Alternatively, this could be used to create efficient "demo" versions with limited functionality. Or a better way to refund purchases you reconsider, without worrying about app resources left on the client device and potential hacking attacks.

This feature can really help in closing the line between interactive web content and efficient native applications. Instant apps and more specifically, the right interfaces and components can be called upon from any URL, including search results, social media, messaging and various deep links. So, you could be browsing an article, then click on a link to an embedded social media post and have it actually open in a native Android app environment, with all its extending functionality, without ever installing anything. Or even click on a link to instantly start up a full Android game and join a multiplayer session, all with zero extra setup steps.

The Instant Apps platform holds great promise, so we definitely encourage you to give it a try and share your thoughts in the comments.

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“Hey Google” Voice Command Rolling Out To Google Assistant

3:07:00 PM

Those who owns Google Home smart speaker uses "Hey Google" instead of "Ok Google", which is different. The "Ok Google" phrase used by Android smartphone owners to activate Google Assistant, but today Google is rolling out "Hey Google" to Android phones as well. 

This new change is rolling out slowly, those who haven't got this yet, lookout for a prompt where Google telling you that the “Hey Google” command is ready for use on your phone. This is the alternate Google Assistant launch command that was previously reserved for Google Home units.

The "Hey Google" command will call up the virtual assistant on handsets. Google is in the midst of sending out a notification to Android users telling them that Google Assistant can be trained to respond to both "Hey Google" and "Ok Google."

This is nothing groundbreaking but  it is a matter of syllables. The latter has 4 and the former has 3. That makes it easier and quicker to say "Hey Google." And while we are talking about mere fractions of a second, it should be interesting to see how many Android users decide to train Google Assistant on their phone to open with the "Hey Google" phrase.

So keep on the lookout for the notification telling you that the "Hey Google" hotword is now available on your phone. 

Source : Droid-Life

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Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Appears On TENAA With 18:9 Display And Single Rear Camera

2:22:00 PM

China’s TENAA certification website can be sometimes the source of leaking the devices. And today, we get unannounced Xiaomi device is up there possibly the Redmi Note 5. It was inevitable that Xiaomi would release the device since its Redmi Note 4 was such a hit, but until today we haven’t really heard any credible rumors about it.

Xiaomi is yet to announce the launch date of the Redmi Note 5, but rumours say that the device along with Xiaomi Redmi 5 will be launched on or before November 11, at least in China. This might turn out to be true as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 has now received TENAA certification, which is a certification issued by the Chinese government for every smartphone that is yet to be released in China.

This new trend of slimming down the bezels on the front of the device, and adopting taller screen aspect ratios like 18:9 keeps trending and even with the comapnies like Xiaomi. Even low-end and mid-range devices are starting to feature such taller displays with smaller bezels. Xiaomi just launched the successor to their Mi Mix concept phone which arguably reinforced this paradigm shift in the first place, and this image shows it will reach other devices as well (with some added bezel, though).

Although as you can see, this device doesn’t slim the bezels completely down as compared to their Mi Mix and Mi Mix 2 did, but it does have a look of LG G6. LG reduced those top and bottom bezels even further with the release of the LG V30 and Google’s Pixel 2 XL had to be extended due to the front-facing speakers. However, I think this is a nice compromise because I catch myself actively watching where I hold the Pixel 2 XL, so my thumb doesn’t overlap the bezels and cause an accidental tap.

The unit TENAA received is running on an undisclosed 2GHz, octa-core chipset, which sources are still debating over. It could be the MediaTek Helio P25, or a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630. Perhaps a Snapdragon 660, or even a choice between the latter two, depending on the selected tier. If this is, indeed the Redmi Note 5, that is. Those are claimed to be as follows:

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 CNY USD (est) EUR (est)
3GB RAM / 16GB storage 999 $150 €128
3GB RAM / 32GB storage 1,299 $195 €167
4GB RAM / 64GB storage 1,699 $256 €218

The TENAA MET7/MEE7 listing also mention a 12MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash and a 5MP selfie one. LTE and Dual-SIM support, with a hybrid slot to substitute one of the cards with a microSD memory expansion. Also a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, IR blaster, Dual-band Wi-Fi a/c, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS. All controlled by a MIUI 9 ROM, running on top of Android 7.1.2 Nougat.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 rumored specifications

  • 5.99-inch (2160 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 2.5D curved glass display
  • 2GHz Octa-Core processor
  • 3GB RAM with 32GB storage, 4GB RAM with 64GB storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD
  • Android Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) with MIUI 9
  • Hybrid Dual SIM (micro + nano/microSD)
  • 12MP rear camera with dual-tone LED Flash
  • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Fingerprint sensor, Infrared sensor
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 75.45 x 8.05mm; Weight: 179.5g
  • 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS
  • 4000mAh battery
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 will come in Black, Rose Gold, Gold, White, Blue, Red, Pink, Gray and Silver colors and is expected to be announced sometime in mid-November. The company is expected to send invites for the event later this month.

Source : GSMarena

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Button Mapper Lets You Change Pixel 2’s Active Edge Action

11:29:00 AM

As you all know Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL has a squeezable frame which is similar to HTC  U11 but called ActiveEdge in Pixel 2. Although, HTC allows users to customise the squeeze actions unlike Google. So, are you not cool with the Pixel 2’s Active Edge being locked to Google Assistant and not open to any action you might get more use out of? No worries, we got your back.

There is an app Button Mapper, which has been updated with a work-around that will let you change it, though it’s not as simple as just installing an app and tapping on a couple of things. Instead, you have some work to do, including a bit in adb (👎).

Thanks to the hard work of developer flar2 though, it is now possible to remap the squeeze functionality on the new Pixels. The workaround involves using the Accessibility Service and reading system logs to automatically detect when a user squeezes their phone, hide Google Assistant from launching and instead replaces it with a user-defined action.

Since the method uses the Accessibility service to replace the hard-coded function of opening Google Assistant, it is not perfect. Google Assistant will show up on your screen for a few milliseconds before the user-defined app opens. The solution is not elegant but should work until developers manage to find a more sophisticated solution.

If you are a Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL owner, make sure to download flar2’s Button Mapper app to be able to enjoy the ability to customise the squeeze functionality on your device. The same app also allows Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners to customise the Bixby button on their device to open other third-party apps. The basic functionality of the app is free, though advanced features need to be unlocked by an IAP.

To get started, you’ll have to install Button Mapper from the link below. Then, head over through the XDA link to get the full set of instructions. Have fun!

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Google Addresses Complaints Over Pixel 2 XL Display

12:29:00 PM

The Pixel 2 XL is a great phone which has a large display, one that uses an OLED display manufactured by LG. But there are some users which gave reviews for the handset have revealed some issues. Google has heard those complaints, and now it’s apparently open to solving them.

The complaints came up specifically regarding grainy effects, colors that don’t pop in comparison to other OLED displays on flagship smartphones, and other issues. Now Google has decided to comment on the issues, and clear things up a bit.

Google says that it purposefully decided to use an OLED display that has “a more natural and accurate rendition of colors,” which can be quite the change from what is present on OLED displays, especially those released by Samsung — which is effectively the gold standard for OLED displays at this point. But, Google does say that a change could happen at some point in the future, by way of a software update:

“We designed the Pixel 2 to take advantage of multiple facets of the innovative new POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution with 538 pixels per inch as well as a wide color gamut. One of our design intents was to achieve a more natural and accurate rendition of colors. We know that some people prefer more vivid colors, so we’ve added an option to boost colors by 10% for more saturation. We’ll continue to pay close attention to people’s responses to Pixel, and we will consider adding more display color options through software if that makes the product better.”
The fact that Google is listening to the responses from consumers, and is willing to even consider a software update that could add more color options is a good thing. When a phone costs as much as the Pixel 2 XL does, and it is positioned as a flagship device (which it is), then these types of issues can certainly be annoying for consumers.

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