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Android

  • Mi Box 4 Android TV box to come to South Africa, but when?

    Xiaomi distributor MIA Group has delivered a decent variety of products recently, including the Mi A1 (review), Mi 6 and the Redmi 4X (review). But there are plenty of other products under the Xiaomi umbrella that could do with a local release, starting with the Mi Box Android TV device. We managed to nab the Mi Box 4K HDR from Gearbest, being suitably impressed with the streaming gadget. Now, an MIA Group representative has confirmed to Gearburn that the recently revealed Mi Box 4 will be coming to local shores. A launch date hasn't been nailed down just yet, but the...

  • Android gets better Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp images, but…

    If there's one problem we have with Android versions of popular apps, it has to be the photos produced by them. Case in point: Snapchat and its awful Android quality for the longest time. Now, Google has announced that it's bringing improved quality to these apps -- but only for the Pixel 2 smartphones. You see, the Mountain View company has finally turned on the phone's Pixel Visual Core, a co-processor that enables HDR+ photography in third-party apps. "This means it'll be easier to shoot and share amazing photos on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, along with many other apps which use the Pixel 2...

  • 8 features we’d like to see in Android P

    The latest version of Android is trickling out ever so slowly to a select few phones, but it's one of the more important updates yet. The work doesn't stop as soon as one update is out though, as Google undoubtedly starts work on the next update. Here are a few things we'd like to see from Android P... A desktop experience option Maybe that's where the Fuschia OS project is heading, but a desktop mode for Android seems like a handy feature at first glance. This would allow you to connect your phone to an external display (via a dock, lapdock or other...

  • It’s almost 3 years old, but Android 6.0 is still most popular update

    Apple's executives like to point out that Android lags far behind when it comes to firmware updates. Sure, Apple only has to support a handful of iPhones as opposed to the thousands of Android models, but the point still has merit anyway. Don't believe us? Then take a look at Google's latest statistics (as of 8 January 2018), breaking down active Android devices by update. The company essentially tallies devices visiting the Play Store to get this data. So that means China is missing, but it still gives us a good idea of update adoption. And in pole position is Android 6.0 (Marshmallow),...

  • Google at CES 2018: Assistant everywhere, smart displays now a thing

    CES 2018 is in full swing this week, as a variety of companies use the opportunity to reveal new products and services. Google is no exception, using the Las Vegas mega-event to make several key consumer-related announcements. Starting with Google Assistant, the tech firm revealed that the voice tool was available on over 400 million devices. It adds that it sold just over one Google Home a second since the Home Mini (review) started shipping in October -- more than seven million units by our calculations. Assistant in more places Google isn't stopping there though, announcing more partnerships with third party manufacturers to bring...

  • Android 8.1 official: so what’s new in this version?

    Android 8.0 hasn't even made its way to a quarter of smartphones, but Google doesn't care. No, it's pressing ahead with Android 8.1, bringing a couple of solid improvements to the table. The company's Dave Burke announced the developer preview this week, also revealing features we can expect in this iteration. The first major improvement? That'll be for Android Go devices. "Android 8.1 includes a set of memory optimisations for Android Go configurations (1GB or less of memory). We've added new hardware feature constants so you can now target the distribution of your apps and APK splits to normal or low-RAM devices running Android 8.1...

  • That was quick: Sony Xperia XZ Premium gets Oreo update

    Sony's Xperia XZ Premium (review) wasn't perfect by any measure, but it's certainly one of the more exciting smartphones launched this year. Now, the Japanese company has announced that it's launching the Oreo update (Android 8.0) for the handset. So what should you expect? For starters, the device will be getting the 3D scanning tool, first seen on the XZ1 and XZ1 Compact. "It lets you scan your face, head, food or any object, rendering it as a 3D avatar or free-form image in less than 60 seconds, and makes it easy to share on social media with friends or 3D...

  • Google Pixel 2 launches this week: what to expect?

    Last year saw the Pixel making its debut, instantly standing out thanks to world-class mobile cameras, powerful internals and a stock Android experience. Now, we're two days away from the Pixel 2 being revealed... There have been loads of rumours regarding the new smartphones, but what are some of the more prominent details we're supposed to expect? Horsepower Early reports initially claimed that Qualcomm would supply a Snapdragon 836 processor for the new phones. But XDA later revealed that the Snapdragon 836 didn't actually exist. So we're expecting the Snapdragon 835 and 4GB of RAM (although 6GB wouldn't be out of the question,...

  • Google Assistant on headphones: Google details how it will work

    We've heard murmurings of Google Assistant coming to standalone headphones, allowing users to quickly make queries and hear results. Now, Google has seemingly confirmed these stories with some informative YouTube videos. As spotted by Android Police, Google has uploaded a few video clips to show how Google Assistant works on headphones. "First, press the Google Assistant button to hear your latest notifications," reads an excerpt from the video. "Second, press and hold the button to talk to your Assistant," the clip continues. "Third, ask your Assistant to help get answers on Google Search or for help with everyday tasks." Subsequent clips also...

  • 4 other companies that should release a pure Android phone

    Between the HMD/Nokia range, Lenovo's latest phones and the brand-new (but not really) Xiaomi Mi A1, our choices for pure Android smartphones have expanded nicely this year. Offering regular updates and a lightweight skin, it's not hard to see why these developments are such a big deal. Nevertheless, we'd love more options beyond Nokia, the Mi A1 and the Pixel range. So with that in mind, we look at a few companies we'd like to see offer stock Android. Samsung We've previously seen Samsung offer a Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, delivering speedy updates and none of the horrendous (at...