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Android

  • Remix OS no more: Android/Windows ‘hybrid’ killed off

    We've seen numerous takes on bringing desktop-style functionality to Android, but few were as successful as Jide's Remix OS. The platform delivered Android with loads of Windows-inspired garnishings, such as a start menu, deep mouse and keyboard support, multi-windows and a taskbar. Of course, the Android trappings meant you had access to a ton of apps too. We saw dedicated mini Android boxes and tablets running Remix OS, with the Remix Mini PC being available from Takealot as well. But Jide also allowed PC users to install the platform if they wanted to. Now, the company has announced that it will be...

  • 6 killer third-party features we’d like to see in stock Android

    Say what you will about third-party Android skins, but you can't deny that they bring some useful features to the table. From Huawei to Samsung, it seems like these brands always deliver a few useful features every year. Don't believe us? We've got a few existing features that we'd like to see in pure Android... A more comprehensive camera app This is the one department where almost every other major manufacturer has Google beat. Yep, the Pixel might spit out some great photos, but its camera app is really barebones. Sure, you've got HDR mode, panoramas and Lens Blur, to name a few...

  • Google promises quicker Android updates (again) with Project Treble

    Updates are the biggest weakness when it comes to the Android platform, owing to thousands of devices running a variety of themes and skins. We've already seen Google try to address this in the past, but it seems like the company is making a bigger effort now, with Project Treble. Announced on its developer blog, Project Treble aims to free Android from the low-level vendor software. Before going into the specifics of the new initiative, the Mountain View firm explained how Android releases currently work. What Project Treble does is effectively reduce the need for silicon manufacturer partners (the likes of Qualcomm...

  • Google files ‘smart drag and drop’ patent for Android

    Drag and drop functionality is a pretty standard feature on today's computers, allowing you to easily share documents, images and other files between windows. However, a new patent by Google hints at a similar feature coming to Android. Discovered by What a Future, the patent calls for files and even selected bits of text to be shared between apps. So, one example is having a text conversation with a friend about dinner. The friend then suggests a restaurant ("The Rock"), allowing you to highlight the restaurant name. From here, you can drag the text, with a list of "droppable" apps popping...

  • Android O dev preview released: what’s new?

    It's about time for the next major iteration of Android to be released, isn't it? So Google has done just that by pushing out the Android O developer preview this week. According to a blog post by David Burke, VP of engineering for Android at Google, battery savings are a key focus area for the latest update. "Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user's battery life and the device's interactive performance. To make this possible, we've put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three...

  • Android Nougat update: here’s when your phone will get it

    As of 1 August 2016, Android Marshmallow had just over 15% of Google's OS market share, with Lollipop holding 35% and Android KitKat 29%. Why is this important? Well, for one it speaks of Android's version fragmentation, and secondly, Android Nougat is now officially available to some smartphones. While those smartphones include the likes of Google's Nexus range -- the LG-made Nexus 5X and the Huawei-made Nexus 6P -- more smartphones should arrive with the OS in due course. Additionally, we could expect to see manufacturers working on updates for your current smartphone. When will Android Nougat head to your phone?...

  • Remix Singularity: an Android platform for mobile, PC

    Jide stood out several years ago after launching its Remix OS platform, essentially giving Android a more PC-friendly UI. Now, the company has announced Remix Singularity, which is heavily inspired by the likes of Ubuntu and Microsoft. Remix Singularity delivers an Android-based platform that runs on smartphones and, when docked to a larger display, runs the company's existing Remix OS. But when on the go, you're getting "the Android you already know and love", the company says on its website. So what does that mean? Will it be unfettered Android? Well, Jide's PR representative told Gearburn that the tentative "vision is that the mobile...

  • Android Wear 2.0, SA-bound watches revealed

    We've already known that Android Wear 2.0 was due for a release, but Google has finally made it official. The latest version of Google's smartwatch platform offers a variety of features, starting with the watchfaces. Android Wear 2.0 now lets you personalise the always-on aspect of the watchface with desired actions/information. "Simply glance at your wrist to check your next appointment, stock performance, progress on fitness goals, or whatever is important to you. A quick tap on your watch face lets you instantly order an Uber ride, start a workout, or get in touch with your significant other," Google wrote on...

  • 10 Android features you take for granted these days

    Android has been around for a relatively long time, the first Android-equipped phone launching in 2008. And it's been through loads of updates and iterations since those heady Cupcake and Donut days. Whether you were a long-time Android fan or joined more recently, you might be surprised at some of the features you take for granted in Google's mobile platform. WiFi hotspot A feature we all assume just works on our smartphone today, WiFi hotspot functionality (added in 2.2) allowed users to ditch USB modems/dongles and just use their phone. In a rather weird situation, more than a few Android users in the...

  • Android Nougat only accounts for 0.7% of devices

    Google has released its latest statistics for Android distribution, revealing some interesting insights into the most popular versions of the platform. The company tallies devices running the latest Google Play Store app, which is compatible with Android 2.2 and above. The stats, as of 9 January 2017, show that Android 2.2 is finally not a factor anymore. Google drops Android versions with less than 0.1% marketshare from the chart. Android is nowhere near as fast as iOS when it comes to speedy updates -- unless you have a Nexus/Pixel How about the latest version of Android? Well, Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) only account for 0.7%...