samedi 23 septembre 2017

AndroidTO 2017 Has Come To A Close: Check Out The Excellent Developer Talks On YouTube!

This year's AndroidTO conference has just come to a close, and for the first time the XDA Portal was able to attend in person! AndroidTO is the largest and longest running Android conference in Canada, with 8 years of conferences to date. The conference is hosted by Symbility Intersect at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is a part of the Google Developer Group DevFest 2017 season.

Speakers at AndroidTO in the past have come from companies including Google, Cyanogen, Facebook, Tumblr, 500px, and Adobe (among others), and this year they are expanding that list with speakers and code labs from Jet.com, XDA Developers, Uber, Symbility Intersect, TD Bank, Little Dada, New York Times, Digital Construction, Citrix, Zoom.ai, and more!

Andy the Bugdroid (Android) at AndroidTO 2017

If you missed this year's AndroidTO but are still interested in seeing the talks, you're in luck! They will be uploaded to AndroidTO's website shortly, and we will link to them from this page once they are up. In the meantime, you can view the talks from AndroidTO 2016 on the AndroidTO website.

Here's a quick overview of what talks there are to look forward to seeing once the videos are ready. Be sure to bookmark this page to check back later if there are some you think you'll be interested in!


Jeff Corcoran at AndroidTO 2017Jeff Corcoran, XDA Developers: Bringing Home The App Bacon

Independent Android development is a goal a lot of developers strive toward, but for years people have been saying that the market is completely saturated.

Let's talk about what opportunities are left and how to succeed as an independent Android developer in 2017.


Ty Smith, Uber: Deep Android Integrations

Usable and efficient app-to-app interactions can empower magical moments for your user, provide growth opportunities, and re-engage existing users, but they can be difficult to reason about and even more difficult to design and build for.

Developer Ty has been building mobile-focused developer platforms at Evernote, Twitter, and now Uber. In this talk, he'll walk you through many of the best practices that he's observed and accumulated. You'll find out how to reason about app-to-app interactions to provide an elegant user-experience for external apps to engage with, and explore technical examples that allow third party developers to seamlessly interact with your app, thus shortcutting expensive server operations while providing more efficient and magical native flows.

Topics will break down specific features he's built over the years including building Single Sign-on, a deep dive into Deeplinks, powering system level integrations for deep partner integrations, and constructing well-defined interfaces for data and user-flows. Ty will walk you through how to create an app as a platform – if that's something you want to know, don't miss it!


Bharati Sethiya and Troy Molnar at AndroidTO 2017Bharati Sethiya & Troy Molnar, TD Bank: Getting Started with Android Things

With Android Things, Google has made it easier for us to experiment with interesting hardware solutions using typical Android development skills. Join us as we go through how we modified our simple voice driven assistant app to take run on an Android Things device, using a Pico NXP kit. We'll go over how to set up the device and handle the I/O with the device. We'll also highlight a few of the challenges that we came across while integrating with Android Things for the first time.

This session should expose you to some basic Android things ideas, and equip you with the knowledge to get started on your own Android Things application.

Key Learnings:

  • Setting up Android Things for the first time
  • Using Android to talk to the I/O ports on an Android Things device
  • Some challenges you may encounter along the way

Peter Organa at AndroidTO 2017Peter Organa, Symbility Intersect: Demystifying Android Security

Every day, developers, project managers, and designers make decisions that relate to the security of their products and, more importantly, their users' private data.

This presentation will walk through several security attack vectors, how they expose your app and your users, how the attacks work, but mostly important what steps you can take to prevent the attack.

We'll talk about the importance of thinking about security as a part of the development process rather than as an afterthought at the end of the project. Topics include: Certificate pinning; Android storage best practices; How to avoid leaking data; and WTF does HTTPS actually do anyway?

We'll cover a bunch of Android-specific implementations, but people from all sorts of backgrounds, whether they be non-developers or working on other platforms, will be able to take away something to contemplate on their next project.


Yuliya Kaleda, Jet.com: Instant Apps

Instant Apps absorbs the best of both worlds: mobile web and native apps. Instant Apps is designed with speed, light weight, best UX and modularity in mind. Just like mobile web apps Instant Apps is very light and does not require installation. On the other hand, it provides a truly native user experience with material design and native navigation, which users are so used to.

Building Instant Apps requires a lot of work on the architecture side, modularization and reducing the app size. Instant Apps types, architecture changes, project structure, size and feature constraints, practical tips to slim down the application, lessons learnt will be discussed during the talk.


The Little Dada Android Apparatus at AndroidTO 2017Lindy Wilkins & Hillary Predko, Little Dada: Android Apparatus: Blending the Physical and Digital Worlds

Design research, data visualization, physical computing and performance come together with Android Apparatus, a glowing piece of cyber armour custom fit for an aerial hoop dancer. The costume glows responsively, brightening and dimming, changing colour to compliment both the range and intensity of motion. The wearable rig becomes an instrument that brings out the best in the performer.

Little Dada leads Lindy Wilkins and Hillary Predko will expand on the process of building this piece, with work flows moving back and forth from the physical and digital world. We'll explore how traditional design thinking processes can be applied to interactions, digital fabrication and expressive data visualization.


Benno Loewenberg at AndroidTO 2017Benno Loewenberg: Google Design Sprint for Devs

An intensive and compact introduction into the method mix from Google Ventures, that combines aspects from business strategy, design thinking, and user research from places like IDEO and Stanford d.school. How the structured process works, and what its strengths are, as well as its comparison and interplay with the established combination of Design Thinking and Lean Startup.

This talk looks at the ways that the Design Sprint framework helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Utilizing Design Sprint, teams can reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The structured process helps to spark innovation, encourage user-centered thinking, align teams under a shared vision, and gain insight about a product's marketability before launch.

This session offers answers to these questions and a lot of practical insights.


Mark Scheel at AndroidTO 2017Mark Scheel, Digital Construction: Programming Amazing Voice Interactions with Google Home and Android

Building conversational experiences for the phone, watch, car and Google Home is within reach for every Android developer. Leveraging the skills you have built making Android apps, you can make Assistant Apps–experiences that extend the Google Assistant. While showing you how we'll cover concepts like natural language processing, machine learning, intent matching, and entity extraction. Like Android Wear, Android Auto and other new surfaces for Android developers for delivering experiences, making conversational experiences comes with it's own set of terms and concepts. Using Google tools, code, and partners we'll find that with just a little practice creating these experiences is easier than you might imagine. For the less technical we will also dive into exactly what Google Home is, giving anyone in an organization the tools to dream up the next great, innovative conversational experience.


Lisa Wray at AndroidTO 2017Lisa Wray, New York Times: The Ties That Bind (Data)

If you like Butterknife, get ready to discover a whole new tool drawer. Data binding in 2017 is a stable framework that can drastically reduce boilerplate code and transform the way you write UI. Animate, transition, and respond to user input without cluttering your code. Add your own custom properties to Android's View classes (like android:font or android:imageUrl)! We'll start at the very beginning, discover tricks to supercharge your XML, and end in a deep dive to lambdas and two-way binding. No prior knowledge of data binding needed.


Chris Matthieu, Citrix: Introduction to Workspace IoT

User interaction with apps and data are evolving. What happens when you add context (location, proximity, etc) to existing applications? How about the interaction with smart devices? You get Workspace IoT!

Workspace IoT is not just defined by endpoint devices or things. It is defined by how all of these devices and things interact with users, with machines, with applications, with location, with workflows and with data. It is these interactions that will define future Workspaces. Integrating 'things' within Workspaces will help mitigate the estimated $2.7bn technology-productivity gap by empowering 'things' to provide real-time insights, trigger analytical and transactional workflows, and rapidly execute activities that were formerly required to have differing levels of human intervention.

This talk will cover both cloud and edge network IoT communications and security as well as in depth examples of Workspace IoT in the enterprise as well as healthcare.


Faisal Abid at AndroidTO 2017Faisal Abid, Zoom.AI: Flutter

Building and maintaining apps for both iOS and Android is a pain for many developers. Flutter, a new native mobile app SDK by Google is looking to solve this problem.

In Flutter, you build your native app using one codebase. Flutter compiles it to run native on Android and iOS, giving developers a smooth, fluid 60 fps experience with a native look and feel.

In this workshop we will learn how to build Flutter apps from the ground up! No app development experience is necessary. We will learn the fundamentals of Flutter, how to write, debug and deploy Flutter apps. You will leave the workshop with the skills to go out and build real world production ready Flutter apps.


Talk summaries are courtesy of AndroidTO and the speakers themselves.

Have you attended a Google Developer Group (GDG) conference or another Android meetup this year? Are you planning on going to one in the near future? Let us know in the comments!



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Paranoid Android 7.3.0 Brings New Camera App, Additional Launcher Customization Features, BlueBorne Patches, and More

It was just around 4 months ago that Paranoid Android came back once again to shake up the custom ROM world with heavily feature-packed Android 7.1.2 Nougat builds. Now, after one major update (7.2), some minor ones, and Android 8.0 Oreo starting to bring the heat for ROM developers, the PA folks are back with a new release yet again. This new release, which is still based on Android 7.1.2, bumps up the PA version number to 7.3.0 and brings even more improvements to the table.

While this release isn't as feature packed as the previous major update, it still brings some key improvements that you'll indeed notice right away, like the new camera app, for example. It also includes key security improvements as well as additional launcher customization features, and a lot more.

As it's the norm with all Paranoid Android releases, the team has been looking closely for bugs and user complaints, so you should find this release to be a lot more polished than 7.2.3. If you do find something, be sure to report it accordingly on the official Google+ community or other platforms!


New 7.3.0 Features

Global Improvements

  • New, reworked camera app (Paranoid Camera)
  • New Launcher features, customizations and improvements
  • Experimental support for simultaneous use of Color Engine and Substratum
  • New security patches (September 2017)
  • Various performance improvements
  • Various stability fixes and minor improvements
  • Fixed GPS issues with Waze and other apps
  • Fixed Trusted Face
  • Fixed possible Immersive Mode force close
  • Fixed Bluetooth connectivity issues
  • Fixed various theming issues
  • Fixed data integrity issues
  • Fixed multiple frameworks resource and memory leaks

Fixes for Google Nexus 5:

  • Fix for major power consumption in some cases

Fixes for Google Nexus 5X:

  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability
  • Fixed WiFi display

Fixes for Google Nexus 6:

  • Merged latest September security patch
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability
  • Fixed WiFi display

Fixes for Google Nexus 6P:

  • Merged latest September security patch
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability

Fixes for Google Pixel / Pixel XL:

  • Merged latest schedutil upstream changes
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability

Fixes for Le Eco Le Pro 3:

  • Updated proprietary vendor files from 23S and OB20
  • Switched to new radio stack
  • Added dynamic boosting support via QPerformance
  • Updated Kernel as per latest CAF's tag
  • General smoothness and touch boosting enhancements
  • Included workaround for F2FS GC which makes F2FS usable without concerns again
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability
  • Various power improvements
  • Miscellaneous audio fixes and tuning

Fixes for OnePlus 3/3T:

  • Optimized thermal setup
  • Major power/battery improvements
  • Various performance enhancements
  • Improvements to touch latency
  • Improved WI-FI connectivity
  • Updated and improved F2FS support
  • Included workaround for F2FS GC which makes F2FS usable without concerns again
  • Ship firmware from internal 082917
  • Updated SRGB calibration from OnePlus
  • Added haptic intensity control (to be used by kernel apps)
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability

Fixes for OnePlus X:

  • Fix for major power consumption in some cases
  • Fixed battery percentage getting stuck

Fixes for Nextbit Robin:

  • Optimized thermal setup
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability
  • Other minor enhancements

Fixes for Xiaomi Mi5:

  • Updated to MIUI 7.9.7 Global dev blobs
  • Fixed lag for some users
  • Added dynamic boosting support via QPerformance
  • Patched BlueBorne kernel vulnerability

Paranoid Camera

Paranoid Android, since its initial 2017 re-release, has been known to be a step ahead of other ROMs in the camera department, be it on quality or features, and that's especially true for OnePlus devices, which have been known to feature a pretty average camera quality when using custom ROMs.

But with this release, the PA team is introducing a new camera app called Paranoid Camera, which will be the default camera for all supported devices from now onwards. The new camera app has been redesigned from the ground up in order to achieve a new, much more friendly interface, with the help of designer Espen Flagtvedt Olsen as well as developer Grarak. Furthermore, it also brings some substantial fixes and improvements.


Launcher Customizations

One of the greatest things about third-party launchers – namely Nova Launcher, Action Launcher – is the ability to customize more than just the shortcuts on your homescreen. This new Paranoid Android release further expands on the launcher customization capabilities added on 7.2.3, also adding the following features:

  • Hidden app support – Hide apps from the app drawer and homescreen
  • Round icon support – Use round icons for all apps supporting it
  • Custom Icon Search – Search for specific icons by app
  • Dock color personalization – Choose between default, transparent, accent or wallpaper color

BlueBorne Fixes

Earlier this month, a massive security vulnerability was found to affect pretty much every single Android device with Bluetooth, from Android 1.0 to the latest Android 8.0. While this was actually patched in the September security patch, and the issue was publicly revealed after Google's security bulletin was released, over 99% of Android phones are still in danger. The Paranoid team is making sure users running their software are safe from this flaw.

7.3.0, aside from merging the latest Android security patches, also merges the required device-specific fixes in order to fix this security vulnerability successfully on PA phones.


New Devices

All major releases of Paranoid Android always include new devices being added to the roster, and while the current one is pretty impressive in itself, it's expanding even further with 7.3.0. The new devices that are now officially supported with PA 7.3.0 are as follows:

  • uhm

Space Oddity

As PA grows bigger, so does its device roster and, eventually, it will get to the point where it will reach their server capacity. The team is taking into account many device requests, and they want to officially support as many devices as possible. As such, in order to continue supporting more devices, the PA team is turning to users for help, by asking for donations.

The goal is to eventually expand their server infrastructure in order to officially support an even wider device range and user audience without server issues. If you want to help out, you can support them financially or, if you have access to a build server, they're also looking for build slaves. Either option you choose, you'll need to contact them directly.


Android Oreo

Android 8.0 Oreo has been officially out for roughly a month now, and some other custom ROM teams, like the LineageOS team, have already begun work on their Oreo versions. As such, this will be the last major Nougat update for Paranoid Android, as the team will instead focus all their workforce to getting Android Oreo working on their supported devices. If there's a critical fix available for Nougat, though, then a minor update will be pushed out with this critical fix.

There's currently no ETA on when the Oreo flavor for PA will be released, and it's pretty hard to speculate since PA release dates have varied wildly in the past. So it's just a matter of waiting and watching patiently.


Paranoid Android 7.3.0 is mostly polishing some of the rougher edges from older releases and bringing a better, more secure experience for users. And taking into the mix the massive bug fixes and security improvements with this release, as well as some of the new features, we can say for sure that 7.3.0 is a fairly big jump from 7.2.3.



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vendredi 22 septembre 2017

Google Chrome Gets VR Web Browsing Capabilities for Daydream, Starting with Chrome 61

It's pretty evident that Google is completely invested into making their Daydream VR platform a compelling alternative to other competing virtual reality platforms like Samsung's Gear VR. They eventually want most (if not all) Android flagship phones to be Daydream-certified in order to make Daydream the go-to virtual reality platform for Android devices. And with the release of yet another Daydream View headset in the horizon as well as updated requirements, it's clear that they're betting big on this platform. With the latest release of Google Chrome, they're expanding Daydream's capabilities even more.

Chrome team member François Beaufort has taken to Google+ to announce that VR web browsing capabilities are coming to Chrome, with basic support already coming with the latest Chrome 61 stable build. This Google Chrome release allows users to view and interact with pretty much any website in VR mode, as well as allowing users to follow links between pages, and move between 2D and immersive mode on websites which support the WebVR standard. Some other basic things, like web searching and text entry, are not yet implemented, but it's still a work in progress after all.

As we just said, the latest stable Google Chrome release already comes with these capabilities, so if you have a Daydream device and want to check this out, just navigate to any website you like and simply put your phone into your Daydream View headset to see the website in VR mode. There's no need to enable any hidden toggles this time around. Mr. Beaufort says that it's just the beginning for web browsing in VR, and seeing how limited it is in its current version, it's pretty obvious that it will need some polishing before it's actually ready for prime-time. However, we are still pretty excited about the possibilities of this, and we're also excited to see Google double down and improve the capabilities of its VR offering. More improvements are on the way, and we'll keep you informed about every single one of them.


Source: Google+



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The “Check for Update” Button Now Always Shows Available OTA Updates on Nexus/Pixel Devices

It always sucks when you have to wait for a new OTA update to finally reach your device before you can get the new features and bug fixes that come with it. For some, this has resulted in manually sideloading an OTA update or flashing system images onto devices. A software engineer at Google has just confirmed that this should no longer be necessary as long as you are on a current version of Google Play Services.

The OTA update process is generally a mystery to the average Android user. Even if they go in and manually tap the Check for Update button, they're told their phone is up to date (even if it isn't) because of the way Google and many OEMs handle things. Three years ago, a Google software engineer popped into /r/Android during a discussion about the Android 4.4 KitKat OTA update rollout and revealed how the company does their gradual rollouts.

Back then, we were told that 1% of eligible devices get the new update for the first 24 to 48 hours. During this time Google is busy watching the return rates and the resulting device check-ins along with the error reports (if any). Assuming nothing goes wrong, this is then expanded to 25% after that first 48 hours, then 50% and lastly 100% "over the course of a week or two." Previously, no matter how many times you tapped that Check for Update button you would not be allowed to install it unless your device was chosen.

Suggested Reading: Android Oreo's Rescue Party is not the bootloop fix you were looking for 

There were some workarounds that people had discovered but even then it was generally best to simply manually sideload the update if you wanted it bad enough. Today, Elliot Hughes (another Google software engineer) announced on Google+ that the sideload method shouldn't be required anymore if you are "running a current Google Play Services." Even if Google is in the middle of a gradual rollout, if you manually tap that Check for Update button then your device is flagged as user-initiated, the usual limitations are bypassed, and should be greeted with the download and install button.


Via: /r/Android
Source: +ElliottHughes



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AKiTiO Node: Testing NVIDIA eGPU Support in Ubuntu 17.10

Ever since the announcement of Intel's Thunderbolt 3 technology there has been external graphics card (eGPU) support. Unfortunately for most of last year, including with Intel's own Skull Canyon NUC, putting this solution to use was challenging at best. Most motherboards didn't fully support the technology and those that did typically required a system that was far more expensive. For example, the Skull Canyon NUC at release was $700, unconfigured. Adding SSDs and RAM usually bumped that up well over $1000.

Razer's own Blade Stealth and similar products that supported Thunderbolt 3 have also hovered around that price range. And this didn't even factor in the enclosures, of which the Razer Core was one of the few available through most of 2016. At $500 the enclosure didn't even include a graphics card. Those that could even afford it had to fight limited inventory to test it out. As a result, much of this has been a challenge to get into the hands of mainstream users.

To the credit of the industry, 2017 has seen many improvements to that scene. At the beginning of the year I had been made aware that AKiTiO, a player in the Thunderbolt scene for years before eGPU support, released their Node product to support this new solution. At $299 – and sometimes on sale at half of the Razer Core – the Node seemed far more attractive. Other players, such as GIGABYTE's AORUS division, have also stepped into the realm by announcing an enclosure with NVIDIA GTX 1070 for slightly more than the Core. And Intel, wanting to help Thunderbolt 3 reach critical mass, has decided to make it royalty free beginning January 1, 2018.

We reached out to AKiTiO back in March and, during a brief trip to the U.S., brought back the Node to Okinawa. Since then we've conducted testing on the Skull Canyon NUC in Windows, as well as testing the HTC Vive using that NUC/Node combination. But as XDA finalized its hardware coverage much of that testing and results got placed on the back burner. It was revived during the trip to SIGGRAPH after conversations with NVIDIA's business marketing and a few new friends at SFF Network. For all that there was known about the eGPU support in Windows, very little of it was known in Linux. After returning from Los Angeles with all of the right components, it was time to help shed some light on this subject.


Unboxing & Photos

The AKiTiO Node contains an SFX 400W power supply along with 2 6+2 power connectors. This, along with support for cards over 300mm, meant that it fit any card that I had readily available to test with. In the end I ended up using the most powerful in the current arsenal to test with: The NVIDIA GTX 1080 Founder's Edition. This should eliminate any potential bottlenecks that could originate from the GPU itself.

The top and side is a single cover that slides out from the back. One thing that I believe AKiTiO may want to look at for a future version is to put the on detachable slides, as the sliding on and off of the cover sometimes gets stuck in the wrong place and has to be adjusted before it will continue moving. But given that it's far less than its competing Razer Core, that's something I'm willing to forego for the price difference. The Node also feasures a fan in the front of the case to push air out the back and keep everything nice and cool.


Hardware

I performed the Linux testing shortly after the Intel i7-7700K review benchmarks. Readers will notice that this is almost exactly the same configuration. For the most part Intel is the only one who has implemented it on their boards. GIGABYTE will be introducing this though to AMD with a discrete card on an upcoming X399 motherboard. As normal with our disclosures, any items not purchased by myself and/or XDA are noted here as well as the party who provided it.

Shared Platform Configuration (Between eGPU and Discrete Graphics)

External GPU Specific Testing


Setting Up

Though our coverage is primarily in Linux it would be silly not to mention, even in passing, the testing that was conducted but not used in a full review. So shortly after the Node was received we quickly set it up on the Skull Canyon NUC in Windows. The Thunderbolt settings required enabling in BIOS but once that was done it was as simple as plugging in, approving the device for connection/use over Thunderbolt, and then installing the NVIDIA drivers. The difference was quickly tested using 3DMark Fire Strike. The differences before and after were simply staggering. We also broke out the HTC Vive for the first time with this and was pleased to see that VR was operating perfectly fine over the Thunderbolt connection.

Based on my experience setting up the Node with the NUC, it seemed reasonable to set this up in a Windows environment first and make sure that was working properly on the test bench. A temporary version of Windows 10 x64 was installed – and the Node initially didn't respond. After some searching it was found that both the BIOS and a Thunderbolt firmware update were both required for the Z170X-Gaming 7, and thankfully both are available on its support page. Once the necessary updates were applied the Node came to life and immediately showed similar results to what we saw with the Skull Canyon NUC in Windows.

We moved on to Linux using the same Ubuntu 17.10 build from the i7-7700K review. After a series of tests we also discovered that using the eGPU in Linux required us to only use it and the Intel integrated graphics. Attempts to disable the integrated GPU and use instead a Radeon HD6450 led to very bad results. We also realized that in its current fashion it seemed easier to use only the open source driver and not NVIDIA's discrete driver. Once that was all sorted out it was time to test and see if it would utilize the GTX 1080 instead of the integrated graphics. A quick launch of Unigine's Heaven benchmark put that to rest once and for all.

The last thing we tested as part of the functionality setup was an attempt to "hot plug" and either remove or add the Node while the PC was running. This caused the PC to lock up, but fortunately shutting down the PC and either plugging in or removing (cold plug) worked without issue. Now that we had the main functionality working it was time to see how well this performed.


NVIDIA Benchmarks

As normal we conducted the tests using the Phoronix Test Suite. You can see all of the results from testing, including incomplete comparisons, at the OpenBenchmarking.org site. Two benchmark suites returned viable results: JuliaGPU and LuxMark. Since Luxmark appeared to give similar results both in eGPU (using the AKiTiO Node) and Direct (seated into the PCI-E x16 socket on motherboard) I'll note where we saw notable differences instead: JuliaGPU.

NVIDIA

In both cases the eGPU mode saw a roughly 20% decrease in performance. Given that the Thunderbolt 3 connection is supposed to be only running on PCI-E x4 this is actually quite impressive – especially when taken into account the Luxmark benchmarks saw near identical performance in both cases. When we tested gaming performance in Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided we got a similar set of results. In the case of the older Tomb Raider we see little difference. In a newer game, such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the difference between eGPU and direct is once again noticeable. In this gaming benchmark the reduction was lower, ranging between 12%-15% instead of the 20% we saw in JuliaGPU.


AKiTiO Node Final Thoughts/Conclusion

Thunderbolt 3 external graphics support is a great concept that should finally start seeing its day in 2018. It's a shame that it has taken this long to get there; the barriers in cost alone made it unlikely that those who could probably use it the most – families and students on budgets – could afford to use it. But imagine a scenario where a college student wants to take a 2-in-1 or notebook PC around to class to take notes and study – but then wants the additional graphics horsepower to either perform calculations (such as OpenCL or CUDA) or procrastinate with some gaming. For the moment virtual desktops that support that sort of need/usecase are still too expensive for the casual user; but if Thunderbolt 3 starts seeing massive implementation across the price spectrum, solutions like the AKiTiO Node can easily help provide the horsepower when they need it. Desktop users probably won't get as much of a benefit out of it and, quite honestly, a person who has the money to spend on a Skull Canyon NUC could just as easily build a LAN-party worthy PC within the same budget.

If you need scalable graphics solutions in a workplace environment, though, where the gain in performance can or has to be shared among various people for multiple asynchronous tasks, then this might be a great solution. There will probably be other great use cases that arise the more this gets out in the open. And if you're looking for an eGPU enclosure as one such solution, this one certainly merits consideration among the other choices out there. Most important of all – if you were concerned whether or not you could get eGPU working in Ubuntu? The answer, in short, is yes! Just know that if run into issues it may be wise to do a check in Windows, even if temporarily, to make sure it works there.

So now that you know how eGPU works in Linux, does this change your thoughts on getting one? Or perhaps you have one already and have some pointers to share with our readers? Sound off in the comments below or feel free to join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook or Google+! 

Editor's Note: The AKiTiO Node was provided to XDA for review purposes.



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DxOMark Published Their Camera Review of the Xperia XZ Premium (New Protocols), Scores it an 83

There are times in which DxOMark is able to get a camera review out for a smartphone before it's even released, and then we have those cases where it can take months before something comes out. The company recently revised the way they handle their mobile camera reviews and this week marks the first Sony device to go through these new review protocols. DxOMark has just published their camera review of the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and they gave it an average score of 83.

Interestingly, DxOMark also caught the attention of both iOS and Android fans alike when they published their review of the new iPhones today. The iPhone 8 Plus was able to obtain a score of 94 with these new scoring metrics making it the best smartphone camera the team has ever tested. So many have been wondering how the Sony Xperia XZ Premium would fare, especially considering the device was initially released back in June of this year.

While many OEMs use Sony's sensors and are able to achieve great camera review scores, it's been hard for a Sony smartphone to shine in this aspect. DxOMark gave the Xperia XZ Premium an average score of 83 with both the photo (82) and the video (84) test scores being about even. The team conducting this review feels the device is a capable smartphone camera that performs well when the lighting conditions are favorable, but says it is sensitive to harsh lighting conditions outdoors and can be finicky in low-light indoor tests.

When looking at the video side of things, they believe it can also get the job done to an extent, but there tends to be loss of detail and has mediocre stabilization. They did enjoy the 960 FPS slow-motion mode, but overall they said the 19MP sensor didn't produce better images or video than other phones with lower or similar resolution sensors.

xperia xz premium dxomark


Check out the DxOMark Review



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DevElite Kernel with HMP Comes to Xperia Z5 Premium

Custom kernels can noticeably improve the performance and battery life of our smartphones and tablets depending on the improvements they bring. XDA Recognized Contributor PDesire has put together a custom kernel for the  Xperia Z5 Premium (E68XX) with HMP scheduler, alongside various other improvements and fixes. PDesire has number of custom kernels available for this device and you can find the version that uses EAS right here as well. If you want to try out a new custom kernel for your Xperia Z5 Premium, give it a look by following the link in the button below!


Check Out DevElite Kernel



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