vendredi 20 avril 2018

Motorola’s Moto G6 and Moto E5 series will have really poor software support

Motorola announced the new Moto G and Moto E series lineup on Thursday, and we have posted our first impressions of the new devices. The Moto G6 Plus is the flagship Moto G series device, and it will launch in various international markets, but not the US. In the US, the Moto G6 and the Moto G6 Play will be available, while the Moto E5 Plus (known as the Moto E5 in international markets) and the Moto E5 Play are the company's latest devices in the Moto E series.

The new Motorola phones have their plus points, including stock Android and useful software features. However, they will have a major flaw: poor software support.

At one point, Motorola was known for providing quick software updates to its devices. Unfortunately, that hasn't been true for quite some time. Phones such as the Moto G5S Plus and the Moto G5 Plus (as well as other Motorola devices) still haven't received their Android Oreo update yet, despite the fact that eight months have passed since Android Oreo's release.

Motorola has now stated that the Moto G6, G6 Plus, and G6 Play will get one major Android update. However, the Moto E5 series is not guaranteed a major update. When it comes to security updates, there is more bad news. The Moto G and Moto E series will not get monthly security updates. Instead, updates will reportedly arrive every 60-90 days.

It's unknown why Motorola has slipped up so badly when it comes to software updates. The situation looks worse when considering the fact that new competitors such as HMD Global have been acclaimed for their fast updates.

Motorola's update track record has steadily kept getting worse, and the latest announcement won't do anything to take it on an upward track. We hope that Motorola changes its update policies, as the company's consumers deserve better.


Via: Android Authority



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Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium, Honor 10, Moto G6, and Moto E5 Forums now open

This week, we have seen major smartphone launches from Sony, Honor and Motorola. Two months have now passed since Mobile World Congress, and many device makers have launched their device portfolios for the first half of 2018. In March, we saw the launches of the Huawei P20, P20 Pro, and P20 Lite, as well as the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S. There are still more upcoming smartphone launches in the horizon, such as the LG G7 ThinQ, OnePlus 6, HTC U12+, and more.

The first major smartphone launch this week was the Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium. The phone has the best specifications in Sony's device portfolio. Its list of specifications includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip, 6GB of RAM paired with 64GB of storage, and a 5.8-inch 4K (3840×2160) Triluminos HDR IPS LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

It has the Motion Eye dual camera module consisting of 19MP (RGB) + 12MP (monochrome) rear cameras with support for 4K HDR video recording, and a 13MP front-facing camera. It's powered by a 3540mAh battery. The phone will launch with Android 8.0 Oreo, but disappointingly, it won't be available until "summer 2018." Our forum for the Xperia XZ2 Premium has now gone live.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium Forum

Next up is Honor. After launching the Honor View 10 at the start of this year, the company has now launched the Honor 10 for the Chinese market, with a global launch set to take place next month. The Honor 10 is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC. It has 6GB of RAM paired with 64GB/128GB of storage.

It has a 5.84-inch Full HD+ (2280×108) IPS LCD with a display notch and a 19:9 aspect ratio. Its dual camera module is branded as "AI Camera" and consists of a 16MP RGB camera paired with a 24MP monochrome camera. The front-facing camera has a 24MP sensor. It's powered by a 3400mAh battery with Huawei SuperCharge support (5V/4.5A), and it runs EMUI 8.1 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. Our forum for the device is now open.

Honor 10 Forum

Finally, Motorola launched the Moto G and Moto E series lineup on Thursday. The flagship device in the Moto G series is the Moto G6 Plus, but it won't be coming to the US. US buyers can choose from the Moto G6 and its lower-end variant, the Moto G6 Play. They will also be able to buy the Moto E5 Plus and the Moto E5 Play. We have posted our first impressions of the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play, Moto E5 Plus, and Moto E5 Play.

It should be noted that the Moto E5 Plus is known as the Moto E5 in international markets. Our forum for the Moto G6 and the Moto E5 has now gone live.

Moto G6 ForumMoto E5 Forum

You can now ask questions, read guides, and stay up to date on development news for all these devices. Check out the forums via the source links.



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Xiaomi Mi 7 delayed to Q3 because of 3D facial recognition technology

3D facial scanning sensors haven't made their way to Android smartphones yet. It should be noted that this doesn't mean that face unlock isn't found in Android phones. In fact, device makers such as OnePlus and Honor have improved upon Android's default face unlock feature with their own implementations. Face unlock on phones such as the OnePlus 5T and the Honor View 10 is incredibly fast, but the downside is that it isn't said to be secure, unlike a fingerprint sensor.

This is where 3D facial recognition sensors come in. In November, Digitimes reported that many Android smartphone vendors would adopt 3D facial scanning technology in 2018. However, a new report by the publication states that the world's first Android-based smartphone with 3D facial recognition technology will be a new high-end Xiaomi phone, generally believed to be the Xiaomi Mi 7. However, it's unlikely to launch until Q3 2018 due to insufficient capability to integrate related hardware and software at 3D sensing providers.

A 3D sensing module jointly developed by Qualcomm, Himax Technologies and Truly Opto-electronics is believed to be the most mature 3D sensing solution currently available in the market, but the limit of using only Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip is said to have deterred the top five Android smartphone vendors from using this module for their high-end smartphones, with the exception of Xiaomi.

Digitimes states that Samsung and Huawei "obviously do not want to use Qualcomm's chips on their high-end models" (although it's worth noting that Samsung uses the Snapdragon 845 in the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy S9 and S9+). Instead, both companies plan to develop their own 3D algorithms. This means that according to Digitimes Research, the two vendors won't be the first Android device makers to launch phones with 3D sensing technology.

Samsung is said to be "unlikely" to launch smartphones with 3D sensing until 2019 for the sake of using its own AI chips while controlling algorithms by itself. Huawei, on the other hand, has gathered its internal labs, HiSilicon Technologies, and third-party developers to develop related algorithms and other solutions to integrate hardware and software products. However, it has yet to include 3D sensors into its latest flagship phones such as the P20 series.

Interestingly, the report states that Xiaomi originally planned to launch a high-end phone which will be powered by Snapdragon 845 and which will have 3D sensing in the first half of 2018. This is believed to be the Xiaomi Mi 7. However, such a plan "is likely to be delayed to the third quarter of 2018" due to a low success rate for facial recognition, which is caused by slow adjustment processes of related software at Qualcomm, according to Digitimes.

Previously, we have exclusively reported on the Xiaomi Mi 7's specifications. The device's code-name is dipper, although a dipperold code-name exists as well. We expect to learn more about the device in the coming weeks.


Source: Digitimes



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LG G7 ThinQ will have a dedicated Google Assistant button

The LG G7 ThinQ will launch on May 2nd. At this point, most of the major specifications of the device have been leaked, including the fact that it will have a M+ LCD panel with a display notch, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip, 16MP + 16MP rear cameras, and AI features. Previously, a report stated that the phone will have a dedicated AI button.

Now, CNET states that the LG G7 will sport a dedicated hardware button specifically for Google Assistant. The Google Assistant button will be on the left side of the phone, and the power button will be on the right. The fingerprint sensor will be placed on the back of the device.

The G7 ThinQ will be the first smartphone to have dedicated Google Assistant button. The Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S9+ have dedicated physical buttons specifically for Bixby, Samsung's virtual assistant. Samsung does not officially allow users to remap the physical button, but users can opt to disable it entirely.

CNET adds that the easy access to Google Assistant is part of a broader push by LG to sell AI as a bigger differentiating factor. The company has already made AI a key focus of its products, as it has included AI features in the LG V30S ThinQ. The LG V30's Android Oreo update also contains the ThinQ branding and the AI features.

The report also states that there will be unique custom LG commands that users can ask Google Assistant. However, users won't be able to remap the button to call another app, which is sure to disappoint enthusiasts. The Bixby button on Samsung's flagship devices behaves in the same manner.

The Google Assistant was launched in 2016 as the successor to Google Now. It's found in many products, including the Google Home lineup of smart speakers. Google's arch rival in this field is Amazon's Alexa, which has also been integrated with some phones. Google Assistant and Alexa dominate the virtual assistant market.

It remains to be seen how LG's decision to include a dedicated Google Assistant button on the G7 ThinQ is received by users. If the button can't be remapped, it will definitely be a disappointment as many users would have found use for the button as a shortcut key for launching the camera, or triggering other tasks.


Source: CNET



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RhinoShield Galaxy S9 Case Review: Testing CrashGuard Bumper and the Updated SolidSuit Case [Save 20% with Code]

RhinoShield has been making the best cases for flagship phones for quite some time. With the CrashGuard bumper case they designed a low-profile protective solution that doesn't take away from the visual appeal of your phone. Their new SolidSuit line is a full-body protective case that offers maximum impact protection while weighing only 30 grams.  These cases are available for the Galaxy S9, S9+, and many other flagship phones.

Take a look at these cases and see the level of detail and research that has resulted in a far better product than the competition.

Use code "XDA" for 20% off

The SolidSuit Case

The SolidSuit case is a single piece that fits snug around your phone. There are cutouts for your cameras, sensors, and ports which leave the heart rate/ blood pressure monitor uninterrupted. The port for the charger is extra large to accommodate cables of varying sizes. The case itself is made of a honeycomb structure that is designed to absorb the impact of a drop from up to 11 feet. The case comes in Classic Black and Carbon Fiber finishes, depending on your own personal style. You'll have even more options for customization for the different colored button covers.

These cases are extremely tough and will be very difficult to break. Even the buttons are very clicky and feel durable and solid. A raised lip which sits around the screen of your phone will protect the front from scratches and impacts. The material that the case is made of gives it a very smooth but grippy finish. This is a great bonus especially for phones like the Galaxy S9 which are very slippery.

There are many protective cases on the market. But without innovations like the honeycomb shock-spread technology, they end up being bulky and clunky compared to RhinoShield. As a result, the SolidSuit case is much thinner than other protective cases.

It is instantly noticeable that RhinoShield put so much care into making sure that this is the best quality case of its kind.

The CrashGaurd Bumper

The CrashGaurd Bumper is a super-slim bumper that sits tightly around your phone, leaving the back and front of the phone fully visible. The same roomy port cutouts can be found here, making sure you can fit most cables in the charge port. The case is extremely lightweight and gives the effect that you're not even using a case at all. At only 14 grams this bumper has a minimal profile, making sure you can can still show off your phone without it being too clunky. With the same ShockSpread material as the SolidSuit case, you'll have up to 11ft of drop protection for your phone.

The CrashGaurd bumper has a snug fit and wont get loose over time, like some of the cheaper bumpers out there. The raised lip design will protect the front and back from scratches that you'd normally get from your phone sitting on rough surfaces.

The small details like the oversized ports, clicky buttons, lanyard cutout and overall quality make this the best bumper case you can get for your Galaxy S9.

RhinoShield's research and dedication to quality has made their products unmatched when it comes to protective cases. Save 20% by using our code "XDA" when you're buying your new case from RhinoShield.

Shop RhinoShield

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jeudi 19 avril 2018

Google pauses work on Allo in favor of “Chat,” an RCS-based messaging standard

Google's experimentation with chat apps has turned into a meme among the Android enthusiast community. Just to name a few, there's been Google Hangouts, Google Voice, Google Allo, Google Talk, and Google+. It seems like the company has tried over and over to dethrone Apple iMessage's seamless integration across clients, only to fail each time. But now, the company is planning on a major new push it's calling "Chat" that aims to fix Google's messaging client mess.

In an exclusive feature on The Verge, Google has revealed that "Chat" will be based on the Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services (RCS). We've talked about RCS a few times in the past: The simplest way to describe it is that it's an evolution of SMS. Google has long worked to get their Android partners and telecommunication carriers to support RCS by including support for RCS in Android Messages, offering the Jibe RCS Cloud Platform, and pushing to standardize the Universal Profile. And now, the company has decided to go all in on RCS with the introduction of "Chat."

To start off, Google will be diverting all the resources it has invested in Google Allo into Android Messages instead. Android Messages will evolve over time to include support for "Chat" which isn't a messaging client itself, but rather a carrier-based service based on RCS that brings features that are standard in messaging clients such as Whatsapp, Telegram, and Facebook Messenger to all users of Chat-supported clients such as Android Messages. Features such as read receipts, live typing indicators, high-resolution images/videos, and group texts are to be expected in the evolved Android Messages client and any other Chat-supported client.

Android Messages Smart Replies Android Messages Group Chat

Unfortunately, Chat itself won't support end-to-end encryption, so it's about as secure as SMS. That is to say, it isn't secure at all. But it will be backward compatible with SMS, so if the user you are chatting with doesn't have a Chat-enabled client then the messages will be sent over standard SMS. There's no word on whether Apple will support this new Google standard for messaging, though The Verge reports that Samsung smartphones will support it through their own messaging app. So far, Microsoft has committed to supporting the RCS Universal Profile (though an RCS-based Windows chat client hasn't been confirmed), as have a total of 55 carriers and 11 OEMs around the world.

RCS Universal Profile List

List of RCS Universal Profile Supporters. Source: GSMA

In addition to all the features that RCS is expected to bring to the table, Google will also be upgrading Android Messages with the features that were introduced in Google Allo: Google Assistant integration and GIF search just to name a few. And the previously rumored Android Messages for Web client will soon make its official appearance.

Chat's development will be led by Anil Sabharwal, the man who led the team behind the excellent Google Photos service. Android Messages, like Hangouts before it, has the user base to pull this off. Google giving up on Allo is long overdue, but it signals the company's commitment to seeing this new initiative through. We hope that the company will finally be able to solve the problem they've faced for over a decade: How to make an easily accessible, yet feature-rich messaging client that everyone wants to use.



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Here’s what Android Messages for Web will look like

It's official: Android Messages for Web is coming. Nearly two months ago, an APK Teardown of the Android Messages mobile application revealed that Google was working on a web client for its default SMS app. The feature was discovered to support all major desktop web browsers and would require pairing with a mobile device by scanning a QR code. Last week, we discovered further evidence that the feature's launch would be imminent since the implementation in the Android app seemed complete. Now, Google has officially confirmed the existence of the web client in an exclusive feature on The Verge.

As shown in the feature image and the image below, the web client will sport a Material Design interface that matches the Android app. You can insert emojis or images just like the Android app, though you can't initiate voice calls from the browser. The message history is synchronized with your phone, so as long as the two are paired you can access your full back-and-forth history with your contacts.

Android Messages Web Interface

Android Messages for Web client. Source: Google

The phone in the picture appears to be a Google Pixel. Given the major announcements related to Google Allo and RCS that Google has released today, we doubt that the company plans on limiting the feature to Google devices. We expect the Android Messages web interface to be available on most Android devices. Once the feature goes live, here's what the setup process will look like, at least initially.

Android Messages for Web Android Messages for Web Android Messages for Web Android Messages for Web

In the menu, there'll be a "messages for web" button (though the string might change) or toast message that, when tapped, leads the user to a page instructing them to scan a QR code on messages.android.com. Currently, attempting to access that subdomain will result in a 404 as it hasn't gone live yet. Given Google's announcement of the feature via The Verge, I don't think we'll have to wait much longer before it's accessible for users. Although, it wouldn't be the first time that Google announced a new feature only for it pop up months later.

 



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