jeudi 27 avril 2017

Fingertouch Turns the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge Fingerprint Sensor into a Capacitive Home Button

Not everyone likes a physical home button and would rather it be capacitive so you don't have to press the button all the way down for it to work. Hence, XDA Senior Member ranwej created a small, open-source app that turns the fingerprint sensor of the device into a capacitive home button. Although there are many applications like this out on the Play Store, Fingertouch also offers a Nougat quick settings tile so you can quickly toggle this feature. This is useful because apps that require fingerprint authentication won't work until you disable the app.

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GSM Check lets you Quickly Check your Balance Without Manually Dialing USSD Codes

Some people need to manually dial USSD codes in order to check the balance of their wireless plan. So XDA Junior Member lspYazan has put together a small application called GSM Check that does this for you. You just need to enter your USSD code once, and the application will keep track of your balance for you. The app shows a notification that you can press to quickly re-dial the USSD code in case you want to know what your balance is at any given time, too.

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Android Runtime Optimization Magisk Module Increases the Speed of Apps on First Boot

Since Android Lollipop, Google moved to a new virtual machine called ART which uses AOT (ahead-of-time) compilation. dex2oat offers a number of compiler filter options that one can control, so this Android Runtime Optimization Magisk Module from XDA Senior Member veez21 was made to (theoretically) increase the first boot application speed on Android 5.0+ devices by modifying some of these compiler filter options.

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New Report Breaks Down App and Data Usage From AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon

We're starting to see a shift in how people are using their smartphones on their wireless carriers in the United States these days. Granted, there was an initial shift back when the smartphone was first introduced as carriers started to see their customers using more cellular data than ever before. But now that U.S. carriers are offering these "unlimited" data plans (which generally include about 20GB of LTE data) in order to stay competitive, we're seeing a change in the way consumers use apps and data.

Although 20GB is technically not unlimited data, it is far more data than most people in the country are actively using.  In order to analyze how mobile customers are using their smartphones and their mobile data these days, a consulting, management, and engineering services firm called P3 recently partnered with Strategy Analytics and FierceWireless in order to study consumer habits.

Their data shows that application sessions on Verizon phones went up during Q1 while others saw a small decline in this area. All four major networks in the United States saw an increase in application usage on WiFi while most saw a decrease in the amount of data being used over WiFi for the quarter. Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile customers were all using most of their data (both WiFi and cellular) on websites like YouTube and Facebook with Chrome and Netflix coming in 3rd and 4th place.

Their data shows that younger customers are still using more data on all four major carriers when compared to the older generation. Interestingly, the 26-35 age group on AT&T's network used 4 times as much cellular data as the 46+ age group. Hence in most cases, it's not always the youngest customers among us who are using the most cellular data. Instead, the 25 and under age group is using more WiFi than the rest and T-Mobile's 25 and under customers used 3 times as much WiFi data than the 46+ group.

Source: FierceWireless

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David Foster, Head of the Google Pixel Division, Leaves Google to go back to Amazon

Last year was when we first saw Google start to get serious with its smartphone hardware division. Sure, the company has been releasing Nexus devices for several years, but the technology giant mostly viewed these devices as developer reference models and not as true consumer flagship smartphones. That changed with the Google Pixel brand becoming their flagship smartphone. The Pixel and Pixel XL are still regarded as some of the best smartphones from 2016 and the company hopes that will continue this year with their successors.

This refreshed focus on hardware resulted in Google hiring some key employees for the project. Rick Osterloh had left Lenovo/Motorola and was subsequently picked up by Google last year to run the hardware division they had just created. Then a second interesting hire happened when Google brought in David Foster to run the Pixel phone division. He was in charge of his team who worked on the phone, but still reported directly to Mr. Osterloh.

Mr. Foster has worked at many places such as IBM's research company in the 80s and 90s, at Apple in the late 90s, and then Amazon where he worked on the Kindle and Kindle Fire tablet line. However, it's now being reported by Bloomberg (and confirmed by Google themselves) that Mr. Foster has left Google as he has been poached by Amazon. At this time, he has not made any announcement on what he will be working on at Amazon.

It's also unclear exactly how big of an impact this will have on Google. The man was in charge of the entire Pixel phone division so this could result in a change in the quality or the direction of the Pixel 2 phones. However, Bloomberg cites "a person familiar with the company's plans" and states that Google doesn't have any plans to fill the role Mr. Foster had (at least right now). This could change in the future but for now it is assumed that Mr. Osterloh is taking on his responsibilities.

Source: Bloomberg

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Qualcomm Confirms Adding 600MHz Support to the X16 Modem

T-Mobile spent upwards of $8 million to purchase 45% of the available 600MHz spectrum earlier this month during an auction for the available spectrum. The company has since been tight-lipped over how it would be utilizing these new airwaves to enhance its network. But recently, the company has hinted in its recent earnings call that its first 600MHz-based networks would be rolled out in some areas later this year.

The 600MHz airwaves are opening up due to old TV channels going under, which will likely take 3 years to complete. That means T-Mobile won't be able to use these new radios in urban areas anytime soon. However in rural areas, especially in the mid-West, the airwaves seem to be largely free and there is an opportunity for T-Mobile to get a leg up on its competition by utilizing these new airwaves.

It should be noted that 600MHz won't be compatible with any of the existing devices since it requires a different physical antenna. In simple words, the modem on your device must have support at the hardware level in order to access 600MHz waves – which none of the devices available in the market currently has.

However, it appears that T-Mobile has already started working with hardware partners to add support for 600MHz. Yesterday, a Qualcomm spokesman took to Reddit to disclose that the company will add 600MHz support in the X16 modem (found in the Snapdragon 835). However, he declined to comment which OEMs and devices would be the first to hit the market with the new modem.

As this is a hardware change, this means that current revisions of the Snapdragon 835 SoC, such as those found in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, will not have 600MHz support. But any new flagship devices coming later this year with a Snapdragon 835 SoC should be ready to work on 600 MHz networks out of the box.

Source: Reddit Via: PCMag

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mercredi 26 avril 2017

Linux CLI Launcher Transforms Your Home Screen Into A Terminal

The Google Play Store features many launchers of all kinds ready to make your life easier. Whether it's Nova Launcher, Apex Launcher, or Evie Launcher, there are a ton of third-party launchers out there for you to try out. At the base level, though, these launchers start out thematically quite similar although you can customize them with beautiful icon packs, themes, widgets, and more. As you might know, Android is built on the Linux kernel. Thus it has a hidden shell functionality which fans of GNU/Linux might be pleased to try. A full Linux terminal environment on an Android phone? That sure sounds interesting. But what if you could replace your stock launcher with a launcher that mimics the Linux terminal interface? Luckily, you can thanks to the Linux CLI Launcher.

Linux CLI Launcher for Android replaces your home screen with a minimalist terminal-style interface that uses commands to control basically everything. You can call, text, or manage your contacts using simple commands. Besides supporting some basic GNU/Linux commands, the application offers the ability to create handy aliases. Running your favorite games or applications is effortless.

You don't have to be a GNU/Linux nerd to know all the commands, as the launcher provides a built-in command suggestion feature. Maneuvering the launcher is relatively easy, and with practice helps you to understand some of the more basic terminal commands should you try to run a distribution on your desktop or laptop later on.

To control the device you can use the following commands:

  • uninstall (app)
  • call (name)
  • sms (contact name) (text)
  • restart
  • free
  • calc
  • search (-p, -f, -g, -y, -u)
  • wifi
  • flash
  • rate
  • time
  • share (file)
  • mv / cp (file) (destination)

If you are looking for an interesting, fast, and completely different launcher, head over to Play Store to install it.
What do you think about this launcher? Will you give it a try? Let us know in the comments!

Via: Reddit

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