vendredi 24 novembre 2017

VentureBeat: Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ to Make a Cameo Appearance at CES 2018

Over the years, Samsung has followed an annual release schedule for its Galaxy S flagship smartphones. Usually, Samsung announces the latest Galaxy S flagship variants at either MWC, or at a dedicated event held later. This year, for example, the company announced the Galaxy S8 and S8+ at an event held on March 29, and the phones were available for purchase three weeks later.

However, the schedule seems to have been changed for the successors of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. According to Evan Blass on VentureBeatSamsung is planning to reveal the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ earlier than usual. The report stated that the phones are scheduled to make their first public appearance at CES, which will be held in January 2018.

However, it isn't clear how much information about the devices will be revealed at CES. The report added that Samsung is still planning to hold an official launch event in March, just like the March 2017 event for the Galaxy S8 and S8+.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are said to have a nearly identical appearance to their predecessors, according to the report. It added that 2018 will be a "tock" model year for Samsung, with no major external design changes. This would follow the "tick" year of 2017's Galaxy S8. The last "tock" year was 2016, as the Galaxy S7 had a similar appearance to the Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S9 and S9+ are codenamed Star 1 and Star 2, and their model numbers are SM-G960 and SM-G965 respectively, according to VentureBeat. The phones will feature the same 5.8″ and 6.2″ curved-edge Super AMOLED "Infinity" displays, just like the S8 and S8+. The report stated that the new processors to be used in the 2018 Samsung flagship phones are said to be a fabricated on a 10nm process. This would make the inclusion of the Snapdragon 845 and a new Exynos chip (the Exynos 9810?) likely as the processors of choice in the US and international variants respectively.

The report notes that while the Galaxy S8 and S8+ were identical in every way other than the screen size (and the battery size), this won't be the case for the S9 and S9+. The S9+ will not only have a bigger display, but it will also offer more RAM than the S9 (6GB versus 4GB). It will also have a second rear camera, like the Note8. Both phones are said to pack 64GB of internal storage, and will support expandable storage with a microSD slot. Both phones will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The report added that both phones will vertically orient the elements on the back of the device, with the fingerprint sensor on the bottom of the camera. This will fix the off-centered fingerprint sensor placement on Samsung's 2017 flagship phones, and it also confirms that Samsung will not use an in-display fingerprint sensor on the phones. The Galaxy S9 and S9+ will also have AKG stereo speakers.

Finally, VentureBeat noted that Samsung is planning to "introduce a backward-compatible DeX docking station that situates the phones flat and utilizes the screens as either a touchpad or a virtual keyboard". Samsung introduced the DeX docking station this year alongside the launch of the S8 and S8+.

Overall, it seems that the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will be incremental upgrades over their predecessors. They will predictably have better specifications, and will fix one of the (subjective) design issues existing in the S8 and S8+: the placement of the fingerprint sensor. The report did not mention any pricing information for the phones. It's still quite early for the saga of the 2018 Samsung flagship phones, so we will have to wait for more details about the phones to be shared in the coming months.

Source: VentureBeat

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Grab a Great VPN, Learn Java, and Master Excel at Black Friday Prices

Long gone are the days when one had to wait in line for ten hours at midnight to land the best Black Friday deals. Now, you can take advantage of Black Friday pricing right from the comfort of your own sofa, before the big day even hits. Here are three of the best software and app deals around this season. 

1. Windscribe VPN: Lifetime Pro Subscription

MSRP: $900 – Sale Price: $39.99 (when you use the coupon code windscribesd20 at checkout)


Whenever you use the Internet, you're putting your most sensitive data at risk of being infiltrated by nefarious hackers from anywhere on Earth. And don't be fooled: these hackers aren't just interested in breaking through the servers of major corporations and governments. An individual's data can be just as valuable when it comes to ripping credit cards and banking information. That's why protecting yourself with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is so important. 

Windscribe VPN is one of the best VPNs in the business and acts as both a desktop application and browser extension to protect your privacy at all times. You'll be able to remove obnoxious ads and trackers from your browsing experience and even bypass those international content restrictions when you travel—meaning you won't have to miss out on your favorite shows. 

2. eLearnExcel Microsoft Excel School: Lifetime Subscription

MSRP: $999 – New Price Drop Sale Price: $25 (over 95% off)

If you've worked in any type of office during the last two decades, you've doubtlessly heard of Excel—that ubiquitous number-crunching powerhouse that keeps businesses large and small up and running. Unless you've had formal training, however, it's likely you're just skimming the surface of this incredibly powerful and versatile software. With the eLearnExcel Microsoft Excel School, you'll be able to certify your new Excel abilities and make an immediate workplace impact.

With eight complete courses spanning over 280 lessons, this bundle gives you 24/7 access to new content as it's continually updated, so you're always familiar with the latest Excel features and tricks. You'll be taught by Microsoft-approved experts, and you'll even receive an internationally recognized, CPD-Certified master diploma in Excel when you finish.

3. Complete Java Programming Bootcamp

MSRP: $740 – Sale Price: $39 (and enter the coupon code BFRIDAY75 at checkout for an additional 75% off)

If you're even remotely interested in landing an exciting and lucrative career in web or app development, having an in-depth understanding of Java is absolutely essential. This massive Java Programming Bootcamp will walk you through everything you need to know in order to get up to speed with this in-demand language, and the entire package has been priced down not once but twice.

Through ten immersive courses, this bundle will teach you about data structures and algorithms, annotations and lambdas, object-oriented programming, and much more. You'll walk away from this education with enough knowledge to navigate any Java-based environment while giving your resume a major boost.

from xda-developers

jeudi 23 novembre 2017

MIUI 9 Global Stable Update Released for Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and Redmi 4 Global Variant

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 was the first device to get the MIUI 9 Global Stable update. The MIUI 9 Global ROM was announced on November 2, alongside the launch of the Redmi Y1. Xiaomi stated at the time that the Global Stable update would have a staged roll-out in three phases. Since then, the update has since been released for the Mi Max 2, Mi 6, Mi Mix, and other devices.

The Mi Mix 2 and the Redmi 4 were said to be included in the second batch of devices, which would get the update in mid-November. Right on time, we have seen the Redmi 4 global variant (santoni) get the update. Now, Xiaomi has also sent the MIUI 9 Global update to its current flagship phone, the Mi Mix 2.

The Mi Mix 2 was announced in September in China, and it has since been released in markets like India, Spain, and others. It's the successor to the original Mi Mix, and it's no longer a concept phone. The phone has a list of premium specifications including a near bezel-less 6″ Full HD+ display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 12MP rear camera with Sony IMX386 sensor, and a 3400mAh battery. The major item missing in the spec list is a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is an odd omission considering Xiaomi's own accessory ecosystem.

In India, Xiaomi launched the Mi Mix 2 in October for ₹35,999 (~$558) for the 6GB/128GB variant. For a while, it did not have any competitors with 18:9 displays in its price segment, but now the OnePlus 5T has also been launched in India in the same price segment. So we are waiting to see how MIUI 9 improves the user experience of the Mi Mix 2. The MIUI 9 update brings plenty of new features like split screen, App Vault, improved handling of notifications, and new localisation features.

Xiaomi has stated performance and UI speed should be improved in MIUI 9, and the animations for launching and closing apps are new. All Mi Mix 2 users should be getting the Global Stable update with version V9.1.1.0. The update's size is 1.4 GB, and the underlying Android OS version is 7.1 Nougat. The full changelog is available on the source link.

The Global/Indian variant of the Redmi 4, one of Xiaomi's bestselling budget phones of 2017, is also getting MIUI 9 V9.1.1.0 on top of Android 7.1 Nougat. Strangely enough, the Redmi 4 is now powered by a newer version of Android as compared to the Redmi Note 4 — 7.1 vs. 7.0. Despite the different Android OS version, there should be little or no difference in features. The full changelog for the MIUI 9 Global Stable update for the Redmi 4 is available at the source link.

With December only a week away, we should be seeing more Xiaomi devices get the MIUI 9 Global update soon. Not all of them will be updated to Android Nougat, unfortunately. Popular devices like the Redmi Note 3 are still stated to get MIUI 9 with Android Marshmallow, which is a shame considering the fact that the device is less than two years old.

Source 1: MIUI Forum Thread for Mi Mix 2Source 2: MIUI Forum Thread for Redmi 4

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Android’s Battery Life Estimate is Getting Smarter and More Accurate on the Pixel 2

Android has featured battery life estimates for a long time now. This estimate can give you an insight on how quickly your battery is draining, and how much time you have remaining until your phone reaches 0% and dies. However, this estimate was never really accurate for most cases, as your "10 hr estimate" could easily be reduced to 2 hours while playing YouTube videos or mobile games.

That's because the estimate only takes into account the average of your usage since your last full charge, and uses this to determine how much you have remaining. Google is aiming to make this estimate more accurate than ever — at least on the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

While both phones already feature great battery improvements, this is arguably one of the biggest changes regarding battery life. Now, instead of just looking at your current usage and calculating an estimate based on that, it builds up information of your battery usage with time, and takes into account similar days and times to predict your battery life in a more accurate and personalized way. If you're the kind of person who likes to stream music on your way to work, or you like to binge Netflix during your Sunday nights, the Android system will take into account those habits to give you a more accurate estimate.

However, this personalized estimate is apparently exclusive to the Pixel 2 phones, and is not currently a part of Android as a whole.

According to the Google Product Forums announcement post, this feature is already rolling out to users and will likely become a standard feature for all Pixel 2/Pixel 2 XL owners when the stable version of Android 8.1 rolls out. If you own one of these devices and you're currently running the latest Android 8.1 Developer Preview on it, then have a look at the battery settings to see if the renewed battery life estimate is there. It's not clear if it will make its way to the Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, but we can always remain optimistic.

Source: Google

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Magisk v14.5 Beta Released: Pixel 2 (XL) Support, Fixed Xiaomi Mi A1 Support and Better MagiskHide!

Magisk, created by Recognised Developer topjohnwu has been updated to Magisk v14.5 beta, edging closer and closer to a stable version 15. This version was meant to be the official stable release but beta testers suggested it to be a beta release due to the number of changes.

With Magisk v14.5 brings a lot of under the hood changes, along with official support for the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL and a better version of MagiskHide. You can view the full changelog below.

Magisk v14.5 Changelog

  • [Daemon] Moved internal path to /sbin/.core, new image mountpoint is /sbin/.core/img
  • [MagiskSU] Support switching package name, used when Magisk Manager is hidden
  • [MagiskHide] Add temporary /magisk removal
  • [MagiskHide] All changes above contributes to hiding from nasty apps like FGO and several banking apps
  • [Magiskinit] Use magiskinit for all devices (dynamic initramfs)
  • [Magiskinit] Fix Xiaomi A1 support
  • [Magiskinit] Add Pixel 2 (XL) support
  • [Magiskboot] Add support to remove avb-verity in dtbo.img
  • [Magiskboot] Fix typo in handling MTK boot image headers
  • [script] Along with updates in Magisk Manager, add support to sign boot images (AVB 1.0)
  • [script] Add dtbo.img backup and restore support
  • [misc] Many small adjustments to properly support old platforms like Android 5.0

MagiskHide engages in two different methods of trying to trick detection algorithms on the device, such as the SafetyNet API. The first change changes the package name of Magisk Manager if you enable hiding it, in order to cloak it against apps that check for package IDs. This is not recommended unless it absolutely has to be done. The second actually has moved the /Magisk mount point to /sbin/.core. This means any modules should not be using /Magisk as a hardcoded access point anymore, as these modules will not work on the latest version of Magisk (be it the beta or version 15 once it releases).

Newer devices will benefit from the addition of magiskinit as well. It now detects what device it's being run on after flashing and will dynamically inject the changes it needs to make, depending on what device it is running on. This means installation is unified across all devices and will further increase compatibility!

However, Magisk v14.5 is broken in a lot of aspects and the developer asks for a larger sample size to figure out what exactly is going wrong. Changing the package name of Magisk often causes it to drop root access entirely, along with error messages in the logcat of OnePlus, Samsung and other devices from the NDK r16 when trying to call su. The Pixel 2 also shows a popup saying that avb-verity is off, however, this is not a severe issue and is nothing really to worry about.

If you're interested in the Magisk v14.5 Beta, check out the XDA thread down below to flash it on your device!

Magisk v14.5 Download

from xda-developers

OnePlus 5T’s Face Unlock Feature Reportedly coming to the OnePlus 5

Last week, OnePlus officially unveiled the OnePlus 5T. The device isn't all that different from its predecessor, the OnePlus 5, but it does offer a few notable improvements and features. One of those features is called Face Unlock and it lets you quickly unlock the OnePlus 5T via facial recognition. While it's been compared to Google's face unlocking feature found in Smart Lock, it has been shown to be far more accurate. Many people were wondering if this feature would make its way over to the OnePlus 5, but in a recent AMA over on the OnePlus forums the company stated that it won't. However, another leaked build of Android Oreo for the OnePlus 5 was posted today and it reveals that OnePlus may be bringing the Face Unlock feature to its previous flagship.

OnePlus 5T Face Unlock Feature on the OnePlus 5

Credits: XDA Senior Member bugra333

The Face Unlock feature is a nifty way to unlock your phone, and unlike Google's implementation, it bypasses the need to manually dismiss the lock screen. Early reviews of the OnePlus 5T have shown that Face Unlock is generally accurate and isn't easily fooled by photographs. OnePlus says they are working on improving the facial recognition algorithm such as by detecting whether or not the light emitted from the subject is coming from another smartphone.

This seems like great news for any existing OnePlus 5 owner. The official beta of Android Oreo for the OnePlus 5 is slated to launch in the next week, so we'll find out then if this feature makes its way into any official releases. But given that the feature is confirmed working on the OnePlus 5, even if it's only on a leaked build so far, suggests that the feature can be ported to existing OxygenOS builds given the right framework modifications, system apps, and vendor libraries are installed. Be sure to follow the OnePlus 5 and newly opened OnePlus 5T forums for more details on the upcoming OxygenOS 5.0 update for both devices.

from xda-developers

Xiaomi Reportedly Recruiting Testers for a Closed Beta of Android Oreo for the Mi 6

Xiaomi has been rolling out MIUI 9 ROM to its Redmi and Mi series smartphones for a while now. And while it might take some time before all device have been updated to the latest version of Xiaomi's custom skin, it appears that the company might be already gearing up for Android Oreo.

According to Gizmochina, Xiaomi has quietly begun recruiting testers for a closed beta of Android Oreo for its flagship Mi 6 smartphone. The report notes the recruitment process for beta testers is currently in progress and that a beta version of Oreo will be made available to these beta users in the coming weeks. While the company hasn't made any formal announcement yet, photos shared by users, who are presumably selected for this beta program, reveal that the company is looking for early adopters to try out a closed beta of Android Oreo.

Xiaomi hasn't provided any ETA for a public beta or a stable roll out either, but given Xioami's track record with Android platform updates, it's safe to assume that we are not going to see a stable release anytime soon. While the beta program is only available for the Mi 6 at the moment, it's a good indicator that Xiaomi's other flagships such as the Mi Mix 2 and Mi Note 3 might also get a taste of Oreo through a similar beta program in the near future.

The Mi 6 is a flagship device from Xiaomi, packing top-of-the-line hardware in a premium metal and glass design. It was originally announced in China back in April of this year. However, due to tight supply of key hardware components and increasingly strong demand in China, the device didn't see a wider release outside its home country.

Xiaomi is, of course, not the first OEM to open up an Oreo beta program; OEMs like OnePlus, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung and Essential have already rolled out a beta version of Oreo to their flagship devices. As 2017 comes to an end, we are likely to see more Oreo love all around.

Source: Gizmochina

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