mardi 22 mai 2018

MIUI 9.5 Global Stable ROM officially available for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

MIUI 9 has been a highly anticipated software update for MIUI devices. We were previously told which smartphones Xiaomi makes that would be receiving this update and since then we've watched as they have rolled it out to more and more devices. The Redmi Note 5 Pro and its other variants have received a lot of attention since launch, and a beta version of the MIUI Global ROM leaked back in March of this year. There's no need to flash beta version of the OEM ROM anymore as Xiaomi has officially released the MIUI 9.5 Global ROM for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.

There's been a lot of confusion surrounding the popular Redmi Note 5 series from Xiaomi, and rightly so. The company previously released the MIUI 9.5 Global Stable ROM for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 in India (which is actually a rebranded version of the Redmi 5 Plus in China). The Redmi Note 5 Plus in China shouldn't be confused with the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro in India since it actually has upgraded hardware specs. It doesn't end there either. There is a slightly different variant of the Indian Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro which is sold in China as the Redmi Note 5.

This is why you may have had this post confused with a previous article we wrote about the Redmi Note 5 in India receiving a stable Global ROM of MIUI 9.5 update. We're looking at a similar software update here, though, with many bug fixes, quick search options, and much more. The team has yet to publish an official changelog in Xiaomi's Mi forums and the thread has actually been taken down (as of writing this). However, you can find the official download page linked below, or you can grab the actual ROM files directly with the Recovery ROM right here and the Fastboot ROM right here.

Download MIUI 9.5 Global Stable ROM (Android 8.1 Oreo) for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro



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Qualcomm is able to release the Snapdragon 845 source code in 6 weeks

Qualcomm's latest high-end system-on-chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, was announced at the Snapdragon Tech Summit back in December. The chipset offers 4 Kryo 385 (A75 "performance") and 4 Kryo 385 (A55 "efficiency") CPU cores, the latest Adreno 630 GPU, the Spectra 280 ISP, the Hexagon 685 DSP, and the Snapdragon X20 LTE modem. There's also a new Secure Processing Unit (SPU) and a dedicated Hi-Fi DAC that supports 32-bit audio called the AQT1000. The Snapdragon 845 SoC is a powerhouse in benchmarks and it is already available in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and the OnePlus 6. Developers on our forums have been itching to get their hands on a device with Qualcomm's latest and greatest, but there's just one thing that has made some developers worry about the future of development on the platform: The lack of publicly available source code for the kernel, HALs, framework branches, and more on the CodeAurora Forums.


Qualcomm and the CodeAurora Forums

If you've ever wondered why developers on our forums favor working on devices with Qualcomm chipsets over devices with chipsets from HiSilicon, Samsung, MediaTek, and others, the reason is that of Qualcomm's friendliness with the custom development community. The Android that custom ROM developers build from is based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Google releases a public part of AOSP but they also develop parts of Android in private (which is why if you build a ROM from AOSP today, you won't get any of the fancy new features in Android P.) For custom ROM developers, the only choice they have to merge Android's latest platform features is to wait for Google to release the source code with the final release. Chipset vendors, however, have an agreement with Google to get early access to the next version of Android—they fork from the private AOSP repositories, modify their chipset code to be compatible, and then distribute this code to OEMs to build and distribute ROMs for their devices.

Project Treble

General update process for each release of Android. Source: Google.

To abide by the GNU General Public License (GPL) under which the Linux kernel is licensed, the chipset vendors and OEMs are required to release the kernel source code, but that's all they're required to release. The kernel source code for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and the OnePlus 6 are already available, for instance. That's enough for developers to get started on porting AOSP-based custom ROMs on these devices, but just having access to the kernel source code doesn't mean it'll be easy to port LineageOS 15.1 to these devices (though that's changing thanks to Project Treble). All of the chipset specific code for new chipset features is usually unavailable in these kernel source code releases, which is expected since the code would reveal how proprietary chipset features work. Developers have access to this code in the form of precompiled binaries (called a Binary Large Object or BLOB), but it's nearly impossible to combine these BLOBs with their work on an AOSP ROM since there's no documentation on how that would work.

Fortunately for developers, that's where Qualcomm's CodeAurora Forums (CAF) comes in handy. On CAF, Qualcomm releases the public parts of their chipset specific code in a way that makes it really easy for ROM developers to build for the platform without having to know how the new chipset features work. Developers just need to fork the public parts of the new platform repositories (such as hardware/qcom/display and vendor/qcom-opensource/bluetooth) and combine it with the precompiled binaries and it'll basically just work for the most part. Qualcomm has released their chipset specific code on CAF for previous SoCs such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820/821 and Snapdragon 835, and usually within days of the chipset being announced! However, it has been 5 months since the Snapdragon 845 was announced, and we have yet to see the company's usual source code drops under the sdm845 branch.

CAF Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

Searching CAF for source code relating to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC

The delayed release of sdm845 sources in CAF has led some developers to worry that Qualcomm would be abandoning the forum, in effect becoming like MediaTek by only sharing sources with their partners and not the community. The developers we spoke to are concerned that this would be detrimental to custom ROM development on devices from companies like Xiaomi, as CAF sources are often necessary to build stable ROMs for Xiaomi's Snapdragon devices. We reached out to Qualcomm to find out what's going on, and we finally have some good news to share: CAF isn't being abandoned, it's just that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 code drop won't happen until Qualcomm announces their new mobile platforms. The reason? Because of leaks.


CodeAurora Forum and Qualcomm Chip Leaks

When Qualcomm engineers are working on new platform features for their chipsets, it's rare for them to only develop these features with one chipset in mind. It's possible for unreleased chipsets to use the same software found in already announced chipsets like the Snapdragon 845. While companies often use code names to prevent leaks, even that doesn't totally prevent leaks from happening. For example, details of the unreleased Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 were found in CAF by Roland Quandt from WinFuture. We later found out from CAF that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 was being re-branded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710. Qualcomm hasn't confirmed the existence of the Snapdragon 670/Snapdragon 710, but thanks to references in CAF we already know a lot about the upcoming chipset.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 Qualcomm Snapdragon 710

Thus, to prevent leaks like this from occurring, Qualcomm chose to delay the release of source code for the Snapdragon 845. We're told that the company won't be releasing the source code for the chipset until after the new mobile platforms are announced. After about 6 weeks from now, the company will be able to release the sdm845 sources on CAF. A Qualcomm representative apologized for the delay in source code release, stating that the company is reviewing their chipset naming conventions in code so they can release code for already announced chipsets while still avoiding leaks.



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Google Play Music uploaded music and saved playlists will migrate to YouTube Music

Google Play Music is in the process of being replaced by YouTube Music and YouTube Music Premium. It's all a bit messy and complicated, but that's what we've come to expect from Google. The situation has led to a lot of confusion among current Google Play Music subscribers.

Google says nothing will happen to Play Music right now and current subscribers will get YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red). However, that didn't answer all the questions. One of the most common questions was about uploaded music. A lot of people have a huge library of uploaded music on Play Music. It's still one of the best features of the service. What will happen to it with the transition? The head of Music at YouTube has the answer.

That's very good news for Play Music users, even those who aren't paying subscribers. A lot of people use Google Play Music as a storage locker for their music collection. It's a great way to access your music from the cloud on a variety of devices. We're still not sure if YouTube Music will have a similar uploading feature, but it's nice to know our collections will be migrated to the new service.



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First OnePlus 6 update rolling out with notch hiding and slow motion video support

The OnePlus 6 was officially unveiled last week and made some bold promises. Is it truly the fastest phone available now? Our testing seems to suggest that in some ways it may very well be. "The speed you need" is the company's slogan for the device, and so far, things are looking good. The OnePlus 6 is available to order online as of today and already there's a software update bringing support for hiding the notch and support for slow-motion video recording. There are a few other features as well.

As you can see from the official changelog above, the Android security patch has also been updated to May. The OnePlus switch application also comes preloaded, which can make switching to a OnePlus device super easy. You can transfer contacts, messages, call logs, photos, videos, audio, and applications through the OnePlus Switch. It's useful for those who have just received their brand new OnePlus 6 and want to set it up as quick as possible. As for how the notch is hidden, it works similarly to the Nacho Notch application which was made by XDA Forum Moderator Zacharee1. OnePlus promised there would be a way to hide the notch and now you can.

After that, there's a number of camera improvements which are pretty important. One is support for slow-motion video recording, which will allow for 480FPS at 720p and 240FPS at 1080p. Another cool feature is support for quick capture in portrait mode. For those unfamiliar, quick capture allows you to double tap the power button and your phone will launch the camera and take a photo. Now you can do that in portrait mode too, which will allow you to take bokeh style shots quickly.

Finally, the gallery application has been updated too. It allows more options for recently deleted files, though we're not quite sure what exactly that means yet. If you want to get the update and don't have it yet then you'll likely have to wait, as the update is going out as a staged roll out now.


Source: OnePlus Forums
Via: GSMArena



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Unofficial LineageOS 15.1 for Android Go devices is now available

Android Go is Google's optimized version of Android Oreo for low-RAM devices. It can run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM and is aimed primarily for use in devices launching in developing nations. It means that devices can stay affordable while still being up to date and being able to run modern applications. It's helped largely by applications made to run in these conditions, such as the Go series of applications made by Google themselves. Android Go's build optimizations greatly improve the performance on lower-end hardware. But if the software experience is lacking, then consider checking out XDA Recognised Developer phhusson's unofficial build of LineageOS 15.1 for Android Go devices.

Android Go devices are based on Android 8.1 Oreo, which means that a Go device also supports Project Treble. As a result, that means you can install a Generic System Image (GSIs) on these devices so long as that build is compatible. Since Go devices are 32-bit ARM devices and have so little internal storage, none of the current GSIs will work on Go devices. That's why phhusson took the LineageOS 15.1 source code, added the Go build optimizations, and packed the ROM with Go Gapps, and built it for 32-bit ARM devices. So now you'll have the benefits of all the features that LineageOS brings but also a RAM-friendly Android 8.1 Oreo ROM for your Go device.

If you're unsure of what features you'll be able to make use of, there's a lot present in LineageOS 15.1. It's expected that some features may be broken in lower RAM conditions, but as a proof of concept, it's absolutely an amazing feat to pull off. If you want to install this ROM, simply follow the instructions here to learn how to flash a GSI on Project Treble enabled devices and make sure you download the Android Go variant of LineageOS 15.1 in the thread linked below.

Download unofficial LineageOS 15.1 for Android Go Devices



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The Alcatel 3V is a budget 18:9 FHD+ phone with Android Oreo that’s coming to the U.S. for $149

We've been talking about the new 3 and 5 series of smartphones from Alcatel for half a year so far as the company continues to stagger the release of their new devices. We first learned about these new products back in November of last year when we were given a look at some press renders of 6 new Alcatel devices. For a while, we only had those images to go on, but a few months later the company officially announced them. Today we're getting to learn more about Alcatel's new budget smartphone, the 3V, and its $150 price tag.

Alcatel 3V

It looks like Alcatel is getting close to releasing the 3V as we have learned the device will be made available on Amazon next week and then at Best Buy and Walmart in the coming weeks. The new press release highlights some of the features of the Alcatel 3V but they didn't go into as much detail as they did a couple of months ago in February. So, the Alcatel 3V comes equipped with a 6″ FHD+ 2.5D display with slim side bezels to compete with today's trends. Inside it will have the MediaTek MT8735A SoC along with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of expandable storage.

The back of the device will house the 12MP main shooter paired with a 2MP secondary depth camera. Right under these sensors you'll find the fingerprint scanner but we're also told the Alcatel 3V comes with Face Key, which can unlock the device using your face in less than half a second. There's a 5MP selfie camera with many software features including Social Square, Photo Booth, Instant Collage, and more. All of this will be powered by a 3,000mAh capacity battery with Android Oreo running the show and the affordable price tag of less than $150.


Source: PR Newswire



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On-device machine learning coming to Chrome OS

Machine Learning is one of those hotwords that keeps gaining traction inside Google. It has seeped into every branch of its business from the Google Assistant to Gmail. New code indicates that Google is now working to support machine learning on Chrome OS.

The implementation looks similar in concept to TensorFlow Lite for Android, where clients only perform inference from existing machine learning models rather than training and development of models. The current documentation is light so we don't know what the full impact on user-experience (if any) will be once development is finished. Here's what the readme for the Chrome OS machine learning service has to say:

"The machine learing [sic] service provides a common runtime for evaluating machine learning models on device. The service wraps the TensorFlow runtime which has been optimized to support the set of built-in machine learning models with [sic] are installed on rootfs."

While functionality is still in development, we can see the Chrome developers have already scoped out how it will be used from a couple of commits. The machine learning service will allow applications to make use of machine learning models that are pre-loaded onto the device. So far two models have been identified, TAB_DISCARDER and POWER_MANAGER, suggesting that in practice machine learning will not introduce funky new features—at least just yet—but will enable smarter system resource management.

While the models identified so far don't seem noteworthy, it will be interesting to see how they will impact the already-stellar battery life on the Chrome OS platform. These models could also pave the way for flashier use-cases down the line.

On-device inference is available on Android already with TensorFlow Lite, so the addition of this service raises a few unanswered questions: Will the Android container on Chrome OS make use of the new machine learning runtime instead? Will an API be exposed for third-party developers to make use of it? Will the service be limited to system resource management?

It's early days yet, but model inference coming to Chrome is another step towards feature-breadth and maturity that the OS isn't commonly known for. More on this feature as it develops.



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