vendredi 23 février 2018

Google’s Former Head of Android Platform Security is now working on Fuchsia

While most of us are focused on Google's Android operating system, Google has quietly been working on another operating system called Fuchsia. We've seen it slowly progress over the years to the point where it can actually be installed on existing hardware—namely, the Google Pixelbook. We have a lot to learn about the fledgling OS and what Google plans to do with it, so we're keeping up with every little piece of information that we can learn about the OS. Some big news regarding Fuchsia's future has been unveiled today, but it's not about the OS itself. Rather, it's about the people who are shaping it.

Today, Nick Kralevich, Google's Head of Android Platform Security for 9 years, has announced that he is no longer working on Android. Instead, he has shifted his focus towards Fuchsia. He is succeeded by Rene Mayrhofer on the Android Platform Security team.

The ThreatPost article quoted in his farewell mentions how Google has closed the gap between itself and Apple in regards to security on its mobile OS. With new initiatives like the Android Enterprise Recommended program which will ensure that certified smartphones remain up-to-date on security patches, we can look forward to a future of more secure Android smartphones.

As for Fuchsia, what exactly this personnel change means for its future is something we can't really predict, but regardless it is clear that Google is putting together a team of really talented people to oversee its creation. We hope that as time goes by, we will see more functional versions of the OS on usable hardware, so we can really get a taste of what it will offer. Whether or not it will be the rumored successor to Android is something that only time will tell. For now, I think Android, and Fuchsia, are in good hands.



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Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact Leaks Reveal 18:9 Displays and Stereo Speakers

Sony will hold an event at Mobile World Congress to announce its next-generation smartphone lineup: the Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact. Most of the 2018 flagships' specifications were revealed in a leak two days ago. The smartphones are rumored to have 18:9 displays, rear fingerprint sensors, and Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chips.

Now, Evan Blass at VentureBeat has posted an official render of the Sony Xperia XZ2. Along with the XZ2 Compact, the phone will be Sony's first with a 18:9 display and small bezel. It's worth noting, however, that the Xperia XZ2's bezels will still be bigger than many of its competitors, such as the LG V30, Samsung Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5T, and others.

Mr. Blass stated that the 5.7-inch Xperia XZ2 and the 5-inch XZ2 Compact have "largely the same features", with a few exceptions. The phones will be powered by Qualcomm's aforementioned 2018 flagship system-on-chip: the Snapdragon 845. (The chip is also expected to power some variants of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S9 and S9+.)

Sony Xperia XZ2

Source: Evan Blass

The differences between the Xperia XZ2 and the Compact is that the XZ2 has 3D glass on both the front and back, with an aluminum frame in between. Its front is said to offer a larger screen-to-body ratio than any previous Xperia phone, and it will come in four colors: Black, silver, green, and pink. The XZ2 Compact, on the other hand, will have a non-scratch polycarbonate finish. Both phones will have Full HD LCD screens protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.

The new phones will use the same 19MP f/1.8 sensor that's on the Xperia XZ Premium. It's capable of 4K HDR recording and super-slow motion capture in 1080p resolution. Mr. Blass mentions that the camera component layout is slightly different on the XZ2 Compact. He also says that both phones will have rear fingerprint sensors like the Xperia XA2 and the XA2 Ultra — the sensor is now separate from the power button.

The Xperia XZ2 and the XZ2 Compact will also feature "S Force" stereo speakers on the front, but only the XZ2 (and not the XZ2 Compact) will supplement the audio with "a haptic feedback system" that syncs with the phone's vibration motors.

The XZ2 will be dust- and water-resistant have a 3,180mAh battery that can be charged via USB Type-C or via a wireless charger. The XZ2 Compact, on the other hand, will have a smaller 2,870mAh battery and will lack wireless charging.

Both phones are expected to be available "sometime in March", but the report didn't mention pricing details. We expect to learn more at the launch event on Monday.


Source: VentureBeat



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Google is bringing Augmented Reality and Google Lens in Assistant & Photos to more devices

ARCore is the result of the Augmented Reality developments Google refined through Project Tango, which required special hardware. The company took what they learned from that experiment, and repackaged it into what is now known as ARCore. Instead of requiring special sensors and cameras, ARCore can be used on a plethora of devices using standard sensors found in smartphones today. When the new feature was released as a preview, it was limited to devices including the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2,  Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy Note 8 and others. Some developers worked to port it for many more devices, but today Google has announced version 1.0 of ARCore and their plans to bring it to more Android devices.

While ARCore 1.0 is being announced today, Google doesn't have plans to launch it until MWC 2017 (even though some people are receiving the application update already). This update to 1.0 adds features for developers, as well as new updates for Lens. Developers will now be able to publish AR apps to the Play Store, and Google is encouraging creators to get the ball rolling with new features such as improved environmental understanding when a user places virtual assets on textured surfaces like posters, furniture, toy boxes, books, cans, etc.

Beyond the devices that support ARCore right now, Google is also partnering with other OEMs to help them enable the feature in their upcoming devices this year. This includes companies like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Motorola, ASUS, Xiaomi, HMD/Nokia, ZTE, Sony Mobile, and Vivo. The last big announcement from Google today relates to the expanding availability of the Google Lens preview.

You can do a lot with Lens in Google Photos and Google wants to make this available to more people. "In the coming weeks" Google Lens will be made available to all Google Photos English-language users who have the latest version of the app on Android and iOS. Not only that, but during this time frame, English-language users on compatible flagship devices will get the camera-based Lens experience within the Google Assistant as well. Google just wants to remind people that Lens is still in a preview state and they are continuing to fix the algorithms, add new features and make it more robust.


Source: The Keyword



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Google will make it easy for OEMs to integrate Assistant, is adding more Routines, Location-based Reminders in Home, and 30 Languages by 2019

The transition from Google Now to the more personalized Google Assistant was a big project for the company. In typical Google fashion too, the service was initially limited to the United States (just like Google Home was), but slowly made its way to other countries as the team had more time to work on localization efforts. It looks like Google has been doing even more work with its digital assistant lately by adding support for Routines, location-based reminders, an easier way for OEMs to integrate it and support for more than 30 languages by 2019.

First up we have the work being done to add 30 additional languages to the platform. As of right now, Google Assistant is currently available in 8 languages and the team has a goal of expanding this to more than 30 by the end of this year. Once that goal has been achieved, that gives Google Assistant the ability to reach 95% of all eligible Android phones around the world. These new additions will be staggered throughout the year with Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai being added "in the next few months."

Not only is support for more languages coming to Google Assistant, but later this year it will be multilingual. This will be ideal for those people and/or families who speak more than one language as it gives them the ability to speak naturally whenever or wherever they want. Some other big features coming to Google Assistant will actually be added "over the next week." The first being the ability to set location-based reminders. This is a feature that has been available on the Assistant on your phone but soon you'll be able to set them with your smart speaker.

Routines was announced last year as a way to get multiple things done with one voice command. In the coming weeks (in the United States), you will be given the ability to six routines that help with your morning, commutes to and from work, and evening at home. Lastly, the Assistant Mobile OEM program from Google that enables OEMs to build deeper integrations between the Assistant and device features. This is an expansion of what Google has been helping OEMs with over the last year in creating device-specific commands with the Assistant.

There's also the Assistant Carrier program for mobile carriers that give mobile customers more insight and control over their service. This can be anything from learning more about their cellular plan, to adding new services to their current plan, getting customer support and more.


Source: The Keyword



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Google may add built-in Dark Theme to Android P, Add Weather Widget to Always on Display

Google uses the Android Issue Tracker to log and monitor bugs that have been reported by employees and the community. It also uses it to track feature requests. Recently, two were marked as "available in a future Android release": a highly requested built-in dark mode, and a weather widget for Android's always-on display feature.

Dark themes have appeared in multiple Android developer preview builds, but have yet to make their way to an official release. One of the first appeared in the Android M developer preview, but was removed before the Android 6.0 update became public. A different incarnation appeared in the Android N developer preview, but was again removed from the official Android 7.0 Nougat release.

The feature request for a dark mode in the Issue Tracker, which was submitted in November 2017, highlights the battery life benefits for smartphones that use OLED panels. This morning, it was marked as "fixed" with the note, "our engineering team has added this feature. It will be available in a future Android release."

Another, separate feature request submitted to the Issue Tracker last month asked that Google add a weather widget to Android's always-on display feature. The request was passed along to the development team earlier this week, and a day later was marked as "fixed" with the note, "requested feature will be available in future Android version."

"Future Android releases" is rather vague, but with Android P coming soon, it wouldn't be surprising to see one (or both) make it into Android 9.0. At the very least, they might be in developer preview builds, but we'll be curious to see if they stick around for the official release this time.


Source 1: Google Issue Tracker Source 2: Google Issue Tracker Via: /r/Android (on Reddit)



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CarbonROM is now available on the Honor View 10 and other Project Treble-Compatible Devices

Thanks in part to the Honor Open Source Program announced last month, we've seen a lot of developer support for both Huawei and Honor devices lately. Huawei really stepped to the plate and engaged with the community in ways that other OEMs simply don't, and its efforts bore fruit this week: an unofficial build of CarbonROM has been released for both the Honor View 10 and other Project Treble-compatible devices.

It can be difficult to predict which devices will receive attention from the developer community. Developers naturally flock to popular smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, as the userbase is larger compared to other devices. When an OEM incentivizes development, though, the dynamic changes. It's something we've seen in recent years with OnePlus and recently with Honor. In the past week alone, the Honor View 10 has received an AOSP Oreo ROM, an official release of TWRP, an updated version of Magisk that adds support for EMUI 8.0 devices, and a build of LineageOS 15.1 for the Honor View 10, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and other Project Treble-compatible devices.

Now, an unofficial build of CarbonROM is available for the Honor View 10 and other Project Treble-compatible devices.

Naturally, the release comes from the folks behind CarbonROM: XDA Recognized Developer Myself5, and the berkeley-dev Team. It should be noted that it's an unofficial build, and that the goal of the release is to give a preview of what's coming soon. It includes GApps, but you'll want to make sure you're on the latest stock 8.0 firmware before you flash the system.img in fastboot. Those who are familiar with the CarbonROM custom ROM will feel right at home.

Note that while the build has been tested on other Project Treble devices, the developers can only provide limited support if you discover a bug on one of them.


Check out CarbonROM in our Honor View 10 forum



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Pull to refresh can now be enabled in Google Chrome for Chromebooks and 2-in-1 Windows Laptops

Pull to refresh, a downward swipe gesture that refreshes in-app content, has made its way to a number of Android applications over the years. but it isn't something we've seen on Chrome. That changed this week: the Chrome Browser on Chrome OS devices and Windows on 2-in-1 laptops gained a pull to refresh gesture.

We first heard that pull to refresh would be making its way to Chrome back in July 2017, thanks to an article from Chrome Unboxed. It was discovered in a merged commit in the Chromium Gerrit code review.

Back in July, the feature hadn't been implemented yet, but it looks like that's changed. Reddit user lucasban uploaded a short video to the /r/ChromeOS subreddit to demonstrate pull to refresh on the Google Pixelbook.

It's available in the developer channel of Chrome OS and Chrome for Windows, but isn't enabled by default. To get it working, you'll need to toggle it via the hidden flag here: chrome://flags/#pull-to-refresh.

chrome os

There are reports of pull to refresh feature showing up in Chrome OS version 63 on the stable channel, but some have had a bit of trouble getting it to work. At least one user with a Samsung Chromebook Pro had luck by setting overscroll history (chrome://flags/#overscroll-history-navigation) to Simple with the pull to refresh flag enabled.

When it comes to multitouch gestures on Chrome OS, pull to refresh isn't the only recent development. In January, Google added support for Direct Manipulation in Chrome, which lays the groundwork for smoother multitouch gestures on Windows laptops with Precision Touchpads. And this week, we discovered a commit suggesting that all new and existing Chromebooks will soon gain touchpad pinch-to-zoom support.

For a full list of multitouch gestures that Chrome currently supports, check out Google's support page. It's filled with tips that'll help get you started.


Source: Reddit user lucasban



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