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The Mobile Blog

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    Owing to the increasing number of locally irrelevant and spammy notifications with the 'Nearby Notifications' feature which Google created three years ago, the company has decided to discontinue support for Nearby Notifications. In a blog post, Google confirmed that it will stop serving Nearby Notifications on December 6th, 2018. Google, starting from December 6th, will stop delivering both Eddystone and Physical Web beacon notifications. You will still continue to have access to the beacon dashboard and can deliver proximity-based experiences similar to Nearby Notifications via your own apps using Proximity Beacons API. Google currently has two related APIs; Nearby Messages and Connections, that are available for developers to build device-to-device connectivity experiences, and also have Fast Pair, for device discovery and pairing. Google also mentioned that it will continue to invest in these APIs and support products using these technologies. Source

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    Google, every month releases security patches for Android and this becomes tedious for carriers and manufacturers to get them installed on actual phones. However, that might soon change. According to confidential contracts, many manufacturers now have explicit obligations to keep their phones updated written into their contract with Google. The contract requires Android device makers to regularly install updates for any popular phone or tablet for at least two years. Google’s contract with Android partners stipulates that they must provide “at least four security updates” within one year of the phone’s launch. While the security updates are mandatory in the second year as well, there is no specific count to the number of releases. David Kleidermacher, Google’s head of Android security, referred to these terms earlier this year during Google I/O. He further said that Google has added provision into the agreements with partners to roll out regular security updates. These terms cover any device launched after January 31st, 2018 that’s been activated by more than 100,000 users. Starting July 31st, the patching requirements were applied to 75 percent of a manufacturer’s “security mandatory models.” Starting on January 31st, 2019, Google will require that all security mandatory devices receive these updates. Android manufacturers need to patch the flaws ...

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    Earlier this year Google opened up Maps SDK to let game developers create real-world games. The new game to join the list is the; Ghostbusters World built with Google Maps. The game allows you to grab your virtual proton pack and bust ghosts. The game is brought to you by Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Ghost Corps, publisher FourThirtyThree Inc., and developer Next Age. As a Ghostbuster, your mission is to “bust” ghosts to keep the world safe and ghost-free. You can lurk among 3D buildings, landmarks, and parks. You will find hundreds of ghosts from all dimensions of the Ghostbusters franchise like Wes Pinker, Splat, and Achira—in addition to fan favorites like Stay Puft and Slimer. Catch them in your proton beam to drain their energy and then capture them in your containment unit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quRF-gecY2U As you advance in the game, you’ll gain access to the latest in spectral neutralization and trapping technology. You can also team up with nearby Ghostbusters in multiplayer boss raids. There’s also an all original story mode featuring your favorite classic characters and there’s an AR Mode that lets you blur the lines between ghostly fantasy and reality. You can download the game now from Google Play and the App Store. Source

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    Alphabet Inc. has announced financial results for the third quarter of the year that ended September 30, 2018. Google reported a total revenue of $33.74 billion with 21% YoY growth and 22% increase in constant currency revenues year over year. The company had an operating income of $8.3 billion with 25% operating margin, up 7% versus last year, this is including the fines. The company has recorded a net income of $9.192 billion with Diluted EPS of $13.06. The Google properties revenues reported $24 billion, network Members’ properties revenues $4.9 billion, Google advertising revenues $28.954 billion, other revenues $4.64 billion. Google segment revenues $33.594 billion and other Bets revenues were reported $146 million, Google operating income came around $9.490 billion. On the other hand, Traffic acquisition costs for Google Network Members was around $3,427 million, paid clicks on Google properties improved 10% YoY and Cost-per-click on Google properties has witnessed a 2% growth. The Accrued performance fees for Q3 2018 was around $315 and gain on equity securities is around $1,382. Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google said: Our business continues to have strong momentum globally, led by mobile search and our many products that help billions of people every day. Alphabet revenues were $33.7 billion, up 21% versus the third quarter ...

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    Sony India has launched DSC-WX800 compact camera with  world’s smallest body in the Cyber-shot line-up. It offer versatile zoom range from 24mm at the wide end up to 720mm super-telephoto. In addition to 4K recording, it has BIONZ X image processing engine combined with a front-end LSI that delivers high-speed continuous shooting at up to 10 fps with a buffer limit of up to 155 images. Furthermore, it offers fast AF speed of 0.09 seconds. It has Eye AF, Touch Focus/Touch Shutter function, and location data acquisition via Bluetooth and several more features. It has ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-720mm High Magnification and High Image Quality Lens packed into compact body. Image stabilisation is controlled with Optical SteadyShot™which effectively negates the camera shake blur that often occurs during handheld and telephoto shooting. The Upgraded BIONZ X  image processing engine and newly implemented front-end LSI offer impressive stills. It inherits Eye AF technology from the α siblings for perfect portrait shots. It features Touch Focus/Touch Shutter and 180-degree Tiltable LCD for easy framing of selfies and group shots. Sony DSC-WX800 Specifications  18.2 Megapixels 1/2.3 type (7.82mm) Exmor R CMOS sensor, ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T 24-720mm4 zoom lens 4K video recording with full pixel readout Fast Intelligent AF and Eye AF to instantly capture the moment 2.95-inch 921,600 dots TFT LCD ...

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    Micromax has launched Spark Go, the company’s latest Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone. It has a 5-inch FWVGA display, is powered by a Quad-core SC9832E SoC with 1GB of RAM, has a 5-megapixel rear camrea, 2-megapixel front-camera, both with LED flash and a 2000mAh battery. Micromax Spark Go specifications 5-inch (854 x 480 pixels) FWVGA display 1.3GHz Quad-core SC9832E processor with Mali-T720 GPU 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 128GB with microSD Android 8.1 (Oreo) Go Edition Dual SIM 5 MP rear cameras with LED flash 2MP front-facing camera with LED flash Dimesions: 145 x 72.8 x 9.7mm 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS 2000mAh battery The Micromax Spark Go comes in Silver and Gold colors, is priced at Rs. 3499 and is available exclusively from Flipkart. It comes with 25GB of 4G data and 5GB of additional data benefits on a recharge of Rs.198/Rs.299 for a maximum of 5 recharges for Reliance Jio users. Commenting on the launch, Vikas Jain, Co-Founder, Micromax Informatics Ltd. said: With the growing preference of e-commerce in India, today’s discerning online consumer is always on the look-out for a multitude of options. Understanding these evolving needs and preferences of our audience, we are very excited to launch ...

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    After the Z5 and S5 Pro, Lenovo is all set to introduce the Z5 Pro smartphone in China. The company's CEO Chang Cheng has announced that the phone will be introduced on November 1st. He also posted a teaser of the smartphone that reveals a slide-out design, which is the latest trend in smartphone. The design reduces the bezels, offering high screen-to-body ratio. The slider has an earpice with front cameras on either side of it. It will also come with dual rear cameras with AI features. He also confirmed that the phone will come with an in-display fingerprint sensor, making it the first Lenovo to come with this feature. We still don't have any other specifications, but we should get the image and specifications when the phone is certified by TENAA in a few days. We will know all the details when the phone goes official next Thusrday. Source 1, 2

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    Xiaomi has finally released the list of smartphones eligible for Android Pie/Oreo update, these devices are supposed to get Android Pie/Oreo update before the end of this year. Xiaomi has mentioned that the smartphones which have already received two major Android updates are unlikely to receive further Android updates. The list of smartphones eligible to receive Android update includes both Mi and Redmi range of smartphones. List of smartphones confirmed to receive Android Pie: Xiaomi Mi MIX 2S Xiaomi Mi 8 Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro Xiaomi Mi 8 SE Xiaomi Mi Max 3 List of smartphones confirmed to receive Android Oreo: Xiaomi Redmi 5A Xiaomi Redmi 5 Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus (Redmi Note 5 in India) Xiaomi Mi 5X Xiaomi has not mentioned any plans regarding Android update for Mi 6X and recently-launched Mi 8 Lite. Xiaomi has also published a list of devices which have already received Android Oreo update, the list includes, Xiaomi Mi MIX Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 Xiaomi Mi 5 Xiaomi Mi 5S Xiaomi Mi 5S Plus Xiaomi Mi 6 Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Xiaomi Mi Note 3 The list is applicable for devices running on MIUI China ROM and it is not clear whether MIUI Global ...

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    Microsoft has announced that it has completed its acquisition of GitHub in a $7.5 billion all stock deal that was signed back in June. As both the companies already said, GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos, operate independently and remain an open platform. Nat Friedman, former CEO of Xamarin (acquired by Microsoft in 2016) will be taking over as GitHub’s CEO, reporting to Scott Guthrie, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group Executive Vice President. Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO, said: We will start by focusing on the daily experience of using GitHub and will double down on our paper cuts project. We will improve core scenarios like search, notifications, issues/projects, and our mobile experience. And of course we are excited to make GitHub Actions broadly available. We believe in the power of communities—that we can all achieve more when we collaborate with others. As the world’s largest developer community, GitHub brings together over 31 million developers to create, collaborate, share, and build on each other’s work. Our vision is to serve every developer on the planet, by being the best place to build software. This is a dream opportunity for all of us at GitHub, and we couldn’t be more excited to roll up our sleeves and start ...

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    Apple iPhone XR smartphone went on sale few hours back in over several countries and territories globally. As usual, folks at iFixit have already managed to grab the iPhone and have given at a teardown treatment as usual. We already know that the iPhone XR has a 2942mAh battery. The teardown reveals an 11.16Wh battery (2,944 mAh at 3.79V), which is bigger than the iPhone XS's battery, but it is slightly smaller than the 3,179mAh battery on the iPhone XS Max. It is thicker since it packs more juice. This reveals a recetangular battery, unlike  L-shaped battery on the iPhone X, XS and XS Max. This has a rectangular single-decker logic board. Apple has used 64GB flash storage from Toshiba (TSB3243VC0428CHNA1) and 4GB LPDDR4X RAM from Micron Technology (MT53D384M64D4SB-046 XT:E). It has Apple 338S00383-A0, 338S00375-A1 power management IC from Dialog Systems. This time Apple has gone solely with Intel’s LTE modem, as confirmed by Qualcomm earlier. All the models have PMB9955 Baseband Processor (Modem) and Intel PMIC (PMB5829). It is Intel’s XMM7560 modem, which is the company’s fifth-generation LTE modem designed via Intel’s 14nm manufacturing process. This offers download speed of up to 1 Gbps download (Cat 16) and 150 Mbps upload (Cat 13) speed. It reveals a modular SIM card reader, a first for iPhone. ...

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    Google is out with the latest Android distribution numbers for the month of October. The Oreo adoption rate is now at 21.5% compared to 19.2% in September. This includes both Android 8.0 and 8.1. Much like previous month, Pie didn't make it to the final list despite it rolling out.  The Nougat adaption is at 28.2% compared to the 29.3% in September. The Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now at 21.3% which is a slight decline from 21.6% compared to September. The Lollipop operating system adoption now stands at 17.9% down from 18.3% in September. KitKat OS now on 7.6% devices compared to 7.8% from the month before The listing also shows adoption of Jellybean is at 3% down from 3.2% in September. Gingerbread and Ice cream sandwich are at 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The data was collected before 7-days ending on October 26, 2018, said Google. With the company slowly ending support for older OS, we should see a slight growth in the latest and upcoming Android P adaption. Source

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    Google might be working on a new paid subscription service in Google Play which might be called "Play Pass." Google hasn't made any changes to PlayStore in the recent times and slightest of changes might take few months to roll out. Back in late June, there were reports about an in-development Play Store feature called "Play Pass." Forcing the feature flag to “true” didn’t show anything new in the Play Store, but decompiling the code showed that Play Pass had something to do with a subscription. However, today, a quick survey in the Google Opinion Rewards there was a question where the user is asked to imagine an "unnamed “app store” that “has a subscription to paid apps and games for a monthly fee." The question also asks the user to describe how well "Pass" describes the name for such a service. Since this survey corroborates to the findings in the Play Store app a few months back, it gives more evidence that Google is indeed working on a paid subscription service in Google Play. Google usually sends surveys about new products or services in testing, as Google back in March of 2016, asked users about tasty foods that start with the letter "N." One of ...

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    Qualcomm Inc. in its ongoing federal dispute with Apple on October 26th, in a San Diego federal court, said that the Cupertino company is $7 billion behind in patent royalty payments to the mobile chip firm. While this claim doesn't mean that Apple owes Qualcomm that much, but reveals the scale of fines in the legal dispute. On the other hand, Apple has accused Qualcomm of unfair patent licensing practices. Qualcomm accused Apple of patent infringement. The San-diego based chipmaker made its comments about the size of Apple’s unpaid royalties in a hearing in federal court in San Diego. Apple has disputed the number of royalties that it owes to Qualcomm. Apple has argued that Qualcomm said to have charged once for the actual royalties, and again when the chips were used in iPhones. Qualcomm has argued that its practices are legal and that Apple is seeking to destroy Qualcomm’s business model after agreeing to it for years. According to the dispute, royalty payments to Qualcomm were five times higher than the rest of Apple's payments combined. Apple is said to have been withholding royalty payments to Qualcomm since the dispute began. In 2017 April, it was reported that Apple and its suppliers had withheld some ...

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    Google rebranded Feed to 'Discover' which is part of the company’s efforts to surface information without users actively having to ask for it. Google Discover is now beginning to roll out in the web search on smartphones. It is available to the left of your home screen on Android, it surfaces articles based on your interests from sports, entertainment, and Search history. According to Google, it is used by 800 million users every month. Google Discover brings new visual design and features. However, on the web, Discover shows a feed of cards below the Search field, exactly like in the Google app on Android and iOS. Above each story is a topic header that features Discover’s star icon that can be clicked to see more related articles. These cards feature a cover image, title, and brief summary, as well as the site name and published date. There is also an overflow menu in the upper-right corner which allows users to dismiss. The content types that appear include live sports scores and YouTube videos. Some stories will feature a carousel of more cards underneath that include a summary or the actors in a show. This feature is now rolled out widely and it seems ...

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    Google introduced the ability to unlock the phone with a voice when interacting with Google Assistant. After being removed on Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, Google might be ending the support and might be finding a replacement on all other Android devices given how insecure the feature is. “Unlock with Voice Match” allowed users to have their voice act as a device passcode. Even Google considers the feature, less secure as it warns users with prompt warning users that this was the case before allowing you to enable it. Google, with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, replaced it with “Lock screen personal results.” This meant that Voice Match could only show email, calendar, and contacts through the Assistant interface, but any further action would require a password or fingerprint unlock. The Google Assistant features when the device is locked shows a lock icon on top to reflect the state of your device. The Google app V8.39 update includes a reference to a feature dubbed “Updated Voice Match” prompt that details the replacement and that “Lock screen personal results” will be the “more secure way” going forward. The end of “Unlock with Voice Match” and replacement with “Lock screen personal results.” is not yet enabled as of ...

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    The low-cost iPhone XR features some decent hardware including face unlock, edge-to-edge design, A12 Bionic chipset and more. However, when compared to the iPhone X, XS, XS Max, it falls short due to the lack of proper Portrait mode. It currently only works on people and not objects. However, the developers of popular camera app Halide, have found depth data on the iPhone XR and can enable Portrait mode for non-people. With the stock Camera app on iOS, if you try to take an iPhone XR Portrait mode image of your pet or an object, a message will appear that reads “no person detected.”  This seemingly is a software limitation, as Apple is relying heavily on software to mimic the camera features of dual-camera iPhones on the single-lens iPhone XR. Depth on iPhone XR vs iPhone XS. The XR has 1/4 the depth data. (Ignore color differences.) pic.twitter.com/WMkDtznY5o — Ben Sandofsky (@sandofsky) October 27, 2018 Halide developers in a Reddit post revealed that they currently have Portrait mode working on pets through their app. The post reads: “with some more tooling,” they’ll likely be able to release a version of the Halide app that enables iPhone XR Portrait mode that should work on other subjects ...

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    Huawei introduced EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9.0 (Pie) at the IFA 2018 last month. Earlier this month the company said that EMUI 9.0 will bring local language support, local calendar, deeper integration of Paytm, and more for India users. It also said that EMUI 9.0 will rolling out in beta for Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P20, P20 Pro, Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Honor Play soon. Now the company has started rolling out the EMUI 9.0 Android 9.0 (Pie) upate for the smartphone in beta, for those who have signed up for beta testing. This brings several features including new SmartCare AI learning, Password Vault, GPU Turbo 2.0, Multi-task-switching between each app and October 2018 Security Patch. Huawei said that EMUI 9 will offer 12.9% better performance and 10% better app load times, compared to EMUI 8. It also features Natural UX design with integration of nature’s sound and color with natural minimalist style, returning to the natural immersive design. Android 9.0 Pie brings gesture-based navigation, New Quick Settings UI design, Redesigned volume slider, Advanced Battery with AI Support and more. The Honor View 10 Android Pie EMIUI 9.0 beta update has the build number BKL-L099.0.0.108(C675E1R1P9-log) and is 3.92GB in size. The company should ...

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    OnePlus just announced its flagship OnePlus 6T smartphone at an event in New York, as it had promised. It has a larger 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display with a tiny notch that also houses three-in-one ambient/distance/RGB sensor and front-facing camera. It has about 86% screen-to-body ratio and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6. It is powered by Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with up to 8GB of RAM, same as the OnePlus 6, but the base version of the 6T now comes with 128GB storage, instead of 64GB. It has a 16-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX519 sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS as well as EIS, 20-megapixel secondary camera with Sony IMX376K sensor and f/1.7 aperture ad a 16-megapixel Sony IMX 371 sensor, same as the predecessor. It comes with Nightscape mode that can recognize night scenes and delivers brighter, more vivid images with more clarity and less noise. This will be coming to OnePlus 6 via software update soon. It runs Android 9.0 (Pie) with OxygenOS 9.0 with support for Android's full screen gestures and support for Smart Boost technology that improves app start speeds to 5 to 20% by storing data from frequently used apps in the phone's RAM. It has an ...

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  • 10/29/18--09:11: OnePlus 6T Unboxing
  • OnePlus just introduced its flagship OnePlus 6T smartphone at an event in New York. It is the first smartphone from the company to feature a tiny notch and 19.5:9 aspect ratio display and comes with in-display fingerprint scanner which the company calls Screen Unlock. We already brought you the first impressions of the phone. Check out the unboxing below. https://youtu.be/UXkQ-d9eI2w Box Contents OnePlus 6T 128GB Mirror Black USB Type-C to 3.5mm Adapter Screen Protector (pre-applied) Clear protective case Dash Type-C Cable Dash Power Adapter (5V-4A) SIM Tray Ejector Quick Start Guide and Safety Information The OnePlus 6T has a 6.41-inch (2340 x 1080) 19.5:9 Full HD+ Optic AMOLED 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 6 display with 86% screen-to-body ratio, sRGB and DCI-P3 color coverage and is powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with 6GB or 8GB of RAM. It has a tiny notch on the top that houses the 16-megapixel front camera with Sony IMX371 sensor, 1.0μm pixel size and f/2.0 aperture, earpiece and also houses the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors. It also comes with face unlock feature that can unlock the phone in 0.4 seconds. It runs on the latest Android 9.0 (Pie) with Oxygen OS 9.0 on top. It also has an option ...

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  • 10/29/18--09:11: OnePlus 6T First Impressions
  • The OnePlus 6 was launched less than 6 months ago. Without a doubt, that's a remarkably short product cycle and it makes you question why the company decided to refresh the product line. After having spent time with the phone, I'm still conflicted. The 6T is a fine device but it doesn't do nearly enough to justify its existence given how good the OnePlus 6 already was. OnePlus could've very easily saved the enhancements on the 6T for the inevitable OnePlus 7 instead of the piecemeal incremental update approach being taken here. Regardless, let's take a deeper look at the OnePlus 6T. I’ve been using the phone for the last few days to get a feel for it and here's what I think about it. https://youtu.be/najdf1pUHzY Let’s start from the front, the OnePlus 6T retains the same basic design that debuted on the OnePlus 6 which again wasn’t all that different from the previous gen models. That’s alright though since it’s a fairly classic design that looks functional yet good enough. There’s one big change of course. The notch on the OnePlus 6T is a small teardrop that dips into the Gorilla Glass 6 equipped display a lot more discretely than the massive ...

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