Android 12 Beta: Everything you need to know



Android’s redesign over the years, while helpful, hasn’t been too striking. Ever since the implementation of Material Design, Google’s mobile OS has largely looked the same. That changes with Android 12 Beta.

With Android 12, Google has revamped everything from the overall experience, colors, shapes, lights, and motion.

Material You

Google’s approach to Android 12 is to make sure it’s designed for you, for us, the users. In that vein, they’re calling this new design language Material You. This means a deeper integration of hardware and software.

In a separate media session, a Google representative pointed out that when Material Design first came out, Google wasn’t making their own hardware yet. That has since changed, and Material You is their answer to a more harmonious hardware and software.

Custom Color Palette

A Pixel-only feature, Custom Color Palette lets users completely personalize Android 12 with their color of choice along with redesigned widgets.

Based on your wallpaper, it will use color extraction to identify which colors are dominant, which are complimentary and will then apply these colors throughout the entire OS. That’s everything from the widgets, notification shade, lock screen, and more.

Redesigned System Spaces

This is perhaps one of the most different-looking aspects of Android 12 Beta. Instead of tiny icons, the Quick Settings area now provides more information on each setting. This makes it easier for the user to control pretty much the primary settings of the entire OS by just swiping and tapping.

The Google Pay and Home controls have also been added to Quick Settings for faster access and easier customization.

These also sit nicely with your notifications that also look extra clean and is very much in line with the look of the Quick Settings.

Private and Secure

While we’re in Quick Settings, a new addition gives you access to the Privacy Dashboard. Here you can toggle permissions like mic and camera usage per app. Google says this is almost akin to physically covering the cameras on your phone.

The Privacy Dashboard also gives you granular control as to what data is being accessed and tracked. If you don’t want an app track a certain thing, you can easily revoke the permission from this dashboard.

Location tracking is also even deeper now as you get to choose whether you share your precise location or just your general one. Or perhaps not at all. The idea is that you have full control.

Google is also introducing Android Private Compute Core to Android 12. They say it helps them show features that are private by design while keeping the users’ personal information safe, private, and local to the phone.

Fluid Motions and Animations

Naturally, with any OS update, comes the promises of better and smoother overall animation. Google says Android 12 will feel alive with every tap, swipe, and scroll. Performance improvements include reducing the CPU time needed for core system services by up to 22% and reducing the use of big cores by the system server by up to 15%.

Compatible Devices

As of writing these are the devices that we know will be compatible with Android 12 Beta:

  • All Google Pixel phones
  • ASUS Zenfone 8
  • OPPO Find X3 Pro
  • OnePlus 9
  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • realme (devices not yet specified)
  • Sharp (devices not yet specified)
  • Nokia X20
  • Xiaomi Mi 11
  • Xiaomi Mi Ultra
  • Mi 11i/ Mi 11XPro
  • iQOO 7 Legend
  • TCL 20 Pro 5G
  • Tecno Camon 17
  • ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G (China only)

Interested testers can download the firmware here.


Nokia XR20: Rugged smartphone with 4 years of updates

Launched alongside the budget C30 and a 6310 remake



Fancy a smartphone that could withstand extreme conditions? Well, Nokia now has one — and with guaranteed four years of updates too. The Nokia XR20 is the company’s first rugged smartphone, complete with a host of features.

The design, for a start, is something that you would expect from a rugged smartphone. It’s a bit chunky and for a good reason: the phone is MIL-STD certified, surviving drops from 1.8 meters. The ruggedized casing also helps in shock-proofing the phone. For a peace of mind, the phone also has an IP68 water and dust resistance along with Gorilla Glass Victus on the front.

Now, some people would equate rugged smartphones with outdated specs. This is not the case for the Nokia XR20, as it rocks features on par for the mid-range market.

First up, it has a sizable 6.67-inch IPS FHD+ display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. One unique thing about this display is that it has a maximum brightness of 550 nits, and it can even operate with gloves. It’s also worth mentioning that the front bezels here don’t have any “Nokia” branding at all — a first for the company’s recent smartphone lineup.

The camera on this phone is also par for the course. Up front, there is an 8MP selfie camera located on a centered punch hole. Meanwhile, the rear cameras are made of a main 48MP wide-angle lens and a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens.

On the performance front, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset powering the device. It is a mid-range chipset at its best, and fortunately, it has 5G built-in for future-proofing. By default, it comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also has plenty of support — four years of security updates, plus three years of major OS updates.

For connectivity, it has a lone USB 3.0 Type-C port with Bluetooth 5.1 built in. There’s even a 3.5 mm headphone jack included into the mix. However, Nokia also integrated dual speakers on this device if listening out loud is your jam. Finally, the device can keep up for two days thanks to its 4,630mAh battery.

The device will retail on August 24 for a price of US$ 549. Buyers can get it in two color configurations: Ultra Blue or Granite Grey.

Nokia C30 and 6310: budget and nostalgic pairs

Aside from the rugged XR20, the company also announced two new devices — the Nokia C30 and 6310. The former is a budget device that adds to the fledgling Nokia C-series line-up. It has a big 6.82 HD+ display, complete with a V-notch housing the 5MP selfie camera. The back houses the two rear cameras with a 13 MP wide-angle lens and a 2 MP depth sensor. Nokia is using an Unisoc processor here, along with the trimmed-down Android 11 Go. Furthermore, it comes with a 6,000mAh battery which is humongous for its class.

Image from Nokia

Meanwhile, the Nokia 6310 is revived and modernized 6310 that many people know from the past. Just like you would expect, it features the classic design of the long-gone feature phone but with a twist. It has a curved 2.8-inch display, a rear-facing 0.3MP camera, and Series 30+ OS. Strangely enough, there is Bluetooth 5.0 here yet 4G is nowhere to be found.

Image from Nokia

The Nokia C30 will retail for EUR 99 while the 6310 will go for EUR 40.

Via: (1) (2)

Continue Reading


Smart Signature Plan 599 is now available

It’s their most affordable Signature Plan to date



Smart unveils new signature plan for only PhP 599. There are two variations of this plan: a sim-only version and a signature lite with device. For the inclusions of the sim-only plan we have 5 GB monthly data allocation. Followed by unlimited calls and texts to all networks, and 100 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline.

For the signature lite with device, you get 2.5GB monthly data with unlimited calls and texts to all networks. Followed by 25 minutes of calls to any PLDT landline, this sounds like a promising plan for PhP 599.

The signature plan lite is available to new subscribers as well as existing postpaid customers. Customers may sign up for the signature plan lite at any smart store nationwide. Alternatively, you can also book a virtual appointment via Stay Smart.

“Smart’s superior network offers a superior digital experience. By launching our most affordable postpaid plan yet, we aim to empower more Filipinos with this differentiated experience so they can simply achieve more in their chosen career or passion,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.

Smart’s new plan competes directly with Globe’s own plan 599.

Continue Reading


Apple: Leaks are causing wrongly sized iPhone cases

Issues cease-and-desist order



Leaks have always been an important part of the smartphone cycle. Before a huge smartphone launch, leakers have always found a way to release information before the actual company. Premature information normally doesn’t affect the actual release. However, some companies certainly want to clamp down on leaks. Apple, for one, has always despised leaks. However, the company now has a different purpose for doing so: to prevent wrongly sized phone cases.

Reported by Vice, Apple has issued a cease-and-desist order against a Chinese citizen caught leaking info about upcoming iPhones. The leaker supposedly released prototypes for the devices to the public.

According to Apple, leaks ruin the surprise for consumers especially since they spoil the company’s plans. Additionally, the company says that releasing information outside of Apple’s purview will dupe case manufacturers into making cases of the wrong size especially if the actual products are of a different size.

Historically, Apple has been antagonistic against people leaking company secrets. The company has even filed lawsuits against employees caught smuggling out company secrets. Despite how much hype that leaks can generate for the company, Apple really doesn’t like its leaks.

Currently, there have already been a substantial amount of leaks surrounding the upcoming iPhone 13 series. There have also been hints for next year’s iPhone 14 series.

SEE ALSO: iPhone 14 series might use titanium chassis

Continue Reading