News

Android One was never really dead

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Earlier today, Xiaomi launched the Mi A1, which is the international version of the Mi 5X. Doesn’t sound so exciting at first, but the real story here is the reintroduction of Android One to the world.

As it turns out, Android One was never really dead. We questioned its existence a year ago after noticing a lack of smartphones with the pure operating system installed, and having witnessed only a few signs of life since then.

In a blog entry posted right after Xiaomi’s announcement, Google makes it seem like Android One was active all along, although they could barely name more than one manufacturer that has supported the platform in the past year. The search giant then mentioned its plans to work with “more partners” — notice the plural form there.

From our own database, the two most prominent backers of Android One have been General Mobile and Sharp, which aren’t exactly household names in the smartphone business, but were vital in keeping the ship afloat.

Android One is an excellent platform to build on, and shouldn’t have lost the momentum started by its initial launch in 2014. The first generations of smartphones under the program had the purest form of the operating system, as well as access to the latest Android updates and security patches.

Buying an Android One phone was like going for a Nexus (still remember those?) minus the added premium. The platform made a name for itself with affordable handsets without any bloatware from manufacturers or telcos, which is the true essence of open-sourced Android in the first place.

If Google’s partnership with Xiaomi is a sign of things to come, we’re in for a smooth ride. Xiaomi’s presence is well established in the two most populated consumer markets in the world: China and India. The two nations also have a strong preference toward products that are easy on the pockets — something that Google and Xiaomi can capitalize on with offerings like the Mi A1.

The questions that remain are: Is Xiaomi’s worldwide recognition enough to bring Android One back to prominence? And will this partnership lead to more opportunities for Android purists to get the latest updates without spending for a Pixel?

Google is well known for leaving projects in the dust — look no further than Project Ara and Google Glass as examples — but Android One is neither just a project or another operating system; it’s still the company’s gateway to the next five billion.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi unveils Mi A1 with Android One and dual cameras

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Apps

Canva adds new features for presentations on the go

Responsive presentations anytime, anywhere

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Having a well-designed document goes a long way in engaging your audience. That’s where Canva comes in, simplifying the creation of well-thought documents, posters, and more. Now, Canva is adding more features which would delight presenters on the go.

Canva is adding three new features for mobile presentations on the go. The first feature is responsive presentation — users can now create presentations on their laptops and view it on their mobile devices. Presentations adapt to different screens, so the days of fussing over the right screen size is over. Plus, user can edit and view presentations made with Canva anywhere, anytime.

The second feature is presentations playlist, which would suit well for team presentations. With this feature, teams can create accessible spaces for collaboration through shared folders. This feature also builds a single coherent event with transitional slides introducing each speaker.

Finally, the third feature is live Q&A, which Canva will add soon to its mobile apps. Audiences may soon participate in from any device and have the option to send in questions anonymously. This should enable a more dynamic and engaging presentation with audiences.

With over a thousand designer-made templates, 50 million premium images and videos, Canva makes it easier to create beautiful documents, posters, and graphic materials. It is available on the web, on Android, and iOS devices. Users can sign up today for a free tier, with a premium tier also available to unlock more features.

SEE ALSO: 10 free apps to improve your Instagram stories

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ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition: Price in the Philippines

Available in two bundles!

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ASUS ROG has one more hurrah before the year (and the decade!) closes. The company is bringing to the Philippines the ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition.

The phone is everything you already know about the ROG Phone 2 but has nearly overkill RAM and storage — 12GB and 1TB, respectively. It was announced months ago that it will be available for purchase at PhP 59,995. This time around, you can pre-order it with a few more goodies.

Two Ultimate bundles

The first bundle is called the Overdrive Gaming 2.0. With it you’ll get the ROG Phone 2 Ultimate Edition along with the ROG Kunai Gamepad, the Lighting Armor Case, and an ROG Exclusive Jacket for PhP 64,995.

The second bundle is called Wear Victory 2.0. Here the phone will come with the ROG Exclusive Jacket without any additional costs.

Pre-order period is from December 7 to December 13. Itching to get your hands on these? Go ahead and fill up the pre-order form. For more details and mechanics visit the ASUS ROG Facebook Page.

SEE ALSO: ROG Phone 2 review: Mobile gaming on steroids

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Huawei’s Nova 6 5G apparently has the best selfie camera

Thanks to the dual-camera setup

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Benchmarks are often skewed because they fail to judge real-life experience. However, they do help us understand the nitty-gritty of a gadget and establish results in an empirical manner.

DxOMark has published its camera test results for the Huawei Nova 6 5G, and it turns out this phone tops the selfie charts. Huawei introduced the Nova 6 5G in China today with dual shooters on the front in a punch-hole design, similar to the Honor V30.

The phone achieved a score of 100 while the Galaxy Note 10 5G comes second as it managed to score 99 points. This has officially given it the top spot for selfies amongst its competitors.

The phone sports a 32-megapixel primary selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture. In addition, you’ll also find an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture. DxOMark tested phone’s front cameras with over 1,500 test images and more than 2 hours of video footage.

According to the test results, this setup can provide good exposure in pretty much all conditions. It also managed to capture wide dynamic range, and white balance was also spot on.

The tests were carried out in a controlled environment and also in natural settings outdoors. DxOMark maintains that all default settings were used.

All in all, the test proves that the Nova 6 5G has a capable selfie camera setup, as marketed by Huawei as well. For now, the phone is restricted to the Chinese market and we should be seeing a global roll-out in the coming months.

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