News

You can download Android 7.1 Nougat beta soon

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As any Android fan can tell you, you don’t need to own Google’s Pixel smartphone to have the latest Android operating system on tap. Though, it has to be said, we’re talking Android 7.1, and not the software the LG V20 will be shipping with, which is based on an earlier version of Nougat.

Google today reiterated its preference for Pixel, Nexus, and Android One devices by announcing plans to release a public beta of Android 7.1, first to the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C and then to the full lineup of supported phones and tablets.

As has been the norm recently, the prerelease software can be downloaded by users who sign up for the Android Beta program, though Google hasn’t specified the exact timing of the roll-out. Willing guinea pigs Beta testers should get the preview update “later this month.”

It would be fair to say, however, that it could arrive as early as the week of October 20, or days after the Pixel and Pixel XL arrive in hands of U.S. customers.

An incremental update over the current Nougat release, Android 7.1 will bring support for Daydream VR, circular app icons, and app shortcuts, which allows users to jump straight to a certain action or feature of an app from the home screen. The complete list of changes can be found below.

App shortcuts API — lets you surface key actions directly in the launcher and take your users deep into your app instantly. You can create up to 5 shortcuts, either statically or dynamically.

Circular app icons support — lets you provide great-looking rounded icon resources that match the look of Pixel and other launchers.

Enhanced live wallpaper metadata — lets you provide metadata about your live wallpapers to any picker displaying the wallpapers as a preview. You can show existing metadata such as label, description, and author, as well as a new context URL and title to link to more information.

Image keyboard support — expands the types of content that users can enter from their keyboards, letting them express themselves through custom stickers, animated gifs, and more. Apps can tell the keyboard what types of content they accept, and keyboards can deliver all of the images and other content that they offer to the user. For broad compatibility, this API will also be available in the support library.

Storage manager Intent — lets an app take the user directly to a new Settings screen to clear unused files and free up storage space on the device.

If you’re wondering why Google Assistant, the company’s take on Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, isn’t included in the mix, know that it’s not an oversight, and that it’s intended to encourage buyers to purchase or upgrade to a Pixel handset. Other Pixel-specific features on Android 7.1 Nougat include live customer care and the Pixel Camera and Pixel Launcher.

Source: Google

News

Vivo NEX S pop-up camera goes under the knife in durability test

There’s only one way to find out…

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As a tech enthusiast, some of the cringiest videos you can find on web are those from JerryRigEverything’s channel. YouTuber Zack Nelson scratches, burns, and bends the hottest phones on the planet for both our entertainment and to see just how durable these gadgets are.

His latest victim is the NEX S, which is Vivo’s most premium and innovative smartphone to date. Not only does it have an in-display fingerprint reader and some of the thinnest bezels around, it also owns a pop-up camera that discreetly hides when not needed.

While many applauded Vivo for the pioneering feature, others were skeptical of its durability after long-term use. It’s only been a month since the NEX series launched, so we can’t say for certain how well it’ll hold up, but we have JerryRigEverything to speed up the process for us.

In this video, we see the NEX S and its pop-up camera go under the knife — as well as through flames and a pair of hands that try their hardest to bend the phone.

See the torture test for yourself and try your best not to cringe:

Overall, the NEX S escaped the session well enough, proving that its build quality can keep up with the best of them. We can now say for certain that Vivo took physical endurance seriously when crafting its latest high-end device, and that it can take a beating (at the beginning at least).

If you want to see the Vivo NEX taken care of a lot better, you can watch our unboxing and hands-on video below:

 

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Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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Huawei P20 Lite and Nova 2i are now priced cheaper in the Philippines

To make way for new Huawei midrange phones

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Huawei P20 Lite | GadgetMatch

Huawei is set to unveil new smartphones in the coming weeks as competitive midrange offerings. In the Philippines, we already know that upcoming Nova 3i is going to be priced just below PhP 16,000, which is the same as the slightly older P20 Lite model. To make way for the new phone (or phones), Huawei just slashed the retail prices of two of their best-selling midrangers.

Effective immediately, the Huawei P20 Lite is now only PhP 13,990 which is two thousand pesos below its original price. Since the P20 Lite is now cheaper, the Huawei Nova 2i gets another price cut to just PhP 11,990.

Both phones sport Kirin 659 processors, Full HD+ displays with tall aspect ratios, dual rear cameras, and rear fingerprint readers. Design-wise, the P20 Lite looks a lot its P20 sibling with a notched display and glass back, while the Nova 2i features a metal unibody.

If you wanna know more about the P20 Lite, we have a video review that you can watch below:

We also have one for the Nova 2i:

SEE ALSO: Huawei Nova 3i pre-order details and price in the Philippines

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