Thursday, November 30, 2017

YouTube to launch story feature 'Reels' akin to Snapchat, Instagram

Facebook took Snapchat’s prime feature, and marketed it in the most successful way possible. Taking inspiration from the most trending feature on social media, YouTube is going to launch its own version of Stories. YouTube will be calling it ‘Reels’, and the feature will be exclusive to YouTube Community launched last September for creators.

YouTube, in a blog post, announces its latest updates on Community and towards the end mentions about Reels. Through Reels, YouTube wants creators to increase engagements with their fans. YouTube says that Reels is the company’s “spin on the popular stories format, but designed specifically for YouTube creators”. Creators will be able to make short videos with duration extending up to 30 seconds. YouTube is also integrating features already available on Community for Reels. This means that creators will be able to add media on their videos like text, images, animated GIFs, music, and also “YouTube-y stickers”.

ALSO READ: Google Datally app launched in India to control real-time mobile data usage

Creators will also be allowed to link YouTube videos to Reels. However, unlike Stories, videos posted on Reels will not come with an expiry date. On Snapchat, Instagram and other social platforms, Stories posted have an expiry time of 24 hours. After the said duration, Stories disappear from their accounts.

YouTube has shared a video of how Reels looks like. From the video, we can see that you can create Reels of different categories, and add videos accordingly. Reels is currently in beta mode and the final product is expected to launch soon, but after proper experimentation. In addition to announcing Reels, YouTube has also expanded Community to creators with over 10,000 subscribers.

YouTube has also made some changes to the Community tab. Now the most engaged viewers will see Community posts in their Home feed regardless of being subscribed to the channel or not. YouTube also says that it has optimized notifications for Community. However, this doesn’t assure that notifications for every Community post will be received.

Google Datally app launched in India to control real-time mobile data usage

Back in June, Google was working on a dedicated app that could monitor and control the mobile data used by apps. Today, the company has launched the Google Datally app in the country that helps you understand which all apps are consuming data, control that usage, and in turn save mobile data.

Datally is live on the Google Play Store and is compatible with all phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and higher. The app is close to 5MB in size, and is free for download. As Google says, with Datally app, “Users can track their data usage in real time, and get personalized recommendations on saving data along with notifications of public Wi-Fi spots available nearby.”

“Mobile data is expensive for many people around the world. And what’s worse, it’s hard to figure out where it all goes. That’s why we built Datally, an app that helps you to control, save more and do more with your data. We’ve been testing Datally in the Philippines for the past few months, and people are saving up to 30 percent on their data,” said Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Next Billion Users, Google.

The application was for a software for measuring data use, and interestingly, “arranging and conducting incentive reward programs to promote the use and sale of computer software; provision of an on-line marketplace for buyers and sellers of goods and services; providing an online network for telecommunications companies and mobile application developers to bid on and exchange data by means of an online marketplace for the purpose of allowing users to redistribute data usage of telecommunications customers.”

Now whether this sparks another privacy debate is yet to be seen over the access to the use of mobile data. However, as Google explains, the app helps you understand your data through hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Datally also offers personalized tips on how you can save more data.

If you turn on the Data Saver option, the app can also block background data usage and track real-time data usage while using each of your apps. It can also block data with one tap if an app’s data usage gets out of control. Datally also prompts if you are near a public Wi-Fi to help you connect.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018) leak reveals Galaxy S8-like Infinity Display, dual front cameras

Samsung will soon be updating its Galaxy A series smartphones. The lineup is expected to consist of the 2018 iteration of the Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, and Galaxy A7. Samsung is also rumored to launch the Galaxy A8 (2018), which would be the high-end model in the series. The smartphone’s alleged design has been leaked now which shows a Galaxy S8-like Infinity Display.

The leak (via GizChina) shows  cutout of what would be the display of the Galaxy A8 (2018). The smartphone has very thin bezels on top and bottom and almost none on the sides. The display also appears to be curved like the Galaxy S8. What’s striking is the dual-camera setup located on the top chin of the smartphone. Samsung only recently introduced the dual-camera setup on the Galaxy Note 8, and a dual-selfie camera module seems very unlikely.

ALSO READ: Samsung devices to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update leaked in list

With an edge-to-edge display, there won’t be a Home button on the smartphone. The fingerprint sensor will most likely be placed at the rear. This leaked design is in line with rumors and reports on the Galaxy A5 (2018) and Galaxy A7 (2018). For long, Samsung has been rumored for quite long to introduce Galaxy S8-like Infinity display on the 2018 Galaxy A series. Details on the smartphone’s features and specifications are still unknown.

Speaking about the Galaxy A5 (2018) and Galaxy A7 (2018), the smartphones are expected to feature a 5.5-inch and 6-inch full HD Infinity display, respectively. The smartphones could be powered by in-house Exynos 7885 SoC or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 paired with 4GB of RAM. For connectivity, the smartphones are so far rumored to feature a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB Type-C port. Going by Samsung’s schedule, the 2018 Galaxy A series should launch by December or the beginning of 2018.

Galaxy A7 2017 

Galaxy A5 2017 

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Samsung devices to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update leaked in list

Google officially unveiled Android 8.0 Oreo three months ago. However, the latest OS update is yet to be rolled out by many key manufacturers across devices. One of these is Samsung, which is yet to make some of its devices Oreo-sweet. Samsung is known to have released only the Oreo beta update for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, but there had been no clarity as to which devices from its portfolio will definitely get the stable Android Oreo release, until now.

Thanks to a Weibo user, who goes by the name ‘i ice universe’, a list of Samsung Android devices which will get the Oreo update has been leaked. reports that the user has a decent record of leaks, however, one must take the information with the proverbial pinch of salt.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) starts rolling out Android 7.1.1 Nougat update in India

According to the list, a total of 36 Samsung devices will receive the Oreo update. Notable mentions include the two-year-old Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. Interestingly, the list also reveals some unannounced devices as well. From the Galaxy A series, the 2018-edition of Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, and Galaxy A3 will receive the Android Oreo update. These phones have been rumored by far to run Android Nougat out-of-the-box when they are launched.

As for the existing devices, the Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, Galaxy A3 (2017) models will receive the update. From the Galaxy J series, upgradable models will be Galaxy J7 (2016), Galaxy J7 Pro, Galaxy J5 Pro among others. Other devices are from the Galaxy On series and Galaxy Tab series with models dating up to two years old.

Recently, OnePlus started rolling out the Android Oreo update to its OnePlus 3 and 3T models. It is also expected the Oreo update will soon make its way to the OnePlus 5 and bring Face Unlock capabilities.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

OnePlus 5T starts receiving OxygenOS 4.7.2, optimizes Face Unlock, fingerprint sensor, more

OnePlus recently launched the OnePlus 5T, which went on sale two days ago in India and global markets. While it may still seem too early, the OnePlus 5T has already received its first software update. OnePlus has started to roll out the OxygenOS 4.7.2 update.

OnePlus software updates are usually posted on the company’s forum, but this one in particular hasn’t been announced as yet. However folks at Android Police using the OnePlus 5T have received the update. OxygenOS 4.7.2 is sized 107MB and comes with important optimizations and improvements. To start with, this update brings optimizations for fingerprint unlock and face unlock. OnePlus 5T has an iPhone X-like facial recognition system, but features a rear fingerprint sensor too as an alternative.

ALSO READ: OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T start receiving Android 8.0 Oreo update

OxygenOS 4.7.2 also improves accuracy for screen off gestures. When the smartphone is locked you can draw gestures on the screen for some key functions. The update also bring improvement to the Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) during 4K video recording on the OnePlus 5T. The update also comes with the recently discovered KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability patch for the OnePlus 5T. This vulnerability could allow attackers to spy on your Wi-Fi network service. Lastly, the OxygenOS 4.7.2 update brings the general stability improvements and bug fixes.

As with every OxygenOS update, this one too will be rolled out as an OTA update. If you haven’t received it yet, you should get it very soon. To recall, the OnePlus 5T features a 6-inch FHD+ Optic AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio. Under its hood runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor. In terms of memory, the OnePlus 5T comes in two variants of 6GB RAM plus 64GB storage, and 8GB RAM plus 128GB storage.

For photography, the OnePlus 5T sports a dual-camera module of 20-megapixel and 16-megapixel sensors at the rear. Up front, it houses a 16-megapixel camera for selfies and video calling. On the software front, the OnePlus 5T runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It is fueled by a 3,300mAh battery.

OnePlus 5T

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Monday, November 20, 2017

OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T start receiving Android 8.0 Oreo update

Turns out, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T users are luckier than the new OnePlus 5T users – at least in terms of receiving the new OS update. It was recently announced that the OnePlus 5T won’t receive an official build of Android Oreo until some point in 2018. However, if you own a OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T, an over-the-air update for Oreo is rolling out as we speak. An open beta for Oreo on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T began rolling out in October, but this update is being made available for all users as an official build.

This means, that with the OxygenOS 5.0 update out for the said devices, users will soon have access to the likes of notification dots, picture-in-picture, Google’s Autofill API, and smart text selection. However, in typical OnePlus fashion, you’ll also find a variety of custom tweaks as well. 

OnePlus is adding a new folder design within its launcher. Users will also see a new option to upload photos they have clicked, directly to Shot on OnePlus. There will also be the recently announced Parallel Apps feature that allows users to have two separate instances of the same application is here as well. Similar to what is called dual apps on Xiaomi. Lastly, the update comes with the September security patch (and strangely not the more recent November one). 

Despite the seemingly small  changelog, it is a pretty big update, as the majority of changes are of course under the “Update to Android O” upgrade. 

OnePlus 5T  

OnePlus 5

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) starts rolling out Android 7.1.1 Nougat update in India

The Galaxy J7 (2016) was updated to Android 7.0 Nougat in India almost two months ago, and we had assumed at the time that the update would also be offered to the Galaxy J5 (2016). According to Sammobile, Samsung has started rolling out Android 7.1.1 Nougat update, along with Samsung Experience 8.5 UX in India.

This update is rolling out over-the-air, and, if you receive an update notification, just tap on Install now. The update can take a couple of days to reach all the units. However, if you don’t receive a notification or can’t wait for it, you can check for the update manually by going to Settings -> About phone -> System updates -> Install now. 

The update comes with a host of improvements and features including new power saving and background management features. The update also brings added support for dual-SIM dual-standby for 4G and 3G networks. The new update will also allow users to integrate GIFs directly on your keyboard with compatible apps like Google Allo, Google Messenger and Hangouts. The update also allows users to launch actions within an app by long pressing the app. Apart from the Nougat update, users will also get Samsung‘s Experience 8.5 user interface, which includes some improvements like Samsung Cloud integration, a new Device Manager app, as well as shutter button zoom option for the camera.

Galaxy J7 2016 

Galaxy J5 2016 

Galaxy J7 Max 

Galaxy J7 Pro 

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