Nokia is back — and it’s back with a vengeance. The Finnish company finally launched its first Android-powered smartphone, the Nokia 6, but we’re expecting to see a lot more action this year. While the new devices won’t be made by Nokia, they will follow the company’s design guidelines and will retain the brand name.

HMD Global will be manufacturing these devices exclusively. We originally thought there would be up to four new phones in 2017, but rumors suggest there will actually be as many as six or seven. The rumors come from Malaysian distributor Avaxx, which said Nokia will aim to launch phones in all price ranges.

What’s more, these devices may not be as far off from release as previously thought. A tweet dated May 28 from the official Nokia Mobile account reads: “We plan to release our upcoming Smartphones worldwide before the end of Q2 2017. (June) Stay tuned for updates.”

Here’s everything we know about Nokia’s 2017 Android phones so far.

Nokia 9

A Geekbench page for a device listed as “Unknown Heart” popped up on May 25, and some believe it could represent the Nokia 9. The company’s next flagship has been linked to the “Heart” moniker, and the specs would definitely indicate a top-tier device. According to the listing, the phone could have as much as 8GB of RAM.

Now, these kinds of benchmarks are common in the run-up to the launch of a highly anticipated phone and are hardly confirmation of launch hardware. Even if this is the Nokia 9 we’re looking at, it could be a pre-production unit built to test higher RAM capacities. While 8GB of RAM might sound like overkill, many flagships in China are packing considerably more memory than we’ve ever seen in mobile devices before, and it’s not that much higher than the 6GB found in some phones on the market right now.


Earlier in May, a device believed to be a prototype Nokia 9 was leaked by French Android news site FrAndroid. The phone in these images is clad in a boxy blue case to conceal as much about its exterior as possible, but images of a spec sheet and the rear camera stack give us some clues about the handset.

What we can see is that there’s a rectangular fingerprint sensor on the front, situated between two hardware buttons in what looks to be a rather thick bezel. At the back, the silver camera housing shows two lenses, each believed to be 13 megapixels, as well as a flash and possibly a laser autofocus window. From these shots, the design seems quite underwhelming — but keep in mind, if this is indeed the Nokia 9 we’re looking at, it’s a preproduction unit that may not be entirely representative of the device’s final form.


What about the internals? According to a rundown of specs listed on the device, we’re looking at a 5.3-inch QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) display, 64GB of storage, and 4GB of RAM. FrAndroid mentions separately that the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip and runs Android 7.1.1. Other shots show both USB-C and 3.5-millimeter headphone ports.

Back in April, a sketch of a device claimed to be the Nokia 9 obtained by Nokia Power User gave what we thought, at the time, was our first look at the company’s upcoming flagship. The design appeared to follow the example of LG’s recently released G6, particularly in its edge-to-edge display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and slightly rounded corners. It’s important to note we cannot verify the authenticity of the drawing.

 

Around the back, we see a series of vertically arranged cutouts for what would appear to be dual cameras, a flash, and potentially a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor.

This leak followed another report from Nokia Power User that indicated the Nokia 9 — not the Nokia 8, as initially believed — will, in fact, be HMD’s flagship for 2017. Early on, there was confusion about the name of Nokia’s range-topping device, though now it seems the Nokia 8 is lower on the pecking order.

According to Nokia Power User, the Nokia 9 is believed to feature a Snapdragon 835, along with a hefty 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. A 22-megapixel rear-facing camera and 12-megapixel front-facing camera are also rumored.

Perhaps most interesting is the claim that the Nokia 9 will reportedly offer an iris scanner, bringing its security features in line with Samsung’s new Galaxy S8.

The same report also notes that the device will be the first to offer the “Nokia OZO audio” enhancements, so it should be pretty good in the sound department. Last but not least, the report suggests the phone will have a 5.5-inch QHD display.

Nokia 8

To date, speculation around the Nokia 8 has been just that — speculation. Now, however, rumors are a little more solid. According to recent reports, the Nokia 8 will be launched alongside the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 at some point in June. There’s no word yet on a specific launch date. The report, which comes from India Today, also highlighted that the device will likely come with a Snapdragon 835 processor and a 23MP rear-facing camera.

Previously, the Nokia 8 was listed on Jingdong, or JD.com, for pre-sale. The listing did not state exactly when the phone would go on sale officially, but it did list a price of 3,188 yuan, which equates to around $463. It is worth noting, however, that the images listed are very similar to a concept design that was released earlier, suggesting that it could in fact be a fake listing.


In addition to the leaked sketch of the Nokia 9, Nokia Power User shared a similar image of the Nokia 8. The two devices appear to be very much alike from the outside, with the only major differences being the larger bezels surrounding the Nokia 8’s display, and the front-facing fingerprint sensor. The screen still spans from edge to edge, but the rounded corners are notably absent. It is worth noting that the phone pictured here looks very different from one that surfaced at the Consumer Electronics Show in January that was also believed to be the Nokia 8, seen in a video below.

Other rumors from Nokia Power User directly contradict information we originally heard about the phone. While the Nokia 8 has been rumored to feature a flagship-spec processor like the Snapdragon 821 or Snapdragon 835, new reports indicate that instead it will feature a much more midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 660.

A YouTuber, however, uploaded footage of alleged Nokia devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 and 835. The device was at Qualcomm’s booth at CES 2017, and the chipset manufacturer reportedly asked people not to take videos or photos of it. The YouTuber, whose account is named Total Tech, didn’t comply.

Before we take a look at the video — it should be noted that we can’t verify this information, and the devices do not have any “Nokia” branding, so we’re casting a heavy dose of skepticism here. The YouTuber says Nokia and Qualcomm “have been working together on the Snapdragon 835 and the 10 nanometer process for the chip with Samsung for a while, according to inside sources, and Nokia has been their hardware reference provider for the 821 and 835.”

Again, we can’t verify these insider sources’ claims, and whether or not Nokia has been in partnership with Qualcomm. Total Tech claims the device in his video is the upcoming Nokia 8.


The video shows the difference in camera stabilization between a Snapdragon 821 processor and the Snapdragon 835. Total Tech says both devices are the Nokia 8 with the two processors — the one with the Snapdragon 821 will come with 4GB of RAM, and the Snapdragon 835 variant will have 6GB RAM.

Both allegedly also feature electronic image stabilization, a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, MicroSD card support up to 256GB, 64GB and 128GB internal storage options, dual front-facing speakers, and LED notification lights.

Total Tech also says the Nokia 8 will have a 24-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization, as well as a front-facing camera with 12-megapixels — it’s unclear if this applies to both models.

What’s interesting is the back of the device, which Total Tech briefly shows in the video. There’s a large camera, like the one found on the back of the Lumia 1020 Windows Mobile device. That camera packed 41-megapixels and featured Carl Zeiss optics — it’s quite possible the partnership could come into play again.

Nokia 7

Fresh rumors indicate that Nokia is also working on a Nokia 7 handset — filling in the gap between the Nokia 6 and the so far only rumored Nokia 8. According to rumors from Nokia Power User, the Nokia 7 will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, and it may feature a 1080p display and a metallic body.

That’s pretty much all we know about the Nokia 7 at this point — but we’ll update this article as we hear more.

DEVICES THAT HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED

Nokia 6

The Nokia 6 is the company’s first Android smartphone, which debuted late last year. It packs some pretty decent specs — including 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and the “latest version of Android.” On top of that, the device boasts a 16MP rear-facing camera, and an 8MP front-facing camera — all for only $245.


Unfortunately, it’s not all good news — the device comes with a somewhat disappointing Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, and it’s only available in China.

Nokia 5 and Nokia 3

Nokia’s presence at Mobile World Congress in February included three devices, two of which were the Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3. Don’t expect flagship specs, though, as the two Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones will have lesser hardware than the Nokia 6 to hit lower price points.

The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch screen with a 1,280 x 720-pixel resolution, and is powered by the same Snapdragon 430 processor but with 2GB of RAM. The rear camera will pack 13 megapixels, but the rest of the specs are expected to match the Nokia 6. It’s why the device costs only 189 euros, or about $200.

The Nokia 3 will be the runt of the litter and will only cost 149 euros, or $158.

Built by HMD Global, designed by Nokia

It won’t be Nokia at the helm of the forthcoming devices’ development, technically speaking. HMD Global, a Finnish company co-founded by former Nokia executives Arto Nummela and Florian Seiche, acquired the rights to the company’s mobile brand from Microsoft in May. HMD has a contract with FIH, a subsidiary of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, and under a strict licensing partnership, follows Nokia’s design and hardware guidelines in exchange for access to the company’s extensive patent library.

In recent years, the company has struggled to gain a foothold in the high-end mobile market. Following the company’s adoption of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system in 2011 and its acquisition by Microsoft in 2014, sales of its handset suffered — shipments in 2013 alone were down 22 percent year on year, according to Strategy Analytics.

Following Nokia’s divestiture from its parent company earlier this year, things haven’t looked much better. In April of last year, thanks in part to lower-than-expected smartphone shipments, it announced 900 million euros in downsizing measures — a plan which in part involved the layoffs of 1,400 staff members in Germany, 1,300 in Finland, and 400 in France.

Despite the Finnish company’s woes, though, it’s setting its eyes on the future. It teamed up independently with Foxconn to produce the N1, an Android-based tablet. It dipped its toes in virtual reality with the Ozo, a $60,000 professional-grade 360-degree camera. And it acquired French fitness device company Withings last year.

“We have been reinventing ourselves for 150 years using this amazing brand,” Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia’s consumer Nokia Technologies division, told Digital Trends in June. “We’re starting to focus on people’s happiness and health in a way that wasn’t possible before because the technology wasn’t possible before. You can expect some really surprising products in the next year or two directly from this company as we turn a new chapter.”

Article originally published in July 2016. Updated on 05-31-2017 by Adam Ismail: Added tweet from Nokia Mobile.

Source: This article was published on digitaltrends.com by Kyle Wiggers

Categorized in Others

Android malware is a serious problem that can cause you all kinds of trouble if you’re not paying attention to what you install on your device. Even apps that come from the Google Play store can sometimes contain malware, and researchers have discovered new tools that would allow hackers to take control of an Android device without the user even knowing it.

Described as a “Cloak and Dagger” attack by researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Georgia Tech, the malware would let a malicious app gain complete control of an Android phone or tablet. The user, meanwhile, would not suspect anything, and the malware would even be able to perform tasks with the screen turned off.

“These attacks only require two permissions that, in case the app is installed from the Play Store, the user does not need to explicitly grant and for which [the user] is not even notified,” the researchers explained. “The possible attacks include advanced clickjacking, unconstrained keystroke recording, stealthy phishing, the silent installation of a God-mode app (with all permissions enabled), and silent phone unlocking + arbitrary actions (while keeping the screen off).”

All Android versions to date, including Android 7.1.2, which is the latest stable version of Android, are at risk to this type of attack, according to the researchers.

Hackers exploiting these vulnerabilities would be able to record everything you type on the phone, including passwords and private messages. They would be able to steal PINs, unlock the device while keeping the screen off, and even steal two-factor authentication tokens.

Google is aware of the issue and is working on a fix. But it’s unclear when fixes might be made available, or whether the patches will be applied to older versions of Android.

“We’ve been in close touch with the researchers and, as always, we appreciate their efforts to help keep our users safer,” a spokesperson told Engadget. “We have updated Google Play Protect — our security services on all Android devices with Google Play — to detect and prevent the installation of these apps. Prior to this report, we had already built new security protections into Android O that will further strengthen our protection from these issues, moving forward.”

The full paper describing Cloak and Dagger is available at this link, and the following videos show various exploits in action:

Source: This article was published on bgr.com by Chris Smith

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Google last year sacrificed the Nexus brand for an entirely new line of high-end smartphones. The Pixel phones became quick hits, especially following the Galaxy Note 7 disaster, even if they’re not as affordable as most Nexus phones used to be. The Pixels are also different from Nexus handsets in one other key area: They don’t run pure Android anymore.

However, if you’re still looking for an affordable Google phone that gets fast vanilla Android updates, you’re in luck. But don’t expect these handsets to be called either Nexus or Pixel.

Remember the low-cost Android One experience that debuted in Asian markets a couple of years ago? Well, Google is going to expand it to the US, The Information has learned.

Android One phones might not come with the same build Quality and top features as the Pixel phones, or more recent Nexus predecessors. But they won’t be expensive either. Instead, Android One will offer users a device that won’t break the bank and will be compelling from the software side of things.

Android One phones may come from Android handset manufacturers you might not be familiar with, including Micromax or QMobile. But LG, a company who made various Nexus smartphones in previous years, may also be in the cards.

No matter who makes these devices, they’ll run a somewhat bloatware-free version of Android that’ll receive fast updates from Google. That includes both major Android releases and security updates.

The Android One phones will cost $200 to $300, according to two people familiar with Google plans, and they should be launched before “the middle of the year,” which means we might hear something about it at Google I/O 2017.

Author: Chris Smith
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/report-google-wants-bring-dirt-cheap-android-phones-222422322.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

Apple's devices might get more of the spotlight, but when it comes to market share, there's no denying Android's dominance.In the third quarter of this year, Android phones made up 84.3 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, according to IDC. They offer a variety of style choices and prices and a much greater ability for users to customize their experience.

They're also loaded with several software options that aren't available to iOS users. And if you're beginning the process of loading up your new Android phone with apps, here are a few that are definitely worth considering.

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus

Avast Mobile Security and Antivirus — The first thing you're going to want to do with an Android device is get a good antivirus program. Avast is one of the top ones on the market, and it's free. Beyond basic protection, it also keeps track of what your apps are doing and includes a web shield to help you avoid malware. There's also an antitheft component, allowing you to locate, lock or wipe your phone clear if it's lost or stolen.

Solid Explorer

Solid Explorer — File management programs are always helpful, especially if you load up your phone's hard drive. Solid Explorer not only helps you organize your files, but protect them with an additional layer of security, adding fingerprint scanning if your phone supports that. You can also transfer files between cloud storage accounts. And the app's interface is simple and intuitive.

Greenify

Greenify — Sometimes, the more apps you have open, the slower a phone will run. Greenify puts an end to that, identifying apps that are running in the background and either slowing down your phone or sucking up battery power. There are even aggressive modes that further extend battery life for those times when you're on the road or need to stretch a little bit longer before you can find a plug for your charger. 

Helium

Helium — Backup is always a good idea on phones, given how fragile they can be. Helium protects and restores lost apps and data. And for a $4.99 premium version, you can sync apps between several Android devices and restore them from cloud storage. As an added bonus, it's all done without having to root your phone (which can open you up to viruses). 

AirDroid

AirDroid — Contrary to what it may seem sometimes, most of us don't use our phones as our sole means of computer interaction. AirDroid, though, will let you bypass jumping from one device to another, giving you remote access to everything on your phone via a web browser — even text messages. That could be especially handy if you're at work and it's frowned upon for you to text with a friend. It's a feature that's so useful, you wonder why it's not a standard feature in Android. 

Pander

Pander — Don't feel like cooking? Pander not only lets you order delivery food, it does the heavy lifting of helping you decide what you're in the mood for with a series of questions about your tastes. With its restaurant locator service, it's especially useful if you're away from home. And if you're feeling extra lazy, you can order a mystery meal — as the app will choose your food for you, based on its knowledge of your preferences. 

LastPass

LastPass — Despite the urgings of security experts, too many people don't use different passwords for different sites — or input very basic ones. LastPass is a password manager that boosts your security but saves you the bother of having to remember complicated strings of letters, numbers and symbols. It works across devices and adds a layer of security to sensitive information you might input, such as bank account numbers or insurance information. 

SwiftKey Keyboard

SwiftKey Keyboard — This is one of the most popular Android keyboard apps and it's easy to see why. It has a highly accurate predictive technology for both words and apps and learns your typing habits fairly quickly. A strong privacy policy safeguards things like your credit card or log-in information. And you can switch between 100 languages as you type.

DashClock Widget

DashClock Widget — Another old favorite, this app boosts the amount of at-a-glance information available to your phone's home screen. Whether you want to stay updated on the forecast or see how many emails you have waiting (or many other tasks), you'll easily be able to do so. 

SwipePad

 

SwipePad — If the process of clicking to the home screen, then locating an app icon and tapping it seems to take an eternity in your mind, SwipePad can be your best friend. With a single swipe, you can launch an app from within another app. Other options include heading directly to a bookmarked website or reaching someone on your contact list. Best of all, it doesn't have much of an impact on your phone's battery.

Author:  Chris Morris

Source:  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/21/10-must-have-apps-for-your-new-android-phone.html

Categorized in Science & Tech

In a world where everything which your computer can do, can be done on your smartphone, hacking cannot be left behind.

The world is full of smartphones these days. Most people rely on their smartphones and other portable devices to carry out their day to day activities. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that smartphones have taken over laptops in terms of productivity. Thus, it becomes extremely important to know about the (ethical) hacking tools available on your android phone. Who knows, you might need them one day!

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Hacking, nowadays, is not something which is the exclusive domain of the “experts”. With the help of a few applications and basic knowledge of the true capabilities of your android phone, you, too, could delve into the world of hacking. So, let’s discuss some of the apps for your android phones which will turn you into a hacker!

1. AndroRat

AndroRat stands for Android Remote Administration Tool. As the name suggests, it is a remote administration tool which is used to control another device even if you have no physical access to that device! Manipulating other devices can be easily done using the app which is quite useful in case you’re away from your device and need it to perform some task. It is also useful in inducing some giggle and amazement amongst your friends and family members!

2. DroidSheep

The word “hacking” for many is hacking into your friend’s social media account for giggles. Or it may be used for even something useful like extracting some important information from someone’s social media accounts. DroidSheep does the job for you. It hijacks the sessions of social media activities carried out on your network. You need the knowledge of the basics of hijacking and by installing the app on your android device you’re all set to ‘hack’ your friend’s online social life!

3. Kill WIFI

This open source ethical hacking app is one of the most popular ones in this field. Similar to the net cut app in Windows, this app is capable of cutting off anyone’s WiFi over your network. Kill Wifi is extremely useful when you have an open WiFi not protected by a strong password. You can cut off the WiFi of the intruder by just a few clicks on your device. This app is easy to use owing to its lucid and interactive interface and easy-to-use tools.

4. SpoofApp

Won’t it be wonderful if you could place a call to your friend phone, but instead of showing your phone number different number flashes on your friend’s phone? SpoofAppis exactly what this app does. Apart from changing your phone number, this app can also change your voice and record your entire conversation! However, you will need SpoofCards to use this app. Overall a nice app for bringing smiles on your and your friend’s face.

5. WiFi Mac Changer

One of the most useful ones, Wifi Mac Changer app changes the MAC address of your device you make your activities almost untraceable. With your rooted android phone, you can change the MAC Address of your device temporarily so that your online activities cannot be traced back to you. The app provides you two methods of changing your MAC Address. One is the easier way which reflects no change in your WiFi settings. The other method is a bit tougher which allows you to enter apps which are password protected and this will reflect the changed address in your WiFi settings.

Conclusion

These apps may not seem very productive at a first glance but with prolonged use, you will certainly realize the potential that these apps possess. Who knows someday you may need to spy upon your friend’s/significant other’s social media account? Or you may need to kick off an intruder from your network. Thus, gear up for the path untraveled and watch your world in an entirely different light using these apps!

Source : www.hackread.com

Author : Ali Raza

Categorized in Social

A neural network -- and a human touch -- help Google figure out which apps belong in which categories.

Google has begun using artificial intelligence to categorize Android apps on its Google Play store, the company said Tuesday.

Using technology called a neural network, which is based loosely on the way human brains work, Google processes app names and descriptions to try to figure out which ones to show in search results. It's not hard to show the Snapchat app when people search for it by name, but the AI technology is designed to do a better job when people just type in categories like "selfie," Google AI researchers said in a blog post Tuesday

But the technology still needed a human touch. Google had to train its system by letting people assess how well the categorization worked and thus steer it toward better results.

With hundreds of thousands of apps to pick from, discovery is a major challenge for app stores. When you search or browse for apps, companies like Google and Apple have to balance new apps with popular standbys, weed out malicious apps, and curtail developer efforts to get their own apps to show up high in search results.

Source:  cnet.com

Categorized in Science & Tech

For the past few months, we here at Android.AppStorm have been collating our best tips, tricks, features, and shortcuts. Some are useful, some are geeky, some are just for fun.

As with all such lists, you’re probably aware of some of these tips already – but I bet you don’t know all of them! Did you know that you can search your text messages, Kindle books, and tweets all at once? Or that CyanogenMod 7 lets you disable two-thirds of the LEDs in your display, to save battery? Or that you can force websites to show you the full version of their site, even though you’re on a mobile browser? Read on to find out more…

Less-Than-Obvious Menus and Screens

These menus, screens, and settings aren’t exactly hidden, but they’re easy to miss.

1. Extra Wi-Fi Settings

In the Wi-Fi Settings menu, hit Menu > Advanced for extra settings, and to find your MAC and IP addresses. This is also the place where you can change the Wi-Fi sleep policy (the point where it switches back to 3G).

2. More Camera Options

The little kitchen timer icon in the Camera app hides a lot of options: metering mode, ISO, color effects… it’s not just for focus and exposure settings!

3. Bigger Battery Graph

For a detailed analysis of how your phone is losing battery, go to Settings > About Phone > Battery Useand tap the graph at the top of the screen. The screen that appears contains a visual timeline of the phone’s signal strength, Wi-Fi connection, sleep status and charging status since the last time the phone was 100% charged.

Bigger Battery Usage Graph

If you’re running low on battery faster than you expect to, take a look at our article How to Improve the Battery Life of Your Phone.

4. Change Default Apps

If you have an application set as the default for some action – for example, a particular browser is the default for opening web pages – you can change that. Find the app in Settings > Manage Applications, then tap Clear Defaults.

This also applies to launchers. If you want to try another one, then remove your current selection as the default; whenever you press Home it’ll let you choose between all the launchers you have installed, until you select a new default.

5. Get the Date With a Tap, Anywhere

You can quickly see the day of the week and month by tapping and holding the notifications bar, without having to pull it down.

6. Access Your Contacts on the Computer

Assuming you’ve linked your phone to a Google account, you can view all your phone contacts (with their numbers, email addresses, and any other info you have about them) at google.com/contacts.

(This came in very handy when I had my phone in for repairs for a few days! – Ed.)

7. Silence the Ringer

When someone calls you, you can mute the incoming call ringer without hanging up or accepting the call by pressing the volume rocker.

On HTC handsets, you can open Settings > Sound and Display and enable “Quiet ring on pickup” to make it fade to silent as soon as you pick it up.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 (as found on the Galaxy Nexus) is still pretty new, and I’m sure we’ll gather more tips over the next few months, but here’s what we have for now.

8. Tweak Your Home Screens

If you’ve rooted your handset, you can use Trebuchet Launcher to remove the persistent search bar and adjust the number of homescreens.

Alternatively, you can use Nova Launcher, which doesn’t require root. However, without rooting, you won’t be able to view widgets in the App Drawer.

9. Enable Near Field Communications

Enable NFC by opening Settings > Wireless & Networks > More, then checking NFC. And if you’re wondering why, read this explanation of the technology.

10. Monitor Your Data Usage

Check your data usage by going to Settings > Wireless & Networks > Data Usage. You’ll see a breakdown of all data transfers and you can tap any app to see how much data that specific app is using.

The Data Manager

You can also set a 3G limit here; after this point, 3G data will automatically be disabled – useful for anyone on a restricted plan.

11. Easily Create Folders

On any home screen, create a folder by dragging and dropping one app on top of another. To rename the folder, tap it, then tap the name.

12. Resize Your Widgets

For widgets that support resizing, you can long-press the widget on your home screen to make controls appear; drag these to change the width and height.

13. Use the Audio Equalizer

There’s an audio equalizer built in to the stock music player. Just hit Now Playing > Sound Effects to open it.

Browser

The browser may be the app you use the most, so here’s a handful of tips to help you use it better.

14. Change the User Agent

Some websites will automatically serve you a mobile-friendly version of their site, if they detect you’re using a phone. But these versions can sometimes be severely cut down versions of the main site, with far fewer features.

You can tell websites to serve you desktop versions by changing the browser’s User Agent setting to Linux Desktop or Mac Desktop. Alternatively, you can select iPhone, iPad, different versions of Android, or even IE6.

15. Alter the Default Zoom

By default, when you open a page, your zoom level will be set to Medium. You can change this to Far or Close by altering the “Default zoom” option in the settings.

The other setting that affects this is “Open pages in overview”, which makes new pages open zoomed all the way out when checked.

16. Quickly Access the Address Bar

Instead of scrolling all the way back up to the top of the page, you can just hit Menu to make the address bar appear.

On devices designed for Ice Cream Sandwich, which have no Menu button, you can do a “pull-down” gesture to achieve the same thing.

Keyboards

There are a lot of keyboards to choose from, each with their own tricks; here, we’ll just look at a few tips that apply to all keyboards in general.

17. Quickly Switch Keyboard

Instead of diving through the Settings menu to switch keyboard, you can do it from within any app: just long-press a text field and tap “Input method”, then choose your new keyboard from the list.

18. Alternative Symbols

Some keys can display more than one symbol: you can long-press the key and swipe over one of the symbols that pops up to insert it. For example, long-tap “c” and you can insert a “ç”. On the default keyboard (and some others), the letters that hide extra symbols have an ellipsis (“…”) in the corner.

Most keyboards also have a whole set of alternative keys, accessed by pressing a key marked “?123” or “ALT” or similar. HTC Sense has two menus, but it’s easy to miss the second one: it’s opened by pressing a key marked “1/2”, which some people naturally assume means a “half” symbol!

19. Hide the Keyboard

You can almost always toggle the keyboard by long-pressing the Menu key. On Ice Cream Sandwich, this won’t work, but most keyboards let you dismiss them by swiping down within them. (One exception is Swype, for obvious reasons.)

Why would you want to do this? Well, sometimes text fields trigger the keyboard when you don’t want it covering half of the screen, and sometimes the keyboard doesn’t automatically appear when you do want it
– this often happens with web pages that require text input, but don’t have any text boxes.

20. Quick Contractions

The standard keyboard’s auto-correct is great, overall, but there are circumstances where it can’t guess what you’re saying. In particular, it can’t automatically change “ill” to “I’ll” or “well” to “we’ll”, which is frustrating but understandable. However, it will automatically change “il” to “I’ll” and “wel” to “we’ll” (unless you have “il” and “wel” saved in the dictionary), so remembering this could help you stay in flow when typing.

It also seems that “iys” and “thays” get changed to “it’s” and “that’s”, respectively.

LED

A few phones don’t have notification LEDs (or trackballs), but they’re definitely in the minority. Assuming you have one, here are a couple of things you should know.

21. HTC Charging Light

On HTC handsets, when plugged in and charging, a green LED does not mean that the phone is fully charged; it means it’s at 90% charge or more. (You can see the current charge level in the Clock app, if you don’t have a widget for it.)

22. Get More Control Over the LED

The app Light Flow can offer you much more control over your LED: you can alter which types of notification trigger the light, automatically turn the LED off at night, and assign different colours to different types of notification.

These small changes make it easier to tell when you’ve got an important notification at a glance, without having to touch the phone.

Screenshots

We’ve covered how to take screenshots on Android before, both with and without root (and with and without having to plug it in to a computer). A few phones offer different ways of doing this, however.

23. Samsung Galaxy Phones

Samsung Galaxy phones offer a shortcut to let you take a screenshot immediately, without having to root. On most devices, that shortcut is Back + Menu; on the Galaxy S II, it’s Home + Power. In either case, the shot will be saved to a folder called “ScreenCapture” on the SD card.

24. Ice Cream Sandwich

One of the new features in Android 4.0 adds the same sort of feature to all phones: just hit Power + Vol Down to snap a shot of the screen.

Taking a Screenshot on ICS

Search

You will perhaps not be surprised that Google’s Search app does a little more than just search the web.

Note: a new version of the app was released on 11th Jan, with a cleaner interface.

25. Search Apps, Texts, and More

Besides Google, you can also search through your SMS history and music tracks, as well as any app that supports it (your Kindle books, your Evernote notes, your Twitter tweets, and so on).

From within the app, press Menu > Search Settings > Searchable items, and choose the apps and areas you want to search. The search results will show Google listings at the top, and other results at the bottom.

(In the previous version of Search, you can do the same thing by tapping the logo in the top-left and selecting the little dial button.)

26. Auto-Complete

When typing a query, a list of auto-completions will appear. Tap the words to go directly to a search for the selected query; tap the arrow on the right to just add the words to your query, so that you can type more.

Search history, auto-complete arrows, bookmark search, and contact search.

27. Remove Items From Your Search History

For results in your search history (the ones with a little clock on the left), long-press any to get an option to remove it from your history.

28. Assign an App to the Search Button

Certain apps let you assign a long-press of the search button as a shortcut to run them. Voice Search is the default, but you can also assign Screenshot Now to take a screenshot, or SoundHound to identify the song, for example.

Just remove the currently selected app as the default (explained in an earlier tip), then long-press Search to select a new one.

CyanogenMod 7

CyanogenMod 7 is the ROM of choice for most of the Android.AppStorm team – and if you’re not sure why, check out Rita El Khoury’s article, 10 Reasons You Should Try CyanogenMod 7. It’s no wonder that we’ve got a few CM-specific tips, then.

29. Use Lockscreen Gestures

You can enable lockscreen gestures that let you quickly jump to an app or perform a task directly from the lockscreen. These can be enabled and customized from Settings > CyanogenMod Settings > Lockscreen.

Lockscreen Gestures

Lockscreen Gestures

30. Quickly Dismiss Any Single Notification

In the Notifications panel, swipe to the right on a notification to remove it. (This has since been introduced as a stock feature in Ice Cream Sandwich.)

31. Change Number of Recent Apps

You know in Android 2.x you can long-press the ‘Home’ button on your phone for a list of the recently used apps? In CM7, you can change the number of apps in this list: open Settings > CyanogenMod Settings > Input Settings > Long-press home settings, and change “Number of recent apps”.

32. Force-Kill Apps With the Back Button

In Settings > Applications > Development, there’s an option called “Stop app via long-press”, which, when checked, allows you to force-kill the current foreground application by long-pressing the back button. Useful if you frequently use an app that’s a bit flaky, but watch out: some apps use a long-press of the back button as a shortcut for another feature (for example, it shows the History in the default browser).

33. Save Power by Going Monochrome

You can use RenderFX to set a single colour for the display to use – for example, pick red and you’ll eliminate the green and blue pixel usage, thereby saving power. The option is in CyanogenMod Settings > Interface > Render Effect.

34. End a Call With a Button Press

You can enable an option that let’s you end a call by pressing the Power button, instead of having to tap the screen. The setting can be enabled in Menu > Settings > Accessibility, and is called “Power Button ends call”.

35. Change Volume Without Unlocking

You can change your ringer volume quickly, while your phone is locked, by tapping Power to turn on the display, then holding Power to open the power menu, and then using the volume keys to adjust the volume.

(This also gives you a quick way to switch to Silent Mode or reboot the phone from the lock screen.)

36. Edit Notification Power Widget Buttons

Above the notifications, when you swipe down the bar, is a set of icons for toggling Wi-Fi, silent mode, and so on. You can choose what to show in here in Settings > Interface > Notification Power Widget > Widget Buttons.

Notification Bar Power Widget

Notification Bar Power Widget

I find it useful to have the Torch in this bar, for fast access.

Long-pressing on some of these icons will load additional options, or open the related app.

37. Show Battery Charge in Notification Area

You can replace the vague power icon with one that shows the percentage charge in Settings > Interface > Status Bar Tweaks > Battery Percentage.

Troublesome Ads?

Ever seen an ad appear in your notifications? This is thanks to a service called AirPush, which developers can use in their apps. Rather annoyingly, AirPush ads don’t indicate which app they come from.

An ad for AirPush, showing an AirPush ad.

38. Discover Which Apps Use AirPush

You can use AirPush Detector to find the app responsible for putting ads in your notifications.

I was surprised to find that 45% of readers were happy with the idea of using notifications for purposes other than… well, notification.

Google Maps

Google Maps is one of Android’s Killer Apps. It’s great on the surface, but even better if you know a bit more about it.

39. Transit Navigation

Transit Navigation adds support for public transit: buses, trains, and so on. It not only tells you which routes to take, it also alerts you when it’s time to get off at the next stop.

40. Share Your Location

Tap your location on the map (you can hit the button in the top right to pan the view to this), then hit the “My location” popup that appears. From here, you can send the location to other people, via SMS, email, Facebook, or any other method in the Share menu.

Looking for More?

40+ Super Secret iPad Features and Shortcuts

40+ Tips and Tricks to Get the Most Out of Windows

 

Source : android.appstorm.net

You’ve undoubtedly seen the news about Google’s new smartphones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. Perhaps you’ve read a review or two. Maybe you’ve already double-checked your bank account and pre-ordered a unit. No matter which anticipatory stage you’ve reached, take comfort in knowing that some of the Pixel’s best features are based in software. Every Pixel admirer with an Android smartphone at his or her disposal can experience most of those features on the smartphone they already own, with a little patience, dedication, and electronic elbow grease.

No unsanctioned procedure is without risk, of course, and that goes double for a device as indispensable as a smartphone. We can’t stress enough: if “APK” (Android’s app file format) and “sideloading” (shorthand for installing apps from unofficial sources) sound like foreign turns of phrase to you, and if you find the the idea of dealing with instability, missing features, and all-around bugginess the slightest bit unappealing, this guide isn’t for you.

In the interest of covering our bases, there’s the elephant in the room: modified applications. Our guide links to apps that may or may not have been “messed with,” so to speak, at the code level. We’re taking care to source the files from a reputable website, but we can’t guarantee the apps in question don’t contain malicious or damaging code. Downloader be warned.

If none of that’s deterred you and you’re confident in your ability to navigate the technical webs ahead, proceed with caution.

Preparing your Android device

First things first: you’ll need an Android device running Marshmallow 6.0 or newer. You’ll need to prepare it by (1) installing a freely available file explorer (e.g., ES File Explorer), and (2) permitting the installation of apps from third-party sources.

Here’s how to allow the installation of apps from third-party sources:

  • Open your device’s Settingsmenu.
  • Scroll down and select the entry with the title Security or Lock screen and security.
  • Tick or toggle the Unknown sourcesoption.
  • Press OK on the popup.

PIXEL LAUNCHER

extended-screenshot-2

One of the undisputed highlights of the Pixel’s new software is the Pixel Launcher, a home screen (technically) exclusive to the Pixel and Pixel XL. It’s cut from the same cloth as Google’s previous home screen app, the Google Now Launcher, in that it retains Android’s iconic app drawer, folders, and app shortcuts. But improvements and additions abound: There’s a new search icon and voice shortcut, plus a dynamic widget that reflects the current date and weather. There’s a new wallpaper picker, too, and a Google Calendar icon that matches the day’s date.

If all that sounds appealing, good news: installing it is easy enough, but there’s a caveat. Thanks to myriad inter-dependencies, the Pixel Launcher won’t give you access to the Google Assistant, Google’s eponymous intelligent assistant. The Pixel Launcher’s “G” tab normally acts as a shortcut to the Assistant, but it’ll merely open the Google Search app on non-supported devices.

Here’s how to install the Pixel Launcher:

  • You’ll need two application files: the Pixel Launcher itself, and another that’ll pull a rotating collection of high-resolution wallpaper images from Google periodically, in the background. Download both using your device’s internet browser.
  • Once both have finished downloading, use the file explorer you downloaded earlier to navigate to your device’s download folder and install the apps in question.
  • After both finish installing, tap your device’s home screen. You’ll see an option to select the Pixel Launcher; tap it.

That’s all there is to it!

If you tire of the Pixel Launcher, switching back is easy enough. Here’s how:

extended-screenshot-2

  • Open your device’s Settings menu.
  • Scroll down and select the entry with the title Apps.
  • Tap the menu for the Pixel Launcher.
  • Select the Clear defaultsbutton.
  • Tap your device’s home button and select the launcher of your choice.

CAMERA APP

extended-screenshot-4

Google Camera may be available for compatible devices from the Play Store market, but the Pixel and Pixel XL pack a newer version of the app, v4.2, with features that haven’t quite made it to other phones just yet. There’s an overlay that adds shooting grids in 3×3, 4×4, and Golden Ratio configuration, plus a slider for manual exposure control. That’s not all: there’s also a lock focus option, new animations, and performance improvements across the board.

The bleeding-edge Google Camera app doesn’t play as nicely with non-Pixel devices as the Pixel Launcher, unfortunately. Reddit and XDA users have reported success with the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, but only models that have been updated to Android 7.0 Nougat; the app appears to crash on older Nexus devices, like the Nexus 6, and handsets from other manufacturers. There’s a sliver of a chance it might work on other phones, but for now, it’s likely a Nexus-only affair.

If you’re willing to take the plunge, here’s how to install Google Camera v4.2:

  • Download the Google Camera application using your device’s internet browser.
  • After it finishes downloading, install it by navigating to your device’s download folder with your file manager of choice and tapping the Google Camera app.
  • Tap Install.
  • Once the installation finishes, you’ll see an icon for the Google Camera.

That’s all there is to it.

There’s another annoyance to note: if you’ve installed the Google Camera from the app store, it won’t replace it. Instead, you’ll have two Google Camera icons side-by-side in your app drawer. One workaround involves disabling or uninstalling the original Google Camera, but we recommend against it — put simply, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

DIALER

extended-screenshot-3

There’s more to Google’s Pixels than a new home screen and camera app. Indeed, Google’s spruced up the Google Phone application — the dialer — with a cleaner, more intuitive UI. When you’re in a call, the background’s a translucent blue gradient atop your phone’s wallpaper. The in-call buttons have been enlarged, labeled a little more clearly, and moved below now-prominent Caller ID information. Incoming calls are now answered with an upward swipe (previously rightward) and declined with a downward swipe (previously leftward). On launchers that support it (including the Pixel Launcher and Action Launcher), the dialer’s icon lets you create a new contact from the home screen.

The dialer, as with the camera, is a little capricious when it comes to compatibility. Users are reporting that it works on the Nexus 5X and 6P, but non-Nexus phones are a shot in the dark. Your mileage may very.

Here’s how to install the Pixel dialer:

  • Download the dialer application using your device’s internet browser.
  • After the download completes, navigate to your phone’s download folder using a file browser, and select the Google Phone application.
  • Tap Install.

In order to use Google Phone, you’ll have to set it as your default dialer. Here’s how:

  • Open Settings.
  • Select the Apps menu.
  • Tap the Gear icon in the top-right corner.
  • Select Phone app from the list, and choose Phone.

Rounded icons

Fancy the Pixels’ spiffy rounded icons? You’re not the only one. Luckily, they’re easy to obtain: a crafty developer extracted them, packaged them in a compressed folder, and hosted the whole shebang online.

Here’s how to nab ’em:

extended-screenshot

 

  • Download the icons using your device’s browser.
  • Navigate to your device’s download folder using a file browser, and then extract the icons from the compressed folder.
  • Install Awesome Icons, a free app from the Play Store.

Now you’re ready to begin assigning new icons:

  • Open Awesome Icons, and tap the image icon next to any compatible app.
  • Select the entry under the Icons header, and then tap Picture.
  • That’ll launch the Open frommenu. From it, tap your file browser.
  • Navigate to the folder containing the extracted icons, and select the icon that corresponds to the app you chose.
  • At the cropping screen, ensure the selection area includes the entire icon. Hit Crop, then OK.
  • Repeat the process for any remaining icons.

The icons aren’t perfect, granted. They’ll only appear on your home screen, not your app drawer, and the list of supported apps is far from exhaustive, but for an unofficial fix, it ain’t bad.

GOOGLE ASSISTANT

google-allo-hands-on

There’s a way to get the Google Assistant on most modern Android devices, and it’s hardly a secret: Allo, Google’s new text messaging app. The Assistant’s accessible in a dedicated tab within the app, or by typing in “@google” before a query.

We reviewed the Assistant thoroughly a few weeks back, but our consensus bears repeating: the Assistant’s really darn cool. It can look for restaurants nearby, pull up personal photos, run searches, look at flights, and find nearby events. It can provide quick access to a restaurant’s phone number and menu. It can play games like tic-tac-toe. And it can give you alerts at specific times of the day.

Sadly, Google doesn’t intend to bring the Assistant to non-Pixel devices anytime soon. But take comfort in the fact that enterprising developers are actively attempting to shoehorn the Assistant into unsupported devices. Someday soon, you may not need a Pixel or Pixel XL to have Google’s conversational AI at your fingertips.

Source : digitaltrends.com

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