Android Go For Gold

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Android Go For Gold

Smart phones are naturally the next step in evolution from the flip phones everyone used not too long ago.  That being said, smart phones are expensive.  At least they are right now.

Android Go’s release

If you’re trying to buy one of the newer models you need a decent amount of cash in your wallet.   This trend likely won’t change in the near future as long as consumers are willing to pay top dollar for the high end models, but Google is taking steps to enter lower cost markets.  In a shift of focus from quality to quantity, Android Go is Google’s new initiative to expand its reach into other parts of the world and sell budget smart phones.  Some of these aim to be less than $100.

For a few years Google has been saying that its next billion users will come from countries like India.  And after Google’s Android One initiative failed to corner the budget market, Android Go is Google’s chance to learn from their mistakes and try again.  Android Go aims to provide a variety of smartphone options to users that have limited RAM but updated software.

Android Go specs:

It seems that despite the move towards quantity, quality won’t suffer too much.  Low tier smartphones already exist in the double-digit price range, but Android Go’s goal is to create a fast and smooth performance for users while utilizing the most recent Android software.  The key difference between Android Go devices and other cheap Android smartphones is that Go’s software is guaranteed to be up to date and optimized.  A huge selling point when you consider how most cheap smartphones are running on outdated API levels.

The first batch of Android Go phones such as the ZTE Tempo run on Android Oreo and focuses heavily on security and software updates.  With these in the forefront, less attention is given to low powered processors and roughly 1GB of RAM.

What does this mean for developers?

As with anything new in the tech industry, more than just consumers are impacted.  If you’re an Android developer and you have faith in Android Go’s initiative, then you had better start targeting Oreo or above.  Right now roughly 1% of the world is using Oreo so it’s not the end of the world if your apps are focused on lower level API’s, but in the next year or two this is going to change dramatically.

Of course if you’ve been paying attention to Play Store trends then this is not news.  Starting in August of 2018 all new apps for the store will have to be built with Android 8.0 Oreo or higher as the target API.  In other words, Android Go isn’t the determining factor for Oreo’s importance.

Times are changing and in order to keep up you need to make sure you know all the latest features.  PhonLab offers lessons on how to target different API levels and account for Oreo devices in your apps without leaving older users behind. You can learn all about this in Phonlabs Android app developer course.

Only time will tell how successful Google’s new movement will be, but it’s only a matter of time before everyone owns a smartphone.  There’s still a lot of market to capture in the world.  If you have any thoughts on Android Go’s potential or what it’s missing let us know in the comments below.

Android P In Action

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Android P In Action

Last month we wrote about Android P and how it’s become the talk of the town despite Oreo’s youth.  We’re still some ways off from P (currently known as Pistachio) making its way into the hands of everyday consumers, but earlier this week Google released their first preview of P to developers.  Here’s a quick highlight of some of the cool features it has to offer. Spoiler: some of them are pretty cool.

Android P Highlights:

Wifi RTT – The new API for Wi-Fi Round Trip Time lets you take advantage of indoor positioning in your apps.  RTT measures the distance to nearby Wifi access points that support RTT.  By doing this with 3 access points RTT calculates a triangulated position accurate within about a meter.  There are ton’s of creative opportunities here, and don’t worry about privacy.  Only the user’s phone is able to determine the distance, so no one else will know who you are in a crowded room.

Notifications – In Android 7.0 users gained the capability to reply to messages directly from notifications. Then in 8.0 notification channels were introduced to give users more control over what types of notifications they want to receive from an app.  P takes these features one step further.  Now in the notification bar you can see image messages, and utilize the auto-replies available in your messaging app.  So forget ever using your messaging app, everything can be done from your home screen now.

Animations – The new class AnimatedImageDrawable allows for simple drawing and displaying of GIFs and WebP animated images.  This class lets apps show animated images without having to manage updates or burden the UI thread.

Display Cutout Support – While this feature isn’t going to be in the hands of users, developers are able to modify their phone’s looks in settings under Device theme.  This allows developers to emulate different kinds of screen displays such as including the notch that’s been growing in popularity. Thanks a lot Apple BOOOOOOO.

How to get Android P:

Right now we may as well say P is for Pixel.  The current release is only available on pixel and pixel2 devices (or an Android emulator running one of these).  And once again, this initial release is for developers only not commercial use.  As such Google has made it only available by manual download in Flash.  Click here to download the Android P beta and see what changes it has in store. If you want to install it on your pixel device then check out this video of installing a developer preview on a Nexus 6p as the process will be the same.

You can read more about each of these features and more at  There are also some brilliant Easter eggs such as allowing users to rotate their phone to landscape mode even when they have auto-rotate turned off, and improving features for one-handed use.  After you download the Preview let us know what you think the biggest changes are and what still needs to be done.

Comment below on what you think the official name of Android P will be.


AI In The Bedroom: Smart Home Forecasts

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AI In The Bedroom

Some of you may remember the old Disney movie “Smart House” about a futuristic house designed to take care of a family and all of its needs.  Yes, the house went rogue and locked the family in, but before that turn of events it took care of all the cooking, cleaning, and household management.  We’re not too far off from this becoming the reality for every home.

It’s no secret that strides have been made in home technology over the past few years.  Companies like Google and Amazon have built their own “personalities” to be placed on the counter and listen for commands.  Rather than take the time to list the achievements that have been made already, this post will look towards the future of the smart home.

The Heated Battle:

A few days ago the Senior Manager of Amazon’s Alexa AI jumped ship to work for Google.  This is hardly indicative that there’s been a shift in the power dynamic.  All the same the move generated a lot of discussion about what the future holds for both companies in their smart home ventures.  Couple this with the fact that Amazon recently decided to stop selling Nest (owned by Google) products on its website, and the tension only builds. Nest products can connect to Google Home, and both companies are fighting for a winner take all outcome.

With the race on for who dominates the American household, we’re sure to see some out of the box ideas come into play.  But in terms of innovation this competition is only going to benefit consumers.  As long as each of these companies has the other posing a market share threat, actions will be taken to partner with as many 3rd party businesses (products) as possible.  This means two things: 1. Businesses that can come up with unique home appliances are going to thrive, and 2. The smart home is only going to get smarter.

Smart Apartments as the norm? 

The end goal is a seamless flow of assistance.  Whether it’s making your breakfast when your alarm goes off or turning your lights off and playing white noise until you fall asleep, smart homes will find their way into every possible part of daily life.  Plans are currently underway in major cities like Chicago to build “Smart Apartments” that already have wiring and lights installed to be compatible with Alexa and Google Home.

And there’s really no foreseeable limit to what can and can’t be improved by tapping into a smart home.  I think in the next few years “smart home compatible” is going to become a buzzword of sorts for all kinds of 3rd party appliances.   The bottom line is that innovation is happening right now, and there’s plenty more to come.  I look forward to seeing how Google and Amazon both find ways to improve our everyday lives with the upcoming tech.

What do you think lies on the horizon for the smart home?  Let us know in the comments below!

Augemented Reality is at the ARCore of Android’s future

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ARCore is out!

In the summer of 2016 PokemonGo opened up pandora’s box for augmented reality (AR).  The app was an instant hit around the world.  While it’s user base has certainly declined since then, nearly two years later it still has a constant demand.  Unfortunately, Pokemon are not the topic of this article (I could write some pretty good ones!). Instead we’ll focus on another stride in AR that took place earlier this week; Google’s release of ARCore.

On February 23rd Google officially released v1.0 of ARCore available on over 100 million Android devices.  Individual developers can now design and publish their AR-based apps on the Play Store, and this only means that AR is going to become even more prevalent in our everyday lives. Speaking of Developer, if you are interested in becoming a developer you should check out my new Android developer course on

Compatible Phones:

While the list of phones is limited at the moment, you can experience this new wave of AR if you have one of the following phones:

  • Pixel/XL
  • Pixel 2/XL
  • Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus
  • Note 8
  • Galaxy S7/S7 Edge
  • LG V30/30+
  • Asus Zenfone AR
  • OnePlus 5 /5T

ARCore is certainly not the first AR software to get into the hands of developers (Apple’s ARKit and Unity’s Vuforia), but it still marks a significant step towards AR becoming the norm on every device.  Google has said they are partnering with many manufacturers this year to enable AR in upcoming devices.  The bottom line: AR is here to stay.

AR’s Implications

As a developer myself AR is a beautiful thing because it empowers us to create more immersive experiences that can connect with other people.  You’ll often hear gamer’s say that gaming is an art form that encompasses many others.  Video games are an interactive visual and audio experience that can invoke feelings just like any other art if the story is told correctly.  AR only creates more opportunities for this to happen, so it’s not surprising that most of the successful AR apps right now are video games.

But of course AR has much more use than just as a gaming feature.  Industry giants like Amazon have already began releasing their personal touches.  Amazon has utilized ARKit for a few months on iOS, and ARCore is now available on Android phones so that users can visualize what products will look like in their homes before ever purchasing.  Google also partnered with Snap to create a virtual tour of Barcelona’s famous Camp Nou soccer stadium.  I think it’s safe to say every tech giant in the world is thinking about either how they can incorporate AR, or what impact it’s going to have on their future.  Even outside of tech a lot of other industries are gearing up for change as well.

With so many new reality technologies emerging, its an exciting time to be either a developer or a user.  And with all this buzz about AR, let’s not forget that the end of the spectrum exists with products like the Vive containing fully immersive VR worlds.  These differ from AR in that 100% of your surroundings are computer generated, not just a portion.  There’s certainly a spectrum of how immersive AR can be.  If we put reality on one end and VR on the other, AR is everything that falls in between.

What do you think the future holds for the immersive computing spectrum?  Let us know in the comments below.

Android P Privacy, Personality, and Pistachios

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Android P

It seems like just yesterday Android Oreo began rolling out to devices, and even now only 1% of android phones are running it.  Yet despite Oreo’s youth, the newest release rumors have already begun spreading about what’s up next.   Internally known as “Android Pistachio Ice Cream”, Android P is close on the horizon.

A little leaked info by Bloomberg has provided some insight to Android’s next release, and the changes are both expected, and somewhat out of left field.  Software features such as Google Assistant are being ramped up to become a more integral part of the interface. On the less predictable end it seems Android P will be revolving heavily around a new “notch” similar to that in the iPhone X.  This seems to be a marketing strategy aimed at converting iPhone users to team Android, but without knowing more about notch details it’s hard to say how impactful this design change will be.

Google Assistant

On a much more interesting note for developers and practical users, Google Assistant appears to be one of the primary focuses of growth.  This emphasis will likely open all sorts of new possibilities as Android finds ways to not only build out Assistant as a standalone, but to incorporate it into other apps!

Assistant already has high quality performance for asking questions and managing smart-home devices, but incorporating it into 3rd party apps opens a whole new door for creativity.  By opening Assistant up to third-party developers (like Amazon has with Alexa), we could see some groundbreaking apps come into being with voice commands.  Obviously fun from a development standpoint, and users would be empowered to do a whole lot more than just google something or ask to hear a joke.


Another welcome feature being added on is privacy.  As it currently stands, when an app is granted camera/microphone recording permission by the user it can turn these on as it pleases.  Not ideal.  Recent code submissions show that Android P plans to be work through this issue by blocking background apps from accessing a device’s microphone or camera.  Whether or not you’re the type to sticky note your camera, this is most definitely a win for privacy.

Android P (any love for popsicle?) will make its debut in 3 months at Google’s annual I/O developer conference, and even then it will be a long way off from gaining a large market share of devices, but stay tuned and we’ll be sure to dive deeper into what it has to offer for both developers and users.

What are your thoughts about the new features coming to Android P?  Please comment below.


Learn How To Develop Android Apps

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Coding is like printing your own money!!! 

Everyone has that one app idea that’s sure to be the next big thing, yet so many of these possibilities slip away unnoticed by the world.  The problem isn’t coming up with the idea, it’s crafting it into a tangible app people can download and share.   If you’ve been itching to turn an idea into reality and show the world what it’s been missing, then you’re in luck.

Phonlab’s newest course has officially been released, and to say we’re excited is an understatement.  The Android App Development course is designed to guide a student all the way from writing their first line of code ever to publishing apps on the Google Play Store.  We’ve built it to cover all the basics of Android while throwing in some snazzy features to make your creations more exciting for users.  By the end of the course you’ll not only be set up with the resources need to make a million-dollar app, but you’ll already have a portfolio of 5 apps to show off to family, friends, and potential employers.  

Here’s a quick rundown of the apps you’ll be building:

  1.  ScoreKeeper:  After learning about the basics of Java and XML this multi-sport score keeping app will show students how to build complex layouts.  Here we’ll make the jump to multiscreen apps with complex interactive layouts.  
  2.  SoundScape:  For app #2 students will learn how to include audio into their apps by building a soundboard with their own personal touches.  Audio’s not always a necessity in apps, but learning to include it can create a more immersive experience and really make your app pop.
  3.  NewsNet: In this app students will learn about this beautiful thing called the web and begin streaming live data into their apps.  We’ll consolidate articles from over 5,000 news sources into just one screen and learn some tricks the pros use to speed up development.
  4.  MyReads: Have you ever wanted to keep a log of every book you’ve ever read?  Well if so (and if not) app #4 of the course is centered around building a database for this very purpose.  We’ll learn about SQL, one of the most important languages in the data world, and learn how to share info between apps.
  5.  FireChat: In our 5th app students will build a group messaging app complete with social media incorporation by learning the syntax behind Android’s newest language Kotlin.  Kotlin has a bright future ahead of it, but online learning resources are currently few and far (Phonlab to the rescue!)

These apps are the bedrock of the education, but of course we want to set you up for success, so there are lots of other topics covered along the way.  These include how to use Github to build projects with a team of developers, and diving into the depths of object oriented programming.

Whether you want to learn as a (lucrative) career choice, or as a side hobby, there’s no better time to begin your journey, and we want to be by your side all the way.

Enroll Now At Phonlab

Phonlab’s new Apple iOS app developer course

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Phonlab’s New Apple iOS App Developer course is finally here!!!!

We’d like to give you a warm welcome to our new iOS Application Development course at Phonlab. A course we’ve put together so that you can learn the art of iOS programming from scratch, with no hassle and no programming skills required.

In this course, you’ll learn the very basics of iOS app development in the Swift programming language. Swift was created by Apple to make iOS app development as easy as it can get. Combined with Xcode, it provides an easy route for beginners to learn how to code. Swift can also be used to build macOS, watchOS and tvOS applications, so learning it will help you a lot in the future when you’ll want to extend your knowledge 🙂

The course we provide is different than any other course. Why? Well, aside from the fact that we provide you the basics you need to have in order to be able to make iOS apps, we also provide you good real-world examples, DOs, DON’Ts, and support when you get stuck. You can ask us to review your code, and we assist you in putting your first app into the app store. We focus a lot on the basics as nothing compares with a good foundation when it comes to programming.

In this course, you will learn about Variables, Constants, Loops, Functions, Classes, Inheritance in Swift, and so much more. You’ll learn about Frameworks, CocoaPods and code examples and where to find documentation for each of these. You’re going to also gather some basic photo editing and graphics creation skills that will help you build your User Interface so that your users will love your app.


We can’t leave behind the aspect of information security – not in a world where Jailbreaks, roots, hacks, and mods exist all over the place. Your application can be safer if you understand the basics of iOS security, that’s why we provide you a brief introduction to the world of Jailbreaking (modifying iOS), and we help you understand the risks your users take when they use Jailbreak methods so that you can make sure sensitive data never escapes from your app.

Publishing your first application to the iOS App Store is a little bit of a cause for celebration but at the same time it can be quite challenging, that’s why you get our assistance, and we’ll help you achieve your goals as a Apple iOS Developer.

I am glad I can be your instructor on this amazing journey. By the end of this course, you’re going to know things you never knew, have skills you’ve never had and most importantly, you’ll be able to get your feet on the ground of quite possibly the greatest programming community.  By the end of this course, you’ll have enough iOS knowledge to be able to sketch your own apps, and you’ll start a long and amazing learning process on which, this time, you’ll be your own teacher.

I know you have questions. You’re wondering “will I ever learn how to make these things appear on my screen?”. You will because if you’re reading this, you’re already on the good path. It’s normal to be concerned about the difficulty of programming. Nobody said it is easy, that’s why we’re here, to teach you what we did not have the chance to learn the easy way. To make your learning process easy, fast and consistent. 


Welcome to the real iOS, let’s learn and grow together.

George AKA GeoSn0w

NOTE: Sign up for one year and save big with COUPON CODE GEOSN0W at check out.

Yes the 0 is a number in SN0W

Made By Google New Tech

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Made By Google New Tech

Made by Google is a interesting term since Google has never been in the mobile manufacturing industry. I personally am not sure if i like this move or not, this is kind of a big conflict of interest going on with this move as Google is also the owner of Android. That being said i am not really surprised by it. This new move is evident when you look at there new Google Store as it only host Made By Google products and all of the third party products have been removes right after the launch on October 4th.

A lot of new device just got lunched, some that I for one wasn’t expecting along with some that where missing from the line up like a Made by Google Android Wear watch. I have been using Android Wear devices from the beginning and i really like using it. I hope that Google will also enter this realm to round out there offerings.


Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL

The Pixel 2 is Googles new phone this year named after last years model the Pixel. The Pixel 2 has been updated with the latest specs and one of, if not the best camera on the market today. It will also come with stock Android Oreo of course since it is a Google product and get support for 3 years which is awesome. The price point on these devices is right in line with all other flash ship device on the market now with the Pixel 2 base model coming in at $649.00 and the Pixel 2 XL at $849.00. I will be purchasing the Pixel 2 XL as it comes with a better and bigger screen and higher battery capacity at 3520 mAh as well.  The Panda look as seen in the picture below is the style I ordered it just looks awesome to me. 🙂


Google Home Max & Home Mini

I have been using a couple Google Homes in my house since last year when Google released its first version and I have to say that I and my kids love using it. Listen to music with a Google Music account, just asking Google questions, or setting a time for dinner is awesome. The Google Home Max and Home Mini will be a awesome addition to the Home line. Home Mini gives you a cheaper option then the original Home if you just want to check it out and whats even better is if you pre-order the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL you will get a FREE Home Mini with your order. The Home Max in my mind is really designed for those Music lovers out there. It is probably one of the most expensive wireless smart speakers i have ever seen and for my needs is just way over prices at $399.00. My guess is that it will quickly drop in price as Google realizes that the demand for this product is really low.

Google Pixel Book and Pixel Pen

What can I say about the Google Pixel Book……  To dam expensive for a Chromebook. The Google Pixel Book starts at $999.00 and doesn’t even included the Pixel Pen.  The Specs on this Laptop are amazing but the limitations you have with Chrome OS kill it. This device has more power under the hood then what is needed for a Chromebook. Basically you are paying for hardware that will never get used to it’s full potential. I would by a Samsung Chromebook Plus and save $500 bucks. As you can see I am not really that excited about this product and prices point.

Google Clips

The Google Clips is the one device that i really wasn’t expecting from the event. Basically what it does is, you point the camera at something that you are doing and it uses AI to take pictures and then decide what pictures are good and send them to your smartphone using Google Photos app. This gives you a photographer where ever you bring the Google Clip. Google is focusing a lot of research on AI so I think in the near future we will be seeing more new devices that use AI to improve the user experience or SkyNet will take over i am really not sure 🙂

RootJunky Out

Android 8.0 Oreo whats inside

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What’s Inside Android 8.0 Oreo?

Today Google has released there new Android OS version 8.0. (Code Name Oreo) If you are interesting in watching the live stream announcement from Google then watch the video here.

The Android 8.0 Oreo Firmware has been released and you will find it here, with this link to access all of the new firmware images from Google. You will need to know the code name IE (sailfish Marlin) of your nexus or pixel device to make sure you download the right version. If you need help installing this firmware then check out my tutorial HERE.

Lets take a look.