The Pixel 3 Leaks Just Keep Coming!

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The Pixel 3 Leaks Just Keep Coming!

 

If you’re a phone junky then you’ve probably been following all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Pixel 3.  And if you haven’t been but are interested in catching up, then you’ve come to the right place.  Rumors and leaks galore have been floating around this week and late discussing what the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have in store for users.  Let’s discuss:

It’s Huge:

I’m not just talking about the hype.  The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are going to be larger than their predecessors (is anyone surprised?).  Measuring in at 5.3’’ and 6.2’’ respectively these phones will be giving the iPhone X a run for its money in terms of screen real estate.  And also much like the iPhone…yep you guess it, there’s a notch thrown into the mix.

Just like almost every other android phone since the iPhone X’s reveal the notch seems to be playing a big role in design practices.  A few images were images have been posted on the XDADeveloper’s forum showing a Pixel 3 rocking a notched display, dual front cameras, and a back that appears to be made of glass.

New features:

Why glass on the back?  Well this has led to speculation that wireless charging may be coming back into play.  This feature was discontinued a few years back in the Nexus series after Google’s acquisition of HTC.  The argument was…not the strongest.  Google argued that Nexus phones had too much z (thickness) with the wireless charging, and that USB Type-C charging was a much simpler solution.  Maybe more efficient, but its definitely not as cool!

Of course we have to take these leaks with a grain of salt.  The Pixel’s camera is a good demonstration of this.  There’s been a lot of back and forth about whether one or two cameras are in store for the new device.  Leaked images have confirmed both cases, so its hard to know what’s really true and what is just a wannabe, but a series of images leaked by 9to5Google show a single rear camera on a Pixel 3 prototype.  This leak matters as the phone was sporting a mystery Google logo, so it gains another ounce of credibility.

Whatever the case, Pixel’s are known for their phenomenal cameras, and when the Pixel 2 came out its camera blew us away.  Since then quite a few other phones have scored higher on DxOMark (a image quality rating site), but at the time the Pixel 2 was the leader.  So odds are the Pixel 3 is going to exceed expectations again and top the charts in this manner.

New Software:

The Pixel 3 is also expected to be the first official phone rocking Android P software.  So new features like RTT-Wi-Fi and auto-adjusting batteries will open new possibilities for both users and developers.  Android P is currently available for beta use if you’re interested in exploring it early, but if you’re planning on purchasing a Pixel 3, you’ll have it in your hands before you know it.  There’s no official release date set right now, but the popular opinion is this October.  So close and yet so far.

What are you hoping the Pixel 3 will have that other phones are lacking?  Do you think it will be a let down or a leader in the industry?  Let us know in the comments below!

Android One.  Two Different Strategies

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Android One.  Two Different Strategies

Rumors have been spreading about the new Motorola One Power.  This week we got a glance at what’s coming to the market, and you may not be surprised to see that a notch is involved in the desgin.  A lot of Android phones this year have been mimicking the iPhone X’s newest feature, but there’s a lot more to the One Power than just how it looks.  It’s the head of a movement.

The One Power is sure to be a quality phone for its users.  At least a lot depends on it being that way since it will be the newest phone to carry on the Google One movement.  That movement began in 2014 as an attempt to capture the “next billion Android users” in developing countries.  It aimed to provide smartphones with current software at sub-100 dollar prices.

But How?

Typically this was possible by severly limiting specs like storage and RAM.  Users don’t have to spend much, but they can still experience all the cool new features versions like Android P have to offer.  Meanwhile Google gains a hold on smartphone marketspace that might otherwise not be filled due to price restrictions.  It’s a win win.  

At least that was the plan back then.  4 years later and the Android One movement didn’t take off exactly as the marketing team planned.  Sales faltered for the lower end phones due to their lack of being positively distinguished from their more expensive counterparts.  Appearing somewhat clunky, budget phones didn’t sell well, and there’s still a large population out there that is waiting to be capitalized on.  Android Go rose to take Android One’s place as the budget movement recently, and it looks like this new burst of marketing may have a better outlook.

Down But Not Out

That being said, Android One didn’t fade into oblivion, but instead decided to change its strategy.  It’s risen its price range to the $250-400 mark and in turn is producing sleeker more “high-end” looking phones that run on the newest softwares.  These phones are still more affordable than some, and this is thanks to the movement’s slogan “Everything you want.  Nothing you don’t.”  The phones don’t have a bunch of manufacturer customizations, but instead function similarly to Nexus and Pixel phones today.  They have Google’s apps built in, and run the latest Google software, but that’s just about it.  This is great if you’re not looking to spend a fortune and you also don’t feel the need for the extra add ons.

The One Power Up Close

The Motorola Power One will be prominently displaying a notch on its front along with a vertical dual carmera placement on its back.  Couple this with curved edges and a fingerprint sensor and we’re looking at a pretty stylish phone.  Whether you like the iPhone X or not, its undeniable that it’s style has set a trend that others a following.  How the software on the inside runs is a whole nother store though!

Do you have any thoughts on the new Motorola Power One?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

Google I/O, Until Next Year

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Google I/O, Until Next Year

Well Google I/O is a wrap everyone, and if you tuned in then hopefully you left with some cool takeaways.  If not then don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for.  When the conference first kicked off we wrote about day 1 and its highlights, but obviously the fun didn’t stop there.  The following is a crash course selection of (in my opinion) the most important and amazing takeaways for and android junky.

Flutter:

If you’re an android developer, then your undoubtedly familiar with Java and segueing in to Kotlin.  You might not have heard about Flutter before though.  It’s Google’s mobile app SDK for easily creating high quality apps on both Android and iOS devices.  Written in Dart (a language developed by Google as well), Flutter works with existing code and is used to develop at ridiculously high speeds.  Here’s a great video from Google I/O that goes more in depth on how to use Flutter to enhance your material design.

Duplex:

Now this one blows my mind, and I know I’m not alone here.  When you think of a sci-fi future it’s reasonable if computers playing our personal secretaries pops into your mind.  This seems to be the present now. 

I’m very interested to see how Duplex functions successfully in real world applications, but the Google 2018 keynote showed a quick performance of the Google Assistant booking a haircut appointment for Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.  From an outsider’s view the conversation was impossible to distinguish from an everyday conversation between two people, and when it was done the Google Assistant confirmed to Sundar that the appointment had been booked and added to his calendar.  It’s only a matter of time before this is both client and server side so that duplex will be having conversations with itself to schedule our days, and that’s pretty wild.

Android P Beta:

Yes, I know we discussed android P in the last blog on Google I/O.  But you’ll have to bear with me because it’s happening again! As of this week the Android P beta is available on Pixel devices as well as 7 other flagship devices.  Android P brings all kinds of cool new features to the table.  A lot of these revolve around predicting what you the user are about to do.  There’s an adaptive battery that adjusts your screen’s brightness and what apps are running in an effort to both improve your experience and conserve precious battery power.

My personal favorite feature of P is Wi-Fi RTT.  Round Trip Time takes our current location services capabilities and amplifies them.  Essentially by triangulating between multiple Wi-fi access points nearby, a user’s position can be calculated within about a meter.  Just use your imagination for what applications this could come in handy for!  For more on Android P you can read our past posts or watch some Google I/O talks.

There’s lots more to take away from Google I/O, and honestly I’m cutting myself off here because otherwise I’d end up writing a paragraph or two about every session that I watched from the entire conference.  It’s a great year to be an android developer or even just own an android device.

What interested you the most from the conference?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Android Adding Animated App Ads

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Android Adding Animated App Ads

Whether you like them or not, ads are here to stay.  They’re the reason so many apps are free to us as consumers, and without them we’d have to pay a few more valuable dollars out of pocket.  That being said, the less of a nuisance an ad is the better.  Google is exploring how to make ads more interesting, and the results are pretty meta.

Google’s New Strategy:

Google is testing out two new forms of advertisements, and while they’re in beta testing right now, it’s just a matter of time before they’re rolled out to everyone.  The first of these are video ads in the Play Store’s search results.  These videos won’t autoplay, but upon searching for a game users will have to option to watch trailers for related games.  Not too complicated of an idea, but certainly more interesting than just seeing 4 screenshots of what gameplay entails.

Now the really interesting change that Google is exploring is how to interrupt user’s experiences with ads without them realizing they’ve been interrupted.  The solution?  Games within games.  Usually when you complete a level or die in an app game you’re confronted with a short video of the newest game on the Play Store.  If you’re anything like me you count down the seconds until you can click to skip and get back to what you were doing before.  Google plans to make this experience less of a hassle by creating playable ads.  So when your game/app is interrupted by an ad, that ad will actually be a mini game that can be played.

The hope behind this is to get users more involved and increase the click rate on advertisements, all the while exposing players to games of similar styles and genres.  According to Google, video ads are used in almost half of the 1,000 top-earning apps.  A big change like this is certain to get some exposure.

Impending Impact:

It’s possible that these ads have an adverse effect and cause games to become more burdened with advertisements, but I for one have a bright outlook on this new implementation.  If this change is done in a tactful way that replaces current ads rather than adding on to them, things should be fine.

And from a developer’s standpoint, this change should be welcome.  I think It’s important to emphasize that an app only has to have as many ads as its creators choose it to.  Developers can learn how to easily integrate AdMob into their apps, and then decide how apparent they want ads to be in their app.  There’s a fine line to walk between scaring away users with too many ads and bringing in revenues, so regardless of any changes that come a free market should balance this trade off out.

How do you feel about Google mixing things up in its advertising department?  Let us know in the comments below.

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 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.

RootJunky

 

Android VS. Apple what device should you purchase

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Android VS. Apple

It has always be a epic dual

 

Why Android is more advanced then IOS but less stable. First you need to understand that I carrier and use both a iPhone and Android device everyday. Currently I have a IPhone 7 and a One Plus 5 both are high end devices. The Android OS is more advanced for many reasons but the two that come to mind are better specs (physical hardware) and development.

Android OS is Open source which means that anyone can develop and work on the operating system. This leads to advances and new features all the time. What I have seen happen over the years is that the Android community developers come up with new software features in custom roms. Once the community shows that they want them then Google comes in and adds those features to stock Android. Really Google is genius in this manner getting great free development from the community. Apple IOS is ok but being locked down like it is means that you are waiting on the Apple company to come up with new ideas instead of the whole world. The benefit of Apple keeping it’s OS closed source is that they can control and keep it clean. This is again great for stability and uniformity.

Original equipment manufacturers like Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola and many others use the latest hardware for there new device. Quad HD screens, 8GB of Ram, fast processors, and wireless charging make these devices amazing and for many people even better then there home PC. Apples hardware generally lags behind Android by 2 years. This sounds like a bad thing but really its not. Because by the time that Apple has this hardware in there devices all the software and hardware bugs have been killed leaving a rock solid experience for there users.

Last is security, while Android is open source which is great for developing on it this also opens up the source code to be looked at by everyone and that means bugs can be found and exploited much easier then on Apple. I am not saying that Apple IOS is 100% secure, I am just saying that it is harder to HACK.

This is the way I think about it and this can really help when others ask me about what device they should purchase.

Android = Advancements, Affordable, and Customization

Apple IOS = Stability, Security, and Consistency


Android will always be my choice of preferred device for these couple reasons.

– RootJunky

 

Google’s New Pixel Device Lineup 2016

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Google’s New Pixel Device Lineup 2016

pixelxl

 

Googles Key Notes took place today October 4th 2016 and there was a lot of new tech devices announced everything from a New Chromecast with 4K capabilities to the new long awaited Pixel phones. The Key Note live stream was really good and if you missed it because you were working like me you can watch it HERE.

Google is really diving into Daydream which is Googles VR environment along with Google assistant. You can already get a great feel for how Google Assistant can help you with everyday task by trying out Googles new app ALLO. Google Assistant is driven by machine learning making it possible to have conversation with Google just like you are talking with a real person. Google Assistant understand the context of the conversation by understand past interactions and what you are currently doing on your device.

assistant2

Google Pixel

pixel2

ok ok enough about the software lets talk about all these new devices starting with Googles new flagship devices the Pixel and Pixel XL. Both device are basically the same spec sheet with the only major differences being battery 2,770-3450 mAh and display 5.0-5.5 inches. Base models start at $649.99 for the pixel and $769.99 for the Pixel XL. If you look at the specs below you will find that there are many comparable devices on the market right now that you can get for just 400.00 I think Google has priced there devices a little high this year. But if you are like me and have to have the latest and the greatest then you can pre-order your device HERE 

Glass supervisor with Gorilla® Glass 4 coating
Memory 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
Storage 32 or 128Gb
Processor Snapdragon 821; MSM8996 pro AB Quad Core 2+2 Kryo 2.15GHz / 1.6GHz
Main Camera 12.3MP IMX378 1.55μm PDAF + LDAF f/2.0 Aperture
Front Camera 8MP IMX179 1.4µm f/2.4 Aperture Fixed focus
Video 1080p @ 30fps, 60fps, 120fps 720p @ 30fps, 60fps, 240fps 4K @ 30fps
Ports and Slots
USB Type-C USB 3.0
3.5mm headset jack
Single SIM
Media
Single bottom-firing speaker
 GPS
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO
BT 4.2
NFC
Works on all Major US carriers
switch
Google also introduce the Quick Switch Adapter. Just connect your old iPhone® or Android device to your new Pixel with the Quick Switch Adapter.* Then follow the on screen directions and all your content will get copied over to your new Pixel device. Look out Apple Google just joined the game.!!!

 Google Home

google-home-1

Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Ask it questions. Tell it to do things. It’s your own Google, always ready to help. Just start with, “Ok Google”.  This device is Googles attempt to compete with The Amazon Echo powered by alexa and I think Google is going to brings some stiff competition. Google Home can automate many task around your house, here are some examples.

Alarm, Calculator, Calendar, Delight, Dictionary, Easter eggs, Facts & Info, Finance, Flight information, Games, IFTTT, Learn more, Light control, Local guide, Mobile app audio streaming, Multi-room audio, Music, My day, News, Nutrition, Podcasts, Radio, Shopping list, Smart plugs and switch control, Speaker streaming and control, Sports, Thermostat control, Timer, Traffic, Translation, TV streaming and control, & Weather
I am really looking forward to getting at least 3 Google Home device in my home and start the conversation with Google. If you are interesting in this kind of home automation then you can pre-order Google Home HERE

Google Home WIFI

home-wifi

Google’s new home wifi device was also announced in the Key Note. Home WIFI from Google can be paired up with as many Home WIFI routers as need to create the coverage you need for from house.  you can control these routers with a simple app. The Google Wifi app gives you total control over your network. Easily share your Wi-Fi password, see what devices are online, and prioritize them for better performance. Google Wifi’s family controls allow you to pause the signal to your children’s devices, like at bedtime or dinnertime. Google Home WIFI isnt available at yet but should becoming later this year so keep a look out. I am planning on picking up 3 of them for amazing coverage in my home as soon as they become available.

Chromecast Ultra

chromecastg-ultra

The Chromecast Ultra stream up to 4K Ultra HD & HDR picture quality over your WiFi network with Chromecast Ultra, a streaming device that plugs into your TV’s HDMI port. Chromecast Ultra provides fast, reliable performance with minimal buffering and smoother streaming. you can also use your iPhone®, iPad®, Android device, or laptop to stream thousands of Cast-enabled apps. If you loved last years model of chromecast then you will love this one with better hardware and 4K video. Google currently has this device marked as Coming Soon so check it out HEREI do think that at $69.99 it is priced a little high but I am sure Google will drop the price in a couple months down to 50 bucks and that will be the time to pick up a couple. If you dont need 4k you can still pick up the Normal Chromecast for just $35.

Daydream View

screenshot-330

Daydream View is a VR headset and controller by Google that lets you explore new worlds, kick back in your personal VR cinema, and play games that put you at the center of action. This is Google’s take on VR headset I and really like it. I have owned a couple Samsung VR headsets and while they are fun for a while they are a little uncomfortable. The fact that Google made the Daydream View out of mostly fabrics is really nice and the included controller implementation looks sick. Now that Google is entering the realm of VR I am really excited to see where they will take us. If you pre-order a Google Pixel then you will get a email to claim a free Daydream View and I for one cant wait to play with mine. If you want to see more on these products please subscribe to my YOUTUBE channel to catch all the coverage. what are your thoughts on these new products and price points? Please leave your comments below.

 

RootJunky out.

Android Nougat 7.0 Official

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Android Nougat 7.0 Official

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OTA UPDATES AND FIRMWARE

Google has finally released the latest installment of there OS, Android Nougat 7.0 and if you are looking for the firmware and ota update files then you can come to the right place. First lets talk about the firmware update files that we have and how to install them. Check out all the latest features at Googles official page HERE

There are 2 options to install these ota update files which is really nice.

  1. copy the update.zip to your sdcard then boot into stock Android recovery with holding volume down and power and then selecting apply update from sdcard.
  2. Boot into stock Android recovery with holding volume down and power and then selecting apply update from adb. Then from the computer run command adb sideload (nameofotaupdate.zip)

Note: you can use these ota updates from either being on Android N developer preview or from being on stock Marshmallow the latest firmware and the ota update will work just fine. The Reason the the ota update will work is because it contains a full system flash and all the files needed.

OTA UPDATE REQUIREMENT

1. bootloader unlocked or locked either will work

2. device on stock firmware with stock recovery

3. they will not work with TWRP or a custom rom installed.

DOWNLOAD LINKS BUILD NRD90M

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6

Nexus 6P

Nexus 9

Nexus Player

More files will be added once they are available.

Official Firmware With Fixed Flash Files

These files are the stock Android Nougat Firmware but they have been update to work correctly with .bat flash files for windows and .sh flash files for mac or linux. These repackaged firmwares also includes a No wipe options which will allow you to keep your app data on the device and not wipe it. you can use these file to update or restore your nexus device even coming from a different rom should work.

How to Flash these files

  1. Boot into bootloader mode by holding volume down and power
  2. plug device into the computer and double click on the .bat file you want to use.  For Mac and Linux use the .sh files by opening Terminal and cd to the director then use ./nameofflashfile.sh to run the script.
  3. watch the script and follow its instructions. thats it.

DOWNLOAD LINKS TO FIRMWARE BUILD NRD90M

Nexus 5X

Nexus 6

Nexus 6P

Nexus 9

Nexus Player

More files will be added once they are available.

You can also download the firmware straight from Google HERE