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

Discovering the Hidden Power of Android

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How to harness the full power of your Android devices.

 

Android Devices today are very powerful; many of them have faster processors than your 5 year old laptop, and a higher screen resolution than that old 480p tv you bought 10 years ago. But even today, we are still faced with the fact that there are just some things that you cannot do on a smartphone that you can do on a laptop. Things like using a keyboard and mouse, or a wired controller, or being able to get into the main filesystem of your device etc. But today I am going to be showing you a few neat tricks that you can use to make these things possible.

 

Keyboard and mouse support using an OTG cable

Have you ever wanted to use your phone like a computer, to write that book report, or important document you are working on? But then you realize that your phone does not have a usb port to actually support this feature? Well all is not lost, because there is a way to make this possible. You can use a USB OTG cable to harness the power of using a keyboard, and mouse and to plug in usb drives to Android. Not only are these cables very useful, they are very cheap, some selling for just a few dollars depending where you get them from. They are very easy to find on Ebay.com and Amazon.com.

51davjmWnSL._SL1000_

Best of all, you do not have to do much of anything to get this working, since android already has this support of keyboards and mice built in. As for usb support, all phones are different and some phones require root and a root file browser, such as ES File Explorer, or Solid File Explorer to take advantage of using USB OTG storage.

Screenshot_2015-12-29-10-10-20Screenshot_2015-12-29-10-10-46Screenshot_2015-12-29-10-14-56

How to gain access to the hidden parts of Android

For those of us who like to be able to tinker and tweak our devices, or to be able to see what makes our devices tick, there is a way for us to be able to do this. Since Android is a form of linux, we are able to gain what we call Root access to a device. This root access gives us the ability to do many advanced tasks on our phones that are not possible to for the average user to do. Things such as:

  • Access and change the main filesystem using a file browser
  • Access the terminal emulator
  • Add or remove system apps to free up space
  • Backup and restore apps using titanium backup
  • Change the color and look of many parts of the system, such as the status bar menu items etc.
  • Flash a custom recovery, and install custom roms
  • Overclock the processor to make the phone faster, or underclock it to save battery life
  • Use a custom audio driver such as Viper for Android
  • The possibilities are basically endless!

 

Rooting not only does all of this to your current device, but you can also do this with an older android device and give it a second life; the after life 🙂

 

Conclusion

So to sum it all up, the possible ways to use your Android device to the fullest are basically endless. The features that i have talked about here are just scratching the surface when it comes to the possibilities that Android holds. So before you go and think about buying that next Iphone, think to yourself what things can I do with an Android that i can’t do on Iphone.

 

By: Tristin L.

Google and Apple Hate Italians

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Google and Apple hate Italians, Samsung hates the British but One Plus likes everyone.

First the back story

For those that don’t know me, I started writing for the RootJunky website about a month ago. My last post was a review of the Nexus 6P, it’s a great device by the way. Check out the review here. I ended that post with:

“Well it (Nexus 6P) may be the best value for your dollar unless you are Italian. Why am I picking on the Italians? Well I’m not, but come back to view my next post and find out who is”

So who is picking on the Italians? Well it looks like Google and Apples are teaming up against the country that brought pizza to the world.

Ok there are a few things that I should say right off the bat. I am not an economist or an accountant. I am not even a professional journalist. I am just a guy that likes tech and has opinions to share. This week I would like to share some interesting thing that I found when reviewing the price for the Nexus 6P.

I live in Canada and my good friend Tom the RootJunky lives in the USofA. It is standard knowledge that technology items are cheaper south of the border but after you work out the exchange it is usually a wash. A few bucks here or there, no big deal. While writing my review I had watched an angry Damir Franc rant about the price of the Nexus in German. I decided to investigate further.

Investigating prices

I started my investigation by picking a few countries spread throughout our little planet. I looked at the rate of exchange; this was in early november, and compared prices. Have a look at what i found out below.

6p

 

nexus 6P

If you compare the prices for the 32gb, 64gb, and 128gb models, Italians are paying an average of $285.58 extra for their phones. That sucks! Small wonder why Damir was so upset. He lives in Germany not Italy, but i am sure that most countries that use the Euro are very close in price. Things are not much better in New Zealand or the United Kingdom. My fellow Canadians are doing ok but the pacific side of the world, not so much. Australia is overcharged by $160, Japan by $130 and India by about a hundred dollars. Why? I have not clue. Honestly i don’t know why this happens. I decided to investigate a little further.

I thought to myself that this may be a Google thing? Perhaps Apple does it differently? Nope have a look at there numbers below.

6s

iphone 6s

The iphone 6s had nearly identical overcharges when compared to the 6p. Uk, Italy, Australia and New Zealand were within $15 dollars of the Nexus overcharge amount. Again, my hockey playing brethren had the best deal at $65 overcharge but those iphones are so damned expensive already. Japan did ok but India got treated like an Italian stepson by accounting department at Apple. Again I am asking why? Perhaps both companies have some long standing vendetta against spaghetti and are now planning to make the entire country suffer?

Did samsung come out any better? Not really. Their chart and numbers are below. Samsung was a little nicer to the Italians and India but they seem to dislike the people that brought us Dr. Who. Your average Brit is paying over $200 more than an american for the same phone. The south Korean company seems to like Canadians, as we are pay about $3 less than anyone else. As a Canadian all I can say is “sorry about that, eh.”

6 edge

Galaxy 6 Edge

Throughout this entire time I was researching prices, the question of why kept on coming around and I had not found a solid answer. While looking for that answer I did question my methods. I was using a dollar conversion rate from a random day in November, the prices I used for the phones were just pulled off of websites that were easily translated. My Japanese and Hindi are a little rusty so perhaps I could have found better prices had I been able to do some comparison shopping. Even with all my possible errors in approaching there is a pattern. Pricing is not even across the globe. There has to be a reason.

After looking at these three phones I started to think that this must be some kind of tariff effect. The taxes in these countries are set up to penalize technology. Not being an economist, I don’t understand the full workings of trade tariffs and taxes but we have all read about them from time to time and know that they exist and their basic workings. This was a pill I could swallow. It was not a perfect answer but the UK and European Union seem to pay higher rates for phones while Canadia seems to remain on par with the US. This pattern seemed repeatable. This seemed to make sense until i looked at OnePlus. Check out their numbers below.

1+2

OnePlus 2

OnePlus can somehow manage to be “fair” to everyone’s wallet, never mind what kind of bills you put into it. Looking at this kind of blows that tariff/tax idea out of the water. If OnePlus can keep their phones to within $107, why can’t everyone else? With OnePlus there are even some countries that are paying less than the United States. Canada, Japan and India pay less for the OnePlus 2 after conversation to US OnePlus .

 

Conclusion

I would like to know what others think but here is my two sense. Samsung, Google and Apple charge more because…… well I think it is because they can.  I don’t really think that any company would have it our for one country or another.  That is not how the world works, but the world does run on money.  OnePlus is a new company that is trying gain a reputation for giving its customers the best bang for your buck. You can’t do that and ask Italians to pay $280 more, all at the same time. OnePlus wants and needs the sale and that is reflected in the price. These other three phones are vying for premium spots in the market. They want you to associate them as top end. One way to do that is increase the price. If it is expensive lots of people will assume that it has value. That is my best guess.

What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, especial if you are from any of the listed countries.  Have you been able to find better deal?  Area you leaning toward other OEMs like OnePlus because they are giving you a fair deal?  I would be interested in hearing what you think.

 

Until next time

E. Tuesday