Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Essential PH-1 Oreo Beta 3, Now Available For Download And OTA


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The third Essential PH-1 Android Oreo 8.0 beta build arrives as version OPM1.170911.254 and weighs in at 1 GB if you download from Essential’s website. If you’re already running Essential's Android 8.0 beta 2, you will receive an OTA that weighs approximately 106 MB.
The new beta 3 build brings Google’s January security patch that includes fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown exploits, as well as miscellaneous stability and bug fixes. In Wednesday’s Reddit AMA, Essential said "it’s working to finalize logistics of the Oreo public release, and that its development and Q.A. teams are working hard to get the release to meet the company’s quality and performance standards."


Source: Essential


Google’s Project Fi Now Offers Unlimited Mobile Data


Image result for project fi logoGoogle's Project Fi service, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service using Wi-Fi and the cellular networks of T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and Three.


The pricing model has been fairly straightforward until now, $20 per month for unlimited calls and texts, plus $10 for every gigabyte (GB) of data used. 

Simple right? Well today Google's Project Fi announced a new feature called “bill protection” a feature that effectively brings unlimited data to Project Fi subscribers with a $60 cap in place.

Before bill protection users would pay $20 for 2GB, $45 for 4.5GB, $50 for 5GB, and so on. With bill protection in place, users will pay the usual $10 per GB until 6GB after which they pay nothing extra up to 15GB. If they do hit the 15GB mark they will then begin to experience slower data speeds until their next bill cycle begins unless they opt out of the program and choose to continue paying $10 for every GB they use over 15GB.

Google's Project Fi currently works with a handful of Android devices including the Moto X4, Android One Moto X4, Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google Nexus 6P, and Google Nexus 5X. It’s only open to U.S. subscribers, though the plans work for U.S. travelers in more than 130 countries.


Source: Google Project Fi

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL's Portrait Mode Has Been Ported To Non-Google Devices Running Oreo (APK Download)


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Google Camera modder Charles Chow has created a modded Google Camera APK with portrait mode on board for the first-generation Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, the Google Nexus 6P, and Google Nexus 5X. Chow is well-known in the Android community for porting newer features to older phones. 

Charles Chow's explanation of Camera NX is more complicated than he lets on, but to the end user portrait mode simply replaces the lens blur mode. Taking a photo in this mode will produce two images: one HDR+ photo with zero shutter lag, and one with the portrait effect applied.

To get this feature on your Google Pixel, Google Pixel XL, Google Nexus 6P, or Google Nexus 5X, simply download Camera NX v7.3 via the source link below. Charles Chow's version of Camera NX is based off of Google Camera 5.1.016, which is the most recent Google Camera v5.1.018.


Source: APK 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

LG Reveals Upcoming Google Assistant Powered LG ThinQ Speaker, Prior To CES

 
LG has revealed its upcoming Bluetooth speaker called the LG ThinQ Speaker. The key feature of this speaker is that it comes with Google Assistant built-in.

Along with being able to do Google Assistant tasks like asking about the weather, the news, or anything else; the Google Assistant enabled LG ThinQ Speaker will also be able to integrate with LG's line of smart home appliances.

LG has also partnered with Meridian Audio for the LG ThinQ speaker and the device is capable of streaming high quality lossless files.

The LG ThinQ Speaker will be officially announced at CES 2018 along with LG announcing Bluetooth speakers, portable party speakers, and a Dolby Atmos sound bar.


Source: LG

Google Pixel C Gets The Axe, Google Play Store Stops Selling The Aging Google Pixel C Tablet

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Google launched the Google Pixel C as a premium tablet in late 2015, the Google Pixel C is no longer available following its removal from the Google Store. For several months the Google Pixel C Android device was not available for purchase in the U.S. and now the product page has been removed, the Google Store has also drops its tablet category altogether.

Meanwhile, the Google Store’s main navigation has been simplified to just laptops. However, only including chargers and the Google Pixel C’s magnetic keyboard accessory still being available at the discounted price of $99.


Source: Google Play Store

Monday, December 25, 2017

Amazon Buys Smart Camera And Doorbell Maker Blink

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Blink’s cameras start at $99 with the company’s video doorbell said to make its debut in 2018 for $99 for existing customers. Apart from availability Blink’s products are also easy to set up they operate on batteries that the company says will keep its cameras and doorbell working for two years.

Blink is also working on a video centric home security system, presumably available sometime next year.

Amazon confirmed the purchase with The Verge, saying:
"As one of Blink’s distributors, we already know customers love their home security cameras and monitoring systems. We’re excited to welcome their team and invent together on behalf of customers."

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Disney Has Announced A Deal To Buy 21st Century Fox In A Deal Worth Around $66B, Includes Hulu Stake


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Walt Disney has announced a deal to buy a big portion of 21st Century Fox, in a deal worth around $66B made up of $52.4B in stock and an estimated $13.7B in net debt.

The purchase excludes Fox News, Fox Business, and Fox Sports but includes all of the entertainment assets including Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu. Coupled with Disney’s existing 30% share in Hulu, that gives Walt Disney a controlling interest of 60% in Hulu.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

T-Mobile Acquires Layer3 TV, Launching Its Own TV Service In 2018




Financial terms were not disclosed. Denver based Layer3 has raised about $80 million from investors including Evolution Media whose backers include CAA and Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media. The company has added Hollywood veterans including former Fox exec Lindsay Gardner and ex UTA social media agent Eric Kuhn to its exec roster as it has grown.

Details about the new TV service which will build on Layer3’s existing presence in select markets have not been disclosed. Execs declined to offer any guidance on pricing or strategy on the mix of content.



T-Mobile CEO John Legere said “This is about an integrated home and mobile experience.”

Apple Acquires Shazam For $400 Million


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Apple has announced that it has acquired song recognition company Shazam. According to Recode the deal is valued at $400 million.


In a statement to The Verge, an Apple spokesperson said:

“We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today’s agreement."

Shazam currently has apps for iOS, Android, and macOS with the Windows apps being pulled earlier this year. It is one of the most highly rated and popular apps in the world on every platform. Even before the acquisition Shazam has been part of Apple software powering the song recognition feature in Siri. 

With the acquisition, Apple could build deeper integration within Apple Music software. The deal should close in the coming weeks pending regulatory approval.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How To Enable Google's Pixel 2 And Pixel 2 XL Visual Core HDR+ Feature On Android 8.1 Beta

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How to enable the Pixel Visual Core’s HDR+ feature.

Go to the Settings menu.

Scroll down and select System.

Tap on Developer options.

Make sure the Developer options is toggled on and scroll down until you find the Debugging subheading.

At the bottom of this section, locate Camera HAL HDR+ and toggle it on.

A pop-up will appear letting you know that you must now restart your smartphone before the Pixel Visual Core can begin working.


With the Camera HAL HDR+ option turned on when you take a picture, the custom chip will start handling the HDR+ image processing.