Tuesday, November 28, 2017

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

Image result for pixel 2 xl

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.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Essential Updates PH-1, Gains Fingerprint Sensor Gestures And KRACK Patch

Image result for essential logo

Essential recently pushed out another software update, the two biggest changes include fingerprint sensor gestures and a fix for KRACK.

Fingerprint sensor gestures on the Essential PH-1 work just like on the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2's. Swiping down on the fingerprint sensor will show notifications, swiping up will dismiss notifications. The other big news here is a fix for the KRACK vulnerability. The update also includes the latest October 2017 security patch from Google, improved performance, bug fixes, and better touch scrolling.

The update is rolling out with a build number of NMJ20D and file size of 74.8Mb. The update will download in the background and once it's ready to go restarting your Essential PH-1 with the new update installed. 

The unlocked variant of the Essential Phone already has access to the new update build NMJ20D, However the Sprint variant will have to wait for the carrier to approve the update prior to it gets pushed out to phones.

Source: Essential via Twitter

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Essential Phone Gets Permanent Price Drop To $499, Previous Buyers Get $200 "Friends And Family" Code

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Essential Phone was first announced and went on sale in May. The high end Android phone later started shipping to customers in late August. At the time the price of the phone was $699, but a few days ago some retailers started discounting the device by $100. This evening Essential announced that the phone was getting a permanent $200 price drop to $499 on its web store.

Niccolo de Masi the president of Essential, stated that anyone who bought the Essential Phone before October 22 will be able to get a $200 “friends and family” code for use on its store. The code can be used to reduce the price of a new Essential Phone purchase, which means if you have one of these codes the price of the phone will go down to $299. The code can also be applied to the purchase of the company’s Essential 360 Camera add-on for the phone, which basically makes that accessory free. Those folks will have to submit their details to claim the $200 store code at the source link below by November 15.

Source: Essential, $200 "friends and family" code

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Android Co-Creator Andy Rubin's Startup Essential, Sued Over Magnetic Connector Technology

Image result for essential phone

Keyssa has filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Essential, the maker of the Essential PH-1 smartphone backed by former Google exec and Godfather of Android Andy Rubin. The lawsuit pertains to magnetic wireless connectors that can pass information and current from one device to another, such as the magnetic module accessory system used on the Essential PH-1. 

According to Keyssa Essential worked with the company for period of 10 months on the magnetic technology and was given trade secrets under non disclosure agreement during that time. Eventually the relationship between the two companies dissolved and Essential picked magnetic components from a third company called SiBEAM for the Essential PH-1. Keyssa alleges that even though Essential is using different hardware for its phone the technology couldn't have been recreated without Keyssa's protected intellectual property.

"Keyssa has not been compensated for Essential’s use of this guidance and know how," said Keyssa in a statement provided to Reuters. "We are pursuing this action because our attempts to resolve this matter through discussions with Essential have not been successful." Keyssa is backed by Tony Fadell, who co-created the iPod when at Apple. Keyssa filed the lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco.

Source: Reuters

Friday, October 13, 2017

Google’s Pixel 2 Camera App Gets Ported To Original Google Pixel And Google Pixel XL

Image result for google pixel 2 camera apk

The new Google Camera app delivers a handful of interface changes as well as a Motion Photos and Face Retouching.

It’s said that the more advanced features like AR Stickers, Motion Photos, and Face Retouching may not work properly and Portrait Mode is not operable on account of requiring a dual camera sensor. However availability seems to be dependent on your device and APK version installed.

If you'd like to try this for yourself, you can head to the Google Camera source link below and download the APK.

Source: Google Camera

Google Pixel 2 Launcher With Google Now APK Download

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We got our hands on the APK file for the updated Pixel Launcher that will ship on the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL with its bottom Google Search bar and At A Glance widget.

If you install the updated launcher on your device you'll get those changes. Bottom Google Search bar, top At A Glance widget, and new animations. The Google Search bar stays on all the screens but the At A Glance widget will only show on the first screen. The At A Glance widget will display the weather only if you have location turned on.

If you want to try the new Pixel Launcher on your device regardless whether it's a Google Pixel, Google Nexus, or other OEM made phone you can grab the APK file below at the source link. Remember you'll need to install it as a system app on non Google Pixel or Nexus devices to get the Google Now feed on the left screen.

Source: Pixel Launcher

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sprint, T-Mobile Rumored To Be In Final Stages Of Merger Deal... Yet Again

SoftBank which controls 80% of Sprint is expressing optimism about the prospect for mergers in the U.S. wireless carrier industry under President Trump.

The Obama administration was "quite tough on business," SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has been quoted saying. But now the "door is open" for potential deals he added.

Masayoshi Son failed in an attempt to merge Sprint with T-Mobile back in 2014 after the plan ran into regulatory hurdles. SoftBank paid $20.1 billion October 14th 2012 taking 70% control, on August 6th 2013 Softbank purchased another 2% raising their stakes to 80% ownership of Sprint and has struggled to turn the U.S. carrier around since.

Now, Masayoshi Son is ready to try again saying that while he is open to other options, T-Mobile remains his "first priority" for a merger with Sprint. T-Mobile CEO John Legere said earlier this year that the company was open to "various forms of consolidation."

Source: The Phone Ninja

Meet The Google Home Mini, The Smaller $49 Google Home

google home mini

According to our friends over at Droid Life, who got their hands on images and info from an unnamed source. The Google Home Mini will only have a powered connection and will come in Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral colors. 

The design itself makes the speaker looking more like a hockey puck, there also appears to be LED lights on top. The report claims that it will support the Google Assistant digital companion like the first Google Home. It also looks like the Google Home Mini won’t have interchangeable bases like its bigger brother version of the Google Home. 

Its cheaper price of $49 is the same price as the Amazon Echo Dot, and could lead to some new competition for Amazon’s Alexa powered Echo smart speakers.

Source: Droid Life

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Official Specs

Image result for samsung galaxy note 8 logo

Samsung has unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Samsung Note 8 at an event in New York City today. This is the company’s first Note handset in two years since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.

In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 looks like a stretched out Samsung Galaxy S8+. What many of you will be more interested in are the specs, so here is everything you need to know about the official Galaxy Note 8 specs.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has the same processor as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. Samsung has opted for the 2.3GHz Exynos 8895 / 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor combination for different variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. These are 10nm chips with Gigabit LTE Cat.16 support.


The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is beefed up in the RAM department. It’s the first flagship smartphone from Samsung to ship with 6GB of RAM globally. Samsung has previously limited 6GB RAM variants of its flagship handsets to select markets.

Front Camera:

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 features an 8-megapixel front camera with f/1.9 aperture, autofocus and support for QHD video recording. We can expect it to be marginally better than the Samsung Galaxy S8’s front camera.

Rear Camera:

This is where the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 truly differentiates itself from Samsung’s flagship lineup. It’s the company’s first smartphone with a dual camera system.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 has a 12-megapixel primary f/1.7 aperture camera with wide-angle lens and a secondary 12 megapixel f/2.4 aperture camera with a telephoto lens. The handset has Dual Optical Image Stabilization and offers 10x digital zoom.

The dual camera system enables users to add a bokeh effect to their photos that they can adjust when the picture is being taken and even after it has been taken. The Dual Capture Mode enables them to save one image in both the bokeh and wide angle formats.

Additional Specs:

Customers get 64GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards of up to 256GB. The handset is powered by Android 7.1.1 Nougat and will be the first to receive an update to Android 8.0 Oreo. It comes with a new S Pen that’s can even be used when the screen is wet.

It has a 3,300mAh battery with support for fast wired and wireless charging. Samsung Pay, fingerprint sensor, Bixby, heart rate sensor, iris scanner, USB Type-C port, and IP68 dust and water resistance.

Source: Samsung

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Essential Phone Is Now Available For Purchase

Image result for essential phoneAndy Rubin’s startup, Essential is finally opening up orders for its first phone... the Essential Phone. The unlocked bezel less device is now available from Essential and multiple retailers for $699.

In the United States you’ll have three primary options for picking up an Essential Phone. First, through Essential’s own online store. If you’re at all interested in checking out the company’s modular 360-degree camera, this is the portal to buy through since you’ll be able to get it for $50 on top of your order rather than paying the standard $199 price. You can also add a protection plan that lasts two years for an additional $99.

In the United States, you’ll have four options for picking up an Essential Phone. First, through Essential’s own online store. If you’re interested in checking out the company’s modular 360 degree camera this is the portal to buy through since you’ll be able to get it for $50 in addition to your order rather than paying the standard $199 price. You can also add a protection plan that lasts two years for an additional $99. 

If you’d prefer to buy elsewhere Essential Phone is available through Sprint, Best Buy, or Amazon as well. Best Buy lists the phone as a Sprint model but the bands listed on the product page still support all major US carriers. Sprint is offering a deal that cuts the price of the phone in half for early buyers taking the monthly payment price to just $14.58 per month for 18 months. Essential is offering pre orders of the unlocked model through Amazon with a September 1st release date.

The Essential Phone is available to Canadian buyers through TELUS.

Essential also confirms a few more details about the phone, Essential says "Technology moves so quickly that companies rush to release a new phone each year, but most times even that isn’t fast enough. This deluge of devices isn’t good for your wallet or for the planet. Essential Phone will get guaranteed Android OS updates for 2 years and will get monthly security updates for 3 years, so your phone will always be secure and have the latest features."