smartphone

“Hey Google” trigger start to rolling out to phones

“Hey Google” trigger start to rolling out to phones

There might come a day when personal assistants can be, well, personal and respond to whatever name we give it. Until that day comes, however, we’re stuck with some trigger words or phrases that may not come naturally to people who imagine controlling their devices with their voice. One such example is “OK, Google”, which sounds a bit contrived and is one syllable too many. Fortunately, Google seems to finally accept “Hey Google” as a valid trigger for Google Assistant on phones. Unsurprisingly, not everyone’s happy about it.

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Pixel 2 XL Android 8.1 slows down screen wake up

Pixel 2 XL Android 8.1 slows down screen wake up

The year is almost over and both Google and Pixel phone owners probably want to quickly leave the year and turn over a new page. Sadly, it seems that the Pixel 2 XL’s streak is far from over just yet. While most of the earlier complaints and issues with the larger Google smartphone have mostly been ironed out by software updates, at least one more has come up thanks to those same updates, like this slow down of the Pixel 2 XL screen wake up time for those on Android 8.1.

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Xperia XZ2 could still save Sony’s 2018 lineup

Xperia XZ2 could still save Sony’s 2018 lineup

Some OEMs cast a wide net and hope they catch as many fish as they can. Or said in another way, they throw as many they can on a wall and hope at least one sticks. That is almost the strategy that Sony is employing for its smartphones, putting out nearly identical yet still distinct models each year, with some feature overlap and confusing features. Just like the H8216, which may be the Xperia XZ2 or XZ1s, which could actually be Sony’s best bet next year.

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Galaxy S8 Oreo fourth beta arrives with bad news for DeX

Galaxy S8 Oreo fourth beta arrives with bad news for DeX

As unofficially hinted by a Samsung customer representative, a fourth beta for Android 8.0 Oreo for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ has officially arrived. While it still doesn’t clue us in on when the final, non-beta version will roll out to all users, it at least gives hope that things aren’t stalled on Samsung’s end. Indeed, the list of fixes hints that the OEM has been rather busy plugging up holes in its ship. Sadly, the beta also has its share of bad news, particularly for those using third-party DeX docks that suddenly find themselves blocked off from using Samsung’s Android desktop UI.

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Here are some more Galaxy S9 renders

Here are some more Galaxy S9 renders

Unlike this year’s Samsung flagships, it seems that next year’s Galaxy S9 will be playing it safer. A lot safer. While it will obviously have most of the latest hardware, though not all, word on the rumor mill is that those will be all that the Galaxy S9 will have. That does seem to be now accepted fate, especially with the renders OnLeaks made, based on schematics and leaks, showing off a rather familiar-looking Galaxy S9.

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BlackBerry PRIV reaches end of life, no more monthly updates

BlackBerry PRIV reaches end of life, no more monthly updates

Time flies, as they say, whether you’re having fun or not. It’s almost incredible, and by that, we mean “unbelievable”, that BlackBerry’s first fully Android smartphone has already passed its second birthday. And yet that is exactly the case with the somewhat odd BlackBerry Priv and its sliding keyboard. Sadly, that second birthday is usually a death sentence for smartphones and, as such, the Priv will no longer receive monthly security updates moving forward.

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BlackBerry app store closing after 2019, BB10 gets two years of support

BlackBerry app store closing after 2019, BB10 gets two years of support

While the BlackBerry name isn't much more than an afterthought in the Android market, users might be surprised to hear that some of the company's legacy mobile services are still around. Unfortunately for those still using them, BlackBerry has announced that they'll be shutting down over the next two years, including the platform's app store.

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Pixel camera will soon see through unwanted objects

Pixel camera will soon see through unwanted objects

Today Google is one step closer to allowing Pixel phone cameras to see through solid objects. Not hard walls, and not necessarily every single object in the world - but some of the most common objects, like photobombing fingers, and chain-link fences. Google spoke about this functionality at their developer conference Google IO in May of 2017, and have been working on this tech with MIT since 2015 - or likely well before.

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This limited artist edition Galaxy Note has Tiger Style

This limited artist edition Galaxy Note has Tiger Style

This week the folks at Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 8 X 99 Avant Limited Edition. This version of the device was revealed as a limited edition of 99 units, making this one of, if not the rarest Galaxy Note in the world. This version of the device comes with its own unique icons, wallpapers, a subscription to a service with additional on-device artwork, a limited edition art print, and a case designed by artist Han-Seung-Woo.

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Samsung Galaxy A8, LG K10 mid-range phones expected at CES 2018

Samsung Galaxy A8, LG K10 mid-range phones expected at CES 2018

Although Samsung has more or less confirmed that the Galaxy S9 wouldn’t be making an appearance as early as CES 2018, that doesn’t mean it won’t have any phone to show next month. It might, instead, simply show off a new phone for that who want the same look but for less. Less hardware, that is. In a similar fashion, LG might be doing something similar, debuting a new LG K phone vis-a-vis Samsung’s new Galaxy A model.

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Here’s what’s coming to the Essential phone in the future

Here’s what’s coming to the Essential phone in the future

One of the benefits of not being a giant company is that you are able to move a bit faster and are less bogged downy be legacy considerations. Especially when you’re a small smartphone OEM carrying a nearly pure Android phone. That said, that agility may also cause such smaller companies to make bold promises, just like how Essential is putting some much-requested features on its list for the near future. Whenever that is.

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Synaptics in-screen fingerprint scanner to debut in Vivo

Synaptics in-screen fingerprint scanner to debut in Vivo

Human Interface Device (HID) expert Synaptics might be grasping at straws to salvage what it can from its much-delayed in-display fingerprint sensor. It recently announced that the sensor, the Clear ID FS9500, has gone into mass production with one of the five Tier 1 smartphone makers in the world. Not leaving much time for a guessing game, Synaptics has finally revealed who that OEM is, and it is none other than Vivo who, just a few months ago, flaunted Qualcomm’s ultrasonic fingerprint sensor instead.

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