Monthly Archives: January 2017

New Concept build for the Xperia X brings Night Light, January security update


Sony’s Concept for Android program is still going strong on the Xperia X. Those who are running the stock-ish experience can look forward to a new update today, that is currently rolling out for everyone who chose the Experimental track when switching to the Concept builds.

The new update comes less than a month after the last one, which brought Android 7.1.1 Nougatwith it. Today’s release isn’t as important, but it does nevertheless contain Google’s January security patches.

Additionally, you’ll get an updated Home launcher and Xperia Transfer Mobile app. But perhaps the most important new feature is Night Light, which will filter blue light from the screen when activated through Settings. This is becoming a pretty standard feature on smartphones these days, as blue light at night is said to mess with your sleep cycle. Hence, using the Night Light at night should make you fall asleep easier.

You can program the feature to turn itself on automatically from sunset to sunrise, or do it manually if you want to. After applying the new update you’ll be running build N4F26I9, as seen in the screenshots above. This is still based on Android 7.1.1, of course.



Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) to be sold stateside by AT&T, Verizon, and US Cellular


The first member of the Galaxy J (2017) series from Samsung has technically already been launched in the US. We’re talking about the Galaxy J3 Emerge for Sprint and its prepaid brands, which is nothing but a rebranded and slightly modified version of the still-unofficial Galaxy J3 (2017). The next phone in that family to get a release stateside seems to be the Galaxy J7 (2017), which has recently been certified by the FCC. One of the models that underwent the certification is clearly headed to Verizon, because its model number is SM-J727V, and that “V” at the end always signifies handsets meant for Big Red.

According to Evan Blass (a.k.a @evleaks), AT&T and US Cellular will sell the Galaxy J7 (2017) too. He’s also confirmed that Verizon is getting it. Keep in mind that this list isn’t final, so other carriers could get in on the J7 (2017) action too in the future. The device will at least be available at the aforementioned three networks, however.

Judging by past leaks and rumors, the Galaxy J7 (2017) should sport a 5.5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, the Snapdragon 625 chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 13 MP main camera, a 5 MP selfie shooter, and a 3,000 mAh battery. It could run Android 7.0 Nougat from day one.


More Huawei P10 renders leak showing curved screen, front fingerprint scanner, dual rear cameras


Huawei will probably make the P10 official at its MWC press conference on February 26 in Barcelona. Thus we’re starting to see more and more leaks about this device as we get closer to that date.

Today three new renders purportedly depicting Huawei’s next flagship smartphone have been outed in China. They show us a handset with a fingerprint scanner on the front, which is important because the placement of that sensor has been highly debated in past rumors. So far we’ve seen it both on the front (like below), but also on the back. It’s thus pretty hard to be sure, even at this late stage in its development, where the P10’s fingerprint scanner will be in the end.

Alleged Huawei P10 leaked renders Alleged Huawei P10 leaked renders Alleged Huawei P10 leaked renders
Alleged Huawei P10 leaked renders

Anyway, from the leaked renders above we also gather that the P10 will come with a dual-curved touchscreen, minimal side bezels, and a dual rear camera arrangement. Like in the P9 and Mate 9 from last year, this is once again carrying Leica branding. A dual-LED flash and laser autofocus window are also on the back, and the phone pictured here has the model number VIC-AL00 and TD-LTE support – hence this is probably the version headed to China Mobile.

The P10 will apparently be released in March or April, with the Kirin 960 chipset on board aided by 6GB of RAM.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

New Instant Tethering feature is rolling out as part of Google Play Services 10.2 for Android


Google is currently in the process of rolling out the latest version of Play Services, namely 10.2, to all Android devices. As usual, there’s nothing you need to do – Play Services updates automatically in the background. Once you get this version, you may also receive a neat new function called Instant Tethering.

Here’s what it does. Say you have an Android phone and tablet, both connected to the same Google account. You’re browsing the internet on the tablet at home, connected to your wireless router’s Wi-Fi network. But then, all of a sudden, this becomes unavailable or gets disconnected from the internet. With Instant Tethering available and turned on, you’d then receive the following message on the tablet:

If you tap Connect, your phone (which you don’t have to touch for this to work) will disconnect from Wi-Fi, connect to cellular data, start up a mobile hotspot, and allow your tablet to connect to it – and the tablet will do just that automatically. So with literally one tap on your tablet you’ve gone from being connected to a network sans internet access, or being disconnected altogether, to browsing the internet through your smartphone’s data plan. And that’s without having to pick up the phone, turn off Wi-Fi, turn on cellular data, and turn on the mobile hotspot functionality.

The bad news is that not a lot of people have Google Play Services 10.2 yet. As usual with Google, it’s a slow rollout. And even if you do, that’s just a prerequisite to see the Instant Tethering feature. Google still has to do a server-side switch in order to enable it. So it could be a while before you see this on your devices.

To check for it, go to Settings > Google and look for Instant Tethering. If it is there, you can tap on it to see two options which can be toggled On or Off: Provide data connection (if the device you’re on has a cellular connection and you want it to make it available to your other devices), and Get data connection (which lets that device locate others with your Google account that can provide a cellular data connection). In the example above, the phone would be the one “providing” a data connection, while the tablet is the one “getting” it.

Source 1 | Source 2 | Via

LG G6 will have Google Assistant built-in, rumor says


Samsung’s Galaxy S8 has long been rumored to feature a revamped virtual assistant called Bixby, and LG’s G6 can’t afford not to play the AI game. A new rumor out of both companies’ home country of South Korea now claims that LG has done something that’s pretty surprising in the Android world.

Instead of building its own sub-par virtual assistant, LG has apparently turned to Google for help. As such, the G6 will come with the Google Assistant built-in. Previously, the Google Assistant was exclusive to Google’s own Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones (at least in the form that’s integrated into the Android system, since it also lives in the Allo chat app and the Google Home device).

The Google Assistant is also an integral part of the upcoming Android Wear 2.0 release, which will be running on the LG Watch Sport and Watch Style, the first wearables to have the new OS version on board. These were co-developed with Google in a program not dissimilar to what the Nexus line used to be for smartphones. The two smartwatches will be unveiled on February 9, it’s been rumored.

The LG G6 will be made official on February 26 at MWC in Barcelona. It’s reportedly going to become available in early March, beating the Galaxy S8 to the market by about a month.


Apple sues Qualcomm for $1 billion over excessive royalties


The news just keeps on getting worse for Qualcomm this week. A couple of days ago the FTC filed a lawsuit against the chip maker alleging that it has engaged in unfair patent licensing practices, and today it’s Apple’s turn to sue Qualcomm.

Apple’s lawsuit has to do with what it claims are excessive royalties charged by Qualcomm for use of basic cellular standards that it contributed to developing in the past.

Furthermore, Apple says that once it began cooperating with South Korean authorities in their antitrust investigation of Qualcomm, the chip maker withheld $1 billion in retaliation. Here’s Apple’s full statement on the matter:

For many years Qualcomm has unfairly insisted on charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with. The more Apple innovates with unique features such as TouchID, advanced displays, and cameras, to name just a few, the more money Qualcomm collects for no reason and the more expensive it becomes for Apple to fund these innovations. Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties. Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined.To protect this business scheme Qualcomm has taken increasingly radical steps, most recently withholding nearly $1B in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them.

Apple believes deeply in innovation and we have always been willing to pay fair and reasonable rates for patents we use. We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement over what constitutes a fair and reasonable royalty we have no choice left but to turn to the courts.

Apple wants roughly $1 billion from Qualcomm as compensation for this behavior. Qualcomm hasn’t yet commented on Apple’s allegations and lawsuit.


January security update starts hitting Sony Xperia X and X Compact


Sony has started pushing out a new update to its Xperia X and X Compact smartphones (all variants). Arriving as build number 34.2.A.0.292, the update brings along Android security fixes for the month of January.

Aside from the latest security patch, it isn’t known what other changes (if any) are included in the update. In case you missed, the Xperia X units that are part of the company’s Concept for Android program also received the January update recently.

As is usually the case with OTA roll outs, it may take some time before the update hits your device. Meanwhile, if you feel impatient, you can manually check for the update by heading to your handset’s Settings menu.