Apple has presented its new Samsung!

In 2015, I read a hilarious spoof article: “Samsung presents its new iPhone”; that had me on the floor with: “The feeling that it is the actual iPhone lasts about 4 minutes longer than it used to”. At that time the iPhone 6 was the leader of the pack and the satire site was poking fun at the Galaxy S6 as an obvious attempt to imitate Apple’s design.

More than two years later, it looks like Apple has lost its place as the design icon and the competition is starting to come into its own. The new iPhone X is a good indicator that Apple has stopped being innovative and has begun looking to its competition for inspiration, and I’m not just talking about Samsung.

Apple isn’t what it used to be

For the tenth anniversary of the first iPhone, Apple couldn’t come to the table empty-handed, and so it launched a new device. It’s the first time that Apple has presented two different models at the same time, the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. The iPhone 8 could have been named iPhone 7s, but Apple decided to go up a number. Maybe it’s good for marketing.

OLED display like on Samsung

The iPhone X is the most innovative phone in the Apple ecosystem, but it actually doesn’t look all that new. It comes with a new OLED display, something that has been the calling card of Samsung Galaxy phones for generations. The name is also kind of funny since Apple has inaugurated it as their Super Retina Display and Samsung has always called their display technology Super AMOLED. Super coincidence?

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus front The new iPhone X has a display just like Samsung’s/ © AndroidPIT

Borderless display like on Xiaomi

Another display update on the iPhone X joins the new fashion of borderless displays or rather, displays that use up the maximum amount of front surface possible. The first launch this year with the new format and a display that took up more than 78% was the LG G6, next came the S8 (~83.6%), Essential Phone (~84.9%), Note 8 (~83.2), V30 (~81.2%), Mi MIX 2 (~80.8%) and lastly the iPhone X (~82.9%).
 

Lowest price: Xiaomi Mi MIX

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However, this feature of lengthening the screen to the edge of the frame became relevant for the first time in a modest range of smartphones, the Aquos Crystal from Sharp (2014). In 2016, Xiaomi took up the baton with its first Mi MIX, which improved on but kept the lines of Aquos Crystal. I still think it’s the best ambassador for this trend after seeing the second edition. It looks like Apple has also been inspired by the competition and discovered that it’s the best thing for their customers.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi Mix 2123 Mi MIX: this is what borderless means / © ANDROIDPIT

Facial recognition from Android

The biggest gamble on the iPhone X is how it’s unlocked. In the past, iPhone has always been unlocked with a PIN and starting with the iPhone 5s, a fingerprint reader. On the iPhone X, forget about your finger, because they’ve joined the facial recognition game, or Face ID. Facial recognition has been on Android devices for a while now and since the failed Galaxy Note 7, the iris scanner is becoming increasingly important. Apple was the last to sign on to this tech, gambling hard on it even as it applies its own twist on the format.

Back covered in glass just like the rest

From the iPhone 6 to the new iPhone 8 and 8 plus, Apple has repeated the same design. The last two have a glass back just like the Galaxy S line has had since the S6. The excuse seems to be the new wireless charger that the latest generation of iPhone comes with. We all know that neither the iPhone 8 nor the iPhone X are the first to have a glass back. They’re not even the first ones from Apple. At this point, the construction seems less like an update and more like an adaptation based on the market’s needs. A way to put themselves on the same field as the competition.

u11 xzp s8 g6 Who doesn’t have a glass back nowadays? / © AndroidPIT

Intuitive system gestures like in Sailfish OS

Throughout the entire presentation for the new iPhone X, I felt like I had seen it all before. When it got to the part about software and new gestures for iOS 11, I thought “they copied this.” Apart from swiping on the status bar to bring up quick settings, which is taken from Android, opening multitasking and going back to the start is a copy of Sailfish OS. Let’s take a quick stroll down memory lane. Sailfish OS, developed by the independent Finnish company Jolla, and derived from the old Nokia Maemo project, is soon to be available on Sony Xperia X. Honestly, I think all mobile operating systems should copy Sailfish OS.

AndroidPIT sailfish os 3256 Sailfish OS: move through the system with gestures, without a back button or having to break your fingers. / © ANDROIDPIT

The recipe for success: improve on what you imitate

All these new features on the iPhone seem like a logical evolution, but it’s also unavoidable to think that the iPhone looks more than ever like a Galaxy. But Apple has a huge ace up its sleeve: Apple doesn’t test things, they sell them.

Anything that Apple releases is usually very finely tuned. Honestly, if one of the most profitable tech companies in the world can’t do the R+D, nobody can. Apple has always grabbed ideas that were around floating around and made them a reality. Facial recognition is a perfect example of that.

apple keynote iphone x price 5 Despite the price of the iPhone X, I’m sure they’ll sell a ton. / © Apple

With an S8, if you’re completely in the dark neither the iris scanner nor the facial recognition work very well. The iPhone X still needs to be tested in the dark, but it looks like there’s hope for it.

Opinion by Luis Ortega

Google tests and plays with the tech, Apple sells it

What do you think?

5 participants

At the end of the day, it’s all a question of trust and fulfilling promises. Apple can sell, and it knows how to market. But when it comes to design, at least where smartphones are concerned, it looks like Apple has hit a wall.

Do you think that the new iPhone X looks a lot like a Samsung? Do you think that next year every smartphone will have that notch in it?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

13 tips and tricks to improve your Chrome experience

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Take a shortcut

1. Copy, cut and paste web addresses

Share the address of specific web pages and content from websites you like using the Android copy and paste tool. In Chrome, click on the URL of the site and press the cursor for a few seconds. If you’re using Android Marshmallow, you’ll see that in addition to copying and pasting, there’s the option to share apps and search for specific terms in Google Now.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 1 Copy, cut and paste in Chrome / © ANDROIDPIT

2. Speed up page loading with Brotli

Enabling the Brotli function improves the page loading speed as sites are unzipped faster. To do this, you need to open a new page in the browser and enter the following URL:  chrome: // flags / # enable-brotli.

On the next page you’ll see a page with several features. At the top of the screen, highlighted in yellow, is the section that is most relevant to us. It’s called “Brotli Coding” content. You must now select the “Default” menu and then click “Activate”. You’ll then need to restart Chrome to apply your changes.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 9 Activating Brotli speeds up Chrome. / © ANDROIDPIT

3. Disable open tabs between apps in multitasking 

From Android 5.0 Lollipop the recent Chrome tabs are opened one over the other mixed with the apps, which let’s face it can be confusing. Happily you can undo this action. To do this, open Chrome in Lollipop, click the three dots in the upper right corner of the browser, and then go to:  Settings > Merge tabs and apps > Disable. After that, your Chrome browser will be faster and more organized.

4. Quickly switch between tabs

If you followed the above instructions, you’ll be able to enjoy yet another advantage. You can now move tabs quickly by simply dragging the address bar to the right or left. However, you should know that Android can be controlled in part by gestures. So in the following article we’ve put together 10 gestures that will enhance both your Android user experience and using Chrome:

5. Add a shortcut to a website on your home screen

If you find yourself frequently visiting a website adding it to your home screen will save you some time and a few taps. To do so, simply tap the three-point menu and select “Add to home screen.” Then just choose a label for the icon that will be added to your home screen. Too easy!

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 4 Shortcuts on Chrome. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Synchronizing tabs and favorites with other devices

This feature is certainly not new, but it’s not used very often. To make it really useful, you need to set up some options. Go to your Chrome settings, use your Google account, and enable sync. Before syncing, open Chrome on your computer, sign in with the same account, then “Sync” in the account settings and confirm that the “Open tabs” option is enabled.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 3 Sync Chrome with your computer. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. How to navigate in anonymous mode

Incognito mode prevents Google Chrome from saving your browsing history. To access it, just touch the three-point menu (upper right corner of the window) and touch “Navigate without a trace”. The search bar and anonymous tab icon are grayed out, and do not change according to the website you visit.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 5 For anonymous browsing, switch to incognito mode. / © ANDROIDPIT

8. Save data with Chrome

In Google Chrome, you can reduce the use of your plan’s mobile data by compressing them. Simply open the Chrome browser and go to: Menu > Settings > Data Saver. With this option enabled, you will certainly save yourself some internet data.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 6 Use Chrome to save internet data on your smartphone. / © ANDROIDPIT

9. Reader Mode

Not all sites have been optimized to open on a smartphone. To improve your user experience with these sites, Google has enabled Reader Mode in Chrome. To enable this function open the browser and enter the following URL:  chrome: // flags / # reader-mode-heuristics.

You will soon find the “Activate Reader Mode”, then click the “Default” button and choose “Always”. Each new page you’ll open after this will have a note appear in the footer of your display indicating that the website can be optimized for your smartphone.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 7 Chrome Reader Mode. / © ANDROIDPIT

10. Get Facebook notifications for Chrome

If you use Facebook through your browser, and you don’t want to miss out receiving notifications, these can be sent to you through Chrome. When you first access the site with the browser, Facebook asks permission to send notifications to the user. This new feature finally makes the Facebook app useless!

However, if you want to enable or disable this option you’ll need to go to: Profile settings > Notifications and then tap on the gear icon. Then click “Mobile on” and manage.

chrome tips tricks COM Setup 8 Chrome Facebook notifications. / © ANDROIDPIT

11. Compress media files with Opera Max

Opera Max saves data and gives you full control over your consumption. The application works with 3G, 4G, LTE and WiFi networks, and is really effective as it compresses videos, photos and media in general, applications and websites, and without much loss of quality. 

If that wasn’t enough to get you interested, Opera Max also allows you to save battery power by blocking applications running in the background. Last but not least, when managing WiFi networks, Max also tracks what apps do in the background when connected to WiFi. To get these features, download the app from Google Play Store:

Opera Max – Data manager Install on Google Play

For more information on how Opera Max works, visit the article below:

12. Open tabs side-by-side with Nougat’s multi-window feature

This will only work with phones running Android Nougat. Open Chrome as you normally would, then long press the recent apps button on your phone to open the multi-window menu.

chrome tips tricks multi window tabs Long press the square button on the bottom right to go to multi-window mode. / © ANDROIDPIT

At this point, go to the Chrome-occupied half of your screen and tap the three dots button on the top right for more options, and select Move to another window. Then you’ll be able to open a new Chrome tab on the other half of the screen. 

13. Read webpages offline

For a year now, it has been possible to download a webpage to view it later while offline, but a new update makes it even easier. Just long press any link and choose “Download link”. Or, when you’re offline, you can tell Chrome to download it when you’re back online. This is great for when your connection is spotty. Just open a link while offline, and when you get to the “You are offline” page, tap the big blue “Download page later” button.

chrome offline pages tip Download pages to view them offline later. / © Google

Once you’ve downloaded one or more pages, you can get to the content by opening a new tab. You’ll see your downloaded pages listed in their own “Downloads” section at the top, above some suggested online articles from Google.

Opinion by Bruno Salutes

This makes having a small data plan easier

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1 participant

How to download Chrome for Android

To enjoy these functions on your Android, download Chrome from the Play Store if you have not already installed it on your device. Click the button below:

Google Chrome: Fast & Secure Install on Google Play

So now that you’ve assessed out tips and tricks, are there any which you think you might use yourself? Are there any other tips for Chrome that you use on your Android? Let us know in the comments below.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

AllCall Rio comes with dual camera, Android Nougat and 3 days' battery

Sometimes it’s not just about having the biggest brand smartphone in your pocket. You’d be surprised at what you can get your hands on if you cast your net a little wider. The big brands of today had to start somewhere, and many of them started off with some amazing specs at a fraction of the price of more well-known brands. Like OnePlus. Or like the AllCall Rio, which we bring you today.

While you might not have heard of this brand yet, it’s worth checking it out for the sheer amount of impressive specs, design and features it brings at a jaw-droppingly low price of about $ 55! Check out the video below to discover more about this phone or head over to the AllCall Rio website.

Here’s a little more about what you could be investing your hard-earned dollar on…

Design and display

The AllCall Rio comes jam-packed with an eye-catching array of specs: it boasts 3D curved screen technology, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S8, melding nicely into a sleek metal frame. The frame and housing is made with utmost care to maximize high durability of the device, while ensuring a smooth design and elegant appearance. 

allcall rio front back red The AllCall Rio looks sleek and elegant, with its curved screen. / © AllCall

Its ergonomics won’t let you down either – it sits nicely in your hand, however, should the phone slip from your hand, it’ll likely hold its own thanks to a 1.8 mm thick glass, which is thicker than many other phones nowadays, ensuring its sturdiness and robustness.

Camera

You guessed it – this latest phone from AllCall comes with a dual camera (8 MP Sony IMX149 sensor) with an aperture of f / 2.2, in addition to a front camera for selfies. AllCall isn’t messing around with its photography technology – you can expect exquisite clarity and vivid colors as well as the bokeh portrait effect. You also get all the usual camera features like color filters, panorama shots and video shooting.

Performance and battery

The AllCall Rio comes with Android 7.0 Nougat, which has some useful features like split-screen mode and notification direct reply – these all make your user experience much friendlier than ever before. Packing a 2,700 mAh battery, the phone should hold its own for 3 days or 16 hours calling time.

So what are you waiting for? Check out this phone with some fantastic specs at a quite literally unbeatable price – it could be the next big hit in the near future! AllCall will also be at the Asia Expo for Mobile Electronics in Hong Kong from October 18 to 21 – so if you’re around, you should head over check them out!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs S8+: A $270 surcharge for a stylus?

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8+ look like twins. But there are many differences between the smartphones which aren’t just limited to looks. The differences are also under the hood, which is where both the Note 8 and the S8+ are ahead of the pack.

Anyone who does a side-by-side comparison of Samsung’s largest smartphones of the moment doesn’t need a magnifying glass to find the design differences; just having a second glance is enough. The Galaxy Note 8 is a little bit thicker than the Galaxy S8+. It’s also a bit more angular at the corners, but the build quality of both devices is flawless.

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus front Compared to the S8+ (right), the Note 8 is hardly bigger but distinctively edgier. / © AndroidPIT

The Note 8’s display is merely 0.1 inches bigger, and we estimate that the bezels are just as slim. Despite the curved glass surfaces, the Galaxy Note 8 is more massive and also heavier than the S8+. The controls, including the standalone Bixby button, are located in the same places.

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus back The button arrangement is identical. / © AndroidPIT

The Galaxy Note 8’s most important differentiating factor is the S-Pen. This digital input stylus, which can be pulled from below the housing as usual, divides Samsung fans. For Note aficionados, the S-Pen is what makes this device truly interesting and thus, without equal. But, the pen critics do not see the need for the S-Pen and emphasize other things instead.

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus under Only the Note 8 (bottom) sports the S-Pen. / © AndroidPIT

There are large differences between the cameras. The Galaxy Note 8 is the Korean manufacturer’s first smartphone that is equipped with a dual camera, while the Galaxy S8+ takes the conservative route and has a single 12 MP lens on the back. Although the camera still has to prove its worth in our review, it already offers more opportunities for creativity. Both are evenly matched when it comes to the front camera.

Galaxy S8+ has better battery life than the Note 8

A look at the technical specs sheet reveals the following: The Galaxy S8+ has the larger battery of the two Samsung smartphones, and that’s in spite of the smaller size and thinner body. To make up for it, the Note 8 offers the S-Pen, which takes up space inside the body as well. Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 7 battery incidents caused Samsung to stay on the safe side and, for better or worse, not go for maximum capacity. As a result, the Galaxy S8+ lasts a bit longer on one charge, even if the differences are minor in practice. Both Galaxy smartphones support quick charging and wireless charging.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs. Samsung Galaxy S8+ technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Samsung Galaxy S8+
Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6 mm 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 195 g 173 g
Battery size: 3300 mAh 3500 mAh
Screen size: 6.3 in 6.2 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 2960 x 1440 pixels (522 ppi) 2960 x 1440 pixels (531 ppi)
Front camera: 8 megapixels 8 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED Dual-LED
Android version: 7.1.1 – Nougat 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz TouchWiz
RAM: 6 GB 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB 64 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Samsung Exynos 8895 Samsung Exynos 8895
Number of cores: 8 8
Max. clock speed: 2.3 GHz 2.3 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth

Performance wise, both smartphones are very close, which is no wonder since they are equipped with the same processor. RAM is the only thing where the Note 8 has a bit more to offer, which is hardly noticeable in practice. The Snapdragon 835 (or the Samsung Exynos 8895 outside of the US), powers both XXL smartphones and you won’t have to wait long for apps to load or deal with a laggy browser with either phone.

samsung galaxy note 8 s8 plus cameras The Note 8 is the first Samsung with a dual camera. / © AndroidPIT

Note 8 buyers pay $ 270 more for an $ -Pen

There is quite a price difference between both smartphones, with the Galaxy Note 8 starting at a full $ 929, which is $ 80 more than what the Galaxy S8+ cost when it was released on the market ($ 850). Now the price for the latter has dropped further, and you can currently get it for as little as $ 659, which is an enormous $ 270 difference that will make some Note fans think twice.

Opinion by Steffen Herget

The S-Pen does not justify a price difference of over $ 250.

What do you think?

10 participants

There are differences between these two Samsung smartphones, even if the Galaxy S8+ and the Galaxy Note 8 look similar at first glance. Which of the two models is your favorite?

Choose Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy S8+.

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    Galaxy Note 8

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Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

BMW going full steam ahead with the fully autonomous car

A completely autonomous car by 2021

For BMW, the self-driving car is the future. This doesn’t come as any surprise though, as the German manufacturer has already begun digitally revolutionizing its vehicles, making them more connected, which is the obvious prerequisite for the self-driving car. “We aren’t made to sit in traffic jams” explained Elmar Frickenstein, demonstrating the benefits of the autonomous car. “By 2021, BMW will be able to offer cars with 3, 4 and 5 levels of autonomy.”

To explain these levels of autonomy: autonomy level 5 corresponds to a completely autonomous vehicle where everything is automatic. For those who aren’t aware of it, or who aren’t familiar with this scale of autonomous driving, level 1 has already been in place for a while. Level 1 is the level at which the machine controls certain things, like loss of trajectory (ESP). Level 2 is a more recent improvement with a few additional driving aids. Level 3 is gradually making its way onto the market, allowing the driver to release the steering wheel for short periods, and under defined conditions. Levels 4 and 5 are therefore the next steps for BMW’s autonomous cars, aimed at incorporating autonomous driving with other collective concepts like car-sharing, which is what customers are increasingly looking for.

“Our studies show that US users want an autonomous car to have an additional work space, while Asian users want a space for entertainment. Fortunately, from a technical point of view, the approach is the same, which is why we’ll be able to offer a solution that will suit all markets” Elmar Frickenstein assures.

bmw concept  BMW also took advantage of the Frankfurt Motor Show to present its Vision Dynamics concept. © AndroidPIT

Artificial intelligence, the most important challenge for autonomous cars

Given that 2021 is just around the corner, BMW has already started the revolution to achieve its objective. In addition to its new way of working in-house, which is closer to the world of startups, the German manufacturer has teamed up with the American computer group Intel, which is capable of offering a versatile design, as well as the Israeli company Mobileye, who specialize in artificial vision. As a result, BMW has already launched its first fleet of 40 autonomous vehicles onto the road in 2017, and will gradually increase that number over the next few years (200 within two years).

What’s the objective? Recover as much data as possible to analyze and improve the artificial intelligence of their vehicles, and as the BMW Senior Vice President of Autonomous Driving reminded me, “our most important challenge is artificial intelligence, and its ability to learn”.

Our most important challenge is artificial intelligence, and its ability to learn

BMW’s fleet of autonomous cars therefore provides a lot of data, which is useful for machine learning and artificial intelligence. To date, BMW’s autonomous vehicle research has accumulated 60 petabytes (or 60 million gigabytes) of data, and therefore (with the help of Intel) has had to build its own data center in Munich, Germany to store all the information. The manufacturer keeps the data private and won’t share it with any third parties. “When a customer purchases an autonomous car, they agree to a separate contract to share their data with BMW, but this data will remain private, anonymous and will never be shared”.

bmw z4 concept Will BMW’s 2021 autonomous car look as pretty as the concept foreshadowing the new BMW Z4? © AndroidPIT

Still an operational regulation in 2021?

If BMW stands by its statement of wanting to market its first level 5 vehicle by 2021, there are still two major challenges for the manufacturer to truly establish the autonomous car. The first is to reassure certain users who are wary of handing over full control of their vehicle to a machine. On this point, Elmar Frickenstein is quite optimistic: “People’s trust relies on the safety of the autonomous car. Our internal tests show that the first ten minutes may worry some people, but after an hour of driving, users are quickly used to the new system”.

As to the second challenge, this is about whether infrastructure and legislation will be ready by then. BMW is already working on it and appears to be very positive. “We aren’t alone, we work with many partners and manufacturers. For example, we’re already having legal discussions with governments for our tests”. Finally, the other argument put forward by Frickenstein that could speed things up is the decrease of accidents thanks to autonomous cars.

It remains to be seen whether this optimism will be short-lived or not in the coming years, and if various car manufacturers will seek to build alliances to share the high costs associated with developing these autonomous vehicles, which according to the Frost & Sullivan society, should represent 10% to 15% of car models circulating in Europe by 2030.

Do you believe in the launch of autonomous cars? What, in your opinion, are the obstacles in its development? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

The Galaxy S9's camera may be capable of shooting slow motion video at 1,000 fps

Samsung is developing a camera sensor which can shoot at 1,000 fps, and it may be intended for the Galaxy S9.  The sensor would be a rival to Sony’s from the Xperia XZ1 and XZ Premium in terms of slow motion capabilities. Here are the details of these latest rumors.

A fresh rumor is circulating that says Samsung is working on a camera sensor with impressive slow motion video capturing capabilities. If what the Korean media site ETNews claims turns out to be true, mass production of Samsung’s sensor could begin in November, according to the source. That’s early enough to allow it to land in the Galaxy S9 before its launch, which is rumored to be sometime in spring of next year.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

I want to be able to capture quality slow motion videos on my smartphone.

What do you think?

8 participants

The rumored Samsung sensor in question will be a three layer image sensor with DRAM capable of shooting slow-mo video at 1,000 fps. The added third layer serves as an additional buffer for image information making it possible to shoot in impressive slow motion. Sony was the first company to commercialize a three layer sensor of this kind, which can shoot at up to 960 fps in Full HD. Sony designed and manufactured it in-house, and it can now be found in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium and Xperia XZ1.

Samsung will use a different manufacturing process than Sony, likely to avoid patent infringement. While this process could be more expensive and difficult, Samsung will be able to source its chips internally, which could mean lower costs and a more reliable supply. Samsung uses Sony sensors in half its phones, including its US models, but its own for the South Korean market. This pattern is expected to continue, with other markets getting the new Samsung sensor. We’ll have to wait and see if these rumors turn out to be true, but Samsung will certainly be taking big steps into the image sensor business to challenge Sony, as it announced its renewed brand of image sensors, called ISOCELL, at MWC Shanghai back in June.

What does this mean for users? Shooting at 1,000 fps means detailed slow motion video. For me, that’s an exciting prospect, because I would love to be able to capture amazing moments while on the tennis court or exploring my city with just my cell phone. But, at the moment, shooting at 1,000 fps still has its limitations.

sony 960 fps infographic 960 fps slow motion explained / © Sony

Here’s an example: With the aforementioned Xperia XZ Premium, while capturing a video at regular speed (30 fps), you can shoot in slow motion for only a fraction of a second (0.182 sec) in the middle. That results in just 6 seconds of playback for the slow-mo portion of the video. See it in action in this video:

Are you interested in capturing video in slow motion at 1,000 fps, or do you wish Samsung would stick to working on more practical, mainstream features? What situations would you use super slow motion capture in? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to check out everything else we know about the upcoming addition to the S series in our main Galaxy S9 rumors article.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

These five iPhone X features will soon become standard

A long time has passed since Apple was known for pioneering new technologies. Other manufacturers do that now. But the Californian company has a strong tradition of assuming features used by other manufacturers, making them better and more suited for the masses, and then integrating them into their own devices. This is precisely what happened with the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

Not just the design is new with the anniversary phone. The iPhone X also includes breakthrough technology and features. By virtue of their association with the new iPhone, these things will also find their way into the wider smartphone market. 

Face ID

By removing Touch ID, Apple has taken the iPhone X in a radical new direction. The company invented the fingerprint sensor four years ago, claiming it to be the safest guard against unauthorized access. The technology initially drew criticism from Data Protection bodies, but soon became widely accepted. The case of facial recognition will be exactly the same. It has existed for a while on Android and even Windows. But we’ve come to expect that Apple will deliver a better performance than its competition. It’ll be interesting to see how well the system can recognize faces in dark lighting. If needed, you can always revert to the reliable (but comparatively insecure) PIN entry. 

apple iphone x 05 The iPhone X can be locked with your face. / © Apple

Wireless charging

Apple has a justified reputation of preferring its own proprietary technologies over recognized standards. The fact that the iPhone still lacks a USB port is testament to this. But with the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, Apple is changing its tune by supporting the Qi standard for wireless charging. Qi made headlines in 2012 when a deal was announced with Ikea to incorporate such wireless charging stations into furniture. The new iPhone will boost Qi and induction charging in general. Other manufacturers with devices like the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the Nokia Lumia 920 or the Google Nexus 4 couldn’t do this. We hope that the industry will finally declare war on the issue of tangled cables. 

Opinion by Steffen Herget

I can’t wait to have fewer wires to deal with.

What do you think?

9 participants

apple iphone x 10 Charging without cables. It doesn’t get easier.  / © Apple

Augmented Reality

AR, VR and Mixed Reality were big themes at the IFA, and present at many stands. Against expectations, Apple hasn’t introduced its own AR or VR goggles, but instead devoted itself to the software side of things with ARKit. At its presentation, Apple demonstrated various scenarios where the iPhone X could be used for AR and other applications. This enterprise from Apple will shake the industry, and many companies even outside the circle of hardware manufacturers will observe what happens closely.

apple iphone x 11 ARKit tries to make AR mainstream. / © Apple

(Almost) Bezel-less displays

The iPhone X hasn’t earned the coveted ‘bezel-less display’ stamp any more than the Galaxy S8, LG V30 or Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. There’ll always be a slight frame around the display. But it’s clear to see there is a movement among manufacturers to increase the display surface area in relation to overall phone size. The iPhone X will lend this movement wings. Other manufacturers will also incorporate a notch or cutout at the top around the earpiece and front camera, as we’ve already seen with the Essential Phone. The bezel-less trend torch is already being taken up by Wiko, for example. At IFA 2017, the French manufacturer introduced the entry level Wiko View smartphone with even thinner bezels than before.

apple iphone x 02 Displays without wide bezels will soon become standard. / © Apple

Animojis

“Animated emoji” are snappily contracted into the word Animoji. These can use the front camera to superimpose your facial expressions onto an animated symbol. But they won’t only stay on the iPhone. Animojis have a great potential for fun that Android manufacturers will also want to capture. Whether this works just as well as the iPhone X, with its versatile front camera, remains to be seen. But in one form or another, we’ll see Animojis soon on Android smartphones and on messenger apps like WhatsApp or Telegram. 

apple iphone x 07 Animojis are fun and will soon come to Android.  / © Apple

What do you think? Will these things really appear on most smartphones? Or have I missed something that the competition will definitely consider closely. Let’s discuss in the comment section.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Surprise: Your Moto G4 isn’t getting Oreo after all

Some disappointing news for Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus owners has come to light: Motorola seems to have silently dropped Oreo support for the 4th generation models without warning, having already promised these phones would get the update.

After launching in May 2016, the Moto G4 and G4 Plus were slated to receive the Android O update. But their absence in a newly released lineup of Oreo-supported handsets, plus changes to an infographic for the phone line now only confirms Motorola has backtracked. Given the change has not been explicitly addressed, the news comes as a very unwelcome surprise to Moto G4 owners.

motog4 no oreo The last sentence of the last paragraph mentions only Android N. / © Android Police

Adding insult to injury, there appears to be some confusion within the company as the India branch actually confirmed on Twitter that the Moto G4 will in fact receive Android 8.0. The tweet however was pulled shortly after.

Opinion by Gerald O.

Ending software support in under two years is unacceptable.

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177 participants

Moto G4 and G4 Plus owners are getting angry, and for good reason—the G4 phones are less than 18 months old so essentially ending the shelf life of a popular and relatively young device is a negligent, if not baffling decision. Gone are the days when the rollout of Motorola’s Android updates were so well managed, they sometimes appeared even before the beloved Nexus phones.

Do you think this is acceptable from a big brand like Motorola? Should the company publicly apologize and address why this has happened? Let us know.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

LG G3 tips and tricks: master your LG smartphone

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AndroidPIT LG G3 hero 1 Get the most out of your device with our LG G3 tips and tricks. © ANDROIDPIT

1. Take advantage of the Knock functionality

The LG G3 sports some tools that rely on your tapping skills to enable them. You can double tap the screen to turn the display on and off (although it only works if you tap an empty spot on the home screen when the display is active).

You can use a knock code to lock and unlock your device instead of a conventional pattern lock, and you can even wake the display of your device with a single tap.

To set things up, under the “General” tab in the Settings menu, go to Security > Lock Screen > Select screen lock. Select Knock Code and you’ll then be asked to create and confirm your Knock Code pattern. You’ll also be asked to set up a backup pin just in case you forget your code. 

2. Use Smart screen

LG has taken a page out of the Samsung playbook with this feature: when enabled, Smart screen will keep your display lit up for as long as you’re looking at your device. It’s a handy feature if you’re reading or spending a long time looking at one thing in particular.

To make use of it, go to Settings > Display and check Smart screen.

3. Take screenshots and annotate them with QuickMemo+ 

You can take screenshots with just about every Android device, but LG’s QuickMemo+ function (or QMemo+) allows you to add handwritten notes to the screenshot. There are two ways you can start QuickMemo+: you can either access it from the icon in Quick Settings or by adding in the QuickMemo+ navigation button to your home screen.

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks notes and keyboard QuickMemo+ lets you take notes anywhere. / © ANDROIDPIT

4. Change the system font

If you’re looking to liven up your home screen or would like to see a more playful font used in your apps, here LG comes to the rescue as you can tailor text styles to suit your tastes. 

To get started,  just go to Settings > Display > Font type. All you need to do then is select your preferred font type. 

lg 3 change font menu The font on the LG G3 can be changed in just a few simple steps. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. One-handed operation

The LG G3 is a powerful smartphone with some great features, but let’s face it – it can be a bit of a handful. Luckily, the LG G3 comes with a one-handed operation feature that is specifically designed to alleviate this issue.

With one-handed operation enabled, you can adjust the alignment of the dialer, keyboard and lock screen, making it easier to use your smartphone with one hand. 

To set this up, just go to Settings > General > One-handed operation. After you’ve done this, check the boxes for the features you’d like to enable and you’re good to go.

AndroidPIT LG G3 4 One-handed operation makes multitasking easy on the LG G3. / © ANDROIDPIT

Opinion by Angela Palmer

The LG G3’s One-handed operation gives it an added level of functionality

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6. Adjust the navigation buttons

As we revealed in the Optimus UI comparison, you can move the G3’s navigation buttons to whatever you see fit. Do you want the home button on the left? How about the back button on the right?

No problem, you can change the arrangement of these capacitive buttons or even hide them when not in use by heading to Settings > Display > Home touch buttons > Button combination. From here, you can drag and drop the buttons at your will.

lg g3 screenshot tutorial 1 Customize the navigation buttons on the LG G3. / © ANDROIDPIT

7. Quick access the camera and notes applications

You can use the volume buttons to start two apps directly from standby, just by long-pressing them. If you long-press the volume-down button, you’ll fire up the camera app, while long-pressing the volume up button will launch the notes app.

These assignments can’t be modified, which is a shame, and the features are also limited if you have your G3 protected by a knock code, pin code or pattern code; if that’s the case, you’ll have to unlock the device before either app will start.

8. Adjust the keyboard size

If the keyboard is taking up too much space or you need it to be a bit bigger, you can change the size of it as long as you’re holding your LG G3 in portrait mode.

Go to Settings > Language and Input > LG Keyboard. From there, you can make the desired changes to the keyboard height and layout. You can also choose to have the keyboard split apart when you hold the phone in landscape mode or enable one-handed operation mode.

Opinion by Angela Palmer

I prefer smartphones which allow me to adjust features to suit my own tastes

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9. Use two apps simultaneously

A long-press on the back button will open the dual-window function and allow you to display a variety of system apps on the screen at the same time. Among these apps are the browser, maps, news and email.

Just drag and drop the two apps that you want to use to either the upper and lower half of the screen. The size ratio between the two displayed apps can also be adjusted by dragging the middle bar. 

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks dual screen The LG G3 supports dual window mode for multi-tasking. / © ANDROIDPIT

10. Smart cleaning feature

Smart cleaning is one of LG’s more distinctive features, as it reminds you to delete apps you don’t use and other data to free up space on your smartphone. It will also suggest you delete cache from apps, temporary Clip Tray files, and apps that haven’t been used after a certain amount of time. The notification interval and idle time period is by default set to 1 month, though both of these can be reduced or extended however you like. 

You can find the Smart cleaning feature by going Settings > General > Smart cleaning and then just select the category you want to deal with – “Temporary files,” “Download folder” or “Idle apps.”

11. Personalize the contrast and appearance with color adjustment

In the Settings > General > Accessibility, you can find the option for Color adjustment. With this, you can change the look and contrast of the entire surface, including app icons.

Once the feature is activated, you can simply drag your finger across the screen and the entire interface will be changed to reflect the color you choose. 

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks color adjustmentThe LG G3 has great accessibility and color options. / © ANDROIDPIT

12. Get greater accessibility with Touch assistant

Key functions such as volume control, on / off, home screen, settings and back can be reached via an extra button that can be placed anywhere on your screen and accessed across all screens.

In order to enable this, head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Touch assistant. The button will now appear on your screen, and tapping on it will bring up a menu showing a bunch of basic functions.

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks touch assistant Universal Touch adds a floating mini-menu for quick access to key features. / © ANDROIDPIT

13. Change the theme of the messaging app

If you’re not a big fan of the messaging app’s default theme, you can change it. Head to Settings within the messaging app and choose Conversation theme to change the background and the look of the speech bubbles. You can even use an image as a background if you want to.

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks conversation themes Change the appearance of the messaging app on the LG G3 with different backgrounds and speech bubbles. / © ANDROIDPIT

14. Change app icons

If you don’t like a particular app icon, long-press on it and then let go, and a small paintbrush will appear at the top right. Tapping it will bring up an overview of different icons, which you can choose for a replacement.

androidpit lg g3 tips and tricks change app icons Customize your app icons easily on the LG G3. / © ANDROIDPIT

This is just a glimpse into some of the customization possibilities that your LG G3 offers. While not every feature is exclusive to this device, there are still tons of tips and tricks that make the G3 unique.

Let us know what your favorite feature of the LG G3 is in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Why I decided to get Google Home

I’ve been trying out a Google Home device for a few weeks now so it’s about time I shared my opinion of it with you. Is it worth you spending your money on one? Well, I was highly skeptical at the beginning, but I have been totally converted now. Here’s why.

Google Home is a connected device that features the Google Assistant, Google’s artificial intelligence. In simple terms, you talk to it and it replies. You can ask a question and it will search for the answer on Google and read/speak it out to you. You can ask it to interact with your connected devices and it will do as you command. Even though, in practice, not everything is that simple, I have to say, this device pleasantly surprised me.

Good sound quality

You can do many things with Google Home, but the feature that I use the most is without a doubt audio playback. With the help of the Home app, you can connect your device to an online music service (or even several). In my case, I use Spotify and TuneIn and it didn’t take me more than 2 minutes to set up. Once that’s done, all you need to say is “OK Google” and ask for a song to be played. It will then search through your songs on Spotify and through radio stations on TuneIn (or other services if you have set them up). 

The sound is then emitted in all directions thanks to the three loud-speakers and the quality is excellent. On the back, there are two omnidirectional microphones (which means that they can pick up sound from all directions). To turn music off, you can say “OK Google, be quiet” (or a less polite version of that, depending on your humor).

AndroidPIT google home 7016 Google Home offers good sound quality. © AndroidPIT

A voice interface to make you change your ways

Before I tried out this device for the first time, I must admit I wasn’t sure about it at all: with a smartphone/tablet/computer and a Bluetooth device, it’s easy to achieve the same result. The difference is the time it takes to set the devices up to listen to the radio. With Google Home, you don’t need to consult your smartphone, turn up the sound, connect the devices, search for content and play it: instead you can simply say “OK Google, play Redemption Song by Bob Marley”. Google Home will confirm it has heard your request and will play the song.

Opinion by Benoit Pepicq

Voice search is definitely the way of the future

What do you think?

4 participants

Of course, there are several options when it comes to sound settings. If you want to turn up the volume, you can just say “OK Google, turn up the volume” or even “OK Google, set volume to 60%”. Remember that you lose a little sound quality if you put the volume up too high, but if you live in a small apartment, I would advise against it because the distortion will no longer be your biggest problem, you’ll have angry neighbors knocking at your door.

In short, all you have to do is say the word and it will play music. Of course, you could think “this is for lazy people who can’t be bothered to go and find their phone”, and perhaps that’s true but, in any case, you get used to playing music quickly through the voice interface and it’s hard to imagine going back to the manual method.

AndroidPIT google home 6975 Say “OK Google” and lights appear: the device will listen to your questions/requests. © AndroidPIT

A very useful assistant

Having no connected objects at home, I mainly used my Google Assistant to find out information. I have to admit, its current potential is a little limited: I had to repeat my questions multiple times (though that’s probably mostly because of my accent) and it often answered with “There’s a problem” because it couldn’t find the information that I asked for. But Google Assistant is still developing so the situation could improve soon.

Its big advantage isn’t necessarily a feature as such but rather more just the fact that all its features are accessible from the same place. You can ask it to wake you up, ask what the weather forecast is, get it to look up stuff on Wikipedia or Google, ask it where to go shopping, all from the same place and via a voice interface. Useful, right?

To sum up, there’s a difference between the practice and the theory, there’s some disjoint betwen the idea that people have of Google Home and what it really does. I thought I would only use it for a few days but I ended up getting used to it because it let me do things that usually took me a while in just a few seconds.

What about you, have you tried Google Home? if not, are you curious? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT