Android Oreo: Which apps use Picture-In-Picture mode?

Android Oreo isn’t the most exciting version of Android, but it does have some pretty cool features that make its usability a bit more practical. One of the most essential features, in this context, is PIP mode (Picture-In-Picture). It’s recognized on some interfaces from Android manufacturers, iOS for tablets and also MacOS. In this article, I’m going to break down how it works and which apps are compatible with it.

How does Picture-In-Picture on Android Oreo work?

PIP mode (Picture-In-Picture) is basically a floating window which overlays other parts of the system. In addition to videos, which you can watch while browsing on other sites, apps, and even multi-tasking, PIP works with maps and video calls. I’ll touch on that a bit later.

You can find this option in Android Oreo by heading to the “Special app access” menu and then “Picture-in-picture.” When you click it, you’ll see a list of all the compatible apps. Toggle the switch for the Apps that you want to use with PIP.

pip PIP menu on Android Oreo. / © AndroidPIT

Apps compatible with Picture-In-Picture mode

Currently, the list of compatible apps is pretty limited, but it should grow once Oreo gains some popularity. Using it, however, is really easy. All you need to do is open up a compatible app and during a video or video call, open full-screen mode, and then hit the home button. Did it work? Well, not always. YouTube, for example, restricts the function to users with the paid YouTube Red account. More on that below.

YouTube

PIP mode on YouTube is only available for YouTube Red, which is a paid service exclusively available for users in the US, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand and South Korea. 

Google Duo

Does anyone out there use Google Duo? (queue the crickets) So, all you need to know is that you can use PIP mode during video calls. When you’re in full-screen mode, looking at the person you’re talking to, press the home button, and it should work no problem.

pipduo Google Duo in PIP mode. / © AndroidPIT

Google Maps

PIP on Maps is only compatible with voice navigation mode, which is perfect for anyone who uses the app to get around using public transport. It turns out that the PIP window for Google Maps is really tiny, and it only comes in two sizes. If you’re trying to read something on it, just forget it.

Everything works really smoothly though, and without system crashes. All you need to do is click the home button once the route starts.

maps pip Google Maps in PIP mode. / © AndroidPIT

Netflix

Netflix announced on September 5 that they would free up PIP mode compatibility with an update but currently it only works with the beta of Android 8.1 Oreo. Among the apps that currently work and those that are listed to come out, Netflix’s release is probably the most highly anticipated.

WhatsApp

Not counting Google services, WhatsApp was one of the first apps to have PIP compatibility on Android Oreo. It only works for video calls though, just like on Duo. All you need to do is make a call and press the home button.

whatsapp picture in picture WhatsApp in PIP mode. / © Android Police

VLC

VLC comes with a feature that’s called “pop-up floating window” which activates three sizes of floating windows compatible with PIP. Open up full-screen mode, click on “options” in the menu and select the PIP feature. Of all the apps mentioned, VLC is the only one with a decent sized window.

vlcpip VLC offers a larger window in PIP mode. / © AndroidPIT

Obviously, there are bound to be a lot of other apps that will be released on Oreo with this compatibility. Stay tuned to AndroidPIT for more updates.

Had you heard about this feature already? Have you tested it out on Android Oreo?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

WhatsApp tip: How to share your 'Live location' in real time

It already works on both Google Maps and the iOS Find my Friends app. We are, of course, talking about sharing your location in real time. Until now, it was only possible to send your current location via WhatsApp. But, since the middle of October 2017, it’s been possible to share your live location with chat partners. We’ll show you how to use this feature below. 

Transmitting your location in real time on WhatsApp works differently to Google Maps or Find my Friends. It’s done from the chat screen, similar to choosing gallery photos or other data to send. Simply enter a chat with the person or group you want to share your location with, and then click on the paperclip in the input line. 

In the following window, you select your location. You’ll then need to set a time limit for how long this feature will be active. You can choose between 15 minutes, one hour or eight hours. There is no option to permanently share your location.

WhatsApp Live Standort 1a You can share your live location by clicking on the paperclip on the input field, then the location pin icon. / © AndroidPIT

Because the feature was activated server-side in mid-October, updating the app on your phone isn’t necessary. If you don’t have the option of sharing your live location, then be patient. Alternatively, ask your conversation partner on WhatsApp for a live location, if they have the option. You should then be able to share your location in real time afterward. Since the real-time location is secured by end-to-end encryption, it should be protected against access by third parties.

Opinion by Shu On Kwok

When it comes to location information, security is key.

What do you think?

1 participant

Live Standort WhatsApp teilen The messages from real-time location sharing look like this. / © AndroidPIT

WhatsApp live location sharing in quick steps:

  • Open the chat with the person you want to share your location with
  • Click on the paperclip 
  • Select location
  • Click on ‘Share live location’
  • Set how long you’re sharing your live location (15 minutes, one hour or eight hours)
  • Add a message if you want, then click send
  • To stop sharing, open the chat and tap ‘Stop sharing’

What do you think of this feature? Let us know in the comments whether you think it’s useful or not, and don’t forget to check out these other WhatsApp tips and tricks.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Android distribution November: Who's having Oreo for dinner?

The latest Android distribution report from Google shows strong growth for Android Nougat but a minuscule increase in the adoption of Android 8.0 Oreo, which lingers in the low figures. 

New month, new numbers. It’s nice to see that Android Nougat has grown since last month, reaching 20.6% (17.6% in version 7.0 and 3.0% in version 7.1). Marshmallow (30.9%) and Lollipop (27.2%) are still more widely used while the latest version, Oreo, is still practically a mirage. Three months after its release, it is still only present on 0.3% of the devices. Google’s cookie is still struggling to assert itself and, for now, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

android novembre Disappointingly, is Oreo present in only 0.3% of devices. / © Google

 This continues the trend we saw last month, which saw Nougat adoption growing but an incredibly underwhelming start for Oreo. The unreliability of OS updates is a historical weakness of Android, often cited as the price paid for the advantage of freedom and contrasted to the ‘Walled Garden’ approach of Apple.

Android users generally understand this and accept the wait for updates with patience, but it really seems like the rate of updates is really slowing down, leaving most users running an OS two generations behind or even older. 

This could be a factor of software outpacing hardware in many cases. New versions of Android OS are coming more frequently, but many users can keep their trusty smartphone for many years. This means most smartphones out there in the wild are somewhat underpowered for Oreo, a key reason why Google is pushing Android Go, a version for lower-end devices.

Opinion by Nicholas Montegriffo

If my phone’s hardware is reliable over many years, I’m not going to replace it just to get new OS updates.

What do you think?

17 participants

We expected the release of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL to give a boost to Oreo numbers, since they come Oreo ready and will no doubt be the smartphone of choice for users who prioritize swift software updates. But, perhaps because of some controversial display issues on the larger device, or simply the premium price range, the impact of the new Pixel generation has been just a drop in the ocean.

What do you think? Are new OS versions coming out too fast for users to keep up with? Do you get frustrated waiting for updates from the manufacturer?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Does your battery drain too fast? 8 problems and solutions.

Jump to a section:

1. Power-hungry apps

First thing’s first. We need to learn the behavior of our battery to locate the problem and subsequently to find a solution. To get a better understanding of what makes your battery tick, go to Settings > Battery. If you find apps on this screen that are using up a lot of battery then, think about whether you really need them. You could save battery life by removing the ones you don’t depend on. Check out this AVG report on the apps that drain the most battery – you may be running several of these on your phone.

If you want to go into more detail about your smartphone’s battery usage, you’ll find a number of apps in the Play Store that provide statistics and detailed information on battery consumption. We recommend GSam Battery Monitor.

GSam Battery Monitor Install on Google Play

Once the app is installed, it takes a couple of days to gather data on your smartphone and battery usage, then after that it’ll give you a great overview over what’s using how much battery on your device.

androidpit lollipop battery screen Access the ‘Battery’ screen through ‘Settings’. / © AndroidPIT

2. Replace your old battery with a new one

If your smartphone is a couple of years old or more, the sad truth is that its battery might be simply dying a natural death. If you don’t have a lot of background processes running and are keeping your screen brightness down, then it’s worth reading our review of your phone, and comparing our battery experience to yours.

If yours is considerably lower, it might be time for a change. Manufacturers often say that a battery should perform well for up to 1000 charges, but that depends on many factors.

ANDROIDPIT battery 3 Removable batteries might soon become a thing of the past. / © ANDROIDPIT

If you have a smartphone with removable battery, it’s simply a case of buying a new one (a major advantage to choosing a smartphone with removable battery). Unfortunately, the removable battery is fast falling out off favor with manufacturers for a variety of reasons. If your phone has a non-removable battery then type “remove [your phone name] battery” in the AndroidPIT search bar and we might have a guide showing you how to remove it. Be warned though, that this will void your smartphone warranty.

3. Your charger does not work 

If after a full night’s charging, you notice that your smartphone battery drains super-fast, then it’s worth checking first thing in the morning whether it actually fully charges. If not, then you’re looking at a defective charger.

Check whether your cable works with another phone, or conversely whether your phone works with another cable. If your charger proves to be faulty, remember to only buy chargers from reputable manufacturers, otherwise you risk becoming the subject of those all-too-frequent news stories about phones setting houses and people on fire. No, we’re not joking. Read up on the dangers of dodgy phone chargers.

androidpit USB 1Is your charging cable dying? / © ANDROIDPIT

4. ‘Android system’ using too much battery

One of the biggest battery consumers on your phone is the ‘Android system’ service. This keeps your whole device running smoothly, so naturally uses a lot of battery, but it shouldn’t be more than 25 percent. If it’s using more than this, then you could have a problem.

This problem could be resolved by downgrading your Android device to an older Android version. We’ve got plenty of downgrade guides on AndroidPIT, so just search “downgrade [your phone name]” on AndroidPIT Should this fail, then you may have to factory reset your device. Drastic though this may sound, it could ultimately be a simpler solution than downgrading your device, because to do that you need to flash it, which can lead to complications. 

androidpit Kitkat vs Marshmallow Downgrading to an earlier Android version could extend the battery life of your phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

5. Google Play Services battery drain

Google Play Services is another service that consumes a lot of battery. Unfortunately, you can’t stop it because it’s a crucial Android feature which lets your apps communicate with each other on your phone. Still, you can bring it under control.

Go to Settings > Applications > All > Google Play Services. Here, tap the Clear cache button. This should refresh Google Play Service and stop it draining your battery. Repeat this process once a month.

AndroidPIT google play not working 4 Clearing data used by Google Play Services can help your battery last longer. / © ANDROIDPIT

6. Switch off auto-brightness

Don’t act all innocent. The law states you should never use automatic brightness, but you’ve been abusing it behind closed doors. Though automatic brightness is usually sophisticated enough to produce a comfortable viewing setting for each individual, it is not capable of selecting the optimal setting. How could it? Smartphone sensors don’t know the strength of your and your great aunt’s eyesight, do they?

Setting the brightness level yourself will invariably provide better battery life, so long as you set it to a comparatively low value. Fortunately, the Android platform makes it very easy to adjust brightness settings, and it can easily be adjusted from the quick-settings menu with a two-fingered downward swipe. 

androidpit battery brightness level This is the brightness level in Android Lollipop. You should be changing it frequently. / © AndroidPIT

7. Shorten your screen timeout

It’s a well-known fact that the display is one of the biggest sources of battery drain on an Android phone, so managing it is crucial to its longevity. The “screen-timeout” or “sleep” setting determines how long your display will stay awake for after it has been engaged with; if your screen remains on while you aren’t looking at it, it’s wasting precious battery life. Best to set it to the lowest value you are comfortable with in regular use, and only change it when you need to. 

Don’t to worry about apps which require the screen to be on permanently while in use, like games or eBook readers, they know to stay awake no matter what your setting is. 

androidpit battery automatic brightness sleep In your settings > display menu you can turn off “adaptive brightness” and shorten your “sleep” time. / © AndroidPIT

8. Watch out for widgets and background apps

Widgets are stone cold battery killers, mercilessly updating in the background while you go about your business. You might be under the impression that a simple news ticker and weather app won’t do much harm, but you’d be wrong, and once you start adding more and more, it will seriously take your battery to task. 

Consider the frequency with which you want your widgets and background apps to update. You could potentially set your weather app to update every hour, but the more frequently it updates, the more power it requires. If you only check your weather twice per day, try setting the refresh interval to every 12 hours instead.

Many apps will prompt you to set up the update frequency when you first place them on your homepage, though you can return to their settings at any time to alter them. Just be aware that some apps don’t offer this at all, and these may be real battery assassins to watch out for.  

Which Android battery problems are you always on the lookout for? Let us know in the comments below.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Galaxy J7 (2017): How different are they really?

A similar predecessor, but with some subtle differences in design

Things are pretty simple at Samsung: the S range launches a trend that the A and J ranges then follow. Consequently, both the A5 (2017) and J7 (2017) that were launched this year, are based on the Samsung Galaxy S7 design. They indisputably share a common ancestor (visually speaking), but in a more general manner, they follow a guideline found on all Samsung devices up to the Galaxy S8 model, which changed the trend. However, there are some differences between these two devices.

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is a little more elegant and has a better finish than the J7, but the performance of this entry-level smartphone should still be acknowledged, as it’s seen an evolution from the previous model. Plastic has made way to metal, a material that the A5 also proudly displays. So, what are the differences? The most obvious is obviously the size.  Given the dimensions 152.5 x 74.8, the smartphone is slightly larger than the Galaxy A5, which is 146.1 mm long and 71.4 mm wide. This difference in screen size is very noticeable: the J7 is sized at 5.5 inches and the A5 at 5.2 inches.

AndroidPIT samsung galaxy j7 0899 At 5.5 inches, the Galaxy J7 (2017) is 0.3 cm larger than the A5 (2017). © AndroidPIT

Some of the differences aren’t visible at first glance. An example of this is the IP68 certification found on the A5 but not on the J7, which makes the phone vulnerable to water and dust. The microSD card, on the other hand, is available on both models. 

A very different level of performance

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is a mid-range level smartphone, whereas the Galaxy J7 (2017) is an entry-level smartphone. This translates into their performance, even if it’s not always noticeable. The J7 is powerful enough to give you a satisfying experience for easy operation, in other words browsing, messaging etc. However, if you want to get a little more out of the phone and really experience the graphics at their best, some games will be a problem because the Exynos 7870 octacore processor and the Mali-T830 MP1 graphics chip in particular have trouble keeping up. The US model has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, but we tested the Exynos model here. The Galaxy A5 (2017) has a Exynos 7880 processor and a Mali-T830 MP3 GPU (that is to say three times the power than on the J7).

Another big difference (that has to be pointed out) is that the internal memory on the J7 is only 16 GB, while the Galaxy A5 offers twice that. It’s worth mentioning as well that if you run out of space on either device, you can insert a microSD card of a maximum 256 GB. The amount of RAM is the same on both models.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy a5 2017 4864 Active On Display is available on both devices. © AndroidPIT

False debate over the software interface

Samsung has upgraded its devices, but performance is only of practical interest in an operating system, and regarding this, the two devices are quite different. The A5 (2017) is outdated, offering Android 6.0.1 by default, but it can of course be updated to Nougat. The J7 (2017) uses Android 7.0 by default. Updates are always a tricky issue, especially when it comes to flagships. 

It’s important to keep in mind that even though geeks like us care about software versions, many entry-level users don’t, they just want a smartphone that can meet their (often simple) needs. They don’t care if their device will be using Android P or not, so both devices are suitable. Other users, on the other hand, value the importance of updates (especially for security reasons), but unfortunately Samsung isn’t the fastest to offer them. In any case, both devices will be using Android Oreo.

Opinion by Benoit Pepicq

Updates are crucial for a smartphone, even if only for security.

What do you think?

5 participants

The same strength and effort to provide

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is renowned for its battery life. It is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and will be able to survive an entire day without charging, thanks to various software configurations. To top it all off, you can recharge it in a very short amount of time: the battery will go from 0 to 100% in 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Galaxy J7 (2017) offers similar specifications, even though it has a bigger battery (3,600 mAh), you should be able to survive the day without too much trouble. The real difference between these two devices is the charging speed: you’ll find that charging isn’t fast on the J7, not even through the USB Type-C port.

The real difference between these two devices is the charging speed.

In the world of smartphones, where prices skyrocket, it’s sometimes possible to find a good camera phone at the right price. While the J7 (2017) and A5 (2017) take decent photos given their range, they’re definitely not the phones’ strengths. With 13 MP with an aperture of f/1.7 and 16 MP with an aperture of f/1.9, the J7’s specs look better on paper. However, it did provide the most mixed performance. In both cases, it’s better to take photos in a well-lit environment in order to obtain quality photos.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs. Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) technical specifications

  Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9 mm 152.5 x 74.8 x 8 mm
Weight: 159 g 181 g
Battery size: 3000 mAh 3600 mAh
Screen size: 5.2 in 5.5 in
Display technology: AMOLED AMOLED
Screen: 1920 x 1080 pixels (424 ppi) 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels 13 megapixels
Rear camera: 16 megapixels 13 megapixels
Flashlight: LED LED
Android version: 6.0 – Marshmallow 7.0 – Nougat
User interface: TouchWiz TouchWiz
RAM: 3 GB 3 GB
Internal storage: 32 GB 16 GB
Removable storage: microSD microSD
Chipset: Sorry, not yet available! Samsung Exynos 7870
Number of cores: 8 Sorry, not yet available!
Max. clock speed: 1.9 GHz 1.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 4.1

The logic of an illogical price

The Galaxy A5 (2017) is available on Amazon for just $ 319, while the Galaxy J7 (2017) can be had for $ 289. That means you can have a mid-range instead of an entry-level smartphone for only $ 30 more!

In short, if you have the budget and are prepared to opt for a smaller screen, it might be worth your while investing a few extra bucks to get a Galaxy A5 (2017). If you want a Samsung phablet for less than $ 300, the J7 is a good alternative.

Which of these two devices interests you most?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Google addresses unresponsive edges on Pixel 2 XL screen

The ongoing saga of Google Pixel 2 XL display problems continues with reports of the screen not responding to touch near the edges. But Google is already working on a fix to address this issue.

Oh, Pixel 2 XL. We really, really want to love you. Seriously, it has a lot of great qualities, which you can check out in our full review.  But since its release, the larger Pixel 2 has been dogged by various issues, mainly related to its display, with reports of screen burn-in and washed out colors that might even see a class action suit brought against Google. 

Now a new issue with the Pixel 2 XL screen has surfaced, and it’s one we can personally corroborate, as it’s affecting the our own unit right here in the AndroidPIT office. The Pixel 2 XL appears to have trouble registering touches near the edges of the screen (in our case, particularly when it comes to taps around the bottom right corner). This can lead to a frustrating experience when you want to, say, close an ad that’s appeared in that part of the screen, and it’s also where certain controls, such as microphone use on WhatsApp, might appear.

Opinion by Nicholas Montegriffo

It really looks like Google should have performed more extensive testing on the Pixel 2 XL before release.

What do you think?

11 participants

On affected devices it usually takes several taps to get the display to acknowledge what you’re doing, or necessitates turning the phone on its side to switch to landscape view. 

It seems that Google’s software designed to prevent the phone activating from accidental touches is being a little too over-protective in these cases, and fortunately, Google has already confirmed that they are working on an update to solve this. So far, Google’s support updates for the Pixel 2 phones have been fast and effective, such as when they moved to fix the clicking issue last week. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for this problem to go away either.

Have these issues put you off buying the Pixel 2 XL? Or are you reassured by Google’s support?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

OnePlus 5T unboxing video leaked days ahead of launch

The OnePlus 5T launch is right around the corner, and one reviewer seems to have gotten a little ahead of himself by leaking an unboxing video early. The video was posted and then taken down for obvious reasons, but has since been re-uploaded by others. Check it out below.

The OnePlus 5T is due to be launched just days from now, on November 16 in New York. The livestream will happen at 11:00 AM, and you can watch it here. Though, there won’t be much left to be surprised about at launch, especially if you watch this leaked unboxing video from YouTube vlogger Karl Conrad:

As you can see from the unboxing above, the OnePlus 5T won’t differ much from the OnePlus 5. Except this time around, no one will accuse OnePlus’ latest of looking dated, as it’s all screen. The brand’s first 18:9 smartphone will be FHD+ (2,160 x 1,080) rather than QHD, according to a previous specs leak. To accommodate the larger display and tinier bezels, the fingerprint scanner has migrated to the back to an easily reachable position.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

The OnePlus 5T looks less dated than its predecessor.

What do you think?

11 participants

All in all, it’s a 2017 flagship that looks the part, and it has killer specs just like the OnePlus 5. As always with OnePlus, the price tag will be reasonable at around $ 500-600. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the OnePlus 5T leaks and rumors here on AndroidPIT.

What do you think of the design? Will you buy the OnePlus 5T?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

100 days with the Honor 9: A good companion

Pro: an elegant and ergonomic design

The Honor 9 is distinguished by its elegant design. Beautiful to look at, and ergonomic, it also inspired the design of the recently revealed Mate 10 Pro. Light glistens on the shiny body of the device, and the slight curvature of the edges makes it comfortable to hold. Due to its slender and lightweight form, it’s easy to use one-handed or keep in your pocket.

I prefer the Glacier Gray version to the Sapphire Blue version, but I must say that both are beautiful options. Compared to devices equipped with a matte outer shell, the Honor 9 the shine catches the eye more, though the overall design is really compelling regardless. Though, design tastes are subjective.

AndroidPIT Honor 9 0780 The light effects created by the hull of the Honor 9 are really nice. © AndroidPIT

During my 100 days with the Honor 9, the smartphone fell several times on the floor. From the couch or table, flat surfaces are usually a problem because the smartphone tends to slip. Fortunately, despite countless falls, it is still intact.

It is best to protect the Honor 9 with the clear plastic protector that is provided.

After three months, my Honor 9 showed slight scratches on the body and along the left side. To avoid this, I recommend using the clear plastic protector included with the smartphone. I’m not a fan of the cases, but I must admit that the one supplied with the Honor 9 doesn’t hide its wonderful design.

Pro: fingerprint scanner

Like any self-respecting Honor or Huawei smartphone, the Honor 9 incorporates a fast and accurate fingerprint reader. Placed at the front, just like on the Huawei P10, it unlocks the device in an instant, and the physical key allows you to navigate the menus. Its configuration is also fast.

If you are used to a Huawei P9 or another smartphone with a fingerprint reader on the back, it will seem strange at first. However, I assure you, it only takes a few hours to become familiar with this new positioning. And if you are used to leaving your smartphone on the table while you work or study, you will find it even more convenient.

AndroidPIT Honor 9 0884 The fingerprint reader is a success. © AndroidPIT

Con: It heats during charging and heavy use

The Honor 9 features a 3,200 mAh battery that can be fully charged in about two hours with Huawei’s QuickCharge technology. The battery life is standard. During charging, the device sadly tends to heat up.

I also noticed this overheating when the device is used intensively, or during this summer when it was exposed to sunlight. In some of these situations, the body heats up so much that having the smartphone in your hand is no longer so pleasant.

Opinion by Jessica Murgia

Overheating is a big concern.

What do you think?

10 participants

Pro: Good user experience at a fair price

I can’t say that the Honor 9 has the best camera on the market, but for this price range, it does its job, and it does it well. You will not have problems during daily use. The combination of the hardware (the Kirin 960 from the P10 and the Mali G71-MP8 GPU) and the software ensure smooth performance. The software is mature and incorporates interesting features like Phone Clone (to transfer data from one Huawei to another) and App Twin (to use two WhatsApp and Facebook accounts simultaneously).

Honor 9 benchmarks

 
  Honor 9 OnePlus 5 Huawei P10
3DMark SlingShot ES 3.1 2011     3341 2033
3DMark SlingShot ES 3.0

2907

4337 2627
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 29132 39419 28128
Geekbench Single Core 1858 1944 1913
Geekbench Multi Core 6446

6666

6032
PCMark Work Performance 6155 6545 6194
PCMark Storage

9019

5044

The camera app is fast and easy to use, but there are no real-time filters or bokeh effects. Photos taken in good lighting conditions are full of details, but when it’s dark, the photo quality suffers due to the absence of optical image stabilization.

AndroidPIT Honor 9 0790 The absence of OIS is reflected in pictures taken in low light. © AndroidPIT

The verdict after 100 days

After 100 days of using it myself, I would wholeheartedly recommend for you to purchase an Honor 9. For under $ 500, you will have a stunning smartphone that feels nice to hold in your hand. And, even if it doesn’t have a particular stand-out gimmick or feature, it offers a fantastic quality-price ratio. Protect it with a clear plastic protector to keep it intact in all its splendor.

Honor 9

What do you think of the Honor 9? Is it your preferred device of the moment?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

The best Android apps of 2017

Jump to section:

Best messenger apps for Android

Studies have shown that smartphone users message each other back and forth much more than they make calls. Users need a good messenger app. It’s a big choice, so here are two of our favorites.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp, the ubiquitous chat app, has been installed on over one billion smartphones. And it’s always improving user experience, adding new features and becoming more secure. What makes it number one? Everyone uses it, simple as that. If you already use WhatsApp, then you should check out our favorite WhatsApp tips and tricks.

WhatsApp Messenger Install on Google Play

Telegram

No messaging app comes close to the number of users WhatsApp has, but there are some great alternatives out there. Telegram is one of them. The free app has end-to-end encryption, does group chats and is a pioneer of chatbots. Unlike some other messengers, you can use it on multiple devices. Read our full review of Telegram.

telegram contacts en Telegram: a powerful communication tool. / © AndroidPIT Telegram Install on Google Play

Best keyboard apps for Android

Typing on mobile can be frustrating or awkward for many of us, and that’s a shame because most users don’t think about installing a different keyboard from the default. A new keyboard can really change your life when it comes to how comfortable you are using your phone.

Fleksy

This keyboard is one of the best for fast, accurate typing and it’s our new company favorite. Many of us have adopted Fleksy because it’s big, it’s clever and once you use it for a couple of hours, you realize how useful some of the smaller details are.

For example, most keyboards use a “press and hold delete key” gesture to delete words, Fleksy uses a super-quick backward swipe. Be sure check out some of the extensions like invisible keyboard too — it works surprisingly well. Download it from the Play Store for free now. 

androidpit fleksy keyboard 1 Because of its size, Fleksy is primed for use with two thumbs on bigger phones, if that’s your thing. / © AndroidPIT Fleksy + GIF Keyboard Install on Google Play

SwiftKey

Whoever is looking for a very special virtual keyboard for Android will find one here. SwiftKey works wonderfully with tablets, and if you simply want a good Android keyboard, it offers intuitive operation, very good spell check and word recognition.

SwiftKey Keyboard Install on Google Play

Best weather apps for Android

Morecast

There are plenty of great weather apps available that are more accurate and better looking than the ones that come pre-installed on your Android device. 

MORECAST is our current favorite weather app here at AndroidPIT because it has one of the best-looking interfaces, with a clear and sensible layout. It’s also one of the most advanced apps of its kind, featuring such options as side-by-side weather comparisons for two cities, and accurate weather information for a particular route or journey. MORECAST is the right way to make a smartphone weather app, and best of all, it’s free. 

androidpit weather app 1 MORECAST is a useful weather app and widget, which also looks fantastic. / © AndroidPIT Morecast USA Weather & Radar Install on Google Play

Weather Timeline

Available for $ 1.49 on the Play Store, Weather Timeline could be the best money you ever spend. It brings genuinely useful and interesting features together into a wonderful interface and library of widgets.

The app gets its name from its primary function, which is a card-based timeline of the weather, but there’s a lot more on offer. You can select from five different weather services, and there are notifications that warn you of impending weather changes. Then there’s the moon viewer, so you always know the werewolf forecast, and several radar maps, letting you see visualizations of the cloud and rain to come. On top of all that, there are also several interactive graphs showing data on things like temperature, precipitation and pressure. 

The depth of data and an elegant and simple interface makes this app one of our top choices.

AndroidPIT weather apps 1 Weather Timeline is our favorite weather app on Android. / © AndroidPIT Weather Timeline – Forecast Install on Google Play

Best photo apps for Android

PhotoDirector

There are plenty of useful photo apps on Android to help you up your picture game, but PhotoDirector is the whole package. It has everything you could possibly need to edit your photos. The tools range from simple text bubbles and filters, to more complex things such as HSL and curves, and they’re all heavily adjustable, helping you get the best out of your photos. It’s for messing around on and seeing what you end up with.

The app is developed by CyberLink, a large Taiwanese multimedia software company, so they have the money to splash on an app, and it shows. Highly recommended for novices and pros-on-the-go alike.

androidpit best apps photodirector 1 PhotoDirector’s array of features is impressive, to say the least. / © AndroidPIT PhotoDirector Photo Editor App Install on Google Play

Google Camera

With a clean layout and intuitive controls, Google’s Camera app has been getting better and better both for beginners and pros alike. But it’s really Nexus and Pixel owners who will get the most of this app since these are the only phones that support Google’s own HDR+ mode. HDR+ adds low noise to it’s processing and is capable of creating some of the most stunning smartphone imaging available yet, even in the darkest lighting conditions.

You can also take panoramic pictures and use Photo Sphere, a walk-in spherical panorama function that makes immersive viewing possible in Google’s Photos app. The Nexus or Pixel motion sensors work wonders but true 360-degree cameras are still better suited for such shots.

google kamera Google camera offers the extensive Photo Sphere function. / © Google Google Camera Install on Google Play

Best apps for music

Downloading free music

Google Play Music is our favorite app for downloading free music right now. Though there are many music download apps available in the Play Store, they are often quickly removed because of their copyright-impinging functionality. Google Play Music provides you with a totally legit, ever-changing list of free tracks from major artists to download.

Spotify has an excellent paid subscription service, and SoundCloud has a multitude of tracks readily available to stream, but for actually downloading tracks to your phone, Google Play Music is as good as you can get. 

Alternatively, head to the link below for some less common free music downloading apps. 

androidpit google play music sony xperia z3 compact Google Play Music always has a selection of popular tracks for free. / © AndroidPIT Google Play Music Install on Google Play

Best music player

The Walkman and the iPod are as good as dead, because our smartphones have taken over as powerful music players. While the default music apps on your Android device probably do a fine job, if you want to crank up the bass or other aspects of your music, you’ll need something more.

One of the best music player apps for Android is Poweramp. It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite music, with a ton of options and support for almost any type of file. You can’t go wrong with Poweramp.

AndroidPIT music apps poweramp With themes galore, Poweramp can be whatever you want it to be. Just grab a new skin ASAP. / © AndroidPIT Poweramp Music Player (Trial) Install on Google Play

Best apps for movies and TV

Hulu

Hulu is an excellent app for watching movies and TV shows for free on Android. It’s a free service that relies on ads, but there are some great shows available. You need to pay a subscription fee to access all of the content, but there is a range of excellent shows available without subscription, including classic comedies such as Family Guy, Seinfeld and South Park. 

androidpit hulu sony xperia z3 compact 2 Hulu features a number of classic US TV shows and movies. / © AndroidPIT Hulu: Watch TV & Stream Movies Install on Google Play

Crackle

Crackle is a hugely popular free app, which is updated monthly with new TV shows and movies. Created by Grouper but later bought by Sony, the app features ads which run at regular intervals throughout the content, the trade-off for which is that you get an excellent selection of media and a well-maintained app.

Crackle, like Netflix or Amazon, has picked up some original content that’s getting more popular. The most famous of these is ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee’ starring Jerry Seinfeld. It’s on it’s eighth season and has featured some major guests like Will Ferrell, Ricky Gervais and Barack Obama.

Crackle – Free TV & Movies Install on Google Play

Best security/antivirus apps for Android

Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast

Android security is a contentious subject and arguments about the safety of the system crop up frequently. If you are in the market for an antivirus app, our current favorite is Mobile Security & Antivirus from Avast. 

Mobile Security & Antivirus keeps you safe from malware threats with its excellent virus detection software, which can search through your browser history, microSD card, and internal storage space. What’s more, it employs anti-theft features such as location tracking and remote data wipe, which work even if your device is not currently in your possession. 

As far as free mobile security is concerned, Avast’s app is about as comprehensive as it gets. 

AndroidPIT androidpit avast antivirus 1 Avast is a well-known name in antivirus, and you can wipe your device remotely if necessary. / © AndroidPIT Mobile Security & Antivirus Install on Google Play

Kaspersky Internet Security

Kaspersky is a well-established anti-virus and security package on the desktop, and with its Android app it brings a whole lot of that protection to your mobile. That means you get anti-virus, call and text control, anti-theft, and anti-phishing features.

It can also protect you with real-time, web protection, and a few privacy options, though to get the full package you’ll need to pay for the premium version of the app, which is currently priced at $ 14.95 for one year. If you need to cover more than one Android device, you can add up to two more at $ 5 per device, per year.

If you want to test out the premium features, there’s a 30-day trial to activate within the app, but to use some of the features you will need to create an account using your email address. The anti-theft feature, for example, isn’t premium but does require an account to work.

androidpit kaspersky Kaspersky has a pretty neat UI. / © AndroidPIT Kaspersky Antivirus & Security Install on Google Play

Best apps for personalizing your Android

Action Launcher 3

Launchers offer a simple way to customize the look and feel of your Android phone. They often combine new icons, a new app drawer layout, a new homescreen and new wallpaper to make your device fit a certain style or theme.

You have to try them out to appreciate how fun they can be and the one we recommend right now is Action Launcher 3. This is an excellent introduction to launchers because it provides clear and intuitive interface changes without adding so many that it becomes off-putting.  

With Action Launcher 3 you can perform simple tweaks such as changing the app drawer layout, changing app icons, and even altering the way you use your homescreen folders. It offers genuinely useful interface improvements and it’s free; download it from the link below.  

androidpit action launcher 3 galaxy s4 This is the Action Launcher 3 app Quickdrawer. / © ANDROIDPIT Action Launcher 3 Install on Google Play

Nova Launcher

iOS is a fierce rival to Android and offers a range of great apps and features, but it doesn’t offer everything that Android does. Nova Launcher is one of our favorite Android-exclusive apps because, in many ways, it underlines what is so great about Android. 

Nova is an alternative launcher compatible with Android 4.1 onward. It lets you customize the entire look and feel of your operating system, from changes to font size, to the number of apps that can appear on the lock screen, to the way in which your app drawer scrolls. Nova Launcher is a prime example of how Android can be molded to suit individual tastes and preferences, in a way that iOS cannot.

If you wish you could make a few simple changes to your current interface, then give the free version of Nova a try. Nova even lets you adopt the look of any other phone – Galaxy, Xperia, HTC, LG, even iOS if that’s your thing.

Nova Launcher Install on Google Play

Next Lock Screen

Lock screen apps are awesome – you can do things on your smartphone or tablet without even having to unlock it. From checking notifications, calendar reminders, music controls, missed calls, Quick Settings and more, Next Lock Screen lets you take control of your locked phone. Next will even suggest apps based on your location.

androidpit next lock screen Next by Microsoft brings a whole bunch of functionality to your lock screen. / © AndroidPIT Next Lock Screen Install on Google Play

Best dating apps for Android

Online dating has come a long way from the easy punchline it used to be, and nowadays it’s pretty common to meet that special someone on a dating app. However long your connection might last, you need a good app to get started in the dating game. Here our favorites.

Tinder for sheer number of potential matches

For those who wish to jump straight into the larger dating pool, Tinder is a massive app with tons of potential matches available. It’s claimed that 26 million matches happen through Tinder every day. 

Aside from numbers, another advantage is that Tinder uses Facebook authentication to try and keep its potential matches honest. It’s not a flawless system, as it is possible to get a fake Facebook account but it’s more difficult than getting a random email address.

Tinder is mostly free but if you want to get some premium features you will need to pay. These include ‘rewind’ (see a profile you just swiped away), getting a boost to your visibility and getting more ‘super likes’ (get someone’s attention before they see you by chance), but it is entirely possible to use Tinder without these and have a great dating experience for free.

AndroidPIT best dating apps 8a Tinder shows you local singles using a large database. / © AndroidPIT Tinder Install on Google Play

Bumble puts women in control

Bumble offers an interesting take on the dating app format. You swipe through matches in a manner reminiscent of Tinder, but with a twist-men aren’t allowed to message. Women have make the first move. For women who are frustrated with tons of messages by men who barely look at their profiles, or men who get stuck on trying to craft that perfect opening line, this can be a great way to make dating less stressful (of course, for women seeking women, it’s basically online dating as usual, and men seeking men are still best served with Grindr).

smallerbumble2 As well as dating, Bumble has additional modes for networking and friendships. / © AndroidPIT

As an additional twist, matches on Bumble expire after 24 hours if they don’t talk, so no one has to spend days wondering whether it’s too soon to send a message, or if you’re going to get one. You get it together soon, or you move on.

Bumble — Meet, Date & Network Install on Google Play

Best health and fitness apps for Android

Of course, you might want tone up a little for all that dating you’re going to do with the above apps. Or maybe you just need a little help with motivation or organisation when it comes to keeping in shape. Fitness apps are great because you can keep your device close to you while you’re on the move. Let’s take a look at the best.

RunKeeper for a comprehensive experience

RunKeeper has a good reputation, not just for the number of features in its own app but also the number of third-party services it plugs into (it works with both Google Fit and Apple Health). If you’re a keen runner, there aren’t many better options than this one.

You can plot your runs on a map via GPS tracking, monitor distance covered and calories burned, set personal goals, integrate your indoor activities and more. Despite the name, this app can handle bike rides and gym workouts as well as running, so it’s a comprehensive monitoring app.

Don’t underestimate the power of community. There are social aspects to the app as well. You can share achievements with your friends, join and create running groups and use the chat feature to keep each other motivated. The app is free, but also has ads and optional in-app purchases.

androidpit best fitness apps 3 RunKeeper offers maps and statistics. / © AndroidPIT Runkeeper – GPS Track Run Walk Install on Google Play

Google Fit for simplicity

Google’s own health and fitness app is no longer so sparse in the features department. It now can aggregate info from other apps, including Nike+, MyFitnessPal, Lifesun, Basis, Withings, Xiaomi Mi bands, and three from this list: Runkeeper, Strava and Sleep as Android. It is tightly integrated with Android and Android Wear, so it’s a convenient option as well. A web interface is available at https://fit.google.com.

Weight, heart rate, steps and activity time can all be logged automatically, and if you have the time to tell Google exactly what you’re up to, you can choose from a long list of activities, from snowboarding to horse riding. You can set simple daily goals as well and get an alert when you’ve reached them. In addition to real-time stats, Google Fit will also give you personalized recommendations and coaching to help you reach your goals.

androidpit best fitness apps 2 Google Fit: Android’s default fitness app. / © AndroidPIT Google Fit – Fitness Tracking Install on Google Play

This has been our pick of the cream of the crop when it comes to the best Android apps of 2017, but if you’re still hungry for more, check out one the links below:

What are your favorite Android apps? Any that you think are better than our selection here? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Samsung to showcase world's first “stretchable” OLED display

The Display Week – the world’s premier event where display manufacturers get to showcase their latest technology kicks off in Los Angeles today. As with every good technology event, it seems like Samsung might showcase something that’s been rumored to be in the works for quite some time – a “stretchable” OLED Display.

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Korean news outlets have reported that Samsung will present a 9.1 inch display that you can “bend” up to 12 mm in various directions. A Samsung spokesperson stated:

While current flexible OLED is able to be transformed in only one side, this stretchable OLED can be transformed – whether curved, bended or rolled – in both sides, above and below

This technology could be used for wearables or IoT devices, though it’s not a far stretch to imagine that we’ll see it integrated in smartphones as well. It’s still unclear when this display technology will hit the market, this is just a showcase after all. As the Samsung PR spokesman has stated, we’ve already seen rolled up and bendable displays before, the main difference is that current displays can only be bent in one direction.  

samsung flexible display Samsung’s new stretchable display. / © Yonhap, Samsung

But that’s not the only interesting piece of technology Samsung is set to show at the Display Week. Samsung will apparently unveil a tiny display that packs a serious resolution. With a screen diagonal of just 1.96 inches and UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), the mini display will have a pixel density of 2,250 ppi. Samsung will apparently rely on LCD technology for this display and not the usual AMOLED – and one can assume that we will see it integrated in AR/VR technology in the not too distant future.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT