This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.
As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?
Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: our reviews of the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, and the HTC One A9. We also discuss the upcoming DROID MAXX 2, Turbo 2, and the OnePlus X.
Sometimes, when I shop for a new gadget, I want the best quality possible, even if it means paying more. Other times, I'm just looking for the product that offers the best bang for the buck.
The bargain I have to share with you today is firmly entrenched in group number two. Amazon has the Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz Angle 3 featured as a daily deal for just $20, which is about $11 off the standard price.
For a speaker costing about as much as a lunch at Applebee's, it offers a decent array of features. The main selling point is the device's IPX5 certification, meaning it is splash and sand proof.
Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
There's an update to the SwiftKey Keyboard rolling out today, and it's the big 6.0 rev that has been in beta for some time now. You'll notice some substantial changes to the settings UI, but the keyboard itself is getting some cool new features too. It's still rolling out in the Play Store, but we've got you covered with an APK.
More and more often, smartphones are becoming the "safe place" for many users to store private data — photos, conversations, passwords, bank account information…you name it, it's probably on the phone. The problem is that oftentimes this data isn't necessarily secured by said users. Things like private photos are easy to find by jumping into the gallery app. Conversations aren't hidden anywhere in the system — the SMS app reveals all without any sort of barrier. And that all goes without mentioning the private things that could be held within social networks, email, or other apps that may not necessarily be protected behind a password.
Good news, Sprint customers: you now get a free year of Amazon Prime! Maybe. If you activate a "qualifying" Samsung phone for a new line of service or a renewed line, Sprint will foot the bill for Amazon's premium shipping option for a year. The promotion starts today, and those qualifying phones are limited to the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and the Galaxy Note 5. So basically it's just for Samsung's 2015 flagship quadruplets - you can't just run out and buy an ancient Galaxy S II for ten bucks and get $100 worth of freebies.
The offer runs through November 30th, and it's valid for Sprint customers who buy their phone outright, lease it, pay in installments, or use an old-fashioned two-year contract.
Once upon a time, Google got together with OEMs to sell Google Play Edition versions of flagship phones. They were expensive, but here we are in late 2015 and the 2014 HTC One M8 GPE just got Marshmallow. The regular M8? Good luck with that.
The tireless developers at Team Win released their custom Android recovery for the Nexus 6Pand Nexus 5X last week, but at the time it didn't support decryption. This makes working with the stock software (which Google encrypts by default, gleefully thumbing their noses at the NSA and FBI in a show of customer protection) somewhat tricky. But ROM flashers and phone modders can now use the latest version of TWRP on the Nexus 6P with the encrypted stock software, or any other ROM that uses the feature. The latest version is 22.214.171.124.
It's nice to stop every once in a while and realize just how much Google search has improved over the years. For quite a while, Google didn't really prioritize time-sensitive content versus regular content when it crawled the web. This meant breaking news stories were cached about as frequently as Wikipedia entries on the history of the Roman Empire. That didn't really change until the events of September 11, when Google realized people who were searching for news on the attacks were instead being greeted with tourist information for the World Trade Center.
All these small improvements are hard to notice individually, but they really add up over time.