The Google Pixel's camera is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, partially thanks to Google's proprietary HDR+ image processing. Put simply, HDR+ takes multiple underexposed photos and combines them, reducing image noise in the process (you can read more about it here). But even when the Google Camera was sideloaded onto other devices, HDR+ remained disabled.
A Ukrainian developer on 4PDA named 'B-S-G,' presumably a Battlestar Galactica fan, has created a modified version of the Google Camera 4.4 APK bundled with Android O DP3 (not the version just released on the Play Store). Read More
The last generation of Nexuses (Nexus? Nexsi?) were unfortunately plagued with hardware problems. The Nexus 6P suffered from early shutdowns due to a faulty battery sensors, and the 5X had the famous bootloop bug (which my own 5X eventually fell victim to). The 6P suffered from bootloops as well, to an extent, but now there's a possible fix for the problem on both phones. Read More
Huawei has made some great hardware, but the software is another story. The EMUI Android skin has been consistently sluggish, confusing, and redundant. Huawei has been promising a big redesign in EMUI 5.0, and now users of the Honor 8 have a shot at trying it out. You have to apply for inclusion in the beta test, and you can do so (oddly) at XDA. Read More
The Google Pixel phones' development has had a big week; just a few days ago, the Verizon and EE variants had their bootloaders unlocked. Now, Chainfire, the famed developer of SuperSU and FlashFire, has debuted a systemless root method for the Pixels.
Due to the Pixels' odd partition structure (two system, two boot, two vendor, zero recovery, and zero cache partitions), Chainfire's root method required a bit of re-engineering. It's pretty impressive how quickly he was able to do this, but we'd expect no less from him. Read More
Perhaps the most interesting feature exclusive to Google Pixel, at least officially, is Google Assistant. We have a review of Assistant's current functionality, but in a nutshell, it's essentially a conversation-based version of the former Google Now. XDA user brianelv has posted a short guide on enabling Assistant, and it should work on any Android 7.0 (or higher) device with the Google app 188.8.131.52 or newer.
If you have those prerequisites, the actual guide is fairly short. All you need to do is change your build.prop file, reboot, and clear Google app cache. Either root (to manually edit the build.prop) or a custom recovery (if you want to flash the zip) is required. In our own testing on a Nexus 6P, switching to the Google Now Launcher might be required to trigger the Assistant setup. Read More
Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible. Read More
Over the years, we've had an official XDA-Developers app, followed by another official XDA-Developers app, then an official but not Play Store-friendly XDA-Developers app, but if that wasn't enough, we now have one more official XDA-Developers app. Because apparently updating the previous listing isn't something the XDA Developers developers could figure out. (Actually it's good they kept the legacy apps for those who were using them, but this was an easy joke not to make.)
Anyway, this super duper new app differs from the previous legacy app in the fact that it's coded in-house and based on XDA APIs, not on Tapatalk. Read More
So Allo has some people in the Android world quite excited, even if it is Google's third chat standard in four years and leaves the future of Hangouts somewhat nebulous. It's going to be several months before the public gets access to Allo in all its Assistant-infused glory, but there are already APKs leaking out to the Internet for both the standard Allo and the new Duo video chat app. At least a few users were able to grab the apps off the Play Store despite them being in pre-registered mode, and both of them were posted to our sister site APK Mirror. Read More
The community over at XDA-Developers is a little less voracious these days. There are a lot of reasons: an ever-expanding selection of Android phones means it's harder to make a modding nexus for each one, general improvements in hardware and software make rooting less necessary, et cetera. But those tinkerers can still get some fantastic results. Case in point: it turns out that it's totally possible to get the unlocked HTC 10, currently being sold free of contracts and carriers from the HTC web store, to operate on Verizon. Read More