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Qualcomm Fully Unveils Snapdragon 820, Reiterates 2016 As Timeframe For First Device Launches

The Snapdragon 820 is far from a secret, but today marked the official "launch" of the upcoming chipset from Qualcomm in New York. The 820 is a huge bet for Qualcomm on the future of its high-end SoC business, marrying the latest technologies across the board for what it hopes will be the ultimate mobile processor.

The 820's full specification sheet, such as it is, is below.

specs

The 820 will be manufactured on a 14nm FinFet process, sporting four brand-new Kryo CPU cores designed by Qualcomm. This marks a departure from the ARM reference cores Qualcomm has used exclusively on its 2015 lineup and which have arguably been a source of woe for the company this year.

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Why Does My Android Phone Have eFuses And Why Should I Care About Them?

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.

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[Update: Now For All Supported Nexus Devices] Google Rolls Out Nexus November Security OTA Updates, Makes Factory Images Available For Download

Google promised monthly security updates for Nexus devices, and so far, the company has delivered. It's November 2nd, and we're now receiving this month's dose of security patches. Over-the-air updates are heading out to devices, but if you rather get the goods now, factory images are already up.

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As Of Android 6.0, OEMs Will Be Required To Provide Secure Factory Reset On Their Devices (If They Haven't Already)

In our final Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document post, we'll be looking at a small[-ish] clause added in the security section of the CDD. Previously, Google had not actually defined any particularly specific requirements about factory resets for Android devices. While all devices have such a function, they may differ in their efficacy and level of security post-wipe. And while we don't have any reason to believe a particular manufacturer is not already meeting these new requirements (a point I will stress), it's good to see Google is at least laying down a clear mandate on this issue going forward.

Basically, it was possible, pre-Android 6.0, for a manufacturer to merely conduct a logical wipe when doing a factory reset of a device.

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Google Will Now Define "High Fidelity Sensor Support" For Android Devices, Has Extensive List Of Performance Requirements

Ever had a phone with a bum gyroscope? Or a totally irrational pedometer? Google, in the interest of better counting your steps and determining just what in the hell your phone is doing moving around in three-dimensional space has now defined a "high fidelity sensor support" flag for Android devices, as in the Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document.

The idea here is to give developers a single flag to look for that says "this phone / tablet / whatever is not a dumpster fire of awful sensor accuracy." Or, perhaps, more positively, to just say a device has really good sensors.

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AOSP Changelogs Posted For November Security Updates And Nexus 5X / 6P

Google's monthly security updates are out in the form of factory images, and that means it's time for some new code in AOSP. Since these versions are dedicated to closing security holes, there certainly won't be any new features and the bug fixes probably won't have much effect on battery life or performance, but they will keep the baddies from treating your phone like it runs an old version of Windows.

A number of serious vulnerabilities were fixed in this release, including two critical issues that could be used for remote code execution. Details have been posted on the Nexus Security Bulletin.

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Nick Butcher's Plaid App Is A Gorgeous (Open Source) Showcase For Material Design

Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.

plaid_demo

Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant.

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Developers Can Now Control The Exact Time Their Updates Go Live In The Play Store

Sending out updates through the Play Store can be a frustrating experience for users and developers alike. Just because a publisher says the update is out now, that doesn't mean it is. The app goes through processing, then it goes out at the speed of Google.

Now developers will have more control. Google is giving them the ability to control when an update goes live. Those that opt for timed publishing will still have to have their apps processed, but after that, sending the goods out to everyone is simply a matter of pressing the Go live button.

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OPPO Announces They Have Created And Will Maintain An AOSP ROM For Users Of 'Key Devices' Who Want The Latest And Greatest

A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.

OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates.

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