Samsung released the Galaxy Z Fold2 a while back, packed with a slew of features that make it significantly better than the company's first attempt at a foldable phone. But the company hasn't forgotten about the first-gen Fold just yet. It's inheriting a few Z Fold2 capabilities via a firmware update that's now starting to roll out in the US.
When it comes to the software on smartphones with folding displays (or, at least, a display field that can close in on itself), manufacturers are still out there trying to figure out the usability picture. Microsoft is faced with that very challenge right now as it continues developing its Android-powered dual-screen mobile device, the Surface Duo — and we might have just gotten a peek at a trick up its sleeve.
GitHub is the largest code hosting service in existence, but only now is it getting back into producing mobile apps. The company released an Android app in 2012, then removed it in 2015. Two months ago, GitHub revealed that a brand new app would enter beta soon, and now it has finally arrived.
For all of MIUI's troubles, it remains as the default software user interface on every one of Xiaomi's smartphones in China. And given that the company posts timely updates on this platform, it should matter how people experience this default state. Thus, we now see MIUI 11 come into play with a focus on font and sound aesthetics as well as a few new productivity apps and a couple of under-the-hood tweaks.
It's been four years since I shared with you all the gadgets and quirky things that I own and love in my previous What We Use post. In the time since, a lot has changed in my personal life. I met the most awesome, weird, and pun-loving man. We got married, moved into an apartment of our own, and started traveling a little more frequently.
But a lot is still the same. I still pull double work duties: I own and manage my pharmacy, and I work here at Android Police, obviously. In between selling drugs and counseling patients, I sit back at my desk, clean up hundreds of emails a day, write a few posts, virtually shout at the entire team if they miss an Oxford comma, and come up with silly or inappropriate jokes.
Gesture navigation is considered by some to be an important innovation in smartphone UX, not least because it removes the nav bar and allows for more content on the display. It's not easy to get it right, but Apple has done a pretty good job of it and Android OEMs like OnePlus have also had a good go (let's not waste our time discussing Google's Pixel abomination). Samsung's recently announced Galaxy A7 offers another new take on gesture nav, and it actually seems pretty good.
In the last few years, OnePlus has gotten serious about keeping its devices updated. While it can feel like stable OxygenOS releases take a while sometimes, the Open Beta program represents what OEMs should do: give those who are willing early access to new features, Android versions, and so on. Further attempting to bolster its positive reputation in this area, OnePlus released the Software Maintenance Schedule, which promises two years of software and three years of security releases for each device and it's already in effect.
One of the more exciting announcements at IFA in Berlin was the LG V30, the company's second flagship of the year. Much like the Galaxy Note8 with the Galaxy S8, the V30 is mostly a refined version of the LG G6 with a few additional features. LG has now uploaded a video showing off the phone's software enhancements.
The Pixel's review embargo just lifted earlier today, and reviewers have been very impressed with both the speed of the phone's 12.3MP shooter and the quality that its images capture. In his review of the Pixel, David said it has "the best smartphone camera on the market." Marc Levoy, the lead of a computational photography team at Google Research, discussed with The Verge just how much the software assists in making the Pixel's camera so damn good.
Huawei is working toward making its Android software more palatable for a western audience before it goes all-in on the US market, but that's not the only mobile project the Chinese OEM is undertaking. The Information reports that Huawei is also running a secret project to build its own mobile operating system as a hedge against Android. The new EMUI software layer is expected this fall, but the mobile OS might never see the light of day.