The 'Visual Core' is a custom chip in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, designed by Google. Not only does it speed up HDR+ image processing, but it also allows third-party apps to use the technology. Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and other apps were updated earlier this month to use the Visual Core, and now the chip's service is being updated through the Play Store for the first time. Read More
OnePlus' phones are a great value, but they've each individually had a few drawbacks. One negative they all had in common, though, was a DRM deficiency. None of the company's handsets supported the correct Widevine level required for HD playback in Netflix. Distress on the subject came to a head late last year, and OnePlus surprisingly announced that it would add the feature in the future. In a comment on OnePlus' forums today the company confirmed that it was now able to update handsets to support it, but the process will require that you physically send the phone back to OnePlus for the update. Read More
The Google Drive desktop client isn't very great (at least on Windows), and if you want to access a file, it has to be stored on your computer at all times. Google announced a new client called 'Drive File Stream' last year, which adds all your files to your computer, but only downloads the data when you want to open something (similar to OneDrive on Windows 8). Unfortunately, Drive File Stream is only available to G Suite users, so us normal people can't try it out. Read More
The launch of Android Go is almost upon us, and Google is continuing work on its various first-party apps for the platform. Files Go, a simple file manager, first arrived in November of last year as a beta app. It exited beta in December, and there have been a few updates since then. Read More
The Moto Z2 Force is Motorola's current flagship device, and the Verizon model started receiving Android 8.0 Oreo in late December. Just a few days later, Oreo reached the T-Mobile variant. For some reason, it has taken AT&T two more months to deliver the update, but it's finally here. Read More
The Android One version of the Moto X4 began receiving its Oreo update a few days before Christmas, but as expected, it took some extra time for Oreo to hit the standard model. A "Senior MotoAgent" on Motorola's (well, now technically Lenovo's) forums announced yesterday that Oreo has begun to roll out to the X4. Read More
As the name implies, Android Wear is simply a variation of Android specifically tailored to smartwatches. This year's Wear 2.0 update ran on top of Android 7.0 Nougat, and while some components can be updated through the Play Store, the underlying system can only be updated through normal OTAs. Read More
Well, that didn't take long. It was only a couple of weeks ago that Nokia opened up the beta test for Android 8.1 on the Nokia 8, and now the beta is over and the update is officially rolling out to everyone.
The update was announced by Juho Sarvikas on Twitter and has started rolling out to users now with several sharing screenshots of the OTA downloading on their device. It weighs 1.5GB and brings the February security patch along with all the small and large improvements of Android 8.1. The most important of those are battery level reporting for Bluetooth devices and the possibility to continue restoring a backup after the initial setup, along with visual tweaks to the power menu and a correct hamburger emoji. Read More
At the end of last year, we learned that Chrome OS was about to get some improvements in the way it handles Android apps. The Chrome OS 64 beta allowed you to run them side-by-side just as you can with regular laptop apps. This improvement and more should now be part of the latest stable release, which is up to version number 64.0.3282.134 (Platform version: 10176.65.0).
The most notable addition is a new screenshot shortcut for touchscreen devices. You can now press volume-down and power button buttons simultaneously, just like on Android phones and tablets. This will be useful for convertibles but could also be seen as preparation for Chrome OS devices with no keyboard whatsoever, like this leaked Acer tablet. Read More
Back in October, Huawei began sending out invitations to an Oreo beta for the Mate 9. We're at the end of January now, and the US-compatible Mate 9 is finally receiving its official update to Android 8.0 Oreo. Some international models have had Oreo for some time now, but those of us in America are only just getting it. Read More