Android 8.1 Oreo has rolled out to the Moto X4 and its Android One brother, but the update has brought with it a pretty major issue: nonfunctional USB transfer. That means that Android Auto and ADB, among other things, are currently not working. Luckily, there's somewhat of a workaround, as well as a fix on the way. Read More
Chinese OEM Xiaomi has a poor reputation when it comes to OS updates and the timely release of kernel source code. It took a Twitter backlash and criticism from several tech blogs to get the company to finally release the Nougat source code for the Android One-toting Mi A1. A similarly lengthy wait had to be endured before the Oreo code was provided last month. Xiaomi has now stated its intention (again) to release kernel source code within three months of a device's launch. Read More
Xiaomi promised that the Mi A1 would receive Oreo by the end of 2017, and the company hit a buzzer-beater by rolling out Android 8.0 to the Android One device on December 30th. But the kernel source code was nowhere to be found, a violation of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), and an affront to the development and enthusiast community. It's about two-and-a-half months late, but Xiaomi has finally released the Android 8.0 Oreo source code for the Mi A1. Read More
The Nokia phone brand has been on quite a journey since its heyday in the late nineties and early two-thousands (or aughts, as David would have me write it). After Nokia's smartphone business was sold to Microsoft and became the Windows Phone flagbearer while that was still a thing, the baton has now been passed to HMD Global. HMD has been releasing Android phones under the Nokia name for just over a year now, and it's fair to say the brand is stronger than it has been for a very long time.
At MWC 2018 here in Barcelona, HMD has added to its already burgeoning phone lineup with four devices, three of which are part of the Android One program and an ultra-low-cost Android Go phone. Read More
The Android One initiative was designed to bring a pure, stock version of the OS to low-cost phones in emerging markets to ensure better performance and faster updates. But since it was first announced in 2014, it’s morphed into something more akin to Google Play Edition phones, offering at least 2 years of updates and zero bloatware on hardware of any level.
HMD’s Nokia-branded phones, much like Motorola devices, have always launched with very few customizations. The company is now taking this one step further, announcing at MWC 2018 in Barcelona that every smartphone it produces from now on will be an Android One phone. Read More
Xiaomi devices consistently offer great hardware at low prices, but the company's MIUI skin isn't everyone's favorite. So when the Android One-powered Mi A1 debuted, it was met with heaps of praise. A couple of days ago, Xiaomi ran a poll on Twitter asking its followers whether they preferred MIUI or Android One. But due to a result deemed unsatisfactory by Xiaomi, the poll has mysteriously disappeared. Read More
Earlier in January, the online chatter about Xiaomi's delay/unwillingness to release kernel source codes for its Mi A1 phone reached a peak. Given how popular this little gem of a phone has become (read my take or Corbin's review) and all that it could do for a measly $220 price tag, as well as the fact that it runs Android One, Google's own official software for third-parties, it was quite unbecoming of Xiaomi to not release the source or take such a long time to do so.
Now the wait is over. Developers and tinkerers alike can head over to GitHub to check the full source code (for Nougat, not Oreo unfortunately) and do what developers and tinkerers do. Read More
By now, you're all probably familiar with the Nexus 5X and its tendency to bootloop. This has caused some major headaches, especially to those Nexus 5X owners on Project Fi who purchased Device Protection (formerly known as Nexus Protect). However, Project Fi support is now offering the Moto X4 Android One as replacements for faulty 5Xes, which makes a lot more sense than a paltry $53 check. Read More
A couple of months ago, my brother in law came to me with a question: he needed an affordable $200-300 Android smartphone that he could purchase from the UAE or Lebanon and that would do the basics right. My ready-made answer in the category in the past few years has been Samsung's A/C/J series. You get nice hardware, decent software with less bloat nowadays, excellent after-sale support no matter which mom-and-pop repair store you stop at, easy accessory purchase, and it's super fast to sell it on when the time comes to part with your phone. But that's only because Samsung's presence in Lebanon is huge, LG's midrange devices are too costly for the features, Moto and HTC essentially don't exist, Nokia/HMD hadn't begun selling phones again yet, and Huawei started breaking into the market about a year or so ago. Read More
Xiaomi phones always have the same problem. While the company's devices have generally great specifications and design for the price, the software experience is usually not very good. If you've read one of our Xiaomi device reviews, or used one of the company's phones yourself, you probably know what I'm talking about.
All of Xiaomi's phones and tablets ship with MIUI, a heavily modified version of Android that has countless problems. Some of these include Bluetooth connectivity bugs, terrible notification handling, and over-the-top power management that can outright break notifications for many apps. Jordan went in depth about MIUI's issues here, if you're interested in details. Read More