+101 - Vote for the best Android Apps


101 Best Android Apps Archive

Archive for the ‘Android News’ Category

Synaptics announces world’s first in-display fingerprint sensor, launching with ‘top 5’ smartphone OEM

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Bezels are about to get smaller, and buttons are about to start going away.

One of the leading biometrics technology companies, Synaptics, has announced a big breakthrough in phone authentication: in-display fingerprint sensors. The new "Clear ID FS9500" (catchy name) fingerprint sensor is designed for smartphones with near-bezel-free displays, and provides fingerprint authentication on demand completely within the display panel itself.

The Clear ID FS9500 sensor offers the same type of one-touch authentication we know today, but does it underneath the display glass — and it can handle a variety of situations including wet, dry and cold fingers. As you'd expect, it integrates a complete security stack with AES encryption and a variety of authentication features that companies can choose from. Seeing as it otherwise works the same as a dedicated hardware sensor, one of the great features of this in-display solution is that it can be turned on and off at will, meaning that unlike traditional sensors it doesn't occupy any space on the body of the phone when not needed.

We've seen technical demonstrations of this type of technology, but Synaptics is making this announcement because it says that it is already in mass production in partnership with a "top five" smartphone company. That already narrows things down a bit, but Synaptics has a couple other hints that seem too good to be a coincidence. In its press release, the company specifically calls out the demand for "bezel-free OLED infinity displays," which is interestingly the exact type of naming Samsung has applied to its curved displays in the flagship Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8.

This in-screen fingerprint sensor technology could certainly end up in all sorts of phones in 2018, but given the hints here we wouldn't be surprised if the Samsung Galaxy S9 was one of the first. Following the relative debacle of the Galaxy S8's rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and promises of upgraded iris scanning on the GS9, we could see the removal of the dedicated physical fingerprint sensor on the new phone.

In any case, we know a big-name manufacturer will have this Synaptics technology integrated into a phone soon. And that looks like it'll be a win for everyone.

Press release:

Synaptics Brings World's First In-Display Fingerprint Sensors for Smartphones to Mass Production with a Top Five OEM

Clear ID Optical Sensors are Faster, More Convenient and Secure than Alternative Biometrics SAN JOSE, Calif. – December 12, 2017 – Synaptics Incorporated (NASDAQ: SYNA), the leading developer of human interface solutions, today announced mass production with a top five OEM of its new Clear ID™ FS9500 family of optical in-display fingerprint sensors. Designed for smartphones with infinity displays, Synaptics' Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors magically activate in the display only when needed. Clear ID is faster than alternative biometrics such as 3D facial, highly-secure with SentryPoint™ technology, and very convenient with one-touch/one-step biometric authentication directly in the touchscreen display area of smartphones.

The new Synaptics Clear ID optical fingerprint sensors deliver one-touch high-resolution scanning through full cover glass and enable sleek, button-free, bezel-free infinity displays. Synaptics' highperformance Clear ID FS9500 optical solution excels with wet, dry and cold fingers, and since it's protected by glass, is durable, scratchproof and waterproof. In-display fingerprint technology allows users to securely unlock the device in situations including while it's sitting on the table, at any angle, or while in a car mount. Synaptics' Clear ID performance is twice as fast as 3D facial recognition and requires only one touch to access your smartphone.

Serious Security:

Synaptics optical fingerprint sensors are available with SentryPoint™ technology, offering OEMs a widerange of unique and highly secure authentication features including: Quantum Matcher™ for adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication; PurePrint™ anti-spoof technology to examine fingerprint images using unique artificial intelligence technology to distinguish between spoofs and actual fingers; and SecureLink™ which combines support for TLS protocol with ECC authentication and AES encryption.

"Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself," said Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Synaptics. "Synaptics' Clear ID fingerprint sensors are faster, more convenient, and more secure than alternative biometrics, and this optical technology represents a major innovation shift and opportunity for the smartphone market."

Xiaomi Redmi 5A review: Unmatched value

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Xiaomi is continuing to lead the way when it comes to value in the entry-level segment.

Launched earlier this year, the Redmi 4A proved to be incredibly successful for Xiaomi, with the brand selling over four million units in eight months. The company is now looking to continue the same with its successor, the Redmi 5A. At the outset, there isn't a whole lot that's changed from the Redmi 4A: you get the same internal hardware, and while the exterior has been slightly tweaked, the phone has the same design language.

So how else does one differentiate a phone that doesn't stand out from its predecessor? By lowering the price point. The Redmi 5A is available for just ₹4,999 ($77), making it Xiaomi's most affordable phone to date. That's the same tactic the company used to its benefit earlier this year with the Redmi 4A, and by launching the 5A for a whole ₹1,000 less, Xiaomi is continuing to lead the way when it comes to value in the entry-level segment.

Xiaomi is marketing the device as "desh ka smartphone," which translates to the country's smartphone. By making it available for under ₹5,000, Xiaomi is looking to attract first-time buyers that would otherwise be content with picking up a feature phone.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A What you'll like

There really wasn't much wrong with the Redmi 4A from a design standpoint, and as such Xiaomi's didn't radically alter the aesthetic with its successor. The phone retains the 5.0-inch display and plastic construction, but the back has a coating that gives the device a metallic feel. Another subtle change is the addition of subtle curves at the point where the back meets the sides, which makes the phone easier to hold.

The Redmi 5A is lightweight at 137g, and although you get sizeable bezels at the top and bottom, the smaller screen allows you to use the device one-handed without any issues. You get an LED notification light, capacitive navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen, IR blaster, and a speaker located at the back of the phone.

On the hardware front, the Redmi 5A is packing the Snapdragon 425 — the same chipset that powered the Redmi 4A. In fact, the only major change when it comes to the hardware is the battery size, which is a downgrade from the 3120mAh unit on the Redmi 4A. That said, you won't have any issues getting a day's worth of usage from a full charge.

Elsewhere, you're looking at 2GB/3GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of storage, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front shooter, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, and FM radio. The phone comes with MIUI 9 out of the box, and all the optimizations carried out by Xiaomi in terms of reducing app load times and improving stability make a significant difference when it comes to using the Redmi 5A on a day-to-day basis.

The Redmi 5A has rock-solid build quality and reliable performance.

I'm using the variant with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and even on the base model performance is generally snappy. That said, the phone isn't ideal if you're looking to play visually-intensive games. There's also the odd stutter when transitioning from one app to another.

The Redmi 5A retains the same 5.0-inch 720p display that was used in the 4A, and while the panel won't win any awards, it is perfectly serviceable. Like all other Xiaomi phones, you get the option to adjust the color balance and use a blue light filter to reduce glare at night.

The full loadout of MIUI 9 features is available on the Redmi 5A, including the Dual Apps feature that lets you run two instances of an app at the same time, new themes and sticker packs, notification pane that has bundled notifications and in-line replies, and so much more.

With the advent of Jio, the number of people using two SIM cards simultaneously has increased. Xiaomi offered a hybrid SIM card slot in its early 2017 phones, with the secondary SIM tray doubling up as the microSD slot. However, with a sizeable portion of the audience requesting a standalone microSD slot, Xiaomi has switched out the usual tray for one with a dedicated microSD slot in addition to two SIM card slots.

That's not the only customization for the Indian market — Xiaomi started bundling a custom wall charger for phones sold in India to withstand the wildly varying voltages seen in most parts of the country, and the Redmi 5A comes with the charger in the box.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A What you won't

The main drawback of the Redmi 5A is the camera. Like the Redmi 4A, you'll have to put a lot of work to get a half-decent image. That's true for all devices in this segment, and the Redmi 5A is no different. Photos taken in daylight look washed out and grainy, and image quality is particularly woeful in low-light shots, with the phone refusing to lock in on a subject on the first try.

The camera on the Redmi 5A isn't worth your time.

The front camera is similarly sub-par, and while the device offers an HDR mode, it takes far too long to process photos.

Xiaomi also missed a trick by not including the fingerprint sensor on the Redmi 5A. Bundling it would've been a significant feature addition — one that would've served to differentiate the Redmi 5A from its predecessor — but that isn't to be.

And while it's great that the phone comes with MIUI 9 out of the box, the custom ROM is still based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat. As of now, there's no information regarding Xiaomi's Oreo update plans, and it'll likely be a long time before the update is available for the device.

Xiaomi Redmi 5A Bottom line

The Redmi 5A once again demonstrates Xiaomi's dominance in the entry-level category. There isn't a single manufacturer that offers quite as much value as Xiaomi in the sub-₹10,000 segment.

While there isn't a whole lot to get excited about on the design front, the Redmi 5A is a reliable phone that should last a few years without any major problems. The 720p display combined with the Snapdragon 425, all-day 3000mAh battery, and MIUI 9 make the Redmi 5A one of the best options in this category.

The ₹4,999 price point isn't permanent, but is valid for just the first five million units. Following that, the Redmi 5A will be sold at ₹5,999, the same price as its predecessor. Even at that price, you're getting a lot of value for your money.

The main competition for the Redmi 5A is Xiaomi's own Redmi 4. Coming in at ₹6,999, the Redmi 4 has a fingerprint sensor, and is powered by a Snapdragon 435. Then there's the Redmi 5, which is set to go on sale in China from later this month. If you're in need of a phone right away, then the ₹4,999 Redmi 5A is a great option. But if you can wait a few months, the Redmi 5 promises to be a worthy upgrade with its 18:9 panel.

See at Flipkart

HTC posts RUU for unlocked U11 life’s Android 8.0 Oreo update

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

It took a little longer than usual, but HTC has just posted the RUU for the U11 life's Android 8.0 update. The U11's RUU was released just three days after its Oreo update was pushed, but the U11 life had to wait nearly two weeks. In any case, it's now here and ready for you to download.

The update carries version number 2.15.617.2 and comes in at around 1.9GB, about the same as the U11's RUU.

Read More

HTC posts RUU for unlocked U11 life's Android 8.0 Oreo update was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Phone v15 adds assisted dialing for international travelers, white nav bar, and possibly pre-call support for dual-SIM phones [APK Teardown]

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

An update to Google's Phone app began rolling out to users earlier today. Besides enabling the seamless video calling feature with Duo, which also works on v14, this update comes with a few additions of its own. The previously discussed Assisted Dialing feature for international travelers has been enabled and is ready to make life a little easier, and users on Android 8.1 will now see the white navigation bar that's been creeping into a few of Google's apps.

Read More

Google Phone v15 adds assisted dialing for international travelers, white nav bar, and possibly pre-call support for dual-SIM phones [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

December 2017 platform distribution numbers: Oreo’s piece of the pie nearly doubles as Nougat’s share continues to grow

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Well, it's that time of the month again. Like last month, Google's a bit later than it usually is with these numbers, and it isn't because we have a new version of Android for the chart. Although 8.1 has been released, this month's platform distribution numbers don't include it. Nougat continues to make gains, cumulatively adding an extra 2.7% to its slice of the pie, and Oreo has almost doubled to 0.5%. 

If you just want to look at the numbers, here they are:

Android version stats, December 2017

Android versionPrevious data (%)Current data (%)Change (pp)
2.30.50.4-0.1
4.00.50.50
4.12.22.0-0.2
4.23.13.0-0.1
4.30.90.90
4.413.813.4-0.4
5.06.46.1-0.3
5.120.820.2-0.6
6.030.929.7-1.2
7.017.619.3+1.7
7.13.04.0+1.0
8.00.30.5+0.2

Oreo's gains might seem small, but it has increased ever so slightly faster than Nougat/7.0 did this long after its launch.

Read More

December 2017 platform distribution numbers: Oreo's piece of the pie nearly doubles as Nougat's share continues to grow was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

December 2017 platform distribution numbers: Oreo’s piece of the pie nearly doubles as Nougat’s share continues to grow

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Well, it's that time of the month again. Like last month, Google's a bit later than it usually is with these numbers, and it isn't because we have a new version of Android for the chart. Although 8.1 has been released, this month's platform distribution numbers don't include it. Nougat continues to make gains, cumulatively adding an extra 2.7% to its slice of the pie, and Oreo has almost doubled to 0.5%. 

If you just want to look at the numbers, here they are:

Android version stats, December 2017

Android versionPrevious data (%)Current data (%)Change (pp)
2.30.50.4-0.1
4.00.50.50
4.12.22.0-0.2
4.23.13.0-0.1
4.30.90.90
4.413.813.4-0.4
5.06.46.1-0.3
5.120.820.2-0.6
6.030.929.7-1.2
7.017.619.3+1.7
7.13.04.0+1.0
8.00.30.5+0.2

Oreo's gains might seem small, but it has increased ever so slightly faster than Nougat/7.0 did this long after its launch.

Read More

December 2017 platform distribution numbers: Oreo's piece of the pie nearly doubles as Nougat's share continues to grow was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

The Humble ‘Indie Hits’ Mobile Bundle includes 11 awesome Noodlecake games for one low price

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

There's a new Android-oriented Humble Bundle today, and this one comes your way courtesy of Noodlecake. For a few bucks, you can get up to 11 games. You get to pick your price, so as little as a one greenback entitles you to some DRM-free gaming fun.

As with all the recent mobile bundles, this one has three tiers. At the bottom level you have four games that are unlocked if you pay $1 or more: Invert, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Alto's Adventure, and Pug's Quest.

Read More

The Humble 'Indie Hits' Mobile Bundle includes 11 awesome Noodlecake games for one low price was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

The Humble ‘Indie Hits’ Mobile Bundle includes 11 awesome Noodlecake games for one low price

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

There's a new Android-oriented Humble Bundle today, and this one comes your way courtesy of Noodlecake. For a few bucks, you can get up to 11 games. You get to pick your price, so as little as a one greenback entitles you to some DRM-free gaming fun.

As with all the recent mobile bundles, this one has three tiers. At the bottom level you have four games that are unlocked if you pay $1 or more: Invert, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Alto's Adventure, and Pug's Quest.

Read More

The Humble 'Indie Hits' Mobile Bundle includes 11 awesome Noodlecake games for one low price was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

During Google's reveal of the Pixel 2 on October 4th, we spotted a new video call button appearing on the Phone's in-call screen. Tapping on it was meant to switch both members to a video call using Google Duo. Google later added details to support articles that implied this functionality was already live, but the button remained hidden through a few updates to Duo and a couple to the Phone app.

Read More

Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

YouTube TV expands to 34 new markets including New Orleans, Fresno, Omaha, and Tuscon

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Google's streaming television service is quite affordable at a mere $35 a month. While many might jump at the idea, there is an unfortunate restriction. So far, it's only available in some markets. But, as of today, a few million more people can now access it, as YouTube TV is rolling out to 34 new areas including New Orleans, Omaha, and Tuscon. 

Read More

YouTube TV expands to 34 new markets including New Orleans, Fresno, Omaha, and Tuscon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Other Stuff

Sponsors

Apps Jobs - Search and advertise android apps jobs