After being launched in India, HMD Global is expanding the availability of Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 Android smartphones. Both the phones will be going on sale in the UK starting next month.
The Nokia 3 will be going on sale in the UK from July 12, and will be available unlocked at GBP 129.99 (roughly Rs. 10,600). The Nokia 5, on the other hand, will be going on sale sale on July 19 and will be priced at GBP 179.99 (roughly Rs. 15,000). Currently, interested consumers in the UK can pre-order the Nokia 3 or Nokia 5 via Amazon or Clove e-commerce websites.
Notably, Clove also mentions that July 12 and 19 are official launch dates for the Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 respectively. Surprisingly, there’s no availability detail on the Nokia 6, which completes the trio of new Android smartphones from HMD Global.
The company unveiled the trio of Android smartphones in India earlier this month. The Nokia 5 price in India is Rs. 12,899, and will be available for pre-booking starting July 7 through offline channels. Nokia 3, is the cheapest of the three, has been priced at Rs. 9,499, and is now on sale in India. The Nokia 6 has been launched in India at Rs. 14,999. The Nokia 6 registrations for the first sale will start on July 14, but the company has not announced when the smartphone will go on sale.
The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch HD display and runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It is powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB inbuilt storage and also supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). Nokia 5 packs a 13-megapixel sensor on the back and an 8-megapixel sensor at the front. The handset features a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button and it houses a 3000mAh non-removable battery.
The Nokia 3 is targeted at those who are looking for a premium-looking handset at a budget and features a 5-inch HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat, and 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek 6737 SoC. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 128GB via microSD card support. Optics include an 8-megapixel camera on both the front and back. The N
Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.
Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.
But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.
Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with…
Google has just officially announced Android 7.1.2 Nougat, and will begin rolling out the public beta build starting today!
Android 7.1.2 beta will roll out to Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 5X, Nexus Player and Pixel C devices who are enrolled in the Android Beta Program starting today, while the company says the Nexus 6P will get the update “soon.”
Of course, you probably shouldn’t expect a ton of new features to come along with this new update. Android 7.1.2 will be an incremental maintenance release focused on refinements, which will include a number of bug fixes, optimizations, and a small number of enhancements for carriers and users. That’s the only description Google gave for this new version of Android, so we’ll have to wait and see what specific changes it brings.
Google says if you’d like to test out this new version of Android ASAP, you should enroll in the Android Beta Program. And like always, if you have an eligible device that’s already enrolled, your device should receive the update in the next few days. If you haven’t enrolled yet, head to this website, opt-in your eligible Android phone or tablet, and that’s it. You’ll receive an OTA in just a few hours. And if you’d rather do things the old fashioned way, you can always download and flash the update manually.
The final, consumer-ready version of 7.1.2 will be released in just a few months for all the devices listed above.
The Vulkan API is promising exciting new things for mobile gaming and 3D application development, and today the company behind the popular Unity engine has announced that its Vulkan Renderer Preview is now live for developers to test out.
The benefits brought about with the introduction of Vulkan are a major speed boost, improved multithreading, and new graphical features. Vulkan boasts notable speed improvements over OpenGL ES 3.x, as the new API has been designed to take advantage of multiple CPU coress along with other optimizations. Unity says that it has seen benchmark performance improvements up to 35 percent with its new renderer, compared with the old OpenGL ES 3.1 renderer, even through they’re both running on a single thread. The cross platform Vulkan API was officially supported on smartphones with the release on Android 7.0 Nougat.
Unity’s Vulkan Renderer Preview is still in the experimental phase at the moment, but the option is now there for developers to enable, if they so choose. First, you’ll need to grab theexperimental build from the Unity beta page. To enable Vulkan support, open “Player Settings”, then go to the “Other Settings” pane and clear the “Auto Graphics API” checkbox. Here you’ll be presented with a list of graphics APIs to choose from, which should include Vulkan.
If developers want to test out the improved multi-core performance on offer with Vulkan, they can also hit the Graphics Jobs checkbox for a notable performance boost. Although Unity notes that developers should never have both “Multithreaded Rendering” and “Graphics Jobs (Experimental)” settings enabled at the same time.
The team is currently testing the renderer out on the Exynos Samsung Galaxy S7 model, the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, NVIDIA Shield Tablet, and Shield TV. For PC hardware, Unity recommends that developers grab the latest AMD and NVIDIA drivers as well. As is always the case with early builds, there are already a few documented bugs, including crashes, so be sure to back up your projects before diving in.
It seems like you can’t go a week without one security firm or another producing a statistic illustrating just how much Android malware there is in the wilds of the internet. More often than not, these reports come with a few reminders that the company’s own security suite can protect you from these nasty bits of code, which is true some of the time. However, Android is by its very nature more secure than a desktop computer, so maybe you don’t need these security apps. You’ve probably already got what you need.
The scare tactics
The most recent Android malware report comes from Check Point, which says nearly one billion android devices have critical vulnerabilities in the underlying Linux kernel. Shocking and upsetting, right? It’s a legitimate security issue, but the reporting is, as usual, overly breathless and dramatic. The PR certainly makes it seem like your phone is ripe for infection, but the real situation is much more nuanced.
The latest QuadRooter scare is actually a set of four issues known as CVE-2016-2059,CVE-2016-2504, CVE-2016-2503, and CVE-2016-5340. They are rooted in the Linux system code provided by Qualcomm to partners like Google. The way this is presented by many mainstream reports, you’d think Google is in panic mode and rushing out patches. In fact, the Android security model is much more mature now. Several of these vulnerabilities are already patched in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), and the others will be soon. As OEMs build new updates, they’ll include updated patch levels, which you can see in your software info.
We’ve all been programmed by PC malware, which can sneak onto your system simply because you visited the wrong website with a vulnerable browser. These “drive-by downloads” aren’t feasible on Android without a pre-existing infection. On Android, you have to physically tap on a notification to install an APK downloaded from a source outside the Play Store. Even then there are security settings that need to be manually bypassed.
What if a QuadRooter app were to make it into the Play Store before then? Google’s platform has the ability to scan for known malware when it’s uploaded. There’s also a human review process in place for anything that looks even a little bit questionable. Google just started doing this a few months ago, mainly as a way to keep copycat apps and obvious scams from slipping through the cracks.
The solution pushed by AV companies is to install a security suite that manually scans every app, monitors your Web traffic, and so on. These apps tend to be a drain on resources and are generally annoying with plentiful notifications and pop ups. You probably don’t need to install Lookout, AVG, Symantec/Norton, or any of the other AV apps on Android. Instead, there are some completely reasonable steps you can take that won’t drag down your phone. For example, your phone already has antivirus protection built-in.
What you should do to stay safe
Your first line of defense is to simply not mess around with Android’s default security settings. To get Google certification, each and every phone and tablet comes with “Unknown sources” disabled in the security settings. If you want to sideload an APK downloaded from outside Google Play, all you need to do is check that box. Leaving this disabled keeps you safe from virtually all Android malware, because there’s almost none of it in the Play Store.
There are legitimate reasons to allow unknown sources, though. For example, Amazon’s Appstore client sideloads the apps and games you buy, and many reputable sites re-host official app updates that are rolling out in stages so you don’t have to wait your turn. If you do take advantage of this feature, the first time you do so a box will pop up asking you to allowGoogle to scan for malicious activity. This is known as Verify Apps and it’s part of Google Play Services on virtually all official Android phones. Google has confirmed that QuadRooter is detected and disabled by Verify Apps. So, even if your device is lagging on security updates, you shouldn’t have to worry.
Users have been rooting their Android phones ever since the first handsets hit the market, but it’s less common these days. The platform offers many of the features people used to root in order to acquire. Using rooted Android is basically like running a computer in administrator mode. While it’s possible to run a rooted phone safely, it’s definitely a security risk. Some exploits and malware needs root access to function, and otherwise it’s harmless even if you do somehow install it. If you don’t have a good reason to root your phone or tablet, just don’t open yourself up to that possibility.
Nicely, gang, it’sactuallyoccurring: the entire Google Play store of Android apps is beginningto reveal up on Chromebooks.
We first heard approximately the circulatethroughout Google’s I/O builders‘ conferenceclosing month. And whilst the capabilityto install Android apps might not be present for maximum Chromebook usersuntil later this 12 months, Google is now inside the midst of making the functionavailableat theadvanceddevelopment channel of its Chrome OS runningdevice (most effectiveon the Asus Chromebook turnfor the time beingbut with differentdecided ondevices set to observesometime “quickly“).
To be sure, that is an early and still–hard–round-the-edges model of the attempt — therefore its appearancehandiestat the Chrome OS development channel, that’s designed for builders and early adopters to attempt out new capabilities as they’re being organized. butnonetheless, I cannotassisthoweversupposemasses of tech-loving folks are going to approach this new functionality with expectations of instantaneous magic.
allow me crossin advance and break it for you now: There isn’t always going to be any form offirst rate “ahah!” moment of surprisewhilst you first come upon the Play keep on a Chrome OS tool. much more likely, there is going to be a feeling of: “Oh. it’s it?” becausehugeas thecharacteristic is — and as we havementionedearlier than, it truely is a big deal — you have tolook at it from a broader attitudeif youwantto comprehend its realsignificance.
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Bringing Android apps onto Chromebooks is first and foremostabout lessening a Chromebook’s limitations. the largestimmediatelybenefit is that it willpermit Chrome OS userscarry outdutieswhich can becurrentlyimpossibleon the platform — such things ashaving access to Microsoft’s complete suite of office utilities, the use ofcompletely featured photo editors, and making and receiving video calls on Skype (some thing the corporation‘s net app bafflingly does notallow).
these itemsgenuinelyaren’t magical in and of themselves — becauseguess what? jogging any given Android app on a Chromebook is quitea lotsimilar togoing for walks it on an Android tool. It is nota few wild new revel inthat’s gonna blow your mindthe second you strive it.
What it is going to do, even though, is make Chrome OS extraversatile as a platform and thereforegreaterpossible as a primary computing surroundings for extrapeople — human beings like me who in general use net apps howeverstill have a handful of wishes (just like the occasional beginning of a document with Microsoft’s tunechanges formatting in place or the superiorenhancing of a multilayered photograph) that web–based utilities can notconvenientlycope with.
what iscrucial to don’t forgetis that thiscirculate is in the endaboutmixingsystemstogether — taking acquainted entities and permitting them to overlap in a manner that advantagesboth. it isapproximatelyincreasing the usefulness of Chrome OS through bringing a chunk of Android into its dimension — and in doing so, broadening the platform’s attraction and giving it a newdegree of life. That might notsupply the kind ofinstant thrill new-feature-seekers hope to locate, buton thequit of the day, it’s going to%a milesmoresignificant and a ways–achievingadvantage.
Google honestly has its workreduce out for it in relation to making Android apps run easily on Chromebooks — from getting developers to update their apps for complete compatibility to figuring out a manner to take away the confusion of havingtwo overlapping app markets on a unmarriedtool. What we are seeing now’ssimplestthe start.
If the agency manages to make this enjoya great one, although, this reputedly mundane first step may want to mark the start of some thing transformative. You justneed to step again and have a look at the massiveimageto comprehend the scope of its significance.
Google’s Android Wear is the company’s wearable platform that’s supported by a wide range of manufacturers and devices. Essentially, Android Wear is the direct competitor to Apple’s Watch, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that Apple’s Watch is the direct competitor to Android Wear, which actually came first. In any event, Microsoft has updated Outlook for Android with enhanced Android Wear support, making the company’s cross-platform support even better on Google’s platform.
Here’s the changelog straight from the horse’s mouth:
This week, we’re bringing the best of Outlook to Android Wear. Stop reaching out for your phone; everything is now happening on your watch.
Check your Outlook notifications, read your new emails and reply with pre-set messages or voice dictation right from your wrist. It’s never been that easy to manage your inbox.
So, if you’re using Microsoft’s email and calendar solution fo Android along with a Google Wear device, then you’ll be able to marry to two and enjoy the benefits of both. If you’re not using Outlook for Android and want to give it a try, you can download it from the link below.
Six short years ago, I started an experimental little column about an up-and-coming operating system called Android. At the time, Android was but a niche player in the smartphone game, with a mere 12% of the U.S. mobile market. Apple had 25%, for comparison, while BlackBerry — then still known as RIM — held the top spot with 41% of the pie.
Computerworld’s 2016 IT Salary Survey shows continued gains for IT pros. But tech workers with the
Speaking of pie, Froyo was the cool new Android release of the moment. Google had just announced the software, numbered 2.2, at its 2010 I/O developers’ conference. (For perspective, other groundbreaking 2010 I/O launches included the Chrome Web Store, Google TV, and — brace yourself! — Google Wave.)
The hot Android phones of the day? The original Motorola Droid, of course. There was also the Droid Incredible, the HTC EVO 4G, and the inaugural Nexus One. The then-gigantic-seeming 4.3-in. Droid X would come out guns a-blazin’ that summer, as would the very first (!) Galaxy S — which, as you may recall, was actually known in America as the Samsung Captivate, Samsung Epic 4G, Samsung Vibrant, or Samsung Fascinate, depending on which carrier you chose.
It’s hard to convey just how hard it was to get people to take Android seriously in those days. Back then, writing an analysis about Android’s inevitable dominance in the mobile market was met with jeers, sneers, and plenty of condescending comments. Most folks were still treating Android like a flash in the pan, a small-scale effort that could never touch the rapidly rising Holy Grail of Apple — and those of us willing to look past the platform’s humble start and toward the bigger picture forming around it were virtually burned at the stake.
“Growing at a higher rate means nothing when you’re comparing to sales that are next to nothing,” one commenter told me in response to a 2010 column.
“Once Apple opens their phone to other carriers, competitors will get eliminated almost entirely,” another prophet proposed.
“How long can Google keep updating Android and releasing versions at zero cost to the companies making the phones or to consumers purchasing them?” yet another naysayer said.
I’m telling you: Recent as it may seem, it truly was a different time. Heck, even my then-editor at Computerworld — who quickly became one of my most vocal advocates and supporters — told me she was skeptical that such a small niche could create a successful and long-standing column. Thankfully, she was willing to give it a shot.
It’s positively mind-boggling how much things have changed.
The next era
Back in 2010, I thought and thought about what name would best sum up the Android experience and the types of discussions I wanted to create around it. The answer, as I wrote at the time, turned out to be a no-brainer:
If there’s one word I’d use to describe Google’s Android operating system, it’s power. Power to customize. Power to multitask. Power to install any application you want, even if it’s (gasp!) pornographic.
Put simply, Android is about having the power to use your device the way you want — not the way some guy in a black turtleneck thinks you should.
The references aren’t the only thing in that explanation that now seem dated. Sure, Android is still packed with power, but these days, the “iPhone vs. Android” argument has become meaningless and stale — just another tired cliché that’s been played to death. Our discussions here have evolved to focus less on the sheer power of Android and more on its nuances — the contextthat puts everything in perspective and helps us figure out how this stuff fits into our day-to-day lives.
It’s no longer about power, in other words; it’s about intelligence — a slower-paced and more diverse mix of real-world advice, in-depth insight, and original analysis. It’s about doing something decidedly different from your average Android news — more of a side dish, so to speak, than a main entree. And it’s time for a new name to reflect that.
Welcome to Android Intelligence.
So what can you expect moving forward? In short, more emphasis on the best qualities you’ve come to know from this column, along with a few new twists that’ll fit equally well into the aforementioned philosophy. The overarching principle, as it has been for a while now, is that this isn’t your average Android news.
That means you’ll see more of the beyond-the-surface takes and color-adding context that have long been a defining feature of this space. You’ll see even more Android expert profiles along the lines of the “How I use Android” series so many of you have told me you love. And beyond just this column, you’ll soon see a few other surprises under the Android Intelligence umbrella. (Hint: Keep your ears open next week, because something big is on the way…)
The one thing you’ll see less of compared to the past is hands-on device coverage. After five years of personally reviewing nearly every major Android phone and Chromebook to come out in the U.S. (not to mention quite a few tablets and smartwatches), I’ve decided to step back a bit from that stuff as of this year.
As you’ve probably picked up on, the hardware itself just isn’t as exciting to me as it once was. As far as I’m concerned, it’s after you get a device in hand that things really start to get interesting — and so that’s what I’ll be focusing on more frequently from now on: the broader themes of Android as a platform and how we can make the most of the gadgets we have in our lives. Finding ways to live a life that’s enhanced by technology instead ofcontrolled by it is a theme I enjoy exploring, and it’s one you’ll see me thinking about more and more in the coming months.
These days, information is everywhere. Android Intelligence is all about context — about putting the pieces together and making sense of the big picture. It’s about going beyond the buzzwords and finding the human side to this weird, wild world we live in. It’s about bringing something fresh and new into the equation — something that serves as a zesty and flavor-filled complement to the news and reviews you already consume.
I hope you’ll join me for the next phase of our journey. Believe me when I tell you: I couldn’t be more excited for what’s ahead.
There are tons of launchers available for android — these are some of the best!
Launchers are the way Android users customize their smartphone and tablet experience. There’s superficial stuff, like changing screen transitions, icons, and fonts, but the best Android launchers out there enable users to tweak the device’s behavior to suit their daily usage, so long as you’re willing to put the time into defining those customizations. Some launchers act very similarly to the one that came with your device, while others completely change the way you interact with your home screen. You can make your home screens as simple or complicated as you wish, while tweaking every little detail or just taking what’s given to you by default — all by installing one single app.
If you’re looking for a change of pace from the out-of-box software experience on your phone, consider a new launcher. We’ve found the best ones available today, and listed all of the pros and cons of each.
Action Launcher is a great option that mixes things up and changes the interface paradigm from what you’d expect in a “normal” launcher — but not too much. You still have a highly customizable home screen and dock, but if you want to find an app, rather than going into the traditional app drawer (which you still have the option to use), you swipe in from the left side of the screen for Quickdrawer. This compact app drawer makes finding an app much faster than swiping through pages in a traditional app drawer, and the quick-scrolling feature allows you to zip through your app list no matter how many apps you’ve installed.
You also get Shutters and Covers, which give you innovative ways to launch into folders and widgets with swipes — it’s all about getting to your apps and content quicker. There’s a free version of Action Launcher for everyone to try, with a pro upgrade costing just $3.99 — and after you figure out the time-saving features you’ll want to unlock it.
It’s fair to say that Action Launcher is one of our favorites as well as being one of the very best.
GOOGLE NOW LAUNCHER
Nova is a massively popular launcher that offers a whole bunch of animation options, folder views, and desktop behaviors. One particularly cool addition is swipe actions, which allow app icons to act as a folder with a swipe, or a standard app launch with a tap, similar to Action Launcher’s Covers. Theming Nova with custom icons and custom wallpapers is easy, especially with the Google Drive integration. You can backup your Nova layouts and themes directly to the cloud service of your choice, and restore backups directly from the cloud, too, which can make setting up a new phone a great deal easier than putting everything back how you like it manually.
Nova is a highly functional launcher that can be as subtle or as loud as you like, making it completely unique if you spend the time tweaking it.
Aviate builds collections of your apps based on different types of activities. You can, of course, tweak those collections manually as well, and Aviate can offer suggestions to fill in collections. Aviate figures out where you are and what time of day it is, and serves up relevant collections in custom-built interfaces called Spaces so you can better handle those activities. For example, if you plug in your headphones, it offers you quick access to media controls and your favorite music apps. Hit the road, and you’ll be offered shortcuts to navigation home and to the office.
Aviate excels for having a high amount of polish and requires minimal maintenance, even though you might lose out on some customizability. .
The Google Now launcher is the obvious pick for anybody looking for a pure, clean Android experience. It comes right from Google (and is pre-installed on Nexus phones), so you can shear away anything the manufacturer has loaded up in one install. Transitions are quick and clean, and there’s nothing superfluous getting between you and your apps and widgets. Beyond that, the left-most home screen becomes Google Now, so you can launch into searches, view cards populated based on the time of day, your location, and general browsing habits, and execute all sorts of hands-free “OK Google” commands. The only real downside here is that you won’t be able to enjoy the level of customization available on more robust launchers — you get what Google gives you here.
Use the Google Now launcher if you’re looking for high stability and a consistent Android experience. Pair it with the Google Keyboard for the full experience.
Apex offers a similar range of functions as Nova. You can tweak the icon tray size and scrolling, change animations, adjust home screen behaviors, and customize gesture commands for various pinches, taps, and swipes. A plug-in allows notification data to be fed to Apex from a variety of apps, and out to any Android Wear devices, too, so long as you’re willing to upgrade to the pro version for $4.49. There are a wide range third party themes available in the Google Play Store which let you change the overall look of your Android experience, but as a functional core, Apex does extremely well.
Z LAUNCHER BETA
At first glance, Z Launcher Beta may seem a bit like Aviate and other prediction-based launchers, but it’s got a few twists on the concept that make it stand out. Rather than typing in what you want with a keyboard or swiping over to categorized drawers, Z Launcher Beta has you draw a letter on the screen to bring up apps and contacts for you. If you want to listen to music, doodle an M on the center home screen and a list of apps with M in them appear. This even works with apps that have M as the second or third word, like Google Play Music.
It’s a more polished beta, but a beta nonetheless. While you can add widgets to the left-most page of the launcher, the sizes are awkward and you’re limited in the number you can have. You don’t have many options with the dock or app icons, either, but the one you should absolutely enable is Enable large icons.
Though we spent the most time on our absolute favorite launchers, there are quite a few more out there worth your consideration:
Smart Launcher 3
YOUR FAVORITE LAUNCHERS?
The Google Play Store has a truly ridiculous number of Android launchers available for users of all kinds, so we’re always interested to hear what you guys are using. We’re curious to see how you’ve customized your own launchers too — sound off in the comments!