Galaxy S8, Note 8 get GIF support for Always On Display

Samsung’s flagship smartphones have included the Always On Display (AOD) feature for several years now, giving users a way to glance at essential information like notifications, battery level, and the time, by keeping these details constantly displayed even when the device is asleep. Since then, the feature has become more customizable in terms of color and clock style, and even allowing a photo to be shown. But now there’s support for the internet’s favorite media format: the GIF.

While users have been able to choose between preset images or their own photos, the addition of GIFs on the AOD opens the door for displaying animated imagery, not to mention the meme or other humorous clip of the week. The feature comes with a handful of GIFs to use, but can be customized with any stored in the photo library.

The new AOD update is available on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and the Note 8, however these devices must be running Android Oreo. Once that’s taken care of, users will want to make sure they’re running AOD version 3.2.26.4 or later for GIF support.

There’s a limit to the length of GIFs that can be shown on the AOD, and to help prevent the feature from being an even bigger battery drain, the images won’t endlessly loop. It will play once when the device is put to sleep, but users can double tap on GIF to get it to play again.

Original Text ►► Galaxy S8, Note 8 get GIF support for Always On Display

Galaxy S8, Note 8 get GIF support for Always On Display

Samsung’s flagship smartphones have included the Always On Display (AOD) feature for several years now, giving users a way to glance at essential information like notifications, battery level, and the time, by keeping these details constantly displayed even when the device is asleep. Since then, the feature has become more customizable in terms of color and clock style, and even allowing a photo to be shown. But now there’s support for the internet’s favorite media format: the GIF.

While users have been able to choose between preset images or their own photos, the addition of GIFs on the AOD opens the door for displaying animated imagery, not to mention the meme or other humorous clip of the week. The feature comes with a handful of GIFs to use, but can be customized with any stored in the photo library.

The new AOD update is available on the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ and the Note 8, however these devices must be running Android Oreo. Once that’s taken care of, users will want to make sure they’re running AOD version 3.2.26.4 or later for GIF support.

There’s a limit to the length of GIFs that can be shown on the AOD, and to help prevent the feature from being an even bigger battery drain, the images won’t endlessly loop. It will play once when the device is put to sleep, but users can double tap on GIF to get it to play again.

Original Text ►► Galaxy S8, Note 8 get GIF support for Always On Display

Another step toward the perfect smartphone

When I say “the perfect smartphone” I of course mean the four-sided screen. That is the dream of the panel you hold in your hand without any sign of interruption – logos, buttons, or anything in-between. That dream is one step closer to reality now that phones are coming with a feature that’s going live thanks to a group called Goodix.

The folks at Goodix create several sorts of products, the most important of these being their “Innovative Biometric Solutions.” Most important to our subject matter today, that is to say. They’ve made clear over the past few weeks that they’re the reason why several early adopter manufacturers were able to bring an in-display fingerprint sensor to the market before anyone else.

Goodix created what they call “Goodix’s Optical IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR.” They’ve branded it in all caps like that because they’re VERY PROUD OF THEIR AWESOME NEW TECHNOLOGY. They’ve delivered this tech this week to the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. This is the super-duper-premium version of the Huawei Mate RS, a device which also rolls with a flexible OLED display.

There’s also a Goodix fingerprint sensor in the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, but they’re not under the display just yet. It’s not for lack of trying, as Goodix’s current solution works with both flexible and rigid OLED displays. They’ve also delivered an in-display fingerprint sensor to the vivo X21.

“The era of bezel-free smartphones has arrived, it is imperative to offer differentiating values through innovative products to excel in competitions,” said a Goodix representative this week. “Through five years of exploration, the commercialization of IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR on PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS, and vivo X21 only marks the beginning.”

It’s a real deliverable now. Any phone without an in-display fingerprint sensor is going to look like it’s been left out in the cold from this point on. Every single one of them.

Original Text ►► Another step toward the perfect smartphone

Another step toward the perfect smartphone

When I say “the perfect smartphone” I of course mean the four-sided screen. That is the dream of the panel you hold in your hand without any sign of interruption – logos, buttons, or anything in-between. That dream is one step closer to reality now that phones are coming with a feature that’s going live thanks to a group called Goodix.

The folks at Goodix create several sorts of products, the most important of these being their “Innovative Biometric Solutions.” Most important to our subject matter today, that is to say. They’ve made clear over the past few weeks that they’re the reason why several early adopter manufacturers were able to bring an in-display fingerprint sensor to the market before anyone else.

Goodix created what they call “Goodix’s Optical IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR.” They’ve branded it in all caps like that because they’re VERY PROUD OF THEIR AWESOME NEW TECHNOLOGY. They’ve delivered this tech this week to the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. This is the super-duper-premium version of the Huawei Mate RS, a device which also rolls with a flexible OLED display.

There’s also a Goodix fingerprint sensor in the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, but they’re not under the display just yet. It’s not for lack of trying, as Goodix’s current solution works with both flexible and rigid OLED displays. They’ve also delivered an in-display fingerprint sensor to the vivo X21.

“The era of bezel-free smartphones has arrived, it is imperative to offer differentiating values through innovative products to excel in competitions,” said a Goodix representative this week. “Through five years of exploration, the commercialization of IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR on PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS, and vivo X21 only marks the beginning.”

It’s a real deliverable now. Any phone without an in-display fingerprint sensor is going to look like it’s been left out in the cold from this point on. Every single one of them.

Original Text ►► Another step toward the perfect smartphone

Another step toward the perfect smartphone

When I say “the perfect smartphone” I of course mean the four-sided screen. That is the dream of the panel you hold in your hand without any sign of interruption – logos, buttons, or anything in-between. That dream is one step closer to reality now that phones are coming with a feature that’s going live thanks to a group called Goodix.

The folks at Goodix create several sorts of products, the most important of these being their “Innovative Biometric Solutions.” Most important to our subject matter today, that is to say. They’ve made clear over the past few weeks that they’re the reason why several early adopter manufacturers were able to bring an in-display fingerprint sensor to the market before anyone else.

Goodix created what they call “Goodix’s Optical IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR.” They’ve branded it in all caps like that because they’re VERY PROUD OF THEIR AWESOME NEW TECHNOLOGY. They’ve delivered this tech this week to the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. This is the super-duper-premium version of the Huawei Mate RS, a device which also rolls with a flexible OLED display.

There’s also a Goodix fingerprint sensor in the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, but they’re not under the display just yet. It’s not for lack of trying, as Goodix’s current solution works with both flexible and rigid OLED displays. They’ve also delivered an in-display fingerprint sensor to the vivo X21.

“The era of bezel-free smartphones has arrived, it is imperative to offer differentiating values through innovative products to excel in competitions,” said a Goodix representative this week. “Through five years of exploration, the commercialization of IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR on PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS, and vivo X21 only marks the beginning.”

It’s a real deliverable now. Any phone without an in-display fingerprint sensor is going to look like it’s been left out in the cold from this point on. Every single one of them.

Original Text ►► Another step toward the perfect smartphone

Another step toward the perfect smartphone

When I say “the perfect smartphone” I of course mean the four-sided screen. That is the dream of the panel you hold in your hand without any sign of interruption – logos, buttons, or anything in-between. That dream is one step closer to reality now that phones are coming with a feature that’s going live thanks to a group called Goodix.

The folks at Goodix create several sorts of products, the most important of these being their “Innovative Biometric Solutions.” Most important to our subject matter today, that is to say. They’ve made clear over the past few weeks that they’re the reason why several early adopter manufacturers were able to bring an in-display fingerprint sensor to the market before anyone else.

Goodix created what they call “Goodix’s Optical IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR.” They’ve branded it in all caps like that because they’re VERY PROUD OF THEIR AWESOME NEW TECHNOLOGY. They’ve delivered this tech this week to the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. This is the super-duper-premium version of the Huawei Mate RS, a device which also rolls with a flexible OLED display.

There’s also a Goodix fingerprint sensor in the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, but they’re not under the display just yet. It’s not for lack of trying, as Goodix’s current solution works with both flexible and rigid OLED displays. They’ve also delivered an in-display fingerprint sensor to the vivo X21.

“The era of bezel-free smartphones has arrived, it is imperative to offer differentiating values through innovative products to excel in competitions,” said a Goodix representative this week. “Through five years of exploration, the commercialization of IN-DISPLAY FINGERPRINT SENSOR on PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS, and vivo X21 only marks the beginning.”

It’s a real deliverable now. Any phone without an in-display fingerprint sensor is going to look like it’s been left out in the cold from this point on. Every single one of them.

Original Text ►► Another step toward the perfect smartphone

Why PUBG on Android is better than Fortnite on iPhone

Android users rejoice, for the gaming experience in PUBG mobile is better than that of Fortnite mobile. This should quite obviously be understood as an entirely subjective sort of declaration, but my reasons are basic and, I believe, pretty universal. When I play Fortnite mobile, I die right away, and when I play PUBG mobile, I don’t die nearly quite so quick.

I Die

The intricacies of the game in Fortnite for iOS are encouraging. This is easily one of the most involved and awesome online games created for the mobile platform. Those gamers given the opportunity to play Fortnite mobile via invite are lucky, because this game is incredible. But there’s a big problem with this game, for me: I die.

I die right away, and I die pitifully. I get crushed pitifully early, and I rarely find the time to loot enough to put up a decent defense. This game is mobile, sure, but for me it’s too quick. Games on smartphones and tablets should be potentially quick. But with these games, I feel as though there’s a necessity that there be a LITTLE bit of a chance to live, or maybe even knock another player out.

I Live

With PUBG, PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds, for iOS and Android, there’s a chance for glory. There’s certainly still a chance that I might get headshot in the first 5 minutes, but there’s plenty of time for me to get out there and find a helmet. I can find my way into a building, suit up – or at least find a weapon – and be back out on the run before someone else spots me.

Over at Kotaku, author Cameron Kunzelman has similar thoughts on the PC and console-based versions of these same games. There, Kunzelman suggests that PUBG is slow, and that’s a good thing. When it comes to mobile, I say that’s doubly true.

On Small Bots

In Fortnite, the world feels too small. The chances are too high that I be killed in a span of time less than that of the span I waited for the game to begin. That’s just frustrating. In PUBG, even IF their strategy for new players is to put them up against what Reddit suggests are low-level bots, it’s working. It’s making me feel like I’m at least OK at the game, and the more time I play, the more I feel I have to lose if I don’t continue.

You Android gamers still waiting for the Android release of Fortnite, don’t worry. You’re not missing a lot. Not yet, anyway. We’ll be continuing to play both games well into the future, so we’ll let you know if anything changes.

Original Text ►► Why PUBG on Android is better than Fortnite on iPhone

Microsoft Edge launches support for iPad and Android tablets

The debate over which browser is the best has been going for nearly as long as the internet has been around. Though Microsoft’s Internet Explorer was once the butt of many jokes, the company has been doing some neat things with Microsoft Edge, which was introduced alongside Windows 10. If, by chance, Microsoft has managed to win you over with the features in Edge, then here’s a bit of good news: It’s available on more platforms beginning today.

Microsoft has announced that Edge is now available to everyone using an iPad or an Android tablet. We knew this day was coming up quickly, as Microsoft launched a beta test of Edge on iPads earlier this month. The fact that the browser is also coming to Android tablets today is a happy – though not entirely unexpected – surprise.

Edge on tablets is going look very similar to Edge on smartphones. There isn’t a whole lot that’s new here, aside from the obvious addition of support for larger screens. Edge’s “continue on PC” feature is also present in these tablet apps, so assuming your phone has been linked to your computer, you’ll be able to share webpages between the two with the tap of a button.

Other than that, though, these are essentially the smartphone apps optimized for the larger screen of your tablet. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but as The Verge points out, it means that Edge is missing some features you would expect on a tablet. This is especially evident in the iPad version of the app, which doesn’t have any kind of splitscreen support for the iPad Pro.

The hope, of course, is that Microsoft improves the tablet versions of Edge over time, instead of just optimizing them for larger displays and stopping there. We’ll see if Microsoft eventually launches some more tablet-friendly features for Edge, but for now, the newest version of the app can be found over on the iOS App Store [download] and the Google Play Store [download].

Original Text ►► Microsoft Edge launches support for iPad and Android tablets

Google Play Services start blocking uncertified Android devices

The Android platform is open source (though more like open source dump) and there’s no way to close that door anymore. Google, however, has found a way around it through its oh so essential Google Play apps and services. While OEMs had to comply with Google’s rules and certification requirements to officially ship with these, some have found ways around that, usually by side-loading GApps, as the bundle is called, themselves or telling users how to do so. Now it seems that Google is closing the door on that method but users of custom ROMs need not be too worried because Google is surprisingly giving them a special pass.

Google Play Services (sometimes called Google Mobile Services) is one of the more controversial aspects of the Android platform. Very few will deny how these apps and services are critical to providing a full Android experience. Google Play, however, is proprietary and therefore doesn’t ship with the open source Android code (AOSP). No one but Google has the legal right to distribute it and Google has used that to practically keep Android device manufacturers in line. If they want to ship their device with Google Play Services, then they better comply with Google’s rules.

There are always methods to go around this. Some would not ship with Google Play apps at all, like the Amazon Fire tablets or Xiaomi’s phones. Others would tell their users to sideload the package themselves, as is the case with custom ROMs. While the more daring OEMs do ship devices with Google Play already sideloaded for convenience.

Those last two methods might no longer work. There are reports coming in that such uncertified devices won’t be able to log into or sign up for Google apps and services. Sources claim that Google was already testing this for a year now but might finally be pushing the change to all devices via a Google Play update.

This naturally affects custom ROMs but they need not worry. Google actually isn’t completely slamming the door shut. You can register such an uncertified device on your own via a specially-made Device Registration web page. You will need to type in an “Android ID”, which is a long string of letters and numbers that you could get through ADB. Android IDs are also limited to only 100 devices per user and a new ID is generated every time you do a factory reset.

Original Text ►► Google Play Services start blocking uncertified Android devices

Foldable devices: why we’re excited and cautiously optimistic

So everyone’s going into foldable phones, even Apple it seems. But while Apple’s take isn’t due until 2020, or maybe even until much later, the news will undoubtedly make you wonder what the fuss is all about. And if the only examples of foldable phones you’ve seen are the ZTE Axon M and the even older Kyocera Echo, you will definitely be puzzled at the excitement it’s generating. Here are some of the reason why foldable phones and tablets are really the future and why you shouldn’t be holding your breath just yet.

Expanding views, maximizing space

Fold it any other way, foldable phones and tablets is really about the screen real estate. A phone that unfolds into a tablet means you have double the screen space. On the other hand, a phone that folds down to half its size means you need less space to store your phone. Tablets might even be able to fold out into a bigger canvas.

Smartphones have pretty much reach the apex of screen size. Any bigger and they cease to become usable phones. That’s why manufacturers are so obsessed with bezel-less screens, trying to reclaim even the smallest millimeter of space to increase the total screen area without increasing the phone’s size.

Everyone wants larger screens. No one, however wants larger devices. Foldable phones and tablets offer the best of both worlds, presuming they’re done properly.

Conforming to our needs

Smartphones have become so important in our lives that we are more likely to change ourselves to fit the device, be it fashion or habits. We are pretty much at the mercy of what form factors and sizes companies push on us (ironically citing consumer demand) and we move our life around those. But no one size fits all and smartphone size preferences are no different.

Foldable devices would at least give us some reprieve. Of course, we’d still be limited to a few fixed size configurations but, in the future, even those might give way to deformable, not just foldable, devices. Want a bigger screen? Simply unfold your phone rather than having to switch devices. Want to squeeze your device into your slim pocket? Simply fold it up and go. Devices will finally be able to change to fit our needs rather than the other way around.

Pushing boundaries

Foldable devices inspire the imagination and get creative juices flowing not just because of the near-impossibility of the hardware. They also tickle our fancy because of the almost magical things we might be able to do with these kinds of devices. Yes, they will still be touch-driven, maybe even stylus-driven, but they would still go beyond the user interfaces and interactions we currently have. We could have two different screens at the same time, seamlessly interacting with each other. Or have one gigantic screen instead.

That said, we also hit upon one of the big hurdles to this foldable future. The ZTE Axon M comes close to that dream but is tripped up by more than just a thin bezel in the middle. Our software, be it Android or iOS or even Windows, is far from ready for a dual-screen reality. Considering it took almost a decade for mobile platforms to accept go beyond the “one screen per app” model, it might take just as long for them to catch up with this upcoming trend.

Beyond current capabilities

One reason why platform makers aren’t in a rush to prepare software for that future is because they know the hardware isn’t even ready yet. Foldable devices are really pushing everything we know and have, both software and hardware, beyond their limits. Samsung and others have been working for years on foldable displays, and they’re not even close to getting it right.

And the display is just one, but an important, part of the equation. We will eventually reach the point where we’ll have to make other non-rigid components. And then we’ll hit on the most volatile and most explosive of them all: the battery.

Awkward first steps

Foldable devices are coming. They are inevitable though some will come later rather than sooner. The market wants it thought the market isn’t sure it’s ready to pay for it just yet. The first ones, however, will probably be disasters. They’ll be a far cry from the ideal future that manufacturers themselves have tried to paint. Some will be sold, many will be scrapped. Some might even give up. Hopefully they won’t, because foldable really is the future. It’s just a matter of how soon we’re willing to make it happen.

Original Text ►► Foldable devices: why we’re excited and cautiously optimistic