Kernel Sources Released for the Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P10

Under the GNU General Public License (GPL), any modifications made to the Linux kernel must be publicly shared if users have access to the binary. Android itself is licensed under the Apache Software License which doesn’t require modifications of AOSP to be open sourced. But because the underlying kernel in Android is Linux-based, all OEMs are legally obligated to release kernel sources … eventually. Though OEMs are required to release kernel sources, some take their sweet time to do so.

It’s been a few months since the Huawei Mate 9/Mate 9 Pro and Huawei P10/P10 Plus were released, but at long last the kernel sources for each of these models have been released. These devices are all running on the HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC which is the SoC found in the latest flagship Huawei and Honor smartphone models. Some people assumed that when Linaro and Huawei announced the release of the HiKey 960 ARM development board that AOSP development would soon follow for Kirin 960 based devices as they share the same SoC. However, device specific drivers were still required in order to get a functioning AOSP port over to these devices, which is not something that came with the release of the HiKey 960 board.

But that will soon change, thanks to this move. Developers can now start building AOSP-based ROMs that will at last start to boot on the Mate 9 and P10 series. Compare the development sections of the aforementioned devices with that of the Honor 8, which already has a handful of AOSP-based Nougat ROMs thanks to the release of kernel sources a week ago. All that’s left for these devices to finally receive stable AOSP ports is the blood, sweat, and tears of developers – something that we certainly can’t take for granted.


Download Kernel Sources for the Huawei Mate 9 or Mate 9 Pro
Download Kernel Sources for the Huawei P10 or P10 Plus

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Computex 2017: Intel and AMD Bring Former Server Territory To Consumers

It wasn’t but a few weeks ago when XDA finally got an extended look at AMD’s Ryzen processors and the associated AM4 platform. The response I heard from many of our readers was that it was finally time for them to upgrade, especially open source teams that were looking to change out their 6 and 8 core team “build boxes” at home. But after what was announced since the events at Computex last week in Taipei, anyone considering upgrades to multi-user or heavy build use machines should really hold off right now. Why? Because more is coming. And while some of it makes absolute sense, other parts of the announcements last week left the enthusiast community scratching our collective heads in confusion.

Missed some of that news? Well, let’s get into then.

Core X Family Information (Intel Press Kit)

Intel: Enter Core X

Intel was due for a motherboard change and finally the third iteration of Socket 2099 will be its last. In its place comes Socket 2066, but along with it came a surprising set of processors. Rather than the expected 6, 8, and 10 core solutions, a 4-core Core i5 and 4-core, 8-thread Core i7 were added to the product list. The new product pricing falls pretty much in line with what we would expect for their respective series until we get to the 8 and 10 core solutions. But here is where we start to see a dramatic change: the 8 core processor has been reduced 40% over the previous generation pricing. The 10 core processor also gets a near-similar reduction in percentage and is rebranded from a Core i7 to the entry point for a new Core i9 product line. Additional products from 12 to 18 core counts have been announced but as shown in the graphic above does not give us much information to go off of at the moment.

All of this sounds great – until we take it in context with the Haswell-E and Broadwell-E product line that it’s replacing. Cost reductions are a great thing and it’s fair to believe that this is a response to Ryzen. Prior to and immediately after the launch there was no response from Intel at all. It’s no secret that given AMD’s previous struggles with Bulldozer and Excavator led many to be cautiously optimistic with Ryzen’s launch. Why should Intel make a change until it sees the market response?

The other issue with this is the relationship of its high end consumer lineup with that of its enterprise Xeon branding. In most cases up to Broadwell-E, the enthusiast consumer products (formerly Extreme Edition) were normally rebranded Xeon processors with, in some cases, slight microcode changes. When it comes to pricing though they’ve been usually similar, for good reason. Why would enterprise customers not go instead with a cheaper consumer version? The new Core X lineup addresses that by reducing the PCI Express lane count from 40 to 28 in the 6 and 8 core CPUs. The Core i9 product line gets an increase to 44 lanes.

To those of you scratching your head at this: you’re not alone. This means that Intel is offering pricing more expensive than Ryzen and the one reason most people could justify that move with – the additional PCI Express lanes – is now gone. Why would Intel make this move? It’s basically asking most of that market now to either hold tight for at least another cycle until a more competitive product comes out or throw down for an entire overhaul with the benefit of getting 10 cores instead of 8. And even there, it’s asking for you to pay $400 more for those two cores and four threads. Given that this is only half of the equation announced at Computex and that the details on the very high end are scarce, it’s hard to make a recommendation to go Intel at the moment.

The only reason that I can even remotely think of why Intel would be willing to take this much of a hit on the consumer side is to try and protect its Xeon market share. It’s no secret that enterprise sales are the “bread and butter” of most of the tech industry. But this also ignores one other factor: the entry of AMD’s server compliment to the Ryzen consumer line. It gives Intel time, likely until the fourth quarter, to keep pushing server sales and offering incentives to keep that going as long as possible. After that sales numbers for the previous quarter may force a strategy change.


AMD: Ryzen Expands, Continues Disruption Strategy

AMD came to Computex with a heavy portfolio, announcing the spread of the Ryzen architecture to pretty much all of its processor segments. On the server side the Epyc (a.k.a.”Naples”) counterpart to Ryzen’s consumer lineup was announced to have a June 20th launch date as was the professional launch of the Vega Frontier Edition on June 24th. Also reinforced was Ryzen’s plan to start entering the mobile and lower desktop segments later this year.

Since before Ryzen launched, a rumor had been floating around regarding the filing of a trademark called Threadripper. Because of the odd name many, myself included, thought this might be a code name only; we were shocked during the Financial Analyst Day presentation when the high end processor was confirmed. At Computex, AMD went even further and gave us more expectations on a single slide – and on that single slide, put Intel’s announcements the previous day into doubt whether or not it was wanting to challenge AMD in this realm any longer.

What was confirmed when this slide appeared, in the webcast, is that all Threadripper processors will:

  • Utilize AMD’s upcoming X399 Platform. The socket is the same size as Epyc, which isn’t a surprise that AMD is taking a similar strategy from Intel and making many of its enterprise products available in a consumer version.
  • Support quad channel DDR4, something that outside of servers has only been available so far on the X99/X199 Intel platforms.
  • 64 – yes, you are reading that right, 64 – PCI-Express lanes. At a minimum it will overshadow the 10 core Intel Core i9 solution. This staggering count eclipses Intel’s highest single socket count of 40 and even their newly announced high of 44 lanes.

Obviously with an announcement like this all eyes are now on AMD to respond with details on product levels and pricing. We reached out to AMD but was informed that no additional details were available yet. Hopefully once the Epyc product line details are revealed we can start to get a better view of what this will look like. Based on AMD’s current Ryzen strategy it’s likely that they will continue their trend of offering competitive product levels to that of Intel but at a lower price point.


The Takeaway From Computex

When it comes to the PC consumer market the heat in the kitchen seems to be rising along with the temperatures of the season. But if you’re looking at all this processor porn and wondering what’s right for you, it still comes down to what your workload is. For the majority of consumers at this point, including those doing Android open source builds for only a few devices, our Ryzen review found that the strategy AMD is offering makes it well worth your consideration. But if you’re a team looking at a new multi-user or heavy build (i.e. Jenkins) system, or other cases where your CPU workload is already being maxed out on either an 8 core Ryzen or Core i7, then the best advice right now is what we said at the beginning of this article – which is to hold off for now and wait for what’s coming.

The next question many will have is obvious: how long will you have to wait? Threadripper is already confirmed to come this summer. When exactly – we don’t know – but some common sense suggests that absent some unforeseen supply issues, Threadripper will launch in August. AMD has already announced the launch of its high end consumer graphics, the RX Vega, at SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. AMD isn’t going to want to miss a prime time for students to buy and build their systems, especially ones that are both AMD in CPU and GPU. That means that Threadripper, for maximum sales, will need to come within that month as well. A quick peek at the August calendar suggests Hot Chips, towards the end of the month, would be a perfect time and venue to launch, especially since it was where the details of the architecture were detailed to the public last year.

As for Intel, I wouldn’t expect them to take too long. The fact that they felt it necessary to announce something at Computex suggest that they, contrary to previous beliefs, may want to counter Ryzen and Threadripper as quickly as possible. The Core X lineup up to 10 cores are supposed to be coming out by the end of the quarter and expect the remainder of the lineup, again barring supply issues, to be out sometime before the end of the year. I personally think we may even see them try to pull a proverbial rabbit out of a hat on the higher core counts. It was a wise move leaving most of the information on the Core i9 tier empty for now, especially if they have flexibility in the processor architecture which would allow them to offer something similar or better than what AMD has already announced with Threadripper.

This trend continues to bring only good news to consumers. In a span of less than a year we have gone from 8 cores being the highest consumer processor available to soon 18 cores and 36 threads. All at prices that were unthinkable last year. Furthermore, for our open source communities this means the time to upgrade or create a heavy duty build machine is at its best in years. It’s great to have competition in the processor market again.

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Nubia Launches the Z17 Mini with Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC in India for ₹19,999 ($310)

ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia has launched the Mini variant of their newest Z17 flagship in India. The Nubia Z17 Mini focuses on photography and performance in the mid-range segment.

The Nubia Z17 Mini comes with a metallic unibody that has become popular in recent years. The front of the device is dominated by the 5.2″ FHD LTPS LCD display. The gold colored trimming around the fingerprint sensor on the back, as well as what we presume is a capacitive home button on the front, give the device a unique look to differentiate from the sea of similar looking devices in the Indian market.

The Nubia Z17 Mini is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 SoC, a definite downgrade from the Snapdragon 835 on the flagship Z17 but a competent SoC nonetheless. The Snapdragon 652 is complemented by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage as well as options for microSD expandability. The phone also has a USB Type-C port and a 2,950 mAh battery which should be sufficient for a phone of its size. The Z17 Mini runs on Nubia UI 4.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Nubia is focusing a lot on mobile photography with this smartphone. The rear setup comprises of dual 13MP Sony IMX258 sensors with f/2.2 aperture. The dual camera setup uses a RGB sensor and a monochromatic sensor for better detailing in lower light scenarios. The front camera is a 16MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture for the selfie-obsessed. The Nubia Z17 Mini also throws in several software improvements to allow for better and creative uses of its camera.

The Nubia Z17 Mini is available for registration at Nubia’s website, while the phone will be available on Amazon.in from June 12th 2017. The Nubia Z17 Mini will cost ₹19,999 ($310) in India.

What are your thoughts on the Nubia Z17 Mini? Should OEMs continue to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 65x SoC’s in mid range devices? Let us know in the comments below!

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Official LineageOS 14.1 Builds for the Google Nexus 9

Time has not been too kind for the Google Nexus 9 tablet. From the very start, many reviews panned the tablet for its less than stellar build quality. Years in, users have likely started to notice their tablet become fairly slow and laggy.

But thankfully, the fact that it is a Nexus device means users don’t have to deal with the stock software. Custom ROMs and kernels are always an option to breathe life into your old Nexus 9, and today the most popular custom ROM officially comes to the Google tablet. Nightly builds of LineageOS 14.1, based on Android 7.1.2, will be released for the device for those of you who want to keep your tablet running smoothly for the foreseeable future.


Get LineageOS 14.1 on the Nexus 9

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OnePlus 5 Will Be Officially Unveiled On June 20th

During the last few weeks, OnePlus has been teasing some aspects of the OnePlus 5. Although we’ve known since last month that the device will launch this summer, we haven’t had an official announcement date pegged – until now.  Prepare your wallets, as the OnePlus 5 is set to be officially unveiled on June 20th at 12 PM EST.

Apart from the fact that the device will feature the Snapdragon 835 SoC and that its camera has been tweaked in collaboration with DxO, there are still many aspects of the device we have yet to learn about. But that will change come June 20th.

In an e-mail sent to subscribers of the OnePlus newsletter,

Friends,

Ever since we dropped the news that the OnePlus 5 is on its way, we’ve been bombarded with questions. When are you launching the new phone? Where can I buy it? Does it have *insert feature*? We’re excited to announce that we’ll be sharing the answers to these and other questions soon.

Join us live at 12:00 PM EDT on June 20 for the exclusive online reveal of the OnePlus 5. During our official keynote, we’ll talk at length about what makes the OnePlus 5 special. But, the celebrations don’t end there! Following our keynote, we hope to see you at our pop-up events around the globe.

Want to learn more? Check out our launch page now for more information on the OnePlus 5 launch, and keep checking back for more updates soon.

See you soon!

Never Settle.

We have learned that OnePlus is going to host a number of live pop-up events. The company will have them mostly in Finland (Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu, and Turku), but also in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris, London, Berlin and New York. You can find more details about those events on the official landing page linked below.


Source: OnePlus

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Using a Flip Phone in 2017 – Samsung Galaxy Folder 2 Review

Two weeks ago we showed off quite an usual phone, well, unusual in today’s world. The Samsung Galaxy Folder 2, with its flip-phone design, turned quite a few heads when it was first released. Miles had the honor though of putting the phone through its paces. Watch the video above to see the full review, or click here to see the unboxing and first impressions.

 

Flip phones were always better to call with

Gaming on flip phone though, not so much

Summary

The phone definitely stands out from any other phone on the market. That may – or may not – be a good thing, but we are quite glad that Samsung is not afraid to try something different. Even if that means trying to reintroduce a design that many thought would be extinct. The phone is still only available in China, but we hope to see it arrive soon in other countries.

 

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As Google Neglects Tablets, Apple and Microsoft Advance the Convergence of Mobile and Desktop Computers

A little over one year ago, Google did what many of us expected them to do: announce Android app support in Chrome OS. As is the case with every Google announcement, this was in early beta stages and would not release to consumers for a few months.

Still though, there was hope — hope for Android, or at least part of Android, to thrive on a maturing ecosystem where the woes of the failure of its tablet ventures would not inhibit future growth as it currently does. Rumors only ignited our wishes by teasing us with a future where Chrome OS and Android would converge, propelling Google towards a new market of hybrid devices.

“The phone is dead”, is a phrase that gets thrown around quite a bit, and I strongly disagree with it; however, there is no objection that phones just are not quite as exciting as they once were. No matter how large of a display you put on a phone, at the end of a day it is still a phone and there is only so much productivity you can accomplish on such form factor. So to “get things done”, many users have resorted to multiple devices, with the second being a productivity-focused but user-friendly device that can both travel with them, and act as a work station of sorts. Here is where the market diverges from everyone having a phone to some people steering towards cheap Android tablets and iPads, others towards a 2-1 or Microsoft Surface device, and some to Chromebooks. But each of these come with their own caveats.


Google’s Failure

If you choose a Chromebook, you have no application support outside of Chrome Web Apps, which have their usefulness but have certainly not turned out to be quite as robust and mainstream as Google would have hoped. When it comes to productivity you have the Google productivity suite in Drive which is excellent, but honestly outside of productivity and web browsing Chrome OS is just boring, unless you start customizing it with Linux. Google has tried to fix this with the aforementioned Android apps for Chrome OS, but after 1 year now Google has still to deliver anything resembling stable enough for the mainstream, and the project is still broken. Further, even if Android apps were stable and you had the ease of use of Chrome OS but you want a tablet-first experience, you are out of luck as no such Chrome OS device exists.

The best Android tablet was never the best tablet.

If you look at the Android tablet market, or lack thereof, you will be similarly distraught as the only somewhat-decent mainstream device you can buy is the recently announced Samsung Tab S3, the tablet virtually everyone forgot about already, but that’s only 4 months old. It does not get any better when you look at the software either, as calling Android poorly-optimized for large screen devices is doing it a justice. This does not just apply to the applications either, the entire operating system has gradually shifted away from being optimized for large format devices, except for some slight, mostly-cosmetic UI enhancements that honestly feel like a slap in the face when you look at the larger less efficient changes. To Google’s credit, they are making strides in this capacity with Android Nougat and the upcoming O update, but it may just be a case of too little too late at this point.

Recommended Reading: The Misfortunate Pixel C: A Gigantically Insufficient Leap for Android Tablets

Users like myself who have owned Android tablets since nearly day 1 have been burned time and time again by promises of better support and better applications, but one look at the barren wasteland of Android “tablet apps” and poor optimization reveals they are just empty promises that Google has not backed up or supported. Maybe October will finally bring a Chrome OS or Android Tablet that can do what the Pixel did for Google’s line of phones, but the Pixel C was supposed to be that tablet nearly 2 years ago, and it has had no impact on the ecosystem at large.


Surface Boom

Microsoft however, has been perfecting its Surface brand for the last 5 years. They initially hinged its mainstream future on the mistake that was Surface RT, only to fall back to fully embracing its well developed x86 market and offering older Surface devices at discounted prices better suited to attract the common tablet purchaser. The Surface brand is a productivity juggernaut offering everything Chrome OS does, plus the flexibility of decades of legacy software and development. It’s detachable tablet system and full keyboard array is the perfect balance of on the go, and sit at a desk and get things done. When in laptop mode it works like a laptop and when in tablet mode, it has a touchscreen… and where Windows falls flat on its face, 5ft from the starting point. The Windows store is a barren wasteland where 1st party applications simply don’t exist, and just about everything sucks.

With all its flaws, a Surface still offers a better tablet experience than Android

One of the Surface line’s strengths. legacy applications, is one of its biggest hindrances in tablet mode, with even worse optimization than Android apps on tablets. Some apps do not recognize the touch keyboard and while you can always summon it manually it just covers most of the content with no reflowing or resizing, and this occurs on so-called UWP applications. Other mainly legacy applications, are so small that using them is a test of micro precision and others are so slow you might as well grab your phone and do it there. The problem with Surface, is that unless you spring northward of $1,299, your experience will be severely limited. Even with the top line models, they all suffer if you plan to use it as a tablet, with tablet ease of use, in a tablety way. With the keyboard it is a productivity monster, but little of that transfers when it is disconnected. And even then, it can still do the basic things Android tablets just as well with the right apps, and then everything else a desktop can do but with a touchscreen (and a little bit of patience).


An Actual iPad Pro

Apple has placed its prospects in this space on the iPad, which would be the polar opposite of what Microsoft is accomplishing with the Surface. Where the Surface offers little in terms of its use as a tablet, outside of offering a touchscreen experience, the iPad is the reigning king of the space… but where the Surface shines in productivity the iPad falls far behind. But Apple knows this, and instead of doing what many of us might have hoped for and offered a MacOS-powered iPad, they instead are slowly turning iOS into MacOS for this large form factor. Switching applications quickly and using multiple applications at one time was not a strong point for the iPad until just last year, and even to this day the interface still feels like a phone trying to do more than it was designed to do. Apple is changing this in a large way with iOS 11 though, by offering a more robust multi-tasking system that allows you to not only see more, but do more.

The addition of the MacOS style dock that supports recently run, and docked applications and folders looks to be the starting point of replacing the need to ever use the poorly-scaled home screen. Apple paid special attention to how multi-screen applications should work, and while there is room for improvement as far as free scaling applications goes, this workflow that Apple is offering works for many cases that a tablet or small laptop is used for. Drag and drop, quick shortcuts with a keyboard, and a solid near-desktop-class browser round out a compelling package. You can have multiple applications at once, in split-screen, free-form, or a combination (for 3 applications at once), all working together with intuitive controls that are very-clearly designed with tablets in mind. It looks smooth and fluid, and will surely be enhanced by the 120hz display of the new iPad Pro. 

 

The icing on the cake, though, is the Files manager. Crazy, right? Apple has been (rightfully) mocked for years for ignoring such feature, yet now that it’s here, it’s a perfect implementation for their touchscreen device. If this system works like the demos are displaying, it stands to upend everything we know about iOS being limited from a productivity standpoint. Support for multiple file sources like Dropbox and Google Drive are enhanced with the native file system that looks to allow out-of-application storage and support various programs, and not just Apple’s own services which are quite lacking. Productivity has always been Apple’s Achilles’ heel when it came to the iPad, no matter how hard the user tried to make it work, work was always held back. That changes with iOS11 and if Apple’s focus at WWDC and the media feedback is anything to look at, this is going to be a very exciting space to keep an eye on as we see the convergence of the best tablet experience with seriously enhanced productivity


Do or Die

Google is in a tight spot, as they’ve ignored their tablet platform for years, in turn stunting the growth of both Android in larger form factors, and the tablet space as a whole. A tablet-optimized Android with navigation and multi-tasking features like those iOS currently has, would at least better-entice customers and perhaps bring back some fire to the tablet space. However, it is Microsoft and Apple who are truly (and finally) innovating by absolutely exploiting the convergence of their mobile and desktop platforms. The iPad is increasingly-resembling MacOS, while Microsoft intends mobile devices to converge with Windows desktops through both a continuous design language, and Continuum as a platform. We’ve gotten to the point where both Microsoft and Apple have met their desired targets: one offers a tablet that’s now able to serve as a productivity device, while the other offers a productivity device that doubles as a tablet. Both come with their strengths and flaws, sure — but strengths they have, while Google has absolutely nothing we can look forward to beyond the cosmetic or inconsequential, with no clear path towards the unraveling future of computing in enterprise and education, which clearly resides in these hybrid setups.

In effect, moving navigation buttons to the sides or altering the recents menu just won’t cut it. Look a few years back, when three tablet heavy weights duked it out for dominance — Surface Pro vs. iPad Pro vs. Pixel C. Not only was the Pixel C dead last in every respect, but Google has been left in the dust because virtually nothing has changed since, while Microsoft’s Creators’ Update further enhanced their Surface devices, and this new iPad Pro release makes on-the-go simple productivity intuitive and manageable on a large touchscreen. We can’t overstate how key that last bit is — for years, tablets have been held back by their inability to multi-task, manage files, and share files or information across services in an intuitive, touch-friendly way, and Apple just managed to figure that out while we still can’t see proper freeform support on Android, let alone a healthy repertoire of tablet apps.

With Andromeda being supposedly shelved, what’s left for Google? The tablet space might have been in dire need of saving, but there is certainly a renaissance with the boom of hybrid devices spearheaded by Microsoft, and now being co-opted by Apple. Android tablets were good enough for media consumption, the primordial paradigm of tablets up until very recently. Now, Google’s competitors are showing us that tablets can be used for productivity, and that tablet user interfaces can lend themselves to more-advanced use-cases with the right design and navigation techniques baked into the software. With ARM support for Windows, for example, we’ll likely see Microsoft’s vision of hybrid computers expand to new horizons, while Apple’s software solution can reach not only millions of new companies, but also current iPad users. Maybe a Pixel tablet is needed, or maybe further convergence between ChromeOS and Android, but one thing is certain: Google has made no moves in a sleeper market that’s being reaped to exhaustion by its competition, and if the company doesn’t act swiftly, it might be missing a hell of an opportunity.


What do you think Google should do about tablets? Leave a comment and discuss with us!

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Unofficial Port of Jolla’s Sailfish OS 2.1 Available for the OnePlus 2

Jolla’s Sailfish OS is an interesting and refreshing take on what a modern day smartphone OS could look like outside of the conventional options.

While OnePlus 2 owners are still waiting for the official Nougat release from OnePlus, why not try out something different? XDA Senior Member nyl has brought the opportunity to try out Sailfish OS to OnePlus 2 owners.

This release of Sailfish OS 2.1 is based on CyanogenMod 13 sources. A pre-alpha build is available for users to install. Since it is a pre-alpha build and very much a Work-in-Progress, bugs are expected. What works in this build is basic features like booting into the GUI, Display, Touchscreen, Sound, Vibration and RIL. You do need to flash a CyanogenMod 13 build before flashing the build, and also need to flash the developer’s kernel.

Check out this SailfishOS port in our OnePlus 2 forums!

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Amazon Working on New ‘Ice’ Smartphone

Two years ago Amazon put a nail in the coffin and effectively killed off its Fire smartphone. One of the biggest tech companies is working on a new lineup of smartphones codenamed Ice, the reports suggest.

Saying that the Amazon Fire phone was a big flop is an understatement. The device used Fire OS, which was a weird flavor of Android lacking Google Mobile Services, and riddled with little Amazon features. It was also very expensive taking its hardware specification as a merit, though subsequent price drops and sales made it a decent value. Users were also reporting software issues that should not really happen in a top tier device, though.

Fire Phone was a disaster for Amazon

 

The Fire Phone carrying Amazon’s logo quickly flamed out. AT&T dropped the price from $200 to $0.99 in just two months after release. Three months after the launch, Amazon took a $170 million charge to wipe out the lost value of its unsold Fire Phones, adding that it still had $83 million in inventory at the end of that period.

Unlike the Fire Phone, which had been aimed at Western markets, Amazon plans to release its Ice smartphone in India. Considering how many cheap Chinese devices are already available in India, Amazon faces quite a bit of competition, given these OEMs operate on razor-thin margins and sport cheaper Mediatek SoCs in their devices.

We still don’t know much about the phone that is internally called the Ice. One person close to Amazon has seen the device and gave some details about its specifications. The smartphone will have a display between 5.2-inches and 5.5-inches diagonal. Other specifications of the phone include a 13-megapixel rear camera, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The unimpressive setup is completed with octa-core Snapdragon 435 SoC and a fingerprint scanner on the back. Surprisingly, the Amazon’s phone will not come with Fire OS, but Android 7.1.1 with Google AI Assistant and the set of Google services. The phone didn’t have Alexa on it, but this might change before the announcement. Amazon didn’t have a chance to launch its voice-activated personal assistant in India before.

The Amazon Ice, or whatever it will be called, will be announced this year, according to the report. The device is likely to be priced at around Rs6,000 (~$93). Will Amazon succeed this time? Time will tell.

Do you think that Amazon has a chance attract customers in emerging markets? Let us know in the comments.


Source: Gadgets 360°

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Android Security Bulletin Released for June 2017; Update Starts Rolling out to Pixels and Supported Nexus Devices

Right on schedule, Google has released Android monthly security bulletin for the month of June along with updated security patches for recently discovered vulnerabilities. This month’s security bulletin includes fixes for a wide range of vulnerabilities ranging from critical to low levels.
Google has again provided two security patch strings to make it easier for OEMs to fix common vulnerabilities across the Android platform. Security patch level 2017-06-01 is a partial string that ensures all vulnerabilities up to the date 2017-06-01 have been addressed while security patch level 2017-06-05 (full) indicates that all vulnerabilities associated with security string level 2017-06-05 including all previous patch levels have been addressed. Google notes the most severe of all patched vulnerabilities is a critical vulnerability in Media Framework that could allow a remote attacker using a malicious file to cause memory corruption during media file and data processing. Luckily, Google has had no reports of active customer exploitation or abuse of any of these patched vulnerabilities.

Apart from addressing security flaws, this month’s security update also contains a fix for freezing issues that many Pixel owners were experiencing:

There is a fix included in the June security update that should address many of the freezing issues that have been reported. The update is starting to roll out via OTA today and will continue to roll out over the coming weeks. Freezing and general device performance issues can be caused my many different things, so please continue to update this post with your individual experiences after accepting the June security OTA.

As usual, security updates will be rolled out to the Pixel devices and supported Nexus devices in the coming weeks via an OTA update. In case you don’t want to wait for automatic roll-out, Google has also provided the factory images and full OTAs for manually flashing.

Links for the factory images and full OTAs for the Pixels and supported Nexus devices can be found below.

Device Build Version Factory Image Full OTA Image
Pixel XL NJH47B Link Link
Pixel XL – Verizon NHG47N Link Link
Pixel XL – Deutsche Telekom NJH34C Link Link
Pixel XL – T-Mobile, Fi carriers, and Rogers NKG47L Link Link
Pixel (sailfish) NJH47B Link Link
Pixel – Verizon NHG47N Link Link
Pixel – Deutsche Telekom NJH34C Link Link
Pixel – T-Mobile, Fi carriers, and Rogers NKG47L Link Link
Pixel C (ryu) N2G47W Link Link
Nexus 6P (angler) N2G47W Link Link
Nexus 5X (bullhead) N2G47W Link Link
Nexus 6 (shamu) N6F27E Link Link
Nexus (fugu) N2G47X Link Link
Nexus 9 LTE (volantisg) N4F27E Link Link
Nexus 9 WiFI (volantisg) N9F27C Link Link

 

Source: Android Security Bulletin [1] Source: Pixel User Community [2]

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