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Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Microsoft’s Android Ambition, Pixel 2 Secret Feature

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes some new colors for the Galaxy S9, new Qualcomm and Exynos chips for Android, the ambitions of Android Go, Nokia 8 reviewed, Microsoft updates OneDrive on Android, Pixel 2’s secret AI core activated, and power user tips for the Pixel 2 XL.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

A Bundle Of Colors

With the Galaxy S9 expected to deliver a number of iterative updates, the ‘fashion’ of Samsung’s flagship handset for 2018 will be one of the key marketing points. That means a splash of new colors will be one of the attractive features when the handset launches. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:

Yes, Samsung is looking to expand the number of finishes for the Galaxy S9 with SamMobile reporting purple, black, gold and blue will all be available for launch (and silver and grey likely to continue). The first of these is the biggest change as the others have all been seen on the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note ranges at some point.

More details here.

Making The Heart Of The S9

Samsung has started production of its next generation system-on-chip products. According to the press release, these will be used in handsets that will reach the market in the first months of 2018. That pretty much guarantees these chips will be destined to feature in the Galaxy S9. I reported on the news earlier this week:

Traditionally Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets have come with two flavours of system-on-chips – Samsung’s in-house Exynos SoC, and Qualcomm’s SnapDragon SoC. Because of the varying frequencies and systems offered by 4G networks around the world, Samsung needs to cover the various options so the Galaxy S handsets can be truly ‘world’ phones. That means mixing up the production with Exynos and Qualcomm.

More here on Forbes.

bd3e4_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Microsoft's Android Ambition, Pixel 2 Secret Feature

DJ Koh, President/Mobile Communications Business speaks at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event (Photo:Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

…But The S9 Has Two Hearts

That takes care of the Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 handsets. What about the SnapDragon side of things? Samsung is expected to receive the lions’ share of Qualcomm’s latest system-on-chip, the SnapDragon 845, which was announced this week. Expect many of next year’s Android smartphones to be running the 845. David Ruddock examines the offering:

Qualcomm detailed its next-generation chipset, the Snapdragon 845, at a press conference in Hawaii this morning. The chip features a ground-up redesign of the company’s Kryo CPU (now the Kryo 385) and Adreno GPU, marking a major evolution of the platform. The changes to the new Adreno 630 GPU will result in 30% faster graphics performance, and Qualcomm anticipates the platform as a whole will be up to 30% more power-efficient than Snapdragon 835, a chip that has already proven to be excellent on battery life.

More analysis at Android Police, and more details from Qualcomm.

No Memory? No Problem

Google continues to push Android towards lower-spec hardware which is far more accessible to many consumers in the world. Android Oreo (Go Edition) is the latest project, which is designed to run effectively on OEM handsets with 1 GB or less of RAM. It’s not available as a direct download. Rom Amadeo looks at the release:

Android Go was announced at Google I/O 2017 as a special configuration of Android 8.1 Oreo for low-end devices. The new configuration is meant for all Android devices with less than 1GB of RAM, and it strips down Android to use less memory, less storage, and run better on cheap phones. The goal with Android Go is capturing the so-called “next billion users.” Only about half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are online, and when these new users first log into the Internet, they’ll be doing it on the cheapest general-purpose computing device available: a smartphone. Google wants to capture this flood of new users, so Android Go and the “Go” Google apps are designed for these ultra-cheap devices with limited connectivity.

More at Ars Technica.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Leaks, Microsoft’s Android Ambition, Pixel 2’s Secret Feature

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes some new colors for the Galaxy S9, new Qualcomm and Exynos chips, the ambitions of Android Go, Nokia 8 reviewed, Microsoft updates OneDrive on Android, Pixel 2’s secret AI core activated, and power user tips for the Pixel 2 XL.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

A Bundle Of Colors

With the Galaxy S9 expected to deliver a number of iterative updates, the ‘fashion’ of Samsung’s flagship handset for 2018 will be one of the key marketing points. That means a splash of new colors will be one of the attractive features when the handset launches. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:

Yes, Samsung is looking to expand the number of finishes for the Galaxy S9 with SamMobile reporting purple, black, gold and blue will all be available for launch (and silver and grey likely to continue). The first of these is the biggest change as the others have all been seen on the Galaxy S or Galaxy Note ranges at some point.

More details here.

Making The Heart Of The S9

Samsung has started production of its next generation system-on-chip products. According to the press release, these will be used in handsets that will reach the market in the first months of 2018. That pretty much guarantees these chips will be destined to feature in the Galaxy S9. I reported on the news earlier this week:

Traditionally Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets have come with two flavours of system-on-chips – Samsung’s in-house Exynos SoC, and Qualcomm’s SnapDragon SoC. Because of the varying frequencies and systems offered by 4G networks around the world, Samsung needs to cover the various options so the Galaxy S handsets can be truly ‘world’ phones. That means mixing up the production with Exynos and Qualcomm.

More here on Forbes.

2c41f_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Leaks, Microsoft's Android Ambition, Pixel 2's Secret Feature

DJ Koh, President/Mobile Communications Business speaks at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event (Photo:Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

…But The S9 Has Two Hearts

That takes care of the Exynos-powered Galaxy S9 handsets. What about the SnapDragon side of things? Samsung is expected to receive the lions’ share of Qualcomm’s latest system-on-chip, the SnapDragon 845, which was announced this week. Expect many of next year’s Android smartphones to be running the 845. David Ruddock examines the offering:

Qualcomm detailed its next-generation chipset, the Snapdragon 845, at a press conference in Hawaii this morning. The chip features a ground-up redesign of the company’s Kryo CPU (now the Kryo 385) and Adreno GPU, marking a major evolution of the platform. The changes to the new Adreno 630 GPU will result in 30% faster graphics performance, and Qualcomm anticipates the platform as a whole will be up to 30% more power-efficient than Snapdragon 835, a chip that has already proven to be excellent on battery life.

More analysis at Android Police, and more details from Qualcomm.

No Memory? No Problem

Google continues to push Android towards lower-spec hardware which is far more accessible to many consumers in the world. Android Oreo (Go Edition) is the latest project, which is designed to run effectively on OEM handsets with 1 GB or less of RAM. It’s not available as a direct download. Rom Amadeo looks at the release:

Android Go was announced at Google I/O 2017 as a special configuration of Android 8.1 Oreo for low-end devices. The new configuration is meant for all Android devices with less than 1GB of RAM, and it strips down Android to use less memory, less storage, and run better on cheap phones. The goal with Android Go is capturing the so-called “next billion users.” Only about half of the world’s 7.6 billion people are online, and when these new users first log into the Internet, they’ll be doing it on the cheapest general-purpose computing device available: a smartphone. Google wants to capture this flood of new users, so Android Go and the “Go” Google apps are designed for these ultra-cheap devices with limited connectivity.

More at Ars Technica.

Apple Loop: Secret iPhone Leaks, Apple’s Terrible Software Week, iPhone X Defeated

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes the iPhone X losing in Consumer Reports survey, details on a new bigger iPhone, Apple’s new approach to power, a bad week for macOS and iOS, success for the AirPods, unlocked iPhone X’s for America, paying friends by IM, and the obsolete Mac Mini.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

iPhone X Beaten By iPhone 8

Unlike last year’s fun and games with the MacBook Pro’s battery life, Consumer Report has some positive words about the iPhone X… but it’s not the best smartphone. Samsung’s triumvirate of the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus, and Note 8 are ranked ahead of the X. But Apple did take the top spot. Step forward the iPhone 8 Plus. Chris Matyszczyk reports:

The consumer assistance publication contorts itself to be nice, like a British public head telling parents their child doesn’t quite measure up to the school’s requirements.

The X’s camera is “fanstastic” and the display is “beautiful.” The very best phones — among which the X found a place — are separated by a mere couple of points on a scale of 100.

The big question, however, is the phone’s durability. The respected publication concluded that the 8 and 8 Plus “both proved hardier in a test designed to reproduce the drops and fumbles that can cause cracked screens and other damage.”

More at CNet.

Bigger, Better, Cheaper iPhone 

More details are coming out around a larger screened iPhone due in 2018. The handset looks to be shipping with a 6.1 inch screen, but will be cheaper than the smaller iPhone X due to the use of LCD instead of OLED technology, and a metal backed chassis – which means no glass back and no wireless charging. Gordon Kelly investigates:

In a new report Nikkei says next year Apple will release its biggest iPhone yet with a monster 6.1-inch display and it is likely to be Apple’s cheapest iPhone as well.

Citing “a source privy to the company’s product designs” Nikkei states the 6.1-inch iPhone will cut costs by using an LCD display rather than the more expensive OLED introduced with the wallet burning iPhone X. It will also revert to an aluminium chassis which means no wireless charging, but also add benefit by dodging Apple’s truly horrific glass back repair charges.

More here on Forbes.

2aa6f_960x0 Apple Loop: Secret iPhone Leaks, Apple's Terrible Software Week, iPhone X Defeated

The new iPhone X is seen in the Apple Store Union Square prior to launch on November 3, 2017, in San Francisco, California (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

Power On Our Terms

More details have come out regarding Apple’s plans for power management in new iPhone. Currently this is managed by hardware supplied by a third-party company (Dialog), but Apple is ready to bring this in house using custom-designed silicon. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reports:

Speaking to two sources Nikkei said Apple is working on an in-house power management chip which will be “the most advanced in the industry” and deliver class leading power consumption monitoring and management. The end result: “expect devices capable of delivering better performance on lower power consumption.”

More here on Forbes.

Apple’s Bad Software Week

The recent flurry of software issues from Apple, from autocorrect problems and battery performance on iOS, to incredibly dangerous root user exploits on macOS, has dented Apple’s armour of bullet-proof coding. Mike Wutherlee looks back at the fallout, and discusses what happens next:

The fallout of the Root bug resulted in a series of crucial updates delivered through the App Store and automatically —with their own foibles. Another issue developed on Dec. 2 with the iOS Notifications center, culminating in the what appears to be pre-emptive release of iOS 11.2 on early Saturday morning.

If Apple actually planned the release at that time (which seems unlikely) the Saturday morning release was certainly unparalleled in Apple’s software release history.

The editorial and social media hue and cry for the virtual heads of Apple CEO Tim Cook or Senior Vice President Craig Federighi to be served up on a platter has begun. Should that happen, it will only make the situation worse.

Apple Insider has more.

Android keyboard app leaks personal data of 31 million users

72597_security-privacy-hackers-locks-key-6778 Android keyboard app leaks personal data of 31 million usersEnlarge Image


James Martin/CNET

Personal data for more than 31 million users of an Android keyboard app called AI.type has leaked online, according to ZDNet and researchers at the Kromtech Security Center

The app’s database server wasn’t password-protected, which meant anyone could access more than 577 gigabytes of personal data, according to the report that was released today. The data was eventually secured after ZDNet attempted to contact the app’s creator, Eitan Fitusi.

Fitusi said in an email that the database in question contained about 50 percent of users’ basic data “about user use patterns of the keyboard.” He said the app is not collecting, storing or sending any password or credit card information.

According to ZDNet, each user record contains the user’s location and basic info such as the user’s full name, email addresses and how many days the app was installed. 

72597_security-privacy-hackers-locks-key-6778 Android keyboard app leaks personal data of 31 million users

Android keyboard app leaks data on 31 million users

ANOTHER DAY, another dodgy Android app discovered, this time in the form of the personal data leaking ai.type Keyboard.

Uncovered by security researchers at Kromtech Security Centre, the keyboard app that offers an alternative to the native keyboards on Android and iOS devices was found to be extracting personal data from some 31 million users and flinging it over to an unsecured database server owned by the app’s co-founder Eitan Fitusi.

The data leak, according to the researchers, only affects the app on Android and not iOS, so iPhone users can keep feeling smug.

After the researchers apparently repeatedly tried to contact Fitusi, the app maker eventually added password protection to the database that held more than 577GB of user data, after it had been previously been left open to anyone who wandered by on the digital highways of the internet.

Had any of the malicious types that lurk on the web found the server they could have extracted all manner of user data, from full names, email addresses, and location, basically a treasure trove of information for people who get their kicks from identity theft and fraud.

Furthermore, security researcher Bob Diachenko noted that the app seemed to hoover up quite a lot of data for what would appear to be a simple keyboard tool.

“It raises the question of why would a keyboard and emoji application need to gather the entire data of the user’s phone or tablet? Based on the leaked database they appear to collect everything from contacts to keystrokes. This is a shocking amount of information on their users who assume they are getting a simple keyboard application,” he said.

Now it’s worth pointing out that the ai.type Keyboard app does note that it’ll suck up data and requires permissions to the user’s mobile contacts database, though it points out that “all information is locally stored on smartphone’s vocabulary”.

And the app touts privacy as a big focus, noting that text tapped into the keyboard is private and encrypted.

But the security researchers found that this isn’t the case, given that not only was there an unsecured server sitting full of user data, but the texts weren’t encrypted either as they were able to download and look through the database files where they found a table containing 8.6 million entries of text that had been typed into the keyboard app.

So pretty much the promise of privacy, which ai.type outlines on its website has appeared to have a strong whiff of BS.

Whether the data protection and encryption failings are deliberate or just down to some server setup fumbling, is still up for debate. We’ve attempted to contact ai.type for comment and clarification as to what the hell it was playing at.

Such breaches in data protection are worrying as ai.type Keyboard is a widely used app that’s been well reviewed and comes from a legit developer, basically raising the question as to who can you trust these days. We’ll console ourselves by sticking with default keyboards for the time being. µ

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Data of 31 million users of iPhone add-on keyboard ai.type potentially leaks

Conflicting accounts have emerged about a security breach involving the ai.type add-on keyboard for iOS and Android, with researchers claiming that 31 million people’s data has been compromised —with a user’s contacts also potentially included in the leak.

a73c9_23918-30783-aitype-l Data of 31 million users of iPhone add-on keyboard ai.type potentially leaks

The Kromtech Security Center discovered on Tuesday that a MongoDB database used to collect data on ai.type keyboard users was misconfigured, and was available on the internet. Contained in the database is reportedly “data and details of 31,293,959 users” of the ai.type keyboard.

According to the researchers, user information includes phone numbers, full names, device name and model, mobile network name, SMS number, screen resolution, user languages enabled, Android version, IMSI number, IMEI number, emails associated with the phone, country of residence, links and the information associated with the social media profiles including birthdates and photos, IP, and location details.

Making the situation worse, it appears that 6.4 million records contained data gleaned from a user’s Contacts, including names and phone numbers, leading to a total of 373 million records in the briefly publicly available database.

a73c9_23918-30783-aitype-l Data of 31 million users of iPhone add-on keyboard ai.type potentially leaks

Other information in the database includes average messages per day, words per message, and ages of users.

“It is logical that anyone who has downloaded and installed the Ai.Type virtual keyboard on their phone has had all of their phone data exposed publicly online. This presents a real danger for cyber criminals who could commit fraud or scams using such detailed information about the user,” said Kromtech’s Head of Communications Bob Diachenko. “It raises the question once again if it is really worth it for consumers to submit their data in exchange for free or discounted products or services that gain full access to their devices.”

Upon installation, ai.type asks for “Full Access.” If permission is granted, the add-on keyboard can transmit absolutely anything typed through the keyboard to the developer. However, the company claims that it will never use personal information it collects —but if Kromtech is correct, the company appears to have stored a fair amount of information from the user’s device anyhow.

Ai.type tells a different story about the data contained in the database —but does not deny that a database was available publicly for a period of time.

Speaking to the BBC, Chief Executive Eitan Fitusi says that the stolen information was a “secondary database.” Additionally, he claims that the IMEI information was never collected by the company, user data collected only involves what ads are clicked by the user, and that the location data wasn’t accurate.

Fitusi claims that the database has been secured since the breach.

The company that found the database, Kromtech, is the company that develops and sells the poorly regarded MacKeeper suite of applications.

AI.type virtual keyboard leaks personal data for 31 million Android users

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AI.type virtual keyboard leaks personal data for 31 million Android users

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Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade …

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

71410_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade ...

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade …

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

5c463_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade ...

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Apple Loop: Surprise New iPhone Model Leaks, iPhone X Black …

Taking a look back at another week of headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Black Friday success for iPhone X, MacOS root security issues, iOS 11 bugs, iPhone SE 2 leaks, fixing the MacBook Pro, Apple’s new power plans, developers on the Notch, and the slow death of jailbreaking.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

A Successful Black Friday For The iPhone X

Driven in part by the increased availability and shorter lead times, and the canny bundling of a gift card for the App Store, the digital tradition of Black Friday saw significant sales of the iPhone X. Gordon Gottsegen reports:

It was apparently a Black Friday bonanza for Apple. Over the long holiday weekend, buyers snapped up 6 million iPhone X handsets, according to analysts from Rosenblatt. The analysts estimate that this brings the total of iPhone Xs sold so far to about 15 million. That’s a lot of phones in just three weeks since the official sale date.

…The Rosenblatt analysts also point to the 256GB iPhone X being about twice as popular as the 64GB model. This may imply that people who are committing to buying the already expensive iPhone further splashed out for additional storage.

More at CNet.

Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

MacOS Faces Embarrassing Root Password Bug

Apple has rushed to address a critical flaw in MacOS High Sierra this week that would grant anyone root access to a MacOS powered machine… as long as they remember to log in without a password. Samuel Gibbs and Matthew Weaver report on the issues for The Guardian:

A serious security flaw was found in the latest version of Apple’s macOS High Sierra that could allow anyone to access locked settings on a Mac using the user name “root” and no password, and subsequently unlock the computer.

The security flaw, discovered a couple of weeks ago and disclosed in an Apple developer support forum, has been shown to work within the software’s user preferences screen, among other locations. Once triggered, the same combination will also bypass the lock screen of Macs running Apple’s latest operating system.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has a timeline of events. Apple has pushed out a mandatory update to its hardware, but the reputational damage will not be as easy to repair.

More Bugs In iOS 11

The latest ‘point update’ to iOS 11.1 addressed a number of small but annoying bugs. The last to be caught and tweaked was lurking inside the autocorrect system. While that has been fixed, another typo bug has been introduced. Gordon Kelly looks at the latest issues in the code:

In short: iOS 11 is once again having trouble allowing users to type basic words and letters. After iOS 11.1.1 automatically turned ‘i’ into ‘A[?]’, MacRumors revealed hundreds of iPhone owners running iOS 11.1.2 cannot type ‘it’ or ‘is’ without them being turned into ‘I.T’ or ‘I.S’. Given how common both these words are, affected users are being driven crazy.

Read more on the iOS 11 update here.

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone SE (image: Ewan Spence)

Will The iPhone SE Get A Hint Of X In 2018?

Apple has pushed the limits of its high-end flagship with the launch of the iPhone X. Will it disrupt the lower end of the portfolio in early 2017? Earlier this week I looked at the clues pointing towards an iPhone SE 2 in 2018:

Last week saw details leak out about a potential iPhone SE 2, to be manufactured by Wistron in India. Not only does Wistron already manufacture the SE, the Indian market is going to be one of the territories that should respond well to an update in the lower reaches of Apple’s portfolio.

The iPhone SE 2 doesn’t need that much to bring it up to the current high standards of the iPhone 8 family. It’s unlikely to pick up the expensive and troublesome FaceID circuitry, so staying with TouchID as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus should be sufficient. Bumping up the A9 chip to the current A11 Bionic would allow Apple to promote the SE 2 as a ridiculously powerful four-inch screened device, which would give those looking for an upgrade a great reason to do so.

More here on Forbes.

Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights New Pixel 2 Problems

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 hardware, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

0be63_960x0 Android Circuit: Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights New Pixel 2 Problems

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Apple Loop: Surprise New iPhone Model Leaks, iPhone X Black Friday Success, MacOS Security Nightmare

Taking a look back at another week of headlines from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Black Friday success for iPhone X, MacOS root security issues, iOS 11 bugs, iPhone SE 2 leaks, fixing the MacBook Pro, Apple’s new power plans, developers on the Notch, and the slow death of jailbreaking.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

A Successful Black Friday For The iPhone X

Driven in part by the increased availability and shorter lead times, and the canny bundling of a gift card for the App Store, the digital tradition of Black Friday saw significant sales of the iPhone X. Gordon Gottsegen reports:

It was apparently a Black Friday bonanza for Apple. Over the long holiday weekend, buyers snapped up 6 million iPhone X handsets, according to analysts from Rosenblatt. The analysts estimate that this brings the total of iPhone Xs sold so far to about 15 million. That’s a lot of phones in just three weeks since the official sale date.

…The Rosenblatt analysts also point to the 256GB iPhone X being about twice as popular as the 64GB model. This may imply that people who are committing to buying the already expensive iPhone further splashed out for additional storage.

More at CNet.

Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

MacOS Faces Embarrassing Root Password Bug

Apple has rushed to address a critical flaw in MacOS High Sierra this week that would grant anyone root access to a MacOS powered machine… as long as they remember to log in without a password. Samuel Gibbs and Matthew Weaver report on the issues for The Guardian:

A serious security flaw was found in the latest version of Apple’s macOS High Sierra that could allow anyone to access locked settings on a Mac using the user name “root” and no password, and subsequently unlock the computer.

The security flaw, discovered a couple of weeks ago and disclosed in an Apple developer support forum, has been shown to work within the software’s user preferences screen, among other locations. Once triggered, the same combination will also bypass the lock screen of Macs running Apple’s latest operating system.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has a timeline of events. Apple has pushed out a mandatory update to its hardware, but the reputational damage will not be as easy to repair.

More Bugs In iOS 11

The latest ‘point update’ to iOS 11.1 addressed a number of small but annoying bugs. The last to be caught and tweaked was lurking inside the autocorrect system. While that has been fixed, another typo bug has been introduced. Gordon Kelly looks at the latest issues in the code:

In short: iOS 11 is once again having trouble allowing users to type basic words and letters. After iOS 11.1.1 automatically turned ‘i’ into ‘A[?]’, MacRumors revealed hundreds of iPhone owners running iOS 11.1.2 cannot type ‘it’ or ‘is’ without them being turned into ‘I.T’ or ‘I.S’. Given how common both these words are, affected users are being driven crazy.

Read more on the iOS 11 update here.

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone SE (image: Ewan Spence)

Will The iPhone SE Get A Hint Of X In 2018?

Apple has pushed the limits of its high-end flagship with the launch of the iPhone X. Will it disrupt the lower end of the portfolio in early 2017? Earlier this week I looked at the clues pointing towards an iPhone SE 2 in 2018:

Last week saw details leak out about a potential iPhone SE 2, to be manufactured by Wistron in India. Not only does Wistron already manufacture the SE, the Indian market is going to be one of the territories that should respond well to an update in the lower reaches of Apple’s portfolio.

The iPhone SE 2 doesn’t need that much to bring it up to the current high standards of the iPhone 8 family. It’s unlikely to pick up the expensive and troublesome FaceID circuitry, so staying with TouchID as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus should be sufficient. Bumping up the A9 chip to the current A11 Bionic would allow Apple to promote the SE 2 as a ridiculously powerful four-inch screened device, which would give those looking for an upgrade a great reason to do so.

More here on Forbes.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia’s Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights Pixel 2 Problems

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new screen technology and biometrics from Samsung, leaked Galaxy S9 and Note 9 details, Google fixing some Pixel 2 issues, Nokia 8 moving to Oreo as Samsung works on software issues, OnePlus 5T’s Lava Red edition, and Google’s solution to the emoji cheeseburger.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Samsung Turns The Screen Around

If a smartphone is going to be truly bezel-free (as opposed to the marketing speak version of bezel-free) then the screen is going to have to wrap round all of the sides, and reach the back plate of the device. It looks like Samsung has worked out how to achieve this for a future device. Gordon Kelly reports:

Popular Dutch tech site LetsGoDigital has the scoop having uncovered a brand new Samsung WIPO (World International Property Office) patent which details how the company will build a completely bezel-less phone. And this is not ‘bezel-less’ like the meaningless marketing terms being thrown around by smartphone companies today. This is zero bezels, no notch, nothing.

The patent (WO/2017/204483) shows exactly how Samsung will achieve this. The company plans to use “bent areas” on the main display so it can curve 180 degrees around the top, bottom and sides of the smartphone.

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Fingerprint Secrets

How will you verify your identity on 2018’s Android devices? There’s more proof that Samsung is working hard on improving the ease of use of its fingerprint sensor, as a patent this week exposed a method of reading a fingerprint that is built into the main display assembly. I’ve taken a closer look at how Samsung could manage this:

The international patent was submitted in April 2017, while the Korean patent was filed during 2016, showing that this is a long-standing goal of Samsung’s design team. With smartphone design trending towards larger screens and smaller bezels (or curved edges that tuck the bezel out of sight) the beloved fingerprint sensor has generally been pushed to the back of the machine. It is a suitable surface from an engineering point of view but ergonomically tricky to get a comfortable fit for every user.

Apple’s solution on the iPhone is to switch to facial recognition. Samsung’s solution appears to be getting a fingerprint sensor that works in the main screen area.

Read more here on Forbes.

940c7_960x0 Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Hardware Leaks, Nokia's Oreo Upgrade, Google Fights Pixel 2 Problems

Samsung on August 23, 2017 in New York,unveiled a new model of its Galaxy Note (Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

But Is This an S9 or Note 9 Fingerprint Sensor?

The question now is when Samsung can roll out the new sensor. Although the ambitious choice would be to push it for the Galaxy S9. Given the reveal at CES is just over a month away the technology should be more widely leaked if it was going to be implemented. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly reckons the Galaxy S9 will miss out:

Given Samsung was long expected to fit the Galaxy S8 with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the news this technology has subsequently run late for both the Galaxy Note 8 and now the Galaxy S9 a year later will be a bitter pill to swallow for many. Especially with patents making it clear Samsung has been hard at work with on this for some time. So fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 9.

The second announcement ETNews has is less surprising. Its sources confirm Samsung will have no rival to the iPhone X’s Face ID 3D facial recognition system in the Galaxy S9. Instead the report claims Samsung will continue with the combination of an iris sensor and (less accurate and secure) facial recognition using the front camera. Whether this will annoy Samsung fans or see them nonplussed given the fingerprint reader is at least retained, remains to be seen.

More here on Forbes.

Google Prepares Fix For Broken Pixel 2

Following reports of Google’s new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL handsets suffering from random reboots, Mountain View has been looking for a fix. The issue has been found and an update is expected in the near future that will correct the problem Chaim Gartenberg reports:

Fortunately, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users will have one less thing to worry about soon, as Google has announced that it has identified a problem causing the phones to randomly reboot. It will be issuing a fix “in the coming weeks…” That could come either bundled as part of a monthly security update (which sometimes include Pixel fixes) or a future Android software release.

More at The Verge.

Apple Loop: Surprising New iPhone Leaks, Black Friday iPhone X Success, MacBook Security Nightmare

Taking a look back at another week of news from Cupertino, this week’s Apple Loop includes Black Friday success for iPhone X, MacOS security issues, iOS 11 bugs, iPhone SE 2 leaks, fixing the MacBook Pro, Apple’s new power plans, developers on the Notch, and the slow death of jailbreaking.

Apple Loop is here to remind you of a few of the very many discussions that have happened around Apple over the last seven days (and you can read my weekly digest of Android news here on Forbes).

A Successful Black Friday For The iPhone X

Driven in part by the increased availability and shorter lead times, and the canny bundling of a gift card for the App Store, the digital tradition of Black Friday saw significant sales of the iPhone X. Gordon Gottsegen reports:

It was apparently a Black Friday bonanza for Apple. Over the long holiday weekend, buyers snapped up 6 million iPhone X handsets, according to analysts from Rosenblatt. The analysts estimate that this brings the total of iPhone Xs sold so far to about 15 million. That’s a lot of phones in just three weeks since the official sale date.

…The Rosenblatt analysts also point to the 256GB iPhone X being about twice as popular as the 64GB model. This may imply that people who are committing to buying the already expensive iPhone further splashed out for additional storage.

More at CNet.

Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

MacOS Faces Embarrassing Root Password Bug

Apple has rushed to address a critical flaw in MacOS High Sierra this week that would grant anyone root access to a MacOS powered machine… as long as they remember to log in without a password. Samuel Gibbs and Matthew Weaver report on the issues for The Guardian:

A serious security flaw was found in the latest version of Apple’s macOS High Sierra that could allow anyone to access locked settings on a Mac using the user name “root” and no password, and subsequently unlock the computer.

The security flaw, discovered a couple of weeks ago and disclosed in an Apple developer support forum, has been shown to work within the software’s user preferences screen, among other locations. Once triggered, the same combination will also bypass the lock screen of Macs running Apple’s latest operating system.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber has a timeline of events. Apple has pushed out a mandatory update to its hardware, but the reputational damage will not be as easy to repair.

More Bugs In iOS 11

The latest ‘point update’ to iOS 11.1 addressed a number of small but annoying bugs. The last to be caught and tweaked was lurking inside the autocorrect system. While that has been fixed, another typo bug has been introduced. Gordon Kelly looks at the latest issues in the code:

In short: iOS 11 is once again having trouble allowing users to type basic words and letters. After iOS 11.1.1 automatically turned ‘i’ into ‘A[?]’, MacRumors revealed hundreds of iPhone owners running iOS 11.1.2 cannot type ‘it’ or ‘is’ without them being turned into ‘I.T’ or ‘I.S’. Given how common both these words are, affected users are being driven crazy.

Read more on the iOS 11 update here.

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone SE (image: Ewan Spence)

Will The iPhone SE Get A Hint Of X In 2018?

Apple has pushed the limits of its high-end flagship with the launch of the iPhone X. Will it disrupt the lower end of the portfolio in early 2017? Earlier this week I looked at the clues pointing towards an iPhone SE 2 in 2018:

Last week saw details leak out about a potential iPhone SE 2, to be manufactured by Wistron in India. Not only does Wistron already manufacture the SE, the Indian market is going to be one of the territories that should respond well to an update in the lower reaches of Apple’s portfolio.

The iPhone SE 2 doesn’t need that much to bring it up to the current high standards of the iPhone 8 family. It’s unlikely to pick up the expensive and troublesome FaceID circuitry, so staying with TouchID as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus should be sufficient. Bumping up the A9 chip to the current A11 Bionic would allow Apple to promote the SE 2 as a ridiculously powerful four-inch screened device, which would give those looking for an upgrade a great reason to do so.

More here on Forbes.

New iPhone Leaks Reveal Apple’s Small Surprise

As Apple sorts out the production issues and waiting time on the iPhone X, attention turns towards the other end of Cupertino’s iPhone portfolio. Currently that’s the iPhone SE, a derivative of the iPhone 5S launched in May 2016. There are indications Apple is ready to update its smallest smartphone with the promise of more power.

Unlike the iPhone 5C, which picked up an undeservedly poor critical reputation while selling incredibly well compared to competing Android products, the iPhone SE has carved out a respectable place in Apple’s iPhone portfolio. It’s helped by being the only small-screened model available, but with similar levels of power to the iPhone 6S

It’s also approaching two years since it was launched, and if you look at the standard carrier contract, a lot of people are about to be looking for a new and comparable device. Some might migrate towards the $1000 beast of the iPhone X, some may take a slight jump up to the still available iPhone 6S. But the majority will more than likely be happy with ‘same again but with a few new features’.

The market is ready for a second iPhone SE model in early 2018.

Ewan Spence

Apple iPhone SE (image: Ewan Spence)

Last week saw details leak out about a potential iPhone SE 2, to be manufactured by Wistron in India. Not only does Wistron already manufacture the SE, the Indian market is going to be one of the territories that should respond well to an update in the lower reaches of Apple’s portfolio.

The iPhone SE 2 doesn’t need that much to bring it up to the current high standards of the iPhone 8 family. It’s unlikely to pick up the expensive and troublesome FaceID circuitry, so staying with TouchID as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus should be sufficient. Bumping up the A9 chip to the current A11 Bionic would allow Apple to promote the SE 2 as a ridiculously powerful four-inch screened device, which would give those looking for an upgrade a great reason to do so.

The iPhone SE 2 feels a logical upgrade, and while Apple puts all the focus on the iPhone X the current SE sits at a high but obtainable price point for many. Surely it’s time to make sure that it stays up to date with modern hardware?

Now read more about Apple’s iPhone X’s financial strategy…

Samsung’s W2018 Android Flip Phone Leaks Again In Gold

9c1ea_4 Samsung's W2018 Android Flip Phone Leaks Again In Gold

List Of Samsung Galaxy Phones Set For Android 8.0 Update Leaks

62120_4 List Of Samsung Galaxy Phones Set For Android 8.0 Update Leaks

Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Design Leaks, Massive OnePlus 5T …

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Samsung Galaxy S9 release date, the Galaxy S9’s boring design, why the Pixel 2 beats the iPhone X, the launch of the OnePlus 5T, a review of the Razer Phone, Nokia’s promising update schedule, a closer look at the Mate 10 Pro, and first impressions of Google’s Pixel Buds.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Thoughts On The Galaxy S9 Release Date

The elephant in the Android-powered room for the first half of next year has to be Samsung. The launch and release of the presumptively named Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus handsets will dominate the digital headlines and be a notable road block for the competition to navigate around. And it looks like Samsung is returning to the schedule that has worked well in the past:

The launch is tipped to be at one of the main press conference at this year’s Mobile World Congress, taking place February 26 to March 1 in Barcelona. Samsung has tended to hold its press conference on the Sunday before, so Galaxy fans should keep the afternoon of Sunday 25th February free.

While that would be an earlier launch than this year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, don’t forget that these handsets were paused just before production started to allow the South Korean company to get on top of the battery issues in the incendiary Galaxy Note 7. That pushed back the launch and the public release into March and April respectively. Look back to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6 events, and you’ll see them taking pole position ahead of MWC.

More on the release date here.

D.J. Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, speaks during a showcase to mark the domestic launch of Samsung Electronics’ latest flagship smartphone Galaxy Note8  (Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

Samsung’s Safety First Option

What form will the Galaxy S9 take when it is revealed? Samsung is likely working on a number of form factors and choices, and one of the more conservative options was apparently on show this week. Although the CAD drawing remains on the lowest rung of confidence regards information, the principles of a ‘safety first’ option for the Galaxy S9 are clear:

It’s worth noting that the design does match up with recent leaks around next year’s flagship. It retains the ‘bezel free’ design and the lack of a physical home button on the front of the device. This has moved the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the presumptively named Galaxy S9. That sensor sits below the camera. The camera itself has a dual lens setup, and the shape of this isolated unit echoes the styling of the dual lens/flash/sensor on the Galaxy Note 8.

The front of the device shows Samsung’s by now familiar approach to the curved edge screen with another of its ‘Infinity Display’ units stretching from side edge to side edge, while reducing the top and bottom bezels. And yes there’s a button for Bixby on the side.

More here on Forbes.

Why The Pixel 2 XL Beats The iPhone X

Apple may have grabbed the media’s attention with the iPhone X, but the geekerati are looking carefully between Cupertino’s notched wonderslab and Google’s vision of the connected future in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.Many are coming to the conclusion that, hype aside, the Pixel 2 is the better family as Antonio Villas-Boas explains. I particularly like his point about the fast charger – Google consider it important enough to be in the box, while Apple considers it a profit generating peripheral:

Apple finally added support for fast charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, a genuinely meaningful feature that Android phones have had for years. It lets you get hours of battery life from just a few minutes of charging, which is incredibly useful when you’re in a pinch.

However, you’ll find a standard iPhone charger when you unbox the iPhone X, and you’ll have to buy separate accessories if you want to fast charge the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel 2 phones come with a fast charger included in the box. So, not only are the Pixel 2 phones cheaper, they don’t require you to spend more to take advantage of core features.

The full list is at Business Insider.

The new Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone is seen at a product launch event, October 4, 2017, at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, California (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

OnePlus 5T Announced

Breaking cover this week was the OnePlus 5T. Replacing the OnePlus 5 which was launched in the summer of 2017, the 5T retains the main hardware specifications of the 5 inside the chassis, but replaces the screen with a 18:9 ratio ‘bezel free’ design. That means the fingerprint sensor is round the back, but the addition of facial recognition through the self camera is an interesting security unlocking method. Vlad Savov has more:

I spent some time with the OnePlus 5T ahead of today’s announcement, and I can say that its ergonomics haven’t suffered one iota from the major change in display. Yes, the fingerprint sensor is now on the rear rather than the front, but it’s still every bit as fast as it’s always been, and OnePlus has added a new face-unlocking feature for those moments when you want to access the phone while it’s sitting on a surface. The face unlock simply uses the front-facing camera, it’s nowhere near as complicated as Apple’s Face ID, but it still works with surprising accuracy and speed. If I value convenience higher than security, I’d use and recommend it without hesitation.

More at The Verge. I’ve also had my hands on the 5T and while i’m not ready to do a full review yet, three features have caught my eye. Read about them here on Forbes.

Android Circuit: New Galaxy S9 Design Leaks, Massive OnePlus 5T Launched, Pixel 2 Beats iPhone X

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Samsung Galaxy S9 release date, the Galaxy S9’s boring design, why the Pixel 2 beats the iPhone X, the launch of the OnePlus 5T, a review of the Razer Phone, Nokia’s promising update schedule, a closer look at the Mate 10 Pro, and first impressions of Google’s Pixel Buds.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

Thoughts On The Galaxy S9 Release Date

The elephant in the Android-powered room for the first half of next year has to be Samsung. The launch and release of the presumptively named Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus handsets will dominate the digital headlines and be a notable road block for the competition to navigate around. And it looks like Samsung is returning to the schedule that has worked well in the past:

The launch is tipped to be at one of the main press conference at this year’s Mobile World Congress, taking place February 26 to March 1 in Barcelona. Samsung has tended to hold its press conference on the Sunday before, so Galaxy fans should keep the afternoon of Sunday 25th February free.

While that would be an earlier launch than this year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, don’t forget that these handsets were paused just before production started to allow the South Korean company to get on top of the battery issues in the incendiary Galaxy Note 7. That pushed back the launch and the public release into March and April respectively. Look back to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S6 events, and you’ll see them taking pole position ahead of MWC.

More on the release date here.

D.J. Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, speaks during a showcase to mark the domestic launch of Samsung Electronics’ latest flagship smartphone Galaxy Note8  (Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

Samsung’s Safety First Option

What form will the Galaxy S9 take when it is revealed? Samsung is likely working on a number of form factors and choices, and one of the more conservative options was apparently on show this week. Although the CAD drawing remains on the lowest rung of confidence regards information, the principles of a ‘safety first’ option for the Galaxy S9 are clear:

It’s worth noting that the design does match up with recent leaks around next year’s flagship. It retains the ‘bezel free’ design and the lack of a physical home button on the front of the device. This has moved the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the presumptively named Galaxy S9. That sensor sits below the camera. The camera itself has a dual lens setup, and the shape of this isolated unit echoes the styling of the dual lens/flash/sensor on the Galaxy Note 8.

The front of the device shows Samsung’s by now familiar approach to the curved edge screen with another of its ‘Infinity Display’ units stretching from side edge to side edge, while reducing the top and bottom bezels. And yes there’s a button for Bixby on the side.

More here on Forbes.

Why The Pixel 2 XL Beats The iPhone X

Apple may have grabbed the media’s attention with the iPhone X, but the geekerati are looking carefully between Cupertino’s notched wonderslab and Google’s vision of the connected future in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.Many are coming to the conclusion that, hype aside, the Pixel 2 is the better family as Antonio Villas-Boas explains. I particularly like his point about the fast charger – Google consider it important enough to be in the box, while Apple considers it a profit generating peripheral:

Apple finally added support for fast charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, a genuinely meaningful feature that Android phones have had for years. It lets you get hours of battery life from just a few minutes of charging, which is incredibly useful when you’re in a pinch.

However, you’ll find a standard iPhone charger when you unbox the iPhone X, and you’ll have to buy separate accessories if you want to fast charge the new iPhones. Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel 2 phones come with a fast charger included in the box. So, not only are the Pixel 2 phones cheaper, they don’t require you to spend more to take advantage of core features.

The full list is at Business Insider.

The new Google Pixel 2 XL smartphone is seen at a product launch event, October 4, 2017, at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco, California (Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP/Getty Images)

OnePlus 5T Announced

Breaking cover this week was the OnePlus 5T. Replacing the OnePlus 5 which was launched in the summer of 2017, the 5T retains the main hardware specifications of the 5 inside the chassis, but replaces the screen with a 18:9 ratio ‘bezel free’ design. That means the fingerprint sensor is round the back, but the addition of facial recognition through the self camera is an interesting security unlocking method. Vlad Savov has more:

I spent some time with the OnePlus 5T ahead of today’s announcement, and I can say that its ergonomics haven’t suffered one iota from the major change in display. Yes, the fingerprint sensor is now on the rear rather than the front, but it’s still every bit as fast as it’s always been, and OnePlus has added a new face-unlocking feature for those moments when you want to access the phone while it’s sitting on a surface. The face unlock simply uses the front-facing camera, it’s nowhere near as complicated as Apple’s Face ID, but it still works with surprising accuracy and speed. If I value convenience higher than security, I’d use and recommend it without hesitation.

More at The Verge. I’ve also had my hands on the 5T and while i’m not ready to do a full review yet, three features have caught my eye. Read about them here on Forbes.




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