6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

Credit: Ben Patterson

Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.

Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with…

Multiple user profiles

Given all the innovations coming to the iPad courtesy of iOS 11, from the ability to drag-and-drop elements from one side of the split screen to the other and the new, persistent app dock, you’d think Apple would toss in a feature that’s been standard on Android for years: user profiles, perfect for letting family members in a one-iPad household create their own personal iPad spaces.

Multiple user profiles

Ben Patterson

If you’ve been waiting for Android-like user profiles to arrive on iOS, bad news: they’re still missing in iOS 11.

For whatever reason, though (privacy concerns, perhaps?), Apple has yet again passed on adding user profiles to the iPhone or iPad. That means if you share your iPad with your toddler or teenager, you’re sharing all your iPad data, too, including your e-mail, your open browser tabs, your Facebook app, everything.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

Android has really spoiled me with its “automatic rules” for Do Not Disturb mode. With automatic rules, you can set up multiple Do Not Disturb schedules for weeknights, weekends, meetings, and any other scenarios you dream up. For example, I have Do Not Disturb set to turn itself off early (as in 6 a.m.) on weekday mornings, while on weekends, Do Not Disturb keeps things quiet until about 8.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

Ben Patterson

Android’s “automatic rules” let you create multiple Do Not Disturb schedules, as opposed to the single Do Not Disturb schedule in iOS 11.

In iOS 11, though, Do Not Disturb mode still lets you set only a single schedule, meaning you can’t set Do Not Disturb to give you more quiet time on weekends or during meetings.

Yes, the new “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature (which automatically silences notifications whenever your iPhone senses you’re driving) is a nice innovation, but it’s too bad iOS 11 didn’t catch up to Android’s Do Not Disturb features.

Search the entire screen

As with previous versions of Apple’s mobile software, iOS 11 lets you perform quick web searches on selected text via Spotlight, iOS’s universal search feature. That’s helpful if you want a deep search on a narrow selection of text, but sometimes I’m looking for a broader search of everything on my screen.

Scan the screen

Ben Patterson

Android’s “screen search” feature lets you do a one-tap Google search on everything that’s on your screen, a feat that iOS 11 has yet to master.

Here’s where Android’s Screen Search feature comes in handy. With a single tap of the What’s on my screen button in Google Assistant, Android will scan the entire screen and return any relevant search results, handy if you want a quick, 360-degree cheat sheet on a news article or web page. Pretty neat, and there’s no real equivalent on iOS, not even once iOS 11 arrives.

Clear all app windows

Here’s an Android feature I’d sorely miss even though I know it’s more cosmetic than anything else. The “Clear All” button on Android’s Overview screen instantly closes all your open app windows, leaving you with a soothing “No recent items” message when you tap the Overview button again. For a neat-freak like me, tapping the Clear All button never gets old.

Clear all app windows

Ben Patterson

The “Clear All” button on Android’s Overview screen might be the feature that Android-to-iOS 11 switchers miss the most.

On iOS, though—and yes, this includes iOS 11—there’s no easy way to clear out the massive stack of app windows on the multitasking screen, forcing you to flick up on dozens of individual windows until the coast is clear.

Now, I’m sure iOS comes with marvelous under-the-hood tools that manage the resources used by your apps and automatically suspends those that have been sitting untouched in the background for too long.

Still, though, I know it’ll kill me the first time my thumb reaches for the non-existent Clear All button on my new iPhone 8 (assuming I actually make the big leap).

Delete all local photos & videos from the Photos app

You’ve probably heard about the new storage-saving features in iOS 11, particularly when it comes to the storage-hogging Photos app.

Delete all local photos & videos from the Photos app

Ben Patterson

iCloud Photo Library will help shave some of the storage space consumed by your iPhone snapshots, but Google Photos for Android can wipe all local pictures and videos, perfect for keeping photo storage to an absolute minimum.

For example, Apple announced support for a new image format (HEIF, for “High Efficiency Image Format”) that can halve the amount of storage gobbled up by your snapshots.

Also coming in iOS 11: shortcuts that do a better job of recommending storage-saving features like iCloud Photo Library, which uploads all your pictures and videos to the cloud and then automatically pares down the number of images sitting on your iPhone or iPad.

Those are worthwhile improvements, but here’s something I’d sorely miss if I went back to iOS: the “free up space” feature in Android’s Photos app, which instantly zaps each and every local snapshot and video stored on your handset.

Thanks to the “free up space” feature, photos take up less than 100MB of space on my 16GB Nexus 5X. On the other hand, the Photos app on my old iPhone 6 consumes a ridiculous 17GB of storage, even with iCloud Photo Library turned on (and yes, with the Optimize iPhone Storage option enabled).

Bonus tip: The iOS version of Google Photos has a “free up space” feature just like its Android counterpart, meaning you could clear up tons of storage space on your iPhone or iPad by uploading your photos to Google and then using the “free up space” option to delete your local copies. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re using Google Photos and iCloud Photo Library at the same time, wiping your local images and videos with Google Photo’s “free up space” feature will also delete those photos from iCloud, so make sure all your local image files are safely backed up first.

Symbol shortcuts on iPhone letter keys

As with the latest version of Google Keyboard for Android, iOS 11 will bring symbol shortcuts to letter keys on the iPad keyboard, handy for saving a few keystrokes when you need to type a number key, an ampersand, or another common symbol.

Symbol shortcuts on iPhone letter keys

Ben Patterson

Thanks to iOS 11, symbol shortcuts on letter keys (shown here on Google Keyboard for Android phones) are finally coming to the iPad; not so for iPhone, unfortunately.

That’s a welcome change, but unfortunately, iOS 11’s so-called “QuickType” keyboard is only coming to iPad, not iPhone. Now, you could argue that the iPhone keypad is too small for symbol shortcuts, but the shortcuts on Google Keyboard work just fine on my five-inch Nexus 5X.

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Firefox Focus Browser With Built-in Ad Blocker Comes to Android

Firefox Focus Browser With Built-in Ad Blocker Comes to Android

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Firefox Focus now available for Android users
  • It was launched for iPhone and iPad users last year
  • It comes with built-in ad blocker

Mozilla last year launched the Firefox Focus privacy-minded browser for the iPhone and iPad. The new browser from Mozilla is finally available on Android.

Much like the iPhone and iPad version, the new Firefox Focus app for Android allows users to browse the Internet without being tracked by “tracking ads,” which essentially track user behaviour without any consent, and also slow down the Web on a mobile device. The biggest attraction of the browser is that it comes with built-in ad blocker which means it works automatically without the need to switch on the feature. Apart from blocking ad trackers, Firefox Focus can also block analytic trackers and social trackers.

Mozilla has introduced some new features to Firefox Focus for Android like ad tracker counter, which counts the number of ads that are blocked per site while using the app; disable tracker blocker, which lets users disable the tracker blocker for some sites that are not loading correctly, and notification reminder, which reminds users when the Focus browser is running in the background. The Focus browser will also users erase browsing history, passwords, and cookies with just one tap.

After being available on App Store for over six months, the Firefox Focus is now available to download via Google Play.

Barbara Bermes, Product Manager, Firefox Mobile announcing the Android availability said, “I’m thrilled to announce that we’re launching our Firefox Focus mobile app for Android. For Android users we also made Focus a great default browser experience. Since we support both custom tabs and the ability to disable the ad blocking as needed, it works great with apps like Facebook when you just want to read an article without being tracked. We built Focus to empower you on the mobile web, and we will continue to introduce new features that make our products even better.

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Sega launches free retro game collection for iPhone and Android

Image result for Sega launches free retro game collection for iPhone and Android

Sega is bringing some of its best retro games to your smartphone. Today the company announced a new service called Sega Forever, which is essentially a lineup of classic games from the company that will be available on both iOS and Android. Each game will be available for free — you can pay $1.99 to turn off ads — and will include modern features like cloud saves, Bluetooth controller support, and online leaderboards. (Sega notes, however, that you can still play each game offline.)

At launch, five Sega Genesis games will be available, including the original Sonic the Hedgehog (which was already previously available on mobile), Comix Zone, Altered Beast, Kid Chameleon, and Phantasy Star II. “As the Sega Forever collection expands through months and years,” the company explains, “it will include both official emulations and ported games that pan all Sega console eras, each adapted specifically for mobile devices while remaining faithful to the original games.”

The developer says that following the launch of the first five games, additional titles will be added to the collection every two weeks. The debut Sega Forever games will launch tomorrow globally on both iOS and Android.

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Hands-on: The Honor Magic looks out of this world

We saw the launch of a couple of concept smartphones from Chinese OEMs at the tail end of 2016, with one being the bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix, while the other was a part of the Honor series by Huawei. Here at CES 2017, we got to spend some time with the latter. Here is a closer look at the Honor Magic!

The first thing that will stand out to you about the Honor Magic is its design. The device features curved glass on both sides as well as the top on the front and back, and with a metal frame to go along with it, the design and build quality of the Magic is absolutely top notch.

We saw the launch of a couple of concept smartphones from Chinese OEMs at the tail end of 2016, with one being the bezel-less Xiaomi Mi Mix, while the other was a part of the Honor series by Huawei. Here at CES 2017, we got to spend some time with the latter. Here is a closer look at the Honor Magic!

The first thing that will stand out to you about the Honor Magic is its design. The device features curved glass on both sides as well as the top on the front and back, and with a metal frame to go along with it, the design and build quality of the Magic is absolutely top notch.

The Honor Magic features some impressive hardware as well. Up front is a 5-inch display with a Quad HD resolution, which some may consider overkill for a screen of this size. Under the hood is an in-house 2.3 GHz octa-core processor backed by 4 GB of RAM. You get 64 GB of internal storage, and keeping everything running is a 2,900 mAh battery. On the back is a 12 MP dual camera setup, and up front is a 8 MP shooter.

Apart from the fantastic and unique design, another big feature that sets the Honor Magic apart from the rest is the built-in artificial intelligence that works by taking advantage of existing sensors like the proximity sensor. Additional sensors include an infrared sensor, and even the metal frame itself works as one.

There is a lot the AI can do with this package of sensors, such as have the device automatically wake up and turn on the display whenever you pick up the phone. The device also has the ability to scan your face using the infrared sensor in order to recognize you, and it will only show you notifications on the lockscreen if it knows that it’s you that has picked up the phone. It’s a great way to avoid other people being able to see snippets of your messages and emails on the lockscreen, and the impressive part is that it can be set up to work with or without spectacles.

On the software side of things, the Honor Magic is running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but instead of the regular Emotion UI that you may be familiar with from other Honor smartphones, the Magic is running what Honor is calling the Magic Live UI. This is what allows a lot of the AI to work, and it is quite a different experience not only from Huawei’s own user interface, but any software experience you may be used to.

It is a lot cleaner and much more simplistic take on Android, and it doesn’t feel cartoon-ish or intrusive. There are some useful features baked in of course, including some Google Now-esque actions. For example, a tracking number for a package you are waiting for, or a boarding pass for a flight you have to catch will pop up on your phone when the time is right.

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

Google Assistant supports continuous conversations on Android TV

Google Assistant, which launched with the Pixel phones back in October and is soon coming to Android TV, is quite a useful feature. By using it, you can control certain functions of your device with your voice and save a bit of time in the process.

But Google’s Assistant is not without faults. Although it can continue a conversation based on context, you still have to activate it by saying “OK Google” before you ask a question, which can get annoying after a while and just makes the experience unnatural.

It looks like Google is aware of this issue and is making a few changes that will improve how Assistant works. Well, at least on Android TV. According to a video posted online by Android Police, Google’s Assistant on Android TV supports continuous conversation mode. What this means is that after you get a response to your question, Assistant will keep listening for a little while just in case you want to ask it something else. If you want to continue the conversation, you can ask whatever you’re interested in without activating the voice assistant first by saying “OK Google”.

The feature really does make a difference if you’re using Assistant on a daily basis. That’s why we would love to see it on other Assistant enabled devices including the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and Google Home.  Unfortunately, Google hasn’t commented regarding this topic yet so, for now, all we can do is wait and hope that the online search giant will eventually bring the feature to other tech gadgets.

 

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

Report: Samsung set itself a huge shipments target for the Galaxy S8

Samsung apparently has big expectations regarding the upcoming Galaxy S8. According to a report from The Investor, Samsung wants to ship 60 million units of its flagship device in 2017, a big step up from the previous Galaxy S generations.

Samsung shipped 45 million units of the Galaxy S6 and 48 million Galaxy S7 devices. Increasing shipment by 25 percent to 60 million units means that the upcoming flagship will have to bring quite a few new and interesting features to the table that will spark consumer interest. Especially after the whole Note 7 fiasco, which didn’t do the company’s reputation any good.

The report also states that the rumors claiming the Galaxy S8 will be released a month later than its predecessor are true. The tech giant will start manufacturing the device in March and begin shipping it to retailers in mid-April.

Some market analysts don’t believe that Samsung will be able to achieve its ambitious goal of shipping 60 million units of its flagship device this year. The high-end smartphone market is getting more and more competitive, as we have seen a lot of great devices, like the OnePlus 3T, that offer a better price-performance ratio than Samsung’s Galaxy S series. The South Korean company is already taking a beating in India, where it’s losing ground against Chinese brands.

Keep in mind that these is just speculation for now. Samsung has proven many times that it knows how to make great phones that sell extremely well on the market. The Galaxy S8 just might surprise market analysts and achieve or even surpass its goal.

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

Wrists-on with Garmin’s new fenix 5 lineup at CES 2017

If you’re a serious athlete that’s been looking for a powerful multisport fitness watch, odds are you’ve stumbled across Garmin’s fēnix line of devices. While they are quite pricey, the fēnix 3 line has proven to be one of the most powerful multisport watches on the market.

At CES 2017, Garmin has unveiled three new entries to its fēnix lineup, the fēnix 5, fēnix 5S and fēnix 5X.

As the names might suggest, all three of these new devices are in the same family, so they all sport most of the same features. There are a few big differentiators between the three, though. The fēnix 5S, for instance, is a lighter, sleeker and smaller version of the standard fēnix 5. The fēnix 5 is the standard model, sporting all the same features as the 5S in a bigger form factor. The 5X is the highest-end device in the bunch, complete with preloaded wrist-based mapping.

The fēnix 5 is the standard model of the group. Measuring 47mm, it’s more compact than previous models like the fēnix 3HR, but still packs all the multisport features you’d come to expect from the series.

Garmin says the fēnix 5S is the first watch in the line designed specifically for female adventurers. Measuring just 42mm, the 5S is small and comfortable for petite wrists, without compromising any multisport features. It’s available in silver with either a white, turquoise or black silicone band color options with a mineral glass lens.

There’s also a fēnix 5S Sapphire model with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens that’s available in black with a black band, champagne with a water-resistant gray suede band, or champagne with a metal band. This model also comes with an extra silicone QuickFit band.

fenix 5X

The higher-end fēnix 5X measures 51mm and comes preloaded with TOPO US mapping, routable cycling maps and other navigation features like Round Trip Run and Round Trip Ride. With these new features, users can enter how far they’d like to run or ride, and their watch will suggest appropriate courses to choose from. The 5X will also display easy-to-read guidance cues for upcoming turns, allowing users to be aware of their route.

In addition, the 5X can use Around Me map mode to see different points of interest and other map objects within the user’s range to help users be more aware of their surroundings. This model will be available with a scratch-resistant sapphire lens.

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

 

Asus ZenFone AR hands-on: Tango, Daydream, 8GB of RAM, oh my!

CES 2017 is in full swing and some of the coolest smartphone announcements at the show are coming from Asus. The Taiwanese manufacturer revealed a ZenFone 3variant equipped with dual cameras and optical zoom, but it’s actually the ZenFone AR that really piqued our interest, thanks to a combo of great specs and advanced features from Google.

The ZenFone AR is the first high-end Tango phone (and the second overall, after the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro), the first phone that supports Tango and Daydream VR, and the first smartphone with 8GB of RAM.

That’s a lot of premieres, so let’s take a closer look at what the Asus ZenFone brings to the table, live from CES 2017.

As mentioned, the ZenFone AR will be the second commercially available Tango-ready smartphone, but unlike the Phab 2 Pro the ZenFone AR is much sleeker looking, more manageable in the hand, and a lot less bulky.

The phone has a full metal frame that wraps around the entire perimeter of the phone and on the back there’s a very soft leather backing that feels extremely nice and also provides a lot of grip.

Also on the back is a 23MP camera, as well as the optical hardware needed to run Tango applications – this includes sensors for motion tracking and a depth sensing camera. The Tango module takes up the space where the fingerprint sensor is usually found on Asus phones, so the sensor is now placed on the front, embedded in the physical home button, which is flanked by capacitive keys.

If you’re still somehow not familiar with what Tango is, here is a very brief explanation. Tango is an augmented reality (AR) platform created by Google. Born from Google’s advanced technologies labs, Tango eventually graduated last year to become a real product. Tango-equipped phones can understand the physical space, by measuring the distance between the phone and objects in the real world. In practice, that means Tango phones can be used for AR applications like navigating through in-door spaces, but also for more recreational purposes like games. There are currently over 30 Tango apps in the Play Store, with dozens more coming this year.

Besides Tango, ZenFone AR also supports Daydream VR, Google’s virtual reality platform for mobile devices. As such, it’s compatible with Daydream View and other Daydream headsets and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a good time using mobile VR applications on it.

The phone has all the specs you’d want on a VR-focused device, including a large, bright, and beautiful 5.7-inch Super AMOLED screen with Quad HD resolution and a Snapdragon 821 processor inside (sadly, it won’t get the brand-new Snapdragon 835, as we were hoping). The ZenFone AR will come with either 6GB of RAM or a whopping 8GB of RAM, a first for any smartphone.

All those hardware features will tax the system, so the ZenFone AR includes a vapor cooling system to help prevent the phone from overheating when using its AR and VR capabilities.

As all Daydream-ready devices, the ZenFone AR is running Android 7.0 Nougat, but not without Asus’ ZenUI customizations on top of it.

 

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

TSMC wants to build a new factory for 5nm and 3nm chips

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TSMC wants to make chipsets even smaller – I mean, who doesn’t? That means more room for other components all the while being more power-efficient. But before we get ahead of ourselves, the reality is that these 5nm and 3nm chipsets are a long way away. After all, TSMC hasn’t even unveiled its 10nm chips yet. According to leaked documents, TSMC will begin 10nm production this year for next iPhone’s A11 chipset.

However, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant certainly seems to be looking ahead as the competition to produce smaller and smaller chips grows. Nikkei Asian Review reports that TSMC is planning on building a $16 billion advanced chip facility in order to maintain its lead in the global market:

We’re asking the government to help us find a plot that is large enough and has convenient access so we can build an advanced chip plant to manufacture 5-nanometer and 3nm chips.

Easier said than done, however. The smaller the chip, the more advanced it is, but also the harder it is to manufacture. TSMC has previously said that the company is looking to push out 7nm chips by 2017 and 5nm chips by 2020, but I personally think that’s overly optimistic. Mass producing 10nm chips is hard enough as it is – and that’s precisely why Samsung is one of the very few companies with the necessary resources to do it. Thermal challenges as well as other optimization issues are going to take a significant amount of time to be addressed fully when it comes to even smaller structures.

Thermal challenges as well as other optimization issues are going to take a significant amount of time to be addressed fully when it comes to even smaller structures.

The race to see who produces the smallest chips the fastest will continue, but it is highly unlikely that we will see anything smaller than 10nm before 2018 or later.

 

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]

LeEco planning major business changes as financial woes continue (Update: LeEco says it is committed to US market)

leeco-le-s3-hands-on-6-of-13

In a statement sent to The Wall Street Journal, a LeEco spokesperson stated that it is currently investigating why its stock price had dropped close to eight percent on Tuesday, and thus made the decision to halt trading. The spokesperson added that the company is “in the process of planning major matters, which are expected to involve integration of industry resources.” Exactly what types of changes are in the works are currently unknown.

Less than two months ago, LeEco was holding a big press conference in San Francisco, announcing its official launch of products in the US. That included its Le Pro3 and Le S3 Android smartphones. However, the press conference was an odd affair, full of unconnected buzzwords and demos of products like an Android-based bicycle that may now never come to market.

Since then, rumors about the company’s financial issues have continued, even though LeEco announced it had raised $600 million in new financing. Last week, sales of its phones began in the US at its own LeMall website, along with Amazon, Target and Best Buy. However, the company could decide to make an early exit from the US market as part of its upcoming changes.

 

 

[Source:- Androidauthority]