What you can expect from Android O

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The next version of Android, still just named “O” for now, is almost here. The Android O release candidate has just been released. And, unlike earlier Android releases, more users than ever should be able to use the new Android, thanks to Google’s Project Treble.

Project Treble has redesigned Android to make it easier, faster, and cheaper for manufacturers to update devices to a new version of Android. It does this by separating the device-specific, lower-level software — written mostly by the silicon manufacturers — from the Android OS Framework.

This change, which is being added in Android O, is actually this release’s most important new feature by far. While it will be invisible to users, it’ll enable smartphone vendors and carriers to bring new releases of Android to smartphones in weeks or months instead of the months and years (or never) we now see. It’s also expected to reduce Android fragmentation.

A new stable vendor interface between Android and the vendor’s hardware implementation bridges the gap between operating system and firmware. With this stable interface providing access to Android’s hardware-specific parts, device makers can deliver a new Android release to consumers by just updating the Android OS framework with no additional silicon coding.

In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA), the Android O development team said, “We’re working closely with device makers and silicon manufacturers to both get required Android customizations (such as carrier-specific requirements) into AOSP, and reduce their cost and complexity when updating to the new version of Android. For example, Sony and Qualcomm have already contributed dozens of features and hundreds of bug fixes into AOSP [Android Open Source Project) so they no longer need to rework these patches with each new release of Android.”

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM ANDROID O:

The only people certain to get the release are using Google phones. Specifically, you’ll get it on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, the Pixel C tablet, and the forthcoming Pixel 2

Faster boot and application start times – Google promises that with Android O, you’ll see faster boot times and applications launches. Overall, Android O will have snappier performance from the same hardware than what you’re seeing from devices running Android Nougat.

Picture in Picture (PiP) mode – With Nougat, you can already run apps in split-window mode, but this enables you to have an app that supports it running on top of another app. So, for example, if you want to watch a YouTube video while downloading files, you can do that.

Improved battery life – Who doesn’t want more battery life? Android O uses restricted background activities to squeeze out more minutes. This de-prioritizes background functions. This is in addition to improvements to Doze, which turns off idle applications. The net result could be as much as an hour or two more of battery life.

Contextual press-to-act options – I’m looking forward to this one. Android O will learn what you want to do when you click on information in an application. Say, as I did yesterday, I had to copy and paste an address from an email and then paste it over to Google Maps. It’s doable, but it’s difficult. After I do it a time or two on Android O, the system will work out I want to use Maps to get directions when I press on an address, and it will automatically start me on my way.

Improved Bluetooth audio – Tired of sub-par Bluetooth audio? Android O comes with native support for LDAC, Sony’s hi-res Bluetooth audio codec. With a bitrate of up to 990Kbps, LDAC promises to be close to lossless audio codec quality. Other changes will give audio application developers more control over sound quality. The end result should be better audio for all of us.

Notification Dots – Variations of this are already on custom launchers such as Samsung’s TouchWiz. With this, when a new alert or message comes to an application, an alert message appears over the icon. For example, I can tell at a glance on my Samsung Galaxy S7 that I have 17 unread messages in my email. Google is building this into Android O. In addition, if you long-press the icon, a pop up on the launcher window gives you a list of actions to deal with the notification. Yes, let’s ignore those inbox messages for now.

This combination of features will make Android even more a pleasure to use. The real improvement, as I mentioned earlier, is that with this release users will finally have a chance to use the most recent version of Android without having to buy a new phone.

Finally!

[“Source-zdnet”]

How Technology Can Help You Engage Your Audience the Right Way

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If you’re looking for a scapegoat for just about any of the world’s issues, you probably know technology makes a good choice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people talk about how technology and being “plugged in” is making relationships harder than ever.

For some, I’m sure that’s probably true. At the end of the day, though, technology is a tool, and your relationships with other people — including your audience — depend on how you use it.

For marketers, technology presents an opportunity for you to reach and connect with your audience. Content marketing tools, for example, help you plan and craft your brand’s most engaging messages. Social media tools help you get them into the hands of the right people. Marketing automation platforms help you streamline and automate your processes, among other things.

The only catch? You can’t entirely remove the human element from the equation and let technology do it all.

Learn the Golden Equation: Technology + authenticity = engagement

If you had your choice between an engaging, personalized message from an authentic thought leader at a company and boring, automated content coming from an impersonal corporate logo, which would you prefer? It’s no contest: We’d all choose personalized content from real humans.

Marketers can use technology to create that content, deliver it, measure their efforts — any number of things. But tech, as ever-present as it is, won’t magically result in audience engagement and stronger relationships. Like I said, it’s a tool that needs to be used to make your job of connecting with your audience easier than before.

Sadly, too many brands forget their role in building those relationships and overlook the human elements that are necessary to make their messages resonate. They then wonder why engagement is low, assuming technology has created this huge trust barrier and made it harder to connect instead of looking in the mirror to find the root of the problem: They haven’t humanized their brands or used the right content to communicate that.

Make the shift from me to you

Talking “at” versus talking “with”: It’s a big distinction. Too many companies are knee-deep in the former, pushing out information like that boorish uncle at your folks’ annual Fourth of July picnic who simultaneously says everything and nothing.

In the past, brands would develop an idea or a message and push it out for everyone and their mother to see, whether those recipients truly cared to see it or not. In my business and marketing book, “Top of Mind,” I call this “Me Marketing,” where marketers only push out what they want and focus on themselves in the process. (I’ve yet to meet one person who truly enjoys getting spammed with a ton of promotional emails that were clearly sent out en masse with no personalization at all.)

Today, effective brands and marketers are taking a different approach. They have shifted to what I call “You Marketing” and have begun creating content for the actual audience members receiving it.

There’s a much greater focus on what audiences want and how they like to receive information, engage with content, and work with brands. Marketers need to listen to and authentically engage with audiences, and they need to do it on that audience’s terms. Technology can help.

Pursue new technology for better relationships

One example of a tool that’s taking the modern customer experience and running with it is PingPilot. Launched by SCORCH, this software aims to change the conversation between businesses and individuals by allowing people to choose their preferred means of communication. The means of conversation can change depending on the client’s needs — live chat, voice, and SMS are all viable channels. Essentially, businesses move over and give consumers the keys to the car, as well as the wheel.

Over time, this allows brands and consumers to forge sincere bonds based on trust and live interactions, not chatbots or automated replies. Each touchpoint becomes an opportunity to build a better understanding of customers; data from these interactions can improve the company’s marketing stack and explode lead generation, not to mention conversions.

This is a prime example of how technology actually helps build stronger personal relationships and connections, not replace them.

Everyone loves to hate something, but it’s time to pull back from blaming technology left and right. Instead of cursing a technology-rich world that’s made Snapchat filters and hashtags so ubiquitous you hardly notice them anymore, it’s wiser to look deeper into what those selfies and hashtags mean to the people who make, view, and engage with them. Authenticity between brands and audiences has technology at its core, but it takes human hands, minds, and hearts to execute it.

John Hall is the CEO of Influence & Co., a keynote speaker, and the author of “Top of Mind.” You can book John to speak here.

[“Source-forbes”]

Bored? You can now play ‘instant games’ on Fb Messenger

Facebook Messenger on Wednesday launched “Instant Games” in 30 countries to get users spend more time on its messaging app.

According to a report in Tech Crunch, the 17 “Instant Games” from classic developers like Bandai Namco, Konami and Taito, as well as newer studios like Zynga and King, are available on newer iOS and Android devices, and can be found by hitting the game controller icon in Facebook Messenger threads next to the photos and stickers buttons.

These games are built on the HTML5 mobile web standard and open instantly once screen is tapped.

Though its payment revenue has declined to $196 million in the latest quarter, 15 per cent of time on Facebook is still spent playing games.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

This app can get the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update on older Microsoft Lumia devices

The Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update is expected to release over the coming weeks, but for many Lumia owners out there, they won’t be receiving the update, at least not officially from Microsoft. This is a result of increased minimum requirements for the operating system to run at Microsoft’s performance standards, to ensure users aren’t left with slow devices.

For those people who wish to ignore Microsoft’s advice and get the Anniversary Update on to their older Windows 10 Mobile or Windows Phone devices, it is now possible. Thanks to a team over at XDA, Dormant Hackers Team, they’ve managed to create an app that will fool the system into thinking that the device is a Lumia 950 XL single or dual-SIM variant, bypassing the device integrity checks for the upgrade.

Effectively, the process is this:

  • Install the app
  • Select whether the device is a single or dual-SIM variant
  • Tap ‘Allow Update’, this will now change the device targeting info to a Lumia 950 XL
  • Select the Windows Insider ring to install

The update will then be available and commence.

There are a few caveats with this process:

  • It will not work on 512MB RAM devices, this is being looked into
  • It will not currently upgrade a Windows Phone 8.1 device to Windows 10 Mobile, the developers are looking for Windows Phone 8.1 users to help test this and bring the functionality to the app

It is important to remember that these types of workarounds are not endorsed by WinBeta or Microsoft and could result in the device becoming bricked or damaged. Always take backups where possible and don’t run it on a daily driver unless you’re certain.

 

 

[Source: Winbeta]