Google Apologizes For Accidentally Changing Settings On Some Android Phones Without User’s Consent

Google has issued an apology for accidentally changing power savings settings on some Android phones without user’s consent. Here are the details. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Google has issued an apology for accidentally changing power savings settings on some Android phones without user's consent. Here are the details.


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How to Use Gestures in Android 9 Pie

android-browsers-gesture

Android 9 Pie brings some major changes to navigation for the first time in years. Instead of the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons, most of the navigation now comes through gestures (similar to the iPhone X). If you’ve just upgraded to Pie or got a new phone with it, you might feel lost. We’re here to provide a quick reference guide to Android Pie’s gestures. Toggling Gestures On and Off in Android 9 Pie If your phone came with Android Pie, it likely has gestures enabled by default. But if you updated your phone from Oreo, it will still…

Read the full article: How to Use Gestures in Android 9 Pie

Android 9 Pie brings some major changes to navigation for the first time in years. Instead of the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons, most of the navigation now comes through gestures (similar to the iPhone X).

If you’ve just upgraded to Pie or got a new phone with it, you might feel lost. We’re here to provide a quick reference guide to Android Pie’s gestures.

Toggling Gestures On and Off in Android 9 Pie

If your phone came with Android Pie, it likely has gestures enabled by default. But if you updated your phone from Oreo, it will still have the old navigation controls.

To toggle this, go to Settings > System > Gestures. Select the Swipe up on Home button entry, and enable the slider on the following screen. You’ll nice the classic three buttons turn into a single pill-shaped Home icon and a small Back arrow.

How to Use Gestures in Android 9 Pie

Once you have gestures enabled, you can use them anywhere to get around your phone. Here’s how they work:

  • Tap the Home button to return to your home screen.
  • Long-press Home to call up Google Assistant.
  • Swipe up on Home to open the new Overview screen, which replaces the old Recents menu. Inside Overview:
    • Move left and right to browse your recent apps.
    • Swipe up on an app to close it.
    • Tap an app’s icon and choose Split screen to send it to the top. Then select another app to put at the bottom of the screen. Drag the handle in the middle to the top or bottom to end split screen.
  • Swipe up twice on Home to open your app drawer.
  • Quickly flick right on Home to switch to your last-used app.
  • Slowly slide right on Home and you can move your finger back and forth to select an app.
  • When you’re in an app, tap the Back arrow to jump back one step, just like before.

To the right of the Home button, you’ll see context-sensitive buttons like a keyboard to switch keyboard apps or layouts. Hopefully you find these new gestures allow for more powerful navigation—check out Android browsers with gesture support for more.

Read the full article: How to Use Gestures in Android 9 Pie

9 Reasons Why the Essential Phone Is My Favorite Phone Yet

essential-phone-favorite

I’ve used quite a few Android phones over the years, and I can say for sure that the Essential Phone is, hands down, my favorite. Here are some qualities unique to the Essential Phone that make it a phenomenal device. 1. This Is Essential’s Only Phone Samsung, LG, and HTC each put out buckets of phones a year. Developers have to prepare and test software for each device. This takes time and effort, which is part of the reason so many Android phones receive few, if any, updates. The Essential Phone is the only phone that Essential has released. This…

Read the full article: 9 Reasons Why the Essential Phone Is My Favorite Phone Yet

essential-phone-favorite

I’ve used quite a few Android phones over the years, and I can say for sure that the Essential Phone is, hands down, my favorite. Here are some qualities unique to the Essential Phone that make it a phenomenal device.

1. This Is Essential’s Only Phone

Essential Phone white model

Samsung, LG, and HTC each put out buckets of phones a year. Developers have to prepare and test software for each device. This takes time and effort, which is part of the reason so many Android phones receive few, if any, updates.

The Essential Phone is the only phone that Essential has released. This means the company can focus its attention on one product. While other companies may not care all that much how consumers feel about a specific model, the end user experience on the Essential Phone is one of the company’s main priorities.

2. A Fast and Long Support Cycle

When Google officially announced Android Pie, the first phone to receive an update was not a Pixel. It was the Essential Phone. Essential pushed an over-the-air update out to devices on the same day as Google’s announcement.

Fast updates are not new for the Essential Phone, but it’s not just the speed of updates that’s commendable here. Essential has pledged support for the device until August 2019.

Android Oreo and Pie both arrived in August. If Android Q (Quince Jam? Quiche? We don’t yet know) does the same, or even if it’s a few weeks late, Essential plans to provide that update.

This will mean that the Essential Phone launched with Android 7.0 Nougat, and by the end of its support cycle, it’s expected to run Android 10. In the Android world, that’s essentially unprecedented.

3. The Essential Phone Gets Better With Age

Many phones start out great only to degrade over time. Comparing later reviews to those that came out around the phone’s launch, the opposite has been the case with the Essential Phone.

Essential’s small but focused team has pushed out fixes to address the phone’s early software problems. The camera app is faster and more stable. Apps have also had time to adjust to the front-facing camera notch. That’s all in addition to two major Android version upgrades.

That doesn’t mean the phone is free of issues. Some users reported seeing more dropped Bluetooth connections. Nonetheless, the consensus seems to be that the phone provides a better experience now than it did when it was new.

4. There’s No Branding

Essential Phone no logo

There isn’t a giant logo on the back of the Essential Phone. Not only has Essential resisted any temptation to etch its name somewhere, but you won’t find certification details or any other text either.

I find logos garish and a form of advertising I don’t need in my life. I’m willing to risk damaging a device if I believe there’s a chance I can remove the logo. In the past, I managed to scrub the bright red BoomSound branding from the bottom of my old HTC One without leaving behind any marks. But there was no way to remove HTC’s own logo on both the front and back of the device, unfortunately.

I love that this is not an issue with the Essential Phone. It’s nice to see a company that not only shares this view of logos (see marketing text in the image above), but is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

5. 128GB of Storage on Every Phone

Not long ago, smartphones limited us to 16GB or 32GB of internal space. Now, 64GB is commonplace. But on the Essential Phone, you get 128GB.

Most phones that offer 128GB treat it as an upsell. For instance, the 128GB Pixel 2 costs $100 more than its 64GB counterpart. With the Essential Phone, one size fits all, and that size is 128GB.

That said, I’d still like to see a microSD card slot.

6. It’s Both Comfortable and Solid

Essential Phone fingerprint reader

The Essential Phone is among the sleekest smartphones ever made. I don’t think that’s much of a contentious statement. Still, I’m surprised by just how usable this phone really is.

While it’s around the same size as previous phones I’ve owned, the Essential Phone feels much less unwieldy in my hand. It doesn’t feel like a bigger phone, all while having a larger screen than older devices of the same size. The metal frame feels solid, and the ceramic back does a great job of resisting scratches.

I’ve dropped the phone several times now, and none of the components have shattered (though I have scratched the screen after absentmindedly putting my phone in the same pocket as my keys).

In short, the Essential Phone isn’t a shallow pretty face. There’s substance to this design.

7. Photos Are Great

The differences between smartphone cameras and DSLRs have shrunk over the years. My Essential Phone’s photos look great even on pixel-dense displays, like my Pixelbook’s. With older phones, I could tell which camera I used just by the difference in photo quality. Now I need to check the image resolution, because the Essential Phone’s images appear just as clear.

I still carry around a DSLR camera when I’m going out with the explicit purpose of taking pictures, mainly due to optical zoom. But when zooming isn’t an issue, I know my Essential Phone will capture the moment just fine.

8. It’s a Blank Slate

While I prefer Android to iOS, I’m not exactly Google’s biggest fan. I only install a few apps and disable most of what Google provides. Indeed, I don’t like having extra software lying around on my phone, including the likes of Google Assistant or Samsung’s Bixby—I view them as unwanted distractions.

The Essential Phone provides a clean version of Android similar to what you get on a Google Pixel phone, but with even fewer extra features. Essential developed its own camera app, and that’s it. This fits my temperament so much more than the overabundance of apps and features you get from a Samsung, LG, Huawei, or HTC phone.

9. That 360 Degree Camera

The Essential Phone has two magnetic connectors on the back intended for attachable accessories. So far, only one has hit the market. That’s the Essential 360 degree camera.

Essential 360 Degree Camera for Essential Phone Essential 360 Degree Camera for Essential Phone Buy Now At Amazon $35.99

Just like the phone itself, Essential has cut the price of the camera. So if you already have the phone, this add-on is an affordable way to try creating your own 360 videos.

What Do You Think of the Essential Phone?

Essential Phone 128 GB Unlocked with Full Display, Dual Camera – Black Moon Essential Phone 128 GB Unlocked with Full Display, Dual Camera – Black Moon Buy Now At Amazon $319.95

A year after the Essential Phone’s release, this device provides an excellent experience. After recent price drops, it’s hard to overstate how much value you’re getting for your money.

But I’m not claiming the Essential Phone is best for everyone. If you consider 3.5mm jacks or microSD card slots as must-haves (and I wouldn’t blame you), then this phone will disappoint you in both areas. Fortunately, there are alternatives that still have headphone jacks.

Read the full article: 9 Reasons Why the Essential Phone Is My Favorite Phone Yet

Android 9 Pie (Go edition) arrives this fall

With Android Pie now available (on a handful of devices, at least), Google’s prepping the launch of its low-powered counterpart. Android 9 Pie (Go edition) — the successor to the more pithily named Android Go — will be hitting arriving on devices this fall. Like Android Oreo (Go Edition), the latest OS is a stripped […]

With Android Pie now available (on a handful of devices, at least), Google’s prepping the launch of its low-powered counterpart. Android 9 Pie (Go edition) — the successor to the more pithily named Android Go — will be hitting arriving on devices this fall.

Like Android Oreo (Go Edition), the latest OS is a stripped down version of its latest full operating system, designed to run on devices with 1GB of RAM. The more modest hardware requirements make it a compelling match for low-cost devices and thus a solid option for developing markets.

Among other things, it will offer faster boot times than standard Android and will free up space on the phone’s storage. There are new security features on board as well, along with a dashboard for monitoring data consumption. There are a number of updates to individual Go apps, too, including the ability to read sites’ content aloud in Google Go and navigation in Maps Go.

According to Google, the Android (Go edition) is currently available on 200 devices in more than 120 countries.

Android 9 Pie Does Not Let You Use Call Recording Apps Without Root

Android 9 Pie does not let you use call recording apps until you root your smartphone. Here’s everything you need to know. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Android 9 Pie does not let you use call recording apps until you root your smartphone. Here's everything you need to know.


[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

The 13 Best New Features in Android 9.0 Pie

android-pie-features

The newest version of Android is here! Named Pie, it introduces some cool new tricks that will change the way you use Android. These are welcome additions after the last few versions of Android brought mostly small tweaks. Due to Android’s fragmentation, Pie will slowly roll out to devices in the coming months and won’t look exactly the same on every one. Whether you’ve downloaded already or are looking forward to it, here are the best new features in Android Pie you must know about. 1. New Gesture Navigation Android has used a standard three-button navigation bar at the bottom…

Read the full article: The 13 Best New Features in Android 9.0 Pie

android-pie-features

The newest version of Android is here! Named Pie, it introduces some cool new tricks that will change the way you use Android. These are welcome additions after the last few versions of Android brought mostly small tweaks.

Due to Android’s fragmentation, Pie will slowly roll out to devices in the coming months and won’t look exactly the same on every one.

Whether you’ve downloaded already or are looking forward to it, here are the best new features in Android Pie you must know about.

1. New Gesture Navigation

Android has used a standard three-button navigation bar at the bottom of the screen for ages. In Pie, you can drop the standard Back, Home, and Recent buttons in favor of a new gesture-based navigation system.

Future devices will ship with this enabled, but you’ll still see the old buttons after updating. To try it, head to Settings > System > Gestures > Swipe up on Home button. Your navigation bar will change right away.

Here’s how to navigate with the new setup:

  • Tap the new pill-shaped Home button to go home.
  • If your current view can use the Back button, you’ll see it appear where it always has.
  • Swipe up on the Home button to open the Recents view. Here, move left and right to check out the list, and swipe up to clear a recent app. Press and hold an app’s icon to see the Split screen option. You can even interact with apps in this view to select and copy text.
  • Swipe up on the Home button twice and you’ll open your app drawer.
  • Swipe right and hold on Home to slowly scroll between apps and release to open the one in the middle.
  • Swipe right quickly and release to switch to the previous app.
  • Press and hold the Home button to open Google Assistant as before.

This may take a bit to get used to, but it offers smoother methods of navigation compared to the old style.

2. Adaptive Battery and Brightness

Android has plenty of automated features, and a few important ones are getting a lot smarter in Pie.

Adaptive Battery is an expansion of the Doze feature introduced in Android 6 Marshmallow. Doze put apps that you weren’t using into a “deep sleep” to prevent them from wasting battery. Now, Adaptive Battery goes further by learning about the apps and services you use most often, then adjusting what you don’t use as much to use less battery.

This is enabled by default, but you can toggle it at Settings > Battery > Adaptive Battery. Note that apps you don’t use often may have delayed notifications due to this.

Android’s automatic brightness also gets an upgrade in Pie. Now, your phone will learn the brightness level you prefer in certain apps and environments and adjust it automatically. You can help train it by opening the Quick Settings panel (pull down on the notification bar twice) and adjusting the brightness as needed.

3. App Actions

Google’s launcher already predicts the apps you’re most likely to use based on the time of day. Now, App Actions let you quickly start tasks by predicting what you want to do.

For example, you might see a shortcut to start Google Maps navigation to work in the morning. At work, you might see an App Action to chat with your coworker on Hangouts. And when you plug in headphones, you’ll see an App Action for your most recent playlist.

08-Android-Pie-App-Actions

These are similar to the app shortcuts available by long-pressing icons, which in turn were inspired by 3D Touch on the iPhone. The smarter prediction means that you’ll hopefully use them more often.

4. Slices

Similar to App Actions, Slices let you jump right to certain actions in apps. For instance, Google says that if you search for Lyft on your phone, you’ll see a shortcut to hail a ride to work, complete with price and ETA.

09-Android-Pie-Slices

5. Improved Security Features

Many of Android Pie’s security upgrades are under-the-hood and not particularly interesting. But you should know about two of them.

The first is that this version of Android “restricts access to mic, camera, and all SensorManager sensors from apps that are idle” according to Google. This means that even if you’ve granted permission for an app to access your microphone, it can’t do so unless you’re actively using it.

Second, a new lockdown mode fortifies your phone in emergency situations. After enabling this at Settings > Security & location > Lock screen preferences > Show lockdown option, you can tap Lockdown on the Power menu. This instantly locks your phone, disables fingerprint unlocking and Smart Lock, and hides notifications on your lock screen. You’ll have to use your PIN, password, or pattern to unlock it.

This will prove useful if you feel that an authority or thief may force you to try to unlock your phone with biometric methods. Keep it around for emergencies.

6. Digital Wellbeing

Though it’s not part of Android yet, the Digital Wellbeing part of Android will be one of its most interesting. This is a suite of features Google has designed to help you see how often you use your phone, and what apps you spend the most time in.

The dashboard shows you how many notifications apps send you, how much time you spend in apps, and how often you check your phone. You can also set daily time limits to keep yourself from wasting hours in time-sinking apps.

Meanwhile, a revamped Do Not Disturb feature turns off not just audio notifications, but visual ones too. This helps you block all distractions. And the Wind Down feature fades your phone to grayscale when it’s time for bed. This is a mental trick that makes your phone less interesting to use.

You can sign up for the Digital Wellbeing beta if you’re interested. It will come to Android Pie in the future.

7. New Accessibility Menu

Android has plenty of accessibility features, but they aren’t always easy to access. A new menu in Android Pie makes it simple to access common functions for users who need assistance.

Enable this menu at Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Menu. Turn on the Use service slider and confirm the prompt, and you’ll see a new icon to the right of the navigation bar. Tap this anytime to bring up a large menu with shortcuts to Volume, Recent apps, Quick Settings, and more.

This should make navigation easier for users who have difficulty using Android’s gestures.

8. New Screenshot Shortcut

The default Power + Volume Down button combination for shortcuts is a little awkward. Thus, in Android Pie, you can take a shortcut from the Power menu anytime.

What’s more, you can also tap the Edit command in the notification that appears to make adjustments to your shot right away.

9. Easier Screen Rotation

17-Android-Pie-Rotation-Button

Android automatically switches your screen orientation based on how it’s situated. You can lock the orientation to portrait or landscape, but this turns into a pain if you need to switch often.

In Pie, if you have Auto-Rotate turned off, you’ll see a new icon on the right side of the navigation bar when you rotate your device to landscape. Tap it to lock in landscape orientation, and it will stay even if you turn back to portrait. Just tap the icon again to rotate back to portrait.

10. Volume and Sound Improvements

When you press a Volume button, you’ll notice the slider now appears on the right side instead of the top. What’s more, pressing volume buttons now changes the Media volume instead of the Ringer volume like before. This simple volume tweak makes it easier to avoid opening a YouTube video and accidentally playing it at full blast.

Tap the Note icon to mute or unmute media audio. You can tap the icon above this to toggle your Calls volume between Ring, Vibrate, and Mute. You’ll need to select the Gear icon to open the Sound menu and make detailed adjustments.

Android Pie also gives you more Bluetooth options. You can have up to five Bluetooth connections simultaneously, up from just two in Oreo. Calls will go to all Bluetooth devices capable of handling them.

In a welcome change, your phone now remembers the volume for indivudal Bluetooth devices. This means you won’t blow your ears out with your earbuds after using your Bluetooth speaker at max volume.

11. Selectable Dark Mode

Android Oreo included a dark mode, but the system automatically decided whether to enable it based on your wallpaper. Now you can choose for yourself at Settings > System > Display > Advanced > Device theme.

12. Easier Text Selection

20-Android-Pie-Select-Text

If you copy and paste a lot, you’ll love a small change in Pie. Now when you long-press to select text and grab the handles, a little magnifier lets you see exactly what you’re selecting.

13. More Notification Information

If you want to see which apps are sending distracting notifications, head to Settings > Apps & notifications > Notifications. In the Recently sent section, you can see which apps have pinged you recently. Tap See all from last 7 days to view more info.

Changing Most recent to Most frequent lets you find the worst offenders. Android will also suggest that you disable notifications from apps you swipe away frequently. Don’t forget about the notification channels introduced in Oreo, either.

What Do You Think of Android 9.0 Pie?

There’s a lot to love about Android 9 Pie. Even more than the above, this release includes a more colorful Settings menu, refreshed fonts, and rounded corners across the OS. You’re bound to find some additional improvements as you get acquainted.

Even if you don’t have Pie yet, you can take advantage of apps that change the way you use Android.

Read the full article: The 13 Best New Features in Android 9.0 Pie

How To Install Android 9 Pie OTA Image On Google Pixel / Pixel 2 Right Now

Here’s how to install Android 9 Pie OTA image file on your Google Pixel, Pixel 2 or even Pixel 2 XL right now. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Here's how to install Android 9 Pie OTA image file on your Google Pixel, Pixel 2 or even Pixel 2 XL right now.


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Download: Google Is Calling Android 9 As “Pie” Officially With Final Factory Images Released For Pixel Phones Today

You can now download Android 9 Pie factory images and OTA update for Pixel, Pixel 2, Essential Phone. Here are the details. [ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

You can now download Android 9 Pie factory images and OTA update for Pixel, Pixel 2, Essential Phone. Here are the details.


[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]