Yesterday at a press event directly following the solar eclipse in the US Google officially announced the new name of Android 8.0 Oreo! The late dark horse was orolette, which would have been pretty lame since no one has actually ever heard of that. Google decided to team up with a very well known existing brand in Oreo. Nabisco seemed pretty excited about the pairing as they tweeted the news following Google's official announcement and statue unveiling. The statue represents a super hero shaped like an Oreo with a cape! Google also announced availability through the Android Open Source Project. You can get the update for your Nexus or Pixel devices as we speak. What do you think of the new name? Are you pleased with Oreo or were you hoping for something else?
Huawei is sending out save the date invites for an event where they will likely unveil the Mate 10 flagship phone! The press event will be held in Munich Germany on October 16th at Small Olympic Hall. The invite is pretty vague about what will be announced stating this is a "global unveiling of a new flagship device". The tagline for the event is "Meet the device worth waiting for". There is a giant transparent 10 in the invite's background which seems to be a pretty big hint that we will be seeing the Mate 10 at the event. It would be nice to see a US version of the device as well.
One of the most anticipated handsets of the years just got some hands on photos! The Moto X4 is breaking cover just a few days before the August 24th release. We can see it from a few different angles in blue. We have not seen a new version of the Moto X series since 2015 so you can see why fans of the series would be excited. The Moto X series is known for bringing high end specs and features at an affordable price. Rumors suggest the Moto X4 will come with a 5.2" Full HD display, Snapdragon 630 processor, Adreno 508 GPU, 3GB of RAM/32GB of storage option and 4GBRAM/64GB of storage option, and dual lens camera setup. This is the midrange device for Motorola this year and will be priced competitively.
Samsung is pretty good about giving out freebies for those early adopters who pre-order their latest flagship devices. I have gotten all sorts of free stuff over the years including 2 free years of Netflix, a set of Samsung OnLive headphones, two GearVR headsets, Samsung fast charging battery bank, Samsung fast wireless charging pad, cases and more! That list doesn't even include the free apps and in app purchases that have come with some of the phones.
The details regarding Note 8 pre-order freebies have leaked. Apparently Samsung will begin taking pre-orders for the Note 8 on August 24. In the US you can choose between a 256GB microSD card, convertible wireless charger, or Samsung Gear 360 camera. In Europe you will apparently get a DEX when you preorder. I am glad that Samsung does include the freebies, but sometimes it feels like you are paying a premium and they are just trying to ease the blow by giving away free stuff when they could just reduce the price a bit.
There is one word that has been synonymous with Android for the past several years and that word my friends is fragmentation. Apple fan boys love to utter the word. While Apple has to work to get a handful of devices running the latest version of iOS there happen to be thousands of Android devices made by hundreds of OEMs. Getting all the Android devices on a singular version of Android is impossible. That being said Google is currently working on a project to make the process easier for OEMs to get their phones on the latest version of Android. The project is called "Project Treble".
Google has already done the work make the Pixel and Pixel XL compatible with the project but says they can't force other OEMs to do the same. The project will be in place for any device shipping with Android O. Treble makes it easier and less expensive for OEMs to update their flagships and other devices but won't guarantee that everyone will be on board or do their part. Google says they are currently working with "some companies" to get their flagships upgraded to Android O and are even helping to "treble-ize" some devices. Hopefully companies like Samsung will jump on board. My Galaxy S8 is still running Android 7.0 even though 7.1.1 has been around for a while and Google will be announcing Android 8.0 Monday!
There will be no secrets on August 23rd when Samsung officially announces the Galaxy Note 8! We have seen leak after leak of renders as well as a dummy unit that leaked earlier in the week. We even know the phone will have an Exynos and Snapdragon variant both with 6GB of RAM thanks to some benchmarks that showed up on Geekbench last week. Last night some official press renders of the device landed on Samsung's official page. The photos were quickly removed but not before the web could grab them. In the photos we see the same rectangular design we have seen in previous leaks. You can also clearly see the fingerprint scanner placed just to the right of the dual lens camera. We are almost there folks!
It is incredibly dangerous to look directly at the sun. That didn't stop us from having sun staring contests with friends as kids. I believe my personal best was 5 seconds. All jokes aside their are safe ways to view a solar eclipse. You can wear a special pair of solar eclipse viewing glasses that are too dark to actually see out of. However the safety of these glasses has been called into question as Amazon has put a recall on them. I suppose it's just not worth the liability for the retail giant.
Alternatively you can cut a pin hole in a cardboard box and then hold a piece of paper under the hole. You can witness the light hitting the paper go black. That is neat an all but you aren't actually looking at the event as you are staring at a sheet of paper. NASA will actually be live streaming the event! You can watch it as it happens from the link below straight from your phone. This is great because you will be able to see it from a perfect angle no matter where you are in the world and without having to put on those ridiculous glasses. This is also the only 100% safe way to stare at the sun!
It looks like Google may have just outed the official name of Android O a few days before the intended announcement on August 21st. The Google+ video they posted was titled "GoogleOreo_Teaser_0817_noDroids (1).mp4". Of course this doesn't officially confirm anything and you know Google could just be trolling us with that seemingly accidental flub. The new version of Android could be named after the easter egg hidden within the developer preview builds "Octopus". That seems unlikely. We will find out for sure on Monday!
One of the major gripes with the OnePlus 5 was the fact that it included EIS, but only for 1080p video. This meant that while the phone was capable of shooting 4K video the video shot would be wobbly and unusable. OnePlus has just sent out a software update which fixes this. The update includes EIS for 4K video. The difference here is major. OnePlus also uploaded a side by side test shot to their twitter and you can see how much better 4K recording is on the OnePlus 5.
You can see a similar comparison in the video above which starts at 1:36
Andy Rubin's Essential phone announcement was met with enthusiasm and hope. However the device launch became a mess and fast. The phone company faced set back after set back requiring them to push back the launch week after week. A few days ago the company sent out emails to those who made reservations letting them know the devices were finally available for purchase. The email went on to confirm that those who made a purchase would have the phone within 7 days. For now it appears the only version available for purchase is the Black Moon and the price tag is $699. Apparently if you reserved the pure white model you can still purchase the Black Moon variant or chose to wait an additional 2 weeks. Only those who reserved a phone will be able to purchase one at this time. As more and better devices are just around the corner I am curious as to how many of you are putting down the money on your reserved Essential phone.