It's been a while but one of our staff members (@CJM) thought it may be time to bring it back and you know what we agree.
In a year where Android and smartphones have been awesome, from a dream gaming phone to Samsung making its triumphant return with their Note, it is a great time to celebrate how far Android has come. And what better way than to show off your holiday spirit with your phone.
With the winners having the opportunity to win some stocking stuffers, break out the Android phone and let's see what you can do.
So here are the rules:
Have fun and be creative
Submit either a few screenshots or a short YT video of your themed device by the deadline.
One phone entry per person is eligible to win (If you own both an iPhone and an Android phone and post an entry for both you must choose the one you want to compete for the contest.
Submissions must meet forum rules and guidelines (no politics, inappropriate images, or content).
As long as you follow those rules you can go as advanced as creating a theme through theme manager or as simple as using a launcher like nova, a few theme packs, and your favorite wallpaper and be creative.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be chosen by you the forum members by poll with tiebreakers being broken by staff.
Any questions feel free to post them here as we will create a separate thread for submissions.
The first bug isn't really new it just seems like Google may not have addressed an already existing bug in Pixel devices. Some Pixel devices are still having bluetooth issues after the Android 8.1 update. This update has been promised to be on the way for months now and users were expecting this fix in the 8.1 Oreo update. Most complaints come from users who are having issues connecting to car stereos. Some can't get phones to connect and others are experiencing bluetooth cutting out when notifications come in. Hopefully we will finally see a patch for bluetooth on the Gen 1 Pixel device soon.
The Pixel 2 XL seems to have a slower fingerprint scanner after the Android 8.1 Oreo update. Users are reporting that the finger print scanner takes about a second longer to unlock after the update. Luckily Google has already said that they are looking into a fix for this issue. Hopefully they will get it fixed sooner than the OG Pixel Bluetooth bug.
Before you head out to see The Last Jedi this evening you will want to grab the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition Wallpapers. OnePlus has the license for the Stars Wars edition device, but thanks to the Android community the Wallpapers from the OP5T SWE have been uploaded for your enjoyment. You can download the wallpapers from the link below to be used on any smartphone. Walls include a red and black or red, black and white theme. We have a Captain Phasma, Kylo Ren, Star Wars logo, rebel symbol crumbling, first order symbol crumbling, and a several more. I have to say these walls look pretty sweet.
One of the most infuriating things that Apple does with the iPhone and iPhone+ series is they add a second lens to the more expensive phone. This means you are forced to buy the larger phone to get the secondary lens. This kind of stinks for those who would prefer to not have to lug around a larger bulkier phone.
OnLeaks has released renders of the Samsung Galaxy S9+ which suggest that Samsung will be implementing this same strategy with the S9 and S9+. The S9 will have a single lens and the S9+ will feature a dual lens setup. This means that you will need to spend a bit more and lug around a larger phone to get the dual lens setup. I personally have never gone for the plus model of the S lineup because I prefer the "smaller" phone. If I wan't a larger phone I carry my Note. Other than the dual lens setup the S9+ will feature a larger display, and of course a larger battery. What do you think. Should Samsung copy Apple in this strategy to bring more features to the larger phone and leave out features on the smaller version.
We have been expecting to see a mostly unchanged design when it comes to the Galaxy S9. The latest renders of the device appear to confirm these expectations. OnLeaks in partnership with 91mobiles has released their CAD based renders. We aren't seeing the smaller bottom bezel on the Galaxy S9 that we had hoped for. In fact the biggest change we are seeing here is the correction of the fingerprint scanner placement. According to the renders we are seeing that Samsung is placing the fingerprint scanner under the camera lens which will not only be more intuitive, but will also help to reduce lens smears.
The bottom of the device shows a 3.5mm headphone jack so it looks like Samsung isn't looking to get rid of this fan favorite yet. The display is reported to be a 5.65" Infinity Display. We are also seeing a single lens rear camera setup on the Galaxy S9. Although it has been claimed we more than likely won't be seeing this device at CES.
Earlier in the week Synaptics announced that they would be showing off their "Clear ID" fingerprint reader technology alongside a Top 5 OEM in a flagship device. The OEM that will show off their phone housing the tech will be Vivo. Forbes has already had a chance to go hands on with the device that includes Synaptics' Clear ID. The image shows that the scanner is embedded under the display and will work whether your finger is hot, cold, wet, or dry. The fingerprint scanner will be twice as fast as the iPhone X's 3D facial recognition. The Vivo phone shown off currently requires you to first wake the device before being able to use the fingerprint scanner which seems a bit clunky. Hopefully the process will be streamlined a bit before being shown off at CES. Since this is being incorporated in a Vivo phone we may not see it in the next wave of smartphones in the US. You can bet other OEMs with a stronger US presence won't be too far behind.
The one thing I think most Americans could agree on regardless of political party affiliation was Net Neutrality the Obama era rules that forbade ISPs from favoring some internet content over others. The FCC just voted to repeal these rules. This change could open up the door for ISPs to charge more for the backbone that powers services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Youtube. If ISPs decided to charge those larger companies more for faster speeds and those companies decided not to or simply could not afford the fees consumers may end up with a much less appealing end product.
ISPs could also charge you and I more for "add-on" services like some other ISPs in countries like England that charge extra fees for social media, messaging, and video streaming. The FCC argues that ISPs won't make these kind of anti consumer changes since it would anger their customer base. That might be so in places that have many options, but many Americans have only one option for an ISP so they would be at the mercy of that ISP. Some Americans that have two ISPs to chose from wouldn't fare much better.
These changes will go into effect as soon as next month. That being said the FCC's decision here is not the final word. Congress can still overturn this. You can sign the petition to take this to Congress at the link below. Now would also be...
The new Leagoo S9 is unashamedly an iPhone X clone running Android. Why spend over $1000 on a phone that will upset you in the end because it doesn't run Android? Leagoo is a Chinese company known for copying the look of flagship phones and they have done an excellent job replicating the design of the iPhone X from the edge to edge display, to the notch, the vertical camera, even down to the iOS status icons. The design does differ in the fact that it does have a rear mounted fingerprint sensor. The specs for the phone include a Helio P40 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. If you must have a phone that looks like the iPhone X you can pick up the Leagoo S9 for just $300.
Google's AR Stickers is a new feature that is currently only officially available for 1st and 2nd gen Pixel phones. The feature allows you to overlay AR images over the image your viewfinder is currently on. There are all kinds of fun stickers from Star Wars to Stranger Things and more. The feature can now be installed on some rooted phones like the Nexus 6P, OnePlus 3, and Xiaomi Mi 5. The full instructions an be found at the link below.
T-mobile has just announced their acquisition of TV tech pioneer "Layer3 TV". They will be launching an all new TV service in their "Un-carrier" fashion in 2018. T-Mobile will be working closely with the Layer3 TV team to build their new TV service. John Legere CEO of T-mobile hopes to bring some extra choice to the market place and remove the normal pain points of cable TV.
The strategy here will be to "do away with multi year contracts, confusing sky high bills, exploding bundles, clunky technology, outdated UIs, closed systems, and lousy customer service." T-mobile will utilize its LTE service to deliver TV. Layer3 TV already offers streaming cable tv services in 5 cities nationwide.
Layer3 TV does seem like a premium service in the midst of the other streaming cable options available. Services like DirecTV Now and Youtube TV only offer a handful of channels while Layer3TV gives you the entire IPTV experience with more than 275HD channels, the ability to record up to 1000 shows, and the ability to record up to 8 streams at once. If T-Mobile finds a way to offer this exact service over LTE for a fraction of the cost of traditional cable they may be able to gobble up a huge chunk of the market. This definitely looks interesting. I look forward to see what T-mo and Layer3 are able to come up with.