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Jun

Apple’s Workforce Growth in Oregon Could Point to Desktop-Class CPU Ambitions


Yesterday, we reported on Apple’s opening of a new technology hub in Oregon, along with the hiring of several former senior Intel engineers. Oregon is the site of Intel’s Hillsboro facilities, featuring the chipmaker’s leading-edge 14 nm and 10 nm foundries, as well as CPU design expertise for desktop-class processor thermal budgets. A search of Apple’s open positions indicated there were several openings for hardware engineers with backgrounds in computer architecture and silicon verification.

Intel’s Ronler Acres campus in Hillsboro (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)
Digging deeper into these job positions reveals keywords indicating performance validation in non-iOS workloads, as well as a heavy focus on memory concepts such as memory controllers, memory hierarchy, and cache coherency protocols. The focus on the memory subsystem is significant because this is one area where mobile device and PC form factor usage models differ based on their power consumption profiles, along with PCs featuring tools that can stress a memory system in ways not typically seen in mobile device workloads.

PC systems also tend to feature much higher memory bandwidths, due to both wider memory busses and higher memory clocks. Apple is often rumored to be working on an ARM-based MacBook, but such a device would likely feature some variant of LPDDR memory seen in Apple’s mobile devices, as well as Apple’s entire line of MacBooks.

This means that Apple already has the necessary memory controller designs to interface with LPDDR memory. Apple is also no stranger to the 128-bit memory busses seen in MacBook Pros with LPDDR3 RAM, along with previous iPad iterations featuring a 128-bit memory bus.

Given this information, the focus on memory subsystem could indicate a higher performance target for the memory system, with memory bandwidths more reflective of desktop or workstation class devices where memory bandwidth can reach into the hundreds of gigabytes per second.

Perhaps the most demanding component of a memory subsystem in custom SoC destined for macOS devices is the GPU. On the iOS side, Apple recently shifted from licensing Imagination Technologies’ family of PowerVR GPUs to designing its own custom GPUs. Additionally, Apple’s Orlando-based GPU design center has gone through several hiring spurts, and is also hiring now, including a position for a platform architect aimed at creating a family of GPUs across multiple Apple platforms.

The inclusion of a GPU on an Apple custom SoC destined for macOS devices would need several gigabytes of dedicated RAM, with memory bandwidth well into the hundreds of gigabytes to run modern games on the Retina screens featured in many Mac products. Depending on the die size allocated to its solution, Apple could potentially replace the Intel chips with integrated graphics in its lower performing MacBook products or even replace the dedicated GPUs found in its higher-end notebook offerings. Desktop-class machines would likely need a separate discrete GPU due to power and cooling constraints, as well as allowing a general ramp-up of GPU sizes and complexities.

For comparison, the CPUs and APUs with integrated graphics found in modern notebooks and desktop systems are typically in the 200–400 mm^2 die size range, whereas Apple’s mobile solutions tend to hover around 100 mm^2. Apple has already achieved performance rivaling Intel CPUs featured in laptops with its latest A11 chip, and allowing its designs to scale up in core counts and power consumption would help it compete with the higher core count CPUs featured in today’s higher performing notebooks and desktops.

Additionally, Apple is well positioned to take the leap into higher performing products after demonstrating several generations of custom CPU architectures, including its own instruction set extensions to the underlying ARMv8 ISA. Apple was behind the genesis of the effort that would eventually become ARM as we know it today, and its architecture ambitions have been clear for quite a while. The question of custom Apple-designed CPUs destined for notebooks and desktop systems seems less a question of capability, and one more focused on will and perceived market advantage.
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1
Jun

Facebook Removing ‘Trending’ News Section Because People Found it ‘Less and Less Useful’


Facebook today announced that it will remove its “Trending” section from the web and all mobile devices starting next week, in an effort to “make way for future news experiences.” Facebook says that its users have found Trending “less and less useful,” leading to the closure of the section, which stacks the latest news articles from the day into various categories.

On the web, Trending is found on the right toolbar, but in iOS it’s a bit more buried in the More tab > Explore > Trending News. Facebook launched the section in 2014, but it’s since only been available in five countries and accounts for “less than 1.5 percent of clicks to news publishers on average.” The removal of Trending will also mark the elimination of products and third-party partner integrations that rely on Trends API.

We’re removing Trending soon to make way for future news experiences on Facebook.

We’ve seen that the way people consume news on Facebook is changing to be primarily on mobile and increasingly through news video. So we’re exploring new ways to help people stay informed about timely, breaking news that matters to them, while making sure the news they see on Facebook is from trustworthy and quality sources.

In its place, the social media company outlined three ways it will keep users in the know about breaking news. One is a “Breaking News Label,” which is a simple indicator publishers can place on their posts in a user’s News Feed, as well as breaking news notifications. There is also a test for a new “Today In” section to connect users to important news from local publishers in their own cities.

Lastly, there will be new videos to view in Facebook Watch thanks to a dedicated section in the United States where users can check out exclusive live coverage, daily news briefings, and weekly deep dives. Facebook has long been attempting to expand its video presence within the mobile Facebook apps, debuting Watch last August for its exclusive video and TV content.

Tag: Facebook
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1
Jun

Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 With Messages in iCloud Support


Apple today released macOS High Sierra 10.13.5, the fifth major update to the macOS High Sierra operating system available on Apple’s Mac lineup. macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 comes more than two months after the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.4, which introduced eGPU support, Business Chat in Messages, and more.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store or through the Software Update function in the Mac App Store on all compatible Macs that are already running macOS High Sierra.

The macOS High Sierra 10.13.5 update introduces support for Messages in iCloud, a feature that Apple has been testing and working on since macOS High Sierra was announced last June.

Messages in iCloud, as the name suggests, stores your iMessages in iCloud rather than on each of your individual devices, introducing improved cross-device syncing and saving on-device storage space. Messages in iCloud support is also available in iOS 11.4, which was released to the public earlier this week.

macOS High Sierra will be followed by macOS 10.14, a next-generation version of macOS that Apple is expected to introduce at the Worldwide Developers Conference next week.

Related Roundup: macOS High Sierra
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1
Jun

LG V35 ThinQ vs. OnePlus 6: Can LG’s latest flagship beat an Android favorite?


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Just weeks after showing off the new LG G7 ThinQ, the smartphone giant is back with yet another flagship. Sporting a Snapdragon 845 processor and 6GB of RAM, the LG V35 ThinQ can handle just about any task you throw at it. So how does it compare to the similarly spec’d OnePlus 6? We put the two smartphones to the test to find out.

 Specs

LG V35 ThinQ 
OnePlus 6

Size
151.6 x 75.4 x 7.3mm (5.97 x 2.97 x 0.29 inches)
155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm (6.13 x 2.97 x 0.31 inches)

Weight
158 grams (5.57 ounces)
177 grams (6.24 ounces)

Screen size
6-inch OLED
6.28-inch AMOLED display

Screen resolution
2,880 x 1,440 pixels (538 pixels per inch)
2,280 x 1,080 pixels (402 pixels per inch)

Operating system
Android 8.0 Oreo
Android 8.1 Oreo

Storage space
64GB

64GB (with 6GB of RAM), 128GB, 256GB (both with 8GB of RAM)

MicroSD card slot
Yes, up to 2TB
No

Tap-to-pay services
Google Pay
Google Pay

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845

RAM
6GB
6GB, 8GB

Camera
Dual 16MP (with OIS) and 16MP wide angle rear, 8MP front
Dual 16MP and 20MP rear, 16MP front

Video
Up to 4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30 fps, 720p at 240 fps, HDR10
Up to 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, 720p at 480 fps super slow motion, HDR

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 5.0

Ports
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C
3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C

Fingerprint sensor
Yes (back)
Yes (back)

Water resistance
IP68
No

Battery
3,300mAh

Fast charging (Quick Charge 3.0)

Qi wireless charging

3,300mAh

DashCharge

App marketplace
Google Play Store
Google Play Store

Network support
AT&T, Project Fi
AT&T and T-Mobile

Colors
Aurora Black, Platinum Gray
Midnight Black, Mirror Black, Silk White

Price
$900
$530

Buy from

AT&T, Project Fi

OnePlus

Review score
Hands-on review
4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

If you need a phone that can perform just about any task with ease, you’re in luck: Both the LG V35 ThinQ and OnePlus 6 feature top-of-the-line specs that should serve you well for years to come.

Both phones ship with the latest Snapdragon 845 chip along with plenty of RAM to help you multitask. While the LG V35 ThinQ only comes in a 6GB RAM option, compared to the 6GB and 8GB configurations of the OnePlus 6, we don’t think you’ll see a noticeable performance difference between the two.

When it comes to battery life and charging, things get a little more interesting. Both phones feature a 3,300mAh battery that should get you through the day with ease, though you may get a little extra time on the V35 ThinQ since its display is smaller. You’ll also find a quick charging option for both: The OnePlus 6 features the proprietary DashCharge technology, while the LG V35 ThinQ ships with support for Quick Charge 3.0. The LG V35 ThinQ has a slight advantage over its competitor since it offers Qi wireless charging, a feature that’s sadly missing on the OnePlus 6.

Overall, the LG V35 ThinQ wins this category by a razor thin margin. The slightly better battery life and inclusion of wireless charging give it a leg up on the competition.

Winner: LG V35 ThinQ 

Design and durability

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

In terms of design, you’ll find a lot of similarities between the LG V35 ThinQ and the OnePlus 6. Both sport a glass-over-aluminum body, minimal bezels, and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. The main difference between the two devices is the notch at the top of the display on the OnePlus 6 that’s missing from the LG V35 ThinQ.

Durability is a different story. Each phone has its own strengths and weaknesses. The LG V35 ThinQ sports an IP68 rating, meaning it’s resistant to dust and water and can survive a short dunk. The OnePlus 6, on the other hand, does not offer the same level of protection.

On the flip side, the chassis of the OnePlus 6 is likely slightly more durable than the LG v35 ThinQ. While the OnePlus 6 features a Gorilla Glass 5 body, LG opted for the older Gorilla Glass 4 on the V35 ThinQ.

For this round, we’re calling a tie. Both the LG V35 ThinQ and OnePlus 6 have a very similar design aesthetic; the differences between the two are largely subjective. And in terms of overall durability, both phones have their own unique strengths and weaknesses which seems to balance them out in the end.

Winner: Tie 

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

At first glance, you may not notice much of a difference between the OLED displays on the LG V35 ThinQ and OnePlus 6. Sure the display on the OnePlus 6 comes in slightly larger at 6.28 inches versus the 6-inch screen on the V35 ThinQ. However, the LG V35 ThinQ sports a higher pixel density at 538 pixels per inch (ppi) versus 402 ppi for its competitor. Look a little closer and you’ll notice the LG V35 ThinQ produces a sharper image than the OnePlus 6.

While both displays are excellent, the LG V35 ThinQ is the clear winner of this round. Its sharper contrast and vibrant colors make streaming an absolute pleasure.

Winner: LG V35 ThinQ

Camera

The LG V35 ThinQ has a dual camera setup with two 16-megapixel lenses; the primary lens sports Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) while the secondary is a wide-angle lens. The OnePlus 6 also features a dual setup with a 16-megapixel lens with OIS, as well as a 20-megapixel secondary lens, but it’s not wide angle. As for the front-facing cameras you’ll find an 8-megapixel lens on the LG V35 ThinQ, and a 16-megapixel lens on the OnePlus 6.

While both phones have admirable cameras, the LG V35 ThinQ will perform better in a variety of settings. It features a slightly larger aperture at f/1.6 versus the f/1.7 aperture found on the OnePlus 6. It also features its A.I. Cam technology that can identify objects and environments and make settings adjustments to ensure you get the best photo. Finally, its Super Bright Camera feature combines pixels, creating better overall images in low light.

For this round, the clear winner is the LG V35 ThinQ. It features superior hardware and software that will help you get the best shot in just about any light. While OnePlus continues to improve its camera with each new handset, it doesn’t (yet) hold a candle to the V35 ThinQ.

Winner: LG V35 ThinQ

Software and updates

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com

If you’re looking for the most recent version of Android, you’ll want to stick with the OnePlus 6. The OnePlus 6 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo while the LG V35 ThinQ will feature the slightly older 8.0 Oreo. We do hope, however, that both phones will quickly update to Android P in the fall.

In terms of updates, LG has a bit of a spotty history. In the past, LG has been slow to send out security and OS updates to its handsets. However, the tech giant opened the LG Software Update Center in South Korea earlier this year in an effort to provide its customers with more timely updates.

While OnePlus has had its share of software and security issues in the past, the company has typically been quick to provide software updates to its handsets. In addition to a decent track record for updates, the OnePlus 6 is the first OnePlus device that supports Seamless Updates from Android.

We’re throwing this round to the OnePlus 6. While LG has committed publicly to providing more frequent updates for its phone, we are still a bit skeptical. OnePlus has a better track record for providing on-time updates.

Winner: OnePlus 6

Special features

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com

Neither the LG V35 ThinQ nor the OnePlus 6 feature an abundance of special features. And while it’s not that’s surprising for the midrange OnePlus 6, we’re a little surprised that the V35 ThinQ didn’t have more special features to make it a must-have phone.

On the LG V35 ThinQ you’ll find A.I. Cam, a feature that can recognize different objects and settings. The feature will make adjustments to your camera settings to help you get the best shot. You’ll also find LG integration for Google Assistant to help you complete LG-specific tasks like taking wide-angle selfies and performing visual searches.

The OnePlus 6, on the other hand, features an array of custom gestures for its Oxygen OS interface, as well as a custom Shelf that allows you to store frequently used apps and contacts.

Winner: LG V35 ThinQ

Price

Perhaps, the biggest difference between the LG V35 ThinQ and OnePlus 6 is pricing. While the OnePlus 6 starts at $530, the V35 ThinQ is significantly more expensive at $900. You can buy the OnePlus 6 unlocked directly from OnePlus and use it on carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile, but it won’t work on Verizon or Sprint. The LG V35 ThinQ is being sold exclusively at AT&T and on Google’s Project Fi network.

Overall winner: LG V35 ThinQ

In terms of specs, the LG V35 ThinQ wins by a narrow margin. Specs alone, however, can be a bit deceiving. To be perfectly honest, you can’t go wrong with either the LG V35 ThinQ or the OnePlus 6. There are many more similarities between the two than there are differences.

While the V35 can boast marginally superior specs, they do come at a significant premium. If you’re willing to spend more money, the V35 ThinQ will serve you well; if not, the OnePlus 6 is an admirable competitor.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • LG V35 ThinQ vs. LG V30: Is the newer model worth the extra cash?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. LG G7 ThinQ: Can the flagship killer sink LG’s latest?
  • LG G7 ThinQ vs. LG G6: Out with the old, in with the new
  • LG G7 ThinQ vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: A brains-versus-brawn comparison
  • LG V35 ThinkQ hands-on review


1
Jun

The beginning of the end? Teens are abandoning Facebook for YouTube


Facebook and Twitter’s long run as the de facto social media services could be coming to an end. Pollster Pew Research Center says today’s teenagers are increasingly skipping over traditional text-based forms of social media in favor of photo and video services, with just 51 percent of those ages 13-17 say they use Facebook, down 20 percent from 2015. Meanwhile, services like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat saw dramatic growth in that time.

“The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago,” study authors Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang wrote in Pew’s report.

Eighty-five percent of teens use YouTube, which came in first overall. This was more than any other social media service, including Instagram (72 percent), Snapchat (69 percent), Facebook (51 percent), and Twitter (32 percent). Use jumped in both Instagram and Snapchat by as much Facebook fell, and Twitter’s usage among teens stayed nearly the same.

Teens were also three times more likely to say they used either YouTube or Snapchat “most often” than they were with Facebook, providing further evidence that the social media giant’s reach is beginning to dwindle. While Pew does not speculate on the reasons why teens are shifting their social media habits, it does note that lower-income teens are more likely to use Facebook and more often than their more well-off counterparts.

The reasons for Facebook’s decline aren’t exactly clear, even despite an overall drop in trust of the company. Teens were fairly well split as to whether social media had a positive (31 percent) or negative (24 percent) effect on their lives and those of others their age, with the remainder saying it had neither effect.

Among those that said it had a positive effect, connecting with friends and family was the most common reason why, while those that said it had a negative effect pointed to bullying and rumor spreading on the social network.

Smartphone usage is nearly ubiquitous in this age group, with 95 percent having some kind of access to a device, up from 73 percent in 2015. Forty-five percent of teens say they are online on a near-constant basis.

The study was conducted with 743 teens between March 7 and April 10.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The way you listen to music is in jeopardy. Here’s how Pandora plans to survive
  • South Korea fines Facebook $300K for allegedly throttling its services
  • Which social media platform wins?
  • Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?
  • TeenSafe phone-monitoring app leaks ‘tens of thousands’ of accounts


1
Jun

The beginning of the end? Teens are abandoning Facebook for YouTube


Facebook and Twitter’s long run as the de facto social media services could be coming to an end. Pollster Pew Research Center says today’s teenagers are increasingly skipping over traditional text-based forms of social media in favor of photo and video services, with just 51 percent of those ages 13-17 say they use Facebook, down 20 percent from 2015. Meanwhile, services like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat saw dramatic growth in that time.

“The social media landscape in which teens reside looks markedly different than it did as recently as three years ago,” study authors Monica Anderson and Jingjing Jiang wrote in Pew’s report.

Eighty-five percent of teens use YouTube, which came in first overall. This was more than any other social media service, including Instagram (72 percent), Snapchat (69 percent), Facebook (51 percent), and Twitter (32 percent). Use jumped in both Instagram and Snapchat by as much Facebook fell, and Twitter’s usage among teens stayed nearly the same.

Teens were also three times more likely to say they used either YouTube or Snapchat “most often” than they were with Facebook, providing further evidence that the social media giant’s reach is beginning to dwindle. While Pew does not speculate on the reasons why teens are shifting their social media habits, it does note that lower-income teens are more likely to use Facebook and more often than their more well-off counterparts.

The reasons for Facebook’s decline aren’t exactly clear, even despite an overall drop in trust of the company. Teens were fairly well split as to whether social media had a positive (31 percent) or negative (24 percent) effect on their lives and those of others their age, with the remainder saying it had neither effect.

Among those that said it had a positive effect, connecting with friends and family was the most common reason why, while those that said it had a negative effect pointed to bullying and rumor spreading on the social network.

Smartphone usage is nearly ubiquitous in this age group, with 95 percent having some kind of access to a device, up from 73 percent in 2015. Forty-five percent of teens say they are online on a near-constant basis.

The study was conducted with 743 teens between March 7 and April 10.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The way you listen to music is in jeopardy. Here’s how Pandora plans to survive
  • South Korea fines Facebook $300K for allegedly throttling its services
  • Which social media platform wins?
  • Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?
  • TeenSafe phone-monitoring app leaks ‘tens of thousands’ of accounts


1
Jun

Is the OnePlus 6 worth buying over the Galaxy S9?


That’s a tough call.

The OnePlus 6 offers one of the best value propositions in the smartphone space right now, providing customers a flagship-like phone experience for considerably less than a lot of the competition.

oneplus-6-vs-galaxy-s9-plus-2.jpg?itok=5

However, how does the phone hold up when paired against Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series? Specifically, the Galaxy S9+.

One of our AC forum members recently purchased the OnePlus 6, but with Best Buy currently selling the S9+ for $300 off its retail price, is considering jumping ship to team Samsung.

They reached out to the community for some advice, and this was the response.

avatar3026890_1.gifItsa_Me_Mario
05-30-2018 04:14 PM

S9+ is by FAR a better phone. If they’re even near each other in price, the OnePlus 6 would be the default loser.

Reply

avatar1545606_1.gifdigitalbreak
05-31-2018 11:56 AM

If you care about the camera, then S9+ is the best of the two.

If you care about software and updates,OnePlus 6 is the best of the two.

Reply

avatar2772312_1.gifneil74
06-01-2018 02:44 AM

I have both and it is a really hard call. Ultimately it ends up that the OP takes the crown for speed and software but the S9+ IMO beats it on every other count.

I probably should have gone for the 256gb as that negates the SD expansion of the S9 but overall despite the cost difference I’d still pick the S9+ Actually in the UK the LG G7 is not a million miles away price wise from the OnePlus…

Reply

avatar2762013_9.gifFutureMech
05-31-2018 04:37 PM

S9+ by far, unless op6 is 300$ cheaper, it offer nothing over s9 except more frequent updates

Reply

What do you say? Is the OnePlus 6 a better purchase over the Galaxy S9?

Join the conversation in the forums!

OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 review
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
  • The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
  • Join the discussion in the forums

Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

  • Galaxy S9 and S9+: Everything you need to know!
  • Galaxy S9 review: A great phone for the masses
  • Complete Galaxy S9 and S9+ specs
  • Galaxy S9 vs. Galaxy S8: Should you upgrade?
  • Join our Galaxy S9 forums

Verizon
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint

1
Jun

Best Buy opens pre-orders for HP’s 2-in-1 Chromebook [Update]


The machine costs $599.

Updated June 1, 2018: Although shipments for the Chromebook X2 weren’t supposed to go out until June 7 with a proper launch date of June 10, Best Buy appears to be jumping the gun. Some folks on Reddit first caught wind of Best Buy orders already shipping and the company offering in-store pickup, with one customer even sharing a video of their early purchase. Best Buy’s site still shows June 7 as the ship date for me in Michigan, but it’d be worth checking the site to see if it’s available early in your area.

Just a little over a month ago, HP announced the Chromebook x2 — a 2-in-1 Chromebook that can function as a traditional laptop or work as a 12.3-inch tablet thanks to a detachable keyboard.

hp-chromebook-x2-5.jpg?itok=4ySrOj5C

The Chromebook x2 is looking like one of 2018’s best Chrome OS gadgets so far, and you can now pre-order it for yourself at Best Buy.

The x2 will set you back $599, and you’re getting a lot of computer for the price. That 12.3-inch display is an IPS panel and has a crisp resolution of 2400 x 1600. Intel’s Core m3 and 4GB RAM are used to power everything and are accompanied by 32GB of eMMC flash storage and Intel HD Graphics 615.

In addition to the detachable keyboard, the x2 also comes with an included stylus that can easily be housed on the side of the keyboard when you’re not using it. Even better, HP says its ultra-strong hinge makes typing on the x2 feel like a traditional laptop despite its convertible nature.

Best Buy’s website indicates that the Chromebook x2 will be available in-stores on June 7, but this could vary depending on which part of the country you live in.

See at Best Buy

Chromebooks

  • The best Chromebooks
  • Chromebooks in education: Everything you need to know
  • Should you buy a Chromebook?
  • Chromebook Buyers Guide
  • Google Pixelbook review
  • Join our Chromebook forums

1
Jun

Everything that’s new in OxygenOS


oneplus-6-vs-oneplus-5t-1.jpg?itok=3Pgbo

Have a OnePlus phone? Here’s what’s new with your latest update.

OxygenOS is the software that powers OnePlus phones, and even if you’re not enrolled in the Open Beta, it’s still frequently updated with new features and bug fixes to keep an eye out for.

It can be tough to keep track of what’s new, so we’ll be updating this guide with each new OxygenOS update that’s rolled out.

June 1, 2018 — May security patch comes to OnePlus 5 and 5T

OnePlus pushed out a small update to the OnePlus 5 and 5T on June 1 (OxygenOS 5.1.2), with one of the most notable changes being an upgrade to the May 2018 Android security patch.

OxygenOS 5.1.2 adds a few smaller fixes/features as well, including:

  • Fixed auto-rotation stability issue
  • Fixed Wi-Fi connection issue
  • Fixed microphone not functioning issue for AKG earphones
  • Added double-tap to lock screen
  • Gallery app updated with Places (map view of where your photos were taken) and a Recently Deleted folder.

May 25, 2018 — Face Unlock comes to the OnePlus 3/3T with OxygenOS 5.0.3

The OnePlus 3 and 3T may be getting up in their age, but that doesn’t stop OnePlus from pushing new features to them. OxyenOS 5.0.3 is rolling out to the phones now, and the highlight here is easily the addition of Face Unlock.

This is the same technology introduced on the OnePlus 5T, allowing you to quickly unlock your 3 or 3T by just looking at it. Other items included with the update are as follows:

  • Android security patch updated to May 2018
  • Refined UI for the Shelf
  • New app shortcuts design
  • More options when long-pressing an app icon
  • OnePlus Gallery gets Places menu, ability to share photos to Shot-On-OnePlus, and Recently Deleted collection
  • Large Files category in File Manager
  • OnePlus Weather app gets new widget, improved positioning accuracy, and refresh interval setting

OnePlus 6

  • OnePlus 6 review
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
  • OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
  • These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
  • The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
  • Join the discussion in the forums

1
Jun

How to stop streaming apps like Spotify from randomly shutting down


spotify-free-playback-grande-blue-gs9plu

Changing a setting can keep streaming apps like Spotify up and running instead of cutting off your favorite song.

Modern Android phones make excellent devices for streaming media. Whether that means watching video on YouTube, listening to music through an app like Spotify, or indulging in an audiobook from Audible, your phone and a good set of headphones are all you need for a first-class experience.

Unless that experience gets interrupted by the app randomly shutting down, that is.

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on and what you can do to try and prevent it from happening.

Why it happens

The reason that streaming apps can stop abruptly and shut down has good intentions behind it — to save your battery.

Android and the phone manufacturers that use it know you want your battery to last forever on a single charge. That’s not possible, but what can be done is to add tools inside the system that keep apps from chewing through battery when they are not in focus — particularly in the foreground.

Android itself can have an unlimited amount of applications running. When the software is built, engineers alter a bit of the code to match how many apps can run based on the hardware used to build the phone. It’s complicated, but those engineers can set parameters about how much memory apps can use while you’re looking at them, while they are running in the background, while they are “sleeping” in the background, and apps that support other apps. When that number is reached, the system will start closing apps based on how they are running, not when they were last used.

RAM: What it is and when do you need more?

An app that is on your screen and you’re interacting with is in focus. That means plenty of system resources are allowed to be used because it’s assumed that you want that app up and running and are OK with it using battery power.

But an app like Spotify doesn’t really need to be on your screen to work to its full potential, so it should be able to tell the system that it still needs to be “in focus” — and therefore kept alive — even when it’s not actually open on the screen. It should be able to use things like battery power or your network connection because you asked it to.

marshmallow-battery.jpg?itok=gX4RN4ZH

Every company involved with Android, including app developers, wants to conserve battery. The people developing the hardware and software are constantly tweaking things to get just a tiny bit more life from a charge because all those tiny tweaks will add up. Android itself has seen Google make plenty of changes between versions here and companies like Samsung also have done a lot to save battery power whenever it can. And sometimes, those tiny changes don’t work great with each other.

It’s not difficult for a tiny change to force your phone to think an app like Spotify isn’t in focus as described above when you’re streaming, and the rules about when and how apps that aren’t in focus should be shut down to save battery are very different from the rules for apps you’re using.

And that’s often the problem here. You start Spotify (or Audible or any other streaming app) then move on to check the weather or read your Twitter timeline, and your phone thinks Spotify isn’t something that should be eating up all the battery power it’s using.

And that is a simple fix.

How to fix it

There are plenty of other factors that could be shutting down an app, but most of the time this will fix Spotify when it wants to shut down all the time — change any extra battery-saving features.

These are tools added on top of those settings that decide how apps can use resources. They’re put in place by the company that made your phone and are a way to be more aggressive about closing apps that use battery power when you’re not actively looking at them on your screen. Different companies make these changes in different ways, but the result is the same — your phone slows down a tiny bit, your screen won’t get as bright, and apps that aren’t up front on your screen aren’t allowed to use your connection and chew up battery power the way they would normally do.

To fix the problem, you need to disable any battery-saving features associated with the app that’s shutting down. Different companies have slightly different methods, but in the end, the result is the same.

Samsung phones — Marshmallow (Android 6.x)

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If your Samsung phone is stuck on Marshmallow, here’s a tried-and-tested solution that doesn’t involve battery optimization but rather access to background data.

Note: If your Samsung phone is running Android 7.0 or later, skip this step and go to the one below.

Open your Settings.
Tap the Data usage entry.
Tap on Background data.
Find the app that’s giving you trouble on the list.
Make sure the switch beside it is set to enabled.

Samsung phones — Android 7.0

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On a Samsung phone running Android 7.x Nougat or later, the steps are simple.

Open your phone’s Settings menu.
Open Device Maintenance.
Tap Battery.
Tap Battery usage.
In the three-dot menu button (top right), tap Optimize battery usage.
In the drop-down menu, select All apps.
Find the app(s) you want to unoptimize, and deselect it.

Pixel and Nexus phones — Android 7.x or later

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If you have a Pixel or Nexus phone running Android 7 (Nougat) or later, try this:

Open your Settings.
Find the entry for Battery and tap it.
Tap the menu button and choose Battery optimization.
At the top, you’ll see a drop-down menu. Open it and choose All apps.
In the list, find the app that’s giving you trouble and choose Don’t Optimize.

Android uses a system tool called Doze to control how apps use power in the background. With Android 7.0, Doze became much more aggressive and there have been a few problems with streaming apps when the screen shuts off. Selecting the Don’t Optimize option tells Doze not to try and control how the app behaves when not in focus.

Battery optimization is important, and you should leave the feature enabled for most apps. We only recommend disabling it for streaming apps on phones where memory and battery management is just a bit too aggressive.

And these solutions aren’t perfect. And while it rarely happens, a glitch could allow an app like Spotify to run constantly and use all of your battery. App developers and companies that make Android phones know this, too, and are constantly working to fix issues like this with minor updates so it’s important you make sure you’re accepting system updates and app updates from Google Play.

In the meantime, these tweaks will get you back up and running with your favorite sounds still playing in the background!

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