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22
Aug

Walmart Gets Into eBooks With Launch of New iOS App, Reveals $9.99/Month Audiobook Service


Walmart today announced that it has partnered with Rakuten Kobo to launch its own dedicated eBooks platform, simply called Walmart eBooks. The service will be available as an iOS and Android application, as well as on Kobo’s eReaders, and function similarly to rival eBook services from Apple and Amazon.

“More than six million” eBooks will be up for purchase on Walmart’s site, and once you find your next book you can choose the “eBook” option, click “Buy”, checkout, and find the book in any app or eReader synced to your Walmart account. It appears that you can’t buy books directly from the iOS app, and can only download a sample of each novel to read.

In stores, Walmart will also debut “digital book cards” of nearly 40 novels, which will provide codes that you can then go home and redeem to save the eBook on your devices. The partnership is also introducing Kobo eReaders on Walmart.com and in 1,000 Walmart retail stores, starting at $99.99 with the Kobo Aura.

Summer is almost over, which means there are only a few more weeks left to soak up the sun and enjoy one of the beach reads all of your friends have been talking about. Today, we’re making it easier than ever to check out the latest new releases with the launch of Walmart eBooks by Rakuten Kobo, Walmart’s partnership with Kobo to offer an all-new digital books catalog in stores and online.

Walmart eBooks will complement our vast physical book assortment and offer customers a comprehensive digital book solution, introducing an entirely new category that hasn’t been previously available at Walmart.

The free Walmart eBooks app is available to download today from the iOS App Store [Direct Link], and will act as a hub for Walmart’s new initiative, collecting your eBooks, audiobooks, graphic novels, and children’s books on iPhone and iPad. Features include resizable text, a Night Mode, screen orientation lock, automatic bookmarks, bookmark syncing across devices, free book previews, and more.

The app provides “Awards” for accomplishing certain literary tasks, such as finishing a certain number of books, highlighting quotes, sharing a passage on social media, and more. The app will also track your reading stats and library activity, showing the percentage complete of the current book you’re reading, the amount of time you’ve spent reading the book, and number of pages turned. Additionally, Walmart eBooks will track the total hours you spend reading, hours per book, pages per hour, pages per session, and more.

There’s also a new audiobook subscription service that will let customers subscribe for $9.99 per month and gain access to one audiobook every month. Comparatively, Amazon’s Audible service offers credit for one audiobook every month at $14.95 per month. Customers who sign up online will also get $10 off their first a la carte audiobook or eBook, and the audiobook service includes a 30-day free trial.

Walmart’s entry into the eBook market comes eight years after Apple announced iBooks alongside the iPad in 2010, and just over ten years after Amazon’s original Kindle launched in the United States alongside the Kindle eBooks store.

Tag: Walmart
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22
Aug

Apple’s Shazam Acquisition Set to Gain European Approval


European Commission antitrust regulators are set to approve Apple’s acquisition of music discovery service Shazam with no conditions, reports Reuters.

Apple announced its planned acquisition of Shazam in December, but the deal has yet to be completed due to an ongoing EU investigation.

Regulators were worried that the merger between the two companies would provide Apple with a wealth of data that could allow it to target its competitors’ customers, ultimately resulting in fewer music streaming options for European citizens.

There were also concerns that Apple would disallow Shazam from referring EU customers to Shazam’s rivals, such as Spotify. At the current time, Shazam can be connected to either Apple Music or Spotify, allowing Shazamed songs to be opened in either service.

While European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment at this time, a final decision on the acquisition is expected on September 18. Once approved, Apple will be able to finalize the deal and complete the Shazam purchase.

Shazam, for those unfamiliar with the service, is a cross-platform app designed to identify music, TV shows, and more. It has been baked into Apple devices as part of Siri for several years now, and it’s what powers Siri’s ability to answer questions like “What song is this?” Shazam also offers apps for iOS devices, Android devices, Macs, and PCs.

When announcing the acquisition of Shazam, Apple said that it had “exciting plans in store,” but declined to provide further information on how the Shazam service would be used.
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22
Aug

Qualcomm’s next flagship mobile chip will feature 5G connectivity


Qualcomm Technologies announced today that its next major flagship chip for smartphones will be able to be paired with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X50 5G modem for a super-fast mobile data connection, while also being smaller than ever before.

This new chip — assumed to be the Snapdragon 855 — will feature a system-on-chip built on the 7-nanometer process node. That should mean that this new chip will be smaller, faster, and more power efficient than this year’s extremely powerful Snapdragon 845. While the Snapdragon X50 5G modem isn’t new tech — it released in 2016 — this will be the first time it’s been used in smartphones, and Qualcomm expects it to be the first 5G-capable mobile platform for premium flagship smartphones.

Qualcomm has stated that sample tests are already underway with multiple companies, and it expects to see real progress made in making 5G available over this year and the next.

“We are very pleased to be working with OEMs, operators, infrastructure vendors, and standards bodies across the world, and are on track to help launch the first 5G mobile hotspots by the end of 2018, and smartphones using our next-generation mobile platform in the first half of 2019,” said Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Incorporated.

What’s all the fuss about 5G? 5G represents the next major step in mobile internet, and while there’s a lot of technobabble surrounding this new standard, the upshot is that 5G-capable smartphones will be able to download, browse, and stream at much higher speeds than 4G. 5G-capable smartphones will likely start dropping in earnest from next year, but we’ve already seen something of what to expect — the Moto Z3 has an optional 5G Moto Mod that will allow it to use the new standard when it’s available,

Outside of this announcement, Qualcomm has been coy about the specifics of this flagship “flagchip,” if you will. As mentioned, we fully expect this chip will be the Snapdragon 855, and we expect it will be a key component of the next generation of premium flagships, including the Samsung Galaxy S10, LG G8 ThinQ, and other powerful smartphones in 2019. Full details regarding this chip will be released in the fourth quarter of 2018, just in time for the next generation of powerful smartphones.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Motorola Moto Z3 vs. Moto Z3 Play
  • Sprint and LG team up on a 5G smartphone set for release in first half of 2019
  • Need more juice? Here are the phones with the best battery life
  • Moto G6 review
  • Trust us, you need to pay attention to Samsung’s new mobile modem



22
Aug

What to keep your phone secure? Here’s how to use Android 9.0 Pie’s Lockdown Mode


Google’s Android 9.0 Pie is finally here, bringing a host of great new features to Android phones, along with a few sleek design updates and more. One of the most overlooked new features, however, has nothing to do with design. Lockdown Mode is more security focused — and while it may not be a feature that you use on a daily basis, it’s probably still important to know how to activate it.

Before we dive into how to use Lockdown Mode, we should go over what it actually is. The feature is aimed at people who want to protect their private data from the prying eyes of phone thieves, law enforcement officials, and anyone else who might try and break into your phone without your permission. It blocks things like the fingerprint sensor, facial-recognition, and voice-recognition features from being used. That can be pretty important — it’s already illegal for law enforcement to make you enter your PIN code or a phone pattern, and with Lockdown Mode, they can’t force you to use your fingerprint sensor or facial-recognition tech either.

Thankfully, enabling Lockdown Mode is actually very easy. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Select the Security & Location option.
  • Scroll down and select Lock screen preferences.
  • Toggle on Show lockdown option.

Now, the option to turn on lockdown mode will show up when you need it to. To turn on Lockdown Mode, hold down the power button. You’ll now see a Lockdown option under the power and restart options. Once Lockdown mode is activated and you try to use the fingerprint sensor, you’ll be prompted to use your PIN code, password, or pattern. After entering the code, Lockdown mode will be automatically deactivated — so you’ll need to manually activate it again if you want it to stay on.

To be clear, you will need Android 9.0 Pie to make use of this feature — so if you don’t have the new operating system just yet, check for a software update on your device. Many phones don’t yet support Android 9.0 Pie — though hopefully your phone will get the operating system at some point in the near future.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Android 9.0 Pie: Everything you need to know
  • LG V35 ThinQ: Here’s everything you need to know about LG’s newest flagship
  • Your ultimate guide to Motorola’s 2018 smartphone lineup
  • How to use Android 9.0 Pie’s gesture navigation, and how to turn it off



22
Aug

Here are the Android Pie features that work on earlier versions


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Your phone might never see Android Pie, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see some of the new features.

One of the reasons Android has become the most popular computer operating system in the world can also create a big headache — any company can do almost anything they want to do with it. That not only means that devices running Android can look very different and use very different hardware, but even “traditional” uses of Android like phones that include support for Google services aren’t all going to be running the same version.

There are about 20,000 different devices running Android and most of them are running an older version.

This will never change. Google has tools that make it easier for hardware manufacturers to all migrate to the current version of Android (9 at the time of this writing) but even those tools aren’t going to be enough to get every supported device on the same platform version at the same time. Google handles this issue for phones and other devices that follow the Android Compatibility Definitions with some tools like Google Play Services to provide supplemental security improvements and functionality. If you have the Play Store on your phone, you have Google Play Services up and running regardless of the version of Android you’re using.

Google also has tools for app developers who want to make use of the cool new things each platform update brings and have their apps be compatible with as many phones as possible. These are known as the Android Support Libraries, and developers can use them to add some of the things that Pie brings to the table back to Oreo or Nougat.

Along with Android 9, one of the big announcements at Google I/O 2018 was Android Jetpack. Jetpack is a set of components for developers that makes it easier to build apps and is comprised of the new AndroidX libraries. One of the features of AndroidX and Jetpack is to make features from the latest versions of Android work on older platform versions. Another great feature is Jetpack’s modularity which means it can be updated quickly and independently of Android itself. This makes adding features that work across multiple platform versions much easier.

Right now there aren’t a lot of visible features of Pie that can be used in older versions like Oreo and Nougat, but the Support Libraries are filled with changes that help developers build apps for Android Pie that will still function on older versions. That’s the most important part, but everyone at Google is excited about how Jetpack and AndroidX will be able to keep bringing newer features to older versions of Android, and I expect we’ll see the list grow.

Slices

A Slice is a tiny piece of an app that can be filled with dynamic content and appear anywhere in any Android app or inside any Google-provided service. A Slice can bring important and contextual information from an app right where we need to see it and can include things like live data, intents, inline Actions as well as deep linking to other portions of its parent. Useful information or controls that we want to have at our fingertips without opening an app, like music player controls or flight schedules can appear where we can easily use them.

Slices are something developers can work on right now and will be rolling out to user accounts “soon” — and thanks to Jetpack and the Support Libraries, that means they won’t be restricted to only Android 9.

Actions

Google Assistant already brings Conversational Actions to phones with Google Assistant and devices like Google Home and Smart Displays. They’re part of your Google account and developers have been eagerly adding more and more of them that you can include in your own routine.

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Soon, we’ll also have Actions on our phones that use the same ideas. They are designed to bring functionality from an app into any Google service, but what’s really cool about them is that Google’s AI will bring them automatically and intelligently where you need them when you need them. App Actions are difficult to describe, but when you see one in action it just clicks; you can see how App Actions will work right now. Visit Google.com and type something like ” how many U.S. dollars is 25 Euros” and you’ll be presented with the answer and a small conversion tool you can use right at the top of the page.

While a currency converter isn’t that exciting, think of how other apps can inject parts of themselves into things like Search or Gmail or Docs. App Actions are in beta right now, and we expect them to come to our phones soon. Again, thanks to Jetpack and the Android Support Libraries they won’t be restricted to Android 9 and almost all of us can use them as they appear.

Google says that any new Android app should work on 90% of active devices. That means it also needs to provide tools and means for apps that feature new APIs and interface elements to work on older versions. We’ll keep updating this list as more news about the Android Support Libraries comes to light and look forward to lots of new additions during the 2018 Android Dev Summit in November.

Will my phone get Android Pie?

Android 9 Pie

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  • Everything you need to know about Android 9 Pie!
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22
Aug

How to use a PlayStation 4 controller on Android


Don’t buy a mobile controller before trying your DualShock 4.

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If you own a modern gaming console, chances are you already have a usable Bluetooth controller for your Android phone. That’s because most newer console controllers either use Bluetooth as standard or include it for use on other platforms.

Which means, yes, it’s possible to use a PlayStation 4 controller on your Android phone, tablet, or TV device. We’re here to show you how.

What you’ll need

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You’re going to want a DualShock 4 controller, first and foremost. Unlike the Xbox One controller, all DualShock 4 controllers have Bluetooth built-in no matter when and where you got it because the PlayStation 4 uses Bluetooth as its standard wireless connection protocol.

If you already have a PS4, congratulations — you have all you need. And if you don’t have a PS4 controller, you can always buy one on Amazon (though we’d sooner recommend you buy something else, and we’ll tell you why in a bit).

See at Amazon

How to use a PS4 controller on Android

With the controller and phone in hand, the pairing process is simple. We’ll take you through it step-by-step:

On your Android device, ensure your Bluetooth radio is turned on by opening settings and heading to the Bluetooth menu. Make sure the phone is in scan mode.
With the controller, simultaneously hold the PlayStation button and the Share button for a few seconds. The controller’s light will begin blinking to let you know it’s in pair mode.
Back on the phone, look for a device named Wireless Controller in the list of nearby Bluetooth devices. Tap that device to begin the pairing process.
The controller’s light should stop blinking and you should get confirmation on your phone that the connection was successful.

If all goes well, you’ll be connected and the controller can be used to navigate the Android UI.

Potential issues

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In testing, I’ve found that it may not behave quite as well as a dedicated mobile controller or even the Xbox One’s controller. For instance, while I could move my character and turn the camera using the analog sticks in Modern Combat 5, the aim and shoot buttons were relegated to the Share and Option buttons, respectively. This made for a pretty awkward and uncomfortable control scheme that I certainly couldn’t play the game with in the long run.

Your mileage may vary in this regard. Give your favorite controller games a try and see if they present any issues. Ideally, a game would simply let you remap all the buttons like an emulator would, but that’s just not the case with most games.

One potential route you can take is to root your device to customize the HID profile and make your controller layout more standardized for the games you play, but we wouldn’t recommend this option for the inexperienced. In fact, you should try to stay away from rooting your device in general, as it can open you up to nasty security issues and odd device behavior that just might not be worth it.

Should you use a PS4 controller on your Android device?

If you have a game that works well with it or that allows you to remap the buttons, go nuts. But we’d sooner recommend an alternative, or just pick up the Xbox One controller with Bluetooth. Even if you don’t find it immediately useful, some popular games like Fortnite could offer controller mapping in the future, and you’ll be glad that you already know how to set this up if and when that day arrives.

See at Amazon

22
Aug

Should you upgrade to the Galaxy Note 9 from the Pixel 2 XL?


The switch from Google to Samsung is now more tempting than ever.

Google’s Pixel 2 XL is still holding up incredibly well despite coming up on its first birthday, but even with that being the case, Samsung’s brand-new Galaxy Note 9 is likely giving all Android owners at least some level of envy.

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The Pixel 3 XL will be here is just a few short weeks, but whether you can’t stand its oversized notch or just want an upgrade this very second, the Note 9 is proving to get a lot of pre-orders from former Pixel fans.

Just check out the AC forums to see what we mean!

default.jpgjmartin
08-17-2018 12:03 AM

I’m trading in my Pixel 2 XL for the 450 mainly out of laziness. I think I could get an extra hundred out of Swappa, etc. Up to you.

Reply

avatar316488_1.gifTheDonJ77
08-18-2018 07:10 PM

I was holding out to see what the P3XL was bringing to the table but not so sure anymore after the endless massive notch leaks. I went into BB the other day and my God, the Note 9 is BEAUTIFUL. The screen runs circles around my PXL2 and the cameras are great. Samsung is offering $450 instant trade in for the Pixel 2 so there’s that. Brings down the cost of the phone to about 550 outright. Soooooo…

Reply

avatar187889_1.gifKillerQ
08-18-2018 09:41 PM

Yea, it’s funny, because after using what was probably the best all-around phone available (the Pixel 2XL), as soon as I went hands on with the new Note 9, I was blown away instantly…that’s all the convincing I needed!

Reply

avatar22553_1.gifihbsbA
08-19-2018 10:24 PM

I have gone from Note 7 to pixel one, then pixel 2 and skipped the Note 8… I’m kind of anxious to get the nine. After all of this time on the pixel I didn’t realize how much I loved the screen on Samsung devices. For whatever reason, I also happen to love the pictures that the Samsung line takes better than the pixel…go figure..

I’ll install the lawnchair launcher and have it look like…

Reply

What say you? Are you keeping your Pixel 2 XL or upgrading to the Note 9?

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  • Where to buy the Galaxy Note 9
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  • Is the Note 8 still a good buy?
  • Join our Galaxy Note 9 forums

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22
Aug

Samsung Galaxy Watch vs. Gear S2: Should you upgrade?


Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is powerful, but the Gear S2 holds up surprisingly well.

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If you’ve got an Android phone, one of the dominant forces in the smartwatch market is Samsung. The company’s Tizen operating system and unique hardware design have allowed for some truly excellent wearables over the years, and in 2018, Samsung’s big smartwatch is the Galaxy Watch.

The Galaxy Watch has a lot going for it, but for owners of the Gear S2 from 2015, is it worth the $329 upgrade?

Let’s find out!

What the Galaxy Watch does better

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Samsung’s Galaxy Watch is its newest wearable gadget, and as such, you’ll find all of the latest available tech packed inside of it.

The two biggest upgrades you get with the Galaxy Watch lies with its performance and battery endurance. Samsung’s using an “optimized” Exynos 9110 processor to power the Watch, allowing for faster app-loading times, UI navigation, and more compared to the dual-core 1GHz Pega-W CPU of the Gear S2.

The Galaxy Watch has just about everything you could ask for in a modern smartwatch.

That “optimized” processor also means you won’t have to charge the Galaxy Watch as frequently. While the Gear S2’s 250 mAh battery only lasts for about a day, the Galaxy Watch has a reported 5 days of use before needing to hit the charger.

The Galaxy Watch also ships with Tizen 4.0 out of the box — a new version of Samsung’s wearable operating system that likely won’t ever make it to the 3-year-old Gear S2. Tizen 4.0 looks a lot like previous versions of the OS but offers a stronger focus on fitness with the ability to record 40 different workouts and auto-detect seven of the most popular ones. Speaking of fitness, the Galaxy Watch even has a built-in GPS chip.

Last but certainly not least, the Galaxy Watch comes in 42mm and 46mm sizes (the Gear S2 is only available in 42mm) and has 5 ATM water resistance with Corning’s new Gorilla Glass DX+ display that’s built specifically for smartwatch wear and tear.

See at Samsung

What the Gear S2 still does well

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The Gear S2 is certainly getting up in its years, but that’s not to say it should automatically be thrown to the curb. In fact, it holds up quite well to the Galaxy Watch in some regards.

This past March, Samsung updated the Gear S2 with a completely refreshed UI, more robust fitness-tracking features, Gear VR controller support, and more. I wouldn’t hold my breath for Tizen 4.0 to make its way to the Gear S2, but in its current form, it’s essentially running the same exact software found on the Gear Sport that was just released last October.

As for hardware features, the Gear S2 has a heart-rate monitor, support for Samsung Pay using NFC, Samsung’s excellent rotating bezel, and an optional 3G model that’s still sold at some U.S. carriers.

Should you upgrade?

Considering the Gear S2’s age, it’s kind of remarkable as to just how well it’s held up over the years. It still looks great compared to more recent smartwatches, has many of the same hardware features, and Samsung’s commitment to sending software updates its way has allowed it to get even better with age — something we seldom see in this field.

If you’re still holding onto your Gear S2 and don’t feel like throwing down $329 on the Galaxy Watch, you can keep using it without missing out on too much.

On the flip side, if you’ve got the cash to spend, the Galaxy Watch has everything that makes the Gear S2 great with a faster processor, considerably better battery life, GPS, and will see better software support going down the road.

What do you plan on doing? Are you going to pick up the Galaxy Watch? Let us know in the comments below!

Samsung Galaxy Watch: Everything you need to know

22
Aug

OnePlus 5 and 5T get Project Treble with OxygenOS 5.1.5 update


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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.

August 22, 2018 — August security patch and Project Treble come to the OnePlus 5 and 5T

OnePlus has started pushing the OyxgenOS 5.1.5 update to the OnePlus 5 and 5T, and at first glance, the official changelog looks pretty barebones:

  • Updated Android security patch to August 2018
  • Confirm lock screen PIN without tapping the checkmark (Settings -> Security and lock screen -> Screen lock-> PIN)

However, thanks to numerous reports on Reddit and confirmation from our friends at Android Police, it would appear that this update also brings Project Treble to all 5 and 5T owners.

Project Treble previously came to these phones as part of the OyxgenOS Open Beta back in early July, so it’s exciting to see that OnePlus is now bringing this feature to the official public build of the OS.

Google designed Project Treble to make it easier for OEMs to update their phones to new Android versions, and should everything go as we hope, this will allow the 5 and 5T to be updated to Android 9 Pie in a timely manner.

August 15, 2018 — OnePlus 6 gets better HDR camera performance and a fix for screen flickering

OxygenOS 5.1.11 is rolling out now to the OnePlus 6, and there are a couple big highlights that users should be quite excited to see.

For one thing, this new software further improves the HDR mode for the OP6’s already great camera. Along with this, there’s also a fix for a screen flickering issue that various owners have been complaining about.

Other goodies included with this update are:

  • Optimizations for network connections
  • Better stability for Wi-Fi connections
  • Confirm your lock screen PIN without tapping the checkmark (Settings -> Security and lock -> PIN)
  • General bug fixes and improvements

July 30, 2018 — Improved photo clarity, group messaging, and more come to OnePlus 5/5T with OxygenOS 5.1.4

The OnePlus 5 and 5T are getting a new OTA update to OxygenOS 5.1.4, and while it’s not a particularly large upgrade, there are still a few welcome changes we’re excited to see.

First off, you’ll find a new feature in the battery settings called Sleep Standby Optimizations. Once turned on, your 5/5T will learn your sleeping patterns and turn off network usage when it detects you’re catching some zzz’s. Right before your wake up, your network access will be re-enabled so you don’t miss out on emails, Twitter mentions, or other notifications you got while asleep. OnePlus says this helps to reduce battery usage throughout the night and can be enabled by going to Settings -> Battery -> Battery optimization -> Advanced optimization -> Sleep standby optimization.

Along with this, you’ll also find improved photo clarity with the camera, support for group text messaging, the July 2018 Android security patch, and general bug fixes with the Gallery app.

July 20, 2018 — OnePlus 3/3T get July 2018 security patch with OxygenOS 5.0.4

Have a OnePlus 3 or 3T? You should be getting an OTA update soon that updates it to OxygenOS 5.0.4.

This is a pretty minor update, with the highlight being the July 2018 security patch. On the camera side of things, OnePlus has added a fix for an issue when adjusting manual ISO in third-party camera apps and improved the image quality for the front-facing camera.

You’ll also find bug fixes for a parallel WhatsApp crash issue and problems users have had when zooming in with the front camera in Snapchat.

This update is rolling out to all OnePlus 3/3T owners now, and if you have the phone but it’s enrolled in the Open Beta, OnePlus says it’ll update the download link once the global rollout is finished so you can switch back to a stable build now that the beta program has ended for the two older phones.

July 17, 2018 — OxygenOS 5.1.9 brings better dynamic range to OnePlus 6 camera, Google Lens integration

OnePlus is starting to roll out OxygenOS 5.1.9 build, with the update focusing on the OnePlus 6’s camera. The update will bring improvements to the autofocus and edge detection in portrait mode, as well as further enhancements to image clarity and dynamic range.

Additionally, the update will also bring Google Lens integration to the OnePlus camera app, allowing users to scan QR codes and get information about real-world objects. OnePlus says Google Lens will be making its way to the OnePlus 5 and 5T in addition to the OnePlus 6.

The update should be rolling out to select regions starting later today, and will be available more widely from July 20.

June 18, 2018 — OxygenOS 5.1.7 and 5.1.8 bring bootloader fixes

OnePlus is rolling out the OxygenOS 5.1.7 build, which includes the usual bug fixes and stability improvements along with a fix for the bootloader vulnerability that was discovered a few days ago. The build also includes fixes for scheduled DND settings.

The OxygenOS 5.1.7 build won’t be making its way to Indian users, and OnePlus is instead rolling out the 5.1.8 build, which offers the same fixes as the global build. The 5.1.8 build also includes system and network stability fixes, and features optimizations to the call quality.

June 8, 2018 — OnePlus 6 gets Portrait Mode for the front-facing camera and scheduled Do Not Disturb

OxygenOS 5.1.6 is now rolling out to the OnePlus 6 around the globe and comes with a bevy of new features to play around with.

There are two big updates to the camera situation, including a Portrait Mode for the front-facing camera and a Light Bokeh effect that can now be used with the rear camera.

Also included with this update is the ability to schedule Do Not Disturb to turn on at set times and dates. Additionally, you can create your own custom rules for DND to make it work just the way you want.

Other improvements with 5.1.6 include:

  • Battery percentage can be seen in the status bar
  • Improvements for sound quality and volume with ringtones
  • A dual 4G option now available in SIM & network settings
  • Stability improvements for dual SIM cards
  • Idea VoLTE now working in India
  • Optimized call clarity
  • Added smart answer for Bluetooth – automatically answer incoming calls when connecting to Bluetooth devices
  • Optimized power consumption and Improved system stability

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

May 24, 2018 — OxygenOS 5.1.5 adds May security patch and super slow motion video to OnePlus 6

OnePlus just opened sales for the OnePlus 6 a few days ago, but even so, the company already has a new software update that’s rolling out to it.

This isn’t a particularly big update, but two notable additions include the May 2018 Android security patch and a super slow motion mode for the camera that records video in 720p at 480 FPS and 1080p at 240 FPS.

Other goodies include:

  • Preloaded OnePlus Switch app
  • Toggle for showing/hiding the display notch
  • Quick capture when the camera’s in portrait mode
  • More actions for recently deleted files

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

22
Aug

PlayStation 4: The Ultimate Guide


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The extended user manual for all things PlayStation 4

Some of us have been PlayStation fans from day one, but this most recent generation of Sony’s infamous game console has really turned heads. The PlayStation 4 is not only a capable competitor in the market, the list of incredible games available for it is unrivaled. But there’s a whole lot more you can do with this console if you know where to look, and like all gadgets sometimes things go wrong and you need to troubleshoot a problem. So whether you’ve just bought your first PlayStation 4, or you just need a little help getting started, we’re here for you. In this article, we are going to document all of the resources you will need to ensure that your PlayStation experience is the best it possibly can be.

  • What to do once you’ve finally set up your PlayStation 4

If you haven’t bought a PlayStation yet, we’ve also got the tools to help you out. Choosing your PlayStation might be difficult and if you ever plan on using a PlayStation VR you definitely want a PlayStation Pro. Aside from performance, you want to save money, and we want to help you do it. Buying products in bundles, especially if you already need the whole kit, can save you boatloads of money.

  • Do you want a PlayStation 4 Classic, PlayStation 4 Pro or Slim PlayStation 4?
  • The difference between a PS4 and a PS4 Slim
  • Which PlayStation 4 is best for virtual reality (VR)?
  • Save money buying these PlayStation Bundles!
  • Every limited edition PlayStation 4 that you can buy today

All about your current console update: 5.50

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PlayStation launched the 5.50 update for their consoles with a whole lot of cool new content. If you have recently bought a PS4 for your child, you’re going to love the new Play Time Management feature that will now allow you to control how long your child’s account will be allowed to play their games. It isn’t even just subject to “4 hours a day” as the controls are so extensive you can change the settings to something like, “My child is allowed to play between 4pm-7pm on Wednesday for 4 hours, and 2pm-8pm on Saturday for 3 hours!” Not just that, but these settings can be controlled from the parental account on your PlayStation, Sony’s website or even the PlayStation App on your phone!

Your library will be getting a few more tabs in the update as well, making it easier to sort out and find new content. If you’re a PlayStation VR user, now you don’t have to guess which titles are VR supported by their names or descriptions. After this update all VR supported devices will have a VR icon next to them in the PlayStation Store, allowing you to organize your searches that much better.

The Quick Menu is also getting some nifty updates including a drop-down friends list for you to see who’s online and send them messages or invitations directly from a shortcut option! On top of this PlayStation Music and Spotify users will get a shortcut option with the Square button for volume control. USB Music Players will be using the Triangle button for play/pause, and the Square button for volume control! On the topic of Quick Menu’s, there will be a new option to permanently delete your notifications! No more clutter!

Now, onto the Tournament page updates! In addition to now being able to import your pictures from USB to use as your Team Logo, tournament page background you can also use them for your PlayStation Home background! Also, you can now schedule events directly from the tournament page, and more easily filter between Team vs. Team and 1v1 events.

Finally, in regards to the performance, PlayStation Pro has received an update called Supersampling Mode which will allow the PS4 Pro to run a new resolution scale that goes up to 2160p!

Get to know the best hardware

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Just like buying a new car there is always the option to get your possessions in a “fully loaded” style. Well, from the controllers to the headsets we’ve got all the information you’ll need to deck out your gear for the PlayStation. These accessories and upgrades aren’t just to improve the visual of your command center, but you can also improve the performance.

Last but not least, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the save files to our favorite games. The ones that, even if you don’t play for a few years, you never want to lose. PlayStation used to have an interchangeable memory card, but now it’s all on their internal hard drive. So if you’re running out of memory but don’t want to lose anything, you can also check out this list for the best external hard drives.

  • Where to buy the new PlayStation Gold Wireless headset
  • Best PS4 decal kits
  • Best portable monitors for your PS4
  • The best PS4 controllers to own
  • The best headset available for the PS4
  • The best accessories available for your PS4
  • The best travel accessories for your PS4
  • The best charging stands for your accessories
  • The best vertical docs for your PS4
  • The best external hard drives for your PS4
  • The best phone mounts for the PS4

The best fun to have on your PlayStation 4

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While there are plenty of super cool apps to lose yourself in, one of the main reasons for owning a PS4 is for the games. As you know, exploring the PlayStation Store from your console, or even online, can take hours — and the only thing you’re going to do is wish your wallet was fatter. Well, you can save your time knowing that we’ve done most of the research for you! So instead of window shopping, check out these links here to get an idea of what people are already playing, and what you should be playing too!

Don’t forget to stay updated with our here on Android Central! Most of these articles are updated on a monthly basis, so if you keep checking in we’re bound to have new content for you!

  • Your favorite titles from PlayStation 2 that are available on PlayStation 4
  • The best games for PlayStation 4 as of December 2017
  • The best strategy games
  • The best Indie games
  • The best PS4 exclusives
  • The best multiplayer games
  • The best games for under $30
  • The best free games
  • Super cool demos you need to try out
  • Every game that will release to PS4 this month

Recommendations and weighing your options when owning a PlayStation console

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So you’ve got everything settled, you know how your system works and everything is set up just the way you like it. Now you’re wondering if there’s anything more you can do to make your PlayStation scream “YOU” just a little bit more. Maybe you just want to look into a few upgrades. Regardless of your reason, check out these links to see what choices you have, and how to get them done!

  • Best replacement thumb grips for PlayStation 4 controllers
  • Best Replacement SSD for PlayStation 4 in 2018
  • Best PlayStation 4 Controllers
  • What is PlayStation Plus and why do I need it?
  • Should you wall mount your PlayStation 4?
  • Customizing the lights on your PlayStation Conrollers
  • What you can get with a PlayStation Plus account

Frequently asked questions and how-tos

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From troubleshooting to figuring out all the new commands for your console, we’ve got plenty of resources to help you out. Whether you’re a new PlayStation owner or just trying to figure something out you’ve never tried before, check out these links to see if any of these can help you out!

When buying a new PlayStation after already owning one

  • How to transfer data from your old PlayStation 4 to your new PlayStation4
  • How to set up parental controls

Navigating your PlayStation Store

  • Should you buy physical games or digital games?
  • How to make a PlayStation Store Wishlist
  • How to use PlayStation gift cards
  • How to download from the Japanese PlayStation Store

Helpful how-to

  • How to turn off auto updates for games on PlayStation 4
  • How to delete games from your PS4
  • How to organize your games
  • How to delete your games
  • How to change the theme of your PlayStation 4 home screen
  • How to set up two-factor authentication
  • How to eject a disk from your PS4
  • How to use the share function on your PS4
  • How to share your images off of PlayStation Network
  • How to turn off auto-update for your games
  • How to configure your audio controls
  • How to wake up a PlayStation 4 with your phone

Troubleshooting

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  • What to do if your credit card won’t work on PlayStation Network
  • What to do when your PlayStation 4 won’t accept a disc
  • What to do when your PlayStation 4 headset breaks
  • The 5 most common controller issues
  • How to fix ps4 controller jitters
  • What to do when your PS4 Pro is running loud
  • How to fix your PlayStation 4 from starting in Safe Mode
  • How to deal with Blu-Ray problems
  • How to get your PlayStation Move controllers to work with your Christmas tree (or any other crazy lights)
  • How to fix your overheating issues
  • How to use an external hard drive with your PS4
  • How to enable HDR for PlayStation 4 on popular 4K TVs

Gaming: Tips, Tricks and Everything you need to know!

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Everything you need to know

Here’s a collection of articles of some of the popular games that are out there. Inside includes everything you need to know from release dates, developer information, major patch updates – you name it!

  • Fortnite tips, tricks, and cheats to help you win a Victory Royale
  • Psychonauts 2: Everything you need to know
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy: Everything you need to know
  • Beyond Good and Evil 2: Everything you need to know
  • Resident Evil 2 Remake: Everything you need to know
  • God of War: Everything you need to know!
  • Detroit: Become Human – Everything you need to know!

Looking for some new games?

We all get bored sometimes. Don’t worry! We’re here to help you pick out your next adventure!

  • Best PlayStation 4 games under $30
  • Best Indie games for PlayStation 4
  • Every PlayStation 2 game you can play on your PlayStation 4

Beat your favorite game and looking for more?

We all hate it when our favorite game comes to an end. But thankfully we have a few suggestions based on your interests of games you should check out next!

  • What to play when you get bored with Fortnite on PlayStation 4
  • What to play after you beat Far Cry 5
  • What to play after you beat God of War

Thoughts?

Do you have any questions regarding your PlayStation 4? What helpful hints would you like to see more of? Let us know in the comment section below!

Updated August 2018: We’ve added more articles — from all the best Fortnite advice to some of the best games you can find, we’ve got your back!

PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

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