All posts in “Android”

Android Oreo vs iOS 11: What’s different and what’s the same?


Google just announced Android Oreo and it packs a handful of new features. Some are at the system level and speed up the system and extend the battery life, while others are features that will change the way users interact with their phone.

A lot of these features should be familiar to iPhone and iPad owners. Normally Apple is the one accused of copying Android, but for Android Oreo, Google lifted a handful of features straight from iOS, while a couple of new functions are hitting Android before iOS.

Notifications

Google cribbed iOS for Android’s new notification scheme. In Android Oreo there will be a little dot in the top-right corner of the app’s icon to represent a notification. This has been a staple in iOS since the first iPhone and third-party Android launchers have long featured the scheme, too.

Google even copied how users interact with the notifications, too. A long press on an icon with a notification badge reveals a pop-up menu that presents the user with several tasks — just like an iOS 3D Touch interaction.

In the end, it’s a win to the user that Google copied this system. These dots have survived numerous iOS revisions for a reason: they work.

New emojis

Both Android Oreo and iOS 11 are getting new emojis because emojis are the future of humanity. And Google completely redesigned their take on emojis for Android Oreo. Gone are the blobs and traditional, round emojis have returned.

Google’s new emojis follow Apple’s move to increase the detail found on the little faces. Yet according to a preview by Apple’s Tim Cook, iOS is about to get emojis that are even more detailed.

This tweet by Apple’s CEO shows emojis with a crazy level of detail. Apple has yet to say when the new characters will hit iOS, but it’s logical to expect them in the general release of iOS 11 and High Sierra.

A smarter copy and paste

Android has supported copy and paste functions from the first release and has often led iOS’s implementation of the user interaction. It’s a critical function, yet the small screen size of phones often means copy and pasting is a clumsy affair. Android Oreo now makes it even easier to copy text and perform an action.

Called Smart Text Selection, when a user highlights, say an address, a link to Maps will be displayed next to the standard actions of copy, cut and paste. If a series of digits that looks like a phone number is highlighted, the phone app will be displayed.

This is sort of like how data detectors work in iOS, but Google’s feature looks to be more comprehensive, and it’s powered by Google’s AI for smarter identification.

Picture-in-picture

Apple added picture-in-picture to the iPad in iOS 9 and Android is now gaining the capability, too. But with Android Oreo, phones can get in on the PiP action, too, which is something missing from the iPhone.

Android Oreo’s PiP mode works as expected. It allows users to minimize a video and let it float on top of the screen while other tasks are performed behind it. This video window can be moved around the screen to best position it.

Right now iOS limits this process to the iPad, though that could change in the future.

Autofill

Android Oreo finally brings the ability to have apps auto-fill user information like user names, passwords and addresses. Password manager apps have long performed some of these functions, but through convoluted means. Apps can now implement the Autofill API so the interaction should be much more seamless.

iOS kind of has a similar function, but it’s mostly reserved for a few apps, like Amazon’s, and it’s not nearly as omnipresent as it is in Safari on the web.

Meet Android Oreo’s all-new emoji


The newest version of Android (Oreo, officially) doesn’t bring a ton of new stuff to the mobile operating system, but it does overhaul something near and dear to most smartphone user’s hearts: Emoji. Google has done away with its “blob” style smileys in favor of more traditional-looking (I guess?) smileys, and emoji that in general look more recognizable when compared with their equivalents on other platforms, including iOS.

Google announced its emoji redesign back at I/O, its annual developer conference, so we’ve had time to grieve the blobs, but it’s still going to hurt for some fans of the offbeat Google pictographs. Google also seems to have good intentions for the redesign — it wants to both unify the style for a library that has grown immensely since its inception and Better represent diversity and inclusivity among its emoji set.

One of its stated goals with this huge overhaul was also to improve communication across platforms. Strange as it might seem to old-school phone users who remember when people used to communicate using voice and text, emoji are actually used often to convey real meaning. Google says it wanted to help avoid miscommunication by helping to make sure emoji are as consistent as possible when used across platforms: Those blobs often seemed to mean very different things from their iOS equivalents.

Android O also includes 69 new emoji, as included in the Unicode 10 emoji set. These are focused on better representation of people and gender, as well as some fun fantasy and sci-fi characters and the likely very popular exploding head emoji.

The samples of emoji above are just a small taste of the complete redesign introduced in Android O, which include more than 2,000 characters in total. If you want a full sampling, go ahead and check out Emojipedia for the whole enchilada, which is something there is no emoji for (yet).

How to put old photos in your social media stories

You can add old photos to your social media stories.
You can add old photos to your social media stories.

Image: lili sams/mashable

Stories started with Snapchat, then Instagram and Facebook added their own versions to try and win our loyalty. 

There are crazy amounts of ways to make your story unique within each app. But you might not know that you can also post old photos in your current stories.

Here’s how to put photos you’ve already taken in your stories on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. Just note that your followers might get a little annoyed if you do it too much.

Snapchat 

Access Snapchat and camera roll photos at the bottom of your screen.

Access Snapchat and camera roll photos at the bottom of your screen.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Open up Snapchat and you’ll see a little bubble on your screen directly underneath the circle button to snap a new photo. Click that and you’ll see a screen with photos you’ve saved on Snapchat and from your camera roll. 

Hit "Edit and Send" (which is covered by this caption) to jazz up your photo.

Hit “Edit and Send” (which is covered by this caption) to jazz up your photo.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Scroll through either feed until you find the old photo you want to post. After you pick one, there will be an option asking if you’d like to edit the photo before sending. This will bring up all of the editing options you normally see on Snapchat. 

Photos from your camera roll appear with a white border around them.

Photos from your camera roll appear with a white border around them.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

When it’s all ready to roll, click the blue arrow button to send to your story or any of your friends. It’s worth noting that photos pulled from Snapchat will look normal, but the ones taken from your camera roll will appear with a white border and say they’re from your camera roll. In other words, people will be well aware of the fact that you’re posting an old photo. If that doesn’t bother you, everything’s good to go. 

Instagram

Instagram works somewhat similarly. However, you can only post photos that you’ve saved to your camera roll in the last 24 hours. So, if you want to post a photo from last week you’re going to have to re-save it. 

Add photos from your camera roll to your Instagram story.

Add photos from your camera roll to your Instagram story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

To get started, hit the camera button in the upper lefthand of the app or just hit your face icon by the rest of the stories. Choose the box next to the flash icon on the screen to see your photos. 

Camera roll photos get cropped in your story.

Camera roll photos get cropped in your story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Pick a photo and it’ll appear on your screen, ready to be edited. A slight downfall is that you don’t have a say in how it’s displayed. The photo will fit to the screen, so parts of it might get cut off. In the example used above, Instagram cut off a fourth person that was standing to the left of me. However, you can still edit it just like any other Instagram story. Do that and hit “Your Story” and it’ll show up in your story for the next 24 hours. 

Facebook

Once again, Facebook is similar to the other two, with slight differences. 

Add old photos to your Facebook story.

Add old photos to your Facebook story.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

Hit your icon at the top of your Facebook mobile app to create a story. Then tap the little square button on the far right of the screen. It will bring photos from your camera roll to the bottom of the screen so you can scroll through to find the one you want. 

Posting old photos to your Facebook story only takes a minute.

Posting old photos to your Facebook story only takes a minute.

Image: molly sequin/mashable

All of the editing options will pop up after you select a photo. Add any stickers or filters you want, then hit “Your Story” to make it live. You’ll confirm by clicking “Add” and your old photo will appear on your Facebook. And no one will be able to tell it’s not a photo you just took. 

Now you know how to post old photos to your social media stories, so start sharing some of your best memories.

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New malware masquerades as a ride-sharing app


An update to the venerable Faketoken.q Android malware has made it easier for the program to steal your credit card information from ride-sharing apps. Faketoken attacks Russian ride-sharing apps by overlaying text boxes on the credit card information pages that can capture your credit number and other important information.

Kaspersky writes:

After getting onto a smartphone (judging by the malware icon, Faketoken infiltrates smartphones through bulk SMS messages with a prompt to download some picture) and installing the necessary modules, the Trojan hides its shortcut icon and starts background monitoring of everything that happens in the system.

The trojan masquerades as a photo app on your phone and is specially camouflaged for maximum sneakiness. It then watches all your apps and uses a technique similar to Cloak & Dagger that overlays interface items onto running apps. This functionality is helpful in some cases but, as we see, is dangerous in others.

The trojan also goes after “apps for booking flights and hotel rooms, and apps for paying traffic tickets — as well as apps for booking taxis.”

The Essential Phone is now available for pre-order on Sprint

Sprint announced today that Android creator Andy Rubin’s Essential Phone is finally available for pre-order. 

The phones were originally supposed to be available 30 days after Essential launched in May, but that deadline proved to be unattainable. 

Yesterday, Essential customers who reserved the phone received an email notifying them that it would start shipping within 7 days. Today, the 5.71-inch phone with edge-to-edge display and 128GB of storage is finally available. 

The Essential Phone is a Sprint exclusive for now, and it could likely remain that way. It’s now available for U.S. customers at a $699 price tag. Bundling your phone with the Essential 360 Camera bumps that up to $749. 

Head to Sprint to place your order, and start enjoying the world from the perspective of your Essential Phone. 

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