Google is working towards building a better new experience for YouTube, pre-installed malware was found on low-end Android smartphones, Oppo A5 gets revealed, and more – on our weekly news roundup!
WhatsApp testing a “suspicious link detection” feature
WhatsApp seems to be testing a new “suspicious link detection” feature. It’s currently not available even for beta users but it should be eventually – assuming that it passes the testing part.
The main purpose of this feature is to detect suspicious links that are embedded in messages – links that could lead to fake/dangerous websites. And the ultimate goal is, of course, nothing more but our safety.
It works by analyzing the links to see if it will redirect you to a shady website. No need to worry. All data processing is being done locally which means that your privacy is still safe.
After detecting a suspicious link, WhatsApp will mark it with a red label which says “suspicious link”. If you proceed to open it then a pop-up will come up saying that the link contains unusual characters.
Android Auto testing a “minimize” feature
Doesn’t make much sense, does it? The main purpose of Android auto is to sort of restrict how much you can do with your phone while driving so that you’ll be able to focus on the road and not on your notifications or your numerous apps.
The new “minimize app” button that is being tested will allow you to, well, minimize Android Auto and use your phone like you normally would.
On one hand, this is a bit silly because as mentioned above, the main purpose of the app is to help you use some essential parts of your phone easily with its huge UI without getting distracted by other things. Minimizing the app while on the road and using your phone as it is will surely put you at a higher risk of not paying attention in front of you and getting into a car accident.
But, on the other hand, what if you get stuck in traffic or something? It’s in situations like these where using your phone is completely safe. We still don’t have any information on when that feature will arrive.
So, what do you think? Is this a useful feature? Or does it put people at risk of having a car accident? Let us know in the comments.
Google spends $25M towards building a better news experience on YouTube
Google announced that it’ll spend $25M towards improving the overall news experience on YouTube. Part of that money will go to news organizations, providing more sources, getting background context, and more.
Judging by that information we can safely assume that Google is taking the task of delivering news through their platform a bit more seriously than before.
Pre-installed malware was found on low-end Android devices
What’s their purpose? Apparently, they are silently collecting information and sending it to 3rd country servers, waste mobile data without the user realizing it till it’s too late, and make fraud charges to their prepaid airtime.
And of course, you’re not allowed to uninstall these apps in any way. If you’re a tech-savvy person and you know how to root a device then you may be able to uninstall them with SU permissions but most people won’t bother to learn such things anyway.
Does this concern you? Well, most likely no. We can safely assume that the “big guys” like Samsung, Huawei, OnePlus, etc, are pretty much trustworthy. Logically speaking, they wouldn’t dare to do something like this as it would completely ruin their reputation.
However, if you are one of the unlucky few who need to rely on cheap, no-name brands like these, then you better keep an eye out for pre-installed malware. In fact, we would recommend staying away from such devices in the first place.
Other reputable companies are also releasing some great budget devices. LG, Huawei, and Xiaomi are only a few that immediately come to mind.
Google Pay now allows you to send money to your friends
If you’re a US citizen then you can now send money to your friends by using Google Pay. Google mentioned that this feature will soon come to the UK as well but there was no mention of other countries for now.
Other than that, you can now also save your concert tickets and boarding passes so that you won’t have to worry about carrying their physical copies with you. After all, Google mentions that no printing is required.
Seems like we’re slowly reaching the point where we’ll be able to do most of our everyday tasks with our phone.
Spotify app now allows you to rearrange playlists
You now have the ability to rearrange your Spotify playlists simply by using the app. To do so, just open the app, open a playlist, open the options menu, click on “Edit”, and you should be able to modify your playlist.
It seems like the update was made with server modifications. Which means that you should be able to use this feature without even updating the app. Still, do make a quick check on the Play Store just to be on the safe side.
If you still haven’t received it yet, then be patient. It should arrive to everyone eventually.
PUBG now has a Beta version
A Beta version of PUBG is now available in the Google Play Store. Most useful for those who want to have the latest features first before everyone else.
However, do keep in mind Betas almost always have some problems with them. Such as bugs, glitches, and crashes.
Other than that, when we tried to install it, we got a message which said that the early access programme is currently full. So, you may not be able to get access to it right now. Some users have also mentioned that the servers are only up for 4 hours per day.
Regarding the details of this Beta version, those who test it won’t be able to log in with their accounts but they’ll have to use a guest account. And as for extra features that are not available in the stable release, this version currently has a:
- Portable closet which allows you to change outfits while in game
- Arcade Mode – War which is a fast-paced version of arcade mode
- And the SLR Sniper Rifle
LG Stylo 4 is now available at T-Mobile
According to Tmo News, the LG Stylo 4 should now be available for purchase from T-Mobile. The cost is around $250.
- OS: Android 8.1
- Chipset: Snapdragon 450
- CPU: 8-core 1.8GHz
- GPU: ???
- RAM and storage:2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage + microSD slot
- Display: 2160 x 1080/6.2 inches
- Camera: Rear: 13 MP/Front: 5 MP
- Battery: 3300 mAh
The main thing that makes the LG Stylo 4 differ from other smartphones, is the built-in stylus which also comes with special features. One of them allows you to pull out your stylus and take notes without even turning On the screen. Pretty cool.
Sony Xperia XA2 Plus revealed
All the details about the Sony XA2 Plus have now been revealed. We don’t have any information regarding on its pricing yet, but we do know that it’s expected to arrive upon August in Europe.
Regarding the specifications:
- OS: Android Oreo
- Chipset: Snapdragon 630
- CPU: 8-core Cortex A53 (clock speed is not specified yet)
- GPU: Adreno 508
- RAM and storage: 4 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of storage or 6 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage + microSD card slot
- Display: Full HD (1920 x 1080?)/6 inches
- Camera: Rear: 23 MP/Front: 8 MP
- Battery: 3580 mAh
Unlocked version of LG G7 ThinQ is now available in the US
As you can see in the official website of LG, the unlocked version of LG G7 ThinQ is now available for purchase from within the US. It currently costs about $750 and is compatible with all US carriers.
Just in case that you don’t know the specs:
- OS: Android Oreo
- Chipset: Snapdragon 845
- CPU: 8-core Kryo 385 Gold and Silver: 4 cores at 2.8 GHz and 4 cores at 1.7 GHz
- GPU: Adreno 630
- RAM and storage: 6 gigs of RAM and 128 gigs of storage or 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage
- Display: 3120 x 1440/6.1 inches
- Camera: Rear: dual 16 MP/Front: 8 MP
- Battery: 3000 mAh
Oppo A5 revealed
All the details about the Oppo A5 have now been revealed. Or almost all. It’ll cost about $225 with the sales starting today. However, it’ll probably get released in China first before arriving anywhere else.
Let’s take a look at its specifications:
- OS: ???
- Chipset: Snapdragon 450
- CPU: 8-core at 1.8 GHz
- GPU: Adreno 506
- RAM and storage: 4 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage + microSD slot
- Display: 1520 x 720/6.2 inches
- Camera: Rear: dual 13 MP/Front: 8 MP
- Battery: 4230
Xiaomi Redmi 6A now available in 3GB/32GB configuration
As you can see on this Chinese e-shop, the Xiaomi Redmi 6A is now available in a 3GB/32GB configuration. Specification wise, everything else seems to be untouched.
Xiaomi Mi Max 3 about to be launched on the next week
As seen on Weibo, the Xiaomi Mi Max 3 is expected to launch on the 19th of July in the next week. We’re definitely looking forward to it. Even though, once again, you can expect it to come in China first before arriving anywhere else.
- OS: Android 8.1
- Chipset: Snapdragon 710
- CPU: 8-core: 2 cores at 2.2 GHz with a Cortex A53 and 6 cores at 1.7 GHz with a Cortex A55
- GPU: Adreno 616
- RAM and storage: 6 gigs of RAM with 128 gigs of storage or 4 gigs of RAM with 64 gigs of storage or 3 gigs of RAM with 32 gigs of storage
- Display: 2160 x 1080/6.9 inches
- Camera: Rear: Dual 12 MP/Front: 8 MP
- Battery: 5400 mAh
Certain Pixel 2 devices experiencing problems with their camera
Pixel 2 owners have reported that they are experiencing issues with their camera. Apparently, they are getting a “fatal error” while trying to open it.
If you’re one of those unlucky people, rest assured as Google has acknowledged the problem and mentioned that they are working on it.
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2018) now available in the USA
The Galaxy J3 2018 is now available in the USA from various carriers. However, do keep in mind that in some cases they’ve changed the name. Take Cricket as an example where they’ve named it Galaxy Amp 3.
And when it comes to specifications:
- OS: Android Oreo
- Chipset: Exynos 7570 Quad
- CPU: Quad-core Cortex A53 at 1.4 GHz
- GPU: Mali-T720
- RAM and storage:
- Display: 1280 x 720/5 inches
- Camera: Rear: 8 MP/Front: 5 MP
- Battery: 2600 mAh
This is a budget model. In most shops, you should find it for less than $165 while still getting a device from one of the most reputable and trustworthy brands.
SOURCES: WABETAINFO, XDA DEVELOPERS, YOUTUBE, UPSTREAM, GOOGLE, PLAY STORE, TMO NEWS, SONY, LG, OPPO, ITEM JD, WEIBO, TWITTER, CRICKET,
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January 26 2019