The Consumers Electronic Show (CES) is an annual trade show that was first held in New York in 1967. Now held in the sparkle of as Vegas it without a doubt the biggest electronics trade fair of the year where companies and consumers from around the globe show off their products, concepts and ideas hoping to attract early adopters and buyers for their latest gizmos and gadgets. holding between January 5 – 8, 2017. Each year, this CES attract a lot of tech companies to attend and people’s attentions around the world. Many cool gadgets and the latest technology will be released in this show. Now, as a gadget lover, I am going to show you the hottest and coolest gadgets in this CES 2017.
Held between January 5 and 8 this year CES attracted all the top tech companies and we were treated to some very cool and hot gadgets. Now, as a gadget lover, I am going to share with you my pick of the hottest and coolest gadgets from CES 2017.
1. Xiaomi Mi TV4
Xiaomi, known as the ‘Apple of China’ just showed its 3 new gadgets all on the first day of CES 2017.These are the Mi Mix white version, Mi Router HD and Mi TV 4
Xiaomi launched it’s Mi Mix black version in November 2016 which had caught a lot of people’s eyes and was the hottest topic at that time. The white version is nothing special, but with a different color.
So I want to talk about the Mi TV 4. The main feature is that it is frameless and only 4.9mm thick. It is also coming with Patch Wall software, 10 speakers, two wireless speakers, and support for Dolby Atmos surround sound. “Thinner than iPhone 6” is its advertisement slogan.
Learn it more: Xiaomi Mi TV4
2. Triple-screen Game Laptop
Razer unveiled its cool PC prototypes called Project Valerie which have 3 displays and a very sharp-looking laptop.
Learn It More: Triple-screen Game Laptop
3. Amazon Home Robot Kuri
Kuri has a very cute, approachable and friendly design. It responds to the voice and the sense of light. One of the key features of its design is the eye blink which is a way to communicate responding back.
Learn It More: Robot Kuri
4. LG’s Smart Fridge
LG has also released their smart Fridge which has run by Amazon’s Alexa. It allows you to give it simple voice command. Such as Play music or buy goods… The Fridge has a built-in 29-inch touchscreen. You can find what’s inside your Fridge and which food you should shortage in.
5. LEGO Robots
LEGO has just showcased a new toolkit which can provide a set of parts for building robots. Children and those who love LEGO can follow the instructions and build on three base components.
Learn it more: LEGO Robots
6. Windows VR HeadsetWindows have shown a bunch of Windows VR headsets, such as Lenovo, HP, Dell, and Acer. Those headsets have built-in depth-sensing cameras which can scale the room easily.
7. Intelligence Concept CarsNot just BMW, but also Benz, Ford, Toyota… They all showed their intelligence concept cars at CES 2017. In this year’s tech show, we have been impressed by the car’s appearance as well as the smart self-driving. Automated driving technology is popular these days but while these concepts aren’t ready tot ake on the road now they offer a glimpse of things to come in the not so distant future.
8. Honda’s Self Balancing Motorcycle Honda is making this bike to keep the rider safe at low speed. This motorcycle is using riding assist technology to keep balance and doesn’t fall without any rider on it.
9. UVify’s Draco DroneThis drone can reach speeds of 70MPH if you want which it is pretty cool in race conditions.
10. Smart Breast PumpsFree up mother’s hand to use this smart breast pumps.
Learn It more: Smart Breast Pumps
As most of you most likely already know, the iOS 10 release date will get announced this week at Apple’s iPhone 7 launch event. What we already know is that Apple always launches its latest iOS two days before a new iPhone comes out which, for the iPhone 7, will be the 16th of September. If Apple sticks to its trusted pattern of hardware and software releases this means that we can expect iOS 10 to be available to the general public on the 14th of September.
Luckily for us and all developers out there, Apple has already launched the iOS 10 Beta version a while back, giving us at Chinavasion the chance to get a sneak-peak into its new features and user interface. Please join us below as we take you through a general overview of the things you can expect from Apple’s new Operating system.
iOS 10 and its prime features
iOS 10 and its prime featuresTesting the new iOS 10 certainly has been a most jolting and refreshing experience. As soon as you open iOS 10 you notice the changes straight away. Overall Apple’s new Operating System stays familiar yet it enjoys a better layout, user interface, and tons of new features.
Raise to Wake:
One of the most apparent changes becomes visible as soon as you pick up your iPhone. Thanks to its new ‘’Raise to Wake’’ feature iPhones that have iOS 10 installed will lit up automatically as soon as the phone is being moved. This is an incredibly useful feature allowing you to glance at your lock-screen notifications without the need to press a single button.
New Lock-Screen and Fingerprint Press:
No longer will there be the fear and annoyance of losing your notifications when opening your iPhone. With the new iOS 10 you will now be required to actually press the home button in order for the fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone.
While being in the lock screen the traditional and trusted ‘’Slide to Unlock’’ feature has also been removed. Your lock screen will now display your notifications and allow you to access a newly designed Widgets panel by swiping to the right. This allows you to quick-access certain phone features and applications, or to quick answer messages, without the need to unlock your phone. Additionally Apple has developed its 3D touch technology a lot further, allowing you to firmly press your finger on a pop-up notification in order to be navigated to the represented App immediately without personally having to navigate there.
While using iOS 10 simply swipe up from the bottom and you will be greeted by one of the best iOS 10 updates, a renewed and less chaotic looking Control Center that is a lot easier to use. This new control panel will display all the trusted features and additionally allows you to add multiple shortcuts and features of your choice by simply swiping to the right.
With the new iOS 10 nearly every Apply App underwent some drastically changes. Additionally, there is a new Apple app that you have not seen before, ‘’Apple Home’’. This Apple App offers you the perfect platform to configure your smart home gadgets with your iPhone, allowing you to control all your smart home appliances through one single App.
One of the most dramatic changes in the new iOS 10 can be seen within its messaging features, making messaging with your friends and family a whole lot more fun. Send music clips, stickers, GIFs, and more thanks to a separate iMessages store. At the moment all fun message features are for free, however, there are not yet that many available. We do, however, expect to see a lot more on launching day.
Another fun little feature is the one that highlights ever word in orange that can be replaced by an emoticon. From now on you can use emojis rather than true text to communicate.
Additional screen effects and ways to deliver your messages can be added as well with the new iOS 10. Add bubble effects, slam sounds, or invisible ink – by holding down the send button you are allowed to pick among tens of different options to make the way you deliver your message more personalized and fun.
A smarter Siri:
On average more than two billion requests go through Siri every week. With iOS 10 the Siri function has improved significantly allowing you to talk in a more informal way. Instead of saying “Siri, Send a message to Nancy saying I’ll be ten minutes late.'” You can now simply say: “Tell Nancy I’ll be ten minutes late,” or even “Siri, can you shoot a message on Nancy and say I’ll be late?’’
All together the new iOS 10 brings along some interesting and promising features that will significantly increase the user experience of all Apple users out there. Although the BETA version merely shows us the tip of the iceberg we can state that we already are impressed by the new iOS 10 features that were represented in this BETA version. As both Apple with its iOS 10 and Google with its Android 7.0 Nougat are about to launch their newest smartphone software the main question that remains now is which one of the two is shaping up to become the more exciting and forward-thinking Operating System. For a closer comparison on both Apple’s and Google’s new Operating system stay tuned and keep an eye on our upcoming Blog posts later this week.
Android Marshmallow isn't an overhaul of everything you thought you knew about Android. Rather, it's a refinement and extension of the core features and functionality of Android Lollipop. In this Android Marshmallow review, I take a look at the major features of Google's latest OS version to let you know where it hits, where it misses, and where it has room to improve.
The number of devices on Marshmallow is slowly beginning to stack up. / © Google
Update: Google surprised everyone on March 9 by dropping the Android N developer preview without any prior notice. Then, on May 18, 2016, a beta build was released following the Google I/O keynote. You can sign up to Google's Android Beta Program, if you have an eligible device, and you can download factory images directly from Google. Find out the full story on our Android N page.
I know that not everyone even has Android Lollipop yet, so I won't just concentrate on the differences between the two most recent versions of Android. Instead I'll look at the major areas of the new OS, whether they are new, improved or missing in action. I'll break the review down into the following sections: the visual appearance of Android Marshmallow; integration of new Google products; core features of the system; security; and improvements to usability.
We've added some features that saw light with the update to Android 6.0.1, including a host of new emoji and a double-tap camera quick-launch feature that has been added to Nexus 5, 6, 7 and 9 devices. Find out more about these below under 'Design and visual changes' and 'Usability', respectively.
You can also keep up to date with the latest additions to Marshmallow through our dedicated page:
Android Marshmallow is more of a refinement than a revolution. / © ANDROIDPIT
Jump to a section:
As usual, Google's Nexus family was first to get the goods, and the brand new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P were the launch devices for Android 6.0. Factory images for most of the existing Nexus range – the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player – appeared on October 5.
To see when your device will get Android 6.0, check the following guide:
Google's voice shortcut is right there on the lock screen, replacing the dialer. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow designAndroid Marshmallow is visually similar to its predecessor, Lollipop, in many ways. Google’s Material Design language is now more pervasive than ever before and the main areas of the UI – settings, notifications shade and navigation – remain the same. But Marshmallow does have some differences in appearance and new features.
Android has let you create shortcuts to particular settings, such as the battery or display, for a while, but until Marshmallow, the icons for these shortcuts all looked the same. Now, the standard cog widget shape contains an icon depicting what that particular shortcut goes to, as shown in the screenshot below.
Settings icons now have another layer of visual representation. / © ANDROIDPIT
The Marshmallow lock screen is almost identical to Lollipop's, complete with expandable notifications and app shortcuts. But where Lollipop had shortcuts in the bottom corners that took you to the camera and dialer, Marshmallow replaces the dialer shortcut with one to Google’s voice search. This small update is the first clue as to just how integral voice commands are to Marshmallow.
Google's voice assist is the default voice solution for all apps in Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT
Voice search has a completely new look too. Four colored dots float, become a waveform and then rotate as your voice request is picked up and processed. The response rate varies, depending on the complexity of the search terms and your internet speed, but the results are generally accurate. You can also launch apps from the lock screen using your voice.
The same voice command functionality appears on the home screen via Google’s dedicated search bar, complete with the colorful, post-Alphabet Google logo. The home screen itself is essentially the same as it was in Lollipop (the changes to Google’s search bar and app icons have rolled out to all devices via updates).
The new branding in Google's persistent search bar. / © ANDROIDPIT
Google Now, assuming you have signed up for it, returns to its dedicated position to the immediate left of the default home screen. This area has also been updated but again, this is not a Marshmallow exclusive. Google Now on Tap (more on this later) is now launched by a long press on the home button in the navigation bar.
You have a few options for launching apps: from voice commands, app icons, the 'recent apps' multitasking cards or the new-look app drawer. You can also jump straight into the app drawer search bar by long-pressing the app drawer icon. This shortcut will also launch your keyboard, just as it did in Lollipop.
Google Now has lost its long-press shortcut to Google Now on Tap. / © ANDROIDPIT
The app drawer in Marshmallow went through a couple of changes during the developer preview process and appears in the final version as a vertical scrolling list as opposed to the paginated horizontal list that Lollipop had. You can scroll through the list or use a new scrubber bar on the right to jump to a particular letter of the alphabet.
An endless vertical list means it's easy to swipe right to the end of your app list – certainly moreso than swiping through multiple cards in Lollipop. Predictive apps, based on the time of day, frequency and so on, appear in a special area at the top of the app drawer and you also have the added bonus of the dedicated app search bar that's accessible via the keyboard or voice, as well as the scrubber bar.
The app drawer scrolls vertically with a scrubber bar for rapid scrolling. / © ANDROIDPIT
As always, you can drag app icons from the app drawer to the home screen, but when dragging apps, you’ll now see the option to uninstall them at the top of the screen, alongside App Info or the Remove options. System apps are excluded, but it’s a much more convenient way to uninstall apps.
The best thing is that these changes are part of the Google search app, so an update to that will deliver these features to all older Androids as well. The update adds the new search bar, voice interface, search bar and alphabet scrubber in the app drawer, and vertical app drawer orientation, as well as the uninstall shortcut.
It's never been easier to find or uninstall apps in Android. / © ANDROIDPIT
Notifications and Quick Settings
As with Lollipop, Marshmallow has a two-part notifications/Quick Settings area. A single swipe down from the top of the home screen will pull down the notifications shade, where your expandable notifications live. A second swipe down on this screen reveals the Quick Settings panel. A two-finger swipe down from the home screen will take you straight there.
The notifications area displays app notifications, which can be expanded or tapped to launch the full app. This area also shows persistent system notifications, such as when a Bluetooth device is connected or other system features are enabled. The 'dismiss all' button now faces the other direction compared to Lollipop, but it does the same thing.
The Quick Settings area displays your screen brightness slider as well as toggles for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile data and so on. As with Lollipop, these features can either be toggled on or off with a tap, or accessed further through a Quick Settings mini-menu or the relevant area of the full settings menu.
The notifications and Quick Settings areas look the same. / © ANDROIDPIT
At the top of both the notifications shade and the Quick Settings area is a kind of status bar area. In the notifications shade you’ll see the time and date, various status bar icons and the icon for switching users. Oddly, tapping this in the notification shade simply opens up the Quick Settings area where it must be tapped again to change users or enter Guest Mode.
In the Quick Settings area, this area expands a little further, displaying battery percentage, carrier information and a shortcut to the settings menu. Long pressing the settings cog icon will give you access to the System UI Tuner.
Long-press that cog icon to enable the System UI Tuner. / © ANDROIDPIT
System UI Tuner
Once enabled, System UI Tuner will appear in the settings menu at the very bottom. It provides a few simple UI tweaks, including adding a battery percentage indicator to your battery icon, a customizable Quick Settings area, where toggles can be rearranged or removed and new ones added, and a menu for deciding which icons are displayed in your status bar. You’ll never have to suffer a cluttered status bar with NFC, Bluetooth and Alarm icons again.
System UI Tuner lets you hide status bar icons and tweak the Quick Settings. / © ANDROIDPIT
Animations and Easter Egg
Animations and transitions make up an even larger part of Marshmallow than they did in Lollipop. Transitions between apps, pages and settings are quite often accompanied by animations, as is toggling features on and off within the various settings and menus. It’s relatively minor stuff but it all adds to the polished feeling of Marshmallow.
As always, there is a hidden Easter Egg in Marshmallow and it can be seen as a kind of metaphor for Marshmallow as a whole. In Android Lollipop the Easter Egg was a Flappy Bird clone. Just as Marshmallow looks an awful lot like Lollipop on the surface with lots of refinements and improvements underneath, the Flappy Bird Easter Egg returns, but with a bit of a makeover. It’s accessed by repeatedly tapping Android version in the About phone section of the settings.
The Marshmallow easter egg is a rebranded version of the Flappy Bird clone in Lollipop. / © ANDROIDPIT
200 new emoji
The update to Android 6.0.1 brought with it 200 new emoji. These are default Android emoji and should be compatible with any keyboard. A lot of the emoji that were added have been in use on iOS and Windows 10 for some time, but others are new.
The list of new emoji includes the fabled unicorn, the tasty taco and the hungry squirrel.
Dark theme and rotation support
For unknown reasons, both the system-wide dark theme and support for a rotating home screen were removed from the final version of Marshmallow, despite appearing in versions of the developer preview. We may yet see these make a return in future updates to Marshmallow – they are frequently-requested features, after all – but for now they are not a part of the Android 6.0 release.
Some eager code-sifters have uncovered evidence of a dark mode in the source code for Android Marshmallow, indicating that Google may still have plans to include it in a future version. The source code mentions Night Mode, which, as you may remember, sounds a lot like the automatic theme changing capabilities (based on the time of day) we saw in the Android M preview builds.
Home screen rotation and the dark theme have been removed from the final version. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow Google integration Google Now on Tap
Google Now on Tap is perhaps the biggest deal of all in Android Marshmallow. Google Now changed the game back in KitKat by offering time and context-sensitive notifications, information and reminders. Google Now on Tap basically shortcuts the need to search for additional contextual information and delivers it at any turn. Long-pressing the home button now activates Google Now on Tap, replacing the old gesture for Google Now from any screen.
When summoned, Now on Tap reads the content of any screen on your phone, whether it is in a Google or third-party app, and delivers information that might be relevant to keywords on-screen. This could be Google Search results about people, places or things mentioned in an article you’re reading or app suggestions that are relevant to what Now on Tap has picked up (Maps, Yelp or UrbanSpoon for a restaurant named in a text message, for example).
Google Now on Tap is available on every screen in Marshmallow. / © ANDROIDPIT
I’m still coming to terms with Now on Tap’s range, usefulness and significance, but I can tell you now: this is going to seriously change the way you use your phone. Now on Tap is a huge time-saver because it saves you the effort of having to Google someone’s name, launch a different app or cross-check information.
It’s basically everything we always wanted Google Search to be: instant, useful and effortless. It isn’t perfect, and you’ll still get results you’re not after from time to time, but it’s a really great start.
Google predicts apps for the top row based on your habits at a given time of day. / © ANDROIDPIT
Voice API and Assist API
Marshmallow also introduces a new Voice API to Android. As mentioned earlier, voice search and voice commands are central to Marshmallow – even more so than they have been in previous iterations of Google’s operating system – thanks to the new Voice Interaction API.
This allows third-party apps to access Google’s voice command functionality in ways they couldn’t previously. Before, you could tell Google to open other apps, but other apps couldn’t talk back. Now they can. At least, the can in theory. The feature isn’t exactly working yet, but it has been successfully demoed by Google using TuneIn Radio.
You can even use your voice to launch apps. / © ANDROIDPIT
Meanwhile, Google voice search is everywhere throughout Marshmallow and is always listening (if you want it to). Fortunately, Marshmallow’s focus on giving users more control, so you can also substitute Google for another third party voice assistant if you so wish. This option comes courtesy of the Assist API, available to anyone who wants to compile a voice assistant to make use of it.
Google settings app
As mentioned above, Google settings are now a dedicated part of the settings menu. Here is where you’ll find privacy information, account preferences and more for your Google accounts. It’s also where you can manage your OK, Google hotword detection and 'always listening' mode. But there’s another new feature here, called Set up nearby device.
Google settings are given a dedicated area in the settings menu. / © ANDROIDPIT
Set up nearby device is basically a settings menu version of Tap & Go that doesn’t rely on NFC. Tap & Go handily loads your Google account, apps list and settings to a new device via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, meaning if you’re trying to set up an Android TV, for example, you can simply do it through this setting on your phone.
With the delivery of the fingerprint API and two new Nexus devices equipped with fingerprint scanners, Android Pay has arrived. Android Pay is one of a number of touchless payment systems including Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Naturally, Android Pay will become the default solution on devices without a manufacturer solution like Samsung's.
Android Pay is simple to set up but it requires an NFC-equipped terminal at participating retailers as well as an NFC-equipped smartphone. Samsung Pay has an advantage here because it also works on the existing magnetic strip readers already in stores. It’s still early days for Android Pay but you can expect to see a lot more of it in the years to come.
Android Pay has some hurdles ahead, but it now has everything it needs. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow performanceDoze
Doze is, after Google Now on Tap, perhaps the biggest thing in Marshmallow. Doze is an intelligent battery management feature that recognizes when your device is not is use, like when it has been lying on a bedside table for a while, and enters hibernation.
It’s more complicated than that, of course, but the battery savings are phenomenal. Where other devices lose an average of 15-25 percent of battery life overnight, Marshmallow can take that down to 3-5 percent, taking your standby time to nearly two weeks in the process.
Doze will put your device into hibernation when it has been left alone for a while. / © ANDROIDPIT
Furthermore, manufacturers won’t be able to mess with Doze mode. This doesn’t mean that manufactures can’t still apply their own battery saver modes to their skins of stock Android, but device standby will only be handled by an unmodified Doze.
App standby is the app equivalent of Doze, like a stock Android version of Greenify. App standby identifies apps that haven’t been used in a while and puts them into a deep sleep, which is basically the same thing as disabling them in the settings.
This means they can’t use system resources, run background processes or sync and access the network, so an instant messenger you rarely use might end up on standby and stop receiving notifications, for example. If you don't want this, Google has created a whitelist, with which you can prevent apps from being put on standby.
You can tell Marshmallow which apps not to put into standby mode. / © ANDROIDPIT
Type-C and reverse charging
Marshmallow also supports the new standard, USB Type-C. Type-C cables are reversible – so you won’t have to worry about fumbling around with your charging cable in the dark – and they also support faster data transfer and charging speeds.
Not many devices have USB Type-C ports yet, and not all are shipping with true Type-C cables and adapters (many are simply reconfigured USB 2.0 cables). But Marshmallow is future-proofing itself by including Type-C support and the new USB Power Delivery specification, meaning Marshmallow devices will also be able to reverse-charge other devices.
Marshmallow has new charging standards, including reverse charging and USB Type-C. / © ANDROIDPIT
microSD support – Adaptable Storage Devices
The battle to accept microSD cards has been one of the most interesting in Android history. Expandable storage used to be a mainstay of Android devices, but then Google decided it was bad for security and removed support for it in Android KitKat. Developers fought back and partial support was added in Lollipop.
With the arrival of Marshmallow we're finally looking at full-fledged support for microSD expansion in Android devices. Under Marshmallow, microSD cards can be formatted to a specific device – meaning they will be unusable elsewhere – and treated as another part of internal storage by the Android system.
microSD cards can now be used exactly like internal storage. / © ANDROIDPIT
While this means you won’t be able to simply pull your microSD card out and pop it in another phone, it does mean you have system-level support for external storage. In Android Marshmallow, apps and the data they use can now be seamlessly stored on an external microSD card without having to be explicitly put there by the user.
We've saw the first evidence of Marshmallow's Adaptable Storage Devices feature on the Marshmallow soak test for the Moto G (2014). One of our Brazilian readers in the Motorola update program alerted us to the update and shared some screenshots outlining new features, including ASD (because the Moto G (2014) has a microSD card slot).
Devices with a microSD card slot will be able to format an SD card as internal storage. / © ANDROIDPIT
Internal storage and file manager
Marshmallow has also overhauled the Storage area of settings. Storage and USB now provides at-a-glance information on internal and external storage and adds a convenient stock file manager at the bottom of the list, called Explore.
RAM usage has typically been the reserve of Android geeks rather than regular users. Marshmallow aims to put RAM management a little more in the foreground by giving it its own dedicated settings menu area called Memory. In this section you can view memory use by the system and individual apps over different time frames, which should hopefully make more people familiar with what is normal behavior for their device.
Marshmallow goes out of its way to provide tools and access to detailed information. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow securityApp permissions
This is one of the unsexy but incredibly important parts of Android Marshmallow. The Android system now offers user-facing controls over some, but not all, app permissions. While iOS has had this feature for years, Android is only now catching up.
Some basic permissions – internet access, for example – are still granted by default, but generally speaking you will be asked to grant individual app permissions the first time an app attempts to access them.
Granular app permissions give the user complete control of app permissions. / © ANDROIDPIT
This means you are in control of whether or not an app has access to something as critical as your microphone or camera. Some apps might not work properly with certain permissions disabled, but the onus is on the app developers to stabilize their apps without all permissions granted, not on you to accept what you might feel are unnecessary permissions.
Permissions for a particular app can be viewed within the settings menu (which permissions an app does or doesn't have) or by permission type (so you can see how many apps have access to your contacts, for example). Viewing by permission type is slightly hard to get to, but at least that will stop accidental changes from being made.
Marshmallow lets you check permissions by app or permission type. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow introduces system-level fingerprint support via the new fingerprint API. Both new Nexus devices have a fingerprint scanner. The rollout of Android Pay and other touchless payment systems that rely on fingerprint scanners for authentication can now be handled by Android itself rather than a manufacturer add-on. Fortunately, Google has set minimum standards for scanner accuracy in order to pass its device certification.
We've been very impressed with Nexus Imprint on the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, partially for the excellent Huawei hardware but also for Google's implementation of the software. Registering a fingerprint is faster than on any other device and the accuracy and speed of the scanner is second to none. All you need to do to set up fingerprint authentication in the Play Store for purchases is check a box in the settings.
It takes around 15 seconds to register a fingerprint and set up fingerprint authentication. / © ANDROIDPIT
Automatic app backup
Historically, Android has offered a pretty weak app backup solution. The Backup and reset section in Lollipop was opt-in, vague and incomplete. Marshmallow can now automatically back up both your apps and data, so any apps restored from a backup will be the same as they were before – you’ll be signed in and right where you left off.
The explanations are much clearer in Marshmallow too and you can choose to opt out if you like (not everyone will be a fan of having their app data stored in the cloud, despite its convenience). The best part is that device and app data can be saved, so your passwords, settings and progress can all be restored with much less effort.
Marshmallow finally delivers a solid app and data backup solution. / © ANDROIDPIT
Network security reset
Network security reset is a nice little feature in the Backup and reset settings which allows you to quickly and easily remove all passwords, settings and connections associated with Bluetooth, cellular data and Wi-Fi. It’s a simple addition that demonstrates how much attention to enhanced security and user-facing controls in Marshmallow.
Monthly security patches
Following the Stagefright scare, Google and a number of manufacturers pledged to provide monthly security updates to keep on top of any security weaknesses in Android. With this in mind, Marshmallow now displays your device’s Android security patch level section in the About phone section.
Security patches now arrive monthly from Google. / © ANDROIDPIT
Encryption is back in Android Marshmallow with a vengeance. Encryption was a big deal in Android Lollipop too – and came as default on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 – not as many Android devices as Google would have liked had disk encryption forced on them, because of performance issues (encryption slows system performance down unless a hardware accelerator is used).
Marshmallow heralds the dawn of the new age of Android encryption, although only on new devices. New Android devices running Marshmallow are required to use full-disk encryption by default, but devices updated from a previous version of Android do not.
Devices with minimal processing power are also exempt, as are devices without a lock screen, such as Android Wear watches. Encrypted devices will also be subject to Marshmallow’s verified boot process to ensure the trustworthiness of their software during each boot sequence. If Android suspects changes have been made, the user will be alerted to potential software corruption.
New Marshmallow devices will be encrypted by default. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android for Work
Android Marshmallow is also pushing the enterprise angle with sandboxing for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments. Through better handling of security, notifications, VPNs, access and storage, the same device can be used both for work and at home. It’s not a very sexy addition, but it means fewer people will be required to carry a personal and a work phone in future.
Smart Lock has been around since Lollipop, but it bears repeating now that smartwatches are more prevalent. Smart Lock on Marshmallow provides options for unlocking your device or keeping your device unlocked depending on various intuitive scenarios. Smart Lock is found in the security settings and requires the use of some form of lock screen security.
Smart Lock includes options for trusted devices (for example, paired smartwatches or Bluetooth speakers), trusted places (home or office, via GPS and Wi-Fi data), trusted faces and on-body detection. The last of these won’t lock your phone again until you put it down. Each Smart Lock feature is opt-in and reversible.
Google has expanded Smart Lock into a password manager tied to your Google account. / © ANDROIDPIT
Smart Lock for Passwords
Google’s old Google Settings app is no more, having graduated to its very own section in the Settings menu, where it belongs. This area contains all your Google settings and preferences. Everything from Voice, Google Fit, Now and location access is contained here, so it’s worth getting to know this area.
One new addition is called Smart Lock for Passwords and it is basically a Google password manager. Enabling the feature allows your website and app passwords to be saved to your Google account (which is why it lives in the Google section and not the Security section of Marshmallow). You can also exclude apps or view your Smart Lock for Passwords content.
Text selection is finally as good as it always should have been. / © ANDROIDPIT
Android Marshmallow usabilityText selection
Marshmallow introduces an improved text selection setup. Text selection has always been clumsy in Android, and it's not perfect in Marshmallow, but it is better than it has been before. Instead of getting a temporary edit/share toolbar when highlighting text, in Marshmallow you’ll get a localized floating menu that offers three simple options: select all, copy or share.
Marshmallow adds custom features to the overflow menu when selecting text. / © ANDROIDPIT
There’s also an overflow menu that, by default, only includes web search, but, depending on the apps you have installed, can include custom options (such as translate, if you have Google Translate installed). It’s also much easier to select whole words thanks to a 'chunking' selection method.
Cool features like instant translation are available from the text selection menu. / © ANDROIDPIT
Delete screenshots from notifications shade
In previous versions of Android, when you took a screenshot the only option you had straight from the notifications preview was to share it. In Marshmallow, you can now delete it too. This may not seem like a big deal, but if, like me, you take about a hundred screenshots a day, it's hugely convenient because you no longer have to go into your gallery to delete a poorly timed or duplicate screenshot.
Marshmallow adds a delete screenshot option to the notifications preview. / © ANDROIDPIT
Another long-standing irritation with Android is the way it handles app links. Previously, you seemed to have to repeated tell the system to always open certain links with a certain app, only to have to repeat the process again and again. This seems to have finally been solved with Marshmallow.
Marshmallow is now much better at knowing which apps you want to handle which links. / © ANDROIDPIT
Silent mode/priority notifications
Silent mode is back in Android Marshmallow, along with a fairly confusing new volume setup. When you press the volume button you'll get a single volume slider, which can be expanded to reveal ring volume as well as media volume and alarm volume.
In the quick settings menu, tapping the sound toggle will bring up a mini-menu for 'Do not disturb', where you can turn the feature on and off as well as select from three modes: total silence, alarms only or priority only. Exceptions can be added via the sound and notifications menu.
It's actually more clearly worded than it was in Lollipop but still seems too complicated for something as simple as volume settings. This is one area you're going to want to spend some time getting your head around.
Volume control on Marshmallow is a little confusing, but offers much better options. / © ANDROIDPIT
I've complained before about Android's awful multi-tasking abilities. It works, but it's clumsy, slow and not very intuitive. Marshmallow attempts to make things a little more intuitive, but unfortunately doesn't quite hit the nail on the head.
Direct Share is a new feature. It doesn't work everywhere yet, but the idea is that when you hit the share picker, instead of just seeing a list of apps, you'll see some contacts at the top as well. Theoretically you can instantly share the content with that person rather than head to an app in which you then need to choose a contact.
Marshmallow's share picker now also includes direct links to your favorite contacts. / © ANDROIDPIT
The idea is nice but Android is highly unlikely to be able to get both the contacts you want plus the app you want to use to share the content right. It feels like putting the message before the medium. So instead of clumsy and slow, you get predictive and wildly inaccurate.
Chrome custom tabs
Android Marshmallow now provides developers with custom Chrome tabs. This is basically a Chrome-based in-app mini-browser that developers can use to display web page content within their app (like an FAQ or Help page), rather than having a user bounce from their app to a web app and possibly not make it back.
Developers can color and brand the Chrome custom tab to look as much like part of their app as possible. The popup browser draws over the top of the original app, and supports basically all the features of the full version of Chrome itself, but with dedicated tweaks specifically for that app that's using it, such as an embedded share button specifically for their app.
Multitasking on Marshmallow is sadly not much improved. / © ANDROIDPIT
Double tap to launch camera action
With the update to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Nexus 5, 6, 7 and 9 devices received a feature that the newer Nexus 5X and 6P models already had: the ability to launch the camera with a double-tap of the Power button. This feature is somewhat unreliable, and frequently puts the device to sleep instead, but it may come in handy.
The verdictAndroid Marshmallow isn't so much a revolution as a refinement of Android. The visual makeover of Android Lollipop now has a lot more depth beneath that shiny surface. Marshmallow is primarily about a few things: making Google services even easier to use; delivering better ways to access and manage apps; addressing core system weaknesses like battery life and security; and delivering more customization and user-facing controls to stock Android.
Marshmallow makes Android easier to use than ever before. At the same time, Android 6.0 adds a layer of advanced features for those that want to make use of them. There's also a lot of tidying up and straightening out of Lollipop's kinks.
Marshmallow makes more sense than Lollipop and improves on its predecessor in terms of performance, battery life and feature set. Marshmallow isn't perfect, but its beauty is more than skin deep. There's a lot beneath the surface for those that go looking.
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About Kris Carlon
Kris is a former AndroidPIT Editor who came to the team via a lengthy period spent traveling and relying on technology to keep him in touch with the outside world. He can usually be found juggling three phones at once and poring over G+ posts, Reddit and RSS feeds.Recommended reading
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These days mobile phones have become our lifelines, and we just can’t function without them. As such occasional call drops, incomprehensible speech, week signals, poor reception or simply no connection can be really annoying. Poor cell phone connectivity is usually due to interference from a signal blocking material or fault with the carrier. The good news is that it can easily be improved. Here are some tried and tested ways to help you boost cell phone reception, quickly and easily. With these easy tips you will no longer have to get frustrated when your call drops or messages refuse to send. Take a peek and make your life easier with these quick hacks.
Remove any obstructionYou may have noticed cell phone reception is especially weak when you are in your basement or at some underground parking facility. This is because cell phone networks are sensitive to obstructions that can easily blog and erode their signals. If there is any sort of obstruction, the signal might just bounce off causing weak or no reception. The chances of good reception are higher in an open area so try changing your location if your phone is receiving weak signals. Moving outside or opening a window might help. If not, elevate your position to be clear of obstructions.
Use a smart signal boosterSignal boosters are devices that capture your present signal and amplify them to boost reception and provide a stronger signal in the area. Cell phone signal booster for homes are said to boost reception up to thirty two times, thereby improving reception and connectivity. Signal boosters are also designed to bypass obstructions and to improve signal strength. It is a perfect solution to indoor network problems where changing your locations isn’t feasible.
Wi-Fi callingWi-Fi calling allows you to communicate via calls or messages over a Wi-Fi network. Even if your cell phone reception is zero and you are able to connect your phone to a Wi-Fi you can easily receive and place calls. It works transparently and as long as you are receiving a strong Wi-Fi signal you can still make calls and send messages. Applications like Viber allow you to access to free Wi-Fi calling.
Find the nearest mast and reset your phoneThe closer someone is to a mobile tower, the stronger will the signals be. Since mobile phones do not themselves connect to the nearest mobile tower, you will need to manually reset your phone. If you know where your nearest mast is located, you can reset your phone to connect to the nearest mobile tower instead of receiving signals from a distant one and get better reception.
Get applications that improve receptionThere are a plethora of both free and paid mobile applications that are specially designed to boost your cell phone reception. These applications search and identify the strongest signal in the nearby location and automatically connect your phone to provide you a stronger network connection.
These hacks are definitely going to help you boost your cell phone reception, but in case you still experience weak signals you might want to switch your service provider.
This guest post was written by Alisha Chinoy, a tech writer with interests in traveling, reading and to get knowledge about new gadgets in the market. She started out her career as a travel writer and slowly expanded her reach to other horizons of the writing world.
Making good looking videos isn’t always easy. especially if you want to get some footage on the go. It can be really hard to film while walking, as the camera tends to shake and jolt with every step you take so even the most steady handed videographer will end up with a shaky video.
So how can you remove the effects of walking on those videos, get smooth footage that looks like it was taken by a pro, but without setting up expensive equipment, using camera dolly or investing in expensive gimbals and Steadicam system or booms.
Well, thanks to cleaver digitalization and advancements in micro component technology its now possible to get hand held Camera Stabilizer that can compensate for movements and provide smooth videos for amateurs and professionals alike.
This the 3 axis camera stabilizer has been designed specifically for your smartphone or GoPro action camera, but fits most similar action cameras. It can pan and pitch through 270 Degrees and and with is fast smooth movement keep up with you even for fast paced action. the push button control puts you firmly in the directors seat with the ability to adjust and rotate the filming angle with ease.
Its that good that we got our media team to take the Aibird Uoplay Camera Stabilizer for a spin and they made this video showing off how easy it was to use and get great footage with minimum effort. In fact they are that taken with it they will be keeping one on hand for their future video needs.
It appears the iOS 9.3 software update came with a number of annoying bugs. Apple says the issue will be resolved soon. Photo / Getty
If you have updated your iPhone with Apple's latest software, only to find your phone is behaving strangely, you're not alone.
Users have taken to social media to complain about annoying bugs in iOS 9.3, such as their phones crashing after clicking on links in Mail and Safari.
Apple said it was aware of the problems and would release a fix soon.
Apple rolled out iOS 9.3 last week and a small number of users have been complaining about multiple bugs.
Some owners of iPhone 5S handsets and older reported their handsets were locked to them after the download, because it requires their Apple ID password which they had forgotten.
In response, Apple released a second version of the software update for older devices, allowing users to skip the Apple ID login, while the version can also be used to unbrick handsets via a computer, The Guardian reported.
Users are now complaining that a bug caused by the Universal Links feature is causing apps such as Mail, Safari and Messages to crash, after they have clicked on certain links that force sites to open in apps other than Safari.
New York-based Nicholas Carlson wrote: "Suddenly my iPhone is super buggy. Tapping on links won't work. Mail freezes. iCloud burps. My watch won't sync properly."
Another disgruntled user, Mike Dudas, wrote: "The link thing has been driving me nuts the past few days."
Developers Steve Troughton-Smith and Ben Collier linked the problem to the Booking.com app, which had 2.3MB of Universal Links.Mr Troughton-Smith, who is based in Ireland, tweeted: "Wow http://booking.com literally put every URL they had into their site association file. 2.3MB download."
The file's sheer size caused iPhones to crash and to drain battery faster than usual. While the Booking.com app has been updated, users are still reporting problems.
Other users are reporting not being able to click on links within other apps.
The Cupertino-based company unveiled iOS 9.3 alongside the iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro at its event last week.
The update focuses on sleeping patterns, security and education.
Users are now complaining that a bug caused by the Universal Links feature is causing apps such as Mail, Safari and Messages to crash, after they have clicked on certain links that force sites to open in apps other than Safari.
Perfect for pockets, but smudgy as hellI began my testing on London's crowded, bagpipe-festooned bridges and streets. Since I constantly mashed the S7 into my jeans and jacket pockets only to retrieve it again for a weather check, photo, digital payment or to navigate around, its approachable size was a much better fit for me than a larger phone. "Medium" by today's bonkers standards, it has a 5.1-inch screen.
All Galaxy S7, all the time
I spent a good, long time staring at the S7. That curve-back design I mentioned and some very slight rounding on the edges around the display are damn nice, giving the phone a far more luxe and contoured appearance than most, including last year's ramrod-straight Galaxy S6. In fact, look closely at the details and you can see that this S7 is built better than previous Galaxy phones.
Enlarge ImageWant fries with that grease?
Andrew Hoyle/CNET One downside to the S7's shiny metal-and-glass backing is that smudges pile up on smudges, leaving a semi-permanent sheen of finger grease all over your expensive property. It's gross, and a pain to constantly clean, which always fails anyway. But like all beautiful phones, you're bound to slap a case on it anyway, so it's almost a moot point -- just not an excuse.
Camera, camera, camera!I took a boatload of photos in London while testing the phone, but when my sister and I went to Berlin for the weekend, all hell broke loose. Every pastry and pretzel, imposing museum, graceful river crossing; every glorious kebab and lip-smacking beer became an opportunity for dutiful documentation.
What was confirmed again and again is that crisp photos from the 12-megapixel camera countered low-light interference in every darkened cocktail bar, moodily lit restaurant and dusk-dimmed park. Although this camera has fewer megapixels than last year's S6, it takes better photos. Scenes are brighter, which makes the action easier to see.
Even in low-light scenes, such as a Berlin speakeasy, the S7 trumps the iPhone 6S, yielding brighter, more usable photos. Digital noise was still there, just diminished; those small speckles of color that infiltrate the picture are an inevitability in low-light digital camera shots.
Whip-quick autofocus was also a winner, grabbing clear shots of moving objects, like swaying flowers (yes, I really do take photos of flowers) and my sister lunging like a lightsaber-wielding Jedi in front of a mural (fear her!).
Photos didn't just look great on the S7's sharp screen; they also stood up to enlarged views on my laptop and an even larger monitor back in London.
Enlarge ImageThe seriously fast autofocus and optical image stabilization helped capture flowers in strong winds.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET I also really liked using the new, optional preview mode that lets you delete or share photos immediately after taking them. Oh yes, the S7 has optical image stabilization (OIS), which helped keep my photos from blurring after all those jetlag-fighting coffees.
I'm still less sure of the 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which now has even more "beautification" filters than before. I never liked these, even though I'm vain enough that I don't want to see every line and wrinkle. To me, they make skin appear plastic and dull; maybe the uncanny valley of too-perfect skin, but I know plenty of people who love the youthening effect. At any rate, I turned all of these filters to zero, but still found that selfies either looked fake or overly harsh. Something in the processing seems off, but this isn't a dealbreaker by any means.
Enlarge ImageSelfies looked a little off: either too smooth or too sharp, even with beauty modes off.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET I did use the S7's front-facing screen "flash" to light dark selfie scenes, which basically means the phone screen whites-out before the camera fires. This came in handy, since my sister basically selfie-documented every move we made for her husband and kids, especially at dinner and the bar. The flash...it's blinding. Toning down the brightness would make it more useful, especially if I could pick a warmer color temperature or lower brightness setting to make it all less intense. The iPhone 6S' similar selfie-flash did better in the same scenes.
Less bloatware is a very, very good thingBack in London, my appreciation for Samsung's more restrained customizations to the Android 6.0 software settled in. The S7 slims down the bloatware considerably, while leaving plenty of advanced settings for customizing everything from the lock screen to phone themes -- you just have to dig a little deeper now to find everything. Samsung also added a few nice-but-subtle optional touches, like a new "tray" to help you easily move app icons from one screen to another.
Enlarge ImageDedicated gaming tools help you record and screenshot your sessions.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET Speaking of extra touches, I really like the idea of the Game Launcher, a set of tools you can turn on to trigger some quick actions, like recording the screen or minimizing your game so you can do something else. I'm not the kind of active gamer who would immediately benefit from these features, so trying it out on the subway threw off my movements when playing more precision-based games, like the Riptide 2 racer.
My colleague Jason Parker in San Francisco liked being able to turn off all alerts (with the exception of actual incoming phone calls), but pointed out that the notification for an incoming call still covers most of the screen -- so this particular feature doesn't go far enough.
Enlarge ImageYou always know the time and where you stand with battery life.
Andrew Hoyle/CNET During my week away from San Francisco (aka home), I fell in love with the S7's new always-on display, which shows you either the clock, a calendar or an image. It was immediately useful for checking the time and the phone's battery levels, a constant worry, without actually having to take the phone out of standby. I also set up a clock for the local timezone and the one at home, so I knew when it was too early to call or text.
Battery life is long, performance swiftOther than the camera quality, battery life was my No. 1 concern when using the S7 while Euro-tripping. I was often out from 9 a.m. until midnight, and didn't always carry a bulky charger or heavy external battery pack, because that gets annoying. Luckily, I didn't need to. The battery lasted through a full day of heavy use.
Over in San Francisco, my colleagues ran the S7 through our standard CNET lab tests, a looping video downloaded to the phone, played in airplane mode. The S7 averaged 16 hours in three tests, which is one of the longest-running results we've seen for any phone. In comparison, the iPhone 6S scored 10.5 hours on the exact same test. I'd still expect to charge it once a day, but would be more confident making it through a late night without dying. If you want a larger battery, there's always the S7 Edge.
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DRice410 15 hours ago
I'm going to start off my comment with this: WILL PEOPLE PLEASE STOP IT ALREADY WITH THE REMOVABLE BATTERY COMPLAINTS. If you are a heavy user then go purchase a portable power pack and a car charger for long commutes. The iPhone has NEVER had a removable battery and has a very strong following. I don't think Samsung should bring it back.
I have been in the mobile retail side and I switch phones all the time so I am not a fanboy of any sorts. I switched to the S7 after having an iPhone 6s Plus. I must say that performance wise, there is a vast improvement over the GS 6. Battery life is a huge plus. I have had no slowdowns or freezes and the phone has not overheated which has been an ongoing issue with Samsung phones up until the Note 5/GS6 Edge Plus. The camera performs as advertised and the freedom of expandable storage is a huge plus. And YES you can move apps to the SD Card.
I will however be switching to the S7 Edge because of LOVE the size. My hand is big enough to palm a basketball and with the edge being slightly larger, it fits into my hand a lot better. If you are looking for a new phone, this would be the one to get.
daehttub2000 16 hours agoNow if Samsung could bring back the IR Blaster and the replaceable battery without losing any other features they would really have a killer phone. I am anxiously awaiting news of the Note 6 design features. To all the replaceable battery naysayers out there, do not begrudge the needs of the many road warrior power users out there. Android is the "big tent" party of smartphones. Let's all try to be civil and not too fanboyish out there....But until then can we all agree that the slackers in the battery technology R&D departments need to step up their game? It's been a while since that last major leap forward in smartphone battery performance. Put down your coffee and donuts and get back to work!!!
TechmachineXT Mar 20, 2016They brought back the micro SD! Man this is gonna crush the iphone 7
There are a variety of reasons why you might want to record a phone call – and you should be able to do that relatively easy. While some models come with all the necessary functionality built in (like iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S6), while others may require some extra work.
In this post, we look at how to enable the call recording features for any Android and iOS phone.
Note: Before proceeding with any call recording, make sure that your country and state legally allow the action. The legislation on the issue is different from region to region and some countries may require the consent of both parties when making phone conversation recordings.
Recording Phone Calls On An Android
With most Android phones, in order to enable call recordings, you will need to download an app. There are a few to try: Automatic Call Recorder, Another Call Recorder, Total Recall and others. Some of the apps are free, while others offer packages at a price. Whichever app you choose, what happens next is pretty much straightforward.
Just as with Android devices, you will also need to get a third-party app from the App Store. TapeACall Lite is a good option (according to PCAdvisor) that let you try out the service for free – even though you will be promptly asked to pay for the full version – Lite only lets you listen to 60 seconds of a phone call.
Other than that, it’s pretty much the same thing:
Forgetting your Android phone unlock pattern or passcode can be frustrating, and many users actually end up forgetting it at some point. While there are many solutions posted on the Internet about how to deal with this situation, only a few of them actually work. Some of the solutions that work require you to download apps and install them on your Android phone, others need you to sign in with your Gmail account, and finally, others will reset and erase all of your data from the Android phone, returning it to factory settings.Depending on your particular situation, you may want to choose a certain solution to bypass your unlock pattern or passcode. If you have just bought the Android phone and did not have time to store any information on it, erasing all of the data will certainly not be a problem. But if you had the Android phone for a long time and have many contacts and personal information stored in it, you may want to look for alternatives. Especially if you haven’t backed up your information anywhere else.
Here are three simple solutions to unlock Android phones that will work for most brands such as Samsung, HTC, LG as well as Chinese brands such as ZTE, Lenovo, Huawai, ThL and more:
Unlock By Logging Into Gmail account1. Type the wrong password or pattern for five times
2. After the fifth mistype, an option called ‘Forgot Pattern’ will appear in the bottom right side of the screen – click on it
3. Log in with your Google username and password associated with the respective Android phone
4. You can now draw a new pattern and confirm the change.
Bypass By Downloading Apps1. Log in to the Android Market on your computer
2. Install the ‘Screen Lock Bypass’ App to your Android phone
3. Install another application – the application will run and disable the screen lock
4. The application runs each time you boot the Android phone and bypass the screen lock.
Reset Phone: Restoring the Android Phone to Factory Settings1. Switch off the Android phone
2. Press the volume button up and down
3. Press the power button and keep holding it with the volume up button
4. Keep pressing until the terminal interface appears on the Android phone
5. Navigate through the terminal using the home button
6. Choose the option to delete all user data
7. Your device will restart after several moments and it will reboot with factory settings.
A Few Notes Regarding Unlocking Phones When Forgetting Pattern of PasswordBe careful if you want to use the last solution to bypass your Android phone’s code, as you will actually lose all information on it, including contacts. Only choose this if you have a backup for any personal or important information. The first option has been known to fail for some users, but others managed to use it successfully. The second option is optimal for most users, but it’s not a solution in itself, as it never changes the password, but it simply bypasses it every time you open your Android phone.