How to customize the hardware buttons on the LG Watch Sport

One of the physical differences between the more expensive LG Watch Sport and its less expensive brother, the Watch Style, is the addition of two buttons located on either side of the rotating side button. These are designed to be used as shortcut buttons for quickly launching applications and actions on the Watch Sport…


Chrome OS may soon allow for note taking from the lock screen, support styluses w/ buttons

The Chrome OS project is always getting updated, with new code commits happening every day. While most of these are just bug fixes or other improvements to the operating system, sometimes these commits hint at something new coming soon. The latest commits hint at two things: the ability to take notes straight from the lock screen and the ability to detect when a Chrome OS stylus’ button has been pressed…


Code references to ‘freeform window’ and close/maximize buttons spotted in Android N

UpdateFreeform is mentioned in the Android N developer documents as a mode that manufacturers of larger devices can enable to allow users to freely resize an app.

Android N will bring a much-needed split-screen mode to tablets when it comes out this summer, but Google might have more ambitious plans as code references to “freeform windows” were discovered by Ars Technica in the Android N Developer Preview.


Next year’s fingerprint sensors could fit into volume rocker buttons, guard against spoofing

Synaptics has provided fingerprint sensors for a number of different smartphones, the HTC One Max among them, but Engadget says that it has a much sleeker version in the works.

Synaptics’ latest fingerprint sensor for mobile devices measures only 3.5 mm wide. It’s so thin and tiny, it can fit inside a volume rocker switch on the side of your smartphone or tablet.

The company says it has also found a way to prevent the use of fake fingerprints by a new algorithm that can distinguish live fingers from printed replicas.

We probably won’t be seeing the new reader make it into phones until next year, though, as Synaptics says mass-production isn’t due to start until the third quarter of this year. There’s as yet no word of which phone brands might be looking to include it.

We’re also expecting to see the company’s pressure-sensitive screens coming to some Android devices later this year.

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Do you prefer the Pixel’s navigation buttons over Samsung’s on-screen keys? [Poll]

Today we found out that by just installing an APK onto the Samsung Galaxy S8, you could “replace” the preinstalled navigation buttons with another OEM’s design. While this technique doesn’t actually remove Samsung’s keys, it does allow users to make them appear like stock Android’s. Is there a particular company’s navigation buttons that you like most?


You can change the Galaxy S8’s navigation buttons to the standard Google layout

The Galaxy S8’s Infinity Display is nothing short of impressive, but it wasn’t without some compromise, at least, if you view physical buttons as a good thing. To achieve it, Samsung had to ditch its signature button in favor of on-screen navigation, but it kept the same layout, which I dislike. Thankfully, you can change it to Google’s standard layout.


Android 7.1.2 adds Pixel Launcher, new nav buttons, and a crazy new multitasking menu to the Pixel C

Despite having the same name as the Pixel smartphone, Google hasn’t shown the same favor to the Pixel C tablet. Where the Pixel phones have had early access to things like Google Assistant and to new software versions, the Pixel C has been treated like a Nexus ─ that’s to say kept up to date but not given any preferential treatment. However, that has seemingly changed today…


Google is testing 2 new ‘New chat’ buttons in Allo 11

Last week, our APK Teardown of Allo 11 revealed lots of interesting things about forthcoming versions of Allo, including the integration of Duo and more. Now we’ve discovered (with a little more tinkering) that Google is also testing a couple different ‘New chat’ buttons in this new version of Allo.

Since Google uses Material Design on their text messaging apps, they’ve always been using a Floating Action Button as the “New chat” button. Here are some examples of this in other apps:

But in Allo 11, Google is testing 2 new ‘New Chat’ buttons. They do the same action (basically allowing you start a chat with the contacts of your choosing), but they just look different.

This is definitely minor, but an interesting change nonetheless. Google has used FABs for this functionality in its apps since the inception of Material Design — the FAB is a pretty notable part of the language. So it’s interesting to see Google play with straying from that design.