Developer preview page code suggests Android N beta might land on non-Nexus phones

Traditionally, when it comes to Android developer previews, Google only makes the pre-release software available to the Nexus smartphone and tablet lineup. This year, it’s already broken with tradition by releasing the first developer preview of Android N earlier than usual, and it could throw another curve ball by making a version available to non-Nexus owners.

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Google Allo 9.0 suggests its desktop chat client will work just like WhatsApp

Several weeks ago, Nick Fox, Google’s VP of Communications Products, teased us via Twitter with an early look at Google Allo for desktop. With Allo 9.0, Google seems to be preparing the method by which you’ll connect your device to Allo desktop. We now have our first idea of how that might work… more…

Sketchy post suggests Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for Galaxy Note 4 is rolling out, with Note 5 S-Pen features in tow

File this under ‘sketchy’: One of NapiDroid’s editors has apparently managed to get his hands on an early release of Android 6.0 Marshmallow for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The Hungarian blog posted a number of screenshots showing some of the anticipated changes. Among them, the one which really stands out is the revamped selection of S-Pen tools.

What’s unclear is how widespread this software release is or if it’s genuine. A major update happening to land on an Android blogger’s phone is a little too coincidental, and there’s no knowing if other Note 4 users in the same country have seen it too. Perhaps it’s blind luck, or perhaps it’s been fabricated. There are no images of the actual device running the software, and the ‘about phone’ screenshot could quite easily have been altered to show the Galaxy Note 4’s details.

As shown in the screenshots below, you’ll notice the new multi-colored Air Command menu redesign, which comes in from the side of the screen, rather than floating on top. What’s more, it looks like the Note 4 will also be receiving the Note 5’s ability to scribble notes on the lock screen, even when it’s in standby.

As well as that, we see one of Android Marshmallow’s settings menu features, which shows when your device last received a monthly security update. In this case, the Note 4 received the December security patch. The screenshots also suggest we’ll see a slight TouchWiz redesign, although the drop-down notifications/settings drawer is largely the same.




Essential patent suggests the company is also working on AR smart glasses

Essential launched its first smartphone yesterday, but the company’s ambitions go far beyond just Android-powered handsets. For one example, Essential also launched the Essential Home, a smart hardware assistant made to go head-to-head with Google Home and Amazon Echo. Now, a patent discovered by Patently Apple suggests the company is also looking into building augmented reality glasses as well…

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Google Play services code suggests contactless payment coming to Android Wear; Instant Apps closer

Code spotted by Android Police in Google Play services v10.0 suggests that Android Wear will soon support contactless payment for Android Pay. So far your only options for paying by watch are Samsung Pay on the Gear S3 and Apple Pay on the Apple Watch.

Strings like ‘Try holding your watch to the terminal again’ leave little doubt about Google’s plans …

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Rumor suggests that ‘new assistive features’ are coming in future version of Android

Not much is known about the next version of Android, but a vague report from VentureBeat suggests that Google is working on “new assistive features” for the OS. One feature aims to reduce copy and pasting, while another allows gesture drawing to quickly surface information.

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Code suggests Facebook prepping Talk, a new chat app specifically for teens

Code spotted inside the main Facebook app contains some pointers to plans by the company to launch a new chat app aimed specifically at teens.

The app, whose actual or working name is Talk, looks set to contain some features likely to prove popular with teens, and others not so much …

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Xiaomi ‘Gemini’ benchmark leaks, suggests Snapdragon 820 will be really fast

Qualcomm promised when it launched the Snapdragon 820 that it’s next processor would offer a huge jump in performance and efficiency over its predecessor. If a benchmark result on Geekbench is anything to go by, those claims look like they’ll be true. Those worried by the fact it’s ‘only’ quad-core should stop worrying now.

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Galaxy S8 teardown suggests Samsung worked on OIS for its front camera [Video]

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 and S8+ are two fantastic Android smartphones, and part of the reason for that is that they pack just about every top-of-the-line feature you would ever want.

However, it seems there’s one more interesting feature that Samsung might have been working on before shipping the phone that never quite made it to launch… more…