Today’s Deal – LG G5 Down to $249 at Amazon


Today’s Deal over at Amazon is on the solidly built and performing LG G5.  This 5.3″ display device with 32GB of storage and 4GB of RAM is down from it’s normal price of $449.99 to $249.99 on Amazon in their Titan (Dark Grey) color.  This is a great price on this phone and certainly should be one to consider if you are looking for a top-end phone at a mid-market price.  The G5 is powered by the Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and coupled with the Adreno 530 GPU.  It has 4GB of RAM which is going to be enough to really do anything with this phone and has 32GB of onboard storage.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 2TB (that’s right, 2 terabytes) thanks to the MicroSD card slot.

Camera wise, you have dual rear cameras in the LG G5 that give you 16MP images with laser auto-focus and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization).  It has a 2-stage LED flash while the front facing camera is an 8MP shooter with a nice 135 degree wide angle view.

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Essential PH-1 Confirmed to Get Android Oreo Update

Essential Phone

For most who follow the Android community, this will fall under the “duh” category but it is still good to have confirmation.  Essential’s company Twitter posted last night that the Essential PH-1 will be getting updated to Android Oreo “in the next couple of months”.

The news certainly isn’t a surprise and reading between the lines, it looks like the update to Oreo could come at some point before year’s end. That would be great to see and would fall in line with the company’s commitment to rolling out updates quickly – both major and minor updates.

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Yet Another Minor Chrome OS Update Rolling Out Today

Google Pixel Chromebook 2013

For the second time in four days, the Chromium team within Google has released a minor update to Chrome OS.  The updated version is build 60.0.3112.114 (Platform version: 9592.96.0).  That’s the same build number as the release on September 15th but the Platform version has incremented.  Like the release last week, it is for all devices except the Acer Chromebook 15 (CB3-532) and the Samsung Chromebook 3.

The update is more-or-less a copy of the release last week when it comes to what is addressed.  There are no new features but rather a collection of small security fixes, performance improvements and other bug fixes.  What exactly was addressed or fixed has not been released.

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Moto G4 Plus Will Get Updated to Android Oreo After All

Moto G4 Plus

Last week, Motorola announced which of their devices would be getting updated to Android Oreo.  Notably, the entire G4 lineup of phones were missing and that created a bit of a raging storm for the company.  The problem was that the G4 lineup is well within the 2-year window for upgrades indicated by Google themselves and Moto themselves had indicated that the G4 lineup would get updated to the next version of Android.

Now Lenovo, the parent company of Motorola, has come back around and clarified that at least one of the G4 phones will get updated to Android Oreo.  That phone is the G4 Plus.

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Gmail and Inbox Update Converts Addresses and Phone Numbers to Links

Gmail for Android

Google is rolling out an update to Gmail and Inbox for both Android and the web that will create links for physical addresses, email addresses and phone numbers that are found in your email messages.  The update is on the fast track which means it should roll out to all users over the course of the next few days.

How it works is pretty straightforward and should save time for users.  If there is a physical address in an email message, the link will take you to Google Maps.  If there is an email address found, the link will open up your default email client and set you up to compose a new email to that address.  Finally, when you are on your Android phone, if there is phone number found, clicking the link will open up your default phone app to place a call to the number.


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Material Design Guide Updated to Reflect Android Oreo

Android Oreo on Nexus 6P

The Android team has issued an update to the Material Design guidelines for developers.  The update is primarily aimed at the new features that have come to the platform in Android Oreo.  The guide adds a new Offline States section which covers how to customize apps to work for users when they do not have an Internet connection.  This is a big emphasis for Google, particularly in developing markets.

For those who don’t know, the Material Design guidelines is aimed at developers to assure that their app has the look and feel of what Google expects in Android.  Even if you are not a developer, the guide is great insight into the functions and looks of apps.

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Samsung Finally Allows Disabling of the Bixby Button

Samsung Galaxy Note8

Samsung has finally started allowing the Bixby button on the S8 lineup and the new Note8 to be disabled… well, partially at least.  Bixby is Samsung’s assistant built into these phones and one of the biggest complaints about the Galaxy S8 lineup when it was released this summer was the fact that the dedicated hardware button for the assistant could not be disabled or remapped (to say Google Assistant).  Samsung stood by their decision and despite numerous hacks to get around this (which Samsung subsequently closed with software updates), pretty much forced the issue with users.  Until this past weekend.

A small software update for the Galaxy S8, S8 Plus and Note8 is allowing the button to be partially disabled.  In the Bixby settings, you can disable to button although it will still fire up if you long press the button.  The software update does not allow for remapping of the button.

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