Google Assistant Now Supports Hindi

Google Assistant Hindi Support

Making good on its promise at Mobile World Congress, Google has rolled out Hindi language support in Google Assistant.  The announcement came from the Google Blog in India with support initially rolling out to Android devices running Marshmallow (6.0) or higher.  Support for Lollipop (5.0) will be coming shortly.

The BBC estimates that some 425 million people speak Hindi as their first language with an addition 125 million as their second language.  That is a significant number of people who will now be able to use Google Assistant to help them with tasks for gather information.

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Blackberry KEYone Black Edition Now Available on Amazon

Blackberry KEYone Black Edition

The Blackberry KEYone Black Edition has made its way to the United States via Amazon.  The slightly bumped-up-in-specs version of the KEYone is $549.99 at the online retailer and readily available.

Powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 625, the Blackberry KEYone Black Edition sports 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage built-in, which can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  It has a 4.5-inch display has a resolution of 1620 x 1080 and is powered by a 3505mAh battery that supports Quick Charge 3.0.  Of course, the unique feature of this phone is the built-in physical QWERTY keyboard.

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Android Oreo Finally Breaks 1% Install Base in The Latest Android Distribution Report

February 2018 Android Distribution Report

The slow and somewhat painful adoption of Android Oreo continues but there are some highlights to point out in this month’s Android Distribution Report.  Google released the report today and it shows that the latest version of the Android platform, Oreo, was installed on 1.1% of the devices that hit the Google Play Store for the 7-day period ending February 5, 2018.  That’s up .4% from the January report but there isn’t much to applaud frankly.

Android Oreo has been out now six months and despite Google and manufactures releasing updates, the needle has hardly moved on adoption.  This is likely due to a couple of reasons.  First, manufactures are being painfully slow in getting the updates out themselves.  Two, lots of people are using devices that are over 2 years old and will not be updated.

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Android Wear Update Brings Visual Improvements and Accessibility Improvements

Android Wear 2.8 Update

A new update to the Android Wear app is rolling out in the Play Store today, bringing some visual improvements as well as improvements for accessibility users.  The update to the app is version 2.7.0.180439970 which will then have build 2.8.0.181612071 to send to your Wear watch.  Once you get the new app update, you’ll need to also perform an update on your watch itself.  You should have a notification that there is a new update to the Android Wear app on the watch itself.

As for what is new, there are improved typefaces and fonts in this build.  The aim of these is to improve glanceability (i.e. readability) when you glance at your watch.  Also, the base theme for your watch’s menu will appear noticeably darker.  This is likely a part of the effort to improve glanceability.

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Today’s Deal – Lenovo Yoga Book for $275 in Champagne Gold on Amazon

Lenovo Yoga Book Halo Keyboard

Today’s Deal is on the powerful and ultra thin Lenovo Yoga Book Android tablet.  The 10″ 2-in-1 tablet is my current Android tablet of choice and you can pick up a great deal on it right now.  The Champagne Gold model is down to $275, a savings of $224 off the original price.

The Yoga Book has a 10.1″ display that gives Full HD resolution of 1200 x 1920.  It is powered by the Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, a quad-core processor that is clocked at 2.4GHz.  That is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.  That internal storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Also, the Lenovo Yoga Book can take advantage of Adaptive Storage in Android Nougat so once you have a MicroSD card installed, it can act as part of the main storage on the device.

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OxygenOS Update Brings Camera Improvements to the OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus has begun the process of rolling out an update to their OxygenOS Android variant to their 2017 flagship phone, the OnePlus 5T.  The updates build of OxygenOS is 4.7.6 and in normal OnePlus fashion, is slowing going out to a select number of users today with a broader deployment happening over the course of the next few days.

The update is still based on Android Nougat 7.1.1 so for those hoping this would bring Oreo to the flagship, you have to still wait a bit.  OxygenOS 5.0 is in beta with an early 2018 release expected.  This 4.7.6 update brings a lot of fixes to the camera, other system improvements as well as the December Android Security Update patch for the device.

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December Android Distribution Report – Oreo Continues Slow Adoption

December 2017 Android Distribution Report

As expected, Google has released the December 2017 Android Distribution Report this week.  The report reflects the version of Android on devices that visited the Google Play Store for the 7 day period ending December 11, 2017 and for those of you who keep track of this monthly report, you won’t find many surprises.

With the exception of Android Nougat and Android Oreo, the two latest version of the platform, all previous version saw a decline or no change in usage from the November report to this one.  Android Nougat grew some 2.7% in usage in that time, by far the biggest gainer.  It now has a 23.3% share of devices coming to the Play Store but it is still behind Android Lollipop and Android Marshmallow.  Marshmallow, version 6.x of Android, leads the pack overall with 29.7% of devices running that version.

As for the latest version of Android, Oreo, it continues a very slow adoption on devices.  It now is on .5% of devices, a jump of .2% over November.

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December Android Security Update Hitting The Unlocked Essential Phone

Essential Phone - Black

Good news this morning for those of you who have an unlocked Essential Phone.  The company has begun rolling out an update that brings the December Android Security Update to the device.  It will make Essential one of the first beyond Google themselves to get the December update out to end users.

The update is build NMJ51B for those keeping score at home and, based on Essential’s twitter post about the update, it appears that the update contains only this security patch.

It is possible (likely) that there are some other minor updates in the build but clearly the main focus is on the December security update.

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