Microsoft Launcher Update Brings More Customizations

Microsoft Launcher for Android

Another new update is rolling out to Microsoft Launcher, bringing with it more customizations as well as full support for Android Oreo.  The update is version 4.12 for those keeping score at home and that version has been in beta for a few weeks now.  If you have been running that beta build, there isn’t anything new for you but if you are in the stable channel, there’s lots to talk about.

First, folders and app icon gestures are now a thing.  You can now setup folders on your Home screen or apps to open when you swipe them.  This is done by long pressing the folder or icon, tapping the edit icon (the pencil) and the enabling swipe.

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Counterpoint Research Report Pegs Nokia’s Growth at Over 780% Since Last Year

Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco

To be honest, if you have been paying attention to the smartphone market over the past year, you know that HMD Global’s Nokia brand has been making a serious comeback.  Now we have a more substantial report that reflect what everyone suspected:  Nokia has had a killer year.

Counterpoint Research has published their report on the Smartphone market and they, like IDC earlier in the week, confirm that Huawei has passed Apple as the number two smartphone company in the world.  But the Counterpoint report goes into more details than the IDC report on the “other” brands, of which Nokia is lumped into.  That’s where you find that the brand has gained some 782% in market share since Q2 2017.

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Android P Expected to be Released on August 20th

Android P Developer Preview 2 - May 2018

It looks like we don’t have much longer to wait for Android P.  August 20th appears to be the day and we have, once again, Evan Blass to thank for the news.  He posted on Twitter this morning a somewhat cryptic calendar with a bright green “P” on August 20th.

Given that it is pretty much a given that Android P will launch in August, it wasn’t super hard to figure out what was meant by the post.

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Gboard for Android Update Brings Support for 28 New Languages

Google GBoard for Anrdoid

Gboard for Android has another update rolling out, bringing the ability to make GIFs from text as well as support for 28 new languages.  The update is version 7.4.19 for those keeping score at home and is out in the Play Store now.

First up in this update is the ability to make a GIF from Text.  Gboard has had the ability for users to make their own GIFs for some time now but it was always photo based.  Now you can make one from text as well.

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Starbucks App Update Brings Support for Adding Funds from Google Pay

Add Funds to Your Starbucks Card From Google Pay

The Starbucks app for Android has been updated this morning and it brings the ability to do a one time adding of funds to your account from Google Pay.  The update is version 4.11.1 for those keeping score at home and should be out to everyone who has the app installed by now.

Once you have updated, you can go to the FAB (Floating Action Button) which has your current account balance and tap it and then go to the Add money option.  There you will see your credit card information you normally use to top up your card but if you use change the Payment type, you will see that Google Pay is an option.

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Google Pay Now Supported in Croatia as Central European Expansion Continues

Google Pay Logo

Croatia has become the latest country where Google Pay is now available.  It means that Croatians can now use their phones to tap-and-pay for services in supporting retailers as well as for online purchases.  The country marks the third central European country to get the service after Czech Republic and Slovakia earlier this year.

Support for Google Pay in Croatia is pretty limited at the moment.  Only the Visa Inspire Debit Card from PBZ is currently supported.  No other financial institutions or even other cards from PBZ are supported – at least not yet.  It is likely that other banks will join into the service once it is more established.

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LG Stylo 4 Joins The Amazon Prime Phone Exclusive Ranks – Price at $249

LG Stylo 4

The new LG Stylo 4, which was released back in June, has made its way to Amazon as an Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone.  The $249.99 price tag is $50 less than the normal price for the phone and, like other Prime phones, will com pre-installed with the various Amazon apps.

For that $249.99 price tag, you get a solid mid-range device and a phone that is running Android Oreo 8.1.  The LG Stylo 4 has a 6.2″ Full HD display that renders at 2160×1080 on at 18:9 aspect ratio.  It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage which can be expanded up to 2GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.

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Huawei Passes Apple as The World’s Second Largest Phone Manufacture

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Despite significant challenges in getting into the US market, Huawei has become the second largest phone manufacture, measured in phone shipments, in the latest report from IDC.  The shipping of 54.2 million devices in the second quarter of 2018 means that the Chinese manufacture has moved well past Apple, who was number two behind Samsung until this report.  Apple shipped 41.3 million devices in the same quarter.

Overall, Samsung remains the number one phone manufacture in the world, capturing some 20.9% of the global market with 71.5 million units shipping in Q2 of this year.  Huawei has approximately 15.8% of the market share.

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