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Android Circuit: Galaxy S6 Leaks, Google's Best Android Games From 2014, Lollipop's Big Review

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Android
Google
Reviews

Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit highlights a number of stories including leaks around Samsung’s 2015 flagship, J. K. Shin stays in charge at Samsung’s Mobile Division, Lollipop reviewed in-depth as it arrives on the Galaxy S5 in Poland, comparing the ‘mini’ handsets, interviewing the Russian behind the smartphone with two screens, will bloatware arrive over-the-air, Chrome’s hidden reading mode, and the best Google Play Apps and Games.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android over the last seven days (and you can read the weekly Apple news digest here).

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A huge leak may have just revealed the Galaxy S6’s monster specs

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Android

Various reports have claimed that Samsung is designing its next-gen top Android handset from scratch in an attempt to reinvent its flagship smartphone, as the previous Galaxy S5 and Galaxy S4 failed to really impress buyers. A new report from Chinese publication cnmo.com suggests that the Galaxy S6 might have already been spotted in AnTuTu, with the benchmark app having possibly revealed the phone’s specs in the process.

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​Lollipop 5.01 review: The Android release we've been waiting for

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Android

Is it finally safe to upgrade to Android 5 after the recent release of Android 5.01? Based on my experiences with my pair of 2013 Nexus 7 tablets, the answer is an unqualified yes.

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10 of the best Android apps from November 2014

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Android

November sure was a busy month for new apps and notable updates; from photo recognition, to launchers, to Biz Stone’s new app for sharing random thoughts.

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Also: Top 10 Android Apps For November 2014

Android motorcycle helmet open for pre-order

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Android

Skully announced a limited public pre-order round for its Android-based head-up display motorcycle helmet, available for $1,499 through Jan. 8.

The “world’s first augmented reality motorcycle helmet,” was a record-breaking $2.8 million Indiegogo success this summer, says Skully. (The frozen Indiegogo page shows a total of $2.44 million, but hey, it’s still a lot of money.) The helmets are now shipping, and beginning Monday, anyone can order the smart helmet, as long as you have $1,499 left in your holiday gift fund.

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A video history of Android

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Android

Today, Android is the world's most pervasive mobile operating system on the planet, powering millions of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and more. But that wasn't always the case, and Android's public life started from humble beginnings just about six years ago.

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YotaPhone 2 hands-on: This dual-screen phone is downright exciting but staggeringly expensive

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Android
Gadgets

The big advantage with the paper display is the increased battery life—up to five days when using it as an e-reader and up to two days when using the paper display as a smartphone, Yota promises. The problem for the company is that features for extending battery life have become much more common, which makes it less of a differentiator compared to a year ago.

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So What Do We Learn From the Nokia N1 Tablet on Android?

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Android
Microsoft

Elop wiped that all out with a rampage of destroying Nokia. Three years after the new Windows Phone based Lumia smartphones were released, Nokia's smartphone market share was down to 3%. Yes Elop had managed to wipe out nine out of ten customers for the most loyal dumbphone customer base on the planet and the second highest loyalty smartphone brand (behind only iPhone). It was kterally a world record in market leader destruction. No industry has ever seen this rapid collapse of its market leader, not even under catastrophic conditions like Toyota's brakes failures in cars, or from sheer management stupdity before like Coca Cola's launch of New Coke. Never has any company collapsed its global leadership position as fast as Elop demolished Nokia. And note, when Toyota hit its brakes or Coca Cola decided to go New, they were not twice as big as their nearest rival. Nokia's smartphone unit was more than twice as big as Apple in smartphones, and the unit was four times as big as Samsung's smartphone business. (PS we found out after he was ousted from Nokia's CEO job as the shortest-duration biggest failure Nokia CEO of all time, that Elop had a personal bonus clause that rewarded him for destroying the Nokia handset business... yeah, irony of ironies. The Financial Times calculated that Elop was rewarded an extra 1.5 million dollars for every biillion dollars he wiped out of Nokia shareholder value. The FT compared Elop's heist with the worst of Wall Street criminals like Bernie Madoff)

If you thought the Windows Phone strategy was right but Nokia was just inept at implementing it, nobody should be able to do it better than Microsoft. So now we have six months of Microsoft ownership of Nokia's handset business. How is the smartphone business? The Lumia business market share under full Microsoft control now is... 3%. And mind you, in four years since Elop announced his Windows strategy the Nokia smartphone business has not managed one quarter of a profit. Yes now its been 18 quarters straight, launching Lumia, launching Windows Phone 8, and switching ownership from Nokia to Microsoft and nothing helped. Not one quarter of profit. The Microsoft handset business dream is utterly dead.

[...]

But what Microsoft did not want, when it spent 7 billion dollars to buy Nokia's handset business, is to see Nokia compete against it. The exclusive licence to the Nokia brand was a long term thing for dumbphones but only a short-term thing for smartphones (and apparently, tablets). Nokia already pulled a dirty trck on Microsoft when it launched the short-lived X series that ran on Android. Microsoft killed off that project soon after they took over the handset business this year. But that was further confusion to the minds of consumers on what is the 'Nokia' (brand) intending to do. Is that Windows Phone -thingy, the whats-it-called-operation-system is it viable or not. If Nokia already launches on Android. So yeah, Microsoft had to kill it.

Now Microsoft has stopped using the Nokia branding on its newest smartphones. They are just branded Microsoft Lumia. And just months later, appears a brand new Nokia branded gadget, a tablet. This.. running Android. Even before we hear any rumors of a Nokia branded smartphone again from Finland, this is bad news for Microsoft's tablet strategy.

Will the N1 Tablet sell in enough numbers to show any relevance to Nokia's business? No, of course not. It will be the squeak of a mouse in the noise of a thunderstorm, but it is Nokia's first salvo. It does signal first of all, that Nokia wants to return. Secondly, it signals the total break from Windows. If any device by Finland's 'real' Nokia made sense to do on Windows, more than a smartphone, that would be a tablet. That Nokia now clearly spits in the eye of its 'partner' Microsoft, and does the tablet on Android is clear signal, Nokia is finished with Windows. For good. Forever.

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Google quietly pushes out Android Lollipop 5.0.1 images

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Android
Google

After a less-than-smooth rollout three weeks after it began to roll out Android Lollipop to users, Google has begun the process of getting Lollipop 5.0.1 out the door.

The Android maker quietly updated its factory images page to reveal a 5.0.1 build for the Nexus 9, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. Installing images from this page does require the flashing of devices in order to update them, and does not carry user data across in the process, unless backed up and restored by the user.

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Linux/Android MIPS hacker SBC goes for $65

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Android
Linux

Imagination’s Linux/Android “Creator CI20″ hacker SBC, featuring a dual MIPS core Ingenic JZ4780 SoC, 4GB flash, WiFi, and BT 4.0, is now selling for $65.

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More in Tux Machines

Stable kernels 5.0.3, 4.20.17, 4.19.30, 4.14.107 and 4.9.164

  • Linux 5.0.3
    I'm announcing the release of the 5.0.3 kernel. All users of the 5.0 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 5.0.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.0.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st...
  • Linux 4.20.17
  • Linux 4.19.30
  • Linux 4.14.107
  • Linux 4.9.164

Firefox 66 Released

Firefox now prevents websites from automatically playing sound. You can add individual sites to an exceptions list or turn blocking off. Read more Also: Firefox 66 Arrives - Blocks Auto-Playing Sounds, Hides Title Bar By Default For Linux

Mozilla/Firefox: Reducing Your Online Annoyances, This Week in Servo Development and Vista 10 Integration

  • Today’s Firefox Aims to Reduce Your Online Annoyances
    Almost a hundred years ago, John Maynard Keyes suggested that the industrial revolution would effectively end work for humans within a couple of generations, and our biggest challenge would be figuring what to do with that time. That definitely hasn’t happened, and we always seem to have lots to do, much of it online. When you’re on the web, you’re trying to get stuff done, and therefore online annoyances are just annoyances. Whether it’s autoplaying videos, page jumps or finding a topic within all your multiple tabs, Firefox can help. Today’s Firefox release minimizes those online inconveniences, and puts you back in control.
  • This Week In Servo 127
    In the past week, we merged 50 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.
  • Passwordless Web Authentication Support via Windows Hello
    Firefox 66, being released this week, supports using the Windows Hello feature for Web Authentication on Windows 10, enabling a passwordless experience on the web that is hassle-free and more secure. Firefox has supported Web Authentication for all desktop platforms since version 60, but Windows 10 marks our first platform to support the new FIDO2 “passwordless” capabilities for Web Authentication.

Lessons in Vendor Lock-in: 3D Printers

One interesting thing about the hobbyist 3D printing market is that it was founded on free software and open hardware ideals starting with the RepRap project. The idea behind that project was to design a 3D printer from off-the-shelf parts that could print as many of its own parts as possible (especially more complex, custom parts like gears). Because of this, the first generation of 3D printers were all homemade using Arduinos, stepper motors, 3D-printed gears and hardware you could find in the local hardware store. As the movement grew, a few individuals started small businesses selling 3D printer kits that collected all the hardware plus the 3D printed parts and electronics for you to assemble at home. Later, these kits turned into fully assembled and supported printers, and after the successful Printrbot kickstarter campaign, the race was on to create cheaper and more user-friendly printers with each iteration. Sites like Thingiverse and YouMagine allowed people to create and share their designs, so even if you didn't have any design skills yourself, you could download and print everyone else's. These sites even provided the hardware diagrams for some of the more popular 3D printers. The Free Software ethos was everywhere you looked. Read more