Nova Launcher update adds adaptive icons, Android 8.1 popup menu, more

Nova Launcher, one of the most popular Android launchers, is now getting an important update that adds a couple of new features and many improvements.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a beta release, so you’ll be able to benefit from all the features included in the update once you download Nova Launcher v5.5.

The most important change is the addition of adaptive icons, which are supported by all devices powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop and newer. Also, the update intelligently reshapes legacy icons to adaptive to come in line with Google’s new design language.

There’s …


Google Assistant will troubleshoot your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL running Android 8.1 developer preview?


According to a Google Pixel 2 XL owner who is running the Android 8.1 developers preview on the device, Google Assistant will help troubleshoot the handset. This person asked Google Assistant why his phone was having problems charging. That started up a troubleshooting program that resulted in Assistant “Starting Troubleshooting,” which was followed by the virtual assistant asking “Is it okay if I check a few things?”

If permission is given, Google Assistant will give the phone a check up, focusing on the part of the handset where the issue is taking place. Returning to the Pixel 2 XL …

Inactive apps will open up some storage on your device with Android 8.1

If your Android phone isn’t exactly overloaded with free storage space, there is some good news coming your way related to Android 8.1. Discovered by XDA Developers in the Android Open Source Project, a commit dated October 31st reveals a feature that comes into play once an Android handset is running low on space. After a certain period of time determined by the Android system, apps not used recently will be considered inactive.

An inactive app will not take up space on the Dalvik compiler’s cache, thus freeing up some space on your handset. You won’t have to do anything on your part to …

Do not factory reset your Android 8.1 powered handset, unless you want to brick it

Bricking a phone is never fun, and on Android 8.1 you could easily find yourself bricking your daily driver by simply performing a factory reset on the device. That is what happened to Tom Bolger. Tom had just updated his phone to Android 8.1, but forgot the PIN code for his handset. That left him with no choice but to do a factory reset. Honestly, most of us would rather have a Foley catheter inserted than factory reset our phones. But sometimes a smartphone owner has no choice.

The problem arose after Bolger’s phone had completed the factory reset. In the past, he would have been prompted …

Android 8.1 update brings "perfectly smooth" scrolling

The Android 8.1 developer preview has been available for Google Pixel and Nexus phones for a few days, and while it seems like an iterative update, it brings some very noticeable and important performance improvements. More specifically, the 8.1 update brings some under the hood changes that make scrolling and the overall experience much, much smoother. We can testify to this as we have updated our original Google Pixel and the improvement in terms of performance is definitely noticeable.
Keep in mind that Android 8.1 is still a developer …

Picture-in-picture will work with Netflix on Android 8.1


Picture-in-picture is one of the most anticipated features of Android 8.0 (Oreo). With PiP, users can watch a video “floating” on the screen even while doing something else with their handset. They can also drag the video around to one of the screen’s corners if they so desire. Currently available on such Google apps as YouTube, Maps, Chrome (in full-screen only) and Duo, the recently released Android 8.1 beta reveals that streaming video app Netflix will be supporting Picture-in-Picture once Android 8.1 is installed on an Android flavored phone.

Deploying the new feature is a snap, …

Android 8.1 Oreo: all new features

Google has just released Android 8.1 developer preview and you can already grab the preview if you rock a Nexus or a Pixel phone, but do keep in mind that this is a preview and the official release is expected in December, so you might also encounter some issues.

Android 8.1 is about system improvements, but also some tiny visual changes

With this in mind, the Android 8.1 files are available to sideload right now and we can already see a few new features that will affect users. There aren’t many major changes, as this is an update …

Google releases Android 8.1 Oreo developer preview for Nexus and Pixel devices

As expected, Google released a new important Android update for Nexus and Pixel devices. Available as a developer preview, Android 8.1 Oreo brings important improvements and enables the Pixel Visual Core co-processor in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

There are lots of things included in Android 8.1 Oreo, but most of the changes are developer-oriented. For example, Google made some modifications to the way notifications work, such as the fact that apps are now limited to one notification alert sound per second.

Also, the update adds support for managing wallpaper …

New Microsoft tool instantly brings certain WP 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile phones up-to-date

If you own a Windows Phone 8.1 or Windows 10 Mobile handset, you might know that Microsoft is still sending out bug fixes and security updates for the platforms. Those sporting a handset running either OS have to load all previous versions of the software that they might have missed, before updating the device with the latest version. The Windows device recovery tool used to provide an easy way to update to the latest version of the appropriate OS, but Microsoft changed its functionality; now, the Windows device recovery tool loads the OS version that a particular phone shipped with.

So …

Android 8.1 Oreo arriving on Pixel phones "in the coming weeks"

Google confirmed earlier today that it’s already working to bring Android 8.1 Oreo to all Pixel phones “in the coming weeks.” Since the information comes rather indirectly via a blog post explaining the technology behind Pixel 2’s camera.

Apparently, the Pixel 2 smartphones feature Google’s first custom-designed co-processor, which is called Pixel Visual Core. The processor handles imaging and ML apps, and it’s supposed to offer lower-latency and more power-efficient HDR+ processing.

Pixel Visual Core is not yet enabled on the Pixel 2 smartphones, but Google …