"Hey Google" will soon activate Google Assistant on Android handsets

Owners of the Google Home smart speaker use a simple phrase to call on Google Assistant to handle tasks. The virtual personal assistant can control smart appliances inside the house, confirm an airline flight, get sports scores, news or the weather, all by saying a simple “Hey Google.” That is different that the “Ok Google” phrase used by Android smartphone owners to activate Google Assistant.

Soon, though, the “Hey Google” command will call up the virtual assistant on handsets. Google is in the midst of sending out a notification to Android users telling them that Google Assistant can be …


Live Photos for all! Google Photos now lets you share and view your moving pictures over iOS, Android, and PC

A couple of years ago, Apple introduced its “Live Photos” — a feature, which has the phone’s camera record a short video that spans the time just before and just after you press the shutter button. Photos are viewable as normal, but force-pressing (or just long pressing if you don’t have 3D Touch) makes them “come alive” with the frames that were captured just before and just after. A neat little feature, great for capturing family moments with that fidgety little one, pets, fireworks, and other unpredictable stuff.

For quite a while, Live Photos have been an exclusive club. If you wanted …

How to sort of emulate the iPhone X interface on your Android device

Do you like what you see above? 
You might as well be digging that, we won’t judge! Okay, we won’t judge, but there are quite probably a lot of Android users that would love to emulate the interface looks of the top-notch iPhone X on their devices. Of course, thanks to the fact that Android is not a walled garden, such an exercise in customization is entirely possible, though it requires a bit of work on your time.
Yes, there are some apps out there that allow you to do that, but almost all of them are low-quality ones that we …

Lawnchair, the best near-stock Android launcher you've never heard of, is now on the Play Store

On the topic of launchers, we have a pretty good understanding of what makes a third-party offering better than the built-in one – customizability, ease of use, and snapiness, of course. Nova Launcher is the anecdotal default answer when you will most definitely find when you go search for Android launchers, but it’s always nice to have some alternatives up in your alley.
A new entrant on the launcher scene is a niche debutant that has been doing the round in the underground – dubbed Lawnchair as a tongue-in-cheek joke, this one is closely mimicking the appearance …

Sony Xperia XZ Premium to receive Android 8.0 Oreo update in December

Sony Mobile is one of the important smartphone companies that have yet to announce any details about its Android 8.0 Oreo plans. Well, perhaps the reason was the fact that the Japanese handset wasn’t ready to commit to any Oreo updates.

The good news is the situation has slightly changed, as Sony Mobile Japan recently confirmed that the Xperia XZ Premium smartphone will receive the highly-anticipated Android 8.0 Oreo update starting December.

Obviously, there’s a high chance that the update will arrive in other parts of the world well ahead of the Japanese …

Impossibly beautiful puzzle game Monument Valley 2 is coming to Android

Monument Valley 2 is one of the most beloved original puzzle games for iPhone: it features a touching story, but also ingenious level design and some impossible mechanics that captivate players.
Sadly, it launched as an iOS exclusive, with no version of the game for Android.
This changes on November 6th when developer ustwo will release Monument Valley 2 on Android.
In Monument Valley 2, we have a new narrative that focuses on motherhood: our heroine, mother Ro, goes through the motions …

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 …

WhatsApp announces Live Location feature is now available on Android and iOS devices

Live Location is a brand new feature that will be available on both Android and iOS devices starting today, WhatsApp announced. The developer confirmed the Live Location will be slowly rolled out worldwide in the coming weeks, so it might take some time be available to everyone.

The new Live Location feature will allow WhatsApp users to share their location in real-time with family and friends. It’s an end-to-end encrypted feature that enables users to control who they share with their location and for how long.

If you’re using WhatsApp on a daily basis, …

How to hide apps on your Android phone

Every now and then, a man needs to hide their apps from the home screen or app drawer so as not to allow prying eyes or toddler’s hands to hit on a Facebook or WhatsApp icon inadvertently to take a deep dive into your secret chats, or rack up a bill with in-game purchases in no time. That’s where a few solutions to take your sensitive apps away from the home screen or app drawer come in handy.

Samsung
If you own a Samsung, you are in luck, as its Secure Folder solution not only hides apps apps from plain sight, but actually creates …

Here's 10 paid Android icon packs that have gone free for a limited time, grab them while you can

If you’ve been following our various columns on Android customization, then you should know by now that we have a soft sport for custom icon packs around here. And how couldn’t we? Applying a custom icon set is like giving your home screen a fresh coat of paint and is among the basic rights of every Android user out there!

There’s no such thing as having too many icon packs and don’t you believe anyone who tells you the opposite! Joking aside, this week we’ve got 10 Android icon packs that have gone free for a limited time!

As usual, you can easily preview …