New Essential Phone camera app update improves photo capture speed

I think we can all agree that the camera app is probably the worst aspect of the Essential Phone. Even though the US company released quite a few updates, the camera app is not there yet, so many Essential Phone owners might feel frustrated that they can’t install third-party apps.

Still, the updates continue to come for the Essential Camera app, so hope is not yet lost. The latest update that the Android app received this week doesn’t bring any new features into the mix but certainly contains some improvements.

The most important change is the speed with which the camera can capture …

Apple Music for Android update significantly improves stability, adds new features

Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, Deezer are just some of the music streaming services that competing for market share. Obviously, the fierce clash between the giants behind these services is good for customers since these companies are trying to make their products as appealing as possible.

Apple has taken another step towards making its music streaming service better than ever. The Cupertino-based company has just updated the Android app with important new features and improvements.

According to Apple, the update should significantly improve stability, “making music …

Google improves Pixel 2's photography skills, launches February security update

Google just announced that it’s ready to release a February security update for its Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL smartphones. Alongside various security related fixes, the update brings some extra goodies, in particular to owners of the Pixel 2 series.   With the new update, Google says it’s enabling the Pixel Visual Core – a dedicated image processing chip that was dormant until now inside the new Pixel phones (unless you’ve installed a beta build of Android 8.1 Oreo). According to Google, the Pixel Visual Core allows users to take better photos with third party camera apps …

Google improves on three features making it faster and easier to get answers to your search query

Google has been quietly improving its Search app by working on three different features that make it easier to learn about the topics that you have an interest in learning more about. For example, when you ask Google to search out information on a very specific topic, the results sometimes come in the form of a Featured Snippet. Using algorithms, these are “quick, relevant” answers to your search query that you would find on the web. Google has started adding more images and related searches dealing with your search. Let’s say you searched for Baby Spider Monkey. With the improved Featured Snippet, …

Essential Phone receiving another update that improves touch scrolling, adds security patches

The Essential Phone is getting another update, smaller than the previous one, which brings a couple of improvements and some security patches. The firmware version NMJ20D weighs in at 74MB, so this isn’t a large download at all.

The changelog mentions a security patch for KRACK WPA2 vulnerability, as well as the October security update that’s been released by Google earlier this month.

As far as the smartphone’s software is concerned, Essential says the update should improve touch scrolling. Also, the update is supposed to improve the performance of the …

Update to the Microsoft Pix Camera app for iOS adds new features and improves performance

Microsoft might not be focusing on Windows 10 Mobile anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the software giant is out of the smartphone game at all. First of all, Microsoft makes oodles of money every year thanks to its collection of Android patents that produce millions in royalty payments. And of course, the company has a collection of apps for both major platforms. So as you can see, Microsoft is still involved in the smartphone industry.

Today, the company added new features to its Microsoft Pix Camera app for iOS. A previous update allowed the app to recognize and scan business cards, …

Update pushed out to U.S. Samsung Galaxy S8 improves performance of the phone's features

One of our loyal Phone Arena readers has just received an update for his Samsung Galaxy S8. As you can see from the screenshot that accompanies this story, the size of the update weighs in at 392.14MB. When the notification arrives on your Galaxy S8 announcing the arrival of the new files, make sure that you are on a Wi-Fi network before starting the updating process. Before installing the update, you should also make sure that the battery on the device is fully charged.

According to the changelist, the update will include:

Improved performance for face recognition.The camera’s UI …

Update to Moto G5 Plus improves the audio recorded while capturing video

The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus were unveiled last month in Barcelona, and launched earlier this month. The Moto G5 Plus has just received a software update in Brazil to fix an issue that was limiting the audio quality captured by the device during video recording. Not only does this update improve the audio, it also makes the Moto G5 Plus more stable and exterminates bugs as well.

The new software version is NPN25.137-33, and it weighs in at 280.7MB. Once the notification arrives, users should make sure that they are connected to a Wi-Fi network before starting the updating process. In addition, …

HTC One M9+ improves on disappointing One M9

HTC’s One M9+, the company’s latest premium smartphone, packs the kind of improved specs we expected from the HTC One M9 earlier this year. But is it a case of too little too late?

We’ve just heard that the One M9+ might not be coming to the UK, so looks like we could be stuck with the original One M9 until the Aero releases later in the year. Bums. We’re chasing up and will update when we hear for sure one way or the other.

‘Experience HTC Ultra’ screams HTC’s One M9+ webpage, suggesting that this is the HTC experience we’ve been longing for after the underwhelming One M9 hit the UK back in April. For a start, the Full HD screen has been upgraded to a supremely sharp 2K 5.2-inch panel, to rival the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4.


The camera has also been upgraded for the One M9+, but not in the way we expected. We were hoping for a fresh set of optics, but instead HTC has kept the One M9’s 20-megapixel snapper and added a second lens, making this a Duo Snapper like the One M8. The camera can shoot high-res photos and 4K video like before, but also now supports focus shifting. However, we’re still expecting the resulting images to be rather bland compared with those taken on rival handsets.

Of course, we’ll be sure to test out the new Duo camera in our full HTC One M9+ review.

HTC has kept the same 2840mAh battery for the One M9+, but tellingly it has also swapped out the much-maligned Snapdragon 810 processor, which suffers from overheating issues when running at full pelt. Instead, the One M9+ comes packing a MediaTek X10 2.2GHz octa-core processor. This won’t reach the dizzying speeds of the likes of Samsung’s Exynos chipset, found in the Galaxy S6, but MediaTek’s hardware should easily handle the latest games, apps and high-res media.

Rounding off the specs, the One M9+ also packs a fingerprint sensor for increased security, plus 32GB of storage expandable via microSD.

So, while the One M9+’s well-worn design remains much the same and we’re still unsure about the refreshed camera, at least this is more like the flagship phone we initially expected from HTC. Problem is, with the LG G4 and Galaxy S6 have already impressed us with Quad HD visuals, powerful security and excellent optics, so we can’t see the One M9+ having much of an impact. Although with any luck, this phone may at least persuade HTC fans of yesteryear to return to the One brand when their contracts run out, rather than jumping to a rival.

Here’s hoping the upcoming HTC Aero, which promises an all-new camera experience and other surprises, can blow us away later in 2015.