Bixby 2.0 confirmed for Samsung’s next flagship, likely the Galaxy Note 9

  • A Samsung executive has said Bixby 2.0 will be featured on its next flagship release, presumably the Galaxy Note 9.
  • The Note 9 is expected to launch at IFA 2018 in early September.
  • This will likely be the first time we see Samsung’s new and improved AI assistant.

Gray G. Lee, head of Samsung’s AI Center, has confirmed that the company’s next flagship will have Bixby 2.0 on board. Lee made the comments via The Korea Herald yesterday.

Bixby 2.0, a new and improved version of Samsung’s AI assistant, was already expected to launch this year. It was also anticipated to appear on the Galaxy Note 9, rumored to launch at IFA in September. Lee’s comments simply add further weight to the notion that the Note 9 will be the birthplace of Bixby 2.0 — unless Samsung has a flagship hidden up its sleeve that we’re unaware of.

This may also give us an indication of Bixby 2.0’s release date. Though it could arrive anytime, Samsung likely wants to reveal the software alongside the new device as one of its standout features.

Bixby 2.0 is said to feature enhanced natural language processes, faster response times, and a greater ability to listen in noisy environments.

Samsung has discussed a couple of other interesting Bixby developments this week, including that it wants to hire 1,000 AI engineers to help achieve its AI aims, and that it intends to have Bixby running on all of its IoT devices by 2020.

For more on what we know so far about the Galaxy Note 9, hit the link.

Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge update hub

Update #2 (05/18/2018): Samsung has restarted its Oreo rollout for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. The update was pulled earlier this week because it was causing bootloops on some handsets, but according to Sam Mobile, it’s now back on.

Sam Mobile posted a Portuguese language screenshot with the news, but it’s unclear if this is the sole basis for the report. Some commenters have chimed in to say they’ve received it, however, so it looks like it is being deployed again (at least in some spots). We’ll let you know when we see it on U.S. soil.

Update #1 (05/16/2018): Earlier this month, we announced that an Android 8.0 Oreo update was rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices around the globe. However, it looks like the update is now halted for the time being, via SamMobile.

Samsung announced that the update was causing bootloops in “a limited number of cases,” so the company “temporarily stopped the rollout of the update.” Samsung gave no indication as to when the updates might start again.

Here is an image of the message from Samsung that appears if you try to update:

SamMobile

At this point, we highly advise everyone to avoid updating to Android 8.0 Oreo on their Galaxy S7 device until Samsung can get this dangerous bug fixed. We’ll update this article as soon as a working update begins to roll out.


Original article: Welcome to the Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Android update tracker page. This page covers all major U.S. carriers with a quick reference table for each and a log with links to further details. It will be regularly updated with the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge update information.

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge tend to receive their updates simultaneously – or at least very close together. For this reason, they both appear here on this update page. Also, note that we won’t be covering general security patches in our list, unless they include something particularly relevant.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest updates.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Android Oreo update

Both the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are now receiving Android Oreo. We’re yet to see the update in the U.S., but we’ll let you know when we do.

Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Update U.S.

Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge updates – US Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Android 7.0 Nougat Android 8.0 Oreo
Verizon Yes Yes TBA
AT&T Yes Yes TBA
T-Mobile Yes Yes TBA
Sprint Yes Yes TBA

Android 7.0 Nougat first available: August 22, 2016

First carrier to roll it out for the S7 and S7 Edge: T-Mobile (180 days)

Android 8.0 Oreo first available: August 21, 2017

First carrier to roll it out for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: TBC

Verizon Galaxy S7 (SM-G930V) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935V) update:

  • April 20, 2018, Verizon rolls out OTA that claims to be Android 8.0 Oreo but isn’t. Oops.
  • November 23, 2017, Verizon rolled out an OTA update with build number G930VVRU4BQK2. The new version introduced the November Android security update, including a patch for the recent KRACK exploit.
  • March 6, 2017, Verizon became the last of the four major US carriers to roll out Nougat to the S7 and S7 Edge.
  • September 1, 2016, improved voice calls, FM Radio, Barcode Beaming functionality and NextRadio app added.
  • May 9, 2016, DT Ignite added. Helps Verizon package and install apps on devices. Can’t be removed without root.

Number of days it took Verizon to update to Nougat: 196

AT&T Galaxy S7 (SM-G930A) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935A) update:

  • December 13, 2017, AT&T is rolls out build number G930AUCU4BQK2 (G935AUCU4BQK2 for S7 Edge). The OTA update includes the November Android security updates, support for new Mobile Hotspot APN, an AirWatch fix for Enterprise customers, call performance improvements, and network performance improvements.
  • July 11, 2017, AT&T provides fixes for calendar and messaging apps, as well as the Samsung Knox security software. Video calling has also been improved.
  • February 18, 2017, AT&T began the Nougat update roll out for the S7 and S7 Edge.
  • July 27, 2016, Wi-Fi calling arrives.
  • April 21, 2016, DTV Widget added, better Wi-Fi performance when using BTLE, home and volume key responsiveness improved, other performance enhancements arrive.

Number of days it took T-Mobile to update to Nougat: 181

T-Mobile Galaxy S7 (SM-G930T) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935T) update:

  • February 17, 2017, T-Mobile became the first U.S. carrier to roll out Nougat for the S7 and S7 Edge.
  • November 5, 2016, enabled 256/64 QAM, domestic data roaming improvements, system crash fix.
  • May 4, 2016, FM Radio, power and volume key fix, system improvements.

Number of days it took T-Mobile to update to Nougat: 180

Sprint Galaxy S7 (SM-G930P) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935P) update:

  • February 21, 2017, Sprint started rolling out the final Nougat build to its S7 and S7 Edge beta testers. The OTA rollout to non-beta users is expected soon after and to conclude on February 27.
  • May 26, 2016, battery life improvements, Wi-Fi calling added.

Number of days it took Sprint to update to Nougat: 184

International Galaxy S7 (SM-G930F) and Galaxy S7 Edge (SM-G935P) update:

  • March 30, 2018: Oreo began to roll out to Samsung Galaxy S7 devices in the UK.
  • March 12, 2018: Samsung Canada announced that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge would begin receiving their Android Oreo updates this summer.
  • March 20, 2017: Nougat arrived to Rogers and Telus in Canada.
  • January 17, 2017: Nougat became available for all international unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edges.
  • January 12, 2017: Samsung rolled out Nougat for international unlocked devices enrolled in the beta program.
  • January 4, 2017: Samsung began a limited soak test for the unlocked S7 and S7 Edge.
  • December 21: Vodafone Australia confirmed that the Nougat version they’re testing for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is Android 7.0, not Android 7.1.
  • December 20: The fourth major beta update has rolled out to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge for those enrolled in the Galaxy Beta Program. The update removes the Samsung Notes app and a previous mention of the Samsung Experience interface.
  • December 16, 2016, Vodafone Australia lists the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in its weekly software update wrap-up. States “testing in progress,” but doesn’t provide an ETA.

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or Tip us!

Next: Download official Samsung Galaxy S7 wallpapers

Xiaomi Redmi 5A reportedly the biggest selling Android phone in March

  • Recent smartphone shipment reports suggest Xiaomi had a strong first quarter in 2018.
  • Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A said to be the best selling Android smartphone in March — the first time a Xiaomi phone has achieved the feat.
  • Xiaomi also became the third biggest smartphone vendor in Spain in Q1 2018, according to Canalys.

Research firms Counterpoint Research and Canalys have released smartphone shipment reports for earlier in 2018, and both highlight significant achievements for Chinese firm Xiaomi.

Counterpoint Research has suggested that the Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A was the “best selling Android smartphone in March,” as well as ranking in third place overall behind the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus. Counterpoint also noted this is the first time a Xiaomi smartphone has grabbed the number one spot in global Android smartphone shipments.

The Redmi 5A had a 1.8 percent market share in March, behind the iPhone X’s 3.5 percent and iPhone 8 Plus’ 2.3 percent. The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus made the list too coming in joint fifth and sixth place with a 1.6 percent market share each. Unlike the Redmi 5A, however, the Samsung phones were not available at the beginning of March.

We called the Xiaomi handset a “steal” in our Redmi 5A review and recommended it to “anyone looking for a basic Android smartphone on a budget.” By all accounts, buyers have apparently found it similarly appealing.

Xiaomi rising in Europe

Meanwhile, over in Europe, Canalys says Xiaomi has surpassed Apple and BQ in Spain as of Q1 2018.

Xiaomi’s Western European ambitions came to fruition in November 2017, when it launched the Mi A1 and Mi Mix 2 in Spain. It’s been just over six months since the launch, but the Chinese brand is apparently now the third biggest vendor in the country.

The new entrant reportedly holds 14.1 percent market share, while third-placed Apple sits at 12.9 percent marketshare. Xiaomi is still a long way from second-placed Huawei (23 percent) and first-placed Samsung (23.9 percent), however.

The results, posted on Twitter by Xiaomi Senior VP Wang Xiang, are also interesting because Apple and Samsung saw market share losses. Meanwhile, Huawei and Xiaomi gained a bigger (or new, in Xiaomi’s case) cut of the pie.

Of course, research firms tend to arrive at varying conclusions, measuring data in different ways. But it’s clear the Chinese brand has seen explosive growth here in a very short period of time.

Xiaomi Q1 2018 marketshare in Spain Wang Xiang

The manufacturer’s Spanish rise is also showing up in European statistics for Q1 2018. Canalys previously reported that it was already at number four in Europe.

The company isn’t resting yet either, having recently announced plans to launch in the U.K., Italy and several other European countries too.

Build a WordPress website without learning a thing

 

Sometimes it’s nice to learn stuff and sometimes it’s nice to get around it.

Almost a third of the internet is run on WordPress. We call it home too. WordPress is a great option if you’re looking to build a website, but it requires some training to make a site look professional and keep it secure.

Luckily there are ways around these issues if you’re new to the web game. That’s where the WordPress Build and Host Bundle comes in. This two-part learning kit gives you Dragify WordPress Builder to put your online home together, and an SSDPage Premium Plan to protect it.

Dragify is a simple solution to website design. You get access to 200+ pre-designed blocks and 45+ widgets. All you have to do is drag and drop the ones you like, then input the text. It’s that easy, and it’s meant to be. Okay it’s not quite as versatile as learning every nuance of WordPress, but it sure is easier.

WordPress

Besides, unless you have an extremely specific design in mind, you’re sure to find pleasing components in Dragify. In fact, you can keep an open mind and search their range for inspiration. You get a professional looking site, and technical support is included for a year.

Once your site is up and running, the SSDPage Anti-Hacker Web Hosting Premium Plan is designed to keep it safe. This enterprise-grade security protects your project from CXS malware, DDOS attacks, and much more scary cybercriminal activity.

How SSDPage keeps you safe:

  • Actively scans files for malware as they’re uploaded to the site.
  • Prevents hackers from scanning the server for vulnerable files & gaining root access.
  • Protects your customers’ credit cards & other sensitive information.
  • Monitors webspace, FTP space, email, & other public directories for viruses.
  • Limits the number of logins from a specific user within a time period.
  • Blocks suspect IP addresses.
  • Protect your site from other unauthorized websites that link to your files.

You get lifetime access to both premium packages, so the bundle is worth a pretty penny. Fortunately it’s always discount day at AAPicks, and we’re spotlighting this deal today because right now there’s a 96% price drop. You can sign up for just $49.99.

No excuses not to set up that website you’ve had in mind anymore. Follow the link below to find the deal.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.


Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

Google reportedly making its own AR headset, like Microsoft’s HoloLens

  • According to rumor, there’s a Google AR headset in development, codenamed Google A65.
  • The headset will likely be akin to Microsoft’s $5,000 HoloLens, which enables you to interact with mixed reality environments.
  • Little is known about the A65, but Qualcomm, Quanta, and Meta might all be involved.

Virtual reality headsets are all the rage right now, like with the HTC Vive, the Oculus Go, and Lenovo’s recent partnership with Google, the Mirage Solo. However, these headsets immerse you in a virtual world; it might be based on reality, but it is not your reality.

The Microsoft HoloLens is built with augmented reality in mind. Using the HoloLens, you can move while viewing the real world around you, while simultaneously seeing 3D digital imagery. This creates what is called “mixed reality,” where you interact with both real-world and artificial elements at the same time. Check out the video below to see how it works.

Right now, Microsoft’s $5,000 HoloLens is the only device on the market that offers an untethered mixed reality experience (that’s for the Enterprise model; there is no consumer edition yet). However, it looks like Google, via WinFuture, is developing a mixed reality headset of its own, codenamed the Google A65.

Little is known about the A65, but WinFuture does have a few details. First, like the HoloLens, the A65 will likely offer a wireless experience, enabling you to wear the headset and walk freely around your home, office, or even outside.

Next, the A65 will likely have some sort of Qualcomm processor. It is not entirely clear whether the processor will be an existing chip that Qualcomm makes or a new, unique processor just for the A65. The rumor is that the A65 processor will be based on the QSC603, which is specifically for “Internet of Things” hardware. That seems unlikely, but either way, Qualcomm is reportedly involved.

Third, the Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta is allegedly involved in the creation of the A65 as well. You might remember Quanta as the company that helped Google develop the Pixel C Android tablet.

Finally, Quanta is also involved with a company called Meta in the development of something called the A66. Meta already makes mixed reality headsets, like the Meta 2. Could the A66 be similar to the A65? It’s hard to say anything at this point.

It makes sense that Google would want to make true mixed-reality hardware since it already tried (and failed) with Google Glass. This A65 unit could be the evolution of the Glass experience into something more powerful and useful. Time will tell how this all plays out.

NEXT: AR vs VR: What’s the difference?

Google Home voice commands now work with Google Play Movies

  • Using Google Home voice commands, you can now access your Google Play Movies library.
  • Previously, both Google Home and Google Assistant couldn’t access the Google Play library.
  • You don’t need to link your account like you would with Netflix or HBO Go. It just works.

Asking your Google Home hardware to play something on Netflix is a snap: “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix.” Google Home (via Google Assistant) will play the next episode in your queue on your television, assuming you’ve connected your Netflix account and TV to Assistant.

But for some strange reason, you couldn’t do the same thing with Google Play Movies. That is, until yesterday. Now, you can use your voice to access the movies and TV shows you’ve purchased or rented from the Google Play Store.

What’s even better is that you don’t have to connect your Google Play account to your Google Home or Google Assistant for it to work. This makes sense, as your Google Assistant and Google Play accounts should be one-and-the-same. It will just work, so give it a shot!

Why this couldn’t be done from the very beginning is a bit curious, but regardless it is available now.

You can see the full list of supported streaming media account platforms for Google Home here. And if you don’t have a Google Home hardware product, there’s a deal on the Google Store right now where you can save $20 by buying two Google Home Minis. Check it out by hitting the button below.

Fortnite Android release date now set for summer 2018

Epic

Sorry, Fornite fans with Android phones, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer until you can pick up those Victory Royales on the go.

Battle royale addicts with Android devices have been holding out for a set release date for Epic Games’ insanely popular title hit iOS devices just over two months ago. In an official developer update earlier today, the developer/publisher confirmed that development is still underway and that it is “targeting this summer for the release.”

Epic said back in March that the online shooter would arrive on the Play Store “in a few months.” The new release window given today suggests we’ll see Fornite come to Android phones and tablets between late June and early September.

While it’s disappointing to hear that there’s still at least another month to wait, it seems like the extra time will be put to good use.

Epic is looking to improve the experience on mobile, no doubt to ensure that it can fully compete with the platform’s other massively popular battle royale game, PUBG Mobile. In the developer update (via The Verge), titled the “State of Mobile”, Epic announced a number of tweaks to the mobile version of Fornite that should be available to Android users upon release.

These include a customizable HUD (pictured below), native voice chat, stat-tracking, as well as gameplay and performance optimizations and overall stability improvements.

On a final note regarding the upcoming Android version, Epic said: “We know many of you are excited for this release, and we promise that when we have more information to share, you’ll hear it from us first.”

LocationSmart demo let anyone track the whereabouts of anyone else

Source url

  • LocationSmart is a location-as-a-service company that allows you to track people’s mobile phones (with their consent).
  • However, the online demo at the LocationSmart site could be hacked to show the location of anyone, no consent needed.
  • LocationSmart took down the demo, but the damage is done. How is this not regulated?

LocationSmart is a private service that enables people to track the locations of smartphones connected to the four biggest wireless carriers in the United States: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The company only provides this service when people consent to its use.

However, a reporter, via ARSTechnica, recently unearthed the fact that, using the online demo software at locationsmart.com, pretty much anyone could track someone in the United States using that person’s mobile phone number – no consent required.

After the reporter published the information, LocationSmart removed the demo from its site. There are still links and buttons that say “Free Demo” littered around the pages, but the buttons simply refresh the page.

LocationSmart is what’s called a “location-as-a-service” company. An example of its use would be to give management members of a company the ability to track the whereabouts of employees using the employee’s phone as a geotracker. The employees would consent to this practice as part of the job.

But the demo didn’t require any consent. You could use it to track almost everyone in America.

The demo formerly hosted at the LocationSmart site allowed you to test the service on yourself. You would enter in your information – including your phone number – and then receive a text from the LocationSmart system. You would confirm your consent through the text, and then instantly in the demo you would see your current location, within the range of 100 yards.

However, reporter Brian Krebs got creative with the system and figured out a way to determine the general whereabouts of anyone with a phone connected to one of the Big Four carriers. He did this by querying LocationSmart’s service to ping the cell tower closest to a given mobile phone number. That in itself will provide you with a reasonable approximation of a person’s location, but it could be in a range of miles or more.

But Krebs simply performed the test numerous times, over and over, which created a list of general locations of the cell number in question. He plugged those coordinates into Google Maps and was able to track the movement of the mobile device with relative accuracy.

He tried this out on a friend whom he knew was walking through town to see if it would work. It did.

locationsmart LocationSmart

Krebs then asked five different associates for their consent to track them, without knowing their actual locations. Within seconds, he was able to determine the near-exact location of one of the volunteers, and the relative location of the other four.

Krebs reached out to the Big Four carriers to ask them about their association with LocationSmart. All four declined to confirm or deny association with the company, despite the fact that the company logos are all over LocationSmart’s site.

This is scary stuff, and goes to show how little regulation there is when it comes to commercial location tracking of the public.

NEXT: Google makes privacy policy easier to understand, adds new data controls

Power your life with River Bank

Today’s pick is something a bit different. A power bank so powerful it can jump-start your car.

Some people’s only battery concern is whether their smartphone has enough juice to make it through a music festival. However, if you love the great outdoors or you’re a digital nomad, the River Bank Smart Power System might make your life a whole lot easier.

The River Bank is the world’s largest capacity portable power station that you can take on a plane. There are several modules which make up the River Bank system, and you can stack them in whatever way best suits your needs.

This is serious piece of kit. We’re not talking about a couple of extra charges for one device here, we’re talking about powering your devices for days or even weeks. Check out the life-affirming promo video above to get some sense of what it can do.

River Bank quick glance:

  • Recharge using solar, car, or wall socket.
  • Mega-Capacity 51,200mAh Battery – charge your phone up to 30 times.
  • Wireless, USB, USB-C, and AC charging for up to six devices at once.
  • Stack modules to combine capacity.
  • Car Jump Starter.
  • Transfer files using the USB hub.

The Main module and the AC module appear to be where the bulk of the versatility lie. Both have their own large charging capacity, plus this is where the Qi wireless charger and most of the ports are housed. Combined, they make up the AC Pack, with which you can charge laptops 3-4 times, phones 18-30 times, tablets 6 times, and GoPros 40+ times.

You also have the solar charger and the car module. The former could keep you recharging in the wild indefinitely, while the latter can jump start your car up to 10 times. Check out the Indigogo page for more specs.

Even if you’re not Grizzly Adams, this piece of tech could really be handy in an emergency if you live in a storm or flood zone. You never know when you might need power.

River Bank

The River Bank is the follow-up crowdfunded project from EcoFlow Tech, who raised over 3,000% of its target for the River Power Station last year. They appear to have combined the campaigns, so even though the target has been smashed, they’re still offering discount deals for those who pre-order the River Bank now.

The price depends on the pack you’re after. At the time of writing you could pre-order the AC pack for $295 including shipping. That’s $50 lower than the retail price.

That said, the giant countdown clock says the price will go up soon. If it sounds like the River Bank could solve your power needs then check out the Indigogo page via the link below.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.


Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

Verizon data caps – which the company denies

  • With Net Neutrality about to end, some customers found Verizon data caps on their internet bills this week.
  • Verizon claims that the data usage limits are not caps, and will not be enforced.
  • Verizon credits the confusion to a “system error” and says it has no plans to cap internet data.

A small collection of Verizon DSL subscribers in New York and New Jersey were surprised to find data caps on their Verizon dashboards yesterday. According to Verizon, it is “conducting a usage billing trial” and the listed limits are not caps.

Net Neutrality – the idea that the internet should remain free, open, and treated as a public utility – is going to cease to be the law of the land in a few weeks. One of the major fears of the death of Net Neutrality is ISP’s like Verizon imposing usage caps on customers.

The screenshot below, provided to a pro-Net Neutrality group called Stop the Cap, shows the test usage caps for two DSL plans Verizon offers.

verizon data caps Stop the Cap

The two limits present are 150GB/month for the basic “high-speed” DSL plan and 250GB/month for the “enhanced” DSL plan.

According to the customers who saw the data cap information in their accounts, Verizon gave no warning that a change was coming.

Stop the Cap reached out to Verizon for comment, and the company gave some statements in response.

According to Verizon, the customers in New York and New Jersey experienced a “system error,” as the company is not testing usage caps in those areas. The “usage billing trial” is supposed only to be happening in Virginia.

Verizon assures Stop the Cap that the test is only to “measure [customers’] data use and display it in their billing.” The company emphasized that although “these customers were given the 250 GB and 150 GB allowances you showed in those screenshots, we’ve never billed customers who exceed those allowances and have no plans to do so. The purpose of the trial was more the idea of accurately collecting and displaying usage in billing.”

While Verizon replying to Stop the Cap is commendable, it does seem pretty strange that it is claiming it has no interest in imposing data caps while simultaneously showing customers that their data is at the very least “soft” capped.

With the loss of Net Neutrality on June 7, expect to see a lot more “tests” like this one from the ISP’s across the nation.

NEXT: Net Neutrality now has a specific death date – June 11, 2018